Sunday, December 16, 2007
There are reports that the Cavs and 76ers are in trade talks involving Andre Miller. I'm not sure I can contain my excitement... Miller, coupled with Varejao's return, could push the Cavs over the top. It's almost too good to be true. But:
This could end up tearing my heart out. My assumption is that this will be a guard-for-guard trade. The 76ers have been giving big minutes to Luis Williams, and probably think his 'emergence' means Miller is expendable. It's also no secret that their shooting guard, Willie Green, is not very good. So this could end up being a Miller-Pavlovic trade (an absolute steal by the Cavs) or, and I can barely dare to hope for this, Miller-Hughes. But Ferry could, well, pull a Ferry, and give up Varejao, resulting in the torn-out-heart scenario.
To further complicate things, the loveable (and inept) Billy King is gone as Philly's GM, but his replacement has several years experience demonstrating a complete inability to put productive players around one of the greatest in the game (Kidd). So maybe it's a wash, and there's an excellent chance the Cavs will come out on top.
No matter what, though, if this goes down the Cavs will have a first rate point guard for the first time in the LeBron era. This could be gravy.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I heard about Amazon's new Kindle today (here at Amazon and here at Wikipedia). The thing looks ridiculous. I actually heard about it via a Rick Steve's blog post (required reading in my book), and he was going nuts over it even though he's not much of a tech head.
I'm not exactly an 'early adopter' but I want one of these things bad. But I have one big question - how will the library system respond to this? I mean, you can borrow almost any book for free from the library, yet bookstores still exist because they give you ownership over the book and they can guarantee it's in stock when you want it. Those are the advantages. With Kindle, a library can significantly reduce its costs by hosting its books electronically, but this completely negates the advantages bookstores currently have. What the hell is going to happen? I feel like Amazon must have struck a deal with the library system to keep them away from electronic books or something, because the invention of Kindle seems to transform the library system into a potential government-authorized Napster. Crazy.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Here is a good example of why it seems to take me so long to get anything done. I recently put the video for 'Right On' on youtube. Of course, 'Right On' was on The Ultraviolet Effect, which was two releases ago. It came out in 2004. The video wasn't done until quite some time after that, but despite always intending to get it online it took me until the waning days of 2007.
Anyhow, the link is here.
The video was made by an acquaintance of mine who did it in his spare time (while working on other videos as a paying gig). I wasn't even really that good of friends with the guy, he just kind of went and did it. I didn't have any real input, and he used primarily stock footage, but I think it turned out well. Oh, he also showed up at the one and only show from the first incarnation of Lost on Purpose: The Live Band and got some great footage that he incorporated into the video.
Weird how things come about sometimes.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
There are reports, seemingly for real, that the Bobcats have offered Anderson Varejao a three-year, $17.4 million deal. Analysis indicates that the Cavs will obviously match this offer. What is not clear, to me, is whether the offer indicates that Varejao has agreed to sign for that amount. It seems that that is the case.
What's weird is that, since he's a restricted free agent, the Cavs have the right to match the offer and keep Varejao. My understanding is that this is a done deal - as long as they match, he must sign with the Cavs and he's back on the team. But this is especially strange because the Cavs had a BETTER offer on the table. I believe it was three years, $20 million. Again - this is how I understand it - the Bobcats' deal is for two guaranteed years, with a player option for the third year. So becoming a free agent a year early is the impetus behind Varejao's acceptance.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Circuit City is an absolute joke.
First off, this is a link to a nightmare experience someone had recently at a Circuit City store. As bad as it is it's not really a surprise; I think everyone's had a similar (although much milder) experience at some time.
Then there's CC's Holiday 'sales' going on now. First, a couple weeks ago I got a coupon for $15 off in the mail. However, the fine print said the following:
"Offer excludes advertised specials, notebook and desktop computers, monitors, music, movies, games, game hardware, hard drives, select MP3 players, Nikon digital cameras, Velodyne, Bose, Select Polk, Apple, Kicker, MTX Thunder, Verizon, outlet, Firedog, CityAdvantage, and gift card purchases."
What exactly can you use the coupon for, then? Certain cameras? TVs? Nothing I want, that's for sure. Probably 70% of the store is excluded.
Then the other day I got another sale notice. I meant to take photos of it, but I'm at work now, so oh well. The gist of it is that it's a 'sale' to 'help' parents get their kids what they want for Christmas. On the ad itself is a picture of a Christmas list, which includes items such as 'Guitar Hero 3' and 'Nintendo DS Lite'. But on the flip side of the ad is the exact same small print explicitly excluding 'games and game hardware'. WTF?
If this isn't deceptive, duplicitous advertising, then I don't know what is.
I already didn't like Circuit City, but there is no way I'm buying anything there anymore. I don't shop at Best Buy for similar reasons. What a joke. If anyone wants to start a boycott I'm in.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
A small bit of news today: apparently Lost on Purpose has been in heavy rotation on a radio station somewhere in Spain. I think it's Madrid. Here is a link to the show's tracklisting.
You can also listen to all the shows via this etherweb thing, but I don't know why you'd want to do that unless you just want to hear a couple songs that aren't available as mp3s.
Of course, you could also buy the album. No pressure.
I can't post a picture today for some reason...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I got a great email from an anonymous Canadian in response to my Sicko post the other day. He (is that giving away too much info) has graciously allowed me to post it here:
I read your blog entry on Sicko and I feel like I got to give you some infos about that. I am a French Canadian which means that I speak French and that I enjoy socialized medicine. I have a few friends in pharmacology (I am studying law/intellectual property/biotechnological law) and I can tell you that the pharmaceutical industry has never slowed down in Canada.
Here's why. Even if the government is paying for health care, you get to purchase some of your drugs yourself. Usually, people here have an insurance policy provided by their employer covering an average of 85% of the cost of medication. You can get an additional insurance policy for the remaining 10-15%. As for the poor and unwashed, the government has a policy for them. They need to be eligible to social security but most of the people are anyway.
So the pharmaceutical industry still makes money. They create new medications which the government pays for. In order to lower the costs, the government finances part of the research through public funds and universities. You see, most of the research is done by students and their professors. The government finances their education (yeah going to law school here costs me about $2000 a year lol) and the pharmaceutical industry provides them with the newest research fields and they pay for the results.
In our medical system, nobody gets left apart. The waiting for some surgeries might be slightly longer but they make sure it won't be damaging to your health. Come live in Canada, you'll enjoy it lol!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Let me tell you a story about my Thanksgiving shopping woes. I'm trying to buy an xbox 360, and I've done all the research in the world on the system. I want to buy the Pro Holiday Bundle (with two, albeit worthless, free games), and I want to make sure I get an HDMI-enabled unit and the new Falcon motherboard. 99% of people reading this will have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure.
I also wanted to get a deal on the system. I finally had my Black Friday chance so I bought a system at Circuit City and got a free controller. While standing in line I had ample time to look over the box and found nothing but good news - it was manufactured on 10/12 by team FDOU (again, you have no idea what this means) and its power consumption was 175 watts. Therefore, I likely had a Falcon motherboard. It also had HDMI. It was exactly what I was looking for, and I was overjoyed.
Then I took it home and the power supply didn't work. I called Microsoft support and I tried different power outlets all over my house, and even drove to my girlfriend's to try it out. No dice.
So I called Circuit City, and they told me to bring it in and they would replace it. Of course, when I got there, they had sold out of the system. They credited my account and now it's as if nothing ever happened. The free controller deal is over, and I'm still without an xbox 360. And now, as a matter of principle, I can't just go out any buy one without getting some kind of deal. So I am forced to wait. This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
Monday, November 19, 2007
A lot of things have been going on but I haven't felt like writing about them for some reason. I am forcing myself to write this.
I watched Sicko last night. It was better than I thought. It's very, very compelling, and even though I'm sympathetic to the issue it pulled me even more in that direction. I remember being in high school and a teacher or textbook was discussing socialized medicine and the main counterargument, as I remember it, was that American medical companies were responsible for the vast majority of innovation in Western medicine because they were driven by profit. If American health care was controlled by the government than creating a new drug would no longer be a gold mine - it's value would be capped.
However, according to the movie British doctors make more money if they make more people well. I'm sure a government could reward medical research corporations the same way. Even an innovation contest, like the X Prize, could work in the medical (or any) system, ie - set a goal and reward for researchers to attain.
It would be good to see the other side of the story, where the American system bests the Canadian/European one. Undoubtedly there are myriad examples. But I think a utilitarian approach is best for approaching nationwide medical issues, and it'll be hard to justify the low level of care so many millions are experiencing in America today.
Don't get me started on how much vacation time Europeans get. It's ridiculous and unfair, and I am insanely jealous.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I am notoriously behind the times when it comes to new music. So after many unfulfilling trips to Amoeba music the past few months I finally found a 'new' band I really like - Silversun Pickups. Most of you are probably yawning right now, since you like "Lazy Eye" when it came out last year, but so what.
I can't remember when I first heard of Silversun Pickups - it was probably two years ago at least. I just lumped them into the same category as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - LA bands that played around the Eastside and started getting big. I had heard BRMC and was pretty unimpressed, so I never paid SSPU any attention.
Well, they're good, and if you're lamer than me and haven't heard them yet go to their website and listen to "Little Lover's So Polite". I really wish I wrote this song.
FYI - I first heard them at The Well, a bar with a killer jukebox on the first floor of my office building. It was one of those moments where I heard the song and immediately asked 'who is this?'. It's that good.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I used to read Bill Simmons' column over at ESPN page 2 all the time - like I didn't miss one for at least two years running. But then I discovered the Wages of Wins, and my feelings began to change. Now, Bill openly admits that he is an entertainment-focues writer, and that he writes about sports from a fan's perspective. And that's fine. But he has an awfully big readership, and therefore has a lot of sway, and he explicitly derides statistical analysis. So I haven't read many of his articles lately.
The other day I saw that he wrote up an NBA preview, and a few of his predictions are laughable. He has Milwaukee in the playoffs, and the Cavs as a lottery team. Really? The Cavs are the same team except for Varejao, and while that will hurt them does it really take them from 52 wins to 39? And who is new on the Bucks this year? You guessed it - Bobby Simmons, Bill's pet ever since he did an interview with him after the '05-'06 season.
They also have Jinlian Yi, who might actually be solid. But the Bucks sucked last year and that's all they got.
He also has Denver finishing with the same record as the Spurs, which illustrates the same scoring bias that plagues the rest of the NBA. Denver is the same team as last year after the Iverson trade, the same trade that improved the 76ers. Iverson is not good, and neither is Carmelo. They are both average. The Nuggets are all about Camby, Nene and Reggie Evans (do they still have him? He may have been traded).
I love his writing, it is very entertaining, but when he acts like a know-it-all it is immensely frustrating.
Interesting news today ladies and gentlemen. I spent an hour or so last night putting the new album up on Songslide, a site that allows the purchase of individual songs - but the purchaser gets to pick how much he/she pays. So it's basically just like the new Radiohead album experiment (which I like very much by the way) except that they have a really cool slide thing that you use to pick the price. Anyhow, I have a link over to the left you can use to get to my page. Please, if you like the music but don't want to buy a whole album, just buy one song. I'm asking for this because I want to support cool ideas like Songslide as much as myself.
And, sadly, the Cavs resigned Pavlovic yesterday for too much money. So of the two holdouts they signed the one they need the least, and he will take minutes from more productive players (Devin Brown and Gibson). It's a sad, sad day today.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Paypal order buttons for the new album have been up for a few days and I finally got around to setting up a separate page for international orders. Everything is accessible via the 'music' link.
Suddenly (somehow) the Browns have a winning record, and I haven't seen a single game all year. It's times like these that I miss Cleveland...
Here's a bold statement: the next release will feature a ton of violin. I'm about a week away from buying one (I've been learning how to play the past few days) and I'm loving it. The problem is, I don't have a lot of money, and I have no clue how one should go about buying a violin. I've seen some for as low as $150 - they're probably crap, but there are definitely guitars at that price that are more than serviceable for a beginner. I just don't know.
Any thoughts on this issue are most welcome.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Wow, I found a really good review that just came out... of Anniversary (for those not 'in the know' Anniversary is my last album - it's two years old).
It's a German website that seems to only review free netlabel offerings, and they just got an English version online in September. Here is the review (plus comments).
Lost on Purpose - Anniversary (Sundays in Spring)
October 16th, 2007 · 3 Comments
Lost on Purpose - Anniversary EP - FrontGuitar Folk-Pop | Lost on Purpose is L.A.-based one-man indie band Will Holland. His “Anniversary” EP was released on Belgian Sundays at Spring-Netlabel back in 2005 and can cope with most of the commercial indie Pop outlets easily. Elliot Smith, The Shins, Modest Mouse? Don’t spend your expensive listening time on them, get this unpolished nugget into your ears!
