I’m not a fan of any kind of parties

A.V. Club: Andrew W.K. announces his own political party, The Party Party

Of course he did.

I’m not a fan of any kind of parties

Hooray, I’m different

Almost everyone who is single is single for the same reason

R…really? Is it a deep-seated sense of unworthiness, and the unshakable conviction that one does not deserve the love of others, because one is a mortal catastrophe of a human being, whose presence is corrosive, whose mere existence is a burden to others, who feels he can serve humanity best by limiting his unavoidably deleterious interaction with it? Maybe… maybe I’m not so alone after all…

I know men and women alike that chase imaginary beings while shutting themselves off from real people, wrapping themselves up in a narcissistic dream of what should be, as opposed to what is.”

Oh. Um.

Never mind.


Hooray, I’m different

Weekend wasteland

Went out to a Chinese buffet on Sunday. My family and I have reached a point where we no longer want to do any cooking on the big “food holidays”. At first, my Mom was not on board with this deviation from our traditional approach to Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and so on, but over the past couple of years she’s come around. Maybe not having to cook has something to do with this.

Saturday, I managed to play a little Fallout 4. Man, the tone of that game — it’s induced a kind of emotional whiplash. The main plot, involving the kidnapping of the protagonist’s son, is very dark. Yet, a lot of the sidequests, and much of the world-building is quite jokey. At certain points, I began to wonder if my player character had lost her mind. “I know I need to get out there and find my baby, but I think I’ll pretend to be a fictional character from a radio show for a little while, and talk in a funny voice while I kill some people.” And then I realized, wait no — I’m the one making these decisions, and if she looks insane it’s my fault. I mean as a videogame player I want to have fun doing stuff in the world, but as a roleplayer I want to stay true to the motivations and decisions of the role I’ve been assigned. And, in my interpretation, that means avoiding as many distractions as possible while I look for my lost child.

So the game makers have created a scenario with the following choices: Either focus on the main story quests, or inhabit a callous nutcase who response to a kidnapping with, “I’ll get to it when I get to it.” Maybe I’ll find another way to approach the character in which it makes sense to fart around in a big open world, but we’ll see.

I have been listening and reading the news about the shit that’s gone down around the world the past couple of weeks, but I have nothing valuable to say about it. It’s all horrifying and awful, and the victims are in my thoughts, but any words beyond that from me would just be trite and unhelpful.

Take care, you guys.

Weekend wasteland

A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of audio equipment that does not exist

Mini jack to jack converter

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize the items in that picture. As it happens, they are adapters meant to allow a 3.5mm audio plug to connect to a 6.3mm audio jack. They’re most often used to connect a pair of headphones to things like home stereos, radio equipment, and guitar or bass amplifiers.

And they do not exist.

At least, not in my town. I know this because I have checked.

What a strange turn of events. See, these things used to be available in every supermarket, every drugstore, and sometimes you’d even see a couple at the gas station. Not any more. And that’s fine — things change.

What pisses me off is that so-called modern day electronics stores don’t even sell these things. Best Buy? Don’t even get me started. I looked at Best Buy, and I couldn’t find one. When I asked an employee about it, the befuddled teenager responded, “Is this, like, for a phone?” Because that’s where sound lives now, in our phones. But it’s not just sound — when you say “technology” or “electronics” or anything like that, all the person you’re talking to can hear is the word “phone.”

Wires? Do you mean the thing that you use to charge your phone?

Headphones? Never heard of headphones — do you mean headsets? You know, like, for your phone?

And in the end, the poor employee was so confused they were on the verge of baffled tears, saying, “Do you want a PHONE?! Please buy a PHONE! That’s all I know how to sell! That’s the only thing we have! PHONES! PHONESPHONESPHONES…”

So this is the world we live in. A world where anything that doesn’t plug into, or wirelessly connect, to a cell phone is a mysterious, upsetting, inconceivable object, too strange, too mind-bending to exist. It’s like Cthulhu. (Uh, sorry if that photo up there has driven you mad, by the way.) That which is not a phone, or a phone accessory, is not — cannot be — real.

At least if you go to Best Buy.

You know what’s funny? Radio Shack used to be good for stuff like this. And that’s probably why they went out of business. There just weren’t enough grandpas, like me, with ancient audio equipment out there to support them. Oh well, at least I’ll see them again in hell.

A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of audio equipment that does not exist

Weekend at the guitar shop

I had some free time over the weekend, so I got a chance to head to the nearest big guitar store in my area. I hadn’t been there in years. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s been something like fifteen years.

There was an interesting crowd present, this past weekend. There were the usual folks — teens and twenty-something playing every metal riff that they could think of, and the old fat guys who at last found themselves with enough money to buy the guitars they dreamed about back when they were metal-riffing teens. (As for me, I’m an old fat guy who’s broke, and I feel bad that the salesfolks gave me so much attention, when there was no chance I was going to buy one of the $2,000 axes they were trying to sell me.)

There were also an awful lot of parents and kids in evidence. That was a positive surprise — I had thought that guitar music was considered passe these days, but I’m now slightly more confident that rock ‘n roll will be safely passed on to the next generation of shredders. But of course, in keeping with modern times, most of these families seemed to consist of divorced dads following their shared-custody kids around, saying things like, “What’s a humbucker?”

Also, there was a fair few women trying out guitars. Twenty years ago, I remember feeling as though the guitar store was a lot like a comic book shop: friendly to dudes, but not so welcoming to anyone else. That’s not so much the case anymore, I hope.

Anyway, I only ended up getting a tuner. There’s apparently been some amazing advancements in that technology, since the days when I was playing more regularly. They’ve got these ones that you kind of just clip on to your headstock, so you don’t have to even use a guitar cable or anything for them to work. I was so amazed by this that I had to get one. And it was only $30 bucks!

Weekend at the guitar shop