Dec 10, 2011

We have a crisis that can't be averted.


There is a musical crisis.  It started in 2010, when the Black Keys released Brothers," their 6th album.  Sure, it won critical acclaim, followed by grammy awards and commercial recognition.  But it left their true fans wondering, "what is this?"  

Then, what started as a question, continued on December 6, 2011 when the Black Keys released their 7th album, "El Camino."  The question had now been answered, with unapologetic rifts of pop galore, supporting their broken hearted lyrics with contradicting sound bites (you can't sing a song called "lonely boy" in a major scale), leaving true fans knowing that "we have a crisis on our hands."

There are clearly two different bands, Danger Mouse's Black Keys, and the Black Keys.  When the Black Keys first emerged, they were the greatest thing since toilet paper.  They were influenced by rough, testerone fueled emotion, wreaking havoc and ready to tear down anything that stood before their broken soul.  Their music was all texture, rough and gritty, punched by meaty guitar rifts, scorching over agressive percussion grenades that exploded with chaotically controlled beats.  They quickly torched anything and everything in the underground scene, as they delivered great stage shows, as well as albums (nothing beats Thickfreakness).  And there were only 2 of them!  2 dudes making the emotionally textured, yet masculine, music.  It gave every geek the muscle and fuel they needed to grip the world by the balls  It was the equivolent of a middle-finger salute to the weak minded fools that think one needs an excess of musical equipment to produce excellent sound.
hell yeah!

But then something happened.

The Black Keys lost their aggression.  Their lives had become tolerable, because their realities were mimicking their dreams.  They were no longer breaking their joints for blue collar jobs.  Instead, they were flexing their mental prowess, playing sold out shows across the nation.  They were being promoted in commercials and interviewed with major music publications.  They were earning respect for the talents that they knew they had.  Their testosterone went flat, as they had become satisfied.

Their sound, the sound that the first fans will always associate their music with, had fizzled out.  Rubber Factory was their peak (although, nothing beats Thickfreakness), offering unmatched tunes of "Stack Shot Billy" and "Girl is on my mind."  But then, Magic Potion arrives, exciting fans for more.  But more of the same is what they received.  Magic Potion is groggy and drowsy, on the brink of uninspiring.  It was as if Dan and Patrick had overdosed on their emotions, drinking the well dry, as they were no longer inspired.  Magic Potion has its highlights, but it was definitely a "quit or start something new" album.  

Then arrives Danger Mouse, offering his combustible insight to the new flame satisfied boredom that resulted with the end production of Magic Potion.  And because of Danger Mouse and his malignant production, we have his Black Keys.  A new Black Keys, that no longer have the distraught emotions that were used to extract the passion that was to detrimental and important to their original material.  A new Black Keys that can only pretend to understand the upsetting emotions that they want to keep writing about.  A new Black Keys who want to keep writing about the life's hardships, when they're winning grammys, selling millions of albums, and playing for sold out shows world-wide.  

I certainly don't want to discredit them for any of their success (I mean, this path should have been predicted, as one can only write so many songs with only the blues scale).  And I strictly outlaw their new style and material, as "Gold on the Ceiling" is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time.  But I would never guess that this new, clean, hipster friendly rock duo is the Black Keys.  They are well trimmed.  They wear stylish clothes.  Patrick wears thick, sophisticated glasses, while Dan parts his hair to the side with a help of a little product.  These aren't the same guys that appeal to any down-on-his-luck Joe.  These aren't the same guys who single handedly resurrected the true importance of blues, creating emotionally fueled, musical rampages.   These are new guys, no longer angst driven, but rather, satisfied with their lives, creating satisfactory music.  The old Black Keys would have acknowledged that "Little Black Submarine" was a remix of Tom Petty's "Last Dance with Mary Jane."  But the new Black Keys take the tune, and call it their own.  Because they are, of course, the Black Keys.  

WTF is this?!

The crisis is that we no longer have our Black Keys.  Which is a crisis that won't be averted.   

Dec 2, 2011

the porkliest enterprise.

