Archive for the Lists Category

…on How Do I Get THAT Job?

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Humor, Lists with tags , , on February 2, 2012 by journeymantojo

Watching History Channel the other day (As I often do) and it was this show on spirits. The liquor kind, not the restless dead kind. And there was this guy…one of the “experts” that they often consult and his job title under his name was Editor, Beer Monthly (Or some shit like that. I can’t remember the title, just that it was an “industry” mag.) And I thought of that line from Blazing Saddles; “Men, we have to band together to protect our phony baloney jobs!”

After I chuckled a bit, I thought a deeper thought. Now I don’t mean to take away from the legitimacy of this guys job. I never understood industry mags (The biggest thought being “How can one person love an industry so much that he can write about it once a month?”) but they do serve a function. I guess. Because I can’t even say I would want to read one other than pure, morbid curiosity. But my deeper thought was, “How do I get one of the phony baloney jobs that would make me an expert for History Channel, or Discovery, or whatever documentary channel or movie out there?”

Here is a list of some of my favorites.

  • UFOlogist: Come on! What school or degree could you attend or get that makes you an expert on something that’s very realism is questioned? And these guys legitimately make money from this? What the hell could the bid or contract negotiation be like? “Yes sir. We can say it was a UFO or not for roughly 2,000 American dollars. Now, we will need to research and study all the testimony. And there will be expenses. So that brings us to….*slips on green visor and starts calculating on an old time-y accountant machine*…6,782 dollars and 47 cents.”
  • Publisher of fringe subject magazine: This one kind of falls into the UFOlogist one as well. There are people out there actually subscribing to Batshit Insane Quarterly, or whatever it’s called. And not just a few. No we’re talking enough to maintain this “experts” lifestyle. It always involves ghosts or monsters or UFOs or Bigfoot and Elvis sightings.
  • Conspiracy Experts: Ahhhh, now I’m of two sides on this. On one hand I feel anger because these guys are spouting such weird ass fringe shit like Christ wife moved to France and started the Merovingian dynasty, or 9/11 was an inside job, or that the Freemasons will not stop until everyone in America is under their mind control. On the other hand, some of these leaps of logic are so Superman-esque that it does seem like a super power. And of that, well hell, I’m always jealous of people with super powers (One day Ninja Turtles! One day!). But the most jarring thing is that these people get PAID FOR THIS SHIT! Is it hourly or salary?
  • Ghost Hunters: Another one that barely qualifies as a “job”. “We’re gonna pay you money to spend the night in a place alone. In that time we want to know if anything funny happens”. And not even just a little bit of money. Have you seen some of the equipment they use? That shit costs crazy bank. So they have money to maintain their lives as well as buy wicked expensive amounts of shit! Do me a fave readers. Next time you’re home alone, go through the house and turn everything off. Lights, TV, radio, any source of noise or light. See how long it takes for some “haunting” to go down. My point will be proven further by those whose place of residence isn’t even old enough to house a family, let alone a haunting past (Please read that line in a very spooky voice!) And you will get why I think this is one of the phoniest and baloney-ist of jobs.
  • “POP CULTURE” Historian: These are the ones that really piss me off. Because I would KILL at these jobs! Seriously, one show had a Comic Book Historian. Are you fuckin’ kidding me?! How do I land that sweet job? You mean people will pay me to know a shit ton about comic books? Well, I’m already there guys! Make that sweet ass check out to “Cash”! I’m being serious. Hell, I can also expert on movies, dick and fart jokes, music, cartoons, eighties sitcoms, music videos. Hell, if it involves any kind of pop culture, chances are I AM AN EXPERT! Now if anybody seriously knows how to apply to that job, please just let me know.

Now of course, I really only bitch because these guys were clever enough to think up these sweet jobs. And I’m stuck here trying to make ends meet by actually working. But one day……”Get me an expert on comic books. A historian if possible!” “Well sir, we have just gotten this application from one Tony. And he wants us to make his checks to ‘Cash’ (See it’s one of his provisos).” “Hmm, he seems qualified. And we seriously have all this money that we need to give away. Let’s get him!”

Yeah, that would be pretty sweet.

 

…on Gaming Soundtracks: Cyberpunk Edition

Posted in Brain Droppings, Cyberpunk, Lists, Music, Roleplaying Games with tags , , , , on January 12, 2012 by journeymantojo

Warning: This one is for my gaming friends. My usual followers will find my talk of “cybers” and “runners” a bit weird. But I’m a nerd. So I’m gonna nerd out for a bit and just talk to the gamers.

2nd Warning: Some of this music is for adults only. Though I do still snicker when I hear ‘dick’ in the lyrics. And some of these lyrics are…well, they’re not for the timid.

Now I’m not referring to video games. I’m talking the table top stuff. It’s something I always hear when I’m listening to a record or soundtrack or music in general. “Man, this is giving me some awesome imagery. Let’s use this.”

Now when it’s a future setting I prefer something electronic or mind blow-y. Like:

Yeah, that’s the major from Ghost in the Shell. One of the greatest cyberpunk anime to date…in my less than humble opinion. The song is from Stand Alone Complex. Phenomenal show and one of the best sources for cyberpunk imagery and stories. Pop this one in to prep myself for the game. Lots of synth. And awesome vocals.It just makes me think of fast paced, somber moments. And drop ships. Don’t know why it does the last.

Got combat? Need the dice to roll? Shit hit the fan and you got guys dicking around? I throw this one in. Fast paced and keeps the bullets flying. There is a reason this shit works in movies. Because it gets blood going. And it will keep the dice hot so you don’t have anybody “strategizing”. Other really good bullet throwers:

Anything to keep the action going. I always like the feel to be anything that just keeps the action going. Stay in character and fight. Noise = chaos. So thrash never hurts.

High speed and full of noise. And for those who like to make an entrance. Fully cybered and owns the room.

And come on. Slow waltz into a club only to have shit go down. Yeah. Oldie but a goodie. And while we’re on the subject of shit breaking down.

A runner’s worst nightmare. A hack that goes scary….fast.

Hand-to-hand always seems to break down game flow. But if you keep the players heads in the game, it becomes an epic experience. I always like this one for when your cybers decide to handle it old skool.

And yeah, even your cybers will need to go lo-fi on some runs. Other lo-fi guerrilla warfare aka the house to house shit type music below.

Yeah, like that. And….

Hey! It’s a song about robbing and living criminal….you know, like all the illegitimate actions your runners and cybers will be doing. Ante Up.

This one has actually led to some very good situations. Cybers and runners suddenly becoming the most dangerous element in the game….men with no more shits to give. Even the gamers who didn’t even like hip-hop went insane in the game. Lit cigarettes, action, bullets, broken arms, and just general mayhem. Ordered chaos…with lyrics.

That should be enough to get it going. But let’s close with a good finale. The summation. The cool down. The what-the-hell-went-down part. ExP and awards. Divvy the loot and vanish into the shadows until your tapped for the next run.

Good run. See you guys at the next game.

…on Prophets of Science Fiction?

Posted in Brain Droppings, Lists, Science Channel, TV with tags , , , on January 7, 2012 by journeymantojo

Been watching this show about science fiction writers that I find kinda neat. Though some of these “prophets” are definitely in question. (I read a bit of science fiction so do I consider myself an expert. Hell yeah I do. It’s my blog!) So a little explanation. It’s on The Science Channel. It’s produced by Ridley Scott (Yeah, the Blade Runner guy). It is supposed to look at people that not only inspired today’s sci-fi but it also claims that these writers had prophecied the science of today.

Now some of the guys covered could be considered prophets (Well, maybe not prophets. More like inspirers.) They did have a futurist style to their writing. (Futurist=guys who can kind of predict what the future will be like based on modern scientific trends.)

Immediately Arthur C. Clark, Philip K. Dick, H.G. Wells come to mind. The others….not so much. Mary Shelley didn’t really futurize anything. And they focus more on Frankenstein than they did on The Last Man. The latter being a tale about mankind being wiped out by a plague seems closer to reality in this biological warfare/disease experimenting world we got going on currently. But what do I know.

Upcoming episodes will be focusing on Heinlein (Hell yeah! love this guy’s writing.), Asimov (I, Robot…..’nuff said.). These two guys are pretty big deals in sci-fi circles.

Jules Verne is also on the list….which is weird. But hell, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, A Journey To The Center Of The Earth. But his stuff was more about high adventure than sci-fi.

The thorn in my side (And before I proceed, let me say that I loved the first trilogy) is George Lucas. George Lucas? Really? The list was that dried up? He does one good sci-fi trilogy and then a sci-fi travesty and we consider him a prophet? Come on. There are so many other choices to go with.

William Gibson: Godfather of Cyberpunk. Basically invented the idea of the internet before Al Gore even started working on it. And a dystopic future where the corporations are autonomous entities operating outside of any nations law and the poor are….well, poor. But the tech is seriously existent now and the science is proving to be pretty much now.

Gene Roddenberry: Holy shit! This should be counted considering the tech we have now that was inspired by the show. And they named a fucking shuttle after the main craft in the show.

Reader’s Pick> George Orwell, Aldous Huxley: So they really only wrote one sci-fi novel. 1984 and Brave New World respectively. But hell these things are so damn relevant to our current world. Hell, the near accuracy of some of their stuff means you’d have to change the name of the show to Sorcerer’s Who Wrote Sci-Fi On Occasion. Shit they gave one to Mary Shelley. At least these guys are more futurists.

So there you go….I picked four guys and the first two I know because I’m a sci-fi fan. Hell, I forgot the last two and found them by just scrolling this page on Wikipedia.

So come on Science Channel. Ditch the Lucas and Shelley. Let’s go for some real sci-fi guys.

…on Cooking Chili While Pondering The Universe

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Lists with tags , , on December 14, 2011 by journeymantojo

It’s 2:30 pm and I’m about to throw the hamburger meat into the pot with some diced onions while I ponder the universe. More specifically Christmas. What do I want for X-mas? How come it’s gotten so stressful? How is it the job market is so demanding when people still need to eat? So let’s address these individually.

1> What I want.
a>Books. Lord Almighty I read constantly. My niece has apparently gotten me two of something and I hope they’re awesome. But considering who it is, they will be.
b> I would also like a copy of Santa’s naughty list. Specifically the naughty gals, am I right fellas?
c>I want a new TV. I like my TV but it’s an old school model that seems to take up a lot of room. What I wouldn’t give for a flat panel.
d>My Xbox 360 back. I’m not a huge video game player but dang it was great at killing some time.

2>Stress.
Well, it’s gotten stressful because I’m no longer the guy who just receives all the time. That was the shit then. No worries. Would still try to get stuff for the parents (with their money of course). But as soon as I joined the work force and learned how fast I am with money, well the holidays have gotten tougher.

3>The job market.
I’m a good cook. Not a papered chef, but a good cook none the less. The issue with this is how demanding the market has become. It’s gotten crazy. And I understand being choosy but sometimes you just wish these guys would take a chance with you.

Sorry my ponderings weren’t deeper. I’m building up for a big one that my friend has been looking forward to. And it’s coming. Might be up tonight. In the mean time I’ll give you a preview……..this one is for Janie……politics.

…on Having The Day Off And Nothing To Eat

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Lists with tags , , , on December 13, 2011 by journeymantojo

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog. This has been a pretty fun little experiment and today I successfully added videos and shit….so go me.

But there have been some things that have been running through my head that I felt needed to get out.

