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I’m working on something big. I promise.

In the meantime, I have two diversions for you.  One is my gig-of-not-much-prior-notice at the Beetle Bar tonight. The second, is a trip to the edge of space with James May.

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Hey there, cadets.

I’ve been away, I know. Let’s pretend my absence has been humorous and implausible, something like a thrilling and wildly dangerous mission to destroy a secret shadow government facility where future pop stars were being grown in giant vats of nutrient slime. Sure, let’s call it that.

In reality, I’ve been lazy.

There’s a fair bit of time-starvation in there, courtesy of mini-me #1 and mini-me #2, mind. I’ve had spare time, but there is a special kind of exhaustion one gets from chasing a toddler for the last few hours before bedtime that really squashes my desire to preference activities other than a lazy game of Halo or Urban Terror.

Just recently, though, a couple of interesting things have happened.

First up, this blog has been nominated for a 2010 Canadian Weblog Award! Not bad, given how sporadic and rant-heavy the thing has been over the past few months. Presumably, this means enough people have considered the year’s catalogue of my infrequent sub-space dispatches and decided the lack of volume is trumped severely by the calibre of my have word writy things make sense.

I’m fairly proud of my writing; I suspect I could turn tricks as a professional wordsmith in a pinch. Atomique (who is a Wizard of Media and Communications) recently praised one of my shorter pieces, a letter to my MP regarding the Australian government’s position on Julian Assange in the wake of Cablegate. It went like this:

Hi Teresa,

I’m just dropping you a quick email to let you know how disappointed and horrified I am by our government’s handling of the WikiLeaks Cablegate affair and Mr Julian Assange.

I refer to recent actions by the Prime Minister and the Attourney-General in which they condemn the man as a criminal before any court of law has convicted him of such.

Regardless of what may eventually come of any investigation into Mr Assange’s activities as head of Wikileaks, it is abhorrent to think that our Prime Minister is so willing to discard an Australian citizen.

Above and beyond all of the media hype surrounding Mr Assange, I applaud the man for his efforts in promoting transparency in government and freedom of information.  The least our government should do is support him as it ought any other citizen, let alone give him the thanks he deserves for his service to the common good.

I am utterly disgusted with the government and its actions, and I urge you to lend some thought to my concerns.

Sincerely,

Atomique’s glowing review:

That was articulate, clear and concise. A plain English triumph, too. If I was marking it, I’d give it an HD, the highest mark.

U haz mad communik8shun skilz.

So, anyhow, I really should write some more, so I will. And I suppose I ought stay on-topic, given my nomination in the 2010 CWAs was in the music category. Courtesy of the of the process for the CWAs, having now made the shortlist of finalists I get all of December to make up for a slack previous eleven months. BAM! Electoral abuse, baby!

Secondly, I curated the December 4th edition of Curated By Interesting People. Curated by Interesting People is a project run out of the UK where interesting people share interesting things: a curation is restricted to one song, one video, one website, one twitter feed. There other curators are a motley, accomplished and certainly interesting bunch. I’m in good company among some of the other interesting folk with a background in music, like the guy behind Banco de Gaia and Eric Kleptone (music nerds represent!).

The curation covers me for science and music, so I’ll direct you over there now for your usual dose of what I’m really supposed to be writing about.

Seeing as I now have this renewed energy for the blog and a motivation in freakishly dystopian surveillance by the CWA judges, keep your sensors on this quadrant for more out of me this month.

A big shout out to the crew members from all the ships in the fleet who came to help me celebrate my birthday over the weekend. Some ridiculously good times were had, so my space-hat is off to all of you.

Speaking of birthdays, I eyeballed April 26 over at good old Wikipedia and was pleasantly surprised to find out I share a birthday with legendary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder (unlike poor Atomique, for whom the most interesting thing about her birthday is that it is also International Stuttering Awareness Day).  I’ve written about guys like Joe Meek and Bob Moog who created the technology, whereas Moroder is one of the people who took the gear and really ran with it. And how.

Viper Pilot – Ballad of the Colonial Roughnecks (Moroder vs Freestylers vs Battlestar Galactica)

Famous for his Academy and Grammy winning soundtrack work as well as his work producing tracks for Blondie, Donna Summer (and scores more), Moroder can really pimp a synth – without him disco would have been even more lame.

Following is by no means a thorough discography of Giorgio Moroder; rather just a collection of some of the badass tracks he’s created over his career. Listening to these, it’s hard to think he was creating music that sounded like this in the late 70s when it sounds so very much like the future.

Giorgio Moroder – E=MC²

Blondie – Call Me (co-written & produced by Moroder)

Giorgio Moroder – The Chase (Vitalic Remix)

Giorgio Moroder – From Here to Eternity

Donna Summer – I Feel Love (co-written & co-produced by Moroder)

Oh, also: Clash of the Titans was laaaame. The script was meandering and the dialogue was lacklustre. While the 3D wasn’t used to any great effect, the glasses did at least hide from Atomique how many times I fell asleep.

Tending to one’s miniature versions of themselves eats up a lot of time. I have, however, managed to scrape together a little something for my peeps.

Viper Pilot – Hits From the Billabong

I shall leave it as an exercise for you to dismantle and uncover the ingredients used in this heady, smokey, beat-filled little gem.

You have two ways to hear the latest gem from Viper Pilot’s munitions works: turn up to Bootie Brisbane tomorrow night (difficult if you’re not in Brisbane) or go download this month’s Bootie Top 10.  Every month, mashup wizards A+D hand-pick the cream of the crop of bootlegs from around the world and present them for your consumption.

For this release, Viper Pilot has taken Flight of the Conchords and mashed the shit out of them, throwing everyone’s favourite folk-rap comedy troupe together with hip-hop heavyweights Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes and the Beastie Boys.  Sugalumps is an exclusive to the Bootie Top 10, so run now and grab it – and all of the other slammin’ tracks in this month’s list – from the Bootie Brisbane website or any of the other sites in the sprawling web of the Bootie empire.

I am putting out an all-forces alert – you are required to shore up fallback positions and move all line forces to rendezvous point alpha for Bootie Brisbane!

We’ve been on a small hiatus, but we’re back on on December 5th.  Straight from New York City, DJ Lobsterdust will be joining myself and the other Bootie regulars Guy Davy and VJ Brewski for a night of sheer mashup-fueled insanity.  Bootie officially kicks off at 21:00 and runs for six ass-shakingly-good hours. You will shake your tail, oh yes.

From: Viper Pilot
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 13:45:00 +1000
To: Fleet Mechanical Pool / 4th Battlegroup / Sword Marches
Cc: Atomique
Subject: Calling All Mechanics

Hi folks,

So we’re trying to sell the old Commodore after months of it sitting in the yard unused.  The battery was dead, so we charged it up over the weekend and took it for a spin.  Everything (relatively speaking) was okay, and we started it up on both Saturday and Sunday.

Come Tuesday (1.5 days before the eBay auction ends) the stupid thing decides it won’t crank any more.  The lights are bright, the radio/air/dash/etc work.  I tested the voltage on the battery okay at 12.7 volts, both when off and with the key in the start position.  I’ve checked that it’s not the park safety cutoff by holding the ignition while wiggling the gear selector around.  I’ve swapped the fuses around for the ignition.

After asking Dr. Google for more help, I read something that suggested I disconnect the battery for ten minutes and try again after reconnecting.

When I went to reconnect the battery, there was some sparking from one of the two smaller cables (positive) as it hit the terminal (which scared the poop out of me).  After witnessing this a few more times I noticed that there was a dull clunk/thud coming from under the engine in time with each spark – would that have been the starter?  Is there a short in the system?

Once the battery cables were reconnected securely I tried one last time to turn ‘er over and still got nothing.  So, now I’m begging you for ideas.

Anything?

Please?

-Viper Pilot

 

From: Viper Pilot
Sent: Wednesday, 28 October 2009 10:21 AM
To: Fleet Mechanical Pool / 4th Battlegroup / Sword Marches
Cc: Atomique
Subject: Calling All Mechanics
Subject: Now I Feel Shame [Was: Calling All Mechanics]

Hi again everyone,

I suppose I left what appears now to be an important bit of information out of the story below.  I cleaned up the Commodore the day before the auction ended, which is also the day it stopped working.

How on earth does that matter, you ask?

Well, in the centre console, I discovered two remote door-locky-thingies.  I didn’t remember ever using them, let alone having them.  Some foggy memories, coupled with the fact that I didn’t remember using them, lead me to believe they didn’t work (like so many parts of the car).  Worn with age, there were no markings on the remotes, just two equally-sized buttons.  With no one button given more prominence than the other, I bashed away at one to see what would happen.  Unsurprisingly, nothing.  I pressed the other button, and even more unsurprisingly, not only did nothing happen, but the doors made a noise like they were trying to do something but couldn’t.  Just to be sure, I went click-happy to see if anything useful would happen.  Which it didn’t.

It now appears that at some point during the above I managed to turn on the car immobilizer.

After some locking and unlocking (without the locks in the doors actually moving) this morning using the remote, I quite easily got the car to start.  I’m quite certain that I cleaned the battery contacts, shuffled fuses around, hit the starter motor with a stick, tested the park/neutral cutoff, tested the battery voltage and got my pretty lady-hands dirty for nothing.

Thanks for all of your advice, anyhow!  I learned a few things, which is better than not having learned anything at all from being an idiot.

-An Idiot

http://tinyurl.com/mcmkvk

I suppose I ought mention that Bootie Brisbane is coming up again.  Er, tonight, that is. Clicky on the picture-thing of Kiss/Snoop in the sidebar for venue info and the like.  I’m on at nine, and will be dropping some newly-minted Viper Pilot tracks, along with a mind-boggling array of tunes.

Here’s a mash I won’t be playing tonight, because it really needs the video to work:

Ahoy, chummers!

Well, I’ve finally recovered from Bootie Brisbane last weekend.  Okay, so not really that shagged from the gig, but it certainly was a exhausting, exhilarating event.  I saw you there, shaking your asses, during my set. I hit the dancefloor for Brewski’s and Guy’s sets. I said ‘yarrr!’ a lot and wore a pirate hat.

In short, it was super-badass, attended by plenty of badass folks who partied it up like only badasses can.

And on that note, a collection of videos about the most badass of all: Darth Vader.

Snatch Wars

Darth Vader is a Jerk

Chad Vader – Day Shift Manager

Robot Chicken – That Phone Call

Viper Pilot Audio

Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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