07 November 2010


This is Etch-A-Sketch Guy doing my daughter's name. Enjoy.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

23 October 2010

Blue Box

I just downloaded a Blue Box/Red Box app to my phone (an original Droid). For those too young to know, real Blue Boxes were used by phone phreaks such as Steve Wozniak (who made and sold them) to audibly trick pay phones into making free calls.

I doubt this app will still work. Technology has come a long way since the 70's. However, if I find a pay phone tomorrow, I will try it and report the results here.

14 October 2010

Why I Have an Orkut Account

As many of you know (because that's how you were directed to this post), I have a Facebook account. You can search for me over there. I actively update my status. I play the games. (That's right. I have a farm AND a Mafia!) I also have a Twitter account, and I tweet a lot. Sure, a lot of my tweets are retweets (and I will discuss ReTweet, the Android app, at a later date), but it's fun.

What many of you don't know is that I also have an account on Orkut. Wait.... do you even know what Orkut is? Well, let's go to the "official" Google description of their social network:

"orkut is an online community designed to make your social life more active and stimulating"

(source, http://www.orkut.com/Main#about.aspx)

Nice theory. But I only have four friends, so I am just not getting far there. Incidentally, all four of those friends are also my friends on Facebook. So that's not the reason.

A look at the demographics (http://www.orkut.com/Main#MembersAll) shows something different about Orkut. The largest populations of members are from Brazil and India. The United States rates a distant 3rd. So, perhaps a way to find a new audience for my ramblings (even though I only have four friends!)?

No, that's not it, either - although it is kind of interesting to see so many posts in Portuguese.

As I alluded to earlier in this post, Orkut is owned by that #2 site on the Internet, Google. Love them or hate that, you are foolish to ignore them. I don't know if Orkut is going to become the basis for the long-rumored GoogleMe "Facebook-killer" social network - in fact, I kind of doubt that it will - but I do suspect that Google will test some of their concepts there.

At least one Google Chrome extension that I use a lot - Social Translate (https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/giljlmclogpacbccpelmggfcjnickhhf) - was built so fools like me, who don't really speak Portuguese all that well, could read those Brazilian posts on Orkut. That extension works with Facebook and Twitter as well; it works with languages other than Portuguese, too (which is good for someone who has a LOT of Norwegian friends).

Google is also all about integration and single sign-in. Orkut was one of the first social networks to have a native app available in Android Market. Anyone who has ever gotten an Android-based phone know that, in order to activate the phone, a GMail account is required. Now, I already had a GMail account, so no worries. Many people signed up for GMail solely because they chose an Android phone. But now, you have a Google account. And that same Google account.... works with Orkut. And, I suspect it will also work with GoogleMe if and when it comes.

Incidentally, that same Google account also works with several other Google services, that I will write about in future postings.

My final reason for wanting Orkut - besides wanting to be ahead of the curve on GoogleMe, loving the single sign-on, not being able to ignore anything Google does - is that I am a social network junkie. I joined because I wanted to see why it had more than 100 million members - sure, that's 20% of Facebook, but itis more than Twitter, it's more than Friendster, it's more than LinkedIn - that is a huge critical mass. And I just couldn't ignore that.

Now, I will be adding a link to my Orkut profile to Blogger profile (another service that uses the Google account, by the way) soon after I post this article. Please, feel free to be my friend there, too!

Getting back to my roots

I originally started this blog not as a music-posting, aging-hipster, useless-knowledge wet dream, but rather, as a way to yammer on about ALL the stuff I love - yes, music, but also technology, social networking, curling, LoudMouth Golf pants...

Unfortunately for me, it became the former. And I went back and reread a lot of my posts, and they were terrible.

Tonight, I decided to fix that. Most of the old posts are gone. I kept some - not because they were good, but because they show us where we came from.

Starting tomorrow, I forge ahead with my original concept. Most of these little blogs will be done from my phone - it is a Motorola Milestone that Verizon Wireless insisted on calling a "Droid" - but not all of them.

Oh. And I will still be running the Facebook pages - John Daly's Pants, the other little one about the Norwegian Olympic Curling Team's Pants - and I'll be on Twitter - @redargyle - and I will be on all the other crudely-constructed social networks so you don't have to.

Which is to say I am also on Orkut.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

20 April 2010

The Tuesday Special - Songs You Didn't Know Were Covers

You know, a lot of songs that are or were very very popular are actually covers of somewhat obscure songs. Here, we will feature a few....

Elvis Presley was a great artist. And this song was very passionately performed by Jumpsuit Elvis.

But it wasn't his song. It was a song by an singer/songwriter named Mac Davis, who made the song a hit in his own right. And it's the first version I learned.

The Bangles hit it big with "Manic Monday" (which itself was a Prince cover - we will discuss Prince covers in a future post) (and we'll be coming back to the Bangles, too - most underrated band in history) They followed it with this very original song.....

....originally performed by Jules Shear, that is.

Linda Ronstadt made this song a huge hit in the 70s. And her signature growl in this song made it great....

....just like Buddy Holly had 20 years prior. Granted, Linda gave it more of a growl, but it was a cover, too!

OK, those of us that grew up in the 80s and hung out at the mall know this tune. And OK, I can admit it now. I LOVED this song. Still do.

And frankly, I think Tiffany did a more credible job on the song than Tommy James did. Which might be why few people realized at the time that it was a cover.

Tiffany was actually quite adept at covers. This one, however, was a bit of a sacrilege...

... given that it was the Beatles. Never mind that it was a relatively faithful cover. It was the Beatles, and you DON'T just cover the Beatles.

Isn't that right, Joe Cocker?

18 April 2010

Cover of the Day - Katy Perry - Electric Feel

Technically, I know, this isn't a video. It's a picture of Katy Perry with audio. Doesn't change the fact that this is a completely AWESOME cover of an interesting-at-best song by MGMT. And it proves the woman is talented.

16 April 2010

Tribute of the Day - CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above

I absolutely love this song. The song and video are an homage to a Toronto band (now defunct and the subject of a future post) called Death From Above 1979. Those familiar with their album covers know that the elephant masks in the middle of this video are a shout-out to DFA.

14 April 2010

The Greatness that is Petra Haden

Told ya!

Petra Haden, a triplet, used to be in a band called that dog with her sister Rachel. From her website, http://www.petrahadenmusic.com

"Petra was born into a musical family, one of the triplet daughters of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden. At age seven, after seeing Captain Kangaroo playing the violin on T.V., Petra decided to take up the instrument herself."

Petra wasn't really a vocalist in that dog. She was their violinist. She did do backing vocals, though. Here is a song from their 2nd album, Totally Crushed Out. Seek it out.

As a side project from that dog, Petra was also in a band called The Rentals. It was a project with some of the guys from Weezer. That was kind of a big hit, and ironically led to the end of that dog. This was their first single, and yes, that's Petra on violin.

Since the demise of that dog. Petra has performed with many other artists, like Beck, Mike Watt, and the Foo Fighters. She's also done a fair amount of solo work, as well as performance as part of a group called The Haden Triplets, with her sisters (and fellow triplets) Tanya and Rachel. Here they are, live, doing a cover (ha! funny for this blog, right?) of a Carter Family classic.

And here is Petra, doing what is probably her 2nd best known cover, live. This song is a Beach Boys classic.

Of course, she's best known for this!

13 April 2010

Cover of the Day - Selena Gomez - Cruella De Vil

I know, I know.... I've been bad at updating this thing. Sorry. I will give you a few covers today. We start with a Disney star covering a Disney classic.

02 April 2010

Cover of the Day - Daughtry - Poker Face

As those of you who know me well know, I am a HUUUUUGE fan of cover songs. So I will be frequently posting videos of covers. Here's the first....

31 March 2010


this means i can post from anywhere. poor fans.

Hi there

This is my blog.

There isn't much here right now.

That will change.

This blog will just be my random thoughts on what's on my mind, and nothing more. Or less.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3