Setting Up & Reading Teleprompters

 

It Is Such A Bore to Watch Some Speakers Reading Teleprompters  – The act of Reading Teleprompters is truly an art. But it has really become obnoxious with some speakers. Most every one of them I have seen lately reading two glasses is totally unacceptable, especially amateur apprentice speaker Donald Trump. He is obviously new at it and an inexperienced amateur, who actually stares at one glass for minutes at a time. Hillary Clinton has developed a very natural way of reading, going back and forth while also genuinely connecting with an audience and with the camera.

The Prompters are usually Always Set At the Same Height as the Speaker – But the rub is that they are usually always set up at the speaker’s eye level and focused way above the audience’s heads. And there is no eye contact. The problem lies with the fact that the speaker is usually elevated on a stage about two feet or so raised. This puts a person speaking with eye level at approximately five feet, plus stage height, whereas the lower sitting audience eye level is somewhere between three and a half feet, sitting.

Reading Teleprompters With Proper Eye Contact – Addressing a crowd who are all sitting would require the speaker to have eye contact with them by looking down to their eye level. However, the person responsible for the Teleprompters placement usually always places them to each side of the speaker at his/her eye level on stage. Therefore, when the person reads with the head moving left to right, there is an obvious appearance of him/her looking out not into the eyes of the live audience, but way above them, and in fact, a good three and a half feet over their heads.

A Proper Adjustment Provides A More Sincere Approach – A simple solution appears to be to simply lower the prompter glasses about six or eight inches on each side and do a slight adjustment with its angle. This would have the speaker now looking at and through the prompter glass as if they are also having eye contact with the audience. This is not off the wall since here is copied from an ad showing the adjustment:

“VARIABLE HEIGHT/ANGLE ADJUSTMENTS – The best speech is one where the speaker can achieve direct eye contact with the most people. That is difficult to achieve when his/her head stays in one, fixed location. Every speaker who walks up to the podium is not the same height. Nor do they read best at the same angle of screen. This is why we have created the most adjustable glass for stage teleprompters on the market. Easily adjustable angles will ensure that the speaker can have great eye contact with the audience, while seeing and reading the text clearly.”

However, the ad shows Obama, but he’s always looking out over their heads in his speeches while reading teleprompters. Why can’t they get it right so the person speaking doesn’t appear so obvious and phony? And so I ask, if they may possibly be using outdated stuff that doesn’t adjust, or is it that they just don’t know any better how a speaker should be reading teleprompters?

Update About Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence

For all who have tuned into my posts about the lack of credits on my Simon and Garfunkel’s 1965 original mono mix on Sound of Silence, I apologize for not posting some more sooner as I promised. But there will be some important surprising new information which I expect to reveal very soon and a lot more to share with you. I am delighted to see a recent increased record number of visitors here.

Since we are nearing the fiftieth anniversary of Sound of Silence being one of the greatest songs ever written, I will have even more interesting stuff to share with you very soon. It’s the kind of information that you want your great-great grand-kids to know about. Please pass this along to all your friends who have recently visited me here, and ask them to come on back and stay tuned.

Musicians Help Each Other & Protect the Fingers

http://www.ampeg.com/story.html

Reaching Out and Helping When You Can

This post is about  helping others when you can, and secondly about protecting your fingers if you are a musician or anyone, in fact, making a living with their fingers.

I have been playing and singing music for many, many years, and the learning I have received as a working musician is more like getting a PhD. Throughout my professional career beginning at age 13, the camaraderie of most all musicians I have known and played with has been astounding, with the almost universal desire to want to help other musicians, and others, any way you can.

When I went on the road at 18, I found myself with my bass and my L7 Gibson guitar in New York months later, with a $24 a week gig in a take out place, sweating the musicians union residency rule. There were several older musicians I had met at the musicians hangout, Charlie’s Tavern, that had a profound effect on my life.

Charlie's Tavern
Charlie’s Tavern in New York

Where all the New York Musicians hung out

Three of them were extremely successful and were very generous in helping this 18 year old succeed, while 1500 miles from home in Texas. And one was Zeb Jullian, a down and out great jazz guitar player who had lost his two middle left hand fingers and was struggling just to stay alive. I met three of these guys at Charlies, where you learned on the road was the musician’s hangout in New York. Bass player Everette Hull, who invented the Bassamp system and started Ampeg, hung out there and he took me under his wing. He had me to substitute at his weekly gig on his night off. Years later after the Army, back playing again in New York, and studying audio, he hired me making Bassamps. Then, there was Dominick Cortese, session accordionist, and first man and contractor for the great A & R Columbia person Mitch Miller, who introduced me to “Happy” Powers, Local 802 membership chairman, who bent the rules and let me do th rest of my 3 month “sweat” in Montreal with a band. And no sooner than I returned, Dominick set me up with Alan Holmes at the Hotel Astor with the highest paying music gig in the city.

