greatbear: (building face)
What would happen if a Danish chamber orchestra were to encounter red hot chili peppers? Not the funky rock band, but the actual peppers?

Behold:



And, yes, the bearded fella conducting is really named Chili Claus. I have to say, the musicians kept it pretty much together despite eating some of the hottest peppers in the world. After finishing the piece, though, their reaction is pretty much the same as mine after watching the recent election results.
greatbear: (jeff and me)
After Jeff and I performed our civic duty by voting and had a nice dinner at the local pub, we settled in at home watching the election unfold, hoping for the best. We weren't disappointed.

Maryland voters not only reelected Obama, but they put two very progressive feet forward with the state version of the DREAM Act which allows "illegal" immigrants and others to pay tuition and receive other educational benefits if they meet certain conditions regarding positive efforts towards education, employment and such towards attaining citizenship, and, most amazingly, voting FOR the referred law recognizing same-sex marriage. Finally, the old saw trotted out by anti-gay groups such as NOM, smarmy political groups with "family" in their names, and religious groups where they boast of "Victories" at the ballot box defining marriage as one man and one woman no longer will apply. It was close, but decisively on favor of equality. The legislature had passed marriage equality a while ago, but the usual petition drives poured from church groups and hate orgs to put a referendum to the voters. It backfired. As I write this, it appears that Maine will also enjoy marriage equality thanks to voters as well, and Minnesota and Washington, while not final yet, are tending positive. Regardless, this marks a solid turning point for gay rights, equality and social progress for the US. The current progress overturning DOMA as well as smaller local initiatives present and future will be able to gain a lot of momentum in the next four years.

Maryland finally ousted our version of Jesse Helms, a MD house member Roscoe Bartlett, a 10 term Republican that has been a constant thorn in the side of progress in this state, replaced by a Democrat. There is a lot of social and economic progress to be made in the years ahead, and it should be a lot easier now. I just wish I could say the same for politics on a national level. There is still a framework of gridlock in place, but now that the people have spoken, and it's clear that they are also demanding some serious progress.

I can also live free of the constant bombardment of political ads, signs, robocalls and stumping. What a shite-tonne of audio-visual pollution. It should be quet going into the holiday season ahead.

Despite the setbacks I have experienced recently, I can live a bit happier now, a bit more proud, and more open than ever.

Now, to start making wedding plans...
greatbear: (Default)
I have lost just about all faith in LJ. Because of the unfortunate circumstances that made LJ a historically significant primary blogging platform for Russians and the fact that anyone from the region that happens to post something critical of the Russian government or political groups causes those parties to unleash a tsunami of DDoS attacks making the platform completely inaccessible, well, let's just say that a rusted out Honda Civic with a blown head gasket and a dead battery is more useful. Were it not for the really cool people remaining in my circle of LJ peeps, I would have pulled the plug (permanently) a long time ago. However, the viability of this thing has become so poor that I am finally going to move on to other pastures, but I won't (as of yet) leave entirely. I do have a Dreamwidth account, as well as one on Blogger, both of which are idle at the moment. Perhaps I will hang my shingle there, if I decide that "blogging" (whatever the term means these days) remains something something I still want to participate in. Granted, I am beyond frustrated now with the bullshit that crops up and I might eventually change my mind (again). I should actually be patient with the course of events that affect the service because it has huge political and free speech/information ramifications, but I am sick of being collateral damage. Oh well. For now, I am going to kick this thing in the corner and weather the storm while I take on other meaningful tasks.

Lest many of you miss my social intercourse and presence, I will attempt to post something truly interactive in the meantime. If you manage to get to this post, use this entry as a reminder of good times. Try not to leave fingerprints on your screen.

Votated

Nov. 2nd, 2010 05:28 pm
greatbear: (Default)
Jeff and I just got back from voting. I figured it would be less of a hassle to go now before the rest of the huddled masses come home from work, as the evenings tend to be much more crowded. About 15 minutes and we were both done. Only a handful of people there this time.

I miss the old mechanical voting machines. There was always something satisfying about that healthy ker-chunk when you pulled the big red lever. Touch screens just have no soul.
greatbear: (kmfdm icons)
I have a rather large friends list as part of my LJ Experienceâ„¢. The cool part is not the number of people, but the variety. So many different talents, abilities, viewpoint, and so many expressive people. While I might not comment everywhere, I do try my best to read every post in its entirety. This includes those entries I might not agree or align with. After all, I read folks' stuff as an entire body of work, as an insight into who they are, what they like/dislike, etc. I'm sure there's quite a large pile of those who subscribe to my scribes here who don't share all of my views, hobbies, pastimes, orientations and whatnot. I run down my f-list entries and occasionally find something that might rub me the wrong way, if it looks like there might be an opportunity for a healthy debate, I might post something to that effect. Quite often, I see something and just think, "that's nice" and skip to the next entry. But every now and then, I will read a post that should not go unanswered. In rare cases, this might be a friends-only locked post with comments disabled. When it's an entry that reeks so much of fail, and it lays there like a Malamute turd on a child's birthday cake, I feel the need to drag it out into the light before the mushrooms start sprouting. Like this bon mot:

It's sad to think that as a Conservative I can only vote Once. ~Gosh~ if I was a Democrat I could vote multiple times whether I was alive/dead/registered or not!

~Beware of Voter FRAUD, People~


O rly, now? You actually believe this? You think this happens all over the place? And do you think it's only a problem with Democrats? Or are you making a joke or some sort of twisted commentary? I'm sure by the above statement you imply that Republicans are above board at all times, keepers of all that is moral, right and good.

So there you have it, folks. The political discourse of this once great nation has been reduced to noise like that up there in red text. Politicians, in their race to the bottom have reduced people to mindless thinking and parroting dimbulb personalities. I might not like the end results of some of the candidates I voted for, but I'm still willing to tough it out, fight the good fight, and hold all elected leaders' feet to the fire.

Sadly, I think after tomorrow's elections, the race to the bottom will pick up mach speed.

(Bonus points to those who know the above quoted poster's identity. I'm not revealing it, but you can. It's a free country, after all.)
greatbear: (edna agape)


I am ashamed of my country, Ashamed that people like Orly Taitz, screeching queen of the 'birther' rabble-rousers not only exists, but is given forum after forum in which to spew her rabid unintellectual bile. Ashamed that idiots would rather bleat and scream loudly than participate in reasoned discussion. I'm fed up with people who are easily manipulated using fear and emotions rather than facts and intelligence. Stupid is as stupid does. And stupid has been making a name for itself lately. Too bad it won't just be the stupid among us that will suffer from their deeds.
greatbear: (flaming turd)
There's been a lot of action in the various gay blogs regarding the brief filed by the Department of Justice against the repeal of DOMA. Here is the Obama DOJ filing a brief packed with text comparing homosexuality with incest and pederasty, among other disproven nastiness. Yes, I was pissed, this being more in line with Bush-era right-wing spew or rhetoric used by religious groups like the AFA and the Mormons for the passage of CA Proposition 8.

Well, lookie here. Sure enough, here's a leftover Bush-era appointee, a Moron Mormon, no less. These people have no honor. They live for their hateful little causes, their deranged beliefs, their crazy superstitions, and the money that they rake in for it all. Fuckers.

Obama is not going to throw me under any bus. Not unless he's going to be sitting in back of it. And anyone who might try saying that things might have turned out better with that other choice can DIAF.

Edit: The last paragraph was meant to say that I will give up my fight for equal rights the day that Barack Obama relinquishes his. The Garage of Mayhem is not a place to pull into if you expect to find political correctness. That's not to be found among the parts and services. I just don't want to hear

because that's not available here either.

It seems I got sucked into a poorly reported investigative piece along with a lot of other people, and I was not in the best of moods to deal with it in a more levelheaded way. Still, there's some rather nasty underpinnings to be found and they are not becoming of an administration headed by one self-proclaimed as a "fierce defender of LGBT rights". For a far, far better insight on the brief, it's meaning and a forthright analysis, head over to [livejournal.com profile] joeatlarge's post here. Leave it to Joe to do the right thing as usual. And do so while lookin' so sexy. ;)
greatbear: (old graybeard)
I'm sitting here watching the various scenes play out on the way to the Inauguration. It's a sea of people, all standing in below-freezing weather. And they are all beaming. I've never seen anything like this. Looking at all of this, I can't help but get a bit choked up. It's history in the making.

When I think of Mom, and how immensely proud and happy she would be to see this, I lose it.

And, as I write this, the television reporters are interviewing random spectators. They are talking to a mother and daughter who came to D.C. from California. They are asking where people are from, and why they decided to attend. The mother said she had recently recovered from cancer treatments and wanted more than anything to see this happen, that it was so important to be there. And I totally lose it.

Here's to the future. Let it be a good one. For everyone.
greatbear: (pope pee)
Those out there rabbling over Obama's choice of Rick Warren for delivering the invocation during the inauguration have a very valid point. And I agree. However, for 'our side', things could have been far, far worse. Four words: John McCain, Sarah Palin. Had things been different on Nov. 4, you just might have been watching Palin lining up her Keepers of the Dominion.

This is just more proof that religion has no place in politics. The sad truth is that religion is politics, pure and simple.
greatbear: (forearms)
Having been almost a week since the election, the giddiness of the populace (unless you are an incurable far-righter, in that case, stiff biccies) and the unfortunate shock as the passage of Prop. 8 and other anti-gay referendum seems to be morphing into a real force of change. Yeah, I know it's an over-used word by now, but it fits. The shock and anger at the passage of Proposition 8 has motivated people in a way not seen in decades. Protests against religious involvements in public policy sure does my old heart good, and it's about time. Another wonderful sign of change to come is the involvement of young people. The youth of this country finally feel they have a say in how it is run. There is going to be more of "us" in U.S., and I could not be happier.

The recent events also seem to have run their course through LJ land. The shock turned into complaints, which turned into blaming, which resulted in unfriendings and deleted journals and is now turning into focus and determination. I really like what I see. Let's keep channeling that anger into motivation. I have a feeling a lot of good will come of this.
greatbear: (fuzzy)
My friend Harry has a thoughtful open letter to President-elect Barack Obama over at his LJ. It's most definitely worth a read.

It saddens me to see an undercurrent of infighting and friction among some in my readership over the whole Prop. 8 issue, but I cannot say I didn't expect it. The framework has been put into place now that can serve us better than anything in the past 8 years so long as we make the best use of it. There's a lot of work to be done, and lots of obstacles to overcome. Fight the good fight, but remember to fight the foes, not each other. Keep the momentum going, and get creative.
greatbear: (headsmash)
It's the morning after. I can finally shed a bit of the stress and anxiety I'd been feeling the last couple days leading up to and including election day, and watching those counts roll in. Indeed, history was made yesterday by a solid majority of US citizens wanting and hoping for a new direction for our country. This path of change and reconciliation is a long, slow uphill one, thanks not only to the failed policies of the last eight years, but going back into the Reagan years.

I wake today with the giddiness gone, replaced with some cold facts of reality not entirely unlike the day after a drunken Vegas-style wedding facing the cold truth of the consequences of one's actions. Prop 8, along with other ballot initiatives passed nationwide nullifying and prohibiting same-sex marriage have rewritten state constitutions, targeting a class of citizens with discrimination and the inability to live equally among the rest of the populace. It's like a roundhouse kick in the gut, delivered by smiling, self-righteous bible-toting Neanderthals who insist they know best and proclaimed themselves some sort of authority on such matters. Well, it's time that changed. By publicly involving yourselves in the political workings of America and it's diverse citizenry, it's now time to bring the machinations of organized religion out into the light and into widespread public scrutiny. The separation of church and state benefits both. Those that seek to meld their religious tendencies into the realm of government for their own gain don't stop to think that it's a two-way street. We've seen the inherent nastiness of political investigations. I feel it's time to focus that glaring spotlight into the realm of the church, this time making public the inner workings of various religious organizations who seek to intertwine themselves into the body politic. Nothing will put the brakes on religious meddling than the greater public eye.

For every effort that seeks to shove prayer into public schools or hang the Ten Commandments in some courthouse there needs to be an equal and opposing push. And by opposing, I dont necessarily mean the so-called godless approach. You want "God" in school? Fine. In order to do so, however, you have to include them all. So Jesus will simply be leading a big, long parade that will include Vishnu, Jehovah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, L. Ron Hubbard, Satan, Zeus, witches, crones, Eric Clapton, Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen and every other person or entity considered as or worshiped as a 'god' or otherwise a basis for a religion. It's all or nothing. And we all know what the reactions would be.

I'm sick to death reading stories or watching how some backwater church full of small-minded people have their sheep huddled together praying and crying that a President Obama or gay marriage will bring about the end of the world according to some lunatic beliefs they share. You want a Rapture? Great. May I suggest you start with lots of nice, cold Kool-Aid. Not a single one of these people subscribing to their nutty beliefs has a closet so free of skeletons that they have any right to dictate how others can live their lives. No more sacred institutions. If you are trying to make policy, then you live in a glass house. Not only can we see inside at everything you do, you cannot throw stones. It's often been proven that those who seek to undermine or eliminate something are hiding the same (or worse) in themselves. Not any more.

It's been said over and over again to the point of vomitus that 'marriage is a sacred institution'. Bullshit. Those who keep proclaiming this nonsense not so ironically tend to live in areas of like-minded people and surrounded by the highest rates of divorce, spousal abuse and dysfunctional families. Way to go, keep up the good work of changing the party from within. Maybe y'all can take a page from the Log Cabin Republicans. Or far better yet, not. Marriage is nothing but a contract. You can get one practically anywhere, and no church need get involved. It's an industry in Las Vegas, only minus the smokestacks. Marriage can indeed be sacred, however, once it is treated with respect and available to every dedicated loving couple who seeks it.

I cried as I saw the results from the Prop. 8 passage. Over the past several months I witnessed the legal marriages of quite a few people on my list, along with wonderful photos and stories behind them. I got to hear and read about so many who finally had a chance to tie the knot, even as one of the last things they had done in their life. To have that right once again snatched away by a simple majority, and not even an overwhelming one, fills me with a rage that I am not sure how to contain. I just hope that no one I know makes some sort of passing nasty remarks about how fags should not be able to marry. I will most likely punch their teeth out.

To all my married, wanting-to-be-married and otherwise hopeful gay and lesbian friends in California, and everywhere, I am truly, deeply sorry.

O YEAH

Nov. 4th, 2008 11:05 pm
greatbear: (my little hercules)
Yes we can? Oh, no. More like

Yes We Did!

Now, let's hope for the best for California and Prop 8 gets a big NO.
greatbear: (forearms)
If the Internet can be thought of as a "series of tubes", can a jail cell be considered a series of bars?
greatbear: (fuzzy)
The weekend was one mostly of good. We loaded up the truck with the collected pieces for a new shower for Jeff's parents along with other goodies and headed up to PA for the weekend. Kodi managed to barf again within screaming distance of the house. The truck interior was spared. It was a quiet weekend of small tasks, Amish grocery store shopping, dinner out on Saturday, PSU football excitement for Jeff and his Pop as they both barked and cheered at the telly while I tried making sense of the hand-me-down HP computer the 'rents got from Jeff's sister. We arrived home earlier than usual today and used the nice weather to clean up some of the gardens and move the trailer to it's winter home.

For tonight's supper we got a bag of fried chicken from the grocery store and ate it along with the awesome peirogies Jeff's mom got for us. These aint Mrs. T's frozen things. No, these come from one of the few local Catholic church's family day shindigs where people sell homemade food guaranteed to send people's cholesterol counts soaring. But, oh, how good the food. Nothing beats pierogies cranked out by those old Polish Catholics. We got a bag fulla them and have some for the future stuffed in the freezer. Good stuff.

It's one of my short weeks this time, and I hope to get some things done around here in preparation of winter's inevitable arrival.My finances have been taking a serious hit from unanticipated car and house repairs and supplies. It could be far worse had I needed to call in professionals. I'm still spoiled with being able to take care of a lot of things myself.

As an aside, I've been keeping political discourse mostly at arm's length around here. Having to deal with so many knuckle-dragging folk at work does not help things, and I have declared ye olde blog a mostly politics-free zone. That said, I found something via many other postings I find to be a true gem. For some unknown reason, I always liked those silly "Wassup" ads from a few years back from Budweiser. I've amassed a collection of countless derivatives along with the few official ads. The latest, and by far greatest of the skits find the same guys eight years later. Things arent what they used to be for the five dudes. But, there is, as they say, "hope".



I find this absolutely brilliant.

Hope y'all have a great week.
greatbear: (face)
Tonight's Family Guy had me roaring with laughter. Not exactly known for being politically correct, this one was totally off the hook. With Stewie and Brian teleported back in time to Warsaw, Poland just before the Nazi invasion, there isn't going to be any awards for sensitivity. However, one scene made my entire year:



Icing on the cake? well, that little FOX logo on the bottom right corner.

It was enough to make me post on LJ. ;)

Edit: The Rat Bastards at Fox took it down. I expected as much. I meant to save it.

Are you?

Oct. 8th, 2008 10:50 am
greatbear: (that one)
Scarfed from [livejournal.com profile] bigdanimal:

greatbear: (big beard)
I watched the debate. Or, the question and answer session, as the case may be. Obama did well, but did not always get to the root of some of the questions. I can live with that, especially since McCain was even more evasive. The format sucked IMO, it was not a debate in the classic sense, more of a simple Q&A with predetermined questions.

McCain looked more like a crotchety old man than ever. While he was trying to be engaging, it came off as stiff, contrived and aggravated. The feeling of anger was palpable as usual.

But what really lowered my opinion of McCain considerably (and I was really, really trying to keep an open mind during all of this) was at the end when he flat-out refused to shake Obama's hand. This proved without a doubt that the man is is a spoiled, poor sport and in no way presidential material. He'd be better off retired, sitting in a park and scaring off the pigeons.

And I figured some on my friends list would comment on the that retired CPO. ;)
greatbear: (face)


Maybe not as polarizing as the version that compares the candidates to various computer OSs.

Rather polarizing version for Metallicaheads... )

Maybe this should be a meme? C'mon, I know you guys can come up with something awesome.
greatbear: (fuzzy)
I watched the VP debates tonight, as did a lot of you I'm sure. I got just about what I had expected. Palin , when compared to the utter ditzbomb she was during the Katie Couric interviews came off as well rehearsed, but still falling into failsafe mode by spouting talking points. Biden did okay in my book, but both danced around the core of the actual questions. Being politicians, it's what they live for.

When Palin started saying 'nucular' over and over again, I was wincing and appreciating the fact that I was not in the same room as she, for I would have belted her across the tits each time she said it. If one word, or shall I say the pronunciation of that word could sum up the Bush Doctrine, it was that one.

I sort of figured that there would be some commentary on my friends list about it. You guys did not disappoint, for there was four posts in a row, some in 72-point fonts.

And since this would not be a genuine post from yours truly without some car and computer blathering, I will finish off with the required subject matter. Those tired of it or with no interest and skip. Butcha aint getting a cut.

I FINALLY got another ECU for the Stratus to replace the one I had unsuccessfully "rebuilt". When I installed it tonight, it initially did not work, which immediately sent me off the deep end and ranting to the shop. I missed the closing time of the rebuilder by just two minutes, so I got no satisfaction. After a while I went back to the garage and reconnected my scanner/programmer/troubleshooter to the thing and did some poking around. The VIN was not programmed into the unit, so I did the deed and all was fine afterwards. Why this was not done despite giving them this info along with all other data escapes me, and the previous unit did not need the step. I have off tomorrow, and will finally be able to take the hooptie in for overdue emissions testing.

The mega file server came a step closer to completion after I received the motherboard the other day and installed it. I'm using a dual socket Xeon server board from Supermicro, this is in keeping with what I had done over ten years ago with my old server. It will get filled with a pair of quad-core Xeon CPUs, about 4gig of RAM (the board can use 64G across 8 sockets) and it will be ready to fire up. The drives are all in place, the two hardware RAID controller boards are in, and a few other sundry items and an OS is all that is needed for takeoff. I just hope it is as successful as the old box was.

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greatbear: (Default)
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