Microsoft Sucks. So Hard.

So, I used to spend most of my online time as a musician and record producer. Posting videos, tweaking my website, little promo here and there. I work on an aging iMac that I love using the Adobe suite and other rock-solid Mac programs. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not an Apple fan-boy. I’ll likely outline my complaints against them in another rant. But my bread-and-butter gig is being a public school teacher, and as many of you know, this Covid19 pandemic has all Illinois educators implementing “remote learning”; a cute euphemism for providing content and instruction via school laptops pushed out to an enormous array of personal devices running an enormous array of interfaces and operating systems.

Now, I had already had the unpleasant experience of doing a couple hours of work each day on a shitty school-issued laptop running Windows 10, and that was pretty fucking stressful already. Microsoft Word? Jeezus what an inexplicably inconsistent and maddeningly slow piece of shit that is right there. How it came to be that the biggest software company in the world can’t manage to display bullet points symmetrically and consistently is beyond me. And I don’t know if this has come up at any staff meetings, but if a shared Word document is always displayed with a giant page break at the end of every page it’d be nice if you could give an accurate preview of where that is located in the document when you create it. As it is you have to toggle back and forth to a print review to see the end of the freakin page. Seemingly, all the snafus and head-scratching lapses of usability of that one program are shot through the entire Windows 10 OS. Minimize a document to clear your screen, double click a new document of the same type, and instead of the new document popping up, the minimized document pops out, obscuring your new document. Not a big deal, but what the hell? Need to listen to a voice-mail from a colleague? Plug in your headphones, and that infuriating “what did you plug into the headphone jack?” prompt pops up. Fucking headphones! That’s what I plugged into the headphone jack! Again, not that big of a deal, but it pops up behind any window you already have open, so, if you’re not wise to this stupidity, you spend the remainder of your planning period trying to find out why your headphones won’t work because they won’t pass audio until you clear that stupid prompt. Sigh.

Anyone who’s worked with good software doing complex tasks knows that a good suite of keyboard shortcuts can make or break a tight deadline. So what does Microsoft choose for it’s software? Mousing through menu options. Everywhere for everything. Want to do something on Windows that you can do with the press of a spacebar on a Mac? Mouse and click through three menu items. Multiply that by the hundreds of of useless options that all Microsoft software is burdened with, and it’s no wonder American office workers are stressed and slamming their carpel tunnel afflicted fists into their keyboards daily.

I’ve said it before, Windows machines are good for gaming and sawing in half, nothing more.

So, it’s come to this ©™

Redlight Records and Jordan Egler came to a strategic and collaborative agreement to release many of Egler’s unreleased instrumental compositions as Creative Common licensed works to be distributed freely throughout the known universe to be shared and adapted on condition of proper attribution. Many in the entertainment industry saw this as a move to unload un-marketable dead weight from Egler’s catalog into the public sphere, but many advocates of the creative free market saw it as a move to inject a measure of longevity into the creative works of a prolific artisan™.

Naturally, in an attempt to drive traffic to Redlight’s YouTube channel, the media studio made these songs available to stream. Check out the whole lot of them here.

Trump wins 2020 election.

At or around midnight tonight, Trump will declare victory. Fox news will immediately follow with the same assertion. Many states, most notably Pennsylvania and Michigan will rightly contest a quick claim to victory as their mail-in ballots will still be uncounted. The Senate will help Trump kick it to the Supreme Court in a rush. SCOTUS declares Trump the victor and we have 4 more years of Donald Trump crowing in our ears.

A handful of people will decide this for us. None of the machinations of Democracy will have been for anything. Did you know the new SCOTUS Justice Barrett worked as G.W. Bush’s lawyer during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, and guided the case to the Supreme Court when it decided to settle an election dispute in Florida that handed the presidency to Bush? It’s true. A 5 – 4 vote that bought eight years of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of financial and environmental protection and finally an endless war in the Middle East and the ruination of the U.S. economy and banking industry.

Now we see the same thing playing out again. Minority rule by a superstitious, willfully ignorant cabal of conservatives who’s only guiding principle is keeping power, and can only govern on a platform of guns, nationalism and cultural grievance while in the backrooms of power, oligarchs carve up the last of the world’s resources for sale to the highest bidder. Look for privatization of water rights soon! Civil War! Runaway Global Warming! Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Google will become cyber city states with more money than most nations. It’s gonna be horrible. And we asked for it.

Prairie Restoration

You know what’s dumb? Mowing lawns, that’s what. In Illinois, our state nickname is “The Prairie State” for frick’s sake. And yet we are obligated BY LAW in most instances to buy, fuel and maintain a gas guzzling, air and noise polluting contraption to cut every blade of grass to the quick on a weekly basis.

The only winner in that scenario is oil companies, lawn-mower manufacturers and dandelions.

You think state and local governments are over-reaching when they mandate you to wear a $2 mask to keep everyone safe? Why the heck aren’t you protesting being forced to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours over your lifetime for an utterly futile and unnecessary task?

Why does every patch of greenery need to look like an Olde English Manor? We fought a war to end the influence of those British pricks.

Wanna do something about global warming by literally doing nothing? Stop mowing your lawn. Let the Prairie Restoration Revolution begin!

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