Next to V.O., Pokett and Sepia Hours, Lost on Purpose has always been my favourite in the Sundays in Spring-back catalogue. Will’s EP opens with “London”. Acoustic guitar, harmonica, good vocal-harmonies and some sketches of piano, that’s everything Will Holland needs to construct a clever indie Pop song.
“Ohio 2″ afterwards is based on a wonderful piano-backing and the layered vocals that sound a bit like Minnesota’s finest Low. Phew! “Lonely Road” is a up-tempo masher with tight acoustic guitar and four-to-he-floor handclaps, while “Thank you Music Guru” comes off with sugar-sweet vocal chords and intimate guitar-play. Like Yo La Tengo backing up for Elliot Smith. While everybody needs to quote influences from British bands nowadays, Will Holland’s American indie Pop-music is like a glass of aged whiskey in a display of neon-coloured alcopops
3 responses so far ↓
1 dana // Oct 16, 2007 at 6:28 pm
oh, this one is truly lovely. i am thirsty for more acoustic and folk music. why not writing something about aerotone.de?
2 Bettina Rhymes // Oct 17, 2007 at 3:03 pm
yeah, aerotone will definitely be featured here. i’ve been able to lay my hands on aer.010 already and this one is awesome, once again.
3 dana // Oct 19, 2007 at 12:11 pm
yeah please lay your hands on this release :) curious reading how you describe the music.
Ok, so only one comment has anything to do with me. But I like the phrase 'lay hands'. 'lay your hands on this release'. Translation is fun.
I also like anyone who refers to my music as an 'unpolished nugget'.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Indians are out of the playoffs, and my new CD is out the door.
It's called not if but when. I will have ordering capabilities and sample songs up soon (well, some of the songs are versions of the las aranas ep). Soon as in a few hours or up to one (1) day.
It's time to bask in the glow of accomplishment. I'm thinking Portal...
After all, I need something to do for seven (7) days until the NBA season starts.
This CD is a collection of songs from the past two (2) years, since Anniversary was released. I have no idea what to think of it anymore. It's just a bunch of songs. I tried to make them good.
Hope you like the music.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Notes from the week.
I saw part of the Cavs' preseason game vs Orlando the other day, and it was played in Shanghai. I was in Shanghai just a few months ago, so that was cool, but it's clear that Hughes is firmly entrenched in the starting lineup. He got big minutes, while Devin Brown was relegated to the second team with Ira Newble and Shannon Brown. Not a good sign.
I never watch daytime TV since I'm at work all day, but there is a TV in the lunch room at my new job. So one day I caught part of 'Rome is Burning' on ESPN, starring the lovable Jim Rome. This guy is a walking disaster. The whole show is him making bold - no, arrogant - pronouncements with absolutely no evidence offered to support his opinions. I thought I was watching Fox News for a few minutes. Actually, he is the sports equivalent of Bill O'Reily.
I'm not sure if it's worse than 'Around the Horn' though.
Who watches this show? I seriously wondered about that, but then was reminded of the answer. Take a look at this wonderfully researched and presented post about Kobe Bryant, who some consider to be the 'best' player in the NBA. Then look at the comments. These are the people who watch Rome is Burning. I am sad.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but the album will be done this weekend. It's true. On Monday I will have them in my possession. My screen printing nightmares are nearly over. October 22 is the release date.
Monday, October 15, 2007
"My god, what is that smell?"
"That's the smell of desire, my lady."
"No, it... it smells like a used diaper filled with Indian food."
"You know, desire smells like that to some people."
Replace the word "desire" with "success", and you'll know how I feel today.
I finally got the screen printing to work yesterday. I feel like a genius and moron at the same time. I tried everything, and spent hours (and wasted some good currency) trying to figure out why it wasn't working. Turns out I had the wrong squeegie. It's used to push the ink through the screen, and looks similar to your every day squeegie used to wipe windows with. I was using one made for fabric printing, and so was designed to push more ink through the screen than other squeegies. As a result all the text in my design was getting 'blown out'. I bought a different squeegie yesterday and suddenly I am a screen printing maniac.
The main implication of this relevation is that the CD will actually be released in October. Yes, it will happen. No, I can't believe it.
As you may well know Radiohead released an album last Wednesday. It's called In Rainbows and you can download it for any price you want. This article explains the economics, or lack of, of the pricing scheme and is an intriguing read.
Interestingly, the average price paid for the album was $8, which is the exact amount I paid. Why did I pay for something I could have (legally) gotten for free? I don't know, and that's kind of the point of the article. Part of me wanted to 'do the right thing', part of me was following the golden rule (since I would like people to pay for my music too, although maybe I was just trying to avoid being a hypocrite), part of me knew I was going to write about how much I paid and I didn't want to say I got it for free for fear of the social consequences.
I think the experiment shows, in some way, that market economies really work, since the price of $8 more or less jives with how music has been priced historically - ~$11-$12 for a CD with packaging (unless you're Sam Goody), so $8 without packaging makes sense. I think this shows that the whole music piracy 'problem' isn't a result of overpriced music. It's probably a result of poor quality music.
I'm just throw this out there. What if you could stream an album, or at least half of it, from an artist's site to sample the music, and then pay whatever you wanted (with perhaps a minimum payment of $3)? People would then be free to set the price for music based on its quality.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Indians are playing the Red Sox right now and Travis Hafner hit a solo home run in the first inning. Indians up 1-0. And yes, I didn't write anything about the Indians all season, and now I am invested in their playoff performance, so I guess that makes me a fair-weather fan. So be it; it's better to get into your hometown team when they make the playoffs than not at all.
And after 1997, can you blame me?
And after 1997, can you blame me?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The front page of ESPN's NBA site is the following:
Hollinger's Player Ratings
How do they rate?
John Hollinger has the 2007-2008 projections for every NBA player, from 1 to 328.
Within this feature Hollinger rates all NBA players using his PER metric, which is the official player rating of the NBA.
It's a pretty good metric, showing how NBA players rank based on their objective game stats. There's just one big problem, though.
A player gets a point for each basketball point scored, so a 2-point basket gives a player 2 points.
A missed shot is -1 points, so if a player shoots on two consecutive possessions and makes just one basket, his net point total is +1.
At this point the player is shooting 50%, which is good (particularly if he is a guard), so giving him a point seems valid.
However, if the player shoots a third basket and again misses, he is now shooting 33% and his net point total is 0.
33% shooting is horrendous, and each year no players with significant minutes shoot that poorly. However, a player shooting at that rate is not penalized in the PER system.
Therefore, if a player shoots above 33% - say 34% or 35%, which is still terrible - he will receive positive net points.
So as long as a player shoots at least 33%, the more shots he takes the higher his PER will be.
I didn't figure this out myself of course, I owe all this to the Wages of Wins, a site I have mentioned exhaustively. They have developed a better system of player evaluation, in part because a missed basket is worth -2 points instead of -1, but more importantly because they linked every statistic to actual team wins and weighed them appropriately. It is a far more accurate system and more people need to know about it. I'm just trying to do my part.
Monday, October 8, 2007
So here's the deal - I had to completely redesign the cover for the new album. The old design was great, but it was a little more than I could handle as a neophyte screenprinter. So I had to rethink my inks, buy a new screen altogether, and I'm starting the process anew this week. Hopefully (and I really mean that), it will work, and I can have everything finished within a week. But I know how my time estimates usually go...
I can't tell you how happy I will be to get this finished. It's been a long time coming...
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Basketball post today. I will share my screen printing frustrations later.
The 'big' offseason news for the Cavs is the signing of Devin Brown, a guard. I have 'big' in quotes because he is not considered to be a great player - the name wasn't familiar to me and that's why I didn't bother to post anything until now.
So yesterday I looked up his stats at the Wages of Wins and lo and behold - it looks like Devin was a productive player last year. Not spectacular, but he was above average. Considering that the Cavs haven't had even an average guard the past two years (the best has been Eric Snow, who was slightly below average last year)... as Carl Spackler would say, this looks like it could be gravy.
So I was inspired to put together my prediction, based solidly in statistics, on what the Cavs will do this year. And my prediction - drumroll - is that the Cavs will win 52 games. This would be a minor improvement over the past two 50-win seasons.
I am basing my prediction on the Win Score metric, and I am guesstimating the number of minutes allotted to each player. This is of utmost importance, because if Mike Brown were to play his best players the most the Cavs could improve by as much as 5 or 6 games - and a 57-win season would be a major upgrade.
