How Soon Is Now

Another random song, though this time not so random:

I put the Best of the Smiths on in the car as I was driving my wife and a friend of ours into the city for a birthday party. I did that because what I had in the car was a little weird for everyone (Coil) and our friend is the hugest Smiths fan ever.

I never listened to The Smiths in the 80’s, when they were popular.  Well, they weren’t really that popular in the States anyway but I was much too much of a punk/industrial/goth kid to like jangly guitars and Morrissey’s emo crooning (Morrissey was emo before there was emo).  But then I moved to Los Angeles and the local alternative station, the World Famous KROQ, played the living hell out of the Smiths so I think I started to like them just because they were always on.

But I learned to really appreciate them.  Not only one of the best rhythm guitarists anywhere, anywhen.  But Morrissey, for all his pomp and arrogance, for all his condescension and intellectual airs, is a genius.  When listened to closely, actually not that closely, it is a genius construction of lyrics that makes it difficult to tell if he is seriously that emo or taking the piss, as my British friends would say.  I lean towards about 25% serious and 75% taking the piss.

My all time favorite song by them is The Queen is Dead, because it is a fast one and the bass just rocks.  This song here, How Soon Is Now?, is of course a flashback staple that went approximately nowhere in the States but was their best known song.  And for good reason as it is a cracker (a term I keep hearing as I watch the Australian version of Masterchef).

Taking the piss and cracker.  I think I may be turning British.

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I’m getting jaded

Been busy lately.  Lots of things going on in the world.  Ezra Klein had a piece about what is going on in Wisconsin but what struck me was this comment:

I’m not sold on collective bargaining rights for government workers. Their material gain comes from a rather captive taxpayer base and mandatory dues collected from members fund the campaigns of those who would be agreeable to legislate for even more gain. In essence it becomes a self-perpetuating cash generating machine. Enough!

Posted by: slim21 | February 18, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I’ve heard this before.  It always makes me wonder how someone can get so agitated about this when talking about unions and public employees and not get worked up about the exact same thing happening in the corporate world?  American politicians on both sides are bought and paid for by corporate interests and the rich and they have spent the last 30 years getting everything they wanted, making themselves richer and richer and the rest of America poorer and poorer.  Yet, what gets this guy agitated is some public school teacher being able to collectively lobby the government for a living wage, health care and being able to retire without becoming homeless.  Meanwhile, the rich are raiding the coffers and collapsing the system for their own gain and no one seems to care.

Random: Love Removal Machine by The Cult

I just looked this up and Love Removal Machine by The Cult was released in 1987, the year I graduated from high school.  I would not have thought that as I don’t associate this song with high school at all.  She Sells Sanctuary, arguable their best ever song, I do associate with high school.

This was really the first step The Cult took on their way to sounding exactly like AC/DC (with a slightly different singer of course.)  It’s a decent enough song, but it does have that same beat and guitar riff style that AC/DC has perfected, so not sure why this exists when you could just listen to the real thing.  In fact, the first suggested song on Youtube when I found this was an AC/DC song, so even Youtube agrees with me.  Frankly, I don’t listen to much of The Cult after this song as it all started to sound the same.  And in fact, since I probably won’t revisit The Cult again here, I am just going to post the totally awesome She Sells Sanctuary.  Turn it up!

Latest Chrome test

As I do, I tried out Google Chrome again.  I do this from time to time to see if I have the same problems and irritations with it that I have had before.  This time I wondered if it worked any better now that I have a nice new laptop with the first copy of Windows 7 that I have had the pleasure to use (speaking of that, Win 7 is everything Vista should have been.  They took everything that irritated me about Vista and fixed it.)

And some of the problems are gone.  The clicking things many times, particularly in Facebook, seems to be fixed.  One other thing that used to bother me was that it need to load the whole page before I started scrolling and there seemed to be a hesitation every time I opened a new page, unlike Firefox.  That seemed better as well.  All in all, very fast and seems to work well…

Until…I am doing loads of tagging of mp3 files lately (I have around 3,000 80’s songs that I tagged a year ago but forgot to copy over to the main storage and deleted them from the old laptop.  Doh!).  I use MediaMonkey for this, which is the best media catalog system I have ever used.  In Firefox, I can just search for album art (you can do this automatically in MediaMonkey but it is difficult when you are only doing one track, or something that exists only on a single) and drag the image right from Firefox onto MediaMonkey and it saves it to the tag.  This is something you cannot do from Google Chrome.  You can drag the image to the desktop, or to a file folder and it saves it, but not to other applications.  You have to copy and then paste which wouldn’t be a big deal but it won’t paste into multiple files either so I have to do them one by one.  This is just not acceptable.

So yet again, I find a reason to stick with Firefox over the admittedly faster and sleeker Chrome.

Random

Over at cleek’s place I normally participate in the random 10 on Monday’s, listing 10 random songs on shuffle from your player or computer.  Last time, we did a random 5 but we had to write something about each song.

Brilliant idea!  And one I want to do much more of.  So right here, right now (Jesus Jones!) I want to start occasionally doing a random one or two, with something written about them.

First up, and I swear this was random, is Blue Monday from New Order.

This song…I own this on 12″ vinyl, the sleeve looking like a big 5 1/4 inch floppy.  At one point in the 80’s I thought this was the perfect song, the perfect combination of everything I liked about music at the time: the dancy beat, that bass, the synths, all done in a non-soul or disco way but something totally different.  I remember my dad’s second wedding, when I had to basically beg the DJ to play this song to a room full of middle aged people and I was probably the only one who enjoyed it.

Amazingly, I never get tired of hearing this song.  A true classic.

 

FY Apple

Seriously, Apple software SUCKS.  I don’t even have to go into how horrible a music player iTunes is, or the fact that it is a serious resource hog or crashes all the time.  Unfortunately, I have to have the damn thing on my machine to work with my daughters iPod.

But one more annoying thing, and this is true of other software as well, so it isn’t just Apple: They automatically assume because I am in Norway that I want the Norwegian language version of the program.  Nevermind that my copy of Windows is installed in English and that every default on the machine and in Firefox is set to English.  My location is Norway so I must want Norwegian.  Firefox does the same thing when you try to download, but you can download specific language versions if you want.

/vent

Refund!

The title reminds me of this:

One of the best movies ever.

But the point is that today an ad came out for one of the electronic shops here and they have a nice Toshiba dual core with more RAM (less HD space, but whatever) for only like 40 bucks more than what I bought the single core Toshiba for at a different place Friday.

So I spent all weekend installing stuff and getting things set and now I am returning it for a refund and doing it all again.  Ah, well.

Computer woes

We had a laptop die this week. That is always a sad day. A couple summers ago, when we were in the States for our biennial (I had to look that up because I originally wrote biannual, which means twice a year.  Biennial means every other year.) trip to see family and friends, we had bought a nice ASUS dual core laptop that eventually became my wife’s. I have a decent desktop that runs Ubuntu and had bought a cheap single core Toshiba that was my portable web surfer for the most part. She does a lot of photo processing and liked the speed of the nice laptop.

Anyway, it stopped charging and wouldn’t run on electricity either.  Took it to a local home business guy and a couple days later he tells me that it’s the motherboard.  Electricity comes in the computer, hits the motherboard but doesn’t go any further than that.  Not worth fixing.

We were distraught, because the last couple of weeks of sharing one laptop was a pain in the ass, especially when you have two computer savvy kids who don’t have their own machines. So the same day we rearranged some bills, cleared the board of stuff to purchase and found enough cash to buy another cheap Toshiba. This one is actually not quite as nice in some ways as the other one.  Only two USB ports for one, which is like netbook territory. But the battery life is sick for a 15.5 inch screen laptop (5 hours at light use). And I am getting my first look at Windows 7, which is rather pleasant. It’s like they took everything people bitched about Vista and fixed it.

It’ll do, since mostly what it will get used for is internet and online games.

Cowon A3

Having just left a comment over at cleek’s place about the virtues of my Cowon A3 I thought I would put up a post here where even fewer people can read it!

This thing is without a doubt the finest mp3 player I have ever owned or even heard.  I never wanted to go down the iPod route, even though they are, from a user interface standpoint, very nice.  But there are several things that have kept me away from Apple.  One is sound quality and the other is organization which is, at base, my resistance to doing thing the way Steve Jobs insists is the way I want to do them.

Sound quality is simple.  Ask any audiophile, the iPod is not known for its good sound quality.  The Cowon A3 on the other hand is the most amazing thing I have ever heard, and everyone I play it for (including my brother the Jazz enthusiast) is blown away by how good it sounds.  Add that to the fact that you can play virtually any audio codec out there and you have a wonderful player for the music fanatic.

The other thing is the “Apple Way” thing.  I don’t like the way the iPod only organizes by tag.  I am old and anal about my music so I have everything meticulously organized into directories.  And if I have something with the wrong tags it is difficult to find in iTunes or an iPod.  The Cowon lays it out there like I want it, though I do wish there were a search function.  The other thing is iTunes which is just crap software.   Personally, I use Media Monkey on Windows or Amarok/Exaile on linux.

The battery on my preciousssss is starting to act a bit flaky.  It is after all two years old.  I still get four or five hours of video and maybe eight or ten audio.  It is time to consider changing the battery, which apparently is fairly easy and cheap.  I will run this thing until it dies, and when it does I will buy another Cowon.  Could not be more happy with this player and no one has sound like this.