Extended or: All Quiet

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Salutations™!!

I admit that other than working a major Quickbooks snafu and cooking with 3B, I did nothing today. Still enjoying my mini holiday. So, with that, I don’t really feel like typing much today. So, instead, I’ll leave a video. Because I’m in a mood for it, here’s a Depeche Mode cover from Message to Venus.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


Come with me into the trees. We’ll lay on the grass and let the hours pass. Take my hand. Come back to the land. Let’s get away just for one day. Let me see you stripped down to the bone.” – “Stripped” (Gore)

Happy Fourth or: TLD Lite

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Salutations™!!

The BCPF went into The Lab at Industry Hill with me today and we did our own little version of The Less Desirables. We talked music and ‘Murica. Listen HERE.

1-4th

But, it’s the holiday and I’m off now. Have a great time grilling and chilling, Dear Reader.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Kiss is a Fourth of July fireworks show with a backbeat.” – Gene Simmons

Piggybackin’ from The Lab or: How Many Coffee Shops Does It Take?

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Salutations™!!coffee

Today on The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast, I flew solo as Kelly had to work and my scheduled guest had to reschedule. It’s okay. I talked about the 146 coffee shops in the downtown-ish area, things that are moving and July 4th, along with other things. It was the shortest episode I’ve recorded in several months. However, I want Kelly to come back soon so we can do the regular-length/regular-style podcast. You can listen to the episode HERE.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I go to coffee shops for my outlet. Which is just not healthy at all.” – Jane Lynch

Settling In or: The Shows that Weren’t

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Salutations™!!

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The Lonely Studio

Today, after having all the stuff set up and ready to go, doing The Less Desirables so that it was first, and Fan Interference was canceled today. The guest for tomorrow’s The Man Who Ate the Town had to cancel and Kelly isn’t going to be there because of her job. We will have Apartment 5B as far as I know. But, I was kind of bummed. No one has seen the studio outside TLD, 3B, Our Jim and The BCPF. At least A5B will be there. I may still do TMWATT tomorrow, though.

That’s all I got today… Until tomorrow, Scorp out!


“We’re all influenced by everything unless we’re locked in an empty room.” – Nicolas Roeg

Spinning Sunday or: The Haul 6/30/18

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Salutations™!!

The BCPF and I were up early to head to Mary’s Gourmet Diner and then over to Underdog Records, yesterday. We were actually home before noon and that gave us over six hours of record listening before heading to Willows Bistro last night. That was great! Here’s the haul:

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©Atlantic Records

  • Skid Row – Skid Row – I have always been a fan of Sebastian Bach’s voice. He’s got power and soul. His range is amazing, too. This is a VG++ copy of the album was priced at about $20, so it was in magnificent shape and it was so fun listening to it on vinyl after years of CD listening. Great pickup!
  • Extreme – Extreme II: Pornograffitti – I wore the CD out for this album when I discovered it back in the very early 90s. I hate Gary Cherone’s voice outside of Extreme (like in Van Halen), but in Extreme, it fits darned-near perfectly. This was a VG++ copy. Now, my beef with the vinyl version of this album is the exclusion of “Hole Hearted.” I understand there are space limitations on vinyl (see my post a few months back about Dire Strait’s Brothers in Arms) but “Hole Hearted” made it to #4 on the charts! They could have left off “It (‘s a Monster)” or something else. Oh well. I also think this is the Canadian version of the album.
  • Polvo – Shapes – I had never heard of this band before but The BCPF says that they were a staple of the Chapel Hill scene in the early- and mid-90s. I know that it was mixed and partially recorded at my pal Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium in K-Ville. It was a lot of soft to heavy stuff and I enjoyed listening with her. It was in VG++ shape.
  • Various – Lost In The Stars (The Music Of Kurt Weill) – Kurt Weill was a German/American composer and songwriter active in the 1920s through to his death in 1950. Perhaps his best-known work was The Threepenny Opera which featured the song “Mack the Knife.” This tribute has Sting, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Marianne Faithfull, Todd Rundgren and others doing his songs. I loved all of it. The BCPF liked some of it. It was great stuff, to me. VG+.
  • Chris Stamey Group Special Guests The dB’s – Christmas Time – Chris Stamey is a Chapel Hill, NC native that spent a lot of time in WSNC. He was in bands with Alex Chilton of Big Star and he was also in Sneakers with Mitch Easter. He later formed the dBs with Peter Holsapple, which along with REM and Let’s Active (Easter’s band) led the charge for guitar bands in the southeast. It’s a Christmas album. That’s what I know of it other than what I’ve already said. VG+.
  • The Dream Academy – The Dream Academy – Yes, “Life in a Northern Town.” But, this album was so much more than just that song. The whole album is in that vein but it’s just as good as that song. This was in the $1 bin and there was a skip here and there but very little. I’m going to say VG.
  • Van Halen – Van Halen – the awesome first VH album and I got it for $1. After cleaning it up, it was in really good shape. Not much surface noise at all and not a single skip. I was quite pleased with that acquisition. I’ll go with VG.
  • The J. Geils Band – Ladies Invited – I don’t recognize any songs on here, but it was $1, so why not? VG.
  • Go-Go’s – Beauty And The Beat  – Yep, “Head Over Heels,” “This Town,” and “We Got the Beat.” No skips and it was only $1. VG.
  • Various – Top Gun (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – $1 bin find. You don’t pass this soundtrack up. VG.
  • Michel Legrand And His Orchestra – The New I Love Paris – I’ve said it before but The BCPF and I are obsessed with French music from the 50s and 60s. It was $1 so there you go. VG-.

