Monday, April 30, 2012

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 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,, and even if they do, it's easy enough to export everything from Blogger to, say,, 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


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


"Lassie! Where's Timmie?"


"Is Timmie okay?"


"Did Timmie fall down a well again?"


"Take me to Timmie, Lassie!"


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


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


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


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