News about me, and my thoughts, jokes, and stuff.

Sean's Blog

Strange Beings in the Backyard

I’m posting this from my iPhone, to make sure that I can do so on my ride tomorrow.

Below is a picture of some fascinating fungi in our backyard. They’re a ways from the house, but were easy to spot from the house because of the rather bright color.

Posted by seaking on 09-16-2011 at 07:09 pm
Posted in Surreal with 0 Comments

Shopping pitfalls

Computer software may be able to win on a quiz show, but can it be trusted to identify groceries?

Every week I look through the sale items at my local supermarkets.  I do this online, and generally go looking through by category.  This week I noticed interesting placement of some items on one store’s site, which led me to believe that a robot of some kind is categorizing the items in the company’s database.

To wit:

Of course, these things are all in proper places in the physical store, but then it’s humans who place them on the shelves.  As things get more automated, it wouldn’t hurt to keep this kind of thing in mind, lest we end up drinking a loaf of bread, sautéing with 10W30, or spreading toy trucks on top of toast.

Posted by seaking on 02-27-2011 at 07:02 pm
Posted in Humor, Surreal with 0 Comments

If you can imagine it…

So this evening well after dinner, as often happens in our house, I was cooking a meal that we’ll eat for dinner the next few nights.  I was criticized for the fact that it smelled good, but was not to be eaten right away.  The conversation turned to the suggestion that perhaps I should make things that are unappetizing, so as to avoid this situation.

Among the ideas we came up with were things like franks and beans (somewhat unappetizing even to those in the household who aren’t vegetarians).  This ended up morphing into pieces of hot dog in sloppy joe sauce.  We quickly dubbed these Sloppy Dogs, and had a good laugh.

Then, we thought to check Google, and found that they already exist.

(and, dare I say it, some of them sound kind of good)

P.S.:  In related news, I saw this post this evening on the blog Cookrookery, and couldn’t resist adding some suggestions in the comments.

Posted by seaking on 11-11-2010 at 11:11 pm
Posted in Food, Surreal with 0 Comments

Birds on the Edge

Short post today, as I don’t have much time.  Back in the mid to late summer, I happened upon two instances of livestock birds sitting on fences.  The pictures were taken with my cell phone, so please excuse the blurriness of some of them.

This is one of our neighbors’ laying hens:

And this is a turkey at the Maple Farm Foods store:

Posted by seaking on 11-10-2010 at 10:11 pm
Posted in Humor, Surreal with 0 Comments

Monkey Men All

I got a chance this summer to do something I had been wanting to do for 2 decades – go see DEVO perform in concert.  They’ve always been one of my favorite bands, and I heard early in the year that they’d be releasing a new album and touring, so I was on the lookout.  They didn’t end up playing any dates in New England, but they did come to the Albany area, which is only 2 hours drive from where I live, so I jumped at the chance to pay an inflated ticket price (plus nearly another 25% in fees to TicketBastard).

Fortunately, the show was on a Saturday night, so I drove out there in the afternoon and got some dinner before heading to the venue.  They played at a large club called Northern Lights, in the suburb of Clifton Park.  The place is in a strip mall – here are some pictures of it that I took after the show:

I had arrived there at 6:30 (while it was still light out), and got in line outside, as the doors wouldn’t open until 7:00.  While waiting, I had to get a picture of this guy who was just a bit behind me in line:

He had an energy dome logo on the hat, as well as heavy, “Oh No, It’s DEVO” eyebrows on his glasses.  Fun!

I got inside pretty quickly, and immediately made my way to the stage.  This was a rare opportunity, and I wanted to be right up close.  Fortunately, I was early enough to get a spot right in front of the stage, or as close as possible anyway, as there was a barrier between the stage and audience, creating a narrow area for photo and video people to do their thing during the concert.

I had thought that the band was going to take the stage at 8:00, but it turned out that they weren’t going on until 9:00, so I had 2 hours to stand and wait (spoiler: it was worth it).  I talked a bit to some other fans nearby me, and got a pictures of things like this equipment case:

Also, the stage was located in a back corner of the club’s one huge room.  Just over to the right of the stage was the back door of the building, which was being used as a stage door, with the band getting ready in their tour bus outside:

At one point, a car pulled up next to the bus out there, and out of the car emerged the brothers Mothersbaugh.  Mark headed into the bus, but Bob1 initially walked into the building, and he was immediately greeted by a fan yelling, “BOB!” with a bunch of cheering from the rest of us.  He laughed and went back outside (unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to snap a picture at that moment).

One interesting feature of the stage was the background screen.  They had a video screen actually made up of a bunch of large LEDs.  They were difficult to photograph when off, but here’s a close-up of a small portion of the screen:

They did take the stage at 9:00 sharp, with intro music and video playing:

The band were initially wearing their new light gray outfits with masks.  I had seen pictures of the outfits before coming to the show, but I didn’t know that the suits were highly reflective, so when you take a flash picture of the band, they glow:

Here’s a picture without the flash:

I captured a picture of the setlist before the show, though my view of the first few songs was blocked:

Once they played the first 3 songs, they caught up to where I could see the list.  Here’s all of the songs they did, in order (the first, third, and fifth are from the new album, Something for Everybody):

  • Don’t Shoot, I’m a Man
  • Peek-a-boo
  • What We Do Is What We Do
  • Goin’ Under
  • Fresh
  • That’s Good
  • Girl U Want
  • Whip It
  • Planet Earth
  • Satisfaction
  • Secret Agent Man
  • Uncontrollable Urge
  • Mongoloid
  • Jocko Homo
  • Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA
  • Gates of Steel
  • Freedom of Choice
  • Beautiful World

The setlist shows a few dividing lines.  The first two denote costume changes, and the third marks the planned encore.

