Thursday, December 31, 2015

Stay Classy This New Year

We will keep cranking out tasteless music in the New Year ... because ... someone has to do it.

Coffee, Tea or Me - Love, Nadine or Getting Social with Robots

"Coffee, Tea or Me" was an amusing novel about life for airline stewardesses in the sixties and Nadine is the one making the offer now.

Nadine has a somewhat different twist ... because she's a robot ... with social skills.  (ABC: Human-Like Robot 'Nadine' Who Has a 'Personality, Mood and Emotions' Unveiled in Singapore)

Nadine remembers you and things you have said previously and her makes facial gestures appropriate to the conversation.  She's a bit creepy because she was made in the likeness of one of the scientists who built her but she's also the most genial robot ever.

Nadine has a partner, EDGAR, with similar skills and both of them are straight out of the movie, "Ex Machina," and its portrayal of intelligent, highly-personal robots.

We don't know what kind of framework Nadine has under her shirt but her arms work and she presumably pivots to some extent at her waist.  That kind of human mobility is probably limited but it will come in time along with the flexible human-like skin.  The most interesting aspect is her manner and this one is really extraordinary.

Nadine, I feel like shit

She:  would you like me to update your social networks for you?

Nah, they will answer with a bunch of pictures of cats.

She:  ha ha, that was funny.

Funny?  Tell me about funny, Nadine.

"Ex Machina" was portrayed as somewhat distant in the future but Nadine is right now and she's not far short of going up for the Turing Test to discover if you can differentiate her from a robot.

Nadine probably uses some facial recognition software to determine who you are so she's not really 'seeing' you but rather looking you up in a table.  How much she distinguishes other than faces isn't clear but that will come as well since the most important design goal for the researchers was a successful social interrelationship with humans.

Erica is another Japanese robot and she's quite a looker with social skills to match.  It seems Japanese scientists are pursuing most aggressively building androids with decidedly human characteristics.  (The Guardian:  Erica, the 'most beautiful and intelligent' android, leads Japan's robot revolution)

Evolution of artificial intelligence seems to be quickening and IBM's Watson is another in this class, albeit without the human-like attributes of appearance.

We still have not observed anything to indicate scientists are programming Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

We strongly believe such programming needs to be buried so solidly in any type of robot software as to make it impossible to remove either by nefarious humans or by robots doing it themselves.

What's Hot on the Blog 12/31

Dec 30, 2015, 1 comment
Dec 31, 2015, 2 comments
Dec 30, 2015, 2 comments

And Then - there's "The Sanctuary Song" and this was after that

Sanctuary - reviewing Take 2 of the song and considering what next with it

Competitive - modern journos conspire to set a standard so low their children will never be intimidated by it

Getting New Years - about some New Years and getting happy

Bill Cosby - so, what do you want to do with him

Regime Change - the topic which only Bernie Sanders has had the courage to discuss

Not Ready - Dixie Chicks hang in for four days now.  Cool to see you diggin' it with that one.

Only Five - major cuteness in one baby orangutan ... now imagine five of them

"Interstellar" - we can say one good thing about it.  "Interstellar" wasn't as bad as "World War Z" which just may be the worst movie ever made.

Regime Change by America Goes to 1953 with the Coup in Iran

The overthrow of the legally-elected Salvador Allende of Chile in 1961 with active support from the CIA under Henry Kissinger's direction has been mentioned several times by Bernie Sanders in the context of a policy of regime change by the United States.  (WIKI:  Salvador Allende)

He correctly identifies that illegal action but there's one more much earlier in Eisenhower's administration.

Note specifically we regard Eisenhower as the second-best President of the 20th Century, only topped by FDR.  However, the policy of regime change was active and it started in 1953 in Iran with the overthrow of another legally-elected government for the purpose of bolstering the royal family and Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran.  (WIKI:  1953 Iranian coup d'état)

Note:  there may be additional examples of the regime change policy but we have not looked back beyond 1953 because we want to stay in the modern focus.

We see now how the interference in favor of the Shah failed and ultimately Iranians repossessed the government, resulting in being vilified by the West for it and both sides have had their daggers drawn ever since.

There are too many variables to say that action caused the present day conflicts in the Middle East but it sure as hell didn't mitigate any of them.

The consistent hallmark of these attempts at regime change has been failure with the most blazing example in Vietnam.  In that case the U.S. was trying to prevent a regime change but the attempt fails either way, that one spectacularly.

The conservative pitch is Vietnam should have been bombed harder, the U.S. wasn't committed to winning.  Yah, this is around the time some genius said, hey, I've got an idea.  Let's kill the jungle with Agent Orange and then maybe we can find those black pajama Viet Cong guys.  And the Air Force started doing that.

We want to hear Bernie Sanders hammering it even harder that the policy of regime change has been a catastrophic failure and massively expensive failure every single time.  The solution of huge military intervention has never worked since WWII as splitting Korea and constant occupation ever since was hardly a victory.

Support Bernie Sanders because all the others are just more of the same and Sanders is the only one who stands for honesty, free of corporate corruption.

"Interstellar" - Voted Most-Frequently-Stolen Movie of 2015

Selected by the vote of unrepentant P2P file sharers, "Interstellar" is the movie to steal for 2015 since they (i.e. we) have stolen it more times than any other.

Note:  I don't keep or redistribute them.  I watch them for a while and then chuck 'em.

After seeing the movie for a second time, we're still mystified why anyone downloads this far-flung, mixed-up piece of pseudo-sci fi crap.

The movie resolves when our Starman falls into a wormhole ... or something ... and winds up talking to his daughter when she was twenty-three years younger ... and he does it through a bookcase which is the window between that time and space to hers.  It works because ... love ... or something.

Isaac Asimov will rise out of his grave to strangle whomever wrote this cartoonish 3D lightshow with its Escherian graphics of five dimensions in a 3D space.  Yah ... and all to talk through a bookcase.

Maybe Lewis Carroll wrote it.  But he would have included a Cheshire Cat ... and that would have made sense relative to the rest of it.

As to why watch it a second time, I didn't realize at first I had already seen it ... the film is that forgettable.  After a while I was watching it and thinking maybe I had missed something the first time.

Nope, I didn't.  "Interstellar" is the most overrated pile of cinematic excesses since "Gravity" and that one jacked the standard from "2001:  A Space Odyssey."

Getting New Years Reflective is Only an Excuse to Talk About Yerself

It's not likely you give any more of a shit about what I did this year than I give a shit about what you did this year.  We're interested in each other's lives but we don't want to be looking at fookin' snapshots of the kids all the time.  We can be highly interested in what we will do today, tho.

Hardened reprobate as I may be, I do get a kick out of a pic once in a while of one kid and the charm of seeing, dayum, she sure has grown.

As to the Rockhouse, there will be a New Years shot at recording "The Sanctuary Song" and that's as much as I could possibly want if there's a general requirement to wear clothes while I am doing it.

(Ed:  so, how about you have to choose between recording the song and being idolized by seventy-two gorgeous, voluptuous and nubile slave girls?)

Fuck you, Ed.

(Ed:  well, no.  That's not precisely what I was suggesting.)

So, we're hoping you have a peach of a New Years celebration with or without seventy-two nubile slave girls.  We hear the only way to get them is to be like Donald Trump but that would be like sex with a beached whale.

Wishing you a Happy New Year is kind of like saying 'take care' when we end a conversation because what do I seriously expect anyone to do differently just because I said that.  It's really kind of insulting, almost.  I started doing it because Lotho would say that and I thought, hmm, that sounds kind of sweet but not too sweet, just right.

So, I have no idea if it does anything but have a Happy New Year and, um, take care out there!

Yevette did make it back and I had been starting to get a bit antsy in thinking, hmm, we haven't seen her ... is it time to call her up.

So that's all good and she's fine.  She has an adventure but that's her story to tell.

The tactical aspects of filming tonight are in finding better camera angles and ensuring manual focus on both of the static cameras.  The music for Take 2 was so soooo close to what I want but the video definitely was not.  There are some musical reasons I would not release it but not many and it really bites at me ... that one could have been it.

That definitely means take the next one as the production shoot.  I have with all of them but haven't been quite clear on how close I am to getting it.

