I gave it a bit of thought and decided that it was the right time to do something different with this blog. Not just in the layout, but in the overall purpose as well.

I do a lot of Stumbling these days, as I imagine most everyone who has the Internet does. The novelty has worn off somewhat since I first began, but I don't think that accounts for all the crap I see floating around in cyberspace. Cartoons and jokes that aren't the least bit funny. "Humorous" signs that have obviously been generated at one website or another. Photoshopped stuff presented as if it were the real deal. Cats, cats, cats (what is it about the Internet and cats?). Motivational and De-motivational posters everywhere you turn, nary a one even the slightest bit funny.

Now it may sound like I'm a bitter, unsatisfied Stumbler. But no, that is not the case. Wading through all the shit makes it even more delightful when I come across something truly interesting, inspiring, entertaining and/or genuinely worth a laugh. I understand that it is all matter of taste and nothing more. I have my own tastes, and I don't expect the World Wide Web to cater to them alone (though it would be nice).

So what I want to do is collect some of the websites, videos, photos, links, etc. that have really caught my eye. Believe it or not, I do have standards when it comes to the stuff I want to offer here. I would hope that it all would reflect an aspect of myself that I don't mind sharing with whoever happens to stumble upon this blog.

I don't plan to stop writing here. I hope to continue in the same vein as before, with "journal" type entries, silly stories, reviews, songs, prose, whatever I happen to come up with. I have no way of knowing when my Muse will return, but she's been absent for awhile. Even so, I've wanted to keep the blog regularly updated so that is another reason for the slight change in direction.

A major change is the absence of the Sigur Ros jukebox...no, wait...it was the WORLD FAMOUS SIGUR ROS JUKEBOX, none like it to be found anywhere else in the galaxy. I ditched it because I eventually came to the conclusion that, as cool as it looked, it was too unweildy and took up way to much space in the header. Add to that the fact that there were so many errors popping up and Project Playlist was down so often that it became too frustrating. So I've replaced it with something I hope you'll like better (I know I do). It's a neat little widget from Last FM that basically plays only artists from my Last FM library (it would take way too long to explain how that all works, but it's a lot of fun and you should check it out and utilize it yourself.) You'll still hear your fair share of Sigur Ros, without a doubt, but in addition there will be a plethora of other artists and musical styles that are, believe it or not, part of my musical universe.

I only know of two or three folks who visit regularly (good thing I'm not in it for lots of traffic, in't?). To you I say thanks for your interest. I hope you continue to peruse (...69...) and that you enjoy the "makeover".



I thought this was a joke until I read up on it at Eighteen Seconds to Sunrise.

It's the real deal.
Unfortunately it looks like I'm losing a lot of songs on the world famous Sigur Ros jukebox...too many. Might just be time to do a complete overhaul of this blog. I've kept a lot of it the way it is simply to accommodate the music player. If it goes then it's likely the whole layout will be updated. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.

One thing's for sure...if the jukebox goes I will do a lot more video embedding. So there's something to look forward to, eh?


I am ECSTATIC!!! I just upgraded my broadband from 3 mbps to 6 and the difference is amazing. I actually wanted to go up to 12 mbps but Windstream doesn't offer that in the area in which I live. I don't know why not. Hopefully that will change in the not-too-distant future.

The thing that irks me, though, and it's my own fault for not checking, is that it only costs $5 dollars per month more than the 3 mbs we've been working with. Hell, I might as well be honest though it makes me look like a fool: I didn't even know there were "tiers" of broadband service available, through Windstream or anywhere. I just figured a cable connection would be the next step up.

I'm glad I was wrong, though. I'm not sure if the upgrade is going to be as "life-changing" as when we made the leap from 56K to DSL, but I suspect it will drastically improve my web surfing experience.

(For the literal minded who may actually have taken me at my word about the 56K-DSL switch being "life-changing"...I was exagerrating. )



From the front porch of my house it is very easy to hear the bells at the Catholic church when they ring. It's something I really love about living here. Since I was a child they have been a part of the daily routine of life in this small town.

So I'm sitting out here tonight internet surfing and posting shit to this blog and the church bells began to chime. The first ring ends and then the second...there was a familiarity that I had not noticed...it almost sounded like the opening chords of "Vaka". I thought to myself, "Wouldn't that be cool if the church bells did a version of 'Vaka'?"

Alas, it WAS "Vaka". I had unwittingly opened up the blog in another tab and the song was on the Sigur Ros jukebox playing through the chinsy speakers on my laptop.

It would have been awesome, though, if it HAD been the bells.

"The Visitor"

I can't believe I hadn't heard of this one when Stacie picked it at the video store last night. It was one of the best films I've seen in a long time (well, since "There Will Be Blood"). An understated character study of a man whose depressed life is turned around by coming into contact with strangers whom he befriends. Sounds like something you've seen before, right? I know, I know. But it works this time, and it doesn't wrap itself up in a pretty bow to send the viewer off happy like most of them do. It is somewhat predictable once the ball gets rolling and it is perhaps a bit too heavy-handed in getting it's message across...but from the very start the characters interested me and that was sustained all the way to the end. It is a rare occasion indeed when I find myself engrossed in practically every moment of a movie, but "The Visitor" was riveting. I was sorry to see it end.

Anyone who watched this movie and thinks that it doesn't have a happy ending has not penetrated even the extreme surface of the story. I won't give it away.

