Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Days Are Numbered

From Rick Moranis:

My Days Are Numbered

The average American home now has more television sets than people ... according to Nielsen Media Research. There are 2.73 TV sets in the typical home and 2.55 people, the researchers said.
— The Associated Press, Sept. 21.

I HAVE two kids. Both are away at college.

I have five television sets. (I like to think of them as a set of five televisions.) I have two DVR boxes, three DVD players, two VHS machines and four stereos.

I have nineteen remote controls, mostly in one drawer.

I have three computers, four printers and two non-working faxes.

I have three phone lines, three cell phones and two answering machines.

I have no messages.

I have forty-six cookbooks.

I have sixty-eight takeout menus from four restaurants.

I have one hundred and sixteen soy sauce packets.

I have three hundred and eighty-two dishes, bowls, cups, saucers, mugs and glasses.

I eat over the sink.

I have five sinks, two with a view.

I try to keep a positive view.

I have two refrigerators.

It’s very hard to count ice cubes.

I have thirty-nine pairs of golf, tennis, squash, running, walking, hiking, casual and formal shoes, ice skates and rollerblades.

I’m wearing slippers.

I have forty-one 37-cent stamps.

I have no 2-cent stamps.

I read three dailies, four weeklies, five monthlies and no annual reports.

I have five hundred and six CD, cassette, vinyl and eight-track recordings.

I listen to the same radio station all day.

I have twenty-six sets of linen for four regular, three foldout and two inflatable beds.

I don’t like having houseguests.

I have one hundred and eighty-four thousand frequent flier miles on six airlines, three of which no longer exist.

I have “101 Dalmatians” on tape.

I have fourteen digital clocks flashing relatively similar times.

I have twenty-two minutes to listen to the news.

I have nine armchairs from which I can be critical.

I have a laundry list of things that need cleaning.

I have lost more than one thousand golf balls.

I am missing thirty-seven umbrellas.

I have over four hundred yards of dental floss.

I have a lot of time on my hands.

I have two kids coming home for Thanksgiving.

Rick Moranis is the creator of a country music album, “The Agoraphobic Cowboy.”

My Days Are Numbered
NYTimes, November 22, 2006

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Peter Gabriel's Come Talk To Me

Awesome video from Peter Gabriel's Secret World Live (1994):

Terrific commentary on this performance from Bob Lefsetz:

With the headlights on, immersed in traffic long before the dinner hour, a sound slowly amped up in the speakers.  The drums started to pound.  This was "Come Talk To Me".

Peter Gabriel became an accidental rock star.  At too old an age, long past his triumphs with Genesis, Gabriel concocted a train-wreck of a video that no one could stop watching.  We were glued to MTV, following along with the little train around Peter’s head, the dancing chickens, until in darkness, with lights glued to his clothing, Peter walked out of the room.

And since one track used to cause people to buy albums, "So" was suddenly owned by millions of people who never knew Gabriel used to dress as a flower.  They reveled in "Sledgehammer", but also discovered "Red Rain" and "In Your Eyes".

How do you follow up something like this?  You’ve been knocking at the door for almost two decades, suddenly you’re INSIDE?  "Us" was a dud.  Too stiff in production, lacking the killer riff of "Sledgehammer", Peter fumbled his moment, and reverted back to cult status.  But two years later, the cult was rewarded, with "Secret World Live".

Okay, what are the best live albums?

You’d say "Live At Leeds".  I’d say it’s got energy, but lacks crowd noise.

"Frampton Comes Alive" has been overplayed, but it was great.

"Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out"?  Overrated.  Although I do love "Sympathy For The Devil".

The newly-forgotten favorite?  Tesla’s "Five Man Acoustical Jam".

But if you’re creating a Top Five, you must include "Secret World Live".  All those songs lacking passion, cut with too much precision on "Us", they suddenly came ALIVE!

Don’t miss the nine minute version of "Secret World".  Or the eleven minute take on "In Your Eyes".  But the keeper, the one that truly gets your attention, is the opening cut, "Come Talk To Me".

You hear the crowd noise.  An ethereal synth.  Then Peter’s pleading voice, IMPLORING you to listen.  And then POUNDING drums cause you to stand up and pay attention, hell, listen to the CROWD NOISE!

Go to: Peter Gabriel-Come Talk To Me

You won’t hear the pounding of the drums that resonate so on the CD.  But yes, that’s a phone booth.  Containing Peter.  Singing into the receiver.  Asking to be relieved of his LONELINESS!

And when the band rises out of the ground, that rush you used to get at the show comes back.  The feeling of being privileged to be there.  It’s no longer who you went with, you’re locked into the experience, you didn’t expect this, this is FANTASTIC!  You PINCH YOURSELF!

And stay tuned in until 2:10 when Peter EXITS!  And starts pulling the phone cord out, towards Paula Cole, singing the Sinead O’Connor part.

Can you show me how you feel now
Oh come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me
Come talk to me

When you’re confused, when you’re confronted with a holiday tunnel, you need something to get you through.  Some people turn to alcohol, others to drugs, to numb the pain of the human condition.  You’re so supposed to feel so SPECIAL, so HAPPY!  But you don’t.

Just know there are records out there, artists who understand you, who’re where you’re at.  Just fire up the turntable, the iPod, and let them reel you in, let them connect you.

Ah, please talk to me
Won’t you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me

And when you’re out and about, sitting at the dining room table, ignite your own personal lighter, known as your personality, and reach out.  That person sitting silently across from you might be just as lonely, just as disconcerted.

We’re in this together.  Forget about the talking heads, forget about not resonating with the holiday cheer.  You’re a member of the group.  I’m here with you.  And so is John Lennon, and Peter Gabriel, and…

Come Talk To Me
Bob Lefsetz
Lefsetz Letter,  2006/11/21

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Robbie Williams camera trick (Knebworth concert)

Robbie Williams at legendary Knebworth Park -- it was the biggest concert ever staged in the  (375,000 people).

Very cool view from the stage: Williams asks the crowd to all take out their cameras, and on the count of three...


Posted at 11:21 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dolans Destroying the Knicks?


The journey of the Knicks from being one of the top teams in the league to the bottom is just one symptom of a dysfunctional ownership. Cablevision is one of the more powerful companies in New York, with a basic cable service with 3.1 million subscribers and lots of revenue. But they are also a family business—with all the myriad problems that come along with it.

Mr. Dolan and his 80-year-old father Charles have publicly butted heads over the direction of the company, and have taken on highly publicized battles with the Mayor’s office over the proposed Jets stadium and competitor Time Warner Cable. Currently, they are under government investigation over a murky stock issue, including an episode reported by The New York Times in which stock options were granted to a deceased vice chairman after he had died.

The same article described a $19.2 billion leveraged bid by the Dolans to take their company private—a move that many speculate is motivated by a desire to avoid scrutiny from investors.

The mystery that has surrounded the Dolans’ basketball decision-making is characteristic of their organization as a whole. Members of the media unfortunate enough to have the task of finding out anything meaningful about them have found this out the hard way.

“This is a terribly paranoid organization from top to bottom, and they do everything they can not to allow anything to be written about them,” agreed Filip Bondy, a columnist for the Daily News. “You’ll find few anecdotes about Dolan because he’s so private. It’s a problem, and the lack of anecdotes is a part of the problem. We live in New York and we live off personality. If we at least had some personality, we could be somewhat distracted away from the team on the floor.”

Knickleheads: Is Cablevision Dynasty Driving Franchise to Disaster?
Sara Vilkomerson and John Koblin
The New York Observer, 11/20/2006

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Edge of Blade Runner

Very cool documentary of one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi flix, Blade Runner: Towards the end, director Ridley Scott solves the mystery of whether Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a replicant or not . . .

Edge of Blade Runner
Channel 4
52 min 16 sec - Apr 27, 2006

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

REM Harbour Coat (Live, 1985)

I've been a big fan for a long time:

Posted at 06:53 AM in Music | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to Shop Smart for a Car



From CNN Money: How to Shop Smart for a Car

Buying a car can seem like a huge hassle, from figuring out what price you should pay to handling the hard sell on the dealer's lot. You can avoid the work in one of two ways.

The Easy Way: Hire a car buyer If you are willing to spend an extra $400 to $800, you can reduce the entire car buying experience to a couple of phone calls and one visit to the dealer to pick up the keys. Car buying services such as and will find the model you want, negotiate a competitive price and loan terms with the dealer and, in many cases, set up a test drive.

That's the premium approach; do-it-yourselfers can still make this a relatively painless exercise:

Almost as Easy: Buy online If you want to save as much money as you can, do it yourself. Even that doesn't have to be hard if you tap the Net. First go to and use the True Market Value (TMV) tool to find out what people in your area are paying to drive your desired model off the lot. Aim to pay this price or less. You may also want to get pre-approved for a bank loan and ignore dealer financing until you have settled on a price.

Next solicit dealer offers online. At (or, you enter the model you want, your contact info and your zip code (or nearby ones), and within a few hours you'll get quotes by e-mail or phone. You should have an easier time haggling because the dealership's Internet department makes commissions based on volume, not the price. They won't waste time wheeling and dealing you.


7 Shortcuts for Major Money Hassles
Kate Ashford, Carolyn Bigda, George Mannes, Walter Updegrave and Penelope Wang
CNN Money

Posted at 06:57 AM in Automobiles, Shopping | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, November 17, 2006

Chris Trapper: Hey You

Ct_hycoverChris Trapper plays the role of a hopeless loser to perfection on his latest release, "Hey You."

Proclaiming the restlessness of a life lived going in circles, Trapper articulates the frustrations of a dead-end road with first person accounts of school bullies, belittling bosses and failed relationships.

The beauty in the misery, however, is Trapper's ability to tell the stories with humor and melody. He is the former singer/songwriter of The Push Stars, and adds a sonic three dimensionality on "Hey You," with bulky drums and bass, as well as an overall modern pop feel

Good album . . . very Push Stars like


Chris Trapper plays the role of a hopeless loser to perfection
The New Media Department of The Post and Courier
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2006 9:22 AM

Full media coverage is here

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cluster maps

I am testing this out -- gotta configure it

Locations of visitors to this page


Locations of visitors to this page

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fun with fizzicks

Fun with fizzicks:  A pool filled with non-newtonian fluid.

A TV show in Barcelona, Spain filled a pool with a mix of cornstarch and water made on a concrete mixer truck. It becomes a non-newtonian fluid. When stress is applied to the liquid it exhibits properties of a solid.


Posted at 06:22 AM in Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack