Monday, November 5, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 5th

Wow, into November already!

The Steelers won?  Wow.  Justice.

I really enjoyed Dolphins/Colts yesterday.  Good game, and a look into the future of the NFL.   Imagine if the Dolphins and Colts play for the AFC Title game someday?  Andrew Luck has delivered and then some, and he looks confident, has a great arm, and makes the plays.  The Dolphins countered with good defense, good coverage, and a relative lack of mistakes.  It was a joy to watch.   It's too bad very few people across America got to see it.

The Cowboys ceased being America's team when they couldn't win America's "game" i.e. the Super Bowl.  They haven't done that thing in over 16 years.   It's going to take a lot for them to get back.   HOWEVER, I think they have the players.  The issue is attitude, culture, and coaching.  All three of them suck.   The Cowboys are more absorbed with their fancy stadium than the performance of the team, and Jerry Jones can grandstand all he wants about how he wants to win.  That's a bold-faced lie.  If that was true he'd let an actual GM run the team.  He'd hire a coach that he could trust to make the decisions on his own.  None of these things happened since at least 2006, and in that day, it was a brief 2 year run, speaking of Parcells.  Until the Cowboys have a complete change in organizational philosophy, all they will ever be is a team to be laughed at.

BCS.   Big fan of this week's standings.  So much so, I watched nearly the entire BCS Rankings TV show on ESPN last night.   Alabama is #1, K-State is #2, Oregon is #3, and Notre Dame is #4.  I can't argue with any of that.  I won't speak much more of ND right now, but they won, that's the bottom line.  However, equally as unconvincing was Oregon's defense, but because of Oregon's opponent, USC, I think they earned #3.

With that said, getting from #3 to #2 is not going to happen unless we see a lot of losses between now and December.   The principle problem is, we saw Oregon's defense get exposed.  This was a big reason for me watching Ore/SC this weekend, aside from my usual allegiance to the Trojans: I wanted to see how Oregon's defense would fare with a top 5 NCAA Offense.  You can't give up over 50 points in any game and be considered a credible National Championship contender.   For that reason, I am now going back on my original rant against the BCS system.  I was honestly expecting Oregon to allow about 30 points from SC, maybe less.  FIFTY?  As the season goes along (and assuming Notre Dame beats SC) we might see Oregon fall to 4th for good and I would no longer have a problem with it.

I was at the grocery store picking up some snacks and saw a whole shelf full of Keruig K-Cups for sale.  You can buy smaller boxes of K-Cups at the supermarket, did you know this???  I thought I'd have to hold out for another order.

Another odd tangent last night: I was reading more about the difference between sonic quality of CD's vs Vinyl.  What I was confused about was music that was recorded to digital using Pro Tools, and then mastered on Analog Vinyl anyway.  If you're putting Digitally Recorded data onto an analog format, doesn't that dissolve the inherent advantage of analog sound?  So I did some research and went into user opinions.

The answer is yes, BUT what you gain is the increased Sampling Rate, which can never exceed the mere 44.1 Khz for CD.  In Pro Tools or other pure digital formats, you can record at 192 KHz or 96Khz.  That's a huge difference.   Furthermore, the bit rate, I can imagine, must be enormous, compared to even the otherwise decent 1.4 MBps for CD.  In theory, Analog can resolve any sampling rate you want because all it's doing is transcribing the waveforms verbatim.  In addition, the DAC's used at the mastering plant will be far better than what's on most people's CD players.

One might wonder: "then why don't you just make a digital format that can resolve all that detail?"   They did, at one point in time, it was called Super Audio CD, the layman's term for DSD digital sound encoding.  However, it was very short lived and not a lot of discs were released for the format.   The market for true audiophiles is very small.  Maybe in the tens of millions at most, out of a 300 million person country.  Yet, the Vinyl Record offers the side benefit of the hipster look and feel of larger album covers, the chic detail of putting the black round disc onto a turntable, the other advantage of being used by DJ's at dance halls, and much more.   As it always was, Vinyl is a versatile medium.

So, in an unusual twist, vinyl has revived itself as an advant-garde format, but the format appeals for different reasons for different people.  A medium that tries to appeal to every demographic?  Talk about a throwback!

Meanwhile, back home, my vinyl listening was a re-listen of "True" by Spandau Ballet.  It's a jazz-infused New Wave album from 1983 that I enjoy immensely.  Lots of bongos, I like the bongos.

My next move is to purchase new material, i.e. new releases from new artists on the Vinyl Format.   I'm a huge fan of "The Arcade Fire" so I intend to go with them first.   Maybe a little Lady Gaga... maybe some Pinback (this isn't so new, actually).  

I'm still shocked at the way Marvin Gaye died, nearly 30 years later.   One of the most confusing deaths of a music icon ever.

All right, let's talk about voting.   Not the candidates or who should be president and that thing, but let's talk about those annoying propositions.

All of us get those annoying commercials about Propositions for the Voter Ballot.  "VOTE YES ON 280.  No!  Vote 'No' on 280!   YOU ARE A FOOL IF YOU VOTE PROP Y.   No, don't listen to them, PROP Y IS WONDERFUL."

I get so annoyed by all those sleazy political ads that I want to, someday, go to the polls and vote "no" on everything.  "Fund public education?"  No!  "Obscure tax loophole?"  No!  "Some action related to roads and infrastructure?"  No!!!

The worst one ever was the proposition to fund a state-wide super-train that would connect LA to San Francisco.  I loved the idea, I was all for it.  I voted "Yes."  WHERE IS THIS SUPER TRAIN?   All of these political promises are a bunch of hooey.

Here's what I'm voting on:  Vote YES for Dinner... boom, I get dinner.   Vote McDonald's for Monday night Football, your vote counts.   I did it once before, and they're right.   Vote McChicken for entree -- done and done.

That's all I got... for now.   Til next time.

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