darkoshi: (Default)
It shouldn't take me two hours to decide how to reply to someone who sends me a short but pleasant friends request on a social media site that I really don't use anymore, and which I never really used much. But from which I don't want to remove my account, because memories and past friendships and familiar names.

... life is just a giddy-up, a go-go..

I have a version of this 1983 song from an Italian Dance hits CD. My MP3 player played it a few days ago, and the refrain keeps popping up in my head (an earworm, but not a bad one).

Video title: Ad Visser & Daniel Sahuleka - Giddyap A Gogo
Posted by: ronderw
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyQsyzHE-sA
darkoshi: (Default)
Rhiannon Giddens - Wayfaring Stranger

The above song sounds VERY familiar to me. It triggered a memory of a different voice singing it, in a slightly different way. But the song title is not present in my music collection, unless I taped it from the radio on one of my as yet uncatalogued audio cassettes.

I checked a list of other artists who have covered the song, and when I saw Dolly Parton's name, I thought "oh YES, that's the voice I was thinking of." But the only solo song I have by Dolly Parton is this one:
Dolly Parton - Little Sparrow

Both of those songs sound very similar to me. So that must be the song I was remembering.

Dolly Parton has sung Wayfaring Stranger, too. The beginning of it has the same sound as the above two, but once past 30 seconds in, it sounds very different. So this is NOT the song I was remembering.
Dolly Parton - Wayfaring Stranger

Audra May has sung a cover of Little Sparrow, which is also very good:
Audra Mae - Little Sparrow
darkoshi: (Default)
Remember that song I bought on iTunes, which was so much trouble to buy?

Not only that, but in addition to the price of the song I bought, iTunes charged me an extra $1 which they are now refusing to give back. When I initially contacted them about it via their Report a problem link, they replied by email that it was only an "authorization hold on my credit card" and that it would automatically drop off in an unspecified amount of time. I was dubious, as the $1 had been taken from my PayPal balance (which I told them), not from a credit card. However, I found a PayPal page which indicated that those kind of charges might take a month to get refunded, so I decided to wait that long to see, before bugging iTunes about it again. The $1 never got refunded.

After the month was over, I tried contacting iTunes again via the same link (twice!), but even though upon submitting the report, the confirmation page states that they'll get back to me within 48 hours, they haven't, either time. I didn't even get the immediate "We'll be in touch" email response like I did the first time. So it seems like their system is purposely ignoring me now. (Why? I can't figure that out.)

I had also tried disputing the charge via the PayPal site, however none of the choices PayPal provides for the reason of the dispute seemed applicable. I clicked what seemed the most relevant one and chose answers to the remaining questions that were presented to see what would happen, even though none of the answers were applicable. I thought I'd be given an opportunity to either Submit or Cancel at the end, and that I'd choose Cancel and maybe then try a different initial option. But after selecting the answers, I was only shown a message like "Well, you said you received the thing you ordered (ie. the song), so you can't dispute the charge."

Now when I try clicking the link to dispute the charge again (thinking that maybe I'll select a different initial reason this time), the link doesn't work ("Sorry — your last action could not be completed"). I suspect it is because they previously decided that I have no grounds for dispute.

I do still have the option of calling the PayPal customer support phone number. Maybe I could find an iTunes phone number.

It is only $1 they stole from me. It's not worth the hassle. But it's not right.

Update, 2017/08/19:
I still wasn't getting any response via Apple's Report a Problem page. So instead I contacted Apple support via chat (from that support page, I selected the links for: iTunes - iTunes Store - Purchases, Billing & Redemption - iTunes Store Account Billing - Chat). During the chat, the Apple rep reiterated that the $1 charge was only an authorization hold, and told me to contact PayPal; that PayPal should credit me the $1 back.

So I disputed the charge via the link on the PayPal site again (the link was working ok now - maybe there's a time-out period for how often you can click it?) This time, I selected the option for reporting a Billing issue, and an "issue that's not described". I attached a copy of my Apple support chat, and submitted the report. Within 24 hours, PayPal sent me a reply that they had accepted my claim and credited the $1 back to my account.

So finally, the problem has been resolved.
darkoshi: (Default)

My President Was Black, By Ta-Nehisi Coates
- mentions a "brown-paper-bag test".

Brown Paper Bag Test (wikipedia entry) -
The Brown Paper Bag Test was a type of racial discrimination in the United States. A brown paper bag was used as a way to determine whether or not an individual could have certain privileges; only individuals with a skin color that is the same color or lighter than a brown paper bag were allowed. The test was used in the 20th century within many social institutions such as African-American sororities, fraternities, and churches.

What?? Even African-American organizations discriminated based on how dark a person's skin was?!

The Wikipedia "See Also" section for the above entry includes:
High yellow ...
...is a term used to describe persons classified as black according to the one-drop rule, despite having primarily white European ancestry. It is a color reference to the yellow undertone of some mixed-race people. ... It is reflected in such popular songs of the era as "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

What?! The Yellow Rose of Texas?! You mean the original song wasn't metaphorically comparing someone to a beautiful good-smelling yellow rose?

The Yellow Rose of Texas (song) ...
The song is written in the first person from the perspective of an African-American singer who refers to himself as a "darkey," longing to return to "a yellow girl," a term used to describe a light-skinned bi-racial woman born of African-American and white progenitors.
darkoshi: (Default)
How a Guy From a Montana Trailer Park Overturned 150 Years of Biology - he discovered that a large group of lichens are a symbiosis between an alga and not 1, but 2 different types of fungus. I learned that the singular of "algae" is "alga".

Jon Batiste Reinterprets 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' for The Atlantic - I really don't care much for the original song and I quite dislike the lyrics, because of its religious and warlike nature. Yet Batiste's version gives me goosebumps and is worth listening to at least once, I can say that much. From what I understand, he produced all the many different instrument sounds in the song using only a piano. The video at the above link describes how he did it, but doesn't include the whole song. If you only want to listen to the song, it's at the end of the 1st podcast on the Radio Atlantic page - starting at 1:03:00.

iTunes and DRM

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 11:21 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I finally managed to buy that song I wanted from iTunes.

I never want to go through that much trouble to buy a song again, even if, like this one, IAMX's I Come With Knives, I really want to support the artist for making such a wonderful song and video. Maybe, if an MP3 of the song had been available to purchase on the band's website, or on Amazon, it wouldn't have taken me over 4 years to buy it.

The band's website only has the full album available, and only as a CD, not MP3s. Some of the other albums are available as MP3s, but not that one. Likewise, Amazon only has the full album on CD. The MP3 version seems to be a single instead, as it only has 4 songs, of which 3 are different versions of "Unified Field". The only place I found the song I wanted was on iTunes.

The plus of it was that the iTunes price was in GBP, not dollars. So I got to use up some of that GBP balance I still had left over on my PayPal account.

The 2 TV show episodes that I wanted to buy are also priced in GBP, which would have been another plus. But after doing some research, it seems that if I bought them, they'd be in MV4 format, which I'd only be able to play on that desktop computer from inside iTunes. Because of the DRM, I wouldn't be able to play them on my normal laptop (without iTunes), nor even on the TV (no, that computer doesn't have an HDMI port). So I won't be buying them after all. There's only so much I'm willing to put up with. Sure, maybe I could use some software to strip out the DRM from the files in order to play them on my other devices without iTunes, but that would defeat the whole point of buying them legally.

Alice Phoebe Lou

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 10:57 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
A TEDx video introduced me to this wonderful singer.

Video title: Alice Phoebe Lou - Bang Bang
Posted by: VoB
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr_aK3pp4ks

Video title: Alice Phoebe Lou: "Girl On An Island" | NDR Kultur Session
Posted by: NDR kulturradar
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FZlVLewdyU
darkoshi: (Default)
This is possibly the best cover I've ever heard of this song. It even gave me goosebumps.

Video title: "Sweet Dreams" Hurdy Gurdy Cover - Patty Gurdy (Live Session)
Posted by: Patty Gurdy
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7B15v51Ro4


Thursday, May 4th, 2017 12:04 am
darkoshi: (Default)

Video title: "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" -- A Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back
Posted by: Bad Lip Reading
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9t-slLl30E
darkoshi: (Default)
...and their videos are fun to watch:

Video title: Raise A Little Hell - Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Posted by: bigdamnbandofficial
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWCcLW08dsU

Video title: The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - "Devils Look Like Angels"
Posted by: SideOneDummy
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRWMwpPlm28

Video title: We Deserve a Happy Ending Official Music Video
Posted by: bigdamnbandofficial
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7RopOgsh5c


Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 11:14 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Putting silicone sealer on the mouse wheel to add traction had very good results, even though it didn't go on very smoothly.

Actually, it's an acrylic sealer. I previously had a silicone-based one, but when it ran out, the store no longer had it, so I got the acrylic one, which was listed as non-toxic and low odor.

