Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chapter XX: I Don't Cook Often...

...which means my menu choices are usually quite limited.

However, when I do cook, it often turns out great. However, I tend to leave a bit of a mess. Tonight, I decided to cook some hamburger, as it's something I really haven't had in a while, and it's one of my favorite meals. Yes, I'm a meat eater. Got a problem with it, well, I suppose I could say deal with it. Well, I just kinda said it. So...ummm...there?  :)

Now, here's the fun part. I decided to take some pictures of the progression of the cooking, and am going to give my own little captions and commentary on each photo as I go.

Photo 1: "This is your brain..."

Yes, I enjoy being funny with uncooked hamburger based on a scene from the film Hannibal where Anthony Hopkins takes a piece of a guy's "brain" (which is really hamburger), fries it up, and eats it. I wonder if the title character felt any smarter? Hmmm...oh well. This is what the hamburger looked like before I set it to cook.

Photo 2: "Starting to cook..."

As you can see here, the hamburger is starting to slowly lose its redness, and become cooked, and edible.

Photo 3: "Now we sizzling!"

Yup. Starting to look more and more cooked, don't you think? Usually, about this time, I throw in some oregano leaves for added taste. I don't know what it is, but I love how oregano leaves bring out the taste in things. I always get it on my subs at Subway, that's for sure.

Photo 4: "Smoke is rising now that the onions are in..."

As usual when the onion bits are thrown in, lots of smoke rises up from the pan. I don't mind. It enhances the smell of the cooked brains - er - meat.

Photo 5: "More smoke! Thankfully, no fire."

My laptop makes a cameo in the background as the screen is filled with monster smoke.

Photo 6: "A clearer picture of what I've created."

Almost complete. Just needs to have something added.

Photo 7: "...this is your brain on my plate."

There we go. Just had to add corn. Why? Because I wanted to, that's why  :)  Gotta have your veggies with your meat, right? Trust me, this tasted sooooooooooooooooooo good going down. Oh yeah, almost forgot. Enjoyed a nice glass of Pepsi while eating this. Best part is, I made enough so I can enjoy some more later.

I hope you enjoyed cooking with me, because I enjoyed it, too. Don't expect it too often tho.

Take care, and remember...brains are good!


Chapter XIX: Violent Protesters Are A Human Joke



Are you seriously kidding me?

Has anyone seen the complete idiocy going on in Toronto?

Yes, I get that there's a bunch of bullshit related to the G8/G20 summit in Toronto, but violent protesting is beyond stupidity. I'm talking invading a country on the unproven discovery of weapons stupidity.

I'm posting some pictures taken from various people and uploaded via Twitter below as to what's been going on. Judge for yourself.

Really, this shit sickens me, and makes me ashamed that I'm not only Canadian, and likely share Canadian citizenship with some of these idiot protesters, but this makes me ashamed to simply be HUMAN, and living on this planet.

People are getting hurt. Innocent people are being targeted by these protesters. How innocent are the people being targeted? People that are at their jobs, or just minding their own business. The fact that there's a need for Riot Police makes this even more idiotic.

What's worse about all this? The CIVILIZED people of Toronto are the ones who are going to pay for all this when all their tax money is forced to be diverted from the important things like education and health care funding to the repairs.

My heart breaks as this continues.

To the peaceful protesters that kept things civilized, thank you for making a great statement, and thank you for keeping things cool. I hope your message is heard.

To the violent protesters, fuck you. I hope you all die slow, painful, excruciating deaths, whether it's one at a time, or all together. You are all a bunch of fucking cowards, and have no business being on this planet. Fuck off and die. kthxbye.

To those in the war zone covering this, I pray for your safety.

And now, to the horrible images gathered while writing this.


UPDATE @ 8:00pm EDT - Looks like they took the photos I was using down. Best go to for all the info on this insane bullshit.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapter XVIII: Music That Inspires Me, volume three

Alright, time for another installment of "Music That Inspires Me!" Before I get to it, I want to let you know that I've decided to shelve the idea of the podcast. I can't seem to find the time to get it done without being interrupted by something. So, I'm just going to continue blogging periodically. I apologize that I'm not blogging as much this month as I did last month. Nothing that exciting has gone on this month. Next month is when things get fun as I have a few concerts coming up.

Until then, let me invade your earspace with some tunes that I enjoy.

1. "21 Guns" Green Day feat. the cast of the Broadway play American Idiot
Man, Green Day has been in my blood for a very, very long time. I'll never forget the day I first saw the video for Basket Case. Back then, as a kid still learning about drumming, I was scared shitless wondering how I'd pull that off. It's amazing how over the years Green Day has evolved and become more than a punk band that has faux-British accents on the lead singer. One of the crazy things Green Day did recently was turn their American Idiot and parts of the 21st Century Breakdown albums into a Broadway musical. This is one of the songs re-worked for the production. I have to say, it sounds great. Enjoy.

2. "Alive" by Pearl Jam
Okay, anyone that was a kid-turned-teenager in the early 90's who hasn't heard of Pearl Jam, please slap yourselves silly? Thank you. Pearl Jam was one of the few, shining moments of the 90's before all that gangsta rap and bubblegum pop started to take over near the end of the decade. You had intelligence, great stories, awesome solos, and probably one of the easiest singers to sing along to with this band. To me, this was an anthem to the entrance of my double-digit years. Funny thing is, I didn't know the actual story behind this song until much later when I did some research. Still. It's one of those songs always worth rocking out to, no matter the occasion.

3. "Ants Marching (live at Folsom Field)" by Dave Matthews Band
I've been a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band since I first heard The Best of What's Around back in 1995. Next thing I know, here's a video for Ants Marching, and I was hooked. It's so hard to find bands with such passion and such musicianship. Sure, there was a time where they almost broke up, and they lost their sax player Leroi Moore, but they still carried on. They're probably one of the few bands that truly split things right down the middle. Here's a live version of Ants Marching that has some sick improv before the song even kicks into gear, and then some when the song is in gear! Enjoy!

4. "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky
For those of you who pay close attention to music in both film and television, you'll recognize this as one of the songs in the film Friday Night Lights, and also a re-worked version of this song serves as the theme song for the television series of the same name. When I first heard the music for the film, I was captivated. Here's this rock band that does completely instrumental music, and does it well, and with a lot of creativity. This is the full version of the song that appears on their album The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place. Enjoy.

5. "Nautical Disaster" by The Tragically Hip
The few times I've been fortunate enough to find this in a karaoke song book, I've purposely rocked this song out to the absolute best of my abilities. Back in college at the Atlantic Police Academy, a couple of classmates and I would do acoustic renditions of Hip songs for fun. Sadly, this wasn't one of them. Still, The Hip are Canadian icons, and have been putting out great album after great album since the 1980's. This song is off their 1995 Day for Night album. They were actually invited to perform this on Saturday Night Live by guest-host Dan Aykroyd. Here's the music video for this awesome song.

Alright. That does it for this third installment. Hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time,


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chapter XVII: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz/Franklin Finale Live Blog

Hey everyone. I've decided I'm going to blog tonight's UFC event that's airing on Spike TV/Rogers Sportsnet. I'm going to be giving round-by-round thoughts, along with a scorecard. My view is my own, and nobody else's. I won't be doing anything for the prelim fights, only the main card fights.

Here's the line-up:

Preliminary card
Heavyweight bout: James McSweeney vs. Travis Browne
Middleweight bout: James Hammortree vs. Chris Camozzi
Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant
Middleweight bout: Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski
Lightweight bout: John Gunderson vs. Mark Holst

Main card
Middleweight bout: Jamie Yager vs. Rich Attonito
Lightweight bout: Spencer Fisher vs. Dennis Siver
Middleweight bout: Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
Light Heavyweight bout: Matt Hamill vs. Keith Jardine
TUF11 Middleweight Final: Court McGee vs. Kris McCray
Bookmark and refresh throughout the night. I'll be updating at various points when the prelims start with results, and round-by-round once the event starts at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT.
Travis Browne def. James McSweeney via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 4:32.

Chris Camozzi def. James Hammortree via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Kyle Noke def. Josh Bryant via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 3:12.

Brad Tavares def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

John Gunderson def. Mark Holst via unanimous decision (no scores given).


Intro thoughts: It's funny that in the intro video, they're still showing Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz, when Ortiz was removed from the show, and it was renamed Team Liddell vs. Team Franklin for the last episode of the season. Oh well. Also to note, gotta love the commercials (not).



Pre-Fight - Yager looks like a fucking Chia-Pet.

Round 1 - Yager starts with a kick that catches air. Both are dacing around, and exchange punches. Yager moves in, and lands a hard kick to the knee. Yager looking for punches, hits a couple. Yager has a huge reach with his stance, and lands a hard series of puches, backing Rich to the cage. Rick tries to take Yager down, and Yager is looking for a standing kimura when it comes to the takedown attempt. After about 10 seconds, Yager is finally taken down, but scrambles to his feet. Nice knee by Yager to the face of Rich. Yager's problem in the series has been his gas tank, as his fights don't go long. Yager throws another kick to the front leg that lands. Now he lands a punch. Rich misses a kick. Yager throws a kick, but has it countered with a hard punch. Yager lands a two punch combo. Both are starting to relax and find a rhythm. Rich with a nice left to the cheek, but does nothing. Rich catches Yager and back Yager up to the cage, attempting a takedown, but he's eating elbows to the side of the head. Yager with an elbow out of the clinch and tries for a kick. Rich eats a right, but answers with a kick. Yager is throwing kicks, both high and low. As the round closes, nothing more happens. Round 1: Yager 10, Attonito 9.

Round 2 - We start, and both exchange punches. Yager is trying to work the left hooking uppercut. Rich tries to fly in with punches, but ends up being the bull to the evasive mattador. Rich throws a head kick that doesn't land. Yager is being fairly elusive. Finally, Rich lands a kick. Now they trade at the centre of the Octagon. Yager lands a hard left hook, and Rich comes back with a kick to the legs. Yager lands a combo to the head, but it just polishes Rich's dome. Yager is slowing down, and is starting to take punches against the cage. Rich blocks a head kick. Yager tries a jumping knee, but airs it. Rich lands a hard right, again. Yager looks gassed as he eats some shots. Rich throws a few punches and then takes Yager down, and quickly takes the back. Rich going for a rear-naked choke. Back to the back-mount. Rich keeps working and is now raining blows like a fucking madman. Finally, referee Steve Mazagatti calls a stop to the fight. As they stand up, Yager and Rich embrace, showing good sportsmanship. Rich Attonito def. Jamie Yager via TKO at 4:25 of Round 2.

Thoughts: Jamie Yager really needs to work on his conditioning and not trying to finish the fight early. After dropping the first round, Rich Attonito had an AWESOME second round. Bright future for this guy if he can remain injury free.

Between-Fight: We get to see the TUF 11 finalists getting their hands wrapped. I wonder how Court McGee fights seeing as he's a heavy glasses wearer outside the cage. Hmmm. Yay, commercial. Anyone else excited for July 3rd? Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship. I'll be honest, I'm going with Brock. Woot! Rock'em Sock'em Lightweights time! But first, another commercial, but this time, a preview of TUF 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. If there's one thing GSP could give to his team, it's closed captioning.


Round 1 - We have a lovely female referee named Kim Winslow taking charge of the cage for this fight. Figher and Siver are trading air kicks. Figher lands an outside kick, and then throws an inside kick to the nuts. We have a break, and a replay. After a minute, we're back to action. Figher lands a hard punch, and now a kick while avoiding a counter punch from Siver. Another kick from Fisher, and a couple return including a front kick to the face by Siver. The two clinch, and Siver pushes away landing a punch. Another kick by Siver, but Siver has a cut over his eye. Trading punches at the centre of the cage. Fisher lands a kick to the body. Blood is really coming down the side of Siver's face. Fisher is really moving around, while Siver keeps the centre of the Octagon. Siver with a leg kick and some punches. This is really turning into a strong kickboxing match. Ouch! Hard kick to the body by Fisher. Both are trading punches, and Siver's left side of the face is really bloody, mostly from dried blood. Both continue to trade standing kicks, and Siver lands a hard punch. Fisher with a kick to the knee. Fisher tries a side hook kick, but misses. Siver throws a spinning back kick, but takes a light head kick. Round over. Fisher 10, Siver 9.

Between rounds: Wow, that cut is DEEP! And we get the copyright riot act from Mike Goldberg.

Round 2 - Siver again in the center to open the round. Fisher circling left, into Siver's power hand. Fisher kicks low. moves in but eats a counter. Siver now kicking low again. Patient attacks. Fisher lands a nice straight left, then follows with a firm low kick. Fisher continues to circle into Siver's power hand, and Siver just misses a big right. Siver works a pair of low kicks. Siver catches a kick and lands a right hand that sends Fisher down. He pops back up, but Siver looks energized. Fisher has a high kick blocked, but he then lands a 1-2. Fisher with a Superman, then a follow straight. One minute left. Both fighters still firing shots, though the action comes in spots. Siver lands a kick to the body. Front kick lands for Siver, but he's too close on another spinning strike. Close round. Siver 10, Fisher 9. Tied 19-19 after 2 rounds.

Round 3 - Siver opens with a high kick. A low kick then catches Fisher in the groin, and we have a short break. High kick from Fisher answered with punches from Siver. Fisher's corner wants him to press. Siver still has the center of the cage. Siver lands a few punches and whiffs on a kick. Siver really starting to become the aggressor and looks much more comfortable than he did in the first. Siver lands a jab, though Fisher slips the right. Front kick from Siver. Two minutes in. Fisher starts to open up with punches and kicks, and a knee lands clean. Siver closing the distance now. Looping shots fired by both, though Siver throwing with more frequency. Fisher slowing down again. Siver slips a Fisher attack and fires back counters. Both guys willing to trade, but Siver seems to have the timing down at this point. Straight punch for Siver. Less than a minute. Siver wobbles momentarily. Front kick from Siver. Spinning backfist from Fisher. Siver shoots at the bell. Siver 10, Fisher 9. Final score: Siver 29, Fisher 28.

Denis Siver def. Spencer Fisher via unaminious decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Post-Fight: This was a great kickboxing fight. Loved it! Siver definately moves up in the rankings, and is probably in the top 7 or 8. Give him a televised PPV fight, please. Oh, and referee Wilson has a nice smile.

Between Fights: Wow. Ummm...Epic. Fucking. Promo for The Expendables. August 13 can't come fast enough. They're recapping the hell out of this past season of The Ultimate Fighter, which was WAY better than last season's Heavyweights. Basically, this is a commercial-fest right now, as they probably want to get them all out of the way so they can show a couple fights with little-to-no commercials. If that's the reasoning, I don't blame them. But then again, UFC = money.


Round 1 - Referee Josh Rosenthal oversees this middleweight affair. Simpson rakes the center and stalks. Leben circling. Smpson fires the first flurry and immediately moces on fore th takedoewn. Leben hits the deck, and Simpson takes side control.L eben scrambles up, but Simpson controls the head and lands a knee. Simpson looks like he's tryin for the choek, but he lands another knee and moves away. Leben presses into the clinch and works in a few footstomps. Simpson circles off the cage. Nothin gin the clinch, and they reset. Simpson lands a stiff left, followed by a right Halfway through the frame. Simpson pushes in again. Simpson lifts LEben and tosses him to the floor. A few punches score to the face before Leben can scramble up. Leben fires of a few big lefts, but they miss. Simpson counters with a few stiff straights. Leben looks a bit winded moving forward, but he fires off shots when he has space. Simpson avoiding well and moves into the clinch. Less than a minute. Simpson throws a few knees, and Leben answers with some short punches to the head, but the round ends. Round 1 score: Simpson 10, Liben 9.

Round 2 - Leben opens on the attack, and Simpson tries to counter with a takedown. Leben shucks it off and fires in the pocket. Simpson absorbs a few shots and fires back. The pair resets and moves across the cage, and it's a firefight. Simpson's back to the cage, and Leben firing hooks. Simpson slows things down with a clinch. Leben breaks and chases. Simpson tries for another takedown, but Lebe remains upright. Leben lands a nice jab, but Simpson looks unfazed. Two minutes left. Simpson against the cage, and Leben throwing front kicks and left hands. Simpson firing back when he can, but his punches starting to tire. Leben firing off sots, and Simpson is rocked. He falls, and Leben pounces. Leben fires off punches as Rosenthal watches. Simpson crawls back to his feet and tries to scamper away. As he does, another pair of shots land, and Simpson stumbles to the canvas. Tough to tell how hurt Simpson was versus being well off-balance, but Rosenthal has seen enough.

Chris Liben def. Aaron Simpson via TKO at 4:17 of Round 2.

Post-Fight: Wow, this was a great finish. A Chris Liben special, if you will. Man, this guy's matured. Still loves to have fun, though.


Round 1 - Herb Dean the third man in the cage for the evening's co-main event. Hamill misses with a left hand and Jardine flurries. Into the clinch, but no real offense. Hamill works in a few jabs with Jardine's hands low. Jardine kicks low. Hamill jumps in and eats a low kick. Jardine landing and moving. Hamill kicks low but eats a right hand. Now Jardine kicks and catches a left counter. Jardine lands a kick to the midsectionrion. Halfway through. Jardine rushes forward with punches, though Hamill blocks most of them. Jardine lands a slapping low kick. Hamill shoots in, but Jardine saw it coming and defends. Traded jabs. Another low kick for Jardine, who follows with a combination that ends with an uppercut. Hamill getting thought in spots, but Jardine landing more shots. Jab for Jardine. Hamill blocks most of a combination. Jardine misses on a big right. Very close round. Jardine 10, Hamill 9.

Round 2 - Hamill’s corner instructs him to take Jardine down. He attempts to do so in the round’s first 30 seconds, but Jardine easily defends it. Hamill tries to box with Jardine and he gets pelted with three low kicks. Hamill attempts to kick the head and Jardine checks it. Hamill catches a low kick, but he can’t drag Jardine down. The Greg Jackson product is picking Hamill apart. Hamill jabs and finds some success with a right hand. Jardine goes right back to the legs with low kicks. Hamill charges forward and glances the face of Jardine, who’s now bleeding from a cut near the left eye. Hamill lands a head kick and the momentum has changed. Hamill with uppercuts from the clinch and then he goes down. Hamill covers his face and complains of an eye poke. Replays show a thumb accidentally connect with the right eye. Herb Dean takes a point regardless. The fight is restarted and Jardine bulrushes with punches and Hamill gets the best of an exchange before getting a takedown. Jardine stands and Hamill pours it on with punches from the clinch. Jardine is now cut over his right eye. Jardine is a bloody mess. Hamill 10, Jardine 8 (Jardine was deducted 1 point). 19-18 Hamill after 2 rounds.

Between Rounds: Blood on the camera lense, blood on the body, blood on the trunks...Got blood?

Round 3 - The fighters pick up where they left off, though with a bit less zip. Hamill lands the stiffer shots, though Jardine returning fire. Hamill pushes in and secures the takedown. Jardine's reddened from the blood, and he tries to stand. A second effort gets him back standing, though Dean wants doctors to check the cut. It's over the right eye, but they let Jardine carry on. Jardine lands a nice right that pops Hamill's head back. Hamill tries to shoot, but Jardine scampers away and resets. Jabs from both. Jardine has abandoned the low kick. Hamill popping jabs, though Jardine not going anywhere. Two minutes left. Jardine's face a mess. He's retreating, but Hamill in control. Dean calls for a break as Jardine has lost his mouthpiece. Hamill shoots in on the restart. Jardine defends, but he's blasted by a knee to the face. Jardine lands a right. Hamill shoots again. Jardine defends well and resets. Less thana minute. Both fighters justifiably tired. Jardine more active in the closing second. Overhand right lands for Jadine, but the bell sounds to end the fight. Hamill 10, Jardine 9. Final Score: Hamill 29, Jardine 27.

Matt Hamill def. Keith Jardine via Majority Decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28).


Round 1 - Referee Steve Mazagatti in the cage with the "TUF 11" title on the line. McCray gets the best of an early flurry, and the two move into the clinch. Nothing doing, and they reset. McCray reaches on a punch and nearly gets caught with a counter. Battle for the trip in a clinch, and McGee sets up on top. McCray has guard. Fight moves to the cafe, and McCray works himself back to his feet. Not there long as McGee sucks him up and back on to the floor. McCray's head against the cage. McGee postures and lands a shot as he passes into half-mount. McGee lands a few shots and tries to get a headlock as McCray stands. McCray fires off a few shots on the feet, but it's McGee who lands the cleaner blows. In the clinch, and McGee again drags the action to the mat. McCray works free when McGee looks for a choke, and it's back to the feet. McCray throwing his hands, but it's again McGee who lands the better shot.McCray lands a stiff right in the closing seconds. Round Score: McGee 10, McCray 9.

Round 2 - McCray fires off a few powerful punches, and he's looking a bit more active than round one. McGee wies him up and lands a knee. A scramble as the two hit the deck, and McGee is on top. McGee tries for a side choke from mount, but McCray slips out. McCray not absorbing any damage underneath, but he's still mounted. McGee lands a few left hands to the ribs. McCray rolls to escape, but McGee stays on the back. McCray spins free, and they're back on the feet. Traded shots on the feet, and McGee drives through for a takedown. McCray trapped, and McGee presses in and moves to the back. Left hook is in, and McGee sinks in the choke. McCray tries to relent, but he's forced to tap with no room to escape.

Court McGee def. Kris McCray via submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:41 of Round 2, and wins the Ultimate Fighter 11 Middleweight Tournament.

Post-Fight: McGee is a true success story. Someone who came back from battling his addictions and demons to win this big fight. Congrats!

Goodnight, everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chapter XVI: Music That Inspires Me, volume two

I've received some great comments over Twitter concerning the first entry into this series. So much in fact, I'm going to give you another few songs. Now, I warn you. Some of these may seem totally random. You may be left thinking "What is wrong with him?" because I can assure you, like the last entry, some of these songs are in the "deep left field," and some are ones you probably know. Sit back, and enjoy the wild trip through my musical mind! Just so you know, most of these songs are being taken from Youtube, so I can't promise they'll be of perfect quality, because Youtube likes to mess with things.

Let's start things off with one of my favorites to sing along to.

1. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey (Revelation version with Arnel Pineda on vocals)
There's a lot of reasons why I prefer this version over the original Steve Perry version. One is because of the slightly longer break before the third verse (giving you a chance to breathe). Two is because the vocals go a little higher than the original (and I love singing outside my normal vocal range, which tends to surprise people how well I can hit the notes). A third reason would have to be because Arnel is a great fit with the band, and isn't being prickish with the band like Steve Perry has been. Anyways, enjoy.

