My computer was shipped back to me with a broken screen. Fuckers. Fortunately, as it turns out I will be able to get a new one this evening (assuming I find the right model at the right price with the features I need).

Though I am excited about getting the new laptop it's still a bitch because I lost some stuff I really wanted to keep. Not much, but you know...I put a lot of work and  effort into cataloging my CD collection into a database...history. I had a slew of Jonsi concert zip files and they're gone, baby gone. Stuff I'd collected to use in my Acid Studio projects...several files I'd ripped from old cassette tapes of bands I used to play in and even a few recordings of my son playing when he was, like, three years old. Luckily I still have the original tapes so it will only be the hassle of doing it all again that makes me angry. Also very lucky that I still have the CD-R software disc for the Acid Studio. It will be the first program I install on the new machine (right after the AVG). However I WILL be losing everything I started on but didn't get a chance to finish as well as the loops, one shots, sound bytes and raw material I've been collecting over the past two and a half years. I'll have to make my Internet "favorites" list all over again...it was stocked pretty full, especially with mp3 music blogs. I'll be able to retrieve some of them that are subscribed to in my reader, and a lot of them were exported to a Delicious account, so I'm hoping the loss on that front won't be too bad.

Oh well...I guess I was ready for a fresh start. At least I'll have a working DVD drive and won't have to use a USB headphone jack. It will probably take a little time to get used to Windows 7 but I don't foresee that being a huge issue. There were 2 or 3 things I didn't like about my VAIO, things that, had I known about them, would have influenced my decision of whether to purchase it or not. It will work out okay, I hope. 

Music Video of the Week: Mark Kozelek

"Katy's Song"
Mark Kozelek


Music Video of the Week: Bryan Ferry

"Slave to Love"
Bryan Ferry

Sorry I didn't post last week. You'll notice I haven't posted much of ANYTHING in the last week or so. I can't account for the last several days before yesterday, but my computer is currently at the shop with a screwed up AC jack. Required repair, seeing as how the battery in the thing has been dead for a couple of years. I'll also be getting a new DVD drive put in to replace the other that, much like the battery, conked out around that time. Not really essential, as I have made do without it for so long, I could probably get by until I get lucky enough to purchase a new computer (but who knows when that will be? Not soon enough for me, I tell you).

I'm thinking it will be around this time next week that I'll get the sucker back, maybe a little sooner if I get lucky. Until then, there's some really cool shit stored in the archives. Take a trip back in time and see the goodies I have waiting for you.


A difficult question

I'd like to propose a question...if you choose to respond you may reply in a comment. If you wish to keep your answer private, you can always log in as "anonymous" or, even better, send your answer to my facebook page. It is a very serious THEORETICAL question that will likely make many of you feel uneasy. You may well wish to ignore it for that very reason. I certainly would understand. But I would appreciate the input of anyone who chooses to answer, and much more so for those who would offer the reasons for their answers.

Straight up front, I am interested in the importance of the tenets of religion in a practical manner. Not necessarily the abandonment of faith (unless that is the conclusion that the person arrives to). And it's not necessarily about choosing one faith/belief system over another (once again, unless the individual decides that such action is required in his/her particular instance). That's really all the explanation I think is required, as the purpose of the question is fairly obvious.

Here is the question:

Theoretically, your son or daughter is diagnosed with terminal cancer and realistically has less than a year to live. If you don't have children, substitute with any other VERY close relative or friend. Now, suppose that you learn, in such a manner that absolutely NO doubt can be cast on the "relevator"'s authority, ability and reliability to do as promised, that your relative/friend would be completely healed to lead a very long and productive life...with one condition:

You have to give up/deny a central tenant of your belief system (or lack of belief, if you are an atheist). You may not be told which one, or then again, you might. But one thing is for sure, it will be a belief that would wreck your individual understanding of God. Not that you would completely lose your faith, but you'd definitely have to, more or less, "start over again from scratch, witholding the denied tenet". Example: it could be the Virgin Birth, if you're a Christian. Or even the resurrection. A Hare Krishna devotee might be asked to stop chanting. A Muslim might be required to stop praying towards Mecca daily. A Jew might be expected to halt the practice of infant circumcision.

This is what you're asked to do in order to save the life of your child. Or your mother. Or your father. Sister or brother, whoever and whichever has the strongest emotional attachment to you. If you don't accept the offer, he/she will surely, without a doubt, die within the year. You may live the rest of your life in grief and mourning, tied down to the knowledge that you could have saved his/her life if you'd accepted the terms. You could call it a sacrifice made for the sake of your religion, which you firmly believe to be the inspired revelation and truth of God. Your sacrifice to your faith would be literally the sacrifice OF your loved one.

But, on the other hand, if you DO abandon that certain tenet required of you, what then? If you're a Christian, will you go to hell when you die? If Hindu, will you remain stuck on the Karmic wheel indefinitely as a lower form of being? And how would you go through the rest of your life KNOWING that, according to the religion you've just torn down? Damned for all time, fully aware. Within this scenario there's no way you can gain back what you've given away. Which would be worse? Certain damnation or your remaining years filled with grief and despair at your own hands?

"We'll meet again in heaven", you might say if you'd stuck to your guns and watched your child die. Here's the deal: IS THAT ENOUGH? Is your faith so strong, the certainty of your sureness so infallible that you're willing to take that chance? Not for the sake of others, as this exchange would be between you and the "miracle worker" alone. But you alone will live with your decision. What if your child had not been baptized yet? What if he had never "accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior"? What happens to your idea of "seeing your boy in heaven"?

But is it fair to ask that?

I'm sure it's not "fair" to ask the question I'm asking now, anyway. But it gave me time to reflect on important things when it came to me, and maybe it will do the same for you.

Thanks all, for your consideration, even if you choose not to respond.


Sigur Ros on NPR's Bryant Park Project show

I'm fairly certain I've already posted this, but it's been a long time ago. Might as well post it again.


This makes me want to pull my dusty copy of A Course in Miracles off the shelf and read it again.


Music Video of the Week: Beethoven (Kempff)

A day early for the Music Video of the Week. I might as well blame it on the blizzard like conditions outside. But that won't do, because we're gonna be snowed in tomorrow anyway. Nowhere to go. There is, however, the chance, loath as I am to even mention it, that the power lines will be down, so I figured I might as well post today while I still have an idea of what exactly I want to feature this week.

The last few days I have been on a real Beethoven kick, and it seems as if the piano sonatas are the forms I keep returning to. By the time I'm done with it I hope to have a much greater appreciation of the great man's music. So here's the complete Moonlight Sonata as performed by Wilhelm Kempf.

1st movement:

2nd movement

3rd movement:

"Moonlight Sonata"
Ludwig Van Beethoven
(performed by Wilhelm Kempf)