New Turntable

Back in the 1990s I sold about 80% of my vinyl LPs to Half Price Books. We were young, we moved a lot, we never had a lot of space, and I just didn’t want to lug the weight of those albums around with me for the rest of my life. I kept about 30 LPs that I really liked. Honestly, the ones I sold were nothing I really wanted to keep. I bought a lot of stinkers I guess.

I’m no audiophile, but I do like a nice stereo. I got a nice Technics system when I graduated from college. A few years ago I replaced all of it but the turntable with a new system – Yamaha amp/receiver, Yamaha CD player, and Klipsch floor speakers. It sounds great. I hooked up my old turntable and it still worked (I replaced the cartridge). I decided this Christmas to get a new turntable. A vinyl freak friend at work who is of approximately the same income level as me recommended the Audio-Technica LP120. That’s what I got. It is substantially nicer than the little turntable that came with the old stereo. A lot of it is made of metal. It is substantial. Balancing the tone arm was easy enough (I had no idea you had to do that kind of stuff). I’m using the cartridge that came with it. It sounds great.

All these years of listening to little shitty bluetooth speakers, ear buds, etc., had nearly made me forget what a really nice stereo and turntable sound like. The old LPs are in good shape. I have always been very careful with them. A few pops, but otherwise they are crystal clear. Luckily we have kept all our CDs. We have a pretty  good music collection.

So, I’m really enjoying the new turntable. Today is my evening shift, so I don’t go to work until noon. I got up at 9am, made coffee, and sat in the front room (now the Music Room) and listened to two LPs and a couple of 45s. It was so great. Remember when you were young and would just listen to music. Really listen — doing nothing else. It’s the best. Apparently that is my optimum way of starting the day. Sleep in, have coffee, listen to music. I feel great. Need more of that.

Aquaman

I saw Aquaman on Christmas night. I like Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and I like that they are trying to do with the character. But man, that was a hard movie to get through. I have a high tolerance for long movies, but that seemed like it was four hours long. And this is supposed to be the “good” DC movie? Gott dang.

Aside from the plot, which seems to have been written by a 10-year old who just kept thinking things like “and THEN they’ll go to the Sahara Dessert, and then…”, there is one massive plot hole that I simply can’t ignore.

That hole is Superman.

Let’s see. The forces of Atlantis are about to destroy the surface world, in the same universe where Superman exists and is full-on Superman-God-Like,  and it’s up to Aquaman to straighten things out? Did the writers even see Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, or Justice League, or Wonder Woman? Sorry, but that that kind of firepower in your imaginary world, you need to explain where the those characters are.

Participation Trophies

I think it’s OK to give kids trophies for participation. In fact, I think it is good. It’s a good thing.

Some kids never win a trophy. Then some kids win all the fucking trophies. I always hated those kids. One of the good things about not being one of them was that it turned me into a skateboarder.

The kids that never win — well — that makes them feel like shit. It makes a lot of them not want to participate. Participation and trying should be encouraged. I hate it when people are so damn stingy they won’t give a kid the slight break of recognizing that they tried.

End of rant.

Mid-Terms

Well, today is election day for the mid-terms. Beto O’Rourke has been running a punk rock style campaign – grass roots stuff. Ted Cruz has been, well, Ted Cruz, which is to say an arrogant asshole, but is that a surprise? Not really. Apparently a lot of people are cool with that.

Firmly into middle-age, I can’t say I have any real insight into the psyche of the electorate. Are we simply seeing the result of the culture wars that in my mind started in the 1980s (but probably started a lot earlier)? Is the internet to blame for giving voice to all the dark and angry bile just barely under the surface?

I don’t know. I just want everyone to have a roof over their heads, food to eat, healthcare when they need it, and the ability to live openly as who they are and participate equally and without fear in this society. That doesn’t seem like a lot to ask. Those all seem like the basic shit to me.

 

Strength

I’m not saying I have any special knowledge or whatever. This is just an observation. I’m as guilty as anyone.

Most people really have no idea what strength is. It’s easy to rename stubbornness, pettyness, and smallness as “strength” and continue on the path of weakness, lazyness, and self-deception. You see it all the time. People who pick the easy route and claim they are being strong. It’s easier to close your doors to people, but it’s the coward’s way forward.

Goodbye Podcast

I deleted the Concrete Lunch Podcast account on LibSyn. I am still doing the Freestyle Podcast, but I haven’t done a Concrete Lunch podcast in a long time, and I feel like I don’t have a lot of time for it. I have some new podcasting ideas that I might try out, but decided to let this one die off. It was fun. But it’s more fun to do a podcast along with a friend or two. Whatever I do will have something to do with skateboarding. Or hell, maybe tabletop roleplaying games. I don’t know.

A few thoughts since last Friday

  • Dementia sucks
  • Friends are awesome
  • Skateboarding is great
  • Having great professionals to help you face life’s challenges is the best
  • The human organism is amazingly resilient, but ultimately it will fail
  • Friends are awesome again, because you can’t say that enough
  • The world is beautiful and sad and amazing and happy and brutal and kind

Video clips

A couple that didn’t get used in the new video from NeverWas skateboarding. Started thinking. Instead of Fakie 360s, how about a Fakie 270 and then do something else. So this is me fiddling around with that idea. The other is a manual.

My whole video part is here: https://youtu.be/Bw87-qT4yzc?t=2325. I recommend headphones, because I never noticed how good the bass part is on this song.

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Google+ is on its way out

Well, after really digging G+ for a while, Google revealed today that it is discontinuing the service. It seems they had a data breach with G+, and based on the fact that it didn’t really catch on like they wanted they’re going to kill it off.

I like G+ because I didn’t see very cockeyed bullshit idea that everyone posted like on Facebook. I could join, for instance, a Traveller RPG community and only see that stuff. It was nice to, for the most part, interact with people without finding out they are nuts.

Anyway, a lot of the RPG gaming communities from G+ are moving to https://mewe.com/.  MeWe is a social network that seems to value privacy a bit more than others. Their business model is different. It’s so different that I wonder if it is really viable. I hope it is. I think I may spend some money with them just to help them out. One cool thing — you can’t see much about a person there without actually being one of their connections. I like that. Anyway, I signed up a while back, and now I’m going to give it a real shot and see how it goes.