So, as of today, I own 2 pigs.  Sure, there are 4 total in the photo, and 3 unseen, totaling in a squealing 7, but my wife and I had to get our hands on two of these pasty meat sacks.  Not because they appear to be cute, nor because we plan on taking them to the butcher, to eventually plumb our freezer with frozen bacon bricks, but for the commodity value of their genetic potential.  

These piglets were purchased at $50 a plop.  Now, the going rate for a 250 pound porker is $0.90 per pound.  So simply enough, with the available location (as there is plenty of that to spread around Pennsylvania's anus, which York county often resembles), and the always abundant feed, it was only logical that pigs factored themselves into the never-ending, worm farm's economic equation.  So, after a few calculator pumps and arithmetic curls, it shows that a 250 pound pig will yield $225.  Not a bad return, considering it only takes 3 months for these little 60 pound renegade, teenage piglets to turn into retirement-ready penchant porkers weighing 250 pounds.  Now, add a few more of these pigs into the economic equation, and then your profits multiply with the amount of owned pigs!  So, regarding my own situation, holding rights to 2 of these gold sacks, my initial $100 investment will yield a return of $450.  It's almost like raising your own kids, compressing their growth into a 12 week cycle, then auctioning them off to the hungriest butcher, all without the guilt!  Certainly, that's worthy for a few nights out, the latest ereader gadget, or, more boringly, bills.    

Now, I have to admit that it does sadden me to acknowledge that I am rejoicing in the glory of financial gain, rather than the unique, and often unheard of experience of raising and selling pigs.  It is confusing, as i'm contemplating the lost identity that I had so righteously developed and engineered during my early 20's.  But rather than fear the change, I must accept the transformation, and pursue forward with souling dismissal that my sulinery vision embeds upon the spectated.  

Sorry pigs, but unapologeticaly, you are nothing more than means to an end.  

Don't look at me that way!  


Nov 27, 2011

With every great defeat, there are even greater excuses!

So, to the disapointment to my adoring fans, those who heard the echoing claims of a 5k run in under 21 minutes, I regret to inform you all that the feat was not accomplished.  Not only was it not accomplished, but it was greatly missed, with a time that was worst than the previous year's.  My final time was a paltry 24 minutes and 20 seconds.  Comparing this time to the average time of 32 minutes, it appears to be rather satisfactory on paper.  However, there are many factors to consider to conduct the reasoning for why why that is an unsatisfactory time on every account.  

Firstly, a year ago, I managed to squeek in under 24 minutes, finishing in 23 minutes and 55 seconds.  Typically, one expects to improve, especially after they've been training!  Which brings us to point number 2!  For the past 6 weeks, I've been utilizing a recently acquired gym membership.  Now, this isn't to say that I've been specifially training for this 5k run, but I do warm up with a 1 mile jog before hulking the iron.  So, this preparation alone acted as enough reason for me to believe that i was more than equipped to accomplish my announced target time, or even beat my time from the previous year.

But even with all these reasons backing up my theory, that I would accomplish a 5k run in less than 21 minutes, I was still significantly over bloated with excess minutes swelling my final time!

But, with every great defeat, there are even greater excuses!

Now, without even having to mention, there must have been distractors or obstacles to hinder the stated conquest.  and there were!  and we shall go over them incrementaly:

1. starting in the back - last year, i started the turkey trot up front.  What i recall is everyone passing me.  It appeared that everyone looking to finish the race in under 10 minutes wanted to start up front.  Where you start doesn't matter, as there is a chip placed somewhere on your person, that triggers the start and stop times when crossing the start and finish line.  So, in theory, it shouldn't have mattered where I started, because the time would have been accurate.  But in reality, it makes a big fucking difference where you start!  This year, i started in the back, thinking within the borders of the theory, that it wouldn't matter where i started.  But, apparently, by declaring your starting position in the back, you are declaring to join those who are not attempting to finish the race under 30 minutes! So once the race started, the back of the crowd of 3500 runners, slowly trickled through the first mile of the race, without dispensing smoothly. 

2.  Baby strollers - Baby strollers stuffed with babies do not belong in a turkey trot, or any other race.  I know that every over anxious parent gets a humorous tingling in their mind, thinking that it would be the cutest thing to remind the child for the rest of their lives, that when they were too young to remember or care, that they were involved with a dopey thing called a turkey trot.  A point needs to be declared: infants don't want to be in a turkey trot.  It is too chaotic and stressful for an infant to be surrounded by1000's of 150 pound bodies streaking past, just because of a couple ignominious parents wanted to be able to tell the humorous story 15 years from now, all at the expense of the infant's vulnerable flabby physique.  When starting from the back, the last thing you need are more obstacles to weave through.  But, this request didn't make it's way to these baby stroller renegades, looking to partake in a run where they don't belong!  The 2011 Turkey Trot had over 3500 runners.  With all these runners ducking and weaving through the crowds, fighting for the next open spot head of the pack, these foolish parents are unknowing putting their children in the risk of danger, all for the sake of a 5 minute, entertaining story at the turkey feast.  But let's make it clear.  It is a horrible decision to stroll through a 5k Turkey Trot with a baby stroller stuffed with babies.  A runner could easily misdodge a stroller, knocking out its contents, spilling them underneath the stampeding crowd of 3500 runners!  That would ruin everyone's Thanksgiving.

3.  Sweatshirts - I shouldn't have worn my sweatshirt.  I gunned through the first mile.  It was an amazing time.  I don't know the official time, but according to my math skills, it reigns in the 5 minute range.  But, after working so hard, weaving through the goddamn stollers, and every other bastard that wanted to wait in the very back and take their time finishing the race,  it became clear that the sweatshirt, which is ordinarily worn during the November weather, is not the recommended attire.  The sweatshirt was the biggest obstacle.  The slow runners were annoying, and the baby strollers were just frightening, but they were both at least tolerable. But the sweatshirt, insulating my body from exhausting the excess heat building up, was the biggest contributor to witholding me from by goal.  Starting with the 2nd mile, i could feel the heat building.  I pushed through (which was intensly hard), but managed to get to the 3rd mile.  But once I hit that 3rd mile, I had to walk.  The heat buildup was too much.  I thought I was going to faint!  And with either fainting or walking as my only 2 options, it was clear that walking was going to get me to the finish line faster than fainting.  I had to stop twice to walk, just to cool off.  This alone certainly cost me atleast a minute, which is why i attribute the sweatshirt as the largest malefactor for missing the desired time.  

So, rather than acheive a great time, I've accumulated a list of sound excuses for why I wasn't able to achieve the declared time.  Just to recap; starting from the back, the baby strollers, and the sweatshirts are the accumulation of losing 4 minutes in a turkey trot.  

So until Turkey Trot 2012, all i'll have are my excuses, rather than a great time.  

Oct 30, 2011

Tom Waits kissed me like a stranger again.

There are few things left in life to genuinely get excited over; the weekends, catching up with old friends, a few hours with no responsibilities, and a new Tom Waits album.  Tom Waits requires either no introduction, or a full story board to explain the most minute detail from this mans eccentric and excellent career.  Having refused to sell his heartfelt material for commercial use, only the die-hard fans of music will know who he is, with the unforgettable howl, courting the banshee drum beats with an eerie horn and string section that would invoke fear, if it weren't for the revealing lyrics that exposes the troubled characters only seeking love and acceptance.  The casual music fan who's musical taste simply floats with the next Doritos's commercial, will never receive the opportunity to experience the grandiose details planted into every strictly deliberate aesthetics injected within Tom Waits material.  And these honorable compliments remain valid, even without the consistent quality of in his new album, "Bad As Me."

Throughout his career, Waits has ranged from tearful ballads, to ship-sinking pirate dance melees, to rubber-burning road tripping odysseys.  However, typically, each previous album would be more potent with one specific style.  With this album, Waits presents a catalog of each style.  Ballad wise, Waits delivers with the usual and expected quality of lyrics that could only be challenged by the magnitude of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.  "Last Leaf" and "Kiss Me" are the most lyrically powerful ballads Waits has provided since "Alice," which are accompanied with the balladly great "Face to the Highway," which the title should allude to the self-explained sympathy, and "Back in the Crowd" (which may send mixed messages because of the playful ukulele).    However, as good as these heartfelt ballads are, Waits's music sings loudest and most memorable with the the back alley cat howls that run a muck through midnight dreams.  Waits's flagship has always been his raspy, mongrel, blue-colored, industrial, chronic-smoking voice, sacredly embedded with the bombastic, grab-you-by-the-throat percussion, which is evenly mixed in this album with the ballads.  "Chicago" opens like a mischievous traveler, looking for a little hot trot, "Hell Broke Luce" is simply frighteningly enjoyable (especially from the location of a pitch black room, belting through a stereo at its highest volume, as suggested by my good friend Bill), and my momentarily favorite, "Get Lost," which displays Waits existential side, pissing away worries of money and occupation, only hoping to hit the road with his baby.   Nothing relatively new or inventing on this album, but certainly reinventing, as "Hell Broke Luce" is a successful attempt for Waits to show his adoring fans that he's still got some ingenuity left in his 62 year old tank.

What does set this album apart are the short, sucker-punch songs, clocking in at no longer than 4 minutes a piece.  They definitely don't possess any familiar qualities of previous work, for his deep and allegorical monologues, typically plagued with characters of unfamiliar motives.  But, considering how almost unatainable it would be to even attempt to recreate the quality of albums like "Swordfish Trombones" and "Bone Machine," it makes sense that Waits doesn't even attempt to challenge his own prime.  This is an excellent album, wonderful to listen to, easy to enjoy, as Waits provides what we all expect, an artist that is truly devoted to his talent, delivering what he has come to expose himself as being.  It is clear that we are experiencing an aged Waits.  But by no means is this the same as an aged Dorito-pop star, as Tom Waits and his new and great material is easily one of the most enticing and exciting things that this world has to offer.  

Oct 26, 2011

Comsumer Guber! recent product purchase and review!

It was brought to my attention that there are some really high-end head phones, that do justice to the full range of noise that these quack rock artists meticulously apply to their respected craft.  Considering the devotion I've forfeited to these quacks, I seemed rudimentary that a pair of high end head phones found their way strapped across my oval noggin.  But, i didn't know where to begin.  

Like all savvy and progressive consumers, the best place to research and learn of the possibilities is Amazon.  It turned into a 6 month process.  I wasn't sure if it was worth spending $120 on a pair of slick, pretentious head phones.  I really don't have an cautionary tales to offer for you ravenous readers.  But from what I've learned, is don't get Bose, and don't get Beats by Dre.  Both are overpriced, but Beats by Dre don't even provide the mids and treble for guitar aficionados.  Hell, from my understanding, Beats doesn't even compliment the drumming complexities.  Rather, they'll just ear-rape the hell our of your innocent eardrum, by pushing and prodding and invading your audio orifice with unloving thrusts of over emphasized buzzing.

So, knowing that I don't have much to offer regarding physical components or properties to justify the pair that I did purchase (the ones shown above), I must say that i do fully support them and recommend them full heartedly.  First, it's a clear range.  Bass lines aren't getting obnoxiously getting jumbled with the bass drum, and guitar strumming isn't creating some whiny, secondary noise as a resulting from the slop strumming from the music I tend to absorb into.  These "cans" (as i've learned to be the language ululated by the novices) organizes the full range of noise that these quacks produce, very nicely, and layers them ontop of one another extraordinarily appropriately.  The bass is heavy enough to push the back bone of punk/rock/jazz tunes that i frequent with, as well as clearly separating the treble, making the guitar work very notable and easily appreciable.  I'm not big into head phones or wasting money, but i am big into music.  And for only $65 (only, considering that some "cans" exceed $300, such as Dre's Brain-Beaters), these tune justifiers are a great investment for any audiophiles that are ordinarily intimidated by the high prices that segregate most music aficionados from their crap ipod buds that actually destroys music.

Oct 9, 2011

what I've learned today...

Something that I learned today is not something that I learned today, but rather, an accumulation of things that I have learned over the span of 26 years, which reminded me today why it is that I had learned what it was that was learned over the past 26 years and beyond.

