Saturday, December 30, 2006

Money Can't Buy Happiness

...but it can buy some nice things.

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have a taste for some of the finer things in life. I'm also a college student at the moment, so, for the moment, it's all just dreaming.

Now that we have the out of the way, I'm going to run down a (in no way comprehensive) list of thing I plan on buying just as soon as I make it big and get rich.

Porsche 911 GT3

This car is everything that I want out of a car: classy, timeless design, fast, amazing handling, set up for track use, and it can be customized to be exactly the way I want it.
It's just not a terribly good daily driver, which brings us to the next item on the list.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

First of all, it's a Bentley, that impresses enough people by itself, but this car really has it where it counts. It's based on the same chassis as the amazingly engineered Audi A8/S8 and Volkswagen Phaeton, and uses a twin turbo version of the 6.0L W12 engine. It's all wheel drive, so there's your daily driveability. Air suspension, complete with sport mode.
This is a car you could easily have fun driving yourself, or being chauffered around in while resting comfortably in the Bentley embroidered leather seats.
Oh, and did I mention, it's a Bentley.

Sennheiser HD650's

These are the ultimate in headphones, and I'm very impressed by their HD 280's, which I currently own. Seeing as I'm pretty particular about my sound quality, these would make a good investment for listening to music through headphones. However, sometimes, you want others to hear your music in perfect clarity too.

JBL Performance Series Home Theater

JBL is what you're usually listening to at concerts, and the Performance line is their highest quality home theater speakers. And they're designed to be subtly hidden in walls and ceilings. And they're in 7.1.
Oh, and to be clear, this is just for home theater. Audiophile listening quality stuff will require far more research.

Yamaha Absolute Birch Drumset

Specifically, one with a 20"x17" bass drum, 8", 10", 12", and 14" rack toms, all at standard depth, plus a 16" standard depth floor tom, all of which should be in Sea Blue Fade. Additionally, a 14"x5" Ludwig Black Beauty snare, and a 12"x6" Yamaha Musashi snare. For heads all Remo; the toms will have coated Pinstripes on top, with clear Ambassadors on bottom; the bass will have a coated Powerstroke3 on batter side, with an ebony Powerstroke3 resonant head with a 8" port; the Black Beauty will have a coated Emperor batter head, while the Musashi will have a coated Ambassador, and both will have hazy Diplomats snare side.
As for cymbals, Zildjian is my personal choice, and I like versatility to my setup so the list is as follows:
  • 14" A New Beat Hi-Hats
  • 21" A Sweet Ride
  • 16" A Medium Crash
  • 17" A Custom Crash
  • 10" A Custom Splash
  • 12" A Custom Splash
  • 17" K Dark Medium-Thin Crash
  • 20" K Custom Dark Ride
  • 19" K Custom Dark China
And all of this is on a Gibraltar rack system.
OK, I'm done obsessing over drumsets now.

Now onto the things which I am less specific (although no less particular) about.

To start out with, it needs to be known that I don't like big, or overly flashy watches. In fact, I'd say that my preferences tend toward the sleek, lightweight variety.

Jaeger-LeCoultre - Master Ultra Thin

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra

Rolex Cellini Classic (Yes, it's a subtle Rolex!)

That's all for watches.

You know what? I was going to attempt to give a few examples for clothes, but that's too tedious, so I'm just going to leave it at the fact that I'd definitely have some James Bond quality suits and a tux tailored for me. The rest of it is various and semi-inconsequential.

A reading room with a small library are necessities. No way around it, I want some nice books to read, along with some nice books to collect and a comfy place to read them.

Keeping with the trend, I intend on having a good sized music library. Digital, CD's, and vinyl. Oh yes, vinyl. For those of you who might not appreciate it, a well maintained vinyl record has a certain quality that CD's and MP3's just can't recreate. It's safe to say that my music library would take up a whole room, as I'm the type of person who finds and artist and absorbs them, listening to their whole discography in one sitting and reading up on their history. A things that would be on the short list of vinyls to get:
  • U2 - Three
    • One of the individually numbered copies of the original run of 1000. Their first album.
  • Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison
    • Original release. Deemed significant enough to place into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically important."
  • Rush - 2112
    • Come on, it's 2112. Not terribly rare, just awesome.
  • Miles Davis - The Birth of Cool
    • This is one of the single most important albums in all of jazz. Must own it.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head for vinyls. It's also safe to assume that I will have a digital media server set up, along with a hefty collection of CD's.

