I just got a Jump Lead from Troubadour in the UK. It was designed as a clip-on tuning pickup, but it can work really well as a general acoustic pickup if you put it on the right place on the instrument.
I discovered that if you clip it to a Fielding-Cutler Mute on the bridge, the sound is great: warm, mellow, very little acoustic feedback, but lots of chunky overtones. I like it!
The OMB’s decision on this project is here. It’s good reading.
Andy wants to ID some tunes; can you help him? What’s That Tune???
We just saw Hairspray. As the movie of the musical of the movie, it acquits itself quite well, but the edge of the original is lost under the sugar coating. I was about to add that we didn’t need a remake so soon after the original, but Waters’s version is 19 years old, which is an age in movie time.
The good bits? Nikki Blonsky is a wee honey, with huge cartoony eyes and a winning smile. James Marsden adds a little extra sleaze to the role of Corny Collins. The musical numbers are infectious; but then, they should be, coming straight off the stage.
The mediocre? Travolta’s face padding made his eyes look way too close together, and he’s no Harris Glenn Milstead. The cameos from the original are a little too cameo (didja catch Ms Lake as one of the talent scouts?), and the racist baddies are too bland to be disagreeable.
I recognized many of the Toronto locations: the high school’s on Spadina just north of College, most of Tracy’s neighbourhood was around Roncesvalles, the TV studio looked to be on Dupont, and yes, those streetcars were old Red Rockets (one even with an Eastern Avenue destination). If you didn’t know Baltimore, you might think it passed, but it’s nothing like the real thing.
It’s a pretty good summer movie, charming and fluffy, but the original is still better.
Media: tempera, shredder, glue stick.
I scored a brand new, complete and unused Kelly Kettle for $4 from the Salvation Army today.
Kelly Kettles are a marvel of thermodynamics. Instead of lighting a fire under them, you light the fire inside the double-walled boiler. The tapered walls make the fire draw something fierce, and you get boiling water in a very few minutes. I kippered myself a bit making the morning coffee, but it was worth the effort.
Bought an RJ Tech DVD player today because it has VGA output, and we have a spare 19″ monitor. It seems that you need a composite video display to be able to use the on-screen menu to select VGA Out on this unit. This is teh smrt programming.
Update: Yup, the RJ Tech RJ-800DVX does need to have the VGA output enabled from a composite video source. This is very strange, as the composite does seem to work with the VGA enabled, so why not enable both out the box? I’m glad I still had my Plextor TV tuner from my abortive attempts to run a PVR. I hooked it up to the PC and DVD player, fiddled with it until I got an image, then selected VGA video output. It works beautifully now, playing every region of DVD, MP3 CD, and downloaded MPEG I can throw at it.
Update #2: Just got this e-mail from RJ Tech:
N/P won’t solve the problem.
You need to press V-mode to change the dvdplayer setting to VGA mode.
I’m sure I did this and it didn’t work, but props to RJ Tech for answering in one business day for a $50 player.
Update #3 – 12 August: I’m now on my third RJ-800DVX. The first one fell over last night, with no disk being recognized and a nasty screeching sound as it tried to seek. The one I got in return from Canada Computers was DOA with the same problem. The new unit is quite different – it has a much cheaper looking remote, and now has a SCART socket as well as VGA on the back. This one works, for now at least.
Saw my first Back To School! ad of 2007. It was at FutureShop.
… what can be more readily explained by bad wiring or static.
Whenever we walk past the computer desk, Doug’s stereo turns on. But on if you walk from right to left.
There really is a conference called Interpellets 2007.
Looks like they’re finding some interesting old building remains on the Shangri-La site at the corner of Simcoe & Adelaide. There are archaeologists all over it!
(did I already say how happy I was to see the monstrous ad-scaffold gone from this site?)
There was a full-on police manhunt in our neighbourhood last night. Between about 3:30-4am, a police car vroomed and screeched round the streets with its lights off. Maybe it was a manhunt, or maybe they just had their Starsky & Hutch on.
I have an unwell platy. I think she has swim-bladder problems, as she can only scoot around with her front fins, and pretty much sinks when she stops. I put her in an isolation tank, but it’s not looking too good.
Yeah, I care about platys. I have hundreds of them. They make hundreds more on a monthly basis. They’re cheap. But they’re still animals.
Just a few of the guitar picks I’ve tried (though the one at the top is a felt uke pick). I got a bunch of Fender celluloid picks at The 12th Fret today, and they could be good. The huge one at the bottom is indeed homemade, made from two sheets of wood veneer laminated together with the grain offset 90°.
There’s a tale about the Kinky Friedman one.
Project Gutenberg Canada / Projet Gutenberg Canada opened its doors a couple of days ago. It’s gone through several organisers since I first heard of its imminent launch in 2002, but I’m glad it got going.
I cleaned my fountain pens today.
Two new small wind turbines have appeared along Highway 8. Both are near Clinton.
The first is an 80kW WES. I’m not really a huge fan of two-bladed wind turbines, but at least the old Lagerwey design is well proven.
The second is a bit more of a mystery. Apparently installed by a local trucking company, it reminds me of design from the 1980s, but I can’t remember which. This one’s nearer Vanastra.
I’ve been invited onto the committee that looks after a small (and almost full) cemetery in Ajax, so I went out to take a look at it. It’s nice; it’ll last you. One thing I learnt there: RB67 polaroids don’t come out too well if you leave the darkslide in.
On the way back, I headed down Liverpool Road to take pictures of the Pickering wind turbine with the RB67. It’s a strange place, the beachfront at Pickering. There’s beach volleyball with the nuke station lurking toxically in the background.
I don’t know why the town doesn’t rename itself “New Prypiat“, and be done with it.