Opinions and Facts

Save the internet!

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Everyone who likes to use the internet and access all websites equally should at least give a glance to www.savetheinternet.com. There is a lot of information and some handy links and such to allow you to easily send your representatives a message stating that the Internet should star neutral, free and unmanipulated by corporations who would love to have control over what websites get precedence.

Purchase my soul for $37.94!

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If you want to truly know who I am as a person, check out these albums:

“Hey Album!” and “Ready, Sex, Go” by The Marvelous 3

“Left of Self Centered” and “Letters” by Butch Walker
I’ve decided that Butch Walker’s catalog (including his work with Marvelous 3) is a pretty damn good representation of my soul if it were converted to music and packaged on CD. There is such a great range from rocking, funny, witty songs to intensely passionate and emotional songs which you feel as much as you listen to.

Don’t be a sexist, broads hate that.

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So apparently I missed “Blog Against Sexism” day. I don’t really have anything in particular to say, but wanted to say something. We live in a time when sexism, racism, and all kinds of other isms have insidiously weaved themselves into the very fabric of our culture. So much so that many are completely blind to them.
As a species, we are very arrogant and think that we are the end all be all to life in the universe, when the truth is that we are not nearly as evolved as we would like to think. There is still far too much ignorance and intolerance in the world for us to be so high and mighty. I pretty much leave the crusading to my wife, but I guess I’ll just boil it down to my simplest though here: there may be differences between men and women (not just physical but real differences in our makeup, the way we think, the way our brains are wired, who knows), but that is meaningless. That is true on an individual basis, not just a sex/race/whatever basis. Next time you find yourself about to apply a stereotype to someone, take a moment and think about it. Try to catch yourself forming preconceptions of people. We all do it. If we can catch even just one, and instead get to know someone for who they are and not who we think they are, then I think that’s something good.
I think the irony is that anyone who finds themselves thinking that someone else is inferior because of their sex/race/etc is guaranteed to be the inferior one.

“The Beatles” by Bob Spitz

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I read a quote somewhere that the latest Beatles biography, “The Beatles: The Biography” by Bob Spitz should now be considered the definitive Beatles Biography. I could not agree more. This book is an absolute must for any Beatles fan.
Much of what is presented in this book has been presented many times before, and in fact the “notes” section, in addition to crediting every source of every quote, does a great job at summarizing how determining the accuracy of much of the Beatles canon is next to impossible. However the presentation is exactly what makes this book so great. It is not presented as an encyclopedia of facts. Information is conveyed in such a way that by the time you are done reading you will feel like you actually lived through it; as if you just took an actual journey through time from before any of the Beatles were born through the heights of their historic unmatched fame, to their sad deterioration and slow crumbling demise. It’s all told in a very narrative and engaging fashion.
It’s an absolutely amazing journey with an emotional resonance that can’t be described. This is one of those few books that is not simply just a good read, it is an experience. There are many people who are referred to as “The Fifth Beatle”, but by the end of this book, you’ll feel as if The Fifth Beatle was you.

Arr! Pirate Booty!

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Many of you have probably heard of “collectible card games”, the most popular one being “Magic: The Gathering.” After Magic became such a huge hit, everyone on the face of the planet was mandated to put out their own CCG, 99% of which quickly faded into obscurity. Well I’ve just stumbled upon something even cooler. A “Constructible Strategy Game” and even better yet, it’s all about pirates! I present to you “Pirates”. Each pack contains everything you need to play: cards that you punch pieces out of to construct your 3-D pirate ships, a punch out island, treasure tokens, crew member tokens, and instructions. It’s a simple little game that looks like it could be a lot of fun. It’s similar to the “CCG’s in that there’s a whole list of ships and crew members which you try and “collect” ranging in rarity. Their website has a lot of great information including a flash animated set of instructions and game examples. We just bought a couple of packs and will probably end up with one or two packs from each expansion. Check it out!

“You’re Really Growing On Me”

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I figured that using a song title from their first album was apropos as it represents my relaitonship with the second album. It is indeed growing on me the more I listen to it. Jess just pointed out a lyric that I had to share:
“I had never seen a set of eyes more hazelerer”

“One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back”

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The Darkness’s first album “Permission To Land” absolutely blew me away as one of the best albums I’d heard in a long while, so naturally when their second album “One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back” came out on Tuesday I put on my best glam spandex catsuit, strutted into my local record store and said in my best British Falsetto “Where’s the new Darkness album, mate?” Sadly I found that it was Monday and I’d jumped the gun by a day so I would have to wait a day to plant my legs solidly in an “A” shape, raise my arm to the sky, purse my lips and rock out.
On Tuesday I had a groupie bring me the album at work (O.K. so it was my wife, but that doesn’t fit the story as well.) My first impression was a bit of disappointment. Not that it’s a bad album by any means. It was just that I was so blown away by the first album that naturally my expectations were high. After having a few more days with the new album, I’ve warmed a bit to it, but I can tell that it will never be as popular with me as “Permission to Land”. It’s definitely not quite as straight on rockin as “Permission”, but there is still much enjoyment to be had.
This album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker who produced Queen, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, The Cars and Devo. In fact, the piano on the album is the same piano used on Bohemian Rhapsody and still bears the red wine stains from Freddie Mercury. I would say the Queen influence can be heard quite heavily on this album. All in all I think it’s definitely worth a listen and most likely an addition to your collection, however I can’t quite call it as much as a “must have” as “Permission to Land” is. However the more I listen to it the more I like it and I still highly recommend it if you dug their first album. Still one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while.

Go forth and rock

The new album from The Darkness is out tomorrow! I will be procuring it at lunchtime. There will be severe rocking.

Pandora.com

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Music lovers check out www.pandora.com. Very cool. You can make your own music station by putting in an artist or song and pandora then uses the Music Genome Project to “program” the station with stuff you might like. You can give songs a thumbs up or thimbs down to help train it. You can try it for free for 10 hours, and if you decide you dig it, it’s only $36 a year!
It’s quite in depth in it’s methodology. Let’s take a call from a listener! Hello, you’re on the air!

(more…)

Gmail is my master now

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While I still heartily recommend Mozilla Thunderbird for anyone who feels the need to have a mail client on their computer, or for those security freaks who think Google has some evil secret conspiracy going, I myself have become a full Gmail convert. I tried this once before but one thing sent me back to Thunderbird, and that was the fact that any mail I sent would show up as coming from my Gmail address instead of my heathallyn.com address. This has now been remedied. You can now set your address to show as coming from any address you actually own. There is a verification process involved so that not just anyone can enter you email as the “from” address, and now any mail I sen via Gmail shows up as coming from my heathallyn.com address, and all replies are sent to my heathallyn.com address (which in actuality just forwards to my Gmail address anyway. Basically this allows you to use Gmail as an email client for you current address, just as you would Thunderbird, Outlook or any other client.
I totally dig Gmail’s interface and their completely different philosophy on mail handling (using “Labels” instead of “Folders”, and much more). This way, I don’t have to worry about whether or not a certain email I’m looking for is on my home or work computer, as it’s all in my online Gmail account. I can easily use the search function to find any mail I’m looking for or sort by labels. I can set up filters to automatically apply labels to incoming mail.
As I’ve watched Gmail it has just kept getting better. One of the few downsides to be aware of is that there is no official way to set up an email distribution list in Gmail (as in you type in one name, and it sends to multiple people), but there is an unofficial work around to do so and they very well may add this in the future. You can also download Gmail Notifier to check every 2 minutes and notify you of new mail.
There are a ton of other features which I find innovative and generally cool, but if you think you might be interested the best place to get all the info is from the source.
There is also an excellent site full of Gmail tips. Join us in the Gmail cult! I have a ton of invites if anyone needs one.
One of us!

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