Open Thread April

Open Thread April

Saturday afternoon in the park

Part 1: The Support Japan Jam Band on Boston Common


Part 2: Chasing The Armenian


Part 6: Skate Punks


164 Replies to “Open Thread April”

  1. Bif, I’d love to ask what chain of events in your creative processes led to that EU600 bar tab, but I’m almost afraid to know.

  2. Nudge. The bar tab was actually the product of a three-day team effort that I paid in full on the final night. The night which I have in part described above. Liquor was expensive, tobacco was cheap, and the wine and beer somewhere in between. I covered for the Tunisian and several others who were in need, due to extenuating circumstances. As things got back to normal over the next three days I avoided the salon, tea again became my evening beverage, and those others who remained on the premises (as opposed to those who scattered on the open road) dug deep or did without. Thanks for asking.

    [Ed. note. Have move this story to its own page. To be continued at a later date]

  3. biff at a 1000 words/day. just long enough for me to eat my midday meal of liverwurst and kimchee.

  4. MORE, MORE, MORE!! Great story, Bif. Any photos to accompany your narrative?
    (Don’t forget that I was the first to recognize you were a sensitive guy back in the old days!)

    “never quite understood aversion to organ meats.”

    Superstition… and Hannibal Lechter…

    One of my favorite dishes that my gram cooked for me as a kid was veal sweetbreads. My maw cooked calves liver and onions–another fave–with bacon on the side for me. And I was the only one in the family who ate the gizzards and hearts from chickens and turkeys. Must be some recessive Aztec or Mongolian genes in there yet to be discovered.

    You should try liverwurst on toasted pumpernickel bread, slathered with mustard. Yum.

  5. “I feel dirty but not in a dave kind of way… I commented on Clusterfuck…”

    Not to worry, Roach. We all need to delve into our wastrel past now and again to see how far we’ve come. ; ^ ) By the way, is JHK still boffing that Kris Can babe?

  6. “is JHK still boffing that Kris Can babe?”

    I am thinking it was more mutual spank-a-thon, being as it is a world made by hand.

  7. “In every language, the first word after “Mama!” that every kid learns to say is “Mine!” A system that doesn’t allow ownership, that doesn’t allow you to say “Mine!” when you grow up, has — to put it mildly — a fatal design flaw.

    From the time Mr. Developing Nation was forced to read The Little Red Book in exchange for a blob of rice, till the time he figured out that waiting in line for a loaf of pumpernickel was boring as fuck, took about three generations….

    Decades of indoctrination, manipulation, censorship and KGB excursions haven’t altered this fact: People want a piece of their own little Something-or-Other, and, if they don’t get it, have a tendency to initiate counterrevolution.”

    — Frank Zappa

  8. EEofDC

    I don’t know if he still has his little spanking friend. I really did not follow a thing of his while partially off the computer grid.

    Going forward I still will follow what he has to post each Monday and shake my head each week because of axiomatic facts he leaves off. Leading his blog followers to argue and bicker endlessly like regurgitate brain enhanced teabaggers.

  9. Bif, we love you, you literary punk. We need Bunn and JR to step it up, like you did.

    Hey, liar liar, house on fire, you said you were going to muddy Africa. Libya does not count as muddy. I smell CIA. We know your tricks, well, some of them.

  10. You should try liverwurst on toasted pumpernickel bread, slathered with mustard. Yum.

    sounds good. i’d probably add some fried onions.

  11. Bif, our local master of the personally-imbued fantastically-rendered escapist confessional, soon to be a genre unto itself.

    Run don’t walk to your nearest personal computing device. It’s the feel-good quasi-autobiographical neo-pulp serial of the summer! Screw living in a world made by hand. I want to live in a world designed by Bif (where all monkeys seem to have at least some good in them, where the proverbial fish out of water qua protagonist without fail benefits from inordinate amounts of luck and attracts only the most desirable and exotic of foreign women, etc., etc.)

    Doom, I am stepping up, but on the taking care of business side of things. I continue to support all of you from afar… at least in spirit. (I will write again more regularly beginning at some unknowable unknown future time.)

    roachman, welcome back from Planet Luddite. Yeah, good point, this place IS less paranoid than most.

  12. Bunn,

    Glad you could take some time away from the carrot patch to check in.

    dave and i are going to be rich, growing hothouse rubber trees in Connecticut and upstate New York. we’ll hire greenbeans for the farm management, and Nudge can do product testing of the latex (for the bike tires). oh well, she can QC test our new line of prophylactics, also.

  13. Doom, you’re right, there’ll be a fantastic market for that stuff once globalism-as-we-know-it goes TU. Just as long as the stuff can be made in different colors – for bike tires of course, I mean.

  14. “The proposed storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was recently rejected by President Obama, partly on the grounds that it could only guarantee that radioactive material wouldn’t leak after 10,000 years of storage, while the minimum safety requirement established by the US Environmental Protection Agency is 1 million years. President Obama has set up a commission to examine these issues—revealing the stark reality that no one has yet found a safe
    way to store radioactive waste for the very long time period required.
    Even if the Yucca Mountain facility is approved, as currently proposed
    it would not have the capacity to handle the country’s existing
    radioactive waste, let alone what a new generation of power plants will

    Does anyone else besides me see the Strangeloveian aspects to this “only 10,000” versus the required 1,000,000 years dilemma? Why are humans even having this conversation?

    Can Nuclear Power Be Part of the Solution?

    By:Robert Costanza

  15. “.. may have secretly provoked the Vietnam War, lied to the American people about the actual threat of terrorism and experimented on its own soldiers ..”

    Surely they jest.

  16. Doom, it is just an experiment and they do mention the dangers, the paltry value of the BB and the scale required to actually make reclamation of this sort even remotely profitable.

    On the other hand, we have meth labs, so danger is likely not a significant dissuading factor given sufficient reward or dearth of wit. Thanks in part to Ben “Inkjet” Bernanke, gold is climbing in US$, so who knows what the assholes down in 4B are cooking.

  17. well, in the end there’s no comparison. disney has been more effective than hilter could ever have dreamed of, even in his wildest dreams. of course, disney had a half trillion or so barrels of oil to help him out along the way. this is an advantage that hitler, to his credit, knew that he needed and desperately wanted. unfortunately, for him anyway, wishing on his own stars, and the russian winter, kept him from his dreams. so fucking piece of shit walt disney was able to capitalize.

  18. “This is classic Tainter (the excellent anthropoligist/historian). He posited that complex societies only collapse when the costs of basic inputs increase at the same time the returns on investments in complex institutions/etc. turn negative. So, with oil going up again, we are seeing basic input costs rise. It’s also clear that our twin overheads Government and Global Finance are well past the point they delivered positive returns for additional complexity. Worse, they are colluding, via cronyism, to prevent any meaningful changes.

    Good luck. ”

  19. yeah, i’m no economist, but with bernanke printing money 24/7, $100 today isn’t the same $100 as in 2008. oil needs to hit $180 this time, i think. then it’s time to sellsellsell. but what to buy? other than farmland and goats, i’ll be fucked if i know.

  20. dave, we need to get the infrastructure going for our hothouse rubber tree plantation. you’ll be thanking me later. economize, localize, produce (ELP).

  21. Doom, flavors, colors, textures – for the bicycle tires of course. Not kidding. There’s good money to be made there.

  22. dave, we need to get the infrastructure going for our hothouse rubber tree plantation. you’ll be thanking me later.

    i see my future as being in goats, pigs and sheep.

  23. “…but what to buy? other than farmland and goats, i’ll be fucked if i know.”

    Money is on its way to becoming useless. Even now, after possessing a certain modest amount necessary for survival, its probably more of an impediment to real living than anything. Got the garden started yet?

  24. Hey, Remus, thanks for the link to jesse’s cafe… this was there along with Stiglitz. I’ve decided that living in the past is most pleasant…

  25. GB where you reading smartmoney this week?

    This ones funny I think since tomorow is trash day I will go a diving for some excess tolet paper

    HOUSEHOLD GOODS: $68 billion
    These purchases encompass everything from small kitchen appliances and dinnerware to cleaning materials and, yes, bathroom accessories.

    Difficulty to Dump: Forget resale. The EPA reports a 23 percent jump since 2000 in household goods being simply junked.

  26. My smartmoney link did not take. WP must not like it

    But there was a post on the site and also in sundays WSJ about use goods resale prices plumeting.

    Yes money and non essensial goods are becoming valueless.

  27. Trivia question for JR:

    Subject: Music

    Q: What group had a hit song with the line: “I took six bennies, and my semi-truck won’t start”?

  28. dave, your house sounds like the deal of the century. i guess the commute distance and the snows in winter would drive the price?

    anyhoo, if you’re serious about goats, the good news is they practically raise themselves and do pretty good in arid environments (but not too arid), say west Texas, New Mexico, etc. they do well in Hawaii, on the big island’s west side. land is cheap in these places, also. just be sure the well water is good and you’re not too close to a nuke plant. no nukes in Hawaii, and thanks to the Japanese, there will probably never be any here.

  29. Yeah no nukes but isnt the west side you speak of doom where there are the rusting and useless man made falure windmill trees?

  30. what link? South Point has the rusting windmills. dave would want to buy land up north Kona way.

  31. dave, your house sounds like the deal of the century.

    yeah, you would think so, but times are tough. i started out listing at $350k last summer. thought i had it sold a couple of times at $290k and $270K, but those deals fell apart for various reasons. mostly, people can’t get money. right now, it’s listed at $220k. i’m looking for cash offers.

  32. “but all really think about anymore is farmland and goats.”

    I may have posted this back in the day on CFN, however, I’ll mention it again. I had some cousins that ran a sheep farm for almost 20 years n Galloo Island in Lake Ontario back in the day… I never got out to visit but my mother made it to sheep shearing a couple of times and loved it. The year before they left, Jeanne got really sick in wintertime and they couldn’t get to her for a week and eventually had to helicopter her out. That was enough for her!

  33. dave, here’s a start at looking for goat ranch territory. we can be neighbors. BBQ goat sandwiches and Kona brewery beer or home brew. fresh Kona coffee in the AM. snow stays on mountain tops where it belongs.

    yeah, sounds interesting. but, right now i’m trying to buy a small, 30 acre, farm on the eastern shore of maryland. if that dosen’t work out….

  34. @ee,

    canada is wayway too fucking cold for me. i like doom’s idea. but HI is wayway to far away for me.

  35. dave, I was in no way suggesting that you take up goat (or sheep) farming anywhere in the northern US… just wanted you to know that it can be done.

    The Eastern Shore sounds much more hospitable. And your man, Dick C, has a 2nd home out there somewhere.

    You should definitely raise Kashmir Goats.

  36. Dude, I am assuming you have visited some goat farms already. You don’t mind that goaty smell? What do you do, make cheese and yogurt and stuff to sell to make a living? I like goat cheese. Maybe you can hire some young female goat herders to help you. Let me know when you are set up so I can visit.

  37. On the Island of Kauai, chickens roam freely along the roadsides and in vacant lots and fields. It seems some got away from their coops and decided to go native. Their only known predators are cats, mongooses (brought in from India to control rats–not, but that’s another story), maybe some dogs and of course, humans. It appears the chickens are winning the war of nature survival, for now.

  38. Dave wrote: “.. but HI is wayway to far away for me .. ”

    Too far away from what? In the immortal words of Buckaroo Bonzai, no matter where you go, there you are. Just go to Hawaii and suddenly it won’t be so far away :)

    Besides, HI is rich in certain kinds of career opportunities, or so I hear.

  39. Just go to Hawaii and suddenly it won’t be so far away :)

    i guess. but i really don’t like to travel. usually, unless i have a real good reason to go there, if someplace is more than 20 minutes by car, or 60 minutes by bike, from my house, then i just don’t go there. so, from that standpoint, hi is to far, and so are a lot of other places. i guess.

  40. Besides, HI is rich in certain kinds of career opportunities, or so I hear.

    careers just suck, at least in the sense of having some sort of planned career, or something like that. i’d say.

  41. dave, apparently at the moment on Kauai, the chickens are free for the taking. i asked one of the locals there about them, and he said the attitude was, if you need a chicken you can have one, or more. they thrive there because of the abundant insects, which are present year round, since we have such mild winters. still get moron bugs in the summer, though.

  42. i like to say Hawaii is centrally located in the middle of freaking nowhere, surrounded by thousands of miles of lifeless (nearly) ocean water. as much can be said about Planet Earth that way. these concepts scare many monkeys.

  43. dave, apparently at the moment on Kauai, the chickens are free for the taking.

    well, that’s no fun. theft, like hunger, makes everything taste better.

  44. Misery loves company.

    It’s hot here today, also. I know, bitch, bitch. Should been a fish.

  45. jeebus dave

    what? oh yeah, i suppose eric clapton and steve(ie) winwood have something better to say. this ain’t 1969 ya know.

  46. Uh oh. Andrews Sisters. I think I just had a little accident.

    yeah, i also often shit my pants, just a little, when i see the andrew sisters.

  47. “this ain’t 1969 ya know”

    Could be a rhyme tho. Embroiled in unpopular war(s) started with a lie, real inflation (not Central Commitee fabrications) likely close to that of 1969. Less unemployment in ’69-70 recession – it would get worse.

    In 69, Nixon was in the White House, Dems held the Senate barely, but controlled the House.

    US oil production peaks and we are less than 2 years from the fiat dollar we know and love today. We were doing things in the ME that led to the ’73 embargo and we’ll feel like pain soon enough.

    No one gets drafted today.

    Bob Dylan is still with us.

  48. From the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Department:

    “State labor officials asked their inspector general Monday to investigate why a Central Florida agency wants to spend public money to furnish the unemployed with capes.

    Dubbed the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a $73,000 public-relations campaign by Workforce Central Florida features a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment” and includes handing out about 6,000 red superhero capes to jobless Central Floridians.

    The campaign, revealed Saturday in a report in the Orlando Sentinel, was met with derision by many unemployed who questioned spending more than $14,200 on capes and $2,300 on foam cutouts of “Dr. Evil Unemployment.” They said the campaign’s tone risked minimizing the severity of the region’s labor problems.”,0,1218799.story

  49. “State labor officials asked their inspector general Monday to investigate why a Central Florida agency wants to spend public money to furnish the unemployed with capes.”

    Fucking neanderthals still live in Florida, shallow uncaring assholes who don’t know or care for human dignity. What a state. Jeb Bush country.

  50. “CNN said that “the Hawaiian islands may get a new and unwelcome addition in coming months — a giant new island of debris floating in from Japan.”

    I’m secretly hoping for a free Japanese house to float in. Saw some floating around out there on CNN earlier. May have to check the radiation levels.

  51. Good thing I didn’t have any children. Poor devils would be doing without a lot of stuff. I missed the whole minivan, disposable diapers, shopping for kid’s school clothes thing.

  52. come to think of it, i guess those capes could also double as blankets, probably all you need to keep warm at night in the Florida parks. besides, they would make it easier for local law enforcement to spot the unemployed/homeless. that’s a win-win, i’d say.

  53. I know, just give every homeless/unemployed person a cell phone and a laptop. Then at least they can text each other and do their income taxes online. You know, income from picking up deposit bottles and cans.

  54. Actually, I lived on food stamps, (the paper kind), odd jobs, collecting aluminum cans, the occasional free meal, and some fishing/foraging during a period in the early eighties. I only had to steal food once, when I was starving. Overall, it was not a real good way to live.

  55. Overall, it was not a real good way to live.

    well, at least you missed the whole 9to5, buying braces, going to birthday parties, watching your wife watch ooophra, meeting a mortgage, making car payments, listening to a stupid boss, etc. routine. overall, that’s not a real good way to live either. why it’s so popular is kind of beyond me. social pressure, ie, a sure way to steady pussy, is about the only answer i can come up with.

    anyhoo, if the west had a tradition of itinerant priesthood, of some sort, you would have made out just fine, i think. but all we got, by and large, are these fucking christian priests and preachers, of sorts; who are way to fat and stupid to be able to emulate jesus, i think. but even jesus would be fucked in the center of industrialism, the usa, i think.

  56. Bumming around is OK when you are young. You could get away with a lot more stuff back then. I wouldn’t want to do it today unless I was part of a tight group, or tribe. The fishing was better back then, too.

    I met and even worked alongside a number of native americans (Crow, Blackfoot, Flathead, etc.) during that time. I was treated very well by them. They had tribe, but were members of former great nations, now imore or less demoralized peoples living on public assistance on reservations, with many individuals still trying to emulate the american way of life. Some saw through it and were living in 2 worlds, waiting. One indian I met hitchhiking would return periodically to a Mormon mission in Provo to get religion, get fattened up a bit and then head out on the road again. I guess they mistook him for a member of a lost tribe of Israel, or something.

  57. He said rejected energy.

    yeah, not sure what they mean by rejected energy but the maximum efficiency of any heat engine(at least one operating on earth) is around 40%, if i remember right. so an overall energy use efficiancy of about 42% seems pretty good to me.

  58. One indian I met hitchhiking would return periodically to a Mormon mission in Provo to get religion, get fattened up a bit and then head out on the road again.

    yeah, reminds me of people who go to jail just to get off the streets and rest up for awhile.

  59. I met an Indian once who got elected chief, paid out per capita checks (casino dividends to tribal members), put cronies in tribal office and in admin positions at the casino, then looted the tribe, milked the casino.

  60. Who said rejected energy? It’s not rejected, it’s consumed. It’s just not consumed doing any work we civilized humans would consider “useful”. That would depend entirely upon your point of view.

    Say, for example, you were a bluebird with cold feet and wanted to warm them (the skinny little bird’s feet get cold, but it’s the price they pay for flight). The bird grabs the power line wire and the frictional heat from the electrons moving down the conductor warms the bird. It therefore did useful work for the bird, but the humans down the line would consider that energy as lost or wasted or (if you’re a moron) rejected.

  61. Semantics, Doomy. I thought it was an, how you say, interesting way of putting it, like it is a subjective matter of taste or fashion or for the most part, even voluntary.

  62. Uncle, I love Jim Kunstler’s comment about how some folks think that if they make a lot of measurements of something, they can control it. Not.

    Can’t escape the Second Law, no matter how hard they try. When I see the little monkeys get all excited about that “waste energy” term in that figure, I know they’re desperate and hoping/wishing for an exit. There is no exit, only death, the ultimate exit. The fact is we’ve allowed ourselves to extend the population into overshoot by literally feeding off our solar past, stored as FF (Catton’s detritovours). Now the most important, enabling one of the big three (petroleum, coal and natural gas) is going away soon, and so are those people it supports. What will remain, if we dont go entirely extinct, will be that portion that can be sustained by the Earth’s current solar energy budget, and that’s probably less than a billion globally. That’s being optimistic, also.

  63. The march from 7 billion down to 1 billion is going to do A LOT of dammage. Gotta figure that on the way down we’ll convert nearly everything we can to fuel that can’t be eaten. (But maybe arid and semi-arid landscapes will be spared in places. Lack of water will hold us at bay there, at least seasonally.)

    Our battle for survival will probably chew the surface of the great globe down to its nubs, and in doing so leave a scorched and beaten landscape in many areas. In a fully unwound state I could see far less than a billion scrawny waifs living like timid little bands of meerkats, clawing at the ground for grubs and scurrying to their caves at the slightest snap of a twig. Or maybe they’ll stand their ground and throw rocks. There’s probably going to be a lot of rock throwing at some point.

    Maybe the waifs will assume some role in a new fire ecology or something that makes use of our pyro tendencies. Or maybe a pestilence will massively cull the waifs just before they completely undo millions of years of nature’s evolutionary works. Who can say.

    Maybe someday great herds of half naked waifs will migrate across the landscape, following the seasons, snacking on grasshoppers and squabbling as they go. Throwing rocks, starting fires and/or running away whenever they encounter other waif herds.

    Other than that I’m pretty optimistic.

  64. A bird flu our a rat flu could take out a couple billion in a few months no problem.

    Most the human race still thinks everything is fine. A young freind of mine who has actually seen the damage the human race has done suddenly after taking a few geology classes thinks the data does not support the idea the human race is fucked. Go figure.
    Dont believe your truth telling eyes the data shows that snow coverage is greater then ever. Just because its now only an inch thick vs the many feet of the past is not important.

  65. Yeah most look forward to the day when its their turn to do the backstroke through the cornucopia. Anythng less would be too unfair to even contemplate. The data and trends don’t take into acount our ingenuity. Having gone under cover at a few fund raisers, the thing I’ll say though is cornucopians do throw the best parties and the women are generally better looking. Nature plays mean tricks is what I always think.

  66. It will/would be interesting to see what traits are selected by Nature for our population of half-naked waifs.

  67. “It will/would be interesting to see what traits are selected by Nature for our population of half-naked waifs.” ~GB

    In the woods and fields behind my house a number of the deer who were thick and hardy last fall now show up in my yard as haggard waifs. I don’t think they’d have survived another month of winter.

    The long term prospects for a human population as permanent waifs can’t be good. Entering the winter season as a waif would mean you’d unlikely see spring. Nature doesn’t reward failure. However if being undernourished and underweight is only a seasonal (e.g. late winter/early spring) or otherwise cyclical condition followed by sufficient periods of full restoration (so that reproduction can be successful enough to replace losses) then I would say resilience, hardiness, resourcefulness, adaptability, mobility would be among the important characteristics.

    Going about the world half naked would require moderate to warm temps obviously and probably a certain amount of pigmentation. So probably only possible as a lifestyle in tropics when/where it’s not too buggy and ample opportunities to retreat from direct sun. In the temperate regions a population of half naked waifs could probably only be seen during warm spring days, because although by summer they would still be naked, they should mostly no longer be waifs.

  68. Another important characteristic might be hardheadedness, or an innate resistance to believing the lies, the bullshit, and the fairy tales, the belief in which can get you killed sooner than need be.

  69. Just a reminder to my self Im at the library but relevent to this place there is a need to watch out for this guy I viewed on Big
    Think Blog he seems all over the net and nothing but a nuke industry shill fooming from his mouth.

    Edward Peschko thinks that Nuke power will save us still laughing at some of the stuff he wrote.

  70. relax roach, there simply isn’t enough uranium to save us. meanwhile, it’s gonna be Fuku’s all over the place.


  71. Which of these signs of the end times are the most terrifying and disturbing?

    1)wars and rumors of wars

    2)earthquakes, floods, and pestilence

    3)the Mets win 6 in a row

  72. although my sentimental favorite is 2), i’m going with 1) and a little dr. no foreknowledge about sitting-duck nuke plants and harbors full of nuke powered ships.

    perhaps no JR gonzo posting means the same thing?

  73. Nothing wroing with that Lindsay Lohan. The parts are in the right places. All she needs is a few weeks of therapy, weeding my garden on her hands and knees. Lindsay, if you’re reading this, this offer is your best chance for a decent life.

  74. There is a billboard here in Denver which positively states the end is May 21 so yes the end is near

  75. “All she needs is a few weeks of therapy, weeding my garden on her hands and knees.”

    She was buns-up kneelin’
    I was wheelin’ and dealin’
    She surrendered to the feelin’
    She started in to squealin’
    All she really needed
    Was some discipline…

    Frank “Forty Dollar Bill” Zappa – “Dinah-Moe Humm”

  76. monkeys love to blow shit up. or as mark twain might say: turn off the sound track and watch what they do.

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