notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Ben

Shine on you crazy diamond. Enjoy the trip.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beldaz 2.0 series signing off. Awaiting 3.0 version upgrade.

And so it comes to pass that the Muck's awkward middle child is turning 30 this weekend. I wanted to write a lot about how much I've enjoyed my 20's, due mainly to the fact they were not my teenage years. But time is pressed as I am just about to dash to the airport and fly out to Budapest to say good bye to a great 10 years and stare down the next.

Mainly I want to express disapointment with the fact that at 30 I expected hover board technology would be available. One of the kids I work with told me he had a lot of inventions to work on, including a hover board. I feel ashamed that my generation have passed this burden on to him and I am all too aware of the challenges I have to face as my life rumbles on...

Should you need me, I'll be having contemplative walks along the Danube....

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Deerhunter

For the past few years, friends in Athens have been bugging me about how great this band Deerhunter is. The live shows in particular seemed to be the thing that got the hipster kids all worked up. Of course I wrote them off as yet another band I'm just not cool enough to like.

However, I just wanted to say that this Microcastle album is really really good. Also, I learned that the lead singer of the band, Bradford Cox, is not, as I had irrationally assumed, anorexic. He has a condition called Marfan Syndrome. Most people with this syndrome have the same long, skeletal features as the Deerhunter guy, although his case appears to be more pronounced to my eyes.

If you are like me and felt intimidated, scared, or just plain cynical about such a weird little band, I highly suggest you check out some of their stuff. For those of you who already like Deerhunter, you were always cooler than me anyway.

Seriously, though, they make really good music. What else have I been missing out on? What is everyone listening to these days?


Deerhunter at the 40 Watt in Athens, GA

Friday, November 21, 2008

Say Aw

Thursday, November 20, 2008

THE WRESTLER Movie Trailer (Finally)

I've been waiting a long time to see this trailer. Watch it here.

We will all be hearing a great deal about this movie come award season. I've personally been very excited about it based on the unanimously positive advance word, and, more importantly, on the concept itself. Using a washed up, but brilliant actor like Mickey Rourke for a movie like this, a Darren Aronofsky movie like this, is the cinematic equivalent of Rick Rubin producing Johnny Cash's last records.

Unfortunately, after watching the trailer, I'm a little skeptical. It feels like a good indie festival movie, but nothing life changing. On the other hand, there are definitely a couple moments even in the trailer where hints of Rourke's acclaimed performance shines through. At the very least, you're guaranteed a good soundtrack anytime Bruce Springsteen is scoring a movie. I don't know, what do you guys think? Are you interested?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Damn

CNN 'Top Searches'

I read CNN.com. It's one of my top daily news sources along with NYTimes.com, Google News, and a few select blogs. Occasionally, on CNN.com, I enjoy checking out the 'Most Viewed' and 'Most Emailed' lists on the sidebar. Sometimes there's some good stuff there. Today, for instance, I found this story about a funny looking primate that we thought was extinct. Not bad.

One thing I rarely, if ever, click on is the 'Top Searces' tab. I mean, who cares what readers are searching for? Frankly, I have little interest in that statistic on even a more general level, like which TV shows are the most popular. After 28 years on this rock I've learned that my tastes and interests don't necessarily intersect with those of the rest of the population on any kind of regular basis. So what is there to gain from looking at the top ten search keys on a news site like CNN.com?

A helluva lot, actually. Today, on a whim, I clicked on that 'Top Searches' tab and instantly realized that I'd stumbled upon a new toy. What could be more entertaining, and frighteningly revealing, than the following list of top searches for Wednesday, November 19, 2008?

1. sarah palin
2. palin
3. pregnant man
4. caylee anthony
5. bigfoot
6. georgia
7. bristol palin
8. caylee
9. thailand
10. mccain


Our newly elected president is conspicuously missing from the list, but the losers are on there. As is bigfoot, who holds down the number five spot above a pregnant teen, two dead white girls (assuming the Thailand search is related to the Holloway case), and John McCain.

For anyone who wonders why America is frequently the butt of a global joke, I would patiently point that person in the direction of CNN.com's 'Top Searches' list and stand calmly by as an eight foot hairy Sasquatch steps out of the computer monitor and smashes a light bulb over the person's head.

God Bless us all...

New Low For Fox "News" Channel

How can something like this exist in 2008? It's one of the most absurd things I've ever seen on television. While I don't live in San Francisco, I have visited, and what I saw in no way resembled the portrait painted by this douche bag producer.

O'Reilly is truly a scared, scared little man.

LIFE Photo Archives Online Via Google

This is just great.


(Hitchcock, 1942 by Gjon Mili)

Monday, November 17, 2008

One Less Deer

in Maryland this morning. On our way home from Cleveland last night we had a rather violent encounter with what appeared to be a large doe or possibly a grizzly bear judging from the sound of the impact and resultant damage to our Honda Odyssey. Fortunately, all of the human cargo is fine, but I can't say the same about the Vantastic. What's left of the deer you will see in the wheel rim.




Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coincidence?

So the Beatles' "lost track" has been found and Paul McbloodyCartney feels now is the time to spring it on the world. It was felt the track was too "out there" to be released but now apparently the world is ready.

In other news I was trying and failing to clear some things out of my room when I came to reading some old exercise books. Old essays, notes, doodles, and the beginning of a story about some woodland animals being excited about the prospect of Winnie the Pooh coming to visit their wood. When I say exercise book, this was not a primary school book, it was from when I was in Michigan, so I was 22. It was about a page and a half. I didn't read it all, but could see that it is not complete. I have no idea why it was in my book which was used for my class on musicals and the Holocaust in film. I'm back at my pad now and didn't bring it with me but I remember one sentence went something along the lines of;

"The only animals who didn't show any excitement over the impending arrival of Pooh were the squirrels. This was for two reasons. One, they knew that Pooh wasn't coming, and two, if he was coming, they wouldn't have cared anyway. The squirrels had a different agenda to the other animals, an agenda that would soon come to fruition".

I think this little project needs to wait a little while longer before it finds it niche market...

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling Old

Advice Needed

My supervisors just gave me a $100 gift certificate to Best Buy as my wrap gift. What should I spend it on?

A DVD or music box set?

A $100 iTunes gift certificate?

A lightsaber

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Out of It Yet

They're still counting votes in Missouri.

The Last Word on Sarah Palin*

She's the kind of person you inch carefully away from if they start talking to you on the bus.
Thank you, Andrew Sullivan.

__________

*Until the next Sarah Palin post, that is.

Adventures in Racism

Last night, the FedEx man picked up one of our packages which had been assembled from several boxes. It had been taped together haphazardly, and was oddly shaped to match the guitar inside.

The FedEx man told me the packaged had been "Afro-Americanized." I'm sure we all know what he really wanted to say.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

44th President



Illustration by Patrick Moberg

Knitmation



via

You Learn Something New Every Day

I have never been to a baby shower. Today, I had the opportunity to accompany my roommate to a "co-ed" baby shower down the street. Naturally, I declined. When she returned, I came to regret that decision.

My roommate told me tales of this baby shower, tales I will not soon forget. She told me of things I wish I could have seen in person, because these things are just that bizarre and unbelievable. In particular, she told me of a certain baby shower game. I'm not sure of the setup, but basically it goes a little something like this:

1) Someone secretly takes a variety of candy bars out of their wrappers
2) The candy bars are placed inside disposable diapers, and slightly melted into a goo reminiscent of poop
3) One by one, guests open the diapers and eat a sample of the candy bar poop inside
4) The one who guesses the type of candy bar is the winner, except clearly this game has no winners

Have any of you baby makers and/or baby shower attendees ever played this game?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

POP!!

So I waited up till 6am to see it all come down and was quite emotional at the speeches, and was happy to see VA went the right way.

So it's kind of after the fact now but I'd been working on this project for a while and finished it up during Obama's speech. Sadly my mobile broadband USB thingy didn't join into the spirit of things and I've had to wait till I got back to the ol' homestead to fire it up..

Anywho, in the spirit of a brave new world here's my tribute to the Muck, which I am forever honoured to be a part of, and our beloved readers. Here's to creating and completing...


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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dogs Yawning

Kraftwerk + Dogs photographed mid-yawn

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Onion Then & Now

January 17, 2001:
Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'
Today, November 5, 2008:
Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress
Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Monsters

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, speaking the truth and pulling no punches:
The monster years

Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.

What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”

Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least, they’ve been banished to the wilderness.
As the Bush Administration slips all too slowly into oblivion, I hope that we can finally drop the pretense that it was merely the worst presidency in our history. It was far worse than that. We have had incompetence before, but we have never had anything like this: The Roves, the DeLays, the Cheneys, these were people who cared nothing about the good of their country and let nothing get in the way of their own quest for power. Yes, they will go down in ignominy, but they deserve so much worse.

Bring on the war crimes prosecutions. Let's hope Joe Biden keeps his word about this.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wish You Were Here

November 4th

Public Enemy Sez

23/30

Word

Homer is a Democrat

Luckily, my voting experience went a lot smoother:

The Bradley Effect Is Bullshit

I'm pleased to report that I voted this morning and there was no Bradley Effect whatsoever. I thought for sure that my will would fail me at the critical moment and my European Ancestry would compel me to vote instinctively for the white guy in order to preserve my own race, but it never happened. Now I'm a little worried that, having gone black, I may never go back. Time will tell.

What about you?

Chris Rock adds:
George Bush has fucked up so bad, he made it hard for a white man to run to be president.

First Results: OBAMA WINS DIXVILLE NOTCH

Monday, November 03, 2008

Final Prediction

OK -- Here it is: I think Obama is going to pull out Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, and I am sticking with my sleeper pick of Missouri. Ohio and Florida should be in the bag based on the polls and I am going to suspend my cynicism about electoral shenanigans and trust that Obama's ground game will be good enough to make the margin too large for Republican thuggery to work. North Carolina is iffier, but I think that Elizabeth Dole's moronic senatorial campaign may actually be the nail in McCain's coffin. Missouri I just have a good feeling about. Which gives us:


I also think that Arizona, Indiana, West Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota are long-shot possibilities, but I wouldn't be shocked if Obama wins any of them in a real blow-out.

I also see the Dems with 58 Senate seats and 250 House seats at the end of the night.

I hope the line to vote tomorrow is at least two hours long. I've been waiting 4 years to cast this vote and I want to savor every minute of it.

Beldaz Leaves The Nest

That's right; after over 3 years in the family home since coming back from Virginia I've moved into my very own place all by my self.

I've lived away from home before of course, but never on my own. From living behind the tv in the living room in a basement flat in Brighton, to living with the food not bombs hippies and the fleas in Grove Street I've never had my own space aside from that which my mum kindly has kept for me for so many years.

In all honesty I never thought I would move out in London by myself; one, it's so expensive, and two, I thought my next port of call was New York. But it is here in Southfields I find myself, not far from the Wimbledon tennis courts rather than those of Flushing Meadows for the next 6 months at least. I'm not sure where I'll go from then but it's time to stop waiting to see if things happen and take some control. They say if you're not living on the edge, then you're taking up too much room, so if you'll excuse me, this Eagle's going to stretch his wings and soar across the canyon of possibility towards the horizon of an ever changing future...

Touche Luigi, he grimaced, putting the nintendo down. Now who am I going to cluck like a chicken with??

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

McCain Fail 2

McCain Fail

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Googly Eyes

Gas Exploration Team Excavates Remains of Giant





Sadly, the story accompanying this photo is FALSE:

Recent gas exploration activity in the south east region of the Arabian desert uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Arabian desert is called the Empty Quarter, or in Arabic, 'Rab-Ul-Khalee'. The discovery was made by the Aramco Exploration team. As God states in the Quran that He had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. These were the people of Aad where Prophet Hud was sent. They were very tall, big, and very powerful, such that they could put their arms around a tree trunk and uproot it. Later these people, who were given all the power, turned against God and the Prophet and transgressed beyond all boundaries set by God. As a result they were destroyed.

Ulema's of Saudi Arabia believe these to be the remains of the people of Aad. Saudi Military has secured the whole area and no one is allowed to enter except the ARAMCO personnel. It has been kept in secrecy, but a military helicopter took some pictures from the air and one of the pictures leaked out into the internet in Saudi Arabia. See the attachment and note the size of the two men standing in the picture in comparison to the size of the skeleton !!


Still, it's a great Photoshop job.

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Dolphin Rings

TRUE

Snopes has all the details, but all you really need to do is watch this video. Cause everyone loves some dolphins:

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Chinese Hair Bands = Recycled Condoms



In 2007, there was a news item out of China about condoms being recycled to make a certain type of hair band. It was not the first time such a story had appeared in the press:

In 2002 the Shanghai Star reported on a case that had surfaced in Qingdao, Shandong Province, after a woman living there discovered that a rubber band she had purchased to tie up her hair had been made from a prophylactic. The bands had been manufactured in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province and were being wholesaled by a couple operating out of Qinyang, Henan Province.


It was confirmed that the rubber bands had been fashioned from bits of used and abandoned or low-quality condoms rejected by the factory where they were made. Said items should have, according to state regulations, been broken down and sent to a plastics factory in Beijing.


According to Snopes, this story is TRUE.

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Snopes Saturday

Today I am digging through the pages of Snopes.com, one of my longtime favorite websites. I'm at work with not much else to do, so maybe I'll post a few of the more interesting entries.

Stay tuned.

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