Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I don't go out on New Years Eve

( #NewYearsEve #NYE #Party )

Here is a story I wrote "Gonzo-style" a few years ago and explains why I will never go out on New Years Eve again.

Having just re-read it, I think it is one of my better pieces.



Fear and Loathing when the Ball Drops

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seasons Greetings Joey Style (2010)

( #2011, #Resolutions )



Happy New Year my friends! This year feels like it went by quickly yet when I look back, 2010 has been a game changer in so many different way. So let’s all take a minute to stop and reflect what this year has brought us both good and bad.

[Changes in 2010]

When you wake up every morning, do your routine, go to work, come home, and then go to sleep - ddoes it feel like anything is ever different? Things change, but it is more of the same... isn’t it? Not so much. The status-quo that has been in place for the last few years got shattered by a few things (I am going to do this chronologically):
  • My nephew being born: I don’t see him nearly as much as I should and we can slot that into 2011 goals, but Luke being born changed the dynamic of my immediate family. My sister has come into her own and has matured in a very graceful way. Cobra Commander has been demonstrating admirable nurturing and protective personality traits . My mother is fully embracing her roll as “Nonna”, and even Mean Joe is starting to warm up to the idea of being Grandpa Meanness. The coming year is going to be a sweet spot for me when his mother asks me “where did he learn that word?”
  • Graduate School: It feels good to read some of last year’s goals and see that I am accomplishing them. I have my opinions about the education system, but finding WGU has been rewarding and immediately helpful in my career. I needed to do this to remain mentally fit.
  • Mean Joe’s Heart Procedure: For the outside reader - my father needed a triple by-pass this year. I was never worried that he would die, whether he had too much mean left in him or knowing that my cousin Dr. J was overseeing the whole thing - I knew he would be okay. Even though I was confident that he would survive to continue to terrorize 9th Street, his weeks in the hospital reinforced bonds with my parents and family.
There were tons of other milestones/issues this year: other family medical dramas, re-connecting with old friends (and learning to forgive and forget), more babies (Congrats to Mike, Laurie, Alex, Paul, and Aimee), becoming a semi-professional blogger... this could go on for a while....

I tend to get obsessive about how I spend my time (especially after 13 hour work days), who I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while, and worry about not doing things I feel like I should be doing, but in the end it all levels out. While there is always room for improvement, I felt like I did the best I could in most cases.

[Looking at 2011]

With school set at a decent pace and my semi-professional writing career making some progress, the thing I need to work on 2011 is my weight. If you have read this blog since the start or have known me for a while, you know I managed to knock out about 170lbs at the peak of my health kick and while I haven’t gained it all back, I have been slowly gaining weight the last 4 years regardless of my work out schedule and dietary efforts. Its time to get back on the wagon again...hardcore. Fingers crossed.

Babies for Joey and Allison in 2011? Probably, if not this year, early 2012. No point in being coy about this, I am not getting any younger and neither is my lovely wife. We have a plan in place (to everyone who says you can’t have a plan - be quiet, because you can) and now we just have to see how fate treats us.

My thoughts on everything else? If you haven’t been reading the blog weekly, you should because I cover it all there, but to summarize right now I would say focus on job creation. I had a conversation with a manager this year who said America is country of innovation and all the jobs should focus on that. While I agreed with the concept, I don’t think America is made up of 100% innovation labor force, hell I don’t think it is 20%. How do we employee the rest of the country long term? Personally, I think American companies should take advantage of the lower labor costs and refocus on domestic manufacturing while keeping the unions in check (sorry union supporters, they do kill companies over time).

For everything else - we should continue with green ideologies when they make sense, try to get away from our dependence on foreign oil, and focus on reducing national and personal debt. Politically - all of these jokers are the same; as long as we allow lobbyist groups to set direction for special interest organizations we will continue to be managed by an enormous corporation instead of a government. I will add - get involved if you don’t like what is happening to your country, town, city, village, school, sandwich shop...

[Closing Thoughts]

Once again, I respectfully request leeway from anyone that I missed in my year end thoughts and thanks. As always this is the trickiest part because people tend to get pissed when I leave them out. With that in mind - here we go...

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, I want to thank my parents, wife, and expanding family for being a centering force. Genetics is a hell of thing because as much as I cursed my parents in high school, I become more like them (or see wisdom in their “bad decisions”) as I get older.

I can’t do one of these without saying thanks to my cousin Tony because I talk to him every day and whenever I get freaked out about life (especially having kids), he puts me in the right frame of mind (unlike Slobbert).

