Friday, December 09, 2011

stAllio! glitches in front magazine

i'm pleased to announce that some of my glitches were published in the latest issue (#163) of the british magazine front. specifically, i glitched some photos for their feature on dubstep artist joker.

front is a lifestyle magazine that covers music, video games, culture, and—like all british publications—includes photos of nude women (specifically "alt" women with natural busts). you can buy paper copies from their web shop to be shipped anywhere in the world, or if you prefer virtual magazines that can only be viewed using proprietary software, they have that, too. they even have a censored "SFW" digital version for smartphones and tablets, so if you have an ipad and/or want to avoid any risk of seeing an exposed nipple, you're in luck!

i haven't received my copies yet, but here's a taste of the first two pages, courtesy of antonio roberts, who nipped on down to the newstand to snap some photos for me:

stAllio! glitches in front magazine

i am also available to do glitches at parties or glitch your wedding photos.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

upset about the mote in his brother's eye

gary welsh is frothing at the mouth because a democratic politician said mike pence "is like a rabid dog" in his pursuit of an immigration law for indiana.

gary himself is well-known for using laughably over-the-top language such as his claim last month that "The entire Obama presidency is based on a series of forgeries", so it's odd that he is so upset about the words rabid dog, which are pretty tame as far as political insults go. but perhaps he's not so upset by the words themselves, but by the unforgivable rhetorical offense of name-calling.

People can disagree on the answer to any problem with which we are confronted without resorting to name-calling, but if you are a liberal, it's much easier to resort to the demonization of your political counterparts than debate the merits of your argument.

he concludes his post with this:

If you can't win on the merits of the debate, let the name-calling begin. It takes much less effort to name call than debate the substance of your arguments.

indeed, name-calling takes way less effort than rational debate, which is probably why gary routinely uses it in his own writing. just in the past three weeks, gary:

  • wrote that county clerk beth white is "totally unethical" and "can't be trusted to run impartial elections"
  • in the same post, called lobbyist greg hahn "a highly partisan [...] sleazeball attorney"
  • said of city-council candidate kostas poulakidas, "What a total sleazebag!"
  • wrote that "the [Indianapolis] Star is the best friend the corrupt politicians in this state have" and columnist "Matt Tully is just a tool for the corrupt political insiders in this town"
  • complained that "the Star's editors and reporters are too stupid to realize" that poulakidas was guilty of a felony for sending out a mailer that gary didn't like

to be sure, sifting through gary's blog for ad hominem insults and fallacious reasoning is like picking fleas off a rabid dog—it's easy, but the longer you do it, the more likely you'll end up getting sick.

so when gary complains about name-calling as if it's not his bread and butter, is he being deliberately hypocritical, or just demonstrating his typical lack of self-awareness?

Monday, October 31, 2011

this weekend in chicago: GLI.TC/H 20111

i'm pleased to announce that i will once again be performing in chicago as part of GLI.TC/H! GLI.TC/H is an international glitch art conference and festival, with events and exhibitions in chicago, amsterdam, birmingham, and online. i'll be performing friday night, november 4, at the enemy.

this year i have a special treat: an entire set of all-new, never-before-heard datasound music—my first new material in this vein since true data—with live video accompaniment by video artist glitchard nixon!

also on the bill that night: performances by i ♥ presets, morgan higby-flowers, and cracked ray tube, as well as video screenings and something called glitch karaoke. and that's just one night: GLI.TC/H will be in chicago all weekend, so check the full schedule for more info.

did i mention that all GLI.TC/H events are free? so if you're in the chicago area, you really have no excuse not to show up.

here's a video bumper i put together to promote the conference, with a sneak preview of a few seconds of one of my new tunes... if you want to hear more, you'll either have to show up friday night or wait for the release (tentatively titled does not compute, with possible release next spring):

Saturday, October 22, 2011

difficult populations

from the indy star:

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's words about minority unemployment -- words he says have since been twisted -- found new life this week in a Democratic Party-funded radio ad and during the latest mayoral debate.

Ballard used his opening statement at Friday's debate to call on Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy to yank the ad. The 60-second spot seizes on his use of the phrase "difficult population," uttered during the previous debate Oct. 15 while the mayor was describing the city's efforts to address high unemployment among racial minorities.

The ad -- placed by the Marion County Democratic Party, not Kennedy's campaign -- took his words out of context, Ballard said.

the star complains that they weren't provided a transcript of the debate, and apparently they don't have the reporting manpower to spend 10 minutes on google looking for the video, which is online at WTHR. sadly, WTHR's javascript embed code doesn't seem to work, so you'll have to click the link to go to their site and view it. the question about unemployment starts at about 3:00. kennedy responds first, then mayor ballard; he refers to blacks and other difficult populations at about 4:50. he uses the phrase twice.

watch the video decide for yourself whether the comments were inappropriate. i don't think the context helps him much here; at the least, the mayor is guilty of very poor word choice.

Friday, October 14, 2011

charlie white files specious complaint; bloggers pretend it has merit

secretary of state charlie white, who is awaiting trial for voter fraud among other things, filed a complaint yesterday alleging that former senator evan bayh is also guilty of voter fraud. the complaint (PDF link) is poorly written, poorly reasoned, poorly proofread (if proofread at all), and doesn't even attempt to be impartial—it's more of a rant than a legal brief, full of petty personal attacks on bayh, his family, democrats in general, and the local media. predictably, the local media was not impressed, while conservative bloggers ate it up.

by filing this complaint, white has either effectively admitted guilt, or he has deliberately filed a specious complaint. if he legitimately believes that the charges against him are bunk, then by asking the prosecutor to file the same charges against bayh, he is asking the state to intentionally waste its time on a case where it knows no crime occurred. the only way white's complaint makes sense if you assume that he's guilty. either way, i doubt the judge at his pending criminal trial will be impressed.

bayh's response to the complaint was to call the charges "baseless" and state that white's "situation is factually and legally different than mine." conservative bloggers whined that bayh didn't elaborate on how their cases differ, but this should be obvious to anyone who's willing to think about it. as a town council member, white was expected to truly live within his district and commute to work. this is the whole point of a town council, and white is accused of lying to cover up the fact that he had moved (or was planning to move) out of his district and was thus no longer eligible to serve.

in contrast, as a US senator, bayh's job duties were in washington DC, not in indiana. thus not only did bayh have a legitimate reason to acquire a second home in washington, but his job required him to have two homes, and indeed required him to spend more time at this second home than at his "primary" residence in indiana. on the surface, it may seem odd that we require congress to simultaneously "live" in their "home" states while working full time in DC, but that catch-22 is built into the system—bayh was playing by the same rules all members of congress must play by.

after bayh's term ended at the end of last year, the question then becomes where is his official residence now? the job of congressional representative is unique in that they are technically federally employees but their job is to represent their home state's interests. in a sense their residency in DC is similar to members of the military, who are considered residents of their home states even when stationed elsewhere—except that the military is generally provided room and board, whereas members of congress are expected to maintain two residences. so what happens when they resign or get voted out, and are stuck with two homes?

in his complaint, white notes that dan coats relinquished indiana residency after leaving office in '98, but this ignores the fact that coats had no intention of ever moving back here until he was drafted to run again in 2010, at which point he promptly flew in to establish a home here. (white's complaint makes no mention of whether coats actually "lives" at his new indiana address.) the bayhs claim that their official residence is still in indiana, just as it was while bayh was in office, and that they are only staying in DC temporarily until their kids graduate high school, after which they intend to move back to indiana full-time. this is a plausible enough story (your opinion of the bayhs' trustworthiness notwithstanding), and their case is boosted by the fact that they still carry indiana driver's licenses and have a homestead exemption on their admittedly-crappy northside condo. also, even if they wanted to move back right away, it's not as easy to sell a mansion as it used to be.

