Monday, March 5, 2018

God Bless Mother Russia and the Russian Pledge of Allegiance

Since thinking of the idea this evening, I was unsure of how the last line of the chorus should be for a song about the Russian Federation (based on Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA").  "God Bless USSR" was easy enough, but I was unsure what to say for Russia or the Russian Federation.  However, I thought that the line "God Bless Mother Russia" would work.

Also, last year, I started working on a story on FanFiction.Net called "Chucky Meets Full House" - in which Chucky becomes a member of the Tanner family.  The subplot of the story involves D.J. Tanner becoming a Russian nationalist, and at one point in the story, she recites the Russian Pledge of Allegiance, which I based off the American Pledge of Allegiance.  Below is what I came up with last year.

I pledge allegiance to our flag of our Motherland, Russian Federation, and to our great army, which keeps us safe, strong, and proud - with honor - indivisible - and showing our great might to this world.

Hopefully, I will get around to finishing the Full House story and the Russian-themed song parody.

God Bless USSR (Song Parody in Development)

Around the Fourth of July of 2008, I jokingly replaced the stanza "God Bless the USA" with "God Bless the USSR."  Years later, I decided to make a full-length parody of Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA."

Below are some stanzas that my friend and I came up with that precede the song's chorus.  Keep in mind that they could be changed before I finish the song since it is still in development.

"From the wastelands of Chernobyl"
"To the gulags of Stalin"
"Gorby broke our country,"
"But he can't take it away..."

Below is the chorus itself, which I've spent more time refining but is still subject to revision.

'Cause I'm proud that I was born Soviet
Where at least my vodka's free,
And I won't forget Comrade Lenin,
Who took my rights from me,
So I must help Putin
Save Ukraine from those Western pigs afar
'Cause I'll always love my Motherland
God Bless USSR!

I don't really like the "So I must help Putin" stanza much since it feels rather awkward, but again, the song is still in development.  Also, I've made the point of not using articles in the song to reflect the lack of articles in the Russian language (as well as to make the last line of the chorus have the same number of syllables as "God Bless the USA").

This evening, I've thought about making two parodies of "God Bless the USA."  One would be a song for the USSR since that's the version that I originally started making (and because "USSR" is close to "USA").  The other would be a song for the Russian Federation since I have much more of a fascination for it compared to the Soviet Union - partly since I think it has a nicer-looking flag.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bitsum's Website Says that Process Lasso Doesn't Restrain Processes

Oh, boy, here we go again - another post about Process Lasso.  The program proved long ago that it is largely ineffective for me, but I've recently found some excerpts from Bitsum's own website that say what I've observed all along - that Process Lasso doesn't actually restrain processes (even though it should).

Below are some notable quotes from one of Bitsum's pages (
It is designed to act conservatively and safely. It makes only marginal, temporary changes during it’s activities and has no deleterious effects. It is able to do this because it takes only a small fraction of CPU cycles to restore basic responsiveness, thus taking these from the overall pool has a negligible impact on performance, but a huge impact on responsiveness.
No wonder it hasn't worked - it makes only "marginal" changes.
The small and conservative adjustments ProBalance makes are truly efficacious at helping to retain PC responsiveness and CPU fairness to all processes.
They really haven't been for me.  Whenever processes like instup.exe, CompatTelRunner.exe, and svchost.exe run, they often max out the CPU and cause my audio to stutter.  No priority lowering has made any difference in performance.
Process Lasso is designed to be minimally obtrusive, lowering priorities only when appropriate, and making sure that the background processes still perform just fine.
As I said earlier, no wonder it hasn't been effective.  Sometimes, when these pesky background processes are hijacking the CPU, to effectively maintain responsiveness and allow foreground programs to run smoothly, programs like Process Lasso need to do more than be just "minimally obtrusive."  They need to do whatever it takes to keep the foreground processes running smoothly - and to prevent eating up resources unnecessarily.
So how does ProBalance make a difference? Well, it turns out that by *marginally*, dynamically, and temporarily decreasing the priority class of problematic background processes, that 1% or less of CPU cycles necessary to let you have fluid mouse and keyboard movement, or in worst case scenarios, control of your PC at all, is available.
As stated before, Process Lasso doesn't do anything.  It still lets background processes run wild.
Just try it if you have a CPU load issue causing responsiveness issues. If it’s I/O or something else, you are out of luck.
Oddly enough, quite the opposite has been true for me.  Process Lasso has been much more effective at controlling I/O Delta than CPU usage.  It seems completely useless at controlling CPU usage.

Anyway, now come the "big" quotes - the ones that really tell it all and caught my attention.  The underlined statements are the most important.  The first quote is from the same page as the ones that I posted above.
Does ProBalance slow down processes?  Why is it called 'restraint'?
I hate to use the term ‘restraint’, but haven’t found a better one. ProBalance doesn’t restrain anything. It’s default action is to simply temporarily lower offending process’s priority class to Below Normal, a marginal change. In real-world and synthetic tests, as shown in the CPUEater demo, this is all it takes to restore responsiveness to the rest of the PC. Makes sense, it doesn’t take many CPU cycles to be responsive. Why Windows lets a normal priority thread monopolize the CPU so badly is something nobody has a clear answer to, but it’s a problem that has always existed.
Bitsum's own website actually admits it - Process Lasso doesn't restrain anything after all!  No wonder it has proven largely ineffective for me!  No wonder I never saw the CPU usage go down - even after Process Lasso lowered the priorities of high-CPU using processes.

Finally, the second quote is from an FAQ page for Process Lasso (
Does Process Lasso's ProBalance out-of-control restraint slow down processes?
No. Process Lasso 'restrains' processes by temporarily lowering their priority. This simply allows other processes more of a chance to use the CPU, IF there are any processes needing the CPU. If there aren't, and until there aren't, the restrained process is still able to consume as many CPU cycles as are available to it. Therefore, a restrained process doesn't really slow down, though it can now yield to another process like a nice citizen of your computer. That little yield will make a big difference in responsiveness, but not a big difference in the speed of the background process ;).
Again, no wonder Process Lasso didn't seem to make a difference for me - no wonder it didn't seem to be actually restraining resource usage...because it wasn't!  It never did the whole time!  If it wants to bill itself as a utility designed to maintain responsiveness and control resource usage, then it should do primarily that - not just be an automated prioritizer, which is really all it effectively does.

I know that Bitsum swear up and down, left and right, that Process Lasso isn't just another task manager, and it's true that, technically, it isn't.  However, despite its functionality, effectively, all it does is just automatically change the process priorities.  Even by its own admission, it doesn't actually restrain process usage, which it should!  Without capping resource usage, changing priorities is useless.  As I've observed personally, it doesn't matter how low I manually set the priorities for some of these high-CPU using processes - the CPU usage will still be as high as before.  If Process Lasso doesn't do anything to actually restrain resource usage, then it's not much better than programs like Process Explorer - except that it sometimes changes priorities automatically.

Anyway, I don't want to be so cynical on Process Lasso, but these are my honest observations - even reflected in statements on Bitsum's own website.  However, it does seem that Process Lasso has helped a lot of people, which is good.  For me, though, I think that Process Lasso or any other program should put an emphasis on actually controlling resource usage - since merely changing priorities often doesn't make any difference in taming resources.  Android devices have a limit on CPU usage, so PCs should have similar controls to ensure that foreground processes run smoothly.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Itipar Videos (Similar to Public Freakout Videos)

I love Itipar videos.  One might wonder what an "Itipar" video is.  "Itipar" is a word that I made up - derived from the phrase "Interesting Things in Public and Retail," which was basically the name of a playlist that I've had on YouTube.  Since I'm interested in creating concise terms, last year, I created the acronym "ITIPAR" (since I couldn't think of any better way to describe the videos) - but eventually started stylizing it as "Itipar" since I thought that it looked better.

Even the name "Interesting Things in Public and Retail" might seem a bit ambiguous, and I suppose that it is because the concept refers to different types of activities.  However, Itipar videos basically feature a lot of crazy, abnormal things in public - and private places open to the public - like retail establishments (e.g. supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, malls, etc.).

Itipar videos often feature people getting into loud, shouting arguments in public places - or doing pranks like jumping from the second story of a mall - or making prank intercom announcements - or riding bicycles in stores.  Itipar videos are just so much fun because they can be so exciting and funny - and show people doing things that one doesn't normally see - but would often love to see.

I first started liking Itipar videos around 2008 - when I watched videos by TheBROMINSHIP - including "Stop At a Green Light...and More" - uploaded on May 29, 2008, "Sleeping in Department Store Beds" - uploaded on May 29, 2008, and "Reverse Drive-Thru" - uploaded on May 28, 2008.  However, my interest in Itipar videos kicked into high gear in early 2009 - and became interested in videos like "I Want My Chicken! FAT MAN Screams For Chicken Sandwich" - originally uploaded by ManOnTheStreetTV.

There are other examples of Itipar videos.  One is "Best Buy Scream" – uploaded by tox0tes on July 5, 2008 - where a guy just walks into a Best Buy, suddenly screams loudly, and then leaves.  Another is "I Want Real Chicken!!! (Full Video)" - uploaded by W0Went on October 22, 2009 - where a guy actually brings a live chicken, flapping its wings, into a McDonald's and shows it to a cashier.  Yet another example is "Mark Dice Bullhorns Barnes & Noble (Inside Store)[.]"

More examples of Itipar videos include but are not limited to "Funny As Hell!!! Wal-mart Prank!!!" - uploaded by Logan3574 on April 4, 2008, "Wal Mart Attack" - uploaded by ransum2256 on October 2, 2006, "Being stupid at Wal-Mart" - uploaded by prcruz15 on December 24, 2010, and "Walmart: Jousting" - uploaded by MoonStreetlightStar on July 15, 2008.

There are countless examples of Itipar videos that I could give, but hopefully, one gets the idea.  Related videos to Itipar videos are public freakout videos, viral videos, flash mob videos, and videos of fights uploaded on WorldStarHipHop.  However, Itipar videos have a more particular meaning - in that they do not necessarily feature people shouting or getting overly angry or emotional - nor are they necessarily viral videos or feature flash mobs.  Itipar videos just show unusual things happening in public places, which often include videos in the previously-mentioned categories.  Itipar videos can be public freakout videos, but they can also be prank videos, which I don't think are necessarily public freakout videos.  The term "Itipar" refers to a wide range of videos.

I think that I sought Itipar videos because I rarely saw anything crazy happening in public places - or at least, my curiosity just inspired me.  It is just interesting to see such outlandish things happening in public - where nobody expects to see them - and when many people can react to them.  I also strongly prefer videos by ordinary people - not obviously-staged ones by highly popular YouTubers (even though Mark Dice is highly popular, nothing in his bullhorn video suggested that the event was staged).  I should also note that although many Itipar videos are fun to watch, I have great respect for people working in retail, and I don't support destructive pranks.

I haven't watched many Itipar videos in a while, but they are fun to watch once in a while - at least for the sake of nostalgia.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Abolish Red Tape and Disenfranchisement

For some time, I've been greatly worried about the unemployed homeless.  It seems that they have the least ability to participate in society.  Sure, for those down on their luck, there are government programs (e.g. welfare) and offers by private companies (e.g. "your job is your credit"), but for some people, the extent of many current government and private offers just isn't enough.  There are still some people who can't benefit from such offers.

Such offers are aimed those in the middle and lower classes - who are merely down on their luck - but aren't completely helpless.  Unfortunately, in society, there isn't often enough help for those who have absolutely nothing, and that needs to change.

Over the last few months in particular, I've grown concerned over the seemingly increasing level of identity and financial verification.  Credit scores and checks have seemingly become more pervasive, and even for getting an e-mail address from Yahoo! - or signing up for a VK account, one needs a phone number.  On top of that, there's the possibility that even prepaid phones could start requiring personal information.  It's a potential catch-22 that hurts the poor and those that have nothing.

Also, I've been shocked to learn that many banks require credit checks even for opening mere savings accounts, which I think is ridiculous.  If it were for actual loans, then yeah, I wouldn't be opposed to credit checks, but savings accounts are much lower risk, so there is no reason why banks should require credit checks for savings accounts.  All that does is disenfranchise those who need help.

Conservatives and Republicans will often complain about those gosh darn "government regulations."  But what they don't say is that they have no problem with "private regulations" - and that government regulations often times stop those "private regulations," which would have denied help for the poor.

Take Obamacare for example.  Before Obamacare, health insurance companies could deny coverage for people due to preexisting conditions, but thanks to Obamacare, that is (hopefully) no longer the case.  Denial for a preexisting condition could be considered a privately-imposed "regulation," which is just as bad and harmful to the poor as some (I emphasize the word "some") government regulations.

To me, it doesn't matter whether the regulation is from the government or a private entity - anything that disenfranchises the poor and underprivileged is bad and should be done away with - or allow the use of waivers for some circumstances.

Also, in addition to being indifferent to private regulations, conservatives and Republicans do still love some types of government regulations.  Despite their professed love for "small government," they have had no problems implementing things like the REAL ID Act - and have favored restricting LGBT and abortion rights - and have favored requiring ID at polling stations.  It sounds like Republicans aren't all that against government regulations after all.  Completely the opposite - Republicans love regulations - just not on the big businesses who actually can afford to deal with them.  And they also have no problem with privately-imposed regulations on access to health insurance, e-mail addresses, and bank accounts.

The problem with society nowadays is that there is a poor mixture of government and private policies.  My preferred system is a proper blend of government and private entities, but the system that we have in the United States - and unfortunately in many other industrialized countries - doesn't properly help those in the most need.  For instance, a government could require that someone seeking government assistance had to get a job.  However, that system could potentially be detrimental since one might not be able to find a job since private companies have the discretion not to hire people.  Some ways to fix this sort of situation (which is unfortunately very common in many countries nowadays) would be to either waive the employment requirement - or to provide an employment guarantee - an employer of last resort.  If one couldn't find employment in the private sector, then one could be assigned a job in a government or private entity.

To be fair, although I have been critical of private entities, they have occasionally done some good things to prevent disenfranchisement.  For instance, for the unbanked, there are prepaid debit cards that don't require credit checks.  Also, one can get website domains, e-mail addresses, online accounts, and Wi-Fi for free - although as I said earlier, for such services, there seems to be a growing amount of red tape, which needs to be abolished since all it does is disenfranchise the helpless.  The helpless can't improve their lives if stuck in a catch-22.  Some things should be able to be provided with no strings attached.

In the case of requiring phone numbers for e-mail addresses, having stricter photo ID requirements, and required registration for cell phones, some will say that these security measures are done in the name of fighting terrorism.  But short of stripping everyone's civil liberties, terrorism could still happen.  Increasing verification requirements wouldn't stop anything.  A perfectly law-abiding citizen could suddenly decide to become a terrorist.  Verification doesn't need to be increased - but the actual causes of terrorism need to be prevented.

The types of assistance available now do generally help (at least to some extent) those in the middle and lower classes, but they are not enough to help those that have absolutely nothing.  The poor mixture of government and private policies keeps the helpless trapped, and both government and private policies must be properly coordinated to ensure that even those with absolutely nothing can participate in society and rebuild their lives.

I Have Trichotemnomania

I have trichotemnomania - not to be confused with the more commonly-known trichotillomania.  Trichotemnomania is distinguished from trichotillomania in that those with trichotemnomania are obsessed with cutting or shaving off hair - rather than pulling it out as those with trichotillomania are.

I felt the need to make this post since trichotemnomania seems much less known as trichotillomania, and I wanted it to be more well known.  An example of a character in popular culture with trichotemnomania is Fred from Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Trichotemnomania isn't a major part of my life, but I am still moderately obsessed with shaving hair.  I should note that I've liked mowing lawns, which could be a symptom of my trichotemnomania - even though mowing lawns deals with long grass instead of hair.

Also, lately, I've been somewhat obsessed with The Simpsons, and have wanted to shave the hair off three characters in particular: Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson, and Ned Flanders.

First, Homer barely has any hair - aside from his wispy combover and hair above his ears.  Since he barely has any hair, that wispy amount that he has left looks bad.  He would look so much better if he shaved his whole head.  In fact, his head was completely shaved when he was the prison snitch in the episode "The Seven-Beer Snitch," and indeed, he looked so much more well-manicured.  If only he always kept his head shaved - and if only he also shaved off his five o'clock shadow, too.

Secondly, Marge also is a very obvious target.  Her hair looks so tall, thick, and hot - and disproportionate to her head.  If I could enter the Simpsons' world, I would take some hedge clippers and chop off the bulk of Marge's hair - and then neaten her hair up.  That way, she would still have hair - but it wouldn't be so disproportionately thick and tall.

Finally, Ned has rather thick hair and a rather thick moustache, too - both of which I would be ever-so eager to shave off.  I've tried to figure out why exactly I've felt that Ned's hair didn't look right to me, and I've lately figured that it's just too thick, rectangular, and straight.  It just looks too shaggy and somewhat aesthetically unpleasing - compared to Reverend Lovejoy's hair, who still has a nice, full head of hair - but without looking so hot and shaggy.

For some time, I've felt that my hair is too long if it sticks through my fingers.  Anything shorter than that is fine.  I like hair, but shaving it is fun, too.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Shannon Mall ASCII Logo

After waking up today, I realized that we had gotten snow, which was nice since my area hadn't had snow in probably almost four years.

Anyway, after spending some time in the snow (I wrote "트럼프" and "ПЛОХОЙ ТРАМП" and made some snowballs), I decided on the spur of the moment to remake an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo.

I made an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo on December 24, 2014, but a few months later, it was lost - along with other data that I hadn't backed up - when my original eMachines hard drive broke - after I banged on it in rage.  Since then, I never got around to remaking the ASCII image - until today.

I basically repeated the same steps that I did to make the image that I did back in 2014 (thankfully, after my hard drive broke, I still had my list of documents, which had some notes on how I made the image).  Like in 2014, I used Paint.NET and an ASCII art plugin - and loaded the same, 176x67 logo.  I inverted the colors - and reduced the size.  Unfortunately, in my list of documents, I didn't specify the size to which I shrank the logo, but since I've wanted ASCII art to be visible on a traditional 80x25 screen, I shrank the width to 76 pixels, and the height automatically adjusted (I've used numbers slightly below 80x25 to ensure that everything fits within the 80x25 resolution).  I then converted the image to an ASCII text file, and voilà, I again had an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo!

The above image is the Shannon Mall logo - after typing "TYPE SHANMALL.TXT" in DOSBox.  Thankfully, despite shrinking the image, it still resembles the original logo.  For anyone interested, here is the Shannon Mall ASCII text file.

I'm happy with how this turned out.  It's really cool to think that one can make images out of text characters - and that if Shannon Mall had a website in the '80s, it could have had an ASCII logo like this.  Also, I'm very happy that I have a Paint.NET plugin that allows ASCII art to be made automatically.