Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hard On The Mind


After my recent rant about the lack of modern protest songs I could hear people thinking "What's stopping Oggy from writing a protest song of his own?" Mainly, my point is that there are quality singers and musicians and producers with abundant current event material who are opting to continually beat down the topic of sex and dancing and 'boo hoo my boyfriend cheated on me'. I accept that eight of ten songs on an album can be about those topics. yes. But what the fucking hell is wrong with y'all? not 10 out of 10! Please can you write one or two songs every two years about politics, AIDS, ebola or somehing that shows your public school education was not totally squandered on keeping you out of jail.

Well, I am not as talented a performer as Bruno Mars. That's the issue. So me writing a song about the rain forest and Bruno Mars writing the same song are not the same.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pastel Orgasms: A Review of Music from 1985

It's interesting that I wrote a review of music from 1984 almost exactly a year ago as part of my nostalgic obsession. It's one thing to research music from 1943 and write essays and play songs by artists I never listened to previously and even artists my parents never listened to and possibly artists my grandparents never heard of. Obscure artists from 1936 or 1925 or 1904. I like that as a project to expand my appreciation of pop music and to develop the skills of research and cross referencing so that I might sound like I know what I'm talking about. Ok. But it's a totally different deal to write about music that I grew up with, and it's an even bigger deal to write about music that was released when I was a Freshman in High School. And it's an even bigger deal to write about music that was released at what could be considered the peak of American pop music in the '80s. I claim it peaked in 1985 because I only see a decline in originality and eclecticism and creativity from 1986 on. It was like artists in 1985 didn't listen to the radio at that time or didn't care. Nothing sounded derivative in 1985, but in 1986 I detect a certain tired approach. In fact, I will not write reviews for music years past 1989 because commercial decisions were made that undermined the entire output and led to Rock Bottom, otherwise known as the Gin Blossoms. 

Allow me to digress...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I forget the title to this post

I need to put this where I can find it later.

Ancient Music


I was so delirious and sick recently that I swear I was in a high mountain market surrounded by volcanoes shopping for limes to cure my ills, while the entire town stopped and watched me walk around, gawking openly at my hair and blank expression, and this song came over a nearby radio right after a tune by The Outfield. The Eighties Gone to Seed. I thought I was hallucinating. I was wearing a bright white Ecuadorian peasant shirt, sweating poison into my dirty boxer shorts, heaving, tired of the lies and self deceit, twisted together in a ribbon I tie around my ego like a present for my Id. But the song stuck with me and I suspected it was Roxette so I had to listen to all songs by Roxette or Taylor Dayne or Kim Wilde.

It's technically from the '90s but anyone who grew up in the '80s will hear the influence of Pat Benetar, Bonnie Tyler, and Belinda Carlisle. It's actually a generic ballad with a substandard verse, but with an anthemic chorus like this and a gorgeous vocalist you can leave the verse alone. This has elements of Cher too, Wilson Phillips, Peter Cetera, Nelson, Heart: all the big heavily produced rock hits of that time, but the problem is that in 1991, the pretty pop bubble had burst and the next generation had started to eat up a less polished/produced type of music coming from the North West Coast. Belinda Carlisle survived the decade transition with some dignity as did The Rolling Stones and REM and Whitney Houston and Dire Straits, but there was a four year period, 1989-1992 when the most over produced power ballads were being thrown on the radio. It was like an Arms Race between international music studios each trying to produce the most epic song and it destroyed all hope for realistic bands like Culture Club and REO Speedwagon, and The Cars, whose singles suddenly sounded dated. It was like a new Berlin Wall of music had been constructed and all low budget acts such as Tracy Chapman and Cyndi Lauper would not be allowed to cross, but this wall only lasted long enough to cull some of the fading acts like Def Leppard and flavor of the months like Debbie Gibson. 

The epic song has a few characteristics but the one I want to point out is the key change at the last chorus, sometimes called a "truck driver key change" because it musically evokes the action when a big stunt truck is going up a steep hill in order to plunge off a cliff dramatically and is losing speed and the driver must downshift or stall. See? Songs are meant to end with the listener flying off a cliff, not simply limping up to the edge and tumbling down the jagged side to the next song and this modulation gives them the extra RPMs to get you airborne. In Roxette's case the verse is in D minor. The chorus is in the relative Major F. It's a modulation, no doubt, but the notes don't change, just the tonic focus. That's why it sounds epic...sad to triumphant...minor to major with the same key signature. But the really epic key change is when there is a "pianissimo" chorus in F at 2:30 followed by several choruses when the key changes from F up a whole step to G at 2:43. This is what producers do when they frivolously want to change a song length from 3:00 to 4:00 and also to get the listener off. And it works... for a while.

It was the last gasp of the '80s between the fading of Milli Vanilli and the rise of Pearl Jam and Nirvana, this strange mini-era of huge ballads that only Jim Steinman had ever attempted before. Now lesser writers were trying their hand and basically creating skin deep anthems that would have no lasting appeal or any kind of art to the language. Very 10th grade lyrics. When you listen to them you think, "Hey, good song." Well, the second time you listen to it you don't hear anything new. The third time you listen to it you skip to the next song about half way through. That's the difference. Bat Out of Hell has songs that are not skin deep. Steinman and Meatloaf sort of approached it like the genre itself was skin deep, but they we're going to be ridiculously emotional and serious about it. Nelson approached it with a casual brilliance esthetic, but the big difference is creativity. Mr. Big had one of the greatest guitar players of all time with Paul Gilbert, strong voices, pretty chins, nice hair, and they managed to compose a single rock anthem that is super catchy, but is forever trapped in 1991. Bat Out of Hell is pretty much timeless because the creativity was very high and the authenticity was also very high. The songs aren't quite as "catchy" but that's the sacrifice of the Steinman anthem. It's also why a singer like Otis Redding can not be eclipsed by a Michael Buble singing Otis Redding songs; the authenticity for Buble is derivative even though his talent is approximately equivalent. I mean, if something like sex appeal or charisma could be taught then wouldn't Marylin Monroe and Vivien Leigh be long forgotten? I think the elite cultural icons started out with supernatural gifts that they developed until they personify Soul or Sex for the rest of us mortals.

This is all to prime myself to write my epic review of 1985 music as I survived long enough to write a 30 year anniversary music essay. That means listening to Shout by Tears for Fears today is like listening to The Ballad of Davy Crockett back in 1985. Or how about this....just think about this...if they remake the movie Back to the Future I, then Marty will be sent 30 years back in time to the long ago year of 1985. Just imagine how out of touch a teenager today would be if he were sent back to the time you were a teenager...and how amazed you were when you watched Marty walk around that clock tower plaza for the first time. Teenagers today must perceive Ronald Reagan as a confirmed lunatic, a prop parody of the political insanity they inherited, Sarah Palin's senile bastard step-father. "How did our parents elect and reelect a goofy actor who could not remember if he authorized the sale of Colombian cocaine in Los Angeles to fund a genocidal military rebellion in Nicaragua? How did the same delusional ex-actor directly and openly fund and applaud a Guatemalan military genocide of poor corn farmers? It would be like us electing Adam Sandler as President and having him declare covert war on Venezuela's homeless population using money generated from blow jobs by Brazilian hookers given to CIA Secret Service men...and then forgetting he did it."

Note: Roxette is not from Berlin, Germany and is not related to the band Berlin, which is from Los Angeles, U.S.A. No, Roxette is a Swedish band and this video is filmed on location in Stockholm. Milli Vanilli, however, was from West Germany.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Tried



Wolves had been absent from Yellowstone National Park for more than 70 years when they were reintroduced in the 1990s – and their return had some surprising benefits.

This reminds me of my need to edit that footage into a ten minute video and write a summary of my attempt to avert climate apocalypse.

Oggy On The Loose

This is a rear axle/differential from an old bus or truck. Used as a guardrail.


I wish I were joking but I got violently sick for two days in a strange city, delusional dreams, awful waking nightmares, body ache, and profuse diarrhea. The van smelled like a morgue, but I was unable to move or cry for help. I did manage to shit myself and here's a picture of me washing the shit out of my long underwear. Awful. I spared you the gory details.


Oggy, at a crossroads. I took the road less traveled by...and that has made all the difference.
I wasn't going to share this video because it could be later used as evidence of my deteriorating mental condition, but I was sick at the time with food poisoning or amoebas or some kind of Matrix worm running around my my intestines. So that's my excuse.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Looking Back

I had to bend half the bracket back to allow more threads of the broken bolt to push through
 My plastic concrete putty crumbled in my fingers when I went to use it. So I poured some super glue onto the area that was moving. It won't last so I'll need to have it welded eventually or fabricate some kind of bracket. I also bought some threaded rod if I have to create my own arm.
Before: Objects may appear to be duplicated
After: It's a little lower now because I had to turn the 90 degree arm over

Screenshot Trivia #4

All the clues are here

Who has the balls to admit they know the gem this is from? One of the all-time under appreciated low budget flicks. Painful to look at those white high-top Reebok tennis shoes, with the agonizingly dated velcro strap on the top. And the pale washed jeans. The Carrera Sun-Glasses. Painful. You could not get a production designer today to accurately stage this single shot to capture this era. This brings back many memories.

Single Cylinder Motorcycles 125cc

 This is going to be a long-term project to take pictures of all the single cylinder motorcycles I encounter in Central America. They are everywhere here...but they don't hardly exist in the U.S.A. Sure, you can buy a 1978 CB 125 and I admit those are awesome, but why not buy a 2015 125 with a fresh motor for less money? Because you probably don't live anywhere near a place that imports the Honda CGL 125. And this puzzles Oggy because in a place like Los Angeles where one must drive 45 minutes in order to park and walk on a rubber treadmill for 45 minutes and then drive 2 hours to buy medicinal marijuana edibles...and it hasn't rained in 10 years...well, it gets crazy. They've got Pink Dot delivery services driving all over the place to deliver A FUCKING 6 PACK OF BEER and a 1/4 oz of Purple haze kind bud and Sushi in a 6 cylinder vehicle? That's real bright with gas in CA taxed highest in all 50 states. Down here, the ubiquitous Italika 125 moto costs $900 brand new and includes a helmet. That's an entry level price for a worn out 1975 Cb125 that has no carburetor and no seat and was last started in 1987. A Honda or Suzuki probably runs $1400, but I'll find out exactly because I want to buy one. Actually the Italika was everywhere in Mexico but I don't see it as much in Guatemala. I see the Isuki, Freedom for the low end 125cc bike. Yamaha (pronounced ya-MA-ha) Suzuki, Honda for the high end options.

There are single cylinder bikes that are like 450cc. I think KTM makes those kind with a big piston. But they are not the ones I'm talking about or have any interest in. I want to deal with these little piston models, no more than 150cc designed for the city. Most are 125cc. Sometimes the fiberglass body and chrome makes it look like there's more power, but looks are deceiving as they have no more than 125cc, top speed is around 55. Around 70mpg, single little gravity feed carb, air cooled, rear drum brakes, front disk brakes, 4 or 5 speeds of pure awesomeness. No electric starter on most of them so be prepared to kick start, but you're only moving one cylinder so it's no big deal. They barely make any noise too unless you cut the muffler off.

On an average walk to the gym I'll see about 50 of these single cylinder motorcycles parked or swerving through traffic. Women will drive single cylinder scooters solo and when a passenger they will ride side saddle on a moto. In the U.S. I'd have to drive for 6 hours merely to have the option to buy one that has no battery and is mostly in a box full of rusting parts.



Yamaha YBR 125 with the mag wheels


I'll make this a page break so all the pictures don't load at once unless you're really interested in 125cc Japanese and Chinese motorcycles in Central America. Every bike I take a picture of will be honored here.

So Much Punditry So Little Time


I had a dream last night and it was vivid...I was riding my moped down a dirt road, the dirt road split right and a detour forced me down another winding dirt road and finally to a sharp left turn under a bridge that I could not make because I was going too fast. Instead, I turned right and came to a dead end...and there was a fenced-in area, old and overgrown with many tortured vehicles. It was an abandoned car storage lot and the vehicles had been overtaken by the weeds and trees, the trees actually had grown around the vehicles and I poked among them in awe at the abandoned treasures with a vague male figure who I can't identify but he identifies the trees as a paper birch, and I remember that it was the leaves and not the bark that he was referring to...the leaves, I reached out and touched one, were exactly like parchment paper but the bark was ordinary oak bending around an old Dodge van...so it wasn't a paper birch tree, which has white flaky papery bark, but I believed him...and then a girl who resembled someone I once loved came out of nowhere with a bag of cocaine that she was snorting right from the bag. She held the bag under my nose and I feebly refused but eventually inhaled the powder, maybe to please her. Then I woke up and I could still hear the rustle of the leaves in my hands and I was disappointed because I had so much to say to that girl but never said it and will never have the chance again.

This side mirror mount (The mirror that broke on the street and I had replaced yesterday) has caused me so much grief recently. This broken end was a hex head that twisted off when I tried to loosen it. But the other end was simply threaded with a nut. So how the hell is it constructed? This end must be so rusted that the bolt broke rather than loosened. Worst of all, the little crimp at the end that holds the bolt in place gave way so now it all merely turns in place and I can't tighten it. I'm so puzzled. Should I replace it or rebuild it or make this work with some plastic cement?
I made a resolution to participate in no more new punditry or even analysis of punditry.* I don't know how long this will last because I've got some opinions on recent events that are like festering pustules of hate trying to get out of me. But I know that it's a futile exercise and not really amusing to investigate cultural trends, opinions, fallacies, spin, media manipulations. I didn't get one death threat from my Conservative thought essay. How many people do I have to insult? Current events are easy fruit to pick for a lazy pundit and I have other projects that demand full focus. Even if I think I'll be exploring a dark corner of the twisted motives of man I also feel everything that can be said about these topics has been said. There is too much evidence to ignore, so whatever crisis we will face springs from our own ignorance. This is my final word on this for now: modern man is child-like and petty and deserves what he gets and will reap what he sows and whatever happens will be blamed on someone else.


*editing old essays doesn't count.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Community Improvement Idea

What cowgirl wouldn't love a decorated deer antler jewelery holder? 
Oggy's latest scheme is to import Reindeer into Guatemala and have the Mayans raise them like cattle, then butcher them (The deer, not the Mayans) like cows...and decorate the antlers for import to boutiques in Aspen so movie stars can have a cool place to hang their rings. I intend to use this deer rack as a hat hanger, but haven't figured out how to mount it to a wall. For now it holds my gypsy rings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Awesomeness in The Yukon


I knew there was someone more ambitious than me.

"Cud Eastbound" is living in a van heated by wood and surrounded by plastic and straw bales in The Yukon Territory, Land of The Midnight Sun.

Well, there ain't no sun this time of year and you really don't know cold until you get into the -40F area. It carries the penalty of death and you can taste your last breath on your lips. Your pants will freeze and crack if you sweat while wearing them. Your eyelids freeze closed. Cud seems to have a computer in there and he already knows of the moisture from your breath that begins to collect on the outside of the computer when the temps drop. Oh yes. But he can't see the moisture collecting on the circuit board inside the computer. Nor can he see the moisture collecting in the wire trays for the Van's wire harness that will eventually lead to an electrical fire unless he disconnected the battery. I learned all this the hard way; one must seal the heat inside, but that also seals the moisture...and leads to problems. It's very interesting and I'm a little puzzled how he's able to blog about the process from that location but I guess wifi internet is ubiquitous. Great stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dreaming of 1943


Circumstances have again conspired to hinder this dusty music box project but I will persist. I have the tools and the time but unreliable internet is making it hard to upload anything. 

Dreaming of 1943
This episode features 2 songs from 1943 that don't directly reference WWII but instead use metaphors to soften the message. Both songs have lyrics by Nat Burton...who would die shortly after these songs were released in 1945 at the age of about 44 and music by an era of professional songwriters. (That sound you hear is time's clock slowly ticking off the seconds of your life)

Monday Morning Quarterback


It's awesome to question sports decisions knowing the final outcome. But people miss the point during these monday morning debates. I'm not theorizing on the past, I'm actually talking about the future, using the past as a reference.

The current topic is the Green Bay/Seattle NFC Championship Game. With the score 19-7 at about 5 minutes left, Burnett intercepted a pass that Kearse-15, had go through his hands. 12 points is not insurmountable, but since that was the 4th interception of the day for GB they figured it was the end of the game. GB would run 2 minutes off the clock and then Seattle would throw another interception. Well, this is what happened....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tularecito

In Steinbeck's book "The Pastures of Heaven" there is a character named Tularecito. Steinbeck says this means "Little Frog" and the character was named thusly because he looks like a toad and was found as child. So, for maybe 20 years I thought the word "Tulare" means frog and the diminutive is "Tularecito" or little frog. I blindly accepted that as truth (as did millions of students, teachers and readers) and never had the chance to use the word in any other context. Why would Steinbeck lie? Pancho, a Mexican character in the book, named the little frog-like boy so why would he fail to know his own language? Well, today, the word Sepa (I "know") Subjunctive came up in Spanish lessons because I got it confused with Sapo (Frog) and I said, "Oh, como Tularecito?" 
And my teacher frowned. "Tularecito?" he asked. 
"Si, un sapo pequeno. En un personaje en un libro por John Steinbeck. Tularecito."
My teacher frowned again.

What followed was a painful exploration of this word, something Steinbeck would've appreciated, an investigation into all languages on the internet, all Spanish dictionaries and any printed history on the internet involving frogs and Tulare...and we reached the conclusion that no such Spanish word exists in this meaning. Allow me to explain:

Tulare is a county in California and it is named after a swampy reed-like plant, a tule rush. So, Tularecito means, "Small reed-like plant". Tule was in turn an Aztec or Nahuatl word, Tollin, for a reedy plant in a marsh. Tulare Lake was once the largest freshwater lake in the Western North America until the demand for abundant asparagus and garlic diverted all the fresh water from the lake. It didn't merely drop in level; it vanished. Tulare Lake is now a dusty field, but keep telling yourself that mankind can not affect anything as big as The Earth. And I'll keep trying to develop a pill to cure stupidity. So the Tule rush name was imported by Spanish explorers after their conquest of Mexico...and applied to this freshwater lake in the Central Valley of California because the same vegetation grew there as grew near Mexico City. California itself gets a name from a 1510 fantasy about a paradise called Calafia that someone in the exploration crew must've read in his spare time. 

The word Tollin morphed a little into Tule and then to Tulare which is what a whole county is called. Then Steinbeck is born in California and is raised in Salinas and lives in Monterrey and travels all over California hearing words and decides or learns Tulare is the word that Pancho thinks means "Frog" so when he finds the boy with a misshapen head in the weeds he calls the boy, "Little Frog". Well, Pancho is either himself retarded and doesn't even know the Spanish word for frog is either Sapo or Rana, or Steinbeck is not in touch with reality and took the word for a county in central California where a dry lake sits and decided it means Frog. Or maybe Steinbeck asked the wrong person and got an incorrect translation of Tulare....which isn't Spanish no matter who you ask. And his editors never questioned. Tule, is a kind of distorted version of a Nahuatl word. But it isn't Spanish, and it doesn't mean Frog.
What was Steinbeck thinking?

I spent 20+ years believing that word Tularecito means frog and my limited research into the etymology today tells me that no one has yet published an account of this falsehood that Steinbeck has perpetrated. No one has questioned this translation until today, right now. Tularecito is a mix of a Spanish suffix after an Aztec word root imported by Spanish to a country that would later speak English. Steinbeck doesn't presume to be a language teacher and part of me wants to believe that he did this on purpose because Tularecito is a better name than Sapocito or Ranacito. But Tularecito at best means "Little Tule Reed" or "Little Tulare County" and at worst it's like saying Weed-cito and meaning little frog. Steinbeck is dead so there's probably no way to figure out what his intention was and where he decided this word Tulare means Frog. I'm sure he lived in Tulare county and maybe someone there thought the word means Frog, that the county was named after frogs, and not the reed that the frogs swam around.

Because this whole book concerns a mythical place, and this particular chapter concerns a mythical character and how truth and fiction often overlap because we want it to, there's probably a doctoral thesis in this topic. Was Steinbeck creating a myth (The meaning of Tularecito) that he knew readers would accept, to prove a point about the nature of myths? I will leave that for future inspired linguists. At least give me credit for being the first to point out that Tularecito doesn't mean Little Frog except in a fictional character's mind.

Trane



Please appreciate this performance. The piano solo had me drooling followed by a bass solo. I'm learning this piece, Impressions, and it will surprise some of you that there are only two chords. Dmi....Ebmi....back to Dmi. This is an example of taking the minimum and being a musician.
all credit to: 
John Coltrane- tenor sax
McCoy Tyner:Piano
Jimmy Garrison:Bass
Elvin Jones: Drums

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thermal Time

On a not so serious topic,
Growing up I would wear these thermal long sleeve shirts and pants. This must be one of the more scandalous fashion deceptions because cotton thermal fabric is not more warm than anything. Arguably, it's colder. But we buy them maybe because they make us think we're warmer.

Thermal action wife beater?
Well, one of the strangest fashion items I've found in central america are wife beater tank tops made from thermal fabric. Camisetas are popular under a dress shirt, but I love the idea that this is thermal fabric to keep you warm, yet has no sleeves. I've never seen such a thing and now I'm addicted to wearing tank-tops like my Grandfather was. When a man can accept his bulging belly fat against a skin-tight thermal tank top then he's finally a man.

Long and Ponderous Essay on Conservative Thought: Part III

This will conclude my essay on the Conservative persuasion. My goal thus far has not been to criticize or contradict Conservative ideology because I would get sidetracked, and that's the whole problem. Our contradictory habits have destroyed the exchange of ideas. I think I overused the word "vitriol" in Part II so I'm looking for another word...and will use Corrosive because when a habit erodes the actual substance/details of the habit itself then it's corrosive. That's what happens when our tradition of contradiction kicks in and we fail to see that we have 1) invented the point of fact we're gleefully contradiction. 2) misunderstood everything 3) wasted lots of energy in futile philosophic tail-chasing. This corrosive culture must end or the relationship will continue to erode. The leap to contradict is something loathsome pundits develop and pass on like poisoned worms to their blind nestlings. Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, are all guilty of embracing the Spin Factory media ethic. For that reason alone we must censor these repulsive agitators. These news forums are entirely emotional irritants and are without merit. It's very irksome that all this technology has merely allowed us to contradict one another faster. For the love of God we must return to intelligent debate and thoughtful action!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ponderous Essay on Conservative Thought Part II

In my last essay on Conservative thought I meandered around the topic of Race. My conclusion is that Race is a peripheral topic and is important only as it related to other topics. Conservatives are not Racist. They may say Blacks are "A failed ape species" or "Kill all Niggers," but I maintain these are merely extreme statements from a misinterpretation of facts. For instance, a Black person robs a bank. The Conservative conclusion is that all Black people are poised to rob banks, and so they must be stopped as a defensive strike, or at least a defense must be prepared. This is extremist and fatalistic and conceivable only in the 4th Reich, but it's not racist because it's a distortion of facts, not a confirmation of facts. 
This could easily be someone writing this to intentionally misrepresent Conservatives

"A often equals B, B sometimes equals C, and C infrequently equals Z, so let's plan for Z because A is a reality." 

I will resist the critical urge because that's not my goal here. I only want to reveal the actual source of debate.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Catch or Not?

Not the best video angle, but most clearly demonstrates Bryant caught it at the 5 yard line.

There were some epic football games recently. No matter what I do, sports are in my blood. The particular play that sticks in my mind is this catch that was reversed and called incomplete on a 4th & 2. The details are great with this play. The strategy is epic. The Cowboys have plenty of 2 yard plays they could've called with high percentage of success...but they went for the home run and Bryant makes contact with the ball in both hands at the 5 yard line. For those challenged by Imperial measurement that's 15 feet away from the goal line. At first, they awarded the catch and spotted the ball initially at the 2 foot line. Then it was challenged and reversed. So Bryant managed to carry the ball 13 feet without catching it? That's what the refs would have us believe? 13 Feet and he failed to possess the ball because he never made a football move, never completed the process, in 13 feet??  Naw!

Games with officials can be heartbreaking because this one play was important. A game is comprised of every play, not merely one, but one play is still one play and in this situation it's a big one. As a former pick-up game athlete with bad knees and dirty pants I don't see how a person can carry a ball for 13 feet without ever possessing it. Did he not catch the ball at the 15 and then fumble it at the 2 ft line? OR the conclusion is that he merely touched the ball at the 15 and then juggled it for 13 feet? Seriously? I don't like the Cowboys even though I was a Texan for a brief spell. But how can you justify saying he carried it for 13 feet before finally failing to possess it?

I guess the momentum of his running carried him those 13 feet before he possessed it. But that's two lengths of his whole body. So I still have a problem with them saying he carried it, without possessing it for 13 feet and never made a football move. I think the football move involved carrying it for 13 feet and trying to score with the football. He wasn't juggling it, but when he reached out finally the ball hit the ground and he lost control of it, 13 feet, nearly 5 yards, after he had caught it. So, it wasn't the catch that was in question, it was the fumble.

But the conclusion ruled and the Cowboys lost possession. The lesson is hard to take but it amounts to two points:
1) Go with high percentage plays when the game is on the line
2) Once you've caught the ball inside the 5 then go ahead and keep both hands on it. You'll score when the next play runs it in. Keep both hands on the ball and don't try to score because the game has gotten that picky about possession. The days are gone when the naked eye won the day. Now officials have HD and super slow motion and super zoom and if the ball moves and you have been in the air and tumbling the whole time then they will decide that you actually were in the process of catching the ball for 13 feet and ultimately didn't catch it. That's the conclusion because that's what the video shows. It was an acrobatic catch, which means you must do something non-acrobatic before losing control of the ball, and Bryant never did anything non-acrobatic. The whole catch was acrobatic up until the ball came loose. So it was never a catch.

I would maintain the non-acrobatic move was him turning around and lunging for the end zone, but the refs seem to be thinking that was part of the acrobatics. No, Bryant is a superhuman. He can't be judged like the rest of us. The catch was already accomplished while most of us were catching flies with our mouths, and Bryant was trying to get the touchdown and that was the proof he had made the catch. Otherwise, the rule forces Bryant to catch the ball and not move at all until he is downed on the 1 yard line...instead of catching it and turning for the touchdown, like all superhuman receivers would do.*

My sympathies, because this was a great playground catch and all the players in the world salute Bryant with a touchdown sign. He caught it, was tackled, and the ground caused the fumble so it's down on the 1 yard line. Incredible. But we can't go back in time and see if Green Bay takes the lead again so there's nothing to be done. It's a game of inches.

I salute all the players of this weekend's games. The season started out about as bad as any season I can remember. Only my NFL addiction forced me to watch the games I could find. Anyone with dignity turned their backs on the sport. The NFL needs to clean up its act, and by making it this far at least they proved they have the will power to make a clean game not full of abusers and junkies and murderers. Whether they apply that will power is another question but I know their hearts are strong and they merely need to get their priorities straight. The game itself is going to be good no matter how it is played, but please maintain some perspective. Do it for the kids.

*Per the rulebook, Bryant had to maintain possession “through the process” of making contact with the ground, so when the ball came loose once it hit the turf at the 1, even though he definitely had possession of it before that, officials were required to rule it incomplete, because he hadn't touched the ground yet. So, this goes back to training camp and practicing acrobatic catches in the air while focusing on keeping the ball off the ground as you hit the ground.

Dusty Music Box Project

Here's the project in progress page. I'm trying to record a bunch of these songs that I bought in a big box of dusty music and also write an essay to put the song in perspective. Don't expect Jacques Brel to magically possess me. If everyone were that good he wouldn't be so special. And if I could perform like that you'd have to pay to see me. I can't postpone this project until I learn to sing and play piano* so I'm moving forward with it in the hopes the very last song I record won't be as bad as the first. The songs with links are all the songs I've recorded and written a bit about organized by decade:


Music tells a story










1900-1909
Anchors Aweigh  MCMVI 1906

1910-1919
That Hypnotizing Man 1911
Please Don't Take My Lovin' Man Away 1912
Bobbin' Up and Down 1913
 At The Mississippi Cabaret 1914
You're The Dawn of A Perfect Day 1915
Back Home In Tennessee 1915
Sierra Sue MCMXVI 1916
Over There 1917
Little Sir Echo 1917
The Bells of St. Mary 1917
Who Said Dixie? 1918
Santa Rosa Rose 1918
When a Feller Needs a Friend 1919
The Alcoholic Blues 1919

1920-1929
The Love Nest 1920
When The Harvest Moon is Shining 1920
He Always Goes Farther Than Father 1921
Ma! 1921
The Melody That Made You Mine 1925
Always 1925
Daybreak 1926
When The Organ Played At Twilight 1929


1930-1939
Overnight 1930
Bye Bye Blues 1930
Good Night, Little Girl of My Dreams 1933
Deep Purple 1934
Little Old Lady 1936
Rosalie  1937
Once In A While 1937
I Live The Life I Love 1937
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon 1937
 Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon 1937
Penny Serenade 1938
I Have Eyes 1938
All Ashore 1938
There's a Gold Mine In The Sky 1937
I Get Along Without You Very Well 1939
We'll Meet Again 1939
Scatter-brain 1939

1940-1949
When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano 1940
Tschaikowsky's Concerto No.1 3/4 1941
Tonight We Love (Tschaikowsky) 2/2 1941  (The arranger changed the time signature to Pete's first Piano Concerto)
An Old Country Garden 1941
The White Cliffs of Dover 1941
He Wears a Pair Of Silver Wings 1941
Along The Navajo Trail 1942
I've Heard That Song Before 1942
Where The Mountains Meet The Sky 1942
Light A Candle In The Chapel 1942
There's a Harbor of Dream Boats 1943
My Dream of Tomorrow 1943
Comin' In On A Wing and A Prayer 1943
Rum and Coca-Cola 1944
Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive 1944
Swinging On A Star 1944
Anniversary Song 1946
My Heart Is A Hobo 1947
April In Portugal 1947
Bella Bella Marie 1947
Buttons and Bows 1948

1950-1959


1960-1969
Angel On My Shoulder 1960
Love is Blue 1966




I wish a box of old sheet music was rare, but it's pretty common. This one cost $10, but that was a lot of money to me when I bought it. The box it came in is probably worth more than the sheet music since it's super vintage metal-reinforced wax cardboard soft drink shipment box, probably from 1973. A collector would probably kill for that box.

*The piano is a Yamaha P105 unit. I like the modeling and the action but the speakers are only adequate for a small room.  All these recordings are done with the speakers on the unit itself. I don't own any good amps.

The guitar is a Seagull spruce/cedar

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Soca

I missed this sub genre of reggae. SOCA means soul of calypso. It's not quite as cool and groovy as Ska by Desmond Dekker or The Ethiopians but it's pretty cool. I was watching VH1 on Guatevision and saw a video called "All About That Bass." I had honestly never heard the song because it was released during my most recent gypsy voyage and I had no access to contemporary culture. The song was written and performed by Meghan Trainor and I approved of it immediately because they actually used pastel colors in the production design to correspond to pastel decorated cupcakes. Although I admit I was initially annoyed by Meghan's affected voice because I thought she was copying the affectation Britney Spears used to imply attitude, so I hunted down some information on it and after watching her interviews I realized we're from the same Neck of the Woods. If I'd lived in Somerville, Mass (Summahvil, ya fahk) a few years longer I'd sound like Mark Wahlberg, while Meghan was raised on Nantucket off of Cape Cod where the nasal kind of street slang has less international influence, and borrows from cod fishermen from NY, Rhode Island, and Maine. So she isn't intentionally sounding like a reject from East Stinkwater, Mass, some industrial hell hole where eating steak and cheese subs on a brick stairway is considered fine dining. No, she merely never trained her accent out of her voice since she assumed she'd be lucky to write songs and not perform them. And it's one of those modern phenomenons that has an unrefined voice become popular. She's just talented enough to fit a niche market with some derivative pop beats and ensemble presentation. Amy Winehouse might not be an influence but I can hear that same attitude Winehouse had minus the self destructive real life suicide complex. The presentation isn't very original, but the details are at least an attempt at sincerity. But Trainor cites Soca music as an influence and that got me investigating Soca. I can hear that in the proto-rap style, the rapid fire lyrics, the social implications of her music. I wasn't familiar with Soca but it makes me want to drive my van across the water to Trinidad. Someone should edit a Soca mix of All About That Base.

A Long And Ponderous Essay on Conservative Thought

The topic of the Conservative mind deserves years of research but I only was able to tolerate about 5 months of the cyclical, self-justifying, selectively prejudicial, firmly closed to any alteration, uncompromising agenda that currently rules the Conservative persuasion. But I did learn some of the basics of Conservative thought and I'd like to share my findings with you. My goal is not to inform you. No, I'm trying to expunge any desire I have to investigate this topic further so I decided I needed to enter the belly of the beast, cover myself with shit, and embrace the evil beast, and hopefully come out the other side. I can report that I'm beat up, but I made it. Now I'm going to write this essay and that will be the end of it. I will punch in the face anyone who asks me to expand on any of these comments. OK?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Look

double spacing in blogspot "sand dollar" theme. html is not like horseshoes or hand grenades: close isn't good enough.

It took a little prodding from my many fans* but I tracked down the line where the line-height should be and added the 2.2em and now the space should be double. I don't know why I couldn't find it the other day, or maybe I found it and didn't have the 'em' after the 2.2 or had a space or lacked a }closed bracket or semi-colon. html is a little maddening and obviously I'm already tortured by the infinite details of living so I try to avoid it. I am also experimenting with a different background color, shit brown, in order to make the text less glaring. I don't love it but I'm not a designer at heart. The reason The Onion and CNN and other sites get away with a white background is because they only have about 2 paragraphs of text and the videos start to play automatically and video is easier on the eyes than reading. I don't love this theme but I also don't like change so I think we're stuck with it. The status quo is easier to accept.
Took some trial and error but I think I moved the column in and got more text on one line.

*It's not that I care what my readers think, but in this case I happened to agree.

Unoffensive

Oggy has been in the antagonistic satire business for a decade. Before starting this blog I was the creator of a little known Zine called NiggerKike You probably haven't heard of it but it was popular among the homeless of Santa Cruz. NiggerKike didn't have a big budget but we poured our hearts into offending all races and religions. I thought it was funny because I was stoned all the time and under the influence of that holy show "South Park". I don't really think for myself because it's easier to let animated cartoon comedies moralize my life for me. People would tell me, "Oggy, if you sound like a pedantic cartoon character on T.V. then chances are good that you're a narrow-minded asshole." I would just smoke more pot, laugh at them and find a way to offend them. Isn't that wicked funny?

The main objective of NiggerKike was to offend niggers and kikes and spics and cracker red necks in the purest sense, for the glory of being offensive. Political agenda never obstructed our objectives. Sure we got death threats but we translated those death threats into our language so instead of "You motherfuckers are going to die.." we read "Draw more cartoons of ignorant niggers." We did not only have cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad, we claimed the magazine was written by the Prophet Mohammad. Isn't that funny? I wish I had copies of the magazine to share with everyone but we were print-only and no evidence remained after our shanty near the river levee was scorched by, depending on who you ask, either the KKK, the CIA, the Jewish Defense Fund, The NAACP or a tweaking meth junkie who thought it was a satanic church. This last scenario was understandable since we had a big sign that said, "Satanic Church of Santa Cruz" in front of the rotting wood plank shanty.

So we lost all the back editions of our zine and the incident caused a critical debate started among the writers, who were now homeless: should we censor ourselves in the face of such obvious hate? For the record, our work was not appreciated by anyone. It was more of a test to see how committed people were to the idea of freedom of speech. See? No one actually liked or enjoyed our Zine, but instead either defended our right to produce offensive trash or criticized our choices and similar battle lines were drawn among the writers. Some said that a recent depiction of Baby Jesus smoking crack under the railroad trestle had gone too far. Other claimed a depiction of Buddha giving Mohammad a blowjob under the carnival boardwalk was puerile, tasteless and without merit. Another said it was the "Jew Stew" recipe in our cuisine section that had pushed someone over the edge. 

I defended the work, "It's our job to offend everyone." and someone asked, "Why?" and my answer was, "To test the limits of tolerance, or something like that. The point is to determine if our desire to offend outweighs someone's desire to censor us." I pointed at the smoldering ruins of our shanty office and continued, "Clearly, we did our job right because we pushed someone to violence. So we win."
"How do we win?"
"Because now we will witness the whole city of Santa Cruz come to our aid and moral defense. True patriots for liberty will support our Jew Stew recipe because it's not the content of the speech, but the idea of being free to offend that's important. That's what George Washington wanted. He wanted Baby Jesus child porn cartoons and Jew Stew recipes! Right?"

There was dead silence but I patted myself on the back because liberty loving patriots always were quick to ask if Mohammed would really have wanted violence in his name, since that is super relevant to the discussion, and now I was turning that around to point out that James Madison and Ben Franklin may not have specifically included Jew Stew references in the Constitution but anyone with eyes could interpret that holy document as encouraging hateful and ignorant and antagonistic stereotyping for my own amusement. Yeah! The important thing, I told my staff, was that we never alter our offensive conduct since we were completely supported philosophically by James Madison, who is inherently superior to all other prophets. It made no difference if common sense and a shred of respect for others would suggest we censor our repulsive and purely inciteful Zine. No, our duty was to tap into our most irritating teenage instincts and channel that into our work. Because that's what adults do. 

I picked up a charred fragment of a hilariously scathing pencil depiction of a polar bear anally raping then President Bush in payback for destroying his habitat.

"This might as well be the Bill of Rights," I said solemnly with the carbonized satire flapping in the smoky wind.

"So, in essence, we are upholding all the moral values of our great patriot fore-fathers by defaming all the religions and holy figures of our time. Sam Adams would've done the exact same thing if he'd smoked as much pot as me and also failed to grow up. As long as the Constitution encourages us to offend people and defends us legally then we must do so. Or else betray Patrick Henry's long legacy of blasphemy." Intentional salacious blasphemy, I added, has resolved uncountable conflicts.

The magazine was never the same after the fire. I felt alone in my belief that freedom of speech, as defined in 1787 by devout Christians, was a decree to offend Christianity and other religions in the modern age. Some easily offended, race-baiting asshole even suggested I was distorting the meaning and intent of the writers of the Constitution to fit my own twisted and infantile agenda. But that's crazy talk.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Proclamations

I was going to make New Year's resolutions but then I thought, hey, lets pretend Oggy is King and His Royal Oggy-ness gets to enforce resolutions for everyone. So, these are King Oggy's proclamations for 2015.

I) Rape- The whole "innocent until proven guilty" mandate looks nice on paper and it sounds good when you say it with a smug affectation, but, sorry, it's a fucked up approach to justice. The biggest problem is that it does no more to protect innocents accused of crimes that any approach does. Blind vigilantism in 1670 probably proportionally punished as many innocent people as today's justice system. Why? Because prosecutors, cops, District Attorneys, judges, defense attorneys, and juries are all still fallible assholes. Maybe if James Madison is cloned and everyone in the justice department is exactly like him then it will work. Today, it's a shitty doctrine of idealistic fantabulism and the first place I will require to be changed is concerning the crime of rape. 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pipeline Blues

TransCanada can buy anything
I should write a song about the pipeline but I'm nursing two huge blisters on my fingers from absently playing the bass guitar so it will have to wait. I figured this AlJazeera article was about a Trappist Monastery.  In one of my desperate circumnavigations of America I saw a little arrow on a map of Iowa saying there was a monastery, and even in 1992 I was considering a total separation of Oggy and Society so I aimed for that arrow and during a snow storm that my little Datsun 200sx was totally unqualified to deal with I arrived at that Monastery around 10PM. I went to sleep in my car, as I always did, and a few minutes later I heard a knock on the window. For fuck's sake! Had the cops followed me miles into the corn pastures during a blizzard to force me to move on? No, it was a hooded monk, carrying a candle lantern, worried I would freeze to death and inviting me to stay in one of the novice rooms. It was like a scene from the 16th century as a faceless brown cloaked figure covered with snow and illuminated by a single candle was offering sanctuary with God. And so began my visit to the New Melleray Abbey, which is closely related to the Assumption Abbey in Missouri in the article. I really considered staying there forever, chanting at 3am, making jam and fruitcake, but I decided it wasn't yet time for that path.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Britney Spears As Seen Through The Oggy Light

My brother has asked me to write 3000 words about Britney Spears circa 1999. He must be smoking crack because there's no other explanation. Oh, wait, I get it. I can type fast and throw some fancy words around and spin some bullshit people are amused by so he thinks I'll be able to work my magic with America's Own Mouseke-Whore, make people see her in a different light, and he's right, but the problem is that the world isn't ready for what I have to say about Britney Spears. It's too soon and since I'm not Ludwig Van Beethoven, I don't like writing for the future. She's still alive, breeding more hillbillies, maybe recording some trashy song written by a bearded suicidal gay guy about some boy crush he had in 1992, and farts some repetitive Katy Perry melody onto the lyrics about "boys and hit me in my love button" kind of bullshit. Add some techno beats and he is able to pay his rent for another self-loathing month. But what the hell, Ok. Let's have some fun. Let's see what happens. I got nothing to lose.

Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Acros 240 Refrigedor

Relay and overload removed from compressor

Some things change, like the year, and other things never change, like Oggy's war with disposable appliances. I think the last time I had access to a refrigerator that wasn't in a trailer was in 2012 in St. Louis. Since then I like to say I use Walmart as my refrigerator. So I finally get to Guatemala and rent a room in a suite with a shared kitchen and I put my mantequilla and leche in the refrigerator and pat myself on the back. The light in the refrigerator is working so I figured it needed time to cool down since my Argentinian housemate always eats out and has never used the refrigerator. I never heard it running and assumed it seldom ran because it's always about 52 degrees in the apartment. Then I realized the ice never froze and the milk never got colder than room temperature and the only reason it didn't spoil was because it's always cold in the apartment.The thing never worked...it's merely an insulated box where I put stuff.

Relay

 So, the current quest involves a simple process of testing the relay and overload protection device to see if they are the problem. The other problem could be some kind of broken thermostat which I think is unlikely since it's merely a dial. I even took the thermostat cover off and inspected the plugs and wires so I think it's ok. Or the dreaded compressor, which dooms the whole unit because it's the most expensive part on it. The compressor is 10 years old so it's possible, but most likely is these two plastic items, relay or overload protection. The symptoms right now are no sound, no motor, no clicking, no attempt to engage the compressor, but there is light. I never heard it run so it will be interesting to see if this is the problem. I found a hack that bypasses the relay and has the compressor run full time but it involved tools which are in my van that is in storage with my tortured moped. It's also a temporary fix that would at least determine if the compressor is shot but would only postpone replacement of these two items.

Overload Protection
Projects really test my troubleshooting abilities because these gadgets bear only a remote resemblance to what other brands look like...but because they plug into a universal three prongs on the compressor and the schematic is at my skill level, I deduced what they were. It's a Brazillian refrigerator, imported to Mexico and smuggled to Guatemala. All this for cold milk, it's crazy.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.