DIE-A-LATE

"Like monsoon, it moves darkness ... over all country ... over all country...."

It Came From My "Guitar" Bookmark Folder!

How handy, an online guitar tuner.

Eventually, I will get around to needing this archtop-guitar luthiers' messboard.

I probably will never need to know how to wire an Ibanez guitar to stock specs, but it's comforting to know that I'll be able to find official guides if I need them. Speaking of Ibanez, their archive of past catalogs was a most enjoyable timesink for a weekend. The 1980s were apparently so awesome they ended in the mid '90s.

Thanks to the evergreen-helpful GuiterNuts.com: Non-Artist's Rendering of Strat™ Wiring and Troubleshooting A Standard Stratocaster™ Guitar.

The next time I need to buy replacement electronics for my guitars, I'm going to give guitarelectronics.com a try, based on how handy this one-volume, one-tone Strat diagram has been.

I'll probably master Rubik's Cube before I understand half of the Strat wiring jobs on this page, but I admire how exhaustive it is. It's still hard to believe that Leo Fender thought the guitar was perfect with just a three-way, neck- middle- bridge- selector.

Guitarplansunlimited.com looks pretty cool but, again, I won't be needing any such things for a while.

No shit, this truly is Effects Heaven if you have a soldering iron, a little gumption and a lot of time.

Another handy tabulature site.

A confession: I'm pretty good at every aspect of setting-up and even modifying an electric guitar .... except for adjusting the truss rod. I'm like a chimpanzee with a prism locked in a room full of irregularly pulsing strobe lights, trying to figure how to straighten a neck correctly. That page has helped, but I still literally take my guitar's life in my hands every time I place a screwdriver or Allen wrench to the nut.

My next guitar-restoration project, by the way, is fixing one and a half dead pickups and vacuuming out the dust in my 1966 Harmony/Airline 7280. It was a thank-you/please-let-me-headhunt-you gift from an old intern that I got in Seattle -- it sounds so nice and surprisingly loud acoustically that I never actually plugged it into an amp until this summer while I was running tests on my repaired and rewired homemade Strat. [See above; this probably betrays how long these links have been collecting dust in my bookmarks.]

The 1927th step on the last road home.

Help me unclutter my brain, please

This is irritating the crap out of me: At one point, I had mentally arranged a trio of unsung, slightly otherworldly postwar/swinging-'60s-active actresses who came to tragic, early ends.


Pier Angeli is one.


Virginia Maskell is another.

I can't put my finger on who I had as the third one. This is what happens when I'm stupid and think I'll remember something without writing it down first.

Not Marilyn Monroe, obviously. Probably not Edie Sedgwick either. No on Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate and Grace Kelly too. I might have placed Patricia Gozzi as the third and later added the "probably committed suicide" part to my parameters -- she was unsung and otherworldly in her one leading role [1965's RAPTURE] before retiring from acting and never coming back -- but I doubt I could have added that much to my memory, considering how weak it is.

Any ideas on who it could be? Thanks in advance.

Why I don't regularly watch TV news anymore, reason #259:

How often we see something like this? "Shocking" video -- it's always "shocking" never "appalling" or somesuch -- followed by news anchor chat that doesn't really tell you anything. Television journalists ad lib more than they report. So, the dogs bark for a day or maybe two -- a week or two if it's a story about a C-list-celebrity father and daughter banging each other -- then the satellite trucks are packed up and circus moves on. There's almost never any follow-up. So, here's the story:



Horrible business. On one hand, white Louisiana cops have .... a reputation, and on the other, drunk Shreveport women tend to fall on their faces a lot. Her "after" photo looks more like the result of a classic faceplant than a classic stationroom beatdown. Also, even redneck cops know to focus on the body when beating the crap out of a handcuffed citizen -- it lasts longer, and the damage still hurts like hell but doesn't photograph well and is mostly gone before any asshole police-brutality experts can be called in.

Anyway, the TV news left it as the guy's fired; now, let's speculate as to why he turned the camera off. Only, the guy's not fired; he was reinstated last month, with back pay no less. If this barely relevant-outside-of-Shreveport story was worth reporting on a national stage to begin with, it's worth following up on, isn't it?

It's probably a small mercy that they don't do followups to bleeds-leads stories because you know that they would chop down the already-short report above to allow the talking haircuts enough time to blather on about any number of semi-relevant side issues -- who elects the members of this "Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board"? Was the out-of-court settlement a factor in their decision? Do we have the footage from the other camera, so we can loop the audio of the alleged impacts to the wall and metal cabinet? Where was this cabinet? Why was it in the room at the time of the incident? Back to you, Kyra!


Click for larger, if you dare
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ps. While I'm blathering about TV news, can I just say that Vinita Nair has the most naturally insolent-shaped, disdainful [disdaining?] mouth I've ever seen? I often catch a few minutes of ABC's overnight news show while trying to flip to TCM -- I want channel 0063 but the cable box leaves the 3 off the first time, every time -- for early morning noise while I work, and that mouth distracts me whenever I see it. Even after a few weeks of intermittent viewing, I still decide if she just often dislikes what's in the TelePrompter to read and/or the goon sitting next to her [who wouldn't, really] but neither of those seem loathsome enough to be able to hold one's mouth like that for several hours. I've hated a lot of jobs, but none enough to set my jaw so that I could risk tearing muscles in my face. I haven't seen such a disconnect between the eyes and mouth since Jack Nicholson's Joker, and he needed heavy makeup to pull that off. She's cute, though.

Maybe I would watch the news regularly if the more anchors had distracting physical characteristics -- I did tune in to Alison Stewart's MSNBC afternoon show because I enjoy watch her blinkblinkblinkblink during the stand-ups, and Olbermann lost a lot of his charm when he finally gained control of his tell [squinty eye] when reciting something that was probably a lie while reading the glass. It could also just be that I'm incredibly jaded and nothing will ever make me honestly happy ever again.

I've run out of ways to amuse myself

It's time to get another staff temp job -- I just caught myself watching, on purpose, a YouTube video of Gene Simmons fucking up onstage. If there is a last page on the Internet, I imagine that video is embedded at its bottom.

ps. finally bought a replacement for the printer that broke ... in March. I strike like lightning, with almost the same regular precision and productive a result.

[3:34 PM UPDATE: I got a temp job. Starts Monday. No applause, please.]

The 1926th step on the last road home.

Once again, bottling my farts to enjoy when I'm old ... er.

In you can call it that, I was inspired by the first post in Tim's The World's Greatest Assholes series, which was about the Lakitu from the SUPER MARIO BROS. games. I rattled the following off in his Haloscan comments -- the page keeps popping up in my SiteMeter log, so I thought I'd park them here before the thread's deleted.

Smell that? You smell that? Spiny Eggs, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of Spiny Eggs in the morning. You know, one time we had a level bombed, for 12 screens. When it was all over, I floated over. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' wop body. The smell, you know that Spiny smell, the whole level. Smelled like ....... Victory. Someday this game's gonna end ....
milo | Homepage | 09.10.09 - 10:24 am | #

We train young Koopas to drop echinoderms on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their clouds because it's obscene.
milo | Homepage | 09.10.09 - 10:26 am | #

Mario don't surf
milo | Homepage | 09.10.09 - 10:30 am | #

The 1924th step on the last road home.

I'm thisclose to deleting Amazon from my Firefox search list ....

.... and/or writing my Congressman about this. Maybe I don't shop as much as I used to [in, um, 1998] but why has Amazon's product search not improved in fine-tuning since they stopped carrying just books? It can't be that difficult to accommodate an advance search for, say, a caffeine-addled workaholic who wants to impulse-buy a 1] new/old 2] well-reviewed 3] laserjet printer 4] possibly a fax/scanner/printer but definitely 5] one that can print at at least 1200dpi, ideally a unit 6] with free shipping and/or 7] ships from outside New York State so I don't get spanked with sales tax. I would settle for Amazon simply deciding whether or not a given printer is an electronic product or an office supply -- or, failing that, puts said printer in both categories so I don't have to play Marco Polo with HP's entire product line.

Waiting for HBO Boxing

I am no more convinced that I will watch Mayweather whup Marquez now than I was before I accidentally discovered he won last week. Fights like this are a big reason why I think we should have almost as much contempt for the concept of pound-for-pound rankings as we should hold for the dozens of alphabet title belts floating around. Unfortunately, the P4P rankings are handed out by boxing journalists, so I'm not waiting for them to call bullshit on themselves. Or they start calling for Money May to jump up two weight classes and challenge the top man available straight off. [Prior to the announcement that he's signed on to fight Roy Jones Jr. again, assuming he gets by Danny Green, I would have nominated a Mayweather/Bernard Hopkins fight at super-middleweight; fair's fair and the Floyd story now is that weight isn't really an issue when you have century-class skills, right?

[Wow, if this FACEOFF WITH MAX KELLERMAN is a real, 30-60-minute program where Cotto and Pacquaio are interviewed within kissing/punching distance of each other, and not just a heavily-edited 30 second commercial for PACQUAIO/COTTO 24/7, I think I would watch the shit out of that show.]

Anyway, I'm still rooting for that big palooka Cris Arreola to pull off an upset against Vitali Klitschko, but I'll be happy if the fight just isn't boring. That's slightly less of a sure thing than Mayweather's victory.

By the way, even with Cristobal being a late-ish replacement for Vitali, it sucks that there wasn't a COUNTDOWN show to set up this fight -- it's the closest thing to an event that the heavyweight division has seen in memory, and both fighters are charismatic and lead interesting, wildly different lifestyles. HBO has an interest in Arreola -- he's a staple of their new-fighters promotion, and the Klitschkos aren't going anywhere any time soon -- especially if the reason there was no COUNTDOWN was because there wasn't any money left in HBO Sports' yearly budget, having pissed a lot of money [read: any] on the guaranteed snooze that was Chad Dawson-Antonio Tarver II.

10:58 PM UPDATE: Why those little stinkers; HBO isn't airing the original in-ring interview with Mayweather, instead they're doing a new one to more efficiently kiss his ring. It's a shame that Shane Mosley had Floyd under more pressure in a few interview moments than Marquez had him under the entire fight. Oh, now they're going to re-air the Mosley moment, oop, no they're not. Oh Jim Lamphley, why do you toy with my affections so? Urgh, now Mayweather's apologizing for what he's said about the HBO announcing team. Feh!

This seems like a particularly disorganized broadcast -- live mics, missed cues, I'm waiting for Kellerman or Steward or the director to unwittingly call Klitschko an asshole on another live mic or something to make a fuckup trifecta.

Here's the [clearly set-up] beef:


11:22 PM UPDATE: What the fuck is Larry Merchant talking about?

Did I miss the part where one of the announcing team disclosed that Steward trains Vitali's brother?

11:33 PM UPDATE: What the fuck is Larry Merchant talking about?

It's as terrifying to see how huge Vitali is as it is amusing to see him run-run-run run away from such a smaller man when Arreola sorta connects.

11:45 PM UPDATE: I know he's a heavyweight, which means he's essentially a mutant, but aren't all Mexican-blooded boxers born with the makings of a punishing left hook? I don't think I've seen Arreola throw one yet, and we're to the halfway point.

Ninety-eight Klitschko punches to the chin and Arreola is still going. He's the man.

11:50 UPDATE: Considering how conspicuous their repeated mentions of Mosley during the Mayweather-Marquez fight were, I wonder if HBO will try to goad Wladmir into challenging his brother for a fight during the post-fight interviews if he wins tonight. It's not like there's been lulls in the fight that demanded Lamphley talk about something else.

Man, Vitali's sides are as red and bruised as Arreola's face.

Arreola's parentheses guard, um, sucks. With a schnoz like that, you'd think he use peek-a-boo to protect his face.

12:00 AM UPDATE: What the fuck? Vitali's hands are down and his footwork's flat -- if Arreola has anything left in the tank, now's the time to pour it on.

12:02 UPDATE: What the fuck, part two. They stopped the fight??? It's not like Arreola was Joe Fraizer in the Thrilla in Manilla, literally delirious and blind with a handful of rounds to go. The referee didn't even warn Arreola's corner that he was going to stop the fight if he doesn't make something happen in the following round, which is the fair, sporting thing to do. If anyone has a Puncher's Chance when so far behind on the cards, it's Cris Arreola. Even so, he just gave the Klitschkos more of a fight than they've seen in at least five years. Let's hope he lays off the beer and video games between fights and drops down another 10-20 pounds.

12:10 AM UPDATE: I admire that Arreola isn't shy about dropping the F-bombs in his interviews. The majority of boxers I've met talk like 14-year-old boys who hope to grow up to be accident-prone sailors, but only Cristobal keeps it real.

Good grief, they didn't lay on the Mosley vs. Mayweather chatter as much as they're throwing out WHAT A SHAME IT IS THAT THE BROTHERS REFUSE TO FIGHT EACH OTHER FOR SOME FOOLISH REASON EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD BE THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION SINCE FOREVER TIMES INFINITY WITH CHERRIES ON TOP.

12:12 AM UPDATE: What the fuck is Larry Merchant talking about?

It Came From My Facebook Wall

After two weeks, I'm still trying to figure out what to use Facebook for. I thought the below were too amusing not to share outside the FB gated community, especially for when I finally lose interest and turn off my account. Enjoy.

*******

There's only one appropriate volume level for the last two episodes of THE PRISONER, and that is "Maximum." The first time Leo McKern screamed "WHY DID YOU RESIGN?" Little Man made a three feet vertical jump. This show is the shittinest.

As of right now, there are 52 guys named "Eddie Coyle" on FB. I wonder how many of them feel anything when they see the "Friends Of" header on that page.

A poem:
Eddie Coyle had a foil.
The young turk seemed very unstable.
But it was when Peter Boyle met Eddie Coyle
that ended all negotiations at the diner table.

Just listened to Paul Westerberg's album 49:00 for what may have been the 49th time -- I still can't decide if Paul has single-handedly reinvented AOR for the iPod or just brilliantly assembled a junk drawer's worth of demos and literally sold it at garage-sale prices. ... but the idea of albums being menus for a la carte song buying via itunes/amazon may not be the only parallax for pop's future.

Job Update: PublisherX is interested in buying MemoirY, but the board's key concern is the title's unwieldiness; now really, my peoples, wouldn't you at least flip through an autobiography titled DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I'M PRETTY SURE I USED TO BE??? if you saw a stack of them in the remaindered aisle of Barnes & Noble?

Violating my No-Facebook-after-midnight rule, because my shit is officially flipped: I was just reading a floppy disk's worth of scripts, articles and notes from 1996. Not only was my writing a lot better then, I had a laser-sharp view of neurotypical culture, dating, marriage and relationships that I had no right to have then. I wish that I knew then that I knew then what I know now.

Good afternoon. What would happen if there were no hypothetical questions? Discuss.

From my research pile for the current book comes what could probably be an ongoing contest: Country or Rap Lyric? Example One: "I think you deserve to, and I have the nerve to, make this the last day of your life" [rendered as literally and generically as possible -- no googling you cheaters]*

An unused tee-shirt/bumper-sticker senryu: "If your mind is as Narrow as your ass crack, they Probably both stink."

Our Lives Could Be Your Band Name, Part One: "Strictly Speaking, Dracula" [the first three words on the page of the book I read in the bathroom] If you want it for your new band, call dibs in comments.

I'm crestfallen to discover that, contrary to what I inferred from the two mp3s I got from mixtape .ZIP files, The Raveonettes are not a band from the alternate universe where the Everly Brothers had the socio-political/cultural impact of the Beatles.

I just figured out the quick keys to scroll up/down by page on this new Mac; next, we will annex the bejeezus out of the Sudetenland. Prepare to get Volked Reicht, Czechs and Slovaks! Wer ist ihr F├╝hrer?

I would have really liked GET SMART if it retained Nothing But The Verb, i.e. the scene on the roof of the collapsing warehouse. [Yes, I'm now thinking more about other people's scripts than my own. Too tired to make good choices.]

Am I doing something wrong? Facebook isn't nearly as awesome and effective a procrastination tool as it's advertised. I have three-fifths of a mind to turn off the laptop, go to the all-night Greek restaurant to drink, read ...and write, then maybe have spanokopita for breakfast. [ps. I didn't, but I should have.]

I'm secretly relieved that most of the people who didn't friend me back in that first rush of Facebook networking dementia are the kind of people who comprised the 90% of my fifth-grade class that I wasn't really friends with but were still invited to my birthday party out of an unexamined, pointless real politik.

Last night, I dreamed that I stole another aeroplane, flew it out to sea and, when it ran out of gas, took it down fast and level with the water to make it skip like a rock. The last thing I remember before waking up is laughing and being bounced off the cabin roof the second time the plane bounced off the waves. I had this dream four or five times a week when I lived in Seattle.

I miss my lava lamp, but have to buy a replacement laserjet printer first. Have to do it. It must be done .... first. Yes. Printer first.

I just discovered that I possibly have a monograph clawing its way out of me -- you can imagine my surprise. And its, if the thing turns out to be not-shit.

I woke up this morning to see tears in Little Man's eyes and a human-sized deposit in the litter box. [It's what happens when you eat nothing but dry food long enough.] This cat needs some raw pumpkin, STAT. Possibly some three-in-one oil too.

I enjoy the moment in all debates about art when you have no choice but to either walk away from the discussion or respond with "I bet you think strippers like you, too." and/or "You keep using that word, Senor. I do not think it means what you think it means." Decisions, decisions.

*******

* The answer, if case anyone didn't google it, is Country -- Wynn Stewart's tender ballad "I'm Gonna Kill You [and bury you in a box that's half your size]" Thanks for playing.

It Came From My Bathroom Reading

"He was too fat." -- Miles Davis' only epitaph for Charles Mingus, as quoted in Eric Nisenson's ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT

The 1923rd step on the last road home.

It Came From My File Purgatory

"I actually tried to play that song the other night, and it was like forcing myself to hotwire a car. It felt illegal, like something some hood used to do. It's like 'Oh yeah, I screamed over an F chord for four or five minutes -- yeah, that was a riot.'"-- Paul Westerberg on "Unsatisfied"

The 1922nd step on the last road home.

Requiem for a VINTAGE GUITAR magazine pitch

I've been thinking about the "Charlie Christian" guitar pickup a lot lately. It's been fetishized by a remarkable number of top-rate guitarists -- and guitarists fetishize their tools more than any group this side of, I dunno, Mac users? [by the way, hello future Google visitors who clicked to this page hoping for an entirely different kind of fetish tools] -- artists who can't just be into the unit because of it was one of the first pickups and has a certain mystique, being identified with the brilliant, tragically short-lived jazz/swing pioneer who popularized the electric guitar during his tenure with Benny Goodman's greatest band.


"The Genius of the Jazz Guitar."

I'm intrigued by the story that's circulated that the late, great Danny Gatton -- a player so exacting in his quest for the perfect tone he taught himself how to wind pickups years and years before the rise of boutique pickup companies made modded pickups a comparative breeze to drop into your guitar's body -- was so into the sound of the Charlie he mounted in his Telecaster's neck position that he sought to change the bridge pickup to complement it. [For you non-Tele players nor Gatton fans, this is like a racecar champion wanting to change his car's engine to suit its tires. Those have to be some amazing goddamn tires!] Anyway, Gatton turned to a fellow tone fiend, Joe Barden, to help him match the Tele bridge to the Charlie neck, and the Barden bladed pickup was born. Those are some hot, LOUD pickups -- they really blend well with a pickup designed 70 years ago?

[By the way, Gatton was so into the pickup that he fashioned a belt-buckle from a dead one, and acquiring even a dead Charlie Christian pickup was never cheap. I've passed on free T-shirts advertising companies whose guitars/amps/pedals I actually use, so I can't fathom how much Gatton really liked that pickup]


John Lennon's Telecaster. Click for larger image
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But that wasn't what I was going to pitch VG; I recently heard a record of the semi-famous Elton John Thanksgiving 1974 concert at Madison Square Garden. I couldn't place the guitar sound Lennon was getting, so I googled around and discovered that he used a black Telecaster with a Gibson bridge-position humbucker in the neck. [Not a Charlie Christian one, although he did have a Les Paul Jr. model with a custom-mounted Charlie in the neck, and used it in his ONE TO ONE concert a few years earlier.]


A Lennonly Les Paul Junior, the Charlie Christian pickup near the neck.

Anyway, Lennon's Tele intrigued me -- did he buy the guitar already modified? Maybe he had it done at Manny's, the Manhattan music shop to the local rock stars? Lennon and a friend did perform surgery on his iconic Rickenbacker 325 in a Liverpool music shop, taking off the cruddy stock tremolo and screwing in a Bigsby on the shop's front desk -- could Lennon have routed and installed the pickup himself? [By the way, don't let the below guitar's lovely honey-blond natural finish fool you; it's the Ric he bought and used in Hamburg then had it painted black, probably as part of manager Brian Epstein's plan of slicking the Beatles' image up for mass consumption. Later in his life, Lennon stripped the black paint away. You can draw your own metaphor from that if you'd like.]


Lennon's 1958 Rickenbacker 325, his main guitar for most of Beatlemania. Clickee for larger
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Lennon was far too erratic professionally to have a guitar tech on staff -- as George Harrison often pointed out, it was just a tool to him; John didn't love the guitar the way he did. But more importantly, Lennon simply didn't work enough to make a full-time tech worth it; he wasn't a studio rat and never toured as a solo artist, the only two reasons to have a luthier/repairman on salary.

Anyway, a little sniffing around unearthed that NYC luthier Ron DeMarino not only customized the Tele, he also did the Paul Jr. and restored the 325! He was Lennon's go-to guy for guitarwork from almost the beginning of his post-Beatles/England life. Very exciting stuff! Then I discovered that, for such a small aspect of the massive field that is Beatle studies, DeMarino has been interviewed a lot. I can't tell if VG has published anything about him or Lennon's '70s instruments -- their site has a less-than-ideal layout and search engine -- but I don't know if I want to seek out and poor the poor guy with the same questions he's already been asked a dozen times. He must be getting up there in age too, as most of the interviews I've seen are at least a decade old. Also, it seems that the trio of Lennon's '70s guitars have gone on at least one museum/Hard Rock Cafe tour together in the last few years, so it's very hard to believe that at least one of the guitar magazines didn't throw itself on the subject to get yet another John cover on the racks. I don't know, maybe I'll seek DeMarino out anyway, even if it means I'll have to break my perfect record of never ever ever setting foot on Long Island.

[Note to self: I think we would enjoy at least flipping through the book BEATLES GEAR even if we're still too weird about owning books to buy any.]

Another, somewhat related thing I've been thinking about lately; two of Rock & Roll's finest rhythm guitarists, Chuck Berry and John Lennon, favored short-scale hollowbody guitars for a substantial amount of their recorded work. Berry's Gibson ES-350T had a 23 1/2" scale, and Lennon's Ric 325 had a 20 3/4" neck. I don't know if I have someplace to go with this thought -- it only took a moment to rattle off twice as many great rhythm players who preferred the solid body and much longer 25 1/2" scale of the Fender Stratocaster: Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan and Richard Thomspon -- but I like it.

Because you were such a good doobie and made it all the way to the bottom of this wheel-spinning blather, here's a cookie: a link to a zip containing that Elton & John concert that got me excitedly spinning my wheels, via the awesome Franklin Mint Blog, which is chock full of cool stuff.

Hey Kids! Uninformed Comics Punditry!

I ignored Mr. Doane's parameters for a year-end post on his new group blog and instead made predictions for what will happen in 2010 ... without having actually read any comics published in 2009. Enjoy.

The 1921st step on the last road home.

23 Skidoo

I just caught myself saying "We now conclude our broadcast day" as I was shutting off my wireless router. I believe this officially makes me as mentally old as my great-grandparents were when they realized they couldn't get an operator by tapping on the telephone's hook with those fancypants new speaker-and-mouthpiece-in-one-handset phones. TVs don't even broadcast over analog anyway.

Regardless, I will embrace my elderliness and hum the Star Spangled Banner, maybe with a screensaver montage of wildlife and stunning vistas from across America's rich natual bounty before unplugging the router. Good night, Internet, wherever you are.

