Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Saving Babies with Jets" (poem)

I'll be punished for my thinking
as America saves the world
but the only freedom you all need
is to be saved from yourselves.

No-one ever saved a baby
with a billion-dollar jet.
They take people of the world
and try to make them pets.

No-one hears them talking
It's all a secret, I thought you knew
but the only story in a secret
is that someone's getting screwed.

Obama should talk with Putin
and put in on TV
as what can those men say
that we should never see.

They are leaders but own nothing,
it's not a private thing they share.
It's the future for the children
and why would you not care

For every word that's spoken
is one less bullet from a gun
There's not a thing they could say
that should not be right out in the sun.

I'm a crackpot, I'm a rebel,
I'm some manic to be shunned
and ain't that just the thing
I'm some manic to be shunned.

Mandatory Security on a Mac - Easy and Free

You don't have to buy or download anything for this exercise.  It will take only a few minutes with your System Preferences to secure the system better.  (This had been tagged onto the end of an article but it's worth an article of its own.  All of these steps are very easy, very free, and very secure ... which is a whole lot of very for zero money.)

You definitely want your Firewall running.
  1. Click System Preferences
  2. Click Security and Privacy
  3. Click the Firewall tab
  4. If it's not on then turn it on
  5. Click OK

You don't answer everyone you see on the street so why let your computer do it:
  1. Click Firewall Options (may need to click the lock / enter your password to permit changes)
  2. Click Enable Stealth Mode to activate it
  3. Click OK
The above will mean when some external entity Pings your computer, it will not respond.  That Ping may represent the first probe in an attack.  Don't answer it.

The following is improbable but the most destructive attack always comes from an improbable source.
  1. Click Advanced (bottom of panel)
  2. Unless you use an infrared remote control for your computer, Disable Remote Control
  3. Click OK

I don't know how much potential there may be for some Dagwood to cruise down your street trying to pair a remote with your computer but infrared means it has to be line-of-sight so it's kind of improbable.  Nevertheless, why permit it if you don't need it.

None of these measures require any follow-up action.  Once activated, these processes will work like automatic door locks on your car.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Silas Live at Cat's Art MusikCircus" - Concert Available on the Podcast

The complete recording of the Silas show at Cat's Art MusikCircus last Thursday is now available via the Ride the Dragon podcast and there's a lot of dragon riding in this one.

The pacing of it goes hard from the start and then breaks to some stuff I expect will altogether surprise you and then goes back to electric with "Too Much or Not Enough" to make you cry and that's followed, just to keep it romantic, with "Mayhem" and then "Down for the Count" with Vicki Nilsson on the Thunder drums.

That took it through about an hour but I wasn't going to leave without doing "Ohio 2014" and this was the debut.  At first I was thinking to end on it but then I thought that was leaving it too hard.  So the closer was "Just a Mushball Thing" as that seems to be the name it has taken.

The recording is linked from the Podcast but is not one of the 'casts so it will not automatically go to iTunes.  The only way to get it is to download it from the Ride the Dragon podcast  page.  It's just under 100 MB so it shouldn't take long with any reasonably-good Internet connection.

When you see this image, that's yer huckleberry.  Click it to get the MP3:

There is a PayPal tip jar and I've set this up the same as Second Life.  Download the music.  If you like what you hear then please Donate.  This is not a hobby as I'm living it and your support is very much appreciated.

"It's For You" - Silas w/Mystery Lady (audio)

We had been married for almost twenty years and hadn't seen much of each other for almost ten more and then we did some recording together.   This came from it and "It's For You" is featuring the Mystery Lady singing a duet with me for the Ultimate Love Song.  I roll it out again now from going through tracks that would be cool for live.  For some, I see the name and, yes, I would like to hear that.  This one is very special.

The Mystery Lady is incredible as she sang this bone dry, there was almost nothing in effects. Used right, effects can be salt and pepper for a song but, just like salt, you don't want to use too much.

As you hear her do this one, consider back when she was jumping up and down going all ripshit on "Rebel Yell" as she's got a grand set of German pipes.


Ach ja!  Ihre Name ist ....

es ist noch Mystery Lady (lacht)

The Ride the Dragon podcast and selected parts of My Duck Soup have got share buttons for social networks and there's a blurb in subsequent article on tracker cookies.  Block them if you like as that won't affect how the site works.  Please do share the link.

There isn't a good answer on a CD from the show.  I sent a link to Cat and the thinking is possibly to set up a one-off PayPal to sell it.  Send five bucks and an email address.  I send back the magic link so you can download it.  Doing that is dodgy from top to bottom.  Within SL is one thing but on the open net is muchly another.  Highly dodgy.

The show surprises me.  I've listened to it all the way through three times.  Yesterday there was no-one here for part of the day and I cranked it to just under ear damage.  It was very damn thunderous loud and sounded credible.

What I shall do is listen to it another time to see if it makes me hate it.  Releasing it on CD and then hearing it again a week or year later gives a really bad feeling if the audio quality sucks and you wish you hadn't done it.

"NATO and McDonald's - Get a Franchise Now" (poem)

I wanna join NATO
I wanna be a franchisee
I want your radiation
as you give it all for free.

Come and spend your money
then get the fuck back home
we don't like how you act
and we'd rather live alone.

But you send those US dollars
Trying to make the whole world sluts
and damn sure that works fine now
as we're sucking them right up.

Why, sure, build an airbase
Send a shitload of Marines
We wanna be the first in line
When the Russians make this scene.

You make us all your suckers
in a war that's not our own
so you'll fight it in our countries
and never take it home.

Screw you and your NATO
Get McDonald's from here too
Over here we're wanting peace
and it damn sure ain't with you.

Voodoo and a Crazy Fanboy at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Being a crazy fanboy is great as it must be pretty obvious I think practically everyone sucks except a very short list of players.

The trouble is that seeing a crazy fanboy is highly creepy for Voodoo Shilton.  I don't have to ask him as what do you say when someone says, "Das ist fucking cool, mein Bruder!"

Um, thanks?

Call it pretentious if you like but it's awkward as you're diggin' it that someone likes, appreciates your stuff but you spend all that time learning how to do it, not what to say or how to handle it if someone actually does like it.

So I know it's awkward but still I say, "Das ist fucking cool, mein Bruder!"

Many times in listening to someone play, it sounds like an exercise.  I don't feel anything as I hear the notes and I hear this or that, all the technical stuff is there, but it's lifeless like an Excel spreadsheet ... complicated as hell but heartless and dead.


There are players who make it live as in breathing fire rather than a state of simply not being dead.  It's what happens on Broadway before the performances start in the theatres.  There's a vibe that comes and you're engaged.  So it is with Voodoo.


How can you hear him if you can't come to Second Life.

Yes, that was a rhetorical question as there are videos on YouTube, I've told you of the recordings he sells of his performances, but I haven't heard of CD plans and such.

This is more than academic interest as Voodoo's show last night was exceptional.  There are times when you play and it's cool, everyone's diggin' it ... but ... then there are times when there is a special blessing from the Necromancer, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whomever you want to consider as those are the nights when everything is on.  You are one guitar playing monster and it is live.

That was the show last night and, yes, it is recorded.  I've been listening to Voodoo shows just about every week for well over a year and I tell you this one was stratospheric.  So here's the plug:  this would be an excellent candidate for a CD release.  It doesn't really need to be mastered as it was all recorded in one continuous take.  It's not much more than chop, chop to break the bits apart and export them as AIFFs which are then uploaded to CD Baby or other vendor.  About forty bucks for online CD sales and distribution to iTunes (plus about every place you could ever want to sell, some may not be such a good idea).

Put some Voodoo graphics on the cover and the CD packages itself.  So long as I'm making wishful requests, how about "Voodoo Shilton - Live at Cat's Art MusikCircus" and I know I would probably lose her forever if he did that but it would be so damn cool to see that CD.

Yah, I'm a fanboy ... and completely shameless about it.

Twike - Don't Dismiss the Electric CarBike Too Quickly

The Twike is hideously expensive, looks like it was lost out of a Michael J. Fox movie, and seems like another millennial over-engineered crapshoot.


As nearly as I could tell from the article, these batteries are recharged by pedaling and not by plugging them into a wall socket.  The batteries are still hideously-poisonous and represent a significant problem in disposal but the ongoing drain to existing systems is replaced by muscle.

Plus they look kind of cool.  (Mother Nature Network: What's a Twike? It's half-bike, half-electric car)

Yep, German engineers.  Suck it, Detroit.


They work with an advanced battery design team at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering.  That's where Neil Armstrong worked when he retired from NASA, definitely a high-power crew.

So, vas you effer in Zinzinnati?  (That slogan is used a LOT around Oktoberfest time)

Diese ist ein elektrische Motorroller??

Update:  I looked it up:  Elektro-Fahrrad.  Diese ist ein ElektroFahrrad.  Sehr cool.  (Tip:  Germans say cool if something is cool and they say kühl if something is not warm.  I hear fucking cool a lot and that's funny every single time.  Das ist fucking cool, mein Bruder.)

For $1000, you get the most ultra-fantastic pedal bicycle of all time.
For another $26,000 you get the most ultra-fantastic electric bicycle of all time ... and you don't get wet.

Unless you consider the soakage of the $26,000.

Let the Foxies whine about the cost as new development is always high.  There's another marketing for about $6,000 so eventually there's a stable selling price.  Many like to call that a 'price point' as if that is somehow different from 'price' and it's worth about another $30K plus per year to use one term rather than the other.  Your dictionary is your friend.  It would be good if corporate folk used one sometimes but ... perhaps I digress.

Family Artists Standing Side by Side on the Features Page

The artists represented are not the only painters in the family but they're only ones, to my knowledge, with Web pages.

Valerie Fraser and Alex Fraser are now all set on the Features page of My Duck Soup.  It might interest you to review their work and look for the genetics.  I see it in the passion for their art but I don't see it in their styles except insofar as they push outward, beyond, or whatever you want to call it.

If any other artists want to stand up there with them, let me know your Web site or I can make one for you (family ONLY - you buy the Web site and I'll build it.  If you can throw in some pepperonis for the pizza, that would be quite good).

To some extent this is making my own gravestone and I look at it dispassionately as did my ol' Mother.  It freaked me right the hell out when she started talking about her own funeral arrangements but to her it was like talking about making a grilled cheese sandwich.  In my current situation, now I see how she could do that.  It is like making a grilled cheese sandwich.

So, yah, I'd like to leave behind something more than a pile of mindless yap on social networks and it would suck if people thought that's all there was ... but how would they know if I don't show them.

Smoking is only one aspect of the self-destructiveness but the Web site I can put back together.  I'm pleased with how it goes as no programmer will ever put something back just the way it was.

One aspect may trouble you in that I've sold my soul to the Lucifer of Social Networks and I'm in-process of putting share buttons on one or more pages.  All of these godless demons load tracker cookies to you but they're inescapable unless you put mountainous barriers around your system.

If you want mountainous barriers then consider Ghostery as its mission is specifically the blocking of tracker cookies.  My preference for add-on software solutions is Avast! as its approach is subtle and selective so I've abandoned Ghostery and use Avast! exclusively for comprehensive malware protection.  Note:  Ghostery and Avast run on anything, even Windows.

The sequences below are stock Mac processes.  Use them.

Mac Users:

  1. Click System Preferences
  2. Click Security and Privacy
  3. Click the Firewall tab
  4. If it's not on then turn it on
  5. Click OK

Optional but worthwhile:

  1. Click Firewall Options (may need to click the lock / enter your password to permit changes)
  2. Click Enable Stealth Mode to activate it
  3. Click OK

The above will mean when some external entity Pings your computer, it will not respond.  That Ping may represent the first probe in an attack.  Don't answer it.

  1. Click Advanced (bottom of panel)
  2. Unless you use an infrared remote control for your computer, Disable Remote Control
  3. Click OK

I don't know how much potential there may be for some Dagwood to cruise down your street trying to pair a remote with your computer but infrared means it has to be line-of-sight so it's kind of improbable.  Nevertheless, why permit it if you don't need it.

It's not my purpose to go beyond the above to third-party security solutions.  The stuff I have listed is mandatory for any Apple computer.  If you do want more, consider Avast! as I've found it to be powerful, effective and unobtrusive.  Virus updates are posted daily.  Free.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Making Pretty Stuff for No Particular Reason

The Features page is quickly expanding with a great many things that have interested me but didn't necessarily have anything to do with music.  These were all originally part of My Duck Soup but I moved them off.  That sucked so now they return.

Maggie, Molly and Maxwell are back as are the Green Animals.  Look at Butterflies, Hot-Air Balloons, or visit Greece.  This is the stuff that made it Duck Soup in the first place so now it's being restored.

Much of it is complete but there are others yet.  The page works fine as it sits but more stuff will get added to it.  The Features page has an array of thumbnail images.  Click one to go to that part.  If it will send you somewhere other than within My Duck Soup, it's marked 'external.'

The Cable to Cure All Audio Streaming Problems Forever ... Actually Worked

The gig was a blast for me last night as I figure if it's worth saying then it's worth saying loud.  That was as close to thunderous as it's been in a while and I was seriously diggin' it.  Even cooler, Cat was and that means a whole lot to me, much more than mushball romance which also means a hell of a lot to me.

The cable was a LiveWire mini-audio plug to stereo XLR outputs and it's a bit scratchy when you move the iPad but that couldn't have been due to the iPad having been dropped in Greece.  Nah, that couldn't be it.  Really it probably could as it bent the plug so any scratchiness probably comes from that.

Otherwise, it's immaculate.  Fifteen bucks from Amazon so I didn't even have to put on a pair of shoes and this is good as I don't have any.  I didn't even have to get a stand as the keyboard is big enough that it can sit on the far right console part and not be in the way.

It really is very cool for me as it lets Bad Silas back out of the box and I really like Bad Silas.  There's no way to record big arrangements with the kit I have here so I've been going through ones long-forgotten, sometimes thinking, well, ain't this a thang.  Got to play this one again.  There may well be hundreds of them, I have no idea ... one hell of a lot, tho.

This brings back Vicki Nilsson and the Thunder Drums and who would compare her moves to that pissant drum box.  The lady kicks!

Big fun at Cat's Art MusikCircus.  Big girls, big music, big fun.  Get yer wobbly wobbly moves on, honey.

Ann Coulter is Smarter than You

Do you seriously believe Ann Coulter believes the spew she blasts out on every possible live microphone ...


Is she a stoner who laughs her ass off at the predictable reaction to the outrageous things she says and most of all she laughs because you pay her and you don't get it.

Evidence:  she was and maybe is still a friend of Bill Maher and he's probably too stiff to be a stoner ... but maybe that's what she liked.

I'm thinking Ann Coulter might have a good run at the Andy Kaufman title and I'd really like to believe she is clever enough to be doing that as the comedy would be priceless.

Yep, I'm thinking more and more that Ann Coulter is playing you and is doing one hell of a fine job of it as what does it matter if you hate her, she doesn't even know you ... just keep buying the books and hate her forever if you like.

So, Ann, did I meet you at a Grateful Dead concert or something?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sonya and Silas Music at Cat's Art MusikCircus

There are multiple raves here on the blog for the performances by Sonya Jevette and you can hear more on her Sonya Jevette Web site.  Do give a listen as she has all kinds of music and she couldn't dream of doing all of it in one set.  She's a fascinating lady and she lives the music.

All of Sonya's songs are favorites but I still have to get my gear rigged to play as there are different setup times and one of them is about thirty minutes before starting.  The details of what I do aren't important but I wrote that I was playing along with Sonya back here in Fort Worth.  She said it would be cool to play together some time, perhaps via dual stream.

The only way to dual stream with Sonya is for her as the anchor (i.e. first on the chain).  If it's the other way around then I don't know what to do as I can't hear her.  So the way to work it would be if she sends her stream out as she does but I pick it up on my computer.  I add some devilishly-clever guitar moves and in turn send that composite stream out on a different one into SL.

For me, it wouldn't work as I would really feel like I was just spraying graffiti on her work.  I need to be able to see her eyes so I know to bring it up, bring it down, shut the hell up or whatever.  Other than mental telepathy, I don't know any other way to do that and I know others do well with it but I don't see it for me.  Maybe I'm being hard case but that eyeball communication is very important.  Your eyes just touch for a millisecond but so much information comes from that. Sonya sometimes comes up this way and that might be a different way to play together.  Hopefully that's a real-world jam together sometime.

My own set was completely barbarian and I loved it.  About forty-five minutes were driven by back tracks and I haven't that in years.  What it permits is much more interesting arrangements than is possible doing what I do on a looper.

