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Topics - Doktor Howl

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Apple Talk / Hi, it's me.
« on: August 31, 2018, 08:31:14 pm »
Hi, it's me.  This is more complicated than it sounds...I am not the me I was when you first met me (especially you old timers), and believe me when I say that this can be uncomfortable.  I am not the me that raced cars on Book Road back in the day.  I am not the me that stood horrified in a pumphouse under the streets in Panama.  I am not the me that worked for a dodgy cargo airline when some of you met me for the first time.  Let's skip a bit...I am not even the me that wrote Little Orange and Hell in a Dry Place.  I have changed, as you have changed, as everyone changes.  To expect a person to react the same way to a given stimuli over a half-century isn't realistic.

The hard part, the part that took that entire half-century, is to understand that yourself.  That you aren't the same person you used to be.  Maybe you're better, maybe you're worse, maybe you're neither, just different.  But once you DO realize that, you remove an enormous burden of false expectations from yourself, and the affect that has is some pretty strong mojo.

I am not Shaky, Mozart of the M16.
I am not The Good Reverend Roger, screaming out rants.
I am not Padre Dolor, delivering the hurt.
I am not Little Billy, taunting the Pagans.
I am not Doktor Howl, explaining your doom to you in terms you understand.

I am a mish-mash of all of these people, and "we" are stronger for realizing that.  I am a ball of aggregate Horror™, and I am not impressed by the puny villains we have today.  Trump and his hordes of waterhead Nazis may be dangerous to some degree, but they have no opera.  They are banal.  Boring.  This should change.

On the other hand, this entire future is kind of banal and boring.  It is a flimsy thing, built on shaky foundations by drunks who never even bothered to look at the blueprint.  It is the intensely monotonous accumulation of wealth into the hands of a tiny group of people while the rest of the world starves - or is facing the specter of starvation - and drinks filthy water.

And I think maybe that needs to change, as well.

Or Kill Us. 

Aneristic Illusions / UNLIMITED 2018 Midterm Thread.
« on: August 28, 2018, 09:37:26 pm »
To kick things off, furious white people screech in Maricopa county, "Voting machine problems are supposed to happen to non-whites!"

Apple Talk / Jim, please pick up line two.
« on: August 27, 2018, 09:13:40 pm »
Hello, Jim?  Is this Jim?  Hah, I was just sitting back thinking of you and touching something.  Not gonna tell ya what I'm touching, and I'm not gonna tell ya what I'm touchin' it with, but know that you are always in my thoughts.  I was thinking back to early 2009, and all the fun we had watching the po'buckers lose their damn minds over President Obama and his un-American blackness.  Remember that?  Sure ya do.  We all do; it was the most fun I've had since Nixon resigned. 

Now, I'm not going to tell you that Obama was a world-shaker or go on and on about hopey-changey-Yes-We-Can bullshit, but the man could give a speech.  He made you feel like someone was driving the train, and that yes, we will slow down to a reasonable speed on the really bad curves.  Now?  Ho ho!  There are no brakes and the lumpy orange thing in the white house is deliberately speeding up for the curves.  And while I would normally be all about that kinda "taking it to the wall" mentality, it occurs to me that this is where I keep all of my STUFF.

And then I got to thinking about all the shit you said before the 2016 election.  About how you were gonna vote write-in or vote Green or just not vote at all, because you feel that because the democrats are corrupt, they are just the same as Trump and his crowd...Because Baby Jesus knows, there is no such thing as nuance and if you aren't perfect, you are entirely evil.  You didn't feel that there was any shades to corruption, and therefore you simply couldn't vote for Hillary because reputable people had been telling you bad things about her since 1992.

Now, this sort of thinking has real-world results, Jim, and lots of people we know got hurt on account of it.  Not only that, the apparatus of government has been permanently damaged.  Like a bent frame in a car, you might not be able to see the damage after the repair man works on it, but I wouldn't take that thing on the highway.  "Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture," as one old bastard used to say.  Our children will not inherit a republic, and poor people will drink filthy water for the rest of their miserable lives.

So then I got to thinking, maybe this is your fault.  You clutched your pearls and put on your best sainted expression and told everyone how you couldn't sully your purity by voting for someone that was less than perfect, even if her opponent was a crazed Nazi maniac.  You told us that if we voted for Hillary, we'd have a right wing warmonger in the white house.  Well shit, son, you were right.  We voted for Hillary and we got a right wing warmonger in the white house...Because you - and millions of equally stupid people - didn't vote.

So next time you feel like dropping in for a beer, I'd think twice and maybe not do that.  Because me and my family and friends will welcome you with baseball bats and crowbars, you miserable, sanctimonious piece of shit.  Go fuck yourself.


