Blog Archives

Star Wars Part 3: Return Of The Script

I’m watching all of the Star Wars movies in a row, starting with Episode I. This is the third part in that series.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released in theaters in May of 2005. Unlike my experience with Episode II, I did see this one in the theater, mainly because I had heard good things about it and I knew it was likely to be (as I thought at the time) the last new Star Wars product to ever have a theatrical release.

The movie’s opening crawl tells us that the galaxy is caught in a state of war and that the separatists, led by Sith Lord Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his second-in-command, the cybernetic death machine General Grievous, have captured Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and taken him hostage...

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That time Neil Young played San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is hardly a big city. It’s just not the kinda place you expect to see the terms “rock legend” and “surprise show” come together. But last night, a buzz was building on local social media that something was going down at SLO Brewing Company, SLO’s premier venue for live music.

I first caught wind of the whole thing when I saw this tweet from the SLO Brew account:

I really didn’t believe it. I mean, if you squint hard enough that blurry photo almost resembles Neil Young. I scrolled back a bit thru my Twitter feed and noticed this tweet from local promoter Numbskull Productions:

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Boring Postcards by Martin Parr – book review

Boring Postcards book cover

I found a copy of this book quite some time ago at a local used bookstore and I’d finally gotten ’round to flipping thru it over the last week.

There’s not much to say about Boring Postcards. The book’s title is self-explanatory (and accurate). It’s a small, coffee-table style book that contains images of postcards that, if they weren’t actually sent, were at least actually produced. These postcards are largely of things like motorways, non-distinctive hotel lobbies, power plants, shopping centers and more.

Some might think that this book is a clever practical joke played on anyone who might take the time to look at it (let alone pay for it). And maybe it is. But if there’s one thing to take away from Boring Postcards, it’s to remember that not everywhere in the world has cool, interesti...

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Chuck Berry: The Autobiography – book review

Chuck Berry book cover

I’m often drawn to books that chronicle the lives and times of musicians. Specifically, I’ve read a lot of books that track the histories of bands. I figured I’d get something like that in this Chuck Berry autobiography. And I did. Sort of.

Chuck Berry wrote this book in the late 1980’s, when he was in his early sixties. The book begins with Berry tracing his ancestry back to the pre-Cival War era, bringing it forward to his parents and his birth. He then recounts his younger days, his high school years and how he eventually learned to play guitar. This part of the book was kinda slow at times.

From there, he moves into his late teens and early twenties where he runs down the first of three stints he had in prison. (In this case, he was busted for committing a series of robberies with friends while they were away from home.) After regaining his freedom, Berry went home to live with his family in St. Louis. He began working with his father, doing various kinds of handyman and maintenance work for property managers around the city. He also met his wife during this time and he began playing music more seriously, taking it to the point where his income from being a musician was starting to eclipse the other work he was doing.

One weekend in the late...

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Why I’m Backing The Robotech Academy Kickstarter

Robotech Academy logo

Robotech. It’s a hard franchise to love. Which, nowing my penchant for oddballs and underdogs, would probably explain why I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.

I first saw the series when it aired on WPWR-TV in the Chicago area. I still remember my dad telling me about it. He’d read about it in TV Guide and thought I’d like it. As usual, he was right. From the first episode, I was hooked. I watched the series to its inevitable conclusion. Then, I read all of the comic books that retold the story. I bought Robotech toys and other merchandise wherever I could find it.

Then, as all good TV shows do, Robotech went away. But there were rumblings of a sequel to the series. Robotech II: The Sentinels was the name of the would-be followup. Unfortunately, only a handful of episodes of what would’ve been a wide-arcing and ambitious series were ever finished. The stories that would’ve been comprised in those unfinished episodes received a comic-book treatment of their own, as well as a serial novelization.

But for people like me, the die-har...

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Some Photos From Our Las Vegas Trip

Luxor Hotel Casino

Jen and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary last week by taking a trip to Las Vegas. It’s not actually the first time we’d been to Vegas as we had stopped there for one night while moving from Illinois to California in 2005. But this time, we weren’t already worn out from days of continuous travel. Also, we didn’t have a small flock of pet birds to look after. In a way, this was more like our first real time in the city of big lights and big casinos.

We flew from California to Las Vegas via the Santa Maria Public Airport. It’s actually the fastest, least expensive and easiest way to get from the Central Coast to Vegas. The Santa Maria Airport, while a bit bigger than the San Luis Obispo Airport, is still relatively small. Ours was the first flight out of the day and we may have been the first passengers to arrive.

Santa Maria Airport

Santa Maria Airport

Santa Maria Airport

The plane that carried us to ...

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Video of a Leaf Suspended in Midair

Leaf floating in the air.

We’ve been getting some much-needed rain here in California and that’s a good thing.

During a break in one of this week’s cloudbursts, I went out to check the mail. While doing so, I noticed what looked like one of those helicopter-style leafs dancing about in midair. I stopped to watch it for a moment and found it to be rather mesmerizing.

I figured for sure it must be stuck in a cobweb strand or something. I came back with my iPad and took some video of the leaf and as I continued to observe its motions, I realized that there’s no way it was being held up by a string. It was apparently caught in a perfect little vortex of air swirling around at the base of this small brick wall.

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Visiting Bluejay

Bluejay under a lemon tree.

A rather talkative bluejay came to visit earlier this week.

It spent some time foraging under our lemon tree.

Then, it flew away.

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The Sound of San Luis Obispo Rain 2014

Raindrops on my window.

We’ve been in the midst of a drought here in California. We’ve had some relief this week thanks to a couple of rainstorms. It’s nowhere near the actual amount of rain we really need. But we’ll take anything we can get.

I pointed my condenser microphone at an open window this morning and captured the sound of today’s rainfall. This is a short sample of that recording.

(I would’ve liked to have posted something longer but between the rolling garbage trucks and the neighbors waking up, it just wasn’t possible.)

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Revisiting Star Wars Part 2: Clones, We Got ‘Em

Star Wars Episode II Poster.

I’m watching all of the Star Wars movies in a row, starting with Episode I. This is the second part in that series.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones was released in May of 2002. It’s the only Star Wars movie I never saw in a theater. I’m not really sure why that is, other than the fact that I was so underwhelmed by Episode I when I saw it the first time that I just wasn’t that excited for Episode II. I don’t think I even sought the film out until the hype began in earnest for Episode III, and I figured I should finally watch it.

Attack Of The Clones begins ten years after the end of The Phantom Menace. The film’s opening crawl explains that during this time, a separatist movement, lead by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) has been growing within the Galactic Republic...

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