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There is a big trend out there now, and it is one that many of my friends prescribe to, where people are insisting that vinyl records sound better than their digital counterparts.

I’ll say this, they sound different. Vinyl sounds warmer, especially if you use an amplifier that utilizes vacuum tubes, and it has a bunch of pops and hums and all that stuff that is a sign of how imperfect it is. People find that shit endearing apparently.

Here is the flat out truth: if the album is short, like 30 minutes or less, and pressed on a 12” LP, then that album can have better resolution than a CD, or even a high density audio file.

But there are a lot of factors. The main one is that it has to be a short album. Anything pushing an hour and the needle has a lot less room to track the song, giving up fidelity and volume (you can go read on your own why that happens). The needle, just through the act of playing the album, creates scratches on it that reduce the fidelity. And let’s not forget that most people today are using a solid state power amp or a digital receiver to amplify the sound that reduces the quality.

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Bipolar Thoughts

One of my major downfalls as a person is that I am constantly comparing myself to others.

Have you ever noticed that you never compare yourself to the people you are clearly doing better than, just the ones you perceive as being better than you? Like, I always feel fat, and I compare myself to all of my skinny or average friends and family. Why don’t I ever look at average America and feel better? Maybe I need to start watching “My 600 Pound Life” with my wife.

I think comparisons can be a good thing. When I was a kid, I always compared myself to the kids smarter than me, or better musicians than me (those were the big two areas for me) and it always drove me to do more, learn more, study more, practice more. It was very enabling for me. It was my drive in a lot of ways.

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Blog

I am not really a person with much of a competitive drive.

I played some sports as a kid, not really much of anything. I never lettered in anything. I never even played on a team that finished the season with a winning record, in my entire life. I was driven in sports simply to do my best. I didn’t really care about winning the game or match.

I imagine I would’ve done better in school if I was competitive, but I never cared much. My dad one time told me that he thought I should’ve finished high school as a summa cum laude, and he was probably right. I generally had all A’s on tests, but I rarely did my homework, so I would get a B or A- in the class.

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Bipolar Thoughts

I was reading another blog from a young girl with Bipolar and an alcohol addiction recently, (bipolardrunkchick.com) and she said something rather profound that I would like to share and expand upon.

She said “I struggle and there isn’t always a rainbow at the end and I want to share that with my audience”

There are two things here that I want to talk about. The first, which is the point of her post, is that while there is a lot of great information out there on Bipolar, it is still a widely misinterpreted disease. Many people have asked me, and I’m sure many more have not, why I wanted to do this blog, why I wanted to say the things I’ve said, and why I would want to open up so publicly. I simply wanted there to be more information out there. I wanted to provide a commentary track on the life of someone with Bipolar.

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Detroit Tigers

Well, the All-Star Game is on Tuesday July 14th. And they yet again allowed voters to vote in the starters, and they yet again will be playing to determine home field advantage in the World Series. For the record, both of those are terrible decisions.

They did, however, dramatically alter the home run derby this year and I am excited that it will be much shorter. I don’t like that they are implementing a clock though. Baseball is a game without a clock. Couldn’t they think of some way to keep a clock out of it? I have a great idea! You get three swings. Each homer you hit gives you an extra swing. Done. Short and sweet. No clocks! But I do like the bracket system over the previous version and I am excited to see it. It is the best all star game skills competition by far.

I did exercise my right to vote, and I voted at a time when 8 of the starting All-Star positions were occupied by Kansas City Royals players. That was a joke. I try to vote honestly, and I am probably too hard on Tigers players as some form of reverse homerism. I did not vote for a single Royals player. Not because I was revolting against the current situation, but because I didn’t think they deserved it.

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Blog

One thing that becoming a parent has really changed in my life is that it forced me to think about my long term future. Where am I gonna be in 18 years?

The question that always bothers me is this: what kind of person am I going to be for my daughter?

It is hard to project out your personality. But it is even more difficult because of a standard “truism” people love to drop: you turn into your parents as you age.

If this is true, then which parent? My parents were wildly different people, especially as I became an adult. I don’t particularly feel like either of my parents. I share some sensibilities with my father; I share a mental composition with my mother, but nothing really day to day. I don’t really do something and feel like that was either parent coming out of me.

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Bipolar Thoughts

Well, the slight downturn I told you about a few weeks ago is still turning down. The suicidal thoughts have not gone away, and have actually gotten worse.

I’m really focused on my weight and body image right now, and that is really making me think about suicide.

It seems irrational, obviously, suicide isn’t a rational response. But my line of thinking has been somewhat near the following:

You’re fat and ugly. You could go to the gym and put in the hundreds of hours required to lose the weight but you will just gain it back once you stop working so hard. You aren’t good enough to stay committed for life. So why bother? Even if you weren’t fat, people wouldn’t like you anyway. People find you annoying, a know-it-all, and a prick. Those are the personality versions of being fat. At least most fat people are likeable. There is nothing you could ever do to improve upon these facts.

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Blog

Mensa has always been a thing in my life that I looked up to, coveted even, but was scared to go out for.

It was something I always wondered if I could attain, but I knew I probably don’t belong in. And I was terrified to apply only to be denied.

Well, last winter, a friend of mine posted a Mensa practice exam link on her Facebook, stating that her husband tested very high. I was interested, so I followed the link to the Mensa website and took the practice test.

It turns out, at least according to this practice exam, that my suspicions were right. I basically tested on the lower end of being accepted into Mensa. The results came with a write up that encouraged me to arrange for an application test and that without much preparation I should do well enough to get into the club.

Bipolar Thoughts

I have mentioned a number of times that a major motivation for doing this blog was to help get information about what living with bipolar is really like into the world.

Part of the reason information needs to get out there is because of the stereotyping and stigma associated with mental illness.

The reality is that I have never really experienced this. That is probably why I was open to the idea of talking about it publicly. The thing about mental illness is that it is usually easy to hide. You don’t look different, you don’t necessarily act different, people don’t generally know unless you tell them. So it is easy, in a lot of ways. Also, the stigma doesn’t generally carry with it a lot of hatred, more avoidance. To my knowledge, no one has blown up a psych ward, no one pickets in front of a group therapy clinic, certainly no one acts violently towards us. I don’t compare it to other struggles of other people, they are different.