Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Rain Boots and eBooks

Little more than an hour to go until the Ottawa Senators play the Boston Bruins!

Man, there’s a lot of things I want. There’s new outdoor walking shoes, indoor lifting shoes, rain boots, elbow sleeve for lifting, a bigger desk, my own house, etc… 

The weather sucks today. I got an immediate ‘soaker’ leaving the house this morning for the gym. This is why I think I need rain boots. Wet socks has got to be one of the worst sensations there is.

Pretty productive day so far – went to the gym, studied section 14.1, finished another assignment question. Now just trying to get my 15 daily minutes of writing done. Don’t got anything good to write about.

Well, let me write about my plan then. My plan is first, to write everyday for a period of time in order to develop my writing style and find my audience. During this time, I will also be working on Goals with Greg, and developing that website into my own creation. In fact, in March, I will start working on a free e-book containing some of my best thoughts so far on goals, and why you should have a goal.

Subsequently, I hope to introduce ads and/or a donation button. Hopefully my blogs will be entertaining enough to earn me a decent amount of money. I don’t plan on becoming rich by blogging, but if I earned enough each month to cover groceries or rent, that would be awesome!

Anyhoo, that’s more of a screedy-scramble than a plan. But that’s the idea.

My idea for GwG is to first provide a free e-book, mainly outlining the reasons why you should have a goal, how your life will be better with goals, and how to get started with goals. Ultimately, I would like to write an ebook about goals which I could sell for a small amount. No more than 5 or 10 bucks, I think – or perhaps pay what you like? That can be hashed out later.

But I believe I could sell an ebook I’ve written about goals. I know a lot about goals, both from reading about them and also from setting and achieving them. I truly believe that I could help a lot of people better their lives if I could get them hooked on goals. Best of all, if I help enough people get what they want, they will help me get what I want. And I want a lot of stuff… new outdoor sneakers, rain boots…

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Random thoughts on a snowy Wednesday night.

Hmm…and now comes the writer’s block. This is why I write everyday – to get in the habit of writing. The more I write, the better at writing I become. So it is with anything – the more one does, the better one gets.

I was listening to Earl Nigntingale yesterday, to his “The Strangest Secret” recording. One particular point I remember is that, we become what we think about most of the time. This is why positive thinking is a self-fulfilling prophecy – and why happiness is really a state of mind.

I am currently in the middle of writing my PhD thesis in pure math. My topic has to do with the evaluation of a certain type of Gauss sum, which leads to applications in the number of solutions to ternary quadratic equations over the integers. I’ve proved a general case for my Gauss sum, which is very good, as that’s new, publishable research. I still have to prove some remaining zero cases and write up the solution in general so that it agrees with known research. In all likelihood, I’ll be graduating in December of this year. 

Then what? I like academia and it’s “never work on mondays or fridays” approach – so that I effectively have a 3 day work week. That would be ideal. But then again, working from home would be best.

Sneakers are expensive. I need new lifting shoes, but I *really* need new outdoor walking shoes. Of course, I don’t make much money as a grad student, so that’s filed away on my ‘want to buy’ list. I remember back when I made money and had my own apartment. Man, that was sweet – of course, I’ll never trade my soul for money again. I know that in a very short time I’ll be back in my own apartment – and soon I’ll have my own power rack and olympic barbell – my own soundproof drumming room… Oooh yeah. The future’s gonna be sweet, provided I work here in the present.

15 minutes up – daily writing commitment achieved! Even though what appears above can barely be classified as writing!

February 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Prime Time Cartoons

When it comes to modern, prime time cartoons, there’s The Simpsons, and there’s everyone else. Everyone else, to me, includes: Family Guy, South Park, Futurama, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. 

I should note, I don’t count Archer among prime time cartoons. Why? Eh – it’s really more animation-y than cartoon-y. Also, it appears on something called the FX network. What the hell is the FX network? Does this network have FX news? (Obviously pronounced Fucks news.) It’s the Fox network without the astonishment? (Weak joke – but yeah, FX has 2 out of the 3 letters of FOX, so it’s hard not to compare and contrast.)

So, we have The Simpsons. It’s currently in it’s 24th season, and will probably run until one of Castellaneta, Kavner, Smith, Cartwright, Shearer or Azaria dies. (And Harry Shearer was born in 1943, so he’s probably checking out first.) Even though the episodes nowadays pale in comparison to the earlier episodes, we must remember that from midway through season 2 up until at least season 8, every episode was pure gold. That’s about 120 or so episodes. Every week, each episode would be layered with jokes – some were low-brow, others more intellectual. These golden years were Shakespearean in their ability to create comedy that people on all levels could enjoy. There is no doubt that The Simpsons will go down as the greatest prime time cartoon of all time. Maybe even the greatest show of all time – it’s that good.

The others, I rank as follows:

American Dad >= Futurama > Family Guy > South Park >=The Cleveland Show

Don’t get me wrong, South Park & Cleveland Show are really good cartoons – South Park suffers, in my opinion, in the overall animation. Ultimately, it’s not as visually appealing as all the others – South Park looks cramped and messy – whereas the others, all the characters have fat, well defined solid black outlines, which I find very visually appealing. Cleveland Show suffers because I do not like Donna, Cleveland’s wife. Maybe it’s just the way the character is written, but there’s only a handful of moments I can think of where I’ve enjoyed Donna. 

Seth’s shows: American Dad, Family Guy & Cleveland Show all follow the same basic premise (sit com about a family and their wacky baby & dog/alien/bear that lives next door) but all have different approaches to their humour. Family Guy I like to say is more Dada-ist. Their cutaway jokes are generally just an assortment of randomness – very Dada. American Dad & Cleveland Show are more linear in their comedy – AD is a parody of family sitcoms, and CS is a parody of black family sitcoms – but they are both themselves sitcoms. Further, all three shows inject a healthy amount of surrealism into each episode. The clear standout of Seth’s shows is American Dad – no question. First, they take way more chances with their episodes. From the first time the screen narrows during the second season, when Roger takes a solid gold dookie – to the staging of the episode as a live play – we’ve seen American Dad throw all sorts of crazy story telling our way. Second, having Roger be an alien instead of some terrestrial mammal of some sort was a great move. It basically states that the reality in which American Dad exists is magic – as Roger can have an alien gizmo that can do whatever the plot demands. Not to mention choosing Roger to be a mincing, self-absorbed sociopath.

Finally, Futurama is almost as good as American Dad. But American Dad is just a bit better – since Futurama has this never-ending Fry & Leela will they/wont they thing, which isn’t carrying well since the beginning of the new episodes. Nevertheless, Bender, Fry, The Professor & Zoidberg are some of the greatest characters known to man. Just as making Roger an alien gave American Dad freedom, so to does Futurama have freedom by being set in the future. But this is out of control freedom – since the writers of Futurama have to invent the future we live in anyway!

I sure do love cartoons.

February 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prog Greats

This blog is pretty loosey-goosey. There’s no defined purpose or category. I’m just going to write about whatever the hell I want to write about.

Why do this? Well, for starters, I want to get in the habit of writing everyday. If I have another blog devoted to a specific topic, and I don’t have any ideas about that particular topic, then it’s tough to write good stuff that day. Thus, this blog serves as a method to get myself writing and not worry too much about content.

Well, if I’m not worried about content, what am I going to write about? Hmm…

I ‘unno…I’m currently listening to King Crimson’s live album, The Great Deceiver. It’s terrific. There’s no better rock and roll combo when it comes to sustained, frenetic sonic assaults. Maybe The Mars Volta – they’re both phenomenal prog rock bands. Of course, I’m only counting KC before the 1980’s – I’m not as thrilled with their stuff after the 80’s as I am with their work in the 70’s. Especially the three monsters: Larks’ Tongue in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red. Anyone who’s familiar with KC only through 21st Century Schizoid Man needs to do some listening.

It’s funny, Pink Floyd always gets credit for being the best prog rock band out there, but they can’t really compare to King Crimson. Pink Floyd, however, probably have the greatest album as a whole in Dark Side of the Moon. I don’t know what else to say about “Dark Side” that hasn’t already been said. It’s easily Pink Floyd’s greatest work, and deserves to be listened to as an album rather than as cuts on classic rock radio stations.

I suppose for me, as I (used to) play drums, it’s the quality of the drummer that makes the band great. King Crimson and Mars Volta always have crazy good drummers – which is probably why I like them so much. But as I have a tendency to sing in a piercing falsetto, I most prefer the singing of Mars Volta. Some of those high notes can be unbelievably dramatic, passionate, angry, soulful… there’s a lot in there.

Anyhoo, that’s my first post. I suppose it’s about music but really it’s about me writing. 

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment