Yippee! I finally got a comment (albeit an anonymous one)!

"this is not of god...what are you doing on daystars space /////unbelieveable cruelty..."

Okay, I'll accept that if you'll tell me one thing: WHAT/WHERE IS DAYSTAR'S SPACE??

ha ha

I thought I might paste Stumble code on a few of my favorite posts here...it's always nice to get some exposure...but alas, it looks like I'm incompetent on that front. You get a 404 Error every time you stumble 'em. I'm not upset about it, because this definitely is a "personal site" and there's a lot of stuff here that no one is going to care about. But there are a few articles I've written that I would be happy to share with a much wider audience.

Anyone out there who wants to try to help me figure it all out (in terms that a true novice would understand) I would be in your debt.


click on image to enlarge

Here is a "religion" questionairre that I filled out on September 1, 2005. A lot has happened between then and now, so it's not surprising that my answers would be somewhat different were I to fill it out today. So I present the original questions, the original answers and the updated answers as of September 2008. Three years from now they will probably be different. I don't think that makes me "wishy washy". It only provesn to me that revelation is an ongoing process, hopefully evolving...

1) Do you believe in God?

9/05: Yes

9/08: Yes. Not in quite the same way as I did then. I believe that "God" is both the creator and the created. We are all vessels of experience for "Him" Our consciousness is God within us.

2) Do you think reason and faith are radically distinct?

9/05: No

9/08: Yes, I do. Faith is the opposite of "reason" and so it must be in a dualistic universe. Distinct, yes. But irreconcilable? No, I don't think so. One man's reason is another man's faith and vice versa. It's all okay if it gets you through the night/your life.

3) What religion, if any, do you practice? (Or, perhaps, if you're a nonbeliever, what religion were you raised in? Or what religion does your family practice?)

9/05: I'm a professing Christian who attends a Southern Baptist church, but lean towards Calvinism theologically...I probably have a few different ideas and methods than your typical Baptist, Calvinist or any other denomination.

9/08: My oh my how things change. I haven't gone to church in so long I doubt anyone there remembers me. I wouldn't go to a Southern Baptist Church now even if I were in the market for a "church home". I can't even say that I'm a "professing Christian" anymore. I believe that what I've taken from my years as a "professing Christian" has brought me to where I am now. Furthermore, I have come to reject the term "Christian" itself because it implies "Christ-like" behaviour/attitudes, etc. I don't think I exhibit any or that I ever have or that I ever could or that I ever will and I don't think I'm alone here. No one does or can. Hardcore Bible thumping "Christians" scare the hell out of me. Do I still believe in the Bible story? If it is, it is. If it ain't, it ain't. I don't think God's going to judge me for not knowing. But the question was what religion I practice...I don't "do" religion anymore. It's a very interesting, fascinating subject and much good can be found in all of them (as well as bad), but it's certainly not necessary and I have learned (the hard way) that dwelling on it is not beneficial to my mental health.

4) How important are religious questions to you?

9/05: Somewhat important.

9/08: Depends on what you mean by "religious questions". Philosophical questions? They're a nice diversion. Theological questions, too, I guess. Not too awfully high on the list of the most important things in life. I mean, I envy the man who doesn't care where he came from or where he's going. Let me put it this way...I hope that "religious questions" are the last thing on my mind when I'm on my death bed.

5) Have you ever seriously doubted your own religious beliefs? (that applies to atheists/agnostics too!)

9/05: Yes.

9/08: Yes. I'd like to shake the hand of the man who hasn't.

6) Do you think the differences between religions are major and important, or do you think that most religions share the same basic principles, and the differences beyond that are unimportant?

9/05: The inevitable bottom line to me is that, yes, by their very individual natures they have differences that are major and important. Still, my perception of Christianity is not so much as a religion but as a relationship. And so I can accept that "religion", as a man-made set of rituals and doctrine guidelines, is faulty all the way around. God is awesome and His creative ways are unfathomable...Even though I believe the Gospel to be absolute truth, I think there is a purpose for other belief-systems and I have a hard time reconciling the point-of-view that would think that God's not behind it all somehow and for some reason...

9/08: I actually still agree with this one, although I can't believe I said "God is awesome"...

7) Do you believe in heaven and hell?

9/05: Yes, although not literally in the symbolic manner they are described in the Bible. Heaven, I believe, will be better than any description of it has ever made it sound, and likewise, hell will be worse.

9/08: This is one I've been giving a bit of thought to. The answer almost seems like a litmus test for adherance to a lot of religions. No. I don't believe in "heaven" or "hell". "Eternal punishment"??? Damn. Eternity is a long, long time. I can't think of anything that would warrant such a harsh penalty. Heaven? The place we come from and the place we're going, Maya, the collective consciousness, nirvana, call it what you want. I believe in that. But it's not some grand prize that certain people win for choosing the right God to worship.

8) Do you attend religious services with any regularity? What kind?

9/05: Yes, weekly. I usually go on Sunday mornings and evenings, but sometimes I slack off for the PM service.

No, I do not. I don't see the need anymore. I've never considered them to be essential to anything more than social interaction, which is a good thing, but I'd just as soon not do it under the guise of ritualistic worship.

9) Have you ever attended religious services for a religion besides your own? Which one? What did you make of it?

