I've seen more with these two eyes than with any other part of my body.
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Why I Started Buying Records

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I started buying records a few months ago, and I’ve already compiled a large body of imagined insults to my person about why I’d do such a dumb, dusty thing.

Vinyl RecordA geometric image of a black vinyl record.

In the time honored tradition of humoring your own neuroses, I’m going to respond to these accusations.

But first, an opinion:

Why you should buy records, too

You shouldn’t. Or you should. Do what you want. Pluralistic societies for the win!

Okay, on to why I started buying records.

It’s slow

Many would see this as a drawback, but for me, as I get older and the world gets faster and my attention becomes more precious, I find it rather meditative to attend to something as fragile as a record.

It becomes it’s own kind of ritual.

Leafing through the record spines, hearing the paper swoosh as you pull it off the shelf, carefully extracting the record, delicately placing it on the spindle, cleaning and wiping for dust as necessary.

It’s like worshiping at an altar, except instead of having to confess your sins you get to dance.

You own them

Music streaming services have taken over the world, and their great, don’t get me wrong. However, about a year ago I had this moment where I realized I hadn’t bought any music in a long time.

It made me feel strange; I care about music a lot, and only using a streaming service felt like a gear head only leasing a car.

I wanted something in my hands.

Sound quality

This one is more aspirational. I don’t know if I can tell the difference, sound wise, between a lossless digital file and a vinyl recording, but I hope to when I get good enough speakers to really make that apparent.

In the meantime, my records still sound great on my almost two decades old Sony 5 CD changer, tape, radio and speaker combo.

Big cover art

Trivial? Maybe, but some albums have amazing artwork, and I want to hold it and gaze into it like the coffee-table-book-sized masterpiece it is.

It’s analog

I like having music in the format it was indented for. For records that were recorded in analog, that’s vinyl.

If that sounds suspiciously like a lot of hand waving and magical thinking, yeah, you’re probably right. Yet I think good art always has elements of magical disbelief, so why not stretch that metaphor from the art to the medium?

I hear it’s the message.

Nostalgia

They smell nice, too. What does an mp3 smell like?

It’s trendy

This is an anti-reason.

They’re collectable

It’s like trading cards for hipsters.

You can still listen to digital music

This is the best part: even though I own a record player and several records, and listen to them frequently, I have not been outlawed from listening to music on my phone (at least not yet).

In a best of both worlds move I’m pretty proud of, I started ripping my records to high quality FLAC files so I could listen to them on the go, or just categorize them obsessively, or whatever, don’t judge.

That way, the files are legally mine, they are DRM free, and I can play them anywhere without an internet connection (I’m looking at you, The Subway) without having to pay for Spotify.

Conclusions

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you win nothing.

You can take a look at the records I’ve collected so far, if you’re into that kind of thing, you weirdo.

The post Why I Started Buying Records first appeared on Chris DeLuca's blog.

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bronzehedwick
27 days ago
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A short article I wrote on the pleasures of analog in a digital world.
Astoria NY
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Grammatical CSS Lists

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The Situation You have a list of items that you need to render with comma separation, and an “and” at the end. For example: Cookies, rice, and farts. The Problem This display is traditionally done in business logic, creating more complexity than this simple output warrants. The Solution We can use pure CSS, using well supported pseudo-classes and pseudo-content. Behold! HTML <ul class="list"> <li class="item">Cookies</li> <li class="item">rice</li> <li class="item">farts</li> </ul> CSS /* Boilerplate to inline the list.
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bronzehedwick
236 days ago
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A little write up I did for simplifying a task usually done in business logic.
Astoria NY
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Who Could Have Guessed Saturday Night Live Would Play a Leading Role in Resisting Trump?

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melissa-mccarthy-sean-spicer

Donald Trump reacts to Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Sean Spicer in the most Trump way possible.

More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job, where he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the “opposition party,” and developing a functional relationship with the press.

“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” added a top Trump donor.

Trump’s uncharacteristic Twitter silence over the weekend about the “Saturday Night Live” sketch was seen internally as a sign of how uncomfortable it made the White House feel. Sources said the caricature of Spicer by McCarthy struck a nerve and was upsetting to the press secretary and to his allies, who immediately saw how damaging it could be in Trumpworld.

Since SNL has so much power, how about portraying Bannon as a puppetmaster controlling everything Trump says. Or portray Trump as a dog who Bannon pets on the head when he says something properly racist. Even better, Trump can be played by a woman, evidently the most outrageous insult ever imagined.

4 years of this. 4 years.

….Now this is a good idea.

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bronzehedwick
313 days ago
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Yes to all of this!
Astoria NY
wreichard
314 days ago
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Yep. Bring on Rosie.
Earth
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2 public comments
glenn
313 days ago
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He's a big boy, he can handle it
Waterloo, Canada
gangsterofboats
314 days ago
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Everyone?

Negativity

3 Comments and 10 Shares
[Google search] how do I block my lawn
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bronzehedwick
367 days ago
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Ahahaha
Astoria NY
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2 public comments
mooglemoogle
367 days ago
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How to block your lawn:
https://www.unitedrentals.com/en/equipment/earthmoving-equipment/backhoes
Virginia
alt_text_bot
367 days ago
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[Google search] how do I block my lawn

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Class and Media

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Hovertext:
Before you write me an email asking 'what about the middle class,' please understand that I want this comic to still be relevant in 50 years.

New comic!
Today's News:
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bronzehedwick
382 days ago
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Daaaamn it hurts when he's right.
Astoria NY
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3 public comments
Courtney
378 days ago
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The most accurate diagram about class I have seen in recent memory
Portland, OR
codesujal
378 days ago
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Read the alt text...
West Hartford, CT
norb
382 days ago
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The alt text is SAVAGE
clmbs.oh
CarlEdman
381 days ago
Not so savage when you look at the actual numbers and realize that the reason the "middle class is disappearing" is not wide-spread pauperisation, but a larger and larger fraction of the population has become "rich."
chaosdiscord
380 days ago
There is nothing quite so American as seeing at 4% more of the poulation in the lowest income bracket than in 1971, but pretending it's okay because 7% more of the population moved up to upper-middle or upper income brackets. Meanwhile, the alt text remains savage. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/the-incredible-shrinking-middle-class/

The Right Way to Oppose Trump

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Luigi Zingales, writing for the NYT:

Mr. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for as long as he did mostly thanks to the incompetence of his opposition. It was so rabidly obsessed with his personality that any substantive political debate disappeared; it focused only on personal attacks, the effect of which was to increase Mr. Berlusconi’s popularity. His secret was an ability to set off a Pavlovian reaction among his leftist opponents, which engendered instantaneous sympathy in most moderate voters. Mr. Trump is no different.

Perfectly applies this very morning. Twitter is full of people talking about Mike Pence getting booed by the audience at Hamilton last night. Now Trump himself is tweeting about it, focusing news media on the incident. Booing is not meaningful opposition. But it has served to distract from a legitimate scandal: Trump settling a fraud lawsuit for $25 million yesterday. The smart opposition is focused on that today.

And the real news — what is happening this week that will have serious repercussions — is that the Trump administration is being filled with cronies, fools, and white nationalist bigots. Trump just nominated an avowed racist to head the Department of Justice and we’re talking about Mike Pence getting booed at a play? If you’re truly opposed to Trump, get serious and stay focused.

bigots.

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bronzehedwick
394 days ago
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We have to be conscious about where we put focus. The media - and everyone - only has so much attention. Point opposition at the incidents that matter most.
Astoria NY
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acdha
393 days ago
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I think that's exactly the strategy, and it's working: right now the NYT and WaPo bumped all of the Trump University coverage of the homepage in favor of the Hamilton story.
Washington, DC
jhamill
394 days ago
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Time to get serious and stay focused.
California
wreichard
394 days ago
On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, Mike Conversion Therapy Pence showing up at Hamilton and then getting the president to make vague threats when they called him on it is, in my opinion, also serious.
wreichard
394 days ago
And honestly, I believe that's part of the Trump/Bannon strategy: to create so many fires that people begin to climb over each other to get away.
wmorrell
393 days ago
I suppose dumping a tanker of oil into the "swamp", then lighting a match is one way to "drain" it.
jhamill
392 days ago
@wreichard that does sound like what the Trump transition team is doing, distraction at it's finest.
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