San Francisco in 1906

Things were a lot more freely-moving back then. And the kids seemed to be having fun. Reminds me of Russian traffic today, only they have slightly newer forms of transportation now. 🙂

via san-Francisco-1905-historical-footage

"A film taken from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco in 1906, a few days before the earthquake/fire destroyed the area. "

Newly discovered radio station

I just got my car back from the shop. $1500. Ouch!

On the way home, though, I turned on the radio. All my preset stations were gone. Right. Whenever they reset the onboard computer, it resets my radio station presets. Kinda weird that it would, actually. Doesn’t the radio have its own “memory” separate from the car’s computer? Apparently not.

Anyway, punching the buttons just to see what the radio decided to set for me, I happened upon 107.9, apparently known as Q108. They were actually playing songs from this decade! And it wasn’t rap/crap! No way! Yes, way. The reception is spotty here because the station actually comes out of Clarksville. I guess they’ve got that large younger population stationed at Fort Campbell that they’re catering to. Anyway, I love it.

So, for those odd occasions when I forget my MP3 player and am forced to listen to broadcast radio, I’ll tune in 107.9, so long as it comes in. Or, I can go to and listen through the internet.

Speaking of which, I came across an article yesterday about internet radio in your car! It was being offered by Blaupunkt in partnership with someone else. Unfortunately, it was only offered in Australia, apparently. Even there I’m not sure it ever came to fruition. Sure would be nice, though, assuming the 3G reception is acceptable. Then again, if you’re going to pay for a 3G connection, you’d might as well go with Sirius XM radio. I used to have that, and loved it. It’s just that when I had to start tightening my budget, that was one of the first things to go. God, I hate budget tightening! 🙂

But I digress …

A day without my car

I’m just testing this Windows Live Writer software. UPDATE: There’s now a newer, “open-source” version here.

It was a dark and stormy night … No, it was an unusually cold day … yeah, that’s it … for the first week of December when I was forced to go without my beloved — well, maybe not beloved, but much appreciated car. It’s in the shop because it’s running roughly, “missing” is the technical term. I hope to get it back tonight.

Just last night, seeing some people at a bus stop, my daughter asked what they were doing there. I explained they were waiting for a bus. “Why?” she asked … of course. “Because not everyone has a car,” I said. She seemed to accept that. She could relate, having just a tricycle, scooter and bicycle herself.

Holiday World video

And the verdict is: This Windows Live Writer is a pretty nice piece of software!

UPDATE: There’s now a newer, maintained, “open-source” version here.

Mr. Happy’s 18th annual unusual Christmas music podcast

Seasons Greetings,

You can “tune in”* via your favorite mp3 player to the show: radio show

What can you expect to hear? About 500 songs (over 24 hours of non-repeat music!) that fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • musicians I like that happened to make a Christmas song (e.g. Ride, Teenage Fanclub, Thin White Rope, Julian Cope, Go-Betweens, Jazz Butcher, Wedding Present)
  • musicians YOU actually heard of who made the odd holiday song (e.g. REM, Beatles, Run DMC, Cyndi Lauper, Ramones, Killers, Neil Young, Prince)
  • songs that fly in the face of tradition and celebrate/mock something like consumerism (e.g. “X-mas at K-Mart,” “Burn down the Malls,” “I Hope I Sell A Lot of Records (at Christmastime)”)
  • songs that are seeped in tradition played in an unusual way (e.g. “We Three Kings” to an synth-pop, electro-dance beat, “Silver Bells” as an up tempo punk jingle)
  • beautifully performed standards (e.g. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Belle & Sebastian, “Coventry Carol” by Alison Moyet)
  • truly original xmas music (e.g. “My First Christmas As A Woman” by the Vandals, “Santa Claus” by Throwing Muses which is an awkward yearning for the man in the big red suit)
  • Christmas around the world (e.g. songs about Christmas In…Copenhagen, Fallujah, Haiti, Heaven, Hell, Hollis, Jail, Nevada, New Zealand, Paradise, Prison, Suburbia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Waikiki)
  • holiday songs are not just for Christians anymore (e.g. “The Chanukkah Scoot” by Bunnygrunt, “Santa Doesn’t Come to Little Jewish Children’s Houses” by the Yid Kids, “What we do on Christmas” by Atom & His Package)
  • not the barking dogs variety novelty record (e.g. Weird Al Yankovic, Mojo Nixon, Joey Ramone, Martin Mull, Monty Python, Dread Zeppelin)
  • so bad it hard to believe (e.g. The cast of the TV show Bonanza, RuPaul, Ted Franko, Wesley Willis, Debbie Dab, Bryan Adams )
  • so rare, it took me years to track down, and even if it’s not very good – it’s really, really hard to find (e.g. New Order’s “Ode to Joy” from 1982 limited edition flexi-disc handed to Manchester,England club goers upon entrance to a Christmas party)
  • bands that have many Christmas songs (e.g. The Fall, Low, St. Etienne, Sufjan Stevens, They Might Be Giants, XTC, Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips)
  • and the wildcard – “it sounded good at the time”

Sure. I know what you are thinking. “18 years and it still sounds that bad?” Yes, like a fine wine that’s been opened year after year…it’s basically vinegar by now. My motto is that there is something to offend everyone!

Cheers and happy holidays. Mr Happy

aka Michael

*To tune in with iTunes (you don’t need to use iTunes – this should work with any mp3 player such as winamp, real, etc.)

  1. copy the url:
  2. open iTunes
  3. Under the Advanced menu select “Open Audio Stream”
  4. paste in the above url
  5. hit “OK”

At this point you should be able to see the show name, artist & song titles. Let me know if you need help configuring.