It was a good show and I've already even listened to it.  There was a high compliment from Shady Fleming when she said she wanted it on CD.  So I wanted to know for myself if that would be a good thing to do.  It surprised me as I listened to the entire show and I never ever do that.

"Ohio 2014" was borked but still worked.  The last time I did it on the looper, I played only two bars for Gm7 --> C and it was supposed to be four.  It sounded kind of cool but made it impossible to deliver the lyrics.  Even though doing that busted the lyrics, melody still comes so it worked out fairly well.  I deliberately did not rebuild the loops during the set as I didn't want to put the audience through it.  The objective for everything for the show was to deliver it fast and keep it happening.

What was cool about "Ohio 2014" is this finally got all three phrases of the RC50 into action.  There was one for only guitar and drums for Dm-F-C.  Next there was the full song with all instruments but with clean guitar.  Then another one with heavy guitar.  By switching between them, the dynamics come up to what they ought to be and make the song much more interesting.

The play felt confident and strong.  The biggest Finger Stinger on the neck is to bend a note on the 22nd fret to go up a full tone but even that went well.  My fingers are whining like washerwomen just now but that's ok as they were seriously working.

I uploaded a live tune to the Ride the Dragon podcast.  It isn't from tonight's set but I've been discovering things in my iTunes as there are hundreds of Silas Scarborough things in there.  "One Fine Day" is from about seven years ago, six at the least.

As to the recording of the set tonight, the MP3 is just under 100 MB at 160K quality.  Voodoo sells them for $5.00 in his shows but he has a rule only to sell them to people who really attended the show.  What I have in mind is to upload video to DropBox and and use PayPal to buy it.  Send me and email and I send back the link.  This has zero security except on the front-end as people can do whatever they like with it once they have it.  But that's alright.

This would also show a one-off PayPal sales point to Lotho and that could be useful to him.  It is sounding like something to try but not until the morning.

Meanwhile, here is something unrelated:  the Green Animals are back on My Duck Soup.  The people at the Green Animals Topiary Garden turn plants into animals.  It's most incredible to see and you may enjoy the picture tour.

Silas Playing Tonight at the MusikCircus

Sonya Jevette will play the first set at 1pm SLT and I'll do the second one at 2pm SLT.

The non-set last night went well as a good sound check for using the iPad for serving back tracks.  What that means for tonight is that it will hammer.  I didn't make a whole hour doing that last night but the object is still to do it again.  I did not do "Ohio 2014" and that may be the closer after back track tunes.  End it with all the lights flashing and all the horns honking.

The regulars couldn't stand it if I told the story again of the last tour of CSN&Y together but what I know from that show is those boys can blow the walls down when they feel like it.  And that is precisely what I feel like doing with "Ohio 2014" tonight.

Don't miss Sonya as her voice is beautiful und auch einzigartig (German for 'and also unique').  English only gives two syllables to something unique and that's a pitiful gesture relative to something one cannot find anywhere else.  Germans give four syllables  ine - tsig - ar - tighh and this shows some Respekt for the Wort!

So Now I'm NSA Silas

The iPad hasn't been charged in well over six months so I was thinking it might be running for Congress but I charged it and now it works again, thus excluding it forever from political office.

What's the first thing a computer does when it comes up after having been down for a while.  Yah, that's right ... update every damn bit of software on it.  But how can I complain when it does it by itself.  The young 'uns don't remember when you actually had to be able to read to use a computer.

My impression is the iPad is online all the time even when it's 'sleeping' but how can I know any more than I can find out if the refrigerator light really, really does go out when I shut the fridge door.

The only reason this is of any interest at all is the iPad can easily make me look like a social butterfly even though I am likely far from the computer and I never take the iPad anywhere.

So, if it looks like I'm online and I'm not responding, it's likely the iPad you see.   I'm probably playing the guitar and not thinking much about computers at all.

In fact, moving the back tracks off the computer was the last stage of devolution from a massively-complex musical computer system based on Opcode's Vision.  Now I only expect the computer to act like no more than a simple radio repeater (i.e. take the signal and re-transmit.  Try not to fuck it up.)

That spins off into a discussion of the role of computers in music and that would be a good one for sitting about with Voodoo, knocking back Guinness, reefers, or whatever else may be of fancy, while talking about it.  That would be interesting.  In print, it would be like reading differentials on prices for house paint.

Chicagosax is also heavily-electronicized as a MIDI saxophone is one hellaciously-complex instrument to program.  Don't get too geeky with it or you'll go insane like the other engineers but consider the number of parameters needed to define what a guitar string is doing.  Most likely the majority of the determination of the MIDI note is based purely on the perception of the wave form ... BUT ... a true wind instrument is analyzing the breathing of the player and the sophistication of that measure is where you can get as geeky as you like ... and completely insane.

But they did it and the instrument is beautiful.  Computers are inside the instrument and the synthesizer to which it is connected but this isn't Apple or Windows computing, rather it's the type you will find in your car.  It does whatever it is supposed to do without the genuflection required by other operating systems or you pay the mechanic  thousand bucks for another one as brain boxes for cars always cost at least a thousand dollars.


Voodoo plays some gorgeous saxophone also but he does it with a keyboard playing via computer.  The difference between his approach and that of Chicagosax is very significant musically but will easily break through the geek sound barrier for anyone else.  The synthesis of the saxophone sound is taking place on-board to Voodoo's computer(s) whereas the synthesis for Chicagosax is taking place in an external hardware synthesizer.  Musicians can talk about this stuff all night and this is one of the major reasons if you're not listening to them play or having sex with them, they're really kind of useless.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Orchid Conservatory Returns to My Duck Soup

The Orchid Conservatory first came up in '95 and spent most of that time as part of My Duck Soup.  I got to thinking the site had to be more focused so I split off the Orchids and made a blog for them.  This was an exceptionally bad idea.

A long time ago, someone got in touch to tell me of having an incredibly depressed situation happening but wandered into the Orchid Conservatory and got lost in the pictures.  I don't know the circumstance of the depression but I thought it was pretty cool that the pics had helped in some way.

So now they're back on My Duck Soup, the Orchid Conservatory lives again.  This wasn't exactly a huge deal as I never threw any of the stuff away, I only took it offline.  I have tweaked it to make it the images quite a bit bigger but that really only took a few seconds as it was a batch process to do it. I may yet reduce the size a bit to ensure they fit on a tablet browser.  Right now some are too big for it as I set the 'x' dimension to 1000 pixels and tablets choke on it.

The day rips.  Feels good to accomplish something plus the iPad tapped into the mixer get its really kicked up hard.  There is zero consideration of feedback this way so it was thunderous earlier.  Problem solved for fifteen bucks.  Savor that moment as they are rare with musical stuff.

It really kicked and I was most pleased.  The only hassle is that the songs export from iTunes as a playlist and there's no way to stop it from jumping to the next song automatically.  One ugly solution is to create multiple playlists with only one tune in each but that's so weak.  It would work, tho, and I may do it.

TBSN - Total BullShit News - Making It Real

TBSN is a radical new concept in news broadcasting to an eager and massively-gullible world:  tell the audience straight-up that everything you say is complete bullshit.  They won't leave because they like what you say.

Programmatically, it wouldn't be such a tough thing to simulate as basic ingredients, every day has:

30% chance of a car bombing.  Pick a location, body count, bullshit story about who did it.  The background stories are always the same so the software doesn't have to think at all.

10% chance of a hideous plane crash.  Pick location, body count.  Spin for a random winner to throw in the possibility of sabotage.

100% chance of a politician saying something stupid.  You don't even have to be a programmer to see how simple it would be to simulate that.  Mitch McConnell said today the taxes on dairy farmers are intolerable.  The statement is vacuous, requires no action, everyone agrees with it ... plus who knows if he's ever been anywhere near a cow ... and he didn't say it.

65% chance of some young celebrity trying to show the world in some garish way that she now has nipples.  Simple table look-up for the story.  Spin the wheel for a name.  Katy Perry sues photographer who took pictures of her topless beach party.

20% chance of an uprising in a place no-one can find on the map.  Pick an African country at random as hardly anyone does anything when they burn up.

100% chance of multiple pundit editorials.  No thought required on these either.  Here's one on global warming is real.  Here's another on global warming is bullshit.  Doesn't matter what you pick as people know it's all bullshit anyway.  The global warming isn't bullshit, the editorials are bullshit.

This really is intriguing me as a programming challenge, to create an online news system that looks as credible as I can possibly make it while inventing every damn thing it does.  This has some resemblance to The Onion but those are one-off articles whereas the intention with TBSN is to write them such that they can be used multiple times.  For example, the pundit's analysis of what the ceasefire in Gaza means.  Set that one on a two-week bounce and use it as many times as you like.

How many stories would you need to keep it interesting enough that people would come back to look at it a second time.  It's vaguely like a musical jam in which you throw out lots of musical bits and stick them together into something that hopefully sounds like more than just a bunch of musical bits stuck together.

The weather would be a mathematical exercise as the program knows the date, season, etc so it can pick a number for high / low, spin a wheel for rain, cloudy, etc.  The interest part there would be in how often it got it right.  This part would need a memory as you need to make some trends from your fake data.

Stock market simulation is interesting.  How about if the DOW Jones follows, hmmm,  some baseball team.  Make the DOW performance take a track up or down based on whether the team wins or loses and make the spread dependent on that of the score in the game.

I am really am getting interested in writing this for a news channel that guarantees everything on it is complete and utter rubbish.


What's more, there's a musical relationship as well as the profile for a sound is given in attack, sustain, fade, etc.  There is a similar relationship to news stories.  Plane crashes have a sharp attack, long sustain and a slow fade, etc.

The Putin / Obama Winner-Take-All Cage Fight

When the number of people screaming got to the level of a squadron of B-52s, even the White House noticed.  All of them screamed the same thing, "ENOUGH OF YOUR PUSSY SANCTIONS!"

The people called out, you and Putin are short, scrawny fuckers.  Weight match should be more or less fair.  Both of you think you're in fairly good physical shape.

We deem this a fair match and we want to see a cage fight.

Putin vs Obama

Winner Takes All

The Whole Fucking World

Fought by Two People Who Think They Are Interesting but No-One Believes It ... Except for David Cameron Who is Probably Gay for Them

Risk:  Maybe they die.

Consequence:  None.  Send another politician.  Both sides seem equally well-equipped in political tonnage so keep sending in a new one if the current one dies.  It's no actual loss to either side as the Russian Parliament doesn't do anything either.

If the war means so much to these politicians, let them fight it.  When they spend so much of their time proving they are expendable, why do they suddenly get immunity when there is combat.


Cage Fight

That's yer answer.

The Cable to Fix All Back Track Streaming Problems Forever

The following article was only to see if I'm dead.   Apparently I'm not so move on to the important stuff and that being the Cable to Fix All Back Track Streaming Problems Forever.  I wasn't anywhere close to being in any state to screw around with it earlier but I did get a quick test and it makes a dandy connection.

The cable is a stereo mini-plug to dual XLR outs which plug most handily into the mixer.  Those channels won't send anything out for effects as any back tracks have already had effects applied to them (or not).  That will mix with what comes in from instruments and, yahoo, extreme loudness.  Only fifteen bucks and the cable / plug quality is quite good.

The test was very brief, not even a whole Shakira song, but levels were excellent and sound was clean, no sign of distortion, even though direct audio out isn't typically the best way to channel audio out of a Mac.  Nevertheless, what I heard so far is very encouraging and I couldn't have played today anyway.

Nothing has even faintly changed about "Ohio 2014" and likely that will roll out on Thursday in the show.

One thing I noticed is that iTunes / iOS have evolved since I last tried something like this and the play list of my songs has evaporated.  That's fixable but it's a nuisance.  Pfft.

Undermining U.S. Influence in the Middle East

Some earnest-looking Middle Eastern fellow was saying Assad is an enemy of the U.S. and he works to undermine U.S. influence in the region.

It didn't occur to him to ask why the U.S. should have any influence in the region.  Unless the U.S. has been invited for some specific purpose or is doing international business, why should the U.S. have any influence or expect that it deserves to have such influence.

One premise is the U.S. takes care of friends but the U.S. did business with Khadaffi for forty years, much of the early period of which was volatile and confrontational.  During the more recent years, he had been outing those he considered radicals (i.e. 'terrorists'), paying reparations to the people of Lockerbie, etc.  Naturally, that's when the U.S. killed him.

The same applies with Iraq as the U.S., most notably Cheney, had done business with Hussein for years.  They loved it when Iraq fought Iran as that was nothing but gravy in supplying that killfest.  Hussein didn't change, who knows why they decided to kill him.  Caprice is as good a reason as any.

Taking care of friends is complete crap.  The U.S. doesn't do anything unless it's going to make some money on it (i.e. the rich will make some money on it, everyone else will pay for the weapons).

Libya has never been about anything but the oil.  It was the scene of some the biggest WWII tank battles as Rommel fought Montgomery to keep it.  Rommel later tried to assassinate Hitler but that failed and it got him executed.  He was a real German soldier, not some damn Nazi.

That was the first news I've seen in some days.  I see nothing has changed and there is no incentive to return to it any time soon.  There are no Rommels or Montgomerys today, only hacks in suits and ties who play Nintendo war ... but with real dead people.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Took the Wrong Med

There was a med that one of our number took for some while but stopped taking quite a while ago.  There was a vial of pills on the floor and recognized it so I put it up on the desk and got back to whatever had me down on the floor in the first place.

Some years ago I was given one of these pills as an aid to sleep.  I did sleep but I was hung over for three days behind it.

Some nights ago after long problems with headaches, I checked blood pressure which was enough to tell me to take the BP med now.  I reached for the bottle which is roughly the same size as the one I found and which I had cleverly placed too close.

So, I took the wrong pill.  It was an easy mistake as it's quite dark in here most of the time anyway.

I loathe depressive type meds in the general category of 'downer' pills.  There are many who take Xanax, Qaalude, etc but I hate what they do to me.  That stuff takes away half the motor's cylinders and tries to make them fire on 2% milk.  After that, there's more brainpower in toe fungus.

So, nothing for it but to sleep.  That's what I did and here I am.  I'm still knocked out tired but my mind is more or less my own again.  Even reefer doesn't work when you take cow drugs.  You will be passive and you will stay passive.  Mooo.

A good many want to bust me for smoking reefer but the scrip pharma stuff doctors hand out like door prizes for a tummy ache are incredibly destructive and much more perniciously so as they are given an aura of validity by a professional.  Carry that over to other abuses of authority in church, teaching, and government and it becomes part of a pattern of institutionalized incompetence.

That's what happened and I'm going back to sleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Fair Warning in a Purple Article from the AP on Tax Returns

When there is a change to tax code or anything that may affect tax refunds, etc, a fair warning of such an impact is valid along, hopefully, with whatever steps one might take to mitigate that impact.

But that wouldn't be the AP way as unless it's sprayed with a cheap can of purple paint, it just ain't news.  (AP:  Tax refunds may get hit due to health law credits)

Right off the top, we head for the comics pages:

Taxes? Who wants to think about taxes around Labor Day?

Gee, Mom.  Do I have to go to school.

I guess they taught him in Podunk Journalism University of the Stars that a catchy lead line is important.

It's not just tax code, it's Obama's law.  What's more, it's impossible law.

If your income for 2014 is going to be higher than you estimated when you applied for health insurance, then complex connections between the health law and taxes can reduce or even eliminate your tax refund next year.

Those complex connections are way too complex for your dumb ass to understand and, frankly, I don't understand them either as I'm a second-rate journalist and don't understand much of anything.

As your income goes up, your tax credit goes down.

Let's say that in twelve paragraphs because your dumb ass wouldn't understand it otherwise.

It might have been written that those fortunate enough to see an increasing income this year should make a point of understanding how this will change tax returns, consequently it's also important to report income changes promptly.

(Assume eleven more paragraphs or so, blah, blah)

Now you're going to confuse the bejeebers out of ol' Three-Chord Silas as one minute yer sayin' to write them poems an' stop writing political crap an' then yer sendin' somethin' what incites political crap.

(Ed:  just my sense of humor)

It's all good ... well ... except the poetry.  (Some of it lately I think isn't too bad, tho)

Red Bull Excels While Mercedes Self-Destructs

Great win for the new kid, Ricciardo, for Red Bull but the race smelled after Rosberg and Hamilton, both racing for Mercedes, had a bump and that took Hamilton out of the race.  Such things happen but it's rare for the team manager to rebuke a driver publicly yet he roasted Rosberg for making a poor move at a bad time.


