Saturday, January 30, 2010

Posturing Pussies

by The Usual Suspect

I fucking LOVE our liberal media so much. The tears of laughter never cease. All the movies and TV shows, the songs, album covers, the cultural groveling, it's really cute. Homer Simpson whining, "We're supposed to be the dominant country for a few more years!" in a recent episode.

To me, that says that you don't have any faith in your country, that you think that our time is up soon, and you're fucking kissing up to all the other countries because you think that they'll show you mercy.

Hollywood rolling out the welcome mat for whoever scrambles onto our shores first. Their shocked, frightened stares will disappear under the zippers of bodybags. Or does Oprah hand a book to the Spetsnaz and smile while the cameras flash? Is that how it all pans out?

Reminds me of the feel we got off a lot of the Iraqis, to be honest. Seemed like they were kinda on the fence, trying to see which way the wind was blowing. Wanted to make sure they backed the right horse.

I just think it's kind of funny. I'm all for the Free Speech thing and everything as you well know, but I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I keep coming to the same conclusion:

Rights aren't real. You don't have the right to ANYTHING. It's just an idea, it has no physical power. Without the ability to protect that "right", it just doesn't mean a thing.

"But that's wrong! That's not how things should be!"

"Should" is a word that needs to be deleted from the English language. It's irrelevant. "Should" is for the people who are afraid to take action.

See, it's like there's this big liberal media machine that exists to baby and coddle everyone who is too sensitive to see the ugly side of reality, while the people who have the stomach (and the drive) to actually go DO things, well...they're out DOING, and life goes on, and the timid liberal housepets get all the sweet, sloppy benefits of being American Livestock.

Come to think of it, why am I bitching? That's kind of awesome. In fact, if I was running this show, I'd probably lean heavily on the entertainment industry, and legalize weed. Anyone not actively interested in the direction of the country can simply choose to believe that their vote doesn't count, and live in a haze, out of the way. Self fulfilling prophecy, and they work their shit jobs to buy their dumb shit toys and status symbols, feeding their selfish little egoes, all the while stimulating this here economy and funding our government so that we can keep on attacking our issues with planning, researching, preparing, rehearsing, executing, cleaning up, pulling out, and discussing what we did right and what we did wrong over a beer. Get up the next day and do it again for as long as we can keep this ship afloat.

Of course, I'd be the bad guy, right? I'd be evil and corrupt and all that, because no one else ever runs this shit, right? Liberal underachiever attitude, that's all. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the arts, and to be honest, I'm not too good at anything else, but all that shit takes a back seat to the essentials.

So if you're afraid that this country is going down the shitter, don't start sucking foreign cocks just yet. Have a little pride and do something about it. What would you do if we WERE invaded? Submit? Think they'd make you a citizen, just like them? Second class at best, and that's if you're lucky. Look at China. It's a sausage fest because no parents want to have girls. A billion pissed off Chinamen with blue balls flooding into California. Picture that. The raping and pillaging of Beverly Hills. All those aspiring actresses ripe for the taking while our action heroes flee.

Protests in the streets of Seattle.


I don't think that it's stupid to establish positive relations with all the other countries of the world. I think it's stupid to expect the world to adhere to your G-rating preference. Watch what guns you vilify, you're making it hard to be proud to be counted among you.

As for me, I'm not that worried about our future. There isn't anything you can suggest that they haven't already considered and rejected for its flaws. They are much more interested in making sure that this country keeps on trucking than you are. You're just making yourselves look like a bunch of assholes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


by The Usual Suspect

A little bird told me I was going to die at the end of the day.

"Are you certain?" I asked, to which he nodded.

I typically don't take much stock in anything that a bird has to say, but I decided to indulge the fowl, just in case. I went home and disregarded the laundry, the dishes, and all other projects and commitments. I played my guitar until my fingers bled. I played so hard that I completely forgot to die at the end of the day.

So I'll do it again. And again, and again until that dipshit little bird is right.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ESS AMT Monitor w/ Heil Air Motion Transformer

by 13 Stoploss

Tonight, I was testing my ribbon tweeters in the ESS AMT Monitors. I put a CD into the player and cranked the volume to about -11 in 2 channel Stereo mode (a piece by Gyorgy Ligeti played by Dominic Harlan). I started with both channels, then just the right channel, and finally, just the left channel. At about -19, the left ribbon was distorting and tingling. The right had no such problem all the way to -11. I went back to both channels, at the same volume. I heard something in the cabinets, which are about 12 feet away in a perpendicular line from the left speaker (the tweeters are dimensional to 360 degrees). I didn't think anything of the noise, just that maybe I was hearing things since the volume was so loud. About two hours later, a mixing bowl in the cupboard had burst. It was not freestanding, but neither did it have the weight or pressure of a larger bowl on top of it. In fact, it had a smaller glass mixing bowl inside it. The dimensions of the small bowl did not touch the sides of the larger bowl, just the bottoms, one inside the other. The bowl that shattered was sitting on top a thicker glass pie bowl. Here is the result:

Mrs. 13 is not happy.

The ESS AMT Monitor is the flagship model from former California brand ElectroStatic Sound. Dr. Oskar Heil, a German scientist, is credited with the patent for the "Heil Air Motion Transformer." Details on the air-motion transformer can be found at Wikiepedia, and at the ESS Web Archive.