9/05: I won't count "different denominations within Chrsitianity" as altogether different religions, so I can't say that I recall ever attending a non-Christian religious ceremony. I think I went to a Mormon church service in 1987, but I cannot remember anything about it. I do, however, have a CD of Tantric Buddhists chanting, and listening to it is almost as good as being there. :)

9/08: Nothing's changed on that front in the last 3 years.

10) How important to you are shared religious beliefs in relationships?

9/05: From my own experience being married to a woman who attends a denomination which I consider outside the pale of Orthodox Christianity (though she would disagree), I have to say that YES, it is very important. 10 years ago I would have said "no", but that was because I didn't have any beliefs to worry about then. I honestly believe that the denom differences between my wife and I are a setback. But I also think that it's more important to work on things that we CAN change than to think too much about our disagreements.

9/08: I'm gonna have to completely revise the answer to this one. They probably are to most people. I don't give a shit about it anymore, if I ever really did. Those "denom" differences were only a "setback" because I let them be. We don't have any religious differences anymore because I figure it's none of my business what she honestly believes and I wouldn't want her to be too concerned with mine, either. I'm not out to change her anymore, and I am ashamed that there was ever a time when I thought any of my beliefs were "correct" as opposed to any of hers. What a joke.

11) Does it matter to you if political leaders are religious?

9:/05: I actually wish there was a rule in politics that states "You cannot reveal or discuss any religious beliefs you might or might not have"...I mean, we don't need to know. That's my opinion. A clean slate as far as your constituency goes and you get elected based on how you feel and believe about the issues and not because of some sense of loyalty to a shared faith.

9/08: Uhhh...no.

12) True or false: the world would be a better a place if all religions just disappeared overnight. To be replaced by what?

9/05: Religion is such a cherished and important part of so many lives...truly the majority of people are people of faith (in one god or another), so yeah, I think it would leave a huge hole in their lifes that cannot be replaced. No, the world would not be a better place, IMHO.

9/08: Better place? Who am I to say? I think a lot of people would go insane were it not for the grounding that religion gives them. If religion were to disappear I think it wouldn't take too many eras before man invented another one. Out of necessity, at that. Where would we be without our mythologies? They are, among other things, revelations. They are the building blocks of human understanding and imagination. Whether the world would be a better place or not is a futile question because I don't think such an event could happen.



All is right with the world again today. Don't know what was wrong, don't know what was done to fix it, all I know is that I'm glad my wife is a bit more computer savvy than I am, because the Internet is back in my life. For better or worse.

Thankee, honey!


The abyssmal state of my computer literacy disapponts and frustrates me. As it has on many occasions I find myself once again scratching my head and asking the perenial question, "What the fuck??"

The last couple of days the issue has been re-connecting to our network. Now that I've got that one sussed out I must deal with what will most likely prove to be a tougher issue to deal with: getting the Internet back up and running. I strongly suspect that the culprit in this case is our ISP. I don't know exactly what happened but apparently my son accidentally kicked the power strip that all the computer junk was plugged into and shut it all down. When it was all turned back on we had lost our network connections. The Internet connection on the desktop reverted to Windstream's WLAN mini-port and the automatic connectivity was gone.

I'm hoping that Stacie can remember what Tech Support told her to do last time that happened. Then again, I guess she could always call them again...I just hate having to deal with Tech Support. But I am tapped out as far as possible solutions to this problem.

Which is why I regret not taking the computer courses that were offered at the Jr College I attended for a while back in the early 80s. I mean, this was before the Internet had gone public. I'd bet that the languages and codes they taught have been out of commision for a long time. It was a "ground floor" opportunity and the sad thing is that everyone realized it, it's not like I didn't know it would set me on a path of financial security and, even more importantly, computer geek status.

I shouldn't even be messing with it, as I had originally set aside the day for reading...catching up on a lot of reading that I've been meaning to do but which has been side-tracked by all the Stumbling, blogging and downloading of Sigur Ros concerts. But the prospect of actually fixing the problem after struggling so long yesterday with it...well, it proved to be irresistable. But that was almost 3 hours ago and even though I did re-establish the network, the Internet still eludes. That should really be good enough, I know. But it pains me to know that my laptop lacks one of the most important reasons to even own one. Don't get me wrong...I like to write and I enjoy playing Mahjongg. My WMP is stocked with a lot of great stuff that I haven't had a chance to burn onto CD yet...but it's just not the same without that "window to the world" available at the click of a mouse...


Music Video(s) of the Week: The Chambers Brothers & The Ramones

Network connection is down on the laptop, who knows when we'll get it back up so I thought I'd treat you with a Music Video Double Header. I have to say that I prefer the original Chambers Brothers version but the first time I heard the song it was by the Ramones, so it's quite possible that I would never had sought out the Brothers' hit if I hadn't first heard, and liked, that one. At any rate, the rules are still the same...you have to pause the Sigur Ros jukebox before you can play the video.


"Time Has Come Today"
The Chambers Brothers

"Time Has Come Today"
The Ramones


Once again I took Stacie to the casino. This time it was the Firelake Grand, which may not be much on a scale relative to those in Vegas, but for Oklahoma it's quite the elaborate and massive facility. It's at least twice as big as the one we went to last week. I don't think we're turning into the kind of people who go to these places too often...she just had a check from Cafe Press for a hundred dollars and it wasn't earmarked for anything so we decided to go play the games, listen to the carnival-esque cacaphony and hopefully walk out with a couple more dollars than we walked in with.

We succeeded in the first two endeavours, but as was the case last week, we left a little poorer than we were when we walked through the doors. Of course it didn't have to be that way...we both were on top of the winning side for periods of time, but once you get into a game it's very hard to stop.

At one point I had given up on a game and decided to just sit there and watch Stacie do fairly well on the machine next to mine. She was doing pretty good and after a little while I got bored. So I took one dollar and put it back into the machine that had been kicking my ass. Hard to believe, but I worked that dollar up to at least 60 bucks. A rational man would have stopped, but I figured what the hell...we came in with a hundred dollars, we should at least walk out with as much as we planned to spend. It didn't work out that way...

I don't guess I got my fill because on the way home from a friend's house yesterday I pulled into the Sac and Fox casino with a five dollar bill, hoping to at least double it...small, chump change, I know, but so what? If I could turn it into a twenty I would be able to get a little something that I wanted.

I racked up about $35 but do you think I quit? I wish I had. It was one of those things where I thought to myself, "Go ahead...it was just $5. Nothing gained nothing lost". I don't know why I can't just understand that such thinking is the very thing that will keep me from gaining anything at all in these places.


Dear Slark,

So what's the deal? Did you get your trial or not? Did you have a good lawyer? What was the verdict? I'm very interested to know. Were you found guilty? If so, were you sentenced to very many years in prison? Are you frightened at the prospect of going to prison? You should be. Or were you proven innocent? Did your family break down and cry in relief at your narrow escape from justice? Was the judge a fair man? Did he have any sex toys under the bench? Did he play with them during the trial? Did this behavior influence his decision? Do you envy him? Do you want to be a lawyer? Do you want to date a lawyer? Do you want to have lunch with a lawyer? Do you want to tell lawyer jokes to a lawyer? Do you show your appreciation to your lawyer by offering him a pop-tart and a glass of orange juice?

Yours truly

Saturation Point...

1. Internet motivational posters

2. Cats (the animal, not the musical)

3. Sarah Palin

4. "America's Got Talent"

5. Coldplay

6. "The Dark Night"

7. Chuch Norris

8. Rick Astley

9. MySpace

10. "Mythbusters"

11. Oprah Winfrey

12. How to Ruin a Photo

13. Keith Olberman

14. Will Farrell

15. The 'Sonic Guys'


Shit! I knew I shouldn't have blogged about "Take You to Hell" making it to number 33 on their experimental rock charts. Today I've fallen all the way down to 40!

Oh well, it was a good run. Better than I expected.
Stacie's got some "mad money" coming in from her online t-shirt store these days and she likes to blow some of it at those devil's dens they call casinos. Last Saturday we lost 40 bucks, which isn't much, I know. But I'm conditioned to spendthriftiness and it was difficult watching 40 turn into 80 turn dwindling back down to 40 then crashing into nothing but chump change for the Sac and Fox tribe. Maybe they'll use it to tip Eddie Money's sound man the next time he plays there. It was fun, though, I have to admit.

I can see why people would leave their infant children in the car while they get hooked playing the games. A nickel in a penny slot takes a long time to convert into enough cash to buy a pack of Marlboro Lights. Kids are tough..resilient. It's only 99 degrees outside, you know? And no one should be able to hurt 'em because the doors are locked and the windows are rolled up. Where's the harm? Just think. Another hour or two and they could wind up winning enough to put the kid through college! Or at least pay for a decent burial.


Usually when I enter a contest at garageband.com it is only so the song can go through the review process. I'm not so cocksure as to think that one of my little ditties could win and I really didn't think much about any chart numbers, either.

So I am pleasantly surprised that "Take You to Hell" is currently sitting at #33 out of 175 in the "experimental rock" genre in which I entered it. Not only that, it is #446 of "all-time" out of 2,956. I've won "Track of the Day", "Most Original", "Best Production"and "Best Programming". Not bad at all for a song I just tossed off in a couple of days. Just goes to show how far pure inspiration will take you.

I don't really expect the song to go any further up the charts, but by the same token I never imagined it would be where it is. There are a couple more posted there that I think are just as good and probably better than "Take You to Hell", but I don't think I'll enter any of them in the contest. I have a feeling I can do better and I am not going to waste so much time reviewing song pairs to enter something I'm not 100% pleased with. I'll never know why I entered "O Jimmy Boy". The only part of that song that I like at all is the final "pow wow" section. Still, it's not as bad as "contactjamie" thinks it is:

The drum beat and effects in the beginning are very strong. When the vocals come in, it sounds like a bad version of a bad adrian belew song. I can't understand the lyrics, but they sound awful. This might be the worst thing I've ever heard and fore that I'm sorry. The production is appalling, and it puts me in a bad mood. I guess the sampling is sort of cool. The lyrics and vocals make me downright mad, and I feel like throwing up just to get the taste out of my mouth. This song is utterly disgusting, and the double bass drum moment is hilarious.


Anyway, if you haven't listened to "Take You to Hell" yet, I suggest you do so now before the buzz dies down.

Music Video of the Week: The Grateful Dead

IMPORTANT: It is not advisable to trip out to the Dead while the Sigur Ros jukebox is still playing. I'm not saying it wouldn't very likely be enjoyable, but I cannot be held responsible for any mental imbalance that might result from such a sonic collision. So don't take any chances...pause the SR player before kickin' it with Captain Trips and the boys from San Francisco.

"Dark Star"
The Grateful Dead


Okay, so now I don't think I'll ever eat at Ken's Pizza again. I've boycotted them before and I know they have developed a reputation for nastiness but for some reason I always go back. The food isn't all that good, I've known that for awhile now. You just get used to it over time. There are so few places to eat in this small town that return visits are inevitable if you are to enjoy any variety in your dining experience. But this time I think I'll be able to nip that rare desire to eat there in the bud.

I went to the lunch buffet yesterday. I grabbed a plate and headed for the pizza. THERE WAS A FLY BUZZING AROUND IN THERE!!! I should have turned and walked out that minute. I certainly considered it. But I already had a plate in hand. I fervently prayed that the dirty insect had not landed on any of the pizza...at least not on any slice I might happen to scoop up.

The selection was abyssmal. The only thing that looked fresh and warm was a spinach/Canadian bacon pie. I have never tried that kind so I decided I'd give it a chance. After about 3 bites I decided I did NOT like it. So I waited for them to put another pizza out. When they finally did, guess what kind it was? That's right. Spinach & Canadian bacon.

Eventually some decently topped pizzas came out but by that time I was already disappointed with my dining experience (I mean, come on! A FLY in the buffet warmer!). I went to pay my ticket. The assistant manager is one extremely unattractive female, so that wasn't a nice thing to have to look at after eating 7 or 8 slices. You could tell she was in a piss poor mood, too. She gets this way every once in a while. She's either overboard friendly or long-faced sour. It's not as if this was the first time she's been my cashier, but for some reason I seemed to notice it more. To top it all off, she didn't even say "thank you" as she gave me my reciept and credit card. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but by God when I pay money for vittles in a restaurant I want to get some kind of acknowledgement, some kind words as a token of appreciation for choosing one feed-trough over another.

This was the final straw. It's not the first time I've resolved to avoid the joint, but I don't think it will be all that hard this time.

In other news...I was hearbroken a couple of weeks ago when I went to the shed to retrieve my set of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" books and found that they had suffered a good deal of mold damage. I'd put them out there because I was going to give myself a break from Rand Al'Thor, Moiraine, the Forsaken, Trollocs, Fades and the rest of the "Wheel" universe. But I couldn't do it for long so I decided to retrieve them.

The mold is confined to the bottom spine area of 5 or 6 of the books. A couple got lucky and weren't affected at all. One, my paperback copy of "The Dragon Reborn", was ruined completely. Of the ten books only two were paperback. One of those was unscathed. These were nice, hardbound copies and it was a real shame to see them come to such an end. I will keep them, though. I'll read them eventually. After the mold stench goes away.


Speaking of Pink Floyd, THIS reminds me of the cover art on their classic "Ummagumma" album, but it's a LOT freakier.

It will boggle your mind.
I guarantee it.


Mowed the lawn this afternoon and like a fool I wore a tank top undershirt. My back and arms are ridiculously sunburned…more than they’ve been since I can remember. A frightful shade of red covers my upper extremities in the shape of a Fruit-of-the-Loom t-shirt. What the hell was I thinking? Within 30 minutes of starting the job I KNEW I was going to get burned, but I didn’t stop to apply sun screen or at least put on a different shirt. Now I am paying with some serious pain and the promise of more to come. A couple of Ibuprofen and still no relief. I’ll take some more soon but I sure wish we had some Solarcaine or some other soothing medication. It would not be such a bad idea to drop everything, go to the grocery store and buy a can. I may just do that.

On the bright side, our lawn is impeccable. Mowed, raked and weed-eaten, it looks much better than the neighbors on either side. To the east they have made the mistake of using a riding mower and not raking. There are circular tracks and they did it while the grass was still wet. To the west, Randy has done a better job, but he didn’t rake, so there are trimming rows strewn across the whole lawn. I think it’s safe to say that mine rules the neighborhood.

But shit…my back hurts.

Rick Wright R.I.P.

Rick Wright
July 28, 1943-September 15, 2008

I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t like at least one Pink Floyd song. I can’t think of a single “pre-Waters departure” Floyd song that I DON’T like.

So I was saddened to hear the news this afternoon that their keyboard player, Rick Wright, had passed away. Another victim of cancer.

His contributions were often overshadowed by those of Waters and Gilmore, but I think it’s safe to say that “the Floyd” would not have been able to forge their signature sound without him.

He was 65.


Many, many hours I put in working on this song...I hope someone listens to it.

The Bambo Syndicate

My ultimate Zeppelin compilation

A member of RS.Com Castaways recently posted a list of what he considered to be his "Ultimate Black Sabbath Compilation". It was a good list, although I would have substituted 3 or 4 songs for the several that I had not heard. I decided to make my own list for Led Zeppelin. Here is my post in it's entirety.

I'm undecided as to whether heavy metal was invented by (or at least refined by) Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Don's Sabbath list included most of what I would have chosen (though I would have left a few out) so here's my "Ultimate Zeppelin Comp". As Don did, I have deliberately left out many songs that deserve to be here but have been overplayed to saturation point. One exception being "Stairway to Heaven" because you just can not put together any Zep list without including it, even if you've heard it a thousand times...try this: if you haven't heard it in a year or two go back and play it again...I think it's greatness will dawn upon you once again. No live cuts, or the version of "Celebration Day" on "The Song Remains the Same" would easily have won out over the one on"Led Zeppelin 3".

