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546414 Posts in 18315 Topics by 3278 Members - Latest Member: ginbailey November 30, 2015, 04:13:19 PM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: November 10, 2015, 04:02:43 PM
This weekend, I started reading "Stoner," by John Williams. I had come across an article discussing it as a somewhat neglected classic that is having a resurgence. I'm enjoying it so far. Always nice to have a pleasant surprise come out of nowhere.
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Mystery Science Theater 3000 returns! But first they need dough. on: November 10, 2015, 03:52:20 PM
That's all pretty disappointing. The least surprising/disappointing is the "multimillionaires asking for money" part, which seems to be increasingly common across the board: I think companies are increasingly realizing they can shift some of their risk / costs, and still reap the rewards. Bummer.

But the idea of a whole new team is sad. I'll still contribute because I do think Joel is spectacular. But for example when I saw Rifftrax live with Mike, Bill, Trace, Frank, and a couple others, those voices and that chemistry was all so good. It's a shame if it's not at least somewhat preserved. I understood there to be some bad feelings between certain guys at some points, though I don't recall even whatever little I may have heard. Still, one would hope it could be worked out. But if not, not.
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Mystery Science Theater 3000 returns! But first they need dough. on: November 10, 2015, 02:57:06 PM
I saw this today. Maybe it's my homerism, maybe it's just that I appreciate brilliance. I'm giving. I really hope Joel gets more of the original team back on the show. I don't know details, but read today that they aren't currently all on board. (If TV's Frank returns, I'm going to be the happiest man alive.)
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: November 09, 2015, 03:12:49 PM
I assume it goes without saying, but just to be safe: there was no punctuation in the texts that eventually became the Bible (until well after they became the Bible). Neither the Hebrew nor the Greek of the original texts included punctuation.

Basing anything on punctuation in the Bible puts a lot of faith into a couple millenia of translators, scribes, editors, and such, not into the god who purportedly inspired the text.* (I won't get into the text itself, which is a whole other thread--though it is one of my main interests, so if anyone is interested in that, I'm in.)

*Depending on how far you're willing to go with inspiration. You might think the god also inspired later such people's punctuation, editing, translations, and so on, though that wouldn't really clarify why there are so many different versions.
55  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Top Five Favorite Beach Boy Tunes on: November 07, 2015, 08:28:35 AM
Changes frequently, blah blah blah. But roughly speaking:

1. Wouldn't It Be Nice?
2. Surf's Up
3. Heroes & Villains
4. Time to Get Alone
5. I Get Around

With these hanging right in there:

This Whole World
Don't Worry, Baby
Good Vibrations
Sloop John B
I'll Bet He's Nice
The Night Was So Young
From There to Back Again
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: November 04, 2015, 05:24:29 PM
Just started reading some of these posts -- such a great thread topic!  Long overdue.  Kudos, Captain!

Thank you. I hope you'll share your stories as well.

With respect to everyone, I hope you'll all share stories, ask follow-ups, but refrain from debate in this thread. I'm a huge fan of debate, but let's separate. I'd love to see this thread be just about getting information, context.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: [Band's] best album, and why. on: November 03, 2015, 03:27:43 PM
The title says it all: name an album and what you consider their best album, and why. Then others can either riff on that choice, chime in on that same band with a different answer, or move on to a new band.

No Beach Boys-related stuff. They have their own damn thread. And while I'm not going to on this post, if you want to venture off the most obvious bands, please do.

The best album by Queen is A Night at the Opera That's the kind of choice that is almost certainly unpopular, as I've noticed that people in recent years tend to talk up the non-obvious choices. Frankly, I'm convinced that's usually an exercise in either hipsterism or boredom relief.

A Night at the Opera is simply magnificent: Queen at their cartoonish best. From obviously, wonderfully commercial pop ("You're My Best Friend") to the surprisingly commercial ("Bohemian Rhapsody") to longtime concert favorites ("'39") to the over-the-top rockers ("Sweet Lady") to the camp charmers ("Seaside Rendezvous," "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon,"), it's all here. The lack of coherence as we jump from one thing to another without warning makes for what ends up a very memorable album. If I hear one of those songs ending (say, on the radio), I immediately think of how the next song comes in on the album, and am shocked when that's not what the DJ plays.

Also, Queen were fantastic melodists, among the best in pop music history, and they lived up to it here. More than that, they didn't disappoint on the production front, doing even more interesting, layered and textured work than on the previous albums (which were no slouches themselves). Some of it doesn't age well from my perspective (the vocal break in "The Prophet's Song" with its ping-ponging across the spectrum), but things like "Good Company," with the amazing Dixieland-on-guitar, are brilliant.

I really like Queen. A lot. I think they released a hell of a lot of great albums, and probably half a dozen stone classics. But let's never get too caught up in giving the others their due credit if it means passing over their best.

 I was about to join in this thread. I thought I'd read the first post so I understood the topic and boom. You've said exactly what I would've said (except you are more eloquent). This is the undoubted best album from one of my favourite bands.

Hat. Tipped.

Thanks, Rentatris, I appreciate the kind words.

Funny part: while I've been participating in this thread the past few days, I had no idea whatsoever that I started it. Not the slightest recollection. Then again, it was 2009.  Even so. Wow, I'm losing it.
58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What is THE most underrated Brian Wilson song? on: November 02, 2015, 10:17:21 AM
With the understanding that this is by the general public as opposed to the likes of board members, I'd say that while I can't narrow it down to one, these are strong candidates. (And there are more where they came from)

Surfs Up
Time to Get Alone
This Whole World
Til I Die
The Night Was So Young
I'll Bet He's Nice
Speed Turtle (if recordings, not just compositions, count). 😀
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: [Band's] best album, and why. on: November 02, 2015, 06:18:42 AM
QII was my favorite once upon a time. "Fairy Feller's..." Is brilliant, playful. Agree on "White Queen" and "March," too. (Less on FtS."
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Rap on: November 02, 2015, 06:11:04 AM
Was that true as the style began, or someone's clever retrofitting? Considering rap had already meant informal talk, not to mention the style's party roots (emcees were just that, emcees of parties, I have to wonder. But I'm open to the possibility. Curious of the source.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Re: New Demo: Wonder Wonder When on: November 01, 2015, 06:12:30 PM
Thanks, much appreciated.
62  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What if there were no Stamos? on: November 01, 2015, 01:18:39 PM
Listen, you all can argue all you want about the Stamos hypothetical, but the fact is, he's real. I can prove it: today I submitted an online form for an estimate for tree-trimming. To my delight, the auto-reply was from none other than [a] John Stamos. I like to think it's the John Stamos. Seems like an odd autumn gig for the guy, but hey, none of my business...
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: [Band's] best album, and why. on: November 01, 2015, 11:47:36 AM
I love Queen, but I had similar feelings toward Nirvana when Cobain died.

In both cases it doesn't explain why they were wildly popular during the deceased's lives, though.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / New Recording: Wonder Wonder When on: November 01, 2015, 07:51:48 AM
Another of my 18-month-old batch completed (whatever the word means in the context of a hobbyist). This is my "girl group" sort of song, "Wonder Wonder When." Another one with Zach doing drums. I arranged and recorded the track yesterday: tambourines, bass, synth bass, piano, synth flute-organ, acoustic guitar, two electric guitars in octaves ... I think that's it. Then this morning I did the vocals: doubled lead and two doubled harmony parts.

Hope you like it. (And if you don't, I hope it didn't ruin your day. I am not legally responsible if it did.)
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: October 31, 2015, 03:16:30 PM
Mine is pretty close to Bubbly Waves', -4.75 economically, -6.05 socially. But I'd add the caveat that I don't take this kind of thing serious, as it doesn't really let you respond with any kind of nuance.

