Dismemberment Plan – Dismembered but Still a Fine, Fine Band

I saw Dismemberment Plan with my buddy Jeff right before the Plan disbanded. I liked the concert, but it took a number of listens to their music to really get just how clever, fun, poetic and rockin’ they were. And by then they were no more. Their best album is, in my opinion, “Emergency & I” (The Dismemberment Plan). I like their first album, “!” (The Dismemberment Plan), — which is a far more “punk-ish” album, but “Emergency and I” balances energy and emo sensibilities with clever lyrics and complex structures. “Change” (The Dismemberment Plan) doesn’t seem to have as much energy as the previous ones, but has a couple of great songs, including the relentless “Time Bomb” and the fun “Ellen and Ben.”

YouTube has a live performance of their song “The Ice of Boston,” from their album “The Dismemberment Plan Is Terrified” (The Dismemberment Plan), Not my favorite of their songs, it’s definitely in the top 10 and shows off a lot of the stylistic elements that remain consistent across the three albums. The lead singer, Travis Morrison, released a solo album called “Travistan” (Travis Morrison), that is decent but doesn’t quite match his work with The Plan. I am looking forward to hearing his new album with a band called the Hellfighters, due out in April of this year.

DIY Project – Thinkpad 560x

So I’ve decided to resurrect an old laptop that I bought at a pawn shop in the fall of 2000. An IBM Thinkpad 560x.


I really dug this laptop when I bought it — small, light and yet comfortable to work on. Unfortunately, when i lent it to a friend, she cracked the screen and made it virtually unusable. Over the years, the cmos battery has died, the main battery has died and the small hard drive has become hopelessly inadequate for contemporary Windows programs. But I still have a soft spot for it and love the lightness of the 560x (it has no optical drives built in, which is one reason it’s so light and compact). So I’ve decided to make a go at repairing it and turning it into a linux box. My primary uses for a laptop are centered around writing text and this would be a perfect computer to throw in a bag and head off to a coffee shop for some work on the blog or the novel. I have recently ordered a new screen, a new cmos battery, a new power battery and am waiting to hear about an old external Micro Solutions Backpack CD player/recorder that is on sale through Craigslist. I’ve probably put out about $60 all told. The display came via UPS yesterday. I need to do some in research into what Linux version I should install and I’m also considering buying a 20 or 30 gb hard drive in order to have a little bit of multimedia space.

I will document my process and any setbacks or problems I might have, but I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult a process. If, however, you have any thoughts or ideas about this, please let me know – or if you have an older 2.5″ hard drive you want to donate!

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Great Cover!

If you haven’t heard of The Dresden Dolls, you are missing out on a great band. “The Dresden Dolls” (The Dresden Dolls) is an amazing album, sexy, strong, theatrical, and fun. While there is a tendency in the lyrics to veer toward a goth “pity-me” sensibility, the Dolls never go too far into that territory without a bit of irony and a Weimar-style smirk. “Yes, Virginia…” (The Dresden Dolls), their second album, doesn’t fire on quite as many cylinders for me, but has a couple of fun songs, including “First Orgasm” of the Day” and “Sing.” I have not had the opportunity to see them perform live, but from all the live videos I have seen, they are an awfully fun band live. I came across this great clip of them doing “Science Fiction Double Feature” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975 Film)” (Richard O’Brien). Check it out and head over to YouTube for more great videos from their live shows . . . then, if you are interested, head over to the official Dresden Dolls site and buy their stuff.

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Royal Stetson for Sale

This is a Royal Stetson Felt Pork Pie hat, Sized 7. The inner brim bears the Royal Stetson logo as well as the imprint of Ben Solomon from East Greenwich, RI.

This hat is in excellent condition. Email me if you have questions or would like to check it out in person. I’m selling it for $65, but could be willing to trade it for some computer equipment – specifically a Backpack CD drive that will attach through a parallel port.

Stetson Pork Pie 1 Stetson Pork Pie 2

Stetson Pork Pie 3 Stetson Pork Pie 4

Lowe’s Sinks to New Low

You know that it is time to go back to supporting local hardware stores when you ask a Lowe’s employee about hinges for mounting a door without placing it in a frame and he recommends that you go ask someone at a hardware store.

Second Life . . . Exposed

I have never played Second Life, and have not had any real desire to do so. After this article, I have even less incentive . . .

My adventures in Second Life
02/19/07 by toothpaste
. . . My character came pre-loaded as a “cybergoth”. Most people I saw in the game, jerkily wandering around, also had fantasy-ass names. They also had fantasy asses. Perfect, round fantasy asses. Which left me with only one choice: I had to become what they were not. Slowly, because everything in Second Life is painfully slow, I removed all components of my clothing, including Cybergoth.Armwarmers and Cybergoth.Boots. I even removed Cybergoth.Facetattoo.

After a half-hour of pulling on sliders, I had transformed from Wenis Cybergoth to Wenis Pale Corpulent Bulldog-Man. I shortened my torso and gave myself man-handles. I made my hands puffy. I enlarged my jowls to the maximum, and beaded my eyes down to… well, little beads.

Follow the link for the full text and thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

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Catching Up: Odds & Ends

The move is complete. We lost time last week because I came down with some kind of stomach bug that had me particularly nauseous for all of Tuesday and moderately nauseous Wednesday and Thursday as well. Saturday was a much longer day that we had anticipated because 1) we have more stuff than we realized and 2) when we moved into the old place, we did so in three distinct stages: all of J’s stuff was moved in by the time I got into NYC from VA, then after a couple of weeks settling in, we got J’s bedroom set and a number of other large items from her parent’s house in MA. What we didn’t do was add together all of those moves to create a realistic time frame of how long it would take. In the end, most everything came over on the truck (with two movers helping us) on Saturday and J & I went back Sunday with a cargo van to pick up the door that we are going to install as well as the rest of our odd and ends from the old place.

Currently, we are still in a bit of a shambles–which the cat absolutely adores because she has boxes to leap and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and crouch in–but we will hopefully get everything to functional status by the end of the week.

I am working a temp job for American Friends of Magen David Adom – the American fundraising organization for Israel’s version of the Red Cross. This was the temp job I had before the Scenarios office manager and it is providing a decent wage. I’m working under a 1099 contract, however, and need to start putting some of these paychecks away for when the Taxman comes ’round next year. I guess, as I’m shifting to a more freelance footing, that I might need to look into filing quarterly . . . but that will be tabled for the next month or so. This job should last for another month or so before I need to look for other employment. In the meantime, once the apartment is in order, I will be working on a business idea that I have started to develop, looking for some theatre sound design work, starting to develop a new blog that will focus on reviews and critiques of the arts and popular culture, and continued work on the novel that was supposed to have been written during November. I have written about 8000 words of that and have only 42,000 to go!!

Drink it!! Drink it!!

New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks

The Onion

New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks

CAMBRIDGE, MA-Starbucks announced that people can now enjoy an espresso any time they please, even while defecating.

Moving Week – Day One

Got the proper keys, did some painting, had a maid service do a thorough cleaning of the kitchen, bathroom & living room (that was J’s V-day present), and took a few pictures of the place:

The Bedroom:


The 1/2 room: my “office:”

01010010.JPG The Living Room:


The Kitchen: 01010011.JPG

The cool looking building that is behind ours (I’m hoping to get some nice pictures of that place if it’s hit by the proper light):

01010015.JPG Among some of the things left to do – painting, figuring out the door situation between the hallway and my office, getting blinds and curtains for the bedroom windows and for the kitchen windows.

Oh and then there’s the whole packing and moving thing too as well as notifying utilities. Somewhere in there this week we also need to do laundry and go to the store.


I found that I don’t like painting because I don’t think I do a good enough job. Once done, I don’t mind if there are a few small mistakes here or there like a dab of paint on the ceiling or a slightly uneven line at a corner so that one wall bleeds over onto the other a little (we don’t paint walls the same colors ’round here, nosiree-bob!). But when I’m actually in the process of doing the painting, my inability to be perfect is annoying.

Currently Listening: The Frames – Rise