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For a wide selection of Music, Movies, and More


(010806) Tie Dye Central!
http://web0.greatbasin.net/~roland/tiedye/tdsplash.htm

Roland Blais
Reno, Nevada, USA

There's a wonderful side effect that comes out of vacation — it's not always going to go as you imagine it might, and what you get out of a vacation is often more rewarding than the actual travel and visiting. I've been more or less on vacation since July 19th. A split vacation, spending time with family in Michigan and later, here in Florida. Most recently, a week with a niece and nephew was highlighted by a trip to the batting cages and a day of tie dyeing. It had been 25 years since I last tie dyed a garment and a refresher course was in order if for no other reason than to get the most out of the experience for the kids. The basics of tie dyeing never go away once you do it, but the technical aspect isn't something that sticks. To the rescue last week came Roland Blais' Tie Dye Central!, in particular the section listed on the main page as How To Tie Dye and titled on the page itself A Tie Dye Tutorial! (http://web0.greatbasin.net/~roland/tiedye/howtodye/tdy.htm). If you haven't tie dyed for a while, the new dyes and solutions make the job an easy and enjoyable task, and the instructions for generating traditional and contemporary patterns are clearly stated at this site.

There are other sites with instructions ranging from quite simple like those at Learn2 Tie-Dye (http://www.learn2.com/09/0920/0920.asp) from Learn2.com (http://www.learn2.com/) to Paula Burch's comprehensive All About Hand Dyeing on Fabric (http://www.flash.net/~pburch/dyeing.html). Tie Dye Central! fits somewhere in the middle and should prove to be adequate for those who have tie dyed before and for those new to the art, a fine introduction. (Back to top of page)


(010807) Detroit 300
http://www.detroit300.org/

Detroit 300 Inc.
Detroit, Michigan, USA

It's sort of interesting when events that once seemed so far in the future arrive. Almost everyone survived the Y2K deal, and saw the new century and millennium turn — old news to be sure but that's the point. I would imagine that at some point at around the age of ten, everyone reading this figured out how ancient they would be at the turn of the century. Growing up in metropolitan Detroit, the year 2001 gave us more to look forward to — computer failure was hardly a thought. The city would be 300 years old! Imagine the party they'll have, was something I can remember thinking. Well, they are having a big party. A year-long celebration and although I no longer live in that area of the country, it was nice to be back to take in part of the festivities. Sort of… On Saturday, July 21st there was a huge concert on the riverfront. Stevie Wonder was the headliner, various local acts who had hit the big time were also on the bill. Mitch Ryder performed in the World Famous Cobo Arena (http://olympia.sv3.com/olympiaent/cobohome.htm), and the town was alive. As much as I wanted to be a part of it all, the thought of standing around downtown fighting the crowds didn't seem like fun. Perhaps it was age creeping up on me, or the traffic, or the thought of finding a place to park, or maybe all the whining… Half a million people were there that night and that's what stopped me. Lee County, Florida, the place where I live now has about 500,000 residents according to the last census and that's plenty. The thought of sharing a couple of square miles with that many Detroiters just to see a show didn't seem worth the effort.

The Tercentennial of Detroit does interest me, and I'm sure many others. The site for Detroit 300 has a number of interesting features, including a time line starting at July 24, 1701 when Cadillac settled the area for the French. An entry on the time line reads,

"1763 French and Indian War - attack on Fort Detroit (Britian [sic] gets French territories)

MAY 7, 1763. Three hundred Ottawa Indians, led by Pontiac, enter Fort Detroit intent upon launching a surprise attack upon the British garrison commanded by Major Henry Gladwin. By mid-1763, Detroit is the only British post west of Niagara, New York, that has not fallen to Indian attack. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the British at Detroit hold on. Finally they receive supplies, and Pontiac ends his siege in late October. To maintain peace with the Indians, the British close the west to white settlement. Later they will tax the American colonists to pay for their military garrisons in the west. Both acts will be among the grievances cited by rebellious colonists in 1776."

Other sections of the site list the celebratory events occurring during the year and those which have passed. Of note is the section titled "100-year-old Century Box," a time capsule sealed on December 31, 1900 and opened on December 31, 2000 to launch Detroit 300. Rich in history, Detroiters have plenty to be proud of. It's a great place to be from. (Back to top of page)


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(010808) City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
http://www.city.windsor.on.ca/

Corporation of the City of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

_________________________________

Detroit and Windsor Tunnel Corporation
http://www.dwtunnel.com/

Detroit and Canada Tunnel Corporation
Detroit, Michigan, USA

_________________________________

Rearview Mirror:The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel
http://detnews.com/history/windsortunnel/windsortunnel.htm

The Detroit News
Detroit, Michigan, USA

One of the thrills of being back in Detroit for me is the simple process of heading south into Canada. Looking north once you've arrived in the City of Windsor, Ontario and seeing the Detroit skyline makes it all the more entertaining. During my trip to Michigan, my mother and I had an evening out in Canada. The exchange rate such as it is makes the US Dollar worth about $2.95 Canadian or so it seems. Eager to get some of the day trip business back since the casinos have opened in Detroit, the prices for food and services in Windsor are a little lower than in other parts of Canada. The real exchange rate puts the US Dollar close to $1.50 Canadian and that's often enough incentive to draw people across the border. It got us over… well, under actually.

Connected by both "the world's longest international suspension bridge," the Ambassador Bridge (http://www.ambassadorbridge.com/) and the Detroit - Windsor Tunnel, "the only vehicular international sub aqueous border crossing in the world," the tunnel route is my personal favorite. The site for the Detroit and Windsor Tunnel Corporation contains information on the history of the structure, duty free shopping, and a page for The Tunnel Bus, operated by Transit Windsor (http://www.city.windsor.on.ca/transitwindsor/).

Rearview Mirror:The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is part of a special section at the site for The Detroit News (http://detnews.com/). With file photographs and more, the page is a nice compliment to the history pages at the Detroit and Windsor Tunnel Corporation site.

Windsor is a nice place, without the population density of Detroit. It's also novel to leave the country for a little while. The site for the City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada serves a number of purposes — for residents of Windsor and Essex County it provides government news and information. For tourists it lists quite a few things to do and see. The business pages should prove interesting for anyone looking to set up shop or deal with a Canadian enterprise with access to US shipping and receiving channels. (Back to top of page)


(010809) The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
http://detroityes.com/index.html

Lowell Boileau
Highland Park, Michigan, USA

The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit has moved and improved since it was briefly featured as Site du Jour of the Day (990226) on February 26, 1999, yet the site bears another look. Like those in many northern industrial cities in this country, once proud buildings in Detroit have been falling to decay during the last 50 or 60 years. There are as many reasons for this as there are fallen gems, for Detroit the main reason has to do with flight to the suburbs and probably closer to the truth, apathy. Apathy on the part of residents, local government, and the people who abandoned the city for greener pastures in their shiny new automobiles. Money has a lot to do with it as well. The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit offers a guided tour, complete with photographs, a bit of history, and commentary from Lowell Boileau and visitors to the site. Not all gloom and doom, sections here celebrate the restoration and revitalization of certain landmarks in the city. Discussion boards allow visitors the opportunity to comment and add any knowledge they may possess on The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit. (Back to top of page)


(010810) AudioTools.co.uk - For all your PC audio needs
http://www.audiotools.co.uk/

AudioTools.co.uk
Newport Pagnell, England

Like many families, members of mine have made a number of audio recordings over the years. On my return from Michigan I was carrying some mighty precious cargo. Entrusted with reel to reel and Cassette tapes, some nearly fifty years old, I have both the responsibility and pleasure of transferring this material to Compact Disc for distribution to extended family. There are audio letters, musical performances, and who knows what else from grandparents on down. So far, I've only listened to two hours of an estimated thirty hours of material. By the time all is said and done, this stuff will be preserved for future generations. Soon after starting the process of transferring a Cassette from one of my grandfathers to the computer it became clear that the software I was using could be better suited for the task at hand — namely dubbing and restoring long, old recordings. A couple of searches and false starts ultimately lead to AudioTools.co.uk. Full of commercial demos, Freeware and Shareware programs designed for the creation of Compact Discs, audio extraction, and editing, AudioTools.co.uk also has message boards and tutorials covering many subjects. These tapes will prove to be a major project, and although I haven't installed* the first few downloads, one in particular stands out. Andrew Fish's Audiotools (http://www.unrelatedinventions.com/Audiotools/) is listed at AudioTools.co.uk and has a number of strong features that will come in handy. Unlike the sometimes expensive commercial releases, the Freeware and Shareware packages at AudioTools.co.uk are developed for specific uses. Combining the power of a few strong tools, adequate time and attention will almost certainly make this project worthwhile. It was a real treat to hear my grandfather's voice again after all of these years, I cannot wait to share this pleasure with the rest of the family.

*As a reminder, with any new hardware or software installation it is always a good idea to perform a complete system backup first just in case things don't go the way the instructions say they should. (Back to top of page)


(010811) MooreClark Photography
Pictures That Tell A Story
http://www.mooreclark.com/

Dan Moore
Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Junebug Clark
Farmington, Michigan, USA

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of travel is not so much what one sees, but the people one meets during the adventure. While on vacation, and while enjoying an afternoon at my home town's version of Pioneer Days with family members I met this character named Junebug Clark. Named Artist in Residence for the year 2001, it was refreshing to see Junebug Clark and his work right in the middle of an otherwise dreadful arts and crafts section of the event. It was a selection of black and white photographic prints that first caught my attention. A combination of contemporary work and as it turns out, the work of his father the late Joe Clark, the first Artist in Residence 25 years ago. Pictures That Tell A Story is a marketing slogan that Dan Moore and Junebug Clark use to promote their art and trade. Based on what I saw that day in Michigan and subsequently at the site for MooreClark Photography, Pictures That Tell A Story isn't that far off the mark. Hearing the stories behind how the images were made — or as Junebug Clark conveyed, how the pictures practically made themselves as a result of his involvement with the subjects was wonderful. In the Here next section of the MooreClark Photography site is a photograph titled Window of Hope. At first glance it would appear to be something different than it actually was. The subjects in the photographs are actually the "little kids," not quite big enough that day to be out playing ball with Junebug Clark and the older children he was photographing. It's that sort of interaction that makes pictures possible, and even though the conversation shared with Junebug Clark was relatively brief, I walked away from it knowing that I had just met a true craftsman. (Back to top of page)


(010812) Air Traffic Control System Command Center Real-time Airport Status
http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyFAA/index.html

Traveler Briefing - Federal Aviation Administration
http://www.faa.gov/apa/traveler.htm

Federal Aviation Administration
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

These two sections of the site for the Federal Aviation Administration (http://faa.gov/) should prove interesting for anyone either flying in the United States or assigned with the duty of picking someone who is arriving in or departing from a US airport. As my lovely wife Jenni rediscovered after waiting three hours at the airport here in Fort Myers, Florida, the airlines aren't always forthright when it comes to information regarding flight delays. It was a regional problem we were told as we sat on the taxiway at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport. A radar facility in Cleveland, Ohio went down and rather than fly out low the pilot and airline officials decided to stay put rather than have to land somewhere along the way to refuel. Modern jet airliners fly best at over 10,000 feet and the radar would be up soon, or so we were told. Fortunately our plane was among the first to take off — there were 30 or so behind us in line. A flight scheduled to arrive in Fort Myers at 11:30am ultimately departed at that time. Maybe you've heard the old joke — I just flew in from Detroit, and boy are my arms tired! Not that day, it was my backside from 7 hours of sitting. All kidding aside, even with the delay it sure beat driving the 1,200± miles home.

The Air Traffic Control System Command Center Real-time Airport Status site lists US airports experiencing delays. Not airline specific delays, but weather of equipment delays. Again, not all that useful for passengers, but if you are picking someone up from the airport it might be worth the time to look at this site to see if things are going as planned. Pair the data here with whatever information the airline gives and you should be in business.

Traveler Briefing - Federal Aviation Administration provides a plane load of information that may help make a flight safer and more enjoyable. Tips about what to wear, baggage restrictions, and more. Pointers to other helpful sites from the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Transportation are here as well. Remember, "Air travel is the safest, most efficient mode of transportation in the United States. The FAA, along with the airlines and aircraft manufacturers, is responsible for aviation safety. But the traveler has an important role in making your journey as safe and comfortable as possible". (Back to top of page)


(010813) Teoma Search
http://teoma.com/

Teoma Technologies
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, USA

Always on the lookout for a better search engine, I was pleased to find a short piece on Teoma Search a while back in The Register - Biting the hand that feeds IT (http://www.theregister.co.uk) (SdJotD 000331). The Register's Kieren McCarthy asked, Is this the rival to Google? (http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/20614.html). Teoma Search may very well be. Not that there's anything wrong with Google! (http://google.com/) (SdJotD 990408) but it seems as though Google! has grown a little bloated with maturity. The addition of a Sponsored Link to Google! search result pages is easy to ignore and oddly, sometimes pertinent.

Teoma Search, which is still in Beta version has the speed and grace one would expect from a new search engine — and results remain uncluttered. The Experts' Links feature here makes browsing a topic easier, and as the reach of the database grows Teoma Search will become that much more useful. It's possible that these two search engines can coexist in peace and harmony providing searchers two different experiences. Either that or one will eventually swallow up the other. (Back to top of page)


(010814) Web Searching Tips - Search Engine Watch
http://searchenginewatch.com/facts/index.html

Search Engine Watch
INT Media Group, Incorporated
Darien, Connecticut, USA

This section of Search Engine Watch (http://searchenginewatch.com/) offers up a host of tips and tricks for wrangling the most out of your favorite search engine. While the respective search engines all have their own special features, a few basic techniques apply to them all. Even if you are comfortable with the results you currently turn up, there's probably a thing or two yet to be learned. Subjects here include Search Engine Math, Search Features Chart, Under The Hood Of Search Engines, and the always popular What People Search For. With the most popular search engines currently indexing well over a billion pages, any extra help is good. (Back to top of page)


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(010815) PlanetFusion - your link to the world
http://www.planetfusion.co.uk/

PlanetWorks Media Ltd.
Solihull, England

At first glance, PlanetFusion - your link to the world would appear to be just another piece of self-promotion put in place by a site design and hosting service. Not to say that it isn't, but there's far more to it than that. PlanetFusion - your link to the world was suggested and is maintained by Kevin Clarke who brought the world Inconstant Moon: multimedia tours of the lunar surface (http://www.inconstantmoon.com/) (SdJotD 980630) (SdJotD 990720) (SdJotD 010531), the only site to be featured as Site du Jour of the Day three times. As Kevin wrote, "…following your current thread on search engines, you may like to take a look at www.planetfusion.co.uk". Kevin went on to explain a key element at PlanetFusion - your link to the world, something called Mariner, "…I'm still rather fond of the old Internet ethos of the free availability quality information, so its main feature is a meta-search tool (based on something I originally developed for myself some years ago) which is freely available for anyone who wants to use it".

Mariner may look familiar if you ever use meta-search engines but there's something pleasantly missing — no banner ads, no fancy graphics, and on top of that it's lightning fast. Enter your information once and then check any one of the seventeen available search engines. For those readers who maintain a site or are thinking about starting one soon, be sure to look at the PlanetFusion Messenger. Enter the URL to your site, your e-mail address and submit your site to nine major search engines with the same interface as Mariner. (Back to top of page)


(010816) The University of California Planet Search Project
http://exoplanets.org/

The University of California Planet Search Project
University of California
Berkeley, California, USA

A press release sent out on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 by the National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov/) carried an eye catching headline — Astronomers Find Jupiter-sized Planet Orbiting Star In Big Dipper. This latest announcement brings the total of extrasolar planets astronomers have evidence of to more than 70. In part the release stated that, "The planet is the second found orbiting the star 47 Ursae Majoris in the Big Dipper, also known as Ursa Major or the Big Bear. The new planet is at least three-fourths the mass of Jupiter and orbits the star at a distance that, in our Solar System, would place it beyond Mars but within the orbit of Jupiter". The University of California Planet Search Project site has the complete press release and a lot more on this new planet and those which have been discovered since the project began in 1987. (Back to top of page)


(010817) FoundDogTags.com
http://www.founddogtags.com/

Rob Stiff and Jim Gain
Hosted by YesHost.com
Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA

In response to The P.O.W. Network (http://www.pownetwork.org/) (SdJotD 010707), a site featured during the first part of July, Site du Jour of the Day reader Reddog suggested FoundDogTags.com. Similar to the bracelet return program at The P.O.W. Network, the individuals behind FoundDogTags.com, Rob Stiff and Jim Gain are in the process of returning once lost dog tags purchased on a trip to Vietnam last spring. Returning with over 600 of the metal tags used to identify members of the armed forces, the duo are attempting to return the dog tags either to the people who lost them while serving in Vietnam, or to their families. Pointers to other sites tell the story and the FoundDogTags.com sites lists details pertaining to those tags already returned, and a list of tags which have yet to be returned. It will be interesting to see how this project ends up — perhaps it will ultimately be expanded to include found dog tags from other time periods and conflicts. (Back to top of page)


(010818) Save A Stray
http://www.saveastray.com/

Spay-Neuter Assistance Program
Houston, Texas, USA

Save A Stray uses the click-through donation model to raise money to fund spay and neuter clinics in the southwestern United States, Navajo, Hopi and Zuni Indian Reservations, and parts of Mexico. Each daily click on a sponsor advertisement at the Save A Stray contributes 10¢ to The Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (http://www.snaptx.org/) to offset the $22.50 cost of each procedure. It's difficult to say how long such campaigns will be around or how successful they actually are at raising money but one thing is for sure, unwanted dog and cat populations continue to grow and this sort of thing can only help. Thanks to Jaymie for the suggestion. A slightly different site also worth seeing is IMOM.org - Helping People Help Pets (http://www.imom.org/) (SdJotD 990122). (Back to top of page)


(010819) Neuter-NeuterLand
http://www.ahimsatx.org/nnl/humorus.htm

Ahimsa of Texas Inc.
Roanoke, Texas, USA

_________________________________

Firecracker Dog
http://www.therealmartha.com/FirecrackerDog/index.htm

Martha Jones
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The subject of pet population control tends to generate a great deal of feedback from readers when a site championing it is featured. Martha Jones (AltMartha's Easy Recipes (http://members.aol.com/AltMartha/easyrecipes.index.html) (SdJotD 010211) ) wrote in with a pair of suggestions to that end. Here's what Martha had to say, "Glad to see you promoting spay/neuter. Here's one you need to know about, NeuterNeuterLand - spay/neuter graphics, etc. to promote neuter with humor". Neuter-NeuterLand, it would seem, is preaching to the choir but for those unconvinced that the pet population explosion stops with them. A visit to this site might help to realign such attitudes. Humor is indeed the approach with slogans, illustrations, and assorted propaganda help bring home the point.

Martha also included the URL for a section at her site, a homey page addressing an unfortunate incident. The title of the page spells it out rather clearly — Firecracker Dog. Of interest to animal lovers and animal rights folks will be the pointers to other sites scattered among the comments from visitors. (Back to top of page)


(010820) My Cherished Pet
Remembering Our Pet Friends
http://www.mycherishedpet.com/

Design Cast Studios L.L.C.
Henderson, Kentucky, USA

Site du Jour of the Day reader JimmyD sent a nice note about the loss of a family pet, suggesting My Cherished Pet. In the message, Jimmy wrote, "Hey Ed… if you are in pet mood… when we put our dog down last month we found a lot of great comfort and pain easing at www.mycherishedpet.com. It brought out a lot of tears but also helped us move on…".

