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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


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Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    What a sweet chocolate it is

    I forgot how much I love Toblerone, especially the dark chocolate variety. I bought one of the small pyramid bars during my layover in Paris yesterday. I almost ate the whole thing in ten minutes. If loving Swiss chocolate is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    I'm home now and fairly well rested. I was up like a shot at 7am this morning. I'm sure jet lag will have the last laugh tonight though when I pass out at 7pm.

    It's good to be home. It's so very good to be home. As much as I love to travel and see new places, there's nothing like returning home after being away for almost two weeks. I only wish I had more photos to show for it. Now that my precious Canon Elph has bit the dust, I guess this means I'm in the market for a new digital camera. Any recommendations, my fellow readers? My price range is under $500. Do they make cameras that shoot in RAW format for this cheap? I wouldn't mind finding one of those. Or maybe one that transforms into an 18-wheeler. No wait, that's Optimus Prime.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    The controlled chaos of Chennai

    My camera broke today. That's bad timing considering I'm only halfway through my visit to India. Apparently the camera problem is a known issue with the Canon Powershot, and it's probably something I will not be able to fix while here. I was able to get about 40 or so photos over the last two days. Sadly, not many of the actual office here, and none of the team members themselves. It's a shame.

    But I was able to capture one of the most unique aspects of Chennai: the street life. The traffic here is astounding. There are cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians swarming the streets in what one of my Indian colleagues calls "a controlled chaos." I've loved my 20 minute commutes to and from the office so far in the little "auto" taxi. I did my best to take as many pictures as I could on the ride without falling out!

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    An afternoon in Zurich

    I opted to do a light grocery shopping run for my last Swiss dinner tonight rather than settle on another restaurant.

    - 2 bottles of water: 2.10 Swiss francs
    - 3 small sandwich rolls: 1.65
    - a package of sliced salami: 3.90
    - a package of sliced cheese: 3.60
    - 3 tomatoes: 4.45
    - a bag of paprika potato chips: 2.35
    - a package of cookies: 1.80
    - a bag of frog gummy candy: 1.90
    - 2 blackberry yogurts (for tomorrow): 1.40
    - anticipating a 15-hour flight to India: priceless

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Wakka wakka wakka

    Sometimes you just need a little wakka wakka in your life. Am I right?

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    It's the weekend, but still a snow day

    My trip has been delayed 24 hours. It's still snowing to beat the band. And I think the band could be the Radio Cowboys. I'm taking the unexpectedly free afternoon to catch up on music I haven't heard yet, like Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys. I also fought the wind and snow drifts so I could share with you some outside photos from this afternoon.

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    I know why the Songbird sings

    And I here I thought that Google was going to be the first on the block to challenge iTunes. I was wrong. The creators of Winamp and Firefox have just uncaged Songbird. The killer app to kill iTunes? Way too early to tell, but definitely one to watch.

    Nervous Music Podcast 002

    Boy, there's been a drought of posts here lately. My back is feeling much better, and I hope to have that ordeal behind me within the next couple weeks. Still painful at times, but nothing like it was a couple weeks ago. Work has been demanding now that I'm back. I'm leaving tomorrow night (pending the blizzard forecast) for Berlin, then I'm off to Switzerland by the end of the week, and from there hopping over to India for another week. So it's going to be even more quiet here until I get out of the woods, known as February.

    I created my second podcast the same weekend I did the first. I've extended my Best of 2005 coverage through one more show. So between 001 and 002 you have an hour of new music and a few minutes of me rattling on about nothing. The problem is that, at the time, I hadn't figured out how to boost my voice levels. And it appears I'm unable to do it after the fact in GarageBand. So rather than re-record all my vocal bits for this podcast -- which I have no time to do -- you're going to get another amateurish edition of the Nervous Music podcast. Sorry.

    But, from here on out, folks, anything goes. I'll be creating future shows with the help of your requests I hope.

    Nervous Music Podcast 002 (29 min, 33.2 MB)

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    I heart my Buddha Machine

    FM3's Buddha Machine made Stephen's top 15 list for last year, and it certainly made my list too. Yet I didn't feature it in my podcast simply because it wasn't terribly practical to do so. You see, the Buddha Machine (a holiday gift from Tim) comes in a small cardboard box adorned with Chinese lettering and it isn't a CD. At first, I thought, it might be a box of exotic fish jellies. But to my surprise, when I opened it, I found a bright blue plastic gadget not unlike a small radio you might find at a Radio Shack clearance sale.

    Puzzled, I looked to Tim for answers. He just shrugged and said, "I dunno. It's a record. Merry Christmas." I popped in the 2 AA batteries that came with the thing and switched on the box using the volume dial. We were instantly greeted with a warm instrumental drone. I needed to know more.

    So after some quick Googling, I learned that the Buddha Machine has 9 tracks - all looping tones ranging in length from 2 seconds to 42 seconds. You proceed through each track by using the toggle switch on its side. Back and forth you go, and the Buddha Machine knows to advance to the next track. With this little invention, audio technology took a giant leap backwards. There's no rewind, no pause, and barely any controls to speak of. You turn it off, and when you turn it back on, it begins at track 1 again. Neat.

    Pitchfork has a nice review of the Buddha Machine. For me, all I can say is: Wow. What a neat contraption.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Not quite back yet

    Thank you for all the nice messages and concern, everyone. I'm still recovering from my lower back pull. I was going into work basically every other day this week and realized that between the long commute and sitting at my desk for 10 hours at a time, I wasn't doing much in the way of recovering. So I'm continuing to rest and mend and we'll see what next week brings.

    My trip to India has been postponed - I think I mentioned that already. So it looks like I'll be going in late February instead. I have to be in Germany and Switzerland the week of February 13, so after those meetings, I'll likely continue on to the Republic of India. But we'll see how my back is feeling by that time. That's right around the corner.

    Sorry for the infrequent updates. It's amazing how much a back injury can knock the productive, creative wind out of you. Hope to be back on my feet soon.