Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Never Enough Singalongs Department

Now and then, NOFX does something that earns my respect. This is one of those times.

Never Enough Dense Kookiness Department

So what happens when someone watches too much Matrix and Truman Show and begins to tie it all into Carlos Castaneda, Kundalini Yoga, quantum mechanics, and a theory that two races of aliens are on this planet, attempting to control us without violating free will?

Well, you get this. Be prepared to devote a few weeks to the site if you want to read it all. In fact, take a month off, drink heavily, sniff markers for a few hours, and THEN read. You'll like it.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Never Enough Third-Party Polls Department

The American Family Association wants to know your opinion on gay marriage and civil unions. Right now, those opposed to both gay marriage and civil unions have a lead over gay marriage (considered alone) and civil unions (considered alone), but gay marriage support is only behind by a few percentages, and if you added those who supported civil unions, there's clearly a majority that support some sort of legal protection for gay couples.

Make your voice heard, peoples. And use a throw-away e-mail address.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Never Enough Democrat Gloom & Doom Department

Boy, the media sure are rushing to declare the current situation for the Democrats as being particularly sticky. Saddam has been captured and Wall Street is booming--sure sounds like Dubya's two vulnerable areas are suddenly bullet-proof, right? Uh... excuse me, but last I checked:

  • The much-vaunted weapons of mass destruction have yet to appear;
  • Dubya has refuted the implication, used greatly prior and during the war, that Saddam had anything to do with the World Trade Center attacks;
  • While the world in general is quite happy that Saddam is no longer in power, the way we handled the situation -- alienating most of our traditional allies and much of the Muslim world, then invading with neither a plan on how to reconstruct Iraq nor a workable exit strategy -- is beyond incompetent and arrogant, and is ill-befitting any President;
  • The situation in Iraq may well become more unstable, indicating not so much loyalty to Saddam as opposition to the US occupation.

Furthermore, Wall Street is hardly the be-all end-all of US economic health:

  • There are severe budget crises in almost every state government and in most municipalities;
  • Conservatives, long regarded as more financially responsible, have proven their utter fiscal recklessness when they have the political upper hand;
  • Layoffs and underemployment are still significant issues that few have dared address;
  • A record-setting deficit will soon create its own economic problems that won't be fixed by more tax cuts.

And let us not forget the complete disregard for reasonable, cost-effective environmental regulations, the ongoing corporate scandals to which the White House has turned a blind eye, the rabid and myopic influence on Republicans by the extreme right, and the secretiveness of an administration that refuses to be scrutinized lest its sins be laid bare.

Oh yeah, Dubya might still have a little political capital to spend, but any Democrat capable of framing these issues in a larger vision should be able to persevere over Dubya in 2004. So don't write off the Democrats too quickly, lest you get your own surprise next year.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Never Enough Of A Close-Up Look Department

Ever find yourself wanting for perspective? Here's a little Java applet that should do that very thing--going from the Milky Way as a tiny dot, all the way to the quarks in an oak tree.

Don't think about it too hard if you aren't used to staring eternity in the face.

Never Enough Conspiracy Theories Department

It's been an awful long time since I've posted to this blog, to be sure, but the alleged discovery of Saddam Hussein has brought me out of my ponderings.

Alleged? Of course? Take a good look at who I think they really found. Yeah, that's right. Jack Elam. They say he died back in October, but we know better. Oh yeah. We're on to you, whoever YOU PEOPLE are.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Never Enough Mandatory Indoctrination Department

So the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Pledge of Allegiance case. So far, it's been couched only as a matter of freedom of religion, e.g. are people required to pledge their loyalty to a country that, by merit of the pledge, declared subserviant to a god they don't believe in? But there is a deeper issue here, quite frankly.

The recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is a relic of the Cold War. It was introduced at a time when Americans were regularly frightened by the boogeyman of the Red Menace. Specifically, people were convinced that there might be people amongst them whose loyalties belonged to a foreign nation with an alien ideology, and who possessed a decided taste for espionage and subversion. The Pledge was therefore intended to indoctrinate a whole nation to follow instead this country--and to present themselves in contrast to those "godless commies." Hence, what started as a quaint little pledge written by a newspaper editor, without the phrase "under God" in it, became a propaganda tool with a twist of faith.

It's too easy to draw a parallel between the Cold War and the War On Terrorism, which we learned was conducted by terrorists who had lived in the US for significantly long periods. But a Pledge will not help us, nor will clinging to cynical jingoism. It's time to retire the Pledge, and renew a more powerful patriotism, one that creates true strength and security while helping the world become a better place. Damn it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Never Enough Utter Grossness Department

OK, maybe you've seen something grosser, like German scheisse porn, but there's something about this eye that makes me wonder. Maybe it's the way it follows your cursor. Maybe it's the way it distorts, as if it's trying to reach out and grab the cursor. You almost expect a pseudopod to grab hold and pull you into its slimy maw. Whatever that may be. Regardless... EUUUUUUUW!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Never Enough Lucid Explanations Department

Yesterday I was asking why the press was making such a big fuss over Wesley Clark. Thanks to this article on tompaine.com, I now understand why. In short, there is a small clique of Beltway insiders whose loyalties are not to reporting truth, but to reporting what the Democratic Leadership Caucus wants them to report. This also explains why there was so little coverage of Howard Dean until recently, and more, why they are so dismissive of Dean now.

Makes me want to scream, the DLC does. FEH.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Never Enough Realistic Expectations Department

There seems to be a large number of political cartoons and news stories that imply that Gen. Wesley Clark would be the ideal candidate to beat Dubya in 2004.

Perhaps this makes sense, with the media's "all style and no substance" point of view, but I'm just not seeing Presidential material in Clark, not just yet. He needs to be far beefier--ready to talk about issues in depth and with a vision that he can sell to the American people. Right now, he's a charismatic, good looking retired military officer with a number of comfortable homilies and no real direction. Vice President, sure. President? Doubtful.

So who's up for a Dean/Clark ticket?

Never Enough Long March Reports Department

For the three or four people who read this blog and yet do not know about my involvement in the Church of the SubGenius, amongst my other activities is hosting a modest local campout and retreat called Dobbs' Long March. You can find out about other activities by visiting the Yahoo! Group for the Seattle SubGenius Union of Clenches & Crackpots.

I was worried this Long March would be a wash, since I knew a lot of folks wouldn't be able to make it, due to finances, new jobs, "natural" disasters, RULES, and various creative excuses.

It WAS a wash--a wash of slackfulness that could soothe the most hideous iron spike of a headache. For, while there were only eight people there, those eight happened to slide right into a perfect balance of leisure that proved therapeutic despite the chilly nights.

(Note to self: I will have boots to wear next year.)

Special kudos must go to Rev. ElectriKali, her spousal unit Chuck, and her sister the great AuntiKrist. I've never seen anyone bring a microwave oven to a campout before! But more impressively, they brought a wonderful propane assembly that allowed plenty of grilling, boiling, white-lighted awe that kept us all well fed and made me covet with an intensive geekiness I never thought I'd feel for Coleman products.

(Another note to self: I will have propane appliances next year.)

I've also never seen one of those grilling machines at a campout before, praise "Carl", but I must admit I was duly impressed with how fast they can cook a nice, juicy burger or a tender cut of steak. Truly, this was the Cookout March. We got slack AND we got food, and yet nobody was killed, except symbolically, using thin pieces of cardboard with scary monsters. I'm proud to report that Rev. Dr. Big Boy claimed first blood--and LAST blood too! With enough guidance and encouragement, he may well yet become a scheming fiend capable of pulling all wool over all eyes. Or maybe we'll all just blow it off and see Big Boy choose slack over all else.

