Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Little Boy (film)

I don't often blog about films, but I just watched this and thought it should easily win the Oscar for best picture of 2015. Sadly, given that humanity's state of devolution seems to be centered in Hollywood, I wouldn't count on it. But don't let that stop you from seeing it. Netflix has it available to stream right now, and I'm sure you can rent it anywhere. Here's a description of the movie copied from Google:
When auto mechanic James Busbee (Michael Rapaport) is sent to fight the Japanese during World War II, he leaves behind his wife (Emily Watson) and two sons, London (David Henrie) and Pepper (Jakob Salvati). Pepper feels his father's absence most keenly, and can't wait for him to return home. An encounter with a magician (Ben Chaplin) and advice from a priest (Tom Wilkinson) convince Pepper that the power to bring his dad back safely may be within himself and his actions.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I Bought a Counterfeit Shure SM57 Microphone off eBay

I am so freakin' MADDD!!! Can't the Chinese find legit ways to make money? Every time you turn around some Chinaman is selling fake goods on eBay. And their counterfeits are very hard to disinguish from the real deal unless you know what to look for. They manufacturer and sell a LOT of musical oriented items. Microhones, guitars, and amplifiers are constantly counterfeited. I should have known better than to buy a mic off eBay. Some items you should just stay away from! As you can see, externally this mic looks just like any other SM-57.
But if you open it up you'll see that the wires are the wrong colors inside. They should be yellow and green. This one has blue and green.
Also, the counterfeiters use the same serial number on every box. (Every mic should have its own unique number.) Have a look at the serial number here. Then look at the picture below it. It comes from another post I found on the interweb from some guy who bought three of these counterfeit mics. All three have the same serial#, and mine is the same as his. The only difference between his boxes and mine is that his says Made in Mexico and mine says Made in China. (Shure probably has offices in both locations.)
I should be able to get my money back, but it may take Months while the case is in dispute. According to the retail sales page for the mic, this guy/gal has already sold 42 of them at $85 each. Here are some more pics of my microphone just so you can see how much it looks like a real SM-57. Once they get the wiring colors down, it's going to be next to imposible to tell the difference between the real ones and the fakes. And beneath the pictures of the mic I'll post a screen capture of my conversation with the Shure rep who confirmed my mic is a fake.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rediscovering The Beatles Live 1964-65 at the New Musical Express

Just found this today thanks to a friend of mine. It made me feel like a kid all over again. The first clip is of The Beatles portion only of the New Musical Express (NME) Poll Winners' Concert in 1964. The second clip features all the bands that were among the most voted for as best band the following year, 1965. The Beatles play second to last in that one. (The Kinks play last, but they weren't meant to be the show finale--they simply arrived late.) There are a lot of good bands in the second clip, many you've probably forgotten about. For instance, Van Morrison's first band, THEM, from Ireland is there along with the Rolling Stones, The Searchers and others. Have fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ever See a Polack Pine Tree?

The Crooked Forest

During the 1930s, a grove of around 400 trees was planted in the West Pomerania region of Poland that grew crooked. Today it's known as the Crooked Forest. To this day, no one knows why they grew this way. Some people have speculated that they were purposely bent by placing weighted objects on them in an attempt to grow crooked wood for certain wood working projects that required bent wood such as rocking chairs or boats. However, that's just a guess. What makes these trees even more mysterious is that another grove of around 200 trees was also planted during the 1930s in the Savoy Mountain State Forest of Berkshire, Massachusetts, and it too grew crooked.

Savoy's Crooked Forest

For some reason, the Savoy tree grove has disappeared today; however, at least one former ranger from the area insists they have not gone away, but instead have grown to such a height that you have to look up to see the bends that used to be near the ground in the old days.

Isn't it strange that two groves of trees, both planted during the 1930s in two different parts of the world would grow crooked like this? Weird.