Damn It

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: In the general election I will gleefully, blissfully cast my vote for Joe Biden.  I just… I just wish I didn’t have to.  Given the choice between Biden and Bernie there is no choice for me.  Bernie all the way.

This primary season has just been so… annoying.

Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Super Tuesday

I woke up at 3:45 needing a biological break. When I got back to bed I found myself in a state of super paranoia about Super Tuesday.

The polls open at 7:00. I’m still district 5 in Methuen, and I still vote at the same location.

Now I just need to decide who to vote for. I’m 90% sure I know, but that last 10% is messing with me.

Vote. It’s our only defense against fascism, now that the Senate has abandoned the US Constitution. Granted Trump and the Russians will just rig the general election again, but for now at least our votes still count.

What Else?

I’m so hyper focused on music right now that the world is passing me by.  What am I missing?

The New Hampshire primary was last night.  The top three places were all held by people I could reasonably see myself voting for on Super Tuesday.  Sanders was my pick last time around.  Buttigieg seems fine to me.  I’d like to see a little more grass roots and a little less big money, but policy wise he’s fine.  My step son has done some volunteer work for his campaign and I am bursting with pride over it.  Klobuchar was a surprise but I’ve liked her since the day she announced her candidacy.  I have this vague image in my head of her beating the living shit (figuratively speaking) out of the people who are making a bad joke out of the Constitution. I see her as someone who could clean up the shit show.

Warren has been my main focus and I’m a little disappointed at her showing so far.  I saw this primary as a Warren vs Sanders showdown with Biden kinda peeking in from the sidelines.  There’s still time for Warren to improve relative to the others, but if we have to settle for her as our esteemed US Senator, I’m fine with that.

Realistically, whoever ends up winning the nomination is getting my vote and at least a chunk of my money.  That nazi piece of shit in the white house has to go.  Of course he won’t.  The Senate has already approved his attempts at rigging the election, so the very concept of a legitimate election has already been flushed down the toilet.  He’ll rig it and he will win it.  Our democracy is already dead, I’m just clinging to the tiny shreds that are left behind.  Mostly just out of habit.

At least the Bruins are still doing well.  That awful dip in the standings prior to the all star break is going to bite them on the ass.  Their huge lead is gone and Tampa is right on their heels.  I was very pleased with their play of late, but losing to Detroit really grinds my gears.  We get the Canadiens tonight.  There are few things that could cheer me up as my country descends into a fascist dictatorship as much as watching the Bruins beat the holy hell out of Montreal.  No pressure though, okay Bruins.  You just go out there and have fun.

A week or so ago, Larry and I were having a discussion about various Quentin Tarantino movies and he made a joke about a scene in Kill Bill and it went right over my head.  I saw both volumes in the theater and had never re-watched them.  I thought they were both fantastic and I loved every second of them… I just never revisited them again.  I fixed that error over the weekend and watched both movies.  They are just so good.  The violence is way over the top and the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but every scene is perfect.  I forgot about so much.  In my memory the first movie is just blahblahblah Crazy 88’s and the second movie is just blahblahblah Superman’s disguise.  I forgot about all the other twistedly delightful stuff.  I kinda want to watch them both again, but instead I’ll watch the two movies I still haven’t seen: Hateful 8 and Django Unchained.

Note: I don’t think “twistedly” is actually a word.

Okay, I have to mention music again.  I can’t avoid it right now.  I did some recording this morning.  After being late to work on Monday because I stayed home a little too long, and late to work on Tuesday even though I left on time, I came up with something to try and keep me on track.  After I set up my laptop to record some voice parts, I brought up Waze on my phone.  I put in my work address as my destination and I left the phone on the table next to me.  As I worked through the two songs for today I kept an eye on the estimated time of arrival.  When it reached 8:45 I packed up and left.  It worked.  I was on time today.

Unfortunately when I was packing up I put my MacBook onto the stand on which it sits on my desk in the office (grammar, bitches), turned off the lights, and left the room.  A couple of minutes later I heard a bang.  What?  My laptop FELL OFF THE STAND!  It was still working okay, but it scared the crap out of me.  I managed to back up this morning’s work onto an external drive, but if my lappy is dead I might be in big musical trouble.  I know it’s not dead, everything was functioning within normal parameters… still… how scary is that.  BANG!

Friday is Valentine’s Day.  We don’t have any plans.  I’ll see if my beloved love wants to do anything after work.  It’s also a kid weekend so my step son will be around.  He went to a mock UN weekend last week and I can’t wait to hear about it.  Tonight will be the first time I see him since he came back.

I went to the gym last night.  I am planning on going again tonight and tomorrow night and as many days as I can between now and Disney World.  I need to build up some stamina for long walks.  I’m still stuck at the 15-minutes-before-my-back-starts-complaining point.  Every little bit helps though.

What else… I’m thinking about playing a little saxophone tonight.  If you hear crying it means I can’t pull it off anymore.  I was a music major and sax was my primary instrument of study.  I haven’t touched it in years, but normally when I start playing again a lot of the old skill is there.  What isn’t there is the muscles in my jaw.  I get a few minutes of solid playing followed by fatigue so bad I can’t play anymore.  My plan for the next week and a half is play a little, rest a little, repeat.  That’s assuming I’ve still got it.  Boy, do I hope I’ve still got it.

When you are 48 years old the phrase, “Boy, do I hope I’ve still got it” comes into play almost every day for a seemingly infinite number of topics, wouldn’t you say?

American Fascism

Donald Trump is a fascist.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Massachusetts Primary. Never has a candidate for office, any office, lined up with my personal political beliefs as well as Senator Sanders. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was as close as I’ve ever seen.

I’m bitterly disappointed that the Democratic National Convention will not be nominating Senator Sanders tonight. I voted for Hillary Clinton eight years ago when she ran in the primary. I was torn between Clinton and Obama and could have supported either of them, but I felt a little more optimistic about Clinton and she got my vote. I was disappointed when she lost, but I was okay with it. Now? There are too many things about her and her campaign that piss me off. Too many questions, too many potential scandals, too much money, too much questionable activity, too much sleaze. She lost all of my support going into the MA primary. All of it.

I am voting for Hillary Clinton in November. I’ll tell you why.

Donald Trump is a fascist. Listen to what he says, and then look up the definition of fascism. Ultra Nationalism? Check. Blaming a social or racial group for the countries problems and making them out to be scapegoats? Check. Hitler had the Jews. Trump’s cup runs over with both Mexicans and Muslims. What was it he said during his acceptance speech last week? Something like, I am the only one who can fix things? Does that sound like a dictator to you, because it does to me. He wants to deport Americans based on their nationality and religion. He verbally attacks anyone who disagrees with him, not with facts but with childish name calling. He is the single most Un-American candidate for office our nation has ever seen.

He’s a fascist and half the country wants him to have control over the nuclear arsenal. What happens when a nuclear armed megalomaniac perceives another world leader’s words as an insult? Not an insult to The United States, but to him personally. What happens when a nuclear armed megalomaniac fascist wants to get even? The world ends? Not that hard to imagine.

Donald Trump is a fascist and if he is elected president it will be the end of our country. Don’t doubt for a second that he will destroy The United States in his twisted, viscous, hate filled attempts to make it “great” again. Think of all of the millions of people who gave their lives to stop fascism in Europe during the second world war. Are we going to insult their sacrifice by putting a fascist into the White House? Have we learned nothing from history?

Vote for Hillary Clinton in November. That’s the easiest way to stop American fascism in it’s tracks. If you, like me, supported Bernie Sanders and you write him in come November, or pick another third party candidate in order to protest against the DNC and the Clinton campaign, then you are voting for fascism. Splitting votes on the left is death to America. We must unite behind Hillary Clinton as it is the only clear way to keep the fascist out of office.

Otherwise there might come a day, if you are among the few who survive, when you’re children or grandchildren will ask you, “why didn’t you do something to stop him when you had the chance?” Is that what you really want?