Iris DeMent started life in Paragould, Arkansas in 1961. Being one of fourteen children, she went from the gospel music fortress of the Arkansas Delta to the depths of the Left Coast in Orange County, California. The voice is haunting, yet sweet. The songs sometimes remind me of small town America, others of memories strewn through my life. In addition to Gospel music, Iris DeMent has written and recorded slice of life lyrics that may shock some and amuse others. [Read more…]
Daytona “Burrrr” Racing
Every year people pour into the beach town of Daytona Beach Florida. No, it’s not Spring Break, but, Daytona Speed Weeks. Fans expect to get a break from the Wintery North, but, not this year. Fifty degrees as practice started today. For tonight’s Sprint race, temperatures should be in the 40’s. Am I confused or is there something wrong with the Global Warming scenario? [Read more…]
Coding, CSS, and Crisis
Long ago and far away, before people decided to build website and sell them, I learned enough HTML to construct a few websites. Then came Cascading Style Sheets- voila, I was again the proverbial “babe in the woods.”
No, not that kind of “babe.” We’re talking real humiliation here. What a teenager could do in their sleep, I struggled to comprehend with a guidebook in hand. Finally, they won. They separated me from my cash and I had a new website. For a time I was happy. Along the way, someone hacked my website. Which pushed me to find another home for my site. Then, when I did not get any relief from the theme builder on the hacking issue, I jumped ship. [Read more…]
Escaping Dullness, Yes?
If you sat through the Super Bowl Sunday night you probably need some sunshine. Including, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York and New Jersey & the Eastern part of Pennsylvania almost one third of the USA may have pulled for the New England Patriots. Of course, I am adding those states which are in New England in the head count. For the rest of the masses who sat through the game it might very well be a dull day. Do not be too disheartened. Punxsutawney Phil was out early enough to notice he had no shadow. Probably, suffering from frost bite and freezer burn, the ground-hog probably welcomed the comfort of his borrow after being forced to endure the embarrassing fiasco immortalized in a movie. [Read more…]
Since I had updated two other blogs with the latest from WordPress and StudioPress, I foolishly pushed the update button before I backed up. Having neglected the blog for some time, I had not set it to back up on a daily basis. Can you say,
Yes, big mistake on my part.
I apologize for the mistake and resultant messy website. Today, I must be away. Tomorrow, I hope to get everything back on track.
The music player on the site still works. So, if you’re a listener on the site, things should be normal.
Mobile + Stand Alone = The Future?
DishTV’s announced the start up Sling TV for $20. A big selling point is the addition of ESPN & mobility.
Mobile, silly, and it’s the Millennials. Time after time I hear them (the Millennials) say, they do not own TVs.
The missing segment from TV ratings? Males 18-24.
They are on the PC. Or, for those who watch such events, Sports Bars provide them with the opportunity to see their teams in action on a big screen, which most cannot afford. Now with the blooming “standalone” industry, that segment will be able to hit ESPN 24/4 on their mobile devices for the latest.
HBO, a big time draw for in-home, has joined the standalone parade. Cinemax, an HBO company, already features a lot of extra content on Max-Go. The rebranded Sci-Fi channel (SyFy) has extra content for mobile. I am may wrong, but, I believe many of the Premium (movie) channels have the extra content feature geared toward mobile.Speaking of content. Sci-Fi now called the SyFy (stupid moniker i-m-o) just ran a promo for all the new series. Along with Helix, they’ve added 12 Monkeys as a series. Yes, it’s the old 1995 Bruce Willis/Brad Pitt movie made into a series. I’ve forgotten the other new offerings, but, it looks like action/adventure paradise.
Mobility Overwhelms the Rest?
Mobile is coming. Again, in my opinion, the drivers are the providers themselves. Verizon and AT&T have everything to gain from a legion of Millennials using their mobile devices to view more and more content. The two questions I have are:
“Who has the bandwidth?”
There will always be those who say, ‘we can find it.’ Agreed productivity has never faltered because we could not find bandwidth. But, everything has a limit. The cost of moving from the current infrastructure to a new system will be astronomical. Hint- the population base of people who can afford expensive mobile is not exploding as fast as the segment who need inexpensive food.
“Who wins the war between food and mobile?”
Starting working on Flipboard. Don’t expect much. As you can tell, I’ve been neglecting the site.
The reason for my migration to Flipboard is the inability of Netvibes to play nice with Google. Or Vice Versa. Which code is to blame doesn’t matter. I’ve abandoned Netvibes as my primary RSS reader.