white would have you believe that the moment bayh's term expired, he was required to pull the kids out of school and move back to indiana full-time or else lose his indiana residency. this seems extreme considering that the reason bayh moved his kids to DC in the first place was to keep them close while he represented indiana in congress. even if a prosector were nuts enough to press voter fraud charges, no judge or jury would convict.

in short, "factually and legally different" is an understatement—bayh's and white's situations have virtually nothing in common, and you'd have to be willfully obtuse in order to think otherwise. (and that's not even mentioning that white is accused of voting fraudulently in a general election whereas bayh's vote was in a primary, and that bayh voted absentee whereas white voted in person—thus the only recent documented case of in-person voter fraud was committed by a GOP politician.)

one more thing that's odd about white's complaint: his repeated claims that the indiana democratic party "by all accounts, is still led in all but name by Evan
Bayh." to be sure, bayh still holds power here, but he burned a lot of bridges in 2010 when he made a big show about resigning from the senate and then took lobbying work the minute he was out of office. bayh may have once been our golden boy, but he's not very popular with the rank and file these days. furthermore, how would he even find the time to run the state party in addition to all of his lobbying work?

finally, why did carl brizzi, white's attorney, allowed white to embarrass himself like this? throwing these sorts of tantrums is just how white rolls, but brizzi had to know that such a stunt wasn't going to impress anyone who wasn't already convinced, least of all the local media. so why? can brizzi not control his client, or perhaps is brizzi also bitter about how the media treated him during his own scandals? and what value is brizzi adding if he can't even prevent white from humiliating himself?

Monday, October 03, 2011

stAllio! - eggify music video

created in 1999, this music video for "eggify" was probably my first true glitch video, consisting of video feedback, scrambled porn, and garbled closed captioning. due to the scrambled porn, it's not safe for most work environments, as the occasional breast is visible.

youtube was a lot more restrictive about file sizes and the like when this was first posted years ago, so i went back to the original VHS source in order to post this new, higher-resolution video with a lot fewer compression artifacts.

this track is from the long-out-of-print perpetual emotion machine release. someday i'll get my 4-track fixed so that i can remaster pem for mp3 reissue, but that's fairly low on my to-do list.

Friday, September 30, 2011

tully lazily checks in on panhandling

i'll admit: i got a little excited when i saw the headline for matt tully's latest column. mayor ballard and council republicans made a big stink about panhandling a couple years back, and even passed an anti-panhandling bill of dubious constitutionality, so looking back at whether things have changed since then is a great idea for a column and exactly the kind of thing local newspapers should be doing.

Panhandlers' hands still out in Downtown Indianapolis

A week after he was elected mayor, Greg Ballard walked around Downtown with me for more than an hour on a chilly afternoon, talking about his plans and hopes for the city he would soon lead.

At one point, we passed a common Downtown sight: a disheveled man who sat on the sidewalk with a cup and a sign asking for money.

"You won't see that in six months," Ballard said that day in November 2007, confidently promising to take steps to rid Downtown -- at least in large part -- of the panhandlers who seek money from visitors every day, to the frustration of many business leaders.

You might call the end of this story the education of Greg Ballard.

that's a good lede... but you might call it the end of a good column, because from this point on, it quickly degenerates as tully falls into his usual trap of talking to some "experts" and city officials, and uncritically parroting what they say.

the thrust of the column is how panhandling is a "problem" for the city because it creeps people out or something, and we're going to have the super bowl in a few months so god forbid the tourists should encounter any unwashed poor people while they're here. but this is about the worst way you can look at panhandling because it prioritizes the needs of the city's marketing over the needs of the city's inhabitants. when you start viewing panhandling as a problem for the city, you're no longer treating panhandlers as people. it's just a baby step from mayor ballard's statement that "we don't want them around" to abdul's suggestion that someone "get a giant broom and sweep them all away!"

tully makes a point to repeat the city's spin—seemingly mandatory for all indystar writing on this issue—that "most of those asking for money are not homeless". i've quibbled with this before, but ultimately it's not even the right question. the question shouldn't be whether they're homeless, but whether they need help—and most of them do.

tully mentions the city's ineffective homeless donation boxes, which have become a running joke because nobody uses them, but doesn't mention the city's much more troubling panhandling ordinance. as written, the law bans anyone from holding a sign or otherwise soliciting within 50 feet of a stoplight or stop sign. not only has the ban failed to reduce panhandling in the city, but it's selectively enforced, as we knew it would be—every day i pass at least 1-2 live sign holders who are in clear violation. often these live sign holders are wearing outlandish costumes, shaking their signs vigorously, or even dancing around, which is far more distracting and dangerous than most panhandling.

mayor ballard probably means well, but his perspective is skewed. panhandling isn't the problem—it's a symptom of the problem. the real problem is poverty, and panhandling isn't going away while our poverty rates are so high.

i suppose i shouldn't have expected too much from tully on this issue—his last panhandling column was just as bad.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

new bad taste releases out now

bad taste is back (again) with two new releases for free download, including a new AWIA EP and an album by an AWIA contributor:

bt#33: baconhanger – legion
it's been three years since the release of his debut, but baconhanger hasn't been slacking off—he's been sharpening his production skills! the beats and textures are as punishing as ever, but now they cut like a knife instead of bludgeoning you into submission. call him legion, for his breaks are massive!

bt#34: animals within animals – macho EP
a musical tribute to a longtime unofficial bad taste mascot, as only AWIA can deliver! we remember macho man randy savage, from his wrestling career to his rap album to his classic catchphrase… and who could forget his slim jim commercials? concludes with a moving eulogy delivered by macho man himself!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

working the refs

the state of indiana (read: AG greg zoeller) wants to move the battle to defund planned parenthood out of the courts to where it belongs: some administrator's desk in washington:

Indiana asked a federal appeals court Monday to lift a judge's order blocking parts of a new abortion law that cuts some public Planned Parenthood funding, saying the issue should be decided by Medicaid officials and not the courts.

The 44-page brief asks the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to reverse U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt's June 24 preliminary injunction, which barred the state from cutting Medicaid funds to the organization because it provides abortions.


In its brief filed Monday, Indiana says federal Medicaid officials, not the courts, should determine the law's legality.

that makes sense: let medicaid officials do their jobs! if you're wondering where medicaid officials will eventually come down on this issue, you only need to wait negative two months:

The state is appealing Medicaid Administrator Donald Berwick's June 1 decision rejecting changes to Indiana's Medicaid plan brought on by the new law. Berwick contended Medicaid recipients have the right to obtain treatment from any qualified provider, including those that provide abortions.

so the issue should be decided by medicaid officials, not the courts. except when medicaid officials make a decision you disagree with, in which case the issue should be decided by some other medicaid officials.

Monday, August 01, 2011

prostitution fine?

the indy star has the latest about a local prostitution sting where prostitutes are fined for code enforcement violations:

Arrest a hooker, and she will face a night in jail and, in some cases, a small fine. But write her a ticket, and she'll face a fine of up to $2,500 and a court order to find a new line of work.

City Prosecutor Helen Marchal said the fines are up to $7,500 for repeat offenders. The typical fine is about $500.

"With the civil case, you really hurt them by dipping into their pocketbooks," Marchal said. "If the arrest doesn't act as a deterrent, maybe the fine will."

A city ordinance requires escorts to get a license. An escort license is $103 for a person. Licensed escorts also must work for a city-approved escort agency, which needs a separate license that costs $319.

Because the city has no licensed escorts, Code Enforcement administrator Adam Collins said, any working in Indianapolis are violating the ordinance.

this makes no sense. the city budget is a wreck, with less revenue coming in every year. the mayor is desperately scouring the budget for "fluff" and selling off hunks of infrastructure just to get money to pave the streets and fix our overflowing sewers. so why we do have a law that allows the city to issue escort licenses if we're never going to issue any licenses? the city could be generating extra revenue just by following the laws that are already on the books.

if prostitution is truly such a terrible moral scourge on our community, then just increase the criminal penalties. don't fine people for not having a license that the city refuses to issue—that's hypocritical government.

update: paul ogden has more about why this is bad policy:

Unfortunately the reporter missed a critical part of the strategy involved in the City's treating this as a civil ordinance violation rather as a criminal offense - most of the constitutional protections that apply to protect someone charged with a crime, doesn't apply if the City treats the offenses as civil ordinance violation.

indeed, the star story even acknowledges that one person caught by the sting refused to participate in a sex act with the undercover officers but was still ticketed... despite committing no crime.

Friday, July 29, 2011

glitch gifs

though i've been dabbling in glitch video for years (as my youtube channel will attest), one format i haven't worked with too much is the animated gif... until recently, that is.

i've been posting these full-size on flickr—here is my flickr set of glitch videos and animations. but there's one big problem with hosting animated gifs on flickr: flickr automatically creates copies of your images in multiple sizes, but its resizing scripts don't preserve animations. (in fact, they're automatically converted to jpg regardless of your original image format. so my resized gifs aren't even gifs anymore!)

as such, the only way to view animated gifs on flickr is to view them at original size. this sort of works for me, but only because i post most of my images using a creative commons license. (original size view is not available on copyrighted photos.)


in short, flickr is a pretty lousy service for hosting animated gifs. yes, you can host the files there and save yourself the server space, but flickr's sharing facilities just aren't set up to support animated gifs. flickr does support video files, but there's no way to make them loop (which is kind of the point of making gifs).

however, i've identified a better service for sharing gifs: google+! google+ allows you to post animated gifs right to your stream, where others can +1 them, reshare them, leave snooty comments, and whatnot. (at least in web browsers; i've heard reports that the mobile g+ apps don't yet support animated gifs.) you do still need to worry about the images being resized, but only if they're wider than 402 pixels. this isn't ideal, but it works well enough, so if you're on google+ and want to see some glitch gifs, go ahead and add me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

you mean those things can run on batteries?

shorter abdul hakim shabazz: some woman tried to convince me she was homeless, but i know she was lying because she wouldn't've known who i was if she didn't have a radio, and of course homeless people can't operate radios because they don't have electricity.

Friday, July 08, 2011

so i played some shows in june... (or: two new tracks)

i played a couple shows in nashville and louisville a few weeks back. i sold a little merch, went to cool places like the patterson house and eiderdown, bought a bunch of records at great escape, and of course got to hang out with old friends like pimpdaddysupreme, EBNC, dj empirical, trademark G of the evolution control committee, and more. good times.

in addition to premiering two new tracks, i also busted my ass preparing glitch video for the nashville show (which nobody really watched). here's some video filmed by EBNC:

my two new tracks feature a new twist on my post-mashup style: they have more overlapping and layering. i deliberately avoided using much layering on a huge smash, as i was trying to explore other compositional techniques—and in particular, i wanted to demonstrate that you can do a lot more in the "mashup" realm than just laying two tracks on top of another and calling it a day. of course, the problem isn't that layering is bad, but that too many use it lazily. so, after introducing some different musical ideas in the mash smarter EP and exploring them in increasingly complex ways over the course of a huge smash, the time felt right to start playing around with layering again.

first up, i decided to revisit the title track from mash smarter not harder—the original track is strong, but the edits unfold pretty slowly compared to the stuff i'm doing now, and i wanted to play with some of those samples again in a more sophisticated way. the result was the drastically reworked "smartass mix", which is up on soundcloud:

stAllio! - mash smarter not harder (smartass mix) by stallio

the other track is the all-new "bust a groove", which can be heard in the video above, and is also on soundcloud:

stAllio! - bust a groove by stallio

i'm extremely pleased with both of these tracks. i think they're more accessible than some of my other post-mashup work but still live up to the principle of "mashing smarter", and i think you'll agree.

Friday, June 17, 2011

rhythm & soul

in addition to composing two new tracks that i'll be premiering at tomorrow night's show in nashville, i've also been busting ass over the past few days preparing video. here's a quick taste:

(i don't know if there will be a video setup at tuesday night's show in louisville.)

Monday, June 06, 2011

a huge mistake

as if the guy in the $800 suit is going to take photos of his junk. come on!

stAllio! live events in june

i will be traveling to the land of dixie this month for not one but two live events, both of which should be worth checking out.

first up, i'll be opening for the evolution control committee in nashville on saturday, june 18:

the ECC arguably invented the "mashup" back in the '90s and continues to make appropriation-based music that is both well-produced and conceptually clever—particularly refreshing these days when so many just slap the vocals from one song atop the instrumental from another, without bothering to check whether the keys match or the beats are propertly synched. the ECC's latest album, all rights reserved, is brilliant from top to bottom, and is positively bursting with fresh ideas. if you haven't heard it, stream it here:

i've shared bills with the ECC before (at recycled rainbow events, back when they were held indoors), but this will be our first show together at a traditional music venue. also performing are my old friends pimpdaddysupreme and dj empirical, as well as local dj/producer quiet entertainer.

then on tuesday, june 21, i'll be playing the first night of the louisville experimental festival. this five-day experimental music event features 24 acts, including my old friend noiseman433 on thursday. my tuesday night show includes pete fosco, naughtmare, tropical trash, and bone crusher.

so come on out for a good time! and southern ECC fans, take note: this will be the ECC's only show in the region. they put on a great live show, so it may be worth driving a couple hours for this one.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

check the kerning!

so the governator has a love child, and all gary welsh can think about is obama's birth certificate:

Barack Obama waited four years to release a long-form birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii, even if it proves on its face he was not a natural born citizen because it confirms his father was not a U.S. citizen, which made him a dual citizen. No, dual citizens are not natural born citizens, but we won't waste your time on that since the Omedia has declared the U.S. Constitution means something no federal court has ever said it means. To the point of this post, only a day after America learned former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a love child with a domestic worker who worked in his home more than a decade ago, the media has obtained the long-form birth certificate for the child. No, Arnold is not listed as the father.

ah well; at least he admits that obama was born in the US, even if his understanding of citizenship is wrong.

