Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Silas Christmas - Extra Crispy" - Full DVD - Silas Scarborough 2010

The "Rehearsals" DVD for all songs used tracks I had recorded previously to back me.  "Extra Crispy" was recorded about a year and a half after "Rehearsals" and each of the songs is based on a looper rather than pre-recorded tracks.  The entire DVD has now been uploaded to YouTube.

Song list

The Space Between Things - maximum trips with every effect possible while live and also in Final Cut post-processing

Them Bluez - I don't do blues much largely because I don't like doing blues much but once in a while

Martian Jams - it may seem unusual to release it with mistakes in it but, for me, music isn't so much a composition as an event and that's what happened in that one.

CAUTION:  Lasers, flashing lights, and all manner of visual trickery.  For some it could be disturbing.

There has been no luck locating the Cincinnati concert DVDs so that campaign is most likely stopped unless someone out there has copies.

However, there was different luck as I found yet another DVD featuring Matthew Perrault and his band playing out in Fort Worth.  I had forgotten about it and I'll take a look to see if it would represent him well.  I may very well upload a third DVD in the next few days.

It's all a very loud form of displacement activity coming to you from Kerberos where there isn't so much as a Titanian Fishlizard for millions of miles.

Stonehenge with wallpaper-size images

Large, high-resolution images (about 3000 by 2000 pixels) - Suitable for wallpaper on anything short of Retina 5K.

Stonehenge with Crows ... for a bit of mysticism behind whatever you're doing.

Stonehenge full view

When your life is already a movie, watching a movie about some guy who is living a movie may not be the best pick but "The Truman Show" is still extraordinary.  Jim Carrey is an unusual guy as he makes movies which end up either rubbish or genius but they're always bold.

You can work out your own existential trail as who were these guys.  Most of us didn't go to or through England until at least four thousand years later.  Of course then we killed them ... or at least the Romans did.

For my clever segue, I'll go with the long-time favorite ... ever'thing is ever'thing, man.

How Infographics Lie About Reefer

Here's a graph to show you the relative dangers of various substances, most of which are legal and some with little or no restriction.  Each bar shows how much of the stuff you need to consume before it will kill you.

The lie can be exposed without any huge analysis as the numbers at the bottom are what do it.  The interval from 1-10 is about the same as 10-100 which is about the same as 100-1000.  In other words, it artificially compresses the extremes and the relative difference between each is distorted heavily by it.

For everything that scores ten or less, not much is needed to kill you.  Things don't improve much for a score of 10-25.  All of these things are deadly when abused.  The top two are Valium and reefer and both score 100+.  They are four to nine times less likely to harm you than anything else on there yet the chart makes it look like they aren't really all that much different.

My understanding of Valium is that it has a very low toxicity and you can gobble the stuff without dying.  I've never heard of reefer killing anyone so maybe a bale of it fell on some smuggler.

Kids need truth about drugs and they won't get it from parents when they are fed lies as well.  The above chart isn't just ridiculous, it's dangerous.

Silas Christmas Extra-Crispy Version 2010 DVD

The contents of this one were a surprise:

The Space Between Things - as trippy as possible w/post-process compositing
Them Bluez - bluez and trippy don't work together, mostly
Martian Jams - medium trippy (lasers but no post-process)

"The Space Between Things" is already on YouTube as a single but I'm pretty sure "Them Bluez" never has been and I'm definitely sure the "Martian Jams" bit has not.  All of these ones are based on a looper rather than my tracks and that has one immediate consequence:  they get much longer.  Even with only three songs, this DVD may well run out longer than the last.

This DVD is about a year and a half after the last one and a whole lot of bad things have happened in the interim.  More were about to come and by that time I probably expected that to happen.  It was an exceptionally strange time but the Galaxy Guitar gets all twinkly in the videos and that's what really matters.

There is no rip as yet but that's an inevitable short-term project.  Yevette said she may have the two discs from the Cincinnati concert and I will search for those later.  For me it's not such a flattering set as it was more about being an emcee than a guitarist but there was coolness in it in many different ways and for multiple people, particularly the Mystery Lady, Donika, and The Raven, all of whom completely owned it.

Maybe this looks like nostalgia and maybe it is but I look at it as preventing things from getting thrown away when they're worth keeping.  That means a whole lot of things as everything fits into everything else.

To the practical side of it, this is all toward elimination of any plastic from my life to whatever extent I can do it.  There will never be anything but digital releases from me from here out except for special requests from friends.  There's one active request and I haven't forgotten, that's just not the focus just now.

PowerMax - Unqualified Recommendation for Your Apple Computer Purchases

The selling price for a fully-equipped, late-2013 iMac was roughly $700 US less than that of a new one with the same specifications.  The latest upgrade to iMac was for Retina 5K display but there was no other change to the architecture and it remains the same as the late-2013 model.

The performance of the machine, particularly relative to a MacBook Pro, is stunning.  My experience with Apple systems is extensive including at one time a Mac Pro with eight processors.  I know what fast means and this iMac is one brisk little processor.

In part the performance improvement comes because the iMac has 16 GB of RAM whereas the laptop had only 4 GB.  Yosemite sucked the last scraps of performance out of the laptop but any overhead attributable to Yosemite is not noticeable on the iMac.  Applications, particularly for video work, run wickedly faster and the launch times for everything have improved radically.

Another part of the boost comes from a Solid-State Drive for the internal 'disk' in the machine although it's tough to tell how much difference this really makes.  It's definitely faster but my performance dollar would still go for more RAM before doing any other thing.  It's usually the most inexpensive boost you can give a system.

Gary Mead provided the sales support from PowerMax and he did an exemplary job of it.  When I gave him my card, the bank said this guy obviously needs a security interrogation and that's when he had to ask the questions they provided such as 'what is the age of your sister-in-law?'  He was kind of embarrassed by it as I had no idea and I asked him if anyone anywhere has such information.  It sounded like he agreed but he could not say so.  Finally, the only way to complete the purchase to the satisfaction of the bank was to execute a wire transfer.  Gary was very cool about all the hassles and he said PowerMax would pay for the cost of the wire.  In fact, they did but instead of cash he sent, as I requested, an important cable and this was even better as I needed the adapter to connect my disk drive.

My recommendation for PowerMax is unqualified as everything they advertised was true.  My recommendation for Gary Mead is specific as he did an exceptional job of support even after the sale was closed.

Take a look and I suspect you will be surprised at the prices.  As with cars, it's always the best value to get last year's model when the fast movers sell them off to upgrade to new ones.  There is very little wear on them and they have all the cool features you want.

PowerMax - We work hard to keep our customers gruntled

It's Christmas in Fort Worth ... Or It Looks That Way At Least

Fort Worth got maybe five cm of real, authentic, even credible in the North type snow.  By four in the morning, it had a layer of ice over the snow beneath.  There is only one thought that comes at this time:  if there is anything you need, get it now before the Texans start driving on it.  If you are on the road at the same time as they, there will only be one word for you:  victim.

(Ed:  what in tarnation is a cm?)

A centimeter is one hundredth of a meter which is a thousandth of a klick.  Five centimeters is about the size of your pinky or yer ... well, it's about the size of yer pinky finger.

(Ed:  I thought klick was some Vietnamese word?)

Nah.  It's just Army guys pretending it's not metric and it's something they invented.  A klick is the same as a kilometer and was in use in the military long before Vietnam.

(Ed:  ok, so what is tarnation, smart guy?)

It's the southern idea of an acronym and is short for 'the entire nation.'  You following me so far, Ranger Rick?

And the pics

Footsteps to Oblivion!

Paw Steps to Take Care of Business

Yes, of course I let him back in again.

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Rehearsals" - Silas Scarborough - Full-length DVD on YouTube

"Rehearsals" is a series of music videos shot in the Snakepit in Cincinnati before the concert at the 20th Century in 2009.  Full-length is a stretch as the run-time is forty-five minutes or so.  Even so, there are some dodgy bits in-between some of the songs to thread it together.  This video, I believe, completes the deal with Yevette as this is the full content of the "Rehearsals" DVD.

The song list:

Empire - Some friends fancied this some years back and I've played it off and on ever since

Everybody Knows - cover of Leonard Cohen's original but heavily-electrified

Necromancer - playing ridiculously fast

I Love Rats - the guitar breaks on the very last chord (it was a quick fix after)

On the Road with a Mouse and a Chicken - w/lasers on me fingers

Tidal Wave - combination machinima / Snakepit video

Note:  some of the songs have not been released as individual videos

Dedicated to my sister, Aileen.  The Snakepit was in her house and she was not any kind of a fan of my music but she put up with it and a lot of it happened here.

This is the first thing delivered from the iMac and that's a few hours after it first came up.  The performance is most impressive and I really look forward to making some interesting stuff.  Hopefully you will enjoy it.

New Used Computer Blazes Through Evaluation

Only minor and uninteresting difficulties in checking out the system.  The first thing is to see if Photoshop will start as if anything will be a drag then likely it will be the biggest hassle.  There was almost no problem so that set the pace.

The video editor software mixed down the entire Rehearsals DVD in fourteen minutes.  That is smokin'.  There was zero delay in loading the video clips into it to assemble everything whereas doing that on the laptop meant significant delays between each one.  That's significant as in, hey, here's a break for a word from our sponsor.  The performance improvement is immediately apparent and is hugely appreciated.

There is more validation needed to call testing complete but it's looking outstandingly good.  The speed it launched Final Cut was extraordinary to me.  Fast, fast, fast.

The first result will be up on YouTube shortly and that's the delivery on the deal to get the full "Rehearsals" DVD online before chucking the plastic.  In about an hour, that will be done.  The file is almost 1.5 GB and I'm surprised YouTube lets me do it but it's uploading now.

New Used Computer is Up

Everything is migrated from the original machine and the setup on this one now looks exactly the same.  That was highly painless as there were two steps:  install Yosemite and then use Migration Assistant to copy the system forward over an Internet connection between the machines.  Exceptionally easy and it appears to have worked well.  I need to check out those wobbly wobbly moves before being absolutely sure.

The screen is dazzling as I haven't used one like this, well, ever.  It's been years since using one that even approached it.

The check of the specifications worked out even better than was advertised.  The additional RAM is there, along with the high-performance video card, but the surprise is that its storage is an SSD (Solid-State Disk) which is much faster than typical disk drives.  The machine is in new condition.  It's the late-2013 model.  No telling when it was actually purchased but there is no sign of any wear and tear.

So now to play with it and see what it can do.

Thank you to the People of the Future.  It should be possible to make some really twisted stuff with this one.

The Latest

There won't be any more public updates on what is happening in Cincinnati, cryptic or otherwise.  I'll make the phone calls I said I would make but I can't do that until the UPS truck arrives because there's no chance I can hear the door from by the phone.  The new used computer isn't here yet but I won't do anything with it after it arrives until I've connected with some of you.

It's going to take a while to sort things.  There's no way to explain anything and it would not help anyone to try.  So I lie low and work things through.

"On the Road with a Mouse and a Chicken" - Silas Scarborough (video) - 2009 - Snakepit 4 of 4

Caution:  lasers but no flashing lights or scan patterns (i.e. probably harmless)

That caution may seem overdone but that's for No. 4.  Maybe this seems like S.P.E.C.T.R.E and Thunderball but No. 4 is real and, I believe, in Cincinnati now so I hope to make contact today.

wtf ... like this blows her security (laughs) ... No. 4 is Tinkerbell.  You've got her all figured out now, yes??

This is one of my all-time favorites to play even though I recorded an extra bar that has confused me every single time ever since.  Part of why I like it is that it taunts me, could you please get the count right this time.

Using the lasers made it the hardest to record of anything I've done.  Imagine playing your guitar while you wear biker gloves (i.e. with the chopped-off fingers).  Here's a super groovy metaphor ... or analogy ... I never remember the difference:  trying to play a guitar with laser gloves is like trying to use Tupperware as a condom.  Happily, I have no experience with the latter.

(Ed:  actually that was a simile)

Fuck off

The title is stoner crap but not so much as it may seem.  The mouse is for the computer but really I mean the cursor as people heard me in gigs multiple times going on, where's the fucking mouse.  I'd keep moving it around but I couldn't see it on the screen.  The chicken is straight-up as you're already ignoring the chicken in going on the road in the first place.  It's ok if he comes so long as you don't listen to him.

It's funnier to hear Euros swear in gigs as swearing in a second language is hilarious every single time.

What Does This Have to Do with No. 6

The videos relate to No. 6 as she knows very well the Snakepit and was there or somewhere around while the videos were being filmed.  So was our ol' Mother.  If No. 6 should see them, she will know.

The reason for lying so low is I don't want to explain what I'm doing and some of it may not seem to make much sense but all of it is inter-related.

Life is art and music is the expression of it.  So this is one of the art parts.  I don't know what music follows from it but that's not part of my thinking anyway.  That will come but only if the art is good.  I'm not going to explain much of anything so you'll just have to trust me that what happens with this is pure.

Some stuff is ok as the Snakepit series is deeper than it seems but the obvious part is my own campaign to wipe plastic discs out of my life.  Perhaps this satisfies Yevette's spec that the content of the DVD must be accessible some other way before it makes sense to melt the plastic.  Fair enough and you can see the result.

There are some chatty bits that were between some of the videos but I have not uploaded them so we'll leave up to Yevette whether the uploads satisfy the spec.  Only she can make the call as she came up with the spec.

Note:  it would be possible to roll up the videos into a single large movie but the software is $35.  I don't have the money and I'm not convinced it would be useful to anyone except that it would fully satisfy the specification that, yes, the DVD has been duplicated online.  That would mean the same process can be used for others.

So I ask you trust me on this.  I'm not running away, leaving anyone, changing much of anything ... I'm not even stoned.  I just need a lot of silence just now as this shit isn't supposed to be happening and I feel like all the springs will go shooting out of my head behind it.  They won't, it just feels like it.  Too much input.  Way too much.

I strongly recommend you go to hear Voodoo Shilton play tonight at Cat's Art MusikCircus and maybe he will do one of his songs called "The Littlest Elephant."  Even as I type the words, tears try to work into it but they aren't allowed.  I know if I hear that hauntingly beautiful melodica he plays then I'm gone.  There are lost little elephants all over the place and Voodoo knows it, you will hear it in how he plays.  That the man can play with such blazing speed but also have the sensitivity for this is a very rare thing.

Everything really does fit into everything else.  It's only when we try to make it otherwise that things break.

"I Love Rats" - Silas Scarborough (video) - 2009 - Snakepit 3 of 4

"I Love Rats" became the theme song over the years and it had been "Too Much or Not Enough" which I imagine Lennon would have designated just another silly love song.  I like that one but making love songs wasn't exactly the plan when I started out with this.  "I Love Rats" really isn't either but it's a gas to play it.  For me, it's nothing but hilarious when people call out for it by name and they do.  It seems this is my legacy:  Silas, he loved rats.

For some time I said all I would want it to say on my rock would be 'Silas, he played ok,' but now I like it better with 'Silas, he loved rats.'  It doesn't matter as a hundred years or so later no-one can read a word of it.  I did some photography in a Civil War cemetery in Massachusetts and I could hardly read the names on any of them.

There is a nasty chord at the end of it and that's the sound of the guitar breaking.  What really happened is that one of the pickups came loose.  That sort of thing is easy and I can fix it myself but this guitar has suffered so much.  The neck has been broken or severely-injured three times and, thanks to the efforts each time of the same Wizard of the Luthiers, Steve Lamb of Lamb's Music in Fort Worth, the neck is, even now, in perfect condition.  (You can trust him.  The man can fix any axe.  He's a wizard, I tell you.)

All ... or At Least the Computer ... is Lost ... Sort of

The new used computer arrived in Fort Worth on Wednesday.  That's also the day it was supposed to be delivered but Texas was still reeling from the effects of the Great Texas Blizzard of 2015 on Monday.  It had melted by Tuesday but Texas was still trying to understand it.  "If any of y'all know what that stuff was, call us at Channel 5, you hear?"

The status changed at UPS on Thursday to say it would be delivered on the 26th ... yesterday.  The status never switched to Out for Delivery so there was no clear move but, down here at the Fort Worth Rockhouse, this is a huge deal so there was only one answer:  stay on station until you know.

There is one tiny problem with staying on station.  At the front of the house (i.e. the station), I can sort of hear it when there is someone at the door but I can't use the telephone.  In the back of house I can hear the telephone but I can't hear the door.  It's a good sized house but it's not huge.  What it has is an unusual design and I think sound gets confused trying to get from one end to the other and ends up going out a window.

As of this evening, the delivery date has not been updated and the status is unclear.  We are all clear what that means, yes?

(Ed:  they lost it?)

Well, let's just say they don't seem quite sure of where they put it.

There is still no tragedy as I refuse to let this become part of the focus.  It was already scheduled or it wouldn't be part of my interest at all just now.  So it's a hassle and I'll deal with it and eventually something good will happen.

There really is no tragedy as the computer is safely in a box somewhere.  If it really is lost then the money gets refunded or I get different one.  The machine has none of my data so it is easily replaced.  It's just a hassle for a while.  I figure things will get sorted overnight and the machine will arrive tomorrow.  We'll see.

Meanwhile, there are two more videos in the Snakepit series and I even break the guitar in one of them.  No, of course it wasn't deliberate.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Necromancer" - Silas Scarborough (video) - Snakepit 2 of 4

There wasn't such a long time in the Snakepit but a whole lot of things happened.  There's no telling when the Galactic Peace Tour started but it definitely was not after this.  I brought a gross of guitar picks and ten sets of strings with me from Rhode Island.  Part of that was to stack the bet as of course they would fix my shoulder right when I got to Cincinnati.

It's not likely I can play this fast anymore and even that isn't tragic.  Right now nothing is tragic, the word doesn't even mean anything.  In watching it I'm thinking dayum ... it doesn't matter if I can do it now as it was really good doing it then.

Everything Fits into Everything Else

There may not seem a relationship between the video and what happens just now but it will be clear when you think where the Snakepit was.  Everything on the "Rehearsals" DVD was shot in the Snakepit.

Yevette knows No. 6 as well.  It's not like they went to rodeos together but Yevette got the three-for-one special along with our ol' Mother so she knows.

Mystery Lady is deeply tangled in this as well.  We talked about some of her paintings and some of the regulars know two of them very well.

For some of you, these stories have been weaving in and through each other for decades.  Even the blog goes back almost twenty years.

(Ed:  something else you should have marketed?)


The video was shot in 2009 and multiple of us have seen radical changes in the last six years.  This isn't New Year's Eve and we don't like lists anyway so no need to try to itemize.  Besides, they weren't the same for everyone.

There isn't clarity yet as there is some additional confusion due to the new used computer being out for delivery or not.  The weather borked the delivery plan and I was deliberately going on about Salt Lake City for security reasons because I didn't want anyone to know when it would get here ... but now no-one seems to know when it will get here.  This is not tragic as everything is a very large heap of WTF right now.  Life has a high degree of inexplicable for the time being.

I apologize for the Inner Cyrkle stuff but there's a long history on this you would have to know for anything to make any kind of sense.  Much of that history was never online and there is no good reason to change that.

"Everybody Knows" - Silas Scarborough (video) - Snakepit 1 of 4

"Everybody Knows" is a song with lyrics that particularly hit Yevette yesterday.  I don't think she knew I had covered it and she said if I uploaded it then she would re-tweet it.  Good deal.

There's a lot of guitar playing on the last half but there is a point to it.  If there really is a plague coming then no chance I can outrun it so I know what I'll be doing until it gets here.

On the Team

After using the expression, 'on the team,' it's not only clear I am not fit for socializing, I should be murdered for the good of the language and the good of the species.

I don't want to be on any team.  They all wear the same shirts, have a secret handshake, and put date rape drugs in the punch at parties.  I definitely don't want to be on a team.  That's not sexy at all.

The Mystery Lady talked yesterday about overload from politics as it's a never-ending blast from everywhere and you can only get away from that in the place where you can pull the shades and shut it out.

There's not much to analyze any more as we goin' get blowed up or we ain't.  Maybe we do, maybe don't.  The part that sucks is when they launch we will have fifteen minutes to think, fark, those stupid mofos really did it.  Part of me does get a kick out of the idea of a few cranks with a penis complex having the power to blow up the world without asking anyone.  It's so insane it's almost erotic.

My preference is for my own insanity and I tried some DVD ripping yesterday.  This is good sport for when you are thinking about something as you start the process and then it shows progress bars for half an hour or so.  You can go off and think your little thoughts and it will dutifully show progress bars.

The result was a good but not perfect rip of the "Rehearsals" DVD.  There's a problem with the audio sync and I don't want to re-assemble the pieces in Final Cut because that will mean it gets transcoded multiple times.  The quality is good as it stands but that wouldn't last after it gets re-processed a few times.  It will come out of that like deli meat.

There is definitely one more DVD here of a Silas Extra-Crispy Christmas.  I have no idea what's on it.  Yevette said there may be copies of the two discs from the last concert.  I'm not sure if there are any more DVDs after that.

(Ed:  you don't keep track of them?)

I make a DVD and it's up to the Marketing Department to keep track after that.

(Ed:  what Marketing Department?)

Well, see, that's the problem.

On Being Antisocial in a World in which Socializing is the New Religion

New religion or no, I'm not going to go online to social networks to talk about what happens just now.  There are various troubles in any family but, regardless of that, all of them in it deserve better than becoming online tabloid conversation.  It isn't that social networks are so egregiously terrible but rather some stuff just doesn't belong there.  It also doesn't belong here and that's why so few details.

Seeing Cat leave a message is lovely as she didn't forget about me.  I would forget about my guitar before I forget about you, Cat.  The guitar is two to three meters from me so I really do not think that will happen.

Today things will become truly clear as it has been confusing and tough to understand but the original Tinkerbell lives and she will arrive in Cincinnati today.  Queen Bee got there yesterday or will arrive today.

Some personal stuff isn't too revealing.  After our ol' Dad had a stroke, I wrote a program called WEBSTER to help him with his speech drills.  Of course I did, I'm a programmer.  Writing the program is one thing but making it work is another and the Queen Bee worked with him day after day after day to build the word files that worked best for him.  I can write programs but I could not even think of patience like that.  She not only did it but she stayed with it for a long time until he could do it for himself.  WEBSTER was part of the family for years after that and our ol' Dad did talk again.

The same two came to Rhode Island when I got so sick up there and our ol' Mother was driving that move.  She's gone now but the same two are still doing it so from what I see she isn't really gone at all.

There is some news as the Mystery Lady knows what is happening and you all know she is true-blue. She isn't exactly in-shape for playing volleyball either but she sends love and has a lot of it in her heart.  Any more detail than that needs to be private but maybe it's good to know there's one more on the team in Cincinnati.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"For Tinkerbell" - Lament for a Wounded Sister (audio)

"For Tinkerbell" was recorded when an aneurysm blew a hole in my sister's mind and for a long while no-one knew if she would survive.  She wouldn't wake up and I thought if I played this just right maybe she would hear it in some way.  There was no logic as she was a thousand miles away.  If there were logic, things like this wouldn't happen.

The song was recorded as soon as the news came.  I was emotional and crying and making mistakes but it became very important that I mustn't change anything.  This is what was recorded.  I have not recorded it again nor even played it again since that moment and still for the same reason.  It has been years and I can happily report Tinkerbell is with us to this day and from this I know ... don't change anything.

Tinkerbell is in trouble again but a different one this time.  I don't know if it made a difference last time but I can't be sure it didn't as every bit of magic helps in some way.

One more time, "For Tinkerbell" (audio track with a brief podcast wrapper)

Texas Paralyzed by Monday's Melted Ice

It makes sense to shut down everything except hospitals in Texas when there's an inch of sleet on the ground.  Well, it makes sense in Texas.  It also makes sense the next day when most of the ice has melted.  And it makes sense the day after that because, well, Texas.

(Ed:  the new used computer is still in Salt Lake City shagging Mormons, eh?)

The bigger concern is Mormons are shagging the computer.  You've got to figure it's strange there as the land is so horrible they wouldn't even use it for Indian reservations.

(Ed:  there's someplace worse than Texas?)

When you have a large lake and it's so poisoned that almost nothing can live in it, where would you put it.  Tip:  the answer is not Texas.  It's also not the Dead Sea.

Note:  the Great Salt Lake is not poisoned by industrial pollutants, it's entirely the salt and any salt is poisonous if you use enough of it.  Even table salt will do it as your body tries to equalize the levels of salt in your cells by pumping more water into them.  That doesn't work because it brings in more salt and, ka-boom, the cells explode.

The original lake must have been gigantic, maybe covering much of Utah.  The water evaporated away, leaving only the salt and a whole lot of Mormons praying for fish.  Tip:  the fish ain't coming.  If you want fish, you need to go where fish are and, typically, that is not a desert in the middle of America.

(Ed:  what does this have to do with the situation of late?)

Nothing but I can't tell you any of that.

Well, there is some stuff that would be ok.  If you know the family, then this may make sense.  If I'm No. 1 then the situation is with No. 6.  Things weren't supposed to happen this way and it's extremely unsettling.  The only one who does not appear too unsettled by it is No. 6.

Various tactical aspects are taking place as those who can move into position and that will happen on Thursday.  That's when there should be a clear view of what is happening.  I don't want to talk to anyone until it's clear as things could go multiple directions.  Maybe it's all complete crap and nothing will happen.  That, actually, is the best outcome.  It's not likely and that's why I don't want to talk to anyone until I'm sure.  My privacy is not important but No. 6 gives hers some value and this isn't about me.

Mystery Lady, you and multiple of the regulars know No. 6 so I need to get some information out here but there won't be much and it's best to contact me via email.  Making an appointment sucks but maybe we can arrange a time to talk.  That way I can be hanging by the telephone around that time and will hear it ring.

For my own side, I'm not teary and wringing my hands as it's more a wtf, WTF kind of situation.  Maybe it's a bit like when Lotho and I were riding.  I crashed in front of him but, until he stops his bike, there's nothing he can do but watch.  Things happen that weren't supposed to happen and logic or reality won't mean very much when that comes.

It's a bit like when a friend and I thought it would be clever to drop some acid while we were on KP (Kitchen Police) in the Army.  Even more cleverly, we did not time it right as acid takes about an hour to get started so we figured we'd be blasting by the time we got out of there.  However, we did not get out of there and, after a while, I realized the huge frog in the back of the Mess Hall was really the Mess Hall Officer who must have been so busy he didn't notice the goofy stuff I was doing.  At that time I was the only one in there with him and there's nothing left then but saying to yourself, well, this is unusual.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Nature of Reality with Cadillac Man

Cadillac Man and I spoke of it the other day and I told him straight-up I was a bit defensive of the idea of reefer being an escape as it doesn't escape one damn thing, if anything it imparts a greater awareness and makes me keenly sensitive to the number of people who really don't want a greater awareness.  It's scary, crazy, or so.

Nevertheless, there's only one reality for anyone and that's the Observer.  Psychologists like to split the Observer into multiple parts so, in effect, they can be observers of your Observer but psychologists cry a lot.  Be careful with them.

There's never any more than you watching the movie and which parts of it are real is largely irrelevant as all of them are, none of them are, really it's some combination ... it makes no difference to the central Observer unless they prevent you from continuing your observation.

The world it goes nowhere
while Richard Branson combs his hair
and Tom Jones sings, "Oh, Delilah."

The kids just play with toys,
they grow but stay girls and boys,
and in the end the band's still playing.

The Conductor had two words,
"Be British," was all they heard.
And so they met the water.

Reality took all kinds of shifts with the Titanic yet people cling so determinedly to a concrete reality while saying anyone who questions it is trying to escape.  Not really as the escape is from the question and not from any objective reality, that comes the same to everyone when you sink in the ice-cold Atlantic.

The only constant to any objective reality is that it changes and the only constant to anything is that you get to watch.  How well you watch and how much you see is why reefer but it doesn't escape in any way that most people will never understand it.

A conversation in which no-one asks questions is just someone giving a speech.  So is life.

How Texas Houses Are Like Volkswagens

While there is no obvious resemblance, it becomes immediately apparent when the temperature goes below freezing:  both Texas houses and Volkswagens come equipped with heaters ... but they don't work in either one of them.

Houses in the North are insulated much better and they stay cozy inside.  Down here in Texas you find your own insulation (i.e. blankets) when Winter starts and wrap up in them until Winter stops (i.e. two days later).  You make your own heater by pulling the blanket over your head and breathing. (Don't tell me you didn't do this when you were a kid.  Well, it still works.)

Contact has been made with Cincinnati.  My focus must stay as it is until I'm sure of what is happening.  The problem is not mine but it is serious nevertheless.  I don't want to talk to anyone online or offline until I know what's happening.  That doesn't mean I want to review the situation at any time with anyone, I just have to get things settled so my own view is straight and I know my moves are right.

Meanwhile, the new used computer wants me to thank the weather gods for the Winter Storm Watch as it's stuck in Salt Lake City where it's surrounded by whacked-out Mormons praying for fish.  We don't know why they want the fish.  They're Mormons.  We don't know why they do anything they do.  But we also don't care so there is no philosophical turmoil.  Besides, we don't see it as a religion so much as Joseph Smith's narcissism anyway.  And that religion has got my damn new used computer.  They better not try to have sex with it.  You know how those Mormons do.

Note:  if Mormons offer you a truce, do NOT accept it.  Brigham Young massacred an entire wagon train and he did it under a flag of truce.  Yah, and you were going to elect Mitt Romney.  Again, the knowledge of history stuns me.

So, yah, it's cold, life is twisted more than usual, and Mormons have computer-napped the new used machine.  (I'm not suffering, I'm just cold)

The CD is paused but not stopped due to problems, philosophy or simple online ennui.  It's just not the time for that.  It shouldn't be long but not right now.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Disturbance in the Force

There is a disturbance.  It isn't here but it's disturbing nevertheless.  There are some contacts I must make and I can't deal with anything else before I do as my focus needs to be where it is.

The CD will keep until it's clear what is happening.

I repeat:  the problem is not here.

A God that Can't Dance

Paul Delph said he couldn't trust a god that can't dance.

Paul Delph Memorial Gallery

Catching Fish with Dynamite

Some may regard as bashing the idea of Americans fishing with dynamite.  Nevertheless, it's true.  My own reference is to a movie, "Doc Hollywood," but a friend told me he knew a guy who somehow obtained some military fragmentation grenades and used them for fishing.  In that case apparently it wasn't long before SWAT team arrived.

The first thing a kid does when he gets an M-80 (said to be a military device used for battlefield simulations) is to take it down to a lake because, man, this is so cool ... the wick is waterproof.  Well. The fish will love that news, won't they.  Ka-boom.  The M-80 is probably illegal ... but it was illegal when we played with them a long time ago.  If you can find them then do expect a satisfactory bang that's significantly bigger than a Cherry Bomb or a Silver Salute.  They're exceptionally dangerous ... but they make one excellent bang.  They do well in sewers as that imparts an excellent resonance that will bring everyone in the neighborhood outside.

Yes, be fast or expect to be arrested.  Back then you could expect an ass-whoopin' from yer ol' Dad but I guess these days they'd call you a terrorist (shrug).

Note:  I was not the one who flushed an M-80 down one of the school's toilets and blew out the entire plumbing system.

The principle is simple as the bang makes a compression wave that knocks out or kills any fish in range of it.  Then you just paddle over and pick up the biggest ones for dinner.  I doubt it happens all that much as other fishermen would burn your boat for doing it.  When someone has been trying for twenty years to catch ol' Fatmouth the Gigantic Catfish down there and you blow him up with yer munitions, the situation will not resolve well and it may be you who ends up mounted on his wall rather than ol' Fatmouth.

"Doc Hollywood" isn't a boobs, bombs, and vampires movie but it does have a brief boob appearance and, more impressively, it's from Julie Warner's boobs.  It's not even close to a sex flick, tho.

Sorry the pic is absent of any boob exposure but you will have to do your own research.  She is completely not Hollywood in the movie and easily puts the cocky New Yorker (Michael J Fox) in his place.

The Most Ferocious Formula 1 Car Ever w/pic

Daniel Ricciardo in trials at Barcelona this week-end

This car is about as ugly gorgeous as F1 ever gets and it looks every kind of bad-ass.  Maybe this is the most outrageous F1 car I ever saw.

However ...

Here's Ferrari.  This one is called a political statement and I don't know what that means but it is one wild-looking ride.  It is not on tracks yet.

In other F1 news, Michael Schumacher wasn't injured in racing but he suffered a profound head injury.  There has been a bit of improvement but the family is very private about it.  He always was a family guy, he's just the kind of family guy who likes to drive two hundred mph.

Jules Bianchi was injured similarly about six months ago or so and he remains in a coma although doctors have started some type of rehabilitation.  His injury was from racing and various false charges have been made about him.  It was said he did not slow down enough in bad conditions and the team has provided telemetry data showing he did.  There was also a charge that the team encouraged him to increase his speed and the full transcript of the cockpit recordings shows that never happened.  It was bad racing luck and there's been a lot of that going around this week-end.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Frogs in a Blender" - Silas Scarborough Greatest Hits CD

The first burn has been successfully completed and tested.  The song list is changed a little bit from that but it's nearly final.  The burn was painless and was finished in five minutes or less.  I will burn one, maybe two, more to get satisfied the sequence is correct and then it's ready to go.

There are about fifteen blank CDs so that will leave ten or so and I'll be happy to send one to anyone who wants one but only by request and Sister Julie gets the first one.  One each for Cat and Yevette.  One each for Mystery Lady and Laughing Gecko?  Unknown if you would want one.

Five or six left.  There you go.

Note:  there's no cool glossy label.  That ain't going to happen as it would add nothing but cost and slowdown.  A marker pen will do just fine.

Burning Your Own CDs for Your Car

Some of you still do this and the problem is you're using MP3 files but this is the worst way to do it as they won't save you anything.  The 'space' a song will use on a CD is dictated by the run-time of the song and not by its physical file size.  Therefore, whether you use MP3 or, preferably, AIFF for your CD will make no difference for how many songs you can write to it.  Definitely use AIFF as your speakers and your ears will love you for it.

When MP3 files are written to a CD as data then you can put a zillion of them on there but that won't do you any good for playback as a data disk won't work in a CD player.

My preference for cars would be a memory stick.  Why should I buy a cellphone for $500 when I can get a memory stick for $10 and accomplish the same thing.

Silas Scarborough CD Almost Ready to Burn - Evolving

Burning a CD runs counter to everything I've written recently regarding optical drives and the future of plastic in music ... but this isn't about the grand philosophy of musical evolution.  Sister Julie asked for one.

"Frogs in a Blender" 
(working title)

Ice Cream Blues
electric version recorded at the Circus and almost certainly played for Sister Julie

Symphony for Cat
live at the Circus

It's for You
the most-recent remastered version

The Silas TechnoHypnoGroove Christmas Song
live at Sunshine Daydream

Too Much or Not Enough
live at the Circus

There Will Come a Time
studio recording from Rhode Island in 2006 - 2008

Waiting on a Peace Train
recorded in the Galactic Peace Tour truck in about 2011 or 2012

studio recording from about 2006

I Love Rats
live at the Circus

Finding My Way
studio recording from Cincinnati in late 90's

On a Grecian Morning
recorded at Katakolon in 2013

On the Road with a Mouse and a Chicken
recorded in Rhode Island in 2008

Celebration of Circe Broom
live for the memorial for Circe

(the above is not the sequence on the CD, only the sequence in which I found them)

The run-time is 79:00 so the pattern is full, Ghost Rider.  There's no recording involved in this but rather it's a matter of finding good, high-quality mixes for the songs I think would be appropriate.  The only one for which there is any question for me is the "Celebration for Circe Broom" as that was the only time I played the song.

Verified:  maximum audio recording time for CD is eighty minutes.

Most of the songs in the current list are somewhat aggressive but not the most aggressive ones.  My first thought is I need some more softer ones for balance but "I Love Rats" is a theme song and it's not there.  (Cat and I talked about "Flowers for Algernon" some days ago and that made "I Love Rats" immediately clear.  It's a joke but really it's not as Charlie loved Algernon the Rat.)

Update:  it's on there now.

Evolving ... not anymore as the CD is full.  I'm not locked to this list and I'm open to suggestions for replacements.  This looks obviously to me like the Silas Scarborough Greatest Hits disc but that's ok.

No Magic Required

Although the optical drive in the laptop is permanently deceased, Yevette has an external CD burner that runs over USB.  There are blank discs about somewhere and I plan to burn at least one before the arrival of the new used computer.

Releasing it formally is a possibility but doing it is about forty bucks and no chance am I doing that before there's a decent disk drive here.  My problem is that goes back to selling MP3 music as the format did such wonders for Apple, not so much for music but it was great for Apple and cellphones.

Kurt Busch Suspension Confirmed

NASCAR confirmed late Saturday that Kurt Busch has lost both appeals and will not appear in the Daytona 500.  (CNN:  Ex-NASCAR champ Kurt Busch loses appeals on eve of Daytona 500)

The charge is he grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and slammed her into a wall three times.  No-one was present at the time but the court, presumably, found her story more credible and agreed that is what happened.  This was not a criminal procedure but rather domestic.

It's a stalemate now with him calling her a slut and her calling him a monster.  Nothin' comin' behind this but one ferociously ugly asset split and what happens with NASCAR is your guess.

Assuming he did it, I figure he ought to atone in some reasonable way and be permitted to drive again.  I don't know what atonement people would consider reasonable but I don't think what he did warranted banning him for life.  It is an extreme punishment for something that was a precedent to an extreme crime but the extreme crime did not happen.  Therefore, I don't believe an extreme punishment is warranted.  It would be an extreme punishment as he makes a staggering amount of money and there's the speed.  No more 200 mph.

Maybe I'm wrong on that as he's shown he's got it in him to really damage a woman so what's appropriate to make very damn sure he understands this will not happen again.

All of the above assumes he did it.  I don't know that.  Nothin' but ugliness coming behind this.

Kyle Busch is out due to an accident yesterday so this is a most unusual start for the Daytona 500.  (ESPN:  Kyle Busch breaks leg, foot in crash)

With the broken leg, I could see him racing with a walking cast.  With the broken feet, I seriously doubt it.  They're very hard to fix and I still whine about mine twenty years later.  If he races again this year it will be in major pain.  You can bet money doctors will tell him no.

This sucks hard for both drivers as the Daytona 500 is IT these days.  The Indy 500 has been fading off while the Daytona 500 looks to be the King.  It must be insane in Daytona right about now, everybody getting ready to go racing.

There is some editorial in the news as to whether racetracks should be ordered to convert barriers to 'soft walls' that work something like the water barriers sometimes used on highways.  Of course they should do it as this costs them money but failing to do it may cost a driver his or her life.  What decision is there to make.

The Van Gogh "Starry Night" Illusion - Astounding

When you start the video, take it to full-screen and follow the instructions.  If you want the four-course meal, smoke and a joint and turn out the lights before doing it.  The illusion is astounding as the "Starry Night" will come to life in front of you.

How about we go and drive really fast now.

Daytona 500 - the Official Start of Spring

The Daytona 500 stock car race is today and it's the Start of Spring.  We know they are still whining about the cold up North and they keep talking about it because they think we care down here.  We don't and, hence, the Daytona 500.  This is more Americana in a few hours than you can get anywhere else all day (Daytona 500).

An American stock car looks like the original street cars that regular people drive ... except they can hit close to 350 kph ... and they keep it up for about 800 km.  In English, these cars go over 200 mph and they do it for 500 miles.  It's absolutely brutal endurance.  Formula 1 is elegant and incredibly fast but it really doesn't look all that dangerous whereas stock car racing always does.  The Daytona 500 is where Dale Earnhardt died.

The Daytona 500 is American as jazz and catching fish with dynamite.  It's one of the wildest explosions of speed, color and sound you will ever find and it's all absolutely pointless as it's just a car race, right.  Yah, but tell the drivers it's pointless and I doubt they will agree.  They don't care if it's pointless, they just want to drive really fast ... plus make one TON of money.

Hat tip to NASCAR for kicking Kurt Busch due to a charge of domestic violence.  We don't know who did what and usually no-one ever does with such things but it smells and NASCAR won't put up with it.

Note: as to the cold in the North, previously we were advised it was cause by a Polar Vortex ... but it was still sissy next to the Winter of '77.  This year they call the same thing a Siberian Freeze to get in an inane sling at Putin ... and it's still a sissy next to '77.  When people start walking across the Ohio River again ... then I will believe it's cold.  Yes, I was up there in '77 so I say these modern Northerners are a bunch of wussballs.  In fact, not only was I up there, we decided that would be a peach of a time to drive up into Canada to ski.  Yah, these Northerners today ... such sissies.

Note:  the trip into Canada did not, in retrospect, resolve into such an incredibly good idea, particularly given we did it in a Volkswagen Minibus.  Never, ever drive a Volkswagen in the Winter, particularly when the temperature is around -25F.  These vehicles have no heaters.  They have things that look like heaters ... but no heat comes out of them.

So, come on down to the Daytona 500 and find out what it's like living with people who don't have to shovel stuff off the driveway before you can drive to the market for your bread, milk and toilet paper to survive the oncoming blizzard.

Question:  did not someone not tell these buzzards it gets cold and snows in the North??

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Consumed by Technology

There is a copy of DVD Studio Pro V4 on Yevette's computer but it is not registered.  I am legally registered for the product but Apple stopped supporting it years ago so all of that stuff is gone.

Then I rooted through the only resources I have not yet searched:  two archive disks from 2001.  There is the registration for DVD Studio Pro but it's for V2.   Rats.

That finishes it for DVD and the final is that there's no chance of re-mastering any of the DVDs.  The remaining option is to use any existing copies and rip them to disk to create a full movie file.

Yevette, this is specifically toward the deal:  if I can't replace them then don't chuck them.  I didn't chuck them and the above review shows they can't be replaced.  I'll keep them but not the CDs.

Apple must have abandoned DVD as having any market potential as DVD Studio Pro was tremendously powerful, you could do whatever you liked in creating DVDs.  For Apple to drop it meant they saw no future (i.e. dollars) in it, at least not from indie producers.  Then comes AppleTV and it becomes clear:  plastic DVD is irrelevant to their audio / video distribution plans.

There's not much more to add on the matter of full-spectrum audio but understand this is not even close to a stoner fantasy as HDtracks markets commercial audio at the highest quality.  There are multiple other online vendors also providing AIFF music tracks.

MP3 is obsoleted by technology but not by economics as the entire system is greased for MP3 even though it is known to everyone as the poorest version of any audio track.  The technology could easily handle the larger size of AIFF / HD music but it doesn't happen.  That's why you need a whizkid to organize it.  That it will happen is inevitable.

Disabling the optical drive in the laptop did give some performance benefit and enough to make it worth doing but there was no blinding flash of magic.  That's ok as I don't have to screw around with it anymore.

There will be about a week more of being swallowed by technology but I'm breaking out after that and hopefully it will be a swell result.  I don't like doing this and want to get back to what I do.

The Latest Fort Worth Rockhouse Gastronomic Creation

Paris won't be calling me soon to become a chef but I can make a novel sandwich.  This is version two of the Ultimate Hard-Boiled Egg Sandwich.

I tried it earlier without the tomato and spinach.  That makes an unusual sandwich and it's somewhat cool but the additions balance the unusual and make it pretty good to eat.  Whether it is the Ultimate Hard-Boiled Egg Sandwich is still not clear as there's always room for more strange.  I was thinking maybe cilantro but thought that would be too strange next to the olives.  It keeps calling to me so I should try that too, maybe.

Maybe Time to Save the Aircraft

Fundamental Top Gun rule:  Best to break away and save the aircraft than push a bad position.

Three deep sea dives have taken place into the gory gizzards of this laptop.  They were successful in that I accomplished what I wanted:  the optical drive doesn't spin up and I got WiFi / Bluetooth back.

But now I'm frosted because I couldn't get the damn thing out and it's a testosterone thang.  It's also a financial thang as I've got $21 in Torx drivers that accomplished nothing.


I must be victorious.  I must be champion.  I'm the fucking King!  (That last one is the name of a Paris Obscur song.  The cat doesn't screw around)


nothing will come from the physical removal of the optical drive other than the sense of satisfaction in accomplishing it.  After working with computers for over thirty years, there is one thing I know absolutely:  there is no sense of satisfaction with computers that lasts more than a few seconds ... unless you get money for it.  If you don't then you wasted your time.

Walk away, walk away.

The End of the Optical Drive Saga.  Ha!

Latest Rockhouse Food Invention

So the sandwich needs to prepare itself and some sliced hard-boiled egg jumps on there.  That makes an obvious call for mayo and some ground black pepper.

But that's not enough.

Feta cheese and sliced green olives.  Those are what it needs.

It does make a pretty sandwich and it is an unusual taste.  It was small but I didn't make a second one.  But I might.  Maybe it needed tomatoes.  Or cilantro.  Both?

Now the idea is planted, I have to try it.  I will report.  That one could be colorful enough for a pic.

My purpose isn't to specifically go out for healthy food but my purpose very much is to find stuff that doesn't suck.  Interesting food isn't necessarily expensive, you just have to think of it.

This is not a lecture as I have a box of frozen White Castle cheeseburgers for when the need is there to eat some complete crap.  Twelve bucks worth of Mortal Sin, baby.

Voodoo Shilton - Case Study in Video

Voodoo Shilton is a master guitarist and you'll know it the moment you hear him.  He is also an incredibly-talented composer as his ability to imagine the mix of different instruments is extraordinary and is definitely not constrained by a purist view of what is or is not jazz.

Videos I have seen previously of him are highly-studio as he plays in his studio and uses headphones while he records the shoot.  It's informative and illustrative of how he does what he does and there is a clear, if somewhat professorial, story in this exact view.

However, is a video a how-to or is it part of the music.  I submit the current examples are more the former than the latter and that's specifically what I hope to address.

Previously I've criticized too harshly the Old Guy in a Chair videos, as I've been calling them.  There is some reason as this is definitely not the video to shoot to differentiate yourself from a million other guitarists shooting videos of themselves playing a guitar while sitting in a chair.  However, as a view of how the musician works the magic, they are reasonably good.  I say reasonably good as they usually only use one camera angle and, to my requirements, any video will require three angles to sustain visual interest for the viewer.

The task is to shoot Voodoo's music, the song, more than it is to shoot Voodoo.  Narcissism exists but that's not why musicians play.  Of course you play and you want people to like it and hopefully like you ... but that's still not the music, it's only one aspect.

Part of Voodoo's vision is in the integration of diverse instruments and voices.  I expect to see that reflected in the video for it to be an accurate portrayal or extension of his music.  That implies a diverse yet integrated flow of imagery through the course of the story.

It is not my purpose to say what that imagery should be but rather to observe the diversity of his music must also be present in the visual for it to be accurate.  A relatively-easy example would be to shoot Voodoo playing in a Spanish cafe at sunset, as I'd described more fully in another article.  Additional imagery can be composited such that a semi-transparent Elephant Walk can take place and later be replaced by The Littlest Elephant when it becomes gentle and haunting.

So, what does haunting look like.  What does the sound of a melodica look like.  What is the feeling from a little elephant who is separated from his mother.  What if you are that little elephant.  What does that look like in the video and the music.

These are the considerations and they are all frightfully expensive from a financial standpoint and also from a musical standpoint in terms of the time it takes.

One clear consideration is practicality as people are much more likely to watch a video than they are to listen to a track on SoundCloud.  If they do the latter, they will probably continue doing something else with their browsers at the same time and you won't get fully-engaged.  If they watch you in video, you have their full attention and its your trip.  Don't fuck up.

From a practical standpoint and a spammish standpoint, little works better than video.

Keeping clear on Cat's question ... is it music.

I've been chasing it for over forty years and I still can't give you a solid answer as I'm still not entirely clear it's even possible but I definitely will not stop trying.

(Ed:  MTV did)

Right you are, matey.  My thinking on that crowd is they dissolved into cleverness.  Perhaps that's rationalization as they had one hell of a creative team doing exactly the same thing I'm trying to do.  The only substantial variable is they were required to make money with it.

My position is that you need musicians making videos and not visual artists.  At a minimum, the musician must design the video as there is almost no chance the visual artist will see what you see from the music so the imagery is doomed from the start.  You know this already from what people see when they hear it and there is no video.

The musician has to design the video because it's too much musical responsibility to delegate.  That's the crux of this.

(Ed:  are you just talking to yourself?)

Actually, no.  It's astonishing how many people read this stuff.  I don't analyze that much and will do it even less as, each time I think I have something figured about readers of the blog, it turns out I was wrong.  No need for that.

The Braille Method of Computer Repair

The computer finally infuriated me enough in dragging out everything it does that I decided to take it apart.  There is one tiny problem with that insofar as I can't really see the bits so well, even with glasses.  Unless you are twenty, you will have the same troubles as the stuff in there is microscopic.

It was another win for Torx as, sure as hell, you need one to get the optical drive out.  I reviewed this on multiple YouTube videos before starting but they are not Apple service manuals and details may change.

They did.

Onward to Plan B

Leave the optical drive in there but disconnect the sumbitch.  There are two cable sets coming off the optical drive and both were disconnected in the videos so I did the same here.

Amazingly enough the process was completed without injury to me or my surroundings and the computer started back up again, all in about thirty minutes ... much to the surprise of anyone familiar with my mechanical skills.

As to the inside of it being coated with a poisonous, glowing, seething layer of molten nicotine goo ... um, complete crap.  Filters were not plugged with a thick, radioactive poison.  It really wasn't that bad in there and I've seen many far worse than that (shrug).

As to the fix changing much of anything ... well ... it really wasn't impressing me that I had gained anything and I was getting a message that there was no hardware for WiFi.

Not long after coming back up, there was a power surge.  I'm sure you know the kind when the power goes out but then comes back up in milliseconds, lights flicker, etc and they don't care much but it's a sucker punch for any computing, video or audio devices and may destroy them.

The computer would not reconnect to the Internet.  I know the steps and I got Yevette's machine online again but mine would not work.  I figured, ok, I will take the machine apart again and reconnect one of the cables to see if any benefit comes.  Maybe I will even get WiFi back.  (I don't use it here but I do need it working)

I did that and still I could not reconnect.  Yevette's machine was doing fine so the problem was definitely on my end ... or so it seemed.

When your computer is completely screwed, there's only one useful answer:  take a nap and maybe a miracle will happen.

While it wasn't exactly a miracle, I awoke with the mantra that looking more than fifteen minutes in one place to solve a problem means you're looking in the wrong place.

I was.

I followed the Internet cable back to the modem and found, during the course of going to the front to verify Yevette's machine was ok, I had kicked the Internet extender plug and pulled out the cable going to mine.  So, when my machine told me I wasn't connected to the Internet, it really wasn't.

With all that now complete, including a nap, the computer does have more zip.  Now your zip quantification is arduous and boring ... but there's definitely more of it and that's all that matters to me.

The hypothetical poisonous nicotine layer isn't an explanation as that won't slow electrons, I'm afraid.  I have never believed that was the problem although it was conceivable blocked filters were causing overheating.  Neither of these were true ... but I really did not expect them to be.

This re-opens the potential for selling this computer as I know for sure what's inside there and can deal withs someone straight-up.

Replacing the speaker cabinets is not mandatory as the distortion problems from Thursday were not present on Friday and I hammered the hell out of the system trying to duplicate them.  The problems did not come and neither did they come during the one performance last night.  Therefore, Thursday has moved into the Inexplicable Anomaly category and that's ok.  Barring another example, fuhgedaboudit.

A Thunderbolt disk drive is $400-$500 and that is near-mandatory insofar as the boost to video applications from hotrod disks (i.e. 10x faster) is enormous.  The disk drive I use now is the same one that hit the floor when I fell over in the Schiphol airport.  It's ongoing survival is moving more and more into the miracle category.

The computer didn't get enough boost to start submitting entries for one-hundred-meter sprint races but there is improvement and that ain't bad for five dollars in screwdrivers and not a whole lot of bother.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Love in the Cemetery" (non-machinima video)

"Love in the Cemetery" is one I uploaded not too long ago and the reason for plugging it again is that it suits the point regarding video and whether music is better without it.

The video has had more hits than any of the others since recovering from the biggest shock of a system crash in decades.  A system crash doesn't necessarily mean a disk drive failed as doing something stupid is highly effective for this purpose as well.

So this one gets lots of hits.

But maybe sheeple just get attracted to flashing lights.  It starts with a big, highly-visual bang as I know I got that part right but, from the standpoint of audio only, it starts with a bang anyway.  My contention - note specifically this is not a point of debate - is that the video makes a bigger bang as there is high drama when all the lights kick up at once.

The reason this is not a debate is blowing people away is not why I do it.  I hope people like it but I make this environment because of what I do in it.  That's the part that makes it music to me.

I'm telling you there's a place with the Necromancer and music comes from it.  I have no idea where it is and I have no idea who he is but in this eerie set of lights I feel more connected.  What that actually does to the music is extremely difficult to determine as maybe it would mean playing in this environment and playing exactly the same thing in normal room lights to compare.  I know without doing it that it will be different but then it becomes a matter of subjectivity:  is it different just because I want it to be different.

Call it narcissism if you like but what I see of it is the pursuit is of a vision which will probably not be gratifying at all as most people want a whole lot more structure in their music ... but it will be gratifying for me in doing it.  Therefore, I believe the lights are important and there's another fair question from you is why is it necessary to show the video when the purpose of the lights is for what it does to me.  Fair enough.

When I shoot a video and it gets me to a trippy place to make trippy music, it's not required that you see whatever the room looked like when I did it before you can enjoy the music.  Cat's point is in one part that the lights are complementary but not required and in some cases they are detrimental due to overloading the senses.

I'll repeat multiple times there is no debate and I am not making a case.  Everything is an experiment that's part of the entire exploration.  I have no idea what I'm doing ... but that served me for a six-figure salary in computers on which I never knew what I was doing.  That is literal truth as my biggest projects were invariably for things I had never done before and did not know how to do them.  I use exactly the same approach with music.

Something Cat and I covered earlier is that I don't see lights as mandatory.  For example, with Voodoo Shilton I would shoot in a Spanish cafe and his gadgets, as much as possible, would be out of view.  I would want to set the scene a little bit as I'm thinking right around sundown and there are sunbeams coming through the windows.  You can see them from a bit of dust and smoke, ambient air.  In this mixed light, Voodoo starts talking ... and then he plays.  I would not light up so much as a single LED in such a scene.

There is a bit of a lie in that image as hiding the electronica is, in effect, saying it doesn't exist.  Voodoo is so smooth he can get away with that but no-one wants to be 'getting away' with anything.  It's the search for Ultimate Musical Truth and that whole saga.

But Dali was from Spain.  Maybe you do need to fold some clocks over the tables.  It's all open.

Beyond the Frozen Sushi

Yah, how is that even possible.

It's been quite a while since I last tried any kind of sushi and there wasn't much wasabi so I got some soy and some wasabi to mix up a little batch.  I used some squeeze-bottle pre-mixed wasabi and I have not done this before so it was an experiment.

My tongue was burning.  My throat was destroyed.  My nose was running.  I was crying.

From these things we know:  yep, mixed the wasabi right.

For sushi purists, I know these words offend your eyes but down here at the po' house, we gots no money to go downtown.  What we found is the frozen sushi is surprisingly not horrible.

From frozen sushi comes inevitably the segue to the Fort Worth Water Gardens at Sundance Square.

Some scenes from the movie, "Logan's Run," were filmed there so this is a (cough) high-value target.

Getting some good video at this site has cinematic value to the surrealism of what I want to portray. "Logan's Run" is very much a metaphor for life as everyone dies at thirty as is "Flowers for Algernon" which is known more popularly by the movie, "Charlie."  Both of them were important influences from an early age.

This is where the arrogance of video comes into it and Cat stopped me on the use of arrogance but the thinking is that pure music requires nothing.  Close your eyes and float into space.  The arrogance is showing you what that space looks like as that takes away your right to imagine whatever you want.  This has been important in keeping to myself what any song means personally and for the same reason.  It's cool to hear what someone saw when they hear it as that vision will invariably be different from mine.

Doing any kind of filming at Water Gardens is not so terrible as the tripod is ultra-cheap but that also means it is ultra-light.  I've spent a lot of time carrying heavy tripods about and I don't remember specifically enjoying the experience.  The camera is probably no bigger than most SLRs so that's easy as well.

The first question is why bother as it's a lot of work to do it so something cool ought to be added to any potential video or it's just wasting time.  It's worthwhile from the standpoint of giving Cat a taste of Fort Worth and Yevette a reminder of home but what musical value can it serve.

The first thought is to use a green-screen and put that Silas Scarborough (meat version) on the bricks down there.  It's an obvious lie as it's a full house and I never played to a full house in my life.  However, an obvious lie has value if it serves the story truthfully.  This is a world of surrealism and nothing is real but also anything is possible.

It's also a cheap CGI trick and that's what made "World War Z" such a worthless movie, apart from the horrendously flat acting, I mean.

This is not waffling on my part but rather some thoughts on getting beyond the frozen sushi.  Two food metaphors in one bite.  Where else would you eat.

All Those Black Holes ... Aren't Really There

Unknown how much scientific credibility this theory carries through the overall egghead community but the general premise is that a black hole's lifespan is very short and it ends up exploding all that stuff back into space.  (RT:  Mysterious black holes may be exploding into ‘white holes’)

The thinking is that the black hole seems to be there but we only see it because gravity distorted time.  Something that, from our standpoint, appears to last billions of years, actually occurs in a millisecond in the objective time of the black hole (i.e. if you were standing on it).

The reason these astrophysicists think the black hole will explode is that it reaches a point at which things can be compressed no more and then it blows up.

That sure sounds a lot like the Big Bang so maybe now we see all these compact Universes starting to pop up.  The scientists said it's about time now for the black holes from the early time after the Big Bang to start exploding.

Well ... let's get on with that.  It would have to be cool to watch.

Note:  one of my conditions on 'cool to watch' is that it is so far away that we don't get blowed up with it.

On the Efficacy of Burning Hats

That evil spirits can be exorcised, expunged or whatever evil thing you want to do to them seems some New Age jibber jabber but the hat-burning really did come out of professional psychotherapy.  This is in the most-professional kind of psychotherapy in which they don't automatically say 'take one of these four times a day.'  That doesn't mean I read it on a Web page but any more than that is not appropriate.

The effect of it is extraordinary as any fool could see there were hellhounds on my trail.  Some of them were real and some of them weren't.  There is no miracle cure that vaporizes hellhounds but it is possible to understand the more you try to fight them the more you become one.

So the general psychic vibe is walk away, walk away.  Part of the problem is they will chase you.  Every time I move my arm I will be lying on the road again beside the car that hit me.  That will happen and the trick is not to chase it back to hate down the guy who did it.  Walk away, walk away.

You'll know what PTSD means after you get smashed up a few times.

(Ed:  PTSD copping a plea?)

Nope as it doesn't absolve me of anything and it doesn't change anything except how to react to those things (i.e. not at all).  It's the same as heroin as there can't even be a taste or it starts all over again.

Q.  Why didn't the guy even send a Get Well card?
A.  WTF?  Maybe he didn't have a damn stamp.  Fuhgedaboudit.

Many things are not clear but that much is crystal.

About Saving the Laptop - Hold the Phone on That - Updated

A subsequent article gets into surgery to repair the laptop I'm using.  The thinking beyond that is that I would use it as the audio server for tracks for live.

However ... let's review.

How about I continue with the fix ... and then sell it.  That should generate around enough to replace the speaker cabinets which have been blowed up real good for some while.  It's the same deal as most of the stuff here in that it's degraded but not destroyed.  The amps will frequently overheat and shutdown.  Therefore, the target is a Thump 1000-watt amp with a 15" bottom.  That would be about $700.

However, this is an ethical problem so I will talk to the People of the Future as that money could also be used to give back some of what brings the new used computer here.  It's a short statement but an important one.  More to come on that.

(Ed:  what will you do with all that power in that small room?)

The answer is not use most of it.  The lower you run the kit, the cleaner it will be, almost invariably.  This spec also has the power to go out to the porch.  These Texans know about a hoe-down but they don't know nothin' about a hippie happening.   Get Donika out there dancing and maybe some of her friends doing their bellydance and getting their wobbly, wobbly moves on.  When you get into this part of the game, everybody has got somethin' wobbling so go out there and shake it, wobble it or whatever you want to do.  This really would be, with help, feasible.  What makes it highly tripful is that it could go out over the Internet to take it global.  No tellin' who would watch but it wouldn't be hard to do.

A space problem comes into it as the other ones don't go unless they are entirely deceased as I would use them for listening to online shows.  Clipping really will destroy speakers and sometimes that happens so best to use the new speakers only for my own performance.  The question is then where the hell would you put them.  Note importantly that the only important subjects in the video are the guitarist and the instrument.  The identity of the guitarist is not important, he's only necessary to explain how the guitar is doing it.  Anything else is confounding unless I have done it deliberately.  In other words, musical crap all over the place screws the shoot.

To serve my tracks to the mixer does not require a computer as any player can do that.  Many people use an MP3 player but I don't recommend that approach.  An MP3 file is already compressed and it will be compressed again in the transmission to Second Life.  That music still sounds good after doing that to it isn't just incredible, it's a fookin' miracle.  What I want is something that would, for small dollars, serve up higher-resolution audio files.  When they're going to be compressed, you need to serve up the best stuff you can.

Most people reading don't need this information but some of you do.  That's the magic of scrolling.

Update:  good point raised.  It would have been good if I had considered the nicotine poisoning inside the computer.  That's sticky goo and no chance it can be removed with an air gun or so.  Therefore, no sale.

I could sell it with the understanding 'you know this thing is nicotine poisoned' but that means a beating on the selling price and no value in that.  Better to keep it.

Weather Zen

I haven't seen a flake
since the last time I shaved.
It ain't snowin',
it ain't blowin',
it didn't even rain.

Maybe there's tornadoes
but I don't really care.
I'm not living in a trailer park
and I'm kind of hard to scare.

The weather's going to kill me
or maybe wild-eyed Muslim freaks
but all I really know
I haven't smoked a joint in weeks.

The bad guys sit beside you
but why give them a chair.
They never bring their reefer
those fuckers just don't share.

If you're going to get out rolling,
put some smoke in yer pack.
When you get blowin' reefer,
it's good to give some back.

If you really want to kill me
then come on and get it done
But it ain't snowin',
it ain't blowin',
it didn't even rain.

Erik and Chicago Jazz Up Cat's Art MusikCircus

For this one I will have to recuse myself from any audio review as there was substantial distortion in my system and I don't have an explanation for it.  I even logged out and cut over to headphones because my speakers have been degrading for some time.  Still the distortion was there but Cat said she couldn't hear it so that left only the computer as the source of the problem.  I have no good answer for that but this is not the time to find it.

Erik the Bassist returned to Cat's Art MusikCircus last night and I don't have the review but I do have the hot pics.  Erik is definitely the image of the bad-ass bass man.

Note the number of strings on Erik's bass.  A traditional bass has four strings tuned E,A,D,G.  Maybe some whizkid came up with a better way to reinforce the neck as a bass these days may have 5, 6, or even 8 strings.  (Guitar Center:  Ibanez 6-string bass.  Be prepared to dig deep as it's almost four times as much as a 4-string bass ... but it sounds so cool.  Note:  I am not recommending this bass as I have never played it.  The link is strictly informational.)

The advantage and disadvantage of a bass with an extended number of strings is that it can be played to give a stronger sense of melody.  That's an advantage because it gives you a wider range of expression and it's a disadvantage because the guitar guy will hate you because he wants to do it.  This is the stuff that makes bands cool, tho.  You work it out or you start another band.

The wider expression of Erik's six-string bass gives him the opportunity to play his interpretation of "Little Wing" and this is a song no-one should ever touch unless you are going to own it.  Trying to play it just like Hendrix is a loser before you ever tune the guitar.  Just don't.  However, that's not what Erik does as he gives his own interpretation and comparing that to Hendrix is pointless because that isn't what Hendrix did.  My own long-time mantra has been it's not important to play like Hendrix, it's only important to think like him.  That's exactly what Erik the Bassist does in his interpretation.

Erik has said his future gigs will only be with an accompanying singer and that sounds like an excellent move for him.  Trying to do a solo act with a bass is a bitch as people are tuned to listen for the rhythm but not so much to listen explicitly to what the bass is really doing.  However, in combination with a singer, Erik will bring his musical knowledge and skills and a singer will bring his or her talent but usually they aren't musically-trained.  I sing because I sing ... because I sing ... and that's a perfectly good reason.  It also makes a perfectly good combination for musical synergy and that will every time be my preference as I would much rather hear multiple musicians than something similar being effected with electronics.  Either way is cool and I do the latter a lot myself but if I have to make an A or B choice, I'm going to listen to the band and I suspect most others would as well.

So, whatever you do, Erik the Bassist, break and leg and enjoy the fracture thoroughly!

Chicagosax founded The Missing Links in Chicago in, I think, 1967 and that's the band that went on to become Chicago Transit Authority, later Chicago.  I don't know which of the original players were in it but everyone in that band was so incredibly talented that it would be an honor to jam with any of them.  When Chicago covers a tune, oftentimes he will talk about meeting and sometimes jamming with whomever wrote it.  A lot of times stage patter from musicians is something you'll edit out of the final mixdown but Chicago tells stories you don't want to miss.  He not only knows the music, he knows the people who made it and continue to make it.

This cat has been around.

He talked of how there was a time when went down to Jamaica a couple of times a year and one time he was sitting in the hotel bar where he met a lady named Rita ... Rita Marley.  Yes, that Marley.

That aspect goes back to a discussion Cat and I have frequently regarding music and this one shows the difference for me as I see a musician's life as the art and the play is the expression of it.  I'm not going to try to resolve that here as the discussion can go on all night long.  This one is probably close to religion in which everyone will have their own answer.

Chicagosax is in the running for this year's AVI Choice Awards so please do vote if you have some time.  Cat's Art MusikCircus was not listed the last time I looked but I did a write-in vote and hopefully it is by now.

You will walk a long time before you can find anyone who can blow a horn like Chicagosax.  He knows jazz and he knows those blues as he's been playing both for a long time.  He was pleased to note last night there is increasing acceptance by professionals of the Yamaha WX-5 wind instrument. They say you can't teach old dogs new tricks but it looks to me like the old dog is doing the teaching as Chicagosax has been playing one for quite a while.  That he, as a natural saxman, digs the feel of the MIDI synth instrument tells me all I would ever need to know.

He's diggin' it alright ... and so are the Guy Fawkes guys.

So was Cat.  It set her afire, in fact.

Ordinarily it's a problem when your date catches fire but in Second Life you take pictures.

I caught fire on a date once, at a Pink Floyd concert.  My pants caught fire and, after observing for a while, my date said maybe you might want to take care of that.  This is when I knew ... never take a date to a rock show.  There are things she will not understand.  (I'll tell the whole story another time)

There's catching fire and there's starting a fire and here's the woman who can do it.

Of course she's dangerous!