Wars and Windmills

08 December 2008

Film Stills

I have recently joined an online group that posts stills from films. I have been spending far too much valuable time sifting through the archives but I feel vindicated as I have found nuggets of nostalgic gold.

I am interested in seeing how well my friends know their films, so I am posting a few of these unearthed nuggets to see of you can guess what movies they belong to. In the interest of fairness, I will try and use movies that I would think that the majority of folks have seen, nothing too obsolete. Or are they?

I will try and choose still with enough clues to be able to figure it out regardless of whether you have seen the movie. But I think for many it will entirely be up to to if you have seen the movie or not.

Some may prove easy. Others, if you're anything like me, will stir a memory and you will KNOW that you know it, but the name just sits in the dark parts of your brain not wanting to come into the light and you will be driven mad. Or, perhaps you will just know them all.

A dollar to anyone who gets them all right.

And by a dollar I of course mean my respect.

That is probably enough for now. If this proves to be good fun, I think I will do this periodically as I have a massive collection now, and this is all I can think to do with it.

07 November 2008

08 October 2008

07 October 2008

I Should Be...

....working on furthering my understanding of Scott's the Lay of the Last Minstrel for class in 40 minutes. but I'm clearly not.

I have stumbled upon another bit of honey and have to share. Okkervil River landed on a lot of year end lists last years with The Stage Names and last month they released a new album called The Stand Ins. It's an alight album worthy of a listen, but like their last effort I am sure this will grow on me.

But that's not the point. Here is the point: one of the innovative things Okkervil did to garner steam for this release was to solicit other musicians to perform the songs and submit videos of them which can be found here.

But what is truly blessed is that Bon Iver covered one. Like Midas, all he touches turns gold and what went from being an aright song that felt too long has been pared down and with the help of a classical guitar and untouchable falsetto has been made golden. If there is an MP3 version I can't find it so if you care to hear you'll have to watch the video.


05 October 2008


I don't have the slightest idea of when the divergence took place. It wasn't shocking enough or, by any means, hallowed enough an event to be entered into the annals of time, so like the mystery of what Dr. Claw actually looks like, we'll never know. However, there are now two distinct (albeit a blurry distinction) types of web logs: updaters and not updaters. There is nothing wrong with either camp, but there used to be but one.

In the halcyon days of yore the only person I knew with a web log was Joe and he wrote once a month, maybe, mostly maybe not even. Those were simpler times. Less informed and far less connected, but simpler. Simpler is not always better. I enjoy this little neighborhood of friends linked from page to page. It has been great to reconnect with Gillilliland and others while staying connected with James, Joe, Grant, my sisters, and all fine common folk over there on the right. Still, I am not an updater. Lindsey's web log will always be the one to check for daily anecdotes of Scot living. She is the uber Updater. Again, I am not. My posts are sporadic in topic and timeliness and will only grow more so as I delve into my schooling.

However, I have been asked to update my web log with an update on life. So, here is you have it, an update on my new life in the old world:

It is entirely satisfying to be back in the classroom. I can't even tell if my teachers are boring because I like listening to their accents so much I can't help but pay attention.

I have three classes this semester. They meet once a week from Tuesday to Thursday. That may seem like a dream for all the free time, but my professors plan to fill it. In my Walter Scott class alone I am assigned a novel of his a week, starting with Waverley. This say nothing for my Literary Studies class or The Theory of the Novel. the next semester I have 4 classes that also meet once a week and then the last semester is dedicated entirely to writing my dissertation.

Though still largely undecided on what to focus on for my dissertation I think that while here I should delve into the culture I am surrounded by and study 19th century Scottish authors, mostly Sir Walter Scott. I haven't really read much of his but my adviser thinks it impossible to study Scottish writers without studying Scott so I'm giving him a go. I can't even tell you the amount of sweat thinking about what I am going to write my dissertation on brings, it is ugly and not the least bit natural and should be the topic of some scientist's dissertation.

Mostly though, I find myself feeling lucky.

I will try to post when I can, but it will rarely be an "update". It will most likely be about movies, music, video games, comic books, Star Wars, and other nerdery.

Some photos I have taken thus far:

Moss and memory on a flat lying tombstone.

Tree -v- Wall. Tree wins.

River Don

View from Bridge of Balgownie. We live under those pipes in the background

Me on a felled tree

27 September 2008

This Has Nothing To Do With Scotland, But......

...............I may have found the best music video of all time. It came out two years ago. This is my normal uptake on all-things-cool, about two years and a bit behind the rest of people keeping track of cool things (Joe, Matt). Regardless, I have now seen glory, and being so blessed feel duty bound to share for any even slower than I.

You see, I don't really watch MTV any more (they don't play videos any more so, i guess we're even) but, still the 90's in me misses those days filled with rockin videos that are so rockin' they are spelled rawkkin'. I want to be transported visually as well as aurally. Mitch (RIP) put it best when he was walking with a friend he said he heard music, Mitch said: "You're not special. That's how I receive it too..." I want to see the music.

Firstly, the song must be to my liking. After that, here is a list of criteria necessary for a video to even be considered for Best Video of My Life it is as follows:

at least one shot of a bird of prey
a ridiculously fast car, tricked out razor scooter, or motorcycle
cameo by Jean Cleaude Van Dame or Steven Segal (preferably the former)
wild west theme
lasers....and robots
a babe
badass kung fu-ness
a Lone Ranger mask
a babe riding a unicorn
hero with equally heroic mustache
a babe shooting lasers
furious karate chops and swooshing fists

Check the box if you see something in the video that is also on the list....let's see if this sweetness really rawkks.

I present "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse....hold the hell on:

yep, rawk.

No Segal or Van Dame but I still counted 12 out of 13, not bad at all. We have a winner. Best Music Video of My Life.

21 August 2008

Huzzah! Huzzah!

I posted about my longing for Mitch not to long ago. Today, Matt, the harbinger of Mitch, sent this gloriously lovely bit of honey to me. It was recorded 2 days before he died, which is unsettling, but it has over 40 minutes of unreleased schtick. Excelsior!

As Dan pointed out this release is also extremely saddening as it is a reminder that nothing is coming after this. But let us not have that doldrum taint the bliss of this release. September 9th will now be the new Christmas. Children will have the day off of school. Government agencies will not be open to the public. Mitch will be the real "Wyld Stallions" and the world will change from that day hence. Mark the day and revel in it.

12 August 2008

Doveman: Footloose

I will post a meatier post one day I swear. As for now if you haven't heard this remake of the Footloose soundtrack by Doveman you are desperately in need of a repentin' session and a few Hail Marys. This was made as an unauthorized album per a request from Doveman's childhood friend and was downloadable at one point, but to all of our misfortune the record label that owns the rights to the soundtrack put a cease and desist order so now it can only be streamed, but it is still worth your time. I have tried my darndest to find it via all my black market channels and have found nothing, not even cob webs.

The album has been pared down substantially from the original focusing merely on incredible keyboard talents and haunting vocals. Bangarang I say to that.

As I have addressed before, covers are often a spurious endeavour and can leave one feeling assaulted. Just as often, though, a cover is baby bear's porridge and leaves one feeling just right. I assure you Doveman's offering is the latter.

22 July 2008

Divulgence IV

Ever since I had it's Micro Machine, this Firebird with T-Top has always been a dream car of mine.

I am swimming in the white trash deep end I know, but come on, imagine with me here: picture me ripping down main street shirt off (or if it's on, it's a tank top), near-beer in hand, "Welcome to the Jungle" or "No More Tears" blaring over the speakers, white high-tops powered by legs donning shorter then acceptable cut off jean shorts putting the pedal straight to the metal, mustache curving upwards as it conforms to the smile that is beaming on my face...GLORIOUS. A pipe dream, I know. Still, a man can dream.