So far, I have to give a thumbs up to Flipboard. The International Football content is fantastic and “current.”
One of the problems with the other readers is no updating on links. Is it the content provider or the vehicles such as Netvibes or Protpage. It wears me out to check my news pages to find the same old stories on link after link.
So, here’s hoping Flipboard has the solution.
Thirty Six Reason to Buy WinAmp
By now, most people are not even aware that Shoutcast, and WinAmp even exist, which is probably why AOL has decided to shut the venture down. In my opinion, AOL has proven they are best at not making a go of anything they touch. So, the demise of Shoutcast/WinAmp does not surprise me. I’ll bet Justin Frankel, who sold the company Nullsoft (Original Name) to AOL, laughs up his sleeve multiple times a day. If he waits a few months he can probably acquire the patents of the products he created/helped create for penny’s on the dollar from the reportedly $59 million he received for Nullsoft from AOL.
The loss of Shoutcast is no laughing matter which is reason number one, why someone should buy it. Then one must wonder if (the behind the scenes/reported to be interested) Microsoft has a much better track record with it’s more recent acquisitions? Reason number two, why someone should buy the property rather than letting MS jettison it into the dump permanently in a year or two. Just for fun, I suggest that someone hurry to 770 Broadway in NYC before HP gets an itch it can’t scratch and volunteers tens of millions for Shoutcast/Winamp= Reason number three.
Shoutcast services stream music and information throughout the world from individuals who lack the finances to own a real broadcast facility. The loss of the outlet for those individuals’s creativity becomes reason number four. Hot on the heels of numero quatro comes the listeners who rely on WinAmp to provide them streams of music/information without a bandwidth eating monster loaded on to their devices (desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone). That makes it to number five. If you’ve ever sat through loads of garbage many of today’s music providers you’ll put mark number six on the wall for me. Yes, AOL takes it in the shorts by providing WinAmp virtual nuisance free and that dear friend is my seventh favorite reason someone else with a large wallet should step in and keep the almost free services coming.
Why not Ben & Jerry’s as a suitor for Shoutcast/Winamp? International conglomerate Unilever could send out Ice Cream Coupons every time someone downloads one of their services. Reason number eight it should go to a good home with a generous heart. How much fun would it be to listen to your favorite radio station from Serbia knowing that in a few weeks you’d also be able to eat ice cream while listening. Nullsoft could be so much more, and with a name like Nullsoft, they’d have the build in image for being the Santa Claus of streaming music/information. Who knows they might even surpass the U.S. Government’s listener-ship for Radio Free Europe. Bet they already have.
Actually, I only put up a random number to entice you to find out why Shoutcast/WinAmp are so important. With a few cases of Ben & Jerry’s and the rest of my espresso beans ground, I could keep going. But, I won’t.
Microsoft could do wonderful things with Nullsoft’s products. But, they won’t.
Remember, the creator of Nullsoft believed in freebies. His creations were designed to allow people to broadcast and listen for free. Along with Gnutella a peer to peer sharing program, Frankel created some very neat stuff. AOL shut down Gnutella. Probably because they were not interested in the billions in fines a company that size would suffer for allowing people to share stuff over the internet. That might be the best financial decision ever made at AOL.
Until the final axe falls, those of us with a vested interest in WinAmp will be sitting on the edges of our lounge chairs waiting for the loss of something really rare– a great product with no strings.
Copyright – Copycat – Copulet
I just made that last word up. But, it might be a cute phrase for the impression Miley Cyrus left on much of the USA in her exhibition with Robin Thicke on the VMA show. I ask,
“Do we really need to comment on that event?”
While I did not see the event, I did see photo stills of interaction between Thicke and Cyrus. One word,
I must refrain from explaining the full weight of my term, but, can I put it delicately by saying,
“that’s not what I’m looking for in a lifetime mate?” [Read more…]
TuneIn Radio Back on 64k aac+
The transition from the old automation to a new IceCast2 server set up has found its way onto TuneIn Radio. So once again, you are able to listen on the mobile with TuneIn Radio. My wife went to TuneIn, typed in “Radio66” search and the station came up. You may need to add the + sign or just choose Radio66 and then it appears with the logo as Radio66+.
Let us know if you have trouble getting the station. Here is a link from TuneIn.
The Film With a Pedigree
One happening across Last Man Standing on a movie channel would believe that it was just a period Bruce Willis venue for violence and blood. My youngest son pointed out the relationship of the Texas gang feud with a famous fiction writer of the 30’s– Dashiell Hammett. If one has any knowledge of crime fiction then his name should ring bells regarding such names as Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles. Spade ties to the Maltese Falcon and the Charles’s, the book and t.v. series The Thin Man. But, Last Man Standing was drawn from a work renown on its own- Red Dawn. Which according to some Red Dawn may have inspired Kirosawa’s Yojimbo and possibly Sergio Leone’s A Fist Full of Dollars.
One would believe a movie with that much history would be one to remember. Sadly, the talent of Willis, Bruce Dern, and Christopher Walken working in a set seemingly carved out of the wasteland of the Texas border never mattered to the public. One might chalk up the 20 plus .45 caliber magazines Willis uses to kill most of the remaining gangsters as an excessive violently turn off. And, like most over done gangster movies, Last Man Standing did little to justify the excessive gunfire. Other than point out that the director must have known something about the kill rate of a semi automatic weapon and the number of rounds needed to accomplish such. As an astute watcher I counted the number of magazines Willis used in the bloody finality. Of course, on a second viewing of that sequence, which was preceded by said gangster, John Smith, I counted as he loaded the magazines in preparation for the shoot out.
Would I suggest you fork out the $20 you must fork out to view the movie in a theater with your favorite gangster movie sidekick? Not even. I do not suggest one watch the movie for the violence involved. But, as a study in history, there might be something worth exploring. The crime fiction writers of the Post Depression era are very lightly regarded these days. But, if one examines the characters in this one movie, they might find the shallowness of the characters an escape from the harshness of life in that period of our history. And, the hopelessness of anyone who must face life penetrated by gangsters of that era.
Bruce Willis has a few memorable roles. One might be as the Jackal. John Smith could be added as one role which fit his on screen persona in the same way, Clint Eastwood appeared as “the man with no name” in Sergio Leone’s triology.
Somewhere out there is a Hall of Fame for really bad men with a need for being heroic. In Last Man Standing, Willis punched his ticket for a bust in that hall.
The Heavy- The Movie
Of course we all know “The Heavy”, yes? No?
No not the UK group which did the song How Do You Like Me Now? Yes, the one featured in TV series and the KIA commercial. The Heavy is a movie, which features, of all people, Christopher Lee, (and no he did not bite anyone by the neck.) Back to our story–
The movie stars Gary Stretch and Vinnie Jones. While they may not be household names here in the USA, Gary Stretch was a lefty and won the light middleweight championship in Britain. Vinnie Jones on the other hand won fame on the pitch at Wimbledon where helped them to the FA Cup title over Liverpool and Jones captained the Welsh National Team. A tough guy on the pitch Jones moved from world football to pictures 1998 in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
Christopher, Vinnie nor Gary’s personal lives are not the point of this article. The movie was panned by everyone I read. Horrible, terrible, and other common words were used. If one is going to bash something from their lofty perch, shouldn’t they use more eloquent words? On the surface the movie had no glaring edit holes, nor was the cinema that bad. Released in 2010, the movie did not seem a remake of any other genre. That may have been part of its problem for the reviewers, there was no easy to follow format.
The plot contained twists and turns, but, I figured it out about two thirds in. (That’s a credit because I’m usually better than that.) No tv blurb could do this film justice, as it’s about people, family and relationships. That may be the problem. The movie runs along a course much as underground stream, knowing it’s there and being able to see it are two different things. Emotions and history make up much of our lives, our subconscious drives most of us more than we realize. We act in ways which on the surface might seem odd to a stranger. Trying to capture that on film could be the shortfall of the film. Reaching for something does not always make it happen.
Rather than ruin the film, I suggest if one enjoys studying the human condition and the sometimes automatic responses we have in life “The Heavy” might be worth investing the time. The sound track was compiled by Paul Oakenfold, but, I cannot find a cut from the movie on any youtube vids.
