Archive for April, 2005

Garage Rock Radio

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

What is Garage Rock? – Garage Rock is a type of rock music created in the 1960s often by young musicians playing guitars, organs and drums. These bands generally started playing in a member’s garage. Many groups recorded just one or two records. They were often locally well known, either winning ‘Battles of the Bands’ or playing at local nightclubs. Their records often did well in their home or regional market but may not have charted nationally. Some did have national or even international success, but generally only with one record, although they may have recorded many.

Status: PASS

Monday, April 25th, 2005

Checked the results page and was informed this morning that I have passed the state real estate salesperson’s licensing exam. Ta Da!

Superficial Perception and Apologies

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

Every day, when I launch my browser, I am greeted with the Google News homepage. This allows me to scan the headlines quickly and see if there is anything that catches my interest. It has headlines, organized in categories, along with thumbnail photos to accent the storyline.

I fully realize it is completely inappropriate to judge a book by the cover, but I have determined that there are only 3 photographs of John R. Bolton in circulation; and that white mustache, and the Trumpian hair style give him a cartoon-like appearance. I’m not making fun of him or questioning his qualifications for the job in question; I’m strictly talking about how the papparazzi are capturing the man.

I don’t know if he’s going to be appointed or not, but in either case, he needs to place a call to Extreme Makeover – DC Edition and get some guidance. Not that he’s in need of plastic surgery or such, but a bit of attention could work wonders at improving the variety of photographs being released.

Please accept my apologies for this cheap shot.

[If he wants my input, I would recommend a 3/8″ buzz cut, myself.]

What Price Integrity

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

When I was gut-level programmed in my early years, I was taught the values of truth, honesty, integrity and ethics in everything I do and say. They have always been the foundation of how I approach life – and I have no regrets. Outcomes may not always have been as I expected, but I have always been proud of my actions. I have no reason do doubt that these were the right values to have made a part of my being.

However, I am rather troubled when it is suggested that “to be successful”, I would have to put these aside…

I have a feeling that my definition of success may be diametrically opposed to what seems to be the new fashion; and I have no intention of modifying my value system.

What will be the outcome? Let’s watch…

Now The Waiting Begins

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Today I drove to downtown LA to take the California Real Estate salesperson licensing exam.

After passing my online training course, and thereby qualifying to register for the licensing exam, I’ve been studying using some practice exams over the past 2 weeks, and went into the test fairly well prepared – at least as well prepared as the practice tests would allow. The 13 practice exams contained 160 questions each, so at least I had a good shot at retaining the 2080 questions and answers based on the quizzes.

The test was to start at 1pm, but I arrived at 12:30. Driving from Orange County, I’m glad I didn’t register for the 8am exam. No doubt traffic would have sucked, and I would have been late. As it was, driving in around noon, traffic was light.

The room of about 80 people were kept in line by the proctor (read: warden) as they sporadically entered the test room. For the 20 minutes it took to process everyone, check them in, lead them to their seat, and wait for the exam to start you could hear the proctor repeat her career-defining, well-rehearsed diatribe: “You need ONLY the BLUE paper – only the blue paper, your drivers license and a calculator. NO, the BLUE paper. Leave everything else at the table. Turn OFF your cell phones. Sir, I said the BLUE paper – not the yellow or white paper – JUST THE BLUE PAPER. Is that a purse? Did I say you could bring a purse? Is there printed material in there? Then put it on the table. Come back here – NOT the white paper; THE BLUE PAPER. THE BLUE PAPER. Not the yellow paper. Put that pen away.” Shades of high school, if I can remember that far back. Obviously, she was used to having to deal with some pretty stupid people in the past.

We were given 3 1/2 hours to take the exam, which consisted of 150 multiple choice questions with answers carefully plotted on Scantron forms using No. 2 pencils. I believe the study material I had been using did its job quite well – seeing that I completed the exam in 1 1/2 hours and felt confident that I didn’t miss more than a few. Most of the questions were clones of the ones on the practice exams, so it relieved some of the anxiety. And since you only need 70% correct to pass the exam, I am not expecting any problems.

I will be notified in the next 3-5 days from Sacramento.

Album Cover Art Gallery

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

“Although the albums presented here may not be high on everyone’s list of ‘Classics’, we here at the Tralfaz Archives Music Department felt that they should be recognized for their music, artwork, photography or possibly because of their own inherent strangeness.”

Kindred spirits! Returning the favor of them adding Epiclectic’s Vintage Vinyl to their links page.

Dark Side of Oz

Friday, April 8th, 2005

If you haven’t tried this before, you might give it a shot next time you feel in the mood to entertain yourself for a few hours…

“I’ve done this experiment quite a few times, and I’ll have to admit that there are a lot of coincidental events and themes. Although Pink Floyd has never admitted to doing such a thing (except Roger, who stays quiet when asked), there are just a few points that should be examined. I guess you’ll just have to come to your own conclusion. It’s just the way it is with this band. But one thing this experiment does do is bring the theme of The Dark Side to life, whether it was intentional or not. In other words, IT’S WORTH DOING! This page was brought to life to explore a possible theme for this great controversy. Hope you enjoy the show! “

THE Home Entertainment Center

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Compromise.

For most people, when you get married, you are required to compromise on things such as furniture arrangement, decor, and such. Typically, “the guy” brings with him a collection of audio visual equipment, complete with racks, shelves, cables, speakers and peripherals. “The gal”, for the most part, is unwilling to compromise and most times ends up displacing the equipment to a small den, a closet or – heaven forbid – the thrift store or garage sale.

Based on this context, do you think this guy is married or has kids???

Waving The Stick

Friday, April 1st, 2005

OK. For those of you who might be reading this who are extremely sensitive to animal rights, this posting is NOT about the spanking of monkeys or choking of chicken-like fowl.

It is in reference to a web-based baton that was handed to me by my dear friend Jeff. It’s actually about a meme – Look it up.

Being a nice guy, and always willing to do what I am asked to do, I am about to share my responses to seven simple questions with at least the English-reading world. If you know me well, you understand my true passions lie more closely to audio-based and creative-design interests, rather than mass consumption of the printed word. Hence, you might detect a slant to my answers. For your enjoyment, here are my offerings…

1. You’re stuck inside Farenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

While not a “best seller” by any means, I would like to commit the entire Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records, 1950-1975 to memory. With vinyl record collection as my primary guilty pleasure, it would be absolutely wonderful to be able to identify rare, unusual and highly desireable albums while traveling the country visiting garage sales and thrift stores. My ability to recall the most obscure details related to catalog numbers, label design and one-hit-wonders would amaze and amuse my friends for hours. It would also help return my fingers and thumbs to baby’s bottom smoothness, instead of the calloused, paper-cut digits I now use to frantically turn pages in the 1300 page book. Earth shaking stuff, huh?

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Well, I wouldn’t consider it a “crush”, but an impressionable lead character in one of the first “dirty books” I read as a 17 year old kid, Naked Came The Stranger, was named Penelope Ashe. For some reason, I think I identified with her protracted adventures. I knew that the entire novel was a scam and put-on, and it was probably one of the formative causes of my off-kilter sense of humor; having subsequently developed an intense interest in Harvard Lampoon, National Lampoon, Monty Python, Firesign Theatre, and other such satirical sources.

3. The last book you bought is:

Macromedia Flash MX Advanced. Sometimes, you have to read for the purpose of gaining knowledge in a subject, and not soley for the pleasure of escaping the daily grind in some fantasy world. And better yet, its a work-related tax deduction!

4. The last book you read:

If we are talking “sat down, took your shoes off, settled into the big comfy chair and cracked the cover of a novel, and read it cover-to-cover in a matter of a day or two“, it would have to be the coffee table book, Hippie, by Barry Miles, a nostalgic look at the years 1965 and 1971. However, as an alternative, there is ALWAYS a book on the tank in the men’s room to occupy my predictably-segmented reading style. That would be Marshall Crenshaw’s Hollywood Rock – A Guide to Rock & Roll in the Movies.

5. What are you currently reading?

My son Brian, who has been heavily influenced by my sense of humor and interests, gifted me just yesterday with Eric Idle’s latest tome The Greedy Bastard Tour Diary. You just gotta love those Pythons. And it turns out it is ALL about the money!

6. Five books you would take to a deserted island:

The Complete Works of M.C. Escher – Ever since 7th grade, I’ve been fascinated with his designs, and could spend the rest of my days emulating his work with sharp sticks and drawings in the virgin sand of my island beach. Let me gaze at his artwork – words not required.

The Bible – I read it cover to cover for a “Bible as literature” class in high school once and have wanted to do it again. Assuming I’m stuck on the island, I would no doubt have time to give it another shot…

National Geographic – I know, technically its not a book. But I look at it as a serialized novel, distributed in monthly editions… right? So please allow me to have the entire collection.

* A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson – I received this as a gift a year ago, and for some reason never got a chance to reading it. It promises to be one of those books that would get me thinking – which is something I need to do more of.

A Blank Folio – I need a place to be able to exercise my creativity. All of that stimulating reading would get my juices flowing, and I want to be able to sketch, draw, write, and doodle. I get a few dozen sharpened #2 pencils, right? This book might prove enlightening to those in the rescue party who find my lifeless, sun-parched carcass splayed on a sandcrab-infested rock, scurrying about looking for crumbs of flesh to take home to their offspring. [Please accept my apologies for attempting humor at the time of my demise.]

7. To whom are you going to pass this stick (3 persons) and why?

My son Brian, because he is one of the most intellectual people I know – looking forward to his post. The stick will also be passed to my Houstonian friend Mike; a kindred spirit of change who is the first person to ever suggest that I look into blogging. Finally, Robert, who is the most world-traveled and genuinely kind person I know on the planet.

So there. I waved my stick and am not ashamed of it at all.