Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Animals That I've Seen Today:

  1. Humans (lots of them - they're everywhere!)
  2. Dogs (guiding humans via leash system)
  3. Cats (two)
  4. Birds (didn't count)
  5. Chickens (technically birds, but somehow seem different)
  6. Cockroaches (I live in the city - don't pass judgement)
  7. Squirrels (cold day but still scurrying around)
  8. Goats (always make a day brighter)
  9. Alpaca (two, and both adorable)
  10. Burro or donkey (what's the difference?) 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trump Protest, Atlanta, November 2016

" .. We have known humiliation, we have known abusive language, we have been plunged into the abyss of oppression, and we decided to rise up only with the weapon of protest. It is one of the greatest glories of America that we have the right of protest. 
"If we are arrested every day, if we are exploited every day, if we are trampled over every day, don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. we must use the weapon of love.  We must have compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn." 
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1956, Montgomery, Alabama

Sunday, January 14, 2018

It took a year to set in, but it's finally happened - I've lost my sense of shock about our so-called President's behavior, and my outrage has been depleted.  There's nothing left - I can't get angry anymore.

Oh look, in a blatantly racist outburst, he just referred to Haiti and some African nations as "shithole countries."

Oh look, new allegations that he paid a porn star $130,000 not to discolose whatever it was she had been set to disclose.  Two other porn stars are now implicated in the growing scandal as well.

A best-selling book paints him as mentally unstable and paranoid, out of touch with his own Administration if not reality itself.  In response, he called himself a "stable genius."

Politically, he's holding the Dreamers (children of illegal immigrants) hostage over his demands to fund an unnecessary and pointless border wall, even though he campaigned on the claim that Mexico for some reason was going to pay for that wall.

I could go on and on (Russia, emoluments, climate denial, etc.) but you know what?  I'm not even mad anymore.  I would be mad if I had expected anything better from him, but for the past year, every time I've lowered my expectations, this so-called President has sunk even lower.  I don't care.  I have no outrage left; I'm all burned out.  


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Even though absolutely no one is wondering, I'll announce the game I've decided to take up after I've nearly (but still not completely) exhausted Witcher 3.  

I've decided to return to the Fallout franchise, not by re-playing Fallout 4 for the third time through, but by going back to the previous installment of the franchise and playing Fallout: New Vegas.

New Vegas was released in 2010, and seven years is an eternity in video game time.  The game plays fine on Windows 10, but after Fallout 4, some aspects of the game's technique and style feel a little antiquated and even quaint, but my fondness for the sequel allows me to tolerate the perceived shortcomings of the predecessor. 

As the title suggests, New Vegas is set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, and while playing Fallout 4 in a nuclear annihilated Boston held more emotional resonance for me personally, the amalgam of science fiction and classic western motifs in New Vegas is amusing. 

Also, there's a LOT of content to New Vegas, and it's probably even less linear and more open-world that Fallout 4.  In other words, despite it's technical "limitations" (limits being defined here merely by innovations that came later), the game has the full potential to be the time-consuming, all-encompassing diversion I was looking for.  

I'll put it this way:  I just downloaded it last Tuesday night, and I've already played for 29 hours, while still  working at a full-time job in my so-called "real life."  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dreaming of the Masters

Of the 60s and 70s giants of jazz, there were probably none that I saw perform live more times than Rahsaan Roland Kirk (with the probable exception of Sun Ra).  The man always put on a mesmerizing, jaw-dropping show, and I was never once disappointed.

Listen to his cover of the old Rodgers and Hammerstein song If I Loved You (from the play Carousel).  Not only does he rescue it from the campy trappings of show tunes, but he resurrects it into a positively heartfelt soul ballad.  But to grasp the sheer audacity of this performance, try singing or humming along with his saxophone lines - the man does not pause for breath.  No breaks, no stops, just continuous hot-and-cold running streams of music.

It's hard to imagine how this is even humanly possible until you've see him perform live and witness for yourself how circular breathing works - he breathes in through his nose while simultaneously breathing out off his mouth.  Just try it yourself for a moment on a line or two, and then imagine not only doing it for an 8-minute-plus song, but for an intense and soulful eight minutes.  In other words, it's not just technique that made Rahsaan stand out, it was content, too.

Rahsaan passed away in 1977 at the heartbreakingly young age of 42.  He still had so much more to continue, and we lost a unique American treasure.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Why is it that when I'm stopped at a red light, the other, on-coming lane always gets the green first, and my lane has to wait until all the cars in the opposite turn lane pass by first before we get the light?  My lane never gets to go first while the other lane waits.

At work, the men's room is between my office and the break room (coffee).  Why is it that when I pass the men's room to get coffee, the door's always open and on one's in there, but when I need to use the men's room, there's always someone in there and the door's always closed? 

Just asking.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

And the insurance companies basically run this country's health-care system (such as it is).  So I don't want to hear another Alex Jones conspiracy fantasist tell me that "the doctors" have the cure for cancer but aren't telling anyone so that they can keep making money.  Enough already.

I had a downtown meeting this afternoon, which justified working from the home office this morning, so for the second day this week I didn't have to commute out to my suburban office building and then fight traffic trying to get back home.  A fellow could get used to this.  I also got to pet a goat today (seriously), which is always therapeutic.

Pet more goats, drive less miles, be healthy.  Big Insurance wants you to live.