Riker's Mailbox

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


You may like foreign cars. You may like small cars. You may hate either, as a matter of fact, but with complete disregard to the preceeding, you will love this commerical for this small foreign car. The Citroen C4. That is all.

And before I forget, I finally have my gmail invitations. If you have any interest in opening a gmail account (the AMAZING-AND-COMPLETELY-WORTH-IT search-based webmail service from Google), then be one of the first ten people to get in touch with me and I will bring you into the loop. It's kinda like a gentlemen's club, really: Those who know about it love it, and everyone else hates them for being involved with it*. Except that there are way more naked chicks in gmail than at a gentlemen's club. Fucking spam**.

* Because they're so damn jealous and don't know how to admit that they want in.
** Gmail actually has great spam filters; I just needed something to tie my analogy together.


this is an audio post - click to play

So I received this great christmas gift, a 12 hour long dissertation from this man, Robert Kiyosaki, about better ways to manage your money and build assets. It's a very entertaining thing to listen to, case in point.

I am going to get rich, by the way.

Friday, December 24, 2004


Ray Ward is back in Rochester. The insanity begins again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


this is an audio post - click to play

One thing that might make that post make more sense is the following clarification: The Iraquis were the ones who set all those oil well fires in Kuwait. Oil well fires make lots and lots of smoke; I neglected to make that association to the report. Hope you can forgive me.

I'd have forgiven you, you thoughtless bastards.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Damian's Pub, arguably one of the most pleasant bars in the city, at least for the college-aged types within our sphere of influence, hosted a delightful Christmas party for welcome patrons tonight, complete with drink specials, dart craziness, and beer pong insanity. A better portion of my twenty favorite people were in attendance having the time of their lives together, which makes me a happy badass. More people need to realize that the true meaning of the season is not to spend our hard-earned financial assets on people who are kinda okay, but rather to drink ourselves to oblivion to the goal of succeeding in base competition within the realm of beer pong amidst the audience of close friends.

I think I'm too inebriated to make any sense of what I'm trying to say. I'd be better off eating the fine meal prepared for me by my close friend and roommate's girlfriend, Christina. Eating great pasta dishes is all the way better than trying to write well while drunk.

Friday, December 17, 2004


Having been one full month since my last posting, I found it necessary to doff my slouch cap and gear back up into the exercise of bloggery.

This should be a very easy entry to write, as I've only done six things since my last entry. Four of them involve snoring.

If you know me, (and if you're reading this, then you obviously do, at least to an extent that would be sufficient to claim so for the purposes of this statement), you have already realized that in one month's time, it's far closer to accurate to state that there are only six things I haven't done since my last entry. Five of them involve snoring.

In something of a reverse-chronological stream-of-consciousness oration, I will attempt to recap the last thirty days of synaptic backwash, hopefully to some grand conclusion. Or, hell with it, it'll just feel good to have written again.

Where's George. For those of you who've never seen or noticed the little stamp that appears with quasi-rare regularity on one dollar bills innocuously reading "www.wheresgeorge.com", you are missing out on a sublimely entertaining hobby/game which was created by a handful of dudes with the noble goal of doing something cool and fun and not trying to make money off it. Yeah, it's ironic, I know already, Alanis. Anyway, the creators of this site have built a powerful database system for the sole purpose of tracking the sightings of dollar bills with this stamp on them; the idea is simple: Have you ever wondered where a bill has been, how far it's traveled before making its way into your wallet? Want to find out where it goes after you've parted with it? Wheresgeorge allows you to enter a bill's information (series and serial number) into the database. If it's been stamped, then it's been entered before, and you'll be taken to a list of the locations and dates from other users who've entered the bill when it was in their possession. If you're the first person to enter a bill, you can stamp or write the web address on it, make the first entry, then see where it goes. It often takes a long time for a bill to surface, as it not only has to be spent and make its way into another person's hands, that person has to notice the stamp and take the time to go to the website and enter it for themselves. It seems dull and pedestrian to get excited about something that has such a slim chance of happening within the limit of modern man's patience, but sometimes surprising things come up. It's sort of a spin on geocaching, where the cache (no pun intended) moves from place to place. I personally do not start bills of my own, but when I come across one, I enter it. I grabbed one out of my register at Old Navy tonight (don't worry, I put a clean bill back. I don't steal money from work, just mints), to discover that I was the second entry on the bill. The initial entry was over two years ago, in Wyoming. Despite 'sleeping' for over two years, it traveled an average of two miles per day, as the crow flies. I want to save it until I'm out in California, just to throw another crazy leap into the bill's history. Next time you see one of these bills, take a moment to check it out; you might find an interesting story attached to the innocent little piece of tender we love to cast about with nary a thought.

Long Live Rock. So, I got out of work at midnight, and somehow found myself in Charlotte with best-friend Paige and best-friend-in-training Bill and Bill's-friend (name forgotten) about twenty minutes later. What we stumbled upon, at Nola's BBQ (next door to the infamous Penny Arcade), was the most bizarre, bothersome, unique, entertaining, laughable excuse for a concert we've ever seen. The Long Live Rock Show, which is like a band, or maybe an acting troupe who spend most of their time playing instruments, performing kind of a gig, kind of a play, but not entirely one of either, and definitely gay to the fullest, because they seem to believe that this was the best idea anyone ever came up with. The following is taken directly from the pamphlets strewn all over the bar:


Step into our working man's dream of becoming a rock star!

The Long Live Rock Show begins with our bored and frustrated working man stepping into yet another lonely hotel room, bemoaning his job and his life. As he falls exhausted onto his bed, he is visited by the Dream Fairy who grants his greatest wish: to be a rock star!
That's where the live rock concert begins!
As our "rock star" emerges from his hotel room to meet his audience (that's YOU!), he overcomes his fear, meets his dream band, and launches into a show containing the hottest rock from the 60's to today! The lights, the sound, the video all pump our average Joe toward achieving his goal
...and you'll be drawn into the dream!
See his "look" change as he travels through various eras of great rock and roll. Occasionally our star will "yawn and turn over" as the band entertains him in his dream... but you know he'll be back and you'll be right back in the palm of his hand!
As our star awakens from his dream, he'll wonder (and you may too) if it was ever a dream at all... and the show kicks right back in!
So, you can gather that these people are obviously very, very proud of themselves. I mean it, they really love who they are. They think it's the coolest thing that they're doing... whatever it is one would call this. What made the whole thing so remarkable is that they were good. It was a seven-piece band, all of whom were fantastic instrumentalists or signers. The music selection was phenomenal. They could cover Van Halen as well as they could cover Evanescence, and just about everything in between. They played Led Zeppelin like they were empowered by Zoso, the God of Melodious Ass Kicking. And between songs, various band members would take their turns bantering on about this that and the other, and telling inside jokes which the rest of the band found hilarious, though no one in the audience had a clue as to what was so funny. We stood there on the balcony (this venue was incredibly built, looking like massive dollars were spent in renovations and investments; we all took a particular liking to the place, and Bill, enterprising individual that he is, got around to talking to the bar's general manager, in an office amidst piles of money and other cool things, about reserving the place AT NO COST for a party in May. Evidently my band will be playing there for this party, so stay tuned for updates) and couldn't help but laugh throughout the whole thing. A lot of my laughter was fueled by enjoyment of great music. A lot more of my laughter was fueled by the sheer hilarity of 40-somethings running around thinking they were the shit with their own little pseudo-rock opera. I don't want to lie to you, I was very entertained. But it was bittersweet, in the sense that I was watching these people and realizing that I was being entertained by the exact thing I despise about the music industry. I was being entertained by that which I pray never to become. I HATE seeing great musicians wasting their talent playing other peoples' music. I'm okay with being in a cover band right now, because it's simply a hobby. We write our own music as well, and play a fair mix of both. Playing covers is not my livelihood. So many things feel wrong to me, spiritually, karmically, practically, when I think of people who make their lives out of being a super-polishedc over band. If they're so good that they can play Aerosmith songs more convincingly than Aerosmith can, then they're too good to be playing covers at all. They should be making their own music. Being the best cover band in the world, or even worse, a tribute band of any rank, either means you're a crappy writer but still want to cash in (= soulless fucknut), or too lazy with too little vision to be respected for your own talent ( = lazy visionless fucknut). Fucknut fucknut fucknut. And yet, the music got better and better throughout the night. The songs kept being awesome, and I kept enjoying myself. As I've been explaining to the people who've been wandering around my living room in the wee hours of the morning, it's like when a friend zaps you with one of those electric shock novelty toys and you go, "Fuck, that sucked! Now, gimme! I need to play this trick on someone." I saw this band play tonight. It hurt. But it felt good too. The jury is still out on this one, as far as my overall appraisal of the experience. But I don't need to know my feelings on it to know that I want to bring friends with me to see this again. Other people need to have this imparted upon them, just so they can share in it with me. I don't want to feel this alone. It's just too much. I made it home without incident and began to write this blog entry.

Shit. All this was just today. I don't think I have it in me to go through the entire month. Reader's Digest inspires me to synopsize the remainder:

Several close buddies of mine and I played paintball a week or so ago for Mark Skryzowski's birthday. The guys had a blast, the girls had a blast. Everyone was bitten by the bug; there were many first-timers out, and all of them loved it. We are going to play again and I can't wait.

I'm getting a dishwasher for Christmas. There's also a girl moving into the house in January. There are some compound and redundant benefits there. I can't wait, because I'm sick of playing mom.

The Jones Effect is back at it again. We're practicing weekly, and finally beginning to write some new material, which will be my first opportunity for contribution with Eric and Josh. We're all quite excited. Look for us to be playing at Steel Music Hall in January, at Nola's BBQ in May as previously noted, and probably several different places in the period between.

Old Navy is filling up with hot chicks. And cool chicks. Most of them belong to both categories. I will never leave that job.

Let's see if I can write again before 2005. One month is appropriate for bills, full moons, and menstrual cycles, but not for blog entries.

I'm so sorry I just said that disgusting thing about full moons.