Author Archives: czmilosz

A letter to the United States Legislative Branch

Attn: Congress members,

The mass shootings will not stop until the means to perpetrate them is 
removed. There are no excuses, no explanations, and no rights that supersede.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, 
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Your inaction violates all of these Rights.  The necessity of legislation 
to control the manufacture, sale, possession, and usage of weapons that 
allow for rapid mass destruction of human life has existed for decades. 
This change in governance is not light or transient.  It is necessary and 
fundamental.

Each congressional member who fails to take action to stem this bloody 
tide is complicit with the murder of every innocent person. Get to Washington and immediately pass legislation that prohibits possession of these weapons of mass destruction that daily kill our mothers, fathers, siblings, and children.

You were each elected to protect the Rights of all of your constituents. Do your job, or you will be replaced with someone who will.

I fucking hate audio on Linux.

Jesus fuck.  ALL I want to do is:

Send the audio output of an application to the AN audio input of a different application. 

EXAMPLE – Skype audio output to MIXXX audio input.  I should be able to change the OUTPUT of SKYPE to VIRTUALOUTPUTNUMBER1 and then choose VIRTUALOUTPUTNUMBER1 as my INPUT into one of the AUX channels within MIXXX.

And I’m just stuck in a shitty hell of JACK and PULSE AUDIO and ALSA devices and GODDAMN MODPRODE bullSHIT.

I know. I’m stupid. I should RTFM. I’ve been trying to figure this out for YEARS. I’m so frustrated with it that I’m actually updating this stupid blog.

Sorry.

We’ve all been telling lies

This afternoon, I spent almost two full hours at a meeting for a local information security group.

The group is composed of an entirely suspected group of people. Almost everyone over 35 years of age was White and Male. Almost everyone under 35 years of age was Male and Not White. There were four women out of approximately 30 people.

Information security staff members from the two largest privately owned companies in the United States were there. Students, a teacher (although I don’t think any of his students will ever learn anything), non profits, under and unemployed, the military.

I realized that for all of the years I’ve worked in information technology or with computers we have all been telling lies.

The conversations are the same, the problems are the same, the answers are the same.

We have been telling lies.

Extant lies for empty purposes. To support our technology myths and fairy tales.

Technology is not magic. Devices are not bewitched and we are not gurus or wizards or profits. Most of us are barely adept at supporting an ever expanding shell that is not of significant self to shore from the impending crash.

But we have continued to tell lies. We tell them to convince money we can win a war. We plan them to believe we will adjust quickly enough to counter even the basest of failure or ignorance. We create them to fill the absolute void between zero and one. We theorize singularities of perfect purpose. We check boxes and build straw kingdoms for a statistic impossibility of survival.

This is not a war we can win. No defense or plan will succeed. In this fight there is not a winning outcome. We are due to realize that there will be compromise. We can stop the wheel or let it fall off or be gone before we see it fail.

We should focus on learning to fix things again. Of building with materials that will last or serve their purpose and be reworked into a resource for the next compromise.

My musical year in review – 2016

Yes, 2015 was hard to beat.

I certainly didn’t do that on the concert attendance front.

But I DID start broadcasting again, something I’ve sincerely missed.

Utilizing the categories from last year, here’s what I enjoyed during my musical journeys in 2016:

Best Discoveries

I listened to a LOT of pop music this year. As a child, I didn’t have a lot of musical diversity in my life. Lots of hymns and classical music. My continuing appreciation of pop music is perhaps an attempt to stay connected to the wonderment I had in my late teens and early twenties as I discovered so much.

Carly Rae Jepsen keeps pumping out catchy, well-crafted, body-movin’ tracks. I particularly enjoyed this one during 2016:

This track by Bridgit Mendler was also a favourite:

On the flip side of pop tarts…

“Tenderness on the Block” is a song I first heard on Shawn Colvin’s 1994 album Cover Girl. I’ve long considered Shawn a premier arbiter of cover songs. This particular song on this particular album fell flat on my ears. I think Shawn does an admirable job with her version, but I never really liked it all that much.

I don’t remember what spurred me towards listening to the original. I’m also not sure I ever made the connection that Warren Zevon wrote it. My most significant recollection of Warren is him playing on the Letterman show during the final months of his life. Warren and Dave combined into something very poignant and moving. I miss them both terribly.

Maybe it’s the piano part or the Jackson Browne harmonies in the original that makes me love it.

Best Covers

Kacey Musgraves and Buddy Miller provided my best covers pick this year. From the Cayamo Sessions At Sea – Buddy Miller and Friends album. This is LIVE folks:

If I Were Cooler…

I took a wonderful sidetrack into the electric blues this year. There is so much about this music that I don’t know. A very rich and complex history.

I’d never heard of Freddy King until I found this song:

This song is a masterpiece. Produced by the great Leon Russell who was taken from us by the monster that will be forever known as 2016.

I also listened to many tracks from the Tedeschi Trucks Band. I love the vibe and culture that Susan and Derek are creating and fostering with their studio and production efforts. I hope to be able to support them by seeing them live as soon as I can.

Their NPR Small Desk Concert is a rough, brilliant gem:

Best Concert Experience

In March of 2016 I got to realize a dream and see two AMAZING musical acts. The Suffers and Lake Street Dive played First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. Some of my favorite musical acts (Low, The Replacements, Hüsker Dü) made their stars in this venue.

And Prince.

I was standing in line to enter and I found myself right next to his star on the outside of the building (it was still white then). I looked at it and considered that I should take a picture. But I didn’t, the line moved, and then Prince died.

I’m probably about 15 feet to the right of where this video was shot. It was a great way to end a great concert.

Broadcasting

I started broadcasting again in 2016.

In the summer before my Junior year in high school, I started with an hour long newscast (Newton At Noon) on KBCU FM 88.1

It took me about 5 minutes to realize that I loved the medium and the capability of radio. It was one of the primary reasons I came back home to attend Bethel College and I did my best to continue the tradition of the station during my educational career there.

This year, I did my first streaming show. I’m not sure if this is “radio” or not, but I structured my shows this year in the same manner I’ve almost always done them. Loose, free; playing what I want when I want to. My initial shows were on Anonradio.net (I’ve linked to show archives). Now, I’ve built my own streaming audio server and broadcast HERE.

Sometimes it doesn’t work, but I’m usually on live from 9pm Central for 1 hour.

I can’t let 2016 be ANYTHING but pure Purple. Amazing, bicycle-loving, Epoch DEFINING, elemental; singular – Prince . prince

Sometimes it DOES snow in April;

May we all live peacefully,
to see another.

Fairwell to the fearsome Prince of fantastic

Everything is purple today, but my heart is blue. The loss comes from an extraordinary artist disappearing. And I realize that I will never get to see him perform live. Even worse is the missing of his singular uncertainty. Of what he would sing or write or say or show next.

Prince was a new world for me.  I was a large, pasty white 10 year old farm boy when I first heard the revelation of his music.  Prince is why I bought that first James Brown CD at 15.  He’s why I could not satisfy myself with just ONE Parliament or George Clinton recording.

Prince is the tiny dynamite personification of why I love music.