More importantly, the Omedia could care less that the document posted on the official White House website and represented as Obama's true long-form birth certificate is a total fraud and has been proven such by numerous document experts who have examined it.

got that? obama's long-form birth certificate, which "proves on its face he was not a natural born citizen", "is a total fraud and has been proven such by numerous document experts".

gary doesn't bother to post links to any of these document analyses, nor does he explain how a fraudulent document can prove anything. fortunately, melyssa turns up in the comments and links to this video, citing it as "absolute proof" that obama's long-form birth certificate is a fake.

yes, the document is a fake because "it uses kerning". KERNING PROVES IT!

for good measure, melyssa stops by my blog and posts the same link here, asking "Refute the kerning on his birth certificate, please. I'll listen."

melyssa is presumably old enough to have used a few typewriters in her day—i sure am—but seems to have forgotten what it was actually like. due to their analog nature, they were imprecise machines. they didn't produce perfect, consistently aligned text like today's word processors do. any number of factors could affect the relative spacing between characters. for example, blogger paraleaglenm—who's no fan of president obama—was able to reproduce this supposedly "impossible" kerning by varying how rapidly the letters were typed. hunt-and-peck typing produced wide spacing between letters, whereas typing in rapid succession resulted in letters that were much closer together.

this is just one possible explanation, though it sounds likely to me. at any rate, the idea that "kerning was impossible" using 1960s typewriters ignores the reality of how 1960s typewriter functioned. whether or not you can set the kerning on any given typewriter is irrelevant, because the assumption that kerning is the only possible explanation for irregular spacing in a typed document is erroneous. false assumptions beget erroneous conclusions.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

chocolate-dipped delete cookies

after posting this morning about the delete, accept, and deny cookie stamps i'm selling on etsy, i spent a fair part of the afternoon perfecting my "dipping" technique so i could make these chocolate-dipped delete cookies!

chocolate-dipped delete cookies

these beauties start with a sugar cookie base but kick it up a notch with a thick layer of semisweet chocolate. the result is similar to something you might get from pepperidge farm, but fresh-baked instead of store-bought. my wife fell in love with them instantly—and to be frank, she'd been getting sick of cookies lately, as i made countless batches of them while developing the stamps... and we're supposed to be dieting!

for the chocolate, i just melted some semisweet chocolate chips. you could use baking chocolate, higher-grade fancy chocolate (dark, white, milk, etc), or go in a different direction and use candy coating, butterscotch, or whatever... as long as it will be solid at room temperature.

for the molding process, i found it best to lay the cookie stamp on my work area, stamp-side up, and spread melted chocolate onto the cookie stamp so that it covers the text. then i pressed a prebaked cookie onto the chocolate, flipped the whole thing over, and put it in the freezer for a few minutes to make it set more quickly.

for the cookies pictured above, i filled the cookie stamps with a layer of colored sprinkles before spreading the melted chocolate. this really makes the lettering pop.

bake your own delete cookies!

i'm pleased to announce my latest project: delete, accept, and deny cookie stamps!


for generations, bakers have used cookie stamps to decorate cookies and other treats. now, traditional baking meets in the internet age in the form of these hand-made silicone cookie stamps, which enable you to bake your own delete cookies, accept cookies, and deny cookies, perfect for your next LAN party or IT department meeting!


i'm selling these cookie stamps at my brand-new etsy shop, where you can get a set of all three for just $9.95 plus shipping. i've also set up a page here with baking tips and links to recipes (like these delicious maple butter cookies), in case you've never rolled out cookie dough or used cookie stamps before.

i must stress that these cookie stamps are hand-made, so supplies are limited. if demand is strong, that will probably motivate me to fix up another batch or two, but the only way to be sure you get a set is to act now, because i won't keep selling these forever.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

as close to a retraction as you're going to get

late last night, i pointed out that advance indiana's gary welsh had fallen for a ridiculous satire about president obama's birth certificate.

in my post, i wondered whether gary would post a retraction—and figured he wouldn't, since he has never retracted anything in his years of printing misinformation.

turns out i was right. sometime in the middle of the night (or early morning), gary discovered he'd been had and, in an effort to hide his humiliation, silently deleted the post in question. fortunately, i had to foresight to take screenshots:

secretly deleting posts is bad blogger ethics, but is probably as close to publicly admitting a mistake as gary is capable of.

gary welsh duped by satire

in a post that ironically begins "I know I am as cynical as they come", gary welsh of advance indiana proceeds to fall hook, line, and sinker for a satirical article which claims that a group of high school students have discovered president obama's long-form birth certificate to be a fake.

the article was posted at the san diego reader's satire section, which is titled SD ON THE QT - ALMOST FACTUAL NEWS.

i've said before that gary will print anything negative about obama, no matter how ridiculous, and again he proves me right. this is particularly embarrassing considering that gateway pundit's jim hoft had already been rightly mocked for falling for the same article more than 24 hours earlier. (in fact, gary probably found the article via gateway pundit, and immediately assumed it to be true without checking, as he does for every obama conspiracy.)

so now we return to the eternal question: will gary welsh post a retraction?

i'm betting he won't, since as we all know, the man is utterly incapable of admitting a mistake.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

the city is melting

i had a bit of a surprise during my evening commute last night. as i headed east on W 79th st, i discovered that the road was covered with some sort of black substance. i couldn't tell what it was, but it was obviously very sticky because as i drove over it, my tires made a ripping sound so loud that it drowned out the engine noise of my 10-year-old car. this continued for a good half mile until 79th ended and i turned onto spring mill.

but when i saw this indy star story, i knew the mystery was solved:

Melting sealant snarls traffic on Westside roadway

Melting sealant on the roadway is causing rush hour traffic issues on a mile-long stretch along a Westside road.

Sealant that was used to fix cracks in the roadway before winter was heating up and turning into to a sticky form that was getting all over motorists cars, said Mike Pruitt, Wayne Township Fire Department spokesman.

there was just one catch: the article said the melting sealant was on high school road, which is miles away from 79th st. clearly this was happening in more than one place. i shot reporter gretchen becker a quick email about my experience, and she wrote back to let me know she'd pass it on to DPW.

apparently i wasn't the only one, because here's the latest version of the story:

Indianapolis officials are investigating why recently repaved potholes left a gooey substance on vehicles throughout the city.

The Department of Public Works said in a release that crack sealant was bleeding on various streets. Crews are placing sand over areas of concern today, an effort that began late Wednesday after the city learned about the problem.

Early reports indicate that rainy weather followed by a rapid rise in temperatures could have contributed to the bleeding sealant.

Motorists with damaged vehicles should call (317) 327-4039 for information about filing a claim.

it remains to be seen how extensive a problem this is. we don't know how many crews used this apparently-defective sealant, nor for how long, nor how prone to melting it really is. this could be a freak happening that is out of the news within a day or so.

at least, mayor ballard had better hope so. word is that road construction is going to be a pillar of his reelection campaign, so the last thing he wants is for the public to get the impression that his road crews have been doing shoddy work.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

jocelyn-tandy runs in another primary

primary elections are today in indiana. i'm not enough of a party wonk to get excited about primaries, but i have been intently following one race: the republican races for city-county council, where perennial also-ran jocelyn-tandy adande has been vying for an at-large seat.

jocelyn-tandy is no stranger to local politics. a former democrat, she ran in the democratic primary against the late julia carson in '96—her crushing defeat inspired an epic grudge and countless conspiracy theories about "the carson machine". she lost another landslide primary against bart peterson in '99. and she was involved in one of local democrats' most embarrassing fiascos of the last couple decades: she was the campaign manager for bob hidalgo kern in his disastrous run again dan burton.

(kern managed to sneak his way onto the ballot and even win his primary before the public caught word that he was a convicted felon. [choice JT quote from that article: "Bobby's election to the House will drive standards no lower than what they've already reached."] the party sued to get him thrown off the ballot, but failed. kern's candidacy was featured on the daily show at the time, a taste of which can be seen here.)

i first became aware of jocelyn-tandy via the indy star's long-deleted INtouch blog, where her writings were so over-the-top that she was kicked off the blog and her posts were excised. from there, she degenerated to copying and pasting her tirades in the comments sections of various right-wing blogs, having long since realized that the republican party was a better place for homophobes like herself.

she's been a republican for years now. this year's primary isn't even her first as a republican—after julia carson passed away, jocelyn-tandy ran (and lost) against jon elrod to become the republican nominee to replace her. but local republicans, terrified that the ballot's alphabetical order would let her eke out a victory over their chosen slate, sent out an attack mailer against her, complete with unflattering photo. the mailer accuses her of being some sort of liberal plant (as opposed to the die-hard social conservative that she is) who changed her name to trick voters (arguably true, but it happened more than a decade ago).

are republicans right to be concerned? will jocelyn-tandy finally win a primary election, after 15 years of trying? we should know in a few hours!

update: she's nothing if not consistent: jocelyn-tandy loses again, with only half as many votes as the next guy. what will she run for next year?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

republican math

gary welsh reposts a press release from indiana GOP chairman eric holcomb:

Democrats continue to fight for narrow special interests clamoring for the status quo. A finance report filed last week shows the entire Urbana hotel bill was footed by unions - many of them out-of-state.

Unions contributed $139,000 to the Indiana Democrat Party during the walkout, every penny of which went to pay off the $84,953.70 hotel tab.

wow, every penny of their $139k contribution went to paying off an $85k tab?

hmmm... there seems to be something wrong with that statement, but i can't quite put my finger on what it is...
$139k - $85k = $54k
...oh, i see what the problem is. he said "democrat party"—the correct name is democratic party.

Monday, April 18, 2011

bad taste is back!

oh frubjous day! after having been down for three months, the bad taste site has been resurrected once more!

after the catastrophic failure of our old hosting service, some data was lost. the old bad taste blog is gone into the ether, for example. so we're going to take this opportunity to rebuild and redesign the site from the bottom up. but that could take a while, and after being gone so long we didn't want to leave you hanging, so we made sure that the mp3 section is well stocked. in addition to our page of free ringtones, we have thirteen releases available for free download, including one that has never before been available for donwload—the classic mainline VS temple ov S_i_D split! the mainline side, japanese soundscapes of effects is 100% analog—four tracks of soundscapes and chill-yet-warm beats assembled using classic analog synths. temple ov S_i_D is a chiptune side project by dr. butcher m.d. devoted to the commodore 64's legendary SID chip. need i say more?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

hipsters: the more you know

i've finally learned what the word "hipster" means:

hipsters: the more you know

knowledge is power!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

on hiring ex-offenders

so gary welsh posted a screed this morning lamenting how outrageous it is that the city has programs for helping ex-offenders find jobs. in particular, he's up in arms that ex-offenders are landing city jobs driving garbage trucks, cleaning up parks, and the like.

i know fear of crime is big in right-wing politics, but i'm puzzled about what's supposed to be so bad about mayor ballard's ex-offender programs, because frankly i believe those to be among the mayor's most admirable initiatives.

in our criminal justice system, if you're convicted of a crime and fulfill the terms of your punishment, then that's supposed to be that. you did the crime, now do the time, as they say. but the reality is that there are few opportunities for those who've been incarcerated. when you get out, you have no money, often have no support system, and finding even a crappy mcjob can be a mighty struggle because lots of employers discriminate against ex-offenders. many end up returning to crime out of sheer desperation—they're broke, desperate, unable to find work, and crime may be the only life they know.

the best hope for breaking the cycle of recidivism is to help ex-offenders find stable jobs, housing, and support systems so that they can learn how to become upstanding members of society. mayor ballard wants to do that, but this makes gary welsh very angry. so what does gary think should happen to the city's ex-offenders? are they supposed to curl up and die? should we lock them up and throw away the key? should they just remain criminals, hopping in and out of prison until they get shanked in the shower? should their useful indiscretions doom them to life as a permanent underclass, barred from getting cushy jobs like working with "solid waste"? should we just give them a one-way bus ticket to cincinnati and let someone else deal with them?

i don't often find reason to praise mayor ballard, but i whole-heartedly support his ex-offender re-entry programs and feel we need more such programs, not less. they're good for the ex-offenders, good for the community, and even good for the economy—incarcerating people costs tax money; getting them jobs creates tax revenue. there is no down side—unless you believe that people can never change and there's no such thing as rehabilitation... in which case we probably shouldn't release people from prison at all.

update: i'd been hoping that paul ogden would try to talk some sense into gary, but no, he now has a post up calling ballard's program "insane". he writes, "While we shouldn't rule out people convicted from working for the city, it certainly shouldn't be a positive chip on the side of the applicant." but why not? it's a public good for ex-offenders to be able to find gainful employment when they get out, so what's the harm in setting aside a few jobs in order to help that happen? i can't think of a more benign or effective way to achieve that goal, and ogden sure doesn't propose any.

furthermore, i would argue that the program doesn't conflict with the mayor's overall focus on public safety, as ogden claims. on the contrary, the program makes our community safer by helping ex-offenders go legit rather than fall back into old criminal habits. but ogden may be right that a lot of republican voters won't see it that way.

Friday, April 08, 2011

why newspapers are dying

well, this is embarrassing.

on tuesday, republican paul ryan released a federal budget proposal that would, among other things, slash taxes on the rich, abolish medicare and replace it with vouchers, and do something similar with medicaid.

since that time, the internet has been awash with commentary, as a million commentators with a million keyboards point out a million flaws with ryan's plan. for example:

i could go on, but i think you get my point: ryan's budget is a joke, a fantasy. it could never pass, it relies on numbers that have been called "insane", and most absurd of all, under the plan, the debt would be higher than if we did nothing.

so i was flabbergasted when i saw the headline to today's lead editorial in the indy star:

Finally, a serious plan to cut deficit

this would've been humiliating enough if it had run wednesday morning. if it had, it would've shown that, like too many in the media, the star ed board is easily impressed by "bold" plans that take drastic measures, even if those plans rest on fallacious premises and rely on magical thinking. it would've shown that screwing the poor is all you need to do for the ed board to brand you as "serious".

but the fact that this ran today—after the internet has been tearing the ryan plan to shreds for three days—is mortifying. today, as the threat of a federal government shutdown looms, the star runs an editorial praising a budget plan that was shown to be sham days ago. they are shockingly, disgracefully behind the times.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

an old track, but it's new to you

i've been digging through some old tunes lately—both old records i haven't listened to in a while as well as tracks i produced back in the day—and i stumbled across a databent track called "denial of service". this track was recorded early in the true data sessions* and i was quite pleased with it at the time, but i made around eight tracks and there was only room for four on the record, so it got cut. however, unlike the other tracks that got cut—two of which have been on my mp3 page for ages—"denial of service" somehow slipped through the cracks and i forgot about it.

as such, i believe this track has never been released in any format. that seemed like a damn shame, so i uploaded it to soundcloud:

stAllio! - denial of service by stallio

* true data, of course, is available for streaming on soundcloud, and still available as a 12" in the AWIA shop.

Friday, April 01, 2011

talk talk talk talk talk

did you know that the legendary metal band black sabbath wasn't always called black sabbath? this isn't an april fool's joke, folks! at one time, the band was called earth and they played hippy crap like everyone else in the '60s. then one day they wrote a really creepy song called "black sabbath" and realized they were on to something, so they took the song title as their band name and began exploring their new sound. the rest is history.

i like to imagine a similar origin story for the new-wave band talk talk, whose first single was titled—wait for it—"talk talk". apparently, the song was a cover: the original was called "talk talk talk talk", so maybe they decided to split the title in half and use the first half as their band name. talk talk - talk talk? guys, that's brilliant!

so my wife and i have been watching a lot of the 120 minutes video block on vh1 classic, and they play "talk talk" a lot. like, every time. way more than they play "it's my life", which was talk talk's big hit in the US. we wondered why this might be, and concluded it was likely due to ringtone sales. vh1 classic is all about selling ringtones these days, and "talk talk" is uniquely suited to ringtone use thanks to its lyrical content (or lack thereof).

of course, vh1's ringtones are a huge ripoff ($5.99/month gets you two whole ringtones each month!), and you'd be better off getting the song elsewhere and copying it to your phone manually. my wife mentioned this—that you could make your own talk talk ringtone—and at that moment, i was struck by inspiration—create the ultimate talk talk ringtone, stripped down to its essence: just the parts where he says "talk".

so here it is: the talk edit ringtone of "talk talk". and for your enjoyment, here's the full video version:

kind of hypnotic, actually...

