Thursday, September 15, 2005

A-I-Y-E-E!! It's Cantore! Run Away!

JennySlash and I have a long-standing agreement that if we're ever walking down the beach and we see the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore, we're running for the car and getting the hell out of there. Sure, they like to stick Stephanie Abrams out in the wind to watch her blow around and Jeff Morrow shows up in some pretty sticky situations, but Cantore's the guy that's always where it's expected to be the worst. So as JS said last night, even if it's just walking into Chilli Pepper's and seeing Cantore at the bar with a cold Corona, we're heading for higher ground.

Ophelia is still inching along the Banks, dumping a foot of water and a lot of wind on some of my favorite pieces of real estate. It hasn't really even made it as far as northern OBX where we spend most of our time - the Avalon Pier webcam at KDH is still up as I write (actually, I just noticed that the Hatteras Lighthouse cams are still up as well). The problem with hurricanes out there is that there's so much water that can be acted on - massive rain, storm surge overwash from the ocean, backside overwash and mainland flooding from the waters of the massive sounds. 85 mph winds are nothing to sneeze at either. This thing still hasn't made the short haul from Wilmington to Cape Hatteras in 24 hours - heck, I could haeve kayaked that distance by now (well, almost). It's going to be a rough day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Almost Famous

JennySlash profile in the UNCG online newsletter (great photo, ain't it?)!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Whatever Happened to Audiophiles?

I know, I know, I'm starting to sound like a /* ahem */ broken record, but a conversation Labor Day weekend coupled with this AP article made me wonder again what happened to people that really care about clarity in recorded music. The conversation at G and D's a couple of weekends ago pitted guys my age (D, PC and myself) against PC's progeny in the seemingly never-ending defense my generation has of vinyl-based analog recordings, first against CDs and now against MP3s. Now before you go calling me a Luddite, you've got to remember that early CDs just sucked, sound-wise. It took three or four years before they started approaching the richness and depth of a good analog recording. I have no issue with current CD technology and am still working on digitizing my vinyl collection (Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ is being sucked down to the computer right now - damn, I'd forgotten what a great fucking song Mary Queen of Arkansas is!), but I'm not about to throw out the old vinyl once I'm done. PC's younguns on the other hand (popularly refered to as Thing 1 and Thing 2) are of the opinion that there's no reason for anything other than MP3s. My impassioned explanation of how MP3 compression works, chopping off the highs and lows that give the music depth, fell on /* ahem again */ deaf ears, leading me to the AP article. If constant headphone wearing is killing the ability of kids to hear high tones anyway, maybe that at least in part explains their acceptance of MP3s as the ONLY music source? And frankly if the only music output you listen to is through earbuds, then MP3s are probably sufficient but that leads me again to - what the hell happened to the audiophiles?

Thing 1 seems to be all about utility over clarity. I got the impression that he never listens to an original CD, preferring instead to either mix his own or listen to the individual MP3s. Now, he comes by his DJing instincts genetically and I'm the first to approve of party mixes, but as adjuncts to the original collection, not as replacements. Even his ex-DJ dad pointed out that there is some thought (at least there used to be) given to what songs go on a disk in what order - it's all part of the package, rather than just a bunch of individual songs. I think that point goes to the other part of the generational divide, though, which hit me as I carefully slid the Boss out of the paper inner sleeve (which of course had to be pulled out of the outer sleeve first because you ALWAYS turn it so the opening is facing up to keep the LP from inadvertently sliding out onto the floor) and placed it on the turntable. Then came the careful squeezing of exactly 4 drops of Discwasher fluid on the edge of the cleaning brush, spreading it out evenly using the bottom of the fluid bottle, followed by using it to carefully dust the album and waiting the requisite 30 seconds or so for any excess fluid to dry before carefully dropping the needle. In other words, there was CEREMONY involved in listening to LPs that is clearly missing with MP3s. There was cover art to study, liner notes and lyric sheets to read (that were not so small that they required a magnifying glass) and the physical act of having to turn the disk over after 20 minutes or so since anyone that actually had an LP stacker was just, well, beneath contempt. There was an EXPERIENCE beyond the simple listening to a few songs.

I'm sure the younger generation has its own ceremonies and rituals and quite possibly the increasingly noisy world goes a long way to explaining why MP3s are becoming accepted as THE music source of choice (which makes me wonder if there's any real work being done to come up with better compression algorithms that reduce the music loss rather than just further reducing file size). But the final point that guys my age fall back on that has yet to be answered to my satisfaction is: how the hell do you clean your stash on an MP3?

Monday, September 12, 2005

What Language Are They Speaking?


Live: England v Australia
FIFTH TEST - MATCH SUMMARY (The Oval, Day 5):
England 373 & 286-7 v Australia 367
England lead by 292 runs - POSSIBLE 33 OVERS LEFT

Kevin Pietersen hit his first ever Test century as England closed on the draw they need at The Oval to win their first Ashes series since 1987.

He shared an obdurate eighth-wicket stand with Ashley Giles, hooking Brett Lee for six to take England's lead past 250 with 41 overs remaining.

Pietersen survived three dropped catches, the easiest by Shane Warne at slip when he had made just 15.

Earlier, Glenn McGrath and Warne shared five wickets to make England sweat.
I could have sworn that the English spoke, well, English...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Comment Spam? Driftglass stops spam Dead!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the comment spambots had attacked me, causing me to turn on the spam stopper provided by blogger. I think I like Driftglass' solution even better though - he's keeping a spambot-catching post at the top of his blog as they apparently only attack the most recent post. This allows one the opportunity to read through and catch the hilarious ones, which all seem to take the form of: Hey, great blog!! I have a /*insert subject here*/ site. It pretty much covers /*insert subject here* related stuff. Come and check it out if you have the time! :-)

This has led to some beauties like:
Family Mom said...

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and
Anonymous said...

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Obviously I changed the links since I don't really want to send any traffic their way, although I am somewhat curious about what glyco flex products for horses are and what the issue is and why "Family Mom" writes that "my wife and I" were doing something (seems a bit odd). Reading further through the comments, if you want to know anything about Nextel racing or cat furniture or selling houses in Dallas or wedding photographers in Northhampton or debt reduction or discount cialis, you'll find the links in Driftglass' comments! Why, it's almost better than Google!