I spent an afternoon and dinner at the home of my old G&T teacher , Cassie Lewis and John Jordan on Saturday night. The company and food was soul-freshening. An image of Cassie’s fantastic lemon meringue pie being held out to me still lingers on my mind like a gentle dream. I think that the entire evening revolved around that piece of pie. The bread and cheese, the intelligent conversation, seeing John’s orchid photos, cutting red, yellow and orange peppers, laughing about Sally’s taxes, the wine, listening in on two interesting conversations at once, admiration. A fantastic evening!

I just got a callback from Assemblywoman Connie Myers about my letter concerning the YES Network (see Journal entry for 3-10-03). :-) She tells me that she was already opposing the bill and values my opinion. :-) Thanks for the callback, that’s very stand-upish! In the (boring) continuing struggle between the YES Network and Cablevision, talks broke down on March 28th, so it looks like we won’t be getting -any- YES network. Actually, the dispute won’t have a direct impact on my family. We’ve been planning to switch to Direct TV for a few months. It’s cheaper and the picture quality is better. Dish Network is less expensive still, but they don’t offer YES Network at all. [insert confused head gyration here].

I just read this article on ESPN where YES stopped simulcasting a WFAN radio sports program for 45 minutes because, mostly due to a minor scheduling issue, the president of Cablevision was going on the show before the YES Chairman even though YES asked to go on first. What friggin babies! “If I can’t go first, then I don’t wanna play!” Remember “Everything I Needed to know I Learned in Kindergarten”? The article was originally reported in Sports News Daily concerning the “Mike and the Mad Dog” radio show.

I’ve been using CoolEdit Pro to convert a bunch of my aunt’s older records to CD. The digital filters on this thing are sweet. After just a few minutes of configuring (and figuring out what all the pretty buttons do) I was able to run one filter to eliminate clicks & pops. Then I configured my own custom filter to get rid of some hums (likely from the turntable motor and/or a power supply). Filtering takes about 2 hrs per 30 minute album side; overnight batch processing to the rescue! The restored tracks sound just about great! I’m a little unhappy that the sound right off the record is a little muddy. That might be due to an old needle, or maybe that the records are like 20 years old and have been well enjoyed many times over that period. I know that chasing that beast could take forever so, you know what? They sound pretty darn good!

Ha! I got the .mp3 settings adjusted just so. The .mp3s are indistinguishable from the originals but only take 0.5 meg per minute… 15 meg per album side… 25 albums per CD! The entire collection will fit on one CD! Wow, you’ve come a long way, baby! I’m encoding at 64kbps mono. The albums are in mono, I considered sticking with stereo to keep the “fullness” of the sound but after carefully listening to some, the only thing I could hear in full stereo on the vinyl were the skips! I also thought about doing simulated stereo but that doesn’t do too much for opera.

I just wrote a review of some software from Eric Berntson’s company, Clonesoft. It is very practically named, “Customize Folder Shell Extension”. If you run Windows and use File Explorer, you really want this software. It’s the bees knees! Get it!

Today’s fun statistic: According to American Greetings, Women ages 35 to 55 purchase 92% of all greeting cards. So you know how your mom is always better at sending cards than you are and she always rails you about it? Well it turns out that she has a decided advantage, she’s genetically predisposed to purchase cards! Source: Baseline Magazine, March 2003, p. 44.

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