Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Crazy Scotsman

So, thanks to Meredith, I bring to you one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. I think that you should start at Gordon Nicol's biography. In this biography, you will discover this Scotsman went from looking like this:

and playing in a glam-rock band called Iron Virgin (Gordon is the second from the left) to looking like this:

and making CDs in which he whispers sweet nothings which are set to terribly cheesy ambient music. In between he did some stuff with Rwandan orphans. I guess that's a noble thing to do too. What I think is incredible though is the clips from his sweet nothings CD that can be found here (for full versions of the sweet nothings) or here (for smaller clips). Check it out!!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Calling all Monty Python fans

If you are a diehard Monty Python fan, then I have something that you need to see. What you need to see is an interview with the troop from the 70s. They are being interviewed... well, the introduction to the video tells you the details. Go watch!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Seuss and cartooning

Most of you probably think that Dr. Seuss just wrote children's stories that contained characters like the ones to the left. If you think that, then you're wrong. Dr. Seuss had a relatively productive career as a political cartoonist. A while ago, I found a website that catalogues most (if not all) of Seuss's political cartoons.

The site is nicely organized into time periods and subjects. Subjects is further subdivided into People, Countries/Regions, War/Domestic Issues, and Battles and Battlefields. Have a look at the cartoons below and I recommend that you check out the site itself.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fun and funky rooms

I am extremely tempted to say that if someone can paint something like this, then they are a talented painter. My only bit of hesitation comes in the fact that I don't know how this is done. It is plausible that this sort of painting is very simple.
Regardless of the potential simplicity of the task, I would love to have a room in my apartment painted like this. The only problem is that I suspect that, if you didn't view the room on a two-dimensional surface (such as your computer screen), the illusion would not present itself. But then again, who am I. Enjoy the photos.

There are more examples of this type of painting at this site.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My life

I don't normally post pictures of me and my life, but I recently took a trip to Vancouver (hence the dearth of posts) and someone else already posted some pictures of my trip.

There are, however, a few pictures that didn't get posted. Let me share.

I really just love that tree.

This piece is made completely out of Nike Air Jordans.

The real reason I took a trip to Vancouver.

Take that prairie Sunset.

I'm not exactly sure what we are looking at, but boy does it ever look enticing.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pruning and gardening

I think that everyone can deal with a bit of beautifying every once in a while. I think that these garden images should help beautify anyone's day.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wooting and Writing

Site: http://www.woot.com/
Product: Soyo Cigar HD20 1.8” 20GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive

One of my daily rituals is checking Woot! and seeing what item is up for sale that day. For the uninitiated, Woot! sells stuff. In fact, they sell a different piece of stuff every day. For any particular piece of stuff, it will go on sale at midnight central time. For any particular stuff, Woot! will have anywhere from 250-5000 pieces of that stuff. When Woot! sells out, the stuff is gone; then the waiting begins for Midight of the next night.

That said, one of the best things about Woot! is the product write-ups. That is why I'm sharing. I think that the write-up for today was especially good--in Mark speak, that means, it made me laugh. So, read on and even if you never buy something from Woot! you can at least enjoy the daily write-up. (Does anyone know a more fancy word for 'write-up'?)

For the Cigar Aficionado

“Hello, my friend! You like cigars?” A wiry man with close-cropped hair and dark jumping eyes was suddenly beside me on the crowded Havana street, oiling me up with a stage smile and an amiable question. My answer: “Sure, who doesn’t?” Under the pale, pitiless Caribbean sun, he led me through the bustle of hurrying bodies to a dark doorway on a side street. Inside I could see only a shadowy stairway leading up; I hesitated. He noticed.

“No, it’s OK. My house. I show you some good cigars.” A pause.
“Come inside, please. It’s OK.”

At the top of the stairs was a window opening onto a sort of balcony. A man sat cross-legged, half inside and half out, surrounded by russet-colored curls of tobacco, intently rolling cigars. We made a left there and headed down a decrepit hallway lined with doors. Somewhere, a baby cried.

Inside his gloomy apartment, he opened a desk drawer and pulled out a gaudily multicolored box. Conquistadors and mermaids danced a cartoon quadrille on the lid. He proudly swung it open to reveal several tapered cylinders of brown paper, lined up on a delicate sheet of tissue. “Nice cigars here. You like?”

I was skeptical. “Are they USB compatible?”

His face clouded with confusion. “What do you mean?”

“Like the Soyo 1.8” Cigar HD20 Hard Drive,” I explained. “It gives you 20GB of storage capacity in a package small enough to fit in your shirt pocket. And since it’s fully USB 2.0-compatible, you can play it as soon as you plug it.”

He shook his head in short, quick jerks. “No, no, no. I’m talking about cigars that you smoke. Tobacco. Just cigars, you know?”

“But the Cigar HD20 is perfect for transporting business presentations, media files, important documents…” I could see none of this was getting through. “I thought you said you had some Cigars to show me. Didn’t you mean the Cigar HD20?”

For some reason, he stared at me like I was an idiot. Pity and contempt swirled around his expressive features as he thought a moment. Finally: “Please, I ask you to leave my home.” All sympathy vanished from his narrowing eyes. “I think, maybe, you’re no good. Bad man, I think. Leave now.” Just then, a massive, shirtless Cuban appeared from an adjoining room, stretching and rubbing his eyes as if he’d just rolled out of bed. He’d have been a linebacker, if they’d played Yankee football down here.

This new member of our party barely seemed to notice me. Neither he nor my would-be cigar salesman said a threatening word; they didn’t have to. I hustled
back down the hallway, past the cigarmaker, and down the stairs. The Cigars I was looking for seemed very far away.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

You like sarcastic humour?

If you do, then go check out the short film called McPassion.

I don't think that I need to say much more than that. The film and website speak for themselves.

Also, I'm really curious to know what people think. Leave a comment OK?

[UPDATE: The original video is gone, so I've attached the video from YouTube below. Again, enjoy!]

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hurra Torpedo

Soooooo cooooool!

I really think that is all that can be said for Hurra Torpedo. The opening video produces quotes from the band like: "I've been dreaming about having a dream of going to America" and "I'm going to destroy things." And from various audience members like: "It was different, I've never seen anything like that before" (said by a Texan cowboy) and "It was disturbingly refreshing." If you are not convinced that the first sentence of this post is true, then let me say more.

This band is from Norway, they wear blue tracksuits, they sing old pop songs, and they play kitchen appliances. (And, boy do they know how to have fun in an appliances store: see this video.)

This website chronicles their first American tour--including all that entails. I highly recommend checking a video from their first gig, which turns out to be a kids birthday party.

If you watched those videos and are still not convinced that the first line of this post is true, then I can say no more; your coolness detection software is obviously infected with some kind of bug.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lazy, lazy, lazy

Here are three videos that are simply must-watch-videos. As you can see the first is from Saturday Night Live and the others are "responses" by the other coasts--given that SNL is an east coast thing.

Lazy Sunday (East Coast SNL skit)

Lazy Monday (West Coast response)

Lazy Muncie (Mid-West response)

That's the action up until now. Maybe someone in Canada will top them all... that's what I'm hoping anyways.

A new version of The Simpsons

There is now a real life Simpsons show.

Okay, not really, but these people did a good job of re-creating the intro to The Simpsons with real people. Give it a watch here.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Johnny Cash redux

If you like Johnny Cash, then I think that you have reason to be excited. Recently, in Johnny's basement, dozens and dozens of tapes were discovered. And, come May, these tapes will begin to happen. This article in Rolling Stone gives the lowdown.

I recommend that you read the article, but if there just isn't time, then at least read this:
"In July 1973, Johnny Cash spent several days in the studio at his House of Cash offices in Hendersonville, Tennessee, recording songs and telling tales with just an acoustic guitar and his virile craggy baritone. He sang Tin Pan Alley hits, traditional folk and gospel tunes, new originals and favorite covers by the Louvin Brothers and Johnny Horton, among others. He recited poetry and reminisced about his teenage job as a water boy on a river-dredging crew and the hours he spent glued to the radio, loving and learning the very songs he sang in these sessions...

Personal File delivers a Cash even his most devoted fans have never heard before: at the height of his career and vocal power, telling the story of his life in music, as if he were sitting across from you. "This is his 'Basement Tapes,'" says Berkowitz, "as close as you can get to him singing on the porch." There was no documentation with the original reels to suggest Cash ever submitted them to Columbia, his label at the time. But John Carter Cash recalls his dad referring to these sessions at the time of his first album with producer Rick Rubin, 1994's stripped-back American Recordings. "He talked about how he'd made a record like it in the Seventies," John says, "but nobody was interested in putting it out."
If you are still reading at this point and are willing to have another Johnny Cash related recommendation thrown at you, then here it is. In 2005 a number of Norwegian bands got together and made a CD of covers. The result can be seen here. I am not actually sure where you can buy this CD, but if you are interested in me looking further, get in touch with me and I will look. The golden gem of this collection is "I Walk the Line" by Magnet. This haunting rendition is, I dare say, more moving than the original.