18 July 2008

See This

No spoilers here other then my endorsement. See it, see it, see it. It is worthy of a spot in the gilded halls of my top ten favorite films of all time.

Hasty! some of you may say, hasty! Nay I say to those sayers. Rare are the films that combine the right portions of the right elements to concoct a paragon optic elixir, and this one is as fine an elixir as they come.

What a great night at the movies.

16 June 2008


Recently, I have:

  • Done a load of laundry...sans soap
  • Poured way too much cereal in a bowl making it overpopulated and impossible to eat when the milk was added
  • Chased an absconding dog through a neighborhood
  • Destroyed a fence as I attempted to jump over it while chasing said dog
  • Debated the existence of free will
  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Seen a large black lady in not but her skivvies
  • Won not one but TWO games of 21 on the basketball court
  • Cut holes in 80 walls
  • Pooped in a field. That was a bad night.

Oh yeah, also I have recently:
  • Received an acceptance letter from Aberdeen University in Scotland
  • Jumped for joy and clicked my heals upon receiving aforementioned letter

I received three more rejections before Aberdeen's letter arrived. I had resigned to sit in agony for a year until I attempt the forehead bruising and or application process, again.

Many sighs of relief have been had, as well as many imaginary rounds of frothy ale housed in large mugs being raised overhead and quaffed after chanting 'huzzah' with my friends that have been as tormented as I during this process.

Come visit.

08 April 2008

New Roads

At this point even bad news is better then no news; at least we could make definitive plans. Yet, as it stands, I have heard naught but two demoralizing and echoing nos. So we wait. So we pine. So we dig to an unknown end. Taking steps in the dark hoping not to step on discarded nails. Stopping starting stopping starting repeated until the end of it. Packing and moving to Colorado for work or school or a time or eternity. There is a brief/lucrative job awaiting that will immensely alleviate any and all financial obligations. At least that brings a modicum of light to the future...that's good. Still, I feel I am returning to the equilateral mother land just to continue treading water.

If my age weren't as lofty a digit as it is I would consider a new path; if I continue to get lambasted after another year of trying that may just be what I have to do. The problem is, I don't have the slightest inkling of what that newness might be.


"And yet, and yet, this New Road will some day be the Old Road, too..."-- a quote I found inscribed on cobblestone in Edinburgh by Neil Monro

07 April 2008


After one year and one month my time has come: at last Battlestar Galactica has started it's new and final season last Friday. I just peed a little with excitement, like a wee dog.

I will wait for the mocking to subside before I pontificate over the shows many virtues.


Now then. I have said on this web log before that this show is one of the best on television, but it was merely a cursory praising. I will now attempt to convince all you folks who don't watch why you should.

I recognize that there are some inherent problems that have tainted the genera of science fiction: often it is too campy and kitsch ridden. This is a very valid reason to be skeptical. Not everyone has the ability, or desire, to suspend disbelief and swallow stories that take place in the naught of space. Although I have been known to be overly apologetic to all things spacey and lasery, I will be among the first to agree that plenty of Sci-Fi is a hackneyed mess.

This series does take place in space, there are killer robots hunting humans, there is faster then light travel, there are no right angles on papers or in the ship's design, but in spite of that meaty nerd stew, the show still is an immensely compelling human drama in a post apocalyptic setting that just happens to be set in space.

Here are some reasons to put aside any sci-fi angst against the show:

  • There are no odd looking aliens, or aliens period.
  • It is a realistic lived-in future.
  • There are bullets in guns, not lasers.
  • There are no corners cut in the special effects; nothing looks campy.
  • The acting is amazing; Starbuck's affected laugh aside.
  • Watching how a civilization that is down to some odd 40,000 people from a few billion cope with trying to create normalcy and keep civil liberties, democracy, and justice intact while running for their lives.
  • Not one character is perfect, or are meant to be. Flaws abound.
  • The story is loosely based on Mormon doctrines.
  • The story.
  • It's not just for the men, two of the show's strongest characters are iron willed women.
  • The music.
Mostly, if my wife, hater of everything science fiction got caught up in it and looked forward to each episode, that should be reason enough to gander at the show.

