Up until recently I was a large pusher of the incredibly cheap (often refurbished) Sansa line of mp3 players by Sandisk. I’m going on record stating that it’s a decent little machine, however I recommend getting it a hermetically sealed enclosure and never moving it. As I’m sure anyone who knows me (definitely Holly) can attest, I have an obsessive compulsive need to take care of my electronics. I value their lifespan in an unhealthy way. That being said, I have now owned 3 Sansa e230 players, all of which have stopped working after a period of between 4 and 18 months. It is now time to move on.
A few days ago my last player went tits up after working fine the previous day. I really only use it for providing background music while I work these days, so it barely ever even moves. I hate having to work all day without background noise, so I immediately researched a replacement. Unfortunately none are in my current price range of zero dollars. I have decided however, once I get my next paycheque I want to get one of these. It has only one real review, and that person said they’re going back to a Sansa (go figure), but that’s because their screen cracked. I don’t see that being a manufacturing issue, more likely shipping. Other than that they said it seemed decent.
So long sweet PADD Display interface.
What’s a PADD Display?
This is another cool fan made video I found on youtube recently. It’s a song from another of my favourite bands, Estradasphere. The song, Flower Garden of an Evil Man, is swapped out for the audio track of the pilot episode of Gumby, Gumby on the Moon. It’s a perfect fit in my opinion.
I also thought I’d share two other songs I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Neither has a decent video, so enjoy some cover art, and the sun.
This video combines two of my favourite things and it does it quite well. I love how good some of the fan made music videos are on youtube. If you haven’t seen them before, I also recommend checking out two of the best fan made videos I have ever seen (one, two) which also happen to be two of my favourite songs. I love when I find things like this without even looking.
Also, this video reminded me that this exists. Hehehe…
Here is one last fan made video that is worth watching (not for the edits, those are pretty shitty… but the song is another of my favourites).
When I was a kid I loved music (and I suppose I still do, but back then I had little else to do but hang out with friends and listen to tapes, where as now I only listen to music when I’m working, or exercising). I started with organ lessons when I was tiny. I gave that up one xmas morningÂ when I realized Santa had ignored my plea for an electronic keyboard (like the kind they’d use in Van Halen!) which would allow me to take my unique sound to new levels. Instead, I got a note telling me I don’t practice enough to have earned a keyboard, and that if I do better next year I might have a shot. I soon forgot about keyboards, pianos and organs altogether.
A few years later, I was hanging out with this kid named Joey Mellon who lived around the corner. His house was cool. His dad was a carpenter and had converted half their entire basement into a multi-leveled play fort. They also had Super Nintendo before anyone else I knew. I didn’t really like Joey, but I wasn’t stupid – I knew to be nice so I could get to enjoy the things he had that I didn’t. Another thing he had in his basement was his dad’s enormous drum set. I had never seen real drums before and I was impressed. Joey banged on them for a few minutes, then I barged in and took the sticks from him. I remember going home and telling my parents how badly I needed to have drums.
After a year or two of begging (and not deserving by any means) my parents finally surprised me on xmas morning with my own set of beginner drums. I set them up right away and made them all regret their purchase immediately. My parents insisted I take lessons, and I did. I think I had about five in total.
They hired this guy who was teaching my cousin (who I was jealous of until I got my drums) to come by once a week. I forget his name, but I remember thinking “This guy is a nerd, like 9 – 0″. He was a dink. His dad was a drummer in some band. This guy and all his buddies (who were also the kids of the other members of his dad’s band) formed a band and cleverly dubbed themselves “ditto”. When he told me this I almost dropped a hard F on him and laughed in his face. I can’t remember what year it was, but I know I had just recently been forced to sit through the movie Ghost, in which zombie Swayze always replies to his annoying girlfriend’s I love you‘s with, “Ditto!”. I don’t think I listened to a single thing he said that first lesson becauseÂ I was too busy wondering why he was so gay. After four more visits I told my parents I wasn’t learning cool enough drums from Dr. Ditto and begged them to cancel and find me a cooler teacher who would turn me into Metallica.
I never took another lesson, but I kept playing all the time (which I’m sure my parents loved). I even joined a band with my two best friends, Dallas and Will. We formed the band solely for the purpose of playing the grade 7 or 8 talent show at our school. We wrote three songs (with the help of my brother) that, combined, probably totaled four minutes in length. One was called Monkey Boy (it was about this kid named Jason Harder who someone started a rumor about him having sex with a monkey – shit we were mean/bad kids), another was called Red Garage (named after Will’s parent’s garage door which a bunch of us hid behind before jumping some kids who picked a fight with Will, we won, some kid got a bat broken over his back…)Â and the third I can’t remember. Our band name was stolen from The Simpsons, since it was the biggest thing on the planet at the time. We were Melvin and the Squirrels. I fought for my suggestion of Melbatoast right up until we hit the stage, but my band mates wouldn’t listen. I was just the drummer.
Dallas’ dad posted the picture above on Facebook today, so you can thank him for this wordy anecdote that was completely unnecessary, but somewhat fun to remember.
Some albums I’ve been listening to a lot lately.
And I’m about to get this album because I’m loving this song.
…Are about as good as the chances of one of my peripherals lasting more than six months. My previously unexplained remedy to an unknown problem decided to completely fail on Sunday morning, leaving me with no choice but to make a trip to Future Shop and buy another new mouse. I picked up a Logitech LX8 which fires red lasers with deadly accuracy. It, mixed with the fact that I’ve been repeatedly listening to The War of the Worlds on my mp3 player (it would appear that I have yet to mention how much I love this album on here… weird, it’s one of my all time favourites) while working on the book, lead to me needing to model some tripodal Martians with deadly heat rays. I also needed a new desktop background since mine got deleted recently.
I also decided to mess with some animation things,Â and see if I could create one where the lasers appeared to be firing. I only spent a few minutes, but I have figured out how I could make some cool animations fairly easy. Currently I’m rendering a version of the above image in Indigo, but it probably won’t be ready until tomorrow.
I have finished rebuilding all the tools I lost last week, and now I just have to redo all the structural engineering crap for the last part of the appendix. James has started sending me photos he wants to appear in a spread somewhere in the middle of the text, but so far none of them seem appropriate. I’m going to get Naomi to send me all his photos, then I’ll have to go through them all and find some that will work. I may even just end up using my own photos from when I took P&B at the ISBA. I wonder if I do, if I get credited as photographer as well?
I also sent James an email yesterday with links to sites where he can secure an ISBN number (or series of numbers since we’re creating multiple volumes now) and UPC codes. Hopefully he gets that sorted out soon, because once the appendix layout is complete it’s just a matter of correcting some text and redoing the Table of Contents (booooo!).
*click either image for a larger/cooler version, unless the small ones already have you crapping your pants (in which case, you better go change your pants).
Yesterday I was in the middle of playing some Borderlands while on my lunch break, when Roan turned around from his computer and asked me “Did you know there is a video of me on Youtube?”. I said “Yup, I’ve seen lots of you on there.”. He must have thought I meant I see him on there, using that website a lot. He said “No, I mean there’s actually a real video of me, playing drums, on youtube… it’s called 9 year old drummer.”.
After searching for 15 minutes he got pissed because there was ten million videos ofÂ nine year olds playing the drums, and his was nowhere to be found. I told him I would gladly record him playing, and upload it to youtube for him. He said “No, that’s okay.”, like he usually does, but then changed his mind moments later. He asked me to not start filming right away, so of course I had to (I didn’t want to miss anything good!), and then I faked like I wasn’t recording yet when he decided he was ready. Hopefully he’s not mad at me for recording him being embarassed. I think I’ll lie and tell him my camera is weird sometimes and I didn’t realize it was filming already.
On Tuesday we went to see Die Antwoord in Toronto. I was really hot and sweaty and Holly almost passed out, but it was a good show. We met Jon there, then ran into Ryan and Amber. I was surprised to see only one person in Darkside of the Moon boxer shorts, and also at how diverse the crowd was. I saw goth kids, club sluts, metal heads and just about every other stereotype imaginable.
Above is the intro to their set with one of their best tracks, and below is the last song they played (before the encore), which I think is their best track. I unfortunately didn’t record the whole thing because my arm was super tired.
Two very important things to note from the second video:
Roan brought this home from school yesterday. It’s about four pages long (like old dot matrix printer type of paper minus the feed edges) and, if you can’t tell, depicts a region of rain forest. It includes a monkey, a leopard, a cicada, a parrot, a bird I thought was a plane but according to the artist it’s an unknown tropical avian. We didn’t get much explanation other than that, because Roan’s parade was rained on when I dropped the ban-hammer on his xbox privileges for not following the rules earlier, so his pouting kicked in and communications shut down.
Holly decided to give him a bath since it wouldn’t get in the way of him pwn’n noobz, and part way through I happened to walk past the bathroom and hear him singing his favourite song: Billy Talent – Rusted From the Rain.
You may need to crank the volume for the first bit because I was trying not to get busted taping him and keeping a safe distance. Close to the end Holly comes down the stairs and when he hears her he asks her an awesome, completely random question. The things 9 year old boys think about while humming their favourite mainstream Mississaugin music…
I really need to introduce him to GWAR. Perhaps he’s a bit young for some of it though.
Since I got Holly addicted to killing Nazi Zombies, I’ve tried to expand her interest in games her and I can play together. Last week I downloaded a bunch of Xbox Live Arcade demos and had her try a few with me. We fell in love with an Indie game called I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1NIT!!!1.
It was only about $2 to buy ($1 if you’re American), and the entire game takes about 8 minutes to complete, but it’s 4 player co-op and tons of fun. The song from the game is awesome too. I keep getting it stuck in my head, and fell asleep singing it to myself last night. When I got up this morning, the first thing I did was download the song. I highly recommend watching the video, downloading the song, and then buying and playing the game.
It’s only downside, is the lack of online play. But for an 8 minute game, who cares.