Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My movie review of Capture the Flag

For family movie night tonight we watched Capture the Flag –- an animated kids' movie, about a kid whose dad and grandfather are/were both astronauts, and how he gets mixed up in a renewed race to the moon.

It's aimed at kids, and it's not as “adult-friendly” as, for example, Despicable Me. But it was fine, and I mostly wasn't bored, and the kids liked it.

A little bit of bad science:  to my knowledge, there's no such thing as "Helium-3".  But most of the science was okay.

Rated PG – mild violence, and (apparently) some coarse language.

If you want something for the kids, which is also tolerable for adults, then this one would work.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Material Issue trumps Devo

Last night I working on a task at my computer, and was playing some YouTube music videos in the background for ambiance.  I ended up looking up some Material Issue videos -- and was reminded how much I enjoy their music.

Devo was my first "favorite band" (although I discovered The Cars and The Ramones at about the same time) -- but even though I really enjoy Devo (both their musicality and their quirkiness), I believe I like every single Material Issue song:  no filler.

They have slow songs, and fast songs.  And the lyrics are pretty good, too.

Sorry Devo.  But you're still in my Top Five.  :)


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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Devo classified

Visited a CD store on my lunch break.

I was slightly disappointed to discover that Devo wasn’t in the “Alternative” section: they are now found in the “Popular” section.  So I guess they're "mainstream" now...

Also: I asked the sales clerk to look up an album by New Order (a new wave band from the '80s) in the computer, to see if it was in stock.  The clerk (25-ish) asked “New who…?”

But she did know knew of the song “Blue Monday” (“How… does it feel… to treat me like you do…”),which was one of their big hits.

I knew someone who, about five years ago, was 18 or 19 and looking for a Christmas job at a CD store.  One of the interview questions was "Name all of the Beatles."  She couldn't -- but got hired anyhow.

I am a cranky old man.


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Like something I might have built

Found this by accident, doing a YouTube search for something else.

It's like something I would've built.  Genius.  It, not me.


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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Good quote about art

From the "making of" documentary for Twelve Monkeys (Bruce Willis): 

One of the guys (the film editor?) had a t-shirt that said:  "Art is:  working on something 'til you like it -- then leaving it that way."


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Accidental breakthrough

Last night I was messing around with my vocoder synth, which included working out a part for one of the three songs I'm in the middle of.

I'm pleased to say that I somehow managed to work out the correct notes for both riffs, as I heard them in my head, on my very first attempt. For those of you with good ears (and/or perfect pitch) this probably doesn't mean anything -- but I'm disadvantaged in that area -- so I was, of course, immensely pleased that I hit upon the riffs without any effort.

Also, this will be the first time I've actually used the pitch-bend wheel in a song (rather than just messing around): when I was singing the part into the vocoder, the last two words seemed too choppy; it turned out I needed to slur them together -- so I play the second-to-last note with the pitch-bend all the way up (i.e. a whole step), then release it while holding down the same key, which slurs the pitch down to the correct final note.

I have some other tasks I'm supposed to be working on for the next few weeks --  so no additional recording until late Sept.

However, I have 90 minutes of down-time each Saturday, sitting in the rumpus room of the kids' piano teacher -- so I've been bringing my laptop and "good" headphones and tidying *.wav files that I'd recorded with my cell phone, to use in a techno-ish song I'm working on (the same one I'm using the vocoder in):  the working title is "SGFZASS".


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Review of the movie 12 Monkeys

Saw Twelve Monkeys again, with Bruce Willis. Had totally forgotten that Brad Pitt was in it, playing a fairly un-Brad Pit character (a patient in a mental hospital).

The Bruce Willis character is sent back in time to the 1990s to try to prevent an outbreak of a plague that wipes out nearly all of humanity. However, time travel is jarring, and leads to mental disorientation.

A good movie, and worth seeing – although the “making of” documentary showed me that I had actually mis-interpreted a minor portion of the ending.

Some violence, some swearing.



Thursday, September 01, 2016

Movie review of Sweet November

I saw Sweet November when it first came out, but I picked it up cheap and used a while ago, so I watched it again. I liked it.

It's a Rom-Com, and I won't give any spoilers – except to say that (1) Keanu Reeves indeed cannot act – or at least, he's playing a fairly deadpan character – and (2) I actually disagree with the ending: If you love somebody, you want to spend at much time as you can with him or her – not cut it short.

Some swearing, I think. Some mentions of sex. No actual nudity. Don't **think** there was violence.

Worth seeing once, if you like Rom-Coms of the Nicholas Sparks genre (e.g. The Notebook).



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A gift knife

Back in April or May of this year, I had a dream that I was at work (but not my "real life" work) in the break room, cutting up an apple with a blue-handled pocket knife.

When I woke up I decided that I should pick up a Cub Scout pocket knife from eBay.  I asked Old Roommate to bid on it on my behalf, since the shipping costs would be cheaper to send it to him than to me in Australia.

When I visited him in June, I retrieved the knife, and I asked him what I owed him.  He said it was a gift -- which was very nice of him.

As I've mentioned before, I collect pocket knives and small-to-medium-sized multitools.  And I "rotate through" each of them for three months each, just so when my kids finally inherit my things, they'll know that the pocket knives were all "user" tools that I actually used -- rather than simply things that I collected and threw in a shoebox.

So, here's a photo from a few days ago, with the Cub Scout knife entering into its rotation:

(That's my "pocket knife" pouch, on my work pants.  To the left is my -- yeah -- harmonica pouch.)

Most days at work I eat 1-3 apples; sometimes, a pear.  And although I usually eat frozen veggies, sometimes I'll cut up a zucchini or broccoli or some-such, and microwave that.  For all of these, I use my pocket knife -- although there are actual "kitchen knives" at work.

So:  hat tip to Old Roomate.  Thanks for the knife!  :)


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Movie review of The Blues Brothers

I'd seen The Blues Brothers before, many years aog, but had picked up the used DVD at Cash Converters, and got around to watching it.

It's interesting that I noticed different things this time around, including gendered interactions (e.g. at Bob's Country Bunker, as the evening wrapped up, the bar lady was rubbing the shoulders of Bob (the owner): seems like as the person behind the bar, **her** shoulders would've been more sore than Bob's).

I also paid attention to the music gear at Ray's Music Shop, whereas when I first saw The Blues Brothers I must not have been into guitars yet.

 Some people view The Blues Brothers as a classic. I'd say it's worth seeing at least once.

Some swearing (I've seen worse), I don't recall any sex, nudity, or “realistic” violence.



Friday, August 26, 2016

Whirling peas of doom

I went to use the microwave at work today, but a co-worker (LegoMan) already had his frozen peas in there.

I might use that line -- or the looped audio -- as a backing for some techno-ish song.


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