Wednesday, April 26, 2017

You Think You Can Take Her?

Don't be getting too cocky, Bucko, before you check out her wings.   They look like they're more than sufficient to swat you right back to your Tough Guy Tent.

Stuttgart, Germany

Maria Sharapova of Russia in action during a training session before the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

Ed:  I don't want to be dating anyone who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Oh really ...

How about now?

Ed:  oh, yeah!

Too late.  You already insulted her.

The Moment He Realized the Elections Don't Ever Stop

Nairobi, Kenya

A man looks at campaign posters outside a polling centre as he waits to cast his ballot in the Jubilee party’s primary elections

Photograph: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Then he looked at the bright side and realized, before Donald Trump there was no word for thunderfart.

Ed:  so what is the word?

Well, the word is thunderfart.  We're not going to play Who's On First with this; the word is thunderfart.

That's when he also realized that smell is not the Stockyards and he became afraid.

He threw his hands to the sky and cried out, "Lord, Lord, when he thunderfarts it's indistinguishable from the approach of severe weather so how can I know where to run?"

The Lord just said, "I din't do it.  Self-inflicted wound.  Take a hike."

And then the Darkness came and the politicians watched.  No-one asked what Donald Trump was doing since we could hear him thunderfarting up on the hill.  We knew what was going to come.

There's a Cracking New Business in Building Nuclear Bomb Shelters

This one must be for rich hippie Boomers.  A nuclear bomb shelter for rich hippies ... truly, the future is really here.

Osaka, Japan

Seiichiro Nishimoto, CEO of Shelter Co, wears a gas mask at a showroom for the company’s nuclear shelters in the basement of his house

Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Here's the beauty part:  it doesn't matter if it even works.

The nuclear bomb shelter business is better than selling Florida swampland since there's no way to test it and all you need is the slick pitch to make the big, big bucks from the richies who are terrified they will be killed by their own damnable inaction (i.e. failure to curb their militaries).

It doesn't matter if it works since what will they do ... try to get a refund after the nuke war if it fails?

This business is air tight since there's no chance of customer complaints even if the bomb shelter collapses in on itself before the nuke war.

Ed:  why not?

We will say it was caused by an earthquake from irresponsible fracking and blame it on the state.  We won't pay a dime except for a few shyster lawyers.

Think it through since this is only one step up from putting a swimming pool in someone's backyard. Add a ceiling to that project plan and you're halfway to a designer nuclear bomber shelter for the ultra rich.

Always remember, there are big bucks in big bullshit.

What Else Sounds Like a Car Starter

There was a sound coming from outside which sounded like someone trying to start a car but the starter would only chirp for a short time and the motor wouldn't catch.  This happened over and over to the point I had to find out what's happening.  Maybe someone has got all flustered and needs to hear, "Man, you really don't want to do this to your car."

But I couldn't locate the car since it seemed it came from the left and I went to take a look but that's the direction to Yevette's car as well.  As I got closer, the direction seemed more and more toward her her car but I couldn't really see it due to shrubs.

I was thinking, wtf, is someone trying to rip it off but as I got closer, the direction shifted more and I realized it was above me.

It was a fookin' chipmunk and he was one pissed-off, li'l chattering sumbitch.  He was on the inside decorative edges of the ceiling for the porch so he didn't have a good leap back to a branch anywhere and he really wasn't stuck but, like a whole lot of things, he couldn't find his way home.

The upset squirrel was focused on me and kept up this chattering.  I figured, ok, angry li'l rodent, let's back up a little and see how you do.  He didn't figure he needed to stay backed into a corner but he wasn't so bright about working his way back to where he was since he just took a leap.

That fookin' squirrel probably fell at least eight feet and did a full belly flop on the porch ... THWACK.

I thought, holy shit, that's no longer an angry li'l rodent but one with a major concussion.


He jumped up quickly, shook himself off a bit, and scampered into a nearby shrub where he was jumping from branch to branch for no apparent reason.

Ed:  Mad Squirrel Disease?

That looks like the case.  This, as you know, is not rabies.  They just go nuts and sometimes they start yodeling.  You have to hear that some time.  It's not dangerous but it is contagious.  They caught it from humans.

Ed:  is there a cure?

What else ... Socialism.

Maestro, rim shot, please.

Mostly Mad Squirrel Disease isn't a problem but some of them are inspired by it to collect guns and those ones are unpredictable.

When they start shooting and yodeling at the same time, it's terrifying.

Now the Glorious Package of Lowered Taxes / Increased Military | Standard Reagan Formula

The general plan is a significant cut to corporate tax rates disguised as a fish for small business and there's a proposal for three levels of taxation which appear to give the most gravy to the rich.  Taxation for middle and high aren't much different while low is quite small.  The ultra richies are moving the neo richies into position to make them the neo Middle Class and they will pay the freight since they outnumber the ultra richies.

It's the same Reagan play with the same Reagan scam that no-one should worry about any tax cuts since increased revenues from greater profits, etc will cover them.

Reagan was the first President to put the national debt over one trillion dollars.  It's over twenty trillion dollars now so I only have one tiny question.

Just when the fuck is increased production and productivity going to cover that.

That's about the time they throw, well, it's all the fault of social programs and that juvenile logic is our favorite.  We tolerate wasting money on Americans so we should get to spend that much and more on whatever we like.  That would play just great in the sandbox but it's specious bullshit anywhere else.

There's half a trillion a year being spent to start wars, none of which are ever won or even accomplish that much, and you can deal with that or not but just throwing the same thirty-year-old excuses won't cut it when the evidence since sits twenty trillion high against those bullshit excuses.

Don't worry about jobs since this company will be the leading source for the parts needed for cars for the next twenty years.

Sure that will work when people get so pissed off over gridlock now that road rage is not uncommon and shootings from cars don't even raise eyebrows anymore.  More cars will help that enormously.

The anticipated simplicity of thought has happened and the consequent economic train wreck are inevitable.  Meanwhile, enjoy the ride; at least the music sucks.  Mine won't since I don't listen to broadcast.

It's the same ol', same ol'

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat 'em up yum

They keep serving them and people keep eating them.

The waiter can even ask, "How about a nice piece of tail instead? (wink, wink)"

But they only want ...

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat 'em up yum

You've heard it all before
and I'm really not a whore
but I just need this big score
to say I won the war

So we sing ...

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat 'em up yum

India Will Kill its Climate Change Agreements with New Coal Plants - Science

There is no dancing around with the Rockhouse purpose in presenting this article since it's a straight-up kill shot on Donald Trump's plans to lift restrictions on coal plants, in total defiance of international climate change accords.

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

"India is facing a dilemma of its own making," said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth's Future. "The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy."

Science Daily:  India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals

Making False Promises

India has pledged to the international community to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to increase renewable energy in its power grids. The construction of 65 gigawatts' worth of coal-burning generation facilities with an additional 178 gigawatts in the planning stages would make it nearly impossible for India to fulfill those climate promises, the researchers said.

- SD

The Damage

But the UCI and CoalSwarm researchers stressed that there are significant downsides to the fossil fuel habit.  In addition to spewing harmful soot and other types of air pollution coal-burning power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide on Earth, accounting for 41 percent of all CO2 emissions in 2015. Choices that individual countries make in regard to their energy mix have planetwide consequences.

"India's proposed coal plants will almost single-handedly jeopardize the internationally agreed-upon climate target of avoiding more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of mean global warming," Davis said.

- SD

Acid rain isn't even mentioned anymore but coal-fired plants are great for that forest-killing crap too.

Ed:  America has no climate change accords.

Ignoring them doesn't obviate the dishonor in failing to achieve them.  Climate change is about all the children, not just some of them.

Using Web Sites Programmatically with PhantomJS

It's more difficult to tell with the modern Internet audience but the general function of the Internet has been the retrieval of information.  The standard mechanism has been to use some type of browser and that goes back to the original MOSAIC.  An alternative to that is to skip the browser step to retrieve the Web site without personally visiting it and you can accomplish that with PhantomJS.  As the name implies, it's JavaScript.  (Scotch:  What is PhantomJS and How is it Used?)