Some pictures from the first group of songs:

Mark and Bob2 during “Peek-a-boo”:

After “Peek-a-b00” they took off the masks.

The first costume change involved taking off the jackets and adding blue energy domes:

They played like that for 3 songs from the album Freedom of Choice.  Note, the shirts have blue energy dome logos on the sleeves.

Their second costume change involved putting on yellow radiation suits (and they all grabbed guitars) for a set of songs from their first two albums:

During “Uncontrollable Urge,” Mark demonstrated his urge by ripping his suit, as well as those of his bandmates:

A few pieces of suit got thrown out into the audience, one of which was grabbed by the guy next to me.  He tore off a part of that and gave it to me, so I have a small bit of Bob1’s yellow suit.

Dancing in unison at the end of that song:

For the song”Mongoloid”, Mark would crouch at the edge of the stage with a pair of pompoms, and would jump up and shake them.  Here he is crouching just a few feet in front of me:

and here he’s at the other end of the stage:

Back at the keyboard, shortly before they removed the suits entirely:

They ripped the suits off and threw them into the crowd.  None of them came near me, though I was happy to have the piece I’d already received, even if it doesn’t say ‘DEVO’ on it.  This left the band wearing just the black t-shirts and black shorts (and kneepads).

Mark then jumped down into the space in front of the stage, to get a bit intimate with the audience:

Sadly, he didn’t get close to my position.

I don’t recall why Bob1 was covering his ears here:

Shots from “Freedom of Choice” during the encore:

Jerry with his bass:

Mark had a few towels stuffed in the back of his shorts.  During the song, he would take each one out, wipe his sweat with it, then rub it on his armpits, butt, and crotch (outside his clothes) before throwing it to the audience.

Yes, at age 60 he’s still an edgy weirdo.

Their final song was “Beautiful World” – one of my favorites of theirs.

The song featured a special appearance by Booji Boy on lead vocals!  (for those not in the know, that’s pronounced ‘boogie’.)

In the middle of the song, during a long instrumental part, Booji told a story about getting to go the the Neverland Ranch to hang out with Michael Jackson.  I kept expecting the story to take a creepy turn, but that didn’t happen.

All too soon, the show was over.

The above shot shows “DEVO” in silver letters on Booji’s back.

And that was that.  They were only on stage for an hour-and-a-quarter, but I do feel like I got my money’s and time’s worth.

Posted by seaking on 08-29-2010 at 08:08 pm
Posted in Arts/Media, Surreal with 3 Comments

As seen in forest and supermarket

A week ago I went for a hike on trails that are nearby our house.  When I say nearby, I mean that they’re behind the houses that are across the road from us.

I hadn’t had a chance to explore these trails much the last time I was on them, but I had time to go further this time, hiking uphill on something called the “College Trail.”  This leads up the North side of the Holyoke Range, joining other trails and eventually linking up with the Metacomet-Monadnock trail.  I didn’t make it quite that far up, as it was late in the afternoon and I needed to get back home before sundown.

I did see something I don’t think I’ve noticed on other local trails – a tree with graffiti carved in it:

The oldest carving seems to be from 1979, assuming that it was actually carved that year and not backdated by the carver.

In an unrelated event, I was in the grocery store the following day, and I saw an unusual sign in the frozen foods aisle.  This is something one hears a lot about in modern American political discourse, but I didn’t think it was available for purchase at one’s local supermarket:

There you have it.

Posted by seaking on 01-24-2010 at 09:01 pm
Posted in Hiking, Surreal with 0 Comments

Am I deserving of pity?

My goodness.  I saw this linked from Rich Watson’s blog, and I don’t know quite what to say.  I’ll merely present the link:  Mr. T Versus

Would one be foolish not to read the series?

Posted by seaking on 04-02-2008 at 10:04 pm
Posted in Comics, Humor, Surreal with 1 Comment

Greaser Fruit

I didn’t pay much attention to the sticker when I bought the melon – only enough to type in the PLU# at the self-scan checkout.  After I got it home, though, I was surprised to discover a reference to The Outsiders on my honeydew:

ponyboy.jpg

Nothing gold can stay, of course, and the melon is no exception – we’ll eat the whole thing within a week.

Posted by seaking on 10-13-2007 at 10:10 pm
Posted in Food, Surreal with 0 Comments

Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

I find it hard to improve on that headline.

It sounds like the plot of a goofy comedy movie from the ’60’s, but it is apparently true.

The story can be found here.

I especially love the part about nobody noticing.

Posted by seaking on 03-02-2007 at 09:03 pm
Posted in Humor, Links, Surreal with 1 Comment

Truth in Spam?

This morning I received a spam message, which is not so unusual – I get at least a few per day. This one came from a typically nonsensical e-mail address. What was surprising (but perhaps refreshing) was the name associated with the address:

From: slime < xghuhirx@spbnit.ru >

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Posted by seaking on 01-29-2007 at 10:01 pm
Posted in Surreal with 0 Comments

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