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Jeff Zugale, Artist, Mystic For Hire. Stats:

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

OK, well, Happy New Year!

I wasn't able to do any posting while I was on vacation, mostly because I was too busy doing stuff and seeing people, but also because my phone was on roaming up in Maine - they changed the network area apparently - so I didn't want to spend 50 cents a minute uploading photos etc. I had to make some calls anyway, not really looking forward to seeing next month's cell phone bill.

I have put up a few pix on my Flickr account.

As I said, from here on out I will do my "personal" blogging over on my own site; you can start reading it here, and I'll announce when I've got the site running properly. I still have a lot of web design and programming to do for the remodeling, hopefully I'll be able to do most of it this week.

So, see you over at the new blog!

Friday, December 23, 2005

OK, this will probably be my last post in this blog until I get back from my trip, as I don't know how much computer access I'll have. However, I will update my new blog over at my personal site from my cell phone, with pictures. You might as well bookmark that blog, because that's where I'll be doing most of the blogging I've been doing here, starting January 1.

I'm still determined to get the new webcomic up on Thursday January 5, but I might not make it, so it might be the next week. Ah well, that's typical for me, huh? Geez.

Anyway, everyone have a great holiday week, and I'll see you all next year! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Solstice everybody! The days get longer from here, hooray! More sun = good. Well, as long as I have sunscreen, otherwise more sun = Lobster Jeff in massive pain.

I've got the ability to work on my sites from here now, so I'm starting to make some tweaks. I changed the photo album link above to point to my Flickr photos, and I'm fixing links here and there around the site where they're broken.

This is all in preparation, of course, for my general shift over to my own personal sites, to sort of "purify" Pagan City where I've been taking over a bit too much of the mindspace. So I'm moving my mindspace over to www.jeffzugale.com after the holidays, as previously announced. That site doesn't look like much at the moment but I'm working on it. It's definitely not going to be looking its best right away, as I've been very very busy with life leading up to the holidays, but it will improve. I figure by April I'll be all done tweaking it.

OK, I need a sammich and to get back to work.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ahh, what an excellent weekend. I won't go into much depth, but The Girlfriend and I had an early Xmas, because I'm going back east for all of next week, flying out this Friday night. We went to a lovely charming place, the Casa Laguna Inn & Spa in Laguna Beach, and just had a marvelous time. I highly recommend it if you ever travel to SoCal - it's only an hour from LA.

We rode down there on the motorcycle, and I decided to take the scenic route, which in retrospect wasn't that great. The Pacific Coast Highway has some really beautiful stretches, but not so much between LA and Laguna - it's mostly beach town suburbia with some lovely oil refineries and terminals thrown in for fun, down around Long Beach. The trip took almost 5 hours and both of us had sore butts at the end of it, and my clutch hand was killing me from all the stop-n-go. Fortunately the Inn made up for all that discomfort very rapidly, what with the Jacuzzi tub and champagne and all. :)

We only stayed the one night but it felt like a real vacation, very relaxing. We came back via the freeway on Sunday, and then went to see TGF's friend Jaso performing in "A Christmas Carol" up in canyon country - not too bad for community theatre, but it did seem like they threw a bit of extra Jesus in there... ah well. Tis the Season, and all that.

Oh yeah, Friday night we had our 7 Studios company holiday party, at a place called Busby's in Santa Monica, and it was the usual madhouse of fun crazy boozed-up game people. Once again I backed up my boss singing karaoke (Whitesnake this time), which seems to be a party ritual, heh. They did a random drawing at the end for a whole bunch of cool swag, including an XBox 360 provided by our publisher THQ, and I won a full professional set of poker chips with cards and other stuff, in a nice aluminum flight case - weighs about 30 pounds! My name was called kinda late... all the best prizes were taken before I got up, so I missed out on copies of Guitar Hero and the red Nintendo DS/Mario Kart DS combo set... *sigh*.

So that's about it for the weekend. Of course, I took my new camera, so there are lots of pictures; I now have a photostream on Flickr, where I've put some stuff up and where lots more will go from now on. You can even subscribe to my pictures via RSS or Atom, how neat!

Much to do this week to get ready for my trip back east. I gotta clean my place up some, for one thing. Still got shopping to do... some folks I just don't know what to get them... I may wind up being very late with a few presents, as usual.

