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Chap vs. the iPod
Posted in News February 28th, 2008 by Greg

I occasionally add to the confusion in the world by reviewing products online under an assumed name, mostly for my own amusement and that of a few friends. And now YOU! Anyway, here’s the latest installment – Chap Gmunderson reviews the U2 iPod:

u2ipod.jpg Apple iPod Video U2 Special Edition Black
by Apple Computer

8 of 50 people found the following review helpful:

5stars.gif Best iPod with one problem, November 27, 2006

By Chap Gmunderson

I got this because love the color scheme of this iPod (Red and Black!) but I don’t really want the autograph signings of “U2″ on the back because then I feel like they’re judging my music or even are loaning me their iPod or something (I bought it) and my favorite music is not “U2″. I bought fine grade sandpaper (small grit) and gently worked their signatures off, which only took a few hours, and then after a few more hours of sanding with increasingly finer grades of sandpaper and ultra-fine steel wool and then buffing with cheesecloth for smoothing it all out, it looks almost like normal! Now I have the “bomb” looking iPod. I put one U2 song on it just for Karma, but I never listen to it. Get this now, and the sandpaper is available at Hardware stores (get the small grit kind).


Okay, Greg here now…this time I’m going to include some of the comments, because it never fails to surprise/amuse me that people take me so seriously! Anyway, a couple of comments, and my response to them:

Comment #1: “You sanded off the signatures because you’re afraid U2 is judging your music? Huh? Do they speak to you in your heard? Do you wear an aluminum foil helmet to keep them out? Seriously, strange review. You bought the iPod, you should have know it had the signatures (and if you didn’t you are quite naive) and your review should reflect the product as is. Strange, strange person.”

Comment #2: “You spent $200+ bucks to buy a special edition U2 iPod and you scratched off the band members’ etched autographs?? Why? What an absolute crazy thing to do! You permanently disfigured the iPod’s surface metal. Talk about nuts!!”

Comment #3: “Wow, dude. Thats insane. Can’t believe you’d buy something that expensive and then deface/destroy it partially. I think you better listen to that one song you put on there by U2…what was it anyway? I STILL HAVEN”T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR fits rather well, I’d say.”

Chap Gmunderson says:
I am sorry if I confused anyone or they found my opinions unjust. I just try to be honest in my reviews and honestly I only wanted the color scheme and not people writing on my iPod. And speaking of schemes, I think U2 realizes that many people enjoy black and red together (look at the “White Stripes”!) and knew that this was a way to get an “inroad” to people through their portable music devices and make them think about U2. I found a way to have their cake and eat mine too by removing the signatures (and thereby their “ownership” of my musical choices, which are between me and the BMG music club, thank you) in as effective a way as possible while preserving the integrity of the iPod (incidentally, to that end, I found that a final buff with a cotton ball very lightly soaked in toenail polish remover is a good last step). And you are wrong about the song, it is “I Will Follow”, which I like because it reminds me of my youth as a “New Wave” fan and also running (“Run Away, Run Away”) which I also enjoy.

Vacuum cleaners and wolves
Posted in News February 27th, 2008 by Greg

I was surfing around and saw a story about March 20th being “Wear A Sweater Day” in honor of what would have been Fred “Mr.” Rogers’ 80th birthday. If you’re one of those people who thinks they’re all cool by deciding there’s something creepy about Mister Rogers, piss off. But anyway, check out the topic of today’s rerun show:

Episode for
Wednesday, February 27, 2008:

Mister Rogers helps with the fear of vacuum cleaners and learns about wolves.
(#1623)

I wonder if show #1624 is about fear of wolves and learning about vacuum cleaners…

Good kitty
Posted in News February 18th, 2008 by Greg

A cat who long ago was my cat too has passed. Uma was an extremely good kitty with the fur of an extremely soft rabbit, and at one point learned how to play fetch with those little cellophane wrapped pieces of candy. I never saw her as an old lady cat but I’m sure she continued to be good company, as she was an all-star great cat.

uma.jpg

Chap reviews Dr. Phil
Posted in News February 10th, 2008 by Greg

Another of my reviews by “Chap Gmunderson”. Enjoy.

drphilselfmatters.jpg Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out
by Phillip C. McGraw

11 of 20 people found the following review helpful:

2stars.gifDisappointed for the First Time by Dr. Phil, sad, January 27, 2005

By Chap Gmunderson

As a longtime Dr. Phil and Oprah fan, I got this book with the highest of expectancy. However, I find it to be full of advice which if followed, would not be as effective as that in his previous tomes. Obviously we create our lifes from the inside out. How else would this happen? Outside-in is just backwards and leaves a hollow person like one of those chocolate rabbits that aren’t as good as the solid ones and ruin Easter. This is the type of obvious logic which runs rampart in this book of Dr. Phil. The lack of input of Oprah is also sorely lacking, and may be the reason for my disappointment. Normally I find his “get real” Phil-osophy (get it?) to be a breath of fresh air, but here it is “over the edge” – when he cites an example of a man being unsure of how to paint his car and despondent over his losing of a job and his girlfriend turning out to be underage, Dr. Phil is uncharactericly harsh, and his advise consists of “get over it”. Get over it? Dr. Phil, I may be “over you”, which makes me sad because some of the best times of my life has been reading your advice, watching your shows, watching you on Oprah and the fireworks between you that are close to heaven’s ardor, reading your cookbooks, eating your snack bars, and watching you on other talk shows talking about how you look like Jeffrey “Hey Now!” Tambor and revealing your good humor about that embarassment, and how you even occasionally say “Hey Now!” to people to raise their spirits. These things I hold dear, and I hope in the future you stick to what you know best, good “get real” advice, and stay away from life-creating; that is God’s work, I hope you know.

Annoyed by music
Posted in Comics February 9th, 2008 by Greg

Here’s another comic from my upcoming second “if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest” print-on-demand book, this time collecting Flung #1-#3 with some extra stuff. This, again, is part of the extra stuff – it’s a story I wrote back then but drew just recently (finished it yesterday, actually) about a conversation between a friend and I about someone I was seeing at the time. It takes place around the time of the events depicted in Flung #3. (By the way, “bonding elements” was a phrase my friends and I tossed around when talking about dates, for a little while – you’ll see where it comes from if you read this story from Flung #3.) Anyway:






Happy Birthday
Posted in News February 8th, 2008 by Greg

My birthday is in a few days and that has me thinking about time passing and all of us getting older. So I thought I’d mention that today, February 8th, Gary Coleman turns 40. Okay, actually, that’s all I have.

Meet Chap Gmunderson
Posted in News February 5th, 2008 by Greg

For the past couple years I have occasionally written reviews under the name Chap Gmunderson, mainly to amuse myself. Mr. Gmunderson is a big fan of Dr. Phil and Oprah. I will occasionally post one here, hopefully for your amusement. Enjoy!

The Oprah and Dr. Phil Connection: Their Lives, Career, and Philosophies on Successful Living
by Gary J. Fuller

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

5 StarsBehind the Scenes of the best!, January 26, 2005

By Chap Gmunderson

I thought I knew most of the facts about Dr. Phil and Oprah, but I was wrong until I settled down in front of my space heater with this book, which details their connection all the way back to their first awkward encounters and subsequent fireworks (Dr. Phil and Oprah). In addition to pointing out that “Oprah” is “Harpo” spelled backwards (we learn that her parents were huge Marx Brothers fans, and that her little brother “Ohcuorg” felt the naming tradition was a stigmata), we learn about how their meeting took place at a Beef trial, and the rest is history, but is spelled out in the book in pleasurable detail and with aplomb. Although they have never been married, the rumor that Dr. Phil is actually Steadman is quickly “put to rest” by this book (and in addition, they both have mustaches but Dr. Phil’s predates Steadman’s by six years!). I really liked being taken behind the scenes and touring the backsides of these great storied individuals. Hurrah for this book! I heartily recommend it for your reading pleasures.

Buddy boy
Posted in Comics February 3rd, 2008 by Greg

A few moments with Hank the Cat:

We’ve made a few substitutions…
Posted in News February 1st, 2008 by Greg

I’m kind of fascinated by this “From The Jam” outfit that’s currently touring. They’re arriving in Seattle this weekend and are playing The Moore Theatre, a grand old Vaudeville house which seats around 1,400 peeps. So, will 1,400 people really pay $25 each to see the drummer and the bass player from late ’70s British band The Jam play the hits without the lead singer and primary songwriter, Paul Weller, with his parts covered by two unknown replacements? And it gets better – they plan to go into the studio and record new “Jam” music! From an article on Billboard.com:

While Foxton says it’s “premature” to guess what the group’s original songs will sound like, he notes that “it’s not that dissimilar from (the Jam) from the rhythm section department” but notes that Hastings and Moore will likely bring some different influences and sounds to the mix. “It’s experimental,” Foxton says. “When we go into the studio, that’s when we’ll really see what we’ve got.”

I suppose it IS “likely” that the two ringers will “bring some different influences”. And I don’t blame the original members for wanting to cash in on what I had no idea was a fairly high demand for someone other than Paul Weller to sing Paul Weller songs. After all, as bassist Bruce Foxton said, “There are a lot of cover bands out there playing Jam songs, so why don’t we get out there with two-thirds of the original band and play these songs? It’s more credible, you know?” Much more credible.

Their official MySpace profile is even more fun. The promo text at the top proclaims “THE POLICE, GENESIS, CROWDED HOUSE, JAMES, ALL REFORMING FOR 2007 AND NOW BRITAIN’S MOST CHERISHED BAND “FROM THE JAM” TOUR THE U.K TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 25 YEARS!” There have been many beloved bands in British history, true, but none more cherished than “From The Jam”.

If it didn’t reek of “tribute band” enough, check out the bio of the pseudo Paul Weller (from MySpace):

RUSSELL HASTINGS (born 7th July 1965, Sussex England) has been working with Rick Buckler since November 2005. A musician/vocalist in his own right Russell has shocked audiences nationwide this year with his authentic and passionate interpretation in performance (vocals and guitar) of The Jam’s back catalogue. Russell grew up on The Jam and this is evident in his attention to every detail, from the Rickenbacker to the Marshall 4×4 everything as it was and should be.

Well, sort of as it was.

Anyway, this seems like a trend lately, these bands with a few original members but not the original singer/songwriter. Let’s see, we’ve had “The New Cars”, with TODD RUNDGREN (wha?) on lead vocals. “Creedence Clearwater Revisited” – featuring original members Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford – have gone so far as to release a double live CD with “authoritative” versions of all the hits as sung by, um, some guy named John Tristao. (How many less-than-astute casual fans have been to see them at state fairs across the country and to this day think they saw “Creedence”?) There’s “Alice in Chains”, playing all the hits as sung by William DuVall (new studio album coming this year!). And let’s not forget “The Doors of the 21st Century”, featuring Ian Astbury from The Cult in the role of not-dead Jim Morrison. So, I have to wonder who’s next. I vote for “From Devo”, featuring original drummer Alan Myers. I guess if a videotape of Elvis can tour with a live band and fill concert halls, anything is possible…