So don't pigeonhole the show and gander.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Ba dum dum.

11 March 2008

Listen To This Album

For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver

Acoustic and fine.

A taste:

Skinny Love


10 March 2008

Mr. Arbuckle

At one time I was comfortable in my knowledge that Garfield was the cat's pajama's when it came to funny. I was also comfortable in the knowledge that my large gray aviator glasses held together by electrical tape were an acceptable facial accessory. I thought Garfield's love of lasagna and hatred of Odie were dipped in chocolate it was so good. I couldn't wait until I could drive because I was sure as hell going to have Garfield sticking to one of my windows taunting other drives with his sharp teeth and snarky look in his eye.

As I grew Garfield went the way of the glasses replaced by Bill Watterson and some semblance of taste. It wasn't until I stumbled across this gem of a site that I started giggling (some just make me sad) again at Garfield. All that was needed: no Garfield.

The site's introduction explains it best: "Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb."

04 March 2008

Watch This Movie

I should have seen this movie last year when I first heard of it. If I had I would have known longer that it is a gem. I won't spoil anything by writing too much but even though the battle ground is an antiquated video game (which sold me instantly) and the gain is a mere world title it is well worth your hour and a half; video game lover or not.

Another docu-gem that I watched recently is Word Wars. The movie follows a few Scrabble folk as they compete for money (the only money most of them make in a year) and a national championship. Mostly watch it because you get to meet G.I. Joel (G.I. for gastrointestinal) the word genius dogged by acid-reflux.

You can't write this stuff.

25 February 2008

Hey Frampton! Do You Like Toast?

We have been three years now with no new Mitch to quench our dry throat. I have been trying to find replacements, but me thinks that carrying the One Ring to Mt. Doom would be an easier task. Instead, I hold an empty goblet jonsen' a quaff and am constantly denied. A few comedians have surfaced as contenders, especially Demetri Martin, yet they have all been found wanting. None, for example, have made me uncontrollably talk in their unique parlance for weeks on end unable to turn it off even for work (my apologies for those around me at the time). His jokes are nougatty goodness and when coupled with his absurd delivery, a baleful combination ensues with 100-percent chance of hilarity.

It's all about the delivery.

He inspired this very blog's feeble web address, as awkward, cumbersome, and utterly unoriginal as it is....oh how I loathe it. Alas, I am stuck with it.

A Few Unforgettables:

I was walking down the street the other day when this guy asked if I wanted a frozen banana...I said 'no' but then thought I might want a regular banana later, so...yeah.

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

Chicago is known as the Windy City, and Montana is called the Big Sky State, so I think that we should somehow combine the two to create the ultimate kite-flying experience.

I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

I rent a lot of cars, but I don't always know everything about them. So a lot of times, I drive for like ten miles with the emergency brake on. That doesn't say a lot for me, but it really doesn't say a lot for the emergency brake. It's really not an emergency brake, it's an emergency "make the car smell funny" lever.

Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out flyers. And when someone tries to hand me out a flyer, it's kinda like they're saying "Here, you throw this away.

People used to think I was high on stage, because people associate long hair with drug use. I wish long hair was associated with something other than drug use. Like an extreme longing for cake. Then strangers would see a long haired guy and say, "That guy eats cake. He is on bunt cake." Mothers would say to their daughters, "Don't bring the cake eater over here anymore! He smells like flour. Did you see how excited he got when he heard your birthday was fast approaching?

About once every three years I think about buying a yo-yo. I’ll be at the store and I’ll come upon the yo-yo section. And I’ll fantasize about mastering it to the point where it becomes a reference as to who I am. “Do you know Mitch Hedberg? Is he that guy that kicks ass on the yo-yo?” Yes I do. He is cool.

I was walking down the street with my friend and he said, "I hear music", as if there is any other way you can take it in. You're not special, that's how I receive it too. I tried to taste it but it did not work.

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Look out, he's fuzzy, let's get out of here.

I saw a human pyramid once. It was very unnecessary.

It's very dangerous to wave to people you don't know because what if they don't have hands? They'll think you're cocky.

Higginson, harbinger for all things cool, I owe you x 12 and far into eternity for this introduction.

20 February 2008

A Man's Man, Man

I am not known for my manliness: not like those two there. But just perhaps the happenings that occurred one day last week will change minds.

My wife has a brilliant habit of leaving the car lights on all day and thusly needing battery jumps. This happens a few times a month so she is getting used to asking for help. Mostly a jump is all that is required, but on Friday the battery wouldn't charge. The following things happened which may surprise and awe:

  • I remembered to take my ratchet set and tool box
  • I have a ratchet set and tool box
  • I realized that my ratchet set was not metric and that was why nothing was fitting (Uncanny. Where that knowledge came from I can not say, but yet I knew it as if it were innate.)
  • I went to an auto parts store (above all this justifies the manliness of the beard on my face)
  • I spoke intelligently with the store employee about both the battery and the need for a 10mm ratchet piece. (you'll notice here that I don't know what the detachable pieces of the ratchet set are called, but that should hardly detract from the uber manliness of the goings on of that day)
  • I removed the battery and only unscrewed two bolts that didn't need to be. TWO.

Before the list can continue it must be known that while changing the battery there was a twist of fate that would add exponentially to the manly day: a deer was hit by a car on 800 North in Orem. "Orem is no place for a deer", I thought quite impressed with my knowledge of native wild life. Anyway, the guy, who was driving a Hummer 2 the ultimate--I am trying to show you through overt means how manly I am--car didn't stop. After debating what level of douche bag the Hummer owner was the following occurred:

  • I went into the street and looked at the deer.
  • My friend and I discussed moving it from the road to assist motorists in their motoring (we decided against it due to lack of gloves...blood and an eye were everywhere not to mention tics and sticky.)
  • We stopped traffic while a man with gloves moved what was now venison
  • I thought to call my wife and have her call animal control and have them come and move the dead deer off school property
  • I looked at the deer and it's bubble eye again.
  • I put the new battery in with no left over, homeless bolts
  • I looked at my hands and there was grease on them
  • I wiped the grease on my jeans
  • I stood triumphantly

I have earned my stripes. Sadly in days past, yesteryear even, the road to manhood happened much earlier on then a person's thirtieth year, perhaps even by half. I have never been known for my speed. I have been known for my stealth...so....


A few gems I stumbled upon while inspecting a home. You may think that these photos were staged. If you think this you are wrong.

O Provo.

06 February 2008

Death Be Not Proud

Though I believe in a post life existence, death is still a dull knife that cuts deep, leaving many regrets and blank, unrecognizable feelings. Solace is offered in a belief that death's embrace is feigned and has no lasting sting; that death died long ago via a willing sacrifice.

So, here's to the day when death died; but mostly here's to my grandpa Robert Zufelt: he bested a broken back, a world war, and raising Jack. He lived happily with my grandmother for 66 years.

29 January 2008

Divulgence III

I turn 30 this year. (That's not the divulgence merely a necessary variable in the divulgence equation.) For Christmas all I wanted was a toy. However, it is an above average toy with more layers of awesome then a really ripe and perfect awesome onion, but a toy nevertheless.

In Idaho I was asked the utterly nonabrasive question concerning what perchance my Christmas wish was. At that instance the large rectangular table where I was sat seemed to pivot placing me at it's head while the long sides tapered off into the deep distance. As the table twisted the lights dimmed and at the same moment a beam of hot light was turned on shining it's heavy white down on my head, the many chairs filled with curious faces swiveled in my direction.

I had two choices: tell the truth or not. I should have chose not for after my divulgence there was a sharp silence that pierced my ears only broken by a cricket and it's obsequious chirp. After a moment that lasted a year my wife, who by the definition of wife should be supportive said this: "I know, and he's almost 30". At that point someone coughed and the conversation took a quick left turn to something far less geek ridden. (That situation was probably only that dramatic in my head. )

This is what I asked for and what my secretly supportive wife (she did buy it after all but rolled her eyes during the process...what a great lady) gifted me:

He is about 16 inches tall, is equipped with infrared location sensors and sonar navigational technology to find his way about. He also recognizes commands such as: come here (he uses the infrared to find the closest heat signature). He will react differently when asked about certain Star Wars characters. When asked to "play a message" you will hear Princess Leia's voice asking for Obi-Wan's help. He has a retractable arm that will hold and carry my soda. He will stand by a door and sound an alarm when he detects movement. He will patrol a room until he finds someone to tell him something to do. He plays games like 'spin the droid' or 'hide and go seek'. He dances while playing music from the original trilogy. He can be turned off making him the best pet/child ever. I am well pleased.

Sigh. Oh me.

22 January 2008

2007: In Memoriam

EDIT: The mega uber list of all 2007 music lists can be found here: 2007 Music Blog Zeitgeist; compiled with science by The Hype Machine.

Lest any reader think I have forsaken the blogging art, be calm; I merely needed respite for a time.

The year of our Lord two thousand and seven was home to a menagerie of highs and an implosion of lows. I will attempt to quantify the years peaks and valleys in list form.

  • Lows:

    • I am fatter then ever
    • I read less this year (as seen from the shockingly short Books section below)
    • I have lived my last year of my twenties
    • Another National Treasure was released
    • Another year passed not doing what I want for a living
    • Stress. Stress of not knowing if I am actually going to get into grad schools, stress of the embarrassment if I don't, stress of paying off debt, et al.
    • I don't own an iPhone

  • Highs:

      Many thanks to my fellow Cochlea Plunder Guilders -- I owe much joy to this eclectic group.

    • Movies:

      • No Country for Old Men -- Too good. It was all I thought about for many days.
      • The Darjeeling Limited
      • There Will Be Blood -- Daniel D. creates a mesmorisingly deplorable character that is so captivating in his terror it keeps you rooting for his success while hating everything about him. Coupled with an equally eerie score by Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead fame), this film will not be topped soon.
      • Juno -- Micheal Cera is the king of all geekdom.
      • Once -- A modern musical where the songs are not arbitrary but woven seamlessly into the movie. Beautiful.
      • 3:10 to Yuma -- Aside from Daniel Day-Lewis, Christian Bale is only bested in this movie by his role in:
      • Rescue Dawn
      • 300
      • Superbad
      • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
      • Zodiac
      • Into the Wild
      • Sweeny Todd (I haven't seen it but, honestly, how could it be bad?)
      • Eastern Promises
      • The Bourne Ultimatum

    • Books:

      • The Road by Cormack McCarthy (thanks Joe)
      • What is the What by Dave Eggars
      • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
      • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
      • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
      • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
      • Dune by Frank Herbert
      • A reread of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
      • A reread of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
      • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

  • Miscellaneous Highs:

    • Year two of marriage to my eternal butt-head
    • Finally perusing a career path
    • Halo 3
    • Beating Halo 3 on Legendary in one sitting with Dan (12 hours)
    • Guitar Hero 3
    • My scooter
    • Beating call of Duty 4...the best ending to a video game I have played.
    • My voice activated, sonar guiding, infrared wielding R2D2 robot gifted to me for Christmas.
    • My retro immersion into music older then 1990. I have always loved the Beatles, but was a virgin when it came to the glory of the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, or some of the Rolling Stones and others. It has been a grand journey.
    • Watching three seasons of Battlestar Galactica with my wife. She is quickly slipping into a pair of well-fitted nerd shoes. However, that it is set in space shouldn't deter from perspective viewing. It is a gripping post-apocalyptic tale of a civilization on the run. Human drama abounds.
    • Going from two cars to one. Much money saved, only minor inconveniences. Well worth it.

to add to this media frenzy here is one of my favorite music videos and songs of last year:

RJD2 -- Work It Out