With that, I admonish you to seek this DVD out. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.

The end of an era approaches...After 5 years of enjoying XM satellite radio I am going to sacrifice it for a faster broadband connection. It's okay, I got my money's worth, that's for sure. But I have come to the point where I want to listen to a lot more internet radio than has been possible with the slow buffering periods that come with a slower connection. I practically avoid YouTube because they load so slowly. Same with the videos that show up when I'm stumbling. Not to mention Hulu. Lot's of old time TV memories there if my connection speed was only fast enough.

I'll continue to display the XM icons/links on the sidebar here, if only because I still recommend the service. I don't doubt that there will come a day in the maybe not so distant future when I will activate my account again, when the financial situation settles in a little bit here. And most likely we could make the upgrade without having to give up the XM even now. But I rarely listen to it anymore. I can't justify spending fifteen bucks a month on something I don't even use while I could invest the same money into something I WILL.
Likely of interest to only the most devoted Sigur Ros fans, this video of the band tooling around on their newly purchased Brompton bicycles may yet put a smile on your face.


PuRe rOcK...no frills...don't understand the language...just a lot of AWESOME photographs of rock music's icons. Worth a look if you're an old foagie classic rock kinda guy like I am.

Had to go to the hospital in Stroud to have a lithium level check. I'm not frightened of needles but by the same token I do not like 'em. Not one bit. I've had my share of blood drawn in my days. Whether it be for a level check or for twenty bucks to buy a sack with, I never seemed to mind those sharp suckers. I've been stuck by some pros and not a few amateurs. You can ALWAYS tell the difference. In fact, there have been a couple who were so good that I didn't even know the deed had been done before it was all over with. Then there are the rookies who can't find a vein on the first try and need to poke your arm again. So I'm no stranger to the pain caused by these sharp vampire teeth.

But Wednesday, when the polite nurse stuck me, I swooned. I got dizzy and swooned. It's a wonder I didn't pass out. I sure thought I was going to. If she'd had to do it a second time I have no doubt I WOULD have hit the floor. I can't figure out what could have caused that reaction, which was so untypical.

It may have been all the pizza I ate directly before having it done. I wondered, even before enjoying my meal, if fasting might have been the thing to do before having blood drawn. No matter. When I'm hungry I'm hungry and there's nothing that's going to prevent me from gobbling down 8 pieces of pizza and a bare-bones salad during Mazzio's all-you-can-eat buffet. It's a good thing I wasn't starving. I sure could have put away more.

Or perhaps the problem is my health. I have no vanity in regards to my physical fitness. I am in lousy shape. I admit it. I don't plan on doing anything about it for the moment, though one can only venture to guess the day on which I will rue that decision. But on the other hand, I've been in lousy shape all of my life. I couldn't even say that I'm in worse condition now than I was 10 years ago because it all feels the same to me: AWFUL. It wouldn't be too awful hard to turn that around, but you know me.

Then it could well have been a combination of my dismal physical condition and my advancing age. This seems to me to be the most logical possibility.

Ah, well. It's over now. I have no idea when I'll have to have another lithium level done. I'm not looking forward to it, that's for sure. I can only hope that Wednesday's experience was a one-time-only affair.


Music Video of the Week: Vanilla Fudge

Sigur Ros jukebox must be temporarily paused before travelling back in time to enjoy the black and white soul psychedelia of Vanilla Fudge's only big hit.

"You Keep Me Hanging On"
Vanilla Fudge


Yesterday as I was getting into the car to take my son to the store I felt something on my neck. I sat down and brushed it off...A WASP!!!

Close call!

I can't even imagine how much it would hurt to have a wasper sting my neck. I don't even want to think about it.


Haven't uploaded any photos of Sigur Ros lately...I like this one a lot.

I just found out about this blog from the author of the Conversations with God series. Felt like sharing. Agree with him or not, there is no denying that his ideas and philosophy are thought-provoking. If you haven't read "Conversations With God" I recommend it highly. Don't be fooled by the title. This isn't a book you're going to find on the Top Seller list at Mardel.


Wayne Dyer has written an interesting article on the Spirit Library website called "Seven Steps to Overcoming Ego's Hold on You". I think it's very enlightening. Though I don't want to reprint the entire article, I would like to list the main points, because I think it would do me (and many others) a world of good to keep them in mind:

1. Stop being offended.

2. Let go of your need to win.

3. Let go of your need to be right.

4. Let go of your need to be superior.

5. Let go of your need to have more.

6. Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements.

7. Let go of your reputation.

As I sit here in bed this morning, laptop where it belongs (on my lap), XM tuned to Deep Tracks for background music, a Sigur Ros show from Chicago "loading down" courtesy of the awesome Victory Rose blog, I am struck by the less-than-original thought that it's the little things that make all the difference in the world. Now that may or may not be true...I would think that the BIG things are the world's shakers and movers. But what do I know?

If it is true that little things make a big difference then this list of inconsequential observations will set off a chain reaction of "change" that will culminate in world peace in the global village brought about through negotiations with aliens from another universe whose sole purpose in travelling to our puny little planet is to re-affirm and remind the human race that the list on my blog was the impetus for the very survival of the human race.


1. An empty Dr. Pepper can lying on the floor to my left. I have developed the habit of tossing soda cans to the floor when I'm done with them. Not to worry...I pick them up and dispose of them as soon as I get off of my lazy ass.

