atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2335: "Commercial success", definitely.

Munchkin Wrangler asks, "If your work could have commercial success or critical acclaim, but not both...which one would you prefer?"

"Critical acclaim" doesn't pay the bills; critics usually don't even have to pay. And critics are idiots, too wrapped up in esoteric nonsense to consider, "Did I enjoy the story?" No, for them it's always about whether or not the presentation of the story is artistic enough.

I want lots of people to to read and enjoy my stuff. I already know that my work is not the greatest writing in the history of English prose; nor do I care that it's not. What I care about is telling an entertaining story, one good enough to get people to give me money for it; if they're willing to pay for it, it means I'm doing a damn good job.

Money is the ultimate validation. "Critical acclaim" can go scratch.

* * *

Obamanomics on parade!

Middle class cuts spending sharply because none of us has any money to spare!

Super-rich are buying gold by the ton because they expect hyperinflation! Gold (and other precious metals) is a safe haven when you expect rampant inflation because it holds its purchasing power regardless of how many fiat dollars you can trade it for.

Soros and Buffet say that gold has "no real value" other than its market price, but they're wrong: it has intrinsic value due to its scarcity. Soros in particular makes his money primarily by trading currencies; it's a bad deal for him if everyone gets out of fiat currency and starts investing in gold, because the pool of suckers decreases and he loses opportunities.

* * *

There's another federal investigation into Obama's meddling with the GM bankruptcy. And there damn well should be, considering it was illegal and unconstitutional.

* * *

Obama put a gag order on scientists who wanted to discuss the magnitude of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Analogy: this would be like George Bush putting a gag order on FEMA about conditions in New Orleans, post-Katrina.

* * *

This will never, never happen. It has been true for the longest time that we could easily balance the budget by simply not increasing spending; but despite the fact that this remedy is easily tried, no government has ever tried it.

Nor will it happen this time around, even if the GOP does take control of both houses of Congress. The federal budget always grows larger, every year, regardless of any other consideration, and its growth always exceeds that of inflation by much more than the 2% Boortz mentions in his post. Congress always starts with the assumption that each line item must be increased by 10%; if that increase is reduced, it's called a "cut"...and the number goes up, every year, faster than inflation.

What Boortz advocates would eliminate the budget deficit. But Congress is not interested in that.

* * *

It's been a while since I went on a rant about Monster Cables. Midwest Chick reminds me of this.

* * *

epic fail photos - Teacher Fail

Because it takes only five minutes per piece! ...or something?

This is just as much "WTF" as "FAIL".

* * *

This morning, before going to bed, I took a short walk up to Main street and back. They were laying the top coat of asphalt.

The mystery of the loud bass thrum has finally been solved: it's a freakin' pavement roller making that god-awful racket. I don't know whether it has a vibration function (to compact what its rolling) or if it's just the engine, but damn is it a loud noise. Especially when you're less than 10 feet from the damn thing.

(I'm betting on "vibrate". I had a theory about a hydrostatic drive run from a pressure accumulator, and the engine only running when the fluid pressure drops too low, but I don't freakin' know.)

Anyway, the really neat thing was the asphalt itself. It sounded like rice krispies. Closer inspection showed a thin oil boiling up between the gravel, even after it had been compacted; that was the source of the "snap-crackle-pop" I was hearing.

...it was in the 60s outside, I was in shorts and a hoodie; standing by the curb I could feel the heat coming off the asphalt, and I was sweating from it.

So the half-assed Exchange repair will probably be finished next week at the latest, if what I'm seeing is any guide. They've just about finished laying the topcoat and most of the other work appears to be finished. There's still some sidewalk aprons to lay, but that's not going to impede the flow of traffic on the road at all.

I don't know. They eliminated a bunch of manholes, so sewer access is going to be limited--I hope nothing goes wrong with that line!--and they replaced a concrete-asphalt road with pure asphalt, from the surface down to the gravel sub-bed. Two feet of asphalt, no concrete--if it lasts ten years it'll be amazing, especially with all the truck traffic Exchange usually sees.

Maybe Crete is going to ban heavy trucks from using Exchange? I doubt it. I don't doubt that the speed limit will drop, though; it always does when they redo a chunk of pavement.

* * *

Interesting bit over on Jalopnik I'm not going to bother linking to: apparently the Russians lost a helicopter atop some mountain; the peak was some 1,000 feet above the chopper's service ceiling.

Someone posted a comment asking why they don't send a bigger helicopter up there to lift it off? After all this bigger helicopter can lift some 2x the weight of the crashed one.

...in thick air, doofus! At sea level, not at 15,700 feet! The lifting capacity of a helicopter on hover diminishes with altitude, because the air gets thinner and you can only spin the rotor so fast.

Ah, those pesky laws of physics....
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