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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Math Test

 I got a 91% on my first Algebra test now just to keep that momentum going. I have to keep my nose in the books : )

Hometown

I remember going to some of the Steel towns in my teens and in my twenties. At the time I thought how dark the mood was in those towns how hopeless it seemed. I never began to think of my town every being that way, we had GM, Mead, Chrysler, NCR and Emery.  Things were well in my town people had money and jobs and you could usally find a decent job. Now things look a lot like what I remember the steel towns did a decade or more ago, there is a malaise in our town now. I suppose there is a chance things could get better. Some of the steel towns made changes and are doing better. I am just not sure I will be able to wait that long, things to think about. One thing I am glad to see in my town is the Art community is still alive. There are still creative things going on, that is good. It will never be the town I grew up in, but; maybe with a collective will it can be a better place.

Bad Comparisons

I am reading a new book, about the anti-vaccine movement. One point that bothered me is the comparison of Doctors who give vaccines to kids, to people like Josef Mengele. Do we realize the horrors that went on in the concentration camps? To trivialize these horrors  I believe is a shameful thing. We have all seen political, physical and personal things that seem awful. But very few alive today really have an idea of what living under Nazi rule was like. Even fewer know first hand the horrors of what was done to the Jews and other minorities in Nazi Germany. So to compare what the Government ask or a Doctor "insist" on doing, but; yet you can still say no to. This is a big difference from having no choice at all.  The victims in the concentration camps were treated like live stock; there to run twisted experiments on. How many of us have really experienced this ? I know I have felt like someone else is making the choices for me that I do not like. The major difference is I can move, I can get educated I can walk away from all of this with out any physical repercussions. Bottom line is we all  have a choice, the people in the concentration camps did not. So lets stop comparing our leaders to Hitler, lets stop trying to elevate a personally bad situation to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Not to let people of the hook whom have done something bad, but; to create and honest debate.  Instead of ad hominem attacks, that is just to easy and lazy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recording old Punk records.

Over the last year I have used Audacity to split tracks of  punk records I have copied to a digital format. It is fun to be able to listen to these records when I am not at home. I am sure I am doing an awful job of it, a true audiophile would never use the lo-fi way of recording I have used.  Although there is something to lo-fi way that speaks to recording punk records.

My process is t I plug in my IAudio 7 player in to my receiver and record the records with it. Then after that I transfer the resulting wma to my computer. I have to convert it into a file type Audacity will handle. I use Sound Converter for this task now I can open it with Audacity. With Audacity I can copy each track from the sound file and create and export a new file. Audacity will also add a ID3 tag for me, I use that as a book mark.  After I have all of the tracks split up, I use Easytag to retag them as a batch. This way I can make sure that I do not have any typos. I can rename each field as a batch when needed. i.e. Artist, Genre and Album name. Easytag will also let me add album art to the tag if I like. I may do this but I also add a file called folder.jpg to the album folder I am  working on, then I am done.

I have thought about learning to tweak the sound quality but for now this method works. I am guessing I would need to be able to capture the sound file in a higher quality format. That is home work for another day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sansa Fuze+

I looked at quite a few music players to use with Linux, before purchasing this one. I had an older Fuze an a Iaudio7 and had a good experience with both. The Iaudio9 did not have enough disk space or expansion options. Plus the price was more than I wanted to spend.

So I purchased the Fuze+ it covered my wants and price.
* supports Linux as a mass storage device.
* supports .ogg vorbis
* 16 GB capacity
* has a micro sd expansion slot
I read in one forum that some where having problems with resuming podcast,  it plays podcast and resumes where I left off with no issues. So I think maybe since I updated the firmware this resolved that issue. I was glad to see they went to a micro usb connection instead of the old proprietary connection. It does not have folder navigation on this player like the old Fuze. I am never sure why companies take away simple functions like this when releasing a new model, hopefully they would add it again soon. Thinking it would have folder navigation I just copied all of my music over from the old player. That was a mistake come to find out a lot of my music was using a version of ID3 tags that were not compatible. So I had 550+ unknown artist, I would have never noticed if they would have implemented folder view. After searching a few forums I found the answer on the Sansa forums on how to correct the tags.
The tags have to be in this format:

  ID3v2.3 iso-8859-1


for album art I used

 300x300 pixels and name it folder.jpg

 I used Easytag to correct the tags, the tags were not updated in the player database. Ugh! I was ready to stomp this player, so some reading turned up an answer.  The easiest way to update the tags is to delete all files in the root of the player that start with

 STDB*


That did it finally it is running acceptablly, folder navigation will make it perfect for me. It has touch controls which I could car less about, I liked the scroll wheel better. Although that is what broke on my old player.I find myself punching at the screen quite often. I think if you are going to go with touch controls just go with a full screen touch.

I would have rather had an android based player. Unfortunately none of them came close to specs I was looking for, the closet player was the HTC Galaxy. Since the HTC is a phone that made it a no go. Archos players were next on the list , but; there capacity at the size I was looking at was unacceptable. Maybe next time Android see you in four years.

Art, dogs and dogfooding

I was online recently and saw that someone had used a piece of my art in another piece. That was flattering although I would have liked to have been given attribution. This was a piece I did long before CC licensing, I would have never copyrighted something like this.  I actually do not care to much, I thought it was an interesting moment for me to finally come up against my beliefs to see how I reacted.

This was the second time of recent were I came up against my beliefs, the metal of my resolve was tested. When my oldest dog passed away I found no comfort in the idea of her going to doggy heaven. What I found comfort in was that she was no longer going to suffer from the horrible seizures she was having. I found comfort in the fact that her remains were going to be used as fertilizer. My Father In law said she was now to doggy heaven and frankly that just urked me. I know he meant no harm it just ran through me at the moment. I left it alone and my that wife corrected him which I appreciated.

I think it is great when we have the opportunity to see if the things we believe in help us with integrity, respect and comfort. Life is long and living in world trying to  conform because you "should" will just make it miserable IMHO.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dirty games

My friend is going through some serious times. His Daughter was molested by a trusted older friend. Well now that the x-friend is facing jail time. He is now using shared private information to try to get them to drop the case, basically blackmail. He is also saying that they did not fulfill some contracts with him. That my friend thought were based on a hand shake, and the contracts were fulfilled. There is not a dark enough corner in the worst jail for people like this man. The saddest part to me is, because he and his Preacher brother have a lot of money. They will do all they can do to drown my friends financially from ever seeing justice. This whole situation disgust me for so many reasons. I will not even go in to the reasons, but; it is just sad.