Friday, August 31, 2012

Bookends & Odds & Ends

The Greater Dumbfuckistan County Fair (colloquially known as the Republican National Convention) has finally ended, after shambling like a drunken elephant herd past any wells of honesty in search of more batshit craziness to dig up.

This cavalcade of FAIL was bookended by The Outlaw Jersey Whale (bwahahaha!) at the outset and the doddering wreck that remains of an actor who played The Outlaw Josey Wales, who spent his stage time talking to a pretend Obama (WTF?) cleverly disguised as an empty chair. There's video at that thar link.
There's plenty of snark at Andrew Sullivan's.

Didn't spend a minute watching any of this crap (more fun to read about in the blogosphere, where the snark flows); spent time reading, organizing, and working on an old flood-damaged Zoom 3030 guitar pedal. It's supposed to do this:

...but mine's not in working condition so far. I scrubbed a film of mineral deposits off of the circuit board, resoldered several of the input/output jacks, and hit the jacks' contacts with a file to clean them up. The last time I tried it out, it was getting input and all the buttons seemed functional (so the processor's good), but there was no sound.

It needs to dry out a little longer before the next power up/smoke test; part of the scrubbing was in a bath of hot water and dish soap. About all that accomplished was to make the board wet and soapy. The mineral deposits weren't impressed. The only thing that's worked so far is rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs--and after a few hours of that, the worst of the tacky white glaze is gone.

Of the three flood-rescue projects I inherited, the 3030's in the best condition. The other two  (a Digitech GSP-5 Guitar Processor and a Digitech RDS 1900 Digital Delay) look a lot worse.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Song of the Day: Countdown (Rush)

Instead of a sad song for the passing of Neil Armstrong, I wanted something that expresses the excitement of seeing human ambition paying off.

This is the sort of thing we should be focusing upon--reaching for the stars, walking on the moon, exploring our little corner of the sky.

I'm sad to see Mr. Armstrong go--but what a life he led!

Neil Armstrong, RIP

The man who did the Coolest Thing Ever has died at 82 from complications of a heart-bypass surgery a few weeks ago.

It took a legion of nearly half a million people on the ground and an enormous rocket to put three men into orbit around the moon, a quarter million miles away.

It takes a badass to sit on top of one of those Saturn rockets, feeling it swaying in the winds on the Cape, then riding a column of flame into orbit, coasting in silence to our closest neighbor. I'd settle for being the guy who stays in the Command Module, looping around the moon, but how awesome to be The First to walk on it. Mr. Armstrong's boot prints are still up there, an eternal "I was here."

The Onion's "Moon Landing" describes the utter badassitude of Mr. Armstrong and the 11 guys who followed him (not safe for work, but this is how people should STILL be reacting to walking on the moon).

Of those twelve, only eight are left:

02. Buzz Aldrin

04. Alan Bean

06. Edgar Mitchell
07. David Scott

09. John W. Young
10. Charles Duke
11. Eugene Cernan
12. Harrison Schmitt

01. Neil Armstrong
03. Pete Conrad
05. Alan Shepard
08. James Irwin

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ain't Dead Yet.

I went in for a routine check-in with the Medicaid-approved county doctor Wednesday. Getting there was too much of an adventure.

I hopped in the X-11, all ready to roll. The engine made a few turns, slower and slower...and then nothing. Since I'm not driving the car as much as when I was able to work, the battery tends to lose its charge over several weeks. I was already running late, but I knew what was coming next.

My little '92 Tracker isn't doing so well. It starts right up, but the front brakes freeze up for lack of exercise. I tore them down and greased them a couple of years ago, but keep forgetting to do it again--until I need to drive the damn thing.

I hopped in the Tracker. The front brakes took a few seconds to let go, but they were still dragging as I got on the road. After a few miles of that--and me having to keep it in third gear so the engine could overwhelm the dragging brakes--the brakes suddenly freed up. I was still seeing wisps of smoke rising from the front wheels at every red light.

I really, really need to get working on that. There's a lot of stuff I need to do, both on the Tracker and on the X-11. I used to be Johnny On the Spot with this shit, before all the medical crap got in the way. Now I don't even know where my goddamn tools are and can't exert myself. Don't want to zip that aorta further open.

I was relieved, though. I'd been imagining crawling the whole way--halfway across town--at 35 mph, in third gear, and missing my appointment. Now I was cruising along in 5th. Still running late.

Got to the clinic. There was a big banner covering the entrance, directing patients to an alternate location a few blocks away (though I didn't know it was that close). The clinic was heavily flooded a few months ago. Took maybe 10 minutes to find the new location.

My left shoe decided that it was time to lose its sole while I was looking for the right doors to go through (I picked the wrong ones and went all the way through the wrong building looking for the admissions desk).

Finally found the right place, did all the signing in and waiting. As it turns out, all the crap I went through to get there was worth it.

