October 30, 2016

When I'm Feeling Blue

Music has always been my go to for everything. I listen to all types of music. Some I like, some I don't. I grew up on the classic country of Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, and Johnny Cash. As a child, I got to see Tammy Wynette and Conway in concert. Really wanted to see Ronnie Milsap, but never did.

As I got older and into the 80's, my taste turned to the dance beat, aka break-dancing and when I found metal, it was over. Metal is my passion. From Ozzy and Sabbath to Iron Maiden and everything in between.

But it seems, when I am blue or don't want to be around others, I go back to country. My current playlist on Google Music hasn't changed to much in the last few years. Occasionally I'll remove one and add a new song that comes out.

Currently, this is the line up.

Alan Jackson - Midnight in Montgomery
Kenny Chesney - No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem
Brad Paisley - Mud On The Tires
Dierks Bentley - What Was I Thinking
Keith Urban - Where The Blacktop Ends
Alan Jackson - Where I Come From
Little Big Town - Boondocks
Toby Keith - I Wanna Talk About Me
Trace Adkins - Songs About Me
Toby Keith - Get Drunk and Be Somebody
Brad Paisley - Alcohol
Tim McGraw - I Like It, I Love It
Trace Adkins - Swing
Brantley Gilbert - Baby's Guns n Roses
Brad Paisley - Little Moments
Blake Shelton - Some Beach
Garth Brooks - American Honkey Tonk Bar Association
Tim McGraw - Real Good Man
George Strait - Check Yes or No
Brantley Gilbert - Small Town Throwdown
Kenny Chesney - There Goes My Life



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MAA - Minecraft Addicts Anonymous




So, I've been playing Minecraft on the Xbox for about a month. It's actually been very therapeutic for me. It's gotten me into being creative again. Though in game only. I get to build things! Drawback is, I'm not getting any damn house work done. And I've pulled a few all nighters. I originally got the game so I could play with the nephews once in awhile, since I don't get to see them all the time. Think i've spent more time playing on my own, minus the few hours I have played with them.

I started a Survival world, what I am currently working on and will be for quite some time. I've done a few Creative ones to get the hang of things. So I figured it was time to see what I could do when I had to farm for everything I needed to build. So far, I'm liking it.

The tutorials could be better online. 90% of them are for the PC with mods. You can't use mods on the Xbox. Started right at my spawn point and started to learn. Built a small room on top of the mountain. From there, I started to dig down and farm some trees. Next it was to the base of the mountain to build a temporary fort.

From the fort, I started digging into the mountain. Not just in, but down. There are animals plenty around the fort, so I built an underground pen as well as a small underground garden. Water source flows underneath so i can hydrate the crops.

Upon exploring, I found many small ponds and lakes. Then I found it. The area where my castle will be. Problem is, from Point A to Point B, during the night travels is a nightmare in and of itself. I've died at least 2 dozen times (and it's on normal). So how do I get to and fro? Well, underground of course!

Went out during the day and laid some torches along the route to take, taking note where the lakes were and how far down I would have to go. Not really understanding or knowing how far to dig, I laid a half assed plan and went for it.

A week later, I have a tunnel going from the mountain at the temp fort to another mountain. This tunnel ends up in a small quarry under the mountain where I started to build. I have an automatic smelting furnace, multiple storage boxes, individual ovens and water source.

There is a set up stairs that go up through the mountain to a temp storage room and even further up to the top to where I've built the first of many Keep Towers. At night, you can look back to where the first room was built and lit with torches and see how far the distance actually is.

Along the underground tunnel is a railway that stops in the middle. This is a small construction area with smelting furnaces and chests. It is also where I have spent most of the last 24 hours. As I started to mine out I came across a massive cavern. I have spent the better part of about 12 hours in this cavern and when I think I've uncovered all the crevasses without digging anymore, more open up.

It's so large, I was getting lost. Even with leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. So I decided to decorate it. Stairs, rails, chandeliers, etc.  The further I go down, the more I uncover. So far, in some areas, it's nothing but a massive lake of lava. I haven't had my mp with me to figure out what level i'm on, but if lava was a renewable source, i'd be rich.

Anyway, I've been mining the hell out of this cavern to get ores and stone. My smelting furnace is making me the building blocks I need. Now I need to craft an automatic tree farm in my smithing area.

Since there are a lot of animals around the temp fort, I will be going back and making a larger farm. Need to eat and i'm getting low on food. Though there is a rail that goes from the back of the first mountain to the smithing area under mountain two, I will have to make a second rail from the fort to the smithing area to transport food and more lumber. It's a pain to go out, farm lumber, run through the fort, navigate the tunnels just to get to the start of the rail line.


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October 23, 2016

Now I'm A Little More Peeved


So apparently, 10 years, yes a full decade after signing up new soldiers to fight in two capitalistic wars that cost us so much, the State of California now wants these soldiers to pay back their enlistment bonuses.

It seems that despite these soldiers putting their lives on the line and signing a contract that makes them property of the good ole US of A, the govt can back out of their end of the deal because a few of their employee's decided to do something bad.

Part of the soldiers oath is;
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;

But who protects the soldiers? Who's allegiance does the soldier have? As bad as the majority of vets are treated, no wonder there is a higher death rate at home than in the field. If a soldier goes back on this oath and contract, they can be tried for treason, regardless of the issue.  But the govt is the govt. They are above the law, as we have plainly seen in the current election cycle.

It's one thing to tell a soldier, hey we made a mistake in your paperwork a few months at best after they reenlisted. But 10 damn years?

“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” said Christopher Van Meter, a 42-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran from Manteca, Calif., who says he refinanced his home mortgage to repay $25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the Army says he should not have received. “People like me just got screwed.”
In Iraq, Van Meter was thrown from an armored vehicle turret — and later awarded a Purple Heart for his combat injuries — after the vehicle detonated a buried roadside bomb.
Susan Haley, a Los Angeles native and former Army master sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, said she sends the Pentagon $650 a month — a quarter of her family’s income — to pay down $20,500 in bonuses that the Guard says were given to her improperly. 
“I feel totally betrayed,” said Haley, 47, who served 26 years in the Army along with her husband and oldest son, a medic who lost a leg in combat in Afghanistan.
Haley, who now lives in Kempner, Texas, worries they may have to sell their house to repay the bonuses. “They’ll get their money, but I want those years back,” she said, referring to her six-year reenlistment.  
So in essence, the govt is not telling these brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line, that they did it for nothing. That the govt does not have to honor its own contracts. And apparently it's been going on for so long, that a Master Sgt was convicted and sentenced to just 30 months for $15 million dollars in fraud. Hell, that sounds like a typical CEO or banker punishment, yet very few have ever been convicted in this country.

But the old adage is still true today as it was long before, don't trust a word that comes out of the recruiters mouth. Even if that recruiter is your CO.

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October 22, 2016

A Bucket List Dream



So I get a text from my brother with a link to Craigslist. On it, is a 73 Nova SS with a 350 for $2000.





The tagline reads, needs work. Will make a great classic.

While some prefer the old Vets, Chevelles and Cameros, my dream car has always been this. I've always loved the body lines, though they do share commonality with the Chevelles in a way, the Nova always stuck with me. The SS at this time was nothing more than really pinstripes and an emblem. But it was an option that made it stick out from your typical Nova.

I've seen very few at cars shows and what few that I've found online are so torn down and built up with so many gadgets, they look like the inside of the shuttle. You can't truly enjoy the ride if you have to watch so many gauges when in essence, they aren't needed.

My dream build is a 350, though I would not mind the '69 396, deep jet black with a white interior. Those who have seen the Charger from Burn Notice will know what it looks like.

Only real customization's are:
  • First gen Craiger SS rims
  • A full side body scorpion,  two shades lighter than the jet black on the sides.  Done in a way,  you have to stand at the right angle to see it. 
  • Modern stereo so I can put it in drive and go,  listening to what ever is on my iPod or CD. 
  • Take from a 2 barrel to a 4. And some other minor engine mods to get it from 145HP to 300HP
Original specs for this build.

It is however one of those many things on my bucket list that won't be achieved. If the numbers match on this, then $2000 is a steal. But it's two grand that I don't have. Not to mention, the rest of it it get it top shop without the customization's.


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Algiers

To follow up my previously very bad written post (to my credit, it's been over 2 years and was pushing 2am), here's the full length version of Algiers with Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer.

His suave and debonair charms and her breathtaking beauty set the tone of a classic in a place seeded by all the riff-raff in the world.



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Beauty and Brains, Oh Bless My Heart


I've been a fan of Hedy Lamarr's for quite some time. First saw her way back when TCM first came out and started showing the old classic B&W films. I instantly fell in love. Such beauty that could memorize just by a smile. Though I wasn't into a lot of the classics at that time, I would scour the TV guide to see what was playing and catch her movies. The one I could never seem to catch back then was Algiers.


Not the original release, but I like this one better

It wasn't until later on, way later, that when I got into tech, that I had learned that Hedy had also made it in tech as an inventor. This peaked even more interest in her. Some will argue that Tesla, (One of my favorite science geeks) was the first to invent or theorize about frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum technology. But regardless, she also invented a few other things that were never a hit. Beauty and brains. A deadly combination in any woman.

Anyway, I finally got around to watching Algiers and thoroughly enjoyed it. So much, I went and got it on DVD. I even have the Lux Theater radio play form 1942 with both Hedy and Charles reprising their roles.  (Some of the Lux commercials are both hilarious as well as fear mongering to a point, due to the war) 

There's a meme on the net, asking if you could sit down with someone past, present or future for a few hours who would it be. My answers are always the same. Hedy, Tesla and Hitler. (That's a story for a different time).
Only to to sit and listen to her speak. That accent of her's melts me. To pick her brain on different technologies. The delight I would get from that. I always said I was born in the wrong era.

Sadly, she passed some time ago. She only lived about a mile from my in-laws house at the time. I never got down here until well after that.

So here's to a feisty immigrant, who turned heads on the silver screen and secretly helped create a technology that is still in use today on a daily basis.














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Because Bill Fkn Murray

It's been over 2 years and I'm back. Was I in jail?  Nah.  Was I dead? Might have been.
Regardless, it's time to get things rolling again.
Let's start with a little Bill Murray crashing the White House.



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