Category Archives: Music

The Race – Backstory

This is the story behind The Race

 The Race (Radio Edit) 



 Christmas 2003, “Number One Son” gave me the very first Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1, that he had picked up while studying abroad in Japan. It had not yet been released in the states.

Image courtesy of Steves Digicams 

The specs were impressive for the day: 5 mega-pixel, 3.6″w x 2.4″h x 0.8″d (91mm x 60mm x 21mm), 6.3 oz. / 180g. Click on the camera image for a review and detailed specs. My cell phone in 2004 was the standard flip phone. I don’t even recall if it had camera. If it did, it was worthless.

This was the first camera I could carry in my pocket. I could take it everywhere. With the USB cable I could relatively easily transfer pictures from it to my computer. I had QuickTime Pro on my computer and realized that if the pictures were numbered sequentially QuickTime could turn them into a movie. I began to experiment with stop action animation and time lapse photography. The Race is one of my best.

I had to build a holder for the camera in order to mount it to a tripod. The actors were my sons’ Warhammer figures, Russian toy cars I had collected in the 90s while working there, other toy vehicles, a cat toy, and a robotic spider.

The entire video at 6fps (frames per second) is only 30 seconds long. I filmed the actual race first on the 19th of June and then decided to film the starting line sequence the next day to extend the length. I initially used the Beatles Birthday as the soundtrack. The final 30 second cut lived on my work computer for over a decade, copied over with all of my files each time I got a newer PC.

Last week I decided to try to get it onto my iPhone. I guess I could have done a USB iTunes to iPhone transfer, but that would have meant upgrading the decades old iTunes that I never use at work. So I emailed it to myself via Gmail.

It opened fine on my iPhone, but the sound would not play. I opened it in iMovie and then managed to add Birthday to the soundtrack. Here I digress. For reasons unknown iMovie would only recognize recently purchased songs on my iPhone. Here I digress again, I just discovered that you don’t get the iCloud download icon in Music if WiFi is turned off. I can’t find the setting in 8.1.2 to make it visible. Back up one digression, so I repurchased Birthday and used it.

However, when I attempted to save it back to my camera roll I got an error. After many hours of frustration I decided to look for video format converters on the Apple App Store. I ended up buying two: 

The Video Converter – Convert videos to and from file formats! by SmoothMobile, LLC

MConverter Medias Converter by bill santiago

I am not endorsing either of these … and there are many others to choose from.

The original version of The Race was in MOV format and needed to be converted to MP4 format. Once done, I could export it to the camera roll. Then I decided that Born To Be Wild would be a better fit. So I redid the 30s clip again.

Now to upload to Vimeo.

All for 30 seconds of audio. How do others get away with uploading entire songs, albums, music videos, movies?

Alas it is what it is. So I searched iTunes for Royalty Free Music, found 

Instrumentals for TV Productions, Podcasts, Movies, and Jingles by Royalty Free Music

and chose the first recording for the soundtrack. It was 99 cents.

I liked the song enough that I created the looped versions in order to be able to play the entire song

I don’t know anything about DRM (Digital Rights Management), but I have to assume that that 30s clip of  Born To Be Wild had a DRM tag that immediately told Vimeo “NO NO NO”. I suppose it could have checked a Shazam-like audio database, but how does that explain all the other entries the are longer and more blatant. I assume there is a way to strip off the DRM tag. I need to investigate this.

There has got to be an affordable way for individuals to license mainstream audio at an affordable price for use in homemade videos posted to the web. See my rant

Anyway back to the making of The Race. It was old-school “arrange the figures, take a photo, move the figures, take a photo, repeat” … 181 times. I couldn’t walk the next day – my thighs were in agony. 

Speaking of old-school, if you haven’t seen it check out the 1979 Wizard of Speed and Time by Mike Jittlov

I’ll (click)

be (click)

seeing (click)

you (click)

21st Century I.P.

This in response to a 30 second clip of Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild as the sound track to The Race.

How do other folks manage to upload entires albums, movies, etc. to YouTube and Vimeo?

I have reblogged an earlier rant below.

More on The Race in my next post. Stay tuned …



Hey Googstapos … To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, “You’ve got at lot of damn gall to come after folks who include copyrighted music in their YouTube videos when you collect and store FOREVER every damn bit of personal information you can about us to be used against us to try to sell us crap we don’t need!”

OK … That about sums up the rest of this post. This is an incoherent rant. Deal with it.

Weggieboy’s comments on my JOSIV5 post hit a nerve.

Now I am not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV, so I have no legal insight here. But consider the following: let’s say

    I invite you to my house to listen to my LP record of C. W. McCall’s Convoy
    I invite you to my house to listen to my 8-track of C. W. McCall’s Convoy
    I invite you to my…

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2001 Theatrical Re-Release

2001: A Space Odyssey … Returns

UK Re-release to theaters in November

New Trailer


Original Trailer

Only the big screen can do justice to this film. I hope it comes to the States.


See also last year’s post: 2001



Monday’s XKCD (above) made me go find the original theme song on YouTube (top).

In the late 80′ – early 90s TMNT were all the rage. The boys were little and between Christmas and birthdays we acquired every form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle paraphernalia know to man. You name it we had it: action figures, weapons, vehicles, home-made VHS recordings of the TV shows, comic books (new and old). The show was on every afternoon after school around dinner time and I watched many an episode with the boys. We also saw the first several movies. The theme song was unquestionably catchy, humor childish but not always so, the plots predictable. But heck, I enjoyed it as much as the boys did.

It was a classic.


Nineteen Seventy-One, the year I graduated from high school. Badfinger is riding high in the charts. Heir apparent to the Beatles, backed by George Harrison, published by the Beatles’ Apple Corps (no relation to Apple Computer, but that is another story), with a number of hits already playing. No Matter What, Come and Get It, and Day After Day had been or were playing regularly on AM radio. Come and Get It debuted in the 1970 Peter Seller / Ringo Starr movie The Magic Christian.

Continue reading Perfection

Roskilde Festival Radio Nøgenløb

The Roskilde Festival is the largest North European culture and music festival and has existed since 1971. They are a non-profit organisation consisting of about 50 full-time employees and thousands of volunteers. It is held in Roskilde, Denmark in late June.

• • •

It is also famous for the Roskilde Festival Radio Nøgenløb (Naked Run) held on the Saturday of the Festival (this Saturday just past). The Nøgenløb is a foot race around the Festival grounds where the participants, men and women, run totally naked (shoes are allowed). It has been run every year since 1999, with a ticket to the next year’s festival awarded to the male and female winner.

The Danes obviously don’t have the phobia of public nudity common in the U. S. and some other countries.

• • •

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

~ Genesis 2:25, King James Bible

• • •

The Roskilde Festival Radio Nøgenløb serves as an example of what a pack of Zs might look like as they run naked across the countryside.*




* Except maybe for the body paint and the GoPros

A Brief History of Everything

Continue reading A Brief History of Everything

16 Toneladas

16 Tons … Brazilian composer Roberto Neves wrote the Portuguese version “Dezesseis Toneladas”, first recorded by Noriel Vilela in 1971. (Source: Wikipedia)

Noriel Vilela died in 1974 due to an allergic reaction to anesthesia at the dentist.



Popularized on Heineken | The Odyssey

Continue reading 16 Toneladas

Driving in Russia

Déjà vu

With the current weather in the North East of the U.S., I though it might be interesting for my new followers to see what ‘real’ driving is like.



I just got this in an email. I spent the better part of the ’90s working off and on in Siberia. Today Russian drivers mostly have dashboard videos. This is from the site Auto Video. The title, Второй день рождения, translates as “Last Christmas”.

I really like the background music.


View original post


Another Pete Seeger story …

Zulu Delta 45

petePete Seeger; Musician, Activist, Humanitarian.  94 Years Young………

 May 3, 1919 To January 27, 2014

On some other post, I would love to write a little more about Pete Seeger. For now, I would just like to leave a humorous little story about “one day…”

My own personal story is from a few years back at the Newport Folk Festival. I was standing in the corner of the small stage area watching an ensemble of folk singers. There was Dar Williams, John Gorka, and Ellis Paul. The performers were taking turns singing one of their songs. At one point, Dar Williams, in her introduction of Ellis Paul was talking about how she and some of her neighbors were working on a project to clean up the Hudson River. Suddenly, there was a pause and she pointed almost right at me. She then said “hey, there’s one of my neighbors now.” Obviously…

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In Memoriam

Pete Seeger 1919 – 2014

Pete Seeger died peacefully two days ago.

Pete Seeger was a founding father of American Folk Music. His repertoire of songs is amazing. Chances are you know many of them.

Pete Seeger popularized We Shall Overcome and it became the anthem of the American Civil Rights movement.

Pete Seeger talks about the history of We Shall Overcome:

This is the famous Carnegie Hall recording by Pete Seeger.

We Shall Overcome – The Complete Carnegie Hall Collection is available on iTunes, Amazon, and most of the usual places.

Google Pete Seeger ,,,

Walk without rhythm

Walk without rhythm and we won’t attract the worm – Paul Atreides, Dune (film) 1984, David Lynch, based on Dune by Frank Herbert

The David Lynch movie, Dune , is second only to 2001 A Space Odyssey in my list of epic sci-fi movies. It is highly quotable … at least it has been in the life of the Mrs and I.

Some of our more used quotes are:
Get out of my mind!
You will live out the rest of your life in a pain amplifier

Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon of Choice includes the walk without rhythm phrase in the lyrics. If you have seen the music video, here it is to enjoy again. If not, then you are in for a treat!

Walken with rhythm


The perfect mashup of The Kinks, StarWars, and Weird Al Yankovic.

Remember Lola?

Remember StarWars Eposode V : The Empire Strikes Back?

Ever hear of Weird Al?

This may be a blast from your past or new to you. Either way … enjoy.

Lola – The Kinks 1970

Yoda – Weird Al 1985


Postscript: I am taking an extended break from writing. I am currently overwhelmed by an over-abundance of “life”.

Rocket Man – what is wrong?

Despite all the other fun bits that I include in my blog … my cats, the interesting YouTube video, various fun facts, music, history … my real reason for blogging is that I want to write fiction. I currently have two main streams of fiction: the Day 42 zombie saga and the Mars collection of science fiction short stories.

I recently wrote a new short story titled Rocket Man.

I included various supplementary material on either side of it. Prior to posting Rocket Man. I reblogged both Phobos Rising and Jumper. After I posted it, I included a history of the Rocket Man song. Intermixed with this was a variety of other video posts and a cat post.

The material on either side of the Rocket Man short story got numerous ‘likes’ … yet Rocket Man got only a single ‘like’.

I am perplexed.

• Did you read it and not like it?

• If you read it and did not like it, can you tell me what you disliked?

Be frank I’m a big boy I can take criticism.

• If you didn’t read it why not?

As always I am extremely appreciative of your feedback.

Thanks cb

Happy Stewball

We are big PP&M fans at Cat Beard Manor. Today while eating the Christmas Feast, Number One Son comments about this and how he can never listen to John & Yoko’s Happy Christmas without thinking of Stewball the racehorse. This is old news, yet new to me. It is similar to Kingston Trio Patriot Games vs Joan Baez God on Our Side.

Peter Paul & Mary Stewball 45 1963


John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)


Happy Stewball (War is Over)


Happy Stewball … Everyone

Code Monkey

Another classic Jonathon Coulton song. I love this song and I really love this particular music video of it.

This video is titled ‘Code Monkey AMV‘ by Kagatoamv
(AMV = Anime Music Video)

More info after the break …

The song is by Jonathon Coulton.
You can purchase it on iTunes, or directly from Jonathon Coulton directly. You can also donate if you feel so inclined,

The video is from
The Legend Of Black Heaven (aka Hard Rock save the Space)


PS … Enjoy this as I work on Day 52

Re: Your Brains

Jonathan Coulton is a genius. Who else could give us office politics disguised as a zombie anthem.

If you are a fan of Day 42, Ranger Martin, World War Z, Shaun of the Dead, or any of the other zombie apocalyptic classics … and you haven’t heard Re: Your Brains, then this is for you.

(just one of many YouTube videos based on the song)

[I watched this several times before it finally clicked. Can anyone tell me what city is in the backdrop of the video?]

Be seeing you …

Heya Tom, it’s Bob from the office down the hall
It’s good to see you buddy, how’ve you been?
Things have been OK for me except that I’m a zombie now
I really wish you’d let us in
I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand
Why you folks might hesitate to submit to our demand
But here’s an FYI: you’re all gonna die screaming

All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
If you open up the doors
We’ll all come inside and eat your brains

I don’t want to nitpick, Tom, but is this really your plan?
Spend your whole life locked inside a mall?
Maybe that’s OK for now but someday you’ll be out of food and guns
And you’ll have to make the call
I’m not surprised to see you haven’t thought it through enough
You never had the head for all that bigger picture stuff
But Tom, that’s what I do, and I plan on eating you slowly

All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
If you open up the doors
We’ll all come inside and eat your brains

I’d like to help you Tom, in any way I can
I sure appreciate the way you’re working with me
I’m not a monster Tom, well, technically I am
I guess I am

I’ve got another meeting Tom, maybe we could wrap it up
I know we’ll get to common ground somehow
Meanwhile I’ll report back to my colleagues who were chewing on the doors
I guess we’ll table this for now
I’m glad to see you take constructive criticism well
Thank you for your time I know we’re all busy as hell
And we’ll put this thing to bed
When I bash your head open

All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
If you open up the doors
We’ll all come inside and eat your brains