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words telling you now of my state

Title of this entry is a lyric from the greatest heavy metal song of all time (and if you said "No, it isn't", you'd be wrong).


Bigger is better

For the first time in many moons, my laptop is sitting in the corner, turned off. I'm using the big box computer instead. She's running very smoothly so far. I got just about everything I need installed on it. Anyone who's seen my personal setup knows I use a ton of applications. My taskbar is chock full of lil' icons.

The beast still lives

I'm using a 17" Sony LCD monitor that has definitely seen better days, however it's actually working quite well considering all the crap it's been thru. While other Sony products seem to suck, the S73 monitor is definitely a trooper.

Because it's still chuggin' along, I won't be getting the 20-inch monitor. This is way bigger than my 13-inch tv and I can live with it. Once I add on a tv tuner to the big box, it will also serve as my television. Then I can retire the lil' tv.


My boss was nice enough to give me a USB phone (thanks Dave). I specifically wanted it to try out Skype. So I did. It works. Very well. So well I signed up for three months of service for twelve bucks (and yes that's all it costs). Called Pop with it. Works awesome.

Drawbacks: Has to use the Skype client from a computer. It's not like Vonage where you don't need a computer to use it. However, since I'm on the computer all the time anyway, it fits what I need it for.

Skype also has this promotion going on right now where you can call anyone in the USA for free until the end of the year. Cool. 🙂


I bought a set of ten-dollar Altec Lansing speakers from Wal-Mart today for the big box. They're little things, but just the right size for my desk. It has been so long since I've had a real set of speakers. Up until now I've been using the laptop ones which are small, chintzy and well.. just bad.

In all seriousness, these lil' speakers sound darn good. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need wireless speakers, subwoofer or any of that other crapola.


Being that the big box is back in action and I have the laptop on the side, I don't really have a need for my spare Dell Latitude (laptop) any longer, so... I'm considering selling it in December. It's in A-1 mint shape, has it's own Dell bag, extra batteries, etc. Definitely worth at least $300. If I bundle it up with a wireless USB stick (which I have), it'll possibly grab $350.. maybe? I dunno.

Guess I'll have to think about that one. It really is a decent unit, albeit a bit on the slow side.

think think think.... 🙂

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.


Yesterday, something wonderful happened.

A leaf got caught somewhere in the vents of my truck, so every time I turned on the heater or the A/C, this very annoying sound would come thru. Extremely annoying.

As I was driving to pick up a friend last night, I heard this buzz-zz-zz-zz.. krr... CHK! The leaf finally broke, shot out the vent, and that annoying sound is gone!


I was so happy. 🙂 I now have silent vents. Very awesome.

it's in my blood

You know, it's not every day you hear your father referred to as "grandson", however, this did happen today.

Norma Menga e-mailed me today and wondered if I was the grandson she remembered from Massachusetts. Nope. The grandson she remembered was my father.

I gave her my father's e-mail address and she was nice enough to carbon-copy me on what she sent him, which said the following (and I don't think she minds that I post this here). The "Cousin Richie Sr." is in reference to my father.

Cousin Richie, Sr.,

Hi, just found out today that my brother, Bobby, the violinist passed away at age 72 in New Zealand. He moved there recently to be closer to his son Justin Menga. Then I started looking up menga in the internet and saw your son's website. Seems like he is musical also.

No, I am not Norma from Fall River. That was Zia Faustina's grandchild, daughter of Louisa who was named Norma Regis. I am the daughter of Fortunato Menga who was Uncle Joe's youngest brother and the youngest of 9 children. His mother, Fortunata, died at childbirth in 1900 giving birth to my father. They were all born in Verzino, Calabria. Your grandfather, Giuseppi and his father Santo came to this country first, then brought the rest over. My Dad came over in 1909. I found record of it in the Ellis Island website. But Fortunato wasn't his legal name, it was Pasquale. You can do a search Giuseppe Menga came here in 11/18/1902.

I fondly remember Zio Giuseppe and Zia Chiara on Newton Street, Mansfield.

Interesting stuff, indeed, particularly the music part. Certain Menga's have been gifted with musical talent and I happen to be one of them.

If you ever wondered why I'm able to play well both classically and otherwise, this is a strong indicator of why.

And yes, my father's side of the family is as about as Italian as you can get in the USA without physically being in Italy. 🙂

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