TME SQUARE ASTOR

 My gig at the Astor (on the left) with Alan Holmes at 19 years old – 1951 Note the marquee sign

And then, Uncle Sam said, “I want you.” The moral of all this is that older and caring musicians helped me get to a very successful point in my career, and also taught me the concept of giving back. I felt the inner pain of Zeb Julian, having been a great jazz guitar player, and suddenly being robbed of that by losing his precious fingers. I then tried to help him any way I could. He almost threw my prized old Gibson across the room in total frustration when I proposed to try to play a little with the two fingers. When I saw it was to no avail, I helped in other ways the best I could with a little money, some clothes, and some encouragement to seek some counseling, but most of all to stay away from the booze.

One of my paybacks to Dominick was 25 years later. It wasn’t much, but a small token when I was co-producing Bob Dylan’s Desire Album. We had earlier recorded the song Joey and I thought it needed some Italian flavor, so I called Dominic and the great guitarist, Vinnie Bell in to the studio to overdub on the song. It was seven minutes long and they both nailed it in one take, which underlines the statement “learn your ax well,” but most of all, also to protect your fingers at all costs.

I kinda laughed a little once when famed classical pianist Glen Gould walked into my Columbia edit-mix room one day to edit tape wearing gloves. When I reached out to shake hands, he just pulled away. No shake. But that encounter stuck in my mind and should have been embedded further when 2 1/2 years ago I almost lost those two left hand middle fingers, while using a modified grass-blower. When I saw the x-rays I was devastated that they were broken and hanging by the skin. The doctor wanted to just cut them off and sew it up. And then I told him the Zeb Julian and Glen Gould stories and I begged him to save them, if at all possible. He did, but had to fuse the ring finger at the joint. The finger being straight prohibits most chord playing, but I am ok with the bass, working around it. I should practice more, but the tips are extremely sensitive and hurt when I play.

I am telling this because you may not have heard it from anyone else, especially someone with the first (left) hand experience and knowledge of a great musician being robbed of his greatness in guitar playing. If you are investing your whole life in those fingers, protect them with everything you’ve got. Constantly be on guard as to what stupid little accident could injure them and ruin your life. So please heed to my advice. Protect the fingers. Also, reach out and help when you can.

Having Fun Baiting 419 Scammers Now On LinkedIn

I just discovered a wonderful and fun way to pass a couple hours by way of a LinkedIn email I received from an obvious 419 Nigerian scammer. I couldn’t stop laughing at what I wrote to them. But  whatever you do, don’t believe a word of what I wrote to them. Somehow, they have managed to sneak into LinkedIn, with authentic looking credentials, friends, and business professionals, to make them look real. Of course, LinkedIn will be informed as well as the proper authorities. And I don’t mean to offend any religious person who may read this. But when anyone  lies and plays the religious card to steal, opens themselves to any and all means to expose them.

I’m sure that most of us have been a target of the well known scams offering millions of dollars to unwary recipients. The first time this happened to me, I was totally unaware of the game of these criminals and was sucked in by what appeared to be total honesty by “Abou,” who turned out to be the classic scammer working from the west coast of Africa. I was only sucked into paying for two long distance phone calls that probably rang up to money in his pocket. And when I was informed and was sent documents of proof of the shipment that the multi-millions in “cash” would be shipped in boxes, and  for me to pay to have them forwarded to me. Or the alternative was  to fly to Spain and collect the boxes with the cash, my further research made me catch on to their game. There would also be more fees for me to collect the “empty” boxes. And then I got calls and email wanting to know why I didn’t show up in Spain. They are experts at their game of crime and there are a million stories outlining their tactics of swindling millions from unwary folks.

So, a couple weeks ago I got this email through LinkedIn from “business” contact professional Anna Maria, with a look of total realness, and with 106 business contacts. Her profile was that  did “legal” work and I assumed she was another lawyer. And so, I accepted her as a contact to add to my 193 contacts. And then, talk about ingenuity and imagination, she sent me this, verbatim, punctuation and all:

“Greetings. I know that this letter may come to you as a surprise, I am Mrs. Anna Maria Agara from Italy. I am Philanthropists.and have been engaged in the building and establishment of humanitarian foundation Because of my present ill health I am currently in the hospital where I underwent treatment for lung cancer, and I am contacting you to donate the sum of $12.5 million USD with trust. this fund is meant for building of Orphanage Centers, less privileged widows and HIV/AIDS Victims in the society, ETC, in fulfillment of my late husband wishes.and you can invest this money in any where of your choice We have been married for many years without any child and the doctor confirmed to me that I will not live more than four months from now,that’s why i am taking this bold step donating this fund to you. Contact me on this my private email address: (—————), so that I can send you more information. Remain blessed, Mrs. Anna Maria Agara.”

She states that she is from Italy and that is the assumption. But whoa! Does this smell of 419 or what? She/he doesn’t know me from Adam and assumes (From my LinkedIn profile) in her writing that I am a good Christian? I then proceeded to ponder over what and how is she/he going to try to swindle money out of me now that she/he has the LinkedIn contact and my email address. Or, if I don’t play my cards right, will she/he get into my computer and get personal information or plant a virus if I piss her/him off? Her next email, while assuming I am a “good” Christian and she is trusting me, a stranger, went like this (note the same punctuation and typos):

“Beloved one in the Lord.I am Mrs Anna Maria Agara,  Am sorry to come into your privacy. I wantto hand over this noble project to you with trust.i have beendiagnosed with Esophageal cancer .It has defied all forms of medicaltreatment, right now, I have only about a few months to live and Iwant you to distribute my funds($12.5 MILLION US DOLLARS) to charitieshome as my promise to God.i have set aside 40% for you and your family. please i want you to stand as new beneficiary of my husband fund,and i will make sure that the bank transfer the money into your account,all the document is with my attorney Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next four months due to cancer problem, though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my Condition, I decided to donate this fund to church or Better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.”

Right! Usual story. And why would she choose me, a stranger over her “church” to administer millions? Am I that stupid? No! I’m supposed to give her my bank account numbers and guess what? And so, I searched the Internet search engines with these questions,  “how to play with scammers” and “playing 419 scammers at their own game.” I found these three websites, http://scamsandshams.wordpress.com/, http://www.419eater.com/html/baiting.htm, and http://www.419eater.com.

Those groups of people thrive on wearing the criminals down, wasting their time and spreading the word to the unknowing many about how to handle them. I was cracking up reading some of the baiting tactics. But wait until you read mine. If you are up for it, they all present good advice to wear the bastards down but warn not no to piss them off, threaten them or call them names, for fear of retaliation of sending you a virus, etc. Some were real gems, and so I started writing and composing some gems of my own. I took Mrs. Anna Maria’s cue of hers being a strong religious game when seeing her assumption that I am Christian, she wrote:

“I want you to use this money support churches, Orphanages, Research centers and widows propagating the Word of God and to ensure that the house of God is Maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that Giveth. I took this decision because I don,t have any child that Will inherit this Money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I Don,t want my Husbands money to be misused use by Unbelievers. I don,t want a Situation where this money will be used in an ungodly Manner,that is the Reason for taking this bold decision…”

She went on to ask for 1. Name; 2. Address; 3. Country 4. Phone; 5. Age;  6. occupation 7. Email

(And signed)
Yours in Christ,
Regards,
Mrs Anna Maria Agara.

And so, how does she/he know if I am Christian or not? Well, I took the advice of the aforementioned baiting site and said that her lawyer and my lawyer should talk. And then came her Barrister Paul Jean with his crap. I sent him my lawyer’s 13 questions to answer which he ignored totally. After my second request to answer came his/her response with the phony documents. Remember that their emails are reproduced here exactly as they were sent, punctuation and grammar. Lawyers, with many years of study,  generally learn to speak and write properly :

(From: jopu jopu) Barrister Paul Jean
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 10:39 AM
Subject: Fwd: Attn Mr Don Meehan.

“Mr Don Meehan,
Feel free in this transaction, because every thing about this transaction is legal and reality, but this transaction must TOP SECRET, security reason.
One more thing, Mrs Anna Agara said you and i should not allow any body to be aware of the fund, because there husband family member need the fund, so keep this to your self alone, until the fund is to get.
Open attachment find death certificate including with deposit certificate of Mrs Anna Agara late husband documents.”

DEATH CERT

Note that is reads “English Version.” What other versions are there? I learned that English is the official language in Nigeria, so, why can’t they get it right when writing? Note that Anna Maria above in bold said she was from Italy. And the death is in Lome, Togo, (almost ten years ago) west coast of Africa, where Nigerian scams rule.

