לשנה טובה! זה תשע״ח

Oh… *ehem*… my apologies…

So it’s Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish new year. The year is 5778. For two days, we celebrate and eat far too much delicious food, so that the week after, on Yom Kippur, we can fast for around 24 hours or so to atone for our sins (because unlike Catholics, we only have to feel guilty once a year, instead of year round… we spend the rest of the year making everybody else feel guilty. BOOM! [I can make that joke because I’m Jewish… you can’t… unless you’re Jewish]).

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Streaming Service for Rare, Hard-to-Find, and Out of Print Music

I’ve already posted most of this on Facebook, so it will be familiar to some or all of y’all. But here I’m gonna expand a tad…

First, like I said on Facebook… I’ve been going over the take-down of What.CD, a private torrent site that, yes, shared official material (music, audiobooks, e-books, etc… no video, though).

Now, before I continue, I’m going to quote what I said on Facebook:

No, I don’t want to talk about how or why I know as much as I do about it, and yes, I agree that piracy is wrong, it’s right that piracy is illegal, people should support artists they love with money, and blah blah blah… we’re not having that conversation here.

And I’m gonna stress that here. We’re not here to discuss the relative morality of torrenting sites, question why I know as much as I do about the site, etc. So that’s the commenting policy. And that includes you, too, NSA, CIA, and FBI.

So anyways… I called What.CD the Library of Alexandria of music, and one of the reasons for that is because What.CD amassed an amazing collection of out of print, rare, hard to find, and/or prohibitively expensive music you basically couldn’t find anywhere else. It was incredible what could be found on What.CD, what new music you could find that you never heard before, and so on. And now that’s gone. Sure, torrent sites are like a massively exagerrated Hydra (shut down one site, a thousand more will pop up in its place), but it’s going to take a seriously long time to rebuild the What.CD Library.

But there could be another way, too… a… perhaps… more legal way… to rebuild a part of that library and make it accessible to everyone…

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Welp… Guess I’m a Terrorist, Now…

Okay… I should probably qualify that title a bit… thanks to my anxiety, I haven’t actually participated in many protests (though I’m working up the courage to actually start participating in more… and I have participated in dialogues and such). Plus, despite realizing that I’m not a pacifist, I’m actually a coward who’s usual reaction to face-to-face conflict is to curl up into the fetal position and cry for Mommy. So… you know…

However, I do support Antifa and consider myself Antifa, and I’m friends and comrades with Antifa. Despite the qualifications above, I am part of it… or at least I try to be…

So… that title? It’s not clickbait.

The DHS has officially classified Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.

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Some Stream-of-Consciousness About Nazis

I haven’t posted about Nazi invasion and terrorist attack in Charlottesville because I’m feeling… well…

You can easily see my thoughts and things on Facebook, where I let loose a tad with the re-posts…

But anyways…

I don’t really have much to say, to be honest. I’m grappling with my feelings, because, at the moment, I have to deal with the fact that I genuinely feel fine seeing these Nazis killed… and I’m not okay with that. That does not make me comfortable or happy. It seems like a betrayal of my ethics, considering I’m against the death penalty.

But these are also Nazis. I don’t think there’s another group in modern history that can be considered as evil as Nazis. And now they’re here, in the United States, in 2017, marching in our streets and killing citizens.

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Quick Life Update

I apologize for the massively decreased posting here. I’m not leaving. A lot of things are in the way right now. So there’s a few reasons for my seeming silence here…

The first is the fact that the publicize feature is broken. In the past, when I published a post, it automatically got sent out to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and even LinkedIn. Now I have to do all that manually. I don’t have a problem with this for APotW and GGS, but for more in-depth posts I want people to dig into, the extra step of manually putting these out on my social networks is kinda annoying.

The second is that things in my life have taken an… interesting… turn. I work at Teavana, and Starbucks has announced that it will be closing all Teavana’s by Spring 2018. Unless I’m working at Starbucks by that time (they will have to hire me as whatever their equivalent of a team lead is, or as an assistant manager, and at a higher hourly wage than what I’m making now, which is $10), I’ll post my thoughts on all of this, on Teavana, and stuff like that. I’d call it a “tell all”, but it’s just going to be my opinion, others will disagree, and, well…

Teavana is, perhaps, not the most popular place in the tea community, and there are good reasons for that. But there’s a lot of good at Teavana, as well, not the least of which is that it has actually served as a reliable stepping stone for people interested in giving up soda and coffee and the like and want to move beyond the bagged stuff… so it won’t all be bad.

As for the third thing…

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Pointless Rant: Why I Won’t Get an iPhone

I’m very stubborn about what I require in a cell phone. The basics, of course… wi-fi and 4G connectability, access to apps, good phone call quality, good sound quality, and so on; the kind of stuff that most people today expect in a smart phone. I like having a portable internet, and as it gets better, I get happier.

But there are four specific things I require that seem less and less popular these days as more and more companies move away from them. The various reasons people give for not needing these things anymore are nice and all, but I simply don’t agree.

Unfortunately, some of the best phones on the market currently lack these features, meaning I have to sacrifice performance for their sake, which gets more and more annoying as time goes on.

For example… I’ve reached a point of abhorring my current phone, the LG G4. I got it, in part, because it offered all the features I want, plus many others that had me excited. Many of those features, however, have become useless as this phone breaks down with major, annoying lag. And apps like Clean Master don’t help; they largely just make it worse. Despite even that, however, I still demand these four features, and until technologies are good enough that even having them as a security blanket is pointless, I will continue to demand them.

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Reminder: GGS, AP of the W, and Self Care in General All Open for Submissions

I just want to remind readers that Self Care in general, as well as Great Guitar Solos and Astronomy Picture of the Week are open for submissions. I’m eventually going to run out of stuff to post in these series, and would love to know what space pictures/videos/ideas you find interesting, what guitar solos you love, and what videos, pictures, recipes, etc you just enjoy and make you feel good, so I can post them here.

Don’t be shy! I’m genuinely curious, and I’d be happy to share it!

Self Care – Star Wars Anthology Films That Should Happen (3 YouTube Videos)

I have to be honest… my Star Wars fandom was a late-bloomer. Although I largely agree with people that the prequel trilogy was… well… crap, that’s also when I became aware of Star Wars, and found myself interested in it… which is why I will never hate the prequel trilogy as much as some others do.

And of course I loved The Force Awakens and Rogue One, I can’t wait for The Last Jedi, and I’m actually looking forward to the Han Solo movie, as well.

We’re going to be getting a lot of Star Wars films going into the future, too. One every year. And there are rumors that Disney is looking at Netflix for live-action Star Wars series, which would also be incredible. So, of course, many many people have discussed what anthologies they’d want to see.

Featured here are three videos discussing anthology wish lists. The first two videos are in fact connected, as they’re a collaboration. The third video is a completely separate/independent video on the same topic. Then I’ll follow that up with two subjects I personally want to see explored in live-action form…

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