Thursday, August 27, 2009


I don't know why, but there's something about raccoons that tugs at my heartstrings. Especially baby ones. They just... seem so cuddly!

I want one for a pet someday. I'll need to learn the ropes, though....

-Typhlosion/Fatal hilarity

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


MIDI playback on the Mac version of Quicktime sucks.

Update: Sweet MIDI, however, rocks:

Torrent rant

Why the heck is it that when I'm finished downloading a torrent, all of a sudden there are no leechers?? How am I supposed to get my share ratio up if no one downloads while I'm seeding?? Gah!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm just a #@$&!! long-haired freak.

I consider myself to be a native of LA county. I may not be Native American, but I feel as though that this is my home. My parents grew up here, living near the beach with all the surfer dudes and through the British Invasion, becoming crazy artsy flower children in the '70s. They're in disguise now, but these roots certainly had an effect on me.

I don't surf, and I no longer swim, but I still romanticize and appreciate the beauty of the beach, especially natural untouched beaches. I have particularly fond memories of Redondo Beach pier. If anything, I'm a rocker. I play mostly electric guitar, mostly in a rock style, and I certainly dig many, many long-haired rock bands of yesteryear. I love surf music as well, like Dick Dale, The Ventures, and The Surfaris. I've seen all of them in concert, which was before The Ventures' lead guitarist Bob Bogle died. Unfortunately, it seems that Dick Dale was having a bad day when I saw him, as I wasn't too impressed with him at the time. It didn't help that the crowd was awful and some lady started shaking her butt in front of my face, blissfully unaware that I was sitting behind her.

There's also The Beach Boys, but they don't have much surfer cred. Not that it matters to me, nor should it to anyone else...

My philosophy is made up of thirds: Christianity, the Founding Fathers, and the hippies. And really, what's so different about them? I mostly believe in the peace, love, freedom and equality side to it. I don't care so much for the drugs, simply because I have enough imagination to see within myself, enjoy myself, and picture all the psychedelia I could ever need. I especially dislike the free love bit, since that's pretty much what caused America's HIV problem and encourages fornication, adultery, and perversity. I'm also anti-war, and generally take a pacifist standing, although I do like action comedy films.

I'm pretty much as big a fan of psychedelic rock as I am of surf music. The garage rock of the Nuggets compilations, the acid rock of Hendrix, the sophisticated avant-garde and neo-classicalism of The Beatles, plus any trippy freak-outs by anyone of a similar vein as these guys. I'm afraid I'm not too familiar with The Grateful Dead, although I'm interested.

There's also the Golden Age of Hollywood in the '30s and '40s, and the cheesy Googie architecture of the '50s and early '60s. The culture that has sprung from San Diego to San Francisco is incredible, and a TON of trends and hipster coolness came from here. I'm very proud of the history that surrounds me, and one day I want to be a part of it by celebrating it all in my art and music.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This might sound odd, but when it comes to console RPGs, all you have to do to get me to play one is to use the phrase "Zelda knock-off". Most of the usual type of RPGs take themselves way too seriously for me to even consider picking it up.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just realized that I keep having the urge to send my original characters off on pirate ships. I'm not entirely sure why.

Robert Zemeckis is a madman

This and the rumors of what he's going to do to the Roger Rabbit sequel have convinced me of this: ROBERT ZEMECKIS SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO DIRECT A FILM AGAIN EVER.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MacFUSE warning

Just wanted to report that I found a program called MacFUSE installed on my computer (OS X Leopard) somehow. I have no idea how it got there- I certainly never installed it myself. It's not even the type of program I would ever use. I've never seen a program install itself without my permission on a Mac before. This is very suspicious (and awfully Windows-like) behavior. I advise everyone to steer clear of it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Questionable Advertising: They also love human flesh

If you use Fruit Roll-Ups Stickerz as stickers, which is obviously what they're meant for, mutant animals with unnaturally long tongues will come and lick you in the face.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Horror and Halloween

I'll probably go into more detail around Halloween, but there is something I'm been a longtime fan of: horror.

