Thursday, December 24, 2009

Theory

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is.
- Chuck Reid

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Like it or not, Christmas is upon us. Whether or not you think Christmas has gotten too commercial, one thing's for sure on which we can all agree: it's about remembering why it's here with family and friends, but especially, it's about the kids.

This Christmas, we're promoting the US Marines Toys for Tots foundation. They give toys to needy kids, and we think that's great. You can buy toys yourself and drop them off and many locations (I discovered that my bank, Susquehanna, is one unlikely drop-off point, for example), or you can make monetary donations online. You can even charge it! God bless American plastic, Santa loves it!

So follow the link below for more information, and Merry Christmas!

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Friday, November 27, 2009

Helen Keller on Edumacation

College isn't the place to go for ideas.
  - Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving: That's what we call Wild Turkey!

Tavern owner says he'll unveil 100-proof turkey - Yahoo! News:
"NEW YORK – You'll need to be 21 to take a bite out of this Thanksgiving turkey. New York City tavern owner Paul Hurley said he'll unveil what he is calling the nation's first 100-proof turkey on Monday. A spokesman for the owner of O'Casey's Tavern in Midtown Manhattan said that the bird is infused with fruit-flavored and 100-proof Georgi vodka for three days before being cooked. The flavors of vodka include peach, raspberry, cherry and apple.

The gravy is also laced with the distilled liquor.

Out of concern for the danger of drinking-and-driving, the tavern is offering free taxi ride home to anyone who orders the turkey.

It wasn't immediately clear how much it will cost to have some of the boozy bird."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kissing Opportunity Goodbye


As a lifelong musician, I apologize to the world for Adam Lambert's shenanigans. I don't want to be associated with his ilk, the same breed that brought us the Madonnas of the world. The upshot is that - offensiveness aside, but we're coming to that - he hasn't earned the place to do the nonsense he's doing. He's actually not good enough and especially not experienced enough to consider the things he does - he doesn't even know where the "envelope" is - but for a rookie to test America's patience such as he has done, that's just a bad, crazy bad move.

It's trash, and that seems to be the way all creative art has gone in the last couple of decades. "Pushing the envelope" is the cry more than making something fun.

I could say I feel sorry for him, but I don't. He's stupid, like spoiled child stupid. He clearly doesn't know what he's got in terms of a career opportunity. And the point of this message is to tell other young musicians to use Lambert's idiocy as a bellwether for you: if you want to get political, if you want to "push the envelope," be prepared to pay the price. As you read below, ABC was scheduled to give him major press, but now that's canceled. And I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. Adam, can you say, "Titanic?" Just as you lip-locked the male keyboardist in your band at the American Music Awards, kiss mainstream endorsements goodbye - the ones that pay big money. Maybe Midol will be interested, though.

I keep saying that entertainers should keep their private selves to themselves, but they never listen.

Adam raises cain - NYPOST.com:
"The 'American Idol' runner-up pelvic-thrusted his way through the four-minute, S&M-themed routine, taking time out from singing to grope a female dancer, kiss a male musician and, most shockingly, shove a male dancer's face into his crotch, in an act that simulated fellatio."
ABC Cancels Adam Lambert Concert - Baltimore News, Weather, Breaking News | WMAR-TV:
"ABC's 'Good Morning America' is saying 'no thanks' to Adam Lambert. The morning show canceled the glam rocker's scheduled performance on Wednesday's show because of Lambert's racy appearance on the 'American Music Awards' on Sunday night."

Friday, November 13, 2009

winning the argument

"I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me."
- Dave Barry

Monday, October 19, 2009

10 things homebuilders won’t tell you

Here's my good deed for the day - posting this link.

I see new homes all the time that clearly are nothing more than a shack with nice-looking siding on it. For example, using OSB (oriented-strand board) to build the house, which is common in Maryland, is a joke. The stuff will turn to pulp if it gets wet:

OSB has a coating to keep the water out of it however when water does penetrate it will swell up and fall apart.  Water will also try and infiltrate through all cut edges.

Source:  http://en.allexperts.com/q/Building-Homes-Extensions-2333/Plywood-versus-OSB-Building.htm



Using OSB-engineered floor joists is also a mess, and actually dangerous. If there's fire in the home, untreated OSB I-joists will burn though in just about 7 minutes, meaning the home will be a total loss in a very short period of time. That's compared to the old - and code in many states - use of full timber for the joists.

What this means that it's unsafe for firefighters, and when they feel the floor get "soft" - meaning the joist OSB webbing has burned through - they will exit the structure and let it burn. Result? Total loss, rather than a partial loss because the fire could be fought properly from the inside.

Fire Incidents with I-Joists - Specific fire incident reports indicate that when directly exposed to fire (unprotected), the loss of strength of I-joists often occurs in conjunction with burn-through of floor sheathing. Within the I-joist itself, the web is consumed first (because of reduced mass). Once the web is consumed, the bottom flange is no longer attached to the joist and falls from the system. Numerous fire incidents have been reported where the only remaining structural components in the floor system were the top flange and floor sheathing. The resulting floor systems, while remaining intact, had over 12" of deflection. Similarly, many reports indicate that firefighters either felt a floor become “soft” or “spongy” or visually observed deflection and exited the structure.

Source: http://www.woodaware.info/guideijoists.html

Cost of home isn't a guide, either. An expensive house will still be built like crap. It just inflates the profit of the builder. My rule of thumb: if the builder drives a really killer-nice new car and dresses like a movie star, watch out!

So have a look, and be careful when buying a new home!

10 things homebuilders won’t tell you - MSN Real Estate: "10 things homebuilders won’t tell you
Building homes is complicated, so make sure you understand enough to get the job done right – and for the right price."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Shining Example of Intellectual Nonsense

"If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience."
- John Cage

If I even thought that, I'd look for a shrink.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How we view

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin"

Monday, September 28, 2009

judgment

"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
- Barry LePatner"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Think twice before you speak

"Think twice before you speak, and then you may be able to say something more insulting than if you spoke right out at once.
- Evan Esar"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

words and thought

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
- Henry Adams

Monday, July 20, 2009

A day to rejoice: "DRM is dead"

Electronista | RIAA agrees: "DRM is dead":
"'DRM is dead'"

Long-time proponent of digital rights management (DRM) protection for music files, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has finally acknowledged that DRM has become obsolete, according to a recent report from TorrentFreak. DRM prevents buyers of digital music tracks from copying them to other devices in an attempt to curb illegal copying. But now, with major music retailers abandoning the format to appease the wishes of the paying public, RIAA chief spokesman Jonathan Lamy says the protection's death is now a matter of fact.

"DRM is dead, isn’t it?" he said in a magazine interview.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

players and players

I'm experimenting with different players for the music hereabouts. So enjoy the dust!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reality

Reality is something you rise above.
- Liza Minnelli

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The length of a film

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
- Alfred Hitchcock"

Monday, June 1, 2009

appearances

"The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.
- Daniel Webster"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idle Hands

"The incompetent with nothing to do can still make a mess of it.
- Laurence J. Peter"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Those Crazy British Cops!

‘Foolish’ photography condemned - Times Online: "
Penryn A Cornish photographer has been ordered by the police to take down a montage of properties called Suspected Second Homes after an increase in the number of burglaries.

Oliver Udy, a 26-year-old teacher, of Penryn, wanted to highlight the number of houses that were occupied for part of the year. “People who own second homes are contributing to the death of the community. They are also pushing up property prices. It would be naive not to realise that there is a lot of anger about this.”

The exhibition was on the King Harry Ferry, which crosses the River Fal near Falmouth, Cornwall. It featured 40 images of homes in Feock, Portscatho, Penwith, Fowey and Roseland. Police said: “This sort of photo-journalistic essay can only be seen as foolish.”"

Monday, April 6, 2009

the human race

Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better.
- Anonymous

TV

Don't you wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There's one marked 'Brightness,' but it doesn't work.
- George Goebels

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Group: Detained immigrants kept in squalid basement - USATODAY.com

And it's still cleaner than from where they came.

Group: Detained immigrants kept in squalid basement - USATODAY.com:
"Upward of 200 detainees are at times crammed into temporary holding rooms in the basement of a downtown federal building, with as many as 60 immigrants in each room, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which filed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement late Wednesday."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Licensing Live Music in Balto City?

In another blatant money-grab, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Balto City Council are looking at the prospect of charging bars a licensing fee of $1500 per year to have live music. That's right, in addition to all the fees now paid by bar and club owners, they may have to pay this too.

From a musician's perspective, this is awful. It's already next to impossible to find places to play in Baltimore that pay anything at all. Now, clubs' and bars' live entertainment budget will be eaten away by the mismanaging city council.

Once again, we see that those in government not only don't have a clue about business, but also don't care a whit for the little guy, unless that little guy has enough money to give them a kickback. Corruption? No, it's the business of government. Let me give them a clue: do what you can to improve the business's gross, and you'll make up tax revenue in spades on the other things that are teaxed and regulated to death (like alcohol, property, the business itself, income of all working in the establishment, and other things). When is enough enough?

So hold on, kiddies; if you're a musician, your pay just took one in the pants.


WBFF FOX 45 :: Top Stories

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Education

Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
- G. M. Trevelyan

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why Blogs Exist

It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.
- Isabel Colegate

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

children

"Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
- Robert Byrne"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces

Caravaggio used 'photography' to create dramatic masterpieces - Telegraph:
"The 16th century master used modern darkroom techniques to create his masterpieces, more than 200 years before the invention of the camera.

Art historian Roberta Lapucci is the first researcher to suggest that he treated the canvas with light-sensitive substances, including a luminescent powder made from crushed fireflies, in order to "fix" the image as 19th century photographers later would."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Clean Desk

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?
- Laurence J. Peter

Kind of frightening.

The future of America. One question to ask: What happens with all that information? Even the most useful, if not acted upon, is nothing but noise...


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pizzeria Employees Wear T-Shirts With Quotes From Nasty Yelp Reviews

This goes in the "Chutzpa" category.

Nifty: Pizzeria Employees Wear T-Shirts With Quotes From Nasty Yelp Reviews:
"Here's a little bit of brilliance — a pizzeria in San Francisco has taken quotes from nasty 1 star reviews on Yelp! and make them into t-shirts for their employees to wear. We love this."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the future

"I have seen the future and it doesn't work.
- Robert Fulford"

the future

"I have seen the future and it doesn't work.
- Robert Fulford"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey's singular voice falls silent

If you've not heard one of Paul Harvey's commentaries, then you've never listened to radio. A real pioneer who bridged the "old" radio days and the new. He will be missed.

Paul Harvey's singular voice falls silent - USATODAY.com:
"Paul Harvey was radio's original Prairie Home Companion.

The legendary commentator, 90, who died Saturday in Phoenix (no cause of death was released), was known for his homespun take on the day's events, which reached 18 million listeners a day on the ABC Radio Networks. Harvey's 15-minute monologues, delivered with frank but rhythmic drama, were punctuated by a signature signoff: 'This is Paul Harvey. ... Good day.'"

Love

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
- Matt Groening"

Monday, February 23, 2009

virtues and vices

"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues."
- Elizabeth Taylor

Monday, February 9, 2009

The con artists have taken over the asylum

Washington Times - BREITBART: The con artists have taken over the asylum:
"While the Obama Cabinet choices suggest this is already among the more ethically questionable administrations in modern history, that's not even a particularly big deal in my eyes.

The most disturbing thing going on in America today is the art world's complete and utter totalitarian behavior toward the new president.

With the Fairness Doctrine possibly coming down the pike, perhaps the solution is for Rush Limbaugh to take up painting."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

EZPass increase revolt


I'm really angry about the EZPass rate increase in Maryland. So I'm going to get one from another state, which is cheaper.

For those interested, here's a rundown on what other local states charge:

MD: $21/$33/$40 non-refundable purchase required for transponder. $1.50 monthly/ $18 annual fee. Commuter rate duration reduced to 45 days.

VA: $25 refundable deposit for transponder, no monthly/annual fee.

PA: $25 refundable deposit for transponder, $3 annual fee.

DE: $25 NON-refundable deposit for transponder. No annual fee.

Friday, January 30, 2009

generation

"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
- George Orwell"

Monday, January 26, 2009

And now you know why art school pissed me off so. And I left after one semester.

Artists Create Scenes For Google Maps Users - Technology - redOrbit:
"In May, artists Ben Kinsley and Robin Hewlett staged outlandish scenes, including a 17th century sword fight, and an escape from a building using knotted sheets, to be captured when a Google car equipped with cameras was sent down Sampsonia Way.

The artists wanted to explore the boundaries between virtual and real worlds."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Poor Kid


Boxes Of Crap: Walmart Sells Blank Disc Labeled "Redneck Sh*t" As Madden 09:
"When Michael's son used his Christmas money to buy a copy of Madden 09 from Walmart, he though he was buying a copy of Madden 09, not a blank disc that said 'Redneck Sh*t.'"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wakeup

"The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.
- Jean Kerr"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Interesting Take on Software Piracy

Software and media piracy are the scourge of modern times. Or so we are told. I've often looked to claims by the RIAA and software makers of lost revenues as being mostly truthful, yet they still claim billions and billions in revenue, lost or not. Those involved in writing lousy software and piss-poor music become overnight millionaires weekly. So what's up?

Apple seems to get it: that piracy leads to market share. Getting out buzz about the product is the main thing.

So how about that for a business model?

AppleInsider | Apple drops anti-piracy measures from iWork '09:
"Piracy has also historically contributed to the popularity and market share of many apps by allowing users who are unlikely to ever pay for anything to use the software, resulting in wide adoption and subsequent sales from businesses, institutional buyers, and others who do pay for the software they use."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Communications of an A.D.D. Generation

Communications of an A.D.D. Generation - Wait a While - Opinions by ExtremeTech:
"People update their Facebook or MySpace statuses countless times a day instead of sitting face to face with actual friends. We create identities online and befriend people who in reality we may not actually want to sit with, chat up, or share anything with. Is this authentic or flawed communications?"

Click the link for the full article.

Zebron and James


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