Archive for February, 2004

Stop f. ronting

I had a package from FedEx delivered to my home yesterday while I was at work. The online tracking results had some interesting information with regards to who “signed for” my package:

Fedex tracking info

I’ll have to meet this new neighbor of mine, Frank Rontdoor.

Grey Tuesday

Grey Tuesday

Today is Grey Tuesday, a day in which you will find dozens of site making DJ Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album album available for download on their site. Music giant EMI squashed Danger Mouse’s project, which remixes Jay-Z’s The Black Album entirely with samples from The Beatles’ The White Album (right down to the individual drum hits!). This is another example of how the copyright system is broken, and an example of how small hip-hop producers, electronica artists, and experimental musicians have really had their hands tied in recent years by strong-arming of major labels.

Commercial music sucks now more than it ever has, that’s a no-brainer. But if the major labels continue to exert such bullying tactics, it’s only going to get worse. The underground scene will always exist in one way or another, but when fear of getting sued prevents a DJ in his bedroom from scratching a snippet of a record or a young producer from using a three-second sample in his first track, it’s clear that creativity is being stifled. One of my favorite arguments against the current system: Disney’s first cartoon wouldn’t exist if current copyright restrictions were in effect at the time.

So, go ahead, download the album and check it out for yourself. And while you’re at it, read what Matt Haughey has to say, as he comes from a similar point of view of my own. You may also want to reacquaint yourself with Downhill Battle and Chilling Effects.

Have no fear, the head of Spear is here

‘Twas a nice, productive (but relaxing) weekend… nice when sandwiched between two hectic weeks.

Saturday we spent most of the day lounging around, but headed into DC for a good show at the 9:30 Club, meeting up with Diana and Merrick. Granted, it was pretty expensive at $30 a pop, but for Spearhead and Ziggy Marley, it was worth it. Opening act Beth Hart was good and it’s quite clear that Michael Franti and his crew have really perfected their stage show. Even though it was about an hour shorter than their show at the Funk Box late last year, it was still a nice, tight set. We stayed for most of Ziggy’s set, but headed out a bit early because my legs were absolutely killing me. I’m showing my old age by not being able to stand for four hours straight.

Sunday we got a bunch of things done around the house and even played racquetball for the first time in nearly five months. We played again tonight but some dumb ass turned the lights off in the middle of our game, 10 minutes before closing.

I got word this weekend that my Great Uncle Eugene passed away. I tell you, it’s getting to be too frequent that I’m writing these “Remembering…” entries. I don’t really remember too much about Uncle Eugene, as we didn’t see him very frequently, but as one of my grandmother’s last remaining siblings (she had quite a few, as did all my grandparents), he’ll be missed as part of that side of the family.

Speaking of Grandmom, she’s out of the rehab placement and back at home with mom and dad to continue her rehab there. She’s in great spirits, even though she wasn’t able to remember anytime from Christmas through her second hospital stay. When I spoke to her last, she was looking forward to seeing her Christmas presents for a second time. “I think you’ll like them, Grandmom,” I told her. “You did the first time.”

It’s great to see her feeling better after such a rough two months. She’s got a lot of fight in her, I’ll tell you what…

Thursday: a co-worker appears on The Screen Savers, yet again. I told him he better mention my name this time.

If you watched for Brian Regan on Letterman on February 13th, you probably noticed he was bounced. His appearance has been rescheduled for April 2nd.

Is it Friday yet? Is it Friday, yeti? My, you have big feet.

Dam it

Last night I had a dream that I was talking with Chris about the big damn dam destruction coming up today in Fredericksburg. I asked whether he’d be taking his kids to go watch and he said, “Yeah, of course. But, Ryan, what are your thoughts on the issue?” And by “the issue” he was referring to some controversy about destroying the dam (of which there seems to be none—pretty much everyone is in agreement that the dam’s destruction is a good thing since it’s no longer needed and it will allow to Rappahannock to again flow freely). I felt embarrassed that I could only respond, “I don’t know… I didn’t even know about it until it was mentioned on the news tonight.”

Totally separate from my dream, the linked article above refers to people from Fredericksburg as “Fredericksburgers.” I can honestly say that in the four years I lived there, I never once heard that term. Thank goodness.

Maury blogs

Corey and I (RYCO ProductionsTM) are happy to announce, we’ve helped Maury get into blogging.

Disney Buys Muppets; Kermit Pissed

Disney buys Jim Henson’s Muppets and Bear

The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the beloved Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson.

Ugh.

The transaction does not include the Sesame Street characters, such as Big Bird and Elmo, which are separately owned by Sesame Workshop.

Phew. Thank God.

Oops.

Did I do that?  No, I didn't... really.

New Soft Rain, seriously!

In case you haven’t checked the (still not quite transitioned) Soft Rains recently—and I wouldn’t blame you since there haven’t been any updates since April of last year—there’s a new entry available titled Steal This Base, which comes complete with Big Headed Bragging and a video.

Steal This Base

Anyone who’s ever talked to me about playing baseball as a kid has inevitably heard my “two baseball stories” (mentioned in passing a couple years ago). To those of you, I’m sorry, but here we go again (you may want to scroll to the bottom, though, for the nifty video link). To the rest of you… beware as my head’s about to grow quite large from bragging.

Story #1

Picture it… 1987… the Major T-Shirt league… the first game of the season. Major T-Shirt was nice because it was the first year where the coaches didn’t pitch and base-stealing was allowed. At that point in my life, I was quick… I was never the biggest or most physically talented, but I was always really fast as a kid, especially in short bursts. Just the skills one needs for base-stealing on unsuspecting peers. The first game of the season, I stole every base—including home—three times. I couldn’t be stopped. I ended the year with 45 stolen bases, nine of them in that first game. “The White Vince Coleman,” they called me. Or I called myself. I can’t remember.

Story #2

In a league whose name I can’t remember—it was the one for 8th and 9th graders, but wasn’t connected to school in any way—I was playing in one of my last two seasons of baseball. I was still speedy and often taunted the pitcher and catcher by taking such a huge lead off of the base that I was literally halfway to the next base by the time the pitcher threw his pitch.

A few games into the season, the coaches saw that I was an alright fielder and a decent pitcher, but a pretty lousy hitter. I wasn’t the worst, but I was certainly in the bottom half of the team. At this point, they had me batting dead last in the line-up because I had started the year with an abysmal batting average. In the last inning, our team was down by two runs with two outs and the bases were loaded. I was up. Can you hear the dramatic music playing in the background? I can now, but then all I could hear was the coaches and my teammates groaning as Mr. Dead-Last-in-the-Lineup stepped to the plate. I didn’t even have much confidence in myself, really. But one or two pitches into the count, I swung and cracked one into deep left field, well over the head of the left fielder. The ball landed and rolled to the left field fence. One run came in easily, and so did the next. The winning run rounded third base and made it in before the throw was even in the air. Even though the game was over by professional standards, the play continued. I rounded home at top speed without even looking for the ball and made it into home, standing. A grand-slam game-winner from the last batter in the lineup. It’s the stuff great endings are made of.

The next game I was batting clean-up, but went oh-fer.

Now the video… I don’t have footage of either of the two stories above, so you’ll just have to take my word that they happened. But I do have a little footage from a Little League game in 1988 where I was playing left field and made a pretty bad ass throw to home plate. Please right-click and save the clip so you can save my bandwidth and enjoy the amazing play over and over.

(In case there was ever any doubt as to my eternal dorkiness, even after a good play, notice how when I run in from left field and jump up in triumph that I knock my own cap off. DORK!)

As much fun as walking into a spiderweb

Here’s one of those things that I’ve been meaning to mention for quite a while now, but kept forgetting about: Brian Regan has a web site.

In case you aren’t aware of who Brian Regan is: he’s the funniest man on the entire planet.

He’s got a DVD coming out that should be outstanding. In the meantime, catch him this Friday night on Letterman.