So let's see, cars, music, clothes, watches, and I imagine there's probably a home theater and movie library in there as well. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Check back in when I've got a few million more dollars and I'll tell you what else I've added to the list of shiny things that I must own.

Friday, December 15, 2006

About those required courses...

Has it occurred to anyone else that things which fifty years ago were cutting edge are now standard for an engineering degree, regardless of any real usefulness to ones particular concentration?
I don't see how physics problems that Einstein himself had to figure out solutions to are expected to be standard material for a computer science major to learn from a few lecture slides.

Something worth thinking about. I'm apparently expected to be able to do things that used to justify a doctorate in the course of a two hour exam. Something doesn't sit right about that.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An Example of the Pitfalls of Living in a Fraternity House

There is a keg in the fridge but no orange juice or milk.

...I just want something to drink with my oatmeal in the morning, dammit.

A quick note

Does anyone on MySpace care about readability of their site at all?
I mean, I can understand some 13-year old who has horrible taste, and doesn't really understand web design, but when big name bands have ugly backgrounds that have colors similar to their foreground text, that's just stupid.
Seriously, get whoever designs your actual band website to make it so that your MySpace doesn't look like an epilepsy test.
That is all.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Frighteningly Random Taste In Movies

OK, so I have weird tastes, anyone who knows me well can attest to that. As a good example of that, I'm going to review the four movies I picked out to rent earlier tonight.

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist The Movie: Conquerer of Shamballa
    • This is the final chapter to one of my favorite anime series. There are 51 episodes and the movie in total. The movie continues the events of the last episode, where Edward Elric has been pulled through the Gate while to Earth, while his brother Alphonse is still in their world of Amestris.
    • The movie, like the series, has excellent animation and character development, an interesting soundtrack, and a good combination between seriousness and humor.
    • Compared to the series, the movie is a bit crazy with the story jumping between the parallel worlds and the juxtaposition of alchemy and science, but that's part of what makes it so interesting.
      • The fanbois in me feels compelled to say the following: OMG! alchemy, and rockets, and mechs, and fighting ze Germans! OK, I'm done with that now.
    • Definitely worth checking out, but only after watching the series from beginning to end, otherwise it won't make much sense at all, mostly for lack of knowledge of the backstory.
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
    • I was so pumped when I originally heard about this movie being made, and I went and saw it on opening weekend and it definitely didn't disappoint. I remember reading the books when I was quite a bit younger, and especially associating with the character of Peter, and was glad to see that the book was translated to well into film.
    • If you don't already know the story of Narnia, I feel sorry for your deprived childhood, and you should go out and read the books now. If you haven't read the books, I'd suggest at least reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe before seeing this movie, as it'll give you a bit more perspective.
    • Like I said, read the book if you haven't before and then go see the movie immediately. It's that good.
      • As a random side note: When listening to the music over the end credits I heard an artist I recognized, but I didn't know the song. As it turns out Imogen Heap, who I've been listening to quite a bit recently, did the song "Can't Take It In" exclusively for the soundtrack. It's quite a good song, and you should check out the soundtrack and Imogen Heap's other material if you haven't already.
  3. Gone in 60 Seconds
    • A pseudo-remake of the 1974 movie of the same name, has Nicolas Cage stealing 50 cars in the course of one day. Of course, the car that everyone remembers from the movie is Eleanor, a 1967 Mustang GT500 (The original Eleanor was a 1971 Mustang Mach1 made to look like a '73). Personally, Eleanor isn't nearly as interesting to me as some of the other cars on their list, which in my opinion don't get nearly enough screen time for their rarity (DB7, Porsche 959, Shelby AC Cobra, etc.)
    • If this movie doesn't make you at least think for a minute that it'd be cool to be a car thief then I think the adventurous part of your brain is broken.
    • This is a fun movie to watch if you want something to check out that you don't have to take too seriously, or if you're a big car guy.
      • If you do like this movie, especially for the cars, you should check out the original version, which has 48 classic cars, and also a 40 minute long car chase scene, done completely without the help of special effects, including a staged jump over an accident scene.
  4. Blank Check
    • OK, I got this on a whim, as I haven't seen it since hitting puberty. I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone watch this movie. It's painful.
    • Seriously though, there are a few points to make about this movie.
      1. The limo driver is a wannabe Chris Farley.
      2. There is no way that $1,000,000 could go anywhere near as far as it appeared to in this movie.
      3. Early 90's style makes me laugh. A lot.
      4. Every child actor in this movie who isn't the lead makes me cringe. It's that bad.
    • Please, don't watch this movie, there's no need. Go watch Richie Rich or something, anything, else.
Yeah, so there you have it. One anime, one epic based on a children's book, one action remake, and one terrible, terrible live-action Disney film.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Sell out with me tonight..."

