Sunday, November 30, 2014

Push the Blog Over Quarter of a Million and Win a Unicorn

The blog is just a few hits short of breaking a quarter of a million hits which is kind of novel.

Be the one to push it over the top and win a unicorn!

You can tell if you did it by the number at the bottom of the sidebar.

(Ed:  if I win, when do I get the unicorn?)

Well, you don't actually get the unicorn.

(Ed:  you said I'd win a unicorn!)

You will but you must admit it's a bit selfish to expect to keep a unicorn all for yourself, yes?

(Ed: I don't think it's much of a win if I don't get to keep it.)

You won't think that when it comes.

(Ed:  when will that happen?)

Only unicorns know that.

(Ed:  this is all bullshit isn't it?)

Only if you don't believe in unicorns.

Some Hideously Boring DMX Code for LEDs and Lasers

There are two hundred and fifty six possible channels for DMX but they are organized into twelve groups on the Elation controller.  When the fixtures (i.e. LEDs, etc) are organized into groups as well via dip switch settings on each fixture, all groups can be managed independently and this is what permits creating various scenes.  Maybe one scene has only the red lasers running and maybe another has everything lit.

The channels are

1) LEDs - group
2) LED - solo fill light


7) Green lasers
8) Purple lasers
10) Blue/Violet laser
11) Red dual beam lasers
12) Moonflowers

Using various combinations of those channels I can make different scenes and there are eight that can be relatively easy to use while playing in that I only need to swat a button.  It's too computerish to use more than eight for live (i.e. more buttons to push).

The steps completed today were to get all fixtures on the DMX chain and to get all fixtures properly identified for the channel that will be used to send commands.  Everything now is software as in finalizing the scenes from one to eight.  That's not hard, it's just a hassle, and this will be ready to show you soon.

There is still the open question of controlling the lights via MIDI orders from the guitar or the synth but there are various complexities to this that make doing it, for now, more hassle than it's worth.

"Village of the Damned (1960)" - Not Bad At All

The version from 1960 was the first for "Village of the Damned" and I remembered creepy kids with spooky eyes but that was about all.

The movie is actually well done as the build-up to What the Hell Happened is skillful and the music even fits to the story.

The premise is that perhaps it's possible to make a superior type of human so let's see how they behave.  It turns out they do things perceived as evil but only to those who sought to harm them in some way.  They don't seem motivated by emotion and react entirely on logic.  Spock came much later and his lines were often amusing but these kids would definitely kill you.

A secondary theme is what happens when you have twenty cases of Immaculate Conception at the same time.  Not surprisingly, this does not go so well.

The kids said they wanted to be left alone and they would increase their numbers on their own.  The implication was that lesser humans would die out and the new and improved version would remain, all natural and no need for combat.

Of course we kill them and fade to black but it leaves the question of whether it was the right thing.  Was there no possible accommodation that could be made.

On a letter grade, I'll go B+ as it was much better than I remembered.  The premise is interesting, the handling of it is novel and the conclusion leaves room for worthy discussion.  Well done.

There are awards, of course.

Creepiest Thing that Wasn't Supposed to Be Creepy in a Sci-Fi Movie

The village doctor smoking non-filter cigarettes while he delivers babies is pure cinematic inspiration.

Awards for "The Day of the Triffids" - The Attack of the Giant Man-Eating Plants

"The Day of the Triffids" is one of the most classically-awful sci-fi movies ever.  It's based on two premises, the first that watching a meteor shower can blind you and the second being Venus Flytraps could grow to the size of a house, start moving and eating people.

We're really not sure what message to derive from these premises.  Is it telling me not to watch meteors and don't feed the flytrap.  We really don't know what it says so the movie wins the next award:

Best Daft Message in a Sci-Fi Movie (two of them)

It's also a winner for Most Hopelessly Mis-matched Soundtrack in a Sci-Fi Movie.  The giant orchestral production behind people looking at plants may well be the best movie score of all-time.  It's not often that music is funny but this is a big win on that.

For the trifecta, there's Best WTF Religious Moment in a Sci-Fi Movie.  The movie runs its course and there isn't even a faint mention or hint of any religious theme.  There may not have been so much as a picture of a church in the background.  In the last scene, it cuts to the survivors who now know they will make it and they walk up the steps together to a church.  In the background the narrator says, "And now we have one more reason to give thanks."

Um, ok.


Menu of Stolen Sci-Fi for this Evening

My first Quest tonight is for Groot's parents. I did watch the rest of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and my rating is still Suitable Only for Giraffes but the dialog from the Raccoon was funny and Vin Diesel is very funny. Who knew he did funny.

You realize logically Groot must have parents so where are they ... 

My Quest will take me from Crap (as above) to Complete Crap as in "Village of the Damned" or possibly to "Fahrenheit 451" which is highly-topical but watching is mostly because Julie Christie is in it.

(Ed:  what about the lights?)

I'm not avoiding 'shut up and play,' I'm avoiding a gigantic cable pain in the ass.  There are three devices not cabled for DMX, four if you count the fogger.

On the light rack, #1 needs to cable to #3 and that's not hideous but #3 needs to cable to #7 which is somewhat hideous.  #7 has a run of about three meters to a floor light which also needs to be controlled and that part is obscene as it's just one more ugly-ass wire on a floor full of them.  To even see this stuff, I need a fifty cm (i.e. about two feet) brute of a torch (i.e. flashlight).  This will wait for daylight as I don't want to do it anyway.

Onward to the killer trees.

On Intelligence - Updated

According to the standard tests, my IQ is higher than 98% of the people in America.  The information I glean from this fact is as follows:

-  In a country of about 300,000,000 people, that means there are 6,000,000 motherfuckers who can crush me like a bug.  Six fookin' million ... that's a lot of motherfuckers.

-  None of them are on (insert social network of your choice).

Something you'll notice about Smart Fuckers is they compare IQ like members of the NRA compare penile implants.  It can be very funny to watch.

Some regard my speech as crude and vulgar but I don't support killing anyone so the problem is in the definition of crude and vulgar.

-  This problem is endemic in Facebook but Zuckerberg has no monopoly on mindless provincialism no matter how much of a pretentious display he makes of it.

There is some loneliness in intelligence as what point is there in talking to people who never understand what you're saying.  This is also a reason I'm a worthless piece of shit as I didn't talk to my ol' Dad enough and he's the only one on the planet who would have had any idea what I do or why I do it ... except for my ol' Mother as she understood crazy better than he did.  If I told her I need moonflowers then she would have said 'of course' and not just to agree me as she would have understood the necessity.  She knew the music better too as she could sing a cappella and the only way that works is if you hear the music in your head.

(For the young 'uns:  I don't remember her singing in California but she frequently sang "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" while she cooked in Australia.  Even if you think you don't remember, it's in your head somewhere.  Play the Doris Day version and trigger it.  That's no dream as she really was singing it in the kitchen.  I'm pretty sure this was the happiest time of her life.)

Cat resembles my ol' Dad in some ways as she's a very bright woman but if I do something simply for the sake of absurdity then likely it will throw her.  Don't take that to mean Cat doesn't understand absurdity as she has plenty of her own.  On what she and her boy regarded as their last holiday trip together, there was an 'event.'  He was growing up and was wanting to spend more time with his friends so they figured they would take a last trip and enjoy it together.

But ...

She ran out of money and many freeways in Europe are not 'free' because they are actually tollroads.  She devised a way to get the pair of them home as she thought, hmmm, if I pull up close behind a big truck then I can sneak my truck through right behind it before the tollgate comes back down.

As I imagine you have already surmised, this plan did not work.  I can't tell you how she got out of it as only Cat can tell it right and she will have you crying laughing.

What I can tell you is the boy said after their return, 'Mom, next time you take a trip, I'm GOING!"

Yep, that's how you do it.

Lotho is much like my ol' Dad as he's one smart mofo but he sees me doing crazy stuff and it makes no sense to him ... but he puts up with it because I'm his brother.  This doesn't make him a stodgy mutant as he was trippin' balls for the final Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young tour and I'm not sure you were there.  I know Laughing Gecko and Cadillac Man were there, one of whom was also trippin' balls.

One of Life's Biggest All-Time Heartbreakers was in hearing Lotho talking about being tone-deaf and that gave the realization that music won't make him cry.  I've always thought we were kind of temporally-displaced twins so it was really spooky to hear that.  After years and years of playing, I can sometimes hit a bit that will make me cry and not because it sucked.  The irony of all ironies is that intelligence has nothing to do with it.

Some regard my current situation as failure and there's no question of that financially but I can play now with better instruments and of many more types than I ever imagined.  I can get hammered any time I feel like it and play what I want when I want, all with lights that in this small space make it seem like Madison Square Gardens.  If this is failure, you may want to review your definition of success as I haven't seen the inside of a cubicle in five years or so.  The only part I regard as any kind of a failure is that it's difficult to share it with you even after forty years of trying.

There is only one answer and only ever has been one answer:   shut up and play

The above is where intelligence applies as you'll often see juniors asking how to be creative but these Dagwoods are already creative or they wouldn't be asking.  The actual question is 'am I lazy' and, given that the Dagwood is posting the question on a social network, the answer is clearly 'yes.'  Shut up and play.

A standard rule for writers applies equally to musicians and it's not about intelligence but rather discipline.  You will go down to that typewriter and you will sit there for eight hours even if you don't type a single word.  If you do not do that then you may think of shopping for cabbages, boning the little hottie who doesn't want you, or where you're going to find some reefer ... but ... you probably won't think much of typing anything.  That's the discipline and it's vastly more important than intelligence.

Shut up and play ... and keep playing until you like what you hear.  It may take years but it's the same as getting a puppy:  the pup isn't just for Christmas.  The Mystery Lady can tell you all about puppies as Mi Joy is about three years by now and Tinkerbell can tell you for sure as hers is brand-new.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Total Recall 2012" - Updated

Most remakes suck but this one didn't.  It was more an action flick than sci-fi, tho.  The movie wound up rolling together "Bladerunner," "Total Recall (original)," and the same endless car chases as in Bourne but now with some type of magneto-repulsion cars.

The adaptation of the story is interesting as Quaid doesn't go to Mars this time and the story is modified in multiple major ways ... but ... it stays true to the concept, albeit with one hell of a lot of chases.

Kate Berkinsale is excellently vicious and deadly.  Jennifer Biel is loving and present ... and deadly.

The girls are highly-delicious but the fight scenes get like "Star Wars," when you start thinking, man, enough with the sword fights.

Some awards:

Most Ridiculous Scientific Changes

In the hundreds of years between now and the time of the movie, the only change to refrigerators is to make the front work like a tablet so you can leave love notes to wifey.

Telephone implanted under your skin.  It seems that would be hard to dial.

Best of Show:  The Fall is a huge device that falls through the center of the Earth to go from Australia to England.  Of all the sci-fi devices that could never possibly work, this one definitely gets a prize for the biggest.  It does blow up pretty good, tho.

Best Recorded Airport / Spaceport Message in a Sci-Fi Movie

"Prepare for gravity reversal in one minute"

Video Tour of the Fort Worth Rockhouse with All Lights Blazing

There are pictures in some other articles to show you how terrible this place looks when everything is shut down.  This video shows you what it's like when it's not.

The object wasn't music but to take a look at it from different camera angles, particularly the moonflowers.  The object also is to capture the liquid light effect from smoke going through a laser field.

Note:  this was shot with the camera set for auto-focus.  That is not how I will do it for a filming from a tripod as the camera will try to reset the auto-focus every time a laser moves.  Therefore, set the focus manually before cranking the lights and then leave it alone.

The objective in shooting this is also toward any thinking of GoFundMe in showing this is what I can do.  If you want to support this, climb onboard.

In part the video shows how much the view of thing changes by moving the camera.  This is why I want to shoot from multiple angles simultaneously and consequently is the need for more cameras.  They have to be reasonably intelligent cameras or they have no chance of capturing this type of image.

As to what anyone gets, one thing is a credit in the video or whatever text you like in place of your name so long as it is in accordance with what a Warrior of Lights would say.  If you want me to say the Dallas Cowboys are Queers then I won't do it.  Perhaps you would be right but I don't know any Dallas Cowboys and could not say one way or the other except to say there's way too much ass-grabbin' in that game.  Do you see NASCAR drivers grabbin' ass?   Do you see F1 drivers grabbin' ass?  No.  I rest my case.

So that's something but I'm dry on anything else.  Have the satisfaction of helping the old fucker make music is thin as much better to find some hungry old fucker or find a cold old fucker and help this person stay warm at least over the holidays.

I don't want to mess with it right now but I'll put a Donate button back up.

In parallel with this was the music.  I shot the video so I could give you a taste of what it's like but I didn't want to screw around with recording so much as simply be 'in it' and that was very good.  Of course that's the stuff that should be recorded the most but it doesn't work that way.  It's the Ultimate Paradox of recorded music in that it's impossible to record a piece of music because the act of recording changes it.

I've been trying to force myself to eat.  It's not some diabolical situation as crap food doesn't inspire a whole lot of motivation.  More chow has given more ergs for playing and it still hertz but afterward I can work it through with Ohm, Ohm, Ohm.

The Moonflowers are everything I hoped.  Two of them make a rainbow in my eyes and I'm very pleased with it.  After playing in this environment for only a little while the separate effects become part of one sphere of light.

I did look at GoPro cams when I went to Hell-Mart as I knew if you don't get it in the fridge by Wednesday, you ain't goin' get it.  So I got my French bread and then I saw the cams from $129 to $299 and it looked like you can start with $129 but you'll end up quickly at $299 anyway.  What they offer is substantial as the Tour gives an idea of what it looks like from the inside looking out.  It's necessary to go with the higher-end GoPro as they have the resolution needed to be consistent with what is shot by the other camera.  The lenses on the computer and the iPad are so pitiful as to make a kid with a Brownie camera laugh.

All in all, progress is good.  "The Cat in the Space Between Things" needs a segue between the two loops.  Both bits are cool but I'm not satisfied with the transition.  There's also an intricate intro part on the piano and that changes every time I do it, mostly.

There's some wordsmithy stuff as the meter of the poem for the first part doesn't match the pacing of the music.  This is interesting to me as I don't want to change either one.  Both poems are also fairly long so that's a lot of time investment relative to the overall song.  It doesn't matter to me at all if this goes half an hour ... so long as it needs to go half an hour.

For the perspective on time, I looked at the clock just now and really wasn't sure if it was a.m. or p.m.  I really had to gather some clues to make a determination.  I like this in the same way as I like waking up and not being sure which country this may be.  I don't think that will ever stop as it becomes part of your life's kaleidoscope and you never stop seeing the places you have been.  That's why I say we're time travelers as my view is we're traveling in time more than we're not.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Moonflowers are Breathtaking

The Moonflowers give as much visual anarchy as I could possibly hope.  There is order to the beams but they disrupt altogether any perspective on anything otherwise considered substantive.  Getting the lights was not nesting behavior but rather this is what it has to look like to be real ... in its unreality.  Ja, ja, ja.

I was stunned by the overall effect and I tried a walk-around video to see if that could capture it to show you.  There is no music as the view is walking about and showing the view from different angles.  I'll get this worked up later tonight or tomorrow.

It's really deranged.  I was playing for some while and feeling quite good about it.  That's good and bad as, recording-wise, it's a fish that got away but for playing it felt very good.  There's still some elusive distortion and there's no indication of clipping anywhere.  Blah, blah.

The fans make a lot of noise as in quite a lot.  Probably nothing for it but to accept it as the smoke machine sounds like a tornado or some such when it blows.  It may be possible to EQ the noise out.

The lights aren't completely programmed and I have to locate some place to station the light controller so I can use it while I'm playing.  I want to be able to kick a loop change or whatever else and make a light change at the same time.  I'm not going to try this with MIDI as yet but doing it manually will be fine for what I want to try at first.

The final stages of lights are 1)  LEDs only for color, 2) LEDs plus green lasers, 3) ... plus blue, 4) ... plus red, 5) ... plus purple 6) grand finale kicks off the moonflowers as that wall will be quite dark because all the other lights point the other way.  That's the all your guns at once part.

Und dann war der Licht - Mondblumen

Jetzt ist es Chaos und das ist gut.

German is appealing to me in a large way because they don't kill each other.  They really don't kill anyone.

Und warum ...

Sind wir Mensch.

Chaos will reveal the entropic flow everything else pretends to defeat.  There is nothing remaining but the light, the love, and the music.  Anything else just comes and goes.

Chaos is the truth if you're willing to look into it.  I found a Cat in there and she couldn't belong to Schrödinger as she is definitely not dead.

"The Cat in the Space Between Things" will be more apparent with moonflowers.

Und auch Mondblumen

Diese Nacht werde ich diese Licht versuchen.

Tonight, tonight

I already know it will be gorgeous.  I can see that just from the test.  Both units are now programmed the same and respond as one.

Bist du ein Mensch?

Ich war für mein Licht warten.  Auch war ich spielen und, ja, singen mit diese Lied aber ich kann kein Sound machen.  Ich muss der Truck hören.  Später.  (Lyrics in English:  "Mensch")

"Warriors of Lights" - Silver Moon (video) - Updated

She brings the word the best way to bring it.  The song is not sad but have Kleenex handy.  It is filled with hope and the lyrics are below.

The singer is Stefanie Kloß.  Try not to fall in love with her (likely impossible).

I love that she steps out with her band.  Ja, I love her too.  But so does everyone in Germany.

WIKI:  Silbermond (English)

Be like the river
that unyieldingly floats to the sea,
that doesn’t dissuade from doing so,
no matter how hard it is.

He even doesn’t fear
the biggest stone,
even if it takes years
until he breaks it.

And when your will is asleep
then wake him up
because there is
a warrior in everyone of us.

His courage is like a sword.
But his major weapon
is his heart.

Let’s stand up.
Hit the trail.
To all warriors of the light.
To all warriors of the light.

Where are you?
You are needed here.
Hit the trail.

To all warriors of the light.
To all warriors of the light.
This here goes
to all warriors of the light

Don’t be afraid
of your weaknesses.

Do never fear
to unveil your own flaws.

Be attentive, calmed, and freed.
Be crazy, too, from time to time.

Don’t let yourself be deceived,
even if it’s made of gold.

Don’t be taken in,
even less by false pride.

Learn to forgive and to pardon.
Learn to chain and to unfetter.

Let’s stand up.
Hit the trail.

To all warriors of the light.
To all warriors of the light.
Where are you?
You are needed here.

Hit the trail.

To all warriors of the light.
To all warriors of the light.
This here goes
to all warriors of the light.

And he knows
his metes and bounds,
but oversteps the mark.
No luck in the distance
he doesn’t reach for.

His power is his belief.
There’s nothing else
he fights for more
and he does this
over and over again.
That’s why he is a warrior.

And this is an appeal!
And this one goes
to all warriors,
to all warriors.

This is an appeal,
and this appeal goes
to all warriors of the light,
to all warriors of the light.

This here goes
to all warriors of the light.

Vielleicht Jetzt auf Deutsch

Ich bin ein Mensch allein.
Diese Welt ist nicht mein.
Aber hier ich steh,
Ich weiss das Weg
und niemand möchte gehen


Neue Lied ... weiss nicht

Fun with Patriotism

The Daughters of the American Revolution take justifiable pride in the participation of their families in the founding of the country ... but ask them about slavery and they will say it was hundreds of years ago and they had nothing to do with it.

Capital punishment and socialism are related insofar as you ask the GOP where socialism doesn't work and they won't have an answer.  Then ask where capital punishment does work and they won't have an answer for that either.

Sometimes they will say Singapore is drug-free due to aggressive execution.  What do you know, there's one place in the world where there is no drug problem.  Apparently the GOP does not see there would be no need for an aggressive program of execution if Singapore really were drug-free.

All this cop-killing is pissing me off.  Two cops shot a twelve-year-old in Cleveland a couple of days ago.  They said they warned him multiple times to drop the weapon (i.e. a plastic toy gun).  The video shows they shot him within seconds of stopping the car and never warned him at all.

And people say I'm cynical.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" - Great Sci-Fi ... for Giraffes

Giraffes love movies because even if they sit in the back they still get a good seat.  Giraffes are also really stupid and that's why they like "Guardians of the Galaxy."

The movie was almost cut at the start as it showed a mother dying in front of her little son and he went screaming off into the raining night.  I'm looking for sci-fi and they throw "Terms of Fookin' Endearment" at me.

Instantly it won the title for All-Time Worst Start for a Sci-Fi Movie.

I was thinking,

Holy shit. "Guardians of the Galaxy" starts out with the kid's mother dying in front of him.  A whole lot of you people liked the movie so now I've got to ask myself if I trust your twisted judgment when not three minutes into it I have fookin' tears in me eyes.

This is not a question as I will have made up my mind by the time you see this.  Breaks me fookin' heart, it does.

But I decided to see if it would change.  It did.  The effects got cool but the story got "Ironman" so it was a wash on continuing with it ... 


B.J. Thomas turned up in the soundtrack.  Just because I'm evil I will give you a sample as this is when I kicked out of the movie.  I have no idea what became of the Galaxy (sob).  If this song has anything to do with it, I'm guessing it did not survive.

When B.J. Thomas shows up in the soundtrack, good effects or no, I'm out.

Final rating: could be amusing if you're on mushrooms, otherwise a complete waste of time.

Thanksgiving Spirals Down the Toilet in Record Time

Thanksgiving started out ok as I had the basics (i.e. stay away from online suicide monkeys and anything that looks like turkey stuffing).

"Black folks never commit suicide.  We too hip to sufferin'." - Richard Pryor

The hamburger didn't get cooked but that doesn't suck terribly as now the dog will probably get all of it.

I played and that was a total bust but there was one saving grace as I lasted nearly an hour.  Strength in suckage ... that's important.  Actually I don't think it did suck but there was nothing significant that came from online that gave any indication one way or the other.  Answer:  don't go online.

There was even FedEx guilt as I discovered they had somebody moving my light yesterday and it was only to get it from Hutchins, TX, (just outside Dallas) to Fort Worth.  That sucked as whomever did that should not have had to work and I would have done it myself if they gave me a few hours to find the place.

But I appreciate that the light will arrive today.  Thank you FedEx person.  I'm sorry I trashed up your Thanksgiving but that wasn't my plan.  You have guaranteed the week-end will be cool.  I have no use for turkeys but I have great need for moonflowers.

I'm sure I'll shoot video of something this week-end but I have no plan for anything specific other than a whole TON of moonflowers.  The pictures I've posted in some other articles are deliberate to show you how bad it all looks.  But that doesn't show you what it looks like when the stuff is turned on and that's what will be in the video.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Ongoing Search for Titanian Fishlizards

The movie, "Europa Report," took a couple of hours to find a jellyfish on Europa.  And of course they found a jellyfish as all those planets and moons weren't kept around just so ESA could bounce landers off them.

Jellyfish are interesting as they're pretty to watch but they aren't any more concerning than their capacity to wreck your holiday by stinging your oh so delicate backside.

Titanian fishlizards are a very different story as they have the capability to do considerably more than sting your backside.

The problem with Titanian fishlizards is the Earth was originally seeded by them.  Evolution progressed.  We emerged from the water to become monkeys and go to Washington.  Others evolved further and became humans.

However, the earliest Titanian fishlizards developed a resentment toward Mother Titan and her expectations.   They broke all connections with home and, from thence forward, Earth was the True Home of Fishlizards.  Ever shall it be.

This was millions of years ago and Mother Titan has been angry the entire time.  Whereas on Earth the Titanian Fishlizards evolved into humans and also the Tea Party, back on Titan the fishlizards remained largely the same physically ... but ... they developed special powers.  The descendants of the Fishlizards on Earth had forgotten their heritage but on Titan they forgot nothing at all ... and their anger grew.

Best Thanksgiving for a Dog

There's a pound of hamburger here.  There's Tobey the Dog.  There's me.

(There are two cats but they stuff their feline faces with Meow Mix crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside mixed flavors.  They're fine.)

So I could split the burger to cook half and give the other half to Tobey the Dog raw.  That seems rather inelegant for such a high feast so the alternatives are some type of Hamburger Helper crapola, Zatarain's Dirty Rice, or spaghetti.

The Hamburger Helper is so fatty that both of us would end up with butts like Kim Kardashian.  I don't know if a dog will eat rice.  I guess he would.  That kind of winds up with the spaghetti but we'll see.

If you're not thankful for every breath, particularly if there's reefer in it, then you'll probably blow it with Thanksgiving anyway.  If you're feeling like you're going to blow it then stop on by but try to bring a little hamburger as there ain't much here.  Ain't much reefer either ... BUT ... it ain't fookin' snowin' and I'm thankful for that.

Jessica Valenti Tells Us It's OK to Feel Sad

Face it: Thanksgiving is depressing this year, and you don't have to give thanks

If your Thanksgiving is dragging a little bit, the first thing to do is to avoid self-pitying Tumblr Queens like Jessica Valenti.  If you hang with her long enough either she'll threaten suicide or tell you about someone who did.

I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with Tobey the Dog and I've got a pound of hamburger that I'll split with him. I'll ask him if he would like to see some snow and he'll tell me no fookin' way.  I'll tell him, yeah, buddy.  You've got that right.  No fookin' snow.

If you think I'm describing suffering then maybe you've listened to Jessica Valenti too much already.

I've got almost nothin' but what I do got is the ability to appreciate I got nothin' ... and that's somethin'.  I appreciate that I can still play as it didn't seem likely.  I appreciate there are some people who care if I keep playing.  My Thanksgiving is to remember who they are.

Happy Thanksgiving - German Style

One thing I love about Germans is they will do it every time if someone comes up with a idea for putting flowers on animals.  These are the same people who put flowers on their cows when they bring them down from the mountain pastures as the flowers show which shepherds did not lose any animals during the season.

Leonhardiritt is a celebration of Saint Leonhard, the Patron Saint of Farm Animals.  Takes place on November 6, usually, and is celebrated with parades and happiness after a good season.

The reading is in German but it won't matter as you won't need to understand the commentary to appreciate what they are doing.

Further Proof "Gravity" Was the Worst Sci-Fi Movie Ever

In our previous research, we have discovered "World War Z" takes multiple honors as it is all of the following:

Worst Horror Movie Ever
Worst Zombie Movie Ever
Worst Movie of All Time

That research continued as there are other categories and we did not investigate all of them in our initial review.  Thus, we have the following:

"Gravity" - Worst Sci-Fi Movie Ever

This aimless piece of pointless crap never did figure out where it left George Clooney.  Maybe he's still in orbit.  We don't know and, frankly, we don't care.

"Europa Report" - Worst Documentary Disguised as a Sci-Fi Movie

The movie is not too bad as the general concept is good science with good execution in showing it but the result was as predictable as a White House war-for-oil speech.  We found a jellyfish.  Yikes.  Why not just go on a Med vacation and find lots of jellyfishes.  Careful now.  They sting.

However, there was some goodness as the research also turned up "Edge of Tomorrow" which is a sci-fi movie starring Tom Cruise.  He's appeared in several (e.g. "Vanilla Sky," "Minority Report," etc) and they're usually mind-twisting events.  "Edge of Tomorrow" doesn't have so much of a psych twist to it but the concept is interesting and it's well-developed.

Where the others varied from unadulterated crap to inconsequential visual indulgences, "Edge of Tomorrow" is an interesting exercise and you may find it intriguing.

On the Importance of Properly Organizing Your Light Rack

Properly organizing one's light track is probably very important.  I don't do it ... but it's still probably important.

Again, someone needs to be the bad example and I'm pleased to fill this role with my life.  If only there had been an opportunity to work on the Large Hadron Collider as no telling what I might have done with it.  The result would probably not have been effective in finding bosons but it would have been cool for rock shows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog is in the Hunt for a Quarter of a Million Hits

That milestone will be passed in the next day or two so that means I've spread one hell of a lot of liberal contagion and I should be murdered.

Frequently there is banter with a lunatic (i.e. conservative) friend and we were talking about dealing with the War on Drugs, my position being that it's moved from an expensive failure to a complete catastrophe when we see cities burning.  His position was that capital punishment solves problems with dope dealers.

My response was that southeast Asia is the most prolific source of heroin on the planet and every country in the area has the death penalty for trafficking.  It's been a peach of a success down there.

Undeterred he said the response has not been aggressive enough and capital punishment should be applied as pervasively as necessary to stop the problem.  I suggested that a population of millions in heroin addicts alone means that killing them will get you a place in the books ... right alongside Eichmann.

My position remains unchanged in expectation of the legalization of all drugs and deal with the problem with education.  The logic is to kill the profit incentive while at the same time addressing the curiosity.  Drugs will become a whole lot less attractive without the romance of gangsta life.

There is no compromise but that's alright as the positions need to be expressed so I know it's important to continue spreading my liberal contagion.  Thanks for your assistance in spreading that contagion and hopefully you will continue to do so.

As to what's coming up in the blog, how should I know ... I just write it.

Silas Plays Cat's Art MusikCircus

The report is accurate but the tense is not so good as this happened last night.

Performances are not announced as there is no plan for them.  If I'm in shape for it and I'm thinking Cat could use a surprise then I start up the system and play.  It's fine if anyone is there already but neither of us send any notices as the promotion stuff is a supreme nuisance so I don't want her to have to do it.  Most people have no idea how hard venue owners work and I don't want her to have to do that for these moments.

First up was a run-through of "The Cat in the Space Between Things" but I screwed myself by going into it too loud.  What may be a bit unusual to grip is that it doesn't make any difference how loud or soft I play here to how loud / soft the signal goes into Second Life.  That information is entirely useless to you except insofar as it explains how I could screw myself but Cat would not know it.

The keys on the synthesizer are touch-sensitive which means they sound louder if you hit them harder.  That's very good and I like that feature but it means when the system is too loud that means it will sound ok as I play softly but it will feel like hammer hits as I play harder.  That was the problem and it's difficult to manage after starting.

"The Laughing Gecko" song was part of it also as I was feeling ok so keep on going with it.  The object in redoing it is to do it all electric and this was from a way I played it quite a while ago.  Cat was given a recording of that so I thought, hmm, ok let's try that again.

The audio wasn't satisfactory and that affected the outcome but it was still cool as there was still good play.  I hate it if my lead line sounds jerky or like I don't know where it's going.  Actually I don't know where I'm going but it mustn't ever sound indecisive and there was some string-bending that would say I Love You like only an electric guitar can.

(Ed:  some say other instruments can say I Love You better)

What should I say.  Obviously they are wrong!

(Ed:  what about a saxophone?)

Well, maybe the saxophone as sax players always get the girls.  This is why other musicians hate them.

(Ed:  is that true?)

Of course not ... except for pan flute players but you can hear from their play how it goes with that vicious bunch.

On the Importance of Organizing Your Studio w/Pic

Emphasis on the importance of studio organization comes at you from everywhere as you know intuitively a clean studio will make clean music ... or so ...

Some people exist to be the bad example.  I am one of those people.

The above is the kit I use and, yes, it does work just as the arrows show.  The green ones are MIDI and the yellow ones are standard audio.

Programmers may think it looks a little bit like a flowchart.  But there's a difference.  Flowcharts don't electrocute you.  (Give it your best Bruce Lee on that)

Note:  the problem is they're stage-length cables and so way too long.  It costs too much to replace with shorter so I opt for hell of a mess instead.

"Blessed" - Claudette Adjodha - Best Thing I've Learned from Ferguson (video)

You can listen to the shouting if you like but you may find you will do a lot better listening to Claudette Adjodha and, yes, she does have a solution.

If you have a better solution, let's hear it.

Don't Let the 'Black Ages' Happen Again

Watching people on Facebook pretending not to be racists can be amusing if you're in a less than optimal mood.  One advised yesterday it would be bad if 'the Black Ages' return.

It would also be bad to rely on the education of white people for any shift in policy because, dayum, you remember how it was in the Black Ages, of course.

Looking to Facebook for information is like looking to Tiny Tim to learn opera.

Which is why I will either try to make music or watch movies instead and the latter is where I notice Miss Moneypenny isn't some white girl anymore who talks like Queen Elizabeth.

Naomie Harris aka Eve Moneypenny

Miss Moneypenny isn't just a Bond Girl, she's THE Bond Girl as she is the one woman who never succumbs to Bond's charms ... plus she put a cap in him.  How can you not love Miss Moneypenny.

I have no smart remark about the Black Ages or racial equality but I have no doubt getting the gig changed Ms Harris' life and I'm glad of it.  This is not some misguided liberal sentimentality as Ms Harris sparkles in the role.  She is an excellent choice for the new Miss Moneypenny ... plus she is the only person who ever managed to put a bullet into Bond and got away with it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Today's Absolutely Useless Question - Anthony Burgess Edition

Anthony Burgess wrote "A Clockwork Orange" and the slang use in the movie is only a fragment of how much Burgess developed for the book.  That slang gives us today's Absolutely Useless Question:

Why did Burgess use 'millicent' as slang for 'police' in "A Clockwork Orange?"


The word only exists as a proper name.

Millicent derives from two Germanic roots meaning 'strong' and 'work.'

That's it.  All I could find.  Maybe it's sufficient the cops in Burgess' vision represent strong work against the Ultra Violence.  This seems kind of thin so now I've passed it along and maybe it bugs you as well.

Maybe it adds something that 'horrorshow' obviously means 'good' in the eyes of Ultra Violent thugs who enjoy beating, raping and killing.  Since that doesn't need any deep analysis then maybe 'millicent' doesn't either and 'strong work' is sufficient to represent his view of what cops do.  The reason for the question is the book is strongly critical of every other aspect of handling random violence so why do cops get a pass.

Playing is Best at Four in the Morning

No-one knows why music works better after midnight but it doesn't matter much to me as I'm just glad I can do it again now.  There's something of a psychic hurricane that blows all day but it diminishes as the night gets deeper and that's when the music can come.  Since there are people awake all the time somewhere around the world, I have no good explanation for why it should diminish at night but so it goes.

Playing just now felt like a real guitar guy and even the piano was feeling good.  I disconnected the second synth from the guitar and that seems to have solved a mysterious distortion problem so it was a very good midnight vibe.

Doing the way I do it is very difficult and it's almost impossible until you get to the point of accepting that you're always going to hate everything you ever recorded.  It doesn't go this way with everyone but for some it does and, after all this time, I'm accustomed to it.  Getting accustomed to it can be painful.

The whole objective is to make up a song list like the big kids and then tour around playing those songs that people now love and then angels fly you into Music Heaven.

Maybe that's the whole objective ... or not.  If it is your objective then it's no problem as you're probably already writing the songs to do it and hopefully they work.  I hope it's a good flight.

If it's not your objective and you don't really grasp that yet then it's hard to find what you ought to be doing.  You try making stuff but wind up hating it and keep thinking, man, what the hell am I doing wrong.

You're not doing anything wrong.  This is what drives you to make new stuff as it's the only way for people like us to be satisfied.  It's the same thing that drove you to play in the first place in that you hated it that you couldn't.  Maybe it sucks that it will always be this way but the other side is that it means you will always be playing something new.

It will take a bit to get used to playing again at night but it's definitely going to be good.

The Agony of the Tumblr Suicide Queens

Save the Polars Bears.  Please God, save the Polar Bears.  And so another day begins on Tumblr.

The quantity  of social warrior material varies in different social networks much like the cellulite in their inhabitants.  There's little of it on YouTube as you can upload anything so long as it doesn't have nipples.  Tumblr and Facebook have lots of it.

My education today was regarding 'triggering' as this is something that happens due to your behavior that results in a suicide.  The concept / mechanism is a large part of the Tumblr economy and today the Intelligent Aristocrats have their bit on it.

Warning:  if you like suicidal snowflakes, you will not like this video.

My favorite was the one who said an evil person from 4Chan triggered a friend to commit suicide, all in capital letters of course.  Now she's dead and it's all your fault.  Yah, right.  And to create anyone more evil than the person who said that you would need Tolkien to write it.

The runner-up was Dumbo Daddy swearing at how the computer better stop hassling his kid or ... I guess he would unplug it.  What he would do wasn't clear.

Here Come Millions of Lectures on White Privilege

Darren Wilson was not indicted in Ferguson and that's no surprise as cops never get busted anywhere else so why would he.  Not surprisingly, Ferguson is burning.

My estimation of Darren Wilson is that he would probably have a job loading trucks or waiting tables if he didn't have a gun.

My estimation is the same of John Ashcroft as he was the last defense against 9/11 and he ignored the reports from the FBI agents regarding terrorists in flight training.

My estimation is the same of George Bush who had almost eight years and the entire resources of the US military to catch bin Laden ... and didn't do it.  Toward the end of his administration he was blowing it off that 'bin Laden is no longer important.'

I'm skipping right past white privilege as my own version of it is an income of about $10K per year, poor medical support, and the privilege to live on a friend's couch.  So far, I don't like white privilege very much.

A discussion of white privilege may be entertaining for the Suicide Queens on Tumblr but it has little to no relevance to the current situation which is almost entirely due to shitty leadership.  America has got some incredibly shitty cops running around after some amazingly shitty leadership.  The only surprise is that anyone is surprised.

When you come out of the military you have two choices:  learn some skill the public wants or become a cop.

When you send kids to Iraq and tell them to kill people there even though you know there is no good reason for it, you're going to train a whole lot of them in indiscriminate killing but you won't train any of them in ethics.  Fortunately, many of those kids are smart and will find the ethics training themselves.  The rest become cops and the result is inevitable.

Enjoy the fire.  It doesn't mean much as Washington has been burning for years.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Office of Homeland Security and Protection of Marijuana-Eating Rabbits

If you got it then smoke it ... as otherwise there's a good chance the rabbits will eat it.

As to other aspects of Homeland Security, it wouldn't do to go into it too much but there is a phone here now and I'll get the number to key agents of the Rarefied Rabbit Revolution.  I don't know the number but I know it's on a note somewhere.

It is NOT an emergency if I don't answer the phone.  If a snail slides by outside then it will make too much noise and I will not hear the phone ring but I probably will if I'm hanging about doing something useless (i.e. screwing around with social networks, etc).

Coming down here isn't a good idea.  I'm not crying wolf and it'll shock you.  You'll want to fix it and won't be able to do it.  That will fuck you up.  Not a good plan.

This may be hard to understand but, fucked-up as this is, it is still more the dream than anything could be at this time in my life unless it's the total Tinkerbell magic package and I could do it in Germany.

Comfort Girl Needed in Second Life 'Rock Club'

Are you a highly skilled club manager who can motivate others, hold them accountable and ensure VIPS are entertained and feel valued?

Do you LOVE music and want to work at a top rock club in SL?

If you answered yes to these, then you should consider The ****** ***** ****, where we play all rock all the time.

This is a salaried position.

Exclusivity is required.

Yah, you be sure you entertain those VIPs, honey.

"Cram It Clown" - A Great Story Lost to (sob) Truth

This story has been told I don't know how many times since I was a kid so here's a re-telling from Larry Harmon who says he was the original Bozo and he was there:

It took place during a game, Bozo's Treasure Chest, which boasted a huge cache of toys as a prize. 

"One day this young, underprivileged kid was competing and his eyes were as big as saucers looking at those toys.  The boy had to toss three Ping-Pong balls into a barrel.  He landed the first two but missed the third.  The show's ringmaster said to the boy, "You're never a loser on the Bozo show, you're just an almost-winner," and handed him a Bozo towel as a consolation prize. 

"The kid looks at the towel, he looks at the ringmaster, then looks at Bozo and says, 'Cram it, clown!'" 

Bozo's response? "That's a Bozo no-no."  (Snopes:  Cram It Clown!)

Here's the sad punchline:  it's bollocks.  Never happened.

Snopes did a good job of investigating it and I imagine they hoped to find it was true also ... but it ain't.  The evidence is too thin and the witnesses aren't credible.

Here's a real clown, tho.  Don't expect honking horn jokes and just let it build.

(There's no-one safer for children than Mikhail Usov)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The F1 Race in Abu Dhabi was Unusual but it Still Counts

The picture postcard ending for the season would have been 1-2 Mercedes with Hamilton winning it and Rosberg right behind him.  It was a picture postcard anyway as Abu Dhabi has an extraordinary track with all the elegance and opulence of Monaco but in an exotic different style.

But you know the race didn't end with a postcard finish.  Even so, Rosberg did a great drive with a broken car.  Every time he turned around something else broke but he kept the car fairly competitive until very late in the race.  I thought he showed a lot of heart as the team gave him the opportunity to retire but he insisted he wanted to finish the run.

It seemed Mercedes was dancing with the idea Hamilton's car was breaking as well.  They didn't mind the TV announcers getting that idea but it was hogwash as Massa came to discover when he tried to run him down.  Hamilton kept the margin between first and second exactly where it needed to be all day long.  It was a pro drive but it can't have been too exciting for him.

The real excitement was watching the dicing within the field.  The great joy to watch is Alonso as he makes what I see as the bravest moves in Formula 1.  It's not that he takes stupid chances but rather he knows precisely his skill and he's got a lot of it.

So after this race Alonso leaves Ferrari but Vettel joins next season as he thinks they have the ride for him.  Alonso goes to McLaren and it will be very interesting to see how it works out for both of them.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, World Driving Champion 2014.

Thanks to TunnelBear for letting me set my location to UK for watching the BBC as I can't pick up Formula 1 any other way.  If your needs for this sort of thing are infrequent, you can probably use TunnelBear for free and it's, I think, about $40 US annually otherwise.

Canon HF-G10 Refurb vs Canon HF-G20

The HF-G10 camera is excellent and I have used one many times but it does not seem to be in-production any longer.  A refurb model can be bought from Canon for $799.

You can get a new HF-G20 for $899 from Adorama.  (I've done business with Adorama and you're safe dealing with them.)

Shrug ... I don't see the value in the refurb when you compare them.

Or there's an HF-G10 on eBay currently showing $402.  Unknown what happens between now and closing.

Update: I don't follow eBay but I thought I'd check the close price on the above.  Final was $513 which is a pretty good price.  It's not an excellent price as that would include maybe a mike and / or light for say $450.  I'd consider that an excellent price and would not go much higher.

Other than dropping an HF-G10, it would be tough to break it.  Even so, I would be leery of getting any camera used.  Your call.

Who knows, maybe you're a shopper this season.  I do a lot of video and the HF-G10 is a good HD cam at a price that doesn't take you into the stratospheric costs of the ultimate cams.  I've used one a lot and will again the next time I shoot a video.

Still Dancing with GoFundMe

The question to anything in front of GoFundMe is what does anyone get if they support whatever is in review.  Maybe they only get the good feeling of doing something right but that is often all anyone wants.

That's fine for various social injustices or whatever but this is specifically about some old guy who wants to make you a video.

There was brief thinking of making videos private but that sucks in multiple dimensions.  It's elitist, it's pissy, it shafts people who have no money, etc, etc.

So why should anyone support it if I will release the video publicly anyway.

There has to be something in the video of such value that people think supporting it is worthwhile.  That can't come from Sasquatch as he doesn't create visions but rather removes them (i.e. why make God so complicated he couldn't possibly exist).  Silas does create visions and the multi-dimensional aspect is valid philosophically and in terms of hard physics as well.  With a significant number of physicists, the only explanation for parallel wave / particle behavior is through parallel universes.

One parallel universe that cannot exist is any type of legal action with sleazebag insurance companies as that immediately impurifies anything it touches.  It's either GoFundMe or get a lawyer to Kill da Bitch.  Those two aren't parallel activities.

This is slow going as I have been moving things about.  There are many reasons this is slow so ... it's slow.  The result will be camera framing that will work for any of the instruments.  Previously the keyboard was end-on to the camera so you could hardly see it.  That required swinging a mike around, looper change, cables, etc.  The guitar also swings around for playing position and a huge part of that every time is I am still not satisfied I have adequately captured the diamonds on her face.  She sparkles much more than the camera has caught yet.  It's a subtle thing and that's how we designed it but it's very tough to film.

Thought continues.  The GoFundMe solution is preferable as anything to do with lawyers and insurance companies would be incredibly unpleasant.  Lawyers and insurance companies, bad people; GoFundMe, good people.  How do I decide.

The specific request is for cameras as there is no way in the world I can buy them.  The Canon HF-G20 looks like it would do well and if I spec this out properly then must be two of them.  The Mystery Lady's suggestion of a GoPro camera on my head is also very cool for the perspective it gives as what will take you more into this world.  It sounds massively geeky but I do see what it would yield and it really is the only way I can show it.  I can tell you it's fantastically beautiful or why would I do it but those are only words.

There needs to be some but not much additional lighting so the total would probably go about three grand counting cameras, SD cards, GoPro, and more lighting.

The secondary aspect should be considered as well.  There's no backup for the 3TB drive with the video and audio files and the computer has had probably the hardest run of any laptop reading this blog any time soon.  It's seen multiple countries, a scooter crash, and who knows what else.  (The 3TB drive is the same one I dropped in the Schiphol airport in my elderly incident and I still can't believe it survived.  Taking a dive is one thing but doing it in public ... arrggh.)

So that pushes it up around five grand.  That's still peanuts to those who do have money but every penny is a massive consideration down here.  Does this line item really have to be there or is that just some bullshit thing for flash.  If you're going to be asking for something, you damn sure ought to have a good reason for it and well beyond, gee, it would be nice.

In very brief justification of multiple cameras, the view of the lasers is radically different depending on whether you look at them or with them.  Switching from one to the other is more than a sideshow trick but one to be engaged as part of the vibe.  The more cameras engaged, the more the connection with the music beyond being only a visual record of it.

Proof of concept, that's the ticket.

So ... I should shoot one today and record video with the laptop and the iPad even though I know the quality will suck.  I can mix those video streams with the one from the camera and cut back and forth between them to demonstrate to myself the value of multiple camera perspectives in this context.  Simply for the purpose of complex selfies is irrelevant as I ain't that hot but the action of playing a complex instrument may be interesting to people.

After a long time you forget where you started and it stops being unusual that the guitar can play three instruments at the same time.

Yah, so that's the action item:  shoot one in daylight with multiple 'cameras' recording.  Mix down in Final Cut and review.  That'll give a next step.

Oh, So You Call Me a Cynic

My vision is of what America could be if health care were nothing more than an annual line item in the national budget.  Actuarial tables give a fairly good indication of what health care costs will be in the upcoming budget year.  There's no need for insurance to manage that as these things will happen anyway, the only consideration is whether there will be care to handle it.  The only contribution of the insurance company is to make massive profits on something that was inevitable.

Americans should not have to carry a credit card to see a doctor.

Americans should not have to sell their cars to get their teeth fixed.  The healthcare system is bad but the dental aspect of it is even worse.

American kids should come out of college ready to slug it out with the future and make big things happen.  Instead they come out of school so strapped with debt that they're hamstrung for years.

Americans should not have to live in fear particularly when there is no reason to fear.  Keeping people afraid is a standard mechanism of governmental control and the other is to make people feel hopeless, both of which are used extensively in the US.  Some are strong enough to resist this type of thought control but many are not and Americans should never have to worry about the government trying to use them as pawns just because it can.

Americans should not have to worry about getting shot all the time when there hasn't been any serious conflict in the country for well over a hundred years and yet people are killed by guns by the thousands every year.

Americans should not have to worry about their retirement funds being frittered away on aircraft carriers that never do anything other than things they should not have been doing anyway (e.g. interfering in the Middle East, etc.)

I fervently believe in the freedoms America expresses.  All you've got to do is to talk the GOP into giving them back.

One Area the Health System Failed Abysmally was in Educating Republicans

Yesterday I was dumbfounded as I was reading claims America has the best healthcare in the world.  This hasn't been true for years and there are many studies to show it.  I provided a link from Forbes which is presumably close to Biblical authority with that crew but he dismissed it as having been written their 'token left-wing nutjob.'

So let's just go with the top five or ten in search:

Forbes:  U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries

Compiled from data from the World Health Organization and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

OECD:  List of OECD countries by health care outcome

Extensive survey of global health.  The only area in which the US came out on top was in managing breast cancer.  Well, at least there's that.

WHO:  World Health Organization ranking of health systems in 2000

To most, the WHO is regarded as knowing more of global health than any other outfit on the planet because it's their charge to do so.  To the GOP, it's a liberal conspiracy.

It's pointless to continue this as I can make the same point all day long ... and no-one in the GOP will accept a word of it because it's all a left-wing conspiracy.

I was stunned at the ability to deny reality.   I swear if you gave these people acid, they would explode like basement fission bombs when they finally had to face their real selves.

Michael Moore has never made a movie that would fail to make anyone with feelings cry so you are cautioned on watching "Sicko" but that and "Fahrenheit 9/11" are two of the most important pieces of investigative journalism ever done in this country.  Republicans dismiss Moore's work as left-wing hogwash but the problem with that is Moore gives no speeches.  He really doesn't say much of anything as it's what he shows you that tells the story and that's what will break your heart.

I absolutely believe there are very few in this country who love it as much as Michael Moore or who have worked harder to find what's wrong.  It's not his purpose to embarrass anyone but rather to get these things fixed and that's where everything has stopped for decades:  the GOP says no.

One of the most blistering examples is where the failure took place in the FBI reporting of the proto-terrorists taking flight training in the US.  My understanding and that of many had been the reports disappeared somewhere in the FBI bureaucracy.  In a way that's true as the failure was at the top of it ... when it reported to Attorney General John Ashcroft and he did nothing about it.  (Documented in Senate testimony and further in "Fahrenheit 9/11.")

My purpose isn't to embarrass John Ashcroft as that fool embarrasses himself every time he sings but rather to amplify the point from Michael Moore that these systems work just fine so long as Washington supports them.

If the GOP had the courage of Michael Moore to find problems and try to get them fixed, one obvious consequence is there would be no TSA as the FBI worked properly already; it was Washington that didn't.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Do You Suppose There's Time for a War with Liberty Mutual - Updated

Surgery to replace my left shoulder due to extensive necrosis after a break due to a motorcycle crash twenty years ago.  Liberty Mutual canceled my insurance two weeks after the surgery and prevented a year of therapy.

Two attorneys were consulted after it happened but both said there would be unbeatable fine print in Liberty Mutual's policy so why don't you just apply for Social Security disability.  Each time I told them to piss off as Social Security had nothing to do with it.

So that's where it has sat since July, 2009.  I've never been on disability insurance and I'm not on it now.

What if I get one of the shadiest six-gun lawyers of Texas and tell him to have a ball.   Kill as many of them as you like but just get this settled.

My general estimation is that it's pointless ... but maybe it's not.


I'm advised there's a three-year statute of limitations in Rhode Island.  A sleazy enough lawyer can almost certainly give them misery anyway, tho.  It's not my purpose to put anyone in jail as they're already in one and are too dim to know it.

I don't think the answer of a statute of limitations ends it decisively.

Moreover, I wasn't in Rhode Island for the care that got cut.  The only way to find a competent surgeon was to go to Cincinnati where they operated immediately on something Sullivan in Rhode Island was never interested enough to follow.  (He had been advised of it)  Sullivan is the same one who judged I was not disabled.  In my judgment he's not much of a doctor (shrug).

"Negro Alert"

So I get to my truck
and it's ringing its bells
screaming alarms
and sounding like hell.

I asked this one guy
about what set it off
He said, "Negro Alert,"
and then gave a small cough.

I looked at this cat
like sayin', "Come, on dude,
I didn't ask 'cause you're black,
I wasn't trying to be rude."

Just look around
You can see I'm sincere.
I didn't ask 'cause you're black.
There's no-one else here.

He saw in my smile
I didn't think it was him
That's when it changed
and he flashed a big grin.

We'll both tell this story
perhaps go different ways
but there's truth in a smile
and what it can say.

It sounds pretty corny
that smiles heal big hurts
and one day they'll stop
these Negro Alerts.

(True story.  I modified it slightly as I didn't say anything.  The truck was making such an awful noise that I looked at him in embarrassment.  He said, "Negro Alert," and the rest is as it happened.)

Maybe Sarah Palin Could Get to Know Some Hispanics

All she sees in Alaska is Russia and there are probably not so many Hispanics coming to Alaska from Russia.

Practically everyone in this neighborhood is Hispanic.  Every so often ladies come to the door but they apologize when I answer as they hear me speaking English and know right away I would not fit in their church.  They aren't being racist but rather pragmatic as how can anyone receive Jesus if they don't speak Spanish.  Fair enough.

The biggest thing I see in Hispanics is surprise when I show good manners and, contrary to how I may appear, my manners are almost always good.  I like it when a fat girl smiles when you may be the only person who even recognized all day that she breathes.  It's not the same when I hold the door for a Hispanic lady and I get a look of 'thanks for not being an asshole.'  It's not their intention but I feel like an asshole because they shouldn't have to be concerned about someone being an asshole, especially over something so minor as common courtesy in opening a door.

'Representing' is very important to me as I don't believe anyone who saw me along the road in Europe would have called me pretty but they wouldn't have called me an 'ugly American' either.

So about every twenty years there's another amnesty program for illegal immigrants.  Each time there is all manner of hoo-ha about how it will destroy the fiber of the country.  Then they approve it and things quieten back down for the next twenty-year cycle.

Some talk of building a huge defensive wall along the 'southern perimeter' to prevent these dastardly incursions but I've reviewed previously there's not a wall in history that hasn't fallen down and, wtf, even if it doesn't the Germans will just go around it (i.e. Maginot Line).  Clever.

NAFTA, on the surface, was to address the problem as increasing manufacturing / assembly plants in Mexico should provide jobs, boost the standard of living, etc and none of it costs the state a dime.  As we've seen, it didn't change a thing but the corporations made a bundle of profit in hiring low-wage workers so they have shipped US jobs all over the place.

There isn't really any solution beyond addressing global income disparities as the kid who was diving into the sewage water to catch spare change is going to use any power he can ever command to find someplace he doesn't have to do that.  It doesn't matter how big the wall you build as he will climb over it or die trying.  You saw it with the Berlin Wall as people would only have the chance to sprint against a bullet and still they would try.

I'm Not Heading for the Gutter, At Least Not Today

Apology for leaving the impression I will be thrown out of the Rockhouse as that is not the plan.  I'm the Housesitter (harrumph) which is like the War President except I actually do useful things like feed Tobey the Dog and the cats whose names I never remember.

The 'twenty-somethings' are heading for Planet Twenty and that's cool for them as it really creeps them out cohabiting with the undead (i.e. me).  We hardly ever see each other but it's still creepy for them.

So there's no chance of misunderstanding:  my consideration of Total Isolation is INSIDE not OUTSIDE.

The reason for the consideration is it has a big application to sleeping regular hours in a healthy kind of way as I've gone on about the vampire hours before.  The only trouble is I really love vampire hours.  The best time for laser viddies is vampire hours.

Making the end of the month is an interesting dice but I'm not going to die.  I can drag out six bucks worth of hamburger for a week.

The reefer will probably run out and the cigarettes have no chance.  OK, that was the deal, Monsieur Artiste, now suck it the fuck up.  Enjoy the lights, mon ami.

Part of this is to anyone who wants to talk about art.  Some of you don't have to do this and I guess I'm happy for you but I'm not sure it helps you.  From where I live, if I make a move then I've thought about it for a long time.  Those lights have been under study for months (laughs).

The Reason My Family Hates Me

Winter was so horrible to me that I decided I must find some way to make it cool or I surely will die from endlessly going to movies.  So I took up skiing ... yah, in Ohio.  Imagine it.

My family laughed and hooted but eventually almost every single one of them took it up at Perfect North Slopes nearby Cincinnati.  The vertical drop probably wasn't even 150 meters but that's quite enough to learn.  My ol' Dad skied there practically until he died and it was more often than not with a swarm of family around him.

So that was one awful thing I did.

My ol' Dad had a stroke that blew out his voice.  Seeing a full professor whose projection could make Prince Charles sound like a Campfire Girl is grim but when he opened his mouth and tried but failed to speak made one of the most heart-destroying images of my life.

Note:  don't smoke

I wrote WEBSTER and he began on a Commodore 64 computer with a purpose of providing the speech drills that could augment actual speech therapy with a professional.  This actually worked and WEBSTER became part of the family for years with my ol' Dad always referring to him by name.

My part was, as always, thinking up weird things and the Queen Bee did the hard bit which was making up all the word lists and helping him get going with them.  I would have been horrible in that part so this worked well.

Now you have an awful thing I did plus an awful thing she did, doubly awful.

Note:  WEBSTER is not commercially-available.

I taught the little fuckers how to read.  My ol' Mother said I learned to read so I could translate the titles on TV cartoons for my brothers and sisters.  This was a big deal as cartoons were only on-air for a short time and prior to that there were only test patterns.  This was very early-sixties Australia.

That was pretty awful.  I see that now.

I also drove those little fuckers all over the place.  I was oldest so I got the first drivers license.  It wasn't like today when Dad turns over an expensive car to Junior and says, hey, young Millennial go forth and use this to find women way too hot for you to handle.  In my day, we ran errands.

I get it now.  That sucked too.

I cleaned up the bird shit from those fucking parrots.  Those birds are so beautiful but you won't even begin to believe how much of a shitstorm party they can make.  I was so pissed as I was cleaning it up with razor blades and sanding on a hardwood floor, thinking all the time, you're going to get psittacosis and die, boy.

Yep, that was another awful thing I did.

It was me who came up with the idea to flood the sunroom with a garden hose when the parents were gone.  That way we could use it as slide room and play water bumper cars with each other.

Yes, I got my ass soundly-kicked for that ... because it was so awful, you know.

I invented jumping off the garage roof with a pillow case.

See, they forget.  The stuff I did was really awful.

I invented shooting rockets down the street at cars and Doc was involved in this one.  We helped ourselves to a number of fairly hefty rockets from a store and, since it was daylight, we figured it would make a much better effect if we shot them along the ground.  I can't say for sure but I don't think it was our intention to hit cars, that was just an extra benefit.  It was as much of a surprise to them as it was to us when the star shell exploded next to the car.

Awful stuff, every bit of this horrid confession.

I joined the Boy Scouts and then Doc joined with me.  Very soon after we were thrown out of the Boy Scouts.

I went out to pick tomatoes with the migrant workers in California as no-one else would hire me.  Then Doc joined me to do it too ... and pretty soon we were fired.

Next I discovered sex.  I didn't tell Doc anything.

I'm so damn awful.

Plus I let them assist in painting my beloved Duckmobile

Yep, just one more awful thing I did.

I'm so awful.  I don't know how I live with myself.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" and How We Got this Way

Sometimes it's a discipline to watch again this movie as I hate just about everything in it but I'm ever thankful to Michael Moore for doing it.

The GOP reaction to Michael Moore is an instantaneous slam of the door as they believe his charges are rubbish.

However, Moore makes no charges.  His movies show the people involved doing all the talking and the catastrophic calumny of the Bush administration is something that should, by all rights, disgrace anyone who had anything to do with it ... but instead they want him back.

Moore shows all of the Bushies testifying to Congress that Hussein and Iraq pose no threat and are not developing elaborate weapons systems.  Two years later the exact same people claimed Iraq is the biggest threat around for everything including nuclear weapons development.  Moore doesn't put any words in their mouths, he just listens to them speak.

The most crushing disappointment is Colin Powell as he had the one reputation that was truly untarnished ... until Bush.  Now he's nothing.  Maybe he could get a job on Dancing with the Stars.

The deeper aluminum hat aspect involves the financial engagement between the Bush family and the Saudis.  Moore presents plenty of evidence but my concern isn't so much about the Bush family's personal corruption because it doesn't surprise me.  What troubles me deeply is how the Washington process was abused to further their ends, regardless of what motivated those ends, and how easy it was for them to do it.

We see the consequence today with Fox News endlessly bleating, "Remember the Maine."

Dancing Around with the Idea of GoFundMe

There has to be a case or it just wastes everyone's time.

So, why should anyone contribute to making the coolest possible video.

The pitch is that I can make video and that shouldn't be tough to accept as I have made some fairly good ones so it seems reasonable that more equipment would make better ones.

But so what.  Why should I pony my hard-earned dollars for that.

Without a personal interest in me and/or my music, I don't see a reason.

Plan B is the state but its investment in art is only for swastikas or modern art so bad that the state is the only outfit that will buy it (e.g. "Law and Society" in Cincinnati).  Send another hundred fifty-foot US flags to Texas and make it look like Christo ordered them.  State art.

I bet it wasn't even half an hour after I made the order for the lights that the Texas Tallboy said they signed the papers today and the renter wants immediate occupation.  Well.

Total Isolation attracts me like an anechoic chamber but it doesn't happen yet.  In a relatively short time I will be able to play at any time of the night without disturbing anyone.  No world will exist other than the one I choose to create and that may well go back to GoFundMe as I have no reason to reveal it except to a few I know will understand it.

Epiphany:  private videos.  Access becomes the premium to 'good guys' who support the campaign.

Epiphany No. 2:  Reverend Sasquatch may have to do a set a la "Blazing Saddles" as the saxophone sound on the synth is awful ... but ... it would work well for the cause of musical flatulence.  I can cut the voice in and out from a switch on the guitar body so this could make some major cowboy music.  (Yes, I know this is a time-wasting bad idea but it still could be funny to watch.  I'm damned if I'll pony up money for a cowboy hat, tho.)

Note:  I'm not the third gay country singer coming out for the week.  My bet for the trifecta is still Brad Keselowski.

(Ed:  he can't sing)

Right.  He can't drive either.

(Ed:  what about the medical?)

It gets no better.  Doc screwed his heart but he gets good care.  Tinkerbell may have turned south but she's tough and I don't think she will beat me either.  Lotho is working on a cardiac but doesn't say anything and Queen Bee is pretty tough to kill.  Unclear what she did different but quitting smoking was definitely one thing.  Another thing is staying out of New England.  Two Frasers up there and two Frasers down, one hard and one very hard.  That didn't happen to any of the others as the family rarely gets sick in those kinds of ways.  We break bones a lot but not stuff like New England.

So, yah, don't smoke and stay out of New England.  That's the ticket.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Voodoo and the Argentinian Penguins at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Articles I write are based on whether I consider them newsworthy rather than promotional.  I won't write one if a performance sucks so they appear promotional but it's not their purpose.

At first it was a bit thin when Voodoo Shilton came to play tonight at Cat's Art MusikCircus.  But then he started playing ... and people started coming ... and he played more ... and more people came ... and it was a grand show.  It wasn't because so many people came but rather how he wrapped the music all around it.

The only place he had any concern about wrapping it was with the penguins.

Cat was busy and had asked me to handle the stage design and it really wasn't my purpose to make it look like the Attack of the Killer Penguins.  There even was some question about whether penguins really do live in Argentina but, thankfully, it was confirmed that, yes, they really do ... but maybe not quite that large.

I think I may be fired from stage design ... but I digress.

Right from the top Voodoo dives into some fat rich synth and maybe that's the sound you hear when you think flamenco but that would make you one unusual character as it sure isn't what I hear.

But Voodoo makes that work and it's not like he forces the bits together as everything blends naturally and cleanly, most of all it flows.  Something I was appreciating more than ever tonight was how beautifully he differentiates every voice he uses.  Perhaps you think of course but it's a great deal more difficult than you might imagine and he's masterful at it.  Every instrument is distinct yet blended and he does this with profound skill.

What makes the show newsworthy is the vibrancy of it as the start was thin but then a Voodoo vibe started growing and it had to have been from people telling their friends, man, you've got to hear this guy.  Promoters can try as they like but they can't touch that kind of magic and it really is magical as you can feel it.  Everyone has the same sense of wonder at what Voodoo plays.  Nothing comes out of a can and he makes everything right in front of you.  Even if he has played it before, he has the very rare ability to bring to it the same freshness he brought when he played it the first time.

Eepz can tell you if li'l dancing monkeys like jazz.

But I'll ask the li'l kitten.

Why It's So Hard to Insult America

CNN asks why Putin is living in 1985 and the question is prompted by the turboprop bombers that have been flying for, oh, fifty years or so.  (CNN:  Why Vladimir Putin thinks it's still 1985)

He's been trying to get out of 1985 for some while but America still plays cowboys and Indians.  All it costs Putin is a few rubles worth of fuel to send the bombers closer and laugh and laugh as America goes berserk over it.  The reaction is absolutely predictable as all the paper generals start fluttering about.

Reminder:  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gets a salary of $250K annually plus bribes and he has spent less time in-theater than my nephew.  Just another paper Pentagon general.

America is back way farther than 1985 as Remember the Maine.  You probably don't but America said Spain sank the Maine in Cuba.  It wasn't true but it didn't stop the war.  (Wiki:  USS Maine)

Note:  the Maine represented one of the earliest US 'false flag' attacks and it remains a classic.  What may be interesting is that William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer performed the role of Fox News in screaming in their papers, "Remember the Maine - To Hell with Spain."

Putin isn't afraid.  He's laughing at you.  The reputation is so well-known now that it's an international joke.

This Was One Prime-Time Dumb Ass Move

The order for the American DJ Majestic has been placed.  That was kind of a dumb ass move as there's no way I can afford it.

But it gets better.

The kids signed the papers today on a place of their own.  They will be bailing this week-end and then this place turns into a ghost town.

I have an answer:  eat the dog.

Ex-Communication from the Family

There's nothing new in it as that happened almost fifteen years ago.  The unpleasantness recently was when Doc came around as he was the same one who led it.

Lecturing as a missionary for the GOP may be brotherly in some Universe but not this one.  'The Other Dick' was a load of crap as the only reason for doing that is in accepting it I accept that Lotho is also a dick.  Lotho has been more family than anyone else in the bunch and he had nothing to do with the ex-communication.  Neither did Tinkerbell, for that matter.

Besides, no-one gets to pick their own nickname and that's universal.

I restrung a guitar up-side down forty years ago so Doc could take a shot at it.  He never touched it and never said a word about guitars for forty years.  If Doc wants to talk about that then, fine, let's hear it.  What pisses me off is when people try to bullshit me.

There is some amusement in it as Doc is a very aggressive driver and loves race combat but for me racing was an annoyance as there's nothing faster than a clear track.  The amusement is that our lap times at speed were nearly identical.

Lotho was always the smartest, that's why he got the hell out of Cincinnati.  He's the smartest but he doesn't always get it right.  That mess with the art site is unfortunate as I put a lot of work into that.

The only lesson left in me now is how hard I'm willing to work even when I don't think my art is that good.  I am absolutely thinking of getting the other light even though I know it will screw me to the walls but it's needed for what I do and what I paint.

In fact, it's the most positive thing I can do and I'm going to do it now.

Update:  the deed is done and it will arrive next week.  I don't even want to think about how much I just screwed myself ... so I won't.  It will damn sure look cool, tho.