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1 hour ago, markm said:

starts purring loud-like a motor, this purring is, you'd think a tractor engine was being started,

I call this aggressive purring and I reckon it's a dominance tactic mostly. But not here. Poor little bugger was weaned too early.

I have no idea what to do..

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I had previously mentioned how we have to say a little prayer to Aborigines at my work (Welcome to country) and how they were looking at expanding it to include other groups.

So I saw the wording of the additional "prayer" and I kid you not they now "recognise the expertise of people with lived mental health illness or alcohol and drug abuse."

So we now at start of each meeting we recognise having schizophrenia or smoking crack or being an alcoholic as expertise.

 

I literally read that line several times thinking I must have misread "experience" but no it is expertise.

 

Seems now knowing how to pack a bong, chop lines on a mirror or get the most out of your boxed wine bladder are valuable skill sets to be praised by government mental health employees.

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It seems some people think being blind must also mean I’m fucking stupid, that’s the only explanation I can think of for today’s events. Said someone is going to have a very nasty surprise when I confront them with the proof I know what they’ve done. Moral of the story: don’t steal from someone who is hypervigilant!

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Aeviterne and Suffering Hour at the Middle East tonight. First "real" show I've seen in years. I purposely didn't go back and listen to any of the albums so I could take the performance on its own terms. Judging by the first band, it sounds like crap in here tonight, but that's ok.

 

Update: Aeviterne was pretty good live. Ian's such a good drummer. Awesome seeing him play again. Would have been better with a bass player. Bass players make the rockin world go round.

Hissing - never heard of these guys. They were a bit of a mess, but it was a good mess. I dug the guitarist, fun dissonant tremolo picking with an absolutely nasty tone. Drummer got a bit lost in the back.

Suffering Hour - the real deal. These guys were a really fucking good live act. Great energy and great sound, good charisma from the vocalist/bassist, guitarist is a complete beast. I'll have to revisit The Cyclic Reckoning and see if I like it more now, it worked really well in a live setting.

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On 9/2/2022 at 9:12 PM, FatherAlabaster said:

An artist friend told me about Midjourney a while back - an AI program, capable of creating truly beautiful original images from text prompts. He uses it for vizualizations for his own work. One of my other friends recently shared some pretty gorgeous images he initiated, too - not sure if he's also planning to use them in his work. Nothing against other people doing that, but it's antithetical to my process. It's not so much about "cheating" as it is about cheating myself out of one of the things I really value about making art. 

Now I'm seeing it crack the mainstream and thinking maybe I'm done with cover illustrations after I fulfill my next few. I can't help but think the vast majority of people's illustration needs will be well served by what this kind of software offers - beautiful custom images in a variety of styles, tweakable, potentially ready for print, for what I think is a pretty low membership fee. I don't really have an interest in competing in that market.

Seems like my energy would be better spent focusing on real objects; even if they're paintings, really bringing the physical qualities of them to the fore, rather than just using paint as a means of image production. But doing them just for myself is kind of a waste, and selling them keeps me in the world of luxury goods for the leisure class, which I honestly fucking hate even if I am psyched when I occasionally sell something. 

In summation: fuck, ugh, meh.

On that topic...

Using AI to Re-Create Iconic Album Art

 

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On 9/4/2022 at 3:57 AM, markm said:

So we've been settling in with these two cats my wife rescued. "Connie", the kitten has some unusual behaviors and I'm curious if any of the cat folk have seen this. Connie has become extremely bonded with my wife. She follows her around, sleeps on top of a reclining chair my wife sit in while watching TV.  At night he jumps on the bed, curls up with my wife and starts purring. She'll walk up to her head and starts purring loud-like a motor, this purring is, you'd think a tractor engine was being started, and will  sleep on her shoulder. Then,  I started noticing these disturbing slurping sounds. Like sucking on a lollipop or something more sinister....mooo-ha-ha!

When I first heard the noise, I asked my wife WTF is going on with this cat?  Like, make it stop ffs. She was sucking her ear lobe. She did a  little research-turns out according to what she found online that if you remove kittens too early from their mothers they sometimes have a surrogate relationship with one of their people and one of their behaviors is to lick and suck your earlobes like it was it's mother's nipple or maybe like a child sucking a pacifier. Weird AF. Kind of creeps me out. 

She was rescued at 11 weeks rather than the 14-16 weeks that's recommended. Connie is sooo bonded to my wife, it's nuts. She'll follow me around, too and loves to play. She really has a sweet uncomplicated temperament. She's also mischievous as hell. She'll try get on the table. She knows I won't a allow it....terrible two's or something. Fuck with me!

Any of you seen any behaviors like this? Apparently it goes away after a while, but in the meantime, whenever I hear that noise,  TBH it reminded me of the end of a chapter in Stephen King's Salem's Lot that raised the hair on the back of my neck decades ago-the sound of a child vampire sucking her victim's blood. 

We rescued two kittens around a year ago, both around 12 weeks and both are super-adorable and bonded to us both in equal measure.  All my life I have wanted a cat who will sleep on my knee whilst I read a book, listen to music, etc and Mina does this at least twice a day when I am working (she's on my knee as I type this).  Vlad (named after Dracula, not that prick in Russia) is less clingy but is happy to be picked up whenever and both have a superb temperament.  Previous rescue kitten only truly bonded with my fiancée and he was also taken from his mother very young.  Kind works for us but no earlobes have been compromised to date.

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1 minute ago, JonoBlade said:

...not till you've done mine, bud!

No worries... you are indeed among the "next few" :)

I just find myself wanting to take a step back from it and put my energy into ideas that have been sitting on the shelf. Work that is hopefully more than just production of images. I always have this idea that I'll get to it after I finish everything I have lined up, but then I always have something lined up, and tomorrow never comes. Easier to embrace the constraints of not working on "only my own thing all the time" in a musical context, where I've been finding a lot of joy and productivity in collaboration and I think the product is worth the wait. But with art, well, I'm not getting any younger, and if I don't do it, nobody will, and other aphorisms.

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1 hour ago, Sheol said:

On that topic...

Using AI to Re-Create Iconic Album Art

 

Yeah, totally. This, but without trying to approach some pre-existing image. Give it the right style prompts, pick your favorite, refine it, drop it in Photoshop for color tweaks, logo and design elements, whatever other finishing work it needs... or just take the one you like to a "real artist" and have them do a "real version".

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2 hours ago, MacabreEternal said:

We rescued two kittens around a year ago, both around 12 weeks and both are super-adorable and bonded to us both in equal measure.  All my life I have wanted a cat who will sleep on my knee whilst I read a book, listen to music, etc and Mina does this at least twice a day when I am working (she's on my knee as I type this).  Vlad (named after Dracula, not that prick in Russia) is less clingy but is happy to be picked up whenever and both have a superb temperament.  Previous rescue kitten only truly bonded with my fiancée and he was also taken from his mother very young.  Kind works for us but no earlobes have been compromised to date.

My little asshole Geddy generally wants little to do with me unless I'm sitting in my office on a video call. Then he's in my lap trying to determine the most uncomfortable position he can get into before I shove him off. He does occasionally get in my lap when no one else is home so they can't see he's actually a softie at heart. Gotta maintain the image y'know.

When we first got him, he would sleep with us. His preferred position was "nose to nose" with my wife. Understandably, she was not fond of that. Now the bedroom door is closed at night as he doesn't take kindly to polite refusal. Gets rather violent as a matter of fact. My wife assures me that his teeth are very sharp.

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35 minutes ago, SurgicalBrute said:

For the most part, I couldn't care less about the English royals...and please for the love of God, Britain come retrieve Prince Back-up Plan and his annoying, attention seeking wife...but the Queen actually seemed like a legitimately cool lady. 

Yeah, hard agree. She seemed to be pretty classy from my very disinterested outsider American perspective. The thing that amazes me is the length of her reign. Will probably never see that again. When she was coronated, Churchill was the PM and Stalin was in power in the USSR. The shit she saw and was a part of as a world leader...

It will be interesting to see what happens to the "empire" and UK now that she's gone. I think we could see an independent Scotland and Wales in the next 25-30 years and likely see places like Australia and Canada drift further away without a strong English crown. Personally, I say good riddance to a relic of humanity's past. Monarchy & Empires are garbage.

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Although it probably will happen, and more likely happen with Chuckles on the throne than Willy, Australia can't afford to drift away. Back in the 90's when they actually put a dollar value on getting rid of the monarchy it was considered too high to be viable. These days with all the problems worldwide and locally the cost would be astronomically high and put even more pressure on some people.

 

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6 hours ago, navybsn said:

Monarchy & Empires are garbage.

To be fair your presidents aren't exactly glowing examples of great humanity (aside from FDR and Lincoln) and your republic runs a global pseudo empire whereby you set the rules based on American national interest (eg Saudi Arabia invades Yemen and commits atrocities = GOOD, Russia invades Ukraine and commits atrocities = BAD).  It's actually amazing how often US is involved in setting up global rules but doesn't ratify the treaties to make the US accountable.  Hence the rules apply for other countries, but not US.

 

I think the British monarchy has an important role in stabilising Britain - the country has been at relative peace with itself since 1745 and it's institutions largely stable since 1688.  It has coped with a lot - industrial revolution WWI, WWII, end of Empire, growth of humanism, expansion of democracy, fascism etc and socialism etc yet the system is still stable.

I am not talking about individual kings or queens or royals but rather the system - British government has not collapsed due to violence or revolution or constitutional collapsed since 1688 - yet France is on its Fifth Republic since 1792 and that's not including 2 Empires, a Kingdom and several other periods of different government.  Fourth French Republic collapsed in 1958, whilst Fifth nearly collapsed in 1968.

So much for French republicanism promoting stability.

Meanwhile the American system designed in late 1700s is already falling apart and needs a significant overhaul if not complete replacement.  It doesn't help the US President is a pseudo tyrant who can rule by decree and the system of checks and balances has become a system of inertia.  

 

Note some of the other countries that have monarchies are also shining lights for human living standards in the whole planet (better than US or UK):

- Denmark

- Sweden

- Norway

There are also some truly horrid monarchies out there ala Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Eswatini or whatever.  

Same with republics - look at Russia or Kazakhstan or Syria or even Indonesia or Pakistan!

The truth is it is more about political systems and cultural norms.  Who sits at the head is largely irrelevant if the system and culture are corrupted or fractured or predisposed to authoritarianism and brutality.

 

Even republican democracy can be an atrocious system if it's poorly set up and unsupported by proper checks, balances, functioning civil society and institutions.  Eg Philippines elected Duterte who started a massive killing spree of anyone suspected of a crime - 7000+ killed by police and vigilantes in first 6 months alone without a trial.  

6 hours ago, KillaKukumba said:

Although it probably will happen, and more likely happen with Chuckles on the throne than Willy, Australia can't afford to drift away. Back in the 90's when they actually put a dollar value on getting rid of the monarchy it was considered too high to be viable. These days with all the problems worldwide and locally the cost would be astronomically high and put even more pressure on some people.

 

Though it would also be a good reason to divert Australian attention from some of the real growing problems this country is experiencing yet government is ignoring.

 

I seriously doubt we could come up with a better system either and no doubt any presidential system we come up with will be a corrupted, over politicised, media driven circus. 

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23 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

already falling apart

USA is the world's oldest constitutional democracy.

 

25 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

- Denmark

- Sweden

- Norway

Also extremely small and historically homogenous, and subject to invasion if not properly aligned with greater powers.

Otherwise I agree with everything you are saying. 

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1 hour ago, Hungarino said:

USA is the world's oldest constitutional democracy.

 

True.  Except it's not necessarily been smooth sailing be it ACW or civil rights or whatever.  And I would argue the current system is in need of a massive overhaul from role of president to electoral college to gerrymandering to state/federal rights and responsibility to supreme court ie everything.

It worked in past but is now cumbersome, promotes inertia and doesn't fit with modern expectations of how a state should run.  I would also argue since 1970s it has stopped working for benefit of the American people and now increasingly serves a few rich people.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Hungarino said:

Also extremely small and historically homogenous, and subject to invasion if not properly aligned with greater powers.

Sweden hasn't been in a war since 1814 and has really never been invaded.

Denmark and Norway - yes they have been invaded but it hasn't affected them in terms of creating inherent instability and both have superb living standards that are are the envy of the world..

 

The big advantage of those 3 countries is culture that was formed by a variety of environmental, historical, religious (especially their specific forms of Protestantism) and political factors.

 

Note we Croats now have a largely homogenous culture yet the system is inert,  and corrupt.  But again environment, historical, religious and political factors contribute to greater dysfunction.

Same can be applied to every other country.    Most cultures have a bias towards authoritarianism simply because of factors such as emphasis on collectivism instead of individual.  Most cultures are set up to promote inequality simply because of religious, political and other factors.

 

Western world is unique in that due to quirks of Protestantism, enlightenment, industrial revolution and other factors  it managed to develop a environment for stable democracy.

 

 

 

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