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The T3sk3y Defenestrator

Frosting a room and pondering how badly Nickleback sucks.

After a 6-month hiatus from home improvement due to uh.. ‘family improvement’, I got motivated to tackle another room yesterday. This time it was the downstairs bathroom that was the focus of my attention.

I decided to do a Venetian Plaster faux finish – it’s a really thick ‘goopy’ paint that is smeared on with a trowel – and sort of looks like, uh, well, a plastered wall… in Venice. It’s kind of putzy to do – you smear a little on, then smear it randomly around in short strokes, then repeat for hours. It’s more like frosting a cake than painting a room. After ten hours of fun, I got the first coat on the entire room.

I had one really strong observation during the course of this project..

Nickleback REALLY sucks

Wow, what a lame band. When you listen to 93X for ten hours, you hear a lot of repeats – so this gave me the chance to really gather my thoughts. As if things weren’t bad enough, the album that they played from start to finish at 10:30 was.. NICKLEBACK!

These guys are the Wonder Bread of pop metal. Every song was utterly forgettable – 3:30 of interchangeable fluff. Lyrically they are no better – I’m quite positive they open up the rhyming dictionary and start writing. I can see it now..

What word should we start with? How about.. uh.. TRANCE. Yeah, that’s great. Lemme see here..

I was in a trance, I went to a dance, thought I’d take a chance, saw her sexy stance, knew she was from France, wow, what tight pants! Caught in a trance, caught in a trance….

A few months ago, somebody else observed how interchangeable their songs are – and went through the effort of overlaying two of those. Amazingly, they were the SAME SONG. No digital trickery was done here other than placing one song in the left channel and one song in the right channel:

Nickleback Sucks

Actually, I should be mad at people for buying this crap rather than the band itself. They might really be geniuses – they make lots of money with no effort.

Hmm.. I can do this.. lemme see..

It will snow.. down below.. when I go.. to the Nickleback show..

Sign me up!

Worst 50 Bands of All Time

Here is one websites’ opinion on the 50 worst bands of all time. I agree with about 90% of this list and had a good belly laugh out of some of the comments. Here are some of the best:

32 THE HOOTERS
The great folk-rock scare
Philadelphians Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian assembled a quintet that specialized in a vile blend of folk-rock and New Wave, in the process proving that the mandolin is more irritating than the synthesizer.
Worst CD Zig Zag (Columbia, 1989)


28 CRASH TEST DUMMIES

They said Brad Roberts’s voice was so deep it could be heard only by whales. Not true, sadly
If you want to be recognized as serious recording artists with a whimsical, folksy bent, it’s probably best not to notch your only hit with a daft novelty song based around the world’s silliest lead vocal and title it “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm.” The remainder of God Shuffled His Feet, this Canadian band’s second album, was much worse. They released I Don’t Care That You Don’t Mind in 2001. No one cared.
Appalling fact They’re Canadian.
Worst CD A Worm’s Life (Arista, 1996)

10 AIR SUPPLY
The sound of eunuchs sobbing
Disproving the theory that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, Air Supply contained not one but two mewling, lovesick softies whose name was Russell. In the early ’80s, the Australian duo’s gutless ballads — music so remorselessly fey it made Journey sound like Danzig — sent a generation of jilted lovers toppling into depression that was as clinical as the Russells’ music. Mercifully, though, by the end of the decade, the pair had cried themselves to sleep.
Appalling fact Determined to ruin the festive season, Air Supply once recorded a Christmas album.
Worst CD The Christmas Album (Arista, 1987)

.. and of course, the king:

4 KENNY G
This guy really blows!
Hated equally by jazz and rock fans, Kenny Gorelick’s limpid instrumentals and obsequious cameos helped turn the soprano sax solo into pop music’s most feared cliché. He started his career with fusion hack Jeff Lorber, and his 1986 album, Duotones, established a steady market for anodyne, minimal background music, an aesthetic that reached its zenith in 1997 when “The G” set a world record by holding a single note for 45 minutes.
Appalling fact He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a degree in accounting.
Worst CD Classics in the Key of G (Arista, 1999)


Here is the complete article:
50 Worst Artists of All Time

Only 365 more days…

… until the unbearable suffering that is campaigning is in full blast once again.

Can we pay these bozos 66% of their salary because they only work 66% of their time due to the years of campaigning that they all do?

My one political comment for the year:
The world didn’t come to an end two years ago, and it didn’t come to an end last night.

Stupid things seen at the gas station

As I was making one of our frequent trips to the gas station last week, I observed something that made me shrug. It was a hand sanitizer dispenser mounted right next to the gas pump. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Well, last I checked – gas is sterile. I really doubt germs could live in petroleum. So – maybe they sanitize your hands after touching the icky, germy gas pump? Strike two – I’m pretty sure the gas vapors would do a job on any bacterial nastiness there.

So – what are we possibly sanitizing against?

I’m sure it’s ultimately there to remove the gas smell. I guess I get that – but the problem is that you now have clean smelling gas on your hands. The gas is still there! Wouldn’t a perfume / deodorizer dispenser be more effective?

For the most part, hand sanitizer is a silly thing for that reason. People give it more credit than it’s due. Yes, it kills the bacteria – but you still have whatever it is that you wanted to sanitize on your hand! You come out of the portapotty – use the sanitizer – and your hand isn’t clean – it’s just got sterile poo on it!

Soap and water – no substitute.

Repent.

… for the end is near. I actually agreed with Michael Moore on something.

“The continued decrease in attendance (for Hollywood films) is not because of piracy, videogames, or the Internet, it’s because the movies aren’t very good anymore,” Moore says. The fest sellouts, he says, show an aud demand for better fare.”

He nailed it on the head – I can count on one hand (and have change) the number of movies that I’ve seen in the theater over the past year. The reason I don’t go is that I keep looking at the listings and deciding that none of them are worth seeing. Even the “big ticket” movies are pretty smelly these days – I saw Pirates of the Caribbean II last week and I got a pretty good nap.

Here is a link to the complete article:
Michael Moore says that movies suck now

Kenny G sux.

I know it, you know it, and Pat Metheny really knows it. According to a recent interview in JazzOasis.com, Metheny had a few kind, and thousands of not-so-kind things to say about Mr. G.

But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis’s tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture – something that we all should be totally embarrassed about – and afraid of. We ignore this, “let it slide”, at our own peril.

Ouch. That was in reference to Kenny G overdubbing himself over Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.

As my favorite joke goes..

Q: What did Kenny G say when he got on the elevator?
A: “Dude! This music ROCKS!!

Here is a link to the entire article: Pat Metheny on Kenny G

(thanks, Anderiv..)

Blogging 101 – Don’t be afraid to comment!

This post is a thanks and an encouragement to the silent masses that quietly view my ramblings either regularly or sporadically. By the weblogs for the t3sk3y site, I can tell that there are lots of visitors – and lots of repeat visitors.

The problem is that I never hear from you. If you look at the bottom of this post – there’s a link that says “Add comment”. This is YOUR chance to comment on my textual defenestrations. By all means, do it!

As Bartels and Jaymes said in the eighties.. Thank You for Your Support.

Tour de France 2006 – A Total Crapshoot

I’m not sure if things got more or less interesting today in the Tour de France. For those not following – today was “Black Friday” – a day that will be remembered as the day the biggest doping scandal in competitive cycling blew wide open. Here is a quick synopsis:

  • May: Spanish police raid a house, find 200 units of blood labeled with nicknames
  • Early June: Arrests reveal a list of nicknames and schedules for doping
  • Mid-June: Investigations reveal the nicknames are the dogs of famous athletes, mostly cyclists
  • Today: The list comes out, thirty riders are given the boot – including 4 of the top 5

As the dust settled, the carnage included Tour favorites Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Mancebo and many more. Others, like Vinokourov, got caught in the crossfire when most of their team got booted. See, even though Vino is clean – you can’t start the tour without a 9-person team.

Here’s what happened. The busted doctor would remove blood, then administer drugs (usually EPO) to help endurance. Shortly before (or during) the race, their own blood would be transfused back in.

No, I’m not making that up.

Anyway, Heather is a huge fan of the Tour – and I’m not far behind. I’m now curious to see if it’ll be exciting and unpredictable or if it’ll be like the “Scrub Year” in the NFL where a bunch of nobodies played out the season to miniscule interest.

Like ErikM said.. “Somebody has to win!”

When hacking is a duty.

Okay – let’s get something straight first.

I’m not talking about trying to get in somebody’s network, bank account, government computer, or any phun with the phone company.

I’m talking about taking a consumer device and um.. well.. ‘repurposing’ it. For those not in the know – often times, products are sold that aren’t quite what they should be or quite what they could be. They are rushed out the door before they work correctly – or they are sentenced to a lifetime of mediocrity because somebody was too cheap to add an important feature. Or, sometimes a company omits a feature to add ‘product segmentation’ – two different price points within their product line. A final case is the hardest one to stomach – when somebody decides that something shouldn’t be included because of a rule.

But T3sk3y – you do product development for a living – surely this is heresy!

Yeah, probably. I just feel bad sometimes for the unwashed masses that buy one of these sucky crippled products and waste their money – when all it takes is a little technology to turn that frown upside down.

I ran into an acute case of this recently. My old Verizon V710 gave up the ghost a month ago and it was time to get a new cell phone. Truthfully, I was planning on getting a RAZR. Small usuable electronics = good. When I went to the Verizon store, I saw a new sight – the sexy XV6700 – also known as the HTC Apache.


The Verizon XV6700 Smart Phone

Since I carry both a phone and a PDA – having one unit is a BIG plus. There are other convergence devices on the market – a) Treos never turned my crank b) Blackberries never turned my crank – and c) my oversize mitts I just can’t seem to use the miniature keyboards on the Treos and Blackberries. The thing that made this a go was the sliding keyboard. It is so nice to type on!

As soon as I get it home, I find out that you can’t have WiFi and the phone on at the same time. WTF?!?! Apparently Verizon neutered that. I also found out that you can’t use it as a bluetooth modem. Yep – Verizon again. I also found out that you can’t do OBEX – that’s Object Exchange over Bluetooth. Any guesses as to the culprit?

Then, it started to crash. Frequently. Daily. Multiple times per day. That’s a bad behavior for a phone! When it did work – it was unusably slow. It would sometimes take 3 seconds or so for the phone to pick up once you hit answer. No good.

Never one to be content with a bad device without first trying to subject my will upon it – I did a little quick Googling and found a very long list of “Tweaks and Hacks for the XV6700” on HowardForums.com – the premier place for phone hacking. Very shortly, I found a method to purge my phone of all of Verizon’s *ahem* enhancements – and to get back the plain vanilla phone.

The results? Nothing short of WOW. It’s speedy fast – I haven’t had to reset in over a week – I can have WiFi and the phone on at the same time – I can do all the nifty Bluetooth things – and I’ve got lots more space available on the device for MY programs. It’s unbelievable how crippled that thing was before.

The really sad part is that people are buying these and getting stuck with something badly hobbled. A little self-modification – and it is a whole new device – that is capable of being all it can be.

… and I’m very happy.

I think I’ll celebrate with a Diet Coke..

Best news of the day:

Artificial Sweetener Cleared of Cancer Link

This is good news for those of us with raging Diet Coke addictions.. like me..

Now, if people would let go of the other crazy ones like cell phones causing cancer – we can concentrate on solving really important urban myths – like the Richard Gere one..

Here is the full story from MSNBC:
Aspertame found innocent!

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