My cholesterol and blood sugar are good, liver's good, remaining kidney's working fine. I'm supposedly going to be getting referrals from this doctor (everything has to go through him) for a CAT scan (to check how my aorta's healing up) and for a visit to the urologist (to finally--FINALLY!--get rid of that humiliating hydrocele I've had for three years).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pic of the Day: Legitimate Idiot

Why, yes, fundamentalist religion is involved; this nut-dipper is linked to fundie fuckwit D. James Kennedy, who called rape victims who get abortions "hysterical."

I think maybe the "D" stood for "Dumbass." No wonder he abbreviated.

Once you remember that conservatism is a mental defect, this shit makes sense. How insane is too insane to be allowed to hold public office?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Song of the Day: This guy loves his car.

REALLY loves his car.

I like my car a lot...I've even been known to say, "Oh I love this car--it's awesome!" and stuff like that. But it stops with a platonic pat on the fender.

Here's a guy who takes things to an entirely different level:

What this clip doesn't show is him TOTALLY CHEATING on the Volkswagen with that (younger!) red Ford Ranger in the background (he's got his own segment in an episode of "Oddities").

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Job-Killing Romney's Bain Kills More Jobs

The vulture stands to make quite a profit now that an auto-parts plant formerly in Freeport, Illionois has been uprooted and sent to the Job Gulag somewhere in China.

As a bonus rogering to the plant's American employees, they're training their replacements before being rendered jobless.

This ratfucking of American workers is treason. Strong word, yes, but I feel pretty damn strongly about it.

How much further will this outsourcing go before it's unsustainable? Think of it this way: if American jobs are sent elsewhere, and those workers can't find replacement jobs, then they can't buy the crap that's being outsourced and the company loses money.

The outsource-happy politicians and company dirtbags--including Romney--need to be treated like criminals. Prison's a good place for them, especially if they're in amongst the general population, but I'd settle for shutting down those companies, freezing all their assets, stripping the execs of their citizenship, and shipping the whole thing to China where they can operate their companies in person. Tax the living shit out of their products and give tax breaks to competing companies that stay here and hire Americans.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Song of the Day: The Closing Song

In honor of the Olympics finally pissing off.

Not safe for work. My favorite part is when he says "Get the f*ck outta here."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pic of the Day: The Vulture Picks the Granny Starver

The MittBot has picked Paul "Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver" Ryan as his running mate for his 2012 presidential campaign.

With that in mind, we've selected yesterday's Pic of the Day and its companion video, since rMoney couldn't really have picked a better way to hand Obama another four years without picking Sarah Palin.

Ryan is the guy whose "budget" would gut Social Security and Medicare--and the National Park Service, among other things. rMoney's the guy whose company guts smaller companies and feeds off the corpses. They're perfect together!


A huge thankyouthankyouthankyou!! to Charlie Pierce for starting the "Zombie-eyed granny starver" nickname.

Bonus snark: WereBear coined the campaign name: "Dunning/Kruger 2012." Here's why that's funny.

Bonus bonus snark: rMoney's such a shit that he outsourced notifying the runner-up VP candidates to one of his offspring units: "Dad says you're not it."

Super Extra Bonus Snark from The Thin Black Duke: "And if Romney reminds people of the asshole boss who fires you on Christmas Eve, Ryan is the ratfuck snitch in the office who tells lies to the boss behind your back."

Ryan is the S.S. Mittanic's iceberg. It's all over but the sinking.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pic of the Day: For the Lulz

It's always entertaining when those pearl-clutching Republican drama queens head for their fainting couches. This usually happens when their kindergarten tantrums don't work.

It's been a rough month for pearl strings and couch upholstery amongst the Romney supporters, what with Harry Reid's claiming that rMoney hasn't paid taxes in a decade and a pro-Obama ad in which a man tells how losing his job killed his family's medical insurance coverage. The howler monkeys on the right are claiming the ad blames rMoney for the man's wife dying of cancer.

No, sorry, she died because she didn't have medical insurance--but that coverage was lost because the vultures at rMoney's Bain Capital killed the company where Joe Soptic worked. Weak sauce, Goppers.

Now poor little Mitty, tears glistening in his photoreceptors, comes cranial-covering-in-hand begging his evil nemesis Lord Obama to stop talking about the one thing the MittBot has been running as his campaign program: rMoney's business record!

Obama should do what I just did: go to Google's Image Search page, type in "Obama Laughing," and grab screenshots like this:

...then send them to rMoney with tags like "lolol pwned rotflmfao" and "bwahahahahaha!!!" and "I iz in ur head laffin at ur d00dz"

Someone less polite--like me :)--would send him this:

“We have reached an agreement with the Republicans. They will stop lying about us, and we will stop telling the truth about them.” --Adlai Stevenson.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Song of the Day: The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing (Joe Satriani, live)

A few months after I started learning to play guitar, I started reading guitar magazines--and all of them were abuzz about Joe Satriani's "Flying in a Blue Dream" album and his amazing guitar pyrotechnics.

I found a used tape of the album and was blown away by it. I'd never dreamed that a guitar could be made to do the seemingly impossible things Satch makes look simple.

Never learned to play like that--but at least now I can see HOW he does it.