Friday, January 29

Wednesday, January 27

It's here! The Apple iPad.

Please see and the related links on that page for full details.

Today's the day...

Thursday, January 21


This blog will resume shortly, I hope. I am attending to some family matters and am unable/unenthusiastic about posting here for now.

Thanks for understanding.

Monday, January 18

Kick 'em when they fall down

Some things just get better with age. And off-color, grainy, deteriorated VHS or Hi-8 bootlegs of The Smiths are one of them. Gotta give this one credit for the excellent sound recording, though.

Look at this picture with magical eyes...

And tell me what you see!

Just me or...

Does this geriatric zombie look suspiciously like he's taking a dump?

Saturday, January 16

Moloko - 2 live songs... (Brixton Academy 2003)

Get the whole wonderful show, at much higher quality, by purchasing "Moloko - 11,000 Clicks" on DVD. It's well worth the price if you like the band - something like 15+ tracks for a very reasonable price last time I checked.

Thursday, January 14

More human than human.

The best scene from one of the greatest films ever, in my opinion. Harrison Ford is brilliant - at his peak - and yet Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty is one of the most fearsome yet sympathetic "bad guys" ever. This movie wreaks havoc with the notion of biological vs artificial, real memory vs implanted ones, right vs wrong, "the greater good" vs individual rights, and most importantly, the definition of life and whether man should play God messing about on either side of the line.

If you're one of the rare people who have not seen this movie, by all means get the latest "Final Cut" version and watch it several times to catch all the subtleties. Philip K. Dick's original story, Ridley Scott's amazing vision in 1981 (watch it now and tell me if it looks at all dated), a great ensemble of actors, and the haunting score by Vangelis combine to make this at or near the very top of my list. Not just of sci-fi, but of all films.

This might be the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday, January 13


I know a woman
prettier than most
but the look in her eyes is
pale as a ghost
seen too many summers pass
or a few too many nights
woke up too many mornings
from too many fights

Lift her up.

I know a guy who
ran far from it all
six foot or over
but couldn't stand tall
he's never looked better
yet he's never had it worse
his wings were tarred and
feathered in his fall

Lift him up.

For I say to you there is a spirit
when you take away every other spirit
and the void yawns before you
but you scream back at the emptiness
that deeply offends you
and when you remove hell and heaven
you are left with only being
and being itself is enough to

Lift yourself up.

J. Sias 2010

Tuesday, January 12

So... What music gets you "UP" the most?

You know, the opposite of thoughtful, depressing, philosophical music. Doesn't mean it has to be brain-dead, but it could be. The main thing is you put it on when you're in a great mood, a world-beating mood, and nothing will get you down. Bands like ABBA and such did that kind of thing for me when I was young, and provided a nice counterpoint to introspective obsessions like Dan Fogelberg. Disco did it for a lot of people as a cure from a decade of oh-so-serious folk music. What is your GO music?

My sister's would be Madonna for sure. Possibly Ricky Martin too; the woman's got a lot of "up" bands from pop/disco to 80s hair-metal (but not death metal, see the difference?). Mine would have to be Moloko/Roisin Murphy. It's like a guilty pleasure I don't feel guilty about at all. She makes me feel good with her sweet, soulful voice and lyrical hooks, her crazy dancing and the musicians remixing things to a feverish pitch. One of those acts which takes it up a big notch live from what's on their records; and what on their records is good. It happens she's not fluff either, which is an added perk... like Madonna in her early days, there's more to her that casual listeners might think. She's a real song writer. In other words, she's nothing like Kylie Minogue or Lady Gaga or any of the American R&B/pop divas who have everything done for them - all they do is provide the voice and the looks. But HEY - that's ok too, if it's your thing.

