Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here it is, HARDCORE

I love hardcore music...lately I've been a little out of the loop, and disenchanted by the local hardcore scene, but you only have to look as far as youtube to figure out why HARDCORE is the best genre in music ever....I FUCKING LOVE IT. its in my BONES.

the shows, the energy, the feeling, the music, the message... everything PERFECT.

Here's a compilation video from youtube for Judge's "Where it Went"....one of the best hardcore songs ever written, by one of the best underground hardcore bands EVER.



DO YOU FEEL WHAT I FEEL? DO YOU FEEL THE SAME?!....."

Friday, April 27, 2007

FRiday PUNK Video!

Here's some old school punk for people that really know and give a shit:

Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device LIVE!



and

Bad Brains - Intro/I Awesome 80's set live track. the crowd is insane!




and finally, Gang Green - Alcohol! This version is censored...the real chorus? "I'd RATHER DRINK THAN FUCK!" "YOU GOT THE bEER, you got the time...you got the coke, gimme a line...!!!!"

OUT OF HAND.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Municiple Waste track!

Check the song "Headbanger Face Rip" its a new song by Municiple Waste, probably one of the best thrash bands in the world right now.

They should have a new album coming out in a few months, I can't wait to download it.

my book review: The Sparrow

So while I was in AZ, I read two books. There's not alot I usually feel like doing after work in the field...I mean besides my excercise routine of running 20 miles, and then doing my usual 200 pushups.

I read In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick and The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell.

In the Heart of the Sea was great, a quick and pretty easy read about the ramming of a whaling ship by an 85 foot sperm whale, a true story that formed the basis for Moby Dick....but thats not what this post is all about.

I also read the Sparrow...and I liked it, but I hated it. It was good, but annoying.

Here's the premise (in short): A group of people, a few of them very religious, one or two of them "spiritual", discover intelligent life on another planet. They decide to go directly there and meet this intelligent life, assuming that since one of them is a Jesuit Missionary with language skills, they are the best suited, and in a religious sense, are directed there with the help of god.

They go there and get all religous, live pleasantly, hang out with the natives, and then they realize that the basic social organization of the aliens are a lot like Human's relationship to cows. There are two races on the alien planet, one that is like cows in that they serve as a herd-like animal that the other race routinely slaughters for food.

They land and first make contact with the "cow" group. Needless to say, things go horribly wrong when they figure out that the other race kills the cows. They all die except one of them, the jesuit priest, who spends the time reconciling his horrible tragedy with god.

I think the main theme of the book is that "you just have to have faith"...sometimes bad things happen to good people, and what you EXPECT from god, isn't necessarily what god has in store for you. The Book is heavily faith-based, and written in an almost nauseatingly warm-fuzzy tone: everyone gets a hug when things are good, or when things go bad, there's this naive expectation that good is in everything, and descriptions of beauty include references to spiritual experience.

So...there you have it. God is awesome, we're all filled with such love, and sometimes shit-happens, but that can't change the awesomeness of god in the heart of the faithful.

The book is a lesson in maintaining faith in the face of life's greatest tragedies.

How else can a believer in god deal with evil in the world?

There's an even easier explanation for why there's evil: There is no god. If you step back from the story for a minute and think "if good things can happen to good people, maybe there is no god". Things can just happen, the Universe just is what it is, and we are here dealing with it. Maybe because you’re a religious zealot and can’t see past the narcissistic delusion of your faith, you couldn’t notice that you were about to get sodomized by an alien.

In fact, I think if you look at the premise of the story, and say that it was religious arrogance and ignorance that directly lead to the demise of the characters.

1. They assume at least latently that somehow god was involved with this trip, and that they were doing gods work in going to the planet.

2. They assume that social and cultural values that we have on earth are also true on other planets. They also assume that there is equality and harmony with all species on the alien planet.

3. By immersing themselves within one social group on the planet, without understanding ANYTHING about the planet itself, they place themselves in direct conflict with the cows and the carnivores.

4. They assume that the killing of the cow race of aliens is morally wrong.


If you think about it for a minute: Its ignorance of the alien planet, its culture, its intelligence, the roles of different intelligent races lead directly to their downfall. Also, Their arrogance that they should just zoom right in and start hanging out with aliens as having something to do with gods plan is ridiculous.

I’m not sure if this book was supposed to reinforce or help to bring people into a spiritual life, expose and highlight the human folly when it comes to faith, or to provide a discussion on the mere existence of god, any god.

I also browsed the Amazon.com customer reviews for this book, there are more than 400 of them, and it seems that many people thought the same thing. There are comments from actively theistic people arguing that Russell has no idea what it means to be religious and faithful, and some who say that it’s a great book that all Christians should read, even though Russell is a Jewish person.

I’m still confused by it a bit, and If I had to say anything about it in short: 1. people acting on religious principles are ASKING to be slaughtered. 2. if there’s anything we should learn from history its that religious missionary behaviors lead to death of a few at the least, and fucking genocide at the most and 3. if you want to explore new planets, new cultures, new ideas, send a scientist, not a na├»ve, kooky group of religious bubbleheads.

Anyone else read this book and get as frustrated as me? If not, you should read it and enlighten me.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Back in Denver; survived eating Pipe Grease!

I survived the field work I was doing! hooray! And I'm sure you're all wondering what the hell I was doing so far away from home for so long. Well, here's the fruits of my labor:



Neat. It doesn't look like much, but the thick middle post in this picture is a 520 ft. deep borehole that has a big ass length of PVC pipe in it. There's a really expensive instrument that goes into that pipe that is used to measure any horizontal offset in the borehole. Assuming the borehole is completely straight when it was drilled, any offset in the borehole measured at a later time means that the actual mesa in which the borehole resides is moving....a scary prospect, but one that needs to be monitored nonetheless.

To be sure, AZ was fun. the work was interesting, and for some reason, and maybe its just me, I've come to the realization that it is almost impossible not to play with this stuff:




its joint grease that they use to grease the threads between pieces of drill pipe. its also this cool copper-metallic thick grease on a modified toilet brush that makes you want to dunk the brush into this margarine-thick (pleasantly spreadable, even when taken right out of the fridge!), and then run around smearing it on your rental car, on other people, on the ground, on someones lunch bag, etc... I also had this hard-to-resist urge to eat it...like some wierd piss-smelling kid in elementary school eating the paste off the craft tables. It tastes kinda like strawberries.

just kidding, I didn't eat it.....ok i did..no I didn't..I just tasted it...no I didn't, but I wanted to..

Friday, April 13, 2007

MIA in Bagdad!

Sorry for almost no updates here from the AZ trip. I've been moved to Bagdad AZ, and there's no internet, no phone, nothing. Since the drillers will be late by about 1 hour today, I thought I'd check in.

I'm on a random field computer out here at the Bagdad mine. tons-of-fun. Unfortunately, where we're working is nowhere near the pit, or the big trucks, or near anything else that might be considered exciting.

After thinking I'd come out here and see tons of those HUGE-ass trucks, and massive diggers, I'm sad to say that I've seen almost nothing. THe picture I uploaded in my previous post is about all I get to see out here. No trucks Nothing.

Then...just as I was feeling like GS Schaller and the snow-leopard last night, a truck crossed my path:




neat.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

AZ stories,,,

I'm down here on a field job in Wickenburg Arizona, which in addition to its ridiculous density of Upper-midwestern Retirees, has more than 4 hardware stores to service its less than 2,000 person populace. Its like if people over the age of 70 took over and started a wierd cult based around the old west, chrysler luxury sedans, and national breakfast chain restaurants (country kitchen, dennys, village inn, etc...)- instead of "children of the corn" think "elderly of the joshua trees"

WHen I got here, I had some big plans for cataclasite documenting this job because its both interesting (I'm core-logging a borehole in a HUGE active copper mine). I thought I could get a bunch of great pictures, but so far I've only been able to get this:



Today, the drill rig broke down (long story there) but suffice it to say, that I ended up in town hanging out at about 2 pm today. So, I decided to find an outdoor patio-type bar, have a beer, and read my book.

Unfortunately the only "patio" was some lawn furniture outside of the local off-track betting place that also served beer. Not suprising, at 2 pm the off-track betting bar in wickenburg AZ is full of marlboro-sucking 75 year old women.

I go in, order a modelo negro, and sit down to read. About 10 minutes later, this fucking wierd-looking, busted homeless lookin' guy comes up to me and says "I was just thinkin' about getting a new motorbike".

Now. I normally hate talking to people I don't know, no matter who they are. If they creep me out, its even worse, I thought "aww...fuck this shit." but I kept my mouth shut.

Anyway, I said "thats great man...", and immediately the guy says to me "mind if I sit down?"

..So he did. In the first 5 minutes of talking to me he mentioned that:

1. He's amazed at the property prices in wickenburg
2. the motor bike that he wants to buy is a custom trike because he got in a bad car accident and has trouble holding up a motorcycle while stopped at stop-lights or stop-signs
3. his left femur bone is actually from a cadaver as a result of said car accident
4. he doesn't like '57 chevy's but he thinks that the chick in the advertisement he's pointing to is good-lookin'
5. he also doesn't like Camero's because everyone wants one...and he's already owned a few.

At this point I was moderately interested in what he was saying, and was pretty convinced he wasn't gonna shank me, so I engaged him..

"so you've owned some camero's eh?"

"Yeah, I also owned a '73 dodge charger, some trans ams, a '69 z28 camero with a 302, and a '70 chevelle SS454"

"Is that the big block?" (I don't know shit about cars, but I think I heard that 302 or 454 or something had to do with the size of engines)

"mmmhmmm, It could do the quarter (1/4 mile drag strip?) in the low 10's (close to 10 seconds?)"

This entire time I had my field notebook with me and wrote the entire conversation down, to which this guy apparently took no notice.

"sweet car, how come you don't have it now?"

"I joined the navy...plus my parents were holding on to a Dodge dart that I drove around"

"hmm"

"yeah, I also got hold of a '69 roadrunner - you know the 440 with a six pack"

"oh, you hold on to a car that cherry" (this is actually a line from the movie tommy boy, I'm glad I worked it into a conversation...I know the words to this entire movie, and its not because I watched it over and over, the reason I do know the words is a long story...)

"yeah, there were only 460 of them ever made, because the '69 came with a 383...if you wanted one with the 440, you had to custom order it"

right at this very moment, one of those car-carrier trucks came by, and on the back of it was 3 SS454 Cameros. it was probably just a fucking crazy coincidence, but I kinda got that freaked out hitchiker-in-the-desert vibe...like I was about to find out that this entire town was populated with classic car-owning elderly people wielding hand-tools recently purchased from small hardware stores, and I'd soon be chopped up.

Luckily:

him: "well, didn't mean to talk your ear off..."

me: "alright"


and then he left.