Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday's Birdie Blogging.. from last Weekend's walk..

Depression - It's the new Melancholy

An idea came into my head while reading the awfully strange 2blowhards website and then I got all Googlasoured (half Googled, half soured, and half dinosaur making, in all, half a wit) trying to track it down.

What happened? I googled melancholy to see what it really is and I came across a piece of academic half-wittedness which makes clinical schizophrenia seem like the only logical way to deal with life:

The history of melancholy is the history of a double significance: at once
individual and societal, subjective and historical. Melancholy is first of
all a specific and individual experience of a particular kind of psychic
suffering, rendered at different moments in its history into the languages
of humoural theory, psychiatry, psychoanalysis and aesthetics. It is also a
concept under the sign of which poets, philosophers and historians have
sought to understand their own historical epochs.

First off, the math confuses me -- it really seems like they have two double significances (whatever that is) in the first sentence.

Second, anyone who feels compelled to note that individual experiences take place at different moment in history? They're being paid by the word, even if that payoff is nothing more pathetic than a Master's Degree.

Finally, it makes me very melancholy to realize that the author is probably allowed, by some state that should know better, to operate a motor-vehicle.

Which is the long way ino the question of depression and its role in day-to-day life (other than subsidizing legalized drug dealers like Pfizer and Glaxo Smith-Kline -- who you can tell are not a US firm by the hyphenated name). It seems like the Buzzcocks lied and everyone is not happy nowadays.

But now people are now happy to be depressed (or happy to pretend to be depressed)... it has become a badge of courage, a proof of creativity that does not require actual creation of anything, and, for lack of a better phrase, a comfortable winge.

Christ, look at the MySpace page of every adolescent in the world and you'll see it was never a more depressing time to be young and healthy and the only response is rebellion 101. In the "old days" however, if you were dumb enough to tattoo every square inch of your body with sub-jailhouse-tat quality ink and then pierce any part of your body that did not contain a vital organ? Well, you'd quite sensibly have been burnt as a witch. Gave the folks something to do on Sundays (pre-football) and kept the gene-pool quite a bit cleaner.

Jesus, I never thought I'd long for old-days I didn't even live through!

But when did depression become desirable, and when did it become a justification for acting out (from black eye-liner to multiple homocides at the old High School?)

And where is my dinner?

I dunno... I guess I got derailed by the internet...

And that's kind of depressing, really...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Signs of End Time? -- "Punching someone in the nuts is not a first-class way of doing things."

So sayeth George Mason (unlikely final-four resident) Assistant Coach Chris Caputo.

I am not sure that using the word "nuts" is a first-class way of doing things, but I am very impressed that GM actually suspended a player for the first round of March Madness for doing something this asinine. A much more typical approach is the offseason, or, start of next season suspension. Or worse, just playing the swine who did it. I mean look what it took for Marcus Vick to finally get the boot.

I'm either happy, or I'm scared that everything I understand about college sports has been overturned. ;-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Best Bass Lessons EVAR! Musician University....


in the two weeks I've been taking the basic bass course from I've been ignoring the website, not doing many lessons, and generally not doing what I should.

But my tab-reading and fingering skills are advancing faster than they ever have.

online ed baby.. the way to go.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Messages From Above (received without comment)

03/27/2006 16:44:13 Original attachment (SJC_sced0106A.pdf) was Deleted. The original attachment was blocked from delivery due to current attachment blocking rules. You can safely save or delete this replacement attachment.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New Design

whew... spent Friday doing a redesign just so I get a header on this site... learned a lot more about the templates than I wanted to.. still, I prefer the current look to the old one.. though more changes will come to make it a bit closer to the old one..

Friday, March 24, 2006

Diversity, Thy Name is Photoshop

Ho hum... diversity and graphics, always a dangerous intersection..

I found the first one on some site or other:

Nice, the black guy not only has dreads, but front teeth that wouldn't be out of place on a rabbit and a chipped tooth at that (oh.. and he has the white wimmins as well. Right on bro!).

Perhaps this an artifact of compression but, please.. wouldn't someone look at this before posting it?

These second two are a classic bit from somewhere in the Wonkette factory. Two entirely different advert campaigns which, tragically, used the same royalty-free provider - and that distinguished black guy defintely lives in NYC :

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Names just Keep on Coming!

More lovely spammer names...

Faultiness F. Swab Runs insurance scans on mom-and-pop stores that don't have security cameras capable of detecting his fake "fall and holler" tactics. Faultiness works with a partner...

Burgess G. Oilcloth who visits the stores in advance to spray oily surfactants on existing water puddles to ensure they don't dry up. Sometimes Burgess also works as a witness.

