February 23, 2007

Onion: XM, Sirius To Merge

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 4:28 pm
Young Man

Josh Bernstein, Piano Tuner
“Until there’s a satellite channel dedicated to a lonely statistician in Tacoma talking about his figurine collection, I’m sticking with ham radio.”

Poor Tacoma. No one even got shot.

Split Lip Rayfield Founder Kirk Rundstrom Passes Away

Filed under: rock — sparkrobot @ 1:17 pm

A few months ago, I posted here about Split Lip Rayfield’s Kirk Rundstrom and his battle with esophageal cancer. Unfortunately, he lost. A comment on the post this morning informed he has died this morning. The band had lots of friends and a dedicated following.

Adios Kirk.

Here’s a link to an article on Harp Magazine: Split Lip Rayfield Founder Kirk Rundstrom Passes Away.

February 10, 2007

Samurai Integrated Technology

Filed under: art,photography — sparkrobot @ 9:57 am

cartsI got a new Yashica today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know. I had a telegram from the home: ‘Yashica passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours sincerely.’ That doesn’t mean anything. It may have happened yesterday.

The half frame Yashica Samurai x3.0 (with Samurai Integrated Technology!) is by far one of the most interesting items I’ve picked up to date. Created in 1987-88, it shoots two frames on the width of one 35mm frame. It allows for interesting in camera composition on varying subjects. At first glance what I like most about it is the ability to create a pair of images with a permanent record on film. It’s and upright SLR that looks like a palm held camcorder with a 35-105mm zoom lens. The lens is threaded for a standard 49mm filter with f-stops from f3.5 at wide angle to f4.3 at telephoto. This is according to info I found on the intarweb. I got it at Goodwill and it didn’t come with a manual, so I’ve been scraping details from random sources. It came with a Hoya star filter installed. I’m going to leave that intact for a while and see what happens.

I added a 2CR5 battery and it was off and running. It works just like it came off the shelf so I’m feeling pretty lucky. I didn’t have so much luck with a Zeiss Ikon Contessa rangefinder I got a from Goodwill a while back which had an wicked sharp lens, but also a wicked light leak I can’t seem to fix.

The best part is the “Samurai Integrated Technology” indicated on the case. It delivered immediate authority when the camera was busted out, as if fabulous secret powers were revealed to me and The Power of Greyskull was just invoked.

I put a roll of cheap Kodak Gold 200 I got at Kmart through it and some of the results from the first roll up on Flickr.

Dept of Energy, The Sea Navy, Spanish for 100 at The Comet Tavern

Filed under: photography,rock,seattle — sparkrobot @ 4:22 am

dept of energyI was up in Seattle last week and caught an indie pop rock show at the Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill. There were four bands on the bill, and if you actually read this blog, you know I never make anything on time. Ever. I missed the first band, Olympia’s The Mona Reels. I arrived just before Spanish for 100 set up to play. I hate to play favorites, but I was impressed. These guys were really well informed. Super cool sounds. Their music is available for download, check ’em out (photos).

The Sea Navy (photos) played next with a set of tunes from their recent record, “Oh These Troubled Times.” A final set with TW Walsh filling in on the drums was smart and poignant. There were a group of juiced up gals who couldn’t help but dance. I know…. At a rock show, it’s unheard of and unacceptable. Seriously. It made for a few awkward moments. In the end, who cares? It’s a rock show. If you feel it, go ahead and dance. Nothing wrong with that.

The last group featured Robb Benson (formerly of Dear John Letters) The Dept of Energy (photos) closed the show with a set of catchy pop tunes, though I spent much of the end of the evening lusting after a Leica I saw busted out near the end of the Sea Navy’s set. Gimme a break. It’s a disease and I can’t fucking help it okay? A couple previews of their record are available on the lately ubiquitous myspace.com.

Check out the photos.

February 6, 2007

Jobs on iPods

Filed under: apple,rock — sparkrobot @ 7:13 pm

Interesting. Steve Jobs – Thoughts on Music posted to the Apple website. An excerpt:

Some have argued that once a consumer purchases a body of music from one of the proprietary music stores, they are forever locked into only using music players from that one company. Or, if they buy a specific player, they are locked into buying music only from that company’s music store. Is this true? Let’s look at the data for iPods and the iTunes store – they are the industry’s most popular products and we have accurate data for them. Through the end of 2006, customers purchased a total of 90 million iPods and 2 billion songs from the iTunes store. On average, that’s 22 songs purchased from the iTunes store for each iPod ever sold.

Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM. The remaining 97% of the music is unprotected and playable on any player that can play the open formats. Its hard to believe that just 3% of the music on the average iPod is enough to lock users into buying only iPods in the future. And since 97% of the music on the average iPod was not purchased from the iTunes store, iPod users are clearly not locked into the iTunes store to acquire their music.

He later implies it’s up to the major labels to make the move. Checkmate.

February 5, 2007

Flickr Fckrs

Filed under: Internet, eh?,photography — sparkrobot @ 2:31 pm

I ran across this sane, rational post on the Flickr/Yahoo! merge “controversy”. These people are idiots. Fine, go. Get your money back fools. Better yet, build a better mouse trap if you think you can. It took me two minutes to switch over to a still-active Yahoo account that I haven’t used in 5 years. Was it annoying? A little. Do I want that two minutes back? Absolutely not. Let’s eat bigger fried fish.

I liken the whole thing to this sketch from 1975’s Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

The Witch: I’m not a witch I’m not a witch!
Sir Bedevere: But you are dressed as one
The Witch: *They* dressed me up like this!
Crowd: We didn’t! We didn’t…
The Witch: And this isn’t my nose. It’s a false one.
Sir Bedevere: [lifts up her false nose] Well?
Peasant 1: Well, we did do the nose.
Sir Bedevere: The nose?
Peasant 1: And the hat, but she is a witch!
Crowd: Yeah! Burn her! Burn her!
Sir Bedevere: Did you dress her up like this?
Peasant 1: No!
Peasant 3, Peasant 2: No!
Peasant 3: No!
Peasant 1: No!
Peasant 3, Peasant 2: No!
Peasant 1: Yes!
Peasant 2: Yes!
Peasant 1: Yeah a bit.
Peasant 3: A bit!
Peasant 1, Peasant 2: A bit!
Peasant 2: a bit
Peasant 1: But she has got a wart!
Random Person in the crowd: *cough* *cough*

I still heart you Flickr. We can still make out and such. If I decide we should break up later because of your big brother, you can keep my $24.

February 1, 2007

Bob’s Java Jive Reopens Tonight

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 6:28 pm

According to The News Tribune, World Famous Bob’s Java Jive is reopening tonight at 8PM thanks to the work of volunteers who helped to whip the place into shape and up to code. Most of whom involved in some fashion with The Dockyard Derby Dames. On Saturday, the Dames resume the plans for their Pajama Party and Chris Trashcan‘s new band the Gold Teeth will rock your face. Likely for 18 minutes in a row.

You should hit the Jive tonight to see what you almost missed. It’s going to be wild to see what they’ve done to the place. Hopefully, they’ve got enough beer. Historically, it’s not an insurmountable task to mid-week-drink-the-joint-dry.