Monday, July 29, 2013

Visited a Few Ancient Archaeological Sites This Weekend...

Fortunately the bathrooms were much more updated...
Well most of them anyways.

Click here to check out some of the latest additions to the Bathrooms I've Been To Map.


Friday, July 26, 2013

5 Things That Make a Song Awesome - Part 5

References To Canadian Culture - In particular references to Canadian culture when American bands make them.  Canadians have pretty low self esteem, and we're thrilled when a band decides to say something... anything, about Canada.  A band can even mock Canadian culture and we'll love it.  Better still is when the reference is to something that's slightly obscure, thus making us feel like other countries (and the bands from them) might actually be interested in reading details about our people.  If you're an American (or international band) and you're looking to break into the Canadian market, just mention René Lévesque and his love of smoking, and you'll achieve a Canadian gold record in no time.

The video above makes reference to Bonhomme, a character most associated with Carnival in Quebec.  Wait a minute... these guys are Canadian... Dam It!!!  Why won't you American's say something about us... Pleeeeeease.


Signs I Like

Don't you hate it when you want to highlight important points, and you just end up highlighting everything?
You could turn this piece of graffiti into an animated short.
This is how I feel after eating too much garlic.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 Things That Make a Song Awesome - Part 4

Detailed Narration - Every song tells a story, sometimes the story is raw abstract emotion and sometimes it's a very specific incident with a great amount of detail.  What's better than hearing a song that tells you the entire situation without missing a single element.  It's kind of like listening to someone describe a situation in a court room.  I think it's fairly clever to do this and be able to work it into an entertaining song as well.

The video above is a great example of very detailed narration, however I think the person making the video didn't really listen to the words at all.  You'd think this video would literally write itself.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

5 Things That Make a Song Awesome - Part 3

Dramatic Pause - Is the song over... well that seems like a silly place to stop... Awesome, the song started again.  I love listening to a song that suddenly stops, and has you salivating for more.  Once you get to know this song you start to naturally know how long the pause is, but not before you accidentally rock out to it in front of your friends a little too soon.  This kind of break can be used many ways, in a pop song video it gives the singer the opportunity to mug to the camera, in hip hop songs it allows the band to have "party sounds" in the background, and in metal songs it gives you time to catch your breath after all that head banging.  It's really a great tool for both performer and listener alike.

The video above is one of the most rockin' songs to use a break like this.  While the Beastie Boys use many things that I would consider for this list, I think that their use of the dramatic pause is one of the best in music history.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5 Things That Make a Song Awesome - Part 2

Robot Voice - Today we're inundated with electronic voices and Auto Tune, but back in the old days the same technique would instead make you sound like you were from the future.  Nothing to me is more impressive than making a talented singer sound like he or she has no soul.  With all of the technology in changing the way people can manipulate their voices, it's a little sad that no one uses it to create the awesome robot voice sound anymore.  I think the last band to truly take advantage of this might have been the Beastie Boys, in the song Intergalactic.

Above, is one of the best, and earliest to my knowledge, use of the robot voice.  Allison also enjoy's this song because it rhymes using two different languages.


Monday, July 22, 2013

5 Things That Make a Song Awesome - Part 1

The Violin - It doesn't even have to be a real violin, but any pop song that can incorporate this unconventional instrument gets a thumbs up from me.  I think I first developed a liking for this sound from the movie Revenge of the Nerds.  This movie not only inspired me to be a nerd, but also gave me an appreciation for the violin in a way I had never imagined.

One of the best uses of the electric violin in music is found in the song Funky Town (video above).  I'm not sure how musical the use of this instrument is in this case, but it surely adds the "funky" into Funky Town if you ask me.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Signs I Like

If David Hasselhoff ever opens his own burger chain, this is what it should be called.
Once again the use of the word "fart" in a German sign makes me giggle.
I think now might be over.
I'm not sure what this place was selling, but I can assure you that I don't want any.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How Many Bathrooms Do You Visit On Each Trip

It's funny, if I didn't keep track of the bathrooms I visit, I would have never realized that on some trips I hardly use more than one or two bathrooms.  I'm sure it all depends on the type of trip you take, and how remote your destination might be.  Last week I took trip working on an archaeology dig and other than the bathroom at the house I was staying at, and the nature around the site, I barely visited any public bathrooms at all.  I did however stop at a local watering hole, and I snapped this one shot.

Click here to see where I found this bathroom on my Bathrooms I've Been To Map.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Signs I Like

There's a back story here that I think I might be missing.
Playmobile construction workers rule!
The girl looks great, the guy below her is giving me the creeps.
Yum, a pot full of cute octopus.


Monday, July 8, 2013

What I'm Expecting To Do All This Week

This is pretty much the fun activity I have planned this week... Well this, minus the dwarfs, the diamonds, the cute animals, and the singing.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Making Sure The Colours Work

When I work on a new fine art piece I go through a lot of testing. Since I'm mixing so many different mediums, I want to be sure I'm going to be happy with the results.  So I spend a lot of time just playing with the art products I'm going to use before I actually start on the final piece.  In this case I'm doing some colour matching with these oil paints, to make sure I have all the colours I need. I call my preplanning "rehearsal".


Friday, July 5, 2013

Signs I Like

This might be the most boring park ever.
Nothing to see here, just a silver bear lifting a giant Currywurst.
Only the Germans would name the guy in the stop light.  His name is Ampelmann, and he'll stop you in your tracks... then he'll let you walk.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Imoto Rules

Thanks to my friends Yuriko and Osamu I can now watch my favorite Japanese television show any time that I want.  Above is just a sample of the fun you can have with Imoto.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Problem Like None I've Had Before

Whenever you move someplace new, you always run into problems that you're really unfamiliar with.  Sometimes you can improvise, but sometimes you're just stuck and not really sure what to do.  Take for example my newest problem here in Greece:
What exactly does one do when he finds his or her balcony littered with dead lizards?
I've never really dealt with this kind of issue, so for now I'm going to close my door and just pretend I didn't see anything.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

You Can Find Anything On The Internet

The other night Allison and I were having a conversation about toilets.  This conversation wasn't really that "blue" in nature, but it was discussing the differences in cultures.  It came up that I'm not really familiar with using those toilets that are simply holes in the floor.  There was an attempt to try and explain it, but no one really wanted to mime the appropriate actions.  Then it was decided that there might be a You Tube video that could explain this process to me.  It seemed like a good idea at first, but I suddenly realized that there may be some videos that could be really graphic.  In fact I wondered if it was even possible to explain this process without being graphic.  Then we stumbled upon the video above, we were amazed at how simply it explained the whole process and how non-graphic it was.


Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Canada Day!!!

As I post this I am a little sad.  I'm sad because I'm writing this post in advance, and it is not yet Canada Day.