2. "Night Train" - Bouncing Souls
I'm starting to guess that in this day and age, doing a ballad of sorts is the norm for punk rock bands. Bouncing Souls are one of my favorite punk bands that I was introduced to over the past few years. This was actually the first song I heard by them, by chance, while watching a Ring of Honor (pro wrestling) DVD where current WWE wrestler CM Punk had the song play after his surprise match. It's a great song that talks about having to leave what you love and what you know behind. Something I've had to do in the past in order to better my life. Enjoy.

3. "Rise Up" - Cypress Hill feat. Tom Morello
Okay, I know I'm Straight-Edge and everything, but if there's one thing I am that superceeds this, it's a music fan. Cypress Hill are one of the few rap groups that are still groups. I still remember the day Insane in the Brain came out. It had my friends and I going nuts trying to immitate B-Real's voice on the song during the chorus. This is the first single off their latest album, and I love the fact they're inviting other artists outside the rap game to perform with them. And let's be honest. Who better than Tom Morello, famous for playing in Rage Against the Machine? Enjoy. Warning: Strong Language.

4. "The Right to Go Insane" - Megadeth
Okay, I'm going to be insanely honest. I'm a HUGE Megadeth fan, and I'm looking forward to seeing them live this summer. I really only chose this song because it's their latest single. Sure, I could have gone and put one of their more famous hits, but I wanted to go with something more recent. The video is loosely based on a true story, to which I'll let you search for yourself. Interesting to note, this is the first video to feature original bassist David Ellefson since he rejoined the band earlier this year (which brought great joy to many). Video aside, enjoy the you do have the right to go insane every once in a while.  :)

5. "Coming Back to Life" - Pink Floyd
Kind of funny that quite possibly my favorite Pink Floyd song of all-time comes from the last studio album the band ever released. This song was always fun to play on drums for me because I would literally throw on the additional challenge of the secondary percussionist while drumming. I love the guitar solos in this song, too. It's hard to really put feelings for these songs into words, but I'm trying. :) David Gilmore has always been one of my favorite writers, singers and guitarists. This version is from the Pulse concert that has since been released on DVD (thank God, because the VHS was impossible to find back in the 90's). Enjoy this one.

Alright. That's going to do it for this second installment of the Music That Inspires Me series. I was planning on doing the first podcast last night, but a movie, UFC 115 and gaming with some friends came up. I'll probably get it done sometime today or tomorrow. Stay tuned to the blog for more information. Until then, enjoy your Sunday!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Interlude II: Updates

Update 1: I've finished my first year in the Business Administration course at college. It'll be nice not having to do 900+km's of driving a week for a while. My car will be thankful for the break, too.

Update 2: I'm planning on doing a weekly podcast where I'll feature some music I enjoy, share some thoughts and opinions on various subjects (likely to include various sports, movies, tv shows, and any other news I come across during the recording). Expect to see the first episode possibly this weekend.

Update 3: I'm happy to say I predicted 14 of the 15 LOSERS in this year's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only miss was picking Vancouver over the eventual Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. I went on a round-by-round basis for picks. Funny thing is, I even picked AGAINST my own team.

Update 4: I still hate the submission system in the UFC games, and I'm seriously jazzed for Rock Band 3 later this year. Gonna be interesting throwing the keyboards into things!

Update 5: UFC 115 should be fun tomorrow night. Won't be blogging it, tho.

Update 6: There is no update 6  :)

Update 7: Summer is almost here! Continue to support Sundress Month!

Update 8: Listening to "The Morning Jones" with Bomani Jones on Hardcore Sports Radio in the morning when on the way to class is sometimes hazardous. I often end up laughing so hard I nearly take the ditch.  :)

Update 9: The end.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chapter XV: Music That Influences Me, volume one

It's been a while. How's everyone been? I've been busy wrapping up the final weeks of college, Year 1. It's weird, I've never committed myself to more than a year of schooling since I graduated high school. As Year 1 comes to an end, I'm looking forward to enjoying myself, and hopefully earning some coin.