2. My wireless mouse to my immediate right. I bought it dirt cheap at Big Lots. It cost me 8 or 9 bucks and works like a charm. My brother, who has owned a laptop longer than I have, insists that a wireless mouse reigns supreme over the touchpad. Personally I like using them both. It all depends on what I am using them for.

3. To my left is a rather thin (but not so short) shelf unit that I use for some of my essential shit. Here's the rundown of it's contents:

TOP: A cheap CD/Clock Radio/Auxiliary stereo that I bought for the sole reason that it is small enough to fit on the top of the shelf. Well, that's not the SOLE reason...I needed something that would allow me to get my money's worth out of XM, which I only listen to at night, through headphones, before falling asleep. I just got this lil' stereo a few days ago. It sounds pretty good through the phones, but there is a slightly perceptible "hiss" underneath the sound. It's as if you were listening to an FM station with a VERY good signal, which would be fine if I weren't so spoiled with the digital clarity I'm used to with XM. I'll learn to ignore it in time.

TOP SHELF: My XM receiver, which was purchased in 2005 and therefore is not one of the more recent models. I don't know what the newer ones may or may not have in comparison to my Delphi Sky-Fi. Probably a lot. So what? There's also, on the shelf, the remote controls for both the XM receiver and the cheapo-depo stereo that is perched above. The stereo receiver is TINY, smaller than a playing card. The pre-sets on the XM remote are as follows:

A1...Audio Visions
A2...Real Jazz
A3...Beyond Jazz
A4...Deep Tracks
A5...Liquid Metal
A7...Top Tracks
A8...Rock at Random
A9...The Verge
A0...XM Comedy

B1...XM Classics
B3...XM Pops
B4...Willie's Place
B6...U.S. Country
B7...Bluegrass Junction
B8...70's on 7
B9...BBC World Service (which acts as a touchstone to all news channels)
B0...Fox New Talk (which acts as a touchstone to all news talk channels)

NEXT SHELF DOWN: This is where I keep spare change (in a lovely glass cup), my keys, my wallet and it's where I store my glasses when I sleep.

NEXT SHELF DOWN: A 32-ounce insulated cup that I keep ice water in at night. Usually fill it up around 8:00 pm and it stays chilly throughout the night, so I can quence my thirst when I awaken from a dream, good or bad. Both my wife and I use it when we take our medications. Right now there is a very large, open bottle of ibuprofen there but I don't know just how long that will stay. A black gel ink pen is the last item on this shelf, but it will surely find it's way where it belongs (in the office) soon.

NEXT SHELF DOWN: This, my friends, is the dope shelf. It's where I keep my lithium, lamictal and ambien as well as a cute shot glass to mix 'em in. In a clear glass coffee cup there is Blistex, Visin Allergy Control eye drops and a lot of generic claritin. Lots of drugs...alas, none of the GOOD kind.

NEXT SHELF DOWN: A small selection from my CD collection chosen for their likeliness to be played in this room, seeing as how I waste a lot of time here on the computer (as evidenced by this list).

```Shostakovitch...Complete String Quartets
```Ravi Shankar...The Sounds of India
```Lama Karta...Tibetin Chants Buddhist Meditation
```Gorecki, Part, Barber, Martin, Schoenberg...Evocation of the Spirit (Robert Shaw Festival Singers)
```George Crumb...Ancient Voices of Children
```George Crumb...Works for Piano (Volume 2)
```Krzysztof Penderecki...Volume One
```Beethoven...Complete 9 Symphonies
```Mark Kozelek...Little Drummer Boy Live
```Sun Kil Moon...April
```Sigur Ros...Agaetis Byrjun
```Sigur Ros...()
```Sigur Ros...Heif/Hvorm
```Sigur Ros...Saeglopur
```Sigur Ros...Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

You may wonder at the omission of SR's "Takk" in this selection. Alas, my burned copy is all I have but I am going to replace it pronto, as it is very likely my favorite. Oh, and I probably won't put "Von" there...for one thing my copy is burned...a friend loaned it to me for the purpose of recording a copy back when the original was not available in the States and very hard to come by...but the main reason I don't replace it (and hence don't have it on this list) is that I just don't listen to it very much. I never have. Maybe someday that will change...

BOTTOM SHELF: This one is for my headphones and computer related odds and ends. It's where I keep the wireless mouse and it UBC thingamajiggy (and it's extension). The Acid Music Studio CD stays there when it's not in the computer.

4. Directly in front of my stands my wife's dresser drawers (I know that's not the right word for it, but who cares, right?). It's rather cluttered, but here is a short list of what's there:

```Dish satellite network box
```RCA VHS video recorder/player
```a very small Sanyo television
```a cheap Symphonic DVD player that is not hooked up to the television. Yeah, it's el-cheapo, but it had served us well over the last 5-6 years.
```a screwdriver. Probably a Philips head, but I'm not about to get up and check.
```small flashlight
```a copy of some digest magazine about CBS soap operas
```a set of rabbit ears rendered obsolete by the sattellite box
```an 8x10 framed photograph of my son and her taken quite a few years ago.

That's not all of it, but it IS all I care to write about.

