Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I. Hate. Spam.

As many of you know, I have an extremely low tolerance of spam. How low? For starters, I stopped allowing anonymous comments because I got tired of having coup counted on my blog as well as the namby-pamby comments left while those smarties were counting coup on my blog (yeah, I realize that this probably isn't the right way to use the word "coup", but garbage learned from Hollywood westerns dies very hard).

For seconds, I have nuked spammy comments that have gotten by Blogger's spam filters. For thirds, I have a low tolerance of people with profiles spamming my blogs (yes, someone with a Google+ profile spammed my post about turntables a couple of weeks ago, with an ad about turntables).

Today's rant has to do with spam on Facebook.

While you may think it's impossible to get spam on your Facebook wall (for those of you who have Facebook), think again. All those suggested pages that you get in your newsfeed and/or page feed and/or wall (what you see as you're cycling through your newsfeed) is to a small degree spam. This is the only spam I tolerate on Facebook.

What I do not tolerate is a fellow writer sending me an unsolicited private message that contains a link to their e-book. To me, that is the 2nd most severest form of privacy invasion that someone can do (number one is pasting the link to the same unsolicited book on either of my pages). While I can understand the need to advertise/pimp one's book, sending a spammy e-mail/private message is the fastest way to 1} alienate a potential reader and 2} have that potential reader bad mouth you to everyone else.

Fortunately, while I am alienated (because I'm damn sure I won't read anything from that author if I should remember their name), I will not badmouth their book nor am I badmouthing them to others. And before you get on my case about it, the previous sentence clearly implies that I don't remember their name, so this is a general rant about spamming potential readers about your book.

For those of you who write and decide to self-publish, one key thing to remember is that you don't send out unsolicited e-mails, Twitter postings, Facebook messages or Facebook postings. If anyone is telling you to do that, then they're DEAD WRONG! Alienating readers is the fastest way to make sure that no one ever pays attention to what you got. Period.

So please, before you decide to something that not only might get you blocked from that person's wall, but get you reported as well, ask the people in question that you want to contact. You have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer you want to hear. If not, at least you'll leave the impression that common courtesy is something that you possess.

And believe it or not, applying little common courtesy will reap you benefits in the long run.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What I Don't Like Could Fill This Screen To Capacity

whips out his trusty bullhorn and whistle. blows the dust bunnies out of the whistle and turns on the bullhorn. and blows whistle into bullhorn.

Okay, it's been a very, very, very long time since I went off on a multi-tangent tirade on this blog. In fact, it's been so long that I probably don't know where I should start looking in the seventy-five plus tags that I got floating on the main page. But, in the past few weeks, I've experienced a litany of annoyances that have aggravated me so much that I decided to unload what's been bugging me on this blog toot sweet.

"But G.B., why not unload on Facebook about it?"

Because what has been annoying the crap out of me covers all spectrums of cyberspace, including Facebook, so the safest place to do it is here on the blog. I figure no one reads this much anyways anymore, so I think I'm pretty much safe from any blow back.

In no particular order of importance beyond a proper numerical countdown, here's what's been bugging me lately.

1} Google: three weeks ago, when I caved in and changed my name on my YouTube account, I got automatically dumped into Google+, which I neither want, like or give a rat's ass about. Sadly, with one of two options not viable right now because pursuing it would run the risk of not having a blog anymore, I was left with the option of making sure that I am not bugged with Google+. That option was unchecking every notification/tag option under the sun. Forewarned, if you try to add to me to Google+, I will bad mouth you on Facebook and this blog.

2} Spam: Six months ago, I got rid of the ability of people to comment anonymously because I got sick of dealing with spam. Less than one week after being shoved into Google+, I got spammed by someone from Google+. On an unrelated note, I got a junk e-mail from a SEO company about my adult blog getting lots of page views. Seems that a post on my adult blog, specifically an excerpt from one of my WIP's is being touched by the gods of spam. F them.

3} Facebook. While I love my publisher's private group for the fact that I can keep up to date about what they're doing, the fact that it's quickly turning into a ginormous lovefest is bugging the crap out of me. Example: whenever I log onto FB, I have anywhere from 10 to 20+ notifies for the group (that translates to roughly 50-60+ per day). I click on the link, and almost immediately, people are posting things like 5 star reviews that they've gotten for their books. Not jealous, but at this point, I'm taking any and all 5 star reviews that I see, with a huge boulder of salt.

4} Back to Google. Depending on the browser and said age of browser, you get a different log in screen. I have IE 8 on my old computer and I use it mostly to print stats from this blog (Chrome doesn't print in color) and other assorted odds and ends. The log in screen for Google on IE 8 is different than the log-in screen for Chrome on my old computer and different for IE 10 on my new computer. Seriously irritating.

Oh and they updated the Google website so that the toolbar is gone and thus is now non-user friendly.

5}Writer's blogs. Nothing irritates me more than hooking up with a writer's blog that is more style than substance. To me, there are two kinds of writer's blogs: writers who already have such a heavy/long term presence in the blog world that their blogging is simply an extension to their regular writing, and writer's who establish a blog way after they've started publishing their stories. The later blogs become mostly cannon fodder for blog hops, boring author interviews and the latest pimping of their books.

Piece of advice to those writers who fall into the second category: DON'T DO IT! BUILDING A BLOG AUDIENCE TAKES AS MUCH IF NOT MORE TIME AS BUILDING AN AUDIENCE FOR YOUR WRITING!

6} Commercial radio. Redundancy and lack of originality is taking a toll on my ability to listen to commercial radio longer than fifteen seconds.

7} College radio. While I love college radio, I detest and despise fundraising drives. Right now, I equate college radio fundraising drives with PBS fundraising drives. One of my favorite stations is doing one, so now I'm forced to listen to other stations that play hip-hop. 'Nuff said.

8} My health. As most of you know, I suffer from this. Because of that, I have a tendency to not put up with a lot of crap from my body whenever it decides to rear its ugly head. Right now, it's rearing its ugly head in the form of pulled muscles in both of my thumbs. That's right, both thumbs. And no, it's not carpal tunnel, because I made a point many decades ago to switch off when using a mouse for my computer. At work, my left hand works the mouse, at home, the right hand works the mouse and both hands will work the little mousepad on the computer. Back to the thumbs. It's creating a little bit of havoc with my driving because obviously, you need a minimum of seven digits to turn a steering wheel, and when you're down a few, it because very difficult. And creating a bit of havoc with my writing at work, 'cause you know, you need at least a finger and a thumb to hold and write with a pen.

9} Blogs. If you're gonna decide to throw in the towel, please kind enough to let your readership know that you're saying "Adios!" as you ride off into the sunset. Nothing worse than going to a blog and seeing all the content erased from the blog.

10} Phone spam. About once a month, I get a phone call from ASI (Author's House) asking if I want to purchase any more books to sell. Usually I don't answer it and the reason why I can say with confidence about they're asking me is that they leave the question in a voice mail. With the latest voice message, I'm sorely tempted to call him back and make him question the reasoning behind him working there.

In the meantime, here's food for thought. ASI is owned by Penguin Books. Yes, that Penguin Books. So if you're thinking about submitting a manuscript to Penguin, remember, they own vanity press Author's House.

11} Facebook. I still have the usual complaints going with Facebook (what's popping up in my newsfeed and not with the actual website), so there really is nothing new to talk about there.

Okay, I think I'm all set for the next few months with my ranting. Unless a few more irritating things raise their collective head which forces me to unload on my blog yet again.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Crawling Into The Playground Of My Mind

Today's post will be one part update and one part exploration as it applies to my writing and the various projects I have on hand.

1} Update

I'm making steady, albeit very slow, progress in rewriting my crime novella/novel "It's Just Business". Free time, as always, is a precious commodity that I don't have great quantities of. So I plod along the best I can.

I've now reached the decision on what I want to do with my completed novellas "Shadow's Vengeance" and "Blackness In The White Sand" and where I want to go, and that is to go the self-publishing route. I want to do Smashwords for the e-book version and Createspace for the print version of my novellas.

The main reason as to why I decided to self-publish is that the novella, for what its worth, is unusually hard to land with a publisher (see the rejects I got for Shadow's Vengeance). Most publishers prefer the novel (i.e. 60K+) format as opposed to the novella format, and except for my commercial debut, most of my stories are in that particular format.

With that being said, I am having a devil of a time trying to find an acceptable cover for my novella Shadow's Vengeance. The problem that I'm finding is a bit of a sticky issue, in that my female MC's are black, and for the subject matter in question (Hell, demons and angels) all of the type of covers that I've found to fit, use white models as their anchor.

I really don't want to use landscapes and things like that for my novella, as having a person would make a better connection/tie-in for the novella. So, we shall keep looking and hopefully I'll find something before the end of the year.

2} The playground of my mind

I think I've mentioned previously that when I tap into my subconscious, the writing that springs forth has a tendency to be uber violent. This particular point was driven home earlier this year when I decided to put away a rather revolting (IMO) crime novella/novel. The content contained within that story runs directly counter to what I can tolerate in my reading, and as such, always gave me a severe case of the creeps whenever I decided to work on it. After I'd put it away, I swore I would never take a stroll down that particular pathway again.

Sad to say, I am travelling down that particular pathway again, as I'm now mining not only the dark recesses of my memory banks, but examining some of the ethical quandaries as well.

What I mean about ethical quandaries, which I'm sure we all have faced at one time or another in our lives, is that some of the content that I'm creating runs directly counter to how I actually stand to a given part of the content.

But, as some are want to say, sometimes the genre that you choose to write in will often dictate how the content should be created. In the crime genre, it is my belief (and I'm sure people will disagree with this belief) that you really have to lose whatever inhibitions you may have about a particular subject/concept in order to write a satisfying story.

This is something that I'm actively doing with this novella/novel.

The basic premise is that a drug dealer has pawned his wife off to one of his lower level seller/runner. The other basic plot is that the end of the novella/novel takes place at a funeral. So my main issue is to get from the start of plot A to the end of plot B by any means necessary. And because it's in the crime genre as well as the paranormal genre, it gives me carte blanche to get from A to B.

For the moment, I'm not really thrilled about some of the scenes I've written, but I keep reminding myself that in the crime genre, the end justifies the means.

Or does it?

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Took A Walk, I Observed, I Now Share

I took a mild mental break yesterday (no comments from the macadamia gallery) by taking a short drive to WestFarms Mall, thus creating an opportunity to stretch my legs and floss my brain with observations of the human race.

Warning: There is a chance of you being mildly offended by what you're about to read. If so, please direct your complaint to the Amalgamated Association of Morons, Local 6 7/8, located in lovely downtown Pennsylvania Avenue, which is next to that funny little organization that is being run into the ground by the Blue People.

Observation #1: Urban Outfitters is now carrying, in addition to selected book titles, selected new and reissue music releases on vinyl. Yes, I said, vinyl. Contrary to popular opinion, vinyl is not the latest trend in music, but simply the reappearance of a format that anyone over the age of 35 grew up with. However, the prices are definitely not what you remember them to be. Back them, single LP's were about $8 and doubles were about $15. Now they range in price from $19 (single) to $35 (doubles) and more for certain boxed sets. Plus, a lot of these albums contain things like: codes for MP3 downloads and copies of the actual c.d.

Observation #2: Stretch pants/ski pants/yoga pants, greatly emphasize all that is good, bad and ugly in women. If you need me to elaborate, then it's plainly obvious that you are not a long time reader of this blog, my adult blog or of my writings. I feel your pain....not.

Observation #3: Knee high boots not only are still sexy, no matter what the style, but can make a grown man freeze his face until said owner of boots leaves his field of vision. Afterwards, the grown man usually has to have his face slapped as a reality check.

Observation #4: Long hair is still sensual and sexy, no matter what nationality it may be. I've always been a fan of long hair and roughly 75% of my stories feature women with long hair.*

Observation #5: Two of the original 16 teams that were created in 1901 and 1892 are playing in the World Series later this month: Detroit Tigers (1901) and St. Louis Cardinals (1892). For those who might doubt the validity of my facts, here is the Wikipedia links for the National League and the American League.

*I couldn't find a decent link for long hair, except for Cosmopolitan, and I find that magazine to be somewhat insulting to women. I mean, really, does anyone need 50 ways to make a guy climax or make you orgasm?

Friday, October 18, 2013

ReDeauxing Post #11 And Why I Still Have A Sense Of Humor

I was getting ready to start digging deep within the dark recesses of my brain today, when it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, you needed a short break from reading yet another post about why I write what I write. So I spent, oh I say, 3 1/2 seconds thinking about what to write before saying to myself, "Hey doofus! How 'bout doing a little bloviating an old post? You certainly haven't done that in a while!"

So I went to my old computer and found my leftover list of blog post numbers. If I remember correctly, I had people choose a number between 1 and 941, and I would write a new post on that number. The weird ending number has more to do with the fact that I reached 941 posts by the end of 2012.

Therefore, we will bloviate about post #11 and hopefully we'll come up with something halfway decent.

I believe that post #11 was created from a short e-mail that I got from a co-worker back in the 1990's. Compared to today's sick puppy dog humor, it's pretty inoffensive. Back then, as now, California was known for marching to the beat of Keith Moon than to Buddy Rich. So people always made jokes about the various lifestyles that were embraced: M&F, M&M, F&F, MM&F, FF& M, etc. etc. etc.

So while my sense of humor was deliberately set to flying under the radar back then, it is now set mostly to high jump/low ceiling. Although it may be of the high jump/low ceiling level of crudeness, the crudeness that we profess has been sorely lacking for the past few years.

Let's face it gang, you know as well as I do that my sense of humor is more suited towards your comment section of your blog/timeline than it is to my blog/timeline. Some 5 1/2 years later, I still have a tendency to censor myself and my humor. Having been burned by ex-friends from the real world and cyber space over the years has a tendency to make me gun shy.

But...I still have my moments of brilliance, as they say. My personal humor does pop up on this blog from time to time, as well as my adult blog, while what I find funny pops up all the time (check out my e-mail tag, newspaper tag, humor tag, and anything else that looks out of the ordinary).

So my friends, while my sense of humor has evolved from #11 to what you've read in the past year, I am still the same person with the same skewered outlook on life.

And in the end, isn't that all you can really hope four?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Classic Rock; The Fugly And The Good

As most of you know, I have a hate/loathe relationship with classic rock music. This stems directly from the fact that due to my age (48 1/2), I grew up on classic rock music, and thus have no real desire to listen to it again.

Actually, I should clarify that last statement.

While I grew up on classic music (back when it was NEW), my only desire when it comes to listening to those bands from the 70's thru the 80's, is listening to the entire body of work, and not just the one or two hits that are murdered in as many ways as to dispatch a member of the human race.

Think I'm kidding?

If you name a band or an artist, chances are I can tell you what song is overkilled on commercial radio.

In fact, here is a short sample of artists who have a solid catalogue (more than 4 albums) of work, yet most major commercial rock/alternative/adult stations will play one song and only one song from that artist.

1} Pure Prairie League: "Amie"
2} KISS: "Rock & Roll All Nite"
3} Jimmy Buffet: "Margaritaville"
4} Jeff Healy: "Angel Eyes"
5} Squeeze: "Tempted "
6} Tower of Power: "What Is Hip?"

Now, I can wax poetically in this vein until I make you want to rip out your eyeballs, but I'm too nice of a guy to inflict that kind of pain on you.

Instead, I'll continue with my next point of the good about classic rock, and to a lesser degree, pop music.

Long before the invention  and prominence of entities such as RealAudio, Sirius XM and Pandora, which brought a better tolerance and acceptance to classic rock (as well as other genres), there was college radio. College radio in its heyday, brought the classic rock sound of the 60's and 70's to the generation of listeners who not control the commercial airways.

In present times, college radio remains one of the few, if not only, places where you can hear almost any genre old or new, on the dial. And yes, you can hear both classic rock and classic pop as well.

In other words, you can listen to the various jocks delve a bit deeper into a given artist's catalogue and pull out gems that either you haven't heard before or haven't heard in a while on commercial radio, simply because the powers that be deemed that particular song wasn't a huge enough hit for the artist.

So in addition to exploring new and old genres of music, college radio remains the only place where I can tolerate and appreciate both classic rock and classic pop.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

A somewhat short post today, which is a rarity on this blog since I've always gone for both the jugular and the ceratoid one nibble at a time when it comes to lengthy posts. Drain 'em slow I always say and leave them with echo-y shells where their cerebellum used to be.*

*yes, Halloween is upon us, and I'm trying to keep an even keel as it applies to grossness this year. However, if you need a dose of grossness to get your Monday off to a rip roaring start, click here.

Today, I am over at my picture blog where I will be showing part 2 of 3 of my picture series "Hiking on Cedar Mountain", so if you step to your right, you can waste about one minute of your day admiring the beauty that is Cedar Mountain.

In other news, I am taking a short break from re-write my novella "It's Just Business", as I am taking a proverbial detour to a folder called "Shadow's Vengeance", where I will start the laborious process of formatting that novella for both print and e-book. I figure each one should take me a total of at least a month to format, although the e-book should go quicker as I've already had my baptism by fire in formatting my latest:

Available here

However, formatting for print will be the one that will have me tearing my hair follicles with a pair of tweezers, in spite of the fact that I downloaded the formatting guide from Createspace. I figure by the time I get down formatting both editions, I should have a resolution the thorny problem of finding a cover for the novella. This is something I'll expound upon in the coming weeks, but suffice to say, it's another item that is slowly making me pull my hair follicles out with a pair of tweezers.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Oasis That Is College Radio

Long before Sirius XM, Pandora and the Intenet, the only way to listen to non-mainstream music was college radio. Any kind of genre you wanted to listen to, chances are that you could find it on the college dial (that's usually below 92 or above 107 on your FM dial).

There you could listen to anything you wanted to, pretty much commercial free (but not PSA free). Back then, not only were you able to explore all kinds of genres, but quite often you could discover new bands and artists before they were corrupted (not them, their music) by mainstream radio. Even now, you can pretty do the same thing.

The reason why I bring this up, is that right now college radio is the perfect refuge for those who are sick and tired of listening to the same two or three songs from a given artist on the FM dial.

Think about it for a minute.

If you like a certain artist or even a certain band or type of music, and you don't have complete 24/7 access to the Internet, then college radio is for you. Where else will a jockey play anything but the actual hit from a given artist except on college radio?

I kind of had this epiphany the other day while I was listening to 107.7 WFCS (CCSU) and they were playing a known song (Overkill) by a good band that is always mutilated on commercial radio. While Men At Work wasn't the flash in the pan that commercial radio makes them out to be, they did have a solid body of work and about a half dozen Billboard Top 100 hits to their credit.

College radio is notorious for exploring a particular artist's whole catalogue of work and not just the one or two hits that commercial radio will overplay to death (I have made this point on numerous occasions over the years, so I won't belabor the issue here).

College radio is also notorious for not censoring certain songs just because they have words that Conglomo's deem to be offensive to certain listener's ears (note, I am not talking about George Carlin's world famous list of words you can't say on television). I've also voiced my opinion on that as well.

College radio is also notorious for not creating the modern version of K-Tel Records like commercial radio often does. If someone decides they want to play, for example, all 22+ minutes of The Allman Brothers "Whipping Post", you bet your last dollar they're gonna let that song play all the way through.

Bottom line is if you want to listen to a particular genre of music and you don't have 24/7 access to the Internet, college radio is the next best thing. Where else can you listen to a particular artist and their entire catalogue of work, not just the hits, except on college radio?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Show Me Da Money!

I thought I would touch upon the topic, although near and somewhat dear to my heart, hasn't seen the light of day on this blog for quite some time. The main reason as to why it hasn't been touched has more to do with not really having anything to talk or harp about.

Today's flashback topic du jour is work.

Now before you go and start shouting from the roof top over the fact that I'll serenade you with tales of brave G.B. whose naked ears were tortured from dealing with stupid, this will not be about that. Instead, jhis will actually be not only about something positive about work but something positive about my labor union too.

Back in the year when the messiah was masquerading as a man who cares, all the state agencies finally got the attention of the state by presenting a united front (via the clerical union) about the obscenely high turnover rate in their payroll departments. For years most state agencies were bleeding bodies with extreme prejudice in payroll because over the perceived pay inequities (true) and lack of upward mobility (also true), which often fell on deaf ears with the powers that be (surprised? you shouldn't be).

