Spring finally hits Boston

Like a filthy dog finally surrendering to bath-time, the Boston winter seems to have finally lost its grip on the area for the summer.  Which isn't to say there won't be a few rainy days spent wondering how its within the realm of possibility that it can be 40 degrees at the end of June, for the most part though, it seems to be smooth sailing for the next few months.

Its these months that must be the reason why the colonists didn't just close up shop to look for a more reasonable climate to transform into metropolis.  The Red Sox now provide another reason … I’m fairly certain people here wouldn’t leave if the place was radioactive.  Picture The Hills Have Eyes as a baseball movie.  People here are hardy, and they take pride in their baseball fandom.  There’s no amount of radioactive burn that could chase them out of this place. 

But I digress.  You can really feel a change once it warms up in May. 

The throngs of wooing boozed up college kids talking loudly about how drunk they were last night are gone, replaced by kids wearing bad suits who are very impressed with each other for starting law school and talking very loudly about that.  All of that nets a population drop of noticeable proportions, along with a substantial reduction in Friday night hollerin'.  I know I sound like some crotchety old man, but there’s a marked slowdown that occurs that, combined with the pleasant weather makes for an incredible summertime experience. 

The pace of everything is noticeably slower.  For instance, this morning my commute to work was less hectic and harried, leaving time to stop and smell the roses, realize that the woman who has been serving me coffee for going on a year and half has actually spent time living as a man at some point.  Also, the guy cleaning up trash for community service now has time to not only sit down, but to “place [his] ass on something.”  

I love this time of year.  Its kind of like when you’re a kid and you get home from church, and it’s the furthest possible point away from the next time you have to go to church.   Its the time of year that no one mentions when you mention you live in Boston.  “Whoa its really cold up there!”  No kidding.  I think from now on I’m going to make it a point to talk about the 4 months when it turns into San Diego. 

Uwe Boll missunderstands Grand Theft Auto


"Grand Theft Auto would be super interesting for me, and I think I would actually be the right guy to do it, because my
movies are all bloody and violent and I don't have a problem with
action scenes."

Uwe Boll quoted in New York Magazine (via Destructiod)

I'm pretty sure I've never played a good videogame that is based on a movie.  Conversely, I've never seen a good movie that was based on a videogame.  The reason being is that the story and characters are not the reason for the games being successful.  It's the gameplay. 

So now this guy thinks its a good idea to make a Grand Theft Auto movie.  And it seems like he thinks that the essence to making a Grand Theft Auto movie is gory violence. 

Destructoid seems confident that Rockstar wouldn't license its premier franchise for a movie, which is a good thing, because I think Uwe has missed the point of GTA and what makes it so phenomenally popular. 


And not George W's freedom that "the terrorists hate".  GTA has been so wildly successful chiefly because of the complete and utter freedom that it allows the player.  It's not the story or the characters that wow gamers, its the ability to run wild, non-linear, in a enormous, complicated and lifelike cityscape.  You can't make a movie that recreates that feeling.

…this one goes to 11


I've always loved how ridiculous the marketing of guitar paraphernalia can be.  There's probably never been a cool guitar company poster or ad EVER, despite how hard they try or the celebrity they have access to.  One thing that some companies have mastered though, is standing out from the cornucopia of gear for sale with incredible product designs and names. 

One of the guys that plays guitar in my band had seen an amplifier
featuring a setting called "Ninja Boost". Which is hilarious, until it
almost becomes your band name.  He actually found one for sale, and
sent pictures as proof that he was thinking about buying an amp for its ability to boost a guitar's ninja:


Luckily he didn't buy it, and I'm not in a band called Ninja Boost.  But it reminded me that I haven't actually looked through the
guitar section at a music store in a long time, so I thought I'd see what kinds of
strange and absurd things companies are trying to sell to the real life
guitar heros. 

Here goes…


First up is the SNARLING DOGS.  While I think it would've been more effective if they had used a Z to pluralize DOGS, I do love the "Attack Control" on this one.  Do you want all SNARL and no
BITE, or are you going to shove your boot down the audience's throat by
going all BITE and no SNARL?  Well, luckily for guitarists everywhere, you don't have to choose anymore.   There is a knob for both.


And who can forget the Big Muff.  No clever named knobs here, just a really great/absurd name. 


It turns out there are a number of Muffs out there…including the METAL MUFF.


Its often hard to get the correct amount of Inject, Bleed, or Filth
from the typical, less ostentatious effects pedal.  Luckily there is
the Blood Drive.  Never before has giving blood rokked you so hard. 

And if you find that your guitar's tone isn't using women as objects quite enough for your liking, you can always switch on The Womanizer.   




I would be interested in doing the Pepsi Challenge with these pedals to see if guys that swear by them could tell the difference between them and their less ostentatious counterparts. 


My personal battle with information overload and nerdery


Coming back from being in Mexico for a week and a half followed by a week of focus groups has left me tremendously behind on my RSS feeds.  So far behind that I'm not even looking at them because I know the only effective way of dealing with the problem is to mark them all as read, and I feel like I'm going to miss something vitally important.  I hate this feeling.  Especially because I know full well that while there is surely some good stuff I'd be missing out on, there is nothing vitally important in there.  (or is there?)

What it has done however is once again raised the problem of trying to deal with RSS overload.  I did have my feeds set up in categories (Advertising, Sports, 16th Century Norwegian Ship Paintings) when I realized that that system doesn't really help anything.  So I did some digging online and found the current system I'm using:

Daily – read daily, no matter what
Volume – try to read daily
Bulk – try to read eventually
Probation – feed tryouts, more or less

So now I've usually got my daily feeds under control.  But Volume has over 300 unread items while Bulk and Probation each have over a thousand unread items.

The other problem has been sites that are good, but are so frequently updated that they clog things up.  I don't always want to look through 5,000 Boing Boing entries in a row to get to Mr. Gaffney.   So I've now started removing those sites that spew forth incredible volumes of content from folders so I can just see them and browse through them if I have time.  But now I don't ever feel the inclination to open up Volume or Bulk or Probation.  Maybe I'm just subscribing to too much stuff that I'm "supposed to" instead of the stuff thats actually good. Or maybe there is a better way.  (is there?)