Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Interesting Blogs" The Oxymoron Song

For a guy who hates blogs so much, Maddox sure has a lot to say about them. I agree with most of his points--I especially dislike the word "blog" though I've gotten used to it--but if I hated reading other people's stuff as much as Maddox I'd simply STOP READING. The ironic twist is his definition of "Blogger":

"Blogger: Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives. Possibly the most annoying thing about bloggers is the sense of self-importance they get after even the most modest of publicity. Sometimes it takes as little as a referral on a more popular blogger's website to set the lesser blogger's ego into orbit."

Now substitute the word "Blogger" with the word "Maddox". I can't hold it against him. After all, he DOES have the Best Page In The Universe.

There are other bloggers on the Internet who aren't so talented, myself included. Check out these guys and help me decipher what they're saying:

The Angry Redneck: Is he really an ultraconservative, or is he making fun of them? Or is he five years old?

Descriptive Encode Photo Files: I haven't got a clue. The guy's profile says he's a "Communications Liason" but his references to Israel, space aliens, and the New Testament might mean he's a liason to himself. What's with all the pictures of the televison?

The Fifth Nail: Maybe you shouldn't look at this one. Jeff pointed me to the site of this man, on trial for multiple homocides. This reminds me of the old Heaven's Gate cult site but without the false happiness. The Bible should not be read by people off their medication.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

13 Reasons Why The Beatles Suck

13 Reasons To Respect Ringo Starr

Yeah, whatever. People have tried to defend that guy for too long. So now, here are 13 reasons why the Beatles suck:

13. It's been forty years but the price of their albums hasn't gone down. You can go to Target and find a good album made last year for $9.99. Amazon is currently selling old Beatles albums for $14, and most stores have them for $16 or higher. Compare that to Black Sabbath, whose first two albums I bought for six bucks apiece. I bought the entire Led Zeppelin discography for $36 through the BMG Music Club. But NO, the White Album will still set you back thirty dollars no matter where you shop.

12. "Free As A Bird". Yoko Ono found this piece of crap tape in a closet somewhere, made up a little story about how John Lennon always wanted the Beatles to get back together, and this tinny ditty was sneezed out. It was sad thinking that three people and a boombox cassette thought they were still a band, but it was even sadder that millions of us pensively watched a "3:00 Until The New Beatles Song" countdown on national television on the night of its premiere. And that reminds me:

11. Anthologies 1, 2, and 3 were $100 of B-sides that most bands give away. They even sold takes where they screwed up, gluing them together and calling them "tracks". If it had been three years later, Napster would have decimated their profit margins. Now everyone and their mother tries to box up compilations of crummy throwoffs at inflated prices (Elvis Costello, I'm looking at you).

10. They stopped touring. Forget complaints that nobody could hear them; that hasn't stopped the Rolling Stones. Forget the band's desire to "focus on their music"; all bands "focus on their music". It's the very definition of "musician". Their last concert at Candlestick Park in 1965 (I think I got that right) is pretty close to the time Bob Dylan turned them on to weed, and I don't think that's any small coincidence.

9. Covers. The first half of their career was covers, covers, covers. "Please Mr. Postman"? "Roll Over Beethoven"? "You've Really Got A Hold On Me?" "Money"? Those covers AND MORE are on the Please Please Me album ALONE. Would you pay $14 for a thirty minute album by a band today? Of which half the songs were covers from current bands? And compared to the original Isley Brothers recording, the Beatles' cover of "Shout!" is about as worthwhile as that punk version of "99 Luftballoons". The Beatles really Pat Booned the early '60s.

8. Their French was bad and their German was worse. Just like Christina Aguilera's Spanish records, this was a waste of time. "Sie Liebt Dich" nein, nein, nein. I think "Michelle" was just done en francais to confuse the linguistically befuddled American audience.

7. Yellow Submarine, the movie, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the movie. The Beatles weren't in either of them but I blame the band for their suckitude. Why they chose to show up for Magical Mystery Tour defies explanation.

6. The White Album had plenty of filler. Most double albums do (except MAYBE Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness) but no one wants to admit it about the Beatles. "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" is, well, stupid, but not as stupid as "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey." In fact, I think they're really the same song. "Honey Pie" is to "Wild Honey Pie" as Virginia is to West Virginia. "Glass Onion" is like the flashback episode of a cheesy '80s sitcom. Ringo, THE AWESOME DRUMMER THAT HE IS, can't save the asinine lyrics of "Don't Pass Me By" by singing them with his EQUALLY AWESOME voice. And just when you think they couldn't find any other way to waste your time . . .

5. "Revolution 9" makes me want to bring John back to life so I can kill him again. No, that's cruel. But musician-slash-slasher film producer Rob Zombie admits that when he was a kid, this "song" scared the hell out of him. To quote an review on what he's doing now: "Homicidal maniacs have a field day in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, an ultra violent spin-off from Zombie's critically reviled 2003 debut, House of 1,000 Corpses. As Zombie continues to cultivate his name-brand variety of extreme horror and splatter-film homage, he definitely takes his place among connoisseurs of carnage." So besides turning Robbie into a devil worshiper, it has a few useless sound clips from Yoko, some backwards stuff . . . aw, who cares? It sounds the way a high school kid's flash animation looks: choppy, repetitive, anticlimactic, and unentertaining. Has anyone ever wanted to hear this track more than twice? Sober?

4. In 1967 the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which many believe is not only the best album the band ever made but the greatest album ever. Sure, it was innovative, but it was so overproduced it grew bland. "Getting Better", "Fixing A Hole", and "Lovely Rita" are just plain dull, and "Good Morning Good Morning" is so multitracked it's an annoying din. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is as good, if not better, and Paul McCartney knows it. But if you really want to hear the greatest album ever, skip to 1968 and buy a Jimi Hendrix record called Electric Ladyland. It's more colorful and lively, is thirty minutes longer and rocks three times as hard, and the last time I checked it was on sale for $9.99. "Voodoo Child", people!

3. The least the Beatles could have done was put entire songs on Abbey Road, the lazy jerks. I'm not talking about the last note in "Her Majesty" but that freaking "medley" they cobbled together out of some catchy song sketches. Gee, they weren't hurtin' for space in the White Album, so what's the deal? "The End" also demonstrates why there was only one drum solo in the band's whole career. I mean, just think of the foursome trying to conjure up something THAT interesting again. Hey, before I forget:

2. Ringo.

1. I think I've touched all the bases, from some of the bad music, to the unleashing of Yoko Ono on innocent civilians, to the blind pretentiousness of declaring them the Best Band Ever. But what really irks me? The Beatles' cultural implications--the shaggy bowl haircut, the I-just-got-back-from-India-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-dress hippiewear, the too-often parodied Sgt. Pepper cover, the barefoot masses dodging traffic in the street outside Abbey Road Studios, the 7 billion plus covers of "Yesterday", every Beatles' solo works except for George, the f***ing Monkees--are all useless, gaudy claptrap. It's like the Beatles made fads out of unbiodegradeable plastic that will be with us long after the last Beatle ([shudder] probably Ringo) is reincarnated. So I guess the #1 reason the Beatles suck is because they won't go away. They're here, there and everywhere. Run for your life.

Earth Defence Forces

Your unbiased news-source in the war between Denmark and Canada

For some reason I haphazardly keep old movie stubs, concert tickets, parking passes, et cetera. Last night I pulled out my "files" (more like "mound of scrap papers") and pasted them to some pages. There isn't much I'd like to comment on, though I remember Joe's mother scoring a good discount on that Country Music Hall admission, and that I still have an unused ticket for the Radiohead show somewhere. Fahrenheit 9/11 was, I believe, the first sold-out movie I've been to. Okay, maybe I do have some comments. Anyway, try to pick out the ones where you've gone with me, or which ones you've been to by yourself.

No Doubt was a sweaty, sweaty mob. Eve 6 has always sucked. The Red Hot Chili Peppers played with Stone Temple Pilots, and it was awesome, and Joe and I got out of the Darien Lake parking lot in a record 8 minutes.

Bills quarterback J.P. Lossman sat behind us at the Incubus show. "Hustle & F" is not the sequel to "Meet The F". The Amherst Pepsi Arena was the scene of a shameful "learning to ice skate" incident. Our group got on the Jumbotron 3 times during the Expos vs. Braves game, largely because nobody went to Expos games.

The Rochester Americans played on experimental blue ice during that game. My brother performed in the Drum Corps Show. Then there was the time I went to Minnesota and all Jeff and Ed wanted to do was go to the Twins/Red Sox series, or the time four of us guys were late to a movie and went to "Little Black Book" instead.

The Mary Baker Eddy Museum was one hour and three dollars I'll never get back. I still have the "Kick Me $1" sign I took from a punk outside the U2 show. At Mammoth Cave the tour guide told us slaves mined for our independence in the War of 1812. Just typing that hurts my head.

Here are three memorable concerts: Beck, with then-relative-unknown Danko Jones as opener (not to mention adventures with a guy named Lenny and a legendary caravan drag race towards Detroit), one of only three stops on Radiohead's Kid A tour, where Dawn and I witnessed the greatest live performance in history, and the Alanis Morrisette/Tori Amos double bill, where Tori Amos yelled at a woman until she cried and Catherine . . . well, it's the stuff of legend.

Soul Plane cost too much, and I got in for free. For some reason I didn't mind paying for Crossroads. After The Who played, Ed's car split in half near Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Drive and all his marbles fell out. The Stratford Festival is in the middle of nowhere but always worth the ride. How I convinced people to see Gordon Parks' Leadbelly is beyond me, but I enjoyed it.

The Barenaked Ladies put on an excellent end-of-the-millenium show. I think I went to the Bisons game with Josh (who sucks)!

I spend the first period of the Sabres game correcting homework from a 9th Grade social studies class. Green Day used explosions and obscene gestures to bring the rock to Rochester. We saw Sam Roberts hanging around outside before his show, which was strange only because some people were shot there a few weeks before.

Geez, how many times did I see Weezer play? The Roots remains the only show we ever walked out on because acoustics made the band sound like a jet plane full of crying babies. The Strokes were surprisingly tight for a slacker band. And I've never quite experienced something like 20,000 singing the words to "Yellow Ledbetter" with Pearl Jam, seeing how the song has NO LYRICS. The end.

Whoops, I lied. Summersault 2000 gave me a month worth of peeling skin and my only chance to see the Smashing Pumpkins. Jimmy Eat World headlined the Snojam Tour. And look at me, Mr. Moneybags, paying 77 cents to get into MoMA. I'm a real supporter of the arts, n'est pas?

While we're at it here are scans from my Europe Trip 2003 photo album. For the record I never donated anything to Cannabis College, but they did give out coupons. I did go to the sex museum, however.

Maintenant, le fin!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary


Going through my piles of files I found a couple of unfiled pictures. Try guessing the story behind this one.

Or this one. It must be at least five years old. Personally I think I look hotter in the first photo.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Welcome to my home page ! Kiss you !!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my page . . .

Carlie's blog (see right column) suggested I try Googlism to see what the World Wide Web thinks of me. I think I will put Googlism on my list of references:

schrock is terrifically adept at harnessing classic rock rhythms in an updated and modern fashion

schrock is interested broadly in synthetic and mechanistic organotransition metal and inorganic chemistry

schrock is a vanguard candidate to shepard the next cycle of renaissance maidens through the thickets of pop music

schrock is board certified in orthopaedic surgery

schrock is mounting an election campaign

schrock is what every christian inspirational artist should represent

schrock is human and universal

schrock is more expensive but has more options

schrock is a classroom teacher that has developed an incredible web site with outstanding resources for teachers

schrock is a retired navy captain

schrock is an exemplary model of what a volunteer can and should be—tirelessly working hundreds of extra hours to ensure that the chaplaincy program remains

schrock is the creator of this page

and my favorite:

schrock is always the right size and color and may be exchanged for fun experiences and fond memories

and my least favorite:

schrock is scheduled for a jury trial to begin august

Gore will reinvent TV

Beacon Journal

I'm livid that Al Gore et al will start a news network starting August 1st. It's not that I hate Al Gore, or his goal to aim the new channel towards that oft-ignored 18-to-34 demographic. The problem is that Current TV will replace Newsworld International, which for a couple years now has been my only source for television news. NWI plays news broadcasts from different countries: Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, the UK, even the US. They give hourly summaries where you can get more international news in ten minutes than you can through a full day of CNN. That Gore wants to let viewers submit news and information is novel but it makes me feel dumber just thinking about it. Would you rather hear about the London bombings by the UK's ITV news, or Bob Blogger in Portland? Thanks a lot, guys. When G4 bought Tech TV they focused on those 18-34s while boosting ratings with shows about Hot Chicks in Video Games. This looks like more of the same. I'll give Gore a week of my time and then probably watch Current TV as much as I watch E! or Headline News: in passing, regretting that I didn't have anything better to do. Right now I'm looking at Deutche Welle, a German news outlet. You can't beat that, Al. You just can't.

If WWII was an IRC

Strategy Page

Dave got a bunch of us into a Buffalo Bisons game. The fellowship was spectacular.

There were free hats.

Nathaniel and my thumb both enjoyed the game.

The pizza tasted just like my high school cafeteria. That means it was great!

Action shots

Dave considers killing Steve for the insurance money.

We Make Learning Fun!

We Make Learning Fun!

I really have to brush up on my state capitals. It's sad that I can place Estonia on a map but can't remember in what city Missouri keeps its government, even if it is 4 in the morning.

Buffalo Rising now links me on their blog. It's a great site but I wonder how they found me. Maybe it's because I link them? I lack neither the know-how to figure this one out or the desire.

I checked out an audiobook of Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot the other day and highly recommend it. It's about a sarcastic woman who goes to national landmarks for fun, abhors swimming, considers historical research enthralling, speaks in a relatively monotone voice, and knows a lot about old maps. For the life of me I can't figure out why I like it so much.

Today I folded one of my dollar bills into a shirt, like this. It's still in my wallet. I don't know if I should try spending it like that. Maybe I should go to Goodwill and buy a shirt with it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bill Brasky Fan Page

"He once ate the Bible while water skiing!"

Well wasn't this the best day ever. The moon is in some apogee stage (?) where it's really close to the earth or really bright or I don't remember. All I know is you can't get a good picture of it with a 3.2 megapixel camera. Then I went to bed and Officially started my day.

First thing I did was Crash a Wedding (starring Freddy Funbags and David Hillopian)! Jerry asked me to run a soundboard at church, meaning I turn ONE knob up and down. It's vital. This is Jerry's Media Lair; if you look closely there are 4 televisions running simultaneously.

Some other gear

Jerry's Wall O' Recorded Sermons

Jerry worked the video in a booth downstairs.

I don't know these people at all. Naturally I took a few shots.

The groom started crying, and the bride talked about love, Mighty Taco, and how she never thought she'd meet the man of her dreams in a chat room at age 16. Well, it was much more romantic when she said it.

I then met Dave at the Central Terminal, symbol of all that needs rehabilitating in Buffalo. Dave and I need to save our cash, and free admission is always a plus.

You could only see this crawlspace through a high hole in the wall. Dave had to jump up and down, saying "Cool!" at the height of each hop.

Dave takes it all in.

Dave took this. He also took a picture of a dead rose he found which looked Very Symbolic.

THEN, because the fun never stops, we went to the newly refurbished Central Library. If you know how to read and you have no money, it's THE place to be.

The "Popular Materials" room

The "Mark Twain Room"

The censorship of Twain in the public schools makes Dave very sad indeed.

The brand-new Cafe

THEN I went home and found out my sister went to a Black Sabbath concert the night before . . . Eleventh Row! Beats seeing G Love & Special Sauce like I did the other night . . . but not by much.

THEN! I got to see Shaun of the Dead on a movie channel, which was much better than Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle that I saw on Thursday. You'd have to be high to enjoy Harold And Kumar. Oh yeah, so I watched that zombie movie and then the "Pink Eye" episode of South Park was on, you know, where Chef spoofs Thriller?

Other things happened. Joe, Dave and I saw Hustle & Flow, reminding us that everybody gotta have a dream. Jill from undergrad history found me online after 4 years. I took the dog for a run and got approached by another, punier dog named Killer. Sarah called from Maine to talk about her trip to Florida. I ate my first Whoppers since quitting a Burger King job almost a year ago (I had a coupon) and met an older guy who liked the "JUSTICE" message on my shirt and wanted to talk politics. Jeff got mentioned on the Beast Blog and probably got tons of hits. I scored some free movie tickets and free admission to a Bisons game. That's AAA-caliber baseball, people. La vida loca.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Washington, Day 2

This is where I interviewed, and I hope I get it. If you know somebody, put a good word in.

Inside a mail car.

Owney, the 120-year-old dog.

Ben Franklin was the first Postmaster General, and also invented some sort of stove.

The museum is located in the old city post office. Nice architecture: the marble floors in the main floor are shaped like stamped envelopes.

Sweet sorrow

Ever wonder how junk mail companies target you? You can check out your demographic info here.

The Department of Education

Then I went to the Native American museum

This is the lobby. I also have an application in for here, so if you know someone give them a good word.

Tour guide and timeline

Bible translations

Do they know that Meshuggah is a Swedish band with a Yiddish name?

The Capitol

Protesters at the White House. They want to create an Islamic state of Khalistan from western India. I think it's called Pakistan, guys.

The Rose Garden behind the White House

The Treasury Department

The Black Gates

The National Archives again