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swim the magic ocean

Title of this entry is part of a lyric from a song that is, without any question, Black Sabbath's heaviest song ever recorded.

Last night I went to go hang out at Steph's new place and met a crapload of new people. At least ten. The evening went well.

Got into some very old-school discussions about heavy metal and bands of yesteryear. It was like stepping back in time ten years ago and beyond - and that's not a bad thing. Reminiscing is good.

One subject brought up is that since I turned 30 (I'm 32 as of this writing), I'm comfortable enough now to like what I want to concerning my music tastes. As a former metal-only listener, you absolutely did not listen to anything else, and if you did, you never told anyone about it.

But that's changed.

Sometimes I'll listen to Black Sabbath.

Sometimes The Carpenters.

Sometimes Stevie Wonder.

Sometimes Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Sometimes Gary Numan.

My list of what I like is long and complex and I positively refuse to pigeon-hole myself into listening to one style of music. All that does is restrict you from liking a lot of other really, really cool stuff.

There was a lot of other stuff talked about. It was good. I liked it all. Steph knows good people. It was cool. 'Nuff said.

Oh, and happy Easter, everyone. 🙂

***Tons of guitars under $500 right here

windows media player 11

Ordinarily I don't say too much about software here since the information presented usually goes obsolete a scant few months later, but I'm going to write about this anyway.

Anyone who has Windows XP set to automatically retrieve updates is well aware that Windows Media Player updates itself to version 11. The first thing I did is uninstalled it, or as Microsoft calls it, a "rollback" to version 10. What happens? The auto-updater downloads it again. And again. And again.

So finally I said "fuggit" and let XP use WMP 11 since it wants to be in there so badly.

Note before continuing: iTunes has this exact same problem. I have the latest version of QuickTime installed (and I actually purchased a license for it!) I have the auto-updater turned on to download updates and whatnot. Without fail, that updater will periodically prompt me in no uncertain terms to DOWNLOAD ITUNES! DOWNLOAD ITUNES! DO IT! My answer: NO. So it doesn't matter if you're a Mac person or a Windows person. Both major players annoy you just the same.

Anyway..

My initial impression of WMP 11: I don't like it. Gone is the "light" look in favor of a much darker look. Takes longer to load. Several controls are now in different areas. Bleah, bleah and bleah.

However, I finally found some stuff about it I actually like, with the first one being this:

Yes, this is WMP 11, mini-sized. I really like this. I found out how to do it by accident as I was making the application window smaller. When small enough, it "snaps" to this size and is easily re-sizable back to a larger window again. Cool. This I like. Small, out of the way, and moreover fast.

The second thing I really dig is that full-screen video and visualizations are finally done correctly. No wild'n'stupid monitor resolution changes or any crap like that. Press ALT+Enter and ta-da, full screen without any b.s. involved.

In addition, the controls for full screen are finally done right, too. When you move your mouse, a semi-transparent control display is shown. Leave the mouse alone and it disappears. This is good and they should have done this years ago.

So that's my two cents on that. Enjoy. You're gonna have to anyway if you use XP whether you want to or not. 🙂

gaining perspective

My sister has been experiencing what's best described as just basic crapola going on in her life. Her car, which was seemingly fixed (automatic transmission problem), has now started acting up again. Fortunately she was able to patch it up for under 100 bucks. This should be just long enough to get it to a dealership, trade it and get something else.

There have also been a few things going on that's adding to the crapola. I'm not going to give specifics because that's information private to her.

Today I learned that local meteorologist John Winter from WFLA-TV New Channel 8 took his own life. You can watch a memorial video on that if you like.

His death left people in nothing but shock. Nothing appeared to be wrong with him. There wasn't any strife going on in his life. He had a nice car, big house, his neighbors loved him and life was going great - so it seemed.

I called up sis and informed her of this just to let her know that no matter what crappy thing is going on in her life right now, she's still around and people like myself appreciate her presence. (Note: No, she is not suicidal, she's just having a bad week.)

Next time she visits (which should be real soon), I'm taking her to Universal Studios. It is my intention to make her forget all the crapola that's going on in her life - at least for one day. 🙂

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