For the friends in my life, I am thankful for you and for the experiences you collectively share. For the friends that have stepped back, I am thankful for that too because time is not infinite. Not to sound like a brown-noser, but I would like to thank my boss because even though work gets nutty - I feel like I can say what I need get the right advice, attention, and focus.

In conclusion, don’t bullshit yourself. Only you know what you are capable of doing, so if you are sitting around complaining that you need to get something done, or want to start something... Do it. If you can’t - get some help and get it done. I wish you get everything you wish for yourself this coming year.

Smell you later,
~ Joey



Previous Editions: 2009 Seasons Greetings

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phillyist: NYE Recommendations

( @Phillyist, #Booze, #NewYearsEve )

The Phillyist was kind enough to publish a video I put together with Mario DelMonte at Kress Wine. He gives me his recommendations on sparkling wines and champagne.

Phillyist: NYE Drink Recommendations

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 07

( #SundayLeftovers, #Christmas, #Confetti )



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! I don't know you, but the Holiday season really tired me out. We hosted Christmas Eve and had about 26 people over for a very festive evening. Christmas involved the typical run around, and today... it is snowing. Since it seems we are getting snowed in, I plan on getting ahead on some writing, school work, and work work, but not before we open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]

A little change of format this week, here is a video from Christmas Eve - about a perfect picture as it gets...


Credit: Amber deLaurentis, Tom Cleary, and Jack deLaurentis

[Recipe of the Week: Christmas Roast Pork]

This roast pork was good enough for Christmas Eve, it is good enough for the recipe of the week.

INGREDIENTS:
13 lb pork roast (you can go larger or smaller based on your needs)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 bottle of white wine
30 oz of chicken stock
20 oz of vegetable stock
1/2 stalk of celery (cleaned, but whole sticks)
5 carrots (skinned)
4 medium white onions (de-skinned and cut in halves)
salt
pepper
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a bowl (or pestle), dice up (or mash) garlic into a paste. Add olive oil and mix together. Then add thyme, oregano (and other seasonings you like, but I don't like to over-season pork). Rub the mixture all over the pork. Coat with salt and fresh pepper.

2. Get a nice roasting pan and place the pork in it (fat side up so it is self-basting the entire time). Throw in the onions, celery, carrots, and bay leaves. Add the wine and chicken stock. Place in oven. Set timer for 6 hours.

3. At the three hour mark check the pork and see if you need to add more liquids. This is where I add in the vegetable stock and more wine (if you want).

4. At the 6 hour mark, check with meat thermometer - put in the fattest section, centered, the pork should read around 160.

5. Take the pork out and let it cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

GRAVY:

1. Get a strainer and strain all the lovely juices into a large pot (I also get a potato masher and beat up whats left of the vegetables to get out all the flavor).
2. Put the pot on the stove and put on low-medium heat.
3. Serve when needed

NOTE: I don't thicken the gravy with flour, you are free to do so if you wish.

[DIY of the Week: Confetti Bomb]

For your new years celebrations...

MATERIALS:

Film canisters. The clear kind work much better than the black kind. Each one will be filled with confetti and blown open by air pressure. They will get squished or bent after a few explosions, so you'll need a few of them.

A can of compressed air. The kind with cold liquid propellant used to clean electronics and computer keyboards, available at any office supply store. You'll get better results from a brand new can than from an old one. Get a can with a straw on the nozzle.

Confetti. Empty out the reservoir of a three-hole punch, or cut up some shredded paper with a pair of scissors. If you're a Mr. Moneybags, buy it in bulk at the party store.

DIRECTIONS:
Directions - Confetti Bomb

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

Okay its time to heat up some real leftovers and make some lunch. If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bob Dylan: Must Be Santa

( #BobDylan, #Christmas )

Not sure if I shared this somewhere last year, but it amuses me. Dylan's hair is scary.

Make Your Own 3D Glasses

( #3D, #TV, #Christmas)

Did you get a brand new 3D TV for Christmas?

Need another set of glasses? Go buy some red and blue cellophane and print out the following directions.

>>CLICK HERE<<

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bathroom Remodel - Episode 05

( @misterdoneright, #bathroom, #remodel )

Phase 2 is coming to an end as the walls are back up and the floors are getting finished. This episode is mostly music because the guys were working and not talking.

Starman 2?

( #JeffBridges, #Starman )

Starman was one of those great scifi moves from the 80's that got overlooked over time. Having recently watched it again, I think it holds up pretty damn well. Jeff Bridges recently mentioned he would like to do a sequel, and I would like to see that...

Dealing with Zombies at Christmas

( #Zombies, #Christmas )

My wife spotted this useful video last night....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TwitterFeed Test

( #Test, #Feed )

Not real content readers, disregard :-)

Terrible Toys: Ooze Super Soaker

( #WTF, #Toys, #Wrong )

I am not even going to comment on this...

Terrible Toys: Baby Laughs A-Lot

( #WTF, #Toys, #Creepy )

I was wrong - this is actually the creepiest toy commercial ever. Who would give this to their kid?

Terrible Toys: Milky the Milking Cow

( #WTF, #Milky, #Creepy )

This might be the crappiest toy ever....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bathroom Remodel - Days 4-6

( @Misterdoneright, #bathroom, #remodel )

We took a few days off from publishing video, but here are days 4-6.

Monday, December 20, 2010

ShopVac

( #ShopVac, #JonathanCoulton )

This is how I have been feeling the last few weeks...
PS: I really dig the the typography on this.

The Assassination of Yogi Bear

( #YogiBear, #BooBoo )

This clip has been making its way around the internet the last two weeks, for those who have not seen it or feel that making a bad CGI movie about a bad cartoon somehow ruined the memories of your childhood.... watch this, you should feel much better...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 06

( #SundayLeftovers, #Megafaun, #Hippos )



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! If you have been reading the blog this week you know we have featured many Joey-created videos, in the spirit of this past week's video content, today's leftovers will be video heavy. If you are wondering if we are doing a Christmas theme, the answer is no (but the recipe of the week is). Don't worry, I do have some Christmas content scheduled (so keep checking back). With that said, lets open the fridge and see what's leftover...

[The Back Window]





CREDIT: MegaFaun - Volunteers

[Recipe of the Week: Egg Nog]

This is one that I push every year right before Christmas, courtesy of Alton Brown



Ingredients:

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

[DIY of the Week: Folding a Fitted Sheet]

While this isn't technically a "DIY" it is really useful and since this is Xmas and DIYs are usually messy, this is the opposite....



[Video of the Week]



While this week's video is pretty interesting, the dude's laugh is one of the worst I have ever heard.

[Surviving in Space]

If you are like me, you have monthly recurring nightmares about being sucked out of a spaceship and into the vacuum of space. No? I shared too much. Well some crazy ass scientists decided to debunk the movies and TV shows that feature this (skip to like 8:30)...



Looks like a person would stay awake for up to 11 seconds and then would have about 90 seconds to be recovered/revived before death. Your blood would not boil and you would not insta-freeze. There is an important thing to consider: holding your breath during decompression is a terrible idea as your lungs would probably explode. Read more here.

[Conclusion]

Enough - I have Christmas shopping and a bathroom demo to attend to. If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kress Wine: Scotch Tasting Video

( @kresswine, #scotch, #video )

Another Joey produced video this week on the blog... I spent a few minutes at Kress Wine today and figured I would gather some info about this scotch they are selling...



You can learn more about the scotch and their store by checking out their blog: Kress Wine and their website

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bathroom Remodel - Day 03

(@Misterdoneright, #Bathroom, #Remodel )

Today was the third day of construction for the bathroom remodel. It may not look like much has changed, but the plumbing is all custom and came a long way today. Expect to see some big changes tomorrow and Monday.

Every Zombie Kill from Walking Dead

( #Zombies, #WalkingDead )

I love people who have the freetime to do this stuff...

Music Review: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - III/IV

( @TheRyanAdams, #Cardinals, #RyanAdams )



I purposely held off on reviewing this album for over a full week. I have been living with it in my car, MP3 player, and home media centers. I don't know if it was intentional, but I got the album on Saturday Dec 4th. It has been in constant rotation in the Lombardi household.

Now that I am comfortable with the songs, here is my take:

III
  1. Breakdown into the Resolve: The album opens up with the crunchy Ryan Adams that I love. I thought Rock N Roll was a great album so I was really happy hearing "Breakdown". The chorus has an instantly catchy hook. Excellent tune. Here is a live clip:
  2. Dear Candy: Adams slows it down for the 2nd tune on III, but his vocals and the Cardinals backgrounds make the song pop.
  3. Wasteland: The song starts a little off-tune clunky (intentionally), a technique that Adams employees a few times on this project. After the rough start, he opens the song wide with a massive chorus.
  4. Ultraviolet Light: The Cardinals have revisited the concepts of light and darkness several times in their body of work—all of them are excellent and this tune is a fine example. Some reviewers have mentioned a Smiths homage, I can hear it, but it isn't overt, this song sounds like a logical successor to some of the tunes on Love is Hell
  5. Stop Playing with my Heart: Straight up band-focused rock and roll tune. Simple and easy to listen to.
  6. Lovely and Blue: In the week listening to the album, this song has become my favorite on III. I love the vocals, the straight rock, and Popper's background vocals.
  7. Happy Birthday: Sad Bastard Ryan Adams at his finest.
  8. Kisses Start Wars: Adams and the Cardinals exploring some of their punk preferences. This song doesn't go as deep into the punk as some of the tunes on IV and the chorus softens up with operatic vocals, providing an interesting balance.
  9. The Crystal Skull: This is another favorite because I like when Adams tells a story (like Strawberry Wine). When I first saw the track list, I thought it was going to be some riff on the last Indiana Jones movie (its not that far fetched).
  10. Users: This tune has very 80s vibe musically (which is surprisingly welcome for me). Lyrically, the song has a darker theme, but isn't that the best when the masses are mindlessly singing along to some crazy shit?
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I really liked "III": It has three songs that I would put in my Ryan Adams "best of" playlist. I like the pacing, production, and overall effect that the album gives off. I don't know if it was intentional, but I feel like the 10 songs tell an overall story in a subtle way. I read a review last week that said this was the better of the two since it was so "cohesive", and while I agree with the reviewers comments, IV's chaos really peaked my interest....

IV:
  1. No: Like Breakdown on III, IV starts off with a delightfully crunchy song. No is a little more bleak, but the repetitive chorus "Something is wrong" is somehow bright and sucks you into sing-a-long mode.
  2. Numbers: This song is nuts and I love it. Starts off full punk and then slows down and gets really melodic. I have mentioned Catherine Popper being my long standing music crush, so I really liked that she was featured vocally on the song (she has an awesome salt and honey voice - kinda like when Sheryl Crow was still Sheryl Crow).
  3. Gracie: This one also has a twist of 80s but more wistful, so it isn't too sweet. This song could get overlooked in the mayhem of IV, but don't because it is a gem.
  4. Ice-Breakers: Heavy rock/punk tune. Starts off with a bit of stank, but mixes in a little sweetness during the chorus with great harmonies with the Cardinals to make it go down easier.
  5. Sewers at the Bottom of the Wishing Well: This is another great Cardinal showpiece where Adams steps back and lets the band shine (background vocals and musically)
  6. Typecast: Who doesn't love Ryan Adam duets with Norah Jones? Great analogies in the song; clever writing that demonstrates Adams lyrical prowess. The binary stars line is fucking brilliant.
  7. Star Wars: I thought this song was going to be about the movies (who knows, maybe it is, no direct references that I picked out), but it wasn't anything I was expecting... it starts of straight pop-rock and then breaks down into echoing chant about star wars. This song is random, light, and totally enjoyable.
  8. My Favorite Song: A little slower, this song allows the listener to catch their breath. It kind of has a Replacements vibe to it, but with more polish. Yet another tune that has excellent harmonies with the rest of the band.
  9. P.S.: Straight up rock anthem. Bright mixed with classic Adams lament.
  10. Death and Rats: Crazy title where you would expect something hard, but this tune is soft and down right romantic.
  11. Kill the Lights: IV has a fitting end as it incorporates a few running themes both lyrically and musically: Yet another lights reference, it has that stanky crunch start, keeps the rock pumping, and allows the whole Cardinals band to shine. A very solid way to end this effort
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I love the randomness of IV. I like the sounds and themes explored. While III might be an easier pill to swallow for normal music fans, Cardinal fans will appreciate Adams exposing his eclectic tastes—I personally feel that is when he is his most brilliant.

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a Ryan Adams album and I am fan: so there is no point in bullshitting you with half-hearted critiques. By taking you through each song, I hope I can lend you some of my enthusiasm for a musician/band that I think is one of best of the current generation. This album proves that Ryan and his associates never half-ass the musical process by writing the same fluff over and over. Every album is completely different and I respect and appreciate that because it is not the safe thing to do.

You can listen to a full stream of the album on Paxam (not sure how long it will be up)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bathroom Remodel - Day 02

( @misterdoneright, #Bathroom, #Remodel )

Here is the 2nd day of demo in my tiny bathroom...



Yes, it is Ryan Adams again, I am basically going to use songs from III/IV for the whole project unless I get note to take it out.

Jack Black and Jason Segel - Little Drummer Boy

( #JackBlack, #JasonSegel, #Christmas )

My wife found this and passed it my way - unless I am missing something, there isn't a comedy aspect to this duet....


While it was good, but it still isn't as good as the original duet...



Just watch out for Bing - he might beat you with a sack of oranges ;-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bathroom Remodel - Day 01

( #Bathroom, #Remodel )

Since I am a glutton for punishment, me and the wife decided to get our tiny master bathroom ripped out 2 weeks before Christmas. Today was the start of the fun... demo....



PS: In case you are wondering that is Ryan Adams - a new song off of his new III/IV album.

Another "Best of"...

( #AquariumDrunkard, #Music )

I came across another "best of" article that I had to share with you. This time, it wasn't a list, just a song the author thought was "one of the best of the year".

>> Click here to read the very short article <<

Ok - here is the song (found on youtube):



Do you think this should be on anybody's "best of" list? I usually like AD's selections of music, and yes they do cover this type of shit (garbled singing, looping effects, general drone) but they also cover established musicians. Overall they do a good job of hitting all the bases, and I don't have an issue with coverage of this song, but to say it is the best of anything is something that I just don't understand.

Am I wrong on this readers? Let me know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Favor: Christmas Music Contest

( #Christmas #Music )

Hi readers - I need to ask you a favor - my friends Amber and Tom have an original holiday song in the top ten of the The Next Holiday Classic. Please go to the website (http://thenextholidayclassic.com/) and vote for "All Year Long" which can be hear in the player below or on the site.

I have listened to all of them and I honestly think Amber & Tom's song is one of the best in terms of originality, sound, and quality (but you can vote for three in case you like some other ones too)



CREDIT: Amber deLaurentis & Tom Cleary

Grad School

( #Graduate, #School, #Funny )

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 05

(#SundayLeftovers, #SteveMartin, #MulledWine )



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we contradict ourselves by presenting a classic Christmas drink paired with a song for atheists - I can't wait either, so lets open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Weimar



CREDIT: Paul Westerberg - You're Getting Married (Demo)

[Recipe of the Week: Mulled Wine]

Courtesy of Jaime Oliver
I can see my Italian relatives clutching their chests over this...



INGREDIENTS:
2 clementines
peel of 1 lemon
peel of 1 lime
250g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole vanilla pod, halved
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine

DIRECTIONS:
Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler.

Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg.

Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. This creates a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

[DIY of the Week: Charging Nightstand]

I am already looking for some wood to do this project, it is exactly what I need.

What you need:
A nightstand
A router (of the hardware store variety)
A jigsaw
Some sandpaper
Paint
Plastic
A power strip
A CF bulb
The "guts" of a clamp lamp

Directions:
INSTRUCTABLES: Night Stand Charging Station

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

Okay that is all for this week. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Traffic in 2010 (map)

( #Traffic, #OrderedChaos, #Blog )

I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to my readers for allowing me to break least year's traffic record by about 300%. The entire "Joey Lombardi" brand of websites brought in about 25,000 unique visitors this year (and traffic the last few months has increased by 30%) Not bad for a little vanity website.

Last year you helped me achieve my goal of having at least one person in every state in the US look at the blog... but I haven't been paying attention to the world view. Check it out:



Its kind of insane for me to think so many people across the world have checked out my crazy blog. I hope it serves a purpose and people are getting something out of it, it has certainly made me happy to have an outlet for my thoughts.

This is (hopefully) just the beginning.
- Joey

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Shorpy: Philadelphia 1900

( #Philly, #oldpictures )

Shorpy posted another cool picture of Philadelphia in the early 1900s (1900 to be exact).


Broad Street Railroad Station

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Haitian Relief: Wynn Walent

( #WynnWalent, #Haiti, #Charity )

During my surfing this weekend, I came across a fellow named Wynn Walnet who was a singer/songwriter, but gave up his career to donate his time and services in Haiti.

While in Haiti, Walnet recorded a few songs one night with a friend on a simple recorder. The friend sent if off to some other buddies to clean up and now they are offering it for free/pay what you want via this website. Any money you want to donate will be handed directly over to Haitians who need simple things like medicine, soap, and even funeral services.

Go to the website, donate a few bucks and listen to some decent singer/songwriter style music. Here is a sample:

Monday, December 06, 2010

Phillyist: Top 5 Jersey Restaurants near PATCO

( #Phillyist, #Food, #SouthJersey )

Phillyist published another Top 5 list I whipped up. The point was to hit a few different genres of food so don't put too much credence in the order.

Phillyist: Top 5 South Jersey Restaurants near PATCO

Kindle Review

( #Kindle, #Amazon )



I bought a Kindle over the weekend. I have been thinking about buying one for about two months. I went back and forth between Amazon, Barnes and Noble (Nook), and Apple (iPad) before I just said screw it and went with the Kindle.

The reason is the e-ink. I thought it would be easier on the eyes and it is. On Friday night I bought the device at Target. I opted for the $189.00 version because it has free 3G connections for downloads and for things like Wikipedia. I thought that would come in handy. Once I turned it on, I was immediately impressed with the screen, size, and weight of the device. It is super light and small, but doesn't feel cheap. It was very simple to connect to Amazon and once I did, I purchased and downloaded my first book which took a few seconds to download.

The book is 600 pages in paperback form and I read it in less than 24 hours. My eyes feel great. I love not having to turn pages, the Kindle remembers the last spot you read, so no more bookmarks, and it even highlights quotes people thinks are memorable (but it can be turned off). I spent the morning searching Amazon's free selection of classic books. I downloaded a few I own in hardcover that I haven't read in a long time. I can see impulse book shopping becoming very dangerous for me this year.

The Kindle has a built in web browser, but I didn't mess around with it too much yet. I went to this website and it rendered well for black and white, but I wish Amazon would have a Google Reader applet for RSS feeds, but they are trying to get people to spend 2 bucks a month on their own bullshit RSS feed subscription plan, so I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

My initial thoughts are that I am really impressed with the device, it is easy on the eyes, and I am very worried about my wallet since they make it so easy to download books.

Book Reviews: Zombie Fiction

( #Zombies, #Feed, #RiseAgain )


Image Credit: Reddit

Sad that Walking Dead is over? I got something that can hold you over. Long time readers of this blog will know I love me my zombies. Over the year, I read at least four zombie books (that I can remember), so I thought I would do some quick reviews in case you had an itch to read prose about shambling corpses.

Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
(also: Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile)

This novel and its sequel (Beyond Exile) were written by an active solider serving in Iraq (I know that the first one was basically written overseas). This gives a unique perspective to the zombie survival story - the main character knows how to survive, sees the issue coming and prepares. Another interesting element is that the book is written in a first-person journal format which has hand-written notes, typos, and drawings. While the character is prepared, the need for supplies and the growing numbers surrounding his house cause him to work out an escape plan.

Throughout both books the protagonist (who isn’t named) finds survivors (both civilian and military) and becomes the leader of the typical rag-tag group. The book does an excellent job depicting action and laying out strategy. One of the criticisms I have of Bourne is that he writes the main character with “Superman Syndrome” - he puts him in crazy situations and then pulls the save out of his ass every time (think Bruce Willis in Die Hard). The technique is fine once or twice, but over two books it spreads thin.

There is a third book planned for the series and it looks to be leading to some hardcore military operations which I am thinking is going to be a turn off for me. But I will stick with the series because I want to see how Bourne ends his story.

Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Rise Again follows the typical zombie format with a few subtle changes. The initial infection is airborne causing most people to lose their minds and run until they fall over dead (obviously some people don't get infected). As a small town piles up with dead bodies, they start to reanimate. The main character, Dani, is a female war vet and also the sheriff of a small town dealing with the dead. The character is flawed and not immediately like-able.

This throws the pacing of the book off the first few chapters until the reader starts to get into Dani’s head and learns to sympathize with her. The driving point in this book is that the character is trying to survive the zombies and collapse of society while trying to find her sister. Unlike Bourne’s book, Dani’s action has personal consequences which adds to the tension.

While the book starts off slow, it has one of the better endings of zombie fiction I have read lately.

Feed by Mira Grant

This zombie book is set 30 years into the future. The dead rise due to a combination of two vaccines and the population of the world has learned to live around the problem. The two main characters of the book were born after the initial outbreak and have never known a world without the zombie threat. They grow up to be fringe bloggers doing dangerous things to get more traffic to their news network (it is more complicated than that but I don’t want to give away too much back story).

Author Mira Grant seems to have a background in virology and thankfully spends time setting up the rules of her zombie universe. She treats the zombies less like rotting meat puppets and more like walking viruses. The zombies have a purpose: to continue to spread the virus and that plays out in a few different scenarios in the book.

The zombies are not the only major plot point in the book, they are sort of a perpetual threat in the background, but there is another mystery driving the plot of the book (which seems to be setting up sequels). While this split focus was a distraction in some ways, it also made the book an easier read. The characters are not as one dimensional as most zombie fiction because survival is not the only driving plot point.

