29 October 2011 @ 01:09 pm
Congressman Killinger could propose that everyone in the US immediately be locked up in Federal Rabid Weasel-Fuck Prison because AMERICA! [balloons, doves, bunting, fighter-jet formation flyover] and there would STILL be a line of toadying fucking bootlickers lining up to support him.
20 April 2011 @ 05:58 pm
On the market for a new career. Seriously.

At least this brings an end to the saga of the douchebag boss.
17 April 2011 @ 10:15 pm
Tuning Pigs
Absence of Antares
Goodbye to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
All in episode 8!
06 April 2011 @ 06:14 am

When Spike TV and John Taffer put their heads together to create a new reality show called “Bar Rescue”, only one question remained:

What band would be appropriate to kick off the pilot episode?

Enter Just Plain Big -- unsung heroes of the music world and long time proponents of the beverage industry; perfectly tuned for any beach-themed bar grand opening.

Come join us as we provide the soundtrack for the opening night party at “Breakwall”, the newest and hippest bar on the Redondo Wharf!

Cameras roll at 9pm Wednesday Night, April 6th
100 Fisherman’s Wharf #H, Redondo Beach 90277

Be sure to wear your coconut shell bikini tops and/or fishnet stockings. Girls should feel free dress up too.

See you soon! Canbe
23 March 2011 @ 06:21 pm
Somewhere at the front end of this year of computer nightmares, I had a podcast. Anyway, it's back!


The most IMPORTANT bit in it though, is that Just Plain Big are playing our SECOND show of the year. Again at the Tiki Bar in Newport Beach, opening for Gene Loves Jezebel! I foresee a lot of 40-somethings in black clothing. And some of them may be us!

We go on at 10:00, second band. It's $10 at the door, $15.50 through ticketbastard.

Just Plain Big (no, I haven't updated it with the date yet...)
Gene Loves Jezebel on Wikipedia
Apparently there's a 5th band I didn't know about until just now?!?!?!?

So we're an active band again, I guess!
16 March 2011 @ 08:32 pm
Don't know who, don't know why. Shepard Fairy fan? It may even BE Shepard - LA's not a far hop, and maybe he misses those heady days of inexplicable, cognitive dissonance-inducing street art, and maybe he's cultivating a new style.

Probably not.

All I know is that for the ten years I've been commuting to Lake Forest for work, I've seen posters - well drawn, well composed posters, with no clear meaning or message - appear on the support posts of random freeway overpasses. They are always black and white line drawings. There is very little verbiage, and often none. They are often reminiscent of other things, but are not copies.

He (or she) disappears for years at a time. I always assume the worst - busted, fines, probation, can't put up any more posters now that the authorities know who it is - but then suddenly: another poster!

The truth is they're probably just putting their posters up elsewhere throughout the southland. The 133 overpass on the south 405 is where I see them the most, but I've also seen posters in the support structures and outside the drainage tunnel at the 55/405 interchange. I think I've also seen posters in Santa Ana at the 5/57 interchange, and I even think I spied one once in the distance on the 57 near Pomona.

And I think it's fucking awesome. Yeah, it's technically illegal, defacement of public property, our tax dollars pay some CalTrans workers to pull them down and slap paint on the damage cause by the adhesive. But they're awesome. It's not some kid tagging his territory, it's art well-designed and placed so that when those hapless commuters - ME, I mean ME, driving along, using only the most lizardly portions of my brain to navigate - driving on their same damn stretches of roadway every day, drive by it and... wait, what was THAT? I'm sure some folks have to drive by it for days in a row before they remember to be on the lookout and actually GET a good look at it.

Anyway, I hadn't seen any new work in more than a year - the last was something that looked like a Ray Pettibon rendering of a Speed Racer frame on a post supporting the 55 at the 55/Baker exit. There was some text, and I think there may have even been some red in the regular black and white. There was a lot of landscaping going on in that area, so it only lasted a few days before some worker tore it down.

BUT: here's the new one, back at the old 405/133 stomping grounds. It's been there for a couple weeks already:

There there is an owl, standing on a circle that says "ERGO." The grey background that you can barely see is an intricate B&W pattern. The square paint patch to the left is a repair from a previous installation.

Dear Mr/Ms The Poster Artist: I salute your awesome. You have, for very short bursts of time over the course of a decade, woken me out of my robotic tupor and given me cool art things to see and ponder (which I suppose is the intent!). May you continue your work; may your luck w/r/t the authorities never run out.
Posted here for google to index and hopefully save some other poor sap from blowing a day figuring this shit out.

For 4 years, I ran a MOTU 828mkII firewire sound card into a Sony VIAO laptop via a PCI card. And it worked fine - the only quirk is that the sound card couldn't be turned on until after the computer had booted fully or it would freeze and I would need to hard reboot. But all good things come to an end, and that laptop was one of them.

So I bought another VIAO - had really good results from the last one, plus no one else seems to be building overpowered laptops with external connection choices anymore. (As it is, I'm having to make do with one less USB connection - the old one had 3, and I was using ALL of them, and connecting to hubs as well.) Compared to the old one, it's got 4 times the processors & 3 times the memory, and it's running bright & shiny new Windows 7 64-bit OS, which is the second (and therefore, USABLE) OS of Microsoft's current architecture. This should work fine, right?

Anyway, got my new computer, got a FW ExpressCard, plugged it all in, ran some mp3s through Winamp just to see what's what, and... some clear lag. Little chirps, some time jumps, then at 30 seconds the whole thing locks up and makes high-pitched squeals for about 5 seconds, then returns to choppy sound, then locks up again, and so on. Clearly not recording-studio quality.

This appears to be a known problem with MOTU drivers (not that there's much evidence of this to be found on MOTU's site), but I don't think this laptop's bus layout is entirely blameless either.

Anyway, here's the fix:

1) Firewire driver rollback. Apparently the TI firewire driver is the one to use, but it need to be the LEGACY driver that does NOT install by default.
Start->right click on computer->click Manage->click Device Manager->expand the IEEE 1394 bus host controllers section->right click on the TI driver->select Update Driver Software->"Browse my computer for driver software"->"Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer"-> and pick the driver that says "Legacy"
Doing this took care of MOST of the sound artifacts, but not all of them.

2) Optical connections. I ain't using them; you probably aren't either. And even though the MOTU software has them turned off by default, it drives itself nuts doing so.
Start->MOTU->MOTU audio console->828mkII tab-> and change both Optical drop-downs to ADAT. It's doesn't matter that you don't synch to ADAT, and it makes your Unicorn a lot happier.

But that's not it, of course. The stupidest one of all is:

3) Disable other devices that share the PCI bus. In my case, it's the wireless modem. That's right: at any point in time I can either have sound, or internet. I need to keep the Device Manager open so I can disable or enable the modem at will.

That's OK, Sony - you can put the high-bandwidth modem on the same mobo bus as the PCI card slot; it's not like anyone's ever going to want to run any other high-bandwidth data through it in realtime or anything. It's not like you market these things as multi-media content creation platforms, or anything.

Anyway, yeah - Device manager, disable wireless modem, MOTU works exactly as it should.

You may not have the same configuration - this appears to happen independent of laptop model, audio software, or even OS - I saw reports of this behavior on Apple products as well - so it may not be the modem that's ruining YOUR performance (though it appears to commonly be the main culprit).

I used this program to track it down. Basically, it just throws bits around until something chokes. Disable a driver, click reset, and see if it chokes again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you are a musician of the (near) future and your reading this, hopefully I just saved you several hours, a lot of hair, and some worry. You're welcome!
25 February 2011 @ 11:24 am
...but pretty sure I won the internet today:!/genericus/status/41194026254352385
10 February 2011 @ 08:49 pm
At the conclusion of a many-weeks long biblical/Gandalf-Balrog-esque battle with the tdss rootkit and its many obfuscated downloaders and their zombie-like lifecycles, a vital piece of my boot sector went missing and LOL KUMPYOOTR NO WERKY.

No bios setting allows it to boot from CD or from USB. I have at this point tried every trick I know, read on the intarwebs, overheard whispered in bus stations, and what-have-you. My only choice at this point is F10-restore.

But I don't want to lose the music and pictures I made in last couple of weeks. I have a universal USB hard drive reader, so I pulled the drive out and...

What the hell?

2 100 gig hard drives that the computer reads as 1 ~180 gig drive. They both connect to the frame through standard SATA jacks, but the connection to the computer?

what the hell IS this?Collapse )

Help me, Obi-Web Kenobi; you're my only hope.
New Fractals posted:

More!Collapse )
Current Music: The Pod F. Tompkast, Episode 6: This One's A Real Neck-Twister. Tell Go-Go All A