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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


My Wishlist

Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Saturday, April 30, 2005

    A couple links

    What would've been funny five years ago: Click on this link

    What's really funny right now: Click on this link

    Friday, April 29, 2005

    Flickr for Basil

    Basil, not only did you have no competition, but you actually had a supporter (in the form of Timmaay!). So Basil, congrats, enjoy your Flickr Pro account!

    You need to have a free account in order to upgrade, but I couldn't find you in the Flickr community by name or email. I'll drop you a line and we'll figure it out. Enjoy!

    Thursday, April 28, 2005

    Confetti for the Corolla

    I was last kid outta the pool when it came to buying a car. Or maybe that should be last kid *in* the pool. Regardless, I didn't own a car until 2003. I didn't need one.

    Immediately after college I began work in Boston and could easily take public transportation. That suited me just fine. Except for those days when the oddest of the odd would plunk down next to me and exhibit some kind of strange behavior. That seemed to happen most days actually. But I survived riding the bus for many years.

    And when I really needed a car for errands and whatnot, Chris was there to lend a hand. Thanks Chris!

    But eventually riding the bus wore thin, and it was time to make the purchase. Well, half purchase that is, the bank owned the other half of my car. Until yesterday. I guess I could say it's a good feeling that I now truly own my Corolla. But there was certainly no big party at the end of the tunnel. I simply got a slip from my bank stating a $0.00 balance on my auto loan. Cue the confetti.

    It's a nice feeling actually. And even though all I got was a flimsy yellow piece of paper, I feel like I grew up a little today.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Flickr for free

    Attention shutterbugs: I have a free Flickr Pro account to give away. I registered a while back, and to thank me for my support, they're letting me share the benefits of their Pro level with one of you.

    I've given out Gmail accounts in the past, but that was no big deal. They were free and after awhile everyone had oodles of extra accounts to dump.

    But now I have a great extra Flickr Pro account (value $24.95) that'll cover you for a year. Not bad, eh?

    So what's the difference between the basic Flickr and the pro account? Well, I'll tell you:

    What Pro gets you:
    * 2 GB monthly upload limit
    * Unlimited storage
    * Unlimited bandwidth
    * Unlimited photosets
    * Permanent archiving of high-resolution original images
    * Ad-free browsing and sharing

    Compare that to what you get with a Free Account:

    * 20 MB monthly upload limit
    * 3 photosets
    * Photostream views limited to the 200 most recent images
    * Storage of smaller (resized) images

    Not too shabby. So if you want it, I'd like to hear why you want it and what you'd do with it. Best answer wins. Simple enough. I'll make my decision at the end of the week. Ta!

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Gooom

    m83 "Run Into Flowers" - Both tracks this week come from the French label Gooom. If you like My Bloody Valentine, then you'll probably be a fan of m83. Swap out guitars for synthesizers and you're almost there. Buy It.

    Abstrakt Keal Agram "Et La Nuit S'Eternise featuring Arm" - I have to thank Suppoz for this one. He played it at our little DJ shindig back in January and it definitely raised a few eyebrows. This is so much better than MC Solaar. Buy It.

    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    Registering for band names

    Creating a wedding gift registry can cause your mind to wander and think of silly things. Don't get me wrong. It's an awesome experience. I mean, how often do you get the chance to point a gun at a block of knives?

    But I found myself coming up with crazy band names throughout the day. I think my favorite is Cast Iron Mullet. I'm pretty sure it doesn't already exist (aside from a song title by a band called REK). So I went ahead and submitted it to Best Band Name Ever. Let's see if it makes the cut.

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    We are the robots

    Create your own robot friend at RoboType. I call my creation C.J.

    Hi! I'm Robot Mike!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Moved? Definitely. Settled? Hardly.

    I'm back from Nawlins. Actually, I got back a few days ago, but I've been offline until just recently. It's good to be home. Our new home, that is. We moved in this week and we're just scratching the surface of getting settled.

    Unpacking will have to wait until the weekend as I start my new J-O-B tomorrow. I'm very much looking forward to diving in. Going on two business trips over the last three weekends reaffirmed the fact that I made the right decision -- job-wise, move-wise, life-wise. So I'm very pleased and excited to be living in a new, larger home (and Simone seems to be content too).

    It's been a while since I've been this disconnected to all you folks surfin' the information superhighway. So I hope you're all doing well and I hope to check in here again soon once things calm down a bit. Sha-boom.

    Why send an impersonal mass email, when you can blog?

    Now that I'm moving to a non-Comcast area, I'll be losing my Comcast account which has been my primary email address for the last couple years. I know, a bit short-sighted on that one, Sean. (Tell me about it. It hasn't exactly been tons of fun changing every image reference on this site to a different URL because I've been hosting everything at Comcast. Whoops.)

    Anyway, for those of you who need to know, my new primary address will be my Gmail account which you should already have. I was about to say, if you have any questions, just email me. But that wouldn't work so very much now, would it?

