The one-man Swiss Army Knife of design™

Day 3

June 18th, 2009

After a day communing with nature it was time to return to our roots–shopping! We stepped out of the room, onto the elevator and who did we see but Teresa! Having learned from Pete that she had gotten laid off from Bethlehem Steel when the plant closed, we assumed she would be a bit down trodden–oh no–not our girl! She rebounded with a new job at Mac Truck!

Quick plans for lunch were made with Pete, Tre, Bob, Pumice, and myself (Maggie stayed back to sleep off her airline induced buzz). Bob and I enjoyed margaritas at Cha-Cha-Cha and Teresa ate a burritor the size of a chihuahua. After lunch we parted ways and got down to serious shopping (I’ll leave out the part where Pum got us hopelessly lost for 8 years)

Louis V; Tiffany to try on engagement rings; and a visit to Banana—a two story mecca! Stopped at Starbucks (two meccas in one day!) and picked up a Portland city mug—it will NOT be going to Pum’s office.

Back to the hotel before dinner, delicious Thai. We continued our hunt for the elusive pet shop we may or may not have seen previously on our wanderings about the city. No dice—but we found other stores…all closed! Pumice decided every day must be Sunday in Portland as all stores close at 6pm—gotta get in that last minute hike before dark!

Day 2

June 17th, 2009

Woke up around 8 or 9, headed out for some breakfast at Stepping Stone Café. We split a full (3) stack of 13″ man-cakes with strawberries. Kate ate 1/2 of one, I had about 1/2 of my two. Truly lost to the man-cakes. Huge.

Planned to go to Mr. St. Helens or Mt. Hood or anywhere in that direction. We basically drove way too far, past the Columbia River Gorge. So, we turned around, Pete gave us some directions, we found an oasis-Starbucks, and continued our adventure. We got sidetracked at a damn, and saw a fish ladder. Fascinating. We then made it our “actual” destination: hiking up Eagle Creek to Punchbowl Falls. A 2-mile hike way way (4 total miles). Checked out Multanoma falls, then finally made it to the hotel around 8pm. It was too late for a fancy Chinese meal, so Panda Express hit the spot. Time to rest up for shopping!

Today is the day we become one with the crunchy granola! The day started at the Stepping Stone Café—an unassuming little café that hides a big surprise…MANCAKES! We ordered a full stack between the two of us, but probably only finished one full cake. The staff was wonderful and offered suggestions on local sights. Leaving Stepping Stone (10 pounds heavier) I spied a puppy across the street. While saying hello, her mommy came out and chatted with us, suggesting further hiking sites. And then…we were off!

The weather seemed a bit gloomy but soon cleared up as we drove 3,000 miles out of our way in search of the mysterious “gorge.” Happily, our becoming lost lead us to “Panoramic Point,” a beautiful outlook with Mt. Hood in the distance. We also checked out the fish ladder at the Bonneville Dam. It was actually very interesting…but still not the elusive gorge! Thankfully, Pete—from HP homebase—was able to provide us with directions to our destination: Eagle Creak and, finally, the gorge!

Clearly, neither of us are hiking machines, but, when in Rome… We set off with the intention of finding Punch Bowl Falls and met several doggies and people along the way, including one man who informed us of the tiny wild strawberries—YUM! They did not taste like warm boogers at all. After approximately 1 million years, we finally saw a sign: “Punch Bowl Falls 1/2”. Now, we had learned from Mt. Hood that sins in Oregon are not very specific when it comes to numbers…half a mile, half way there, who knows?! When we did finally arrive, I was so excited I took my sneakers off and waded into the pool…FREEZING! But, once I lost feeling in my feet, I enjoyed the view while Pum stood ready to snap a photo should I have fallen on my butt.

On our hike back we depleted our water supply. Luckily, watching a lot of Discovery Channel paid off and we did not have to drink Pumice’s pee. A little spring of fast moving water—just like Bear says—filled us back up. I am Weezle Grylls.

“Tropical” Paradise 2009

June 16th, 2009

We believe that uncle Chris shouldn’t be the only one to abuse…er…enlighten family and friends by sharing exciting vacation information, so for the next few posts, this blog will be transformed into the diary of our Portland trip.


This adventure started like so many others…with diamonds!

Pumice’s good friend and former cohort in rhyme, Pete, proposed to his girlfriend Lisa back in July 2008. Pete knows a lot about computers, slide rules, and music videos, but not too much about weddings, so after the engagement, Lisa took over from there. And “there” brought us to Portland in June 2009 for a west coast edition of Tropical Paradise 2009 and the wedding of Peter and Lisa.

Plus, Pumice hadn’t seen Mikey A. in awhile, and since the only way to see Mr. A is through an intermediary (Pete) we figured a little get together 3,000 miles outside of Buffalo was a good a place as any.

Oh, and to make things a little easier, we used fancy color coding in the daily posts, Pum is orange, Kate is pretty pink.

Day One

We got up at 3:30am EST for our 6:15 flight to Newark. The flight wasn’t bad, but had the typical NJ people and their spikey hair. A slightly rough landing (“crash landing” if you ask Kate). The 737 to Portland had to taxi for almost an hour. A relatively uneventful flight (except for the disappearance of Kate’s paisley scarf, which reappeared on the floor in the row behind us). Great views of the mountains prior to landing. We got our uber economy Kia Spectra without being upsold to some fancy SUV, only to find out it will cost us $25/day to park at the hotel.

After checking into the Hotel DeLuxe, we took a nice stroll to Mayas Taqueria, a deli-style Mexican restaurant—had the nachos deluxe with grilled chicken—delicious!

Apparently the reports of Portland having many homeless people (a high percentage of which are youths) are accurate. The two people at the next table were in their 20s (barely) and were on welfare (food stamps were mentioned), one of the diners, a girl, would spend time in department store bathrooms. Street performers (not performing at the time) and lots of “earthy” people passed by as we devoured our tasty nachos

We returned to the hotel around 4pm for what was supposed to be a quick nap, we had dinner plans with Pete at 6:30. At 6:19 we woke from our nap and rushed to get to dinner…luckily Pete had his name on the waiting list at Apizza Scholls when we arrived. We greeted and within moments, we were chatting like we saw each other all the time. No big “catching up” chat needed. We got our table in the adjoining restaurant (you have to go outside, down to the next door for your table), and ordered: a margharita pizza and a bacon pizza—both were incredible, Pete seemed to enjoy his gift of two sliderules (treasures from Papa Saletta’s basement). We said our good-byes, Kate said hello to a couple of neighborhood dogs, and we parted ways—Pete to his apartment for more wedding “stuff,” and us to Safeway, for snacks for the hotel room and finally…sleep! 22 hours later!

I didn’t throw up!!! The plane ride(s) were not horrible, aside from the near crash landing in dirty Jersey. Heavy sedation with the help of Dr. Nickolova and a delicious cocktail (the clock said 11am, but I totally think we were flying through the central time zone, which made it 12pm, so it’s cool) helped to ease the flight anxiety in lue of emotional support puppy. After searching for about 1/2 hour, my scarf was rescused almost two rows back!

There are puppies everywhere—making me miss Thor even more…such a dog friendly city! Pumice couldn’t have been happier with Pete’s choice of dinner location, although the “meatza” may have gotten the better of both boys.

Fun little shops everywhere we go, forget hiking trails, I’ll hike the shops! Tomorrow: mancakes and viewing mother nature—trying to blend in the the crunchy granola locals! 🙂

Hip-Hop Circa 1989

April 19th, 2009

2009 marks the 20-year anniversary for some historical releases in the world of Hip-Hop. Not only did De La Soul debut with “3 Feet High and Rising,” but we also heard the talents of 3rd Bass and The D.O.C. on their first full-length releases.

The production of rap music had recently evolved, thanks in part to the Emu SP-1200 sampling drum machine, and the releases of 1989 would make music lawyers heads spin (and not due to break-dancing). The Beastie Boys’ “Paul’s Boutique” has so many samples, I’m pretty sure it has yet to be fully reverse-engineered. Fortunately, you can hear the sample-rich production better than ever while listening to a beautifully remastered 20th anniversary edition.

Do any other artists have anniversary releases planned? I don’t know. I’d love to hear “The Cactus Album” or “3 Feet High and Rising” remastered, but I won’t hold my breath.

I’ve compiled the following list of 1989 releases. If I’m missing any, please let me know.

  • Antoinette – “Who’s the Boss”
  • Awesome Dre’ & Hard Core Committee – “You Can’t Hold Me Back”
  • Beastie Boys – “Paul’s Boutique”
  • Beastie Boys – “Love American Style EP”
  • Big Daddy Kane – “It’s a Big Daddy Thing”
  • The Diabolical Biz Markie – “The Biz Never Sleeps”
  • Black & White – “Don’t Know Yet”
  • Ron C – “C Ya”
  • Chubb Rock & Howie Tee – “And the Winner Is…”
  • Company B – “Gotta Dance – “1989 – “Pop/Rock
  • Criminal Element Orchestra – “Locked Up – “1989 – “Pop/Rock
  • Willie Dee – “Controversy”
  • De La Soul – “3 Feet High and Rising”
  • Def Jef – “Just a Poet with Soul”
  • Divine Styler – “Word Power”
  • D.J. Chuck Chillout & Kool Chip – “Masters of the Rhythm”
  • The D.O.C. – “No One Can Do It Better”
  • Dr. Ease & D.J. Mix – “Put Your Mind & Body at Ease”
  • Doctor Ice – “Mic Stalker”
  • EPMD – “Unfinished Business”
  • The Fat Boys – “On and On”
  • Fresh Celeste – “Fresh Celeste”
  • Full Force – “Smoove”
  • Craig G – “The Kingpin”
  • Gang Starr – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  • Hipsway – “Scratch the Surface”
  • Hostyle – “Get Off”
  • Hustle Z & M.C. – “Show Me Yours and”
  • Ice Cream Tee – “Can’t Hold Back”
  • Ice-T – “I’m Your Pusher”
  • The Jaz – “A Word to the Jaz”
  • Just-Ice – “The Desolate One”
  • K-9 Posse – “K-9 Posse”
  • KC Flightt – “In Flightt”
  • King Sun – “XL”
  • Kings of Pressure – “Slang Teacher”
  • Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – “Road to the Riches
  • Kool Rock Jay & D.J. Slice – “Tales from the Dope Side”
  • Kool Skool – “Kool Skool”
  • Kwamé the Boy Genius – “Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning
  • LL Cool J – “Walking with a Panther”
  • Magnetic Force – “12-52-365”
  • MC Ade – “How Much Can You Take”
  • MC Ade – “Just Sumthin’ to Do”
  • MC Hammer – “They Put Me in Mix”
  • M.C. Rell – “Into the Future”
  • MC Sergio – “Making a Killin'”
  • MC Shy D – “Don’t Sweat Me”
  • MC Twist – “Comin’ through Like Warriors”
  • Mellow Man Ace – “Escape From Havana”
  • Merlin – “Merlin”
  • Ms. Melodie – “Diva”
  • Nemesis – “To Hell and Back”
  • Nice & Smooth – “Nice & Smooth”
  • Nu-Sounds – “Mackin'”
  • N.W.A. – “Express Yourself ” [12″ Single]
  • N.W.A. – “Boyz-N-The-Hood”
  • Posse NFX – “Black or Ya White”
  • Public Enemy – “Fight the Power”
  • Public Enemy – “Welcome to the Terrordome” [Vinyl Single]
  • Queen Latifah – “All Hail the Queen”
  • Redhead Kingpin and the F.B.I. – “A Shade of Red”
  • The “R” (Renard with No Regard) – “Going for Gold”
  • Roxanne Shanté – “Bad Sister”
  • Salt-N-Pepa – “A Blitz of Salt-N-Pepa Hits: The Hits Remixed”
  • Schoolly D – “Am I Black Enough for You?”
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Seminar”
  • Special Ed – “Youngest in Charge”
  • Steady B – “Going Steady”
  • Stop the Violence Movement – “Self Destruction”
  • Tony Tee – “Time to Get Phy”
  • 3rd Bass – “The Cactus Album”
  • Three Times Dope – “Original Stylin'”
  • Twenty Eighth St. Crew – “I Need a Rhythm”
  • Too Short – “Born to Mack”
  • Too $hort – “Life Is…Too Short”
  • Twin Hype – “Twin Hype”
  • 2 Live Crew – “As Nasty as They Wanna Be”
  • 2 Live Crew – “As Clean as They Wanna Be”
  • U.T.F.O. – “Doin’ It!”
  • The Wee Papa Girls – “The Beat, The Rhyme, The Noise”
  • Wrecks-N-Effect – “Wrecks-N-Effect”
  • X Clan – “Heed the Word of the Brother”
  • X Clan – “Raise the Flag”
  • Young MC – “Stone Cold Rhymin'”

WBNY Hip-Hop Radio Shows – Updated Links

October 4th, 2008

Every known recording of the “Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts” WBNY radio show has been digitally archived.

Some technical details:

The shows were originally recorded on VHS tapes using a Hi-Fi VCR. I would set it to record from 6–9 p.m., using the input rather than a channel. An FM tuner was connected to the input and tuned in to 91.3 fm. This was the easiest way to record a 3-hour radio show without having to span multiple sides of cassette tapes.

Each tape has two shows—Show 4 being an exception, as J-Love and the Brat were at the Hit Squad concert so we filled in and did a 6-hour show. Shows 1–11 were clearly labeled on six VHS tapes, two tapes are dated March 21 & 28 and April 4 & 18, and three tapes are from unknown dates.

At the time, WBNY was broadcast in mono (with a 100-watt transmitter) so naturally the recordings are also mono.

The following shows are available as 96Kbps mono MP3s:

More to come. Stay tuned.

Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts – Show 2

September 14th, 2008
Air date: September 20, 1992
Station: WBNY 91.3 FM, Buffalo, NY
Run time: 2 hours 43 minutes 47 seconds
Download MP3 (112 MB)

Pumice T and his Famous Hot Nuts – 16th Anniversary

September 13th, 2008

Upset that you missed the 15th anniversary? Don’t worry. You didn’t. It wasn’t until this past week that I realized the premiere broadcast of my Sunday night show on WBNY was September 13, 1992. I got excited, did some poor math, and thought the 15th anniversary was coming soon. Too bad I actually missed it a year ago. So, today marks the 16th anniversary, which may not have quite the same ring as 15th, but it’s an anniversary celebration nonetheless. Feel free to download the 122mb MP3 of the show, all three hours are there, completely unedited.

If another format works better, please let me know. Keep in mind, splitting the shows down to one MP3 per song would be extremely time-consuming, but I am considering splitting them into half-hour segments.

I’ll be uploading every show that I have recorded. The first eleven shows are clearly labeled and dated, but every show thereafter is going to be a guessing game. As a heads-up, the fourth show was six hours long. We had to fill in for J-Love and the Brat—they were at the EPMD concert. I have 13 VHS tapes that are presumably filled with shows. If that ends up being accurate, there’s probably 25 shows totaling 78 hours. Also, the math works out so the show probably went from September 13, 1992 through February 28, 1993. Then WBNY realized I was no longer a student at Buffalo State College, and told me I couldn’t do the show anymore. It was sure fun while it lasted.

Air date: September 13, 1992
Station: WBNY 91.3 FM, Buffalo, NY
Run time: 2 hours 58 minutes 1 second
Download MP3 (122 MB)

Break Beat Sample Directory

September 13th, 2008

I ran across this break beat sample directory for “The Funky Drummer.” It’s an attempt to track all of the songs that sample James Brown’s “The Funky Drummer.” That’s quite a tall order, considering it’s been sampled (seemingly) countless times. The directory is just one of the sampled songs which can be found on I suppose if I’m ever bored, I’ll submit some of the samples I know, which they’re missing.

Since the above-mentioned link keeps getting spammed, you may find [Sampling-Love] to be a better database of sampling sources. They’ve got quite an impressive list!!

Dressed to Impress

August 2nd, 2008

I helped Chae upload his new video to YouTube today.
Check it out:

A blehhhg??

July 31st, 2008

Ok, here’s the deal: I’m not expecting to keep a constant flow of blog entries. I don’t know if I’ll even use this blog. The last time I made any effort to do anything with, other than use it for email, was probably five years ago.

My intention is to use this for posting information and links I find useful, and once in a great while I’ll post something original.

So yes, a blog. Is that a little too Web 2.0?