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Messages - cromag

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Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ009: Your desert island instrument.
« on: February 07, 2010, 03:48:17 AM »
My Hohner Echo Harp harmonica.

And, since it's an uninhabited desert island, I won't be inflicting it on anyone!  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: YEAH YEAH YAH!!!!!
« on: February 07, 2010, 03:27:46 AM »
Well, you have officially earned my R E S P E C T!!  ;)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 10, 2010, 04:09:33 PM »
Music helps get me "in the mood."  Sometimes that mood has to be confrontational.  We're meeting with the school district again.  Listening to some soundtrack pieces from The Terminator and Terminator II.

Keep plugging away at it, and Good luck!

I anticipate attempting to return to the ranks of the gainfully employed in a year or two, and it looks pretty grim here in NJ.

Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 08, 2010, 04:09:59 PM »
I think this is the point where this thread merges with the "Too Loud" thread.  Many of my complaints about the sound of "CDs" really has to do with choices that were made during the mastering, or re-mastering, process.  Although this is probably more of a problem for "popular" music.

Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 07, 2010, 03:44:39 PM »
Now that it's so easy to "rip" vinyl to digital files, I'd be curious if anyone has ever done an A/B comparison between vinyl, and a vinyl-to-CDR rip.  Does the rip sound worse, or does it retain the "warmth" many people perceive from the original vinyl source?

Interesting point.

The software I use to "restore" music files that I rip from vinyl does a great job at removing clicks, pops and hiss (as well as turntable rumble, the 60 Hz hum of American power lines, etc.)  But it also includes the ability to add a variety of filters to "enhance" the sound.

This goes beyond the simple "vinyl vs. CD" debate, but it has an entire bank of filters to replicate the sound of triode and pentode vacuum tube amplifiers, with options to "sweeten" the sound, "warm" it up, etc.  It can then add reverb to simulate a concert hall, an intimate lounge, etc.  After all, pleasant distortion is still distortion.

I believe the CD is capable of the most accurate sound reproduction, but "best sounding" may be more subjective.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Yet another filmed version of Dune
« on: January 06, 2010, 06:02:47 PM »
Not so much for the visuals, as much as I don't know how the story will fare if filmed "as is" the "hook" for the middle part of the story is a LOT like a classic Twilight Zone episode'll know what I mean when you come to it. Also, the story is a sprawling one, covering decades (IIRC) and that kind of time compression into a movie is NEVER easy to do well, IMHO. Look at's never really made clear (to the viewer who has NOT read the trilogy) that the journey from the orc tower where Sam rescues Frodo to Mount Doom took WEEKS in the the movie, it's like it took them 2 days. It removes a LOT of the drama of what Sam and Frodo went through as they walked through Mordor for days and days and days and were exhausted beyond reason when they reached Mount Doom. Well, Childhood's End has that same issue, albeit not analagously (is that a word???).

Anyway, I base my "unfilmable" comment for that book on the fact that, IIRC, it has optioned at least 4 times by different studios and they always end up throwing up their hands in a fit of "It can't be done."

Hah!  That's how Six Days of the Condor (the book) became Three Days of the Condor (the movie)!

I read Childhood's End in High School.  I was both very impressed and very disturbed by it.  I also worry about how a movie version would be made.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Yet another filmed version of Dune
« on: January 05, 2010, 08:22:37 PM »
The David Lynch version really made me think he'd filmed the Cliff Notes version of Dune, but I still felt it was valuable in helping me keep the characters straight.  Dune is like a Russian novel -- everyone has several names, and it can be very difficult to remember that Character X in one setting or with one group of people is the same person as Character Y in a different setting with different people.  After I saw the movie the book made a lot more sense to me.

Anyway, I liked it.  I liked the SciFi channel version better.

To stay true to the book, though, I think they'd have to break the book up into several sub-sections.  It could take several movies to tell the story of Dune well.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now watching...
« on: January 04, 2010, 09:58:33 PM »
I thought the aliens were beautiful, and I loved their long, thin, graceful, muscular bodies!

They did a great job on the alien avatars for the human characters, but sometimes the fact that it was so well done was, in itself, a distraction.

For instance, the avatar for Sigourney Weaver's character was very nearly perfect.  At one point the avatar smiled and it was such a perfect replication of Sigourney Weaver's smile that I got pulled right out of the movie -- I wondered how many people worked just to get that smile right.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now watching...
« on: January 02, 2010, 10:20:19 PM »
I just got back from seeing Dances with Aliens ... ummm, I mean Avatar ... in 3D.

First, let me say this is a very, very good movie: a good (if somewhat predictable and familiar) plot, good characters, great special effects, and very good use of 3D (not too many spears thrusting out of the screen, that sort of thing).  It would probably still be one of my favorite movies in 2D -- and I don't think anyone has the technology for 3D on TV yet, so I'm sure I'll be getting the 2D version when the DVD comes out.

We got there at 6:30 for the 7:00 show, and the line already ran 2/3 of the way around the lobby, so the crowds haven't dispersed yet.  And, here in NJ at least, two adult tickets (and just the tickets) set me back $29.00 (yes, I'm cheap!  I was shocked!) -- I told my daughter it was a sinister plot to sell overpriced snacks to people on line, and then have them hungry again during the show.

Of course, for me half the fun of going to a movie is picking the nits, but I won't do that here -- I don't want to ruin it for anyone.  Still, you should see it, and see it in 3D if you can.


You'll hear me say it enough during the 'cast, but I want to thank you for listening. While the feedback's been minimal, the growing numbers of subscribers and the number of downloads, just shy of averaging 100 per episode as of this writing, tell me that the response is out there and it's good. So I'll just keep going. And I hope you'll be coming along.

Sorry.  I don't say it often enough, but thanks for the effort!

Everything and Nothing / Re: What Are You Eating Today?
« on: January 02, 2010, 12:35:18 AM »
I spent New Year's Eve and Day '75-'76 in Louisiana -- well, technically on an oil rig in the Gulf -- and I remember that Hoppin' John was a big deal.  Well, actually, your mention of black eyed peas brought it back, and I had to Google to find the name, but that's what it was -- I found several recipes all revolving around black eyed peas, pork and onion.

The only tradition we had growing up in NJ was sandwiches.  Mom was still burnt out from cooking for the big family Christmas celebration and she and Dad would go out with friends for New Year's Eve, so they'd leave us a plate of pre-made sandwiches in the fridge.

Everything and Nothing / Re: What Are You Eating Today?
« on: January 01, 2010, 04:47:30 PM »
No special tradition here.

I usually do most of the cooking.  Last night my wife and daughter gave me the night off and made dinner.  My daughter made her specialty chow mein burgers; my wife made bow tie pasta.  Now, my wife doesn't like to ask me for advice -- it's too much like admitting she needs help.  Besides, it's pasta!  Who needs advice with pasta?!  She just brought the big pot of water to a boil and added the two boxes of pasta to it.

Two ... boxes.

We all had seconds on the pasta last night.
The kids had pasta for breakfast this morning.
I'm going to try to make a side dish with the rest for dinner tonight.

Everything and Nothing / Re: We all get old
« on: December 28, 2009, 03:30:27 AM »
... they beam the Enterprise to HIM!!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Have a great holiday season, everybody
« on: December 24, 2009, 03:32:40 AM »
Happy holidays from New Jersey, in the US, where we're having an old time White Christmas.  It's been a while since we had snow this time of year, but we made up for it big time last Sunday!

I'll be bringing the kids up to see their aunts, uncles and grandparents later on.

Everything and Nothing / Re: We all get old
« on: December 23, 2009, 07:27:13 PM »
Well he certainly looks upset in that beach photo.  Greenpeace must have tried to tow him back out to sea again.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Storegate a Viritual HDD & backup solution
« on: December 23, 2009, 07:25:55 PM »
Fairly standard price in the US now (not a sale price)...   I bought a 1 tb in the spring for about $150 and another tb drive this fall for about $120.

It's electronics...  prices always drop (and drop and drop and drop).

I've been happy with the quality so far.   Western Digital "MyBook" drives.


I remember I was excited to get a 16 gb scsi drive in the computer I had build in 1999...  ha!

Heck!  I remember when an IBM PC-XT with a 10 Megabyte drive was a big deal!

Sunbreak Music would you mind if I pointed some friends at your MP3?  (I don't know if traffic is an issue for you.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: December 15, 2009, 05:14:27 PM »
A couple times a year I make the trip to the Princeton Record Exchange.  In my basement I have several bins of LPs.  My hobby is recording them, cleaning up the audio files in the computer, and writing them to CD-R (and sending select tracks to my MP3 Player).

My problem has been the phono pre-amps.  I buy good ones, but I've still had four die in the past six years.  I've got another one on my Christmas list.  ;)

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