Next Stop, Praha And Wien

We’re very excited about our next trip which is coming up in the fall. We’re flying to Vienna, Austria then traveling by train to Prague in the Czech Republic. We’ve booked an apartment in Prague, complete with kitchenette, fridge and a washer and dryer. That should make like a little easier on us as we can pack light and wash our clothes for reuse and also stock up on groceries and save the cost of eating out for every meal.

I confess, I am just a teeny-weeny bit apprehensive on this one. Cynthia’s Spanish language skills served us well on the two trips to Spain, but neither of us speak any Czech or German. I’m sure there’s enough English being spoken that we’ll manage, but it will be a challenge. This is the furthest east we’ve ventured.

It will also be a challenge since The Czech Republic has not adopted the Euro. They’re still using their own currency, the Czech Crown (CZK). We’ve gone ahead and got our Czech money from the bank in advance.

The exchange rate is about 20 CZK to 1 USD. To do the conversion, divide by 20. That’s approximately $10 on the top, $5 in the middle and $25 on the bottom.

Prague is known as the “Belly Of The World” due to their being the world record holder for drinking beer. Check out this video

Existentialism and the Art Of Lawn Maintenance

Back in the early 90’s I was living with my good friends John Williams and Jay Fleming in what we affectionately called The Triple “J” Ranch, a house in the Heights on Arlington Street.

Right before the 1992 Republican National Convention John and Jay concocted this idea of going to a warehouse/coffee shop known as Downtown Grounds for poetry night and presenting Jay Fleming as Jay Fontaine – Industrial Poet with John paying the part of his manager from New York.

What ensued was pure performance art genius. The regulars for poetry night ate Jay’s performance up with a spoon, not realizing they were being “had” and believing they were witnessing some kind of outsider poetry/art.

Now, years later, I find the performance on Youtube and people are comparing Jay to a cross between Slingblade and John Candy. That just about sums it up. See for yourself.

Jay Fontaine – Industrial Poet from baldheretic on Vimeo.

O Holy Night

Every year on Technology Bytes we play this song on the air during the show right before Xmas.

The artist is unknown as it was a random find on the Internet some years ago. Our engineer slash co-host slash resident humorist phliKtid brought it to the studio a few years back and it’s been a tradition ever since.

It has been called the BEST and the WORST rendition of this song ever recorded. I will guarantee you one thing, after you listen to it all the way through you will never hear this song the same way again.

You can download the file from the link above or stream it via the podcast player just below this text…

Step aside Spinal Tap

Something many people may not know about the title track from my band’s CD “Loch Ness Monster” is that it was originally written and recorded as a heavy metal song.

Consider the review from the Houston Press that said:

The album opens with the wonderfully dark ode to the creature lurking beneath the murky waters of Loch Ness. Here the beast is less the benign and almost dopey plesiosaur used to sell trinkets to tourists and much more the accursed beast with “Huge red eye, long sharp tooth / slicing knives, ragged spines” which will drag you from the banks and tear you to pieces despite your screams and struggles. Nessie, indeed.

And that’s in reference to the acoustic folk version! The heavy metal version of Loch Ness Monster is a bonus hidden track at the end of the CD.

The origins of this song go back to when Greg Henkel came up with a band called Rocrament and wrote about 10-12 heavy metal songs and his brother, Jim Henkel, recorded them. Jim laid down all the tracks and mixed it in his home studio.

Recently, Greg has been working hard with a hand-picked group of musicians to bring Rocrament to the stage and his evil brilliant plan comes to fruition this Thursday night, June 21st at the Houston Continental Club.

Show time is around 10:30 and follows the regular Thursday night performance of Jim Henkel’s Beatles tribute band “Beetle.”

Only Greg knows for sure what this performance will entail, but early reports are of elaborate stage props and costumes. Greg let me know that Rocrament has about 45 minutes of live material so you won’t be out all night on a weeknight.

This is going to be a rock show for the ages!

Check out Rocrament’s Myspace page for more information.

Click here to hear the song “Rocrament” from the original CD.

Code monkey like Fritos

Code Monkey get up get coffee
Code Monkey go to job
Code Monkey have boring meeting
With boring manager Rob
Rob say Code Monkey seem to work a lot
But his output stink
His code not “functional” or “elegant”
What do Code Monkey think?
Code Monkey think maybe manager want to write god damned login page himself
Code Monkey not say it out loud
Code Monkey not crazy, just proud.

Johnathon Coulton is writing, recording and posting a song a week as part of something called A Thing A Week. This offering is “Code Monkey” and it’s a delightful tribute to software programmers.

Also of note is his “Flickr” song. If you have ever browsed Flickr (or any other photo hosting site) you will appreciate this song/video.

Lastly, Chiron Beta Prime reminds me a LOT of They Might Be Giants.

Thing A Week is available as a Podcast if you are so inclined.

Douglas Adams interview

In 1988 I had the priveldge of interviewing Douglas Adams as he was promoting the book “Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul”.

I recently discovered the only known cassette recording of that interview and I have successfully digitized and converted it to an MP3 file.

Length of interview is 25 minutes and many topics are covered.

I was pretty nervous when I did the Interview and had very little experience but I think it came out pretty well.

If you wish to download the MP3 you can simply right click here and select
“Save Target As”. The file is about 25 MB in size.



*edit* Found a picture from that day that my friend Joe took at the studios of KPFT