Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

That is all. But I mean it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hello, innerwebs?

Yeah, it's me, Cullen.

Um, all this quiet lately ... yeah, it's really eery.

Orson Wells smacks America up

This Day in History, Orson Wells delivered his infamous radio rendition of War of the Worlds.

As many as one million people are believed to have been fooled by the program.

Just goes to show you that we're not any worse today. There just more of us around.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another polictical post, you've been warned

And another one due to Teflon.

I, as Teflon says in his inspirational post, I will be voting for the Republicans this election.

While his data contains interesting information, I'm still pissed off concerning how much money we're spending. My reasoning is simple and in line with his point #1: As a conservative, I am interested not in the advance of party but of ideology.

And I can't do that if I sit one out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Great freakin' music meme

Can't believe I haven't seen this one before. Stolen from Rob at FIU.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool... and alot of the songs fit with the setting.

Opening Credits: Stream of Consciousness - Dream Theater
Waking Up: Rid of Me - PJ Harvey
First Day At School: Killed by Death (Live) - Motorhead (ooh, ominous)
Falling In Love: Do You Love Her Madly - The Doors (I'm not shitting you, they're coming up in this order)
Fight Song: Jezebel - Reverend Horton Heat
Breaking Up: Doctor Rock - Motorhead
Prom: All Over the World - Pixies
Life: Slow - Reverend Horton Heat
Mental Breakdown: In My Life - The Beatles
Driving: Don't Pass Me By - The Beatles
Flashback: Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd
Getting back together: Baddest of the Bad - Revered Horton Heat
Wedding: War - Meshuggah (heh, heh)
Birth of Child: New Day Rising - Husker Du
Final Battle: I Saw Your Mommy - Suicidal Tendencies
Death Scene: Octopus Mode - Reverend Horton Heat
Funeral Song: The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater
End Credits: Rockin' Dog - Reverend Horton Heat

Man! This was super fun. I did this at work with like a 20th of my collection. I didn't think it'd be this cool.

Try it out.

Junior, when we get home, I'm gonna slap your momma.

There are times I have to fight road rage, swallow it back like rising bile. It's not that traffic here is very bad, there simply isn't the population for really bad traffic. What we do have in abundance are bad drivers.

I have lived all over the U.S. and in Okinawa. I have driven in Afghanistan. Some of the people in this town rival the worst drivers I've seen anywhere. Of course, that anger over their driving translates to more aggressive driving on my part. Now multiply that times a couple of thousand for all the other people on the road who are not driving so poorly, and now you have a few really bad drivers on the road and a whole bunch of pissed off aggressive drivers. Not a great environment to be jamming along at 70.

Yesterday, on my way home, I was behind one of the worst drivers I've seen on the road here to date. He obviously worked for a car dealership -- the car had dealer plates. Or maybe he was test driving. Whatever, the dude almost caused two accidents in the span of five minutes. First, when entering the highway, he almost ran right into a car on the highway, paying no attention to the nice, big YIELD sign that on-ramp traffic is supposed to obey. Next, as we are building up some speed, we approach the next on-ramp. I am, unfortunately, behind this guy still and we're in the right lane. There are two cars in the right lane that haven't been picking up speed. As we get to the on ramp, there are more cars zooming onto the highway with no regard to oncoming traffic. In the right lane, one car hits its brakes to let a car get in front of him. This guy in front of me, SLAMS on his brakes at the same time as the car next to him. So, instead of speeding up to get around the problem and freeing up space, he jams up the problem. I honestly thought I was in an accident. I was breaking as hard as I could and was fully expecting someone to slam into me. Fortunatley it didn't happen.

But man. I so wanted to be able to pull that driver over and ask him what the hell he was thinking. So, as soon as Emily gets her Friday eff off thread up, I have some creative venting to take care of.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Whiney McWhinewhine

My normal morning commute, home to office, takes about 15 minutes. Most of that is spent on our highway bypass and some of it is spent driving at a far more moderate pace down the narrow neighborhood road that leads to our installation back gate.

Most days, the wonderful and professional military police just look at your base sticker and wave you on, occasionally stopping a car for further inspection. Sometimes, however, they conduct a 100% ID check. This morning was such a time.

My complaint is not that these Marines are conducting the checks or that the base requires it. My complaint is with the people who obviously had to dig through their shit to get to their IDs.

I usually spend about three minutes, maybe four, from when I turn onto the narrow neighborhood road to the time I'm wavied through the gate. This morning it took 30.

I spent that time wondering what the hell was going on, and I pulled out my ID and set it on the seat next to me, just in case. Sure enough, by the time I got to the front of the line, I just had to show my ID and I was on my way. Which makes me wonder why there were times when I was stopped for a full five minutes before proceeding. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that people just didn't have their shit ready. Thanks folks.

/end whine

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Of dreams and anger

There goes that darn chastity.At night I dream in cascading thoughts and images. Things I experience during the day, things I am anxious about, things important to me, and sometimes cool vignets of things put together in their own tale.

Sometimes, my dreams' colors are all out of proportion to what they should be. Oversaturated hues and transposed shades are often the norm.

Sometimes I get to fly. Sometimes I have super strength. Sometimes I am on the receiving end of a super villain's dastardly plan.

Sometimes things melt. Sometimes things explode. Sometimes things are way out of perspective.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSometimes things involve people I know and care about. Sometimes they involve what are obviously amalgams of people I know or have seen, but are unique to my dreamscape.

However, at no time have I ever confused what's going on in a dream with what's real.

Apparently, women, you don't have that same ability. Why, oh why, women do you get mad at us over a dream that you had?

Stuff it U.N.

See where diplomacy gets you:

1774 : Congress petitions English king to address grievances

On this day in 1774, the First Continental Congress sends a respectful petition to King George III to inform his majesty that if it had not been for the acts of oppression forced upon the colonies by the British Parliament, the American people would be standing behind British rule.

Despite the anger that the American public felt towards the United Kingdom after the British Parliament established the Coercive Acts—called the Intolerable Acts by the colonists--Congress was still willing to assert its loyalty to the king. In return for this loyalty, Congress asked the king to address and resolve the specific grievances of the colonies. The petition, written by Continental Congressman John Dickinson, laid out what Congress felt was undo oppression of the colonies by the British Parliament. Their grievances mainly had to do with the Coercive Acts, a series of four acts that were established to punish colonists and to restore order in Massachusetts following the Boston Tea Party.

This day in history.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An observation

The reason so many bands today suck so hard is because Booker T and the MGs soaked up so much awesome.

Maybe, someday, a worthwhile post

I still have nothing. So it's time for another day in history:

YES! Oct. 24 1997 : Marv Albert faces sentencing in sexual assault case

Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick announces that he will dismiss the sexual assault case filed against Marv Albert by 42-year-old Vanessa Perhach if the sportscaster agrees to get counseling and stays out of trouble for a year. Albert faced up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

According to Perhach, Albert had invited her to his room in the Ritz Carlton Hotel on February 12, 1997, after announcing an NBA game between the New York Knicks and Washington Bullets. He then purportedly bit her on her back after she refused his request for three-way sex.

And yet the phrase, "Get this Marv Albert off my back" never caught on, hmmm.

This Day in History.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Faster Than The World has my new Because I'm All About the Guitar up. The focus this week? Scary guitarists ... ooooohhh.

Go forth and comment!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Funny moments

Discussing a child's recent test:

Me: XXX told me she got a XX on her test.

Wife: Yes it's on that book she read. It's a comprehensive test.

Me: Comprehension.

Wife: Whatever.


Appropriately born in October

I never drink ... wine.Today Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, better known to today's world as Bela Lugosi, was born in 1882.

Lugosi today represents the horrors of typecasting. He was a classically trained actor with tons of experience in dramatic roles in Austria-Hungary and Germany. His first role in the U.S. was Dracula and we all know what happened afterwards. His associationg with Edward D. Wood, Jr. was made popular by the Tim Burton film, Ed Wood.

A huge contributing factor to Lugosi's decline in pop culture (at the time), was his addiction to opiates. Lugosi suffered from chronic sciatica brought on by injuries he received while serving in World War I. Natural remedies grew to opiates grew to addiction grew to the man we saw portrayed in Ed Wood. I truly wish we had had a bit more explanation in the film.

Lugosi is an indelible part of horror film lore. Throughout film history, there have been many Draculas and many vampires. But there was only one Lugosi.Here is a great site for the documentary Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It just doesn't mean the same thing

I am (still) in the process of archiving my CD collection to my computer. It's a daunting task. I've got about 40 gigs so far and am maybe halfway through. I've actually just shelved a bunch of 'em right now and hope to get around to it again eventually. It's just so time consuming.

The upshot of all this storage is that my random play on my computer is intense. I don't have to hear the same band twice within an hour if I don't want to. Also, I'm hearing a lot of music that I haven't listened to in a LONG time.

Do you experience that? I'm sure you do ... when you hear some music that used to mean something to you, and it just doesn't carry that meaning any more. I am, in this context, for me, specifically speaking of Nine Inch Nails, but it's equally applicable to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, and Mother Love Bone. Moderately applicable to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. In the early '90s, these bands meant a lot to me and were pretty much the soundtrack to my life. It's what I hear in my head when I remember those days.

