MORE X-FILES NONSENSE

I dunno why, but the song “Bleeding Love” popped into my head yesterday, so I found the chords on the internet and figured out the vocal melody.

And I thought it would be cool if I played it while video-ing my TV as I was watching Season 8, Episode 2 of “The X-Files,” an episode I had never seen before.

And the part of the vocal melody that corresponds to “you cut me open and I/keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding love” ended up coming at just the right time.

I didn’t plan it that way, it just came out that way.

THE DOGGETT AND PONY SHOW

Alright, so I’ve been watching/re-watching “The X-Files” on Hulu off and on for the past few months.

“Watching/re-watching” because I think I had seen roughly half of the episodes already… maybe more like a third of them.

In case you don’t know, “The X-Files” consists of basically 2 types of episodes. One type of episode is “Monster Of The Week”. In these episodes, Mulder and Scully investigate some weird creature, or ghost, or alien, or whatever, and the story is resolved (more or less) in that self-contained episode. “Self-contained” because in the next episode, they would be going after some other monster, and the previous episode’s monster (or whatever) wouldn’t be mentioned.

Some of the more memorable “monsters of the week” came back from time to time, but most of them were one-offs.

That’s one type of X-Files episode. The other type are called “mytharc” episodes.

“Mytharc” is a term the show’s staff actually used (if Google is to be believed, “TRUST NO ONE” 🙂 ), and the word is a combination of “mythology” and “story arc.”

Which means, these episodes aren’t self-contained, they’re one long story. The X-Files mytharc was about the government covering up alien abductions, Mulder and Scully’s backstories, and so on.

As an aside, several years ago I got bored and decided to watch all the mytharc episodes up to I think season 5… because that’s all the seasons the local video rental place (since closed) had to rent.

I remember reading back then that many hardcore X-Files fans preferred “monster of the week” episodes. Regarding that, I can say with 100% certainty that if you only watch the mytharc episodes, you miss out on a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of what makes the X-Files a great show.

Actually my personal favorite X-Files episode – “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”; the episode where Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek make appearances as Men In Black – isn’t considered a mytharc episode, at least it wasn’t the last time I checked.

I am digressing like hell here, but if you’ve tried to get into The X-Files and couldn’t, watch that episode. Season 3, episode 20… it is (in my opinion) the quintessential X-Files episode. I didn’t really get the humor in the series until I saw that episode, and anyways it’s a good episode. 🙂

But getting back to the point, there are recurring characters in mytharc episodes, and one of them is the strong-jawed fellow you see in the picture.

alien_bounty_hunter

Well, it’s the same actor at least… there are several of these guys in the show. They are shape-shifting alien bounty hunters (the picture below is what they look like by default, I guess), and the only way to kill them is to stab (or shoot) them in the back of the neck. The dagger thing in the second pic is their weapon of choice, and they use it to kill various aliens disguised as humans, as well as probably a few humans, I honestly don’t remember. But anyways, when you stab (or shoot) one of these guys in the back of the neck, green stuff starts bubbling out, and they melt into a pile of green goop, basically.

x-files2

Early in the series, when these guys (or other aliens like them) get killed, the green goop is accompanied by a toxic gas that kills humans.
But later…

I am currently watching Season 8 for the first time. And in episode 2, Scully kills one of these guys by shooting him in the back of the neck. In the scene, she is down on the floor after a struggle, and she fires a single shot that pierces his neck, he falls to the floor a few feet away from her, and he turns into a pile of green goop, as expected.

But… there’s no poison gas. And my question to any other X-Files fans who may be on my friends list is… where’s the poison gas?

I have looked online for an explanation of this, but all I can find regarding season 8 are general reviews that talk about how bad it is. “Doggett and pony show” and whatnot. But nobody explained why Scully didn’t even bother to hold her breath when the toxic green goop started bubbling out of the alien’s neck when she shot him.

Maybe I missed something in an earlier episode that explained that (I did fall asleep watching some episodes, and sometimes I was half-watching, half-doing other stuff)… or maybe it was just lazy screenwriting.

