Monday, December 31, 2007


I spent my weekend drawing cartoons.

They were pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

cliff ogres

Artwork by Scott Campbell

Saturday, December 22, 2007

battle supreme

artwork by Scott Campbell

Friday, December 21, 2007


I freaking hate snow.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Neil Diamond is my arch nemesis.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've been reading a lot lately, for school and just because I'm literate. I've always liked to read, and can safely say that books are cool. I got this idea not too long ago to write a book. I don't want to write an epic novel of 2000 pages or more. Just a book, along the lines or style of the late Lloyd Alexander. I liked his books, they weren't too long, and they were fun to read. Along with the story I'd like to include some illustrations, which would make it more a novel/graphic novel and something in between.

In the graphic novel, Arzach by Moebius, the story is described through pictures without dialogue. In a way, I'd like to compliment the details of the story by including illustrations, and at the same time tell a story without dialogue. The reader will turn the page, see a picture and the story will pick up where the illustration left off on the next page.

A novel without dialogue?!! What?! Well.. there will be dialogue. I don't really want to draw the whole thing. I just think that some novels would be better if there were more illustrations included more often. Sometimes pictures can describe more that 200 pages of dense boring descriptions. Think about it.

How often have you read a book and the author describes an very detailed scene only to be frustrated by the limited capacity of your imagination? Or while reading a book you just keep saying, "They should make this into a movie!" That's the idea. Sometimes there are special illustrated versions of books that we've read over and over. There was an illustrated version of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist that was very impressive. Coffee-table versions of books.

That's the idea... I have a feeling this might end up in the bottomless pit of unfinished projects though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I have to write a senior thesis. I've been thinking about what to write about for a long time now. Supposedly it can be about whatever I want. I just need to get my sources approved and away I go. Some possible ideas for my senior thesis:
  • Greek/Roman Cartography and views of ancient world geography
  • Sub-Roman Britain's early Christians (Pre-Norman Conquest)
  • Printing Press and book production before the Renaissance
  • King Freaking Arthur (man or myth?)
  • Medieval Christian Military orders (Knights Templar/Tuetonic knights)
  • Hernan Cortes and the Conquest of Tenochtitlan
  • Coronado's expedition to locate Cibola (one of the fabled cities of gold)
Any suggestions out there? Anything is possible here. I think that finding primary sources for some of these topics will be hard to obtain, but shouldn't be too bad.

Friday, November 16, 2007


In a continued effort to make my blog more boring - I've decided to talk about a specific document from the 12th century: the Guthlac Roll. The manuscript itself is presently located at the British Library, and it details the life of St. Guthlac, a hermit that lived in eastern England in the 7th century. The roll was made shortly after the Norman conquest of England. Details of the manuscript are depicted in circular form that possibly were meant as templates for stained glass windows. Stained glass windows with artwork similar to the Guthlac Roll can be found in the window of the North Rose at Lincoln Cathedral.

Guthlac was born the son of a local noble, and after being inspired by heroes of old, fought in the army of Æthelbald of Mercia. He became a monk at twenty-four and then moved out to an island where he lived the rest of his life as a hermit. Guthlac gained notoriety as people sought his spiritual guidance, and later gave refuge to the future king of Mercia, who built Crowland Abbey in his honor. The Abbey itself still stands today, though it has fallen into disrepair since the 16th century.

Many details of Guthlac's life come from The Vita sancti Guthlaci written by Felix after his death. Guthlac endured many temptations and hardships during his life, and was rescued by St. Bartholomew from demons that tormented him (see above). He dressed in animal skins, lived off of scraps of bread, and drank a cup of muddy water before sunset. This no doubt attributed to his declining health and illness that accompanied him towards the end of his life. Two Old English poems known as Guthlac A and B from the Exeter Book are possibly based on Felix's work. Both are derived from orally transmitted tales, much like Beowulf, that were of interest to Anglo-Saxon audiences of the time. Much information regarding Guthlac and his sister Pega were lost over time after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
sources: by Alexandra Olsen

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Much to the dismay of my wife, I rented "Seven Samurai" by Akira Kurosawa. Made in 1954, it is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. 3 hours of black and white, Japanese with English subtitled samurai awesomeness. Kurosawa's work inspired many other movies, many of which were Westerns. I haven't finished the movie yet, but I plan to follow up "Seven Samurai" with some of his other great samurai epics: "Kagemusha", "Ran", "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro". Awesome.

Oh and I see that Garit finally tricked out his van. Kind of overkill, but I'm sure his science_man_jector would fit nicely inside:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

the pod

Albums in current rotation on the iPod:

1. Pink Floyd: "Animals"
2. Kula Shaker: "K"
3. The Killers: "Sam's Town"
4. George Harrison: "All Things Must Pass"

I've probably mentioned this before, but I was never really one of those 70's rock kind of people. I secretly ridiculed people who wore Floyd/Hendrix shirts to school, because their hippie father or older brother listened to that stoner crap. I was so convinced that synthesizer driven 80's music was the best thing in the universe, that it wasn't until later that I realized that I was listening to the same mundane electronic stuff over and over. What got me into older music was the riff driven guitarists of yore, and awesome percussion that you couldn't fake with a drum machine. I was also interested in the gear and vintage effects pedals that old guitarists used and modified during the early days of recording. Seems impossible that some of the greatest albums of all time were made on a 8 track mixer!

Monday, November 5, 2007


So the Writer's Guild of America went on strike today. Supposedly it'll effect television programs and dump endless hours of reruns on our heads. Night time talk shows are the first casualties, and in a month or two, if this strike doesn't resolve itself, most series shows will run out of new episodes. Tragic.

I'm not concerned. I needed a reason to wean myself away from television. I feel useless every time I slip into a TV coma. I need to get away from the tube and finish the 3 or 4 books I've been reading... cook something, build something, or finish some songs I've been thinking about for 3 years. Whatever.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I'm at work:

I had just helped two women, and their perfume was pretty strong, when a guy walks up looking like he had to sneeze and says, "Whew! That's some strong perfume! you know, I'm really sensitive to that stuff! I quit wearing underarm deodorant a long time ago..."

That struck me as odd.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Since moving to our new place we've received some mail from people that lived here before us... its usually junk mail, a catalog or something..

The other night I got our mail and there was a package key sitting in our box, you know, the kind for smallish packages or whatever. I didn't order anything so I thought it must be a book order or something Nat got. What we saw boggled our little minds...

The package was flat, like someone was sending a photo or something.. but the return address was interesting. It read the "National Guild of Hypnotists" or something like that. I said, "What the crap is this?!" So my wife opened it. Apparently whoever lived here before us had joined a guild of fellow hypnotists and enclosed was a big elaborate gold-embossed certificate of super hypnotism. Weird. Also included were various magazines and newsletters that talked about why being a hypnotist was cool.

I don't really know what to say.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

dalai lama

"Experts were worried about China’s reaction to President Bush’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. China is very upset, but Bush says he doesn’t think the meeting will damage our relationship with China. Yeah. Then Bush said, “But this might,” and took a huge bite out of a panda bear sandwich."

-Conan O'Brien

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

bird poop

There was a giant cloud of birds that used to circle over my work every night around 7. Thousands and thousands of tiny birds would chase each other between 3 or 4 trees next to the building. The sound was obnoxious... like a high pitched whooshing noise. It was so loud I could hear them from inside the building.

The Result? Our parking lot looks like a war zone. Everything is splattered with white poo.

I haven't seen the menacing cloud in a week so my guess is they moved on... scary though.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


String Cheese: Great dairy snack, or are you just playing with cheese with your dirty hands?

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I really want a panini press. I don't know what it is but the those toasty, crispy sandwiches are the best things in the universe. Fill it with all kinds of meat, every animal imaginable, and add the finest cheeses and press it down and BAM! The best sandwich in the universe.

In my quest of the best sandwiches imaginable, I've found this site:
with almost 3,000 sandwiches to choose from, this site is a great place to start constructing a great sandwich. Honestly, the sky is the limit.

I wish there were better places to eat around here. A long time ago I reviewed most of the crappy sandwich places around here... Honestly, I live in franchise hell. I'd have to drive an hour to reach some of the best deli's in Salt Lake. There are no original locally owned places that really melt my face in terms of awesome sandwich bliss. If I'm ignoring something important, I plead to the masses to point me in the right direction and give me a sandwich.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I took two very different tests yesterday from my history professors, and I think I did ok. Multiple choice tests are supposed to be easier than long essay questions or other methods of testing, but some instructors like to entrap their students in a quagmire of guilt (for not studying) and indecision because all the answers look correct, or wrong all together.

First test was like this:

What happened when... ?

a. Correct answer
b. Even more correct answer
c. Almost correct answer
d. a and b
e. All of the above

Even if you think you know the right one to pick, there is always that lingering doubt in your mind that there was an even more correct answer, or that all of them fit the criteria. By the end of the test that "all of the above" answer begins to look like a cheat button.

The other test was like this:

Who was .... ?
a. Most Incorrect
b. Almost Incorrect
c. Very Incorrect
d. Possibly Incorrect
e. None of the above

This test makes you doubt every answer by the end of the test, even if you were confident on a particular question.

So both tests worked the opposite sides of my brain as I tried to deduce what each of my professors expected the answer to be. Even if I had a Magic 8-ball there to guide me, it wouldn't have been easier.

I hate tests like that, but I did ok.

Friday, September 21, 2007

follow up

As a follow up to my last blog:

Columbia University has invited Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak at a Q&A session. This of course has some people calling for its cancellation.

White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday that the Bush administration had no involvement with Columbia’s decision.
This is a country where people can come and speak their minds,” he said, adding, “It would be wonderful if some of the countries that take advantage of that here allowed it for their own citizens there.”

When they aren't being tazered and pulled kicking and screaming from their places of learning. I don't think there's much difference between us and them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I was going to blog about First Amendment rights after hearing about the student who was taken down by campus police in Florida. I couldn't believe the audacity of six police officers tazering a kid for just trying to ask a question (no matter how obnoxious he is). They cut his mic and dragged him out of the auditorium kicking and screaming.

Then I remembered that I like watching people being tazered. Oh well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

recipe thief

Milk Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 (11.5-ounce) package Milk Chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (probably walnuts)

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with water. Stir in 1 cup morsels and nuts. Pour into greased 9-inch-square baking pan.
Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately sprinkle remaining morsels over warm cake; let stand for 5 minutes or until morsels are shiny and soft. Spread evenly over cake. Cool completely.
Makes 9 servings.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Some things that must go:

1. People that talk too loud on their cellphones.
2. Meteorologists.
3. Black and Pink emo clothes.


Thursday, August 30, 2007


Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto

Leaves from 2 bunches fresh basil
2 tablespoons pine nuts (untoasted)
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and blend to a puree. Add the cheese, salt and pepper, and blend again.
Cook the pasta in the boiling, salted water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto and toss. Taste for salt and pepper, and add a drizzle of oil, if you like.

Sometimes I wish there was a secret hidden pasta buffet that only I knew about.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


All of my classes seem ok.

I'm taking some more ancient history classes, and a couple of US history classes. I'm not that big into US history though... I like stuff on Native Americans, and the early Spanish conquest of the New World, but after that... it doesn't really interest me. My native American class is really interesting.. hopefully I can sign up for an Archeology class next semester...

School seemed the same though... crowded hallways, idiot highschool graduates, books, papers, and me. I was able to ride my bike a little around campus though, and it drastically cut down travel time. I was surprised to see others on bikes too, I guess I'm not the only dork around here. My schedule is great, my teachers are awesome and I only needed to buy like 2 books this semester. The grand total: $18.

Good start to a good semester.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Bike is done. Fixed the chainline, cogs, and the chain tension. Done. Took it out for a 30 second test run, and it was perfect. Everything worked together. Except the front brake lever. No brakes... I need to adjust the brake pads, and calipers, then I should be able to stop. When I get home tonight I'll fine tune everything and see what needs to be changed.

School starts again this week. While I'm somewhat excited to return, I feel like I'm underestimating the workload this semester. I'm going to take a different approach this time around and won't let my insane professors get the best of me. Hopefully I'll figure it all out. Organization is the key.

Going to repair my blue computer this week once the little part comes in. I need to replace the DC power jack on the motherboard, because the old one is broken and won't charge the battery correctly. I figure once that is finished, I should be able to replace/repair some of the files on the win 98 computer. I guess that would allow me to type up the incredible amount of essays I have this semseter, and fix my music recording issues. Hmm...

Monday, August 6, 2007

summer 07

There isn't much to blog about. The end of summer is just re-runs and Kraft mac & cheese. Work, and total lameness. The bike is almost done, the music is in the works... its as if I'm waiting for the blade to drop on my throat and for the semester to begin. I've got like a year and a half left of school.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

bike stuff

So I've been riding my bike. Sort of. I've really just been messing with it for the last few weeks. Since we moved, I haven't been able to really ride that much, but I'm excited to try out some of the new routes around my neighborhood. I came to the realization that I don't understand why derailleurs never really work, and since I'm no expert, I will never really be able to make them function properly. So I'm converting my mountain bike into a single speed. I really just used a few gears anyway, and I'm not really planning on going to ride any trails or anything... Since my bike is more of a commuting machine it makes sense to just fix the thing and strip all the stupid parts that just get in the way. It'll make the dang thing lighter too. I'm going to ride the bike around campus this year (because of a super ridiculous parking situation), and making an ugly bike even uglier is the way to go.

Last night I tore the rear wheel apart. I took off all the nonessential parts (everything), and now all that's left is finding that "magic gear" ratio that will allow me to ride around comfortably. I'll need some new brake levers, but I'm sure there's some available in my parent's garage somewhere. After adjusting the chainline, everything should be good to go. I'd post some pictures, but I'm too lazy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Well, we moved. We moved all our junk and we're in our new place. Nothing much to note though. It seems that we've been spending too much time at Ikea however.

Summer crawls on.

Man, I'm tired.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I went for a ride yesterday, mainly to check if my brakes really worked, but just to get out of the house and do something. I ended up riding down to my parents house about 5 miles away, and from the start, it looked like it was going to be a great ride. I left the house around 8pm because by then the temperature had finally dropped from insane to somewhat tolerable. Halfway through the ride I saw some awesome clouds pushing their way westward, bringing a serious headwind that sucked the speed out of me.

Some cool things that I saw on the way:

A rusty chain
A dead raccoon
An orange lighter
A red ball
A Leatherman Wave tool (I picked this up quick! sweet!)
Numerous beer cans and random crap.

My ride wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I took some back roads and rarely saw a car pass me. The roads around here have really become dangerous as more homes are built out west, and the increased traffic has made the streets a traffic nightmare. Lucky for me though, our city has a nice bike path that runs through town.

Watching Live Earth this morning- a huge concert with just about everybody, playing all over the world in support of the environment. I hate the inversion and smog that constantly covers this valley because of lousy weather and fumes contributed by vehicles. I hate hearing about how our environment is taken for granted. I don't expect to see an oil tanker run aground in Utah lake, or a glacier to melt and flood downtown, but seriously... human impact on the world is going to become more of an issue in the years to come. Not just an issue, a bad situation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

bike 4

After some serious brain power and effort, I managed to attach my new handlebars. I reconnected and adjusted the brakes and shifters and this morning went for a short ride. I haven't been on a bike in 3 years. And yet, it all came back to me...

I went up and back my street pretty quickly, just to check the gears out and get used to the saddle (yeeouch!). The brakes needed some more adjustment, and the seat height seemed about right. So I came home and climbed the stairs to my apartment and was going to puke my brains out. I wanted to die. I'm never riding again...

Until I get home from work tonight.

After my stomach settled, I watched some quality programing and ate one of my favorite cereal creations: Trix/PB Crunch/Crunch Berries. It was almost like I was eating a PBJ sandwich... in cereal form.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

bike 3

Still waiting on some parts to come in the mail... it seems like forever (it'll probably come today). I haven't really done much to the bike in a week, just cleaned more grime and trying to rig a rubber band/Velcro system to attach my GPS to the stem or handlebars. Kinda lame if you think about it.. having a bike sitting there in the hall in pieces. Everything should work out once it all comes together.

Some more bike related stuff:
After looking around for some parts I came across

One gear? why? well, I'm not quite sure but the cult of the fixed-gear is gaining members daily, and taking an older bike and converting it to a fixed-gear racing machine is the hip thing to do these days. Owing to the bike messenger underground, fixed-gear bikes are now becoming more common. If I come across a cheapo bike in the future, I'd like to make one.

On a side note:
Moving soon. We found a new place out west, and it will give us some room to breathe. I'll get a room for myself to store all of my music projects, guitars, books, equipment, and experiments. My wife will get a room to put all her stuff in. Looking forward to living there, not looking forward to moving all our stuff.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


By formal decree from my wife:

She does not appreciate the game we've been playing lately. While it may have been funny at first, all the gay jokes have got to go. I withdraw from the stupid game and would appreciate it if people would leave me and my wife out of it.

If there was anyone that I offended, or mistreated I apologize. I'm done.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I hate my job. I need a new one.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

bike update

Well yesterday I went and bought some cheapo tires and some tubes and went to fix my bike. I spent the better part of the afternoon removing the grime and gunk that had built up around the sprockets and derailleurs. The bike cleaned up really well and I didn't see any serious damage or wear considering how old the bike actually is. Getting the tires on was a complete girly struggle for me. I don't know if it was because I am a little sick, or just because I haven't repaired a tire in a long time, but it took me forever. I guess I'm just dumb. With the tires on, and the chain on a gear, I went up and down my street really easy, and the bike didn't make any crunching sounds or weird noises. The derailleurs need some serious adjustment, and the brakes need to be tightened. I'm still going to replace the handlebars to make it more of a touring/commuting bike monstrosity, but that will have to wait until later because I'm going to have to order the parts. I'll post a picture later.

Friday, June 15, 2007


My first bike was a huffy mountain bike that my mom ran over with her van. I'm sure I should have fixed it, but Nintendo was more important than exercise at the time. Yesterday I saw some guy riding a bike, you know, one of those racer guys with nothing better to do on a weekday than race around town like he's doping on steroids. I first thought that guy must have a sweet/no job to let him do that during the work day, and second, I wanted to be out there on a bicycle instead of wasting gas inside my car, stuck at a red light. Honestly. Why do I drive around anyway?

My brother just got a new bike and left behind a semi-usable bike for me to work on. After salvaging some bike parts from my parent's house, it looks like I've got a bike now. It just need some new tires, a little cleaning up, and then I have the ultimate two wheeled commuting machine. I don't see myself clutching a yellow jersey anytime soon, but I'd like to get back on two wheels. I'd theoretically like to ride to work, but it may be too hot to do that right now. I think after work I'll just hit the bike path up the road and ride to my parent's house and back. Thinking about riding around in heavy traffic makes me kinda nervous. But hey, I used to do that all the time when I lived in Puerto Rico. And I'm sure it surprised my wife last night when she went into the kitchen and saw a bike sitting there. I like working on bikes anyway, and piecing together a worthy road machine is great when the bike itself is free. That's initiative my friend. That's super power.

Monday, June 11, 2007

vacation 1

A report of our trip to California.

My wife and I drove down to California last week to visit Disneyland and go to the beach. It was my first real vacation since our honeymoon trip to Denver last year, and probably my first real vacation in 3 years. I thought the trip down would give my wife and I time to shoot the breeze and enjoy the ride. Along the way I made some careful observations:

1. Even while driving the speed limit I should slow down.
2. My wife points out every police car she sees and then looks at me like I'm a criminal. I tell her, "Just act casual dang-it!!!"
3. I saw like 15-20 people with blow outs... it made me question the structural integrity of my tires. Then I imagined one of our tires exploding and our car flipping like 7 times...
4. Gas is cheaper in Vegas.
5. Driving through the Mojave desert is really boring. It was lame until my wife dumped an entire bag of melty Reese's throughout the car (accidentally she says).
6. Gas is cheaper in Anaheim.
7. That stupid van with the roof rack is NOT going to beat me this time!
8. I am a wuss when it comes to hot weather.
9. Not having a bubble tea place where we live = total suckfest.

I'd say that the trip down and back was pretty uneventful. We stopped at some outlet malls and didn't really get anything. For as cool as outlet malls are, all the crap they sell is just the same as anything else. The same polo shirts, the same cargo pants. All that walking around just made me realize that I can get any of this crap online. For as lame as Vegas is sometimes, there are some cool things to see there. There's more to talk about, but I'll get to that later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Memorial Day weekend. While most people are out boating, camping, enjoying one another's company, or memorializing the dead, I was underneath my SUV trying to restore functionality to my transmission. Irony is when you realize that you drained your transmission fluid instead of the oil. My vehicle is brilliantly made I found out, and the only way to replace the fluid is from an overflow underneath the vehicle. So lying on my back pumping red fluid into a vehicle is how I spent my Memorial day. Everything seems to be running better than it was before.

On a side note: my wife is freakishly good at mini golf.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

another site

I found a cool site. Its a collection of stories and photos of abandoned buildings throughout the US. I'd say the main focus is on abandoned structures along the East Coast, but there are a few ghost townish places.

Some of the mental facilities and hospitals would scare the crap out of me. Some of the pictures show old hospital records and documents that would be really interesting to look at.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


As I've been looking for things to do this summer (besides our trip to Disneyland in June) I've thought of some interesting hikes and adventures around my town. Looking up on the internet I've located some old ghost towns within 50 miles of where I live and with the help of Google Maps have located them. I like going into old mines and towns looking for cool things long forgotten. I like to learn about the history behind the towns and what made people abandon them. Since Utah has been inhabited by pesky Mormons for over 100 years, there are plenty of old boom towns that once saw great activity and then saw decline for one reason or another.

I've been to a few towns and ruins before, but its been a long time, and I didn't do any research beforehand to know what I was looking at. All of this started when I was younger and went hiking up in Millcreek canyon by my family's cabin. There was an old silver mine that had last seen activity in the 70's and early 80's. When I was younger, the doors to the mine had always been locked. That didn't stop us from hiking there, and one time the door had been opened and allowed us to explore inside the mine about 100 yards. Graffiti dating back to the late 1800's and names of the miners dotted the walls. An old Mining car, and other tools were there, the remains of an old refrigerator and a tractor that someone had rigged to pull mine carts still remained in the shed. Sadly an avalanche had destroyed what remained of the shed and its tools a year later, and the last time i went to go to the mine the Forest Service had foamed the mouth of the entrance shut.

There was another mine that we hiked to in the Millcreek area called Baker's mine. I was told that a fire had burned down the mining operation there. Evidently there was a hotel there at one time way up in the mountains. The only way to get there was a serious day hike and even when I went, it was really hard to find. Here's a link to information and some old pictures of the area:
The entrance to the mine looks like it had been covered a few times. I'm sure bushes and over growth make finding the entrance near impossible today. But telltale signs of mining can give it away: slag runoff, and jagged rock pieces. When I went back 10 years ago there was a small opening I had to crawl through. The mine itself goes into the mountain about 50 yards in two directions, both leading to cave ins. Really muddy, and the old wooden supports looked questionable. Not much else remains of this old iron mine.

So what am I going to do? I'm going to buy a metal detector and revisit some ghost towns and mining areas to see if I can find some relics of the past, indicators of how these people lived and what their lives might have been like. There are some areas that I've wanted to explore that are only accessible in the summer once the snow has melted. It'll be fun, and I'll take pictures of everything. From what I've seen already, people have been able to dig up all sorts of interesting things that show what these mining communities were like over 100 years ago. The towns and sites I'm going to explore probably don't see very many visitors, so there's a good chance at finding something interesting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm way ahead of my time.

For the record: I believe that my sister-in-law won her senior class president election because of a robot poster I made. I don't care what she thinks or says, I single-handedly took her lame ideas and made her a winner. I don't think anyone really cared or knew who she was until the robot poster.

Thank you very much.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Rainy day today.

I guess I can look forward to higher gas prices and indigestion.

I want a burrito.

Monday, April 9, 2007


The best two things:

Dill pickle chips and Dr. Pepper.

I can't explain it, but I'm in heaven or nirvana or whatever.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


This is me:

Sitting. Staring off into space. At my job.

I work at a bank.

I want to stab my eyes out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Perfect Moment of the Day:

When I start to brush my teeth and realize I put my hair glue on my toothbrush.

I can still taste it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

music ideas

I've started another blog to chronicle the music project I've been working on. A place where all the ideas and garbage can swirl around and around...

It isn't much at the moment, but I'm going to include notes, pictures, and samples of the new project once things get started.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I went to the Mayan restaurant for my birthday. And while I've heard about that place- people seem to think that it's the best mexican food around. Every chef I've ever talked to has told me that the food blows and people just go there to see the divers and the indoor waterfalls.

The Vedict:

Food: I've eaten better at Betos or Mi Ranchito. There really wasn't much difference there. I'm not sure how innovative mexican cuisine has become but in all honesty there's only so much you can do to an enchilada or a burrito. The rice was a little dry. The food was a little on the salty side.

Atmosphere: Ok. It seemed like I was standing in line for a Disney Land ride.

Etc: Since I was wearing a giant balloon hat, and my drink was never refilled I'm sure that the Mayan won't be on the top of my list of places to eat. Ok. The hat was cool.

What ruined my dinner was the beefy flexing guy in a speedo diving off the rock waterfall into the pool. I guess that's the draw for this restaurant. Seeing a dudes butt crack didn't make me want to eat anymore. I'm sure Garit would have liked it though.

So birthday dinner was good. We saw The Last Mimzy. I really liked it. The sound effects were really really good. The visuals were awesome. Great movie.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


So skunks must be the slowest land mammal. They must be considering the skunk genocide I witness and smell everytime I drive through town. I see lots of road kill on the side of the road. Deer. Cats. Dogs. I even saw a horse once. On these busy rural roads people crank up the speed and inevitably hit small animal critters. The majority of roadkill around here is the slow moving skunk that explode with smell when hit. I'm not sure what goes through a skunk's mind to cross the pavement, or what the driver thinks when he feels a small bump in the road. What remains is the lingering stench of skunk musk that lasts for days.

No one is going to pick that thing up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

guitar 3

So after the clear had dried, I left the guitar hanging on a hook for about a week to let everything harden. I sanded some roughspots on the neck with 1000 and 2000 grit paper. The white finish looked good on the body and the neck didn't show signs of warping or bow. I installed the tuners on the headstock and they went in pretty well. The coats of clear made the bushings a little difficult to put into the tuning holes but it worked.

I put all the parts out on the table and started running the wires through the body. After connecting the wires together and grounding it under the bridge, I reversed the switch and the control plate. I put the new output jack on there. Everything seemed to fit into place. I drilled two small holes in the pickgaurd so I could adjust the neck pickup heigth like a Strat, so I wouldn't have to remove the pick guard everytime I needed to adjust it.

It all seemed to fit pretty well. The screws used to secure the neck to the body suck. They didn't go in very well and I'll probably have to replace them- but the neck looks ok and went on alright. When I put the strings on I noticed that the nut was really high. No amount of adjusting the saddles and bridge would fix the high action. Judging from another guitar, I lowered the slots for the strings and filed down the nut to something more managable. After a few attempts I tuned up the guitar and saw that the action was way better than before. There is some hum from the guitar- when I get around to it I'll shield the control cavity with copper tape and check the ground wire again. Maybe even shield the wires. But for right now I don't really care. I'm playing a BIG MUFF PI and it sounds awesome.

Besides a few issues with the nut, the guitar went together pretty flawlessly. There are a few dead spots though.. and while I don't see it as a problem, I'll probably have to make some more adjustments to the saddle and maybe a little fretwork someday. No big deal.

Plays great. Looks great. I want to build another one now.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

guitar 2

I've been building a guitar for the past few weeks. After getting everything together- it wasn't as bad as I had thought. There are a few issues that I need to work out, but nothing that bad

After the parts arrived in the mail, I marked out the design I wanted on the head stock and taped the neck pocket and fingerboard to keep it from getting painted. I figured that a Strat headstock would be different for a Telecaster style guitar.

I cut the headstock design with a coping saw and sanded it smooth. Not so bad for someone as uncoordinated as me.

I wanted this guitar to be white, and a tortoise shell pickguard would really make it stand out.

I started by priming the wood with some BIN primer. After sanding it down to something level, I sprayed the Olympic White color. After numerous coats and once the can was empty, it didn't look so bad. It isn't a perfect paint job, nor is it a really thick layer of paint. I want to relic this guitar later so I'm not too concerned with the getting the finish that perfect. I had some rough spots, and orange peel- but most of it sanded down.

I had to wait to clear coat the guitar because of bad humid weather- but everything went on ok. I let the lacquer harden for about a week. Like I said before, it isn't a perfect job, but I think it will look good with a relic look.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I was thirsty. I had just woken up from a spontaneous nap. I've never really craved a big freaking soda, but I wanted one. BAD. So I jumped in the car, drove down the road, and went to Harts.

Ah Harts... A gas station the gods bestowed upon smalltown Utah. As I pulled up the street I noticed that gas prices have gone up 20 cents since the last time I filled gas. I got out of the car and went inside the door.

What stuck me was the crowd of people coming and going. I went up to the fountain and decided that yes, a 64 oz. drink would be the only option. I figured I could use the huge plastic cup for something else later. After filling up my drink and one for my wife I balanced the drinks carefully and went over to find some lids and a straw long enough to handle the extreme awesomeness of 64 oz. of soda. More people come in. They all go to the fountain and grab sodas. I overheard a conversation:

"... Hi, I haven't seen you in awhile."

"Yeah, I came home from practice and my mom was like, "get me a diet soda now!" so I came right over"

I went over to find some chips and saw more people come in and out of the station. Every one of them went to the fountain. As I paid the cashier and left, I noticed a long line of kids and parents about to pay for their drinks.

On the way home I realized that we were all victims of Hart's subliminal messages. Messages that have throbbed silently throughout town for years, brainwashing the people. Whenever I ask my wife where we should get a drink, she always says Hart's. As I left the station tonight I knew that I was already a silent drone of Hart's fountain drink army. All the kids I saw, and all their parents, we were all silent cogs in the robotic machine. This is a frightening conspiracy.

All of this came to me as I drank my soda. I'll probably have to pee like 8 times tonight. But I don't care, it is a small price to pay.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Day light savings is a joke.

Everyone argees to do things an hour earlier so more can get done. That's it. There's no miracle there.


I'm moving back to Arizona. They don't change the clocks forward or backward. They don't believe in day light savings time.

People need to take more naps and have longer vacations.

That's the solution.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

more crap

Crap art is a new movement in art.

From what I've found it revolves around the idea that art creation is an exploratory process of discovery. It holds a disregard for common opinions of what art should or shouldn't be, and that quantity not necessarily quality should be the driving factor. The overall idea revolves around cranking out as much art as possible. Crap art follows the 80/20% rule: "If only 20% of the effort is needed to get 80% of the quality, then by spending only 20% the effort we can create five times as many artifacts at 80% quality!"

The underlying factor: Crap Art motivates people to actually do something. They put down the remote, they drop the game controller, and become productive. I know I've talked about this before but I was reading something and it brought me back to the the concept of Album a day (AAD).

Let's be honest here. How hard is it to make a full length album in one day? At first thought, churning out a CD is a lot of work in itself. Hooking all the wires up, checking the levels and connections is a feat in itself. Depending on the concept of the album, it could take weeks, months, or years to finish. I guess the idea is developing a consistent system to compose music. While many of the AAD's are pretty freaking weird, I've found a few that really hit the mark and make you wonder... "Am I capable of making something this good in one day?"

I've really been thinking about making new music this year. What I lack in motivation I make up for with weird ideas.

Not Album a Day, but something similar is Podington Bear. This bear makes a song every other day and is good. His podcast can be found on iTunes.

Some links:

Crap Art
Podington Bear

Monday, February 26, 2007


Random music on my iPod

1. The Pillows - I've liked this band since watching the anime cartoon "Fooly Cooly" on Cartoon Network one night 3 years ago. The Pillows are a fine example of 90's Alternative rock at it's best. I wish I knew Japanese. With catchy guitar lines and awesome dynamics I find myself humming their riffs throughout the day. What makes them great are the random bits of Engrish that they throw into their songs.

2. Radiohead "Live from Astoria"(concert circa 1994?) - I like this concert mainly because it bridges the gap between Radiohead's first album, Pablo Honey, and their second, The Bends. When they play material from The Bends the crowd doesn't react, like they're hearing it for the very first time. Some notable performances are "Just" and "Maquilador". Seeing Thom Yorke with shaggy yellow hair was interesting as well... "My Iron Lung" was recorded during this concert and later appeared on The Bends.

3. The New Pornographers "Twin Cinemas" - Listening to Twin Cinemas has really opened up a new chapter of music to me. My friend Jethro let me in on them and I'd have to say they fall somewhere in between what my dad listened to in high school mixed with Fleetwood Mac. I'm not trying to offend any fans of the band, I just think that musicians draw their influences from bands they like and The New Pornographers sound like they stole 70's rock and got a better drummer. Songs like "Use it" really keep me going.

4. Phantom Planet - I remember watching the video to "Big Brat" thinking "what the heck am I listening to?". Their songs are sound different every time, and makes them stick out like a sore thumb. It marks a big contrast between their earlier work and the stuff they crank out today.

5. REM "UP"- I think I like REM because they seem to put out album after album and continue to make great songs. "Daysleeper" is a good example of how REM are still viable today years after the death of Alternative music. The album is a departure from works the band has made over the years- the first without their long time drummer Bill Berry.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

guitar 1

I'm going to detail the building of my new guitar.

I've decided to piece together a guitar, so I can get what I really want. Every time I go to a music store it seems like they have the same row of Fender, Gibson, and Ibanez guitars. They're all the same made in Japan copy of some instrument that was made 20 years ago. Going from what I've studied on the internet, I think I'm capable of putting together a good instrument made from parts from here or there.

This is the plan:

1. Telecasterish guitar.
2. Olympic White paint
3. Tortoise shell pick guard.
4. String through construction.
5. Fender Strat headstock (just to be different).
6. Relic hardware.

I've got some other ideas for this guitar... I want to incorporate some onboard effects and try some other things... This is just another experiment to see what happens. If everything works out this time I'm going to try and piece together another guitar, like a Gibson or a Jazzmaster.

I've got all the parts together and everything came in the mail just fine.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007



1. I'm in school.
2. I'm in a band?
3. I'm building a weird guitar.
4. I'm married to an awesome super wife.
5. My wife is sick.
6. I got a new phone.

That's pretty much it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I've come across some interesting ideas while researching for my next music project. Tying to find the right sound was one problem, but listening to a Smashing Pumpkins CD the other day gave me a push in the right direction. "Siamese Dream" is my favorite Pumpkins disc and despite their expansive library of songs I keep coming back to the simple riffs and guitar layers that made "Siamese Dream" such a great CD. I looked into why it sounded different from subsequent Pumpkins CD and stumbled upon the sound of the Electro-Harmonix guitar pedal called the Big Muff Pi. I've seen this pedal before in catalogues and on the web but just brushed it off as just another lame distortion pedal. Electro-harmonix is known for their interesting pedals and the artists that have supposedly used them. But the key to the Smashing Pumpkins sound was the Big Muff distortion that was quite popular among early 90's grunge/Alternative bands. I know I've heard that sound elsewhere and found out that bassists also use the same pedal for fuzzy bass lines. Examples of such can be found on Ben Folds Five and Muse albums. For being such an analog synth fan, I found that I was really dumb when it came to analog guitar effect pedals. I just figured that they were all the same and that anything could be fixed or effected later on the computer. I was so impressed that I ordered a Big Muff Pi and it came in the mail last week. I was not disappointed. Now I just need to find a Tremolo.

In my search for the perfect sound, I've also been looking for a new guitar to use for recording and live shows this summer. Guitars are expensive. There's really no way to get around it. But I may have found a way... I can piece a guitar together from spare parts, and have the ability to customize it to fit my needs. There are also some Do-it-yourself kits on the web that turn out ok when assembled and painted. Its probably the primal urge inside of me to build or cut something, but this is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. So I've looked and looked at pieces and parts and decided that I'll need a Fender Telecaster or a Gibson Les Paul to finish this project. The Strat copy I have is really noisy, and the Big Muff doesn't help with the hum either. The problem is shielding the electronics from interference and the single coil pickups are just noisy to begin with, making recording a guitar a nightmare. So I'm still looking.

I've also run into some interesting sites that make "Relic guitars". Guitars that look and feel like they've been played for decades. There are some interesting ideas floating around on the internet about how to damge and ding up a perfectly new guitar and make it look 40 years old. Bill Nash and his guitars are really impresive, and expensive. Making a guitar look convincingly old is an art in itself, and its something I would like to try if I can get my hands on some guitar parts in the not so distant future. The Guitar Attack website also has many restored guitars and the some useful hints on refinishing a guitar. They post guitars that people have made or fixed as well. Project Guitar pretty much has everything you need to make or break your guitar.
The information is out there!


Nash Guitars
Guitar Attack
Project Guitar

Sunday, January 7, 2007


I'm sick.

And its worse than I thought.

I hate being sick.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


I was about to go to bed when my wife stepped out of the shower and turned on her hair dyer. There was a snap sound and all was dark. I didn't think there was a problem- Some one must have hit a phone pole or maybe I forgot to pay my electricity bill. It was late and the darkness surprised me for a moment, and I stood there like an idiot, wondering if I had a flashlight. Or batteries for a flashlight.

After a few more seconds we managed to locate a candle and something to light it with. I ran downstairs to see if everyone else's power was out- but was again surprised to see that every one's lights were OK. Great. I guess I didn't pay the electric bill. On the way back up stairs I smelled something that made me almost gag. It was a smell that I've only encountered a few times in my life: taking garbage out to a dumpster, finding a dead mouse or bird in the garage, and passing roadkill along Utah roads. Images of dead animals brought into the house by our neighbor's yappy Chihuahua, or better yet, the dead Chihuahua filled my head. I went under our stairs to look for the dead body or whatever was the source of that death smell. Nothing. With power outage and a nasty smell floating around our apartment I knew that some thing was wrong.

We figured that we must have tripped a breaker somewhere when the hair dryer was turned on. Finding a breaker box in a hundred year old house would be interesting to say the least. A small door on the stairs opened up to some water pipes. Looking around the outside of the house didn't yield any results either. With all the wires running around the walls of our house, you'dl think that there would be a box somewhere connecting it all together. Running around our creepy old house in the dark makes you feel like you'd see the kid from the Grudge at any second. I looked up at the windows expecting to see a dark face looking inward at me. I'm always looking over my shoulder like some chainsaw massacre was going to happen at any second. Nope. No bloodshed, no creepy Grudge kid. Just me and my wife, and the neighbor's yappy Chihuahua.

So after calling our landlords they mentioned that our fuse box was located on the stairs leading up to our apartment. Indeed there was a small grey box that I had previously ignored (not knowing what the crap was inside it was). I opened the box and found that the rotten dead animal smell was actually from a blown fuse and oily melty wires. After a quick stop at Home Depot I changed the fuse and like magic all of our appliances beeped back to life. Hmmm.. One fuse for the entire apartment. That makes sense.