Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Not exactly weekly, I guess...That didn't last long.

Yeah, as the title "suggests", my commitment to weekly updating went right out the window rather quickly.
... Meh.

Anyway, I bought a new Bluetooth headset the other day, and the sheer unbridled joy and excitement I experienced from this purchase of something that most people avoid like the plague forced me to ask myself some hard questions. 

The reason I own one is simple: my job requires me to spend a lot of time on my cell phone for necessary communication, keeping up with my staff, and the dreaded CONFERENCE CALLS. I spend a number of hours each week on the phone, so a bad Bluetooth earpiece that is not comfortable and doesn't have decent battery life and well-thought-out features would suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. So, I bought a new, high-grade one, and I am still thoroughly geeked-out over it.

So I was seriously self-examining for a bit, and then stopped doing that, and was awesome instead! (Thank you, NPH) 
I will now list my various non-standard obsessions for your enjoyment and judgement:

My smartphone wallpaper theme: 
I have purchased a lot of one-dollar wallpaper redesigns. Does my phone function better? No. Does it change anything except that the wallpaper looks like the inside of a clock, or Spider-Man? No. Will I most likely keep on buying and changing it? Yes.

The aforementioned Bluetooth devices:
I buy nothing but Jawbone devices now for my earpiece needs. I started with the Jawbone Icon a few years ago, went through two of those (they make them rather small and unobtrusive to keep a low profile, and DANG do I lose track of them easily) I upgraded to the Jawbone Era Shadowbox and bought two of those, and now the new Era by Jawbone is just on the market- even tinier, built-in case/battery charge pack, and is molded to fit the natural shape of an ear... 

        That's right. It's that tiny. And sounds amazing.

Superhero movies: I'm a dude. I like superheroes. I like movies. Do the math. Which leads me to:

Graphic novels: I have a weakness for graphic novels of many types. Marvel and DC superhero titles, hard-boiled crime fiction, supernatural thriller, modern myth, you name it. If it is well-written, I dig it. I have a couple of BIG shelving units in the Man-Cave filled up with trade paperback collections of my favorite titles, but have recently gone completely digital. Man, is that a space-saver! Also, reading graphic novels on an iPad with a good comic app and backlit... It's like they were meant to be read that way. Vibrant and rich color, and you can take years of story lines with you every where you go!!

My favorite collected titles: 
The Sandman       by Neil Gaiman
Y the Last Man     by Brian K. Vaughn
Ex Machina          by Brian K. Vaughn
Fables                  by Bill Willingham

(These titles aren't for kids, but are some of most amazing literary achievements of our time. University courses are taught on the The Sandman series alone, which is a study of the nature of story and myth)
Mostly I follow certain authors; the art means nothing without real film-or-novel-level writing behind it. Sometimes you can forgive shoddy art for great writing, though; case in point, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Terrible, terrible art, but what a story!)

Strangely enough, even in this vast city with some pretty successful comic book/collector shops, I have no friends who share this affinity with me, and therefore no one to discuss the graphic novel medium with! I will occasionally meet someone who says "Oh yeah, I love comics!", and so I start talking Marvel vs DC and how you don't really have to choose, and they blank out completely. And then, I realize that I was misled- they had at one time read ONE graphic novel series that a friend recommended, but are not a true aficionado of the medium, and are now looking at me like I am a freak.

Bad Sci-Fi:
I have a weakness for what could be considered Empirically Bad Television, as long as there is a science fiction swing to it. I have seriously slogged through every aired episode of every Stargate TV series, Farscape, Andromeda, Defiance, the Cape (R.I.P.), all available Star Treks, and numerous other televised abominations that I have no excuse for.

Music and Movie Minutia:
About 90% percent of my brain, apparently (a friend made this well-informed guesstimate a while back after a discussion of Star Wars theory).

I... think that is enough freakishness for one sitting.

Until Next time,


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Three Thousand? Really?

Hello All!

This blog has recently passed three thousand hits, which leads me to believe that there is a conspiracy afoot, as this number of page visits could not possibly have been generated by the small number of family and friends who actually read this little blog when I only semi-occasionally post to it (I am getting better). 

Below, I will list the various possible end games of this insidious conspiracy to make me feel good about myself. Any similarity to a book you have read or a movie you have seen is purely coincidental;

1. This is a plot by small white mice (in reality pan-dimensional alien beings) to discover the answer to Life, The Universe, And Everything. By manipulating the human heart, they will solve the equation of L, TU, and E whilst watching and critiquing my mode of dress and sundry odious personal habits for their enjoyment. (Pan-dimensional alien mice are much cleaner and more judgemental than normal mice)

2. The results of my blog will continue to be artificially inflated by the international Nakatomi Corporation until they reveal their involvement and send me a plane ticket in the mail stating that I have "Won the internet". They will subsequently invite me to their L.A. headquarters to "come out to the coast", "get together", and "have a few laughs"... I take them up on their offer, go about finding the newest carpet I can, and make fists with my toes until a noise outside startles me...

3. The mysterious forces behind my inflated blog visits are trying to lower the self-esteem of EVERY SINGLE BLOGGER on the internet. This gambit will result in lackluster web traffic as the other guys just phone it in, which leads to lackluster real-world sales, which sparks a tiny economic recession in the province where I live (which has proven fairly recession-proof as far as the rest of the world is concerned), and spreads outward at an incredible rate. Somehow, ObamaCare will be blamed. (Seriously, America?)

4. My previous Furby-related post caught the attention of all the wrong people. The Furby Corporation wants me dead, pure and simple. They are inflating the blog's numbers by just a little so as not to make me suspicious, and (hoping that I attribute it to my awesomeness) patiently wait now to see if I spiral into excess and die an appropriately rockstar death.

5. The members of the Barenaked Ladies are checking my site multiple times daily to see if they are mentioned, but I won't give them the satisfaction. That's right, I STRONGLY dislike and stridently avoid your music, you ridiculously named circus act. Chickety-Chinese-Chicken Guy and friends... Get a real job. You're ruining it for actual serious Canadian musicians.

6. There is a good chance that remaining members of the Beatles might be playing the same game as the Barenaked Ladies. I have to logically conclude that they know who I am, because every time The Beatles come up in conversation, I am led to believe by everyone present that I am the ONLY GUY IN THE HISTORY OF THE BLOODY WORLD who doesn't really care for the Beatles or think they are an irreplaceable piece of the world's musical history. If this is true, by logical standards, the living members of the Beatles have all known about me and my not worshipping their entire catalog since I formed this opinion in early junior high. So, to you remaining Beatles I say,
"Move on with your lives. I'm just one guy, and it's not like I HATE your stuff or anything... I'm just not a fan! Also, please ask 98.3fm in Saskatoon to maybe play 'Hey Jude' less than forty times per day, thanks."

Until we meet again,


P.S. That's right, Barenaked Ladies fans... I went there. If you want to listen to some good music, I am listening to:

Artist: Broken Bells
Album: After The Disco
Danger Mouse (producer extraordinaire) and James Mercer (frontman of The Shins) released their self-titled album a few years ago and sewed up the Best Summer Groove Album category rather quickly. The follow-up "Meyrin Fields EP" took the laid-back grooves and turned them on their head by adding a playful urgency and lively pacing to great effect (The song Windows comes to mind).

This time around, they have made the sound more complex, but kept the magic intact. Not pigeonholed as summer grooves so easily this time, the new album creates a number of different and subtle moods to digest and challenge you, but the pure musicianship present here smooths out any rough edges that could have presented themselves. This one has taken a bit longer to really sink in, and nothing quite hits the magical high of "The Ghost Inside" from their debut album, but a few songs come very close, notably "After the Disco", "Control", and "Holding on for Life". A mellow and slightly sombre vibe comes through, but these guys are talented enough to drop it in and yank it out at will, and with skill enough to make greatness present here. Just start at track 1 and let it play.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Three completely unrelated things

So here are three completely unrelated things that I want to talk about (which is really the only qualifier for what goes on here) :

1. I just saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was genuinely fantastic! I pretty much just bold-faced lied to My Beautiful Wife for the last week about how confident I was regarding what kind of film it was going to be (I sold it as a "great Bourne-style spy movie that just happens to involve Captain America and the Black Widow" ), and as chance would have it, the universe made me whatever the opposite is of a liar. I think. I may be oversimplifying.

2. I knew that someday it would come... A smaller, spunkier, sleeker model of high-velocity air hand drier. Not only does this thing take up half the space of the XLERATOR-brand hand drier that I wrote a haiku about all those months ago, it has a bold Iron Man-style triangle that turns from red to green when you put your hands under it... And it shines a blue LED light down onto your hands as you are drying!!! I cannot express how much I MUST PURCHASE STOCK IN THIS COMPANY. I HAVE INCLUDED A PICTUR- oh, sorry- I have included a picture of this marvel of modern air movement technology for your enjoyment.

Look at that. A little part of my brain just went "Sqeeeee!!" with delight.

3. I have decided that this blog needs to go back to one post a week. I miss it, and the creative outlet keeps me sane. I will henceforth be publishing new blog posts weekly, rain or shine. 

Unless I don't. 

...Don't tell me what to do!! 

Currently listening to:
audiobook: New Spring; written by Robert Jordan, and read by Michael Kramer and Kate Redding.

Also, listening to the entire NEEDTOBREATHE catalogue on random. I like listening through an entire CD to hear the story the band wanted to tell, but sometimes I like to skip ahead. Sue me.
Here is the song of theirs that I am currently a little obsessed with! Give it a listen if you like, y'now, GOOD things. If you don't like good things, well... I dunno. Just dig out your old Nickelback albums, I guess.

Until next time,