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No laughing matter February 26, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, News, Personal, Politics.
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Earlier this week, far-left blogger Ian Murphy made news by prank calling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R).  In the call, Murphy posed as billionaire David Koch (“Coke”) and engaged in a 20-minute conversation with Gov. Walker, trying to bait him into saying something incriminating.  Depending on your ideology, Murphy either got nothing out of the prank and Walker didn’t say anything new, or Murphy is a hero for trapping the sinister Walker.

The Daily Caller made note of Murphy’s past.  Besides a fervent anti-war position, he went to a creationist museum while pretending to have Asperger Syndrome.  The title of his post on the experience was very offensive: “Let There Be Retards.”  (It hurts to write that.)

As someone that actually has Asperger Syndrome, Murphy’s representation of AS was an intolerant caricature.  I doubt even my fellow Aspie friend Jason Ross would act like that.  Worse yet, that caricature appeared to be for the sole purpose of screwing with a creationist museum.  I don’t think I’m a creationist.  I rely on what I learned in science classes from elementary school in Freeport to middle and high school in Wantagh to college at C.W. Post.  But my grievance is over his mockery of a stereotypical Aspie.

One symptom of Asperger Syndrome is hypersensitivity in many areas, including emotion.  Murphy’s mockery and slurs an emotional response out of me.  They hurt.  I took them personally.  Can you blame me?  AS is no laughing matter.  It isn’t something to pretend to have and then mock later on online.

If I get attacked personally for this somewhere on the internet, so be it.  I’ve unfortunately been attacked before.  I’m sure that can be said for many people.  For all the positive things on the internet, there are some harsh negatives.

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New computer, Blu-ray Disc player February 25, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Media, Personal, Technology.
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Earlier this month, I upgraded to a new desktop computer and Blu-ray Disc player.

The computer is a Dell Inspiron 560.  It includes an Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5500 processor running at 2.80 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, the Intel G45 Express Chipset, Intel HD audio, and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.  I bought a 20″ Dell widescreen monitor to go with it.  It took a couple of days to personalize it by getting the programs I had installed on the old computer on this one.  It’s working great thus far.

The same can be said for the Blu-ray Disc player: a Panasonic DMP-BD45.  In fact, it’s working much better than my old Toshiba upconverting DVD player.  In fact, the reason I bought the new player is because that old player suddenly broke down.  I haven’t played any Blu-ray Discs yet, but I ordered one a couple of days ago.  It’ll be interesting to see and hear the difference between upconverted widescreen DVDs and BDs.

While on the subject of new electronics, you’ll remember a few years ago I mentioned I got a “new old laptop.”  Well, last March, I got a new new laptop.  It’s a 15.6″ eMachines E725.  This laptop includes an Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4400 processor running at 2.2 GHz, 3 GB of RAM, Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset, Realtek HD audio, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.  I bought a wireless mouse to go with it.  I haven’t used it too much as I haven’t been away from home too often, but I have no complaints.

9:55 PM UPDATE: I foolishly installed Service Pack 1 on the desktop computer.  In the middle of the update, I get “Error C000009A …”  The computer is inaccessible as I type (from my pre-SP1 laptop).  I’m trying desperately to repair the problem, but having no luck.

2/26, 10:15 AM UPDATE: After eight hours of sleep, I tried again.  I opened in safe mode and was successful: Windows 7 Ultimate reverted back to the way it was before the update.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right product key.  So, I had to pay $216 for a new one, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it.

2/27 UPDATE: So far, it’s worth it, but not completely.  Windows Media Player won’t open because the DLL version is newer than it should be.  Windows Installer won’t work, either.  I’m talking to tech support as I type.  If I were you, I wouldn’t install SP1.
I’m not writing anymore posts about computers I own.  It’s clear I jinxed myself.

Dave Koz and winter storms February 6, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Weather.
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Four years ago next Monday, Valentine’s Day, I was supposed to see Dave Koz perform at the Best Buy Theater (then the Nokia Theater) in Times Square.  Unfortunately, there was a winter storm that day.  So, rather than risk taking the LIRR to Penn Station and walk through the snow and ice on the way to the theater, my parents and I stayed home.  We figured the show would be canceled.  I’m sure it wasn’t.

This Friday, Dave returns to that theater.  Though only a few snow showers are in the forecast, the friend with whom I was going to Dave’s concert had plans come up that night.  So, once again, I miss out on him.  Maybe next time.

I highly recommend Dave’s current album, “Hello Tomorrow.”  You can buy it here.  I played a few cuts from the album on CJazzPlus, my recent Live365 station.

Here’s hoping less snow and ice are in the forecast for the rest of the winter.

2/14 UPDATE: I may not have gone to Dave’s concert, but Katherine Gilraine did.