Category Archives: Personal

So, so lazy…

I am a lazy blogger, I am a lazy blogger…however, two new things coming up.

1. Mitosis – a manufacturing company based in the South Side of Pittsburgh, with its first offering, the Equus Evolution Kit, a multi-modal learning tool the helps high school teachers demonstrate the principles of evolution through 50 million years of changes to the horse foot. The kit is amazing, developed by Jason Bannister of Mechanimal, with assistance from Duquesne University…we’ve been selling them already, and I’ll have some pictures up very soon, as well as some info for interested science and biology teachers…very, very cool…

2. A puppet version of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl…not for sale, simply to create video content that will teach good citizens everyone how civic politics works…you should see the forehead…

 

Thanks for the patience, love y’all….

P.S. Congrats again, Tim and Andi!!!!!

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Coming Soon…

I know it has been more than a while, but I have something sweet coming soon from the SWS lab – soon to be available around the web (or, at least, at Etsy and Ebay, as well as direct from your humble narrator). Part science/part art – all glorious, glorious…Stay tuned, PGH watch out!

Infinite Summer

For all of y’all literary types who fancy big, sprawling books…it doesn’t get much bigger, or more sprawling than this within contemporary letters (well, maybe this, but…): Join in and read one of the great texts from the late David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest. With groups on the Twitter and the Facebook helping with motivation there is no better time than the present.

People say stuff like this out of the side of their mouth all the time, but this book changed my life, introduced me to a different way of viewing the world, tied me to other people in a way no other book has done. Yes, there are over a thousand pages here, but contrary to what many critics have said, there is not a word out of place, nothing superfluous here, I promise. Thanks, Dave, we miss you.

Infinite Summer

(pic from wikipedia)

Lost a Bet by Tim S.

Once again, I get to be lazy and let my good friend Tim S. entertain y’all with some writing. This little piece on the Steelers benefits me in two ways. One, because, as I mentioned, I get to continue my non-posting laziness. And, Two (and, this affects you, my readers), I get to look smart through association as Tim is a much better writer than I am, and this piece is great. As mentioned before, Tim S. can be read over at Joint Contrast – peep that shit.

I made a bet. Not a bet involving money or humiliating acts of any sort. But a bet that I felt if I won the reward would outweigh the punishment if I lost. That bet was on the Super Bowl. If the Cardinals pulled off an upset my buddy Joe from the Steel City had to write an article praising the mighty Cleveland Browns. Knowing that the feat of praising the Browns was indeed a hefty one I gave up the points and took it straight up winner takes all. I fucking lost. I with all my atheistic cynicism bet on the forever born again Christian grocery bag boy (I say forever because the same story that they told about Kurt Warner this last week and during the game is the same retarded ass lifetime movie of the week story they told ten fucking years ago when he went to his first Super Bowl. Seriously Kurt, can I at least get some Tebow like missionary work to hear about and not just the redundancy of your pre-football life coupled with the fact that your 115 pound wife popped seven fucking kids out of her vagina-tie a fucking tube) to help brighten the dreary days only the dog pound faithful truly feel. So in essence this game was about the Steelers and the Browns. And guess who lost. My punishment is indeed to give Big Ben, the Steelers organization as well as the city of Pittsburgh a giddy sixteen year-old orgasm in the form of a written hand job.

But first let me say just a few things about the state of Ohio.
James Harrison(LB) College- Kent State(OH)-Hometown Akron(OH),
Santonio Holmes(WR)-Super Bowl MVP-College Ohio State,
Ben Roethlisberger(QB) College-Miami (Ohio)-Hometown Findlay(OH)
You can thank us later.

Let me start not with what could be argued as the greatest Super Bowl ever but with a few of my favorite things about the Steelers. Number one is the Rooney Rule ( Named after Pitt Owner Dan Rooney) which essentially forces old white billionaires who own football franchises to interview minorities when searching for coaches. In no way does it force them to hire minority coaches but it assumes that if you diversify your search criteria it expands the talent pool when other vacancies become available around the league giving qualified candidates an opportunity they might not have received otherwise. You want to know what happens when you don’t force old white billionaires to do this, just take a look at college football. Number two is Mike Tomlin’s haircut. Either he has mastered the art of the airbrushed edge-up or his barber wields a magical set of clippers with divine attachments. I mean Kurt Warner couldn’t get Jesus himself to hook him up with a cut that brilliant. It literally looks like he gets a touch up after every near heart attack inducing Roethlisberger scramble. With Barack Obama as our president and Mike Tomlin as coach of the reigning Super Bowl champs you can kiss the cornrows goodbye. Don‘t be surprised to see Allen Iverson show up to the All-Star game with a fresh fade. Number three is the fact that at every position on the field the player wearing black and gold is more than likely tougher than his opponent. The prime example is Hines Ward. That motherfucker is vicious. And he smiles the entire time. Think back to a time in your life when you were dominant in a certain moment, so dominant that it was funny. You crossed someone over on the court or you struck someone out or you pulled someone’s card Will Hunting style(How do ya like them apples?). That is how Hines Ward is every time he catches a ball or catches a DB out of position and cracks him. That’s even how Hines is when he gets cracked. I’ll trade Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards for Hines right now. And if you don’t want them then I’ll just release them because there both pussies. Finally before I talk just a little about the game I would like to thank the Pittsburgh Steelers for beating the Baltimore Ravens three times this year. A Browns fan does not want to see a winning Steelers team unless it means a losing Raven team.

Art Model can eat a dick.

So was it the 100 yard interception return by James Harrison before the first half came to a close (try to remember a better play both in significance and physical brilliance) or the Santonio Holmes tip toe catch to win the game that followed the Santonio Holmes missed game winning catch moments before? Was it Big Ben, all 6’5’’ 240 lbs of him, bouncing in and out and around the pocket creating fourth quarter magic once again this year or the fact that when it really counted the defense stopped Kurt Warner? Yes he threw for almost 400 yards and finally found Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter, but when they had to get him the Steelers did as the Steelers do and stopped the opposing quarterback from winning the game. Even though this time they needed their own quarterback to help them out. What was the defining moment? The defining moment was way back in 1999.
Not only does this game not happen but the history of the NFL post 1999 changes dramatically. That moment was when the Cleveland Browns selected Tim Couch to lead them back into football prominence leaving Donovan Mcnabb on the board for Philly to scoop up. The AFC North would’ve been a different landscape to maneuver through over the last decade had the right decision been made and the Rooney family might still be stuck on 4 Lombardi Trophies. But instead we selected a guy who no longer plays pro football, a man who lost his job to Kelly Holcomb. Once again you can thank us later.

But that misstep only further solidifies the dominance and class that the Steelers organization has established. They make the right decisions when it comes to players and personnel. They make the right decisions when it comes to the way they handle the media. And they make the right decisions when it comes to the way they treat their fans. Browns fans and countless other fan base both envy and respect such stability. And of course when you have envy and respect you also have extreme hatred. So to my dear friend Joe and all the terrible towel wielding Steelers fans I say congratulations, fuck you very much, enjoy the rest of the NBA season and how about them Pirates.

Most People That Know Me Know I Listen to More Than Just Hip Hop

Following up on the last post, my friend Tim S. has blessed us with a piece he wrote a little while ago that is just terrific – funny, insightful and all that…And, did I mention its core is Neil Diamond…So, pretty hard to lose on that one. Tim has agreed to write another piece after the Steelers win their 6th Bowl (if it doesn’t happen, I have to write something about the Browns…scary…), but until then check out Joint Contrast for more lovin’. Thanks Tim:

Most people that know me know I listen to more than just hip hop, just not that much more. But certain artists and certain albums slide through my generic b-boy crossed arms and penetrate my completely ironic ice grill stare to find a place in my musical lexicon(of course they tend to be pretty girls with battered psyche’s and a gift for deft lyricism). The men have a harder time (not unlike the women in hip hop) to gain my attention and reverence. Bob Dylan was always an interesting figure to me, but someone who until I discovered his last three albums was more of a mythical creature who’s folklore was the strength of his staying power. So when I heeded the words of many a publication(which I usually do only to find I’ve been duped) and delved into the masterpiece that is Modern Times then tracked back to Love & Theft and Time Out of Mind I found the Bob Dylan so many people have had all along- and I felt truly rewarded. So I never overlook an artist even if my preexisting opinion feels concrete, because I might miss a beautiful piece of art. Although if you can’t hook me quick then fuck off because good music gets you immediately, or it slowly(but shortly) lulls you in but it does not take its time. With all that said I am completely surprised with my newfound love of Neil Diamond.

99 Problems but a rhinestone jumpsuit ain’t one- Rick Rubin is a genius! He helped build def jam- helped show the world the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and LL Cool J. He was a pioneer in the hip hop world and then he got into yoga and started producing Slayer albums. Okay I couldn’t give a fuck about the last part but it does show amazing range. I’m not a Johnny Cash fan but the cover of the Nine Inch Nail song Hurt was brilliant. He played around with various rock bands and old Johnny for almost a decade then decide to produce one of the dopest tracks in Jay-Z’s catalogue in 99 Problems-showing once again extreme range. Now what the fuck does this have to do with that guy who sang Sweet Caroline and Coming to America? A couple years ago I heard he was producing Neil Diamond’s record 12 songs. I listened and I absolutely loved it. Amazing lyrics(yes the guy that sang the blue jean song is a great lyricist) and great harmonies with a stripped down acoustic arrangement without an ounce of….ok maybe a couple ounces of corniness but that only added to the charm.

Side note: Rick Rubin produced the last Dixie Chicks album and not only was it listenable,  it was pretty fucking good. Now that doesn’t change the fact that I might slice my wrist with a dull spoon if I ever hear the stupid fucking earl song again!

Back to the regularly scheduled program.

So in early 2008 the Rubix Cube(ic) Zirconia Diamond(my cleverness haunts me) team joined forces again. Home Before Dark came out in early may 2008 and for a simple description it’s stunning. This album is to be listened to alone, the connection must be singular. If you have a preconceived notion of Neil Diamond you won’t find it on this album. Love found, love lost are universal themes but when they are delivered with a tough sense of responsibility and a vulnerable sense of regret they become so much more than just themes, they become truths. This album has many truths to revel in. The opening track If I Don’t See You Again is as haunting as any relationship song I’ve ever heard. It evokes the lurking ghost we all maneuver through life avoiding, doubt. But underscoring that darkness is a sense fulfilment. Let’s all be mature and admit life is full of loss. But most times we don’t notice what we lose on any level let alone in the interpersonal realm, so when it hurts at least that means it was real. The partner to this song is One More Bite of the Apple. A song of redemption if you will. “Was a time I will never forget/ times I will never regret/ I was thinking bout those times from way back when thinking I could bring them back again/..one more dance in the night/one more chance to get it right/ one more grasp at the brass ring flying by/ one more toast to the mud in your eyes/ coming back for one more bite of the apple” – Word muthafuckin up! Broken hearts rejoice Neil Diamond is riding for you. On a whole this is an album for romantics and the songs let you connect with your past and appreciate your present and hope for your future. What else could you ask for? I guess all it lacks is a Lil’ Wayne collabo, but you could just ask one of the 75 protooling assholes down the street for that one.

Diamond

Read Tim S. on Joint Contrast

Hey all. Sorry, once again for the sporadic postings, but I’ve been watching the Steelers stomp on people and trying to conceptualize a business offering or two (yeah right…sounded good for a second though…). However, I just wanted to lead you readers to a friend of mine who is doing some writing over at Joint Contrast, a nice blog on music, culture, sports, and lots of other stuff I know you love.

Anyways, Tim S. has been like a brother to me for a long time now, even if we haven’t always been in continual contact (read: I’m an asshole who does a piss poor job of staying in touch…I know, I know). Other than being my bro, Tim is a great writer and you should encourage him by reading his posts. Check out his Top Ten Albums of 2008 Pt. 1, Pt. 2, and Pt. 3.

Word.

Merry Xmas…

…happy holidays, and all that politically correct crap.

No, really, happy holidays y’all, thanks for listening this year, and I’ll be talking to you soon. And…lest we forget those less fortunate, and though I know everyone is especially broke this year, if you have a couple bucks to spare, head over to Direct Relief and spread some joy.

Joe