Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ category

Nerdgasm: Lego Safe

July 4, 2009
The only safe strong enough to secure my Duplo blocks.

The only safe strong enough to secure my Duplo blocks.

I realize that should I proceed and build this, I will be nowhere in the neighborhood of Fort Knox level protection, but, as a guy who’s spent more than a couple bucks (possibly a couple thousand) and hours (possibly a couple krotillion) on Lego blocks and kits well into my adult life, I WANT THIS. I mean, it’s a damn Lego safe with working gears (not that Lego is foreign to complex working gear structures. I’ve hand built a few complex mechanisms while just freestyling builds -You should’ve seen the A-815 Battlehawk and the blueprints for the unbuilt A-822, both manufactured by the mysterious Drachius organization, James knows what I’m talking about. That plane was a monster. The Battlehawk had 4, Double-barreled, recoiling, pulse blasters, mounted on the underside of the airjet and a removable pilot’s pod-). So I love the idea of this safe and it does have a fair layer of protection, plus, it’s completely up Omar’s alley. Though I may sound kinda childish on my social networks and this blog, I’ve actually rid myself of most of my material ‘Kiddy Stuff’. All of my remaining categorical toys sit on two shelves in my room along w/ my books, DVD’s and CD’s and that’s far too little. I’ve given up pretty much all of my old Lego kits and blocks when I moved here and haven’t purchased any replacement kits because of the money suck that Lego blocks are to a guy like me, but I think this safe may get me to jump ship on that pattern. I love building stuff, I love thinking through concepts and I love being a kid at heart and I have a LOT of free time these days, you know, with the whole, “I have a disease and a lifestyle so erractic I can’t handle most normal occupations”, so I believe that this would be a nice little distraction of a project and a way to ease back into them Lego and the child I actually am, internally and externally. I dare you to block me from finishing this project. *rimshot*

Lego Combination Safe (Instructables)

Pl.A.List: What’s Crackin’

April 23, 2009

Since I got home from “vacation” last week, I’ve been doing some experimental dabbling in the Breakfast Sandwich department and anyone who’s followed me on Facebook would confirm and probably worry about my new obsession w/ my egg rings and the outstanding concoctions they doth spring forth. So for today’s Pl.A.List, to stay in line w/ my obsession of the moment, I’m gonna use the egg as a metaphor (because I feel the need to be more pretentious), while also giving you a little piece of myself. So how do I relate an egg, myself, and a group of songs that, with a build up like this, better make a good point? Well, it goes like this; back in the early 90’s, when it came to music, I was pretty much devoted to Hip Hop, Hip Hop and Hip Hop, it enveloped my whole makeup. I was Hip Hop, NY/NJ Hip Hop to be exact. I did dabble in a little bit of pop music, but it’s pop music, which means everyone’s heard it and it’s kinda impossible to hate an entire genre with absolutely no exceptions, and even that can mostly be attributed to my best friend, Doug, who was basically 5’11”, 150lbs of tightly packed, mainstream culture. To know Doug, is to know every song in the Billboard top 40 by heart, which is fine, to each his own and it did give me at least some variety in my musical outlook. So, there was a teenage Omar, completely encased in a shell surrounded only by Hip Hop Culture and some Pop music and other music types, especially Rock genres, were almost an affront to my tastes and a severe betrayal of my allegiance (Teenage intolerance, it’s Faaantastic!). But there would be 3 significant acts that helped me break out and see the light, turning me from an amorphous blob encased in a cell to a guy who broke out and was allowed to spread myself wider and accept new flavors and spices, totally new and exotic ingredients, creating a better, more diverse me  (are you seeing the egg metaphor, cause I’m laying it out there pretty thick. It’s like I’m trying to win the “Beating a Dead Horse award” in the category of ‘Metaphors-We Get It Already!’).

Red Hot Chili Peppers-Give it Away

When this song came out on MTV, I had a foreign feeling; I kinda liked it. I didn’t admit it, but when it came on, I didn’t do the usual and immediately ignore it or change the channel, I would linger and it was in heavy rotation, so every time, I’d linger a little longer before I changed the channel, kinda lying to myself about how much I didn’t like it. During this period in time, a guy in my class, named Justin Case (which is both, an interesting name AND sort of a dick move by his parents, because you know kids jumped on the that name once they figured out the wordplay within.), anyway, Justin and I were in the same row in class and he didn’t really know rap and I didn’t really know rock and in sort of diplomatic conversations, I let him know I kinda liked Give it Away, he said he liked Public Enemy (the ‘Bring the Noize’ remix w/ Anthrax, specifically) and in the pseudo-music UN delegation that Justin and I had set up in the back corner of 6th period, we had a cultural exchange, he let me borrow Blood Sugar Sex Magik and he borrowed ‘Apocalypse ’91 : The Enemy Strikes Black’ and we both liked the albums we borrowed. I think that RHCP album was probably THE best album anyone could’ve given to me at that time to open me up. It was funk heavy a la’ George Clinton and it was produced by Rick Ruben, whom I still associated heavily with early Def Jam; License to Ill, LL Cool J-Radio, etc. So that album would be step one to a whole new me. A more honest me, a guy who could speak on the history of Hip Hop, in depth, from pretty much top to bottom and still dig on some Ozzy. Though at that point in time, I would admit nothing more than the fact that I kinda liked the Chili Peppers because “they were kinda rap”.

Alice in Chains-No Excuses

The next song worked itself nicely into my progression. It came outta nowhere, well out of nowhere as far as I knew, considering that Jar of Flies was not their first album or first success, but it/they were new to me. What helped here is that ‘No Excuses’ wasn’t hardcore, it wasn’t ‘metal’ heavy, it’s almost a retro folk song, even the guitar solo has a classic rock feel and all of that together worked for me, because even though I didn’t listen to pretty much any other kinda rock, I still had an appreciation for that which came before me and ‘No Excuses’ was light enough, that I could excuse it and it got me to the next step of breaking the shell, by now, the cracks in the shell are significant you can tell that it wouldn’t be too much longer before the whole thing breaks open and I just come oozing out into the pan.

Tool-Sober

This one still shocks me. There is no way I would’ve ever guessed that the me, the pre “Open-Omar” me, would’ve even liked this song and I surely wouldn’t have guessed that this would be the track that basically said, “Stop Bullshitting, stop hating genres and appreciate whatever music it is for the music that it is. Sober was wild, first there’s the video, which is the main reason that I ever stopped to listen to the song in the first place. If its’ 1993-94 and this claymation nightmare shows up on your screen, you’re probably gonna stop and wonder which of Satan’s minions created this monster (and then Satan will tell you it’s a false positive and that he’s gonna take Tool to court for trademark infringement), but you will watch. Then there’s Maynard James Keenan, he has an amazing voice. It’s not so much that it’s “beautiful” but the guy has amazing control and vocal mastery to do a lot of things some the best singers couldn’t dream of. When Maynard wants to stick the note, he’s gonna stick the note. Then there’s the double guitar hits of the song and when it all comes together, it was just the thing I needed to come out of my shell and start looking around the musical landscape. I can still love my De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang, PE, whatever. I was the only one holding me back and these 3 incidents made me realize that. It is not an affront to my values to have a wider range of tastes, in fact, it enhances my appreciation of nuances that I never knew existed. Basically it growed me up a bit and I’m better and happier and mostly, more well rounded for it.

So that’s it, a little autobiographical Pl.A.List, a little metaphor and a little story on how it all began, the catalyst to me opening my horizons and from this, I now get down with some of my newer favorite groups, SoundGarden, The Who, The Stones, and Radiohead (oh beautiful Radiohead), even Jimi Hendrix, groups I may have never dared to try if it hadn’t been for those first few. I opened myself up to new flavors to become the man I am now, The Incredible Edible A.

ps: gotta thank Mark from WordPress for helping me out and fixing the error on the website quickly after I emailed them to get me up and running in mere hours as opposed to days, which a lot of free services will sometimes do. Now I’m back online, ready to torture the world w/ my opinions and prose.

Who Will Help Pia Zadora Find True Love Now?*

January 24, 2009
ricardo_montalban

Come on ladies, you know you'd still get with this!

This is both sad and belated news, but actor, Corinthian leather salesman** and all around cool ass muthafucka you wanted to be, Ricardo Montalban has died in his Los Angeles home . Ricardo pretty much set the standard as 70’s and 80’s hollywood actors/pimps go (he actually worked f0r 7 decades), plus come on, he was THE BEST Star Trek Movie villain ever. I’m not a trekker (or trekkie, you decide), but I do know that when I think of Star Trek movies, Capt. Kirk yelling “Kaaaaaahhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!” through the far reaches of space is the first thing I think of. Ricardo was also pimpish as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, finding B and C level celebrities love and happiness (which is exactly what a pimp does, he simply had his own island to do so) and well, Ricardo was just a damn pimp. He brought sexyback before sexy knew she was gone (yes sexy is a woman) and I wish he was my daddy because I’m sure I could’ve scored with even a mild percentage of his throwaway groupie love (which would’ve been thousands). I loves that dude and I hope that he and Tattoo are livin it up on some alternate plane. Ricardo (I use his first name because he seems too cool to address formally), died Jan. 14, 2009 at age 88, most likely due to general aging complications. RIP. (Rest In Pimp) 

*Full Disclosure: I have no idea if Pia Zadora ever appeared on Fantasy Island or found love there, but come on, that’s a great name to throw in a blog title (It also shows the obscure levels at which my mind works). 

**He also sold the rest of the Chrysler vehicle in the ads too.

 

In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight), In the Year Two-Thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand (Eight)…..

December 8, 2008

2008, so distant, so far away, so foreign, mystical and so unknowable to any of us. Travel with me as we peer 40 years into the future to see what it’ll be like in the year 2008 AD.

Translation: A while ago, I was on someone elses’ site, where I found this most intensely interesting article, taken from a scientific magazine called, Mechanix Illustrated, from 1968, where they do the ol’ “let’s look into the future” thingy thing and I felt that today, since everyone is going to start putting up their Best of ’08 lists and do their look backs, this would be a good time to post this article and we can look back and forward at the same time (trippy huh?) Plus I haven’t posted anything for a week or two so I figured this would be a good mini-reboot. The article is extremely interesting in how much they got right and, for the most part, the things they got wrong are for reasons that really couldn’t be foreseen at the time. Societal shortcomings or just plain logistics couldn’t be accounted for in ’68. One of the interesting thoughts I come away from the article is that we, as a whole, seemed to have slowed in our creation of life sweeping  inventions, I’m talking inventions that change everything for everyone. The last big things have to be the cell phone and the internet, neither are from this millenium. The first cell network was implemented in the 70’s. The internet (ARPAnet) was connected in 1969 and the World Wide Web began in the late 80’s. Yo, the web , is almost 20 yrs old (not the internet, which is way older. Man, I just got that ‘I’m old’ feeling). But If you think about the middle of the last century, they have space travel, computers, satelites, playboy magazine (what? who said that?…the articles?…), supersonic transport, Rock and Roll music, etc, etc. We need the next big thing to come, OUR big thing that we can clearly stamp our name on as completely original and no one can take it away. But while I work on that, let’s all jump into this Delorean of an article and head, Back to the Future, “I think he took your wallet! I think he took his wallet.”

Notes:

  • This is from a magazine, so it is formatted as such, therefore, you may have to skip a section on some pages because they’re from another article.
  • Come on, look at those drawings, classic. You have to love some of the artistry of those old magazines, even a utilitarian one such as this. It’s pretty cool to see how art was done before digitally aided graphics, so interesting, stylistic and meticulous.
  • The terminology in here is fantastic: Electram, Modemizer, Climatizer’ It’s all so retro futuristic. It really screams “Jetsons”. It’s funny compared to the terminology we use for things. Theirs’ is to give a description of the function while “futurizing” it, we on the other hand try to characterize our stuff (The Breeze, The Storm, The Chevy Envoy) or make it sound more important than it is (XBox 360 Entertainment Console, Personal Digital Assistant, Personal Grooming System, Smartphone). Come on man, I know what that is, it’s a game machine, a address book, some clippers and a phone w a PDA attached (see #2). I kinda like their way better, they don’t seem to be trying to shit you as much, well maybe they are, but somehow the nostalgia of it makes it seem more innocent.
  • Check out some of those ads, they’re pretty interesting and some are scary, but most of all, it is good to know that even in the late sixties, they had get rich quick schemes, they just didn’t come on at 2am on channel 224. I wonder if they had Girls Gone Wild and Extenze ads too?
  • I have to thank the site http://blog.modernmechanix.com/, because I basically plagiarized their article and used it for my own purposes, but come on, something this good, I have to share with my 2-3 readers. I will probably also be stealing stuff from them in the future, so if you see an article kinda like this one, it probably originated there. Your comments would tell me if I should.
  • And now, the Article:

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