It's Christmas time. I'm going to go hand out some presents in a sec, but before that, I thought I'd put the covers from the last few days in one easy-to-access spot. Thank you to all those who commented or shared the tracks as they went up. It really felt nice to have such positive feedback.
Please feel free to download the tracks if you liked any of them.
I got an email last night that made me laugh. All it said was, "We need to talk about your drum pattern selections." That's it. The email was from the drummer of my former band. When I record these songs, I usually just choose a beat and loop it through the entire tune. I have no doubt that my friend could come up with more varied and interesting beats. However, I'm not a drummer, so you'll have to suffer through plain old loops.
Moving on... this latest is one of my Top 5 Sinatra tunes.
So, continuing with the plan I mentioned in yesterday's post, here is another cover. For my first attempt, I went with the White Stripes, with a song that jolted me from the moment I first heard it. Today's song... is a completely different matter.
Friends and readers, with twelve days to go until Christmas, I'm challenging myself to record twelve covers in that time and post one a day.
Some things to know before listening:
1) There is nothing Christmas-y about most of the songs. It's just a convenient title and time of year.
2) These are low-fi recordings; just me, a guitar, and a computer. I'm keeping it simple, only adding drum beats to fill out the songs.
3) I don't really want to do straight-up covers, so if you're in the mood for fidelity to the original, it won't always be there. That said, I think every song that I'll attempt is good in its own way, and I'm proud to play them. I'm not trying to send up the original artists.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I spent a couple of months this year working on the first graphic novel that Fifth House Publishers would produce. (Fifth House is one of the companies I work for.) As such, there was a bit of a learning curve, especially when laying out the interiors, but I can easily say this was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. So I thought I’d write a little bit about how I came up with the cover design.
This is something a little different that I felt like sharing. Continue reading, or skip to the bottom for the Song of the Week.
Good day, everyone. I'm going with something a little different today. Due to my fascination with Top lists, I'm writing up a couple of lists that have come in through email suggestions and posting them here. What a particular subject answered? Drop me a line or mention it in the comments, and I'll take it into consideration. My lists won't always be serious, and sometimes they'll be a bit cheeky. Then again, it might just be a passing thing and I'll drop them in a bit.
Assisting me with this week's list is a little elf who lives in my head and lives for candy. Gumdrops are his favourite. I've sketched him out for all of you to see, and if he behaves, he might make more appearances on the blog. (IF he behaves. Despite his demeanor in these sketches, he's actually a very mischievous and irritable elf.)
It's a jolly good day for a Saturday. So jolly that I'm likely out and about right now. Doing what, you ask? A bit of this and that. Fixing things. Shopping. Trying to decide between pancakes and waffles. You know... stuff.
But--good fella that I am--I put together this string of amusements to keep you occupied while you're on the internet. no need to thank me. I'm just doing my job.
Frost! There's frost on the ground! And I'm not even ready to winterize my car yet. Oh, the humanity. What's a fella to do when he's feeling blue? Surf the internets, of course. And would somebody mind helping me with a Halloween costume? My sisters imposed a musical theme on the costumes, to which I say phooey. It's difficult enough finding a costume when there aren't restrictions. But I'd rather find a costume than have to explain myself. So, what'll it be?
Oh, that's just my Halloween pumpkin. It was supposed to be Mordecai from Lackadaisy, giving a dark, smoldering, "Valentino" look. He doesn't get it.
I confess, this post is a few hours old. I had to write it early so I could sleep in on Saturday morning. If there is any justice, I am snuggled in bed right now, enjoying the start of the weekend by spending it in dreamland.
So, whether you're just waking up or just winding down, I hope you enjoy this week's post. Let's start you off with...
Here's the deal, loyal readers. Last week I was feeling the after-effects of too many brownies and cookies for a birthday thing at work, and then there was the headache from a birthday get-together at a local pub. Ye gods and little fishes... none of that went over well.
But--trooper that I am--I recovered, only to fall at the hands of rhinitis acuta catarrhalis, better known as the common cold. (Woe is me, eh?) Therefore it is with a cough and a sniffle that I type this out, and it is why this entry will be more brief than usual.
How did it get so cold so fast? I'm spending my nights shivering under three blankets wondering how we can still technically call this summer for a few more days. Sheesh.
Anyway, today's entry is short in the way of links and long in the way of words. I'm not sure if that will work, but you can let me know later. 'Scuse me while I get myself another sweater and something hot to drink, and then we'll get started.
Oh hai, Saturday! Look at you, all shiny and new, with a nip in the air that tells me the better beach-going days are probably behind us for the next nine months or so. It's a bit of a shame, because I would have liked a few more hot days, but I understand that Fall is getting closer and the seasons have to do their thing. It'll be a good time for things like pumpkins, warm sweaters, and scary stories. Some mornings there might even be a bit of frost, making the grass crispy so there's that funny crunching sound when you walk on it.
But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, aren't I? This is just an early Saturday in September, still officially Summer, and there's probably a few more weeks of warm weather in the immediate forecast. So let's do this blog post thingamajig, and in the meantime I'll decide what to have for breakfast or brunch. Coffee, for sure. A croissant would be nice. French toast, maybe? We'll see.