1>Do women have emergency underwear?
Not like in “OMG, I just started so I’m not wearing these thongs”. But like us guys. Ladies, do me a favor and rummage through your man’s drawers drawer. Notice the one or two pair that have the holes. The ones that would be adequately described as nothing-but-some-thread-attached-to-the-elastic. These are emergency drawers. When the laundry is getting behind and he doesn’t seem to have much to wear. These are the “one more day and then I’VE GOT TO DO LAUNDRY!” Yeah, do women have those?

2>Why, as an adult do I insist on owning a bed that doesn’t have an “under”?
I was noticing today how my bed isn’t on legs. It’s just a giant square box that a big slab sits on that holds my mattress. Like – if you’re honest – how many times have you turned off the light, let your mind wonder and then have to jump into the bed because you didn’t want the under-the-bed-monster to get you? So I’m so glad I own a bed that doesn’t have an under. The closet monster may get me, but the under-bed guy? Yeah, that guy is fucked.

3>Why can’t my brain think of witty shit right then?
I have a witty comeback reserve like nobody’s business. But ever find yourself in those scenarios where someone’s barb catches you in a pants-down day. Like no matter how clever you are (Or think you are), you catch that one where your brain says, “You know what would be a good come-back? Nothing! HA! Why? Because fuck you, that’s why.” So all that drops out of your noise making face hole is, “Oh yeah, well…….SHUT UP!” I hate that shit

So those are some of the deep philosophical quandaries that are racing through my head today. Man, I need to find something to eat.

…on Iron Armor: Kick Ass Metal Covers And some Songs That Need Metal Covers

Posted in Lists, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2011 by journeymantojo

Sitting here on the old PC falling slowly into YouTube hell and I got to thinking.

Today I’m going to indulge a little of my listing urge and my “fantasy-music-scenarios” yearning. So now I present……..(wait for it)……..(hang in there)……..(stay with me now)……….(I could so do a legen-dary joke here)………..MY FAVORITE METAL COVERS! And after words, my list of SONGS I WISH METAL BANDS WOULD COVER!

So let’s get started. In an order that in no way signifies favorites but just as they pop into my head.

1> “ARMY OF ME”
ORIGINAL:
Bjork is a lot of things off the top of my head. She’s short. She’s from one of those really cold countries. She can be strangely cute. And occasionally, just occasionally, she makes a song that just rocks. Army Of Me is one of those songs. Written about a brother fighting an addiction (Or something to that fact. I can’t remember and can’t be bothered to look it up right now.) But it’s an awesome song is my point. Dark. Crunchy. Song about addiction. What more could it need?
Bjork’s original:
COVER: Oh yeah! That’s what it needs! Some damn serious drop tuning, prog-metal synth hooks, and a throaty dude whose broken ass pronunciations of the English language just seem to add to the severity of the song. I know absolutely nothing about Klone but they do an awesome job of making an awesome song AWESOMER!
Klone’s cover:

2> “SHOUT”
ORIGINAL:
Fact! Every eighties band that was worth a damn made great songs about people in power being dicks and nuclear fallout and all that shit. Modern English did Melt With You. Nena did 99 Luftballoons. Men With Hats did Safety Dance (Well, maybe not every band worth a damn, but it’s still a good song!) Tears for Fears did that with Shout. They actually did it with a lot of songs but this one was great. The music had the kind of pop energy to get mainstream play and the lyrics mattered. Add in the vocals that seemed to border on anger and frustration and you couldn’t possibly improve on that.
Tears For Fears original:
COVER: Hey guys, I know what would make this song angrier! What if we sang it like we are actually pissed off. All they did was add some distortion and (this will probably be a trend) some synth with some very pissed off vocalization. And voila! You have a metal cover that’s definitely in my rotation. (Note: I chose this one over Land Of Confusion because it’s the underdog of Disturbed covers.)
Disturbed’s cover:

