Saturday, December 29, 2007

Frankenstein PC, or back to life from the dead

Slowly, the pc is coming back to life. The external hard drive is now all better, and all the files, as far as I know anyway, have been recovered. Next week, we'll take a stab at the old C drive. On the downside though, IE7 seems real quirky, slow to load some pages, and the CD-RW drive looks like it's gone. At first, it would only spin at about half speed, and when I installed the Roxio software, it wouldn't recognize it. After a little tweaking, it was fine, burning cd's at 50x, and then, with no warning, it refused to recognize any disks. So now I suppose I need a cheap replacement, and off to look I go.

On the bright side though, my hat's off to R-Studio, the software that saved my kid pics. You can download the demo for free, run it, and see what it finds and can recover. Then, if you want, buy the license and let it go to work. I did, and so far, it's been flawless, and easily recovered over a quarter million files for me. I am optimistic it will do the same on the old hard drive, and will know in a week or so. Meantime, I have to fix the CD-R so I can back up more data, and not go through this mess again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Away in a manger

So of course, when the press stories come out today that Brittney's kid sister, a mere 16 years of age, is knocked up, the jokes immediately come to mind. Last name Spears, for one. You look at those girls the wrong way and the get pregnant, for another. But keeping the family name alive is much more than that for many, and a show I caught the end of tonight hit that point home hard. A Canadian couple had a kid who suffered from some sort of extreme dwarfism. I can't remember the specific name, but suffice it to say that at 2 years of age, this girl weighed 8 pounds. 8 pounds. Both my kids weighed more when they came off the assembly line. And I was thinking, what sort of hell did these parents go through, you know? Sure, a lot of people tie one on before they throw it in, and though the news of a confirmed pregnancy is a shock, it's not unexpected. And most people plan somewhat down the unknowable road, their ideas of what having a kid will be like way of course from what it will ultimately be, but at least somewhat in the ballpark. And yeah, you hope for health, hope you don't have a retard or some deformed spinal case. But I'm not sure anyone considers a case like this girl. To see the weird conjugation of a 2 year old that is so small, so lightweight, it was, well, in a word, fucked up. I may complain about material matters, like my hard drive, or the car, or whatever, but I can't imagine walking down that road.

Why the internet can suck

Well, just 2 days after the hard drive went south, I found out my e-mail address had been phished. So if anyone gets a bad e-mail from me, sorry. Part of the problem is I had just renewed the antivirus software from Eset (the best AV on the market), but the renewal info was dead on the old HD. It was this afternoon when I logged onto the internet portal of Frontier to send a message, and noticed every time I tried to create a new message, there was already an identity (not mine), and a message body. Frontier's support is real nice, using a live interface, and it took about 3 minutes to solve the problem. And a quick call to Eset got me my info, although I am still waiting for the scan of the HD to finish before I can instal the AV software. Should be done tomorrow. For now, I'll just change the password daily.

The problem is, well, the internet, and the punks out there who scam and hack and whatever. It reminds me of a time when I was a kid in Grand Central, waiting for a train to go back to Connecticut. Or maybe Rochester. Anyway, this con artist came up and sold me a bill of goods about this hot album that had all these name players on it, like Santana, Clapton, George Harrison, and others. Being a dope, I paid too much for what turned out to be a horrible collection of songs by who knows. In any event, it's that burn, of being had, of not being able to just do something without getting bothered, that is magnified in the internet. A million billion times. Or so. Time to get a job as a pool boy on some island somewhere.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now the cookies mock me

While the hard drive is in ICU, I took a break to get some Chinese food for lunch. I am apprehensive, as my history with fortune cookies has not been so good as of late. AM I being paranoid? You be the judge. Today's cookie quote is:

"There's no problem that cannot be solved over a green tea ice-cream."

Though I, and perhaps my hard drive, would beg to differ, I can only see this as the cookie mocking my circumstances. I wonder what it is that I have done to offend the cookie gods, and what it is they are looking for in return. I am too freaked out to think normally. Frankly, if you though cookies were after you, you'd be a bit nuts as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

not so happy holidays

I will be laying low over the next week or so, as the hard drive went south on the pc, and I am trying to recover the data. It looks to be a slow process (should take a few days for the external hd), but so far the results are looking promising. A word to the wise - if you need something you have on your pc, back it up. I should have known better, since I've been telling people to back up for years, but in this case, even the external hd has been affected, so there you go. Although I will live even if everything is gone, it would be nice to keep the 6 or 7 years of kid photos.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Say it ain't so, Joe

So baseball players are taking steroids, or have, or human growth hormone, or whatever. Wow, what a fucking surprise. Who would have guessed that a chance to make millions playing a kid's game would have engendered profiteers. It's no different from, say, Halliburton, or Blackwater, firms that muscled in their way to make money off a war. Provide a path to an easy buck, and someone will find a shortcut. If only the Hall of Fame reflected it's occupants. Imagine - "while not on the field, Babe Ruth was constantly getting his dick sucked for the price of an autograph," or "Ty Cobb loved to keep the negroes in their place, going so far as to . . . " but that's not the American way. Let's gloss over the particulars, and instead, lean heavily on acts that don't matter. Which is sort of a 180 degree turn. Sure, Babe Ruth whored around like crazy, drank to excess, and did all sorts of things outside the diamond. Contrast that with Pete Rose, who played the game, but oops, bet on a few. Seems the extracurricular karma is out of whack. But now, Bud "I've got a small dick" Selig, is all charged up to nail the current batch of drug runners. You know what he should to do hurt the players - make all tickets $2.00. Cut players' salaries. Teach them the hard way. It won't happen, but it'd be nice. Imagine, taking a family of 4 to a major league game, and getting out without spending 300 bucks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

When Things Go Wrong . . .

they tend to multiply. At least in my case, anyway, or it seems that way. Take this morning, for example. The kids are sleeping in late since they got to sleep too late the night before, and still have homework to do. So the day starts off behind. I go to check the news and weather before they get up, and bam, the satellite is out. Check the switch, it says, and no matter what diagnostic test I run, it's out. Great. Kids get on the bus, I decide to clean bathrooms. Nothing like the smell of bleach in the morning. Since I stink worse now, I figure the treadmill is the next stop. It starts off slipping, like the motor is shot, but after a few restarts, seems okay. I actually jog a whole mile at 4.3 mph. Do another walking a little slower, and then decide, well, while I cool off, I'll toss in some laundry. Come upstairs to check e-mail, the doorbell rings, a friend delivers a holiday card, and after she leaves, I hear this grating sound. Coming from downstairs. The washer apparently couldn't handle the comforter it has done so many times before, and the motor coupling broke. Looks like a somewhat simple fix, but the part price is confusing. You can find one on e-bay for $2.50, but a local store has them for $43.00. On a hunch I go to the Sears site, and type in the part number, and lo and behold, they have them for 16 bucks. So now I have something to do tomorrow. I just hope nothing else breaks. Oh, and one more thing went wrong today - Ike Turner died.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The joy of being heavy

It is no secret I am heavy. I know it, and admit to it, and am working to get rid of all the excess baggage. I am steaming in my own sweat right now, after having huffed and puffed 3 miles on the treadmill. And in my head, I continue to hear voices that say, well how could you have let yourself get like that? I could blame the old food pyramid, which placed an inordinate amount of emphasis on fun stuff like pasta and bread. But that's a cheap out, even if it is valid. The truth is, I just didn't pay enough attention to health. Like saving money, health is often one of those neglected aspects of your life. You go on, day to day, without really noticing anything, and then suddenly, you're stacked with debt, or extra pounds. And losing weight isn't as simple as pulling the steering wheel of a car one way to turn; it's more like trying to turn an oil tanker. Very slow, very ponderous, and the horizon always seems to look the same. So after two weeks or so of banging away on the treadmill, and the spin bike, and lifting weights, this is where I am - everything fucking hurts, my arthritic back, my knee joints (going up stairs is like a fourth of July celebration in each knee), my shoulder sockets simply kill, and I tend to be crankier than usual. The up side? Hey, 2 pounds have disappeared. It should get easier over time, but at the moment, it sucks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Freetime Fun

Following the WCMF song list from Freetime, comes a few other gems. This issue, by the way, is January 5-19, 1983. And on January 9, at Schatzee's, you could see Open Season on Jimmy Freeze. The description reads:

"Best described as tribal rock, ranging from raucous defiance to heartfelt romantic unrest, and featuring former Presstone vocalist Jim Freeze, this band's debut and final performance is definitely the show not to miss."

And it was a hoot. Along with a guitarist and bassist, Freeze used a drum machine, and the highlight of the evening, for me, anyway, was when the drummer took a solo. At a time when drum solos were prevalent, at least as far as most mainline rock bands & corporate rock types, this interlude was hilarious. Just watching the band stand back and admire the drum machine as the solo took off was worth the price of admission. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Schatzee'z became Richmonds.

There's also an ad for Peter's Cellar, with the tag line, "Before the theatre in NYC-- it's Sardi's . . . before a movie on Monroe Ave, it's Peter's Cellar . . .

Funny, I never thought of this before, but I wonder if they were referring to the Lowes theaters, now gone, or the porn theater down Monroe Ave.

Across from an ad promoting Bow Wow Wow at the Masonic Temple Ballroom, is an ad for a club at 2525 West Henrietta Road. Stretch your memory, further, further, yes, it was JB's Club 747.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Way Back Machine

  1. A visit to my mom's house provided me with some archival material. She saves everything, and is slowly tossing out stuff. Anyway, I stopped by, and she gave me a bag of books and junk, like who's who in American high school students (yeah, I was there), and a few old copies of Freetime, the local free publication that lists club dates, events, and the like. So in one of them was a two page spread by WMCF, a local radio station that used to be pretty radical, but over time has settled on playing the same songs relentlessly. So the text at the top of the ad reads:

    "The WCMF Top 96 Songs of 1982 was compiled from votes submitted by WCMF listeners during December, 1982. "

    I don't think there is anything scientific about the poll, and some of the selections I can't remember the station playing, at least not in daily rotation. Uncle Roger would always play better stuff during the overnight, you could call him up to request it, and you could always visit him and party on. But this was during a time when radio still mattered a bit, and there was always an attitude from the younger set, that college radio was the way to go (still is), and I'd guess a few of the votes came in from people trying to skew the results. And if you're feeling nostalgic, below is the list. Read on

    1. Joan Jett ------ I Love Rock n’ Roll
    2. John Cougar ------ Jack & Diane
    3. Survivor ------ Eye of the Tiger
    4. Asia ------ Heat of the Moment
    5. Scorpions ------ No One Like You
    6. J. Geils ------ Centerfold
    7. Men At Work ------ Who Can It Be Now
    8. Fleetwood Mac ------ Gypsy
    9. Genesis ------ Abacab
    10. Duke Jupiter ------ I’ll Drink To You
    11. Sammy Hagar ------ I’ll Fall In Love Again
    12. Loverboy ------ Lucky Ones
    13. Asia ------ Sole Survivor
    14. Aldo Nova ------ Fantasy
    15. .38 Special ------ Caught Up In You
    16. John Cougar ------ Hurts So Good
    17. Billy Squier ------ Everybody Wants You
    18. Genesis ------ You Might Recall
    19. Cars ------ Since You’re Gone
    20. Fleetwood Mac ------ Hold Me
    21. Police ------ Every Little Thing She Does
    22. Saga ------ On The Loose
    23. Toto ------ Rosanna
    24. Asia ------ Only Time Will Tell
    25. Who ------ Athena
    26. Van Halen ------ Pretty Woman
    27. Flock of Seagulls ------ I Ran
    28. Def Leppard ------ Bringing on the Heartbreak
    29. Eddie Money ------ I Think I’m in Love
    30. CSN ------ Southern Cross
    31. Loverboy ------ Workin’ For the Weekend
    32. Genesis ------ Man on the Corner
    33. Stray Cats ------ Rock This Town
    34. Prism ------ Don’t Let Him Know
    35. Human League ------ Don’t You Want Me
    36. Judas Priest ------ You Got Another Thing Comin’
    37. Bryan Adams ------ Lonely Nights
    38. Pete Townshend ------ Slit Skirts
    39. Billy Squier ------ Learn How To Live
    40. Huey Lewis ------ Do You Believe In Love
    41.John Hall Band ------ Crazy
    42. Nazareth ------ Love Leads to Madness
    43. J. Geils ------ Freeze Frame
    44. Genesis ------ Paperlate
    45. Eddie Money ------ Shakin’
    46. Steve Winwood ------ Still in the Game
    47. Tommy Tutone ------ 867-5309
    48. Sammy Hagar ------ There’s Only One Way To Rock
    49. Men At Work ------ Down Under
    50. Roger Daltrey ------ Say it Ain’t So, Joe
    51. .38 Special ------ You Keep Running Away
    52. Kansas ------ Play the Game Tonight
    53. Joe Jackson ------ Steppin’ Out
    54. Loverboy ------ When It’s Over
    55. Soft Cell ------ Tainted Love
    56. Police ------ Spirits in the Material World
    57. Bad Company ------ Electricland
    58. Shooting Star ------ Breakout
    59. Jon Anderson ------ All in a Matter of Time
    60. Rolling Stones ------ Goin’ to a Go Go
    61. Elton John ------ Empty Garden
    62. Clash ------ Rock the Casbah
    63. Van Halen ------ Dancin’ in the Street
    64. 805 ------ Young Boys
    65. Rush ------ New World Man
    66. Joan Jett ------ Crimson and Clover
    67. Steve Winwood ------ Valerie
    68. Frankie & the Knockouts ------ You Never Had it Better
    69. Pat Benatar ------ Shadows of the Night
    70. Le Roux ------ Addicted
    71. Toronto ------ Your Daddy Don’t Know
    72. Sherbs ------ We Ride Tonight
    73. Tom Petty ------ You Got Lucky
    74. Gamma ------ Right the First Time
    75. Steel Breeze ------ You Don’t Want Me Anymore
    76. Loverboy ------ Take Me to the Top
    77. Go Go’s ------ We Got The Beat
    78. Don Henley ------ Dirty Laundry
    79. Uriah Heep ------ That’s The Way That It Is
    80. Cars ------ Shake It Up
    81. Pete Townshend ------ Stardom in Action
    82. Charlie Daniels Band ------ Still in Saigon
    83. Journey ------ Still They Ride
    84. Frank Zappa ------ Valley Girl
    85. David Johansen ------ Animals Medley
    86. Robert Plant ------ Burning Down One Side
    87. Loggins/Perry ------ Don’t Fight it
    88. Scorpions ------ You Give Me All I Need
    89. Billy Joel ------ Pressure
    90. Buxx ------ Can’t Say No
    91. Motels ------ Only the Lonely
    92. April Wine ------ Enough is Enough
    93. Greg Kihn ------ Testify
    94. Steve Miller ------ Abracadabra
    95. Spys ------ Don’t Run My Life
    96. Sammy Hagar ------ Fast Times …