Hurdy-Gurdy

I’d never heard of a Hurdy-gurdy but now that I’ve seen one I like it. It sounds great in the video. From my adminttedly uninformed point of view it’s something like a steampunk autoharp-violin that appears to be a total bitch to play. It’s at least as uncommon as the tragically rare Theremin.*

Hat tip to Chicken Feathers.

*Seriously, the world needs more Theremin; possibly within a heavy metal band that may or may not include Cellos. The Dr. Who Theme and a little bit of noodling on a single Zeppelin track? (Whole lotta’ lovin’ in case you’re wondering.) I’m calling bullshit! Either the Theremin is lacking in a way some musician needs to explain to me or we’re getting screwed out of something epic.

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Oscilloscope?

I stumbled across a $40 oscilloscope for sale. Presumably it was only driven on Sundays by a sweet little old lady and also it functions… probably it even functions correctly. (How would I know?) Right now it’s hooked up to a TV and is happily making groovy waveforms to the soundtrack of Kung Fu Panda. I have no idea if $40 is a good price but the guy wouldn’t go any lower. He didn’t know what to do with it either. It’s at a music store that’s going out of business. Soooo many dials and knobs…

It. Looks. So. Cool. Pointless, but cool.

Nothing says “mad scientist” like an oscilloscope but I have no earthly idea what I would do with one. Help me out folks. If anyone can come up with an excuse why I need to buy it, tell me. Or, if they’re a dime a dozen and $40 is way too much and they’re not fun to own, I’d like to know that too. Anyone anyone, Bueller?

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The Most Interesting Chicken In The World: Part 2

He was the worst kind of criminal; the exceedingly rare and almost legendary monster that’s literally too rapacious and violent for organized crime. He was effective, no doubt about that! But no good for a team. You could see in his eyes, his dangerous inhuman eyes, that no one was safe in his presence. The regional narcotraffickers compromised by forming a sort of alliance with him. Anything shipped along Route 2 in Sonora was deliberately and carefully routed directly into his sphere of influence; Cananea, Sonora. There, he took his cut. He grudgingly reciprocated by moving it on down the line. The narcotraffickers, in control of virtually everything for hundreds of miles, wisely decided “the Cananea tax” was a better investment than the all out, scorched earth, devastation Cananea’s ruler would surely unleash should things get out of hand.

For their part, the residents of Cananea, simply endured. Chairman Mao, Stalin, Caligula, all these men had come and gone and some portion of the humanity around them had simply endured. So too would they. Cowering for a time in the shadow of a monster. Also, they had biology on their side. They felt confident that he wouldn’t live long.

It was an uneasy truce but any truce is better than none. Unfortunately, all bets went out the window when Tyrone Woodruff appeared. Sporting a shaved head, numerous tats, a modest convertible sedan, and the kind of attitude that only an American refugee from Chicago could muster, he simply arrived one day. No one knew where he came from. All he offered was a vague reference to Chicago and an insistence that you quit asking stupid questions. He paid in bitcoin, had a trunk full of machine guns, there were bullet holes in his passenger side door, and he was obviously fearless.

Everyone knew this was going to lead to trouble.

Cananea’s Ruler woke early that day, like he did every day. As soon as the sun breached the horizon he was strutting around screaming at everyone in sight. “Get up you asshloes! There’s shit to do!”

He was always in a hurry in the mornings. He ate a huge meal, ran off to his harem to urgently do things that would make Harvey Weinstein cry, and returned slightly ruffled and ready to go out and kick some ass. He summoned Pedro, his servant.

Technically he had hired Pedro to be his bodyguard but that’s like hiring a bodyguard for a tornado. Mostly Pedro ferried him around, made sure he never ran out of beer, and functioned as a translator. He liked Pedro, but of course sooner or later Pedro was going to die. He was just too damn vital and excitable for anyone, even Pedro, to be in his presence for too long.

It had been a busy morning. He’d checked on the narcotraffickers shipments (and taken his cut of course) and followed that up with some extortion, a little bit of arson and, when he ran out of ideas for interesting crimes to commit, he jumped around vandalizing cars.

That’s when he met Tyrone. Tyrone’s car was the only vehicle in Cananea he didn’t recognize. As soon as he spied it, cruising around looking for a decent body shop, he ordered Pedro to pursue it. It was a lively chase but eventually they cornered Tyrone in the parking lot of a defunct Blockbuster video.

“I’m thirsty Pedro,” he grumbled, “cervesa! Now!”

Pedro, as always, had a beer in hand. “Here you go boss.”

He drank deeply. It was hot out.

Pedro continued, “Should I explain things to our new friend?”

He nodded.

“You see, we come to say hello and you run away. That is not good. You give the boss some money. That’s how you show respect see?”

Tyrone couldn’t believe his eyes. “Shiiiiiiiiiit.” He drawled in an accent more southern than Chicagoan. Then the Chicago dialect kicked in “Get the fuck away from me ya dumbass redneck shithead afore I shoot yo balls off.”

The boss had already noticed the firearm. Indeed, it was pointed directly at Pedro’s family jewels. Then again, he had known all along the Pedro was at best a temporary hire; it looked like his days were up. Pedro, for his part, hadn’t noticed the firearm but he wasn’t one to overthink such things. He’d seen the boss tear apart so many challengers that he assumed the gringo would be dead as soon as the boss finished his beer.

The boss thought the same.

Tyrone had a different opinion. He didn’t shoot his way out of Chicago’s meanest streets to get hassled by a dimwit carrying a chicken. He’d pop a cap in Pedro and his dumbass livestock in the time it took either one to reach his door. Tyrone’s specialties back home were armed robbery, and conveniently for his current situation, carjacking. Tyrone knew precisely what threats he could and could not handle from the wheel of a car. He slid the transmission into park. He hoped he could finish this without putting another hole in his door. It was always a hassle repairing shot up doors.

“A rooster.” Pedro corrected him, as if reading his thoughts. “And he is almost done with his beer…”

Knowing where things were headed, they all mentally prepared. Tyrone breathing deeply, getting in the zone for a good old fashioned throwdown. Pedro grinning, ready for the show. The Boss, anxious to add another to his long list of bloody victories.

And those are the circumstances that led to what came to be known as “The Pollo Loco Shootout of Cananea”.

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The Most Interesting Chicken In The World: Part 1

Behold this magnificent image. Just look at it. Look! At! It!

So much is happening. So many questions. What could possibly be happening? Why was the chicken thirsty? Is it also cold? Did it need a beer after a hard day? Is the gun loaded? Is the chicken a fugitive? A carjacker? There’s a story here. I lie awake at night thinking about it.

Challenge accepted! My next post will explain everything.

For now bask in the glory of this photographic conundrum:

Hat tip here.

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That’s How It’s Done!


Hat tip to Daily Timewaster.

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I Like This Kid

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OCD Floor

I’m working in a building where the elevator floor has some sort of synthetic tile laid down. So far, so good. But you’re supposed to grout that shit! It’s like standing on an artfully placed pile of old broken plates. I know, I know, first world problem and all that. But I just hate seeing an incomplete job. What happened? Were they working along installing tile when someone said “fuck it, workday’s done” and then they skipped town? Did someone pay a contractor in advance? (Also, one of the tiles is already broken.)

This is irrelevant and I don’t know if it’ll show up on the photos but trust me, there’s a 1/4″ gap between every damn one of them. It pisses me off and I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve half a mind to buy some materials and finish the job in a clandestine grout application attack. Possibly while wearing a cape. It’s  bird, it’s a plane, it’s GROUTMAN!

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Can You Imagine How Hard It Is

…to not comment about politics right now? Things have gotten so weird. It draws the mind. Like a trainwreck, involving a circus, in a cesspool, that catches fire, on Facebook.

It has gone from “unusual” to a self replicating stupid factory. Nutjobs in pussy hats smashing up a Starbucks are old news. Let me repeat that because it’s a key concept: they became “day to day humbdrum” generics asshats; no more memorable than the twit who’s shopping cart scratches your car at the grocery store.

In my old age will I sit in a rocking chair and reminisce about today? “Back in the teens, a dollar’s worth of fiat currency was worth a whole $0.04 of silver and the debt was a mere $20,494,084,701,227.67. Cell phones were tapped, the TSA fondled your nutsack at the airport, and your car could get convinced of a crime even if you weren’t in it. Pot was sorta’ legal and crossing the national border was kinda’ allowed but incandescent bulbs were completely banned. Folks who dressed like vaginas screamed at the sky because they wanted a more powerful government but only when their guy was in charge. Rednecks were either meth addicted deplorables or the last remaining taxpayers depending on who you asked. Ideas like having a parade or picking the proper shitter were topics of debate. How lucky we were! Pass grampy his soma filled bong will ya’?”

It’s hard to grok where the shenanigans will lead… but I have a guess… which I’m not going to write up today.

The current chapter is spies, misdirection, memos, and big wads of money. But that’s only the current chapter. There will be more. There’s always more. Periodically a key player “decides” to step down (to spend more time with their family of course). Instead of their well earned time in Federal “pound me in the ass prison” they parachute into a high paying “job” in the media; an industry which is hemorrhaging money and can’t figure out why. I suppose it’s better than unexpectedly convenient suicides or tanks on the streets.

Didn’t we all see this coming? Maybe not the depth and breadth but the general outline? Of course we did! That’s why we’re tending to our own garden and avoiding most of the inanity.

We cling to reality and resist mainlining press releases on CNN or planting Facebook flotsam in our skull. Reality is where it’s at! Love, knowledge, and wisdom belong in a world where 2+2 = 4 and the sky is blue. Not where 2+2= racism and the sky is a construct of socially borne ways of knowing.

It was obvious. At least to anyone who has read Greek Tragedy. They explained the whole thing 2,000 years ago. They totally nailed the second decade of the 21st century. First comes hubris with a chaser of nemesis. Arrogant dickheads do arrogant things. The pressure builds. Everyone in the audience yells “no, don’t do that stupid thing”. But they don’t listen, because they’re not merely arrogant but also dickheads. Without fail, the plot leads to the inevitable catastrophe. There was no other possible resolution. It was fated.

The first step on the path led to the last step; where the dudes in the masks sing a chorus while all the actors lay dead or maimed. Nothing is new. People who should know better inevitably invite their own demise. The rest of us can’t stop it. We can only bask in the ensuing catharsis and maybe grab a handful of schadenfreude before the next round of morons repeat the show. It’s just so irresistibly mad. It’s hard to walk down the street without doing this:

But I’m trying dammit. I’m trying hard.

  • The sky is blue.
  • Death by malaria is way down. (Thanks for pointing that out Coyote Blog!)
  • I found a funny picture of a chicken.

Whew… nothing political in any of that. Especially the funny picture. It intrigues me and I’ll post it as soon as I get time.

Stay frosty y’all.

A.C.

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Channeling Dennis Miller

Raconteur Report hits one out of the park:

That’s just lining up the ensuing meme-oriffic beatdown. I won’t steal Raconteur Report’s thunder. However, if you don’t go there immediately your day has been totally wasted. Nothing that happens in the short term is better than seeing a simulated Dennis Miller take a verbal hickory stick to the undead heap of narcissistic confirmation bias that walks the earth in the guise of Kimmel.

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Back Online

[Greetings from the world’s only habitually off-grid blogger.]

I’ve been off-line longer than usual. (There were a few automagically scheduled posts sprinkled about, but for at least the last few weeks I’ve been mostly AWOL.)

Didja miss me?

My absence is a long story about which I may (or may not) elaborate. The silver lining is that it’s generally good to “unplug”. The only cloud based activity I did was getting out of bed to check out the blue super blood moon. (I saw nothing but snow clouds and a drunk snowmobiler.) It was no biggie; the 2017 eclipse sated my appetite for celestial events.

Speaking of cloud, my Amazon ads seemed to vaporize. Fuck Amazon. [Update: problem fixed, I love you guys at Amazon. Lets never fight again.] But my Patreon keeps chugging away. Thanks guys! [Update: Patreon annoyed one of my supporters. Those bastards! They should be tossed in a lake.] Some other blog maintenance fell through the cracks but I’ll sort it out in due time and readers shouldn’t notice anything amiss. Unless it becomes self aware and starts editing my silly stories… then all bets are off.

I’ve generally monitored what passes for news without letting it get too deep in my head. (That last part is wise council for us all.) Jesus on the half-shell, what a sordid (though entertaining) mess 2018 is becoming. Even at the starting gate it’s over-revved. Did nobody end 2017 with a quick “whew, that was nuts, lets rehydrate and maybe walk it off before the next bout of hysteria”? It seems like the media doubled down and created a new Zeitgeist baseline of Crazytown. (Oddly enough, it’s a Crazytown filled with English Majors who can’t define Zeitgeist but that’s another story.)

I didn’t expect another year of incrementally getting weirder. We were already redlining. 2017 was like 2016 run through a blender, cut with a mix of paranoia and God complex, and snorted off a hooker’s ass. Where does the stupid end? (Speaking of stupidity, I haven’t forgotten the Lesbian Activist Squirrels.)

I don’t know how much panic folks can muster but my estimate is too low. It’s miles in the rear view mirror. I enjoy the show but worry about individuals. Too much stupid can leak from groups into individuals and it’s bad for ya. I hope to see folks come down and join reality. Reality sometimes sucks (as it has for me lately) but it’s a good place to live.


It dawns on me that I’ve no idea who won the Superbowl. I’m comfortable with that. As a corollary, I’ve had to brook no inane discussion about which commercial is better than which other damned commercial. “Dude, you shoulda’ seen it, there were supermodels riding Clydesdales in space drinking a coke with a rapping penguin.” I really hate the idea of deliberately watching commercials.


In the meantime I’m going to click over to Knuckledraggin who’s doing some good old fashioned niceness on behalf of Angel. (Angel used to run the ever entertaining blog “Hoplessly Sane” until she had to table it last September. It was on my blogroll.)

My winter has sucked but I’m not toast yet. Sometimes doing a good turn for others is what brightens your day… at least that’s my plan. I’m pretty low on funds after the recent cascade of suck but these things happen. I’m not living in a cardboard box so it’s all good and I could use the pick me up. Call me selfishly charitable if you want, but don’t call me later for dinner. You’re welcome to contribute to Angel, or not, no pressure.


So there you have it. I’m not dead yet (though it’s been a tough winter) and I’ll post again when I get my schedule hammered into submission. I’m going off line again now but it should be a shorter duration; unless all hell breaks loose again (which I’m not ruling out).

Carry on and all that.

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