Monday, March 31, 2008

Ghost Coaster

From flickr, courtesy of Boing Boing, very surreal pictures of an abandoned coaster & amusement park.

Lost In Translation

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Bye Bye

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Clinton Mic Woes, Coincidence Or Karma?

Hilliary's been having some mic problems both on Good Morning America & the campaign trail. Bad luck, or do some recent reports of staging companies getting stiffed by the HRC Campaign have something to do with this? From Politico : a pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. So Mrs. Clinton joins a long line of deadbeat promoters, party planners & bands who are happy to run once the gig's over & the bill's due?

No F1 This Weekend

Sunday April 6, F1 hits Bahrain. Expect a fast one and see if Ferrari can break Schumacher's 3 year old track record.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Can AA be any worse? Apparently so!

In an effort to "better serve their passengers" (and presumably keep Richard Branson in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed) American Airlines is suspending all direct service to London's Gatwick Airport in favor of the nightmare pictured above, namely London Heathrow. The absolute boneheadedness of this move is further illustrated by the spectacular opening of Heathrow's new Terminal 5. According to the BBC up to 20,000 bags are stranded at the new terminal & British Airways has had to cancel 100's of flights, those that do leave are often doing so without passengers bags! Is that the sound of ice clinking in the Tanqueray & Tonics over at Virgin Atlantic I hear?

Friday, March 28, 2008

More Music Industry Floundering

From Wired, another wonderful crackpot idea to "save" the music industry. Warner has hired industry veteran Jim Griffin to push through a proposal that a $5 tax be levied on all internet access which would enable users to download unlimited music at their pleasure. Seems like a good idea on paper except for the millions of ISP customers who have no interest in Madonna's new song & would rather swap pictures of their grandchildren. Since this will be a live rail to any politician who dares touch it I presume this will go away about as fast as the Ringle did.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Huge Studio Photo Archive

After an interesting discussion on the forums at RetroThing I was guided to this thread on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums. People have been posting photographs of studios & sessions dating from the 1920s through the late 1980s. Some of the shots are classic including the one's above from Ronnie Lane's mobile studio in which I assisted with a number of projects including the first all-digital audio TV broadcast for the then fledgling HBO. The rest of the pictures are truly a treasure trove of incredible facilities & equipment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Former Colony Buys Crown Jewels

Motoring crown jewels that is. Somewhat ironic that India's Tata automotive group has acquired both Jaguar & Land Rover from Ford. Originally bought for $5.2B the brands will now net Ford $1.7B in cash, now that's depreciation for you. Ford claimed that they "would invest the proceeds from the sale in quality and product development" and maybe build some cars we'd like to buy?

100 Most Beautiful Cars Of All Time?

At least as judged by the British readers of The Daily Telegraph. And before you get your knickers in a twist, no the Volvo P1800 was not #1. Just wanted to tease.

Apple made me do it!

The end of a long story is that I have an 8GB iPhone. Now being the happy owner of a far superior product for communication purposes (the Nokia N95) I had been using my iPhone as an iPod happily. Last week it wanted to install an update (1.1.4) which effectively locked me out of the unit unless I authorized it onto AT&Ts network. A quick call to Apple's tech support confirmed that without an active contract on AT&T the iPhone will not function at all. Sorry Apple I thought I actually owned this device, silly me, apparently I'm only using it at your pleasure.

Some heavy Googling turned up a lot of information on hacking (or jailbreaking) the iPhone but most was pre-the latest update. Then I came onto this gem of a Wiki. 10 minutes & a small amount of geek'ness later I am back in possession of my iPhone-Pod with a bunch of new features to boot & no $ to AT&T. Hey Apple, this is what customers do when you trample on their rights, get used to it.

F1, back with a difference

Tired of trying to equalize & patrol the various electronic traction control & engine braking systems used by the Formula 1 teams, the organizers wisely removed all driver-assisting electronics from the cars for 2008. 2 races in, this looks like a wise decision that's bringing a lot of drama back to the Grand Prix circuit. This week in Malaysia, the always strong Ferrari managed to get at least one car across the finish line (in 1st place too) after a pretty disastrous time in Melbourne. Strong teams from Mclaren-Mercedes & BMW Sauber should make for a highly competitive season. Then there's Lewis Hamilton, the Tiger Woods of GP who took 1st down-under but struggled to hold onto 5th place in Malaysia. US fans either have the choice of the limited availability of SpeedTV or, thanks to some kind fans, English speaking coverage is readily available on the torrent sites.

$11,000 or $20, you decide

Starbucks has purchased the manufacturer of the Clover coffee maker, an $11,000 contraption that reputably makes the best cup of joe in the World. The idea is that these will appear in "selected" Starbucks outlets & the New York Times sent out a reporter accompanied by a coffee aficionado to sample the product. Reviews were neutral at best although most of the criticism was aimed at Starbucks roasting techniques rather than the Clover. However, towards the end of the article, this little nugget slipped out "Finally, the French presses arrived. The coffee was comparable to that from the Clover, but between assembling and steeping, a cup of coffee in a French press takes close to 10 minutes to make."

So it seems that at least according to this specialist, the only difference between the coffee from an $11,000 machine & a $20 press was the preparation & clean up time. I've been extolling the virtues of my French Press for years, they're really easy to use and can now save you $10,980 which seems like a great deal!


Sorry for the all-caps title but it's about time BMW brought their 60mpg 118d (d for diesel) model to the US & wiped the smug grin off Prius owner's faces everywhere. Officially the "World Green Car" with the Bavarian maker's rear-wheel drive penchant for building cars you'd actually want to own & it's not going to be available in the US!

Thanks Wired.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Kids Have Been Cheated

...out of Saturday night! Reminisce time folks. Saturday night was when you went out to rock out. So many bars, so many bands & you tried to see as many as possible in one night; coming home at 4am with 10 in/out stamps on the back of your hand after a greasy breakfast at the Lakewood Cafe. The Greenville Bar & Grille would be cranking out some rock and roll, it was covers at Rick's Casablanca and blues at the Texas Teahouse. The outlaw country fans were cutting a rug at Whiskey River & you could always catch some hair metal at Cardi's. Maybe you'd finish off with the last set with the nascant Deep Ellum scene at the Theater Gallery or the 500 Cafe.

To quote Blade Runner, "all this in time shall pass" & it has. It makes me sad for the teens & 20-somethings of today that they'll never get to experience a live music scene like this one. Let's face it, MySpace can't possibly be as much fun as a cold Corona on a hot Greenville Avenue Saturday night!