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Messages - cromag

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Picture from my recent trip to Disney World!
« on: December 15, 2009, 05:05:45 PM »
Well, I guess 2009 is going out in a bang, eh?

Seriously, "no one hurt" is the key phrase.  Glad to hear that!

Better luck from here on out!

Everything and Nothing / Re: What's the verdict on Thanksgiving?
« on: November 25, 2009, 10:03:10 PM »
I solemnly observe the ritualized playing of Alice's Restaurant (Arlo Guthrie) and Mayflower (Jon and Vangelis).

This is the first year in ages that my extended family won't be coming here (I didn't have to clean and I won't have to cook!!!  ;D ).  We're all driving to my youngest sister's place, about 2 hours from here.  The weather (in the morning, at least, when we'll be driving) will be potentially bad, and we're going up the NY Thruway, which is never a pleasant drive -- but hey, it's family!

After that I stay off the roads until Monday.

And I don't know if it has been clarified yet -- I skimmed -- but I think the US Thanksgiving is the Thursday of the last full week in November.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now watching...
« on: November 12, 2009, 12:47:24 AM »
I lost the local ABC affiliate when TV switched to digital  -- they stayed VHF when everyone else went UHF, and signal strength made for a great analog picture won't make it as digital -- but I've been watching FlashForward online, and I like it so far.  It really doesn't share much with the book it's based on, but it's pretty good so far.

On an earlier point, I dislike the way Disney manipulates the market -- it's just profiteering on little kids, as far as I'm concerned.  My kids are finally old enough to have figured out what the "vault" is all about.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Alcohol at lunch?
« on: November 12, 2009, 12:38:39 AM »
Back in the 80s when I was working technical support for a sales force I was absolutely amazed that people would go out and have a few beers at lunch.  I definitely saw an impact on their work.

Bu-uuu-ut ... we were a lot shorter on tech support than we were on sales people back then, so I used to come in on the weekend to get my paperwork done.  When I did I'd bring a beer for lunch, and toss the empty in the boss' waste paper basket.

In today's security conscious environment they'd probably know who was in the building when, but back then it caused no end of consternation.  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: a few photos...
« on: October 28, 2009, 09:14:32 PM »
Beautiful shot!  My impression was that the cat is annoyed that the dog is hogging the sunlight.

Everything and Nothing / Re: It's a new year... let's introduce ourselves
« on: October 28, 2009, 09:12:31 PM »
Hello, treibklang!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Skateboard contest need help!
« on: October 28, 2009, 09:10:44 PM »
Okay, I voted.  But I really should have run it past skaterboy (my son) first.  He's the authority in the family.  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: VISTA
« on: October 22, 2009, 08:28:39 PM »
I use XP because I have to.  There are a couple programs I use that are only available as Windows programs.  I avoided Vista like the plague that it was.

I used to work at Bell Labs (back when it was Bell Effin' Labs!) so I know, and dearly love, UNIX.  I left just as X Windows was entering the community, so I mostly used the command line.

Still, I just picked up a used Lenovo desktop, with some spare components (bigger hard drive, DVD drive, etc.) and when they're put together I plan to install Ubuntu Linux.  I could actually do that in an afternoon, but my high school daughter is taking a computer hardware maintenance class and I said I'd let her help.

As far as Windows goes, well just about a year ago I suffered an awe-inspiring malware attack.  I actually triggered it early by trying to scan before the trojan was set to go off.  It took me a month to clean all the remnants off -- and even at that I was lucky.  I run an anti-malware scan every day, with a thorough anti-malware scan and thorough antivirus scan every week.  I figure I'm spending three hours a week scanning.  Who designs this kind of an OS?  Who would want to use it?

Anyway, eventually I suppose I can disconnect the XP box from the internet and safely run the Windows-only programs.  Then I can swap in the Linux box.

And Microsoft can upgrade and issue security patches to their hearts' content!  :P

Everything and Nothing / Re: Oriental/Asian style atmospheric music
« on: October 18, 2009, 08:18:44 PM »
The only thing that really stands out in my mind would be Kitaro's Silk Road Vol. 1 & 2.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Sad News
« on: October 18, 2009, 07:41:46 PM »
Thank you, Tom, for thinking of us in what must be a heart breaking time for you.  My condolences and best wishes for Jim's family and friends, especially the youngest.

Like many here I knew him only through his posts, but I feel I knew him well enough that I'll miss him.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Cliff Martinez downloads
« on: October 07, 2009, 07:24:59 PM »

My son (Dave, 27) just made an interesting comment.  He has recently gotten into vinyl.  He is making observations about the differences between digital and analog from a standpoint of someone who has gone from digital to analog, not analog to digital, as I did growing up with records and switching to cds (of which I have done an about face and in the past two years have bought less than 10 cds but over 1000 albums).  His comment was that digital music is made to be on the go.

Not particularly on the idea of this thread, but something to consider. 

This is very interesting. Did he make any other observations?


I can understand the idea, but I suspect that he just missed the whole 1980s Walkman phase.  The first time I went out for a hike in a park with headphones on and Fleetwood Mac's Mystery to Me album playing I would have made the same distinction between LPs and cassettes.

Re: What would you like to see happen in the ambient genre?

Beats me!  I'm a listener, and I'm just along for the ride!  ;D

I prefer true CDs because I believe they stand the best chance of lasting as long as me.  A good quality CD-R, burned on a good drive at the slowest possible speed is an acceptable second choice, but I'll burn an extra copy of those and keep them in a dark box.  But if it comes down to buying a CD at $25 or downloading  the music for $10, I'll download.  If I can download lossless FLACs, so much the better.

I appreciate good packaging.  It might tip me in favor of buying a CD that I was already interested in, but all by itself it won't pull me in.  When a CD comes in a jewel case with art and notes, I keep it that way.  Most of the time I buy music online I burn a CD-R with the supplied artwork (or some of my own, if necessary) and keep it in a slim jewel case, with an archival copy in a paper envelope.  (I wish I had more room, but that's my problem.)

As far as the music and creative direction -- that's not my decision.  I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to love next.  For every artist who has taken a direction that left me cold, at least one new artist has shown up with a keeper.

I'll try to think of something else, but right now this area of my life is going pretty good!  ;)

Thanks for the link!  Sounds great!  :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: a few photos...
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:49:49 PM »
Beautiful shots.  I used to do some gravestone rubbings and cemetery photos around here back in the 70s.

A couple of them would make neat album covers.  I was thinking of the close-up of the stone roses.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Get Well for Jim Brenholts
« on: September 24, 2009, 01:53:45 PM »
Get well, Jim!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Guitars picking up noise from PC
« on: September 24, 2009, 12:11:11 AM »
Well, from your description the source sure sounds like the computer -- either the power supply or the motherboard.

If it has suddenly become a problem, could you have damaged the cable or it's connections recently?

Everything and Nothing / Re: I almost drank a bug
« on: September 23, 2009, 11:53:07 PM »
When I was a kid we had blackberry bushes in the woods near the house.  I used to pick buckets of them ... but I ate them as soon as picked them so I never had any to bring home.  Every once in a while I'd get one with a spider or some other bug on it.  I'd know, because they'd sting my tongue.

Made me wonder how many other bugs there were on those berries that didn't have stingers.  :-\

Everything and Nothing / Re: Great article - "This is why you are in debt"
« on: September 15, 2009, 12:38:32 AM »
Actually, I'd be happy if they just picked a day during the month when they wanted me to pay my bill and then stuck to it.

Right now my payment date can vary by a week or two from month to month, making it very easy for me to get careless and get hit with a late fee.  But I'm sure they don't do that on purpose.  ;)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: September 15, 2009, 12:33:31 AM »
Recently I really, really enjoyed a book called Born to Run which is mostly about a tribe called the Tarahumara in Mexico who live hidden in the canyons and whose culture involves extremely long-distance running, for hunting and for entertainment.

The author is an American magazine writer who keeps getting injuries while running relatively modest distances and he becomes curious about why so many modern, urban runners are hurt all the time, despite fancy, expensive running shoes, while relatively primitive runners running in the mountains in bare feet or hand-made sandals, can run 50 or 100 miles at a time without injuries.

So it's partly an exploration of the Tarahumara, with insight into the American running scene, particularly the niches of ultramarathoning and trail running, culminating in a "challenge" race between top American ultramarathoners like Scott Jurek and Jenn Shelton, against a handful of Tarahumara runners in their weird garb and sandals.

This really was one of the most interesting and inspiring books I've read in a long time, and made me question a lot of our assumptions about physical limitations.

I didn't spot this at first, but the author was interviewed on one of my semi-local public radio stations.  You can hear the show, if you like, by downloading the MP3 from their archives, <HERE>.  Enter the author's name in the search box.  I was born with flat feet, and they've only gotten worse, so I was pretty interested in the show when I heard it.

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