Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today's movie watching

Netflix has recently gotten a whole bunch of streamable documentaries--or rockumentaries--in a series called Classic Albums.  Today I watched the one about The Doors eponymous first album.

I agree with one of the commenters at Amazon:  there is some "filler" with contemporary musicians commenting on how influential, ground-breaking, etc., etc., ad nauseum this album was, and I don't care what they think, either.  Those minutes could have been better spent with additional background information or commentary by the people who were actually there when it happened.

That said, there is still a lot of great background information from those people who were there:  the three surviving members, producers, and others of the time.  Some of it I already knew, having read books and seen other documentaries about them, but some of it was new to me, such as how they actually developed the songs on the first album, from scratch, as it were.

Then I started watching another one about Fleetwood Mac's Rumors but got interrupted.  Once I finish it I plan on watching the one on Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast, then Rush's 2112.

I also tried watching Anvil:  The Story of Anvil, but it was kind of boring.  At times they almost ventured into Spinal Tap-like comedy, but knowing that this was a real band just made it sad and embarrassing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I almost want to buy this

Glorious Majesty - Music for English Kings and Queens (Diamond Jubilee Edition)

Everyone should have some music for English kings and queens in their collection, shouldn't they?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Anyone remember these?

Well, if you've read this blog for a while, you know that I sometimes remember old songs from my childhood and look them up on YouTube just for fun. I don't know why I thought about this, but it got a lot of play on KKYX back in the CB craze days.

And the sequel.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend update: geocaching

My son had his first campout as a Boy Scout this weekend (he enjoyed himself--mostly because this time he didn't get rained on) and my wife and daughter went shopping Saturday, so I was left to myself.  I threw some essential odds & ends in my backpack, filled up a water bottle and went to nearby Jackson Nature Park.

This isn't a very well-known park, and it's mainly just for hiking and seeing lots of wildflowers during spring time.  I had never been there before, even though it's only about a 20-minute drive from my house.  I went there this time because there are six geocaches there and I wanted to get some time in learning the hobby without anyone bothering me.  I was there for nearly 3 hours and I had the park to myself the whole time.

And I had fun, going at my own pace and doing what I wanted without having to take breaks for kids who have to go to the restroom every 15 minutes.  I found 4 of the 6 there.  One of the two I couldn't find just had me completely stumped; I couldn't find any landmarks that looked like there would be a cache hidden there.  The other was supposedly in a hole under a large rock formation.  I've lived my whole life in this area without being bitten/envenomated by anything significant, mostly because when I was very young I decided I wouldn't stick my hand into dark holes under large rocks.  So I poked around with a long stick for a few minutes and didn't find anything, and let it go at that.

One of the ones I did find was in a hollow tree, the hollow of which went all the way to the ground.  I examined it carefully with my flashlight before reaching in for that one, because I've found copperheads in such places more than once.  By the way, I've known of several people around here that have been bitten by a copperhead, and every one of them was bitten on the hand.  That should tell you something.

I'm taking some vacation next week, and with Fiesta Friday coming up I'll have good, long vacation.  I'm going to do more geocaching during that time.  I've been checking all the parks in the area and those are the places I'm going to try, where I can poke around without being bothered too much.  It looks like Espada park should be a good place, and it's fairly cache-dense.  I've been to the mission itself before, but I've never explored the park so that should be fun.  I'm also going to start taking a camera with me so I can maybe get some decent pictures.

In fact, the entire mission trail has lots of caches on it, although some of them might be gone/buried now because of all the construction going on along the river.  I decided to start with Espada because it's the most remote and isolated.

Jackson Nature Park has a port-a-potty and a water fountain at the entrance; those are the only facilities.  Also a couple of picnic tables in the same area and occasionally along the trail there will be a bench in a shady spot where you can take a break.  So if you ever want a nice place to take a hike without many other people around, I recommend it.  I'll be going back there to try and find those two other ones sometime, but I'll probably take the kids with me next time.  I also want to see it during fall and winter.

FYI, pretty much every "park" in S.A. has some caches in it.  I say "park" because some of these are very small.

I've also been scouting a few places where I can hide a cache of my own.  I just want to get more experience in the hobby and see what other caches look like before I hide any myself.

Friday, April 20, 2012

For some reason this word struck me as funny

From San Antonio Remembers:
The mayor and police officials today agreed no hoodlumism would be permitted during the carnival this year. They outlawed the small whips, loud horns and confetti of former years.
Hoodlumism?  Not to be confused with hooliganitry.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Alestorm official video: Death Throes of the Terrorsquid

I had mentioned this one previously but at the time there was no actual video for it.  Now there is--just released this week is "Death Throes of the Terrorsquid."

I don't think the word "video" does this one justice.  Let's call it a short film, instead.

I think the "black" section perfectly fits the story as it progresses.  I'm still trying to figure out the keyboard with the broken D key, though.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Derek Riggs interview

Derek Riggs is the artist who created many Iron Maiden album covers.  Read the interview here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Japan clearly ignored my plea about that weirdness thing

Read this.  Click the link on the page to view some of the items.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Impressive diagram

Disguised as a comic at xkcd.  Follow the link, then click the graphic to enlarge so you can read all the fine print.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Freakishly horrifying

This.  It doesn't matter which video you watch for an example.  I watched only two, but I'm pretty sure they're all the same.

If you've ever wanted a perfect example of the "uncanny valley," this is it, and it doesn't even involve robots.  I wish it did.  Then maybe it would be less scary.

P.S. Okay, Japan?  We give up.  You are the weirdness capital of the entire world.  Now can you please back off already?

The density of metal

click to enlarge

In case you didn't click on the most recent update at Eat the Music, here's one that's worth reposting.  Someone took all the "country of origin" information listed at Encyclopedia Metallum and created this color-coded world map of the number of metal bands per 100,000 population.

I'm not surprised at seeing Scandinavia as the most dense.  If they changed this to only doom/death/gothic metal, I'm guessing they would have to come up with a new color for that region.

And Canada is more metal than the U.S.  Go figure.  As far as that goes, most of what people think is "metal" in the U.S. is only rock metal, not metal metal.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Comments on Bleach

Well, I've been watching Bleach in the future (of what's being aired on Adult Swim) on the free version of Crunchyroll with my Roku.  I have only three episodes left until the end of the series.  366 episodes in total.

No one who reads this blog watches this show, I guess.  Too bad.  It has been one of the most enjoyable series I have ever watched, and it has kept me interested even through the occasional somewhat more boring parts (for example the Bount arc).  There has been a lot of "filler" and plenty of digressions (for example the one-off episode when the Soul Reapers spent the day at the beach--including heavy emphasis on several female Soul Reapers choosing, and subsequently wearing, their beach attire), but the overall story is about a renegade Soul Reaper captain named Aizen who wanted to destroy the Soul Society.  This main story ends before the full series end--the final story arc is sort of a coda.  The picture above is the form Ichigo is forced to take to fight Aizen.  It's called "the final getsuga tenshou."

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but between the end of this story arc and the beginning of the final arc there is a gap of 17 months during which Ichigo lives as a normal human with no Soul Reaper powers.  And then stuff starts happening again.

It's building up to a great ending, although my greatest fear is that there will be questions left unanswered, for example, why did Ichigo's dad quit being a Soul Reaper and go to the world of the living to live as a more or less normal human?  Well, there's three episodes left and maybe that question will be answered.  And I suppose Ichigo and Orihime will never get it together.  Another question I have is why did Uryu's father not take any action when Uryu continued to help the Soul Reapers?

So they're still a few seasons away from the end on Adult Swim, and they're involved in one of the digressionary story arcs right now, so you can start watching it and still see all the great climaxes to come.  In fact, I haven't seen what they're airing right now, because I would have to get the Crunchyroll pay service to watch that far back.  Netflix has the first 109 episodes, in English, so if you have Netflix you could watch it there.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Well, that was...unexpected

Got home today to find a message on the answering machine.  It was my wife, who said, "I left the Avon order on your computer--it has to go in today.  Also, could you download me some Freddy Fender songs and burn them to a CD?"

Yes.  Yes I could.  I suddenly realized that I need some Freddy Fender on my playlist, too.

My daughter has been saving all of her Christmas and birthday money for a long time now, and actually got a job during spring break with a cousin of my wife's, which got her more money.  She was able to order for herself a used iPod Touch, and she is becoming increasingly anxious for its arrival.  She's going to be gone Friday and Saturday for a church function, so I told her, "If it comes on Friday when you're gone, don't worry, I'll be sure and play with it for you Friday night."

I walked 6.96 miles today.  Overall average speed only 1.8 mph.  Lots of dirty meters.