5. I can see inside the half bath from my location in the bed (which, btw, is my usual spot...the left side, as it was, is and always will be). I spy the bottom left side of the toilet stool, A towel hangs from a rack on the west wall upon which hangs a metal rendering of a sunflower with a tiny ladybug on it (my wife is rather fond of ladybugs...the reason for this proclivity eludes me). The shades on the window are pulled up and it is open. There is an artificial rose on the pane. I could not tell you why it's there or where it should be.

6. The right side of the room has been designated "the wife's". I'm not saying she's a slob, but she's got a lot of stuff and apparently there is nowhere she finds suitable for stowing it. Here is a condensed list of what you'll find over there:

```3 remote controls...no, wait. There are 4.
```a half eaten bag of peanut butter candy
``` nose spray and other over the counter medications
```a clock radio/CD player, the latter of which has not worked since time immemorial
```a display shelf on the wall that contains her voluminous shot glass collection. She doesn't drink, so they pretty much just sit there and collect dust. She likes 'em, though, and every time we get caught in a tourist trap she buys one.
```two or three issues of Child magazine (she's a teacher and works with small children, so that's whyfore)

Well, that's about all the time I want to kill with this...

Not only do I hope you enjoyed it, my sincere desire is that it changed you life in a positive way.


My formative reading, part 1

In my younger days my dad used to give me a quarter every day for the sole purpose of walking across the lumber yard behind our house to Mom's Minit Mart to buy a comic book. My collection was huge and it seemed like the one title I bought most often was House of Mystery. Not quite as gruesome as Creepy or Eerie, it made up for its shortcomings by being in full color. Three stories in each issue, there was actually some pretty scary stuff to be found between its covers. I'm not much into comic books anymore, but I don't think there's anything like House of Mystery in the stands now. It takes a lot more to scare the kids of today than it did when I was young.

Re-visited the Dogster site for the first time in a couple of years and came across these pictures of our dog, Simba Limba Louie. He was but a young pup when they were taken. He's come a long way since then but he's still fairly cute. Not quite as cute as he was back when these were taken, mind you. But I guess I love him just as much as I did back then. Even though I'm REALLY mad at him at the moment. I'm sure I'll get over it.

It ain't no sin to pause the Sigur Ros Jukebox before you play this...

This is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.


I got an e-mail today from a guy who has put up a Sigur Ros music blog. It's excellent, and I exhort all true fans to investigate:

Music Video of the Week: Múm

Pause the Sigur Ros jukebox before playing this video or you might just cause an Icelandic civil war...

"Green Grass of Tunnel"


A nice morning...cool breeze blowing, overcast skies with clouds that seem to want to rain any minute. I mowed the lawn Sunday just in time.

Second day of my attempt to learn Icelandic. Working on the days of the week and lemme tell you, mánudagurinn was like a mantra to me yesterday. I think I've got that one down (along with vikadagurinn, which means "days of the week"). Today the repetition will focus on þriðjudagurinn.

I'm hoping to spend less time on this computer today than I did yesterday. I got caught up in Lastfm, creating a profile, adding artists to my library, joining a couple of groups, basically getting a feel for the place. I think I'll be spending a lot of time there. Maybe it can pick up the slack for all the inactivity at Castaways.

I also began putting together a blogroll of "MORE MUSIC" which will supplement the bare bones MUSIC section I already have in the sidebar. I had planned on relegating the more detailed music list to the Listening Station blog, but that one seems to have been put on the backburner for now at least. (Even though I haven't worked on it in some time, it still has a shit load of really cool YouTube music videos, so go ahead and CHECK IT OUT)


Last year around this time I decided I was tired of the "hunt and peck" typing style I'd been using for almost ten years. I wasn't sure I could learn it (can't teach an old dog new tricks and all) but I decided to at least TRY to teach myself how to type (with help from online resources, of course). It was a relatively slow process...I'm sure that a teenager in a keyboarding class could figure it all out a lot faster than I did...but it wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm not quite where I want to be in my typing skills, but the long and short of it is that now I CAN TYPE! No more searching for a letter then looking for another and another and another and so forth and so on. You'd think that a person could become a proficient typist even eith that method if he/she did it long enough. I suppose I was about as good as anyone can get. But now that I know how to do it the "right" way I feel like an idiot for not learning long ago.

I took up that project out of what I considered necessity. The BIG project I'm embarking upon now is just for fun, but I hope to put as much time and effort into it as I did in learning how to type...I AM GOING TO LEARN THE ICELANDIC LANGUAGE!!! What the hell, you know?

Why Icelandic, you ask? "Good God, man! They're a great band but do you really want to learn a whole new language just so you can understand a few of their song lyrics?" No, that's not it. I admit that my love of Sigur Ros played a part in my decision to learn their language. But it's not a case of excessive devotion to a band. Its just that, having heard them speak their native tongue (watching "Heima", listening to the lyrics, various interviews, etc.) I think it is a very interesting and somewhat intriguing language. In other words, it sounds cool to me.

What good will it do me? I don't know. I'm hoping it will be fun, first and foremost. I'm hoping it will help me see the world in a slightly different way through a foreign language. Why not? It's a Zen thing...I want to do it because I want to, because I can, because it can be done...I don't care if anyone thinks it's a waste of time because of some deluded perception they might have about "what I can get from it". What I hope to "get from it" is the satisfaction that comes with knowing I can do something "big" if I put my heart and mind into it.

Just like my typing education, I am in no real hurry. I don't know how long it will take me to fully grasp the language, but if it takes a year or two (or even longer) I'm going to do it anyway. It's going to be so cool to go into a store and when the clerk asks if there's anything they can help me find I'll go into an Icelandic spiel, just to see the look on his face! Or maybe the next time Sigur Ros come to a neighboring state (or Oklahoma, could we be so lucky?) I'll wait until the applause after a song dies into silence and then I'll yell something in Icelandic. The last thing they would expect in this part of the United States of America! Talk about wanting to see the look on someone's face!

I'm starting out with the "vikudagurrin"...the days of the week. And today I will say the word "manudagurinn" so many times I'll hear it in my dreams tonight.


I'm sure everyone knows about MySpace's venture into music playlists a la Project Playlist. I just spent some time at their mp3 player design site (My Flash Fetish) working on a player loaded with Bambo songs to place into this blog's template. Alas, after all my effort the thing would not play. Don't know why or if anything can be done about it. I hope so, because I really would like to have the Syndicate's songs available from here so you won't have to leave the blog for Garageband's website to hear them.

I'm sure there are other mp3 player widgets out there...my only problem in the past was that I didn't know of any good sites that hosted music files. Now, as a result of this experience, I do. So we shall see what transpires...


"Take You to Hell" reviews

Well, I don't know that "Take You To Hell" will get any more reviews at Garageband...it's been entered for a long time now...so I might as well post them all here for posterity. The song will still be there if you want to hear it. I'll provide the link at the end of this post, and by all means, listen to some of the other songs I have to offer on the website.

And now, the good, the bad and the ugly, from most recent to earliest:

Maybe this song would be better placed at experimental electronica, but who I am to say?
Synthetized sounds, some recurring quotes, no really singing. Experimental for sure, but it didn´t get me at all. The melody is quite repetitive, not for my tastes.
- Selvagens from Rio De Janeiro, Rj, Brazil on 21Sep2008

~~~clutch into~~~
immediately refreshing, trip. but takes a bit of a grip to cut into the hook etc and make it a cram nasty mixolydian groove hook. drums sound good. voice/
- Deviants from San Francisco, California on 17Sep2008

~~~Interesting electronica~~~
the general arrangement of the song is nice. the old movie dialogues in the background add interest to the nice vibe of the music.
- WJMcKay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California on 5Sep2008

The synths sound rad, a lot like Herbie Hancock.
The vocals are good too, keeps the track interesting and ever changing.
The electronic drums are a good support for the space age tune.
You guys sound like Plaid and Squarepusher.
Relaxed mood that is definitely trippy.
- snailassembly from Baltimore, Maryland on 30Aug2008

~~~Nice guitars~~~
the guitars are nice and i like the general idea.
- FluvenHuven from Israel on 29Aug2008 spacy
to me as a total amatuer the mix is good but a little crowded, some warmth is gained for a loss in distinction. Mood is not harsh, but edgy. as a soundalike i suggest duritti column crossed with orb.
- davidjubb from Bolton, Lancashire, United Kingdom on 28Aug2008

~~~ Very Interesting Arrangment~~~
The Arrangment Never Lets You Of Your Guard,which is great to me cause thats what im looking in a song.nice programming,regarding the mix-i was missing the low end,maybe its the streaming quality though.
i didnt really get into any mood with this so i cant react to that.
- MysteryForever from Israel on 28Aug2008

~~~Love the Chatter~~~
Interesting intro, I always like the lo-fi chatter background if its applied tastefully, and it is here nice job.
Great build up, very smooth.
Good bass, a little quiet.
Great mood, Im lousy at describing mood directly, so I have to go with vague metaphor through description of what I see. For you guys its a walk down a busy, but not overly crowded street, where you can make out snippets of persons lives and days as you walk past. Its kind of soothing really.
Well mixed, no real comments there, sorry guys.
Same with who you sound like, you sound like yourselves! Which in this case, is a very good thing.
Keep up the great work!
- kelmorian from Santa Cruz, California on 26Aug2008

~~~funk in the trunk~~~
very cool vibe to this song, love the bass line idea and all the sound effects that accompany it. i find myself wondering if this has any relevance to the composer's personal life and it intrigues me to look into more. it sounds like this was mostly made with the computer but i must say that you have learnt the program very well and created something beautiful with it. absolutely no critisms for i really enjoyed it.
- donjacks from Canada on 24Aug2008

~~~I am a sinner~~~
Not sure this belongs in the Experimental Rock genre. Sounds more like straight electro-chill. The funky midi bass wah is appreciated...thought of Herbie Hancock thumping on stage, then the beat moves in and spins it right onto the dance floor. Way to change the tone of drums at about 2 minutes to clean up the sound and add contrast. You would dig De Phazz, Caia, Blue States. Great background piece for a party. The use of dialogue is very well done. Beat and mood are consistent and keep the track moving steadily from beginning to end. Simple structure, but simple is works perfectly here. Good stuff my fellow musician.
- automae from San Francisco, California on 21Aug2008

~~~Pretty rad song~~~
I really like the music to the first part, it has a strange urban vibe. The guitars(i believE) are also pretty sweet. The only thing really turning me off of this song is the samples.
- ShatterSubOne from Berlin, Michigan on 17Aug2008

~~~he's preaching to me~~~
I like the mix and the mood. The voices seemed to be placed in the appropriate speakers and they are not too loud.
Mood is interesting. The music seems to be a juxtaposition of the voices. So, it feels ironic.
Not sure who you sound like. Maybe Porcupine Tree.
- ENM from Mount Pleasant, Michigan on 12Aug2008

~~~Samples and Sweeping Synths~~~
This is a down tempo track led by vocal samples. The beats are chill and complimented by the sweeping synths. The vocal samples could use a little more clarity but didn't stop me from bobbing my head.
- ShycoMcPhatz from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 10Aug2008

~~~What is sin, What is untouchable~~~
The mix just starts out abruptly
with a sermon. Sin touching your soul. Never. Can't touch me there.
The sermon continues, is the sermon authorized? The loops meander and scatter with panning
and pitch modulation. The sermon is panned to the left speaker.
Which promotes analytical right
brain activity. The best part of the brain, in my opinion is frontal cortex, which is responsible for potential violant
and impulsive behavior. Damgae to this area can result in irrational behavior. Sin, what is sin ? Violating the laws of society? Violating the laws of
the judicial system. Violating the laws of God, Mohamad, Buddah,
and Vishnu? Is this a parody on Reverend Wright?
The mix has an Earthy flavor, like fried Possum. Sin often has that delicate fresh intestinal flavor. forgive me, I will recite 20 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys,
while I sit at my computer texting
- Artista13 from Youngstown, Ohio on 4Aug2008

~~~The doctor says it's over~~~
This one starts off on an interesting note using samples and effected deep bass tones over a programmed beat. We can hear bits and pieces of the vocal samples used peeking through the computerized music. "The doctor says I'm sorry, it's just a matter of days or weeks..." one of the samples clearly heard that gives this a desperate mood. You've done a good job on the mix, I like when the more organic sounding drums come in and you've done a great job of bringing different elements to the foreground here and there. This keeps the listener's attention by allowing us to taste the different spices used in your audio stew. Not quite sure who you sound like but this is definitely an aural collage of sounds. It is experimental but not rock in any way. The loops created were nice but lack real emotion. Great job on the production end, though, as you keep all of the elements seperated and the overall sound is clear.
- triptofan from Foggy Valley, Iowa on 1Aug2008

~~~nice beats~~~
a lot of songs have narration stuff to start out, so... i'm gonna' need something else to reel me in. so far, the beat there sounds real cool. i like the work done with the words as the song moves on. nice atmospheric sounds. i like the beats that come in and out the most throughout the song. maybe this song should be in the experimental electronica genre?
- bunnybrown from Los Angeles, California on 30Jul2008 ...

~~~(no title?)~~~
i like the samples and how they were used. the song is just a little too boring for me though. mix was good, but nothing exciting.
- darkestofwhite from Green Bay, Wisconsin on 16Jul2008

sampling madness... with geetar or something topping it off. sounds like something i would do kind of. i am liking mucho. KOOLAIDCHAINSAW.
- koolaidchainsaw from Lincoln, Nebraska on 10Jul2008

~~~retro space~~~
sounds very interesting coming in, then it goes into some kinda retro space with media contents..I'm not sure how musical this thing is but I still like it!!!
- yu123 from Oak Grove, Kentucky on 5Jul2008

~~~Very Interesting Song Experimentally~~~
This song is interesting from the start because I am trying to hear all the effects and get into the groove of the rhythm. the vocals sounds a little like rap in the background and then talking.
Really good guitar effects delays, reverbs, echos and whatever else you got going on. I would love to be able to pick out all the vocals.
Musically this is well done, nicely produced and mixed. Good stuff.
- eighteenhertz from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada on 4Jul2008

~~~space jazz on jupiter!~~~
very innovative. this song is a perfect example of not always needing a direct beat to still have a groove. i love the work with the samples in the background. what really catches me with this song is the simple elegance in the guitar playing, it works well. this is the vibe i would imagine if Jupiter had a jazz lounge!
- OO@40499153~apokafunk from G-Town, Texas on 3Jul2008

Nice intro, i like that sampled voice. It sounds like dub, very trippy. This song is very inspiring, since it's a little different from what I'm used to hear. Very good song to sit back and relax. Keep up!
- EduCesar from Unspecified on 1Jul2008


The weather is finally starting to cool down a little bit. Not only will I be a lot more comfortable, our electric bill will drop substantially. If asked I'd have to say that autumn is my favorite season of the year. All the benefits of spring without the incessant tornadoes and such.

I'm going to have to give my Acid epic a couple of days rest (at least). First, I've heard it so many times that I'm almost sick of it. Second, I think I've just about used up all the creative energy I have for that. I need to spend time doing other things because I have put many, many long hours into the project. There's so much more I want/need to do with it but I should wait until I have some fresh ideas. I listened to it on one of the stereos in the office and it just seemed like there was something missing. Or not so much "missing" as that it didn't sound as good through those speakers as it does through my headphones. This discourages me. It makes me think (rightly?) that I need to go back and re-mix levels. Unfortunately there are a couple of sections in this piece that can't be re-mastered. I should have thought about that before I did it that way, but I really didn't think the thing would progress to such relatively massive proportions.

Yes, I will be voting for Obama next month. The whole McCain/Palin campaign seems ridiculous to me.

Bryan's first marching band contest was yesterday. I don't know how they did because apparently they don't get the results the same way. We always did when I was in band, but that's been 30 years ago and I'm sure they do a LOT of things differently now. They went to Pizza Hut for lunch (not the one I've boycotted, thankfully) and he said he sat at the table with the popular kids. He told me that he sat at an empty table and the next thing he knew they were all seated there with him. I'm glad to see that, because he was fairly socially awkward for a long time. He's gained a lot of popularity singing in the talent shows the last couple of years. Maybe that's part of it. Plus the fact that he's just a very musically talented kid and the band people can see that. If they only knew just HOW musically talented he is...all they've heard is his singing and trombone playing. I wonder what they'd think if they heard him playing Mozart on the piano? Or listened to one of the many compositions he's made on the Anvil program?

They may get that chance at the next middle school talent show. He's seriously considering playing piano this time instead of singing. He says he's going to put together a medley. I don't know what he'll wind up choosing, but surely the Mozart sonata section that he's taught himself will be there.

I am very proud of him...I always was, but as he's grown he's given me many more reasons to be proud. In the eighth grade and he already knows infinitely more about math/algebra than I ever did. He uses a lot of spare time writing lengthy stories that revolve around a cast of characters he's created (all of whom are dogs...one is a private investigator, another is that dog's nemesis, you get the idea). He probably has enough to fill a couple of books, and it's really good stuff, too. He's well-behaved and polite. He's extremely intelligent...

I'm sure he gets it from his mom...


Music Video of the Week: Sreamin' Jay Hawkins

After last weeks incredibly "uplifting" Music Video of the Week (in which Joni Lamb just barely upstages Rooster Boy) I feel it is my obligation to explore another, much darker kind of insanity. Well, I don't know, it may not exactly be "darker" but it's sure as hell more bizarre (in the most common definition of the word). Coutesy of the legendary Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "I Put a Spell on You" is the kind of performance that will either have you rolling on the floor, laughing your ass off, or frightened to the point of soiling your jeans. Me? I just got up and my gut hurts. Pause the Sigur Ros jukebox while playing this goofy, yet unsettling video. The juxtaposition of "Spell" and "Glosoli" may well induce a catatonic state.

"I Put a Spell on You"
Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Here's my response to a message I received from someone on garageband:

***Orignal comment: Music has surely progressed during the computer age. ***

Some would say it's progressed...I imagine the big record labels would disagree. One thing is for sure...now more than ever it is back in the hands of the people who make it. I am sure there are a lot of groups out there who still dream of "hitting big", but the reality is that only a scant handful of bands (new bands, at least) are playing large venues and those groups all have niche audiences that have been on board for awhile, ie they didn't get where they are at because of any record label support. "Breaking Out" is a concept that is very soon to follow the dodo bird into oblivion. There are SO many choices and so many venues of exposure that it's almost like a huge river stuffed to the gills with fish...you snag one, you don't like it, you throw it back in. You catch a good one, you keep it. The difference between now and 20 years ago is that YOU decide which fish are worth taking home and not the game warden (record labels). Not that the warden didn't sometimes have some good suggestions, but it gets tiring to have someone else tell you where you can find some trout when you're looking for catfish. You might just love trout, you may be ignorant of the whole species of fish and the game warden may be your indispensable best friend. But the seasoned fishermen (the serious musician, music lover in this analogy) knows enough about the craft and what he wants/likes that he'd like nothing more than the game warden staying as far away as possible.


It was another "lost weekend" for me. Very little of it will be remembered other than what is chonicled in the Acid project I got lost in. It wasn't even a "new" project...I just decided to do some things with the last one, "Snow White 8 Ball". What I've come up with is an elaborate 15 minute piece that earns it's title, "Snow White Suite". Yesterday when I posted the link for "8 Ball" I said that I thought it was the best thing I've down with the program so far. But now that I've caused it to evolve into a sprawling head trip of mammoth proportions I must update that opinion and let it be known that I am more impressed with the Suite.

I haven't uploaded it to garageband yet...there are still a few tweaks I want to get done before calling it "good". I'm tempted to enter it into the review process...maybe I should. So what it if it's twice as long as "Stairway to Heaven"? There's hardly a dull moment to be found, so everyone who is gonna say "Well, it's a little longish" can kiss my ass, because when you get as deep into the sonic mind as I have in the first two minutes of the song you can afford to extend the journey.


With every new Acid project I do I try to improve over the last one. I think this new one that I've just finished is the best one I've done so far.

I got a chance, in this song, to use the Joni "Festival" loop that I made a while back. They make their appearance about 2 & 1/2 minutes into the song.

Enjoy, and few crying out loud send me some feedback.


Last night I decided to eat at Pizza Hut for dinner on the way to Wal-Mart. I was by myself. When I got there I placed my order for a Sausage Italiano pasta and a one trip salad bar. The waitress asked me if I wanted the family size or the personal size. I WAS ALONE. I'd already told her, when I was first seated, that I was dining alone. Did she really think I could eat the big size pasta all by myself? She took my order and I got my salad. The main reason I like Pizza Hut so much is because they have the best ranch dressing I've ever had. I don't usually even eat ranch dressing, but I can't get enough of theirs.

It was a pretty big salad, and it took me some while to eat it. I ate slowly in hopes that my main dish would arrive as I was finishing up. I have found that if you wait too long between appetizer and main course you will lose your appetite. Which, I suppose, would be a good way to lose some weight if you could be satisfied with just the salad every single time.

I wanted more last night. So it was with a great deal of annoyance that I found myself still waiting for my Sausage Italiano pasta 15-20 minutes after the salad was long gone. The waitress came and took my plate, which I took as a good sign that my meal was soon to come.

It was not. I waited another 20-25 minutes and I was long past the point where I felt like a dolt for hanging around for so long. I seriously considered just getting up and walking out. Most likely I would have gone to the register and informed them of the situation, that they could just forget the whole thing.

It must have been at least 45 minutes after I walked in the doors and still I had no food on the table. Next thing I know the waitress is coming back to the table. She was NOT carrying a plate of pasta. This did not look good.

"I'm sorry, sir. The kitchen staff has been backed up and they've just now got your pasta in the oven, so it will be just a little while longer."

I watched the kitchen area for a good portion of the long time I was there. From all appearances they were anything BUT "backed up".

I began to scoot out of the booth and I told her, "No, I'm not going to wait any longer. Just tell me how much I owe you for the salad and I'll take care of it before I leave."

She said she would take the salad off of the ticket, and I went my merry way, belly only half-full.

I don't know who was at fault. The waitress? Had she not written the order out correctly? Was it the kitchen staff? If it was, I guarantee it wasn't because they were too busy. Not from the number of people there in the restaurant and it didn't look like they were sending out too many pizza deliveries. So who knows. Who cares?

There are two Pizza Huts in Shawnee and I have had problems with both of them now. I won't patronize either of them for quite some time, per my established policy of temporarily banning eateries that provide dismal service. Now if I want that delicious ranch dressing I guess I'll just have to go to the one in Seminole. I haven't had any trouble there, although there is a waitress with a bad attitude.

On another, unrelated note...the check-out lines at Wal-Mart, when I first arrived, were ridiculously long. I have never seen them so long, not even during the Christmas season. I could only assume that it was due to people panicking in the wake of the dire financial situation the country is faced with right now. The assumption seemed to be confirmed by the sheer amount of food items that were out of stock. The check-out lines had dwindled significantly by the time I was ready to leave, but, man, it's scary.


Music Video of the Week: Joni Lamb & the Daystar Singers

Okay, okay...I promise this will be the last Joni related post for a long, long time. Pause the Sigur Ros jukebox before "getting your praise on".

"Gonna Lift You Up"
Joni Lamb & the Daystar Singers

If my Stat Counter is to be trusted it would appear that the anonymous hater who made the comment I've been dissecting is from Pensacola Florida. Someone else from Ft. Smith, Arkansas spent 15 minutes on the page today. Whoopee! Maybe my "Joni" posts will get more exposure. I hope so, they are pretty funny. IMHO, of course. :)

I think all the offending material is on the June 2007 archive page. Here's a direct link, so you can go there and have a laugh at the sheer unforgiveable cruelty of my sarcasm.

Okay, I didn't have time to say anything about the comment I received yesterday, but now I'd like to respond.

The comment (which was made on THIS POST):

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

First of all, WHAT is not "of God"? The post? The whole blog? What do you mean by "of God"? Not saying that it is, but if it's not, then why not? What are the qualifications of being "of God"? What God? Whose God? Am I to be chastised for writing a blog that is "not of God"? Have I failed in my commission from the Almighty? It's a PERSONAL BLOG, for Christ's sake. It's meant to be a reflection of ME, what I am, what I enjoy, what I'm doing...it's certainly not a public relations vehicle for the Lord. How many blogs out there in cyberspace do you consider to actually be "of God"? Why should they be?

Perhaps you got the wrong impression from my "About Me" blurb. I'll be changing it today so that zealots like yourself will not get a false impression of what I am doing here. But before I do, let me try to explain what I mean with it:

~~~God experiences ALL through ALL that He is and ALL that He has created. This blog is my journal of the microscopic portion of ALL that He experiences through me.~~~

I think that it should be obvious here that I am not speaking of the God that the Daystar crew promotes (since you name-dropped them I will assume that your point-of-view is somewhat aligned with theirs). The "God" I believe in is both creator and created, and as such he experiences himself through his creation. That's why he created us. He is ONE. ONE cannot experience itself because there is no point of reference for which it can do so. God's will was/is to experience himself/herself. He is in everything because he IS everything. When I say that this blog is just a little bit of what he experiences through me that's exactly what I mean. Anyone who writes a personal blog is doing the exact same thing: sharing their little slice of what he experiences through them. For some reason we have a desire to publish our thoughts/opinions on the Internet where there is a chance that many people will read them.

Okay...now I want to know what is "daystars space"? How did I get here? Trust me, I'd rather not be in "daystars space" and if that's where I am then I hope someone will come along to get me the hell out of here.

Perhaps you are thinking of the "stories" I've posted using certain Daystar celebrities in fictional situations. Or maybe even the posts where I criticize the religious snake charmers who pander their crack pot doctrines on networks like theirs and TBN, etc. Regardless, I am completely in the dark as to how I've written anything that might be considered as "unbelievable cruelty". Yeah, I've been sarcastic. I've been negative about some things. But CRUEL??? I'm sure I'll never hear from you again, but it would be nice to know where I've been cruel. Just like I'd like to know why my blog should be "of God"...not to mention how the fuck I wound up on daystar's space. Trust me, if I was on daystar's space Joni would not be with the Daystar Singers this afternoon. She'd be in her snazzy dressing room with me, locked in a passionate embrace, laughing at her effeminate husband and groovin' to Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing".