Saturday, October 13, 2012

'a masterpiece of calculated chaos'.

"An abstract painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for £21.3m, setting a new record for the price paid at auction for the work of a living artist." "...described by Sotheby's as 'a masterpiece of calculated chaos'."
I am in the business of calculated chaos, I know calculated chaos, and you sir, are not chaotic! I don't know.... I'm thinking that maybe my blogs do have clothes on despite what the peasant child says.

Actually, in further investigation of this picture which was growing on me, I believe the artist hung the picture sideways after a failed attempt at doing a landscape. Here you can clearly see the shore at the bottom. the lake in perspective and in the distance you can see the houses with roofs. Then a bunch of scribbly stuff to disguise it. Looked at in this light it is not chaotic at all. Failed landscape picture, paint splashed on top to disguise it. :)  Are those people walking along this side of the lake? You be the judge my friend. :)

I think the artist turned it sideways when storing it and said "Eureka, that looks vaguely like Barnabas from Dark Shadows with a runny nose peaking around a door frame!"  I can sell that old piece of trash I screwed up on. :)  Abstract painting. Meh.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I have been hard pressed to find the time to write long form blog entries. I am basically wearing myself out keeping to a schedule, that while impressive, is not really doing my health any good. I have little time to walk, listen to music, and daydream.

I long for one more month to go by, when I will be unencumbered by self-imposed work in my off time. I have at least learned in a very short period of time that I have a few things to contribute to the world and the world seems to like them.

I have always contented myself with small personal triumphs. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone apply for a job online, for instance. Today, however, I had to tell someone the bitter truth that the people who had sent him to the library to apply probably had  no idea if there was a job opening in the category he had enquired about. I took him through the entire search of the particular employer. Finally I explained this problem he was encountering. The man shook my hand and said "thank you so very much." I think under normal circumstances I probably would have felt guilty that I could not personally help him but you know, the man really appreciated me leveling with him. I had suggested a job center nearby that would probably know much more than I about the particular situation and emloyer and off he went.

I guess, through my problems with handling stress, I just have ignored these kind of honest moments. The last thing I ever want to be is the guy that discouraged someone from a path that might lead them to a better life or even greatness. Yet, sometimes what someone needs to know is to change directions. The stress of sending someone in a new and unknown direction was always too much for me, but with a few small accomplisments in areas where I never thought I would accomplish a thing, I suddenly have more confidence to use my 54 years of wisdom gathering to make decisions that may well turn out right or wrong. I just do not stress and I do my best.

Daydreams are great. Daydreams that lead to accomplishments? Well, you can't get better than that. I will have so much more time to daydream soon. Maybe these daydreans will not be as productive without a defined mission. But you know, how many pats on the back does one need to prove that one is doing the right thing in living life in the best way one can?

[Oh yes, as part of my photoshop training, I have created a new logo for this blog. I am proud of the fact that my simple idea very quickly translated into final product.]

Friday, October 5, 2012

Time Managed and Spent

Since things change so rapidly in my life so it is time for another rundown of what I do with spare moments of time gathered here and there, while on break, or skipping lunch, or watching TV with my wife and stepdaughter or traveling to church or whatever...

I blog at Mike's Amiable Blog, Mike's Aimless Blog, Tomato Sandwich of Truth, Crazy Mike's TV Warehouse (currently on election season sabbatical), and Tumblr. I am on Facebook and Twitter @joemuseum (composed of the most innocuous tweets I can manage).

My online presence has grown substantially on Facebook as I work for one more month with a political page. It has been rewarding.

Time management is at a peak in my life even if I cannot keep all of these projects really properly done! For my extended years of time I am most wondrously happy.

Oh, I completely forgot my parody of an 18th century blog: Rampant Letters. My excessively excessive attempt to do the different. P.S. you won't like it. As you would also not like my TREC blog, my parody of a graphics designer with a grudge against his electric company. The line between parody and reality... sometimes I wonder where this will all lead... but the journey IS the finest in my life!

Monday, October 1, 2012

PS: Lesson 3 is Not to Believe Lessons 1, 2 or 3

I have been on the Internet forever. Windows 3.1 was a big deal when it finally came around.