Oh, I should also mention that Mount Phloighd is no longer being isolated from the rest of the campground. Its defenses have been ripped away, and now anybody can climb up to the top and have a generous sniper's view of the whole campground. No longer will this assemblage of rocks serve as a place of exile, but must now be thrust deeply into our very subconscious as a literal high point of any Long March.

We may slightly adjust the date for next year, but one thing is for certain: The Long March is here for the long haul, and next year's can only be better than the last.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Never Enough Old-School Geekery Department

Computer music? You don't know computer music until you can hear it created with the IBM 1403 Printer.


Friday, September 12, 2003

Never Enough Fond Farewells Department

I got to work this morning to find out that Johnny Cash was dead.

I don't know if people realize how profoundly Johnny Cash has changed our culture and reached out to millions. Back when country music was well on its way to becoming just a commodity of the recording industry, there were only a few rebels who insisted on creating music that could express the beauty and agony of life without compromise. Johnny Cash was one of those rebels, donning black garb while most of his contemporaries were dressed in rhinestones. While he was never really a rock musician, his brash, hellraising attitude--as well as his early Sun Records releases--proved formidable in the shaping of rock and roll. His music was always aimed at the outlaws and the outcasts, the poor of money and the poor of spirit, eager to lift us all up through the power of his songs.

Old legends die so that new ones may be born. I don't know who'll be the next one, or when we'll know, but this loss will fade as a new generation, emboldened by Cash's contributions to the world, rise up and carries off a bit of the darkness on their own backs.

Tonight, I'm buring a candle for Johnny, and then I'm going to play Mojo Nixon's "Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down". If Johnny Cash is still around in some form, I think he'd appreciate it, and cast one last defiant middle finger at the soul-stripping machine before ascending to glory.

Never Enough Space Exploration Department

If you're still unclear about why we bother exploring space in the first place, make sure to read COMMENTARY: this article very carefully. It's not just a matter of getting neat pictures of planets, or even one of national pride. It's a matter of ensuring that humanity has a future. Until this is understood, NASA will not get the money they truly need, and our space program will be whittled down until it is a pitiful joke. Read closely.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Never Enough Unconventional Tributes Department

Most American media seem focused on the 9/11 anniversary. The foreign press are criticizing how Dubya squandered much goodwill by insisting on unilateralism and using military might more than diplomatic nuance. People are on alert for Al-Qaeda or Internet trojans. But in a large sense, today is business as usual.

But I want a nap. Is it so wrong to commemorate this tragedy by curling up under blankets and snoozing for a couple hours? I don't think so! Especially if I feel refreshed and ready to handle all the evils of the world afterwards.

I promise I will vote for the leading Democratic contender, no matter how odious he is to me, if I can just have a nap.


FINE. I'll just drink caffeine and be a hellion for the rest of the day. That'll larn ya. HMMPH.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Never Enough Space Crap-Cutting Department

Ever since the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) released its report, there's been a number of pundits on all sides of the political debate who act as if there is no compelling reason for human beings to be in space. It's as if all was said and done by the end of the Apollo program, and everything else has been a pure waste of tax dollars.

Never mind the myriad numbers of technological wonders that have been possible because of NASA.

Never mind the fact that life on Earth will not last forever, and that we need to start making the first steps off the planet now.

Never mind the urge to explore and discover which has driven Western Civilization for 600 years.

Well, fuck the doubters and their lowered expectations. This is the 21st Century, and implicit in Kennedy's announcement that the US would put a man on the moon within a decade was a firm commitment to space exploration--by humans!--that would outlive the moon program.

If only NASA could have a percent of the budget that the Pentagon enjoys! We'd have permanent bases on Mars and on the Moon, and ships around Jupiter, if only Congress would stop cutting NASA's budget and start adding some true support, rather than pointing fingers every time something goes wrong. Shit, if people were as truly concerned about the potential of losing life when exploring space, then we wouldn't have tolerated a war with Iraq since the potential for lost life would be far greater--not measured as odds or percentages, but as body bags.

It's from that point of view that I really appreciate this essay on the fact that NASA has a well established vision for space exploration, one that is worthy of being backed, and that the nay-sayers should go find something truly worth denigrating as worthless. Like, say, their jobs.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Never Enough Bootable Linux CDs Department

...Partially because the first post never showed up, and partially because the subject came up again, I thought I'd post a few other Linux distributions that are bootable off CD-R:
  • The Trinity Resource Kit is mainly geared towards rescuing PCs that have been damaged...
  • ...As is the Emergency Linux CD project...
  • ...And the FIRE project.
  • Eagle Linux lets you truly customize your own bootable Linux CD. It allows for bootable disk images as small as 4 Mb, perfect for burning onto business-card sized CD-ROMs. Speaking of....
  • LNX-BBCis specifically designed for business-card sized CD-ROMs, so you can not only boot Linux without blowing out your OS, you can store the boot disk in your pocket!

So there you go--lots and lots of options. All you need is a bit of initiative.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Never Enough Linux Inducements Department

OK, so Linus Torvalds has formally stated that SCO is "smoking crack" when it claims to have found fragments of SCO's System V UNIX code within Linux. Day by day, SCO seems to have a weaker and weaker case, and their lawsuit against IBM for selling Linux servers has become a joke.

But suppose you find yourself saying, "So what. I can't be bothered to get to know my hardware, and as long as I have an operating system that just works, I don't really care which OS I use."

Easy enough. There is not one, but two Linux flavors available on CD-ROM.

Knoppix can be purchased as a CD-ROM for $5 at CheapBytes.com, or you can download it for free and burn onto a CD-R. It automatically figures out what hardware you have and sets up a fairly decent user interface on the fly. Literally, in five minutes you can experience Linux without having to rip out your current OS or puzzle over settings for your keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, Internet, etc. etc. For people cutting their teeth with *NIX or simply ready to try an alternative to Microsoft, this may well be the distribution you want.

But suppose you got into computers mainly for their creative potential. You don't even necessarily need expensive software with extra-fancy features, just software with which you can draw, design, edit, publish, mix. That's why there is dyne:bolic, a similar, yet in fairness not quite as robust Linux distribution that also boots off a CD-R. It's only available as a downloadable disk image that you can burn then boot from. The true beauty of dyne:bolic is its strong emphasis on multimedia applications of all sorts, including the ability to broadcast your own Internet radio station. Imagine getting a cheap Wintel box, and within minutes, using it for your creative persuits. It's that kind of happy.

You might eventually decide to install some kind of *NIX on your machine on a permanent basis, but once you try out one of these distros, it will be hard to go back to Windows.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Never Enough Redrawable Circuitry Department

Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered the means to draw and erase circuits on the fly. While the process is not perfect--the circuit board has to be kept extremely cold--it promises to drastically speed up prototyping new kinds of circuit designs, which should in turn help lower the cost of chips from a design point of view.

Today's been pretty crappy, personally, but news like this helps to brighten even the most "yurg" days. ("Yurg" is my new monosyllable for indicating what it's like to wake up groggy and feeling unwell, with no caffeine or relief in sight. You are warned.)

