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Do I know you from somewhere?

Why do you leave me wanting more?
Why do all the things I say
Sound like the stupid things I’ve said before?

MadonnaSkin

Yes… I do listen to Madonna, and I have a perfectly good reason for it. When I read the 3 books of Lord of The Rings, a colleague had borrowed me Ray of Light by Madonna, and besides being a good album (really different from anything else she has done), I always link the musics from this album to passages of the LOTR book, which feels kind of magical to me.

I know I have been quiet for a while, so now I am going to give you a BIG entry (will talk about work, some stuff I bought, music, new albums coming out, gymnasium, and I think that’s about it). Not some usual rant, just some facts. It’s lots of stuff, so bear with me.

This first item, is about my job. I didn’t want to put this news in here, because it will become public eventually (perhaps in December?). Like, I’d say, many of you already know, me and my work colleagues get evaluated twice a year by someone who out ranks us. This year I got two good news! 🙂

  • got EXCEPTIONAL on my evaluation
  • I am going to be promoted in January (IIRC) to Project Manager

Though I was already wondering that my promotion was due, I wasn’t really expecting that grade on my evaluation, because I think I would’ve deserved it much more on the previous evaluation, but no harm, no foul! Of course now I am proud of this achievement, and want everyone to call me AndrĂ© Ventura EXCEPTIONAL Lemos, but I don’t think that will work. I am also really very glad that on “technical skillz” I got EXCEPTIONAL, with a remark saying that this is my strongest point! *YAY*

The EXCEPTIONAL (yes… upper case all the way), means that I’m receiving a fatter bonus, and everyone at Critical will know that I got this grade.

The promotion, well… It means a salary increase and a very nice word for my curriculum vitae.

Oh… I also got my new cell phone from work. I chose a Nokia E50, that I am loving so far! PHONE LIKE FORM FACTOR (how unusual these days), very small, very light, Symbian OS, really huge battery life, so I’m happy). I know that E51 is out, but I don’t care.

See how thin it is (no, it’s not my hand):

ImageShack

So… More news.. Let’s see….

Today I have bought the whole Zero 7 discography. I was at FNAC just browsing along when I noticed the The Garden album that looks real pretty! And I’ve thought to myself, well, I already have this album, I’ve downloaded it from the Internet, but I like Zero 7 so much, that I should really support them! So I went and bought their 3 albums:

I honestly think they deserve my money because I love all of their albums, and I’ll be doing this for other artists (not the whole discography of course), like Charlotte Gainsbourg (I have already bought 5:55, but it was a gift for my Auntie T), Natalie Walker, etc.

I also advise you to buy the DVD set Völkerball by Rammstein. I think I’ll get it myself. It has all the songs I love from Rammstein, on a live concert.

While at FNAC, I’ve decided to also buy some new headphones, because I honestly think that the ones that come with the iPod just don’t cut it! Since I already knew which ones to buy, I went straight for the kill, and bought me these Sennheiser CX 300 headphones:

ImageShack

I already knew what to buy, because I have read so many good stuff about them in so many places, specially because of their ear-canal design (that’s why they look funny).

What are in-ear-canal headphones? Unlike standard headphones, which use relatively large drivers (speakers) and fit on top of or around your ears, or earbuds, which use fairly small drivers and sit loosely in your outer ears, in-ear-canal headphones use very small drivers and actually fit inside your ear canals (thus the name canalphones). In fact, using either rubber eartips in various sizes, or foam eartips that expand to fit any size ear canal, canalphones are designed to seal your ear canals closed, blocking external noise—much like a pair of earplugs. In fact, many canalphones look and fit just like earplugs.

Taken from playlistmag.com

Couldn’t have described them better. You can see on the above photo 4 more rubber pieces. Those are used the replace the ones already on the headphone’s tips so they can fit comfortably inside your ear-canal.

Advantages:

  • really great sound quality
  • music doesn’t have to be so loud
  • very comfortable, and won’t fall off easily

Disadvantages:

  • since all the outside is so isolated, you can even hear anything rubbing on the headphones cable if you’re concentrated
  • you feel like your ear is being anal probed when you put them (though after it’s really comfortable)
  • I might fall asleep with them because I can lie in bed with my cheek on the pillow without them hurting me (thanks DAD for the DNA)

You can see things this way: Regular headphones are like a person shouting to you from a distance, while in-ear-canal headphones are like a person whispering to you in your ear. Well… Sort of…

So after I got home with my new headphones, and three new albums, I’ve decided to rip them so I could store them with a much better quality, and so I could listen to them on my iPod.

Better quality… So what do I mean by that? Should I rip the albums with a lossless format? Nah.. That would be just a bit too much, and then I wouldn’t be able to hear the musics on the iPod, so I’ve ripped them using LAME with a VBR and Joint Stereo.

What does that mean? Well… If you’re not in the mood to follow the links and read up, I’ll try to explain this real simple.

VBR: Your MP3 has a bit rate (128 kbps, 190 kbps, etc…), which define the quality of the sound, and of course, the space it will occupy on your hard drive. With VBR, instead of having ONE bit rate for an entire track, you’ll have a variable bit rate throughout the track, depending on weather the sound being played benefits from it, or not. So better, will sound better, and worst won’t try to sound like it is better. Got it? *shrug* The process is really cool. While LAME rips the track, you can see a bar chart showing you what’s the rate being used on that particular frame of the track, so it was really cool to watch the ripping process of Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk. I really felt geeky! Long story short, I had some frames going all the way to 320 kbps (crazy sound quality, I don’t think a human can tell a difference that high), and 32 kbps (prolly during sound gaps).

Joint Stereo: When your LEFT channel and RIGHT channel have exactly the same sound, they get mixed together, so that the same sound can be reproduced with less information (and less space).

there.

So after doing that, I started ripping all of my CDs collection using the same standard (The Fat of The Land by The Prodigy is being ripped as we speak).

OH OH OH OH And FYI, She Wants Revenge have a new album called This Is Forever! OH OH OH OH And FYI, Goldfrapp are going to release a new album on the 25th of February called Seventh Tree.

So… What else can I talk to you about… (you got THIS far? If you have, put a comment below, because else I won’t believe you :P).

School is doing fine, but if I fail my exams, I’ll just run away and start a new life in Holland or Mozambique, or whatever. Useless crap. I learn more in 5 minutes at work, than in 24 hours of school. *SIGH*

Oh… And went to the gymnasium today, and rowed for 2 Km with a difficulty level of 8 (the maximum is 10, and to simulate a rowing boat, it would be a 2/3), biked for 15 minutes (about 5Km IIRC), and did some push ups on the machines, as well as some abs work.

posted by André Lemos in Me,Music,Studies,Work and have Comments (8)

8 Responses to “Do I know you from somewhere?”

  1. Filipe Guapo says:

    *subtilmente rouba os albuns* e Joint Stereo Ă© uma treta, adoro ouvir os sons discriminados!

  2. Jaime says:

    Ouch….an E50, I’ve got one as well…..hmmm, not the best of choices these days because its a bit slow when navigating menus (text messaging for example) not to mention a few “bugs”!

  3. Daddy says:

    Madonna is capable of the worst and the best; “Ray of Light” has a special spiritual – even esoteric – touch that puts it far ahead trivial pop music.

    If you put prejudices behind your shoulders you will love to listen to “Ray of Light” late at night.

    Seriously.

  4. Daddy says:

    “School is doing fine, but if I fail my exams, I’ll just run away and start a new life in Holland or Mozambique, or whatever. Useless crap. I learn more in 5 minutes at work, than in 24 hours of school”. (quote)

    Maybe it’s a ‘useless crap’ but not so for at least two things:

    – Get top jobs (and salaries);
    – Climb the social ladder.

    Maybe this doesn’t seem important now but it will within some time when you’ll have to fight competition with all the ‘guns’ you can get.

    And , at last but not the least, in the middle of all that “carp” there are real small usefull things that make all the difference and make it worth, opening windows for the most important thing you”ll ever get: knowledge.

    This, and only this, will let you reach some “shrines” where innovative learning is really available…

  5. Carrapato says:

    Quero comprar tanta coisa como tu! Anda tudo a cagar dinheiro menos eu! TSC DĂĄ-me o album dos Goldfrapp tipo NOWZ mwahah gimme gimme! Fico Ă  espera desse shoarma fico -.-‘

    ParabĂ©ns pelo ÉIXÉPEÇIONÁLE oh Ventura!
    E SIM eu li isto tudo you fĂłkine nĂȘrde!

    P.S.: Ando mais de bicicleta do que tu! MUNINA PAH

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