Aneristic Illusions / John McCain is dead.
« on: August 26, 2018, 05:44:48 am »
In the end, I have decided that this is a loss, for two reasons:

1.  The Arizona constitution requires that his replacement be of the same party, and the seat sticks until 2022.

2.  McCain miraculously grew a spine for the famous "thumbs down" moment, which is why my aging parents can still afford health insurance, which is why my mother survived her cancer.  That obviously buys a lot with me.

Apple Talk / That's Me.
« on: August 21, 2018, 12:43:50 am »
Today I drove home doing 53 MPH in the left lane with my right blinker on for 5 miles.  I stopped at the grocery store on the way, where I parked 6" away from the car on my right.  Inside, I used the restroom, hopelessly jamming up the toilet.  Then I left my cart in the middle of the aisle while I stood next to it for 5 minutes, debating my choice of taco seasoning.   Then I took 3-4 minutes recounting my change in the express checkout.  Leaving, I left my cart in the parking spot on my left side.

I am THAT FUCKING GUY.  And while I enjoy what I do, it is exhausting and I feel as if I should be compensated.

Apple Talk / Horrible Bastardism Coming Down the Tracks.
« on: August 19, 2018, 09:26:30 pm »
I am unsure if I have ever seen a maintenance department as dysfunctional as this one.  It is not a crisis of competence, even though half the guys are green as grass and none are properly trained.  It is a crisis of leadership.  The maintenance manager is afraid to manage, and is a 6'5" tall barrel of passive-aggressive cowardice.  The supervisor that reports to him is a screamer who is dangerously convinced of his non-existent electrical knowledge.  The crew as a whole has of course been poisoned by these factors, and with only one or two exceptions, they were cold shit on toast to begin with.

They have sinned in my eyes and in the eyes of the Machine God.  The Job is not getting done.  I am not having this.

I have been watching all of this since January.  I did not wish to take hasty steps on incomplete information.  However, I now have enough information to act on.  I in fact have a surplus of information, and all of it bad.  Changes will be made, and as I told my boss during my interview, hearts will be broken...and not necessarily the hearts of the bad apples.  The situation is so bad that I am not hiring anyone new until I clean this mess up, because anyone I hire will be contaminated by the wretchedness of the current maintenance regime.  No, this requires a fresh start.

I do not intend to fire everyone, but they may leave anyway.  I am absolutely unconcerned with this and have already lined up contractors to cover essential functions while a new crew is assembled, should that be necessary.  In any case, the current management will no longer have their positions, and a supervisor from another one of my groups - who is all about getting The Job Done- will be promoted into management.  He is a beast of a man who understands my values, and it is my guess that once he is promoted, the entire crew except Kevin and Austin will walk out the door.  Whoopsie.

It distresses me that people in my former occupation take no pride at all in what they do, that jobs are left half-completed in a public venue, that kitchen equipment is left down for two weeks at a time, that water testing is pencil-whipped.  My sense of religion has been offended.  The world is not as it should be.

And I am the maintenance man.


I'm not gonna quote this, because I don't want to spoil the sense of alarm and dismay that it will impart on you people.

Also, it's worth noting that more groundwater is extracted by Nestle in Michigan than Jakarta's population uses.

Also, note that Jakarta's actual water system can only keep up with 40% of the city's draw.  Lastly, wells in a mega-urban environment, as a primary source of drinking water. 


Apple Talk / MOVED: The Space Force
« on: August 10, 2018, 04:20:54 am »

Apple Talk / A Rare Moment of Introspection
« on: August 09, 2018, 08:07:21 pm »
What if, hypothetically-speaking, all the things I believed about myself weren't true at all?  What if all the personal reconstruction I've been working on since 2002 or so just left me dumb in a different way?  180 degrees different from the dumbasses, but 360 degrees the same?  For all I know, it is impossible to actually be a feminist if you're a guy or an "ally" if you're straight (not that I will claim or admit to being anyone's ally).  You might THINK you are, but do the women or Gays or blacks or whatnot think of you that way?  Or are you coming across as just another fetishist of their culture?

I've been thinking about this a lot in the last couple of years.  I have not yet reached a conclusion.  Or rather, I have, but then events arrange for me to discard that conclusion and start all over again.  But in the meantime, I have to know how to act, so that I don't accidentally turn into something I don't want to be.  And the way I act is, "follow a set of principles, even if some or many or even MOST of the people involved mean absolutely nothing at all to me."  As an interim solution, at least.  I don't like 99% of the people I meet, but I like watching people punch down even LESS than I like the person being punched.  I am essentially just a really, really disappointed Catholic, at least figuratively speaking.

For example, if I were to see a half dozen po'buckers hassling a transgender person, I'm going to step in, even if it means getting my ass kicked (only in Jackie Chan flicks do 2 people beat 6 people in a fight).  I hate the po'buckers and I hate their victim on account of all 7 people are stupid jumped-up primates on a 3rd rate planet around a mediocre star, but if you added up that hate, it would pale in comparison to my hatred of the idea of six people attacking one person for stupid fucking reasons and/or behavior that doesn't affect the po'buckers in the slightest.  And THAT hate pales next to my hate of 6 Goddamn primates suddenly deciding that they are brave because they have 6:1 odds, when alone they would be your bog-standard gutless wonder wearing a MAGA hat in the unemployment line. For similar reasons, I hate most cops.  Especially right now.

I hate cowards.  That's what it really boils down to.  There have been many times in my life that I've wanted to fuck someone up real bad, but have declined to do so because they are smaller than me or much older than me or just plain stupid drunk.  They were not worthy targets.  Not because I am a saint (I am not), nor because I'm the baddest motherfucker on the block (I am old and my bones are made out of glass), but because I have an aversion to mob psychology and the notion of looking in the mirror and seeing something small.

This has led me to do some truly stupid shit over the years and will probably get me killed some day...But we're all gonna die sooner or later, and why not go down swinging? In any case, don't mistake principle for loyalty...If I jump into a fight or even just an internet debate on your side, it's most likely not because I'm your pal.

Another thing I have been thinking about, and it's somewhat connected is "How do I know that my 'rationality' really IS rationality, and not just a different brand of dumbassery like Trumpsters and chemtrail freaks?  I mean, dumbasses don't know they're dumbasses...which is one of the things that makes them dumbasses. I know that I believe loads of things that just aren't so, but how important are all of those things?  Does my dumbassery screw up my priortities, or is it really just occasional mind garbage?

At this point, at least three people I know of are going to jump in to tell me WHAT.  Save your breath...I don't take advice from people that hate me.  I am at least that rational.  I don't have any use for criticism from people who think I am less than human.  Neither should you, so shut up.

Lastly, does this monstrous ego make my ass look big?  Because that's a thing, too.

Apple Talk / Why even physics is dumb and SHUT UP.
« on: August 08, 2018, 11:29:41 pm »
Okay, according to Newton, if you drop a silver dollar out of your car window, it falls in a straight line.

According to Einstein, if you drop a silver dollar out of your car, you observe it fall in a straight line and a pedestrian walking by watches it fall in a parabolic arc, and both people are correct.

According to Doktor Howl, you're dropping money out the window and you should stop.  If the above named assholes were so smart, why does this have to be explained?

Aneristic Illusions / 2018 Elections fread: A Blue Wave of Failure
« on: August 08, 2018, 05:07:35 pm »’s-elections/ar-BBLElqJ?ocid=spartanntp

First guesses on non-certified primary results.  Sanders and Ocasio's endorsements don't look that great, neither do Trump's.

Apple Talk / My Meeting with LMNO
« on: July 27, 2018, 07:23:11 pm »
I was having some trouble getting the reforecast to make sense this year.  Nothing seemed to add up, and the board was starting to make ominous rumbling noises.  In the old days I would have just laughed and gone back to work, but everything is different now...So I made the call.

When I arrived, LMNO looked pretty good.  I asked him how he was doing.

"Never mind, Dok, we don't have a lot of time.  I have a one o'clock with the Sultan of Brunei. Open your laptop and let's see what you have."

I sat down and fired up the machine, and opened the excel file.  He gazed at it for a few moments.

"I see your problem.  The numbers are right, but you're only looking at them in two dimensions.  Remember back in calc, when they showed you that a line that crosses over itself can still be a function, if it's looked at as a 3-dimensional image?"

"Yeah.  Taylor polynomial shit.  Amazing at first, but they have you run so many it becomes tedious."

"That is to weed out the dilletantes.  People who aren't serious about the language of creation."


He hit pivot table and rendered it in 3D.  Suddenly, all the projections made perfect sense.

"Wow, thanks, LMNO!"

"We're not done yet.  We are now looking at a graph that has 3 axis that are all perpendicular to each other.  That shows you the present and lets you guess at the future.  To SEE the future, we need to add another perpendicular axis."

"You can't.  No further axis are possible."

"Heh.  Zygote."  He added another axis.

Everything, the whole room, outside the windows, I mean everything spun away.  The graph became a shape that my eyes couldn't process, but I KNEW.  In the spaces between the plotted points, the face of Moloch gazed upon me.


"Don't be ridiculous," LMNO said, "We don't worship him.  He's just another market force, like Dagon or what used to be Jehovah."

His eyes were bleeding.  So were mine. I could see the absolute ruin predicted by my reforecast, both for the fiscal year, but also for the following 14 trillion years, until all that was displayed was a universe of atoms too far away from each other to interact.

"Don't look that far along the T axis," he said, "There are no deliverables there."

I scrolled 14 trillion years back to the 0 point.  And I saw all of my political enemies' dirty little secrets, the cheap affairs, the sordid betrayals, the petty embezzlements.

"I understand now, LMNO."

"I knew you would," he said, shaking my hand.  "Welcome to the Old Firm.  We're going to do Great Things."

And nobody ever stopped screaming again.

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