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Twin [part 2]

    Cocteau Twins "Ivo" - The college radio station I used to work at may have had the largest Cocteau Twins collection in North America. From what I could tell, it had every full-length and single from the seminal Scottish ethereal band. Like the band Wire, chalk up the Cocteau Twins as a band that I really should've explored well before now. However I just recently gave Treasure a listen for the first time. And wow. I mean wow. Not a single clunker on the whole album. Buy It.

    Stars of the Lid "Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30" - Hey kids! Who wants some drone? This is a nice slow-moving piece from the Texan group's The Ballasted Orchestra release from 1997. This track never actually appeared in a Twin Peaks episode. They just seem to like David Lynch a lot. They named another track after Mulholland Drive on their most recent record. I assume they were bowing to the movie, not the road. But who knows with these crazy kids and their post-post-post indie music these days. Buy It.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    We're moving

    Goodbye West Haven. Hello Millbury. As of next week, I'll once again be a Massachusetts resident. I think Connecticut gets a raw deal when people call the state just a pit-stop on the way to MA or, conversely, on the way to NY. It's not fair. But in a sense that's how I treated it. We lived here for less than two years - a quick stop on the road of life - and now we're heading back closer to our original homes. Man alive, the things I learned in my two years away. But I won't bore you with those details now. Maybe another time. Over coffee.

    We've chosen central Mass because it splits the distance between my job and Alyssa's PhD program at UConn which she'll be starting this fall. Woo hoo!!

    I have lots more packing to do, but before we can mosey north, I have to mosey south - to New Orleans for an annual national meeting for work. I'll have some new mp3s for you next week when I return from the Crescent City.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Farewell, old friend

    It's time for me to part ways with my first stereo. I got it in high school (eighth grade?) and we saw lots of great times together. But now the sun is setting on this very long and fulfilling friendship. The tape decks busted long ago and who knows how long the turntable hasn't been working. The radio antenna is weak. Lately I've really only used it for its speakers when I plug in my DJ equipment, but even then it's a mess of wires and nonsense to get it to work.

    Oh big block of stereo, you got me through my Run DMC and MC Hammer days and my soundtrack phase when I wasn't sure what kind of music I liked, so I played it safe with tapes like Stand By Me and The Addam's Family.

    I learned about the art of the mixtape with you. You never jammed despite the countless blank Maxells I tossed your way. I wonder where all those tapes are now? Whether they're tucked away in a shoebox in someone's attic or buried beneath piles of landfill, I'd like to think that you'll live on in them.

    How many Red Sox games did I listen to with you? Too many to remember. Oh, and you worked so marvelously with my monster 5-CD changer when I made the leap to digital.

    You will be missed, dear friend. But know this: I will never forget you. I have you to thank for opening my ears to a world of crazy, nervous music. It all began with you, and for that, I am forever grateful.

    [UPDATE: Hey I just realized that the equalizer sliders are making a frown. Honest to god, I didn't do that on purpose.]

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    An open letter to Comcast

    Dear Comcast,

    Today I made arrangements to disconnect my high-speed internet and digital cable service because I'm moving to an area that is, to use your terminology, "outside the Comcast footprint." The process went smoothly and I have no complaints, except for one issue that, if resolved, I believe can improve your service.

    I scheduled to have a technician stop by and remove equipment (digital cable box and modem) as late in the day as possible one day next week which happens to be between 5pm-8pm. I requested a late visit because I wanted to get as much use out of my internet connection as possible working from home the day before my move.

    Here's where I encountered the issue. According to Comcast policy, the technician appointment and final day of service *must* fall on the same date. However I've been told that my service can be disconnected anytime after 8am the morning of the disconnect date.

    Do you see the "disconnect" here? I'd gladly pay the extra buck or two to extend my billed service one more business day to ensure that I will have my internet connection uninterrupted throughout the day until the technician arrives. This is highly unlikely though, because I scheduled an early evening appointment.

    So the reality is that I'll be sitting here, typing away, enjoying my high-speed internet connection when suddenly *poof* it'll disappear and I'll have to be forced to... I don't know... read a book or something until the tech arrives.

    Now wouldn't it be nice to give the customer the option to extend service one additional day if requested? I think so.

    Let me pre-empt your rebuttal by acknowledging that I know I can choose to return my equipment to a local Comcast office at my leisure. However, with an out-of-state move the following day, this is a waste of my time, and I'm sure it's a waste of other customers' time under these circumstances.

    So, giddy up! What do you think?

    Best Regards,
    Waiting Webless in West Haven

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Twin [part 1]

    Angelo Badalementi "Audrey's Dance" - Senior year of college, when we should have been writing theses and studying for finals, a couple friends and I glued ourselves to "Twin Peaks." It was a marathon dash of renting each video of the series from Ladd Library every day or two. I don't remember how long it took us, but we eventually made it through all 29 episodes, right up until the final scene of "How's Annie?? HOW'S ANNIE?!?" Badalementi's entire score is fabulous, so it was difficult to choose a favorite. But I think this track has a nice allure to it. Buy It.

    Sun Ra "Twin Stars of Thence" - Every so often I'll hear something from a movie or a song that triggers the "where do I know that from?" reaction. Most recently this happened with a few lines from the film "Key Largo" -- a conversation between Bogart and Edward G. Robinson was used in a Psychic TV song from the early 90s. Anyway, I had one of those moments when I first heard this Sun Ra track. It took me a few minutes to place it, but I realized the beat was sampled for U.N.K.L.E.'s The Time Has Come EP (another great album by the way). It's an excellent little instrumental from the one-of-a-kind Sun Ra, with a very catchy groove. Buy It.

    Sunday, April 10, 2005

    Pants, and the men who buy them

    This timely article accounts for what I did this weekend. I found myself spending over three hours in the West Farms mall in Farmington yesterday. I needed new work clothes, and new work clothes I got. Five pairs of dress pants, four dress shirts, three ties, two casual shirts, and a dress belt in a pear tree. Oh, and I can't forget about a spiffy new watch too. I'm good to go. Now I just need a new ironing board.

    Friday, April 08, 2005

    I can *really* see my house from here

    Google's new satellite maps are a little freaky. You can now zoom in on real images of towns, streets, and addresses rather than settle for the cartoon-y (but still very helpful) original Google Maps.

    OK, so this news is a few days old. But did you know that Google also just launched a nice Q&A feature?

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    On dropping Netflix

    I cancelled my Netflix account today. Ordinarily this wouldn't be newsworthy. But considering my Netflix observations in my very first post spurred on the eventual blogger inside me, it's a bit sad.

    Maybe I'll sign up again in the future once we're moved and settled and I find myself wanting to sit in front of the TV to watch movies again. Lately, however, the little white sleeves and red envelopes have been collecting layers of dust in our living room.

    Sorry Netflix "friends" - I won't be sharing any new recommendations for a while. But I will leave you with this: Go rent "The Iron Giant" because it's much better than "The Incredibles."

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Ten things I learned in wine country

    1. Most Americans drink their white wine too cold and their red wine too warm.
    2. Wine makers are taxed at a higher rate if their product exceeds 14% alcohol by volume. So they play with the allowed margin of error to get it at 13.9% or lower when they can.
    3. Twist-off caps are the wave of the future because they ensure the best wine protection.
    4. Merlot was called Claret before it became popular and... well... was renamed Merlot.
    5. Fungus on the grape can improve the quality of the wine, especially dessert wines.
    6. Cabernet is the new Merlot. Or, wait, maybe it's that Pinot Noir is the new Cabernet?
    7. Winery owner and film director Francis Ford Coppola likes to cash in on overpriced merchandise at his gift shop.
    8. White Zinfandel was born from a worker's error during the early 20th century, but it's now the most popular wine purchased in the US.
    9. To start your own winery in Napa, the cost of land alone will run you 12 million dollars at the very minimum.
    10. Turducken is best served with a blend. Naturally.

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Changes, they are a-here

    Wow. I had no idea so many people would be intrigued about the big news. Thanks for your patience everyone. I couldn't post anything new last weekend because I was in San Francisco and Napa (sorry, Brian, my itinerary had no free time to attempt a meet-up).

    I was away because I was attending meetings for my new job. So there's your big news. Last week I was offered a position back with my previous employer in Cambridge. It's a new position to oversee the strategy and long-term goals of the company's information technology systems and services. So I'll be their Director of IT starting later this month. I'm extremely excited about this opportunity, and I know it'll be a big challenge.

    Things are going to get awfully busy around here real quick. So new posts may appear less frequently, but I'll do my best to offer up some bric-a-brac a few times a week.

    Where we'll be living is a little up in the air right now, so I can't divulge any additional details at the moment. Instead here are some photos from my trip.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Blue

    Burger/Ink "Bring Trance Back (To Las Vegas) [Blue Hotel]" - This album is one of the most underrated ones in my collection. I found it for about $6 used, and it always seems to pop up when I'm trolling the used bins. Why? Is it because it was an electronic album released on the indie stalwart Matador? Did it simply just get lost in the droves of electronic CDs released in the mid to late 90s? Who knows. But it's a crying shame that this album isn't heard more often. If you're a fan of chill-out downtempo electronic, pick up Burger/Ink's Las Vegas. It really is a marvelously engaging listen. Buy It.

    MRI "Blue" - Do you find something peculiarly familiar about this track? If you've heard Aaliyah's "Try Again" then I suppose your answer is yes. German duo MRI dedicated their 2nd full-length All That Glitters to the memory of Aaliyah. MRI have released some outstanding tracks on the Force Inc label over the last few years. Every song on All That Glitters is a perfect glitch-house gem. It'd be fun to DJ this MRI track back-to-back with "Try Again" -- mess with the crowd a bit. I'm just not sure which order you'd play them. Buy It.