December 31, 2010

lights with lensing reflection (far left)

henderson, NV

mescal bean with lights

henderson, NV

joshua tree with lights

henderson, NV

landscape with lights

henderson, NV

cholla with lights

henderson, NV

cholla with lights

henderson, NV

joshua tree with lights

henderson, NV

xmas ornaments and lights

henderson, NV

cactus with lights

henderson, NV

(and a happy new year to you, dear reader)

quote of the moment

"'thin and happy' is not a saying."
-- zz

quote of the moment

"Picking up a piece of chocolate and popping it in your mouth only takes a second. Preparing the filling, texture and shape of it takes a lot longer."

- ethel M chocolates promotional blurb

December 30, 2010

gingerbread ship

las vegas, NV

alien bust in a bottle

las vegas, NV


las vegas, NV

quote of the moment

"be the first to see a baby"

-- subject line of an email in my spam folder

December 29, 2010

quote of the moment

"just make it white, like jesus said."

-- bo3b johnson

December 28, 2010

quote of the moment

"i didn't retire

-- bumper sticker; las vegas, NV

haiku of the moment

pinging in the air
vacant plain with somber tune
wind chimes in graveyard

The Top 50 Gawker Media Passwords - Digits - WSJ

quote of the moment

"numerous studies of investor behavior (the field is called behavioral
finance) show that once an investor has a position in a stock, there are
tremendous biases to seek confirming information, ignore disconfirming
[sic] information, and not admit a mistake."

-- T2 partners white sheet

{describing, very clearly, personal bias; and very specifically the
problem i have with people who bury themselves in politics.}

December 27, 2010

quote of the moment

"90% of all cars that are in high speed chases with cops could be shut
off by satellite."

-- brett michaels look-alike; las vegas, NV

quote of the moment

"i wanna go international! i didn't put 47 years in to be local!"

-- rick james look-alike, discussing future business possibilities for
himself; las vegas, NV

quote of the moment

We tend to take for granted unbelievable events when they slowly unfold before our eyes.  

-- chris chase

quote of the moment

"The Film Noir Foundation can now be found on bothFacebook and Myspace. If you haven't signed up, maybe you should. Maybe you'll meet someone who will betray you and leave you for dead on the internet."

-- film noir foundation web page

December 26, 2010

quote of the moment

"[as a child] george patton used to pray nightly to a painting of two
men he thought were god and jesus but really were civil war heroes
robert E lee and stonewall jackson."

-- patton expert, kevin hymel

December 25, 2010

trivium of the moment

the first linoleum floor was installed in vienna in 1888.

-- some TV show (w/ rick steves) that's droning in the background

quote of the moment

"when destruction happens, you know where to find it ... right here on,
'destroyed in seconds.'"

-- a show every bit as good as you could imagine

December 24, 2010

quote of the moment

"I just bury my failures in secret shame."

-- the robot

saharan cheetah

December 23, 2010

this age

super-longevity runs in the b1 series. my great-grandmother lived to be
110. grant was president when she was born. she was 6 when the battle
of little bighorn occurred (and remembered the news about it). she was
the first woman to get a degree from the university of MO. she was 40
when the wright brothers flew their first airplane.

at her 75th wedding anniversary i asked her, "what's the best thing
about being so old?"

"technological advancement. i've seen the invention of the radio, the
TV, the airplane and men walking on the moon. it's thrilling!"

"what's the worst thing?"

"you see all your friends die ... and then you see all their children

December 22, 2010

trivium of the moment

sales of football jerseys in the US is a US$14.7 billion industry.

-- throw-off comment at the end of a denver TV news story

December 19, 2010

quote of the moment

"you have kids...we have answers."

--billboard;, UT

so let's see, what's a good quantity of fireworks to shoot?

how about a pallet. and a bargain at $875.

greetings from the res.

December 17, 2010

quote of the moment

"it works because you get swept along with it and it has its own visual
logic, but once you start trying to parse how their vision of technology
works, you find yourself hesitant to open Word just in case you
accidentally murder a few dozen compu-people."

-- darren franich on the original "tron"

quote of the moment

"i totally lioned the lion tamer."

-- special K

December 12, 2010

quote of the moment

"both live and artificial christmas trees can be perilous this time of

-- Y! news header sub-text

quote of the moment

"i don't hurt my back any more, i used 'easy feet.'"

-- US TV commercial

parking garage stencil

las vegas, NV

December 11, 2010

quote of the moment


-- the entirety of a NV license plate number on a red pick-up truck

quote of the moment

"'charming' is a nice way of saying 'crappy.'"

-some effete guy on some crazy TV home design show that just happens to
be on

(why the HELL am i watching is?)