When a pet dies, or worse yet emotionally, needs to be put down due to illness there is a grieving process experienced that is similar to the loss of a human family member. If you've never lost a pet, especially a dog or a cat that has lived ten years or more it's a difficult thing to understand. My Cherished Pet is a commercial site, with different memorial items and ideas. Their collection of pointers to Pet Loss Resources (http://www.mycherishedpet.com/resources.html) includes the Cornell Pet Loss Support Hotline (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/public/petloss/) staffed by volunteer veterinary students at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and even outside memorial ideas such as TreeGivers Memorial TreePlanting (http://www.treegivers.com/). (Back to top of page)


(010821) The Lesson Plans Page
Over 1,000 FREE Lesson Plans!
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/

EdScope, L.L.C.
Lee's Summit, Missouri, USA

Site du Jour of the Day reader and Iowa school teacher Kristin Fields sent a nice note in response to a site featured last month, The National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service (http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/index.htm) (SdJotD 010713). Kristin wrote, "…This site has an invaluable tool for teachers you may not have noticed. Lesson plans appear for the vast majority of the historical places included in the site. They appear to especially appeal to middle school or high school teachers. Thanks for adding this site to your newsletter!".

As it happens, I was aware of the section Kristin mentions. With many episodes of Site du Jour of the Day some of the best features of a site are intentionally not mentioned. While visiting a site myself, I often look forward to what's around the next bend, or at least in the next section. Educators get to see students experience that sense of discovery on a daily basis. For most kindergarten through 12th grade educators it's the reason they started teaching in the first place. Contrary to a popular misconception, teachers are not that well paid. Yes, it is hard to believe. Call your local school board office and ask the average teacher salary.

The Lesson Plans Page - Over 1,000 FREE Lesson Plans! serves at least two wonderful purposes. For educators, it's an opportunity to gather new material for their repertoire or possibly fill in a few of the missing pieces in an existing lesson plan. For everyone else, The Lesson Plans Page - Over 1,000 FREE Lesson Plans! provides a glimpse into the work that goes into keeping groups of 30 to 50 children at a time interested in subjects that they feel they have absolutely no use for. A ten year-old is far more likely to be intrigued by that big tree on the other side of the school yard than they are by the Three Branches of Government. Useful for both educators and parents, the lesson plans here cover many subjects and new submissions are always welcome. (Back to top of page)


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(010822) Jazz Roots: Early Jazz History on jass.com
http://www.jass.com/

Jazz Roots, Inc.
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

While this is written, the first Disc of the brand new reissue of Elvis Costello's (http://www.elviscostello.com/) My Aim Is True is in the CD player. It had me thinking about Jazz music by the time No Dancing came on, three tracks in. The first time I listened to this record was back in 1978 and it seemed to be such a change from what was popular at the time. With the exception of a couple of outfits like Chic, dance music was so far over the top that it reeked. Country wasn't too far behind in the stench game, Rock and Roll was all bloated and fat like the Elvis who was soon to die. Most Jazz being released at the time, at least the artists I was being exposed to were outright boring. And then here was this Elvis Costello. The music was fresh and exciting, breaking social and musical conventions, and to a certain extent upsetting the way things were done.

Twenty three years later My Aim Is True sounds different — not that the recording has changed much with remastering, but because my scope has broadened more than I could have imagined. And I like Jazz finally. It was just a matter of going back in the evolution of the form, to a point where it was fresh and new. Where every recording was an innovation and the next one out improved on it. The history of Jazz has seen renewed popularity during the last ten years, the labels have found a new market and are doing their thing with it. Ken Burns' Jazz documentary gave it a big push and for a lot of us, things started to fit together like never before. It's the early years of Jazz, before it was glamorous that holds the biggest mystery and perhaps the most history (sorry, Elvis is still playing).

Jazz Roots: Early Jazz History on jass.com explores the first thirty or so years of Jazz. With articles, photographs, an extensive discography, and instead of audio files, sheet music covers to convey the musical and social climate of the time. An impressive collection of pointers, Early Jazz Websites (http://www.jass.com/links.html) makes it clear that no single site can give the complete history of this music. Jazz Roots: Early Jazz History on jass.com makes for a good starting point. (Back to top of page)


(010823) [ found sounds, field recordings, oddities ] titles at Aquarius Records
http://www.aquariusrecordssf.com/cat/foundsoundsfieldrecordingsoddities.html

[ Aquarius Records ]
http://www.aquariusrecordssf.com/

Aquarius Records
San Francisco, California, USA

As mentioned in the Site du Jour of the Day episode yesterday, I've been listening to Elvis Costello reissues. All This Useless Beauty, Spike, and My Aim Is True all hit store shelves on August 21st in Deluxe editions. Finding the three packages here in Fort Myers, Florida was a chore. After visiting three of the big chain stores — the experience at Best Buy takes the cake, "Elvis Costello? Is he Easy Listening?" The minimum wage trooper asked. I felt like saying, No he's filed under how about a punch in the head you imbecile! But I didn't. Two stores later I had Spike and My Aim Is True. A relatively mainstream artist, it was distressing that only one store had two of the three Compact Discs. Forget about finding more eclectic titles in these parts. There is a used store in town that I like very much, Bob at Silver Platter carries as much of the odd stuff as he can afford to but unfortunately for many people in smaller markets it's the Meg-A-Low Mart or nothing at all for instant gratification.

The Internet has changed the way we purchase music. Shopping from retailers thousands of miles away, sometimes in another country has become the norm for many people. Larger retailers have sites that stock a deep catalog, but for the most part it's pretty normal stuff. For the unusual there are sites like the one for [ Aquarius Records ]. No fancy ordering on their pages, regular mail, phone or e-mail ordering is the rule but the catalog is made of dreams. Not all of those dreams are pleasant as seen in the [ found sounds, field recordings, oddities ] titles at Aquarius Records section. But dang, this stuff is rich!

If you found the Mulatta Records: Thai Elephant Orchestra (http://www.mulatta.org/Thaielephantorch.html) (SdJotD 010430) charming, enjoyed Tinfoil.com - Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders (http://www.tinfoil.com/) (SdJotD 991129), All Mixed Up - Songs About Food (http://www.mixedup.com/foodsongs.htm) (SdJotD 010306), or Kite Musical Instruments and Aeolian Instruments (http://members.aol.com/woinem1/index/) (SdJotD 010415) then have a look at the [ Aquarius Records ] site. The following descriptions are from the [ found sounds, field recordings, oddities ] titles at Aquarius Records page where you'll find a number of audio samples as well.

INSECT NOISE IN STORED FOODSTUFFS s/t (Inra) cd 19.98

"Insect Noise In Stored Foodstuffs" appears to be an industrial document produced by the 5th International Working Conference On Stored-Product Protection. This cd presents the sound investigation of the French team of Bunsel and Andrieu who used sensitive microphones with narrow frequency responses made to detect and identify the sounds of insect larvae which may be inhabiting otherwise quiet containers of grains and cereals. A handful of examples of the sounds including the grain weevil, the Indian meal moth, and the Lesser mealworm are accompanied by a running narrative both explaining the techniques used and the identification of the insects. And in case you missed the first 30 minutes of the document, the kind people at the 5th International Working Conference On Stored-Product Protection repeat the program in French. Hey, if that Smithsonian / Folkways "Sounds of North American Frogs" rocked your world, wait til this little gem comes your way!

MUSEE MECHANIQUE The Zelinsky Collection Volume 1 (Mechanical Museum) cd 14.98

Long, long ago we stocked an LP of recordings from San Francisco's own Cliff House-based Musee Mechanique. Sadly this album went out of print a few years back, leaving many sad customers who'd found out about it too late. Well weep no longer, as AQ now has an all new disc (the first of several, we're told) of recordings made of the machines at the museum. The Musee Mechanique, for those who've never been, is a hands-on museum of early penny arcade machines (some over a century old) kept in their original working order for the public's enjoyment by the determined work of curator Edward Galland Zelinsky. Every time we have visitors from out of town, we take' em here. Stereoscopic peep shows, moralising fortune tellers, old baseball game machines, nickelodeons, prisoner art made out of toothpicks, music boxes, player pianos, "test your strength" challenges, animated dioramas, and more are constantly kept in tune -- it's both historic and entertaining. (Including everyone's favorite -- Laughing Sal, a larger than life size doll who just laughs and laughs and laughs. Wonderful.) The 27 tracks found here are all new recordings of the various machines (mostly player pianos playing assorted rags), captured after museum hours, so it's free of unwanted tourist chatter (although they nicely left the sounds of the coins falling into the slot as lead ins to each track.)

RAYMOND & PETER Shut Up, Little Man! (Shut Up Little Man Recordings) cd 12.98

Finally available again, after several years! The disc that both saddens and entertains, kind of like a cross between Charles Bukowski and the Jerky Boys! If you've seen the Simpsons episode with John Waters, you might recall Homer asking the guest star what camp means. Waters' answer: "The comically tragic...the tragically comic." To which Homer retorts "Oh, you mean, like when a clown dies." This classic recording of San Franciscan drunks Raymond Huffmann & Peter Haskett certainly fits this Homeric definition of camp. These two aging roommates spent their days drinking heavily in their Lower Haight apartment and verbally assaulted each other. The slurring barrage of obscenities muddles the difference between the two men. This is one of those documents that had to be (re)released, capturing the torment these two unwittingly inflicted upon their enraged neighbors who in turn recorded their every conversation. Worthy of its status as a late-twentieth century underground "comedy" phenomenon. (Back to top of page)


(010824) kissthisguy.com -+- The Archive of Misheard Lyrics
http://www.kissthisguy.com/

The Birdhouse Arts Collective
Oakland, California, USA

The embarrassment of discovering the lyric from a favorite song isn't what one has always thought it to be is mild and somewhat funny. Leading someone to believe a lyric is one thing when it's actually something else is very funny, especially when the victim sings it that way from that point forward. The more unintelligible the lyric the better, the Kingsmen's cover of Louie Louie is the perfect example — several books have been written on the version and the supposed obscenities it contains. My own experience with goofing on people with lyrics has been entertaining. A old girlfriend once bit my arm hard enough to break the skin when The Clash's Rock The Casbah came on the radio. A passenger in the back seat made the mistake of pointing out the lyrics were "The Shareef don't like it, Rock the casbah" and not "Maurice [a take on the name of the finicky cat of TV commercial fame] don't like 'em, Rocks in the cat box". When I would sing it that way I was joking and figured that she knew I was aping The Clash. When she started to sing it that way I thought that she was sharing the joke. When she bit me it was clear to everyone that she'd been goofed.

kissthisguy.com -+- The Archive of Misheard Lyrics is named for a Jimi Hendrix song with lyrics often interpreted incorrectly or possibly correctly. There's a note from a site visitor that sheds light on the subject. With over 2,000 misheard lyrics and confessions from those who have been corrected or figured such things out on their own, kissthisguy.com -+- The Archive of Misheard Lyrics could have you hearing popular numbers like never before. (Back to top of page)


(010825) LifeSavers Candystand
http://www.candystand.com/

Nabisco, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA

Sure it's a giant advertising site for Nabisco, Inc. and their assorted brands of snack food and candy, but the Shockwave games here are a blast. Billiards, Golf, Wiffle Baseball, Pinball, and a host of additional games are combined with opportunities to enter sweepstakes and contests for a boatload of different prizes. Most of these contests are for players attaining high scores. For those not interested in playing for goodies, multi-player versions are being introduced. Again, full of advertising to the point where a disclaimer states, "Hi kids, when you see 'Ad Break' it means you are viewing a commercial message designed to sell you something…" Well, of course they are, It's a site for LifeSavers Candies. The games are fun though. Thanks to Reddog for the suggestion. (Back to top of page)


(010826) The Sausage Race
Klement's Sausage Co, Inc. (Games)
http://www.klements.com/Games/index.html

Klement's Sausage Co, Inc.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Site du Jour of the Day reader John Hoh sent in a suggestion for another commercial site with games and prizes. Well, one game anyway. John wrote, "Many have seen Miller Park's 'Sausage Race' on ESPN (http://espn.go.com/main.html) (if not live, first at County Stadium (http://www.ballparks.com/baseball/national/county.htm), now at Miller Park (http://www.millerpark.com/))."

What John is referring to is a baseball promotion occurring at every home game for the team in Milwaukee. Four larger than adult human sized sausages have a foot race to please a cheering crowd. Brett Wurst, Frankie Furter, Guido, and Stosh each represent a product in the Klement's Sausage Co, Inc. line. John describes the promotion and today's Site du Jour of the Day, "The race is sponsored by Klement's, a sausage maker in Milwaukee. On their web site, they have an animated sausage race. If your chosen sausage wins, you are entered for the monthly drawing… I can taste that Kielbasa now!".

It doesn't say what the prize is being offered or if the drawing is open to international visitors, yet the thrill of looking at a crude but effective Java Applet and four running sausages is prize enough for most. For a first hand account of what it's like to participate in the race at the ballpark, see The Great Sausage Race (http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/thailand/1160/sausagerace.html). Klement's — "Quality Sausages and Specialty Meat Products since 1956". (Back to top of page)


(010827) Hoover's Online Europe: Death By Jargon
http://www.deathbyjargon.com/

Hoover's Online Europe, Ltd.
Hoovers, Inc.
Austin, Texas, USA

Keeping with sites that offer games as well as an occasional prize, this suggestion from Site du Jour of the Day reader Jo-Ann Burton should be of interest to those who are fed up with what I once heard described as Diarrhea of the Mouth.

Jo-Ann writes, "…I wanted to send you this link I came across. This is by far the Coolest site I've found in a while… The graphics are very creative. In fact I found I wanted to answer the questions wrong just to see what the host of the game did to them. It's like The Weakest Link [BBC Online - Weakest Link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weakestlink/)] only better… It's funny in a sick, macabre way".

Part of Hoover's Online UK (http://www.hoovers.com/uk/), Hoover's Online Europe: Death By Jargon is an ongoing effort to clear up the language used by business and industry — not a bad angle of attack for a business and industry publication. The Death By Jargon game uses a Flash animation and once visitors have had their fill of Death By Jargon, the next step is to turn in companies or individuals using excessive jargon in order to win a snazzy prize. The longer visitors poke around at the two main Death By Jargon pages (the other page is also called Death By Jargon (http://www.hoovers.com/uk/jargonbuster/index.html)), the more likely they are to be pulled into any of the various sections of Hoover's Online Europe. An entertaining toy from an otherwise serious site. (Back to top of page)


(010828) EH.Net - How Much is That?
http://www.eh.net/hmit/

Economic History Network
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio, USA

As a child, stories from my parents and grandparents about how much things used to cost in the "olden days" use to amuse me to no end. Thirty pounds of soap for eleven cents, a new car, if you could afford one, for six dollars… like that. As time goes by and I get older, I'm starting to feel their pain just in thinking about how things used to be. Like many people, the thought of surviving on five thousand dollars a year is almost a romantic notion. Using the EH.Net - How Much is That? calculator, that five thousand dollars in the year 1901 has the same "purchase power" today of over a hundred thousand dollars.

Part of the Economic History Services (http://www.eh.net/) site, EH.Net - How Much is That? is made up of five different calculators — Purchasing Power of the Dollar,1665 - Present; Purchasing Power of the British Pound, 1600 - Present; Inflation Rates for the U.S. (1666 to 2000), and Great Britain (1601 to 2000); 3 to 6 Month U.S. Commercial Paper Rates, 1831 - 1997; and Exchange rate between the United States dollar and the British pound, 1791 - 1999. As either a wonderful set of reference tools, or a fancy parlor game to get the truth out of grandma, EH.Net - How Much is That? is worth a bookmark for any number of reasons. Make a point of reading the source notes for each calculator you use for a better understanding of how things used to work. That's how they could buy thirty pounds of soap for eleven cents. (Back to top of page)


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(010829) Original Chilla Club
http://www.chilla-club.com

Chilla Club
K Jarvinen
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When this commercial site launched back in July, 1999 it was pretty sparse. With that in mind, I stored notes about the site and products for future use. Two years later, the site has grown in size, so too has the product line. The Original Chilla Club is a gang of nine — Teddy Bear, Amy Cow, Zippy Hare, Hippy Horse, Elly Fant, Moby Pig, Chocky Moose, Rosy Cat, and Ruffy Dog. In essence, the Original Chilla Club is a line of stuffed animals. No television show, recording contract, trading cards, or sticker sets. At least not yet. Available through dealers in Western Europe, the character designs are simple and cute. Not having dealt with the company or seen any of the actual products it's hard to say for sure, but they all look to be very well made. The Chilla Club Cuddly Chair Beige Collection looks particularly stylish. The Chilla Picture Stories Book section is a nice touch. (Back to top of page)


(010830) The Busy Person's Guide to Writing Your Life Story
http://wz.com/arts/WritingYourLifeStory.html

Stephanie West Allen
Denver, Colorado, USA

From Stephanie West Allen, the same person who moderates The Busy Person's Guide to Creating Your Own Funeral Or Memorial Service (http://wz.com/people/CreatingYourOwnFuneral.html) (SdJotD 010504) comes The Busy Person's Guide to Writing Your Life Story. A collection of pointers to related sites and original material, the focus of this site is you. You, and what can be done to personally record your own history so far before it starts to fade or get fuzzy in the old noggin. Writing either on the computer or by hand is an obvious first choice, using a computer makes the task of editing a lot easier. The method also allows your portion of a family history to be incorporated into a larger volume eventually — saving to a Rich Text Format (RTF) file avoids many of the conflicts different applications have with data files from each other. When you reach certain points of your story, be certain to print a copy or two and always back your work up to removable media. While working on large projects, it's also a good idea to save incremental versions just in case the current file goes bad.

If writing isn't for you, there are other options. Sit down in front of a cam corder for a couple of evenings, recording directly to a video cassette recorder will make for a higher quality recording in most cases. Audio tape is also another possibility and using a better grade of tape is always a plus. Recording to the computer and/or a Compact Disc another option for preserving an oral history — see AudioTools.co.uk - For all your PC audio needs (http://www.audiotools.co.uk/) (SdJotD 010810) for tools that may help with the process. It might even be fun to sit down with family members and take turns interviewing each other if for no other reason than spontaneity. You'll be tempted to edit out the fits of laughter or other outcroppings of emotion that come up along the way, but keep these parts intact. They are often contain the best material, think about how nice it will be for future generations to know what someone's laughter sounded like.

It's something that everybody hopes one day to get around to doing, perhaps The Busy Person's Guide to Writing Your Life Story will provided the motivation. Nobody knows your story better than you do. (Back to top of page)


(010831) Beirloom Bears
http://www.beirloom.com/

Monica Kutter
Conroe, Texas, USA

What do you get when you combine treasured family photographs with a stuffed animal? A Beirloom Bear! This small cottage industry site features images and descriptions of a novel, handmade item worthy of passing down from generation to generation. That Beirloom Bears could also be used to scare the snot out of the younger grandkids is a fine side effect. "See, if you don't go to sleep right now this bear will turn into a giant and step on you. Your face will be on the bottom of its foot forever. Don't believe me? Then tell me, why does this look like your dad's face right here?" You'll get in trouble, but it'll be something that the children will grow to enjoy.

The initial Beirloom Bear, Joy, was made by Monica Kutter for a woman traveling to Mexico on a missionary trip. In the years since, over 500 Beirloom Bears have been created. An unusual item to be sure, but one that will be remembered. (Back to top of page)


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Copyright 2001, Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
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Updated August 31, 2001

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