September 30, 2007

Like throwing hamsters all over again

Thanks to WeAreGame for pointing out the masterful little hurling game called Throw Me.

My high score (longest distance) can be seen above and is 115499 ft.

Top that, punks.

Here are a few hints that I found
  • hit the clouds...normal clouds give you a small up right breeze, keeping you moving longer
  • really hit the already glowing clouds at about 1000 ft high...they relaunch you
  • hit the swinging demolition balls on the cranes near the ground...they relaunch you
  • hit the space bar to glide a little longer by putting your balloons out
  • your stamina measures how long you can use the balloons but doesn't ever seem to recharge like it did on the hamster game
  • there seems to be no reason to submit your high score as it doesn't seem to actually do anything or provide a list of high scores...I've no clue where I rank on this game other than that I'm better than goes without saying, really...why bother to even try, because I'm better - punks...
Who's up for a challenge?

September 28, 2007

This game's gonna blow up...I tell ya

Grace dropped this one my way a couple of days ago, and I hate her for it.

If you were a fan of Bloons and of just about any Tower Defense game, then Bloons Tower Defense is for you.

And for wasting a whole crapload of your time.

Unless you do like I did and find the walkthrough.

I did make it through level twenty-five without the walkthrough, though.

September 26, 2007

Comics that match the theme of the blog

Ok, at the questioning of a regular reader & newish poster...

My recommendations for comic books to read...from various perspectives and broken into various categories...

Adult comics (for non-comic fans)
  • The Sandman series - TL's already familiar with this one, having even gone so far as to have met Gaiman himself...this might be the most phenomenal work of comic book totality...with just the barest glimpses into the DC universe, Gaiman has created a full mythos and entire universe that has brought me to tears, taken me to the edge of revulsion, and impressed me to no end
  • The Fables series - I've reviewed them recently, and I'm only halfway through the series so far...more goodness should be to come
  • Pride of Baghdad - wonderful, amazing single-volume graphic novel...beautiful artwork, moving amazingly emotional tale told almost entirely without human characters
  • Watchmen - Time named it one of the greatest novels of the last century...I've been desperate to own's widely considered the single greatest graphic novel of all time...amazing whether you get the DC/Charlton references or not...the ending is one of the most phenomenal surprises of all time
  • The Ex Machina series - still ongoing, rooted in a nearly real world...excellent politcal commentary from the first super-powered mayor of NYC...the politics can be a bit over-whelming at times, but it's an interesting read to see what a true political independent, willing to follow his beliefs instead of any possible polls, is able to do in a fantasy world
  • Astro City - Busiek has created an entire super hero universe that is as familiar as possible to DC and Marvel readers without ever using specific characters from either...filled with archetyes and amazingly human characters...Busiek's world is a better commentary on the human condition than anything that DC or Marvel has made
  • Superman: Secret Identity - I take back what I just wrote...this is the most impressive human story that I've ever read in a comic book...impressionistic artowrk over top of a what-if storyline of a young man in our world who finds that he's suddenly got Superman's powers - after having read about Superman for his whole life...short enough to be read in an hour or so but rich enough for me to own and find something new in everytime I read it
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - no need to ever consider the movie that was made based on this stunk like rotten eggs...and if you're gonna read it, you should probably sheck out the's like an English teacher's dream come true...but with rather adult scenes thrown in just to make it even better
  • V for Vendetta - it's not Moore's greatest's a little too strong and overt for me, but as a comment on freedom and our relationship to the government, it's impressive...a reminder of just how far our protests need to go sometime...sort of like a 1984 in graphic novel form
  • Maus - A Survivor's Tale - Spiegelman's memoir of his father's time in a concentration camp won the Pullizer prize and is the only book to consistently challenge Watchmen for the top prize in graphic novels...I've only read it once, but I can still see so many of the scenes in my mind, they were so's not an easy read, as you could probably guess based on the subject
  • DMZ - the newest of the works on this list...the series has a long way to go before it's firmly here, but I'm taking a guess based on the first volume that I've read...fascinating story of an accidental journalist in Manhattan after the Northeast withdraws from the United States
  • Jimmy Corrigan - Smartest Kid on Earth - it's hard to describe this novel as it doesn't at all play like a comic book or any sort of non-graphic novel I've ever read...the use of repeated, small panels to show the monotony of Jimmy Corrigan's life...this tale of a manchild unhappy with his lot is alternatively heartbreaking and redemptive
That turned out to be a lot longer than I'd expected, so I'll save the true comic book geek titles for another day. Any other suggestions from anybody out there?