The obsession continues in the background as I have listened to "The Sanctuary Song" again just now all the way through and to the vocal part three times.  I'm satisfied there's no good reason to change the lyrics ... but ... maybe revisit the last verse before the exit to emphasize the vibe and bring that hook back one more time.

There's no way to get out of the last phrase except with a big bang chord, grand crescendo with lots of twang and artsy fartsy feedback.  That's a question because that feedback may sound like calling up the demons because I twang it to play it and bring it up and down.

(Ed:  is it necessary to justify Every Damn Thing?)

Well, um, yes.

Maybe it's logical the song has stopped so now there are demons flying about again all ready and willing to suck your soul into the vacuum.  Kinda thin, I'm thinkin', tho.

(Ed:  is this the angst of the artist?)

Hell no!  This is the finest kind of life.  I am so much diggin' it to be able to screw with this song so much.  "It's For You" with the Mystery Lady is another one which went like this and was worked over many times.  And, um, yep ... that one is on "Pigment of My Fascination" ... buy it!

Fark ... just had the miserable thought.  Uploading "The Sanctuary Song" to the "Ride the Dragon" podcast isn't such a good plan when it will definitely be on the pending CD.

The regulars know I always give the stuff away but I am also always broke.  We observe there just may be a connection between these facts.

I hate the marketing crap.  I mean I really fucking hate it.  Come love me up and give me money.  Kee-rist, that stinks like fish too long on the beach in the hot noonday sun.

So ... screw that.  No need to make a decision on that right now  Just need to play dat song real good.

Note:  there's no question about uploading it to YouTube.  Someone can rip off the audio that way but you've got to be a mean-spirited prick to do stuff like that.  Well, maybe not so much a prick to do it but definitely to redistribute it.

Yah, my new year will be happy as my definition is the absence of suckness.  Getting old and constantly scrounging for money have huge suckness but the other side of that is total freedom to make music so long as I can get my wimpy ass up to do it.  There is no constraint and Yevette has even said she doesn't mind if I play while she is asleep.  She says it really doesn't bother her and she has insisted ... but I still don't do it.

So, yah, total freedom.  Do you really think some New York City highroller can do this in his luxy hotel pad.  Without soundproofing to muffle a nuclear explosion, the other rich kids are going to be stomping your face for so spilling my chill, man.  You were playing so loud my mirror was vibrating and it was hard to look at myself.

Fuck that!

We really do hope you have a peach of a New Year and Yevette's asleep but she sends that vibe as well.  She's an extremely generous woman and the beauty part is she doesn't even perceive herself that way.  She really does want you to have a Happy New Year and so do I.

Cat is not here but she sends the same vibe.  All she asks is to put down the guns and go home.  It's all any of us anywhere asks for this New Year.

Competitive Worthlessness in Journalism

It's not so much the news is so bad but rather reporting on it is so awful there's no way we can know if the news is really bad as they say or even if it's worse than we imagine because the reporters are typically annelids which won't come out of the dirt unless it rains or it's payday.

One asks how Bill Cosby went from being America's dad to being a sex criminal.  Here at the Rockhouse, we will take a wild guess of willful behavior with his penis ... but ... we do admit we are not Constitutional scholars.

Another journo was incensed because Donald Trump has run out of his typically stupid things to say and, I guess, stories of Bill Cosby have set off some penis fascination for him.  He's apparently made some comments about Bill Clinton being a sex criminal.  Yah, he is (shrug).

(Ed:  Bill Cosby was doping women for sex!)

We're not Constitutional scholars but we don't see one whit of difference between doping a woman with a Quaalude or doping her with the power of the Presidency.

There was some stoner news but it was kind of smug in saying no-one died of a marijuana overdose in 2015.  The smugness is failing to mention no-one has ever died of a marijuana overdose.

However, the article, poorly-written as it was, did make a fair point about the number of deaths from legal prescription drugs in 2015 being over twenty-five thousand.  That specifically does NOT include illegal narcotics.  (Huffington Post:  Here's How Many People Fatally Overdosed On Marijuana Last Year)

The information about the deaths from prescription drugs is not even hinted in the headline and thus it's only clickbait.  There are more deaths from these drugs than from suicide by gun and that's another national epidemic.

That kind of things make it almost a relief to go The Guardian, not so much for the news but the banality of the most pedantic paper peddlers in print.  Today's highlight in mundanity wasn't Jessica Valenti, amazingly enough, but rather Sunil Badami who advises us 'it's time for pubic hair to be cool again.'

No shit.

Kids starve in the desert, Middle East gets bombed for who knows what reasons, and Sunil sits around thinking, well, I'm not sure if I should bare the bone or righteously conceal it in the underbrush.

My ol' Dad said the hippie generation was lost to drugs but the Millennials were lost to mirrors.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And Then It Got "Slap Happy"

Playing the main phrase of "The Sanctuary Song" is one complete gas for me and fluidity comes to the lead that went until my arms were just about out of fuel.  Playing for that long in the song is too much and how long to keep going with the lead is the biggest variable now.

Then "Slap Happy" started and it wasn't recorded but it's only a rhythm pattern with E minor and D but it's fast and there was some rippin' quick guitar work in there.  That could come back any time.

Practicing for forty-five years is starting to pay off, I think (larfs).

That really is what I think as I know I'm not rationalizing in saying I've lost no skills.  The play still improves and it's not that I dazzle myself but rather it's like gratitude in finally being able to make the sounds I always wanted to make and to do them the way I would do them if I could play the best I'm capable.

(Ed:  what if skills start to drop?)

I damn sure better have recorded something by then I would like to hear again.  I really don't think that's going to be a concern, tho.  There's no arthritis in my hands so the most likely variable is strength ... which comes from more playing.  The "Slap Happy" bit is good for that because it's fast and you will definitely work.  There's nothing left in my arms now but that's just fine.

As to practice, practice, practice, the vocal has been calling out to run through it without the guitar.  Maybe that happens yet tonight.

Who knows, maybe something pithy pops up in the news tomorrow that's worth some pithy commentary but it's been highly sparse.

"The Sanctuary Song" - Validating the Video

'Take 2' from two nights ago has been previewed multiple times because I've been curious just to hear it.  There's hearing it in imagining it and then there's hearing it with impact.

It's not too bad.  Even with some inadequacies in the video, I'm tempted to release it.  This isn't a tease because I won't do that but ... it's not too bad.  It must seem so narcissistic but my purpose in watching it is to judge is this the sound or what.

Then it came the lead line after the vocal should mirror the hook ... just leave it behind, you won't need it here.  No way for notation here so the general pattern is 1/4, 1/8-1/8, 1/4, 1/4 ... da de-dah de dah for two bars.  Simple but highly hookish and it damn sure hooked me.

It goes verse, chorus three times and vocal ends with the last chorus so the lead line should start be repeating the hook the vocal had been casting in the chorus as in the above paragraph.

(Ed:  instead of writing about it, why not just fookin' do it?)

This one is much more composer-ish than usual and the study part is to turn it upside-down to see what it looks like now.  Some stuff comes as I play but the structural aspect is the composer-ish part.

Rather than recording, the best move is to screw around with the lead line and the chorus.  This is the part where I imagine living with a musician would be such a blazing nightmare.  Yevette isn't here so it wouldn't bother her and this is the do it over and over part.  Lemme see ... how did that go ... nope ... do it over.

Update:  as I write it bubbles up.  The hook is such a simple motif and it doesn't even bug me it's simple, it needs to be that.  For the lead it can slide on two strings and that's just a two-string bar rather than a physical slide.  That sounds tasty-ish in the pattern up the top 1/4, 1/8-1/8, etc.  Yep, that works.  Just about ready to try this.

There's also the temptation to recall Gabriel's horn with the guitar.  It's not the same key but recalling that riff in this key will do it.  That has a mournful sound to it and that needs a bit of thinking.

From the Bible, Gabriel's horn was the call for Judgment Day

so ... then it fits that the call came from downtown Fort Worth with Gabriel on the building.  The Judgment is downtown and that's where people were evaporating.  It doesn't need to be recalled in the chorus because that call was already made and not for this destination.

(Ed:  oh, right.  The Sanctuary is a way to bypass the Day of Judgment.  You will burn, Satan Boy!)

What if the Sanctuary is the Judgment ... it means you passed.

