Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Trimming the Lilacs

Right, so with all the excitement that was yesterday's pogo-thon, I forgot to mention that I did have the chance to trim some lilac bushes I was meaning to get to. I had some help from my daughter though...

And just so you can see that adorable little expression on her face...


Monday, May 30, 2005

Pogo-thon 2005

Right, so we had the big bar-B-que tonite with Jon, Mark, Steph, Cystal's sisters Georgie and Gretchen, and Crystal's Mom. All went average, what with the burgers, sausages, and hot dogs. It just wasn't the rocking party we had envisioned. That is until we broke out the pogo stick.

Of course competition ensued.

Up first was Jon. Jon's performance was, in his own words, lackluster.

9 hops

I went next and barely beat him. Paving the way for Mark to take the championship with just a mere above average set.

11 hops

Mark stood up to the task with ice in his veins. Taking home the title with a monster performance.

23 hops

Heh. Great fun.

No really.

Woke Up Late... Again

Three days off in a row. That's more days off than I've had in the last two months combined I think. I know I worked something like 28 straight days in April. Whatever, I'm off today again. All that means is I wont be doing much today. It seems like I get more stuff done around the house on days when I go to work, come home and then work on the house. On my days off I pretty much just sit around in my pajamas until I have to go some where. Pathetic.

Anyways, I intend to do a few things today. Maybe some lawn work, or set those timbers in the lawn I wanted to do. Jon's coming over tonite (maybe). We'll do a bar-b-que thing or something.

Anyone reading this is invited.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

How to Make Your Wife Mad

Right, so as you may have noticed I added some buttons to other peoples blogs I read from time to time. While doing so I thought to myself, "How could I do this in such a fashion as to not show favoritism, and therefore not make people upset." The only logical approach I could see was to display all of the blogs in alphabetical order by first name. Chad, Crystal, Kim, etc... So I made all my nifty buttons, wrote all the script, saved and published. I was so proud of the results I just had to tell my wife, Crystal.

"Honey! Honey! My dear precious Crystal, please come and see what I have created for I find it pleasing to the eye." I said understandably excited.

"What?!?!" She almost seemed confused really.

"You don't like it sweetheart?" I replied.

"Why aren't I first?!?"

"But... I..."

"No buts, I HAVE to be first. What kind of husband are you?"

I thought about that question for a moment, thinking she actually wanted a reply. Turns out it was rhetorical.

"I can't believe you would put Chad in front of me," she continued, "If you ever want me to speak to you again you better change that right now!"

Of course I didn't want this to happen, so being the loving, caring, reasonable husband I am I switched the order around. From now on any other blogs I add will be entered in random order. Forward all complaints to my wife.

In other news the Sox got pummeled today. Season collapse imminent.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Recycled Content Abounds!

What do you do when you start a new blog and have nothing to say? Re-post some old stuff you from another site you wrote for! Yay for laziness!

The Top Ten Albums of 2004:

10) BLACK DICE–Creature Comforts: Lately I’ve garnered a reputation for listening to music simply for the fact that no one else likes it. It’s not a badge I wear with pride. I don’t intentionally set out to differentiate myself through my music preferences. I listen to quite a bit of music from mainstream radio fodder to undistributed artists just trying to be heard. I like music with emotion, something that someone put their heart into, and it seems (especially in recent years) that the majority of times the artists who are able to connect with my personal feelings happen to be those who are not playing for their next record deal. Usually when I like one of these indie albums it’s hard for me to fathom why it is they’re not easily accepted into mainstream popularity. But if there’s one band that I’ll agree is totally outside the reality of public acceptance, it’s got to be Black Dice. Creature Comforts is easily Black Dice’s least abrasive recording to date. However, that’s not saying much. Classified as experimental noise Comforts uses electronic percussions and speckled guitar strums to create its landscape. The album evolves from start to end in what feels like a linear path. It’s still something I enjoy though, and it’s quite inventive. I don’t really recommend it to other people though, as I don’t think I know anyone else who would probably like it.
Best Song: Tree Tops

9) THE GO! TEAM–Thunder Lightning Strike: Here is the reason you don’t make your top ten list in December. I hadn’t even heard of England’s The Go! Team until the last week of the year, and gave their album its first spin earlier this month. Thunder Lightning Strike takes no time to kick into high gear, using everything from synthesized strings to a drum machine to recreate a sound that was used mostly by television shows in the late seventies and early eighties. More pop than hip-hop The Go! Team’s vocal team comes across almost like a group of girls playing jump rope. Once this album sets in it’s sure to find its way to dance clubs, if it hasn’t already. Um, that’s a good thing…I think.
Best Song: Bottle Rocket

8) BR DANIELSON–Brother is to Son: Daniel Smith has always found himself in a problematic position. Arguably the father of the freak folk genre, he caters to a young generation of predominately liberal and agnostic or atheistic listeners. While his political views are completely unknown, the subject matter of his song writing is clearly Jesus Christ. What started out as a thesis for his college professor turned into his band, the Danielson Famile. After almost ten years and five albums, Smith releases his first solo album produced by his long time friend and sometimes band mate Sufjan Stevens, Brother is to Son is a bit more reserved than its Danielson Famile predecessors. Still well beyond the bound of the mainstream Christian market, or the secular indie market for that matter, this album has a melodic quality to it that’s quite new for Smith.
Best Song: Hammers Sitting Still

7) CASTANETS-Cathedral: If patience is a virtue then the society we live in is corrupt to the core. Our attitude of instant gratification is reflected in our entertainment choices, with radio stations constantly searching for the next infectious hook to feed their addicted listeners. By creating Cathedral, the San Diego based Castanets have excluded themselves of any chance at radio air time. Its slow deliberate pace doesn’t beg to be heard, but rather whispers its message. It takes time to appreciate the beauty of this album. You won’t recognize its methodical melodies until after repeated listens, after which they will haunt you.
The multitude of instruments on this album are used reservedly, each patiently waiting its turn before contributing its limited role to the song, then dying off not to be heard again until several tracks later. Cathedral starts depressing and gets darker with each song before offering some light and hope with the final two songs. The themes on this record range from desire to desperation, from light to darkness, and from splitting synapses to eating breakfast. It’s a solid album from start to finish, and an easy lock for alt-country album of the year.
Best Song: We are the Wreckage

6) DEVANDRA BANHART–Rejoicing in the Hands: There is really only one thing separating fans or freak folk singer Devandra Banhart and those who despise him. His talent for writing catchy and witty songs is unquestionable. His instrumentals while simple and uncomplicated, are certainly a joy to hear and hum along to. But it’s his voice that polarizes listeners. It’s quite indescribable, but it has a quality to it that people seem to adore, or hate. I fall in with the former and Rejoicing, the first of two full length albums this year, is a great starting point if you’re looking to try out his stuff. It’s accessible, non-pretentious, and easy to figure out after only a few listens whether or not he’s the type of artist you might be interested in.
Best Song: This is the way

5) XIU XIU–Fabulous Muscles: Shock for the sake of shock is not something I’m usually attracted to. It’s been the path of choice for Jamie Stewart since his debut album, Knife Play. His former albums could be described as jarring and unsettling, and Fabulous Muscles is certainly no different. However, Stewart has added a new element to his palette that makes his newest effort much easier on the ears: melody. Always an extremist with his lyrics, Stewart writes under the notion that everyone is born a liar. Fabulous Muscles deals in basic topics like betrayal, disappointment, and lack of self confidence to darker images of murder, abduction, and sexual abuse. Stewart doesn’t back off from counting down the ways your life is a failure. Obviously an album that will put off many listeners with it’s subject matter, musically Muscles is fresh and original. Definitely worthy of a listen to fans who enjoy something beyond standard guitar rock.
Best song: Clowne Towne

4) FIERY FURNACES-Blueberry Boat: Unlike the Castanets, this album seems tailor made for the attention span challenged. The songs on Blueberry Boat change quicker than the weather in the Fiery Furnaces native home just outside of Chicago. Modeled after the rock opera styles of the Who, Blueberry Boat is a gigantic 76 minutes packed with various styles and tempos. Led by brother and sister duo Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, the Furnaces sing constantly in the first person. The album’s concept seems to revolve around adventure, with the title track placing Eleanor as the captain of a blueberry boat overtaken by pirates. All in all this is a great album with a broad vocabulary for lyrics.
Best Song: Chris Micheals

3) POLYPHONIC SPREE–Together We’re Heavy: The biggest mistake the Polyphonic Spree ever made was to wear robes during their live performances. What was intended by Tim Delaughter as a way to avoid the band members many different dress styles from distracting audiences has backfired, causing most music fans to dismiss them all together as a gimmick band. Some morons even go so far as to call them a cult. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a serious rock band. Their debut album, The Beginning Stages Of… showed signs of what this band could achieve, but it ultimately fell short of its potential. Together We’re Heavy, however, holds nothing back. This is without a doubt the most technically stunning and musically complete album of the year. Start to finish this album is packed with symphonic pop music that is nothing short of gorgeous. Download and listen straight through tracks 7, 8, and 9. What you’ll get is twenty plus minutes of pop perfection. And yeah, some colorful robes to go with it.
Best song: Suitcase Calling

2) THE ARCADE FIRE–Funeral: I have no idea what else to say about this band. If you don’t like them, I hate you.
Best Song: Power Out / Wake Up


Me: What did you think of that Animal Collective album?
You: It was weird.

Thanks for the critique captain obvious. Yes, it is true that Sung Tongs does not sound like Weezer. If you can force yourself to get past the fact that Animal Collective don’t use traditional methods to make their music, you might see the brilliance behind this album. After all, isn’t it much more interesting if an artist can use an original method of making sound, and still produce a pleasing melody?
Best Song: Who Could Win a Rabbit?


I can't believe you made it this far. Next time I might have an original thought, but don't count on it.

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Blog is Born

Yes, I have a blog.

Yes, you should be afraid.