Did I mention I was busy last week? Hah! Well, the pedal went right against the metal this week. "Woe is me," and all that. But I couldn't avoid posting. Not when last week's post was short-ish. So, give me a pat on the back, will ya?
I kid, I kid.
But this one's going to be short, too. Isn't that right, Sad Keanu?
Whoa there! That week went by entirely too quickly. And too slowly. That kind of makes sense, doesn't it? Maybe if you try really hard, and scrunch up your eyes, sort of like you have to with those 3D optical illusion pictures. Don't focus too much, except when you have to.
(Apologies. My thinking-brain is on the fritz.)
This is going to be a short-ish post, due to a renewed interest in sleep, and a lack of internet perusing. Crazy, I know.
I'm designing a graphic novel, and when it's out (October?), I'd like all of you to read it. This is purely for selfish reasons, because it's my payoff. The author-illustrator will rightfully get the glory, and I'll get to say, "Yeah, I put in the words and stuff. Look at that kerning. And those ligatures!"
I'm also working on a Weather Trivia calendar, and my co-worker thought he'd make me this to promote the calendar. Is he doing it right?
I admit, I did not take this in
Ontario. This is Clearwater Beach,
in Florida. Le sigh.
Hello and good morning, ladies and germs and little surfer girls. I hope you're having a great summer so far, wherever you may be. My summer is going well so far, and I pretty much have one thing on my mind: Beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach.
What a weekend. First, the tragedy in Norway is still too horrific to comprehend. What does one do after a streak of madness causes widespread devastation, affecting countless lives? I'm quite at a loss. I'll pray for the victims, and hope their families find strength and solace somewhere, somehow. If you, Dear Reader, or someone you know has been affected, I'm sorry for your loss.
In another bit of sad news, Amy Winehouse passed away, joining other troubled celebrities who died at an early age. She leaves behind a brief legacy of some quality songs and a whole lot of what-ifs.
What now? I'm out of my depth when it comes to such serious matters. So, I'll do what I know and put up my usual type of post. It's a couple of days late, again, and I'm not sure if that's a sign of things to come. We'll see how the next few weeks go.
*FYI, the title of this post is borrowed from Wolfman Jack, a deceased radio DJ. He was a wholesome fellow.
Well, hello there, and good morning to you. Posts will continue to go up on weekends, but I had a lot to catch up on after going away for a few days. (More about that in the post.) Now the weekend is over and maybe you don't have to time to sit back and browse the latest bits and bites posted in this Fiefdom. So I'll cut the preamble and start you off, right after I point out this image of a funny (and obviously fake) Google postcard that I wish existed. It's things like this that make me laugh at 7 AM.
Greetings, dear readers! Welcome to this weekend's post, which is chock-full of videos. It was that kind of a week. (Aside: What is a chock, and why is it full? Discuss.)
I'm writing this post at an ungodly hour, even for me, and basically pulling an all-nighter. Stupid, stupid idea. The dawn light is growing by the second, and I can hear birds chirping. Dear bird, it's 4:45 AM. Get a life.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you find some or all of these items interesting.
The post! The post! The merry old post! The Saturday post is here!
Sorry for last week's hiatus. I spent last weekend doing things like attending an engagement party, and photographing a wedding. It was a fantastic ceremony, and quite enjoyable, considering I was technically working. I shot the wedding with a friend, and she's got a lovely image from that day over at her blog. I'll post a couple after we've given the shots back to the bride and groom. As long as we're on the subject, here's a little piece of advice to any future brides, grooms, and people who might have a say in a wedding: please, please, PLEASE make sure your locations are well-lit. The better lit the area, the better your photos will be. It helps, anyway.
Now wouldn't you know, I have another wedding to go to today. Not a moment to lose, then, have we? To the post!!!
Hi, gang! It's another Saturday morning, dontcha know? Once there was a time when that would mean waking up around 6:30 AM for a marathon of shows like The Smoggies, Captain Planet, He-Man and She-Ra, Pro-Stars, My Pet Monster, Inspector Gadget, COPS, Denver the last Dinosaur, Beetlejuice, Darkwing Duck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and... this list could just go on and on, couldn't it?
Nowadays I go for the simpler pleasures in life, like sleeping in (if possible) and having a pancake breakfast. Except today it's cereal. That's still kid-like, right?
Whatever you're up to today, thanks for joining me. To the post!
True story: I actually drive a Chevy. Another true story: It is ridiculously complicated to change the headlamp because of the way it's encased. Aren't you glad you know this now? Quite.
Good day, y'all. It's kind of cold for June in these parts, but it's been a loopy week anyway. There's been record heat, and the loudest, craziest thunderstorm of my life. We lost power and everything. I was driving through hail, and my car hates me because of that.
Why am I saying this? Because, as much as I love the rain, I'd also love to be soaking up the sun on a beach in Italy, or somewhere I haven't been, which is pretty much anywhere else. Here's hoping the current weather clears up, and we can go back to summery weather. In the meantime, here are some links.
Greetings, fellow weekenders. This has been a week of sunshine and fair weather, and that's perfect since we're coming up to the official start of summer. So, get your beach balls ready, make sure you're wearing sunscreen, and go have some fun. Fly a kite or something. Just make sure you do it after reading today's post.
Now that the Rapture has been postponed until October (give or take a few billion years), we can get back to everyday business. You still have time to do that thing you always wanted to do. At least until the next Doomsday prediction.
That reminds me... my company was going to publish a Mayan calendar for next year that ended on December 21st. That never went anywhere.
Anyway, by the time you read this, I'll likely be dancing at a friend's wedding, or recovering from the effects of said wedding. Let's get down to business.
No post today. I'm out of town. Maybe Monday? If we survive the Rapture, that is. I just didn't want to leave anyone hanging.
It's the Victoria Day weekend in Canada. To anyone who has the time off, happy long weekend!
EDIT: It's Tuesday. Clearly, I did not get back in town in time to put up a new post. I might do a special mid-week post to make up for it. EDIT: Nope. That never happened. Please see the May 28th entry for more.
Hello and welcome to the weekend. As of this writing, it is a grey morning. Maybe listen to Here Comes the Sun to perk things up, and let's get started with roundups and opinions. And in case you're used to the regular format of these things, today's post does not end with music or videos (although they're there), so make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for the complete musings.
I should explore my neighbourhood more often. For example, I didn't always know that the pub down the street had karaoke nights, and that it drew a pretty big crowd. I don't know about you readers, but at least half the fun for me is watching as some people perform either a) terrible renditions of songs, b) terrible songs, or c) ridiculously good versions of songs without a trace of irony. It's also fun to learn some new lyrics once in a while, and have an "A-HA!" moment when you realize that Kurt Cobain was actually singing about being "forever in debt to your priceless advice" in stead of being "forever in debt to your prices and fines." It happens to the best of us.
The weekend is here, and what a nice weekend it is. It's the last day of April, and rough winds will soon shake the darling buds of May... if we ever get buds around these parts. I'm not going to think of what spring looks like in my ancestral motherland. No, I'm just going to get on with this post, and count down the days until I can take a real vacation again.
Oh, and it's election day on Monday. The winds of change are blowing. Right, Mustache Jack?
I caught a little bit of flak for yesterday's micro-post. Some people couldn't help referencing its brevity (I believe the word "concisity" was even mentioned). Everyone's a critic. I hope today's larger post is up to snuff.
Change is in the air. The signs of Spring are everywhere lately, from the improving weather to a general feeling of restlessness and excitement. It's time to get out more. Keep calm, open your eyes, and be amazed by new things. (Is that cheesy enough for you?)
It's the first week of spring, although you wouldn't know it in these parts after we got several inches of snow dumped on us a few days ago. But this weekend is going to be good. It's Saturday morning, Eastern Standard Time. There are dogs to walk, assignments to do, and apartments to hunt. There's breakfast to make, and something to read. (Poetry, for a change.) I'll get to all that shortly. First, there are some things to get through.
I had a photo shoot on the weekend for my photography class. It was a lot of fun, and I was helped out big time by friends and co-workers. Little did I know, one of the subjects was taking set photos on her phone and tweeting them the whole time. I've always been the one taking pictures of what's going on, not the other way around. So it was really cool to see these. (Images courtesy of @CalamityJennnnn.)
Spring is in the air in this corner of the world. This week has been filled with reminders that it's getting close to the season for strawberry rhubarb pie, probably the best pie in the history of pies. Let the others eat cake. I'll have a slice of pie instead.
Anyway, things gleaned from this past week are featured below the cut.
It's been a hell of a week. It was physically and emotionally draining, and that was before yesterday's news about the earthquakes in Japan. Continue reading for a roundup of the last few days, and a bit about Billy Corgan speaking to my soul again.
Good morning, for those of you in and around my time zone. Are you a morning person? I'm not. If you're like me, you just want to take a few minutes before going out to face the day. There's an assortment of things to get to after the jump, including thieves, rogues, and ninjas. Sound good?
Just before we completely abandon 2010, here is a very quick, very superficial list of what I liked during the year. Please note that when I use the word "Best," I mean what I thought was best, based on my limited experience. I have not seen every movie released in 2010. I only travelled to a handful of places. The music I listen to is mostly rock; my musical tastes will not be extremely varied.
The first book in this series has been re-read and almost completely recapped. Should this continue with A Clash of Kings? I think another re-read would need some tweaking for format and length. For example, when I started this project, I had no idea that A Game of Thrones had 70+ chapters! (You can find links to all the chapters at the handy-dandy master index.) That's a lot of chapters. A Clash of Kings has even more. So... some tweaking is in order, if anything further is to happen.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, here is the final post for Book 1 in the series, serving up a recap of major characters, followed by a word or two about cover art.
The following is an index for all links related to George R.R. Martin's series, A Song of Ice and Fire, as they appear on this blog. This includes posts on the re-read project, the HBO series of A Game of Thrones, and anything else that might crop up. The goal is to have everything in one easy-to-search space.