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playtheblues

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About playtheblues

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  1. playtheblues

    A superb, raw, wild Blu-ray "Carmen"!

    No, you need a dedicated Blu-ray player. A good one will cost you a minimum of 15 000 baht. The Pioneer 320 will probably be my next up-grade from my present Samsung 1500. Unfortunately Blu-ray discs cost 1000 baht and up. Contrary to what many people are made to believe you don't need a "full HD" (1080p) monitor to fully enjoy Blu-ray. My Pioneer 42 inch has a native resolution of 720p and it displays Blu-ray discs brilliantly. And even on my old CRT TV in the bedroom, with component inputs instead of HDMI, Blu-ray looks wonderful, but actually this Philips Pixel Plus 2 model accepts hi-def signals (and on CRTs almost everything looks better than on most flat TVs, except perhaps for the Pioneer Kuro plasma models. CRTs sell for nothing these days so there are real bargains out there if you can live with a smaller screen). My experience is that movies still are good enough on normal DVDs and of course much cheaper. Toshiba has a new DVD player model, 500XDE which is said to do fantastically sharp upscaling by a new algoritm. It sells for 6990 baht. My Oppo 980H, same price, is also doing a good up-scaling job. I never up-scale to more than 720 p, no advantage to overkill the upscaling. But on ballet and opera and music, nothing can compete with Blu-ray. The sound too is fantastic. Do your home work before buying, though.
  2. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    Again on the positive side:the pleasure, yes pleasure, of not smoking is enormous and it has to do with the euphoria of sheer, unobstructed breathing. Every runner knows what I'm talking about. And every asthma patient - as one poster mentioned here-knows what the opposite feels like. And as soon as you have made up your mind to quit you are a non-smoker, it's not like that tedious, slow, loosing weight thing. Instead, quitting smoking is rather like instant gratification. And look how much fresher bars without smoke feel like, even hopeless smokers like the Japanese appreciate how much nicer Thermae is without the smoke in that claustrophobia inducing basement. So think positive and quit and good luck! And I really don't mean to sound patronizing against smokers (or theatralical about ending discussing on the board; might just be the cool thing to do "unter Umstände" like the Germans put it; I'll be back probably with some boring and pompous Blu-ray opera recommendation...)
  3. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    Yeah I'm aware of sounding pathethic. "Im soo misunderstood by the whole world"!
  4. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    To end on a more positive note: if you must have that cigar you should at least enjoy it with one of the great cognacs. XO is optimal but you would probably consider it too healthy - tons of antioxidants - so stick with one of the VSOPs. Less expensive too. But far away from other people please; bye now!.
  5. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    This discussion is going nowhere. You don't care if people smoke, you don't care if a society is smoke free or not and you obviously don't care about other health issues either. And you equate the smoking industry lobby with the anti-smoking groups and you say you are totally indifferent about which side to support. Since our basic values and perceptions about smoking are so different from each other I give up trying to make my point. But obviously your attitude is the prevalent one on this board and as I said it's welcomed by your friends in the tobacco industry. I am getting somewhat fed up posting on this board. I cannot get my points understood. Basic values, tastes, preferences in life, attitudes etc here seem to be fundamentally so different from my own that I start doubting that any useful dialogue is possible. It's about time to reconsider things.
  6. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    I and thousands of other people who join each other or not in protesting against the attempts by the tobacco industry to sabotage the environment and people health are no health big wigs. I don't even wear a wig although some might suggest that I should. So on which side are you regarding the November meeting by the tobacco industry? You find it OK that they try to expand the market for cigarettes in Asia or do you agree with those who protest against it? Well, I know your position already and I am afraid that it is shared by most of the "caviar" (and the not so "caviar") leftists on this board, so my question is redundant. A "caviar"leftist on this board is typically a guy who comfortably denounces capitalism with the exception of tobacco capitalism from his first class air seat (he might also tend to brag about his affiliation with hi-so Thais without realizing that such bragging is typically low class, but that's another issue).
  7. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    So now people who work to improve environment and protect peoples' health are nothing more than a profit making "industry" equivalent to the tobacco industry? This goes for every group who opposes cynical exploitation by big industry? Those who opposed the war in Iraq are an "industry" who in fact like the war? And I who thought this was mostly a left leaning forum, from what I read in the furious replies to our previous house Republican..Rogue... By the way I am a Nazi, because I hate breathing smoke in public places. We all know that.
  8. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    You shouldn't worry to much about the odd anti-smoking poster here (myself and two or three others). You have massive support by the mighty tobacco industry against which the whole health campaign network is rather powerless, it appears. An industry meeting in Bangkok in November will roll back years of struggle for a smokelss environment in Thailand. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/22624/policy-denounced-as-moke-and-mirrors
  9. playtheblues

    A superb, raw, wild Blu-ray "Carmen"!

    "Carmen" is the most performed of all operas, so I have not tried too keep track of various productions, there must be some really good ones among them - and this must be one of the most vivid and dramatic ones. A correction: I wrote that it is directed by Antonio Pappano, it should be conducted of course. Keep an eye, or rather an ear, on this conductor, he is becoming one of the conductor super stars if he already isn't that.
  10. playtheblues

    A Good Red wine..

    Reason to switch from the Petrus and Chateau Latour vintages?
  11. The culture snobs here - if there are any other than myself, which I doubt - would rather not want to be found dead with anything "lower" than a Mozart opera on the (vinyl of course) disc player or T.S Eliot's "Four Quartets" on the bedside table. Bizet's "Carmen" would be far too common, too popular and too "easy listening". But then we, the culture snobs, would miss something. The last two evenings I have been balancing on the edge of my seat, sipping my Remy Martin (XO of course) watching on Blu-Ray the Covent Garden production of "Carmen", directed by Antonio Pappano with an incredible fire and precision at the same time. "Carmen" herself is irresistebly seductive (though rather fat) as portrayed by soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, Jonas Kaufmann is a perfect, by passion obsessed Don Jose and then we have Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Escamillo - his entree on a black horse, singing that famous aria, is unforgettable - and we completely understand why Carmen turns to him instead of loser Jose (I cannot handle les accents, sorry). In all a raw, vibrant, marvelously exciting "Carmen" on Blu-Ray. And the sound on DTS-HD Master is a perfect match to the visual delights. Don't miss this one! And thinking about it: isn't there one or another Carmen and a jealous, loser like Don Jose out here in the Bangkok nightlife jungle? Steven Leather has already discovered one of those Joses in his "Private Dancer" but you would do better with the real thing, the Bizet version of basically the same story instead.
  12. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    'I do find that many smokers are quite polite..." Indeed, not least as reflected in the polished language of some posters in this thread.
  13. playtheblues

    24 hour number to report smoking violations: 02-590-3342

    "Hehe.. The anti-smoking Nazi who was in Carousel is probably the sort of guy who'd get hit by a bus whilst trying to cross the road to get to a vegan resaurant whilst clutching a recently-purchased bag of anti-oxidents and herbal teas. One can only hope." From what I've read about Nazism it's something quite different from just preferring unpolluted air in bars. But you might have other sources.
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