tv land

If you’re into the whole Game Of Thrones thing then you’ll probably like these Funny or Die ‘Gay of Thrones‘ skits. Hilarious usually. The latest below has the Throwing Shade guy in it too ….and it’s great. ‘Munch Munch’, ‘Evil Elijah Wood’, ‘Baby Kristen Stewart’ – all your favorites. I’ve had a somewhat recent immersion back into TV land and although most of it is utterly soul-sucking, there’s a few bits that have some entertainment value to them.

Just a few mind you.

Image from Funny Or Die.

Image from Funny Or Die. (click)

blocking

Blocking is what you call it when someone you’re improvising with shuts down the improvisational flow. Or something like that. It’s a bad thing in sketch comedy shows they say, and probably only happens with novice performers ….or maybe those who might not be familiar with each other. Again, I don’t really know. However, that’s not going to stop me from using it as a sequway to the point of this post; being that I got to see the Kids In The Hall at the Jubilee Auditorium last night. Yea! (and there was much rejoicing….)

It was an impromptu offering of tickets that Audrey parlayed into a nice Tuesday night outing ….devoid of the pre-planned Mad Max viewing however. The last time I was at the Jub was, coincidentally, with her about 7 years earlier to see some opera operatics, but it looked pretty much the same. Pretty much. And no blocking! I was never a KITH die-hard, but knew and seen enough of them to appreciate their shennanigans, and of course recognized a few of the characters they made somewhat famous during their banner years. I had some laughs, and although my eyes were in the nose bleed section, the ears easily caught all of the dialogue thanks to the Jub’s sound.

So yes, fun times. There was profanity of course, gratuitous simulated sex, cross-dressing, stereotyping, taboo shattering, and wonderfully orchestrated routines peppered with more than a token amount of local references to make …well, the locals happy. All to comedic perfection of course, and well worth the near two hour hang with a somewhat too hip and hairy theatre-type crowd.

“Is that pie I smell?”
“No, that’s just my nearly dead father.”

training

Summer’s here kids. Unofficially of course, but according to the smrt-phone app it’s here with a vengeance. Honolulu’s only a few degrees warmer in terms of daytime highs for pete’s sake …and they’ve got occasional rain and clouds. Suckers. I may have to start wearing the shorts to work, and give the pasty-whites a little more exposure than the odd run I subject them to. They’ll be happy.

The sun might be enough to sweat out some of the bad stuff my body seemed to have absorbed lately too – that of the alcohol persuasion. The Mints gig on Saturday had me down 3 pints of the ever tasty grapefruit ale for which I’ve become a big fan, then Sunday afternoon had me put 2 more back while at the Next Act. I tried some tequila later than night too, then finally a ‘bulldog’ at Julio’s earlier today ….which is far more than this body usually handles.

Maybe I should consider it summer training ;)

image

Musicman

In other new and exciting news, I bought myself a fancy-schmancy bass about a month ago. I know that doesn’t really qualify for ‘new’ news, but it kinda is as I took it out for its debut last night. I sat on it for a while and just did some practicing and what-not, but after some new strings came in, after I figured out what the controls did, after I finally tweaked the action ….it was time for the road test. And it works fine :)

It’s one of those Musicman StingRay things, circa mid-2000’s I think. I traded off that Ibanez fretless I bought a while back and added a little cash to sweeten the pot. It feels nice though, except I have to get used to playing without a thumb-rest for my right hand. On my other bases I could rest it on the pickups and still play in the ‘sweet spot’, but with this thing if I play where the pickups are, I lose the fatness that I normally like. I’m going to set it a little lower on my body too, see if I can shake the years of having my bass relatively high. New habits though ….and I’m sure they’ll figure themselves out.

musicman

iFad

I got myself one of those fancy new tablet things a few weeks ago, and truth be told it’s actually pretty nice. I traded in the laptop for a desktop and now use this thing (it rhymes with iFad btw) for most internet stuff. It is handy though, and the screen is good enough that I don’t mind reading long articles on it. More importantly, and perhaps the reason for getting it in the first place, is that I have now moved a lot of my charts over to an app called ‘unreal book‘ ….it’s great for not having to worry about reading my typically chicken-scratched music notation.

What I did was scan my handwritten notes and then set each into its own PDF page through Photoshop. I blew them up, erased little blemishes, made them more legible and through iTunes imported them into the app. Unreal book is nice in that it also allows you to annote your files, and as well organize them into sets which in invaluable for keeping all those groups that I play with organized on one little device. Still have to get one of those holders to secure the thing to a mic stand or what have you, but it works fine on a stand or just on top of my bass cab too.

Stupid useful technology.

useless

You know those socks that only go up to the ankle? The ones that are small and ‘hip’ and don’t create any tan lines? Yeah, those ones …they suck. Never buy them, ever. They’re a wast of money. I succumbed to the pressure of a local store having isles and isles of the things and thought “Aren’t these the stupid things that came out back in the 90’s that I thought were for girls and would die off as a fad?” ….but then bought a bag full cause ‘when in Rome’. So now I’ve got some stupid socks I wasted good money on. Problems; they come off when you take your pants off, they slide down exposing your skin to the shoe when walking around in anything somewhat loose, and they bunch up around your toes cause they don’t have any staying power what-so ever. They survived a jog surprisingly, but everything else just doesn’t work. Crap, crap crap.

Speaking of crap, I was kinda hoping that this Shad character whose been on Q lately was just part of the weekly cycle of ‘try-outs’ for the vacated position from Jian. Nope, he’s the guy now. Too bad, cause he’s horrible. Almost as useless as those socks. Most of the interviews I’ve caught him on were completely un-engaging. It’s almost as if he’s simply reading a script with prepared questions, and even when given the option from his guest to go into different directions he totally strikes out and resumes with his somewhat awkward line of questioning. Maybe he’s nervous still? Shy? Maybe just a bad pick. This chick (google google google ….Gill Deacon) was the best in my opinion, and did a great job of flowing with the interviewee. Too bad Q.

For my last bit of useless ….the P-Trumpets have arrived! Yep, the plastic wonders of the brass community that has taken the P-Bone torch and one-upped the stupidity of it all. It’s a trumpet made of plastic (in case you were wondering) and sounds exactly like a trumpet make of plastic; good enough. Good enough that is, for kids and beginning students who want to learn to play the trumpet but know that they’ll be bored with it in a few months and don’t want to waste a whole lot of money when they eventually quit. The nice thing about it is that it’ll inspire you to quit …so that’s a bonus. But it does look cool though, but only because it’s colourful and doesn’t look like a regular, boring trumpet – which might explain its soon-to-be overwhealming popularity.

Heck, those socks have made it this far.

ptrumpet

balances

I like this ruling by a U.S. Federal appeals court on the Snowden leaked NSA surveillance program that collects phone data ‘en masse’. The court responded to the practice as “an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans.” …and although they allowed the Congress to decide on the matter of amending or replacing the program, the ruling is vindication for those who feel the entire 9-11 safety net Bush cast around the Western world was perhaps ill-thought and knee-jerk, to say the least.

As I heard someone explain before, it’s kinda like allowing the inner happenings of your home to be recorded: All your comings and goings and personal activities are collected and stored until some future date when they need to be looked at (perhaps you’ve been burgled or assaulted or something…) then at which point there will be a record of the event and the perpetrator can be caught. If there’s no need to look at the data, then it’ll simply be stored and locked away from viewing. You’re still recorded, but you’ve been given assurances nothing will be done with the information collected.

And how does that make you feel?

I’d guess not good. Assurances and guarantees are never iron-clad and mistakes happen in both machine and human-type realms, and just as there’s no guarantees in life neither are there guarantees for your safety and well-being in this world. You should accept that. There are provisions you can take to maximize your safety, but they must be balanced with your personal liberties and freedoms. Of course this balance is different for everybody, and the trick lies in balancing those different balances ….or something like that.

Needless to say, the balances established immediately post 9-11 were never healthy. Time was needed, and adequate distance from the event would have allowed for a more reasoned and logical approach to the security questions of the day.