atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#526: A bunch of stuff

I was really disappointed with the last episode of I"s. It was pretty lousy, and I'm not sure whether it was a case of anime outrunning manga, or just the inevitability of "plot flameout" after the major issue of the story has been resolved. What I do know is that I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed the other five eps. In fact, there was not much to enjoy.

It was bereft of humor, the motivations of the characters were stereotypical, and the plot just plodded--things which say to me that Matsura (the manga artist) was not involved with the writing of episode 6.

It would have been better if they'd devoted an episode to the King Game, damn it, and left this one out entirely.

* * *

Dokuro-chan is...what is the opposite of having something you don't like "grow on" you? It started out funny, and is beginning to descend into not-funny. It hasn't gotten to the point where I've decided against not watching any more yet, though.

Precious few series have ever made me stop watching them, so that may not be a good indicator. But I initially gave up on Neon Genesis Evangelion, which turned out to be a pile of unremediated turds; I stopped watching Love Hina partway through, and--again--picked it up later to see what happened.

In both cases I found myself wondering why on God's green Earth these series were so popular and even seen as pivotal--they were crap.

But Dokuro-chan's greatest failure, so far, is the predictability. I'm not a fan of the "tsundere'kko who blames everything on the protagonist and beats the everloving shit out of him every time she thinks he's done something wrong" schtick anyway; if it was a man doing that to a woman they'd call it "domestic abuse" and he'd be a skunk. Why is it okay for a female character to do that kind of thing?

We've got Love Hina to thank for that escalation of the tsundere'kko. Akane Tendo in Ranma 1/2 was about right for that schtick, and Lum in Urusei Yatsura was probably the exemplar of the breed; but Naru Narusegawa in Love Hina was the first tsundere I saw that was so insanely jealous and violent that it was impossible for me to sympathize with her. (And Kirie from Girls' Bravo fit that mold for much of that series, as well.) "You saw some girl's panties! I'm too angry to care if it's your fault or not; take this!" Cue the violence. *sigh* At least with Lum you knew that Ataru deserved his punishment.

What I would love to see would be a harem series in which some guy's childhood friend is a tsundere, and he then says, "No, that's it--this relationship is over" and stops associating with the violently jealous bitch until she mends her ways. It could be handled with humor so it needn't go overboard on angst, even. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

* * *

Hmm, one-panel cartoon idea: Lum, Kirie, Akane, Naru, etc, in a room sitting on folding metal chairs in a rough circle, with Dokuro-chan standing in front of her empty chair somewhere left of center. A bloody Excaliborg leans against the back of her chair. She's talking and across the back wall is a banner which reads "ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASS".

She's saying, "I finally realized I had a problem when I got tired of cleaning my club..."


* * *

Corollary idea: the victims of the tsundere'kkos mentioned above in a similar circle. Banner reads "DOMESTIC ABUSE SUPPORT GROUP". Done properly it could be quite funny.

* * *

Thinking again about the Jeep's stereo, I realized something.

Back in the old days, installing a new stereo in a car was a major project. You had to remove the old stereo--which was usually a royal pain in the ass--and spend a lot of time working out which wires went where and did what. Once you'd done that, you had to cut, strip, and crimp wires together; then you had to test the installation and fix what you'd done wrong. Then you had to run speaker wires and install the speakers, and do this, and do that, and do the other thing--it was a mess.

I am speaking of putting a stereo into a 1970s American car, of course. It got easier in the 1980s.

Some of you may understand what it was like to put a stereo cassette deck into a car which formerly had had only an AM radio. The old cars used a single wire for each speaker, and the speakers were grounded to the chassis. This works fine for mono; it doesn't work for stereo.

For a while I had the dash speaker as the "left" and the rear speaker as the "right" channel, but when I would turn the radio on there wouldn't be any sound. I'd hit the dashboard and the front speaker would start working; I'd hit the rear speaker and it would go PFFFFT and start working.

I bought a pair of Radio Shack 6x9 speakers for $10 each which could handle 30w of power, which was more than enough for a factory head unit. Installing the speakers--even cutting the required second hole in the shelf under the rear window--wasn't so bad. But I had to run speaker wire from the dashboard to the trunk because there were no existing wires for that purpose.

I then had to disassemble part of the dashboard to get the dash speaker out so I could convert it to a 2-wire configuration. (I never did install a second speaker up front; I relied on the rears.)

Later I installed a Radio Shack amplifier/equalizer which bumped the output of the rear speakers to 20w each--still within the capacity of the cheap speakers, and it sounded good.

...and it was largely the same for every car I owned. The 1977 Impala and the 1974 VW 412 both took a lot of finagling and such to get the equipment installed.

My first new car--a 1991 Escort--had a good stereo in it, so I left it be. Ditto for the 1993 Thunderbird I bought after the first Escort was totaled.

I lived with cassette in the green 1995 Escort for years before deciding I wanted a CD player in it.

You see, Best Buy had a deal: buy a car stereo of $100 or more, and they would install it free of charge. Remembering how much of a chore it was to install a car stereo, I wondered how the hell they could profitably do that?

Then I found out: companies were now making installation kits.

I bought the Aiwa head unit for my Escort, and an install kit--which consisted of an adaptor cable which one had to splice onto the connector cable included with the stereo. It took me about twenty minutes to make and solder the connections, and it took ten minutes to put the thing into the car. Holy crap. (I'd wager Best Buy uses crimp connections. That's fine for them, but I'd rather use solder.)

The installation kit made things very simple. You could do all the wiring sitting at a table, instead of having to crawl under the car's dashboard and struggle to find enough slack in that stupid wire to have room for the crimpers so you could-- None of that; and the wires are even pre-stripped so all you have to do is twist and solder, then wrap with tape. (I wanted to use heat-shrink tubing, but the smallest I had was 1/4", which was too big.)

Go out to the car, plug it in, and make sure you connected everything correctly. Bolt 'er in and done.

The advent of flat-face stereos helped, too. No more of this "finagle it up behind the dash and stick it through the holes" crap. Back end goes in first and you bolt it down. It's much easier this way.

The install kit I bought at AutoZone the other day will go back. I bought a complete install kit with the Pioneer head unit; the one from AutoZone was just the adaptor plate, no wiring kit--so I'll take it back, haha. (AutoZone sells the wiring kits seperately.)

But I showed my age again: once the stereo was installed (and the driver's door speaker working, however temporarily that might be) I listened to the music for a few moments, and then went inside to go to bed. No test-drive--there'll be plenty of time for that later. *sigh*

"An old man says, 'I'm an old man.'" (If you know where that's from, you may have one cookie before dinner.)

* * *

Firefighters forced to take part in a gay pride parade are now suing the city of San Diego. And I don't blame them one bit.

"Sexual harassment" is not something which can solely happen to women, although there are many out there who would like us to think so. In this case, straight men were subjected to unwanted sexual advances.
They reported hearing statements such as, "show me your hose," "you can put out my fire," "you're making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," and "blow my hose." When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile and started shouting, "F--- you firemen" and others began "flipping them off."
And if these firemen treated their female counterparts that way, the department would have come down on them like the Red Sea engulfing the Egyptians. Or worse.

I don't understand why "gay pride" involves public indecency. But if you're against people using public bathrooms for anonymous gay sex, if you don't want to take part in a gay pride parade for fear of crap like the above, I guess that just means you're a "homophobe" and a bigoted asshole.

* * *

"Planned Parenthood officials said they concealed their ownership to avoid opposition to their work."

If America is so "pro-choice", why would Planned Parenthood have to lie in order to get a new building?

I sincerely hope that their lies result in negative consequences for them. I don't know what, or care, but if an average citizen lied to a city in order to get something done without protests, he'd be prosecuted and persecuted until the cows came home. Particularly when it comes to filing paperwork with the government, you don't get to lie about things just because it'll make them easier for you; that's one reason many government forms include a warning about "perjury"--if you sign a document attesting to its truth, knowing that some of it is false or fraudulent, you can be prosecuted for perjury--and whoever signed that form ought to be.

Beyond that, though, it just goes to show the attitude of those people: "We know better than the residents of this city what is needed here. They're too stupid to know what's good for them. It's all right for us to lie in order to get this building because WE know BEST." And fuck you, citizens of Aurora, because you're just a bunch of know-nothing hicks and you don't have a right to stand in the way of something as important as an abortion clinic!

I'll say it again: I am personally against abortion, but my greatest problem with the legality of abortion in the United States comes from how it was legalized: seven people sitting in a courtroom just decided that the Constitution contains some nebulous, inferential "right" to abortion. They legislated from the bench, making abortion legal by judicial fiat--which is not the function of the Supreme Court. The function of the Supreme Court is to say, "This law is unconstitional and is therefore null" or "This law is constitutional and therefore valid". It is not the function of the Supreme Court to say, "Because the Constitution does not specifically limit rights, XYZ is legal across the United States and all laws prohibiting XYZ are null."

The law which Roe v. Wade struck down was a state law; the Constitionally correct action would have been for the SC to say, "That law is unconstitutional and therefore....", deciding in "Ms. Roe's" favor and striking down the law that the case debated. Everything else exceeded the Constitutional authority of the Supreme Court.

Most people want abortion to be legal, but don't want them to happen very often. A reasoned approach to the situation can usually sway them into voting against legalizing abortion, and that's the problem that abortion advocates have: it's very hard to make it legal. The entire reason Democrats and liberals defend abortion to the death (just about) is that if it is left to the states it will end up being illegal in many places. Roe v. Wade made an end run around the Constitution; it made something the law of the land without due process.

It's why the Democrats don't want any strict constructionists on the Supreme Court. It's why Bork had to be stopped, and it's why they desperately tried to stop Clarence Thomas (that, and the fact that he's a conservative black man. He's "off the reservation", so to speak). It's why so many of George Bush's selections were literally filibustered. A strict constructionist won't legislate from the bench, and won't take part in "judicial activism", particularly not the kind of judicial activism that the Democrats want.

If abortion had been legalized through due process--if it had gone through the Senate and House, and been signed into law by a President--I would still dislike it, but I wouldn't be against the legality of it. But the legality of abortion has been decided by a bunch of would-be monarchs rather than by the people of the United Sates, and that makes all the difference to me.

* * *

I see that there is a gloomy forecast for the makers of DRAM; the market is expected to grow only by a shade less than 2% in the next year.

I remember in the 1980s when the Reagan administration slapped a tariff on Japanese semiconductor companies after they were caught dumping DRAM on the American market ("dumping", of course, meaning that they were selling it here for less than it cost them to make the stuff). Computer businesses were really angry about that, of course, because they were happy with the artificially cheap RAM prices.

Of course, they wouldn't have been any happier had that crap been allowed to continue, because the Japanese would have taken over the IC business. That's what they were trying to do, and ultimately they failed--in part due to Reagan's actions.

* * *

Even though I was on warehouse duty Monday night--which means I was not locked inside the store all night--I did not get to see much more than the earliest bit of the lunar eclipse. It was just starting around 4 AM Tuesday when I went into the warehouse for the 3rd time that night; but when me and the boss came out, that part of the sky had--OF COURSE!!!--clouded over. The rest of the sky was clear, naturally.

Yet another example of what it is like to be me.

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