Thursday, December 01, 2011

Episode 84 (and 83) are Online!!!

sonovista, my friends! we're not sure exactly how it happened, but there are two (2) new episodes of Schnauzer Logic online - the first (episode 83) was recorded the week before thanksgiving and features john dekoven and sheri in the studio, with our two guests, writer/comedian Pete Grossman, and our old friend, Ken Turetzky.

the second episode was recorded yesterday and again features john and sheri in studio with parviz (PARVIZ!!!) on the phone and a great interview with a very funny comedian jeff applebaum.

i don't know when there wlll be show notes for either episode since boyana has decided to move to scotland to pursue her education (so much for priorities!)

but you can download the episodes from the usual places (hint, itunes) or listen in the side podcast pickle player or even just click on the players below:

Episode 84 - November 30, 2011

Episode 83 - November 16, 2011

and that's what we got for now - we have fun doing these shows and will try to continue to get together every week or so - as always, you can call into the show at 408-335-4755 and leave a message (or get through to the studio when we're recording) - and you can listen to the studio audio live (or a random archive of past shows) by clicking on one of the player icons to the right.

we always appreciate your support and only ask that you
show up
pay attention
tell the truth
and don't be attached to the outcome.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Schnauzer Logic Episode 83 Being Recorded Today

sonovista, my friends! once you've recovered from the shock and awe of the headline, please click on one of the 4 little icons to the right under Live Audio/Archive Stream (mp3, windows media, real audio and quicktime streaming) between 4:30pm and 6:30pm california time today, Wed, november 16, 2011 (it feels like i'm holding up a newspaper for a hostage photo) and you can hear us live in the studio... you can also call in and interrupt the show by dialing (408) 335-4755


Saturday, July 02, 2011

From the Finale of The Voice (Concept by Rachel) from Robin Diane Goldstein on Vimeo.

(rachel weinstein and i watched the finale of the first series of The Voice and were both gobstruck when Christina performed a 'real time' adjustment. we decided it was worthy of preserving and setting to music. enjoy!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

(RSS) Feed Me, Seymour

sonovista, my friends! if you're one of the few who has bookmarked the Schnauzer Logic podcast feed in your regular podcast player (XML Feed) you may have noticed that a new file showed up this morning with the title "(not) Episode 82". this is a test run of a bunch of new studio hardware and software. gone is the old Mac Quad G5 and the original G4 Cube, both of which have been replaced by a single Mac Mini and a Behringer USB Digital Audio I/O box. the result is a show that uses about 1/10th of the actual power (watts), allowing us to join the ranks of GREEN podcasters, and also keep the studio much cooler.

for not having done a show for 14 months, i was actually surprised how easily i slipped back behind the microphone and into the role of fast-talking host. and it was fun!

the next step is figuring out whether we can get anyone to come back into the studio on a regular basis... John DeKoven has already said 'yes', and Jason is most likely a definite 'no' (due to his new job as West Coast Entertainment Reporter for ABC Radio Network News). and everyone else is an unknown at this point, but we'll see. its been a while since i did any kind of extended show by myself (and it requires a different kind of rhythm than doing a show with co-hosts). but '(not) 82' felt pretty comfortable, so a solo-run is certainly a possibility.

stay tuned

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This is why Comcast/CableCARD Support is so Awful!!!

(UPDATED: June 22, 2011) sonovista, my friends!!! so today i received my new TiVo Premiere XL box and went about getting it all set up... now this is my 4th TiVo to use a CableCARD (the thing you need so a TiVo can get subscription and premium channels) and i know that in order for it to work on Comcast here in northern california, the card needs to be both Activated (connected to my account) and Paired (a second-level encryption scheme used to protect the HBO and Showtime-type-channels).

a post on the TiVoCommunity suggested it might be possible to bypass the challenges of getting a customer service representative to understand that a CableCARD is not a cable box, and that 'hitting it with a signal' isn't the same as "Pairing" it to set up the decryption chain, but after 3 attempts at, i gave up and decided to use their online chat service (as recommended on the activation page) - here is the transcript


Live Chat Status:
Analyst DiosdadoJr is here and your issue status is: working

user ROBIN has entered room

analyst DiosdadoJr has entered room

DiosdadoJr> Hello ROBIN_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is DiosdadoJr. Please give me one moment to review your information.

DiosdadoJr> Welcome to Comcast Self - Install Kit Activation support! It is a pleasure to have you on chat. I hope you haven't waited long to be assisted. How can I help you today?

ROBIN_> hi - i need to both Activate and Pair a cablecard for my new TiVo - i tried using the online tool a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to be working (i still don't get any premium channels or a lot of other channels as well)

DiosdadoJr> It would be my pleasure to assist you in activating your service from my end and make sure that it is working fine before we end the chat session.

ROBIN_> thanks!

ROBIN_> i'm on the cablecard activation screen - what info do you need from me?


DiosdadoJr> "Let me pull up your account first. Can you please verify if this information that you entered prior to the start of the chat is correct: Customer's Name: ROBIN GOLDSTEIN Account Number:xxxxxxxxxxxx

ROBIN_> yes

DiosdadoJr> Thank you. While I pull up your account, may I have the make and model of the the cable box as well as its serial number?

ROBIN_> its not a cable box, its a TiVo Premiere

ROBIN_> so its a cablecard, not a box

ROBIN_> do you have experience with activating -and- pairing a cablecard?

DiosdadoJr> Yes I have Robin.

ROBIN_> excellent!!!

ROBIN_> it can be confusing if you've never done it before...

DiosdadoJr> Can I have the customer s/n # of the cable card?

ROBIN_> the Card S/N is xxxxxxxxxxxx


DiosdadoJr> Robin just to confirm from your end is this an additional cable card or will this replace another cable card?

ROBIN_> additional cable card for a new tivo box


ROBIN_> still there?

DiosdadoJr> Yes Robin I'm still here. I'm in the process of activating the cable card on my end.

ROBIN_> thanks


DiosdadoJr> I will now take the neccessary steps to activate the cable card Robin.

ROBIN_> thanks!


DiosdadoJr> Robin I have sent the activation signals to your cable card, can you check for channels now?

ROBIN_> i'm getting some channels (thanks) from the activation, but no premium channels. i believe the cable card also needs to be "Paired" using the Card ID, Host ID and Data ID info (as i recall from past experience)

DiosdadoJr> Do you have that information Robin?

ROBIN_> yes:

ROBIN_> CableCard ID: xxxxxxxxxxxx

ROBIN_> Host ID: xxxxxxxxxxxx

ROBIN_> Data ID: xxxxxxxxxxxx

DiosdadoJr> Thank you for that information Robin.

ROBIN_> cool


DiosdadoJr> I have already activated your cable service, and its already up and running here in my system, just in case after 45 minutes some of the expected channels are still not appearing please do contact this number 1 888 270 6445 for the activation update.

ROBIN_> so you've entered the Host ID and Data ID info on your screens?

ROBIN_> it usually doesn't take anywhere near 45 minutes to get the premium channels


DiosdadoJr> Just to recap what we have done today, I was able to successfully activate your cable service from my end and it is working fine now.

ROBIN_> no, that is not correct

ROBIN_> it appears my cablecard is not correctly "Paired" though it is "Activated"

DiosdadoJr> Yes Robin that is just the maximum time we give.

ROBIN_> ok - just to be clear, this was not a successful resolution of my issue. i would like to say it is, but my card is not Paired and i'm not getting the premium channels like HBO

DiosdadoJr> Robin I have actually sent the pair hit signal to your cable card.

ROBIN_> i believe you - its just not working

DiosdadoJr> Well Robin if you still have some issues regarding subscribed channels not loading, feel free to call our National Video Activation center for resolution & advanced trouble shooting regarding video activation.

ROBIN_> is that the 888 number above?

DiosdadoJr> Yes it is Robin.

DiosdadoJr> Thank you for using Comcast and have a nice day.

ROBIN_> you too - ciao


so i then called the 888 number (above) and got hung up on 3 times! finally i called another comcast number and got straight through to a fellow (i wish i remembered his name) who understood that a CableCARD is not a cable box and has to be both authorized and paired and within 10 minutes (literally while i watched the screen and waited) everything was working great.

bottom line: time spent on getting my CableCARD activated and paired by Comcast - over 90 minutes (online, in chat, and on the phone) - time spent once i got to talk with someone who actually knew what to do - 10 minutes.

(for the record, i then had to call TiVo to activate the new box on my account - i wanted to do something 'tricky' and the regular customer rep couldn't help, so i called TiVo's HQ, got passed along to a second level rep and he took care of everything in about 10 minutes. so, TiVo, yea, Comcast, boo)

next up... trying to change the replaceable head in my electric toothbrush - wish me luck!

Wednesday Morning Update - June 22, 2011
so after i posted this on my @SchnauzerLogic twitter feed, i received a number of directed tweets from @ComcastMelissa offering to handle the issue directly. i thanked her and noted that the final CSR (who goes down as the unsung hero of this fustercluck) was knowledgeable and apologetic and got it all taken care of 'tout de suite'! she then asked for my account info, via direct message, so she could pass it up the chain in customer service, and this morning i received a phone call from another very nice woman who was equally apologetic and mentioned that she had read through the transcript and was going to be working with the CSR managers to make sure everyone had a refresher course on CableCARDS and the like... she also made an offer of 'good faith' in connection with my account (not necessary, but a clear indication that "Comcast Cares"!)... so all is good and working well... if only a call to customer service could do something about the quality of the programming!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ringtone for the Rapture

its the end of the world and i'm feeling creative! this archive contains an MP3 file and an M4R file, suitable for your iPhone.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Film Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

(my friend, don, has been asking for my thoughts on the sequel to the original Wall Street, so i sat down to watch it on PPV last night, and here's where i came out.)

Roger Ebert's infamous review of Rob Reiner's 1994 film, "North", contained the following bit of prose:

"I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."

For some reason (ok, many reasons), this old review came to mind, repeatedly, as i fought the constant temptation to "go all Elvis" on my Sony XBR last night while enduring this 2010 sequel to Oliver Stone's iconic 1987 cautionary tale of conspicuous consumption and greed. From the opening bleats of the David Byrne/Brian Eno soundtrack to the obligatory Charlie Sheen (and two hooker) cameo, almost every moment of this obvious, blunt force trauma made me want to punch someone. Shia LaBeouf's angry innocence? Pow. Josh Brolin's cardboard villain? Pow. Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Austin Pendleton, Eli Wallach? Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow! Has there ever been a greater waste of talent (or worse collection of accents?)

We get it, Oliver. We didn't learn our lesson and now the Apocalypse (quite literally, if you're a fan of wide tracking shots over Ground Zero) is upon us. And -only- Gordon Gekko can save us. Or fuck us in the ass. Or both or neither or wait, is this thing -still- not over?

The philosopher Aristotle said in his work Poetics that tragedy is characterized by seriousness and dignity and involving a great person who experiences a reversal of fortune (at least according to Wikipedia.) If that's true, then the real tragedy of WS:MNS is that the director of "Platoon", "Born on the Fourth of July", and the original "Wall Street" has returned to a 23 year-old well intent on passing off its brackish contents as cool, clear and refreshing. But it's not. It's not even the sickly sweet "Kool-Aid" that Gecko cautions his adoring audience against drinking. Its just stale and stinky, leaving you unquenched and slightly queasy with the sure knowledge that you'll wake up in the morning with cotton mouth and a pounding headache.

Over produced, over acted and underwhelming, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a thorough mess whose most entertaining moment comes in the opening scene when the newly released ex-con, Gekko, is given back his iconic Motorola-brick cell phone. After sitting through this 2 hour and 7 minute magnum dopus, it occurred to me that this whole drama could have been avoided if old 'Gordo' had (spoiler alert) simply taken that $100 million he stashed away in Zurich back in '87 and invested it in Apple stock. By the time he got out he'd have more money than he'd know what do to with -and- a shiny new iPhone.

Or perhaps it's Stone who's fucking with us, at this very moment penning the third installment, "Wall Street: Love The Yuan You're With".

So, Don, my my verdict on "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"?
To paraphrase the great Paul Simon, "Still Greedy After All These Years".