The Looking Mirror Avoided

“For example (and thanks to Doug Korty for this point), the total deficits of the federal government from 1950 to 2009 were $6.6 trillion. During those years, three Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush) accounted for the vast majority of those deficits. All the other presidents (Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton) combined accounted for a small fraction only. The three deficit-happy Republican presidents were the most conservative and subservient to major capitalists interests. They all increased spending (chiefly for military and counter-crisis purposes) while cutting taxes (especially for corporations and the richest individuals). Such policies forced huge federal deficits and rapid national debt hikes. The Obama administration ran very large deficits and boosted the national debt through stimulus outlays and costly wars without offsetting tax increases.”

-From the chapter Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections (2013), Richard Wolff’s book: “Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens”

Keep that in mind the next time you vote for someone on account of your taxes, your debts, Her emails, your general nonsense of living as an #americant soothed by pharmaceuticals and/or Disney and/or the lie of the mind that is your hope and desire of exceptional-ism. And now. Go buy something.

Rant on. And. Good luck suckers.

-T

That Moment You’re Out Of Battery. Oh. Great! I’ve Got Another One. Battery, That Is.

challenging tour with ebike.jpg

A pretty gruelling ride yesterday. It started with a train ride that took me and my electrified The Panzer to the badlands at the end of Wuppertal. (Btw, if you’ve never been to Wuppertal, you have to go. It’s worth it to go there and just take a ride on the Schwebebahn.) From there I planned to ride back the whole way to the Rhein and then D’dorf. I got started late after meeting with some folk and drinking a few. Since the sun is beyond it’s summer solstice, and it got away from me quicker than I expected, most of the ride was in the dark. And we’re not worst-riding (writing) about the dark on some paved roads. I was in the friggin woods most of the time. Thank goodness I’ve got some  pretty decent lighting on The Panzer. Btw, the panzer is a Riese&Müller Charger GX Touring (what a mouthful, eh). Now. The distance I travelled wasn’t the farthest I’ve been. It was only about sixty and half kilometres. The challenge last night was something else. Most of the first half of the ride required some pretty serious uphill trekking, including having to get off the bike and push it, albeit with electric motor assist. Seriously. There were these tree roots covering one pathway and I thought I’d have to put that damn bike on my back to get it up (and that’s what she said, eh). The darkness that quickly overcame me didn’t help matters. Anyhow. See elevation and speed profile of pic above. Moving my well endowed, well-over 200lbs a$$ up a hill–see 10km mark in pic above–pretty much wiped an entire bar from my battery. I even had to use the walk-assist of the motor to get up some of the hills. Keep in mind, five bars indicate a full juiced battery. By the time I hit 25km two bars were gone. On flat-land, I can average 15-20km (on tour-assist mode) per bar. And so. In the middle of some serious darkness on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere, and only one bar of battery left, I finally changed batteries at 45km. I was pretty tired at that point, too. I rode around 35-40km through dense woods and trails, up and down lots of steep hills–and it was f’n fun! But this middle-aged fellow was pooped at 30km. Would I do it again? Damn straight. But I’d prefer to do it when there’s… let there be light.

Rant and ride on.

-T

PS The speed profile is a bit whacky. I think the reason it has such a large blank space in it is because, while going down one hill, I exceeded normal bike speeds by whole bunch. Indeed. I clocked well over 60km/h on one down hill short trek. (Oh, it was light out, in Ronsdorf, when I did that.) Yea, baby.

The Ugly Truth From The Ugly Mouth That’s Never Been Washed #Soap

bar of soap - screenshot

“…the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” -Steven Bannon.

The thing about hate is how it can go so well so unseen. I experienced this growing up in the suburban hell of my beloved #americant. The other thing about hate is how it can have so many faces. Then there’s where it comes from. My, oh my. Tricky little devil, ain’t she. Then again, love isn’t as diverse as hate (can be)? Or is that just my POV on account I’m so skewed by love-hate? Wait. I’m not skewed. Am I? Love has just screwed me. And love, for Simplicity’s Sake–that old Bitch, has been commandeered by half the human population. Indeed. Love has been turned into a weapon. A weapon of mass… sc(r)ew you. But I’m waaaaaay of subject. And so. I digress.

The quote above is from the infamous Steve Bannon. For those who don’t know who he is, just remember this: if there is anything or anyone that better represents what #Trump really is and what Trumpism is about, it’s Steve Bannon. Ever since this guy first entered the political realm of free-to-be-stupid #americant, I’ve been looking through the mirror window of my past, of my home, of that place I love-hate–and miss dearly. But I’ve already said that. Again. Digress.

Bitter and forced to under-achieve, stupid white men rule this moment (of history). And not unlike facing a sell-out for the first time, I must ask this question: if something is sold-out, who’s buying (it)? And there you have it. The buyers of the hate and simplemindedness that must culminate in all these years of conservatism run amoke, i.e. republicans, can only culminate in the likes of Steve Bannon. If there is one thing I learned from the love-hate of getting divorced it’s this: there really is nothing like the sk(r)ewed mind of hate born out of love. For me that’s a hard pill to swallow–on account I saw all those Disney love stories she saw. Yet. I’ve always thought the opposite of hate is NOT love but instead: respect. Oh well. Let’s stay on worst-subject, shall we.

At some point in his life Steve Bannon must have known love. Yet. For me? The transition of love-hate began a long time ago–not unlke Bannon. Yet again. I cannot hate like Bannon or the Steve Bannons of this world. Why is that? At best I’m least half a stupid white man. Let’s attempt to worst-elaborate, shall we?

When I was in junior highschool I went off on a teacher and told her to go fuck herself with her mother’s dick. Within about an hour I faced the principle of the school in his office and he put a bar of soap in front of me and a bucket of water. He told me that if I didn’t wash my mouth out with that soap within the next two minutes he was was going to hit me so hard with a wooden paddle–that he proceeded to take out of his desk–and I noticed that it had large holes drilled in it for aerodynamic effect–that I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. I stared at him and wondered what he would look like with his mother’s dick in his ass. Then I bit off such a large chunk of that bar of soap and began swishing and chewing it around my mouth that the principle’s secretary, who was also in the room, started to gasp. When I was finished and suds were dripping down my chin, the principle told me to put my hands on the edge of his desk and lean in. I did. He then got behind me with his paddle and said: now you won’t be able to sit down for the rest of the day. He whaled on my ass. (Btw, that was the first of three times I was beaten–or as they liked to call it: disciplined–with a wooden paddle by school administrators and/or teacher while attending #americant public schools.)

The problem with the Bannon types that have emerged is not the arbitrary and often blatant hate that they espouse. It’s the fact that there are many out there who believe this hate is an anomaly. With that in mind, welcome to a world where so few really, really bad dudes (n)ever got their mouths washed out with soap.

Rant on.

-T

PS By-the-buy, the quote at top of this post is more than a strategy to defeat the rational mind. What it really is, what it represents, is the good in the very, very few that cannot find a way out because, well, our mouths have been washed too often out with soap. Fuck you.

Links that motivated this post:

Pseudo Review: RasPlex + Hifiberry And Some Serious Audio On The Cheap

 

rasplex hifiberry dacpluspro
That little green light is more than go-go, baby!

Can a non-audiophile still hear great audio? Can a music-lover of old music still get some jams through his/her head in these digital times without breaking the bank? Do those guys that spend all that money as “audiophiles” give you the creeps? Indeed. Money. Audio. How much you got?

Because I spend too much money on other expensive stuff, I’ve never really prioritised audio in my life–even though I love listening to music. I learned a long time ago that you don’t have to dish out huge sums of cash to hear good replicated music. That said, I can’t go more than a few days without listening to something that either soothes me, rocks me or moves me. A good drink and some Jazz while cooking is heaven. Am I wrong? And so. Unlike most young folk today, I can’t listen to music through headphones–whether in-ear or over-ear. If you see me out and about with Beckett, the killer pug, and I’ve always got earbuds stuck in my head–I’m listening to podcasts! The problem with headphones and earbuds is the feeling I get with so little space between my ears and what moves air. Headphones make music not only sound weird but feel weird, too. If that makes me old fashion, then get this. I have come to love today’s modern digital music consume-to-survive world. Even though I don’t buy much music anymore–and I can’t stand most all of the music made nowadays, I’m good. Reason? I have a digitised music library that contains everything I need. Whether it’s The Beatles (the greatest album ever is Abby Roads), Beethoven (9th!) or some esoteric Jazz, I’m good. Really good. Seriously. And that’s not all. For all practical purposes, dear worst-reader, I completely missed the CD revolution, too. I couldn’t afford the equipment back then. Since the 70s I have consumed music by borrowing, sharing or trading. In fact, till about fifteen years ago, I had never even owned a sound system with speakers. But I digress.

As digital music took over by the mid 90s–along with the Internetwebs–I was still catching up on the CD revolution. Of course, at least two-thirds of the CDs I have, were all acquired pre-owned or traded. Like in the days with cassettes and albums, digital music was made for sharing. For those who consider sharing piracy, first: fuck you. Second: I still have most of the CDs I ripped in a box in my basement. I never once downloaded anything from Napster–even though I admire greatly what they were trying to do. (Note: I will never buy anything Metallica for what that $hitty band did to young people who just wanted to share music.) I did make a few downloads from BitTorrent, though. (Note: it was all part of research!) Anyhoo. I have a nice digital library of music that spans most of the 20th century. Oh, and I have two version of that library. One version is in FLAC and the other, to appease me wife’s demand for media singularity and simplicity, is iTunes compatible.

Let’s move on to the pseudo-review, shall we?

As you’ll note in the pic above, I am currently using two streaming devices for our home media. For amplification (and in order to avoid those awful sound bars, which my wife wanted after I got rid of our AVR krapp) I’m using a TEAC A-HO1 integrated amp and DAC. Here’s a review of it. I got it last year after selling my hundred pound multi-channel AVR system, 7 speakers, and one 700 watt subwoofer. I’m not even gonna worst-write how little money I got for all that krapp–which says a lot about the state of the audio equipment industry. But get this. I would have almost given it away. If I ever have to wire up five, six or seven speakers again and then try to configure an AVR for a room… I’m gonna shoot myself with your gun.

Amp and sound.

The TEAC is connected to some really, really cool Audioengine P4 speakers (not pictured). We have a fairly small living room and I’ve never once regretted having these “bookshelf” speakers–which are actually in bookshelves that surround my flatscreen TV. They are fantastic speakers and I got them on a über-great-deal from shopping on the Interwebnets. They move the air more than enough to make sound very, very enjoyable.

Streaming boxes.

For iTunes we have the AppleTV(3) connected via HDMI to the TV. The optical-out of the TV is connected to the optical-in of the TEAC. This works fine–except for the fact that one is locked into the Apple world. Which also means no high-end audio and/or limited access to my own higher-end audio files. The ATV can’t play FLAC files.

Also connected to the TV via HDMI is my RaspberryPi 2 Model B+, and connected to that is a Hifiberry DAC+Pro. This is a bit more complicated than the ATV. The HDMI of the RaspberryPi also delivers audio to the TV, and, as with the ATV, the TV converts audio signals to the TEAC’s optical-in. Again, for simplicity, I have chosen not to use the ATV’s optical out–which does produce better audio than the TV. That said, we want something more than any of these optical options, don’t we?

Analogue Audio Galore.

The Hifiberry is where the real magic happens. For less than a hundred Euros–the software, RasPlex, is free btw–the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic DAC. It actually converts and, where applicable, upscales audio and then delivers that as analog right and left stereo to the TEAC’s analog-in cinch ports. The Hifiberry DAC+ and “pro” designation means that it has the same type of chips used in high-end DACs. You can opt for a non “pro” version of the Hifiberry if you prefer to save a buck or three. But I couldn’t resist the gold cinch connectors! Nomatter.

Btw, I’ve had the RaspberryPi+Hifiberry for two years or so. I gave up on it when I first got it because I couldn’t get the drivers to work properly. Even though the HDMI of the Raspberry Pi spits out audio, it’s not half as good as what this thing spits out with the Hifiberry card attached. And so. The other day, while bored out of my early-retirement mind and while fiddling through a junk box of old gadgets, I decided to google whether or not they finally fixed the driver issue. Alas! They did. I re-installed the newest version of RasPlex on a 16GB micros SD card. I also had to fiddle with the config.txt file a bit. Then you have to tell RasPlex, using the UI, to route audio through the Hifiberry daughter card… Boom, baby! That little green light (pic above) lights up bright and shinny.

First test.

From a ripped blu-ray of Guardians of the Galaxy, the Raspberry Pi + Hifiberry streams from my Plex server via LAN crystal clear 1080p video including up (or is it down?) scaled DTS 5.1 audio to stereo and the TEAC releases what will make even an ageing grouch like me smile from ear to ear. Also. I’m really glad those boys at RasPlex got their software to the point that even I can set it up. Cool. Über cool.

Rant on.

-T

 

Golden Rain Fun In Moscow

golden rain golden shower trump

As I’ve said here, #americant deserves #Trump. And. From the get-go, nomatter what believers (i.e. the fail upwards middle-classes) claim as they are chocking on that belief, there was no doubt in my mind that president über-stupid likes the peepee. Now. I suppose it’s debatable if he’s one of them perverts that likes to watch the/his women-folk pee or if he likes the other version–being peed on. But there’s no doubt that he likes the stuff–probably the yellower (or is it goldener) the better. And since the pee-dossier (see link below) has received some new life in the media, why not begin the arduous task of researching whether or not #Trump actually kissed his mother with that butthole of a mouth he sells (and #Americants have bought whole-heartily). No. Seriously. Dearest worst-reader! Get this. If/when #Trump gets impeached or quits, the idiot base that elected him will replace him. Indeed. The religious $hitbags will then have finally gained what they always wanted. Seriously. That’s it. There will be more wars of choice. Further looting of the treasury. And women will be required–according to the standards dictated by inept interpretation of a book written during the bronze-age–to bear the children of men… that like to be peed on.

Of course, the saddest thing about #Trumps despicable, obscene, abominable behaviour is that the really bad stuff in the pee-dossier will not only reveal some truths about the man but, perhaps, the whole of the united mistakes of #americant. Yea, baby.

Rant on. Suckers.

-T

Links that motivated this post: