Archive for the ‘Daily Misc’ Category

From Leo Laporte to the Thunder Cruise!

My wife and I used to watch Tech TV a lot when it first came to Canada, but it wasn’t long before G4 bought the network out, and slowly, most of the personalities we watched regularly (Martin Sargent, Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose, Patrick Norton, and others) were let go, or left the place. Leo managed to come back in a couple of iterations; Call for Help, and The Lab, both of which I followed pretty closely.

A few months ago, I went to the website for The Lab, to get one of the free files mentioned on the show, and discovered that the show had been canceled. In the ensuing enraged comments, someone mentioned that he had a podcast network thing called TWiT. I Checked it out, and now I can get my fix of the wisdome of Mr. Laporte, and his many cohorts and guests.

From the TWiT site, I stumbled on a mention of Kevin Rose, and learned that he had founded Digg, which I didn’t know, and that he was also a founder of an internet TV channel called Revision3, which features shows made by a lot of the former Tech TV people, and a few new ones.

Ever since these discoveries, I’ve been following both the TWiT casts and the Rev3 shows, and it’s been like the old days all over again.

About a month later, I start seeing ‘trailers’ on the Rev3 shows about a new show debuting on the network, called Wine Library TV, featuring this crazy, hyper, New Jersey guy named Gary Vaynerchuck. I’ve never had much interest in Wine, so I didn’t really think I would have anything to do with this new show, but I thought I would check out the first couple of episodes when they started airing on Rev3.

And now it’s one of my favourite things on the internet.

If you’ve never seen Gary’s show, this article does a better job of describing him than I could. Basically, he’s a knowledgable and passionate wine expert, as well as a ‘web 2.0’ networking and marketing madman, who is trying to bring the whole idea of wine back to the masses, and out of the hands of snobby, condescending wine douchebags.

After watching his show for a month or so, I got the wife into it as well, and we’ve started trying wine more often, and it’s becoming a hobby I’m starting to really get into. I once went to a microbrewery beer tasting event with a buddy, expecting just to get hammered, but we also learned about how to taste for the different flavours, and train our palates to appreciate the differences between ales. Of course, now that I’m a gluten-free-guy, that whole beer thing is pretty much out of the question, but now I can enjoy that same experience with wine, with a little help from a crazy dude in Jersey who constantly references 80’s pop-culture and old-school wrestling.

Last week, I saw that there was some big news coming from Wine Library TV. It turns out, Gary has reserved half of a huge cruise ship for his fans and friends, and is hosting what he calls ‘The Thunder Cruise’, a seven day sail through the Bahamas, with a bunch of amazing wine tasting events along the way. The wife and I have been thinking about going on a cruise for a while now, so when I heard about this, and saw what a good deal it was, I called the wife, and she said, ‘Let’s go!’

(A Sidenote: This is why I love my wife. First, she doesn’t find it too odd that I get practically obsessed over this guys videocast, and actually enjoys it herself, and then, I suggest we go on his cruise, and she barely has to think about it. She’s awesome.)

The cruise officially went on sale yesterday, and we booked our cabin, and the rest of the details like flights and all of that will be taken care of this week. It’s been almost seven years since my wife and I met, and we’ve never been on a serious vacation like this, so I am extremely pumped. The fact that it is hosted by and I will get to meet one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever seen is just a pile of icing on that cake.

So if you like wine, or need to get inspired about how to be a succesful internets person, I couldn’t recommend Gary’s websites highly enough. And if you’re not busy in April, and want to come cruising with us and try some amazing wines, I believe there are still cabins available, go check it out!




The afternoon at work got boring, so I had my cheap-ass McDonalds’ Cobra Commander present my company vehicle travel log in typical Cobra Commanderesque grandiose fashion. It was riveting. Notice over CC’s shoulder that, in the month of May, I drove 2455km for work. That’s 1525 miles to you dirty, metricless heathens.

So I’m starting to work on ideas for my netcast, which is likely going to be largely music-related, (though it might involve other media-ish things, I haven’t completely genre’d myself yet) and, with any luck, will debut next week or the week after.

I have pretty strong opinions about music, and I’m sure that many of them are unpopular, (in fact, I’m kind of counting on it) because my taste in music tends to land quite far outside of the realm of popular, and on the occassions that I dig something that a lot of other people do, it’s probably a coincidence. It’s not that I’m one of those people who prides themselves on listening to bands that nobody’s heard of. While that may sometimes be the case, more often than not, I simply really get into music that other people don’t so much.

My profile probably explains it better than I can, and I plan on having it linked-to on the podcast as a frame of reference, and object of fair-play reactionary ridicule. Anyhow, what I’m getting at, is that music is incredibly subjective, so me (or anyone else) going on rants and raves about what I think sucks about music needs to be taken with a grain of salt (and a shot of tequila, and some lemon), and from a certain perspective. Namely, in this case, mine.

My problem, or one of, is that it feels like nobody takes music very seriously (“Hey man, it’s just music”), and I really do take it seriously, which may seem strange, because I’m exactly the opposite when it comes to movies (“Hey, man, it’s just entertainment, relax.”) I beleive the main difference there, is that the movie industry has more or less been a blatant corporate ad-machine whorefest of money and disrespect for its fans for pretty much as long as I can remember. Even when you see a guy like Kevin Smith, who is suposedly all down to earth and shit, there’s still that thing in the back of the head of the masses saying, “Yeah, you still make an obscene amount of money for making your little song-and-dance numbers, douche-bag. But that’s alright, it’s a douche-bag littered industry, so it’s no biggie. We’ll still go see the Jersey Girl sequel.”

With music, however, there is still a feeling that the people making the entertainment, or at least a large enough percentage of them, are genuinely trying to create something with motives that aren’t just about lining pockets. I say ‘just’ in there, because of course everyone who makes music wants to make a living at it. I’m not so naive that I won’t admit that 99.999% of artists in any field are doing it in hopes that they will make enough money to keep from having to get a real job, whether they proclaim ‘it’s all about the music’ or not.

The past ten years in music specifically, feel like there’s been a significant shift in music, both in what’s being offered, and what consumers are willing to swallow. A lot of music is treated like fast-food now; artificially flavoured, instantly addictive, but ultimately empty, no real lasting substance, and easily disposed of for the next serving of unhealthy crap.

And that really fucking bugs me. Many of the same people who now bemoan shit like Mambo #5 or the Macarena or boy bands or Vanilla Ice, are the same people that made that fucking garbage as popular as it was in its day. You know who you are, and you are part of the problem.

I just want people to like what they like for a good reason, and not just from being ear-raped with it by the radio every two hours, or because it’s attached to some cute car commercial or something. I’d much rather see someone unapologetically bopping along in their car to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’, just because that tune just still gets him excited after all these years, than someone who never has a song worth lasting on their ipod longer than a month.

But I’m going to get into this in more detail in audio form. In fact, I may have just rough-drafted part of the first netcast right here. Music is something I’m passionate about, and I’m really excited to get to talk about it, even if into the internet ether of who-gives-a-damnism.

-Okay, time to go listen to my Gerardo live bootleg collection…



God is Off the Grid

It’s been kind of a fucked-up time lately, so allow me to briefly sum up some of the crap that’s been going on…

It’s been raining a lot lately: Yeah. At least it’s not snow. I actually don’t mind the rain. It’s keeping my crop of dandelions in the backyard nice and healthy, and the grass growing between them is getting so tall that Kyuss is getting afraid to walk through it. Granted, he is a little pussy of a dog, but still…

Work is crazy: The past few months have been incredibly busy at the day-job. Last week I was on the road every day, and two days this week I will be as well. Add to that a gluten-poisoning experience right before a flight home last Thursday, and I am one fried chicken, colonel.
The Wife lost her job: Yeah. The official story is that the new owners of the business she worked at ‘couldn’t afford to pay her anymore’, but I suspect there was something sketchy about the way they went about it. Fortunately, she is handling the situation well, and we’re working on some plans, but it’s still a pretty serious bummer, as she was really enjoying the job while it lasted.

I got my Crow!: Finally! Many many thanks to JoeCrow for his excellent workmanship, and all the friends and family who helped chip in with birthday and xmas moneys, two weeks ago a large box with a large golden Crow T Robot showed up at my office. I’ve been meaning to take some pics of him and me riffing a movie, or of him terrorizing my dog (Kyuss really freaks out when I make Crow’s eyes follow him) I just haven’t got around to it yet. My feeble attempts to work the puppetry controls on him have given me even more respect for Trace Beaulieu and Bill Corbett.

There are they now: When TechTV became available in Canada, we subscribed to it, and it was one of the most watched channels in our house. Unscrewed with Martin Sargent and The Screen Savers were favourite shows, among others. When G4 assimilated TechTV, however, a lot of the great personalities were booted or left. Recently, I’ve discovered where most of those people are hanging out, making netcasts and internet TV awesomeness: Revision3 and TWiT, and since learning about this, I’ve been spending a little too much time in the respective archives. It’s been geek-tastic.

I has a plan: Every once in a while, I get a delusional idea in my head that I can actually accomplish all of the little projects that have popped into or out of my head in recent years. Well, last week, I sat down and wrote out somewhat of an action plan that may help me achieve some of my lofty creative personal goals. If my plan works, I will share it with you guys, but basically, if I can stick to the plan, I will be producing two webcomics, a podcast, a novel, an album, and a daily blog featuring a photo I’ve taken. This is sort of day one of that plan. Wish me luck, or motivation, or anti-fail, whatever you can.

Quote of the day: “I am a fail-pizza with extra fail-sauce. Hold the winchovies”

Stuff I Do
  • [SIC] I’m working on recording an album. Follow the progress here.
  • Downloadable Contempt My newest blog, focusing on commentary on music, movies, TV shows.
  • Imaginary Enemies Another webcomic, done in crayon. Still figuring it out.
  • misplaced: the webcomic My photographic webcomic, about action figures. Read by over 4 people worldwide!