Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunless Shuffle (iPod's Fixed)

My iPod died on me. Not recently or anything. Like a year-and-a-half ago. I've been too lazy to fix it for way too long. Maybe lazy isn't right. More like cheap.

When I bought the thing I was too excited to load up its hard drive that I didn't actually think about backing up any of my music. That really killed me when it crapped out on me. I finally got around late last year to getting an external hard drive just for my music.

It took me MONTHS to rip all of my music onto the thing. No exaggeration. Months. When I finally finished about a month ago, it was time to format and reload the iPod. Now it works like new and every song is backed up. Every single song I own, minus a few bootlegs, is back in my pocket.

I'm home sick today, so what better time to do something I haven't done in some time. Random!

Current track count: 12249

1. Whiskeytown: "Not Home Anymore" (Strangers Almanac)
(Man, this reminds me of senior year of high school. That was when I thought music didn't get better than Strangers Almanac. Except this song. Didn't care for it. Guess what. Still don't care for it. Not terrible, just not the best song on this album... by a long shot.)

2. John Vanderslice: "Greyhound" (Life and Death of an American Fourtracker)
(Oh this reminds me. JV has a new album coming out in May. I keep forgetting about that.)

3. Islands: "Swans (Life After Death)" (Return to the Sea)
(Three songs in and I hit my first ten minute song. This song really reminds me how good this album is. And also how disappointing Arm's Way was.)

4. The Good Life: "Needy" (Album of the Year)
(Damn is Saddle Creek still around? I haven't listened to anything from them in forever. I'd even forgotten how whiny Tim Kasher sings. Actually this sounds a little better than I remember.)

5. John Vanderslice: "CRC 7173: Affectionately (Blistering Dose) [cut-up]" (Scott Solter Remixes Pixel Revolt in Analog)
(Over 12,000 songs set to random and I get two John Vanderslice songs. How does that happen? I wish I could play the lottery 'cause I like those odds!)

6. Superchunk "Unbelievable Things" (The Clambakes Series Vol. 3: When We Were 10)
(Indoor Living, best Superchunk album. Still gives me chills. Oh my god, by the way, we are exactly one week away from a new Superchunk EP!! Closest thing to a new album since 2001.)

7. Coldplay: "Politik" (A Rush of Blood to the Head)
(I don't think I've listened to anything from this album since Coldplay got really uninteresting (X&Y). I don't know if I'd still love it like I did when it was new. Hm, maybe we'll never know since Coldplay are so uninteresting.)

8. R.E.M.: "Lightnin' Hopkins" (Document)
(iPod thinks I'm in the mood for some unoffensive stuff right now. Come on, man!)

9. Mountain Goats: "Short Song About the 10 Freeway" (Bitter Melon Farm)
(That is one short song indeed. At least it's longer than Iron & Wine's contribution to Dark Was the Night.)

10. Big Star: "My Life is Right" (#1 Record)
(My life isn't really right because I feel like shit. My head has been pounding since 3am. At least the weather is nice and upbeat Big Star reminds me of nice weather. Slower Big Star reminds me of bitter cold.)

11. The Clash: "Lover's Rock" (London Calling)
(Don't know why, but the Clash sounds really good right now.)

12. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "The Train Song" (B-Sides and Rarities)
(Sounds like a nice closing track. Thanks Nick!)

Wow, I forgot how much fun that is. I'll have to do that more often.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


A couple of months I railed against UPS because of a really slow delivery. Well now I'm ready to make a bit of a retraction because of something I never considered: Highjacking!!

Yesterday we had National Geographic's Air Emergency on in the afternoon. The emergency that really caught my eye was the story of FedEx Flight 705. Highjacking aren't usually all that cool, but this one was EPIC!

One of the flight employees went nuts and attempted to highjack the plane. He wanted to crash the plane into the FedEx headquarters. It was a kamakaze plan, but for whatever reason he wanted to conceal the highjacking. So he tried to highjack the plane using hammers and a speargun. Starting to get really badass.

Crazy guy started by cracking some heads with the hammer and held up the crew with the speargun. The pilot had a fractured skull, but still had it in him to for some movie tricks. He spun the plane completely upside-down, giving the two other crew members (also with fractured skulls) the upperhand. They attacked crazy guy and had themselves a crazy badass upside-down hammer fight.

Oh yeah, there was a speargun in the middle of things too.

By the end of it, they were able to take crazy guy down with another fractured skull. And the pilot was able to keep the DC-10 from destroying itself, even as he flew like he was Iceman. Oh yeah, he also only had control over one side of his body. A hammer to the head will do that to you.

Okay so after seeing that, maybe I can cut UPS some slack. I didn't consider that an upside-down hammer fight at 10,000 feet might cause some delays in package delivery. I do know that this was FedEx, rather than UPS. I can overlook that though. Dry-erase board guy might fuck some shit up too. You never know.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I mentioned my car problems/shit luck in January. I'm very happy to report that it's all done as of today.

Four trips in two months costing a total of $1539.41. My car is like brand new. Well at least mechanically. The interior still looks horrible. But still, it runs better than it has in years.

-New spark plugs/ignition wire set
-Belt/timing gasket set
-Fuel induction/decarb service
-Axle replacement

I have no idea what any of this means, but it's all terribly expensive. I spent so much money that the mechanic gave me a free tire rotation. That was nice.

The car honestly does seem to be running better. I'm really counting on to last me a long time now. Another 80,000 miles will be just fine.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Big One

It finally snowed! Hooray!!

And not any old pidly little snows that we tend to get in central Virginia. This was a huge storm. I think the final tally was around 7".

As excited as I was for it to finally snow like it does back home, it very quickly became a pretty shitty event. Like all-around shitty. First of all last Sunday as the snow was rapidly piling up, our power went out. I even saw the transformer blow from the bedroom. Kinda cool. But after a couple of hours in the dark, we started getting a little concerned. Especially as the temperature kept dropping inside, and the lightning picked up outside. Fucking lightning, man!!

Second shitty thing: work. Lots of work. It started when I went in Monday morning at 2am and didn't get home until 1pm without anything resembling a break. Also all without sleep. I had been up since 11am Sunday, and didn't get back to bed until around 2pm Monday.

And it's not like my sleep was very relaxing. The power was still out and it was freezing in the bedroom. I bundled up and hoped I wouldn't freeze to death. I woke up around 5:30pm feeling like I'd been sleeping outside. I'm sure I could see my breath if I dared to stick my head outside the covers. As I came to, I did notice the sound of our furnace. Thankfully the power came back 21 hours after it went out. The heater stayed on for around four hours regulating the heat inside again.
And that's probably how long it would've taken for my car to warm up Tuesday, one of two days this week we broke the low temperature. All of my car doors were frozen shut. I was finally able to pry open the rear passenger door and crawl through. When I got to the interstate, I barged through the driver side door to pay the toll. Then the door wouldn't shut. The latch was frozen. Just great. I was on the interstate holding my door shut and barely able to see through the small patch of unfrozen windshield. Good thing it was 3:30am and the interstate wasn't exactly bumper-to-bumper.

But we survived. It feels really weird writing about this now. The temperature was up near 80 today. Just a few days ago, it was near 10. All our windows are open and it's almost hot in the apartment. It was really weird driving around today with the windows down wearing short-sleeves and seeing piles of snow everywhere.

After everything, it was still nice to see the snow again. I hadn't seen snow like that since I moved away from Missouri. I'd forgotten how pretty it is when it's really coming down, and how everything seems to get very quiet. It was amazing, but I think I'm okay with not having snow like that for a couple more years.