25 November 2009

Don't call it a comeback

Hey everyone. Anyone? Did my long hiatus leave me completely bereft of readers? Doesn't surprise me. Regardless I'm back now. I miss blogging and I've got a bevvy of shit to talk about now. Not a little bitty bevvy, either. A really big bevvy. I'd love to catch y'all up on everything that's happened since I last posted about four months ago but I don't even remember half of it at this point and if you follow me on Twitter — which you totally should — you'd be all, "Dude. OLD NEWS." So I'll just try to hit the high points.

I haven't been entirely absent from the web, you may well know. Back in August, while on a fairly uneventful business trip to Sacramento, I was asked to write an album review for my favorite local music site, bham.fm. Since then I've written a few more and I'm really liking it. As you are surely aware I absolutely cannot live without music. Being given the chance to write reviews for a site like bham.fm is a great opportunity for me to flex my critiquing muscles while supporting local bands. I'd like it if people commented more on any of the stuff that's posted on bham.fm so if you're ever perusing the site be sure to leave a little love for us. I just wish I had time to write more, honestly. I've got a couple more reviews in the pipeline so keep your eyes peeled. The same goes for this blog as well. This hiatus wasn't a planned thing. But I'm kind of glad it happened, even if it costs me part of what little audience I had in the first place.

Other big news. Let's see... I met someone and subsequently lost someone. It was tough. There are very few people who know the whole story and it's not one I intended to share here for the sake of her privacy. It suffices to say that I wish things could've worked out differently but knew well enough that they wouldn't. Denial is a real bitch sometimes.

Now for the real big news. I bought a fucking house! Yeah, crazy right? I know I mentioned before that I was looking well guess what I found one! It's a cozy little 3 bedroom/2 bath really close to downtown Huntsville in the 5 Points area. I closed on it at the end of October and kept my lease on the apartment through the end of November. It's a nice feeling being able to move and take my time with it. Especially since it's only about 15 minutes down the road. Some Very Fantastic Friends and I moved the majority of it this past Saturday. Of course there was drama. A fixture on the waterline that runs to the ice maker on my fridge came loose not 2 hours after we finished unloading the truck so I had to cut the water off to the house... and the power because the leak was right behind an outlet. My heat was also not working because the gas company here sucks at life. So I didn't have running water until yesterday. But, hey, last night I spent my very first night in my Own Damn House! I also started unpacking stuff last night, a process that will no doubt take the entirety of my 30 year mortgage to complete.

Now comes the arduous task of organizing and *gasp* decorating a new place. So you can doubtless expect another entry or two in my "Gotta Keep 'em Decorated" series. Also expect pictures. And foul language. And more blog posts from your favorite rocket scientist and music enthusiast.

16 July 2009

Hville is the new Bham

Hey there. How are you? Good, I hope. I'm doing fine. I've been neglectful of this blog again, but that record is sounding so broken at this point that it's hardly worth mentioning. It's been a couple of weeks. Lots of stuff has happened. The most exciting thing was meeting probably my favorite blogger ever, Colleen Kane. She, her husband, and a friend of theirs drove to Birmingham last weekend to watch Sonic Youth play at Sloss Furnace. Totally. Awesome. People. F'real. They ended up having an extra ticket so I went along with them to the show. For one reason or another I've never listened to much of Sonic Youth's music. After having the opportunity to see them live I've acquired several of their albums and have enjoyed all of them thoroughly. If you've never seen them perform I would totally suggest that you do it when you get the chance. It may even be worth a 6+ hour drive, but you'd have to ask Colleen about that.

The light show was pretty incredible, but not very conducive to pictures.


The weekend before that a friend and I went to Auburn for the 4th of July weekend. It'd been about 6 months since I'd been back and it's amazing what can change in so short a time. It was a good time. I think I'll be trying to go back at least once every couple of months now, especially since my friend is willing to go along and split gas money. There's an awesome video/cd/book store in Auburn called Hastings that I always make a point to stop in when I'm there. Why, you may ask? Because on top of having a rad selection they also have shit like this:

That's Mr. Bacon and M. Tofu to you, bud.

I feel like Mr. Bacon should come with a lady on each arm. Maybe Ms. Cigarette and Ms. Whiskey. And maybe M. Tofu comes with, like, I don't know, Mme. Impotence or something.


I've joined a dating site, which I've been thinking about doing for a while now. I've gotta tell you I was a little put off at first. Honestly I still am. I don't like the idea of paying $27 a month for 6 months. Especially when the first 'compatible profiles' the site returned that were even remotely promising lived no less than 100 miles from Huntsville. If that doesn't tell you what the dating pool here is like then I don't know what does. The latest batch of matching profiles is only slightly better, but still not good enough to justify a $180 commitment. I think I'm going to switch to another site before I just give up and start a credit line with an escort service.


I'm sure you've all heard or at least are tangentially aware of the current troubles that the space program is facing. I mention it regularly on my Twitter stream (that still sounds dirty to me). Basically they are giving even stronger consideration now to canceling the Ares 1 program. Full disclosure: that's the fucking rocket that I happen to be working on. I don't want them to cancel it. Not for the sake of job security, either. I think that if they cancel (or 'redirect' or however they want to spin it) a program that we've spent 4 years and $3 billion on we'll never fully regain the trust of the public. I've got a lot to say about this, so it's probably best that I don't get too far into it right now. Perhaps another blog post. One of these days.


Lastly, I've been on a big new music kick recently. I've discovered several new faves, all of which I hope to someday write at length about. For now, though, I'll just leave you with this music video for "Stillness is the Move" off of the new Dirty Projectors album, Bitte Orca. It's a fantastic listen and I recommend it. A lot. Even though the video is a little awkward and, according to the description on YouTube, features rare llamas.

04 July 2009

They say it's your birthday

This is going to have to be a really quick blog entry because I'm currently pilfering wireless from the video/book store while sequestered away in the kiddie fiction section. I'm in Auburn for the weekend and my gracious hosts didn't have gracious internets, but this place does! So fist off, Happy Birthday America! I like you sometimes, and with this new administration in place it seems that recently it's been more often than not. Though the idiots out there with their TEA parties can fuck right off. Not necessarily all of them, just the ones who are protesting simply for the sake of protesting without having a dime-store clue what they're talking about. So I hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July celebrations and no one is losing fingers or any such thing.

More importantly though we should all wish this here blog a big ol' Happy 1st Birthday! Celebrations!

So what does one get a blog for it's first birthday? Well, I was planning on spending some time today giving my blog a total spa-treatment makeover with new widgets and colors and what-haves, but with my internets situation being less than ideal that'll just have to wait until tomorrow when I get back to Huntsville. Plus, honestly, every time I start fucking with html or xml or anything like that I just feel like a right damn idiot. Does not compute. So anyway I'm going to go because that family over there is starting to give me dirty looks. Maybe I'm a little too close to the Nancy Drew kiosk.

Happy First Birthday Blog!

02 July 2009

What a way to make a livin'

I'm sitting at work without much to do and not doing much. I've got things I should be doing, I'm just not. Know what that's like? It's as though I don't feel compelled to complete the tasks set before me. I've thought about this a lot. I've seriously got a half-dozen things I could be doing right now. Part of me feels like doing them is really pointless, though. As if the tasks are unimportant. How do you get over that feeling? When I say unimportant I mean that I'm fairly confident that at least half of the shit on my to-do list could go undone ad infinitum and no one would notice. Maybe even more than half. I don't really like that feeling, you know? I like my job and I'm certainly glad to have one but there are plenty of times, such as now, when I feel like I'm just doing busy-work. I think it's the only work there is to be done right now, though. In 5 years will someone be looking at the work I've done and say, "I'm glad someone took the time to do that. It's really saved our asses"?

Believe you me, I enjoy getting a paycheck for browsing the damn internet. It's a sweet gig. But I shouldn't be browsing the internet. I should be working on this other shit. I just honestly feel like I'm making just as much of a difference either way. These past two weeks have been keeping me busy. And by that I mean that I've been kept away from the computer. Hence the lack of blogging. But now that I'm back in front of the computer at my desk with no fires to put out here I am blogging again. Go figure. I guess I don't really know why I'm writing all of this shit. Just something to do, I suppose.

29 June 2009

Long hot summer days

The title of this blog* is the song I'm listening to off of Sara Watkins' eponymous debut. She's the fiddle player from Nickle Creek and her first album was produced by Led Zepplin's John Paul Jones. Sound interesting enough for you yet? Here's the track. It's pretty awesome.

I've gotta tell y'all something. I've been running this blog now for almost a year. It'll be exactly a year come the 4th. Yes, that's right kids. My blog was Born of the Fourth of July. But when I started it I didn't have a job. And then when I actually got a job I had a lot of downtime which I used to blog. I figured if I'm gonna spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer with only 2 hours worth of shit to do then I might as well Rock some things in my free time. Well, it's been a while since I Rocked something, ain't it? You know why? Because NASA apparently wants me to do shit on the clock now. How absurd! I've been busier than hell recently. If y'all know me at all you know that it takes some doing to get me to work past the 5 o'clock whistle. I've been at work until 7 PM or so at least 4 times in the last 6 work days. Before that I was at work at 7 AM! What kind of shit is that? But it's okay. I'm just getting adjusted is all. So that's the reason that my blog presence has been somewhat wanting as of late. I know, you've heard it all before. But them's the facts. So, instead of calling it quits, I'm going to have to start blogging on my own time. I shudder to think.

Anyhow so aside from being busy at work it also seems like since the summer started I've not really been home for more than an hour without being asleep (which is also MIA). Anyone else catching some of this action? What's up with that? Seriously, for the last two weeks at least it seems like as soon as I get home from work someone is calling about dinner or a bar or hiking or something. Not a bad problem to have, I think.

I've also met a girl or two in the past month, which should be a great thing. Of course we've all seen how well I deal with women so let's not go picking out drapes or anything. I'm not even sure if they're actually interested. Who saw that one coming? God I'm a schmuck. I'd totally be joining a dating site right now if it weren't for the fact that I'm trying to save money to buy a house. This is turning out to be an ordeal. The house-buying, I mean. And I guess the women thing, too. Natch.

Speaking of relationships, everyone say congratulations to Colleen who just got married! And she met her beau on the nets! So should the day ever come that I have discretionary income again I'll be begging her advice on how to best approach the e-dating situation because she obviously aced that shit. Also, read her blog because she's totally awesome. With any luck I'll be getting to meet her (and The F, er, H) in a couple of weeks when she sees Sonic Youth in Birmingham.

*It's also a perfect way to describe the ridiculous heat wave that we've been experiencing here. OH MY GOD.

19 June 2009

A man in a gorilla suit

I'm gonna go ahead and knock out the last of my Sasquatch! posts. Took me long enough AMIRITE?! I actually just sent an email today to one of the folks we met up there who's asked us to come visit him in Portland. I may take him up on that. I hear good things. Anyway so here are my notes from Monday, May 26th- the last day of Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Horse Feathers:
- All strings = awesome
- Like Great Lake Swimmers
- Kind of repetitive
- Better served in small venues
- Probably not a 'whole CD' band
- Hell yes play the saw! (Gotta love it when folks play the saw, right?)

These folks work hard to sound good.

Bishop Allen:
- Party music
- Good energy
- Catchy
- Good
- Uke!
- Probably better cause I'm drunk (Maybe my favorite note from the whole trip.)
- Harvard grads (Yeah, indie party music from Ivy League grads. Vampire Weekend much?)

Gogol Bordello:
- Fucking packed (It was ridiculous. The rush of people to get in front of the stage was mad.)
- Rock
- Pogo (I was jumping like I was 14 again and watching The Supertones.)
- Crowd loves it
- Awesome hot dancers (Always adds to a show.)
- No talking (My only complaint. They didn't even introduce songs!)
- Lots of sweat
- Lots of it (You pack 300 people into an area the size of a tiny apartment in 98 degree weather and see what happens.)

He hardly stopped moving long enough for photos

It kind of looks like those are my hands and I took this photo with my mind.

Fleet Foxes:
- 20 min late
- Young!
- Start out a capella
- Kind of boring
- Don't sound great
- Mandolin + keyboard = impressive (Playing them simultaneously, that is.)
- Warming up
- Awkward and quiet between songs
- Play well (It ended up being a good show but those guys are the antithesis of rock stars.)

Ahh! It's Sasquatch! Oh, no. It's just Robin Pecknold.

And that's it! Damn if I had realized that I would've just tacked this onto the last post. Heh. Oh well. We left early that day because we had to drive back to Seattle so we could fly out the next morning. So we missed a few acts but no one critical (Ben Harper, meh). As we were leaving:

Check out my sweet armband tan

As always feel free to look at the rest of the photos. You've seriously at least gotta check out the pics from the drive over there. Here's a preview:

So that's it for my trip to the great pacific northwest for Sasquatch! What do y'all think? Seems like a pretty good time, doesn't it? Now who wants to go with me next year?

14 June 2009

He's a large out-of-focus monster

Time for my notes from day two of Sasquatch! Music Festival. Let the record show that this was Sunday May 24th and I am in fact a total lazy-ass for just now getting around to putting this on my blog. Natch.

The Walkmen:
-Dude talks like he sings
-Sounds good
-Brought on horns from Calexico
-Triangle rock!
-Like to see 'em again
-Need to listen more often

-Lots of people in this band (7?)
-For some reason I expected them to be Spanish
-Lots of instrument switching
-Tons of energy

The Avett Brothers:
-Look different every time (Probably the fourth time I've seen them and they literally change their look every single time. Beard? Not this time, sucker! Long hair? Other brother, bro!)
-Open with "Laundry Room" (I think this is my new favorite of theirs.)
-So fucking great
-Love different arrangements
-Most I've heard 'em talk (They were pretty chatty this time around. Super humble.)
-Problems with bass
-New song? Title track, new album (They closed with "I and love and you" and it's a great track)

One of my favorite photos from the festival

I took a crapload of pics of the Avett Bros

Murder City Devils:
-Hates mic stands (He was throwing the mic stand around the stage so much I was sure that he was going to hit someone.)
-Cute keyboard player
*We only watched them play 2 or 3 songs because the dude started ranting about "faggots and high school jocks" and we couldn't take it anymore

Zach Galiafinakis:
-Attacks the organizers for adverts (Great way to start a routine, by the way. There were stupid Verizon advertisements all over that beautiful venue.)
-Packed out!
-St. Vincent (She came on stage and sang a song about choo-choo trains. It was great watching all these hipsters sing along with a ridiculous choo-choo train song)

Airborne Toxic Event:
-Don't know much about 'em
-Sounds good
-Love women on fiddle (Seriously. It's a condition or something.)
-Only the Boss can wear headbands

He just can't pull of a bandanna like Springsteen
Nine Inch Nails:
-Sounds great
-Awesome lights
-Sitting up top (I was at the top of the amphitheatre for this performance smoking electronic cigarettes* with a friend of my brother)
-Pretty impressive
-Probably better solo (As in I'd like to see them again when they're headlining)

Er, Trent Reznor is in there somewhere.

Jane's Addiction:
-Knows how to work a crowd
-Awesome lights
-Dave Navarro? (Don't know why I didn't remember he was in this band. In case there was any question the answer is no, he was not wearing a shirt.)
-Shreds (Dude is impressive, for sure)
-This is how the pros do it
-I thought PF quit drinking
-Fed booze to the audience
-Talks about sex a lot
-Made a joke about midget fisting (Seriously. It was his segue into "Ocean size". Don't ask.)

Day two was effing awesome. The Avett Brothers may have been my favorite performance of the whole festival. Jane's Addiction was just impressive as hell to see live despite the fact that I've never really been into their music. They know how to put on a damn show, that's for sure. And Zach Galiafinakis was super funny.
"One thing I've learned is that looking like me it's hard to get a table for one at Chuck E. Cheese. Especially when you have a sketch pad. And ice cream truck music blaring out of your Subaru."
If you want to see more of my photos (there are a ton) the full album can be seen here.

*I'll probably end up buying on of these soon. They're so neat! And it seems like they're better for you being smoke free and all.