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Pain_Man

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Everything posted by Pain_Man

  1. Pain_Man

    Pop ups with my Plextor

    This has happened several times now with my Plextor 760A . I've burned a DL (Verb of course!) and I get this message: I checked the Settings page and IB has permission to lock the drive. I've not seen this issue with my other burner (Optiarc 7170A). Any suggestions on how to fix this? So far it doesn't seem to be affecting the discs, so perhaps this more a nuisance than a serious problem? This DVDInfo graph looks good and the disc will play on my PC & HD-DVD player. Any help's appreciated. VOYAGER_S7D1_PLEXTOR_DVDR_PX_760A_1.07_5_4_2009_MKM_001_00.ibg
  2. Pain_Man

    Pop ups with my Plextor

    Do you mean don't even use CopytoDVD or BlindWrite? I've been using PC for well over year now and this is the first issue that's come up. (Not that I use C2DVD much, excepting CDDA's I use IB more than anything else.) Is there a flaw in v. 1.37? (I'd appreciate if you'd let it be known if their next version has corrected the problem.) Should I just stick with SPTI? That's your default for IB. Thanks, Lightning... Its been a while since I "dropped in", hope all is well with you and yours...
  3. Pain_Man

    Britain/Scotland's worst monarchs

    Here's something for the historically--minded, a BBC News story on a Britains worst Kings and Queens: Monstrous Monarchs As a student of history and an Anglophile and being largely of English, Scots, Scots-Irish descent, this is tough one. There've been so many idiot monarchs (and they are hardly confined to the UK). I'm trying to pick a few that the article doesn't mention. I realize (most) of these be arguable. Edward the Confessor - more saint than King, he failed to clearly designate a sucessor, leading to two wars and the imposition of William I's bestial tyranny. William the Bastard tore up Northern England so badly (for rebelling against him) that it didn't recover until for seven hundred years [!]. Stephen - (usually known as Stephen of Blois), seized the crown from Matilda (his cousin), who would have been England's first regnant Queen. His illegal, precarious position depending upon the great magnates. He was a crappy king who was defeated by the future Henry II (one of England's greatest Kings and the most succesful European warrior since Charlemagne), who forced the childless Stephen to make him heir to the throne (this was before the heir was known as the "Prince of Wales"). James II - a full-on idiot and fanatical Catholic. He was such a fanatic that even Louis XIV (who destroyed France's protestant--Huguenot--minority with despicable brutality) cautioned him to move slowly. As the Durants put it,James was "suicidally immune to advice." To be fair, however, he was not a tool of France. Whereas his predecessor (and brother) Charles II was content to take huge subsidies from Louis to follow France's line in European politics; James II refused and Louis turned off the cash. As Lord Macauley put it (might have the name wrong), "If James had been a Protestant or even a moderate Catholic, he probably would have had a decent reign" and the Stuart dynasty would have probably lasted a lot longer and, perhaps, the present Royal family would not be German (the "Windors" real name is Saxe-Coburg-Gotha--from Prince Albert's family name--changed by George V during WWI because of the understandable anti-German feeling at the time). Charles II - his reign was a mixed bag. Some good, some bad. He sold his country to France in the secret Treaty of Dover in which he promised, for a huge pile of cash--to convert to Catholicism and bring England along by force; he persuaded Louis to agree to send thousands of French troops to support him. Charles never followed through. Realizing, I'm sure, that had he done so, he would have certainly suffered his brother's fate and perhaps his father's. Georges I & II - German louts who got the throne because of a sliver of Stuart blood and their rock-solid Protestantism. But their obsession with Hanover, skewed British foreign policy and pounds in order to protect the Electorate. Their family tradition of hatred between father and eldest son, contributed to the bitterness of faction in British politics. And consider a what if: had George IV had a son (even had his daughter live, she couldn't have inherited the throne of Hanover), then Britain might very well have been drawn into the Franco-Prussian War in order to protect Hanover. Since Victoria was on the throne, World War I was post-poned for 40 years. This is important because US intervention in 1870--just five years after the end of our Civil War--would have been politically impossible and, more importantly, logistically impossible. Britain and France would have been on their own and Prussia-Germany would have dominated Europe for who knows how long.
  4. I burned a disc without problems, a copy of a friend's student film project, and during the Verify process I got the error message below. I'd like to know what it means since I don't understand it. Particularly: "L-EC Uncorrectable Error". What's an L-EC error? (While I haven't watched the entire disc yet, it did load with no problems in WinDVD8 and I watched several minutes of it.) Disc: Ritek-D01-01 Burner: Plextor 760A OS: Media Center Edition 2005 CPU: Core Duo 2 E6700 2.66GHz RAM: 4GB Total hdd space: 1.2 TB As can be seen, the burn went off with no problems but the verify choked throwing out the above message. I clicked both "Try Again" and "Continue" but the only result was a repetition of the error message. Here is the IB Log as well (the relevant area is bolded): I 15:22:10 ImgBurn Version 2.1.0.0 started! I 15:22:10 Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition (5.1, Build 2600 : Service Pack 2) W 15:22:10 Drive D:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB W 15:22:10 Drive O:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB W 15:22:10 Drive V:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB I 15:22:10 Initialising SPTI... I 15:22:10 Searching for SCSI / ATAPI devices... I 15:22:10 Found 3 DVD-ROMs, 1 DVD?RW and 1 DVD?RW/RAM! I 15:23:14 Operation Started! I 15:23:14 Source File: M:\DVD Hold File\XXXXXXXXXXX\XXXXXXXXXX.MDS I 15:23:14 Source File Sectors: 3,773,976 (MODE1/2048) I 15:23:14 Source File Size: 7,729,102,848 bytes I 15:23:14 Source File Volume Identifier: XXXXXXXXXXXXX I 15:23:14 Source File Implementation Identifier: UDF Toshiba DVD Video I 15:23:14 Source File File System(s): ISO9660, UDF (1.02) I 15:23:14 Destination Device: [1:1:0] PLEXTOR DVDR PX-760A 1.06 (I:) (ATA) I 15:23:14 Destination Media Type: DVD+R DL (Disc ID: RITEK-D01-01) (Speeds: 2.4x, 4x) I 15:23:14 Destination Media Sectors: 4,173,824 I 15:23:14 Write Mode: DVD I 15:23:14 Write Type: DAO I 15:23:14 Write Speed: MAX I 15:23:14 Link Size: Auto I 15:23:14 Test Mode: No I 15:23:14 BURN-Proof: Enabled I 15:23:14 Optimal L0 Data Zone Capacity: 1,886,992 I 15:23:14 Optimal L0 Data Zone Method: Copied From Original Disc I 15:23:14 Filling Buffer... I 15:23:15 Writing LeadIn... I 15:24:05 Writing Image... I 15:24:05 Writing Layer 0... (LBA: 0 - 1886991) I 15:38:35 Writing Layer 1... (LBA: 1886992 - 3773975) I 15:50:31 Synchronising Cache... I 15:50:34 Closing Track... I 15:50:36 Finalising Disc... I 15:51:15 Image MD5: d69b043ad9096035aadb6f5161aa7601 I 15:51:18 Operation Successfully Completed! - Duration: 00:28:00 I 15:51:18 Average Write Rate: 4,759 KB/s (3.4x) - Maximum Write Rate: 5,592 KB/s (4.0x) I 15:51:18 Cycling Tray before Verify... I 15:52:17 Device Ready! I 15:52:19 Operation Started! I 15:52:19 Source Device: [1:1:0] PLEXTOR DVDR PX-760A 1.06 (I:) (ATA) I 15:52:19 Source Media Type: DVD+R DL (Book Type: DVD-ROM) (Disc ID: RITEK-D01-01) (Speeds: 2.4x, 4x) I 15:52:19 Image File: M:\DVD Hold File\XXXXXXXXXXX\XXXXXXXXXX.MDS I 15:52:19 Image File Sectors: 3,773,976 (MODE1/2048) I 15:52:19 Image File Size: 7,729,102,848 bytes I 15:52:19 Image File Volume Identifier: XXXXXXXXXXXX I 15:52:19 Image File Implementation Identifier: UDF Toshiba DVD Video I 15:52:19 Image File File System(s): ISO9660, UDF (1.02) I 15:52:19 Verifying Sectors... W 17:35:50 Failed to read Sector 992768 - L-EC Uncorrectable Error W 17:35:50 Sector 992768 maps to File: VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB W 17:35:59 Failed to read Sector 992769 - L-EC Uncorrectable Error W 17:35:59 Sector 992769 maps to File: VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB W 17:36:20 Failed to read Sector 992770 - L-EC Uncorrectable Error W 17:36:20 Sector 992770 maps to File: VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB E 17:36:29 Failed to read Sector 992771 - L-EC Uncorrectable Error E 17:36:29 Sector 992771 maps to File: VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB E 17:36:29 Failed to Verify Sectors! E 17:36:29 Operation Failed! - Duration: 01:44:10 I 17:36:29 Average Verify Rate: 317 KB/s (0.2x) - Maximum Verify Rate: 8,349 KB/s (6.0x) I 17:40:24 Close Request Acknowledged I 17:40:24 Closing Down... I 17:40:24 Shutting down SPTI... I 17:40:24 ImgBurn closed!
  5. Pain_Man

    Verify error...uh, HELP, s'il te plait...

    Thanks, Lightning. Pretty sure it was just a coaster. I suppose I should try to get a refund, on the other, since the disc contains sensitive corporate information and all, can't really do that. But I can't complain. I've burnt hundreds of Verb DLs and have had maybe five coasters? It's happened so rarely (knock on wood!) that I can't remember the time before this disc. Have had no issues with other discs from that spindle. What's the deal with "made in Singepore" Verbs? Is there a product code that one can use to tell which discs were made where? Having trouble posting here. Sorry for any duplications. Ciao
  6. Was burning a copy of a disc for my wife's company (at the owner's request, hence perfectly legal). The burn went fine, but when it came to Verification, I got this message: (In a pop up): Verify failed! Reason: Layouts do not match. I understand the plain English meaning of the words but not their meaning in the optical media context. Here's the relevant portion of the Log: I 12:29:32 Writing Track 1 of 1... (MODE1/2048, LBA: 0 - 4130927) I 12:29:32 Writing Layer 0... (LBA: 0 - 2065471) I 12:38:08 Writing Layer 1... (LBA: 2065472 - 4130927) I 12:46:46 Synchronising Cache... I 12:47:50 Closing Track... I 12:47:57 Finalising Disc... W 12:49:34 Potential 'WaitImmediateIO' Deferred Error - (0/3) - No Seek Complete W 12:49:34 Finalise Disc Failed! - Reason: No Seek Complete W 12:49:34 Retrying (1 of 3)... Should I even try to burn another copy--or would that just be wasting a DL? All help is appreciated...
  7. Pain_Man

    Verify error...uh, HELP, s'il te plait...

    Lightning, mmalves, somebody, pls...
  8. Pain_Man

    Verify error...uh, HELP, s'il te plait...

    Here's the entire log (I also uploaded the DVDInfoPro graph): I 12:27:41 ImgBurn Version 2.4.2.0 started! I 12:27:41 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition (6.0, Build 6001 : Service Pack 1) I 12:27:41 Total Physical Memory: 3,140,920 KB - Available: 2,204,448 KB W 12:27:41 Drive P:\ (FAT32) does not support single files > 4 GB in size. I 12:27:41 Initialising Patin-Couffin... I 12:27:41 Patin-Couffin - VSO Software - Version 1.37.0.0 - Internal Revision 37 I 12:27:41 Searching for SCSI / ATAPI devices... I 12:27:41 Found 2 DVD-ROMs, 1 DVD XXXXXXX_PLEXTOR_DVDR_PX_760A_1.07_8_31_2008_12_28_PM_MKM_001_00.ibg
  9. Pain_Man

    Verify error...uh, HELP, s'il te plait...

    I will post the whole thing. The next disc I burned, it verified with no problems. I'm watching the GOP Convention, so I'll put it up later.
  10. Pain_Man

    For your consideration...

    Here's a very interesting article published in the New York Times on the different ways the United States & Canada (as well as some other countries) handle "offensive" speech; we've protected it, they've criminalized. I found it quite fascinating and another reason why, despite all its defects, I wouldn't live in any other country. Article Title: American Exception Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech An excellent comment from a reader (imo): "The First Amendment is a gift, like the article says, that nobody else has. Once you start making exceptions, it will never stop." (Which is precisely my objection to "hate" crime laws. They criminalize thought which an obscure writer named Eric Blair once warned us about in a little known, little read novel. I think it had numbers in the title(??).
  11. Pain_Man

    For your consideration...

    It is long, no doubt. But I thought that more people would read it rather than tap a link and have to register for the Times' site and then. Too bad. Your thoughts on the article were some of the ones I'm most especially interested in. OK, point taken. I'll remove the text and leave the link. I suppose the truly interested won't mind taken a couple of minutes to go thru the Gray Lady's registration process.
  12. Pain_Man

    Mobility Fidelity's release of "Permanent Waves"

    The only complaint that I--and many others--have is the cover artwork. While the "mini-LP" sleeve (apparently a Japanese fad) is quite cool, the reproduction of the LP art, is awful. It's dark, indistinct and fuzzy. Given Hugh Syme (renowned cover artist and "conceptualist" for many, many bands) and Rush's stringent quality demands, it's hard to believe they okay'd this art work. But don't let that put you off. The gold (no pun intended) inside would be worth having even if my 8 yr old had been hired to crayon a new cover for the album. The 1997--2004 remasters of Rush's entire catalog, i.e. every album excepting the last two, Vapor Trails and [/i]Snakes and Arrows[/i], were excellent, a distinct improvement on the original CDs released in the 80s (and which, before my first wife got her grubby little hands on them, I had the complete set; at one time I had every Rush album on CD, LP and cassette). I have had to replace several of my 20+ yr old CDs that have the dreaded disappearing aluminum syndrome--a fault due to poor quality control from some of the first CD pressing plants (both German and American). CDs made from 1987 on don't suffer from this problem. But this Mobile Fidelity remastering job--directly from the original master tapes defies description--so I won't lay a thick encomium on you (some have complained--rightly so--about my allergy to brevity). Suffice it to say: if you're a die-hard Rush fan, and I'm going on 26 yrs, then the US$26.99 price tag ($21 higher than the "regular" disc) is well, well worth it. Also, a lot of fan reviews are saying that this is the best MoFi release ever, and not just of Rush's catalog. 2112, Moving Pictures and Signals all got the treatment in the early 90s. Used copies of these go anywhere from $33 (Signals) to $257 (Moving Pictures). Prices for other MoFi editions of classic albums are even more statospheric: an unopened copy of Who's Next is listed on Amazon as costing $499! For a CD that originally cost--indexed for inflation--$60! I only wish I'd had the foresight (and money, back in those days, I was dirt poor, i.e. so poor I had to eat dirt, with a little salt...) to buy a couple of copies each and store one unopened. There are rumors that MoFi intends to re-released these three as well as additional Rush titles. However, I couldn't find anything about this on their website. Perhaps I'll drop the official Rush webiste and email and see what they have to say on the matter. (Hopefully "yes," "yes," and "soon." *(the latter being the first Rush studio album yet to have gone at least Gold; as I said, "yet" inevitably, they'll get over the half million mark. The Boyz from Toronto have sold more than million albums a year from nearly 35 years. There are damned few bands that can claim that.)
  13. Remember those Gold CDDAs of the 80s and early 90s? Mobile Fidelity, the company that brought them to us is back and with a vengeance. (actually the company began the mid-70s producing high quality records; if you're under 30 those are the black discs your parents--or grand parents--have sitting next to their one-piece, chest-line stereo system). I once they were just hype, another way to get me to buy a CD a second time or to pay double/triple the price of the aluminum substrate versions. A Tower Record's employee even told me, "There's no difference except that Gold doesn't oxidize as fast." Not hard to fathom why they went out of business. At the beginning of this year, they released a new version of Permanent Windows (US Amazon page is here.) remastered using their proprietary processing system (you can read all about it on their website mofi.com). The result is absolutely stunning. Excepting SACDs, I have NEVER heard a better audio recording*. When Neil hammers the tympani's on "Jacob's Ladder" it as tho' you are literally sitting in front of that old, monster kit as hit plays. Geddy's bass sound both fat and sharp at the same time (Rush fans'll know what I mean by that). Alex's guitar work, esp the acoustic sections, shimmer magically. And when it's time for Zeppelinesque bombs-away segues, the walls shake in most satisfying manner. At one point, I swear I can hear a pick tap a humbucker. The recording of tidal pools and high tides on the epic "Natural Science" is so realistic, all I had to do was close my eyes imagine and I was sitting on the beach at La Jolla Shores on a softly, moonlit night with my lovely lady. Get the wife (and or kids) out of the house, make sure the neighbors aren't home, pop the disc in and then turn the volume up as close as you can get before your speakers start protesting. And enjoy. It's thirty-six minutes of pure audio bliss./In short, it don't get much better than this. *Granted, I didn't have good systems until about 10 years ago, and still I certainly do not have a $50,000 system, recessed into the cherry-paneled walls of my study, concealed by motorized doors; I have a Yamaha HT-6050 receiver with speakers sitting on a pine coffee table between the sliding glass door to our dying yardlet (what idiot decided on [ grass in the hottest desert in the world?!?!] and the rear window (that is most excellent--esp for our smallish townhouse (1600s.f.).
  14. Pain_Man

    Mobility Fidelity's release of "Permanent Waves"

    Couple of other things: It took me over six weeks to get this disc after I ordered it. So it Imay, conceivably, take you a good while to get it. Mofi's own website lists it as "currently out of stock"; Amazon says they have three. They make only five thousand of any disc, and each package (a "mini" LP jacket) has a number. In my case, mine is number 3042. (I'm not a hundred percent on the 5000 disc limit; but there must be a limit of some kind, else why number them?) I just checked Amazon Canada and UK. The former has it in stock (for the exact same numerical price as Amazon US, testimony to the stricken US dollar...). The UK site lists it as an "Import" does not carry it. Of course, Brit Rush fans can always order it from the US or Canada. I know it cost me a fortune in shipping to order a DVD from Amazon UK, almost as much as the disc itself! The worst shipping bill I ever paid was for a $3 CDDA I ordered from Amazon Deutchland. The shipping was $15!!! :&
  15. Pain_Man

    Happy Birthday lfcrule1972!

    Belated Happy Birthday, bra. Hope it was a good one. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: (But not too good for ya... :& )
  16. Pain_Man

    PS3 vs X-Box -- which way should I go?

    My wife and I are considering whether to buy a Playstation 3 or an X-box 360. My brother's got an Xbox 360 and it looks excellent on his plasma TV. (Natch, it's not in the same league as my dual 1/2 GB Radeon Crossfire X1950XTX with a Core Duo 7300 and 4Gb of RAM and a 23in 16x10 LCD flat panel monitor.) I'm rather desperate for a Blu-Ray player*. If the PS3 is equivalent than the Xbox, the former seems the logical choice to me. The PS3 comes in a 40GB and an 80GB models; why would one choose the 80 over the 40? Do the saved games take up that much space? I've compared them at stores on top of the line TVs and the Blu-Ray format simply blows doors. It is light-years ahead of HD-DVD in nearly every way I can think of. the difference in picture clarity between the two "Hi-Def" formats is like that between regular DVDs and VHS: no comparison. Besides, Blu-Ray (discs and players) is out-selling HD-DVD by more than two to one. This time, I think, Sony has already won the format war. So if some of y'all would be so kind as to my what you think of the two consoles, pros/cons, etc, I'd really appreciate it. I haven't had a console since my Atari 2600 (yeah, I know; but with computers having such incredible capabilities I haven't seen the reason for a dedicated console; but add-in a Blu-Ray player and that's a deal) so I do need some help in this area. What better place to come than here?
  17. Pain_Man

    C2 Pointers

    I have found that dbPoweramp's CD Ripper (or even Easy CDDA Extractor's "Analyze & Repair" mode) is an excellent way to find out if a pressed disc has any c2 errors, et al. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't?) how many brand-spanking new CDs, just out of the shrink wrap, have C2 errors. At least half. (That's not scientific, of course, just based on my own experience.) Interestingly, 3 of the 4 discs from the BIG ZEP BOXED SET, which I've owned for 10 years, had no errors at all; this despite D1 & D2 having quite a large number of scratches. Only the second disc had two tracks with a few frames that had to be re-ripped. Apparently, there's no automatically connection between the apparent physical condition of the disc and its data's integrity. (Not that I understand why audio data has "frames" and I'm sure the explanation is probably far longer than even my signature box, or, page, blu rather accurately terms it. I'll cut it down. I promise.) Not talking "critical" errors that result in degraded sound quality or the prevent copying. Nay-the-less they are there. And I've checked this with both of the above named apps. (Again, I don't use EAC because setting it up is like my first marriage: an extremely frustrating waste of time, only without the awesome sex. Hey, they call whores whores for reason, after all. ) n
  18. Pain_Man

    C2 Pointers

    First question: Can ImgBurn read C2 errors on Redbook CDs? Second question: Can it correct them if they are present? Or, if you rip a CDDA with them, will it simply copy them to the image file? Yes, I checked every tab on the Settings window and could find no reference to audio error checking. Third question: If it can detect C2 errors from real drives can it do the same for virtual (e.g. created by Alcohol, if that's relevant)? I use dbPoweramp for my disc reproduction chores. (I never play pressed CDs; I copy them and play those; except for ones I've had from before I had a CD writer, my first one, Darkside of the Moon is 22 years old, as is my second Moving Pictures. As for pressed CDDAs lasting for a century, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one) Therefore they are in pristine condition and any that should become collector's items, for whatever reason, I'll be able to honestly say, "taken out of the case only once". I could use EAC but that's such a monster pain in the ass to set up that its slightly higher quality of rips hardly makes up for the hassle (also, it does NOT support CD-Text, how useless is that?!) Anyway, I'm trying to cut down on the time it takes to rip pressed CDs for a back up copy. (Note: making personal back up copies, to whatever medium, is explicitly legal in the US, if it's not in the UK, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to violate any laws. ) If I let dbP read from the physical disc it can take over 30 mins to read a disc and correct any errors in encounters (and I have an E6700 Core Duo 2 2.7GHz processor, 4GB ram, 1024MB FSB, and a Plextor 760A, plus SATA hdds (!) (!) (!) (!) (!) ). I figure if I can rip a given disk to hdd as an image and then use dbPoweramp, the process will be reduced to less five minutes (since it'll be "moving" at up to 200x as opposed to 4x to 25x). So if I can get the question answered without having to rip umpteen discs myself, I would appreciate it. (As I said above, I treat my CDs with kid gloves so you'd be surprised how hard it is to find a truly scratch up disc--something required to calibrate dbPoweramp!). Danke Attached is the log from the disc I just ripped. (And yes, it is my wife's! Clay's got a great voice, but why do 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of songwriter's suck arse?!) Clay_Aiken___On_My_Way_Here.txt
  19. Pain_Man

    C2 Pointers

    Yeah, but it's one of the many reasons y'all know and love me. And with a signature that doesn't take up a full page. Regards
  20. Pain_Man

    C2 Pointers

    Yeah, but I gotta be me! Interestingly, according to Nero's InfoTool 5, my Alcohol virtual "drives" have the ability to read "c2" errors. How can a non-physical (i.e. non-existant!) disc have c2 errors?!?
  21. Pain_Man

    Street crime out of control in UK

    This article is absolute wild--UK police warning citizens to stay in-doors at night because of soaring street crime rates, a large part of it committed by roaming gangs of Clockwork Orange type juvenile thugs terrorizing people with knives and guns. Time is a far left, anti-gun, anti-self-defense magazine ("gun control" is the euphemism most frequently employed by the gun-banners) . This story doesn't come from the NRA or any consevative (right-wing) or self-defense advocacy group. In fact, Time is stridently anti-conservative, anti-war on terror, anti-Bush, pro-Hillary, etc. So, my British cousins, does this story agree with your experiences? (I mean that in no figurative sense; my last five British relatives were killed fighting the Nazis in WW2; all were members of "The Few" and all died in that unparalleled example of bravery, whilst we were sitting on our arses on the sidelines watching Hitler hammer the shit out y'all.) "Britain's Mean Streets" by Catherine Meyer Jason Steen isn't an obvious target for muggers. The 40-year-old heads his own company advising on mergers and acquisitions, and usually strides through life like a Master of the Universe. This evening, though, he looks shaken. Two days earlier, he was accosted outside his central London home by eight kids
  22. Pain_Man

    Amazon.com does HD buyers a solid...

    If you bought an HD-DVD player before 23 Feb 2008, you should check the email account you used to sign up for Amazon. I received an email with a coupon code for $50 worth of merchandise (natch, I spent $30 more, ). So, if, like me, you got hosed by Time-Warner's decision and Toshiba's surrender, you should have $50 bills waiting for you in your in-box. The offer expires in April 2009. I have no idea if this applies to Canada, Australia, NZ, or the UK. But I'm quite happy with Bezos for doing this. I've been an Amazon customer for 11 years now (and I've spent thousands, probably more than $10 grand during that time) and they've always been great to do business with. So check you're email account. You just might have a $50 goodie waiting for you.
  23. Pain_Man

    The 2008 Darwin Awards

    Sir John Keegan, the world's greatest military historian also relates how grim things were in Britain in the immediate post-war years. Eddie Izzard (whom I have tickets to see in July) also does a riff on that. "We were fucked!" Obviously, things have gotten better. The UK's the number one foreign investor in the US (and always has been as far as I can tell; you guys paid for our railroads; we defaulted on the bonds, your investors got screwed, we kept the railroads). Followed by the Netherlands; Queen Beatrix is said to be worth even more than Elizabeth II. (In the mid-Eighties, Fortune magazine estimated Liz's wealth at US$12 billion. Given the fact that money doubles every 10 yrs @7% compounded, she's got to be worth close to $30b; which means ol' Beatrix must be giving Buffet and Gates a run for their, uh, money. They are a strange lot, that's for sure. And they are all over Sin City. As I wrote earlier, they were the first American settlers in the Vegas valley (a large, well-watered "wash" runs thru the valley creating a fertile meadow, vega is Spanish for meadow). They control the City of North Las Vegas. A running joke is that you have to be Mormon to even get a city job with NLV. The Mayor's brother is police chief, that kind of thing. One thing I've noticed over the, uh, decades (I grew up in San Diego which also has quite a few Mormons as well as one of those architectural horrors they call "temples"), is that people who are born into Mormonism have serious emotional and, usually, dope problems as well; one of my best friends in h.s. was a perfect example of this. As a corollary, they party their asses off. Then they go back to feeling guilty...round and round and round. Those that "convert" to it in later life seem to be much stabler. I even had a boss one time (co-incidentally he grew up here) who was a convert, one of the best bosses I ever had. And, unlike those "goddamn Jehovah's Witnesses" (don't blame me; some writer put that line in Faye Dunaway's mouth in Superman III--a cinematic horror, Mormon missionaries are actually polite. They even go away when you tell them to w/o all the arguing you typically get from the JWs. Mormonism is more than a little like a cult and it's definitely not a Christian sec. Interested in the details on that, PM me. Or check out that South Park episode All About Mormons.
  24. Pain_Man

    The 2008 Darwin Awards

    Would have posted sooner, but I spent last Friday-Saturday in the hospital with what I thought was a heart-attack . The fact that my 8 yr old girl was home and I thought I might die in front of her did not help my blood pressure. Fortunately, it turned out to be a case of pleurisy. Still, for spending more than 24 hours in the hospital, the total bill is $22,000 ; or nearly a grand per hour. (One $8 pill is priced at $136!) I have two health insurance policies so I shouldn't have to pay anything. Or at least I hope so. (Curiously, the list fails to include either Eliot Spitzer or Kwame Kilpatrick... ) Without further ado... Eighth Place In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys. Seventh Place A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who 'totally zoned when he ran,' accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on his daily run. Sixth Place While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital. Fifth Place Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed when he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor. Fourth Place Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed when he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger. Third Place After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up, and fired a few wild shots from a target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also drew their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from 7 different weapons. No one else was hurt. HONORABLE MENTION Paul Stiller, 47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M. so they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out the window to see what would happen. Apparently they failed to notice the window was closed. RUNNER UP Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable, lay near by. They secured one end around Bingham's leg and the tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. Bingham's foot was never located. AND THE WINNER IS... Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn , Germany ) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded. The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground where he struck hishead on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves... 'Stuff happens'
  25. Pain_Man

    The 2008 Darwin Awards

    "MDDS"? DDS is easy, Doctor of Dental Surgery. What's the "M" stand for? The first two years of dental school are identical to the first two yrs of med school.
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