I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to horror. I prefer the older black-and-white horror movies- none of that loud, in-your-face guts and gore stuff, which has no subtlety at all. It's all knee-jerk. I much prefer creating an atmosphere. So the old kind of monsters, like ghosts, vampires, werewolves, old Victorian mansions and various other undead and creatures of the night and all the mythology and imagery associated with them, done the old-fashioned way... that's for me. I also like camp and macabre humor, so Halloween cartoons and stuff like The Addams Family, The Munsters, The Haunted Mansion, classic Tim Burton, Mad Monster Party, and Ed Wood films are cool, too.

Halloween is my second favorite holiday, beaten only by Christmas. I love all the horror movie marathons and candy, and all the wicked glee of dressing up. I've always had something of a dark side. I used to go trick-or-treating, but people spoiled it when they said we were too old. We also take great pride in our decorations each year.

Sadly, the loser kids in our neighborhood- who are either too wimpy to come up to our apparently too frightening porch or don't wear costumes and only want candy- have discouraged us from decorating and handing out candy this year. It's not worth it. Hopefully my college will host a costume party this year...

Because I've been a big fan of rockabilly and surf music since I was in middle school, I've taken a great liking to psychobilly, that wonderful mix of rockabilly and punk with horror- and sci-fi-themed lyrics. I think I was always somewhat aware of the concept- perhaps because of stuff like The Munsters theme song and what music played on cable TV each Halloween- but I've only fully embraced the style recently. What's not to like about that gutsy twang and howling at the moon?

We're both likely to discuss our favorite aspects of the horror genre as we get closer to Halloween. And yes, I often start thinking about it in August... because I'm a lunatic, of course.

~Typhlosion/Fatal hilarity

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Toon Music #1: "My Gal is a High Born Lady"

With this series, I intend to inform the animation fan about the various songs featured in the output of the various animation studios. All thanks to the internet!

In 1948's Long-Haired Hare, Bugs sings this song:

Oh my gal is a high-born stepper

Ginger with salt and pepper

She's a fancy stepper when she dances

Go and see her as she kippers and prances

My gal don't do much talking

Dances even when she's walking

One and two and three and four she dances all day long

Turns out this was originally "My Gal is a High Born Lady", written by Barney Fagan in 1896(?), but with new lyrics in place of the old ones, removing the racist themes.

Here is a performance by Len Spencer, in all its muffled, crackly, politically-incorrect glory:

Lyrics and sheet music:;ttHIGHBORN.html

Original sheet music cover:

With that same logic...

"True punk":

The Ramones

The Sex Pistols

Dead Kennedys

Black Flag

Screeching Weasel

"Fake punk":

Green Day


Real punk = less-than-stellar singing.

...That's all I'm getting here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Questionable Advertising: New Curry Toejam Flavor

Eating Fruit-by-the-Foot is the gustatorial equivalent of having two weightless elderly martial artists shove their feet into your face in slow motion.

If I did drugs, I'd have some of what they're smoking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The lineart sucks, but she sure knows how to color in Photoshop!

Ugh. I'm really convinced the Lion King Fanart Archive has run out of decent artists to name as Artist of the Month.


Why the **** is "Let's Twist Again" so ****ed popular on oldies stations? I swear, I've only heard "The Twist" two or three times, tops.


I think I can safely assume that "artificial flavors" are always just a bunch of nasty chemicals, but it's those "natural flavors" that get me wondering. Why aren't listed they in full? Are there too many to list on the package? Would they be disgusting to most people? How do I know those chocolates aren't made with lark's vomit?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Artifacts of our Childhood #3: Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue!

Sometimes there are things we remember so vaguely that we don't know what it was, and suspect that it was a dream. Screwy, mixed-up, fragmented, and definitely foggy images float in our brain, occasionally bubbling to the surface of our conscious mind. Sometimes the embers flicker on randomly, invoking the general reaction "Well, THAT just came rushing back to me!", or the flickers are so dim that we can't be convinced that we actually saw it.

In this case, I remember seeing it, I remember a few moments of it, the general message, and some characters. I'm talking, of course, about a certain anti-drug animated special called Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue!, which I watched one day in elementary school. My memories of it are slim: I remember that Miss Piggy, Kermit, and maybe Gonzo were in it, in their Muppet Babies forms, traveling through someone's drug-ravaged brain in a mine cart. For some reason I remember the brain being dusty, full of cobwebs and grossness, but it turns out that that wasn't the case. There was also Slimer of Ghostbusters fame, who I recognized from a green-colored variant of the Hi-C juice box drink. I never watched The Real Ghostbusters, although I may have seen some episodes some time afterward- nevertheless, I didn't make the connection between him and the movie. I'm not sure if I had seen it yet at the time.

Most likely, anyone who is unfamiliar with this cartoon and reads this will think: "Wait a minute... The Muppets and The Ghostbusters? What kind of messed up cartoon did you watch?" I tell you what kind: an anti-drug messed up cartoon. Yes folks, somehow or another all these copyright holders agreed to have their cartoon stars used in an anti-drug special, in which they rescue some kid from using drugs- hence the title. Apparently helping kids say no was a just enough cause to have this sort of crossover happen. There was a time when liberals ruled children's entertainment, and fighting against pollution, drug abuse, prejudice and even sexual harassment was the name of the game in most of the brightly-colored and cutesy cartoons of the time. I often look at the sort of cartoons other kids were watching in the late '80s and early '90s, and feel grateful that I was watching Disney and Steven Spielberg productions instead.

Questionable Advertising: Gushing Gushers

Gushers are chemically unstable!

Also included: a snake is killed and a mouse proceeds to nibble on its artificially-flavored corpse.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Father of it all?

I'm definitely seeing the progression from bubblegum to glam rock to punk rock, but where exactly does bubblegum come from? From what I've seen, it's a result of record companies cleaning up the sound of local garage bands or replacing them with studio musicians. Geez, I guess we still can blame everything on garage rock! Curse you, power chords!

And if you go further back, the earliest garage bands were doing their own hyper-teenager versions of '50s rock 'n' roll. So I guess you can still blame the blues, then.

So what the heck was happening before the blues came along and hit the reset button on popular music? Well, the earliest forms of jazz were also pretty much created by black musicians, so I guess you could say it was folk music. The highbrow crowd was listening to Romantic classical music, and then the experimental music of Stravinsky and Schoenberg. And we all know that when it comes to rock music, that stuff only influenced the weird bands.

And now, I'll wait and see if anybody knows what the heck I'm talking about.

Keep Refrigerated

I find it amusing that a fancy word like "perishable" is used to mean "this is going to rot".

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm really tired of this joke





How The Beatles Played Rock 'n' Roll

First of all, let me get something out of the way: I haven't read the book How The Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll by Elijah Wald. I've only read the LA Times review of it. So this is technically a rebuttal to the review of the book.

So don't wag your finger at me, 'cause I openly admit it.

It has often been said that history is made by subjective historians, who pick and choose what's important and what's not. I believe that in most cases there is a justification for that, because we can't really say what it is that's important in an era until after the fact. It's been my observation that a lot of important things happen without the public knowing about it. Case in point: my mother has told me that I know infinitely more about The Beatles than anybody could have possibly known in the Sixties, when they were still together.

It has also been said that people become more famous and/or important after they die. This includes Van Gogh, Galileo, and even Jesus.

So the only real value of knowing what people thought was important THEN is knowing the time period's context and state of mind. But in the end, it is the people that made a real impact on culture that matter, and I couldn't really care less what the squares thought or liked. Name a rock band that takes inspiration from Pat Boone. Instead, you'll find a lot more bands taking inspiration from- who else?- The Beatles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy PLOOIE August

The neighbors are still setting off rockets. This place is nuts.

Questionable Advertising: Cannibalism

Because kids love it when cartoon characters eat each other.

Hey kids! I bet your own flesh tastes delicious! Go on, take a bite!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Observations from the outside #2

I was really surprised to learn that Tails is male a few years ago. Looking at him now, I think it's probably I never detected even the slightest hint of testosterone in him. Well, he is supposed to be 8 years old- at least that's what the Sonic Wiki says. Thing is, the guys at my elementary school sure seemed to know about sex when I was only nine (i.e. they had testosterone). I didn't get what they were talking about until I was 10.

