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Messages - cromag

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Childless couples
« on: March 01, 2009, 11:46:51 PM »
I've given this a great deal of thought, Mike and Lena.

It's difficult to convey in words the wonder of parenthood, especially in an impersonal forum post, so I think the best thing would be for you two to try it out for a while, to see what you're missing.

I'll tell you what -- my wife and I would be willing to lend you our kids for a short ... "test drive."  Maybe, say, a weekend?  Of course, one weekend won't really give you a feel for the joys and wonders of parenthood, so maybe ... a couple of weekends ... a month?  Strictly so you can see what you're missing, of course.  We won't charge you a penny!

You could pick them up on a Friday evening, perhaps, and spend the weekend with them, and then drop them both back home on Sunday.  You could enjoy the full experience, unhurried.

Don't worry about my wife and I.  We'll keep busy.  Maybe catch a couple movies, take in a show, go out for dinner.  We'll manage.  ;)

So, whadya say?  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Childless couples
« on: March 01, 2009, 11:38:04 PM »
Hi Cromag,  Great story! It is always inspiring to hear a story like this. I have a 13 year old granddaughter who has autism and I know how much work you both have done to get to this point.       Harry

Sorry this is so late, Harry.  Good luck and best wishes to your granddaughter and her extended family.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Childless couples
« on: February 13, 2009, 01:41:24 AM »
I mostly "lurk" in the forum, and hardly ever venture out of the music areas ... and then I found this thread ... this morning.

When I got out of college (geology degree) I went out to work.  I worked oil wells in California, Alaska, Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the north Atlantic.  When I burned out on that lifestyle I took a "fun" job, picking up road-killed deer in NJ.  When that job petered out (the state decided it would be cheaper to leave the deer and let the towns pick them up) I landed a job in CT with the phone company.  I was an early enthusiast of home computers, so when the old "Bell System" broke up I had no trouble getting to AT&T, serving on regional and corporate technical staffs, and then landing a job as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs (back when Bell Labs was still Bell Labs!).

I got into the "relationship" business late in the game.  I got married at age 38.  I'm the oldest of 6, and having a family with kids was a big factor in our decision to get married.  We even planned on me being a stay-at-home dad for a few years.

My son was born on February 13, 1992.  Nearly two years later my daughter was born.  And my son was diagnosed with autism.  At the time of his diagnosis autism wasn't the media darling that it is today -- the first talk of an autism epidemic didn't make it into the media until a year or two later.  When he was diagnosed there was no talk of "high functioning"  -- we were warned that he would never speak and would need to live in an institution for the rest of his life.

The good news is, I was a stay-at-home dad, and I had the time to work with him.  I learned fast, and we started making good progress.  I had him speaking by the time he was three and a half years old.  We were able to get him into a specialized school and he continued to make progress -- so much that he entered our school district's kindergarten when he was six.  He had a full time aide until he graduated from 8th grade.

Today is his 17th birthday.  He will never be "just another kid" but he is a sophomore in our local public high school, without an aide, and he's on track for college.  I'm still a stay-at-home dad, but I should get back to gainful employment in a couple years.

When my son was still a perfect baby boy I bought a tee shirt that said, "Fatherhood, -- it's not just a job, it's an adventure."  I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it's not the kind of decision that should be up to anyone else.  You guys make the decision that's right for you.

With a couple kids to feed it's difficult to imagine not taking a car to the supermarket, no matter how close you live.  I usually do the grocery shopping twice a week and easily take home three to five shopping bags at a trip.  I buy "bulk" fruit and vegetables once a week.  I make a trip to Costco and one (or more) of the discount stores a couple times a month.  And I go to a clothing store or (more likely, the way young feet grow) a shoe store (or shoe department) every couple of months.  Etc., etc.  And a few times a year I take a  moderately long ride to spend an afternoon checking out used LPs at the Princeton Record Exchange -- I deserve some fun, don't I?

The biggest change I've made is planning.  It takes a little thought, but I've found that I can save quite a bit of gas if I combine a grocery trip and a discount/clothing store run or some other job.  On my last trip to Princeton I picked up sneakers for my son and a large batch of groceries on the way home.  It sounds obvious, but it's not something that comes naturally to me -- I'm not the "organized/planner" type -- and it's harder to schedule longer trips around the kids' schedules, but it saves money.  Now that I've started I'll probably keep on doing it even as gas prices come back down (at least part of the way).

Everything and Nothing / Re: WALL - E
« on: June 30, 2008, 12:41:35 AM »
Haven't seen it yet, but it's Disney and I have kids, so I probably will.

Still, Wall-E seems to look an awful lot like Number 5 from Short Circuit.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Charles Manson enjoys Hearts of Space
« on: March 27, 2008, 11:54:33 PM »
Well, that was strange.

Just as strange and chilling were the comments and responses that seemed sympathetic to Charles Manson.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Confused about DVD regions
« on: March 27, 2008, 11:48:51 PM »
While I'm not an absolute authority on this subject, I believe that if you convert the DVDs yourself (here in the states) you would be in technical violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

From Wikipedia, itself not an authority, either --

Quote from: Wiki
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law which implements two 1996 WIPO treaties. It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM) and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself...

I looked into this possibility a few years ago, when the Stargate SG1 episodes were being released in Europe right away, but delayed by a year or two here in the states to protect syndication sales.

My guess would be that space music originated with music composed/performed for planetarium shows during the 70s and 80s.  Of course, there were visionary folks such as Stephen Hill who brought the subgenre to the forefront in the mid-to-late 80s.  I remember when he was broadcasting live in the mid-80s and played Robert Rich's music (then on cassette only) on his show.


I've got to admit that this was the first thing I thought of -- Jonn Serrie came to mind.  Also some electronic/sequencer music does it for me.

Now Playing / Re: Good Web Radio?
« on: March 21, 2008, 01:38:48 AM »
I'll put in a plug for the archived shows at Ultima Thule (Australian), and Electroland (Danish).

Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: March 21, 2008, 01:15:20 AM »
I've been buying a ton of (used) vinyl for the past year or so.  Most of it falls into two categories:  music that I really like but will never be on CD (or was only briefly available) or music that reminds me of a time or place, but I wouldn't want to pay CD prices for (think MacArthur Park or In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida).

I physically clean the vinyl (including a soak in warm water and detergent), dry it thoroughly, burn it to a CD-RW, rip it into a computer, and "clean" the sound with some very good software.  Then I burn it to CD, and rip it to my MP3 player.

I grew up on vinyl, but there's no question to me that a CD (in a good player/stereo system) sounds much, much better.

The "warmth" of vinyl is distortion -- very pleasant distortion, but still distortion.  If you really want it, there are programs that can add it back in.  Heck, the software I use will even (mathematically) duplicate the sound of specific vacuum tube amplifiers, if that's what you want!  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: March 21, 2008, 12:10:11 AM »
First, best of luck to all with regard to health, employment, and creativity.

As a stay-at-home Dad, my first job is to get back up to speed on quadratic equations so I can stay a step ahead of my son on his homework.  And keep the van running so I can continue to get both my kids to karate, scouts, music lessons, camps, theater programs, after school class help, etc.  Maybe continue finding a little time to volunteer at the handicapped riding center (actually, the only place I get to talk to other adults!)

Find spare time to listen to music (and some NPR).  Get back into long walks/hikes (hurt my foot pretty bad in 2006).  Bring my MP3 player and kill two birds with one stone!  ;D

Still be here to post a slightly updated version of this list in 2009.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 12, 2007, 10:00:27 PM »
Recently stumbled on a used CD site that had five Michael Garrison CDs.  I've been looking for these (and some others) for a lo-ooo-ong time.  I'm going to have to take the headphones off before I get algae in my ears.

Everything and Nothing / Re: a poll
« on: December 06, 2007, 04:24:29 PM »
There are many good things about cheese but cheese has no single color.

Oh.  I read that as "cheesey."  :(  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 06, 2007, 04:23:31 PM »
Glad to see the forum up and running.  Always fun to have ... interesting ... and unexpected ... tasks pop up in the holiday season!

I for one have no problem with the light blue theme, other than it is exactly like another (Simple Machines) forum I post on, and I'm easily confused!

Thanks again for your effort!  I appreciate it!

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