29 October 2010

At the risk of becoming repetitive...

Superenalotto concorso 129: €18,50. Move over, Paperone!

Last night on TG1, they reported on that the italians are getting fed up with Superenalotto because no one was winning. Which i find a bit...strange. I mean, the way Superenalotto works is that you have to hit six out 90 randomly-drawn numbers to win the Superenalotto Jackpot. Well, if no one is hitting, and the jackpot is at a record high (as of this writing, €180.837.209,85, italian notation), i'd think everyone would be happy as it shows that nothing is rigged. I myself would think that if people were winning less-than-€10M jackpots regularly, something's fishy. But what do i know?

Remember, it's all random.

21 October 2010

Once again...BINGO!

Superenalotto concorso 125 (19 ottobre 2010): €20,18!

Still working on €176.000.000...

(Note: these posts are using italian notation -- i.e.: one dollar and ninety-nine cents = $1,99; four thousand, three hundred = 4.300)

17 October 2010


This bloggish site covers one of the reasons i fell in love at an early age with graphic art and print, simultaneously with comic books and the Sunday Funnies. And i thought i was the only one in love with 65-line screens off-register...

12 October 2010

Death to Helvetica

...the typeface “designers” without a clue or just plain lazy always resort to. It always looks good because it says absolutely nothing.

Gap reverts back to its old logo after only one week
(via BBC)...guess what typeface was used on the new logo...?


06 October 2010

Fender Evil Twin

I love this! And i'm shocked no one has ever thought of this before...the Fender Evil Twin!

What? Too guitar geek?

On the road to €157.000.000

Superenalotto concorso 119...€15,88!

04 October 2010

Way cool

A Brooklyn father and son send a homemade “spacecraft,” complete with a HD videocam and a GPS-enabled cellphone, 19 miles into outer space! (thanks, Slashdot!)

“Pics or it ain’t true,” you say? Well...here ya go!

Forget about what you might have done on your summer vacation...this is way cool.

And is Brooklyn now the center of the universe or what? So it has seemed for the last year or so.

25 September 2010

More on our modern-day Pharoahs

If you are earning more than a million dollars a year and are complaining about a 3.6% tax increase, then you are by definition a greedy asshole. (Courtesy The Huffington Post, via Boing Boing)

I have to say while i don't necessarily agree with how Bill Maher put his point across (yes, i realize first and foremost he's a comedian with a TV show, and that his show caters to a certain demographic), his point is valid and rock solid.

Boing Boing commenters #4 and #19 stuck out in my mind.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos have contributed $100,000 each to an effort to defeat an income tax on individuals in Washington state making more than $200,000. (via Slashdot)

In other news, TV Mania. I can say no more.

23 September 2010

Lightning strikes twice!

Superenalotto Concorso 113...BINGO! €22,13!

In other equally exciting news, Voyager. I will say no more.

10 September 2010


€17.61 at Superenalotto! I hit three numbers. Wow...don't spend it all in one place now!

30 August 2010

Come Dio comanda

Finished Ammaniti's Come Dio comanda today. A Greek Tragedy if ever i've read one. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read. I found myself reading faster than my comprehension, figuratively running through it trying to get to the next page to find out what happened next!

Hmmm...That's eight. What's next?

28 August 2010

In response to being “clever”

Oh, I get it. Very clever.

Thank you.

How's it working out for you?


Being clever?


Keep it up, then. Right up.


24 August 2010

Three posts in one day!

Meanwhile, back in Detroit...

Who cares about Murder City? Detroit is #3 in bedbugs nationwide!

Courtesy Wikimedia


After that unsavory news, yr gonna need a shot of something strong. How about a Fat Ass?

I -- Love Detroooiiiiiiitttt! And, Nine, you rule.

2010's Book #5 my ass!

I knew i had forgotton something! That's SEVEN books so far. Let's recapitulate...
  1. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  2. Other Voices, Other Rooms, Truman Capote
  3. L'amore dell'assassino, Massimo Carlotto
  4. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
  5. The Raw Shark Texts, Steven Hall
  6. The Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger
  7. Trilogia della citta di K., Agota Kristof
Duh. Anyway, i started today Come Dio comanda by Niccolò Ammaniti. Oh my...at this rate, it'll be a book a month!

