Sunday, June 30, 2002

 
Update - I finally showed the 'blog to Mrs. Commish (Chris). Sorry Kafkaesque, she thought that jonmc had the funniest comment so far (congrats, Jon!) Kaf, you get your revenge by showing us the celebriduck site. We will soon be the proud owners of not one, not two, but eleven (it was supposed to be ten, but hey, Laurel and Hardy are a pair) celebriducks. I should explain that we redid our downstairs bathroom a while back in a rubber duck motif - the house was just getting too serious, and throwing up the wallpaper, white and yellow paint (with orange accents) and all the "accessories" successfully made it a prime topic of conversation. But if everyone in town thought we had the coolest bathroom in the world before, just wait until they see it now.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

 
Slow weekend around here, but I'd like to get into the habit of posting at least once a day, so here I am droning a bit for you all.

I got my MeFi Music Swap CD together, and will be working on liner notes tonight. Some songs just need a little more explanation than others. Once I got into putting together a selection of "cool songs I like, and would like to share with people, even if they have heard them before but maybe not", I found that I really need at least two CDs, so there may be a volume 2 for anyone who ends up with mine and wants more.

In other music news, Mrs. Commish and I will be going to see Steel Pulse next Wednesday. Can't wait.

Friday, June 28, 2002

 
''It's the baddest bunny in the bush. It has no known predators in this environment, can grow to 15 pounds, and it can get up and walk. What more do you need?''

Well, how about this - it�s a fish the guy's talking about. You learn something new every day - I had never heard of such a beastie before. Here�s a picture of one some idiot has in an aquarium. You know things are serious when the wildlife managers are saying things like, �'If you catch it, kill it. It's not a `dead or alive' thing - we want it dead.''

Eeyeesh, walking fish. Darwin was right, but it still creeps me out.

 
I mentioned in this MetaFilter thread a while back that my Town had a pretty good Beatles tribute band at our Fourth of July shindig last year. This year, we've got not one, but two tribute acts - Neil Diamond and N'Sync. Bleagh. I'm not even going to link to them.


Sleepy LaBeef, however, is returning this year, and that's a very good thing. Sleepy is an American musical treasure, a living link to the early days of rock and roll, and one of the most accessible performers I've ever met. After last year's show, he just walked off to the side of the stage to chitchat with anyone who wanted to walk up and say "hi" to him. If the Beef rolls through your area, do yourself a favor and go see him - you won't be disappointed.


Speaking of iconic guitar players and accessible performers (hey, the Commish likes guitar music - go figure), Dick Dale, the king (and originator) of surf guitar, also falls into both categories. I saw him a few years ago at a smallish club, and after the encores he too just came out front to talk with anyone who wanted to, and sign anything anyone had. It's interesting to me that two such very different people, each of whom has spent most of a long lifetime as a performer and fairly big star, can still be so ready and willing to spend so much quality time with the fans. Maybe its a generational thing, but it just seems like there was a better class of musical star back in "the old days".


I should probably mention that Dick apparently also maintains his own website, and I have to say it's a real good thing that he's such a kickass guitar player.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

 
Imaginary Conversations in the Dark, Part One


"So, have you thought about what kind of theme your weblog will have?"

"No. I've been more worried about the technical aspects, since I don't know that end very well at all. It's a hell of a lot of fun playing with it all, though!"

"Of course it's fun. It's new to you. But all those toys are just tools - tools for communication. So what are you going to communicate?"

"Honestly, I don't know. I didn't give it any thought at all - well, not much, anyway. I just supposed I would keep throwing in some goofy links and comments - I've always been a little goofy, and I've kind of developed that persona, anyway - but I would like to kind of, you know, mix in some longer things."

"Longer things?"

"Yeah, actually write some stuff. No, "stuff" is a bad way to put it - I mean, to just actually write for a change. People keep telling me I'm a decent writer, but I always pooh-pooh the idea, and never go anywhere with it."

"Why?"

"Well, it's scary, you know. And, if I don't try to do anything, I don't have to worry if what I do is any good, right?"

"Well, sure, it's scary. You're baring a little part of yourself every time you commit your words to print - and here, it's instant, out there, bang, read. If anyone's reading it. But you've been doing that all along, haven't you - and not really caring whether anyone is reading what you write or not, right?"

"Well, no - not really. But you're right. It's just not very comforting - either way."

"Get used to it. It goes with the territory."

"Alright. Thanks."

"No problem. See you around."

 
Unpaid, Unsolicited Public Service Announcement
















BigFun Toys has the biggest selection of fighting puppets, bobble-head dolls, cool tin toys, and other neat stuff than I've seen in a long time.
 
From the "But I Digress" Department:

One kokopelli link that didn't make the cut down below was this "Make Your Own Kokopelli Paper Doll", primarily because it was kind of lame, but also because I couldn't quite tell if it was a joke or not. After looking at the related "Make Your Own Paper Doll Battle of Hastings" site, I think I have a better handle on the whole "joke" thing.

 
A kokopelli shotglass we picked up somewhere on our travels got me thinking about the strange persistence of this particular little cultural meme. Inevitably described as a �humpbacked flute player�, the little figure has taken on a life of his own well out of proportion to his original significance. A quick google search turned up, oh, about 52,000 hits, so apart from the typical tchotchkes, one could if one were so inclined also pick up a nice stuffed plush kokopelli or a complete set of kokopelli beanbag dolls.

More disturbing than the commercialization of the image, though, are the many kokopelli fan sites that all seem to be just a little bit more �adult� than sites about unicorns.

SEARCH FOR: �*�s Unicorn Site�

RECORD FOUND: �Amanda�s Unicorn Site�

TEXT FOUND: �Hi! Welcome to my unicorn site! Do you like unicorns? I love unicorns! Click here for some more great pictures of unicorns!�

FIND: "unicorn�

REPLACE WITH: �kokopelli�

REPEAT


See how easy that was? Now you too can join the kokopelli webring.

Most disturbing of all, though, are the bastard offspring of kokopelli that completely remove the figure from any connection to the American southwest at all - send your friends and family a Kokopelli Christmas Card! Have your firearms serviced by Kokokpelli Gunsmiths!

The odd thing is that the oh-so-familiar figure, as far as I can tell, is really just a cleaned-up and standardized representation of a great number of rock carvings, none of which are really too distinct any more - hey, they�re old. There�s also some evidence that most of the actual carvings that remain have been, ah, �sanitized� to protect the dainty sensibilities of modern viewers. Even the name isn�t authentic - but neither is the name we call the people who apparently made most of the carvings; �Anasazi� is the Navajo name for �ancient stranger�, or some such.

In short, then, the Anasazi didn�t create Kokopelli - we did. Why do we have such a cultural need for a flute-playing, humpbacked trickster figure in our modern mythology? Is there something to the whole Pan thing after all?

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

 
Every blog worth its salt needs an interactive test, right? Right. Fine, then - take the Gullibility Test. A passing score on this should be a prerequisite to a license to press "forward" on any email that "a friend at work" sends to you.
 
* Must. Add. Content. *

To the archives, boys!!!

Speaking of chocolate delicacies, are you looking for grossly overpriced edible floral arrangements? Have I got a deal for you. They are quite pretty, although I think I could probably replicate the same "ooh!" factor with a tub of Hershey's syrup and a can of Redi-Wipp. That would be more fun, too!
 
When Kinder Eggs are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will Have Kinder Eggs

kafkaesque still doesn't have any commenting system installed on My Life as an American Gladiator (can you blame him?), so I feel completely justified in brazenly stealing this link from him. I didn't know that I had been engaged in smuggling, and even receiving smuggled goods, on such a large and heinous scale. I hope the feds never find the drawer full of incredibly intricate little German-engineered toys, or me and several members of my family are going up the river.

If you're put away for smuggling Kinder Eggs, though, would you be able to bring some in with you for bartering purposes, instead of cigarettes? That would be a nice touch.
 
And away we go. As much as I'd like to start out with a great manifesto, about all I can realistically do at the moment is a dreaded "Dear Diary" post, so here goes:

Gee, today I reformatted the 'blog, added a links section and tried to set up commenting. I'll check to see if it works now, 'kay?

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