31 March 2005

Nothing to see here, move along now

If you've been watching the news, Florida has been in it again. Damn, a lot of stuff goes on over here... or at least the media would have you believe that. What I have seen just made me sick, and everyone thinks they should have a say in what happens. It's really not anyone else's business. Let the people who are affected be in peace. But I'm not going to comment on that any more :-)

Otherwise, I've been struggling with a dodgy home internet connection this week, which sort of sucks because I've gotten used to data flying around at high speed. And I've been reading books and stuff. I've got nothing further to add though.

Oh, Sony did release their PSP over here this last week. I am not interested in buying one at all. (1)

Also, now that I remember, I did go to Opium Garden in South Beach last weekend. My quest to get to most of Miami's cool bars and clubs continues. It's a pretty awesome place and had some cranking music playing. I don't know how the hell we got in, considering we didn't have any girls with us. I didn't see any Hilton sisters or anyone famous, or at least I didn't recognise anyone famous. If I saw Puff Daddy (or whatever the heck he's calling himself) there I probably would have spat on his shoe (in my vibrant imagination, anyway) for all the unoriginal music he's pumped out.

(1) Yeah, right.

29 March 2005

Pretty stoked about this

Here is a quick pic of part of my living space over here in the US. What I'm exceptionally happy about is that thing sitting to the left of the picture, for which I've finally found a power supply and is now working. Yay!

Also, the Ultrafest dance music festival was awesome. But I've gotta get the pics and movies from my friend's camera before I write a dedicated post about it. I was a bit unhappy that I didn't get a movie of Chris and Mike from Hybrid doing their DJ set - the battery on the camera I was using was too low. I did get a couple of pics though. Anyway, more about that later.

25 March 2005

Ultra Music Festival 2005

I'm pretty stoked at the moment. I just received my ticket for Ultra Music Festival 2005. This is supposed to be America's biggest electronic music event, which is saying something in terms of size. Although I'm expecting it to be multiple times as large as Enchanted (approx. 50,000 people are expected to attend) I doubt it'll have the same charm as Enchanted as none of my Aussie Enchanted friends will be there! Ah well.

I'm incredibly bloody picky about what electronic music I listen to - a lot of the harder techno styles I think are utter crap and could have been written by monkeys, and most of the dance music I've heard whilst I've been over here has been... uninspiring. I dunno, if it's dance music it has to have a certain latin flavour for me to like it but then again it can't be too laid back. I don't really like the really hard drum and bass stuff either. Sometimes it sounds like someone with no music knowledge at all sat on a keyboard and pressed record. But then I still do like a lot of other DnB songs. Like I said, I'm picky. So on that front I'm very interested to see what this will be like. Once I've recovered from this event I'll write up a review, or something like that.

A song about Bambi

I think my flight back to the US was the worst ever for jet-lag and annoyance factor. American Airlines has yet to prove to me they can get me somewhere without being over an hour late. Well, here's hoping for the future!

I knew things were going to be bad when I arrived in the US because I had a connecting flight through Dallas, TX to Fort Lauderdale. Of course the flight from LA to Dallas was an hour late, so as I touched down in Dallas I was supposed to be boarding my next plane. I ran out of the arrival gate (A24 for future reference) and across the travelators to the adjacent terminal to get to gate C4. Just as I arrived I heard an announcement that the gate had changed to C11. After moving to that gate and waiting for about 15 minutes (yes, not surprisingly the outgoing flight was going to be late departing) we had another gate change to C2. On the way over to that gate there was a guy strumming a guitar with a girl tagging along with him. I said to him "you should sing us a song about all these gate changes!" So he did! It was pretty funny. His name was Ryan and when I asked him what he did he said "Dude! I surf, dude!" (I kid you not). I think he was actually a construction worker by day but lived right on the beachfront in California and surfed at night mostly. The girl he had with him, Krista, was also from California. He was your typical cliche surfer. Blonde hair, even a beard and the most surfie sounding voice I've ever heard. If you've watched Finding Nemo just think about all those turtles Nemo meets. Exactly the same sort of voice. It was freaking hilarious!

We had not finished the musical chairs with the gates yet - an announcement made over the PA system said that our plane was now leaving from gate A29. This was back at the terminal we'd arrived at originally. Amazing! We sat down - Ryan chose to sit in a wheelchair - and he played some more of the 'songs' he'd written. One was about Bambi and how one day Bambi was just minding his own business when a hunter shot him, took him to McDonald's where they processed him and then put him in a burger. I was in stitches because the words to the song seemed to be... I dunno, influenced by weed when he would've written them.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of a guy sitting in a wheelchair playing a $20 guitar from Target whilst singing songs about Bambi. So here ya go:

Nuff said? I think so ;-)

23 March 2005

Radioshack sucks

Well the one at 8249 W Sunrise Blvd does anyway. I've been trying to locate a power supply for my piano (yep, I'm still talking about it) because the power supply I have from Australia can't run on 110 volts. I went to a piano store today where I got some extremely good service and I bought at very good prices a heavy duty keyboard stand as well as a 12 volt 2 amp power supply for a technics keyboard. This is exactly the voltage and amperage that I required! However I knew I'd have to change the plug for it so that it'd fit into my digital piano. No problem - I thought I'd quickly pop by a Radioshack and get a DC plug adapter kit or something similar.

Queue bad assumption.

I went into the Radioshack store and after waiting 5 minutes whilst the attendants crapped on about nothing I was finally served. I explained my dilemma to an attendant but only got back an impatient blank stare. He said it couldn't be done, to which I called bullshit. He said that the plugs they had were only rated to 1000mA, which he kindly pointed out was 1 amp, which, thank god, he also pointed out was less than 2 amps. This guy was really, really good! I was also thinking the statement that the plugs were only rated to 1 amp (or 1000 mA, which by the way is less than 2000 mA, 2000 mA being equal to 2 amps) was a bit of bullshit too. I'm pretty sure the plugs could handle a few amps at the very least. The amp limitation with such small scale situations would be with the transformer wiring that the plug is connected to. But anyway, after the attendant "helped" me he moved over to a keyboard/microphone setup and started playing random notes and attempted to sing. Both the keyboard playing and singing were absolutely terrible and nearly caused my eardrums to burst. I got out of that place quick smart. It sort of felt like I was in the twilight zone or something similar. A very, very surreal experience!

22 March 2005

You're pretty cool for a guy who wears a kilt

Goldberg is a champion of drinking, there is no doubt in that. For his size I just do not know how he stays upright. I guess the only explanation is he has had a lot of practice.

This story begins with the wedding of Adam and Emma. Matt was drinking hard at the reception and was getting more and more drunk. He came to me at some point and said "hey dude... doooo ya reckon youuu can dddrive me into town tonight?? ?? I need a liffffft in becosh I've been drinking a little too mussh." (ok, it wasn't quite that bad). I had no problem with this as I wasn't really drinking at all (if you don't know why then read back a few posts).

What happened for the rest of the night is just amazing. We drove into the city later on and he drank about 1/2 a bottle of Sambuca on the way. We went to the Stamford Plaza on North Terrace. I don't know why we did, that just felt like the thing to do. Anyway at some point I noticed a grand piano down in the Cascades lounge and said to Matt "you gotta go play that!" About 10 minutes later that's exactly what he was doing. Remember that at this time he was completely and utterly off his face. The waiter approached Matt and said "can you play this" and Matt said "yeah, of course". After Matt had been playing for a while the waiter began bringing him free drinks! There were some other people there who were clapping and cheering Matt on too. What happened next was just weird. A few people had congregated around the piano requesting songs.

Not long after that a person equally as drunk as Matt started breakdancing to a bloody piano, or at least attempting to. Bear in mind we're listening to some of Matt's original songs, songs by Ben Folds and other songs by Billy Joel.

A guy wearing a kilt sat down next to Matt and started playing. He was a pretty good piano player too. This was when I heard Matt say to him: "You're pretty cool for a guy who wears a kilt!" I can't remember why the guy was wearing a kilt at 2am in the morning, but he was a percussionist (and it seemed a regular muso too since he could play piano) and had taken part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at least once. Here is a pic of Matt and the Kilt dude to Matt's right playing the piano.

Matt also plays in a band called "Bernee". I took some pictures at his latest gig which he's put up on the Bernee website. I wish I could have used my new f1.4 lens but I had to make do with what I had. Eventually I'll get around to putting my edited pics up on Flickr. Big emphasis on eventually.

Back in Florida

If someone could tell me what the hell happened in the last 2 weeks (well, it wasn't even that) then I'd feel a little more at ease at the moment. I really do not know what the hell is going on. I entered my apartment last night at 2:30am, slept until about 6pm and then have been wondering around in a daze for the last few hours. It certainly does not feel like I was just on a holiday.

I did not catch up with everyone I wanted to, that is a fact. Next time I do something like this I know how I'm going to do it differently. From the get-go I can name a few people who I didn't get around to catching up with (Frosty, Matt F, Guy, Paul K) which makes me a bit disappointed in myself. Sorry guys, I was completely and utterly out of time and frustrated at the fact that I didn't have more.

Anyway, I'm back here now. I know I've got a ton of work to do - god knows how I'll get any of it done but I've also got a couple of interesting stories from my trip back. I'll be posting them soon.

One thing you won't hear me talking about anymore is me trying to purchase my digital piano. I now have one! Yes I bought my Kawai ES3 in Sydney and now it is sitting here with me in my apartment. I thought for a while there that I would have to fedex it back or something which would have cost me upwards of $800. Ouch! Fortunately I was able to take it on the plane for free. I just went on a quick trip to Walmart to see if they had any 12V/2 amp AC-DC converters so I could play it but no luck. I also have to buy a heavy duty stand for it too. More $$$.

Anyway the daily show starts pretty soon so I have to catch up on that.

14 March 2005

Back in Loxton

Ok. My heart rate has hit rock-bottom now. I'm now in the town where I grew up: Loxton, South Australia. It's a country town about 250 km out of Adelaide with a population of around 7000. It's a nice and tidy place to be - and I had my first schnitzel in over 8 months last night at the Loxton pub!

I'm not feeling weirded out today like I was for the past few days. I'd say that I got over my jetlag but I never had any to begin with. Now I'm just wondering how the hell I'm going to be able to visit all the people I want to see while I am back here down under.

I fixed the flickr problem with not being able to see the larger versions of pictures. That was a stuff-up on the configuration settings on my part. Now you just have to look to the right hand side of the picture where the photo info is and it'll say 'view larger versions' or something like that. Of course, I'm going to have to put some interesting pictures up for anyone to give a damn about looking at them!

I'm also using a computer at the moment that has instant messenger on it. I hate it. Yes, it can be useful for work but outside of work I just think it's a bloody annoyance (actually, when you're at work it can be an annoyance too which is why I have to switch it off sometimes). It is especially annoying if the people who try messaging you have names like: "my name ain't elmo but you can tickle me if you like" and "RIP Kahmatah MC Hydro Donnix she got that flow that makes your head spin like you're on antibiotix" - which by the way they've changed to "new york who" in the last 5 minutes because it's cool or something and they're trying to carve an identity for themselves but they're actually just giving themselves stupid f$&ken names that are the size of short novels like everyone else. Whatever.

Anyway, I'm off to eat a decent piece of bread, something I haven't been able to do for the past 8 months. I'm also going to have some Weet-Bix for breakfast - another 'luxury' that I've been missing out on.

12 March 2005

Where am I?

I'm back in Australia.

Yes! It is true! I was keeping quiet about this because I was going to surprise some people but my cover was blown and so I'm telling everybody this now. I'm currently in Sydney hanging out with Nav and his mates. It's all really fanbloodytastic here and I now realise how much I love and missed Australia. It's an awesome country.

I arrived here on Friday morning and will be heading off to Adelaide on Sunday afternoon. I'll be hanging around Adelaide for about a week and then heading back to the USA. I'll try and catch up with as many people as I can while I'm here!

See y'all.

07 March 2005

Remember to pay your bills

Especially if you run a business. *Especially* if you run a nightclub! Angry webmasters have easy ways of getting their revenge. This is a screenshot of the website for "Life", a club down in Miami:

You can try checking out http://www.lifemiami.com for yourself. According to Google's cache this website has been like this for at least the past 2 weeks.

05 March 2005

Trawling the internets on a Saturday night

While I wait for this flu that I've got to go away, I've been finding crap on the net. Here is some of the crap I've found so far today:

Starbucks craptastification of Starship's "We built this city", which I actually used to like listening to as a kid (the Starship version, not this shite). Oh, and don't get me started on Starbucks! I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I'll have a couple of cups a week. My god the coffee over here is generally crap. There are a couple of Euro-themed restaurants that seem to get the coffee right but not much else does. I was working late one night and one of my colleagues asked me if I'd like a coffee. I thought "Yeah, that'd be sweet!" I really started looking forward to my coffee. When he came back I saw that he'd visited the local Starbucks. My mood hit the brakes and swung in the opposite direction. Let me say this: I really, really hate Starbucks coffee. I drank it anyway because he'd gone to all that trouble to get it for me but I think that was the worst coffee I've ever had. I was even worse than when I had a Starbucks coffee in Australia.

Ok, next site: How to win at Pac-Man

Next: Yahoo Serious is still around. Sort of. God damn I can't remember how many times I watched Young Einstein.

Next: The audio from of my favourite movies Office Space (because it's all so true) combined with the visuals provided from an old cartoon series called "Superfriends" involving Batman and Robin, Superman et al. Captain Planet had not been invented yet. Oh, oh, oh, the mash-up movie is here (I think this was done a while back, but it's the first time I've seen it).

More Christmas trip pictures

Are here. I've got pics of signs advertising a brothel called the "Shady Lady Ranch", a nice pic of a Joshua tree, pictures showing my affection with roads going off into the distance, having fun riding bombs, and pictures of highly sophisticated and blossoming towns.

UPDATE: When browsing Flickr photos, you may notice that you can't view higher resolution versions of the photos. They're making a stack of changes at Flickr, so this should be fixed in the near future. It doesn't really worry me at this stage because god damn at least they're actually making changes!

UPDATE: The problem with not being able to view larger images was with me and I've fixed it now.

03 March 2005

Something's going right

You may wonder why the hell I'm making this post at 5:18 in the morning. Well, I got back from work last night as sick as a dog and fell asleep straight away. I woke up about an hour ago but have so far been unsuccessful in getting back to sleep, so I thought I'd strum the guitar and crank up the compy. I then saw my dead iPod sitting on my desk. I remembered I was supposed to take it in for a warranty exchange a couple of days ago. I thought 'well, there is no harm in trying to charge it again'. I put it in its dock and paint me green and call me Gumby, the bloody thing started charging. As you could imagine I'm pretty chuffed about that! I'm also at a loss to explain why it didn't charge before, even when connected to my friend's proper charger. Weird.