Hey Bono, I'm looking at you

The strangest things hit my brain at the oddest times.

First off, before I get too deep into the post, I'm just gonna say, I'm cool with God. After the car accident when I was 8, the shoplifted batteries at 16 and the open heart surgery at 25, I don't need anyone to convince me that there's a God and he's got my back. I'm quite aware, thankyouverymuch. No need to try to save me or raise my awareness of the almighty. I'm good.

But what bugs me about the whole God thing is when he becomes trendy. And by trendy I mean how God's invoked everywhere by people who may or may not really mean it.

But I need to stop there before this becomes a post about religion blah blah blah.

What this is is a post about a Christmas song that's popular called "Do They Know It's Christmastime (Feed the World)?"

It's a bunch of artists that got together to cut a record (mostly because their managers probably told them it was a good idea in the wake of that whole USA for Africa trend) and some of the proceeds were to go feed starving people in Africa.

Whether it did or not is a completely different story for another time.

But to set the tone, I've posted the lyrics.

It's Christmastime
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging
chimes of doom

Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

(Here's to you) raise a glass for everyone
(Here's to them) underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmastime again

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime again
repeat then fade

And to be fair, here's the 'semi-official' wiki of the event. I'm sure it did actually help people, but if you go back and read/listen to the lyrics...they really ARE freakin' pretentious.

Alright....here's how I envisioned this when I was thinking about this song. It's a short scene consisting of BONO, ETHIOPIAN #1, ETHIOPIAN #2, THE EDGE, WAITRESS and takes place in an old style diner somewhere in Ethiopia.

So..mates. Hungry, eh?
Are you serious?
Right. So anyway. We wrote this song for you. Some 20 years ago. Did it help?
It built this diner.
Would you like to hear the specials today?
Do they consist of food?
Well no. Nothing really ever grows here. No rain...blah blah. But we have a nice sand sandwhich
we can whip up.
I'll have one of those those.
None for me thanks. Look, mates. Do you know what time it is?
(squinting through slatted shades)...mmm..Day.
Most definitely. Day.
Right, but the time.

The Ethiopians look at each other, puzzled. The WAITRESS drops off the sand sandwich in front of THE EDGE who picks it up and hungrily starts devouring it. The rest of them stare at him.

(through bites of sand sandwich) It's mmph Chrishmish Timemmph.
Excuse me?
It's Christmastime!
Ah. OK.
What's Christmas?
It's a time when we let in light and banish shade!
Why would we let in light. That just makes hot.
And we need the shade.

As the ethiopians stare quizzicly at Bono and The Edge, a bell goes off somewhere in the distance.

No. It's the factory bells from up the road. Second shift just ended.
Yeah. Listen guys. It's been fun. You take care um....
You, too.
Right. Anyways, we need to jet.
Yeah.Lots of shoes to make. Good luck with that whole feeding the world thing

The ethiopians leave Bono and The Edge at the table. The waitress stops by and pours The Edge another glass of water

Ahh..the Bitter Sting of Tears
Um. No. Water.

She leaves as The Edge takes a drink.

Factory workers, huh? That's a tough lot.
Thank God it's them instead of you.
Yeah. Seriously. Let's get of here, this place gives me
the heebies.
And that's about all I got right now. I guess the thing that bugs me the most about this song is the 'thank God it's them instead of you.' And the fact that so many assumptions are made. But maybe that's what was needed to raise global awareness on the issue of starvation in Ethiopia.
And I'm sure it's helped.
Hasn't it?



We got our first snowfall this year. And as is the tradition in Central Ohio, people freaked the frick out. I mean...seriously people-it's just snow. No ice. No freezing rain. Just snow.

But after spending 20 minutes prepping my car to drive amongst the idjits, I realized one thing-what a great photo-op I'd have on the way to take Jen to school. So, I grabbed the camera.

And there were some GREAT shots on the way. Picture perfect pine trees with the Rockwellian dusting of snow. Things that Christmas Card makers dream of.

But unfortunately, traffic wasn't crappy enough to afford me the chance to stop and snap some shots.

All of the following shots were taken after I dropped her at school and was heading to work.
Most of them were taken through the windshield. I'm happy with how they came out. A few are 'desktop background' worthy (And you'd never know that one of them was 100 yards away from a girlie bar...nature's funny that way).



My Daughter Rawks!

OK...so I spouted off not too long ago about the cool new mixer I got on Black Friday. And truly it's a beast. And I think that someday I might actually be able to harness its powers for good and not for wanking.

But this is clearly not wanking.

This summer, Jen came to me with a song she'd written. She played it. And it Rawked. Last night we recorded it. Using the mixer...straight to harddisk.

so here for you is that song.

"I'm Through" by Jenyfer Skaggs

She sings and plays guitar on the song. I do my best drummer impersonation on the Roland EM-10 (and as such take all blame for the times when the ryhtym seems a bit...off).



When I think about you iTouch myself

OK. To those that know me, it's no secret...I'm a gadget whore. I love new (or new to me) gadgets and gizmos.

So...I was pretty stoked when the iPhone came out. Only one problem. I was NOT stoked about switching over to ATT/Cingular and having a $60+ cell phone bill a month PLUS $600 for a phone. That would NOT fly at the Casa de Skaggs.

Nor would I expect it too.

So, I figure...OK...eventually Apple will release the iPod with a touch screen..just like the iPhone...only without the phone.

And the did.

And I want it.

Sort of.

First off, for the moment, I can't really afford it...so it's rather a moot point. But some things may be falling in place that will change that.

Second off...I don't really need it.

Third....it's only 8GB...or 16GB (but given point #1, it'd be the 8GB model).

The main draw is the video part of it, and the contacts/schedule and web browsing.

Now if only I had a device that let me do all of that already-I wouldn't have to spend $300 on the iTouch.

Oh...I do.

My Dell Pocket PC.

The screen is the same size and resolution as the iTouch. Plus it has more things I can do with it.

It's just big.

And old.

And not as shiney and new.

BUT.....at $10 for a 2GB memory card....it's exponentially cheaper to keep a media library for than the iTouch.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning that direction. Yes, it's not BRAND NEW technology (whore!), but it IS highly comparable-function wise.

And what would I do with the iTouch at work? Listen to music (not watch videos).

And I already downgraded my 40GB iPod to a 1GB Shuffle for that very purpose....why complicate things by going back up to 8 (0r 16) GB?


No reason.

It's a perfectly sound argument. Now I just need to silence the inner gadget whore and we'll all be just fine. :-)


Shoooot. Just when I thought I was out...

So...I'm a recently (as in 5 or more years now) movie guy. I make movies.
It's my 'thing' if you will (and even if you won't).

But I still like to make music. I think I put my own little slant on the songs I make. Some work better than others. Some blow. But regardless, as a good friend of mine once said, "it's cheaper than therapy."

And there you have it.

I had a birthday last week. Nothing too exciting. Turned 36. Woohoo. And I treated myself to a few things.

One of said things was a new phone. It's a $50 phone that I got for $30 on Black Friday (got N one, too). I wasn't sure how much longer I wanted my ex paying for my phone. So. Yeah. Didn't need it...wanted it. That's what you're supposed to get on your B-Day. Things you want.

And I also got a new mixer. If you're keeping score, this makes the 4th actual piece of mixing hardware I own (5 if you count the 4-track). And I'm ok with that. This one is a 16 channel beast of a machine from Behringer. And it's got USB AND 100 digital effects. And thanks to some minimum wage rocker at Guitar Center, I got it for $149 instead of $259.

So to celebrate getting it hooked up tonight (and actually starting to understand Sub 1-2 and Main Mixes), I recorded THIS little diddy. Those familiar with my extensive (cough) catalog will no doubt recognize it's similarities to the "A Groove" from forever ago. And you'd be right. But don't let that stop you. It's less than two minutes (from what I understand, this is about average time for wanking).

The thing that impressed the hell out of me with this is that there was NO noise coming across the line. When it was silent on the board there was NOTHING showing in Adobe Audition. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. From now on, whenever I feel the need to pinch one out (a song that is), I can rest assured that any glitches and shortcomings of the song will be solely my own.

As it should be.

OH...I also got this kick ass t-shirt from my sis, Kim and her beau. Stink-O-Man rules!

And my wife (who knows me WAY too well) got me a Star Wars Laserdisc. Yes. PRIOR to Han shooting in self defense. Now I'm on a quest for a laser disc player (because I think I've got some Madonna Laserdisc from Ian that needs attention, too).

All in all a rather pleasant way to spend my weekend (and my Tuesday night as well).



Crazy Chester Thrifted Me and He Caught Me in the Bog

Ah....feels good, don't it? Yes. This is a thrift post. I had thought that it might be too cumbersome to bring the S700 to the thrifstore, but it was no more so than the Canon I used to carry. So...ladies and gentlemen, I give you...The Good the Bad and The Thrifty.

This trip was not a solo trip. This time I had D-man along with me. We had stopped off at Smackies for some FOIN! BBQ. It was tasty.

We were on a quest to get Donkey Kong for NES or GBA, but it was not to be. But enough of that. On to the thrift.

First off we have air soccer. WTF? 4 player soccer? This to me is just Hungry Hungry Hippos without the Hippos. And really, what fun is that?

I love Trivia Games. But I find that the boxes that they come in are so cheap. If only I had a way to carry my favorite Trivia Game that was a little more durable. Hmmm.

Personal Pong. First off, they have to show this with a woman's hand. Because if they showed it with a guy's hand, it would give the wrong idea. So, basically what you have here is a way to fondle your paddle and play with your ball. All by yourself. And it's made of fine and easy to clean acrylic.

So easy a ...oh never mind. It's too easy.

Ease on down, ease on down the hole...

D-man models his favorite Trivia Game. If only he had a case to carry it in. Hmmmm.

It's a Cosby sweatah...a COSBY SWEATAH!

CosSwe pt. 2
And finally. A Cosby Sweatah made by Tommy Hilfiger. Kids don't do drugs and design.

If only I had some Jimmy Crum pants to go with my Cosby sweatah. Yay!

So...there are these socks (and michael jackson glove inserts) that I used to wear when I was on Ski Club in high school. And they seemed to work. But D- found the secret to why they worked. Apparently there was so much metal in the fabric that irritated the skin that you thought it was warming, but really it was irritating.

Do NOT do a Red Hot Chili Peppers with this, yo.

Joined the playaz club for about a month or two.

Oh Romeo, Romeo....the Reds??

I was going for the dude from Newhart. But D-man said I looked like Ricky from 'Better Off Dead.' Monique....Monique!

Anyone seen Dean-o?
Dah, comrade.

He's a special lad.

I have no words for this. I felt like I aged 50 years just from putting this hat on.

This was my FAVORITE hat of the night. I ALMOST bought it.

Howdy y'all.

A wall of monitors. Nothing like writing on the glass with a permanent marker.

Hehehehe. So...basically you make money because you buy products off of yourself. And you can get 9 of your friends. You have 9 friends, right? Sure you do, because you're a likable fellow. And they're in your downline. And then you have people in your upline. And when people in your downline buy stuff, YOU make money. It's a no-lose situation.

Bastards. I still have a garage full of soap.

The Truth About The Fonz....pg. 27...."I f***in' hate sharks!"
This would have been SO much cooler if it had said "Revival in the House!"

Heh. D-man testing out his joystick.
At first I thought this was Second Camino. And I thought 'hmm. That's wierd. The Second Camino on top of the Baby Ford.'

What? I can't just eat the food and look like Kirstie Alley? I have to actually watch the videos, too? Screw that.

Heh. CompuServe. 1.0. For Windows. Now I know some of you kiddies think you know Windows.

You don't. Windows used to suck. It used to be a resource hog. It would sit on top of DOS. It took away functionality that you had in DOS, just to make you think it was better because it looked prettier. Good thing they got away from all of that.

This just looked cool. And had it been behind the showcase counter, I may have gotten it. As it was, I didn't...because it was back in the back...and probably missing pieces.

There is still something fundamentally wrong about buying food at a thrift store.

Um.....tis the season. For crap.

Somewhere is a very thirsty Evel Keneval.

Gourmet. For your rodent. Huh?

Wait....so....if I put an ADDITIVE in my engine, it will DOUBLE my warranty? I'm somehow kind of doubting that.

Oh yeah. I'm gonna go all CSI on ya now. I bought this. You bet yer ass I did. $3.93 for a real patrol Field print collecting kit?? Um. Yeah. It's at home as we speak. Waiting for latent print collection. I know what I'm doing this weekend!

Whoooooooooo are you....who who, who who?

Children of the Corn got nothing on this guy.

This just looks nasty. Good thing they weren't making Spinach pasta. That would REALLY look nasty. Although, then I might have liked it more...I know. It defies explanation.

For an Old School Mix, might I suggest...

100's of uses? Really? Because, I can think of 1. Applying steam to fabrics.

Yes. Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like a collection of washable Pepsi Markers!

My first thought when I saw this was...'how gay.' When I found you had to press its belly to make it speak, it removed all doubt.

I had these! You'd build these things and then wind them up and they'd walk or move around. Very cool.

Head to Head. I was never much good at the Baseball. Football I was better at. Baseball? Not so much.

It rubs the lotion....
OK. This was someone's REAL butterfly kit. These were real butterflies. It was equally creepy and cool.

I had mixed feelings. I kinda really wanted this. But you hang something like this and all of a sudden people look at you all funny.
And after getting some Candy Corn, Michigan Cherries, a bag of Dill Pickle Potato chips..we checked out and headed back to Casa de Todd to get our MAME on Ubuntu on.

And if you're wondering, YES, I did get AdLib running on my Linux laptop (thanks to D-man showing me how to actually USE DosBox)...so there will be a forthcoming collection of 8-bit madness coming your way sometime this winter. Stay tuned.

Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...