Monday, June 18, 2018

The Not-So-Great Escape


At the end of last year, I was done paying for my Fusion and I knew for my next car, I wanted to get an SUV-ish type thing.  I'm not a tall guy so I wanted something where I could sit a little higher and also something with all wheel drive since there's a bit of snow in the winter.  I loved my Fusion so much that I thought I'd stick with Ford.  I bought a 2018 Ford Escape.

My Mom talked me into getting the Titanium, something I didn't really care about.  It's supposed to be Ford's high end Escape but they should state what the high end is because it's buggy as shit.  It drives fine but it's all the other things, like the electronics that make this car a wary drive.  Everything's a sensor, and on top of it, being run off software.  Red flag anyone?  Speaking of the sensors, they're incredibly inconsistent.


2018 Ford Escape: Works best when in Park and turned off
2018 Ford Escape: Works best when in Park and turned off
Here's an example: yesterday I was woken up to a car horn going off in the parking lot.  I thought, who's the jerk?  Well, that jerk was me.  The horn goes off at random.  It's happened a couple of other times too which makes it easy to troubleshoot.  I can't wait for the day when the car won't turn over because the battery is drained from the horn going off willy-nilly.

Even when I got it in November, one of the selling features is the remote start.  They never mentioned that it's hit or miss.  I could be less than ten feet away, try the remote start but it doesn't turn over the first time.  That's a great feature for the winter.  Apparently, it was fixed with a software update.  That's when I thought Fuck (sorry about the language).  My day job has a bit to do with computers so I know how reliable software can be.  Now I'm going to be stuck with this buggy vehicle for the next 4 years?  Everyday will be a nervous adventure until I trade this PC with wheels in.  What random glitch will happen next?

Some mornings, the moon roof is retracted all the way, some mornings it's the way I left it (half drawn).  The trunk door doesn't open when you kick your foot underneath it like it's advertised to do.  Sometimes the windshield wipers do three wipes and a pause, sometimes it's just one.  If the windshield wipers aren't going to work, what else won't?

After talking to a friend that worked at Ford when they were designing the 2018s, it seems to be the engineers that work on the car are fine, it's the cheap labour that make up the software engineers that are the problem.  You know how Windows Updates, especially for Windows 10 aren't very good?  If Windows updates aren't very good, how about some proprietary software for your vehicle?  I don't get the warm and fuzzies driving the car.  Shit, I haven't even tried the parking assist feature because I don't trust that it'll work.  I'm not using accident forgiveness on my insurance because the car decides to pin stripe another car because the sensors don't work that day. 

So when Ford hires cheap labour, they certainly get what they pay for.  And the car isn't worth what I paid for it, that's for sure.  It's the most expensive beater I'll ever buy.  And when I heard that Ford is going to stop making cars (for the most part) before perfecting their SUVs, I know it's time to switch brands.  It's a car and a malfunctioning car can kill you and/or others.

For you folks that stumbled across this blog entry and were wondering if you should get that 2018 Ford Escape, go buy something else.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Indian Church - Because That's What the Artist Named It


You'd never know it but I do appreciate the arts.  Well, real ones.  Throwing random blotches of paint on a canvass and attaching some kind of meaning to it isn't art.  And real artists aren't people that let you know they're an artist within the first 5 minutes of meeting them.

But, man, I got angry when I read this article on the CBC page: Why the Art Gallery of Ontario removed 'Indian' from the name of this Emily Carr painting.  I don't even really care for the painting myself, but it was the display of audacity from an unqualified person really pissed me off this morning.

Defacing someone else's art by renaming it is a step too far.  That's even more disgusting than the obvious virtue-signaling-for-funding.  No one in their right mind would just go out and rename someone else's work, in whatever field.  Unless you're clinically retarded.

Whatever criticism Georgiana Uhlyarik receives, she's earned it and deserves it.  I'm picking on her because she's the one in the article doing the talking.  For one thing, she's only a curator.  I've seen the duties a curator has.  If she gets more than minimum wage, she's overpaid.  Someone this inept shouldn't be in any position of responsibility let alone allowed to do interviews.

Warning: Offensive Painting
So we already have the Fart Gallery making unilateral decisions with someone else's art but here's where things are extremely stupid: the AGO didn't bother to contact anyone from the estate of Emily Carr, or any kind of family member for any kind of permission or consent, like a normal person would do.  Instead, they contacted the place where the church in the painting used to be.  What kind of imbecile contacts someone that has nothing to do with the painting for permission to deface it by renaming it?  She may as well ask one neighbour if she can borrow another neighbour's shovel to dig up Emily and turn her over in her own grave.

But two can play that word game.  I read that she has twin sons.  Well, I'm going to rename them, even though she created them (probably about the only thing she can create on her own).  From now on, her kids' names are Remus and Romulus.  I asked a guy I worked with if that was OK, and he said sure.

To you kids out there, don't be a waste of sperm and egg like Miss Uhlyarik.  No one has the right or privilege to rename anyone else's art, no matter what form it takes and no matter who the person is.  Miss Uhlyarik's actions do not represent someone with integrity or class.

And if someone renames one of my songs after I'm dead, I'm totally coming back to haunt the fuck out of them.

Sorry about the language.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hip Hop...It's a Lifestyle Y'know



I'm a funny guy, so when I was on Twitter the other day, some probably-millennial @KnowlesCarta was praising Rap awards and I tweeted back, "It's only Rap, so it kind of loses any credibility as far as music goes."
This is a guitar.
You make music with them.
 
Of course, some yo-yo (@slimtallwinos, who will be Nigeria's future Minister of Information, by the way) tweeted back saying Rap is the most popular genre in the US right now, come back later.  And then @KnowlesCarta replied back DRAG IT.  I'm not sure how I got roasted when the Future Information Minister's reply had nothing to do with what I tweeted.  But I used my very first LOL when I tweeted @KnowlesCarta back that she missed the point.

Look, I'm not a fan of Rap.  It's a lazy form of music, if you want to incorrectly call it music.  It was OK when it was funny, like Ice-T and NWA, but it took itself too seriously and by the mid 90s, it wasn't funny anymore.  It really is Spoken Word over what sounds like a robot spilled water on itself.  Anyways, my main point was that Rap or Hip Hop isn't very musical since it's not made with musical instruments.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good drum loop, but a pattern of drum samples put together in a computer, isn't very interesting unless there's something musical going on.  But I'm not surprised that a millennial would think rap is some form of music.  Take away the vocal and what are you left with?  An uninteresting collage of 3 or 4 snippets of other people's songs.  Creative.

I did my due diligence and hopped online to figure out how rap turned into HipHop.  It's amazing how many people got the origins of Rap incorrect.  Too many kids in the Comments section saying it started in the 70s.  And that's why kids aren't very bright since they don't do their homework.  The oldest Rap I have on record is Bo Diddley and that was recorded back in the 50s.  So if it's making it to record in the 50s, it's been around a lot longer than that.  But Bo Diddley's Raps has played musical accompaniment, so that could actually be considered music.  Funny how that works.  And then later on in the 60s, James Brown was rapping.  And then like a slap in the face to James, Rappers started sampling the bits of music that was played by James' band without asking.  Lazy.  Hmmm...I guess a drum pattern on its own can't carry a tune for 4 minutes after all.

Bo and James would have been considered R&B at the time.  But what happens when you first take out the Blues, and then take out the Rhythm of R&B, is you're left with not a heck of a lot.  I've heard some current beats and you can tell they were programmed by someone who's doesn't know what a drum set is.  The hi-hat parts are so disjointed and non rhythmic, it makes Yes sound like The Funk All Stars.  And now they're copying and pasting the vocal track(s) together, and that's even worse.  The vocal, even though it's just talking, can't even be recorded in one pass.  On top of it, it's like they're trying on purpose to be more off-beat than Ol Dirty Bastard.  This lack of trying reminds me a lot of New Country Music.

KRS-One says, "Rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live."  KRS-One is also a Social Theorist.  Those two words, that when put together, almost sound sophisticated but when you actually think about it, it means nothing at all.  So HipHop is a Lifestyle, and I read that it's a combination of 4 things.  Ready for this?  This is from Quora, by the way: "The four elements of Hip Hop are DJing, MCing (a.k.a. rapping), B-Boying (a.k.a. breakdancing) and graffiti writing".  I laughed my ass off that people still Breakdance.  Whew, good thing someone's keeping the Robot flame alive.  And don't forget the vandalism, err, I mean, graffiti.  Not to completely knock it, some of the technique is excellent, but no matter how pretty it is, it makes any brick wall or train car look like shit.  DJing is just playing other people's records and then Rapping is talking.  Nice lifestyle. 

That lifestyle must be catching on to the masses because I see the old ladies signing up to those Hip Hop exercise classes but they don't look like they're going spray painting after the class.  Or maybe they are. 

Rap/Hip Hop may be arguably the currently most streamed/downloaded type of...audio, but it certainly isn't music.