Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P. George Carlin (1937-2008)

George Carlin passed away. My condolences to his family. It's amazing how certain celebrities and comedians have the talent to seem invincible or immortal while on screen or on stage. I think I'd relate this with expressing one's humanity publicly without hesitation or reservation. George Carlin is one of those people.

One of his most popular skits.

George Carlin in 1975
Pictured here as the host for Saturday Night Live in 1975.

He passed of a heart faliure. He was 71.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Real Life-Size Cylon Centurions -- for Hire

Hear ye', hear ye', to all the Battlestar Gallactica fans that have always wanted their own personal toaster, now you can own a full-sized hand-crafted replica of a Cylon centurion. Buy one , I dare you...
Cylon Centurion from Battlestar Galactica
Ok, they're not for hire, but you can own one that frackin' freaks people out. It stands accurately at 7 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds, and has a red LED electric visor with the creepy hum. The body is made of 100% fiberglass with aluminum accents. Anyone would crap their pants if they ever saw this in your house for the first time. How much? $7,900 with a non-refundable deposit of $3,950. Delivery takes 8-12 weeks. How cool would you be though?

I've recently taken a fiendish addiction to this show. I'm on Season 3 Episode 4 as of this post. The season finale for Season 4 just happened last week. Please, no spoilers in any comments. If you haven't heard of Battlestar Galactica check it out here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Spend an Evening With Saddle Creek

Checkout this great video where all the great bands from Saddle Creek show and tell us their story.

I think I've seen all of these bands live at one point or another. This reminds me of the late 90's/early 00's when music really started to change for me. Between sophomore year of college and while I was at UF and even sporadically since then. My favorite Saddle Creek band is still Cursive.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wolfparade "At Mount Zoomer"

I feel the need to write something about music. It's been a while since I've reviewed any albums or offered a download.

Wolfparade - At Mount Zoomer cover art

Today I'm offering up Wolfparade's At Mount Zoomer. I've had the record for a few days and I'm not sure why I felt a need to download it or give it the many chances that I have to date.

Download via Rapidshare
Wolfparade - At Mount Zoomer

Wolfparade is a Canadian band, signed to the American label known as Sub Pop Records. Many bands come from Sub Pop Records. Some young. Some old. I mean, like them or not, you have bands like Nirvana, Afghan Wigs, Soundgarden, and L7. Then there's The Shins, David Cross, The Postal Service, The Rapture, Iron and Wine and so on...

So their is obviously something ticking there. Now the record feels young. Some tracks sound like what you would imagine is a scene where people dance zombified with what could be confused for a disregard for everything or a deep moment before the epiphany they have always been waiting for. Some songs that resemble an attempt to a drama, a far cry to something tragic, carry a tune where someone else could giggle to. It sounds sophomoric during some tracks. Musically, they don't try to be very technical. Their main concentration seems to be a responsibility to cater to a typical young emotion.

The music's color varies through the record. Theres a track called "Fine Young Cannibals" where the music and lyrics try to be something close to provocative. What I mean by that is that there's these catchy slow striking guitar chords and while the singer tells a story the listener is being taken for a ride. It's like watching a movie where you have a king chase queen clip. But done bad.

Kissing the Beehive is my favorite song on the record. If you're patient you may see something worthwhile about it too. It turns out I think the meat in this song happens towards the second half. I think what pulled me to the song was it's title, the fact that it's 10 minutes long, and the fact that it's the last song. There's nothing wrong with intentionally creating a final, epic, track. I enjoy the transitions and the acceleration of emotion they try to convey as the song develops. The title is great anyway. It's obviously a reference to an entity carrying the attributes of a beehive or maybe a beehive hairdo. The literal meaning is pretty fracked up.

Don't get me wrong I do enjoy the album but I can't talk about this particular record without being tough on it. There's something left to be desired of with grand ol' Wolfparade.


How different are the Leica C-Lux 2 vs. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX series cameras?

So I thought I'd do a little more research on the camera thing. It turns out Leica's C-Lux 2 compact camera is very similar to the Panasonic's Lumix FX series. I'd want to conclude that one of the two is a rebranding of the other camera with some minor cosmetic details. The fact that Leica decided to enable this platform and brand it as their own makes me more comfortable about getting the less pricey Panasonic. (The difference in price is around $100 and the feature set is less than) Check out the two cameras here:

They look the same!

Leica C-Lux 2 digital camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35K digital camera
I have no doubt they come from the same manufacturer both cameras leverages the same platform but are simply branded differently to make a few extra bucks off of the Leica fans.

Still the tolerance to quality on the lens should be the same since both are Leica made. I'm not mad at the Lumix design. If fact, how does the saying go? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The Leica was released way earlier than this particular Lumix. Maybe the save the newer designs for Leica cameras and then a few months the design is available for the Lumix series.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Should I buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35A digital camera?

Ok, I have narrowed down my list of cameras to two Panasonic Lumix choices there's the DMC-FX33 and the DMC-FX35. I used to have the Panasonic Lumix FX9 until my car was broken into one night in my new and shady neighborhood. That was a few months ago and I haven't had a digital camera since. It's funny how digital cameras are typically things many people become anxious about when they don't have one. I need it most when it's not around. After they get one, it becomes a forgotten object unless they're working with photography or shoot pictures as a hobby.

I use cameras as a hobby. For blogging, personal record keeping, memorabilia, for storing good memories and having something to laugh at and even share once in a while.

Leica logoI've chosen to go with the Panasonic Lumix series because of their Leica wide angle lens among other features. This series also has a fast shutter speed and a greater than 3x optical zoom which many cameras don't or just make the cut. It is also light and easy to use. The interface is actually easy to work with and there are some lite manual options available. I had considered the Canon Powershot SD1100 but the specifications of this camera imply that a better photograph will be captured with the Lumix...and here it is:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35A digital camera

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35A - Panasonic's Site.
Compared to the FX33A, it's the "New!" model and has the advantage of 10MP vs 8MP, a 230K vs 205K: brighter screen, is capable of 720p HD videos, has a 4x optical zoom (compared to 3.6x), has a wider 25mm lens (v.s. 28mm), and is slightly smaller/lighter. It's actually $85 more expensive. Do these improvements merit the $85 upsell?

As a marketing person I cant' believe how susceptible I am being to this upsell. It's a difference of 85 bucks ($204 vs $289). I have actually been monitoring these prices and the DMC-FX35A has had a steady price for months. On the other hand the FX-33A is being discontinued and the pricing has been getting better. Which has more value? Maybe next paycheck I will test the waters and make a decision.