God, those kids were disgusting.

Artifacts of our Childhood #2: The Sword in the Stone

Mr. Mime, Criswell, whatever-you-want-to-call-me here.

I really don't remember this film too well, as I haven't seen it in full in years. But recently one of the characters was reintroduced to me, and the particular scene the character appears in came flooding back to me, and I realized something rather peculiar about the scene that made me rethink the film. I rewatched it online just now to make sure I was remembering it correctly. And sure enough, I came to the same conclusion: the movie didn't end the way it should have.

"But whatsyername," you think, "didn't Arthur pull the sword outta the rock and become king? That's what's supposed to happen!" And you'd be right, that is what's supposed to happen, but Disney somehow made it so that I didn't want it to play out that way.

Think of the film's plot as a figure walking down a path. It walks straight along, never veering, its destination always in mind. It reaches a fork in the road and sees a new, pleasant-looking path heading towards the left. It decides to take a short detour. After all, it's only a little distraction, something entertaining to lighten the mood, how can it hurt? It's sure to turn back to the main road eventually.

It's all fun until the plot realizes that this new path is leading towards something entirely different from its original destination. It looks around and sees the original path to its right and quickly leaps back. But before it continues on its way it stops and turns wistfully back at the alternate path, and wishes it could go back. It would have been better if it had kept going the other direction. But no, it has to stay true to the source material, so it sadly waves the other story goodbye, presses on, and never looks back.

Don't know what I'm going on about? See for yourself:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Artifacts of our Childhood #1: The Secret of NIMH

In recent years, it has been my goal to restore as many of my memories from my early childhood to my early teens (or, from kindergarten to middle school). What this primarily means is that there were a LOT of cartoons I saw on television, on home video tapes, and occasionally in theaters- as well as a good deal of comic books, children's books, food, and various locations I would often visit.

Why is this? Well, like anyone who's had more than small talk with me would know, my two seemingly eternal years in middle school were a hellhouse of terrors. I'm sure many of you fellow nerds can relate. I was lucky to escape into Christian homeschool for the third year of middle school and the entirety of high school, and my life has been improving ever since. Nevertheless, those miserable days in middle school had a lasting effect on the both of us- besides the emotional and psychological scarring, I mean. In particular for me, the one known as Typhlosion or Fatal hilarity, all that desperation and gloom and bitterness and most of all my focus on surviving made me forget a lot of things.

What I mainly forgot was the things I liked as a kid- what I watched on TV mostly. I realized what a shame this was soon after graduating high school, because not only did these things make me happy as a kid, they shaped my imagination and therefore my artistic development, and even shaped my worldview and philosophy. It was no accident that my mom had me watch Leave it to Beaver. My memories of these things had become fuzzy, and so I had inadvertently detached myself from what influenced, informed, and practically created my art style. So I'm now determined to restore my memories by seeing these things once more by buying DVDs, whether they were official or not, and watching online videos of them. Luckily most of what I read has remained in our home.

Oddly enough, most of my art from before high school was centered around our obsessions at the time, such as Calvin & Hobbes, Pokémon, and Harry Potter. Most of the time these cartoons and movies didn't directly inspire my art until recently, and it's difficult to infer such things in our early work. Sometimes a cartoon wouldn't influence me at all, and only now do you see it effect my art in any way! Still, what went on in my head was closely tied to it all.

Other memories involved experiences rather than popular media, like restaurants. In fact, most of my happy memories that didn't involve television involved food instead. For instance, out of sheer coincidence, my brother and I just bought some ice cream from an actual slow-moving ice cream truck. I didn't get one of those bubblegum-eyed franchise character bars, but it was still something I don't think I've done since public school.

Now that I've blathered on about what motivates these articles, and I've said pretty much the same thing to many people several times now, I suppose I really should get on with it now. Shall we actually discuss the title subject? What say you?