Tag: The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club (Hello)

Hello again-

I don’t spend all my time serenely listening to long hair music outside in the sun or even the moonlight, vast vistas of land scenically stretched before my gaze as the wind whispers my flowing locks and I stride purposefully toward my destiny.

In fact mostly I’m locked up in a dusty dungeon of my own making, tangled by wires and the past, bound like Sisyphus by chronic deceitfulness and pride to keep the tides of entropy at bay.  Oh sure, it’s fun for the first thousand years or so, but then it kinda gets… old.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgThank goodness for excitement, even of the bad kind.  At least it’s a change.

My excitement was that on Friday I had a power surge.  Inexplicable, random.  Took out the common circuit I share with most of my office floor AND the separate one my air conditioning is on, didn’t touch the rest of the house (I can tell because of the clocks).

Lasted like 2 seconds and at the end everything re-booted except my main computer which gave me the totally redundant message, “Hey, you had a power surge” and then went into an electronic funk.

I must admit I was kind of sanguine about it, I have 3 surge protectors before the motherboard and I’ve survived Hurricanes and Transformer explosions (those are fun, there’s a big bang and then power goes down for a day as the guys in the Hazmat clean up the PCBs before they replace the unit), and the computer behaved as Windows computers typically do when you’ve corrupted the virtual memory swap file- it re-boots once or twice and then goes chug-chug-chug as it attempts to repair the damage.

So you wait and you wait but I’m very impatient and after a couple of hours I hit the reset button and try a few technician’s tricks to no avail.

Now let me brag on my departed and defunct system, Asus M4A88T-V Evo/USB3, 6 Core Athlon II 3.7 Ghz, 16 GB RAM, 3x 2 Tb Seagates- each with a bootable OS installed.

Normally to cure a corrupted Swap File you boot to a good OS, run a chkdsk to fix up the crosslinks (almost always the problem) and then you unconfuse things (chug-chug-chug).  In this case NONE of my bootable partitions umm… booted.

Ok, time for strong Juju.  So I turn everthing off except for a brand new, never been touched hard drive, memory, motherboard, and CPU (all of which test fine in the BIOS), and my genuine non-evaluation copy of Windows 7, and proceed to attempt a fresh install which has the additional benefit of being a strong hardware test.

Pfft.

Well, that’s about enough frustration for one day so I called up TMC and got her to cover.  Thank you.

Today the goal has been to get functional again.  I’m fortunate enough to have generous patrons and I’m in possesion of an HP 6475b laptop.  The notable features of this particular platform are that it has a 2.5 Ghz AMD Dual Core, 16 Gb RAM, and (absolutely critical for a laptop as far as I’m concerned) a PCI card slot and a USB 3.0 port.  It has a usable (if crappy) keyboard and 15″ display and an intolerable touchpad (hate ’em).

Of course I’ve pimped it out.  Maxed the memory for starters.  Had a dual USB 3.0 PCI card so now I have 4 ports base and 2 are hooked up to 4 port hubs for 10 total (for now).  My USB 2.0 port is for my real wireless keyboard and mouse.

I struggled a bit with the display which is a miserable 1320×768 (only 1280×1024 is acceptable) but while my old Princeton VF723 is still clunking along, it’s pretty old and washed out.  My Vizio TV is a mere 720p but my BenQ GW2250 main monitor is 1920×1080.  The problem with both the latter solutions is that the HP only has a DisplayPort and VGA out and VGA is inferior to the DVI (BenQ) and HDMI (Vizio) channels.  So I bought some cables.

Frankly, my intended purpose was to use the laptop for traveling emergency communications and as a video server for Netflix and it was in this primitive condition I had left it.

Whoa, emergency!  And I am as stranded in my own office as I would be in any Starbucks.

The first step is to robust the software so my Bookmarks and Passwords and Cookies are all restored and the next to fish the wires so that all the parts connect up and as you can see there are many pieces that move.

The final step is to try an salvage the data on my impressive 6 Terabytes to a 500 Gb Drive.

Hmm… NSA capabilities without the ambition.

The truth is you can write a whole lot without filling up a floppy.  I’m not parading this in front of you to incite envy, to me it’s the most normal business in the world because each repair starts with a backup of the system in the state that it’s in before you screw it up any more than it already is.  I have a tool (2 actually) called a ‘Universal Drive Adapter’ that allows me to take just about any drive, plug it into any computer with a USB port and rip the contents onto another drive.  The reason to have 2 is so you don’t overflow your host machine.  You record directly to a target drive using your host as an intermediary.

Easy peasy.

And it’s not about money either.  I seldom spend more than $200 for any particular part and most are in the $50 to $100 range.  My base laptop (a fine machine and worth every penny) was about $500.  Add $100 for the RAM.  The keyboard and mouse $25.  The monitor $120.  I mention the keyboard and monitor first because, outside of the software, those are the most critical components to your computing experience.  I paid a premium on the computer for the PCI card slot which are getting rare nowdays as are Optical Drives, the card itself was $50.  The USB 3.0 Hubs were $40 a piece, the drive adapters the same.  I have 368 Gb of 3.0 Flash Drives, all under $100.  My 2 Tb Hard Drives?  $100 per.  I have 2x 1 Tbs that are $70 each.  My departed Motherboard?  The one I’m so proud of?  $150 with CPU + $100 for RAM.

You can see why I mourn.  I’m convinced it is toasted and it’s about the most expensive part of my setup.

But change is good, I’ve been putting off moving to 7 as long as I could keep XP-64 creeping along and a quick survey of motherboards (which have not evolved much in the last 3 years) seems to indicate I can re-use most of my parts (that work) and indeed ultimately build a system with twice the speed, twice the memory, and a whopping 32 Tb of drive. and in the mean time I can try and convince myself that my little blind slab with it’s rat’s nest of “enhancements” is good enough for now and has the additional virtue of being more “portable” than my 30″x20″x6″ box.

Next week I shall attempt to sing in tune and on tempo, but for now you get Obligatories, News, and Blogs, and late at that because while I pretend I have a magic wand that erases the limitations of space-time it’s actually a back scratcher and I do like my naps when I can get them.

The Breakfast Club (Out on the Sea Alone)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

“Cool Change”

If there’s one thing

In my life that’s missing

It’s the time that I spend alone

Sailing on the cool

And bright clear water

Lots of those friendly people

They’re showing me ways to go

And I never want to

Lose their inspiration

Time for a cool change

I know that it’s time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it’s time for a cool change

Well, I was born in the sign of water

And it’s there that I feel my best

The albatross and the whales

They are my brothers

It’s kind of a special feeling

When you’re out on the sea alone

Staring at the full moon like a lover

Time for a cool change

I know that it’s time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it’s time for a cool change

I’ve never been romantic

And sometimes, I don’t care

I know it may sound selfish

But let me breathe the air

Yeah, yeah

Let me breathe the air

If there’s one thing

In my life that’s missing

It’s the time that I spend alone

Sailing on the cool

And bright clear water

It’s kind of a special feeling

Out on the sea alone

Staring at the full moon

Like a lover

Time for a cool change

I know that it’s time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it’s time for a cool change

(Time for a cool change)

It’s time, it’s time

It’s time, it’s time

For a cool, cool change

(Time for a cool change)

I know it’s time for a cool change

(Time for a cool change)

Now that my life is so prearranged

Well, I know, I know

I know, I know

(Time for a cool change)

It’s time for a cool change

Yes, it is, yes, it is yes, it is

You know it’s time for a cool change

The Breakfast Club: 8-1-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club (Sailing on a Dream)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

“Calypso”

To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, to ride on the crest of the wild raging storm.

To work in the service of life and the living, in search of the answers to questions unknown.

To be part of the movement and part of the growing, part of beginning to understand.

Aye, Calypso, the place’s you’ve been to,

the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.

Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you

to light up the darkness and show us the way.

For though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from the sea.

To be true as the tide and free as a wind swell, joyful and loving in letting it be.

Aye, Calypso, the place’s you’ve been to,

the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.

Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

Aye, Calypso, the place’s you’ve been to,

the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.

Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

The Breakfast Club 7-30-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club 7-29-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club (Eighty Years War)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgOh, those clever Italians, always sneaking up on the poor French in the Mountain passes of the Alps and Pyrenees.

Perhaps you are thinking about professional bicycle racing?  Well, you’re absolutely right but even though I’m willing to torture a metaphor (and there’s an auto-da-fé, which technically means “confession of faith” but in practice means burning at the stake- a peculiar type of barbeque popular in Spain from about 1477 to 1812, in this Opera) I wasn’t quite able to work in the cobbles of Brittany where Le Tour was really won this year and not by crashes and injuries but by slick riding and good strategy (what do you mean you benched Wiggo?) and tactics.

ek, you’ve totally lost me.

See, that’s the thing isn’t it?  Nobody ever expects… the comfy chair!

And you’d better get one because in addition to being composed by an Italian to a French libretto about a Spanish Prince based on a German play today’s Opera is also about 4 hours long.

I’m talking of course about Don Carlos, composed by “Giuseppe Verdi to a French-language libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien (Don Carlos, Infante of Spain) by Friedrich Schiller. In addition, it has been noted by David Kimball that the Fontainebleau scene and auto da fé “were the most substantial of several incidents borrowed from a contemporary play on Philip II by Eugène Cormon“.”

(T)he opera’s story is based on conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568), after his betrothed Elisabeth of Valois was married instead to his father Philip II of Spain as part of the peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551-1559 between the Houses of Habsburg and Valois. It was commissioned and produced by the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra (Paris Opera).

Like most Operas it’s tragic.  Elisabeth is betrothed to be State Married to Carlos (oh fortunate Hapsburgs) who she meets in the woods on her journey to Spain and quite likes.  When she gets there she is claimed by Carlos’ father, Phillip II, so she marries him instead.  Devastated, Carlos seeks refuge in a monastary and resolves to leave for battle in Flanders (Belgium, another Hapsburg territory).  He smuggles a letter to Elisabeth and meets her and asks her to petition Phillip to send him there.  Carlos’ friend Posa likewise entreats the King who finds his idealism unrealistic, warns Posa the Inquisition is watching him, and asks Posa if he wants another favor.

Eboli, one of Elisabeth’s Ladies in Waiting, has the delusion that Carlos is smtten with her.  When she finds out otherwise she threatens to expose Carlos and Elisabeth.  Posa tries to kill her (actually a very good idea but it would be a much shorter Opera) but is stopped by Carlos.  In the mean time a special barbeque is being prepared for Phillip’s coronation and 6 Flemish envoys are invited.  Unrealistic idealism.  Carlos steps in but Posa persuades him to back down.  Phillip dubs Posa Duke, “the woodpile is fired and, as the flames start to rise, a heavenly voice can be heard promising peace to the condemned souls.”

Afterwards they had S’mores.

Phillip is depressed by the day’s developments and asks the Grand Inquisitor if he should kill his own son. “(T)he Inquisitor replies that the King will be in good company: God sacrificed His own son.  Phillip demures.  Next, in a move that makes sense only in an Opera, the Grand Inquisitor demands Phillip kill Posa (who, you know, like saved him in the last Act- WAKE UP YOU UNCULTURED PHILISTINES!) reminding Phillip “the Inquisition can take down any king; he has created and destroyed other rulers before.”  Phillip next discovers a picture of Carlos in Elisabeth’s possesion and accuses her of adultery.  Eboli ultimately admits to Elisabeth she planted the evidence and is exiled to a convent.  Posa visits Carlos in prison to tell him that he, Posa, has the Black Spot (Opera!) when a shadowy figure shoots him (What about Opera are we not understanding?).

Of course he lingers for a final Aria.

Posa pleads once again for Flanders (suffering under those heretical Calvinist Terrorists or Freedom Fighters, depending on which history books you believe) and expires just before Phillip enters the scene.  Phillip offers Carlos a pardon which Carlos rejects.  There’s a minor riot in support of Carlos which is put down by fear of the Grand Inquisitor.

Finale

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!

Elisabeth is very depressed.  She sings another Aria about just how depressed she is, followed by a duet with Carlos about how depressed they both are.  Phillip and the Grand Inquisitor enter, Phillip pod person compliant.

Carlos is convicted in a summary trial and prepares to defend himself against the Grand Inquisitor’s guards when an old monk who is apparently Charles V, Phillip’s supposedly dead father, proclaims “the turbulence of the world persists even in the Church; once again, we cannot rest except in Heaven.” and drags Carlos into his tomb sealing it behind them.

Phew

Did I mention 4 hours?

It’s most frequently staged in an abridged Italian version and I admit my failure in finding a complete original on YouTube.  This performance is a French/Italian Mashup.  Verdi only re-wrote it like 16 times for performance on various stages in a variety of lengths (all long) and it was one of his most popular pieces ever.  No, I don’t know why, but you certainly get the full Opera experience.

Obligatories, News, Blogs, and Bonus Video Below.

Also your comments, if you understand any of this you’re doing much better than I am.

The Breakfast Club: 7-25-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club July 24, 2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

The Breakfast Club Logo photo BeerBreakfast_web_zps5485351c.png

This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

The Breakfast Club 7-23-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club 7-22-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

The Breakfast Club: 7-21-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History

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