Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Looking Back, Way Way Back

I think that I was about 16 when I really started looking into my family history. I still find the word 'geneology' interesting because you are trying to trace back your genes. It was during a trip to Sacramento to visit my grandmother and grandfather (the Hennessy's) when I mentioned it to them. Grandpa sat down with me and gave me a slew of names from his side (from which I made a chart.) Grandma did the same although she added "You do know that you are related to Roald Amundsen, right?" It gave me an interesting name to look up when I got back from the visit. It wasn't much later that a letter came for me with a detailed list of the family history going back to Sweden and Ireland. Well, those documents wound up filed away in a box until nearly 20 years later.

Someone asked me if I had looked at the Geni.com Web site. Curious as always, I looked. It was pretty interesting as you can put photos and detailed information in each step of your family tree. Hours went by too quickly as I started playing with it and when I remembered seeing a folder I had discovered when I moved into the house that said "family history" on it.

The interesting thing about the site was that you can also add email addresses and invite others to edit and add family to the tree. I did that for my sister Michelle who I know has an interest in geneology. Suddenly there are another 27 names on her husband's side that she added off the top of her head. Heck, I haven't even added much on my mother's side of the family, yet. But I do know it is going to be interesting to have all this information in one place that I can just go to at anytime for free when I have questions about or need to add branches to our family. As I've mentioned before, we seem to be getting many leaves during the last few years.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Information, Past Drives

It was 1990. I had just graduated from high school and was working at the photo lab (which I'd been working the graveyard shift at during school.) That was when I met Miss Michelle B. (Don't want to get any threatening email by using full names.) After setting me up with her college roommate failed, it was revealed to me that it was her attempt to keep me "off the market." She had a strained relationship with a boyfriend up in Reno and I was supposedly a temptation. Well, I did wind up being taken off the market but it was by her. Anyhow, she was finishing her school semester and had decided to join him up in Reno for the next semester but planned to first see her family in Mesa, AZ. I made a rash decision and drove to Mesa to stop her and tell her not to go. The whole trip, I listened to a new cassette I had picked up called Hack. I made it there and got a speeding ticket (that's a whole other story.) I spent some quality time with Michelle before leaving. Although I left believing she was coming back to Vegas, she still wound up going to Reno. (Which leads into my Reno story that I'll get into another time.)

Well, the next guest for the podcast has been confirmed. They just so happen to be the band that released that cassette titled Hack... the Information Society. So again, I'm excited to talk to another 80's act that holds important memories for me. There seem to be many of those but to see them return to music (check out their MySpace page) brings a grin to my face and the memory of my first drive out of state.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Neighbor's New Pets

It's definitely worth clicking on the picture to get a better view.

This is the view from my driveway to the left. I don't know why but it seems that they've adopted some pets from the Jurassic Park Foundation. Sure, this might be a wonderful thing for some. I mean, there are some people that only have complaints of their neighbors still having their Christmas lights still up.

What is my problem with this? Well, it seems they are multiplying. The raptor has been popping up here for the last month. I recall the neighbor telling me that he was trying to sell it for $2,000 or so. This week, the triceratops shows up. He's missing a piece of his butt (you didn't zoom in, did you) but I'm sure he'll be around the same price. I am worried that it won't be too long until they get more of them, start putting them in their front yard and start charging for tickets. My biggest concern right now deals with the vehicles.

All of those vehicles in this photo belong to the same house. There are two more on the driveway. That green one... it blocks the mailman from delivering the mail and the garbage truck from seeing my little trash can. Rolling all these concerns into one is that the view will increase the amount of traffic coming through the area ("Hey, kids. Want to see some dinosaurs?") as people drive by the neighbor's house. This will also lead to some gawking and most likely a driver that pays too much attention to the view as they hit another car. You may be thinking, "But, Martin, it might be one of those cars in the picture and you'll have one less one blocking the mailbox." It sounds good but I'm pretty sure they'll just put duct tape on the bumper or leave it there in the street.

P.S. - In what can only be called an odd situation, someone in the neighborhood is getting a little tail. Or a lot of tail... as there is a note today on the back of the raptor asking for its return.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

How Much Do You Think It'll Get On eBay?

Been AWOL for a few days. I apologize. The interview went great and I've also discovered the joys of post-production when it comes to the podcasts. It is amazing how much better something live sounds afterwards when you can pull out an "ummm" and "uhhh" here and there. Also was able to put a cleaner intro in there. Enough of the technical crap. It's going pretty darn good (nearly 300 downloads at this time.)

This reminds me that I'm going to have to take photos of the newly painted walls in the living room... but this is a jacket that was given to me as a gift last year from someone working for the Rolling Stones during their stop in town. Sure, it's a nice jacket. It can be reversed and even fits. But, I'm not really big on ones that promote bands. My favorite song of theirs is "Undercover Of The Night" but that might be when I'd wind up wearing it... so it's on the way to eBay. I just need to figure out how much to charge for shipping (and what size it is as it doesn't have a label.) With so many varied prices out there on some of these... I'm curious. What do you think it'll go for?

Update: I put it up on eBay on Sunday here. I decided to start low at $75 and see what happens. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Classically Martin: King Swamp's "Is This Love"

I remember catching the video for this song on MTV's 120 Minutes. It was something that stood out at a time when Rock was losing its luster. I think it was vocalist Walter Wray's bluesy vocal delivery that sealed the deal. I made sure to pick up the self-titled King Swamp album. Then I discover that the backing band is supergroup of amazing musicians (many from Shriekback) and found myself playing it over and over again. I can clearly remember putting the cassette in my first car and driving from my house only to park behind a closed pizza place nearby (named Poe's Pizza) to listen to the music as I closed my eyes and ditched school. You had to be there, I guess.

This song will probably come down sooner than the others as I plan to interview Walter Wray for the live podcast on Saturday. Should be fun and I have to suppress that inner fanboy that wants to just tell him how amazing he is. Anyhow, here is their first single... which actually landed at #21 on Billboard's Alternative Rock chart in 1989.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rock Star: Martin's Closet: Season Finale

As promised, the season finale. It has been a long road for these threads. I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your votes as they have helped clean out Martin's closet for clothes that will actually be worn. Many have been discarded (and one used to help paint inside the house.) The only fair way to decide which one stays is to see each of them in action. So, consider the finals as our bathing suit competition (...ewww.)

Contestant 1: One of our only short-sleeved competitors, this contestant has held on. The stress of the voting must have been pretty tough on it as it has now lost a button. Winning, may mean having it replaced (as one has been found for the spot.)

Contestant 4: I did expect this one would do well in this competition. It could be the simple off-white color (or lack of according to some) but it does little to offend the eye. If you zoom in, you will notice the little emblem and a some plaid that runs along the button-up area (that would be hardly noticeable when entirely buttoned.)

Contestant 5: I will admit that I never expected this one to make it this far. It could be the checkerboard pattern. I've actually discovered during this that it looks quite different from afar than up close. A good ironing is waiting for this one if it wins.

Their fates are in your hands and they await your verdict.
"There can be only one" -- who stays?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Explaining And Apologizing For Episode 1

Just a quick little post as I feel that I have let my other projects get the better of my time. The podcast went better than expected (little flub in the opening music as it uses my microphone line to send the audio... bonehead that I was, I muted my mic thinking the sound would be better without me breathing in the background -- leaving about 15 seconds or so of dead air.)

I have figured out that to call in to the show, you will need to sign up for a free TalkShoe account. From there, when the show is running (on Saturdays from 3PM ET/Noon PT), you can call in on your cell or home phone (those with SJphone can use that also without dealing with long-distance charges... it seems that Skype started charging on the 1st) using the account information found by clicking the icon here:
Powered by TalkShoe

For those just curious and not really interested in hearing themselves on a live show, having few questions to ask or just not wanting to deal with that much technology -- I've put a new link on the right near the links that will let you hear the latest episodes of the show.

Meanwhile... the finale of our pseudo-series, Rock Star: Martin's Closet, will be the next post.