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Messages - Bill Binkelman

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I am really excited about this film. The latest trailer makes it look like a serious SF film with brains and heart. Hopefully, this will not be a let-down (cough * Prometheus * cough).

This is a techie question for those of you who watch a fair amount of HDTV. I have to replace my 5 year old LCD Samsung due to ALL 4 of its HDMI ports quitting (a common problem with 2008-2010 models, apparently). I will be buying a 47 inch set (either LG or Samsung, most likely). I have been reading a lot that, in recent years, the 60Hz refresh rate LEDs has greatly improved in eliminating motion blur and that 120Hz actually can be worse due to the "soap opera" effect. On article on basically stated that thr upgrade from 60 to 120 Hz isn't worth the added expenditure (this was a 2013 article). I can save over 100 bucks buying a 60 Hz set. We don't play games (well, the VERY occasional Wii) and for sports, we only watch football or golf...we mostly watch cable TV and DVD movies (both standard and blu-ray), so I am considering a 60 Hz and 1080p set. My Samsung is a 120Hz 1080p set but we also have a LG 720p 60Hz set in the bedroom. Unless I sit within a foot, I have never seen blur from either set. So, what I am looking for is (a) general advice (whatever you want to offer) but more importantly (b) if you own a 60Hz set, do you ever see blur and is it a big issue for you? Thanks in advance for any and all opinions. With our HDMI ports out on the Samsung, we can't watch DVDs or use our Roku for streaming Netflix, which is a HUGE bummer for us, so I'd like to get this resolved soon.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Does this woman want me to ask her out?
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:27:17 AM »
As someone who entered the dating pool first at 18, then again at 36 (divorce), and the last time at 39 (after a 3 year relationship went bust), I can tell you that the woman's (and your) age is a determining factor. The older a person is, IMO, the more direct you can be. I'm not saying you can ask her "Hey, wanna shag?" but I also know that as I got older, the less women cared about the "opening gambit" and it was more about the middle and end game. While a "coffee" date is cliche, no matter how old a woman is, she wants to feel safe, so the first date needs to be something non-threatening and friendly, e.g.  a walk, coffee, or maybe a daytime movie. OTOH, you can just come right out and ask "Would you like to go out sometime?" That way, you will know her intentions right away - if she says "no" then you are either misreading her or she is not yet ready to make her intentions clear. If she says "yes" well, you're all set. If you want to make it safer, you can ask her to coffee, a walk, or something that people do even if they are not "dating." Dinner or lunch is fine, provided it is not a restaurant that screams "Romance!" Maybe something like "I have read about a new Asian/French/etc. restaurant and want to try it...would you like to join me?" DON'T OFFER TO PAY for goodness sake. For myself, I always took the most direct approach as I got older, simply because I didn't want to beat around the bush (hoo boy...I know). Some women liked that, some didn't. 

Lastly, I agree with Sun Dummy...I have lots of regrets...not for things I have done, but things left unsaid and undone. I've told some women things that I, in hindsight, probably should've kept to myself (unrequited love and all that), but at least I won't be left wondering "If only...."

Everything and Nothing / Re: My coworker stopped talking to me
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:12:59 PM »
A coworker advised to only make an effort if this is genuinely somebody I care about.  I can't say that about this person because all there is is small talk and tv and movies discussions.  I feel like if my conscience is clear that I didn't do or say anything to warrant this situation, then the other person is choosing to behave this way based on their own issues.  Maybe I just need to suck it up and take it like a man.

I think this is the wisest approach to take, based on my experience as well.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Insomnia treatments
« on: March 28, 2014, 10:01:01 PM »
When I was newly divorced and my folks died, all in a short amount of time, I had lots of problems sleeping. I used environmental sound recordings set on repeat. Ambient music is fine, but I think just sounds are better. I used a recording of gentle rain with nocturnal insects. Thunderstorms are great for relaxing but lousy for sleeping, IMO. A steady irregular noise did the trick for me. These days, since Kathryn needs some kind of white noise to sleep, we sleep with the fan on in the spring, summer and fall and switch to a humidifier in the winter. It's to the point that I can't sleep without white noise at all...which makes staying in hotels interesting...if we are driving on vacation, I take a small fan with us everywhere...anyway, my sympathies. I spent years having trouble sleeping, esp. when I worked at IBM. It sucks and I hope you find a solution.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: True Detective
« on: March 06, 2014, 10:40:25 PM »
Kathryn and I have watched from week 1. is OUTSTANDING writing and Matthew Mc C is amazing, as is Woody H. Ranks up there with The Shield and Justified, IMO.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help me find good cider
« on: January 01, 2014, 12:27:26 PM »
It's not a dark cider, but the closest brand I have had here in the US (after a visit in England to a cidery and having draft cider) is Crispin Brut (Extra Dry). It's very dry, IMO, esp. when compared to a lot of other ciders. And it's reasonably priced, too. But I haven't sampled a lot of the more expensive artisan ciders, either. The main thing I like about Crispin (the Brut variety) is it really is quite dry, which what many of the English ciders I sampled while there were.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Christmas wishes from Mike & Lena
« on: December 25, 2013, 05:52:46 PM »
Merry Christmas to you and Lena, Mike. Hope it was a good day, despite your being sick. I also hope you both get better soon and that you have a fantastic New Year!

For me, it's still a toss up between Cragganmore and Balvenie DoubleWood. I'm a Highland and Speyside man, and not that fond of peat. There are some great lower priced Scotches out there, such as the undated McClellands, which I've always enjoyed. Last time I bought it, it was about $18 bucks...for a single malt, that's pretty good. It's not dated, but I'd imagine it's a 7-9 year old Scotch. A lot smoother than you'd think, IMO.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The new age music 'scene' ?
« on: December 17, 2013, 12:34:13 AM »
Is there such a thing ? I was looking at this site today:

I'm not getting into the merits / demerits of the music as such, just that it seems a whole lot more commercially oriented than ambient. There's some artists who crossover from the ambient side of things, but they aren't as 'hardcore' (an oxymoron here ?) as some of the big name new age artists I've come across. I'm not being judgmental about that, I'm just curious. My only dalliance with the 'scene' was trying to push the 2004 '8 Shades of Sound'  album I produced, but I gave up on that as I wasn't too keen on sending hundreds of copies of the CD to the States (where all the radio stations were based) I'm curious if things are still the same ?

I'm sure some people here know much more about this side of things - Bill B, Jeff P et al 

Don't these artists have bad days and want to release some fiercely abrasive dark ambience ? :)

Do you really want my opinion on this? Remember that I now review for a "new age" magazine. Plus, as many know, I am a HUGE fan of the genre as well. Is this a Pandora's box you really want to open? I am asking that sincerely before I write a book in answer to your post. I'll never apologize for my love of new age music...and I will also always opine that the line between "some" ambient and some new age music is mighty thin.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: what Tv series should I see ?
« on: December 08, 2013, 08:02:42 PM »
Ya know...if you like SF, Falling Skies is pretty decent. Some episodes are kinda "meh" but the story arc is intriguing, especially the most recent season.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: what Tv series should I see ?
« on: December 08, 2013, 04:43:40 PM »
I assume you already have watched Firefly?

Samsung 37 inch LCD (1080/120 mHz) in the living room
LG 32 inch LCD (720/60 mHz) in the suits us fine since we don't watch much TV there

I will be buying a 46 inch LG LED (1080/120 mHz) next because Samsungs are more expensive and I can't tell that much difference between the two plus I have had some issues with my Samsung (3 of the 4 HDMI inputs went bad within 1 year...a problem with lots of Samsungs back a few years ago).

I know plasmas give a better picture, but I have had no issues with LCD...the picture is bright enough, the blacks are black enough (for me) and the viewing angle is more than good enough for our rather narrow living room.

You said Steve roach was totally overrated, then you later said he was brilliant. 

I'm surprised on this Vangelis opinion because there are lots of EM biggies who list him as a major influence.  He had some amazing synth sounds and nobody could really replicate that.

No...the joke is that I used to say Steve was overrated all the time (long time forumites can back me up on that). I was using that as example of an outrageous statement I could make to provoke discussion. I haven't had that opinion of Roach in many years. I don't like him as much as a lot of people, but I no longer think he is overrated. He's just not always my cup of tea, but some of his recent stuff is great.

I only offered my real opinion of Vangelis because you or someone else asked if I was serious. I was only making a joke in response to the lack of discussion here. Sorry if that wasn't clear. But I still don't care much for Vangelis. And I am mystified that so many artists claim him as an inspiration and an influence. I just don't get it. So, sue me, I guess.

So you can be brilliant AND overrated?  If someone said I was overrated I would take it as a knock. 

About Vangelis:  I would recommend Soil Festivities and Opera Sauvage to those who think only Bladerunner is worthwhile.  The compilation Themes is also pretty comprehensive for his classic period.  Anything after The City is not recommended.

Who did I state was brilliant and overrated?

RE: Vangelis...I find a lot of his music to be overblown, melodramatic, and pretentious. For example, Heaven and Hell. Admittedly, Blade Runner is good...albeit even some of that is a bit syrupy, IMO. I must admit I am puzzled by how many ambient fans like his music when, with only a few exceptions, he is much closer to classic new age than either ambient or EM (again, this is IMO). I recently played The City again and could only get through half the tracks without hitting the "skip" button. If you like a "big" dramatic sound like Vangelis, I think early Jon Jenkins (with Paul Lackey), e.g. Continuum, or Greg Klamt's Fulcrum, or JJ's later work with David Helpling are all better choices. Or you could go the oldie route and dig up some classic Richard Burmer, e.g. Bhakti Point.

Are you serious that Vangelis is complete crap???

No...some of his stuff is okay...but IMO he IS totally over-rated and a bit self-important about his own musical impact. Just my two cents. I couldn't use the words "over-rated" to describe him because Steve Roach already took that title. ;) ::)

Don't pay too much attention to what I write. Everyone who knows me knows my opinions of who is great and who is over-rated are all out of whack with everyone else. For example, I think Jeff Pearce, as loved as he is here and among his fans, is actually UNDER-RATED. I think Jeff is a freakin' genius when you examine his entire body of work. Why he isn't every bit as revered as Roach and Rich (which is NOT a knock on Steve and Robert, both of whom are also brilliant) is a mystery to me. Just my two cents.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: what Tv series should I see ?
« on: November 26, 2013, 06:49:56 AM »
The Shield

They are among my all time favorites...all are on blu-ray and DVD. All have great great characters, great performances, and are exceedingly well-written, esp. IMO, Justified.

I'm listening to this now (thanks to Jeff for sending me a copy). Long time list members know that I, unlike many, am a huge fan of fairly recent Greinke releases, such as Virga and Winter Light, which some found to be too "soft" and nothing at all like his past, more abstract albums, such as Places of Motility, Lost Terrain, etc. I loved the melancholic, soundscape, cinematic elements of both Virga and Winter Light, both which reminded me of Mychael Danna's work, such as skys as well as of Tim Story's The Perfect Flaw. Anyway, this new one has Jeff working with a LOT of acoustic instrument accompanists: French horn, percussion, drums, trumpet, clarinet, viola, violin, trombone, cello, guitar, bass, etc. Jeff plays "all other instrumentation, sounds and rhythms." Some of the music has a strong chamber music aesthetic to it, and may elicit a somber/melancholic mood, but not always. "Valley and Ridge" is propelled by a cheery series of bell tones, percussive effects, and sweet string melodies with what I would characterize as a subtle Asian undertone. Based on the (gorgeous) photos contained in the accompanying booklet, I think the title of the CD indicates what the CD is meant to accompany the images as one rides the train...particularly across a rural landscape in what appears to be the farm belt of the US (but I'm just speculating here). "The Milky Way" features forlorn trumpet set against an undercurrent of a rhythmic repeating texture (meant, I guess, to simulate the sound of a train on the tracks) before its mid-section morphs into a more free-form jazz meets quasi-experimental neo-classical semi-dissonance, reemerging into a more structured repeat of the first half. OTOH, "Haboob" is closer to post-rock. Searing guitars, raucous rhythms on trap kit drums and other devices, a subdued sensation of restrained chaos permeates the cut. and And I am now writing a review, which I only intended on giving a snapshop so I'll just close by saying that this may be Jeff's most ambitious album to cannot be easily summed up (I wish myself luck on writing this review), and needs to be slowly digested, especially with how diverse it is at times.

My caveat is if you are fond of his early more traditionally ambient/dark ambient work and don't enjoy his recent stuff or his more non-ambient work and also if you don't enjoy acoustic instruments carrying the bulk of the load, you should listen to sound clips first. Myself, while I am still getting used to this, I know I like it just because I can "hear Jeff Greinke in it" and that's enough for me.

Steve Roach is over-rated, Vangelis is complete crap, Prometheus is a REALLY SHITTY movie, and New Age Music is not the devils's spawn but actually can be really cool.

How's that?  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: A Favor from my Hypnos friends.
« on: October 16, 2013, 07:45:48 AM »
Saw the message about this at Relaxed Machinery and have voted 3 times (twice from home and once from work) so far and will continue voting as well. Good luck!

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