Saturday, June 30, 2007

It ties the whole room together

We have a dining room that was looking quite bland and sad. We were toying with the idea of painting but we didn't have any brilliant visions and also who wants to tape up all of the door jams. Then Rachel had the idea that she wanted a new light for the room. We looked around and we found two that we liked at Lowes. We went with the one we liked more even though it was more money because, whether you like it or not, we are going to be here for a while.
So, I took out the old one, caused a short which tripped the switch, then continued to install the new one. The instructions were so poorly written that it took me three times to finally get it right. Right at the end I figured out a much easier way of doing it all. I guess I'll have to remember that for next time.
Here are pictures of the new chandelier and the old saucer. Like the rug in the Big Labowski, It really ties the whole room together.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Frankenstein in a power adapter

Yesterday my power adapter for my PowerBook G4 broke. I think it was stepped on and that broke the cord going from the adapter to the computer. Of course, it broke right at the adapter so there was no saving it.
I looked on line and the cheapest nock off version would have been 35 bucks on eBay and if I wanted an authentic Apple version it would have been 75 bucks. That was too rich for my blood. I was contemplating whether it was worth it or if I should just by a new computer :).
Then a light came on. "I just got a Dremel rotary tool for my birthday!" I went to work. I didn't think it was going to work so I didn't take in progress pictures, which I regret now.
But it did work.
Here is a picture of what it looked like before and some pictures of what it now looks like. There is also a picture of the evolution of adapters, mine being the one on the left.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Strawberries a plenty

On Saturday we went strawberry picking at a fruit farm in North Attleboro, MA. It was a nice ride up there and the weather was perfect for squatting in a strawberry patch at 10:30 in the morning. We ended up picking 15 pounds of strawberries. While we were up there we picked up a "home" made strawberry rhubarb pie for Father's Day. Just to let you know it was some of the best pie that I have ever had. The strawberries are also very scrumptious. We have given some away and eaten a lot and plan to freeze some as well for smoothies. Here are some pictures of half of our strawberries.

Speaking of smoothies..... I have another story for you. Our cousin Jimmy got us a blender for our wedding. We used it for a season and then ended up sending it in for service because it smelled like burning. We sent it in last December. We hadn't heard from them so we gave them a call, this is in May. The lady said they had decided in January to replace the base. The base was, however, on back order. When asked how long items normally stay on back order, she replied "2 to 4 weeks." Ours had been on back order for 18 plus weeks. This phone lady wasn't very helpful so I got off the phone with her. I subsequently sent the company, which shall not remain nameless, Cuisinart, stating that I wasn't going to wait another 18 weeks for our blender. I said by the end of June I wanted an upgrade or a refund if our blender was still not available. Two or three weeks later we have an industrial strength blender sitting on our counter. It is heavier than any other blender I have seen. Now we can make Rachel's famous spinach and berry smoothies again ....."mmm...mmm...good...thick."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Nephew Owen

Owen has a dog named Sherman and this is how he calls for him.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The War of Sound

A few weeks ago my friend Brook sent me a link about the war between sound quality and compression.
I thought this was really interesting and I shared with a few people. This morning I signed into Rhapsody and there was a rave review about a new(ish) R&B singer, Rihanna. I decided to give her a try. It sounds like her album is produced by Jay-Z, because he is on the first track and also some of the drum tracks and production sound like Jay-Z's other projects.
Anyway, to get to the point, I was listening and found that the sound, not the song, was very boring and uneventful. I then thought of the following video which Brook sent me. The short of it is that with compression all articulation and dynamic is covered over or removed from a track. I am listening to her album right now and it is putting my to sleep because there is no definition and no dynamic change.
Some of this is due to the nature of Rhapsody, but when I put on Vocal Sampling right after this Rihanna girl, the clarity is like stepping into the spotlight from the shadows. It makes the Rihanna album sound like it was recorded in Mono. Ahhhh, the joys of stereo recording, where have you gone in recent years?
This makes me think of some of the early stereo albums, by the Beatles or Cream or the like, the drums would be almost completely in one channel and the guitar all the way in the other. This was the record industry stretching its new found stereo wings. Now there is a counter-movement back towards the mono. I don't think this is the record companies' intent, but in the attempt to be more and more radio and instant gratification friendly the sound of many new mainstream records are so undynamic as to put my ear receptors into a state of uncaring numbness.
We need to come up with a name for the ruling record companies like Big Oil is for the large oil companies that run our government and economy. Maybe, Big Audio. Big........ I don't know. It needs to be something that oozes anti-establishment.
Ok enough blabber.... here is the video.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

saturday morning

This morning called for some "Free Bird"