Friday, April 2, 2010

All Out Entertainment

The generator installation was not what I was expecting. It seems in my town the inspector that checks the gas line set up only does this on Tuesday and Thursday! The crew came and set up the generator, plumbed in the gas line, and set up the switch box. Nothing can be done now until the inspection is done on Tuesday! Oh well.

I am not going to do any thought provoking stuff tonight, you can see my take on things in the "Running Commentary" post from earlier in the day. This of course means that it is an all out entertainment post! You know you love it.

Short Story Recommendation
One of my favorite books is "Time and Again" by Jack Finney. While trolling through some Wikipedia (I know, I have a serious issue with Wiki!) I came across a short story by Finney that was really amazing.

The story is called "The Love Letter" and was written in 1959. I found an online copy that you can read here. I will not spoil the plot line, but it is a little sappy! A man buys an old desk and discovers a letter in the drawer. He pens a response as a thing to pass time, but the desk may have special abilities. Check it out.

I Thought Unicorns Were Extinct?
Here I thought unicorns were extinct but it seems you can get anything over the Internet:

I doubt it is better than SPAM!

Read The Label
You really have to read the fine print whether we are talking MBS paper or even chocolate syrup:


9 Lives of a Cat
Now who would do such a thing?
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Extended Rock Blogging
Due to requests, keeping my word, and general music loving I offer an extended rock blogging section!

On Thursday night I posted "The Ghost of Tom Joad" heads up with Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine. This generated quite a bit of discussion over at The Automatic Earth. One viewer in particular, El Gallinazo, chimed in on the subject. Here is some interplay:
As a geezer, I had heard of Rage Against the Machine but never heard their music. I never listen to the radio other than via the Internet, and that for just talking heads.
I picked the top version on the youtube search and tried to view it (since no specific link was offered). Actually, I only got through about 2/3 of it. First, you cannot call it a cover as there is no musical correlation between their version and Springsteen's. They just take the lyrics. Absolutely no connection with the melody. Actually, no melody at all.
Second, I found the frenetic jumping around on stage to be totally counterproductive to the feelings and mood that the lyrics espouse. Truth be told, I found the whole thing rather appalling.

I offered:
El G,
I linked a live version last night. I was just starting trouble with the debate, I think both versions are excellent.
I feel the frustration really comes out in the Rage version and of course I partial to metal as my default favorite.
Sorry to scare you with the song!

Which brought this response:
I wouldn't say it scared me. My feelings were more that of watching a two-year-old play with its own feces.
I almost busted a rib laughing at that one! Too funny.

El G did have some request ideas and so I will post John Fahey playing "Poor Boys Long Way from Home":

Wow! That guy knows how to play. Great pick and I had never heard it before.

In case you missed this a while back, I sill have this Pete Droge song firmly planted in my head, "Two of the Lucky Ones":

That is sooooo fine!

Reader Gawains knows how to pick Black Sabbath tunes, so here is "Rock and Roll Doctor":

Old School.

Reader requests "16 Tons" from Tennessee Ernie Ford, so he gets it:

This song is featured in one of my favorite films, "Joe Versus the Volcano".

Tom of the North wanted some Alice in Chains, and a solid pick is "Rooster":

Solid choice.

How about AC/DC with "Thunderstruck" live at Donnington where legends play?:

Wow that is really good stuff!

Two more and then I will have blown out my blogger bandwidth!

I think I, I mean WE need a ladies touch! Kick it up for some Bangles with rock out version of "Hazy Shade of Winter":

Hello ladies!

Time to close the show! What to close the show with........

Well it is not quite midnight, but let's be prepared anyway with Iron Maiden and, well, "2 Minutes to Midnight" from Live After Death:

Have a good night.


Lurker said...

Thanks for Sixteen Tons!

watchtower said...

The weather broke about two weeks ago around here and we've been able to work in the garage without freezing our butts off.

As I've mentioned before, my brother is building a 455 to put into the Firebird (a resto-rod if you will) and it has been a heartbreak.

After having been bored thirty over, new pistons, and having the block line bored, the d*** cam will not go into the cam holes, it's like the cam holes need to be line bored too, very frustrating.

Don't even get me started on the bodywork, it's like trying to do plumbing in an old house, you touch one thing and it leads to another problem.

I've been reading your posts but I just don't have anything intelligent to add (not that I ever had), especially when my mind has been preoccupied.

Gawain's has really been laying down the gauntlet concerning real estate in the comments section.

getyourselfconnected said...

agree on Gawains material.

Not sure I have ever heard of the cam bore not being in line?!! Weird.

getyourselfconnected said...

no problem, good song indeed.

Lurker said...

Do you have an opinion on the recent challenge to gene patents?

getyourselfconnected said...

I have to be very careful here as company policy dictates....

That said,
I believe you CANNOT patent a gene (I have cloned over 8,000 unique myself) but I feel that therapies or targeted molecules based on a gene (usually in a pathway) that are found, that is eligible for patent protection. Also diagnostic tests (based on SNP or distribution plots) should be protected.

The next best thing; The oceans harbor 80% of bacterial/algae/other makers of small molecules that could be huge. Who ever gets those bugs to grow in the lab (impossible so far) will see big returns.

GawainsGhost said...

Well, another good cover would be the Runaway's version of "Weer All Krazy Now." They actually did an excellent job on that song, almost as if was written for them.

Anyway, there was an interesting article in the newspaper the other day about the Neighborhood Rennovation Act, or something like that, whatever it's called. This is a program which allocated billions of dollars to communities and municipalities for the purpose of purchashing and repairing distressed houses for resale. Problem is less than 25% of the money has been spent, and now these city councils are in danger of losing it if they don't use it.

You want to know why? Because they're being outbid by investors on the courthouse steps! This is rich. It seems that HUD rules allow the maximum bid to be 1% below appraised value. So the people charged with implementing this program cannot compete with investors who are not constrained by ridiculous government constrictions.

It gets better. We actually sold a house via this program two months ago. It was bought by a minister (this guy wrote a book on the Ten Commandments that sold over 14 million copies), but the funds were provided by the government, as some sort of charity I guess.

This was an older wood frame home in need of repair. It was originally listed at $85,000. Why this minister would want to buy this particular house is beyond me, but he did and via the program made a full list price offer. Then another buyer came in and also made an offer, so the deal immediately moved to a multiple-offer, highest-and-best situation.

The minister stayed with his offer, and ulitimately won the bid, but while the deal was being negotiated the list price was lowered to $79,900. Go figure. Then the appraisal came in at $87,000. (See how that works? The appraised value is higher than the market value, which is now higher than the list price.) So the deal was approved and proceeded to closing.

Big problem. Because the program providing the funds is hindered by HUD rules and other government regulations, an environmental study had to be done, to inspect for hazardous waste, lead paint, and God knows what else (endangered insect species, I suspect).

This all took so much time that the closing date came and went and had to be extended. Finally, the minister gave up and decided to pay cash for the house, close the deal, and wait for or hope that the program would refund his money. No word on how that will work out, or whether it will or not.

These are your tax dollars at work, folks. A government program to provides funds to a guy who has the cash to buy a house that is so encumbered by rules and regulations it can't close the deal. So the guy buys the house himself and applies for a refund. It would be funny if it weren't so mind-bogglingly ridiculous.

Anyway, note the relevant point. The appraisal came in at above original list price, and far above current list price. The minister paid the former, as per his original offer, but he obviously overpaid for the house. And now he's waiting for the government to give him his money back. Good luck with that.

The market value of this house is $85,000, which is the agreed upon sales price. Our fair market value estimation was around $78,000. But the company listed it at $85,000, before dropping it to $79,900 (while the deal was being negotiated, mind you), thinking that by appearing to come down in response to an offer, they could at least sell it for fair market value. And ended up getting the full original list price in cash, although not without complications. The appraised value exceeds what the house is actually worth and what it could sell for in the foreseeable future, even with rennovations.

Sigh. Life in the wonderful world of real estate.

getyourselfconnected said...

my friend Mark over at The Illusion of Prosperity has some great work up tonight that is worth your time:
"A Grand Unified Theory of Real Estate Malinvestment"


getyourselfconnected said...

saw your comment at Marks site, spot on as usual!

Ha! I have read the Ellison story, nice selection indeed.

watchtower said...

Gawains said:

"Anyway, since you're recommending short stories, I have one. "A Boy and His Dog," by Harlan Ellison, one of my favorite science fiction writers."

This story is the basis of the game series known as 'Fallout'.

If you like sci-fi stories you should try this post apocalyptic game 'Fallout 3' on the Xbox 360 console (PS3 is kinda buggy from what I gather).

Total geek awesomeness!

I cannot get over the level of thought that went into this game, with references to Occam's razor, and other things not widely known.

"A Boy and His Dog inspired Fallout on many levels, from underground communities of survivors to glowing mutants"