2010's Book #5

Trilogia della città di K. by Agota Kristof.

Oh. My. God.

I'm still digesting it. What a strange and depressing book. If it weren't written so well, i'd have put it down after the first 50 pages. It is a celebration of the misery, despair and wretchedness that is life. I could never relate to the characters in this book, mainly because i have a different (read: positive) outlook on life, plus that fact that the cards that i've been dealt until now haven't been too bad, a full house every now and then and lots of two pairs that save my ass.

Seriously, i had to read an issue of Paperino just to get the taste out of my mouth...errr, mind. And i'm still processing!

So, where are we on Book List 2010...
  1. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  2. Other Voices, Other Rooms, Truman Capote
  3. L'amore dell'assassino, Massimo Carlotto
  4. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
  5. Trilogia della citta di K., Agota Kristof

Five, not counting rereading of the italian edition of Bukowski's Hot Water Music. Y'know, working-on-my-tan summer reading.

Misfires: i keep thinking that i've missed a book somewhere, but it's probably the Roxy Music book i keep trying to read, Re-make/Re-model: Becoming Roxy Music by Michael Bracewell. Much as Roxy is one of my favorite bands, and 60s Pop Art is one of my favorite all-around subjects, this book just isn't doing it for me. I might have read maybe 20 pages so far. And i tried to read Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar. My mistake is that's what i picked up after Trilogia. Big mistake. Ten pages and i said "later." Maybe at a later, lighter date.

Going from print to TV, since when and (more importantly) why has RaiTre become the Telenovela Channel? If i were more conspiracy-minded...

17 August 2010

Be reasonable...

...demand the impossible! LINKSAUSAGE

Chrissie Hynde. I used to work with a woman many years ago, a few years older than i, that was physically similar...well...now that i think about it, there were certain differences...but nevertheless, reminded me of Chrissie Hynde.

It's funny...Chrissie Hynde's face never really imprinted in my mind. Must've been her bangs always covering her brow.

And speaking of women a few years older than i, have you seen Joan Jett lately? Yes, she'd have nothing to do with me even if i was giftwrapped, but does she have a portrait of herself in an attic somewhere doing her aging for her??? Nine sez she's had some cosmetic surgery done (she's got that cat-eye thing goin' on), completely popping my ever-naive bubble. Well, i think she looks great!


27 July 2010


Cakeland! Really...what type of emotions does this dredge up?

22 June 2010

Monsanto's Chicken or Egg

Hell in a Handbasket, Part 20,215,486,657 Dept.: Monsanto is allowed to sell their GM alfalfa before all safety tests have been completed. Monsanto's GM alfalfa is resistant to Monsanto's own herbicide, which makes me wonder why the hell did they even develop it? And seven of the nine Supreme Court judges found it unconstitutional that Monsanto was barred from selling the genetically modified seeds before all safety tests were completed...??? What? Aren't these things supposed to be completely tested before sale? Isn't that what the FDA is for?

Book corner: two more down for 2010. The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall: i found it a bit smug but ultimately liked it. And one of the Never Read It In School books, the gateway to becoming a serial killer (according to Joey), The Catcher In The Rye. I liked it. I really did. I also understand why Nine never finished reading it as you do want to slap Holden (or Salinger) around for being so annoying. But whereas i found him entertainingly annoying, Nine obviously found him smackworthy.

29 May 2010

Dennis Hopper 1936-2010


Here's to your fuck, Frank!

Now it's dark...

I can't believe it. Prostate cancer ate his bones. Dennis fucking Hopper.

This blog is becoming a obitorio.

28 April 2010

Feeling a little bulletproof today

...maybe it's because of all the Link Wray i've been listening to lately, a real bent.

19 April 2010

He played it left hand...

...but strung right-handed!!! Thick-ass .016-gauges on that gold-sparkle Strat, strung right-handed!

Dick Dale! Let's Go Trippin'! Riders in The Sky! Banzai Washout! Shake-N-Stomp! The Wedge! Taco Wagon (exceptional rendition)! Dick-fucking-Dale!

House of the Rising Sun! Hey, Bo Diddley! Pipeline! Folsom Prison Blues/Ring of Fire! California Sun! Fever! Smoke On The Water! And...wait for it...Link Wray’s Rumble!

“Where am I?” And the crowd responded “Rome,” to which Dick replied, “No, I’m in Heaven!” Dick, you sly dog!

Actually, with the packed house at Locanda Atlantide and no air conditioning to speak of (a few ceiling fans, turned on about mid-show), it felt like Hell!

Problems with his mike tonight. His vocal was almost buried in the mix. At one point he gave the sound man a lesson on using the mixer's EQ. He then says to the sound man “More high end...make me sound like a special guy.” To which I had to respond, audibly, “But you are a special guy!”, which got a smile out of him and the band (who were right behind him all the way, Brian and Richie, if i remember correctly).

And of course his most-recognized hit here in Italy, thanks to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Misirlou. He even introduced it: “Hey, what's this song?” doing an impression of John Travolta dancing the Watusi! It was at this point i left my spot at near-front-center for the bar for the tourists and met up with my friends Paolo, Francesca...and Jack.

Of course there was more. I can only remember so much. I believed he played for about three songs more.

Dick Dale. Eyein’ and dealin’ the ladies at age 72! Dick Dale, doin’ the sonic version of Hitchcock’s Rope: it seemed like four or five songs the whole night because one thing just segued into another! Played for an hour and a half, maybe more, he was relaxed as hell, California laid-back, and did what the hell he wanted the whole time. He played the Strat, the trumpet and even duoed on the drums. He even took the sticks to his bassist’s bass! Dick Dale!

What? Of course there’re pictures (forgive my cameraphone)!

18 April 2010

Insomnia - late as usual

Just finished High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (no, i hadn't read it before nor seen the film: real life got in the way) and liked it in a light, Saturday-matinée-type way. I liked it lots actually. So what is that, four books so far this year? Not quite there on my quest to becoming as smart as Rory Gilmore.

Tonight i'm going to see the living legend, The Master of the Stratocaster, The King of The Surf Guitar, the reason Leo Fender created the Fender Showman 100W amplifier...the bulletproof Dick Dale! Jesus! Still snapping super-heavies on a European tour at 72! Grow up, man!

Feex is doing make-up videos on YouTube.

As if enough wasn't already written about Lady Gaga (no external link as it's impossible not to know who she is), i've repeatedly expressed my generally-favorable opinion towards her, repeatedly saying she's the new Marilyn Manson. Not the new David Bowie. After just watching her Poker Face video, i can now put a finger on why: Bowie was sexy, Manson never was. And for all of Gaga's truly fantastic art direction and oil-slick music production, she isn't either. She’s Quentin Tarantino, not Martin Scorsese.

09 April 2010

Malcolm McLaren

Joey just told me that Malcolm McLaren passed away. Full story, of course, from the BBC website.

As i wrote to Joey, culturally speaking, what would our lives have been like without Malcolm McLaren?

Thanks, Malcolm.

04 April 2010

De-evolution in action

In 2009 when i switched on a light...it came on. Instantly. All my life in the 20th and 21st centuries, that's the way a light bulb worked.

In 2010 i switch on a light...and it takes seconds, many seconds, before i have the equivalent of 75W of lumen.

In 2009, when i turned on the hot water, after a brief wait, i would scald my soapy hands under the hot water, turning on and mixing in some cold water (i had two-valve faucets in the bathroom sink, bidet and shower). If i took a shower longer than 15 minutes, my 50L electric boiler would exhaust its supply of hot water. It would take roughly an hour or more before the boiler would reheat another 50 liters. Not to mention the toll on my electricity bill.

In 2010, when i turn on the hot water, i have to waste two liters of water before my new gas-powered water heater, with a mighty whoosh of ignition, spits out hot water. And when i scald my soapy hands i turn the mono-valve to near-center position where there is an near-imperceptible drop in temperature. If i put the mono-valve position to less than center, the water heater shuts off and i'm left within seconds with cold water. If i shut the hot water off, wait a moment and turn it back on, another two liters of cold water run by before the entire process repeats.

I've yet to see the electric bill.

In 2009 when i wanted to watch television, i switched it on...and it came on. Pretty much instantly. Audio was immediate, the cathode-ray tube warmed up and in 3-5 seconds i was seeing an image. I changed channels, be it network TV or satellite, and they changed...instantly. It would take roughly a half a second, a perceptible but brief moment. When i watched television i watched it in a 4:3 format. Some programs had a horizontal stripe running across the top and bottom of the screen (known as letterboxing, usually when a cinematographic film is being broadcast). But this was a mere PAL analog signal, only 720x576 pixels.

In 2010 when i watch television, with the new 21st century High Definition digital signal, i switch it on...and i wait. Sometimes nearly a minute. Ok, maybe not a minute but an incredibly long time for a television to display a broadcast image. Oh, i'm seeing an image almost immediately, two lines of white text in the upper left corner of a black screen telling me i'm (going to be) watching an HDMI signal either in 1080i or 576i...when the decoder in the flat-screen LCD TV finally decides to decipher the digital signal it's receiving. And when it finally does decode an image to the screen, it's usually distorted. More often than not, my intelligent digital television can't differentiate between a 4:3 PAL signal and a 16:9 PAL signal. And thanks to the love between the italian government and Sky Italia, i can't watch HD DTTV while watching satellite. And thanks to the fact that the italian Prime Minister, ergo the head of the RAI, is also the co-founder and largest shareholder of the largest italian private broadcast network, the RAI still doesn't broadcast normally in HD, while all three Mediaset channels broadcast regularly in HD DTTV.

All this is when you can actually receive a DTT signal...

When i was a kid, videophones were the stuff of science fiction. The Jetsons had them. The crew of the Starship Enterprise had them, but only onboard, come to think of it.

In 2009, cellular telephony had already achieved the ubiquity and reliability (or unreliability) of landlines. But VoIP, now that was
finally becoming commonplace. “Jane, stop this crazy thing!!”

In 2010, the conversations via Skype between my wife and her mother are usually along the lines of...
“I can't hear you...”
“I can't hear you...”
“Is the webcam plugged in correctly?”
“I can't hear you...”
“Grey, what's wrong here?!”
...and so forth. My niece and i via iChat are often reduced to pixel art, when iChat actually allows us to video chat instead of throwing an error. My brother knows when i can't hear him on Skype because a wave of amplified ambient noise floods his speakers.

Is this all a "get off my lawn" rant?

28 March 2010

Book Report

Just checking in, listing a few things:

Finished reading…
  1. L’amore del bandito, Massimo Carlotto
  2. Other Voices, Other Rooms, Truman Capote
I don’t think i gave Bandito a fair shake, my reading habits being what they are, and will probably reread it. I’m still processing Capote's novel. Interesting read, though.

Workwise, i just delivered four episodes of Studio Universal’s Timeline interstitials: Belinda Lee, Il Padrino, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino. This project may possibly be my baby for the remainder of the year. We'll see. After Easter, i’m scheduled to do the opener/closer and other motion graphics for a Boing project.

28 February 2010


self-explanatory...well, in italian anyway...

There are these...ads(?) in the Metro stations...

...that aren't actually ads for anything...

...they're just serene photos of places far, far away,
180° from where you're at while yr looking at them.

Whose idea is this'? I can't just dismiss them as unsold advertising space placeholders, because i can't believe that these prime ad spots are going unleased, first off. Oh, actually i hope i never discover the story behind it.

15 February 2010

Doug Fieger

Last night, my friend since childhood Dave wrote my to tell me that Doug Fieger, lead singer and co-founder of The Knack died. Hmmm. 57 years old. From cancer (unspecified).

I still have the ticket stubs from their concert in 1979 at Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Edit (2010.02.28): Fieger was afflicted with and ultimately died from lung cancer.

26 January 2010

Book Club 2009

Last year i resolved to start reading the books that i probably should have years ago but, for one reason or another, didn't.

2009’s Book List (in no particular order):
  1. Asimov, Isaac; Foundation and Empire
  2. Austen, Jane; Pride and Prejudice
  3. Gibson, William; Mona Lisa Overdrive
  4. Lee, Harper; To Kill A Mockingbird
  5. Melville, Herman; Moby Dick*
  6. Clarke, Arthur C.; 2001: A Space Odyssey
Moby Dick i must admit i only made through halfway. Tough read. Yeah, i’m a pinhead. And Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is still waiting.

Why only five and a half books in a year? I usually read in bed and, well, on a good night i make it through five to ten pages before sleep takes over.

But, already devoured in 2010 was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Next up, Massimo Carlotto’s latest (i love Carlotto): L’amore del bandito.

Edit (2010.02.07): I just remembered i'd also read Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. So that’s a whole six-and-a-half books for 2009! Nyaaahh!

08 January 2010

Back In The UE/IT

Lufthansa LH 3841
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 10:10 lun 21 dic 2009 / Arrivo: 12:10 lun 21 dic 2009
Was informed i would be issued my seat for the second part of my journey at the gate in Frankfurt. Hmmm.

Lufthansa LH 0442
Frankfurt International (FRA) - Detroit Wayne County (DTW)
Partenza: 13:40 lun 21 dic 2009 / Arrivo: 17:00 lun 21 dic 2009
Departure delayed
Landed in Frankfurt to discover a near-riot scene at the Lufthansa gate. Apparently the flight from the day before was cancelled (apparently after waiting six hours on the runway) and a lot of people were looking to be reassigned seating. After asking if this was the line for the Detroit flight, i let slip “all these people actually want to go to Detroit?” Whilst watching a situation between some Turkish passengers and a Lufthansa representative, i was issued my seat by another agent. I don’t recall how long the departure was delayed but with the tailwind we arrived in Detroit with only a 20-30 minute delay.

Luggage lost (i forget their euphemism).

At my insistence for some assumption of responsibilty on their part (“Where are all my Christmas gifts? What am i going to wear tomorrow?”) i was issued a US$100 travellers’ check for clothes/expenses.

Heard about the “death or glory” Nigerian who set inadvertantly himself on fire on the Amsterdam-Detroit (i guess he wanted to go to Detroit too). The US embassy was alerted weeks before by the man’s father. US Intelligence’s reaction: too vague a warning. And now the elephant is again frightened by a mouse.

Luggage recovered and delivered on 23 December at circa 5:30am EST.

Lufthansa LH 0443
Detroit Wayne County (DTW) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 18:59 mar 5 gen 2010 / Arrivo: 09:05 mer 6 gen 2010 (il giorno successivo)
Flight cancelled due to “computer problems”
What does that mean, “computer problems?” At 22:00 we were informed that the flight was cancelled, we were issued vouchers for hotel and/or taxis and instructed to call the Lufthansa 800 number for information the following morning.

The following morning, i did as instructed and called the 800 number. I gave the representative my name and flight number and asked what my situation was. She shortly afterward informed me that my itinerary for tomorrow would be Detroit-Zurich-Frankfort-Rome. I said calmly but firmly that was unacceptable. I would not take a tour of Europe to accomodate them. After a longer wait on hold the woman, obviously flustered (i seriously have no idea why) told me that my itinerary was to be Detroit-Frankfort-Rome, basically the same except with a 24-hour delay. I even asked the woman why she was angry when it should be me the angry one, to which she replied in a frigid tone, teeth clenched i swear, “I'm not angry, sir.”

Just to verify this was so, i called again a few hours later and found my flight was confirmed as stated. By another representative.

Lufthansa LH 0443
Detroit Wayne County (DTW) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 18:59 mer 6 gen 2010 / Arrivo: 09:05 gio 7 gen 2010 (il giorno successivo)
Departure delayed circa one hour
The delayed take-off made my connecting flight impossible to catch. Does Lufthansa care? This has become just sloppy. A second-rate airline. The Lufthansa rep at the gate just couldn’t care less.

Lufthansa LH 3844
Frankfurt International (FRA) - Rome Fiumicino (FCO)
Partenza: 12:25 gio 7 gen 2010 / Arrivo: ? gio 7 gen 2010
Departure delayed circa 45 minutes
The gentleman at the new gate couldn't tell me when the flight would arrive, hence the question mark.

Lufthansa, never again.