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Messages - cromag

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Everything and Nothing / Re: E-readers revisited 2010
« on: April 02, 2010, 10:20:04 PM »
We got my Dad (in his late 80s) a Kindle for Christmas.  A couple of my very tech-handy brothers and sisters live nearby and can help him out if he needs it, but once he got it up and running he hasn't needed any help.  Last I heard, he's having a ball!

As far as the Ipad goes, I'm right down the road from a major regional mall with an Apple store, where they'll be releasing the Ipad tomorrow -- and there's no way you could make me take those roads until this dies down.  Tonight's Charlie Rose show did a very good job of covering the Ipad and speculating on its potential for success.  If you missed it, and are interested, it should be up on his website in a day or two.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum Weight-Loss Challenge 2010
« on: March 30, 2010, 06:18:42 PM »
I find it safer to just buy the cookies.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum Weight-Loss Challenge 2010
« on: March 29, 2010, 02:09:54 PM »
I have one living at home with me!

Curse those Thin Mints and their handy, single-serving sized boxes!!!  ;)

Thank you!  I shared the YouTube link with a few friends.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum Weight-Loss Challenge 2010
« on: March 26, 2010, 03:05:19 PM »
My daughter just bought a bamboo steamer at a local Asian food market.  We haven't given it a test ride, yet.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The price of CDs
« on: March 18, 2010, 09:19:35 PM »
I buy maybe one or two CDs a year that cost more than $12.  I buy a few CDs in the "$5 to $12" range every year.  I don't really think too hard before buying used CDs for less than $5 at the Princeton Record Exchange or one of the local thrift stores (I visit Good Will and the Salvation army stores a couple times a month) -- although I'll pass if the CD looks beat.

I'd love to buy a CD in a paper envelope cheap and then download and print up the inserts for myself.  For a CD-R I'd just as soon download and burn my own, if that's an option -- I put good burners in my computer and buy very good blanks for stuff I want to keep.

EDIT: On reflection, maybe downloading the inserts wouldn't be the best option, since a pirate would get the music illegally and then download the artwork.  Maybe the CD could come with a code that would trigger the download or get the artwork emailed?

Everything and Nothing / Re: Hypnos Forum Weight-Loss Challenge 2010
« on: March 18, 2010, 09:09:33 PM »
My problems are portion control and lack of exercise.  I'll be posting here periodically -- I'm 6'3" and 255 lbs and would like to drop at least 30 lbs.

I'm still 20 pounds less than my all time high of 275 in 2002.

Everything and Nothing / Re: How do you do?
« on: March 18, 2010, 09:05:58 PM »
Hi, again.  I'm Kevin, a stay-at-home dad in New Jersey.

Unlike many on this forum, I'm just a music listener, not a music maker.  Back in the 60s I tried my hand at making some music that I was interested in hearing and no one else was making -- my high school girlfriend said it sounded like a toilet flushing in a windstorm, and went back to listening to top 40 music on her transistor radio*.  At night I secretly listed to Lothar and the Hand People, the United States of America (wore the grooves off that one!), etc.   (* Interestingly, long after we broke up a mutual friend mentioned that she was hooked on the humpback whale song LP I gave her!)

My current projects include installing an antenna farm in the attic to pick up digital TV from distant Philadelphia -- my wife doesn't get the same "thrill of the hunt" that comes from rotating the rabbit ears to find a signal.  I'm also trying to figure the best way to hack a CompactFlash card to replace the hard disk in my Creative Zen Sleek.  Oh ... and the dishwasher finally crapped out -- I'm looking into how to fix it.

Otherwise, driving my two teenagers back and forth from everywhere keeps me pretty busy!

Everything and Nothing / Re: December 21, 2012 Theories
« on: March 16, 2010, 07:36:12 PM »
I believe that on 12/21/12, in spite of important lessons hard-learned over many years, ... I will still be rushing around with last-minute Christmas shopping.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Environmental "concern"
« on: March 15, 2010, 04:18:07 PM »
Hmmm ...

New laminates on the countertops?

And how long has it been since anyone changed the filters on your air handling equipment?

That officially exhausts my guesses!  Good luck!

Thank you for pointing me towards your blog!  It sounds great!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Environmental "concern"
« on: March 14, 2010, 01:04:35 PM »
It's got to be the containers.  The composition must have changed.

I noticed.  Nice to have you guys back.

I actually typed the forum address in at to find out if you were ... Down For Everyone Or Just Me.  ;)

I still have a bunch of mini-discs, and I haven't noticed any failures -- but it's a closed, proprietary technology, isn't it?  I'd expect there to be much less variation between manufacturers.

Still, the restrictions Sony imposed on that medium broke my heart worse than my high school girlfriend!  :'(

Everything and Nothing / Re: Michael Moore - Capitalism: A Love Story
« on: March 05, 2010, 05:11:13 PM »
One of my grandfathers was born in Sweden, so I don't plan on doing any bashing!

I haven't seen the movie, and don't intend to.  Michael Moore is no more serious political commentator than Rush Limbaugh, IMHO.  ;)

I think unregulated "free" enterprise is every bit as bad as unrestricted socialism.  In between there's lots to be said for (and against) most middle ground options.  Suffice it to say I like it here -- and I'll like it better when we get the healthcare mess straightened out!

Everything and Nothing / Re: 10 most addictive sounds in the world
« on: March 04, 2010, 12:50:55 AM »
I've lived through the "cicada summers" of 1963, 1980, and 1997 -- the "seventeen year locusts."  It's like living on an airport runway in the midst of passenger jets that never land, from dawn to dusk.  Not so addictive to me!

But I will give a nod to song birds in spring mornings or owls in winter nights, frogs calling in the evening, a toddler saying "Good-night, Daddy," leaves falling in autumn, the quiet sound of snow sifting through branches in a forest, a hawk calling on a summer afternoon.

We don't have cable -- by choice.  Since the switch to digital over-the-air TV I've been able to pick up all the stations in the area with amplified "rabbit ears" -- except the local Fox affiliate, which only comes in if the television gods will it.  I do have to ... tweak ... the antenna between stations, but most of them come in.  If it was up to me, I'd leave it at that.

Unfortunately, my wife derives no satisfaction from the successful search for a signal, and she's a huge American Idol fan ... so obviously this situation is intolerable!

I've just ordered some major antennas for the attic ... along with a pre-amp, cables, mounting hardware, etc.  And in a week or so I get to go up into the attic and hook it all up.  Yippee.

Yet another reason to dislike American Idol, if you ask me!  >:(

Everything and Nothing / Re: Windharfe (Aeolian Harp) Livestream
« on: February 28, 2010, 12:38:35 PM »
Sorry to hear about the storm.

The wind harp sounds great, and it looks very impressive!

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: February 26, 2010, 02:00:40 PM »
Interestingly perhaps the best-known "minimalist" runner, ultramarathoner Anton Krupicka, has been injured frequently in recent years which to me sort of argues against the whole thing.

The study notes that barefoot runners strike the ground with their forefeet while "shod" runners strike with their heels.  What the study doesn't address, as far as I saw, is whether learned behavior carries through.  Would a person who has always run while wearing shoes, and thus strikes the ground with his/her heel, change styles when running barefoot.  I would guess that it takes a while (or longer) to relearn how to run, and I assume the runner would be much more susceptible to injury.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: February 25, 2010, 11:41:42 PM »
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.

The current issue of Science News has an article on the subject of barefoot running.

I'm more of a walker than a runner -- although I haven't been out for a decent walk since the sequential snows started hitting us up here in the mid-Atlantic -- and I'm not ready to give up my shoes yet, but it was an interesting read.

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