Here are a couple of resources that I used to compile this list...

September 25, 2007

John Prine on YouTube

This week it's to John Prine, a wonderful singer songwriter with a wry sense of humor...

"Flag Decal" live in 2004

John with Iris DeMent "In Spite of Ourselves"

With Nanci Griffith doing "Speed of the Sound of Lonliness"

Solor and with a strong mustache doing "Paradise" and "Donald & Lydia"

The previous clip continues with "Angel from Montgomery"

This version - which I've posted before - is, however, perfect

The video (apparently he made one) for "Picture Show" - with Tom Petty

My favorite John Prine song - this time "Lake Marie" done a little slower and mostly acoustic

From the same show, "Hello in There"

John in his kitchen with "That's the Way the World Goes 'Round"

Long haired, smokin' JP with "Automobile"

"It's a Bit Old Goofy World" complete with cheesy keyboard

"Everything is Cool"

The earliest video of JP that I can find - doing "My 1st 70 Years in America"

"You Got Gold"

And this week's bonus is Norah Jones covering "That's the Way the World Goes 'Round"

September 23, 2007

My little bit of recent media enjoyment...

It's been a busy start to the school year what with the full-time website duties, three preps at school, a sixth class about to start, and all, so I haven't had much of a chance to read, see, or listen to loads of stuff. I do have a couple of recent media encounters, however, that I'd like to point out.

First up is the new film from David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, and Naomi Watts - Eastern Promises. The film is an impressive turn from all involved, telling the story of an innocent British doctor (Watts) who finds herself brushing a little too closely to the world of Russian organized crime in London. Mortensen plays the crime family's driver/undertaker/jack of all trades. He is a friend and underling to the family's son, played very well by Vincent Cassel.

The film is excellent, incredibly well acted, but not for everyone. Promises is dark, violent, and at times, thoroughly gruesome. We see fingers cut off, throats slit (with copious blood both times), knives wielded in a fight, and even an eye stabbed in desparation. People in the theater with me gasped and groans as the violence was very much shown with no glorifying angles or majestic soundtrack. And there is nudity - nothing flattering, no soft focus either on the teen prostitute from one scene or on Viggo's fully nude, tatooed body.

In the course of the film's hundred minutes, very little light comes into the films world, shot with little light and using London's old, dour character as a strong setting for the displaced Russian gangsters. Their actions are dark. Their memories of the homeland are tinged with exiles in Siberia, horror at the KGB's actions, and unrelenting violence in dealing with their new, strongly insular community. Into this tight family comes a blonde, waifish doctor with a Russian heritage of her own, not knowing the world into which she's falling. Her intervention causes a number of ripples as the father of the family - a brilliant, stoic, nostalgic part played by Aleksandar Mikic - attempts to hold onto his position of power. Luckily it does turn out that there is a hero within the family, if only he is given enough of a chance to so his small good deeds.

The filmmakers have crafted an excellently tense film that doesn't resolve the main storyline until the last possible moment and that leaves us uncertain of just where the family will be heading by the finale. The darkness, at times, threatens to overwhelm the characters as well as the film itself, but that doesn't ever take anything from the film. They have made a marvelous gangster movie set in an unexpected location.

Check out the trailer here and lots of mostly-positive reviews here.

