Like a Sound You Hear That Lingers In Your Ear

California Soul

I've been absolutely intoxicated by this song over the last few days. I first heard it in Product Placement, an amazing live mix of soul, jazz, hip hop, and funk by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. It's actually a combo CD and DVD and in the DVD, they have images of the 45's they are playing spin across the screen. I latched on to California Soul and then began the hunt to find out more.

My journey has taken me to many corners of the web (thanks Google). Here's what I know. It seems that California Soul was originally recorded by The 5th Dimension in 1968. If I'm wrong on that, please tell me.

I also found that 2 versions of it are used in Product Placement. First is a version by the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. This is followed by a version recorded by The Messengers.

Finally, I picked up a copy of a live recording by the daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra on iTMS. Great stuff. It's quite worth the dollar.


Watch the Movie, Take Home the Soundtrack

How many times have you walked out of the theater at the end of a movie thinking "Wow, that had some good music. I should buy the soundtrack and/or score."? I know I've personally done it many times.

Wouldn't it be cool (and highly profitable) for the movie theater to have a CD vending machine in the lobby filled with the soundtracks of the films it is showing? You could even stick the crappy, we made it in a week, companion video game in there. Don't tell me there isn't room for it. Kick out that beat up Mortal Combat game and get with it.

Sell the soundtracks at $10 each and you'll make a fortune. Why collect quarters, when you can collect 10 spots?


What Color Is This?

Links to this color blind test seem to come up in discussions every now and then. I am colorblind with a few colors (you already knew that), so the site is of particular interest to me. If you haven't been there, go check it out. If you are wondering, yes, other than the first one, all of the red-green tests are spots to me. If I know what I'm supposed to see and I stare at it long enough, I can make out the hidden number.

Now to add something here, let's talk about the real world and colorblindness. As stated on that page, 12-20% of males are colorblind. 1 in 5! That's a lot of people. Why don't product designers take that in to consideration when they design their latest gadget? Nearly everything with a battery uses green for good battery and red for bad. Yep, that's all but useless to me. Working in the color amber doesn't make it much better. My simple request, use seperate LEDs or add a blink pattern so those that can't make out the colors can still make sense of your product. Green should be a slow pulse of green. If you've seen the power LED on a sleeping mac, you know what I mean by pulsing. Red should be a sharp, quick, blink.

Next time - how the hell do I get my clothes to match?


Recent Music Purchases

Everyone seems to be in a music talking mood lately, so let me join in with thoughts on my recently obtained tunes.

Moby - Raining Again
Typical Moby single. Halfway decent title track. A lame B-side. Remixes from hot producers.

I picked this up for two reasons. One, I'm a Moby collector (although I'm steadily losing interest), and two, it includes a freakin' Evil Nine remix! I like the Evil Nine remix. Not their best work, but well worth it.

DJ Nu-Mark and Pomo - Blend Crafters
Yow, this is some good stuff. If you like instrumental hip hop with some funk flavor, you gotta check this out. DJ Nu-Mark is the DJ for Jurrasic 5. If you haven't heard of Jurassic 5, please bring some cookies and milk to my house and we'll have a listening party.

The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize
Power, grace, style. That's all that needs to be said.

This track rocketed to the top of my iTunes most played list. You gotta love Q-Tip on the vocals. In case you care, the iTMS version is different from the album version. The single version is also different from the album version with the single version being the longest and quite DJ friendly.

Lyrics Born - Same !@#$, Different Day
A very strong remix album. This is the follow up to Later That Day.... There are some tremendous remixes on here. It's tough to capture the same panache when creating a remix album. This is one of the rare few that do. If you like lyrical hip hop with beats that make you grin, give this a spin. Also be sure to check out the Stereo MCs remix. They can still drop a groove.



It has begun. It seems like it has been forever but I finally have my own Mac. I first decided that my next computer was going to be from Apple nearly 2 years ago. I really didn't need a new computer at the time, so that idea was put on the back burner. My enthusiasm was resparked when I got an iBook at work to do some testing. I fell in love with the thing and knew that it was time for Windows to go bye-bye at home.

That began "the wait". I knew Tiger was coming and I knew I wanted it. I didn't want to buy anything until Tiger released because I didn't want to pay for Tiger and I didn't want to deal with upgrading, no matter how easy it was going to be. I waited a loooonnnngg time for Tiger to release and by that time I was going to be away from home for most of the month of May and with WWDC coming in June, I figured I better wait just a bit more. WWDC came and went with no new hardware, so I stuck to the original plan of getting a Mac mini. I'd been hoping for a G5 Powerbook, but I knew the chances of that were slim.