Again, during the execution of Awful, Ohio, it has been brought to my attention that there are more errors in the book.  This is incredibly unfortunate, as, once again, the initial release is pushed back.  Admittedly, I feel that it is at no fault of my own, as I've read Awful, Ohio over 20 times, and by now, I am utterly sick of it.  I've deeply considered just letting the errors go, to be encleaved permanently in the eternal being that is Awful, Ohio, to be read by future viewers and generations (pending that it makes it that far), regardless of the apathetic appearance that these careless incongruousness inflict upon my own reputation.  But then, every time it's considered, I'm reminded of exactly that: that this is an attempt to prepare a perfect copy.  A copy that will please the customers and readers, for its polished grammar and syntax, as well as its coherent plot, rather than some sloppy, half-assed crack of randomly stapled papers containing verbal barf coating the pages.  This isn't some high school, night-before-it's-due paper, nor is this some forgettable college coarse on some golden aged poet that never intrigued me; this is the personal work of 2 and a half years of dedication, that fought strong through obstacles and detractants that have attempted to prevent this magnus opus from accruing!  I'm not seeking some grade just to post on my mom's refrigerator, as I don't live with my mom anymore!  There is much more to gain.  This piece of work is my cathartic release of pent up, artistic expression that's been collecting since the conception of the initial plot for Awful, Ohio!  It is my duty, for the being of me that divinely is being, to perfect this piece of work, to allow this gilded craft of otherworldy powers, to reach the maximum potential that it has undeniably deserved.  

But not only is it a disservice to the being that has conglomerated into the entity which is the being that is this book, it is a disservice to the indie publishing community!  Too often, indie published work has been stigmatized for it's incredulous plots, improper grammar, and ennuied stories lines.  And here I am, providing more proof for these claims, which indie authors are working so hard to acquit.  The perfection of Awful, Ohio not only benefits me, the author, but the credibility of the entire Indie community!  So, the overall lesson that’s been presented by the unfortunate situation is that you can never finish editing, whether the story has been read only once or over 1000 times.  

For the indie authors reading through this blog post, do make effort in allowing others to read your masterpiece, before submitting it for publication.  Sure,  it seemed like a grandiose idea of just popping out of the blue with bounded copies of your own work, handing to your unknowing friends and family.  But, the gratification quickly dissipates, when the first smart ass makes it an objective to point out as many errors as possible.  So, clearly for the next book, which is being worked on, I will certainly find editors to help catch all of the grammar and mechanics that may have been over looked. So forget the rest of this entry, and dismiss any obligation to my followers that expect me to post an entertaining and informative blog entry.  As I now forfeit the rest of the night to rereading Awful, Ohio once more, regardless of the daunting task and monotonous refuge, and I will perfect Awful, Ohio, to be all that it is meant to be, and not limit it to the boundaries of suppressive laziness that I have succumbed it to!  FAREWELL!!!

Oct 2, 2011

Stephen Malkmus is 45 years old, and I support that.

"This is for the losers in the back," harked Stephen Malkmus, with the Jinks standing at his side, on stage in the Ram's Head in Baltimore.  I turned around to check out the undeserving suckers who received Stephen Malkmus's forfeiting pledge, but only to turn to no one but the graffitied wall.


Stephen Malkmus is 45 years old, and I support that.  

So it’s extrememly unfortunate that Malkmus and the Jinks are being held hostage to Pavement expectations.  I, as everyone else knows, that Pavement was one on the greatest, most creative, relentlessly-devoted-to-their-art bands that english speaking humans have ever had the opportunity to enjoy.  Routinely, I can be discovered listening to Slanted Enchanted, Brighten the Corners, Crooked Rain, and Wowee Zowee (not so much Terror Twilight), decades after their initial release.  And they still haven’t been fully depleted of their aesthetics, as every song reveals more  characteristics that are yet to be discovered.  So, I can understand instinctual yearning for more Pavement, as they are the most fulfilling band for every music connoisseur to experience.  

But, to withhold the artist from continuosly morphing and evolving, to cease the never ending journey from total enlightment, from a lifelong’s worth of searching for inner peace and self discovery, is oppressive.  Oppression, one of Pavement’s major themes and teachings, which all of their starving fans are now holding Malkmus to.   

Malkmus is still making excellent songs.  “Tigers” is a unique country folky bum song, which i felt compelled to start square dancing in the aforementioned Birkenstocks.   And then “Stick figures in love,” which caused impulsive, bodily movements from the entire audience, regardless of lacking the exhaustive overdrive familiar with most Malkmus material.  But, ever for the nostalgic Pavement fans, there was still plenty to roar about, as “Senator” invades the airwaves with as much angst and aggression as any Rage Against the Machine song, along with “Spazz” and “Tune Grief” being favorable, heavy hitters for their performance as well, getting a strong motion from what appeared to be a stiff crowd.  

But, confessionally, “Forever 28” maybe the most important performance, subliminally messaging to the crowd that, “even though I am 45, married, with 2 children, and am established, and live in a respectable home, I still have the punk intentions at heart.”  Which, having read the lyrics to “Forever 28,” one would understand that the song is about being brutally honest, without the hindrance of maturity and respect for the stupidity of others and their inexplicable emotions getting in the way for what’s really on his mind.  

Certainly, this is not Pavement.  And nor should anyone attending these shows, or listening to these albums, expect Pavement.  This is Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, and from listening to these shows and albums, it should be encouraged to know that Stephen Malkmus can still release his unforgiving honesty in the most bizarre and originally exposing messages that only he could release.  The show was amazing, watching him on stage, fully enamored with his talent, switching back and forth from fender to gibson, capable of remembering every obscure word for all of his delightful songs.    

And, even for the Pavement fans, that were there anticipating a raucous show with kittens and donuts being flung headstrong into the wind, Malkmus and the Jinks were able to deliver one of the wildest encores I’ve ever been a part of, strumming the chords to the majestic “Wild Thing,” like it was song straight from the underground of a punk secret society meeting.  Malkmus jammed, as did the rest of the Jinks, who pleased everyone in the audience, even the losers in the back.  

Sep 21, 2011

Rocket band!

Currently, my days are filled with selling worms, finalizing Awful, Ohio, seeking ways to promote Awful, Ohio, working on a website, trying to keep up with this blog (as recommended for the sake of Awful, Ohio), battling with an insurance company to cover liability for a driver who ran a red light, totalling my car, tending to my wife (who often times confuses the duty of "husband" with "servant"), preparing my invention for Temple's Innovative Idea Competition, and a vast amount of other tendings that require my attention.  So, when does the value of "me time" come in?  When am I once again, able to fulfill my existential desires, and commit my being to otherwordly duties that are embedded with my genetic code, distilled from meta-universes?  Well my friends, it occurs as soon as i enter into my home, for 10 minutes a day.  Playing drums has been an intimate hobby for 10 years.  Informally educated, and unwilling to listen to those who believe that they can offer some valuable input, I sit behind the kit like entering a cockpit of a Mars mission vessel, traveling spaceward without the burden of earthly disorders.  Bruised batter heads cover the toms, and wooden sticks splintering from rim shots.  Surely, I am not a professional.  And most definitely, I am an amateur that could sit in for any punk band needing a drummer.  But this 10 minutes of rhthmic relief catapults me from the dungeon surface of planet earth, into the deepest abysmal of solitude, where nothing else exists but the rythmic pulsation that pump from my heart, my lungs, and brain waves, expressed through the rumblings of primitive beats, that echoes down to the core of planet earth, rupturing through the liquidy content of the space and time continuum.  Rhythm is existence.  Without rhythm, there would be no time for the seconds to travel on.  The great philosophers suggest that god is a clock maker, creating time for the members of its creation to swim through.  But what god actually is, is a drummer, beating away, keeping pace and timing for the universe to coast through, circling in perfect harmony, never missing a beat.  

Sure, my Guitar Center Drum Off competition didn't go as well.  I received a consolation prize of a t-shirt with a corny phrase attempting to be clever of "sticks and thrones."  But there was more to achieve rather than the materialistic rewards.  As i played, counting the seconds, keeping in sync with divine rhythm that is required even more so than oxygen for survival, as i progressed further through the skit, displaying my compatibility with the most basic element of existence, more basic than chemicals, physics, and energy, god and i were cool.       

Sep 5, 2011

Kickstarter approved!

Welp, Here goes the list of friends and family that helped contribute to Awful, Ohio:

- Yasmine Mustafa (
- Charles Oberkehr
- Uncle Bill !!!
- Mom
- Jake Friedly
- Owen
- Amy "Rambo" Holton
- Kevin - bro
- Sophia Thomas
- Miguel Ambiguoso

If you happen to see these fetching folks strolling through the streets, strutting through stores, or just percolating throughout their day, be sure to slap them on the back, squeeze them with a hug, or buy them a cold beer on me.  Because without their wonderful generosity, Awful, Ohio would not have been able to reach its kickstarting goal.

I will forever salute you, my noble supporters!!!

Awful, Ohio update: as of today, September 5th, I am in the midst of approving the final proof.  Once I finish reading through the story one last time, It will be available for sale on

Jul 26, 2011

buscycling: fail!

So, I've been in deep pursuit to discover an alternative method to get to work, and just an all around different way to travel through York.  The reason: riding in a car is good for only one thing - getting acquainted with new music.  But, there are other times where one can do that.  So that removes the only good reason to ride a car.  So that brings us to this: after two years of driving in and out of work, I've slowly started to formulate what apears to be a somatic, skin-coated inner tube, extending around my midsection, which counteracts all the weight lifting I did at Temple.  Unacceptable.  So, I devoted the entire month of June to experimenting with public transportation and bike riding, which fused into the hybrid of buscycling!  I would  bicycle from my house, traveling 5 miles to the nearest bus station, jump on the bus, which relocated me to my next destination, get back off the bus and pedal 10 more miles to my next bus station, where I would catch another bus that would release me, where I would then pedal 2 more miles to my final destination.

When this plan was first developed, it sounded fun, like an exciting adventure, and a great way to get back in shape!  Which it was!  But it lost its novelty after the initial week.  It required a 5 AM wake up call, a 6 AM house departure, just to make sure that i would get to the bus stop (which i would always get there early, fearing the agony of missing the bus).  Then, after all the traveling, it wouldn't be until 8:30 AM that I'd finally arrive!  Not the most efficient way of getting around, expanding a 30 minute commute into 2 and a half hour race against the clock (although it was nice to be reminded what a heart beat feels like).  But regarldess of the inefficient traveling, I was devoted to the month duration of the experiment, even if it was clearly evident that it was a failed experiment after the first week.  And then, the ride home was even worst.  Conclusion: buscycling is a failure.

So buscycling isn't York county's solution to traveling.  But, another solution wasn't far off, as hours of committed research revealed electric bikes.  This seemed to be the solution.  One charged battery on an e-bike can travel as far as 20 miles, and can boost up to 25 mph.  OHM seems to make the sweetest e-bikes, however, I'm in no position to drop $3500 on an e-bike, especially considering that I couldn't even trade my car in for one of these e-bikes.  But there appears to be alternative brands in the e-bike industry:

eZee Spring - This pedal-assist badboy can travel as far as 20 miles on a full charge, with the assistance of you breaking a sweat.  But, it's a heffer, weighing 65 pounds, slowing your down to only 20 mph, keeping your flowing hair at a minimum.  But the price is about half of the OHM's, at $1800.  For an additional $200, you can upgrade your battery, which will allow you to hit 30 traveling miles with your pedal assisting.

eZee Forza - This eZee is very similiar to the Spring, but it can scoot a bit quicker at 22 mph, as it will be lighter.  The traveling is the same, pedal-assist, which can get you 20+ miles, or if you throw down an extra $200, then you can get the stronger battery, which will last for an additional 10+ miles.  I tad higher as far as cost: $1950.  But, much more visually prominent, grabbing the attention of nerdy girls from every library and craft store.  

BionX electric bike conversion kit - Ok, now this is more for the handy being.  The conversion kit is excellent if you already like your wheels.  Basically, this is just an attachable battery pack for your bike, with a self-assemble motor.  Specs only run average, hitting 20 MPH, and traveling 20+ miles, unless you opt for the upgrade.  But the price is steep, $1690 for the 350L, or to upgrade, another $200.  At that price, you might at well keep your bike a normal bike, and just buy an eZee, since it comes with a bike, a motor, and a warranty.

