Due to a gap between major projects, the workload has lightened considerably, leaving open time normally spent harrassing the graphics department. This coincides with the office getting a new POD system-not an alien infiltration device, but a somewhat confusing and inefficient way to make a single cup of coffee or tea using a wee round packet stuck atop a metal cone. In short I’ve had a lot of overcaffinated free time on my hands.

Normally any extraneous time would be spent typing inanely on GChat, but scourge of the gods, it’s not working! I actually had to call people to talk to them. You can’t say an emoticon! How am I supposed to get ‘B-)’ across?

The only ‘work’ I’ve had to do is go to the occasional meeting. While a coworker dialled in to a conference call, it occured to me you could probably play the opening to both ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and ‘Dance of the SugarPlum Fairy’ on the touchtone pad. An internet search revealed yes, people are bored enough to have compiled long lists of songs playable on your keypad(including the underrated carol ‘Good King Wensceslas’), but neither song I sought came up. I don’t think anyone but Kraftwerk’s really utilized the phone’s full potential as an instrument.

Typing in ‘killer bees’ doesn’t get you the Wu Tang, but it does get you this.

I read extensively on the various diseases plaguing the American Honeybee; the most digusting image goes to the Small Hive Beetle, while grossest description goes to American Foulbrood. Ew.

This interest comes from the terrifying spread of Colony Collapse Disorder. In this increasingly widespread situaiton, beekeepers will find hives much the same as the Mary Celeste-food stores and valuables left behind, with no trace of the bees. Capped brood, those larvae who’ve yet to eat through their wax caps, remain behind as well, and display no traces of foulbrood, an infectious bacterial disease. They’ve still no idea what causes it, but it seems very telling that a sign of CCD is abandoned hives are not raided by other healthy hives nearby, as would normally happen in the case of mites or bacterial infection (in fact, this is one of the ways these bee plagues spread).

Lest anyone freak out that we’ll all starve to death due to a dearth of bees, the honeybee is NOT native to America, and so our native crops are not dependent on their pollinating. However, one third of our current crops do depend on some form of pollination; for reasons of economy bees have often done the job, though they are actually less efficient than other insects at it. In short-Colony Collapse Disorder: scarifying but not the next Doomsday trigger.

Apparently the fellows in Lordi, the Finnish metal band that won the Eurovision song contest, have made a movie. It appears to be a serious horror movie starring all members of the band as various monsters plaguing the inhabitants of an abandoned hospital. Always with the abandoned hospitals. I guess abandoned pencil factories don’t hold the same allure.

Last night I and my friends failed miserably at a nearby bar’s music quiz, though as it was Led Zepplin-based, we were quite proud. We came in 5th, before Misty Mountains and The Cubbyholes, but way behind Franz Skafka and the winning team, Oskama Been Skankin’. My friends demanded of the person running it that next week be pop punk, so they could taste the sweet victory of the $20 bar tab first prize nets. Zepplin. I’ve heard more Led Zepplin than both my parents in their combined lifetimes, and my mom went to two ‘Stairway to Heaven’-themed proms (she went to a total of 5 and stoners ran her school’s dance committee). Their swaggering brand of indulgent rock and the fanboys that adulate it annoy me to no end, and thanks to Q104.3′s ENDLESS hours of ‘Get the Led Out’, if I never hear ‘Whole Lotta Love’ again it’ll be too soon.

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  1. You’re dismissing a band that was formed from the ashes of The Yardbirds and who had recorded the single greatest guitar riff in the history of Rock and Roll, the one from “Bring It On Home”! Gah! The term “Heavy Metal” may have been coined for Hendrix, but Led Zeppelin made Heavy Metal! They’re one of the few bands I find actually worth the levels of praise they’ve received from media and the general public, especially of that era. Just avoid “Stairway to Heaven”, a horrible example of their work and seriously overplayed and overrated. It’s like their “Whip It”.


    1. I am indeed dismissing them. Nuts to Zepplin.


      1. I dismissed them for years, before realizing just how important they were to the course of Rock music and just how much good material they do have (at least in their first 4 albums.) Like I hate Elvis and his music (except for his very first recorded song, “That’s All Right”, the significance of which far surpasses just about any recorded song in the history of music and is actually a great song) but I can’t _dismiss_ his work.
        Brock Samson knows what’s what!


      2. Led Zeppelin is pretty easy to avoid if you don’t watch VH1, listen to classic rock radio, or participate in bar trivia.

        My final evening in Cambodia was spent at Cafe Zeppelin in Phnom Penh, the only bar in town that has Bad Brains on vinyl and no prostitutes in sight. The owner is a Taiwanese facsimile of Andy Bodes who loves rock music and hates China passionately. I think it is less a business than a space that allows for the owner to drink alcohol and play records at his leisure. The neighborhood is cheap enough that he can achieve this without having to lure many customers into his den. It is the one good thing I know of that is named in honor of Led Zeppelin.