Anyway, the other day, a NiN song popped up in rotation, one of the tunes off The Downward Spiral. I burned a hole in this CD I listened to it so much (figuratively speaking, of course). So, the familiar chords blared out, the familiar keyboard notes plinged, and the familiar voice warbled. And you know what? Nothing. Didn't move me in the least. I didn't even feel any sense of longing or nostalgia. In fact, if I felt anything, it was embarrassment that I used to listen to this. It wasn't that good.

So I put the entire album in queue. And I felt the same way about the whole thing. So I queued up some other bands from that time and got similar reactions, or nonreactions. Kind of weird.

I don't know if it's because of what was going on at this point in my life, what I've gone through since, or if the music just isn't any good, but I just don't connect with that it any more. Oddly enough, bands I picked up a couple of years before and a couple of years after I still listen to.

I don't know what this means, if it means anything. I just thought it odd.

225 years ago today...

British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively ending the American Revolutionary War.

Pleading illness, Cornwallis did not attend the surrender ceremony. His second in command, General Charles O'Hara, carried Cornwallis' sword to the American and French commanders.

As the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, the British bands played the song, "The World Turned Upside Down."

This Day in History.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Worthwhile reading...

Teflon at Molten Thought has posted a primer for the media that is well worth reading.

Political content within.

CBGBs is closed

It's been all over the news for the past few days, and CBGBs has now closed its doors.

I wasn't sure if I was going to post about this because I have no strong tie to the place. I've never been there. I thought it was something that would outlast me. Some place that I could just go visit any time. I mean, I know that's not very logical, but it was a place of such mythic proportions that it just didn't seem that it could end.

And in that, I guess that it did affect me. The bands that cut their teeth there certainly were a huge impact on my life and the lives of many others. It's a sad day.

I certainly hope Mr. Kristal lives to get his new club opened.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A movie meme

Not tagged, I picked this up from Portnoy.

1. The last movie you saw in a theatre It was either Pirates of the Carribean 2 or Superman Returns, I can't remember. I think it was Superman because I saw it on base and they always play later than the current screenings.

2. The last movie you rented/purchased for home viewing. Sitting on top of my TV right now are Click and Garfield 2, neither of which have been watched yet.

3. A movie that made you laugh out loud. One of the funniest movies I've ever seen is The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

4. A movie that made you cry. Crash. Yeah, yeah, the little girl with the invisible cape thing blew me away.

5. A movie that was a darling of the critics, but you didn't think lived up to the hype. There have been many, but I despise Dances With Wolves.

6. A movie that you thought was better than the critics. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

7. Favorite animated movie. Fire and Ice.

8. Favorite Disney Villain. All right, I'm kind of cheating on this, but I'm going to say Marsellus Wallace. Yeah, yeah, released by Miramax, but Disney is Miramax's parent company.

9. Favorite movie musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show

10. Favorite movies of all-time. Blade Runner, The Matrix, Fight Club, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Pulp Fiction - hell, all Tarantino movies, From Dusk 'Til Dawn, The Prophecy, Dawn of the Dead (both) ... many, many, many.

No tags. Do it if you'd like to.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Seriously, At This Point I Wouldn't Mind if Someone Would Just End My Life

I am, at this very moment, stuck in a class. A class I could have tested out of. But I didn't. I thought, at the time, that it would be an easy A. It was another class to bump up my GI Bill from 3/4 time to full time.

Dammit I am an idiot.

The ongoing ant diaries

The boys feet were pretty much good by Monday. They still looked nasty, but they were scabbed and healing.

So, how does he decide to test how well his feet are doing? Well yesterday he decided to dance in an antpile again. This time he got far fewer bites. But still.

You think he'd have learned. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

And Ken rejoices

Goats Key to Spread of Farming, Gene Study Suggests

Goats accompanied the earliest farmers into Europe some 7,500 years ago, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society, a new study suggests.

So, there is history behind Ken's urges.

More nothing from the nothing farm

The big event of the day yesterday was watching Mythbusters. That's how my life is going right now.

We are down three employees in our office of six. At 50 percent manning, I am now officially doing three jobs (including my own) and sometimes one other. It wouldn't be quite so bad, but after work, most nights of the week, I have classes. And this semester is kicking my fourth point of contact. I only have one more semester after this one to graduate and that's been my mantra.

I fear becoming used to this level of busy. Once we have hired more employees (job announces Oct. 16, any photojournalists or communication majors interested in working for the government, contact me via e-mail and I'll let you know how to go about it) and my school is over, it will be dead dull. Right now, I look forward to that boredom, but I know that if I become used to this operational tempo I will dread that once it happens.

Otherwise, everything is status quo. Hope everyone else is doing OK.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happiness is ...

Attacking the water with reckless abandon.Leaping into a situation with such carefree abandon that you don't care that you're getting your pants wet.*

* Of course you know that mom and dad are going to take care of it, but still.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Boy + Ant Hill = OUCH!

It looked worse in person.We went to and have returned from Biloxi, safe and sound. It was a good trip and got to see my wife's dad and step mother and my parents, who came down from Louisiana.

Didn't do much exciting. Played on the beach a little during the chilly morning. Saw lots of very cool cars because it was Cruisin' the Coast weekend (the website hasn't been updated, but the about info is all sound). Many classic cars packed the roadways. There were plenty to drool over -- classic GTOs, Cameros, Thunderbirds, Barracudas, Roadrunners, and many more.

Bowled a little bit. Did some shopping. Tried to relax a bit before jumping back into the hornet's nest that work has become.

Speaking of small insects that inflict much pain, right before we left, the boy (14 months old) stepped in a pile of red ants. Both of his feet were covered. He received about 35 bites per foot (click on the pic for a larger view). I really felt for the guy, but other than right after he was bit, he didn't complain about it. He didn't like wearing shoes too much, but he was a real trooper.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Faster Than The Redesign

Today is day one of the new format at Faster Than The World.

We are now a daily magazine in both name and format. Please stop by and check us out. My Because I'm All About the Guitar article is up with several other funny and interesting articles.

Bookmark us and check us out daily.

Don't forget to leave your comments.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Odd, unintentional behavior

I've got this quirk. Whenever I type something that I type often -- say, a username and password -- I will pull back my right hand when done and drum my fingers across my desk. It's very odd and I've only recently become aware that I'm doing it.

I mean, I've always been aware, but I've only recently noticed that I always do it and always in these circumstances. Any time I've typed something rote and reach back for my mouse, I tap the fingers. It's like knocking on wood or something.


Whatsabout you?

Blogiversary, among other things

Good Thursday to you all!

I hope everyone else is getting a long weekend this weekend. I'll be out of the net as we're heading back to Biloxi to visit family.

Monday marks my one-year blogiversary. I can hardly believe I've been doing this for a year now. I don't know if I've added anything to your lives by coming here, but you've certainly added something to mine. Through your own blogs or the comments you've left here. Whether you've validated my opinions or have given me something to think about, shared an experience or funny story or just stopped in to say hi, thanks.

I look forward to another year with the blog and my new weekly column at FTTW.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Disappointing endings

Anyone else more than a little torqued off at the Eureka season finale?

Look, TV writer/producer people. I don't mind if you end a season with a question. I don't mind if you don't really answer any of the issues you've been building during the season. I don't even mind if the ending only leaves me wanting more. Hell, it'll make it that much more exciting when next season rolls around.

HOWEVER, if you're going to do any of the above, don't advertise the season finale as "The episode that will explain everything!" 'Cause, dudes, then you just alienate your audience and piss us off.

I would have been fine with: SHOCKING DISCOVERIES, or EVERYONE LIVES HAPPILY EVER AFTER, OR DO THEY?, but your build up was far off the mark of your delivery.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Heroes, part deux

A good lineup for the fall line up.I finally caught up on episode one over the weekend and watched episode two. This is quickly becoming my new favorite show. Being a fan of comic books my whole life, it's hard not to love a show about superheroes.

Oddly enough, I just read the "Marvels" mini-series that Marvel Comics put out in 1994. Hadn't read it before. For those who haven't read it, the series is a twist on all the old comic tales. It starts with the birth of the original human torch. You know, the 1930s-era torch. And brings it up to near-present day. But rather than just retell the stories, it tells its tale from the point of view of people who are being effected by all the superhero activity. It was a rather ingenius concept. It puts one into a perfect frame of mind for watching Heroes.

We're not only seeing the stumbling first steps of new heroes, but the rarely-seen-in-comics effects on the world around these people. Most comics would have you believe that John Doe one day gets hit by a bolt of cosmic radiation and immediately dons a cape and goes to fight evil. It's just the way they're built. And I love them for it.

Heroes is about characters first. And is done very well. I highly recommend the show.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Itchin' for some fiction?

The fine folks at Faster Than The World are holding a Halloween Fiction Writing Contest.

Entries need to be fiction, Halloween themed (but not necessarily about Halloween), no more than 500 words, and no more than two entries per person.

For a complete list of rules, visit FTTW.

It is hard to relax...

When you have a bunch of stuff coming up. When you have time consuming and pressing activities over the weekend and equally pressing activities waiting for you back at the office on Monday.

It's equal parts anxiety, anticipation and a desire to get it over with. But whatever the cocktail's made of, sipping it has caused my battery to be left running. I never went into recharge mode. And I hate the feeling.

I bought my girls new bicycles this weekend and they've been riding fools. Better to focus on that.