So, what it appears is that the enchanted e-bike utopia won't be arriving anytime soon, unless these prices can get reduced, or my stock holdings finally decided to explode, instead of flat lining like they've been for the past 9 weeks.  

Until then, i'm stuck in the car.  

Jul 16, 2011 !!!

Ok, just launched  It's pretty bland right now.  Not much going on.  Almost launched it without mentioning anything about the author.  D'oh!  Definitely some more details need to be added, but for the moment, it's doing a fine job.  For a limited time, i can offer copies for only $10!  Free shipping too!  But that is only for the first 10 who reserve copies, because unfortunately, copies aren't available just yet, so the world needs to calm down.

But in the mean time, i think this webpage will add some credibility to the kickstarter project, as well as the entire project altogether.  I'm going to shoot for $4000.  I think it is achievable.  I've got some rewards lined up that should entice the masses to support the project.

In the mean time, let's see what will evolve into.

Jul 15, 2011

Book Cover

Ok, so this is going to be the book cover to Awful, Ohio (top).  I didn't think Createspace would be able to put together a cover this well.  When I started explaining to them the depth and detail of the cover, they starting laughing, further explaining that the publishing package that i chose only included the "unique book cover" design, which apparently meant cut and paste from cropped photos.  So, panick-stricken, I took a stab at some graphic design ideas of my own, and here's what i came up with for a cover (bottom):

 The top is the better of the two, so luckily they were able to make a pleasing cover.  share what you think of either cover!

Jul 13, 2011

"psh... wut do i nead an editter four? i studyd enlish at tempel, hell i no howe to editt!"

So, i'll be frank, this book was a pain in the ass.  The plot synopsis started in college, almost 3 years ago, and then, with some devoted dedication, I've recently been able to defecate the final copy to Createspace so that they can turn it into a book.  It shouldn't have nearly taken this long, but so many things were competing for my attention; the girlfriend wanting to become my wife, buying a house, and worstly, work.  But even without all of those, the time put into the book was still building up.  Nightly and daily, the thoughts of imperfect tense and sound structure volleyed through my synapses, nervous of amateur and sobering spelling errors or comma-splices.  More time was spent rereading previously written paragraphs and chapters, but to make sure that the sound quality was perfect.  Each word must sing! conjoining with the sound quality of the other words!  nothing else is acceptable!  The final product is a beautiful sounding composition, spread through 260 pages.

"Oh shit, i forgot about the plot!  Does this thing even make sense!?"

Then, days and weeks would be spent rereading everything over again, just to make sure the characters are consistent, that their motives are reoccuring and understood.  The worst thing to do is publish something that doesn't make sense, whose characters are whimsically and haphazardly changing motives without reason!  And when it doesn't make sense, when a character's motive that affected the enter book is suddenly spoken as a completely different motive in the final, climaxing chapter, then the only thing that can help the book is the ER.  Hours and days of surgery were required to reattach beginning motives with finishing sequences.  It took alot of long nights and early mornings, and alot of made up psychological impairments to justify some of the motives, but the book atleast pretends to be coherent.

"maybe i should've used only 1 lead character, instead of 8."

To use one character would have made the train-of-thought easier during the creation, but with 8 different characters, it becomes tedious, keeping everyone in order.  Too easy was it to forgot who was doing what, who had said what, who was trying to accomplish what.  it was like trying to babysit a bunch of rowdy, attention-shortened kids, who kept running around, wanting to conquer the world.  But i had to put my fist down and lay down the law, and assign order and duties to each character.  I couldn't made it easier on myself, but the final outcome justifies the work.

But, regardless of all the gripes and exhaustion, the book is completed, and i'm excited for friends and family to read my magnus opus, and to see what fruits, if any, will occur through the labor.

Jul 12, 2011

kickstarter approved!

well, a great thing that was introduced to me by Matt Sanger, was a great website called  Basically, it offers an opportunity for great ideas to gather some cash to get those great ideas started.  This proved to be an ideal opportunity, because the downside with independent publishing is that the marketing and advertising and promoting is up to the author.  But damn, advertising in the New York times online would cost $2000?  Welp, just gotta gather some revenue.

I'll post when the project video is complete.

Book launch is looking towards the end of august/beginning of September.