Note:  Dr Rick Prairie introduced me to MOSAIC way, way back in Cincinnati, some time in early 90s.  He was one of the most jammin' PhDs you could ever meet and he saw the potential of it instantly.

PhantomJS is a headless WebKit scriptable with a JavaScript API. It has fast and native support for various web standards: DOM handling, CSS selector, JSON, Canvas, and SVG.

The above definition may be ambiguous, in simple terms, PhantomJS is a web browser without a graphical user interface.

- Scotch

In more simple terms, that grammar was bloody rubbish but you see their point.

One of the biggest problems with Web pages is they're so cluttered with crap the actual content can be overwhelmed by it.  PhantomJS offers a programmatic method of defeating that in retrieving whatever you need from the page while ignoring the rest of it.

After you have obtained that information, you can do whatever you like with it but the first move is to lose that 'headless browser' idea since PhantomJS is not a browser but an I/O method which may be convenient for your purposes.  All I/O is performed within some executable PhantomJS driver which you run on your machine.

For example, one application for such code would be in building an index for all the articles in Ithaka and there are thousands of them.  Google does not provide any kind of an index so the next move is to make it yourself, assuming someone has not created one already but I haven't seen one.

There are limitless applications for such code and PhantomJS play a part in your game.  I have not as yet used it but there does seem to be some cool potential in it.

By the Way, Donald ... Thanks for All the Fish

Tuna fish, that is
Fish gold

And America has discriminatory trade practices regarding tuna but just got busted for it.  (RT:  WTO allows Mexico to impose trade sanctions against US)

© Tony Gentile / Reuters

They're surprisingly large fish and I only need a small part of the whole for the sushi.

So far, the score is Mexico: 2 / USA: 0.

The Wall will be revisited at some future time (i.e. won't ever happen).  Score 1.

The WTO rules against America's discriminatory trade practices.  Score 2.

We can't wait to see what the next White House triumph will be.

The Wile E. Coyote foreign policy is still in play.

Wile E. Coyote:  what?  trade sanctions now??

Tip to Donald:  the Roadrunner is laughing at you.

Oh, God, it makes me want to rub his bald head for good luck.

Trump:  I'm not bald.  I have lots of hair, great hair.

Combovers don't count, Fat Boy.   Sit your loud ass down so I can rub your bald head for good luck.  That gives good luck, right?  I heard that somewhere.

By the way, it's 11:00 p.m.  Where is Melania?

Trump:  First Lady is a shitty job and she didn't want it

Can't blame her for that since what girl dreams of growing up to be a Plastic Princess anyway.

Trump:  if they're in L.A. or Clinton's house, all of them

Hmm ... you are aware you're supposed to be the straight man, yes?

"The only one allowed to be pretty on-stage is me" - Little Richard

What if rubbing a bald geezer's head brings luck based on what's in it.  Maybe you get Wile E. Coyote's luck and keep falling to the bottom of the canyon.

There doesn't seem to be a clear origin for the superstition and it has a taint of racism of which I was not previously aware.  Apparently some believe it only works for rubbing a black man's bald head.

Oh sure, let's review that logic, shall we.

Mostly a search for 'rubbing person's bald head for luck' will turn up a freight train pull of porno and good luck finding any information buried within those zillions of links.

Inquiring minds need to know:  can a man rub his own bald head for good luck?  Does it still work or is it only when some creep does it to you.

We need this information so we can provide it to Trump since it looks like he's severely in need of some bald guys before he takes a third strike from Mexico.

Tellicherry Black Whole Peppercorns, Divakar's No. 004

When there's nothing but salt on the news, we start craving the pepper.


  • Whole Black Tellicherry Peppercorns from India
  • Special Extra Bold, largest of crop, over 4.75mm
  • Our signature product that launched the company
  • Beautiful aroma with citrus notes, medium heat
  • Handpicked
  • Sold to top restaurants in Chicago and Portland
  • Sealed in food-grade mylar bag
  • Packaged in resealable kraft tube

Note:  I have not yet dealt with this vendor but the outfit seems it's on the up-and-up.

The Rockhouse doesn't fancy salt since its only purpose is to be overused on McDonald's french fries but they're so shitty and tasteless now due to being fried in vegetable fat that no amount of salt can make them interesting.