The top woofer measures 12" and the bottom woofer, a passive radiator, also 12", helps to move air for impressive bass response. They can handle a maximum of 400W at 6 OHMS and have a sensitivity or efficiency rating of 93db, and a frequency response of 30Hz-23Khz. Each tower weighs 110 pounds, and when combined with a audiophile quality receiver and amp, they will murder your ears.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's all my fault

by 13 Stoploss

All of it, all of the time, everywhere, everyday, in everything.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Their numbers are dwindling and their cause is dying

by 13 Stoploss

UC Irvine Winter Rally (Protest)

In this group, I am the silent enemy. I am no threat to their silly gatherings but I am the example they denounce. They look down on the choice and agreement many men and women are making to fund their future education. They verbally spit on the military enlistment as an option to fund their education. These rally'ers feel entitled to an elite education and they are neither willing to work for its cost nor take on debt for it. I have already worked for what is now being paid to me. I have struggled and whined and complained and bitched and disagreed with the political agenda. It is not my agenda, but like a mercenary, I carried out my commitment. I didn't enlist because of a collective cause--I enlisted for my own cause and in the end, I am thankful for the return I am receiving.

If this was only about the "fee hikes, layoffs, and budget cuts," then more of the 25,000 students on my campus would get involved. Joining a Facebook Group or Cause is not getting involved. However, these protests, now called "rally's," are about denouncing Capitalism and War. These rally'ers are capitalizing on an recent event to further their own political and social agenda: SOCIAL REVOLUTION. ISLAM. They will twist and manipulate another's luckless chance as evidence to advance their solution. The rally'ers use their gatherings to vocalize their demands. They complain and denounce and demand, but they will not get what they want.

I'll end my rant with the words of the great Geddy Lee: "You don't get something for nothing."

Monday, January 4, 2010

UC Irvine Winter Rally

by 13 Stoploss

On the way to yet another anti-capitalist/anti-war/anti-fee hike rally at school today, I ran into this little sign hanging on the bridge on Ring Road.

I laughed and walked a few steps away.

But I had to share this little sign, so I went back. Not sure what to make of it. Anyone have any insights?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Glance back to look ahead

by 13 Stoploss

I've been listening to a lot of Shostakovich lately, and I heard this piece on "From the Top" tonight featuring some kids playing the 3rd String Quartet, Movement 3 by Dmitri Shostakovich. I couldn't find the audio in our nifty audio player, so you'll have to make dow ith the YouTube video. While the audio on this video doesn't capture the head banging depth of the piece, the video shows just how hardcore it is to play. Not sure I've ever seen 8th graders kick more ass than they are in this video...

This is my next CD purchase, SACD if possible.

I started this blog as an outlet for transition. The goal has always been to document the change in a soldier’s life from being a rigid and structured machine of obeisance to an educated and freethinking do-gooder with a unique history. It’s been a while since I “DX’d” my rucksack for a nifty REI backpack but I still find myself attached to the world I’ve left behind. No matter how many times I try to bury the past, I find myself digging the same hole, as a crutch or lean-to for support, in conversations and writings because it is what I know and what I am familiar with. What I’ve never wanted to be has suddenly become the thing I am (was). I accept that it is inescapable as the truth because it is the truth. And now, what else is there? I want to build a new future disconnected from the past and I think it’s going to start somewhere in here.

This is my semi-reflective rant on the year finished, but truthfully, it’s been a pretty damned-good year. I finished my last semester at the Community College with a 3.64 transferrable GPA and received an Associates Degree in Arts, Cum Laude. I was also accepted into UC Irvine to study Literary Journalism. In terms of prestige, UCI is one of the better schools on the west coast and is only shadowed by giants like UC Berkley, UC Los Angeles, and USC and Stanford. I finished my first quarter with two A’s and one B.

In the past year, my art photography has really taken off. I’ve jumped from “good beginner” to “serious amateur” in a world where there is no line or distinction to denote “professional.” My protest photos have appeared in online magazines and newspapers, and my first exhibition (not solo) was a success. I now feel like I have the confidence to submit my portfolio to journals and galleries across the country. Everyday with a camera is a learning experience and I successfully shot two weddings and two engagement shoots during the summer. Unfortunately for my wallet, the collection bug has bit me and I now have a plethora of interesting and useable, albeit expensive, cameras lying around the house.

In 2009, I celebrated eight wonderful years of marriage to my best friend. She’s so cool, she bought me a Rolleiflex… We also welcomed a beautiful young lady into the world and it has been such a joy to experience fatherhood with her that I missed with my son.

In the blog world, it seems that I’m kind of a source for the whole stop loss thing. I’ve gotten tons of emails and blog comments on the compensation back pay issue, and was also interviewed by the New York Times concerning the same. On the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I was interviewed by a reporter for the Associated Press and have documented the issues and shortcomings of the Veterans Administration from an interesting perspective. At school, I had my first article published in the school paper, and it received a warm response.

On a personal level, I paid off the wife’s 4Runner and bowled a 289 in Wii Sports. I also took my family on our first vacation—a drive to the Pacific Northwest to visit two sets of old Army friends.

In 2010, I want to shoot more film, and get paid more for my work. In the next few weeks, I’ll be working with a Broadway singer who is readying his first solo project (with new music by Schwartz and Sondheim, among others). I’m also readying my family portfolio to become the exclusive photographer for my wife’s OB/GYN. Next summer, I’m going to concentrate more on getting my work submitted for review by other galleries and publications. In words, I have a few projects that are slowly moving forward, such as “Chasing War.” Maybe Suspect and I will get something going on that project we wanted to make some cash on… School starts again tomorrow, and I have five successive Quarters of Espanol to dread before graduation sometime in early ’11. Let’s hope the Post-9/11 GI Bill and that Stoploss back pay compensation go smoothly from here out!

To do list and resolutions:

- Stop losing weight

- Sleep better sleep without the alcohol

- Start the VA paperwork...