Archive for May, 2009

Old School Music

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Back before recording devices were invented (Thomas Edison invented the phonographic cylinder in¬†1877), the only way to hear other peoples’ music was by going to a concert, or picking up the sheet music on your own to play on your own. ¬†Certainly there were quite a few instances of completely butchered pieces, but overall, the music was likely to be copied faithfully.

Now, we have cold, hard digital media that plays music from artists exactly as they recorded it. ¬†Every time it’s played, it’s exactly the same. ¬†No mistakes, no interpretation, no differences. ¬†With the exception of live concerts (always by the artist who makes the music) or covers by other artists, we consume music exactly the way it was recorded.

What’s the fun in that?

I think it would be really neat if we had concerts of popular music covered by multiple artists to see how they reproduce it.  Different styles, interpretations, and of course, different feeling.


Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I’ve been very tired lately, beyond the jet lag from the trip. ¬†Despite getting a good night’s sleep, I keep waking up feeling just as tired as when I went to bed.

In any case! ¬†I’m finding it hard to believe May is almost over. ¬†I’ve wanted to do so much this year, and it’s almost halfway over. ¬†Yikes!

Jet Lagged

Monday, May 18th, 2009

When I got back from Taiwan, I didn’t think I was jet lagged. ¬†I landed on Wednesday, and went to sleep around 10pm. ¬†I woke up at 7am on Thursday, went to work, and life was good.

Until Thursday night. ¬†I couldn’t sleep. ¬†I ended up TRYING to sleep around 4:00am. ¬†Then I had to wake up at 4:45am to go to my brother’s graduation. ¬†That lasted pretty much the entire day, where I was ready to pass out. ¬†Upon getting home at 6:00pm, it was my intention to take a little nap, eat dinner, then wake up and do stuff. ¬†Yeah, right. ¬†I woke up at 4am. ¬†Ten hours of sleep isn’t bad…but it still had me messed up. ¬†I had an enjoyable Saturday (though my first gun show was a little disappointing), and ended up going to sleep at 4am Sunday morning. ¬†No biggie–except then I woke up at 3pm. ¬†I NEVER wake up that late. ¬†So I went to bed last night at about 11pm, but couldn’t sleep, so I woke up at 4am again this morning, worked on some things, then came into the office.

Needless to say, my sleep pattern is totally screwed up. ¬†I hope by tonight I’m back to normal.

Back from Taiwan

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I’m back from Taiwan!

I had an amazing time… ¬†I’ll continue regular blogging soon; I have a lot to catch up on.

A Little Rain and a Small World

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

We had our first rain tonight, nothing too heavy, but rain nonetheless. But what makes tonight interesting was that we had the second of two interesting coincidences: the first was the day we arrived; we bumped into one of my high school friends’ mother. Neat, and cool.

Tonight, however, was just plain out-of-this-world odds… We had just finished dinner at some quasi-Italian place, and were walking out when I turned and saw someone I thought looked just like a girl I went to highschool with. Because I’m with friends from high school, I mentioned, gosh, that looks like Sherry Chou. I look again, and we make eye contact. I saw a glimmer of recognition, and sure enough, it was Sherry. We talked for a minute or so, then left her with her date.

Of all the Italian joints in all the world…wow.

View from the hotel

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

We’re right on the beach in southernmost Taiwan. I’ve attached a photo of the view from our hotel.

On a completely separate note, my iPhone seems to have developed a scratch or small crack on the screen. This is very distressing, given how careful I am, and that I have a case for it. I hope it’s just a scratch, still, I have no idea how it got there…

Leaving KaoHsiung

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

It’s almost 11am, and we’re leaving KaoHsiung on our way further south. It’s amazing that parts of Taiwan are similar to the US; we’re currently going through an industrial area that could be found almost anywhere.

We didn’t do a whole lot in KaoHsiung; maily visit the VERY small night market and grab drinks at a jazz club call, fittingly, Marsalis. After sleeping (and taking advantage of someone’s free WiFi), we visited a pier, and began this trek south to see a beach.

Southern Taiwan

Monday, May 4th, 2009

We’re on our way further south after a long and strenuous hike in the mountains. Our first McDonalds meal was courtesy of us finishing up after 2; most of the eating establishments were closed.

So during this 2.5 hour long drive, we are resting up, preparing ourselves for whatever Willam’s cousin and uncle have cooked up for us.

Fortunately, his family rented a minivan, so all five of us fit comfortably, though the fact that it’s a 15 year old Toyota doesn’t speak well of my reut for its reliability… The brakes were smoking earlier today, and it rattles everywhere.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that we also visited Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world. We went up to the observation deck on the 91st floor and saw the most amazing perspective of Taipei. We also met another American, an Asian American by the name of Kevin. He was “showing his buddy’s girlfriend around Taipei”, which I think was a euphemism for “helping break the couple up”. There were many opportunities for romantic exchanges at the top of the building, and they seemed to tale advantage of all of them.

Back to the present: my right leg is covered with mosquito bites. The hydrocortizone cream Charlie has didn’t help, but the “EcoFu” that William’s great-aunt gave me seems to do the trick.

Time to try to take a nap. See you all later!

So far in Taiwan…

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

So far, Taiwan has been absolutely awesome. Some of the big things we’ve seen are a few Buddhist temples (complete with backwards swastikas), the Taiwanese liquor museum (Taiwanese biji [beer] is pretty damn good), the Taiwanese glass factory, one of the county’s biggest fire stations (where we got an amazing tour, including going up a portable elevator 52 meters in the air), and riding motor scooters through some back alleys.

I have a new understanding of why Taiwanese are labelled as “bad drivers”; they’re not! They’re just accustomed to driving here, where the traffic laws are much different. Lane lines are for guidance only, and pedestrians don’t have the right-of-way.

Ok, I’m writing this on my iPhone, so more to come later!

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