Formula One got a lot more interesting than it has been in previous seasons.  It's difficult to watch but news of it is varied and it's unpredictable what comes.  Any of the three of them is strong enough to win and there is talk of Machiavellian team strategy to favor one driver over another.  I have no idea how much reality is behind that but we've seen 'unusual' things in various teams over the years that give some credence to the theories but do they tell me who killed JFK?  Nooooo....

With three out of six wins for Ricciardo, he may well own it if Rosberg and Hamilton don't stop fighting with each other.

The NSA is Watching - Proof on My Duck Soup

This message came up only a few minutes ago on My Duck Soup.  It's unknown if other sites are affected.

"Sing It, Bluesman" (poem)

First you tell me I have cancer
then you say I don't
can you, can't you fix me
or is it that you won't.

It doesn't really matter,
I won't go back anyway,
It would take several visits,
to hear what they really say.

I don't need that kind of crazy
it doesn't change a thing
I still can't hold a note
and I still can't fookin' sing.

Why Not Dual Stream to Get a Good Singer

Answer:  I can't hear the singer in a dual stream.  That can't work with the way I play as I need to hear you and see your eyes so we can talk as it goes.

Too bad the Mystery Lady is a thousand miles from here as she could knock the song out of the world.  Visualize her doing it in her "Rebel Yell" shape, jumping up and down while she sang.

Sonya is three+ hours from here in Austin and I'd be damn proud if she did it but getting around is a bitch.

These are things that can't happen and I'll sing it myself as I want to do it that way just now.  There are 59 minutes charge on the video camera so there's one serious shot at getting it this afternoon.  I decided I wanted to capture video and audio if I'm to do it at all.  I'm not going to make it contingent on going into SL as it wouldn't be good to divide the focus.

I may go completely underground for this and disappear off the net so I focus on it entirely.  This has built up to something enormous in me along with the thinking I'll never record something in this way again as it's fairly difficult even though it's an easy song to play.  The emotion around all of this is wearing my old ass out.

Above all I don't want it composed.  For the music I want to make, it's an interesting balance to get a tune at a high level of focus without 'composing' it is impossible but there's a step beyond that in which every note is charted and that comes two ways, either on paper or by memorizing it.  If I repeat it enough times, I will memorize it and that, for me, is the trap as I won't respect it anymore.  I need to be a little bit afraid of it.

Right now one or our number still sleeps or I probably would be giving it a go already.

Hopefully all this blather will be worth it, that the song really delivers it to you.  We'll see.

Valerie Fraser, Artist - Multiple Language Support is Restored

There was a bit of delay before implementing support for additional languages after the set of changes I made a week or so ago.  The upgrade to support the languages is now complete and the site is stable.  The Zip source is online and up-to-date.

From my standpoint, the project is finished as the site is self-sufficient now.  Anything I was needed to do can be done with the system pages I created so I'm really not needed.  I'll be happy to do whatever anyone feels is needed but I haven't heard anything in a while so it seems to be closed for now.

Nevertheless, the site is solid and reliable.  Hopefully more material will come over time and the site can handle it when that arrives.  Keep an eye on it and see how it goes at Valerie Fraser, Art.

As development work tapered off on that site, I did some upgrades on My Duck Soup and that's looking more professional than it did as well.  Previously, there wasn't much more life to the site than something that washed up on the beach but it's live now.

In large part, all of this is a reaction to the negative effect of Facebook which I regard as destructive to people if only in terms of the cloistering effect.  You can see from the sidebar that people come from anywhere in the world to read this blog but you won't see that phenomenon in Facebook, precisely because of the cloistering effect.  That's also precisely the reason for building these Web sites outside of Facebook as there's no chance of getting that visibility otherwise.

Thanks for Understanding "I've Never Seen a Terrorist"

"I've Never Seen a Terrorist" was written a few days ago and I wasn't sure what reaction would come to it, if any came at all.

One person left a comment to the effect of 'watch out for the boogey man' but I suggested perhaps the person might read the poem before commenting next time.  I heard nothing further.

In the last few days and particularly since Friday, I've felt I need to call on whatever power I can find from anywhere to speak out.  The overwhelming sentiment from everywhere is if you don't understand something then kill it physically, morally, intellectually, in whatever way you can; just make it dead.

I choose to make it live.

Euros are frosted because I'm an American and many Americans are frosted because I'm not.  It's a novel situation and maybe I could go to Iceland as no-one likes Icelanders anyway, that's why they went to that God-forsaken volcanic hellhole in the first place.  Even the Vikings didn't want it ... or maybe they were the Vikings no-one liked.

Stand back as I'm going to piss you all off with "Ohio 2014" as this is American as it gets.  It's louder than it needs to be, it's as aggressive as it has to be, and it's telling a story the Tories don't want to fucking hear but it will come anyway.  Blow it off if you like but there will be no guns.  If I fall over dead at the end from doing it then at least that happened doing the right thing.

The biggest mistake people make right now is thinking they can take the government with their guns but that only replaces one tyrant for another, the guns remain the same.  You cannot possibly win that way and you damn sure won't find peace.

"In Memory of Kelvin Johnson - Stop the Killing" (video)

Despite the colander, there is no attempt to be funny.  Reverend Sasquatch isn't using a fake accent this time out of respect for the message.

Language:  NSFW

There's nothing more to add to the commentary.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Will the Real Touchdown Jesus Please ... Rise Up

There are multiple claims of the 'real' Touchdown Jesus so we have one task in front of us, determine which one is Jesus and which one is a Mormon pretending to be Jesus.

Cincinnati had its Touchdown Jesus at the Church of Incredible Tastelessness on I-75.  God didn't like tasteless Touchdown Jesus too much and burned his holy ass up with lightning.  Two years later they replaced him with an even bigger one but they were (cough) smarter this time and built him out of concrete.  Apparently the thinking is that Jesus can tolerate pigeon shit better than lightning.  Time will tell.


Notre Dame has its own Touchdown Jesus and they claim he is the 'real' Touchdown Jesus because they had him first.  Well, that is certainly a valid argument but we will have to determine for ourselves if this Touchdown Jesus is authentically real, artificially real (i.e. most government projects), or doesn't exist at all (i.e. all NSA projects).

From our extensive research here at the Ministry of the Internet, we have verified that, in fact, there is a representation of a Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame (UHND:  Touchdown Jesus & The Nation’s Largest College Library)

Notre Dame's Touchdown Jesus is painted on a building, like graffiti, like a spray-painted gang sign, albeit a derivative Dalinesque / Cubist monstrosity of modern art that has, incredibly, surpassed even the Church of Incredible Tastelessness in the vacuum of artfulness; it's so tasteless that it actually draws artfulness from elsewhere ... just to destroy it.


Here at the Ministry of the Internet, we have ruled both Touchdown Jesus implementations are shabby and offensive fakes.  If you want to portray Jesus, hire the cat who really knew how to paint him:  Dali.

Example:  "Columbus Discovering America"

Maybe you say that's not Touchdown Jesus.  Maybe you say he isn't Jesus at all.

Oh really.

In the estimation of the Ministry of the Internet, this man risking his life to pull the ship of state to the safety of shore may already know he will pay with his life, he already has.  He has succeeded in that task and this is considerably more of a Touchdown than we saw from either of the charlatans posing elsewhere.

Cincinnati and Notre Dame can sit back happy and content with Touchdown Jesus, Tapioca Jesus or whatever they call them but, here at the Ministry of the Internet, we'll go with this one.

"Ohio 2014" - Almost Ready for Live

Many recent things trigger the need to revisit "Ohio" and they are the same things that triggered it the first time when Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young did it.

"Ohio 2014" starts with making a basic chord loop with the guitar set for a clean sound.  Bass gets added to that and then BX3 organ (Korg's twisted B3).  Crazy how when anyone really wants to play, the trick synths go out the window and the B3 comes back.  Why not ... nothing ever did it better.

After the Dm build back to start the pattern again, distortion guitar comes in for chords and then the vocal.  The distortion guitar goes into the loop but the vocal doesn't.

Electric lead after the vocal which comes back to chords.  At the same time, kick undo on the looper so the distortion chords come out of the loop as the guitar is doing that live now and at the end of the pattern will stop to drop back to clean guitar.  Electric lead switches to clean lead and gets all reflective.

That's optional finish No. 1 and the alternative is to stop the loop but continue the distortion chords on the guitar for two slowing passes of Dm F C ending on a long, long continuous strum on on Dm to end ... volume maxed, all the lights flashing ... Stop the Shooting.  Optional finish No. 2 is my preference so far.

The result has been thunderous but not muddy thunderous, just really fuckin' loud.  I may change the bass sound as I want him to be a little bit something else but I don't know what yet.

This one isn't MusikCircus freeform as it's straight up rock and as hard as I can do it.  If there's any Old School Silas, this is it and I'm liking it a lot.

I need to record this soon as I see a lot of things when I play it and I don't want pundits or any other distracting nuisances involved in what comes.  It's the same as recording the bit for Tinkerbell as I never played that again.  I felt it would be disrespectful to what was happening to do anything to the recording.  It's the same with this one as I get one shot to play it live the first time.

Touchdown Jesus is Real

Touchdown Jesus lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, or at least he did until he got hit by lightning and burned up in 2010.  From this we conclude God didn't like Touchdown Jesus very much or he didn't like dumb asses who would build him without a protective lightning rod.

Somehow the Church of Incredible Tastelessness cadged together the money for another Touchdown Jesus only this one is even bigger and now Touchdown Jesus is seventy-feet tall, no doubt with even more spotlights so small aircraft do not fly into him at night but instead are blinded and crash somewhere else.

The most incredible aspect to it is the accuracy of the sculpture as Touchdown Jesus looks just like the one in the movies, especially at night when they shine the different colored lights on him.  He looks especially spiritual when he is lit up in blue.  It makes me feel religious and want to go fishing all at the same time.

So Touchdown Jesus wants to know what's under my colander but I'll be giving up that information as soon as Touchdown Jesus is cool with us building a seventy-foot Flying Spaghetti Monster.   So far, we haven't heard back.

Ministry of the Internet Web Site Now Online

Believe if you want but please do buy stuff, preferably my incredibly funny CDs which, also incredibly, are priced at ten incredible dollars each and there are fifteen incredible sermons on each one.  Even more incredibly, "Inherit the Mirth" might have more than fifteen incredible sermons but, in all the incredible excitement, I just forgot.

Save your soul, buy a CD, and maybe catch at a catfish at the Ministry of the Internet Online.

Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, wishes she were such a good Christian that Jesus would get stoned with her too.  Come down to the Ministry of the Internet, Betty.  Neener, neener.

Silas Book and Poetry Sites Significantly Upgraded

Silas Poetry is a listing of poems I've been harvesting from the blog.  After they have been compiled they will go into another book.  The original poetry book, "Lunagrams," is now listed on the same page for continuity.  It's not clear how long the compilation will take as there's been a blast of poems lately so new ones are going into the list faster than I can capture the older ones.

Silas Books now includes a listing for "What Would Dogs Do" and it's not yet published but it's about time I did it as all I need is the ISBN to finish staging for publication.  It's unusual to look at what has become a collection of books as I had said multiple times I had no intention of ever writing a book.  Yet now there are three and another coming.

The price on the books will be raised as soon as I've completed the processes now in motion (e.g. compiling poems, releasing "WWDD," etc).

(Ed:  why?)

Because they're worth it.  Pricing a book at $2.99 is kind of silly when it took over a year to write it, I did things probably no-one will try again, and there was quite a bit of risk.  Or maybe people thought that was a good value and they bought it.  Time to take a look and find if it did anything.

I need a Reverend Sasquatch page as I have no intention of withdrawing the CDs he made and it's very unlikely he will make more as I don't want to stop doing the current recordings in video.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Ohio 2014" - Ongoing changes to lyrics


Dm-F-C x4

Gm7-C x4



Mad gunners and SWAT teams coming,
We're still orphans, on our own.
Another summer I hear the drumming,
More dead in Ohio.

We've got to end it
Psychos are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew him
And found him dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

You've got to listen
It's not the first time
Four men sang it once before
and now it happens
one more dead on the ground
Please don't run and let it grow.

We've got to end it
Psychos are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew him
And found him dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Mad gunners and SWAT teams coming,
We're still orphans, on our own.
Another summer I hear the drumming,
More dead in Ohio.

When Voodoo Speaks

Voodoo Shilton said tonight how happy he was to see TJ in the audience as he respects her very much as a musician.  When these words are coming from someone I already respect tremendously as a musician, I would do well to find out what he means.  He said specifically she doesn't need a band.  If there's no-one with an instrument, she will do it a capella as the lady knows her music.

Here's TJ:

Watch for her signaling her friend, come on, come on, give it all up!

Let's see if you guessed Question Number One.

TJ, when can you play at the Circus?

I hope you got it ... but ... I don't have an answer.  What I can tell you is TJ and Cat are talking and I'll post it out to the calendar when I know.

Scheduling at the Circus is more difficult than it seems as it is very important to keep the number of shows right about what it is right now.  There are multiple reasons and one that can be public is that it would mean bringing in support staff to handle the additional groups and this would not serve the Circus.  It wouldn't work and the biggest reason is that Cat brings acts into the schedule because she really wants to hear them so she would end up working the longer schedule anyway.

"Kelvin Johnson RIP" (poem)

We were laughin', jokin', smokin',
the last time I came to town.
I'd seen them every day,
each time I came around.

Sometimes Cincy can be
the armpit of the world.
but laughin', jokin', smokin'
gives a whole different whirl
to a town that thinks a rock
is a gift up to the Lord
and where Simon Leis is hunting
but he still can't find a girl.

Calhoun is where the hippies hang,
it's been that way for years
College kids came to Ohio Street,
to be the hippie volunteers.
That was where they shot him.
One round and he was dead
I don't know who did it
but we all did in the end.

Kelvin Johnson was a funny kid,
smart as you'd want to be.
Like everybody else,
he only wanted to be free.
Just let me live my life
the way I want to do
and how much I make my choices
is no business to you.

Do you ask if he's a black man
when his friend right there is white
I ask you what's the difference
as the bullet has no sight.

Black or white, he's gone now
and the pundits start to play
but just like every other time
they've not one damn thing to say.

(  Police ID man fatally shot on lawn near UC)

You may not think you know Kelvin but you do if you were at the Cincinnati show as he was one of the Dancing Marijuana Plants.  I tell you he was a good kid and a funny guy.


'The rock for the Lord' is a reference to the sculpture "Law and Society" which was a travesty of pretentious modern sculpture and that law may be at the bottom of the Ohio River now as I'm quite sure the Lord wouldn't want it either.

It's not such a bad metaphor as it's a large, useless and hideous monolith that serves no purpose, is easy to avoid, yet casts a presence as if it has some value.  Rather than dropping it in the river, they should have sent it to Washington.  It's also emblematic of what Simon Leis brought to the city:  dead weight.

'Simon Leis looking for a girl' - He was Sheriff and he never looked for a girl.  All he wanted was Larry Flynt and that story was so embarrassing to the city that they made a movie out of it, quite a good one.  Had that travesty of a sheriff been more concerned with peace in the city than he was with porno, perhaps Kelvin Johnson would be alive today.

You Meet the Nicest People with a Warp Drive

Stranger Nightfire came to Voodoo Shilton's show tonight.  This was after it was over and most had left but it looks like the tail on Medora's special friend could yet be a problem.  Good luck, li'l Trekkie Bear.

Medora Brings a Friend to Hear Voodoo's Jazz

Medora Chevalier, looking quite a bit like Tina Turner, brought a special friend to the show.  It's not clear what kind of special friend it might be, tho.  Diane Sleydon is the special friend and her tag says, "I Like It Hard," but I have a question:  Do You Like It Alive?


That was quite a mistake.  Diane Sleydon is standing behind Medora's special friend and she doesn't look at all like the picture above.  Here's a much better one:

All the Hep Cats Dig Joaquin Gustav w/Pic

You know this hep cat ... perhaps not in quite this form, but you know this hep cat.  Of course you find her where all the hep cats go:  Cat's Art MusikCircus.

"Today's 7/4 Invention" - Silas (audio)

Laughing Gecko requested more music and something I learned in Aruba was it's always important to listen to lizards:

Edward G Reptile at your service.  Who do you want killed?

"Today's 7/4 Invention" is some experimentation from today.  There were some interesting moves in it so I uploaded it and it's on the Ride the Dragon Podcast now.