No, the movie is not Macbeth, nor, should it be considered an attempt at such. But, art like music speaks to different people. Not many like the constant beat of the techno genre, I, personally, find it hypnotic, which is probably why a sub-sect of the genre is called Trance. Open minds are a great thing, if we have the capacity to open and close at will and understand the state of our present condition of the off/on switch. Viewing art and listening to music sometimes require that kind of awareness to benefit fully. The Trailer
One should look beyond Elvis to find the real depth of Jerry Lieber’s partnership with Mike Stoller. The duo penned rock and roll hits we still play today on oldies stations. One probably overlooked by many when reporting on Jerry Lieber would be Kansas City, the Wilbert Harrison recorded #1 hit in 1959. Lieber & Stoller hits were recorded by Ben E. King, The Drifters, The Coasters, and Peggy Lee (Is That All There Is-1969) and Steeler’s Wheel- Stuck in the Middle With You. Classics rock groups such as the Dixie Cups and Shangr—Las for Lieber & Stoller’s Red Bird Records.
The era has passed and so has the man, but, his songs, I suspect will live for decades longer.
Android offers an app TuneWiki, which works great for mobile listening of your favorite Shoutcast stations.
When I first launched my internet streams, I was told mobile reception was limited. And, it might have been at that time. But, like much in technology, it didn’t last. TuneWiki is available for Android, and the Apple gadgets. Even Blackberry can download TuneWiki.
This morning whilst sitting on the porch, I dialed in Radio66+ on my favorites and listened for a bit. When I take the laptop out to the porch I can send it through an amp/speaker set up, which gives me great stereo. Today, I was sitting out there to enjoy the rain showers and cool weather.
When Jimmy Buffet came up, it had his pic and a message, indicating Mr. Buffet did not want the lyrics shown. Hummm. Why? How many people do not know the words to Margaritaville? More important question for me is, who cares? Any browser will give me the lyrics from dozens of sources. I doubt that Mr. Buffet is that ignorant. His music coveys a carefree attitude which millions have come to love. That expression comes, in my opinion, from a deep insight into human nature. In another words,
“we are all beach bums at heart.”
What’s All Mean?
Why do people who recorded songs sooo long ago, which become part of the nation’s culture believe they have some intellectual lock on the outgrowth? Wait. Before you reach for that stone, hear me out. Cultural pieces be they art, music, photography which become almost a symbol for the culture reach a different status than say, Chris Ledoux’s “Tougher Than the Rest.” Not to take anything away from Mr. Ledoux or the song, I like both of them, but, they are not American cultural pieces. Nor, is The Beatles “Michelle.” That belongs to England. Get my drift.
With the patent fights involving Linux, Android, and Google, we begin to get a glimpse of the true nature of restriction. What’s not to love about Android- it’s free. Unless, you are Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle or a few other lesser players. Not one of those companies created Linux. Their ability to acquire patents does technically give them the right. But, is it really their work.
Back to Buffet. Jimmy Buffet deserves his due and recompense. But, why get all up in a wrinkle over the lyrics of a song? Or, in my opinion the use of a song in a not for profit situation. Unless, it’s political, then I can see the complaint.
While Buffet, and, the rest may own the rights to things past, the future appears to be accelerating to a situation where everything is either free for the taking or controlled by the government. The situation may seem like it’s difficult now for internet radio, what if the government restricted access to music, books, or movies? That thought fits into the same category with unlimited ownership, copyright, and freedom. No this is not a plea to destroy copyrights. It’s an offering up of some rational process looking at a new world, where most of it does not play by the old rules.
Having hand written song titles, artists and air time for ASCAP/BMI reporting, I was there in the old days. Today, there are bogus Apple stores and as many knock off brand name items as you can stuff in a cargo container. The world has changed, and artists should be thinking about restructuring the process.
With a Hack Hack Here, and Hack Hack There, who is know what’s safe anymore.
One saving grace is not being famous, or infamous. Being neither, I feel less threatened by all the phone hacking. Computer hacking is a fact of life, has been for years. Good software and a top router is the best I can do. Do I rest easier knowing I am powerless against the hoards of hackers? Maybe? At some level, I am just very insignificant and hope that keeps me out of their line of sight.
The Android Trojan may be a threat, but, at this point how many millions will they want to eavesdrop on?
Why not be positive about the current heat wave sitting over us. Today, 107 now, according to Wunderground and Google tops that at 109. These temps are approaching desert level. I’ve been in the desert in 114 wx and that gets critical. Fortunately, it wasn’t far from the door to the car.
Today, I am practicing the fine art of website re-creation. So far, it’s been a disaster, but, as the afternoon wears on, I’m getting there. Turning the background from the standard white to black, has yet to show the way, but, I will persevere. Do I have a choice? Much like enduring bitter cold or extreme heat- we have little choice. We are riding this big blue orb for better or worse. There’s no getting off.