Sunday, May 27, 2012

A New Countdown for your Memorial Day enjoyment!

Hey all! Hope you are enjoying Memorial Day weekend! It's supposed to be nice where I live and I hope that it is nice where you live!

Enjoy this countdown. I think that if you're looking for punchy, you're going to find it in the first 3 or 4 intros. Just a little tip!

See you next week for a Flashback Countdown! We'll count down the top 10 from the first week of June 2001.

Here's this week's countdown:

Countdown #105

The Black Keys
fun. featuring Janelle Monae
Gotye featuring Kimbra
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
Neon Trees
Nine Inch Nails
Of Monsters and Men
Silversun Pickups

And here's the video I mention at one point!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We'll always have Countdowns...

Even though I'm adjusting to my new schedule at my new job and that's making it hard to do my other normal postings, I have enough experience making these podcasts that I can do them in one sitting if I put my mind to it.

I should have a new laptop sometime this summer and I think that's going to mean a renaissance for this blog. I will have email submissions, my external hard drive, and my recording location all in one place. It's going to be killer.

So. I made you a countdown. Hope you like it!

Countdown #104

The Black Keys
fun. featuring Janelle Monae
Gotye featuring Kimbra
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
Neon Trees
Of Monsters and Men
Silversun Pickups

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Countdown I almost forgot to finish making!

Yes it's true. I don't always knock countdowns out in one sitting. Usually it's more like two. Sometimes three sittings. This time it was three, but the third very nearly didn't happen at all! Thank goodness I have a routine where I look at the blogs before I go to bed (is that what people will do instead of "reading the paper" in 20 years? Is it actually what people mostly do now?) and that jarred the idea that I publish on Sunday mornings!

But here it is in all it's glory. 103.

Countdown #103

The Black Keys
fun. featuring Janelle Monae
Gotye featuring Kimbra
Linkin Park
Neon Trees
Of Monsters and Men
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Silversun Pickups

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Against Me!

So I'm listening to all my Against Me! albums today because I've been thinking a lot about Tom Gabel, the lead singer's announcement that he is transgender and will be living his life with his wife as a woman named Laura Jane Grace. I'm not sure if it'll be Laura Jane Grace Gabel or not, but either way, it's such a strong and brave move on her part. I was listening to the last song on their album New Wave, "The Ocean" and heard this lyric:

"If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman.
My mother once told me she would have named me Laura.
I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her."

Which is lovely and relatable and now has a whole added context. Tom Gabel's wikipedia page talks about this and goes on to say that Against Me! has a new song called "Transgender Dysphoria Blues".

So, go listen to some Against Me! and celebrate this brave individual.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Kelly Clarkson "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

So, Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol, right? Well I think she has made some great music in the past decade or so. For instance:

Love that one. But that's 8 years ago. What's she doing now? This. It's not bad, but I feel like, for me, it doesn't rock as hard as I'd like it to. I mean, I don't need shredding guitars, but just a little more edge would be good.

And just to complete the whole Nietzsche thing:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Re: MacGyver Mondays

So, I just want to really quickly say that I am in no way quitting. We have a lot of adventures left to cover with Mac.

I'm just taking a bit of a break. I've just started a new job and we're all trying to figure out what that means for our day-to-day stuff around here.

So, I'm going to take a break, build up a back-catalog a little and we'll be back up as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading so far, everyone!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Countdown in Stere-ere-o. In stere-ere-o. In stereoooo (Beastie Boys reference)

So MCA (Adam Yauch) from the Beastie Boys died on Friday. He contributed so much to music right up to the very end. And he will be missed. The show this week pays tribute to him and the Beastie Boys in general. Enjoy it!

Countdown #102

Beastie Boys
The Black Keys
fun. featuring Janelle Monae
Gotye featuring Kimbra
Linkin Park
Neon Trees
Of Monsters and Men
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Shins

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WacGyver Wednesdays: "Countdown" (Season 1, Episode 14)

Episode Title: Countdown
Airdate: 2/5/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 6 months, 20 days
Episode Type: Bomb Defusal

Before I get into talking about MacGyver, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who reads this series and I hope you're enjoying it and I hope you'll forgive me calling this WacGyver Wednesdays, but I thought it was kind of funny and cute. :)

Alright, so my conundrum with this episode is that I've seen it SO MANY TIMES. When I press play for this post, it will be at least my 6th viewing of the episode. That might not seem like a lot, but think about the episodes of an hour-length show that you've watched 6 times. I think this is the only one on that list for me.

So how do I go about writing this episode if the relative unfamiliarity that I bring to the rest of these episodes is absent?

I embrace the familiarity.

Here's the plan: I'm going to write a numbered list of plot points/scenes that I remember in as close to the order that they occur as I can manage. I will number this list. Then I will start the episode. As the plot points present themselves, I will talk about them and parenthetically refer back to my numbered list! I'm not sure how this will go, but let's find out together!


1. A cruise ship is sailing in the Pacific Ocean.
2. The captain gets a call that there's a bomb in a lower deck or something. He goes off to investigate. Oh! And right before he gets the call, he's being briefed on a typhoon (because we're in the Pacific) that's heading straight for the ship.
3. The bomb explodes.
4. MacGyver is showing the lady that's his landlord (the one that he was playing table hockey with last week) his breakfast machine. It's kind of like Doc Brown's machine in Back to the Future only MacGyver has to run the machine by remote control. Hilarity ensues and the landlady gets egg on her shoe.
5. Pete calls to tell MacGyver that he needs to come in. Even though it's his day off.
6. MacGyver pulls up to the Federal Building (I'm doing some highwire memory work, here. Guessing the building that Mac and Pete worked in before the Phoenix Foundation). As he's walking in, he sees his friend Charlie, who was his partner on a bomb defusing team in Vietnam.
7. Charlie reveals that his wife is pregnant. Mac is super stoked.
8. Charlie reveals that he's here to do a job for Pete Thornton. Mac is less than stoked.
9. They go up and are briefed by Pete. There's another bomb on the boat. A dude calling himself Viking is claiming responsibility and wants money. Also, there's a bomb expert that will be consulting. He's kind of squirrely, but Mac and Charlie remember hearing about him in 'Nam. They only have so long to get the bomb defused and they can't evacuate the boat because of the typhoon.
10. Viking gives them a time limit and makes his money demands.
11. Mac and Charlie arrive at the boat in a helicopter. They can't set the helicopter down on the boat for some reason. So they'll lower them down on a winch.
12. They put their old, reliable bag of bomb defusing tools on the winch first to get a sense of wind resistance. The winch malfunctions and all of their tools drop into the sea. Crap.
13. So Mac pulls the rope out of something. Like netting or something and rigs up a new way down. He and Charlie go down to the boat.
14. They meet the acting captain who is a woman. There's nothing in the episode that talks about her being a woman and all the men in the episode having a problem with it, but I always imagine this plot point.
15. She takes them to the bomb.
16. She tells MacGyver that she hasn't told the passengers what is going on. He convinces her that he would want to know and that it's her responsibility and all that. So she does. I think this may have happened on route to the bomb.
17. While they're looking at the bomb, the second in command comes up and tells them that they've found another bomb at the other end of the boat. Mac goes to look at that one. He and Charlie are going to each defuse a bomb slowly, step by step.
18. Charlie pokes a probe into the seal on the side of the bomb to try to get a sample of this yellow powder that's in a tray in the middle of the bomb. Air sucks in, Charlie shouts to Mac that it's a vacuum and then the bomb blows up, killing Charlie.
19. MacGyver is upset for a second but then he pulls himself together and he goes back to one bomb while the Girl-Captain goes to the one that was found while MacGyver was mourning Charlie. Four bombs on the boat. Worst security on a cruise line, ever.
20. While this is all happening, Pete's people make the money drop. These two guys have this funny exchange and you get the feeling like they were THIS CLOSE to becoming recurring characters. Or spin-off characters. Anyway, somehow Viking gets the money out from under their noses because they didn't think to watch the back of the building in case there was another way into the locker at the bus station where they dropped the money.
21. Viking calls Pete's people and says since they tried to catch him, he won't be giving instructions on how to defuse the bomb. While this is happening, the camera slowly pans over to show that the voice on the other end of the phone, the voice of Viking, is a tape recording.
22. On the boat, MacGyver uses neon tubing from the ship's bar to create a vacuum to suck up the yellow powder, which turns out to be phosphorus.
23. Then they take the panel off and see more bomb stuff. Four cylinders with bubbling liquid. Mac pries the lids off each cylinder and smells acid. So he neutralizes the stuff with oven cleaner and milk.
24. Now they think they've defused the bomb. Everyone is celebrating. Then Mac notices a blinking light under where they thought the bomb ended. It's more bomb!
25. This one comes down to pulling either the yellow lever or the blue lever. MacGyver asks the bomb expert which one to pull. Then he pulls the opposite one and the bomb is defused. Oh, and the Girl-Captain is doing all of the same bomb stuff on her end.
26. So the bomb expert is revealed to be Viking and everything's all good
27. MacGyver wraps things up with the captain and decides to stay on the boat for a while longer. He asks if he can sit at the captain's table. They're probably going to do some kissin'.
28. I just realized that no one mentions the typhoon ever again. Do I just not remember it? Weird.

So there's that. I feel like I've watched it again. The cool thing here is that I don't have to worry about spoilers or pointing out foreshadowing, because you've already read the whole plot. So I won't be doing a lot of plot re-recapitulation. Not so cool thing? Not as many clever nicknames for incidental characters.

Actually, I don't think I'm going to do much more commentary. But you should watch this one. All I'm going to do is watch it quickly and put the correct order for the numbered list above if I've gotten something wrong. If you've read this far, you've read a lot already. I don't think it's going to help things by trying to comment MORE, you know?

Haha, in watching through the episode quickly, K (not a MacGyver enthusiast like you and me) just told me a bunch of stuff that she remembers that happens in this episode. This episode has been viewed a lot, you guys.


As far as order goes, I'm good up until 17 (with a minor forgiveness for 16 being talked about after it happens in the middle of 15) but then 21 happens before 18. And Viking isn't calling about the money being gone at the time, he's just calling to make more demands. He calls Pete later to tell him that they won't be getting disarmament instructions because they tried to catch them.

The events of #22 happen while the Bus Station thing from #20 is happening. Mac and Girl-Captain do the Phosphorus thing and THEN the money is discovered missing.

Hm. In #23, I said that Mac smells acid and THEN decides to neutralize it with milk and oven cleaner. But he decides to do that before he pries the lids off. Oh RIGHT. Because he knows that it's probably acid because this one bomber in 'Nam that made bombs like this one used an electrolyte fluid as a trigger and so if it carries a current and is bubbly, it's probably an acid. Fair enough. He smells it later when he's prying the lids off. Oh well. It's more scientific this way. Not to say that smell isn't a good way to characterize an unknown substance, just be careful, people. And waft, don't sniff.

Also, I said in #26 that that's when Viking's identity was revealed. It's mostly true, but Mac's suspicions are pretty much confirmed during #24.

And finally, I was also right about them never mentioning the typhoon ever ever again. Isn't that a weird bit of plot-dropping?

Anyways, how odd was this post? I guess "WacGyver Wednesdays" was more apropos than I had thought. Talk to you soon, you guys! Hopefully next week!


And for extra Wac-iness, here's a little victory lap for me and my memory. And also in memory of the second Charlie killed on this damn show.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Flo Rida featuring Sia "Wild Ones"

Couple of things:

1. The great thing about time is that there are two 10 o'clocks per day!
2. I'm gonna be posting a lot today and tomorrow. Be prepared.
3. Mainstream rap song alert! You've been warned

Ok. So this is a song that's been in the top 10 for the time period that I've been focusing on this series. It's by a rapper that I frankly have not been able to stand since he starting dropping the hits. "Low" was annoying when it was on every 5 minutes and in every commercial, but now that the years have passed, I much prefer it to "Right Round" which always just makes me want to listen to Dead or Alive:

But that's not the song. The other thing? His name is Flo Rida and he's from Florida. That kind of thing sometimes tickles me, but in this case just makes me grumpy.

But this song is catchy. It has a chorus that I'm sure would be annoying if I heard it all the time, but I don't so it's just a chorus that sticks in my head. And the rap, for it being a "let's just have some fun tonight" rap, is pretty fun. And everyone looks like they had fun making the video. Enjoy!

May 2012 Media Update

Wow. So, when I posted in April I was on furlough and had no prospect of a new place of employment. Today was my second day of work at my new job! Woohoo!

Last Song/MP3 I listened to: Coheed and Cambria "Here We Are Juggernaut". I went to see them on Sunday night with my good friend Riley and I spent yesterday and today re-listening to the songs they played. I figured the best way to do this was to just go to all my Coheed songs and skip the ones they didn't play. So, the iPod has them in alphabetical order by album and I finished listening to them today. The last album that had a song they played was "Year of the Black Rainbow", their latest release. In fact, this was the ONLY song they played from that release. It was a very enjoyable show.

Last TV show I watched: I think that it's so funny how often this blank is populated by Once Upon a Time. It is again this month. Last night we watched the latest episode: "The Stranger" and it was quite enjoyable. This show is far richer and more enjoyable than I thought it would be. And that makes me happy.

Last Movie I watched: I was racking (wracking?) my brains to think of the last movie I watched. I think it must have been Scream 2 on Friday, the 13th. It was available on Netflix and K was already asleep, and I was in the mood for a scary movie. It was good. Slightly better than I remember it. Nothing close to as good as the original, but LOTS better than other movies that came out after the original. Great soundtrack, too.

Last Written Work I read: I have been on a New Yorker kick for the past several weeks. I was in the end of January 2010 probably 2 weeks ago and now I've just finished June. The Fiction from that issue (the last thing I read in an issue of the New Yorker) was called "The Young Painters" and it was by an author named Nicole Krauss. It's an excerpt from her book, Great House. She is one of the 20 under 40 list that the New Yorker debuted in the previous issue. Kind of a cool way of rolling them out. They did 8 authors last month (the list is 20 authors under the age of 40 that are, or are looking to soon become, very influential in the world of Fiction) and they're going to have 1 of the remaining 12 in the regular Fiction part of the magazine for the next 12 issues. So Nicole Krauss was the first to be honored with a solo spot! 

Actually, the actual last thing I read was a Q&A that she did with the New Yorker back then (all 20 authors answered the same questions. They're all a fun read.)

And I didn't know where to place it, but I'm also listening to a Book on Tape in my car. It's called The Magicians and it's by Lev Grossman. If you like Harry Potter, but you wish that it was set in America, the kids were older and cursed more, this book is for you. I'm not sure if it's part of a series or what, but I'm liking it a lot. (Ok, I looked it up in finding that link. There's a sequel called The Magician King that came out last year.)

And that's gonna do it! Talk to you in June!