I chose to build up my Mac mini a bit. WiFi (cough AirPort) and Bluetooth were a must for my needs, and I didn't have any USB keyboards or mice, so I went with the Apple Bluetooth stuff. These items greatly increased the cost (relatively), but it was still far cheaper than any new PC I've ever bought. BTO added 8 days to the ship time. During that time, rumors swirled that the Mac mini might get an update this past Tuesday. As mine was scheduled to ship on Tuesday, I was nervous that I would miss out on the new stuff, and excited at the same time, thinking I might have hit the cycle just perfect and I'd get a fresh one with the latest goodies. Well, they didn't up them, so I got what I originally ordered, and that's just fine.

I've spent tonight copying files off of my old Dell and getting things setup on the Mini. I'm typing this on the mini right now, using my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, which worked cold out of the box. Neither a USB keyboard nor a mouse touched the mini. That's kick ass user experience. My gigantic iTunes library copied over perfectly, preserving all of my treasured play counts. Even my Casio camera, which does not work with XPs Photo management, hooked right up with iPhoto and pulled in my recent vacation photos.

I also signed up for my trial of .Mac. That was the most confusing thing so far, but obviously I figured it out because the image in this post is hosted there.

There is so much more to explore, but that'll have to wait until another night.

Apple, having used your gear before, I had high expectations for my Mac mini. So far you've met or exceeded every expectation.

My name is Ryan, and I'm a Software Engineer.


I Think We've Met Before

So what kind of fan would I be if I didn't mention the rerelease of my favorite album of all time. Dj Shadow's Entroducing... has been rereleased in a 2xCD deluxe edition.

Me, I love it, but I fear that there isn't a whole lot in the deluxe edition for those new to Dj Shadow. There are a couple of remixes that may be of interest, but most of the extras are demos and slightly different versions of the original album tracks. The price will also keep most newcomers away. At $24 or more, it is lots more than many other 2xCD releases in your local record shop. If you are intimately familiar with the album, the bonus CD is an intriguing look in to the creation of the album and the time following its release. I enjoyed it but I gurantee I'll listen to the album 20 times for every one time I listen to the extras CD.

Without Me

Has it felt empty in here? Yeah, it's been awhile since I posted. Well, to get back in the swing of things, I thought I'd share a story from my recent cruise vacation.

We were at sea one day and saw they were having a martini demonstration. I like martinis (I drank way too many of them on the cruise) so we decided to go. We get there and they have a setup of bottles, glasses, and...a boom box. Ok, sure. Let's see where this goes.

The first demo starts and it turns out to be typical Cocktail style bottle tossing and goofy dancing. As the one guy starts tossing bottles, another fumbles with the boom box. Next thing we know, Eminem's - "Without Me" is blasting. I think to myself, that's odd. The track continues on and I realize it is not the radio edit. That boy is swearing. Now I don't care, but half the people in the room are over the age of 60. We hit the part of the song where Em decides to put his "bum on your lips" and then changes his mind and gets a little more graphic. If you know the song lyrics, I'm sure you are laughing and singing along at this point. I see a few horrified looks in the crowd and can't contain myself. I'm LMFAO!

So I regain my composure and we move on to the next drink. The woman that is hosting isn't a native english speaker. She's having a rough time with it. She starts to talk about the next drink which is a chocolate martini. This martini includes melted chocolate drizzled on the sides of the glass. She proceeds to tell us that you can write things with the chocolate. Things like "I love you honey, I love you Dan, I love your Dick." Yup, she said it. Loud and clear. At this point many of the 60 somethings are laughing with me. The host gets a confused look on her face and can't figure out what is so funny.

I didn't know it was going to be that kind of cruise :)


Lateral Stability Fluid

I love movies and I love Netflix. I love Netflix because it allows me to see movies I wouldn't normally see. I've watched plenty of stinkers, but you only need to find one good one to make up for a whole handful of bad ones.

I just got done watching Equilibrium. Now, if you don't like Sci-Fi movies, then quit reading right now. This movie floored me. Remember the first time you saw "bullet time" in The Matrix? Yeah, I felt like that. It's obvious the movie didn't have a huge budget, but they did a fantastic job with what they had. The fight scenes in many of these sci-fi fighter movies grow tiresome and make me want to join the fight just so I can get my ass knocked out. The fight scenes in Equilibrium left me mesmorized. There is even a fight that is all about not being able to fire a gun at a guy. Think Jackie Chan, but without the bad jokes, and with big, big, guns. I enjoyed. I enjoyed.

Ohh, I nearly forgot, I dug the plot too. I found myself pondering the world on display in the film. I definitely would be part of the underground and I bet you would be too.

Give this film a shot, it deserves it.