Yeah, I'm giving in to the trend, so I expect some comments from the maybe half dozen people who read this or come here from Facebook.
  1. Who are you?
  2. Are we friends?
  3. When and how did we meet?
  4. Do you have a crush on me?
  5. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
  6. Describe me in one word.
  7. What was your first impression?
  8. Do you still think that way about me now?
  9. What reminds you of me?
  10. If you could give me anything what would it be?
  11. How well do you know me?
  12. When's the last time you saw me?
  13. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
  14. Are you going to post this in your notes and see what I say about you?
Have at it kids.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Soundtrack to My Life: Why Winamp Isn't All That Random

So the idea is "If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be?" The plan is to put on your entire library and just go down the list filling in spots as songs come on.

First of all, let it be known that once you get a certain amount of music, random no longer works quite as randomly as it should.
Also, I have some seriously weird music, and a lot of it, and as such, I felt the need to try this more than once. So without further ado,

My soundtrack as picked by Winamp's random selection of my complete library.

So I did this a few times, because I'm quite aware of just how random my random playlist actually is. Some of these results are weird, some are dead on, and some are slightly terrifying.

Opening Credits:
  • Footloose - Deniece Williams - Let's Hear It For The Boy
    • This amuses me a great deal.
  • Green Day - Jaded
    • Heh, yep.
  • The Black Lodge - Zelda 64 Ocarina Boogie (OC Remix)
    • It needs to open with me doing something very cool and techy, but yes, I like the idea.
  • Housemartins - Caravan of Love
    • I can't even fathom a movie starting this song.
  • Death Cab for Cutie - Someday You Will Be Loved
    • My life isn't emo enough for this to start things out, despite my like for Death Cab.

Waking Up:
  • Dredg - Movement IV RR
    • Good song to wake up to, fair enough choice.
  • Matchbook Romance - Farewell to Friends
    • Again, I'm not enough of a whiny emo-kid.
  • 2Pac - Run Tha Streetz
    • Maybe, just maybe this one could work.
  • Rayagon Hitman: Codename 47 Chained to a Barcode (OC Remix)
    • No, I'm not a trained assassin waking up for a kill.
  • Justin Timberlake - Rock Your Body (DV8 Remix)
    • I'll accept this, only because of the remix.

First day at school:
  • David Bowie - Too Dizzy
    • I approve wholeheartedly.
  • Led Zeppelin - I Can't Quit You Baby
    • As much as I like it, I can't find the relevance.
  • Sting - Lithium Sunset
    • Still not finding any relevance.
  • Kansas - Geodesic Dome
    • This song doesn't even make sense, let alone make sense in this context.
  • Fine Young Cannibal - Good Thing
    • I can picture this one working if I meet some amazing girl on the first day of school and then she disappears.

Breaking Up:
  • Three Day's Grace - I Hate Everything About You
    • Well done random shuffle.
  • Kill Bill Vol.1 - The Lonely Shepard
    • Also well done.
  • Dave Matthews Band - Two Step
    • Hmm, this is almost the opposite of a breakup song.
  • Limp Bizkit - It'll Be OK
    • OK, so it's doing reasonably well on this category.
  • The Beatles - Help!
    • Yep, another good choice.

  • Firefly Score - Jaynestown - The Ending
    • Odd, just very odd.
  • Firefly Score - Jaynestown - Jayne and Stitch Fight
    • And I'd like to note that out of some 17000 songs, it picks two out of the same episode of Firefly to play on two completely separate times doing this.
  • Spoon - Lines In the Suit
    • Good enough, I'll accept it.
  • Hoobastank - From the Heart
    • Winamp wins again.
  • U2 - Mothers of the Disappeared
    • Yeah, I don't think there's any war orphans at my prom.

  • Bandolero - El Tiburon
    • I don't know Spanish well enough to know what this song is about, it seems fun enough, but I don't think it should represent my life if I don't know what it means.
  • Alizee - Moi Lolita
    • Hmm, another in a language I don't understand, unless random is telling me that Alizee is going to be a part of my life. That I am totally OK with.
  • Limp Bizkit - Counterfeit
    • Fuck you Winamp. Fuck you.
  • Korn - Twist
    • This is unacceptable, not to mention the song is nonsense.
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers - Memphis Exorcism
    • Cool song, funky jazz, no lyrics. OK, this one works.

Mental Breakdown:
  • Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Endicott
    • I approve of this one. Lyrics and music are both good for me going crazy.
  • Justincase - Megan's Song
    • Not even touching this one. Stop screwing with me Winamp.
  • Bob Dylan - Billy 1
    • Can't go wrong with Bob Dylan for feeling down and out.
  • Damien Rice - Weatherman
    • Yes, this one would also work if I was losing it.
  • Aurora - The Day It Rained Forever (Lasgo Vocal Mix)
    • In keeping with the theme, and this particular mix is good for listening too if you're going stir-crazy.

  • J Ralph - One Million Miles Away (Instrumental)
    • OK, this one's really good, both because of its subject matter and my tendency to listen to techno-ish songs while driving.
  • Queen - Tear It Up
    • Yeah, this one too. Awesome driving song.
  • Rush - Driven
    • I couldn't make this up if I tried.
  • U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)
    • I see nothing wrong here.
  • The Dandy Warhols - You Were The Last High
    • Totally acceptable road trip song.

  • Pilotdrift - So Long
    • Damn good choice, and a great song as well.
  • Mark Collie - In Time
    • Yes. Hell yes. Absolutely perfect.
  • Daknit, Bard of Tarot - Kid Icarus LittleKidsCan't Fly (OC Remix)
    • Sure, if I'm having a flashback of playing Kid Icarus on the NES.
  • MST3K - The 70's
    • Heh, Mystery Science Theater, I like this one.
  • Clinic - Come Into Our Room
    • I can see this as a flashback, shot with a blue tint, going through events really quickly while I lie awake in bed.

  • Badly Drawn Boy - Walking Out Of Stride
    • Good choice.
  • Dynamite Hack - Boyz N Da Hood
    • Umm, maybe not so much.
  • Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
    • Yeah, this either.
  • Big Giant Circles - Final Fantasy Adventure Begin the End of the Beginning (OC Remix)
    • Nope, still not feeling it.
  • Monty Python - The Lumberjack Song
    • This doesn't even come close to making sense.

Birth of Child:
  • Christina Aguilera - Beautiful (DJ Gemini Remix)
    • OK, this one is actually really good, and I like the remix.
  • Matchbox 20 - Kody
    • Like the song, not so relevant though.
  • Guns N' Roses - New Rose
    • Another good random choice.
  • DJ Keoki - Crash
    • Unless my child is born in a techno club, I think not.
  • Kelly Osbourne - Papa Don't Preach
    • Yeah, I can deal with this one.

Final Battle:
  • 2Pac - Check Out Time
    • This is one of the few 2Pac songs that actually isn't violent enough to qualify.
  • University of Tennessee - Rockytop Street Beat
    • The final battle will be a drum off!
  • Star Salzman - Xenogears Pillar of Salt (OC Remix)
    • I'm going to fight in a huge mech, Xenogears style. Sounds alright to me.
  • Notorious BIG - The What
    • Again with the downtempo rap.
  • Stone Temple Pilots - Sex Type Thing
    • STP is always good fight music.

Death Scene:
  • 4-Eyes - Earthworm Jim TitleTopSoil (OC Remix)
    • Umm, no. Sorry Earthworm Jim, but no.
  • Neil Benjamin - Chrono Trigger Far Away Memories (OC Remix)
    • This one however, works quite well.
  • Michael Nyman - A Borrowed Ladder
    • Gattaca soundtrack works pretty well.
  • Motley Crue - Tommy Lee Drum Solo
    • Why isn't this one with the other drum battle?
  • David Bowie - Time
    • Great choice, Ziggy Stardust soundtrack doesn't hurt things any.

  • Cradle of Filth - BlackMetal
    • Death metal funeral? I think not. Maybe file this one under the battle.
  • Rob D - Clubbed to Death
    • Winamp apparently now has a sense of irony.
  • Tool - Schism
    • Be a weird, dark funeral, but it could work.
  • Macy Gray - I Try
    • You're kidding, right?
  • kLuTz - Final Fantasy 7 A World of Piano (OC Remix)
    • Yes, and I will dissolve into the Lifestream and save the planet from a meteor. Awesome.

End Credits:
  • The Frames - In The Deep Shade
    • This song has the perfect tone for a melancholy ending. I approve.
  • Justincase - I Can Be The Death In You
    • This could work if my life was some teen movie.
  • Wolfmother - Woman
    • Sorry Aussies, no Wolfmother over the credits.
  • Foo Fighters - Big Me
    • This is almost a stereotypical end credits type of song and I like it that way.
  • Panic! At The Disco - Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks
    • Wrong Panic song for the end credits, good attempt though.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Why I Love My iPod and Hate Trendiness

School is officially back in full swing, and that means that everyone is out and about and walking to class. And what is it that it seems like everyone has? More pervasive than freshmen in Illini shirts, fake blonde hair, or effeminate Polos? Those little white headphones, and the iPods attached to them.

Walking around campus, I'd have to guess that about one in three people have an iPod on, just going by all the standard white headphones I see. The thing that I question is how many of these people have iPods more as a fashion accessory than as the incredibly useful mp3 player that they are.

I got my iPod years ago as my high school graduation present, and since day one, it has not had any less than the full 40 GB filled. At the time, they were a newer thing, and weren't a totally universal trend yet. (Mine is a 3G, old by comparison to most. I mean really, how many iPods do you see that have the buttons instead of the clickwheel?)

Since I'm averse to trendiness, but love technology and have an addiction to listening to music all the time, I'm torn over how to feel about explosion of popularity in iPods. They're incredibly good at what they were designed for, I just have my doubts that people really care about anything other than keeping with the trend. It's like Ugg boots; I'm sure they're warm and all, but really, that's not the reason people buy them.

One of the biggest indicators to me that people have iPods solely as a fashion accessory is that everyone wears those damnable white iPod headphones. Now, if it was just a pair of nondescript, white set of headphones, I'd be fine, but I have quite a few problems with the iPod headphones. First of all, they're uncomfortable, and on top of that, don't stay in your ears well at all. Also, they really suck when it comes to sound quality, which should be your number one concern if you actually bought your iPod to listen to music. Coming back to the Ugg boots analogy, while I'm sure they're warm, when someone's wearing them with a skirt and tube top in line for Kam's in January, warm isn't really their concern. People wear the iPod headphones because they honestly don't care about the music coming out of them, they want everyone on the street to know that they have an iPod.

As for myself, my iPod is barely recognisable as such, with a blue rubberized cover on it to protect it. For headphones I have some decent Sony earbuds for walking around with, and some high end Sennheiser headphones for really doing any decent listening or DJ'ing. I wear my iPod because I want to have my own personal little soundtrack as I'm walking to class, and even though I know it shouldn't faze me, I still cringe whenever I see the girl on the bus with her iPod Nano with the white headphones and Ugg boots.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Finally Got A Blog

So I caved and finally got myself a blog.
Why you may ask? Well, as I see it, I've got enough on my mind and I might as well voice my opinions here than just ranting to random people. Might be a good chance for me to get some things off my chest.
I decided to use Blogger instead of MySpace or Xanga, since I can't stand all the fourteen year old girls and emo kids infesting them. So don't worry, you won't see any epilepsy inducing backgrounds, or hear any Fall Out Boy automatically playing around here.

Expect more posts to come.

Oh yeah, and kudos to anyone who knows where the blog's title comes from.