Death – Now Serving Geeky and Sexy

A buddy of mine passed along this article from Gearlog (not MY usual read but he fashions himself an assassin) regarding the new line of Star Trek coffins. Indeed. Because nothing quite puts a cherry on top of a nerdy little existence than to declare for all eternity your forbidden love for James Tiberius Kirk.

Star Trek Coffin and Urn

The one on the right is an URN – not a bowling trophy. The coffin on the left is intentionally modeled after a photon torpedo from the Star Trek movies. Rope to hang yourself not included.

Babes & Bone Basket

Now, moving along more to my style of things we have the Italian funeral directors that decided they needed a calendar to “feature glamour models doing their best to make Death seem attractive”. Good luck with that, Giovanni.

You can see a few more pics of the cemetary girls Here – thanks to Sky News.

‘Ripper’ Owens to Sing For Yngwie. Place Your Bets Now.

Ok, so Blabbermouth.net and a ton of other sites are saying that Yngwie Malmsteen (y’know, THE Yngwie “J” Malmsteen) has announced his new lineup, which will feature none other than Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens on vocals!  Him of ex-Judas Priest and ex-Iced Earth fame.

Now, anyone familiar with Mr. Malmsteen knows that he’s had roughly 2000 lead singers over the course of his career – and it usually doesn’t end well.  Let’s just say Yngwie has a reputation as being a tad bit of a perfectionist.   A screaming, raving perfectionist.  There, I said it as nicely as I could.  

Well, Mr. Owens is not lacking in self confidence himself and despite having been asked to leave the last two bands he was in, I don’t think he’s yet reduced to bootlicking or ‘yes sirring’ anyone.  And he’s not exactly SMALL either.

So, I say call your bookie, put your money down and sit back to watch the show.  It’s gonna be interesting either way. 

If it goes badly, my money’s on the tattooed guy from Ohio, of course!

“We Better Not Hear Those Dice Rolling”

Last year for Valentine’s Day, my wife bought me several naughty items from Spencer Gifts.   One of the items was a set of heart shaped, scented candles – one was a set of dice with various commands printed on one of the die, things like “Kiss my. . . ” or “Caress my. . . ” and body parts listed on the second die such as “neck” or “back” or “Surprise me!”.    You get the idea – roll’em and do what they tell you.

I’m sure you’ve seen something like these before, and in fact my set is pretty tame compared to some Penthouse versions I’ve read about over the years.  No commands on my dice rhyme with ‘duck’, for example. 

But they were fun gifts nonetheless – ALTHOUGH THEY’VE NEVER BEEN USED.  I’ve been married 18 years, foreplay usually consists of “Hey, do you wanna?”.  Plus, the dice don’t glow in the dark – major design flaw if you ask me.   

So, my youngest daughter (15) informed me over the weekend that she knew all about the dice.  Like the gig was up and the SWAT team was gonna come crashing through the door any minute now.

“You know huh?” I replied.  Truthfully, I’d forgotten I even had the things.

“Yes, I was there when Mom bought them.” she continued.   “She made us go to the other end of the store, but we knew what she was doing.  And for a year now my worst fear is that I will come downstairs by your bedroom and . . . . HEAR THE DICE ROLLING”

Thinking back to when I learned the ‘facts of life’, my first thought was “No way my parents did this.  They found a shortcut or something”.  I can only imagine the horror my daughter is describing.  And it makes me laugh . . . an evil laugh. 

But now as I think more on it, I better never come home and here any dice rolling from HER bedroom either!  Any of them!!  I’m no longer laughing. . . .

Movie Review: Jumper

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I put this review under ‘Fantasy’ but it’s really more of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy mix.  I’m not gonna split hairs on my categorization.  The story is based on a novel by Steven Gould and involves a race of genetic mutants (sound familiar) who have the ability to essentially teleport anywhere they wish to go.  As often as they wish to do it.

Hayden Christensen plays David Rice, a young man who discovers he has this ability and proceeds to be a selfish prick with it by stealing truckloads of money from bank vaults when he’s not zipping around the planet so he can have lunch in Rome or take a nap on Mt. Kilimanjaro.  And this guy is our story’s hero?

After setting out to impress an old girlfriend (played by Rachel Bilson) with his newfound douche-iness, Rice discovers that an ancient order called the Paladins have been attempting to wipe out his kind since the Middle Ages, and have some slick weaponry on their side to do so.  Not to mention Samuel L. Jackson, in a surprisingly profanity free performance (and white hair!).

Heavy use of CGI ensues while we are flashed around the globe as Rice and fellow jumper Griffin (Jamie Bell – channeling a geeky Sean Penn) alternately compete to see who can be the bigger dipshit, or try to find Rice’s estranged mother (Diane Lane in a wasted role) while occasionally fighting Paladins led by Jackson’s character Roland.

So I guess the moral of the story is “Super Powers Make SUPER Assholes”.  While I found the movie entertaining and the special effects were great to watch, every character seemed shallow and generally unlikable, such that I ultimately didn’t give a damn who lived or who died.

On IMDB.com, a viewer commented on a scene that struck me as fairly indicative of the movie as well; Rice is watching the news and sees live footage of flooding victims stranded on their vehicles.  The news commentator is asking something to the effect of “how will these people ever get saved?” and Rice, instead of blipping over their to save the day like Batman, nonchalantly turns off the TV.  Ass!

I think that makes a powerful statement on characterizations in the film, and perhaps even the generation it portrays.  Shiftless, morally bankrupt and self absorbed, even tremendous abilities cannot change the lacking character or the sense of entitlement each of the Jumpers espouse.  Sadly I was left visually impressed but with no desire to read the book or delve into the backstory further.

It was fun however to dream a little naughty dream of self-indulgence with Rice, as any of us would probably succumb at least in part to those same temptations.  But as a comicbook raised & fed adult, I know if it were me, I’d have become more of a Bruce Wayne type than the brooding, socially inept Rice.

And I’d have had a bevy of strippers and porn stars in my little black book too.  After all, what good are super powers if you can’t put them to good use?

Give this one 6 skulls out of 10 – mostly due to impressive cinematography rather than substantive storytelling.

Darth Metal

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What happens if you get a band that mixes Death Metal with a rabid love of Star Wars?  You get Anchorhead, of course!  Self-proclaimed purveyors of ‘Darth Metal’, this British ensemble (not to be confused with the Minnesota band of the same name, eh) sport Star Wars helmets while playing crunchy compositions clearly inspired by the George Lucas movies, and strangely the John Williams scores as well. 

With songs like ‘Return of the Shredi’, ‘Shredisode V Teaser’ and a nifty cover of the ‘Imperial March’ on their Myspace page, you get an idea of what these guys are about.  It’s kinda like ‘When Fanboys Go Bad’.  It is decently played metal, and probably fun to see live (lightsaber duels perhaps?), just not sure how more than an hour of this stuff would feel. 

Go check’em out before Lucasfilms sues them into oblivion at this LOCATION

“Dilbert” Creator Exacts Revenge For Fired Employee

So the Desmoines Register is reporting that Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert newspaper comic, has begun incorporating a real-life incident as inspiration for the strip.

 Dave Steward, a 7 year employee of the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, Iowa was terminated for posting a Dilbert cartoon on an office bulletin board in which a cartoon employee refers to the fictional office bosses as a bunch of ‘drunken lemurs’.  Apparently Steward’s real-life supervisors resembled that remark – or so their actions would indicate.

Adams has taken up the man’s plight and used it within the very strip that caused the ruckus in the first place.  With one of the greatest quotes I’ve heard in a while, in an interview with the Register, Adams said “I know comic fodder when I see it and any chance to mock the humorless is worth the effort”.  Indeed.  Well put, Mr. Adams. 

You can checkout the entire story HERE. And thanks to Fark for mentioning the article in the first place.

April 19 2008 to be Record Store Day

KNAC.com is reporting that April 19, 2008 will be celebrated as Record Store Day, to honor the independently owned record stores across the land – an endangered species, unfortunately.  Supposedly there will be special events at participating stores etc. – you can read the full article HERE

Now if I can wax poetic a moment, I recall with fond memories the independent stores I knew and loved growing up; The Headquarters in New Carlisle, Ohio - Dingleberries & Renaissance Records (RIP) in Dayton - LMG, Von’s and JL Records in West Lafayette, Indiana – Magnolia Thunderpussy, Used Kids, Ace in the Hole & The Record Connection in Columbus and the mighty Amoeba records that I wandered through in San Fran a few years back.  If you’re lucky enough to live near an Amoeba records, you’re lucky indeed.

There was always some ‘dude’ who hung out in these stores – wasn’t on the payroll – hell, probably wasn’t on ANY payroll anywhere, who’d start up a conversation with you and next thing you know you’d lost an hour talking about Slayer or White Zombie or what an asshole such and such a singer was.  And this ‘dude’ always had an album he said you should hear, or some band to come check out at [INSERT SHITHOLE HERE] on a Tuesday night.  Usually you were suspicious that he mainly was looking to bum a beer – and maybe some smokes.

Still, the incense laden air of these places, the funky black light posters, the wall of t-shirts, the unbelievably weird jewelry and most of all, the thumping blast of some strange band you’ve never heard before coming across the speakers from every direction.  Aaah, it was like. . . heaven.

You never knew what you would find, or as I see it, what would find YOU.  Some of my favorite albums, and even CD’s, were not the purchases I went to the store to get.  Instead, I impulse bought.   Not the same experience on Amazon. 

And it’s not the same in the clinically anti-bacterial Best Buy or Target or GOD FORBID – Wal-Mart.  Those places are more like charnel houses of Pop, shrines to marketing and dumping grounds for the drivel that comes out of your radio.  

The Independent store is possibly an experience my kids may not get to have – and certainly a faint dream that their kids ever would.  Ongoing technology has it’s victims, and I’m still a big fan of what the digital world can bring us.  It only saddens me that this common meeting place, where you could find and converse with fans like yourself – people with similar interests & attitudes, has been replaced by chat rooms, message boards and yes, blogs.  And instead of finding some rare ‘treasure’ buried deep in the bins in a dark backroom – you’re the one buried as you’re trampled in the aisles of Brand X cd’s (and washers, and TV’s, and feminine hygiene products etc.).  You get boxed-in by rack upon rack (or page upon page in I-tunes) of uninspired, cookie cutter bands-du-jour while only seeking something with heart, something worth actually hearing.   Something YOU could tell people to go out and listen to.

Hey, come to think of it, I guess that sorta makes me the modern day equivalent of that ‘dude’. 

And It’s Only Monday

Yep, this could be it.  The big one.  The lamest, most sadly uninspired piece of shit I’ve ever put onto the web.  Enjoy.  And if you’re a regular reader, you realize that this is really saying something, considering some of my old posts.  So let’s begin. . .

Attended the Easyrider Motorcycle show this weekend.  Yep, nothing quite like walking around a bunch of $100,000 motorcycles when you’re broke to cheer you up.  At least I feel better about the state of my dental work now.  And my ability to bathe EVERY SINGLE DAY too.

They had no musical acts to tell you about as I only heard one – a long haired gentleman named Mace playing acoustic versions of Led Zepplin and AC/DC.  My life is fucking complete now.

And so today [he said jumping ahead] unlike 99% of corporate America, I had to work.  For some reason my company either doesn’t appreciate our past presidents, or is trying to deny that they ever really existed.  Y’know, kinda like nutjobs do about the Holocaust.  Or more likely it has something to do with the fact that we get the whole week of Christmas off so they had to cutback somewhere.  Regardless, getting up when everyone else in your family doesn’t just plain blows goats.  Ah-ha, but they’ll suffer at Christmas time ’cause I’m planning on sleeping for a week.  Vengeance will be mine, all mine.  Muhahahah!

Ok, moving right along.  I went to Wendy’s at lunchtime & the server dude had a huge Immortal tattoo across his left forearm.  And I was thinking that I can honestly say I’ve never seen anyone who was a dedicated Immortal fan – at least enough to get a tattoo.  Second, I was impressed he was a gainfully employed Immortal fan.  But now I’m suspicious my food might have been possessed.

I was gonna look him straight in the eyes when I ordered and go ‘We are the tyrants!’.  And then, y’know – flash him some devil horns and maybe bang my head a little.  Then maybe he’d have jumped over the counter and we’d have started our own little moshpit, right there in the line at Wendy’s.  And I would’ve bloodied some old lady’s nose ’cause she didn’t see it coming.  And he would’ve kicked her in the shins, just onna counta.

But I didn’t.  That would’ve been weird, right?  And he might have put a curse on me or something.  Or got my order wrong (too late on that last one).  So I said nothing and went off to eat my goddamn grilled chicken sandwich and goddamned Caesar side salad all by myself (they were possessed right?  Get it?).  I’m hilarious.

Anyhow, that in a nutshell, is all that was interesting in my life today.

The end.

Real Life Intervenes.

Reality happened again.  I’ve been unable to write the past few days due to a plethora of personal events, most notably my mother having surgery yesterday that had me sitting in a waiting room for almost 12 hours without so much as even cell phone reception.

Still, her surgery to ‘unclog’ the right carotid artery was successful and thankfully, without major incident.  It’s sad to see a parent lying helpless and weak in a hospital bed – shakes one to the soul.  That, and the effect it had on my father made for an emotional rollercoaster ride that I hadn’t really considered beforehand.  I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – this aging thing sucks, and I don’t recommend trying it yourself.  Of course, the alternative ain’t so hot either.  Or maybe it is . . .

Anyhow, it’d been a while since I’d last had to walk the halls of an ICU, and one forgets how depressing a place they can be.  Room after room of terribly ill people on life-support & ventilators, surrounded by concerned & tired family members who are forced to watch the worst TV reception imaginable.

I’m convinced there’s a special layer of Hell for hospital administrators who opt for a substandard cable package and third world wiring, so watching CNN seems akin to a scene from ‘White Noise’. 

The waiting room had a 500 piece puzzle (yet again, state-of-the-art tech) with no less than 5000 pieces in the box.  Apparently, somebody felt that there weren’t enough initially and made some donations.  I even was bored enough to consider attempting the beast. . .but quickly came to my senses.   Can you imagine how LONG it would take to reassemble that mess?I had flashbacks of the time I got audited.  Brrrrrr!

Glad it’s behind us and my mother’s on the mend.  Not sure what my she intends to do with the jar of debris the surgeon left for her, but she’s a shoe-in if there’s a ‘show & tell’ tournament down at the church. 

I guess doctor’s are like auto mechanics now, and they leave behind the parts you had removed?

Exorcism Center to be Built in Poland

So MSNBC.com is reporting that a polish priest, one Rev. Andrzej Trojanowski (tough break on that last name, dude) is planning to build a “spiritual oasis” in the town of Poczernin, about 20 miles from the port city of Szczecin.  It would be the only center in Europe dedicated to exorcisms.

The good reverend believes the services of he and his followers are needed now more than ever.  According to the website, he is quoted as saying “This is my task, this is my purpose – – I want to help these people”.   You can check out the whole story at this location

The article goes on to give examples of some of the more serious cases reported in recent times.  Rev. Wieslaw Jankowski cited a case of a woman who “asked for a divorce days after renewing her wedding vows as part of a marriage counseling program.  What was suspicious, he said, was how the wife suddenly developed a passionate hatred for her husband.”

Look, I’ve been married for 18 years and there’s nothing suspicious about that at all.  The ‘demon’ these boys are looking for is called PMS – or in latin, Vaginagus Incendiarium Castratium.  If this type of behaviour is indicative of demonic possession, I’m booking a flight to Poland for my wife and I as soon as the exorcism factory is finished.

The Devil doesn’t just wear Prada – apparently he does crocs and denim as well.