June 29, 2006
The Clayton Family Reunion
I have to admit, as a kid I could sometimes be a real snot. I remember once when my mom graduated with her Master's Degree in Counseling. She was so proud, and wanted all of us kids there to support her. But, it was like 130 degrees at the University of Delaware football stadium that day and all of us just complained the whole time we sat there through the lectures and the ceremony, complaining because pop wouldn't buy us the overpriced Pepsi.
After the ceremony, we continued to complain about the heat, and no one mentioned that we were. . . proud of my mom or anything. I remember not understanding why my parents were so annoyed and (my mom) hurt by us.
Like I said, total snots.
I think part of growing up, part of becoming an adult, is examining the parts of your life where you act like a snot and deciding if maybe you shouldn't. Now I don't think being a snot is always a bad this necassarily. Sometimes it's good.
But in my attitude towards the Clayton Family Reunion, I was definitely wrong. As a kid, I would not look forward to this day. The Claytons are my father's mother's family. My dad's mom, Helen, was one of 8 children (7 girls and 1 boy). She died when he was 4 in a tractor accident. The Claytons loved Helen and were devastated by her death, and my dad was the only child, the only trace left of her.
Looking back now, as I understand more about kids and connections and such, I can see that my dad wanted to go to these reunions because these sisters needed that connection, and my dad needed to remember his mom through them. And of course seeing Helen's grandchildren would only strengthen that severed bond.
Enter us the Latshaw kids. Complete and total snots.
Where what in reality what was going on was recovering something lost in this tragic accident, all we say was old people who we didn't know and food we didn't like, at the end of a very long drive.
We'd complain on our way there, alot. We'd complain there, we'd ask when we could go. We'd reluctantly meet people, embarrassed that we didn't know who they were since they were family. I'm actually shocked my dad didn't just scream at us in frustration. Of course, we only went about 3 times and I think I know why.
Last Sunday, Darby and I and the kids attended the Clayton Family Reunion with my parents. i have to say, I think I've grown up, because I realized all this stuff and I had a great time. Meeting all these women who were my grandmother's sisters, it helped me recover something that I lost out on. And I could tell they all loved my dad, and seeing us.
Fortunately, I think the 1999 and 2002 models of Latshaw (my kids) are much less snotty then me. They managed to be well behaved, not complaining once, the entire time – and we stayed a long time. I was very proud. And they are better at introducing themselves and all that.
The reunion ended with some of the ladies playing brass instruments, and some of us singing along with them with handouts of choral versions of hymns (many of which I'd never heard). It was a total and complete blast, so full of life and energy. It made me regret all the Clayton Family Reunions I've missed in the past, and decide that in the future we will go if at all possible.
June 26, 2006
One Win Choice on tour
Everyone who came to our CD release show will certainly remember the glorious sounds of One Win Choice. Well, they have a lot of cool stuff going on right now. They were recently signed to jumpstart records and they are currently on a month long tour. Try to catch a show if they are playing in your area. They are a GREAT live band. Even if you won't be able to make it out to s show, you can keep up to date and entertained with their tour blog.
June 23, 2006
As most of you know, Jason and I work together. Because we do graphic design, we are on computers all day every day. When you spend that much time online, you tend to run across some interesting stuff. Recently we have started collecting funny GIFs (animated images). Here are some of our favorites. Feel free to add links to other funny stuff.
Click the link below to see the rest.
The Saga of Oliver the Humanzee gets even stranger
More then a year ago, I made the fateful decision to post about Oliver the Humanzee. Since then, we've accidentally become one of the web's Headquarters for this controversial subject. Seriously, type "Humanzee" into Google and we're one of the first hits. We get LOTS of traffic this way, and in fact at least 2 fans say they heard of us because they were searching for information about. . . Oliver the Humanzee.
But now, the latest 2 comments on that page make me think the ante is being upped here. We've gone from mere curiousity to truly revolutionary disclosures, history itself being made on the pages of the Look Machine weblog. I will reprint them in this post, but you can also go back to the original post to read all the comments.
Dr. Shen Xia Yen said... Unusual baby with human and simian features was born to a Mongolian prostitute woman in special Beijing hospital in 2003. SARS story was government cover up to close down all hospitals to prevent story from getting out. This baby was kept a big secret by the Central Committee. Some doctors and nurse disappear. Rumor among physicians in Beijing is that father of baby is the chimp/man named Oliver. I saw this baby for only a few minutes, it looked like human with facial structure hints of a chimp. Baby had much hair and large hand/foot structure. Appeared very odd, but intelligent. The mother is good-for-nothing street whore claiming that she was paid big money by Russian man to have sex with special chimp. She says the chimp was like man in many ways and drinking much Beijinger whiskey. Who knows, maybe true? Anyway, baby is now in the Chinese Space Agency headquarters building located at #2, Jiang Tai Lu, Chao Yang District in Beijing not far from the Lido. This building is top security and very difficult to enter, but you can see windows from street where sometimes chimp like figure is seen inside reading newspaper and smoking cigar. Some CP big shots talk quietly about this chimp/man going to moon on Chinese rocket because too dangerous for human. This is possible because China always take safe approach to risky operations so not to loose face if failure.
Dr. Shen Xia Yen
6/17/2006 2:17 PM
Joe Shea said...
The notes above do capture much of Oliver’s public life, but only those elements specifically created by the government to gather open attention. There is much more to the story.
Hello. I am an older gentlemen now and while I prefer to stay in the shadows, my failing health and age continue to reduce the potential for reprecussions.
In the middle 70s, I ran an elite aviation/aerospace group in southern California for a little known agency. Located in the town of Upland, my team was quartered at a small private airfield called Cable. Our public front was that of a civilian aviation patrol club, ostensibly formed to conduct pilot training and air search, etc.
In the spring of 76, I was contacted through my channels and instructed to perform support assistance for what was then termed Operation BAKER BREAD. In short course, my team Squadron Two Five received ample funding, and received a liaison visit from the Op Controller who was known to me only as Richard. I meet with him in a small place on the Foothill Blvd., the Upper Crust, where I received my general tasking: design and test flight control and operating modules that could be understood and used by a chimp. According to Richard, the protocol was established as a Hot Sheet item, the desire being to preclude any further incident such as that which had befallen Gary Powers.
Over the months, my team commenced design and prototyping in a private hangar at Cable (N 2-4). We installed the controls and surrogate lifting surfaces onto a sled of sorts in order to permit a controlled examination of the operations without flight risk. In the fall of the year, I first met Oliver.
One our introduction, he merely strolled into our quonset hut, touched two fingers to his right brow without breaking gait, and helped himself to my package of Camel cigarettes. I was simply astonished. I had been working on a personal device, a machine designed to clean and polish Golf balls, that I intended to market to luxory hotels. Within several hours, Oliver had become familiar enough with the machine to safely operate it - he even adjusted a troublesome switch for the ejection/removal.
Over the winter months, we began testing our monkey piloted rocket sled. These tests occured far out in the desert; you may still visit the area now by driving 90 or so miles east of a small town called Halloran Springs. While the mechanical testing went well, I began to see the ugly side of Oliver - a side that perplexed and frightened me. A chronic smoker, he would slip into despondant periods during which he would drink alcohol heavily and show aggressive behavior. Several instances nearly shut down the project; one involved his brandishing an empty bottle and striking an assistant (it was poor old man Miller) over the head, apparently to take possession of his felt hat. As Miller lie in the sand, unconcious, I observed Oliver to exhault in the moment, wavering both limbs wildly and flashing his teeth while hooting. He wore the hat for several days, then filled it with his own urine and left it.
Still more troubling was his untoward sexual conduct. In another incident, a young support staff worker, Patty, fled the camp in a rush and did not return the following week. Months later I was to learn that Oliver had attacked her sexually, and that their union had in fact resulted in pregnancy. Richard arrived to discuss the matter and here revealed that Oliver was, indeed, a hybrid simian. Attempts to breed him to human females had taken place, with those results being termed horrible “pirates and ringmasters”. I learned only later that Patty had been spirited off from the area in order to deliver the offspring of Oliver. I was only to glad when testing was complete. I never heard another word regarding the Op or of Oliver until recently. The recent spate of news makes me wonder if it is all timed to coincide with the progeny of Oliver.
6/17/2006 2:19 PM
June 20, 2006
On Hometown Heroes Again
But one sad part is the ending of the song that I love was cut off (on the podcast, not the actual broadcast). Oh well. These things happen.
And of couse thanks to all of you for sending those requests in. Please do it again! (But no fake email addresses, please).
June 19, 2006
More from Ian in Ghana
Hey all, I'm giving you another taste of what Ian is going through in Ghana, in his own words. . .
Once in a while, for me, and probably for everybody, there is a moment
where you think, "I can't believe this is happening to me." The first one
I can think of was when I was crashing Collin's car, but I had another one
the other day.
We had the weekend off and were chilling in a place called Cape Coast.
It's a fishing town, but it's a really wild place to be. It was colonized
about 600 years ago by the portaguise, or maybe the dutch. It doesn't
really matter because they both were there for a while and they both did
the same horrible stuff.
But whoever they were, they built these amazing castles along the coast
line. I'm talking about the real deal here. Castles with moats,
drawbridges, loopholes for arrows, dungeons... they are really just
stunning. Think about an amazing old european castle surrounded by palm
trees, on cliffs like the coast of maine that have brilliant green waves
smashing into them. Now put that in a bustling African town filled with
hundreds of wooden fishing boats that look like gondolas from Venice
rigged up with the square sales of a Chinese junk.
Yeah, it's an amazing place. So we walked into this castle and I was
wandering around by myself and I met the king. Not the king of the
castle, the real king. Elvis.
He had a craft shop inside the castle, selling ebony animals, djembes,
masks and the like. He was 23, the youngest in a family of 10. His Dad
wanted a son. His first two children were daughters. The third was a
son. He decided that he wanted two and two, but by the end it was 6 and
I shook his hand, and he smiled warmly.
"What is your name?"
"I am elvis."
"You're still alive!" I shouted excitedly.
"Yes, I am still alive," he said politely. I don't think he got it.
Anyway, I hung out with him for a while, talking about everything, and
stuff like that. We talked about Bush, then about the Ghanian government,
then he started comparing the government of Ghana to the government of
Timbuktu, and their strengths and weaknesses.
I suddenly realized, "Wow, I'm in west Africa in an ancient european
castle, talking about politics in Timbuktu with elvis..."
I'm keeping my eyes out for Tupac.
So let me tell you about the Shark.
I'm working in the kitchen. It's a crazy place to work. It is (very
honestly and litterely) as hot and steamy as a sauna and as slippery as a
frozen pond. I spend the whole day staggering around between giant vats
of boiling oil hoping that I don't fall (or melt) into the pot and deep
fry myself. The ceilings are shorter than my head in a lot of places so
I'm usually ducking bolts and pipes, or banging my head.
So, as you can probably guess, it's an intense place to work.
Well my boss is named Mel. He was born in Jamaca, raised in Brittain, and
served 35 years in the British military. He retired about 10 years ago,
but I don't think he's realized it yet.
He's funny, and just about the strangest mix of personality stuck into one
person that you can find. He's about 5 foot 6, black and has a deep voice
with a perfectly revined british accent. He's got a potbelly, thick strong
arms, and is used to being large and in charge.
One of the first days I dropped a drip of something or other on the stove
top and he yelled at me.
"I am a shark," he said, "and now you are in my Domain. When you fall
into the water with a shark, who do you suppose has the upper hand?"#
I didn't say anything. I thought that if I opened my mouth I might drown
in my own sweat.
"I do! That's right, I do, and you are in my watter."
He's the kind of guy that will yell at you from across the galley to come
and pick something up that's right in front of him, then run across it to
grab something right in front of you.
"This is a high stress environment" he said. "It's a place where you will
hear voices raised. If you're easily offended this is not a good place
That's true. Every minute is a crisis, every second the is one second too
late. He's constantly running, shouting. "I need a bag of rice,
Urgently, urgently, urgently. I need it now, I need it 5 minutes ago, now
He insists that it is his job to tell everybody whaeverything at least
twice, even if you're already doing it.
He's always trying to teach something, like how to drop pork into boiling
oil. "Bent at the knees, square your shoulders. You are a boxer now, a
boxer. Move with it. Now place it in there, come on, don't drop it,
place it, no keep your finger out. You are a boxer."
He'll slam a pan on the counter and shout at me, then say, "I'm not
shouting at you." He'll be incredibly rude then say, "I'm not being
Sometimes I want to slap him and say "I'm not hitting you" but actually, I
really like him. For as intense as he is, he's also very nice and
encouraging. He's always saying thins like "Great job son, great job, I
appreciate your work so much, now keep going."
He also really wants to teach people how to cook things, and how to do
well in the kitchen. He's always saying "Now i want to teach people to
believe in themselves."
Whatever he may be, he's always good for a laugh, and I've never
appreciated Tom so much in my life.
Anyway, that's the news for now. And I hope this didn't sound negative.
I really am having a blast, and I haven't been having any headaches. So
June 16, 2006
Is not reality. I find this fascinating, and I also think it's amazing that humanity has disproven the whole "seeing is believing" mantra, yet we still rely on it. . .
Look at this. You owe it to yourself, it's so cool.
June 15, 2006
Wonderful Environmental Announcement
As you all surely know, I stand in strong disapproval of many of the Bush administration's decisions and policy's. Because I am such an environmentalist at heart, this past term and a half of presidency has been torturous at times (yes, I recognize the irony in the use of the word "torturous" when discussing this presidency). Add to that the war in Iraq, general foreign policy, and the overall ethnocentrism that has been displayed by the leadership in our country and it can be downright depressing. Well today, I heard a bit of excellent news from the administration that brought a great joy to my heart.
Ghouls and goblins all across the underworld are getting out their ice-skates today in celebration of hell freezing over.
It was just announced that President Bush plans to designate an island chain spanning nearly 1,400 miles of the Pacific northwest of Hawaii as a national monument today. At nearly 140,000 square miles, an area nearly the size of Montana and larger than all the national parks combined, this will be the largest protected marine area in the entire world.
This is the most amazing environmental milestone I have ever witnessed. This area will protect and preserve thousands of rare species and an incredible area of a very delicate ecosystem.
I never thought I would see the day that something like this would happen. This is truly an incredible day for the natural world. Regardless of what political motives drove the Bush administration to make such a decision, amazing fruit has come of it. I never thought I would say this, but... thank you Mr. Bush.
Here is a great article about the preserve.
An Update from Ian
Hi everyone, we have a cool update from Ian, who is floating around Africa doing good deeds.
Hey everybody, we made it. It was a long trip (28 hrs all told) but we're here.
Hm... I think Laura is writing an email rignt now, so some of the might be double.
Well we flew to Milan from Newark with Alitalia. That flight had to set new world records for nastiest airline food and meanest flight attendants (my apologies to any italians reading this email).
Our next flight (also with Alitalia) probably set records for best sleep ever, friendliest flight attendants, and second best airline food. (It was delish, but sorry, nobody will ever beat Qatar air) (PS. good job Italians).
That flight was a little strange though, because we made a surprise stop in Lagos Nigeria. We sat on the runway playing phase 10 for about an hour and a half then continued on. Lagos was awesome by the way, We watched Traffic jams, thousands of camp fires, and a power outage from the air. Very cool, it looked so different from anything in the states, no grid, just a glump of burning orange light.
Well we got to the airport with no Visas, but after a few forms, Letters, and Laura putting the officials in their places, we got our passports stamped.
Customs was funny. They looked at us and said "are you Italian?" "No, American." "Ok, Next week we will score you!" (You see, Ghana plays America in Soccer soon, and that is an issue of utmost importance)
We got out of the airport, into the burning African night and were surrounded by Taxi drivers. "You are my friend, good rates for you, I will help you, I know the city, let me carry your bag, let me help you, I will take care of you, you can trust me." And we were like "Thanks, but we have friends picking us up, we don't need help." So, they picked up our bags anyway. "In case your friends don't come, I am your friend, I will help you..."
Our "Friends" weren't there.
So we waited
And they weren't there
and they still weren't there.
We had no phones, our only currency was 20 dollar bills, and it's rolling on towards midnight. We're surrounded by new friends carrying our bags around, asking us for tips (And of course, eating mom's cookies).
Laura was like "Wait here, I'm going back in."
I was like "OK."
And she was gone. I was chillin on the curb with all my new friends, and
she was gone... And still gone...
I was like "Great, there goes my girl friend, lost in Accra at midnight." So I ate another cookie with Isaac, my new friend.
10 minutes, it was fine
20 minutes, it was long
30 minutes, I was pasing
35 minutes, I was a little worried
45 minutes, I'm going in... wonder what will happen to our bags... wonder what happened to Laura
Then she reappeared.
The first customs person she asked for a pay phone just so happened to be a DTS graduate who had worked for mercy ships. She had a cell phone, she had the numbers for YWAM Ghana, She helped us for 2 hours, untill finally we got a ride. She was probably like the coolest person I've met in a
long long time.
We're in Tema, on a boat, starting work tomorrow.
Peace out Dogs,
Vote for us on the Indie Rock Show
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June 08, 2006
It's not happening here, but it's happening now
Amnesty International has launched a bold, creative, and challenging outdoor advertising campaign. It places real life horrific events on a transaprent clear background, so the terrible event looks like it's happening in a safe, familiar area. It's very effective, and it , for me at least, breaks through the tendency to forget that entire world is not as comfortable as our existence.
Check it out, I think you'll be impressed.
June 06, 2006
A Cool Thing to Do.
Maybe there are some smart kids at MIT after all.
June 05, 2006
Way to go with the Emails!
So, it turns out you guys are some pretty great fans! Mark Rogers, the DJ for Hometown Heroes, recieved more email requests for the Look Machine than he's had for any band! So, thank you so much.
It's pretty funny, he read off a list of the people who emailed him requests, so if you want to hear your name on the radio, give the podcast a listen. It's right at the beginning of this segment.
Also, a big thanks to Mark for the kind words and for playing us!
Ps. if you want to send in any more requests you could send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 04, 2006
The Horrible Cook
Here is one of my finest home videos.
So, how do you like it? Critics, now is your time to shine.
June 03, 2006
Revenge of the Old Band Member
Take this Chris Fraser. We'll see who is the true metal rock legend in this band!
For those of you who don't know, I have just been kicked out of the band! Why, you might ask? Because I am a "finger picking sweet boy."
This news hit me hard. I mean, I've poured all of my soul into this band. Every sweet lullaby, every gentle guitar riff, every soft and smooth melody from my tender heart. I know I can rock with the best of them. I had to prove to my old band mates that I was what they wanted. I had to convince them beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was hard rock to the bone.
So... I got a stylist.
Of course, she was not happy with my normal look. "You're more redneck than is natural," she said. "My grandmother could rock harder than you!"
She got to work with a deadly efficiency. The beard hair started flying from my face.
As you can see for yourself, it was no small transition.
We started trying new styles, and I started to look stunningly good, startlingly attractive, and surprisingly hard.
Who is the metal monster now? Axel Rose would fall at my knees, Van Halen would quiver before me. But still, we weren't finished. Only perfection would be acceptable, pure rock perfection.
Finally we reached the goal. Take that Metal Mullitia. You have been outstyled, outrocked, and put in your place. And to you, my old band mates, I don't need your pretty little ditties anymore. I have rock to make.
June 02, 2006
More Radio Play
Hey everyone, exciting stuff going on these days.
In addition to WSTW 93.7, we've been added to the playlist for a number of radio stations around the country. Mostly internet radio, but some FM stations as well.
If you'd like to email any of them a request, feel free. WSTW wrote Ian and said he was very impressed by our fans, and that so many requested our song that he had to set up an autoreply to any email that mentioned us, because he couldn't keep up with it.
For some of these, we have just been selected for airplay by their staff, but we haven't actually been played yet. (We had to send in a CD and paperwork, for instance).
An independent blend of Americana, Alt. Rock, Bluegrass, Alt. Country, & Blues.
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