So, a while back, Jonathan had given me a crate of “warped” records that he was going to let me do some experimenting with because I wanted to play with flattening them. I went through some of them yesterday and while there was a little bit of warble on the turntable, none of the ones I pulled were too awfully bad. So, here’s what I cleaned from that stack:

  • Christopher Cross – Another Page – It’s the album with “All Right” and “Think of Laura.” The LP itself was in pretty good shape with the slightest warp. I would say it’s about VG.
  • Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim – Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim – Ol’ Blue Eyes. Not too bad. VG-.
  • Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch and Bruce Springsteen – Lucky Town – Sister releases, ninth and tenth of Springsteen’s studio albums, released on the same day. Lucky Town was still sealed. They each had a little warble but all in all, VG/VG+.
  • The Beach Boys – Endless Summer – 2xLP compilation album. I had to do some serious washing on this album and there were some spots on the album that I have no idea what it is. I washed it extra long and most but not all of that scum came off of the wax. I’d say G+, and that’s being generous.
  • Richard Marx – Rush Street – I’m a huge fan of Richard Marx, whether I should be or not. I dig him. One of my favorite tunes from him and this album is “Hazard.” I love the story. Not much warp, either. VG/VG+.
  • K.T. Oslin – 80’s Ladies – Still sealed and not much warpage. VG/VG+.
  • Various – Happy Days – Fonzie Favorites – Yeah, I don’t know. It was there and I couldn’t resist cleaning it to see what came of it. I’ve not listened to it but it’s mostly Doo-wop and old rock and roll. Everly Brothers, Bobby Darin, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Chantels, etc. VG.
  • Bee Gees – 1st – The guys, including the non-Brothers Gibb, look way young. It’s the coolest that Barry Gibb has ever looked, I’d say. It’s called 1st and for a major label, it is their first, but it’s third in their actual discography. It has the tune “New York Mining Disaster 1941” on it. VG. Mono.
  • Tom Jones – What A Night – I love me some Tom Jones. According to its Wikipedia page, “the album was promoted by Epic as showing a more sensitive and thoughtful side to the singer.” Okay. G+.

So, that’s a pretty good haul or at least a pretty good addition. Jonathan had a pretty good selection of receivers and turntables in Underdog Records yesterday. It’s a great way to start your record collecting (besides having something to play them on), having good and decent equipment.

Thanks to Discogs for providing a place to keep a record of what I have in my collection. Last night at Willows I was able to compare notes and collections with my good friend Michael. Discogs is great.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“A Salvation Army band played and the children drank lemonade and the morning lasted all day, all day. And through an open window came, like Sinatra in a younger day, pushing the town away, away. Life in a northern town.” – “Life in a Northern Town” (Laird-Clowes/Gabriel)

Sounds Like Saturday or: Stefano Como

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Salutations™!!

One of the albums we picked up this week from Underdog Records was Skid Row’s debut album. I love Sebastian Bach’s voice on the first two Skid Row albums. I wish I could sing like that. I was looking for others who could do it and I came across this fellow who, I believe, is Italian. He has a slight accent which gives me that impression, along with his name. He does a really good job with a little strain at the end but, shuh… no doubt. I don’t think Bas can do it anymore, either. So, here’s Stefano!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out


“Remember yesterday, walking hand in hand. Love letters in the sand, I remember you. Through the sleepless nights through every endless day. I’d want to hear you say, I remember you.” – “I Remember You” (Bolan/Sabo)

A New Sponsor or: X1 Marks the Spot

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Salutations™!!

