Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Sopressata

  So I was at Safeway at the deli counter buying meat and cheese (shaved turkey and smoked provolone) [though I would have preferred to go to Cub Foods but that company went kaput in Colorado, moving only to Illinois and Minnesota locations] when I heard an older German woman at the counter making her order.  It's a bit annoying the way Safeway does it.  On the East Coast (in excelsior) they give you what's called a num-ber and then when your num-ber is called, you're next.  Coloradans seem to enjoy the push-and-shove technique followed by the "who's next" lie in some sort of Hunger Game.  Hey, buddies, I got the conch!  I got the Intervention Maraca! (long story on that one but it involves Terry Gilliam a bachelorized Air Force sergeant, and an Army forward-observer for howitzers).  German older women are very noticeable and have booming voices and all look rough.  It's in their genes, no matter how Hedi they were and hyper-hot at first, they degrade into aggressive, bullish bar-wench old crows (in accordance with the prophesy).  She was asking for sopressata, and I cringed not because it's a bad cold cut.  No, it's a very good one.  She was adamant and eager to get it, too; almost .. feral.  I knew why:  Most Italian cold cuts are excellent.  Sopressata is a type of salami with a little more kick to it and a little more dense though not so much as pepperoni (well, Americanized pepperoni).  My issue here is that in Colorado Springs, there are a lot of military wives, often from primary bases.  The US has a good amount of Army and Air Force bases in Germany.  I was using what's called my brain-mind-head and diagnosed that she probably was not just an immigrant to the US, but a  military wife probably from Germany.  Stereotypes aside, I find there are some truths in them, and it's not a bad compass.  (Sorry, Society.  Stereotypes are there for a reason, just don't over-rely on them or do it cruelly). 

So this German woman orders sopressata and it's gathered by the deli girl but I know in my heart of hearts she will be disappointed.  You see, European cold cuts are far superior in quality than the American bastardized versions for the most part, and I knew she'd be disappointed, perhaps even broken-hearted.  I saw here eye that sopressata was there and she immediately got excited, perhaps even a glimmer of class, a glimmer of European Quality here on the other side of the world for her.  A taste of Hope.  A taste of home.  Nope.  I'm sure it sucked.  There's no way it's going to be as good as her village butcher who hand-rolls the ingredients into a tangy, tasty sausage: curred and sliced thick and rich, more deep tasting than thick slabs of butter slathered on French bread from France only a few dozen miles away from artisan bakers.  I'm sure she went to get mustard as well, perhaps white-wine'd mustard from the Fatherland only to find French's and Gulden's in the aisles, and perhaps Duffandorf (that little stubby bottle pretending to be European at a 10x cost as an in-joke).  No, nothing will be the same for her.

  I felt bad for German Lady.  So hopeful, so excited to get sopressata, but it'll never be the same.  She can't go back home this way.  I bet it's been a few years, maybe a dozen?  When she gets back to Germania, that butcher died and his store closed, the son never took up the trade and became a banker in Switzerland.  The French bread?  Industrialized and imported, or the local baker forgot how to make it just right, and it's dry, only being hydrated by German Lady's salty, little-girl tears.

  Or maybe Safeway's sopressata was pretty good!!!    Either way.    Ciao.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Gear

  Guitar gear is vital for a guitarist.  Unless you're playing flamenco in a submarine, you need good electric guitar add-ons.  You can't just go out and get a Fender Squire and an amp and rock-out.  Well, you probably could if you were Joe Satriani and Ozzy's love-child aka, OzzySatan (ie. not real Satan) .. though this might be Steve Vai .. possibly.
  A lot of beginners get like, maybe 1 pedal to shove into their $10 amp they paid $100 for, and a lot of times, the first one to get is a distortion pedal.  So many to choose from, it's important to know what sort of music you're trying to emulate.  The best way is to find out what that artist used himself (or herself) and get that exact one.  Since all the musicians I admire are over 60 now (gosh, I'm old), this makes for some difficult and strategic purchases.

  Now you can get all-in-one rack units.  These are often very good sound quality machines, though run a bit high in cost.  I have the trusty Digitech 2112 (based on Rush's 1976 eponymous album) though I've upgraded the onboard chip to a 2120.  Some people get ones like the Rocktron Prophesy II, the TC Electronics G-Force, etc.  Overall, the sounds are good, but often you lose something somewhere.  I'm sure the engineers tried their best.  Dedicated effects are best, usually.  You can get a rack-unit reverb by Lexicon that's just killer, or by Eventide, though these run $7000 and up. 

  Since most guys only got $100 in their pockets or less, pickings are cheap.  A lot of guys only have the one pedal, like I've said, and what's stopping them is that they're broke and don't think they can afford any.   I've found Behringer gives a nice alternative for those going on-the-cheap.  Here's a list of Behringer pedals (aka stomp-boxes) that will simulate other pedals: Behringer comparison chart.  You'll notice a lot of these are Boss pedal similarities.  Boss used to make some fine pedals in the 70's and 80's.  Anything after that the clay they used for the resistors went on-the-cheap and sound less lush, though sometimes if you're looking for a 90's sound, it might be the way to go.  Personally, I'm for analog sounds.  Cold, digital sounds might be referred in some musical instances, such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, Green Day (nuPunk) and anything "Emo".  (not emu or emu).  These fledgling guys from the 90's could afford antique botique pedals so they went "new".
  Anyway, with Behringer, you can get these pedals for like $19.  One example is the Boss DC-2 Dimension C.  It's a freaky 4-button-only pedal you can't adjust.  I've seen them on eBay for $400 or more.  Behringer offers theirs for around $24 called the CC300.  With my critical ear, like all Behringer products, it sounds a bit thin but with some EQ tweaking it'll be very close.  Here's the 2 examples:

 I'd say they sound pretty close for a 20th the price.  They both even offer stereo-outs, which is good, though no stereo inputs, which is less good, making pedal-chain add-ons odd.  The Behringer allows you to press down 2 buttons to "mix" two effects whereas the Boss does not, making it marginally superior.  Not bad.
  Here's one more with the chorus.  The Boss CE-5 and the Behringer CO600.

 Despite the first kid fiddling too fast, it's very similar.  If you have a non-Apple computer, you can hear the difference in the lushness of the two.  Behringer tends to sound a bit cheaper (well, it is cheaper) but it's very close. 
 The idea here that I'm trying to make is that a guitarist can get 5 or 6 pedals for about $120 for the cost of one and that should get him going straight by way of on-the-cheap with Behringer.  Later they can belly-up to the big-boy table and buy that high-end chorus Behringer was trying to clone, though I suspect they won't be able to tell the difference by their ear for about 10 years or so, and even then subconsciously.  At almost 20 years of playing, I myself can pick-out the subtleties.  The folks at YouTube couldn't when I released my version of Bryan Adams' Run To You They thought it was the same, but it's pretty obvious I wasn't using a 1968 Fender Strat... well, to me anyway.

  The 6 pedals I recommend off-the-bat would be:  Distortion, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Delay, and Reverb.  Now, you can substitute either the Phaser or Flanger for Compressor instead, because newbies find the Phaser and Flanger to sound very similar.  Use the link above by clicking the darkened-out Behringer text to see the required pedals.
  Personally, I couldn't afford a very expensive analog delay pedal, so I'm using a "Vintage Delay" Behringer VD400.  Sounds good.

  Happy shredding!

The Ride

  Got my Honda Superhawk VTR1000F up and running and went to Castle Rock for burgers and whiskey today.  Apple succeeded in failing again (thanks, Siri!) by leading us to a non-existent comic-book store via dead-ends and pitfalls resulting in fellow Harley rider's near-death of scraping his highway footboards dangerously sparking the pavement.  (Harley's don't handle so well) though to his credit he handled it well enough for our pace!  Another rode via small pickup, having surrendered motorcycling to Time for a while.  Fine enough, and it kept my brashness tethered to Earth lest I over-do it speed-wise.
  Ended up at Daz Bog for coffee (Russian, and therefore evil).  The coffee was candied but good.  Took I-25 back instead of Parker Road, parting ways with the pick-em-up driver and the winds were howling up Monument Pass making travel mildly difficult, SUVs breaking suddenly because of atmosphere or no reason at all.  I think my speedometer is calibrated off, fellow rider explained I was doing 100 at times when my gauge only indicated around 80.  I have a device onboard called the SpeedoHealer.  It might have reset when I changed the battery, I'll have to validate that. 
  Finally, we went to Apex Motorsports.  Looked at the new Honda CBR 250 and was disappointed they didn't have boots or gloves I might want, mine being almost 10 years old now and "well worn", having protected me from gravity-defying evils of the Road.
  I feel a bit stiff from the affair, having traveled almost 100 miles total, I'm a bit rusty.  A few times enroute I goosed the throttle a bit too much dumping the clutch for some rapid hop-ups unintended.  Need to not do that.
  Looking forward to The Avengers movie coming up, and dreading the re-re-re-reboot of Spiderman.  Gimme back the originals from 1977!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Friday

From ChadVader, It's Friday, (because it's Wednesday).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Video

Rush made an "Official Lyric Video" of the song Headlong Flight.

Watch it here:

Or, you can watch the HD version here:

Please keep in mind that I'm stuck at a hotel with 0.5 Mbps for the next 2 more days.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Single

Holy.. sh..  So many changeups.  It's amazing.  These guys are over 60 btw.

(edited, Rolling Stone's compressed crap has been upsurped!)  Here's a better version:

Note the clock says 21:12.  Rumor has it they'll be playing 2112 in its entirety of (2123857 hours long) in the upcoming concert for ClockWork Angels

Monday, April 16, 2012

The MetalObama

  So Obama's been quoted to a response that Dave Mustaine of Megadeth complaining Obama was not born in America.  This is true, actually, though a citizen of America (unfortunately), claiming the state of Hawaii.  No school has record of him attending anywhere in Hawaii, but his Kenyan father (died in prison recently, and odd Obama didn't pardon him for Communist actions against America, again odd) moved to Indonesia in Jakarta when he was 6.  Kinda moot now, but interesting none-the-less.  Obama was outraged and afraid of this accusation by a semi-noteworthy media figure and responded thusly:
“Dave Mustaine has a lot of questions about me? Well I have a lot of questions about him! How do we know he really had anything to do with those songs on [Metallica's] Kill ‘Em All and Ride the Lightning? I didn’t see him write them, did you? I’m not questioning it, I just… I know he didn’t write any of those riffs. How come he was invisible until he became whatever he was in Megadeth?”
  This is the same guy that thinks he's been to America's 57 states.  If Bush had said this, the world would be in an outrage, but since the Democrats control most media, it was swept aside.  Guess that's why we have to pay 38% in taxes this year so his aides can get hookers in Vegas and Colombia that we pay for.  Yep.  Check it out.

  Anyway, I'm annoyed at his comment bout Mustaine.  It's quite obvious Mustaine wrote riffs from the song The Four Horsemen as he legally re-used the guitar riffs in Megadeth's debut album Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good the song Mechanix from the original song The Mechanix later renamed The Four Horsemen, as well as Jump in the Fire, and Metal Militia and from the album Ride the Lightning, the songs, Ride the Lightning and Call of Ktulu.  The fact Obama is again talking out of his arse makes him a pansy-boy.  Liberal idiots are loving his rebuttal in the same way they'll grin when John Elway runs for govenor of Colorado with no ability against a Poli-Sci Doctorate who spent his whole life studying Colorado's government and loses to John.  FREE BARABBAS!  (Becuase it's the popular option, not the right option).  Way to go, American liberal dolts.

  As lead guitarist you HAVE to write the bits because you have to PERFORM them while touring.  You think the bass player Cliff Burton wrote the guitar riffs for him?  Unlikely.  Pathetic again, Obama.  Go jump in a vat of milk.

Thanks for the song, Dave Mustaine!  No thanks to Obama the wanna-be Metallica fan. Go get your OWN LuLu album.

The Entitled

  So I meet guys from time to time that talk about cars.  It's nice because it's one of my several hobbies.  Cars can be an expensive hobby.  A mechanically inclined can limit those costs to reasonable levels.  One at least gear-savvy can estimate repairs based on symptoms and not get railroaded by mechanics for a more realistic estimate of repairs.  An alternator replacement shouldn't cost $300 for instance (under most circumstances, anyway).  As my dad would say, "Ignorance is expensive."  Though I prefer my own, "Ignorance is laziness."
  A percentage of these folks buy hoplessly beat-up cars that'll never run as they wallow in its failure.  Either lack of funds or gumption keep the car from its greatness, like some senile elderly person on life-support in a coma-state until Mother Entropy takes over inexorably over time until all hope turns to rust.  Sometimes these folks can get a car to almost running sort of, if in short stints after spending thousands.  These people have had the car wraith their souls into the metal beast until they're sad spectres, realizing their journey was a financial nightmare and an impossible one, albiet noble.
   What bothers me more are the type that have a true love of cars but are too afraid to own a particular speciality.  A person I know at work raves about a Lotus Exige, particularly after 2005 when they were supercharged.  This guy owns a 3-Series BMW from 2007.  I informed him that his trade-in of $16k would well afford him an Exige that'd run around $39k for the same year in used but fine condition.  He lamented a car payment (of $22k over 6 years) and that he's happy he doesn't have a car payment right now.  More debate indicated he'd rather buy a new 5-Series BMW.  This would be fine but he has been drooling over the Exige for the two years I've known him, yet he holds himself back for seemingly no reason, the car in-sight easily, especially if he's looking at buying a one or two year old 5-Series BMW!  Those'd run around $50k give-or-take, depending on options, which could take you into the $70k range, especially if he's thinking about a 2011 model M Edition.  It's so insane he'd rather get a sedan instead of his dream car, as if he's almost denying himself happiness.
  Another such instance was a kid I knew who said there was nothing he'd want more than a 1990s Corvette (for whatever reason) but that he could never aford one.  He had a 2002 Dodge Ram paid-off and I showed him several late 90s LS1 Corvettes for around $8000 (at the time).  His Ram he could get around $22k.  He still balked at the idea and just kept on dreaming.  What the heck is wrong here?  A quirk in humanity.

  On a side note I was filling air in my tires with the supplied Saturn Sky handy 12V cigarette-lighter adapter that it comes with (thanks Saturn) as the pressure was low and it's about-free (versus a gas station'd charge a dollar or two) and I accidentilly inserted a secondary

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Hunger

  The Japanese car company Nissan, like so many others is doing poorly.  There's an ad campaign to suggest all new cars, but they're not new.  The commercial has a bunch of Nissans driving around with bed sheets on them to suggest an "unveiling" but nothing they're showing-off  is worth a darn.
  I owned a gutless Nissan Sentra several years back.  It was adequate transportation and sarcastically nicknamed, "The Red Dragon", decked-out in APC-Racing red dragons motif from AutoZone Parts.  It was a manual transmission but didn't even have a tachometer.  Electrics were its downfall and ultimately I sold it for $500 with most of the paint missing off of it and almost none of the electronics.  It's probably in car heaven right now (Do All Cars Go To Heaven?)
  I've seen Nissan's future lineup, as I'm a time-traveller.  It's sad.  No one's waiting in line for their special edition Nissan Alitma like I waited 2 years for my Saturn Sky Redline.  No one's straining at the bit like greyhounds in the slips for England and St.George for the Nissan Murano convertible ass-joke.  The Nissan Leaf turned out to be such a huge failure that Nissan's losses cannot be recouped for years.  Gas would have to be $9/gal. for that nightmare to be fixed, their counter-strike to the unnecessary Chevy Volt which production has stopped due to zero sales.  Nissan's only two sports cars (well, at least they have two) is the 370Z and the GT-R, the latter to expensive for anyone to buy and it looks like a Honda Accord.  Nissan is releasing bland cars for no one, and no white bedsheet is going to save them.  I'm hungry for exciting cars.

  On a happier note, I went and saw The Hunger Games yesterday, cringing at the thought of a Twilight gay-tacular soul-less-teen-centric womanly cascade of estrogen.  Thankfully, I was spared.  A decent sci-fi with a taste of In Time and a smattering of Logan's Run and Running Man, the movie doesn't suck.  The director was pretty bad though, at least with the mid-90's evocation of shakey-cam ala Gladiator to invoke excitement and/or confusion in certain scenes.  I found that element a bit cheap and towards the end felt like vomiting due to the Gonzo, POV production.  To his credit, I don't think the movie would have worked as well without it, so take some Dramamine before watching.  Irregahd'less, it was a decent premise with an interesting backstory, and it's nice a few sci-fi movies are making it past empty, bitter Hollywood companies who still seem to think poorly of American intelligence.

The Hunger Games

Zombies.....                   A-
Comic book fans..... B+
Everyone else....        A-

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Clockwork Angels

  So Rush released a 3rd single from the upcoming album, Clockwork Angels.  It's super-badass and makes Metallica's releases seem like robot-vaginas (whatever that means).  Little 30-second trailer here:

and the rather interesting SteamPunk concept-album tracklist is here:

"Clockwork Angels" track list:

1. Caravan
2. BU2B
3. Clockwork Angels
4. The Anarchist
5. Carnies
6. Halo Effect
7. Seven Cities Of Gold
8. The Wreckers
9. Headlong Flight
10. BU2B2
11. Wish Them Well
12. The Garden

  I think I just had a happy in my pants!  Comes out June 12th, 2012 (6 - 12 - 12).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Morning

  So I'm pretty much drunk right now on draft-cider in preparation for my mid tonite so I can sleep, and I'm gently reminded of my first date:  the clown's beard was so tickly when I blacked-out.

Zuzaaah!  Midgets!

The Evening

  It's odd to wake up at 11:34 PM.  Mids'll do that to me on occasion.  I'll Throwback Mountain Dew it up until 4am and then be wired until noon, then crash hard until near midnight on my mids days off.  Some guys sweep right back to days during their 2 days off due to uncaring families who have no idea the agony of never getting sleep for years on-end but I don't have to deal with that, thankfully.  Now, however, I'm 8 hours off my mids rotation, probably due to the nice weather or too much caffeine, I'm not sure which.  So.. in 4 hours from now I got to be getting back to sleep for my 2 mid shifts coming up, then I transition back to days again for a month.  Should be a hoot.
  Bacon sandwich on Texas Toast was good, and watching a treasure trove of shorts by BlameSocietyFilms, the makers of Chad Vader and several other very good comedy runs, but honestly, that's not very productive.  I should be doing things around the house, cleaning and what-not but oddly this last week I haven't cared much about it.  Shame, really.  Haven't wanted to play guitar whatsoever for 2 months, though I made myself try it on that recent attempt at an intro to BattleScar by Max Webster I posted on my main page.  I got a few comments on my music lately, mostly emoticons like  :/  Which indicate indifference.  Yay, indifference!  My work is indifferent to people after weeks of recording and sound engineering!  YAY!  I've made it to zero!  I've made it all the way up to nothing!
  Seems like it might rain outside.  It's overcast but not super-freezing as it has been.  It's 53 degrees out right now but lows are around 38.  Normally highs of 70, lows of 34 with a 20 mph wind.  When I work mids, it's delightful coming-in but super-cold coming back.  Doesn't make for nice riding motorcycle weather with hidden sand patches in the dark after 12 hours of work all tired and what-not.
  There's rumor Rush's new single Headlong Flight might be coming out in limited runs on select radio stations today sometime, though FM has been dead since 2002 since XM radio took-off (the cable-TV of radio).
  Taxes are due at the end of this week too, well actually next week.  Though we filed zero, we still have to PAY quite a lot.  We pay 38% in taxes this year, though we're nowhere near that Obama-promised $200k line.  Seems the super-rich can afford to not pay taxes, somehow.  Mitt Romney payed 9% this year.  I bet he makes more than me n' Becky combined.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Black Hole

  No, I 'm not talking about being trapped in your home town, never really leaving except that one rare vacation to Vegas (a lame town btw, not as cool as Hangover might let you think, and no comp'ed drinks?  Sheesh!  I miss the '80s).  I'm talking 'bout the spacial anomaly, the neutron star.
  There's a few theorists on-board that believe that since light (particle or wave?  you decide) cannot escape closer than the event horizon that time itself is distorted by gravity enough that you will slow down and the universe and everything in it will move along at a faster rate.  The "event horizon" is an imaginary line where gravity is so strong that there are no particles that can escape at that point further.  The point of no return so-to-speak.

  There's been a few movies and shorts playing on that subject, and some extremely low-budget (or sadly, high-budget, ie. think the new Star Trek movie) that think that a black hole is really a "hole" based on uneducated writers who never got past elementary school science class.  It's not a "hole" per-se.  If Einstein had called it something else instead of a "hole" it'd really have helped-out writers.  He probably should have called it a "gravity star" or something like that, in its core a super-dense ball with a near-infinite gravity.  Ah, well.  Sorry J.J.Abrahms, you fail Junior High science class.  I guess you're a retard, and you owe me several hours of my life from your crappy ending of Lost.  Really?  They all end-up in Purgatory, waiting for Heaven to open-up?  Really?  The mom and the stone in the well was just.. magic?  No explanation with the Viking wheel's power?  Just.. magic?  I think it's "pistols at 20 paces" with you, Abrams!
  Anyway, there's a few little bits of movie and TV out there touching on being stationary at an event-horizon station, like a spaceship or space base or something.  One point is left-out though, and it bugs me.  Okay, so that's the point where light can't escape due to extreme gravity but if you're say, 10 feet off of that, isn't gravity still super strong?  Like, enough to crush everything?  Say the nose of your spaceship is facing it and you're somehow retro-thrusting away from the black hole near the event horizon (no, sci-fi writers, it can't just float there).  You'd need the retro-thrusters because the gravity at that point is not an on/off situation.  It's just extreme at that point.  10 feet off, heck even likely 10 million miles off it's still more than anything normally can withstand, far greater than 1g.  Probably at 10-feet off it's closer to a billion g-forces.  So, somehow you're retro-thrusting against it at that point, wouldn't the gravity be so strong all your stuff would smoosh-smoosh against the nose of the ship?  Wouldn't you be crushed as well?  Gravity there is probably 1 billion g's (minus say, one, so.. 999 million g's).  I don't care how good you are at push-ups, you won't survive, and your ship would crumple into a flat pancake, at which point your engines would be smoosh too and you'd just fall-in very fast now that you have no retro-thrust.

  Now, what if you have anti-gravity devices on-board somehow (these don't exist yet)?  Well, you'd have to generate 999 million anti-g-forces to survive in your ship.  There's a possibility we could devise engines that like the Hoover Dam's hydro-electric plant could use the gravity pull to generate engine power, perhaps with electro-capacitors insane enough to handle the energy needed and provided (we still can't harness lightning via capacitors yet).  I think it's hopeless.
  Or, I could try and watch Star Trek again and ignore the science and just have fun.  Maybe I could watch it on an iPhone.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Donald Pleasance?!

  Watching MST3K's Warrior of the Lost World and suddenly, the leader of the Omega faction, Donald Pleasance who just got spat in the face by Star Trek: The Motion Picture's Persis Khambatta!  What the heck?!  Furthermore, Robert Ginty of the film The Paper Chase and Fred Williamson of Black Cobra.

 Man, why can't all movies be this cool now?  I want my motorcycle to have a computer screen that says, "Bingo!" but have the trailer display formulas for no reason!  YES!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Okay, one more D&D conundrum

  Interspecies marriage often results in parental angst.  Hal explains a successful OwlBear marriage and the complications therein.

D&D issues

  I've been wondering for some time, if you don't have any "plus" weapons, how do you escape a Succubus?  Well, thankfully, Hal comes to the rescue.

Mac virus FlashBack dominates systems

  Mac virii are now becoming more commonplace.  The FlashBack virus has already infected 550,000 systems and iPads and still increasing.  It's funny because unlike a PC, all people can do is turn their brick'ed iPads in to the store for a replacement.  This expensive gesture is not dooming, however.  Apple can reformat the SSD hard-drives at a low-level and reinstall them in other units later.  This process, however, takes time and manpower a bit, and therefore money.  It's only a matter of time that Apple is inundated with thousands upon thousands of virii.  Steve is probably happy he died before this happened.  I suspect he predicted its inevitability, as it'll transcribe onto iPhones as well.  He's probably happy his image wasn't tarnished.
  To my amusement, the majority of Mac virii are Java-based, so you could remove the Java capability of Macs to protect yourself, sort-of.  For a while.

Bye-bye Apple.

Users will get used to this Mac 1 and Mac 2 all-to familiar image and dead screen.  When I used Macs back in the 80s and 90s, I remember it well.

The Chili

  So being up this evening, I went to WalMart (the closest supermarket open at midnight to me) to get ingredients for some chili, this time a 6-Pepper Ain't Too Proud To Beg Chilli:

1 Poblano
4 Serrano (I found these a bit toasty, about halfway between jalapeno and habanero)
4 Jalapeno
1 Bell
1 Sweet Red
1 Anaheim
(all these diced into 1" squares or rings)

1 Pound ground round
2 Pound 1/2" cubed steak

1/2 Spanish onion
1 can (large) peeled tomatoes
1 can (small) tomato paste

1/2 cup chili powder
1 tbspn minced garlic
1 tbspn salt
1 tbspn pepper
1 tbspn oregano
1 tbspn Italian spices (basil and other things)
2 tbspns A1 Steak sauce
2 tbspns Worcestershire sauce (Lee & Perkin's of course)
dash of Red Robin seasoning
dash of SeasonAll (no, not AllSpice)
1tspn cocoa powder

2 cans chili beans
1 can kidney beans

1 beer (in this case, Dos Equis Amber)

  Sometimes I add more meat, sometimes (usually) less peppers and more onion.  Shrug.  I don't care for the chocolaty smokey taste of habaneros with it's spider-bite of a burn.  It's just a rude pepper, though the bhut jolokia, which is arguably much hotter, sometimes known as the ghost pepper, is quite tasty. 

 My recipe changes from time to time.  It's a whimsical thing.  I picked up a few more random items like Flintsone's Gummi vitamins and what-not.

Anyway, so a transaction was failing in the only aisle available, the credit cards of the latina bbw girls were not working.  After about 10 minutes they just took out the cash, the line huge behind me, and other aisles opened mercifully.  The lady was oddly flirty, talking about each item, one at a time as she bagged them, "Mmmn, that bread smells great!"  "Gotta love the old original Mt.Dew!"  etc.  Lovely.  I think she was around 60 but more than likely in her late 50s.  Odd that's not that much older than me.  I got a commentary of each item and she started quizzing me on my peppers purchases.  I explained the Anaheim from the Poblano to help her look up the SKUs.  Once I offered that I was making chili she freaked out and said, "Ooooh, you're a man who can cook!!!"  Oh.. myyyy.   I wonder if it's gonna be too hot?

Hope the chili turns out okay.

End transmission.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A little political rant

  So Obama was quoted as saying things like, "..if we can only get US gas prices to the levels of Europe's.." and when confronted by Medvedev the outgoing Russian puppet, "This is my last election.  Tell Putin I'll be a little more flexible once the election is over."  Furthermore, he's defying the Supreme Court by insisting they not analyze the Obamacare "forced insurance you have to pay for" bill, seeing if it's unconstitutional or not.  Wow.  Honestly, wow.  It's absolutely amazing he's not imprisoned for treason against America.
  CNN, desperate of hiding and distracting these facts is showing news stories of cheerleaders, kittens, and just about anything they can to distract from the disaster train-wreck.  The US economy is riding a mini-wave off of the Christmas season's purchasing of low-quality LED TVs at BestWorstBuy such as LG's 10k lumens (about as good as a cellphone from 1997) and Apple sales (16-bit audio and 720p graphics, quality again seen in 1997).  Why, it's like 1997 all over again!  "I did not have relations with Monica!"  Amazing.
  Kool-Aid drinking liberals shrug it off; the same ones that pointed fingers at Bush for oil prices are now pocketing said-fingers claiming it's not his fault.  Think Obama doesn't have stocks?  Think again.  I'd be interested in his shareholdings.  I wonder if he has stock in lithium mining operations for electric cars?  Just wondering
  The oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been long forgotten, though victims over the last few years are dying due to the xylene found in the water causing all sorts of permanent issues.  I recommend not eating any shrimp for the next 10 years.  None.  Shrimp generally comes from the Gulf, or China, who dump toxins in their waters all the time.  Shrimp eat detritus.  You want shrimp that eat Chinaman waste?  Think not.  You want shrimp that are tainted with xylene causing brain damage?  No thanks.  Sorry Bubba Gump.  Obama shrugged it off like it wasn't his issue, just BP's.  Sure, but Americans have been suffering for it.  We had a huge HUGE hurricane up the Eastern seaboard last year, tens of thousands of houses destroyed.  Again, shrugged-off by our "leader".  No FIMA there.  No Red Cross.  Texas has been devastated by tornadoes, as well as the Midwest to unheralded degrees.  Japan destroyed by two earthquakes which has affected California by way of radiation.  Indeed, radiation from the issues have been found in Colorado! (the radiation found can be "fingerprinted" to the source from the destroyed reactors north of Tokyo).  So... several Earth-impacting disasters.  American-impacting disasters.  Obama nowhere.  Now, we had a mild hurricane in Louisiana a few years back named Katrina which flooded poverty areas and shanties.  They were warned to leave the vicinity but most stayed.  Some drowned.  1700 some-odd people are dead or missing, much less than the rest of the disasters recently, and much less than the number of deaths on I-95 last year.  This is mostly because people were warned 5 days ahead of time and they just stayed there because their cumulative IQ was 8, so it actually helped the gene pool of America that they died.  High-five! 

  Bush was chastised it took 3 days to do anything but in reality, FEMA was there 3 days EARLY and provided 700,000 people homes and shelter and tax-breaks and food and water and free credit-cards and transportation to Colorado and other places and free hotel rooms for months and sometimes years and then offered FREE HOMES to several hundred.  Still, not enough, I guess.  Ultimately, the levies weren't strong enough and the governor of Louisiana pocketed the tax money.  That's the real shame.
  No, the real shame is 49% of Americans think Obama's doing a good job because of the "mess" Bush got us in.  You can blame the previous administration for 1 year and then you're on your own.  After 4 years, it's all you.  In the days of snail-mail and Pony Express, sure, things were geologically slow by way of economy, but now, people can buy and sell stocks within seconds online.  Governmental finances are affected within weeks, not years.
  Obama's ultimate goal is to create a Police State where the government controls every aspect of people's lives like Russia, Cuba, and China.  The government decides where you live, what you eat, your home protection is controlled by them meaning NO GUNS.  Soon religion is affected.  I encourage everyone to look at these 3 countries and see their human lifestyle.  See how happy they aren't.  China rising?  Sure, in misery.

Okay, I'm done now.  Go back to your Eggo's.. while you can still have them.  Love that sugar-tax Obama implemented last year!  Yay!

Obama, the Grand Illusionist.

Run To You cover BANNED by YouTube!!!

  So I resubmitted a cover of Bryan Adams' song, Run to You that I did last year, fixing a bit of the overdone keyboards I recorded and cleaned-up the bit-rate to 32-bit and pulled up the bass guitar I played in parts.  I then submitted a guitar-only version as well.  Interestingly, YouTube thought it was so close to the original recording they thought I was stealing Bryan Adams' work somewhere, which I did not.  It's just a cover version which I did all the parts (except the MIDI drums I found online somewhere from a site made in the early '90s that was not done by Bryan Adams, though I gave no credit to the MIDI drum programmer, which is shame-on-me I guess, though I converted it to a WAV file and changed it up a bit).
  Anyway, Run to You was thought to be stolen material.  Quite flattering, though annoying.  You can hear the banned-version at my website at if you're interested.  I didn't think it was that close.  Shrug.

The Jungle

  Since when did The Jungle become The Rainforest?  It's the same damn thing!  Granted, some jungles don't have as much rain as others, though often the jungle floors have perpetual rain due to the leaves and monster droppings above, not unlike "marine snow" which falls down continuously in the oceans' Abysmal Zones and Hadal Zones.  I guess it makes it nicer sounding than, jungleRainforests evoke a sense of bio-equality and balance, possibly unlocking the secrets of medicines and Nature.  Often, kids are tricked by KoolAid-drinking teachers who lick paste (either or both, it doesn't matter) by way of coloring books showing exotic toucans and playful monkeys around tasty fruits and gorgeous flowers.  Well let me tell you something, bud.  I've been in these so-called rainforests and I'd just like to say that there's nothing nice about them:  hot, wet, full of infinite dangers at every turn!  Evil spiders, starving and stalking jaguar, poison fruits and carnivorous flowers and insects infected by fungi in their brains that explode.  No jokes.  It's an evil place that should be nuked immediately due to the peril of it's mere existence, lest we all become zombies ourselves!!!  (Go to 3:20)

"Rainforests are the DEV-IL!  We've got to KILL the DEV-IL!"

I agree, Gwenyth, for once.  I agree.

  A co-worker mentioned that "Concrete Jungle" sounds a lot more cool than "Concrete Rainforest".  I mentioned, "What about Seattle?"  His reply?  "Good point."


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Chainsaw

   So I tackled a thorny tree this afternoon using a chainsaw.  It had been growing from under the fence of our neighbor who had cut it down on their side, but the roots survived and allowed it to come up on our side.  I think it was a species of Sumac but non-fruit bearing.  Had ample hardcore thorns that'd scratch the living bejezus out of me when I mowed.  Now I'm not one for cutting down trees but this tree was evil, or at least I deemed it so, as it'd physically attack me Kite-Eating Shultz-style at any opportunity.  Well, botany be damned, this monster shall perish!

  The tree was about 10 feet tall, give or take.  No leaves were sprouting from it yet, just hateful thorns ready to grasp and bite like some arboreal Cenobite demon.  I journeyed to Lowe's (the Pepsi to Home Depot's Coke) and got a small, electric-powered 1.5 Hp chainsaw.  It still required chain-oil in a rather small reservoir so I also purchased the chain oil and filled it (though surprised it filled after about a shot-glass' worth and overfilled it a tiny bit, having to dump it into my spent motorcycle oil pan still 1/2 full because I haven't taken to AutoZone for disposal).  I tied the electric cord square-knotted and pressed the release-button and then the trigger.  Rather loud for a 18" chained blade!
  So okay, I take a knee and get at the beast's three necks lumberjack-style: 

                               I didn't want to be a barber, I wanted to be a lumberjack!

 The chainsaw's performance is not elegant by any means.  I thought, like woodshop class back in 1982 it'd be like perhaps a Skill-saw or a band-saw, intense but smooth.  Not so with the chain-saw!  Nope!  No-sir-ee!  It explodes wood-chips every which way violently.  This is no light-saber.  It's more like a continuously-exploding grenade on a stick.  BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!  Shrapnel shooting like Katy Perry brazier fireworks the chainsaw is nothing but pure chaos.  It's more chaotic-neutral than a redhead.  It's .. chaotic-chaotic! 

  Screaming like a RC car it bludgeons through each of the necks, pausing only for more pressure by me as if to tell the small Fizgig of a beast that it's okay to eat.  Like CookieMonster it does, like some tasmanian-devil-wolverine hybrid on PCP it obliterates and I fell the tree (some of the branches getting a last-attack on my face-breast-chest-neck-head area) leaving three 3" thick stumps.


  Becky finishes the deed with giant hedgers, breaking down the parts as I fetch bags to barely contain the thorn demon branches.  Mission accomplished.
  Still, it's disappointing the chainsaw, even this tiny one, because it is so aggressively explosive and insane.  It's a bit intimidating too, like unleashing mini-hell-hounds, well, hell-chihuahuas at the target.  Merciless and bitingly mad.  So my first experience as a home-owner with a chainsaw is surprising due to it's extreme violence and what with the pieces all exploding around.  Luckily I wore safety goggles.  I wasn't going to, then I considered one of my carbon-fiber motorcycle helmets for protection.  I think that would have made a better choice.

Where'd everybody go?

  Over the years I've met a lot of people from different nationalities and ways of thinking; by doing so I've learned to accept different ways, different concepts.  These unique visions have enabled me to be able to understand the ultimate alien species, the woman pretty well.  I'm able to.. add it all together so-to-speak; at least better than most guys anyway, from what I can tell.  I was pretty moronic at age 21 but the USAF helped me to get a nice Chex-Mix bag of regional diversity.  I warrant a lot of guys back in Methuen, MA ever had a chance to understand why bacon seems to be in every vegetable dish in the South, or why the Midwest loves white gravy on burritos, or Californians seemingly must have avocado on every sandwich.  I've travelled a lot too, across the US and abroad.  I guess this makes me worldly at least to some degree.  At age 42 there are few scientific mysteries or unsolved riddles of the universe for me, though faster-than-light communications seems puzzling:  if only Hyperspace existed, or does it?

  Of all these people I've met, I've lost a lot of them.  Oh, not by death, but by just having to move around a lot.  Being in Space Command I've felt my life has been a bit more "exotic and strange" than most, though I'm sure there are far more stranger lives out there, indeed!  A little Rush quote from the song Mission off of the album Hold Your Fire, "..their lives were exotic and strange, they would likely gladly exchange them for something a little more sane, maybe something a little more plain."  It's interesting because this attitude is not shared by my other fellow "Space Kiddettes" in their "Space Jammies"(now being phased-out in exchange for ABUs, a shame, really, and the end of a legacy thanks to that in-charge moron I worked with at GPS.. never a good leader, that one, though I'm sure he'd like to think otherwise).  Sadly, those in Space Command think it just another job.  Sure, we balk at the TV commercials for AF Space Command as if that's how it really is.  I personally performed manned spaceflight collision avoidance at Cheyenne Mountain from 1997 to 1999 and it was not like that commercial.  Usually the officers were asleep, drool dripping onto their desks not knowing what was going on while I informed NASA of incoming rocket-bodies, etc.  Shrug.  Most of the officers I've known in Space Command get out and sell used cars.  Most of the enlisted are still doing what they were doing before but at Lieutenant General pay (taxes are a bitch at that rate, btw).  I suspect once they get out, they'll reminisce of the "good ol' days" like those Vietnam vets looking back at their 3-year assignment with one deployment close to almost actual Vietnam, or those high-school football quarterbacks that "could've made State", holding on to that one glimmer of glory, the rest of their lives a droll epilogue.
  So, it brings me to wonder where all these guys I knew went to.  Well, before Putin's mobsters seized Facebook (it was for sale after all, and relatively cheap for data-mining and facial recognition software, now all owned by the Russians, that's right, Russia has a picture of you and knows where you live now, and what site you went to right after Facebook, and where your kids are, etc., especially if you're in the military, then send all that data to the highest bidder after they're done raping your identity.. THANKS, FACEBOOK!)  Er, I digress.  Anyway, I've noticed a majority have moved on to Dull City.  They never achieved Greatness.  They never saved any lives or did anything significant.  A lot of 'em had kids and got fat.  I guess that's the American Dream now, that and Tweeting on an iPhone, L01, becoming Digital Caligulas, all of them, clicking LIKE.. or worse still, not clicking LIKE
  I'm sad for those I've known.  I really wish any of them get more passion for life and do something intense.  Taking your kids to Disney World is not really that big a deal.  Well, actually it's a bit insane-chaotic so I guess maybe it is, as I was taken there at age 11 and yeah, it was pretty cool, though it was only for an afternoon, I still remember it vividly.. the clown that grabbed me behind the porta-potties, the calliope music distorting slowly, that clown nose getting closer to my face, smelling of gin and cheap cigarettes as I blacked out, only waking many years later behind a 7-11 dumpster wearing torn lederhosen, a wig, and lipstick.  And a flight-cap.  Oh, just kidding.
  Facebook was a nice tool to peek into their universes and see how they were all doing.  Fat?  CheckParents?  CheckDead-end jobCheckDreams unfulfilledCheckRather a dark future, almost Future Noir for most of 'em.  Not all  of them, which gives me hope.  I want them all to do well, not settle for crap!  I want them to seize Life by her ballz and WIN!  Record a song.  Get a Corvette.  Buy a house.  Champion a cause.  I hate it when I see parents live vicariously through their children, "I had a shitty life but I'll make damned sure you will get it right this time!" .. and then they buy their kids an iPhone with unlimited texting and entitle them to trophies for participation in something because in schools, everyone's a winner.  Can't wait until they realize the Truth of Life.  Maybe kids need to sit under Yggdrasil a while.  The Wheel perpetuates itself, parents.  Acorn falls mighty close to the tree and pushing as hard as you might, the kid is predisposed to be just like you.. exactly.  Despite all you try.  SO.. you might want to be a hero yourself instead of making your kid be a hero, then at least the kid has a role model worth a darn.  You want your kid to tell the other kids, "My mom/dad's coooool!!!"  Like Betty White.  Do it.  NOW.

Note*  With all the links, this post took me 1 hour 29 minutes!  Ah, wasted time.  ;D