1. Dazed & Confused
2. Communication Breakdown
3. You Shook Me
4. Whole Lotta Love
5. Ramble On
6. What Is and What Should Never Be
7. Bring It on Home
8. Immigrant Song
9. Celebration Day
10. Gallows Pole
11. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
12. The Battle of Evermore
13. Stairway to Heaven
14. Going to California
15 When the Levee Breaks
16. The Song Remains the Same
17. The Rain Song
18. No Quarter
19. The Ocean
20. In the Light
21. In My Time of Dying
22. Kashmir
23. Achilles Last Stand
24. Nobody's Fault But Mine
25. For Your Life
26. In the Evening


Whilst "stumbling" this afternoon I happened upon a veritable treasure trove of live Sigur Ros mp3s. They're on an ftp server that can be found at the official site, so I'm surprised that I didn't find them any sooner. Sooner or later, it makes no difference. I've got a ton of downloading to do. There are a LOT of shows there but I was mildly disappointed that neither of the concerts I attended were represented. The New York show that took place 3 or 4 days after the KC show is available, and that's about as close as it's gonna get.

We watched a DVD earlier that I'd rented because I thought my wife would like it. It looked to be right up her alley. "Mother Ghost" it was called. It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The premise looked good...a man finds psychological catharsis as a guest on a "Dr. Laura" type radio show as his disgruntled wife and distant father listen in unawares...it might have worked in the hands of a P.T. Anderson. As it was, I didn't catch the director's name, and I'm sure he's happy about that (if he has a realistic understanding of the dreck he's served up). Characters were weak. Acting was awful. I could say more, but I'd just as soon forget the whole thing. Avoid at all costs.


Bryan went with the school band to the ball game tonight so I decided to take Stacie out to dinner. The "good" places all had long lines at the door and I don't like to wait in lines. So we wound up going to the Golden Corral. I probably would not have chosen GC had it not been for the fact that I was in the mood to try something different from what I usually eat. Believe it or not I was in the mood for some chicken...I NEVER eat chicken. I've only eaten it maybe 3 or 4 times in the last 25 years, at least. I can't say that I even LIKE chicken, but such was the desire to eat something different that I decided to try it again.

I didn't want fried chicken. The only other kind they had was Bourban Street chicken. I have no idea what kind of sauce they use or what it's made of... It wasn't half bad, actually. I don't think I'll be eating chicken on a regular basis...hell, I might not even touch the stuff for the rest of my life. But it wasn't too bad.

Then I took Stacie to the casino. She enjoys playing the slots. Personally, I feel like a little boy lost at a loud, rambunctious carnival. I have only the vaguest idea of how the games are even played. I just let her make the bets while I watched the dollar amounts ascend and descend. We didn't win anything. Stacie says it's worth the money we spent because it's so fun. I don't think it's all that fun, myself. But I didn't go for me. I had a good time watching her have a good time.
Yet another Bambo Syndicate Acid project is in the works. I've been messing around with this new one for 3 or 4 days now and it's coming along nicely. Since I finished my last one I have learned a few new tricks. I can now pan and set volume levels from within events. I've known that this was possible for a long time but never could figure it out until a few days ago. This will allow me to do a lot of things that I've wanted to do for awhile, and will make it a lot easier on me, seeing as how I've been known to duplicate tracks and a whole lot of other stuff to acheive stereo panning on particular instruments, etc.

The new one hasn't got a name just yet. Once again I'm using "found sounds", and I imagine that will be my niche for some time. So far on this one I've got a few clips from radio talk show host Roy Masters and Champ Means, a guy I used to know a long time ago...both of whom were/are a few cards shy of a full deck. The Masters clips are cut from a recent broadcast of his "Advice Line" program. Champ's bits were recorded about 15 years ago on a night when he was very likely high as a kite on some drug or another. He was doing some off-the-cuff Jim Morrison style poetry. I'm sure he thought he was being profound. Alas, he was not. Evidence of which will be found on this piece of music I am currently composing.

Not sure when I'll get it up on Garageband, since I'm not even really sure when it will be completed. Sometimes I think it's ready to be mixed down but then I'll have another idea for something else. I don't want it to be too "busy" or cluttered, but I think there is plenty of room for a few more samples cultivated from sources other than Roy and Champ. I've been looking all over the Internet for stuff I can use, but a lot of sites that have WAV files require some kind of plug-in that I don't have. I even downloaded the Quick Time player because one of them said I had to have it to get the clips. Then it still wouldn't let me download them. I'll try again but I will not install anything else on this computer unless I know exactly what it is, what it does and whether or not it's safe.


New Bambo Track

New song up on the Bambo Syndicate page at Garageband. This one is kinda weird. I know, I know...a lot of them are weird. But this one crosses a threshold of strangeness that even I consider bizarre. Oh, and it's Parental Advisory this time. An "F-word" pops up a few times...but it's all in good fun, right?


Music Video of the Week: Michael Hedges w/ Will Ackerman

It's Wednesday...your only excuse to pause the Sigur Ros jukebox for the Music Video of the Week.

"Hawk Circle"

Michael Hedges and Will Ackerman


Here's a little list of what's been happening around here.

~~~There was a hummingbird feeder hanging from the porch eave when we moved in. I'm not sure but I think it's the same one that belonged to my dad when he was here. Yesterday I decided to put some sugar water in it to see if any hummingbirds would show up...

They did! Lots of them. I counted at least 6 at one time hovering near it, trying to bully their way onto one of the four perches. They are pretty possessive about it. When the lot of them aren't nearby there will be one who sits on the cable TV line and watches out. When another bird shows up to eat this one swoops down on it and drives it away. I figure he lets his "family" feed there while keeping interlopers at bay.

Last night I went outside and stood with my head no more than 2 feet from the feeder to see how easily they were spooked. Not very much, it would appear, as several of them came to eat. It was really cool how they would seem to float right in front of me, their wings flapping faster than the speed of light.

~~~I learned how to work with envelopes on the Acid program. FINALLY! All this time we've had the studio I've wondered about them. I had good idea of what they were for, but didn't have a clue as to how to use them. I guess I never had time to read the Help section where it lays it all out. Not that I haven't looked there in the past, but somehow the relevant section always eluded me. So it's only natural that I started yet another project. This one will have the distinction of being the first song to be completed on my laptop.

~~~Speaking of my laptop...I've spent way too much time on it since our network has been up and running with the Internet connected. Not the I waste all that time on the Internet... the music projects eat up a lot of hours. But I find that I am not reading books as much as I'd really like to, with most of my reading confined to web pages. I'm only about 150 pages away from finishing Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", yet I can't seem to get off of the computer long enough to wrap it up. And it's a very good book, too. I'll have to set aside a few hours in the next couple of days to get it done.

~~~I'm convinced that the greatest thing that's happened to the Internet since MySpace is StumbleUpon. Talk about wasting time! I can sit there and Stumble for hours. I have found some very interesting stuff in the process, but then again I've also waded through even more total junk. Like the current "Motivational Poster" fad. God, I am sick of that. And I must have seen at least 10 blogs featuring "How to Ruin a Photograph". I thought that one was mildly funny the first time I came across one...but the concept gets a little more stale every time I stumble upon one.

~~~We've got a brand new $1200 HDTV, a $600 home theater unit, newly installed Dish Network sattelite service and a couple thousand dollars worth of sofa, love seat and recliner to enjoy it all from. All of this is less than 2 months old. And what do I do? Lay in bed with a computer on my lap. I can count the number of movies I've watced on the DVD player on one hand: "There Will Be Blood", "National Lampoon's Van Wilder", "National Lampoon's Van Wilder 2: the Rise of Taj", "Wonderland" and "10,000 B.C.". No wait...I watched "Southland Tales",too. Make that a hand and a thumb.

~~~I've got a sore in my nose. I woke up last night and it was throbbing. I thought it had to be at least 6:30 and decided to get up and watch TV since the pain was keeping me from falling back to sleep. I was wrong about the time. It was 2:00 in the morning. Ugh. Still, I knew there would be no sleep for the time being. Stayed up for almost 2 hours until the agony subsided, then I went back to bed and slept.

The point being, I suppose, that I am one tired fool right now.

~~~Found a wireless mouse at Big Lots for 13 bucks. I needed one to turn the laptop into a music studio (as I mentioned above). Thirteen dollars doesn't seem like all that much, though I didn't compare prices with any other store. It works and it was cheap. That's all I care about.

Big Lots is such a cool store, IMO. You never know what you'll find there. I especially enjoy browsing their food section where you can find several items that never made it past the "testing phase". For instance, they've got 4 packs of Java Pop. That's right...coffee flavored soda pop!!! Who knows, maybe it's really good. Could be I don't know what I'm missing. Regardless, I can't help but think that one swig of this soda would have me puking in record time.

~~~On our way home from last Friday night's football game my wife and I stopped at Mazzio's in Choctaw. There we saw a couple of lovebirds sitting together in a booth hanging all over each other. UGLY lovebirds at that. I became convinced that they had met via an online dating service. You could tell by the way they were fawning over each other that a night of steamy sex was in the offing, the mental image of which, like the prospect of drinking Java Pop, filled me with intense nausea.


Installed the Acid program on the laptop, having purchased a wireless USB mouse. I had it here right after I first got it, but I soon realized that it would not be feasible to use it with a touchpad. The only reason I considered buying the mouse in the first place was because I wanted to do more with Acid and my eyes are not as sensitive to the laptop's screen as they are to the desktop's.

I started a project a couple of days ago that may well be my next big time consuming piece. As with almost everything I've done lately it's an ambient work. It's dark, which is also a hallmark of my recent material. And it used copious "found sound" samples. This time I've got several clips of Bob Larson discussing and defending exorcism. There's also a youth minister giving a talk at Bob Jones University about pornography on the Internet and some soundbytes of a guy I used to know who, when the tape I used was recorded, may well be very high on some drug or another.

I just sent a thank you note to a fellow garageband artist from Belgium and immediately received a response. At the end of the note he wrote "Greetings from Belgium", and I was like, that's cool.

Then I realized...I just communicated with a guy in BELGIUM! And I've forged friendships on the message boards with people in Great Britain & Australia. Not to mention the folks I talk to in the various United States.

Big deal, right? I guess it probably is in this day and age in which we live in a global village (and we really do). If I, at 46 years old, can come to take such long distance communication for granted, just think of the younger folks who have never known a world without the Internet.

There was a time when being pen-pals with someone from across state lines was a big deal. Now we talk to people from around the world any time we want. The whole concept of being a "pen pal", if it's not dead already, is on it's way into forgotten oblivion.

Mr. Dylan had it right went he talked how the times they are a-changing, but I don't think even he realized the unity that the Internet is capable of bringing.

You take the good with the bad as far as these things go. I believe the former will win out over the latter in the long run and I also believe that one day in the not too distant future even the Internet will be considered as outdated as the concept of "pen pals". Where it will go is not for me to say (or even guess at). That will be left to the post-Internet generation.

Every once in awhile I think it might be a good idea, though, for some of us old farts to sit back and marvel at what we've got here. It really is miraculous. We may well be the only ones who can truly appreciate it for ALL that it is.
Bryan posted another CoachZilla on his MySpace this morning. A couple of very funny bits.

No ACTUAL teachers were harmed in the making of this comic book, but if some were, that would be very amusing, wouldn't it? Today, I would like to make a few announcements.

A new, action packed comic book that is safe to the minds of today's youth (unlike CoachZILLA) has just hit the stands at Prague Middle School. It is called "Mrs. Hachitson Woman", in which Mrs. Hachitson Woman must fight the forces of obnoxious people using her powers… that's right, it's all potato based. Her weapon is a POTATO GUN, so no one gets hurt, not even the bad guys. Mr. Casey is questioning whether or not people will buy the comic book because it is, quote: "Moral".

Mr. Casey would also like to make the announcement that "even though the drawing in the comic is mildly disturbing (somewhat like Coach R.)," he, (Casey, not coach) "did not make the cartoon."

Also, Mrs. Saunders' bell was taken away from her because the students in Mrs. Mavin's class could hear it over Mrs. Mavin's voice, and THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING!!!

We would like to advise all students to stay away from the dumpsters behind the school because:

1. They smell bad.

2. You will get dirty.

3. There is a corpse of an unknown student there.

All students are now forbidden to lift the poles up in the mud to make the "funny splotchy noise".

Please kick the 6th grade football players while they're down today. Remember that they were whooped by Browley.

This has been an important announcement from Ashley Freelock.
Last night Bryan went to the first football game of the season as part of the band. It was an "away" game so we decided to follow him up there to show support and just because we wanted to hear and see him play in the band. It was his first "performance" with the high school band (having progressed upward from "beginner" band to "intermediate band and now on to the "big time". They sounded very good and the team won the game. They skunked them, 21-0.

The one thing I noticed more than anything was the coaches excessive behaviour. Ranting, raving, over-reacting...badically taking it WAY too seriously. My wife says all coachs are like that these days.

You have to wonder what kind of message that sends to the kids. They look up to these coaches and not a few model their behaviour after them. What do they see? A grown man acting like he's a few years younger than they are, with absolutely no self control.

Maybe it's a good thing that the players have a coach that so obviously wants the team to be victorious. But I also have to wonder how much of it is "for show". This particular coach is so popular that, when he told the administration that he was stepping down so that his wife (a teacher) could take a job at another school, they fired another teacher on the faculty so they could give her the position.

When I was a kid, there was only one coach who got slightly excitable, and of course he was well loved by his players. But I never saw him go halfway as ballistic as this guy.

But he teams win. And that, my friends, is the only thing that matters in a small town that has nothing whatsoever to do on Friday nights than go to the high shool football games.
Bryan has been writing a semi-regular blog on MySpace called "CoachZilla". It's basically a MAD magazine influenced parody of the people, places and things that happen at his school. I thought his last post was particularly humorous so I asked him if I could post it here. Surprisingly, he was not averse to the idea. So:

Newsflash: A giant burden has been lifted from our school today when Coach Hardman the ballerina proclaimed that he would dance over to another school because Vernie Creek Middle School was "severely lacking in unicorn murals".

Another Newsflash: A violent riot was started today by 6th grader's who couldn't stand more than one teacher. Mr. Casey seized this opportunity to sell CoachZILLA comics to the masses for their reading pleasure.

There will be a mandatory smooth jazz appreciation class today after school. All students are required to attend. Students will learn important skills such as:
-How to "zone out".

-Properly applying a beret

-Fake that "deep thought look"

-Listen to more than two minutes of smooth and contemporary jazz

A fight occurred in the sixth grade hall this afternoon at twelve o' clock over whose book was number 45. If 6th graders would put their names in their books and stop sharing lockers, a lot less people would have been hurt. Several teachers tried to step in and break the fight up, even Coach Jack who ran into town screaming, "HEY! HEY!" at some strange tone known only to whales.

In similar news, watch CoachZilla: The Corny Soap Opera. In the latest episode, Bessie the cow gives birth to a piece of crap!

Middle School Musical 4: Shut Up and Work has hit your local Quick Stop, with special sing along mode. Sing along to your favorites in the movie, such as:

-She's So Ugly (He Run Long Time)

-I Can't See My Feet

-I Think the Milk was Spiked

-Why is My Lunch Running Away From Me?

-Fritos-Special Performance By Coach R.

-Get Your Head Out Your Butt

-Why is Cartman Turning Red?

-I Woke Up and Decided I didn't Like You

-Puzzles-Special Performance by Mrs. Briggs

-Run Really Far, 'Cause Here Comes R!

