Monday, April 23, 2012

Well fuck it

I'ver been attempting to schedule videos, and Blogger promptly doesn't publish them when scheduled. So for the moment, head over to my WordPress.com site. I've re-enabled comments there and disabled comments here.

-- Badtux the Peeved Penguin

How to lose money

Here's a sure-fired recipe for losing money:

  1. Build a business and a brand around a wildly popularly product that has an almost 50% *net* profit margin -- a ridiculously high return on investment in today's world. Count your dough and gloat.
  2. Suddenly decide you don't want to be in that business -- that you want to be in *another* business, that is more fashionable but which has never made money.
  3. Deride the customers of your "legacy" product -- the wildly profitable one -- as old-fashioned, and do your best to keep new customers from buying your "legacy" product, instead forcing them to buy your new unprofitable "fashionable" product before you'll let them buy your profitable "legacy" product.
  4. Profit! Err.... *NOT*.
Netflix has done the sure-fired recipe for losing money mentioned above, and whadya know, they lost money! Whocuddapredicted, eh?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Improving the gene pool

Actor re-enacts Judas suicide as part of play, dies.

File this under "dumbass". What is it with religion, does it suck the brains out of people, or does it simply attract people who are already dumbasses?

-- Badtux the Head-shakin' Penguin

Sexy sea creature


This is the Brian Jonestown Massacre, "Anemone", off their 1996 album Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request. Groovy, dude. Needs some herb. Just sayin'.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Baked penguin

It got *hot* here in the Silly Cone Valley this weekend. It got up to around 95 yesterday, around 85 today. And I was baking out in the sun, because my new rock rails got here and I needed to install them. And after I installed them, I re-installed my Tuffy Security Deck. And when I wasn't happy with how they mounted, I drilled more holes in my body to give more mounting points. And when things electrical didn't work, I discovered I'd drilled into a wiring bundle. Meaning I had to pull out the carpet and the plastics in the back and pull the wiring bundle loose from where it's secreted and solder the cut wires back together. At least *that* was inside the Jeep, under the shade of the soft top. And then I put my hi-lift jack mount onto the back of the Jeep.

So I'm baked, *and* pooped. G'nite.

- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Dark mile


16 Horsepower, "Hutterite Mile", from their 2002 album Folklore.

The Hutterites are a sect of "primitive Christians" that try to live in much the same way as Jesus's apostles depicted in the Bible, who held nothing of their own but lived communally and devoted their lives to following Christ (damned hippies! Why can't they be good God-fearin' capitalists like Jesus Dollar Christ!). Their life is hard and full of questions in the modern world, which they live in more than the Amish, though they and the Amish came from the same basic tradition.

This is, if you read the lyrics closely, a song about a spiritual journey. But it is a rather troubled journey. As much as I find traditional religion distasteful, with its general attitude of "don't think, we 'spiritual leaders' will think for you", I must admit that it has inspired many a troubled journey that has led to many a great song by those honest enough to depict their truth.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blogger definitely bloggered

Posts are *not* getting published as scheduled. People are whining about this on the Blogger "support" forums, but as usual the Google children in their play-skool environment over in Mountain View aren't responding in any way, they're too busy shaking their baby rattles and playing with their colored blocks apparently and besides Googlers think customers have cooties. Anyhow, it's the typical Google response to problems -- stonewall until you can't, obfuscate until you can't, and then, quietly, some weeks later, actually fix what you broke. All about CYA, not about customer service, unless by "service" you mean what a stallion does to a mare.

So why do I stick with Blogger? Two reason:

  1. Mortality. If I buy a domain, it dies when I die. I'm arrogant enough to
    think my drivel shouldn't die when I die.
  2. Business size. Google isn't going out of business anytime soon, unlike, say, Wordpress.com, and even if they do, it's easy enough to export everything from Blogger to, say, Wordpress.com, when the time is right to do that.
So I keep putting up with the Googlebots and their stupid notions of how to run a business, notions that seem to work only because their search engine advertising gives them a bottomless pit of money to play with. Maybe some day Google will grow up and start acting like a real company instead of a bunch of spoiled brat children, but (shrug). So it goes.

-- Badtux the Boggered Penguin

Moonlight Days

Blaze Foley was one of those cantankerous characters who lived a short life full of drama and pain, mostly self-inflicted as he wandered around Austin as a semi-homeless minstrel who was drunk half the time and wore clothing patched up with duct tape. He wrote a lot of songs, but every time it seemed he'd be about to put an album out, something would happen -- the record label went under, someone stole the tapes out of his car, whatever, the only luck Blaze ever had when it came to getting his music out beyond the few clubs that would allow him through his doors was bad luck.

So anyhow, Blaze died in 1989 at age 39 under violent circumstances, leaving behind nothing but his guitar, which he willed to his friend Townes van Zandt (who told a story about having to dig up Blaze to get the pawn ticket to get it out of hock, but that's likely a Townes tall tale like the one he told about "Pancho and Lefty"). Except that folks remembered his music, oddly enough. And people like Merle Haggard, John Prine, and Lyle Lovett started covering his songs. And folks started thinking, "say, didn't I record him singing something?" and digging through their closets for tapes or, in one case, a videotape recording of a wedding party of all things where Blaze was the entertainment.

This is from one of those found tapes. This is "Moonlight Song", which has now been released as part of a collection entitled Duct Tape Messiah. Enjoy.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 20, 2012

Smell the fascism

They aren't even trying to hide it anymore. Not wanting to curb stomp some emotionally disturbed kid and/or taser the shit out of him and/or pepper spray him into a coma = being psychologically incompetent to be a police officer, in today's Soviet Amerika. And the good Sovoks cheer, because yay, it keeps the streets safe! Or they just cheer like the good plebes in George Orwell's 1984 who applaud when the newsreel shows a fighter plane strafing a boat full of Jewish refugees from Europe, and cheer as a small child is blown to pieces by bullets.

This is one scary-ass nation that I'm livin' in right now, is what I'm sayin'. And before you say "but the kid had to be beat down because he was crazy!", bull fucking shit. I've worked with emotionally disturbed kids before. If you have overwhelming force available to you and calmly explain the options, by and large you can talk'em down and get'em off to where they need to go without having to beat the crap out of'em. I mean, they're *crazy*, not *stupid*! But preferring to talk the kid down to beating the crap out of him clearly makes that policewoman unfit to be a police officer in today's Soviet Amerika. Yay, freedom. For some definition of "freedom" that looks suspiciously like stale freedom fries.

-- Badtux the Sovok Penguin

Sweetness

Ponderosa, "Heather". Doesn't appear to be on an album yet... let me check iTunes... nope. Not there yet. Still a neat song.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

New spelling for "black"

Teabaggers and tighty righties have a new way to spell the word "black". They now spell it "F-R-A-U-D". As in, "our FRAUD President". Usually followed by references to his Kenyan birthplace and Muslim religion.

Alrighty, then!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

The plot!


So "Crazy Joe" Farah at World Nut Daily informed me this morning that Earth Day -- and by extension, environmentalism in general -- is a Communist plot to impose a totalitarian dictatorship upon the planet.

More tin foil, Crazy Joe. The government mind control beams are clearly addling your brain. Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Young dead

The Black Angels, "Young Men Dead", off their 2006 album Passover.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What could go wrong?

So six cows wandered into a backcountry cabin and froze to death. So what's the U.S. Forest Service's answer to the problem? Blow up the cows with explosives, of course. Because explosives will somehow make a couple tons of beef just disappear, rather than spray it all over the countryside in a nasty rain.

I have a video of this bright idea in action:


Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the "It's raining cow!" Penguin

Bloggered up

Yah, Blogger just forced me to the "new Blogger". Maybe the "new blogger" will actually publish my music videos when I schedule them to be published, the last two days I had to manually force the videos to post hours after they were supposed to have been auto-posted.

So anyhow, Santa Monica College campus police pepper sprayed a 4 year old child last night. WTF is with campus cops and pepper spray? It's like their solution to any problem is, just spray. Now, you and me, if the meeting room is overcrowded yet students are still trying to get in, we might, like, adjourn the meeting and re-convene in one of the neighboring campus auditoriums. Like, duh! But see, that's because you and me, we're sane rational people. We're not campus flatfoots or their overlords on the Board of Trustees. If we were, we'd know that the *correct* solution to an overcrowded meeting room (required by California law to be open to the public) is to declare the meeting room overfull, and start pepper spraying everybody who wants to get in.

The saddest thing is that if you read the comments on the Gawker post above, you see so many people say "she shouldn't have had a child at a protest." But it wasn't a protest. It was a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees, advertised and open to the public and required to be so by California's Constitution. Who expects violence at a Board of Trustees meeting? And there wasn't violence -- other than violence meted out by the campus police, who apparently feel so threatened by four year old children that they must pepperspray the little hellions. Man, that took balls. But not big brass clangin' ones. Marshmallows. Just sayin'.

- Badtux the "Pepper spray is not a condiment!" Penguin

If Lassie had been a cat

"Meow."

"Lassie! Where's Timmie?"

"Meow."

"Is Timmie okay?"

"Meow."

"Did Timmie fall down a well again?"

"Meow."

"Take me to Timmie, Lassie!"

"Meow."

"No no, you're not supposed to rub around my legs and try to trip me. Timmie needs our help!"

"Meow."

"Wait. Where are you going? That's Timmie's house... what? Why are you sniffing your food bowl by the back door?!"

"Meow."

"If I feed you, will you lead me to Timmie?"

"Meow."

A few hours later, Timmie tires out swimming at the bottom of the well, and drowns. Lassie moves in with Ranger Corey and becomes quite fat both from all the mice she eats, and the cat food that Ranger Corey helpfully provides.

Meanwhile, Timmie's mourning foster parents visit a small grave once per year, and say, "If only we'd gotten Timmie a dog instead of a cat..."

The End.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

The reality

I've done this one before, but this is a new day, so... James McMurtry, "We can't make it here anymore".

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Rules

Okay, so let's say you're young military men, or sorta-military men, in an exotic foreign locale. Now I'll tell you right now that patriotic young men in an exotic foreign locale, it's just sorta expected that they're gonna do some flag wavin', if ya know what I mean. Nobody ought to be surprised about that. Ya got young horny guys who got a pistol and a gun, at some point in time they're gonna put down that pistol and perk up that gun, if ya get my drift.

But man, there's some rules about that sorta thing, rules that aren't written down, but that have been around since George Washington's troops were tramping around Pennsylvania and New Jersey tryin' to keep away from the British. First of all, you do it sorta discrete. You don't do the flag-wavin' at your own motel, for cryin' out loud! Next, don't stiff the local talent. That's bad form ugly American territory and always trouble, especially when the local talent has the cops on the payroll. And finally, they know rule #2 too, meaning they're gonna charge you out the yazoo for their services. If you can't deal with that, Kleenex are a man's best friend. Just sayin'.

Youngsters today. Just no respect for time-honored rules and tradition. Harumph!

-- Badtux the Patriotic Penguin

Murder ballad

Americana has a long history of murder ballads, dating all the way to Appalachian hill music and probably back to the Child ballads from which those were derived. Chris Knight does a mighty fine one with "Down By The River", off his album A Pretty Good Guy.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Hrm. Blogger bloggering things up again. This was scheduled to be posted at 4:15PM, but for some reason blogger didn't do it. Wassup with dat?!

The MRAP freakout

Various conspiracy type sites such as Firebagger Waterbody have broke the "news" that the Department of Homeland Security is buying thousands of armored MRAP vehicles. At which point I say... "huh?!"

So I head over to the Navistar site referenced by the Firebaggers, where Navistar helpfully notes that an upgrade of the current MRAP chassis leaves them with 2,717 rolling chassis already paid for by the Federal government. And Navistar would love, love I say, to sell bodies to put on those things to do any number of things from dump trucks to armored SWAT team carriers.

Still, no Department of Homeland Security there. So next thing I do is head over to Federal Procurement Data System and download their data set for the Department of Homeland Security. The latest data as of April 3 is available (they release data quarterly), and given how Federal procurement works, DHS certainly would not be getting anything with less than three months notice, so ... 425 megabytes of XML later, I have a database with contracts indexed by DUNS number. So I grab every Navistar DUNS number and search the database for *any* occurrence of *ANY* Navistar DUNS number in Department of Homeland Security contracts issued for the first quarter of 2012 and... nada.

Now, granted, a contract might have been issued since April 4. But you certainly wouldn't see vehicles rolling off the line with DHS markings on them yet, because these were rolling chassis -- i.e., nothing but a frame and drivetrain -- and it would take Navistar *time* to build bodies to put on them and put markings on those bodies. If a contract was issued on April 5, just how likely do you think it'd be that Navistar managed to work with *their* subcontractors to get everything needed to assemble bodies for these frames and managed to assemble even a *single* body for *one* of these frames in *SIX WORKING DAYS* since the contract was let? Yet the conspiracy sites have a PHOTO of one of these supposed DHS MRAP vehicles! Or, should I say, a PHOTOSHOP?

So anyhow: On a scale of zero to 100, I put the likelihood of DHS buying thousands of MRAP's at somewhere between zero to 1. The reason why I rate it above zero is that things on the Mexican border are not looking good right now -- and in case you didn't know, the Border Patrol *is* under the Department of Homeland Security now, and has been under fire multiple times from the Mexican drug gangs. It may be that the DHS has decided that armored trucks are necessary for the safety of Border Patrol patrols along the Mexican border and is procuring some. But if so, there has been no contract let yet, unless that happened in the past week -- and certainly no vehicles have rolled off the lines yet, despite any photoshops supposedly proving otherwise.

-- Badtux the Un-paranoid Penguin

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rocket planet

Teenage Bottlerocket, "Forbidden Planet", off of their 2009 album They Came From The Shadows.

Err, yesterday was country, today was punk, what can I say. I'm feeling random.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Disgruntled GOP base

Now that The Romney has pretty much wrapped up the GOP nomination through the power of superior algorithms for gathering money, the GOP base is really fired up about his candidacy. For example, I got this email blast from World Nut Daily this morning:

Even if Mitt Romney is fortunate enough to win the presidency, he's not going to govern like Ronald Reagan or George Washington. He's going to govern much like Republican presidents we've seen in recent times – George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
What enthusiasm for their man! Why, you get the impression they're going to run out in November and vote early and often for him!

Well, when the people running against him for the nomination were a circus sideshow, what did World Nut Daily expect, anyhow? Oh wait, World Nut Daily and their editor, Crazy Joe Farah, is *part* of that circus sideshow. Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My new offroad vehicle

This one uses a bit less fuel than my other one ;). It's a Scott Scale 29 Comp, it was pretty much the lightest 29" mountain bike in its price class.

So I've been busy today, bike shopping then bike riding (heh!). Hope you had a nice Sunday too.

-- Badtux the Two-wheelin' Penguin

Bad men

Robert Earl Keen, "Sonora's Death Row", off of 1993's West Textures.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Busy day

Bought a bike rack for the back of my Jeep and went bicycle shopping. After checking multiple places, I think I've found a nice mountain bike. The serious MTB folks seem to think it's a nice entry-level mountain bike that can be upgraded with better/lighter components as needed i.e. the frame itself is a good stiff lightweight frame. This seems to be the lightest MTB I found for the price, anything of similar weight is at least $200 more...

I also bought a new digital effects pedal for my guitar, due to an upcoming gig. We really need to find a singer tho... none of us sing worth a flyin' flip :(.

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

World's youngest drummer?

Okay, this is just friggin' awesome. The little girl is five years old and has some righteous beats. The other two kids are 8 and 10 years old and handle their instruments quite well. This is a cover of industrial metal band Rammstein's song "Sonne", mostly in the original German. Happy to do my part to make this video go viral ;).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 13, 2012

Condiments

What is it with cops and pepper spray nowadays? They seem to view pepper spray as the next best thing to sliced bread. I wouldn't be surprised if they sprayed it as underarm deodorant, given how much they seem to like the stuff. Well, maybe not under their arms, but, rather, under the arms of random non-violent protesters, college students, and miscreant tardy middle schoolers at Jack Robey Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Dear cops: This is a condiment:

This, on the other hand, is an instrument of torture used by third-world dictators everywhere to punish those who dare protest their rule, an instrument of torture which causes enormous pain and suffering on the part of the victim along with respiratory distress and the possibility of permanent eye damage:

Are there any questions?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Black letter

Black Heart Procession, "The Letter", off their 2006 album Spell (Dig). These guys have been making music since the late 1990's, but apparently are well known only in Greece. Hrm.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In the dark

Sitting in the dark typing into my iPad. Wind, rain here in the Sillycone Valley took out power to several hundred homes, including mine. I hope it comes back on soon, because my furnace is useless without power and it will start getting cool enough to pull out my sleeping bag...

Actually, not exactly in the DARK, since I have plenty of flashlights and batteries plus a crank radio/flashlight...

Badtux The Prepared Penguin

Update: Power came back on at about 10:47PM. Yay!

Time-traveling fetus

Arizona just declared that pregnancies in the state begin two weeks before conception.

What, fetuses in Arizona are equipped with tiny time machines to travel back in time to two weeks *before* sperm meets ova in the womb? What next, the Arizona lege defines pi as being exactly 3, and that carbon dioxide is a protected species?!

- Badtux the Baffled Penguin

Deep

Crooked Still, "Wading Deep Waters" from their 2008 album Still Crooked.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wealth redistribution

Wealth redistribution is evil and is happening today. My proof:

If you look at the graph, you'll notice that the top 5% of the population holds 72% of the financial wealth of the nation. This despite the fact that even if they were twice as productive as the rest of the population (a laughable assumption -- Paris Hilton, anybody? -- but one that I'm sure they'll pretend is true), they only produce 10% of the nation's real wealth -- the goods and services that make up the nation's economy. So where did the other 62% of their financial wealth come from? Redistribution, my friends. They redistributed it using the "invisible hand" that extracts wealth from your pocket and mine and puts it into *their* pockets, which they pretend is all fine and dandy because this "invisible hand" (called market power) is private force, not government force, and thus isn't evil.

But of course force is force. If some goon shoves a gun in my face in the park and demands all my money, I don't care whether he's got a badge showing he's a government employee or not, either way it's still force being used to extract money from me at gunpoint. If some goon tells me to grovel and lick his feet and give all my productive output to him or he will make sure that I get black marks on my official record that will guarantee that I live the rest of my scant days as a starving homeless hobo, that is just as much force as if the government seized the contents of my bank account and told me that every dime I made above simple subsistence was going to them from now on, but for some reason the former (what the Fortune 500 tells every single one of their employees and every single one of the small businessmen who are dependent on Fortune 500 suppliers) is considered "ok" by the top 5%, while the latter sends shivers of horror up their spine -- yet from the perspective of the bottom 95%, they are one and the same -- application of force to redistribute their wealth for the benefit of a few! Sprinkling magic free market fairy dust over it doesn't make it anything other than what it is: redistribution of wealth. All that sprinkling free market fairy dust over this extraction of wealth does is change who gets the wealth -- a small percent (the top 5%), vs. the 95%. Hmm, now I wonder why so many of the top 5% embrace free market ideology? Gosh darn gee willickers, Batman!

-- Badtux the Redistribution Penguin

Coked hands

Woven Hand, "Sinking Hands", off their 2010 album The Threshingfloor.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Romneybot vs. the Obamanator

Talking about Sick Rick, that's the November contest, since Mr. Man on Dog quit, after polls said he'd lose his home state of Pennsylvania big-time to the Romneybot. So in the fall, we have the Romneybot vs. the Obamanator. What a contest. I'm gonna have such a hard time deciding who to vote for... will I vote for the soulless robot from planet Sociopath? Hmm.

It will be so appropriate getting robo-calls from the Romneybot campaign this fall...

- Badtux the "So long, Ricky!" Penguin

Like, DUH!

When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.

Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.

As I've repeatedly said of Rick Santorum and his ilk, the only kind of people who obsess about gay sex are... well... GAY. Just sayin'.

In other news, studies find that racists dislike President Obama because he is black. Like, DUH?

-- Badtux the "Like duh, man!" Penguin

Indie grave

Mark Lanegan is the "n" in "indie", having lent his distinctive voice to a wide variety of indie projects over the years. This is "The Gravedigger's Song" off of his brand new album Blues Funeral.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, April 09, 2012

Pink slime and salmonella

You've heard by now about "pink slime", the ammonia-treated meat trimmings that make what goes into a wiener look wholesome. The whole point of treating meat trimmings with ammonia (thereby turning it into a pink slimy substance) was to reduce the bacterial count and thus hopefully reduce the incidence of food poisoning. And it apparently worked -- during the time that hamburger meat was adulterated with this "pink slime", incidents of food poisoning went down by almost half.

But it's wise to remember why we have this problem with food poisoning to begin with. It occurs because meat from dozens of cows is mixed together and ground together, meaning that it takes only a single contaminated bit of cow meat to contaminate thousands of pounds of hamburger meat. Industrial food production, in other words, is responsible for the food poisoning problem.

I'm thinking, now, about a novel new idea. What if entire dressed cows were sent to some place local to you, and when you wanted a cut of beef, or just wanted some less expensive cuts ground into hamburger meat, some guy cut it off the haunch of beef right there in front of you and packaged or ground it right there in front of you? Then you'd be able to inspect the beef to see whether it's clean *before* it gets ground into hamburger meat, and if some other cow is contaminated, well, so what, the cow you're looking at isn't contaminated so that's of no concern to you. What could we call this place and the person who does this strange and innovative thing of, well, cutting meat up in front of you instead of getting it pre-packaged from some industrial facility? Hmm...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

They still don't give a damn, Spanky

This was a controversial minor hit in 1968 by the folk rock group Spanky & Our Gang, which was led by Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane with major assistance by lead guitarist Malcolm Hale who wrote most of the songs, did most of the arranging and handled most of the business end of things. "Spanky" was a contemporary of "Mama Cass" Eliot and had a similar big voice (and wasn't petite by any means, though not as big as "Mama Cass"), but there really wasn't much pollination between the two bands because Spanky was a Chicago band while The Mamas & The Papas was a West Coast band. The band released two albums, then Hale died and the band pretty much dissolved at that point.

I mentioned that this song was controversial in 1968. The title, of course, was one source of controversy. But there were quite a few radio stations run by right-wing nutballs who refused to play it based on its content too. Hmm, the more things change...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Death of a scam artist

Thomas Kinkade dies. And art critics everywhere rejoice that finally the supply of kitsch that his assembly line operation turned out is going to dry up.

Kinkade was a millionaire who made his millions the old fashioned way -- by scamming rich investors who were required to buy half a million dollars in inventory to open one of "his" Kinkade Galleries, money that they'd never get back when the works didn't sell and eventually were liquidated at Costco for pennies on the dollar, and by running an assembly-line operation to create "originals" that his brush never touched other than at the end of the assembly line to sign "his" originals, then convincing hundreds of thousands of Americans with more money than taste to spend hundreds of dollars on one of his "originals". He claimed this was legit because he "directed" the brush strokes of the low-paid art students who really painted the kitschy landscapes, but in the art world it was a minor scandal. There was a sense, in the art world, that if you were to declare that something was an "original", it should be something that your brush touched for more than your signature.

And now the scam is finished. Or is it? If you think his heirs are going to stop the scam simply because the originator of the scam is dead… hah! They’re going to be discovering "unknown works” for *years*! Watch and see.

- Badtux the Bad Art Penguin

What Easter means to me

I needed gas, and Costco was closed.

That is all.

-- Badtux the Non-observant Penguin

Sunday, April 08, 2012

With and without

Well, drove around in my Jeep. Worked reasonably well in the unzipped position, though I had to put small bungees around the rear sail panels to keep them from flapping annoyingly. But once I did that, no flap, and just a nice draft in the front cabin when the front windows were rolled up. Rolled down, of course, was plenty of breeze.

Clouds rolled in, so I decided to zip the windows in rather than risk needing to pull the drain plugs on the bottom of the Jeep. After I did that, it of course turned sunny again. Of course.

-- Badtux the Jeeping Penguin

Electronic ghetto

New York electronica duo Creep meets the ghetto Tegan and Sara of rap, Nina Sky. The results? Uhm... odd. You have the electronica meeting the rap, but it's not quite trip-hop. This is "You", which as far as I know is only available on iTunes.

Yah, this isn't my usual fare. What can I say, this is where the connections led me, and it was striking enough to listen all the way through so (shrug)...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

WTF?!

So John Derbyshire, the World's Dumbest Conservative Asshole, tries to be, like, racially progressive with a "conversation on race" and makes himself look like a racist moron.

Here's the only conversation that John Derbyshire needs to have with his kids: "Black people are people."

That's it. And his kids, if raised in a multicultural area, would just reply, "Duh!" because they have friends of all races and ethnicities already and that's been true since an early age.

But of course, John Derbyshire's kids weren't raised in a multicultural area, they were raised in a gated community that might as well have had a sign at the entryway saying "no blacks allowed", and not allowed to go out and play with any children of another race because they might get hurt or snatched or something. Because, y'know, there's all those scary brown people out there, and they're all criminals who want to hurt white people, so our precious little white snowflakes must be protected from them, yo...

At which point John Derbyshire chimes in with, "but... but... crime statistics!" Uhm, statistics describe probabilities across an entire population, not probability that any given person is going to do something. 90% of spree killers and mass murderers have been white. But I can assure you that the chance of me becoming a spree killer and mass murderer, considering I have difficulty with killing a cockroach and when dealing with a mouse humanely did catch-and-release to make him someone else's problem, is somewhere between none and zero. Stereotyping all white people as mass murderers because they've historically been the perpetrators of mass murder is wrong. Same deal as stereotyping all black people as thugs. People are people, and you have to deal with the person in front of you, not the stereotype. Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Un-stereotypical Penguin

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Mission accomplished

Today was frustrating. It was a beautiful Jeeping day, temperature in the mid 70's, clear, sunny, but... that bleepin' HARD TOP was harshing my mellow, man. I took off the "Freedom Panels" (the front removable panels of the hard top) to get more air and sunshine but the air just buffets around the back of the Jeep when I do that, because that *hard top* was back there still.

I gave up on lowering the hard top to the ground and decided to just leave it up on the ceiling, which means the ratchet straps had plenty of working distance, at the expense of having a hard top hanging in the middle of my garage:

I can walk under it, so (shrug). It's not as if I use the garage as anything other than a workshop anyhow, I never park the Jeep in it because it's too much a PITA opening and closing the old-school garage door and besides it's too cramped.

Oh yeah, the extra yellow strap running down the middle is just a safety strap in case one of the ratchet straps decide to let go. Not that I expect that to happen, this plastic hard top isn't all that heavy and those eye bolts go all the way through those 2x4's, which in turn are part of a boxed structure that is fairly strong.

Tomorrow I show you pics of the Jeep with the soft top on, it was too dark by the time I finished putting the soft top on it tonite...

-- Badtux the Jeepin' Penguin

Heavy weight

Holly Miranda, "Slow Burn Treason", off her debut album The Magician's Private Library. She's one of those artists who, alas, sounds better live than in the studio because her music sounds too artificial without all the imperfections and roughness added by the live environment...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Didn't work

Got out the ratchet straps and discovered they really have only about 2 feet of total working length. That doesn't usually matter because typically you're only using them to cinch a load, but clearly not going to work for slowly lowering a Jeep hard top four feet to the ground. Looks like I'll need to do it the old fashioned way, getting a friend over to help. Oh well :).

- Badtux the Bad Idea Penguin

Friday, April 06, 2012

Over 14,000 dead from painkiller abuse

that's the latest stats available. It's probably higher than that. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, over 23,000 died due to alcohol use in the last year stats were available.

The number of people who have died of marijuana abuse, on the other hand, still stands at an astoundingly huge number: zero. You'd have to smoke your weight in marijuana in the course of an hour to OD on THC, and even Willie Nelson has never managed that.

Yet oxycontin and alcohol are legal (albeit regulated), while marijuana is completely illegal under Federal law. So, uhm... WHY?

-- Badtux the Baffled Penguin

Miniature dreams

Asobi Seksu, "Miniature Cities", off of their 2009 EP Transparence. Gorgeous music from the seriously cute Yuki Chikudate and her sidekick James Hanna.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Systems of tuning

Equal tempered: a scale where each note is an identical frequency ratio step from the previous one.

Syntonic tempered: the frequency ratio of each musical interval is a product of powers of an octave and a tempered perfect fifth.

Meantone tempered: A system of syntonic tuning with a flattened fifth.

Well tempered: An attempt to create a tuning scale where any chord can be transposed to a new key without "wolf" notes that cause disharmony to the ears.

Evil tempered: Banjo tuning.

That is all ;).

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Think this'll work?

I want to take the hard top off my Jeep and put on the convertible top, because spring is coming and thus a desire for open air. I want to save money on beer and pizzas by doing it myself. So here's the plan...

Two 2x6's -- lift hard top up (I can do that myself), slide 2x6's sideways across Jeep to under the hold-down holes, drive some wood screws thru those holes to keep the hard top from sliding off the 2x6's. Two 2x6's, one at front of the top, one at back of the top.

Four eye bolts -- one on each end of the 2x6's (which stick out from the sides of the Jeep).

Four eye bolts -- thru 2x4's on top of rafters in garage. (My ceiling is unfinished in my garage).

Four ratchet straps -- one on each corner. Ratchet the hard top up, drive the Jeep out of the garage, ratchet the hard top down and set it on the garage floor, at which point it can be tilted up and put on a cart and the 2x6's removed.

This seems workable, albeit a bit tedious (can only ratchet one corner up or down an inch or so before moving on to the next one, so I'd be going in a circle for a while.

Is there something I'm missing here?

-- Badtux the Convertible Penguin

Earl Scruggs, January 6, 1924 - March 28, 2012

Of course, we all know the rule about banjo players and heaven:

Hopefully if there is a heaven, Jesus will make an exception ;).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tired, and racists

Still disgusted that racists are upset that the character of Rue in The Hunger Games is played by a perfectly adorable little black girl -- just as described in the book. I haven't seen the movie, and won't see the movie, because I've read the book and that's always a recipe for disappointment, but this is just a sad commentary on the fact that racism isn't dead even though there's no reason for it to exist in today's America.

Dang I'm tired today. Haven't been getting enough sleep, I guess. Luckily the project at work is winding down to the point where I can work normal hours now, I was having to work off hours because I had to do some scheduled service outages and you can't do that while people are at work, and the result was late nights and disrupted sleep routines. Grr.

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Jazzy sleep

Los Angeles duo Devics with "The Way You Sleep", off their self-released 2006 debut album Buxom.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The doctor is in the House

Legislators practicing medicine without a license force Danielle Deaver to inflict horrible pain and suffering upon her unborn child by prohibiting early-term abortion.

One wonders, what right do legislators have to interfere with what everybody involved felt was a necessary medical procedure? But wait, oh silly me. I'm thinking like a citizen of a free nation where the government doesn't interfere with science and medicine, not like a citizen of a fascist dictatorship run by the Christian Taliban where all sorts of things are outlawed by the Evangelical Inquisition for religious reasons. Gosh darn, how silly of me!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

His addictions and his genius


Video streaming by Ustream

This is an entire solo concert by Townes van Zandt in 1995, near the end, just Townes and his guitar. It is almost painful to watch... Townes said his songs weren't sad, they were hopeless, and you can almost feel the pain coming off of Townes that made those songs that way.

It's a long concert. Only click the "Play" button if you have forty minutes. Because by the time the first song ends, you will either have to hit the 'stop' button and spend some time in quiet contemplation, or keep listening, but simply playing it as background music isn't possible.

-- Badtux the Reverent Music Penguin

Monday, April 02, 2012

Nasty

I haven't eaten pasta in quite some time because it makes me feel bloated. I supposed it was the glutens in it, so when I came across something claiming to be "Gluten Free Spaghetti" made of rice and flax, I was, "eh, let me try it."

And the verdict is... ugh. This is some *nasty* tasting stuff. Didn't taste like spaghetti at all. The only thing that made it even passably edible was the nice marinari-based sauce I put on it, that had garlic and bellpepper and onion and a touch of red pepper aside from the tomato and had some spicy Portuguese sausage in it in little chunks too. Nice sausage. Nice sauce. Nasty spaghetti.

Hmm, I wonder... I can get rice noodles at the local Asian groceries. I have this nice sauce. You think?

Oh yeah, regarding the gluten-free part, seems to have done the trick. Definitely didn't end up feeling bloated after eating this "spaghetti". Hmm...

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

Dayum!

My new Verizon 4G iPad came in today. Of course I took it out for a speed test almost ASAP. On the Compost via WiFi, download speed was 15.66Mbps, upload speed was 4.93Mbps, and the ping to their server was 18ms. Over Verizon's LTE wireless network... Download 32.34Mbps, upload 12.48Mbps, ping time 39ms.

To say that this thing is *fast* is like saying the ocean is big... sorta an understatement. Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Easily Impressed Penguin

Hollow sound

Kaki King, "The Hoopers of Hudspeth", off of her 2010 album Junior.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

April Fools!

What, you believed the previous post? HEH!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A big announcement

Due to that big discussion with the beer-chuggin' weapon-strokin' dimwits over at 'Nucks place, I've decided that I need a more sustainable lifestyle if I want to survive the coming collapse of the United States. No, I haven't decided to move to a bunker in Idaho and collect weapons. That's just stupidity. Survival in the face of societal collapse requires two things: Cooperation, and community. Neither of those can happen if I'm sitting in a bunker in Idaho. Instead, I have a better plan, stolen from survivalist Dean Ing: Move to a mid-sized town, join a church, start a business, become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, become a pillar of the community, and then bang, you instantly are tied into a network that possesses far more guns and far more ability to marshall and concentrate resources than any individual survivalist can ever hope to bring to bear. The local National Guard armory is at your beck and call, the local constabulary is ready to help defend you against gun-stroking morons like those bunker-dwelling troglodytes, about the only thing that could crush your little town would be a major military movement by former units of the U.S. Army and let's face it, you're no worse off in that case than you'd be anywhere else.

So anyhow, the town in question needs to be in an agricultural area so it can be self-sustaining, and needs to be far enough from a metropolitan area that it won't be overrun when civilization collapses, but close enough and with good enough transportation that I can sustain myself between now and the collapse. And the church needs to be well organized and powerful. So I've made my decision and started on the process (what, you thought the relative silence over the past week was because I was busy at work?!). I have converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have put down a down payment to buy Delta Motorsports, in Delta, Utah, from its long-time owner Jim Townshend who is retiring. I will be closing down this blog with all its evil hedonistic content as soon as the final paperwork is signed.

You are all going to Hell, by the way. Except my two Mormon readers. You know who you are, and thank you for all your kind words when I let you know my decision.

-- Badtux the Mormon Penguin

After hours

Ray Wylie Hubbard tells a story. "Mother Blues". A stripper and a guitar and a horny young man.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mittens has a secret plan for uninsured

The Romneybot clanked and computed and spit out to Jay Leno that his health plan was going to take care of the uninsured who were uninsured through no fault of their own, but the uninsured who were uninsured by choice would just have to die. He did not / could not reveal details of his secret plan, but it exists, he claims, because he said so and robots cannot lie, right?

Of course, we already know the Romneybot's secret plan for the uninsured:

  1. Don't get sick
  2. If you do, die quickly.

Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Dunno how I missed this one...

Scientists have proven that cats train humans to feed them upon demand. I always suspected that. But now we have scientific proof :).

- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Misery and tears

Eilen Jewell "Sea Of Tears", off her album by that same name.

Old dude with the orange axe rocks :).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

I'm not dead!

Just sayin' ;).

Here, have a cat:

Mencken on his throne.

- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Friday, March 30, 2012

Everything dies in the end

Slaid Cleaves "Temporary" off his recent album Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bullshit talks

And that's all that ideological bullshit does. It don't solve problems. It don't get shit done. It just makes some assholes feel good about how righteous they are 'cause their ideology is, like, so perfect and shit.

So let's take the individual mandate that's in the Obamacare bill. Right now, I'm not only paying my own health care bill when I pay my health insurance. I'm paying for deadbeats too. Some of these deadbeats are deadbeats for no fault of their own, and I ain't got no problem with helpin' those folks out. Others are just young and dumb and figure that they ain't ever gonna get sick so why the fuck should they get insurance, whatever, and then they fall off their hipster fixie bike and break their arm on the fucking sidewalk and whose insurance pays for that ER visit? You guessed it, *MY* insurance pays for that ER visit.

So how do we solve the deadbeat problem? Well, by requiring everybody who can afford health insurance, to buy health insurance. The individual mandate. That's one way. It ain't the only way. But any way that actually works has to force deadbeats to pay to *someone*, whether that's to the government as taxes or to insurance, else they stay deadbeats and are sucking offa *my* health insurance. And I tella ya, I'm fucking tired of paying for the health care of deadbeats who can goddamn well afford to buy their own fucking insurance, yo.

So what do the Libertopians say about this whole mandates thing? They spew a buncha bullshit about freedom and yada yada. Yeah yeah, bullshit talks, but what's *your* solution, Libertopians? I mean, sure, hospitals can sue folks. And probably even win. And collect fuck-all, 'cause the whole point of insurance is to pay for shit you can't afford yourself by pooling the money of a buncha folks, of whom only a few are gonna fall off their goddamned hipster fixies and break their arm. Like when that dumbass ran the red light and smacked the corner of my Jeep damn well and good. He was responsible for that damage, and he had $20 to his name. 'Cause we have mandates here in California and they work pretty damn well (you don't get license plate stickers unless your insurance is paid up and current), his insurance paid for the fixes to my Jeep. If not for insurance, I coulda sued his ass, sure. And got $20 for my trouble 'cause that's all the dude had in the bank. Fuck that, I wanted my Jeep fixed, and the mandate did that, it got my Jeep fixed 'cause the dude's insurance company paid. What the fuck use is a goddammned lawsuit when I need my Jeep fixed -- or when I need deadbeat hipsters to pay their fair share of the health care of hipsters so that *I* don't gotta pay when they break their motherfucking arm falling off their hipster bikes?!

You got a solution that don't require mandates? 'Cause I'm all ears. All I gotta say is that it has to work in this universe, not some fictional universe with unicorns and cotton candy trees. I ain't got no fucking cotton candy trees in this universe, and if your so-called "solution" requires cotton candy trees for it to work... bogus, yo!

-- Badtux the Practical Penguin

TSA scared of critic

Cowards refused to testify to Congress if Bruce Schneier was allowed to testify at the same Congressional hearing.

Y'know, I gotta say this: If the TSA is scared of Bruce Schneier, one of the *good* guys, then they'd wet their pants and burst into tears if they ever encountered a bad guy. Not that they ever will, because the TSA has caught a grand total of, err, *NO*, terrorists, in its entire ten-year existence...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Rust Belt Blues

No one remembers your name just for working hard.

Rodd Picott, "Rust Belt Fields", off his album Welding Burns.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More incompetent than Comcast

Un-fucking believable. So I wait for the U-verse installer this morning. No-show. So I call them. They're, like, "gosh, I don't have any record that you had an appointment this morning." "Err... you guys sent me an email saying I had a *confirmed* appointment this morning!" "Well, we can schedule one for another day..."

Fuck that shit. I cancelled the order. And they'll probably fuck *that* up too. Sigh.

Y'know, I rag on Comcast, but while they aren't the world's sharpest tacks, at least they *try*. But AT&T can't even get rule #1 of sales right -- "don't fuck up the order process, that's money in the bank." Fuck that shit.

And just because I'm feeling pissy, I'm going over to the Verizon store and trading in my tired old AT&T iPad on one of those brand new Verizon iPads. Blthhhhht!

-- Badtux the Annoyed Penguin

Wolf Tales

Lera Lynn covers TV On The Radio, "Wolf Like Me". Righteously.

The original:

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Assholes at Google

"Blogger is getting a new look in April. Upgrade Now!"

Uhm, no, you dumb fucks. I'll upgrade when you force me to, and not one minute before. 'Cause see, I *tried* your fucking upgrade, and it sucked more than a male prostitute at a Republican convention. Wordpress is lookin' better day by day, except that they don't allow most of the plugins I run in my margin, like the Twitter plugin and the Blogroll plugin (which is automatically managed by my Google Reader account), which pisses me off too...

-- Badtux the Grouchy Penguin

Slobbering

I will not buy the latest iDevice. I will not buy the latest iDevice. I will not...

-- Badtux the Impulse Control Penguin

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why ObamaCare won't solve denied claims problem

Okay, let's say that you have a choice of two insurance policies, policy A and policy B. Policy A charges $500 a month, and policy B charges $600 a month. Which one are you going to buy?

But wait. Obamacare caps profit margin that an insurer can make. So how can insurer A sell insurance for cheaper than insurer B? Well, either insurer A has healthier people -- but because Obamacare allows you to pick a cheaper policy regardless of pre-existing conditions, so why wouldn't the sicker people decide to go to insurer A? -- or insurer A is doing something nasty and evil -- they're arbitrarily denying claims.

So why would they arbitrarily deny claims? Because that's the only way to make more profit if you're required to take everybody and your profit margin is capped. The way to make more profit is to have more customers. The way to have more customers is to have lower rates. The way to have lower rates is to deny claims. It's a vicious cycle because insurer B will then decide that *they* have to arbitrarily deny claims too, in order to get back the customers they're losing to insurer A... repeat all over the industry, and you get denied claims galore.

But wait, I hear you say. There is a medical review panel mandated by Obamacare too, they can't just deny claims arbitrarily! Well, you show me a government regulation, I'll show you a dozen lawyers rubbing their hands with glee figuring out some way to get around it. My guess is that they'll either dump so many people on these medical review panels that there's no way to review all those denied claims, or drag out the proceedings for so long that people die before their claims get reviewed, or they may not even do any of that -- they may simply hope that a percentage of the people whose claims they deny don't know about the medical review panel and won't appeal the denial of the claim. And before I hear you say, "but... but... that's unethical..."... bwahaha! Ethics? These people have only one ethic: Making money. The Almighty Dollar is their God. Their notion of ethics is "greed is good".

So what's going to happen? Well, what eventually happened in *other* nations that have tried this scheme is that the insurance companies were eventually either nationalized and became branches of the federal government (see: Germany, prior to recent re-privitizations), or they became heavily regulated utilities with rates and profit margins both set by the government, meaning no incentive structure to deny claims beyond what's necessary to preserve their profit margin (since they can't reduce rates to steal customers from other insurers). Well, actually, there's a third possibility: Medicare For All, with the insurers relegated to the role of Medi-gap providers. This is what Taiwan did. But this is usually the end game of heavily regulated insurers deciding that health insurance isn't profitable enough to be worth their time -- that's why Taiwan's insurers didn't fight Medicare For All there, they were already so heavily regulated that they could make more money selling Medi-Gap on the unregulated market than by selling the core insurance as heavily regulated insurers.

Because one thing is certain: A continued spiraling downward of the services paid for by insurers won't be tolerated by either the general public or by regulators. If Republicans try to push that mule harder, they're gonna end up with the imprint of a horseshoe on their forehead. Just sayin'.

- Badtux the Health Care Economics Penguin

Yay! My Comcast is back!

Normal posting should resume this evening. The technician hooked me back up and tightened everything up at the pole, and now I'm getting the best signal I've ever gotten -- around 3-4db higher SNR than what I was previously getting. So even if things degrade again in the rain, it should still be higher than the 30db floor below which my modem can't scrape sufficient signal out of the noise to properly function.

-- Badtux the Now-Internetted Penguin

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yes

World Nut Daily asks, "has America been duped by Hitler-style propaganda?"

Yes, Joseph "Crazy Joe" Farah. The "Big Lie" works, as you very well know with your birth certificate Hitler-style propaganda campaign, which has the majority of Republican voters convinced that there are Communists, Muslims, and labor unionists under every corner trying to overturn the Reich, much as the average German during Hitler's regime believed such thing (except substitute "Jew" for "Muslim"). Sheesh.

-- Badtux the "You Suck Crazy Joe" Penguin

Sunday, March 25, 2012

You aren't going to believe this...

This morning my Comcast cable Internet came back to life with a nice strong signal, but I couldn't get anywhere. So I got on the chat line with a Comcast technician and she apparently did some magic involving re-provisioning and I went to a couple of web sites and it was, like, BAM BAM BAM! Just *SO* quick, the quickest it's *ever* been. I was about to close the chat session with the Comcast technician... and then my Internet went dark and my cable modem reported, "No Signal".

Turns out that my next door neighbor in the unit next door is moving out, and a Comcast technician disconnected "their" cable service. Which turned out to be *my* cable service, since all utilities come in at the corner of the other unit in this duplex. Unfortunately, by the time I realized what had happened said technician was already a couple of blocks down the road and accelerating away rapidly.

Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. And now they just say "a technician will call you"... they won't even give me a frickin' time window for when a technician will show up and re-connect my Internet!

Comcraptastic. Yo.

-- Badtux the Almost-Internetless Penguin

UPDATE: I put in the order for AT&T U-Verse service about 5 minutes ago. I also did it technician install so that their technician can figure out which of the ten phone lines that enter this unit (yes, TEN, a prior denizen ran a business here) is the best and use that one for the service.

Update #2: A technician called me. The soonest they can come out to replace the service they mistakingly cut is Tuesday morning at 7:30AM to 8:30AM. So I go online via my dial-up tethered Internet to check my appointment status to make sure they entered the information correctly and this is what I see:

Your appointment is scheduled for:

Date       Day       Time

03/27/2012    Tuesday 61:00PM - 71:00PM     Reschedule | Cancel

**FAIL**.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My status

My high speed Internet connection has gone completely down. Compost is sending a technician out early Monday morning to figure out what's wrong with it. Until my Internet is fixed daily music is at a halt since it's impractical to attempt to do that over a slow-speed modem connection. And no, I'm not going to use my employer's bandwidth to browse music videos during the workday.

-- Badtux the Almost-Internetless Penguin

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sad cat

Cat Power, "Nude As The News", off of What Would The Community Think. A very young Chan looks terrified but hits her lines.

Yeah, another repeat. What can I say, my Internet sucks today, so I pulled up random songs from my iTunes archive and chose the first one that I liked.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Comcast officially sucking bad tonight

I can't even get the Friday music up :(.

The problem is that every time I contact Comcast, the problem goes away by the time someone comes by to check on things. They have an intermittent connection somewhere between my house and the local POP, but they have no idea where, and the guy in the Comcast truck cruising the neighborhood looking for it is stumped too.

AT&T just put a POP in my neighborhood for their U-verse service, which is fiber to the neighborhood POP then copper to the individual houses. Maybe I need to try them out, sigh...

- Badtux the Bummed-out Penguin

What ain't right ain't right

Tom Morello, "The Fabled City", off his album by that name.

Yeah, I know I've done this one before on the blog. But I've been playing it over and over for the past few days. By "playing", I mean actually making music, not listening to it. You won't see that, for legal reasons (Tom is probably cool about me covering it, but it'd technically be a copyright violation). So you get the real thing, which is far better than anything I do anyhow :).

- Badtux the Music Penguin

So who cares if he's Hispanic?

The Faux News personalities are whining that George Zimmerman, the cracker who stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin, couldn't be a racist because he self-identifies as Hispanic (despite the fact that Faux News' inbred white trash racist viewers apparently approve of what Zimmerman did). At which point I say, WTF? Look, people. Hispanics and blacks hate, hate, HATES the other. Hispanics view blacks as lazy indolent ghetto thugs, blacks view Hispanics as interlopers who came to America and stole all the jobs that blacks traditionally did. Sort of how the Norteños and Sureños view each other, now that I think about it (the former being the American-born Hispanics, the latter being the Mexico-born Hispanics).

So anyhow, it doesn't matter whether Zimmerman self-identifies as white or Hispanic, the fact that he muttered "fucking coons" under his breath on the 911 tape pretty much seals that case. Despite which, the local PD continues to insist that their investigation or lack thereof was quite appropriate given Florida law which basically allows you to kill anyone, anywhere, who makes you feel threatened even by just standing there and making no moves towards you. Luckily the Feds aren't constrained by Florida law when investigating hate crimes... heh. Zimmerman better have $100K handy like *now* or he's going to be spending some time in Club Fed.

-- Badtux the "Hispanics can be racists too!" Penguin

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TMF killed my Mac :(

Grr! He jumped right up on it and knocked it off the music table!

Luckily it was my spare Mac that I used only for music. I can probably get all my data off of it. Not that there's much there that I don't have elsewhere. TMF can NOT manage to kill my big server, after all -- it weighs 80 pounds and could probably withstand an elephant!

So in other news I've been really, really, really busy at work. As in, from Friday afternoon to now, working 11-12 hour days getting a complex project to the point where I can breathe. As in, there were a dozen other people depending on me getting this done so they could do their own work. So if you're wondering why you're getting really short personal things rather than commentary on the economy, GOP thuggery, and so forth, this is it -- I *finally* got to leave the office on time today. Phew!

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Dem white trash blues

Justin Townes Earle, "Halfway To Jackson", off of Midnight at the Movies. Just some white trash blues, yo.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Right-wing thugs

Right wing thugs love to use violence against their opposition. Because, y'know, violence is manly and all that, and anybody who isn't a right wing thug is just a wuss and, like, fair game, y'know, just another animal, right?

So when I hear that left-wing Texas representative Wendy Davis's office was firebombed, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised at all. This is the kind of thing that right-wing fascists are always doing, from Mussolini's Blackshirts onwards.

In November, what kind of people do you want to vote for? The people strutting around measuring their penis by how violent they can be against "the opposition" and who relish the thought of imposing their rule upon others at gunpoint, or people who wish to live in a civil society where there is rule of law, not rule of thug? Sadly, there's a big enough minority who want to be thugs that I fear for the safety of all Democratic politicians... I hope Obama's Secret Service detail is better than any Secret Service detail has ever been in the nation's history, because they'll have to be. Because right now Obama looks like the winner in November... and there's a lot of blackshirts frothing at the mouth about that.

-- Badtux the Civil Penguin

If you run a blog via Blogger

[Note: Promoted to the top for a while. See below for actual posts.] Teh Google has made some evil moves and completely broken the stand-alone comments page. It no longer lets you enable email for replies, so if I post on your blog, I never see your reply. *BUT*, the "embedded" comments page -- like what you see if you click on the title of this post -- now works, and *does* include the link to subscribe to email replies by the participants in the thread.

So, how do you enable the "embedded" comments page? Pretty simple.

  1. Click on that there little Blogger symbol at the top left of your screen.
  2. Click "Settings" on the blog you want to fix
  3. Click "Comments" under "Settings"
  4. Select the button that says "Embedded below post"
  5. Scroll way-ass down to the bottom and click "Save Settings".
And that's that, assuming you're using a standard Blogger template. Which I am, 'cause I was fucked over the *last* time Blogger fucked with their interface 'cause I was using a non-standard template then, and ended up having to dump everything template-wise and go back to a standard Blogger template (just with a different picture behind the header compared to the "stock" template).

-- Badtux the Blogging Penguin

Music Religion

Indie icon Mark Lanegan lends his voice to a lot of projects. This one is Soulsavers, "Revival", off their 2007 album It's Not How Far You Fall It's the Way You Land.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, March 19, 2012

Terrorist searched @ Chicago airport

Well, in fairness, many three year olds are a terror, but not ones in a body cast with a broken leg. Because his wheelchair set off the beeper, the poor little tyke was taken aside -- parents not allowed to come with him -- and searched.

