Easter Traditions

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Now that Easter has come and gone the Carson family can engage in one of its favorite traditions. Perhaps it is only my favorite tradition and no one else enjoys it, but I find it delightful and perhaps other will also.

After the Easter celebration has come and gone and all the chocolate is eaten and the plastic grass is sill strewn about the house, one left with a preponderance of hard-boiled eggs.

Some people enjoy eating hard-boiled eggs raw while others transform the colorful globes into potato salad, deviled eggs, etc. I find them all distasteful. So what does one do with all the leftover eggs besides leave them in urinals at work?

Get out your crappy golf clubs or your brother’s nice ones and tee up! Yes, that’s right! I smack those eggs with golf clubs and watch them disintegrate into a fine misted spray of eggy atoms all over the back alleyway. The chain-link fence provides practically no resistance to egg particles from streaming through.

So give it a try yourself! Try a 3-wood and a 7-iron! Have fun and improve your game!

Headphone Roundup!

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I believe myself to be a closet audiophile being hampered only by my lack of funds and, as of the last few years, time. I can thank Shawn Heisey for introducing me to the wonders (and pleasures) of audiophilia — much of my teenage years was dedicated to the pursuit and with modest success.

I’ve always been an early adopter of audio technology as well. I have the first walkman sony made that ran off 1 AA battery and I have the finest walkman AIWA ever made. I’ve got one of the first portable CD players made by DAK. I have a Diamond RIO MP3 player (the first comercially produced MP3 player ever) and the Archos 6000 Jukebox (the first hard-drive based MP3 player). I’ve made speakers out of toiler paper mache and rolled my own cross-over filters. Humm, this is sounding like another post — but I digress.

But with all of them you need headphones for portable sound, and I have a small collection of them. Initially, I wanted to talk about my quest of comfortable wide-frequency headphones and some of what I’ve found. But now it’s turned to something else that is long and unwieldly. The short version is this: Buy some Apple In-Ear Headphones — you will love them.

AIWA HP-D9

The famous HP-D9 was manufactured between 1991-1994 and was AIWA’s top-of-the-line bud earphones. It has a 60 millimeter U-shaped bass reflex channel that can reproduce signals as low as 5 HZ and as high as 30 KHZ. It sports a unique 4U thin noncrystal linear voice coil wrapped by oxygen-free copper that continues into the flexible cord. The 24k gold-plating stereo sound attachment includes a threaded neck whereon a larger adapter can be fastened and screwed on for secure attachment. The impedance of 16 ohms makes the volume feel like 108DB/ milliwatt. It weighs only 9 grams.

In terms of pure technical excellence in bud earphones, these are some of the best ever made — and you can hear the difference. One small problem: my ears are a non standard size/shape which prevents the headphones from sitting comfortably in my ear and, more importantly, creating a pratical seal with my ear canal so those 20 HZ frequencies make it in. Unfortunately, I find them uncomfortable and not that great… stupid ears.

Apple In-Ear Headphones

These headphones actually sit in the ear canal comfortably and while they block outside noice, they deliver all the bass and crispness of trebble generated by the driver. These are nice headphones and since they sit directly in the ear canal, they function

Apple In-Ear HeadphonesThey aren’t as good as the Etymotic Research ER-6 headphones, but who has $139 to spend on headphones (I suppose real audiophiles do).

Although I can’t find technical specs for these headphones that would reveal their frequency range I did run my frequency test and found they worked great from 30 HZ to 16 kHz (which is as high as I can hear). Frequencies as low as 20 HZ were reproduced, but not at a weaker volume. There is a rather good review at MacMerc.com. I would concur with the reviewers findings and found the $39.95 price tag high (eBaY has them for around $20) but still less than Sony models of the same variety — plus they will look great with my iPod that I’ll someday get.

Radio Shack Optimus LV-20

The wonderful thing about Radio Shack is that they rarely make their own stuff. Take, for example, the Optimus LV-20 headphones which Radio Shack sold me for $22.00. These headphones are really made by Koss and it even has the name Koss molded into the headphone jack overmolding. So for $22.00 I really got a $60 pair of headphones which are most equivellant to the Koss TD-80.

Koss TD-80With frequency response from 20-17,000 Hz and including a 10 foot cord with volume control, these headphones are my favorite for comfort and sound quality.

The only problem with these headphones is that they are not really portable. Sure I see kids on the street all the time rocking out to their hip tunes wearing large headphones — but although it may be the fashion of our time it is not the fashion of my time and we all know we get locked into our high school decade. I just can’t bring myself to walk around with an MP3 player the size of a chapstick tube and wear headphones where the plug adapter is the same size as the player itself.

Nevertheless, these are my favorite headphones.

Is There Nothing Legos Can’t Do?

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Legolites are fanatics who believe that the very building blocks of the universe are not strings, or subatomic particles, they are in fact: Legos.

Legolites believe anything can be done or built using Lego building blocks — and they aren’t far off. I’ve mentioned before people building complex machines, furniture, art and even girlfriends out of the ubiquitous plastic stuffs. And there have been people who use Lego for entertainment.

Now we can look forward to a new motion picture: Batman: New Times — a movie so avant-garde they have recruited actual actors and actresses for it. Batman: New Times sports a compliment of computer generated Lego characters including Batman, the Joker, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon and more.

Check out the official web site here and watch the trailer!

By Way of General Announcement

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Today I received an e-mail from Thomas Perera, one of my readers based in Germany. Thomas asked if I were still alive because by looking at the dearth of posts these last 3 weeks, one would assume I had become stunningly good-looking (even more so than I already am) or become filthy rich and had taken a yacht to Detroit or some other exotic location like that.

Neither could be further than the truth. I am still the ruggedly good-looking fellow but have not become filthy rich. As some of you know I started a new job as CTO for 1World Logistics. Besides the huge task of building a company’s IT services from scratch in a 6 week period, I also have a 108 mile commute each day (round trip) which put me in the car for a couple of hours each day. Long work days in the office coupled with long commutes has left me with no time to blow my nose or my own horn. But, the end is in sight.

In the next few weeks, and we are all hoping by April 1, all the systems will be in place and running smoothly. I’ll also be starting a car pool next week where I can work in the car. So the good news is that I’ll have more time to blow my nose and my own horn — something we all enjoy.

And just this morning as I sit here typing this entry, it is because I worked some 16 hours yesterday and spent 2 hours in the car (16+2=not enough sleep). But, I have freed myself from the laundry list of to-do’s I typically have each morning and I can spend a few relaxing minutes bringing you all up to date.

Book Review: The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

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The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

I would like share with you all that I’m listening to audio books in the car during the commute, and during Windows Server 2003 installations — which take as long as my commute.

My current book, or rather books, are the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. Two of my recording so far have been very old, having been recorded int he 1960s — but that’s irrelevant. The good news is: George Lucas is an idiot.

Yes, it’s true. After reading the first 50 pages of the first Foundation book I heard all about Lucas’ Currisant, Anikan, the galactic empire, hyperdrives, atomics and the like. I kept expecting a wookie to appear but, thankfully, Asimov has better taste. This discovery completely drives the last nail deep into the Lucas coffin of mediocrity.

But the Foundation series itself is excellent. Not really a novel but a collection of short stories, Asimov is able to advance a plot that takes place over as span a millennia.

This book is also a trilogy which is now making me believe that all trilogies are great (which again points to why Lucas is such a hack — he should have stopped at 3 but didn’t know a good thing when he saw it).

Although I’m not done, with the series, I plan on making I, Robot my next book, pushing Ulysses by James Joyce into April.

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