The problem with music today

The problem with music today is not the fault of the record labels or the radio stations or MTV. Sure, they can all be blamed for the giant cluster f*ck that is the industry itself. They can be blamed for keeping the price of CDs exorbitantly higher than they should be. They can even take the blame for keeping independent artists down while promoting far less talented pop singers. However, responsibility for the piss-poor quality of popular music lies squarely on the shoulders of a different beast: The Public.

It is in fact people’s taste that has caused music to drop so severely in quality over the past decade. And why do I say this now? After watching last night’s episode of American Idol it became painfully obvious. The unthinkable has happened, and the two most talented members of this year’s pool (the third having already been voted off in a controversy) wound up as the bottom two in this round. And in the end, frontrunner La Toya London was voted off. You could see the exasperation in Simon’s eyes, and Paula Abdul began crying at the realization of what this travesty meant.
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It’s not hip to be square – well, not THAT square

Just in case any of you geeks and nerds out there were wondering: IT’S NOT COOL TO WRITE WORMS OR VIRUSES! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Any person who sits around their house writing this crap in the belief that it will make them popular or powerful is actually the lowest form of loser. You have effectively proved that you will never be able to talk to a girl or have any reasonable form of a social life. And remember, this is coming from a self-proclaimed nerd/geek (ok, other people label me as such way before I had the chance, but you get the idea).

This weekend, German authorities captured the teenage author of the Sasser worm. It turns out that – SURPRISE – he’s a loser who thought writing these worms would bring him friends. The opposite occurred as one of those so-called friends supplied evidence to Microsoft to put him away in exchange for a quarter million in reward money. Pretty funny, you think doing this makes you some sort of underground hero when instead it has elevated Microsoft’s status in the computer industry. Afterall they were willing to cough up some dough to put you behind bars and help deter further crimes. Seriously, Microsoft has almost made itself “cool” in my book by making this move – oh the irony.

If you want to impress me, find a security hole and report it. Try to fix it. Help improve the systems. Writing an exploit so that Grandma’s computer keeps crashing and she can’t e-mail her kids, or some understaffed and overworked IT guy has to work late night fixing your mess is just lame and pathetic. Please, just go out and get a life.

Flyers “fly” over the Lightning

The headline is for Mike. That would sum up why he won’t be getting that commentating job he so desires 😉 . Nevertheless, the Flyers did in fact pound the Lightning last night to even up the series at 1 a piece. I’ll laugh if the first team to get my home town a championship in over 20 years is the one I care least about. But it’s still fun, and this the most hockey I’ve watched since the Flyers were in the Stanley Cup Finals… and Ron Hextall was in goal!

Who knows, maybe we actually will get tickets to the Finals if it ends up being San Jose vs. Philly… At least then I know it won’t be a 0-0 tie!

Honor Thy Mother

My sister Suzanne e-mailed me this morning to let me know that the Philadelphia Inquirer was running an article about our oldest sister Lisa. The article talks about my sister as a mother, touching about just how much energy she put into her children’s lives during her short time here. It reminds me of how wonderful she was. I want to write more, but I also don’t feel like crying at my desk right now. Maybe later. Since I think you may need to register (and to preserve it), I will also post the entire article here.
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Guess I better buy some robes

Well, just call me Kando Daibai. Honestly this isn’t very surprising, since my Christian beliefs don’t really jive with any of the majors. I usually come out as Buddhist – similar to me being described as Libertarian in political quizzes.

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GoreTV: All day bore-a-thon

I guess when the Supreme Court steals a supposed democratically-elected presidency away from you, it takes a lot to regain some motivation in life, but buying a cable network? Is this some sort of mid-political life crisis? Okay, I don’t really mean to knock the man when he’s down, but one comment really did strike me as funny:

“This is not going to be a liberal network or a Democrat network or a political network in any way, shape or form,” Gore, 56, said. He added that he hopes to counter the trend toward “consolidation and conglomeratization” of the media industry and contribute to its “democratization.”

Hmm, sounds like a pretty good idea to me. So let’s take a look at the money behind this “TV rebellion”:

Apple Computer chief executive Steve Jobs is on the company’s advisory board, and investors include former AOL Time Warner chief operating officer Robert Pittman, who stepped down as the company battled financial and accounting woes, as well as Real Networks chairman Rob Glaser, former Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and actor Bradley Whitford of “The West Wing.”

Now I’m really confused. That’s like saying I want to make an honest film about real people and than casting Ben Affleck and J-Lo.

A nickel for your thoughts

So I’m scrounging for change in my pockets at Mickey D’s (hey, it’s the first meal I’ve had there in quite a while) when I notice that one of my coins looks funny. I figured it must be some foreign coin that got mixed up somewhere along the lines, but the image included the title “Louisiana Purchase”. Hmm, my Junior High knowledge of history started firing and I said “Hey, didn’t that happen in the US?” Sure enough, it turns out that Louisiana is one of many states in the US. Who would have thunk?

A quickly fired search on Google led me to a US Mint page on their new “Westward Journey Nickel Series” celebrating the many ways we stole this land from its rightful inhabitants. I’m just surprised because I haven’t seen anything about this, and normally I’m very on the ball when it comes to currency changes – I was looking forward to those wicked cool twenties long before they were released. Sure they’re not as exciting as the state quarters everybody’s already forgotten, but give me at least a poster in the subway, a’ight. This way we can avoid the confusion that makes convenience store clerks refuse Sacagawea dollars as payment.

Greatest purchase ever

A couple months ago Lisa and I were making dinner for friends. We picked out a couple of dishes from one of Rachael Ray’s 30-minute books and got to work. Of course one of my ideas involved grilling vegetables (our guests were more or less vegetarians), and the closest appliance I have to a grill is one of those George Foreman things. So I decided (with a couple hours left until their arrival) to head over to BB&B to look for a grill pan.

Unfortunately the biggest one they had was only like 11″. I really wanted a big surface I could work on, so that just wouldn’t do. That’s when I found the Wisconsin Reversible Griddle. It’s a double burner platform with a flat griddle on one side and a grooved grill on the other. After cooking up some magnificent veggies (including eggplant, zucchini, and portobella mushrooms), I was in love. Seriously, the next morning I was cooking bacon and pancakes on the other side and I haven’t looked at the stove top the same way since.

Last night I did the whole grilled veggie thing again, and I’m getting the preparation/timing of it all down. I don’t mean to sound like a commercial, but I’ve now used this griddle/grill for breakfast, lunch, and dinner several times in just a couple months. I’m not sure how anyone can get by in the kitchen without one of these!! Of course now I must focus on baking needs as I have very little in the way of pans (making brownies a challege 😛 ). Once Lisa and I get our own place, I’m sure I’ll replace a lot of the pots and skillets, etc. – but for now my selection is more than adequate.