Friday, January 26, 2007

Shocking the Monkey

One could say that I eclectic tastes in music. My ipod is a strange mishmash of different artists from Beethoven to Jay-Z. Dead Can Dance, Jonny Cash, Devo and the most disturbing of artists Richard Cheese. I am willing to listen to just about any music but jangly jazz and twangy country. I'll give anything a try. You never know what you'll find. Most recently I discovered Nerdcore artist MC Frontalot, take a listen. If you are a geek or a nerd, you might like it.

Peter Gabriel has been a favorite of mine since high school. I remember with almost crystal clarity the day a guy who was an AV tech for the school handed me a cassette maked "Gabriel-Live". I put it in the player and was absolutely blown away by his live version of
'The Rhythem of the Heat'. It was so good that I simply played it over and over again, ignoring the rest of this great album for about a week. Remember, this is back before the Internets. No downloading MP3's or checking the artists blog. One of the first music purchases I ever made was Runny Window on cassette. My first CD purchase? Peter Gabriel Plays Live. I still own it, all scratched to hell. I lent it to a friend who went into the Army. It took three years of bugging him to get it back, but I got it.

Flash forward to today. Peter Gabriel releases the original source tracks for his famous 'Shock the Monkey' and asks people to remix it as part of a contest. People go crazy, coming up with all kinds of different versions. The winning version is pretty sweet. Take a listen. What are you listening to?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What I've been up to

My recent fascination with Steampunk has led me to dream of several outlandish projects. It is a genre ripe for the picking. Not limited by actual science but more by aesthetics and cool factor I have been gripped by a kind of artistic fever that is composed of rivets, gears and polished brass..

As such, I have created The Clockwork Rifle. It is based loosely on the classic Kentucky rifle with a few notable exceptions. There is no pan or striker. Also, I have added a sniper scope.

This is my first effort and is mostly just a prototype. I carved the rifle stock by hand using a draw knife and a lot of sanding. The barrel is grey PVC. Lots of clock bits. The brass flourishes on the side are cut down cabinet hinges, the brass bands are a thin art brass It was a time consuming process as I wanted the parts I used to look like they fit together. I'm not completely happy yet. I still need a trigger guard and possibly a flip out hand crank for winding the 'main spring' that would power such a weapon. This stock is two pieces but I intend to use a much nicer single piece of wood for the next one.

In doing research for this project I discovered that air rifles, that is, actual air powered rifles that could be used for hunting, were in limited production in the 1700's. Lewis and Clark brought one along, mostly to impress the natives.

Comments and criticisms of this project are eagerly sought.

Why can't I use my powers for evil?

It should be ME who bought a 20 foot tall hydraulic dragon that belches smoke and six animatronic trees, not some embezzling hack. Sigh.

It will be mine...

I was doing some research on youtube when I came across a great video of a radio control pirate ship. I have been dreaming of such a thing ever since moving to Bag End. I mean, I have a big pond, and although my original plan of building a full scale pirate ship in said pond did not pan out I could still have 2 ships duke it out. If only such cool toys existed. A google search even a year ago yielded nothing, but thanks to this great little video I found a very cool site:
Their motto? "Stuff you don't need...but really, really want."

It's like they can read my mind, man.

Check the video and pop over to the site for the toys. These pirate ships are only about $60 delivered. And hey, isn't you birthday coming up Steve? Why yes, I think it is. What a coincidence.