Upgrade Hell

the big restore

Quick run down of yesterday’s Mac chaos. Although I’ve considered myself immune to it over the years, I fell for Apple’s distortion field–or as others might call it: upgrade hell. I don’t know what happened. I think it all started when I upgraded from Mavericks to Yosemite. It worked so well, so smooth, my digital (self) was flawless. Then, about ten days ago, I upgraded to El Capitan. The shit hit the fan. But first a bit of history. §My household server is a 2010 MacPro that I picked up awfully cheap at a German retailer about three years ago. Up to that point I was running a 2011 Mac Mini as our home server for files, backups and iTunes (aghast!) The Mac Mini isn’t the special server edition and before long it was tapped out, it couldn’t deliver to our duelling AppleTVs, our iPhones and iPads, or, every once-a-once, provide some basic desktop work. The question then was whether I go with a NAS or if there was something else. Maybe I should invest in a “server” Mac Mini? Or what about just building a freeNAS system? At the time I had an old quad-core AMD PC lying around. But I had some unfavourable experience with NAS before. I knew I wanted to avoid that route if at all possible. To me, NAS is but another complication in an already complicated environment. It’s not that NAS doesn’t work. It works great. But all those Synology’s, Qnaps, homemades, etc., they all mean nothing more than yet another GUI and more maintenance. Obviously I’m spoiled by the ease and grace of Mac. Plus I’m only a techi in my dreams. §Little side note. Network routers are also unnecessary complications in a complicated world. Apple is the first to figure that out with its Airport series of routers. But I digress. §Like I said, I happened across a 2010 MacPro (quad core version) that a retailer couldn’t sell. The retailer only sold cheap desktop devices and, because he wanted to show-off a bit, he ordered some Macs during a special re-opening promotion. A MacPro on a showroom floor of cheap to less cheap PCs is indeed appealing–but only to those who can appreciate it. After almost a year of it sitting in the middle of the showroom as a spectacle, I made him an offer on the dusty MacPro and he took it. I was out the door with a new home server. §A 2010 MacPro has four drive bays, multiple internal high-speed expansion slots, four firewire and six USB ports. Its CPU is server grade. It has two optical drive bays. From what I’ve learned about Macs over the years–especially the fact that they are inherently networkable–this would be THE solution for mega home networking–and if needed it would still have enough power to allow some serious desktop work. During the past two and half years I’ve upped our server capacity to 8TB. Remember, this machine has to serve (and store) twenty years of CDs, ten years of DVDs and, newly (or as others would say, finally), Blurays (which I stream with plex to big screens). Last spring I also installed a 500GB SSD via PCIe which means the MacPro is insanely fast. The server connects to everything through a 5th gen Airport extreme (top), a 2nd gen Airport express (middle) and I’ve still got a 1st gen Airport express running as well (ground floor). I am connected to a measly 16kbit DSL internet connection through 1&1 Germany. I have long-since disconnected my landline phone and the krappy router 1&1 issues. Instead I use the Airport Extreme to connect to the Internet via DSL modem which is set to “bridge” mode. If I need to make a landline call I use SIP software on my Mac to do so. Talk about cord cutting. My wife and I haven’t watched terrestrial or cable TV for years. As far as talking with friends, I use FaceTime or Skype. Also, between Plex, iTunes, a second optical BluRay drive that rips like a boss, a raspberry pi as a Plex media client… Need I go on? Ok. Enough tech porn. Back to upgrade hell. §Like I said, the other day I upgraded to El Capitan. The panic since then has been gradual–until yesterday morning. Even though the upgrade was working, the deal breakers were starting to appear. The most important deal breaker has to do with Disk Utilities and RAID. With El Capitan I could no longer access the RAID drives I had setup when I was running Mountain Lion because Apple removed it from Disk Utilities. COME ON APPLE! I’ve been itching to get rid of the RAID anyway–but now I couldn’t even do that. Note: I’ve since learned that I could configure the RAID drives using the CLI of Disk Utilities. No thank you! Moving on. §I know. I know. I should have checked with the readme files concerning El Capitan. But I didn’t, so there! My only excuse is the distortion field. My bad. §Disk Utilities wasn’t the only problem. Keep in mind, I’m a stickler with both how my system runs and how it looks. It not only has to function but it also has to be neat and clean. So get this. You know what else Apple changed in El Capitan? Since I’m running my OS on a PCIe daughter card, the new OS recognises it as an external drive. Ok. Ok. Actually, previous OS versions recognised it as external, too. What previous OSs didn’t do when I set my Finder preferences to hide HDDs on the desktop is show the SSD anyway. It used to recognise that the SSD was also the home of the OS, which means it recognised it as an HDD and hid it along with other drives when I set preferences to do so. In El Capitan you have to set Finder preferences that hide both HDDs AND external drives. This may sound neurotic but that kinda krapp makes my blood boil. COME ON APPLE! Ok. Moving on. §Two questions: 1) how do I get access to the RAID drives and 2) how do I get back to Yosemite? Then another question came up. Do I even want to go back to Yosemite? To me, all OSs between Lion and El Capitan suck. With that in mind, can you say Snow Leopard? I’m running Snow Leopard on my trusty 2010 MacBook Pro that also sporting a blazing fast SSD. Even though I’ve gone through the gauntlet of OS upgrades on my 2010MBP, most of which suck because of the battery, I’ve alway found myself returning to Snow Leopard. The fact is, I love simplicity, sleekness, minimalism. Which mean, I think I’m starting to hate The Cloud. IMHO, The Cloud is screwing up MacOS. Even though I love the idear of being able to type something on my iPad and then see it on my Mac, the way companies are implementing cloud services is not looking good . I have an iPhone, iPad, MacBookPro, MacPro. Notifications, which obviously relies on The Cloud, was driving me crazy. Not to mention that after I had them all updated, when I got a phone call, all four devices rang. Constantly something is beeping, poking, slipping onto my screen. COME ON APPLE! §Ok. I’d better get off that subject before my head explodes. §I got myself a cup of herbal tea in the late afternoon yesterday. It was good tea. Then I walked my dog. The whole time I was thinking: how can I best solve my problem. Then the solution hit me. I had enough space on one of the four internal HDDs to partition it and install Snow Leopard. Here I could possibly kill two birds with one stone. Not only would I be able to use the version of Disk Utilities I love but I could also test SL on the MacPro–it had Lion on it when I got it so I’d never used it on her. Within thirty minutes SL was installed. Yeah, baby! In a poof of happy smoke, a setting here, an OK there, my RAID problem was solved. Note: I was using Apple’s RAID1 settings to test data redundancy for my media library instead of backup. Even though it worked great, I’ve since concluded that it’s not a viable solution if I have to add new drives every six months. Reason: no hot-swapping and no RAID5. For that you ha
ve to buy an extra RAID card from Apple. But that’s OK, there are plenty of backup solutions and storage is cheap these days. In fact, I’ve just ordered a used 2nd gen Drobo with Firewire. §Ok. Problem solved. Almost. After about an hour of fiddling around with Snow Leopard, I realised that the other install of El Capitan wasn’t liking it. Restarts were getting confused. Optical drives weren’t opening. Trackpad settings were haywire. Etc., etc. Again, more panic. I decided that the most important problem (RAID) was solved. I also concluded that I’ll just go back to Yosemite and decide later what OS to use. So. For the first time in all my years of using Macs, I did a restore via TimeMachine. It worked great. Smiley faces, baby. And. Enough tech porn. Rant on. -tommi

Some Seeds For Your Billions

apple profits and nobody else does

It caught my eye earlier today while reading through my feeds using the Flipboard app on my iPad. For posterity’s sake, I’ve documented the experience in the pic above. On the left is the initial link with the short summary of a BBC news article about Apple’s third quarter profits. On the right is the article as it appears after one clicks on the link. Now. Notice the picture on the left. Obviously there’s a glitch in the Flipboard app. And that’s all fine and good. But sometimes, just sometimes, even glitches can tell us a lot. In this case, even though I’ve not been able to identify what news article the pic on the left belongs to, it obviously depicts a man, most likely a farmer, holding up either two seeds or two kernels from whatever he farms. (I know. I know. It could also be crack cocaine or meth nuts. But let’s leave this worst-post to the better doings of shady characters, shall we.) I found the glitch quite amusing as I both laughed at Apple’s outrageous profits, a large portion of which sits in off-shore banks in order to protect it from taxation, and cried at the reality of what companies like Apple leave in their successful wake. Yeah. This is how we roll. A company makes more money than God and somewhere a farmer is worried if he’ll be able to water his crops in order to assist in the meek inheriting the earth. Or maybe not. Rant on. -tommi

Law Suits The New Unions?

consume hell
Some one has to work this. How ’bout you.

I covered some of this already in this post. But the links just keep coming. So let me remind you, dear worst-reader, a bit of what I wrote about before. One of the last corporate job interviews of my life was with Amazon in Germany. Talk about going out with a bang. It was the worst, most insulting job interview I ever had. And let me tell you, I’ve had quite a few job interviews in my day. I mean, being labeled a job-jumper is no small achievement. Anywho. I almost punched one of the Amazon managers that interviewed me. Luckily it didn’t come to that. But I did make sure that he knew a few Americanism before we went our separate ways. Which brings me to the fact, as an Amazon user, I could care less what the company does with its minions—all of whom deserve what they get for working for such a shit-can company. Btw. Is that a contradiction? You know, that I use the company but also hate the people that work for it? I don’t care. I hate Walmart just as well but sometimes, just sometimes, there is no getting around going in that redneck shit-hole to buy some (soy)milk or a friggin’ tooth brush or flowers that my mom wants to pot. The reality is, after all these years (30+) of #americant electing assholes to run the show, Walmart and Amazon represent the dream we’ve turned into a nightmare. Does saying that make me one of the bad guys? Bad because it’s true or bad because it’s not what worst-readers want to hear? Does it make the minions that work for these hell-businesses bad guys, too? Obviously the answer to both questions is easy. Who can blame minions? Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. Or? Which brings me to the days worst-news (see link below). Not only is it ironic that we, as consumers, can’t get around the realities of what is required of us, but it’s also ironic how workers try to organize through lawsuits that are somehow supposed to give them rights that the system they participate in, vote for, live for, took away because of pure, unadulterated ineptitude. In fact, companies like Amazon (and Walmart) are founded on the principle that workers are a commodity. You are not an employee–you are the product. Obviously workers (minions) don’t understand what that means. And so. As the future rolls over (on top of us) we enter into the new-old world order of startup companies like Uber and TaskRabbit. I mean. Seriously. Think of the minds that come up with this stuff. But that’s not even the worst of it. These startups are part of the final phase of a neoliberal economy that has nothing left to sustain it. In other words, these startups exist in a world of total and complete workforce marginalization. Which brings about even more irony. For example. The taxi business that we all know so well deserves Uber. The embedded, archaic business model of taxi services completely avoided technology—how it got away with that for so long is a mystery to me. It is only natural that Uber is a secretion of a/our rotting barrel and that it should try, somehow, to take a stand against something that 1) might have been broken but 2) could have revolutionized from within. Or? Ok. Maybe not. Actually it doesn’t matter what became of the taxi business that gave the world Checker cars and, somehow, must be replaced with Uber. The point is, the system is so screwed right now, it doesn’t matter if you come up with a new fangled idear to make a billion. There is simply nothing left in this system to take advantage of anymore. Except all of the minions who have lived their lives unable to recognize the margins. Indeed. But at least the names these entrepreneurs (boy do I hate that word) come up with are kinda cute. TaskRabbit just rolls off the tongue. And with all that in worst-mind, the only thing I think about when it comes to a future of a commoditized, marginalized workforce, driven by technology business models devoid of human effort, is children. Say what you will about the environment we’re leaving them behind or the debts they will have to pay. The real tragedy waiting in the wings is a future of not fate and now work. But what am I worst-saying here. Go on. Have yourself a cookie and maybe a glass of warm milk. While you enjoy it, close your eyes and think of those unicorns. When you open your eyes again all will be right as rain. Joyous rain. Or. Better still. Maybe Bernie Sanders can save the #americant–from itself. Yeah. Right. Rant on. -tommi

A group of drivers for the new Amazon Prime Now delivery service filed suit against the company Tuesday, alleging they were denied overtime pay, workers’ compensation and mileage reimbursements.

Source: Amazon delivery drivers sue, alleging pay violations – LA Times

It's Like The Moon Disappearing. If The Middle Class Joins It, Will You Miss It?

Not sure why I care about this. But I do. Having said that… Having grown up in the suburban hell of lower middle class #americant and now hearing academics describe (that) hell’s demise, I sit back with a dopey grin on my face and sing the lost torrent song that was once an anthem, an anthem beloved by druids, goths and subjects of Beowulf. The anthem is called Hell Yeah Bitch! I mean. Seriously. What’s with the golden pedestal a certain part of society has to be put on? Is this the only way to implement a particular political mandate in a failed democracy? It’s all (supposed to be) about the middle class? Wow. That’s pretty heavy stuff, dude. So heavy, in fact, I think I need to kneed it a bit in my brain. So. Let’s say it again and at the same time tap our ruby red slippers. The middle class. The middle class. The middle class. (Full stop.) What does it all mean, Johnny Cum Lately? Well. I’ll tell you what it means. It means nothingness. It means mean. It means uselessness. It means stupefied procreation that satisfies the needs of rotten wombs and severed manliness. It means… It means come on. Come on. Come on and ask the question. What the f’ has the middle class actually done? I’ll tell you what’s it done. It’s given the world the most vile, corrupt, greedy group of humans this planet has ever seen. The middle class is nothing more than the perpetrator of the lie of the mind that is The Dream. The grand American dream. The dream of what? Star spangled banners? Bombs bursting in air? Did it give truth through the night, you cock sucker, that your flags were still covering your naked ass as you ran away from your university brothel and pharmaceutical day job? Or should I just say that the f’n middle class gave the world consumerism? Yeah, that’s the ticket Johnny Cum Lately. Consume. That’s the middle class. In all its glory and essence. Which means, in turn, if the middle class goes away what difference will it make? Oh yeah. The middle class will do to itself what it’s also done to all the others that it walked over in order to think it was part of being, in its own way, rich. Indeed. The middle class will make a choice between working for what it created or starving. That’s exactly what it deserves. It is the middle class of the world’s greatest lie that deserves, more than anyone else on this planet, exactly what its getting. Now go vote for some dipshit who will make you feel better while you consume your coffee or hamburger or equity financed yacht with a credit card you’ll never pay off. Rant on. -tommi

You know, America was the first middle-class society. We’re about to become the first society that ceases to be a middle-class society. -Stiglitz

Source: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy” (Part 2) | Democracy Now!

Tech Doesn't Progress Because

apple watch v colour classic on the internet
Seriously. This is not progress. Or? Tommi trying the failed future (left) and having lived through a past that failed, too. Fail upward is the name of the game, baby.

Great article below. Love it when tech writers nail it. Also love it when they don’t. That said, it’s good thing I’m not a tech writer. Or does the tech world need worst-writer? Nomatter. Here’s the one thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not business can progress. It can’t. If it progressed then it wouldn’t be business. I mean, that’s how the world works. Right? Oh. Maybe it works differently if you’re in Silicon Valley. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Anywho. §The article I’m commenting on (see link below) addresses three things that supposedly halted progress in the tech world. And don’t you know–I disagree with them all. First. The iPhone had nothing to do with either email volume or mechanical keyboards. The keyboard of the Blackberry was gonna die with or without its virtual counterpart. Reason? Blackberry sucked. That’s why it’s where it is today. Blackberry was never going to traverse the chasm between being a tool, as in hammer & nail, pencil & paper, and being a lifestyle device that people are willing to subject their lives to. Also, the closed eco-system of the Blackberry only proves how dangerous such systems are. Closed eco-systems prove inherently that there is no change in technology (just as there is no change in business). I for one am so fed up with Apple’s mega-closed eco-system that I’ve resorted to going backwards with things like operating systems in my Apple household. Don’t get me started on the stupidity of cloud computing. The cloud, like closed eco-systems, is not progress. Things closed never progress. Yeah. Closed systems suck and that’s why Blackberry is where it deserves to be. Second. Gmail is supposed to have changed something in the email world? Are you sure ’bout that? The problem with email is that people still don’t know how to use it and most of the time it’s not even worth using. The idear that so many online companies require email addresses as a means to register something is stupid. Who came up with that! On a little side note. I actually spent a week sitting on a rock in the Alps where I tried to find both karma and inspiration that would allow me to re-invent email. That’s what email needs. (And. No. The rock sitting brought me nothing.) No email client is gonna change anything for better or worse–on or off-line. Third. Expansion slots? Really? You (author of article) believe that expansion slots have driven the popularity of Macbook Airs? Ok. Sure. Why not. But how ’bout this? People don’t care and have never cared about expansion slots. You know why? People are so sick of companies forcing them to have twenty different cables that they would gladly give up expansion slots. Also. And probably more important than cables and expansion slots, the Microsoft/Intel cabal has been the enemy since it humbled the assholes that gave us overpriced and underpowered Macintosh computers back in the 1980s–that also didn’t have very many expansion slots. Of course, it says everything about the issue of progress when, right now, you can still buy a laptop with a VGA connector. Ha. Ha. Ha. How can you even mention a device like the MacBook Air and not mention Netbooks? The MacBook Air was the answer to a world of really, really shitty sub-par laptops called Netbooks. It had nothing to do with expansion slots. And. Once technology scaled the walls of lifestyle it was only a matter of time before the software/hardware cabal that has been choking us gets its due. Which means, you can call it Windows 10 now? But the reality is, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s still Windows 95. It’s just shinier and more colorful! And so. Nothing but a few minor things have actually changed in the tech world–none of which are mentioned in the article. The reason? These changes did NOT come from big tech companies–including Apple. Indeed. With that in mind. Here’s an example of progress. Once I returned to Apple in late 2011–after ten years of corporate wintel machines–the thing that really shook me was being able to buy apps. As far as I was concerned bloated, behemoth software was dead. I mean, why pay for Office? I love the idear of paying a few bucks here or few bucks there for software that I can pick and choose. Now that’s a change–albeit a minor one. Still. It’s a good feeling to know that the gods of the bloated have kinda gotten theirs. My only question regarding tech progress is, when will Apple screw the pooch? Oh wait. With the AppleWatch I can see it coming already. Cause I’ve been there. (See pic above.) And so. What the author (of the article) fails to recognize is that same-old, same-old is pretty much what rules the tech world forever and ever. There is no progress–just old things that have been made shinier. Just like life. Or maybe not. Rant on. -tommi

Link that motivated this post:

The technology world talks incessantly about progress, but even with some of the best products we sacrifice great features in the name of progress. Here’s why, and some big examples.

Source: Tech’s dirtiest little secret: Sometimes we agree to go backward | ZDNet

How It Should Be Done – Visa Applications India

india visa.png

Say what you will about the trials and tribulations of the tech world. Robots steel jobs. Printers get rid of all them pretty secretaries. Email and digital documents save trees. My only worst-question is this: what was it like when humanity moved from horse & buggy to the automobile? I mean, come on. It’s not as though I really give two shakes and a hoot about the inner workings of society, humanity, or the friggin trees. Indeed, I do not, dear worst-reader. Or? All kidding’ aside. Maybe I should ask those meaning of life questions another way. How’s this? Do I really give a hoot what happens? In fact, f’ all this krapp. The only thing I ask for is that it f’n work, that it function, that it makes sure I don’t have to deal with some dimwit bureaucrat that sits at his/her desk the same way he/she sleeps at night. The tech-world has done more than provide us gadgets and online porn. Walk down the street and observe the hunched backs, the strained necks, the itchy fingers on scratchy little screens. Observe away. I could careless if everybody on this frickin’ planet ends up a junky-slave to technology. The only thing I really want is for it to just work. And since I gotta skedaddle next week to India, a place that requires them silly little visas to get in, I’m sure glad they’ve taken advantage of modern technology. I mean. Seriously. I have to get a visa every time I go scuba diving in Egypt. And since I travel there from Germania–and Europeans don’t have to get visas–I’m stuck in that long line at the other end of the gangway waiting to get my stamp and pay my fees. Which brings me to the following request–since I have to go scuba diving in Egypt in a few weeks. Come on Egypt, check out how India does it. I’m gonna go slum scuba diving in the gutters of Bangalore next week and I can get my visa to do so through some silly little webpage. Yeah, that’s how it’s done. Tech rules, baby. Rant on. -tommi

Source: Indian Visa Application

Forget Sheople. You're Really Cattle.

airplane seats
Obviously asking for cramped space like this is asking for too much.

It’s that time of year again, dear worst-reader. Travel time. Destination: India. Egypt. Ocean City, MD. All before xmas. Which reminds me of that movie Network when the guy says “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”? Boy was he wrong! No one is mad and everyone is gonna take it. Reason? There is nothing we can do. Well, there was something we could have done but since that boat has already sailed, this is where we’re at. I’m referring, of course, to the ramifications of thirty-plus years of heeding the call of political conservatism. Inaction, btw, is also heeding the call. I know. I know. I rant and rave about this krapp way too much. But seriously. You wanna know what ails everything? Political conservatism is what ails everything. It is that simple. I’m not talkin’ right or left or republican or democrat. I’m talking about the fact that we missed the chance to allow some hippies to run the frickin’ show. And not only that, but through the lightening bolt of Zeus, or something similar, some of those really cool hippies were turned into conservatives. (Can you say Steve Jobs?) Nomatter. At the least, political conservatism has made things very, very complex. With that in mind, how do we know that conservatism is the real problem? Again. It’s simple. Just look at how corporate #americant operates. How it’s managed? Who manages (and works for) it? How has it become part of the political process? Etc. All one has to do is look at the recent diesel emissions BS. Then there’s the too big to fail banking industry. And let’s not forget the airline industry. What a crock of krapp these “managers” are, eh! I mean, if anything represents the ills (and ails) of political conservatism and it’s negative after-effects on society, then it has to be the airline industry. What have they been doing over the years–other than consolidating into a monopoly? Cheaper fairs? Not really. Pay extra for luggage? But of course. Oh, you have to pay extra for peanuts, too. You want pepper in that tomato juice you just paid five dollars for? Those little pepper condiment bags are gonna cost someday, too.

 

standing seats

Now that they are making profits like never before, gotten rid of most of their rivals, what do they come up with? But of course. New & improved seating arrangements. (Sarcasm off.) The joke (for moi) is that I did some consulting work for Lufthansa once where I got the opportunity to attend a trade fair. I think it was in Frankfurt in ’97. At that fair an airline seat maker was showing off a new invention and, of course, an improved profit-maker for configuring economy class seating on an airliner. And what did they come up with? That’s right. It’s easy. You just turn sheep into cattle. Of course, that was a long time ago. I can even remember the remarks of some of the corporates around me. They were joking that upright, stand-up, vertical seating would never work on airlines because people can’t puke standing up. It will also cause dizziness and undo stress on passengers. But then there was that one corporatists who always cuts to the chase. But it will be profitable, he said. Yeah. That it will be.

Good luck suckers. Consume to survive. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Jimmy Carter: A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis – The New York Times

While worstwriter tries to figure out the meaning of birds tangled up in whatnot, our 39th president has a few things to say. Even though I’m not quite sure what he’s saying, it’s pretty amazing that he’s still on top of things. Go Jimmy! Rant on. -t

“Bashar and his father, Hafez, had a policy of not speaking to anyone at the American Embassy during those periods of estrangement, but they would talk to me. I noticed that Bashar never referred to a subordinate for advice or information. His most persistent characteristic was stubbornness; it was almost psychologically impossible for him to change his mind — and certainly not when under pressure.” -Jimmy Carter

Source: Jimmy Carter: A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis – The New York Times

What Things Are Really About

Failure. That’s what things are really about. Or maybe not. §Gotta throw this out there in the digital ether. Something strange happened the other day. It hit me hard, dear worst-reader. Yeah. Something strange and hard hit me the other day while I was watching TWIT #532. I mean, I listen to podcasts daily. Most of the podcasts I listen to are audio but some are video. I listen/watch video podcasts more if they were available. Leo Laporte is the video podcaster I listen to the most because, well, he’s the one that offers the most. At least he offers the most when it comes to technology. He offers stuff about tech security, tech legal issues, tech what-to-buy, tech Apple, tech Google, so on and so forth. But I have to admit. I wish Laporte would take his wondrous podcasting resource and offer up a daily news show. A show not about tech. Something about national politics, world news, etc. I mean, why not? Even though there’s plenty of news stuff out there in audio podcasting, there really is very little offered in video podcasting. Btw, I used to watch Rachel Maddow’s iTunes show but her overlords stopped publishing it. Gee, I wonder why. I mean. Obviously it’s beyond MSNBC’s means to simply publish the show via RSS or iTunes? Oh wait. The great minds running MSNBC actually think if they publish the show as a video podcast they are then missing out on some relevant revenue streams. Right? ($$$) I mean. Seriously? (Sarcasm off.) §Which brings me full circle to the thing that hit me real hard the other day. Like I said, I was watching TWIT #532 while doing my morning chores–which mostly consists of cleaning up the mess in the kitchen from the night before–when at about two hours into the video (it was a big mess the night before) Leo & Co. started to veer north, south, east, i.e. beyond technology. In fact, they got down-right political. The issue? Corporatism. And what corporatism is really about. Here’s how it breaks down. Some trophy executive, who supposedly quit her elite schooling to get right into the arena of whose gonna be the next Steve Jobs, screwed up royally. She didn’t really screw up any different than most #americant corporate execs, yet there is something that makes her screw up stand out. For example. Did you know that the blood diagnostic industry in the U.S. has a value of $75 billion? Well. This corporate-college-dropout figured that out all by herself. And do you know what she came up with? That’s right. She came up with a new way to measure the ingredients of blood. Indeed. No more big-gulp size syringes getting filled with whatever’s in my arm. No. This chick has invented a way to take a pin prick full of blood and without having to send it off to a lab she can run it through some wonder machine and in almost an instant the world of blood diagnostics is changed. It’s changed to the tune of redistributing $75 billion, baby. Wow. §Except there’s one problem with this new invention that is supposed to change old paradigms. Would you believe that all of the investors who invested serious money in this “start-up” were clueless to the charade? Can you say due-diligence? I guess it also never occurred to anyone involved in the charade that the company had no credentials in medicine. Indeed. Which brings me ’round to worst-writer reality. Higher education, corporate elites, all of them, are useless these days. And they know it. That’s why they get by with lying, cheating, hoaxing, snake oil. Just like Steve Jobs. Right? Or? Wait. Maybe it’s not Jobs we should be looking at here for inspiration. Maybe we should be looking at VW, Lehman Brothers, GM, WorldCom, Enron, #americant, etc. Speaking of corporates cheating and lying. Interested in knowing how this new blood diagnostic company lied about blood test results in order to get preliminary approval for further testing? Get this. They actually did all blood testing on regular (old) testing equipment and not their own newly developed equipment. That way they could make sure they met government standards. Any of this sound familiar? Indeed it does.

Rant on. -Tommi

Links that helped with this post:

A comprehensive guide to Theranos’s troubles and what it means for you – The Washington Post

This Week In Tech #532 | twit.tv

Blood test startup faces scrutiny |Tech Times

Oh No. #Yahoo Sucks.

yahoo-edFirst. Full disclosure. I really dig Yahoo. And I don’t mean no disrespect with this worst-post. With that in mind. I’ve been using Yahoo email ever since I lost my password for CompuServe back in the early 1990s. Which brings me to the following question: how can something that was once so good get so screwed up? For years now I’ve been turned off by Yahoo. What in the world are they up to? I suppose out of nostalgia I’ve stuck with them all these years. Either that or I’m too lazy to change all those accounts I have using a yahoo email address. Nomatter. I’m afraid to admit it but Yahoo has really gone off the edge. Or is it me? Would you believe that I can only access my mail through a web browser these days? In fact, ever since OSX Yosemite I’m unable to access email through Apple’s mail client. The same goes for the iOS mail app. Wait. Hold a sec. Actually that’s not 100% true. I can access email as long as I regenerate a new password though some obnoxious two-tier password generator every other frickin’ day. Of course, to do that, I have to regenerate a password every other frickin’ day on every other frickin’ device–which really sucks because I love the idear of having a single app across all my devices. Come on Yahoo, are you serious? And get this. The other day, for shits & giggles, and because I was fed up with having to regenerate yet another frickin’ password so that my iPad could access my email, I decided to try the Yahoo Mail app. And what is the first thing that stands out when using that app? Frickin’ ads! You’ve got to be kidding me. Wow. Which brings me to the following worst-conclusion as to why Yahoo mail doesn’t play nice anymore. It’s because mail clients prevent yahoo from showing ads. If this is all silicon valley can come up these days, we’re in trouble. But then again, I’ve already started the process of hosting my own email server. Getting it running is another story. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivate this post:

Don't Even Think About It

adblue diesel still not clean

audi a5 front
She does have a nice grin, don’t she.

Well, dear worst-reader, so much for jokesters and hamsters. As I tried to say here, it would be fun if car makers–especially those who lie to us about emissions–had a sense of humour. But then again, how can one have a sense of humour when you know that society can do nothing to you for your crimes? Or maybe that’s a reason to have a sense of humour? Nomatter. This worst-post is just a follow-up to my post about VW, the lie of emissions and what probably should be my last diesel powered car. And as I also worst-said, I ordered what should be my last diesel last spring, even though I was stunted by the fact that during the car shopping faze, I could have chosen a gasoline (otto motor) powered car. In my confusion I was kinda happy to go ‘head and take one last diesel. Remember, nature is my servant, and there is something über about a 3.0ltr, six cylinder, 240hp, 460 torque motor in a car built on an aluminium chassis with full-time all-wheel drive (quattro). With that in mind, and after driving around in my new Audi, it was time for her first fill-up. And what do I see when I open that little hatch. That’s right, another frickin’ hatch. As you can see in the pic above, I have celebrated too soon regarding my lust for turning nature into my bitch. This new Audi is indeed not the nature trashing beast that my previous Audi was. Yeah, baby. My last Audi (AllRoad)–one of Audi’s worst cars, btw–had only one orifice for filling it’s diesel lust. That single orifice is the reason that VW will pay so few taxes in the coming years. What? What does lying about emissions and orifices have to do with taxes? Well, I’m glad you asked. Recalling cars has become part of the gluttonous way multi-nationals have to run their businesses. Ralf Nader refers to it as recycled tax money. For you see, all these multi-nationals have to do is claim to pay fines and fees whereby they simply make a few changes on their income statements that reflect less revenues and hence fewer profits for whatever given year. Since taxes are rendered based on revenues and profits, they pay less tax. (Short pause. Breath.) I know. I know. I’m trivialising something that is much more complex. But that’s the thing about being worst-writer. I not only can dish out the bullshit but I can cut through it just the same. Oh well. I’m off subject, as usual. Check out the pic above, dear worst-reader. It’s my first tank fill on my new Audi A5. And what do I find? That’s right. There it is. There’s the other orifice that VW hopes to retrofit all of those diesel powered cars that it illegally sold by lying to customers about emissions. All new VW (and Audi) diesels have this extra orifice. They are conveniently labeled “AdBlue”. In this orifice goes a special chemical, about eight gallons of it. Gee, I wonder what PR/Advert company earned millions on figuring out that spiffy name? The technical acronym for this stuff is DEF, which stands for diesel exhaust fluid. But the real world term for it is piss. That’s right dear worst-reader. The main chemical in DEF, which is mixed with diesel exhaust prior to entering the catalytic converter, is urea. The main substance in urea is nitrogen and all mammals produce it in their urine. Urea reduces the emission of nitrogen dioxide in diesel exhaust–which is pretty hazardous stuff. Are we thankful for what these engineers can come up with in our time of need? Do/Can we appreciate their concern about our health and welfare? I mean. Why the hell couldn’t they just make it so that we could piss in our cars? I mean. Seriously. Does profit have to be made on everything? I mean. That’s what having another orifice where something manufactured has to go into is all about. Or? I guess the powers-that-be are so angry that they can’t charge humanity for breathing air means that they then feel no remorse when resorting to the most silly forms of profiteering that coincides with lying about emissions. Indeed. But before you whip out your slick-willy and take gentle aim at that little orifice, heed this: human urine only has between 2-4% urea. DEF has something like 30%. Wow. We pissers can’t get a break. Rant on. -tommi

The Working Poor Shall Inherit The Earth

labor force absentee list

Get a load of some of these stats, dear worst-reader. There are times when even I, the grand stat-viewer, milk some tears when I read such things. And as we know, my tears are not like those of mermaids. Indeed. There will be no cure for these ails. So let’s just run down to reality lane and give it all a once-over, shall we? First, get a look at those stats from The Social Security Agency. You know, it always bothered my when repub nutbags harped on social security. Even though the system is self-financing, that is, no tax dollars have to go into social security, republicans want to privatise is. Why? Well, the answer is clear. The ideology of political conservatism is also clear. Greed doesn’t like change nor does it like money flowing without it (conservatives) being the delegator(s). Also, greed works best when it can exploit whatever through whatever means. With that in mind, social security is both a grand target and, under the right conditions, no different than a deer being blinded by headlights. You can be assured, dear worst-reader, and you may count your blessings, that the greed mongers haven’t gotten their fingers into social security like they’ve gotten those same fingers into other easily exploitable (political) endeavours. But I digress.  §Have a look at the article “Goodby Middle Class.” If that doesn’t scare the poopy out of you then nothing will. Of course, I saw all this coming in the 1980s in my beloved #americant. The way Americans have lapped it up, this lie of the mind, this consume-to-survive gluttony, this inherit from parents is the only way, etc., is, after jumping that sinking ship so many years ago, nothing new to me. Watching this level of cultural and societal degradation hasn’t been easy, though. But what can one expat do? I know. Blog. Vote. Toke. Whatever. §And last but not least. Check out the article that was written based on the “Strange .txt link” below from the site The Economic Collapse. With that in mind, always remember, the science of statistics was created because lying is always better than telling truth. So. Next time you hear Barry-O talk about five or six percent unemployment, do more than just snicker and giggle. The best thing to do is stick your head in your ass where it belongs because you are in your armageddon as the working poor shall NOT inherit the earth. Ha. Ha. Ha. Good luck suckers. Rant on.

Links that motivated this post:

What Lies Under Your Doms

 

cologne dom

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” (-not sure but I think this is from Goethe)

What will they say in the comings days, dear worst-reader? Not sure. Or am I sure? As usual, there will be comparisons to various acts of violence elsewhere in this confused world. With that thought in mind: I suppose it’s a good thing that Germanians (Europeans!) can’t get guns as easily as Americans. Hopefully the shunning and the misgivings regarding this (most) recent example of amok-society won’t be lost in translation. Indeed. The confusion of pseudo luxury that is the land of Oktoberfest, Autobahns and Milky Weiber won’t cease anytime soon. Yet. All worstwriter knows is this: I drive my bike through the part of Cologne this under achieving attacker is from; I drink the same Kölsch they all drink; I get that dizzying feeling that everyone gets when standing within viewing distance… of that Dom. Heck, I was even considering voting in this local election. (For, yes, it is one of the very few privileges this non-citizen expat has–to be able to vote in local elections–or to collect Hartz IV.) Yet this act will do nothing more than fan the flames of all the confusion that is so cleverly avoided in Germania. Yes. Cleverly and collectively avoided. The happy, optimistic flames of confusion help the balloon of nevermore rise above middle and north Europe’s reality. All is well in the land of the golden stars in the foreground of forgotten blue. All is well at your upcoming Weinachtsmarkt. Germania is a confusing place–that burns and burns underneath her Doms where marshmellow days fold into Mehrkornbrötchen. Inhabitants linger around the good life of the collective as all are health insured, some get to lease a new “clean” diesel every few years, some get to plan those mandatory government sanctioned vacations, and most just linger in the reality of austerity and Hartz IV that is oh so compelling. This is a place where function melts into the massive bureaucratic dysfunction of great cars and hugo-boss. And everybody is as happy as peaches just before they fall from the tree. If it weren’t for those knives being wielded around certain social and political statements nothing could go wrong. So which is it? The statements or the knives that get your attention? He said he did it for us. He did it because we weren’t able to stop him. He did it out of pure confusion conjoined with mass hysteria hidden behind the skin-walls of someone’s Prussian namesake. His confusion and his statement are beyond conjoined, though. Have they merged? Just up the street from where I live is a migrant facility. It’s clean and orderly. It’s nothing more than turquoise painted, reupholstered shipping containers on the grounds of an abandoned school. (An abandoned school in Germany?! Seriously!) The facility is fenced in and guarded. It’s also surrounded by trees, shrubbery and a village. Before the migrants came, as they were building the facility, German flags hung from village houses. Since the facility took on its inhabitants, the national flags have all disappeared. Where did they go? Who told the collective to remove them? Oh my. These facilities are not few and far between in this Germania’s fourth largest city. The people that live here are confused enough as their lives are overwhelmed with this world’s economy. And now you (yes, you!) bring all these refugees in disguised as migrants because, politically, migrant is a less dangerous and costly word? Wow. One can only wonder at the decision making process here. Perhaps not unlike the decision making process of lying about emissions in order to keep 600k people (among the millions and millions around the country that are un and under employed) working at VW? And so. This is a place where a leader, reared by the likes of Margot Honecker, makes decisions about accepting the ramifications of the lie of productive luxury–as a psychotic painter can’t find work. Yeah. We see it in how the Dom’s people react to the Greece buy-out and we also see it in how VW managers sell it. But the worst sight is how Germania sees the comings and goings of Syria thereby forgetting its own downtrodden. Talk about confusion. How well has Margot… I mean… How well has Merkel handled all this? How well has she done? Indeed. Someone stabbed her party yesterday–and the balloon lie of “social-market-economics” flies on and on. Which can only mean: prepare yourself Germania. Or get rid of all your knives that could bring down your balloon(s). Butter knives are OK, 40cm Rambo knives are not. Wow. Merkel has convinced most of the world that Germania is more than just a player in the realm of cheap labour, cheap production and even cheaper software controlled diesel emissions. This is a place that will bow before the fight that is mass confusion–and during that fight the few and far between will be hiding in the wings of aristocrats and plagiarised PhDs and Margot. Yeah, baby. Alles (wird doch nicht so) gut(e)! Oder? Rant on. -tommi

Source: German Mayoral Candidate Stabbed In Anti-Refugee Attack

The Cherry Bat v. Coincidence v. Coordination

coincidence dictates
Just kidding!

Is it me, dear worst-reader? Am I the only one to worst-write about conspiracies? Wait. It’s important to note here–for the sake of posterity–that I don’t worst-write about conspiracy theories. Reason? There’s a difference, you know, between conspiracy and conspiracy theory. Just as there’s a difference between coincidence and central planning–as in central planning of a Big Brother state. But I’m wheezing around the subject-tree. Nomatter. Let me just put it out there this morn. After spending the last two days in awe of news galore, last night something hit me. It didn’t hit me like a baseball bat on the back of the head, which is normally what causes the bleeding. No. It hit me like a cherry bat that lingered around my silent room, the shine of my computer screens causing it to swirl and twist around my head until it finally found the time and effort to give me one good slap. Its wing claws dug into my scalp and I could feel it inserting its needle teeth only to be repelled by the thick skull bone protecting my brain. They say the blood around the brain is the best. But bats rarely get to that. At least they don’t get to it among the living. Still. Its incision was deep enough and the blood began to ooze and I could hear its tiny little tongue lapping up my skull blood. It was obvious that it didn’t taste as good as brain blood. But I digress. Here’s the thing. The whole time while I was reading and convincing myself not to itch that thing stuck in my head, something (else) was bothering me. It was something that didn’t fit in the landscape of what I was reading and/or trying to wrap my head around. Luckily. Eventually. The adorable little bat was full. So I went to bed. And then I woke around 5am. And I realised: The Intercept has nailed it. Or have they? Just get a load of the fancy website featuring their latest “journalism” coup d’état (see link below). And wouldn’t you know it! This latest phenomenon in the world of informing a dumb-downed public is due to another… Get this. Wait for it. Yes. It’s due to yet another whistleblower. Indeed. The world needs another whistleblower. The world needs it right at the moment when we thought we didn’t need another. Wow, eh. But all kidding aside. There is one thing that really gets under my skin here–other than that damn cute bat. Indeed. And it goes like this: is it coincidence or is it coordinated that The Intercept releases its newest journalistic find via (insert # here) whistleblower just as Barry O announces the US is staying in Afghanistan? Or maybe not. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivated this post:

 

Gratis = Free Bier

free beer
Sorry for the poor photo skills. Let’s blame it on my ageing smartphone.

People ask me all the time. Why Germany? Well, the answer has remained the same for the past quarter century: girls and beer. I know. It sounds kinda lame, especially when one considers my age and desk ridden stamina. I suppose the answer should be: beer. Notwithstanding my waistline. After hearing how long I’ve been living in Germania a few other questions arise. “So do you like it there?” I usually respond: “It’s ok.” “So you speak German then?” “Have you seen any castles?” “Is that guy from the second world war still alive?” “How fast can you drive there?” “Do the girls shave their armpits or not?” And one of my favs is: “Do you still use outhouses?” Nomatter. There’s one question asked of me (and it was asked only once) that resonates when I’m questioned at all. “So have you gone native?” Yeah, that question gets under my skin–and the girls do shave. So let’s get back to beer, shall we? One of the things that I really like about Germania is the beer. And I’m not talking bullshit beer like you have in the US these days. There ain’t no micro-breweries here or bullshit IPA distributors. I call them bullshitters because, well, as far as beer drinking goes, you can make the funky flavoured stuff as much as you want but if you can’t make a basic, simple Pilsner that is as bitter as my third wife then you’re not a beer maker. Indeed. The bitterer, the better(er), baby! I mean, come on. Imagine some smart ass rich guy that inherited money and he’s been bored out of his mind his whole life until one day he wakes up and says to himself and the bottle of Bud resting on his belly blocking the view of his wide screen: this beer really sucks. And most American beer does suck, dear worst-reader. But it doesn’t suck because it tastes like coconut or cherry or banana or aged oak or the fucking bar stool. It sucks because it’s made with rice. It sucks because of its ingredients and the fact that the makers don’t really care. It sucks because it’s all snake-oil. And it also sucks because of its cost. Seriously. I can’t believe what Americans pay for beer. The greatest consumer driven society in the world whose fuel is (in part) beer (the other girls) can’t figure out how to price beer. Indeed. America = way over priced everything. But the worst part of it all when I’m in the US (trip coming soon) and weeping when I have to pay so much for a twelve pack of (whatever) krapp beer is that dimwits are out there buying krapp of another kind for even more money. Hence, you’ll only be able to get me into some dimwit micro-brew dump when I’m limp and even more lifeless than I am now. The only thing worse than über-expensive beer is flavoured beer that is social. With that nonsense in mind, I came across something rather fascinating the other day at my local (North Cologne) beer dealer. An entire palette of “Gratis” beer. Gratis means free, baby. Seriously. I even took two. Good luck beer consuming suckers of the world.

Rant on. -tommi

P.S. Free beer isn’t bitter enough.

Now That's A Protest

The inevitable is at your front door. Perhaps not unlike the grim reaper. Remember the reaper? He came along just after you had the canned salmon. Nomatter. As I’ve stated here & there, TTP and TTIP are inevitable. Obviously protests like the one in Berlin will have some sort of effect on it but I don’t think it’s possible to stop globalisation. Ultimately that’s what we’re dealing with here, dear worst-reader. Acronym or no acronym, TTP is globalisation. And so. Protesting it would be like protesting your ability to buy stuff. You know what I mean? You walk into a store and tell the store manager that your protesting that toaster or pair of pants or a packet of shoe laces. The managers says, “Ok, fine, what are you demands?” That’s when you turn and look at him and think, “How did I get here?” Indeed. How did we get here? Globalisation. Rant on. -tommi

Source: Thousands take to Berlin to protest EU-US TTIP accord | Germany | DW.COM | 10.10.2015

Digging The Ditch Of Irony

hoover quote

There is, of course, a horrid irony about recent scandal of a US congressman unable to take the job of the 2nd man in line to the presidency of the united mistakes of #americant. And my liberal ass is laughing so hard at this one that I might bust a gut. With that in mind, let’s go there, shall we dear worst-reader. But first… § Some historians say that the whole purpose behind the founding of the FBI was to have a government organisation with the outer appearance of law enforcement but the inner capacity to wield and control the halls of democracy. The powers-that-be were fed up with “democracy” at the beginning of the 20th century. They knew that something had to change in order to protect real power. And what is the easiest way to protect power? J. Edgar Hoover was notorious for his clandestine tactics in collecting all sorts of information on public figures, most of which has never been published due to “national security”. How convenient, eh. Elected officials, both state and national, union leaders, corporate heads, etc., they were all “watched” by Hoover and he had dossiers of info regarding their personal lives, affairs, drugs, womanising, sexual orientation, etc. One could say–and worstwriter most certainly will–that the political ideology that has overcome the republican party today has its roots in the likes of Hoover. I mean, come on. If the 2010 mid-term elections and the rise of tea party proved anything, it proved that there was no end to how low things could get. With that in mind, what tactics are being deployed to prevent Kevin McCarthy–who is viewed in his party as a moderate–from getting the Speaker of the House position? Good ole’ tactics, eh! §Without getting too deep into the confines of explaining American conservatism, let’s just assume that certain aspects of Newton’s law of motion apply. And America is still waiting for an opposing force. Or? § Let’s face it, republican (first) and conservative (second) policies of the last thirty years have amounted to disaster. States are bankrupt (see Michigan, Kansas, Alabama, etc.) and many more on the verge of bankruptcy. Gun violence is redefining the word epidemic. America is being laughed at by rational thinking people the world over when one juxtaposes the war on terror with white policeman shooting black men on city streets. Need I mention America’s debt situation, most of which is financed by China? Obviously “failure” is relative unless you’re in the so-called top 1% society or if you’re batshit and have fallen for the ideology. § Keep in mind, we’re dealing with nothing more than plane and simple ideology. It is ideology that has gotten America into the mess it’s in. Americans are holding tight to that ideology as though it is a comforter or a long lost teddy bear. The recent scandal about Kevin McCarthy is only significant in how it shows the strings that are being pulled. As significant as that is, it all seems to be part of a never ending narrative about the demise of a once great nation. § Kevin McCarthy can only talk the talk when it comes totting republican ideology. For example, his district is dependent upon cheap and illegal immigrants for agriculture—yet he gets elected as a republican. Have you listened to how republicans talk about immigration lately? Have you listened to The Donald? Republican ideology and its adherence to economic neoliberalism, i.e. centralised capitalism, i.e. the lie of Reaganomics has done nothing but dig the country deeper and deeper into a ditch. This ditch is not only filled with armchair economists and keepers of the faith that the south will rise again but also religious nuttery on a scale not seen since the inquisition. The tea-party-types, the Sarah Palins, something like 30-40 republicans elected to the House and Senate since 2008, are all leading the ditch digging and they don’t even look up to see how deep they’ve actually gone. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is America is following them into the ditch. Say what you will about the two political parties in America. But it is because of this level of ideology that I refuse to make false equivalences. Indeed. Kevin McCarthy is just another dimwitted (have you heard him talk?) nut job opportunist able to sell snake oil to willing buyers that elect him to office but he can’t sell it to other snake oil salesmen. The irony is so thick here that there are times I wish I could taste it or at least spread it on a piece of bread toasted with a Jesus image. J. Edgar Hoover and lots of other like-minded conservatives of yesteryear laugh and turn in their graves. But they are also a bit shocked in their graves. The real irony about McCarthy’s scandal is the fact that, according to the MarketWatch article below, it was Homeland Security that was part of the leak regarding his inappropriate behaviour, i.e. an affair with a congresswoman. So I guess, with post nine-eleven government expansion that rivals FDR’s expansion, it’s not enough that the FBI plays its games. There’s a new player in town. Oh my! Good luck (ditch digging) suckers. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivated this post:

Ferrari 400 Automatic And The Pillow Case

ferrari 400 hood dressing
Under the hood of a really, really cool Ferrari 400 Automatic. Sorry for the blurry photography.
Had to get a few minor adjustments to my Alfa yesterday. Recently had four new Pirellis installed (and boy are they better than the cheap tyres I had on her before). Also, finally had passenger window repaired. After I repaired it the first time it went bust I thought it better to let a professional handle it this time. Besides, I drove her around this summer and had to use a strong rubber grip in order to get the window up and down. Also went ahead and had a switch installed next to the battery (in the boot) that allows me to simply disconnect the battery when I put her in the garage over winter. And be assured, winter is coming to Colonia sooner than anybody thinks. Hopefully the days of having to replace the battery every frickin’ spring are over (the analogue clock under the dashboard doesnt help either). I also turned in some old extra wide rims that came with the Alfa when we bought her from some dude in Munich about ten years ago. Those wheels, although they looked good, didn’t play well with the rear-end axel mounts. The extra width caused the mounts to over strain when turning. Luckily I was able to find some used, in great condition, original alu Spider wheels on the Interwebnet. But that’s not what I wanted to worst-write about today, dear worst-reader. Today we’re gonna post about what we saw at my favourite Alfa garage. Every time I go there there is some form of Italian super car waiting in the wings. The lead mechanic of the place is some kind of guru Ferrari specialist. At the least when you greet him he doesn’t greet you back–and that seems fitting. And the guy who owns the garage is obsessed with Italian cars all the same. The showroom is always full of 60s and 70s Giulias and GTAs and, of course, my beloved Spiders. Again. Anywho. Although I’m not much of Ferrari fan, I have to admit whenever one is parked in the garage I have a quick look. That said, there was a real treat in the garage yesterday. A Ferrari 400 Automatic. I had never seen one up-close. It’s a two-door sedan that for some ungodly reason the Italians thought they should build in order to satisfy the needs of ageing Ferrari nuts who wanted a vehicle to take a party of four to the opera. In fact, after gawking at the luscious interior I couldn’t take my eyes off the engine: 4.8 litre, 12 cylinder, six carburettors. But eventually I did take my eyes off it only to stare for a few moments at the material that lines the inside of the hood. What the hell is that, I thought after poking at it with my left index finger. I couldn’t believe how thick and stable it was. It felt more like a thick, leather pillow that the engine could rest on–if the car were turned up-side-down. But then I thought of those films where a killer approaches his sleeping victim in the middle of the night. The killer grabs a thick pillow and puts it over the muzzle of his gun. He then fires and we see the legs or perhaps a hand jolt with a last signal of life. Then we see the black stained pillow in the after math of unleashed death. Blood seeps out from somewhere underneath it. Yeah. That’s what I thought about while touching the noise reducing material under the hood of an absolutely gorgeous Ferrari. Rant on. -tommi

A Photograph

falling soldier capa

“This vicissitudes of our century have been summed up in a few exemplary photographs that have proved epoch-making: the unruly crowd pouring into the square during the “ten days that shook the world”; Robert Capa’s dying miliciano; the marines planting the flag on Iwo Jima; the Vietnamese prisoner being executed with a shot in the temple; Che Guevara’s tortured body on a plank in a barracks. Each of these images has become a myth and has condensed numerous speeches. It has surpassed the individual circumstance that produced it; it no longer speaks of that single character or of those characters, but expresses concepts. It is unique, but at the same time it refers to other images that preceded it or that, in imitation, have followed it. Each of these photographs seems a film we have seen and refers to other films that had seen it. Sometimes it isn’t a photograph but a painting, or a poster.” -Umberto Eco, A Photograph, Travels in Hyperreality

Nasty Rant Against Hillary Clinton Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things Or Maybe It's Something Else

hillary vs ingsoc

Things fly by when one is perched upon a thirty-thousand foot expatriate stool looking down at the new-old world (order) with gusto and admiration and interest. Indeed. The show that is #americant politics is as good as any show there is. Yet some moments even turn my head–with or without The Donald. For the life of me, dear worst-reader, I cannot wrap my mind around the vehemence and hatred for Hillary Rodham Clinton, best exemplified in the link below. There is a video in the link, as well. Check it out. In the video a political pundit is spewing atypical batshit hate for Hillary. But the clinger is, there is no substance for that hate. It is just unadulterated hate. I mean. Isn’t there usually a substantive reason for hate? For example. Did the person commit a crime? Did the person kill somebody? Or did the person partake in a real-estate scandal? In the case of Hillary, of course, one can point to her unsubstantiated email crime. Or what about her running the State Department while Americans died in Benghazi? And then there’s Whitewater. The thing is, she hasn’t been prosecuted for any of these issues–yet so many despise her as though the US judicial system has run amok. Oh! Wait. Maybe she’s hated so much because she forgave her husband for a personal transgression he committed with an intern. Wow. Seriously? Again. I live perched upon a high stool and I look down with expat eyes and my gleaming tears shed upon the wasteland of wanting to go home. The only problem is there is a thread between my will to return and my thirst for knowledge and truth. It is a strong thread–perhaps woven from the great spider womb. How does one return to such blatant and wanton ignorance and hate? But I’m off subject again. Nomatter. The question is simple. Why is Hillary Clinton so hated? One would think that half the human population would at least respect her and praise her for her achievements and even for her ability to forgive. Yet that half seems to be part of the hate. Or am I the only one who remembers her explosive appearance on the world stage during her husband’s first term back in the nineties? I said then, say it now–I even pass it on as wisdom to young men when I get the chance–men should always find a partner that is smarter than they are. Bubba certainly found that in his partner. But to what avail? With all that worst-non-sense in mind, there is one thing that has shaken me a bit about Hillary of late. Get a load of the symbol she’s using for her 2016 presidential campaign. For shits and giggles I dabbled her symbol next to another symbol that I first thought of when she announced in April 2015 that she was running for president. I looked long and hard at her symbol. In fact, it kinda looked long and hard back at me. I started to change the colours, the background, etc., of it. I started to feel the monotony and breath of collectivism all the while waiting for big brother to appear on some flatscreen that is able to pop up out of the ground on a whim. Hillary, oh Hillary, Hillary the tattooed lady. Rant on. -tommi

Source: Andrew Sullivan’s Nasty Rant Against Hillary Clinton Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Mr Robot Episode Names Are Cool

mr robot episode names are cool

Just diggin’ the episode names of tv series. Especially like “.asf”. Reminds me of the Win95 world that so many are still stuck in. Been hearing lots about this show on the various podcast that I subscribe to. Curiosity wins, I guess. Usually I just buy discs and rip them to my library. Saved a pretty penny or three doing it that way. But then again, if anything defeats the purpose of digital content it’s the pricing of digital content. I can’t believe what’s being charged for some of this stuff. I mean, how many people own analog content and if they want the same content in digital form they have to pay full price again? Come on. Of all the examples of how/why things are so screwed up, digital content has to be in the top five. But. Again. I’m off subject. Rant on. -tommi

VW says rogue engineers, not executives, responsible for emissions scandal

In the wake of all of today’s economic chaos and a world governed as though it was a (bad-managed) corporation, people believed that diesel motors were “clean”? On that note. Did you know that Mercedes uses urine in their diesels to keep them clean? Gee. Anyone want to buy some south Florida real-estate from these German mangers? Of course, like most other things in life, people consuming to survive don’t really question things much. But they do notice that fancy Euro cars are powerful, get great mileage and, where applicable, appeal to everyman’s inner national socialist. Except me. I’ve been driving German diesels for the last fifteen years. I hate them. The motors, although very powerful, are as boring as a dog in a coma. I drive them because, basically, well, I live in Germany. I live in the great collective. I have no choice. And keep in mind, the only way Germans can get VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW on the autobahn is via some very serious scheming. Ironically the scheming takes place right before everyones nose. And Germans never question anything that their systems does. At least not these days they don’t. Nomatter. German scheming is between the tax-man, i.e. government and the new & improved Euro aristocrats, i.e. corporate managers. This scheme is what puts 60% of all those fancy German made cars on the autobahn. No one in Germany can afford to actually outright purchase one these cars anymore. In fact, they are so stupid-expensive that one can’t even take a loan out to buy one. No normal earning person anyway. But it doesn’t stop there. These cars are not only outrageously priced but they are outrageously taxed. And get this. The majority of these cars, up-to-now are diesel powered. I say up-to-now because I just ordered what will hopefully be my last diesel. And during the boring corporate enabled ordering process (which was six months ago), I noticed one thing that was odd. Cars were being offered for lease with gasoline motors. It was the first time in all these years that I was able to lease a gasoline powered car. I thought that odd at the time and, obviously, I didn’t take advantage of it and I’ve gotten so accustomed to diesel that I stayed with convention. But with this VW scandal all over the place, my worst-mind is starting to make sense of what’s really going on here. Europe, so famous for its fancy diesel cars, is probably in the processes of finally waking up to reality. Diesel cars have never been clean. With that in mind, I guess I’m a bit sad that I didn’t order a gasoline powered car. Then again, due to corporate management, due to my corporate savvy, the level of cars that I’m able to choose from is about to go up a notch or three. Porsche Cayenne anyone? Or maybe not. Rant on. -tommi

Source: VW says rogue engineers, not executives, responsible for emissions scandal

Talking The Walk

talk the walk

What’s that saying? Oh yeah. Walk the talk. Indeed. A tried and true American idiom. It is, in fact, a great saying because it goes so well with all the bullshit of consuming-to-survive in America these days–a country that for many is in a perpetual state of being caught up with buying your life from a slimy, greasy, used car salesman. But it’s also the perfect idiom for corporate/automaton linguistics. Yet, like so many other things in life, there’s is something misleading about this saying. It’s supposed to mean one shouldn’t talk about stuff that one cannot back up with action. Some also modify this saying with money talks and bullshit walks. But something has happened in recent years that trivialises if not voids this great American idiom. There are two parts to this saying. I suppose, having used it so much, perhaps even worn it out a bit, now only one part of this saying works. In fact, no one questions whether or not someone talking too much can walk too much. Enter the current iteration of GOP politicking. Have you listened to Kevin McCarthy talk? I mean, if you thought Dubya was a dipshit just get a load of this guy. The funny thing is, though, when I hear McCarthy talk I then see the talking points printed out in front of him on a yellow or pink sheet of paper. He’s eating his morning bowl of fruit-loops, prepared, of course, by his passive/submissive republican wife, and at the same time he’s memorising those talking points. He’s actually pretty good at memorising but that’s neither here nor there. This elected official then, after throwing his milk ridden bowl of cereal in the sink for others to clean, goes off to his day job in the united mistakes house of mis-representatives where he shares with the world the things he’s memorised–as best he can. My worst-point is this, dear worst-reader: if you thought things couldn’t get worse, welcome to your world. Which brings me to another great American idiom–that has changed. It goes something like this. A democratically elected government represents the people. Which means, you are what you elect. Here’s the talking-the-walk of what America elects to represent it:

“We have isolated Israel, while bolding places like Iran.”

“The absence of leadership over the past six years has had a horrific consequences all across the globe.”

“It defies belief that the president would allow the ban on Iranian oil exports to be lifted. And also stand by while Russia blackmails an entire continent, all the while keeping the place of the band on America.” (see last link below for more talking the walk)

Wow. And one last great idiom before I go get another drink. You can’t write this stuff.

Good luck suckers. Rant on. -tommi

Links:

Oh No! Window To Inner National Self Opened. Yet No One Panics.

Having lived in a fraternity once, this example of collegiate behaviour comes as no surprise. But the key thing to remember, dear worst-reader, is not what takes place but the fact that it takes place all the time, always has, will never stop. Which brings me to the following memory. I got into a heated debate with a corporatist once while having a drink a local watering hole. We are about the same age but he’s in the middle of putting his two kids through college and he’s angry that the economy isn’t helping him pay for it. I turned to him, sipped my rye, and said, “what the hell you sending your kids to college for anyway? I mean. Don’t you realise that the country is being run by college grads. Look at it.” He put his drink down on the bar and paused. “What? What do you mean? Don’t you want to send your kids to college,” he asked me. “Not really,” was my response. He was totally flabbergasted. I could see it in his face, his conventional mind twisting and turning, a new thought from a new angle had entered it. “Seriously. We can agree to disagree about politics, my friend, but the commoditisation of higher education and the effects its having on the world should be obvious.” Gulp. Gulp. “Holy cow,” he said. Yeah, baby. With that in mind, mamas of the world unite and sing: Mama don’t let you babies go to college. Rant on.  -tommi

Source: ATO’s National Office Revokes Charter From Indiana Chapter Over Oral Sex Video

Madness Says You're Welcome

the madness gun

Two worst-news issues this morn, dear worst-reader: gun control and privacy. What do these two issues have in common? Well, my guess is… Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Or? While reading through the hysteria that is the byproduct of madness on a scale never before seen, I couldn’t help but find some irony in these two stories. With that in mind. Let’s go there, shall we. § First. President Barry O asked the “media” to talk about America’s gun problem. Thankfully the media reacted. The graphs and charts are kinda mind-boggling. Of course the only thing I get out of them all is the WOW factor. Wow, I had no idear that so many people were killed by so many different methods. There’s car crashes. Doctor malpractice. Breast cancer. Suicide. And then there’s the best method of all: terrorism. Of course, it need not be mentioned that Barry O kinda opened the flood gates on that one. I mean, the US is spending trillions on fighting terrorists. In that fight we have so far slaughtered millions. How then can anyone expect the US to spend money on fighting the rampant gun deaths at home? It just doesn’t make any sense. Yet Obama’s recent call to “talk” about the gun problem might pay off. But to what end? Remember, dear worst-reader, it’s not so much the gun lobby (NRA) as much as it is years and years of conservative and batshit politicking that has brought the country to the brink. I mean. Come on. What is supposed to happen when a Democrat president calls for action on guns? I refer you to the supreme court case District of Columbia v. Heller. This case basically guarantees gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment—even though the amendment was written during times of muskets and includes “provisioner writ” regarding a well organised militia. The supreme court ruling also guarantees that you can own any gun you want–even really, really, really big and fast guns. So, again, what is supposed to happen when the president calls on the media to show a country of morons that…. shit happens? Oh yeah, we get to see graphs and charts and numbers. Of course, let there be no discourse regarding the demise of a country’s infrastructure—and I’m not referring to roads and bridges—where psychopaths, who obviously belong in psychiatric care, are instead faced with making pharmaceutical companies huge profits and then living in basements where it’s gun playtime. Obviously some form of gun control is on its way. But how that’s gonna happen with the current supreme court is a mystery to me. Keep in mind, the only supremes up for retirement are liberal ones. If people are serious about gun control then partaking in who nominates and approves of supremes should also be considered. It’ll be a long, arduous road, indeed. § Nomatter. § Let’s move on to European privacy, shall we. But before we do that, let’s set the mood. Say it thus: privasee. That’s how the British say it. Go ahead a repeat it a few times. Feels good coming off the tongue, don’t it? § What’s interesting about privasee and the recent EU ruling protecting it is how it relates to Edward Snowden. Without Snowden’s leaks the EU would have let all this slide, i.e. the moving and collection of private data from the EU to the US. Although I’m a skeptic regarding Snowden–that is, I just don’t think the info he released is very interesting because it’s more about the How and not the What regarding US spying–it seems as though the after-effect of what he’s done is starting to shine—at least in Europe. Europeans are really pissed off at the US about spying. It’s almost as though every frickin’ European has forgotten about the cold war (which spying helped to end) but still remembers the devastation of the great war (WWI+II) where they really learned how to spy on each other. Remember, Europe pretty much gave humanity industrialisation and with it the lust/need of espionage. Because Europe’s antiquated privasee laws are much stricter than in the US it’s only natural that Europeans react in this manner. Or? I suppose it doesn’t hurt matters very much that every European country has its own IP domain (e.g. .de, .es, .fr, .uk, etc.). Why doesn’t the US differentiate its states in this manner? Without using stealth proxies or any other IP trickery, digital content from Belgium or Spain can be easily traced but only within the parameters of EU law. I’m sure that plays a role whether or not US tech companies maintain EU data in the US. But in the end that doesn’t really matter because, well, the EU is just pissed off at the fact that US companies think they can horde everything and, when asked, turn it all over to the government. And that’s all fine and good. But it leads to a question. § “But, dear worst-writer, what does EU privasee law have to do with US gun law?” Well, like I alluded to above, probably nothing. On the other hand, I’ve been more interested in learning about Edward Snowden’s motivations more than anything else. I’m also curious as to why so little information is given to us about who these “mass shooters” really are–and who the hell is Edward Snowden? Is there information out there that someone or some entity doesn’t want to be public? Who are these people? Where do they really come from? What drugs are making them extra crazy? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to cloud or discredit the issues here (privacy and gun control). But I do recall an interview with Snowden’s father that revealed an atypical mindset of these times, that of a government hating, gun totting, Amurikan. Yes. Indeed. The riff-raff wannabes are all having their time in the limelight. Some of them murder, other’s find refuge in Russia. Either way, the place many others call home continues to spiral into a frenzy of madness. § Good luck suckers. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivated this post: