Entries from January 2010 ↓

The Aquatic Life of Dave’s Fishes

When I was a kid, I loved watching Jacques Cousteau on National Geographic, I thought he was maybe the coolest guy that ever lived. So much so, that when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up (a question which is still asked of me to this day) I would answer, “I want to be a marine biologist when I grow up”. I actually wanted to be an oceanographer, but I thought saying marine biologist sounded cooler.

Well, like many of my dreams, that occupation was never to show up on my resume, but I still get to watch and feed my fish in my 60 gallon aquarium, which has an Oscar

My Oscar is actually an Orange Oscar

Astronotus Ocellatus

and a 16″ Plecostomus (algae eater) which, aside from the pain in the ass of cleaning it all the time affords me a great deal of pleasure.
Plecostomus (genus Pterygoplichthys)

Plecostomus (genus Pterygoplichthys)

So then I saw one of my favorite all-time movies: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and a little germ of an idea grew in my head until finally I created this mini documentary of my aquarium of terror starring Tony the Oscar, Bob the Plecostamus and the carnivorous, motionless stone octopus (who, through his understated performance, nearly steals the show). In honor of Jacques and Bill Murray, I used my best phony french accent during the narration, I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it :)

2 Vids, with apologies to my RSS readers (via email)

1st off is new Radiohead (this could have been on Led Zeppelin’s Zoso AND/OR Jeff Buckley’s Grace and fit right in, at least to my ears…and that’s a very good thing.) And since I am always forgetting to provide an actual link to videos in my post, I humbly apologize to my RSS via email readers, and promise to not do it no more (no mo no mo):



And the 2nd video juxtaposes my well-known love of two things: Hockey and Rush. It’s Neil Pearts take of “The Hockey Theme”, the music that has been used during the opening of “Hockey Night in Canada” on Canadian TV for the last four decades:


Misa Digital Guitar

I. WANT. THIS. (misa digital guitar running linux kernel 2.6.31.)


Happy Birthday Tom Baker!

Tom Baker was my favorite Dr. Who – and it’s funny, I’ve heard it said over and over by everyone I’ve ever talked to whenever I bring up the subject: “Tom was the definitive Dr. Who” or “Tom Baker was the only Dr. Who I ever watched”.


He was simply magic – it was the role he was born for.



Anyway, Tom is 76 today! Here’s wishing you many more future birthday candles on your cakes. Here are some cool pics of the great Dr. in all his scarfy glory:



The good Doctor with Romana, another of my favs



This is very trippy, I remember seeing this at midnight on PBS with the classic music playing, it’s just great :) BTW the theme was created by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was considered quite innovative, and was a significant influence on modern electronic music.





And here is a graphic of the Tardis I made a couple of years ago with Photoshop:



Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space

Silhouette

I was working on the new flash header, and somehow came up with this silhouette when I magic tool selected and cut my image out – then I applied negative image effect and said to myself, “wow, that’s pretty cool”. I probably couldn’t duplicate this if someone stuck a gun to my head.


Silhouette

Silhouette

Happy birthday Donald Fagen

Probably the coolest, hippest cat to ever record rock music, the one and only Donald Fagen celebrates his 62nd trip around the sun today (and there is much rejoicing). Even better news for the hep cats hoping for a follow-up to the magnificent Morph the Cat, he will supposedly release another album sometime this year. Anytime Fagen releases anything I get excited, I mean how often can you buy music you haven’t even heard yet, and just know it’s gonna kick ass?

I'm Lester the nightfly Hello Baton Rouge Won't you turn your radio down Respect the seven second delay we use  So you say there's a race of men in the trees You're for tough legislation Thanks for calling I wait all night for calls like these  An independent station WJAZ With jazz and conversation From the foot of Mount Belzoni Sweet music Tonight the night is mine Late line Till the sun comes through the skyline  I've got plenty of java  And Chesterfield Kings But I feel like crying I wish I had a heart of ice Heart like ice  If you want your honey To look super swell You must spring for that little blue jar Patton's Kiss and Tell Kiss and Tell You'd never believe it But once there was a time When love was in my life I sometimes wonder What happened to that flame The answer's still the same It was you, you, it was you Tonight you're still on my mind

Lester the Nightfly



So if you’re into Steely Dan and want more info on Fagen’s solo stuff, start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Fagen, you’ll find mucho info about his three solo albums The Nightfly (review from Jazz.com), Kamakiriad (review from Hi Fidelity Review), and Morph the Cat (review from Jazz Chicago.net). Then if you really want to dig deep I suggest the Steely Dan Database.


