Friday, November 30, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 44: Stranger Than Fiction

It has been a busy week. I've been writing for NaNoWriMo; only a few hours to go. And I've been neglecting my podcast, so here's the latest episode (right click and "save as").

Show notes...

Topics:
- The value of the written word
- The New England Patriots and the lonely pursuit of excellence
- Pinhead of the Week

Music:
- Panthers - Goblin City
- Tapes n' Tapes - Cowbell (live)
- Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment
- Murder City Devils - Idle Hands
- Sleater Kinney - Entertain

Promo:
- New England Podcasting.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The song from Panthers is on their album The Trick on Vice Records. It comes courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network.

The song from Murder City Devils is on the album Idle Hands. The Sleater Kinney song is on the album The Woods. Both songs are courtesy of Sub Pop Records; find out more and download both tracks here.
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The song from Tapes 'n Tapes is on the compilation album Free Yr Radio, which was put together by Toyota and Urban Outfitters; find out more here. And the Tokyo Police Club song is on their album A Lesson in Crime on Paper Bag Records. Those two songs were provided by IODA Promonet.

Free Yr RadioTapes 'n Tapes
"Cowbell" (mp3)
from "Free Yr Radio"
(Free Yr Radio)

Buy at Urban Outfitters
More On This Album



A Lesson In CrimeTokyo Police Club
"Nature Of The Experiment" (mp3)
from "A Lesson In Crime"
(Paper Bag Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at Insound
More On This Album



The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Check out his fine music blog. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Got Nothin'

Hey, just checking in after watching the Patriots barely squeak by the Eagles. They were favored by 24 points, but only won 31-28. Good game.

So our Friday version of Thanksgiving was good. Lots of food, as you would expect. Waaaay too many desserts sitting in our fridge. We've polished off a cake for the kids, an apple pie and a lemon meringue pie. I had a couple of pieces of pumpkin cheesecake tonight and there's still another apple pie left to go. I'm getting a stomachache just thinking about it.

Five days left of NaNoWriMo. I'm currently at 31,454 words, or about 75 pages in Microsoft Word. I don't see myself possibly getting 18,500 words written this week, but I'll try. Frankly, I'd be happy with 40k, so that's my real goal at this point.

Okay, I'm going to bed already.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Drama You've Been Craving

I'm sure most, if not all, of you are spending today in a post-Thanksgiving Day haze after inhaling tons of turkey, ham, Tofurkey, Sham and assorted side dishes and desserts (except for my Canadian homeys, who already had their T-giving last month). Not me. I haven't even had my Turkey Day yet. Yesterday was rather anticlimactic. I got up, ran the Salem Wild Turkey 5-miler (finished in 36:03, a new PR), came home and helped clean the house for the arrival of my bro-in-law Matt and his family from NJ. But the expected turkeypalooza never happened because my mother-in-law had to work yesterday, so we're having the big meal today. The rest of the day yesterday just felt like the day before Thanksgiving; we ate lasagna and watched football, but it was weird. Right now, Deb, Tricia and Deb's mom are out hitting the Black Friday sales; they were out the door at 4 a.m., I think. Me, I was sleeping.

I did do some shopping yesterday. I had a Best Buy gift card that my brother gave me for my birthday, so I went online and bought a camcorder. It'll be shipped here; it wasn't available at the local Best Buy and frankly, I'm glad I didn't have to go down there yesterday. But that should be fun to play with when I get it in a few days.

So yeah, I changed the look of the blog after a few years. I actually didn't really have a problem with the old look; I just wanted to update a couple of features, but I guess I had one of the old Blogger layouts and needed to update to use the new features. In the process, I lost a bunch of my links, so I need to go back and find those and add them back in.

NaNoWriMo update: I'm still plugging away, with close to 27,000 words done (equates to more than 60 pages in Word). How people write 1,000-page novels is beyond me, right now. Of course, they probably devote more than a couple of hours a day to it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's So Easy

Turkey Day's fast approaching and the weather is finally getting seasonally appropriate. It's damn chilly out there. Although they're forecasting temps in the 50s on Thursday.

We had a good time down in NJ over the weekend. It was my nephew Timmy's 4th birthday bash. I was amazed at how big all the kids are getting, including my own. While I was down there, I officially signed up for the New Jersey Marathon in early May '08.

I'm still behind in my NaNoWriMo writing, but I'm almost halfway to the 50,000-word goal. Using some ancient tools known as "pen" and "paper," I was able to outline the next few chapters on the way down to Jersey.

Flip yer lid:
  • The Hollywood writer's strike drags on, meaning I can't see some of my favorite shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. And it's already having an impact on regular TV programming, as shows like 24 have delayed production. I totally support the writers getting paid for stuff like DVD residuals and Internet sales of shows. But hopefully they'll work it out soon. It's pretty sad when this illustrated douchebaggery is what passes for humor. Makes me long for the days of the mighty U.S. Acres. Yeah.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adventures in Solitude

It's about this time of week that I start getting really tired. Especially after staying up until 1 a.m. on Wednesdays after playing hockey. But tomorrow will be a short day because I'm only working until noon; we're heading down to Joisey in the afternoon. I'm bummed that I'll miss the sixth anniversary of Black Friday, the day we all got laid off from Webnoize. We've been gathering in Cambridge every year to commemorate it with beverages, but this is the first year I can't go.

I've hit the 20k mark of my NaNoWriMo book. Didn't get much done last night, but I'm working now to crank away at it. I'm afraid I won't get much accomplished this weekend, too, but I'm not going to stress over it. I've written 20,000 more words than I ever have before, so that's an accomplishment right there.

So I'm leaning towards doing the New Jersey Marathon in the spring. I had considered doing Boston, but Deb's going to be taking a group of students down to Costa Rica that week. I'll be taking care of the girls solo, which is stressful enough without adding a marathon into the mix. The NJ race is a couple of weeks later and the course is flat, so that's another bonus.

Hey now!
  • It was nice to see that Big Head Barry Bonds was finally indicted today on perjury and obstruction charges. I'm sure he'll blame the media for this one, too.
  • Damn, it's almost Thanksgiving, but the holiday shopping onslaught has been in full force since friggin' Halloween. Hey, nothing says the holidays like G.E. Smith playing a solo in drag. Pass the nog, dood.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 43: Brother, Can You Spare a Buck?

Another long weekend came and went. I'm still cranking away at my NaNoWriMo book; I'm up to 17,000+ words. Found time to run a 10-mile race in Andover Sunday morning and set a PR with a time of 1:16; it was 29 degrees out and I was running in shorts, so I figured that made me run faster. Took the girls bowling today.

And here's the latest episode of tha CC. Download it directly here (right click and "save as").

The show notes, maestro...

Topics:
- The troubled U.S. economy
- The impact of 20somethings on the workplace
- Pinhead of the Week

Music:
- Thurston Moore - Fri/End
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Berlin
- The Black Furies - Murder City Shakedown
- Mudhoney - Blindspots
- Jarvis Cocker - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time

Promo:
- New England Podcasting.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The song from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is on their album Baby 81 on Red Int/Red Ink Records; find out more here. The Jarvis Cocker song is on his album Jarvis on Rough Trade Records; find out more here. Both songs are courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network.

The song from Mudhoney is on the album Under a Billion Suns; find out more here. The song is courtesy of Sub Pop Records.

The song from Thurston Moore is on the new album Trees Outside the Academy on Ecstatic Peace Records; find out more here. And the Black Furies song is on their album Death Trip Saturday Night on Gearhead Records; find out more here. Those two songs were provided by IODA Promonet.

Trees Outside the AcademyThurston
"Fri/End" (mp3)
from "Trees Outside the Academy"
(Ecstatic Peace)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album



Death Trip Saturday NightBlack Furies
"Murder City Shakedown" (mp3)
from "Death Trip Saturday Night"
(Gearhead Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album



The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling by visiting his excellent music blog. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell; find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Do Ya Wanna Get It

Hey, man. It's Thursday and I'm tired. This week is dragging, but at least I've got a long weekend coming up.

It's getting chilly out there, with temps getting down to freezing or below at night. I've been focusing most of my non-work energies this week on NaNoWriMo. As of this writing, I've got nearly 11,500 words done out of 50,000. Not bad so far, especially considering it's my first time doing this sort of thing. It has certainly given me a good kick in the butt to get writing.

Sock it to me:
  • Those overpriced old farts in the Eagles surprised everyone last week by selling 711,000 copies of their new album to top the charts, beating out the new album by Britney Spears. What made it even more remarkable was the fact you could only get it at Wal-Mart. Guess they know their target audience pretty well.
  • Strange story out of Hollywood, where a Boston-area priest was arrested for stalking Conan O'Brien.
  • The toy recalls continue. This time, it's Aqua Dots, an arts and crafts toy made up of small beads that release GHB, the date rape drug, when ingested. What will they think of next?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Everyday I Write the Book

It's a miserable day here in the Boston area. Tropical Storm Noel has dropped some rain and high winds on us, so it's a good day to stay inside. I used the opportunity to work on my NaNoWriMo book. I got about 1,500 words done today, for a total of nearly 4,700 in three days. Not bad for a guy who hasn't done this since the late '80s. Briggy's been doing it, too. Hope I can keep it going.

I've managed to go about a week without eating any candy (with the exception of gum, which I'm not counting because you don't actually eat gum). There is so much friggin' candy around here right now and it's extremely tempting, but I'm trying to hold out.

Speaking of candy, the girls gathered in yet another haul Wednesday night when we took them out trick-or-treating. It was a nice night, about 50 degrees and dry. We just hit four dead-end streets (including ours) in the neighborhood. It seems to be the night we meet or see all the neighbors that we wave to throughout the year.

Mmm...nougat:
  • Real bummer of a story out of the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in New York, where top-ranked runner Ryan Shay collapsed and died today while running the race. He was only 28. No word on cause of death yet, but it's shocking because this guy was a truly elite athlete. Scary. It casts a pall over tomorrow's NYC Marathon, although the moving story of our friend Lauren was documented in a New Jersey newspaper. She's running New York tomorrow, a year after having to go through a double mastectomy. She's a great runner (she ran NYC in 2005 when I did and finished in 3:34) and I'm sure she'll kick butt tomorrow. [Post-script: Lauren finished in 3:31. Wow! Congrats to her.]
  • With the Red Sox hangover pretty much over, everyone around here is gearing up for Super Bowl 41.5, aka the Patriots-Colts game tomorrow. Both teams are unbeaten and dominating opponents all over the league, so it should be a good one. My prediction: The Pats by 10-14 points. [Post-script: The Pats won, but only by 4 points. It was a classic nailbiter, as they trailed 20-10 going into the fourth quarter before Tom Brady rallied for two TDs to win it. Nice!]
  • Ah, Dog, who's going to do the bounty hunting now that your show's off the air because you're a racist? Anyone got the number for Colt Seavers?