New BBQ Joints?


Pittsbugh BBQ Co. - Brisket Sandwich

Good BBQ helps to grow healthy sideburns.

Well, you probably know I like barbecue.  I’m a big fan, and I’m always willing to try out new places.  Well, new places that don’t have shrimp or other deathfish on the menu.  I’ve scoped out the web sites three places I haven’t tried… perhaps they’re rather new?  Can anyone tell me if they’ve been to any of these places & what they think?  (Or if they have any stuff on site that’s not listed on the online menu?)

Perhaps, like movie nights, I can organize a Pittsburgh (& surrounding area) BBQ tour?  Would anyone be interested?

I’d like to check out the following BBQ restaurants…

Of course we’d have to hit my favorites… Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ, Pittsburgh Barbecue Co., & Clem’s Cafe!

Were else are the deathfish-free BBQ joints in in & around the ‘Burgh?

A wing tour has been suggested, but 95% of the places that fry wings also fry deathfish, so I’ll stick with Gooski’s.

Batman Movie Night


Batman - Mic Check

Batman - Mic Check

So, soon we’ll be having Batman movie night.  Batman has always been my favorite comic book character.  He’s smarter, he’s darker, he’s a crazy detective, he’s relentless, he’s not invincible.  He’s most likely just as insane as the villains he helps take down.  I like that.

I’ve been a comic book & especially Batman fan since I can remember.  I’m sure it had to do with the 60’s TV show being rerun in my youth in addition to Super Friends and Batman popping up on Scooby Doo for whatever reason.  As a kid, I remember digging the Hulk (even though I ran out of the room during the transformation scenes), Spider-Man, and especially the Greatest American Hero.  I want to say I even used to play with my aunts’ Barbie-doll sized Batman & Robin action figures.

The Dark Knight Rises (a.k.a. Magnus Rex) has been filming in Pittsburgh.  Anyone with an ounce of geek cred or anyone that lives in or around the ‘Burgh knows this.  There are a bunch of photos, videos, & spoilers and crazy stuff all over the place if you do a quick Google search.  I won’t bother re-posting/rehashing here.  (Here’s a cool article about the day. …And another one here.)

I went to one of the open casting calls but wasn’t called… but it worked out better as the wife & I were both able to do some unpaid extra work thanks to BeInAMovie.com (peep their Facebook page for possible spoiler photos)!  It was all in all a really long but incredibly fun day.  It was cool to see a bit of the daily grind on a film that’s sure to be a blockbuster.  When else will I get to say that I was an extra in a movie… let alone a BATMAN movie?  Ha ha.  That’s just awesome.  Whether we make the cut or not, it’ll be an experience we’ll never forget.

In an email from BeInAMovie.com after the fact…

What gracious and appreciative people are the family that Warner Brothers are.

And they so appreciated each of your participation and how you came dressed for the scenes. And stayed through rain and heat and humidity.

AND Chris Nolan was awed by your acting ability when Bane and Mercenaries blew up the stadium and mayhem was everywhere.

In with all that, I’m just a fanboy at heart… so we arrive (again) at Batman movie night.  The wife & I hosted a series of Star Wars movie nights that were a good time, a good excuse to get together, and a good excuse to nerd-out with a group of people… fellow fanboy geeks & newcomers alike.  (On a side note… we never did get past the movies proper… we’ll perhaps have to revisit these to delve into the Ewok & Holiday Specials, Fanboys, then the cartoons & parodies.)

Darth Vader vs. Batman

How awesome is this painting?

Whereas Star Wars is one man‘s singular vision (with a couple of ridiculous re-writes), Batman is an iconic character open to many valid interpretations.  Some of the old Legends of the Dark Knight books would showcase this, as well as the recent Gotham Knight movie.

Batman & Jokers

Batman & Jokers

This brings us to… the movies I’d like to show:

Why not Batman Begins out of the Nolan series?  I’d argue it’s all about Batman vs. the Joker here.  Sure, some other villains clutter up the ’66 movie, and I ought to include something animated with Mark Hamill & Kevin Conroy… but 3 movies in one night is about all this attention span can handle.  The Joker is as mad & random as Batman is cold & calculated.  The characters play of off each other so well.  In the comics anyway, Batman won’t kill.  He won’t cross that one line to become a madman.  (And after the early 40’s, he wouldn’t use guns either.)

I love all of these interpretations of both of the characters.  The ultra-straight-laced Adam West & zany Cesar Romero are a great pair.  They play off of each other well in the campy style of the old show.  I remember being old enough to think Mr. Mom is going to be Batman?” in the late 80’s, but Michael Keaton was a stellar Bruce Wayne/Batman.  He played such an odd person, and it worked.  I also remember thinking Jack Nicholson was too fat… the Joker in the comics & in novels was very tall & lanky.  I was surprised on both counts.  Nicholson plays a maniacal psychopath like no other.  Christian Bale is gruff and guarded, and Heath Ledger has redefined the Joker for a whole new generation, effectively making Dark Knight a Joker movie, not a Batman one.

If these nights work out, perhaps we can delve into Return to the Batcave,  some of the animated films, Batman Begins, & maybe even a Joel Shumacher film.

We’re looking at Sat. Aug. 27th for Batman movie night.  Let me know if you’re interested!  We even got Batman cookie cutters!

Pittsburgh Zoo Photos


Got some cool shots from the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday, thought I’d share some of my favorites.  Just click on the thumb to see the full-size image:



You can check ’em all out here: Grid / Slideshow

The Dewey Deceibel FlipOut Guitar


FlipOut Guitars

FlipOut Guitars

I have a problem with weird guitars.  I’m drawn to them.  I love the classic Les Paul shape and sound, but something about goofy-looking guitars really speaks to me.  I’ve blogged before about my Galveston B.B. Stone, and drooled over the fanboy/kitsch factor of the Millennium Falcon guitar.  Now, I’d like to blog about my most recent 6-string purchase… the Dewey Decibel FlipOut Guitar.

I was drawn to the goofiness when I saw it somewhere online.  I even saw it hanging in Pittsburgh Guitars once, but I had no play money at the time, and couldn’t justify getting the thing.

I bought it through ebay a while ago, as my last band (Gasoline Dion) was kind of petering itself out of existence.  I hadn’t really gotten the chance to use it on stage until recently.  It always draws out a question or admiration.  I don’t think I’ve drawn ire from anyone yet… except the expressed-yet-repressed hatred that my friend and guitar-guru Dave has toward just the general idea of the thing.

Dewey Decibel FlipOut Models

Dewey Decibel FlipOut Models

Yet despite his disdain for the abomination of an axe, Dave did help me install some GFS pickups to replace the stock ones… since I do like that beefier fat-Strat sound.  They’re some great pickups for the price.  Ernie and the Berts recently recorded a demo, and I’m quite happy with the tone coming from the guitar.  I also like the feel of the frets.  This has become my “it” guitar of the moment.

The weird thing about these guitars other than the backwards body is the color schemes and names.  I oddly enough chose the “Lit Cigarette” color scheme.  I wouldn’t mind  a black pick-guard, but I don’t think you can walk into any guitar shop and just pick one up.

Eric Aixelsyd - Dewey Decibel FlipOut Guitar Lit Cigarette

Fallout Shelter - Oct 30th, 2010

Obviously, I like the whimsical/goofy factor with this thing, and my “stage name” being ERiC AiXeLsyD, I felt that that backwards guitar should certainly fit that quite well.

I’m glad that Dewey Decibel makes this guitar, and I’m glad that I found one… or it found me.  I’d love to see photos of other FlipOuts in action.  I know they even have basses if you want some backwards bottom-end.  They may just be prototypes, their web page hasn’t changed for quite some time… and as it last stands they’re available for pre-order, “to be filled in 2005.”

If you have one of these guitars, or know someone who does… post photos!

Time for a game: What does this say? + Storm Damage Photos…


So, the other night a ridiculous storm that lasted only a few minutes wreaked havoc all over Pittsburgh’s south hills.  With the electric out and not much else to do, the fun thing for us to do when  it’s light out & no longer raining is to go to the park with a camera.  I got some interesting shots of the storm damage as darkness fell, and we ran into a bunch of people in the park from the surrounding area, and we were all quite talkative.

(Is it odd that we have a regular “routine” for when the power goes out?)

One young man was walking his dog, and I got a few pics of the dog that he said he’d like to see.  No problem, right?  I asked him to write down his email address.

In hindsight, I have no idea why I don’t think like it’s the 2010s and just put information like this in my phone that’s always in my pocket.

Why is that an issue?  Well, this is what I got…

wmailwtf

abfdbzklxfdklgbzbkx7832sjjb34t

I’d certainly like to email the kid the photos… hopefully they have power by now too.  I just really have no idea what that says… other than “@msn.com”.  I think.

I’d appreciate any help/suggestions that you may have!

If you’re interested in taking a look at my photos, you can check them out on Photobucket:

Here’s a weird bug, a tree that just needed to sit for a minute, the dog, and a shot that isn’t storm damage, but I like it anyway:


Giant Eagle Market District | Educating Yinz Guys N’at


At the new Market District in Robinson, I laugh every time we go in the side door by the cafe & I see this sign:

PRETTY PLEASE! (with a cherry on top) USE MAIN ENTRANCE ←with a cart― NOT THE ROTATING DOOR

sign for the special sort of Yinzer...

In case you can’t read it (or see the photo), it says this:

PRETTY
PLEASE!
(with a cherry on top)
USE MAIN
ENTRANCE

withacart
NOT THE ROTATING
DOOR

Yeah.  Apparently people need to be told things like this.  It makes me want to try to squeeze a cart through the rotating door and see if anyone reprimands me.  They certainly don’t when you have more than the accepted quantity of items in the express line.  How far will they go to keep the customer happy?