Here are some videos from Kamakiriad, I think Snowbound might be one of the strangest vids I’ve ever seen: http://www.clevver.com/music/video/24507/donald-fagen-tomorrows-girls-video-version.html

BTW yes that is a young Donald Fagen posing as Lester on the cover.


I was born yesterday When they brought my Kamakiri When they handed me the keys It's a steam-power 10 The frame is out of Glasgow The tech is Balinese It's not a freeway bullet Or a bug with monster wheels It's a total biosphere The farm in the back Is hydroponic Good, fresh things Every day of the year Good, fresh things Every day of the year With all screens and functions In sync lock with Tripstar This cool rolling bubble Is all set to samba This route could be trouble (This route could be trouble) Steamin' up That Trans-Island Skyway Tryin' to make that final deadline And if the lanes are clear We're gonna drive a little harder We'll be deep in the Zone by cryin' time Say, there's a wreck On the side of the road Lots of blood and broken glass The kid who was driving I know from somewhere Some kids just drive too fast Wait just a minute There's a beautiful survivor With dancer's legs and laughing eyes C'mon snakehips, it's all over now Strap in tight cause it's a long sweet ride Relax - put some sounds on I'll brew up some decaf C'mon kick off those heels ma'am Now breathe in and sigh out Let's get with the program (Let's talk about the good times) We reach the sprangle Just at dawn These little streets I used to know Is that my father Mowin' the lawn C'mon daddy get in let's go We pull into Five Zoos Past motels and drive-thrus That noon sun is blinding The tidepools are boiling Below plates are grinding (Let's talk about the good times)
A vast, ghostly cat-thing descends on New York City, bestowing on its citizens a kind of rapture.  High above Manhattan town What floats and has a shape like that Fans like us who watch the skies We know its Morph the Cat  Gliding like a big blue cloud From Tomkins Square to Upper Broadway Beyond the park to Sugar Hill Stops a minute for a latte’  He oozes down the heating duct Swims like seaweed down the hall He briefly digs your wiggy pad And seeps out through the wall  Its kind of like an arctic mindbath Cool and sweet and slightly rough Liquid light on New York City Like Christmas without the chintzy stuff  What exactly does he want This Rabelaisian puff of smoke To make you feel all warm and cozy Like you heard a good joke  Like you heard an Arlen tune Or bought yourself a crazy hat Like you had a Mango Cooler Ooh - Morph the Cat  He’s all the talk in shops and schoolyards Sutton Place - the automat Players playin’ in da Bronx Respect to Morph the Cat  Its kind of like an arctic mindbath Cool and sweet and slightly rough Liquid light on New York City Like Christmas without the chintzy stuff  So rich is his charisma You can almost hear it sing He skims the roofs And bells begin to ring  Chinese cashiers can feel it now Grand old gals at evening mass Young racketeers And teenage models Laughing on the grass  Blessed Yankees have an ally When this feline comes to bat Bringing joy to old Manhattan All watch the skies for Morph the Cat

Some thoughts about Syd Barrett

I guess most of my friends already know how much I love Syd Barrett (born Roger Keith Barrett – 6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006). He would have been 64 today, so I thought I’d write a little about him, and why I like him so much.


It’s not just his music, which is awesome, or his innocent whimsical lyrics (which became much darker after the onset of his mental illness), but it’s also the fact that he started one of the greatest bands of all time: Pink Floyd (and then they kicked him out of his own band WTF). Here’s a line drawing I made of Syd:



Syd Barrett line drawing

Syd Barrett



I think the thing that bothers me most about the whole Syd Barrett-acid casualty story is how everyone says, “oh yeah Syd blew his mind by taking too much acid” when possibly he was (unknown by him) being dosed with huge amounts of acid by 2 fuckers named Mad Jock and Mad Sue on a 2 month vacation (they deny this now, of course) – but there is no denying that when he came back from that vacation Dave Gilmour said he was “changed” and “didn’t seem to recognize me”.


It’s just a sad story, whatever the truth – but some of the music like Arnold Layne and See Emily Play will endure, it’s truly great and showcase his magnificent talent far better than his solo efforts (which nevertheless still show flashes of brilliance, but are an acquired taste to be sure).


If you’re curious about Syd’s story and want to read more, here are some links to get you started: Dolly Rocker, Scattered Needles and The Syd Barrett Archives.






Anyway, R.I.P. Syd – I think you were truly one of the greats.

My thoughts on the Gary McKinnon issue

First of all, do I think Gary McKinnon was wrong for doing what he did? Yes. But extradition is wrong for these reasons:


At the time of his offense, the maximum penalty he could have received in the UK was 6 months jail time, a far cry from the life term sought by U.S. prosecutors. He thought he was performing a public service (apparently he thought free energy cover-ups were allowing old people to freeze to death, and was trying to expose this), and was willing to risk 6 months for it – NOT his entire life


How in the hell did a self-admitted bumbling computer nerd autistic who was high on cannabis even hack into critical U.S. data systems?! If the U.S. security is so poor as to allow this, we are in big trouble. This type of security breach should not have been possible, and heads should roll at the pentagon for this to have even been allowed to happen.


He was trying to find evidence of UFOs, antigravity technology, and the suppression of “free energy”, all of which he claims to have proven through his actions. I would say he is a conspiracy “nut”, but considering his medical history a nut diagnosis or classification is actually probably just a manifestation of his condition.


These medical conditions consist of autistic spectrum disorders (Asperger’s Syndrome). He also suffers from depression and is suicidal over the thought of be forced to serve a life imprisonment in the U.S.


Anyway here is an interview with Gary and Chrissie Hind on ITN:




Among many of Gary’s supporters are David Gilmour, Sir Bob Geldoff and Chrissie Hind, who collaborated on this Graham Nash cover “Chicago – We Can Change The World” for the ‘Keep Gary Mckinnon Free‘ campaign:




UPDATE 2-2-2016 :
Curious about the final verdict, here is what i found on wikipedia:

Further appeals

McKinnon appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which briefly imposed a bar on the extradition, but the request for an appeal was rejected.

On 23 January 2009, McKinnon won permission from the High Court to apply for a judicial review against his extradition. On 31 July 2009, the High Court announced that McKinnon had lost this appeal. McKinnon’s legal team, solicitor Karen Todner and barrister Ben Cooper, applied for a judicial review into the Home Secretary’s rejection of medical evidence, which stated that, when he could easily be tried in the UK, it was unnecessary, cruel and inhumane to inflict the further stress of removing him from his homeland, his family and his medical support network.

British government blocks extradition

On 16 October 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May announced to the House of Commons that the extradition had been blocked, saying that “Mr McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.” She stated that the Director of Public Prosecutions would determine whether McKinnon should face trial before a British court. On 14 December, the DPP, Keir Starmer, announced that McKinnon would not be prosecuted in the United Kingdom, because of the difficulties involved in bringing a case against him when the evidence was in the United States.

So yay, not all stories end badly, I’m glad prominent figures like Sting, Trudie Styler, Julie Christie, David Gilmour, Graham Nash, Peter Gabriel, The Proclaimers, Bob Geldof, Chrissie Hynde, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Stephen Fry, and Terry Waite supported him, and I believe had a large influence on the final outcome. Good job guys :)

Them Crooked Vultures, Tolkien, Perihelion

Jan 3 is an important day. John Paul Jones was born 1-3-1946, and besides being bassist el supremo for the mighty Led Zeppelin, his new band with Dave Grohl (Foos) and Josh Homme is indescribably good. They’re called Them Crooked Vultures, go check ’em out, all I can say is WOW. Here’s a pic of JPJ jammin with TCV (Wonker took the pic):
Them Crooked Vultures

It’s also the birthday of J.R.R.Tolkien, so don’t be surprised to see someone raise a glass and toast, “The Professor”. I know I will.

Also at nine minutes after midnight (UT) tonight, January 2/3, the Earth will be at perihelion, when we are closest to the sun. Seems funny that it’s also our coldest time of year for us in the states, but that’s the way it works. Look at it this way: the precession of the equinoxes takes 22,000 years, so in 11,000 years perihelion will be in July – The people of Earth will have something to complain about THEN, let me tell you – the winters will be really cold and the summers just unbearable:

It’s also Stephen Stills birthday, but I’m saving that for next year :-)