Accommodation G. Firefights is a self-described "odd cat" who likes the color red and sirens. The recent shift in fire-truck color from red to light-green has left Accommodation a bit lost and depressed. He is no longer employed at the Toys R' Us and spends most nights at home with his red wine and Wellbutrin

Sunday, March 19, 2006

More Great Spammer Names

Pebbling T. Israels - Ekes out a meager living selling rocks with artificially sharpened edges to willowy Palestinian youths. Has a sideline business as an informant to the Israeli army.

Behooves G. Appalled - Runs an unpopular right-wing blog dedicated to accusing opponents of the president (about 67% of the populace, if current polls are to be believed) of treason and hatred of "America"

well.. actually they both want to sell me pharmaceuticals... but what splendid names!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging:

Some day at last, no mornings come
Beneath a dead, orbitless sun
There is no "distance," "here," or "from,"
Time's arrow will outfly its run.

When dreams are sifted into dust
And all achieved is only lost
And everything we thought me "must"
Is ground to filth, despite its cost

When all are gone, no thoughts remain
Ozymandian stumps no longer stand
The universe flattened to a darkling plain
What could note the loss of man?

In the absence of a seeing eye
No universe will wheel by
No one perceive or understand
Why then, again, it must expand.

Thaddeus Rogers Eutha

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hydroderm -- The lieingest ads ever, insulting to women (I think) and just plain icky.

You may remember Hydroderm from such previous posts as this one. OK.. technically speaking that was the only post. But they continue to amaze. Yesterday I was clicking around on Slate and, drunkenly, watched a Hydroderm advert with amazing slide-animations showing 'improvement' in ... well.. improvement in graphics.

It was only the second after I clicked away from that page that I realized I thought I'd seen some text on the advert that said something like "not real pictures." I had to find that advert just one more time!

15 solid minutes of refreshing the page only resulted in a succession of ads from Monsters!

I thought all was lost, but today as I'm reading the rather funny Slate page on Annoying White Guys (AWG) in college basketball I realized that I was seeing a version of the same advert. And it looks like this:

Now.. in all the excitement of the cellulite dissapearing you might just be giddy enough to overlook this brilliant disclaimer:

simulated godd*mned images!

And this advert is on Slate where, presumably, the literati come to break bread. How can this be? Isn't someone complaining. Is telling the truth (in puny text) right after you tell an enormous lie (in beautiful RGB images) somehow an appropriate thing?

I am boggled. I find myself beginning to pray (to all those gawds I don't believe in) that this is actually a brilliant viral campaign for PhotoShop or some similar program.

Oh man, let that be true!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

There's a Tramp Sitting on my Doorstep

which means I just wanna do this jigsaw puzzle, before it rains any more....

or, it means that, mysteriously, I am sliding into a good mood and it's only then that I realize I've been depressed for a few days.

Weird, that.

I'm even looking forward to resuming my studies when the Grad Degree starts. Which is also weird since I normally associate the need for academic degrees with the inability to prove one's self in any practical way. On the other hand there is a lot to be said for thinking, and learning and teaching (if tenure doesn't destroy critical thinking in the teacher) certainly include a bit of that.

On the other hand my mood shift might solely have to do with another great name from a Spammer...

Soloing E. Transmitter - may present himself (herself? itself? whatself?) as a mere purveyor of Online Pharmaceuticals, but the name hints at a great adventurer, bobbing, alone, perilously, upon a far and distant sea. And if that sea includes a small solution of opiates, so be it.

And since Blogger is acting weird I'm just going to post this as it is and scarper off to sleep...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Songs I Wish I had Written: I

If you Talk to Much (My Head will Explode)
(Audio and Video there.. video by Joaqin Phoenix)

by the mighty "People in Planes"

and it's a song for any POSSLQ anywhere.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Update on all the Coolest Cats in Spamdom!

I just noticed the first amusing thing about SPAM that I've seen in years. Some of the names attached to SPAM are positively Dickensian in nature. In the last couple of weeks I've seen:

Inebriated U. Nigerians - I bet!

Amparo Otero - A hot-blooded bullfighter

Fannie Beaver - Obviously a woman of ill repute

Twila Valenzuela -A ballerina of international fame before a criminally loose floorboard at the Metropolitan ended her career in a shredding of ligaments and dreams. Now, I fear, she drinks and takes lovers.

Gwendolyn J. Fowler - the wife of the powerful industrialist Gordon J. Fowler who made his first fortune at age 17 in the history-book futures market.

Thaddeus Padgett - whose name is so odd that it never existed.

But Wait! There's MORE!

Husker G. Xenakis - Which only appeals to me because it has part of Husker Du's name in it, and something like the name of the lead singer for Everclear.

Consoles L. Platooning - whose group of Young Republican Spambots fight for Halliburton at day and pary like it's 1959 at night.

Brandy Riddle. All I can say is that as much Brandy as I have ever drunk, I have never solved the riddle. But I ain't buying her dumb stock offering.

Abetter M. Pushing sent me a little note. I don't remember what the note said, but I'm still wondering what he's like in bed.

Philip Zliw (C- for name) sent me an email titled, "Enjoy your lifetime with Individual Increment Internal Secretion." And the weird thing was that the more I thought about an "Individual Increment Internal Secretion?" The more turned on I got, and the more I thought I might enjoy my lifetime..

3 Rules for Online Education

1) Please make your portal work - that is, the username and password you send out should actually allow a student entry. And why would you have separate passwords for separate parts of your site?

2) Don't make your portal browser specific. I would think the guys in marketing would help you with this one.

3) Have more than one caffeine stressed chimp on your help-line. It isn't a help line if you can't get through to a human.

I got my schedule and I begin with fiction writing. This seems odd to me. I'd rather have eased my way in with some critical stuff, but if I am to finish in a hurry there is no other way. I've been dusting unlikely adverbs and adjectives off for most of the day and practicing using them in threes, as academia demands.

I will be prepared!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

No Matter How Much I Hate College

It keeps calling me back! ;-)

Not bad enough I work as a marketing director for a college, but now I am beginning my Master's Program in English.

Oh well, at least it is at the relatively unprestigious National University. I can think of it more as an extension of high-school. Heck, since my program is online, I might even qualify for the basketball team.

And now that I have my diploma from Swamp Valley College (a pseudonym, doncha know) I can post how awful (offal?) some of its online courses were...

Oh goody... snark!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blogging Against Sexism? How dumb is that?

Really, this is just as stoopid as the folks on Liberal SF ("Streetfighter" to them "Science Fiction" to me) and their eternal leftist circle-jerk.

Lest anyone misunderstand, I agree with about every position on LSF (I'm not so keen on veganism and that silly ignorance of my tooth structure and digestive system) and I'm opposed to sexism although I'm not sure I can reasonably define it in all cases. In fact, I'm pretty much of a commie libtard and proud of it.

But getting like-minded internet friends to join metaphorical hands and sing "Kumbaya" is idiotic.

What does it do? It organizes idiot loners to make their idiot loner posts. You don't see right-wingers doing useless sh*t like this unless it is to raise money, purchase a senator (or, to be fair, congressperson) and alter some just law towards the dark side.

The site I linked at the top of this post, tells (in poorly written prose) you what to do, why the date was chosen, and gives topics for discussion. But it never even hints at what this might accomplish, presumably because the site accepts it will accomplish nothing; nor does the site contemplate any action other than the writing.

Weak sauce.. for the goose or gander.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More in the Field of Graphicsology...

So.. today the Mendo shots which segue nicely from the desert since the desert is an ocean with its life underground and the perfect disguise above...

aw shit.. "America" lyrics? My street cred is shot. Anyway.. the next ones is these.... and you can see the whole shebang (including previous pics) here

So it's a lie.. this is from the desert.. but it looks like the next one.

which looks like the last one. And so on, and so on, and so on. Till we all die of boredom.

In the land of the Church of White Clapboard

Everything descends

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Death Valley Trilogy

So, now I get an opportunity, perhaps, to have some photos published in a magazine. Towards this end I need to do a little online gallery. Which is a drag, because taking 300 dpi RAW files and turning them into JPGs suitable for online viewing is like taking a white swan, dipping it in used motor oil.. and dragging it behind a NASCAR pace-car.

Me no like. But.. here are the first three thumbnails and if you want to see the actual presentation (and don't mind big files) you can certainly head over here for some pix and background...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Running the Combine...

As a fan of perhaps the worst team in the NFL, this is always a slow but interesting time of year as the combine results come in and free agents are announced. If you don't know what the combine is, it's an NFL production at which potential NFL players come to be poked, prodded and graded by the entire mass of the NFL.

And each year this results in some breathless headline like..

Davis runs the 40-yard dash in an unprecedented 4.38 seconds

Which is not only.. well. unprecedented.. but also awfully precise. That last digit represents 8/100s of a second. As distinct from 7/100s and 9/100s. And it's fast. So how do they arrive at this precise measurement?

Two fat guys point at the finish line and click when they think the athlete crossed it.

What do you suppose the reaction time of the average fat guy with a stopwatch is?

I doubt it is anywhere near hundredths of a second.

How silly is that?