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Sweet Jeebus! One of the coolest images ever!

Sweet Jeebus! One of the coolest images ever!

By pedi in Blog on January 18, 2012

Douchebags! Get your hands outta my pocket! :/ TweetAuthors: pediRead more http://pedrams.me/wp/2012/01/sweet-jeebus-one-of-the-coolest-photos-ever/


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My Bungee Jump

My Bungee Jump

By David Bird in Blog on January 8, 2012

I've been meaning to post this for a long time, but when I did it I didn't have the software to convert the video to an mpeg.

And We're Off. Again.

And We're Off. Again.

By David Bird in Blog on January 5, 2012

I can't be the only person who has wondered if more Americans would participate in their elections, if the campaigning wasn't a constant drone. Day after day, month after month. Iowa has spoken. Finally. After months and months of campaigning, the state with only 6 of the 538 votes in the Electoral College has decided to back Romney. Sort of. Turns out they like Santorum and Paul almost as much.I can remember when the Republicans were good at this sort of thing. They were known for it. They'd figure out who was the most likely candidate to gain them the White House and they would back that candidate. This year there's a consensus that Romney is that guy, but that's not good enough. If they ('they' being the many factions making up the party) can't get it done their way, they'd rather not do it at all. That's not partisan voting. That's the opposite of partisan voting. Somewhere on Pennsylvania Avenue there's a guy from Illinois already planning his next term--and who can blame him.Originally Pubished at: David Bird


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And We're Off. Again.

And We're Off. Again.

By David Bird in Blog on January 4, 2012

I can't be the only person who has wondered if more Americans would participate in their elections, if the campaigning wasn't a constant drone.

Welcome to 2012

Welcome to 2012

By David Bird in Blog on January 3, 2012

Well, its been a month since I've posted here (just about), though I've posted on my other blog. Tomorrow the school's winter break ends and normality returns. I have the day off, in lieu of the stat holiday, which fell on one of my regular days off, so it'll be like the beginning of a normal week for me.At this point I don't really have a vision for the blog in the coming year. I may put up more film reviews. Maybe some comic ones too. I plan to re-read Grant Morrison's Animal Man, a greatly unappreciated work, and Stephanie Brown's Batgirl run, also greatly unappreciated. Maybe I'll write something up about them.Creatively, I intend to spend much of 2012 researching a novel I've been turning over in my head for some time now. It takes place in ancient Greece and I've put together a good reference library. Now I just need to familiarize myself to the point that I feel comfortable in that world. I've also collected up all the extant dramatic and comedic works of Greek theatre, there aren't that many, in order to get a feel for their storytelling. Apart from the plays, there isn't much besides Homer and Hesiod. By the summer I hope to be at work on a proper outline.I am also busy with my church right now. We have just merged with another church, which is quite a story in itself, but a story for another time, and we're spending a lot of our energy ensuring things get off to a smooth start. Its something everyone wants, but making it a reality will take work.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Welcome to 2012

Welcome to 2012

By David Bird in Blog on January 3, 2012

Well, its been a month since I've posted here (just about), though I've posted on my other blog. Tomorrow the school's winter break ends and normality returns. I have the day off, in lieu of the stat holiday, which fell on one of my regular days off, so it'll be like the beginning of a normal week for me.At this point I don't really have a vision for the blog in the coming year. I may put up more film reviews. Maybe some comic ones too. I plan to re-read Grant Morrison's Animal Man, a greatly unappreciated work, and Stephanie Brown's Batgirl run, also greatly unappreciated. Maybe I'll write something up about them.Creatively, I intend to spend much of 2012 researching a novel I've been turning over in my head for some time now. It takes place in ancient Greece and I've put together a good reference library. Now I just need to familiarize myself to the point that I feel comfortable in that world. I've also collected up all the extant dramatic and comedic works of Greek theatre, there aren't that many, in order to get a feel for their storytelling. Apart from the plays, there isn't much besides Homer and Hesiod. By the summer I hope to be at work on a proper outline.I am also busy with my church right now. We have just merged with another church, which is quite a story in itself, but a story for another time, and we're spending a lot of our energy ensuring things get off to a smooth start. Its something everyone wants, but making it a reality will take work.Originally Pubished at: David Bird


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Top 20 Albums of 2011

Top 20 Albums of 2011

By in Blog on January 1, 2012

# Artist Album Label 1. Wooden Birds Two Matchsticks Barsuk |Listen|Buy| 2. Fruit Bats Tripper  Sub Pop |Listen|Buy| 3. Joy Formidable The Big Roar Atlantic |Listen|Buy| 4. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Mirror Traffic Matador |Listen|Buy| 5. Decemberists The King Is Dead Capitol |Listen|Buy| 6. Gillian Welch The Harrow & The Harvest Acony |Listen|Buy| 7. Dodos No Color Frenchkiss |Listen|Buy| 8. Richard Buckner Our Blood Merge |Listen|Buy| 9. Mates Of State Mountaintops Barsuk |Listen|Buy| 10. Gruff Rhys Hotel Shampoo Wichita |Listen|Buy| 11. Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues Sub Pop |Listen|Buy| 12. Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 Capitol |Listen|Buy| 13. Cults Cults Columbia |Listen|Buy| 14. Sloan The Double Cross Yep Roc |Listen|Buy| 15. Lykke Li Wounded Rhymes Atlantic |Listen|Buy| 16. Iron & Wine Kiss Each Other Clean Warner Bros. |Listen|Buy| 17. Vaccines What Did You Expect From The Vaccines Columbia |Listen|Buy| 18. Gang Of Four Content Yep Roc |Listen|Buy| 19. Feist Metals Interscope |Listen|Buy| 20. Lonely Island Turtleneck & Chain Republic |Listen|Buy| Honorable Mention:  Peter Bjorn & John – Gimme Some (Almost Gold)  PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Vagrant)  Yuck – S/T (Fat Possum)  Phantogram – Nightlife EP (Barsuk)  Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital (Sub Pop)  Head & The Heart – S/T (Sub Pop)  Thao & Mirah – S/T (Kill Rock Stars)  Sondre Lerche – Sondre Lerche (Redeye)  Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)  Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong (Slumberland)  Josh Rouse & The Long Vacations – S/T (Bedroom Classics)  Rubblebucket – Omega La La (Megaforce)  Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde (Fat Possum) Please see also: my “selections from” playlists for the top 20 list and the honorable mentions. Enjoy and Happy New Year!Originally Pubished at:


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Playlist:  Selections from my Top Albums of 2011 – Honorable Mention

Playlist: Selections from my Top Albums of 2011 – Honorable Mention

By in Blog on January 1, 2012

Considering the faltering legal status of my usual go to music playlist site Grooveshark.com, I am also including a link to the playlist through Spotify. Selections from Top Albums of 2011 – Honorable Mention Until its future demise I will continue embedding playlists from Grooveshark. If you do not see the embedded playlist below please follow this link or check it on Spotify through the link above. Originally Pubished at:

Playlist:  Selections from my Top 20 Albums of 2011

Playlist: Selections from my Top 20 Albums of 2011

By in Blog on January 1, 2012

Considering the faltering legal status of my usual go to music playlist site Grooveshark.com, I am also including a link to the playlist through Spotify. Selections from Top 20 Albums of 2011 Until its future demise I will continue embedding playlists from Grooveshark. If you do not see the embedded playlist below please follow this link or check it on Spotify through the link above. Originally Pubished at:

Rave Ups:  Chronicles – Volume One by Bob Dylan

Rave Ups: Chronicles – Volume One by Bob Dylan

By in Blog on December 24, 2011

My opinions of Bob Dylan have always been conflicted… I have always enjoyed his early recordings but have been mystified by his post-1970 output.  As I have aged, I have come to understand the extremely important role he holds in popular music and American culture.  This realization has brought me to put more effort into understanding his music and the easiest way for me to interface better with an artist’s output is with hearing the story behind it. After researching the myriad of book options available on the life of Bob Dylan, I’ve decided to start with the one written by the man himself. Dylan’s writing is powerful, yet still conversational.  Throughout the book I felt as if I was chatting with him over dinner.  His tone is of someone who is reluctantly, sometimes self-possessedly, getting things off his chest.  The book was not as structured as I had expected… but having known something of his past, as everyone does, I should have expected the books structure would be a bit abstract.  My main surprise was that he jumps around his life, each chapter a different time period which is not clearly defined.  I, like many fans, were hoping for Volume One to chronicle his life before fame and his early career much like Martin Scorsese’s film No Direction Home. The book is broken up into 5 parts (“Dylan breaks the book into 5 parts”?).  Here is a guide to give you an idea of exactly what periods he covers. 1.  Making up the Score (takes place in 1961 soon after signing on with John Hammond) 2.  The Lost Land (continues the narrative from the previous chapter with more scenes from 1961 and flashes of his upbringing) 3.  New Morning (focuses on the recording of the album of same name – recorded 1970) 4.  Oh Mercy (focuses on the writing and recording of the album of the same name – 1987-89) 5.  River of Ice (takes place in 1962 right after making his first Demos with Lou Levy of Leeds Music with more flashbacks) It seems like years pass while Dylan is telling his story, and in some ways, they do as he gets sidetracked and gives little glimpses of his upbringing or his pre-NY life.  The highlights there are info on his upbringing in Hibbing MN, his brief stop-off in Minneapolis/ Dinky Town before he took the train to New York City.  He also touches upon his experiences in early Rock N’ Roll bands which give you a little more insight into his musical influences.  Those portions were of most interest to me as I have first-hand knowledge of that geography, being from Minnesota myself.  Mainly though, he is engaged in telling the story of when he first arrived in New York or, in the case of chapters 2 & 3, what happened during the recording of two of his post-1960’s.  Dylan gives little info on his family members, probably out of respect for his and their privacy.  He doesn’t really talk much about his parents and only mentions his wife in passing.  Only 4-5 years of his life are covered in the book (plus bits and pieces of his pre-NY life.)  Some of my favorite parts of the book are when Dylan makes references to things or events that are more recent.  For example he, at one point, references the classic Dylan book Invisible Republic by music writer Greil Marcus… Or when he tells the story of his failed attempt to retrieve Woody Guthrie’s unused song lyrics and he goes on to (almost bitterly) report that those lyrics were used 35 years later by Billy Bragg & Wilco for Mermaid Avenue Volumes 1 & 2. What is left is a tremendous amount of ground for him to cover and, considering this is supposed to be a 3 part series.  As a reader, I worry that he won’t finish it or at least get to the most interesting bits. It’s obvious that Dylan is a great artist, on par with the great painters or classical composers.  In fact he seems at times to be the complete embodiment of the archetype.  He is a man that is extremely creative, self-absorbed to a fault, 100% left brain.  I found myself wondering if he had been born in a different time if he would have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, considering his behavior at times.  He even seems to portray himself as quite the narcissist, but then again what artist or musician isn’t at least a bit of one?  One of the things that struck me about Dylan was the shear amount of powerful cultural figures he crossed paths with, so much so he almost seems like a magnet for brilliant people. In the end I was left a little disappointed.   Although the book is enjoyable it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what Dylan has to offer. If you have a curiosity for this fellow I would suggest reading a biography (not an auto-)… although I do not have a specific one to suggest.  Beyond that is the wonderful documentary I mentioned before, directed by Martin Scorsese.  In the end though, even that cuts off a little abruptly and doesn’t cover him past his late 60′s material. A wonderful audio accompaniment to this book (for at least the NYC chapters) is The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (buy it /listen to it) that Columbia Records released last year.  Consuming them together is an ideal way to do it but alone it sheds a lot of light on the kind of material he built his style on… mainly a lot of old folk and blues songs.  Originally Pubished at:

Life

Life

By David Bird in Blog on December 5, 2011

Life (2007-2009)NBC, Starring Damian LewisTypically I have been reviewing movies on Mondays, but todayI am going to review the TV series Life, which ran on NBC for 32 episodes overa year and a half.Charlie Crews (Lewis) is a LA cop wrongly convicted for themurder of a friend and the friend’s entire family. He is released after twelveyears with a huge settlement and his job back—actually, with a promotion: he’snow a detective. He found religion in prison, something that’s made a bigimpact on his life, but now he finds himself continually in conflict: Zenmaster versus answers and/or revenge? He doesn’t have to pull at many threadsbefore a vast conspiracy begins to unravel, connecting his conviction to roguecops, the FBI, and a psychotic Russian mobster. He’s aided in his search by aformer inmate, a partner who may have connections to the rogue cops, and a castof interesting, well defined characters.I like this show a lot, but I have to admit I had neverheard of it until a friend forced the two DVD sets on me. TV is chalk full ofpolice procedurals nowadays and the prospect of watching another didn’t appealto me, but this one is very different. It is bookended by two very strongthings. The first is an interesting cast of characters, anchored by Lewis’great performance. In our post-Law &Order TV universe, formula is everything, but Charlie Crews is characterthat could have held the show together for years without becoming tired. Hewants peace and answers. He can’t have both, but he can’t be satisfied withjust one, and won’t be until all the questions are answered and people who areabove the law answer for what they’ve done. The other thing is a complex andcompelling conspiracy that creates links where you would least expect them,while still remaining convincing. The show does suffer towards the end,however, as the producers, realizing they needed to wrap things up, rushed toanswer as many questions as possible. The episodes themselves are great TV, butit’s disappointing to get a hint of what might have been, knowing there isn’tgoing to be any more.Re-reading what I’ve written so far, I realize I’ve made theshow sound a lot darker than it is. This is not dark show. Crews’ situation bringsa sense of absurdity into the show that never far away. He’s joined by AdamArkin as his ex-con roommate and financial advisor, and Sarah Shahi as hispartner Dani Reese. And, yes, the show is on Netflix.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Life

Life

By David Bird in Blog on December 5, 2011

Life (2007-2009)NBC, Starring Damian LewisTypically I have been reviewing movies on Mondays, but todayI am going to review the TV series Life, which ran on NBC for 32 episodes overa year and a half.Charlie Crews (Lewis) is a LA cop wrongly convicted for themurder of a friend and the friend’s entire family. He is released after twelveyears with a huge settlement and his job back—actually, with a promotion: he’snow a detective. He found religion in prison, something that’s made a bigimpact on his life, but now he finds himself continually in conflict: Zenmaster versus answers and/or revenge? He doesn’t have to pull at many threadsbefore a vast conspiracy begins to unravel, connecting his conviction to roguecops, the FBI, and a psychotic Russian mobster. He’s aided in his search by aformer inmate, a partner who may have connections to the rogue cops, and a castof interesting, well defined characters.I like this show a lot, but I have to admit I had neverheard of it until a friend forced the two DVD sets on me. TV is chalk full ofpolice procedurals nowadays and the prospect of watching another didn’t appealto me, but this one is very different. It is bookended by two very strongthings. The first is an interesting cast of characters, anchored by Lewis’great performance. In our post-Law &Order TV universe, formula is everything, but Charlie Crews is characterthat could have held the show together for years without becoming tired. Hewants peace and answers. He can’t have both, but he can’t be satisfied withjust one, and won’t be until all the questions are answered and people who areabove the law answer for what they’ve done. The other thing is a complex andcompelling conspiracy that creates links where you would least expect them,while still remaining convincing. The show does suffer towards the end,however, as the producers, realizing they needed to wrap things up, rushed toanswer as many questions as possible. The episodes themselves are great TV, butit’s disappointing to get a hint of what might have been, knowing there isn’tgoing to be any more.Re-reading what I’ve written so far, I realize I’ve made theshow sound a lot darker than it is. This is not dark show. Crews’ situation bringsa sense of absurdity into the show that never far away. He’s joined by AdamArkin as his ex-con roommate and financial advisor, and Sarah Shahi as hispartner Dani Reese. And, yes, the show is on Netflix.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

ourvaluedcustomers: To his friend while discussing how BATMAN...

ourvaluedcustomers: To his friend while discussing how BATMAN...

By xaraan in Blog on December 4, 2011

ourvaluedcustomers: To his friend while discussing how BATMAN could be more realistic… Authors: xaraanRead more http://theouthouseblog.tumblr.com/post/13752484794

Miracle On 34th Street

Miracle On 34th Street

By David Bird in Blog on November 28, 2011

Miracle on 34thStreet (1947)Directed by George Seaton, Starring Maureen O’Hara and EdmundGwennWho doesn’t like Miracle on 34th Street? A hit when it was released in 1947, it's continued to be a Christmas favourite for the last 64 years. Now that the holiday season is inarguably upon us, I thought I would watch my favourite classic holiday film. It starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Kris Kringle discovers the parade’s Santa is drunk and complains to the woman in charge, Doris Walker. Given his white beard, rotund physique, and jolly disposition, he quickly finds himself with a job, one he distinguished himself in by sending Macy’s customers to the competition whenever Macy’s itself can’t provide what they’re looking for. It's a customer service that rebounds very well for the store and raises the question, isn’t there more to Christmas than commercialism?But that’s not what the movie is about. Mrs. Walker is the loving mother of a little girl, Susan, and is raising her to appreciate the real and the practical. Make-believe and fairy tales are not a part of the Walker household. This becomes a problem as Kringle becomes a bigger and bigger part of their lives. You see, he not only believes in Santa, he believes he is Santa. This raises the ire of Granville Sawyer, a personnel employee who fancies himself a psychiatrist. He’s the guy--girl--you know who reads a lot of self-help books and is all too happy to tell you everything that is wrong with you and why. Today he’d host his own show. Through provocations and lies he manages to get Kringle locked up at Bellevue and it's up to Frederick Gailey, a young lawyer who is also a neighbour and love interest for Walker, to get him out. All he has to do is convince the court that Kris Kringle really is Santa Claus.What the movie is really about is trust and faith and belief. About holding out for a world as you believe it should be, even if your life so far has been one of disappointments. The movie is well written--it was nominated for Oscars for writing and best picture, and won one for acting (Edmund Gwenn, who play Kris Kringle)--and it provides many practical explanations for events, while including an O. Henry-esque ending that opens the film to another possible interpretation. It's easy to think that Christmas used to be better. It can be a stressful time for grown ups. Bills and preparations and schedules and more bills. We forget what it was like when we were kids. Or, rather, we assume that back then adults enjoyed the same Christmases we did when we were kids, and don’t realize that they were as stressed as we are now, and that our children are as excited as we were when we were their age. What this movie reminds us is that the holiday can be whatever we choose it to be. There can be a Santa, gift, and festivities, or there can just be a kindly old man in a red suit, but sometimes that kindly old man might just be the real thing.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

Miracle On 34th Street

Miracle On 34th Street

By David Bird in Blog on November 28, 2011

Miracle on 34thStreet (1947)Directed by George Seaton, Starring Maureen O’Hara and EdmundGwennWho doesn’t like Miracle on 34th Street? A hit when it was released in 1947, it's continued to be a Christmas favourite for the last 64 years. Now that the holiday season is inarguably upon us, I thought I would watch my favourite classic holiday film. It starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Kris Kringle discovers the parade’s Santa is drunk and complains to the woman in charge, Doris Walker. Given his white beard, rotund physique, and jolly disposition, he quickly finds himself with a job, one he distinguished himself in by sending Macy’s customers to the competition whenever Macy’s itself can’t provide what they’re looking for. It's a customer service that rebounds very well for the store and raises the question, isn’t there more to Christmas than commercialism?But that’s not what the movie is about. Mrs. Walker is the loving mother of a little girl, Susan, and is raising her to appreciate the real and the practical. Make-believe and fairy tales are not a part of the Walker household. This becomes a problem as Kringle becomes a bigger and bigger part of their lives. You see, he not only believes in Santa, he believes he is Santa. This raises the ire of Granville Sawyer, a personnel employee who fancies himself a psychiatrist. He’s the guy--girl--you know who reads a lot of self-help books and is all too happy to tell you everything that is wrong with you and why. Today he’d host his own show. Through provocations and lies he manages to get Kringle locked up at Bellevue and it's up to Frederick Gailey, a young lawyer who is also a neighbour and love interest for Walker, to get him out. All he has to do is convince the court that Kris Kringle really is Santa Claus.What the movie is really about is trust and faith and belief. About holding out for a world as you believe it should be, even if your life so far has been one of disappointments. The movie is well written--it was nominated for Oscars for writing and best picture, and won one for acting (Edmund Gwenn, who play Kris Kringle)--and it provides many practical explanations for events, while including an O. Henry-esque ending that opens the film to another possible interpretation. It's easy to think that Christmas used to be better. It can be a stressful time for grown ups. Bills and preparations and schedules and more bills. We forget what it was like when we were kids. Or, rather, we assume that back then adults enjoyed the same Christmases we did when we were kids, and don’t realize that they were as stressed as we are now, and that our children are as excited as we were when we were their age. What this movie reminds us is that the holiday can be whatever we choose it to be. There can be a Santa, gift, and festivities, or there can just be a kindly old man in a red suit, but sometimes that kindly old man might just be the real thing.Originally Pubished at: David Bird

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