Friday, August 28, 2009


Ever have to listen to a bunch of nerds fussing about which OS is best? Get's a little old, don't it? To put an end to all this silliness, here's a definitive* guide to the pros and cons of the three major flavours of OS.


Pros; pretty, have a really cool magnetic power charger thingy, and aren't as crippled by lack of cross-platform supports as they used to be, designed for use by "artists" ie people with no common sense or deductive reasoning skills. Theoretically more "intuitive" although it's largely a matter of what you're first exposed to.

Cons; roughly twice as expensive for equivalent screen size and processing power, single source everything (so if Apple doesn't offer the configuration you want you're screwed), not commonly accepted for business usage except in certain graphics design fields. Mac users will point out you can use Parallels to run Windoze OS and hence proggies: however, if I want to dual boot or virtual box I'll get twice the machine in a pc and run OS X parallel. Mac groupies (and they tend to a cult-like devotion to the brand, almost as bad as *nix fanbois) always brag about how great the security is for macs. This is because no one cares enough to write malware for macs

PC's w/ Windoze

Pros; far cheaper than macs (can be anyway, Alienware etc are still obnoxiously spendy), options as to supplier (freedom of choice is good), most widely accepted OS (depending on version).

Cons; Microsoft is pure undiluted evil, Win* are all memory hogs to some extent, Vista is the software equivalent of a prison gang rape, the many suppliers can lead to weird conflicts and driver issues, piss poor code results in security holes any 13 y/o script kiddie can exploit (these can be eliminated by following good opsec procedures, but there's less room for you to do something stupid and get away with it) and did I mention M$ is basically a James Bond villain?

PC w/ *nix

Pros; far more secure (and yes, a lot of this is due to obscurity like Macs, but a lot is due to the community being involved in patching), updates and drivers etc can be easier to manage, free free free!

Cons; annoying fanbois who treat their OS like a religion, steeper learning curve, DIY, can't use all programs (Quark anyone?), some minor formatting issues with the Open Office version of Word, bad for gamers.

Get a Mac if: you have extra money, you're pretentious, you do lots of video or music editing, you visit a lot of shady porn or gambling websites, your career plans include lots of time on unemployment while "suffering for your artistic vision," or you are a filthy hippy trying to buy some anti-establishment street cred. Politician equivalent: the Obamessiah. A lot of great marketing, a lot of double-talk and BS, doesn't live up to the hype.

Get Windoze if; you worship Satan, aspire to be a soul-less corporate drone, want to be able to use the standard Office programs without screwing around, are ready to exercise some restraint in what websites you goto and what you download, don't want to learn Mac's.... "Unique" little quirks. Politician equivalent: Teddy Kennedy. Powerful but works as a fluffer for Satan.

Get *nix if; you've ever attended a Sci-Fi, fantasy, or anime con (bonus if you were in costume), have another computer available to Google why the *nix box is borked, are fairly competent, don't play many video games (or don't mind running a virtual box w/ pirated *doze), enjoy playing with computers. Politician equivalent: Ron Paul. Some great ideas, some terrible ideas, never going to be as big as the fanbois would hope.

*Disclaimer; "definitive" is used in a playful post-modernist sense to mean "Random largely unsubstantiated claims that may or may not bear any relationship to the facts."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Music videos

You know, people these days tend to over think music videos. Millions of dollars in FX, exotic locations, guest stars; it's a big production anymore. But when you're a bunch of teens rocking out in your Mom's basement, you can't afford all that falderol. I think a band could condense what "the kids" like down to a few key elements, and save a lot of money. So here, as a public service, is Balog's guide to music videos for poor teen start up bands.*

1. Fire. Everyone (especially boys) loves a good fire. Set the instruments on fire, torch the stage, throw Nomex suits on the band and have 'em spend the whole video running around on fire. Heck, just throw a road flare into a barrel of gas or set off some thermite on top of blocks of ice to maximum your flame to dollar ratio.

2. Girls with low self esteem. Aside from being a great
Arrested Development reference, this is also a popular video element. Since you're on a budget, you probably can't afford the full on army o' skanks that seems to be mandatory in videos these days, but you can get tons of extras at your high school for free. Thanks to the prevalence of abusive, absent, or generally emasculated fathers more girls than ever before are desperate for attention and love. Let their Daddy issues work for you! Note: while this advice also applies to creepy old guys trolling for girlflesh, let me just point out that misusing this knowledge is a ticket to the special hell, the one reserved for child molesters and people who talk at theaters.

3. Shaky/spinning camera work. I have no idea why this is so popular, but it is. This is undoubtedly the cheapest element of all, as it requires nothing but a monumental lack of talent on the part of the videographer. Heck, wrap the camera in foam and give it to the clumsiest guy you know. The kids will eat that disorienting, nausea inducing swirl of incoherence right up.

4. Out of focus close ups. I always assumed they did this in a desperate bid to keep you from noticing how unattractive the lead singer is, so if your frontman is hideous you're in luck! Again, just keep the camera away from anyone with a modicum of talent and you're golden.

5. People falling down. If there's one thing the good folks at FailBlog have taught us, it's that unintentionally phallic items are hilarious. Thankfully, there are at least two things they've taught us, the second of which is that people falling down never becomes less funny. I suggest just having the clumsy guy who's doing the filming set the camera down focused on a set of stairs then try to dance up them. Failarity ensues.

