The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More "She Wants Revenge" Fodder

It looks like I can officially give up my last little dregs of fascination for them.

Salon posted this:
She Wants Revenge, "She Wants Revenge"

New Los Angeles group She Wants Revenge might sound like they fit the hot new band template, or at least the hot new band template from three years ago: "A retro goth-pop duo that out-Interpols Interpol," as Rolling Stone (three stars out of five) calls them. But this isn't singer Justin Warfield's first attempt at riding the pop music zeitgeist. Indeed, this would be the same Justin Warfield who first appeared in 1993 as a Prince Paul-produced, "daisy age"-inspired rapper (on "My Field Trip to Planet 9") and resurfaced a couple of years later with "The Justin Warfield Supernaut," an album of Lenny Kravitz-esque faux '70s guitar jams.

So, has Warfield finally hit on a winning formula with She Wants Revenge's eponymous debut? The record certainly has its influences carefully mapped out, at least according to Rolling Stone, which finds the band "deploying snippets of Joy Division, Bauhaus, the Cure and other dark New Wave acts with a precision that borders on parody." But while Rolling Stone concludes that She Wants Revenge "steal from the best, and steal well," others are less than convinced. The San Francisco Chronicle (three out of five) calls the group "the made-for-TV version of Joy Division, channeling the darkness without any of the enlightenment," while the New York Times says that "She Wants Revenge" is "all very retro and atmospheric, but so contrived that it's hard to take too seriously."

"'She Wants Revenge' could have been the best the album of 1983," observes Newsday (Grade B), nailing the issue for many critics. "The problem, of course, is that [it] didn't come out 23 years ago. It's here now … you can't help but wonder why they've done it."

Fine, I'll say it. I was wrong. I fell for it. However, now I'm trying to make up for it by getting the word out.

Cell Phone Issues

I'm sure no one really wants to hear about this, but I'm going to bring it up anyway. I've been a T-Mobile customer for the past year and a half (before that, I didn't even have a cell phone. EGADS!). And I've been very happy with the service. My phone was nice when I bought it and thanks to an rebate, quite cheap.

Now that I've been with them for over a year though, I'm eligible for a phone upgrade discount. Although my contract was up last August, I didn't get a new phone right away because there wasn't really one that I wanted. Right before Christmas though, T-Mobile became the exclusive reseller of the Samsung T809. For some reason I just really like the look of that phone. I know I don't want another Motorola one (because the OS on that is kind of lame). I also don't really feel like switching networks though since I've had really good luck with T-Mobile.

Full Post

I went into a T-Mobile store a couple weeks ago and talked to the salesman, he said that the T809 would be $250 with a 1 year contract renewal or $200 with a 2 year contract. Naturally I was like, "No thanks," and walked out. Since I'd gotten a good deal on my phone through before I began checking each week to see if they were carrying it. I just found over the weekend though, that has it for $200 with $150 rebate.

Unfortunately for me, the rebate specifically says that you've got to be a new activation and that if you're a current T-Mobile customer that you'd have to get a new line of service AND not cancel your old line of service. Now I don't really mind canceling my service and getting a new one that much, but since this is my only phone and I use it as my home phone in all of my billing things, I'd rather not have to update all of that stuff.

With this in mind, I called T-Mobile up on Sunday and talked to a CSR about what I could do. Unfortunately, they weren't very helpful and the only suggestion they had was, try getting it off eBay.

That's when I came up with the great idea of just buying a really cheap Pay As You Go phone from Cingular, switching my number over to that one (and canceling my service with T-Mobile) then buying my new phone and switching my number back. It will cost me like $30 for a phone from Cingular and there may be a dumb activation fee. If that's the case, I may just say screw it, and not bother.

But still, this is very annoying that I have to go through all this just to stay with a company that I actually like. If they'd just say that keeping their existing customers is worth as much to them as acquiring new customers, this wouldn't even be an issue.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll let everyone know how it will work out.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

My Y-speration

Spent some time at the YMCA again this past weekend and I got two pieces of inspirational wall art for your perusal. I have included them below.

Does respect really tie us all together? If we're tied together, does that mean we're shackled to one another if we 'respect' them. I certainly don't want to be tied to a certain president, which is why I choose not to respect him I suppose.

I also have to raise issue with this one, is honesty really the best thing to do here? I mean, look at the kids on the right, they're apparently dealing drugs behind the back of Straight-Arrow Johnny who is busy being the patsy for having broken that dude's window. Now the good kids going to juvie while the little drug dealing kids will find another guy to replace him. It's sad really.

It Can Get Frustrating At Times

I haven't posted in a while because, as always, I'm busy with things at work. It's a difficult struggle trying to maintain a system written over 10 years ago in C/C++ using a series of different flat files and settings files for configuration and upgrading it to a new C#/.NET database driven application. Especially when you're not particularly familiar with C#.

