31 May 2014

(Strangely) Hot Jamz: Citylights by Max Elto (Original Mix)

This is a trippy 10 minute song with a weird soprano / alto / high pitched vocal and a good bassline. And some synthesizers. It's like Fine Young Cannibals decided to make a retro dance track. It's... strangely great.

I know it's hard to get behind a ten minute track and this one is a slow burner but give it a couple minutes and if it doesn't speak to you then move along. No bigs.

29 May 2014

High as a Georgia Pine

He's Got a Built In Sidekick on His Cap
Doc Ellis was a character. He's mostly famous for throwing a no-hitter while tripping on LSD. An artist whose name I do not know suggested that they create a bobblehead to commemorate the event. If they made it then it would be the first and last bobblehead doll I would ever buy.

28 May 2014

Cheap Heat: I Love Puns

Bee Right Over?
I have been meaning to do some longer pieces but I'm working a lot. Like, a lot. And I took on a couple side projects in my free time so the past couple weeks have been hectic. So instead of something thoughtful you get a cute graphic with animal puns. You're welcome.

Hawkward was my favorite. Just sayin'.

27 May 2014


Just a game of SKATE.

Cepeda is an 'amateur' and Trent McClung is the pro. I have read that since this video dropped Cepeda has some sponsors now.

Note that McClung describes Cepeda as "consistent". That's not the best of compliments in skating; it's what you say about a guy who's style is boring but drops tricks like a metronome. On the other hand: consistency is itself a style. And it works for a competition like this. Watch some of the other videos to see what it looks like when the tricks aren't performed by flatland savants. McClung is really good at this, but Cepeda is a specialist.

22 May 2014

History: Photos from the 1968 Southeast Asia Tour

One of my uncles - the one I'm not very close with - joined the Army in the late 60's to fight Communists. (That was a thing people did back then. Eventually we even had a draft to bulk up the armed forces, sent a bunch of people to the other side of the world at great expense. A lot happened and over 50,000 Americans were killed. You may have read about it.) Anyway, he quit a promising career in the military and became a journalist. Presumably because he wanted to spend his life earning peanuts and not getting shot at (as opposed to just earning peanuts in the Army, although when you get promoted you can make pretty good money, especially in retirement).

Anyway, he took a lot of pictures when he was there but he never talks about it. Ever. These photos were found in my grandfather's stuff that he never got around to sorting through until recently. That is an old-school M16 and some seriously retro (and bad ass, back in the day) tiger stripe camo. He was a medic in the Green Berets, hence the Special Forces camo and Montagnards.

Imagine my surprise when these hit the inbox. This is what he says:
Going through a box of my dad's stuff that I'd stored since he died and came across these, taken 46 years ago this month. They're old enough now to be actual historical photos....

I don't remember the top one at all--probably shot by one of my Montagnards. The lower one is a little girl with malaria. We went into a village called Plei Bong on a Medcap (Medical Civil Action Patrol) and her dad brought her out to me. She had a high fever alternating with chills, so I called in a helicopter evac. Didn't occur to me at the time, but It was a pretty primitive area, two days' walk to get in, people eating monkeys and rats, and suddenly a Huey appeared and whisked the whole family to an American hospital. They must have thought they'd been abducted by aliens....

Hot Jamz: Cocoon by Cathedral (Dinnerdate Remix)

Play this, open a window, enjoy some sunshine, brew up a cup of coffee, hang out. The remix embedded below is completely free. Superb.

21 May 2014

Do Work

Long time readers will recognize that the blog is a bit light on content these days. I don't have time or energy to explain stuff in detail. And if I bump into a funny story it ends up getting lost before I can get around to writing it down. Busy doing work and stuff.

Back in the day when I lived at Chez Swenson (love and miss you guys, btw) I used to head out the door every day and make one of two jokes. One was about bringing home the bacon, which is funny because I didn't eat pork at the time. But my special favorite was to walk out the door and announce my departure by saying, "I'm off to go be fucking awesome at my job - see you tonight." Mom always laughed. She's good like that.

I will mention that unfortunate my habit of ordering cooking ingredients in excess continues. Another issue with the Amazon portion size. The latest mistake was 18 oz of guajillo chile powder. Typical spice jar size is about 2 oz. I need 1/4 teaspoon, or roughly 1/10th of an ounce. If that doesn't make sense just imagine that I need the smallest unit of volume measure above a pinch, and I ordered a jar that weighs over a pound. For f's sake. Again, not expensive, but now I have a lifetime supply. Come December if you're wondering why you got a build-your-own mole spice kit for Christmas, well, surprise! Maybe I'll sneak it into cookies or something.*

Speaking of cookies, this is exactly what I would do if someone put a cookie in front of my face while I was sleeping.

* As if I would ever modify the super bitchin cookie recipe. Come on.

20 May 2014

Mistakes Were Made - Chiles in Abundance

You Sure That's Enough?
I got a slow cooker and immediately began researching recipes. A slow cooker appeals to me because I like to eat but am not much interested in devoting a lot of time to cooking. Baking, yes. Cooking, not so much. With a slow cooker you just put all the stuff in, turn it on for 4 or 6 hours or whatever, come back later and it's done. Perfect. And you can make stuff in quantity for future consumption. Awesome.

You know what else a busy person like myself would prefer not to do? Make several stops at different grocery stores for various items, such as for mole chicken, which has a LOT of ingredients. I'm busy playing xbone, blogging, working, lifting heavy objects to improve my physical fitness, reading, or whatever. The store is a pain in the ass.

Amazon Prime came to my rescue, because they deliver. Just be careful about quantities or you might end up trying to buy a bag of chiles to make mole in your slow cooker and end up with 12 bags of chiles. I thought it seemed weirdly expensive when I was buying but figured that chiles were just pricey. They are, but only if you buy approximately 12x more than you need. Oops. Too many to use, not worth the time or effort to return. Now I have to research recipes that use chiles.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

19 May 2014

Throwback Thursday (early): Man Overboard by Blink 182

I have an old ipod that I use to listen to music in my car. Since I don't buy music any more all the dance mixes are current but the music ranges from "a bit dated" to "jesus I haven't heard that in ages". The only playlist of any note is Workout Jamz, which is the entire Lagwagon catalog, the entire Green Day catalog, some Rise Against, Face to Face, Strung Out, Bad Religion (some strong contenders for throwback tracks there), etc, etc. And most of the Blink 182 catalog, a band whose music I still enjoy. One of the fun things about the list is I just put it on shuffle and look forward to the surprises. This was one of them.

IIRC: This song was a b-side and didn't appear on an LP until they released their live album, which, unfortunately, sucked. But it had a studio version of this track so I bought it anyway. I wore it out when I got it and then forgot about it until it turned up in the shuffle. Happy times.

16 May 2014

Anthropomorphism is Funny

So Sad
My friend stopped by and forgot her water cup. It's important to stay hydrated, but also it hurts when you leave your friend behind. So I sent her this image.

Careful observers will note that I'm making dinner, and I also park my bicycle in the kitchen. #dudespace #brodoyouevendecorate

Cats Knocking Stuff Over

What you were tired of cats? Too bad. This is the best thing I've seen all week.

Again, with Feeling

I thought I posted this already but can't find it. Cats are the best.
Dogs: also the best.

11 May 2014

Truth to Power: Adults are Weird

This is solid gold.

Pretty sure Buddha said the same thing at some point. Pretty sure. 

Bonus points for correct use of "you're". Apostrophe was omitted but that's some advanced grammar right there. Kid is smart.

10 May 2014

He Can't See You If You Don't Move

No, Don't Help Me, I Got It
Ahh cats are the best. Parakeets can be pretty great too if you don't mind the mess.

I'm not saying I like most animals more than most people but I'm not not saying it.

Be Free

This from Heinlen. I liked it.

Full quote (for search purposes):

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them. If I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

- Robert A. Heinlen, in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

09 May 2014

Friday is Hugs Day

Whatcha doin? Nuffin. Just hanging out. (HONK)
You know how we feel about sloths around here: they are awesome. They evolved to give trees hugs. If you don't love that then I don't know you.

Bumped into this bucket of hugs a while back and never got a chance to post it. Don't you want to pick one of those living bug carpets and feed it delicious leaves? Yeah you do.

Today is my last day at old job. 14.5 years is a long time but I won't miss it. New job starts Monday. Pumped.  Would have liked a break but I have work to do. Let's get to it.

Brief note on the career change: I am now a Presales Consultant, aka Sales Consultant, aka Sales Engineer (at my company it's "Presales Consultant"). I support Sales guys in a technical role, provide the customer with the solution and then the Sales guy works out the financial side of the deal (contracts, pricing, etc). My job emphasis is on the "technical win", presenting to the customer and positioning the solution effectively. The Sales guy can schmooze, I'm the answer guy. Can't share where I work because it's a public, customer-facing role and I prefer to remain somewhat anonymous. Because: internet. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for reading.

08 May 2014

Paracord Bracelets are for Boy Scouts and Clowns, plus: Fighting Pistol AAR / Review

What is it, exactly? Decoration? Jewelry? An accessory? Has anyone, ever, one time, used the cord to tie something up? No. It's just a stupid looking snag risk, a friendship bracelet for preppers. That shit is wack.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. I see them all the time at classes, at the range, out and about. It's big with the preppers, mostly. And there is a lot of prepper / gun owner overlap. For me it's a flag that says the wearer is definitely carrying a knife and possibly carrying a gun. Why would you advertise that? Dumb.

In related news I took Fighting Pistol with James Yeager (again). Posted my review somewhere else but here it is again in it's entirety, for posterity's sake. I must have done something right because Yeager invited me to come out and take the High Risk Civilian Contractor Course in Camden, TN. That course is intense but I am going to do it later this year if I can get the time off.


What: Fighting Pistol Mobile (Tactical Response)
Where: Los Angeles
Who: Yeager, Morris, and 15 students. Three were alumni.
When: May 1-2, 2014

tl;dr: Take Fighting Pistol. It is worth every penny.

This was my second time through Fighting Pistol. General comments and observations:
  • Took the course a second time to reinforce the stuff I learned the first time and also see what I missed. It can be a lot to process and that's coming from a person that has watched a ton of videos, read the recommended books (Stamford, Cooper), does dry practice, takes other training; I don't think anyone absorbs all the information one time through. You are exposed to it and process the content but retention is only obtained over time and repetition. So take it more than once, esp. if you can save money by taking it in Camden. I paid the full rate to take it again (no discounts on mobile classes) so that should give you an idea how important I felt it was.
  • Most of what I did better on the second time was the mental stuff and lecture. I have the books so I will revisit those on my own periodically.
  • Yeager said that he put together the FP curriculum by making a list of all the stuff he thought you needed to know about fighting with a handgun. Then he prioritized it, and then he taught for two days and drew a line. That became Fighting Pistol. Then he taught two more days, and that became Advanced Fighting Pistol.
  • Fighting Pistol covers a lot of stuff that isn't in other basic handgun classes. You shoot from retention, from the ground, with your strong hand only and your support hand only, etc.
  • Fighting Pistol is very process focused - there is a reason for everything you do and it is clearly explained. Yeager solicits questions repeatedly throughout the day. If you focus on the process and execute it correctly then you will get a good result. He says shooting is simple, but not easy. So he tries to keep it simple.
  • There were a lot of new shooters and it was good to see them getting started on the right track with proper training. They definitely know what and how to practice now. Pumped to see new people that are into it and get out there.
  • SHOW UP EARLY. GET THERE EARLY. BE EARLY. For real, show up at least a half an hour early. Worst case is everyone is squared away and you end up meeting some new people and talking about guns and training. That's a good outcome. Any potential issue - such as: fucked equipment, over-excitement (for real this happens), you forgot essential gear, you're band new and need some help with setup, you got lost on the way, traffic - can be fixed before class starts almost 100% of the time if you are early. You may not even know you are missing stuff until you get there so: get there early and get squared away. If you aren't early AND you have a problem it will be hard to fix without affecting someone else's class time. Yeager and Tim do not appreciate that.
  • Most of the questions that people asked were already covered in Yeager's videos. It's almost like Yeager has taught the class to tens of thousands of students and had them asked before and so he created the videos to answer them in advance. Synergy.
That's the important stuff.

Several people asked me specific questions during the class about equipment. I will answer them here.
  • Gun - HK P30L w/ light LEM trigger and XS big dots. Gun performed well but mags had some feeding issues at the end of both days. The magazines were not lubed at all which is incorrect according to the HK manual. Oops. I'm not sure it would have made a difference given the environment but I will find out next time I'm at the range and Tim buries my mags in the sand. Dick. (Kidding. Kind of.)
  • Holster - I used the class as an opportunity to test a new holster from Blackpoint Tactical. It was great. I recommend it, would buy again.
  • Mag pouches - Raven Concealment kydex mag pouches. These are worth the money.
  • Belt - Ares Gear Ranger Belt; an excellent alternative for half the money is the wilderness tactical belt with the 5-stitch option.
  • Shorts - wear them if they are weather-appropriate.
  • Shemagh - one of the only places where hipsters and shooters overlap. $9 on amazon. Buy two.

07 May 2014

Summer Jamz are the Best Jamz: Maurer & Maurer - Rising (Original Mix)

Into this jam right now. Officially it's Maurer (ampersand) Maurer and Nicolas Haelg and it's called Rising. This is the original mix. Probably you knew that because you can read. Whatever.

Anyway it's got a trendy saxophone sound that is all the rage right now in deep house music. I don't know if that's a synth or actually a saxophone. I'm betting synth but I can't tell. Who the hell is playing all the saxophone in the house tracks these days? No idea. It's a fun, upbeat track.

In related upbeat news my last workday at the old job is 8 May. Exit interview 9 May. After 14.5 years it was time to move on. Past time. The surprising thing about leaving the company was how hard some of my co-workers took the news. Didn't see that coming, and I was moved by their kindness.

New job starts 12 May. Get excited.

05 May 2014

Drop Knowledge - Hip-Hop Vocabulary, Charted

This link from Friend of GJAW Scott is superb.

The largest vocabulary in hip-hop.

I always thought Lil' Wayne was repetitive and boring, even in small doses. He needs more words.

DMX comes in dead last which makes sense if you have ever heard a DMX song. But he made up for it with the delivery. I'm sure some people feel the same way about Wayne or Young Jeezy or whatever his name is.

03 May 2014

Keeps Them Busy

I loved every part of this. Look how serious the kids are before they get started. That is intense.
I guess here in the states the youth are stacking cups or something? Good luck with that.