Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Wow- take that you cutting edge early adopters!

5 February 2008

Interesting perspective.
I am somewhere in between, I wait and buy and still can be way ahead of the conservative group waiting for a market leader to emerge.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns…to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap

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The War.

23 January 2008

Previously I would have posted a link to this on events like Memorial Day.
I purposefully, have put this in the Commentary section and not the Deployment section.
This is because now that I am going to Iraq I don’t want to be thought of as trying to garner sympathy.

This one isn’t about me.  This one is for all those out there in harm’s way.

Simple Thoughts

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Upstate.

23 January 2008

I love upstate New York.  Down the street from where I grew up in the summers a prolific writer moved and wrote a popular book.  Out of this is a updated blog.  My Aunt turned me on to it because you can tell what the weather is like and what is going on up there.  It kind of helps you be there whether you live in Florida or Iraq.

As I surfed the site tonight, I was appreciating his photographic skills.  Even if you have never been there, dont like Upstate, or have any other reason for disdain, it is worth a look for the wonderful photos.

Enjoy.
Brian
Bedlam Farm Journal

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Billary does it again…. nice.

20 January 2008

throw out your headphones

11 January 2008

Some time ago I got to reading about headphones, probably on lifehacker.com .  Since then I have found goodcans.com and every so often I go there and read again.

If you have read this far you are interested enough in headphones that you should get up and throw out what you currently have.

OK, now what to buy…. this is easy and life changing.  Sennheiser PX100 link below.   I found that without spending much money you can make a big difference in your listening experience… and you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

I picked up circumaural open Sennheisers and I have never heard anything better.

Amazon is selling the link below for $27.  Yup, that is $27, not $270.  The sound compares to 2 or 3 times that price.
Amazon.com: Sennheiser PX 100 Collapsible Headphones: Electronics

For in canal the Sony, yup Sony Ex51LP rival  and actually sounded better than the Shures I had for awhile.  $2o for $120 sound.  (sometimes higher number isnt better, you can go ahead and by the 71s but they are the same parts).

If you want closed circumaural ‘sealed’ the Sennheiser HD280Pros you can get on Amazon at times for $69.99, they came out at $150 and compare with $250 cans.

The other amazing deal I found was Logitech Noise Canceling.  Originally $150 now at TigerDirect.com (or through Amazon), $39.99.  The reviews say they are about 90% of the $250-300 Bose noise canceling headphones.

Supra-aurals, I guess the Senn PX100s are supra-aurals, but really  supra aurals equal  Grado.  Just get the SR80s,  a little more expensive than the SR60s, but twice the headphones.  I want to find someone to give a pair of these to.  Apparently, they rival  $400 Sennheisers.

The last and most common category… ear buds.  I have a pair of $35 Sony’s I got at Fry’s in LA.  They have great sound but are uncomfortable.  I most have read a good review somewhere, but reviews and opinions of good ear buds are few and far between, so I wont recommend any.

Now, if nothing else, go and buy the Senn PX100s.  If your read this far, I will buy them for you.

If you want to get more sophisticated figure out how you will use them.  I have circumaural open for amazing sound that I can hear my kids through so the house doesnt burn down.  Ear bud for travel, they pop in and sound good.  In canal for in flight.  And Logitech noise canceling bec they come with hard shell case (good for sea bag) and I can always find a quiet spot in Iraq by turning them on.

Good listening!

Brian

Surp

If

Hafrican-American … come on Rush

9 January 2008

FRANGELA on npr.org got me to thinking.

When I was a kid in the 70s, not that long ago, the only term I heard was mulatto. I am not sure it was used or even PC, but you know what someone meant when you heard it. People today still do, I dont know if it is derogatory, I will have to ask one of my many African-American friends.

Gosh, that sounds weird, I am not used to labeling my friends, they are just my friends. I am not really sure I have any ‘African-American’ friends, atleast not first generation. I have lots of black friends. I always have. My first friend, my next door neighbor, Hassan is black. Or African-American, I guess. Not sure you knew he was black from his name. I never really thought of him as black or any different than me. Well, except for the time my Mom figured me and my brother were color blind because some of our friends weren’t ‘green’ like Hassan. (turns out we were both red-green ‘color-blind’).

Anywho. Apparently Senator Obama has a ‘white’ Mom from the mid West, wonder if she is “German-America” like my third generation ‘white’ Mom was? His dad is Kenyan. So maybe African American doesnt denote first generation, then again that would make my Mom German American. However, maybe my definition is wrong. Maybe Sen Obama is truly African-American, or as we in the medical profession write on the chart, AA. I have never seen GA (German American), HA (Hungarian American) etc written, I guess when we right AA on the chart it means they are darker skinned than me. Hmmm. Anyway, maybe he is truly African American bec Dad is African and Mom is American? Maybe that definition of AA is right after all these years. Who cares?

Another family I was and am very close to was white mom, black dad. That Dad was a second Dad to me. Took me and my brothers into NYC and showed us around, he played with us, did youth group stuff with us. Used to due all kinds of stuff with us. He had a bunch of kids in the 60s, yes the 60s, that were mixed. As close as we were to them, it never came up. It wasnt an issue. They were just Keith, Lauren, etc.

So maybe Obama is right not to bring it up, because it doesnt matter. Because in my America, it doesnt. I serve in the US Navy with just as many blacks and filipinos as whites. There is a disproportion and maybe equal amounts of each which is unlike the civilian America.

So Senator Obama is another new term the media taught me today ‘biracial’. I am pretty sure I am at least septa-racial myself now but all that homogenized white european descent just make me a plain old white guy.

Better yet, Sen Obama’s brother in law is Chinese-Canadian. Obama grew up in Indonesia. What does that make him? Cooly diverse, that is about it.

All I can say is 35 years into my friendship with Hassan, we will both be 38 this spring. I have no idea where the name Hassan came from, he wasnt Muslim and he went the the Episcopal Church, I never thought about if he is African American, I have never asked him what he is. He is a black American and I am a white American.

FRANGELA on npr.org “Clinton’s ‘Tears’ and the Sanjaya Effect”

9 January 2008

I am not familiar with there body of work, but I really enjoyed their commentary!

Thanks to Steve for finding the link!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17958435

Enjoy!

Clinton wont take questions – that doesnt bode well for a president

28 December 2007

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2007/12/clintons-dont-a.html

 For those of you trying to relive the early 90s, and some of you are the same as those really trying to relive the 60s, read on.

Foreshadowing.

My new favorite website

28 December 2007

Ah nostalgia.  This is awesome.  Takes me right back to some of the things I asked Santa for in the 1970s.

I have the bedspread and still a pillow from the sheets on page 50 of the 1979 Sears catalog!

http://www.wishbookweb.com/

we’re an imperfect country

27 December 2007

Yes, we’re an imperfect country…and some of the media delights in that, pointing it out to us repeatedly. But here’s a pleasant read about America and our unselfish motives around the world. Enjoy.

When in England at a large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building’ by George Bush. He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.” It became very quiet in the room.
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Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part,including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt B ush ha s don e? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?” Once again, dead silence.
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A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most o f those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, ‘whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.’ He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’ Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied ‘Maybe its because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German!’ You could have heard a pin drop!