blog

The Live...in a box!

Thu Dec 31 2020 23:06:51 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: theylive mask johncarpenter obey halloween roddypiper

I decided after 5 years that it was a shame to have this mask that I made just sitting around collecting dust...so I decided to build a custom shadowbox to display it...

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Black Christmas phone porn

Wed Dec 30 2020 16:02:14 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: xmas blackchristmas phones telephony telecom telephones

"Black Christmas" (1974, 98min.) is such a great film!

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Not only does it have all this amazing slasher film stuff (like the first-person heavy breathing POV freak outs), it's also the genesis of so many tropes that have held on for more than 40 years! I'm a little bit of a phone nerd, and I love just how much telephone stuff in Black Christmas...including a lineman and scenes filmed inside an actual switching facility!

I think it's awesome, so I ran through it again recently and made some stills of all the amazing phone porn scenes for you to enjoy.

Paper cassette tape case template

Sun Sep 27 2020 21:54:52 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: tape cassette diy paper papercraft lasercut

I designed and laser cut a foldable case for cassette tapes. Click this image to read more about how I did this and to download the template for your own purposes.

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This year, World Listening Day was on Saturday, July 18th, 2020. The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and civil unrest (caused by social injustice) have dramatically altered the world. I thought it would be interesting to try and recreate the soundwalk I did last year in hopes of making a recording that could demonstrate a sonic contrast.

In order to be more faithful to the previous recording, I took the liberty of doing the soundwalk on Friday, one day before the actual official World Listening Day. I met up with my colleague Wes downtown at noon, and we wore masks and stayed outdoors and socially distant. There were a few surprises along the way.

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First, the wind was considerably stronger than prior years. I decided to try the windscreens that came with my in-ear binaural microphones, but I wasn't sure how they might be impacting the recording volume (plus, it was just really quiet downtown). Once we were walking for a few minutes, the wind really wasn't that bad and I'm not entirely sure how necessary the windscreens were (although they probably helped). The recording did end up being quite quiet, so I applied a constant 15dB amplification, which I think sounds pretty good but maybe calls up the background hiss/noise floor a bit more than I'd have preferred.

Second, the route I chose last year winds along the Willamette river via a stretch of private greenway (shared use path). Sadly, this year the path was closed due to construction in parts and covid-19 concerns. We ended up with more sidewalk time than I had hoped, which probably makes contrasting with the prior year more difficult. The upside, however, is that we got to find and explore some interesting new spaces, like a parking lot under the Broadway bridge. Ultimately, this detour caused us to be out recording longer, and we captured closer to an hour (compared to 50 minutes last year)

During our walk, I found it harder than usual to concentrate on my intentional listening. The sights and sounds of the city seemed more alien than they normally would, and so my mind was easily distracted and my focus drifted. While this is normal for me (and probably for most) during soundwalks, I found the sense of distraction elevated from previous times (especially visual distraction). Every new bit of graffiti seen brought me back to thinking about our current crises. I tried a new technique of purposefully "softening my gaze", and I think it helped fair amount. Before today, I genuinely didn't know that this was an actual thing, let alone that it's leveraged in Buddhism, anxiety therapy, and yoga (drishti...which I have unknowingly used both in eagle pose and while track-standing on a bicycle).

This is a binaural recording, so good stereo headphones work best. Click here to visit the archive.org page for this recording or just listen to it here:

See you next year for WLD.

PDX NoiseFest 2005 archive

Sun Jul 19 2020 16:58:38 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: pdx portland harshnoise noisefest 2005 reed

Earlier this year, I found some CDs of a minidisc recording of the 2005 PDX NoiseFest. I ripped the CDs and pulled together some pictures and video that I shot and put up an info/archive page and also put the .flac files up on archive.org.

If you've stumbled upon this and can help me identify any the unknown recordings and/or images, please email me.

Hope you enjoy!

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RIP Rip Oliver

Sat May 02 2020 22:35:58 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: pdx portland oldportland wrestling 80s nostalgia

Well, here we are again, another blog entry paying late respect to one of the greats.

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I learned last week that Portland wrestling superstar Rip Oliver had recently passed away after battling heart disease.

As a child of the 80s in Oregon City, I grew up watching Portland wrestling and Tom Peterson, and "Playboy" Buddy Rose, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Don Owen, Sandy Barr, and the whole bunch. Me and my friends used to love staying up late (while the parents all played cards) to watch the spectacle and hopefully make it to the main event. We were just like all the other young idiots who thought it was all real...and, to that young, impressionable, naive macho tween kid brain, it was fucking amazing! We lived for this shit. We cheered and yelled and recreated the action in our living rooms. We always begged to go to a match, but it never happened.

These wrestlers were ahead of their time. These mostly naked dudes were legend.

We used to just call Rip Oliver (and Buddy Rose etc) "the bad guys" or sometimes villains. Today we might call them "heels". It didn't matter, they were great! We'd always boo them and cheer for the "good guys", but the most important thing was always the show and the spectacle and the action. And they always delivered.

Back when junior high was a thing, I was on a (Greco-roman) wrestling team in the 'burbs, and Rip Oliver's son Lance was on my team. I think he might have been a year older, and I didn't really know him that well, but we were teammates. I was a skinny little dork, he was our crushing heavy (IIRC). I remember being star-struck when his dad RIP OLIVER would show up to our matches (and rarely our practices). I honestly felt conflicted, though, by having "the bad guy" rooting for our side, and giving us advice. I didn't think we were villians...and I wanted to be one of the good guys. I was an idiot.

In doing some late-nite nostalgia diving / web stalking, it's definitely clear that the sport of wrestling was important to Larry "Rip" Oliver and his family. From a couple of google searches, it seems like Lance might have even continued the tradition with his children...which I think is pretty amazing and brings me joy to see the bloodline live on.

RIP RIP OLIVER. 2020. Your legend is missed.

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The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 (tabletop)

Tue Mar 10 2020 22:50:55 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: carpenter thing thething horror scifi game tabletop

We've played "The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31" a few times in the last few months...not so much inspired by the global pandemic, but likely more inspired by our mutual love for John Carpenter's "The Thing".

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It's fun, and also complicated/many-faceted...and we're still learning the ropes as far as mechanics and strategy. The table talk (social deduction) aspect was played up this time, but one first-time player (human) with a statistically poor deck made winning the game difficult. Maybe the humans can beat THE THING, but so far we haven't figured it out.

Definitely recommend trying it out!

RIP Shirley's Tippy Canoe

Sun Mar 08 2020 23:30:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: pdx troutdale fire shirleys rip bicycling

I've bicycled by Shirley's Tippy Canoe quite a few times, but only recently (last year or the year before?) stopped in with my cousin and brother for some bike-fueled brunch action.

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The above picture was from today, and note the police tape. :(

The spot was fun! Had a wonderful divey roadside feel with rad outdoor bike-friendly seating near the river. The interior mood and decor were amazing and the bar was a real treasure. To get a sense of it and the menu, I guess you could look at this page from Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". The portions were ridiculous and the drinks strong.

Sadly, I missed the news from early January...but Shirley's Tippy Canoe burned down completely due to a fire that started in the second story, the timing of which corresponds to the final day a temporary closing for "deep cleaning". Apparently it's suspicious, which sucks...but selfishly, for me, it also sucks finding out the hard way.

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I'll miss not being able to stop in there while riding through scenic Troutdale. I snapped these photos today through the chain link fence that entirely surrounds the charred remains. It's gone. There's nothing really worth saving, although I think a few chotchkies might still be out back. There's a canoe still between the trees.

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Bummer.

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Beach Party 1989

Sat Feb 29 2020 21:40:08 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: comics beachparty 1989

I found this totally absurd book at Frankenstein's comic swap today. It's pretty messed up. I thought I should scan it for posterity. 1989 was a lifetime ago.

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What a mess.

Hopefully this trash at the top of my feed will encourage me to blog more.

A full weekend

Sun Jan 26 2020 23:00:00 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: weekend pdx

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...

  • Started out the weekend strong by going to see this show with a couple friends. Captured By Robots has been on my radar for many many years, but I hadn't seen them live until this week. What a great idea and pretty excellent execution. My friend's friend is Ormus who opened with some heavy drums and sequenced synth leads backed by some rad realtime visuals.
  • I took advantage of the break in the clouds (omg the sun was out!) to get on top of some dandelions in the yard and do some raking and general cleanup. This not a normal activity for mid January.
  • Took a short nap. zzzzzz.
  • Spent maybe 2 or 3 hours repairing the glass/digitizer on a broken iPad. A family member had broken theirs and it was in pretty bad shape -- multiple cracks going across the entire glass, and shards of glass near the top bezel were straight up gone/missing. I bought a replacement kit online for $28 and managed to do the surgery. It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't insanely complicated. The worst part was tracking down and removing all the glass shards and then cleaning up/removing the old adhesive (yes, the glass/digitizer is just glued into the metal bezel).
  • Made a light dinner and hung out with the progeny while he did some of that online video gaming.
  • I sorted/partitioned about 700 images for eventual use in cuspid (one of my software work-in-progress projects).
  • Started Sunday off early with a quick trip to the market for dinner items before heading out on a 25 mile bike ride. I was a little worried about the weather since it started raining moderately during the first 10 minutes... but it quickly turned into sprinkles and mostly lifted. The weather was actually really really nice!
  • Checked out Richard Stanley's new Lovecraftian horror masterpiece Color Out of Space at the Hollywood Theater. I absolutely fuckin loved it! I think it's pretty easily the best take on Lovecraft that I've seen on film.
  • Made this pretty delicious kale/potato/sausage/mushroom soup.
  • Jumped my mom's car battery for her
  • Snuggled down with the kiddo to learn about the history of sub-hour speed running in Mario Odyssey
  • Wrote the blog post you're reading now!

Something something idle hands...