31 January 2011

John Barry, R.I.P.

John Barry passed away yesterday (courtesy Reuters) from a fatal heart attack at age 77 in New York. (courtesy BBC)

My condolensces to the surviving family. Maximum respect for one of the greats.

30 January 2011

Booklist 2011

Books devoured for 2011 so far...
  1. Please Kill Me, tenth anniversary edition, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  2. Black Hole, Charles Burns
I loved Please Kill Me. Between that and Punk: The Definitive Record of a Revolution (oh my god, what a prententious title!) by Stephen Colgreave and Chris Sullivan, you have a, dare i say, complete idea of what was going on both sides of the Atlantic during that period. Punk, being another oral history of the period, even borrows passages from Please Kill Me. Add the Punk Magazine collection to the list and, if you couldn't actually be there for the party, it's the next best thing to seeing Cheetah Chrome with tennis sweatbands on his arms at Max's, or actually playing Max's, or playing CBGB's wearing black lipstick and a Vox Bill Wyman bass, or meeting the various junkies, transvestites, hanger-ons and Madonna and her band...ermmm...or maybe not. Then again, i got to the party a little late. Geez, maybe i should start writing this stuff down.

I also loved Black Hole, but it's Charles Burns and i've always been a sucker for Burns. Hey, does a comic boo...err, graphic novel count as a book?

Working on Damp Squids: The English Language Baid Bare by Jeremy Butterfield. This book was on my Christmas list because i was under the impression from the description it was more about the etymology of English language words and phrases but it's actually more about the English language as a living entity, its corpus: where it's been and where it's going. It surprised me that for an offering from Oxford University Press there are typographic errors and an error i wonder if it is typographical: Edgar J. Hoover! The other thing that put me off, being an non-British speaker of English, is that it is more from a British English point of view. Somewhat disappointed, all in all. Finishing it up just to get it out of the way.

I had started Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged during my flight to Detroit, but that got put off (almost happily) when i received the other books. Oh my God, i'm in only 50ish pages and i find Rand extremely melodramatic and two-dimensional. "Who is John Galt?" I almost wanna say "Who cares who is John Galt?!" I've read Archie comics with more depth. Maybe i'm jumping to conclusions...? I'm also trying to factor in when it was written...but...

27 January 2011

26 January 2011

Modern-day Pharoahs, Part III

From my various RSS subscriptions comes this interesting tidbit/rant about our modern-day Pharoahs from, surprisingly enough of all places, the animation-news site, Cartoon Brew, entitled...

The Obscene Pay of Viacom Execs

Here's a teaser: three men alone earned a total last year of $164,200,000 (Philippe Dauman, chief executive: $84.5 million, Tom Dooley, chief operating officer: $64.7 million, Sumner Redstone, chairman/controlling shareholder: $15 million). Earned...what exactly does one do in a similar position to earn that kind of money?

Equally interesting are some of the comments on the article.

In other unrelated news, i discovered using Back In Time backup software for GNU/Linux takes roughly two-and-a-half hours to back up the netbook's 64GB HD to an external 320GB USB2 HD. That's a long time, doncha think? No, it's not the first snapshot. And it's only 16GB backup, the rest of the disc being free. I can only compare against my Core2 Duo iMac and Time Machine: a 350-odd-GB backup doesn't take half that long...but i will document the time next backup.

EDIT: reflecting on that slow backup situation...could it be that the drive is formatted NTFS is slowing things down?

24 January 2011

Happy Birthday, Beautiful!

(Photo by Phoenix Sky Di Mauro)

22 January 2011

Nostalgia moment

Awwww...it's my first bass guitar!

I paid $20 when i was 16 years old (money obviously given to me by my parents), bought from a high school friend. I immediately set out to compose songs on it! I and my brother (who plays guitar) immediately put a group together. Oh, that bass guitar was just the beginning of the chaotic adult life i call mine.

But it was/is a crap guitar. I'm snickering to myself that they're asking $895 for it. It sucked so bad i don't even remember gigging with it. I remember finding my first real love, a modified Vox Bill Wyman bass, at the Sunday flea market at Martin and Frazho. But now i'm just repeating myself...

Anyway, i personally wouldn't hand over more than $100 for it...but what do i know?

19 January 2011

Pecking order

Moron: IQ of 51-70
Imbecile: IQ of 26-50
Idiot: IQ of 0-25

(Courtesy of Wikipedia.org)
In case you were wondering...

17 January 2011

Still here...

...just don't have a whole lot to say.