Archive for the ‘Killiam’ Category

Death of a Blogger

Has blogging died? And, if the general answer is no, has it died in my blogging community? My biggest contemporaries, The B-Log (Brandon Jones) and Steveronline (Steve Syckes), haven’t updated in over a month and have been on barely-once-a-month schedules for some time. Nate’s Noodle (Nate Crandell) and the Dohblog (Anthony Stets) are popping in every couple of months to say how long it’s been since they last said hello. Hibernation Sickness (Richard Killiam) was left to die at the turn of the year, and The USAF Experience (Jeff C[removed]) and the truth..altered (Allison Xanthopoulos) were officially deleted.

Worst of all, I have so little energy myself to get through a post these days. What’s up? Are people too busy, too lazy, or just not living as interesting lives as they used to? I bet everyone says “too busy” but I bet it’s really one of the other two. As for my excuse, it’s something completely different.

I began a blog about the weekend of August 31 – September 3, my trip to Las Vegas for Brandon’s bachelor party. We gambled a lot, ate good food, embarrassed Brandon at a strip club, and checked out the Team USA basketball game. I even ran into Britney Spears. Needless to say, there were a lot of stories and the post was running super long with no end in sight. And when I realized this I was suddenly sapped of all my willpower. I couldn’t continue.

It just wasn’t exciting me. I enjoy writing about experiences of mine, but I hate feeling like I have to write about something. More and more, I’ll write down the title to a blog in my planner (yes, I have a daily planner!) and suddenly it becomes just another chore to check off my list. That just feels like high school work to me and I left that anxiety 8 years ago. But, just to document, here goes:

I would like to say I had a good time in Vegas … though I found out pretty quickly I have an extremely low tolerance for gambling. I can survive a total of 12 hours I’d say. Split that into increments and dash them across a week and I’m good but with Brandon “Pokerjobber” Jones, it’s non-stop and I started to feel it just after the first full day. The Team USA basketball was amazing (of course). It was like watching an All-Star game. Hmm … now I guess I have to go see one of those, too.

Maybe I’ll flesh this whole thing out in 2010 as part of my Three Years Later feature. Well, that is if I’m still doing it (meta-blogging can be pretty taxing though fulfilling) by then. And speaking of 3LY, if you haven’t read any of them so far, give it a peep. Some of this stuff’s pretty cool.

Random Thoughts

  • I was forced to watch Britney Spears’ VMA performance last night. It was so bored I was actually glad about being required to view against my will.
  • A new stanus.butt layout is in the works. It’s pretty easy in wordpress: just find a skin and edit a little bit. Voila.
  • People, if you aren’t reading Project NBA Sim, what are you reading?
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  • Zepmoon
    Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 08:10 | #1

    You introduced me to blogging so I don’t pretend to have any expertise but maybe less is more, that is, don’t try to write detailed accounts for each post. Just give us the highlights. One or two lines can keep everyone up-to-date and satisfy your urge to communicate.

  • Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 at 09:50 | #2

    That’s actually a good idea. Let’s see if the perfectionist in me will let it slide …

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Lucky Weekend

For some reason this blog is hard to get out. Not that it’s revealing or emotional, I’ve just lost the spark to write about it. But, I’ll try to whip through it quickly enough and move on to the next, and highly anticiapted (by me, anyway) blog. Trust me. All those that have been following [stanus.butt] for any length of time will get a kick out of it!

Over the weekend I had to travel back to the Northern Virginia area for a family gathering. Seeing as I didn’t really plan for this until two days before I would leave, I’m surprised with how lucky my fortune was throughout the trip.

First of all, I timed my departure almost absolutely perfectly. Now, this was nothing more than an arbitrary decision to leave work at a specific time, but I walked into Penn Station with about 10 minutes of waiting before my train left. After an uneventful trip south, I arrived at Union Station in Washington, DC at around 10:30. 9 metro stops later on the orange line I was at the East Falls Church stop – the closest one to Stever‘s pad. I gave him a call and he said he was on his way to come pick me up, so I took a seat on the curb in the parking lot to wait for him.

Two shadowy figures, walking together, started to approach the metro. This is hardly out of the ordinary since I was near the entrance to a metro stop at 11pm on a Friday night. What was weird, was that I recognized one of the walk of one of the silhouette’s. Yes, ladies and gentleman, one of the figures approaching me was none other than high school heartthrob, Josh Bowman! And his escort was the legendary Jeremy Skog! I quickly alerted the two to my presence:

Me (seductively): “You gentlemen looking for a party?”

As luck would have it, two old friends from high school were at the very same metro stop I was at waiting for my brother. So, the four of us changed plans a bit and went into Georgetown to drink. Good times. Made even funnier by the fact I had found a cell phone on my train. Bowman had immense joy in piecing together the owner’s lurid life via pics and txt messages. Stever assisted! They made a cute couple.

The next day Stever and I travelled northward into Maryland for a Mills-family gathering. It was good to see so many people I hadn’t seen in a while and to celebrate my grandparents’ 61st anniversary (my god that’s a long time). Mills celebrity, Zack “Penn State” Mills, even revealed to me he is becoming a bigger fan of the NBA than the NFL. He also casually mentioned how he couldn’t watch NCAA basketball anymore. It was then that I realized we were related!

After a humiliating loss in tennis to Steve “I Don’t Want To Play Anymore” Syckes, it was a double-date of sorts as I finally met the current Mrs. Stever for drinks. We checked out the ever-boring Whitlow’s in Arlington while waiting for Mssr. Killiam – who has arrived back in the states for a 3-week vacation. Unfortunately, Whitlow’s as an establishment either does not recognize the nation status of France or does not recognize Richard’s celebrity status from his hit tv show, Charles in Charge, as he wasn’t allowed in with his French ID.

Hilarity and (sexual) confusion ensued when we all arrived back at Casa de Stever and watched Wilt Chamberlain go for 100 points portray Bombaata in Conan the Destroyer. I ruled the beer pong table, per usual (!), and then crashed at my mom’s – where an annoyed Mila the cat remembered me in her usual fare (re: meowing loudly and then hiding under a chair).

Sunday was a pretty normal Sunday-in-Nova where Mom, Cassie, Steve and I had a late lunch at the Olive Garden and then I made my way to Union Station. Again, as luck would have it they were just closing the gate to my train as I arrived. The station guard was even officially connecting the rope fence to stop anyone else from coming through, but let me in (and also gave me an encouraging “run!”). I actually jumped on the train as it began to move (very James Bondish, I must say) and proceeded to catch up on my video game reading.

It was a fun weekend, but these trips down to Virginia are really starting to take a toll. I feel like I’m just running around the whole time and never get anything truly accomplished. These next two weekends will be nothing but musical endeavors as my huge monitor has finally arrived. Recording: here I come!

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It couldn’t have been easier. I found an eBay auction of the amp I wanted (a Line 6 Vetta II combo) for $200 less than it was going for on every other online site (and $900 less than retail). No one else bid for the monster, so I won the auction with my lowest offer! This was Sunday, and by Thursday all 85 pounds of the amp had arrived at my house. And, although I was at work when it showed up, one of my new roommates, Matt, was moving in that day and signed for me.

This meant I got to make hot, hot love to the amp just four days after winning it on eBay! Essentially, why I chose the Vetta II is because it seems to be my amp counterpart. Where I simulate NBA Legends in my Project: NBA Sim, the Vetta uses digital technology to simulate real and historical amps. I really want to write an in-depth blog that goes into excruciating detail about all of the cool features of this amp – but I’m still just in the beginning phases of understanding everything! The Vetta came with a 200-page user manual and I’ve only read far enough to know how to turn it on and shift through the pre-existing simulated amps.

So, in lieu of a features review blog, I will instead take a walk down memory lane and revisit all of the amps I’ve called my own throughout my playing career. (Fun note: only one was really mine!)

1. My First Amp
Model: Park 15-Watt (no, I’ve never seen a Park amp since)
Date Acquired: 12/25/1995
Method of Acquisition: Christmas gift
Date Divested: ca. Fall 1997
Method of Divestment: A loose guitar string on the guitar plugged into the amp touched the powered on computer monitor creating some sort of fatal shortout
Time in Use: ~2 years

Steve and I didn’t get into popular music until late. The summer before high school was the biggest push as we obsessively watched Mtv (I can’t believe that most of this consisted of Singled Out episodes inbetween videos) hour after hour, every single day. Being in such a musical familiy, it was to no surprise that we asked for (and received!) an electric guitar for Christmas of 1995.

The guitar was a Charvel stratocaster-wannabe and with it came the Park amp, which was capable of producing a deafening 15 watts. A puny amount with terrible distortion capabilities, but it did its job and introduced us to the world of guitar rock. This amp served us well through our initial fumblings with the instrument and into our only year of lessons. When we would arrive home from school, one of us would get the computer and the other the guitar. Half an hour later, we’d switch.

Eventually, this pairing became the amp’s undoing. I vividly recall how one day, while I was on the computer and the guitar simultaneously, an unclipped, loose end of a guitar string touched the monitor. Both the computer and amp shut off (though I was unharmed!) immediately. The computer rebooted just fine, but the amp never again produced any sounds.

2. The Gift That Just Kept Giving
Model: Squire 15-Watt
Date Acquired: Spring 1998
Method of Acquisition: Gift from Matt Hural
Date Divested: N/A
Method of Divestment: None; I still have it but haven’t used it in years
Time in Use: ~6 years (1998-mid 1999, mid 1999-Oct. 2001, Dec. 2003-Oct. 2005)

I was at my friend Matt’s house one day and he mentioned how he, just like every other 9th grade male, used to play guitar. I had never heard him express an interest in playing, much less actually owning a guitar, so I asked to see his equipment (keep your mind out of the gutter, readers!). Along with his electric guitar he showed me his small amp that was very much like the one I had destroyed a few months ago. As an added bonus he said I could use his amp since he wasn’t playing anymore. Score!

The intention was to only use this temporarily (I believe he even used that exact word) and I definitely agreed with him. It was a little more beat up than my first amp, and I wanted to trade up to something better eventually since I was in my own band (Patrick and the McNairs) at the time. Little did I realize this would be my go to amp for 6 years.

3. Easy Come, Easy Go
Model: Unknown 30-Watt
Date Acquired: April 1999
Method of Acquisition: “Borrowed” from Practice Room M8
Date Divested: May 1999
Method of Divestment: “Borrowed” from me after senior talent show
Time in Use: ~1 month

Towards the end of my senior year, I was asked to play guitar for a quick gig. With such a quick turnaround (I believe we had 2 days to rehearse), I just brought my guitar to school and used whatever amp I could find there. My band (which I dubbed Crabs after the first initial of each of our name) practiced in the largest practice space after school, M8, and I located a nice, 30-watt amp in there. It was in a corner of the room, collecting dust, so after the gig I liberated it.

I don’t remember the specs on this amp, nor do I have a picture of it apparently (the closest you’ll get is this one where I appear to be plugging into an amp hidden by the keyboard during a rehearsal). This amp lasted with me for about a month, finally being used during the senior talent show in another ad-hoc band (this time, Wang Lowe and the Freeballers). As poetic justice would have it, I left the amp in a hallway backstage overnight only to discover it had been liberated from me the next day.

4. The Saddest Amp
Model: 1996 Fender “Evil” Twin 100-Watt
Date Acquired: October 2001
Method of Acquisition: Purchased on eBay
Date Divested: December 2003
Method of Divestment: Sold on eBay
Time in Use: 2 years

For the first two full years of college (including my time living in the Shack making music with my band, Bras) I reverted back to Matt Hural’s amp (#2 on this list). It was really only a temporary thing to begin with, replacing the very first amp I owned (and shorted out), and now having it as my only amp in prime playing time began to get really old, really fast. Finally, by my junior year of college, I had enough money and enough space (now that I was in my own room in an apartment) to invest in a nice, tube amp and i set my heart on the Fender Twin (or Evil Twin since it had the non-default red knobs).

I remember engaging in some heavily contested eBay auctions and didn’t win an amp until my third or fouth try, but soon I was the proud owner of a Twin. Sadly, no experience with this amp ever reached the anticipation of owning it. It turned out to be way too loud for my needs – I could never crank it over 1 in my apartment and I wasn’t happy with the distortion sound at all. I used it for some practices with a drummer over the summer, but still never got over 3 (and tube amps usually need to be cranked to sound the best). When I moved into my senior year apartment, I barely used the thing and eventually hocked it for rent money. I bought it back again, but quickly sold it for good on eBay (and it showed up to my buyer broken by UPS – still my only negative feedback on eBay).

5. Frenchie
Model: Crate 30-Watt
Date Acquired: October 2005
Method of Acquisition: “Gift” from Richard
Date Divested: N/A
Method of Divestment: Neglected
Time in Use: 2 years

Once again I fell back on using Matt Hural’s amp (#2 on this list). As you can guess, I didn’t play a whole lot. It was also no surprise that I started to favor my new acoustic when I purchased it at the end of 2004. When I moved from my mom’s house in Woodbridge, VA to Arlington, VA (the legendary Pink Sock), my friend and bandmate, Richard, informed me he was going to be visiting Europe for a month-long vacation (current length of that “vacation:” 20 months and counting) and left his 30-watt in my care.

Even though it’s way better than the Hural amp, it’s not so great itself. Richard’s had it for years (the picture I’m using is from the Shack which was 2000) and the distortion is starting to wear thin. Also, about every 15 minutes, the guitar cord connection gets loose and you hear nothing but feedback until you jiggle it. The amp served me decently as I began to start to play a lot again moving into the New Jersey house, but I knew it was time to finally get something good.

6. Vetta II
Model: Line 6 Vetta II
Date Acquired: June 2007
Method of Acquisition: Purchased on eBay
Date Divested: N/A
Method of Divestment: N/A
Time in Use: 1 week and counting …

The relationship has just begun, but it’s already starting to blossom. I’ve played for 2 hours almost every day since I’ve received the Vetta and I’m still just scratching the surface of its features. Now, what would be amazing is if I find out how to simulate these previous amps using the Vetta custom tone option!

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  • Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 09:31 | #1

    The first amp was not aquired on 12/31/1995 but 12/25/1995
    #2, Matt Hural’s amp, currently resides in my basement in Arlington

  • Friday, June 29th, 2007 at 09:31 | #2

    You found a Line 6 Vetta II for $200?? Are you friggini’ kidding me?

    I’ve got a Line 6 Flextone II here that I’ve practically never used. It’s so sweet, poor thing. You know it’s just dying to howl at the moon or something.

  • Friday, June 29th, 2007 at 09:32 | #3

    Steady now! I got it for $200 less than what it was going for everywhere else online. Ok … cat’s out of the bag: I paid $1500 for the thing

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what’s all this then?

Greetings from the land of the Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, and those giant, red union jack hats Joey wears in the Friends visit London episodes (yes, they’re at every store). I’m just here for another night at the Astor Quest hostel in downtown London.

I woke up before Richard went to work on Tuesday and dragged all of my luggage through the metro (I had to do some amazingly creative maneuvers to get it all through the tiny turnstiles). It was a good thing I allowed myself an hour when I got to the train station as I got lost more than once just trying to get in from the metro (this sounds pathetic, but you’d understand if you were there).

I found my seat on the train and, thankfully, I was the only person in my car that had both seats to himself! Such luxury! It was a good thing too, as about an hour into the trip my stomach had had it with the disgusting crepe I ate last night and I found myself puking in the tiny train bathroom. Not once, but twice! Most of my car were French teenagers and I felt really cool coming back, dizzy to my seat after having been in the bathroom for 10 minutes a chorus of their laughter. Whatever, I was finally feeling better and passed out.

The hostel I’m staying it is very fun. I’m just taking it pretty easy here. I’m almost thoroughly Euro-ed out, and long to play my PS2, work on songs with ALL of my instruments, plan on my NY move, and, most importantly, not have to lug around all of my luggage wherever I go. My flight leaves tomorrow morning and I will be back in the states by 3pm. I shall see you all soon, I’m sure.

Also not there’s a new entry in the euroblog.



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  • Friday, August 4th, 2006 at 16:21 | #1

    Hey Stan,

    Glad to hear your music is coming along. I still want to know when we’ll be able to hear it. 😛

  • CoveroftheDVDVER
    Monday, August 7th, 2006 at 16:22 | #2

    Can the next “euroblog” entries be as funny as the events they’re describing this time? And also can they be spell-checked at least a little bit?

  • Monday, August 7th, 2006 at 16:52 | #3

    One more thing. I showed your Seinfeld site to a friend of mine and we noticed that you’re missing one of my favorite characters, Rebecca Demornay(sp

Still in Paris

Still here in Gay Paris. Not much to say … but I have updated the ol’ euroblog. Good stuff. The only reason I haven’t done more is I still need some spelling of some areas from Richard. I hope to have more than just 1 day next time I update.

Hope all is well, later.



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  • Wilson
    Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 at 17:07 | #1

    Sounds like you’re having a great time! Bring me back a beret! And don’t forget my postcard!

Vive la France 1: Traveling in my own excrement!

Entry 1
Last night … earlier today … it’s hard to start a blog entry when you cross the Atlantic and travel into the future. My flight to Amsterdam left Dulles at 5:33pm and it was a frantic day spent packing, moving the last pieces of my apartment shit into my room, and trying to load enough programs and files onto my laptop (the eurotop as of now) so it would be useful. With several adieus bid from friends and family, Stever dropped me off and I was on my way.

As usual, leading up to my departure I was met with many “oh you have to get to the airport 2 hours early!” Though there was a long line to get my bags (bag + guitar) checked and to get through security, I was waiting to board my plane for over an hour. I know people have horror stories of having to stand in check in/security lines forever just to get in, but I still haven’t encountered it.

When I picked out my ticket on Orbitz two months ago, I had a cool little diagram of the entire plane to help me decide which precise seat I wanted to be located in during my travel. What bullshit! Turns out that really doesn’t mean anything as I was placed directly in the middle seat (we’re talking the middle seat of the middle row). I sat next to an “auxilery Air Force” cadet program leader named JD and we talked a bit about our travels and the Air Force (now that I have multiple peeps in it), but then the stewardes … er, flight attendant singled me out to sit in the emergency exit aisle. All this really meant was that I was given a brief list of responsibilities (which wasn’t much more than pull a giant lever to the right and push). On the upside I had two chairs to myself, I was right next to the bathroom, and I had all the legroom I could need and more. I don’t understand Larry David’s fear of having such a “responsible” seat. It was great and I’m going to try to ask for it on the way back.

I watched 16 Blocks (bleh), Walk The Line (meh), and slept for maybe an hour and a half, and then found myself in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. So far Richard Killiam is right in that Europe is so much greater than America … at least in a visually inviting way. Everyone seems stuck several years in the past as far as fashion and entertainment, yet they really revel in it so you can’t help but getting into it! Also, all the women are topless on the front cover of their magazines! Ok, so I’ve really only experienced Schiphol airport, but so far … es bueno!

I am writing this currently while waiting for my next flight to London. I shall continue this entry there as I expect a good 8 solid hours to waste for the chunnel to Paris. I must say, writing blogs when I have the inspiration/time rather than forcing myself to produce during work is a lot more freeing. Just check out the size of this thing, so far!

Entry 2
The flight to London was completely uneventful: 40 minutes of no movie, no music, no food, I finished my book right before shit. Thank god it ended quickly.

The Heathrow section I stepped off into was severely small … I know Heathrow is one of the largest airports in the world, but my area seemed to have been separated from everything else. I jumped aboard the Underground (yes, the “mind the gaps” remind me of Josh Bowman 10 years later …) where I was treated to over an hour of London architecture. That’s right … I was on the underground for over an hour. Luckily it was also extremely hot so I boiled in my seat buried beneath my 3 bags (ok, one is a guitar).

My destination was the EuroRail Waterloo station – where I would (hopefully) find my train to Paris, food, and some means to pass the 6 hours away before I was even allowed into the departure lounge. I “dined” at Burger King (the only cheap restaurant) and had some disgusting chicken sandwich. Note #1 – although the Brits number all of their meals, they do not refer to them by their number. So when I asked for a “#5 with a coke” I was greeted with stares, and when I repeated my order, the lady turned her head up to the sign to see what that was! Doesn’t she work there all day? Has she not committed that crazy, ever-changing encypted menu to memory, yet? Note #2 – the Brits like their sandwiches slimey. When I would bite into one end the fucking meat would slide out the other!

About halfway through my meal a guy asked to join me. He looked like a computer geek and I was right on the money! His name was Jerome and he was grabbing a bite to eat before returning to his home in Paris (he’d been interning in Edinburgh (sp?) ). Though I could tell English was his third language (behind French and C++), we had a pretty comfortable conversation discussing everything from how a Frenchman earns a blackbelt in judo to the syntax of programming a robotic dog. I joked that in a year of programming work he’d figure out he hated it and split to be a musician but I don’t think he got it.

I got his number in case I find myself desperetly lonely sometime in the next two weeks (he was a nice guy … but not exactly the lets-go-grab-a-beer kind) and we both headed for the gate. That is until we realized he was catching the 1:30pm train and I was scheduled for the 5:40pm one. That’s right, having said goodbye to my French acquiantence (sp?) I now had 5+ hours left to kill! Worse, I was starting to feel the wear of my 30+ hours of being awake (those precius few winks I caught in the DC plane didn’t do all that much recharging). The only way I can describe the omnipresent feeling I was getting is I started to feel as though I had a helmet on my hair. I felt the helmet’s exact weight pressing around my skull like a halo and felt my hair being mushed down in hat hair fashion. No checks to the contray of my reflection disuaded this feeling.

(Intermission: There are no trashcans in England thus far! You just leave your trash and people come around to clean it up for you! WTF! LOL!?)

Somehow, with the help of an unread Rolling Stone issue (as of now previously unread) and a coke I have made it to 4pm London time and am now inside the AIR CONDITIONED departure lounge. There’s nothing like being sweaty, dehydrated, and drunk tired, let me tell you. Still, it was a trip just sitting and watching all the weird Europeans while waiting outside! Two observations: First, Richard’s theory that there are so many “super hot” ladies is incorrect. I’ve only seen 4 or so and that seems to be average in any city in the same span of time. Second, Richard’s theory that Europeans are more fit is … verified! I have only seen a handful of fat people and absolutely no obese people. Seeing as I was in a major airport, the underground, and an international train station I think that’s a definitive enough sampling.

Well, I’m up to date with where I am currently in time!!!!!!! As I sit on this blue bench, typing furiously, I notice it’s a pound per 12.5 minutes of internet time via WiFi. I think I’ll take it up in a few minutes. Au revoir!! :-*

Entry 3
While in line for my EuroRail train, I talked to two Americans waiting for the same ride. The girl alerted me to the fun fact that Paris was her “fucking favorite city, man” about 20 times. Alas, we were split up when the doors were opened for boarding. My ticket put me in the very back of one train car all by myself. Perfect for me! I slept the whole 3 hours so I wouldn’t be a complete zombie by the time I got to France.

Grabbing my bag, backback and guitar once more, I lugged them to the huge departure area of the Paris station. I turned my pounds into euros and bought some Perrier (it was to be French beer but I couldn’t find any and I’m starting to really get into club soda). After only 20 minutes I recognized Mssr. Killiam’s famous Watto-style walk and he took me to the waiting Rilliam – with rented car! The French architecture is indeed amazing … everything is so dense and yet not overcrowded (though apparently many people have gone vacationing in the south).

Richard’s apartment is small. It is one large room with a raised bed, a small couch beneath the bed, a desk near an open window, and a few dresser drawers. The bathroom is basically the size of a cardboard box raised to the ceiling. The kitchen isn’t much bigger than that. But, it’s probably bigger than anything I will be able to afford in New York (not counting the common room if I do decide to get a room in a multiple-room apartment). Mrs. Killiam and Lizzie were already here and after an expensive champagne (which I actually enjoyed!) toast, the parents left and I was at the mercy of the Killiam siblings!

My first plan of action was to remove the funk I felt I was drowning in so I jumped into the absolute smallest shower I’ve ever been a part of. You will definitely have to see the pictures to believe it. Surprisingly refreshed, the three of us did a very quick tour looking for an internet cafe. It was closed so we grabbed a French drink (beer and sprite). Mine tasted like fun soap!

An hour or so later, we were all overcome with jetlag (strangely Richard included) and we set back for Casa de Killiam where, after a viewing of the “Brent show” (British comedy Peep Show which is excellent), we fell asleep.



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  • Thursday, July 20th, 2006 at 18:42 | #1

    Finally, what I hope to be a true euroblog. I hope you can succeed where others (hybernation sickness and have failed. Trek on globetrotter.

  • Zepmoon
    Friday, July 21st, 2006 at 18:43 | #2

    Congratulations on successfully navigating to Paris. Sounds like you are off to a great start — live it up and enjoy the vacation. And say hello to Le Richard de Lune. Please keep up the GREAT travel blog “it very refreshing

i have the power!

People … this is what blogs are all about.

For a second let’s pretend you are the debonair, gentleman spy, James Bond. I am the ruthless, egomaniacal villain who you have been instructed to track down and stop – by lethal means if necessary! While infiltrating my secret rocket-launching headquarters located inside a volcano, you fall prey to my metal-toothed henchman and into my clutches. As you slowly come to, you realize you are tied to a chair and facing me. Struggling for orientation, it is now that I reveal my sinister plan of world domination …

I have been concocting this scheme for almost 2 years now and, with only a few slight alterations, it has been executed perfectly! Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let us start at the beginning, Mr. Bond.

For xmas 1995 I received a cheap ass guitar (shared with my brother) to fulfill my early musical aspirations. When these proved to be more than just teenage fad, I saved up and purchased an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (an intermediate guitar for about $700) in the spring of 1998.

After a couple of high school bands and only a handful of gigs, I left for college to secure plan B – a degree in computer information systems. For the entire four (and a half!) years, however, I amped up my musical involvement. I wrote and recorded nearly 400 mp3 files of music – the majority self- or co-penned – and practiced for hours along to bands I loved. I spent a summer living in a rundown shack (we’re talking no water, no toilet, holes in the wall) with two guys, just writing, recording, and rehearsing music. I studied songwriting under a music industry veteran who toured with Sammy Hagar, and had a hit song in the early 80’s. I managed to escape college with a minor in music industry, as well.

Upon graduating college I was filled with a dream, but had no fuel to propel it. The state of my musical equipment was pitiful – I had broken all but 2 of my guitar’s tuning pegs off and I had ripped off the back for easy access to oft-broken internal wires. Paying for school had left me in debt, and the only transportation I had, I shared with my brother who would be returning to college in the fall. I had no place to live so I would have to bite the bullet and move back into my mom’s house.

And yet, all of these obstacles couldn’t douse my desire. I realized that if I was going to overcome this, I’d have to sacrifice and postpone my dreams for a while – maybe years – before I’d be financially ready and mature enough to act on it. I took up temporary employment to get on my feet and, luckily, fell ass-backwards into a decent job. Less than a year after moving back into my mom’s house, I moved into an apartment in Arlington – a great location with a cheap enough rent where I have been able to save up a significant chunk of change. I bought a new acoustic and a vintage Gibson Les Paul Standard – both of which are top of the line musical instruments. I bought my own car for greater independence. I continued to write and record music. I suddenly looked up and noticed almost 2 years exactly had passed since I left college. Where once I saw nothing but obstacles in my way towards my musical future, I now saw a chance.

It is time!

Step 1: Paris, France
In one month’s time I shall depart my company and my country for foreign lands, where I will meet up with my cowriter, Richard Killiam, in Paris for two weeks. There I will allow myself to step out of the computer field mindset and get into the creative, musical one I will need for my next step (I am sure I will also drink heavily and watch many world cup games).

Step 2: New York City
When I get back I shall move into an apartment in NYC (I’m still working on where exactly). I shall follow two of my friends and start working temporary employment in the various music inudstries up there to a) just get my foot in the door, b) pay for living, c) start working some contacts in the field and d) see where exactly I want to go. I have steeled myself to work most of my nights as well, writing and recording music, getting a band together, rehearsing, and eventually playing around the city. It isn’t the fool-proofest (real word?) of plans, but it’s the best I got and I can’t wait any longer! Besides, every success in this industry needs some luck.

Step 3: The World!
Or, at the very least, a new dohblog!

I trust this blog should start getting very interesting soon with the Paris trip and subsequent move to New York, the initial scramblings for a foothold in the industry, and what I hope to be some type of success (perhaps I just doomed myself with that line). However, I promise to you, reader, I will never lose sight of what I am here to do – no matter what happens or where I am – I will continue to write about the Mavs!

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  • Wednesday, June 7th, 2006 at 17:45 | #1

    Holy shazbot! This is a big deal, Stan. This means you’re going to be telecommuting into work, right? Oh. Wait. You’re saying that you’re going to move on with your life to pursue great things.

    Bah humbug. What about the drudgery? What about the soul crushing routine and arbitrary stress/pressure that your physiology can’t distinguish from being hunted by, say, a member of the big cat family?

    Yes, I’m jealous. But you have my full moral and immoral support.

  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, June 8th, 2006 at 17:45 | #2

    Go man go! I’m 100% behind you and know you’ll never regret it.

  • Thursday, June 8th, 2006 at 17:45 | #3

    Way to throw it out there, bud! I am sure big dreams will turn into big accomplishments!

    When are you breaking it to the bosses?

  • rk
    Friday, June 9th, 2006 at 17:46 | #4

    It’ll be hard to watch World Cup games because it will be over! Fear not, though! Expect drinking to be accompanied by outdoor music festivals and rock bars. One problem: my bed is loft-style and only two feet from the ceiling, so no doggy-style or fat chicks. Can’t wait for Escape From Arlington!!

  • Mike G
    Sunday, June 11th, 2006 at 17:46 | #5

    The inmates are running the asylum!

  • amie
    Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 at 17:47 | #6

    You’re an inspiration!!!

end of the gig

As usual, SteverOnline gets the scoop before me (read his 4/14/06 entry).

Last Friday marked the last unofficial day of my Dad’s Air Force career. I took the day off so I could attend. Well, let me be more specific, as I could’ve just taken the second half of the day off to make the starting time of the ceremony. I took the full day off so I could get past the machine gun toting guard standing outside Bolling Air Force Base. Apparently you need some sort of unexpired photo identification card to get into a military base and my license had died the first of this month (yes, I am aware you need an unexpired license to also drive and I have been working these past two weeks … I ask you to not put 1 and 1 together).

I woke up at butt early o’clock to compensate for the crazy DMV lines. Right before I was heading out the door I decided to actually check the requirements for updating a driver’s license. Apparently you need to prove you exist!!!!!! Now, I had to waste 45 minutes to drive down to my mom’s house and pick up my old passport, but I still felt optimistic about getting to the ceremony on time. Still, I really need to get in the habit of taking care of these problems earlier! Anyway, my fun time at the DMV was pretty uneventful (although I did almost fail my eye test!), and I got back to Steve’s in time to wake him up by 11.

After some much needed Taco Banus, we arrived at the Colonel’s house where we were greeted by Mom Mom and Pop Pop who had flown in specifically to see their kid retire (weird saying that, huh?). Pop Pop threatened to steal Dad’s show by wearing a vintage WWII uniform that was exactly like the one he wore while navigating planes over China. Along with Shannon, Karen and one of Karen’s friends, we all piled into a couple of cars and set out for Bolling.

The ceremony itself was nice and short. A general one rank above Dad gave a speech about his career and comparisons between his and Pop Pop’s life (eerie). Impressively, this speech was entirely off the cuff, having been constructed through a half hour meet and greet conversation in another room with all of us. I even gave him some dirt on Dad having skipped out of his GRE’s, but the story wasn’t used.

The summation of the event was this: Dad had an amazing and rewarding, 28-year long military career. I can’t imagine doing something for 28-years (maybe it’s because I haven’t even experienced that amount of years just living) unless you truly loved it and there was an emotional moment where Dad admitted his Air Force stint had been fulfilling. Then – as all Syckes get togethers end – the bar was opened and the alcohol poured forth!

A sidenote: Pops is still young and, though he longs to spend his days on the golf course, he’s not there quite yet. He begins his second career when he gets back from an extended trip to Europe (here’s hoping he doesn’t pull a Killiam and end up staying due to not being able to afford a plane back)!

Oh, and this was the best picture I took that day. For some reason they all came out terrible.



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  • Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 at 14:19 | #1

    wow it does seem that stever does get to blog before his evil twin stan does but on the other hand the evil twin works and sleeps on a nomal time frame. 28 yrs doing anything seems long but i could say the same about school…education and my job. There is no way your dad did the samething day in and day out. Over the yrs he got promoted so look at it in that way. Everyone needs a little change at there job. I turn 7 yrs a beening at best buy in Oct. You never know what might make you settle in one field.

1 trackbacks/pingbacks

to blogs (part 2)

Though I have blogged for over 2 years now, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on blogs. It’s like the MVP race in the NBA (something everyone can relate to) – the definition of the requirements for deciding is left to the decider. There are no set rules. The rankings I have given to each blog is just how much I enjoy it, currently. If there are many, noticable typos or long periods between updates, then my enjoyment may dip as a result. I realize these blogs weren’t created to please me, but they are on the web which, by definition, means they are for public viewing. Therefore, take these as just one person in the crowd’s opinion.

Albiet, the correct opinion.

Hibernation Sickness
Author: Richard Killiam
Method: Blogger
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 20 days
Archive of excellently written analysis, comments and other droppings by 25-year old wayward traveler, Richard Killiam. Killiam, still “visitng” Paris is a struggling artist who apparently watches a lot of movies. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Great writing, Insightful analysis of art, music and film, Humor
the Bad: Do blogs that aren’t written in count as blogs?
the Grade: C+

the truth..altered
Author: Allison Reip
Method: Blogger
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 31.5 days
The life of 24-year old Allison Reip (soon to be Xanthopoulos?) in published, blog format. Originally titled the truth..altered due to her stories using aliases to protect the innocence of those discussed, what will it become now that she’s engaged? If only she blogged more!
the Good: A decidedly female point of view, Unapologetic
the Bad: Hardly any updates, Can read like just a list of things done over a weekend
the Grade: C-

The Schumin Web
Author: Ben Schumin
Method: Unique
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 2.4 days
Right after the Duke Dog, 25-year old Ben Schumin was the mascot of JMU. Larger than life in many ways, it is hard to tell whether this Wal-Mart worker with a college degree is the biggest egomaniac or just the biggest personality on the planet. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Unashamedly honest, Hilariously naive at times, Huge non-blog site, Inhuman update frequency
the Bad: Piles of meaningless minutia
the Grade: A

Doh Blog
Author: Anthony “Toine” Stets
Method: Livejournal
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 8.1 days (only 8 total entries)
It can be a chore to get through 25-year old Anthony Stets’ stream of blogged goodness, but hidden inside the cryptic verse are nuggets of pure gold! If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Ironically hilarious, Unique approach to spelling and grammar
the Bad: Must be decoded to enjoy, Promised updates are later ignored
the Grade: C+

Author: Shelby Syckes
Method: Blogger
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 6.5 days
My dad’s (yes, you heard that right) blog. Somehow my unmentionable-aged farther has progressed into the blog world (and has been doing it for a year and a half now)! Always good for a cheap laugh and interesting anecdotes. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Sick, twisted humor
the Bad: Observational and announcement entries sometimes register as non-blogs
the Grade: B-

