Archive for August, 2009


Heavy Rotation Vol. 12

August 30, 2009

What better way to wrap up your weekend than with DJ CLT at the controls, spinning that fine, fine blend of sounds we understand is called “music.” Those of you who just thought of several better ways, please get the hell out, I’m trying to build a mood here. If you can’t use your imagination a little then you’ll just be ruining the fun for everybody. Mostly me. We all have to work together to get the vibe going. Like a love-in. Or a ouija board.

Previous volumes here: Heavy Rotation Archives


Mother Mother – Dirty Town
A track and band unbeknownst to me, but beknownst to well-known vacation hound, Alan Truitt. Despite his occasional bursts of obscenity and poetry, Truitt is actually a very well-rounded individual with some electic music tastes.

This track straddles a few stylistic fences, starting out with some glam-ish riffing, before jumping the cow into steel-guitar proto-country, steel guitar and all. The tempo also lurches back and forth in a very enjoyable manner. It’s all about getting the fuck up on out of this one-cow town.



Soulsavers – Ghost of You and Me
Safely ensconced on the wrong side of the tracks with soul brothers Alabama 3, this hard rocking production team fears for your soul, but have no concern for their own. It’s already gone. Featuring Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) on vocals and some vicious slide guitar and some feedback from a regular old guitar. Lanegan vocalizes as if he’s just snorted Johnny Cash’s ashes and the band rips jagged holes into the air behind him. Awesome live and awesome on wax (or mp3). Tip of the hat (again) to Alan.



Black Ghosts – Any Way You Choose to Give It (Boy 8-Bit Mix)
Producer Boy 8-Bit scatters shards and loops of vintage keyboards and old video game squeltches all over the Black Ghosts’ minor hit. The Ghosts claim their sound is “perverse, personal pop music.” It’s actually much better than that. Solid electro-pop that sticks in your head without completely pandering to your ass.

Unremixed version here:



Clock DVA – 4 Hours
Formed in the early ’80s, Clock DVA are somewhat of an anomaly. Ostensibly an industrial/IDM group, they have also made some forays into soul and post-punk rock. This track has them in post-punk mode, grinding along above some crunchy guitars and a hint of mic feedback. The lyrics deal with something mysterious, an unamed man “wearing a black suit” and “carrying a black case.” Nice, icy paranoia rock for the Monday morning drive into work.

Here’s an example of where they ended up:



The Heavy – How You Like Me Now?
Sounding like Ray Charles fronting the Rapture covering Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.” With a horn section. All cocksure swagger, featuring the most kickass drum sound since, well, “Lust for Life.” I owe this selection to Don Mills, whose impeccable musical taste is routinely overlooked, mainly because he keeps telling us to turn it down, goddammit.

All tracks in one zip:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 12 (link opens in new window)


[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

Touring the Creation Museum

August 29, 2009
You saved the dinosaurs? What for?

You saved the dinosaurs? What for? I specifically stated they needed to die "a mysterious death."

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Creation Museum, the little house that faith built! Don’t forget to leave a donation in the box, as faith alone has yet to pay a single light bill or paper mache up another vegetarian T-Rex! Hahaha! Plus a portion of the proceeds go to help the victims of the latest moral panic. Remember God and our CCTV system are watching.

Before we get started, we need to ask just a couple of required questions. One, is anyone here Bill Maher? No. OK, thanks. We have to ask. New policy.

Also: any persons of color here? Oh… well… I’m so sorry about the curse. I’ll have more information on that later.

Alright! Let’s get started!

Now as we make our way through the tour, you may have some questions. I would ask that you hold these questions until the end of the tour, or better yet, take them home with you and ask God to help you with your faith problem. It obviously isn’t strong enough and I hate to be a bummer, but you’re probably going to hell. You may want to hurry back to the donation box and add a few more dollars. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Speaking of lack of faith, my estranged wife has exhibited quite a lot of that lately, what with her insistence on health insurance for the kids and a purchase of World Book Encyclopedias.

Quick question, and yes, I will be asking all the questions on the tour. Faith, people!

Anyway, how many of you have gone through a painful divorce? Wow. That’s a lot of you. But still less than I expected. Well, God did say our faith would be tested, am I right? I just wish He’d have given me more time to study! Hahahahahahahaaaa! Kidding! I’m kidding! God is perfect in every way.

Now the main purpose of this museum is to put to rest the outrageous claims of evolutionists and other wackos. You may hear a lot of talk about the theory of evolution being “scientifically sound” and their “years of research.” Don’t be fooled. These scientists are always using “facts” and “research” as a twisted means to keep themselves supplied with opium and hookers. Did you know the STD rate among evolutionists is nearly as high as it is in Africa?

But these claims they throw around are ridiculous! Have you ever seen a frog behaving like a fish? Or a squirrel that can fly? Preposterous!

You know who else liked “facts” and “proof.” Yeah, that’s right. Satan. And to a lesser extent, the National Board of Education.

Perhaps you remember the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Oh, you do! Oh, thank god. I was drawing a blank. Do you want to take over for a couple of minutes? Just a couple of minutes. I’ve got to call my soon-to-be ex-wife and harass her at work. Thanks a million. I shouldn’t be gone more than five minutes or so if my previous calls are any indication.

A "tame" dinosaur housepet roams the diorama, looking for a toddler to "play" with.

A "tame" dinosaur housepet roams the diorama, looking for a toddler to "play" with.

Alright, I’m back. Thanks for covering for me. You’re a lifesaver. Do you happen to know any good divorce lawyers? I’m kinda stuck right now as four lawyers have dropped me so far for “continually damaging my own case.”

Where was I? Oh! Evolution. Those crazy monkey-lovers. Evidence of creation exists all around us, especially here in the Creation Museum. Take a look at the fossil record. How could all of these be here in the same layer? We have a pterodactyl fossil, a human femur bone and a 1959 Philco Solid State Television. I’d like to see them solve that one, with their test tubes and microscopes. And master’s degrees…

Here is what evolution does. As you can see from this disturbing diorama, evolution theory leads directly to the downfall of society. Why, just reading your average school textbook is enough to destroy the very fabric of your family, leading to porn addiction and Planned Parenthood appointments. Letting a pro-evolution textbook into your Christian home is just like letting your daughter get knocked up by a travelling paleontologist.

I would ask that you refrain from touching the fossils as they are fragile and take many, many man-hours to create. Many GOD-hours! God creates! Sorry! I’m going to just sort of categorically deny everything I just said. Ah. I am now being paged to the front desk. Please wait here and I should be right back.

Now a USPS postage stamp, allowing you to easily sort the mail bearing it directly into the garbage.

Now a USPS postage stamp, allowing you to easily sort the mail bearing it directly into the garbage.

OK, folks. Thanks for waiting. Some news from… well, it doesn’t matter. I guess God has a plan for all of us. Up until about 2 minutes ago, God’s plan was that I should be here, working an underpaid position at a ridiculed institution. I guess… And that my wife should leave me because she doesn’t “respect me” or my “laughable ideals.” Which is fine. It’s His plan. And the painkiller addiction… He must have wanted that… But He’s changing it again, sort of suddenly. This will be my last tour with the museum, apparently.

We’ll kind of rush through the rest of this, seeing as I’m quickly losing the will to entertain or inform. Or live.

A few highlights left. Let’s see.

Oh! Jesus riding a dinosaur. This artist’s conception is proof that man and dinosaurs co-existed. How many of you kids would like to ride a dinosaur? Hahahaha! Most dinosaurs were actually vicious man-eaters and the more docile ones didn’t know their own strength. We have a Shetland pony and a coin-operated Triceratops out back for you young ones.

And here’s another picture of Jesus. This time he’s holding a tiny pet dinosaur. We are petitioning the US Postal Service to have it made into a stamp. If they won’t go for it, may a curse fall upon their heads and their houses. We’ll just take it to the Ron Paul mint and make our own stamps.

And this last exhibit shows some cavemen, who were not actually cave men, but men just like you and me only with more hair, co-existing peacefully with a vegetarian T-Rex. Apparently, they could be tamed and kept as housepets. A lot of Midwesterners and Texans believe that the vegetarian diet is what wiped out the T-Rex and several other dinosaurs. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

I want to thank you all for coming. If you could perhaps stop by the front desk and possibly leave any employments listings and letters of recommendation, I would greatly appreciate it. You’ve been wonderful, excepts for you doubters. I guess you’ll see my ex-wife. In hell. Have a great day!



Excerpts from the Time/Life Amateur Handyman Series: 50 Craft Projects for Beginners

August 28, 2009

As part of an on-going series, we present an excerpt from Time/Life Books’ latest entry into the “Amateur Handyman” series, 50 Small Projects for Novice Handymen, a book dealing with entry-level carpentry and some other handyman basics. This volume in particular is intended to be a “quick start” guide, allowing novices to ease into woodworking and small repair jobs.

Note: due to recent changes in some federal statutes concerning protected woodlands, a large portion of the beginning instructions have been written with the help of several national lumber boards and input from various Congressional subcommittees.

Previous excerpts include:
Settling Homeowner Disputes
Holy Fuck! Water’s Not Working!: The Amateur’s Guide to Household Wiring

Your new spice rack will hold all your favorite flavorings, like Ground Bunny and Extract of Cherub

Your new spice rack will hold all your favorite flavorings, like Ground Bunny and Extract of Cherub

Project #1 – Spice Rack

Items needed:

  • 6 boards – 1/2′ x 3″ x 48″
  • Table saw
  • 3/4″ Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (optional)
  • Skill (optional)

Making a spice rack for your kitchen is one of those simple projects that anyone can do in one afternoon. In addition to the satisfaction of making something with your own hands, the spice rack will prove to be useful for the years to come.

Step 1 – Choosing Your Wood
Like most quick projects in this book, your first task will be to select the wood you would like to work with. There are a lot of variables to consider when attempting a project: tensile strength, grain, aesthetic qualities, durability, table saw blade rpm and texture.

While most woods are suitable for a spice rack, some consideration must be taken to choose the right wood for the task. When breaking down the elements involved, remember to consider each of the following: indoor/outdoor use, paint/varnish, heat/humidity, and tensile strength.

For most novices, the simplest place to start is with tensile strength. Most woods are rated on a tensile strength scale. This will allow you to gauge the “spring back” of the wood when subjected to stress or weight. Most standardized lumber mills will include a chart as put together by the National American Lumber Mills Standardization Board (NALMSB). (See also: Appendices A11 and R13.) Many popular woods such as ash or maple with fall within the ranges of A20-A40, which covers medium use woods with average “springback.”

Keep in mind that this chart will help you narrow down domestic deciduous trees only. A separate chart is maintained for domestic evergreens, which runs on a scale from L100 (softest) to M4 (hardest). This can be cross-referenced with domestic deciduous through a series of tensile calculations. A chart of some commonly used tensile calculations is included (Appendix D12). You can look at these appendices at your leisure, as we would like to keep things at a “novice” level for the time being.

In order to choose the wood best suited for this easy and fun project, begin with your table saw. The manufacturer’s die-grinding radius and maximum rpms should be listed in the product packaging or on the saw blade itself. Bear in mind that the maximum rpms will be limited to the saw’s capacity, which will be listed in the saw’s packaging or instructions. The rpm value and grind radius, when combined with the optimal tensile strength, will limit the amount of splintering or other damage to the grain, as well as to your limbs, eyes and future children, in case of a mismatch.

In order to keep this simple, we have devised (in association with NALMSB and Table and Hand Saw Manufacturers of America [THSMA]) a short equation to allow you to find your optimal tensile strength.

(TS [tensile strength] = Base RPM / Total RPM + Length of Cut + Die Radius * .3387)

This equation makes choosing domestic wood with the proper tensile strength a breeze. (Note: if you wish to use a more exotic wood, like mahogany, you will need to cross-reference the American tensile chart with the European tensile chart [Appendix LL166]. Keep in mind that the metric system will come into play here, meaning your cut lengths will fluctuate according to the exchange rate. For simplicity’s sake, in this example we will deal with American wood only.)

Once you have matched the tensile strength to the saw specifications, you can begin to choose your wood from those matching the 4-digit tensile number (tn) as recommended by the NALMSB. This should narrow you down to 15-20 possible matches in Domestic Deciduous.

Should you decide to go with an Evergreen, you will need to also consider heat and humidity of the area of installation. Evergreen trees will be graded, in addition to tensile strength, on water retention (Appendix R11A-1.12) and grain pattern (Appendices A44-B22[a]).

This handy chart will allow you to check the hardness of your wood.  *cough*

This handy chart will allow you to check the hardness of your wood. *cough*

Your best bet is to consider your kitchen as an altered Temperate Zone (tz). Match the TZ of your area of the country with the TZ on the next closest southwest TZ on the chart. In simpler terms, this approximates the closest indoor range value by decreasing humidity values and normalizing temperature fluctuations on a sliding scale based on published statistics and average altitude. A small amount of alchemy and other black arts also comes into play.

Most pine will match 70% of the accepted Temperate Zones. A few will allow universal installation but these are generally expensive and hard to find. You may also find that the Water Retention level will decay the originally stated Tensile Strength, thus causing a mismatch in the final project.

Another way to make some quick work of this task is to use our handy tools, just type this web address into your browser window:


Or search Google with this string:

(Note: please type this in exactly as written. A slight error in any “##%#” value could cause some anomalies in your browser software, including an unbreakable recursive loop.)

To use our tool to determine the right wood, follow these quick steps (pulldown menus listed in bold, fields requiring entries are in italics, other required information not included):

  1. Select project number.
  2. Select tools.
  3. Select table saw.
  4. Select table saw manufacturer.
  5. Select blade size.
  6. Select blade manufacturer.
  7. Select blade grind radius.
  8. Select blade rpm.
  9. Select base rpm.
  10. Select saw rpm.
  11. Select Indoor or Outdoor.
  12. Select Temperate Zone.
  13. Select nearest adjacent Temperate Zone.
  14. Click Calculate.
  15. Roll saving throw (2d12).
  16. Take result and paste into “value#?=” field.

Now that we have our Tensile Strength value, we’ll move onto selecting from the recommended wood range.

  1. Click Wood Tensile Chart.
  2. Select Domestic or Import.
  3. Select Deciduous or Evergreen.
  4. (If deciduous) Select Fall Colors.
  5. Select Brown/Orange/Breathtaking.
  6. Select Cider or Cocoa.
  7. Enter cut length.
  8. Enter base rpm * .0334.
  9. Enter 110V or 220V.
  10. Click Calculate.
  11. Take these two values and add together.
  12. Enter this number into the “value#2?=” field.

Now that our matching wood has been selected, it’s time to purchase it:

  1. Select lumber manufacturer.
  2. Select nearest vendor within 100 miles.
  3. Select Ship or Pick Up.
  4. Click Show TS Value and Estimate

Congratulations! You’re done. Your answer will arrive by email within 2-4 business days.

Coming up: Step 2 – Choosing the Right Nail for the Job (25 Do’s and 500 Don’ts)



This Week’s Featured Soap Operas

August 25, 2009
... except you. You're adopted.

... except you. You're adopted.

This week on All My Children
A horrible secret from Bianca’s past comes back to haunt her, mainly by opening cupboard doors and flipping the lights on and off. At a dinner party, Greenlee discovers Leo’s autobiography manuscript and drunkenly mocks him. Maggie slips into something “more comfortable.” Bianca handles some exposition. Kendall gets a surprise late night phone call from her podiatrist, resulting in a frantic search for size 4EEE shoes. Zach visits an ATM. Babe asks Dixie to lend her $50 for “gas and whatever, until Friday.” JR Chandler holds rocks glass; stares intently into mid-distance.

OLTL debuts their Jeopard crossover.

OLTL debuts their Jeopardy crossover.

This week on One Life to Live
Rex discovers he has brain cancer; begins physician-ordered regimen of heavy drinking and spousal abuse. Agnes threatens to “choke a bitch.” Nigel makes a string of thoughtful and cautious investments. Natalie gets a good night’s rest after a short, uneventful day. Oliver deals with an embarrassing issue when his check is declined at the liquor store. Bo blames her latest embezzlement attempt on her glaucoma. Addie installs new windshield wipers. Jared and Charlie work together to track down source of disembodied voices speaking earlier lines of dialogue.



Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll Vol. 9

August 24, 2009

In the past volumes of this guide we’ve taken some swipes at some pretty big names. “But what of the small, indie, critic’s darlings?” I hear you asking. Well, they’ll get theirs as well. It’s just that, well, if you’ve had a 30-year career of diminishing returns, it’s just so much easier to broadly swipe. Not to mention, they’re all big boys and girls (Heart, especially) and should be able to take it. And while I hate to admit to taking the easy way out, today’s lineup is probably the easiest. It does include one request, however: Steven Wonder.

Def Leppard - Britain's finest seven-armed rock monster

Def Leppard - Britain's finest seven-armed rock monster

Def Leppard
If someone asked you what the ’80s sounded like, you could grab any of their first three albums and say, “Listen to this.” A band that was always more pop than metal (and more hair than talent – zing!), Def Leppard defined an era. That era was the “MTV stands for Music TeleVision” era, the early days when MTV was still pushing music in video form, rather than relegating it to soundtracking promos, bitchy Real World infighting or rolling behind the Real World closing credits.