Today it occurred to me that: 1) The insects are spelled 'beetles', 2) the cars are spelled 'beetles', 3) but the band is spelled 'beatles' 4) because the music has beats. It's a word-play, and it's possibly the first time I recognized it as such. I guess I always just thought they named themselves after the insects or maybe the cars.

The fig tree is growing little fig leafs again! The young leaves that died earlier haven't fallen off yet.

Just as I had driven up to my driveway this evening, I looked left out of the car window and saw a light moving across the sky in a straight line. In a direction from the south towards the southeast, sort of. Just a single white light, small, not blinking. It wasn't moving very fast, nor slow. The light flickered out for a moment, then came back, still moving, then flickered out again and stayed out. I thought it might have been a meteor, but the Lyrid meteor shower isn't supposed to start until the 16th. And my visibility here is poor. So it was probably a plane after all, maybe disappearing behind some clouds.

I like this song & video:

Video title: Space Unicorn - Parry Gripp and Brianne Drouhard
Posted by: ParryGripp
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17o1OlroNSE

And these songs:

Video title: Imagine Dragons - Believer
Posted by: ImagineDragonsVEVO
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtfhZwyrcc

Video title: Wardruna - Wunjo (New Album Runaljod - Ragnarok)
Posted by: Tatiane Akemy Oshiro
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heDBX-HCMDA

Shima Uta

Monday, March 13th, 2017 01:08 am
darkoshi: (Default)
It did snow. I saw it. I went outside. I went back to bed. I slept until 2:45pm, not even counting the time change.

I'm still getting over my cold, though starting to feel better. On Friday afternoon, I took a pseudoephedrine tablet, from an old package I still had. The expiration date on the package was 2010. It actually did clear my nose up for a little while. I went to bed fairly early (for a Friday) - 1:30am, as I felt so sleepy. But I wasn't able to fall asleep until 3 hours later. Now I'm afraid to take any of those tablets again, in case that is what kept me awake so long. But the other medicine I have, with phenylephrine, didn't seem to help my congestion much if at all.

Came across this video today. The song is Shima Uta. So emotionally expressive. So fluffy hair. Something mesmerizing to me.

Video title: The BOOM - 島唄 ( Live )
Posted by: SilentFace007 さんのチャンネル
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_-OZfn1Zhk

The music reminded me of this album, also Okinawan style: Peppermint Teahouse. It is possibly the most upbeat album of music I have.

Then came across this video.

Video title: 13ºOkinawa festival 2015 -Mirukumunari- Kudaka Majushu
Posted by: 8shinji7898
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARW2oHVM5Rk

(Starting at 3:26, a cute black dog joins the performance.)

I wondered why there would be an Okinawan Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, of all places. Did all those many performers travel from Okinawa to Brazil for the festival? Then I read about Okinawan emigration and the many people of Japanese ancestry who live in Brazil.

The song on that last video is "Mirukumunari" by Hidekatsu.


Sunday, February 26th, 2017 02:47 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Ghost in the Shell (1995 version).

Cool opening sound effects/music.

The opening sequence of the naked female body seemed to go on way too long. I suppose they made the anime movie for teenage boys?

I started out watching it with the English dialogue. But that was hard to follow. So I switched to Japanese with English subtitles, and started it back from the beginning.

In the English dialogue, her answer to "What's with all the noise in your brain today?" was "Must be a loose wire".
In the English subtitles, her answer was "It's that time of the month." I wonder if that matches the Japanese version, even though it makes less sense.

The sequence of her disrobing and letting herself fall backwards over the edge of the building... I've seen that before, haven't I? Ah... right, there is a live-action version of this movie coming out, the one with that cool trailer. I wonder how long I've had this item in my Netflix queue.

"The Puppet Master. That phantom hacker, right?" .. "Internationally wanted on dozens of charges of stock manipulation, spying, political engineering, terrorism, and violation of cyber-brain privacy. "

Hmm. "Political engineering". That reference sure doesn't sound like the Wikipedia definition of political engineering. It sounds more like this: The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine. That's not the first article I've read about Cambridge Analytica. I already posted a link to another article about them back in November. This one is even more disturbing than the last one though.

When I searched Google on "political engineering", the ad shown at the top of the page was "How Liberal Are You? - theadvocates.org‎. Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz and find out in minutes." Mmm, no. I don't need to take a quiz to know how liberal I am. Someone *else* wants to know how liberal I am. So that they can build their profile on me, and feed me personalized ads as mentioned in the above article.

