26 April 2013

Review of Delta Machine

Delta Machine by Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode's new album, Delta Machine.  It has been out for a little over a month. My intial thoughs of the new album were not postive.  To take a page from This is Spinal Tap, my two word review would have been:  Depeche Meh. 

In the month that it was released, I have only listened to it only five times.  Each time it would grow on me a little.  I took notes the second time, and my intial thoughts pretty much still stands. 

I write this as I am listening to the album, so this is like a live review.  That is like an internet first...and you are a part of it.  Tracks written by Martin Gore, unless noted.  Here is a track-by-track review of Delta Machine. 

1.  Welcome To My World - While the lyrics are good, the music and arangement are horrible.  It sounds like a Michael Bay movie.  Lots of 'Transformer sounds' with the 'WOMMM' distorted robot...or should I say machine, delta machine.  6/10

2. Angel - Again with the distortion.  Perhaps this album should have been named 'Distortion Machine'.  This was the first song that the band played to promo their album and tour at the press conference.  One thing that bothers me is it sounds like there are too many words being crammed into a limited amount of beats.  7/10

3. Heaven - Obvious choice for them to pick this as their first single. Although, I can do without Martin's harmony.  That being said, it is one of the better songs on the this album.  Heck, I would say this is could be in the top ten all time Depeche Mode songs.  9/10

4. Secret To The End - Dave's voice is great on this track.  It has a catchy beat and lyrics.  Unfortunately, it suffers from too many layers in the arrangement.  One might say that it is over produced, which seems like a theme to much of this album.  Track written by Dave Gahan and Kurt Uenala. 7/10

5. My Little Universe - Lyrics are good, but again, the song tends gets lost in the arrangement.  The distorted keyboards really hurt the track, especially towards the end and drowns Dave's soothing voice.  7/10

6. Slow - Heavy blues influence on this track.  Strong track for the album.  Unfortunately, I do not think it would make a good single as I cannot see (hear) radio stations giving this its deserved air time.  Really good track.  8/10

7. Broken - Probably the best track on the album.  Classic Depeche Mode, with great lyrics.  It has a little Joy Division  sound to it as well.  Really well put together, should be a single.  Another great song written by Gahan and Uenala.  Not much to say, other than this track is awesome.  9/10

8. The Child Inside - Not a secret that I am not a fan of Martin's singing.  This is a typical Martin track.  Good, but not great.  Nothing special.  7/10

9. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve - Easily the worst song on the album, one the worst in their catalog.  Horribly written with the copy/paste method of writing.  The first four lines of the song:  "Have I got a soft touch?  Have I got a soft touch?  Is my radar that off?  Is my radar that off?"  Surely one can write better lyrics than that.  The second verse is more of the same.  The chorus is suffers from not having enough words to cover the number of bars.  " Oh brother, Give me a helping haaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-aa-aaand."  Ugh.  3/10

10. Should Be Higher - Relief from the previous track.  Also, this is written by Gahan and Uenala.  I really like Dave's writing.  Dave does some experimenting on this track. In the chorus, his voice does sort of a cracking as it jumps octaves.  It works and it sounds great.  You can hear the raw emotion in Dave's voice.  Though not written by Martin, it has a familiar Depeche Mode sound.  Great track.  8/10

11. Alone - Nothing special.  A lot to live up to after listening to the previous track.  As with most of the album, there is too much going on the the arrangement.  7/10

12. Soothe My Soul - Second single from the album.  Very catchy in a Personal Jesus kind of way.  The intro even has a "Reach out and touch faith" feel with touch of I Feel You.  The only part I have a problem with is the chorus, as it repeats a little too much, even for a chorus.  7/10

13. Goodbye - Actually, this one has more of that I Feel You rift, but with a bluesy twist.  It almost sounds like a cover song by Depeche Mode.  I like the way the beats comes in stronger as the song progresses, then goes back down...and up...and down, again.  Not a bad track, not a great track.  6/10

Bonus Disc

1. Long Time Lie - Poorly written lyrics, with lines like "It's been a long long long long long long time, It's been a long long long long long long time, A long time lie".  More copying and pasting.  No wonder this is on a bonus disc.  5/10

2. Happens All The Time - Nothing special, just an average song usually made as filler for a album.  While it stars out good, it again gets drowned out by over producing.  This is the best track on the bonus disc.  I would have preferred that this track replaced Soft Touch/Raw Nerve on the main album.  6/10

3. Always - NEVER!  2/10

4. All That's Mine - Again nothing special.  This track is also the B-Side to Heaven.  Just your average song that has its moments.  Perfect for a B-Side track.  5/10

Overall, the album is good, with an average score of 7/10.  I did not include the bonus disc, since it would really hurt the overall score.  I wished they would have included their 'naked' mixes on the bonus disc instead.  Delta Machine is worth a listen to.  I think for most Depeche Mode fans, it takes a little getting used to.  I know I expected something totally different than what was presented.  Some of it works for me, some not.

I plan on listening to the album a lot more as I need to 'study it' before the concert in late September.  I will have a review of the concert...better pencil that in, just in case. 

24 April 2013

Quick Review of DeLorean Fuel Pump

This will be a quick review of the new DeLorean Fuel Pump/Sender Module (Part# 107000).  As stated in one of my previous posts, I have had this for about nine months before finally having it installed by DMC-California.  Well, I just went through the first tank of gas, so here are my first thoughts.

The pump is much quieter than the original fuel pump as it does not have that distinct hum.  While the sender unit lets the fuel gauge give you a better reading on your fuel level.  With the original unit, the level would fluctuate a quarter tank.  If the tank was at half, it could give a reading anywhere between three-quarters to a quarter, depending on if I was accelerating/braking or going up/down a hill.  The new unit takes a larger sample (around three minutes) of the tank before registering the fuel level.  Now, I know pretty much how much I have in the tank.

The DeLorean tank holds about 13.2 gallons.  This morning, the fuel light went on.  Usually, this means I have about 4-5 gallons left with the old unit, as I fill up about 8-9 gallons.  That gives me a safe amount of time to drive around before I refuel. Well, as I filled up this evening, I put in 12.938 gallons.  That is way too close to the 13.2 mark.  I would hope that a low fuel warning light would give me at least a gallon or two of cushion, I had less than a liter.  Maybe the pump I was using was not calibrated, in which case I got screwed a few dollars.

Anyway, this is my first tank with the new fuel pump and sender module.  I really have to be careful and watch my odometer until I figure out the readings I get.  The good news is, it seems that the fuel gauge gives off a better reading.  When the light came on, the needle was reading at about 97% empty, which is about how much gas I need to top off.

I will update this as I fill up a second time to see if this is an issue.

Update:  Looks like the fuel light goes on when there is about half a gallon left. Today, I filled up with 12.468 gallons, about 95% empty.  That half gallon or so will not get me anywhere.  So, when that light goes on , I really need to find a gas station, immediately.  I need to find  a way to adjust this somehow so the light goes on when I am about 85-90% empty. 

It also seems that I am getting a little better gas mileage than before.  I may or may not have something to do with the new pump.  At least I know about how far I can travel before I need to start looking for a place to fill up.  Longer trips are now a bit 'safer' with this knowledge. 

11 April 2013

Quick Meal For the Lazy

I got lazy the other day...well, I am pretty much lazy everyday...did not know what to make for dinner.  Looked around and found some stuff and came up with a quick meal for the lazy.  Yes, I know this is nothing revolutionary.  I have had this for dinner for the past four nights, and possibly a fifth if I have enough ingredients left over.  Yes, lazy.