I've often made mention of my diverse taste in music. Well, I thought I'd share some with you. I'll even go ahead and give you some insight as to how each perticular song influences me. I'm going to do a series of blogs where I'll give you 6 or so songs that I'm really into. Some may surprise you.

Speaking of surprise: Let's start off with a surprising choice, shall we?

1. "Nella Fantasia" - Russell Watson
This one is taken from Russell Watson's Live in Australia DVD, and is featured as the opening track on his debut The Voice album. Yes, I'm starting this off with an opera song. Got a problem? Hope not. I'll be honest. I first heard of Watson when he remade Rod Stewart's Faith of the Heart and retitled it Where My Heart Will Take Me for use in the opening credits of Star Trek Enterprise. I've always been a fan of pop-opera, and when I discovered he had a great voice that I could fit into my vocal range, I really got into him. Enjoy.

2. "Paper Sun" - Def Leppard
One of my favorite bands of all-time will always be Def Leppard. I'll never forget being in Newfoundland, Canada with my parents and grabbing the Euphoria CD the day it dropped. I was so excited to throw it in and give it a listen. I went through all the songs twice and realized three things. 1) It sounded WAY better than their previous album Slang. 2) It reminded me of a mixture between Hysteria and Adrenalize. 3) I was going to have a lot of fun playing these on drums. Here's a live version of one of my favorite songs off the album, Paper Sun. It's actually the album's "epic". Enjoy.

3. "Symbolistic White Walls" Matthew Good (Band)
I put "Band" in brackets because Matthew Good continues to perform to this day, just without the "Band." This was the first song I ever heard from this iconic Vancouver rocker. Often mixing in political views into his music, Good has always taken a fun, yet serious approach to things. What makes this song so awesome is the simplicities in the actual music, and the fact that you get to hear Good's two vocal levels. Because this was my introduction to Matthew Good, hopefully this is your introduction, or even better, re-introduction.

4. "Another Minute (demo)" - Sahaj Ticotin
For those unfamiliar with Sahaj, look for the song Do You Call My Name by Ra. He's the lead singer for that band. I decided to go with a solo track of his from his forthcoming solo debut expected to be released this summer. I heard this and I knew I had to go with this. Even as a demo, it's an amazing song. I, for one, will be working my ass off to try and find a copy of the CD. You should, too! Support the good artists. Enjoy this one! Also, I apologize for the lack of volume control on this song.


5. "Rusty Cage" - Johnny Cash
Quite possibly one of my favorite cover tunes. And this is coming from someone who HATES most cover tunes. However, in the last decade-and-a-half of his life, Johnny Cash had been putting out a series of records on Rick Ruben's American Recordings. He took each of those songs that he covered and made them his own. Look what he did with Trent Reznor's Hurt! I've always been a Soundgarden/Chris Cornell fan, and when I first heard this, I was amazed. I'm sad to know that Cash isn't around anymore. I never truly associated him with country music, because he's gone from one genre to another. Regardless, I give you this song to enjoy.

6. "Don't Be Afraid to Run" - Greg Graffin
When you listen to this, keep in mind that this is the lead vocalist for the legendary punk rock band Bad Religion. Dr. Greg Graffin, Ph.D. (yes, he has a legit Ph.D.) is quite possibly one of the most versatile punk rock musicians out there. In addition to what I've listed above, he's an author, university professor, and one of the funniest men to see on stage fronting a band. I love putting in Bad Religion's Live at the Palladium DVD when I'm completely devoid of anything to do during the day. This song is from Graffin's second solo CD, Cold As the Clay which has a lot of acoustic/electric folk songs. Check it out. You might really like it.

Well, that's going to do it for the first installment of the Music That Influences Me series of blogs. Leave some feedback. I'd like to know what you think of some of these songs. If you think there's something I should check out, post a link. I'll give it a listen and give my thoughts in a future blog.

Take care,