So I was at the drive through getting a BK Mocha Joe (my Friday crack fix, thankyouverymuch), when I saw this billboard on the side of the drive-thru.
BK Texas Double Whopper
I usually don’t hit the Whoppers because I know they’re bad, but this one actually looked pretty good. Double beef, bacon, cheese, and jalapenos! I actually forgot about Whataburger for a brief second!
The latest CD I pulled from the 266 CD stash is Bill Cosby – Himself. The TL;DR version is that it’s still a funny CD, but the HBO/DVD special is far better.
Long version : This CD brings back a lot of memories for me. Bill Cosby was the first “adult” comedian I was able to listen to on my parent’s original LP collection late at night. Completely without their approval and knowledge, of course! Little did I know the Bill Cosby I was familiar with from the Fat Albert cartoon was not the same character who was recorded in the comedy circuit! I remember hearing “adult” topics from him was shocking the first time I played one of his concerts on vinyl. By today’s standards, though, he is very inoffensive, and yet far more genuine in his delivery than any other comedian in recent memory.
This CD is a compilation of the same show that aired on HBO waaaay back in the 80s. Having heard Cosby’s previous material on vinyl, I was definitely ready for the HBO special when it aired. Although this CD captures the main portions of the comedy show, it’s just not the same. There are dozens of minutiae you lose out on by not seeing his facial effects that accompany the delivery of the jokes and punchlines. There are also lead-ins and denouements in the HBO special that greatly enrich the jokes and bridge one segment into the next. Having seen the HBO special first, I know exactly what is missing in this CD.
Having said all that, it’s still a good slice of nostalgia for me. The jokes will probably fall short for the current generation, but for me, this was a very pleasant diversion down memory lane. I still laughed out loud at “The Dentist” and “Natural Childbirth” segments, while the rest of the CD had me smiling throughout the performance.
If you can, I recommend you see the Bill Cosby, Himself DVD first. Keep the CD for the iPhone/iPod.
If you have some time to kill, I highly recommend this free online game…
Super Mario Brothers Crossover
Super Mario Crossover lets you play the original Nintendo Super Mario Brothers game as either the original Mario character, MegaMan from MegaMan 1-X, Link from Zelda, Samus from Metroid, the Bill R. from Contra, or Belmont from Castlevania.
Each character still has their own individual game moves and acts just like they were transplanted into Mario’s world.
The second CD that was pulled out of the 266 CD pile was Dwight Yoakam’s album titled Dwight’s Used Records. (Yes, I really do listen to everything!) The TL;DR summary is that it’s a cover CD where he “deep country fries” a lot of hits other musicians have performed.
Here’s the long version: I couldn’t concentrate on some of the songs. It wasn’t a clear country album throughout the CD to me because I know most of the cover songs on this album pretty well. I couldn’t hear “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” without hearing ZZ Top in my head. Same with the “Loco-Motion” and hearing Kylie Minogue’s 80’s take instead. He does sing every song on the album very well, and carries through all the different musical variations fairly adeptly. His voice is up to the musical challenges of each song, and I think he does knock the adaptations of the original country songs way out of the ballpark. His notes are always held at a good solid pitch and aren’t screeched out as many of the country wannabees try and pass off as authentic singing.
Fair warning – Yoakam pulls everything into deep country music on this album. This isn’t the popular-mainstream-Taylor Swift-crossover kind of cover stuff. If you get the CD, expect country music.
My favorite track was “Mercury Blues”, and I definitely would listen to “Miner’s Prayer” and “Paradise” again.
Having said all that above, it’s good overall. I’ll rate it a solid 3.7 out of 5. It was an entertaining listen, and showed Yoakam can stretch pretty far in different directions while keeping his core sound intact.
The first CD I pulled out of the 266 CD pile is Dan Zane’s Rocket Ship Beach. The TL;DR summary is that this CD is all about songs for kids, but they are played so that adults will actually enjoy them too.
Here’s the long version : The songs on this CD reminded me of the giant 33 LP records from my childhood, but with modern musical interpretations. The overreaching hyper-kinetic-sweetness of the old vinyl era music isn’t here, but the innocence of the songs and the good will of the singers is.
My favorite song by far on this CD was “All My Friends Live In The Woods (with Simon Kirke)”. A close second was the very heartfelt final song “Over The Rainbow (with Donald Saaf)”. Every other song is outstanding, though. Sheryl Crow gently knocks “Polly Wolly Doodle” out of the ballpark, and Suzanne Vega does a great “Erie Canal” you really feel compelled to sing along with. The only hiccup is that “Father Goose (with Rankin’ Don and the Rocket Ship Singers)” takes a minute to get to the music, but once it does, the song mixes snippits of childhood favorites over a gentle beat that’s pretty addictive.
This CD comes in a cardboard-style book with the CD case/insert as part of the back cover. None of the songs will get kids overly hyper, but it won’t leave them bored either. I think it strikes a perfect balance of entertaining the kids and getting them up to dance but not over-stimulating them enough to have them run around the house screaming one vowel at the top of their lungs. I really think it’s the perfect CD for kids to listen to and for parents to have nearby.
Initially I purchased 77 CDs for $77, but now the grand total is 266 audio CDs.
I spent $266 to get audio CDs that averaged $11.99 each at regular retail price. If I bought these CDs at their original price of $11.99 * 266 = $3,189.34.
I saved $2,923.34.
That’s just all kinds of nuts.
I’m ripping them all now, but every week I’ll post a review of 5 CDs from the stash. Maybe daily. I figure if I actually focus on 5 CDs a week, I’ll get a better appreciation of them over the course of a year.
I’m gonna need a very big friggin’ hard drive to dump all these to now.
Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.
* Picking up strange objects that hundreds of anonymous people have used before you is a bad idea. A recent study shows there are tons of Herpes and E.Coli on those beauty tester products at cosmetic counters! Yuck! [STYLECASTER]
* That stolen phone from Apple? Looks like Apple is going to file charges for theft. Say goodbye to the website Gizmodo! [ELECTRONISTA]
* Want to see if your kid will be successful in life? Grab a bag of marshmallows and watch this study to see how to test ’em! [CBS NEWS]
* In other kid-research news, everybody needs to let kids play more! Play really develops children’s brains! [THE ATLANTIC]
* Hey Hollywood! Here’s my pitch for the week. Double Jeapordy? Amateur hour. Triple jeapordy? Ah, that’s the trick! Getting someone who committed a crime re-tried and convicted on the same charges that were dismissed at the first trial! How? I have the script framework online at [ABC NEWS]
* Google has been asked 3,500 times in the last 6 months by assorted governments for user’s information. They made a nice map showing the who and the where. [WIRED]
* A mega-giant jellyfish was spotted swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Considering how much the mini-size jellyfish hurt when they sting with their microscopic barbs, this monster must immediately put you in a coma if it grazes you! [BBC.CO.UK]
* Melt in brain implants are coming! Considering how many people have already artificially melted their brains, this should go over quite well. [SCIENCE CODEX]
* How does the brain slow down time? Mind blowing quote : “The implication is that we don’t really have a direct experience of what we’re feeling ‘right now,’ but only a memory – an unreliable memory – of what we thought it felt like some seconds or milliseconds ago. The vivid present tense we all think we inhabit might itself be a retroactive illusion.” Dude. So I’m actually experiencing life as a memory? Soooo where am I and who’s really guiding the ship? [PSYCHOLOGY TODAY]
* Scientific research shows that psychopaths are not deterred by fearful faces. One psychopath in the study, when shown a photo of a fearful face, said “I don’t know what that expression is called, but I know it’s what people look like right before I stab them.” OK, so now that we have correlation established, let’s work on that causation bit. [SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN]
* New scientific research has also found out that meditation is really good for you. Might I also seriously recommend a good tea to go with it? Not the local stuff mind you… get “London Cuppa” or a quality Ceylon based tea to start off with. [SCIENCE DAILY]
* Next time somebody is getting all “HULK SMASH” on something, they may actually be a heart patient trying to save their own lives! New research shows that “bottled up anger is deadly for heart patients” so they gotta get it out ASAP. [REUTERS]
* Tickle Me Elmo creator Bruce Lund just created… a rifle-sized weapon for the military called the “Big Hurt”?!? Lund plans on going back to making toys full time after this weapon gets bought by the military. As an extra special bonus, Lund says the weapon has a “stun” and a “kill” setting, and it will be up to the shooter to decide which setting is necessary. Dude. On the one hand I’m psyched that there’s a pre-phaser that’s finally going to see the light of day in my lifetime. But on the other hand, I’ll never be able to look at Elmo the same way again. [POPULAR MECHANICS]
* Some toymaker technician saw the movie “Never Say Never Again” and actually made a toy that shocks the hell out of you! The point is to hold on to the toy as long as possible and be the last one holding it! Story at [BOING BOING] and toy link at [BRANDO]. BONUS: Here’s the clip from “Never Say Never Again” I was talking about. How many brain cells did it take to remember that moment all this time?
* Balloon boy’s parents just agreed to pay $36k in restitution for wasting everybody’s time and sympathy. Considering what national prominence this story had, I don’t think that fine is enough. Especially since that poor kid is stigmatized/traumatized for life. [9NEWS]
* And finally, on the more looney side of things, the EU now says traveling for tourism is a human right! “The plan — just who gets to enjoy the travel package has yet to be determined — would see taxpayers footing some of the vacation bill for seniors, youths between the ages of 18 and 25, disabled people, and families facing “difficult social, financial or personal” circumstances. The disabled and elderly can also be accompanied by one other person. The EU and its taxpayers are slated to fund 30% of the cost of these tours, which could range from youth exploring abandoned factories and power plants in Manchester to retirees taking discount trips to Madrid, all in the name of cultural appreciation.” OK, maybe it’s a gut reaction here, but all I have to say is WHAAAAAT???? [OTTAWACITIZEN]