June 13th, 2018

#6239: It'll probably need a second coat.

I'm going to have to look at it with the morning sunlight, but I'd bet it'll need a second coat to look good. But the whole thing is done, the single largest ceiling I've done at one go since this project started.

My back hurts, believe it or not. My arms and legs, too. Well? That's work, you know, physical labor--and after I put in a full day at work, too!

I'm going to take a shower, then play a little WoW, and try to be in bed by 1 AM. Maybe a little later. We'll see.

I'm glad I asked to have Thursday off. Ideally I'd like to finish the whole thing by Wednesday night, so I can just rest on Thursday, but I took that day as an overflow day so I'd have time to finish if there were issues.

* * *

This is something I've tried to explain to people for decades. Sleep is how your brain recharges itself. Well into my twenties I needed twelve hours of sleep a night.

These days I can make it just fine on six or seven, but damn, I'd love to get more.

* * *

The living room is where Dad's old Detrola record player is--a thing he bought at K-mart which has a record player, a CD player, a tape player, and a radio in it. Can't remember when he bought it. The turntable does not work very well, as it's belt driven and hardly used. (Dad died in January 2007 and the thing didn't see a lot of use even before then.)

Cassette deck works, and I've been listening to cassettes while working. All my tapes were made prior to 1999, which is when I got a CD player in the green Escort and stopped listening to tapes. Lots of these are from before my graduation from college, even.

They remind me of those times.

In 1986, my cohort was barely a year out of high school, and a friend of mine decided he wanted to do a rap song about the humanities teacher at our school, Mr. Vazales. He was the musically inclined member of our group; he'd been in a band in high school and occasionally experimented with recording songs the old fashioned way. (Lay down a track, then play it on one machine and play along with it, recording that to another tape, and repeat.)

This was 1986; you could not fire up a computer and lay down a drum track. At least, not a good one. You could, theoretically, get "house music"--recordings of drum tracks or even music, royalty-free, that could be the basis of a song--but my friend didn't want to spend the money on something he'd use one time. So he took "The Superbowl Shuffle" (which had a plain drum track on the flipside) and used that as the basis for his song.

Mr. Vazales' key phrase was "Please, class," so my friend K tried to get the then-common stutter effect: "P-p-p-p-p-please, class, c-c-c-c-class." lacking the funds for a digital sampling keyboard, he was experimenting with saying "please" into a microphone and hitting "pause" on the tape deck as he started saying the word, over and over again, but that ended when his mother came into the room and asked what he was doing. "Plea-pl-ple-p-Pleas--I can explain everything," went the experiment.

So what he did was jack a wah-wah guitar effect pedal into the mic, with the depth and speed pots all the way up, so when he said "please, class" he'd hit the button and get a weird effect that worked well enough.

That was thirty-two years ago.

Today I happened to put my copy of it into the tape deck. And I rapped along with the whole song like it was October of 1986 all over again.
The Vazales Rap
Lyrics by K.J.
(Parenthesized lyrics are spoken, not rapped.)

Pleeeeease, class!
(Hey, class, it's me--Mr. Vazales--and we're going to do the Vazales Rap.)
(I want you to get your white shoes, your plaid jackets)
(Your mustache and your wigs, and jam with me.)
(Turn to page 238 and let's do the Valazes Rap, class. Class.)

I don't like you, and you don't like me
But hey--I'm the teacher, that's the way it's gonna be
When I teach the class, I get the students mad
My head is like a dandelion, I like to wear plaid
Please class
Please do the Vazales Rap.

(You know class, just because you got an "F" on the test means nothing.)
(You're still my friend, class, and I love you.)

I'll shut you up if you're talkative
Cause hey! I'm the teacher; it's my prerogative
Hey class, you'll see, my teaching's kind of lame
I know you good students will be the first to complain
My ego's as wide as the ties I wear
I strut in front of the class like a rabid bear
And though I'm a jerk, I think I'm imperial.
Hey class, I gave you the material
It's time for Mr. Vazales to jam now.

[guitar solo]
(I play a pretty heavy axe, class)
[more guitar solo]

I have no goals
I have no function
I have no skills, and
No compunction 'bout
Pushing my trolley through the halls at school,
And let me enunciate that I'm a fool!
When students say to me, "Hey, you bore us!"
I always shake my head, and open my thesaurus
They don't treat me as if I'm the best,
I say, "How ya doin', buddy? You just failed the test!"

(You failed because you chose not to listen.)
(Hey, What are you doing? Turn that record player back on. Replace that. Sit down. You have no precedent. It's time that you learned that you must have more...hey, leave that microphone....)
And of course it fades out on that last line.

What always impressed me about the song was the way he worked Mr. Vazales' excessively bombastic circumloqution into it, and all of his common catchphrases, while simultaneously hitting all the common (for the time) rap elements. (eg, the boast "I'm the best".) It really was a nice piece of work, especially considering the tools he had to work with.

Ironically, K.J. liked Mr. Vazales, or at least he seemed to. I guess after he went to college and experienced what real humanities courses were like (not the watered-down pap we got in the socialized education system here in the Fungal Vale) his opinion of the man changed a bit. Or maybe it was harmless fun.

In later years K.J. got a 4-track recorder. That was 1991, and he paid $50 for it at a garage sale--they didn't know what they were selling--and he used it to good effect. These days, of course, you'd digitize it into a computer and do everything that way.

I can only imagine how 21st century computer technology could have aided our creative efforts (both music and video). Their band would have been able to produce professional-sounding music, for one thing; with the tools they had, their demo tapes sounded about as good as something recorded in the early 1960s--largely because they had to use many of the same techniques.

So, ironically, some of the best-sounding versions of their songs came from a video I recorded, in 1993(?) when their band had a reunion jam session. I was using that camcorder I had between the PRO8 and the PRO-884HB, the one with the fantastic sound.

One song, it gets so loud that the microphone gives up. The guitar is sounding like a Stuka on a bomb run, the bass is going nuts, the drums are all over the place, and it just goes silent for a moment, then comes back, as if it just needed a second to take a breather.

But when I listen to that music, if I do it with headphones, it's like I'm there. I need to find one of those camcorders on ebay or something....

* * *

Anyway--lots of nostalgia music tonight while I was working. Made the work go by quickly.

#6240: No, this is too early.

Contractor arrived at 7AM. He's at work now. Me, I got to bed after 2 AM--closer to 2:30--and did not get to sleep before 3.

Oh--Mrs. Fungus decided that we would pay someone to do the tub surround, so that's what we're doing. (I still have to figure out what to do about the still-partly-papered wall, though. Contractor offered to do a double-layer of drywall around the tub so I could just cover the bad wall, but I'm not going to do that. That reeks to me of half-assery.) But we're going to have an acrylic bathtub surround with a lifetime guarantee, which in practical terms means I should never, never, ever have to do this again. Future owners of the bunker may experience a different result, but that won't be my problem.

* * *

This is kind of a dense article but it explains in detail how one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel. Basically, a guy who was "one of the world's greatest experts in prehistoric Anatolia"...and who turned out to be a forger. In particular, he forged an ancient text, and because of that all of his contributions to archaeology have got to be independently confirmed. All of them--and any evidence he touched or provided has to be considered tainted until proven otherwise because of this.

You see, this is how actual science is done. When someone's found to be fudging numbers, you give his entire curriculum vitae the gimlet eye.

What you do not do is gloss over the fudging. Like Mann's "hockey stick" graph--if climatology were actual science that would have invalidated everything he did in the field, and it would have led to him being out of a job.

* * *

I wonder where Sean Penn and Danny Glover are now? They absolutely loved Venezuela when Hugo Chavez was in power. It's now gone the way all socialist workers' paradises do, because it absolutely cannot be otherwise.

* * *

I agree. Look: a bison is a big animal. It's three quarters of a ton, and it's a wild animal. Wild animals have this thing about their space, and you have to respect that. Especially when they are very large wild animals. If they feel threatened, they will defend themselves.

If you don't want to be injured or killed, you really need to remember that. It's not a petting zoo, and while that animal may not look upset by your presence, you can rest assured--you should always assume--that merely being close to it makes it nervous. And while "nervous bison" might be a good band name or comedic indian name, it is not something you want to get close to.

Heck, even the cattle we raise for food can be dangerous, and they're extremely domesticated. Horses--we dominate horses thoroughly, yet they still kill people.

* * *

Steel foam. Plastic foam is made by introducing an expanding gas in a polymerizing substance. How do you get steel to foam?

The article talks about using it for armor--and apparently it's great for that application--but what else could it be used for? And could you foam other metals, like aluminum or titanium?

* * *

Well, my examination of the living room ceiling shows that it's going to take another coat. I don't really understand that; the family room took two coats because Mom sat there and smoked all the time, but the living room--

The color is (was) off-white--a bit green--but of course that room hasn't been painted since 1982. The paint is discolored by age and smoke contamination. But the halls only took one coat, so I really don't get it.

Plus side, the second coat will be easier.

I'm thinking--depending on how long it takes the contractor to complete the job, I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a nap before I dive into doing any painting in the living room. Right now I want to get something to eat, and then I'm going to work on paint prep; I'll save the physical labor for after I've had some more rest. But that still means taking down curtains, spackling, and masking, and there's enough woodwork in there that it'll take time to do it all.

It'd be nice if I got it all done today, but if I don't? Well, tomorrow I am going to sleep in, but then I should be able to finish what I don't get done today. That'll do!

#6241: Suddenly it was 8:30....

After the contractor left, I went to bed because I simply could not keep my eyes open. And I slept for five hours. Next thing I knew it was getting dark.

Chatted with Mrs. Fungus for a bit, then decided on getting a pizza. Little Caesar's would do; they were getting close to closing time but when I went there I saw that they were still open. Good!

...door locked. Drive-through only.

The problem with Little Caesar's--at least, this one--is that a lot of people around here are lazy dickheads who don't give a rat's ass about other people, so you'll see a line of cars there. Car at window got there five, ten minutes ago and ordered a fresh pizza, and of course they have no way to deal with that other than to have the car sit there at the window while their pizza bakes, which means he'll be there at least another five minutes.

Next car in line, same thing.

Because theirs is a "fast food" paradigm, it take them less time to cook a fresh pizza than a regular pizzaria would, but it's still a long frigging wait. You seldom see someone drive up to the window, get a pizza, and drive away in less than fifteen minutes.

AS I DO EVERY TIME I USE THEIR DRIVE-THROUGH.

I don't go there to order a custom pizza; if I do, I go in because I understand that the basic concept of a drive-through is to get your food quickly and not wait in line for the better part of an hour. Also, I have some consideration for other people.

So there I was, sitting in line; and after a few moments I did the math. It was 9:30, and there were three cars ahead of me. Assume the lead car is under five minutes from getting his pizza. Car #2 will probably special-order something, and--optimistically--that'll be 9:45 before he's done. Car #3 will make it 9:55. So when I get to the window at 9:55--five minutes before closing--what is the schmuck at that window going to tell me?

Gave up and went to Culver's.

* * *

Every time you masturbate, God the USDA kills a kitten.

I agree with Denninger: this isn't cancer; it's toxoplasmosis, an easily treatable parasitic infection. Run your tests, but then cure the cats and adopt them out, you assholes. The research you are doing does not require sacrificing the animal, so why do it? Other than "hey, it's easier"? Shitheads.

* * *

Wishful thinking, maybe. I love Sarah Sanders. I love anyone who puts the press in their place.

* * *

Well--that living room ain't gonna prepare itself. Off I go.