* * *
Actually, it's not really all that bad. I had my chat with HR, which came out about the way I expected it to. Mrs. Fungus got rear-ended by a semi but the car is still drivable and even repairable--the trunk even opens and closes--so I'm waiting on a callback from the rental company to get her something she can drive while the munged bits are being straightened.
Totally cocked over our whole days, of course, but handling car accidents is something I have altogether too much experience with from my misspent youth, so I'm working that while she rests.
This is after we went to bed last night at fricking seven PM because we were both just utterly worn out. I woke up at 9:30 and then cleaned the kitchen and did a little WoW Classic, but was back in bed by 1 AM. Tossed and turned until 2:30 AM, of course, with the result that I got maybe 4 hours of sleep before her alarm went off this morning.
Not what I would call a good day by any reasonable measure.
But: put a nice chunk of chuck roast in the crock pot this morning. Salt and pepper, and then covered one side with actual minced garlic instead of my usual sprinkle of garlic powder. Onion, carrots, potatoes--that's going to make a delicious pot roast dinner in a few more hours. Got that going around 8-ish so it should be ready by 3 or 4. It better be; the smell is driving my stomach nuts.
Also, in our work on the spare room I found a Dynex headset, and it turns out that it works just dandy with my cell phone, so I can plug it in and talk on it without having to hold the cellphone to my ear. Convenient, esp. when you're already used to wearing a headset.
* * *
My wife thought I had a lot of videotapes! I didn't have anything like 71,000 of the damned things, though. Shit.
...in Otaku no Video one of the otaku who is interviewed is someone who obsessively tapes anime from television broadcast, and the joke is that he spends so much time taping that he never actually watches the shows.
Me, I had a lot of tapes--probably hundreds--and as I sorted through them I found myself realizing that I have never watched this and I probably never will. Bearing in mind that videotape transport mechanisms (the guts of a VCR) are no longer being manufactured, and that much of what I was preserving were shows I now had, or can get, on DVD, I trashed 95% of them.
The result is that I now have a plastic storage bin in the basement full of stuff I can't get on DVD or replace otherwise, but every other videotape I had has been thrown away.
There were two boxes of tapes left in the spare room, and Sunday evening I went through them and cut them down to one. And--thinking about it now--I realized that I might as well jettison the bulk of what I kept from there. (Akazukin Chacha fansubs.)
All I have remaining now are the prerecorded tapes--nearly all anime--and I've been thinking I might as well dump the ones I've got duplicates of on DVD/BluRay, because I won't watch the tapes anyway and the optical media are more durable and better quality. So I'll probably go through that bunch and dump the duplicates (and maybe save out the hard cases for other tapes I want to keep).
Seems like a shame, but let's face it: no one wants videotape. 1998-ish would have been the right time to sell the tapes on eBay and go to DVDs, but that ship sailed long ago and videotapes garner zero interest now. The boxes are colorful and feature great artwork, but that's not enough of a reason to keep a largely useless pile of plastic.
* * *
So, my day was spent on accident recovery. Got an estimate on the car (fixable), got Mrs. Fungus to the rental agency so we could get a rental for her (covered by insurance), got the car to the repair garage, and signed the paperwork. Mrs. Fungus can drive to work tomorrow, and I can continue my chores and job-hunting.
Back to the bloggeration.
* * *
Talent is a necessary prerequisite, but it does not guarantee success. Let's face it: I have two left feet; there is no way I could ever have danced like Fred Astaire, even if I had spent every waking moment from my 10th birthday onward practicing. In a similar vein, I can knock out a tune on a recorder, or even my Peruvian flute, but I'm not James Galloway. I can make a tasty meal, but I'm no Gordon Ramsay. And--
I could go on. The notion that "all it takes is practice" is remarkably similar to Marx's labor theory of value. It doesn't matter how much time you spend polishing a turd; when you're finished, it's still a turd. But if you polish a diamond, you have something worthwhile.
Talent is important; you cannot be the best at something without it...but that talent must be trained and it must be drilled. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.
* * *
I hate to tell you this, but the music was never really all that great. The Baby Boomer generation (and remember I include myself in that generation even though I was born two years after it supposedly ended, because my parents were the parents of 3 other Boomer children) is, and always has been, intensely self-absorbed. They think they invented sex and swearing and drug use and teenage rebellion. They think the war in Vietnam was somehow the worst war ever fought, that WW2 and the Civil War and-and-and all pale in comparison to Vietnam for horror and bloodshed--because it happened to them. They think no one ever cared about the Earth as much as they did.
They credit themselves with inventing a new kind of music, but what they did in fact was to pare away elements of swing and jazz, mix the remainder with some other musical styles, and turn it into simple syncopated lyrical tunes. Three or four lines of verse and a chorus, verse and chorus, verse and chorus, repeat and fade--often using the same chord progression to boot.
The "great" musicians they hold up as examples are bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin--who sound unrehearsed and sloppy--the Doors, who were decent musicians headed by a drunk who was not much of a singer, and a slew of others whose various talents did not extend as far as generating music which a person could enjoy without smoking a hell of a lot of ditch weed. The music was performed by people who were drunk and/or stoned, for people who were drunk and/or stoned.
This is the same generation that made a hash out of just about everything left to them by their parents, starting in the 1980s and continuing onward until now, and who have the temerity to blame young people for not fawning over them the way they fawn over themselves.
Vox Day makes the point:
Today little Japanese girls wearing maid outfits not only rock harder, they play their instruments much better, than all the rockers of the 1960s and the vast majority of those of the 1970s. And there isn't a single guitarist of that generation who could ever shred as well as the average YouTube guitarist today.And what about the Beatles?
I never liked them. Most of their popular songs were tolerable at best, and I had to tolerate them because the radio stations I listened to never stopped playing them.
Given the keys to a functioning civilization which had just unlocked the secrets of atomic power and had reached the Moon, they instead chose to spell out the word "FUCK" at a shitty, overcrowded music festival.
* * *
Incidentally--that thing about Vietnam has never sat well with me. Every once in a while I think about the lyrics to Billy Joel's "Allentown" and I just want to punch him. "They threw an American flag in our face," he whines.
Vietnam was a war. Their fathers had fought, as the song goes, the Second World War. And some of their fathers, or their uncles, fought in Korea. Their grandfathers fought in World War One. Their great-grandfathers fought in the Civil War. See a pattern?
And, by the way, their kids fought in Gulf Wars I and II and in Afghanistan.
Vietnam was terrible. But Korea was terrible, and WW2 was terrible, and WW1 was terrible, because war is terrible. There was nothing uniquely bad about Vietnam that American soldiers had not faced before. The only difference was that it was Baby Boomers who were facing it; the fact that their fathers had fought didn't matter to them at all. The fact that nothing unusual was being asked of them--nothing that had not been asked of every generation prior to theirs--was irrelevant.
Solely because the Boomers wanted it, the military draft was ended in the United States after the Vietnam war. (Conscription was--and is--still practiced in the socialist hellholes they claimed were so fair and egalitarian, of course.)
* * *
As I said, "Self included."
* * *
Amazon fires are still a big nothing, overhyped by media to scare people.
* * *
A modern civilization needs lubricants and even the synthetic ones don't spring out of a marble font fully-formed. And besides lubricants, we need feedstocks for plastics. Or did you want your next iPhone to have a wooden case? How about those earbuds? Care to have them made out of aluminum? Be a bit cold going in....
* * *
Now, wait a second. The science is settled! We already know the diameter of the proton and there is no need to go investigating it any further! Anyone who insists that we have not proven the size of the proton is a SCIENCE DENIER!
...this is what you guys sound like when you denounce people for being skeptical of anthropogenic global warming.
* * *
Well, now it's been a whole week, already, somehow. I don't know what the hell is going on any longer.