Month: October 2008

Vote Smarter

These ads are great. They need to be picked up by the Obama campaign and it needs to go viral.

I think this is the election where the net will really show its power. McCain and his Luddite redneck crowd probably don’t even know what Google is.

Anyhow, I don’t have to say much since these videos say it all:

New Headphones

So I figured out that the in ear phones I had were causing the inner ear thing to go a little nuts so I started looking at over the ear phones aka headphones.

I looked at the Bose Quiet Comfort 3’s and quite honestly passed over them. They’re overpriced ($300) and their noise canceling is pretty much nothing but amplification. In order to do true noise cancellation you kind of have to predict the future. Then you can shoot out a wave front that is the inverted phase of the signal. DSP has brought that goal a lot closer but it just isn’t fast enough to counter most noise.

So during my digging I remembered Grado Labs. I recall having heard about them when I was doing my radio days. The most rave reviews were for their Prestige series SR80 headphones.

We’d used Grado cartridges on the turntables at the radio station I was working at back in the 80’s. And they had a very sweet sound so I figured I’d look at their headphones.

I first looked at their SR60’s. They are supposed to be good but the SR80’s have four conductor connecting cables and thicker ear cushions. The four conductor thing is interesting because it means you get a Y split with two conductor lines running to each side. But it makes no difference at the connector end because two of the grounds get tied together anyhow.

Grado Labs Prestige Series SR80
Grado Labs Prestige Series SR80

They have a rather retro look to them and I like that about them. The fact that they’re made here in the U.S. fairly close to home also played a part in my decision.

They sound if you’ll pardon the expression, fucking awesome. I queued up some George Duke and some P-Funk to try them out and I’m in heaven. The frequency response on these babies is fantastic. The bass is right there but event the high notes are sweet. I note that they are really optimized for Jazz, for example I queued up Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” and then some Ramsey Lewis, and Incognito. Talk about blown away.

They are a little leaky, in other words you can hear it clearly both inside and outside. But hey, it’s more fun to share your music anyhow.

The absolute best part of this is the price. You can get the SR80’s for $95 on amazon.com

Seriously, if you’re in the market for headphones check out the Grado line. I’m fairly sure you won’t be disappointed. The headphones come with a one year warranty but I’ll be honest, they look to be easily serviceable even if they break after that first year.

I’m also thinking about a pair of their iGrado’s. They’re about $70 and more adapted for mobile use. They use the same drivers, matter of fact most of the Grado Prestige and iGrado lines uses the same drivers.

I’ve been using them for about two weeks now, on the train, at home etc. Something else I noticed, I’ve seen at least two other people bumping through South Station in Boston wearing, you guessed it, Grado SR80’s.

David Brooks: Sarah Palin “Represents A Fatal Cancer To The Republican Party”


The part about Obama surrounding himself with the best is interesting. He is by nature a team builder. I take that one further, I can take what you give me and create a very dynamic and interesting team.

That’s what I like about Obama, maybe he is too much like a college professor but I’d vastly prefer that than what we currently have and the current Republican offerings.
More on Sarah Palin
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Troppe informazioni Martedì numero uno e cento cinquanta cinque – Le sette virtù (TMI #155)

Yes, I know it’s Friday. I’ve just been extremely busy lately.

1. Prudence: When do you feel it is most important to exercise prudence? When is it acceptable to throw practicality out the window?

Prudence is good for something I really need whereas throwing practicality out the window is for things I only want.

2. Justice: Is a sense of justice really a virtue, or is only a tool that allows us to pass judgment on others without feeling guilty? What do you feel is the greatest injustice facing the world today?

I consider it my divine right to pass judgment upon others. But the reality of it is I’m a big believer in equal justice under the law. Way too little of that these days.

And guilt, what’s that? I’ve pretty much lived guilt free for the last 25 years of my life.

3. Temperance: All things in moderation. Should we allow ourselves a few excesses? How well do you restrain yourself when faced with your deepest desires?

A few? Many is more like it. How do I restrain myself? Why do that, just enjoy life. So what if you’ll be dead by 30, enjoy it.

4. Courage/Fortitude: How well do you confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation? Does facing the little things make you as brave as facing the big things?

They both get the same treatment. I’m the guy who gets to do what I call the ‘dirty’ jobs because I don’t scare easily. Haunted houses are no fun for me.

5. Faith: Is it important to have faith? How steadfast are you in your core beliefs? Do your core beliefs equate to faith in something?

If we’re talking religious faith you’re asking the wrong guy. Left that about 25 years ago too. The only one I have faith in is myself.

6. Hope: Does having hope for the future help you deal with the present? How good are you at finding the good in the bad? What is the thing you hope for most?

Mmm, I’m a bit of a pessimist. Luckily I have Keyron who’s an optimist.

7. Love/Charity: How easy is it for you to give selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness? How easy is it for you to receive selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness?

Easier for me to give it than to receive it. I’ve helped push out cars stuck in snow and things like that. I’ve also donated cash to charitable organizations as well as done the Avon walks for breast cancer awareness, etc.

Gay Marriage now legal in CT

But not in Rhode Island. Here’s what I sent to the leadership of the RI Legislature. Think I’ll get their attention?

Fellow RI’er, you too can write any rep or senator by appending their surname to rep or sen. E.g. rep-murphy@rilin.state.ri.us, or sen-montalbano@rilin.state.ri.us. Let them know your thoughts on their obstinacy.

Because of the obstinacy of your leadership of the RI Legislature, you will see RI go the same route as both MA and CT. Except in our case it’ll mean the invalidation of the Family Court Act.

Since you both quashed marriage equality legislation for the past few years it’s only fitting that you hang your heads in shame. Nice job, I’m sure your respective pastors will be proud of each of you.

You should have let it come to a vote but you followed your Catholic conscience and now the battered, neglected and abused will curse your names because through your cowardice and lack of courage you will destroy the family court. I hope you’re both proud of yourselves for this because as a gay Rhode Islander I’m ashamed to have you as our leadership.

Of course that isn’t the only reason but right now it’s the easiest target.

Here’s the story from CT.

And to those reps I’ve bcc’d in this email, thank you for your support. You understand the true meaning of equality.

And we think Islam has a lock on Crazy

Caught this one from my news feeds. Apparently ultra-orthodox Jews are enforcing a morality code in Israel.

You’d think they’d stop for a moment and realize that they were as bad as the morality squads in Iran or Saudi Arabia. But they didn’t. They looked in the book and decided to live based on life a few millennium ago. That book is an agenda, more so than we gay people ever had an agenda.

Need I mention the antics of the fundamentalist Christians here in the U.S.? We’ve got the Phelps clan, and numerous churches who risk their tax exempt status every day by entering the political fray. And it goes without saying that our politicians and the tax collectors very rarely enforce that rule.

But here we were thinking the Jews didn’t have their nut jobs too. I’d have expected this behavior from Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia, or the Shi’a in Iran and Iraq, but the Jews, come on. It’s the progenitor of all the monotheistic/Abrahamic faiths. I think that maybe they’re starting to import that special kind of religious fanaticism and craziness from the Muslims or more likely it’s the misfit syndrome. But more likely it’s just the rigid interpretation of the verse.

If you’ve ever read the Bible and most importantly the Pentateuch you come to a conclusion very quickly. If we had to live by the rules and regulations in the Bible we’re all pretty much rise up in revolt. Yet there are people out there who believe the Bible is the inerrant word of a god. Again, my opinion but that’s one conflicted god they have there.

Thinking further upon it religions are pretty much founded on that special brand of craziness. You know the one, it demands the utmost respect from believers and non-believers. It has a high sense of self esteem always touting it’s superiority over other religions and the people that practice them. It started with Judaism but then the misfits there couldn’t deal with it and so today you have reform, orthodox, and Jews for Jesus sects.

That wasn’t enough and you had one Jew by the name of Yeshua ben Joseph aka Jesus Christ and doesn’t it ring like Osama bin Laden? Yep, Semites, the lot of them. Let us not also forget that the image of Christ we see is most definitely wrong since he was a Semitic Jew. Probably had a little bit of a perma-tan and a schnoz.

Even today the Christian sects are amazing. We’ve got the general category of Protestants and under that you have Anglicans, Southern Baptists, and then further divisions like Assemblies of God, Disciples of Christ, et al. Then you have the Orthodox churches and dare I say it the Catholic church. I was born and raised Catholic but I shucked that off at an early age and haven’t looked back.

It is the misfits. All religion is started by misfits. Even abortive religions like the Nazi party. Tell me that Hitler the one balled paper hanger wasn’t a misfit.

I keep thinking about the story of Rudolph and the Land of the Misfit toys. And the song “Why am I such a Misfit” keeps running through my head. Because that is the definition of the religious. People who don’t fit in, those who think that some mystical sky fairy will provide for them. To me it is the worst form of abdication of personal responsibility. It’s also the very definition of insanity, repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different result.

The old order wouldn’t do, oh no. So a movement starts only we’re not sure how to sell it to the people. Do we make it sweetness and light (Christians) and then have it perverted because we neglected to excise the Old Testament? Or do we insist on an absolutist program like some of the Jews and Muslims? So many choices.

I like the ‘religion’ of secular humanism. Much more grounded in reality and the only time I want to beat someone it’s for boorish behavior.

An Obama poll with a slant to it

I noticed this test for your compatibility with Obama’s plans from a OneNewsNow (They’re an AFA sponsored site) email. I get the emails because I think it’s always good to know what your enemies are up to.

For the most part I agree with the Obama plank. Where I diverge is in the areas of taxation, abortion and gun rights. But I notice the questions in those sections are quite literally loaded. There is one about abortion that really made me think.

Should a doctor save a fetus that survives an abortion procedure? If you know the procedures used I said sure, if you can but the likelyhood of that event happening with modern techniques is pretty much zero. And even if you did use heroic measures to save the fetus, the probability that the fetus would then survive for more than a certain period is remarkably decreased.

It isn’t worth it.

As far as the taxation, because I am an S-Chapter business owner I can actually say I don’t want to see the taxes go up on small business. Small business are the ones who can least afford the tax. Go after the big business and then we’re talking.

The gun questions were interesting too. One says Obama wants to increase the tax on ammunition over 500%. This is a bit misleading because they don’t elaborate on the current tax amount. Lets say the current tax is 5 cents per round, a 500% increase would boost it to 25 cents. So yes it’s 500% but it’s only a 20 cent increase.

And I’ll freely admit it. I’m a bit of a gun nut. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have 30 weapons but I have just enough and feel it is nobodies right to tell me how much is enough. Matter of fact I’m thinking of purchasing a Glock 34. It’s a 9mm but I also want to get a .45ACP. Not sure what vendor I’ll buy it from yet.

So the survey of course takes advantage of that fact. Even then I still agree with the Obama platform for about 90% of the items.

Take the test and post your thoughts in the comments. I’ll be interested to see where people land.