Finally, in the year of the messiah masquerading as a US Senator (aka 2007), the state asked all the agencies to write an excruciating detailed oriented report so that the state could perform a SCOPE project as it applied to the payroll clerk position. A SCOPE project (for the uninformed masses like you and I) is where the state performs an exhaustive study based on the excruciating detailed report that were prepared to see whether or not a justification exists to reclassify the payroll clerk position.

Some 6 1/2 years later, after dealing with multiple labor concession packages that featured salary freezes, unbalanced givebacks like furloughs, ObamaCare and enough red ink to write Battlefield Earth in every conceivable language known to mankind, the state cried uncle and said, "Yes! Yes! Yes! We agree with your claims! Just make the incessant drumming go away!"

With those magic words of "We agree" being offered, an entire class of worker bees dropped to their collective knees in shock and awe, because never before had they experienced something positive and touched the hand of God in the process. Can I get an AMEN! from everyone?

I say brothers and sisters, can I get a HALLELUJAH! and a AMEN! at the altar of the Church of OMFG I Don't Believe It! Sing his praises to the person who matters the most in your life , the one that gives you the tools to affect change....your union rep!


Reality check: What this does is to revamp an entire overworked, underappreciated, much maligned and seriously stagnant job class and not only gives them a decent monetary incentive but also gives them a chance to earn a promotion. By promotion I mean that this agreement creates two distinct group of payroll clerks: those who handle regular non 24/7 (aka M-F) payrolls, which covers about 85% of the state agencies; and those who handle 24/7/365 payrolls, which is the remaining 15%.

What does this mean for me? For starters, because I handle a 24/7/365 payroll at my current stop, I'll go up two pay grades, instead of the one pay grade like the majority of my co-works, which of course means more money. The downside is that I'll only have three other agencies that I can go to should I choose to do a lateral transfer.

However, the upside of more money couple with potential new duties and responsibilities more than outweighs the downside of limited growth and opportunities.

It's tough working for the guv'ment, no matter what level you're at, because you are often the only contact that the public has when dealing with the fallout of kicking the can down the road. I can sympathize with the public because I've seen and experienced first hand the ineptitude and hypocrisy of those higher ups.

But sometimes, a tiny little sunbeam that punctures the black sky of disillusionment can often make a world of difference.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Clean Threesome For You To Partake In

Good Monday morning to everyone!

Boy do I have the perfect threesome for you today!

For starters, I am over at Penny Estelle's blog Penny's Tales participating in her ginormous schwag promo Christmas In October. Come over and check out me and my fellow authors and make sure to leave a comment, as one lucky commenter will win the grand prize of all the books that are featured on the blog in the month of October. So make sure to comment often throughout the month, as the more your comment, the greater chance you have in winning.

Once you finish the first part of your threesome there, and had a glance at what I have to offer at my book blog, the second part of your threesome takes place at my picture blog Shooting Suburbia. Over this past weekend I went for a short one hour hike up Cedar Mountain and in the process took roughly a dozen and a half of pictures plus one video. Part one is being featured today, with parts two and three being featured later in the month.

And finally, we save the best part of the threesome for last. Over at my adult blog It's Always Saturday In Suburbia, I have an excerpt from my latest writing project to share with everyone. As you know, I've been re-writing the novella that launched me on the journey to where you're presently reading this blog post, and right now, I have roughly 23 pages of slightly over the top prose. For your enjoyment, I give you the re-written prologue. This should give you a good idea on the direction I'm going with this novella/novel, as well as the basic reason as to why I'm listening to heavy metal music while writing this.

Friday, October 4, 2013

So You Feel Old, Eh?

From time to time, I hear people complain about feeling old. This I find highly amusing, since the comment is often uttered by people who are least fifteen years younger than I am (I'm forty-eight).

Whereas some of the younger generation can and should be scoffed at for uttering such a phrase, older folks like myself, who happened to utter that phrase, should not be scoffed at. Why? Well, to quote Fire Marshal Bill, "Let me show you something!"

I often utter that phrase because more often than not, I'm coming across staff members who were born starting with my freshman year of high school (1979) through my five year reunion (1988). So when I say, "I'm feeling really old", I mean it.

Having said that, here are a few interesting tidbits about me that the average reader of my blog probably has never experienced.

1} I grew up in the pre-public Internet age.
2} The most popular pre- IBM or pre-Apple computer for public consumption was the Tandy computer. Retail price: around $3K.
3} Computer language was either BASIC or COBOL.
4} I loaded programs via cassette or 5.25" floppies.
5} Yes, I said 5.25" floppies.
6} I am an original first-generation MTV viewer. MTV came out during my senior year of high school.
7} I am pre-cable TV. You know, rabbit ears for analog?
8} Vinyl was king, cassettes were queen, and eight tracks were going bye-bye.
9} All those shows you watch on either TV Land or ME-TV I watched first run.
10} I've watched about one half of M*A*S*H as first run.
11} I remember when Fox Television was created.
12} Pay phones were in vogue.
13} Cell phones did not exist.
14} Regular leaded gasoline, the environmental community's stupidest and most successful banning to date, was around when I was growing up.
15} You could smoke and buildings.
16} Jai Lai was a major thing here in Connecticut.
17} No social media, unless you count the tabloids that were prevalent, as well as TV Guide and the entertainment section of the newspaper.
18} Speaking of newspapers, I read them voraciously.
19} I had hair.
20} PBS was the only station that had quality children's programming.
21} All those cartoons that you see in reruns from the seventies and eighties? I watched them when they were FRESH AND NEW.

So my friends, these are the kind of things that I have experienced while growing up, and if I should happen to mention them to others, I get blank faces as a response.

So how 'bout you? Have you grown up with a few things that the younger generation has a problem in comprehending, understanding or relating to?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Two Turntables And I Ain't Scared To Use 'Em

One of the main reasons why I wanted to purge and clean out my den last June (and in the process get completely wasted and sick), was that I wanted to be able to listen to my monster record collection. Prior to this past June, my music and stereo were spread out on two floors/three locations in my house: the 45's (about 1200+) located in the dining room, the majority of my LP's (about 1700+) located in the cellar buried in back of a pallet of old booze and the remaining LP's (about 500+) and two turntables located in my soon-to-be man cave.

So after doing a ginormous non-medical three day purge of the contents of my soon-to-be man cave and some killer vacuuming, coupled with the three hour titanic non-food binge, I had my music set up to where I could properly access it. Not only was I finally able to figure out just exactly what the hell I had (for the first time in five years), but I inadvertently created a nice place where I could play bad air guitar, bad air bass and bad air drums.

Anywho, I also found a great place to put my two turntables. Originally they were just to left of me and my computer, but after the remodel, they wound up on top of the 45 record cabinet.

About the turntables. Ever since my one piece stereo (turntable/cassette/AM-FM tuner) vanished while I was moving back to Newington in 2004, I've been on a major search and destroy for either a new turntable plus components or a one piece stereo to play my vinyl on. I succeeded in the late 2000's by buying a combined turntable/radio tuner/cassette/CD player & burner stereo. So I spent some time not only to listening to my music but burning CD's as well. Eventually I gave up using the turntable as the cheap stylus (plastic) wore out, and just concentrated on the CD player portion.

This went on for a few more years, until I was able to buy one of those turntables that I could hook into my computer and burn CD's/listen to music via my computer. However, we did a slight swerve as we took a few of the funky colored wires that came with it and hooked up the turntable through the seldom used one piece stereo.

Presto! Instant semi-killer stereo system!

Or so I thought. In my haste to get a decent stereo system up and running, I neglected to think about one very key concern: speakers.

That's right boys and girls. I was so wrapped up in getting my turntable up and running that I completely forgot about getting separate speakers (and thus having twin stereo sound) in my man cave. So the end result is now a crappy stereo sound in my man cave and a unhappy camper.

But... there was a little light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Even though I had a crappy stereo sound that mostly drove me batty, I did have that one key accessory that all people need if they want to play air guitar or air drums without bothering the outside world.


So now all is right with my world, because now not only do I have a semi-killer stereo system but I have a pair of killer headphones that will help me properly fry out my brain cells, whether I listen to 45s, LPs, or CDs.

I tell you, not only is music a beautiful thing but it can push you to do things that you long thought were too aggravating or tedious to do.

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