sleeping rays of jupiter

Sleeping Rays of JupiterRehearsals continue, different venue this time.

I’ve got simultaneous Sleep-ins action going on right now, working with Stefan and Josh to record the new record, and rehearsing with Mike Johnson and James Butler to prep for some shows coming up this Summer. We’ll be playing songs by the Sleep-ins, the raydons, Jupiterboy, Jimmy the Wigwam, kingsizemidget, and lonesomerobot.

I took some time away from playing and it some ways it shows, but in other ways it’s just like picking up from where I left off. Playing live shows is the best practice, though.


You probably weren’t wondering what I’m up to, but anyway

jupiterboyWhen it comes to music, I’ve had some fun and then I’ve had some fun. It’s a little hard to believe that the unbelievably loud rock band Jupiterboy — the first band that I ever did anything that could be called “touring” — is a twenty-year-old entity. Or yea, more even. The band played its first gigs in 1995, but we didn’t produce any recorded material until 1996. So that recording, which was called Live for a Day, will get a twentieth anniversary release. [I still have to master it. I should have mastered it by now.]

The cool thing is, there’s bonus material! In 2001, we had a reboot of sorts when I was living in a middle-of-nowhere town, Wheatland, Ind., with my friend and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. I’d kept in touch with Jupiterboy drummer Greg Mensching and lead guitarist James Butler and we decided to have a go at it with Mike on bass. We had some great jams but it ultimately fell apart, mostly due to indecision on whether to focus on the existing material or move forward with new material. I mean, the new material is good:

But hey like I said, I’ve had some fun. I lived in the middle of nowhere and made a racket in another old house in Indiana that doesn’t exist anymore (same thing happened where we recorded Homecoming Pageant & Parade in Bloomington. Weird, right?). Anyway, there’s about 35-40 minutes of some really good sloppy rock practically no one has ever heard that will finally reverberate in literally dozens of homes later this year.


Obama’s taking all our guns away! Wait… what?

punt-gun-banned-1860sWhat Obama did:

  1. Strengthened background checks by requiring that all gun dealers are licensed and conduct background checks (apparently closing the gun show loophole). Added jobs for over 200 more FBI examiners to make the background check process faster.
  2. Proposed (yes, not actually real yet) 200 more ATF employees, and basically acknowledged a new ATF internet investigative unit to track and prevent illegal internet weapons trafficking. Also had the Attorney General send a memo “encouraging” US Attorneys to conduct more domestic violence outreach.
  3. Proposed (yes, not actually real yet) $500 million for better access to mental health care. Informed us that Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration are trying to make it easier in background checks to report specific mental health reasons an individual has that should prevent them from purchasing a firearm.
  4. Encouraged departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct research into gun safety technology.

So that’s like, one real thing and a bunch of not real things, or already existing things, or things that might help down the road if there is a Congress that will actually make them real things. That one real thing is a big deal, but it’s nothing that will prevent any law-abiding American citizen from purchasing a legal firearm.

Regardless…

What gun nuts think Obama did:

  1. Banned all guns forever and ever, amen.
  2. Ordered nationwide confiscation of all privately-owned guns.
  3. Named Bill Ayers new ATF Director and replaced all ATF agents with the Black Panthers.
  4. Directed the ATF to round up (mostly white) people with too many guns and put them and their families into FEMA camps. Wolverines!

I wonder, if we had smarter wingnuts, would that make them more dangerous, or would it make them less likely to be wingnuts? And I must say, blast it! Once again, Obama passes on his opportunity to subvert the Constitution, throw the nation into crisis, and begin his reign of tyranny!

I suppose there is still time.


Aren’t we a little beyond that point?

bors-comicThe Sheriff of Burns, OR, has a suggestion:

“I want to talk directly to the people at the wildlife refuge,” Harney County Sheriff David Ward told reporters assembled at a junior high school in Burns, Oregon. “You said you were here to help the citizens of Harney County. That help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation.”

“It’s time for you to leave our community, go home to your families, and end this peacefully,” he added.

How nice for those white people! Disrupt an entire county for several days, conduct an armed takeover of a Federal building… No big deal! Just go on home when you feel like it. And just in case you didn’t know who was really causing the trouble here, let’s get a quote from another nice white person to clear things up:

But people near the wildlife refuge remain concerned about a potential standoff. Robert McKnight, 38, who was in the parking lot of the refuge headquarters, said on Sunday that he was “worried for these people, not law enforcement.”

“You got Ruby Ridge, Waco, all kinds of people that have tried to stand up, and they get slaughtered,” he added.

Yea, uh, white dude, just to remind you — Waco was led by a cultist who “tried to stand up” by brainwashing people and fucking their children. And Ruby Ridge was just another deluded, self-professed family of “patriots” like the Bundys that decided getting into a standoff with the government was a better alternative than due process.

Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo has it about right when he calls this, “white privilege performance art.” These people should have been put in jail in 2014 when they did this the first time. Black Lives Matter gets the National Guard, White Privilege Matters gets Andy Griffith.


We used to have Bundys that were funny

nra-hostageNow all we have are pathetic fucking cowards.

The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 30 miles southeast of Burns for years.

The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.

Don’t forget, they call themselves “patriots”:

In phone interviews from inside the occupied building Saturday night, Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan Bundy, said they are not looking to hurt anyone. But they would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them, they said.

Lay siege to them and starve them out. Arrest them all for acts of treason. If they respond with violence, deem them as terrorists and deal with them appropriately.


Two Thousand and Sixteen

I’m borrowing an idea from my friend Robert Peckyno, that I should write things more here and then perhaps spread them further via social media if it seemed like doing that was going to make me more jolly. And I could most certainly go for being more jolly!

This year, the year that has presented itself as 2016, has so far been full of menial tasks. I’ve thought about what I should accomplish this year, and I could only come up with two things: Simplify, and be more healthy. And therefore, more jolly.


There’s A Demon In That Florida Swamp

OK, Disney. I get that you got my email address. A regrettable but necessary evil for the father of a 3-year-old.

I get that, although you offer an option to opt out at once from all of the 15 different email lists to which you’ve added me, it doesn’t really work and I’m still going to have to unsubscribe from all 15 of them separately.

What I don’t get, as a computer guy, is why it takes up to 10 days for my name to come off the email lists. That’s absurd. Databases don’t work that way.

And then, more than 10 days later, I’m still getting emails.

So what you’re really saying is, “we’ll give you 10 days to either forget or realize that you’re really One Of Us (one of us! one of us!)!”

I have long believed that Mickey’s real catchphrase is, “I’ll swallow your soul!”

Go ahead, say that out loud in your best Mickey Mouse voice. It’s liberating.


of course they did: scalia & thomas dine w/ ppaca challengers

It’s a glaring example of not even caring to present the façade of impartiality:

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

No big deal, right? Just a friendly, non-controversial dinner/fundraiser sponsored by Pfizer, the law firm Jones Day (representing the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade association challenging the PPACA), and the law firm that will argue the case against PPACA, Bancroft PLLC. Actually, I’m not sure which is the bigger concern — that it is effectively a yawner story in our society that justices sitting on the top court of the land regularly wine and dine with those that have a direct interest in the cases they will hear, or that the Supreme Court justices don’t have to answer to the same Code of Conduct that all other federal judges do.

These two justices, specifically, are an embarrassment to our legal system and society. One (Scalia) has continually thumbed his nose at the mere concept of performing his duties ethically, while the other (Thomas) has been a paragon of ignorance and the lack of any kind of notable achievements in his time on the court, unless you count his historically notable record of non-participation in Supreme Court hearings.

And yet they’ll both be there for life. Two more examples of conservatives turning our government into a farce.


associated press apparently believes you can only file one complaint in your lifetime

Seriously, AP:

A woman who settled a sexual harassment complaint against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain in 1999 complained three years later at her next job about unfair treatment, saying she should be allowed to work from home after a serious car accident and accusing a manager of circulating a sexually charged email, The Associated Press has learned.

This is the new media “balance”. There would actually be something to this story, if perhaps the accuser displayed a disturbing trend of bouncing from job to job, filing sexual harassment complaints. But one complaint, three years later, isn’t a trend or even a pattern. It’s merely another complaint.

It isn’t, say, five different women accusing one man over the course of his employment at the National Restaurant Association. It isn’t two of the women now public and one known to have received what amounts to a full annual salary as a payout resulting from the alleged incident. It isn’t an allegation of the expectation of sexual favors in exchange for giving someone a job.

Now that, AP, would truly be disturbing.