Disco Mickey Mouse!

Ahhh, the memories. Quite possibly the edgiest record I ever owned as a kid. Rock music wasn’t allowed in our house because it was all satanic. Televangelists were really into playing records backwards at the time to prove it back then. Even our own church’s pastor had a lot to say about the evils of rock music and my parents believed every bit of it. I remember my older brother getting a huge lecture when they caught him listening to K-SHE 95. I think we got a joint lecture when they happened to come into the living room and heard the song Reproduction when I was watching Grease 2.

My neighbor Sarah used to let me copy some of her music onto tapes, which I kept a secret. When she got me into Weird Al around 12 or 13, they didn’t seem to mind that at all. Maybe they didn’t realize he did more than polka. I won’t even get into all the “Christian rock” we listened to back then, which was acceptable. Around 14 is when they both seemed to be working all the time and I got enough privacy to start listening to whatever I wanted, including the then-amazing MTV.

Dueling Podcasts

About a month ago I was catching up on some of my regular podcasts, which included Security Justice and PaulDotCom that day. Both shows I listened to that afternoon just happened to mention that they needed theme songs for their shows. And somehow I ended up with the great idea of writing a really bad theme song for each of them. Then the idea got even more hilarious by deciding that the songs should be laced with profanities so that there’s no way they could ever play them on their shows. And then it evolved into the most brilliant idea ever – each song would insult the other. PaulDotCom would say horrible things about Security Justice and vice versa.

The people in each of these podcasts all know each other since they’re both computer security podcasts. In fact, each year all the security podcasts get together at Defcon during the Podcasters Meetup and do a show together, which just happened to be a couple weeks away. I imagined my horrible songs causing enough friction between the members of the podcasts to cause a fistfight to break out during the show. This was going to be the most exciting podcast meetup ever! I ended up writing and recording both songs that same evening. Here they are:

PaulDotCom Podcast Promo

Security Justice Promo

Sadly, nothing terrible happened at the podcaster’s meetup. I even sat a few rows back so that I wouldn’t end up getting hit in the head by a chair and so that I could make a quick escape when Larry pointed at me in the midst of the fight and snarled through his bloodied lip, “You caused all this, RBCP!” You can’t say I didn’t try my very best to create drama, though.

Security Justice ended up playing their promo in Episode 69 of their show, with the cursing bleeped out. And PaulDotCom played their promo in the pre-show, but not on the actual show that goes on the podcast feed. Apparently they have a problem with the word “cocks” and don’t possess any bleeping out skills.

Security Justice and PaulDotCom are two of my favorite hacker-related podcasts, and you should listen to them if you’re into that sort of thing. But first, you should visit my new music page and listen to some of the other music I’ve done lately.

DaVinci Days

This weekend Payton and I went to DaVinci Days, which is a really cool yearly event in Corvallis, Oregon that I had never heard of until late last year. It celebrates the art of Leonardo DaVinci, and people build his inventions and race them. Check out this year’s entries in my Flickr photo set. There’s a lot of earthy-type stuff there, such as alternative energies and random science exhibits. I also made a video of the sidewalk chalk art as we walked back to our car, which is below.

The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies played there on Friday, which I missed. They would have been fun to see. There was also a Geocaching booth, which I donated a bunch of buttons and my old GPS unit to. I volunteered at the booth, but they were overstaffed so I didn’t have to stick around. Instead Payton and I entered the geocaching competition, where we walked all over OSU’s campus, looking for caches. We found 3 before quitting and going to Circle K for lunch. The best one was at a bike rack, where we searched for 30 minutes and finally found it in a water bottle that was attached to a chained up bike on the rack.

I wore a sleeveless shirt, showing off my Bell tattoo, and some girl came up and asked if she could take a picture of it. She said her mom used to work for some phone company. Then she asked if I worked for a phone company and I replied, “No, I work against the phone companies.” That’s a standard reply I used to give to reps/operators at phone companies when they’d ask me that question after starting to wonder why I was asking them so many weird phone company-related questions.

My paid Flickr account expired, I just noticed. I guess they notified me by emailing me at my Yahoo email address, which is impossible to use because their spam filters suck so bad. One of the limitations of a non-paid account is that I can only have a certain number of pictures up. And from what I can tell, they just deleted all my old photos from the past 20 years instead of archiving them for me for when I pay again. So that sucks. Not that I actually lost anything, but I’m sure not going to pay and upload all that stuff again. I need to just set up a photo album on my homepage again. Screw paying $25/year for photo storage.

