There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Government as a sacred trust

A friend of mine pointed out this article in the New York Times to me about the arrest today of 11 elected and appointed officials in Monmouth County on corruption and extortion charges. Three of the arrested were mayors, but sadly, not the mayor of my own home town, only a slightly lower level official (a former mayor, if I'm not mistaken; the township committee members take turns being mayor here). My favorite quote from the article:

In one case, Raymond O'Grady, a Middletown committeeman, casually dismissed an undercover agent's question to him on tape about whether he feared being caught by the police, according to the criminal complaint. "I can smell a cop a mile away," Mr. O'Grady bragged to the undercover agent who was taping the conversation, according to the complaint.

Mr. O'Grady was charged with taking a total of $6,000 in bribes to help the contractor get work. Mr. Christie, commenting on the case during a news conference on Tuesday, said, "Mr. O'Grady should have his olfactory senses tested immediately."

Somehow the good burghers of Middletown seem to keep electing these clowns to office. Go figure.

Posted at 2:47 PM
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Maximum Mini

Minis are apparently selling like hotcakes. BMW announced today that they're expanding the plant in England that makes the cars because they've been such a huge success. One in every six cars BMW sells these days is a Mini. I'm not surprised; we had to wait almost four months from when we ordered ours until it was delivered. With luck, maybe this plant expansion will bring that down to two.... I've been saying all along that the easiesst job in the world is Mini Salesman. The cars sell themselves.

Posted at 1:53 PM
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Houses that smoulder and glow in the dark?

In case you couldn't tell from the design of this site, I really like the whole 1950s mid-century modern design thing. We plan to redo much of our house in this style. So it was very nice to find a copy of a new magazine devoted to the topic of mid-century modern houses at the bookstore the other day. My only regret is that I didn't discover Atomic Ranch magazine sooner, because the first two issues are already sold out. But issues 3 and 4 contain plenty of brain food to give us ideas. And their web site is a great resource, with links to a ton of stores and manufacturers that specialize in this kind of design for furniture and fabrics and such. Good stuff. I spent much of this past weekend digging through their links and found a bunch of potential purchases for the house.

Posted at 4:54 AM
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Monday, February 14, 2005

A new member of the family

You don't just walk into a dealer and drive home a Mini, at least not here in New Jersey. We ordered the car in late October, knowing that it would be months before we got it. What the heck, we had the one car routine down pat, what difference was a few more months going to make? Since the car was built to order, we (meaning Laura) could decided exactly how we wanted the car to look and what to include. So there's a Union Jack on the roof, and a satellite radio inside, and heated seats and other decadent bourgeous touches. The result was custom made for a mid-life crisis. And this smile made the wait all worthwhile.

Biiiiiiig smile

Posted at 5:21 PM
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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Early morning jitters

We're both up early this morning. Today, after more than a year of being a one car family, with all the compromises that involves, we're finally replacing the car that was totalled in an accident just after Christmas, 2003. This is a car we ordered months ago, which is in such demand that you have to wait several months to pick it up. Much anticipation. Can you guess what kind of car we're getting?

Laura's Christmas presents

Posted at 6:36 AM
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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

God save razor blades, splicing blocks and dirty heads

WNYC's On the Media, one of my favorite radio programs (and one I've even appeared on) brings the sad news of the death of analog audio tape. Quantegy, the last company manufacturing the stuff, has declared bankruptcy and closed their plant in Opelika, Alabama. (Every time I think of Opelika, I think of a shortwave radio station that was proposed about 20 years ago that was going to be headquartered there. It was called NDXE, which stood for "In Dixie". Clever. Sadly, the man behind the station was all hat and no cattle, as they say. But I digress....) This is sad. I still treasure my old steel splicing block, and I spent many an hour hunched over the Otaris in the production studios at school, block and blade in hand. I once produced a promo for one of my radio shows ("The John and Ralph Total Anarchy Doom and Destruction Hour, with special guest... The Fuzzy Bat") that contained over 70 edits in the space of a minute, all with analog tape and a splicing block and razor blade.

The good news is that there are some investors looking to buy the plant and restart it, so there may still be some life in the old dog yet. Still, it appears that analog recording may be on its last legs.

Posted at 11:16 PM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi. (E-mail address removed due to virus proliferation.)

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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