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It looks old and low-tech, but that’s only because it’s future-proof. What you are looking at is my integrated entertainment/computer/internet/communications hub. This is what Apple and the like are still striving to market to the masses. Oh how I love being a nerd!! I play everything from cassette tapes to vinyl to iTunes to Netflix, and it all *just works*… no complicated remotes to screw around with. I put a record on, and it plays. I put a tape in, and it plays. I put a DVD in, and it plays…I can websurf and enjoy tunes at the same time…you get the idea. Everything an AppleTV can do, this already does. All of these components are wired together and networked. I can even produce my own music here! (And I do!) And when my Skype phone rings, everything turns down automatically so my call isn’t disturbed with background noise. Best of all, I’ve used this setup for years and years…and it saved me a fortune! All I need is reliable internet and electricity.

My iPhone adventure ended with me returning the device in disappointment. It was costing me money every month and it did little more than this can do. Granted I could carry it around in my pocket, but I carry my laptop with me everywhere anyway, and I have my own wireless hotspot. I can call you from anywhere that I can get a mobile signal – iPhone schmiPhone…

Every so often I look at my old computers and think it’s time to upgrade, but every time I’ve done this I have to re-integrate my whole living room. A bigger screen would be nice (and yes it is a TV so I am still able to watch the local news!) but that is only aesthetic. This is what kept me wired and productive during my recent years of spotty employment until I got back into permanent employment…and it was cheap!!

Now that I am able to upgrade, I have to think very carefully about whether I even want to. I’m afraid it won’t work as well as this.

 

 

#Laerlooper

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I’m in a bit of a creative funk lately and I think it’s time for a change of focus. Sometimes instead of looking forward toward future goals it’s better to look backward at your goals from the past. In doing this you can check off those goals which you have already accomplished. Indeed, those goals were formulated with certain ends in mind, not to be considered finish-lines in their own right. I will spend today pondering and trying to remember what my vision was back then; pioneering music podcasting in New York’s Capital Region, learning to beat-match, learning to compose, dusting off my journalism training from college and trying to figure out how it fits into today’s technical paradigm… I had a vision back then of where I wanted to be in life by now and it’s time to revisit that vision for some direction going forward. I need to do this in order to keep creating cool things.

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So the Weather Channel posts stories about beauty pageants and the History Channel airs ‘reality’ programs about rednecks or pack-rats or some other shit…is it me or have the media conglomerates lost their focus? Am I wrong to be a purist in this regard? I suppose this here blog is a pretty bad example for them to follow since I’m an EDM musician but my posts go all over the map. But really, I remember when my family got it’s first cable box in the early 80s and you could count on music videos if you tuned into channel 28, the weather if you tuned into channel 30 (or maybe it was 31), women’s programming if you switched to channel 25, and old movies if you turned to channel 24. That’s what these channels *were*. Nowdays it’s like all stations overlap with the same nonsense; often having nothing to do with the particular stations’ stated purpose. I hereby call it “media blur”. You can combat it by turning it off.

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I’ve been in this apartment above Oh Bar for about half a year already. Damn… . . anyway, I’m in a reflective mood tonight, thinking about Albany. I love and hate it here, just like everyone says about wherever they call home. And I guess Albany is home, now. I’ve lived in the greater Albany/Troy area collectively for more years out of my life than anywhere else including Massachusetts, where I’m from. It’s been an incredible place to live when everything in life lines up right, but in frustrating times I think about running away, and I actually did once. I moved to Missouri during the Branson Boom and when I eventually came back, this building is where my first apartment was. The eight months or-so that I’ve been here is about the amount of time I spent here the first time around, before I moved in with my partner at the time. All of that was many years ago now. Lots of stories… and that’s not counting going to college here. I was a good boy in school though. Most of my heavy livin’ happened in the years since I’ve been back home. And by home I mean this building, right back where I started.

Don’t forget to help support this website by visiting the advertisers at the top of the page. ~Eric

 

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With the new legitimacy of male-only families I think the idea of the disposable dad will come to an end….and not a moment too soon.

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It has come to my attention that the Remix Me Now tab is busted. I am working on it…please stand by

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Just in time for Back-To-School — and part of a long-overdue refresh of my advertiser bar — you can now rent your textbooks from Bookrenter.com. Visit their addy at the top of my website and help keep my music playing. Every bit of support goes toward keeping my site up and running! Thx xoxo

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I think that I need to rework my entire social media approach. Wiring my blog into Facebook, Twitter, etc. is one of a few things I must do, as I’m figuring out. The other thing is a bit more nebulous; tayloring my audience to my message.

I know that sounds a bit backwards, and perhaps a bit narcissistic. Truth is: I spend so much more time counter-posting detractors that I run out of time for constructive stuff. Deleting people has it’s benefits for sure, and so does unfollowing. I think the time I save by not interacting with these people, er, not even seeing their stuff, will be time well saved. More importantly, seeking out those friends of mine whose posts Facebook decides to keep from me would probably open up a whole new world for me! There’s a lot of stuff that gets blocked by Facebook’s magic formula which I’m sure I would enjoy, but instead I see negativity because that’s what I’ve commented on or “Liked”. This will certainly be a work in progress…I know that I can’t ditch Facebook completely. However I can and must control the amount of flotsam and jetsam I allow it to deliver to me. This is all coming into focus…

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I used Groupon for the first time this weekend and I must say: I really like this! I think I’ll be using it more. I bought a voucher for a $40 dinner at Valente’s Italian restaurant in Watervliet. The voucher only cost me $20 – a 50% savings on what the meal would cost for me and Felix – and it was pretty hastle-free.

If you’ve ever used Groupon or you would like to try it, you can help support Laerloopermusic.com by using the link at the top of my web page in the sponsor bar.

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I feel the need to explain a stance of mine with regard to social media. Those who study this type of thing and believe there are certain principles that must be adhered to in all cases might find my approach to be flawed; if I’m marketing myself as a musician with the aim of monetary success and a large fan base, why say and do controversial things? My answer is that I am an activist first and foremost, not a musician. That is secondary. My learning to write music was born of a desire to protest something and get my anger out. This still holds true today. My songs are not items that I have a price tag on, that wasn’t my purpose in making them. My songs are a wonderful byproduct of my anger-management process. This point of view frees me to use my social media outlets as a platform for further activism and social interaction. I also keep a close eye on my stats to see what kind of return on invested time I get. So far so good.

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