Quote of the Day, and this one is from an unlikely source

I give credit to Ubu for this, and while I have no idea if it was her intent or not, I’d like to expound on her beautiful statement in the way I take it

Guns don't save people. People save people.

Disagree with her on many points if you want, but she’s totally right here and I think we need to really remember this particular phrase because sometimes I see us lean a little to heavy on the “Guns Save Lives” meme.

Because they don’t. People save lives. People protect their children. People fend off violent attackers. People rush to the aid of others. The guns do not make someone a criminal or a murderer & they do not make them a hero either. If we are to treat guns like the inanimate objects they rightfully are, we do it all the way.

Now, I’m sure some people will take that phrase and mean “because of this, we don’t need guns”, but they’d be wrong. You see, being tools, they help people when in need. Since I carry a knife, I’m more likely to help someone open a stubborn package than I am without it on me. I also carry a Leatherman, and am more likely to help some random person who needs a pair of pliers. And being armed, I’m more able to help in a situation that otherwise may be much too dangerous otherwise.

No magical lump of material forces a person to do anything. Guns, themselves, do not save people. It takes a human being to act. The gun is just there as a tool to assist them in doing so.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/10/2014 1:54:31 PM | Feedback (6)
They are truly this sick

The CSGV, in all its hateful glory


I advise our side to not run with the “Thank God no guns!” shtick because it lowers ourselves to their level. But their concern for the well being of the children is secondary to the type of weapon used against them. They also haven’t seemed to mention that the stabbings stopped when the kid was confronted by an armed resource. { Correction Ubu has provided a link that states this isn’t the case. I looked a few other places & the ‘armed resource officer’ portion seems to have been changed to ‘participated in’ rather than engaged}. Because again, stabbed kids don’t help them bring in donations.

We want all predatory violence to end. They act as if they just want violence with guns is really the only thing worth fighting against, which leads to more & more violence with different tools. They are sick, sick people.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/10/2014 8:38:06 AM | Feedback (9)
Antique bias

The best violinists in the world will tell you that nothing sounds better than a true, million dollar Stradivarius. The proof is incontrovertible & if you hand someone a handmade, Italian Stradivarius and a brand new, just made cheap violin, in a blind test they will choose… The newly made violin

When the lights were dimmed and the musicians donned dark glasses, the soloists' top choice out of a dozen old and new violins tested was by far a new one. So was the second choice, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As a budding musician, I see this in “The DAW Wars”. People will claim, without any sort of actual backing data, that Such & Such Digital Audio Workstation produces a clearer / better sounding / blah blah blah than DAW X. This is also a phenomenon with audiophiles, who will swear on a stack of LPs that analogue simply sounds better even though they are listening to said ‘analogue’ recording via MP3. There’s also the 44.1KHz / 16bit output idiocy. I hate to tell you folks, CD quality is as good as your ears can possibly hear. Period. Blind studies such as the one above have proven time & time again, the human ear cannot perceive any difference with higher bit & sample rates (this has nothing to do with compression, where a higher bit & sample rate gives less artifacts, but in the end you’re still hearing 44/16).

The sad thing is that this applies to everything, from guns, to sewing machines. People will get into shouting matches of the minutia of their ‘chosen’ whatever, not realizing that if they were to remove the brand label and do a true, blind test (how in the hell would you do that with guns? Count me out of that particular experiment) they’d generally not be able to discern the differences they claim are so important.

A few years back, circa 2000BC (before children), I loved drinking wine. I was at the stage where, completely blind folded, about 80% of the time I could pick out the white from the red, I was that good. But I recall people who were ultra-snooty and would ‘spit out’ bad wine because they could tell what month the grapes were picked in and if the vineyard worker had washed their hands or not.

Turns out, most of those people were full of shit too. Blind taste tests had them raving about the Box Of Wine’s floral hints.

This isn’t to say there’s not a such thing as quality – there is. A good quality [whatever item] will help someone achieve their results better and more predictably. Good tools make the work easier, last longer, and aren’t as prone to falling apart when you need them most & this applies to any tool, be it a gun, socket wrench, piano, riding crop, or chainsaw (sounds like a fun Friday evening, no?)

Just don’t let your bias affect your judgment too much. It will always color it and you’ll tend to move in the directions your biases lead you, but be aware of them. You may be missing out on something you’d like better simply because you believe your particular tool is better because your particular tool is better.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/9/2014 9:24:25 AM | Feedback (8)
URGENT ACTION NEEDED RIGHT NOW - Sheriffs Assoc. Trying to GUT Right to Bear Arms Bill

Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday April 8th 2014), Senate Bill 296 by Sen. Brandes will be before the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee.

This is the bill that the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) has been using to fight against the very core of your right to bear arms.

At the request of the FSA, two amendments have been filed that would gut the bill's protections of your right to bear arms during an emergency evacuation. An almost identical North Carolina law to the one that the FSA is trying to keep on the books in Florida was ruled an unconstitutional violation of the Right to Bear Arms in federal court.

Watch the video, then ACT NOW to protect your rights!

Florida Sheriffs Association Fight Against Right to Bear Arms

Florida Sheriffs Association Fight Against Right to Bear Arms

Please send an email RIGHT NOW to ask these committee members to SUPPORT SB-296 with NO AMENDMENTS   


Copy and Paste these email addresses into your email's "TO" box:

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/7/2014 9:15:31 PM | Feedback (0)
If your idea is to ban guns to dry up supply so criminals can’t have them, I have bad news for you

They’re not difficult items to make

Two homebuilt pistols were seized among other firearms on Tuesday by police in Sydney. They appear to be of a closed bolt design, using a plastic lower receiver with an angular magazine well. Both examples appear very well made.

Look at this thing

Ruger has already issued a recall on this sucker

That’s not a mass produced pistol, that’s something some bikers in the Land Down Under made in a garage. It’s not difficult & with the 3D printing tech becoming common place, these designs will not only become more common, they’ll also be more rugged. And still disposable & untraceable.

This is why laws that only affect the law abiding are useless.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/4/2014 9:52:25 AM | Feedback (12)
Another scratch pad song

Been working on another song and as usual I have a few compositions in the hopper at the same time, but I like where this one is going, I just need more ideas on where to add interest and am looking for constructive criticism (or effusive praise. I’m not above having my ego stroked) on what I could do to really pump the song up.

I’m not clear on how to build tension in songs, which is important for music in general. With Electronic Dance Music, there’s many tricks one can do to indicate to the listener that something is about to happen, but I can’t put my finger on how to do that. Repetition is a big part of any music style, and a short, memorable phrase is generally better than a long, drawn out one especially if you’re going for catchy.

This song is EDM, so it might not be everyone’s cup-of-whiskey-spiked-tea, but if you happen to have a good set of headphones / speakers, I’d love critiques on loudness, dynamic range, bass (too much? too little?) and composition. Feel free to insult me too. I’m married, so it’ll have very little effect.

You can hear the short sample here, just recall this is a sample and not the complete song. It should change drastically as I get near finishing it. The ‘vocals’ are placeholders, free samples I got off the interweb tubes but they do indicate to me that this could work as a vocal track if I could find someone to sing it and string together some lyrics that fit the beat. The guitar riff is me as this originally was going to be a backing track for me to play over, but the song ended going in a different direction.

Thanks in Advance,

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/4/2014 9:41:02 AM | Feedback (8)
Oh look who decided to come play in my back yard

Illegal Mayors Demanding Action from Gun-banning Moms

Local-government officials and members of a national organization that advocates local ordinances to control firearms lashed out at Florida law that reserves all gun regulation for the state legislature.

Members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said at a Wednesday press conference the law, passed in 1987 as the Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act, creates across-the-board gun regulations that may not be applicable in all parts of a community.

Doublespeak comes so easy to these people. Look at the way they use the word ‘Community’ as if it represents a fixed slice of a population. You see, in this Community, everyone acts exactly the same way. It’s not really a bunch of random people who happen to be closely situated, no it’s a homogenous groupthink collection. Everyone in any ‘community’ thinks the same way, acts the same way, and can be trusted to never have jobs that might be outside of that particular community, nor would they ever think about venturing outside the designated boundaries that segregate their community from the others.

However, these are the same people who will then spin right around and claim their community is diverse.

“Gun laws that may be appropriate in rural areas, may not be appropriate in city neighborhoods,” she said.

Actually, the laws against harming others is perfectly suited to the whole, rural or inner city. Everything on top of that is just misdirection from their actual goals – banning guns.

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks said the preemption law creates a disconnect between lawmakers and the cities that are affected.

To him, local government is better in tune with its citizenry.

“The cities know how to protect their citizens. They are closest to their citizens,” said Marks.

“They are the ones that see those citizens on a daily basis and we want to protect our citizens,” he added.

There’s that magic line again. To say that I, as a Marine, loving father of two girls, cherished husband, and outstanding citizen with nary a speeding ticket to his name can do X here but .00001” over a county line suddenly has nefarious intent is ludicrous. Sadly, there are enough people who believe this that things like this become issues over time.

The problem is the truth is hidden with these types. They don’t really care about safe citizens, they desire compliant citizens. None of the laws they propose would stop a single criminal, instead they hassle the law abiding in an attempt to get gun owners to fear basic gun ownership to a point where they’ll just give up. When they talk about ‘drying up the supply of guns’ they mean getting them out of the hands of the law abiding.

I can’t fault many of the supporters of these organizations. The buzzwords & catchphrases are simple enough and in fact tend to be things we agree on. Of course I don’t want guns in the hands of people who are dangerous, but I believe if you know they are dangerous and have enough proof to deny them basic, human rights, then you have enough proof to put them in jail and keep them away from society.

I don’t honestly believe all 13 members of Moms Seek Attention are evil people who hate the 2nd Amendment (their leaders? Yes, I do believe that about them). However, most unfortunately, emotionally charged phrases are effective at getting a few people riled up and it’s easy for people who suffer from cathexis to latch onto their beliefs harder when challenged with logic & reason.

I have little fear that these groups will get far with their demands as it looks like nothing they’ve put in has gone anywhere so far, but the problem with them is that we have to expend energy fighting every little infringement they try to put in lest one slips through the crack.

You should send your representatives a nice email reminding them that a patchwork of laws does not make a safer society and that they should oppose any laws that would do just that.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/4/2014 9:21:39 AM | Feedback (7)
I need something I will rarely use

Studio Monitors.

I’ve found my mixes sound like crap in certain environments. For example, my car, which has a damned nice sound system. Everything else sounds great, my songs sound like thumpin’ mud with screeching nails against the chalkboard thrown in for good measure.

The problem is I generally use headphones to do my music since I have other people in the house who probably don’t want to hear the exact same phrase played 10,000 times like I have to when writing. And as nice as my AKGs are, they’re not real studio headphones and thus do not have a flat response rate.

A good set of studio monitors will help with that, but the problem is the whole ‘other people in the house’ issue. Plus, most of the time I get to do music is late at night when the kids are in bed. Add into the fact that I’m limited on my budget, and it’s painful to think about spending a few hundred dollars on midrange speakers that I will rarely use anyway.

Another issue is, I don’t have a place to put large speakers. The guitars on the wall take up the space on the left, and the double monitors make it difficult to put them to the sides anyway

With plenty of room left over for several gold records

I want to continue to build onto my ‘studio’ as I’m thoroughly enjoying my hobby, but I don’t want to go crazy and spend money on stuff I’ll never use or never learn how to get the most out of. Heck, I’ve already spent a bundle on software that I’ll never do more than scratch the surface on most of it (and that’s ok – I’ve got enough synths & samplers now to last a lifetime).

Still, mixing is important although technically I could easily send it off to be done by professionals and have it mastered correctly. But it’d be nice to hear it at home properly.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/3/2014 9:34:54 AM | Feedback (9)