(ps. The reason most people who know me won't take me to sporting events is that I supply the cymbals through my teeth to the National Anthem. Da dada da da daaaa crrsshh! Da dada da da daaa cssshhhh! Even when they have music for it, it rarely has the percussion needed to put an exclamation point on each line. It wouldn't be so embarrassing to everyone standing around me if people joined in. Try it, my fellow Americans and/or cymbalphiles, you'll see. CCRRRSSSSHHHHH

The 1918th step on the last road home.

My one-week cone of silence re: boxing begins ....

... now. I know Mayweather will win, I just want to experience it for the first time by myself.

In other wasting-my-life-half-watching-HBO-while-I-try-to-clean news: It's a testament to Elizabeth Shue's askew-eyed cuteness that I don't want her executed for MOLLY the way that Dustin Hoffman will be beheaded for his tardface minstrel act in RAIN MAN. She will be on the protected rolls once my people come to power.

watching Mayweather/Marquez 24/7 ep. 3

Re: the media-day segment at Mayweather's gym: what kind of car did he come in? That thing looked like a bread truck in mourning.

Also, am I the only person who can't parse his comments about how he never had a strategy that worked in his previous fights, so he's not watching any of Marquez's fights nor developing any plan for it at all? I understand most fighters want to keep their plan private for obvious reasons, but why defer such press questions by repeating something so nonsensical it makes you look so lame? Really, "I'm going to hit Marquez a lot and he won't be able to hit me nearly as much, and I'll win. DUHR?" would do the same job.

I kid and I didn't do it.

From the 'Phew's birthday party yesterday: the only Binghamtonian Italian I'm ever not totally unhappy to see.

Also, the only thing more exciting to 12 year olds than cash is cash with Groucho-groomed graffiti.

The 1916th step on the last road home.

From the basement reading: Marie Ray's TWO LIFETIMES IN ONE

You are not tired because you work too hard.
You are not tired because you expend every drop of energy you possess.
Rest won't cure you.
An easy job won't cure you.
All the leisure and money in the world won't cure you.
Lots of people have all these things and are even tireder than you are.
Lots of people have none of them and are not tired at all.
NO--WORK IS NOT THE CAUSE, AND REST IS NOT THE CURE.

The 1912th step on the last road home.

Clang! Clang! Clang! Went the Allegory



I've always liked Matthew Zupnick's Netherlandish Renaissance style and his skill at capturing how unsettling/profound/unsettlingly profound/profoundly unsettling Jesters truly are -- it seems that sculpture has become his primary medium, but the same appealing warpage remains. [ATTN. People browsing at work; the gallery pages autoplay quite a racket.]

The 1911th step on the last road home.

My thoughts on Facebook so far

It's what would result if MySpace date-raped LiveJournal, but LJ decided to keep the baby and raise the bejeezus out of it.

FB does make it stupidly easy to shoot off a hundred friend requests in less time than it took for me to estimate how many I fired off this evening. If you can import stuff from Friendster and MySpace, it would completely be the Death Star of Internet timewasting implements.

Dem bones dem bones dem dry bones

Is there a greater montage than the five minutes in "Fall Out" that
connects Two walking across the street to the House of Lords, the
Butler watching Six trying to explain what's happened to the Bobby,
Butler and Six gleefully running after the bus home, the farewell
credits into Six driving the KAR120C? The answer is No. For all the
maddening nonsense of the episode's first 45 minutes, the final
sequences cut me straight through every time.

ps. http://www.facebook.com/theonceandfuturemilogeorge friend me now,
I dare you. Tell them [them? tell me] Angelo Muskat sent you.

note to self

just joined facebook. woo.

The 1910th step on the last road home.

If Pudwill makes it to the third round,

I'm pretty sure Ward will die of embarrassment. John "well, he's popular with local honkies" Duddy KOed this guy in the first round! It's interesting that the deck is again stacked in favor of the potential superstar's favor -- ideal ring size, three judge from his home state.

Well, that was fast.

It appears that Denmark knows how to homecook as well as anywhere.

Al Bernstein is doing a good job doing blow-by-blow; it would be funny if he challenged Steve Farhood to a color-commentary-off. WHO HAS THE BEST METAPHORS IN BOXING? THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

I miss Nick Charles

And his bright smile and leathery charm. Kessler will blow out his tomato can, but the drama at the fights tonight is if Ward will knock Pudwill through the ropes in the first round or the second. Bear in mind that I can't keep any of the half-dozen B+ to A-list fighters named Andre anymore. If it's the guy I'm thinking of, dude bangs.

The 1909th step on the last road home.

Be collected; No more amazement.

So, on my first day with the most statest of the artist laptop way too much money I really don't have can buy, I was more cut off from modern communication than I was during the flood .... when all the cell towers were damaged and I had no idea if my house was under water. Somehow, it's appropriate that it's taking a hideously long time to back up the Dell data -- it still refuses to believe the blank DVDs I've been jamming into it are real media, so it's been one 703-meg CD after another all day while I lined up the stuff I needed to make the Mac something more than a crisply designed multi-$K paperwight on my desk. Then the Internet went out. I tried to continue my R&D on the phone's Web browser but it has its own agenda, the dirty commie agitator and its love of corrupting the Google Maps app every time the phone crashes and reboots when the Web is running on it. Bah.

Well, the Mac can now connect to the Internet, the Dell is muling along -- I just realized that it only shut itself off once today, a record in recent memory, and THE TEMPEST is even better than I remembered it.

If Prospero were alive today, he would have to break his staff; he'd just have to start his own blog.

(five bucks says this posts. Hay batta batta sah-wing batta .....)

It was a Tuesday on September 11, 2001.

The next time it was a Tuesday, Sept. 11 was 2007, six years later. It will be a Tue. 9/11 next on 2012, the supposed Meso-MumboJumbo End Times, five years after that. I had some time to kill, so I pulled out my phone's calender and worked out this list of years when 911 will fall on a Tuesday, followed by how many years until it happens again:

2001 - 6 years later
2007 - 5 years later
2012 - 6 years later
2018 - 11 years later
2029 - 6 years later
2035 - 5 years later
2040 - 6 years later
2046 - 11 years later
2057 - 6 years later
2063 - 5 years later
2068 - 6 years later
2074 - 11 years later
2085 - 6 years later
2091 - 5 years later
2096 - 6 years later
2102 - 11 years later

You get the idea. Interesting how they add up to 11. OMG END TIMES ETC.

The 1908th step on the last road home.

I went to great lengths for this cheap joke, despite it looking so .... cheap.





"I vinished d'monkee strep."






[Gawd DAMN, Helen Mirren plays one hot Ayn Rand. If it was really her idea for Eric Stoltz to nail her from behind -- fine, for Stoltz's reading of Nathaniel Branden's character to passionately make love to her interpretation of Ayn Rand via, um, doggie style -- during one of the sex scenes in THE PASSION OF AYN RAND, then she deserves another Oscar. And I say that Oscar should be lubed and inserted directly into her fungina instead of making her wait until she gets home this time. {Wait, what?} I don't remember seeing Mirren in any other movies -- does she always have two eyes made out of coal, or did she will her eyeballs to dilate and harden to that exact size, texture and color to play this role? I'm impressed, regardless.]

Good night Internet, wherever you are!

Mrs. Wormer, I'm so glad you could come.

Yeah, I just set off the CAPCHA again. This close to completion I WILL NOT BE DETERRED.

CAPCHA this time: Soara, which Nintendo almost undoubtedly has used for a flying antagonist to Mario and Luigi.

I feel like an evil genius.

It's probably that I was slapped with the double-secret posting probation yesterday afternoon but didn't know and my 24 CAPCHA slap on the wrist ended a few hours ago, but I deleted my Blogger cookies, logged back in and I'M GOOD TO GO. Ha ha ha, "Psyche!" to whoever runs Blogger or Google I don't care KICKING THE MONKEE BABY OUT THE DOOR RIGHT NOW WOOT WOOT

MY NEW COMPUTER IS NO HERE

OUTRAGE HERE! OUTRAGE! WHY I OUGHTA! FTW, ETC!

It's still in Newark NJ, last scanned at 2:29 this morning, but I don't mind, actually. The last workly thing I plan to use the Dell for is the monkee strip, which is hamstrung by my CAPCHA block. After that, I'll burn a backup disk of my newest data, delete everything but WinAmp, transfer over 55GB of mp3s from an external drive, plonk this thing on top of the Aletc/Lansing cabinet and declare it the largest, ugliest iPod in the world. Ideally, I was to have all that done before the new one arrives but my scheduling of the last chopper out of Saigon was about a day off, probably because I still think Tuesday/Wednesday was just Tuesday and today's Wednesday. It was, damn it! Boundless space-time continuum

Regardless, I'm going to pretend to be angered by FedEx's failure that I have to lash out at the universe by posting the GIF a friend just e-mailed me. It's from a recent episode of HBO's 24/7 promotion of the Floyd Mayweather/Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view fight next week. Hopefully, I've stretched the image out enough to slow it down enough to read the subtitles "Enjoy!"



Dude drinks his own piss. I don't trust the editing enough to believe that he drinks it that soon after going -- even a man slowly dying of thirst wouldn't guzzle his manwater when it's still hot from being inside his body.

I admire any man who both goes to that extreme to bring his body to peak performance, and who doesn't take his body's word for it when expels so-called "excess" vitamins and nutrients in its waste. If I was a Marquez cell, I would be cramming everything the stomach sent me wherever I could -- I'd be folding the vitamins in half and sitting on them if it meant the boss would stop slamming his peepee. JuanMa might be onto something here. Oh, and I also admire that he uses a Rocks glass for it; that really is class. If Frank Sinatra had ever been shipwrecked in the middle of the Pacific, that's what he and Peter Lawford would have drank his urine from.

I seriously doubt I'm the first to say this, but: They're titling the fight "Number One" -- Floyd was the unanimous pound-for-pound best boxer in the world before his retirement, when Manny Pacquiao took and held that throne. Marquez is widely considered the second-best fighter in the world, with a number of experts making a good case that he won at least one of the fights he's had with Manny, so he could be considered Number One too. Having watched him drink his #1 over and over and over and over, I'm just glad they didn't try to frame the fight as one to determine "Number Two."

About the Fight, by the way: I like JMM and he is a truly great fighter, but Mayweather is too big and too fast for this to be much more than a tune-up fight. Also, yippie for yet another ever-circling non-fight between two counterpunchers, even if it's between the greatest counterpunchers of our lifetime. Hopefully, "Money May" will fight a real welterweight like Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley next, not another lightweight coming up in weight to collect a big paycheck.

I think HBO will re-air the fight as the undercard to the very brief encounters scheduled between Cristobal Arreola's head and hooks, Vitali Klitscho's head and jab and the canvas, so there's at least that. Is there anything that reeks more of old media thinking than Pay-Per-View? Most people don't even pay for long distance phone calls these days.

ps. The first lines in the video ad that autoplayed while I uploaded the GIF to my photobucket? "Conversion of WATER into FOOD! It really works!" Um, ew?

pps. If it makes you feel better, I was going to post the GIF to celebrate my new computer's arrival; there was no escape from the above GIF. You're welcome, Blog Visitor!

Uncle.

OK, I accept that I need to launch a Twitter account -- I like throwing out short comments and silly junk too much. Also, I just compared the front page here to the Sent folder on my phone's bloging email account and discovered that half the stuff I've sent over at least the last few days bounced back because I post too much for Blogger.com's taste.

I'm going to set up a Flickr to photoblog while I'm at it. I suppose I could go for the hat trick and join Facebook too. There's no way to have all of my stuff on one page without jumping through hoops to get it there unless I literally own every pixel of the page, and I don't think I want that level of control over this project.

I'm delighted to have to post the last 60 LAST ROAD HOME panels with word verfication on each one. And anything else I'd like to post for the 24 hours. Does WordPress pull this shit?

CAPCHA for this post: GRAVEN, which sounds as dreary and unpleasant as this experience

I think the old laptop is staging a work slow-down in protest

With four and a half hours left before the cutoff for on-time delivery of the new computer, I swear this Dell is dragging its feet on purpose. I just loaded full-size Gmail on my not-3G smartphone faster than on the computer, which connects to the Net via cable. Oh, the Dell did have a txt file open, so there you go.

I just found the Xbox

and it is indeed green, a limited-edition Halo console. It's been broken and sitting in the closet for so long that I forgot that I won some sort of random-refurbished-model lottery when I bought my first Xbox via mail-order. By the way, I still have never actually played any of the HALOs; at this point, my streak is driven more by habit and momentum than contrarian perversity.

Scheduling the final panels to post here, it's weird to realize that I've done my last monkee panel. Not as weird as if I get killed by a falling anvil or something today and this blog keeps chugging along for months and months, but still weird. It's been a very short long five years.

feeling strangely good ....

.... although, trying to make sense of some of yesterday's posts, I should probably go check the car's front end for new dents and/or blood.

This morning was the first in a long time that I actually felt recharged, although now I face a new mystery: Didn't I have a broken Xbox laying around here? I remember it being green, somehow. Considering this is a tiny office and consoles are pretty large, I shouldn't have to call Ollie Ollie Oxen Free for it. Uh ....

The 1907th step on the last road home.

meta sans theta, con feta

OK, I'm finally back. Too fried to edit my mobile complaining. FedEx says that my laptop arrived in Anchorage a little after 5am, and left Alaska about ten minutes ago. Huzzha.

The best thing to ever come out of Kid Rock's mouth.....

... Gary Rossington's dick. It was also the shortest thing. PLAH DOW! Thank you, I'll be here for what feells like all week. But seriously ladies and germs, Kid is an American original: only he could sample "Sweet Home Alabama" and still make you sing "aaaaaaaoooooooo werewolves of london" over the .... Well I was going to say the chorus, but the whole song is identical isn't it?

Who the hell recorded "count on me (my love"?

And how could there literally be three dead-ringers for my antepenultimate ex-girlfriend walking around the deli right now? what are the odds, even with college back in session? And shouldn't the trio be fighting each other or making out or something? I salute doppelganger #2 for having the brass to continue rocking the horizontal stripes two seasons past the one when it was cool for pudgy girls to wear B&W rugby shirts. Stick to your guns, copy!

oh shit, the pumpkin soft cookies are back -- there's a diet regret dropoff in the hotdog counter.

How hard could it be

To make your own, lower-carb reece's cups? Not very I bet. Also, where the beef in this warehouse again?

Old ladies standing between me and the feta cheese just asked me if I was alright becuase I wa a little wobly. I said I wasn't used to walking in dress shoes -- how do you ladies handle even taller heels? Ha ha, psyche. I should drive with the pedal foot's shoe off, though.

Coming back

Ok this sub is delicious -- never had one without vegetables before, I'm not sure if the deli clerk even asked me if I wanted any on it -- but now I'm starting wonder how long I've been here. The two folks I walked in the store behind just left. Duhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

Once more into the breach, motherfuckers

Holy sshit I'n so tired and srarved I think andI'm seeing

food!

I keep forgetting where I am which is funny the name is every wherre

Another apology

Dear blonde girl working at the dealership's front desk,

I'm sorry I looked at your ass when you walked by to use the ladies room this morning. I saw it, you saw me see it, I saw you see me see it. It was seen. I'm autistic, so I look up whenever anything moves in by field of vision, and I tend to forget strangers have torsos and heads before I go back to my reading. I assume there's some part of the neurotypical social contract that I can't reliably fake that demands strangers pan all the way up to the head before breaking off to their own thing or someshit. Frankly, I don't even know if you have an ass woth looking at twice, but I do commend you for making such a good choice in the miniskirt's print. Good framing, I guess you could say. Also, if it makes you feel better, I only looked at your face once, and while I deplore facial jewelry on principle, yours I think does a great job of making the best of things after what I would guess was a bike accident involving a letter opener and some major lateral motion. Good for you!

So, again, sorry about everything. Please, for the next time I bring this malfunctioning rust bucket in, could you give me my car keys as I'm giving you $400 in cash, and not let me unwittingly walk across the parking lot to the car only to find it locked and then have to come back to the office as you're taking another customer's money and handing him his keys without any petty bullshit? Thanks in advance!

Christly yours,
-- milos george

ps. While we're talking, is your front-deskmate pregnant or just from one of those slightly more Eastern Pacific islands where the Azns are chubby instead of wiry? And why can't you be nice but clearly bored like she is?

ooo, 9/9/9

I bet the GUITAR HERO version of John Lennon is A-OK with Michael Jackson licensing "Revolution" to Nike to sell sneakers.

Just hit the fatigue wall, watching the noontime news

I'm screwed. No end in sight for simply getting out of here. The waiting room has two old men who yawn a lot, except when this silver hick informed no one particular that the sport article in a recent PEOPLE magazine is the dumbest thing he's read in a long time.

I suppose it wasn't a good idea to not eat anything more than a banana with peanut butter and a slammed Pepsi One for breakfast at 5am, huh. At 39% power on the phone, we'll have to which one of us conks out first.

Listening to LOVELINE in Limbo

It seems like a small eternity since I dropped the car off to get the new evaporator installed; it's been less than three hours. I think I'm starting to feel the 28 hours I've been awake, and I still have to go to Wegmans to buy all the essentials I didn't buy from the assholics at Weis. Whee. At least I remembered my earphones this time, so I can catch up on some podcasts/radio shows.

Listening to LOVELINE for the first time in years: The Engineer Anderson vs. Adam Carolla meltdown was more lava-lamp than Vesuvius (sp?) in both duration and intensity, but it's almost like reuniting with a long-lost friend to hear David Allen Grier on the show for the first time since he was banned by the show's producers for essentially being too awesome.

Speaking of the producer, really, what the fuck? She had an over/under bet with the engineer about how few callers they would take? Granted, LOVELINE is a commercial product to make money and get ratings, not a public service to "save the babies." But what kind of asshole bets on/against her own project and allows (maybe encourages?) an employee to sabotage it in real time -- and what kind of asshole's asshole not only gives that sabotage his best shot, he doesn't get up and walk away from an asshole who would dare him to fuck the show up? Nevermind that Anderson chose to goad Adam by talking shit about and betraying the confidences of a man he's friends and podcast co-hosts with, who also happens to be limping around with a large, inoperable brain tumor. The more you think about the particulars, the harder it gets to decide whom you should loathe the most.

And at the end of the show, everyone's buddy-buddy, talking about how few callers they helped that show, except for DAG (good for him) and Dr. Bruce, who called ... well, mewled "bullshit" on the pissing match. I can't imagine being some teen girl waiting on hold for a hour just to ask Bruce and Adam, I don't know, if her boyfriend is right and that she can't get pregnant if they do it without a condom but she's on top, and having to listen to them argue about whether or not Bald Bryan is a kissass. And then not get an answer when the show ends. I'd like to think that Drew or Bruce stay after the show and clear the phone banks with quick answers to their questions.

Aside from DAG, the episode reminds me of all the reasons the show slipped from a must-listen, five-days-a-week addiction for years and years (getting casettes from L.A. friends until the invention of streaming audio in the mid-'90s; all hail The Edge, San Diego and the gradual revision of my energy cycles so that I now peak around 1am)
to a few-times-a-week thing toward the end of Carolla's run (but still an every-time-DAG's-on-must-listen) to dropping the show without really realizing I was done with it a week or two into Stryer's folly. What's odd is that Adam's podcasts are remarkably good. When LL cooked on non-DAG nights, it was because Adam made good on his often-claimed description of his role -- the kids tune in for his raunchy humor and get Drew's solid information; a stealthy, two-hour Trojan Dick Joke. Somewhere along the line, he seems to have lost sight of it, grown bored with similar-sounding dumbasses asking similarly dumbass questions, he just got sick of the job, it doesn't matter. Unless the show is 99% about ratings now, its mission gets pushed so far offstage that someone listening to the show for the first time couldn't recognize that it's fundamentally a medical call-in show. Adam Carolla didn't get bigger; it was that Westwood One got smaller.

(sent from the dealership waiting room; I'll clean this copy up when/if I get home.)

A formal apology

Dear Weis Markets,

Just a quick note to apologize for my apalling behavior in your Robinson St. store last Saturday. I can assure you and your cashier Aisha (?) that, had I known what an irritating imposition it would be to 1.) ask the cashier to not shove my groceries so hard they bounce off the back wall of the packing area, especially as the area is on an incline so stuff rolls down anyway, 2) get in line, wait 15 minutes to check out and then dare to further badger the poor employee for a Weis shopping-club card, having heard that the procedure is arduous and elaborate (give a Weis drone your drivers license, they write a few pieces of information down and they hand you your card and license back) that I was clearly try to goad her into a confrontation, and then 3) pay for $66 dollars worth of slammed groceries with a $100 bill, my only cash at the time. Thank goodness that the shopping-card duty was passed on to the packing kid, who delighted us all with his perfect Steppin Fechit impersonation; I
'm actually cool with packing my own groceries. Again, I am really, really sorry -- my only defense is that it was my first time in your store. Welcome to Binghamton, by the way. Anyway, I can only assure you that had I known I would have been such a compounding inconvenience to your employees, I would have happily driven the extra 20 miles to Wegmans.

Yours in Christ,
-- milos george

The 1906th step on the last road home.

If I lived on the West Coast right now ....

Not only would it not be a huge fucking deal that I'm still wide awake (PST), the reasons why I can't go to sleep right now would be 3,000 fucking miles away. If I hadn't tried to sleep, the monkee strip would be finished. I could smash through every obstacle between where I'm sitting right now and where I should be sitting .... But the incredibly important 8am further waste of my time and effort is five hours away.

I shouldn't, but: status update

Posts like these make it hard to justify not getting a Twitter account and be done with it.

According to FedEx, my new computer has been in the air for seven and a half hours.

I am less than half that amount of time away from having THE LAST ROAD HOME finished, assuming I can ever have that much time without constant disturbances. I would kick the throttle off and finish the project tonight, but I have an 8am meeting tomorrow. I would prepare for it, but I really, truly don't care how it turns out.

Richard Fleischer's classic RKO programmer THE NARROW MARGIN is on TCM tomorrow afternoon [3:30 PM EST]; the question of whether or not I have the film on disk has been a loose tooth in the back of my mind for days, but I've been too depressed/swamped to dig through my collection to see if it's there. You really can't have too many copies of those B Noirs, especially the Fleischers.

[I am very interested to know why Blogger Beta doesn't take me seriously when I type carriage returns to separate my blather. And why Beta doesn't have spellcheck.]

No one in the history of the Internet ....

.... has ever made fun of stupid advertisements in even stupid old comic books. I was cleaning out a hard drive and happened across some scans from one of those late-'70s anthology issues of ADVENTURE COMICS. The following are taken from an ad offering novelties for sale from the "Honor House Prod. Corp. Dept" of Lynbrook NY. Did anyone really ever buy this shit? Meaning the ads, although why anyone bought ADVENTURE is also a quandary [I'll kick the comic itself later]:



So ..... ghosts are seven feet tall in real life? Gotcha. What about the ghost of this Beatlemaniac giantess? She must be, what, 12, 13 feet tall in the afterlife? Oh wait, it's a Monster's ghost -- oops, OK, seven feet sounds about right for a real-life monster's disembodied spirit. Sorry.

I like that Honor House assures their audience that this ghost "obeys your commands" and "Can be controlled up to 50 feet away." There's no bigger pain in the ass than when your pet Monster Ghost gets off the leash and tearasses through the neighborhood. Unless you have a mummy or a Frankenstein MG and can easily catch them. A vampire or a werewolf monster-ghost? Might as well go back in the house and call Pet Control for them to catch the little haunting bastards.



This is totally what Elmore James was singing about.



This one writes its own jokes and probably makes its own gravy. Even I won't swing at such a slow pitch, so you can have at it. Although I will say this: I kind of like that this ad is shaped like Utah.

And finally, I don't remember where I got this one, from an Aurora model ad?


Click for larger image


That is such pre-9/11 NYC thinking. And if there's not a "girl victim" T-shirt, I would guess that it's too late; the window for that kind of bad/lame-assed pomo irony has closed as well. World's smallest violin.

The 1905th step on the last road home.