Saturday, December 27, 2008

iPhone killer? Maimer? Tickler?

I was a little surprised by the lack of "awesome tech" unleashed this year for Xmas. Usually November means the onslaught of more new tech goodies than you can shake a stick at, especially in the cell phone arena. I was particularly interested this year, because my Verizon contract is up in January and I've been considering the jump to AT&T to finally enjoy all the glories of the coveted iPhone. I was even given "permission" by the Queen on my birthday this year ("yes, you can get an iPhone" --she even made me a temporary placeholder out of an apple and a chocolate candy eye --apple eye phone, get it?).

The biggest problem I face is that we kind of (and god I hate to say this) "need" Verizon. Most of our family and friends are on Big Red, so if we switch, we're going to take a major hit to the minutes. I'm talking over 2500 minutes a month that currently go to "shared" minutes on the Verizon network. This is in addition to around 1100 "regular" minutes, and about 900 "nights and weekend" minutes. Those "in-network" minutes would now be regular minutes, meaning we'd have to go to a much, much more expensive plan. I like that AT&T has the rollover minutes, but I don't think that will come anywhere near to making up for the discrepancy.

So while I really, really want an iPhone, I'm not sure that I can afford to switch to AT&T. Therefore I'm left with what I see as three viable options: the Samsung Omnia, the Blackberry Storm, and the HTC Touch Pro (the Diamond looks like a crusty, old terrapin so it's out).

From the reviews I've read, the Omnia is kicking the Storm's ass on speed and the user interface. The Omnia virtual keyboard, while physically smaller, is also more accurate than the Storm keyboard. The Storm seems to have a better screen, but the Omnia screen isn't bad, so I think I can probably live with it.

Both report fairly major problems of "stickiness," lag when moving from screen to screen or opening apps, which is incredibly disappointing, as I see myself throwing a very expensive piece of hardware against a wall when faced with such lag. I guess I should just make sure I get accident/breakage insurance.

Every phone's interface is where each falls sorely short of the iPhone. The iPhone's flow is just so tasty and quick, and this alone means there is no such thing as an iPhone killer out there right now. Argh.

The Omnia does have a 5MP camera with video, so these two features beat out the iPhone in those categories.

The Omnia also sports 3G and EV-DO as well as Wi-fi. Very nice.

The Verizon phones also have removable memory media (microSD), which is extremely convenient and sorely lacking on the iPhone.

The Omnia can only sport GPS via VZNavigator, which costs an extra $9.99 a month, so that sucks, but this would be the case with any phone on Verizon (bastards). I'm wondering if there's a hack out there somewhere.

I like what I've seen of the features and interface on the HTC Touch Pro, but the hardware itself is pretty clunky. It had been at the forefront of my list, due solely to the dedicated actual keyboard, but that's slowly fading into the background. Size (or lack thereof) is becoming more important the more I really think about actually carrying this thing around.

I saw a couple weeks ago that someone had Android running on the HTC Touch, but they couldn't get the phone itself working with the platform. So while it was fun to watch someone navigate with Android, what good is a phone that you can't actually, um, call someone with?

So... I need to go use an Omnia.  It seems to be the current winner in the "I can't switch to AT&T" phone universe.  Hopefully it won't fall sorely short of the sexy-sexy that is iPhone.  I'll let you know what I find.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Prevent Programs from Stealing Focus in WinXP

How many times has this happened to you: you're typing furiously and out of the corner of your eye you see an alert box from somewhere pop up and disappear. Because you were in the middle of madly hitting keyboard keys, you've accidentally ok'd, denied, or "something else'd" a request or alert from some program, and you have no idea of figuring out what just happened.


Well, I finally had enough and sought out the solution to this problem. Here it is (you'll be editing your registry, be careful not to screw up your computer):
  1. Click on Start and then Run.

  2. Type regedit and click OK.

  3. Locate the HKEY_CURRENT_USER and click on it to expand the folder.

  4. Continue to expand folders until you reach the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel registry key.

  5. Select the Desktop key under Control Panel.

  6. On the right-hand side of the screen, locate and double-click on the ForegroundLockTimeout DWORD.

  7. In the Edit DWORD Value window, set the value data: field to 30d40.

    Note: Be sure the Base option is set to hexadecimal when entering the DWORD value. If you'd prefer to use "decimal," set the value to 200000.

  8. Click OK and then close Registry Editor.

  9. Reboot your PC.

  10. Reclaim control of your PC's pop-up alerts!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grammy... nomination concert? WTF?

As if the Grammy's aren't bad enough, last night they televised a Grammy Nomination Concert. Are you freaking kidding me?

And while I appreciated the humor in the Foo Fighters singing Carly Simon's "Your So Vain" (I looked it up on You Tube) it still sucked. Can you say "lackluster?"

And on top of all this, they aired the damn show during the only program we watch fairly religiously (Criminal Minds... you just gotta love Reed!). We'd been making fun of the Grammy Nomination Concert ads all week, but then when we turned on the t.v. to watch our show and found out that's when Garbagio Fantastico was airing... it was enough to make me gouge my eyes out.

Luckily I have regenerative powers like a Cheerleader.

p.s. Live DBi3 show at The Laughing Goat tonight in Boulder (17th and Pearl, 8pm, no cover). Drew Brightbill will be joining me on stage. Be there or be square! ...or something.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Devotchka Plays Live in a Snow Globe!

Yesterday E and I headed to Keystone for some winter fun time. I boarded while she hung out and read a book (she actually likes to do that sort of thing). Apres Ski (ooo, fancy!) we headed to Breckenridge and grabbed dinner at Modis. We just kind of stumbled onto the place, but it was actually great. Erika had the fish special and I had lamb. Maybe the best lamb I've had in a decade? Nice find. The ambience was pretty good too, and we were there early enough to avoid the wait (2 hours at 6:30p) and get a great table on a balcony overlooking the whole restaurant.

But here's the real fun: post noshing we heading back to Keystone to catch a free Devotchka show. It was fantastic. I was wondering how they were going to keep their instruments in tune, let alone keep their hands from freezing. I've played outside in the fall in the mid west, and that was bad enough. But to make things even more tricky, it starting blowing crazy snow right before the band took the stage. Blizzard type stuff. Devotchka plowed through (eh-heh-heh) and it was AMAZING. It looked like they were playing inside a snow globe. There was a three-person video crew, so hopefully they got the best concert footage ever. I captured a little bit of it with my digicam, but it of course doesn't do the event justice.

Super cool.

