Okay, it’s been completely dead in here for far too long.
I’ve been a near-total hermit since sometime late last year. I blame Obama. But I’m hereby officially re-committing to posting some postings at least once a week. I already have a couple in my head. They may not all be the casual masterpieces that you’ve grown accustomed to seeing from me. But they’ll be something.
I’m kicking off with a new song that I’ve largely finished mixing this morning.
It’s probably the most highly-produced song I’ve done yet, with all sorts of layers and panning and automation envelopes and synths and on and on about stuff you don’t care about.
And, Ghod help me, I smashed it all to hell with compressors and limiters. It just seemed like the kind of tune that called for that. Another sad victim of the Loudness Wars. I left a few transients in there somewhere. Maybe.
I like to think that this one is in the finest tradition of EatOurBrains.
EDIT on 10-04-09: I’ve just loaded a slight remix of the song, for increased clarity. I brought the vocals forward so that they’re more intelligible, increased the strings’ level for ear candy, and got rid of some mud in the bottom end. I don’t know about you guys, but I usually don’t enjoy having mud in my bottom end.
Hey, guys â€“ Go visit any of the major news web sites. Cool stuff today. According to the CDC, the Swine Flu Pandemic is going to slam into us sometime in the next few weeks, slaughtering the population and destroying civilization as we knew it.
I mean, just between you and me and the pigs, I was beginning to doubt that civilization as we knew it was going to end at all. It sucked to find myself being pessimistic about my pessimism.
Some days, I just wanted to smash my forehead into something, hard enough to hurt, but not hard enough to actually damage my brain. You know?
That Bird Flu thing just never seemed to be able to get off the ground. And it looks like Apophis is going to stubbornly refuse to smash the earth into molten flinders.
The Global Warming thing was coming along nicely, after we convinced Bush and his crew that it was all a liberal conspiracy against Hummers â€“ and you know how insanely freaked out they were with Clinton and his hummers in the Oval Office. Then we messed up and elected an administration that actually believes in science. Who knows what the hell theyâ€™ll do to demonize GW the climate like they demonized GW the Bush?
Nuclear war? Well, the Soviets were a great disappointment to me, personally. They had the capability for about thirty years, and could never sober up from the vodka binges long enough to push the red button. North Korea and Iran are just laughable wannabes.
Iâ€™ve got a small bet going that Pakistan will fall into the hands of the Taliban next year and, maddened by the presence of infidels somewhere on the rest of the planet, will launch their hundred nukes at somebody. If they hit India, then my job is less likely to be outsourced, so this is a two-fer. Theyâ€™ve got enough bombs to trigger at least a Nuclear Autumn.
But thatâ€™ll be offset by the damn global warming that weâ€™ve been trying so hard to cause. Unless Obama or Steven Chu or Paul Krugman fix it first.
Iâ€™m immensely cheered by todayâ€™s news, though.
I went out this afternoon and bought my survival kit. Here are my top ten items:
Three boxes of Kleenex â€“ Will need them if I get the flu, and the allergies have been really nasty all year anyhow.
Three containers of Crystal Light no-cal drink powder â€“ I already got a bunch of iodine pills for purifying water, at Rachaelâ€™s insistence. Now I can drink both safely and deliciously.
Three boxes of wet kitty treats â€“ Little Tex and Secret Kitty are likely to get grumpy while trapped in the house for a month or so, and this will help. Iâ€™m contemplating buying some more catnip toys tomorrow, before thereâ€™s a run on them.
A pound of Kraft Mild Cheddar cheese â€“ It was on sale, and I like cheese.
Two pounds of Skinner Vermicelli â€“ Yummy and nutritious and would survive a nuclear war, I think.
Two glass containers of Ragu Roasted Garlic spaghetti sauce â€“ To make the Vermicelli taste even yummier. Also, the Ragu has catsup in it, which, as Ronald Reagan taught us, is an essential vegetable.
Four pounds of Folgerâ€™s coffee â€“ Life isnâ€™t worth living if I donâ€™t get my coffee in the morning. Also, itâ€™ll be worth its weight in hummers after the apocalypse.
Lots of cans of Dinty Moore beef stew and microwaveable plastic lunches of various types and brands â€“ I think I forgot to get crackers to go with these. Dammit.
Four pounds of Imperial Pure Cane Granulated Sugar â€“ Screw the Splenda if civilization ends. I want real sugar in my coffee.
A 1.75 liter bottle of Bacardi Gold â€“ Should make a great internal antiseptic to help me avoid getting infected. I forgot to get the Coke that potentiates its healing effect. Dammit.
Personally, I think I did pretty good, considering how off-the-cuff and panicky this was. I already had plenty of toilet paper. And you can use the Kleenex that way in a pinch, in case you didnâ€™t know.
I think Iâ€™ll be able to survive in my apartment all through the Great Dying. Surely they won’t disconnect the Internet. It’s all satellite communications these days, anyhow, and the satellites will keep on working fine for years and years.
Then I can come out and the glorious dream of my childhood will begin â€“ me, being one of the last ragged inhabitants in a post-industrial nightmare wasteland. Kind of like moving to Detroit, only more fun.
Iâ€™ll have my gun with me. I bet I can find some bullets for it, somewhere out there. Unless they’re all buried in some Teabagger’s back yard.
Rachael and Jesse will survive, as will all of you, and my sister and her husband, and all of my Goddam Neopagan Tribeâ„¢. Weâ€™ll form the nucleus of a new and intrinsically pessimistic society, as Iâ€™ve always hoped for. With motorcycles.
Itâ€™ll be great!
We should all meet at that filling station right outside Bastrop, where you turn to go to or from Austin, depending on the direction youâ€™re traveling in. You know the one.
See you all in a couple of months!
….I just had the inevitable thought…
The CDC says the Swine Flu is mutating. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll mutate into —
Be prepared for requests. People who request songs can be annoying, especially if you play originals, but they also tend to pay you. It’s good to know some covers, and if you can’t play the exact song someone requests, offer a similar tune or one by the same artist.
Your Government will likely set up “public shelters” for people to ride out the impact aftermath. Do Not go to these shelters. They are a perfect place for disease to spread and crime will be rampant in these places. If however, you cannot be evacuated from near the impact site, you will have to go into a nuclear bunker that you may have to share. If you are far away from the impact, making your own shelter out of a windowless room in your house or out of a cellar is the best option.
The Democrats are going to have a lot more fun with this than is prudent, but the heat for this story will come from Republicans who cannot understand how their party would do something this stupid … particularly (and, it must be said, viewed retroactively) during the collapse of the financial system and the probable beginning of a recession.
Paris Hilton was heard to say, “Ohmighod. In one month? What a bargain. She’s a shopping genius!” Steve (not a plumber and not a hockey mom) Gould was heard to comment, “This is twice my average annual income.”
The only thing I can say is the RNC doesn’t have to worry about zombies. They are the Coke Zero of brains.
Addendum:I thought, okay, this is her RNC handlers making sure she looks good on camera.Â But then I saw this:
AP INVESTIGATION: Alaska funded Palin kids’ travel
By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO â€“ 17 hours ago
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) â€” Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.
The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.
In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters’ 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.
I’ve moved my blog from digitalnoir.com/steve to eatourbrains.com/steve. Going to the old one will redirect. I haven’t recreated the old stuff yet (db crash) but at least I’ll blog regularly both here and there.
It’s like I was dead, but now I’m, uh, not necessarily alive–just, say, undead.
My buddy Linda (frequent commenter lda) sent this to me. It is reassuring that in a world where the candidate to nowhere gets preferential press for just winking, we can come home and, over and over again, rip the limbs from a beloved toy.
Click the pic to go to the product page at ThinkGeek.Â Watch the video.
I’m excited to be posting today because Iâ€™ve stumbled upon an idea that I believe will solve multiple problems that have proved intractable up until now.
First, thereâ€™s a terrible organ donor shortage that grows worse each year. People are dying needlessly, and Iâ€™m getting old enough that Iâ€™m fearful that I might be one of them. Considering the damage Iâ€™ve done to myself over the past decades, Iâ€™m likely to need a full-body transplant before much longer, and thatâ€™s not going to happen unless a lot more organs become available.
To begin, we need to make it so that organ donation is an â€˜opt-outâ€™ situation rather than â€˜opt-inâ€™. Currently, you need to file paperwork to consent to being an organ donor, and preferably to have this stated on your driverâ€™s license, in case something abrupt and unpleasant occurs. This is completely ass-backwards. Research shows that shortly after death, most of us become unconcerned about what happens to our bodies. The default state should be â€˜strip me to the bone, and then suck the marrow outâ€™.
Also, according to the Mayo Clinic link above, about a third of consenting organ donors have their wishes over-ridden by relatives. These poor families are in the throes of grief, and shouldnâ€™t be forced to make such important decisions at this juncture. Itâ€™s too much of a burden for them. Cut them out of the decision-making loop, I say.
According to this CDC table, about 0.8% of the US population dies each year. Since our population is a bit over 300 million, this is 2.4 million bodies, almost all of which are going to waste.
Letâ€™s admit that many of these wonâ€™t be suitable donors, as a result of extreme age, endemic disease states, and so on. A quick glance at the CDC info indicates that probably only a third of the bodies will be usable. However, just this simple change to â€˜opt-outâ€™ will provide a massive oversupply of donors.
So, what to do with all those extra bodies, you ask?
We’ve had a problem at our Hosting service and lost three weeks of posts and comments. I will be hunting them up using google caches and wayback scenarios but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get everything. I’m particulary concerned that we recover all the zombie haiku from the comments of Rory’s zombie haiku post.
Otherwise, the very history of zombie literature and poetry may be affected leading to to a limbic imbalance.
Oh, well, at least our tech support guy, Jeremy, told us a good zombie joke that he saw over on bash.com.
Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey… Doesn’t try it on.–Billy Connolly
Now, I’m the kind of guy who believes in transparency in public affairs and a kind of public integrity for pretty much everybody. You want to act like an asshole, fine, just so you’re up front about it. This doesn’t meant I want every thought in my head to be public knowledge but I’m pretty up front about my general beliefs even though I would be embarrassed, probably to have all my opinions spread across the internet.
I have friends whose writing I love and friends whose writing I don’t care for and people I don’t consider friends who, for some unknown reason, consider me their dearest buddy. I am polite in public and sometimes this means just a little bit less than completely honest.
So, one thing I want to be really careful about is not saying stuff in venue that will hurt people’s feelings. So, this kind of relates to Mad’s post about the train wreck that is The Moment of Truth. Both that and the following really fit into the category “What on Earth were they thinking?!”
An American insurance company, in defending its refusal to pay out a claim, is seeking to call in evidence personal online postings, including the contents of any MySpace or Facebook pages the litigants may have, to see if their eating disorders might have “emotional causes”. And the case is far from a lone one. Suddenly, those saucy pictures and intimate confessions on social networking sites can be taken down and used in evidence against you in ways never dreamed of.
In the US, a sex assault victim seeking compensation faces the prospect of her MySpace and Facebook pages being produced in court. In Texas, a driver whose car was involved in a fatal accident found his MySpace postings (“I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drunkaholic”) part of the prosecution’s case. From Los Angeles to Lowestoft, thousands of social network site users have lost their jobs â€“ or failed to clinch new ones â€“ because of their pages’ contents. Police, colleges and schools are monitoring MySpace and Facebook pages for what they deem to be “inappropriate” content. Online security holes and users’ naivety are combining to cause privacy breaches and identity thefts. And what all this, and more, adds up to is this: online social networking can seriously damage your life.
Just ask the 27 workers at the Automobile Club of Southern California fired for messages about colleagues on their MySpace sites; the Florida sheriff’s deputy whose MySpace page revealed his heavy drinking and fascination with female breasts â€“ and swiftly found himself handing in his badge; the Argos worker in Wokingham fired for saying on Facebook that working at the firm was “shit”; the Las Vegas teacher at a Catholic school fired after he declared himself gay on his MySpace page; the staff of an Ottawa grocery chain fired for their “negative comments” on Facebook; the 19 Northampton police officers investigated for Facebook comments; and Kevin Colvin, an intern at Anglo Irish Bank, who told his employers he had a family emergency, but whose Facebook page revealed he had, in reality, been cavorting in drag at a Hallowe’en party.