Posts

Showing posts from October, 2016

The Upload Project #2

CD #11, Untitled (One scratched, two repeats)
Butthole Surfers-Pepper
Violent Femmes- Blister In The Sun
The Smashing Pumpkins-Tonight, Tonight
Prodigy- Voodoo People
Sublime- What I've Got
Harvey Danger- Flagpole Sitta
Lupe Fiasco- Super Star
Prince- Crazy
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Californication
The Tings Tings- That's Not My Name
Snoop Dog- Ain't Nothing But A G Thing
The Virgins- Rich Girls
Kings of Leon- Holy Roller Novocaine
Pixies- Bone Machine
Smokie-Alice
Jack Johnson- Good People

CD #12, Untitled
Not actually a musical CD. Turns out there were about 400 random pictures on this one.

CD #13, Untitled
Again, not actually a musical CD. More pictures!

CD #14, has a track listing on it, but still technically Untitled (two repeats)
The Fifth Dimension- Age of Aquarius
Rooney- When Did Your Heart Go Missing?
Aesop Rock- The Harbor Is Yours
Talking Heads- Slippery People
Sean Kingston- Me Love
Grandmaster Flash- White Lines
Duran Duran- Notorious
Talking Heads- Burning Down The H…

This Week In Vexillology #188: The Pine Tree Flag

Image
This Week In Vexillology, there's no school like the old school. For Week #2 of the Brown Flag Challenge, we're going all the way back to the American Revolution with...  the Pine Tree Flag:


Fans of the excellent HBO Series John Adams will probably recognize this flag from the opening credits- while I think the more popular Revolutionary flag these days is probably the Gadsden Flag (the snake that says 'Don't Tread On Me') this one ranks right up there in the Revolutionary Pantheon.

(Just as a design tangent: A lot of design critics, especially of State Flags hate writing on flags and the whole 'seal on a bed sheet' thing that a lot of states seem to dig, but, you could argue that in the case of the whole 'writing on flags' thing there's some deep historical roots here that date back to the founding of the Republic. So from a historical point of view, America's preoccupation with writing on their flags might make a certain amount of sense.)

October On Medium

It's been a few months since the last update and I've got a few more piece of short fiction to add to the list! (Not sure if I'm going to hit my goal of 12 pieces of short fiction this year, but after my usual flirtation with NaNoWriMo, I decided I was going to make a big push next month to a. get my next book over the finish line and out into the world and b. churn out a ton of short fiction. We'll see what happens.)  In the meantime:

Silence

The Year Alex Adamley Refused To Leave His House

Coulrophobia

6 down, 6 to go! We'll see if I can make it to the finish line!

The Lit City Blues Endorsements

For President:

No Endorsement


I have two degrees in Political Science. I'm not an idiot. I know that with the type of voting system we have, a high number of parties just isn't going to happen. However, there is absolutely no data to back up the notion that we're stuck with only two parties either. If there's a bedrock principle of my political belief system, it's this. We need a credible, viable alternative. It doesn't have to be large party, it just has to be medium sized and real enough that voters have a place to go when the other two parties are pissing them off.

So, yes, I look at all the candidates. If you're on the ballot in all 50 states or at least on the ballot in enough states to get to 270 electoral votes, you pass my viability test. After the dust settled and I perused all the websites I was left with three candidates: Johnson, Stein and Clinton. Johnson, despite his need for an atlas and a subscription to The Economist presents a skeptical app…

Squawk Box: Luke Cage

Image
Marvel and Netflix continue their astonishing run of critical success, this time with Luke Cage. First seen in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage follows the story of it's titular hero (Mike Colter) who finds himself in Harlem, trying to lay low and avoid confronting the many ghosts of his past. When Harlem's local crime boss, Cottonmouth Stokes (Mahershala Ali) seeking revenge for an arms deal gone wrong mows down Luke's employer, local barber and legend Henry 'Pop' Hunter (Frankie Faison), Luke realizes that he can use his strength and invulnerability to do some good and starts retaliating against Cottonmouth.

But Luke quickly realizes that he might have more than he bargained for on his hands, as Cottonmouth's cousin Mariah, (Alfre Woodard), a local politician with ambitions of her own proves to be a more formidable opponent than Luke realized, turning the community against him and leaving his isolated, on the run and with only Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick)…

This Week In Vexillology #187: The Brown Flag Challenge Begins

Image
So I realized that last week that I was running out of flags to talk about and thus realized that I was going to have to get creative to get this train rolling and happily, the Missus and her interior design skills provided me with an answer. You see, we had company come up last weekend for Little Dude's Birthday, so that meant we needed to get our spare bed from the Parentals House to set it all up in the basement. Which was easy enough, but it still looked a little sparse and well, open- like an unfinished basement. Obviously, the first thing I thought about was flags. I have a tote full of the things and while it wasn't a perfect solution, it'd work for a weekend. I asked the Missus what color scheme was she envisioning, she replied red, green and brown.

This is what resulted:
I have plenty of flags with red and green, but I came up short when it came to the color brown and after one hundred and eighty six flags, I realized that I couldn't really recall any where br…

Constitutional Amendments, Ranked

So, this Deadspin listicle floated by me and caught my eye last weekend and the more I thought about it, the more I took issue with some of their choices here. Then, it occurred to me. Why not put together my own list? Every good student of political science should have one, right? So, here, for your reading please.

Constitutional Amendments, Ranked (The Lit City Blues Edition)
1. First  (This is the whole ball of wax to me. Without out, America doesn't have a foundation)
2. Thirteenth (But, the First Amendment ain't worth shit if you can keep slaves. So that's a no.)
3. Fifteenth (tie) (These three get a tie because they opened up our democracy to those who had been excluded at the start of it all- women, people of color and the young.)
3. Nineteenth (tie)
3. Twenty-Sixth (tie)
6. Fourteenth (Once you've figured out the bedrock freedom and who can have it and that slaves are bad, you should probably define citizenship.)
7. Fourth (tie) (Unreasonable search and seizure …

The Big 12 Stays At 10

Alas, one of my favorite sports- truly, the sport of kings- came to ended with a whimper instead of a bang this past Monday when the Big 12, in it's apparent wisdom ended months of mindless speculation by deciding not to add any new members- at least for now. There's been sort of a mixed reaction out there on the interwebs, but the overall feeling seems to be that a. this isn't going away- it's a decision deferred, not denied and b. we're probably in looking at the latter days of the House of 12, so to speak.

The biggest motivating factor seems to have been money. ESPN and Fox have the television rights for the conference currently and they were looking at the list of candidates and just not feeling. I'm not sure if they've closed a deal to chip in some more dinero for the conference not to expand, but the word on the street seems to be that they've dangled that possibility in front of the Big 12 and it seems to have worked- at least for now.

The second…

Albums2010 #83: Remain In Light

Image
Talking Heads has always been one of my favorite bands. Maybe not my all time favorite band ever, because I'm honestly not sure I have one, but they've always been somewhere in my person top ten. When I was kid, Dad's copy of Stop Making Sense would pop up in the CD player now and again at various family parties and once I got old enough to purchase CDs all by my lonesome, I snagged Sand In The Vaseline and loved every track on it.

[Pop culture tangent: If you have no idea who Talking Heads are, well- there's that one scene in Revenge of the Nerds, that other scene in Clerks II and of course, if you're a fan of rock n'roll/concert movies, there's Stop Making Sense.]

But the one thing I haven't actually done is dig into their discography all that much. Sand In The Vaseline and Stop Making Sense provided me with a plethora of Talking Heads and it kept me satisfied, up until now. I'm not sure what got my started on my latest 'Heads binge, but a qui…

This Week In Vexillology #186

Image
Well now I've got to sit down and figure something out, because I thought this was the last stop on the list of flags I've already covered, but the internet says that there are 196 countries in the world and I seem to have come up ten short or so. So what comes next, I don't know, but This Week In Vexillology we're wrapping up Southeast Asia with the flag of the Philippines:
First adopted on June 12th, 1898, the current version of the flag was reaffirmed on February 12th, 1998- so this flag has been around for awhile. Coolest design feature of this flag: if the Philippines are in a state of war, it's displayed with the red side on top. 
The white equilateral triangle stands for liberty, equality and fraternity. The blue stripe for peace, truth and justice. The red stripe stands for patriotism and valor (which might explain why the red side up is used for when the country is in a state of war, because, obviously- defending the homeland and all that jazz.) 
It's …

Rose Oaks vs The Kinnick House

So, now that the Board of Adjustment has split on the status of the Kinnick House- which allows construction to go forward, the Manville Heights Neighborhood Association is suing to block the construction which throws the whole thing up in the air once more. The lawsuit doesn't bother me all that much- if rich people want to go to court over this, let 'em. I don't think any of the arguments advanced by the neighborhood association hold that much water anyway- especially the ones about public safety. But what does bother me is the contrast between how this has been handled versus the way the city dealt with the whole Rose Oaks fiasco.

I don't know enough about the City's Housing Authority and what it can and can't do to say for sure, but it seems to be that Rose Oaks should never have been allowed to get into the state it got into. There were (reportedly) problems with cockroaches. The whole place just went downhill- and may be it had been for years, I don't…

Can We Talk About That Debate?

Holy Hannah, Batman...  what a train wreck of an election this is turning out to be. I saw the vast majority of the first debate, because I was at work and there was, for once, relatively little going on- and I lasted for a good hour before a co-worker begged and pleaded with me to mute it and by that time I had reached my limit of sniffing and condescension. The second debate I only caught the back half of and it managed to be somehow worst than the first. So, some thoughts, in no particular order:

1. I don't like voting against people. I'd much rather vote for a candidate than against them. That might well end up being Secretary Clinton, but it might not be- I don't know. But damned if Donald J. Trump isn't making it really hard to stick to that notion. Nothing I've seen in either of the first two debates has convinced me that he's the least bit qualified to be President and, in fact, it's sent me in the opposite direction. I don't want him anywhere a…

Bookshot #93: White Noise

Image
Don Delillo has been floating around the outside of my literature radar for awhile now. He was sort of one of those authors that I'd always see English and Lit Majors reading from time to time (along with folks like Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh) but I had never actually sat down to read any of his books. Happily, Independent Bookstore Day comes but once a year and this year, I perused the bookshelves of Prairie Lights and ended up picking up a copy of White Noise.

For such a slim volume, White Noise leaves a lot for you to ponder and unpack but I think if there's one big idea that I'm left with, it's the sort of fascinating power that the fear of death holds over not only individuals, but society as a whole and how much of that fear-whether unconscious or not, drives our modern culture and every day life.

Set in a Midwestern college town that I'm not actually sure gets a name (the college is called 'The College On The Hill), White Noise tells the story of J…

This Week In Vexillology #185

Image
Quick, what's the world's only island city-state? If you said, Singapore- you'd be right and that's who we've got This Week In Vexillology:
So, Singapore is somewhat of an unusual country- and that's not just because of their somewhat harsh justice system that lead them to cane tourists who vandalize and wreck up the place. The place was founded in 1819 as a trading post for the British East India Company by the excellently named Sir Stamford Raffles. Gaining independence in 1963, they initially joined up with Malaysia- but here's the kicker- they were expelled from Malaysia two years later. Per Wikipedia, there was 'distrust and ideological differences' between the People's Action Party and United Malays National Organization. Whatever the reason, Malaysia told Singapore to GTFO and they did, declaring independence on August 9, 1965.
I'm not sure if Malaysia regrets that or not, but hey, given the fact that the Singapore under the leadershi…

Sportsyball!

MLS Quest

Okay, I am super bad at this, but there's hope. I did some digging and MLS Direct Kick is one payment of $60 or so on Direct TV, which is both cheaper than NFL Sunday Ticket and less than upgrading my package to get NBC Sports so I can watch all the Premier League that I can handle. (I was doing some streaming, but for some reason, it's no longer down with my log-in, the bastards. Come to think of it, I might have to do some digging as to why it suddenly stopped working for me. I mean, Arsenal seems to have located themselves- for now anyway- so it'd be nice to catch a game or two, you dig?) Anyway: next year, I might have to pinch some pennies, plop down some cash for MLS Direct Kick so we can, in the words of Mortal Kombat 'FINISH THIS'.

But, to MLS! After some deliberation, I think I've got things narrowed down to a solid foursome of possibilities with two teams vying for the final 'wild card' slot. Here's what I've got:

FC Dallas (f…

'Zootopia' --A Review

Image
I had heard good things about Zootopia and was kind of bummed I didn't get around to seeing it in the theaters, but when it popped up on Netflix, thanks to a nice double I picked up at work, it seemed like the right time to spin it up and give it a watch- and holy shit was this a good movie. Let me say that again in case you missed it the first time: this was a really, really good movie.

In a world of walking, talking animals, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) dreams of leaving her small town of Bunnyburrow to be a cop in the big city of Zootopia- rabbits usually don't go into law enforcement, so everyone tells her that she'll have to be the first one ever and despite a rocky start at the police academy, she achieves her goal of becoming a cop at the ZPD- and the valedictorian of her police academy graduating class to boot and joins the force. She's relegated to parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) who doesn't take her seriously. On her first day, she's hustled …

What's Your Sign?

Image
I feel like this comes up every few years now, but when NASA gets involved people take notice and actually listen up, so here's the 4-1-1: your sign isn't what you think it is. In fact, it's totally different from what you think it is- so imagine my general displeasure when I found out that I'm not in fact a Virgo, I am, in fact a Leo.

This shouldn't bother me. I don't believe in astrology- if I see my horoscope pass by on the interwebs or in a newspaper I'll stop and read it, but do I know when Mercury is in retrograde? No and I don't care. And yet... this whole thing sort of freaks me right out. I mean, I've been a Virgo my whole life and now you're telling me that because we've figured out how the Babylonians screwed this up about 3,000 years ago (they had 13 constellations and a 12 month calendar, so Ophiuchus got left out). Take that little bureaucratic snafu and combine it with the fact that the Earth's axis has changed over 3,000…

This Week In Vexillology #184

Image
This Week in Vexillology, we're still in Southeast Asia- slipping across the eastern border of Cambodia to it's next-door neighbor. Yes, this week it's the flag of Vietnam:
Well, golly gee, I wonder what kind of government Vietnam currently has? If you guessed 'communist' you'd be right! The background of the flag was inspired by the original red flag used by the Paris Commune in 1871. The color in this case, represents the goals of the revolution behind the national uprising in Vietnam. The star represents five main classes of people in Vietnamese society: intellectuals, farmers, workers, businessmen and military personnel.

The flag was officially adopted on September 5, 1945 as the flag of North Vietnam. But the flag has been in use before that- as the Viet Minh had been using the flag since 1941, during their struggle against the Japanese occupation. The flag was used as the flag of North Vietnam until 1976, when it became the flag of a Unified Vietnam.

There…