Showing posts from 2005

NYT Comes up with a MAJOR find! Egad! News is skewed by PSY-OPS

I had to laugh having consistently read the New York Times, at the TONE of concern in this article about psychological operations in the war on terror.

The NYT is simply the perfect place to go to study Psy-Ops. It engages in an advanced course of these operations every day and in every way. They have even created a television station to disseminate their unique view of the world. Together with CNN and the other Main Stream Media (MSM) the liberal intelligentsia has conducted a MIND-BENDING effort to change the world. . . .to MOLD the world into their political viewpoint.

The Times is particularly good at this type of operation. I've consistently noted various tricks used by the Times to bend reality to their viewpoint.

I'd love to see an article discussing every detail of how all the vast machinery of the Times operates. I'd particularly love to see transcripts of every word uttered in editorial review of articles as they make their way to print. After all, even the…

What a BUSY time!

I've been busy. . .and maybe being sick with a cold helped make it seem even MORE busy. Lets see: two gigs, scouting, Adam's concert. . sick with cold. . new, formidable accounting work.

Anyway, this last week included work with a new client through Accountemps. This is a profound amount of reconciling and managing the reconciliations of others. Quite a big task. . .then. . .naturally. . . .I get a cold. . .

Anyway, I could not get it together to obtain a substitute for the regular Jack Lantz "gig" at Frank and Dean's. Soooo!! I just got a babysitter for Adam and off I go. . .reeling from the cold and did the gig. It wound up being quite fun. I was the only regular to make the bone section. We had Vick Steelhammer on Bass bone, Bryant Byers on lead, myself and another on 2nd, whom I forget now. . .sent by Paul Young. I should say another quite GOOD player.

Brenda Goforth was out in the audience. Then she was up on the bandstand with horn in hand. She sp…

Microtrak is GOOD

I'd have to say that I'm happy with the M-Audio Microtrack. While the first version of the operating software (updateable into flash EPROM) had bugs, the new version mostly corrects these goofs:

Now no "bump" sound in the phones when booting up
Switches the H and L selections on the level button (these had been reversed)
Shows a VU meter while playing back
Now shows a VU meter with a peak hold function while readying for recording (in pause)
The signal is audible in phones while in REC + PAUSE
Smoother metering and resolves some inaccuracies in graphic items on screen

[still has only 30v output for the mic phantom power. . .some mics won't work this low]

The whole concept of these new CF (Compact Flash) recorders is that they are quiet, having no moving parts, and are small, with high quality audio specs.

My goal is to capture "scratch audio" of the various groups I play trombone with. I had been lugging a laptop along with me, which provides lots of options f…

M-Audio MicroTrack

I picked up the M-Audio Compact Flash recorder this week and I tried a scratch recording of a rehearsal last night. This was late, after the horns left, so all I was getting was an electric guitar player going over tunes with another musician. The sound seemed pretty good. I could detect my gum chewing sound and the interface was pretty obvious. I have looked for reviews on a Google of the device and have found some people are unhappy. Looks like those folks are expecting too much, however. There is a concern about the ability of the thing to put out ONLY 30 volts for phantom power. I was wondering about that, since it seemed that the phantom powering would detract from the battery time, anyway. My Rode stereo mic allows for a nine volt battery to be popped into the body, and that will be the way I will go when using the Rode.

I'm looking forward to getting some music recorded this week, and I'll come back and discuss the results once I've recorded.


I …

Sore Throat Was Only Way to Get Time

Seems I'm so busy lately between accounting work by day and musical rehearsing and gigging by night and weekend, that I'm not able to post here as often as I'd like. Now, I've gotten a pretty sore throat from the thing going around at work, and I'm having to set up a doctor visit today. This finally gave me a little time to post here.

The blogging has resulted in a very nice coincidence-a la "":

One of my acquaintances from high school at U.S. Grant High in Van Nuys, CA contacted me and we were able to update each other somewhat. Here is the text of most of Sean's message here:

>Chris - how delightful to happen upon your site. Mazel tov on your various doings. I was Perchik in Fiddler at Grant in '76, when Mr. Neill was stage crew as well as orchestra leader. I now live near Cleveland, Ohio, and direct internal communications for Goodyear.
[end quote]

I've omitted Sean's email address so he doesn't have too much responsiv…


I had quite a commute home last nite. .the fires in Chatsworth and Simi Valley made sure I, and many tens of thousands of other motorists had this great "exodus" of a commute.

I had to take the 23 fwy south to the 101 fwy. . .but, like so many others, I decided to get off right before the junction of those two freeways and go via surface streets through Thousand Oaks and Westlake.

By the time I got near the east side of Westlake (right before Agoura) I'd had enough! I jumped back on the 101 and took what came to me. . .it wasn't as horrible as I had imagined. . .or as it was on the 23.

The 118, Ronald Reagan fwy is open again and is much less crowded today. The landscape on the side of the freeway is like something from Hell. . .all the brush and shrubs are blackened. The homes on the hills, all seem to have been spared, though.

Tonight should be interesting. . .I've got an eight o'clock rehearsal. Yeesh!

Lots Going On

I'm just barely managing to find to time to update. . . I've had a busy few days. I had to deal with rain-related problems yesterday and over the weekend, I had a couple of interesting things going on. . .

Sunday, Dick Nash hosted the annual jam session for Jeannie Moody. This has been going on for roughly thirty years. The jam is at Ms. Moody's house right on the beach at Playa Del Rey. . on her back porch facing the water. Dick sets up PA equipment and plays his always delightful jazz trombone.

This year, I thought I had a gig Sunday night and could not spend very much, if any time, at the Moody jam. I was wrong. The gig was on Saturday. I got a call at 6pm on Saturday, from Susan Kay Wyatt, singer with the Jack Lantz band. Turns out the date had been mistated earlier in emails and I had not picked up the change to Saturday from the discussion in emails. Oddly, myself and one other player in the band had been discussing a supposed conflict with a, now-cancelled g…

Update after Nice Weekend

I thank you for your comment, Meg. I'm glad you are interested and I'll be glad to help out with your blogging if you need any. It's actually not too hard once you get into it.

I had a remarkable weekend, myself. I had listed in my calendar, a bunch of things to do on Sunday. I had my regular duty as "sound man" at church at the 9:30am service. This service turned out to be a very interesting one, since we had a guest deliver the sermon. This was the President of the University of Claremont Theology Seminary (I'm not sure of the name, but the speaker was quite eloquent and very human, yet erudite).

Then, I had scheduled a possible "jam session" at 2pm in Playa Del Rey. This is run by ace trombonist Dick Nash. Dick was head honcho here in town all through the sixties and more. Now Dick is more retired from the day to day studio biz, but he is active in concerts and is frequently recognized as the legend he is. He's also really a profound…

BLOG! Welcome to those new to Blogging

Welcome to Meg Stansberry and Agi Salgo. I've posted this just after we spoke about Blogging. As you can see, this is a perfect medium for immediate documentation of important stuff AS IT HAPPENS.

You can look down in April and May archives at the lower right of the blog and see some interesting stuff that has happened, my weblog entries about them, and some things in the Blogosphere that piqued my interest. Be sure to click on some of the links, you will be sent to other blogs. Just hit "BACK" and you will be back here. . .where you are highly APPRECIATED.

COMMENTS are totally welcome. If you think I can improve anything, or my ideas are goofy. . .THAT IS GREAT! I want to know. . .

Welcome to the blogosphere. It can be very informative, odd. . .and funny and everything that people are. . .

See you.


New Career?

I've been spending so much time with Visual Basic and VBA code lately that my love of computer programming has risen up and pretty much taken over . . .again!

The last time I felt this way was during my stay working at Falcon Cable TV companies. I made up numerous macro and design improvements to various spreadsheets while working there. I realized then that coding would be a fun profession, but I did not want to consider moving from one, relatively complicated profession--accounting--into another relatively complicated profession--programming.

Now, I realize that programming comprises many different areas, including a very large training component, which I know I enjoy and a creative component, which I know I enjoy and has rewards that seem to match the "Edison Gene" type of personality that I seem to have.

I guess the best next steps are to continue to use the books I've bought in Visual Basic and SQL and Access to create solutions to different problems. The more c…

Since I'm buried writing code I ran into this!

Since I've been writing VBA code and SQL and working in ACCESS and EXCEL a lot recently , I have been reading stuff on developer oriented sites. This article in a developer site strikes me as interesting. Apparently a new way of combining Java and XML called AJAX (that's the non-proprietary or "open" version anyway) provides for background processes of fairly unlimited capability to be running on your client machine during webbrowsing. This could lead to the development of keystroke loggers and similar snooping devices for use in commercial websites.

Apparently it is not trivial to detect this kind of activity because there is no clear evidence in the embedded Javascript in pages. the XMLHttpRequest function can apparently create a conversation with the server while you are doing something else. . .like writing in Word, or entering info into a spreadsheet and so forth. . .

I'm sure the NSA will like this. . .

I guess I'll always be a little paranoid. . .wait! I&…

America's Frequently asked questions

America's Frequently asked questions

This is a site maintained by author, Kevin Roderick. His book "The San Fernando Valley - America's Suburb" is an excellent introduction to the history of the San Fernando Valley. You can tell that Roderick, who grew up in the "Valley" certainly loves and appreciates the place. I, too, count myself as Valley bred and raised.

It is fun to look around me now as I drive near my home and see things I didn't notice before. I can still see the signs of the old valley, though they are getting fewer as time marches on.

Anti-Subjugator: Thanks America

Anti-Subjugator: Thanks America

This is SOooooooo Very Good!

Thanks to this most excellent Australian. I knew that I liked it "down under". . .One of these days I must go and visit down there. Australia and New Zealand. Both are beautiful in their own way.

Based upon this post to a "blogspot" blog. . .I gotta like the Australian!


Apparently the author of this blog is quite an unusual fellow. He seems to be advocating the creation of a new branch (or seeking to fill up an existing small offshoot) of Islam. He has defined this religion pretty much using just a few points, such as emphasizing THE GOLDEN RULE. . . .fighting SUBJUGATION. . .emphasizing TRUE ALTRUISM. . .and so on. You can see more at the Anti-Subjugation Blog.

[meanwhile I've been researching the history and philosophy around subjugation of humans. . .there is a lot written around the subject of "Tyranny", which is related, I believe]

It seems Mr. Edwards, of Sydney, Australia is a ve…
Here is former California Academic Decathlon Executive Director, Marvin Cobb with Richard Riordan, California Secretary of Education. Marvin was fired by the Board of CAD only a few weeks ago, in their dissembling while axeing Cobb, they stated that two of the largest donors to the Decathlon did not want Cobb as director. It's possible that Riordan's foundation was one of these. The Riordan Foundation promised to fund the 2005 CAD event, but initially balked at paying the money over to CAD . There is a very convoluted story involving so-called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which, luckily I'm very much familiar with. . . .

U.S. Proposal in the O.A.S. Draws Fire as an Attack on Venezuela - New York Times

U.S. Proposal in the O.A.S. Draws Fire as an Attack on Venezuela - New York Times: "Last month, however, he and other administration officials made several statements tying the effort directly to their concern about Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's populist, anti-American president. Mr. Chavez has curtailed some press freedoms and judicial independence while forming close ties with Cuba, an alliance that, more than anything else, infuriates some Bush administration officials."


Do you see anything patently illogical? Let me help. . . .the New York Times espouses freedom of the press. . . .the New York Times is concerned about "the independence of the judiciary" unless we are talking about red-shirted and communist leaning latin-american leaders. Hugo Chavez is just another country's leader to the Times. The respect that is paid to these tyrants is beyond my understanding. Chavez is in the process of joining Castro as …
On the way to the Toronto venue we saw some of the town from our bus.
Warming up in Toronto.
Here is the venue for London, ON. This was large.
Looking up from the area near the river Thames to see the city of London. . at right is part of the auditorium
More of the Thames in London, ON
This is near the theatre in London, ON. There is a Thames river running through idyllic spaces.
The canals in the capital run right behind the theatre. This city of Ottawa is truly beautiful
Canada's capital. The roofs are copper and become green with oxidation.
Another, more modern venue.
In the Burton Cummings theatre. This was a nice old theatre. . .and supposedly it's HAUNTED! I didn't hear anything spooky, but you can't help but think about ghosts in one of these really old places.
Stage setting at another venue
Believe it or not, this sign was at the back of the hockey rink used for our performance. I thought it funny that Dino gets everywhere!
Here is an example of the size venue we performed at. Several of the shows were in major municipal auditoriums.
Here is the mixing console that went around Canada with us. Our production head was great with us getting decent sound no matter what. . .he was also a very comforting and cool presence during the most difficult times.
Here is the stage setting for the show. A big band orchestra with "Sands" orchestra stands and a large backdrop with many images of things Vegas and of the rat pack members.
This must be what the bar looks like to Dino. . .a little blurry but easily found . . .I was trying to get used to setting low light shots on my camera and some came out better than others. . .this shows the "gestalt" of a rat pack show. . .this is a reproduction of the shows done by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and others throughout the late fifties and early sixties.
Drummer Drew Hemwall, is having a pleasant time. . .he got us in and out of many a tempo change and many a que. DH is quite an excellent drummer.
Here is our Dean Martin and fearless leader, Steve Apple sharing a joke or two with a crew member. We are playing here on a converted hocky rink. . .It wasn't cold at all. . it was just right!
Bass player Larry Walters, and trombonist Don Gustafson enjoying their ferry ride from Vancouver, B.C. to nearby Vancouver island and the site of our first gig of the Canada tour.
Ace jazz trumpeter Bob Summers looks like he'll be relieved to get out of all these crowded airports. . .we are winding down the end of our tour with a layover in O'Hare airport, Chicago.
Our band worked hard and had great fun, while touring Canada with "Direct from Vegas, The Rat Pack!"

A Letter to CAD BOD from the Coach of ECR


May 12, 2005

Jeff McCombs
President, Board of Directors
California Academic Decathlon
18757 Burbank Blvd., Suite 220
Tarzana, CA 91356-3375

Mr. McCombs:

In last week’s article discussing the termination of Marvin Cobb, the LA Times wrote of you: “He said he could not discuss circumstances of Cobb’s departure, calling it a confidential ‘personnel matter.’” We all understand you meant to say personal matter, right? Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be any justification for firing Marvin without any prior fair and appropriate disciplinary action. On the day of his termination, you shared this gem with the county coordinators: “This is Marvin Cobb’s last day as executive director and we wish him the best of luck.” Did you actually think we’d believe he stepped down willingly, after winning three consecutive national titles, or is this another misrepresentation of what you truly meant to say? I can’t reme…
It's kinda cool to see this stuff back stage. . .maybe I'm in "the big league. . ."
Bassist Larry Walters has "been there and, done that". . .it's great to talk to him about his decades playing Disneyland, or maybe Woody, or some such music giant. . ., besides that Larry is a pilot and an interesting companion. . .never short on wisdom!
Studying IS FUN! When you participate in the California Academic Decathlon. . .here we see some attendees at the Ice Cream Social at the LAX Marriott.