You can’t cheat an honest man so never smarten up a sucker or wise up a chump WC Fields

Edmund DuLac
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Edmund DuLac
I’ve seen an amazing increase in spam lately. Rough estimates are I’ve won about 1 billion in lotteries I never entered. I’ve had about 2 billion left to me by dead relatives I never knew I had. My puppy and I have had our bank accounts our paypal accounts and our other personal information compromised about 80 times, all at banks where we don’t have accounts. Hangmen Also Die And the usual suspects offering us great penny stock tips and the usual porn sites and sexual enhancements.
I resent the ones offering money the most.
There are too many people driven to desperation in our world today where cash is the only solution. It takes sociopathic guts to steal from people. It takes a sheer coward to steal from you and not be able to look you in the face.
Con men used to at least be entertaining. They used to give you a show as they fleeced you. The Flim Flam Men were always known and usually endured until they robbed the wrong person of too much.
They even made movies about them, Oscar winning movies where the con men were the heroes! (“The Sting” for only one of them.”
Now the cowardly ilk advertise in the papers or people who are multilingual. Its a lot more convincing to get emails from someone who can at least approximate the language, I guess. But they advertise in the newspapers and the newspapers take the ads . . .
Its like a legitimate business now. Why not. They’ve only prosecuted one spammer. The government must condone it or they’d do something to stop it. In a lot of ways the government condones it. I’ve gotten spam from political candidates . . .
Considering that the government allowed Comcast to hijack the investigative meeting to discuss the despicable acts committed by Comcast its not a great surprise. (Net neutrality and tiered pricing are ugly cruel things that need to be abolished and not encouraged. The government disagrees. They don’t care about the people anymore it seems.)
In China and Russia they are openly and actively recruiting hackers and programmers. I do wonder if anyone ever bought anything they saw advertised when their browser has been hijacked by a malicious script?
Do Us All A Favor
Click images for desktop size: “Do Us All A Favor”
Someone must or they wouldn’t invest so much money in getting it done. The self centered self righteous jerks we keep electing wouldn’t keep approving these tactics. They wouldn’t ignore the deplorable acts of Microsoft and the lesser companies who emulate them. (Microsoft gets fined over a billion in Europe but gets a nudge nudge and a wink in the USA).
Maybe they view all of this corruption of something as pretty as the computer and the internet as just another poor tax, like the insane profits of the oil companies (who will again set records for the low taxes they will pay.)
There used to a great operating system for computers: BeOS. It was elegant, refined, powerful and ran on machines that stuttered with Windows and Macs running 9.0.
BeOS had features 10 years ago that are just now The Big Store entering into Windows Vista and Mac OSX. (Indexed searches – integration of OpenGL etc)
Microsoft pointedly and fixedly destroyed the company. It did so illegally. Microsoft got prosecuted. Of course this was after they accomplished their goals and bankrupted the little BeOS company.
They had to pay the BeOS stockholders a lot of money and they got fined 100 million. Microsoft never paid of course. I’m sure it was quite legal on their side, the not paying I mean, but once again no one in power was watching out for us; the little guys who just wanted to have some fun on our computers or make a little web site about our hobby or the club we belong to. No one in power cares about the little guys like you and me communicating with each other.
I thought that was supposed to be their job, to look out for us and t understand things we didn’t grasp and to make sure we could live a free and a happy people. I thought they were meant to safeguard us, not to encourage the slugs to rape and pillage us.
I guess I was wrong. Again.
I’m just not feeling human. A long strident rant because I got some junk mail in my email folder. I’m not human today.
Still feeling sick. Still worried about my little blind dog who still is keeping me up all night. Still worried about money and desires unfulfilled.
I shouldn’t rant about things I can’t change just because I can’t reach out at them and give them a kick in the pants.

Just a minute please

weeki_wachee.jpg
Click images for desktop size: “Weeki Wachee” by Unknown
There’s a few things bugging me.
The RAIA, the Congress and baseball. Not necessarily in that order.
The RAIA has always bugged me. They are a bunch of jerks who view people only as walking wallets, sort of like the worst kind of pimps you find in the seedier parts of town.
twilight_people_(1973).jpg This is the group set up to make sure that the records were made to the same specs so that all records could play them. They were sort of like a 50’s version of THX Sound.
Then when the record companies decided they didn’t want to pay the record artists any more money the protected that.
Its one of the interesting things they touched on early in “The Soprano’s”. It was common practice to sign acts to record records. They never got paid, even though the record companies were dumping thousands to DJ’s to bribe them to play the records. That led to the payola scandal. The RAIA was a part of that.
They justified it all somehow: The acts, they claimed, benefited because they got free advertisement. They didn’t get paid but they got to keep all the money from playing clubs and concerts . . . which promoted the records but they never bothered to justify that part so there’s no official line there.
As to the payola a a lot of DJ’s lost there jobs and ruined their careers and lives. No record company went out of business. No record company exec went to jail or got fired.
I guess, you could say the RAIA did a good job for them.
Now the RAIA says that when you buy a record or a CD or a digital download you don’t own anything. You’ve bought air. You’re allowed to listen to it at their grace. And the rapidly escalating prices are so that the musicians will get paid their fair share, except now they want to cut the musicians share from 9% to 4%.
AngryShark.jpg
Click images for desktop size: “Angry Shark” by Anonymous
Don’t confuse the RAIA with ASCAP or BMI. ASCAP and BMI collect money to pay to the writers of the songs. The RAIA has no connection to the musicians or writers. They only represents the suits who hate music but like money.

And now the Senate has completed the rape of the Constitution. They increased unilaterally the right of our Government to spy on us . . . by a 67 to 31 vote. Rah!
Amazing that the constitution which has done pretty well for 220 years has suddenly found itself obsolete after 8 years of George Bush. Some of the Supreme Court Justices are even saying nonsense about how the Constitution is outmoded and no longer valid . . . they’re Bush appointees of course.
For some reason every thing that comes out of a conservative mouth lately sounds more and more like the old commie rhetoric, rhetoric we were taught to fear and take with skepticism.
Underworld I guess you really do become what you hate most.
Clinton didn’t attend to vote on the measure. Obama has remained silent. The Republicans are all for it.
Its the old, “the guilty don’t deserve any rights” and the innocent don’t need any rights.
I think I’m going to vote for whatever sacrificial lamb the Green Party is running this year. Nothing can be worse than supporting the wholesale merchandising and destruction of America.

Then we have the new witch hunt, the new McCarthyism – Steroids.
I remember when Lyle Alzado died. He was a killer line backer for the Raiders back when the Raiders were good.
He died because of steroids and Human Growth Hormone. He died directly because he wanted to be bigger and stronger.
I remember Canadian Ben Johnson blowing Carl Lewis off at the starting line and setting a world record because of steroids.
And I remember the NCAA barring Oklahoma’s Brian Bosworth from a bowl game because of steroids. (Bosworth was a bust for the Seahawks – but he did make an amusing movie, “Stone Cold”).
Nobody reacted then, when it could have done some good.
When I was coaching in Texas its impossible to believe how many of my kids came to me and asked if I thought they would benefit from juicing up.
At first I thought they were trying one on to see if I’d bite. They were serious.
Of course I told them no and explained all the pitfalls and told them about Lyle Alzado etc. I worry most now about the kids who didn’t ask me.
I never had a kid come back from summer break 25 pounds heavier and 20% stronger. I don’t know how I would have handled it. Probably the wrong way.
Astro Boy
Click images for desktop size: “Astro Boy” by Makaski Inc
Instead of protecting the kids and not just punishing them we have a stupid congressional investigation.
One the one hand our country is falling apart but we take massive amounts of time and man hours and money to protect our entertainments so that they can be sold more readily to us.
As much as I think that this investigation is wrong headed and not geared to accomplish anything meaningful (There’ll be no penalties for the owners who demanded bigger faster athletes, or to the coaches who turned their eyes away and only viewed the results. There’ll be no lessons for the vulnerable children, there’ll only be Joe McCarthy style headlines for the witch hunters who bring down the biggest stars.) I’ve been following the testimony of Roger Clemens. I would like him to be innocent. I would like to think he did all he has done out of toughness and stubbornness and a lively arm.
The Descent After the inept display by congress today I really don’t know. Clearly most of the committee have already made up their minds as to how they’re going to decide and proceed. Most of the questions weren’t fair and slanted in an ugly way.
Henry Waxman is the head of the committee. He was also my congressman for an incredible amount of years. I always thought of him as a Hollywood lobbyist. I voted for him because my unions recommended him. He was the kind of Congressman who sent you a survey at election time so you could tell him what he needed to be doing. It was multiple choice and there was no space to write anything down. You had to put your own stamp on it to mail it in, proof he wasn’t corrupt I guess.
Waxman did not behave very properly I thought. He didn’t keep things smooth and fair in a pursuit of the truth. He accepted things at face value and without a sense of fairness. He let cruel things be said to Clemens, cruel things that were not in pursuit of truth but sounded more like a punter who dropped a hundred bucks on a game Clemens pitched in.
I want Clemens to be drug free. I will be disappointed if he took drugs.
But I don’t think America will be a better or a worse place to live in no matter what he has done.

Better start right now, feeling sorry for the one you love The Rooks

Men In Hats - Dimage
Click images for desktop size: “Men In Hats” by Dimage
I love my dogs.
Out shoveling snow early this morning, a nasty heavy snow with an 3 inch undercurrent of re-freezing slush. I was shoveling because there’s a promise of freezing rain (is that what I thought of as sleet?).
Snow Creature The pups were all out with me, gallivanting and having a wonderful time. The only problem I had with that is that they have to always be within the 3 X 3 area I declare as my personal space.
So fascinated with the idea that I might actually do something interesting that they had to be as close as possible. Clearly I’ve never done much interesting but if I ever should they can’t bear the idea of missing it.
I liked their enthusiastic curiosity, even if it did make a drudge task longer and harder.
While laughing at them dogs made me think of Fifo and the old Fidonet. The fore runner of email.
Back in that ancient time of 14400 baud dial up modems it took a person to set up an electronic Bulletin Board, (BBS). Sometimes they were set up by lonely kids or lonelier men and women, as a way to talk to people somehow. Some guys were a bit more far seeing. The internet didn’t exist but they conceived of an idea to build a network from from the disparate BBS’s.
You joined Fido and your commitment was that you logged in at least 4 times a day and downloaded the Fido Mail. Then I, as a guy who logged into your BBS could go in and pick up my mail . . . at its best this meant I could get an email in less that 4 hours . . . In the days before the Bell break up, before MCI and Sprint this seemed rather incredible. When local calls were always free and snail mail took about a week from NYC and 2 weeks from Europe to get a long letter in four hours for FREE was, well, the start of something bigger.
With the internet came email, which was my personal favorite, and USENET, which I still adore (and enjoy the fact that it is, for the most part, pretty much ignored and neglected) and the WWW. So much information and it was just there. So cool. It was a kid who told me about it, how I could find almost everything on “the web”.
Old
Click images for desktop size: “Old” by Unknown
It was easy to imagine a new world, a world with information freely available to anyone, to everyone. All that information naturally led you to an informed opinion.
What goods an opinion unless you can lay it on somebody.
This led to a whole lot of personal “web pages”. Just like in “real life” the opinions expressed were mighty extreme. And it always seemed that the more extreme the stand, the more out there and the insane the logic the more it was supported by links to other web pages written by similarly uneducated people. So you had uneducated distillation of facts being used to support another uneducated illogical distillation of facts where each of these peoples take their opinion and through some alchemy transform their opinions into hard facts.
The Strange Woman (I do put a lot of value into education. I have degrees, sure, but mine are in the arts which puts their value, especially when considering complicated matters, slightly below a trade school diploma. In fact I consider that a trade school diploma would be a better investment than an MFA. It takes training of a kind I don’t have to absorb conflicting and sometimes con-contiguous info and pare it down to a single seed of truth. I don’t have it and neither do any of the pandering jerks on TV and radio who sell cock-eyed opinions for sponsorship dollars.)
There was no way to comment on a web page. So the only thing to do was to create your own web page to refute the other guys claims. It was a lot of fun. It got so big that they invented the Web Log, like this one.
With a web log you didn’t have to learn html you just started posting your opinions. And it just keeps growing.
Its freedom. I like that a plenty. You need no credentials you just need to get it out there and you’re on the same footing, the same distribution level as the New York Times. (Same goes for music and books too!)
Superman - Jim Lee DC Comics
Click images for desktop size: “Superman” by Jim Lee & DC Comics
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about while I shoveled the snow and watched the dogs while they looked to see if I did anything interesting.

The primaries are sort of drawing to a conclusion.
I didn’t get to vote. I still don’t feel that strongly about anybody running to register with a party. There’s not even anyone I hate enough to vote against them. That is a sorry state of affairs when with all this mess we’re in no one can even rise vitriol. Sorry for me and the country. I’ll vote for the candidates I guess after someone else decides who they should be.
I thought the primary results themselves were pretty interesting, and some of them even horrifying.
Fo the Democrats it looks like a dog fight between Clinton and Obama. You can see how this can only help the super underdog Republicans.
As a guy who once voted for Jerry Brown for Governor and then Mike Curb for Lt Governor I get kind of evilly wry at the idea of a Clinton/Obama ticket. It also seems like a sure loser somehow.
Suspiria I did notice that in the states Obama won, he won huge – landslide type figures. While where Clinton won she won by decent but hardly overpowering margins (except in New York and Arkansas where she cleaned up big time.)
For me the biggest shock was that Clinton took about 60% of the hispanic vote!
While I find something distasteful about Obama’s plans to handle immigration I find Clinton’s record to be disgusting. Maybe the guys already over the border don’t want anyone else coming cross.
On the Republican side McCain seems like a slightly less evil Bush. I like that he’s despised by for being too moderate a conservative. Only a declared racist idiot like Rush Limbaugh would take someone to task for being rational.
What has to be keeping the Democrats happy is that Huckabee too enough delegates to broker himself a position of power at the Republican convention.
Huckabee seems like a reasonable enough guy. And his opinions aren’t lunacy when applied to a family but they seem mad dog theocracy when you take them and inflict them on a nation, especially a nation so deeply wounded by Bush and these same Republicans.
Huckabee seems one of those things I run into but can respect, a good man with wildly divergent opinions on life.
So that is my wildly uneducated but well informed opinion on the nation’s politics.

I’m considering using Lightbox for the images here. Its a javascript that opens up a separate translucent window when you click on an image. I’m not sure if you can still grab the image and drag it to your desktop. I’m still experimenting.

Why didn’t the Ramones have a horn section? OrAge is a degenerative disease

Old Baseball On The Grass
Click images for desktop size: “Old Baseball In The Grass” by Sandra Cunningham
I have a strange factoid: If USC were its own country (and there are plenty of people in LA, particularly on the West side, who already think we are) the Trojan athletes would have placed 13th in the medal standings at the Beijing Olympic Games and been tied for 8th in the Gold Medal standings.
I have no idea what that really signifies. It just seems cool. The past and present Trojans won 21 medals overall.
The Asphalt Jungle And I still wish USC was not ranked Number 1, at least not yet. I wanted Ohio State to come in with there uncompetitive schedule and be 7 point favorite. I want them at full strength so they couldn’t offer up any more of their lame excuses when we throttle them. I hope we do beat them. I sort of like this years Men of Troy.

My friend went back to work today. I miss her a bit. I was rotten company on her 6 day weekend. I just kept feeling sicker and sicker. Its not that bad. Its really how I feel “normally” about three quarters of the time. I just didn’t want to feel that way now.
We went and test drove cars today. She needs a new car. We can’t come close to affording one but it was fun driving new ones.
We looked primarily at Hyundai’s – The Tucson and the Santa Fe (plenty of room for dogs). And the Kia. I thought the Kia felt kind of tinny. The Nissan X-Trail was too big and kind of oppressive looking to me.
For the final dinner we grilled p two salmon steaks she marinated in some sort of glaze-y teriyaki sauce. We had them with wild rice. There was nothing to be cynical about while we ate.
Spiderman
Click images for desktop size: “Spiderman” by Marvel Comics
We watched the great dog movie, “Soldier In The Rain”. Its a cool movie that is inexplicably not available on DVD. I got a hold of a TV capture that was pretty low Q. The movie is so cool it doesn’t need a great copy to be wonderful.
Watched intermittently the documentary about Hunter Thompson “Gonzo”. Interesting stuff.
It made me sad that the country has ended up in exactly the state that a drunken, drugged out madman brilliant writer predicted. It was so easy to for see, and we let it happen anyway.
This Sarah Palin fiasco could not have been for seen. What a vile mess. And its been less than a week.
This woman wanted to BAN BOOKS!! She condemns to hell those who think differently than her. She abuses the power of her office for personal vindictive reasons and then because she wriggled through a legal loop hole she behaves like a career criminal Andy Warhol's Dracula and takes her “alleged” offenses even further. Actually, unless they were making good money most career criminals would have enough sense to walk away from a crime if they were lucky to walk away from it on a technicality. It takes a sociopath to continue on the same mad path, a sociopath with psychotic delusions of grandeur who would think that their wrong actions are excused by divine right.
McCain is an idiot but even he should know he needs to ask her to step down. The damage will clearly only increase.
Obama has behaved well throughout all this. He impressed me here. If only he believed in freedom and personal liberty I could vote for him. As it is I have to consider him as just the lesser of two evils.
I can’t believe that none of the third party candidates have stepped up and clearly made a stand about all this insane stupid folderol. That they haven’t makes them look even less attractive.
I might have to vote for Obama just to keep the country out of the mad man McCain’s hands. People elected Bush. There are enough cowards to elect McCain and his hate filled savage Alaskan.
This morning I woke up to discover my iMac was having a system crash.
A corrupt coreservicesd file someplace. I rebuilt the launch services and tried everything else I could think of. So far it seems to be holding.
Very fatiguing.
I would suspect the dogs of sabotaging the computer. They did get an extra long walk today while I let the system files install and update.
I realized that there sabotage would include more bite marks. So I have to blame the guys up in Cupertino . . .
Who is Apple supporting in the election? Why?