Saturday, June 10, 2017

Compact disks, the mystical mysterious reflective plastic frisbees.

     I love CDs. I really do. Have about 200 of them, maybe more.

     And yet, sometimes I don't get them. Sometime, they mystify me.

     You probably heard of the "CD rot", have you? It's when water, air, or that dreaded UV light gets inside the CD, and damages the precious information layer beyond repair. That shit is scary, and you do NOT want that to happen to your precious music. So, when you see that there is something VISIBLY wrong with your CD, you imagine the WORST. And yet,........... everything's..... fine?????

     I have about 40 musical disk thingies (an over-estimation) that have holes in them. When you examine them close to a strong light source, you see teeny-tiny holes in the aluminum(?) layer, light shines through them. Clearly, something got to the information layer, and ate it up, like a moth through a sweater. My precious, beloved CDs, damaged beyond repair! All the lovely music, gone forever!


     . . . . . . . . . .


     . . . . . . only the information is still all there???


     Yes, exactly as you read. Despite the visible holes in the metallic information layer(?), all the bits are still there, the laser can read the data NO PROBLEM, and if I rip one of the """rotten""" CDs to a hard drive, the program detects 0 errors. ZERO ERRORS. Even though some of the information is supposed to be gone forever, "damaged" sectors forever unreadable. And yet, the ripped files play perfectly, with no clicks, no static, no nothing.

     What the HELL is going on?!?

     Well, I certainly do not know. What are those holes, anyway? What made them? Were the disks (mis)printed that way? Are these holes in the actual metallic layer, or the outermost top surface of the plastic coating? Is the metallic layer in CDs actually mostly see-through? I once accidentally (lightly) scratched the red printed label on a CD with a fingernail, and a tiny speck of red paint came off. In that place, there is now one of those "see-through" holes. The information is there, the laser can see it, and if I try to rip, report gives no reading errors.

     Is this "disk rot"? Certainly not, since the information is still there, and readable. What is it then? What to call it? I don't FUCKING know! All I know is those holes are found almost exclusively on older CDs (printed in the 80s and early 90s). But a lot of older CDs also do NOT have any holes in them, so age cannot be the only factor. The only newer CDs in my massive collection to have that is the (fantastic) 2001 remaster of Benefit by Jethro Tull. However, the 3 tiny holes are not exactly on the information layer, but in the center, the part with the numbers and the bar code.

     To finish off this strange post, I am stumped. I do not know what the heck is happening, I do not know why some of my CDs have visible holes in them. I do not know why the information there is still readable with no errors. I do not know what causes this, how it is possible, and what to call it. I love you, CDs, but you are fucking weird.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

X-perience

     Hey you!

     Yes, you! Have you ever wanted to sound smart? But never bothered actually becoming smart? Want to impress people with your smart talk? Wanna talk smart, don't you?

     Well, do I have a solution for you!

     The secret to sounding smart is actually very simple! Just say "experience" a lot. You don't have to know what it means, just use it in dialogue, often. See example:

     "In my experience, never before have I experienced such an experience. My last summer's experience was quite an experience, and I wish every one of you could experience my experience!"


     Now, what are you waiting for? Go, and experience the adoration of thousands of easily impressionable sheep!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Satyrday, a Fable. Thursday, parts 3 & 4.

     The moon slept that night more deeply than she'd slept in days. Her exhaustion was coupled with depression and when she felt depressed, the only response was unconsciousness. The rhythmic suck and moan of the forest floor beneath her accompanied her dreams.
     Maxwell did not sleep that night, nor had he slept since his wings had been broken and he'd been brought to this place. He still ached, a now familiar pain which made him nauseous and dizzy. He watched the moon sleeping, her dim light waxing and waning as she breathed, and her presence gave him comfort. Below him, in the light the moon cast around her, he saw again the creatures he had watched all day.
     Starfish crept up the trunk of the tree on which he sat, and as they lurched toward him, he realized the true desperation of his condition. There would be nothing for him to do but submit to them when they reached him. For now, they stayed on the trunk, refusing to venture out on the branch he inhabited.
     He watched them approach the moon. A host of them slithered toward her, so many they covered the trunk of the tree in which she was caged. They crawled over one another, their groping points reaching out for anything they could fasten to, until they hunched at the place where the tree broke open into branches and surrounded the moon.
     They stayed there all night, and so Maxwell felt no need to interrupt the rhythms of her sleep. Instead, he watched her breathing and her dim illumination, rising and falling with the noise the reddish slime made as it quaked.
     As the first dim light of day filtered into the southern reach, chasing away the shreads of night still clinging to the treetops, the moon awoke. For a minute, she looked around her wildly, unaccustomed to this new place, and then she calmed. She had been moved. She was still all right.
     The calmness dissolved when she looked below. The ferns' black fronds waved in the wind, worms and toads and scorpions visible beneath them, At the tree's heart, a mass of starfish clung like a malignant growth, waving its free points, curling them up at her vaguely before withdrawing. Violently, she hit her side against the cage to wake herself. But it was no dream, this was where the owl had sent her, and she grunted in horror.
     At the first notice that the moon was awake, the starfish came alive. They began rolling towards her, separating from one another, taking different routes on the tree's branches. As she huddled in the center of her cage, she watched them come.
     "Ignore them," Maxwell called to her across the stand of trees. "Don't pay attention."
     The moon whirled around as though she'd been stung. "Who's that?" she asked in panic. "Who speaks from this place?"
     "I'm over here," said Maxwell. "Don't be afraid."
     "Don't be afraid?" the moon screamed.
     "I can't come closer," Maxwell said. "But listen to me carefully. Close your eyes. Pretend to be asleep."
     The moon did as she was told. She feigned unconsciousness, although she hardly needed to pretend. She swooned, the thoughts in her head racing through without stopping to be understood.
     The starfish hesitated. They wrapped themselves around the branches and waited. Maxwell watched them, disappointed. His plan hadn't worked. They were simply holding fast until the moon awoke again, and she couldn't maintain the fa├žade of sleep forever.
     "Breathe deeply," Maxwell advised. "Shine with all the light you have." And the moon, her eyes closed, listening to a voice she'd never heard before, took deep draughts of fetid air. She glowed, and then became dark. She glowed more fiercely with each breath she took. She became dizzy, thought she might faint, but the voice encouraged her, told her to breathe more deeply still.
     As the light in the cage increased, the starfish cowered. With each incremental brightness, they flinched, as if the glow the moon gave off was dangerous to them. Maxwell watched as the light surged, and the starfish, one by one, moved back down the branches of the tree.
     "It's working," he cawed. "Don't stop. They hate the light."
     So the moon, her eyes still closed, glowed and glowed and glowed until she could do it no more. "It's all right," Maxwell called. "They're gone." She opened her eyes. She saw the last of them slither down the trunk beneath her and disappear among the waving black folds.
     "Thank you," the moon said. "Whoever you are."
     "I'm over here," Maxwell called, and the moon tried to see through the forest's branches. She thought she saw something, but it looked like a part of a tree. Beyond her, a small lump sat, darker than the branch.
     "Is that you?" the moon asked. "What are you?"
     "My name is Maxwell," the raven said. "Can't you see me? I;m a raven."
     "Come over here, then," the moon said. "Let me get a better look at you."
     "If only I could," Maxwell said, his voice mournful. "I can't move. The owl had his falcons break my wings."
     "Oh, no," the moon cried, horrified. "Oh, my heavenly body."
     And so Maxwell told the story of his mutilation. The moon wondered at the young bird's calm, amazed at the lack of bitterness in his voice.
     "I don't think it was you the owl wanted, but another raven named Deirdre. She came to tell me she had flown back to the meadowlands to get help."
     "I don't know anything about that," the young bird said.
     "Don't despair," the moon said, trying to be cheerful. "If the owl had the ravens move me here, I expect it's because he's feeling threatened." Yes, she thought. Deirdre! A feeling of great affection passed over her. Maxwell was thinking of other things.
     "Is there any way for you to help me?" he asked piteously? "I have no way to feed myself."
     "I don't see what I can do," she said. "I'm caged in this tree."
     "I'm afraid I'm going to die," the raven said.
     "There, there," the moon said kindly. "There, there."


                                                    *                        *                        *



     In front of Derin, in the distance, so far away they looked like heat distortions on the horizon, the mountains shimmered. "How far?" he asked, pointing.
     "A good day's march," the fox said.
     "Then we should be marching," Matthew said. "And hoping for a good day."
     It was hot on the Plain. They'd awakened, bathed in sweat, throwing off the blankets which had barely kept them warm during the night. The temperature rose as they walked; the sand sifted under their feet. It seemed the heat ascended to the clouds and was reflected back, intensified.
     The boy thought of the mountains ahead, the ascent from this plain. There, his feet would touch rock and solid earth, something permanent. He hated this waste; the heat made him dizzy. It was one step after another, with no sense of forward motion, no landmarks to judge distance against. They might be walking in place, for all he knew.
     He stripped to a thin cloth around his waist, and still the sweat streaked his chest and back. The salt stung his eyes. A haze of fine sand hung in the air, and as he walked through it, it dissolved and rain in rivulets down his thighs and calves.
     Matthew reached in his pack and pulled out his panpipe. He begun to play, falling into step behind Derin, and his music picked up the cadence of their walking. It floated up to the vault of sky and hung there, a bright cloud of its own making. Against his will, Derin felt his bad temper begin to evaporate. The music was sly, infectious; it nagged at his mood, refusing to allow it room to grow. The melody Matthew played reminded the boy of the meadowlands, provided a tie to all he'd left behind.
     He thought of how Matthew would sit in the clearing's edge as day waned and play until animals came from the woodlands and the meadow, birds fluttered across the fading colors of the sky, mesmerized by the music. At moments like that, Matthew was hypnotic. His eyes would gleam in he gathering dusk. He would stand as if possessed, his hips would pick up the rhythm, and then his hooves began to move. As Derin watched him, feeling the music enter through a portal in the head more mystical than the ears, Matthew's horns would glint and seem to grow, the fleece on his hips become shaggier, until he was more animal than man. The music would throb in the clearing, sensual and cool, like the touch of a hand on burning skin. Derin had seen him change that mood with a few haunting bars , each breathy phase poised on the edge of attainment before it trembled and faded off. Then he would change keys again, alter the rhythm, and the dirge would become wry, insouciant, building in speed until the clearing was full of animals who shuddered and twitched, possessed as well.
     Vera's ears pointed, and she sniffed the air. It was as though she were remembering something from long ago. She tried to shake it off, but couldn't, and finally she turned to Matthew and glared at him. Without missing a note, the melody changed abruptly to a quicksilver tune Derin hadn't heard in years. It was a song the satyr taught him when he was a boy, and the old words came back to him and he sang.
   
                    There was a tortoise and a chub
                    Who swam all day in a wooden tub
                    Their life was simple as could be
                    The tub was theirs and the air was free

                    The tortoise had a magicshell
                    The chub had scales and a silver bell
                    Their cymbal was a lily pad
                    And they sang all day of the luck they had

                    And this is how the world is made
                    With fire and laughter, stone and wind
                    And this is how the music's played
                    We will sing this song till our throats give in

                    And when the turtle's stomach growled
                    The sun burned down or the water howled
                    The chub would bring him icy snow
                    A fly to eat or a boat to row

                    By day the sun, by night the moon
                    Though storms rain down, they'll leave us soon
                    And winter's cold will fade away
                    The deepest night will turn to day

                    And this is how the world is made
                    With fire and laughter, stone and wind
                    And this is how the music's played
                    We will sing this song till our throats give in

     By the time the song had ended, Derin was out of breath. They were moving more quickly. The music changed again, recalling the melody Motthew had played earlier, and this time Vera trembled from the tip of her nose to her tail. The boy felt light-headed, as though he were made of air. Around him, the sand took on subtle colorations, the yellow grains streaming into runs of red and blue. He was no longer tired, or dizzy from the heat. He thought he was floating above the surface of desert; the sand buoyed him up. Under him, so far away they seemed someone else's. his feet were dancing.
     He saw a smear of silver hair, the startling image of white skin, the flash of a collarbone. And he was running, Matthew behind him, whooping, both of them flying, throwing sand behind them like a smokescreen.



                                                       *                    *                    *



     Like I said many times before, if you, mysterious reader, would like to see updates more often, do tell me.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ruminating on the pack mentality (and wulfs)

     (this rant will piss off every dog lover)    


     So, it has come to this.

     I am finally writing another post, 3 months after.



     So, pack mentality.....

     One day, when thinking about dogs, and how they are "man's best friend", I asked myself the inevitable question: "Or are they?"

     Dogs seem to love you unconditionally, and are willing to do any work for you for a meager price of food and shelter. How noble of them............... or is it?

     Well, ask yourself a question: why do wolves form packs? Is it because they love each other so damn much? Is it because they are oh so nice? Or is it because of much more pragmatic, and, frankly, pathetic reasons?

     I will be frank, and say what I think right here. Wolves are weak cowards. They are weak because they cannot support themselves. They are cowards because they are afraid for their own skin. "Safety in numbers" is a recurring phrase for a reason. Wulfs stick together because it is safe. And because it makes it easier to hunt. Understandable, but not respectable.

     And there is nothing shameful for being weak on your own. However, it is shameful when those are your only reasons for being social. Yeah, I am part of the group, because on my own I cannot accomplish jack shit!

     It would be understandable, and even admirable if wolves formed packs after realizing their individual weakness as hunters and general survivors. It is noble to not be afraid to admit you're weak, and it is a sign of intelligence to decide to stick together with someone else for strength in numbers. But wolves just had to fuck everything up, by throwing in a bonus – the Alpha System.

     For you see, it's not all egalitarianism all the time inside a wulf pack. There is the 1%, those slightly below, and those considered the dredges of society. And everyone in the 99% are constantly scheming to overthrow (see: kill) the alphas. There are constant in-fighting, and frequent changing of the guard. Wulfs pretend to be loyal out of cowardice, but when presented with a chance, dig their teeth in. PRETTY MUCH LIKE PEOPLE, ACTUALLY.

     The pack is comprised of aggressive assholes who treat everyone else like shit and demand the best and the most resources, and submissive cowards below them who are only pretending to agree with the system, to hopefully one day kill the leader and become the 1%. Assholes, and cowards.

     And the dogs are so nice to us because, through their limited intelligence, they believe they are still the same wulfs of 10,000 years ago. Dogs still see the world through the old pack-o-vision, and see their masters as the alphas. Dogs pretend to like us because they are anti-egalitarian by nature. In dogs' world, there are only kings and servants, and you are one or the other. And sadly for them, we, the humans, are way smarter than them, and it is pretty much impossible for them to overthrow us, their two-legged masters. So they are stuck in the endless cycle of servitude.

     Dogs don't love us, they just think we are the alpha wulfs. And that is the sole point of this rant.







     And yes, some dogs seem to be capable of genuine sympathy for their owners. I met some like that.

     They are in the minority, sadly.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Just some food for thought

     You will never be able to write a book and call it "Lolita" because of... you know.

     You will never be able to wear a rainbow shirt in the summer and not have it be mistaken for something homosexual.

     You will never be able to form a musical band and call is The Beatles.

     You will never be able to discover the North Pole for the first time.

     You will never write Star Wars.

     You will never have to worry about sword training, since guns are invented.

     You will never invent the radio.

     You will never paint the Mona Lisa.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Satyrday, a Fable. Thursday, parts 1 & 2.

THURSDAY




     Vera didn't sleep much that night. The boy and satyr rested on the sand, surrounded by the large boulders. They lay huddled in their blankets, for night on the Plain was very cold. The fox sat and watched them a long time, not thinking much of anything. The boy appeared dreamless, almost dead, as he lay on his back, the blanket tucked around his chin, his face turned upwards to the blank sky. The satyr rested on his side, his hindquarters bent at the hips and knees, his back to Derin.
     And then the fox's eyes clouded over, she ceased to look at her companions, and she was very far away. She was remembering, sifting though the past as one might walk along the beach, vacantly, stopping now and then to examine something which lies on the sand–a bright washed pebble, a piece of shell, each story distinct from all others, but connected by the great sea which has given it up.
     The longest hours of the night stretched before her. In the shifting winds which swept the plain, small pillars of sand rose up in a whirlwind and disappeared. If the bones of her children beneath her could understand, they would want her to rest. And so she lay beside the satyr and the boy and closed her eyes.



                                                             *                    *                    *



     "What do you have to say to me?" the owl asked, his eyes bright with interest. The ancient raven dropped to earth. The owl towered in front of her, but she didn't seem frightened.
     "I don't know much at this time," the crone said. "Members of the clan are beginning to talk against you, several in particular. I have heard it said your plan is doomed to fail."
     The owl's eyelids lowered as they did when he was thinking. The crone was unaware of the fury behind that thought.
     "There are more than one who question me," he said, his voice muffled, as if it were of no concern to him.
     "Yes, my lord. I've listened to many conversations since last night, and ravens who do not know each other are saying the same things."
     "It will not matter," he said. "I will clamp down so swiftly upon whomever questions me the others will understand they have no choice. And in a few short days nothing anyone could do will make a difference."
     There was silence in the clearing. The ancient raven and the owl stared at each other across the distance between them. "The old are either very foolish or very wise," the owl said. "Which are you?"
     I am not foolish enough to think myself wise," the crone said, and the owl was pleased with her response.
     "You speak well, the owl said. "What did you have in mind?"
     "I ask only that you allow me privately to serve you," she said. "I would act as a spy on your behalf."
     "Go then," the owl said, almost gently. "Bring me the names of those who speak or act against me. And if you should discover a connection between the three strangers I spoke of earlier and a member of the clan, it would be of special interest to me."
     "What will you do about them?" the crone asked.
     "I will deal with them, if they get this far," the owl said fiercely. "But before they arrive, I have ways to make their journey more difficult."
     "If I may be so bold to ask.  .  .  ."
     "You may not."
     In the darkness behind them, the sound of the ravens returning from the southern reach began to build in intensity.
     "They are coming," the crone said. "I have to go." She hesitated. "My lord, when the new kingdom is established, if there should be a post for me, I would humbly accept it, were you to offer."
     "Surely," the owl said, for he had nothing to lose in this. "In the meantime, keep your eyes open. I will await your report."
     The crone lowered her head. "My lord," she said, and flew away.
     The wind carried the sound of beating wings closer and closer to the owl. "It is done," he said. "The moon is in the southern reach." He thied to experience his pleasure, but every time he began to gloat, the knowledge of his betrayal stuck him in his throat. Unbeknownst to him, a raven had been working–slowly, carefully, with great foresight–against him.



                                                       *                       *                       *



Who knew part 2 was short, and part 1 extra short? Not me! For I have only read this book once, and do not have perfect memories of how long each part is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I blame the INTERNET (and myself).

     You probably heard a lot of complains, a lot of moans about things getting worse, about everything being shit. You heard complaints about #KidsTheseDays who cannot spend 5 waking minutes without checking their status on a touch phone, and being willfully ignorant about actual knowledge.

     You might even have heard about the entire Western Civilization going to Hell in a regular basket.

     Assuming any of that is true, and things in the western world really ARE getting worse, there are only 3 options.

     –Blame yourself.

     –Blame someone/something else.

     –Do Both.

     I personally do believe that things in the western world have been going downhill, and that people are becoming increasingly apathetic and willfully ignorant. People are refusing to think for themselves, refusing to question things, refusing to DO things; refusing to live as brave independent people, and not cowardly sheep following either RELIGION of SCIENCE to wherever those take us (spoiler: it's destruction).

     I believe that the West have been getting more and more sick for some time. And of the three options listed above, I pick the 3rd, the last one.

     Blaming yourself is always a good option, and is an important step in growing up, and becoming MATURE ADULTS™.

     HOWEVER, blaming yourself BY ITSELF, only leads to self hatred (and suicide). You can only blame yourself for making the wrong action (or not taking actions at all), believing the wrong idea, or allowing someone to keep you down.

     So, for the shit that has been happening to the West, and myself personally, I blame myself for allowing THE INTERNETS to turn me into a slob, eager for instant gratification.

     We have become chronically afraid of missing something important, for missing some hot new content, for falling out of the loop. We are afraid of not being in the know. And that is why we are always online, always checking IF WE MISSED ANYTHING (spoiler: we almost never do).

     We have become spoiled by the promise of instant access and no waiting. We curse our INTERNET connection when downloading our movies and games illegally (because why work for money if that is hard and takes time?) Don't work! Don't wait! Do not do hard things! Do not discipline yourself! DO NOTHING BUT CONSUME EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE RIGHT NOW!



     Looking at myself, I make myself sick sometimes.

     And I am not the only one.

     LOOK IN THE FUCKING MIRROR.







     P.S. Satyrday updates will return very soon. I promise to not take very long now.