3> “FAITH”
ORIGINAL:
George Michael is…..pop. There really is no other way to put it. During the 80’s and early 90’s he could sing about a phone book and I’m pretty sure he would get the one thing he isn’t very interested in. Girl’s panties. Unless he likes to dress up in them. Which I’m not saying he does. This is all speculation. I don’t know the guy. He’s probably cool as hell to hang with and it would be in your favor to hang in public with him because you could get all that throw-away cougar trim that he isn’t really into. Faith was his liberation song. Good hooks, poppy, and shit, easy to dance to. What could you do to improve that?
George Michael’s original:
COVER: Say what you want about the guy (Okay, I will. He’s a douche. He’s a tool. He really grates on my nerves whenever he does things like talk, or think, or breathe, or live.) Fred Durst had some credibility in the late 90’s and early 00’s. And he had a good pop sensibility. And if it wasn’t for his constant whoredom we wouldn’t really be debating over whether nu-metal is really metal or not. But his frat approach to pop gold as well as angsting up the vocals helped make this cover cool. Not to mention the actual talents contributions. DJ Lethal on the turntables and Wes Borland on a dropped D seven string Ibanez. Yeah, good cover.
Limp Bizkit’s cover:

4> “IMAGINE”
ORIGINAL:
If I have to explain any of this you need your head examined. If I even have to tell you who sang it, congratulations on finally moving from under that rock.
THE original:
COVER: I’m not gonna say it. Because to say this epic song for peace could be improved upon then I would be a liar. Well, I wonder?! What if you made it more wrist slitty? What if you decided to appeal to people’s depression driven anger instead of their pop driven hopes? Well, you could do that. In which case you’d end up with this (Not better) but equally as impressive cover.
A Perfect Circle’s cover:

5> “THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
ORIGINAL: The Boss. The man who told Reagan no when he asked to use Born In The U.S.A. That dude is already metal! And The Ghost Of Tom Joad is just a great song about the depression. Yeah, it’s the Tom Joad from The Grapes of Wrath. Don’t know the guy, read a book. He’s the man. And The Boss wrote a song about him. Don’t get any more metal than a blue collar rocker writing a song about a man trying to make sure his family survives during the dust bowl era depression. Try to improve on that.
The Boss’ original:
COVER: Rage Against The Machine says “Challenge Accepted”. One of the greatest political bands decided to do a cover. Tom Morello said “I wonder if I can fuck with that hook.” Zach said “I wonder if those lyrics could be angrier?” And they did. I don’t want to say it but this song is more real, visceral and channels the feeling of that era (As well as channeling the frustration of this era) than Rage’s cover of Tom Joad. Challenge succeeded.
Rage’s cover:

Well, that about does it for my rant on music. But before I leave I would like to take the time to inspire some bands.

TEN YEARS AFTER – “I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD”: Haunting vocals, great hooks and a great little rift that is begging to be shredded. Or at least tooled with. Some drop D tuning and some double bass with a little more aggression during the verse (Keep the chorus melodic.) Suggestions: Tom Morello with Maynard James Keenan on vocals. Yeah.
BLUE OYSTER CULT – “GODZILLA”: Holy shit! No one has covered this? Are you kidding me? Blue Oyster Cult has some awesome songs but imagine this one with double bass drums and some cool prog synth to help with the guitars little “Godzilla-esque roar”. Suggestions: Well, Wes could probably throw some of that stuff in there with his seven string. Vocals could be anyone willing to have a little fun. Oh, and some Flea on that bass. Wonder if Portnoy would like to kill some drums for this one.
PETER SCHILLING – “MAJOR TOM (I’M COMING HOME): Yeah, let’s take a song made to follow up the Bowie classic Space Oddity. Change the synth tuning. Do some heavy prog progressions with a serious pitch shift. Yeah, this one screams to be played with. Suggestions: Hell, this one is open. Just get to work!