If seeing a child like this being patted down like a convicted criminal checking into a prison makes you feel safe, you don’t belong on board an aircraft, you belong in a psychiatric hospital. Really. Get some help.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

H/T

Taxes are too high?

We can't raise taxes because then companies couldn't spend to invest. Only problem: big American companies like Apple Corporation are sitting on literally hundreds of billions of dollars that they've simply piled under giant mattresses. Sayyyyy... why can't we tax that big hoard of cash? I mean, if Apple was going to spend it, they woulda spent it, right, so clearly they don't need it, right? And it's not as if they're paying huge amounts of taxes on the dough -- they paid a whole 3%, yes, THREE PERCENT, on the cash they got from overseas, and are whining that bringing that cash here to America would mean they'd have to pay SEVENTEEN percent tax. Oh wah! The majority of Americans only wish they paid only 17% tax -- crap, I pay 7.5% sales tax on everything I buy in the first place, nevermind income tax, Social Security and Medicare tax, and all that!

Yet you still have tools whining American companies can't afford tax hikes, even though the taxes are primarily on mattress money like what Apple is dumping on its shareholders today -- i.e., the taxes will basically take money out from under mattresses and put it back into circulation in the economy where it can do some good. Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. But not surprising. After all, we can't expect corporations today to pay the 1/3rd of taxes that they paid in that horror that was America under that socialist President Dwight D. Eisenhower, instead of the under 10% of taxes that they pay today... why, that'd be Communism!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Trucker cop

Drive By Truckers, "Used To Be A Cop", off of their recent album Go-Go Boots.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Learning to love the rain

Well, no, not really. It seems to have taken out my "real" Internet service again, leaving me on my iPhone :(.

-- Badtux the Wireless Penguin

Trying to get home

Lee Renaldo, once of the Sonic Youth, is releasing his first "real" solo album, i.e., one that is *not* just noise experiments. This is "Off The Wall", off of Between The Times and The Tides which is available on March 20.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

What an arrogant asshole

NYPD rapist cop Michael Pena smirked as his attorney basically said "yeah, my client assaulted the victim at gunpoint, but he didn't rape her." I don't know why he's smirking. Even if he didn't penetrate her (and witnesses say he did, as does the victim), he's still going to jail, and for a cop even jail is hard time -- usually in solitary for their own protection. But when you're an arrogant asshole, I guess you don't think of things like that, you just think "boy, I'm gonna get away with something" and that's that.

-- Badtux the "Throw the book at him" Penguin

Cold, damp, miserable

The Silly Cone Valley has been cold damp and miserable this weekend, plus I've been working (sigh!) so that's been a downer too. I handled that yesterday by going out for a big bowl of chicken pho, the perfect dish for when the sky is spitting occasional bursts of water and the temperature is hovering in the low 50's. The kittehs deal with it like this:

Yay, a kitty pile!

-- Badtux the Bad Weather Penguin

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wasted

Bailey Cooke, "Wasted Time". Apparently not available on any album, as far as I know the only thing she has available is on iTunes and Amazon mp3, and that's her album Tennessee.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, March 16, 2012

What a lucky man

Iraq vet suffering PTSD snaps, takes out sister, mother, self.

Army Spec. Abel Gutierrez. That was his name. George W. Bush is responsible for these three deaths just as he's reponsible for so many others. And there is no hell after he dies, just darkness, just like for the rest of us. There is no hell, other than the one George W. Bush created on Earth for our soldiers (amongst many other man-made hells), and GWB as a fortunate son will never experience that.

-- Badtux the Cursing Penguin

Noise

Last night after putting the new strings on the Duo-Sonic, I took it for a test drive.

-- Badtux the Musical Penguin

Lucky Pat

They recently held a Pat Tillman Memorial Run here in San Jose, and for some reason that reminded me of this song. The bullet that found him was one of his own side's. Oh, what a lucky man he was.

This is Emerson Lake and Palmer, "Lucky Man", off their 1970 self-titled album.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Re-stringing my Duo-Sonic

Yay fun.

[For those who don't know, the Duo-Sonic has what is known as "classic" tuners. This means that the new strings must be cut to exactly the correct length *before* being run through the holes in the bridge and over the saddles to get to the tuners. Tedious work, sigh.]

Anyhow, I use the best strings around -- Elixir Nanowebs Lights (.10 size) which are nicely slinky on this short-scale guitar -- but while they're long lived, they don't last *forever*. So it goes.

- Badtux the Musician Penguin

Question

How many newspapers in Texas do you think are running the current Doonesbury cartoon making Texas look like fucking morons by mandating that abortion doctors sexually assault rape victims prior to aborting the fetus implanted there by the rapist? Not many, I suspect...

-- Badtux the "The GOP is the Taliban" Penguin

Powder

Tenderloud was a Scandinavian band based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is "White Lines" off their one and only album Shadow Red Hand released in 2004.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Math is hard

But J. Brad Delong proves that the math behind deficit spending in a down economy works. That is, money in a depressed economy is seeking safe havens to hide in. What's safer than the full faith and credit of the United States of America? Nothing. What to do if bond buyers drive bond rates to effectively negative? Sell more bonds, duh -- I mean, if you're *making* money selling Treasuries, why the hell not?

So anyhow, that's just mathematical proof of what we already knew -- the proper role of government in a consumption-slump-caused recession is to be consumer of last resort, taking the money that would ordinarily be spent on consumption (but is now looking for a mattress to hide under) and putting it to use doing something useful rather than just sitting under a mattress effectively being pretty-colored toilet paper from the perspective of the economy.

Which brings to mind something that JzB and I have been hashing about in emails, about the nature of money and how do you measure the amount of effective money in an economy (i.e., the money actually in use to buy and sell stuff). Some thoughts: 1. Consumer consumption is money. 2. Government purchases is money. 3. Consumer and government wages are money. 4. Capital improvement purchases are money. All of these involve money changing hands in exchange for something of real value (money itself has no real value, it's just toilet paper with pictures of dead people for, it's the fact you can exchange money for things of real value that give it effective value despite no intrinsic value). If you add up all of these money flows in a month, you should have a good notion of the effective money supply in a given month. If you compare this number to the inflation rate, what do you see? I don't know. Maybe JzB will do one of his pretty charts and show us :).

-- Badtux the Random Economics Penguin

Welcome to Pi Day

Given the attachment of Southern legislators to objective reality, I am awaiting the introduction of a bill in some Southern legislature to define pi legislatively as exactly 3.14. Because all those other digits after the 4 are just liberal lies intended to confuse our innocent little school children.

- Badtux the Snarkily Cynical Penguin

Half slave, half free is an oxymoron

Of all the various versions of this song, I like Solomon Burke's straightforward gospel-style cover of this song the best. Add in the Blind Boys of Alabama as the backing singers, and everybody else's version is just lame.

"None Of Us Are Free", Solomon Burke, off of the 2002 album Don't Give Up On Me.

Solomon died at age 70 a little over a year ago in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, where he collapsed and died at the airport. The old-time gospel singers are pretty much all gone now, and their like will not be seen again, for the culture they came out of -- the Southern black praise song culture transplanted to the North with the black workers who moved North to work in the factories that built the tanks and bombs that won this country's wars -- no longer exists.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Cracker kills black kid for strolling while black

... and gets away with it, claiming he felt threatened by a black kid walking around in his all-white gated community (kid was half-white and was visiting his white father). Because that's all ya gotta say under Florida law to justify killing someone, and the all white jury would agree, so what are the cops supposed to do -- arrest him and charge him with murder? When the only other witness to the incident, a black kid armed with Skittles of Mass Destruction (omg!), is, well, *dead*?

This reminds me of some incident that would have happened back in the Civil Rights era if a black kid had tried walking around in a white neighborhood. Yah, things sure have changed a lot since then -- nowadays they don't bother caperin' round in the woods wearing pointy hats and bedsheets, that was just sorta cosmetic frippery anyhow and looked vaguely ridiculous. But that's pretty much the *only* difference in some parts of the nation.

-- Badtux the "Yay, progress" Penguin

Surging Santorum in Alabama and Mississippi

Sorry, just had to type in that title, because we know all about Santorum, heh ;).

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The end of print

Last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was printed two years ago, there will be no more. After 244 years, Britannica Inc. is calling it quits in the print encyclopedia business. They sold a couple thousand copies of the 2010 edition to libraries, but that was pretty much it -- nobody else was willing to pay the price for information they can look up online as easily.

I am conflicted. I must admit that I rarely look up things in books nowadays. On the other hand I spent many a lazy summer evening picking up a random encyclopedia at a friend's house and opening it at random to some page about some topic I knew nothing about, and trying to figure out what they were talking about. In a way this gave me an education that the crappy schools of the desegregation-era South, which were all about trying to keep white boys out of the same schools as them uppity nigras and nothing about providing an education, could not have hoped to give.

And now that's gone, forever. There will be no more children on lazy summer evenings picking up an encyclopedia and turning it to a random page. I suppose it was inevitable anyhow, given the plethora of entertainment options that today's children have -- in my childhood there was one television, showing a black-and-white picture, in a large wooden piece of furniture in the living room, and if the grownups were watching a show that was not appropriate for children we were sent elsewhere to entertain ourselves. And we did, because we had no choice. And in homes full of books, naturally we picked up books. Today... that'll never happen again. Books are becoming obsolete. When I needed a new reference book on Microsoft Powershell, for example, I bought an e-book from O'Reilly, not a paper book. I have limited space on my bookshelves, and I save that for reference books I *can't* get as e-books... which is increasingly few nowadays.

-- Badtux the Wistful Penguin

Sonic Replicant

Well, Sonic Youth is officially disbanded, since Thurston and Kim have divorced and that's pretty much half the band no longer interested. But Steve Shelley always has a gig, and he brings the noise here too.

The band is Disappears, and the song is "Replicate", off their new EP Pre Language.

Hmm, I notice that I just moved from quiet nu-grass to noisy indie-rock. Funny how that works...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, March 12, 2012

Randomness

You've already heard about the U.S. soldier in Afghanistan who went postal on a village. Not much I can say there. There's an easy way to make sure it never happens again: Leave. 'Nuff said.

I finished the red beans and rice. Four meals straight of red beans and rice? Just call me Toots McPenguin ;).

This bloody daylight savings time has walloped me good. So I'm going to wrap it up and head to bed.

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

Whispery sleep

Crooked Still, "Did You Sleep Well", off their 2008 album Still Crooked.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Too many blows to the head

In today's World Nut Daily, famed economist Chuck Norris says President Obama is behind the recent surge in gas prices, because it's part of his secret Kenyan plot to not get re-elected in November. Or something like that. Hey, it's Chuck Norris. If you're Chuck Norris you don't have to make sense, reality bends to fit *you*. Or something like that.

-- Badtux the Snarky Wingnut Watching Penguin

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Love song

Suzanne Vega, "As You Are Now", off her 2007 album Beauty and Crime. Which album, alas, disappeared in the winds after Suzanne was criminally dropped by her label immediately after its release, meaning no support in getting it airplay or any other recognition.

Your guess as to what she's singing about. Suzanne Vega has a daughter, Ruby Froom. Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Full penguin

Cooked some Cajun-style red beans and rice today. You can't make a *small* batch of these, a pound of red beans makes a *huge* batch.

Came out okay despite the fact that I can't get the right ingredients here. I substituted a small hunk of salt pork for the tasso, and some kielbasa for the andouille, and fiddled with the seasonings to try to get some of the flavors that the andouille and tasso usually add. It sufficed. (Tasso is basically pepper-cured salt pork, andouille is basically a highly spiced kielbasa).

Now I have to figure out what to do with all these beans... do you think I can convince people at work to eat them? Otherwise I'm going to have beans and rice, rice and beans, for the rest of the week...

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A day in the life of a nutty right winger

Today I got an email blast from World Nut Daily trying to sell some of the books they publish. One of the books is by famed birther book author Jerome Corsi. It is entitled Atomic Iran, and it details how Iran is on the verge of creating an atomic bomb because of the misdeeds of the Clinton Administration. This book boldly predicts that Iran would have a bomb within five years.

Pretty scary, eh? That means that we need to work hard to keep Iran from getting an atomic bomb, maybe even to the point of launching bombing raids on Iran to keep them from building a bomb. There's only one problem with that bold prediction and prescription for action: This book was published in 2006. Today is 2012. Which is, erm... *six* years after Jerome Corsi made that prediction. Oops! Yet Crazy Joe Farah of WND.com actually *included* the publication date in his email blast, even though the publication date *proves* that Corsi is either an idiot, a moron, or a liar!

Fail.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Tired gardener

Spent most of the day doing major cleanup in the yard, had to clear the underbrush away from the sprinklers and remove the buildup of dead ferns and prune or tie the fuchsia a bit here and there and weed-whack here and there with my widdle electwic weed whacker.

So foo. Anyhow, here's my computer screen this morning. The Macbook is in lozenge mode (that silvery thing over to the right). The big server that runs Windows 7 and Centos 6.2 (in a VirtualBox VM, it handles the RAID arrays because Linux is the universal solvent of networks, capable of providing filesystems to both Windows and Mac systems in their native protocols) is that big black box below it. That's a 25" monitor. The keyboard is an Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard, and the trackpad beside it is an Apple MagicPad multi-touch thingy that I like because it lets me go swipe-swipe-swipe and do all sorts of things depending on how many fingers and what direction I'm swiping (and the whole trackpad is a button -- it has two little feet that also serve as buttons below it). Atop the sound system on the shelf above the desk are the keyboard and mouse for the big server, I usually RDP in from the Macbook using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection client for MacOS (I have the Linux VM set to start up in the background so I RDP to it too). To the right, out of picture, is the big HP printer-scanner-copier that I barely use nowadays.

Just feeling geeky. Something to do while tired, heh.

-- Badtux the Tired Garden Penguin(*)
(*) Not to be confused with a garden gnome, penguins are much more handsome!

Bright Amphetamine Sky

Madrugada was a Norwegian band active from 1995 to 2007. This is "Salt", from the album Industrial Silence.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, March 09, 2012

Austerity has a human price

Mother of 22 year old autistic son kills son, herself.

I've worked with autistic kids in the past. It's hard enough dealing with them when they're little, they don't respond like normal kids, and they get overstimulated very easily at which point they usually respond with self destructive, self-mutilative, or just plain destructive behavior. But they were little kids, and we had special facilities, so we could deal with them. Dealing with a non-verbal autistic adult who has full adult size and strength... no family can do that alone. It just isn't possible. That way lies a nervous break down, depression, and... well.

Public health programs such as respite centers, day centers, and visiting nurses aimed at people with cognitive disabilities aren't just a good idea. They're the only alternative to stories like this one. Thing is, funding for all of these has been slashed to the point where the state-run programs here in California are all shut down and the ones getting Medicaid money are turning away people because they really don't have the money for the clients they already have. And don't think that charities will take up the gap, they have to do the math and put their limited funds where it gets the most bang for the buck. They're having a hard enough time keeping the soup kitchens and food pantries open, a few thousand dollars will feed hundreds of people for a week, while it will barely serve one severely disabled autistic adult for a week. Feed hundreds, or day care for one. That's the unpleasant choice that charities are having to face this time of reduced giving, and they're choosing to feed the hundreds, not provide day care for the one. And who can blame them, really?

So the austerity that Washington has dictated to the states by refusing to give them community block grants the way Nixon did during the '73 recession is killing people. That's the choice that our Representatives, Senators, and President in Washington have made: the genocide of the handicapped on the altar of austerity. I seem to recall a short German dictator who had the same idea about the handicapped(*)...

- Badtux the "Can we call it fascism?" Penguin
(*) The short German dicator at least made it quick, rather than making the handicapped suffer like the Representatives, Senators, and President are doing to them...

Cat space

The Mighty Fang disappeared. I couldn't find him anywhere. Then I noticed that the closet door in the music room was just barely open, so I slid it to the left and peered in -- into a furry face. Here it is when I slid everything wide open to the light of day:

I disturbed his grooming, so in the next pic he's basically saying, "pet me, you moron":

Just another day in a cat-owned penguin's life, heh!

- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

The Romney Flipflops

In computer clustering we have an issue we call "ping-ponging", where system A comes up and assumes mastership of the cluster, system B comes up and becomes secondary, system B looks at system A and says "uh oh system A is sick" and reboots system A and assumes mastership, system A comes back up and becomes secondary, system A looks at system B and says "uh oh system B is sick", then reboots system B and assumes mastership. The cluster ends up ping-ponging between A and B as master, with a brief service interruption each time it ping-pongs due to the amount of time needed to transfer services.

So anyhow, this reminds me of the way The Romney switches between positions. A few weeks ago, The Romney supported an increase in the minimum wage. Today... not. Ping. Pong. Position A. Position B. Position A. Position B. Wash, rinse, repeat.

My personal belief is that The Romney is based on an early version of Windows 95 which gets a blue screen of death regularly and has to be re-installed from scratch because you can never get it to boot up again once it's blue-screened like that. That is why The Romney never seems to remember what The Romney said last week -- it's because the current install of the Romneybot 2.0 software didn't *exist* last week.

Hey, it's a theory ;).

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin