Like any other white-collar drone, "What did you get up to this weekend?" is the common smalltalk come Monday morning at the office. The usual response is something like "oh not too much, worked around the house" or something....which usually isn't complete nor accurate, but moves the situation along.
Well, this time, I'm prepared. What I do this weekend? Let's see...
Something something idle hands...
Sat Jan 11 2020 21:04:02 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
About two weeks ago I found out about this kind of random comic signing event that got rescheduled from late last year to early 2020. I don't get up to the 'Couv that often, but I made the trek up to I Like Comics last week to get free tickets for this event, not really thinking too much of it and assuming that maybe a couple hundred people might get tickets and that many of them would just not show.
Well, I picked Elijah up rather early this morning. We did a scouting mission a little after 9am to see if there was a line yet and how long it might be. The event wasn't planned to start until 11am, and the store employees suggested arriving at least an hour before that to ensure a spot in line (even tho we had free tickets?). The setup was a little strange, but we saw maybe 5 or 10 people waiting outside shortly after 9am. The line was short, so we decided to grab a quick breakfast before heading back to begin the suffering. We returned maybe around 9:30 and secured a place in line (ordered by our ticket numbers, but mostly really just the honor system). What we hadn't realized on our earlier scouting mission, though, was that there were hundreds of other people already snaking around the inside of the shop!
So then we waited in line.
For a very long time.
The Image crew showed up around 10am, and we made it inside right after that and began feeling some sympathy for those nerds who were stuck waiting outside for hours. The mood was light, though, and people were friendly and happy to show off the books and items they brought for signing.
It was definitely after 1pm when we finally got to the front of the line and got to meet some comic legends and get our books signed!
In addition to the pretty sweet free poster they were signing for everybody, I brought Outcast #1 for Kirkman to sign, a gorgeous X-Men #251 cover for Silvestri to sign, and the Amazing Spider Man #316 for McFarlane to sign. Outcast is only a year or two old, but the other two are 30+ years old from my high-school collection. McFarlane remarked that the Amazing Spider Man I brought was in really good condition, and Silvestri explained that he had never seen his original art for that X-Men cover again after submitting it.
Mon Dec 23 2019 22:52:54 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
The other night I had been in and out of consciousness, fighting some unknown food poisoning or 24-hour-bug, and passing the waking time with some restful movie binging. Since it's the holiday season, I first watched some Die Hard, but later found this interesting/familiar image in the scroll:
I remembered having seen this cover many times, and I always found it pretty fascinating, so I decided to click it on. Within the first few minutes, I was sure that I had never seen this thing and that I was definitely in for a trip!
The film is Phase IV (1974).
You can read reviews and much more in-depth history and raving critiques of this film elsewhere...but I thought I'd offer up my quick recommendation.
This film was so much fun! It's a huge sweatbox of long drawn-out high-color macro shots of ants and masterful/powerful/deep synth-and-timpani work. The plot revolves around a couple of scientists trying to learn about newfound ant behaviors (strange collaborations) after a cosmic event. Their research turns them into renegades who must struggle against their unseen funding/organization sources...and the ants themselves. Shit escalates quickly -- there's some secrets, a bunch of retro tech/gear porn, a farm girl, lots of great scifi mumbo/philosophy, a little bit of body horror, and LOTS of great sound/score work.
Put all of this together with some intensely artful and colorfully composed sequences of ants doing evil ant things, and it's a winner in my book. Like so many films of the era, it hasn't aged that well in a few areas and has some rough spots, but if you can look past those things, you might enjoy this thing as much as I did!
Tue Jul 30 2019 21:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
I learned last night that Little Richard recorded a horrifying rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" in 1991 on Disney CD to support a pediatric AIDS foundation. Thanks Nate! While the cause is honorable, the content is certainly questionable. It almost kinda includes Debbie Gibson, but aside from a brief flop on the piano and some childish dancing, the contribution remains unclear.
In any case, Little Richard is one of the masters of the grunt/whoop/wat style of singing/moaning...so I tried a very low-effort cutup. The rap in the middle got some special attention. Enjoy!
Thu Jul 18 2019 13:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Background: 5 years ago I decided to guide a soundwalk for World Listening Day.
5 years later, I decided to do it again.
My employer is awesome. We are encouraged as part of our happy employment and ongoing professional development to engage in "thrive time" -- essentially expansive work that may not be directly related to daily business deliverables, but work that makes us better, stronger, healthier, and happier. I offered this sound walk.
Click the link above or listen to it here:
See you next year for WLD.
Thu Apr 04 2019 20:45:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Earlier this month at the end of a Dorkbot meeting, somebody had a chunk of dry ice. I put it into the empty popcorn bowl and recorded it.
Click the link above or listen to it here:
Sat Feb 09 2019 00:20:45 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
I was digitizing some of my CDs and ran across this gem that I had forgotten about:
It's a strange and fantastic recording that I won't get into here...but I guess I had never realized that Gregg Turkington was involved in this record! What a great surprise. A couple of quick searches later, and I learned that there were several Golding Institute releases and they are all basically just him.
When I opened the cover to take out the disc, I saw this logo on the inside of the insert:
That sure seems familiar. Isn't that the Williams Street logo from the end of all those Adult Swim shows?
Well, no, it's not exactly the same. But it sure is close. I also learned from the internet that the Williams Street logo was originally shown on/after an episode of Space Ghost and is somehow a depiction of the fictional studio from which Space Ghost operates? There is some conflicting information, but the logo is now easily 20 years old, originating in 1999 or before.
So, what if I take the Golding Institute logo and flip it horizontally?
And then remove the text and ground, and apply some digital photocopy effects and monkey with the brightness and contrast a few times:
That's looking VERY close to the Williams Street logo to me! Let's go ahead and scale them the same and toggle between so that we can see just how similar they are:
It's too close to be a coincidence...right? Sure, the Williams Street logo is way more washed out and has lost a bunch of detail...but everything else lines up. The perspective is the same, the window count, the number, shape, and position of the window shadows on the right side, the end of the building on both sides, the height.
So what's going on here? Did they each originate independently from some common clip art? I find it hard to believe, given the common element in Gregg Turkington (who produced the record and also appears on Adult Swim). It's odd to me: The record came out in 2006, and the Williams Street logo came out in the mid/late 90s. Is there an even more interesting story here? What is up with this?