See another video with even better snow here: (don't forget to click "high quality")

Friday, November 28, 2008

Snow and sound

Guess what I'm doing today? And then a free Devotchke show at the bottom of the mountain at 8pm.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Definitive Home Network

note: as mentioned before, I tend to talk a lot, so if you're looking for the "nitty gritty," skip about half way down this thread to where I actually start talking about my network device research; apologies to those annoyed by the "human parts" of this review/post

Whenever I think about purchasing a new gadget, I send out a call to nerds. Which is to say, I type "Nerd List" into Gmail, and it populates an e-mail with a list of my geekiest friends. The next week to ten days is a constant barrage of "reply to all" messages. Their counsel is invaluable. But it was only after my last two week volley regarding home networking that I realized (duh) that I was playing Microsoft/Mac to the open-source rebels and heroes of the world. The information compiled needed to be shared, so here it is.

The issue started with the fact that I need a new wi-fi router. I've got a Belkin F5D7230-4 that was likely made by Al Gore in a garage. It's so old, that when you look it up on Belkin's site, the picture they show of the unit is a completely different form factor than the one I have. I must have purchased the first one available.

To blow my own horn (and perhaps lend some credibility to this post), most tech purchases I make last a long, long time, because I usually research and make sure I purchase the best thing available (without breaking the bank). My first major computer purchase out of college was a Micron PII that was my main machine for nearly 10 years. In fact, the only reason it was decommissioned was because I moved from the tower form factor to rack mount machines.

Anyway, I need a new wireless router. My Belkin is actually a "G" router, so I guess it's not that old, but I'm sure it was one of the first units to utilize "G." However, it's not gigabit, and I'm transferring way too much data these days (editing film footage) to live without gigabit. Not to mention my wife is constantly plagued by slow wi-fi transfer speeds to her MacBook Pro.

So I started thinking about what we really needed/wanted for out household.

A lot of people leave their computers running 24/7. I have never been able to bring myself to do this. First of all, I've been a PC guy ever since I graduated from college, and in my experience PC's just tend to "gunk up" if they don't get a reboot purge on a fairly regular basis (which is to say: I've experienced "lock-up" far more often when leaving a machine running 24-7 than when shutting down every night). That and the fact that leaving two computers running constantly is like having an extra refrigerator in the house, as far as energy consumption goes, have made me a firm believer in shutting down the computer.

I do have a 5TB RAID server, but when I shut it down, my wife no longer has access to data backup, media streaming (from the media server) or even a printer (networked via that computer). Not to mention I don't necessarily want that RAID server being accessed by anyone other than me... ever. There's just too much opportunity to screw up back-ups and critical data.

Media streaming is something that we aren't currently utilizing too heavily (the occasional mp3 files), but I imagine the idea will factor heavily into any new system we start utilizing in the very near future (whole house audio streaming music from a central location, bedroom and living room televisions accessing a central movie repository, etc.). So what I really need is something that would allow me to have constant wi-fi access to a hard drive (for back-up and media streaming) and a printer.

There are a few wi-fi routers out there sporting a USB connection, which addresses the networked printer and storage issues. But, my search was easily narrowed by the fact that "N" is the new "G," and I'm not going to purchase a wi-fi router that doesn't utilize "N."

The tricky part here, however, is that "N" has been developed to run on both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies, and when all is said and done, the "golden standard" will be the 5Ghz band, as it offers far more than the ll channels possible with the 2.4Ghz frequency.

There are a few front-runners in the catagory of Gigabit cabaple Wifi Routers utilizing "N," but not very many that tout both "N" frequencies.

Linksys WRT160NA wi-fi router that kept coming up in my searches for it's great range (signal strength compared to distance from unit) was the Linksys WRT160N, but it has no USB port for networking a printer or external hard drive, so it was immediately off my list. Plus, many reviews spoke of problems, especially with a Mac, in regard to properly utilizing the dual-band draft N technology. Not to mention it looks a little like a pile of Darth Vader poo.

11/21/08 Note: change the letters around only slightly (WRT610N) and you get the same unit WITH the network USB drive option. Who's the dumbass that names these things? The CNET reviews for this device make me think this could be a clear winner, were it not for the fact that they blatantly state that the USB port will not work with printers.

Linksys WRT350N

Linksys WRT350N

D-link DIR-655
D-Link DIR-655

The two routers that became the forerunners in my search were the Linksys WRT350N (around $129) and the D-Link DIR-655 (around $99). Aside from the fact that the Linksys looks like something put together by an alien trying to phone home (it's super-fugly, people), it seemed to be getting much worse reviews than the D-Link (which actually has quite a few fans, despite the fact that it doesn't utilize the 5Ghz frequncy), so I think I'll end up going with the D-Link. To be fair, Linksys has since released the "WRT600n," but I haven't been able to find any credible sources for a decent review, and it's nearly $80 more than the D-Link (and the 350N, for that matter). Also, it should be noted that most people with the Linksys WRT350N running DD-WRT have been extremely happy with the results (though I'm not sure that DD-WRT addresses USB functionality).

NOTE: upon going to print, I realized D-Link has released the DIR-825 and the DIR-855. At $290 (currently $265 at NewEgg), the 855 is way out of the running, but the 825 is only $129 and offers all the glories of the 655 (namely, a USB port), but with dual-band "N." Additionally, many of the reviewers seem to be utilizing the dual-band N to great advantage... assigning certain devices to the 2.4Ghz frequency while assigning other devices to the 5Ghz so that there is no sharing conflict for the N connection.

The USB port on a network device is the thing that has most intrigued me during this search, and ended up being the deal-breaker on several otherwise extremely capable WiFi Routers. I don't want to buy a new network capable printer (I'm quite pleased with my Canon MP810), so I really need to find a router (or some other device) that allows me to hook my current USB printer into the network without having to pass through an actual computer.

BE CAREFUL when looking for this feature. Some routers will have the USB port, but not "allow" it to function to it's full capacity. When looking at a Belkin router at Circuit City, I noted that one actually stated on the box: "USB port will not work with a printer." Just a heads up.

That said, Belkin is also one of only two manufactures that seem to be addressing the Network USB Hub niche. The BELKIN F5L009 Wireless Network USB Hub plugs into your network router via ethernet cable to give you access to 4 USB ports via your network. The device has received great reviews from users and tech sites alike, but it's worth mentioning that many people have been deceived (and pissed off) by the object's title (note the word "wireless"), as the unit is NOT wirless; it only functions in tandem with your current wireless router. So I would still be left having to purchase a new router in addition to this, admittedly cool, unit.

The only other manufacturer addressing the network USB hub market seems to be Tritton (who incidentally make the best USB speaker deal going, according to with the TRI-US100, but I couldn't find any reviews for the device.

NOTE: most devices with a USB port for the network will only allow one user to connect to the USB device at a time. In other words, if I wanted to print while my wife is printing, I would have to wait to even queue my print job. Also, if someone was watching T.V. and streaming from the media server, no other computer could access the USB networked hard drive. I believe this is true with all devices mentioned in this post, including the dedicated USB hubs listed above (which seems like a major short-coming of a "hub"). For this reason, I have made the decision to utilize the dedicated USB port on my new WiFi router only for a printer server. Networked drive storage will be obtained via ethernet with a hard drive enclosure that allows connection to the network via a direct ethernet (RJ45) connection to the router. (So now I have to start researching network drive enclosures).

Lacie 301389ULaCie makes an actual network drive that almost made me click "buy." The LaCie 301389U offers 1TB of drive space that can be connected directly to your Wi-Fi router via an RJ45 (ethernet) cable. Additionally, it has a USB port that allows you to connect additional storage or (in my case) a printer. Not to mention it is easily one of the coolest looking external drives on the market (extremely hard edges, all black, blue glow on the underside). The device also gets stellar reviews, especially in regard to ease of setup (which is the most common complaint I find with networked drives).

My main reason for not purchasing the LaCie drive is that I would still be without a new WiFi router. It's a great hard drive and it offers the USB port for networking the printer, but I need another hard drive like I need a hole in the head.

So in the end, I'm going with the D-Link DIR-655 DIR-825, hooking up a network printer via the router's USB port, and purchasing an enclosure for one of my existing thousand hard drives to hook into the network via ethernet for "constant access" back-ups and media streaming.

I should probably point out, one of my friends who works for the devil (Microsoft) did mention Windows Home Server (to the rigorous agreement of several nerd voices), but as mentioned previously, I'm looking for a solution with low energy consumption that allows me to leave a drive (for media and back up) and a printer "live" on the network at all times.

Also, I know there will be several Mac fans out there to mention the Time Capsule, but I don't like being locked into (and paying a premium for --$299) the onboard dedicated hard drive. The Airport Extreme does have all my requirements (usb port, gigabit, dual-band wireless "n"), but I'm not about to start using Mac devices (more expensive at $174, less room for future expansion/changes), not to mention they short you an ethernet port (only has 3 instead of the standard 4).

Please post your opinions and advice, especially as this issue is addressed more and more as people start utilizing networks for media streaming, multiple computer data back up and print sharing in their homes.

11/21/08 (later in the day): upon re-reading the CNET reviews for the D-Link DIR-655 and the D-Link DIR-825 I'm considering switching my decision back to the DIR-655 (based mostly on the speed tests). In mixed mode (b/g with n) the 825 shows an abysmal 40Mbps throughput, while the 655 exceeds 77Mbps. Additionaly, the 825's top (for it's self) performing 5Ghz N only hits 102 Mbps (2.4GHz only 70Mbps) while the 655's 2.4GHz N hits 112Mbps! We don't have cordless phones in our home, and the nearest house is more than 500 meters away, so we probably aren't going to run into much trouble utilizing only the 2.4GHz frequency. Reviews also state that upping to the 855 might be worth (for speed and range) the extra $130, though I'm not so sure at this point. I just don't think I want to spend $265 on a router. So now I'm left deciding how badly I really need 5GHz N (especially if it's slower on this unit anyway).

Monday, November 17, 2008

007 was good, but there's something better on the way!

I saw the new Bond on Friday. I definitely enjoyed it. Daniel Craig is great, and the new "rough" bond is something I thoroughly enjoy. I miss the gadgets (there are... none), but being a mid-century modern buff I soooo appreciated the incredible sets and art direction. MK12 did a great job with the visuals (I became a fan of the little Kansas City company after Stranger Than Fiction).
I was a little worried that my father-in-law was going to have a heart attack in the first 20 minutes (it's pretty action packed), but he survived.

I do need to point out that in retrospect, the thing I enjoyed most about the movie was a trailer at the beginning. Somehow, I forgot that the new Star Trek was opening soon. So seeing the trailer was a nice surprise. And having the trailer actually be good was... oh, yeah.

(click the pic for the trailer)
Sylar is going to be awesome as Spock. I love that J.J. Abrams is directing. The guy playing Kirk actually sounds a bit like Kirk (and that's fun). So maybe this thing could actually be... good?

I'm not anticipating it as much as the new Tron, but I am pretty excited about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For all you late night hep cats...

I'll be playing a late night set in Denver tonight.

Let's call it 'Round Midnight. I've been told that it'll be a little earlier than that, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.

So if you wanna catch some good singer-songwriter stuff in Denver tonight, Wednesday, November 12, come on down to the Meadowlark at 27th and Larimer. It's a great venue.

Artists take the stage at 9pm and cover is $6.

line up (in no particular order): Dan Beahm and the Invisible Three, Chris Nelson, Ryan Brackin, Erick Rudolph, Jimmers

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We did it.

We did it! We did it! We did it!

It's amazing. I love this country.

And it wasn't just "kind of" a victory:

Now let's get to work!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Get out and vote today. There is no excuse. If you've gotta work, ask your boss if you can leave early. If he/she says no... poke her/him in the eye and go vote anyway.

It doesn't matter if it's raining.

It doesn't matter if you're tired.


And if you have ANY trouble during your voting process call this number to report it: 1-866-OUR-VOTE. They are a non-partisan group of people making sure Election 2000 doesn't happen again. Remember that? Don't let that happen again. Report ANY issues you encounter.

Now I leave you with this fun little video...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get Ready to Never Do Another Thing at Your Computer (MTV Videos online)

Prepare to never do anything at your computer again... ever.

MTV just went live with their new music video database. Watch any music video ever made.

Oh, my.

I just finished watching: Oingo Boingo's "Private Life," Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing," Andrew Bird's "Imitosis," u2's "One," Daft Punk's "Around the World," and I'm just getting started!

Have fun kids!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Republican Party is Promoting Racism (don't believe me? read on)

Just so you don't think I'm simply making things up, let's start off with this:

My parents received the flier in question while I was visiting them last week at their home in Indiana.

Go ahead. Click on the images to the left. These are scans of a mailing being sent out by the Indiana Republican Party.

Yes, the Republican Party is promoting racism as a campaign tactic.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

I realize the gloves come off at election time. If you're on the ballot, expect them to go through your trash and closets with a fine-tooth comb.

However, making things up is way out of line. Furthermore, making things up that promote and inflame racial tension is not only irresponsible, but should be punishable by law (hate crime is illegal). Yes we've all heard about people shouting things like "terrorist" and "kill him" at McCain/Palin rallies. Obviously there are idiots everywhere, and not everyone has the benefit of education and an informed world view on their side.

However, when Government Officials start participating, we need to take a step back and re-examine what we're going to call "fair play."

Repute the claims however you want, but the fact of the matter is that Obama is certainly not a terrorist, he was 8 years old when Ayers was doing the things that have gotten him labeled a terrorist, and someone does not become a terrorist simply by proximity. Yes Obama lives in a neighborhood near Ayers' current location (Hyde Park in Chicago), and yes Obama served on a board that Ayers was also on. Obama has refuted any ties to Ayers (especially and emphatically the claims that they are "friends"), and unless there is any more "proof" of binding ties to bring to the table, that should be that.

Instead, The Republican Party, in what I would posit has become a "typical" method of preying on fear and hatred, is continuing to stretch any sort of truth far beyond breaking point.

The first page of this flyer puts an uncredited Ayers quote [10/28/08: looking at that quote again, I don't think it's even an Ayers quote --I think it might be from one of the 9/11 terrorists; wtf?!], poignantly dated 9/11, next to a photograph of Obama looking over his shoulder. Also in bold text: "Terrorist. Radical. Friend of Obama."

I'm not sure that there's any reason to further explore the mailing itself, but I think people need to be aware of what is being put into play, who is doing it, and what the repercussions are.

This behavior is simply disgusting. I'd like to say I can't even believe it, but I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that we live in a new era of fear-mongering and hate.

Let's change that.

Please get out there on November 4th and make your voice for truth, honesty, fairness, equality and love for your fellow citizens heard loud and clear. We simply can't take much more of this before the whole thing goes down the tubes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PAY ATTENTION: this is NOT change

I thought it was funny when McCain simply stole Obama's "Change" slogan. Obama was using it long ago, but OK, if people want to look the other way while McCain proves he can't come up with his own slogan and has to just steal one from his opponent... whatever. I think it just emphasizes the fact that McCain is following Obama's lead (the "experienced" one stealing from the "inexperienced" one... that irony alone should raise a million red flags).

What I do have a major problem with is the fact that it's a lie. McCain promises change, a move away from the current administration, but unless you were hit over the head and have been in a coma for the past month (or longer), it's impossible to ignore the fact that McCain is using the same tactics of fearmongering and hate promotion that the Bush administration has relied so heavily upon for the past 8 years.

Here is an open letter to John McCain that Frank Schaeffer published in the Baltimore Sun:,0,7557571.story

It's very short and definitely worth reading, but if you're not going to follow the jump, at least read this excerpt:
John McCain, you're walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out "Terrorist" or "Kill him," history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people - forever.

We will hold you responsible.

Racism and Stupidity is Alive and Well in America

I guess I'm aware that it's out there, but did you realize there are people this... I hesitate to say it, but "stupid" is the only word that seems appropriate, living here in America in this day and age?

Please, please, please don't let this kind of hatred and bigotry represent our great country.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't Let Hate and Fear Win: Volunteer to Keep America Beautiful

Everywhere I go I hear people worried , nay terrified, about the serious detriment that would be caused by the unthinkable travesty of McCain and Pallin becoming the next "leaders" of this great country. More of the same. More of a few selfish individuals using their power by wealth to prevent equality and growth among so many wonderful people.

"But what can I do?" is the constant cry. Well, let me tell you. It's easy to volunteer for change in a great number of ways.

The easiest way I've found is by going to and signing up to make phone calls. They will provide you with a call list and a script. You can select from registered Democrats, persuadable undecideds, etc... It's extremely easy, and it's actually pretty fun!

Everyone we've spoken with has been friendly (I expected more annoyed people worried about their privacy and free time, but everyone has seemed interested and definitely willing to talk).

You can also find out where your local Barack Obama headquarters are and simply walk in and volunteer. Whether it's making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, hanging signs, etc., you can do your part to make a huge difference, and make sure this country gets back on track as a beacon of hope for people around the world.

(click the two images to the left to see actual call sheet screen shots)

Whether you want to make phone calls for Barack, or go around to your neighbors knocking on doors, click here to get started!



Monday, September 29, 2008

Short Notice: DBi3 this Saturday in Denver

Just got added to an all ages show in Denver this Saturday, October 4, in Centennial at a place called LIFEspot. The show is a kick off for the tour of Jonathan Stark (Denver-pictured left) and The Jox (Kansas). Check out their music, I think you'll dig it.

Hope to see some of you out at the show!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Playing a Show In Indy On My Birthday!

Well what do you know? Birdy's in Broadripple (Indianapolis) has been kind enough to host a Birthday Extravaganza Show on my birthday, October 21!

I can't wait to play for the home town crowd! Come on out and wish me a happy birthday (doors open at 8pm, but the place has food, so you can show up and grab a bite to eat with me before that).

I've put some calls out to old buddies in the area, so we'll see who joins the bill in the next few weeks.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Donate to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's Name!

I just received an e-mail with this brilliant plan to show Sarah Palin how the majority feels about her stance on sex ed, etc...

Basically, go to, mouse-over "donate" and select "honorary or memorial donations," fill in Sarah Palin for the name, then fill in the McCain headquarters address (shown in the e-mail quoted below) so the thank you card is sent there.

The minimum donation is $5, which I think is WELL worth the message (and laugh). You can spend $5 on a drink at a bar tonight, or you can join hopefully thousands of others who receive this message and send a very poignant message to Sarah Palin and the rest of the backward thinking fools at McCain headquarters (not to mention supporting a good cause)!

And on top of that, the joke is tax deductible!!


Below is the e-mail I received.

Dear Friends,

Many of us have wanted a woman on a national political ticket for
years, but the joke now seems to be on us. Sarah Palin not only
opposes reproductive rights, but is also against sex education in
schools and cut financial support for single mothers in Alaska.

Some of you may already be supporting the Obama campaign financially,
but if you are furious (and terrified) by the Republican party's
selection of Sarah Palin as the VP on McCain's ticket and want to do
more, may I pass along the following fiendishly brilliant idea?

Make a donation to Planned Parenthood. In Sarah Palin's name.
Regardless of the amount you give, when you make a donation to PP in
her name, they'll send her a card telling her that a donation has
been made in her honor. It might not change the election, but it will
support an important organization, as well as help make our voices
heard. (And even if this idea was cooked up by a PP person -- I don't

If you want to help, go to the Planned Parenthood website:

During the process be sure to check "make honorary or memorial gift,"
and then fill in the name of the person you want to "honor." (Might I
suggest Sarah Palin?) Then fill in the address to let Planned
Parenthood know where to send the Thank You card. If you use the
address for the McCain campaign headquarters, I think they'll get the

McCain's headquarters address:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202

Please send this along to all your friends and urge them to do the same.

If you're not convinced this is a good idea, maybe follow this link and read the article there. It seems while Palin was mayor, "the city of Wasilla had the most egregious policy against victims of rape in the state of Alaska, possibly the entire country. The rape kit, a set of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following a sexual assault, was charged to the victim. (note: step 6)"

Are you freaking kidding me?!

[update from Steve, Sept. 29, 2008]
Hey! A friend of mine works at Planned Parenthood and I was talking
to her about the Palin donation plan that you'd forwarded to me.
Apparently it is working.

"So far, the scheme seems to be getting a strong response. As of
Friday, Planned Parenthood had taken in $802,678 in donations from
31,313 people, said a spokesman for the organization, Tait Sye. More
than two-thirds of the individuals are first-time donors to Planned
Parenthood, Mr. Sye said, and money came in from all 50 states."
--from today's New York Times

Friday, September 19, 2008

Redefining Measures of Success

I ran across this quote today, and thought it was beautiful:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama Apparel

So... it would seem that the easiest way to get people talking about Obama is simply by wearing a t-shirt. We were talking about the best way to get the word out, and the resounding "this works" examples were always apparel. When you wear a t-shirt or button or whatever, people come up to you and ask you about Obama.

It gets conversations started, and it's easy.

So I'm working on some new designs. Here's my first, for my friends in Ohio (there will be many more).

Click here for Fuck Yeah, OH items. (all proceeds go to the Obama/Biden campaign)

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Song: "A Long Way Home"

I recently took a trip waaaaaay up north into Canada with my little brothers. It's been a long, long time since we all went on holiday together.

While I was up there I thought a lot about all the trips we took as kids, loading into the old Cadillac and driving all over the mid west.

When I got back from Canada, I wrote this song, and this video is it's debut:

A Long Way Home
©Renaissance Boy Recordings and Daniel Beahm (ASCAP)

We sailed the gold seas over backroads Indiana
Aboard a shining vessel bound for near South Bend
The roads rolled out like black top carpets carving corridors
Meridians and dirt canals connecting us to friends

One day we’ll see just where the roads all lead us
Too many maps misfolded past their use
Three brothers learn topography by memory
For grand adventures that they’ll speak of after youth is long gone

It’s a long way home
A long, long way home

And what of fireflies in June we would discover
The stars had fallen and they danced upon the lawn
Yes what of the fireflies, the herald of my brother’s birth
They’ve flown to heaven but their mem’ry lingers on

And it’s a long way home
A long, long way home

Just off the starboard you can see the merchant ships awaking
The trolling farmland schooners harvesting the gold
They mark the coming of the winter of the weather
They mark the turning of the leaves and of our souls

So come the winter we would plot a course for grand Ohio
We’d turn the rudder east toward the land of giving thanks
Her shores shown like a light house calling me to come home
A lasting stronghold and the bastion of my youth

Such ecstacy and revelry
I’d know, I’d know
The sweetly singing voices called to me “come away”
Such a fool to follow them
I know, I know
But I was so naïve and thus I strayed

I was the first to sign my name upon the dotted line
I was the first to break my mother’s heart and go
I was the first to walk upon the shores of foreign lands
I was the first to bleed for something I had never known

At night I’d gaze into the sky and search for True North
The Dog Star guiding me upon wayward way
I’d think of Andrew and of Matthew and of Indiana
I’d wonder if the stars were shining for them just the same

It’s a long way home
A long, long way home

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DBi3 to Play Sky High Music Festival :: Sept. 28

what's playing: "Groove Me" by Salt-N-Pepa

Sunday, September 28th at 4:45pm Dan Beahm takes the stage as part of the 2nd Annual Sky High Music Festival. Four days, 10 stages, over one hundred bands! One $10 ticket gets you into all venues, all days. What a bargain!

Dan Beahm and The Invisible Three play the Rock & Roll Grill, 1531 Champa Denver, CO 80202. The show is all ages. Doors open at 3:30pm and the venue accomodates 2 stages. Again, one ticket gets you into all the festival venues for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT (staring Thursday).

Tickets can be purchased at any venue door, at any King Soopers, or online at

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blow by blow deconstruction of Palin's speech by Roni Deutch

The above link is a great fact checking blow-by-blow of Palin's speech at the RNC. Seems much of what she said, though perhaps exciting (for some) and applause garnering, was simply incorrect.

Way to go, Roni.

And thanks, Michael, for the link.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Palin: this is what the Republican Party thinks of women?

Screw the glass ceiling, this woman is going to set women's rights back a hundred years.

Yes, I know the photo is Photoshopped, but it's funny (and fairly accurate) nonetheless.

Erika is so furious about this lady, she can barely even speak (and that's saying something). The day McCain announced his running mate, was a dark, dark day for women across the globe.

This lady doesn't "believe" in evolution. While even I have been known to question some of the specifics and gaps of the chain, I'm not pushing to replace it with hocus pocus. Evolution is at least science, based on facts and evidence. She wants creationism taught in schools. What year is this?! Yeah, science is probably a foolish thing to be teaching our nation's children. We're plenty ahead of that whole education game anyway.

This is a woman who in May of this year announced she would sue to block Washington from listing polar bears as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act ( Are you freaking kidding me?! Just so we can ignore the fact that we are screwing the hell out of the flora and fauna on this rock we call home?

Don't even get me started on the whole pregnant daughter and this woman's burning desire to reverse Roe v. Wade. The debate is not about life; the debate is about privilege. The fact of the matter is that privileged white people don't have to worry about Roe v. Wade being over turned because they'll have access to clean and safe procedures whether it's legal or not, because they've got money.

Hilarious that McCain chose Palin to win over Hillary votes. Surely (please, god) Hillary voters can see right through this transparent puppet. Just because she's got boobs and could be VP doesn't mean she's advancing the position of women in the country and the world.

She will, in fact, do the opposite.

And what's up with the Republican party continually touting Palin's ability to kill moose (who in the f*ck cares?! ...other than Bullwinkle fans).

I'll leave you with a list of books Palin wanted banned from the Wasilla city library (the list is from the city board meeting's minutes). Yes, that's a DICTIONARY at the end of the list.

[Sept. 7, 2008] Turns out the list was a fake, but the quote from Mayor John Stein about Palin wanting to ban books from the library is legit; here's the quote:
Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor. (Time)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Girl Talk - Feed the Animals (Gregg Gillis is a hard workin' thief; nothing wrong with that)

what's playing: Feed the Animals by Girl Talk

Me likey the mashup. Whereas medleys used to lift my skirt, technology and the MTV short attention span has paved the way to simply inserting snippets here and there.

Anybody who's seen me live knows I tend to pepper my originals heavily with bits of music and lyrics from other artists (Prince, The Cure, John Denver, Paul Simon, Twisted Sister, Tom Jones, Burt Bacharach, Quiet Riot, etc...).

I even gave the "real deal" a shot last year when Trent Reznor made files from "Only" available for a radio remix contest. I remixed, but also added snippets of "Head Like a Hole," "Closer," "Down In It," and "Hurt." I personally think it's better than the original, but then again I'm kind of a pompous bastard. Have a listen if you'd like. [Only (Used to Be Somebody remix) by Cats or Cars]

However, Gregg Gillis has taken it all the way, by creating an entire album of mash-up, putting things together that you'd never dream of. It's sooo much fun. A couple years ago I was loving Danger Mouse's Grey Album, but Feed the Animals goes the extra mile and sources from literally hundreds of songs spanning the decades in a genre meshing meet-and-greet that would make Dr. King proud.

Rod Stewart just morphed into Flashdance's "Maniac" super-high-speed rim shot and then subtly transformed into Procul Harem's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" ...all while serving as a base for Jay-Z, 50 cent, Ludacris and various other hip-hop/rap artists I should know but don't (white boy living in Colorado needs to expand his horizons).

Listening to this album is one "oh, man! are you freaking kidding me?!" after another (as I type this, Ace of Bass just paved the way for "Footloose").

Every song goes straight to the next, so clear your schedule and get ready to listen to the whole thing straight through (again and again). You'll thank me later.

Click the (rather lame) album cover image in this post to be taken to the Illegal Art (Girl Talk's label) download page where you can name your price. Put in whatever purchase amount you want and you're taken to a page with two links... one is the link to the album's Zip file (320 Kbps mp3's) , the other is a link to send moola via PayPal to Illegal Art.

Do it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Indie Music Promoting (just listen... please?)

The last post was about booking. This one is about promotion.

Both are chores that "back in the day" a label would have taken care of. Nowadays, in the age of indie, the tasks are most often taken up by the musician. Both can be more than full time jobs. So what's a bard to do?

Getting people to listen to the damn music is so much harder than writing good songs! You can have album upon album of great songs, "hits" even, but if nobody's listening it doesn't matter.

The advent of home recording has made it extremely easy to record your own music (though simply having the tools doesn't mean the product will sound good). This age of the musical everyman has its good and bad points. The great part is that people who previously couldn't afford to record albums now can. The awful part is that people who previously couldn't afford to record albums now can. Anybody who's spent any time sifting through myriad unknowns looking for an indie gem knows this is true.

It used to be, you at least had to prove yourself in some way to get to the place where someone was going to pay to cut vinyl. Now literally ANYONE can get their music listed along side Top 40 bands on iTunes. I know Top 40 doesn't mean "good," but it does mean marketed. And people are buying it. And that's what I'm talking about. People are being told to listen to your music (and they do).

How do you get your stuff into the hands of people who will love it?

I think most people think that if a song is good, it will float to the top and people will hear it, but you'd be surprised how many great songs are out there that no one knows about. You'd probably also be surprised by how long it takes some songs (or bands) to see the light of day. It astounds me that so many of the musical friends/acquantainces I've made over the years have never "made it big." see: Earwig, Arthur Yoria, Bel Auburn, The Old Ceremony, among many, many others (like ME!)

My most common complaint these days is that it's so difficult just getting people to listen. You'd think that if someone stumbled upon an old college or high school buddy, that person would at least be curious about what that persons music sounded like, maybe even buy an album or two... drop a line and say, "Hey, I heard your music!" You might be surprised at how little I get that.

I'm not looking for sunshine blown up my ass, I just want to know that some of my efforts are at least being noticed. The "lazy musician" label gets old really fast, especially when you're working sooooo freaking hard.

I'm always baffled when a good friend says, "I've never heard that song [of yours] before." I want to scream: "I SENT IT TO YOU A YEAR AGO!" But that would make me appear psycho, so I rarely do that (well, probably less rarely than I'd like to think).

I know the fact is that people are bombarded with garbage in their inbox (and tv, and radio, and etc., etc.) all the time. I understand it's easy for things to slip by.

So how do you get people to listen?

I'm convinced that somebody else has to tell them to listen to it.

So I spend hours upon hours putting together press packs to send off to radio stations, magazines, blogs, local media outlets, etc... Between writing and recording music, booking shows, playing shows, and promoting, it's a wonder I have time to breathe, let alone hold down another job to try and bring in actual money to pay the bills.

I post photos and music on Facebook, MySpace, LastFM, the "official website," and a million other places. I spend hours contacting people, making friends, asking them to listen to my songs (how humbling), trying to get them to tell other people.

You begin to wonder if anyone is listening. And then somebody does.

Somebody like Bill, who came across my YouTube page the other day looking for a cover of The Ramones, which I just happened to have... "I Wanna Be Sedated." You heard it?

Well he posted a comment, and I wrote him back, and it turned into a multiple day conversation. It was great knowing that someone out there stumbled upon the music, took the time to really listen to Amplifier, and then took the time to let me know he was enjoying it and that my efforts weren't going unnoticed.

Sometimes it's just nice to know that people are listening after all.

Now if only one of those people worked for Geffen and could sign me up.


In closing, I don't want this post to upset those people who I know listen all the time. I soooooo appreciate you guys. You rule. Your loyalty (and tenacity) constantly make this all worth it... I just wish you would rub off on the rest of the people I know (and then, in turn, the other 6.8 billion people wandering around this planet).

Rock. And, as always, thank you for your support.


Monday, August 18, 2008

And so it begins (building Leading Ladies)

After three years of hard work, Erika has finally finished writing her screenplay with her friend Jen.

It's fantastic (and those of you who know me know I'm a pretty tough critic when it comes to stuff like this).

So now I guess we're gonna make this thing! We talked it over for quite a while, and decided making the film would be more fun (?!?!) than just selling the screenplay, so here we go. If you'd have told me a year ago that we'd be shooting our own feature film in the summer of 2009, I doubt I'd have believed you, but here I am, starting work on a set so we can shoot our first teaser, to help us garner some funding to shoot the actual film.

Here you can see how it begins:

I used my superior thrift shopping techniques to score some materials to put together a bathroom vanity with double basins. I'm constructing the walls so we can remove individual panels to get various camera shots.

Brian and Tim of Imperial Sport Bikes have been extremely generous and are letting us use their bike shop as a sound stage (they're even offering up their trailer to help me haul this stuff around, and Brian's going to grip for the first shoot). I drove down last week to check it out, and I think we're a go. 28 foot ceilings, no windows... should be perfect.

We contacted a dancer that Erika met in Chicago, and she kindly agreed to a screen test, so we plunked down the cash to fly her out for the shoot. She and one of Erika's students will be our principal actors. Erika has already choreographed the scene, so we are pretty close to being ready to go.

Our DP, Jeff McCutcheon sent out the film equipment, and it arrived today (Xmas!).

We've also got storyboards coming together from our good friend Troy Carlson. We may have some of those available for viewing soon (if you're lucky!).

Keep an eye on the blog for further developments.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gmail and Multiple E-mail Accounts: the New Definitive Post for the Best Way to Set Up a Single Log-in E-mail Solution

what's playing: "Still" by Ben Folds

A while back I created a post called "The Definitive Thunderbird - Gmail Set Up For Retrieving From Multiple E-mail Accounts." Since then I've realized that Thunderbird is not the answer (for me).

My goal is to be able to keep tabs on my 20+ e-mail accounts (I know, a lot, but I have many different entities and business ventures that I like to keep separate) from anywhere there is a computer for me to use. I thought Thunderbird Portable was going to be the answer, but after using it from a thumb drive for several weeks, the speed limitations took their toll upon my patience. I was monitoring too many e-mails and downloading too much material for that system to be efficient. It may be something that works for you, especially if you don't have a slew of e-mail aliases, but for me, it was no good.

It might also work for you if you aren't actually downloading your messages (using IMAP or whatnot), but for me, I then ask, why use dedicated e-mail software at all? Why not just use web mail so you've got it wherever you are?

I also tried switching Thunderbird Portable to my system hard drive to speed things up; then I would copy my Thunderbird Portable folder to a thumb drive only when I traveled, but I still ran into the same problems (sticky and slow) when I was away from home.

So I'm back to just Gmail. And I'm setting up most of my clients with similar setups, tweaked to their specific needs (see an example after the "gripes").

First, my gripes with Gmail:
  1. They look at your stuff.
    Granted, they claim elves and monkeys are the only ones scanning your private messages, and they're doing it "only" so the little adds (you barely notice them) in your Gmail interface are targeted specifically at things that matter to you (what's in your e-mails). Still, I'm not thrilled about anyone or anything going through my personal communications.

  2. There's no whitelist.*
    After literally YEARS of griping about this (I wonder how many times I wrote in to "suggest" this), Gmail finally implemented "Never send it to Spam" to their weak list of filter options. So now, you can set up a filter using "has the words," enter a domain name, and check "Never Send it to Spam."

    It's about freaking time, Google.

    *settings>filters>create a new filter>(fill in info)>(check "Never send it to Spam")

  3. The Spam filter is too voracious.
    The effects of this have been somewhat minimized by the new "Never send it to Spam" option, but I still find myself having to go through my spam box to find e-mails that people claim they've sent me. It sucks when someone contacts you for the first time about wanting to cut you a record deal or having you build them a $10,000 website, only to have their offer or inquiry go straight to spam.

    All my social networking notifications used to go straight to spam, so I wasn't getting clued in when I had 10 new Event Invitations from MollyMcCheesie or when 84 people had sent me Instant Karma on Facebook. Gmail seems to have laxed (did you know that technically "lax" can't be used as a verb?) some of their kung-fu grip on these notifications, but you can also just set up a "Never send it to Spam" filter with a portion of the "from" address for notifications from these sites.

    The other group that so often goes into the spam box, is in fact, mail sent to groups. If you're on a list, chances are the mail is in your spam box. This is OK if it's a list you receive from regularly, once again, just set up the "Never send it to Spam" with the people's addresses who are also on the list. But when someone decides to have a cookout and puts your name in amongst others on a list that has never existed before... chances are it's going into your spam box.

  4. The damn "sent on behalf of."*
    If you use Gmail as a catch all, your central depository for all your mail to route to, any time you send from there, the recipient can see "sent on behalf of." This might not sound like that big a deal, but if you're trying to broker a deal with Sun Trust Bank and you think you're sending from your "" address and instead the President of the company receives mail from ""... it's just not cool.

    Yes you can set up multiple accounts to use from within Gmail, but everything is still "sent on behalf of" your Gmail account. This is especially true when people are receiving your mail with Microsoft Outlook, which most business suits are.

    *Google Apps is the best workaround at this point. You can set your MX servers for your domain to use Gmail instead of your own server, thus mail is actually being sent from your domain address, instead of "on behalf of." If you're still using one central account, you'll still be using aliases, but I think setting up a domain with your name is the best solution here. That way, mail sent from aliases are sent "on behalf of", so there's nothing really suspect or weird about that. Also note, unlike a regular Gmail account, you can be logged into multiple Google Apps accounts at once (no logging in and out to send from each account).

  5. At any given point, you may lose all your messages.*
    About nine years ago, before Gmail even existed, I was using Hotmail. At the time I had just started dating the most wonderful girl on the planet. She is now my wife (woo-hoo!). I was corresponding with here incessantly via e-mail. I planned on printing up all those e-mails and binding them into a book of our correspondence (awwwww...), but before I could, Microsoft pulled the plug on the account for no apparent reason. Wham. Vanished. No hope of ever getting any of it back. I've hated Microsoft ever since.

    *The simple solution to this is simply backing up your e-mail every now and then by using Gmail's Pop Mailbox function to download with any number of e-mail applications. Lesson learned.

    [August 12, 2008, update: It wasn't losing everything, but many, many Gmail users reported not being able to access their accounts for hours yesterday. I don't know if it was related, but one of my accounts' passwords had to be reset. Just saying... Gmail is not without fault.]
So, on to an examples of what will work...

In a nutshell, this example shows how to have all your e-mail download to your computer, while also making all e-mail available on your central Gmail account (without using IMAP, which is another solution you could use).

The client has a main domain (e-mail and website hosting), an alias domain which he uses just for his "secret" e-mail communication, and a Gmail account for when he doesn't have his laptop with him. He definitely prefers using his MacBook Pro (with Entourage) and it's important to have all his e-mail messages actually on his laptop. He travels a lot and is often in remote locations with no Wi-Fi, and he needs to still be able to access the information in his e-mails.

The important thing with creating his setup was to make sure any e-mail downloaded directly to his laptop was also accessible via his Gmail account (for when he only had access to someone else's computer, and not his own). If you're setting up a central Gmail account, I think it's important that you be able to access all your e-mail there, as well as on your personal computer.

The solution: (downloads with Entourage; forwards to Gmail) (only forwards to (only forwards to (only forwards to (only forwards to (forwards to (only downloads with Entourage)

There are two main "tricks" with this setup.

One is to set up the (the Gmail catcher) and the other is to set up a filter on the Gmail account which states "to: forwards to". This way, only mail addressed directly to the Gmail account will forward to the Gmail catcher. This is important so that you don't set up a loop that will cause an e-mail to continually forward back and forth from Gmail to the main account.

Obviously you still have the problem of the "sent on behalf of" discussed in #4 above. Again, the best way around this is to use Google Apps so that the Gmail account is actually an address with your name (see #4 above), or resign yourself to the fact that people will see your Gmail address, and just don't make the address too dorky.

The other issue you'll need to address is having a copy of your "sent" mail available on Gmail if you've sent from your e-mail program. The workaround to this would be to set up your e-mail program to blind copy (bcc:) your Gmail address on everything you send out from your e-mail program. You'll also need to blind copy your address to have "sent" mail created from your Gmail account available on your local machine.

Don't forget to set up your aliases in Gmail.
Settings>Accounts>Add another e-mail address... and then make sure to select "Reply from the same address the message was sent to."

There are obviously other ways to set this sort of thing up with your specific needs. The important part is to avoid creating loops, and the cleanest way to do this is to set up the filter on your Gmail account that forwards mail addressed directly to the Gmail account (not forwarded there) to an account on your server that is used only for catching Gmail (not forwarded anywhere else).

If you don't need "local copies" and aren't concerned with Gmail's overzealous spam filters (don't forget to archive though), your setup is much simpler. All your e-mail accounts should just forward to your Gmail account (make sure they delete from your server or you'll clog up your system), and then you can download using Pop from Gmail.

For those of you asking: "Why not just have everything forward to Gmail and download via Pop from there," I point out again Gmail's crazy spam filter. If you're only Pop-downloading from Gmail, chances are you're missing e-mail that's been erroneously directed to your spam box.

Hope this helps anyone looking for a good, solid, single log-in e-mail solution.

Leave a comment with questions if you have any.

Don't forget to listen to (or better yet, buy) some music while you're here.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Really Am Working On It

what's playing: "Each Coming Night" by Iron and Wine

Why is it so hard to make time for music?

100 degree heat doesn't help. It's so hard to motivate when you can't breathe.

Anyway... I'm trying to get my shit together to get these albums pushed out.

Here's proof (sort of):

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wake Up, America; Oil Is NOT the Answer

The recent negative ad campaigns run by McCain in Colorado (and I assume the rest of the United States) point out that Obama would prefer to keep "relying on foreign oil" rather than drill in Alaska and off the shore of California. They say that as if it's a bad thing, and people are buying into the idea because the McCain camp is emphasizing "foreign oil." The thing that should be stressed about the whole "oil argument" should be getting away from oil altogether. Obama doesn't feel we need to drill in Alaska and California (thank god), because he's willing to look at realistic and viable alternative energy sources for the near future.

We don't need more oil, people.

The problem is that until oil is completely unaffordable, no one will realistically start considering the alternatives. "Putting off until tomorrow" has become the American way! Until it's so bad that it actually causes people's lives to be disrupted (in a more drastic way than choosing a closer family vacation spot), the average American will not demand the change (regarding energy) that we so badly need.

Until people really can't fill up at the pump, nothing will change.

Yes gas is four times what it was ten years ago, but it's still not stopping people from buying and driving cars that only get 25 miles to the gallon (as if that's a great and efficient number) or less.

Another crazy thing to consider, and I don't understand why every single American isn't OUTRAGED by this, is that last week Exxon hit an all time profit high. They are making, get this, $90,000 a minute! (as reported this morning by The New York Times) For the second quarter, income rose 14%, to $11.68 billion.

The richest regime in the world is not going to let their empire dwindle and fade; they are going to do everything in their power to make America believe that we can't live without oil. They are going to fight for continued dependence upon the thing that is making them incredibly rich. Their massive amounts of money give them immense power, enough power to successfully deceive an entire nation! And the people are allowing it by buying into this incredibly nonsensical idea that we can't live without oil.

The people of the United States are being duped into the idea that it would be better to continue to find and use oil, all the while making a very few very rich, instead of simply moving to another (renewable) source (and *bonus* doing what's better for the planet in the process).

Why can't people see that even if we "got more oil," it's only postponing a major, major problem? It's still going to run out. Whether it's us or our kids, somebody's got to address the situation, and it's incredibly disappointing that the majority is willing to pawn this HUGE problem off on our children.

Even more disappointing is that there's a giant constituent out there (hopefully not the majority) that is willing to say, "Yes, this is how we believe and this is how we want the country run, by rich men who are willing to pawn these, admittedly rectifiable, major problems off on our children so we can have one more decade to rape the earth and be "rich."

Sadder still is that a large portion of those people think they are doing "what God wants" by voting for this regime... but that's another story.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tron 2 Leaked Trailer: You Have No Idea How Excited This Makes Me

Quite some time ago (years), there were Tron 2 rumors. It's been so long that I had given up hope. Then what do I see via Gizmodo via Filmstalker today? Somebody done stole 'em self a little piece of joy from Comic Con. It's obviously "sneaky" footage (shame on you blessed stealer, wherever you are), but it definitely gives you an idea of things to come.

Jeff Bridges looks oh-so-cool (I'm soooo happy they didn't try to find someone else), and the new bikes with the old feel are awesome.

The picture gets closer, thus better, the further along you go, so don't give up on the shoddy video early.