got gaming advice?
It was time to replace my desktop PC, and I decided to get one with serious gaming chops, and so I did. Next step: learning how to play games on it.

As a younger fellow, I played Wolfenstein and Doom under DOS, on a monochrome VGA monitor. I also played a lot of Tetris, which, in fact, I still play. But I let the whole Playstation/X Box/Wii thing go on without me, so I'm really a rank beginner. What should I play first?

My main requirement is that it start me off at a pure beginner level and guide me through learning the controls and figuring out what a modern game does (aside from doing it with really nifty animation). I also have the vague notion that I should be doing this through Steam, though I don't know how to approach that, really. Also, I blew all my budget buying hardware, so low-price is good. I don't have to focus on buying the newest iterations of anything, because I haven't played any of it before at any level (except Doom and Tetris). Old and creaky will probably knock my socks off.

(My keyboard has lots of metal plates and rivets on it. My mouse has buttons all over, including one under my thumb that I keep pressing by accident which throws me back to the previous page. The machine meets Oculus Rift requirements, but I don't expect I'll be buying the headgear any time soon.)


Cheap Viagra! (really)
Sam's Club pharmacies in some states are selling 20 mg sildenafil tablets at $10 per bottle of 30.

If you (or your partner) don't use Viagra or one of its competitors, that will mean nothing to you. If you do use Viagra, you know the price has risen from about $8 per dose when it was introduced to $45 per dose. That's not per pack, that's per pill. I was checking prices recently, and Rite Aid quoted me $318.99 for 6 doses of Viagra 100 mg, then said they could enroll me in their Rx Savings Program and drop the price to $271.14.

So how did the Sam's Club savings happen? It's a quirk of the drug's development history and US patent laws. Sildenafil was developed as a blood-pressure reduction med, and some of the test subjects begged for additional doses when their testing was done. The investigators asked why, and suddenly a new category of drug was born. Viagra as formulated for treatment of erectile dysfunction is dispensed in tablets of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, because it is effective in low doses for some people, and others need higher dosages. Viagra is still protected by patent and there is no official generic version in the matching dosages.

The patent for sildenafil as a blood pressure treatment expired in late 2012. I didn't know that until now. The blood pressure version was called Revatio, and it is available as a generic in tablets of 20 mg. Same stuff, different strength than the ones marketed for ED as Viagra.

Sam's Club offers their Extra Value Drug List (EVDL) to "Plus" members (that's the $100/per year premium membership.) Sildenafil, 20 mg, is on the list for $10 per 30 tablets. If you're used to taking the 100 mg Viagra, you'd need to take five of the generic sildenafil to match the dose. If you're getting results at 25 mg Viagra, maybe 20 mg sildenafil will work for you, and if not you'd need to go up to 2 tabs for 40 mg total. If you're taking 50 mg Viagra, you'd try 2 tabs to total 40 mg, or take 3 to total 60 mg.

You still need a prescription for the stuff, and your doctor might not know about the generic sildenafil. You can show them the Sam's Club list here:

The Sam's Club EVDL is NOT AVAILABLE in the following states: CA, GA, HI, MA, MD, ME, MN, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, VT, WI and Puerto Rico. If you're in one of those states, the drive to an out of state Sam's Club might be worth it. And you can check the pharmacies locally to see what they're charging for generic sildenafil.

Remember you need to have the Sam's Club "PLUS" membership at $100. More details on the EVDL program are here:

(no subject)
At last! Someone has invented the perfect chair for masturbating while watching porn!

three Indulgence shows
I pitched a project to the Program Director at WYCE, and he approved it. I call them Indulgence shows. They're for the slot running from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM.

These are treated as the least important shifts at the station, with an assumption that hardly anyone will be listening. I question that, because I've done a lot of those shifts live, and there were definitely callers who wanted to chat and make requests, and requests by email. After all, with streaming, we've got listeners all over the world, and potentially from any time zone.

Typically these shifts are filled by brand-new trainees, who pre-record their shows and are eager to move to different slots as they open up. Generally the Midnight to 3:00 AM shifts are pre-recorded also. The programmer doing 9:OO PM to Midnight cues up the recordings and starts them at the end of his/her shift. If there is no pre-recorded show for that day and time, s/he will grab some earlier show and run that instead.

Now running repeats doesn't sit well with me. The listeners deserve better, and I think that brings down the impression of the station as a whole. When new programmers drop out, we're left with shows getting repeated numerous times - and these are shows from the very newest of us, who don't have the experience yet that will turn them into great radio presences.

So ... I made a proposition to fill some of these empty slots. I asked if I could play whatever the hell I wanted for two hours. The answer came back yes - except I can't play any full albums. I asked for the moon, and they only held back one crater. Still, I'd like to sit back and run the complete Jeff Wayne's Musical War of the Worlds.

So I've been pre-recording shows, and they go into a pool, and when there's nothing scheduled to run, the outgoing programmer can choose to run one of mine, or not. All I need now is a way to track when they've been run, so I can pull them out of the pool before they become just as stale as any other old show.


[playlists of first three Indulgence shows behind the cut]

Playlist - Indulgence #1 (exploring the Worldbeat section)
1. Rahim Alhaj: When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq
#6 Taqsim Maqam Hijaz

2. Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell: RadioAxiom: A Dub Transmission
#5 6th Chamber

3. Ah-Nee-Mah Spirit of the Canyon
#2 Voices of the Wind

4. Wookiefoot: Ready or Not
#2 Ready or Not

5. The Elders: The Elders
#9 Sweet Angel

6. Natacha Atlas: Mounqaliba
#6. River Man

7. Compilation: Salsa Explosion: New York 1969-1979
La Sonora Poncena: #11 Bomba Carambomba

8. Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions
#8 Bakuba

9. Afro Celt Sound System: Volume 2 Release
#10. I Think Of...

10. 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra: Abdul the Rabbi
#10. Doina Blues

11. Fat Freddy's Drop: Based On A True Story
#8. Wandering Eye

12. ZUCO 103: After The Carnaval
#2. Beija A Mim (Saudade)

13. Compilation: Trance Planet
Vox #13. While The Birds Sing

14. Amadaun: Ramble
#1. Haste To The Wedding/ Smash The Windows

15. An Dro & Friends: The Music of James Spalink
#13. Farewell, Bounty

16. Tom Ze: Estudando a Bossa: Nordeste Plaza
#5. Sincope Jaobim

17. Tim White and Jack Gates: Morning Evening Song
#9. Twilight

18. Wimme: Barru
#5. fadnu

19. Afrolicious: Pleasuretime
#4 Bade Malou

Playlist - Indulgence #2 (mostly rock)
1. Compilation: Steal This Movie soundtrack
Mary Chapin Carpenter #11 Mellow Yellow

2. Compilation: Soul Connection
The Chi-Lites #4 Have You Seen Her

3. Compilation: Jazz Vocalists for the Millennium
Ella Fitzgerald #1 Black Coffee

4. Bruce Springsteen: Greetings From Asbury Park NJ
#9 It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City

5. David Bowie: Best of Bowie
#4 Ziggy Stardust

6. The Psychedelic Furs: All of This and Nothing
#4 Sister Europe

7. Rosemary Clooney: 16 Most Requested Songs
#15 Blues in the Night

8. The Moldy Peaches: The Moldy Peaches
#10 Anyone Else But You

9. Tonio K: La Bomba
#B1 La Bomba

10. Tonio K: La Bomba
#B2 Mars Needs Women

11. Little Joe McLerran:Believe I'll Make A Change
Believe I'll Make A Change

12. They Might Be Giants: A Users Guide To
#9 James K. Polk

13. Oliver Nelson: Eight Classic Albums
#C1 Screamin' The Blues

14. James Spalink: Celtic Harp
#7 Glen Logie/ Dermott O'Dowd/ Queen's Dream/ Arran Boat Song

15. Compilation: The Verve Story
JATP (Jazz at the Philharmonic) featuring J.J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Nat "King" Cole: #A1 Blues

16. Joni Mitchell: Ladies of the Canyon
#12 The Circle Game

17. Harry Chapin: Greatest Stories Live
#4 I Wanna Learn A Love Song

18. Compilation: Wild, Cool, & Swingin' Too
Dinah Washington: #11 Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

19. Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks
#1 Holidays in the Sun

20. Compilation: Live on Letterman
#14 Patti Smith: Who Do You Love

21. Styx: The Grand Illusion
#2 Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

22. Compilation: I Am Sam soundtrack
#3 Rufus Wainwright: Across the Universe

23. Jethro Tull: "M.U." The Best of
#A5 Locomotive Breath

24. Nick Cave & The Bad Seed: Kicking Against the Pricks
#7 Kicking Against the Pricks

25. Dianne Reeves: Good Night and Good Luck
#2 I've Got My Eyes on You

Playlist - Indulgence #3 (Bob Dylan)
1. Bob Dylan: Infidels
#8. Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight

2. Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited
#7. Highway 61 Revisited

3. Bob Dylan: Planet Waves
#11. Wedding Song

4. Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline
#6. Lay Lady Lay

5. Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Volume 2
#18. Tangled Up in Blue

6. Dylan & The Dead: Dylan & The Dead
#5. Joey

7. Bob Dylan: Slow Train Coming
#8. Man Gave Names to All the Animals

8. Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A Chaning
#2. Ballad of Hollis Brown

9. Bob Dylan / The Band: Before the Flood
#A10. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

10. Bob Dylan: MTV Unplugged
#11. With God On Our Side

11. Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
#2. Simple Twist of Fate

12. Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home
#3. Maggie's Farm

13. Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan
#8. My Back Pages

14. Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde
#1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

15. Bob Dylan: Tell Tale Signs The Bootleg Series Volume 8
#B2. 32-20 Blues

16. Bob Dylan: Good As I Been To You
#3. Canadee-I-O

17. Bob Dylan: At Budokan
#B11. The Times They Are A Changin'

18. Bob Dylan: Down In The Groove
#2 When Did You Leave Heaven?

19. Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Volume 1
#22 Last Thoughts on Woodie Guthrie

20. Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin' Bob Dyan
#10. Talking World War Three Blues

21. Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night
#6. Some Enchanted Evening

22. Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash: Nashville Skyline
#1. Girl From The North Country

23. Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home
#8. Mr. Tambourine Man

Take a pill every six hours. Wait at least one hour after taking a pill before eating. Wait at least two hours after eating before taking a pill.

My brain is broken trying to figure this out.


About WYCE, and my show therein
I cleverly mentioned that I do a radio show in a comment to someone's post, which induced someone else to ask for info, and I typed about it forever and ever (it seems) and it was too good to languish as a buried 3rd level reply, so here it all is. Also, I meant to include my most recent show's songlist as part of the reply, but that made the whole thing too long so I had to split it up into two replies. So you get two posts.

Funny you should ask! I do a weekly 3 hour show on WYCE 88.1 FM out of the cities of Grand Rapids and Wyoming in Michigan, USA. You can listen to the live stream at . Supposedly you can get additional livestream options, including an embedable player here: .

[Blathering Mode ON]
My show is Wednesdays from Noon til 3:OO PM EDT, which I think works out as 1600 til 1900 UTC. But... I am but one special snowflake out of scores of special snowflakes, so you should listen to all of us, at all hours of the day and night. With the exception of a 2 hour syndicated folk program once weekly (Accoustic Cafe), we are all local special snowflakes, spinning discs in our studio atop a library branch in a rapidly gentrifying bit of territory just across the Grand River from downtown Grand Rapids.

We're supposed to play equally from our five genres: Worldbeat, Folk, Blues, Jazz, and Rock, with about a third of our plays being new music (10 week rotation), and a heavy sprinkling of local artists. No artist should be repeated within 6 hours, and no song should be repeated within 36 72 hours.

Complications: Rap and Hip Hop and Funk are filed within Jazz, and Soul and R&B within Blues. Americana (aka Alternative Country)and Cajun are Folk, but Zydeco is Rock. We tell the record companies our format is AAA and that keeps us in the distribution pipeline.

We love to have touring artists stop in and play a few songs live in our studios. Lord Huron was in on Wednesday. Last year I got to interview Peter Case and listened to him play about 6 feet away from me. We've got a weekly show dedicated to local music that frequently invites local musicians into our studio for live performances, and we award "The Jammies" to local artists in numerous categories at a live free giant nightclub event with many of the nominated artists performing, while we broadcast it live on-air.

We're under the umbrella of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, and also under the umbrella is GRTV, the public access channel carried locally by Charter cable, and they'll broadcast The Jammies too. Under the same umbrella is Wealthy Theatre, a renovated classic movie theater that seats 500 for (among many other events) live concerts that WYCE produces featuring national touring artists. (Yay! You get to sit down. You don't need to stand squished and sweating in a club!).

The radio format is meant to force variety. We're not limited to the music that's been vetted and added to our library, but we do need to make sure there are no indecent words, drug promotions, or hot oral sex involved. We're might squeamish about "God damn", also.

On weekdays at noon we do the "Red Hot Lunch". 20 minutes solid of new music (Red Hot & New), 20 minutes of blues (Red Hot & Blue), and 20 minutes of requests (Red Hot & You), so in the first hour my balance is off. Sometimes the requests are slow coming in, or for music we don't have and I can't find and vet quickly, so I don't always actually have 20 minutes of requests to play right then, but requests are always welcome. [Blathering Mode OFF]


My radio playlist this week
Here's my playlist from my show this week, Wednesday September 16, 2015.

Artist: Song
Simrit: Kal Akaal
Galactic Sherpas (local): Fire
Jesse Milnes & Emily Miller: Puncheon Floor
Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy: Garden of Joy
Shemekia Copeland: Lord, Help the Poor and Needy
Guy Davis: Kokomo Kidd (had to back out of this one in a hurry - he used the N word and we choose not to broadcast that)
Chastity Brown: House Been Burning
Marty Grosz Meets the Fat Babies: Church Street Sobbin' Blues
Joni Mitchell: Snakes & Ladders
Arctic Monkeys: Knee Socks (request)
Joe Ely: Me and Billy the Kid (request)
Either/Orchestra: Soul Song (request)
Eagle Rock Gospel Singers: MMLJ (request)
Coteau: Grand Mamou
Tim White & Jack Gates: Odysseus & Circe
Smash Palace: Haddontown
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Paul Barbarin's Second Line
Sugar Pie Desanto: Matter of Time
Beirut: August Holland
Taco: Let's Face The Music (And Dance)
The Wolftones: I'll Tell Me Ma
Barbara Dennerlein: Seven Steps To Heaven
Preacher Boy: Please Call My Baby
Chris Thile: Bittersweet Reel
Robert Windpony: Vortex
Tunde Olaniran (regional artist- this is the guy you should look up and listen to right now): Let Me Go
Chick Corea & Bela Fleck: Bugle Call Rag
Big Joe Williams: North Wind Blues
Jimmy Spheeris: Esmaria
Kate Tempest: To the Victor the Spoils (radio edit) (request)
Willie and Lobo: Sultan's Dream
Katia & Marielle Labeque: Rhythm-A-Ning
Zac Harmon: Stand Your Ground
Joel Mabus: Alice & Ralph (request)
Lapdogs: Eileen (local artist)
Lord Huron (Artist of the Day, gets played every shift): Brother (Last Ride)


(no subject)
I grabbed a book off my shelves to start reading while waiting at the barber shop. Old paperback with a $1.75 cover price. I don't know where or when I picked it up, but I never opened it.

A Wizard in Bedlam by Christopher Stasheff. At least that's what the front cover and spine say, with back-cover copy to match. But I turned to the title page, and got confused. That says Star Hunters by Jo Clayton. Somehow the Stasheff cover got bound to a different book. Clayton isn't an author whose name resonates with me, and I might have started it -- until I saw that it is Book 5 in a series, and I'm not tempted to start by reading the series from center out. (Goodreads tells me there are 10 books in it.)


Even if you're not a fan of Star Trek (original series) or Pulp's "Common People" or Shatner's cover
you'll still enjoy this fan-edited video. But if you already appreciate at least one of those things, this will make your day.


Dr Bronner's
Sometime in the late 1970s, I think, I discovered Dr. Bronner's liquid soap. I tried several varieties, and liked the peppermint best. It was hard to find, so I bought the largest bottles when I could get them. The place that was most dependable for large bottles was the Edge of the Woods natural food store.

Skip forward four decades. I just bought a nice large 40 ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap at Costco.

I think I should feel ashamed somehow.



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