The other day I read this Tom Friedman editorial, dramatically subtitled “How will future historians explain why President George W. Bush decided to ignore the energy crisis staring us in the face?” It continues on about his “geo-greening” philosophy. Basically he is strongly advocating green technologies to wean our country off oil which he sees as a big part of the middle east problem — that we send so much money there which props up corrupt regimes and prevents real progress from being made in that area. He advocates a gas tax which would fix gas prices near $4 a gallon. Obviously he is a big fan of the new hybrid vehicles.

This got me thinking of a conversation I was having the other day about new cars having ungodly amounts of horsepower. A 300 horsepower Subaru? A 5.7 liter Hemi in a relatively small Jeep Grand Cherokee? Obviously things like the new Lexus Hybrid are helping to improve the hybrid sex-factor, but I think more dramatic steps are needed.

How about an electric or electric-hybrid racing format? Not F1, E1. This would be an ideal place to drive innovation in the field. Formula One, which I love, doesn’t really serve the purpose of creating technologies that are used in street cars much anymore. I’m never one to claim that further innovation won’t happen in today’s F1, but I think there is a new, greater engineering challenge. Batteries could be improved. Electric motors could be improved.



itunes resistence + dual soundcard tip

ItunesI’m a longtime (8 years!) Winamp man. My brother Kevin has been steadily singing the praises of iTunes for quite a while now. I’ve resisted. While I sprung for Anapod Explorer a long time ago for my iPod, so I didn’t really need iTunes, I found I was using it for iPod loading duties anyway. Particularly because Anapod isn’t licensed for other people’s iPods.

Well, I’m starting to feel like the forces of iTunes are too great to ignore and I’m ready to start experimenting for daily usage.

But there was one thing holding me back. My home audio setup consists of an XP box with dual soundcards, one onboard and one M-Audio PCI card with digital outputs that are connected to a Art DI/O DAC and vintage Advent receiver. The default output device is the onboard audio hooked up to a set of Sony MDR-V300 headphones. Winamp is specifically set to output to SPDIF. This way only music plays through the stereo and all the beeps, website music, .wav files, videos all play through the headphones. iTunes didn’t appear to have a similar setting.

Kevin reminded me that iTunes uses Quicktime to actually play the music and that a quick trip to edit -> prefs -> quicktime prefs -> sound out allows you to set a preferred device.

One side effect of all this is now I’ll be forced to update tag information for all my music. Perhaps add album art to it too. I foresee hours of OCD tagging ahead of me.


subliminal supersize me

Supersize_me_reviewI manage to avoid traditional fast food (McDonalds, BK, etc) most of the time in my city life. I don’t spend much time thinking about it other than my bi-annual birthday Big Mac. I read Fast Food Nation a while back and was as shocked and entertained as anyone.

About two weeks ago I saw Super Size Me.

I can’t stop thinking about McDonalds. Now when I pass by images of burgers and fries dance in my head in a come hither intensity I can only attribute to the film. The movie affected my subconscious in the opposite way intended. I haven’t broken down completely, but I have entered the establishment and came away with relatively, semi-OK-for-you small vanilla milkshakes. I just hope I can hold out until June 14 without a serious Big Mac attack.




Emily took this picture in Hong Kong at a beauty salon. What the heck is it for / caption contest!


urban pirate dream

PiratesI had one of those lucid nightmares last night.

Chillin’ with extended friends and family in some non-specific dream-made location, minding our own business, when a big group of well trained, modern pirates locked us inside and proceeded to pillage all our belongings, not just what was in our pockets, but somehow all our stuff that was worth anything.

When I woke up I didn’t immediately recognize that it was a dream and that I ought to figure out what to do next. What was I going to say to the police, etc. Awake(!) during this thought process. (this is a common nightmare reaction for me) I fell back asleep and went right back into another variation on the same urban pirate theme.

When I woke up for good, I was relieved to find it hadn’t really happened, but my mood today has been spoiled. My sub-conscience isn’t convinced yet.


inexplicable hesitance of breaking a twenty


Coming back from a delightful lunch at the ESPN Zone in Times Square I had that urge to buy a 20oz Diet Coke with Lemon or Lime treat. All I had in my pocket were $20s and my immediate reaction was “hey, forget that idea, I’m not going to break an Andrew Jackson just for a bottle of Coke”. This makes no sense whatsoever. Why do we do this?

This all led me to thinking about currency and whatnot and how we are just so tied to it all because we’ve gotten used to it. Here’s my plan: Abolish the penny and the one dollar note. (yes, I know I’m not the first to think of either idea) Think of the positive impact on the economy. Wouldn’t you be much more likely to spend $1 Sacagawea gold coins than paper notes? I would. I’d be more willing to drop those in charity buckets than I am paper money. Wouldn’t you like to not have to deal with those stupid dollar reading soda machines?

And the penny, well that’s just ridiculous, we should have dropped it a long time ago. Most high traffic bodegas and lunch places in NYC round pennies (sometimes more) off anyway now.



Two nights in a row downtown:

  1. Monday – Went to see the Red Wine Boys aka Jon Benjamin and Todd Barry’s comedy variety show. Guests included Eugene Mirman, Yo La Tengo and Brenden Small. Jon and Todd had zero prepared material and pretty much just relied on their innate funny. My favorite moment of the night was Brendan Small in his Captain Mustache character doing an impersonation of Louis Armstrong, Fat Albert and Bill Cosby hanging out (voices only).
  2. Tuesday – Followed through on seeing the Head Set at Crash Mansion. You know you are getting older when you can go to an open bar and not get “open bar drunk”.

Side note — I posted the event on Upcoming.org and let the band know they should post there also. They posted April 9th’s show here. I’m finally optimistic of having a centralized, authoritative, complete repository (and RSS feed) for concert and event information.


more fun with desktop search for mp3s

I was in the mood for some Missy Elliott so I opened up Copernic Desktop Search and put in Missy. I didn’t really appreciate Missy’s role as a “featuring Missy E” in so many songs. Here are all the songs that feature Missy in my collection:

  1. Beyonce f. Missy – Signs
  2. Janet Jackson f Missy – Son of a Gun [remix]
  3. Mariah Carey f Missy – Heartbreaker [remix]
  4. Juvenile f Missy & others – Back that Azz Up [remix]
  5. Redman f Missy – Dat Bitch
  6. Angie Martinez f Missy – What’s that Sound
  7. DJ Clue f Missy & others – Busa Rhymes (??)
  8. Eve f Missy – Ain’t Got No Dough
  9. Fabolous f Missy – Sickalicious
  10. Ghostface f Missy – Tush
  11. Lil’ Kim f Missy – (When Kim Say) Can You Hear Me Now?
  12. Method Man f Missy – Say What
  13. Mr Cheeks f Missy – Lights, Camera, Action [remix]
  14. Nelly f Missy & Mobb Deep – Playa
  15. Tweet f Missy – Oops (Oh My)
  16. Tweet f Missy – Big Spender
  17. Wyclef Jean f Missy – Party At Damascus
  18. Blaque f Missy – Ugly
  19. Monica f Missy & Busta – So Gone [remix]
  20. Timaland and Magoo f Missy – Cop that Shit
  21. Christina Aguilera f Missy – Car Wash
  22. Method Man f Missy – Bring the pain [remix]
  23. Da Brat f Missy – That’s What I’m Looking For

I haven’t counted yet, but I think she is a rival for Busta Rhymes as the most common featuring artist.


the head set

Thsphoto2Y’all should check out my friend Michael’s band The Head Set (he’s on the right, the drummer).

“The Head Set are post pop and brit rock fused with what you might hear echoing out of a garage in Brooklyn, if there were garages in Brooklyn. They turn a different corner when other bands right now are going the way of disco rock and give us a new NY indie pop sound. Something different but something we are familiar with. A sound we love, taken to another level.” – Gothamist

They posted some new demo tracks – full MP3 versions – here: Demos for LP1

And they are playing a couple shows soon: I’ll be going to the one tomorrow for sure.

Tues, Mar 22 @ Crash Mansion NYC 11pm  UPDATE: Show moved to 10pm. Open bar from 9:30 to 10:30.
Sat, Apr 9 @ Pianos NYC 9.30pm w/Bloom, Conshafter, Hero Pattern