OK, back to work, more soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today I'm pretty slow at work, for a change, so it's blog time, yay! We're in a milestone week, which means all the crazy work is being done at the production end of the process; I'm at the front end, preproduction part, so the end of the month is usually slower for me. Things are winding down for this game, though, so I actually already have next month's work laid out for me by my lead, Terry. I think I'll be mostly done with this game by the end of next month, but I'm sure we'll be starting the cycle for the next game that's coming in shortly after the holidays. There's probably some original game development I could work on as well, I'll talk to my boss about that.

So, gosh, it's been 10 days or so... what's been going on? Quite a lot, I doubt I'll remember it all.

Last weekend was pretty full up with stuff, spent most of it with The Girlfriend, who was not feeling well for most of it, so I did my best to pamper her and make it better. We had sort of a rough day on Saturday, as we had to go shopping for many things, including some dress clothes to wear to her company holiday party that night, and the clothes part of the shopping got pretty frustrating - but we got through it without conflict, which is really pleasant. After several false starts we wound up at a thrift shop at the last minute, where thankfully we both found very nice things to wear, and we made it to the party later than planned, but still well before we were seated for dinner. And what a dinner! It was at a very fine restaurant, one of the best in California, and everything was top-notch. We both had the lobster. MMMMMM. Maine Lobster. Not something you can get every day, around here, unless you're crazy wealthy (as opposed to where I used to live up in Maine, where at least one of your buddies is a lobsterman and you can get it every day for $2 a pound, if not free).

Then Sunday evening we went to a dinner party thrown by one of her ex-cow-orkers from a previous job. We didn't know anyone there except the host - actually, I just met him that night, so I really didn't know anyone at all - but the guests were friendly and we had fun. There was a gift exchange (one of the things we shopped for on Saturday), and TGF came away with one of those little pocket devices that spouts off quotes from Family Guy's Stewie, while I got Jenga and Play-Doh! Wooo! Non stop fun!

No, seriously, I really dig that. Play-Doh is awesome, and you can never have too many games around the house.

Oh yeah, a week ago Wednesday I went to the Clippers/Knicks game at Staples Center; our company president bought season tickets and put them up for grabs to the company. I got Knicks tix because my buddy Marty is from NYC and loves the Knicks, so he's the natural guy to take to that game. The seats are incredible, they are literally the second row from the floor right behind the visiting team bench - so the Knicks were about 8 feet away from us. I've never been that close. Man, those NBA guys are some freakishly tall guys. Well, except for Nate Robinson, he's only 5'8" - but he's a damn good player. Unfortunately, the Knicks lost and Marty was disappointed. It was a good game though, the Clippers came back from a deep deficit, so it was close at the end which always makes for an exciting game.

Plus, I enjoyed the people-watching as much as the game. There were quite a few celebrities there. Comedian Richard Lewis was in the floor row in front of us, and Adam Sandler walked by, as did Dustin Hoffman with his son, baseball great Kenny Lofton, and a real famous player from the past, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, who was a huge star on the Knicks back in the 70s. But the real kicker for me was when I looked to my left and saw Isiah Thomas - yeah, that one, from the Pistons - standing about 10 feet away, having a laughing conversation with Chris Rock. That was really, really cool. I wasn't aware that Isiah is the GM of the Knicks, so I wasn't expecting to see him. The only basketball players that I would be more flipped out to see would be Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

OK so, what else... um. Having some consternation with my car insurance broker; it seems they're deliberately failing to remind me that the Camaro insurance is due for renewal, in order to have it lapse, which would result in a large reinstatement fee for them. They did the same thing last year, but I chalked it up to a mistake; since the same thing is happening this year, except I've caught it, it's the old "fool me twice, shame on me" deal. I'm now going to work directly with the actual insurance company, to whom I've reported my suspicions about the broker.

I did some holiday shopping today at lunchtime, and will do some more this evening, along with laundry and various stuff around the house. I also finally stopped stalling and bought a digital camera, which I've been hemming and hawing about for a while, worrying about the price (I got it for quite a bit less than MSRP, on sale) and looking for a really small but powerful camera. I decided to finally just buy the damn thing because I got some regular 35mm film developed yesterday, and it cost twenty-five dollars for one set of prints and a CD - not counting the cost of the film itself when I bought it. That's just crazy! This camera costs less than buying and developing 10 rolls of film, so it's just a no brainer. Bye bye, film; yet another physical medium falls to the power of digital.

And by golly, it shoots movies. Movies. Up to an hour's worth, with a 1GB SD card. Life continues to fill up with Star Trek stuff made real...

I started doing the stuff to set up my other site for all the new things for next year, but I don't know when I'm going to have time to really get it all working. It's probably going to be pretty crude for the first few weeks of next year, but I hope people will bear with it. It will be really cool once I get it all spruced up.

I don't remember if I wrote about this in the last post but I now have a cubicle here at work, moved out of the large room that I shared with 7 other people. Kind of a move up. Tomorrow I'm driving my car in to bring various stuff with which to populate my cube, including one of my guitars, for getting in some practice at break times! Before you laugh, I am not the first or only guy at this company to do that, we have at least 2 others with guitars here. I really love working in the game biz. :)

Then tomorrow night is my company holiday party, which should be a blast. This company does know how to party. TGF is my date of course, and I think we're going to have a great time. This is also a good reason to bring the car, because driving home is going to be very late after a party/sober up cycle, and I'll be tired enough that riding the bike wouldn't be smart.

And then this weekend, we're doing our own Christmas, since I'm flying back east for actual Christmas and New Year... we're doing a little mini-vacation, a little getaway weekend, which should be very pleasant. I'm really looking forward to it.

OK I think there's enough boring you there. More to come...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Say hi to Ty:

Went to see King's X last nite. Here's Ty Tabor at the merch table after show.

And yeah, they rocked. As always. :)

Busy at work today, a new concept artist starting, and I've moved into my own cubicle now, so it's been sorta hectic. I'll blog more this week.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

OK, so it's been over a week since last post. Time to catch up.

First, an announcement: As of January 1, 2006, I will no longer be doing my "personal" blogging here on Pagan City. I'm moving everything not related to MFH over to my own site at www.jeffzugale.com, where I'll be starting up not just one, but THREE blogs - one each to cover:

Art, where I'll post sketches and artworks as fast as I can draw them;

Music, wherein I'll be blogging about my current musical production and past adventures in the world of rock n' roll, and of course posting bits and pieces of music, and

Life, which will include everything that isn't art or music.

This will enable me to keep my personal ramblings separate, letting people who are interested see my creative output without having to slog through my various rants.

Second, another announcement: I will be starting a new weekly webcomic called "Just a Bit Off..." on Thursday, January 5, 2006. It will be largely based on actual events and conversations between myself and various friends, acquaintances and other humans (and non-humans I'm sure). It's gotten pretty good reviews from the few people to whom I've shown it, most of whom are comics people themselves, so I'm saying what the hell and going for it.

That comic will also appear at www.jeffzugale.com on its own homepage; I will of course announce all the links etc. as soon as I've got things set up.

And now to the mundane blathering!

Thanksgiving weekend went very well. The Girlfriend and I drove up to the Bay Area to her parents's home, where I met Mr. & Mrs. T and managed to survive unwounded - well, hm, not entirely, as I got a few sore muscles from our trip to the rock climbing gym. I'd never done that before, it was a lot of fun learning the knots and techniques, and also very tiring. I only managed to climb 3 1/2 times, having to abort the 4th climb because my arms gave out. I really am in some crappy physical shape these days, which must be addressed. Anyway, The Parents and The Family are really nice people and I'm happy to have met them and gotten on so well. At least, from my POV we got on well... I still haven't heard all the verdicts yet, as Mr. T. is off to Europe for a couple weeks doing government-y stuff (which is his job).

In any event, there was much eating and sleeping and talking done, and some Katamari Damashi for TGF, who enjoyed it quite a bit more than she'd expected. It is a wonderful game. I have to get We Love Katamari soon. It was a good weekend and everything went smoothly. Also, I drove both ways, which apparently scored me Hero Points! Woo! :D

Other than that, well... life goes on as usual. The Steelers lost, which is a drag, but there's no shame in losing to the best team in the NFL. Barring an injury to Peyton Manning, I don't think there's anyone that can beat them. This may be the year you have to give away the champagne, Don Shula... :)

I'm starting to ramp up in earnest to recording the music that I want to release next year. Last night I was working out bass lines for a couple of tunes. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to play bass, although my fingers are a bit sore today since I don't do it much. I'm going to keep a bit of a lid on my musical plans until after I move the blogs, but I will announce the plans and blog the whole process as it unfolds, including MP3 clips of various chunks of progress and rough mixes. I think that will be fun to share.

