January 31, 2008

Stock Pick–Jan. 31, 2008

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 11:01 am

Pettit_Funds_Logo Ok, I’m going with a company called Twin Disc, Inc. (TWIN).

They make propellors or somesuch.

Markets are cyclical, so I need a stock like this to be able to make it through the troubled waters that lie ahead. (Those are propellor jokes…)

Keep your fingers crossed for this one.

Happy investing!

A Day In The Life Of Mario

Category: Technology — jerry @ 6:38 am

This is just too cool not to share–Mario’s point of view using the Doom engine. Give it a few moments to get going. (Kudos to the creator):

January 30, 2008

Queen Rania Revisited

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 11:22 am

Forgive me, but I am completely smitten by this woman.

She is my favorite Queen since Freddie Mercury died…

Skateboarding In Iraq

Category: Movies/TV,Sports — jerry @ 6:38 am

Actually, that’s probably not what’s going on here. I don’t know what is going on here!

It is somewhat intriguing, though. Apparently the Intro to some new movie coming out. Very strange. Too weird not to put up here:

January 29, 2008

Magic Trick Of The Day

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 11:42 am

For when you’re feeling like a smug know-it-all:

Labi Siffre Revisited (Featuring Kanye West)

Category: Music — jerry @ 6:10 am

kanye.jpg So I’m listening for the first time to Kanye West’s “Graduation” album which is up for a Grammy for Album of the Year, and up comes this song “I Wonder” which has a repeating sample that seems vaguely familiar–a repeating “…and I wonder”.

Jeez that voice is familiar–and so is the sampled phrase.

GOOGLED.

Yep, it’s my buddy Labi Siffre, and the sample is from his old almost-hit “My Song”, which was on that “Best of Labi Siffre” album I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, in the context of my search for Siffre’s “Make My Day (Pretty Little Girl)” song that I had been looking for for decades. Cool, huh?

Here’s a video mashup of both versions:

January 28, 2008

Queen Rania Of Jordan

Category: Travel — jerry @ 11:42 am

queenrania.jpg .

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Dang it–I forgot what I was going to say…

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The RPM Challenge

Category: Music — jerry @ 6:19 am

smurfs.jpg Ok, I’m probably nuts to be doing this–but I wanted to go on record (no pun intened) as having signed up for this: The RPM Challenge.

The Challenge is to record a complete music album during the month of February. 10 songs or 35 minutes. (This is patterned after some “write a novel in a month” contests out there).

I’m going to try.

By posting my intentions here, I’m hoping that I will be motivated to follow through, and I invite all of my readers to ridicule me and call me a “quitter” if I don’t, because I no longer have any excuse not to.

I’m retired. Nothing else to do in February (although the last several days of the month I have some travel plans).

When I have written songs in the past, I’ve generally gotten them put together (rough demo quality) in one day (with the quality one might expect!). So…I’m going to do it! (I hope).

When I came across this Challenge–it’s not a “contest”, there’s no prize–I had already been thinking of doing something like this anyway. I’ve been away from my music hobby for about a year and a half, and I’ve been getting psychologically ready to tackle it again, and then this thing came along.

I’ve already got a couple of dozen songs more or less completed. I’m not going to be using them, though. That’s cheating. I’m intentionally keeping my mind blank until February 1st. What’s sort of cool about setting up the Challenge this way is that songs that otherwise never would have been written now will be.

So I’ve gotta come up with 10 songs–meaning I’ll likely have to write several more than that if I’m going to be going for any kind of quality at all. Let’s see…probably a couple country, a couple pop, maybe a folk song, a couple hip-hop, at least one heavy metal, a dance number, maybe some gospel (tongue-in-cheek, of course), maybe something classical… We’ll see what works. In the past, I have started things in one genre and it has totally twisted itself into something else.

I’ll post the songs here for comments. Maybe.

Meanwhile, to prove to you that I won’t be cheating I invite your input as to song titles, snatches of lyric phrases, themes (boy meets girl, rabbit meets fox), etc. I’ll try to incorporate them if my muse directs me that way.

I’m not expecting any Grammy nominations, but at least this should give me a good jumpstart on getting back into this.

Then again, maybe I’ll quit the first day. I hope not.

Stay tuned.

January 27, 2008

Tim Bohnenkamp Drafted By San Jose Earthquakes

Category: Sports — jerry @ 12:27 pm

tim.jpg

From the Major League Soccer site:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Earthquakes had a busy day during the 2008 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft held today, Thursday January 24, 2008. The Earthquakes added four new players to the team’s roster as they continue to prepare for the upcoming MLS regular season. The Earthquakes acquired forward Adam Smarte, midfielder Tim Bohnenkamp, defender Greg Curry, and defender Tim Jepson.

With the first overall pick the Earthquakes acquired forward Adam Smarte from UC Santa Cruz where he was named to the All-Independent Team. During his last year with UC Santa Cruz Smarte played 20 games and scored seven goals and had 4 assists.

“We are very excited to get a local kid” stated John Doyle, General Manager of Soccer Operations for the San Jose Earthquakes. “Smarte is very fast, he has unlimited potential and we want him to show us that the sky is the limit.”

With the first pick of the second round the Earthquakes acquired midfielder Tim Bohnenkamp from Creighton University. During his last year at Creighton, Bohnenkamp played 20 games, scored two goals, and led the team with six assists. The Millard South graduate added two goals for 10 points this year, while he scored the game-winning goal in Creighton’s NCAA Tournament win over SMU. The senior midfielder was named to the MVC second-team as a senior. He established a Morrison Stadium career record with 15 assists….[Rest of article]

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As I like to remind people (with a snicker), I was Tim’s first soccer coach–and I like to think that I taught him everything that he knows. Not!

He played for me his kindergarten and first grade years and even then was miles above the rest of the kids (partially thanks to older brothers he had been playing with ever since he stumbled out of the crib). He was incredibly fast and actually knew that the object of the game was to put the soccer ball into the goal. More than once an opposing coach would tell me, after we had thoroughly trounced his own dandelion-picking and butterfly-chasing team, “That has to be your son…”, and I would have to say, “No–that’s my boy over there on his mother’s lap with an inhaler and a drinkbox of Sunny Delight©…”

I didn’t see Tim play after first grade until he was on a high school team with one of my sons. Tim is inhumanly fast. Inhumanly.

I feel badly that I never saw him play at local Creighton University. Now he’s gone, apparently. I did get to see him play a couple of weeks ago in an indoor game with one of my sons. Still jaw-droppingly speedy.

Inhumanly so.

Good luck, Timmy!

Ant Farms & Me

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 6:54 am

In my mostly-Dickensian childhood, one of the “toys” that I most wanted was an Uncle Milton Ant Farm©. (Apparently, they still make them). Bless my folks, they got me one–but tragedy struck twice, and it ended up not being a happy experience for me at all.

First, my mother neglected to dilute the honey that was supposed to be dropped into the Farm to feed and energize my new little friends. Sadly, the entire colony all clumped together, asphyxiating horribly during painful diabetic comas.

Somehow we saved up enough for another colony of ants, which arrived via mail 6 to 8 weeks later (as was the custom back in the day). Newly-stocked, my Ant Farm stood proudly on display for no more than one day. My little brother (the diplomat…snort!) ended up knocking it over during some broom-flailing show of force involving one of our sisters. Ants ended up everywhere and, of course, they had to be immediately disposed of–at least their deaths mercifully swifter this time, beneath the KEDS© sneakers of my siblings as they set aside their domestic quarrel long enough to tidy up.

I guess we gave up after this. No more colonies were ordered. The Ant Farm was thrown away.

At least I have this video: