thinglets: Ripping on a Gift Suggestion List

Beatcrave has put out a gift suggestion list for music lovers. As a music lover (and musician), I feel it is my duty to inform people of the efficacy of such a list in such a way as only lovehatethings can do. Remember, I'm not ripping the thing itself, but, instead, the suggestion that it would make a good gift. The list can be found in full here.

12) iTunes Gift Card - Yay! DRM-laden songs for the Holidays - HATE

11) iPods and Accessories - How creative! If you know the type of iPod the person wants, great. Otherwise don't guess... oh, and a $4 neoprene skin for a Shuffle is not a good gift - HATE

10) "I Listen to Bands that Don't Even Exist Yet" T-shirt - alright... a bit cliche but pretty good - LOVE

9) iRacer Surround Chair - at $399 in baby blue... LAAAAAME - HATE

8) Music Posters - cop out - HATE

7) Ticket Stub Diary - too close to scrapbooking - HATE

6) Beats by Dr. Dre In Ear Headphones by Monster - as anything made by Monster, EXPENSIVE... $150 for earbuds that will be left on the bus - HATE

5) Books on Music - you know what? There are some great books on music and musicians out there, but to assume you know someone enough to ask them to commit countless hours reading about someone they might not really like - HATE

4) Sufjan Steven's Xmas Songs Boxset - Is the recipient a fan? Then LOVE. Do they even know who Stevens is? Mostly... - HATE

3) Internet Radio Clock - Okay... pretty cool... I dig it! - LOVE

2) USB Turntable - I'll assume the recipient has a bunch of LPs - LOVE

1) 35 Year Collection of Top 40 Vinyl Singles - 18,400 records in total at $275,000. Wicked cool! - BILLIONAIRE LOVE!

18400 records

thinglets: The Sadder Songs of the Holidays

Christmas in the Trenches - John McCutcheon

River - Joni Mitchell

Brick - Ben Folds

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (Jeff Buckey's Version)

A Christmas Song - Jethro Tull

Someday At Christmas - Stevie Wonder

Christmas Sucks - Porn Orchard (impersonating Peter Murphy and Tom Waits)

thinglets: Amazonian Horrorshow

The TimesOnline in the UK has reported some practices of our beloved behemoth of online sales: Amazon. Apparently leading the charge in terms of web commercialism comes at the cost of human and workers' rights. And this is not in a developing country, but in England:

a) refusing to allow workers sick leave (six days sick leads to dismissal)

b) a compulsory 10.5 shift at the end of every work week

c) workers must hit 140 packages an hour to reach quota no matter the size

d) bonuses to workers over quota that come from workers who don't make quota

e) walking up to 14 miles/shift in the packing warehouse

f) one fifteen and one twenty minute break per 8 hour shift

"A spokesman for Amazon said anyone not willing to work “many hours” should not accept a job with the company. He confirmed workers would be penalised for being sick."


thinglets: The Dymo Disc Painter

dymo disc painter

I'll be the first to admit that I am far more likely to just store things on hard drive now that GB/$ ratio has become so low. That said, while I would have coveted the Dymo Disc Painter five years ago, it's still very cool. 600dpi custom disc painting in 60 seconds. If I knew someone who was still burning binders full of discs, this would be my holiday present for them. Unit is $280 and additional cartridges are $40... if only it was five years ago, this would've saved me a lot of ruined discs due to label glue degradation... and, as an added bonus, it kinda looks like a toilet on your desktop.

Here are the specs:

Technology: Patented RadialPrint™ Technology, dedicated CD/DVD printing direct to disc* as it revolves.

Resolution: Fast 600 dpi (two nozzle passes), Normal 600 dpi (eight nozzle passes) and Best 1200 dpi (eight nozzle passes)

Speed: DiscPainter CD and DVD labeler has three quality settings--Fast, Normal, and Best. Printing speed increases with higher quality settings, increased ink density settings and complexity of design. Times range from 30 seconds (simple text/design and Fast mode) to three minutes (more complex design and Best quality)

Compatibility: Prints on all inkjet-printable CDs, DVDs (full sized) and mini discs with four print settings: 120 mm hub printable, 120 mm non-hub printable, 80 mm (mini) hub printable, and 80 mm (mini) non hub-printable.

Ink Density: Nine ink density settings for precise ink control on matte, glossy, or colored inkjet-printable discs.

Ink Cartridge System: Full color printing with single cartridge system (one included). Prints about 100 discs with one cartridge based on "Normal" print quality and ink density setting "5".

thinglets: Hallowe'en and the Ten Things Wrong With It


Is it just me or does Hallowe'en seem more culturally devoid every year? I know. I get it. I'm kidless. And while baby goats shouldn't be a consideration for one's love or hate of Hallowe'en, I'm thinking back on my own childhood at memories of All Hallow's Eves gone by and realizing that there really aren't that many fond memories. I'm not saying I hated the event, in fact I remember, at the time, having a certain anticipatory delight in thinking up costumes and gathering free candy. Quite simply, the costume/candy ritual was fun, but did not inspire near as many found remembrances as other holidays.

Let's take a sobering look at Hallowe'en: pre-pubescent, confused children try to hide behind dollar store Transformer masks as they threaten homeowners with vigilante violence unless they fork over individually-wrapped sugar confections. Clearly then, Hallowe'en has come to serve several purposes:

1) attempt to feed disenfranchised children once a year and allow for governments to forgo actual food subsidies.
2) satisfy the powerful dentist lobby, where 4 out of 5 dentists agree more candy is a good thing... no, bad thing... well, privately, a good thing.
3) seeks to encourage indentured servitude of cane workers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
4) bows to the snack food lobbyists who don't have tons of money, but keep the assistants of government officials knee deep in Junior Mints.
5) endorses gang swarming for the purposes of intimidating the middle class.
6) allows our vampire overlords to come out one night a year and feed on Blood Red Twizzlers.
7) makes lower class kids feel inadequate when they have to wear their Superman Underoos as a costume.
8) enables the rarely-seen-at-other holidays "razor-blade-in-the-apple" lunatics.
9) forces adults, who would never otherwise think of dressing up, to participate in a drunken costume party ritual.
10) remind me, that despite all else, for two years I had the coolest stormtrooper costume in town.