I guess that's about it. I have to start my next character here at work, so back to the tablet I go...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

PH4T L3WT, w00t! That's a cool present, even tho it's small. Most excellent, and thanks Guy (my former boss)! I got some other nice things, including comics and booze, but most especially The Girlfriend's wonderful presents of a Trogdor cap and the new Beavis and Butthead DVD set. I nearly wept with joy! It doesn't take much to make me happy, really. I'm not hard to shop for, as long as you understand my tastes for weird pop culture, sci fi, and video games. :)

The party on Saturday went quite well, though it was modest in size and mellow. I really didn't get the plan for it together until very late, so I'm happy that most of my favorite people showed up and had a good time. I had me a few more drinks than I usually do, but didn't get out of control, and just enjoyed myself. More and many thanks to The Girlfriend for bugging me to plan the thing, helping to invite people, and for driving, too! :D

The rest of the weekend was mostly spent in quiet happy hanging out with The GF, pretty much. We watched a lot of Beavis and Butthead and laughed a lot because it's still really funny.

So, Best Birthday Weekend in a Very Long Time Indeed. It was a bit mellower than probably it should have been for such a "milestone" number, so I think what I'm going to do is to do the huge blowout, rent-out-a-hall-and-go-crazy-rockin'-out party for birthday number 42, in November 2007. Oh yes, it will be massive. Start saving up for your plane tickets now, everyone, because I expect people to fly in from around the world!

And now, reality sets in: I'm 40. GAAAAHHHH!!!! :O

Actually, I'm kidding. I feel fine, I feel good about it. Things have changed so much in this last year, in 2005, that I just finally feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be and good things are happening and hopefully will continue. I certainly don't feel "old" in any way (well, sometimes when my alarm clock goes off...). I don't think I look old, either, though of course that's a matter of opinion, heh. I've got a job I want, I make good money, I live in a beautiful place, I have a very nice girlfriend... I'm happy, really. And I can actually feel that and enjoy it. :)

OK, enough about my gushy happifying. Nobody wants to hear too much of that.

For Thanksgiving, I'm traveling with The GF to her parents's place up in the Bay Area, which should be a lot of fun. She's a lot more nervous about it than I am! I like road trips, and I usually do well with parents. I'm looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, though I won't comment upon it, here's more Sony BMG news. Hehehehe. Hoo boy!

Um, let's see, anything else? No, I guess not. Oh, Alecia I haven't finished your piece yet and I won't be able to do so until after this weekend coming up. I'll get it done by next weekend though, so please hang on just a bit more! :)

Oh yes, big musical plans for 2006. There will be a new CD project from me available right about this time, around Thanksgiving of 2006. There will be another one coming out in 2007, too. My studio is complete, I have no more excuses. And thus I have already begun recording! I don't remember if I mentioned but I got a great set of monitor speakers and a top-end vocal microphone, and so it's on. Oh, it's on now.

And with that I return you to your regularly-scheduled lives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony has folded! They're recalling the CDs! :D What a happy thing!

The Internet and the Blogosphere done whupped 'em. Or, Sideshow Steve says maybe it was my letter, hehehe. I bet they got thousands of emails saying the same thing, plus all the bad press, and they realized they were in big trouble. Even so, apparently some 500,000-plus networks have at least one computer that has the rootkit on it, so it's inevitable that an important computer has been damaged and perhaps hacked, so the repercussions probably aren't done yet. Sony will be smart to settle quietly behind the scenes, and I'm sure they will.

I've been recording some tracks at home the last couple days, I hooked up the new reference monitor speakers and they sound spectacular. I'm borrowing The Girlfriend's Line6 Variax guitar - yes, she plays and sings, very well too - which is a really cool digital guitar that models the sounds of a few dozen different guitars, including acoustics. It's great for recording because of all the different sounds, and also it's super-quiet, meaning it doesn't buzz or make any extraneous noise like a normal guitar thru an amp does. No hiss, no crackle, just music. Brilliant!

I have to get used to a completely new way of recording, in terms of doing whole songs, because the software is so powerful and allows you to just lay down little chunks of music and then compose them into songs. On tape, you have to play the song the whole way through, usually, depending on how many tracks you have available; on my old 4-tracks and even in a pro studio, the drums and basic rhythm tracks had to be recorded from start to finish. That means the song structure had to be arranged completely before laying any tracks down, and you had to do full takes of the song. With the software, I don't have to do that at all, I can lay down sections, using any instrument, and not worry about how to arrange it. I did a song intro last night, using only guitars and the click track. I have an idea for a verse and a break, but nothing else. I can record the verse and break totally separate from the intro, and string them together later. It's really cool.

OK, well, back to work I guess. Much to do.