Monday, March 28, 2011

new stAllio! video: pull up to my buffer

i present to you the second video from a huge smash, titled "pull up to my buffer".

the song is a meditation on digital audio artifacts caused by buffering, low bandwidth, and the like, so it was only natural use datamoshing techniques to create a video with accompanying visual glitches. thanks are due to datamosher and danieljalex for their tutorials on the subject.

Friday, March 25, 2011

carlos lam goes on the lam

probably the biggest story out of indiana yesterday is that of carlos lam, former deputy prosecutor in johnson county. lam got in trouble for an email he wrote to wisconsin governor scott walker suggesting he take inspiration from bob roberts in his battle with the state's unions:

I've been involved in GOP politics here in Indiana for 18 years, and I think that the situation in WI presents a good opportunity for what's called a "false flag" operation. If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions. Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.

when lam's email became public, his first impulse was to lie and say his account had been hacked:

Lam, who had asked that his name not be used, said he was particularly concerned since "the person who wrote this seems to know a lot about me" and his account "had been hacked in the past." On the advice of Cooper, he took down his Facebook page, changed his cell phone number, email passwords, "library, medical, bank, student loan, and a whole host of records," and was afraid for his and his family's safety.

to his credit, later that day he confessed and resigned from the prosecutor's office. but the part about taking down his facebook page and phone numbers may be true after all. i can't find him on facebook, the phone number he signed at the bottom of his letter to walker has been disconnected, and now his blogs have disappeared.

when i heard about this story, my first reaction was that i recognized his name, because i'd come across him before on the local blogs. so i checked his blogger profile, where he had two blogs: PERFblog and Catholics Allied for the Faith. as of this morning, both blogs have been deleted... but both are at this moment still in the google cache.

PERFblog was a deeply wonky blog about indiana retirement benefits, so it's a difficult read, but even if the jargon looks like alpha-bits to your eyes, it's easy to understand sentiments like this:

Given this reality, state government will eventually (a) tell public employees to get screwed because the money's just not there, (b) cut the budget to fund retirees' pensions, or (c) change the system so that the liabilities don't grow as quickly. I really hope that (c) is the choice, but we public employees have to do our part: we cannot let union/collectivist leaders scare our fellow public servants into believing that a defined benefit plan is the best retirement option for public employees!

i've taken the liberty of fishing PERFblog out of the google cache and reposting it here on my site. as for his catholic blog, though it's as firmly right-wing as PERFblog, full of references to snowflake babies and latin mass, i'm not archiving it because it's not germane to this discussion. for the time being, it's still viewable in the google cache, though it will disappear within a few days.

but though he can delete his blogs, he can't delete the comments he left on other blogs. lam was an occasional commenter at conservative blogs such as advance indiana and ogden on politics—the short-lived PERFblog was even on ogden's blogroll. neither blog has mentioned lam's resignation, nor the reason for it. he was also a frequent commenter on the investing site, leaving some 1,300 comments there over the past couple years.

i must say that, after skimming through his comments on those sites (well, i got bored after about 8 pages of seeking alpha comments [out of 88]), i haven't found any bombshells. don't get me wrong: his right-wing politics shine through. but in the context of right-wing blog comments, his comments are run-of-the-mill. certainly nothing that rises to the standard of encouraging an elected official to engage in psy-ops against his own constituents. maybe he just kept those sorts of ideas confined to private correspondence.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


yesterday, i composed 2/3 of a post explaining my decision to cease writing about politics on this blog. then today, i succumbed to temptation and wrote my longest political post of the past six months. obviously, yesterday's announcement would've been premature, as i'm apparently unready to go cold turkey.

it mostly boils down to my suspicion that this blog is not the right forum for that type of content. the blog format has never really made sense. it's a personal blog; it's about music and art, with some media criticism thrown in; and then there's a bunch of stuff about indiana politics. the people who come here to read about databending or post-mashup music couldn't care less about indiana politics. readers who enjoy my political commentary by-and-large aren't into glitch art or experimental music.

so political blogging here will remain intermittent for the time being, until i can find a better forum for such content. one idea is to just split this blog in two, but i suspect i wouldn't post enough to keep a solo political blog fresh. perhaps a better solution would be a nice group blog or diary-based site where the responsibility for posting new content wouldn't be mine alone to bear. something like the old blue indiana (which has been down for retooling for months), for instance.

on closing the "gun show loophole"

mayoral candidate melina kennedy recently unveiled her plan to combat illegal guns, perhaps the most-talked-about aspect of which is her support for closing the gun show loophole.

though kennedy emphasizes that she's only talking about illegal guns, not legal gun owners, her plan still elicited complaints from the usual suspects. probably the most unconvincing was paul ogden's assertion that "although I've never bought a gun at a gun show, I'm told the "loophole" doesn't exist."

sorry paul, but whoever told you this was either lying or being disingenuous. everyone knows that the loophole exists—they either claim it's not a "loophole" but the law working as planned (that's not a bug; it's a feature!) or they argue that it's not a "gun show" loophole because it's not gun show–specific. abdul goes with the latter:

Melina also wanted to target what she says is a "loophole" in the law that in some instances a criminal can go to an existing gun show and buy a gun with no questions asked and no background check. That's not the entire story. Anyone can buy a gun at a gun show without a background check if they are buying the gun from another person and not a dealer. They can also do it at 86th and Meridian, 62nd and College, 115 W. Washington, 148 E. Market Street or 912 N. Delaware. The gun show is not the issue, in fact according to FBI statistics, less than 1% of guns used in crimes are purchased at gun shows.

Ask any experienced law enforcement officer and he or she will tell you that the gun used in a crime was likely stolen or traded for drugs. No criminal in his right mind is going to walk into a place, full of undercover law enforcement by the way, and buy a gun that can be traced back to him. The real world doesn't operate that way. And if you look at latest shootings in Indianapolis, I don't think the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show was responsible for weapons ending up in the hands of criminals.

where to start? let's go in order.

first, yes, the gun show loophole might more accurately be called the "occasional seller loophole"—the law states that, as opposed to licensed firearm dealers, "occasional sellers" (a term which isn't defined) may sell firearms without a background check. this loophole defeats the purpose of requiring background checks at all, but is technically not limited to gun shows. (of course, you need to know how to find someone with guns to sell, which is why they often congregate at... gun shows.)

whether this distinction means anything depends on the wording of the proposed legislation. to be sure, a bill that applied only to gun shows wouldn't completely close the loophole, only constrict it. but a bill that required all purchases to go through a background check regardless of venue (like current laws in california and elsewhere—PDF link, see pps 10–11), would. the proposed federal gun show loophole closing act, supported by kennedy and mayors against illegal guns, only applies to gun shows, but that's hardly melina kennedy's fault. it would still make a dent in illegal gun trafficking.

second, abdul doesn't cite a source for his "FBI statistics" but i eventually tracked them down to this report (PDF) by the DOJ's bureau of justice statistics. this was a study of prisoners about where they acquired their guns. .7% said they bought their guns from gun shows. gun supporters claim this to be proof that gun shows aren't a problem, but this fails to take into account whether the person who sold them the gun got it at a gun show (or the person who sold it to that person, etc). as the ATF explains (PDF link, p17):

Gun shows are also places where buyers can choose to buy from the primary (firearms sold by FFLs) or secondary (firearms resold by unlicensed sellers) firearms markets. Secondhand firearms are far more difficult than new guns for law enforcement officials to trace to the most recent seller. This is because secondhand firearms likely have left the hands of FFLs, who are required to keep records, into the hands of unlicensed persons who are not required to keep records. Even if the secondhand guns are resold to an FFL, they are untraceable, because the trace will effectively end at the last sale in the unbroken chain of licensed sellers. The access to anonymous sales and large numbers of secondhand firearms makes gun shows attractive to criminals.