Friday, August 15, 2003

Never Enough Koppel Mindfucking Department

Poor Ted Koppel. He's only trying to provide news on the Northeastern blackout that took out NYC, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, etc., when he gets a call from a Bob Dobbs from the NYC Transit Authority....

...And his brain is never the same again.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Never Enough Stuff To Talk About Department

...It's just that I've been awfully busy as of late, doing stuff I could talk about.

Yes, that includes watching G.I. Joe "Knowing Is Half The Battle"... um... reappropriations. Yes, I think that works. "Reappropriations."

Oh, and doing a little third-party "reappropriations" of my own:

Fanta Shokata Bulldada I
Fanta Shokata Bulldada II
Fanta Shokata Bulldada III
Fanta Shokata Bulldada IV
Fanta Shokata Bulldada V
Fanta Shokata Bulldada VI
Fanta Shokata Bulldada VII
Fanta Shokata Bulldada VIII

...And probably more to come! But first, I have to make our little cardboard box farm look like a house. Time to get funky in the house!

Friday, July 18, 2003

Never Enough Straight Talk Department

I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows that the word "semite" does not refer to Jews, but to those whose native language is in the Semitic family--meaning, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Amharic ("Ethiopian"), and Syriac. That's exactly what Sam Hamod, former Director of The National Islamic Center, points out. I don't fully agree about the Ashkenazim being "converts" to Judaism, however--that is, while it is true that Slavs and other Eastern Europeans converted to Judaism, such conversions were more for the sake of marriage to Jewish families who moved into the region as part of the Diaspora. Still, all in all, the article is a lovely condemnation of the term "anti-semite".

I'm pro-Jew--meaning that I am not inherently against the religion any more than I'm against the very concept of religion--but I would probably get labeled "anti-semite" because I condemn Israel's aggressive policies against the Palestinians. I might be considered anti-Zionist because I don't think that Jews need a homeland as much as they need the same universal human rights we all need. The premise that the Jewish people need to set up a fortress around some of the only easily arable land in the region is ludicrous. The premise that they deserve dignity and respect, on the other hand, is only common sense.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Never Enough Stupid Fiscal Policy Department

It's official--under Dubya and a predominantly Republican Congress, the projected federal deficit for 2003 is expected to exceed $455 billion dollars. This projection, provided by the White House itself, excludes the cost of war and reconstruction for Iraq, and is not a final figure by any stretch. Indeed, the initial projection for this year's deficit was a little over $300 billion. So most likely, the deficit will reach well over half a trillion dollars before the year is out.

Next time I hear any Republican talk about "tax-and-spend Democrats", I'm gonna smack him hard. And I don't even consider myself a Democrat.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Never Enough Post-Pain Slack Department

The astute might have noticed that one's Slack Awareness usually varies in direct proportion to the amount of pain one has experienced. This isn't a mere accident. As long as we're stuck with these meat shells, it's almost impossible to notice slack without first having your consciousness entirely focused on your hurts. And I must be specific: I'm not talking about metaphorical, psychological, existential, or inconsequential pain. I'm only talking about true, physical, visceral pain.

Today I ache in muscle groups I forgot existed, my sinuses are only now recovering from internal pressure so great that I pulled a nasal "Ol' Faithful" in the middle of the night, and I can still feel the tender throbing of my shattered right toenail. But the biggest part of the move is over, and the majority of our furniture and possessions are now safely in the new house. Thea and I slept in our bedroom for the first time and enjoyed a profound darkness and quiet that our old, urban apartment couldn't give. (It took an hour or so before my eyes adjusted well enough to see anything at all, and Thea was blind the whole time.) We got up and had breakfast, then Thea laid back down for a nap while I sat on the porch and sucked in all the glorious oxygen that our little slice of Green Hell, and if I hurt--and I do hurt, ghods do I!--yet I hurt with a sense of deep satisfaction, relaxation, and a profound sense of "just-right". Ah, slack!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

OK, That's Enough Moving Headaches Department

You know it's bad when I have to drop the "Never Enough" tagline.

Well, it could be worse, I guess. But the main issue before me truly is a pain. To wit, the phone company shut down the phone and DSL service at our apartment, on schedule. If we were also on schedule, this would be no problem. As is, it's a fairly serious problem, as I can only read my email at work through a fairly kludgy ISP shell connection. And it's not easy to temporarily switch my Yahoo! Groups to digest mode, only because the groups I'm most concerned about post pictures that I dare not show at work, if you get my drift. (Ghods, I'm such a pervy thing. :) )

As the French would say, "Merde, alors!"

Friday, June 27, 2003

Never Enough Moving Headaches Department

It's appoaching June 28, the date that Thea and I had set for our move.

We aren't nearly done packing.

The people who were living in the house are still moving out.

We signed the lease, but until the house is fully vacated, we have no key.

We're hoping to get a week's extension on our current apartment, and only pay a portion of July's rent, so that we can buy time (literally!) to finish the move.

The new owner of our apartment building has been reluctant to give us the extension.

We're annoyed. But it'll be worth it, when all is said and done.

If only the tenants of the old house would stop repainting and cleaning and concentrate on moving their crap out.

Oh well. Even Eden had a snake in it.

Never Enough Organic Waste Fuel Stock Department

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have come up with a catalyst that uses inexpensive metals to extract hydrogen from organic wastes. This device is expected to give a good boost to the conversion from a fossil fuel based economy to a hydrogen fuel based economy. Food processing plants, dairy farms, and paper mills--to name but a few--can dump their glucose-rich wastes into the catalyst and generate hydrogen that can be used to run the facilities.

As my friend Rev. Prostata Cantata said, "I wanna run my fuel-cell car on cheese."

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Never Enough Big Plans Department

A small gray house overlooking the Garden of Eden--complete with apple tree.

That's our future.

Thea and I will begin moving in after the 20th, after which our new home--Grayhaven Slack Recovery Center--will be open to the few souls worthy of being able to lounge under evergreen trees, walk on mossy ground, munch on blackberry brambles, then go inside for a hot bath in a real tub, cook in a large kitchen, and then go back out onto the porch for a cool, shady nap.

And the rent is very affordable.


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Never Enough Mad Props Department

Go to dictionary.com and look up slack. Search the page for "SubGenius". Be surprised. Or not.

Never Enough Playstation Fun Department

My kind of fun, anyhow.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from a cluster of seventy networked Sony PlayStation 2 devices, each running Linux and networked Beowulf style with a Hewlett-Packard network switch. The graphics processor, designed to handle billions of mathematical operations a second for excellent gaming graphics, is instead being used to calculate quantum chromodynamics simulations.

I wonder if they can be used by third-world countries that otherwise have problems gaining supercomputing power. If so, all those fake explosions in computer games can be turned into painfully real ones. But they'd need a 12-year-old to help set it up....

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Never Enough Honest Holidays Department

Ah, Memorial Day. Already the Space Needle has been temporarily (I hope!) decorated with that flag theme that this country has worked upon for the past several decades--red, white, blue with white stars. Can't forget the stars, otherwise we just look French. I'm sure that there are plenty of op-ed columns being written about what Memorial Day is "all about." Some, from the progressive end of the accepted political spectrum, have thoughtfully raised questions of what constitutes a patriot or a hero. Others, from more mainstream media, will of course wax poetically about brave soldiers dying in America's wars, oblivious to the jingoism or to any attempt at understanding their sacrifices in a broader sense.

But we know what Memorial Day is really about: Barbecue and beer. The average American is rather pagan in attitudes, despite paying lip service to the Christian and American creeds. It is only natural that, on the first recognized holiday in mid-Spring and in the absense of Beltane celebrations, hoards of American families will fire up the backyard barbecue grills, prepare steaks and burgers and ribs and other succulent bits of flesh, and sip on intoxicating malted drinks the whole lazy afternoon.

So, from me to you: Happy Charred Meat Product & Fermented Grain Beverage Day!

Friday, May 23, 2003

Never Enough Glitches Department

Sorry for the problems with blogspot.com--this will not be a problem when we move the foolspress.com domain. Again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Never Enough Chimp Promotions Department

According to a new study of "functionally important" DNA--that is, DNA that codes for proteins which can modify amino acids in the body--at 99.4% similarity to human DNA, chimpanzees are even more closely related to humans than previously thought, and should therefore be moved to the genus homo. Yes, this incluses bonobos.

They didn't mention anything about YETI DNA, however. I guess science still has a ways to go....

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Never Enough Ballsy Texans Department

As an expatriate Texan, a progressively-minded voter, and a fan of hell-raising, I've been following the news of over 50 Texas House Democrats thwarting a quorum in order to block a redistricting plan drawn up by US House Speaker Tom DeLay. Jim Hightower, one of my favorite fellow progressive Texan hellions, tells the story from his angle, and it's very enlightening. ALL HAIL THE KILLER Ds!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Never Enough Car Safety Department

According to the World Health Organization, up to four times as many people die in traffic-related incidents than they do from warfare. The majority of the deaths are in third-world countries. Still, is it any wonder I hate cars?

The statistics also show that suicide kills more people than murder does, especially in Europe and East Asia. This also is not surprising, although I would like to see if that trend continues in the US, and in particular on a city-by-city basis.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Never Enough Virtues Department

Episode 24 of Get Your War On is up--and it's virtually fantastic.

Never Enough Heartfelt Apologies Department

I wish to apologize to anyone who read last week's entry with the link to the Robert Frost poem "Home Burial", and were so devastated by its sadness that they weren't able to read the follow-up article. I woke up on Saturday to Thea reading the poem for the fourth time in a row, sobbing over it. That wasn't the intention, and I'm sorry if that was the result in you, my faithful reader.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Never Enough Painful Mindfucks Department

First, read this classic poem by Robert Frost:

6. Home Burial. Frost, Robert. 1915. North of Boston

Then, read this interview with George Lakoff regarding the rhetoric of the right wing and how it has been designed to frame debates to a very particular point of view, and how the right is rather like a strict father, while the left is like a nuturing mother.

Then re-read the Frost.

You may now shiver in creepiness.

Never Enough Of 'Em Hit Right Between The Eyes Department

I don't often quote from salon.com, and I've been too busy digesting the news to post anything about it--an unfortunate side-effect of post-war climates to me, and maybe a source of depression far as I know....

...But Joan Walsh outdid herself when she wrote a deadly but beautiful op piece on how things would be much better if William Bennett kept gambling and gave up moralizing instead. It got me going. Yes, it did. In fact, it's inspired me to create another log entry! Here it comes...!!!

Never Enough Religious Innovations Department

I need to convince someone to purchase for me an inflatable church. Yes, you read that correctly--and it is for real. But I'd insist on custom religious iconography. Of course.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Never Enough Bittersweet Victories Department

Remember how I've been trying to get the Blog*Spot banner to show some sort of queer-targeted banner? Well, now we have one. For a store that sells breast forms.

Not quite what I had in mind, alas. But closer! C'mon, how about an ad for On Our Backs?

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Never Enough Desperate Druggies Department

Rich kids in India are now paying up to US$7 to get stung by scorpions, because the venom produces a floaty feeling once the initial pain fades. Yeah, and poor kids in this country whack hornet nests for the same reason--but don't tell their parents. So Mom chalks it up to youthful indiscretion, and youngsters get a cheap buzz--pun intended. But the really hardcore people go for rattlesnakes. The rest of you are just lightweights. Feh. Go get bitten--you'll like it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Never Enough Causes For Celebration Department

A restaurant in Paris has celebrated its one-millionth dish of roast caneton--which is a duckling that is "carefully strangled and ritually cooked in its own blood." Man, you gotta LOVE dedication to dishes like that.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Never Enough Badly Needed Updates Department

First, Cynthia pointed out that I didn't have our wedding pictures linked here. That's fixed.

Second, I had overlooked the trans-comic T-Gina--that's fixed.

Third, nobody buys me CDs even though I have a link for 'em. I figure that's in part due to the fact that they're all new CDs, and in part due to the general pseudo-satanic themes of blackmetal.com. So now I have a link for Django's instead. Now fix me up!!!

Monday, April 21, 2003

Never Enough Grave Warnings Department

There's a Christian spacecraft entered into the X-Prize--Micro-Space's Crusader-X.

Pardon me while I shiver. Christians in space... AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2003

Never Enough Dyke Comics Department

OK, I'm going for that dykish Blog*Spot banner ad now--I just added Alison Bechdel's classic strip Dykes To Watch Out For and Joan Hilty's Bitter Girl. They can't ignore our market segment community much longer!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Never Enough History Rants Department

Another reason why I like the Arab press--they are willing to post articles that combine full-blown rants about the inability for Americans to think, anti-Bush rants, and an exposé on how Lincoln went through similar scandals over the Civil War as Bush is encountering with the Iraq war, such as a weak Presidental election, massive anti-war protests, and worries of opportunism. It makes me tingle, it does.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Never Enough Kiwi Dykes Department

OK, it's not gender-bending smut, but it's a start....

According to a study by the Otago School of Medicine, one out of four women have been attracted to another woman at some point in their life, with 17% (that's one out of every six) of all 26-year-old women "currently" attracted to another woman. It is conjectured that, since New Zealand has an older feminist tradition, perhaps Kiwi women are more empowered and better able to shrug off same-sex stigmas.

All I know is, New Zealand is sounding more and more like a lovely place to live.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Never Enough Banner Hilarity Department

I don't know if you've paid attention to the banners that are appearing since I switched temporarily to Blog*Spot, but I think they're funny. One moment, there's a banner for the American Red Cross, and the next, an ad for a cheap copy of the Pungent Stench CD Praise The Names Of The Musical Assassins. And yet--no queer- or tranny-oriented ads yet! I guess I need to be posting more gender-bending smut or something. Hee!

Never Enough Costume Changes Department

So now Iraqis are looting priceless artifacts, destroying those they don't steal, and burning down libraries full of irreplaceable ancient texts. About looting and violence in general, Donald Rumsfield--who has quickly become the most powerful man in the Cabinet--glibly states that "Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." (Guess that means we Americans aren't free anymore.) And the Bush Administration is rattling its sabers again, this time towards Syria.

In many political cartoons, Dubya has been portrayed as a cowboy à la John Wayne. I think he should now be portrayed by a different John Wayne character--Attila The Hun.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Never Enough Chances At Rebuttal Department

After not having enough chances to speak her mind when she read something about her on my weblog, my partner Cynthia has finally set up her own blog. Go check it out, I think you'll find her insights to be quite worthy.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Never Enough Blunt Arabs Department

Lately I've been checking out ArabNews.com for updates on the Iraqi war, mainly because the articles cover a much more impressive spectrum--from support to outrage--than US media coverage, even if you include progressive news venues. And this editorial is but one example why I appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Never Enough Compression Fun Department

New Scientist has recently reported that using the Bzip file compression program, scientists have found themselves capable of automatically sorting music not just by genre but by composer as well. Since this strategy is purely algorithmic and doesn't rely on abstractions such as harmony or rhythm, it might be helpful to identify the composer for a work where not much is known about its origin. A similar strategy has also been used to find out whether two sound files containing speech are spoken in the same language.

Interestingly enough, Space.com recently reported that a similar compression program, Gzip, may be used to identify whether microscopic structures within rocks are stromatolites--structures created by microbes--or stromato-like structures created through a chemical process. To wit, the smaller the compressed file, the more orderly the structure, and thus the more likely the structure is a stromatolite. If the process stands up to further study, we may have a ready means to analyze Martian rocks for signs that life once lived on Mars.

I have a feeling that compression programs--once created back when drive space was much more expensive--will be used more and more often to analyze elements of structure in complex data sets. Indeed, I am already wondering if, for example, compression programs can be used to determine authors of texts. Imagine being able to compare the works of Shakespeare and Bacon with an off-the-shelf compression program. Perhaps compression software can also be used to compare images--say, to help differentiate between authentic Van Goghs and forgeries. I'm sure there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of possible applications.

Maybe this is the time to invest in Aladdin Systems, maker of the Stuffit compression suite. Does WinZip have public stock? Or will the use of gzip continue, encouraging the Open Source movement to create new scientific analysis tools with basic compression algorithms at their core? I don't know, but I have seen the future, and it is zipped.

Never Enough Chilling Prophesies Department

We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . . It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.

--Abraham Lincoln, letter to Col. William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864, as quoted on the ratical.com site


Monday, April 07, 2003

Never Enough Patriotic Responses Department

Edited from a post to the Transgender Headbangers group:

I'm not just an American, I'm a patriot.

I'm the kind of patriot who would rather burn Old Glory than let some redneck throw beer cans out his truck onto our American roads.

I'm the kind of patriot who doesn't like it when the US administration treats the rest of the world with arrogance, scorn, domination, and cruelty.

I'm the kind of patriot who hates the fact that her nation has become sheeplike, oblivious to the abattoir at the end of the path of gluttony and ignorance.

I'm the kind of patriot who doesn't appreciate having a cokehead President who hasn't even bothered to travel outside the US, who throws his weight around, disregards international law and diplomacy, and turns a $200 billion surplus into a $600 billion deficit in a single year.

I'm the kind of patriot who'd rather fix her own neighborhood than meddle in the affairs of others, and wishes her government were wise enough to do the same.

I'm the kind of patriot who is wary of binary dichotomies, especially in politics, and thinks a two-party political system is only marginally better than a one-party system.

I'm the kind of patriot who thinks all media is inherently biased, but therefore reads Arab and American news alike in search of balance and truth.

I'm the kind of patriot who'd rather be outspoken than silenced by neoconservative fundamentalist lunatics.

I'm the kind of patriot who thinks freedom isn't inhereted, but earned, and that every generation must stand up to attempts at restricting rights or else lose them irrevocably.

I'm the kind of patriot who knows America not as a body of land, a system of government, a nation of people, but as a set of ideals to which all Americans should aspire. That includes the President, by the way.

So I hope that explains where I'm coming from.

Never Enough Truth In Editing Department

I wonder if MSNBC intended this article to read as such:

In the heart of the city, American soldiers who reached the gold-and-blue-domed palace used the toilets, rifled through documents in the bombed-out compound, and helped themselves to ashtrays, pillows, gold-painted Arab glassware and other souvenirs.

�I hope this makes it clear to the Iraqi people that this (regime) is over and that they can now enjoy their new freedom,� said U.S. brigade commander Col. David Perkins.

The freedom to steal ashtrays--ah, what giddy carefree days should follow! Especially given how quickly the Iraqi people caught on to stealing bigger, fancier items. God bless America!

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Never Enough Server Updates DepartmentNever Enough Server Updates Department

Oh, I fogot to mention that SSUCC-L is back and in full swing. All Seattle area SubGeniuses and friends are welcome.

Never Enough Bush Doctrine Hating Department I stand behind the US troops. I also want them to come home quickly. I also know that, despite my opposition to this war, they will not be withdrawn just because of massive demonstrations worldwide, global leaders and allies condemning the war, or negative press. So it seems that the best way for them to get home quickly, at this point, is to win the war quickly. A quick victory, however, seems to be evaporating. "Shock and awe" is a joke. The Bush administration's propaganda war prior to the invasion, while somewhat effective, wasn't effective enough--all it has done is made Saddam's loyal troops and Baath Party members even more brutal and inhumane, pushing regular army conscripts to fight when they'd rather surrender. Several mistakes have been made, the biggest of which was to presume that a strategy that led to victory in impoverished, backwater Afghanistan could be used to gain victory in oil-rich, relatively secular and modernized Iraq. Is there any end to American arrogance? How did we get to be this bad? More to the point, how did we let our leaders get so bad? I've come very close to using my first paycheck to finance a "freedom tickler" product, just to see how many idiots are willing to buy a French Tickler in red, white, and blue. For that matter, France's flag is red, white, and blue too! How about, in protest, we change our flag's colors? Black for oil, green for money, and of course we'll keep the red, since Americans seem to love a good fight. Yesterday I mentioned to Thea that one anti-war "direct action" suggested sending boxes to the White House--without return addresses--clearly labeled "Our Blood For Oil", containing used tampons and sanitary napkins sealed in ziplock bags. Today Thea alluded to this action, saying she didn't like the idea of sending Dubya blood that he could then sacrifice to his Dark Lord. I replied, "Who, Jehovah?" One good result should come of all this war nonsense--I seriously doubt that Dubya will be re-elected. Now to keep my cynicism from overwhelming this conclusion....

Never Enough Job Updates Department So far, the job is going well. I'm still in the training period, but it's getting much more interesting. Last week was all classes, which alternated between fascinating and mind-numbing, depending on how deep into the technology we got. This week, however, I was busy attempting a whole-cloth installation of the product I will be supporting. The first step was to install Oracle properly. Ugh. For three days I labored, only to get odd error messages every time. Finally I simply reformatted the drive on my test machine, reinstalled the OS, and then gave Oracle another try. Success! By Thursday afternoon I had the software working 100%... and then trashed it running a script that I thought would upgrade the install. Oh well. It took far less time to reinstall it the second time around, to be sure. Using the correct instructions, I began the upgrade process anew, but ran into another Oracle snag when it refused to let me log in so I could make some needed changes to the database. Ugh, again. Oh well, I'll take another stab on Monday.

Never Enough Blogware Tests Department I'm currently testing iBlog, a new appy which lets me post to my blog without having a browser open. If all goes well, I will probably use iBlog to help increase my posting frequency. (Yeah, right.)

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Never Enough Sudden Changes Department

If you can read this, then you know there's been some changes. First off, my previous server--which used to be a free employee account courtesy my last job--was shut down since I haven't been an employee for well over a year. I wasn't notified, however, so after a few days I got 'em to turn it back on while I grab data.

My current, temporary server, has no FTP access, and Blogger doesn't use alternatives like SCP yet. So the first noticable change is a new URL for this blog, at prophetlilith.blogspot.com. However, lilith.foolspress.com will still be up and handle the redirection, so there's no need to change your bookmarks just yet. And once I have a new server up, I intend to re-establish my own blog site.

A less noticable change is that the mailing list for the Seattle SubGenius Union of Clenches & Crackpots (SSUCC) got corrupted during the downtime. I'm trying to get the list subscription file restored so that I can revive it. When it returns, it'll be hosted under ssucc.com rather than foolspress.com; I'll post a notice when that happens.

The new job is going well; I like the support team a lot. So far it's nothing but reading manuals and asking questions, and next week I get a week of training, after which I'll probably start taking support issues.

Oh yeah, just because I can't resist adding an entry about metal: MP3.com is now hosting samples from the new, self-titled Voivod album! GO NOW!

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Never Enough Evil Shockwave Games Department

Thanks to Idleworm.com, you can now play the first fully realistic Gulf War 2 simulator! Watch with glee as the Middle East collapses totally as a result of our arrogant stupidity! Laugh as Dubya wakes up early! Groan as Pakistan starts selling nukes! It's fun!

Monday, March 03, 2003

Never Enough Triumphant Returns Department

Life On Forbez is back! I'll add this strip once Blogger's got their template problems fixed. Again.

Never Enough Good Breaks Department


I got a job.


Thursday, February 27, 2003

Never Enough Conquer-And-Divide Tactics Department

So if the US invades Iraq, the US will indefinitely rule the country, although the rhetoric consistently claims democratization as a goal. What about the Turkish and Iranian troops already in Northern Iraq?

Never Enough Alternatives Department

Better World Club is a service that, like AAA, offers emergency roadside assistance, travel services, and trip insurance. Unlike AAA, they use 1% of their annual revenues to help fund environmental clean-up projects; they encourage the use of hybrid cars; they also offer bicycle roadside assistance; and they don't use their money for lobbying against pro-environment legislation. Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk has already joined, and they make it easy for any AAA member to switch. So give it a look, and see if this eco-friendly alternative to AAA is right for you.

Never Enough Emergency Preparedness Department

If you thought the duct tape was bad enough, compare this parody site with the ready.gov site it mocks, then ask yourself: Which is actually funnier?

Never Enough Endless Rebuttals Department

This is sure to be a hit with all your right-wing friends. Just remind them--it's only a bunch of Swedes playing with their heads, it's only a bunch of Swedes playing with their heads, it's only a bunch of Swedes playign with their heads....

Never Enough Endless Love Department

It was only a matter of time before someone thought to do this, but as it turned out, the Swedes did it first. Dubya and Blair never sounded so good!

You might have a little trouble with rebuffering the RealMedia, but as every site that hosts the QuickTime version seems to yank it quickly when the hits come, all I can say is: BE PATIENT. It's worth the wait.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Never Enough Molly Ivins Department

Shame on me for not putting Molly Ivins' column in the News section. This will get rectified as soon as blogger.com can load template files without crapping itself.

For the unaware, Molly Ivins is a redheaded Amazon of a Texan who comes from that long line of Texas Democrats who think that the Party should still, goddamn it, be progressively-minded, and not simply act like Republican Lite. In addition, she does not hesitate to call politicians on bullshit, no matter the party line. Most importantly, she's hilarious, with stories about "The Lege" (the Texas Legislature) that make WWF look like finger puppets wielded by seven year olds with speech impediments. Of course, your state legislature is probably no better, but you don't have a Molly Ivins reporting on the buffoonery.

I strongly recommend reading her most recent articles, followed by the Funny Times archive. Her books are good reads as well, but nowhere as topical by virtue of being largely pre-Dubya. Buy them anyhow.

As I'm proud to point out, not allTexans are insane, stupid, shallow, benighted, narrow-visioned bastards. Only the ones that get into the Lege--and the ones that vote 'em in. And then, then there's Molly. Ah, Molly....

Never Enough Travelogues Department

Last week my stepson Becklin was out of school for Mid-Winter Break and so Thea thought this would be a good time for us to take a little roadtrip up into the Cascades and see the sights. As I wrote to my friend Ken regarding the trip:


Thea had this idea that, since we would get a late start, we should just spend the night in Issaquah, then head to Ellensburg and visit Roslyn along the way. Issaquah was kinda retched--dinner was at this BBQ joint that's a mockery of proper God-ordained Texas Barbecue. The hotel was tiny, puny, had no tub, beds fit for midgets, and an exhaust vent that constantly leaked condensation the whole night. We had a bit of a nervous breakdown around 4 AM because the news was threatening up to two feet of snow up in the passes--but it sounded to me like most of that would be up in Stevens Pass, not around Snoqualmie Pass, where we'd be passing through.

Still, we had Krispy Kremes and each other, and by morning Thea was feeling a lot more optimistic about the trip. So we pushed on and stopped in Roslyn. (Thea's a fan of *Northen Exposure* so for her it was a pilgrimage.) Then on to Ellensburg for a HOT bath and cable TV, both luxuries we don't have at home. All in all it was more like a road trip than anything else, but the view was gorgeous and after the Issaquah Incident things were very pleasant indeed.

FWIW, if you find yourself in Ellensburg, don't eat at Grant's Pizza. Their menu sounds good but the food is less than impressive. Bisquik pizza crust is dag nasty, especially when burned on the bottom and not even folded over a dozen times or so. The Super-1 Grocery has better pizza in their deli--better than Pizza Hut if you ask me--and it's very inexpensive. A slice and a soda puts you back a whopping two bucks. Just make sure you have extra napkins, or better yet, Wet Wipes.

We'll probably go back this summer for a bit, if only because Ellensburg is home to Central Washington University, which has ASL-speaking chimpanzees. Thea knows ASL, so with luck maybe she can talk to the chimps. I want to use her as an interpreter and ask them what they REALLY think of humans. "Tell 'em, 'It's OK, we're on your side, honest.'"


Ken's reply said, "Chuckie Chimp say: "I heard THAT one before!"

And yes, Becklin was with us and enjoyed the trip too. Thought I'd mention that since I seemed to neglect mentioning it above.

Never Enough Explanatory Diagrams Department

If the below argument doesn't make sense to someone, maybe this helpful illustration will clarify the situation in their minds.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Never Enough Bullshit Checking Department

Next time you have to deal with someone who is for war on Iraq and starts talking about how bad Saddam Hussein is, gently remind them that most of the leaders of the Middle East should be removed for the same reasons--and yet Dubya isn't declaring war on the Middle East. (Not out loud, anyhow.) Point out that 41 members of the President's administration, including Dubya, Cheney, and Rice, have ties to the oil industry. Explain how Iraq controls 11% of the world's oil supply. Then, tell 'em that unless they want people to die just to fatten this country on more foreign oil, they should support the opposition against war.

That simple, really.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Never Enough Paranoia Inducements Department

Speaking of paranoid delusions, why don't you have a little fun with the Conspiratron while you still have the freedom to do so?

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Never Enough Self-Assurances Department

I'm glad that I'm not paranoid. Otherwise, I'd be wondering what the Zionist British Masonic Skull-And-Bones Trilateralist Satanic Communist Mafia Venusian Conspiracy was doing, trying to start a war with millions worldwide vocally opposed. But since I'm convinced that the Zionist British Masonic Skull-And-Bones Trilateralist Satanic Communist Mafia Venusian Conspiracy has no idea what they are doing, I can't be paranoid at all. Right?

Friday, February 07, 2003

Never Enough Returning Webcomics Department

Despite MS-SQL worms....

Despite Keenspace server crashes....

Despite irretrievably lost backups....


You may now rejoice.

Never Enough Birthdays Department

Joy--I turned 33 this morning! And it has been a pretty good birthday all in all. I started celebrating Wednesday night, inviting friends to have Ethiopian food with me. Ah, how tasty it all is--spicy, but in a different way than most cultures' idea of "spicy." I enjoyed my favorite Ethiopian dish, kitfo, which is like steak tartare only that the beef is mixed with a butter sauce laden with cardamom, ginger, and chili powder. Everyone else had this sampler platter which had a bottom layer of injera (sour crepe-like bread) with a bit of everything on top--wat (spicy stews of different kinds of meat), tibs (not so spicy sauteed meat chunks), lentils, gomen (collards), homemade cottage cheese, with generous servings of injera on the side from which we tore pieces, laid them upon each morsel, pinched up the morsel and the injera together, and then savored the combination. Thea, who had never had Ethiopian food before, didn't care for the kitfo so much, but otherwise said that she'd be open to Ethiopian food any time I wanted. Many others were having their first experience there as well and enjoyed it thoroughly. We also shared a bottle of Ethiopian honey wine, which is different from mead in that it is brewed with hops and has a slight amount of bubbles, giving it a drier taste that met with much approval. I still have left-overs from the restaurant, by the way, mostly injera sopped in the juices from the platter. I've found that scrambled eggs go well with those leftovers. Mmmmmmmmmm...!

Yesterday Thea and I went to the mall, where I got my ears pierced for the first time. It hurt far less than I expected, although I didn't like it when the plastic bracket holding the left stud didn't release at first. I wasn't aware that they actually have piercing studs to simplify the process and make it much more convenient and safe. As is there's no pain at all, only a faint awareness of the new weight on my ears. By the first day of Spring I will be able to swap these studs out (14K white gold) for a pair even better suited to me, which I'll have to wear for the next six months until the holes heal permanently open. But that's OK, as I'm really happy to have my first body mod. Next--a tattoo of my sigil!

Afterwards I joined Thea as she was finishing her Aqua Massage. It really helps her with her endo, and it simply feels divine. If we were rich, we'd own a unit. At any rate, afterwards we went to Marie Callender's for lunch, followed by a trip to Silver Platters, which has to be one of the best CD stores in the Seattle area. They are one of the few with a consistently good, eclectic selection--including and especially metal but including lots of classical and bluegrass, two of Thea's favorites. I found a copy of Arcturus' The Sham Mirrors, which I probably should've bought a year ago except I've been trying not to go gaga over CDs while unemployed. I didn't bother looking further; I knew that, if I found that Arcturus CD there, I'd find much more that I craved, and I didn't want to whine over what I could've got. As is, I'm very happy to have this CD. Thea bought the Bitch And Animal CD Eternally Hard, which she had been wanting for months. Bitch And Animal are a duet of lesbian genderfucking musicians who throw a lot of diverse elements together--hip-hop, punk, folk, etc.--to make a very catchy, raunchy mix. Despite myself, I think they're a lot of fun, and I'm glad Thea got that CD.

Today? Today I've been chatting with some of my former co-workers, washing dishes, and settling into being thirty-three. No plans, no presents, just a bit of peace, quiet, and domestic tranquility. Hope things go at least as well for those reading!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Never Enough CD Finds Department

This evening I was in Tower Records, of all places, going through their used CD racks. I wasn't terribly hopeful--and in the end I was proven right, given there was one Emperor live CD, one Aeternus CD, and a smattering of hair metal among tons of pop drivel. But luckily for me, I started at the other end of the racks, and one of the first things I found was Zeni Geva's Total Castration LP. YAY!!!

OK, I know I've mentioned Zeni Geva here before. I've even pointed you at mp3s hosted by Alternate Tentacles, Jello Biafra's label, which has the good taste to have released the Zeni Geva albums Desire For Agony and Freedom Bondage. (For that matter, Skin Graft Records had released their earlier album Nai-Ha, and an mp3 for the track "Autobody" is hosted on their audio page, fourth from the bottom.) But I don't think I ever attempted to describe why exactly I like Zeni Geva so damned much.

And it is hard to describe Zeni Geva's appeal, except to say that if you're tired and disgusted with the state of metal, punk, noise, or any other genre you may name, Zeni Geva may well be the tonic you need. Even Steve Albini of Big Black, whose personal motto may well be "I hate EVERYTHING," is not only a fan but their co-producer and occasional collaborator. It may help that Zeni Geva is simutaneously very Japanese in sound, both in their lyrics which are mostly in Japanese and in their sense of harmony, and yet so atypical of Japanese music, too raw, too heavy, too experimental for comparisons with other Japanese bands.

Zeni Geva founder K.K. Null was a Japanese electronic noise pioneer before "Japanoise" became trendy--and yet Zeni Geva isn't Japanoise. Zeni Geva is often championed by the punk scene both in Japan and abroad, and prefer looser arrangements and fuzzed-out guitars over more technical music--and yet they aren't punk either. The band is often compared to Godflesh in terms of how their multi-layered minimalism creates an oppressive atmosphere without relying on doom metal formulas--and yet they aren't industrial metal. The lyrics cover topics that would be familiar to any death metal fan and the music is appropriately brutal--and yet they aren't death metal, either. The songs often lock onto an odd groove that is irresistable and, dare I say it, FUN--and yet they aren't GROOVY.

In short, part of Zeni Geva's appeal is that they cannot be so easily pigeon-holed into any category. They are a very, VERY unique musical entity, and very addictive if you give them an honest listen. I know I'm hooked--I'm excited enough about them to have made this write-up after finding just one CD.

Then again, that's one more CD towards having a complete Zeni Geva collection. The only other major CDs I miss are Maximum Money Monster and All Right, You Little Bastards--and then I'm collecting extremely rare LPs, EPs, and cassettes, as well as Null's side projects and solo efforts. I already own a few of those, as is.

Being a collector is in some ways a nastier habit than writing for a blog. While spewing out one's inner thoughts on a needlessly public forum designed just for one's inner thoughts shows excessive self-importance, it won't bankrupt you the way that collecting will. That doesn't mean I'll stop doing either--especially if I can write about collecting. And if that means writing about collecting Zeni Geva CDs, I guess it can't be THAT bad of a habit. And I can quit smoking anytime. No, really.

Never EVER Enough Earplugs Department

As Devin Townsend might put it:


I was a bit dumb Sunday night. In my anxiety to get out of the house in time for the Nile show, I forgot to bring earplugs. Thea had a pair in her purse, so she was OK during the onslaught. Fortunately I found that the bar section of the club had earplugs for sale, but not before having to endure Napalm Death without 'em. As is, my tinnitus was very short-lived, but could've been avoidable if I had paid attention the first time I was at the bar.

See, I remembered the M�torhead/Morbid Angel/Today Is The Day show last May. Oh, that was a FUN show, as readers of this blog will recall. But my ears rang for over two days afterwards. My pal Hellpope Huey recalled how a mutual friend lost his hearing working in the aerospace industry and needed acupuncture just so he could hear something except deep bass frequencies--so he warned me to wear earplugs. I sorta heeded. I tried, anyhow. Sorry, Huey.

I didn't need earplugs as badly for the first three acts anyhow, as the amps weren't THAT cranked, and we were in the back of the club anyhow. The Graceland has an elevated area with tables and benches, and Thea needs to sit some of the time lest her endometriosis get the best of her. We got to the club an hour before the doors opened, after enjoying a lovely Thai dinner with our new friend Robert, co-subscriber to the Yahoo! group queerMETAL, his boyfriend Justin, and their friend Shaunda. Thea got the Volcano Hen, a small roasted bird set aflame at the table after being baked and basted in a delicate broth of Thai spices. I had a couple of bites--it was tasty. Plus, I got to make metal-signs and evil faces when it was lit, while Thea muttered something about offerings to her Dark Lord. Fun fun.

Back to the club: Since we arrived early enough, before a line had formed, we found a table in a corner with ample bench seating all around, and thus were relatively comfortable during the onslaught. And what a wonderful onslaught it was! First, The Berzerker from Australia came out with their rubber demonic monster masks and cranked some industrial-tinged death metal that was rather mosh-worthy, if a bit repetitive. In time they'll be a force to be reckoned with, once they've become more seasoned and well-rounded.

Next was former Steve Vai vocalist Devin Townsend and his splended chaotic "cybermetal" band Strapping Young Lad, providing hands-down the most insane, energetic, balls-out, no-holds-barred, fantastic performance of the evening. In fact, given the energy level of the band, it's a wonder that they let 'em be a supporting act! I guess it helps that Devin is funny and freaky--he started the show by mentioning that on the tour so far they've been in ten cities, eating shitty Mexican food, and spraying their stool in bathrooms everywhere, but since being in Seattle and eating our food, he's had, to quote him, "FOUR... PERFECT... MARBELIZED... TURDS!!!" And then the band launched into their most crazed song to my knowledge, "Oh My Fucking God!"--which you can actually hear on mp3.com in its live, uncensored form. For that matter, you really should check out the website for his personal label, Hevy Devy Records--the man's got four SYL albums, four solo albums, one punk parody side-project, and two bands he personally produces, with more brilliant metal music for practically every taste except the boring heard-it-before kind.

After a short intermission, Sweden's melodic death metal champions Dark Tranquility came out and played a set of very nice music. But, while they are quite talented, they should not have played after SYL!!! After The Berzerker, their talents would've looked better. But they just don't have the energy to compete with madmen like SYL. Indeed, while I did enjoy Dark Tranquility, they would've been better off playing an open-air concert, with couples laying on the grass, smoking pot and hooting their support. But a nightclub with a young, mosh-hungry crowd is not their best possible venue. They were there mainly for the acts yet to come.

And Napalm Death didn't disappoint that mosh-hungry crowd, or me for that matter. While there was concern for a while that Napalm Death was getting old, soft, and predictable, their last two releases have the band returning to their hardcore-influenced death/grind roots with a vengeance, and that was reflected in their savage and LOUD performance. They covered every nook and cranny of their career, from their early Scum album to their latest, included a brutal version of "Greed Killings" from their underrated Diatribes album, and didn't let up one sweat-soaked moment. My personal highlight was when I shouted out "NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF!" in reference to their Dead Kennedys cover--and then they played it in all its glory. In between they had plenty of vindictive moments of lambasting wars fought for corporate interests (like the present one), the British Royal Family, and their current nemesis, the music industry. My heart was full of joy and pounding bass, and while my aging ears might've wanted some protection, I was happy to experience that show in its total rawness.

But even as I ran to the bar for those earplugs, I was eager to hear the saviors of death metal, Nile, whose total devotion to Egyptian and Assyrian themes--in contrast to the worn-out sophomoric satanism of many of their peers--provides a much needed contrast and endless inspiration for revived atavistic brutality. Nile uses three vocalists in rotation during each song, each with his own unique deep demonic growling style, and couples it with Middle-Eastern styled riffing in balance with the precision thudding of the lower registers. A bit testosterone-poisoned they may well be, but they seem to know how to use it on stage, as they set off the most ferocious moshing of the night. Even their appropriation of Grieg's "Mars" from The Planets Suite, renamed "Ramses, Bringer Of War," could've sounded hokey but instead was used like a warclub to smash down upon weaker pretenders to the death metal throne. And they smashed away the whole of their set, not letting up until the very end. Despite the earplugs I was still blown away, and when they come to Seattle again I will be there.

My only regret was that the mighty Voivod, originally scheduled to be on the tour, had pulled out so they could record their new album with former Metallica and Flotsam Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted, who I'm happy to report is now a permanent member of the band. Voivod has been a favorite of mine since their Dimension Hatr�ss album, and it does my heart glad that Newsted left the corporate bloat that Metallica has become to join a band that is both sellout-proof and dedicated to producing weird, innovated extreme metal. I missed not seeing them at this show, but I wish them all well and can't wait to hear the results!

And there you have it--a somewhat mutilated report, not covering everything--like the guy in the Harodl Arthur McNeill painted leather jacket who accidently gave Robert a shower with his wet hair, or the friends of Robert we met whose name I only vaguely remember (Bill?).... Uh, I think I just added those details. That's a sign that I should go to bed soon.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Never Enough Unrestrained Enthusiasm Department


I'm going to the Nile show.


Thursday, January 23, 2003

Never Enough Web Comic Crises Department

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Keenspace is down--and with it, fully TWO-THIRDS of the comics I read!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Never Enough Feedback Department

Although I've had an e-mail link at the top of the page, I've always wanted more feedback on this site than I often get. So I've created a guestbook that you can read or--better yet--sign to let me know what you think. Feel free to go at it!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Never Enough SubGenius Blues Hymns Department

I've completed "Where's The Slack In That?" and, while it could be better, I'm mostly happy with the way it turned out. The only way to make it better is to find some old Delta Blues guitarist who'll bang away on his gee-tar while wailin' away at the lyrics. As is, considering I was using Finale and Pro Tools, both of which I've only begun to learn, I'm fairly satisfied with the results.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Never Enough New Groups To Run Department

I know I've been silent for the past couple of weeks, but that's just as well, as I've been keeping busy with my new Yahoo! group and webring, Transgender Headbangers. It's proving to be a fun bunch, lots of crazy sick bitches--just my kind of people!

But there are a few things I can add to the list of updates and general merriment. First, despite my anti-Christmas sentiment, I did receive some nice Yule presents--a new pair of hair sticks, a new computer chair, a pair of rubber riding boots (which didn't fit, alas, but will be replaced with a leather pair soon), and best of all, two tickets to see Nile, Napalm Death, Dark Tranquility, Strapping Young Lad, and The Berzerker on January 26!!! And yes, I'll post a concert review once I've recovered.

Second, I'm still unemployed, but still hopeful and relieved that federal unemployment assistance has been extended another three months. Something's got to give, soon.

Third, Thea just applied for a day job, accompanying the mentally handicapped on trips to cafes, bowling alleys, movie theaters, etc. Hopefully she'll land that job, which would improve our income greatly--enough, we think, to move into a roomier apartment in an older house, complete with fireplace.

Fourth, I'm taking a break from alt.slack for a while. I don't frop much anymore, and it's just not as funny without frop.

Fifth, I'm learning Pro Tools and Finale, and between the two I've begun working on songs that have been trapped in my head for some time. I'll post details once I've completed the first one, a bluesy SubGenius hymn called "Where's The Slack In That?"

Speaking of which, Thea is working a late night shift, which means I could work on that song tonight if I so choose. I think I shall....