Earlier this year I took a read through the first volume of Bill Willingham's Fables series. I wasn't too impressed, but the strong reviews continued to bumble across my browser, so i'm now working my way through the volumes that PLCH has on the shelves. Now, four volumes in (and waiting on the next two), I'm far more impressed with the series as a whole.

Willingham's opener didn't do much more than set the scene, introducing most of the main characters and giving us a general view of each of their personalities. In the subsequent volumes, however, the scope of the whole tale has begun to be revealed as the Fables community views themselves as a community of exiles from the Homelands, chased out by the Adversary (yet to be revealed in my reading of the series, but knwown to me thanks to Wikipedia.) Some of the Fables believe that they should be preparing to return and take back the Homeland while others are happy enough to live in their new community (a few blocks in downtown New York and a farm in upstate New York for the less human-looking Fables).

Willingham has said in interviews here and there that he sees much of the Fables tale as an analogy for the story of Israel, and catching that fact (again, from Wikipedia) has made my reading of the series much richer, allowing me to read on an entirely new level. I am now fully impressed with the series and am looking forward to getting to the next half dozen volumes.

September 22, 2007

Get out and do something

I'm certainly not the fittest guy in the world, having not run on a regular basis since I was playing tennis in high school, but I know a number of running folks - including, sometimes, The Girl, herself. For those folks - and via a friend at work - I offer you, a service that lets ya map out any run / bike / walk in your area of the world via a Google Maps interface. It'll calculate elevation changes, total distances, and approximate times, and you can mark things along the route (water, bathroom, workouts, etc) and then share your maps with other folks - or search for maps for your area already made.

Kinda cool what people will do when presented with a single useful tool and a need.

September 21, 2007

One, two,!

Be careful out there, kids

Great commercial sent my way by Calen...thanks, girl...
Always remember that whatever you put out on the web is out there and can never be taken back, no matter how hard you try.

September 20, 2007

Google strikes...nevermind, I've said it before...I'll say it again...

New neatness from Blogger/Google...

It's called Blogger Play, and it's a rolling slide show of photos/images being uploaded to blogs all the time. According to their documentation, it's in real-time and should have most of the inappropriate images removed.

You can speed 'em up, slow 'em down, and click 'em to see the blog that they came from.

Watching it has this weirdly hypnotic quality to it. You're getting a glimpse into the world of folks who have no clue you're there. It's not just reading about them; it's more like watching them.

Hard to explain but very cool to see.


September 19, 2007

Cool jewels

Always nice to see somebody take totally normal, everyday objects with kitsch value, make molds, and recast them in sterling silver.

That's just what has done. I dig just about every thing of what they've got there - the 45 insert (shown here), the two monkeys, the token, and most especially the hot dog. There's just something about a silver bun with a lil plastic hot dog in it.

September 18, 2007

Last 80s tour, I promise...for a while...

And closing out the trilogy in just under a week...

It ain't exactly a cover of the old Van Morrison tune - Laura Brannigan "Gloria"

For some reason, I think he makeup's a little overdone - Toni Basil "Mickey!"

And the women get a chance at big hair crotch rock - Lita Ford "Kiss Me Deadly"

A nearly-forgotten classic from the decade - Lou Gramm "Midnight Blue"

It was the tuxedo that made all the ladies love him - bonus points if you can put his given name in the comments - Marvin Gaye "Sexual Healing"

The video's more entertaining, but I like the song for "Overkill" better - Men at Work "Land Down Under"

Hit #2, much more minor - Men Without Hats "Pop Goes the World"

Another Aussie crue mining the same territory as U2 - Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning"

I've been known to nearly cry at hearing this song - Mike + the Mechanics "The Living Years"

Carry a Laser? - Mr. Mister "Kyrie"

Another brit pop story video - Naked Eyes "Always Something There to Remind Me"

I went with the German version, you can go English is you'd like - Nena "99 Luftbalons"

And what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete...and a basket case...and a princess...and a criminal - OMD "If You Leave"

So young, so innocent...somany tabloids ahead - New Edition "Candy Girl"

Not quite the video, but I couldn't embed that - Dan Hartman "I Can Dream About You"

I got a total Frankie Goes the Hollywood vibe from these guys - Pet Shop Boys "It's a Sin"

I actually owned this song on cassette single, classic - Phil Collins "Take Me Home"

As a teacher, I now officially hate this song - can't even listen to it - The Police "Don't Stand So Close to Me"

Whoa...oh...oh...oh...oh...oh...oh - The Pretenders "Back on the Chain Gang"

Pretty much just for Jennette - Rick Springfield "Jessie's Girl"

Yes, that is Michael Jackson doing background...thanks for asking - Rockwell "Somebody's Watching Me"

No embedding, just linky-loo - Run DMC "It's Tricky"

A hit maker for decades and decades - Elton John "I guess That's Why They Call It The Blues"

She didn't last, but it was a heck of a hit - Sade "Smooth Operator"

Okay, I mislabeled the OMD song earlier, what movie was that one in? - Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me"

Can't find the long version on video - Soft Cell "Tainted Love"

British or Jamacian group, who cares if the beat's this good - Soul II Soul "Back to Life"

Before they could be set adrift on memory bliss - Spandau Ballet "True"

Rockabilly lasted about as long in the 80s as swing jazz in the 90s - Stray Cats "Stray Cat Strut"

Even though The Girl hates this one - Tears for Fears "Shout"

Apparently he has some sort of picture...good to know - Thompson Twins "Hold Me Now"

Is there another number that's as well memorized? - Tommy Tutone "867-5309"

Hard to believe that this breath of folk even came from the 80s - Tracy Chapman "Fast Car"

Trashity trash, snotty punk rap - The Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like"

Love this song to this of my favorite 80s songs - Wang Chung "Dance Hall Days"

How could we not know about George Michael back when? - Wham! "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go"

Rarely has a band been more of an era than these guys - Yaz "Don't Go"

The video you remember starts about two and a half minutes in - Yes "Owner of a Lonely Heart"

And even though it wasn't the 80s, it should've been - Pop! "PoP Goes My Heart"

And that's it, I quit...knowing that I intentionally avoided Michael Jackson & Madonna and that I wouldn't put more than one song by an artist (Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" cut it close), which ones did I forget?

September 17, 2007

As promised

"Old School Master" by Johnny Socko...two clean versions

Again, I go old school

In searching for some of the old-school video game references, I stumbled upon - a blog of technology for folks who left technology behind a decade or three ago. They're your course to find where to buy Pong consoles, crystal radios, and even - here especially because Kate and I were chatting about this very thing on Friday - a somewhat pricey service that transfers your cassettes to mp3/cd.

So get thee some old-school tech, folks...

September 16, 2007

My video game history

I am a child of the video game generation.

I grew up playing pong at my babysitter's house. She took us to an aracade about once a month so my sister and I could play Pot of Gold. Later I would spend hours at the Green Scene moving between the batting cage, the miniature golf course, and the indoor arcade.

I remember evaluating who was cool partially based on which video games they had at home when I was in middle school.

I even had a tiny PacMan game just for myself. I think I even had the Frogger version, too.

Today, I present you with a brief tour of my video game lifetime. Feel free to wander away or to gawk at my dorkiness.

I started being a video game owner with my very own Vectrex, a self-contained (meaning it didn't need a separate TV to plug into), vector-drawn video game system. Vectrex was one of the second generation of consoles, and my mom agreed to buy it for me because it wouldn't tie up the family's television. I could sit alone in my room like a good dork and play to my heart's content.

I loved the Vectrex and was clearly the only one of my friends with one - not because I was that cool but because everybody else had gone and bought an Atari, one of the way more popular second-generation consoles. The Vectrex, however, was cool. It screen was black and white but came with these weird plastic overlays that let the whole thing show up in color. Not changing color, mind you, just white lines shining through colored plastic color. You can check out the Vectrex's history over at the Vectrex webpage and check the cool games that I owned (Berzerk, Minestorm, Rip Off, Scramble, Spike, and Star Trek). You can even play some of the games via emulators there.