I just finished the book last night and I liked it - I thought the ending was a bit of a clusterfuck considering Grant is setting up sequels and it is easy to pick out the big villians, but overall Feed was a well developed zombie book with excellent universe building. Because of that I am interested in the 2nd book (looks to be called “Blackout”).

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 04

( #SundayLeftovers, #TheCardinals, #CornBread)



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This past week was pretty prolific on the blog and at the Phillyist, and I am hoping to keep that momentum going until the end of the year. With that said, lets open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Road to Ruin


CREDIT: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Numbers

[TIP: Your House]

I just read an article on MSNBC that basically says your house gets all kinds of funky in the winter since it is sealed up. You can read the article, but basically open your windows up for 10 minutes in your bedroom before you go to bed (even if it is cold) and also when you wake up to let in fresh oxygen. Also - change your filters!

[Recipe of the Week: JalapeƱo Corn Bread ]

CREDIT: Kitchen Daily/Mark Samuelsson
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 jalapenos, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, chili powder, ginger powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, honey, eggs. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture; stir just until moist (batter will look slightly lumpy). Fold in the jalapenos.

Spoon batter into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with butter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Serve warm. If you'd like, drizzle with extra honey for a sweeter cornbread.

[DIY of the Week: Car Laptop Tray]

On the go and need your laptop? How about turning one of your cop holders into a laptop stand?

MDPUB: Car Laptop Tray

[Video of the Week]

Fake video on surviving a nuclear attack :-)

Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse from Nathaniel Lindsay on Vimeo.


[Conclusion]

I got a few early Christmas gifts the last few days, a Kindle and Ryan Adams' III/IV, so I think I will bust out a few reviews some time this week. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fruit Brute?

( #Cereal, #FruitBrute, #YummyMummy )

In a follow-up to today's earlier Sir Grapefellow post, it seems General Mills had a 4th Monster in their Count Chocula/Frankenberry/BooBerry line-up... Fruit Brute.



WHAT THE HELL DOES THE COUNT SAY? "Fruit on you?"



Fruit Brute was kind of annoying, and it seems the formula got turned into... Yummy Mummy





Yummy Mummy kinda sucked more actually. I take Werewolf over Mummy any day of the week.

Sir Grapefellow Cereal

Yesterday, recording artist Ryan Adams ( @TheRyanAdams ) posted a picture of old forgotten breakfast cereal on his facebook. One called "Sir Grapefellow" caught my attention - I thought it was fake. I was wrong:



I did some digging, looks like it came out in 1972, a little before my time, not sure when it was discontinued, but it makes me sad that they don't make crazed fighter pilot cereal anymore.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Jack White Bitch-Slaps Stupid Fans

( #JackWhite, #Stupid, #Fanboys )

This has been making the blog rounds the last few days, but I would be doing my readers a disservice if I did not report on a musician actually making sense and telling the fans to shut the hell up.

Fans of Jack White's Third Man Records have been complaining about poachers going into the store, buying the limited press vinyls and then selling them on ebay at massive mark-ups. White had this to say:
"We sell a Wanda Jackson split record for 10 bucks, the eBay flipper turns around and sells it for 300," White wrote. "We're not in the business of making flippers a living. We're in the business of giving fans what they want.
He went on to say (pissing all the whiny fans off):
"We've done giveaways, contests, auctions, etc. a lot of different ways for vault members to get first crack at limited records when we don't have to ... seriously stop all of the whining, because what you communicate to us is that all of the trouble we go to isn't worth it because nothing we do will make you happy. we'll try to do back rubs door to door when we get a chance. sincerely the staff at third man records."
(Quotes courtesy of AntiQuiet).

So fans are pissed off that White is producing special edition records, giving them first shot at the product if they sign up for site membership, and then when they miss out on the early sale (since these assholes are all procrastinators) and the product sells out, they bitch because they paid $300 bucks for a record. I hope Jack White kicks them all in the balls (nipple twists for the ladies) with his Seven Nation Army.

Calls to Cut Smithsonian Funding Absurd

( #Smithsonian, #CatholicLeauge, #EricCantor )



If you haven't been following the news, the Smithsonian is taking a lot of heat by Christian organizations and (mostly Republican) politicians due to an exhibit called "Hide/Seek" which features explicit and controversial work by Gay/Lesbian artists. A certain video in particular seems to be drawing most of the attention. The clip by David Wojnarowicz features statues of Jesus covered with ants. Personally—I think the video is pointless and doesn't invoke anything (for me), so I don't think it is all that offensive (just not interesting).

Shield your Christian eyes, because I found the clip....



The video seems to have pissed off all the right people who are now saying that the Smithsonian is using public funding to offend Christians. I don't think any of the people working at the Smithsonian set out to offend any religious organization. Some people get offended at Michelangelo's David (Gasp! a penis), people get offended by crosses, hell, people get offended by toilet tissue commercials! The purpose of the Smithsonian is to collect this stuff, display it, and let you make up your own mind.

One of the critics (and think it was Bill Donohue of the Catholic League), said that the Government might as well fund professional wrestling since the American people enjoy that more than museums. While I enjoy ladder matches as much as the next guy, whoever said this quote is an ass—a politician or a person in a leadership position should be less concerned with controversial art and more concerned with people not going to museums and seeking knowledge.

I am starting to see another agenda: I keep reading that politicians (again mostly Republicans) and "interest groups" (usually Christian) calling for cutting funding on museums, libraries, and schools—places were people learn to actually think critically. They ask "who uses them" because they have their own private sources of information (that they can control to support their own end game). A less educated population is an easily controlled population (that sounds familiar) While there is a substantial economic problem facing the United States, if we cut sources of knowledge what the hell are we trying to save? What kind of country will we become?

Sure - let's have everything privately funded so nothing controversial and thought provoking is ever made accessible to the public. People will generate art and distribute via the internet which will only be accessible to people who can afford it (since the libraries will all be closed), until the companies that control the data lines decide that they don't want to be involved and block transmission. With so much information accessible, how the hell is this country headed for another cultural dark age?

Read More: The New American

PS: Step this back a few days, remember that article by Philadelphia Magazine about "kids getting stupider"? Read that article (and my response) in light of this information. Makes you wonder if there really is an agenda happening...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Google Reader App for Android

( #Android, #GoogleReader )

Haha! Google has finally released an official app for Google Reader on the Android Platform.

If you have a Android Phone, just use Google Goggles and capture this image (how sweet is this?)

Price of food going up

( #Economy, #Food )

What a shock, the price of food is going up around the holidays. I love how this "expect" tells people to check prices now so they can notice the increases - like that will stop them from buying sugar, eggs, and meat.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Phillyist: A Pleasant Afternoon Typewriting?

( #Philly, #Phillyist, #Type-In )

Phillyist published another short post by me today (I am on a roll this week). I saw a notice on Make this morning about a Philadelphia "Type-In", so I did a quick write up while drinking my tea and getting ready for work this morning.

Phillyist: A Pleasant Afternoon Typewriting?

Hosting a Documentary Screening = Terror Watch List

( #MarkRuffalo, #TSA, #Fraking )

Actor Mark Ruffalo is on the terror watch list because he hosted screenings of a documentary about "Frak Drilling" in Pennsylvania. Read that again. Host a documentary, end up on the terror watch list.
The Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security took notice of Ruffalo's activist campaign, he says, and placed him on a watch list. In an interview with GQ, Ruffalo said he found his new public infamy "pretty f**kin' funny."
Read the entire article - Yahoo Lookout

I know one thing, I sure as hell want to see what this documentary is all about...

Phillyist: Top 5 Comics of 2010

( #Philly, #Comics, #Phillyist, @ronmarz )

Phillyist is doing a Countdown to 2011 and asked the writers to start doing best of lists. Nobody covered comics, so I figured I would toss one out there...

Phillyist: Joey's Top 5 Comics of 2010

I stayed away from the typical spandex characters because I am honestly bored with them. I would have put Walking Dead on the list, but everybody knows about that now, so the title certainly doesn't need any more attention.

Smoking Pot Suppresses the Immune System?

( #Weed, #ImmuneSystem, #BoredtoDeath )

MSNBC just released an article stating that smoking marijuana suppresses the immune system. Is this right wing propaganda because weed has been inching closer to legalization or the straight up truth? Like most articles with eye catching headlines, it seems to be taking both sides of the argument:
Marijuana cannabinoids present us with a double edged sword," Nagarkatti said, because they can cause increased susceptibility to cancer and infections, but they can also open the door to opportunities to treat disorders where a suppressed immune system is beneficial, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and hepatitis.

What do you think potheads? Do you find yourself getting sicker? Or does "nature's medicine" keep you out of the hospitals?



I'll be honest, I just wrote about weed so I could post that clip of Bored to Death. I love Ted Danson on this show!