I wrote a song dedicated to Electric Dreams, which is a movie I loved in the 1980’s.

I set up a page for my music at notla.com/music/ and added that song to it. It’s the first non-parody song I’ve ever completed. I realize I can’t sing that great, but I love doing all this stuff and I’ve actually written quite a few songs in the past that I never got around to finishing. I have a bunch that were half-performed but I’d given up on because I hated how they sounded or it was just too difficult to create the music for them. But in May or June I discovered a program called Mixcraft that lets me easily record multiple tracks of music and makes creation with my Casio keyboard so incredibly easy. Looking back now, it’s insane, the lengths I went to to create those older songs using Cool Edit.

This month I’ve actually used Mixcraft to write and perform 2 songs for podcasts, which I’m not going to post anywhere until after they play them. And I put together music for a song that Spessa wrote and redid an older song of mine with it, which I’m still not completely happy with. And I’ve got a couple more ready to be started on AND I put together a few random beats/tunes to be used in future songs. So I’m expecting to do a lot with this. I’m even planning to pay for the software once I can afford it since it’s so reasonably priced. Well okay, it’s actually because I can’t find it on bittorrent. But it’s totally worth it – less than $100.

kids maps

A couple weeks ago I got sick of the kids not going outside all day, so I printed out a Google map of about a 1 mile diameter in our neighborhood and sent them on a mission. Which was to bike on every single street in the neighborhood, coloring in the street with a marker as they finished each one, and to take pictures of every interesting thing they saw. It took them over an hour and they came back with about 20 pictures. I need to think of more weird stuff like that for them.

Speaking of that, though, I love the way kids play today. I know it’s probably not good for them to sit in the house staring at LCDs all day, but it’s so cool, seeing the different games they come up with within these multiplayer games. It’s basically the same stuff we did as kids (tag, etc.), only they have heavy artillery to play with in games like Halo 3 and they’re playing with kids around the world instead of kids on the same block. Instead of exchanging phone numbers with each other like I did in school, they’re exchanging Xbox Live and YouTube IDs. A few months ago Payton pulled an orange peel out of his pocket, explaining that a girl had carved her Runescape ID into it with a fork. Ten years ago I never would have suspected that every grade schooler in America would be so computer savvy.

Several days later edit – Emily’s latest Halo video….

One last thing – I’ve been watching a lot of weird movies lately. Netflix is awesome at recommending weird movies to me based on other movies I watch, and I usually take its advice. This week it was Noise and Cashback, which were both really interesting and bizarre. I’m watching more independent movies than I ever have before. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m old or because Netflix makes me. I set up a page of movies I own awhile back, which is here. Actually owning a movie is so pointless these days, but I want to keep some sort of list of movies I’ve seen because I know I’m going to forget the names of some of these and it’ll drive me nuts in the future if I want to see them again. So that’s my half-hearted attempt at cataloging my movies. I’ll get around to making it better eventually.

One more last thing! Michael Jackson died last month and they’re still talking about it on the news and blogs. Seeing all this nonstop coverage about him makes me wonder why he’s the “king of pop” even. Sure he had some hits in the 80’s, but so did other people. What makes him so special? His music sucked in the 90’s and 2000’s, just like the other 80’s hasbeens. Some infomercial guy died too and I can’t understand how that was big news. Do people like infomercials that much?? And two other people died, who people claim were icons, but I know nothing about either of them. And oh yeah, we went to the moon 40 years ago this week. I’m having a hard time understanding what that accomplished other than, “Oh neat, we spent kabillions of dollars going to the moon instead of feeding starving children.”

Cat Trek Gym Machines

I made a new post for signhacker.com today which features wonderful pictures such as this one:

Been cat sitting a lot this weekend, which is fun just for the change of scenery on either side of my laptop screen. Saw Star Trek last night with Angela. And wow. It was awesome. The only other Star Trek movie I’ve seen is Generations in 1994 and only because I worked at the movie theater. And I really liked that one, but this one was great. It makes me want to put every Star Trek movie ever made on my Netflix queue. So I did.

For some reason I just never got into Star Trek. As a kid, I would come across the 60’s version occasionally on TV and I would try to watch it but I thought it looked stupid. I caught just a few episodes of Generations while it was on TV and thought it looked neat, but not neat enough to watch it every week. I’ve probably seen less than 10 full episodes of that. Just about every friend I had in the early 90’s was a Trekkie and most of them would insist that Star Trek is the kind of thing I would like and that I’m crazy not to watch it. Guess I was just too busy being homeless or obsessing over BBSes back then.

In 1997 I got into Voyager for a short time, mostly because Colleen worked in the evenings and I was at home with Emily on Sunday nights and nothing better was on. I got to see the whole 7 of 9 drama unfold, from the very beginning, during my month or two of watching that. I think BNF must have happened soon after that, which completely killed my interest in everything that wasn’t BNF, including Voyager.

Tomorrow night is The Phone Show. Listen to it!

I’m listening to Per Gessle’s Son Of A Plumber this evening. It’s good stuff and much different than his current Silly Really hit, which I’ve been loving for a couple of weeks now. I need to get his new album. murd0c tells me that he used to be one of the guys who sang in Roxette, which is an 80’s band I used to like. But murd0c is a filthy liar, so it’s probably not true.

Sirius Part 2

Last night Spessa somehow inspired me to install Sirius in my car. I mounted it in the glove box and wired the power into the radio power so that it comes on automatically when I start the car. So I never even have to open the glove box unless I want to switch stations. (Speaking of glove compartments, has anyone ever actually kept gloves in their glove compartment? Isn’t there an updated name for a glove compartment?) I mounted the antenna stealthily in the dash. It’s cool having it in the car but now I miss having it in my room. I’m going to have to buy a home kit soon, hopefully cheap on Ebay. Spessa is going to give me her Sirius remote that she never uses so I can change stations without leaning into the glove box and swerving off the road. It’s an especially hard maneuver when I’m text messaging and holding a latte at the same time.

Sirius in the car

Today the kids and I went to the pool for about 3.5 hours. They’re only open for 4 hours on Saturday which is stupid. All the pools in Oregon suck like that. But yeah, it was fun. I hung out in the pool for about half of it and read for the other half.

I’m really starting to like Twitter now. Maybe not to update myself so much, but it’s cool to keep tabs on everyone I know. And it actually seemed really useful at Defcon. I couldn’t get Twitter to IM me when new updates came in, so I ended up finding a completely new IM program. It’s called Digsby and supports all the major IM services, email updates, Myspace updates, Facebook updates and Twitter updates. The only thing it doesn’t do is IRC, but I’m hoping they’ll come around with that soon. I’ve been using Pidgin for most of this year, but it looks like I’ll be sticking with Digsby for awhile.

(7:15:52) brad_the_carter: make a twitter account
(7:16:00) murd0c: my boyfriend is trying to get me on that
(7:16:13) brad_the_carter: well now that RBCP is telling you to, you HAVE to!
(7:19:25) murd0c: YEAH
(7:20:04) brad_the_carter: you can tell him he was the influence if you want
(7:25:40) murd0c: FINE
(7:25:42) murd0c: i’m registered
(7:25:45) murd0c: as ‘notmurd0c’
(7:25:48) brad_the_carter: wow!
(7:25:54) brad_the_carter: you’re a pushover
(7:26:35) brad_the_carter: make sure to update it every hour every day


For the past 48 hours, day and night, I’ve been listening to Hair Nation on Sirius 23 – old 80’s and 90’s hits from bands like Dokken, Dangerous Toys, Warrant, Firehouse, Queensryche, Skid Row, Cinderella, Winger, Whitesnake, Scorpions. So many songs and bands that I’d completely forgotten about. I normally spend very little time listening to oldies, but I’ve enjoyed this station way too much these past couple days. I need to change the station before bed or I’m going to get stuck in this era forever.

I’m still really enjoying Sirius, obviously. I think when I get back from Vegas I’m going to try listening to Launchcast and last.fm for awhile and see if those are comparable. Sirius is definitely worth $12/month, but $2/month would be nice too. At least Launchcast would allow me to completely block songs that I hate. I think they have more selection too – I don’t hear Jonathan Coulton and Lemon Demon on Sirius.

Detroit 360 sirius hope

I haven’t written much lately. I can’t remember much of what’s happened lately. I know yesterday the kids and I biked to downtown Albany (about 10 miles, round trip) for some kind of weird pirate fair they were having. Had lunch there, watched an eating contest, bought some pirate flags, stopped at the park for awhile.

A couple weekends ago Sheila and I went to Detroit Lake and afterwards drove up a mountain to find some hiking trail. The narrow road was covered with boulders and there was a giant cliff on one side. We kept having to edge around the boulders, sometimes scraping the car on them. I was just waiting to have one fall on us or for us to fall off the edge. We passed some people on the way up who were stopped and told us that the road didn’t look good for driving so they were going back.

Yesterday Kylar’s dad stopped by because he wanted to ensure that we hadn’t accidentally kept some Xbox 360 games we’d borrowed from him. I told him sure, come on in and we’ll check. The weird thing is, Kylar doesn’t visit us anymore and we’ve never borrowed games from him. The kids all just play Halo 3 together all day instead of actually visiting each other in person. So we take a look at our games and, as expected, none of Kylar’s games are there.

Then he pulls out the big guns… “Well, we looked at your online high score list (whatever it’s called) and noticed that you’ve been playing the games that we’re missing.” “Oh yeah? Which games are those?” “Well there’s Bioshock.” I remember Bioshock – it’s the first game we ever rented on the 360. He tells me that Civilization Revolution is on our online list. I’ve never even heard of this game. Emily looks and finds Dance Dance Revolution on the list. “Is this the one?” “Oh yeah, I guess it is.” It was so lame. I was nice about it, though. But he still didn’t give me a friendly, “Oh sorry about coming over here with my lame detective skills and accusing you and your family of stealing our games” on the way out.

I bought a cheap Sirius radio yesterday in an attempt to keep up with The Spessas. She was bragging to me about her new Sirius radio so I just had to run out and show her how frivolous I can be. I’m still not sure I’m going to keep it. It’s about $12/month and I’ll mostly be using it in my room. Seems like Yahoo Music might accomplish the same thing for $25/year. But I’ve been enjoying Sirius so far – it’s been playing nonstop for 24 hours now.

Jammie, who rules, sent me a video of the PLA HOPE thing. I cut it down to about 10 minutes this weekend and put it on YouTube. Here it is. I mainly just kept the parts in that got the most applause and laughter to make us seem extra cool.


Just got back from a SIX mile jog. Ouch. When I say 6 miles, it’s more like 3, because I usually jog for one song, walk for the next, etc. Still, more that I’m used to doing. This one took about an hour and 20 minutes. And wow, the new Weezer album is great! It’s comparable to their Blue album. Really good stuff. Anyone who hasn’t seen it needs to go watch their new video.

Speaking of new albums, Nerf Herder finally put a new one out. It’s not amazing, but it’s got a couple of really good tracks on it. I actually purchased it. With money! Was my first experience with Amazon’s mp3 download service.

Never Gonna Give You Up!

I hate Rick Astley. Back in 1988, this horrible song called Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley came out which I immediately disliked. But, being a fan of Top 40 music, I couldn’t escape it. It was on the radio and MTV all the time. This was the decade where MTV played lots of music videos and I watched it a lot. Which meant I watched Rick Astley a lot for a few months. I never even liked the song a little. Like some bad songs, this one didn’t grow on me. Not even after several years. Sometimes you’ll hear an old song that you used to hate and nostalgia alone makes you suddenly think that it’s not so bad. Not this one. As far as I’m concerned, it will suck forever.

I’ll never understand how that song made it to #1 on the Billboard charts. I had to listen to it on the radio for about a year. And after that song’s momentum died down, he came out with another single called Together Forever which was even worse than Never Gonna Give You Up. (Click here to watch the video for that one.) I don’t remember if that one made it to #1 or not, I just know they played it nonstop on the radio and MTV too, making me endure even more endless months of Rick Astley.

So I go about 15 years without thinking of Rick Astley or his horrible music. And then some jerk creates Rickrolling. Sure, I thought it was amusing at first and I remembered that painfully awful song. But geez, people have been Rickrolling for a year now. That’s about how long I had to endure Rick Astley the first time around. When’s it going to stop? I’ve heard that song so many times over the past year. Not as bad as when it was on the radio, but still a lot.

The reason I’m going on about this is because I kept hearing that song in my dreams last night. Yes, my dreams are being Rickrolled now.

You know what’s going to suck? Now that Rick Astley’s song is sort of popular again, somebody is going to remake it. And it’s going to end up being played on the radio all the time again. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for that to happen.

Things I’ve Found on Cassettes

Been importing tapes into the computer all week and I’m almost done with the non-prank call stuff. Most of it was music, pretty much all stuff I’d recorded in the 80’s and early 90’s. But there was plenty of non-music, non-prank call stuff. Such as…

  • Calling Dino Allsman and impersonating the IRS to find out where he works. Then on the next part of the tape we were pranking him and he was yelling at us. The quality probably the worse I’ve ever done. In some parts it blanks out completely. I’d forgotten I’d done the IRS call, but I guess that’s how I found out where he worked.
  • Bit of audio from the TV shows Soap and then I Love Lucy. Not sure why I had these, but I might of had something to do with me recording and archiving TV commercials all the time. Wonder what happened to all my TV commercial tapes. I bet there’s still plenty of old audio tapes at my parents house that used to belong to me. Oh yeah, the theme song from the Ewoks Saturday morning cartoon was in there too.
  • Red box tones. My original red boxing tape that was made from recording the tones from a pay phone. So much toll fraud was committed with that tape.
  • All the radio station IDs in between songs from radio stations in a lot of the cities I’d lived in. Those were interesting to hear. I recorded a lot of them while driving in my car – I’d cut out a giant chunk of my dashboard in the early 90’s and installed a dual-cassette deck stereo into it. The kind of stereo that belongs in a house. It worked great too. Any time I liked a song I heard while I was driving, I just hit the record button. Also entertaining were the DJs introducing some of the horrible music from the 80’s and 90’s.
  • Internet parody songs – at some point in the late 90’s I decided that it’d be a good idea to transfer a bunch of the internet parody songs that I’d collected onto cassette tape. Because, you know, the internet is just a fad and cassette tape is forever! I guess the reason was because I was running out of hard drive space and didn’t have a CD burner at the time.
  • Me and Sara (girl next door) playing Double Dribble on my NES and talking about things like Geraldo’s nose getting broken on TV, messing with people on the CB radio, prank calling the dean of boys, “did you record Freddy’s Nightmares on TV?”, putting Ozzy Osbourne’s picture on a dart board, Randee of the Redwoods for president.
  • Talking to El Jefe on the phone, prank calling Mr. Hack and lots of other random places. I entered in a lot of stolen credit card numbers throughout it all to make the calls. Guess I should throw that tape away instead of giving it to Goodwill.
  • Me prank calling some car lot in Albany. I yelled at some guy named Bernie and I have no idea who he is or why I was pranking him. Yeah, I know I said this is the non-prank call stuff and it is! Sort of. None of it was labeled as being prank calls. Most of the tapes weren’t labeled at all.
  • My brother practicing his saxophone.
  • Me listening to “I Just Called To Say I Love You” and playing along with it on my electric piano.
  • Quite a few long stretches of silence, but in the background you’d occasionally hear people in my family talking or things crashing around.
  • Me and Tracy (some girl from work at Eastgate Cinema) copying Def Leppard tapes using high speed dubbing. Geez, remember high speed dubbing??
  • House music from Eastgate Cinema. All the hits from artists like Lionel Richie, etc. For some reason I stole their muzak tape.
  • Me prank calling What’s Your Bid in the 80’s and then a bunch of other radio shows. The What’s Your Bid stuff is pretty rapid – we probably got about 15 calls in there. On some other radio show I asked the host “What if C.A.T. really spelled dog?” On another I said I was a telephone-to-telephone salesman and tried to offer him something for free before he hung up on me and called me strange.
  • A lot of stuff between me and this girl I used to babysit in 1986 named Christy. A lot of us is drowned out by loud music (we were dancing to Power of Love and the Neutron Dance), but in one part we’re using my TRS-80 and its speech card to input data to make prank calls to Dominos Pizza. I’d written a program that said all the important pizza-ordering phrases once you put in your name, address and phone number.
  • Me and Sara (girl next door again) walking all over our block, talking about our parents and the neighbors, telling jokes and singing songs loudly. A few times we saw cop cars and yelled “COPS!” and ran. We used to get chased by them all the time, just for running.

There was plenty of random weird stuff too. Like some live play that was recorded. A few tapes of church music and concerts. I’m sure some of my parents old stuff got mixed in there with mine. There was a tape of 1920’s-sounding music which wasn’t mine but I liked it so I converted it. Now all I’ve got left to do is my prank call tapes. There’s about 20 of them. Instead of giving them to Goodwill, I think I’m going to start up a new PLA contest for somebody to win all my prank tapes and CDs. Assuming that somebody will actually want a bunch of prank call audio tapes.

RIP, Cassettes! Hopefully the Goodwill will find you a nice, new home…

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