The other side of the story is the first half of the show was a complete write-off.  It's the same problem I've had previously in which audio outbound from the computer to the mixer (e.g. back track from Garageband) does not get turned around and echoed back over PA's output channels except what it picks up on the vocal mike.  The result was that it was very loud here ... but all the audience heard was the lead guitar, the rest of it never left the room.  Pfft.

I've had it with this problem and when there's a few dollars, I'll get some cable adaptors to plug the iPad into the mixer and use it to drive the songs.  That's a ridiculously high-tech solution to a low-tech problem but nothing else has worked and I've had it with jacking with it.  The iPad is here.  All I need is a relatively-inexpensive cable and this problem is permanently buried.  For twenty bucks, it's worth it.

(This went back to draft status for some reason so I had to publish it again)

"Favela Rising" (full movie)

Vigario Geral is the name of one of the dangerous favela in Brazil and there's an extended discussion on Documentary Storm along with another link to the full movie.  About twenty years ago, four policemen were shot and killed in the favela.  In retaliation, the police assassinated twenty-one people.  The term 'assassination' is appropriate as none of the people who died had anything to do with the killings of the cops.

One of the people who was assassinated was the brother of a musician.  This is what happened.

"I've Never Seen a Terrorist" (poem)

I've never seen a terrorist
but I've watched one on TV.
All I ever saw
was someone wanted to be free.

They need me feeling fear
of some guy I never met
as if he's got some harm
he's planned in his head.

But if there's any evil,
it's something he just learned
as no-one's born for killin'
and the bones must be earned.

So what does he want
that he has some truck with me
if all he really wants
is to set his family free.

Must be to kill the jailer
as who else locks the bars
and anyone who helps him
is going to take some scars.

I've never seen a terrorist
yet I've seen them on TV
But it's a pack of other horrors
getting visited on me.

When my sister has breast cancer
she won't show a tear
as she might well be dying
but she won't show you fear.

Children who don't have a chance,
Homeless don't have any grants,
People die without a glance
Where's the government
all this time

Cops turn cities into urban wars,
Crack turns women into stalking whores,
Kids go bankrupt for their cause
Where's the government
all this time

it roars!

Fight the terrorists, my people,
you can see them on TV.
Come to help us kill them.
Don't ever set them free.

Fight the terrorists, my people,
you can see them on TV.
Come to help us kill them.
Don't ever set them free.

We Have Seen Ferguson Before in Ohio (video)

Tin soldiers and SWAT teams coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
More dead in Fergus-oh.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew him
And found him dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew him
And found him dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and SWAT teams coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
More dead in Fergus-oh.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reverend Silas T Sasquatch on Most Supermercado Shelves

Reverend Silas T Sasquatch isn't hip enough to record in Spanish ... but he would if he could.  He would also still have a colander on his head.

While not in Spanish, the good Reverend has been spreading the Word of the Ministry of the Internet for almost ten years.  Yes, brothers and sisters, that's almost a decade of saving souls, one dollar at a time.

And the good Reverend has made a little money in that time.

However, that many did not come from saving souls.  So far, the good Reverend hasn't, to his knowledge, saved any souls.

But ...

He did sell some CDs: "Hellbound Train" / "Inherit the Mirth."  Those links are to iTunes previews for the individual CDs and this one is the Reverend Sasquatch iTunes Preview.

Perhaps, brothers and sisters, you do not have iTunes but, fear not, the Word comes to you in many mysterious ways and another is Reverend Sasquatch on CD Baby.  It might even be possible they have some remaining of the blessed Ministry of the Internet CDs and you could actually own a CD that has been touched by the nearly-divine fingers of the good Reverend Sasquatch. CD Baby also supports digital downloads which aren't quite as divine but still sound about the same.

So far the biggest sale was to the Mormons in the Salt Lake City Library.  We have no idea if they knew what they were buying.

"Charlie Daniels Gonads" (poem)

The Devil went down to Georgia,
he had his gonads on the run
but he wanted to get them back again
because damn they sure were fun.

But there's nothing down in Georgia,
we have only let it stay
We just needed something big enough
to keep Florida far away.

So Charlie didn't find his gonads
he played his fiddle instead
but he started thinking he's a hero
and he built that in his head.

He said, son, I want you to fight for me,
I want you to show me what you've got.
Show me you're a warrior,
Show me that you're hot.

They kid said, fuck you, Fatman,
What did you ever do for me.
There's no uniform in your closet
when did you fight to be free?

He said, son, what's your problem,
if you fight I'll play a song.
All the soldiers can get dancing
and I'll play right along.

Yeah, you and Ronald Reagan,
you sat there with the girls,
and when the war was over,
you said you saved the world.

So play your song if you want to,
I'm sure The Noog will dance
but just like that old Fatman
there's nothing in his pants.

"X Last Live "- X JAPAN (video)

My ol' Dad used to say the trouble with rock is that it had no dancers so the drummers sucked and consequently so did the beat.  You can hear it in my drum machine which was five hundred rock beats ... and they're all almost exactly the same.  (There is one built-in at 7/4 and that was cool yesterday, tho)

Yoshiki is probably the best composer who ever went into rock and he's the drummer.  He's also a phenomenal musician and, in fact, both are percussion instruments but I have never seen anyone who lived that like Yoshiki.

I wouldn't turn out for any other band in the world but if I could I would go to see these guys.  No-one is ever going take back shredding from them unless it's a being from another planet.  Visual kei owns it now and has for over twenty years.

Go to see them as there's no chance they can keep up this kind of physical show indefinitely.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Poems Are Accumulating Quickly

When there was the Lotho Commandment to publish, I was thinking, well, how many could there be, this will be a snap.  I made it down to article No. 1800 and was seeing a ten percent hit rate for poems so the list on my Poems page is growing quickly.  I'm pretty sure the rate doesn't stay consistent but it would mean almost two hundred more are forgotten.

There were some I discovered today that were incredibly important to me and still are but the names get lost in hundreds and hundreds of poems.  "The Elven Children" may still be in the top ten list of articles that got the most all-time hits and that's out of any articles, not just poems.

So, no need for a lot of words to say the exercise appears worthwhile and it seems very likely there will be enough material for another book.  I'll reserve the right to consider at least half of them as maudlin rubbishy crap but "The Elven Children" isn't the only one that surprised me and got the thinking, nooooo, don't want to lose that one.

So that'd be the Silas Corollary Commandment that at least fifty percent of any collection of poetry is complete suckage of sewage so I have a right to burn it because no-one cares what rhymes with 'garbage.'

"Watch Out for Snakes" (poem)

It was such a lovely place,
out there in the garden,
where the sun shone so bright
and the air always tasted clean.

Little yellow finches
came to eat the coneflowers
Perhaps they know it's Echinacea
but they know it tastes good too.

This was not a place for mowers
as everything had purpose
Nothing becomes a weed
unless someone says it's so.

Little Suzy Parker
wasn't always on the runway,
with cameras in her face
and flash bulbs in her eyes.

Little Suzy liked it better
when all those things were over
and she could go outside
to join her garden once again.

But on this day it was different
there was another in the garden
but he didn't say his name,
just listened while we talked.

He had a very quiet way
and of course this too was welcome
as speaking wasn't common
and didn't mean much anyway.

Suzy hadn't seen him,
she never noticed he was watching
until she came too close
and he tried to move away.

The movement scared her so,
she couldn't even help it,
as a snake that close beside her
was too much danger to behold.

She struck at once to stop it
but the act was enough to kill it.
This wasn't what she wanted,
she wanted none of this at all.

She cried out in her panic
and I saw right then what happened
I saw her crying for the spirit
of the creature gone away.

Why did you not call me,
I would have come at once to help you
but she shook her head in anguish
as she looked down to the ground.

She said I didn't mean it
and I told her, yes, I know this
but sometimes these things happen
so we learn as we go on.

His spirit isn't leaving,
he was in Heaven when he came here.
Keep the garden alive
and he can always stay.

She cried, oh God, I'm sorry,
I told her sorry doesn't matter.
There are more spirits in this garden
and they all need you now.

It's only all together
in this garden on this eve,
that we can call to anyone
and no-one has to leave.

You can't forget that snake,
it isn't what you are
but he won't forget you either
and he will be your guiding star.


Little Suzy Parker
never did forget the serpent,
she gave up all the cameras,
and the flash bulbs in her eyes.

