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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

October 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Back in the 80's and 90's, the recording industry was shoving out albums on cassette tape like it was the end-all recording medium. For the most part, the physical cassettes they sold work okay. Some of them, however, are total crap. They bind up, slow down, start producing chirps and buzzes and are generally no longer useable.

I have a few of these crap cassettes. Two that I was trying to back up to hard disk are the 5th Dimension's Live and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk albums. I took some time yesterday to try to fix those tapes so I could back them up. I was unsuccessful.

Since I had decided that these tapes were mainly having a problem because of the glued-together cassette case they were in, I used an Xacto knife to open up those cases. I then took the recorded media out of the case and put them into 3M blank tape cases (which screw together). It turns out that did not improve the way the tapes play.

I came to the conclusion that the tapes that were giving me trouble were those that were more than about 40 minutes in length. The single cassette of Tusk contains the songs from the 2 LP records and is over an hour in length. The 5th Dimension album is the same. So I will probably just lose that music, as I will no longer buy music from any manufacturer who is a member of the RIAA.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Once I got the pound of garnets I mentioned last entry, I put them in my tumbler and tumbled them for a day. That removed all the dirt and matrix from the outside. It also split up a couple of the garnets - the ones that would split from cracks, anyway. I now have a mess of garnets I can explore for stars, but I probably won't do that until next spring. It's getting colder rapidly and I won't be confortable working in the garage right now.


 

I have been spending a lot of time playing audio cassettes and backing them up as MP3 files on my multimedia computer. I have backed up fourteen albums so far, and I have literally dozens to go. I am backing up stuff by Judy Collins, Electric Light Orchestra, Neil Diamond and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. As well as others. Some of the cassettes I have tried to back up have not survived the test of time, so I have lost albums by The Carpenters and Curly and Kate. Oh, well.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

I was unable to get to Emerald Creek this year to dig for star garnets, but I am going to pick up a pound of garnets for the bargain price of $25. They are a lot larger than the ones you can get from the official government dig site, anyway. I should have some fun seeing if any of them are star garnets, and will have fun polishing those that are.

I went to the Lewiston Gem show on Saturday and, speaking of star garnets, here is one of their displays. The necklace consists of all six-ray star garnets and it is worth a fortune.


 

Have you noticed how stores are now taking advantage of the fact that most people don't do basic arithmetic when they go shopping? Here's what I'm talking about. I went into a store and saw single packages of paper towels for 50 cents. The store had six packs of the very same towels for $3.67. By using a little math, most people can see they are paying 67 cents more for the six pack than for 6 individual paper towels. That kind of reverses the economy of scale paradigm and it is an indictment of retail stores in general. The lesson here is to always do the math, especially when you buy soft drinks and paper products.


 

We actually had another drive-in cruise on Monday. The weather was wonderful, so those who haven't put their cars up for the fall and winter showed up. I took my Plymouth, but that will be the last time until next year.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Last night may have been the last drive-in cruise of the season for us. It's getting colder and we are starting to have more rain, so we took advantage of the weather to get together one last time. Note that the pictures I take at the cruises are of those cars that I haven't seen at other cruises, so there are only a few of them.

Since the weather is turning, I will start doing some winterizing around here. I will put the plow on the truck, put up the tractor, put a car cover on the teardrop trailer and put together some items that I will give to charity.


 

You can see the results of the silversmithing class below. The smallest pendant is the one I created. It's blue tigereye and the lighting prevents you from seeing that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The silversmithing class I went to on Sunday was fun and instructive. There were four students and each of us created a pendant. The class was 6 hours in length. Most of that time was spent filing down silver pieces and polishing the silver. I learned quite a bit to add to the knowledge I already had from doing silversmithing in the 70's.

Speaking of the mineral club, we lost another member. Tommie Erst passed away on October 3rd. She was 79, but she looked years younger than that. She was a very good faceter, knowledgeable and interesting to talk to. She will be missed.


 

John Quincy Adams on American Policy:

"Whenever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

"She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."

Fourth of July, 1821

Those who ignore the lessons of history are condemmed to repeat them.

Insanity is repeating the same actions over and over and expecting different results.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

I have had a Wagner No. 6 skillet for a couple of years now, and I use it every day (except Saturday) to cook my breakfast. When I need a lid for it, I have been using the No. 8 Wagner lid I have for another skillet. Needless to say, the lid doesn't fit. So I decided to see if I could find a reasonable lid for the skillet.

I went down to the St. Vincent DePaul thrift store the other day to see if I could pick up a better copy of Joe Haldeman's Forever War. I couldn't find the book, but I checked their appliance section and they had a bin full of lids. I found the perfect lid for my Wagner skillet. It's a Cuisinart lid from some stainless steel pot. I paid 25 cents for it. Pretty good deal for the perfect lid.


 

I spent a couple of days rearranging the car club web site. The net result is that there is no outward change to the site, but it will be easier to maintain.


 

The last time I did any silversmithing was 40 years ago. I have decided to get back into that and with that in mind, I am taking an all day silversmithing class on Sunday. It should be interesting. Since I self-taught myself the first time, it will be refreshing to see how someone else approaches the subject.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"