66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Cover songs better than their original on: October 31, 2015, 08:47:50 AM
I always loved this version of "Gin and Juice," by Sissy Bar, since first hearing it in the late '90s. I thought it was spectacular in how it brought out the absurdity of the original. "I've got bitches in the living room gettin' it on..." and "damn, I've got a pocketful of rubbers and my homeboys do, too," from these voices. LOL.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: October 31, 2015, 04:07:11 AM
Emily, CSM, or other interested viewers whose views are left of TRBB (since his are clear on this), what do you think about the specific aspect of the new SEC rules I quoted? Should investors be protected from themselves with income-based limits on what they can invest?
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: The Gun Thread on: October 31, 2015, 04:02:45 AM
I take by you asking that follow-up question that you don't disagree with my assessment of your position? My penultimate paragraph: "So assuming we ... future harm?" Is that a correct understanding? To put it another way, you might say "our rights are in an absolute sense more important than any potential outcomes of the consequences of those rights--though we [you] do believe that outcomes are better because of that absolute primacy of those rights." True?

(I actually have some follow-ups to your question, but first I want to make sure I understand you on the above.)

69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: October 30, 2015, 05:39:02 PM
I don't think I agree with that, but I'm going to take a break. Mostly to watch basketball. I'll think about it and either respond or shut up.
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: The Gun Thread on: October 30, 2015, 05:37:56 PM
I've been thinking about this.

- Not in the interest of being a dick at all, but just a really serious question: is it really acceptable for a state--let's pick on Mississippi or something because, well, you know...--to choose not to regulate in any respect, and the federal government to let that go? Let's say a 4-year-old wants to buy a gun. Or a recently freed, but previously convicted, murderer. A guy who has a restraining order against him by the wife he abuses. Nothing? We leave that to Mississippi? I ask because the likely and entirely predictable results of that seem like a really steep price to pay for letting admittedly law-abiding citizens also avoid whatever administrative hassle may go along with enforcing those regulations in order to proceed exercising their 2nd amendment rights. You know doubt know I'm not especially ideological; I like to think I'm pragmatic (and I like to think that's a compliment). So I ask it in that spirit, not "you moron, this is obvious and you're dumb." To me, that's a situation with not much downside and a lot of upside.

Innocent until proven guilty must ALWAYS prevail. I'd question the thinking behind selling a four-year-old a gun (and the outcry over it might end up putting that business OUT of business). In the case of a freed, but previously convicted murderer, it's pretty cut and dried - has he not paid his debt to society by serving his time in prison? If you're a free man, you're a free man. You've paid your debt to society. There is no reason they should be stripped of their rights after having paid said debt. In the case of the restraining order, there are already hefty penalties in place for people who violate them. I'd dare argue that they should be more stringent (but ONLY at the state level) in the case of violations in general, with or without a deadly weapon.

Let's keep in mind that this is a job best left to the state, county, city, or, indeed, the people. They have that leeway under the Tenth Amendment.

(By the way, somewhat related, I still think you haven't answered what the "well regulated" part of "well regulated milita" might mean if not, well, regulated. But that's not what I've been thinking about.)

This is less practical than philosophical. But obviously, there are practical implications.

First, a presupposition: the likelihood of repeat offenses are a demonstrable reality, so failing to restrict legal access to firearms to, say, convicted violent criminals, will most likely result in more future offenses by said convicted criminals who have admittedly paid their debts to society. To clarify: I am not saying that a wannabe criminal can't possibly obtain a firearm illegally. Obviously. But certainly, a hurdle is a hurdle, and any hurdle does reduce the eventual "successes" of that wannabe repeat offender.

So assuming we can agree on that above paragraph (which might not be the case), am I right in thinking that your position is that the underlying rights and freedoms are actually more important than the practical results, if those results infringe on the ideal rights? In other words, it is better to await a likely future harm and then punish it than it is to infringe on rights in order to prevent the likely (but not certain) future harm?

I ask because this is a position I'd take in many of the post 9/11 terror activities, actually: warrantless government surveillance, arrests without charges, and so on. So it isn't a concept I steadfastly refuse, just one I approach cautiously. I don't want to allow government/police/military officials to stand in my home to ensure I don't commit a crime, because, after all, I might otherwise commit the crime. I reject that thinking. But I have generally felt differently with respect to previously convicted violent actors.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: October 30, 2015, 05:19:46 PM
Oh, I completely agree.

For me, regulations make sense with respect to disclosures on the part of companies. Ensuring that finances, that plans, etc., are honestly disclosed so that companies are painting a true picture of their situations and people make informed decisions. But if the individuals' "informed decisions" are stupid, well ... it's often said that you can't legislate morality. Neither can you legislate stupidity.
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys imagined 1989 album - help! on: October 30, 2015, 04:51:31 PM
I don't mean that there isn't some decent material to pick from, but if you want it to be "similar to SMiLE as well as Pet Sounds," I think you're fighting an uphill battle--unless you don't mean in terms of quality.
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The \ on: October 30, 2015, 04:34:48 PM
I don't want to start a new thread for this because I don't think there is enough conversation that will stem from it to warrant that (though who knows?), but I wanted to say something about this. So consider it an appendix to my primary entry above.

First, if anyone is more educated about the details of securities regulations than I am (which would not be hard to be), I hope you will contribute more context. I'm not more than a minimal investor, and I'm not in the financial services industry. The company for which I do marketing does things in those areas, or for those firms, but I don't pretend to be informed on any real level about the details.

POINT BEING: today, the SEC adopted rules to push ahead with the JOBS Act (I hate legislation acronyms!), fully the Jump-start Our Business Startups Act. (I threw up a little even typing that.) The point is, it is a way for smaller businesses to raise funds from people who become equity shareholders. A step above Kickstarter campaigns, but below traditional publicly held companies with IPOs.

I don't hate the idea at all. I love it, actually. I wholly acknowledge that the bureaucracy involved in being a public company is absurd and keeps smaller companies from having a chance to participate. (I also believe in some level of regulation, so it's not an all or nothing situation for me.) Here is what I hate:

"The amount of money backers will be allowed to invest depends on their income. Those with an annual income or net worth of less than $100,000 will be allowed to invest up to $2,000 in a 12-month period, or 5 percent of the lesser of their income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those with an income and net worth of more than $100,000 will be permitted to invest up to 10 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth."

While I agree that a person probably ought not invest his full fortune in some company (startup or not), I also wholly disagree that the government should step in and prevent you from doing so. As I said in my main post, I believe in striving to equalize opportunities for people, but I do not believe in holding their hands at every step through life. I believe people have the right to make terrible decisions. Yes, I also believe in a(n unpleasantly minimal) safety net for those who self-destruct, who fail. But telling someone what s/he can spend on something seems entirely inappropriate to me. After all, I can withdraw all my retirement funds or other investments and bank accounts and spend that money in cash on whatever I want: Triscuits, Taco Bell, used copies of Billy Joel's Greatest Hits I & II. I can turn it over to a relative or a cult or a church. If I want to stupidly invest it all in a terrible business idea, such is life. I don't think the government should prevent me from doing so.

This strikes me as the kind of overreaching regulation that conservatives, libertarians, and Republians are correct to condemn.

74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: October 30, 2015, 02:15:09 AM
I've got to return to my suspicion that you're just a troll. If not that, you're apparently the homeless lunatic on the corner, screaming about invisible spiders and snakes, making everyone on the block uncomfortably switch to the other side of the street. Anyone addressing you, trying to help, gets an earful about these spiders and snakes (not to mention covered in your diseased spittle). Eventually everyone stops addressing you. And you, also coated in your own filth, wonder where everyone went when there are all these damn spiders and snakes to deal with. But you're satisfied because at least you've won. Congratulations on that.

I need to cross the street now, just like the people who have PM'd me from over there. People who don't post here specifically because you're insufferable. I know in your mind that you're winning. That's fine. Post your last-word, self-congratulatory post, and then get back to screaming at the fewer and fewer passersby about the invisible spiders and snakes.
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: October 29, 2015, 08:42:35 PM
You can't possibly be this dense. I've hoped for months that you're not. It's a shame you've wasted my time and energy.
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