A prior review of ATF gun show investigations shows that prohibited persons, such as convicted felons and juveniles, do personally buy firearms at gun shows and gun shows are sources of firearms that are trafficked to such prohibited persons. The gun show review found that firearms were diverted at and through gun shows by straw purchasers, unregulated private sellers, and licensed dealers. Felons were associated with selling or purchasing firearms in 46 percent of the gun show investigations. Firearms that were illegally diverted at or through gun shows were recovered in subsequent crimes, including homicide and robbery, in more than a third of the gun show investigations.

furthermore, going back to that BJS study, about 40% said they got their guns from friends or family, and about 5% said they got guns at pawn shops or flea markets. a california-style background check law would apply to all of these. as for the 40% who got their guns from "street/illegal sources", again it's impossible to know how many of those guns might have been bought at gun shows at some point earlier in the supply chain. according to the ATF, around 30% of guns involved in trafficking come from gun shows (see pps 12–13 of that ATF PDF).

third, as for abdul's claim that "no criminal in his right mind" would buy a gun at a gun show "that could be traced to him", i think i've already shown this to be nonsense. the whole point is that guns purchased from unlicensed sellers are untraceable!

to be sure, weapons trafficking takes place at gun shows, and weapons sold at gun shows end up being used to commit crimes. the loophole that allows this to take place is real. melina kennedy and others support a federal law that would partially close this loophole and thus reduce illegal gun trafficking. would she support a stricter bill that requires background checks for all purchases, regardless of venue? that's a question only she can answer... but it's also a moot point if no such bill is in the works.

Friday, March 11, 2011

break you off an MSPAINT remix

the buzz surrounding sonification has died down a bit—it's hard out there for a meme. but in order to stay in front of this thing, i decided to remix that ms paint audio.

after all, making songs out of sonified data has been one of my signature styles for more than a decade, so i might as well show people how it's done. it's rare for me to make an entire song out of one data file (i may have done this for "supercharge breakfast", but otherwise never have), since i usually prefer to collect a large palette of samples. but i think this turned out pretty well:

Windows 7 x64 MS Paint EXE (stAllio! remix) by stallio

yes, it's on my new soundcloud account. in case you missed the update, you can now stream my true data 12" on soundcloud as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

sonification goes viral?

yesterday, youtube user r2blend posted a video titled MS Paint Interpereted as audio data = Awesome music! it was also posted on soundcloud. already, the soundcloud post has 160k plays, and is now circulating the blogs. (here it is on boingboing.)

r2blend had just discovered the wonder of sonification. of course, sonification is nothing new. i've been experimenting with it for 15 years now! in fact, back in 2009, i wrote part 2 of my databending primer specifically about this topic. (ironically, at the time i submitted the link to boingboing and they never posted about it, but rather than excoriate them for being late to the party, let's just be glad they finally arrived.) if you're at all interested in this topic, i highly recommend you check it out; it's full of detailed information.

if you want to hear some glitch music created using this technique, check out my dissonance is bliss EP from 1999 (available for free download) or my true data 12" (currently only available on vinyl, but i may put it online somewhere now that sonification is hot... in fact maybe i need to start a soundcloud account available for streaming on soundcloud).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

just no facts, ma'am

here's a heartwarming AP story (in its entirety) about a local company that is more loyal to its community and to its employees than to its bottom line:

GOSHEN, Ind. -- The owners of a Goshen-based food distributor say they plan to sell the company to its 280 employees rather than risk selling it to a company that might move it.

The Goshen News reports that Becky and Paris Ball-Miller will sell the company to its employees over the next 10 years. The Ball-Millers plan to continue to manage the company during that time.

The Ball-Millers said that to prepare for the change they have hired experts to guide them through the process and to make sure Internal Revenue Service requirements are followed.

The Ball-Millers have owned the company for 15 years. The company also has facilities in Evansville, Grandview and Bloomington

if only more businesses acted like this... why, i think i'd like to support this company! what did you say they were called?

oh, the story doesn't bother to mention the company's name? i guess they didn't figure that detail was very important.

i suppose if you really must know, you could check the goshen news, which identifies the company as troyer foods. you know, if you care about such trifling matters as identifying the subject of your news story.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

so, about the bad taste site...

as some of you may have noticed, the bad taste site is down. in fact, it's now been down for an entire month, which is an eternity online. the whole hosting service went down around this time in january, and the guy who runs it out of his basement apparently hasn't had time to do a full restore from backup. for the first week or so after the network went down, it returned dead space, and now every site on the network returns a page about some juggler who calls himself chabuku. of all the content that could be served up... it would be funny if it were happening to someone else.

of course, the bad taste site hosts all three animals within animals albums, as well as the latest few stAllio! albums and a bunch of other audio. thus my magnus opus, a huge smash, has been by-and-large inaccessible for an entire month.

there's no point in offering your music for free if nobody can hear it, so i've temporarily posted a huge smash here on my site. it's free to download, and some have called it my best work, so if you never got a chance to check it out before, you're in luck.

i still believe (perhaps naively) that the bad taste site will eventually return. but i have no idea when that might happen. if it still hasn't been resurrected in a week or two, i'll probably start posting other albums to keep them in circulation. for now, know that the label is not dead, and we are aware of the site being down, but there's not much we can do other than wait it out or switch to a different host, which we hope to avoid.

Monday, January 31, 2011

wired uk stAllio! feature now online

if the weather reports are to be believed, then by this time tomorrow the city will be encased in a block of solid ice. but before indianapolis goes into cryostasis, i should point out that the wired uk feature about me has been posted online, so check it out, share it with your friends, remix it with your ipads, or whatever you kids do with internet articles these days.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

inquiring minds don't want to know

obviously i haven't been inspired to do much political blogging lately, and even toyed with the idea of stopping altogether (or at least separating the political stuff into a separate blog), but sometimes these things just fall into your lap:

shorter gary welsh, today: vicious, deranged attack bloggers and liberal media palin-haters are irresponsibly libeling the palin family based on nothing but scurrilous lies printed in the national enquirer. it is an outrage that the left would republish such tabloid trash without even fact-checking it.

verbatim gary welsh, 2008: As I've said before, you can knock the National Enquirer and other tabloids all you want, but when it comes to political scandals, they're usually dead on. They broke Donna Rice/Gary Hart; Jennifer Flowers/Bill Clinton; and Dick Morris and his call girls, to name just a few.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

...and we're back

so yeah, the blog was down for about three days, as was the AWIA news page. both are back up now, and expected to stay that way.

when i first purchased, nearly a decade ago, there was a lot less competition in the domain registry market, and i ended up using network solutions. but years passed, price wars were waged, and by 2011 i could no longer justify paying netsol's rates ($34.99/yr, going down to $15/yr if you renew for 5-10 years). one of my facebook friends suggested 1and1 ($4.99 for the first year and $8.99/yr after), so i decided to make the switch.

for some foolish reason i decided to do this while that wired (uk) article is on the stands, even though my domain wasn't set to expire until march. so naturally this resulted in a DNS error taking down the blogs (while the rest of the site stayed up), and since DNS can take up to 48 hours to propogate, i waited impatiently for two days, expecting the issue to resolve itself. all the while, wired readers were presumably punching in the url in the article only to find a dead page (though at least google had it cached).

on the evening of the third day, i felt enough time had passed to justify contacting 1and1 customer support. although their website brags that you can email them for free using your account control panel, i could find no such feature and in the end resorted to calling their free help line. after listening to several minutes of heavily distorted on-hold music—harsh noise remixes of led zeppelin, the cult, and the who, it would seem—i was eventually told that i would need to contact my web host. despite my suspicion that this was crap, i did so anyway, and sure enough, my web host was able to fix it immediately.

so now we're back, not that my regulars would even have noticed considering how infrequently i post these days.

