Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I hope you spent the night in an oak grove, celebrating Samhain.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Catalina Island (Preview)

Pics of the Catalina Island shindig coming soon!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mash-Up Madness

Mash-Ups (sometimes one word : "Mashups") are a new musical art-form phenomenon. In a nutshell, the artist takes tracks from two separate bands and re-mixes two songs (one from each album) together, thus "mashing them up". If you go to Amazon.com and search for "Mashup" you'll find they carry 2 or 3 CD's in this genre. However, the most-famous mash-up is a combination of The Beatles' Sgt. Peppers and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. An aspiring musician / techno-geek named Clayton Counts re-mixed the songs from these two albums, and distributed a few copies among his friends. He even got a couple radio interviews and one or two mentions in music magazines, due to this new art-form. The tracks are interesting, but unimpressive. By Clay's own admission, he did the whole job in about an hour. This isn't serious music; it's something you'll listen to for about 5 minutes when totally drunk (or otherwise) and say, "Weird. Now can we listen to actual songs?" However, that's not the way the goons at EMI Music (Capitol Records) saw it. They have brought suit against Clayton, wanting not only mega-$$$ for "lost revenue", but also demanding the identities and IP addresses of everyone to whom Clay sent a copy. Clay, being an aspiring musician, isn't worried about the money. EMI can take every cent he has, and it still wouldn't make it out of small-claims court. But he is refusing to turn over the names & IP addresses to the jerks at EMI. Support Clay and his fight against the EMI bastards! Boycott EMI and Capitol Records! You can google "Beachles" and/or "Clayton Counts" to read the full story and see what else you can do in this matter. The claim of "lost revenue" is bogus. This is "art" at best; "techno-geekery" at worst and the actions by EMI are nothing more than malicious bullying for no reason.

Monday, October 23, 2006

This Week I Converted...

Russell Sherman is a concert pianist of minor renown. He's famous enough to show up when you Google his name; but he's not big enough to be found in Wikipedia (yet). This LP was in somewhat bad shape. Lots of scratches had to be removed, many of them major. To boot, one Intermezzo on Side B had to be scrapped because it constantly skipped forward. Not much can be done about that. The old "penny on the tone-arm didn't work this time. That being said, we'll give this album ***** **½ (out of 10*). I like him better than Paderewski and Rubinstein. For the record (pun intended), Paganini wrote the original music; Brahms wrote variations of Paganini's themes; and Russell Sherman gives you his interpretations of Brahms' variations. Confused? Me too. Still, I haven't found this disc in CD form anywhere, so it was neat to bring this music back to life.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jury Duty - US District Court

Yes, the Federal court wants Yours Truly to do his civic duty this month. Everyone should serve once on a jury, in order to build one's confidence in the judicial system. Ah, but I did this about 8 years ago. A monumentally boring 3-week (!!) 'breach of contract' civil case. So this time I was determined to do my best NOT to be picked. My (first) date to appear was this past Wednesday. The case might have proved interesting - (attempted) distribution of the sacred weed. And I was #10 on the jury list, which meant I'd be on the jury unless I did something to make them not want to take a chance on me. Which I did. This time, I used the "autistic psycho" posture. I simply stared at the wall across the room from me, refused to laugh when everyone else did (there were lots of opportunities for this), and answered the qualifying questions like I was giving a deposition. Flat monotone, with a minimum of details. (But no lies). It worked like a charm. They passed over me in favor of a bunch of schoolteacher types. Everyone was happy. The only catch is, I'm still 'on call' for the rest of the month, and have to call in every weekend to see if I have to report a second time. FWIW, the last time (the breach of contract case), I adopted a "know-it-all" posture, figuring one side or the other wouldn't want me and my (supposed) knowledge on the jury. Wrong strategy. The lady beside me took a "total idiot" posture and wasn't picked. I lost three work weeks.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A TerPoem

This is for all my friends and colleagues who bought the Repuglicans "Contract With America" bullcrap. Holy Foley was a perv, Holy Foley had some nerve, Holy Foley wasn't wholly holy.