I never managed an Atari, but my cousins did. Every time we'd go to St Louis to visit, it seemed like they had a new game system to play - ColecoVision, Intellivision,
and the Atari 2600 - the king of the second generation.

It took me a while to slip into the third gen of video games, but at some point I convinced my parents to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - and my grandparents to buy me a tv to play it on, something that drove my mom totally nuts as we then had two televisions in the house - an athema to her and something I don't even have now as a full-fledged adult (who is currently blogging about his childhood video games - maybe I should remove the adult label).

It's kind of hard for me to remember which games I had as so many of my friends had NESs, too, and our games were passed around constantly, traded at school, swapped after school, loaned, rented, played incessently, even rented from the local video stores. I know I had the basics - Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt. I'm also pretty sure that I had Castlevania, Arkanoid, Excitebike, Metroid, RC Pro Am, Rygar, and Paperboy, but I also remember a whole bunch more - ones that probably spent time at my house but that I never owned: Archon, Baseball Simulator 1.000 (which I remember playing well into the night at Wayne's house), Blades of Steel, Elevator Action, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, Gumshoe, Legend of Zelda, Mike Tyson's Punch Out - a true cultural touchstone, Pro Wrestling, and Tecmo Bowl - Bill Simmons's favorite. Through it all, though, I was most especially a loyal Tetris fan, playing and playing for hours, moving levels and points higher until the game started moving too fast to be much more than a blur to my bleary eyes.

The NES went into dust storage sometime in high school, but my video game evolution moved on to the fourth generation with the Sega Genesis. Nick Salvo had bought a Genesis, and it became the house's game system as we played almost exclusively NHL Hockey - in its various editions, for hours and hours, putting off any actual studying just because we were halfway through a 90-minute game. Sure, we had a copy of Sonic, but we didn't play it much. We were hockey addicts, putting of just about anything just to play a shoot out, to see who had finally figured out a way to stop The Move - a right, left, right series of deeks that almost always left the computer goaltender in the dust. We each had our teams - me with Montreal, Nick with Pittsburgh, Jeremy with Buffalo, Adam with Detroit - even though that was almost cheating as they had so much talent. We were loyalists, we were driven.

The Genesis passed from Nick to me when he graduated - sold game and all for about $20 - probably in beer money if I remember correctly. I played it during my senior year and passed it along to my fraternity little bro for free with the understanding that he keep it in the house once he left.

I skipped generations five and six and just this spring headed full-fledgedly into the seventh with my Wii, an amazing console that has occupied far more of my summer than it should have. I've just about solved Tiger Woods '07 and am hoping to avoid buying '08 until I'm caught up on grading. Sure I've got Wii Sports and Wii Play, but they haven't been loaded up for a month, at least. And Marvel Ultimate Alliance, while phenomenally cool, hasn't seen the light of day for longer than that.

I'm a video game junkie - whether they're online or in a challet.

And through all of this, my favorite game ever is still probably Tetris.

What's yours?

September 15, 2007

In preparation for the 80s fest returning

Before you start commenting on the wrap up of the 80s fest (coming this Tuesday on this very blog), check out these requirements for the perfect 80s video.

All comments debating the merits of one video over another will be expected to include appropriate references.

September 13, 2007

Just guessing here

We've got a guest in our midsts, folks, and I'm both curious and thrilled. Welcome...

The regular readers and contributors 'round these parts - the folks from Transbuddha, Kyle, Technically Overboard's Rob, CMorin, Joey, Achilles3, Sphincter - and a few others who drop in with slightly less regularity - CoachSullivan, DanEcht, G - and the lurkers - Ashley, Kate, Sarah, some of my other students - are known to most of us.

TL, however, is a blank slate, a veritable mystery to me. We've gotten hints that (s)he is into 70's rock Christmas songs, Alan Moore adult graphic novels, and the PHS science department.

Not a lot to go on.

So I'm gonna play a little game of twenty question, all vague, nothing too specific. Any chance you'll play back?
  1. Born in Ohio or elsewhere?
  2. Favorite band?
  3. Did you play a musical instrument in HS?
  4. What did/do you want to be when you grew up?
  5. Right brain or left?
  6. Any pets?
  7. First concert you went to?
  8. Christmas or Hannukah?
  9. Tea or coffee?
  10. On Thursday - Earl, Office, CSI, Scrubs, Survivor?
  11. Which Batman movie was your favorite?
  12. Long or short goatee?
  13. Paper or plastic?
  14. You want fries with that?
  15. Dogs or cats?
  16. At the shore, in the city, up the hills, middle of the ocean?
  17. Country or Western?
  18. This week - red, orange, yellow, green, blue?
  19. Jimmy or Timmy?
  20. If you're in white gloves are you checking for dust mites, conducting a band, or going to a cotillion?
And if anybody else wants to play along, go for it. I'm always curious...

September 12, 2007

A surfeit of riches

From nothing to two copies of Absolute Watchmen in a week.

What's a guy to do?

Oh, and one was a gift from the Guy Living in My Basement (good friend, between houses, moving from NJ back to Cincy, old house closed 'bout three weeks ago, new house doesn't close for another three weeks - comedy ensues) and the other was from an Amazon Marketplace seller.

Gotta love the comedy of the universe...

September 11, 2007

A little good, a little bad

I'll take a couple day break from the YouTube-fest just so your cache can clear and you can safely read my blog again. The 80s, part 3, will be posted on Tuesday of next week, and I'll keep the YouTubing to once a week from there. You're welcome, Calen.

Honestly, my browser is running really slowly if I load my blog right now anyway, so I'm okay with the new policy.

First the good news - Lion in the House, about which you've seen me blog before, and I thought I'd throw a shout out to the filmmakers as they won an Emmy this past weekend for Outstanding Accomplishment in Non-Fiction Filmmaking. It wasn't a solo win as they tied with Spike Lee's crap about a Levee or something.

I got invited to the local press conference by CET (the local PBS affiliate) as they congratulated and wished the filmmakers well. Kinda cool to think that I've been even the tiniest part of that, and if you're local, you can catch a reshowing of Lion this Friday night and the next couple of Fridays. If you're really local and have a few hours free time, I'd be willing to loan the DVD out.

Second, the sad news - I heard from an employee that Madison's Market in Glendale (another favorite that I've mentioned) is going to be closing up shop. Apparently the organic and specialty food market just isn't clearing enough cash to justify their rent, so they're going to cut back to just the Findlay Market store.

So very much sadness.

If you get a chance to stop by, buy your last bit of gelato and thank 'em for being there at all.

They'll be missed.

September 10, 2007

Back to the 80s (take two)

Added after the fact because Sphincter's comment made me remember them - Taco "Puttin on the Ritz"

A touch of Broadway - Murray Head's "One Night in Bangkok"

The finest acting in the history of video - Air Supply "Making Love Out of Nothing At All"

Look, special effects! - Baltimora "Tarzan Boy"

Thank you Dr. Demento - Barnes & Barnes "Fish Heads"

The 80s was a time of caring - Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas"

Turn around, Bright Eyes - Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Sir Bob - before he started doing nothing but caring - The Boomtown Rats "I Don't Like Mondays"

Watch out for the swinging doors - The Tubes "She's a Beauty"

Who doesn't? - Boys Don't Cry "I Wanna Be a Cowboy"

The Boss tells us what it's like - Bruce Springsteen "Glory Days"

A little fiddle and mandolin for ya (badly synched, be warned) - Crowded House "Something So Strong"

My alltime favorite Commodores song - The Commodores "Night Shift"

We all need to do this from time to time - Corey Hart "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night"

Where was Timbuk 1? - Timbuk 3 "My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"

Because we don't care who Johnny is - Debarge "Rhythm of the Night"

Live, in concert from twenty years ago - Depeche Mode "People are People"

Nice and easy...Ooobie doobie nigh eigh - Dream Academy "Life in a Northern Town"

Proving that solid, blues-based rock didn't die in the 80s - The Fabulous Thunderbirds "Tuff Enuff"

Freaky bondage and overlyloud recording - Erasure "Break These Chains of Love"

Very typical of the late 80s - Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy"

I dig the song, but I don't remember it from the 80s - Frida "Something Going On"

Bringing the blues and bo Diddly back - George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers - "Bad to the Bone"

Hit #1 - first and last - The Outfield "Your Love"

The sunglasses, the pushed up sport coat sleeves...I miss Don Johnson - Glass Tiger "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone"

One of the great story videos - Glen Frey "Smuggler's Blues"

Belinda Carlisle before she went and got all thin and French - The Go-Gos "Vacation"

They certainly weren't yacht rock - Hall & Oates "Private Eyes"

Gravelly voice and all - Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes"

They should've used movie clips, 'cause this video is awful - Harold Faltermeyer "Axel F"

Rockin' the drive-in - The Hooters "And We Danced"

Best hit from a guy named after a hotel - Howard Jones "No One Ever Is To Blame"

At first I just thought they were ripping off U2 - INXS "Need You Tonight / Mediate"

It was this or "Freezeframe" I went with the better known because we also got to see the adorable Martha Quinn - J Geils Band "Centerfold"

Hall of Fame piano intro here - John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band "On the Dark Side"

It's about as weenie as they come, but I love it - why did the Brat Pack have to grow up? - John Parr "St Elmo's Fire (Man in motion"

Almost as weenie but still beloved by me - Journey "Faithfully"

Hold on...Hold on! - Steve Perry "Oh Sherrie!"

Ending today's installment - Katrina & the Waves "Walking on Sunshine"

September 8, 2007

Back to the 80s (again)

This is the crap that made the 80s what the 80s was...

Freaky kid - Art of Noise "Close to the Edit"

Usually regarded as one of the greatest, hasn't aged that well - A-Ha "Take on Me"

Such trashity trash from a band that was awesome before this - ZZ Top "Legs"

Because it's always this way - Van Halen "Hot for Teacher"

Computer graphics at their absolute finest - Dire Straits "Money for Nothing"

A jazz giant steps into the 80s - Herbie Hancock "Rock It"

He used it a half dozen other times, but this was the first - Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer"

The finest eye makeup - Scandal "The Warrior"

Weirdly, he went on to work with computers, not music - Thomas Dolby "She Blinded Me With Science"

Early comic book love comes through here - Alan Parson's Project "Don't Answer Me"

Back off a little, man - Wall of Voodoo "Mexican Radio"

The coolest video of the 80s - Godley & Creme "Cry"

Seriously, cover the camera in tin foil? - Flock of Seagulls "I Ran"

The hair, the makeup, it's like the New York Dolls all over again - Twisted Sister "We're Not Gonna Take It"

One you might not remember Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Relax" (the banned version)

My personal favorite - Men Without Hats "Safety Dance"

The eyes, the makeup, the marching band outfits - Adam Ant "Goody Two Shoes"

The Scottish show up - Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen"

LA big hair rock and Milton Berle - Ratt "Round and Round"

Tall hair and rockin', bagpipe-esque guitar - Big Country "Big Country

Bang your heads - Quite Riot "Cum on Feel the Noize"

Too many cameos - Talking Heads "Wild Life"

The black and white revlution that didn't quite hold - Madness "Our House"

The thin white duke up against a wall - David Bowie "Let's Dance"

Punk or pop? - The Clash "Rock the Casbah"

Surf/pop/bubblegum/rockabilly rock returns - Bow Wow Wow "I Want Candy"

I'll take it just barely over "You Might Think" - The Cars "Magic"

Tough call from this crue - Duran Duran "Rio"

The least trivial bit of triva, first song played on MTv - The Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star"
They swear that the choice was at total random. I'm gonna throw the flag on that one.

Best use of a multi-color powdered wig - Falco "Rock Me Amadeus"

How can I not be able to embed John Cougar's "Jack and Diane"?

Well before he was an actor - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince "Parents Just Don't Understand"

Weirdo political overlap - Genesis "Land of Confusion"

Weirdness reigns - Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)"

Ignore the gloves - Pat Benetar "We Belong"

Creepy Alice in Wonderland pastiche - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers "Don't Come Around Here No More"

And a bonus of the greatest live band owning the biggest concert of the 80s - Queen "Radio Ga Ga"

Can you even imagine having the sheer force of personality, the control to have half a million people in the palm of your hand, clapping in total unison like that? Freddy Mercury was an absolutely amazing individual, prone to such extremes in all areas of his life, but to be him for this one moment must be as close to being an absolute god as any human has ever known. The glimpse of the crowd at about 3:05 with Freddy in the center of the screen is rock and roll.

September 7, 2007

Hittin' the glory hole

We've all seen rainbows - well, except for people with one eye, they've been deprived of the whole rainbow joy thing, but that's a story for another day.

Today's tale is about a weird, mutated rainbow effect that people see in rare occurances. The rare rainbow-type effect is called a glory - and there's a bunch of science explaining the whole thing. Something about light refracted within tiny droplets of fog or mist - check the science here if you're interested. I dunno about that, but the pictures are pretty cool.

The site Atmospheric Optics has loads of cool photos and explanations of rainbows, glories, ice halos, distorted suns, and all sorts of freaky optics in the atmosphere (shocking that they would have that, I know).

Tomorrow, YouTube of some of my favorite 80s videos - with no Michael Jackson, because we've all seen those too many times already.

September 6, 2007

So, this is how it went

Totally dug the movie scene at Fountain Square this past Saturday night.

The above picture - thanks to montecarlos for this and the one at the bottom of this post - show a scene from Nemo with the crowd below. Even though the photo shows an over-exposed screen, the showing of Nemo and Jaws were crystal clear - heck, way clearer than the broadcast stuff I've got on the TV at home. Sound was a little lower than I'd've wanted it if I were at home, but it wasn't a problem to hear the movie for probably 90% of the time.

The crowd was very cool - mostly white, admittedly, but probably 'bout a fifth black with a few other minorities thrown in here and there, mostly middle class with smatterings above and below. Most folks brought their own chairs, blankets, even an air mattress.

There was a simple concession stand set up, selling popcorn, cokes, and hot dogs - and another stand selling adult beverages. Plus Caribou Coffee was giving away free drinks in cans. The Girl got two of them and reports that they're a little sweet for her tastes. I'm not down with coffee, so I can't speak to it.

The night was a blast. Good times all around even though we did leave before Jaws really got good.

It's awesome to see that downtown Cincy is coming around to keep things open up after regular business hours. I'm certainly going to be checking the schedule on I missed a heck of a summer movie festival this past summer, and I wouldn't want to do that again.

Saturday nights' movie night...
  • June 2 - Back to the Future & Ghostbusters
  • June 9 - Big Top Pee-Wee & Big Fish
  • June 16 - Fletch & Rocky
  • June 23 - The Greatest Game Ever Played & Happy Gilmore
  • June 30 - The Incredibles & Batman
  • July 7 - Karate Kid 1 & 2
  • July 14 - Ice Age & Jurrasic Park
  • July 21 - Harry Potter 1 & 2
  • July 28 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off & Uncle Buck
  • August 4 - Raiders of the Lost Ark & Star Wars
  • August 11 - Shrek & The Princess Bride
  • August 18 - Men in Black & Remember the Titans
  • August 25 - Nacho Libre & Dodgeball
  • September 1 - Finding Nemo & Jaws
Oh, and one more pic before I drift into the night and some grading...

Check out the handsome, bearded devil in the orange t-shirt, black ballcap, and studly crossed legs in the front left of the fountain. Oh, and The Girl's there, too - and the Surrogate Family, as well.