August 2009


Blogging has been very sporatic lately due to life, as they say, getting in the way.  So i’ll fill you in on some of my favorite things of late.

“Outliers”, Malcom Gladwell’s fantastic book about what makes somebody successful
outliers3

Everybody likes to think they know what makes a person a successful person and those “beliefs” we hold are just “the way it is.” What Gladwell works to do here is disprove some of those long held convictions or beliefs by exaiming factors that most people don’t even realize are in play. Like, for example, why are almost ALL the best hockey players born in January, February and March? The fascinating thing about this question is we are able to apply the answer to just about any measure of what makes a person a “sucess” in their education too.

Maybe this doesn’t seem fascinating to you, maybe it does, but it just scratches the surface of what’s in play here and really will make you stop and examine how one becomes a success. And, best of all? Not a sparking vampire insight here. What? You mean you didn’t hear?? ALL books are about sparking emo vampire who don’t kill people. At least that’s what the kids tell me.

“Batman: Arkham Asylum” video game for Xbox 360
Arkham Asylum XBox 360

Everything about this game is just great. The graphics, the story, the controllers, the voice work everything! The voice work is of particular note because if you’re familiar with the Batman animated series from the early 90’s that Paul Dini was responsible for then you’re in for a treat here. Not only did Paul Dini write the story for this game, but the producers brought the animated series Batman along for the ride to voice The Dark Knight (Kevin Conroy) they brought along the series Joker too, a guy you may have heard of; Mark Hamill. Who, up until Heath Ledger knocked it outta the park in “The Dark Knight, had been my favorite adaption of the Joker. So, yeah, they didn’t screw around with this one.

“Big Whiskey and The GrooGrux King” album
album-art

I bought this album the week it came out earlier this summer, listened to it and dug it then it kind of got lost in the constant shuffle of my skitzo music listening habits. Then, in early August, I got a chance to see Dave Matthews Band live for the first time in entirely to long. Since then, since hearing a handful of these songs live (especially ‘The Way I Am’ and ‘Timebomb’) my interest in this album has been born anew. It really is such a good album. It’s a damn shame that a lot of people won’t recognize that fact since it’s the Dave Matthews Band and they have that pre-conceived “frat boy music” stigma in their minds.

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One of my favorite things about football season is Gregg Easterbrook’s “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” column that runs on ESPN.com every Tuesday from today (8/18) through the Super Bowl, with a couple special edition versions that pop up during the “off season” (if such a thing even exists in the world of pro football anymore.)

One of the things about the column I mostly like (I say mostly because sometimes it get a little tedious) is non-sequitor’s into non-football related items.  Today’s first column of the season had a fantastic side piece that raises some very worthwhile questions:

TMQ has friends who like the Kindle; maybe such devices are the future. But I hope you were given pause by Amazon’s decision to delete, electronically and without notice, two Orwell books that were sold without proper rights. Needless to say, I support enforcing authors’ rights. Yet did you know Amazon has the power to delete from your Kindle anything it decides you should not read? Owners who had the books in their devices simply discovered them gone: Amazon sent a kill command. Suppose printed books — and their permanence — go out of style. Everyone’s got Kindle-like gizmos that seem really convenient. Then Big Sister or some corporate leader finds out people are downloading books revealing information the powerful don’t want the masses to know. Click click, those books disappear, and there’s no printed copy to prove they ever existed. “We did this for the public good, the books contained statements that were causing confusion,” a future CEO or U.S. President may say. Or suppose a book about some prominent person has revelations embarrassing to him — you wake up and that material has vanished, replaced with new paragraphs calling the person the most wonderful human being who ever walked. Remote wireless manipulation of book content, under the control of the wealthy and powerful — is this really the direction we want to go?

Hadn’t thought about the Amazon Deletes Content story that way had you? I admit I hadn’t…and Easterbrook raises a FANTASTIC questons here.

And, besides, it wasn’t Brett Farve related…or Michael Vick related…so for those reasons alone it was some of the best writing i’ve read in a while.

Anyway, what do you think? Has Amazon set a dangerously slippery slope here?? Or does Easterbrook just have tin foil hat on a little too tight???

After years of seemingly unending delays…it’s coming…an already solid year for music releases just got a LOT better.

Here’s house of HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGARS (w/ Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah and Method Man) I swear it sounds like 94 all over again.

a collection of randomness from the last few weeks; things i’ve learned, observations, etc.Icon_guy_working_at_computer

*In the Commonwealth of Virginia when they post “AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY” on crossovers between Interstate Highway Lanes THEY actually MEAN it.

*Speaking of The Commonwealth; Why do their Trooper patrol cars say “STATE POLICE” and not “COMMONWEALTH POLICE.” I mean, they ARE a Commonwealth afterall right? (I got jokes. Poor jokes, but jokes all the same)

*When it comes to news stories about Religion some people will flat out REFUSE to believe that just maybe there is another side of the story and will turn into vile, condescending pricks at the drop of a hat. Not that this is a big shock to me and it’s not something I just learned recently. I was more reminded of this fact recently

*People will spend massive amount of money to see a band live then drink so much they not only attempt to ruin the fun for everybody within 15 feet of them but there’s no way in hell they’ll even remember the trip or the band’s performance. This is a phenomenon I have never, nor will ever, understand.

*mentioning the word HEALTH CARE REFORM will send even the most rational person into a raging fit of irrational arguing. And that’s true for both sides of the political coin.

*College Football Season is so close you can almost taste it.

*a lot of so-called “heavy” bands could learn a lot from COALESCE (their new album OX is fantastic)

*No matter how many times you bitch slap them some people will come back begging for more while thinking you’re to stupid too see through their thinly veiled attempts.

*Sports teams never seem to learn what the rest of society figured out a long time ago; Some people are just scum plain and simple. No matter how fast their 40 time is or how strong their arm is.

*Touchscreen cellphones are bad enough (and god they are horrible) but…THIS? Really??

*Hate ’em or love ’em Nike can still release a pretty sweet looking shoe every now and again. At least they’re not producing crap like THIS

*If you’re going to shell out for a HD TV make sure you get your TV channels from Direct TV, or even Dish Network. Having just converted back to Direct TV after 6 months on a cable provider that only offered 10 or so HD channels I’ve learned that lesson.

That’s it for now. I’ll leave you with some album/tv show/book/whatever recommendations i’ve been into of late that you should check out.

MUSIC:
Coalesce – OX
The Dead Weather – Horehound
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and The GrooGrux King
Clutch – Strange Cousins From The West

BOOKS:
When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
The Appeal – John Grisham

TV SHOWS/MOVIES:
Rescue Me (although the most recent episodes have been aggravating me lately)
Better off Ted (quirky and fun..I hope ABC actually does something with it)
Spongebob Square Pants (comes with the territory of being a father)
Entourage (I know a lot of people have fallen off the bandwagon, but I’m still enjoying the show)

well at least it should be….
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According to Variety, Robert Rodriguez has announced much of the cast for Machete, and it is one hell of a cast. Joining Danny Trejo will be Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jessica Alba. Also, Cheech Marin and Jeff Fahey, who were in the Grindhouse trailer will be back for the big screen version. Rumors of Lindsay Lohan joining the cat are also true. Finally, Don Johnson and Steven Seagal have been confirmed for the project. There was no confirmation on Jonah Hill, who had recently been offered a part.

So, maybe you’re not familiar with the glory of “Machette.” I can understand that, it’s possible you didn’t go to to see Grindhouse when it was in it’s original 3+ hour theatrical run before the Weinsteins cut into to two seperate movies to try and recoup some money. So you wouldn’t have seen The Trailer:

this is going to kick 500 kinds of ass.