Still, it's pretty interesting and really the best job I've ever had (not that I've had that many).

Click here to continue on to the full post

It can get frustrating at times. Like when I have to work with some of my coworkers. I mean, I get along with them all well enough, it's just when trying to get something done with them that problems arise.

There's a guy at work (I think he's from Senegal, but speaks French, English, Russian, and Spanish I think) but he's also supposed to be a programmer. Still, working with him is sometimes like working with a mentally challenged individual. You get the feeling when talking with him and his responses that he is responding based on one or two words that are in your sentence, but not actually to the meaning of it.

Then, sometimes we have to remotely connect into our clients' computers. Sometimes I swear it's like I'm doing this with my grandpa. He'll sit there quietly saying what he's going to do next ("and now I'm going to copy this here and ..."), will click and close the wrong window, etc. Eventually I have to pull a Nick the Computer Guy, SNL Sketch maneuver, and be like, "Move! I'm driving!"

Add to the fact that he has an LCD 1280x1024 resolution monitor but for some reason keeps it at the non-native 1024x768 resolution. Which if you've ever seen, will give you headaches. He also has his icons and buttons set to ridiculously large size. If I'm ever trying to help him solve a bug in his code, we can see maybe 10 lines at a time.

Sigh, sorry to rant for so long, but it's something that I've had to deal with a lot lately. If anyone has similar or somehow related coworker stories, I'd really appreciate some company!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Capt. Trollypants vs. Mr Fancypants in...

The Battle for Most Exclamatory remark ever.
Cuurtesy of The Onion, second in truthiness only to Steven Colbert, I provide this:

Craigslist Apartment Listing Uses Record 354 Exclamation Points

SAN FRANCISCO—A Craigslist advertisement for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco's Castro district has set an all-time Internet record for exclamation-point usage with 354, the Bureau Of Statistics reported Tuesday. "The 28 exclamation points following the lead phrase, 'MUST SEE,' were excessive, but not record-breaking," said BOS statistician Randall Carrey. "But within the ad itself, the word 'nice' is in all caps and followed by 354 marks. Quite extraordinary." The previous online record, 312, was set in a 2003 eBay listing for Camaro parts.

Clearly you have been falling down on the job. I don't even think there was a single slip of the shift key in that record setting achievement.

Well, boys, what have you got to say for yourselves?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Top Five Musical Top Fives'

Since January is almost over and that pretty marks the end of "Best Of..." season, at least on the amateur level, I thought I would try and provide my favorite musical stuff from 2005 -- at the very least, I know Chuckles can benefit.

My number one Top 5 for 2005 has to be live music. I got back in to it in 2004 and it continued pretty well for 2005.

1. Dinosaur, Jr. @ Lollapalooza, (photo here ).

As I said at the time

Dinosaur, Jr.: I can never badmouth the Rolling Stones again. J. Mascis looks so old but he plays so good. So good. Actually, both Dinosaur, Jr. and The Pixies caused me to want to jump around like mad but then watching the band calmly standing there playing their songs I wasn’t sure how appropriate it was. This was my favorite set of Lollapalooza. It was an hour of pure rock’n’roll and it was amazing. They're loud and fast but very little feedback. Tight, three piece power punk. The forerunners of grunge music.

2. The Walkmen @ Schuba's (Lollapalooza after-party) (pic here)

And here's the capsule I wrote at the time:

The Walkmen (Schuba's): Wow, what a way to end the day. We were seven or eight rows back for most of the show and Schuba'’s is so small they’re right there with you. They were intense. They played for over an hour and then there were two two-song encores. They covered The Monkees "I'’m Not a Stepping Stone." It was a blast. We moved up to the front for the encore and jumped around like crazy. I doubt I'’ll ever get to see them up close and personal like that again and I am so glad I did. I got a poster off the wall and got to shake the bands hand outside afterwards. If only I'’d brought a Sharpie!

We were beat by the time this show happened (after already seeing 12 hours of rock'n'roll) but we went and had a blast. They played a great set and everyone was into it. I was also with the rest of my Chicago showgoing group (the Fearsome Foursome) and it was great.

3. Architecture in Helsinki @ Cafe du Nord 5/25/05 (someone elses's thoughts here)

This was a fun show by a fun band. Pinko Punko wouldn't be able to resist their live show. I had a good time at this show (even though I went solo). They were still trying to figure out how to convert the studio production into a live show and it just felt so honest and enjoyable that how could you not have a good time. If you ever played in a school band, this band shows how that could have been 10x as fun (unless Jack Black was your teacher)

4. The Ponys @ Bottom of the Hill (8/12/05)

Other than wishing I had seen them @ Cafe du Nord, this show was spectacular. These guys rocked hard. So hard. Seriously great garage rock that was filtered through some beautiful and not too overwhelming distortion. This show wasn't too crowded but it was great except for the violation of the "only play an encore if the audience deserves one" rule (exception granted because I was still glad to hear an extra song). Also see initial review here.

5. Olivia Tremor Control @ Great American Music Hall (9/8/05)

Another band that was more or less defunct and made glorious music again in 2005. Any band that successfully integrates a saw into indie rock music is fine by me. If you don't know who these guys are, learn because they are awesome. They also brought along a touring tuba player which is A-OK in my book. Besides, at the show in about the third song, someone pointed at it and whispered "tuba!" to their friend. So now it is used as a codeword for super-obviousness.

Other shows I quite enjoyed:
Franz Ferdinand
The Evens
Architecture in Helsinki (in October)
The Joggers
The Wrens
The New Pornographers (even with Pinko Punko in attendence)
The Arcade Fire (@ Lollapalooza)
The Pixies (@ Lollapalooza)
Hope Chest

I'll try and provide some others later but at least this way one will get up tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Mmmm, pillow soooo soft.
Jammies sooo warm.
Blog sooo lonely.

Some Links for the Suicidal

More ammunition for Bolton. Great.

Hooray for monarchies with strong constitutions.

This is horrible. I hope everyone who agreed to this gets broken car windows for life.

Like I thought it would be any different.

But this is totally awesome!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Speak Softly But Carry A Cute 'Stick

Sorry it's taken me so long to get these photos up. I went to go see Butterstick at the National Zoo almost two weeks ago and haven't managed to get the photos online until today.

This is only happening because my work PC is hosed with a virus at the moment and my girlfriend went out tonight so I don't really have much else to do (besides watching episodes of the A-Team that I TiVo'd).

Anyway, seeing the 'Stick in person left me much impressed. He's an adorable little ball of fuzz. Definitely worth waiting in line for about 15 minutes. He was just kind of rolling around and playing with stuff. It's kind of hard to make out from these pictures though.

I've got some video I took (that's of equally poor quality) that I'll try and get online sometime soon.

Until then though, you'll have to make do with these pictures.

Trash Lid!

Playing with a giant bong?

Yes, yes he is.

Man, he is really fiending for it

Papa Stick!

And Now, A New Round of Name That Chemical!

What is it?

Click here to find out!

Even More Crap

Your Stipper Song Is

Super Freak by Rick James

"That girl is pretty wild now
The girl's a super freak
The kind of girl you read about
In new-wave magazine"

Freaky? Yes. But you're also pretty darn funny.
What Song Should You Strip To?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This is Stupid

Your Heart Is Purple

For you, love is about establishing and developing a deep connection.
If it's true love, it brings you more wisdom and inner strength.

Your flirting style: Sincere

Your lucky first date: An afternoon at a tea house

Your dream lover: Is both thoughtful and expressive

What you bring to relationships: Understanding
What Color Heart Do You Have?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Movie Review for Your Perusal

Nail Gun Massacre.

I really can't emphasis how horrible this movie is. It isn't as bad as Bloodrayne, although only because it is clear that the director cared enough to do more than one take. The only way you know he tried more than one take is due to the so-called Deleted Scenes and Outtakes which are really just effed up takes.

The plot is simplistic and has a Friday the 13th part 2 ending. The dialogue is worse and most of the actors look like they were hillbillies that were roped, probably literally, into performing because they were the first people the director saw on the street/dirt road after setting up his shots.

In a town, and I use the term extremely loosely, of maybe fifty to a hundred people, perhaps 30 people are killed by a nail gun. The sheriff has trouble figuring out how the killer got people to stand still enough for him/her to hammer in the nails. Even though the only obvious sources of employment in the town are the sheriff's office, coroner's office and the multitude of construction sites, the sheriff has never heard of a nail gun. No one stops to inform him of this miracle of modern tool design, but whatever, after all they aren't paid enough to remember their lines.

The director, Terry Lofton, is proud of his creation, which is cool. He apparently got his start as a stuntman for the Dukes of Hazzard, which is even cooler. He makes comments in the commentary over the Deleted Scenes and Outtakes that are essentially him asking for money to make the sequel, which is by far the coolest part of the movie. Terry Lofton has giant, brass balls.

Next to see: California Axe Massacre

I Sense an Epic Battle


Saturday, January 28th ::

Do you remember the first time? Come to LEISURE to hear classic brit pop. 90's indie rock, baggy anthems and twee jams.
Brit pop karaoke in the back room!!
917 Folsom Street at 5th
21+ with I.D.
$5 cover charge, from 10 PM to 2 AM

I expect a full-on, knock-down-drag-out karaoke battle between PopRen and PinkoPunko.

Also, those who fail to attend: cobags all around.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Scary news

Everyone knows WRN's zombie affairs correspondent, dontEATnachos, has worked hard to keep up-to-date with zombie affairs over the past year. Fafblog provides new tidbits of info on the War on Zombies.

However, the focus for today is to bring you an up close look at the most talked about WRN correspondent of 2005, Chuckles.

Chuckles has caused a variety of reactions when seen in public. Currently, this reaction seems to be the most common:

Note the innocent girl (complete with balloon) is completely at a loss as to what Chuckles intentions could be? I wanted to help but in my guise as a reporter I was barred from interfering in developing news (headline: Cobag floored by roundhouse from frightened female!)

Let's delve a little further into an understanding of Chuckles. note to readers: this quest will superficially, e.g. graphically, resemble tehl4m3's (grammar ruling on proper possessive after a numeral, please) quest for Thome.

So, as usual with these things, due to the graphic nature of the following please click-through only if you are ready to get up close and personal with Chuckles

Bring it on!

Did you know what you were getting yourself into? I tried to warn you. This man has no shame. The picture on the left I pose as a moderately rhetorical question: cloacular?

The picture on the right is clearly a rejoinder to all of those smart ass answers you just provided. Also, the picture on the right might be helpful in providing a pictorial demonstration of that age old rejoinder.

Still haven't had enough? Had too much but trying to scroll down to the comment section? Well, I just want to leave you with one more look at the genius from another perspective. In fact, this one might be the one that finally helps you realize tarantula photos aren't that bad.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Mystery Revealed

Pinko Punko, Pop Renaissance, and Chuckles.

Which is which? You make the call! (and don't spoil it this time, Chuckles)

WRN's first ever caption contest. Let's see what ya got.

A little groggy yet

There have some recent inquiries into my whereabouts and well being. Such concern is appreciated but unfounded. The internets are overwhelming and sometimes I need to retreat into a little corner and remember that IamMEIamME.IamME..IamME...I am me. Alternately, that might have been sugar overload.

After getting out of that little corner, I clearly need sustenance to restore energy and resume full snark readiness. So, Chuckles appeared from the sky and I summoned Pinko from the bowels of the earth to go forth and seek food items of great merit and worthiness.

Continue on to read, and see, the glorious details of the adventure!

After escaping the labyrinth known only as soma, we proceeded boldly into the forest. Of course, no one goes into the forest without some bread crumbs. Luckily we found some kind soul to provide us with these...

Refreshed and armed with this time-proven technology we were able to successfully survive the area. Next, we found a valley full of fruit. Surprisingly, the people there guarded the resource very effectively. However, we did manage a few glimpses of the food they would eat. They must hoard their own fruit and instead eat massive quantities of meat. Luckily, we had brought Chuckles the All-Devourer along and we were able to eat our way to success.

While I am unable to convey the knowledge of how harrowing the experience was, I hope these snapshots can capture some sense of our adverse circumstances:

One would hope after that harrowing adventure that we were finally clear. However, after being mugged by some amorphous blob that then tormented us with a haunting melody that would not take physical form, we were lured farther north.

There we were presented the ultimate challenge -- faux chorizo. At first, it was hidden inside these croquettas but then they got bolder and blatantly showed off this substance on top of mushrooms. At first we were strong and saw the hazard it presented. I mean, look at those bubbling cauldrons of fat. Who would want to eat them. We could smell that inside them all was not right. That inside was a mere mockery of sweet, sweet pork. We would not be so easily overcome, no! Yet, as the night wore on (ed: read 5 minutes later)

Eventually, however, we were overcome by guile, liquid guile.

After many hours, and a lucky "texture problem" we were able lull our captors into carelessness and make a break for it.

This sign guided us home:

All's well that ends well!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Fulsome MIA (AWOL?)

Look, we seem to be getting this a lot lately. Where is Fulsome? I have no clue. I sent Chuckles on a recon mission this past weekend to ascertain his exact location.

So far, all I've heard back is that Chuckles wants to go see Bloodrayne when it comes out.

Where is Fulsome and why has he quit posting? Some have theorized a girlfriend, for others it's work. Some even believe it had something to do with getting my TiVo delivered.

I don't really have an answer to this question. The only thing I can really offer is that thanks to my TiVo, I don't really care anymore. Plus, that Bloodrayne ... I think Chuckles may be right when he claims that this could be the "best movie ever."

Directed by the genious who brought us House of the Dead and Alone In the Dark and with cast members like Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, and most importantly, Billy Zane, there's no way this movie could disappoint.

UPDATE from Fulsome: this is my toy! I'll post when I want, bwahaha