And I’m not talking about soup.

Seriously, if you’re not well-informed on this issue, go here or here or here. Or just search on the Google, which is currently sporting a blacked out logo in protest.

All that aside, as is often the case, there’s some fun coming out of this. I saw lots of awesome anti-SOPA stuff today, and here are a couple.

First, a super video from LaughPong, riffing on Don McLean’s The Day the Music Died. Check out The Day the LOLcats Died:

The Oatmeal, who is pretty much the King of Awesome, whipped up an amazing animated GIF, and asked that we all pirate the shit out of it. So I did exactly that, and I’m totally not gonna credit The Oatmeal at all. Piracy ARRRGG!

SOPA is stupid.

Now that we’ve had a laugh and learned a bit, go make some noise about this.

Written on January 18th, 2012 , The Other Stuff Tags: , , , , , , ,

Angelica and I went out to The Mission last night for the Dia de los Muertos celebration. We didn’t make it last year, but compared to 2009 it seemed like the procession was smaller, but there were still about a bajillion people out in various states of costume and makeup – some of it very impressive and well-done.

Day of the Dead isn’t just about goth kids having an excuse to wear makeup (like they need one) or the Burning Man crowd building stuff for the procession – although there’s usually plenty of both. It’s a very significant cultural/spiritual event with real meaning for the organizers and participants. (I know, way to go Captain Understatement!) The altars in the park were amazing as always and aside from the Steve Jobs and Dio altars, they all appeared to be very personal and emotional affairs. One woman had built an altar for her husband (I think) and was there telling folks about how awesome he was in an almost joyful way – very touching and cool.

I’m not very good at taking photos at night, but here are a few that turned out. Maybe my resolution for 2012 should be learn to take photos for realsies.

I decided to try taking videos with my point ‘n’ shoot camera*, and they actually turned out kinda cool so I posted them on the You Tubes. Here’s one of huge glowing jellyfish dancing down the street.

 

And one of some super cool dancing and drumming. The jellyfish show up in this one too – they’re hard to miss.

 

*In case you’re wondering, my camera is a Panasonic Lumix – the discontinued DMC-FS15. I’ve been super happy with it – it was cheap, takes good photos in my spite of my total lack of technique (almost all the photos here were taken with it, including the page backgrounds) and the battery lasts forever.

One of these days, I’ll make it out to the Isle of Man to watch the most amazing motorbike race in the world. Until then, I’ll make do with videos like this.

I’m really not a racing fan, but the history and sheer awesomeness of the Isle of Man TT coupled with the beauty of the island make for a pretty compelling “Hey darlin’, we really need to make a vacation of this” story.  The Catalina Grand Prix (on again for 2012!) is another. I’m mostly interested in motorbike races on beautiful islands. ;)

I really enjoy listening to Guy Martin – he’s an interesting cat.

Written on June 30th, 2011 , Motorbikes Tags: , , , , ,

One of my amazing colleagues at ROI DNA, Mark Chasse, recently introduced me to Red Fang by sending me a link to the video for “Wires.”

First, I really dig this band – I downloaded the album (yes, album) “Murder The Mountains” almost immediately and have been bobbing my head to it quite a bit during my walk to work. Red Fang sounds to me like (stealing a bit from Blaine Cartwright here) Fu Manchu making out with Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden while Black Sabbath watches. Maybe Helmet shows up later to get in on the fun.

OK, never mind the crazy-ridiculous attempts at describing Red Fang’s sound. I like it. A lot.

I gave up on music videos about the same time music videos started existing. It’s true that videos can occasionally add something that the song cant’ do on its own, but I think that videos are mostly just really bad marketing of really bad bands. I go out of my way to avoid them, as I do with most things that I find to be offensively stupid.

The gentlemen in Red Fang, however, make some awesome videos. Rockin’, fun, and hilarious – right up my alley. Check out “Wires” and “Prehistoric Dog” below.



Written on June 11th, 2011 , Rock 'n' Roll Tags: , , , , ,

I’m pretty consistently retro-grouchy about new bikes. “These new-fangled motorbikes you kids are riding look like something outta that movie about the robot cars. Whattya call those? Trans-foamers?” Believe it or not, I’m extremely conservative about how motorbikes should look. It typically takes about five to ten years for me to like “edgy” new designs. So I was hesitant to jump on the Motus bandwagon. The concepts sounded great early on – especially the engine – but the drawings were ugly.

After seeing the video of the MTS-01 on HellForLeather this morning, I’ve changed my mind. It helped that they made the bike’s styling substantially more conservative than the early drawings – less ugly to my jaded, aging eyes. And it sounds OMG AMAZING. Rumbling, roaring, BAD ASS. Check out the video below to hear it for yourself – this is what motorcycles should sound like.

Successfully launching a new motorbike company is extremely difficult. I wish Motus the best – this looks like an awesome bike. Check out the Motus YouTube channel for more awesomeness.

There are lots of reasons lane splitting is good. For me, it’s mostly that I become almost immune to traffic congestion and can slip through gridlock smoothly and quickly. Perfect for commuting. Also, it’s fun!

Safety is another really good – but often forgotten – reason motorcyclists should split lanes, as demonstrated in this video. Today in San Francisco, a fellow Barfian was hit from behind at a stop, with his GoPro helmet cam running. The cam captured the experience from his viewpoint. Amazingly, he didn’t hit the ground, even though he was thrown from his bike by the impact.

Motorists often see the bigger shape of the stopped car, and don’t realize there’s a motorbike there too. Filtering to the front in traffic prevents this common accident. Splitting lanes is safer than hanging out behind a car.

Make sure you turn on the sounds when you watch this. Be prepared to cringe. This guy is extremely lucky he wasn’t badly injured, although I’m certain he’ll be plenty sore tomorrow.

Written on February 5th, 2011 , Motorbikes Tags: , , , ,

Before I rock ‘n’ roll saved my soul – in the form of punk and metal – the only music I knew was old country. (Well, country and church hymns, but that’s another story for another time.) My parents listened to a lot of good old country music: Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones – lots of good stuff.

In my early teens, I rejected this music, but slowly returned to it as I overcame my knee-jerk, anti-“my parents’ music” mentality. It helped that some of my punk rock idols were clearly influenced by country music, from early honky tonk to later outlaw tunes. Later on, as my taste in music progressed beyond “louder, faster, more” I couldn’t get these old songs out of my head.

Anyway, I found this video on the YouTube tonight: Johnny Paycheck playing “The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” at Chillicothe Prison in Ohio in 1993, post prison time and “Johnny Bankrupt.” He’s introduced by none other than Merle Haggard. Paycheck and the band are really cookin’ – it’s magical.

Written on September 21st, 2010 , Rock 'n' Roll Tags: , , , ,

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Surj's House of Awesome

Surj Gish – eCommerce & Online Marketing Expert / Gearhead / Musician