For everything else there must be pepper.

Welcome to America, the country which came up with health-conscious french fries, and, yes, you are correct that all of them are wingnuts and not just a few.

They also get diet soda with their health-conscious french fries and the diet soda is also incredibly horrible for you.  Dietary genius, it's all here.

I am not a gourmet and I would have to be murdered if I ever became one but I do appreciate black pepper.  There are many other peppers and some focus on them almost as a test of manhood or some such by eating the hottest peppers they can find anywhere (e.g. Ghost peppers, etc).

The Rockhouse is more interested in nuance and freshness since all of us eat black pepper frequently and likely other types of peppers not so much.

Note:  look on YouTube if you like to see idiots eating Ghost peppers and getting violent reactions from it.  Highly stupid.

Any coffee drinker knows you never want to grind the coffee beans before you will perk them since they will lose freshness.  The same is true for black pepper but the vendors which had previously marketed whole peppers with built-in grinders don't seem to do that so much anymore.

So, yeah, I wanna know if there's a difference.  The measure of peppercorns apparently really is the measure of them since big ones are good and smaller ones less so.  These ones are ostensibly the best and they're not even expensive enough to intrigue hipsters at eleven dollars for four ounces.

Four ounces?  Whoa, that's a whole lot of pepper when you consider how much you use at any given time.

Note:  this one is in the Gee Whiz category for now since it's clearly a selfish move when no-one else here has much use for black pepper.  It will happen eventually because I'm curious and it doesn't cost much.

The Chelsea Clinton / Ivanka Trump Cage Fight

We know Hillary Clinton is out there somewhere because we can hear her slithering and she knows she's loathed but she's thinking she has a marketable play in the daughter.

Donald Trump is doing the same thing with Ivanka but he's more blatant about it in terms of giving her ridiculous White House appointments for which she has no qualifications.

We're looking for runs for Congress from both of those li'l tarts so we're wondering who comes out of the cage still breathing.

Ed:  hopefully no-one?


Stage Presence

Ivanka rates high in apparent authenticity and general demeanor but Chelsea doesn't do better than about average.


Both rate about the same and the only question is how well they camouflage it.


Are you fucking serious?  There's no competition.  If it's only about appearance, Chelsea has no future outside Westminster.


Artificial boost from Donnie Boy for Ivanka and that crushes anything from Chelsea who can only quote working for her mother's corrupt charity.


With Ivanka, there's high apparent intelligence but there's no evidence of depth to it.  Again, Chelsea comes in about average for political stooges, just like her mother.

Powers of Persuasion

It's coming to the same thing with each criterion since Ivanka can be highly-convincing whereas Chelsea is obviously working a predictable script and doesn't evidence any real passion about anything.

Based on that cursory review, Ivanka will crush Chelsea into paste so our best hope is if Chelsea can pull off something dirty enough before she croaks that it takes out Ivanka too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Whipping Post" | Live at Fillmore East in 1970 | Allman Brothers

"Whipping Post" was a favorite from The Allman Brothers but I wasn't generally such a fan of the band since the southern rock style was substantively different from the psychedelia of the time.  The Allman Brothers, in some ways, were a reaction to psychedelic hippie music with their different southern style and this was much like the way krautrock sprang up in Germany as a reaction to the heavy preference for guitars in almost all American rock.

Ed:  aren't you the musicologist!

No chance.  Any real musicologist could clear my clock before the end of the first bar.

You have seen it by now but that was Duane Allman since it wasn't until about a year later when he was killed in a bike crash.  (WIKI:  Duane Allman)

Doc was a huge fan of the band and it was one of life's great tragedies for him when Duane Allman died.

It Was a Crackup How We Tories Wrecked Things for Miners, Wasn't It

Newport, Wales

Theresa May laughs as she talks with a worker during a campaign visit to a steel works

Photograph: Rebecca Naden/AFP/Getty Images

Remember how Thatcher made things such a mess for the miners, you old duffer?  I can do that and worse.  It's funny, right?  It's like screwing around with ant farms to watch all the ants running around trying to figure out what to do about it.  That's some funny shit, right?