Robert Wm. Gomez's

July 2009

Groucho And Me by Groucho Marx (5/10)

This autobiography was pretty uninformative. Reads more like a compilation of unrelated essays about with a little bit of anecdotal commentary added to personalize it. Not awful, but would have been better as an audio book read by Groucho himself.

Liar by Jesus Lizard, The (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Goat laid the ground rules for the Jesus Lizard's sound and Liar solidified it into a formula. It's a swell formula indeed, but after Liar, the JLs records start to blend into one and other. This is still a great CD.

Goat by Jesus Lizard, The (10/10)

Format: 
CD

Jesus Lizard's finest record. Crazy bluesy licks on top of a pounding rhythm section and off-the-wall vocals. This could possibly be the best record of the 90s. Seriously.

Head/Pure by Jesus Lizard, The (10/10)

Format: 
CD

I'd have to say it's a toss up between Goat and Head as my favorite Jesus Lizard album. Pure/Head shows a lot more variety than the later records which is both good and bad. It's good because the songs are never boring, bad because the experimentation doesn't always work (Happy Bunny Goes Fluff Fluff Along). Because of the drum machine and distorted vocals, this early JL is much more industrial sounding than later efforts too, which I sorta like.

For Your Own Special Sweetheart by Jawbox (8/10)

Format: 
CD

More of Jawbox being Jawbox. The only thing that signing to a major may have changed about the band is that this CD seems to have been mastered louder than previous releases.

T.S.B. (Tom's Strip and Bowl) by Mono Men (4/10)

Format: 
CD

As much as I appreciate Dave Crider and his label Estrus Records, I could never get in to his band, Mono Men. They always seemed like the most generic of the already generic garage rock genre. Anyhow, this is a live recording of a show in Bloomington, Illinois. I guess you had to be there to "get" this.

Novelty by Jawbox (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Good 90s post punk music. Much more rockin' than say, Fugazi, but the songs are not as memorable.

The Happy Return (aka Beat to Quarters) by C. F. Forester (8/10)

Thought I'd give this series a try after finishing the Aubry/Maturn series. Hornblower is definately a simpler read, and it's almost as good O'Brian. The characters were not as vivid as O'Brian's.

Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on Nintendo DS (9/10)

A nice, light-hearted version of Zelda for the DS with some interesting stylus controls.

"Dippy Golf" - Another Apple ][ Game I Wrote as a Kid

After posting Malfunction, my text adventure game for the Apple ][, I have been spending a whole bunch of time tinkering with my old Apple ][ software creations. Another one of my better creations was a golf game that I titled, Dippy Golf. This game featured nine holes which were loaded in from external graphics files and, even more impressive, was the use of audio samples of my voice! The game worked but still felt somewhat unfinished, so I decided to complete the game and post it here on the Pages of Fun!

My Apple ][ Masterpiece, "Malfunction"

(Okay, Masterpiece should probably be in quotes too!) I have been on a bit of a retro computing kick this evening. I have been playing around with AppleWin, which is the best Apple ][ emulator for Windows that I know of. I played a little bit of the original Castle Wolfenstein and then decided to fire up my trusty Apple ][gs and port some of my old Applesoft programs to PC.

Kick by INXS (6/10)

Format: 
CD

This is one of the oldest CDs in my collection. It was given to me as a gift. At the time I never really liked it that much... except for maybe "Need You Tonight." In hindsight, it's not THAT bad. There are plenty of hits that you can sing along with. And even the schmaltz like "Never Tear Us Apart" is appealing to my aging ears.

However, I was a big fan of Shabooh Shabah, and this record does even come close to that one. They seem to have lost much of the phat-synth sound in favor of a more sparse pop structure.

My God Is Alive! Sorry About Yours! by Knights of the New Crusade, The (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Knights of the New Crusade are America's premiere punk rock Biblical literalists. Religious viewpoint aside, this is some of the rawest, skuzziest garage rock since The Mummies. Michael Lucas of The Phantom Surfers provides most of the vocals so you can probably take their message with more than a few grains of salt.

Santa's Other Elves - Woodcut

In 2000 I finally was able to find time to create a hand-printed Christmas card as opposed to a set of generic cards that Wika and I would just buy from Wal-Mart.

Quantum of Solace (7/10)

While still better than the majority of post-Connery Bond films, this one lacks the intrigue and story of Casino Royale. It relies too heavily on choppily edited chase sequences that are really just standard Bond faire.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (4/10)

Starts out pretty good, but decends into the idiotic by the end.

Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O'Brian (7/10)

Not the strongest book in the series. It doesn't help that many of the regular characters are gone in this book.

Gods' Man: A Novel in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward (8/10)

Beautiful wood engravings are the reason to "read" this.

King Jesus: A Novel by Robert Graves (4/10)

I loved "I, Claudius" but was utterly bored by this. Maybe I would have appreciated more if I had more than a passing knowledge of the Bible. It doesn't help clear up matters when it seems like half the characters are named either Mary or John.

Max Payne (8/10)

A lot of people hated this movie, but I thought it was pretty darn good. Okay, the demons were a bit much and there's not much character development, but the slow beginning pays off with an exciting, stylish finale.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (7/10)

Well, someone finally found a film genre that hadn't been parodied—the rock bio pic. They pull it off relatively well. The film suffers from the foilble of most modern comedies, which is to find a funny joke and then point it out to the audience again and again like a stale SNL routine. Yeah, yeah, he cut his brother in half. That stopped being funny about 5 minutes into the film.

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards on PC (10/10)

Leisure Suit Larry is one of my favorite adventure games of all time. Certainly the best of the Sierra 3-D games in my opinion. It may not the most challenging game or have the deepest storyline, but what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in humor. Leisure Suit Larry is essentially an 80s PG-13 sex comedy in pixelated form.

Self Portrait - Wood Engraving

A tiny wood engraving I did. Technically it's not a wood engraving since I engraved into a plastic engraving medium called "Resigrave." I have plenty of copies available for purchase. The price is a mere twenty bucks! Postage paid!

The Surgeon - Wood Engraving

This is another "Resingrave" wood engraving. This one is a portrait of my wife, Wika, wearing surgical magnifying glasses.

An edition of 25, I have plenty of copies available for purchase. The price is a mere twenty bucks! Postage paid! If you are interested in puchasing one, please contact me.

Drupal Update

Well, I just updated the core version of the Drupal CMS on the Pages of Fun from 6.12 to 6.13 and it went pretty smoothly. One thing that I did discover is that it pays to update all your modules before doing the core update. I had earlier tried to update and the system completely failed on install because of a problem with the out-of-date Admin Menu module. Only a complete reversion to the backed up files saved me. Backing up is ever so very important in this whole process. Anyhow, I am really loving Drupal and I hope to build more sites with it in the future.

My Name Is Bruce (6/10)

Bruce Campbell's self-depricating monster movie. Somewhat of a big in-joke, but I found myself laughing a few times.