-J.D. Broke the Desk

There is also a special Bonus Feature section in every copy of the CD! Includes:

-Cast Commentary

-Cast Commentary (Unrated Version)


-A Middle School Musical IQ Test (It's Rigged, or is it?)

-A Lesson on Rolling Your Eyes into the Back of Your Head- The Briggs Way
-"The Lunch Looks Poisoned" Featurette!


I don't know what's going on with the folks at the Today show. In less than a week they have used small segments of Sigur Ros songs as background music for stories. Last week it was "Hoppipolla" and this morning they played the original version of "Samskeyti".

Of course the pieces were typical human interest stories and that's to be expected with the beauty of the music. But I think it would be kick ass if they used "I Gaer" or "Hjartao Hamast" for some piece about some bloody political uprising or maybe for that scene outside the Democratic convention last week. That would be awesome.


Click on the image to view image full size. If you like music you might just get a chuckle out of it.


Jerry Reed
March 20, 1937-August 31, 2008

What a crappy way to end the day. I just found out that Jerry Reed died Sunday. I have always thought he was one of the most under-rated performers of all time in the country and western genre. He had a couple of big hits, it's true. But he was deserving of much more attention and fame than he was given. Not to say that he wasn't a very popular entertainer. But folks just don't think of him as being in the same league as the acknowledged greats like Jones, Haggard, Jennings, Twitty, etc. And he was.

He died of emphysema at the age of 71. He will be missed.

Music Video of the Week: Larry Carlson

Shut down the Sigur Ros jukebox before getting your mind blown away by Larry Carlson.

"God, Man and Beast"

Larry Carlson

You take what you can get with YouTube as far as video quality is concerned. Do yourself a favor and go check this one out on Carlson's website. Lots more to be had there, if you like this kind of stuff. I know I do.


This is an actual phonograph record cover. No joke.

ULTRA condensations of the great works of literature.

Funny, funny stuff.

Here's a sample.

Dante's Inferno

Some woman puts Dante through Hell.

The End

What did I tell you?
~~~Do you see the shadows on the wall? They are as real as you. -Z

~~~Once you see the world as One you become All. -Z

~~~The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness. - Albert Einstein

~~~How do you feel about the police? When you see a police officer do you do a little mental checkup on yourself to see whether you warrant any attention? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you are being oppressed. -Z

~~~Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. - Jack Kerouac

~~~Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
+ + + + + + +
Note: Z is a friend of mine. We went to Colorado together (with a few other friends) to see Sigur Ros in 2002. He is, as we speak, in the center of a spiritual renaissance that promises to shake the foundations of the world as we know it.
Here's something that's so unbelievable that, if I didn't trust the guy who told me about it, I would say it had to be bullshit.

A good friend of mine, Roger Holman, is quite an excellent musician/singer/songwriter. About ten years ago he recorded a bunch of his own songs. He picked out enough to make an album worth of demos and recorded them onto a cassette tape. Even if they didn't go anywhere he figured he would still have a record of all the work he'd done.

He didn't have much of a chance to do anything with them. His wife passed away, he moved to Branson, Missouri to do find a full time performance gig, eventually moved back to Oklahoma.

Somewhere along the line he lost that cassette tape he'd made of his best material. That kind of thing happens all the time. What are you going to do, huh? Consign it to memory, that's about all. So that's what Roger did.

But check this out.

A couple of weeks ago he went to a pawn shop in Oklahoma City for some reason or another. He was checking out the tapes when he happened upon one that looked familiar. Upon further investigation he discovered that IT WAS THE VERY SAME TAPE HE HAD LOST ALMOST TEN YEARS BEFORE!!!

I think that's incredible. The only thing I can think of that comes close to that is when I found a copy of Charles Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby" in a bookstore over 20 years after I'd sold it (to a different bookstore at that).

I can just picture the surprise and delight on his face when he snatched that sucker up. It was priced at $1.00...so cheap because, to any other customer, it was little more than a curiosity. Have you ever done that? It's a lot of fun to buy these tapes and videos that were recorded by total strangers. It's like getting a small glimpse into someone else's world. Most of them don't have labels on them so you never know what you're getting. It might be a rehearsal tape from a garage band that were only in it for kicks. It might be a couple of kids goofing off. It might be a recorded lecture from a college course. You just don't know, and that's what makes it so fun. You can always record over the tape if it turns out to be nothing interesting.

I can just see Roger telling the story of the tape's disappearance and eventual recovery to the guy behind the counter.

And I can almost hear the sarcasm dripping from the clerk's voice as he says, "Congratulations on your successful music career."



Wow. Not since the days of the Some Bizarre show and New Wave Theater have I seen and heard anything as remotely mind blowing as Larry Carlson's multi-media art. There's no way I can even begin to describe it other than to say that I DON'T reccomend that you watch/listen to it under the influence of any illegal drugs. Then again, that might not be such a bad idea...as long as you are prepared for the consequences, which might include hospitalization in a psychiatric treatment facility.

Several free albums
on his website. 6 of 'em to be exact, and I may stay up all night downloading all of them.

If you enjoy the surreal, the unusual and the bizarre, trust me on this one. Larry Carlson is a modern day genius.

When I was in my early teens this was my absolute favorite record. It's a double album re-packaging of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot"...but just LOOK at that cover art! How can you not love that?