December 10, 2010

quote of the moment

"I think you may have heard me say it before but I trace the slow death
of popular music to the point where men stopped trying to sing like
girls. And the point where people got too embarrassed to write songs
about having their heart torn apart."

-- solid goldstein

the long arm of copyright

todd rundgren is playing covers of robert johnson at a casino near my place tomorrow.  while reading up on his state of things i came across an article that included this bit:

What do you listen to at the moment, is there anything that is really ticking your box at the moment?
I have actually been listening up on Robert Johnson, there's a clause in my contract which means I have to cover a certain amount of Robert Johnson songs within the next six months or so, its an odd thing, but it has something to do with publishing and there's a quid pro quo to it, so if I do some Robert Johnson songs, someone else will be encouraged to do versions of my songs so it's a way in the struggling music business to maximize things all around.
So is the idea like a trade-off when you play tunes...
Well I do an EP of Robert Johnson covers which they will market in some way which is still mysterious to me and the whole point is that they control the publishing of Robert Johnson so my recording it adds value to the catalogue and the quid pro quo essentially is that they own the publishing for this record from Arena, and they will be encouraging other people to cover some songs from this record, thereby giving me some writers royalties in the future.
what's interesting here is there's off-hand mention made of a copyright deal i had no awareness of ... and in typical journalistic fashion, the starstruck interviewer didn't stop and say "wait a minute, what the hell are you talking about?"  
so i did what i always do, turn to the myriad of friends i have that are experts in arcanery ... in this case, cap'n happy ... former sound engineer at apple, big time music guy ... he's always more than willing to explain things (often with more than a little posturing) ... 
he gave me a response so good that i wanted to capture it here.  (you're just going to have to tolerate the formatting weirdness from blogger trying to be overly smart ... i'm not taking the time to correct it.)

b1- 66er
the part i'm interested in here is the robert johnson quid-pro-quo statements where he's obligated to play RJ in exchange for other artists playing him ... are you familiar with that?
cap'n happy
I couldn't say now "normal" this is, but it's based on the complex and
royally fucked up copyright laws.

A song has a number of different copyrights. There's the "mechanical"
rights, which covers the recording (the bits on a CD, groove cut into vinyl,
etc.) It's the physical copy of the song.

There's also the actual notes and the lyrics. Before recordings (covered by
the mechanical rights) there was the "publishing" copyright. This was
captured in music notation (a songbook or more commonly "sheet music").

The publishing rights used to be the only way to obtain a copyright. It was
the only instantiation of the song. In fact, once mechanical rights were
established printing sheet music dropped off dramatically. When the Beatles
were performing, they had to publish songbooks.

You couldn't copyright the record, signified by the "circled C" or ©. A
change in the copyright law allowed for doing away with the printed music,
and granting copyright status based on the reproduction of the actual
recording. The new symbol for copyrighting a phonograph became the "circled
P" or (P). Look for it on your vinyl recordings.

A key thing to understand - the owner of the publishing rights is the one
who OWNS the song. Any reproduction of the music, any sheet music,
performance, or even duplicating the existing CDs, means the owner gets
paid. Even the lyrics are covered separately, and often by yet another
agency. This is why you don't find lyrics printed in CDs anymore. It's
because it costs more and worse it's often difficult to find the agency that
covers the lyrics.

When you hear a cover in a TV commercial or TV show, they're doing that
because it's cheaper. This is because there are so many different rights and
licensing agreements. The show must pay for "performing" rights in all
cases. If they played the actual track from the CD, they'd also have to pay
for "synchronization" rights and "master use" rights and possibly "grand
rights" if it were considered a dramatic use of the song).

Wait, it gets worse. If you were to make a soundtrack of your show, and have
your cover band performing the track you also need to obtain a "mechanical
license" to create that physical reproduction. (and that's yet another

Note - each of those rights carries a royalty payment, each of which are
collected by different agencies. The one you're most familiar with is BMI
and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). It's
these two agencies that collect royalties anytime you buy music or hear it
anywhere. They are the guys that walk into shopping malls and make notes of
the music playing on the loudspeakers - since that's a "performance" and
therefore are due payment.


The Beatles were writing/performing when music copyright laws were still
based on printed paper. You may remember a track on Yellow Submarine - "Only
a Northern Song" (a left over track that was cut from Sgt Pepper) That song
was written by George, and it's him pissing on their music publisher,
Northern Songs Ltd. It's also the middle finger at John and Paul.

Northern Songs Ltd was established to profit from publishing the Beatles
music, which is a necessary step in obtaining and controlling a copyright.
The Beatles had a share of the company, but since most of the songs were
written Lennon/McCartney they got a much bigger share than George. This
meant when George wrote a song, Lennon/McCartney earned much more that he
did from his own song!

George felt any piece of shit he wrote was making the other two big money.
That's what that song is about. Here's the key line in the lyrics. "It
doesn't really matter what chords I play/What words I say or time of day it
is/As it's only a Northern Song."

As is typical, the songwriters have to sign a contract with their publisher.
Typically it means the songwriter(s) are on the hook to publish their songs
for the next few years through that publisher.

You would know that Michael Jackson "owns" the Beatles music. What the King
of Pop did was purchase those publishing rights from the former Northern
Songs. This deal was actually at the root of Lennon and McCartney ending
their friendship. It was the last straw for Paul and Yoko too, since she
(being a business person) sided with their friend, the King of Pop, when
Paul was trying to buy the rights. Once Jackson became the owner, Paul asked
for an increase in his royalties (and was turned down).

Back to Todd:

I'm not surprised to hear the "owner" of Robert Johnson's music wrote into
Todd's contract a quid-pro-quo. RJ's music has been a huge influence in rock
and roll. He was a strong influence on Led Zepplin among many other
blue/rock bands.

The publisher is clearly trying to get more performances of RJ's music, so
they can collect royalties. By having Todd perform RJ song, it's marketing.
Lots of musicians listen to and respect Todd. They're going to be exposed to
RJ's music. The idea (I have to assume) is other musicians would be
encouraged to listen to other RJ songs, and then want to cover them. That's
i'm putting this on my 'blog for general world consumption and my future reference ...
what strikes me as weird is robert johnson died in 1938 ... and there's only a handful of recordings that exist that are truly his ... that's one long copyright.

quote of the moment

"i' thinking that we need to hark back to saying something more heroic
where men's responsibilities were to bear the unbearable burdens and to
brave the storm and to protect the weak and to find the lost lamb and to
seek the truth as opposed to looking at power as an end in itself."

-- todd rundgren

December 07, 2010

quote of the moment

"All I can say is go blow a was spectacular."

-- karpov, reviewing the taste of cod sperm sushi

quote of the moment

"image is like a long shadow."

-- keith richards

quote of the moment

"if i'm in conflict with somebody, then it means someone is in conflict
with me."

-- keith richards

December 06, 2010

and you thought you have money problems ...

i usually don't point to articles in general on here, but i'm always willing to make an exception ... great article about super-problems in producing the new $100 bills.  my favorite cut quote:

"The total face value of the unusable bills, $110 billion, represents more than ten percent of the entire supply of US currency on the planet."

(side trivia related here ... the majority of US currency circulates outside the legal boundaries of the US ... as does the majority of counterfeits.)

December 05, 2010

quote of the moment

"Mel Gibson has had to endure questions about his stability following a
string of controversies. Now he is preparing to relaunch his career by
playing a man who befriends a hand-puppet beaver after suffering a

-- jon swaine

December 04, 2010

quote of the moment

quote of the moment

quote of the moment

quote of the moment

quote of the moment

"i told her i was enlisting in the air force was like an
activation code to her vagina."

-- quote from (a site i stumbled across and you
should *definitely* burn an hour of your life on)

December 03, 2010

quote of the moment

"GOLD COAST: Reply GO to confirm you are 21 or older & not on a self or
government exclusion list. Stnd text message rates apply."

-- gold coast casino TXT message

December 02, 2010

observation of the moment

i use a google news consolidator with some tweaks for things i'm
interested in. today i noticed that 4 of the 23 headlines included

* GOP tax cut ultimatum: principled or 'temper tantrum?'
{source: CNN international}

* are aliens among us? sort of, NASA says
{fox news}

* can marchionne build jeeps cheaper in italy?

* what do videos say about lebron?

i'm not sure what to make of it. 1 of 2 things must be true. either

i caught a freak day and just happened to get a large number of ?s by


it's been this way for awhile and i'm just now noticing it.

i have a pretty strong familiarity with the AP style guide -- especially
for someone that is, for all practicle purposes, illiterate -- and this
definitely wasn't in there a few years ago.

maybe this is style progression thing. like the trailing comma in a
list being deleted (it was optional when i was a kid, it's standard

i guess my headline on this should have been:

* has modern style progressed without b1 noticing it?

quote of the moment

"i've always had a thing for her.

and that thing is a penis."

-- "presidentrobertbooth," on a huffington post forum, speaking of
kirsten dunst

quote of the moment

"i'm looking for your reputation"

-- t-shirt; las vegas, NV

December 01, 2010

quote of the moment


-- web page ad