The Google results also had 3 other ads, at the *bottom* of the page. Having ads at the bottom seems new. Or maybe not? Maybe they've been there before.


"Hope? In the darkness of the sea?"


Oh well. It's too late now to watch the whole movie tonight.


Two Saturdays in a row that I've worked from home, after working extra hours on Friday too. At least it is enjoyable work, debugging and researching issues. That's why I did it... nobody specifically requested me to, but I have the feeling that I should, as we are near the planned release date and still having all these problems.

lilac twist

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 10:15 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Best headline I've read so far, this year (via andrewducker):
75-Year-Old Texas Woman Flies Through Tornado in Bathtub, Lands in Woods Unharmed

Actually, both she and her son flew in the tub after having taken refuge in it. This article has a video interview with them:
A 75-year-old took a bathtub ride to survival during ETX tornado


Good cover of a good song:

Video title: kriill - Lilac Wine
Posted by: kriill music
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwXtKECKaLs

Their Facebook page: kriillmusic
darkoshi: (Default)
So I just realized it is the last day. Or was the last day. It is the last hours.


I am so sick of seeing online ads saying things like "Should Trump send Hillary to Jail?"
As if we don't have a judicial system; as if a president can simply send people to jail on his say-so. Is that what people want? A goddamn dictatorship?

Is someone trying to psychologically condition the rest of us into subconsciously thinking that she belongs in jail?


I got my heater repaired. I decided to only get the broken part replaced. Even if furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, and mine is nearly 20, that doesn't mean that it can't still keep working for many more. If the average is 18 or so, then surely there are some that make it to 30 years or more


Portable oil-filled electric radiators:

If they smell of burning dust, even after you've cleaned off all the visible dust, you may need to remove the front and/or rear panels too, to get the dust out from those sections. Obviously, you need to be careful when doing that as there are wires and electrical connections behind the front panel.

When not using them, a perfect-sized cover to keep the dust off is a pillow-case!


Christmas Eve (yes, I'm that behind on writing about things. and doing things):

It was sort of rushed again. We started it earlier in the evening than in the past, as my nephew wanted to leave by a certain time. I went in my car to pick up one of my foster sisters, and my niece. The drive took longer than I anticipated, and by the time we got back to the house, everyone else had already started and finished eating! But at least the get-together was over by a reasonable time, before midnight rather than after.

I still haven't gotten around to ordering my mom the Christmas presents I meant to get her. But partially in my defense, she didn't choose which ones she wanted till after Christmas either.


Lower thigh muscles: I've been having nerve issues again, but more general soreness rather than nerve spasms like before. Sitting down for too long makes them achy.
It may all come down to not getting enough sleep, body not being able to recuperate.


I flushed the water heater last weekend. It's really not hard to do, at least the way I do it, just attaching a hose and not turning off anything. Carrying the hose from the front of the house to the back, and back again is the hardest part.


We're having 7:30am educational sessions for work 2 or 3 times a week, and it's killing me, so early. It's mostly stuff I already know, but I don't want to miss anything anyway..

7:30am isn't even that early, right? Especially when I can dial in from home. But it's still killing me.


thirsty tired too late heater yay snoring dogs xmas tree lights went out again need to try replacing fuse again.
where's my dessert? what's my dessert. maybe that'll do it.
good night, ch'all.

oh, subject. ummm.

hey, did I ever post ... I don't think I did... where did I ...


Video title: Boney M. - Felicidad America (Obama - Obama) ft. Sherita O., Yulee B.
Posted by: BoneyMVEVO
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKSRdpi15qc


Video title: Baby's Gang - Challenger
Posted by: zyxdance
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN1cekvzY98

I found both those videos on the same day. Both chipper, hopeful, poignant, and sad in terms of later events.

Thump thump.

Monday, December 5th, 2016 12:47 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Genesis, Mama - this 1983 song played on the radio late one night when I must have been between 11 and 13 years old, and I taped it. It hinted at an alternate dark spooky world. Thump thump. Thump thump. (Don't break, don't break.) A part of the music spoke to me deeply, a part of it repelled me. I don't think I ever heard the song again on the radio, at least not *that* version. *That* version was something that could only play late at night, in the dark, found by chance while scrolling through stations on my radio.

The opening music before the vocals is simply awesome.

The lyrics didn't make much sense. Surely he couldn't be singing about his mother. I knew he must have been calling his girlfriend "Mama", but that still evoked an uncomfortable sense of incest to my mind. I had never heard anyone else call their girlfriend "Mama". The other part that repelled me was the crazy/evil laugh.

The line "It's getting so hard" meant only "It's getting so difficult", to my mind. The alternate sense only occurred to me today upon reading the lyrics. I wouldn't have understand that other sense back then. The "oh ooooooooooooh!!!" after the line was a perfect expression of pain/feeling/longing/suffering. (Shout, shout, let it all out, but that's another song.)

The Wikipedia page for the song has a quote from Phil Collins explaining what the lyrics are about.
"...and that's really what the song is about, with sinister overtones".

Sinister. Yes, that is the word. The laughter is definitely sinister.

unknown song

Monday, November 28th, 2016 12:03 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Can anyone help me identify this song?
It's electronic, no lyrics, and goes sort of Boop Bee Dee Deep...

(clip removed, as it has been identified - see below)

(I already tried uploading it to the AudioTag.info site, but that site did not find a match.)

Or can anyone recommend a good app for identifying songs, especially more obscure ones which don't have lyrics?

Update: andrewducker was able to identify the song! It is Voodoo Chronometer, by TimeShard.

audio cassettes

Sunday, November 27th, 2016 02:04 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Yesterday, I was inspired to continue the task of converting my audio cassettes to MP3 files. The longer I postpone it, the more the audio on the cassettes may degrade, and the more likely that the equipment I've been using to do the conversions, will break.

I had already converted all 26 of the cassettes that were official purchased albums. The remaining ones (45 to 50) have music that I recorded from the radio or which other people sent me. The former were simpler to do than the latter (which I'll call mix-tapes even though that term may not be accurate). With the albums, I simply recorded each side of the cassette onto the computer as a audio file, applied noise-reduction, then split the large file into a separate MP3 file for each song.

Right now I am recording the remaining cassettes to audio files, without yet doing any further processing on them. 15 cassettes are already done, leaving about 30 more. I could finish them in another week or two if I keep at it.

Then I'll eventually have to decide:
Should I keep each long 45 minute file, without splitting it by song? That is how I used to listen to them, and would keep the original experience. But some of the songs I really don't care to listen to anymore.

Splitting the files by song would require much extra effort. With the albums, there was silence between each song, and software was able to split them with minimal manual effort. My "mix-tapes" don't have the silences, and they have many more clips per side, all of which I'd have to manually split.

Once I split the songs, I'd be tempted to delete the ones I no longer care for, and to find better versions of the ones I still really enjoy. But the "lower" quality cassette versions of some songs still have a special nostalgic quality, which higher-quality versions simply can't replace. So I'll end up with multiple versions of those.

I think I'll do this:

Keep the full long versions of each cassette for archival/nostalgic purposes.
Also split them into individual files, and keep a full copy of those files just in case I ever want them.
For the remaining songs which I still enjoy listening to, put them in folders where my random-play MP3 player will be able to pick them up.
For the songs which I especially like and don't already have other versions of, see if I can find better versions online to purchase.
darkoshi: (Default)
I watched Trump's acceptance speech yesterday. Or rather, I watched some and read/skimmed the transcript of the rest so that I could get to bed quicker. Ditto for Hillary's concession speech.

Trump's speech itself didn't seem that bad. What bothered me the most was the repeated chanting/yelling of "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!" from the audience. Not just the chanting itself, but the sound of it.

It sounds so mob-like. So unthinking-violent-monster-like. (Though re-watching it today, it doesn't seem quite as bad as it did to me yesterday. Today, the background music raises my hackles instead. OMG. They actually played "You can't always get what you want" at the end of the speech. Apparently Trump played that song at most of his speeches and rallies, even though the Rolling Stones didn't give him permission. What a way to rub it in. Brilliant irony, that's the word)

The implicit message of the "U.S.A." chanting seems to be "We're the best!". Which naturally implies "The rest of you (the rest of the world, etc.) aren't as good!", ie. "The rest of you are inferior". That's what bothers me about it. It's one thing to feel good about yourself/your county. It's another thing to denigrate others, as Trump and many of his followers seem fond of doing.

It also reminds me again of my high school's pep rallies, back in the day. Those were full of the same kind of "We're the best" propaganda/shouting/cheering. I never could identify with that. I never could see why students of one school should feel they were automatically better than students in other schools.

witchy fun

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 10:20 pm
darkoshi: (Default)

Video title: Wolfshäger Hexenbrut Walpurgis Wolfshagen im Harz
Posted by: Wolfshäger Hexenbrut
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjUV-byB8ls

The German song lyrics ("Schüttel dein Speck" - by Peter Fox)