Friday, January 07, 2011

stAllio! featured in WIRED (UK)

i dropped a couple hints on facebook yesterday, but i might as well stop being coy about it: there's a short feature about me in the latest (feb 2011) issue of wired magazine (UK edition):


they contacted me a couple months back about doing a feature on my advanced databending with wordpad. it turns out they had mentioned me on their website in august, but this is my first mention in the print edition.

the feature is on a two-page spread next to an article about a lumberjack, so they sent me a photo of the lumberjack and had me glitch it in wordpad. i also sent some fairly in-depth answers to their questions... which of course were then condensed into ~300 words, but that's the magazine business for you.

i haven't actually read the piece, since i don't have a copy of the magazine yet, and they haven't posted the article online, though they may in the coming days. (they have posted the spead, as you can see above, but it's too zoomed out to be legible.) my buddy hellocatfood will be sending me a couple copies soon, so i may eventually post the article here if the wired folks never do.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

things that bug me about V: the series

tuesday night, ABC aired the second-season premiere of V: the series. like bionic woman, another ABC show from a couple years back, V is a reboot of a campy sf show from decades past... and as with bionic woman, i really wanted to like this show, but its lousy execution makes this difficult.

(coincidentally, at the same time ABC was airing the V premiere, syfy was airing the final episodes of caprica, a show with nearly pitch-perfect execution. it might be interesting to compare these shows in more depth, but that's for another time.)

don't get me wrong: V isn't uniformly terrible—it's had just enough clever twists to keep me watching in the hopes that it will improve. but its flaws are so deeply embedded into the heart of the show that this will probably never happen. let's go over some of them:

the counterterrorism/resistance plot was introduced too early. this one is representative of how problematic the show is from root up. we live in a post-9/11 world, and this is a show about the earth being occupied by alien invaders, so it's natural that the producers would want to explore themes of what it means to be a terrorist, when armed resistance is justified, and so on. (themes that were excellently handled in season 3 of battlestar galactica, i should note.) in fact, i'd be disappointed if V didn't get into those subjects. but there's a right way and a wrong way.

in the original '80s miniseries, the resistance movement forms naturally as the earth's inhabitants start noticing that the alien "visitors" aren't what they claim to be. this was played pretty heavily as a nazi metaphor, down to the visitors wearing red jumpsuits and having a logo that looked suspiciously like a swastika. the producers of new V smartly swap this for a terrorist insurgency metaphor, but in their haste they stupidly introduced this plotline in the pilot episode. in order to make this work in the story, this means that the resistance movement is fully formed even before the aliens arrive on earth! worst of all, we're told that the resistance was initially formed by alien sleeper double agents years earlier. so not only is the insurgency introduced too early, but the human race doesn't even get to start its own resistance movement. apparently the aliens are superior to us in that way, too.

the characters are boring and two-dimensional. even the characters who should be interesting are dull as rocks. an FBI counterterror agent who ends up becoming a terrorist sleeper agent? should be interesting, right? wrong: she's the dullest character on the show. a priest who struggles with his faith as he finds himself being drawn into morally compromising situations? snoozeville! an alien assassin who falls in love with a human and ends up with the resistance? yawn. these characters sound cool on paper, but onscreen they're, well, flat. and don't even get me started on the nondescript terrorist guy.

the sets on the alien ships are laughably bad. has there ever been a show with CG that was so obviously CG? perhaps i should've put "sets" in quotes because i've seen more convincing green screen on late night with conan o'brien. the ship's interiors utterly fail at looking like realistic 3d spaces and instead look like something out of a video game.

everyone calls the aliens "V's". ostensibly the aliens are called "visitors" but everyone—and i mean everyone, even the visitors themselves—calls them V's, every time. who the hell talks like that? in the real world, people would alternate between terms: sometimes saying visitor, occasionally saying V, or occasionally using slang insults or slurs. but there is no slur against the visitors; not even a "those alien scumbags". have none of the writers ever seen alien nation?

the garbage about visitors not having human emotion. this is by far the most laughably absurd aspect of the show: the visitors are concerned about becoming tainted by "human emotions", which they claim not to have. as if emotion were some sort of infection that can spread virally (across species, no less). indeed, those visitors who are shown to be "good" are the ones who've been contaminated by emotion, and the ones who are "evil" have not. there is no gray area.

one reason i'd been anticipating this show was that i was hoping for a more sophisticated take on the visitors. i wanted something akin to the battlestar galactica revamp, where the cylons were depicted as flawed, complex people who struggled with difficult moral issues and sometimes chose the wrong path—in other words, they were very human, despite technically being machines. but not the visitors: they're evil conquerors, and the only ones who have any sort of moral conflict are the ones who've somehow developed emotions after spending too much time with humans. this is human exceptionalism; the worst kind of hocum ("only the human heart will save you!").

(lest you bring up a comparison to dr. spock and the vulcans on star trek, it should be noted that the vulcans aren't incapable of feeling: they actually have deep emotions that they train themselves to suppress. this is a far cry from the visitors, who have supposedly never even been exposed to emotion before coming into contact with humans.)

stupidest of all, the writers don't even think through the logical ramifications of what this would mean. love and affection are clearly shown to be human emotions that the visitors don't innately possess. yet ana, the leader, has a keen enough understanding of the human heart that she manipulates her daughter into starting a relationship with a human boy who's important to the invasion plan. even if ana had studied enough to be aware of this thing called love, how could she understand it well enough to manipulate people to the extent that she does?

and while i'm at it, visitor reproduction makes no sense. at one point, ana decides that she needs an army of soldiers for her invasion plans (why she didn't think of that before reaching earth isn't discussed) so she lays many thousands of soldier eggs. this suggests that visitor sexual reproduction is similar to insects on earth, and ana is the queen. if so, then ana would presumably have many thousands if not millions of direct offspring. yet on the show, other than the soldier eggs, ana is depicted as having only one offspring: a daughter. and though we meet ana's mother in the season 2 premiere, these three are the only visitors who are depicted as being related to each other in any way.

then there's the issue of male fertilization and gestation. if the soldier eggs required fertilization, this is never shown nor discussed onscreen. ana simply lays the eggs in what amounts to a huge pond, and they start to grow. yet ryan, one of the "good" visitors, somehow manages to impregnate a human woman, and the fetus gestates inside her womb. the fact that they shouldn't be able to procreate is portrayed as a big deal on the show, but when you think about it, it becomes even more ludicrous. even ignoring the fact that we're talking about a cold-blooded reptile impregnating a warm-blooded mammal, an egg-laying reptile and a creature that bears live young can't reproduce. even assuming that the human "skins" worn by the visitors are sophisticated enough to have working genitalia, this just does not compute. unless the visitors are somehow capable of both egg-laying and bearing live young, which is ridiculous.

apparently the issue of visitor reproduction will be a theme of upcoming episodes, but i can't imagine how they can come up with a coherent explanation given these discrepancies.

so there you have it. a show with great potential, but so marred by lazy writing and sloppy thinking that it's probably unsalvageable. i'll keep watching, at least for now, but i'm torn between hoping that the show will somehow overcome its flaws and waiting for ABC to put everyone out of their misery by canceling it.