Conquering A Long Time Foe!

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This is my long-time foe….  A song!

I’ve been wanting to perform this song for the longest time, but had a very hard time learning it. Sting, the bassist, vocalist, and main songwriter for The Police, gets great respect within the bass playing community. He is deceptively good. Yes, his bass lines are often pretty repetitive…But that is not the whole of it. Try playing this line and singing the lyrics at the same time… Nightmarish!!!!! It is DAMNED Hard not to trip up on the bass line while sing these disjointed lyrics. So many of his songs are like that!

Well, last night, I went out to the open mic at the Revue here in Fresno, and armed with my black 5 string Peavey DynaBass bass guitar as my lance, I slayed this beast! Considering it was just me up there on stage, without a drummer to lock in with and help me keep time, I did really well!

The song didn’t go down without a fight!  When I got to the middle of the song, at the part when Stings sings the “Oh, oh, oh’s”,  I kind of screwed up a bit there because, in my determination to get the harder parts of the song right, I kind of forgot to practice that bit. So as I got to that part in the song, I opened my mouth to try and sing the “oh’s”, but since I hadn’t practiced it, I started concentrating too much, which made my timing on the bass start to go wobbly. And, because I was so determined not to lose the bass pulse, I didn’t even get out a single one of those “oh’s”. So, in the back of my mind, the little voice of my inner-self was going “Crap Crap Crap” as I struggled to maintain my composure. Recognizing the folly of trying to bring any vocals in at that spot, I instantly gave up on the “oh’s” and kept myself on track.

Now, about the hardest part of the song. The part that is the most vexing to play and sing in this song, the one that gave me nightmares, comes in the second verse. It’s this lyric:

“Hide my face in my hand, shame wells in my throat,
My comfortable existence is reduced to some shallow meaningless party,
Seems that when some innocent die,
All we can offer them is a page in some magazine,
Too many cameras, not enough food,
This is what we’ve seen…”

My comfortable existence is reduced to some shallow meaningless party” was the part in the song that I most dread, most feared screwing up. I got through that with no problem. It was a struggle not to just stop right there and yell out “Booyah!!!!”. I might have mangle the words in the last verse a bit, but the worst was over. I had, for the first time, played this song live!

Now I have to learn the companion song for the Zenyatta Mondatta album, “When The World Is Running Down…” as the two songs should be played back to back. The challenge to that song is more in learning and remembering all the lyrics rather than getting the bass line and lyrics in sync. This one just flows better. It’s not easy, but it’s not as difficult as “Driven”.


PS. Note to bass players: if you struggle to play and sing this song, or others like it, I found a trick to help master it. Find the root of the pulse, and learn to sing to that first. In this case, it’s the low “A” on the down beat. The first vocal line of the song comes in on that first up-beat. If I put the “A” root in bold and underneath, it would look something like this:

….”How  can   you say that you’re not responsible?”
A                              A                                  A                         A

…..”What  does  it have    to    do   with me?”
A                              A                                  A                          A

Note that the first words in the lyrics are sung on the up beat, just after you play the defining “A” that establishes the tempo.  Separately, practice  the bass line until you get it down. After you think the line is pretty automatic, then start trying to put the two together. Take it slow. It won’t come easy at first. But it will come.

For Sale – M-Audio Firewire 410

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On-board ASIO 2 compliant mixer and software control panel provide total routing flexibility — including monitoring with external effects
Ultra-low latency software monitoring and zero-latency hardware direct monitoring
Two headphone outs with independent level controls
Can be completely bus-powered for totally mobile operation
2-In / 8-Out 24-bit analog I/O

The Firewire 410 is a great unit. Bought this in early 2009, and it was my main sound card until last year. It needs to find a good home. Have original drivers and trial software. Can download newest drivers and burn to disk if needed.


If interested, go to my Craigslist link here and send me a reply.

Security Hole Found In YouPorn

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The most interesting thing about this story is…. There is apparently something called “YouPorn”, and it apparently has a “security hole”!

Huh! Who knew!!!!!

So many potential jokes… So little time.

PS. You probably don’t want to Google it. I’m shocked that it’s so wide open to the casual viewer on first link.

I Love Saying The Word Gleick!

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No, not Gleek the Wonder-Twins monkey… As in Peter Gleick, who now has admitted to committing crimes such as identity theft and wire fraud in the name of Climate Science. This latest Climate Science Circus had been dubbed FakeGate, but it’s quickly evolving into GleickGate! If you have no idea on what the hell I’m talking about, here is the background on all this.

Here is how the Guardian first reported on what has become a fine tangle of a mess for Climate Science:

The inner workings of a libertarian think-tank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks. DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago. The blog monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science.

The scheme includes spending $100,000 for spreading the message in K-12 schools that “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”, the documents said.

The problems are two-fold. First, the documents from the Heartland institute were definitely gained through illegal means, impersonating a board member to obtain the docs, and, the most damning piece of evidence in this document dump… is a forgery.

It would appear that, according to Gleick’s confession, he received the almost certainly fake document stating the claims outlined by the guardian piece, which he then used to justify breaking the law in order to get the other Heartland documents. The fake doc has the date written as January 2012, but the scan of the document is February 13. The documents were leaked barely a full day later, on the 15th. Yet Gleick says:

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy….

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name.

the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy” That is the fake memo, yes? If so, is Gleick saying he scanned the doc or is he claiming he got the scanned doc from the source? If it’s the former, why did he scan it? If it’s the latter, that isn’t very much time to verify anything. If the scanned memo is what he claims to be his original anonymous document, me thinks he’s gotten himself into deep deep manure.

Interestingly enough, the veracity of his claims rests on whether or not he can produce e-mail that shows he communicated with someone else, anyone else, that he had the one damning doc and was working to get more info from Heartland or something. Of course, it would have helped had he scanned the doc right when he got it.

That said, the fact that the doc in question uses language that is not found in the other collection of documents makes one suspicious. As Megan McArdle notes of the document in question:

This is the memo’s opening.

January 2012

Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy

Given the increasingly important role the Heartland Institute is playing in leading the fight to prevent the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming, it is useful to set priorities for our efforts in 2012. This document offers such a set of priorities. I propose that at this point it be kept confidential and only be distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff. More details can be found in our 2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo. In 2012 our efforts will focus in the following areas:

This seems like the sort of strained declaration I would have given a novel villain when I was in high school–where I take what I think is actually true, and add swinish sarcasm, and SEE! VILLAIN!!!

And she further notes:

“I have never heard a warming skeptic refer to themselves as “anti-climate”, or to their opponents as “communicators”. And believe me, I get chewed out by climate skeptics with great regularity”….

There are a bunch of little things–this is the only document in which the word “warmist” appears, for example. But it’s much more than that. It’s too nice to opponents (“high profile”, “communicator”). And it views climate skeptics as far more powerful than they (in my experience) actually feel, and opponents as combating their messages, rather than the other way around. It seems to fundamentally misunderstand the paranoia of a movement that sees itself as under siege.

Yet some of the same use of words and language can be shown to match that of Gleicks advocacy against skepticst of the faked memo:

“Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

Here is Gleick from a few months back, slamming Donna Laframboise’s book via a review on Amazon:

“This book is a stunning compilation of lies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods about the fundamental science of climate change. It compiles the old arguments, long refuted, about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the state of science on climate change. The IPCC reports — the most comprehensive summary of climate science in the world — are so influential and important, that they must be challenged by climate change deniers, who have no other science to stand on. LaFramboise recycles these critiques in a form bound to find favor with those who hate science, fear science, or are afraid that if climate change is real and caused by humans then governments will have to act (and they hate government)….

Are you already convinced that climate change is false? Then you don’t need this book, since there is nothing new in it for you.
If you respect science, then you ALSO don’t need this book, since there’s no science in it, and lots of pseudo-science and misrepresentations of science. See, especially, the section trying to discredit the “hockey stick” — long a bugaboo of the anti-climate change crowd. Seven independent scientific commissions and studies have separately verified it, but you won’t find out about that in this book.”

Granted, two words do not automatically show that he wrote the fake doc. That said, those of us who write a lot have our own linguistic quirks, our own personal style. Unless you are trained in the art of writing dialog, or something along those lines, these quirks and ticks typically go unnoticed by the writer. Again, the use of the words “influential” and “anti-climate” don’t prove that he wrote the fake, but the use of the same words and language does not help his cause.

James Delingpole makes an even more damning observation:

This is really damning for Gleick, and more so for the honest climate scientists who are honest individuals working in the name of science..

I’m Confused…..

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Having easy access to the pill and other contraceptives makes people reckless, slutty, careless and destroys the social fabric of society, yet having easy access to guns makes people more responsible for their actions, has no effect on criminal behavior, and makes our society virtuous and true?

What am I missing?

PS. I am libertarian, completely support the second amendment as it was intended, and I’m not anti-gun by any means. But am stunned at the obvious disconnect of some of the Culture Warriors. The same comparison be said of pot vs alcohol.

Why It’s Futile To Argue With Close Minded People.

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I don’t mean to pick on one particular party here, and anyone who has followed this blog for the last few years knows I have had it out with members from both parties. But this one deals with same sex marriage. And since I’m for that, well, you know which ideology I’m going to have trouble with.

You know how Conservatives against same sex marriage always complain about redefining marriage? I was in a blargument (argument on the comments section of a blog) this week-end with one especially annoying opponent of SSM, going by the nom-de-plume NDT, who always complains about redefining the definition of marriage. He thinks that homosexuals are not capable of having life long relationships. He stated:

1) Marry only if you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with this person

2) Given 1), it behooves you to think about your choice BEFORE you marry

3) Realize that 1) means what it says — so refer again to 2).

Inferring that gays are just too impulsive to plan and think about getting married, and anyway they can’t / won’t stay together because they are too selfish and slutty.

I then pointed out that, you know, many straights get something called a prenuptial agreement, which of course, is a contingency plan for someone who recognizes that this might not be a life-long commitment, and asked his if, therefore, he was against the concept of a prenupo.

His reply?

“What happens in the event of death comes immediately to mind; a pre-nup allows you to distribute property or assets differently than the standard marital “default”. A pre-nup in common-property states like California allows one person to shield another from the effect of bankruptcy — such as when one is a sole proprietor of a business and wants to make sure any negative business judgments don’t take out the other spouse.”

Um, no. Death is covered by something called a will. The other examples, maybe sometimes those are dealt with in prenups. But the main reason for getting a prenup is to protect assets in the event of a divorce. Another commenter, who is not a lawyer but has dealt with this personally, chimes in and notes:

Pre-nups are exactly what you say they are Sonic. NDT is not correct. Declarations of separate property or separate property agreements are used in the examples he cited, not pre-nups.

In any case, even if NDT is right, that prenups can be used for those other purposes, still, it’s main purpose is to protect assets in case of divorce:

Yes, and you can also use olive oil to loosen a rusty bolt or maybe even in the bedroom, if your tastes run in that direction, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s main purpose, its main use, is for cooking!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that marriage should be a commitment for life. But NDT makes it seem as if heterosexuals do that religiously, and gays, when allowed to marry, do not. Seeing that there are now several states that allow same sex marriage, and he offers no statistics showing that the divorce rate is higher among gay married couple does not help his case. But the funniest thing about this exchange is that the guy who is SOOOO violently offended by the prospect of “redefining” the term marriage, has absolutely no problem redefining the term prenuptial agreement!

To conclude, this is how he characterizes my efforts to pull him into the reality that heterosexuals often get married with the contingency plan in case of divorce, that many heterosexual fail the “Marry only if you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with this person” test.

Sonicfrog, you’re just making the point. You and yours are so desperate to legitimize your whiny want for gay-sex marriage that your only hope is to drag down and delegitimize heterosexual marriage.


You don’t have any concept of WHY society gives these things to heterosexual relationships. All you see is that someone else is getting something you’re not, and like a bratty teenage girl, you start bawling and screaming that you’re being made to feel “inferior”, and that Mommy and Daddy are mean because they won’t buy you the BMW that someone else is driving.

Grow up!

Sign… Why do I even try?

The thread in question is here.

PS. Did I forget to mention that I’m not a big BMW fan – yeah, they are great cars, but I’m quite happy with my old 1987 Subaru Turbo-Wagon – and that NDT is also gay?


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Remember all those times I’ve joked about leaving my sunroof open on a rainy day and it was funny because I drove a car that didn’t have a sun roof?

Murphy the turbo wagon has a sun roof.

It rained last night……

In retrospect, the joke isn’t really that funny at all.

The War On Guitar Center! Take 1

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One of my Facebook friends (one of the great drummers of my generation) was complaining about how kids today seem to get most of their music knowledge from Guitar Center… Musicians are required to HATE Guitar Center BTW. Guitar Center will destroy music and all thing good that could ever come from it! GC is destroying music!

Ah… But if you spend some time in high school class rooms, the picture is not all that gloomy. Remember when everyone was up in arms because “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” was going to destroy the desire to learn to play because now they didn’t need to – they could play through these silly games?

It turned out to be the opposite! When I was teaching, many of the kids who were learning to play started on GH and RB and decided they wanted to learn to really play the songs, on real instruments.

As far as rock knowledge goes… Yeah, they are lacking. But then, in some aspects, even though I’m a musician, I have my weak spots. Question me about rock in the late 50’s and early 60 to mid 60’s, and I’ll probably draw more blanks than answers, and some of those answers will be not correct. But, if we move to the 70’s and 80’s… I’ll shine! Because that is the music, the soundtrack that colored my life. The liner note for that period are naturally more interesting to me. A kid today will kick both of our arses on music knowledge of this current time period.

That said… What I hate… Is the damned Guitar Center Super Star! The guys that go in there, turn an amp up to 12, and just have to shred and shred and shred and shred and shred and shred, as if it’s some kind of contest to see who can be the most annoying. The local shop I go to will turn the amp down pretty quickly when that happens… Which is just one of the many reasons I love Sound Stage here in Fresno.