They power on to this day, a testament to their longevity and their fans’ unwillingness to branch out their musical tastes. They’ve earned a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame if for no other reason than their multiple triumphs over adversity, including losing a drummer’s arm to a car crash and losing an entire guitarist to death. That, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s noticeably lax standards and elastic definition of “rock.” (No worse, really, than the Grammy committee’s definition of “metal.” Jethro Tull, indeed.)

Voted Most Likely to Be Asked to Please, for the Love of God, Put a Shirt On
Voted Most Likely to Be Asked to Please, for the Love of God, Put a Shirt On

John Denver
Speaking of elastic definitions, John Denver never strayed near “rock” or “roll” once in his career, or in the afterlife, according to our sources (Sonny Bono, the Big Bopper). As sickeningly clean-cut and wholesome as a busful of Young Republicans, Denver tore the ’70s a new wuss-hole and presaged country’s descent into bland pseudo-pop. Presumably Denver released several individual albums, but who fucking needs them, considering he released around 19 “Greatest Hits” compilations.

Unlike the edgier Pat Boone and the comparitively “gangsta” Air Supply, Denver never toed the line once, cruising a steady, easy-going center line that left people yearning for the street toughness of the Eagles or Jackson Browne. Oddly enough, he was the subject of one of the darkest tribute albums ever, as death metal’s finest took on such classics as Sunshine on My Shoulder and Sweet Surrender on the unfortunately named Things to Do with Denver When He’s Dead (Cleopatra Records). Keep your ears peeled for Morbid Angel’s take on his (also unfortunately titled) classic, Fly Away.

The secret of Dire Straits' success? Glow-in-the-dark headbands.
The secret of Dire Straits’ success? Glow-in-the-dark headbands.

Dire Straits
Speaking of bands that hitched their star to MTV (we were: just scroll up to Leppard, Def), Dire Straits were yanked out of their mopey pub-rock scene and held under the fast-flowing mainstream, when their single Money for Nothing burst onto the scene in 1985.

Propelled to multi-platinum success by a video so meta it name-checked the only channel that would play it, the Dire Straits seized this opportunity, wove it into a wicker lawn chair and collapsed into it for six long years. Having Rip van Winkled right past their sell-by date, the Dire Straits awoke to a very different world; one that had passed them by in a blur of distortion and flannel.

Now stuck in the unenviable classification of “boomer rock,” the Dire Straits are doomed to walk the earth, playing mid-sized arenas and large corporate conventions along with other hellish acts like Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Steve Winwood.

Album cover for Wonder's relatively unknown classic "Stevie Wonder Sings the Rick James Songbook"
Album cover for Wonder’s relatively unknown classic “Stevie Wonder Sings the Rick James Songbook”

Stevie Wonder
A brilliant child prodigy (perhaps not on par with Mozart, but at least up there with Bill Withers or Huey “Piano” Smith), Stevie Wonder went on to usher in a new era of R&B in the ’70s. This, of course, was followed by another ushering in the late-’90s by, among other artists, Usher. Known for his well-crafted hooks, infectious swaying and not being able to see, Wonder is a shoo-in for the African-American Blind Piano-Playing R&B Singer Hall of Fame, joining charter member Ray Charles and Jamie Foxx, who portrayed Ray Charles in the 2004 film, Ray.

Wonder lost his sight at an early age during a tragic “Wonder Twin Powers” accident with brother Davie. Due to a disagreement in terms that neither was aware of until after the word “Activate,” the resulting mixture of garbled syllables resulted in their potent twin powers being activated in the form of “Summon Baphomet,” an ancient malevolent diety (who is not a morning person, per se). The wrathful and drowsy god responded by removing Stevie’s eyesight and Davie completely. The suddenly removed-from-this-dimension twin was renamed “He Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken or Referenced To” and so we won’t for the remainder of this piece.

Stevie Wonder went on to sign with Motown Records as age 11, thanks to Baphomet, who admitted he had “overreacted” and “owed him one.” The rest is history. Wonder went on to release album after album with hit single after hit single, culminating in the peak of written music: I Just Called to Say I Love You. Understandably, no self-respecting indie record store clerk will come within 100 miles of this single, leaving you to purchase it pretty much anywhere else.

The hundreds of members of Little Feat prep for a turf war with Chicago
The hundreds of members of Little Feat prep for a turf war with Chicago

Little Feat
The story of Little Feat’s formation is a fascinating one, filled with facts, intrigue, Frank Zappa and jazz fusion. Legend has it that Lowell George was trying to form his own group, using members of Frank Zappa’s touring band. Fed up with Frank’s terrible anal jokes and endless guitar wankery, George approached Bill Payne, another Zappa band member.

Word of this dissent leaked back to Zappa, whom George overhead saying, “Trying to organize these halfwit guns-for-hire into an actual band would be no small feat.” George overheard this and took off as fast as his size 4’s would carry him.

George formed his own group and, poking fun at his diminutive shoe size, suggested they name the band “Little Feet.” His bandmates and promoter heard this as the much-more-clever “Little Feat,” and hastily cranked out thousands of posters and album covers featuring this spelling. After discovering their error, George was furious and shuffled band members in and out of the lineup for the next 30 years.

Little Feat’s blend of rock, jazz, funk, R&B and shoegaze proved popular and Lowell George soon found himself surrounded by groupies, all oohing and aahing and saying how “cute” and “adorable” he was. Because you know what they say about guys with little feet? They have big hearts. And are as cute as buttons.



Heavy Rotation Vol. 11 – French House

August 23, 2009

It’s taken weeks but I finally have a Heavy Rotation with an actual theme. And what a theme!

As you read on, feel free to take the exclamation point off the previous sentence at any time. But musical tastes being subjective and whatnot, I’m going to head off to the club and spend a little time discussing French House.

House music being very much an offshoot of disco, usually featuring a somewhat milder tempo and more vocals than your average techno genre, has enjoyed immense popularity in Europe. However, the French have actually taken the idea and run with it (rather than from it, like so many other ideas, like defending your country).

The positives they’ve added are: fewer vocals (for me, this is a positive), more filters and some of the funkiest basslines ever etched into vinyl.

Previous versions here:
Heavy Rotation Archive.


Alan Braxe – Rubicon
Release in 2004 to much fanfare (I would imagine), Braxe’s lovely slice of funky French house travels pleasantly along with some tasty pads and synths and, of course, a little de rigeur electro-cowbell. Almost works in a verse-chorus-verse structure except for the noticeable lack of vocals.

Note to Claire Collins: this video does include parallel parking.



Bob Sinclar – Gym Tonic
Fantastic tune from another French House player. Sinclar stole the greatest sample ever, hooking some vocals from a Jane Fonda workout album. Funky as hell, and after a few virtual spins I guarantee you’ll be walking around counting out loud. “2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and back…”

Sinclar was forced to delete this from his catalog thanks to Ted “TNT” Turner, whose explosive temper and fat wallet intimidated the penniless Frenchman into acquiescence. However, the version I have uploaded has the original “vocals” as does the video below. Enjoy.



Daft Punk – Around the World
While not my favorite track by the helmeted duo, it was the first track I heard by them. Another “gets stuck in your head” sort of track that is greatly aided by Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind). Featuring the appearance of another trademark French House staple, the vocoder.

This is off their monsterously awesome debut album Homework. If you are going to buy only one French House album, make it this one. Understandably, most people will only need one French House album, if any at all. Again, make it this one.

Embedding for the kickass video has been disabled by EMI. For more information on EMI, consult the Sex Pistols.



DJ Mehdi – Signatune (Thomas Bangalter Mix)
French electro producer DJ Mehdi gets all Housed up by Thomas Bangalter, one-half of Daft Punk. This track is all kinds of fun. The synth lines get stuttered, dragged around, shuffled and ground to a halt. A prime example of the French filter fuckery that is Bangalter’s trademark.

Note: while I enjoy these noises and distortions, I realize that many of you will not. My partial apologies for that. However, give it a shot and perhaps you’ll see things my way and presumably seek help immediately.



Justice – Phantom Pt. II (Soulwax Remix)
The new face of French House, although the face is French, the house is not really house. More of a high-energy electro-pomp combining everything bombastic about soundtrack music and thumping 808 beats into an arena-filling monster. Belgian producers Soulwax up the ante with one of the greatest remixes done anywhere at anytime. Brace yourself for the sudden drop about 2/3’s of the way through the track. This track has killed more dancefloors and turned on more houselights than anything since Black Strobe’s Fireflies.

All tracks in one zip file (link opens in new window):
Heavy Rotation Vol. 11


[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

Most Popular Occupations for Online University Graduates

August 22, 2009
Your online university: offering such diverse courses as solitaire and avatar-bungling

Your online university: offering such diverse courses as solitaire and avatar-bungling

Congratulations [insert name here]! Your hard work has paid off. After a grueling 22 hours in 8 weeks of online courses, you have now completed the coursework necessary for a degree in [insert choice here].

Your diploma and degree should arrive in 6-8 weeks, possibly sooner, if we can find someone who knows how to install a dot matrix printer ribbon.

Once again, congratulations and best wishes on your continued success in life! [omit sarcastic laughter]

If you have received this form letter, please take the time to review our list of Most Popular Occupations for Online University Graduates. Remember your degree is somewhat open-ended because of our lack of state certification. Many of the occupations listed may intersect tangentially with your course of study. Thanks for your business and we hope to see you again and again.

If you have yet to enroll, please see some of our available courses here.

Most Popular Occupations

  • Dianetician (additional study needed for Bachelor of Scientology)
  • Phrenologist
  • Clip Art Wrangler
  • Sexpert
  • Aromatherapist
  • Frivolous Lawyer
  • Chain Mail Author
  • Envelope Stuffer
  • Mixologist
  • TS Prostitute Sexer
  • Netscaper
  • File Sharer
  • Plasma Marketer
  • Squire
  • Alcoholic
  • Pirate (Music)
  • Pirate (Somali)
  • Pirate (Yarrrrr)
  • File Naming Conventioneer
  • Collections (Credit Card)
  • Collections (RIAA, ASCAP)
  • Collections (Student Loans)
  • Scam Artist
  • Scam Victim
  • Mathmagician
  • Online University Career Counselor
  • Clothes Horse
  • Pommel Horse
  • Reality Show Contestant
  • Reality Show Host
  • Blogger
  • Currently Unemployed
  • Jiffy Lube Technician
  • Jiffy Pop Technician
  • Narc
  • Miner (Data)
  • Miner (Outdoor)
  • Miner (Canary – interns only)
  • Creationist
  • Accidental Parent
  • Alarm Clock and Toaster Repair
  • Universal Remote Setup Technician
  • Petty Crook
  • Insurance Adjuster
  • Lobbyist
  • Clive F. Cussler Co-Author
  • Fancy Plans… Fact Checker
  • Death Panelist
  • “Skanky” Model
  • Interpretive Exotic Dancer
  • World of Warcraft Guild Leader
  • Dirk Cussler
  • Lead Singer – Nickelback
  • Crocodile Hunter
  • Wedding Planner (3rd and up Marriages)
  • “Libarian”
  • Religious Cult Member
  • Department Store Santa Claus
  • Radioshack Battery Club Member
  • Journalist
  • Drugstore Cowboy
  • Rhinestone Cowboy
  • Breast Inspector
  • Meth Manufacturer
  • Meth Dealer
  • Parolee
  • Boxing Promoter



America’s Most Overlooked Tourist Attractions

August 21, 2009

Sure, we’ve all heard about Mt. Rushmore, Disneyland, the Amityville Horror house, birthplace of Sinbad, etc. but what about those great attractions right under our noses? (Note: if you are currently doing blow off someone’s ass, please ignore the following and continue on,  good sir or madam. You obviously need no advice on how to have fun.)

Fancy Plans would like to take this opportunity to point out a few of the many scattered vacation spots that are criminally underrated. (Again: not you, coke fiend and “special friend.” Your experience, while definitely criminal could never be considered underrated.)

Detroit: cornering the market on "ramshackle"

Detroit: cornering the market on "ramshackle"

Highland Park, MI Ghost Town
Enjoy the thrill of touring an abandoned town without all the intrusive history lessons or costumed tour guides making the most of their failed acting careers by pretending it isn’t 2009.

See $1 homes! View rusting Motor City relics! Enjoy a “vintage” 8-Mile rap battle! Watch Jack White assault various members of the Von Bondies! Man the light switch during a thrilling reenactment of the “Detroit Rock City Exodus!”

Note: Although the tour is free, the tour guide may, at some point, ask for a donation of your wallet, camera, jewelry or other valuables, often at gunpoint.

Hell yeah! Nothing but American cars and flags as far as the eye can see (20 feet - glaucoma)

Hell yeah! Nothing but American cars and flags as far as the eye can see (20 feet - glaucoma)

Codgerville, USA
Centrally located in Kansas (less than 8 hours by bus to Branson, MO!), Codgerville USA provides a pitch perfect representation of America: the way it used to be. Although great care has been taken to include the things you love (Beechman’s Gum, asbestos, doctors recommending cigarettes), Codgerville, USA is really more about what it doesn’t contain.

A short list of what you won’t find:

  • Multiple races
  • Foreign vehicles
  • Multiplexes
  • Art that my 3-year old grandchild could make
  • Excessive swearing
  • Black presidents
  • Back sass
  • Hats at the dinner table
  • An effective polio vaccination

Enjoy the pride of Codgerville, USA: a moving sidewalk which travels in the opposite direction of your gait, thus allowing you (and whatever descendants you’re torturing) to walk uphill in both directions to any attraction!

Note: microwaves in use.

Another historical haul for Gary's museum

Another historical haul for Gary's museum

Harrison County Reservoir Museum
Located in Gary Stuckett’s garage and outlying sheds, this museum boasts America’s largest collection of items retrieved from the drainage gates of any American dam or other water retention system.

Some highlights include:

  • 1,700+ beer cans in 38 different varieties (“mainly Natty Light“)
  • 1,250+ soda cans and bottles (“mainly RC and Diet Coke“)
  • 440+ empty chip bags (“split between Ruffles and generics“)
  • 128 diapers (“if you need to change your kid, just toss it on the pile“)
  • 2 sofas (“not in that bad a shape, believe it or not“)
  • 94 tires (“not a single complete set, dang it“)
  • 3 dead bodies (“fortunately, I’ve also come across nearly 300 pine tree air fresheners“)

Gary’s guided museum tour is normally available from 8am – 6pm weekdays and Saturdays (“Sunday’s for Gary“), which is full of delightful personal notes (“about half of those Natural Light cans are mine“) and horrifying details (“just couldn’t keep that body from floating once it swole up from the heat“).

Those fortunate enough to catch Gary in a sober moment will enjoy the added bonuses of their tour guide being both fully dressed (“normally the summer months will find me going “commando” under the bathrobe“) and less prone to rant about his many unanswered letters to the Guinness Book of World Records (“hell, I even drank their damn beer!“).

Hanna-Barbera Studios: picturesque as fuck

Hanna-Barbera Studios: picturesque as fuck

Hanna-Barbera Studios
Located in sunny Studio City, CA, the Hanna-Barbera Studios are the perfect vacation for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of places like Disneyland or Detroit. Lots to see and do here including these favorites:

  • See how over 70 different cartoons were made using only one background and three frames of animation
  • Get the real story behind the bizarre “now you hear, now you don’t” Scooby-Doo laugh track
  • Get the real story behind what the hell they were laughing at, because the show never really had any punchlines to speak of
  • Enjoy the William H. Hanna Library of Erotic Betty and Wilma Fan Fiction
  • Examine the Jetsons and their dystopian future that never was
  • Watch Captain Caveman hit on your wife/girlfriend
  • Get away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids
The RIAA Stables: no musical enjoyment allowed

The RIAA Stables: no musical enjoyment allowed

RIAA Lawyer Farms – Ashland, KY
Enjoy the rolling hills of Ashland, KY, home of the world famous RIAA stables. The RIAA’s amazing breed of free-range lawyers are allowed to roam the countryside, feeding on the tears and confusion of senior citizens and preteens.

Be sure and stop by the RIAA Cafe, where the whole family can enjoy a delightful meal at a not-at-all outlandish or ridiculous price.

Note: all diners subject to pre-meal strip search. All orders are 1-to-a-plate. No sharing. Soda refills – $0.99-$1.29/ea. An automatic 20% gratuity has been added to your bill for lobbying fees. Parties over 1 subject to additional fees from ASCAP.

Thorogood models a pair of Limited Edition Snakeskin Zubaz

Thorogood models a pair of Limited Edition Snakeskin Zubaz

George Thorogood’s Birthplace, Wilmington, DE
Many, many things to see and do here, preferably while on a Jack Daniels bender, shouting “WOOOOOOO!!! ROCK AND FUCKIN’ ROLLLLLLLL!!!!” the whole time. Become as “bad to the bone” as is humanly possible while 45 and balding during these tour highlights:

  • See 47 miles of barbed wire!
  • Buy a cobra-snake necktie! Just $99.99 at our gift shop!
  • See our fancy new roadside digs, done up in faux-rattlesnake skin!
  • Thrill to our “human skull” chimney, which stands over our brick pizza oven!
  • Don’t forget to pick up a rattlesnake whip! ($179.99)

Note: please do not answer George’s drunken and somewhat rhetorical questions about where your affections lie. Also, please keep in mind that we will not tolerate any attitude or mouthiness from visitors, so take it easy.

Pre-production look at "The Nelson Family Visits Niagara Falls"

Pre-production look at "The Nelson Family Visits Niagara Falls"

Roadside Attraction Land
Why run all over the country looking for that perfect photo opportunity? Come to our studios, located safely inside the city limits. Out “vacationeers” have a variety of costumes and props to make your visit to any non-licensed tourist destination (sorry folks, no Disneyland) look and feel authentic.

Put yourself and your loved ones into any of these classic vacation hot spots with our almost-cutting edge green screen technology:

  • A redwood forest
  • The St. Louis Arch
  • Birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Kansas wheat field
  • A waterfall
  • Austin, MN’s Spam Museum
  • Enron Field
  • Tijuana “donkey show”
  • The Mall of America (three backdrops: Gap Main Floor, Gap 2nd Floor, Spencer’s 3rd Floor)
  • Main Street, USA
  • Main Street, New Delhi
  • Super 8 Motels, Omaha, NE
  • The Grassy Knoll
  • Las Vegas (non-Strip attractions)
  • Downtown Los Angeles (Toronto)
  • Downtown Chicago (Vancouver)
  • That “Field of Dreams” field
  • Somali pirate ship
  • Grayline Tour Bus
  • Penelope Ann Spheeris’ backyard

So make your vacation a restful “staycation” and put those bitch, ungrateful kids in their place. An average session lasts two hours, leaving your free to spend your remaining vacation doing the things you really want to, like mowing the lawn, tracking down that smell in the basement or wandering the office in your shorts.

For other vacation news, in particular the Branson, MO metroplex, click here:
2009 Calendar of Events for Branson, MO



Today’s Civil Court Docket

August 19, 2009
Practical jokes like this make any trip to court a true joy!

Practical jokes like this make any trip to court a true joy!

Free Waterfall, Jr. v. Farnsworth
Property line dispute. Waterfall, Jr. claims that “no one can, like, own land, man.” Farnsworth has responded that one can own property, provided they are not a “penniless hippie.” Farnsworth also seeks clarification as to whether existing laws permit use of “doomsday devices” to deter trespassers.

Mitchell v. Fire Department
While Mitchell admits carelessness in starting fire via an attempt to cook Jiffy Pop while under the influence of Wild Turkey, he questions whether the fire department was justified in using “so much goddamned water.”

Mitchell seeks compensation for water damage to property including:
– Four (4) black velvet paintings;
– “that sandwich I was going to eat later;”
– hard-bound collection of Tiger Beat magazines; and
– several “outdated electronic devices.”

The fire department has countered with “next time (and there will be a next time, you drunken moron), we’ll just let the fucker burn to the ground,” adding “burn, motherfucker, burn.”

Gleason v. Rasmussen
Gleason seeks clarification as to why Rasmussen is unwilling to keep his “multitudinous offspring” off his well-cared-for lawn. Rasmussen’s offspring are accused of “wearing a path between the house and the garage,” “coming and going at all hours of the night,” and “playing their music, if you can call it that, at intrusive levels.”

Rasmussen has countered that his children (“and there’s only five of them, possibly six”) are law-abiding citizens, who “aren’t trying to cause any problems” and are “generally pretty good students, I mean not honor roll or anything and only the youngest boy has had to repeat a grade.” Gleason has countered “those kids are trouble, I just know it,” going on to point out that the “slow one” has been eating the flowers out behind his garage.

Rasmussen has cited Adams v. Jenkins to wit: they are “just kids being kids. Cut ’em a break,” adding “mind your own business and close your drapes once in a while.”

Garelli v. Landover Hills Community Pool
Garelli has filed a motion for a dismissal of his lifetime ban from the community pool, stating that his ban is “excessive, punitive and a violation of his right to enjoy publicly-funded recreation.”

Pool representatives have stated that, despite several warnings, Garelli has continued to sport an “unattractive combination of gold medallions, chest hair and barely-there Speedos.” Garelli has also “made a mockery of this family-friendly atmosphere with his crude sexual comments, endless requests for ‘more disco,’ and visible erections.” He also refuses to “stop running around the pool or diving into the shallow end.”

Garelli has stated that, as a recent citizen of America, he has the right to “make love with all the girls” and display his body “in the proud tradition of his countrymen.” He also wishes to know why his requests for “hot disco music” have been ignored, as he is “always ready to get down.”

Pool reps have responded “they’re lifeguards, not DJs, and stop asking our mothers whether they ‘have a little Italian’ in them and if not, ‘would they like to, yeah?’ Not to mention the followup statement of ‘only it’s not so little, it’s actually large and hard, like some sort of butcher product from my homeland.’ In fact, stay away from our mothers altogether.”

Martinez v. Masterson
Masterson cites Martinez and his Humvee dealership as being “a major contributor to climate change” and “a force of evil working in collusion with the Big 3 auto makers, Big Oil and other ‘Big’ corporations.”

Martinez has counter-argued that his business is self-owned, carbon neutral (excluding test drives) and all-American. He would also appreciate it if Masterson wouldn’t “localize the entire climate change debate to my parking lot, exclusively.”

Martinez cites Free Waterfall, Jr. v. Farnsworth: i.e., “Shut the fuck up, hippie.”

Anita Block v. Theodore Block [Divorce Hearing]
Anita Block is seeking a divorce from T. Block for “infidelity, neglect and general sexual ineptness.” She states that T. Block has frequently forgotten “birthdays, anniversaries, interventions and her first name, often referring to her as ‘woman’ or ‘the help.'”

T. Block was unable to attend the hearing, stating via a note delivered by his attorney that he was currently “banging his secretary (out of town on business).”

The court found in favor of A. Block as T. Block had failed to produce a suitable excuse due to a massive “parentheses FAIL.”

A. Block was awarded custody of the house, checkbook and dogs. The kids were remanded to the state at the Blocks’ cries of “Not it!” were judged “too close to call.”

Aaron Gill v. Rosewater Downs Racetrack
Aaron Gill is suing Rosewater Downs for “gross negligence” for failing to stop his out-of-control gambling by “any means necessary, including, but not limited to: threats, begging, confiscation of car keys/wallet/property deeds and lifetime ban.”

Racetrack officials have stated that “we did hand you a lifetime ban three months ago, but you took us to court and had the ban thrown out as ‘unconstitutional.”

Morton still argues that some rules should have been put into play before he wagered away his car, his firstborn child and his soul, in that order.

Mindy Whitman v. the International Brotherhood of Pipe Welders
Whitman states that she is not interested in the “length, girth or hardness of any union member’s pipe nor would she like to ‘feel their fire.'” She has further stated that this is harassment, both annoying and illegal.

The Brotherhood has countered with “What are ya? A lesbo?”

At this point, all discussion has broken down and Miss Sweet Tits has been asked to “shake it” for the court at a later, as yet undetermined date.



I Will Return

August 15, 2009

(Note: This is inspired by the Taman Shud Case, an unsolved case involving an unidentified man found dead on an Australian beach in 1948. To this day, his identity remains a mystery and various clues and interviews have only increased the confusion. Please give it a read, either before or after, or this entire piece may come off as incredibly abstract.)


This is where it began.

This is where I began. Not exact, but close enough.

The point on the time line is indeterminate. The geologic point has been overgrown, overrun, razed, rebuilt, burnt, salted and reborn. The entrance is submerged under the earth’s ongoing trauma and humanity’s damaged psyche.

I was of the sea. I was null and void. I was shaped by warring forces, formless beings of immense power and childish jealousy.

I was a malfunction. An afterbirth of titans, angels, demons and gods. I was malformed. I was so hideous no god would claim me. I was so horrible no people would have me.

I was unleashed, without guidance. Without purpose.

I rose from the depths. Destroying life. Igniting change. For millions of years, I existed nowhere. An idea. An illusion.

My impulses would not be controlled. I leapt through time and space. I was made whole in destruction. I was freed by chaos.

I was a scapegoat. The blame for the gods’ abuse of their worshippers was laid at my feet. I wore their shame to save their power.

I had no motive. I simply was.

I fulfilled a million curses from a thousand tongues. I eavesdropped on a million prayers destined for deaf ears.

I was alone.

My names were legion.

I was the Tower of Babel. I was “here there be monsters.” I was revolution. Tyranny. Anarchy. I was the Crusades. I was the smallest creature destroying millions through plague. I was the center of every conflict. I was the false god of mass suicide. I was humanity turning on itself time and time again.

I am carried in a vessel. A man like any other. A constant companion. For hundreds of years. There have been others, but I have been with him the longest.

He is ageless. He exists without a past or future.

He has seen without comprehending. He has moved through others’ lives. Existing without living. His motions are involuntary. He is because I am.

He has begun to resent me. He has acted out of fear and hatred. He has never known peace. Happiness. Love. He wishes to stop. He feels the ache of a hundred centuries. The burdens of a million lives. He is regaining sentience and he seeks closure.

His mind is hollow. His speech, garbled. He writes in code to me. He tells me of his pasts. He is fading.

I have been selfish. I have held on for too long. I moved with him throughout the world, setting plans in motion. Damage. Disrepair. Disarray. He was unaware and complicit. He needs release. He jots down another note on a scrap of paper.


It is unintelligible. A garbled prayer to a god that no one will worship. A mouthless scream in random letters, born of the emotions he has been denied. The dreams that never came. The life he never led.

He is clean, free of worldly entrapments. His possessions are in one suitcase, safely locked away. He has no family. No friends. No home.

He never was.

So I (and We) sit on the beach, gazing into the black, rolling water. He holds a scrap of paper in his right hand. A final request. A begging for the void. A keening noise fills my (his) ears. He turns the paper over. Instead of the usual jumble of letters, I (we) see two words: “Taman shud.”


A thousand years rush back in an instant. An empty vessel. A man. A poet. A philosopher. A scientist. But at this point, where I emerged, still just a man.

The millennium passes. I am back on the sand, gazing into the sea.

His voice finds itself after nine hundred years of silence.


I grant his request. My (his) eyes focus on the sky. His right arm goes numb, and the words (his prayers, his requests) fall to the sand.

I extract myself from him, pulling psychically and physically, propelling myself from his body. The force of my exit ruptures and distorts his organs. I reveal myself briefly and his mind is aflame. His soul thrashes and wails, before fleeing.

I could grasp his soul and devour it. Or ride it to another vessel. But I, too, want to go home.

I can see the future. It shifts and distorts. I see men playing gods. They conquer pain. They remove disease. They blend and fuse genetic ephemera into a fountain of youth. They extend their lives while neglecting the consequences of their actions.

They fail to see that something only has value if it is limited. That a life worth living is forever entwined with eventual death. Without death, there is no essence. No urgency. No importance. Infinity is worthless.

They will continue, compounding error after error in their arrogant efforts to unravel the mysteries of life. For such a learned group, they seem to be unaware that “unravel” has two very different meanings. They seek to unravel the keys to eternity as though they were untangling a length of cord, seeking order from chaos.

Instead, they will unravel life as though it were a fraying scarf, pulling at the thread until all that is left is a worthless tangle of yarn.

All secrets will be reburied. Disorder will stake its claim. They will discover, upon my return, that I am the needle and the haystack.

I return to the sea to gather my strength. Heal my wounds. Hone my edge.

I am alone.

I am a weapon.

My name is Entropy.

And I will return.