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Here is a video of one of Prattville’s leading citizens in beginner band.

No, really – loading ALL my CDs into the iPod classic

I just recently moved, and the best thing about it, besides picking up 500 more square feet and a garage, is that I FOUND ABOUT 15 MISSING CDs! When I did the “load all the CDs into my iPod maneuver” earlier this year, I’d had the nagging feeling I was missing some. In fact, I knew for a fact I was, but I couldn’t put my hands on them. In the course of unpacking boxes, I found them. iTunes library complete!

In other news, I can now put my hands on all my books, too.

Old phones, planned obsolesence, and you.

Started a twitter conversation about iPhone vs. Android that is gonna take more than 140 characters…

My wife got an iPod touch well over 2 years ago. She got an iPhone 4 maybe a year ago.

Meanwhile, I’ve had some smart phone or another for years, the latest being the Motorola Droid (sometimes called Droid 1, I suppose, but whatever – it was the original, introduced as the first Android phones were coming out).

I totally get the fact that no piece of technology will be as cool and super as the day you unwrap it. Read more

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Leadership Autauga Update

Been too busy to update since Tuesday night. Kimmie Ellis’ presentation was a big hit – her mother Martha may be out of a job (inside joke). Seriously, that’s probably one of the best pieces of actual learning about leadership we do all year – the rest is “OJT” as we work on the project and look at our state and local leaders in action.

Speaking of the project, I’m proud of the class for having generated several good project ideas. I’ll keep those under wraps, but their work so far is leading toward the pick of a final project idea very soon, hopefully board approval of that idea, and then they can get to work on it. Whatever it is, it will be something that benefits the community.

Here are some pictures from the retreat (click to view the complete album):

 

Leadership Autauga Retreat 2011

Leadership Autauga Retreat

Tonight we’re in Auburn, having wrapped up the first day of the Leadership Autauga Retreat. Or should I say night. The group got here in time to check in and get dinner, followed by some team-building exercises by Keith Duck which served to break the ice. Grown-ups don’t get enough chances to do silly things to really get to know each other, and Keith does a great job of bringing the ideas, the props, and the enthusiasm which gets everyone on a first-name basis in a matter of hours.

And then I had to take over and do left-brain stuff – we did a quick overview of LA’s history and purpose, followed by a brief brain-storming session about potential projects.

We’ll hit it again tomorrow with some discussion about leadership and personality traits, led by Kimmie Ellis.

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Rotary Club flier

Rotary golf flyer 2011

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Where I was

I was, inexplicably, heading down to Dothan to try to sell promotional products. To funeral homes. Yes, it was a bad idea, as was continuing to head that way after I stopped in Troy and saw TV coverage of the first strike. I think I was just kind of in shock after that, especially after hearing on the radio about the second strike, and the slowly dawning comprehension that this wasn’t an accident. Read more

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A few *more* random things about loading music into my iPod Classic

(you might want to read this post first. And this one. And this one. Or not.)

  • that comment about ending up with one huge album called GREATEST HITS? Well, funny I should have mentioned that, because I did eventually notice that in the album listing was one huge album called – you guessed it. I had to go in and rename them Greatest Hits (Artist name), etc. THIS doesn’t show up in album flip view, which I was using to try to find the scattered tracks. Not even sure it was showing up in the album thumbnail views. I think I eventually noticed it when searching for a specific track.
  • Here’s a weird one. My brother has a Mac McAnally album (self-titled) in vinyl. It’s from 1977, and it’s not even available in iTunes. So I asked a friend to dub the album to CD. He did so, and separated it into tracks for me. I loaded the CD into iTunes for ripping, expecting to have to manually enter all track info. It came up with all track names and the album name, perfectly (I had to add the album art manually, natch). I asked my friend later if he’d put the artist/title info into the track data. He hadn’t. Even assuming iTunes is performing a Shazam-style analysis of the wave form on the tracks, this is weird because I can’t buy the album on iTunes (I did find that shazam.com had the track data for this album on their site, and says their track data is courtesy of iTunes. Hmmmm.).

 

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And have I mentioned my guitar habit?

A little over a year ago, Nathan decided to start playing guitar. I’d played guitar a little several years ago, so I decided to buy an inexpensive Yamaha guitar and work on playing guitar with him.

I’ve continued to practice and work with a friend of mine on guitar (Nathan’s taking lessons as well). Somewhere along the way I picked up a Epiphone SG electric. About a month ago I bought an Epiphone Masterbilt acoustic/electric. Mostly I’ve worked on rhythm guitar fingerpicking.

It’s a lot different than playing a horn. For one thing, knowing how to read music is only marginally useful. The old joke goes “How do you make a guitarist play quieter?” “Put music in front of him.”

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Entering all my CDs in the iPod, Part III

A few random notes on the process, some of which isn’t going to totally make sense because I started this post and then forgot to post it, so it’s updated before it posts:

  • there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been feeding the CDs to iTunes basically any time I can have the laptop set up and do other work. Last few days I’ve been on the road locally a lot, but even so I’m down to a manageable stack.
  • Gracenotes provides accurate data 99% of the time. The rest of the time it’s in Chinese (perhaps still accurate, but doesn’t do me much good). I’m kind of impressed at how it seems to have virtually every album that was actually published (as opposed to self-published).
  • However, album art is often not there when you say “Get Album Artwork.” I’m sure it works better for something recent, but older CDs, especially genre CDs – forget it. I’m sure there are copyright issues involved. Some of the things it does pull up have been amusing. A white guy named Charlie, in a cowboy hat, in place of Charlie Parker, for example.
  • Fortunately for that last point, Google Images almost always has it for you. I’ve only had to make something up entirely once or twice. I do admit to having a picture of Bambi on one recording of “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”
  • Getting albums together, as opposed to scattered through the collection, has been a challenge. They’re hard to spot in any iTunes view except the album flip view. Wish there was a big magic button to pull an album together if some key field, say, to pick an example at random, THE ALBUM TITLE is all identical. I realize nothing is as easy as it sounds. Perhaps one would end up with an album with 153 tracks called GREATEST HITS… still there has to be a way.
  • Update – I’m completely through, although I recall owning some CDs that I can’t seem to put my hands on. Perhaps they’ll be added sometime after I move, or clean out a mini-warehouse… approximately 3,300 tracks, 30 GB or so, although my computer count doesn’t exactly agree with the iPod. To celebrate, I bought Jason Harrod’s album Living in Skin from iTunes. Good stuff!
  • And then Sunday I ran into a friend whose music collection is about 500 GB. Huh.
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