6. The big finish. Ideally a combination of all the other elements. I'd suggest a scantily clad girl with a poor sense of balance getting knocked over by the blast wave from torching a barrel of gas. The camera stops spazzing long enough for one last out of focus close up, cut to the fire burning merrily, roll credits.

Well folks, there it is. With this simple guide you and your fairly talentless friends will undoubtedly score multi-million dollar recording deals and get all the glamour, fame, and substance abuse problems that entails! Congratulations! Feel free to send my modest
%10 gross consultation fee along by paypal.

*Disclaimer: this guide only applies to teenagers and the sort of music that appeals to them. But really, that's the target audience in most cases isn't it?

This guide does not apply to rap (lots of stupid cars, silly outfits, and a double ration of sluts with impractically large posteriors) or emo kids (just slap yourself, unless you're Pete Wentz in which case punch yourself in the balls).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The first thing we do...

let's kill all the lawyers. A justly famous line from Shakespeare's Henry VI few people today realize that in the time period it was written, the lawyers were the ones who created the law. Politicians, we call them today.

While it's taken out of context, I can't help but approve of the sentiment. I'm reminded of this by the "slobbering journalistic fellatio" currently being awarded to the Hero of the Chappaquidick, Ted Kennedy. After the affection lavished on that infamous child molester Michael Jackson I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but the depths of stupidity humanity is capable of never cease to disgust me. A look at the history of the Kennedy family shows some stellar behaviour; buying their way to power with money earned bootlegging, supporting the Nazis, killing Mary Jo Kopechne, and buying or intimidating their way out of any number of rapes, drug and alcohol charges, and general massive hypocrisy. In my mind, they represent the state of American politics well. A ruling rather than representative class. I think many in the halls of Congress today would have fit right in around the throne of George III. It sickens me that the Constitution I swore to protect and defend is so generally abused by these useless looters, and I can only hope they've turned the heat up a bit too much and the frog will wake up before it's too late.

In any case, one more murderering hypocrite who dedicated his life to destroying my freedom and desecrating the document he swore to protect has gone to meet his judgement. While I'm sure his replacement will follow in his vilely oppressive footsteps, it still gladdens my heart to see someone who hates all I love die. And unlike when they hung Saddam, this is a person who directly hurt me.

Bye bye

It has come to my attention that Ted Kennedy has died, peacefully and surrounded by those he loved. I've gotta think it's better than dying screaming for help, surrounded by cold water. Rest in peace Mary Jo Kopechne, the mills of God grind slow but exceeding fine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome aboard

I read a few blogs, and apparently it's some type of requirement that I have a catchy theme complete with cool nickname for where I live. This will be a bit of a challenge for me, as I live in a fairly basic apartment. It seems odd to name it "Festung X" or "The Good Ship Y" when I'm paying rent and mocking a management who seems to use tenant events as a way to check up on who doesn't have a job and can come for bbq in the middle of a work day.

In any case, I suppose a bit of an intro is needed. Well, not really needed per se as I doubt anyone I'm not already friends with will bother reading this. Nonetheless the formalities must be observed, much like a dead eyed fast food employee wishing you Good Day shortly after expectorating in your "food."

I was raised mostly by wimmins, and I tend to think and communicate in a more feminine way than most guys. Nowhere is this more evident than with kids. I'm a total girl about them, and I find it personally offensive that people who ship their kids off to public schools every day act like I'm John Wayne freakin' Gacy because I'm a man who likes holding babies. I'm looking at you church women.

I'm 26, one of those dang fundy Christians who take it all serious like, and either a very conservative libertarian or a very libertarian conservative depending on the issue. If you aren't offended by at least one of my political beliefs you probably haven't talked to me about politics enough. I enjoy taunting feminists, hippies, and Emocrats. I like guns. A lot. I know more about guns than any other subject, and apparently more than most gun shop employees. Not a terribly grand feat given the generally low hiring standards, but still...

I was an infantry Marine who did a tour in Iraq then got separated for medical issues. No I do not want to talk to you about it. I don't care what you think about the war in Iraq, President Bush, Halliburton, or Black Water. No really, you can just go ahead and shut up now. Ask me some retarded question like "So you ever kill anyone over there?" and I can pretty much guarantee we aren't gonna be friends. If you have a "War is terrorism" bumper sticker or endorse the concept please don't talk to me as restraining my punching reflex gives me a charley horse.

I work as an apprentice building engineer in a high rise in Seattle. This basically means I'm learning to be an especially fancy pants kind of maintenance guy. I really like it, and would just like to take this opportunity to formally state that the views and commentary expressed here in no way reflects the views of my company.

I have a variety of hobbies, and not enough money to get too involved in any one. I'm learning to play bass, I run and play DnD and other pen and paper RPG's every chance I get, and read almost obsessively. I think fountain pens and knives are both very interesting and utilitarian, and enjoy learning about them as well as using them.

I'm married to an exceptionally loving and beautiful lady. I've been blessed in a lot of ways, but she's the best one. I attend The Downtown Church in Bellevue, and help to run sound.

In this blog I'll be rambling on about pretty much anything that catches my fancy. Feel free to comment; I'm one of those weird people who actually listens to people who disagree with me and I've even been known to reconsider my positions when presented with a logical objection. Crazy, right?