The simple ingredients to the my lazy meal.
Let me start with the ingredients.  These are simple things that you can pick up at your local grocery store or general store (like Target, I love Target).
  • 100% Whole wheat tortilla - suppose to be healthier than corn or white flour tortillas.  I just like whole wheat, never really liked whitey.  You chose what you like.
  • Cheese - Speaking of whitey, I prefer white cheese over yellow cheese.  I offset the healthy whole wheat with not as healthy cheese.  I like Italian Style (I will even write it in Italics) because it has a blend on cheeses that I like.  This blend includes:  Mozzarella, Provolone, White Cheddar, Romano, and Asiago.
  • Kale - Leafy dark green vegetables are good for your.  Kale is one of those 'power' veggies high in vitamins like lutein, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, beta carotene.  Some benefits of kale, lowers cholesterol, blocks cancer growth, and other good stuff that I sure you can look up on Google.
  • Spinach - High in iron, and a whole bunch of vitamins.  No need to check Google...if it is good enough for Popeye, you know it is good stuff.
Seasoning for the lazy
You will want some seasoning to go with it.  My go to season are the three pictured above.  Dried basil, crushed chilis, and Creole seasoning.  Again, you go with what you like, I found that the trio above works with almost everything I eat.

Okay, now that we have are basic ingredients.  Time to 'cook'.

Fine layer of cheese on tortilla
I like to heat both sides of the tortilla.  I have convinced myself that this makes the cheese melt faster.  Heat at a medium to medium low temperature, depending on your cookware and stove...oh, and altitude.  Come on, you know how to heat up a tortilla with cheese.  Please tell me you did not come here to get cooking tips.

When cheese melts to about this point, it is ready.
Add your seasoning.  I like to take a pinch and sprinkle it over for even distribution.  It also looks cool when they sprinkle seasoning on TV.  No one is watching you (or me) but it still looks cool, so sprinkle away.  Once the cheese is melted (see photo above), remove from heat, I suggest transferring your creation to a plate. 

One handful of kale

One handful of spinach
Add your veggies.  I take a handful of one of the greens and place it along the center line on the tortilla, leaving exposed cheese tabs.  Then add another handful of greens.  Hey, you can add whatever you want.  For me, two handfuls equals one kale and one spinach.  My way is better, but you do what you think is good.

Tuck and fold
Do I really need to explain the wrapping procedure?  Tuck veggie and fold the tortilla. Good thing you transferred it to a plate.  Otherwise, you would burn yourself if it was still on your skillet.  Now, just roll it up like a yoga mat.  The cheese tab will meet up with the tortilla and should stick, giving you a tube of green.  Tube of green goes in, tube of green will come out later.

It should look like this
Pro tip:  Let it rest on the cheese flap a few seconds.  Go get yourself a drink from the fridge or something.  As the cheese cools, it will form an inseparable bond. 

Well, there you go.  Prep time, about two minutes.  Cook time, about four minutes.  Total time, about six minutes.  Took me about a hour to write this up.

A simple, filling meal for the lazy.  Enjoy.

08 April 2013


While the calls are not as frequent as before, I am still getting them.  I am sure you are too.  It is like paying taxes...see how I work in current events?...there is no way to avoid telemarketers.  If you have a phone, you are going to get harassed by these spineless fucks.

8 April 2013
   571-980-0791  VA, USA  For some reason I thought I recognized this number.  But, this is a new number.  You know, standard telemarketers shit.  This one is selling the same old credit card service to lower my bills.  Credit card?  My dealer only takes cash and sexual favours.  Speaking of sexual favours, go fuck yourself!

12 April 2013
   321-935-4737  FL, USA  Oh, you mother fuckers.  Spring has sprung and these fucking terrorists are back in business.  Be prepared for a wave of calls in the upcoming months.  Fuck you!

16 April 2013
   321-935-4737  FL, USA  What do we have here?   A repeat caller.  This could get interesting in the upcoming months.  Florida has potential, but can they take down Washington and Oregon?  Stay tuned...or should I say, stay on the line.  Oh by the way, fuck you!

17 April 2013
   347-714-1869  NY, USA  So it begins. If you are like me, your number has been distributed to many telemarketing firms.  Four calls from three different number in two week.  Of course, this is nothing.  Just wait until school gets out and people need summer jobs.  Fuck you!

   615-774-1938  TN, USA  What did I tell you?  Less than thirty minutes since the last call.  This could get interesting, and by that, I mean, this is fucking annoying.  Fuck you!

20 April 2013
   323-440-6809  Los Angeles, CA  Oh, a text. Body of text:  we should talk on we-just.com
I have a better idea, how about I shove a boot at up your ass dot com?  Fuck you, you owe me twenty cents...maybe we should talk about that.