Feb 25, 2021

This is the One Where I Complain About Mail Trucks

Sooooo I just saw that we're finally getting a new updated US Mail truck!  My 21st century eyeballs almost popped out of my head when I saw that the new USPS trucks are NOT going to be electric.  Not only do they look like the Pope Mobile fucked a 1979 Oldsmobile Sedan,  this article says that only about 10% will be electric.  According to Trump shill and somehow still employed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy,  it would cost too much to make them electric.   I'm no expert but I bet there's another thing that costs a lot – buying 100% newly custom designed trucks from an industrial military company that have to be built from the ground up.  It's no secret that we've needed an updated fleet of the old clunker mail trucks for a long time.  In my lifetime there have been two different mail trucks I can remember; The old Jeep ones and the big boxy ones we have now.  That being said, would it not have been cheaper to buy a fleet of already existing electric vans like the Ford Electric Transit's or something and paint them white and slap on a USPS logo?  You could even use the ones they make for the UK since they have the opposite steering wheel already.   I'm sure there are "reasons" like "bigger windshield, a collision-avoidance system and air conditioning"  Novel state-of-the-art extras that consumer cars have been coming with standard for the last howevermany years!   Mail trucks not having Air Conditioning for the last 25 years is such the perfect cliche government corner-cutting measure you'd expect tho isn't  it?   
 
I might be full of shit on this but I heard the reason you see mail carriers wearing those cute mailman shorts, in rain sleet or snow is because that's the government provided uniform.  If you want long pants, no matter where you're route is, you gotta pay for them yourself.  Who needs air conditioning  anyway when you're wearing shorts tho right?  America, fuck yea!
 
It just seems like this exact thing is the most obvious thing to use electric vehicles for.  They don't need to go long distances and they're stopping and starting all the time.   Oh, kind of off topic, and I've complained about this before but, why don't mail carriers WALK any more? Even the photo below shows the mail carrier delivering envelopes FROM THE DANG TRUCK.  Maybe they're embarrassed of the shorts.  I dunno.  It's just something I've noticed.

 
While we're on the topic of "too expensive" I'm really getting tired of the government doling out blank checks to the military while simultaneously bending over backwards to help the wealthiest tax eligible entities to  pay as little in taxes as possible and saying we cant afford anything that actually benefits the country.    It's just all kinds of fucked.  This is why we can't have nice things... you know like Healthcare and Higher Education, Living Wages and god damn
environmentally conscious, modern, air conditioned Mail Delivery Trucks.  

Again. I'm sure there are "reasons" for all of this that I do not know fully or understand and some I do understand...  but wait,  why the fuck is DeJoy even still there again? He was part of Trump's attempt to suppress people's votes right?  Biden, what the fuck?......  Lock Him Up!  ...and his stupid over-priced, ugly-as-hell military-grade gas-guzzling mail trucks that we're going to be saddled with for the next 30 years.

Wear a mask, wash your hands and stop having parties. 
Thanks.


Jan 22, 2021

Why Isn't Trump in Jail Yet?

 

I'm getting a lot of posts in my Facebook memories today where I'm passionately sharing my opinions about the first Trump Impeachment. I'm being reminded of all the illegal and fucked up things Trump has done, that he got away with because he was president. (look up Spiro Agnew as to the weak-ass reason why) and then today I googled  "What crimes can Trump be charged with now that he is no longer president"  I have still not found a definitive list of crimes but I found this TIME article that had a paragraph that got me thinking.


"The closest thing to a legal precedent [for Biden's DOJ to charge Trump with crimes while in office] is the decision not to prosecute President Richard Nixon after he resigned from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, granted him a full pardon in 1974, arguing that a criminal trial would arouse “ugly passions” and further polarize the nation."

While an admirable sentiment, the other side of that coin is that Trump didn't feel any need to find unity from Nixon's situation.  If anything the Nixon and Agnew situation emboldened him to go ahead and do illegal shit anyway while knowing that he could get away with it.  He intentionally sought out "ugly passions" to get votes and bolster his ego.  Ugly passions is what solidified his base.  "Ugly passions" stormed and invaded the Capitol building in the last days of his presidency. 
 
Unity and less polarization seems nice but Trump, and future presidents need to know they can't get away with this shit.  A finger wag and a slap on the wrist doesn't work on sociopathic, narcissistic, compulsive lying ego maniacs. If they find a loophole they jump through it with as much shit they can fit in their pockets.

Former President Donald Trump needs to be charged and sentenced in every possible crime he's committed. No President or elected official is above the law and this needs to be made very clear for when there's another Trump.

