Kirk Israel's commonplace and blog. Quotes and links daily since 2001.
I really gotta up my game...


Wisconsin Republicans are fucking evil, and the 5 if the 9 on the Supreme Court has got their back. "Oh does little snowflake want an absentee ballot? GUESS YOU SHOULDA THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC, HUH CHUMP?"

from the article:
"Wisconsin has long been scheduled to hold an election on April 7. There are more than 3,800 seats on the ballot, and a crucial state Supreme Court race. But the state's ability to conduct in-person voting is imperiled by COVID-19. Thousands of poll workers have dropped out for fear of contracting the virus, forcing cities to shutter dozens of polling places. Milwaukee, for example, consolidated its polling locations from 182 to five, while Green Bay consolidated its polling locations from 31 to two. Gov. Tony Evers asked the Republican-controlled Legislature to postpone the election, but it refused. So he tried to delay it himself with an executive order on Monday. But the Republican-dominated state Supreme Court reinstated the election, thereby forcing voters to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote."
Seriously, what kind of brazen bullshit is this?
Straightened up the stand under the TV a bit yesterday, it's been a chaotic mess for a while.

Got sad about my tendency to have old video game systems around, ready to play, and then hardly ever doing so. A fair number of foolhardy purchases, a system I spend big-ish on, play a bit, and then not much again. (Like, the PS4 VR Helmet, where the only memorable thing I've done with it is a single X-wing mission in Battlefront - though in that case I was kind of goaded by my erstwhile buddy for not practicing what I preach in terms of neophilia.)

Or the older systems, stacks and stacks of games for some of those. Of course, it's extra melancholy... in the Aughts I'd run quarterly or so gaming get togethers, and now my pipe dreams of getting some like that again (or even adjacent to my birthday party) seems even more pathetic in the shadow of COVID. (Never been a big fan of online play - as with music streaming, I think the tech is moving away from my preferences.)

There's so much interesting stuff in games. So weird to think about how many programmer and designer hours went into so many of these, and how forgotten so many will be. I suppose that's true for other big media things, like movies. And when I think about culling my collection... I dunno... Should old a-game-ance be forgot, and ne'er brought to mind?

Finally, as I rejiggered the tv connections, sometimes it would lapse to broadcast TV. I don't watch much live TV, so commercials already seem a bit odd... and now, all the ones remade under COVID times are truly bizarre feeling. Toyota talking about how they will still keep their repair centers staffed in a socially distanced way, Taco Bell making some offer of free Doritos Locos on some specific day... "family" and "safety" seemed to be a big point of emphasis in a lot of them.
Oddly whimsical Soviet "There is No God" poster.

I suppose this is subject to "and now there is no Soviet Union" retorts...
YIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKES - Big Bird was slated to be on the Space Shuttle Challenger, the one that exploded. Good lord, I never thought the death of teacher Christa McAuliffe and the other astronauts could be the less-bad scenario.
April 5, 2020
So when I was 5 months, I was recruited into the WCTU, the Women's Christian Temperance Union... (The Salvation Army requires temperance for its members so it's not such a stretch.)

I don't know what's worse, calling my mom "Mrs. James Israel" or calling me "Kirt".
The first humans to make water boil must have been super freaked out

Interesting theory about the toilet paper shortage it's not (just) hoarding - it's that TP for home is a different production line than for offices/institutions - and one is seeing a lot more use. And of course, once there is a demonstrated problem, people will grab more when they see it...
No reason to die all tensed up.
Robert "Hoot" Gibson, Space Shuttle Atlantis commander, encouraging a casual stoicism (even as an unknown number of heat tiles had been knocked off)
via astronaut Mike Mullane's book "Riding Rockets"... I think this is a great attitude to have these days. Maybe I'm too blasé, and if I felt more immediately threatened, I'd behave all too emotionally myself. Or maybe it's that weird religiosity I grew up with that enhanced my ability to weed out feelings while they were still young sprouts. But overall, whatever is going to happen is going to happen whether you go forth singing and laughing when you can or making yourself sick with worry about things that may or may not happen, or swamped by empathy for things you can't control, and that weren't your fault.

Anger and fear are only useful insofar as they help us make smarter tactical decisions and wiser strategic ones. To the extent we can make the same decisions without them (admittedly, an uncertain proposition) the more we can live our lives fully, despite our circumstances.

Another quote comes to mind:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor Frankl
Also his thought "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

UDPATE: former dorm-mate Mike Maines said this reminds me of one his favorite quotes which I found as:
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S. Thompson
(Mike cited it as "Trust in" but the core message is there)
On my devblog The Dumbness of Smartquotes - realized the smartquotes were breaking my phrase search on my blog, and then some further thoughts on autocorrect in general
Bad News Wrapped in Protein: Inside the Coronavirus Genome - deep dive into this f***er. The article reminds me of computer program analysis/disassembly I've seen. Bums me out that despite all our great technology, we can't simulate a cell well enough to get the answer to some of those questions...
April 3, 2020
Not a bad month! Can't believe I hadn't heard of Beyoncé's Homecoming before now... also I found out I am re-empowered to rip youtube to MP3s, thought that's always, always a last resort for me... but I had a backlog of things to check out.
Wynona's Big Brown Beaver
Primus
Driving indie. Freaky video!
From this tumblr post but I think the band was a favorite of my ex Mo.
Volare
Gipsy Kings
A more authentic feeling version than Dean Martin's...
Just randomly started singing it one day...
News Background A
Sammy Burdson
Sneaky sounding music... a little manufactured but good.
Background music in the movie "Logan Lucky"
Atomic Power
The Buchanan Brothers
Bluegrass with a cornball modern apocalyptic edge...
Like I write here, from the Hidden Brain podcast...



Crazy in Love
Sofia Karlberg
Total How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer energy...
Maybe some show had it on?



Make Way For the King
Ohana Bam
Awesome big horn hip hop.
Some show I guess...
Mama Doh Like (Bubalups Riddim)
Flava
Some kind of carnival music... I've heard HONK variants "Mama Don't Like" that must have similar roots.
Lua in my band mentioned he had a cassette tape of this, youtube was the only place I could find it.



The Suburbs (Continued)
Arcade Fire
Such a haunting song.
One of the youtube rips. I think Amber was a big fan of these guys.



Still Alive (From "Portal")
The 8-Bit Big Band
Big Band cover of the brilliant video game song - really captures the sense of menace in it.
I think this was on the youtube list, but I was able to find a copy to buy.



Movin' On Up
Mama Digdown's Brass Band
Cover of the old Sitcom Theme - I had thought it would be a good band song for a long time.
A recommendation from the automated music system gnooisc I think I seeded it with Deee-lite, Pomplamoose, Rebirth Brass Band
Claw or Friend
Robbie Down
Indie sound.
Another recommendation from the music system gnooisc...



Tennis Ball [Explicit]
Hello Peril
Funny hiphop
From the movie "Always Be My Maybe"



Welcome (Homecoming Live)
Beyoncé
Intro to her Coachella show - loved the giant band version "Do Watcha Wanna"
I can't believe this musical goddess going full on HBCU Marching Band flew under my radar!



Catastrophe Theme
Youtube
Theme to the show Catastrophe... eclectic mix, banjo, yodeling... there's a lot going on here...
Another "find or rip"
Formation (Homecoming Live)
Beyoncé
More Marching Band cover.... always love "Come on ladies, lets get in formation... come on ladies lets get information..." Adds some slow ponderous weight to the original..
From her Netflix special.



No Children
The Mountain Goats
Kind of beautifully cynical and bitter indie song.
From this tumblr entry "why would you watch marriage story when instead you can get just speedrun the experience of divorce angst by listening to the mountain goats’ ‘no children’ which is both more dramatic and also under 3 minutes long"



Sweet Dreams Seven Nation Army Mashup
Pomplamoose
Great mashup - love how it swaps one melody with the other's bassline...
JP Honk plays both of these... maybe we need to try this mashup...



Lilac Wine
Nina Simone
Stunningly haunting...
Used during the behind the scenes part of Beyonce's Homecoming
No One Lives Forever
Oingo Boingo
New Wave... I like the macabre lyrics a lot more than the sound.
This tumblr post.



Way Down in the Hole (87)
Tom Waits
Man, Tom Waits.
Background music in "Tiger King"



How Naked Are We Gonna Get (Live at Trainstation)
The Blow
Beautiful trainstation cover of their own song... I just love the gentle, tentative sexiness of it.
Youtube rip, from way back.
The Gunslinger
Tommy Guerrero
Like "News Background A", this seems suspiciously background-music friendly...I still dig it.
Background music in "Tiger King"

We are star mud, just a little wet star dust.
Tom Munch
(responding to the Bokonist and Babylon 5 quotes on my mortality quotes page)
me in front of my new virtual wallpaper, in a zoom hangout...
April 2, 2020

I was talking about our kitty Dean's "vulturing" on a chair to Melissa, not realizing it was a bit of family-injoke, referring to Snoopy's classic play-act: