stAllio!'s way
Friday, February 04, 2005 
it figures
i think simply mentioning the plain text problem was a jinx that caused it to come back...

never the twain shall meet
playing around with bobby vomit's blawg helped me to realize how to fix my post separator lines so they extend to the edge of the column. see, formerly i had my HR tag inside my tags; moving the HR outside the DIV removes the margin settings from the HR so it extends all the way out. i think it looks better now. maybe you disagree, but if so i don't care.

and i for one haven't witnessed the "plain text" problem in weeks! i suspect that pan's recent server maintenance fixed the problem. let me know if i'm wrong & it keeps happening.

have you been reading bobby vomit's blawg? it is currently my favorite blog. you should read it, and you should leave comments.

blue screen of death and taxes
being a homeowner can be a serious pain sometimes, like when you need to fix a leak in your roof and it takes weeks just to get the roofers to show up & give you an estimate (we've now received two, after a full month of waiting around). but it has advantages too: for one, it seems to really increase your tax refund. my refund went up by $400 once i started deducting real estate taxes & the interest we've paid on the mortgage this year.

yes, i filed my tax return last night & i'm getting $1,474 back. that's a nice chunk of change. i decided a month or two back that i would spend my refund on a new computer. sure, it would be nice to put that money into savings (since i've taken a bunch out over the past few months due to repairs & travel expenses) or to go toward fixing the roof (though with our estimates of $700 and $850, i'd have a bunch left over after paying my share of that). but hell, i could use a new machine, and i'll have the money to get one, so i'm doing it. i'm supposed to get a bonus this year as well, & i can always put that money into my savings account.

so in a week or two that money will be direct-deposited & i'll be ready to start buying parts. you can get one hell of a computer for that kind of money, and because i'm picky about what my computer needs to do, i'm picking all my own parts and having my brother-in-law build it.

i'm going to reuse a couple parts from my old machine, though as more time passes the list of parts i plan to reuse keeps shrinking. i will reuse at least one of my hard drives (the data disc, with close to 100gb of audio, video, and images on it), but i'm wondering whether i shouldn't get a new (maybe SATA) primary hard drive... it would suck having to reinstall all my software, but perhaps the benefits of having a clean install of windows etc would outweigh that.

when i first started planning, i thought this would be a mere upgrade (though a major one). we would pull out my old motherboard, video card, etc, and effectively build a newer machine inside my current case. but then i realized something: we'd have to basically tear the whole thing apart to put new guts in the case, & then i'd have a bunch of old-but-still-basically-working hardware lying around. but if i get a new case & build a whole new computer, then my old/current computer will still be in working order to use as a backup, mp3 server, test machine, whatever... it'd need to get a new keyboard, mouse, monitor (unless i buy a new one of those too... which is a bit tempting, since i could give connie my current 17" CRT & get a nice flatscreen for myself), possibly a new HD, and so on, but that stuff is easy enough to come by. i don't know how much use i'll get out of the old thing, but i'd rather have a spare than have a big pile of abandoned parts.

my current "wish list" of parts is posted in this thread on exbe... i'm definitely getting one of the athlon 64 chips and a newer, nicer video card with tv capture capability (tv capture is a deal-breaker). also not listed there (because i won't be buying it at newegg [if i buy anything there: i'm open to suggestions]), i'm pretty sure i'll get a new printer. the epson stylus photo line looks pretty promising: affordable inkjets with the capability to print directly on cdrs! no more messing with cd labels for me (though that would mean that bad taste cdrs would no longer come with bonus stickers).

all that stuff put together is around $1,050. plus i need a new case & i'm sure some other minor goodies. this puts me in the $1100-1200 range, with a few hundred left over in case i want a new hard drive, a new monitor, or something else like that. and of course, my heart isn't set on any of those particular parts, so if you know of better or more affordable options, i'm certaingly willing to consider them.

once my new computer is built, i think it'll finally be time to officially begin working on the new awia full-length. i've been putting that off for way too long.

Thursday, February 03, 2005 
rebel without a marriage license
jason west, mayor of new paltz, NY, performed around 24 gay marriages in his town last year. now he could serve jail time because of it.

The rush to write same-sex marriage bans into state constitutions is part of a heated debate that New Paltz Village Mayor Jason West helped ignite last February when he married about two dozen same-sex couples. West, 27, was quickly hit with 24 misdemeanor counts.

But the charges were later dismissed by a town court judge who said there were constitutional problems in banning same-sex marriages.

Ulster County Court Judge J. Michael Bruhn brought back the charges Wednesday, saying public officials cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. He said the case was not about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, but whether West lived up to his oath of office to uphold the law.

of course, that's blatantly false: every state has dozens of ridiculously antiquated laws on the books that nobody has bothered to obey or enforce for decades. simply googling a phrase such as "silly laws" will turn up thousands of sites like this one or this one that catalog the outrageousness of many of the laws still on our books (though the veracity of some of these sites is extremely questionable).

West faces fines and up to a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor counts of solemnizing marriages without a license.

West has maintained he was upholding the couples' constitutional rights — and thus his oath of office — by allowing them to wed.

"If I told those the gay couples, 'No, I can't marry you because you're gay,' I'd be violating the state constitution and I'd be violating my oath of office," West said.

Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said he was pleased the judge recognized his prosecution was not about same-sex marriage but "a public official who made a conscious decision to put himself above the law."

sure it's not about gay marriage... mayors go to jail for up to a year all the time for performing marriages without a license, don't they?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005 
bush betta have my money
the story of conservative pundits being paid shills for the bush administration is now apparently old hat, hardly worth reporting. hence i didn't discover until now that a third paid-off pundit, michael mcmanus, has been outed, even though the story broke a week ago. mcmanus was paid $10k by health & human services (the same dept that bought maggie gallagher) to promote the bush agenda on marriage, then failed to disclose this when he later wrote about the marriage initiative in his columns.

meanwhile maggie gallagher (shill #2) scrambles to save her good name. she doesn't see any connection between her case and armstrong williams, & is demanding corrections and retractions galore. williams was paid explicitly to pimp bush policies, while gallagher insists she was not (it just worked out that way). yes, there's a subtle distinction there that she's right to point out, but she still failed to disclose her partiality, & thus their stories are fundamentally quite similar.

as usual, sheldon demonstrates that prwatch was on top of this story three years ago & discussed a website called omega list (since expunged) that made selling out to a sponsor as easy as point & click:

On a section of the website that has subsequently been removed, Omega List was quite straightforward about the fact that it pays conservative commentators to endorse clients and their causes. A series of web pages featured conservative radio show host Blanquita Cullum explaining exactly how the system works and how other radio hosts could get in on the gravy. "You do what you do best!" she said. "Get on the air and talk to your listeners! Drive them to your website by conducting a daily survey or a contest on the topic of your choosing." Eberle's "polling wizard" software, installed on the site, would then capture the names of respondents so that they could be hit up for money. "What happens next is a cakewalk," Cullum continued. "Omega will call you with an opportunity to send an endorsement e-mail to your list . . . and receive a royalty for lending your name to a cause, organization or product you believe in. . . . Omega gives you their specialized software absolutely FREE and presents you with an opportunity to earn an extra $25,000 or more annually."

yes, it's just that simple. you too can make as much as $25k/yr just by violating journalistic ethics!

one man who was not getting paid for pimping product is russel christoff. he's the man whose handsome mug has graced jars of taster's choice instant coffee for years. way back in '86, christoff did a photo shoot for nestle, but thought nothing came of it since he was never contacted again.

then one he was shoppin' for some food & up through the ground came his bubbling outrage at seeing his face on a jar of black gold... coffee, that is.

a los angeles court has awarded him $15.6 million in compensation the unauthorized use of his likeness on countless cans of product over several years in at least seven markets (USA, mexico, south korea, japan, israel, kuwait, and canada).

of course, nestle plans to appeal, so christoff still has not been paid and will not be anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 
sugartime for buster
some good news for buster, the asthmatic bunny whose pbs kids show recently ran into some trouble with bush's brand new secretary of education:

Defying criticism from the secretary of education and their own network, several large PBS affiliates say they will air an episode of the children's show Postcards From Buster that includes a visit to a home with lesbian parents.

Buster the cartoon rabbit is not backing down.

Postcards From Buster, aimed at preschoolers, was pulled from the PBS schedule last week after Margaret Spellings, the new secretary of the Department of Education, denounced the use of federal funds for it. But WGBH, the powerful Boston public television station that makes the series, said yesterday that it will air the program tomorrow.

WGBH offered the episode to other PBS stations and, as of last night, 18 planned to air it, said Jeanne Hopkins, a vice president at WGBH. They include some of the largest stations in the 349-member Public Broadcasting System - such as New York's WNET and KQED in San Francisco.

indeed, the sf chronicle points out that kqed san francisco will play the episode tomorrow (wednesday, 2/2) (hint for connie in case you want to set your vcr, since it might not air in indy):

San Francisco public television station KQED received the episode directly from the producers at WGBH in Boston, and it will premiere at 4:30 p. m. Wednesday on Channel 9. At that time, Bay Area viewers may feel let down by the lack of controversial fodder in the episode. An early look at "Sugartime" shows more minutes spent discussing dairy farms, making chocolate chip cookies and draining sap from maple trees than exploring same-sex unions.

i would love to see a list of all the affiliates that will air the show... in particular i really want to know if it will air on my own affiliate, wfyi (the website suggests it won't, but if it did it'd be a last-minute change anyway & might not be reflected on the site). the boston globe says at least 24 affiliates will air it (i guess they have more recent info than newsday), but who are those affiliates? i want a full list, dammit. if anyone finds one, pass it on.

Monday, January 31, 2005 
the weather was cold but crisp and clear, so my drive to cleveland was smooth: i got there in less than 5 1/2 hours including 2-3 stops (i intended to get gas and lunch at the same stop, only to discover there was no atm at the gas station i chose, & the only quick food option there was mcdonald's... so i ended up waiting a couple more hours before eating).

the sondguy was supposed to arrive at the venue at 7, and i got there at about 6:45. so i went "next door" (actually two or three doors down) to music saves (where the pre-show performance by j scott franklin was to take place) to pass the time. music saves is a record store that carries almost nothing but the hott indie rock & emo stuff. this is great if you're into indie & emo, but not so good if you're into anything else. i did see a couple hip-hop cds but only the ones that crowd would be looking for: madvillain, el-p, beans, etc.

before long i headed back to the venue & began setting up. i set up near the back of the venue (right in front of the door, in fact), so i could play during transitions yet leave the stage empty for other performers. then it was back to music saves to see j scott franklin.

j scott performed as a one-man band: he had guitar, trumpet, microphone, and pedals. one of the pedals was a loop pedal, which allowed him to play a lick & then loop it so he could play something else on top of it. at times he sounded like a full band. the sound was folkier than i generally listen to, but the tech was very interesting and i found myself wondering how easy it would be to perform live barbershop if i had pedals like j scott's. in fact i imagine lord of the yum-yum probably has a very similar setup.

birthday cake was served (it was experimental behavior's first birthday), but there were no frosty beverages to wash it down with, so i didn't quite finish my piece. by this point it was nearing 9pm, and i was supposed to start the show at 9pm, so i made my way back to the beachland tavern.

soon the crowd started to make their way over & i began my first set. i started off with some short pieces i had created specifically for exbe & mixed in various other noise, loops, and silly samples. i was actually fighting a headache all night, but i managed to keep it at bay & perform pretty well, considering, i thought.

next up was humachine. you can't really understand the humachine phenomenon unless you go on exbe and read some of his posts... a large percentage of them are about how awesome he is, how he has "the highest technology" in music, how bands like skinny puppy have ripped off his sound, etc. but if you listen to his mp3s, while the production is high quality, the actual content is pretty run-of-the-mill ebm-type stuff.

his live setup consisted of a bunch of gear (indeed he has a lot, & some of it looks pretty nice) and a video display (he also has a public access tv show, you see). the music itself was not bad: in fact it was quite competent; busy, with various crisp sounds and beats and samples. at one point jack commented that his live sets were better than his recorded output, and i had to agree... though it wasn't particularly original (unless those really were his ideas and they were all stolen long ago by other club acts). but the video...

well the video truly looked like it came from public access tv. humachine himself was in almost every shot, nodding to the beat, mugging for the camera, playing with cds (not playing cds but fidgeting with a stack of presumably blank cdrs), tossing cds at a friend's face, making grasping motions with his hands... there were some video fx laid on top but not enough to mask the actual content. it was totally narcissistic & amateurish: ridiculous and often hilarious. but clearly not on purpose.

next i performed again as a transition between humachine and the afrodesiatics, a 7-piece funk band with full-size xylophone, bongos, drum kit, the works. this changeover was only scheduled to last 15 minutes but it took closer to 30. my performance trailed off a bit after awhile, but whatever. nobody seemed to notice.

the afrodesiatics were very tight: they were obviously all accomplished, talented musicians, and they really brought the funk.

by this point the venue was simply packed: i never heard a total head count, but there were enough people there that one had trouble moving around, & there were actually people standing behind me just hanging out.

next up, nick traenkner gave a powerpoint presentation about cleveland. for some reason, nick decided to stop using the term "powerpoint presentation" to describe his work but i don't know why: that's exactly what it is, and i think the idea of an artistic powerpoint presentation sounds much more interesting than "multimedia performance" or whatever he's calling it now.

the presentation was highly entertaining: amusing and informative, similar to irene moon but without the bizarre sound effects or wacky costumes. nick did his presentation without amplification: he just stood in the middle of the bar projecting his voice. he didn't want to use a mic though i thought he would've done better with one: not a handheld, but a lavaliere or a headset would work great.

after nick came beautiful loser, a 3-piece. when they started their first song i thought maybe they were blues, but then i decided they were closer to jazz. i don't know much about jazz beyond john zorn, so maybe i was wrong, or even if i was right, i have no idea what kind of jazz band they were (i guess their website refers to them as "instrumental/pop/world/rock"). color me clueless. still, they were clearly very talented musicians: the guitar player had to be in his 50s, so i suspect he's been playing guitar for at least 30 years.

then i played again, opening up my final set with "spamouflage" & transitioning into... something else. i forget, and i didn't get anything recorded.

infinite number of sounds finished off the night. as usual they were great. they started off with some new material, then into some classic older material. if you've never experienced them, they're a catchy instrumental indie-type band with electronics and a kick-ass video display that's mixed live to the music. they never disappoint.

after awhile of sitting around, tearing down, etc, we made our way back to the INS house, where brent (the video guy) put me up for the night in their guest room: there was even a computer in the room so i could check my email & stuff! the following morning we went out for "breakfast" (even though it was 1pm) at a restaurant called
"my friends"... i'd been there several times during previous lakewood visits. then it was time to drive home...

in total, brent paid me $60 (possibly the most i've ever been paid for a show) and i sold $50 worth of merchandise! an extremely successful night for me, a good show with lots of diversity, and good times. even my headache stayed away enough that i was able to enjoy myself.

thanks again to everyone who played, and especially the exbe crew for putting the event together & inviting me to participate.

bobby vomit's blawg
this is either a brilliant idea or a really terrible one: bobby vomit's blog is now online.

get your bookmarks ready:

Sunday, January 30, 2005 
this week's mp3: chains rattling
new mp3 of the week! it's a cover of devo's "mongoloid" by an old side project called chains rattling. check it out!

downloads for the past two mp3s of the week have been atrocious. i'm talking in the 20s. if the demand remains that low i won't have much incentive to keep doing the mp3 of the week. the first week got a respectable 95 requests, so the obvious difference is that i spammed a few forums and mailing lists the first week. i refuse to spam those places every week: that's just annoying. maybe i need to set up a mailing list for awia/stally announcements? we've never had one of those for the site...

brutal cincinnati damage
bobby vomit reports in from the massive noise show in cincinnati... sounds like one hell of an experience.

if you've never heard the legends about bobby vomit's emails, he says he treats email like an artform, and plays loose with conventions of spelling, punctuation, etc. i have left it here verbatim and unedited so you can get the real vomitmail experience.

 mockbees was fuckin rad

   literally m,,,, ask jason ,was a factory renivated
into art warhouse space awsom huge domed blocked vault
like tube chambers 2 downstairs 2 upstairs and huge 30
or 40 foot ceiling ball room they sold beer had movie
projectors playing it was like a noise rave in fucking
sane so i played in the main room up stairs but true
to the werd we set up a gurilla rig matts fuckin loud
pa jason played guerilla in cincinati but ticket is
now that i got my mavckie mono tape recorder i use it
sounds great and i got his hole set and mine so if you
want to post it werd.. and also i got or had jason
make me some buttons so i got a couple more fore you
cool ,,and i got your fuckn stallio bobby vomit remmix
done fuckin insane and i plaid it it is one of my
favorite prepared peices of old data storage disk ever
,, sold four tapes unszene bobby vomit shared stereo ,
i need to make you a copy ,and make a tpe with ya
,............ and one record traded for two cds and a
tape walked aeay with 5 beers in me a tape a flier 2
cds and a (social junk) patch very good show....i will
tell maore about line up to you later i was only there
on day .......

cribs: "jason" is unszene. "matt" is bobby's cousin, aka matt turd from monster pagan death ride and days & nights in the skeleton crew. and the "stallio bobby vomit remmix" is most likely a playable art piece created out of copies of my true data 12".

did you enjoy that? maybe there should be a bobby vomit blog. would you like that? would he even post? i wonder... it would be one hell of a blog.

i'll post again soon with details of the extremely successful exbe 3 showcase

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