 

DEPOSIT

Note that it says:  “Original Copy?”  Deposited 14 years ago. American funds? Not Togo or Euro? NOTE COMMISSION ON TURNOVER – .5%  .5% OF 12.5 MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS = $60,000. I’ll bet the ranch that this is obviously to be paid by the turnover to the sucker. 14 years, not touched, no activity no interest paid etc.? Also, nothing here about Italy, and when I did a Google search for http://www.siabd.com they returned:

Oops! Google Chrome could not find http://www.siabd.com

(Barrister Paul Jean continued) “Bellow is message, which you will re-send to the bank headquarters through there E-MAIL ADDRESS <ccb.ccb@one.co.il> immediately, because the bank headquarters is waiting for your response now. Bellow is message, which you will re-send to the bank headquarters through there E-MAIL ADDRESS <ccb.ccb@one.co.il> immediately, because the bank headquarters is waiting for your response now.”

When I saw what was on the documents I wrote Mrs. Anna Maria, outdoing myself playing the “religious card and name dropping” I wrote this:

“In a dream last night I believe that I received alms from the Almighty in Heaven with a blessing and a message. I have received, on occasion, important revelations like this that prove to be true. And in this blessed moment it is a revelation that your life will be spared and that you will live a long life. I have great faith in Jesus that He will not increase your despair AND THAT YOU WILL LIVE TO BE 100.”

I went on to write: “Lastly, and most importantly, your Barrister attorney Mr. Paul Jean is without Christian Trust, inasmuch as he has sinned exceedingly against the most Holy Commandments by lying to me and has not answered important questions my attorney set forth regarding your late husband’s Trust. He is not of the Lord’s friends, but apparently a friend of Satan. And certain things have occurred to make me believe he is not on your side and is on the side of the relatives of your dead husband who are trying to take the fund from you for their own selfish purposes… I need someone who I can trust and I cannot at this point trust Mr. Barrister Paul Jean. If we are to continue with this transfer, I would prefer not to do business with Mr. Jean, since he has not been up front with me and he does not have my 100% trust…”

Note that I purposely misspelled the word Barrister once as Barraster. (As in Bare ass ter)

The next day I was almost falling on the floor laughing out loud when I pulled out all the stops and wrote this:

“Dear Mrs. Anna Mara Agara,

I am extending my forgiveness of Barrister Paul Jean and I will explain herein. I had a very heavy heart last evening after sending you the email yesterday. And so, I decided it was imperative to attend Confession to my dear priest friend, Monsignor Yehudi Houdini. He was the illegitimate son of one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century,  Yehudi Menuhin. Msgr. Houdini and I attended seminary together and were ordained to the priesthood together on May 31, 1970. He stayed on, but I left the priesthood after three years because I decided that the Lord needed me to perform my many talents doing His work assisting others out in the world. Monsignor Houdini (He likes to be called Yahoody) is probably one of the greatest cellists in the USA now, and he wears his hair, mustashe, and beard exactly like Jesus. We both play in the local symphony orchestra, and it is just an awesome Heavenly sight. And people come from miles away just to see what appears to be Jesus sitting there with utmost emotion, sometimes in tears, playing and praying every single note on his historic Andrea Amati cello from 1600. However it is disturbing to me and others that because of his age he must color his hair and beard to continue to look like Jesus and he is criticized for this.

“But to sit across from Monsignor Yehudi Houdini at Confession in a small darkly lit reconciliation room, you would think you were talking directly to Jesus and the chills usually run up and down my spine. The same prayerfulness and stature in the playing of the notes on the cello can be seen in Yehudi’s posture when his eyes meet mine in the reconciliation room. This is the ultimate God experience and gives the penitent an extra assurance that his sins are truly forgiven, and that he is in God’s hands. After saying the Penance given by Msgr. Yehudi of three Hail Marys, and the Monsignor’s instruction to trust the words of Barrister Paul Jean and ask his forgiveness, I felt a great burden lifted. Do you think the Barraster will accept my apology? By the way, the rumors are that the Monsignor will be appointed to Bishop in the near future and that he may one day be elected Pope.

“When I told Yehoodi of my dream and my apparent revelation, he reminded me that in all of history of revelations of Jesus and Mary at Fatima, Bayside, Medjugorje and lately at Oshkosh, Looneyville and Ding Dong, Texas, Fart, Virginia and Timbuktu on the African Coast, discernment of all these heavenly visions and apparitions must be discerned properly, since Satan comes in posing as Jesus and Mary. Msgr. Houdini warned me that the news to me in my dream about you, Anna Maria, being healed and living a long life could very well be Satan lying with his dirty tricks, and NOT Jesus. Therefore, he cautioned me not to believe this so quickly, and that you may, indeed, pass into His Heavenly Arms soon, as the doctor has predicted, in months or even days as Barrister Paul Jean has indicated to me. And further, he has directed me to extend to Barrister Paul Jean a token of forgiveness and that I should also return to converse with my trust in him, and not judge him.

 

‘As you know, priests are sworn to secrecy under the pain of mortal sin in the confessional and cannot reveal to anyone what is said in the confessional. And we know that secrecy with Mr. Agara’s Fund is of utmost importance because of Mr. Agara’s relatives wanting the money. Lastly, the Monsignor pleaded that I implore of you to have a priest come to your hospital bedside and deliver the Last Rites to insure your place in Heaven at God’s side where you belong. Also, please tell me the name and place of your hospital, as I would like to send you roses. And so, lets proceed with the Trust as soon as possible and I promise to do all that you have wished for.

Yours in Christ, Don Meehan ”

Like I said, don’t believe a word of what I wrote.

Oh for goodness sakes! She/he has ignored my last plea extending forgiveness to her/his Barrister (Baraster) lawyer and the next day has now sent the exact same original plea. I can’t wait to continue to play the religious card. Please stay tuned.

P.S. So, please  glance at the “official” Certificates and see if you can spot some phoniness. Please leave some comments on what you see and also spread the word about the criminals.  

TO BE CONTINUED

How to filter out the sound of the Goodyear Blimp engines

I watched some of the U.S. Open last week. It happened only about ten miles from where we live, here in Northeast Philly. But, watching on TV was a lot easier than trekking over there and walking miles in the rain. I was drawn to it by the sound of the Goodyear blimp, which would fly over us on the way to cover the event from above. It made me wonder how many Goodyear blimps there are, since they seem to be everywhere you go.

We live close to the Northeast Philly airport, and in fact, are at the very end of the longest runway. It’s not so bothersome, inasmuch as the sounds of three or four jets a day taking off and flying over only lasts a few seconds. But when the blimp slowly flew over every morning last week heading to the Merion Golf Course in Ardmore, PA, the constant sound of the engines drew my interest to make me run outside to get a closer look at this beautiful machine flying over me. Also my curiosity took me to Google to find out that there are three in the U.S., which fly over sporting events like Merion.

As a musician, the sound, or the pitch of the engines resonated and lasted in my ears and made me wonder what hertz, or frequency, I was hearing. So, I found the pitch by comparing it with playing a note on my guitar but I soon forgot what it was. By the way, the telephone dial tone, when you pick it up to dial, gives you a pure “F” chord, with the notes F, A and C. So if you have good relative pitch, you can tune your instrument this way.

It wasn’t too much later, when I tuned in to the tournament on TV, that I heard the same sound of the blimp’s engines over the announcers’ voices, constantly, throughout the reporting. It was a pain and a bore that their microphones were picking up the apparently un-muffler-ed sound of the blimp’s engines, throughout the day. And then, later I would hear the blimp returning to the airport.

It dawned on me later that if I were the audio engineer on the job, I would insert what is known as a “dip” filter into the circuit. It is a gizmo that finds the annoying hertz, or frequency, and enables you to dip the program only at that frequency, and filter out most of the noise.

The moral here is that the next time you are watching an event on TV where the blimp is hovering over and you hear the constant annoying sound, call the station and tell them how to fix it. By the same token, if you are an audio engineer at one of these events, and you are tired of the job and want to piss your boss off, and maybe want to collect unemployment, throw in the filter. When you find that frequency of the blimp’s engines, instead of dipping it, boost it to where that is almost all you hear, and guaranteed, you’ll be able to collect your unemployment in a New York minute, a Texas second or an Indiana instant.

So, on Monday, June 17, the day after Merion, I awoke early to hear at least 15 or 20 private jets take off and fly over me, the most ever, and I assumed that it was, indeed, all the billion or millionaire players heading home or wherever. It left me dreaming and thinking how great it would be to just get in your own plane and be wherever you want to be in no time. Well, I can dream can’t I? Sounds like a song. By the way, I wrote a new one over the weekend. Can’t wait to record it. No, the blimp sounds won’t work on it. Guess I’ll go over to the Boulevard (Roosevelt Speedway- It’s three blocks away) and record some 2 and 4 wheeler speedsters sounds for the demo. The Boulevard’s almost like Indy. They all do 60 and more and race to the next light only to sit there and wait for the green light, then speed on to the next light. Anybody know how to filter out those nuts?