Song of the Day – Marking Eight Years – “Allentown” – Billy Joel

Although I am no longer posting songs every day, and can’t find the optimism to post a daily diversion, I thought it would be good to mark the eight year anniversary of the Song of the Day.

Why this song? Because, even though it was released thirty-five years ago, the lyrics sound a lot like the “reasons” given in the three battleground states that ended up electing the Cheeto. The thing is, what makes them think that, as much as the world has changed over the past 35 years, that we could or would return to those days? That the manufacturers, the CEOs and stockholders, would ever let the days of strong employees return? That it’s possible to give them back the jobs taken by technology and outsourcing?

Well we’re waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved

So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Iron and coal
And chromium steel
And we’re waiting here in Allentown

iPhoneography Apps – Four years of tutorials; iColorama basic photo enhancement

Well, another year has gone by. Four years ago, the day after the last US presidential elections, I started posting tutorials on iPhoneography apps. A lot has changed in those four years. I’ve covered over 150 apps, and learned a lot about how to manipulate images on your iPhone or iPad. Some consider me an expert, but all I really want to do is to make sure the average person who finds a love for digital artistry can use the tools they pick up, and perhaps let them know which tools to pick up in the first place.

If you’re interested in which 37 apps I covered in the last year, I will list them at the end of this article. But for now, let’s move forward!

Last week I covered Microsoft Selfie, an app that does noise reduction and skin smoothing on the fly on those selfies you grab. I was going to turn to Microsoft Pix, which does the same sort of thing for images you capture with the back camera. However, it’s a little more complicated than it should be and the results are mediocre. Also, it does not capture at full resolution. Quite frankly, I am getting tired of these kinds of apps that tout themselves as quick and wonderful and yet deliver below-par results. We deserve better. The technology is there, but the instant profit is not, so we get stuck with low-res images from a huge company like Microsoft.

Can I get results as good with apps I already have? Well, sure. I can even do more, in just a couple of minutes, using an app like iColorama. In order to prove that I could get good results through iColorama using a low-res original, I took a shot with the front camera on my iPad. These cameras are known for not producing very nice images, and this one had a lot of noise and blockiness. Nevertheless, I wasn’t happy with the after image since it wasn’t that good an image to start with. The lower the resolution, and the more noise you have, the less likely you are to recover dark areas, such as the ones surrounding my eyes.

ic26_01

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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “QQQ” – Heimer

Everyone is stupid
everyone is dumb
shout out to the moon
shout out to the sun

Why would I choose this glitch-pop song from Heimer on November 9? Hmm, I have no idea.

From Teilzeit Swag.

Farewell.

Hatred and ignorance have won. 

Although I have never been diagnosed with clinical depression, I have a dark viewpoint, always seeing the worst side of things. But it never seemed to affect my core. Deep down, I have always thought that people, in general, were good. I have been proven wrong. Every person who voted for Trump either agreed with the hatred and ignorance he espouses daily or don’t care about it. 

My entire worldview has been changed by this election. Now I have to, for my sanity, retreat and try to rebuild…something of myself. Some way to be able to deal with a world where hatred and ignorance wins. 

My blog, enthusiasm noted, will be going on immediate hiatus for several months, at least. I just can’t bring myself to post my little songs or attempts at artwork right now. Today’s articles will be the last for the foreseeable future. 

Hatred and ignorance have won. 

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Little America”

R.E.M. – Karla DeVito

Rally round your leaders it’s the mediator season

I’ve just got to hope Little America still exists after today.

From their sophomore album, Reckoning. They were travelling a lot by car and bus in those days, and constantly telling their manager “Jefferson, I think we’re lost”.

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A bright little pop tune composed by DeVito and her husband, Robby Benson, for the 1986 release Wake ‘Em Up in Tokyo.

Song of the Day – “My Mistake” – Kingbees

Many new wave bands turned to rockabilly as their sound of choice (Stray Cats, Elvis Brothers), just like the Kingbees did. Their lead singer, Jamie James, performed for a couple of years with Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker of the Cats.

Don’t make a mistake – get out and vote!

Song of the Day – “Politics Aside” – Everything But the Girl

Let’s set Politics Aside and listen to this beautiful tune from Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn. From 1991’s Worldwide.