Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Instead, I happened to stumble across what I think may be the coolest thing I have ever found on the web. What baffles me is how I've missed hearing about it until now?
This wondrous find is Pandora.
Pandora is essentially your own personal radio station(s). It is a direct result of the Music Genome Project, another subject I've never heard about. And I thought I was "into music." I'm so ashamed.
You provide it an artist or song title you like, and it will (most likely) find it in its database and start playing it for you in surprisingly good quality. But thanks to having songs "analyzed using up to 400 distinct musical characteristics by a trained music analyst", Pandora will then continue playing music that matches the same characteristics of the song you provided. For each song played, you can tell Pandora whether you like it or not, which will then continually tweak your station. You can keep adding more preferred artists/songs to your station, and it will keep morphing to fit your needs. You can also have up to a 100 stations -- plenty for every genre you could dream up.
In the 30 minutes I've been listening, I've already heard some new bands I like, such as Adam F and Porcupine Tree. My only concern now? My savings account.
Can you imagine when the time comes that Wi-Fi is everywhere, and you can drive down the highway listening to your personal radio stations? Good-bye XM and Sirius.
I saw a Michael Jackson Thriller SACD on eBay, and the price was right, so I decided to bid. I won the auction, but upon receiving it in the mail, found out it was not the SACD I bid on, but rather a plain-jane Thriller CD (which I already owned). I contacted the seller, informing her of the mess-up, and her response was, "I am SO sorry for the mix up…I see now where the listing says it is a SACD and I totally did not even know what that meant".
Monday, January 30, 2006
Basically, the two formats kick butt. Both offer a greater sound quality than CD – and yes, you can hear a difference. If that isn’t reason enough to expand your musical horizons, a fair amount of the titles come in a multi-channel format as well (read: 6 signals for 6 speakers). My favorite so far is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon SACD. They did an excellent job of separating the music across all channels. The opening of "Money" is money – the cash register sounds revolve around and around the listener, creating a wow-effect the first time you hear it.
I'm really disappointed that the audio industry never marketed these formats. And it's not like they stemmed from companies that only audiophiles have heard of. SACD was co-developed by Sony and Philips. DVD-Audio was created by a consortium of other big-name players in the consumer electronics world. It's too bad the two groups couldn’t come to agreement. I think having competing formats has hurt the evolution of multi-channel music more than it helped.
I won't try to go into the details of SACD and DVD-Audio (bit rates and sampling frequencies) -- I would probably bore you to the point you’d never read my rantings again (if I haven’t done so already).
Instead, I leave you with a quote from a magazine that my brother sent me that sum things up quite well. So in the words of LeVar from Reading Rainbow, "You don't have to take my word for it":
It is hard to explain the subjective difference between the sound produced by SACD and DVD-Audio and the sound produced by a CD. Essentially, trying to reproduce music with a CD is like trying to reproduce cool seaside air with the dry brittle air blowing out of an air-conditioning nozzle in a jet airplane and a spray bottle of salt water. In a very literal sense, the CD format is like playing a violin with a hack saw -- there is simply no way to smooth out the saw teeth sufficiently to make it sound correct. SACD and DVD-Audio fix the problem by giving you enough data to filter out the audible errors created by digitizing analog sound.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
When I first found out that Ashlee Simpson had released a new cd, my first thought was "Ashlee Simpson isn't dead yet?" But, being the ever optimistic that I am, I decided that I would give the younger, less attractive, and slightly more retarded of the Simpson sisters another chance to please my eardrums. I am happy to report that I am now suing Ashlee Simpson and all her affiliates for the $9.99 that the cd cost me as well as $12.6 billion in damages that I have suffered after listening to this piece of rabit feces she tried to pass off as music.