Monday, November 14, 2005

And in more Sony BMG news, apparently they have a similar copy-protect system for Macs, though it's really easy to not install it. Really, this is just silly. However, it gets worse: there is an "End-User License Agreement" attached to ALL Sony digital music whether from online or their CDs, just like your usual software has a license agreement - you know, that thing you never read and just click "I Agree" because you want to install the software? - and that EULA has some pretty outrageous stuff in it.

Here I reprint some stuff sent to me by my friend and music biz impresario, Phil Hardy (warning, Flash site), which he received in a music biz newsletter from a guy named Bob Lefsetz. I'm just going to drop in a few parts, but the title of this story is "Bring me the Head of Andy Lack" - Lack is the president of Sony Music. Read on:

And then there's the ridiculous End-User License Agreement. Which Sony says makes their behavior all right.

I'm a member of the California Bar, and I don't read this shit. But now somebody has. And this is what they say the license states:

"1. If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That's because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD.

2. You can't keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a 'personal home computer system owned by you.'

3. If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids 'export' outside the country where you reside.

4. You must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer. The EULA immediately terminates if you fail to install any update. No more holding out on those hobble-ware downgrades masquerading as updates.

5. Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to 'enforce their rights' against you, at any time, without notice. And Sony-BMG disclaims any liability if this 'self help' crashes your computer, exposes you to security risks, or any other harm.

6. The EULA says Sony-BMG will never be liable to you for more than $5.00. That's right, no matter what happens, you can't even get back what you paid for the CD.

7. If you file for bankruptcy, you have to delete all the music on your computer. Seriously.

8. You have no right to transfer the music on your computer, even along with the original CD.

9. Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling. The EULA forbids changing, altering, or make derivative works from the music on your computer."


Just because somebody wrote it, that doesn't mean it's going to stand up in court. And without laying out legal theory, I guarantee you the above wouldn't stand in a court of law. First and foremost it's not a proper warning, because the average person neither reads nor understands an End-User License Agreement, AND to enforce this agreement would be inequitable.

Sony needs to do a big mea culpa here.

People believe all the Net urban legends, no matter WHAT Sony's position, some people will still believe the CDs are going to mess up their machines. Hell, Sony should remove all copy protection from their discs and give away MP3s for free on their site to combat the negative publicity.

But in the closed foxhole, er, I mean boardroom, these guys live in, they don't understand the breadth of their faux pas.

Thank you, Mr. Lefsetz. Couldn't have said it better myself. Do you see how evil this license agreement is? It's very much like my old recording contract - "we own you, we own everything you do, we don't have to pay you unless we feel like it, really, and you have no legal recourse, so do what we tell you, you little peon." Sony BMG is now treating its customers worse than its artists. Nice job, dumbasses!

Now, it's one thing when a nobody like me, even if I am a disgruntled former recording artist, bitches about this stuff. It's entirely another when music biz insiders start flipping out about it. Even Phil, who is almost as much a "biz guy" as anyone else in the biz, is appalled by this. He's much younger and way hipper than the usual dinosaurs there, so he is rolling with the changes effectively, but the big labels just keep on burying themselves, and their list of friends is running very very short.

Their whole business model is evaporating. Now that anyone with a PC and a good ear can record perfectly acceptable-sounding, if not super-high-quality pro-studio sounding music at home on their own for very little money, artists don't need a record company to drop $500,000 on recording an album (and never really did, as you can do a kickass top-shelf recording and mixing job for under $100K anyway) anymore. With the internet and a bit of hard legwork, anyone with some decent tunes can get those tunes out for next to no expense, and build enough of an audience to make a reasonable living off their music, over time. So the labels, which at one end "owned" the artists by lending them money, and at the other end owned the different distribution media (vinyl, tapes, CDs) that they would sell to the audience, now have little to offer either the artists or the audience. Which means they are dead meat, since they made all their money on selling the vinyl, tapes and CDs, the physical media... and those are going to be superseded by all online delivery.

The only thing they have left is the "marketing clout" to publicize an artist all over the world to millions of people - and that's not to be downplayed, they are really the only organizations that can make someone famous in a hurry. However, I'm betting most bands these days are wised up, and would rather build an audience that really loves their stuff in a more organic way.

Anyway, so I wrote Sony a letter, and I would encourage you to do the same. Here's my letter:

Dear Sony,

Boy oh boy, you guys have really screwed it up with this DRM malware installation thing. What I really can't believe is how arrogant and unresponsive you're being about it all. You are damaging people's computers and making them vulnerable to hackers and viruses, and you really just don't seem to care, do you.

You are chiseling the imprint in your corporate headstone by doing what you're doing. Nobody wants your DRM-infested music. Nobody wants your silly DRM-loaded proprietary-formatted music players. You have really, really offended a lot of people, and it's going to hurt you.

Everyone I know who likes music at all is appalled by your arrogance, selfishness and foolishness in your greedy attempt to control every aspect of your customers's listening experience. I'm sorry, but you have lost control of the "vinyl," and you're not going to get it back no matter what you do. Hard media like CDs are going the way of the dodo, and you will not be able to recover control in the rapidly-expanding world of online storage and file transfer. I know many people have been telling you this, and you've been ignoring them for what, about 8 years now? Too bad you can't act like a company should, and adapt to a new set of business model requirements, instead of attempting to maintain your old business model which simply does not work anymore.

I have been a loyal Sony customer on the hardware side for more than 20 years now; I have at least $15,000 worth of Sony hardware just in my living room entertainment center, and when I used CRT monitors for my Apple Macs, Sony was the only brand I'd buy. I have been extremely happy with all my Sony hardware, which has always been of exceptional quality and reliability.

Lots of my old favorite music artists were and are still on Sony labels. BMG, not so much, but I know I have stuff from them.

I've explained my prior history with you, because I want you to understand very very clearly what I'm saying with the rest of this email.

I'm really quite offended by your actions with this DRM malware. You are endangering peoples's personal computers and any information thereon, for no good reason and really out of your own fear and greed. Therefore, from this point onwards, I will no longer buy anything that Sony or BMG sells. Until you abandon your arrogant and futile attempts to keep hold of the shreds of your market, I will not buy anything you make, even though I've been a loyal customer, and I will urge everyone I know to also stop buying your products of all kinds.

I was going to buy a beautiful Sony large-screen TV for Christmas this year, but instead I'm going to get the Mitsubishi. You lose a $9,000 sale.

I'm kind of sad about this, but you've gone too far.

I'm sending a copy of this email to your hardware division as well, with the recommendation that the Sony Corporation sell off all its content divisions immediately, so they can get back to making awesome electronic hardware, without your DRM demands destroying their business.

Good luck, folks... you're gonna need it.

Jeff Zugale
Los Angeles, CA

Actually, I can't boycott everything they make, because I work in the game biz and they make Playstation 2s and PSPs, so that part of their business I'll support under some protest. At least the game side is not connected at all to the music side, so I'm cool with that. I would urge all of you to do the same, just stop buying anything that Sony or BMG puts out. That won't be easy, but even if you can cut your Sony BMG purchases in half, they will feel it.

Oh, and I'm exaggerating a bit about the big-screen TV. I was gonna buy one next year, but not the $9000 one. Even so, I won't buy a Sony big-screen now. A little exaggeration isn't going to hurt them. :)

So there ya go. I probably won't comment much more about this, as I consider the subject pretty much closed. The huge music conglomerates are dying an ugly death, and it's their own damn fault. Too bad for them.

Meanwhile, this weekend was most excellent. The Girl and I spent pretty much the whole weekend together at my place. The cats are cool with her little dog, which I'm very happy about, I was worried they might not get along. We did a lot of running around and shopping, got some new motorcycle helmets which are awesome, and I took The Girl - actually, I need to upgrade that to "The Girlfriend" - for a couple of rides on the bike. She was only moderately terrified, so I'd count that as success! I also bought the final pieces of the recording studio (a good vocal mic and some powered monitor speakers) so that's all set now. We had some nice lunch and dinner out and about, went to a party, watched football, and really just had a nice long weekend together. I haven't done that in a very long time. I hope there will be many more such weekends. :)

So, now looking forward to this weekend for my 40th Birthday Party. Yes, that's right, I'm turning FORTY on Sunday 11/20. Can you believe it? I sure can't. I don't feel 40 at all, except for the thinning hair... Most guys my age have a very different life from mine. I guess I've managed to extend my adolescence pretty effectively! :)

The party will be at the Westwood Brewing Company, which is at 1097 Glendon Ave (cross st. Kinross) in Westwood (where UCLA is), starting around 7:30-8 this Saturday, 11/19. If you're in the area, come on down! I have to set up and send out an evite, I guess. I'll get on that momentarily.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. But this really has been a good year... a really good year. Everything has changed so much for me. Maybe that whole "life begins at 40" thing is really true. I guess I'll find out soon enough... :)

ChrisVille Blurb:

  So, okay. I have a new blog, and its primary function is to promote... (more)

Link of the Week:

Latest and Greatest from Chris W.! Anti-corporate snark, on a stick!