I really love Choco-Pie

About 6 months ago, I went to the first annual Korean BBQ Festival in K-town. The crowds were a bit much, but I did manage to get some good food. However, the highlight of the day was the eating contest.

Everyone figured that the contest would involve eating tofu, or bulgogi or, most likely, kimchi. But, all were surprised when the secret item was Orion Choco-Pie, which, it turns out, is wildly popular in Korea and therefore equally valid.

I did not participate, but, due to free samples, I acquired a life-long love of Choco-Pie. I found them on sale yesterday for 1.99 for a 12-pack, so I plan on eating them until I'm sick today.

Check out this awesome video. When I eat a Choco-Pie, I never think about dead relatives. That would really harsh my mellow. But, I do become as happy as a little girl.

Bluesy song for New Year's Eve

Sitting around the house and put this song together. Feel free to talk smack about it. I don't care, because I don't have any delusions of being talented.

Chords are mostly barres around fret 5, but you can play it however you like. You can play these as opens, but it won't sound right.

Amin, Dmin (or D7 when I mess up), G7, E.

If anyone has any advice on how to record better, I'd love to hear it. Right now, I use Live, with the Line 6 KB37 as my analog-to-digital converter. The guitar sounds great through PodFarm or GearBox, but when I pipe it into Live, it sounds like shit.

Holy crap! Lots of free music downloads from Amoeba.

Just a heads-up. There is now a cool music download section at Amoeba where you can get lots of great stuff for free-fifty-free.

Don't say I never gave you anything.

Thanks, Amoebas.

I can't play like Johnny Marr

So, I spent about a half-hour learning "There is a light that never goes out" on the guitar, and when my special lady came home, I played it for her and she didn't recognize it.

That in mind, I figured that I must really suck at playing it, so I shouldn't post a recorded version of it.

Sorry, no new song today, but here is a picture of Johnny Marr looking cool.

Oh, a bit of trivia: In French, the phrase "J'en ai marre" means "I've had it up to here" and is generally accompanied with the same hand gesture we use in English.

Also, apparently it's a song by former French Jailbait Queen, Alizee.

The Sea Urchin is watching you.

According to scientists at Duke University, the entire body of a sea urchin is covered in light-sensitive molecules that let them see, sorta. This is vaguely interesting, because I used to play AD&D, and it reminds of this critter called a beholder. Please, examine the similarities.
Beholder picture stolen from Scott Fischer Art and Illustration

Sea Urchin picture stolen from Hawaiian photographer Brady Oshiro.

Awesome picture my friend drew during pub trivia

So, it was pretty rad that we got 2nd place in pub triv, which means we got to split 15 bucks 9 ways. But, even cooler was when one of our crew drew this awesome holiday picture. Enjoy. I'll give him a caption if he wants one, but maybe he could do without having his name attached to this masterpiece.

And a shout-out to our local: Robin Hood British Pub, North Hollywood, CA.

Quick loop with chords stolen from Manu Chao

A very quick and dirty recording of 3 chords I really like, and if I don't write them down, I'll forget them.

Some site says these are the chords for Clandestino. I'm not sure that's true, but it might be. Who knows? At any rate, they're fairly easy barres.


The poly at the end really makes the song. It just drips sadness. Anyone know where I can find a list of polychord fingerings? It takes me 5 minutes to figure out how to make one on paper, and by the time I'm done, I've forgotten the other chords in the song.

** New version uploaded **

A virus that doesn't cause any known diseases

This is a picture of Adeno-Associated Virus, or AAV. It is a virus that everyone currently carries, but which we never notice, as it doesn't seem to create any symptoms.

I learned about AAV today because I was reading this article about using gene therapy to cure a very particular type of blindness, and I thought it was interesting for a different reason.
To me, the most compelling thing about AAV is that it has inadvertently stumbled upon the ultimate survival skill: a sort of neutral, environmentally stable parasitism that relies on the survival tools of the planet's dominant species. As a result, it will survive as long as we do, and will be one of the few life forms we take with us, should we make it to other planets.

Interestingly enough, it's useful to scientists, because they can modify it, adding genes to its genome with beneficial traits in order to spread these new, better genes throughout an otherwise healthy body. Viral diseases are basically incurable, too, since the body can merely maintain a low, but stable infection level once white blood cells develop a way to combat the virus. This ensures that AAV-based therapies will have the additionally positive trait of remaining in the body for a long time.

But, most importantly, we can look at AAV as a great example of how we as people, as makers of ideas, can create long-lasting, useful tools for changing minds. AAV is a fine metaphor for friendly memetic warfare.

New Year with Herman Melville

Started a new book that I got for Christmas. "The Confidence Man," by Herman Melville. After I got about 15 pages into it, I finally realized where I had heard of this book. It's mentioned in The Brothers Bloom.

Also, here is a picture of the old beardy himself.

Every once in a while, I wish I could grow a beard. Not very often, but it does happen.

Spacy song for the day after Christmas

Here is silly song I wrote in two minutes and recorded in one take. That's why it's so good.

Hope you enjoy all 45 seconds of it.

Based on a chord progression from G to C to D# and D. And that's why it's terrible.