Saturday, October 04, 2008


You know what I miss? Legos.

Technically, plural for Lego is still Lego, but in 33 years of my life, I think I've pulled that off, maybe, five times. So, we shall refer to lots of Lego as Legos.

The Admiral made a comment to me not too long ago that I played with Legos right up through high school, and I was all "oh, that's crazy, no I didn't."

But, everytime KareBear had kids in the house, she'd haul out my Legos, and I'd find myself sitting on the ground assembling Legos into space ships right through graduation.

I understand there are adult collectors of Legos who make magnificent Lego sculptures, but I find them sort of cost-prohibitive, and I threw in with Action Figures v. Legos long ago (I have shelves and shelves of Super Friends, for those of you who don't know). And moving Legos is a total pain. But I sort of miss sitting on the floor and trying to build an intergalactic star cruiser.

We never had Legos like some other families who would roll out these amazing piles of pieces, but we had a pretty good set up. I would make whatever the kit suggested once or twice, and then make my own stuff. That always seemed the point to me... to follow the basic instructions so you could understand how it fit together, and then go off and do your own thing with the parts.

With Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones Legos out there these days, I bet kids have a field day. Add in the standard moon-scapes, rockets ships, airports, etc... Well, it's a slippery slope before you're living in a house constructed on tiny pieces of plastic.

And some of the other options... I mean, look... Build the Taj Mahal from Lego. How cool is that? Or the Death Star?

This set called "Star Justice" is pretty close to the kind of stuff I liked as a kid. But, look how totally expensive that is... Man, I feel for you parents trying to properly outfit your kids with Legos. No wonder The Admiral and KareBear were always working so hard... to keep us knee deep in Legos, it seems.

Anyway, no Legos for me. I don't think Jamie wants a million plastic pieces scattered everywhere. But whenever I see ads in print or on TV, I do start thinking of what you could build with the pieces to the new sets...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Not Much to Report

Went down to Somnio's this evening to see the Mono E rock out. They sounded pretty darn good, and I was pleasantly surprised by the menu and food at Somnio's.

Aside from that, today was pretty busy with work-related stuff. Perhaps more on that next week.

I did not watch the VP debate. If you did, goody for you.

Anyhoo, it'll be Friday when you're reading this, and people always seem to disappear by end of week, so...

I dunno.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This Week

This week has been exhausting.

This weekend will get worse. We have to basically move all the stuff out of the first floor and into the garage. We're re-doing the floors and that means... nothing on the first floor.

Thursday Night

Jason's band is playing at Somnio's at 1807 South First tomorrow, around dinner time.

I can't speak for the food, as I haven't tried it yet, but I can guarantee that you'll be happy enough just seeing Jason rock out. I promise you, if you show up, he will totally windmill Townsend style.

Tropic Thunder

As I haven't really been able to entertain Jamie properly in over a week, I acquiesced and took her to see "Tropic Thunder" at the Alamo.

It's a good renter or HBO movie. Reasonably funny, I guess. I could see how certain interests groups took umbrage, but I can also see, from a Hollywood point of view, what their point might have been. Unfortunately, the two met in a certain point where it could be taken either way.

The Departed and Cable

I finally watched "The Departed" last weekend. I can't tell you how much that was exactly my kind of movie.

We currently have some premium movie channels as well as Netflix, and it led to a discussion between Jamie, Jason and myself that Jamie always wants for me to cancel the channels, but I've seen about six movies in the past month that I've meant to watch and missed, one way or another.

Jamie was insisting that I should get the same out of Netflix, but Jason pointed out "when he has the movie channels, he doesn't need to overcome his cynicism regarding the movies that keeps him from putting them in his queue or committing." And there are bibles of truth to that statement. I've also just NOT watched a few movies I recorded, and I think I like that freedom.

I think subscription based pay-per-view could definitely be up my alley. They kind of have those services now, and my digital cable offers movies for $1.99. It's increasingly how I want to partake of my media.

But, yeah, I really enjoyed The Departed.

October is Here

Help Jason and I come up with some movies to watch this spooky holiday season! Send in your recommendations!


I want to see the new movie. It's been a month or so since a movie piqued my interest, but this one has done it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Much to Report

Today was a, shall we say, surprisingly busy day.

Jamie, Jason and I met Nicole tonight for dinner down at Madam Mam's South. If you like Thai food and are in Austin, I recommend any of their locations. Just be ready for their erratic food delivery schedule. They're sorta known for bringing out dishes as they're ready, not when everyone at the table's dishes are ready. I think I got my food about twenty minutes before everyone else this evening. But you just end up eating, or your food really will get cold.

I can also report that if you love Krypto the Superdog, you should pick up Superman #680. Honestly, all of the Superman titles are a good read right now (well, Superman/ Batman is a little iffy), so if you're into the comics thing, I suggest picking up Action, Superman and Supergirl.

I'm off to bed.

Ya'll have a good one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cracked and George Will

Many will be surprised to learn that I enjoy reading the columns of George Will in the back of Newsweek (I do not keep up with him in the Post, but probably should).

Will seems to me an unapologetic intellectual and elite in a country mad for "everyman" politicians (something the media tends to feed). Will is also an unapologetic conservative, but not a particularly social conservative... I'm not even sure what the term might be. Constitutional conservative? He seems to have a tremendous grasp of history, politics, the law, to a point where he seems endlessly put out that others are not as up on all of this stuff as he... but not in a snotty way. Just sort of in a way that charmingly informs the reader Will doesn't spend a lot of time drinking Bud Light at "Lefty's Bar & Grill".

For further evidence, up until recently, Will also thought it wasn't weird to wear a bow tie (which Tucker Carlson shamelessly tried to emulate with none of the panache).

Anyway, Will is a favorite of mine among conservative voices that I can read (or listen to on Sunday morning programs) who I feel is acutely interested in analysis on merit, not on sticking to talking points or bluster.

Anyway, I highly recommend checking out Will's recent column on the expectations of the public for the "common man" element in politics.

And this ALSO got me thinking about the other great voice of nuanced discussion, Sometimes I think Cracked is having, perhaps, too much of a determining effect on both Randy and myself. But, anyway...

Cracked recently published a list of the six brainwashing techniques they're using on you EVEN NOW. Here's that article. Warning: The article is juvenile and strays into some territory our sensitive readers will find objectionable.

As the election cycle has been going on so long, I've been pondering how I've been absorbing the news, political messages, etc... The point about how headlines are written has especially hit home. I'm absolutely someone who skims newsfeeds and mostly picks out articles to read based on topic, and so I've become quite used to how news sources will frame their headlines. And, honestly, it kind of bugs me.

So why am I talking about George Will and Cracked in the same breath?

I know this is probably reaching levels of annoyance, but I think its important to take a look at not just what the politicians say and do, but how the press deals with the stories and frames them for us, both intentionally and otherwise. Will has taken the "common wisdom" perception of who we want in the White House to task of seeking just plain folks versus seeking the best and brightest (not that McCain or Obama aren't best and brightest, but its about perception), and I think challenges a single issue pretty convincingly.

But I think the Cracked list, goofy as it might be, is worth reading just once to compare against how we blindly accept ideas and how they seem to creep in to our subconscious. Sure, the article is a bit blue (this is, after all), and some of it is pretty obvious, but in our media-saturated world, where the election and bias are pushing both the parties and the press to find advantage anywhere, its always good to take a mo' to consider how your chain is being yanked.

None of this is probably new to the readers here, but why not take a break from the news cycle a bit and look at what your news source of choice is telling you, and what your candidate of choice is telling you about the opposition? And if they're willing to use ham-handed propaganda now, what are they going to do for 4-8 years running the free world?

Anyhoo... When you get to #1 (no, not the first #1, for which I can only apologize to our more sensitive readers), I think that's whats at the crux of the matter... I leave our less sensitive readers to read on.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A very, very early announcement

So... Jamie wanted me to tell all of you...

We will NOT be having a Holiday Party in early December this year. LudiChristmas 2008 is canceled. Jamie and Nicole began conspiring, and came up with a new plan.

Instead, we will be ringing in 2009 at League HQ. So, plan on spending New Years Eve with (in no particular order) Jamie, Nicole, Matt (unless he has karate), Mel, Lucy, Jeff the Cat, and yours truly (The League. XOXOXOXO).

There will be frivolity, fun, games, prizes, pontificating, and a 3:00 AM appearance by Jeff Shoemaker, who really knows how to time his arrival for a party.

And you (yeah, you) are invited.

Nicole has also promised to, at midnight, kiss anyone who shows up without a date. Jason is just going to kiss everyone, anyway. With a mouth full of Funyuns.

So, December 31st... ring in the New Year at League HQ. And don't bring beer. We always end up with 2/3rd of everyone's beer, which Jamie then gives to middle schoolers.

We'll get all this sorted out.

Some Stuff for your Monday Amusement

I want to dance with somebody..!

Nathan noted to me that American Psycho is becoming a stage musical. If only THIS were the play they were doing in "High School Musical 3", I might go see the movie.

I kind of wish they'd quit trying to make everything a @#$%ing Broadway Musical. I am sure Brett Easton Ellis is equal parts horrified and delighted with the absurd idea of bringing the book to stage. Plus, you know, the sack of money they're giving him for a book he wrote when I was still in high school is probably easing the pain.