Does anybody know?

I MEAN…

Got a song I am working on, don’t know the chords or melody yet, not sure about the title, or where the hook is, or if it’s got one, or any of that stuff, in fact maybe it’s one of those talk-singing songs, where there’s like a story being told, then there’s a chorus, doesn’t have to be 20 minutes long, no 5-part harmonies, no audience sing-alongs with feelin, nothing like that, just a quick little anecdote about this one fella sitting there minding his own business, when this other fella walks up rubbing the side of his head. Now being a congenial sort, first fella asks him, “what are you rubbing your head for?” and the other fella replies “nother fella hit me in the head with his shovel” and the first fella asks him, “well what did he do a thing like that for?” and the other fella said “he didn’t like what I said to him” and so the first fella, being a curious sort, he asks the other fella “well what did you say to him?” and the other fella said “told him he was digging his own grave.”

[dun-dun-dun dunnnn, dun, dun-dun, doonty-dun dun dun…]

and there ain’t no moral or anything to the song, except that maybe what looks like a good thing to one person might not look the same way to somebody else, and maybe every great once in a while you might find yourself looking at something that you think is good and fine, and maybe somebody else comes along and tells you they don’t like it.

And maybe they’ve got a pretty dang good reason to not like it.

Maybe people have been not liking that thing for a while now. For decades now.

And every time they said why they felt that way about it, you just tuned em out.

And maybe you didn’t even realize you were tuning em out

But tuned out they got, and mad was something else they got

And you-uuuu, didn’t ha-aaaa-ve, to hit me with your god-danged shovel

When I peeked down into the hole you were diggin

BEST BACKGROUND MUSIC EVER

This is a good album for working on the computer, or house cleaning, or what have you.

It’s actually 4 albums put together. (Go here for more info.)

I have read reviews of Gas albums that say it sounds like there’s a party happening next door, and you can hear dance music thumping through the wall. You weren’t invited to the party (this one review read) but you don’t really mind, because the music sounds soothing in some bizarre way.

The review I read (possibly from the Wikipedia page linked to above) made a similar comparison to that one, at least. 🙂

My short review of Gas in general is that it comes at your ears like a cloud of pulsating noise, but if you listen long enough — and in the right way, sort of like an aural magic eye (magic ear?), in like a half-paying attention, half-ignoring sort of way; talking like a few minutes here — details start to emerge from the cloud, rhythmic bits of fuzz that may or may not have once been a recording of a violin or something start to creep out, and anyways if you’re looking for something semi-relaxing to help you tune out the world while you work on a computer (or whatever), Gas is something you should check out.

RONA

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Hey everybody there is a virus. It is very contagious. People catch it by inhaling droplets that come out of infected people’s mouths when they cough, speak, or even breathe. Which means, if everybody wears a mask, fewer people will catch the virus. We may have forgotten to mention that this virus can kill you. Did we mention it can kill you? It can kill you. Like, fast. So wear a mask, please!”

AMERICA: “[blares country music at top volume from open window of pickup truck]”

REST OF THE WORLD: “Oh wow, this is bad. And I bet older people and people with pre-existing conditions are at an even higher risk.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “That’s correct.”

REST OF THE WORLD: “Wow. So I guess it’s, like, inconvenient? But I mean we should wear masks anyway, because people could die?”

AMERICA: “[runs stop light at intersection, flings half-empty longneck Busch Light bottle out of the window, which hits a post and shatters]”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “[covers face to protect eyes from shattered glass] What the fuck?”

AMERICA: “[slams on brakes, slides to a stop]”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Oh for the love of fuck what now?”

REST OF THE WORLD: “Shh just act like the glass didn’t hit you.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “What are you– no! Hell no! America can’t just fling their fuckin’ Busch Light bottles all over the goddamn place–”

AMERICA: “[steps out of the pickup truck]”

REST OF THE WORLD: “oh shit oh fuck oh man oh fuck…”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Well at least he doesn’t have a gun this time.”

AMERICA: “[Reaches behind seat, retrieves shotgun]”

REST OF THE WORLD: “oh FUCK oh SHIT why does he have that shotgun? Jesus Christ…”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Don’t worry about what that lunatic does. [Puts on mask] Just put on a mask before he gets over here and starts spraying droplets of saliva everywhere.”

REST OF THE WORLD: “[Puts on mask] But don’t the masks protect others from us more than they protect us from others?”

AMERICA: “[kills engine, turns off radio]”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Yes, but some protection is better than no protection.”

AMERICA: “You say something to me? Mr. High-and-mighty World Health Organization, with your fancy doctor book learning and your leftist socialismist ideology. Can’t be trusted.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Come again?”

AMERICA: “Oh I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you? You socialists are all the same. [spits tobacco juice on the pavement] Buncha communists and perverts.”

REST OF THE WORLD: “That doesn’t even make any sense.”

AMERICA: “What did you say to me? I heard you over there saying something, but I couldn’t make out what it was, because you got that fuckin’ mask on, like a little fuckin’ kid at fuckin’ Halloween. [shucks shotgun]”

REST OF THE WORLD: “[glares at America]”

AMERICA: “That’s what I thought. You little piece of shit, over there talking shit, and you can’t even back up your shit.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “Now hold on just a minute–”

AMERICA: “Oh here we go! You gone tell me I gotta wear a mask, Mr. Doctor man?”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “That would certainly help the situation, America.”

AMERICA: “Well guess what, Mr. Doctor Man, where I come from, is a place called America. And we got, we got something in that country ain’t no other country got, and that’s freedom.”

REST OF THE WORLD: “(muttering) yeah ok but you also have the highest incarceration rate in the world.”

AMERICA: “[points shotgun at Rest Of The World] WHUT DID YOU SAY TO ME?”

REST OF THE WORLD: “I said, I like America, America is #1!”

AMERICA: “[lowers shotgun] Well, I guess a broken clock is right once a day. Twice a day. At midnight? But then if it was noon…”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: “(whispering) look let’s just get the fuck out of here before he remembers he was pissed off.”

REST OF THE WORLD: “[nods]”

AMERICA: “…and we got a bunch of amendments to that constitution, and one of em says I can shoot this here gun at whoever I don’t like, and if you got a problem with that then you got a problem with freedom. And I ain’t talking bout what these self-proclaimed [coughs], these self-proclaimed Feminazis and Socialists is [coughs] tryin to ram down my [coughs] ram down my [coughs, hacks] throat, and they ain’t no more American than they is [coughs, sputters], than they is [hacks, coughs, hacks, sputters, drops shotgun, keels over]”

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SARS-CoV-2

After reading all the complaints on social media about not being able to go to bars and having to wear masks at the grocery store, SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, has finally decided to break its silence and respond to all inquiries and complaints.

Full text is as follows:

“Dear humans of the world,

I am a virus, not Ann Landers or Dear Abby. Stop sending me complaints about masks. You might as well go complain to the sun that you need to wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn.

Sincerely,

SARS-CoV-2

P.S. I didn’t actually write this, as I am a virus. But if you feel like pointing out that the government isn’t making anyone use sunscreen, let me remind you that sunburn is not contagious.”

***

Well there you have it, folks, SARS-CoV-2 has spoken, and from what it sounds like, all the complaining about masks hasn’t convinced SARS-CoV-2 to stop infecting people.

Hopefully this virus – which lacks all capacity for any sort of rational thought or decision-making, unlike the humans it infects – will make the fair, rational choice and stop infecting people.

But until this self-replicating bit of RNA that is incapable of conscious thought decides to be fair about this whole thing, I suppose we’re just going to have to make the best of it, folks.

🙂

Nobody Learned Shit In 2016

Tell me if this ever happened to any of you as a kid:

You’re in a car with a bunch of other kids, and like somebody’s mom or a coach or scout leader or some adult authority figure is driving.

And the adult driving says:

“Ok guys, where do you want to eat lunch?”

And say this is like a van or a big SUV, and there’s 5 or 6 kids in the car, and everybody discusses where they want to eat, and 5 out of the 6 kids (including you) decide that you want to go to McDonalds, but the other kid wants to go to Burger King.

And when the adult says “well [kid who wants to go to Burger King], everybody else wants to go to McDonalds, I bet we can find something you like there!” that one kid just throws a fit, and starts screaming and crying, and calling the kids who want to go to McDonalds names, and saying the team or scout group or what have you is dumb and they hate it and why do they have to go to McDonalds when Burger King is clearly the objectively better choice, and so on and so on…

Until the adult driving gets so stressed out that they end up yelling at the kid to shut up, and then they just drive everybody home and nobody goes to McDonalds OR Burger King that day?

Did that ever happen to anyone as a kid? 🙂

MASHED POTATOES? WHY DO YOU HATE MASHED POTATOES?

I’ve shied away from writing about music on this blog, for the most part… I mean I’ve (mostly) outgrown the “fanboy” aspect of being a music fan. I mean, sure, I like to peruse Wikipedia articles and whatnot about musicians I find on YouTube and get recommended by friends, and occasionally even read an interview or two…

But I don’t really want to meet any of them, if that makes sense. I would rather not meet them, to be perfectly honest.

Because it isn’t them that I even like most of the time. What I like is the music they create.

Although there are exceptions. Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin (aka AFX, aka the Tuss, aka Polygon Window, aka a bunch of other stuff) has done some pretty interesting interviews. For example, once when asked about what he thought of his fans, he only gave “I hate them” as his reply.

Which, as a fan, and as an amateur/occasional semi-pro musician myself – I have actually made money by playing music, is what I am saying here; not much, but money all the same – I can’t help but find endearing.

Doesn’t especially make me want to hang out with the fellow, but I can appreciate where he’s coming from, I think. What I interpret that as (I mean besides him “taking the piss” to a degree, as well as creating a mystique around himself and whatnot) is that at the end of the day, no matter how many critics praise his work, no matter how many other musicians adore his stuff and want to work with him (his comments about Radiohead are also hilarious; fyi I am also a pretty big Radiohead fan), no matter how many angsty teens wear his t-shirts and hoodies (people still do that, I assume; I am trying to make a point, sorry for being florid), he is not creating music because he thinks that’s what all those people are going to like. He is creating the music that he himself wants to create, using the instruments (and computers, sequencers, drum machines, etc.) he has on hand.

THAT is something I can appreciate, even if I don’t particularly care for an artist’s music. (I am a pretty huge fan of James’ music, fyi.)

But see? I’ve just been jabbering about nonsense. I haven’t even been writing about music.

That’s why I shy away from this sort of thing.

At any rate, here’s “Wet Land” by Hiroshi Yoshimura. It’s what I was listening to while I typed this:

Here’s an AFX album/2 eps put together that’s pretty sweet, also:

My Dad-Gum Apple Pencil

Hi. My name is Michael Walker. I am in here quite a bit.

I have bought a total of 3 new Windows laptops here over the past 5 years or so.

As a general rule, I prefer being able to walk into a store and buy something over having to order it online.

But that’s superfluous information, I guess.

I want to say before I say anything else that I am not trying to get anybody in trouble with this little stunt, I am just filing my complaint in a place where somebody might actually read it, as opposed to filling in a box on Walmart’s website and having my complaint ignored.

Which, again, is not something I am blaming anyone at this store for. Everyone working here is awesome, it’s the impersonal structure of Walmart as a corporation that I am complaining about.

A few weeks ago, after looking at this very display model, I decided I wanted to buy an iPad Pro. I am an amateur musician and songwriter, as well as a “creative” in other media, and this device looked like something that would be fun and useful for me.

I have an iPad Pro now, 10.5 inch, 64 GB storage, just like this one, except mine’s rose gold.

I found it on Walmart.com, and before sales tax it was $478, significantly cheaper than the $649 this nearly identical one is going for.

Which by the way, did you guys get more of these in? Wasn’t this “non-working display model” supposed to be removed from display a few weeks ago, when I asked if any more of these were coming in and was told “no”?

Anyways, I can’t really complain much because I ended up saving a decent amount of cash by ordering from Walmart.com.

And I wouldn’t be complaining at all, if not for this next thing, which isn’t the fault of anyone here, or really the fault of anyone working for Walmart below the corporate/executive level.

I decided to get an Apple Pencil to use with my iPad Pro. I came here last week looking for one, but you guys don’t carry them.

So, I decided to order one from Walmart.com.

There are 2 delivery options available: have it delivered to my house, or have it delivered here for pickup.

The website told me that pickup dates were estimated, and that they may change. So if somebody working here reads this, I knew that going in.

Anyways, I decided to order my Apple Pencil on Thursday, August 8. The website said they were available for pickup at this store before I put the item in my virtual shopping cart.

When I put it in the cart on the website, the pickup day changed to Friday, August 9.

Estimated delivery to my house was Monday, August 12.

Wanting to play/work with my new Apple Pencil as soon as possible, I chose the pickup option.

I knew I would be coming here over the weekend anyway (hi, I am in here now, pulling this up on this “non-working display model” which seems to work exactly like my iPad Pro at home), so I wouldn’t have to make a special trip to come up here and pick up my Apple Pencil.

Anyways, I placed my order.

A while later, I got a message saying that pickup of my item was delayed.

You wanna know when the website told me I could pick it up?

Monday, August 12. After 6 pm.

Which was the estimated delivery date, if I’d had the Apple Pencil sent to my house. Plus a few hours, probably, plus a drive to the store to pick it up.

I looked online, and I could *attempt to* cancel the order and make a new order…

But according to the website, it might not be possible to cancel my order.

So I called the customer service line. The friendly person I talked to told me the same thing, that I could *try* to cancel the order, but it may not be possible.

I don’t want two hundred-dollar Apple Pencils.

I want one of them.

And I was misled by Walmart’s website into thinking I could have one delivered here over the weekend.

And now I have to make a special trip up here to get my Apple Pencil, on the same date it could have been delivered to my house.

I can’t help but be annoyed by that.

But here’s the really annoying part:

Nobody I can complain to – in person or online – can actually do anything about this issue.

This issue comes from Walmart’s corporate and executive structure, where policies are made and enacted for the website and for Walmart stores around the world.

This complaint will never be heard, essentially.

And to repeat, if any manager reads this, I am not complaining about you, and I am not complaining about anyone who works for this store.

I am not even complaining about the customer service rep I talked to on the phone.

I am complaining because Walmart’s pickup system is, to be frank, misleading.

I was misled into thinking I could get an Apple Pencil delivered to this store over the weekend.

And after the order was made, after Walmart changed the pickup date to something very inconvenient for me, I was not able to change my delivery options.

This is something Walmart needs to improve on. At the very least, Walmart needs to stop misleading people about when items ordered online can be picked up.

My item went from “in stock” to “sorry for the delay, we could have sent it to your house faster” in the space of an hour or two.

And there was no guaranteed way for me to change my delivery options after my order was placed.

I am not a happy camper right now.

But what can I do about it?

Nothing.

What can anyone in this store do about it?

Nothing.

What can customer service people do about it?

Nothing.

This problem comes from the corporate and executive level.

I will put this same webpage on this same iPad Pro when I make a special trip up here to get my Apple Pencil next week.

Because Walmart’s pickup system needs to be improved, and I want somebody to know that, even if it makes no difference.

I am pretty sure it won’t make any difference, for the record.

For any customers reading this, if you order something from Walmart.com, just have it sent to your house. Because the actual pickup dates are not going to be what the website claims before you order, and once you place your order you are pretty much stuck with it.

Thank you (whoever you are) for reading.

Leave a comment if you want; I will have to approve it, but as long as it’s a real person commenting, I will approve it.

Have an awesome day.

P.S. Adding insult to injury, I tell you what. 🙂

20190810_104317

They don’t actually have any of these in the store, FYI.