Tuesday, December 31, 2019

For RePeats Sake: New Year's Eve Concert

Take Away: 

This is a big tradition in Europe.  The New Year's Day concert, which translates to a "Best of Pop - Circa 1880".  It is joyous and usually festive music by famous composers performed in concert to bring in the New Year.  In most cases with a lot of ladies in gowns and men in tuxedos sitting in ornate concert halls.  This was no exception.  Bring on 2020. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Cost of Owning A Great Dane - Part 1

Iris - Four Months Old
28 inches tall
40 pounds

Iris continues to grow faster than any other animal I have encountered.  She is currently gaining about 5 lbs a week and should be around 60 lbs by the end of the year. She has recently been spayed which brings to light the other large aspect of owning one of these deer-like dogs, the cost.  

Here is a rough breakdown so far.: 

  • Cost to adopt: $650
  • Initial Vet Visit / Shots $350
  • Food: $60 to $80 / Month
  • Spay / Microchip: $700
  • Numerous Chew Toys / Shoes: $50
  • Car Ramp For Dog: $150
  • Five Large Dog Beds (required): $120
Cost after four months: $2,340 (approx)

Are they worth it?  Absolutely, if you can afford it. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

For RePeats Sake: Dire Straits - Alchemy Live

Take Away:

Just a good concert film.  Nothing fancy or flashy, just really good music shot live in front of a large audience.  Knoffler and crew do some wonderful jam sessions of popular Dire Straits tunes here, which is when the band really shines.  They are tight and proficient. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

He Saw / She Saw: The Best of Mission Impossible - The Seal


The Seal" is one of those Mission:Impossible episodes that involves a cat named Rusty who helps to retrieve the national treasure (a jade seal) of an Asian country.  Whomever trained Rusty the cat deserves some kind of an award - he does make it look like he understands verbal commands from Barney.  I learned were as many as twelve different cats used during the filming, and each one with a different talent.   Typical Mission Impossible...good dialogue and kept your interest throughout!


A reminder of how good this show used to be compared to the current crop of Tom Cruise films.  Here it is more about suspense, trickery and a plot that you often can't figure out until the end.  What made this enjoyable is the use of 'high technology' back in the day to pull off their missions.  In this episode, they use a punched Hollerith computer card to introduce a virus into a computer, which then starts spitting out Hollerith cards like a machine gun.....the HORROR!

Things Old Guys Do: The Unix Server

Transitioning from the Man Cave to the Dog Lounge.

Upgrades are inevitable. 

After backing up more than a few hard drives (lots of images), it became apparent that I needed more hard drive space and better organization of my data.  The most cost effective way to do this was to 'upgrade' an old HP Desktop that I have.  It has been upgraded to a Two Terra-byte drive, a new cooling fan and a new operating system (Linux Lite)

Since I was tearing it apart, I thought I might as well do a little 'art' work on it and get rid of some of that old spray paint that has been cluttering up the Imagination Zone.  Hence, the old Black Hewlett-Packard Desktop is now the Red Media Server.   To make it look even more outstanding, I made a base for it from a discarded trash can and painted it bright blue.  Ad in the custom tall shop stool and a $99 flat screen from Walmart and a Lava Lamp and you have the 'new' $220 media player.

As an added curio, I also dug out the old Iomega Peerless swap-able hard drive.  Although their max capacity is only 20 gigabytes.  For when you positively, absolutely have to back up something small, right away. 

The servers only purpose is to store music and video content.  Currently there is about 28 days worth of music and several weeks of video (binge watch MadMan or Cosmos anyone?).  No streaming and no buffering in this dog lounge. The server is connected to the surround sound six speaker system for the lounge.  So the Dog Lounge now has the best sound system of any canine palace in this section of the country.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

He Saw / She Saw: Endless Night


It was my night to choose what we should watch and I picked this out as it was based on an Agatha Christie novel.  For me, there were probably too many twists and turns.  I honestly did not like it.  Reading about it after the fact helped make the movie make more sense, but still...I would not recommend it


This looked good based on the liner notes.  The notes were wrong.  While one of the latter films scored by Bernard Herrmann, it has his unique stylized score, but that is about it.  Filmed in the art noveau style of the early 1970s, the plot is hard to follow and the characters seem to wander aimlessly.  When the ending finally rolls around, there is a big disappointment.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

For RePeats Sake: Hullabaloo Vol 1 & 2

Take Away: 

Volumes 3 & 4 were so infectious, I went back to the well for more.  Its sort of like your first taste of cotton candy at the County Fair, you want more.  This didn't disappoint.  There are more musical numbers here than I can recall, each interesting or entertaining, but there was one standout.  The trio between Nancy Sinatra, Lola Falana and Frankie Avalon where they harmonize and laugh through popular television theme songs from the 1960s was just too surreal.  I thought someone had dropped LSD in my coffee.  Check out the YouTube version

Monday, December 2, 2019

For RePeats Sake: Mstislav Rostropovich: J.S. Bach Cello Suites

Take Away:

Wow!  Never listened to this before and discovered that it is a 3 disc set totalling 5 sides.  This is a master class in classical music where Mstislav first discusses the piece (in detail) and then performs it solo in a cavernous cathedral.  I rate this series by how often I stop and watch the repeating Laserdisc while walking through the room.  I often stood for lengthy periods of time mesmerized by Rostropovich's virtuosity. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

For RePeats Sake: Cindy Crawford - Shape Your Body Workout (with Radu!)

Take Away:

I have often wondered who purchased and actually used these disc after more than 1 or 2 viewings.  Not a bad video, especially if you like ogling Cindy.  Every time I see a workout video like this, I chuckle at the fact that most of these celebrity fitness experts have the resources to do stretching and yoga on a beach or a high-rise Manhattan rooftop.  Must be nice. 

He Saw / She Saw - The Thriller Collection / Masquarade


"Masquerade" first aired on network TV on October 30, 1961 -- the 43rd episode of the "Thriller" series.

Tom Poston and Elizabeth Montgomery play a young married couple that takes refuge from a storm in an old mansion (the PSYCHO house). John Carradine plays his creepy role as the head of the family that could be vampires, cannibals or just plain murderers.   

The episode was more amusing rather than scary, and the twist ending will either bring a smile or a groan to the viewer.  I was not impressed


Back in the day, you had 'The Twilight Zone', 'The Outer Limits' and this show.  While the other two had either great writing or pushed the bounds of television horror, this one just has Boris Karloff.  

This episode highlights a very young Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) and Tom Poston with a lot of dialog that requires a suspension in belief.  (i.e finding someone dead in the basement and then going to the kitchen to scramble eggs).  

In the end, there is sarcasm and a comedic ending but not much else.