Archive for December, 2007

Utter Fantasy Football Domination: Me

I’m currently working on a massive Xmas trip blog as well as the latest of my annual “Best/Worst” year in reviews. To tide you over here are the previous years reviewed as well as a little about my legendary triumph over evil in my fantasy football league.

Well, as you can guess from the fact that I’m blogging about it again, I managed to pull out a win in my fantasy football league. I’m not completely sure, but I think this means I rule at everything … including coming up with fantasy football team names. Here are the final results:

And here was how it all ended up (though the rankings are reflective of the overall game, the other categories such as W-L-T and Pts only seem to reflect up until the playoffs). For posterity here are the players: Me (ThisSportNeedsHoops), Mr. Melnikow (The Golden Age), Tori (Team BAMF), Stephen (Dogfighters FC), Cassie (18 to 88), and Brandon (Toine Balls!?).

And as a final note, I’d like to dedicate this fantasy football year to the budding “friendship” between Jamie and the Dohblog webmaster: may the fire of their love burn forever more!

Taking MySpace Somewhat Seriously …

Well, it took me long enough!

In the last installment of my Making The Band series, I mentioned how I had already sent some YouTube videos to my first Craigslist ad posting responders. The next step was to let them hear some of my actual songs. I was hesitant to just send out mp3s or to place them on my website for people to download. My first concern was bandwidth, though I hardly think that would really be any problem at all.

The second (and truer) concern I had was control of my music. Essentially, I’m not at the point where I’m totally comfortable with random people having their own copies of my songs. I’m cool with people listening to streams. But I currently only have a handful of “finished” songs and they’re either really old recordings (with horrible productions) or terrible recordings. Also, there’s a small little voice deep inside my brain that doesn’t want people stealing any of my ideas. Now, I love listening to old demos and recordings from huge bands (most notably Weezer), but it’s after years of listening to their polished, completed material as a sort of balance.

Anyway, it seems like MySpace will serve that purpose ok for the time being. They allow anyone to create music pages and upload songs (limit of 6) for streaming and/or download. This way, I can point potential bandmates to this site to get a glimpse at what I write while maintaining my musical integrity (paragraph above). The songs would also not be living on my server, so I wouldn’t be wasting my own, purchased bandwidth. It’s a win-win for the moment … until six songs isn’t enough.

So, I will be re-posting my Craigslist ad with my YouTube and MySpace links (and make some of my bandmate requirements a little clearer), but in case any of you out there would like to hear my two newest songs here’s the link: Stan Syckes at MySpace.


  • Cut It Off – I spent 6-7 hours a couple of weekends ago recording this update of an old song I wrote for my Songwriting 101 class back in 2003 (which was based on a MIDI I wrote back in 1999). It’s cool though the tempo runs away at a few points, and I didn’t get to record the melody for the chorus. A work in progess, but I thought it was a good enough indication as to where I’m heading right now.
  • Livestock – Part of my mission to re-record and finish all of my old back catalog. This is based on the (absolute god awful) first “song” I ever wrote – way back in March of 1995. Yes, it actually incorporates the amateurish melody and chords I originally composed!
  • Brent – a song I collaborated on with Richard back in 2005. I wrote the music while he did the melody. I’ve presented just the music here.
  • Love In Doses – take three of a cool, Slash-type riff I came up with over a blues progression.
  • Hesitation – everyone’s heard this, I’m sure. My Songwriting 101 teacher liked it back in 2003, so I thought random listeners would, too.
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  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, December 20th, 2007 at 10:50 | #1

    I like Livestock. Boy I never thought I’d type that sentence.

An Informal, Fireside Catchup on My Video Game Progress

Sticking to the video game theme from the last post, I thought I’d update you all with this very important piece of information: once again, I’m battling for first place in my fantasy football league.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, this fantasy league also includes Cassie; Cassie’s sister, Tori (Story); Tori’s Irish male friend, Stephen; Cassie’s dad, and Brandanus. Therefore, it is especially satisfying to say that I have vanquished all of them in weekly combat and am vying against someone else for the top spot (Fun Fact: Cassie and Brandon are fighting each other for the seventh and final spot)!

Here’s hoping that I don’t completely choke as I famously did last season, losing the championship by 1 stupid point.

And, just in case you haven’t figured out that I take my video gaming very seriously, I’ve also started a season in NBA 2k7. Just as I’ve done with every annual instance of this game, I create a team comprised of my friends (with 10″ added to everyone’s actual height) and attempt to win the NBA championship. To make things fair, I don’t pad my team to make it too powerful (in fact, I’ve patterned everyone based on a Mavericks player, so it’s as if I was playing a season with my beloved Mavs). I’m considering making a mini-page on the results, but it depends on how hardcore I get into this.

And, last but certainly not least, I’ve purchased Rock Band. However, I will choose to write about it after lugging it down to Virginia for Xmas. Should be hot though!

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  • Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 at 21:28 | #1

    Just to clarify, Cassie and I are battling for 7th/8th place but those are just the last two spots in the post-season! There are two other teams who stunk worse than us that didn’t make the playoffs at all who already took the 9th and 10th spots!


  • Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 at 21:58 | #2

    You and your horrible fantasy football playing disgust me.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Well, on Friday I finally completed Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This was actually the second time with it, as the game froze for no apparent reason right near the end when I first played it over a year ago. With over 24 hours invested, I couldn’t find the patience to play through it all over again until just recently. Anyway, you get scored on how well you played the game with a rank at the end and for all of you on the edge of your seats out there, I got the ranking of “panther!” As the name implies, MGS3 was the third in the greatest series of video games I’ve ever played and I nutted every minute! I’ve already blogged about this magnificent game multiple times, so to save time here’s a brief rundown of the long love affair.

  • Oct 15, 2004 – When I first announced I wanted to get the damn thing
  • Feb 13, 2006 – Re-beating MGS1 and MGS2 in anticipation for playing MGS3
  • Apr 06, 2006 – My analysis after a few months into playing the game

Anyway … great game. And, just to give this blog a little bit of value, here’s my updated Top 10 video game list:

  1. Metal Gear Solid [PS1 1998]
  2. Street Fighter 2 [Arcade 1991]
  3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [PS2 2002]
  4. NBA 2k Series [My first copy: PS2 2001]
  5. Super Mario Bros. [NES 1985]
  6. Super Mario Bros. 2 [NES 1988]
  7. GoldenEye 007 [N64 1997]
  8. Diablo II [PC 2001]
  9. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 [PS2 2001]
  10. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater [PS2 2004]

Edged out: Final Fantasy VII [PS1 1997]

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From A Basement In North Bergen, New Jersey

I was a music madman over the weekend. 4 hours on Saturday night and 3 last night spent trying to record a new version of Cut It Off, one of the songs I wrote during my prolific Songwriting 101 college class. I never was in love with how this one came out originally: It was early in the semester and I was afraid of putting myself completely into the recording as they were being (gasp!) listened to by the entire class! I got over this fear pretty quickly, but never went back and fleshed this nice idea out. And, after 7 hours the results are …

… eh. I like the structure and parts, but I really let the tempo get away from me. Listening back all the tracks are fighting to stay together. I’m not sure it’s anything more than a snapshot of the song at the moment for me not to forget how it goes.

In other music news, I made my first contributions to the latest in online procrastination: I uploaded videos to YouTube. Back in July, I randomly videotaped myself during one of my practice sessions. When I was done, instead of watching the playback, I just ported it over to my computer. I thought I had a bad night and felt I was performing to the camera a little too much. Four and a half months later, I finally gave the video a watch and liked what I saw. There were a bunch of mistakes and it’s weird (this obviously wasn’t supposed to be for public viewing based on what I’m wearing), but I thought it might be a good presentation for putting together a band. Now, along with the couple of recordings I’ve made the past two weekends, I can give a more accurate account of what type of music I’m looking to play.

Two of my Craigslist ad respondents sounded halfway promising, but wished to hear what I sounded like. My goal is to write these two back with links to these videos and my songs. Then, I’ll repost my ad – edited to be more exact with what I’m looking for – along with these links, as well. Hopefully, the replies will be more my style this time.

Here are the two songs I taped broken out into two, separate movies. The first is “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and isn’t the best thing I’ve ever done (I even realize this and stop halfway through). The second song is “You Shook Me” and is quite a bit better than the first video. Enjoy … warts and all!

Notes: I was an idiot and first uploaded the second video as “I Can’t Quit You Babe” complete with incorrect title. Also, after my first big gig (talent show during senior year of high school) I was told I lift my leg when I play. I never realized it … but it does make it’s appearance during “You Shook Me.”

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  • Zepmoon
    Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 16:28 | #1

    Way cool. Your rendition of Since I’ve Been Loving You is almost as good as when you debuted that song as Zepfest 1997. But I liked You Shook Me even more.

    One thing, given the very low quality of YouTube sound it is hard to distinguish you from Jimmy Page in the background. If you really want prospective band-mates to get a feel for your style and talent you might want to do a few short acapella clips. Just you laying down some riffs or little rhythm guitar.

  • Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 at 12:34 | #2

    you know i hear male dogs don’t learn to lift their legs until they see another male dog do it first