Archive for May, 2013

“Last night I told you I need you / that’s the last time I drink tequila”

Lucy Spraggan, “Last Night (Beer Fear)”

A pretty damn fine two minutes of glib, hooky pop. I like it.

Another good argument for suppressors

My Sig 556 is a great rifle, but I always feel a little bad shooting it at indoor ranges. The muzzle brake I have on it is awesome, but it means that the muzzle blast is significant, and at indoor ranges it can be uncomfortable for folks in the lanes next to me. Of course, getting a suppressor is a pain in the ass currently, involving a multi-month process of paperwork and a $200 tax stamp, plus a whole new heap of legal liabilities. What should be a $40 trip to the hardware store or a $5 dollar afternoon in a well-kitted garage becomes $1,000 bureaucratic slog.

“I am a scientist”

Ladies and gentlemen, Guided by Voices.

Notes from the Supertrain Generation

JR: “You know Mike Mills once accused me of being a homophobe?”
MM: “Oh, as in you don’t like houses?”
JR: “Because I don’t like words that sound alike.”

Starting 1:10:00. Every time I listen to that episode I discover something new to love.

I hope to Christ I have everything I need.

*Squibbledy-squibbledy WA-oo-AAAAH!*

Listen to that shredding! Best part? The guitarist is only 14 years old. Gives me hope for the future, that does.

Grizzly Bear vs. Camera

Ol’ Ephraim comes across a wildlife photographer’s Go Pro and auditions it for the role of “lunch”. Come for the spine-chilling views of the inside of a Grizzly Bear’s mouth, stay for the footage of what is essentially a minivan with teeth splashing around in a river to chase down salmon.

On Tourists

I’ve never totally understood the loathing that many residents of Great Cities bear towards tourists. Most residents of DC, NYC, London, etc. bear a dislike for tourists on a level usually reserved for feral skunks or racist in-laws. It’s as if having the temerity to come experience of one of the important sites of human ecology automatically pegs you as a cretinous moral cripple who would kick puppies if they weren’t too stupid to puzzle out how their legs work.

I think that urban residents should instead see tourists as half intrepid explorer, half enthusiastic novice. These people have come to our beloved cities to figure out what makes them special, and we should be glad that they’ve chosen to do so. Our cities are awesome and we should share them with the same glee that we share our favorite music, jokes, or *Merlin Mann voice* “turns out” factoids.

I know, tourists move slowly and gawp and all pose for the same (stupid) pictures. They block the sidewalks. They don’t “do” the buses and trains right. They take up tables at your favorite restaurant and crowd your favorite bar. I dig. I don’t like having to wade my way through the cattle press that is Pike Place Market, either.

But I love that people are experiencing Pike Place for the first time. It really is one of the coolest places in the country and I want everyone to have the change to experience it. I don’t like that Seattle Center is crowded with out-of-towners on nice days, but I really like that out-of-towners get to experience one of the best public spaces west of the Mississippi. It annoys me that everyone takes the same stupid shot of the space needle from Kerry Park, but I’m glad they get to see our amazing skyline.

So fellow urbanites: please tone down the hipster-y disdain when it comes to tourists. They don’t “do” our city right, but only because they haven’t learned how yet. And they’re here to learn about all the things that make us love our city as much as we do. Stop thinking of them as the dumb, porcine animals that make the city harder to navigate, and start thinking of them as members of today’s lucky 10,000.

“[S]he’s lost control…”

Ian Curtis killed himself 23 years ago yesterday. I don’t have anything to say about Ian Curtis that hasn’t been said before, so instead I’ve given a donation in his name to the Seattle Foundation’s Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

If you can afford it, please consider donating similarly to an organization in your area.

Epictetus on the Desire for Admiration

I. 21 – To those who would be admired

When a man has his proper station in life, he is not all agape for things beyond it. Man, what is it you want to have happen to you? As for myself, I am content if I exercise desire and aversion in accordance with nature, if I employ choice and refusal as my nature is, and similarly employ purpose and design and assent. Why, then, do you walk around in our presence as though you had swallowed a spit? “It has always been my wish that those who meet me should admire me and as they follow me should exclaim, ‘O the great philosopher!'” Who are those people by whom you wish to be admired? Are they not these about whom you are in the habit of saying that they are mad? What then? Do you wish to be admired by the mad?

Quotes and emphasis in the original, footnote omitted. From the W. A. Oldfather translation.

“We might be soldiers on a long march to the grave”

The second single off of Sean Nelson’s forthcoming album is a brilliant, gut-wrenching tune called “Born Without a Heart”. Above is a version of it he performed a few years ago for City Arts Magazine. I love the hurt but hopeful sense of the song. Nelson’s normally erudite lyrical style is kept well in check here, but his lyrics are still extremely touching. The instrumentation is similarly simple and staid, but effective. The transitions into the verses are especially powerful, culminating in the crashing, cathartic final verse.

“We might be soldiers on a long march to the grave / but we don’t have to live that way.”

Perfect. Brilliant.

Sean Nelson’s new album, Make Good Choices is out June 4th on Really Records.

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Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.