From that moment it was different,
the garden was within her
There was nothing more important
than seeing those finches come back home.

Oh, One More Thing About My Books

There is yet another one that was never published, "What Would Dogs Do?"  I didn't get the impression you all dug it too much but I attract a low-brow crowd.  I have a pretty fair idea why I attract a low-brow crowd, tho ... because the lofty ones wouldn't get it.

It looks like I will dredge enough poems out of the last couple of years to publish yet another book so the hardest part of that is coming up with a name for it.  I'm pretty sure this incarnation of the blog started not long before going to Greece so it's that period through now, whatever poems were written. Any poems in the blog before that and after "Lunagrams" are lost.

Failing to look to find if any of the books have sold was, at first, amusing ... but now it becomes pretentious.  I'm still not going to do it but I know I'm being pretentious about it now.  In any case, there is one thing we know for sure:  no-one bought any fookin' books!

I am absolute sucker for a loser and there's only one clear answer for when you have two books that don't sell:  yep, publish two more.

Titles are a bitch as anything on a theme of descending into madness is too hackneyed even for Hollywood.  There's always using references to gods in obscure pantheons to give an aura of hip to a piece of crap but that won't fool anyone for long ... but ... I forget where I'm living now.  So, like I was saying, the title should be "Thor Will Fuck You Up."

I may need to think about this some more.

"The Tiger and the Monkey"is something I wrote for Cat a long time ago and I think it's the best love note I ever wrote.  Making a joke out of the book with something like that in there is not only disrespectful to myself but also to her.  As to me, so what, but, as to disrespecting Cat, not acceptable.

"Ohio" - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - 2000 (video)

"I Play One on TV" (poem)

They import a new black cop
for the spokesman they will use
and still can't see they're racists
in everything they do.

If race doesn't matter
and you say it's not at all
then when you need policemen,
it shouldn't matter who you call.

But they had to find a black man
and who pays his speaking fees?
That'd be the snowflake governor,
he thought this is what they need.

He also sent the National Guard
so it's clear what he thinks.
They don't shoot rubber bullets
and they will cap him if he blinks.

The people just want freedom
from these monsters and their guns.
It's become a living nightmare
What horror will they bring next.

They mace young girls
and shoot young men
They make excuses
then they do it again
The people die
in endless grief
for no more crime
than being on the street.

It's an endless bleeding sadness
of life so far from control.
It will take a different power
to again make this world whole.

Perhaps you think religion,
but that's what you decide.
Just do whatever's needed
to turn back this deadly tide.

"Open Your Heart" (Republished - Error knocked it back to Draft status)

"Open Your Heart"
She searches for love
like a locust looks for Jesus
and she talks about taking
but it's to do as she pleases.
There's not a place to hide
when the lady comes to town
and you bet your sweet ass
she's going to take you down.

Love is what you give
not what you take away
There's nothing in the mirror
that lasts more than a day.
Fly through the glass
there's really nothing there
at night you'll wake up screaming
when you find that no-one cares.

Open your heart
and show what's really you
Open your life
it's the only thing to do.

The magic is the giving
it's the light that shines for all
it's the finest kind of living
and through it we grow tall.
It really doesn't matter
the things we take away
as nothing lasts forever
except the things we say.

Live in light and love
there's nothing in the dark
except pain from your past
that always hurts your heart
Live in light and love
as one begets the other
Without them in your life
you're a boat without a rudder.

Open your heart
and show what's really you
Open your life
it's the only thing to do.

Poems Added to My Duck Soup - Updated

There was a Commandment to publish the poems and I have started although the First Commandment is to go forth to find them.  There is one tiny problem as I have never filed any of them ... but ... they're in the Blog somewhere.  They couldn't be too hard to find as the blog has been running for not quite two years in its current form so how many articles could that be at a rate of four or five per day.  If you come up with a number that floats around three thousand then we have the same arithmetic skills.

Suddenly this isn't sounding like quite such a bright idea.  I never had any intention of publishing them so, wtf, I didn't file 'em.

The changes are on My Duck Soup as I've done some tinkering there, mostly to add the POETRY button but the first page was pretentious and hopefully that's at least reduced.  The PODCAST has been re-formatted quite a bit as well.

The Poems routine is set up to make this as easy as possible.  I don't have to write a Web page for each one as the code will see a poem and make a Web page for it.  So my task is to fookin' find them and make the TXT files it needs.


So now we know how many holes
it takes to fill the Albert Hall
as there are 2191 articles in the blog


I did get through (gasp) 191 of them.

That got a collection of a dozen or so poems on the page and gave reason to find the rest of them as if it holds up that between five and ten percent of the articles are poems then there could well be hundreds of them.  I think I put between sixty and a hundred in the last book so somewhere in there is the 'magic number.'

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Chocolate Monkeys on a Trapeze"

There's a troop of chocolate monkeys
up swinging on that trapeze
you can eat them if you want to
or do just what you please.

But you know how it goes
when you're watching chocolate monkeys
You want so much to eat one
and nothing comes for free.

Maybe take it and go hide away
keep that monkey for yourself
I so much love my chocolate
and I won't share with someone else.

More and more I want that chocolate
and I'll take just what I want
I think I'll grab that smaller one,
he looks a little gaunt.

But he's all made out of chocolate
and that's just what I need.
I'll eat it because I love it,
this isn't simple greed.

The monkeys cried, "Don't do this,"
we just came here to play
Is there really not a hope here
Is there nothing we can say?

We don't want to be confection
what we practice is our art
but you only see the chocolate
and want to eat us a la carte.

It's all in entertainment
some dance or some shoot guns
but, please, not at chocolate monkeys
when they're swinging in the sun.

It's all color, sound, and motion,
just as pretty as you please
when you see the chocolate monkeys
up there on that trapeze.

The new Ferguson reality TV show will now follow the shows, "Lesbian Amputees in a Cave in a Forest" and "Focus on Kim Kardashian's Backside."

Introducing Sets of Fields

'Sets of Fields' is a concept that fears them young 'un assembler programmers as this is what happens when IBM gets creative.  If you run out of places to put stuff then you can take something known and make it mean more things.  That's where sets of fields become important.  Now you can look at a variable and it will start with a number that tells you how many pieces of information are in it.  IBM did this all over the place and it was brilliant as it was a mechanism for downward compatibility and it was incredibly effective.

So what's the point of any good idea?

(Ed:  steal it?)

Right you are.

The pondering is over whether it will be necessary to handle a painting being in multiple shows.  I'm thinking it's inevitable.  It hasn't been mentioned but I know that's true already.  What I don't know is whether it's important.

I believe I've already made up my mind to write it but I review for a bit the value of it.  Correcting the problem with the show displays turned into Godzilla versus the Smog Monster but the code ended up the better for it ... so ... screw it up with yet another change.

Programmers may scoff and say, pfft, that's just an array.  I can program that in one line of code.  Yes, of course you can, precious little snowflake, but let's see you do it with two index registers and an accumulator (Motorola 6502).  If that's too much then let's try IBM as you'll get (gasp) sixteen registers now.  Even though to the juniors assembly language programming is like computer paleontology, it still has merit and, what's more, these dinosaurs are still alive and today they are bigger than they ever were.

The DR-880 Continues to Plague Me

Even though the DR-880 bugs the living hell out of me, it's good news to report as the only way to get it is to have been playing.

But it does plague me.  I can't get the bitch to do pad recording, that's where you tell it just to keep collecting drum hits from you until you're satisfied with the groove.  But it only records one hit.  You have got to KNOW I know how to read computer manuals and I followed meticulously ... but it still doesn't work.

You can watch video tutorials on YouTube but one of them is so bad that someone who viewed it said he saw it as a reason not to get one!  There's a guy who keeps pushing buttons but they don't work and he says each time, well, it's like that, you just have to keep doing it.  After a while it becomes a joke!

And after a while I reached the Screw This point and pulled out a stock Reggae beat that turned into Chocolate Monkeys on a Trapeze.  That's good but I don't know if Monkeys really like Reggae that much.

(Ed:  it sounds like you liked it)

Good point.

In most cases it's tragic if someone falls off a trapeze but in this case you can eat them.

I could tell you of the old guy travails in playing but, man, you seriously don't want to know.  What I know for sure is my fingers are the strongest part of me.  It's odd to me as I can get wobbly but my fingers sound decisive in the playing and that feels very good.  I do intend to try a gig on Thursday.