Also, I think the dude who draws it may be from St. Louis because Beatle Bob makes an appearance early on.
I received a talking Steve Irwin doll in the mail from Xiu Xiu. It says "Danger danger danger!", "Holy Guacamole!", and "Crikey!" In the same package I also received a toy crocodile that says the same things.
I'm not sure what to do with it.
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If you've never read a Lincoln biography (or read Wikipedia's entries about Lincoln, hello 21st century), you'll probably learn a few facts about Lincoln's life reading this novel. It's not a bad read, just not as good as I think a book about Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires ought to be. I admit that I've never read a Lincoln biography, and the only book I've read about vampires was written by Edward Packard, so I'm no authority on the subjects. My verdict is to check this one out from the library if you're interested, don't bother buying it. I still hold out hope that a better work of fiction about Lincoln hunting vampires will be written one day.
For other works about vampires I can recommend, rent Buffy the Vampire Slayer or buy Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.
That was my opinion at the time, but I hadn't listened to the original in a while. I went back and listened to the original by the Castanets today, and it's an even better song than I remembered, and better then Sufjan's cover. The dissonance, the long instrumental section, the alternating between simple and complex arrangements, it's all there in the original and done quite well. The original is a great song that probably cannot be improved upon, and although Sufjan Stevens has made a very good version, it's simply not as good as the original.
Valve just released Portal for Mac, and they released it for free, probably to promote Portal 2 which is coming out soon. So I downloaded the game because hey, free Portal, right? Playing this game is a horrific experience on my hardware. I'm not a gamer, but when I started the game the frame rate was low enough to make me feel nauseated. And so I lowered every video setting possible, and now it looks absolutely hideous. I didn't even know 1024x640 was a resolution! And it's still got a low frame rate even with all the video setting down, although at least it's fast enough now that I don't feel sick when I look at it.
So it's not a big deal, I'm not that interested in playing games anyway, I just wanted to try something because it was free. But part of me is regretting making the hardware choice I made, thanks to someone giving something away for free that I wasn't interested in to begin with. I think there's a principle of human behavior here that I should take some time to think about so I can exploit it in the future.
I'm looking at the Software Update preferences panel. It says "Check for updates: Weekly". This option is checked. It says "Download updates automatically". This option is checked. It also says "Last check: Sunday, October 12, 2008 1:07 PM". WTF? I guess I'll check manually from time to time.
Second complaint: As it finishes downloading each update, the computer asks me for an administrator password to install each one. Couldn't it download all the updates, then give me a single password prompt at the end? Or even multiple prompts at the end. I don't want to have to sit here and babysit the computer so the two hour download process can complete.
I've never really liked ordering music online. There are a couple reasons for this. One practical reason is that if I bought stuff online I'd have everything I wanted available to me, so I'd be penniless by now. Silly reason, but it's an honest consideration for me. The other reason is the fun I have at record stores. I love the click, click, click of jewel cases and flup, flup of record sleeves flipping against each other as I scan each one. I love finding a recording I didn't even know existed. I love finding used CDs and records; I feel like I'm rescuing an unloved orphan and giving it a new home. I love the human interaction when I or a fellow shopper notice a shared musical interest and the exchanges that ensue. And of course, record store staff are the key, the folks who make helpful suggestions and let you know about another artist you may like or an upcoming show you may not have heard of.
One day I was changing CDs at my desk at work and noticed a smell. I sniffed the paper insert and memories came back — Atomic Records in Milwaukee! Experimenting with my other used CDs and records, I found I could recognize where I had bought most of them from the smell, even years after I had bought them. I can still remember the smell of a record shop in Lexington, Kentucky even though I forgot its name years ago.
Be sure to see what record shops in your area are doing for Record Store Day. But you don't have to wait for April 17. Next time you're thinking of buying something off of iTunes, go out to a local independent record store and get something there instead. Music is a social experience, meant to be shared with others.