I'm sure the box office success of Sweeney Todd had some part in this show getting funding. But... I don't see this being a big sell to the tourists if they stay true to the book. (Hope they put the Bono scene back in, though...)

The Mighty Marvel Manner

Randy and Simon each sent me this strip. Not everyone is going to get it, but I assure you, its funny.

Cat Fancy

Stole this from Lauren's Blog.

An Engineer's Guide to Cats

ACL Fest 2008 - Day 3

Today had, in my opinion, a better line-up.

We started off with Gillian Welch at the AMD stage (a stage that will need re-tooling next year, as sound bleed from the BMI and Dell stages caused all sorts of havoc). Welch played some of my favorite tunes, and got Allison Krause on stage to sing "Go to Sleep" from the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. Honestly, it was my favorite set of my ACL experience, but I also have a few of her albums and am biased.

We then headed over to the AT&T Blue Room stage to see "Stars", who I thought were pretty darn good. I think I'd heard them before, or even saw them last year, but I was impressed. Decent set.

We regrouped at the Crack Flag back at the AMD stage for the Neko Case set, which was decent. I'm not sure I'll ever be into Neko Case the way other folks are, but her set (what I saw) was pretty decent. I think, had I not just seen Gillian Welch do more with just she, David Rawlings, and two guitars... perhaps I'd have been more impressed.

We (Julia P., Jason, Greg J. and others) cut down to the Austin Ventures stage to see Heartless Bastards. Honestly, I was a little disappointed, but I'd also built their set up into something pretty big in my head, so, there you have it. They didn't play "Into the Open", which made me sad. And, bands, if you have a 45 minute set at a festival where you're playing before the Raconteurs and Gnarls Barkley, DO NOT PLAY YOUR SLOW STUFF. Not if you want to not be overpowered by nearby stages and more rockin' sets.

Sound bleed seemed to be a far, far greater problem this year. I'm not sure if bands were turned up louder, if they scheduled quieter acts against louder acts, if the air pressure was different... but I noticed dit this year, and I never noticed it last year.

We returned to the Crack Flag positioned at the AMD stage for Raconteurs. I have something more than a passing interest in Jack White and his two main acts, and honestly wish I spent more time getting to know white Stripes and Raconteurs better. And, after the set this evening, I most certainly will be revisiting their stuff.

I basically flipped a coin on Gnarls Barkley/ Raconteurs, who both played at the same time. And, so, yeah... Raconteurs won out, and I felt like I saw a great show. Would love to see them in a real musical venue some time.

I skipped Band of Horses and left, so I could get home and not crawl into bed, exhausted, again as I have to be at work tomorrow.

I, technically, also skipped Foo Fighters, but here's the thing:

I don't like Foo Fighters. I never have. And there were all these rumors going around, like "it may be Foo Fighters final show... EVER."

Which, if I liked them, I might care. But I sort of feel the same about them as I do about Goo Goo Dolls, Blink 182, Maroon 5... All bands for which I have no antipathy, but that I just don't care about. So when you tell me its their FINAL show... well... okay. Enjoy.

Anyhow, that was my ACL.

I will post a few pictures this week.
So when I was walking out of ACL, I overheard a young lady sharing the following with some friends:

God. Austin. This totally reminds me of a joke.
Okay. Okay.
How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
What, you don't know?


ACL Fest 2008 - Day 2

Well, I didn't make Day 1. Which kills me, because the guy who is probably in my top 3 musicians, David Byrne, played yesterday. But work blew up, and so what are you going to do?

Depending on my source of livelihood this time next year, I'm going to maybe not buy a three day pass, if I go next year.

Today I saw:

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - who I fully recommend.

Erykah Badu - who played a really nice set of stuff I didn't really know. I had a brief flirtation with the music of Badu about ten years ago, and then lost her debut CD somewhere in my moves since. Anyway, I thought she put on a great live show.

I was going to see MGMT, but I couldn't get close enough without spillover from other stages, so I went to see:

Electric Touch - who claimed to be a local act, despite some sort of UK accent. They were good, and I plan to see if they are as local as they claim.

The Natchito Herrera All-Stars, who played Cuban-style jazz and were a lot of fun.

I wandered over to watch the end of Spiritualized, but wasn't too crazy about what I saw and heard.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band played, and I didn't like the first part of his set at all, and actually wandered off for a burger, came back, and dug the remainder of the show, including a good cover of "Kodachrome".

Iron & Wine played next, and I kind of got stuck guarding the Crack flag area as everyone else ran off to go hear Iron & Wine across the field. (The lesson, if anyone asks you what you're about to do, always insist you're about to leave). So I kind of missed Iron & Wine, who I wanted to see.

And, Beck closed out the night, playing pretty much his hits, if he has such a thing.

I am tired as heck and am going to bed.