Nothing would please me more than to meet the third grader that penned the majority of these songs and give him (or her) a swift shot to the jaw. These lyrics have about the same intelligence of a 12-count box of Crayons that my dog ate and left as a multi-colored surprise out on the back lawn. Let me give you one of my favorite examples of the lyrical genius that is Ashlee Simpson, and I quote, "L,O L,O L,O, L O V E/L,O L,O L,O L O V E/L,O L,O L,O L O V E/ x 14,000"
Thank you Ashlee Simpson. Without these strong words of wisdom you have imparted on me, I honestly don't know if I could have continued to work to succeed in this cruel and heartless world. You truly are the voice of a generation. Unfortunately, the generation I am speaking of is direct result of the cross breeding a cockroach, that third-grader that has a meeting with my fist, and Celine Dion.
So please, if you fall into the above-mentioned category, purchase this CD. But as for me, I'll be seeing you in court Ms. Simpson.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Shocked? Yeah, me too.
And what's even more exciting is that they may use my slogan on a billboard / in their advertising at some point. So if you find yourself passing through Georgia in the future, make sure to be on the lookout for Georgia Natural Gas billboards featuring The Gas Guy and an especially witty comment. As for the caption itself, I don't even know which one they picked (since I think I submitted 4 or 5). I'm going to email them to see if I can't find out.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I went to get my haircut tonight, and had to wait a little while for another woman to finish with her haircut. She said she had to run home to watch Beauty & The Geek, a WB show produced by Ashton Kutcher (a Cedar Rapids, IA native for those of you that were not aware).
Tria (the multicultural stylist) walks over to me and drops a copy of People magazine in my lap, open to a page featuring the show and its contestants. One of those contestants, Jennipher, is from Atlanta, and it turns out that she is the daughter of the woman currently getting her haircut. Small world.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Monday, January 16, 2006
I just don't know what happened to the good ol' days when not only would we go to every game, but we would actually dress up as our head coach and hope to be as cool as him someday...
(The newspaper was unfortunately un-hip and cut off our last Larry impersonator and the sign reading "Old People")
Friday, January 13, 2006
It's all web-based. You can easily switch money back and forth from your regular bank's checking or savings account. You can setup automatic deposits so you don't have to even think about it. No minimums, no fees...they should be paying me for this.
And what's better, is that we can both make money together. If you want to sign up for a new account (and you should) and are willing to open it up with more than $250 (and you should), then you will get $25 added to your account, and I will get $10. That's a 10% return in a matter of minutes.
So if you are interested on getting the most of your money (and you should), send me an email, and I will send you an invite, and we can both have a free beer (or 2 or 3) on ING Direct.
I think I'm going to start uploading random picturs that I particularly like, not ones that r necessarily most recent. I think what I like most about Flickr is the community itself. It seems to have drawn interest by pro and semi-pro photographrs around the world; so a lot of the photos you find ar really impressive.
Some searches that I think some of you out thr would enjoy:
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Enter Netflix. I was browsing around and they had this DVD. Now, these past few nights my living room has seen the likes of Adho Mukha Svanasana , Urdhva Mukha Svanasana , Virabhadrasana II . Up next, Hanumanasana.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
My sister got me Wine Smarts Volume 1 for Christmas. It's kind of like a multiple-choice Trivial Pursuit all about wine. I thought I would spread my wine learnings with one its questions:
What is generally considered the inspiration for the original champagne "coupe" glass?
- A - The widow Clicquot's knee
- B - Marie Antoinette's breast
- C - A fully-blooming gardenia
- D - The top of Dom Perignon's bald head
And the answer is (highlight this text and the space beyond to see):B - Marie Antoinette's breast
Friday, January 06, 2006
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I know I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world, but I do enjoy a good football game when time allows. Anyone else think the BCS games this year were exciting?
Thumbs up to:
- Texas (and Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and OU -- go Big 12!)
- Wisconsin (my true "home" team)
- Penn State (Go JoPa)
- Ohio State (for an exciting game)
- Iowa State (an unfortunate summary of our season)
- Georgia (have to support tgf)
- Texas Tech (cousin vs. uncle)
Monday, January 02, 2006
However, the Downtown Countdown, hosted in the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta with an open bar, buffet, multiple rooms and stages, and 3000 guests proved to be one heck of a party. (Just slightly better than last year when we watched a peach drop...New York drops balls, Georgia drops peaches.)