My Playstation 3, the most awesome Christmas gift my wife had given me up until that time, which saw about 2 hours of gaming in it's lifetime and just countless hours of video streaming and blu-ray use, finally broke. It was the Yellow Light of Death or YLD, as the game types call it, and off to the attic it went. I bought a Sony Network something or other to replace it for $40 and it was ok. I also have 2 Rokus and not enough need for any of this stuff. 

Here is the way it went down:

I had invited my wife to eat dinner at Cracker Barrel which is near our home to make Friday more of a Friday, since I work on Saturday. Wanda gets home early on Friday, so this is relatively close for her to drive and it is on my way home from work. We are in the middle of our meal and somehow I mention the PS3. Wanda said: As a matter of fact, I was just playing around and bought some bids on this site. You pay a certain amount of money for a certain amount of bids....

Now, I am not one to let anyone complete their story. It is something my wife puts up with and actually continues to love me. I usually let people I don't know well complete their stories but, the better you know me, the better you must be at remembering where you left off before being rudely interrupted.

At this point I said: Oh gosh no, not one of those sites that sell numbers of bids? Those are constantly cited as some of the biggest ripoffs out there. How much money did you lose?

So my wife said as usual: Let me FINISH my story.

Well, you have to guess by now, that I was totally wrong in my interruption. She spent $20 dollars buying bids and actually won a PS3 for a dollar. With free shipping, from Amazon no less, the total expenditure came to $21. She had leftover bids and wasted those away on something else she did not win, because you never win! It is just out and out gambling with the advantage going to the house, or Internet site. You really have to take their word for it that the person who wins a bid actually exists in real life.

Wanda completely agreed with my interpretation, but there at home, like it came from the tooth fairy, was a new in box PS3.

Netflix is far better on this newer slim PS3 than on the old one, either Roku, or the Sony networking whatever it is.

I will not divulge the name of the Internet site as they deserve no publicity. They are sleazy. Wanda will not be buying more bids because she agrees with me.... and of course, I am wrong.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A welcome to anyone who saw my graphic on Ayn Rand's book on Facebook. My blogs are all linked out above. see the links? 

Yes they are strange and varied.

My best graphical one is Tallapoosa Electric which is my ongoing quest to get a local monopoly to apologize for saying they did not care what their customer, me, thought.

My second favorite of my graphics:
My longest running blog is Aimless blog. All are linked above. You will probably find them inscrutable or boring, but they deserve a hit or two.  THANK YOU.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happily Blogging and Interneting Away

With no purpose in mind this time, I am truly happily blogging again. I just wrote a piece that attempted to purge my soul over on my Aimless blog. I am happily updating my Sandwich blog with the essentials of TRUTH as I know it. In fact this blog entry really belongs there in the Sandwich, but with a little less mayonnaise.

I am even going full throttle with my Television Blog after starts and stops while learning the best process. That one is turning out to be the most fun of all. I haven't seen these videotapes which I am posting for years. I hope nothing stops me until I am finished with the full set. So far I have done a few CNN clips, a few test clips, and I am working on a complete behind the scenes Disney World Nancy Kerrigan (the figure skater known best for being bashed in the leg before the Olympics and allowed to participate by pure faith, pushing Michelle Kwan out of the games). She was quite endearing at the time for those who have patience enough to get to know her. Otherwise, you could look at the News coverage of her which bashed her worse than her knee had been bashed after her "gaffe" on the Olympics stand. We all have our failures, but "being real" was not one of Nancy's. Other than lots of oddity type clips like Nancy Kerrigan's live feed, or a short clip of Anderson Cooper practicing his script when he was such a young man, I have basically CNN backhaul feed stuff (or wild feed stuff) from their early days before they had competition. I am sure this is absolutely unique. When I was posting a few things on Nancy Kerrigan on YouTube, it was amazing how quickly someone picked up my taped feed of her phone call with President Clinton. Who would guess that would be such a unique or interesting clip to someone? I now have that one posted with better quality elsewhere and accessible from my TV Blog. I'll not use YouTube anymore unless I have to. The people that comment on there make it seem like they are a rabble of ne'er-do-wells. Pearls before swine. :)

I have Beatles, mainly solo Beatles, but am trying to post only things I have not seen elsewhere on YouTube. Every Johnny Carson clip I have have come across so far that I thought was interesting, had already been posted on YouTube somewhere if you did the correct search, who knew? Every person appearing so far has a fan base that posts clips that they have. How odd!

Translating and uploading my videos takes time but it is an enjoyable activity. It is very relaxing. It is what every hobby should be.

I discovered what a great resource for ideas and thought Facebook could be. Who knew? Again you have to put some time into it. But after finding the right mix of "friends," I have such an enjoyable time there. No kidding, I have a Facebook experience that is so different from and so much better than what I ever thought it would be.

I like my online presence. Remember that when they come to arrest me for what I've said on here. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You May Not Remember but....

Actually, you may not remember this graphic from the presidential race in 1999. I have been trying to forget it myself ever since but, alas, it keeps coming back to me late at night when the onion soup I had at dinner starts to bother me. I'm sure you don't remember the following graphic which may well be the first animated presidential graphic in history, done for the Al Gore campaign. I don't know. I seem to be documenting things that no one would really ever care about on my Television Warehouse blog, so why not here, too.

I guess this is pretty historic since the Internet was so decisive in the next winning Democratic presidential campaign. Oh, I thought about rewording that sentence, but it stands true no matter how you read it.
And I guess the part that people really don't know is that I would have been ambassador to Sri Lanka if Gore had purchased lawyers a bit more convincing, or perhaps purchased a few Supreme Court judges. You see.... I had a graphic long before Gore's animated gif and the copyright fees were payable to me upon the successful conclusion of the campaign. You see my DeVore 2000 celebration had the following graphic first:

Actually, I say it was long before Gore's graphic but I really mean it was a month or so after I first noticed it, and was in fact a paste up job copying their original graphic. It was done on the fly to capture a nice gig in Sri Lanka, which I would have had as forensic animated gif technogy was in it's infancy. Yet fate did not smile upon me in Florida.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rampant Letters

I still have a pretty old desktop computer I use as a video editor now for my TV Blog. I do almost everything else on my portable stuff now. When I first got this particular desktop, something went drastically wrong. It kept typing in things at random in search boxes, etc.  I could not figure this out for a while but it finally came to me that somehow the speech recognition software was on. I figured this out when I was talking on the phone and it typed a few words that I had actually said. So, previously, it had been interpreting sounds around me, like the TV set or music, as text. I decided to open up Microsoft Word and see how this thing worked. I did not know how to turn it off at the time so my composition begins as frustration. The nonsense that turned out as I tried to speak as clearly as possible was pretty funny. I laughed a bit. I repeated one sentence over and over for a while. I tried to say one sentence "I'm going to send this to my friend. His name is Ike." or something like that. I was just trying to say it very clearly to get it to get just one sentence correct. It never did. I consider this my first truly randomly aimless composition:
Bombay I would like to know exactly why is going on with my computer.  Please tell me what’s going I can stand as any will more.  Mondale was one just like you can still I wanted. 
Dannemeyer can be used on the game can be used the game you were some time, really doesn’t 
I needed not as happy as another five years to really drive in the name.  She really a season high-minded be a new.  I’m going to CNN’s Stefan Edberg said.  I’m going to see in this some kind person.  I want to see in this to a friend the nine to sustain his vice Versa.  And I have I got a.  I want to see in this big several serious risk of mine named vice Versa.
I am going to send this to a friend of mine his name is my first press that servers.  I’m going to see in this era randomized his name his eyes were some the I want to see NBA is the ground by these changes five or so it really. 
Steve Wong seven and the and of the things that can be done with the the that the. 
!  (see the) in the As the pants and the bank city. As As they have been the though the reason we’re the inning way back to their masses opportunity of making around them they for my friend I carry some of it landings at all my friends they.  I’m going to sell my friends may I may as they they they they they appeared in the period.
I’m going to send this to random time may I his name is on you.  In the be in new page.  Debate style taxes and the the the the book the key to bear in.  Bugs bunny 40 be on the between now be the now between the e-mail between the e-mail between now beginning be the now is the Walt Disney meeting is.  First they. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Great Chess Analogy (repost)

I am killing off my Wordpress blog which has always been a bit of a pain. So I am reposting in order be able to ultimately delete it. So if this sounds familiar, it is. My Wordpress blog was supposed to have higher standards. Yep, bit of a pain. :)

My earliest self-discovered analogy for life came my way during attempts to master the game of chess. Today, this analogy follows me, and hounds me like that big brown dog that belongs to my jerky neighbor. As I stroll through life walking on old familiar ground the great chess analogy nips at my heels. It won’t go back home. It won’t scare off. When I make charging feints at it, it just growls and sits waiting for another day. The sticky analogy of chess and analogies in general, quite obviously, are just debilitating.

Being a neo-ancient mariner, I often tell stories that have some deep seated meaning for my life. And with a willingness not to disappoint, I will transition in this way to the story of the kid who represented the Chess Club at my high school, usually christened the “Chess Club guy” in most versions of the story. I have told this albatross of a tale so many times for so many different purposes that I know not whether the facts can be ascertained at all. This corrupted tale has its historical setting in the first week of high school. In it I am of course a character and am given the assignment of joining a club. The day was called “Club Day” or some innocuous sounding title that rolled off the tongue only to aim with a splat at bruising my ego. Representatives from the various high school clubs were all present. I walked around totally lost and I pondered the oddness and unfamiliarity of high school life. In reality I was not accustomed to the freedom of wandering around during school hours at all and felt rather lonely outside of a “structured” classroom setting that had been necessary previously. I didn’t know how it was done but somehow the teacher no longer needed to be present for intimidation to occur and keep us somewhat on track.

Presently, I noticed a geeky guy who looked approachable, at least to another geeky guy. He had a chess game laid out on the table in front of him and beside the game sat a game clock. It shimmered fancifully on the table with an alluring presence. I had only seen the double chess clock in movies. I approached and asked him about the Chess Club with barely an understanding of how clubs worked in general. When that effort crumbled to the gym floor, I asked him what I really wanted to know: how did the clock thing change the game? Instead of simply explaining the concept to me, he challenged me to a game where I would find out how the thing worked. Looking back I can see that the chess clock was his shiny penny. He lured in players with a James Bond prop after which he would then beat mercifully and affectionately with a pat on the head and an offer to join the club and be pals. During the course of the ensuing game each of us punched the clock after our move. I was dazzled by the clock but this guy never answered my question about the rules surrounding it. I sped up my play because of that clock but I was ever mindful of the humiliation that might occur with a bad move. And so he made his moves faster to match me. There was obviousness to his competitive nature that I knew very well.

Flashing back…up until this day, I had played chess with only one virtuoso who had taught me the basics and some strategy. I highly suspected he did not teach me much of the actual strategy he knew because his joy was in constantly winning. The only games I had ever won were as a result of his rare mistakes. My frequent mistakes were celebrated and never failed to amuse. This went on for a while with me just being incredibly bored with losing all the time. I wanted to play anything but chess. Finally, as a matter of pride, I read one magazine article about chess. What I read explained the concept of controlling the center of the board. This vague idea became pretty much my entire strategy. After this defining moment the strategy enabled me to win a game now and then, since my opponent had no idea what the strategy was. It became mathematically interesting to me if I played purely on the basis of this control factor. After all, there are so many permutations of each move to get bored with. It is dizzying and certainly a headache to actually try to win at chess by thinking two or even three moves ahead. My mind would just get lost in the logic and I would wonder why in heck anyone would play a game that was so flavorless and taxing on the brain cells. There is an entire subsection of the great chess analogy that deals with the cheap and easy narrowing of choices but that is beyond our scope for the moment.

My secret weapon morphed into a fairly unique strategy that made it difficult for my opponent to think ahead. It simply involved looking at moves and figuring out the number of spaces I could control (or keep my opponent from moving onto) for each of the possible moves I could take. I rarely plotted to capture a piece or anything conventional. I just mathematically tried to figure out how to accomplish control. Before I began using this strategy, I lost pretty much all the time. After I began to surreptitiously use this strategy (and throw in a few random moves just to hide the really non-random pattern) I began to win, or at least make this guy perturbed. It took him so much longer to win and I seemed to have learned nothing of what he had taught me. I do not think he could guess my next move as I was using very little of the strategy he had taught me. Flashing forward…

I was playing faster than the Chess Club guy, because, what did it matter to me? I assumed he was obviously going to win. The odds were on his side. I was just doing my thing. I became ever more interested in the clock because as the game progressed it was taking him so much longer to make his moves. I remember saying “Do I get any points for being faster or how does that work?” I was pretty much tired of playing without the rules of the clock which was why I was playing. Then… he made a mistake. It was a huge-tsunami-with-nuclear-fuel-rods-exposed-to-pigeon-droppings-and-salty-sea-air mistake. I think I took his queen or something which allowed me to take claim of vast amounts of squared territory. He was doomed to play so much longer than he had surely imagined, and then somehow I actually checkmated him. While I don’t remember the specifics, I certainly remember winning. I also do not remember how I extracted myself from the table in a nice way. I had decided then and there to join the History Club, which had a table nearby the Chess Club table. I really hated chess.

In fact, the great and all powerful chess analogy portrays the ultimate loneliness of our existence. I found that with chess there were usually two scenarios. The first possibility was that you were playing someone who was wildly less experienced than you were, in which case you won all or most of the time. The second scenario was of course that you were the wildly inexperienced one in comparison to the master you were playing. Both are lonely outlooks. If you really play chess, it isn’t like a friendly unimportant Parker Brothers board game. Life’s analogy to chess is that we are either the victor (we were better) or the loser (we were worse). This is true in more competitive situations than I care to count in our present society. I never saw them all when I was younger. I am relatively certain I still don’t see a fraction of them. An evil competition is lurking beneath the surface of things all around us. It’s very non-social and it’s incredibly boring.

Sometimes everyone seems dumber than toast. Sometimes everyone seems smarter than you. It is a lonely existence.

But the great chess analogy goes much further into the ills of society. Let’s transition ever so smoothly to a trip to the store to purchase meat for your meatloaf. This doesn’t seem like a competitive game of chess but how else can you illustrated the efficiency of analogies? It is just a grocery store, which is honestly one of the places I find most comforting when I am stressed out. A walk in a supermarket is like a journey in a peaceful museum of human achievement at times.

The annoying chess-like nature of your journey reveals itself a little in the fact that you have acquired the money you will be using at the checkout purely as a result of a competition with others. However this cuthroatery is past history as you walk down the aisles and is only a small lurking presence, easily ignored. You might realize that the store itself is in a competitive multidimensional Star Trek type chess game with other stores. However in our model society, competition that exists between the grocery stores theoretically only serves to provide the shopper with the best product for the best price. You may resume walking and noting items that have not been properly brought to the front of the shelves but, watch it! Look around the corner of the snack aisle carefully for a fast moving white rook. Your ideas are nowhere near the chess game strategy that is actually going on. That package of hamburger meat you picked up in the meat section a few minutes ago really contains what we are now calling “pink slime.” Packages like this have possibly contained this substance for at least ten years. Before that time only your dog was allowed to eat it. Your cat is too picky, I’ll bet. Now how did this happen?

The competition between the stores should have protected you and did no such thing for at least a decade of your share of time here on Earth. The strategies you were given about how to play the chess game, supermarket edition, just did not work this time and someone else won. For ten years you thought you were buying actual beef. What is pink slime? It is “low-quality protein of connective tissue, spinal, rectal, and digestive lining of beef treated with ammonia to kill foodborne illness causing bacteria. This matter closely resembles disinfected beef gristle puree.[1]” The USDA in a recent chess move states the product is entirely safe. I’m guessing nose piercings are also fairly safe but I have not unexpectedly had one in the last ten years. The man who exposed the existence of pink slime is widely described as “disgruntled,” a term used for assassins and sort of describes me after my own sudden discovery of this invasion of my stomach with the rectal tissue of a four legged animal. I’m part of the great disgruntled masses.

I could have had better strategy, I could have checked and read books on the subject, and investigated hamburger meat. The permutations are endless about what I could have done to keep parts of a treated cow’s rectum from anywhere near my stomach. I could have waded through vegetarian treatises and weighed conspiracy theories. But that is such a boring game. I hate chess.