Seeing through the facade

I’m glad to see that at least some people aren’t being fooled by Steve Jobs’ sudden realization that the DRM he’s been forcing on his users for years is a bad thing. You can find countless arguments going around the web pointing out that there are songs on iTunes being sold without DRM on eMusic, that free items from the public domain are being wrapped in DRM by iTunes, and that said DRM is not put on until it hits your computer which makes skipping the step when not neccesary a trivial operation. Nevertheless, fanboys are cropping up to proclaim that Jobs is taking the fight to the Big 4 for his customers – a fight that coincides with Europe not being happy with Apple’s system. Then again, these are the same people who say that we should be happy that FairPlay is such a “nice” DRM scheme.

I’m also glad to see that I’m not the only one who finds those stupid “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” commercials… well… stupid.

The future of television

Are you tired of having to get up and adjust those rabbit ears every time you change channels? Does the constant stream of static give you headaches and induce nausea? Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the world on channels other that FOX? Are you the only kid on the block streaming the Super Bowl over the Internet because it’s on freakin’ CBS?!?! Then have I got the solution for you – it’s called basic cable! Or, in my case, FiOS TV Local.

That’s right, for just a low $12.99 per month, you won’t need to wait for the audience to start cheering before you realize that Kramer has stumbled onto the set during Seinfeld re-runs. No longer will the entire cast of The Simpsons appear as a single yellow blur. And, most importantly, you’ll be able to figure out whether or not the members of Lost have actually stopped shaving.

That’s right, I’ve given up on my free TV attempt for now. I still plan on doing the whole HD antenna hook-up at some point – but I’ll probably wait until the roof is no longer frozen solid. In the meantime, Lisa and I can actually watch new shows as they occur if we so desire. Honestly, it’s a very weird experience after 6 months of static. We still can’t tell if FiOS really does provide a much sharper picture than cable or if our eyes have just become so accustomed to the horrendous reception of our $20 Radio Shack antenna that VHS tapes from the 80s would like HD to us.


Upon receiving an e-mail with the above subject line I was very intrigued. My initial hope was that the first line of the message would include the words “of bacon”. Who wouldn’t be thrilled with winning over 478 tons of bacon? Well, I guess my wife. And there would be the whole logistic problem of where to keep so much glorious meat. I really don’t think my current deep freezer would do. Most likely I would need to sell a lot of it – but that would still leave me with plenty of that magical, tasty strip that makes every food better once its greasy goodness is wrapped around.

Unfortunately, I didn’t win a lifetime supply of bacon. But with so many other possibilities I was certain to come out on top. Chocolate? Cheese? Steak? Chick-fil-A nuggets? I guess I would have even taken gold. Sadly none of my dreams were to come true. I had simply won British pounds – is that even legal tender? What a useless prize. Still, I’m sure they have some enough value to someone. I’ll check what I can sell them for on ebay. In the meantime, I better send my bank account information and social security numbers to the multiple e-mail addresses included in the message – I’m sure one of them will know how to transfer everything to me properly…

P.S. My personal favorite spam subject of late was a message with the heading “incondensable with swear”. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I’m thinking it might make for a keen new subheading for ye olde blogge.

Till I Get My Way

Although I’ve only mentioned The Black Keys a couple of times on this blog, a quick glance at my charts will show you just how much they’ve shot up my “greatest f@#$ing bands in the world” list. A great oversight occurred when I failed to mention their show at the Nokia Theatre that I attended back in November. There was no way I would miss it, but as the date neared and I found myself with an extra ticket I eventually forced my lovely wife to join me. She likes their music, but just isn’t much of a concert goer these days. But boy were we both happy that she finally conceded to come along.

I think the reason I didn’t talk about the show was that I simply couldn’t find the words to express how mind-blowing it truly was. And I’m not exaggerating here. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that show belongs in the top 10, possibly top 5, performances I’ve ever seen. When you’ve just got two people up on stage, it’s hard to imagine such a thrilling performance, but when the singer has a gorgeous, bluesy voice and incredible chops on the guitar and the drummer is… well, just sick on the drums, how can you go wrong? But reviewing a live show cannot do it justice, so how could I convey yet another instance of awesomeness to my readers?

Enter Fabchannel. A couple of weeks ago, someone in a music forum mentioned this site which has posted the full videos for hundreds of concerts performed at a couple of venues in The Netherlands. This is totally legit, as the venues themselves are taking part in the taping and the artists give their permission. To my delight, they had a performance of the Black Keys from last year posted. I have multiple shows of theirs, but no video, and watching them play is almost as breathtaking as actually listening to them play. And so I present to you the final song from their set, Till I Get My Way:

They messed up the tracks on this show, so the first minute plus is actually the end of “Grown So Ugly” (the one track I really wanted to hear that they didn’t play). Enjoy that, and then watch how Patrick totally destroys the drums on the final song.

Random linkings

  • Go to this Man vs. Beast post over at Chris’s Invincible Super Blog. While enjoying the many humorous situations in which superheroes find themselves at odds with the animal kingdom, take special note of the third picture. Yes, that is in fact a zombie dolphin. Yes, they are riddling him with bullets. Yes, that comic looks beyond awesome.
  • Penny Arcade is having a fire sale! I might just need their tribute to punctuation on my person…
  • Going through old mail archives (a project of mine I will talk about later), I found a directory of Chris Pirillo‘s old Lockergnome newsletter – totally old school. Now it looks like Chris is getting the band back starting it up again. Plain text is the wave of the future!
  • Did you guys watch the big game match tournament last night? I know a lot of you only care about the commercials, so just go over to Youtube and make sure you didn’t miss any. I’ve got too many comments to really organize, so I’ll defer to Lang Whitaker as I agree with most of his comments (although I have to say that the Coke commericials were probably the best I’ve seen).
  • Sandbox may be just what I’m looking for to help me redesign this site. The entire site looks pretty useful.
  • Speaking of this site, I did upgrade to WordPress 2.1 and it went very smoothly. And the new draft autosave feature has saved at least one post from my own carelessness so far.

Man, that really helped me clear some tabs. I’ve got to do that more frequently.

More boring site news

In case you didn’t notice – and I’m sure you didn’t – I changed the theme for this site again. It was a subtle shift – this is actually the theme that the previous one was based on. But I made a startling revelation the other day: Spotlight (the previous theme) has no search box in it by default! How am I supposed to remember anything that’s gone on in my life over the past few years if I can’t search through my blog? 20 years from now I’ll probably be doing searches for “wedding day” so that I don’t forget my anniversary…

While I do enjoy this theme, I really do need to tear it apart and make it my bitch own. Yeah, like the typical cry of the blogger, I make statements like this on a regular basis. But I really am starting to feel that creative bug biting me, as if to say, “Hey, dumbass, put up a photo or two like you keep promising.” Yes, my creative bug is as much of a smart ass as me. Did you expect him to be all sweet and cuddly?

At the very least, I can take comfort in the fact that I have been posting somewhat regularly this year. A quick look at my archives made me realize that I managed to post more in January than I had since… well, I can’t remember what month it was, but it was certainly before I got stuck in this married to my wonderful wife… So as I rapidly approach my 4th blogiversary (remember, I don’t count the first post), let’s hope I manage to keep my ass in gear rather than just talking about it being stuck in park…

UPDATE: Oh wow, so THAT’S what widgets are! I was able to switch back to Spotlight thanks to the wonder that is the dynamic sidebar and widgets in WordPress. Take a gander at my new sidebar and you’ll see what I mean. Now I’m totally inspired… totally!