(Ed:  even better, now I'm fookin' dead)

If you want to look at it as death then that's your twisted prerogative but if the portrayal of the Sanctuary is death then (cough) I'm not minding death at all.

(Ed:  is the Rainbow Bridge death or fookin' what?)

No, without any question, it is not death.  I go back and forth on a nightly basis and I'm quite sure I'm not dead.

(Ed:  damn, I forgot.  You play rock so I need to spell it out.  Is it a metaphor for death?)

Same answer.  It's not death.

There's a place of light we can approach in our minds and you do it in the things which mean the most to you in the feeling when you get it right ... this is just so, so dayum good.  That connection is the Rainbow Bridge and it's the only way to get there.  It's not so much I have to show you the way because you have already been there.

Maybe you made a baby and tell me you didn't feel all Biblical when you first saw that little rotter.  It's the same thing.  Dutch call it gezellig and it's the place where everyone feels it and you don't have to say anything.

Here at the Rockhouse, we're happy to call it magic.

(Ed:  right.  So now you're a wizard?)

Well, I do have the hat.

Bill Cosby Faces Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean always gives you a fair trial before he hangs you.  He's the justice west of the Pecos and he can do it.

Bill Cosby, technically-speaking, is a bounder.  He's as guilty as Clinton's cigar and for largely the same reason.

Seems there are some choices:

Throw him in the slammer

Jessica Valenti wants to cut off his balls and feed them to crows but we would rather compare this crime and punishment relative to others who have done the similar thing.  We really don't think there's usually time in stir for sex crimes in which there may have been some level of consent.

It should cost him some big bucks as he's said to be one of the richest men in Hollywood.  How about this for the custom fine:  pay 'x' number of dollars to the specific woman in the case and 'y' big, big bucks to National Organization for Women.  Suck that, Stud Master.

Note:  the case on Jessica Valenti is she's featured prominently on the The Guardian's Web site and she's like the digital watch of neo-feminism and predictable to a damn fault.  Her unremarkable articles pop up most days as a clarion to scream feminism is completely fucked until the next generation.

Get the Lindsay Lohan judge and fuck with him for years on end

Hollywood and CNN really, really get off on this approach and they sure loved screwing with Lohan. When you get an inconsequential Hollywood judge running a Greek morality play, you only need the stage lights and cameras to make a second-rate movie out of it.

Banish him

No more stage lights for you, Quaalude Casanova King.  If you ever even go outside your house again, put a bag over your head.

Frankly, we lean to banishing him.  Nothing punishes him more soundly than taking away his audience.

Yah, in other words, there's nothing in the news.  Trump said something stupid but I couldn't even be bothered to look anymore.  Clinton continues being fatuous (shrug).

Only Five Orangutans in a Barrow

We know you haven't seen anything this cute so far today.

We have no idea where these orangutans are going but they don't look scared or mistreated so we think / hope there is no foul play here.

We need a cameo from Steven Wright when he asks, "Since they call an orangutan 'The Old Man of the Forest,' what do they call the young ones?"

No time to dredge for it now but there are videos with Julia Roberts on YouTube in which she went out to meet orangutans and this wasn't just some photo op.  At one point she was laughing when a baby orang peed on her.  If you're interested in these lovely animals, I'm sure you would be charmed by her visit with them.

They're vegetarians, absolutely harmless animals.  I don't want to get to mournful because we haven't lost them yet but it would be hella tragic if we ever did.

Geez, when you think how much fun hanging out with dogs, these guys must be a riot.

What's Hot on the Blog 12/30


Editor - an assist for The Raven who is working up his style writing

That Swing - a scribe on the accomplishment of ... nothing whatsoever last night

Digitizing - how to keep your old home movies and videotapes

ABC's - any story with Palin family and drugs probably won't turn out well but at least a hot babe

So - more parakeets / budgerigars then you ever saw in your life

There - supporting the blog plus some stoner rambling about why

Burn - with Joel Osteen in it, a happy ending is not likely (larfs)

Not Ready - Dixie Chicks hang in for the third day.  Outstanding!

Politics - the political dong schlonging has got the election right down in the dirt.  It seems most candidates feel the most comfortable there anyway.