I am also really enjoying Royksopp though they are more electronica and a lot more pleasantly mellow. That's on the road to Karin Dreijer/The Knife/Fever Ray though, which is decidedly not very "up." And performers like Bjork and Depeche Mode can do both - give me chills in a good way or sober me up quick. Hell, I still like old George Michael and Michael Jackson too, though I don't listen to them much any more. And I've loved Terence Trent D'Arby's music ("Sign your name across my heart..." in case you forgot) since he dropped from heaven to earth fully-formed back in the '80s. '70s glam-Bowie does it for me sometimes, same with '90s glam-Placebo. But for just pure unadulterated, crank up the radio, consistently put me in a good mood music, with almost no downbeat songs, unless they are sultry and groovy and funky, which is good too in its own right, I have to go with Ms. Murphy (and her former band Moloko). Just something about her. Oh yeah, she's really pretty! But something more than that too. She's glamorous and a goofball at the same time... I could marry someone like that :)

So spill it! Who makes you feel good, gets you out of a funk, or prolongs or caps off an already great mood? Everyone is immune from apology or embarrassment in this post. If you like Madonna, say it! If it's Pet Shop Boys or New Order or The Bee Gees or U2 or Blondie or The Beach Boys, say it! Doesn't matter, if it makes you feel good, it's not wrong.



Sunday, January 10

So here's me at the People's Choice Awards...

Just kickin' it, choppin' it up with the ladies. Rob (Downey) and Bob (di Nero) and I got outta there shortly after this and went to a real party. I trimmed up my 'stache a bit on the way in Rob's compact, too. Starting to look a bit piratey there! Arrgggh!

Don't ask me what all those necklaces are for. Probably for, like, all my GFs' apartments and stuff. L8er. Oh, and don't tell me I look tired in this picture. My eye moisturizer TOTALLY ran out this morning. I have someone on it right now, though. Plus I've got sunglasses in the Ferrari, even though it's nighttime.

Wednesday, January 6

So it's 2010...

And my Russian literature campaign has begun. Or rather, is about to begin. I'm asking for a vote here - which of the following should I tackle first?

1. Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
2. The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky
3. Anna Karenina - Tolstoy
4. War and Peace - Tolstoy
5. Dead Souls - Gogol
6. Eugene Onegin, et al - Pushkin
7. A play (or two) by Chekhov
8. A short story (or more) by Gorky
9. Doktor Zhivago - Pasternak
10 A story by Leskov
11 Something else... (please specify)

Note: I have read Nabokov's Lolita already and have in the past started, but not finished, Anna Karenina (meaning I own it). Others I will have to purchase or get from the library, but this shouldn't be an obstacle. Used books are cheap and the library is even cheaper!

You could even provide me with a reading order if you're something of a veteran to Russian Lit. Thanks in advance!

Also, anyone who wants to read along with me - like a book group - is more than welcome to, of course. I don't expect I'll get any takers, though. :)

Bonus interactive content: Please let me know what you're currently reading as well, if you would like (fiction or nonfiction, I consume both)! I'm always curious as to what people are reading, as it often gives me new authors/titles to check out in the future. I really would appreciate this!

Nonfiction-wise, I am reading Michael Baigent's latest book, Racing Toward Armageddon, and in fact am almost finished. Next up is Paul Davies' The Goldilocks Enigma. And after that, who knows... :)

One of three main sports heroes.

This would be Kobe Bryant of course. Dude had THREE gaming winning shots (winning a game with time expiring and your team behind in points, with a buzzer-beating shot which leaves no time left on the clock) in the last month. That's more than most players get in a whole career, quite literally. And yeah, that would be yet another NBA record.

The Lakers have the best record in the league, and it all starts with this guy. He is an absolute assassin on the court; the bigger the game or the situation, the better he gets. Michael Jordan is really the only player in my mind who he could be compared to, a guy with that same unimaginable urge to win and work ethics, pain tolerance, and focus that frankly I can't even comprehend.

Oh and how about this? At the age of 30 with no signs of slowing down, he just moved into 15th place in career scoring all-time. That's more than 50 years of great NBA players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem, Julius Erving (Dr. J), Oscar Robertson, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Moses and Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan... Pretty exclusive company and he could finish in the top couple in history if he continues at this pace. Plus he's on track to get his fifth NBA championship ring in seven trips to the Finals. Jordan got 6 rings in his storied career but most were in his 30s, and Kobe has the whole of his 30s to get those two more to equal Jordan, or 3 to surpass him.

And he speaks at least three languages fluently!

By the way, my other main sports heroes are Barry Bonds (formerly of the San Francisco Giants and 7-time MVP), and Lance Armstrong, 7-time consecutive winner of the Tour de France. Andre Agassi in tennis gets my runner up! Not a bad crew there, and I never "bandwagonned" on any of them - I stuck to them all from early in their careers through triumph and some major controversy over the years, all the way to the bitter end (some haven't ended yet...). I don't ditch my heroes!

And yes, I model my swing in baseball on Bonds' and my jumper in basketball on Kobe's, not that I get anywhere near their results (heh), but I don't even try to emulate Lance or Andre in their sports - I'm not even good enough to try. *sigh*

Bowie pics courtesy of Life Magazine.

A rock icon, to be sure! Thanks, Life, for chronicling so many fascinating and charismatic people over the years.

More SW funnies.

Same joke, but funny nonetheless.

This ought to do it...

Monday, January 4

The Cranberries: Another very good band.

Book of Days.

the air here tastes like poison
the traffic moves on broken roads
the river runs like silver
my own feelings let me down
she's 14 and she's fading
there's a wasted year for
every train that passes
she is leaving someday
someday never comes
this road is poison
walk me to the wheels
i fear for my life
this road is poison
lovers coo goodbye
singing don't forget me boys
tired of waiting in the cheap seats
she is haunted by her failure here
the river runs like silver
my own feelings let me down
she's 24 and feels it
like a wasted year
for every day that passes
she is leaving one day
one day never comes
this road poison
walk me to the wheels
i fear for my life
this road is poison
lovers coo goodbye
singing don't forget me boys
in monday morning houses down
through gravel yards and dirty smoke
to somewhere on the sky line
what i feel is still the same
she's 40 and afraid that there's
a wasted life for every town that passes
she is leaving here but
nothing here remains
this road is poison
walk me to the wires
i fear for my life
this road is poison
lovers coo goodbye
singing don't forget me boys.

(Richard Butler)

Another video from Big Cat Rescue

This one shows Christmas Day at BCR! Very cute.

If I lived in Florida I would definitely work (or volunteer) there.


Kinda like those nonsensical verification 'words' you sometimes have to type in to be able to post a response on a blog, Amazon has a new system, something they call Express Checkout with PayPhrase (don't ask me how it works) and it requires a phrase that it somehow generates. It uses real words, but they don't always make sense together.

I was just on Amazon and my PayPhrase for today was "Justin's Intellectual Discontent".

Boy, do they know me well or what? :D

Sunday, January 3

I had a crush on Harriet Wheeler for the longest time...

From high school, through college, and beyond... and guess what? After seeing The Sundays in a small San Francisco club (which was awesome enough), I actually got to go backstage and meet her, give her a hug, and have a couple beers with her. And talk about our kids and about life in general. It was a night I'll never forget.

Here's Where The Story Ends

Wild Horses


Saturday, January 2

Please help protect cat species.

They are disappearing off the face of the earth at an alarming rate, much like primates and many, many other animals, due to habitat loss from growing human populations.

Let's use our nuclear arsenals from the Cold War to decimate the human population of the earth to about 500 million, less than 1/6th of the present unsustainable, unfed, and uneducated number. Ok, only kidding - I'm no Hitler or Stalin but I wish there was a humane way to curb, and then reverse, the number of humans on this planet.

We are ruining the earth not only for the animals that live upon it, but for us, as we destroy the same interconnected, symbiotic ecosystem which sustains our species as well. Please help me to raise awareness and if you can afford it, make a contribution to a wildlife or ecosystem-based charitable cause. Happy new decade! Let's take care of our planet - our home. It's the only one we and millions of other miraculous living species have. We've got basically one chance to get this right, folks.

Friday, January 1

First! of 2010 that is. -12:00am!!!-

And it's an even numbered post to mark the return to sanity of an even-numbered year. Things were meant to be in pairs, not alone. That's my belief and I'm sticking to it.

Have a great year, everyone.

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