Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mending a fence

  I love not having kids.  I slept 11 hours then slowly got up over the course of another hour and was going to put-off mending the torn fence from yesterday's high-winds (again, due to mary-jane medicinal shops littering the countryside) in such the style as Paw-Kettle (uncultured folks should look that one up, it's a whole sub-genre of American pop-culture).  Becky, however, urged me to not do so; so I went to Lowe's to buy some wood screws (which turned out to be far too short) and ended up using the ones I already had.  Becky had got the drill for me but couldn't find the bits for it as the whole box containing them went missin'.  Happily, in the plastic screw box there was a 6-star bit I needed that I had put there from before (clever me) and we got the drill a-goin'.  Had to move some rocks out of the way so I did so dog-style (not doggy-style, and no, I'm not making a link to "doggy style" ahem) and we got the fence section lined-up pretty good.  Becky expertly recommended drilling locations and we got the fence afixed and it's stable 'nuff.  Ah, Coly-rahd-y.

200 points to who can guess who this guy is
yeah..yeah, Mike R. Jackson but who is he?

  Wind was so nuts today I couldn't keep the grill alight so I ended up using the George Forman indoor grill which worked enuff fer dogs n' burgers.  The pilot kept going out on my Blue Ember Grill outside.  Colorado seems to always be windy here on the mesa.  I know some guys that don't ride motorcycles because it's "too windy" out.  I warned they'd never ride with that attitude here!  It's always 20 mph winds minimum it seems.
  I was reading "News of the Weird" and stumbled across this article which I'll leave you with.


-- William Todd arrived in Nashville, Tenn., on April 9 via Greyhound bus and faced a nine-hour layover. According to police, Todd committed at least 11 felonies during that time, one after another, with more charges still possible. Among Todd's alleged diversions: shooting up a restaurant, setting it on fire, robbing four people at a bar, carjacking, breaking into a law office and defecating on a desk, trolling hotel rooms seeking theft opportunities, and stealing a taxicab and robbing the driver. Said a police sergeant, "I've never seen anything like this before." He was finally captured at Opryland, where he had hidden by submerging himself in water up to his nose. [WSMV-TV (Nashville), 4-9-2012]

Saturday, May 26, 2012

High Winds

  So many medicinal marijuana places has finally made the wind itself  "high."  Wind gusts were up to 70 mph today and knocked down part of my fence (and this part I've always wanted to say) which'll need mending.  Oh, I love Colorado for that. 

I can talk cowboy talk.  I can say the big words!  Yep.  YeeHaw!  Ride that spicy chicken!

  So I gotta buy some nails and smash hammer into nail to make fence work thing.  I think I'm to blame on this.  I turned on all my pedals at once from the previous post.  BUT YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE ME!  WHY DIDN'T YOU BELIEVE ME!  Now we're screwed.  I think I saw a Count Dracula biting a Manticore.

  I also mailed an eBay package Priority Mail TO THE WRONG ADDRESS!!!  FRACK!  Well, eBay didn't give a street address, just a state and zip code for New York.  The zip code eBay gave me was a New York zip code, which was good but coincidentally his street address WAS the zip code (which he omitted).  Both his street address and zip code were nearly identical, so his package is going to the wrong city.  It might come back to me, maybe.  Pricey item, too.  I got the actual address when I got back from the Post Office in an email.  It's what I get for shipping extra early.  DOH!  Well, we'll see!
  I refuse to use smartphone goodness.  Instead, I'll send things via pigeon if I have to!!!  (Click it, go on... you know you want to).

Thing-Ring, do your thing!

  So I finally got the final pedal (a distortion pedal, the MXR-M116), leaving room for the final final pedal (someday) of either the Loud WTF or the Electro-Harmonix Sitar pedal (not sure which I want) both of which are very large.  At the same time I got these, arrived were the the steel flat Hosa connectors which allow me to shove 'em all up-close.  I took my own advise and got the Super Feedbacker & Distortion pedal by Boss to work better when boosted by the Behringer EQ700 pedal and it sounds, well.. boss.  Very 1985.  I'm pretty convinced my rig blows away Eddie Van Halen's setup (except for the 5 full-stacks to my 1/4 stack, though he puts mics in front of his rig into the house speakers, something I should consider someday).
  I played around with it and it sounds great.  I mean really great.  Tone is spot-on and each of the distortion pedals are distinct and delicious.  I opted to not stereo-out the Vortex Flanger but go old-school mono with it and keep the stock setting from TC Electronic as it sounds vintage enough (though, yes, it does not sound quite as gritty as a script MXR Phase 90).
  In the pictures below, yes I have them all activated.  This will create unusual weather patterns but don't worry, I shunted it right after the mixing board so no sonic disturbance would ensue.  Turning on all those lower tier distortion pedals at-once creates a banshee shriek that's uncontrollable and dangerous to dolphins and spaceships.
  The connections start at the lower right and move up to the upper right.  This is a common setup for guitar pedals because the OUTPUT is (almost) always to the left.  No rhyme or reason to that, it just.. is

The pedals (bottom right to top left are..) [Note* MIJ = Made in Japan]

1983 Boss Octaver OC-2 MIJ (creates a bass-guitar frog-like sound)
1981 Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive distortion MIJ
2011 Boss Metal Core ML-2 distortion (everyone gets the Metal Zone, this is meatier)
2011 MXR '78 Badass Distortion
2012 MXR Fullbore Metal distortion
1985 Boss Super Feedbacker & Distortion DF-2 MIJ (hold the pedal down for Hendrix feedback)
2011 Behringer EQ700 Graphics Equalizer and signal booster

(now top right to top left)
1997 Boss Enhancer EH-2 (1997 Now) cleans up signal and smooths it out
1983 Boss Chorus CE-2 MIJ (tames distortion)
1984 Boss Phaser PH-1r MIJ (insane beast, think intro to U2's Mysterious Ways)
2011 TC Electronic Vortex Flanger (think Heart's intro to Barracuda)
2012 Artec Analog Delay SE-ADL

  These all go into my Digitech 2112 effects loop in/out so it can be mixed nicely in the effects processor route.  It's shoved into a Behringer mixing board and final output is stereo into my custom:

2010 Wet Stereo Reverb pedal

  Finally it all goes into analog-to-digital processing with my AudioBox 22VSL USB 2.0 processor and into my Windows 7 64-bit PC for recording using Presonus Studio One.
  The Behgringer mixing board also goes out to my two Crate 200-watt Power-heads with Celestion 10" speakers in stereo.  Crate doesn't color the sound like other amps such as Marshall or Fender and I like it's purist, dry signal (I already colored with my pedals!)

The whole thing hooked-up with dim lights is.. pretty like Sonic Christmas Destroy

  On the bottom is my foot controller for my Digitech 2112 (upgraded to 2120 specs) for even more stereo effects which sound great during recording sessions and add things my pedals don't, such as compression, detuning, and harmonizing as necessary.
  I have a Brian May Red Special pedal but I never really play too much Queen so it sits in its box now, probably worth something over time.  I replaced my Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay with the Artec, even though the Artec is (gasp) Made in China.  True vintage analog delay pedals run in the near-thousands of dollars and my Digitech can handle that just fine, but I wanted something that degraded with each repeat.  Amazingly, the Artec (to my ears) is far superior to anything else I've heard, even the MXR Carbon Copy delay so I grudgingly got it and it's got the mojo I need.  I like to think American downed pilot prisoners made it from U2 spy-planes but that's just me. 
  It's all sitting on my custom Monkey Board that lights up blue nicely.  If  you click da pict-chya you'll notice red tape over some of the LED lamps on the pedals because they're like lazerz shooting C-beams into my eyes off the shoulder of Orion so I had to tame those down to only 10 giga-lumens.
  I figure readers want to hear less talk and more music.  What do all the pedals sound like turned-on? 

  Something like this:


Friday, May 25, 2012

Van Halen III

Van Halen forgetting words to Girls Gone Bad March 2012 then yells at the lighting team

  I needed 24 hours to really immerse in the Van Halen experience.  From a guitarists' point-of-view (POV) [no, Dave, don't click it] I have a unique perspective.  I've seen guys air-guitaring it to Van Halen before, usually to the drum beats and not the guitar work, sadly, so then there's that perspective; also, most people aren't rock guitarists, so there's another angle altogether.

  So looking back and letting it soak in, I've come to some conclusions.  Firstly, Eddie's tone is a bit off.

Denver, May, 2012

 Boston, March, 2012

  To me, it's pretty apparent there's more chemistry earlier on.  Somehow the tone from the venue at Denver is not as good as Boston (but then there's the recording equipment, the venue's amphitheater etc.)  Dave is more animated as well, and Eddie is playing tightly.

  Now let's get in the Time Machine (I have 3 of them, just in case) and hear Unchained live again.  Notice the energy and Eddie's tone.  It's "brighter" as they say.  More treble and clearer.  As you know, I had been to the Denver show and it was muddy and thick and hard to distinguish.  By my ears, the Denver show's recording example above was just about exactly what I heard.  Pretty spot-on recording-wise:  Muddy.  I'm not sure if Eddie changes-out strings every show (I probably would, or every 2 maybe) but it sounds like they're greasy.  I can get a real muddy, dirty tone letting the strings rot on the guitar for several months.  Sometimes that's preferred, as in death-metal bands, but with Van Halen's (band) repertoire, particularly the older material, it's the treble-sharp sound which Eddie's distinguished himself with.  I'm not saying it's bad, it's just different.  Now, what was not so great was his slop.  He'd do harmonics that most guitarists know about.  One example is my song Limbo I covered by Rush here:  (Click this link for fast-forwarded song)  It's performed by lightly touching the strings while plucking.  Makes a sort of high-pitched wind-chime sound.  If you miss the exact location, it'll make a THUNK sound.  Eddie missed these a LOT.  He then looked confused and annoyed, almost if he couldn't believe he made those mistakes.  He simply was just off.  Not sure if they were all inebriated or high before the show, I'd be curious to find out.  To his credit, Eddie made up for it with some other chops that were jaw-dropping.

  The band as a whole sounded like a garage cover-band trying to play Van Halen.  Very good work but a little polishing required.  For veteran musicians, I was a bit surprised.  David "Diamond" Lee Roth's ego was larger-than-life which is sad but delightful at the same time and Eddie seemed weary of it like just wanted the last few shows to be finished.
  Being able to see Van Halen was a life-affecting experience.  Very good but also I was a bit surprised because I could see the cracks in the whole. It's not glued well and it shows.  I was tempted to hold up a Valerie Bertinelli on Jenny Craig poster to distract Eddie but Dave was distracting him enough, screaming into his ear while he was trying to play bits (see above first video).  Robert Plant he is not.  Wolfgang I still attest did a fine enough job and Alex on drums was probably the best member there.  Thankfully, Dave couldn't get to him too closely due to a drum cage (why a drum cage?  turn up the amps!)  My ears stopped ringing a half-hour after the show.  TURN IT UP!

   In the 1980s, Van Halen was a freakin' HUGE deal.  HUGE!!!  I hate to say the mighty have fallen.  No, I don't think so, but they need to reconsider their act.  Setlist was very good but a few Van Halen II and Van Halen III songs, maybe one each?  Why not?  Bruce Dickinson does other singer of Iron Maiden songs occasionally. 
  Very glad I went.  I hope they can get their act together and make a more interesting album than A Different Kind of Truth which lacks in solo flash, though I must add the guitar phrasing of their new album is very interesting, we miss Eddie going nuts.


Van Halen II

  So we get to the Denver Pepsi Center a tad late, missing a few minutes of Van Halen's opening act, Kool & The Gang who were abysmal, using keyboards as a bass guitar for the pop-funk they play.  Boo.  Some of the rocker-chick-soccer-moms were into it, mostly because they have no soul and are empty inside with lacerated wombs-gone-sour (tm) and so they danced fatly to it because musical integrity is something they can't understand. 

 People got to their seats (some were stealing others' and it got out-of-hand until security broke a lot of it up).  I sort of hate it when people go back for beers during the show, or have to illegally "light up" pot.  Really?  You need to be fracked-up to enjoy a concert?  Go listen to your iTunes at home while doped.  Jerks.  .. oh, unless you have brain cancer, but then really you should be RESTING, not HERE!  Sheesh.  Criminals.  I bet they voted for Oblivi-bama-geddon.
  Our seats were stage-Eddie about 20 feet up which was pretty darn close and a very good view.  The stage was cleared of extra keyboards and keyboards from Kool & the Fake's 20 minute painful rendition of Get Down On It complete with on-screen lyrics, just in case you don't know what the four words of the whole song might possibly be, the depth and symbolism etch the mind of Nostradamus in the heavens. 

  The EVH team came out and also meticulously cleaned the stage like Buddhist Ninjas, putting out "Diamond" David Lee Roth's apparently "required" dance square made of hardwood, then conditioned the wood meticulously again as if they're souls depended on it with Dave-required talc powder then hand-polished his mic stands with a fervor of insane passion and completeness (but apparently for naught).
  Eddie and his son Wolfgang (a bit pudgy but played well) as well as Alex Van Halen on drums, as a family trio, as well as David Lee Roth all of whom wore plain black.  All black.  Shoes, shirt, pants.  Black.  Stage was also plain black (except for David's required wooden dance square area, though taped-down.. in black).  Not a dire black, just a completely, and I mean completely understated, low-tone black, almost Nihilist.  No.. completely Nihilist.  Short-cut hair.  Dave's only flash: a white fluffy scarf (odd).
   They opened with Unchained which a pretty good starter and got good response from the audience and continued with applause of Runnin' With the Devil, She's the Woman, Romeo Delight, Tattoo and a nice intro to the film: Better Off Dead's, Everybody Wants Some!!
  Despite smiles of Eddie, you can see he's pained.  His floor kept being cleaned after each of the first few songs, and then he got cranky and then he wiped down the floor himself with a towel and threw it, calling-out the hired help nasty names with his typical upbeat and cruel way he does, "Those @#$^@ ruined YOUR show, guys!  If they could do the job right the FIRST !#$@% time, you wouldn't have WASTED 2 minutes of your LIFE!"  Huh.. to me it looks like they did do a fine job, Dave.  Maybe he just wanted to complain.
  They went on to play a rather good version of, China Town, as well as Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Hear About it Later, Oh, Pretty Woman, You Really Got Me, The Trouble with Never, Dance the Night Away, I'll Wait, And the Cradle Will Rock.., Hot for Teacher, Women In Love, and Beautiful Girls.  We're awarded a nice but simple drum solo from Alex as the rest take a break.
  Dave then changed clothes (now slightly flashier with a sequin jacket) and came out and played a short acoustic piece on classical guitar (interesting) and showed a video of some Border Collies and a field and went on to explain he was a professional dog trainer and bragged about it for a while for some reason, then bragged he had no bumper stickers on his three trucks (huh?)  This went on for 10 minutes.  This then led impossibly into one of my favorites, Ice Cream Man followed by the quintessential Panama, an improved Eruption by Eddie (though he just played 2 notes REALLY fast for about 3 minutes which I thought was a bit .. well, "blah"... but made up for it with some great swells in volume-knob play and an interesting tap-solo improv [Eddie, they make volume pedals btw, ask Alex Lifeson in the song Xanadu]). 
  Encore was Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love and Jump to finish it off.

  A few interesting tidbits was that Dave sort of acted threatening to Wolfgang, and the chemistry seemed pained.  They stopped the tour short, only doing a few more "required" shows before cancelling the whole tour for their album "to rest".  Luckily, Denver was not dropped-off the list.  I suspect they might not pick it back up again.  Even though Eddie divorced super-hot and super-understanding and nice Valerie Betinelli from One Day at a Time,

 it looks like he still misses her despite re-marrying Jane Liszewski (she's 20 years YOUNGER than Eddie) and therefore minimal in common despite their attempts.
  Eddie has two major issues going on right now and it shows:  "David Lee Roth and also David Lee Roth".  He deserves two mentions because he's THAT much of a problem.  Here's how:
  Of course, David insults his roadies, and some of the audience, and scowls at Wolfgang and Alex, then grins as if of COURSE he's in the right, and it's ALL ABOUT HIM.  He continuously looks at the big screen behind him to see himself and it's obvious he loves seeing himself bigger than life.  It's like their 30th show.  It's not like he hasn't seen this before on this tour.  He just loves it and brushes his hair back as he looks at himself on a 50-foot screen repeatedly.  He even mentions how awesome he looks a few times.  During Eddie's solos, he points to himself as the audience cheers Eddie on as if to ask, "You're cheering for ME, right?"  What?  No, we're cheering for Eddie's guitarsmanship, dolt!  He's SOLOING right now, and EXCELLENTLY!  Sheesh.  Dave'd often point to himself with his thumbs and demand applause from the audience.  Literally THE MOST self-centered person on Earth.  Infants are not as self-centered at birth.  God is not as self-centered.  If he went into a church, he'd grin and ask a person praying, "Are you praying to Me?"  Wow, but expected, as I've heard of this, but I didn't believe it could possibly be at that magnitude, and I thought it was all just over-exaggerated.   I had fun with it, laughing each time.  Such arrogance of a musician is legendary, and we may never see another at that level in my lifetime.  Caligula would be shamed.

(pick out David Lee Roth..  can you guess which one?)

  As a performance, it was as low-key as their outfits.  Dave performed a few almost-kicks with his very short hair (then gloated about it and watched himself in slow-motion instant-replay on the big screen behind him to see how awesome he was(n't).)  Some of the younger kids (there were a few under 30) commented that David Lee Roth sucked while we were leaving.  Interesting the Legend doesn't translate 40 years later.  I can't expect a lot from a 57 year old guy, but Rush puts on a much more interesting show as in the Clockwork Angels: Time Machine in Cleveland tour which depicts old rockers can still rock.  Well, all of Van Halen's clean livin' after all.. ahem.
  It was obvious there'd be no Sammy Hagar pieces such as Dreams or Right Now, but it would've been nice to show some grace and tact that maybe yes, some of that work is worth playing, but again, we're working with Dave, who is into himself forever and hates Sammy Hagar.
  Tone-wise, Eddie's guitar rig was muffled, but we were at 90 degrees to it so we were getting not the best sound from his EVH stacks (he had 5 full stacks).  Some of Eddie's work was a bit sloppy, as if he just wanted to get the last few tour dates over with, but he still put in a good, honest night's work.  Wolfgang's bass playing was very adequate and he was a gentleman about it, though he got no solo (everyone else did, Dave MADE his own solo, often ignoring the required lyrics to songs and just doing his own "zeebadda beee-bah" vocal-solo thing) Wolfgang and also Alex performed tightly and clean.  Dave would sometimes ignore cues and start suddenly talking about how many chicks he used to bang, including (and inappropriately) amputees, all during mid-song and it tripped the other players up and confused them and they tried to go along with it.  Well then.  Eddie's pedalboard was minimalistic.  He had his own MXR Phaser and overdrive pedal, but he never really added much by way of effects nor changed it up for each song.  Instead, he played the Everybody Wants Some / You Really Got Me tone the whole way through the set, making the songs blur blend into one giant long song with no distinction.  From a master guitarist, I expected.. JUST a little bit more variation, but David kept distracting him with comments he fake-smiled at.. more like.. grimaced at.

  As the set started winding down, Dave told Eddie to stop it with the wild solos and just "play it basic".  Dave started putting on more and more flashy clothes.  At the end, especially after the song Eruption, he wore a giant Klondike hat and waved a 30 foot checkered flag around while plumes of red and white confetti burst out of cannons, "Look at MEEEEEEEE!!!!" as he pointed to himself to take away from Eddie in any way that he could.
  A good show and a good set but the boys are tired and want to call it quits, and the energy of the '80s is LONG gone and Dave isn't cooperating too much.  I wonder what Gary Cherone is up to?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chronicles of Cronis - Van Halen

  So Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza called as well as my claims adjuster on my 2005 Superhawk.  Geico says they've mailed the check for the remaining difference from my deductible to the shop, and RMCP says they'll get right on it, but it'll take a few days to get the parts in and if I wanted to pick the bike up in the interim.  I reminded them that the clutch cable was pinched and no clutch makes for a challenging ride of which they replied, "Oh yeah." as if remembering.  I'm obviously not on the top of their "to-do" list, but unlike diners in the movie Waiting, I can comfortably deal with that.  I also asked them to check the brake pads and "by feel" ride the bike around and see if she might need a carb-sync.  I doubt it but the cylinders seem, "punchy".  Hard to explain but they got it.

  Going to see Van Halen tonite. Never got to see them during their height.  Good guitar work.  Legendary.   Probably their farewell tour, though they won't admit it.  They cancelled all their future shows which is horrifying but Denver was spared the axe.  Opening band?  Kool and the Gang.  I feel like Charlie Murphy when he announced that Prince served them "pancakes" as if even he didn't believe the impossibility of that.  Kool and the Gang...  Very.. odd.  Luckily my ticket purchaser is running late so we might miss a good portion of them which is fine with me.  If it had been Rush I would have unexpectedly and immediately started running to the show ala Napoleon Dynamite.

  Van Halen is promoting their new album, "A Different Kind of Truth" (a mouthful of an album title).  A quick review indicates David Lee Roth is having some arguments on-stage with the roadies and pauses the concerts complaining about wind-effects and such forcing Eddie to improvise.  Guess they need to iron-out some of the kinks, but it might collapse the tour effort.  To my ultra delight as a teaser, I found out the song, Ice Cream Man is going to probably be played, which is great fun, as well as some older material.  I doubt Dreams or Right Now is going to be given a go.  I know a lot of folks disliked Sammy Hagar (now of Chickenfoot) in Van Halen, but honestly, there was some solid effort during his time with them, such as the aforementioned songs, as well as 5150, Poundcake, and When It's Love.  David Lee Roth and him do not get along on an epic level so there's some spite there.
  A review of the concert will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Desperate Fountain

  Firstly, my email address for MSN got hacked and thousands of Spam emails went out from it.  For that, I am sorry.  Hopefully your spam blockers caught it all!  MSN disabled my account after a few bazillion went out and I had to change my hacked password (of course).  Yuck.

  On a lighter note, I put Velcro (hook & loop fasteners) on my guitar pedals to affix them to the pedalboard.  My last pedal, the MXR Fullbore Metal M-116 pedal should arive shortly and is pretty cheap but should satisfy all my distortion needs.  This completes my collection, though someday I wouldn't mind the "Loud WTF" scrambler pedal or the Electro-Harmonix "Sitar" pedal (just for kicks), though they're pretty much just special effects "bizarre" pedals.  More of a curio, really.

  Fountain is desperate for restaurants.  There's over 200,000 people living in southern Colorado Springs and only very few places to eat, and really NO place for breakfast.  There's a diner called, "Coke's" but it's abysmal on an epic scale.  "Mom's Diner" closed-down last year for unknown reasons (though it was very good, I suspect a death in the family or a dispute with the rent costs of the dying Fountain stripmall area).  There's not even a Denny's.  McDonald's is violently packed as is 7-11 since there's nothing else open at 5am when the Fort Cartoon kids have to get into work (as well as myself but more eastward).  A new building is being constructed in front of McDonald's but Becky and I saw the aluminium interior wall studs creating small rooms and realized there's a hallway and offices so probably a small office building as there's non-ample parking for food. 

  It's depressing.  North Colorado Springs is flooded with an overabundance of places to eat (aka South Denver in my book).  The periodical The Independent lists "South Colorado Springs" restaurants as only a scant few and a lot of them are in PUEBLO!  This is because there AREN'T any places to eat here, but a HUGE population explosion of new housing.  The population of this area has doubled in 2 years!  Ugh.  Makes me want to open a place.  Subway's ain't cuttin' it (I'm not a fan of turkey-based everything).  Sigh.

At least we got Burger King. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012


  Some guys enjoy cooking.  To my horror, I've met quite a few that have no idea how to go at it.  I think a good portion is laziness on their part, or lack of left-brain activity, I'm not sure.  I know one guy who makes cookout burgers by using frozen pucks thrown on a grill with NO seasonings.  He must hate his family.  Strangely, his name is not Chevy Chase (in any Vacation film).  I can't get over how few Americans actually cook these days.  Most just run to a fast-food joint for "convenience" but then again, it speaks volumes of American society today who adore iPods (or any Apple product or "smart" phone which still deliver low- quality convenience shoveled into the mouths of the unintelligent).  On a side-note, I do appreciate that if someone gets their feet wet in a hobby by way of a smart-phone or iPad or something and then becomes a hobbyist on that subject and getting the proper gear required for that hobby, like aquariums or astronomy, so that's pretty cool, because some people don't want to bevy-up $1000 into a hobby they might not like otherwise.

  Personally, I find cooking sort of an "instant reward" kinda thing on two levels:  it satisfies my tongue-to-belly happiness ratio, and also my need to be creative by way of alchemy.  I cook all sorts of things for sheer pleasure.  I'm working on some chili right now.  The basic concept of cooking is ingredients + time = yum.  Adding proper portions of ingredients at proper times and at proper heat levels is a neet skill.  It's much harder when you're cooking for several people like at a restaurant, and hats-off to 'em.  I've done it, and I find quality suffers a bit.  Only ACE chefs can manage it well, and they're underpaid everywhere.
  My chili never comes out the same.  I fudge the ingredients (no pun intended).  Sometimes I add a bit extra chili powder or paprika.  Sometimes I add ground sirloin instead of ground chuck, or put a half onion instead of 2 onions.  Just depends on my mood, but then again, it's sort of like music or painting or any other art, and a good outlet.
  I find cooking therapeutic.  Even though I'm not always successful, it's still fun.  Experience can add to different spices.  I find spices are vital to a concoction.  Adding a bit of vanilla extract to a cake's mix can enhance it, as can booze to chili.  This time I added Old Grandad 114 and also a bottle of Dos Equis Amber.  Should be interesting.
  Some folks find cooking too much effort, but like all things in life, time put in is 10-time-fold time returned.  Relationships are like that (usually, if not unrequited).  This also applies to vehicle maintenance and a whole myriad of other things.  Now, I don't always cook.  Sometimes the BK Lounge is calling and I got a hankerin' for a Whopper with bacon instead of my cooking one up on a grill for no good reason.  Whimsical at best, cooking is fun but thankfully to society, not mandatory.

  If you are afraid of cooking, give it a try one Sunday early morning for kicks.  It's better than banging away at Angry Birds in Space or Skyrim, and you can usually do it while watching TV as there's almost invariably time to cook where there's nothing going on but waiting (be sure to set your timer alarm!)  I recommend, devil's food chocolate cake with cream-cheese frosting. 

  Wanna go on the level 1 side?  Buy the Duncan Heins mix and matching frosting.  You'll need 3 eggs, some vegetable oil and a cake pan or two (these are re-usable).  Pretty easy and tastes awesome.  Always add an extra egg to the mix for altitude, and if you're above 5000 feet, add 2 tablespoons of flour and you'll be good. 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

When the Gays Took Over America

  It was all pretty harmless at first, or so we thought.  A few gays here and there.  A good chuckle from time to time.  In the '80s we had some movies that played on it vaguely, like Mannequin 2: On the Move staring harmless, "Hollywood Montrose".  Arsenio Hall was suspicious (and it turns out amazingly gay).  We had George Michael of Wham! and things started getting weird.  George Takei as Sulu of Star Trek was "infected" as well as Judas Priests' Rob Halford.  We all sort of knew Freddie Mercury of Queen was a bit off, and it turns out, the whole band (pretty obvious after-the-fact as the band was named after a gay club in London).  Then Styx and Dennis Rodman got contaminated.  We sort of all ignored it until AIDS came along and things got shitty for everyone, gay or not gay.  The country of Hati is thought to be 89% infected wtht HIV, and Brazil as a whole is 100% G.A.Y. as the country was unprepared against the Tranny Army despite an imposing yet crumbling Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.  He's more now looking like, "What's your freakin' problem?" than "I forgive you."

  As it stands now, over 99% of America has become gay.  You might be reading this and still not infected with the "Gay" and I applaud your sensibilities but beware;  it's like a zombie infection.  It's affected our kids by way of "emo" which is often confused with the "goth" subculture.

  Kids in highschool are "gay friendly" and 12 year old boys are kissing boys and girls are kissing girls and it's .. wrong!!!  I blame a part of it on ambivalent and bad parenting partially, that and perhaps bovine growth hormone in the milk and meat and estrogen in the chicken and eggs.  The rBGH (Bovine Somatotropin) has an interesting side effect that makes people unusually taller than the standard 5'7" (for males) and 5'2" (for females).  It also makes males not have body hair.  The estrogen adds to this effect, making women menstruate very early in their lives (younger than age 12 which was standard) and makes males effeminate and emotional.

  Where did this all originate?  Well, there's a theory that a monkey got infected somehow in the Congo and got gay, perhaps a gay-rangotang from Any Which Way But LooseI say it goes back even farther than that.  Football used to be no big deal back in the '20s and '30s though there were leagues in the 1860s.  Around 1975 or so, people started watching it on TV more.  People weren't watching it much until then, I remember.  By 1980 it was getting pretty popular.  The problem is it's by far the gayest sport (up until a few years ago when "Mixed Martial Arts" came about, aka Gay Nuggies Hump Fest. [question: I've taken martial arts in my life for about 15 years on and off and learned that 90% of martial arts is blocking, yet there are no blocks in MMA.  Why?  Because it's actually MM-GAY, the MM stands for Male on Male]).

  You see, American football is big guys in spandex jumping on each other.  Some guys try to get away but they'll eventually be humped-on.  It's the gayest sport there is, period.  Crotch-grinding into butt gay on gay gayism.  You might think this is not the case but subliminally it made a lot of guys want gay and they turned.  They then had kids (grudgingly.  You see how fathers these days resent having kids?  Real men would be proud of that fact, but actors like Chevy Chase personify and touch-home the mind-set of a lot of guys who have been gay-ified who don't want kids because making naughty with a girl is gross to them and kids is the by-product of that.  If you like and relate to Chevy Chase movies, you're gay, and it's too late).  All that football humping around made guys think gay was okay.  Guys would all come over each other's house and gay-it-out, jumping on each other and watching other guys jump on each other, though they didn't realize it, in the name of infectious, subliminal gay.

  Gays are now all in-your-face about things.  TV had Will and Grace and other shows since then that made it seem that being gay is okay.  It is not, sorry.  It is a psychological condition of being rejected by society and/or not having parents around with a desperate need to fill that space of neglect.  The two-parents working issue is part of this.  In America, it's almost mandatory.  Movies are now suggesting that kids are born gay and it makes other kids want to try it out and experiment.  I find "born gay" impossible.  There are no gay babies.  I strongly believe that environment makes somebody that way.

  One argument could be that the reason there weren't 99% gays before is because they were in denial and society would not allow gays to be around so they had kids and were confused.  No, this is not the case.  I dismiss that argument.  Movies are shoving gay down our throats with the effeminte Twilight Saga (really, ladies?  You want gay boys to protect you or are those just repressed lesbian fantasies?)  Why do women want men to "manscape" and wear pretty clothes?  Lesbian frack-uppedness desires.  Don't do it.  Don't, or you'll come down with the "gay".  Clean is okay.  Shave your face?  Sure.  Stop there.  Do.. NOT.. moisturize.  (but if you must because you're skin is coming off, jump in a lake and scrub with lava rocks).

  Now, am I against gays?  Not really.  I don't care for it much but I'm not against it per-se.  I'm just annoyed that all media is all gay-ified like it's a gay renaissance.  Gays have been around forever but now it's just ridiculous and I'm sick of it now.

 One curmudgeon is quoted, "First hyper popularity of blacks and now this?!"

  America goes through these counter-cultural fads.  Interracial relationships was all the rage in the early to mid '90s, now I rarely see it.  I'm not numb to it, it's just not happening.  The stereotype of black men cheating on their girls finally made them wake-up a bit and by word-of-mouth not go for it as much.  Why do you think most black women are angry?  They have to put up with cheating men who take-off when a kid is going to be born.  Yeah, all stereotypical, I know.  It's not all-the-time, and no, I'm not against blacks or whatever so calm down.  Just pointing out stereotypes, or 5.1 surround-o-types, whatever.

  America went through this stage where all comedy had to be extremely profane for no reason except to spite itself.  Such "pioneers" as Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Kinison, and George Carlin, the latter who survived the stage and like his older material adjusted properly back to his '60s roots (though he truly pioneered the concept since his "Seven Words You Can't Say" skit in 1972).  Sure, it was kind of okay and different.  Oddly, America ate it up.  Now it's considered boring and in bad-taste.  Earlier still were comedians who ran out of material and heckled a singled-out audience member for no reason.  Again, bad form.  Later still were the ones that would make racism jokes.  These are dying out and all but Jeff Dunham remain (partially due to his low-grade ventriloquism which is getting a bit desperate, he's riding the wave as long as he can before it's too late.)  Comedians who didn't progress are sad cases who rarely recover from their one-shtick act.

  Music was similar.  Suddenly blacks became hyper-popular in the late '80s for pop music called inappropriately, R&B.  It wasn't R&B but it was pretty harmless and pushed aside acts such as Madonna and Cindy Lauper for Boys2Men and Snow.  The barbershop quartet sound was nice but I missed the end of an era a tad.  Then the "N-word' became an issue and everyone got all touchy-feely about it and everyone was afraid to insult anyone and blacks were violently over-accepted (to their confusion, though some of them took advantage of this).  Honestly, I never felt anti-black at any point in my life and didn't understand what the big deal was. Apparently in the South racism was still going on so it actually made sense to do this down in the Bible Belt (aka the Racist Belt).   No one cared in Boston and we were all confused as racism pretty much died-out in up in the North 1952.  I guess it was still popular to hate people in Alabama in 1989.  Weird, and.. a shame, truly.  I can see how a reversal of paradigm was important there, but .. everywhere?  New York City?  There's no ROOM to be racial in NYC.  You can't.  It's not possible because of the interracial everything there.  It's too culturally rich.  Heck, even gays in Greenwich Village were accepted and no one really had much to say about it (until AIDS scared a few folks and thought it was all the gays fault innocents were dying.  That opinion went on for about 10 years or so and some "hate crimes" were going on by the unintelligent, again a shame).

  So I guess it's the gays' time in the sun for now.  No one was really anti-gay before (again, except for the mid-'80s AIDS scare for a little while).  Just like white girls dating blacks in the '90s, I'm hoping it's a fad, though interracial dating is no big deal to me.  I dated a Spanish girl back in the early '90s and she was a sweetheart and no one really cared much about my choice (except for my ex-Irish girlfriend, she drew a race card out of spite and sour-grapes on that case, but then again, she hadn't called me all summer so.. I figured it was over-with, ya know?)

    I urge everyone to be careful of the GAY virus that's spreading.  You might get infected and it might be against your religion and you'll regret that choice later.  You probably won't get AIDS or GAIDS or whatever but try to think things through if you can.  To stop gay, you can do manly things like change your own oil in your vehicles, work on masonry or carpentry, take out the trash, barbecue a steak, and NOT get a pedicure or manicure.  If you have excuses for not doing any of those things, you might be coming down with the GAY.  Be CAREFUL out there!  The GAYS are taking over!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Train of Thought

  Got a surprise email from the guy I sold my 1999 TransAm Firehawk to back 5 years ago and he offered to sell her back to me!  He sent some pictures and she looks just as good as when I sold 'er.  Very strong nostalgia here, and it's very tempting to try and buy her back.  He put 10k miles on her so she's sitting at 94,000 miles, give-or-take.  That's a lot of miles for a 1999 GM car, and probably due for some outright maintenance, such as timing chain and other adjustments and replacements.  At his asking price of $12,000 , only $1000 less than when I sold her to him, he's reaching for the stars; and even Barrett-Jackson Auctions are only getting $19,000 for zero-mile examples.  On eBay, Firehawks are running $5000 for 80k mile versions to perfect-condition, 3000 miles at $15,000.  I countered with $6000.  Dreamy, but 333 Hp cars with 100k miles aren't worth $12k, and I need to think with my brain, not my heart on this one despite feverish palms.  It's hard not to buy it.

  Someone asked about a few A-ha videos.  A third single came out of their debut album called Train of Thought  charting #8 in the UK charts in 1986.  It's appropriate for my state of mind.

  So my little mini-loan from my 401k to get my Honda Superhawk VTR1000 came in and I'm attempting to drive it to Rocky Mountain Cycle Plaza tomorrow morning sans-clutch (extremely dangerous) to get an estimate.  If over $1000, GEICO kicks-in so we'll see the damages (pun intended).  I hope I survive the trip.  I'm calculating about $800.  Plastics are danged on one side and the clutch is kinked somewhere now allowing it to release.  Faring on the left side is cracked pushed-into the body causing the windscreen to be smooshed narrow and the clutch reservoir cover is fracked.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Luck Waning

  Ah, my luck is down the tubes.   I had my debit card compromised (someone made a random card and was attempting to make transactions with the dummy one in Maryland) so I had to get a new one sent to me, making me flat broke for 4 days. 
  I got a ticket for not coming to a complete stop on a right turn at a stop sign (in the middle of nowhere btw, though I mostly stopped) costing me $98.50 and 2 points on my license, which I had a hard time recently getting a money order when my card was cancelled by USAA until a new one was sent to me.  I just got the payment via Express Mail USPS on-time to them and apparently I sent it to the wrong address and it was sent back to me.  NOT the bold-lettering on the front that explains, "Send a Money Order to: blah blah blah) but the tiny print that says another place hidden in a paragraph on the back.   I'm normally not such a "bad boy" driving these days, but Colorado is broke and it's a huge source of revenue, harassing villains such as myself.  Now I have to call them to see what sort of extra fine I have to pay on TOP of the $98.50 and/or go to the court date. 

  I bought shirts for a friend and he says they don't fit after them being unusually late in delivery with very weird responses from the US Post Office explaining they don't know where they went and have been sitting in their main branch here in Colorado Springs for a full week.  My recommendation to shrink the shirts to fit from 2XL to XL by washing them in HOT and then drying them for 3 hours on HIGH HOT didn't seem to work so I'm getting them this evening for a last-ditch attempt at shrinking them. 

  I got oil for my 2008 Saturn Astra XR (my winter driver car) but no one in Colorado Springs has a replacement oil filter for it, so I have to go online.  Seems it's the same filter that goes in the Chevy Sonic so I might have some luck there.

  My Honda Superhawk VTR 1000 fell over on its side while I was away because it was hot last week and the asphalt melted under the kickstand and it sank in and toppled for $1000 of damage (I think).  I figured GEICO would cover it but it seems by deductible is $1000.  I don't remember setting it to that figure.  DRAT!  Clutch is jammed and some of the plastics are scratched pretty gosh-darn good.  Front faring got smooshed-in so that it cracked a bit and it also bent the aftermarket windscreen, whether or not permanently I don't know.  Sucks cuz' I love that bike.

  I couldn't get it fixed because I didn't have the $1k thanks to Obama's taxes, I owed this year $3300 which is a HECK of a lot of money (a month's pay) so now I'm behind a month on my bills.  I took a loan out against my 401k (glad I had that ) but I haven't received the check yet and it's been 2 weeks now.  Doesn't matter because I was stuck in a business trip to Boulder for the week.  I had to stay at the Springhill Suites instead of the Residence Inn due to over-booking so the offered Continental Breakfast was sub-par and Residence Inn offers a decent free dinner as well.  No such luck.  Shucks.  THEN a Golf NOAA tournament showed-up and ate all the breakfast options like crows.  All lesbians with thick ankles.

  Seems like the whole world is against me these days.  A lot of bad luck.

I wonder what my biorhythms indicate?


  Ah.  I see.  Emotional and Physical are at the zero mark, which sucks.  The rise and ebb extremes are preferred.  Let's try some online tarot card reading..


The Hermit
Card 1 (The Hermit) : How you feel about yourself now  »
You may be feeling lonely at this time or going through a period of introspection. If you are struggling to find answers to your questions give it time, they will come. This is a time for prudence and patience. If you have been unwell this is a time for rest and recuperation.
Card 2 (Justice) : What you most want at this moment  »
The cards suggest that what you most want at this time is for a fair and right outcome whether it concerns relationships or business affairs. You feel that you are in the right and that any decision or agreement to be made should be in your favour.

The Hanged Man
Card 3 (The Hanged Man) : Your fears  »
You fear letting go, yet this place of limbo and indecision is not a good place to be. Are you being emotionally blackmailed so you don't go? Don't be the victim. Sometimes we have to have the strength to let go to attract new positive possibilities in our life.

Card 4 (Strength) : What is going for you  »
Brave heart! Your self-confidence and courageous spirit is unstoppable at the moment. Be patient and compassionate, self-disciplined and strong and you will reap great rewards for your courage.

The World
Card 5 (The World) : What is going against you  »
As always, fear holds us back and so often leads to missed opportunities. Do not give up or change direction this late in the game just because you have experienced delays - stick with it, have faith and trust the universe, and you will reach the successful conclusion you are wanting.

Card 6 (Temperance) : Outcome  »
A period of peace and harmony, life will flow and you will find a way of handling any difficult circumstances with calm confidence. This is also a time for patience, so if you are not sure quite what decision to make about any key issue, take your time you'll know what to do when the time is right.


Ah, well it's a bit accurate then, interestingly.  At least the Outcome card is Temperance and balance and patients.  Okay, fine.

Take your tarot card reading here:

Tell me how you did!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


  Stats are pretty important.  Short for statistics.  I checked the stats of my Blog of Awesome and the number two viewers of it are Ruskies.  Yep.  The freakin' CCCP, and not Black Widow from The Avengers either.  Nope.  Real, honest-to-evil Commies.  Ah, Commies. The sworn enemy of .. me.

 Well, hope you guys enjoy reading my stuff.  I wonder how well Google Translator does?  I wonder if it bemuses them that I want their country enveloped in fire and gamma radiation for all eternity?  Well, they're halfway there with the cyberpunk'ed Chernobyl.  Yep, there are squatters there and have created their own out-of-law city that Putin and his gangsters won't even bother with anymore.  A lot of them live in the multi-underground complex military base nearby.  I think it's about 5 levels down.  Any Ruskies can correct me on that if they feel up to it and aren't afraid of being shot by giving out intel.  Poor fools.  I admire their convictions, sort of the way we used to be back before we got overthrown by gays.  They're everywhere now.
  D&D had us roll stats for our characters for different encounters.  Nerds like me would try to work-out what our own, human stats might be, based on the same scheme of 3 six-sided dice for Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom (ie. common sense), Constitution (ie. ability to not get sick), Dexterity, and Charisma (ie. likability).  I don't think anyone I knew was bold enough to give themselves an 18 out of 18 on any statistic.
  D&D also used to give stats for one's alignment based on the official "Alignment Chart".

  By using the alignment chart, a person could act-out their character better; for instance, if one was "Chaotic Evil" one might take the pleasure in the suffering of others.  Interestingly, some of the alignments "wrap around" in the sense that an extreme "Lawful Good" character might have "Chaotic Evil" tendencies.  An example of this is a Paladin (a very very good knight who loves his country and God) might take delight in the suffering of sworn enemies to his country who hate God.
  I recommend taking an alignment test every quarter to see how your brain matches up. 

  Now the test above is not an end-all be-all.  It might be skewed a bit.  Here's one more:
This one's more modernized and makes more sense...

 Anyway, as usual (and as a bard I should score as):

Neutral Good

You scored 55% Law vs Chaos and 72% Good vs Evil!

I'm actually glad I scored Neutral Good again.  I don't try to.  I just answer as honestly as possible based on how I feel.  I think that one's alignment affects one's stats.  I'd warrant most sports players are Neutral Evil (aka pretty darn selfish) despite fans wanting to believe otherwise.  I don't know why we idolize these villains who get off easy in courts for their crimes.  Aw, heck.  Not all of them are villains.  Not like this:

  Some folks think there's an additional two stats that should be considered: Luck and Comeliness.  I'd have to agree.  Someone can look ugly with low Comeliness but have high Charisma.  One can be ugly but charismatic, such as Darth Vader or David Lee Roth or Chuck Barris.  Luck is well, just dumb luck.  Some folks got it and some ain't got none.  I figure luck balances itself out though.  If you have a string of bad luck, good luck will come your way to balance it out; either that or you're payin' for a slight, like in the GREAT show My Name is Earl.  Honestly good on every level.  Dave can't get over the mustache though.  GET OVER THE MUSTACHE!  Sheesh!

  So feel free to post your scores from the OKCupid site and shove 'em in here.  You can sign-in as Anonymous which is okay as I set anonymity as an option if you want, or if you don't have an account or don't subscribe then you can tag your name or username along with it.  Curious how you did!  To make it easier, I'll add a poll (on the side) so you can rate your score.