This also goes for anyone working with him including his kids and members of congress. 


Jan 13, 2021

Smart Watches Are Still Dumb. PYMHM Redux

Back in 2013 smartwatches were becoming all the rage.  As I explained back then (below) I thought they were stupid and couldn't understand the infatuation with them.  I'll never have a smart watch and still think they're the stupidest idea ever.  

This old post about smartwatches and people talking into their wrist like they're a character in a 1960's spy movie got me thinking about how it's somehow become acceptable for people to be talking to their wrists, phones, cars, Alexa... even smart TV remotes.  Shut up! 

I still don't feel comfortable talking to my phone.  I feel weird still no matter how much they try to normalize it. I hate being on speakerphone and even more when other people are.  I'm constantly paranoid my earpiece volume is loud enough people can hear it. I really don't like being on the phone in public.   I hate having my phone calls on my car stereo and being able to hear people having private conversations on their mega-watt hi-fi 10 speaker sub woofer surround sound car stereos.  I never had a BT earpiece when those were cool (they were never cool).  I have a Google Home speaker that I never use because talking to inanimate pieces of artificial intelligence is fucking weird.  I can just as easily use my phone to google something.  I never could understand this trend in technology where everyone around you can hear your business. And still, never understand why people think it's ok to talk to their wrists. 

Anyway here's my thoughts on smart watches with all of it's vintage tech goodness from Dec 2013.

Post You Might Have Missed:  Smart Watches...pffft!!

I keep hearing all this buzz about smart watches. Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the supposed new hope for a smartwatch that actually isn't lame.  Many companies have announced development of different designs and products over the years but they've all fizzled out.

Vintage Google Image search for "smart watch" from 2013
 

Just about every space or future sci-fi movie has some kind of wrist worn communication device.  As the Samsung commercial for the Galaxy Gear reminds us, from Star Trek to Knight Rider they've all got some cool wrist watch that you can talk to or whatever. But here's the major problem with this idea... It's an old idea. Some of these fictional versions are concealing a communication device in a object that at the time was common for people to have.  It's an idea that was cool, when people actually still wore wristwatches. Watches are basically jewelry now.
 
Most people that are into new gadgets have already put their Timex in the back of a drawer because everyone carries a smartphone now.  Smartphones have replaced the wristwatch. It's a fact and there's nothing these tech giants can do about it.  Watches get in the way. A smartwatch will NEVER replace a 5.5" screen on a phablet.  It's just another thing to carry around.  Like iPods. They were cool until your phone could hold just as many mp3's and call people and go on the internet and play games. So, a watch-phone is just gonna be another one of those things that are cool for a minute but then people realize they still have to keep their phone on them.  Just like tablets. Lets be honest, your iPad now stays at home for your kid to play with or for you to play scrabble while you sit on the couch. They are pretty much useless and cumbersome as a functional mobile device. Nothing more ridiculous than seeing people holding up a 10 inch iPad to take pictures at an event.
 
So, what I'm saying is; No one wears a watch anymore. The screen is too small to enjoy. You already have a smartphone. No one is gonna really want or need this.
 
Google Glass, in my opinion is the path forward. Right now you'll look more stupid wearing them, than wearing a Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but it's the real future of mobile tech.

 The way I see it, why do I need to wear a camera and a computer when I have one built into my skull already. Figure out how to access that shit and put it on the internet and you've got the real future of communication tech.

Brain implants here we come!

_______________________________________________________

 I was so sure this was going to be a passing fad and would not last.   I probably would have been right too if Apple had not come out with one 2 years after I wrote this.  Fucking Apple cult.  And boy was I wrong about Google Glass.  People weren't too into everyone wearing spy camera glasses either.  Here's to hoping for brain implants!   Thanks for reading the noggins!  Happy New Year! 

WEAR A MASK
STAY HOME
WASH YOUR HANDS
REMOVE TRUMP

Dec 22, 2020

May The Force Be With Us

With the recent announcement of several new Star Wars series and a movie or two Meg & I decided to watch all of the Star Warseses from the beginning in chronological order. We've both seen most of them but have never really cared about them as much as some people do.  Nor did we pay much attention to the over-arching story.   We’ve been watching The Mandalorian and figure we’d get a refresher course for the backstory on those characters, places and mythology.   Also I figure it will be good to learn more about this epic saga that's about to be peppered with new cannon by all the new shows and movies coming out.   


So far we’ve watched Episode I The Phantom Menace and Episode II Attack of The Clones.  For all the shit people gave Jake Matthew Lloyd for his portrayal of young Anakin Skywalker, I’ll have to say that watching I and II back to back I feel like Hayden Christensen has gotten a pass on his garbage acting.  I'll come back to that later.  Don't think I'm giving Lloyd a pass here because he's pretty terrible too.  Stiff delivery, lack of  feeling.  A lot of the scenes felt like a school play.   But overall Episode I wasn't as bad as I remember.  The movie was basically politics and a pod race.   The entire pod race/ Anakin story was almost half the movie it seemed like and all of that just so that they could get some spare parts to fix their ship.  Sidetracked much?   Was there no other place to get parts?  But if you ask Qui-gon-jin, it was all fate and The Force led them there to find Anakin, so he could be a dick to everyone and become Darth Vader.  Good job, The Force. 

How can I do a review of The Phantom Menace and not talk about how much Jar Jar Binks sucks?  I thought maybe people were over-reacting but no,  after all these years he still sucks for no reason at all.  Granted, his character was important to the story and they had to have a reason for him to be outcast from Gungan society so that they meet him in the middle of nowhere.  But did they have to make him annoying as fuck?  A lot of his humor seemed to be written for little kids which is probably why there seemed to be references to the 21st century Earth.  He says "Muy muy"  at one point. That's fucking Spanish George.   It's lazy and takes the viewer out of the fantasy world.  There were a few times they reference "humans" too which I don't remember being referenced ever in Star Wars. They say Anakin is the first human to pilot a pod racer, and that threw me off.  There's no humans in Star Wars as far as I knew.   Humans come from Earth.  There's not supposed to be an Earth in Star Wars. 

And now back to Attack of The Clones and Hayden's shitty acting.  Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention to the naysayers back then but … WOOF  he’s fucking horrible.   I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the very forced love story between him and Senator Amadala.   I couldn’t stop singing a line from the Weird Al classic  The Saga Begins in my head where he parodies American Pie by Don McLean.   It goes “Do you see him there hitting on the queen, even tho he’s just nine and she’s fourteen…”   This is all I could think of while he keeps saying shit like “I can’t stop thinking about you”  “I love you -why don’t you love me”  “how could she not remember me like I remember her”   BARF.  You were a little fucking kid and you barely had a connection in the movie.  She gave you your first boner and you haven’t seen another girl in 10 years.  Jesus fucking Christ, dude get over it.  I’m not sure if a better actor could have saved any of the first 2/3 of the scenes with them together because it’s such a forced union.   I mean, we all know by the time this movie came out that Anakin ends up being Darth Vader and that his son is Luke Skywalker but why did they have to make him a little kid in Phantom Menace for this story line to work?  All he had to be was a gifted young person who had Force abilities.   The Jedi Council didn’t want to train him because he was too old.  But Luke was a teenager when Yoda trained him.   I know I’m probably stirring the pot with Star Wars nerds here but I think it was stupid writing for Anakin to be eight years old and have a romance with Padmé who's fourteen be not totally weird in the next movie. Make both Anakin and Amadala twelve and it would have still worked and the love story would have been less awkward for everyone 10 years later.  Who crushes that hard as an eight year old?   It was like George Lucas came up with the idea that they hook up after he's already written the first movie but for some reason decided to not fix it after he writes the second one.   Fast forward 30 years and still not fix it when you make a major motion picture trilogy.   Combine all of that that with Hayden’s horrible delivery and it just ruins all the cool stuff with the clones.  You know the title of the fucking movie.  After all they didn’t call it Episode II: Statutory Rape.  

All of the foreshadowing of Anakin being turned to the Dark Side in this movie is forced and painful.   All he does is bitch about not being noticed by some teenage camp counselor he met at summer camp when he was in 3rd grade.   He constantly whines that Obe Wan is holding him back and brags about how good he is a being a Jedi.    Oh and the stuff with his mom.  One of a Jedi's most important powers is being able to let shit go.  He defied his Master's orders by going to Tatooine and then he murdered a whole village of Tuskens.  What the actual fuck?   Yoda said he had too much fucking baggage to train as a Jedi... and he was right.  Anakin Skywalker does nothing but be shitty after Qui-Gon Jinn takes him under his wing. Anakin sucks from the moment he lands on Coruscant all the way to the end of Return of The Jedi.  They should have just left him on Tatooine to live a simple life as a gifted child slave and save the universe from all the bullshit he causes.  How many gifted kids are just left the fuck alone by overzealous Jedis  and nothing bad happens?   Yea, yea I know.. no Luke or Leia or Star Wars as we know it but I think it would have been worth it.  Nothing but drama with that godforsaken family.  Later we get stupid, troubled, spoiled kid Ben Solo and his cry-baby Kylo Ren bullshit. Why are we rewatching these movies again?

Well, we’ve been watching The Mandalorian series on the regular and are enjoying it immensely but Meg isn't as versed in Star Wars lore as I am.  Not that I am an expert but I have many friends who haven’t shut up about it since 1986 so I know … some.    While watching Attack of The Clones I kept having to pause it for Meg to explain who Jango Fett was and that the little kid Boba Fett was the guy that showed up in The Mandalorian this season.   To be honest I’d kind of forgotten how Boba was a clone but also Jango’s son.  And the lineage of the armor and all that.   So it was interesting to see all of that in this movie.  Too be honest, I fell asleep last night and missed pretty much from the Jedi battle in the arena and woke up for the stupid wedding scene and the credits.   Maybe there was more good movie in there but other than the Mandalorian tie-in and a vehicle to set up the original trilogy story, this movie was a stinker.   I don’t know if I can sit through the next one.   A Star Wars fan who I was talking to about 1, 2, and 3 with said out of all of the Star Wars movies Episode III Revenge of the Sith is his all time least favorite.  That doesn’t bode well.   Meg want’s to skip it but even tho I know I’m going to hate it I think we need to endure it for continuity’s sake.

We’ve been told we need to watch all the animated Clone Wars series too.   There’s like 500 of them apparently…  May The Force be with us.

Dec 17, 2020

Fast Food Adventures YMHM: Ghetto Jack In The Box Pt. 3

You all should be familiar with my running series Posts You Might Have Missed (PYMHM) where I find old nuggets of goodness from the Noggin archives, fix the grammar as best I can and repost them for your entertainment.   Many of my older posts chronicled my adventures in fast food.  I worked in a sketchy part of the bay area that hosted a colorful cast of characters which I would encounter every time I went to lunch or stopped for a quick fast food breakfast.   This inspired me to create the new series Fast Food Adventures You Might Have Missed.  

I start this series with one of many trips to what I called "The Ghetto Jack In The Box"  It really wasn't in the worst part of town but like many fast food places in the area, it had 2 inch thick bullet proof wall of glass protecting the cashiers.  They've since remodeled and got rid of the glass but that was pretty common for places like this in the 80's and 90's. 

 Sadly I have no photos.

Ghetto Jack In The Box Part 3 

From May 2006.

I called this Part 3 but there really wasn't an official part 1 or 2 but I know I've complained about this place a few times before so we're at least at part 3.

Anyway, today this is what happened. 

I just had this exact conversation with a cashier. First I'd like to point out that I waited there for like 90 seconds with this rough looking dude who smelled like he had a cigar burning in his pocket.Then as the cashier made her way towards the register this skinny cracked-out white chick walked over. She was in her early late 20's and looked like a home-made porno reject with a bikini top that barley covered her boobs, daisy dukes that showed off her random and horrible thigh tattoos. The shortie-shorts were saggy in the back because of her very flat ass. Her flabby cellulite beer/crack gut was barley covered and it stuck out further than her flat boobs.  She asked to change her shake that was made wrong, which diverted the attention of the cashier away from her taking my order which made me wait longer. Once I got her attention enough to order we had this little exchange. 

In a nasal Mexican accent she says "hello may I help you?"

Yea, I'll have a number 3 with uhh... 

Mid "uhh" she interrupted me "what size, small medium or large?"  

oh, small...ok so, a #3 with ... 

Again cut me off  "with cheese? "

NO cheese..  

"ok what kind drink?

Diet.  

"Diet Coke?"  

"Yea, Diet Coke."  (like they have another kind of diet soda) I continue "no mayonnaise, no ketchup and add mustard"

"ok you have one jumbo jack with cheese and a small diet coke, anything else?" 

NO CHEESE, No mayonnaise, No ketchup Add mustard.  

"no mayonnaise, no ketchup.. anything else?"

Add mustard  

"ok, you have #3 with cheese, no mayonnaise no ketchup plus mustard"

no, NO CHEESE!  

"ok you have one jumbo jack, no mayonnaise, no ketchup, no American cheese, plus mustard, one diet coke one small french fry, anything else?"

And 2 tacos (yea I'm a fat ass fuck off)  

"ok [she repeats the whole order again] and 2 regular tacos anything else? "

No that's it. (god what a pain in the ass) 

Then I pay and while I'm waiting the crack whore's friend comes up who is her physical opposite.  She has all the similar negative attributes and attire like an acid-washed mini skirt that was fighting to stay buttoned and a tube top that could have been an elasticity experiment. What I'm saying is that she was hella fatter and shorter than her friend.  She ran out of breath saying the sentence  "Can I have some BBQ sauce and a raaahhh....." She stops mid "ranch" to take a deep breath and tries again in her raspy throaty voice, "I need a BBQ sauce and a thing of Ranch" The cashier gestures to say she understands, and then goes to get her packets of BBQ sauce and ranch.  As she walks over to get it from the pick up window this other guy who just ordered, and is not with this dynamic duo yells through the little window "can I have a BBQ too?" This exchange really fucked up the cashier chick.  She paused. Then reached for a BBQ gave it to the guy and then gave the chick a Ranch. I guess it was too much effort for the slut-beast to argue about it because I saw her look back at me and the other dude with  'I asked for BBQ too wtf?' in her facial expression but she just turned and went back with her skinny counterpart.  After I get my food and right as I'm thinking to myself that I really need to learn Spanish, a Spanish speaking family walks in. They have happy Spanish banter with the cashier and in Spanish ask for an extra fork.  I figured this much out because at the end of the following exchange he gives him a fork.  Next there is some confusion between the cashier and the customer.  Again all in Spanish.  As I've pointed out I do not know Spanish  but I do know enough to know that bańo means bathroom and not fork.  But apparently this dumb ass cashier is a bad at their job in Spanish too because instead of giving him a fork she says in Spanish what I assume is something like  "Do you want the key for the bathroom?" because I heard the word bańo in there somewhere. The customer shakes his head and repeats in Spanish what I assume is something like  "no, I want a fork"  He looks back at me and the other dude waiting, makes a WTF face and says under his breath "¿Bańo?" I smiled and nodded in an international gesture letting him know that I understand his frustration.  After that I left feeling slightly better knowing that it wasn't me, or the language difference that was causing my issues with ordering.     

Most of you who've read my previous Jack In the Box adventures probably wonder why I keep going back to a place with such shady customers and incompetent employees. Like I said in my other posts about these places, its for pure entertainment purposes. You cant get TV this good. They need a camera there 24-7 to make a reality show about it. Who knows what kind of radness goes on in the wee hours of the night when I'm at home sleeping. I wonder how many times the cops have been there?  Its always something.

Dec 10, 2020

Why Monopoly: The Goonies Edition is Problematic To Me

 As those of you who’ve seen my post about “New Monopoly” know I hate the classic board game Monopoly.  So I when I see themed adaptations of it I have the same reaction most people have, I get excited.  But for me the excitement lasts for two seconds mostly from nostalgia but then remember it’s still that same fucking game I hate.  Most of them are cute and serve a purpose I guess but this latest one seems to be a bit tone-deaf.  Not because Monopoly itself is a capitalist bastardization of a game created to warn people of the dangers of capitalism but because of the specific subject matter they’re trying to use to market this fucked up game.


Let me present to you, Monopoly: The Goonies edition.  After my two seconds of nostalgia wore off I sort of wondered how exactly are they adapting this particular classic board game with this particular movie.  The issue I’m having here is that if you stop and think about it, the plot of the movie and the goal of the game are at odds with each other.  What I mean is that in Monopoly, land acquisition and taking other players property is the goal of the game. Why this is fun for children is still beyond me but it's a popular game so 'fuck you' I guess.   How you win the game is by owning the most high valued properties and building hotels on them hoping to screw over everyone else.  In the movie The Goonies, a small coastal town the "Goon Docks"  is in threat of being bought by a land developer to build a Country Club.  While packing boxes in the attic for seemingly imminent move to a new home a group of children from the town  who call themselves "Goonies"  find an old pirate treasure map which sets them off on an adventure to find the lost riches that will hopefully be enough to save their homes and the town.  So basically land acquisition and fucking people out of their home, how you WIN in Monopoly was the whole reason they needed to look for the treasure in the first place. The entire plot of the movie.  

Monopoly: The Goonies completely misses this contradiction and would have you buy properties like “SLOTH’S ROOM”, “BONE ORGAN” and “ONE EYE WILLIE’S CABIN” as if they're actually properties in the town.  If the game was actually like the movie you would be playing the game as the Country Club developers and to win, you'd be trying to stop the Goonies from finding the treasure.  If you’re playing as the Goonies  since you have no money you get one move which is to draw a Chance card and hope it’s “You find Willie’s treasure, pay off debt” otherwise you lose and have to move to Portland.

Who thought this was a good idea for Monopoly?  Jack ass marketing people that’s who.  And you know why?  Because consumers are morons who don’t have the brain power to understand why this is so fucked up.  They see Chunk, Mikey and Data on the box and get all starry-eyed at the game player tokens being a Skull and Crossbones or Willies Patch.   Lizzie Maggie is spinning in her grave. 

I was going to link to the page where I saw this for sale but fuck that. If you're dumb ass still wants to buy this abomination you have to find it your damn self. 

Nov 6, 2020

PYMHM - Soda vs Pop vs Elections

This Post You Might Have Missed comes from a time that I can first recall the beginnings of the political division in this country.  It was the 2nd Bush election in 2004.  My whole take on it was that if all of these supposedly intelligent, free thinking, reasonable adults had lived and experienced the last four years, how could you in all good conscience vote for this guy again.   Sound familiar?   Thankfully, as I type this it's currently day 4 of election day and it looks like Biden may squeak this out.  Who's to say if the crybaby-in-chief will throw a tantrum when they announce he's lost though.   I always get reminded of maps like this one when the election results come out to show how divided we are on many other things.  Namely, what we call soft-drinks.  The "Coke" people never fail to make me laugh. 

You Wanna Pop. You Wanna...Shasta!

Aug. 1st 2006.


No this isn't the election results from the 2004 election. This is the Pop vs Soda vs Coke map. which is pretty close to the 2004 election map.

 
 
 

It seems telling to me that people say "coke" when ordering a 7Up  and  also voted for Bush. I'm from liberal California and I call it 'soda' and I voted for Kerry.   Pop people seem to go either way.  Pop is such a a fun word to say I have a hard time criticizing it.  But just so we're clear, it's soda.

Calling it soda or pop makes more sense because its from the older generic term Soda-Pop. Technically speaking though, soda, pop, coke, whatever... all came from the old soda fountains where they added flavored syrup to soda water. I don't know where the "pop" in soda pop came from.  Maybe it's from the popping bubbles.   Calling it all "Coke" seems strange to me.  Coke is a brand name and its just lazy to call a 7-Up or Rootbeer, or even a Pepsi "Coke". You could argue that it's a sort of regional proprietary eponym.   When  you call a tissue a"Kleenex"  for example. The issue here is that when you ask for a Kleenex no one asks you "what kind?"  

...In my original post I made some disparaging remarks about how Southerners were stupid which is why they called it Coke, and correlated that stupidity with voting for Bush.   While those comparisons are still apparent in the map, I've edited those comments out because I'm in my mid-40's and have a widened world view.  But the sentiment is still there just not the harsh generalizations I made before.  How the fuck can you call a Sprite a "coke" ?   How the fuck are all of these voters in the South still supporting Trump?  At this point tho it's become a national cult with members nationwide.  Please people, put down the Kool-Aid and just have a nice can of the Coke of your choice.  If you  want to see the original use the search box.  I'm not proud of the grammar and language I've used in the past.  

While we're on the topic of soda's, I found this Dr. Pepper clone site that lists all the fake Dr.Pepper generics and knock offs from various stores and companies over the years. Wouldn't You Like to Be a Pepper Too? some of the names are pretty funny and creative. like Dr. DYNAMITE!  (dang it looks like that site no longer exists try this Google Search 

Oct 5, 2020

Zeitgist - The Smashing Pumpkins Album I Like That Apparently No One Else Likes

Being that I was a teenager in the grunge era I feel culturally obligated to like Smashing Pumpkins more than I do.  I’m mildly ashamed of this but most of their stuff is a bit mild for my music tastes.  Shit, most of the music that was popular in the 90’s seems like I should be into it but I was such a metal head back than I completely missed grunge and alternative.  Outside of Primus and maybe Rage Against The Machine I put my nose up at all the Nirvanases and Pearl Jamses.  Like most bands from that time Smashing Pumpkins had some genuine good songs that looking back with 40+ year old ears really was better than I gave it credit for.  While I can’t honestly say I’ve listened to all of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, what I’ve heard from it seemed like that double album effort was a fine work of art.  Apparently they’ve made several albums after this that I couldn’t name if there was a gun to my head.  I’m definitely no authority on this band so take this all as opinion based on limited info.  

The band broke up in around 2000 and out of the ashes 7 years later they emerge with a new album called Zeitgeist.   I think around this time I had a phone that could play MP3s and somehow got (pirated?)  a digital copy of this record when it came out and was really surprised at how raw and rocking it was.  I was blown away with the drumming and thought they got a new drummer because I don’t remember their drummer being so bad ass. I listened to this album hard for a few years after it came out and it’s still in the rotation.  I had gone back from time to time to listen to some of the older stuff and it didn’t really appeal to me.  Whenever I think of this band my first thoughts go to their old videos on MTV, then immediately to this album. 

Art by Shepard Fairey in all it's late 2000's glory

Zeitgeist just had a vibe.  I think they’ve put out a couple albums since then with different band members.  Remember when I tried to be the drummer for Smashing Pumpkins?  That would have been insane. But anyway, everything that comes out I give a listen and it’s always long winded experimental and boring.  Nothing like the octane fueled drum driven Zeitgeist.  Fast forward to today–  They just released a few new tracks off of some epic forthcoming double album and it all sucks.  Like majorly sucks.  It’s all electronic with Billy Corgan singing.  I mean, can you really even call this Smashing Pumpkins?   I hate when bands do this shit.  It’s like Coldplay who was a beautiful organic meat and potatoes rock band.  They got some success and the fucking music industry turds got in their heads and turned them into a Chris Martin solo project.  All the music is so overproduced and computer generated it’s like there’s no band at all.  I fucking hate it.  And this is the new Smashing Pumpkins shit they’ve released so far.  It’s all drum machines and keyboards with Billy singing.  It’s complete trash…which got me nostalgic for Zeitgeist so I fired up my streaming app, YoutubeMusic that also sucks complete ass which is another story… but kind of relevant because one of it’s many flaws is that many popular albums seem to be missing from the platform.  So then I Googled it and apparently Billy Corgan is a psychopath and removed a ton of their stuff from major streaming platforms a couple years ago because he said people didn’t like them.   WTF, Zeitgeist? Really? Fuck you Billy Corgan.   This album shreds!  Apparently this is why the milktoast Smashing Pumpkins fans didn’t like it.  They wanted boring, artsy drog.  My buddy Dave loves everything they do but I just can’t.  Sorry Dave.

I found the Wiki on this album and found out some interesting info which explains why I like it and makes me like it even more knowing more about it.   This was the first time Billy and drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin recorded together since the break up and they were the only original members to return for the reunion and decided to record the album with just the two of them.   One major thing that really hit home for me was that from the onset they insisted on recording live to tape, with no computers or click tracks.  This is pretty unheard of in contemporary music.  You have to realize that this was a big deal.  No one was then or has for that matter done a recording like this since around the mid 80's.  Likely because so many bands these days suck in real life and can't record without the help of editing and computers like they did in the 70's.  It was potentially time consuming, laborious and expensive.    This choice led to arguments with the label and made it hard finding a producer willing to record like this.  Eventually they ended up going with Roy Thomas Baker who goes back all the way to bands like Queen, The Cars and Motley Crue.  I think this, along with Chamberlin having a big hand in the production process made this record so bad ass.  I’m a drummer as you all know, and the drum-driven production is evident to me.  Having Terry Date of Deftones fame contributing in the production as well didn’t hurt in this regard. According to the Wiki it sounds like they didn’t fuck around either.  They went in, recorded all fucking day, every day straight for a week and it was finished.   They even mention Chamberlin nailing a 10 min song in one take and According to the main producer, "everything had sort of an on/off switch. So instead of having various degrees of volumes, we'd have the approach of, 'It's either on or it's not' .  Fuck yes.  Everything about this album just oozes with rock and roll and it’s no surprise why I like it so much.  

Some notable quotes from the Wiki page.
The album is among the heavier releases by Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan attributes this to his perception that "people wanted to hear some energy, that they didn't want us rolling over and crying in our milk".[20] He compared the mindset of the record to that of Gish, which was to make a statement "without trying to make the next The Wall."[20] Regarding the aggressive drumming on the album, Chamberlin observes that "the world is ready for something with some balls behind it”

The album divided the Pumpkins' fanbase. Corgan would later admit, "I know a lot of our fans are puzzled by Zeitgeist. I think they wanted this massive, grandiose work, but you don't just roll out of bed after seven years without a functioning band and go back to doing that".


I just might have to revisit some other albums and see what all the fuss is about.  Pumpkins nerds, knowing I love the album you love to hate, what are some songs/albums you recommend?


Sep 30, 2020

I Hereby Welcome Our Robot Overlords (again)

 I've written about AI in the past and pretty much said the harm or help it creates is entirely up to the humans.  I came across this fun website that lets you start a story and then a writing AI finishes it for you.   Here's a couple short stories I let it finish for me.  (Bold is what I started for it)

There was a bright light in the sky.  No one could make out what it was exactly.  They thought it was a star or a planet but it moved strangely. No sound accompanied it and the light seemed too bright to come from a point of light so there was speculation that it was an alien ship. It was not until the news broke a few days later that they were beaming down an AI. It said it was there to help take the all the bad into the world. With that it flew off.

When work was done for the day, Kate left. In a moment of clarity, she could have checked into a hotel and spent the night and then would settle down to work, taking on the AI all over again. A bit of thought was all that was needed. She can't always be working. Otherwise she will never get out of here, never make use of the wonders she has. The cost is too high.

She turned the corner. The alley came to an end where she was waiting. The trees were high and thick. The city was beautiful in the night. Home. Home, where she is safe, where she is warm.

The AI could die here. And with the AI, so will her hope.

Is the AI from this website writing a story about it's self?  Freaky.

Here's another one.
"Hello?" she whispered into the cold, dark room.  She waited for a response but it was silent.   A sense of relief came over her as she turned away but then, ever so softly she got a reply.

"Hello! Did you just call me?"

"Uhhhh... yes. I thought you might be there."

"I am! What is your name?"

"Um... I'm Alice."

"Oh, right! That's a good name - I'm Alfred." He replied.

Then the gentle man and his assistant began to talk. They discussed their plans and ideas and dreams. They laughed and smiled, and Alice was in love. She knew she could do this, after all. It was exactly what she wanted. She had always had a knack for solving problems, after all.

Ah, but it had been a while since her last task - all the more reason to start.

Odd.  Interesting name choice.  Here's one where I sort of gave it a nudge towards AI. 

No matter how many times he tried, Duncan could never finish a story.  Despite his first novel being a huge success, every time he sat at the typewriter nothing came to him.  Until one day he found help from an unlikely source.


Very early one morning, he was making the coffee when he received a delivery package. From within, he could see what looked like a computer - but a beautiful high-end desktop version, with a keyboard in the colour he had always dreamed of.

A pull of the power cord told him that it was fully charged, and after a quick glance at the settings he was on Windows 10. He pressed 'C' to begin his essay and -

"Oops."

He paused, waiting to see if the command had gone through, but he was hit by a sense of abhorrence. He could feel the warm, vapid look of the AI's programming taking hold of his head.

"What can I do for you, sir?"

He was startled at how calm the response was. "Is this thing really going to do my essays for me?"

"I am the AI assistant, sir. I would assume that would be the case, yes."

 

Nice work writer bot.  lol. crazy world we live in.  Please don't make us your batteries. 
Anyway, it's a fun time waster.  https://www.shortlyread.com/onboarding/write

Sep 29, 2020

Shamless Band Promotion.

Remember my band Dead Drift?  Well, since live shows are pretty much done until the jack ass pieces of shit can get their heads out of Trump's asshole and acknowledge that there's actually a pandemic and people are dying and stop having weddings and house parties and wear a god damn mask when they're going places...and... well you get the idea..we hadn't seen each other, had band practice or played a show since like February.   We decided back in March that we could try to record the newest batch of songs we'd just written before the shutdown. So while keeping safe and socially distancing we used the equipment we happened to have at our houses when we got stuck inside.   We practice at Travis's but I had my drums stored at home at the time luckily.  So I set up in my garage and recorded using my old cellphone and my current one while listening back on another phone with headphones.  Benji sent me some tracks without drums I could play along too.  I mixed the audio files into one good track for each song using Audacity. (free audio software)   Travis did something similar but with my drum recordings added and then Benji.  Emailing sound files back and forth trying to get the mix how we liked.  It took a couple months but we finally had something we all thought was pretty good considering the way we did it.   None of us are really experienced engineers or recording professionals so we did the best we could.  

Benji came up with the album name and album art concept which is pretty appropriate.  I took all our ideas and Benji's original bottle concept art along with a ZOOM meeting spoof and this is the final product. 

I'm pretty proud of how it came out and that there's a couple of songs I wrote lyrics for that made it on here.  




And you can stream it on pretty much any of your favorite streaming platforms.  If you want to buy the record and support the band we recommend Bandcamp since we get almost 100% of the proceeds whereas we basically get nothing from major streaming apps. 

But you knew that right? 


https://deaddrift.bandcamp.com/album/pandemic  

 

Since we're not doing much else I had some time to put together a few music videos.  Check em out! Please subscribe to our official Youtube Channel if you like what you see.  I hope to post more videos and live stuff.




If you would like to purchase a physical CD please Direct Message and please follow us on Instagram @thedeaddrift or email thedeaddrift@gmail.com 

AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THE WORLD - FUCKING VOTE!!!