Thursday, November 12, 2015

Definitely Maybe

Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates its 40th birthday on October 31.  Queen guitarist Brian May still rocks out to it in his car. How was it made? I'm glad you asked. From Freddie's concept to the stages of recording to video to radioplay to live performance, it's a great story.

  • Somebody call Goodyear!  A $2.7 billion Department of Defense unmanned blimp got loose and floated over Pennsylvania for a few hours (and when I say 'got loose', I mean it got confirmed shot down). The purpose of the balloon is to detect a missile attack, although Spy Machine is certainly another mission. To keep things interesting, the steel mooring cable dragged along for the ride, shorting out power wherever it went along the way. A recent investigation by the Baltimore Sun found the program "hobbled by defective software, vulnerability to bad weather and poor reliability." Apparently this is not a new phenomenon - they have gotten loose in Afghanistan on a number of occasions. IT'S COMING FOR US. AND OUR WALLETS!

A West Virginia [uh-oh] assistant prosecuting attorney has been suspended for pulling a pistol on fake spiders decorating his office. In my professional capacity as an amateur blogger, I suggest that this man's meds be re-evaluated.

  • lefty has a credit card with a $5,000 limit. lefty has run smack into the limit. lefty calls the credit card company and negotiates, over seven days, a new limit of $7,500. lefty fully plans to spend up to the new limit and start the entire routine again in six months, claiming he'll pay his balance down (with a wink).  Congratulations! lefty has just explained the national debt and what Congress just did in passing its 'budget'.
There is now a Zombie Disease.  Called Cotard's Syndrome, it makes a person think they're dead. Why the hell can't we have a disease that makes people stop taking selfies? Where Cotard's makes people think they have no brain, the new syndrome installs a proper-size brain. Come to think of it, I used to walk up to automatic doors and they wouldn't open. I wonder if I'm a zombie....

  • An Italian doctor has been suspended from practicing in the UK after failing an English language test. In America, we promote them.

Apparently the Chinese targeted Anthem Healthcare to learn about US healthcare.  What's there to learn? Pay a lot of money to a huge corporation with solid political ties. The corporation then tries (and succeeds) not to pay a single cent in compensation. What's so complicated?

  •   Hundreds of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border told U.S. immigration agents they made the dangerous journey in part because they believed they would be permitted to stay in the United States and collect public benefits, according to internal intelligence files from the Homeland Security Department.

The school president of the University of Louisville, KY, has apologized for staff wearing Hispanic halloween costumes.  Apparently putting on a sombrero is racist and the entire staff now has to take diversity training. Colleges now designating Halloween costume sensitivity consultants.  Scottish Diversity Committee has decreed a no-kilt policy.  Jewish Anti-defamation League forbids rabbi costumes. Paranormal Response Group says NO GHOSTS.  ACLU is suing, claiming bias against witches and pagans in general. Muslims offended over birkas. Christians say ignore halloween. In fact, the only group that isn't complaining is the American Dental Association.

In other news, Walmart has its own SWAT team to prevent 'embarrassing' Halloween costumes from hitting the shelves.

  • Robot buses are coming to America!  The only question is how they will get the buses to drive as poorly as human bus drivers. Can you program a bus to go through a red light?  The buses are made in France, so at least they'll be full of disdain for American bus-riders.

It's better to burn out than it is to rust?  My wife came to me, in an upset state, to inform me that our stove was rusting. Of course our stove was rusting - it's been so quiet lately. Technically she's correct; that little panel under the display has rust spots. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? Well, you can take it off, scrape and sand the entire thing down and repaint it, perhaps in your spare time. As for me, it's on my list, but waaaaaay down at the bottom, under dusting.

  • You know that feeling of relief you get when you drive through an intersection and the light changes, but you made it ok?  Relief always turns to outrage when you check your rearview mirror and find that another car went right through the light and is just about inside your trunk. Bastards!

China wishes to remind its citizens that the new Two Child Policy goes into effect in March, therefore the One Child Policy is in effect until then. American math, hopefully similar to Chinese math, indicates that prospective parents can start fucking now: whatever arrives will do so after March.

  • Japan and Korea have agreed to accelerate talks to resolve a row about Korean women forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two. Reportedly, Japan has offered to return them to Korea no later than this weekend.

Hacking group Anonymous is planning to reveal the identities of 1,000 KKK members, as obtained from the Twitter account of a clan member.  Wait - the KKK has computers?

  • Sometimes a man can get in trouble, through no fault of his own. Like when your girlfriend answers with a simple hello, and you're in the shower and it's your wife on the phone - Joe Walsh, Certain Situations.

Hero of the Great Unwashed, Mark Dice, has another video, this time asking Hillary supporters if they support Sharia (Muslim) law in the US. And you know they do....

PRIVACY:  A popular iDevice encryption app has just been released for android.  I figure if Edward Snowden uses it, it should be good enough for me. It's called Signal and is available from the Play Store.  I'll assume none of us has information that's so critical it needs to be encrypted. But this isn't about criticality; this is about the right to privacy.. the right to NOT have your communications intercepted and put in a file somewhere for future use. I'm using it now.

Definitely Maybe?
My hero, Jeff Beck, released Definitely Maybe way back in 1972, on the Jeff Beck Group album. This is a wonderful instrumental. The thing that really does it for me, theme aside, is the multiple guitar tracks during the 'verse'. The way they're stacked and play off each other is really interesting and musically satisfying; for lack of better term, well-orchestrated (specifically at the end). It is also the only known (to me) use of a slide with a wah pedal.  The more than able keyboardsmanship comes courtesy of Max Middleton, who did most of the keyboards up to about Blow by Blow. Great stuff - it's a shame he's not with Jeff Today. As this is from an album, you'll hear a bit of click. Enjoy!

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