So, the entire The Less Desirables Network got a new sponsor this week! I am so very proud to announce our partnership with X1 Communications, the standard of internet providers in the downtown WSNC area!X1 Logo

Nathan Geipel, the owner-operator of X1 Communications is a member of TBD Referral Group that I’m part of (that stands for The Best Damn Referral Group) and I know that most of the businesses in the downtown area rely on them for their internet needs. So, when I was going into The Lab at Industry Hill, I called on him to see if they serviced that location. Wait, what? Don’t all internet providers in the area service all the area?

Nope.

X1 Communications are different than traditional internet providers in town. First of all, X1 uses “Fixed Wireless” technology. According to their website: Fixed Wireless is the process of enabling communications between two locations, using a radio as a wireless link. Say what!? Yes, they do not use wired technology. They’re not renting lines from bigger communications companies. They have radios on a few of the taller buildings downtown. In order for them to service your business, they have to have a line-of-sight connection with your business from those points. At that point, the data is transferred between radios using passwords and high-level encryption to ensure fast and secure data transfer. This stuff is high speed!

Does the line-of-sight provision limit their reach? Well, kind of, but what it does is allows Nate and Josh to take care of and provide high-level service to the folks they do serve. I think that’s important.

They own their entire network. Unlike their competitors who rent wires from the phone company, they are not beholden to those primitive measures and can guarantee 99.99% uptime. Which, is imperative to business owners, especially those like me who are internet-based. I didn’t have to buy any special equipment, either. They put the radio on the roof of the building and the building was already wired internally. I plugged my router into the port and BAM! I’m surfing and uploading.

I don’t have to worry about weather problems, either. Their network is on the 5Ghz bandwidth so it is “weather resistant.” I’m not really sure what that means and it doesn’t matter if I know or not, it’s taken care of.

I know what you’re asking. “Is it safe?” Oh yes. X1 uses AES 256 Encryption – the same
level of security as the Dept. of Defense. So, my info, data, properties and all that are quite secure. And, man… it’s fast. The only thing worse than slow internet is no internet. X1 guarantees consistently high speeds, so you focus on your work, not your broadband service. That helps.

Are you like me and tired of dealing with Spectrum and AT&T? Well now, you don’t have to. No more hassle in dealing with the major telecommunications companies. You’re in the capable hands of a local provider, with a history of excellence.

Have I done an ample job of pushing X1 Communications? I hope so, because not only are they my sponsors, I think they have a great product and we know that I love promoting local businesses, especially the ones that I can get behind. But, if you’re looking for more testimonials, I’m sure you can ask Alma Mexicana, Krankie’s, Inmar, BB&T Ballpark, The Ramkat, WBFJ, Camino Bakery and fellow TLD sponsor, Underdog Records. I am sure all of them would give you raving reviews of X1 Communications, too. If you’re in line-of-sight of the taller buildings downtown WSNC and want high-speed broadband internet, contact X1 Communications at (336) 773-9950.

Here’s welcoming X1 Communications to the CrewTLD family! Thanks, Nate and Josh!

Until tomorrow, broadcasting at breakneck speeds…
Scorp out!


“With more than 20 years of combined experience in the field of Digital Communications, X1 is proud to provide custom internet solutions to a variety of businesses and residents.” – X1 Communications

The Space Within or: Mad Lab?

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Salutations™!!

Last night, Danielle, Bethany and I recorded the first ever episode of The Less Desirables from our new digs. I have used that term a lot in the last bit but I feel it’s appropriate for this location. Anywhat! Now that we have all the ducks in place, I am in a position to tell you guys of the new space and give you a (virtual) tour.

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Main Office Area

First, the location itself. You know, Dear Reader, that we were in the Test Pattern Studios that were in the back of, you guessed it, the Test Pattern bar; right across from The Garage on 7th Street. Well, we are now about 4 blocks north, almost exactly, from that location. We are now on N Chestnut Street. The area is called Industry Hill (or at least we’re trying to make it so). It’s between 7th Street and Northwest Blvd. It’s where the Warehouse District is/was and whilst some are saying there’s no industry here, I say poppycock. Warehousing is an industry. Textiles is an industry. Furniture is an industry. There is plenty of industry here.

But, my plan to expand Such-N-Such Media into a real media company that goes beyond just podcast production and voice-overs. My new location is more than just a podcast studio. Here’s how it works out.

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The NC Libations Collection

First, there’s the main area. It sits about 300 square feet. I plan on getting a TV and streaming programming on it, including offering some advertising space to sponsors. Yes, the traffic is limited but we do get a good bit of guests coming through for the various podcasts (and other future things) so it’s just another incentive. That’s where the beer fridge is and out great friends over at Machine Gun Graphics are going to make me a huge TLD logo like we used to have in the Chatham Bldg studio. It leads to all the other rooms and studios. It also has all the bottles and libations from the guests on Sipping NC: The Art of Drinking podcast.

 

Then there’s the podcast/VO/production room. This is where all the magic happens. The six-foot round table that we have had for the last several years is too big. It fits but it makes it hard for people to sit around the table. So, our pals at Sunnyside Mill Works is going to custom make us a four-foot round table. So then we have something special; something no one else has.

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The Podcast Studio

Next, the video room. It’s awfully plain right now but I’m going to hang a green screen, a black muslin sheet and a white muslin sheet so I can create nearly any background I need to for video and photography. That opens up my service availability and scope of operations.

Something that I’ve never had before? An actual office for Such-N-Such Media, Such-N-Such Limited (the company that owns the media company) or any of the podcasts. Now, I do. Odd blue walls and all. I don’t know how much I’ll be in there as of right now but I do plan on using it in the future.

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Video Studio

I have my own bathroom that I don’t have to share with the rest of the building. The rest of the building has to use the communal restrooms. One of the coolest things in there is an old Wachovia bank vault. Well, it’s night drop safe with a Night Depository “slot” that is made of die-cast iron and what appears to be brass. It’s still pretty cool.

The building we’re in used to be the EG Forrest main offices. EG Forrest was a food distribution company that sold their company a few years back. Being as they were a food distributor, their breakroom actually had a hood system like in restaurants, although there is no stove or grill under it. I am sure there used to be. There is also a commercial grade dishwasher that was left behind and it powers on. Chef Travis said they use the same one at Willows Bistro and is getting me in touch with their technician so I can have him check it out and see if we can get it to work. That would mean I can get clean glasses without having to hand wash them. I hate doing that. So, keep your fingers crossed.

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The Office

Ideas for the name of the building has been floating around among the landlord and me. We have had a few other names which I think are cool but, for now, we are going with The Lab at Industry Hill. It’s sleek and classy. Odd-kind of something of a name for a podcast called The Less Desirables, huh?

So, there’s the big secret. I did a sweep today of Test Pattern Studios to make sure that I had everything out as it was my deadline. It’s clear. Onto bigger and better things in the Lab at Industry Hill!

Check out the first podcast recorded there, last night, HERE.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I find podcasting an enticing space.” – Jason Calacanis

A Change in the Weather or: Not in My House

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Salutations™!!

Recently, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, was asked to leave a restaurant because the owner didn’t agree with her and after polling her staff, decided they didn’t want her there collectively. I can understand that. She’s a polarizing figure who, in my opinion, spews disgusting lies and (what has become the most annoying phrase of the year) “doubles down” on building those lies for our President. 2czedp

Now, before we get into some argument about politics, I’m actually going, to an extent, take up for her here. I will not debate politics, policy or Trump with you, Dear Reader, so keep that to yourself.

There was an article written for The New Yorker that was both condemning and condoning the action. Not really, I think their argument was basically it’s a tug-of-war between what’s right and just. I had no problem with the article, other than I had to grab the dictionary for a few of the things the author mentioned. I think it was a bit over-the-top with “look how verbose, how many idioms and how many college words I can put in here.” That’s fine. If I could, I would. Maybe. Anywhat! My good friend Mary posted it and I just felt compelled to offer an opinion; something I rarely do when it comes to politics. I loathe politics but I understand it’s a now-necessary evil. But, I wanted to share what I wrote about it.

Again, I don’t want a debate, I just wanted to post it. Here it is:

I believe we have become all-too-consumed by politics. It has crept into my daily thinking and I don’t like that. Yes, I’m liberal and yes I think inclusion is the best course of action, especially when the mere act of eating is the least political thing I can think of. We all do it. We all have to. Most of us enjoy it. But, should we exclude someone from a basic human process, such as eating, based on their political views or job? I almost guarantee that there are plenty of Ds and Rs that stand in the halls of the Capitol building yelling and arguing across the aisles at each other and then when their session is over, they go and have a beer together, talk about life, sports, music, whatever. Together. 

I agree, too, that with this administration, nothing is normal, at least in the traditional sense. This is the most polarizing I’ve ever seen politics and I’ll admit that I really haven’t paid much attention in my nearly 48 years. It’s hard not to notice any longer. I know teenagers who are having to grow up fast because they’re wondering what kind of world we’re leaving them. I’m not trying to make any political stance on this post, so I apologize if that appears to be the case.

However, I worry that exclusion of Sanders (whom I really cannot stand to even see her face or hear her voice) from a restaurant based on who she works for is going against all liberal logic (yes there is such a thing). It was mentioned in this article about how we threw our arms up and stomped our feet that a “Christian baker” wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a gay couple and we’re doing the same exact thing. 

Does Sanders deserve ridicule? In my eyes, yes because (again as the article alludes to) she chooses to spew forth the lies that her boss chooses to tell. But, not when she wasn’t doing anything political. People threatening her children, threatening her, excluding her and her ilk from the aforementioned basic human process, is not what we should do. 

I’m an Atheist, but I sit at many a dinner table with God-fearing Christians all the time. I don’t care what their beliefs are. I don’t care if I’m sitting across from Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Trump Supporters, Obama Lovers (which I do), etc. I have friends that make up a bit of everything. I’d hate to see any of them discriminated upon based on their thoughts and views. You don’t have to discuss it. I think the dinner table is one of the “sacred” places that you can share space with those you disagree with. 

There is nothing that says that you can only eat with “your kind.” This gets into the realm of “Whites Only” in my eyes. Just because you sup with them doesn’t mean you are like them. Eating with Christians doesn’t make me one. Eating with gay people doesn’t make me gay. It makes me a friend enjoying time with my friends. And I think we are all capable of having friends that are different, even if we choose not to. 

I’m not trying to start a debate. I just wanted to state my opinion. I am sorry that I hijacked this post, Mary, I just think we have to mindful of precedence if we choose to stop promoting inclusion and start promoting exclusion. My $1.32 worth.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“The best way to receive civility at night is to not assault it all day long.” – Adam Gopnik

No Piggy Mo Biscuit or: Settling

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Salutations™!!

So, there was no The Man Who Ate the Town podcast today as I was completing putting the puzzle together that is the Such-N-Such Limited/Media studios and offices. I am not going to go into great detail about the studio, yet, because I’m saving that until after we record The Less Desirables tomorrow. But, it will come, I promise. I’m very proud of it and want to share it with you, Dear Reader.

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The Anniversary Cake

But, since we didn’t do a show, I still need to talk to you about our sponsors. So, the Humble Bee Shoppe… did you see the cake that Brittany made for Mes ‘Rents’ anniversary? Man, scratch-made chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse, blackcurrant jam and vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream in white and gold and she topped with a peony and added some macarons. It was amazing and Mes ‘Rents and all the guests thought it was amazing! It was! You can find her at 1003 Brookstown Ave. here in town, on her website and on social media.

Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant is the most delicious and authentic Italian cuisine you’re going to find in town. Tony and Maria do everything in the classic tradition from lasagne and spaghetti to seafood and veal and all else in between. You really have to try it to believe how undeniably awesome this food is. Find them at 301 Brookstown, on their website and on social media.

If you’re downtown and want a great inexpensive lunch option, try Washington Perk’s deli (in the back) counter. How about needing some kombucha or specialty teas? They have those at Washington Perk! How about coffee? They serve Larry’s Beans coffee. And, of course, they have Wolfie’s Custard in about 15 flavors. The Perk is more than a convenience store and not quite a grocery store. Check them out at 301 W 4th Street downtown.

Also, today, I was witness to a biscuit bake-off at the headquarters of Biscuitville in Greensboro. I’ll speak more of that on The Man Who Ate the Town and then piggyback that here, but It was very interesting, even if it doesn’t sound like it would be. It was! Keep a watch for the article and podcast on the experience around Tuesday or so.

Well, that’s all I have today. I hope your day was good. I’m worn out!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Locally owned and operated since 1966, Biscuitville serves Southern Inspired food the old-fashioned way.” – Biscuitville