Author: Stan Syckes
Method: Unique
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 4 days
I thought it was only fair to rank myself along with everyone else’s sites. To be fair, I didn’t include either of these blogs into the average time between last 10 updates. If only others blogged as often as I do!
the Good: Regular updates, Growing non-blog sections, Humor
the Bad: Blogs are sometimes announcements instead of stories and thoughts, Maybe too much basketball for most people
the Grade: B+

Author: Steve Syckes
Method: Blogger
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 4.4 days
My 25-year old brother’s blog. Let’s hope you know who Toine is before you set foot on this site as he is the main attraction! Stever brings his razor wit and love of all things pop to jazz up his mundane stories into surreal adventures. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Honest, Good storyteller, The best Toine newssource (even with Dohblog)
the Bad: A … uh … little derivative
the Grade: B

Okay Samurai Multimedia
Author: Dave Werner
Method: Blogger
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 6.4 days
I don’t know Dave, actually. He is a 26-year old brother of someone I knew in middle school, but he is very big into old school video games, computer graphics, and web design. Though his blog is little more than snippets of his thoughts, the rest of the site is excellent. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Extremely creative, Driven in his career and it shows in his writing
the Bad: Can be dull, Sometimes gets away with non-blogs
the Grade: B-

Gary Young’s MySpace Blog
Author: Gary Young
Method: MySpace
Avg. Time Between Last 10 Updates: 6.2 days
Gary Young is a co-worker of mine at DDC. Aside from being a musician like myself (except he actually gigs and puts his music up online), he’s a very philosophical sole. Whether it be the perception of reality or cleavage, no subject is safe from his scrutiny. And he usually hits it dead on with hilarious sarcasm. If only he blogged more often!
the Good: Well written, Wide-open honesty, Humor, Thought-provoking subjects and analysis
the Bad: It’s a mixed bag – you have to be in the mood for the topic as it is completely different each entry
the Grade: A




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  • Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 at 14:55 | #1

    This was quite possibly the worst example of your crappy opinions ever. Your terrible taste in movies, music, sports teams, and video games has finally caught up with you. You have certainly crossed the line this time. You have gone too far. First of all, your facts are all jacked up. I live in Tucson, not Tuscon. I’m 24, not 25. I am not going through Officer School… that was completed over 2 years ago. I am scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, not Iraq. Secondly, the mere thought that the sites of Killiam, Steveronline, Stets, and Reip scored higher than mine is just plain lunacy and idiocy. In the words of Kramer and Jerry, that’s kooky-talk!

  • Friday, April 21st, 2006 at 14:56 | #2

    I am upset that Nate’s Noodle was not graded by the mighty Stanus. mmmrrr

  • Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 at 14:57 | #3

    Perhaps it’s for the best that Nate’s Noodle does not discover his grade from the previous blog

stanus does dallas

Howdy! I first brainstormed a trip to Dallas to see a Mavericks homegame back in December 2004. 429 days later I made good on that decision.

However, you will just have to wait to hear all about it. Instead of merely blogging about the experience in a weekend update formula, I am constructing a photo essay using over 130 photos taken of the trip and probably won’t finish it until this upcoming weekend (which, by the way, coincides with my passage into senior citizenship). But it should be life-changing reading for you. Here’s a breif teaser:

  • BJ’s (of Brandon Jones fame?) Brewery and the Zuzu cafe
  • The nerd flowers episode!
  • Flaunting disregard for no photography rules in the JFK Sixth Floor museum
  • The “alternative news” tour of Dealy Plaza
  • The missing tooth of tour guide from aforementioned Dealy Plaza tour
  • A tearjerking drunk call from Richard Killiam: travelblogger to the stars!
  • The wonderfully madcap adventure of locating the largest Honky Tonk in the state, and, yet, somehow never finding anyone who knew where it was (nor how the name was pronounced)
  • Pwning a pony
  • Conquering the Urban Cowboy bull
  • Visiting the Nashery Sculpture Gardens
  • A life-affirming trip to a Dallas Mavericks home game
  • Being announced like royalty during said game
  • Stealing $80 from the Mavs Fan Store and having no choice but to give it back
  • Sharing a moment with Dirk Nowitzki and being ignored by traitor, Steve Nash
  • Dining with George W. Bush and Steven Spielberg
  • My first police encounter in Dallas, TX

I now leave you with the only phrase I could utter while wearing a cowboy hat: Git r done!

NUMBER OF DEACTIVATED COMMENTS: 1 – I tried to insert HTML but it didn’t work, so I just capitalized WARM.



Add a comment ...
  • Tuesday, March 7th, 2006 at 14:04 | #1

    Can’t wait for the full story but if your encounter with Dirk has any Brokeback Mountain themes please warm me.

  • Tuesday, March 7th, 2006 at 14:05 | #2

    Please WARM you!?!?!?!?!?!

  • A-Liesel Eby
    Tuesday, March 7th, 2006 at 14:05 | #3

    GIT R DONE!!!!

  • Wednesday, March 8th, 2006 at 14:06 | #4

    WarM, did I type warM? It could be Freudian but I suspect it is those darn N and M keys being side by side on the keyboard. Now if you really want to see an embarassing misspelling read this