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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


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Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    Aisle see you soon

    Dear friends,

    It's time to close up shop for a bit. I'm getting married, and I can hardly believe it. I'm letting this site coast on its own into next month, but I'll be sure to return in a couple weeks. In the meantime, keep your left out and don't take any wooden nickels.

    Much Love,


    Friday, August 19, 2005

    Another steamy weekend

    I think it may be time for more grillin'!

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Oh, what a feeling

    Today my car's odometer hit 66,444 miles. Other than the interesting pattern of numbers, this milestone is significant because it marks 40,000 miles since I bought my car in January 2003.

    Let's do a little math:

    I've had my car now for 938 days. For those of you scoring at home, that's 22,512 hours. Otherwise known as 1,350,720 minutes. Ah yes: 81,043,200 seconds. Some days it feels like I've spent all that time in my trusty Corolla.

    Basically these numbers show us that I average about 43 miles a day. Phew. That's a hike. Given that my daily commute is about 45 miles (each way), this average is not about to go down anytime soon. What's the point of this little exercise? I don't know. I was going to take it to the next level and figure out how much I've spent on gas. But I don't feel like vomiting right now.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    The newest goofiest Flickr application

    The FlickrTagFight. "Wide" beats "Narrow" -- but not by as wide a margin as I would've thought. And "Margarine" kills "Margin".

    Planet Poultry

    The scientific community is all aflutter with talk about the name for the newly discovered tenth planet.

    My vote is for Turducken Earth Jr. Who's with me?

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Expensive

    The Ramones "Simone Is A Punk Rocker" - If money grew on trees, I'd own a lot more box sets. There's no extra cash to spare these days, but I'll let them sit and stew on my wishlist just the same. Last week Rhino released what looks to be a fantastic 3-CD + DVD + comic book box set of 85 Ramones songs. That should just about cover everything they did. Here's one of their most famous. Buy It ($51.99)

    Albert Ayler "Ghosts (First Variation)" - Another recent box set. A real beauty. How many box sets come in a 10" by 10" black faux-onyx "spirit box"? I'd say just the one; and this is it. Collecting Ayler's output from 1962-1970, Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings is a monster of a release by Revenant. This is arguably avant-garde, free jazz at its best. Buy It ($95.49)

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Did you mix it up

    Twenty years ago today, at age 9, I received my first boombox. I took to it immediately, not only to play my tapes, but also to record. I was astounded by its recording feature. Such a small little pinhole above the left speaker, yet it could capture so much. As soon as I had some blank tapes and figured out how to record, I went to work.

    Up and down our stairs, around the house outside, down our driveway and into the cellar, I walked and walked explaining what I saw around me. Making sure there was never dead air, I'd always sing a little song or hum or simply make a "dum-dee-dum-dee-dum" sound so my boombox always had something to pick up.

    I sang camp songs. I interviewed my cousin Alice. I created a haunted house. I did celebrity impressions (Edward G. Robinson my favorite). I told jokes. I narrated while watching cartoons and played games on my Apple IIe (Conan!). And I'm sure my parents will never forget how I tortured them. I'd "trick" them into thinking "it's not on record" -- yet of course it was. My mom would continually say, "shut that thing off to have your lunch." I would always respond, with guilt in my voice, "it's not on recooooord."

    How do I remember all this? I still have the tapes. I found two tapes of these old home recordings recently. Man was my voice high. I think the boombox eventually got sold at a family yardsale, but I still have my tapes. Maybe someday I'll convert to digital so you can have the pleasure of hearing them here.

    Mom and Dad, I don't know how much you paid for that stereo, but you certainly got your money's worth. Sorry about all the "on air" annoyances though. But it's not on record. Really, it's not.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    Are you planning on creating a new site but you're out of domain name ideas? Maybe this list of tools will spark some creativity.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    A baseball question

    Let's say that a batter lasers a hit back to the pitcher's mound. As the pitcher jumps up to reach for the ball over his head, the ball tattoos itself in the webbing of his glove, and ball and glove fly off his hand. The ball, nestled in the glove, lands ten feet behind the pitcher's mound and the ball never touches the grass. Is this registered as an out?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Inbox surprise

    It's not every day you get an email from Jeffrey Zeldman, but today happened to be one of those days.

    Esperanto, why don't you come to your senses?

    When it comes to RSS readers, I'm all over web-based services. Frankly, I don't quite understand the popularity of client-based software for gathering feeds. Sure, they do a good job, but I like the ability to jump on from anywhere (home, work, an internet café in Monkey's Eyebrow, Arizona) to keep updated on my universe of useless information.

    Bloglines is my weapon of choice. Among the 100-ish feeds I subscribe to, I get my daily fill of gadget news through Gizmodo and Engadget. About two weeks ago something strange started happening with the Engadget feed. I had 10 new posts on a Saturday but noticed all of them were in Esperanto.

    Hm, I thought, this is odd. The feed had suddenly changed from Engadget to Esperanto Radio Arkivo and I was bombarded with news about... well... I have no idea. I can't read Esperanto. See for yourself.

    I figured some crackpot hacked Engadget's feed but I've been unable to find any news about this. I left it as is for a couple weeks, but nothing changed. No new posts, just the original 10 I saved. So last weekend I finally decided to resubscribe to Engadget. Everything's back to normal and no sign of any Esperanto leaking into my gadget news. Any other Bloglines users run into strange stuff like this?

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    From 17,000 mph to 0 in less than one hour

    Despite all the delays and hangups with the current space mission (not to mention the recent critiques of the NASA program), I've gotta say it was still exhilirating to sit in my car this morning, already in the parking garage, waiting for the Discovery shuttle to touch down at 8:12am. Who knows when the next manned/womanned flight will take place? Future generations may only see robotic missions. It's wonderful that technology can get us to that point, but we can always say that we were around when humans were onboard.

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Bonus

    The Beach Boys "Hang Onto Your Ego" - Every so often I post a bonus track of the week just to mix things up a bit. This week, however, I've decided to use "bonus" as the theme. Both of these songs are bonus tracks that came from reissued albums. In the case of this one, "Hang Onto Your Ego" is really just a re-working of "I Know There's An Answer" which appears on the original 1966 Pet Sounds. You'll get this particular song on the 1999 remastering which includes the entire album in mono and stereo. Summer listening for your summer fun. Buy It.

    Gang of Four "Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time" - Entertainment!, one of the definitive post-punk albums of the 70s, got reissued this spring with a few extra tracks, including a horrendous live cover of "Sweet Jane." I'll spare you the torture of that one. But I will share this track which retains all the scratchy funk, Marxist politics, and edgy punk of the full-length. A little something you can spazz out to. Buy It.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Flying through the air with the greatest of ease

    Hm? What's that? Oh, you want photos of cat ninjas doing cat-robatics? Sure, no problem. It's Friday. And here are your high-speed cat photos.

    [UPDATE: There's now a whole Flickr set dedicated to the airborne cats.]

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Welcome to Moe's!

    When we moved from New Haven, one of my favorite things that we left behind was The Whole Enchilada. They have the best burritos. At least I thought that until I discovered Moe's in Shrewsbury. Moe's is a "southwest grill" and has locations around the US, but I think there's only the one in Mass.

    Lately I've been getting the same thing: the "Joey Bag of Donuts" burrito which comes with black (or pinto) beans and a choice of grilled chicken, steak or tofu, plus rice, shredded cheese, lettuce and salsa. Oh yeah, I should also mention they're the winners in the silliest, most obscure references contest when it comes to their entree names.

    So, you've got your "Joey Bag of Donuts" but you also have a couple other burrito combinations like the "Triple Lindy" and the "Art Vandalay." They have tacos called "The Ugly Naked Guy" as well as a "Pinky Tuscadero" salad. Their "Alfredo Garcia" fajita looks mighty tasty. You can get a "Fun Bobby" pitcher of Moe-ritas. And of course, I must mention my personal favorite, a quesadilla plate named "John Coctostan." I'm not making this up. See for yourself.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Newbury

    The Vanisher "The Tic-Tac TacTic" - I stopped by Newbury Comics this weekend hoping to find the new 2CD compilation called Spectral Sound, Vol. 1. I figured there'd be no chance of finding it because it's very new and on a moderately obscure electronic music label called, oddly enough, Spectral Sound. But I found it! Woo hoo! And on sale for $9.99! Double woo hoo! The 2nd disc is a fantastic 33-track mix of the Spectral catalog by Matthew Dear's DJ partner-in-crime, Ryan Elliot. But this week, you get something off the 1st disc, an exclusive track that shimmers and shakes. Buy It.

    Squarepusher "Beat Street" - While at Newbury's I also stumbled upon a 3CD comp (for $3.99!) called SONAR 97 which includes highlights from the first SONAR festival in Barcelona (a kind of sister festival to MUTEK, which I never ended up going to last year). This track sounds like Tom Jenkinson pushed the play button and walked away to grade some papers or something. It borders dangerously close to the album version, but that's OK, we'll forgive him. After all, he's a crazy spastic knob-twiddlin' bass-thwumpin' freak! Buy It.