Say Cheese

Mtv did something right

It's been a long time since Mtv was good for anything. They started well. They even made it into the early 90's on solid footing. But then they stopped playing music videos...and that was a big mistake.

But they've taken a lot of the music videos they showed, and some that I'm pretty sure they never showed, and have put them online. The video quality is pretty good, too. There's plenty that I remember (sometimes that's not a good thing). And there is some stuff that I wish I appreciated back then.

There are some omissions; most notably they only include the short version of Metallica's video for "One." That short version should never have existed in the first place. Regardless of their latter day sins, that was a great song and video.

Go in! Explore! Remember why you loved music as a kid, and if you've lost that joy, keep exploring until you find it again.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/28/2008 || link

Hangover

I'm still listening to The National. Yeah, my mood hasn't changed much.

I wrote this to a friend and I think it captures what being a Red Sox fan is like these days:

"On one level, I understand that I have no reason to gripe. The Red Sox have won two World Series this decade. They've made the playoffs consistently this decade. They made an improbable comeback even to make it past game 5. Losing that game 7 wasn't like the game 7 in 2003. That was a much different level of hurt.

"I think mostly I'm just feeling the aftereffects of all that adrenaline. Last night, my heart was pounding from the 6th inning on. I guess it just stinks that the party had to end. I'm just left with the hangover this morning."

There's no hair of the dog for this hangover.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/20/2008 || link

Changing of the Seasons

Well, another Autumn has arrived. A thrilling Red Sox playoff run has just ended, and I'm listening to The National (yeah, I'm in that kind of mood).

Despite the heartbreak of the Red Sox not winning another World Series (that's such a strange thing to say..."another" World Series), Fall is a really wonderful time to be in New England. Humidity, mosquitoes, and green leaves go by the wayside. Instead, the whole region explodes with brilliant color before November and December bring in the grey and the cold and inevitably, the snow.

What kind of world do we live in now, where scarecrows are cute and clowns are scary?

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/20/2008 || link

Lucerne's Lion Monument

In continuing with my photo theme, here's a shot of the Lion Monument in Lucerne, Switzerland that I particularly like. The area around the monument is very tranquil and shaded. On the hot day I took this shot, the shade was a welcome thing and also helped provide nice light for the monument. Click the picture for a larger version.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/01/2008 || link

Random Photo: Tiger!

Last winter, my girlfriend and I took a much needed trip to Phoenix, to spend some time at a wonderful resort & spa. On New Years day, we made a visit to the rather pleasant Phoenix Zoo, where I captured this fun shot of the local Sumatran Tiger:

Posted by Mr. Eff on 09/15/2008 || link

The Membrane

Bike Snob NYC wrote one of his best posts yesterday about the fine line cyclists ride between safety and death. No matter whether you ride like an idiot or by taking every safety precaution you can, the fact is that some random events can still lead quickly to your demise.

Last weekend, I was mountain biking and a blunder on my part led to me flying over my handlebars and coming to a stop on my face. I cracked my helmet in multiple places and found myself quite bloody. I got off pretty easily. My girlfriend, who watched the crash, was horrified by what she saw. For some reason, I was more upset about the mistake I made.

Today, I was riding home from work, in the rain, down Mass Ave. After going through the green light at Porter Square, I made my way along the bike lane, towards the next intersection. The cars were stopped in a long line, waiting to move through the next light, when I came up beside a big black pickup truck. I didn't see that the truck had left a gap for a car to turn left into a side street, until I was almost in the path of the turning car. I slammed on my brakes, the woman in the car slammed on her's, and when we came to a stop, we both looked at each other and shared a relieved sigh.

Guess which one was scarier? The crash or the near crash? I wasn't doing anything wrong today. She wasn't really doing anything wrong either. But I almost ended up mangled.

And yet, I see people riding fixies with no helmet, speeding through red lights into busy intersections and expecting cars to stop for them on a regular basis. So, I can understand why drivers hate cyclists.

Be safe folks. Watch for cyclists; even the dumb ones. And for the cyclists, keep the rubber side down.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 09/12/2008 || link

Gorée

Back in 2004, you may remember that I took a trip to Senegal. During my trip, I made a visit to Gorée, which is an island off the coast of Dakar. It is most noted to be an old port for the Atlantic slave trade. Historians have showed that it was actually the scene of very little of the slave trade, but it still remains an interesting and somewhat beautiful museum to that awful bit of history.

I did catch this snapshot, which at least one person in my family really loved. So, I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 09/03/2008 || link

Ron Mueck

If you've never had a chance to see the sculptures of Ron Mueck, you've missed out. He has some works in the Hirshorn gallery in D.C., but if you want to get some immediate idea of what makes his hyper-realistic sculptures so interesting, take a look at this post at paintalicious.org.

You can find Big Man at the Hirshorn, and it really is as creepy and wonderful as the pictures make it out to be.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 06/27/2008 || link

Music Bits

Thursday night I stayed up way too late. Normally I don't need a good reason to stay up late, but that night I had one. I was at the Paradise to see The Weakerthans at a sold out show.

They are out supporting a new album, Reunion Tour. Even though I've followed them for a few years now, this was my first time seeing them live, and I'm glad I trekked over to the Paradise to catch the show. The band sounded great and seemed to be at ease up on stage. At least, they seemed at ease because they were smiling and joking a lot. And they properly ignored some idiot yelling out, "Freebird!"

Instead of Freebird, they did play "Plea from a Cat Named Virtue" which is the song that made me love them in the first place. The set lasted a solid hour and a half, with great pacing and a good variety of tracks from most of their albums. We even got "One Great City!" which can best be described as the antithesis to a Sufjan Steven's song (The anti-Say Yes! to M!ch!gan!). Good stuff.

Opening for them was the Last Town Chorus, which mainly consists of Megan Hickey on vocals and lap steel guitar along with whoever she brings along with her. That night she had Rich Hinman accompanying her on acoustic guitar. To sum up her sound, take Mazzy Star and add a hellacious lap steel guitar. If that sounds appealing, you should check her out when she comes through your town. She does a killer cover of Bowie's "Modern Love."

In other news, Mike Doughty just announced that his new album will be out in February. You can preview a couple of new tracks at his Myspace page. "I Just Want The Girl In The Blue Dress To Keep On Dancing" is definitely a quality track. I have high hopes.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 11/05/2007 || link

Quick Harvard Sunset

My friend, Amy, was in town visiting and she pointed out that there was a great sunset over Harvard Square Friday night. Taken with my point and shoot.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 11/04/2007 || link

They Did It Again

The Red Sox won...again. Naturally, this doesn't feel the same as 2004, but it's almost just as sweet. The baseball season is long. So, so long. And when you watch a bunch of guys try so hard, day after day, you can't help but get wrapped up in what they are trying to do. To finally see them succeed is a exciting thing.

Now, we get to watch Paplebon dance.

And now, everyone in Red Sox Nation can get some sleep.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/29/2007 || link

The Swiss Have a Sense of Humor

So, I'm back from Switzerland. I'm still going through the various photos from the trip, but I've already identified one that is worth sharing.

There are a lot of old structures throughout the cities and towns of Switzerland (and I photographed a good number of them). In the northern town of Schaffhausen, there is a tower, built in 1370, called the Schwabentor. In 1933, to caution people to watch out for the dangerous new horseless carriages, the people of Schaffhausen added an engraving to a gate in the tower. The engraving reads, Lappi tue d'Augen uf, which roughly translates to "Knuckleheads should keep their eyes open."

That sign is desperately needed in Harvard Square.

Take a look.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/28/2007 || link

Guten Tag!

I'm in Switzerland! I have my big camera with me. And I'm traveling all over the country with my girlfriend. Yesterday, we hit Schaffhausen. Today, we traipsed all over Luzern and tomorrow will have me in Interlaken! Good times.

I hope to post some worthwhile pictures (since that seems to be my thing now), but that will have to wait until I get home. Until then, auf wiedersehen!

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/22/2007 || link

Rule 34

There are a number of rules of the Internet. I spent an entire summer getting paid to look at porn sites (it's a long story), so I can, without a doubt, tell you that Rule 34 is absolutely true.

No exceptions (NSFW!).

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/12/2007 || link

I'm not dead yet

I'm getting better.

I think I'll go for a walk.

I feel happy. I feel happy..

Anyway, my bionic finger is much less bionic these days, but much more functional. Good news there.

I've been obsessing about bicycles lately, in preparation for buying a new one. I'm not ready for winter yet, dammit! Cycling will either be the sport that keeps me from dying an early death or it will be the sport that causes me to die an early death. Anyone who has ridden a bike anywhere near Boston will know why the latter outcome is a distinct possibility.

I'm also becoming a bit of a photography geek. I'm still not very good, but that could always change. My dream is to capture the essence of humanity by sheer chance and immortalize it into a piece of stock art. Or make the cover of the Economist.

One or the other.

I won't promise that I'll write more. But I might.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/09/2007 || link

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For the moment...

Book: Deep Blues, by Robert Palmer

CD: Brothers, by The Black Keys

Song: "Oh My God," by Ida Maria

Link: Shut Up & Sit Down

Ramble: Just An Idea