However, we all know Mike, and so I expect Larry Hughes to lead the way in minutes per game for all guards as he did last year. I expect Gibson to get more minutes, but he will most certainly take minutes from Snow (who, as I mentioned, is more productive than Hughes).
A big 'if' is the future of Sasha Pavlovic, a restricted free agent. I am hoping that the recently acquired Brown will allow the Cavs to let him go, or work out a beneficial sign-and-trade. However, if he is still with the Cavs he will probably get minutes at Brown's expense.
The Cavs do not have an issue in the frontcourt. All their players there are productive. This is a huge advantage which makes their inability to get productive guards all the more frustrating.
Here are my calculations:
|2007-2008||WP48||future min||Wins Produced|
WP48 is the average WP48 score of each player from the past two years. Note: Gibson was a rookie, and players often improve as sophomores (see Deron Williams). Then again, sometimes it works the other way around...
Also note: last year Devin Brown posted a .130 WP48 in his third or fourth year in the league. I only have data for the past two years, but two years ago his WP48 was like 0.000. I don't know what to make of this. Hopefully last year is a better indicator of what he's capable of.
Future min is my guess, based in part on the average min/game played the past two years and on my knowledge of the team. I'm probably very close with the first five players (the frontcourt). The gaurds, as I mentioned, are a crapshoot. Thoughts?
Wins produced is derived by multiplying the min/game and 82 (games), multiplying the answer by WP48, then dividing it all by 48. For a full description of WP48, Wins Produced and the like see the Wages of Wins.
Final thoughts: I hope the Cavs get rid of Pavlovic and find the balls to drastically reduce Hughes' minutes. If they do that, and divide the bulk of the guard minutes between Snow, Gibson (assuming he improves at least a bit) and D. Brown (assuming he is as good as last year), the Cavs could increase their wins into the upper 50s and seriously contend for the title once again. I know this rational thinking will not take place on the Cleveland bench this year, but perhaps elements of it will (or injuries will require roster changes). It will be fun to find out what will happen, and that's why they play the games.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Well I took some advice from the comment-leaver the other day and bought NMH - Avery Island and Blonde Redhead - In and Expression of the Inexpressible (a random album choice). I went back again today and bought Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits - partly just for the cover.
Sick stache. I would have bought the first CYHSY album either time but Amoeba - the largest independent music store on Planet Earth does not have it. This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.
First shallow impressions: NMH is rough and raw, but you can clearly see what elements were successful and thus were carried over to the more unified and very nearly perfect In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I love the first song on Avery Island already, but I hear a lot of missteps and there are some truly unlistenable passages. Yes, I know it's art but I don't care, I want to listen to music.
Blonde Redhead kind of bores me. No, I have not listened to it much, but it definitely sounds dated (it was released in '98) moreso than anything by NMH which is pretty timeless. I guess I'll just have to listen more.
Paul Simon kills me on the guitar. He is filthy and makes me look like a lout. Incredible harmonies too. I feel like their songs should be taught in school or something.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I am a video game nerd so I find the following articles fascinating. They are two different points of view on the ramifications of the Wii's technical limitations, both written by editors (I think) from Beyond3D.com.
The first was posted as a response to an article by N'gai Croal of Newsweek (who is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers; he's kind of like the Malcolm Gladwell of the gaming industry), and it came to my attention via Bill Harris's fantastic blog Dubious Quality.
The second I found on Beyond3D's website after doing some poking around, and it's a reponse to the response of N'gai's article. Comprendes?
The first article
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ignore yesterday's post. I tried to start screen printing and in the immortal words of Chris Farley, I need to rethink my inks. I'm starting over, and hopefully wisdom will come with age.
In the meantime, check out this crazy video (video game related). I can't imagine how much time and effort went into this thing.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I spent most of the day yesterday setting up the screen for screenprinting. I am doing it the 'correct' way this time - using the photo emulsion method - and I can't believe it actually worked. It looks great... but then again I haven't actually printed anything yet. That will happen tonight. But this was the last major hurdle; now there are only a couple of things left to do and the album will be out.
I have a new appreciation for music labels now. Getting everything together for a full-length album takes an incredible amount of work, particularly as a one man operation.
I am way down on pro football right now. As I have mentioned many times before, the Wages of Wins has changed the way I view sports. They have conclusively (to me) proven that NFL players are far more inconsistent year to year than basketball players are over the course of their entire career. This fact, coupled with a tiny season (only 16 regular season games) makes football a total crapshoot. Yet I have to sit and listen to talking heads who think they actually know something, or rather, can know something.
I checked out the espn 'experts' picks page today. I tallied up all their picks and they are currently 62% correct. This means, over a 16-game season, they will pick a team's wins or losses correctly roughly 10 times. A full six games, or over 1/3 of the season, will be incorrect, and that's an average. True, there are only three weeks worth of picks at this time, and it will be interesting to see how well they pick over the course of an entire season. I'm guessing their percentage will rise because as more games are played it will be clearer, to an extent, which teams are actually better or worse.
So that's why I'm so down on football. A team may win, or it may lose, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything at all. It's like the difference between playing Texas Hold 'em and War; one primarily takes an element of skill, the other takes luck. I'm a fan of sports where fundamental truths can be unearthed mathematically.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Arcade Fire are playing the Hollywood Bowl tonight and I'm not going. I remember back when tickets went on sale, which was shortly after I saw them at The Greek Theater. I could have jumped on it but instead decided to just wait and figure it out later. Now I feel like Ron Burgundy after jumping into the bear pit - I immediately regret that decision.
Then again it's supposed to rain tonight (for the first time in maybe nine months), so perhaps the show will be less than stellar. Keep telling yourself that.
Now I am making a list of CDs to buy. You might think that I listen to a lot of music and have an extensive collection, but I don't. I would say I listen to music occasionally, and only rarely do I buy something new. Now that I work near Amoeba Music I'll probably just stop in there and poke around. My list of possible/potential purchases looks like this:
Neutral Milk Hotel - Avery Island
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Broken Social Scene
Some of these bands I barely know, so tell me what you think. The only 'for sure's are probably NMH and CYHSY. Maybe an old BSS CD that I know I like too. But you never know what you'll find at Amoeba.
I feel like I wrote about the last time I bought CDs, when I got Arcade Fire, Explosions in the Sky and Of Montreal. I was promised by several friends that I would love Of Montreal. It didn't happen, and I really tried.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Had a little snafu with the site earlier - it was down for I don't know how long. Just forgot to renew my credit card info so everything should be fine now... and if it isn't, then you're not reading this.
I have a nice view of downtown LA and South Hollywood from my new office window. Yes, I now have a window complete with natural sunlight to enjoy for 8 hours a day. This is a major event for me.
I have a brief respite from visitors for about three days so I will get a lot of work done. The CD might actually come out in September (!)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Here is an idea. If you want a CD, but don't want to pay for it, then do a write up of LOP on your blog or website or whatever and send me the link. Or graffiti it up on your local goverment building, that works too. It's a music-for-marketing trade, and everybody wins.
Other than that, no news is good news right?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Chicagoland is my kind of town. It's like Ohio weatherwise and everyone here says 'pop' instead of 'soda', but it's an actual city. Cleveland, sadly, is more like a sophisticated farm.
The place I am working at is one block from the Sears Tower, and the place I am staying at is one place from the John (Herbie) Hancock Center. Give me some MGD cause I am living the high life. I went up to the observation deck of the Sears Tower today and only realized shortly beforehand that today is September 11 and the Sears Tower is the tallest building in America. I was as worried as you would expect.
I got some great pictures but of course I forgot the cord to connect my camera to my laptop. So those will be coming soon. For now enjoy the above picture of our ride in Guadalajara as it sat waiting for me to see what street we were on, since we were lost at the time.
I'm rereading 'Surely You Must Be Joking Mr. Feynman' and I don't think I can recommend a book any higher.
Earlier I mentioned that the album is done. It is, but the covers are not. I am still missing one piece of the puzzle, but once I get that in order I will not only have a new album for sale, I will also have expert knowledge of the photo emulsion method of screen printing.
Tonight I decided to cover a Billy Joel song too.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Writing from home today as I finish getting ready for the trip to Guadalajara. It is unbearably hot. Weather.com says it's 89 degrees - that must be wrong. It feels way hotter. The 10-day forecast in Guadalajara is all scattered thunderstorms. There is a 50-60% chance of rain this whole weekend. Great. All the more reason to hang out in taco huts. If I visit enough I'll do a write up of each and send them to Bandini at The Great Taco Hunt.