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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Old Habits

Here I am still carving dragons on pumpkins after all these years. I got my art buzz on at Clay and Emily's second annual Halloween party this year. Emily, as always, provided a sumptuous feast while we did our dirty business... flinging pumpkin guts around the room. After all the mayhem, here's the final product.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reality Caught up to Anticipation

Today I finalized the paperwork on paying off the final balance on my student loan. Tomorrow at 7pm PST, my checking account will be automatically debited by Citibank for the last time. Oddly, I paid such a low interest rate and they were so easy to work with that I don't even want to rage against their usurious ways. I'm just damn happy to be out of debt. I've been privately celebrating this for over a week now, but now that the final bit of paperwork is finished, I invite y'all to celebrate with me now! Or at least chime in with your own unpaid student loan balances and whoever wins gets a big sympathy cyberhug.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yeah, I was depressed...

but then I watched these two videos and now I feel like laughing and skipping through the streets. Sigur Ros is awesome.




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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Geek Love

One of the more thoughtful presents I received this birthday was a simple page of postage stamps. Check out their awesomeness below:



Superstamps!


A special thanks to Olaiya for finding these for me. I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to stick them on envelopes. Deep inside, I harbor a desire to put them into a protective mylar sleeve and store them in a cool, dark cardboard box until they triple in value.

True geeks may notice the odd diversity in the chosen artwork. Looks like they mined stuff from the early 60's all the way into the early 90's. Maybe Walaka could actually name the artist and year of publication for each chosen graphic. Let the Geekquest begin!!!

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Bloggle

As many of you know, Boggle is the greatest game ever invented. Parker Brothers did not realize its true potential however. In order to maximize Boggle, these are the Cool Kid rules.

1. Variable 5-10 minute time limit depending on player preferences.
2. FIVE LETTER MINIMUM for all words.

All other rules are normal Boggle rules.



The goal is to find words by jumping letter to letter in any direction on the board. You cannot skip over letters or use letters more than once. On this board, for example, you cannot create the word SMILE. Even though all the letters are connected, you have to jump over the "I" to get from "S" to "M". And even though you can find both ZELDA and RAIDEN, those are not eligible words (unless you're playing video game geek Boggle.) No proper nouns!

This is actually a pretty good board. I was able to find over twenty words. You can see my list by clicking Here and then dragging your mouse down the screen to...
Sword, Arrow, Arrows, Drowsy, Slime, Sensor, Sensory, Ordain, Gelled, Soaring, Daring, Sedge, Ledge, Sledge, Miles, Silly, Mills, Milled, Wordy, Roars, Melding, Darns, Mildly, Easily, Worry, Sorry, Drain. And is Dingle a word? As in Dingle berries?
Here.

So... Show me your power move!

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Oh Happy Day

Yankees Lose Yankees Lose Yankees Lose Yankees Lose Yankees Lose!!!

Bounced from the playoffs with a first round loss to the upstart Detroit Tigers, the only Yankee to acquit himself well was the unheralded (and least paid starter) Chien-Ming Wang. After his game one start, everyone else, including A-Rod (he of the $25 million dollar annual salary,) Sheffield, Derek "Cap'n" Jeter, Giambi (he of the steroid abuse,) and Randy Johnson all sucked. While ESPN bukkakied all over themselves talking about "the greatest lineup ever", the Yanks showed their true colors by choking again in the playoffs. No heart. No fire. Overpaid ego-driven veterans playing only for the paycheck. Hats off to Los Tigres who made baseball fun to watch again this last week.

This off season promises the additional delight of watching the Yankees brass squirm as people start getting the ax. Hopefully they'll finally fire Joe "the most boring man in the entire world" Torre and hire Lou Pinella, which will be the most entertaining move since the last time the Yanks hired notorious drunk Billy Martin (RIP). Even more delicious would be if Joe Torre took the managerial job for (NY archnemesis) the Boston Redsox.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Libra Thoughts

When the world is perceivably out of balance, how do we restore it?
Is it possible to straighten warped paper by pressing it flat?
Is it more effective to gently bend the paper in the opposite direction?

A central tenet of activism is the process of applying pressure directly against the forces that move our world out of harmony. Activism cannot simply be avoidance.

I will never be the activist that my old friend Angela, who changed her name to Garlic and joined EarthFirst, turned out to be. She had different battles to wage, and though they were not the same as mine, I loved and respected her for fighting them. I remember thanking her often and saying, "Keep saving the Earth for me."

If I spend too much of my internal resources trying to tip the scales of our society back into balance, don't I risk upsetting my own internal balance?
But isn't assuming that risk part of living a deliberate life?
Does tikkun olam (repair of the world) require more than just the work of healers?

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Added 50 pixels of width

To celebrate the extra wide, here are lyrics to Binary Star's battle rap opus: KGB
(Just because there's one line about "wider" being "better".)

[Malaki]
The KGB make this stage twice as dangerous as these streets
Malaki and Binary form all these spontaneous beats
Formed the lyrically elite, piece to the conquistador beats
When we unsheathe the swords and the One Man Army brings beats to boards
We tell you angrious beats, defy your atheist beliefs
Malaki could get a crowd of paraplegics outta their seats
When I strangle the mic, I mangle your ass slow and painfully
Be thankful you still alive while the faithfully by the frames catch records eye
You choose to live dangerously - tangle with me
You can hang out make Jack the Ripper look like your guardian angel
Anger me, I give you enough light cable to hang yourself
Place your name on the waitin list for hell with the rest of the cel gangsters
And gashes on your back with the lashes with the mic cord
Warlords, storm stages making lightstands by bombs
and all em dogs on Crylon cans meet my demands
Or you'll have the Michigan mic masses to roll your ass

[Senim Silla]
Bio-hazardous agent on Sillas airborne
Infectuous rhyme lectures spit quick and effective
Dangerous, lethal languages of slang I kill Murder he wrote,
an assassin would remain my skill
Senims a rough son of a gun keep razors under my tongue
Strike with enough force to puncture a lung
Im lyrically harmful, literally speaking
Emcees Im browbeatin, demeanin and ill treatin
Get introduced to mines and meet your demise
I despise rap guys and all they whack ties
Cause in my eyes, all men are not considered equal
Especially if you ain't one of Binary's people

[Texture]
I'm what you asking for I'll give you that plus a classic more
Hand delivery, verbal total package raw
The mental matador Mic heavyweights to shake the planet core with one verse
Got you thinking, 'Yo cancel the war' You flirtin' with death
Better off dancing with wolves
Or stab yourself in your vocal chords with cancerous swords
After this track, I hit the streets recruiting new thugs
'Cause we got your squad holding hands in group hugs
The die harders and orbits like a monster in your closet
Challenging us is like playing a opossum with the carcus
You could never win. Hopin' your DJ specialize in medicine
'Cause the athletic army conquers and divides your regiment
The MI residence is known for talkin' shit
Got my reputation ripping in the heart of the mint
A fortunate gift Bent lies that'll force you to quit
Drop the mic and have you writing for the source or some shit

[Elzhi]
These niggas backstab like they Benedict
Drag they face in the mud til they mouth looks like they bit a brick
Butts like magnificent seven on horseback
Unsigned but find my rap portables in a source ma-
gazine for fiends who fiend for guillotine sword stat
My tongue is a stinger, my brain is a stun gun
Its deadly as the one you put your thumbs on
And squeeze from the bottom
With fatigues but I'm high in the trees so high I can breath on a falcon
Jump down, sneak up on a emcee from the rear
A predator with the literature It shows through my signature
Deliver more digits for your click Whats even more sick is I'm a visitor
And plus they be diggin more Scopin the perimeter
Sink within the floor Terminator 2, split your brain in two
While you snore Keep sleepin, my train of thought is heat seekin
Facing your squad like drippin' ink from a pen and adding Clorox
Murder emcees and leave my fingerprints on doorknobs
The court finds me guilty, might be different in the Lord's eyes
An evil genius, I play your villain in a movie
Fingertips touch the cylin from the refillin of the uzi
And its bloodsport open up my mouth and watch those slugs walk gracefully
Where your head reside is now a vacancy
Elzhi on, cut the head of a python, with a butcher knife long
When I die I want my third eye born

[O-Type Star]
A sip of liquor, the flow take it with sensational wool and skin like brass
The gravitational pull of two stars that's rotatin like space
Vinyl had me on the train like Lionel Richie
Broke then rich again, Illinois to Michigan
Spartan conditions I wont bitch but switch again
Style like tracks to smack who cant stab me
I build excitement like Pontiac Grand Prix
Wider is better, Iller is deffer
Im trying to count zeros and hoes like Hugh Hefner
The O-B-A-F-G-K-M My squad all stars, suckas we slave them
O type Star I blew spots when I said things
My thoughts take flight like black hawks with red wings
I'm slicka then a oil refinery
I hit your whole system when I shine with the Binary

[Lacks]
And I'm in the presence of perfection I could give a fuck about you lyin
Saying your style is free when its tense like Les Nesman
A freshman at this game but we trying to graduate
I blow minds but you be blowin funk from the last ass you ate
Now let me ask you straight before I start trippin,
Is it me or does something about your lines sound like Nas cause it was bitten
Your motor skill is outright and meanin to act faster
I hump rhythms while you couldn't Poke a Tone with Trackmaster
The rap bastard without Wu-Tang. Though, realistically most males are
The differences is I don't judge my manhood by what my sales are
If its about the boldest , Im the most out coldest since winter
To make you stop the tape and 'Inspec-tha Deck'
like you down with the RZA nigga
So I advise you to remember your roles
And tell your crew if they got beef, then I can bring the dinner rolls
Over federoles with swing snares and fat drum kits
I sing sweet soliloquies of souls and hold up chicks
I mean chickens runnin off in chickens like beastiality
And for any nigga that want it
I drop the beat for you to battle me
Accepted the proof at your expense,
I be the shit
Squeezin squares into little pieces like cheese nips

[OneManArmy]
A whack emcee is something I could never be
That's like growing dreadlocks while you taking chemotherapy
Theoretically pen and paper is the recipe
Alphabetically I'm coming after you like the letter V
If you ever step to me, the worst is yet to come
You'll never get the best of me
Call it like a referee Call it destiny, check the melody
Break the law of gravity And lyrically catch a felony
I make it harder for the next emcee that's my specialty
Rappers better be tryin ta rap ahead of me I'm a hard act to follow
I could prove it medically I'm sick in the head
I could move a crowd with mental telepathy
Expect nothing less of me, top pedigree
Rap assassin, blastin'with syllable weaponry
Shoot the sheriff then the deputy Don't be testin' me
Whoever think they fat can get the Dick Gregory

[J.U.I.C.E.]
Its countless how many rappers over vinyl we scar
I jus rotate and dislocate your spine if we spar
Even freestyle in French when I'm rhyming abroad
Im in the party rhymin off Bacardi lime and cigars
I rattle rappers, and battle rappers trying to be hard
Rap is black jack and JUICE is like a primary card
You secondary, that's why you gotta rhyme with a squad
But genetically our niggas is designed to be flawed
Yesterday I spit game at your dame and she paused
To let me see a thick frame and outline it with drawers
So the chance you been looking for is finally yours
But see Im deadlier than havin cyanide in your pores
I spin a rhyme, my hand is intertwined with the cord
Slowly the mic is ripped to bits, my dynasty tours
Big JUICE when signin off with the Binary Stars
The only person who could kick a doper line would be God

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Drunky Smurf

I blame my rampant and unremitting alcoholism on my mother. It was she who introduced me, at the tender age of 9 years old, to the "green fire". Chartreuse was my mother's secret cordial. And every year or so, she would receive a bottle as a present. I was curiously unafraid to taste the sweet burning liquid... I even liked it. Proud of my capacity to "handle my booze" at such a young age, I bragged to my older brother... prompting him to perform a test of stunning scientific precision. He grabbed a syringe (we had lots laying around the house back in those days) and filled it with 5 cc's of Chartreuse. He flicked the syringe's chamber and asked me to stick out my tongue and say "ah". He squirted the potent potable into my mouth. I swallowed and bravely said, "more please!" His face ashen, he shook his head and said, "My brother, my brother... I'm afraid you are an alcoholic!"

But now, after many long years of shame and self-deprivation, I can rejoice. While Chartreuse was prohibitively expensive to ever drink to excess, now I've discovered Becherovka.



This Czech elixir is powerful and herbacious, just like Mom's old favorite. It packs a punch and tastes a bit like an old witch's medley of foraged roots and eyes of newts. Who knows what strange medicinal benefits I may be deriving from frequent and intemperate consumption. Thankfully now I can finally afford to satiate my preteen predilection for fine European boozery. At about half the price of Chartreuse, Stave It Off gives Becherovka a rare rating of: Recommended Highly!

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Vegetarianism in a Nutshell

After discussing vegetarianism over on Olaiya's blog, I realized (after reading Clay's pithy dismissal) that there is a strong emotional element to this issue. Sometimes I do a disservice to that emotion by overanalysing the topic. This film is a mashup of a veggie propaganda video that features footage taken by undercover PETA agents working in the factory farm industry. The original featured annoying voiceover work by Alec Baldwin. This shortened version just shows the raw footage with a music overlay. I think it's more effective this way (even if it's slightly less informative.) Here's my emotional reality.

*Warning* There are disturbing images in the video.



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