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Nice threads, Mario.

posted @ Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:55 AM | Feedback (0)
A Very Minor Personal Achievement

  I highly recommend the course for anyone that’s interested in that sort of thing.  Highly informative, great classmates, great teachers, incredibly enjoyable, and Eastern Washington is a great place to visit.

posted @ Wednesday, October 05, 2016 8:34 PM | Feedback (0)
Browser Power User or Dumbass?

Right now, I have approximately 34 browser windows open, each with 3-12 tabs open. 10 Chrome windows – these tend to be current task related 10 Waterfox windows – these are business/financial related 8 Slimjet windows – these are viticulture/enology related 6 Opera windows – these are news/sports/social related I have got to get a better handle on this.  Or a machine with more memory, as even 16 GB on a Surface Book tends to get tight, once you factor in the 2-6 Visual Studio windows open at any given time.  Not to mention the...

posted @ Friday, April 08, 2016 10:32 PM | Feedback (0)
Groove Music – Music Acquisition Still Sucks

I loved my Zune.  However, there were only about 8 of us who did, so it died a quiet death. I now have all my music on my phone.  Well, let me take that back.  I want to have all my music on my phone, but it doesn’t seem to want me to have all my music on my phone, and never has. Previously, I would always use the Desktop Lumia app to sync between my local home source of music (usually my laptop) and the phone because Groove just didn’t hack it and it was a waste...

posted @ Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:22 PM | Feedback (0)
David Bowie

Don’t just check out Ziggy Stardust and all the hits.  Checkout especially the Low/Heroes/Lodger/Scary Monsters period (with some tasty Robert Fripp included).

posted @ Monday, January 11, 2016 9:53 AM | Feedback (0)
It’s ok to like different things: Sine Qua Non and other things

I was reading this and it touched on something that had come across in totally different subjects/genres/whatever, and since there’s a clearly correct answer, I thought I’d mention it here. From that article is this: Critics, of all people, have an obligation to take a stand, and if you truly adore the subtlety and elegance of La Tâche, it is impossible to believe that you can derive equal pleasure from wines like Krankl's The 17th Nail in My Cranium (it's a Syrah that weighs in at around 16 percent alcohol). These are wines that offer completely conflicting notions...

posted @ Wednesday, April 08, 2015 11:57 AM | Feedback (0)
jdan - The artist formerly known as ‘jdn’

Not that anyone cares, but in case anyone thinks that I suddenly am making a lot of typos. I am taking my wife’s maiden name as a middle name, and so am now rebranding as ‘jdan’. Always remember to get married in Chicago in February, destination wedding to be sure.  

posted @ Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:50 AM | Feedback (0)
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Macbook Air Trade In Value

When it came out that Microsoft was offering up to $650 trade-in value for a Macbook Air to apply to the cost of a new Microsoft Surface Pro 3, I decided to take a look. I had a 2011 2 GB MBA, and was concerned how much it would bring, but was happy to find I got around $550 for it, so I now have a mid-level i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Surface Pro 3. Just starting to play with it, I can see things I don’t like as much as with an MBA, but other...

posted @ Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:53 PM | Feedback (0)
King Crimson is in motion

From here: “So, King Crimson is in motion. This is a very different reformation to what has gone before: seven players, four English and three American, with three drummers.” That’s a nice greeting to the morning.

posted @ Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:33 AM | Feedback (0)
Marillion – The Great Escape – Live – Marillion Weekend 3/23/2013

Update: what the hell, the user pulled the video.  I have no idea why (I mean, I know Marillion is going to release a DVD in the fall of their Brave performances, but I find it hard to imagine they complained).  That sucks.  Oh, well, it was pretty cool, to say the least.  The Porcupine Tree show at Radio City Music Hall was special in many ways, but still, in many other ways, couldn’t hold a candle to this. I was there.  The sound quality isn’t very good (the sound from the floor was phenomenal), and the...

posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 9:01 PM | Feedback (0)
xkcd: The pace of modern life

From xkcd:

posted @ Saturday, June 22, 2013 4:24 PM | Feedback (0)
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (Live)

My favorite song from one of my favorite musical releases in years. Please, come to me. Please, stay with me. Please Please Sing Stay Sing to me, raven I miss her so much. Enjoy.

posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:57 PM | Feedback (0)
Fripp in Italy

In a previous post, I talked about my enjoyment of a performance of Fripp and the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. As he does, he has posted his daily thoughts about the week, both leading up to and after the performance, which can be found here: Sunday, April 14th Monday, April 15th Tuesday, April 16th Wednesday, April 17th Thursday, April 18th Performance day, Friday, April 19th Saturday, April 20th Sunday, April 21st The setting, the circumstances, and the company made it an event that I will long remember.

posted @ Saturday, May 25, 2013 7:09 AM | Feedback (0)
Robert Fripp and The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists VI – Caorle, Italy, April 19th, 2013

For largely personal reasons, I have been in Italy for a few weeks, and when I was planning the trip, by luck, I happened to come across this.  I’ve heard various versions/recordings/concerts/whatever of various incarnations of the crafties since they first started recording, and I’ve always thought it would be interesting to attend one of the classes/workshops/whatever someday. Anyway, I noticed they had a performance at the end of this incarnation and inquired as to whether it would be public or not.  It wasn’t, but I was grateful when I was added to the guest list (along...

posted @ Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:48 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion Montreal Weekend 2013 – Brave

“Brave” was a seminal release in Marillion’s career.  It came maybe a couple of years after they dropped off the planet for me (94 maybe), so I never knew it existed until 5 years ago, or whenever I rediscovered the group thanks to Porcupine Tree (Stephen Wilson helped produce one of their albums (I think), “Marbles”, which is my favorite of theirs).  So, there’s a bit of an emotional distance there for me. But, I’m willing to bet that for many people in the crowd, this was one of their all-time favorites, and there were grown men, giddy like...

posted @ Thursday, March 28, 2013 1:57 AM | Feedback (0)
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (and other songs)

Steven Wilson’s latest release is arguably bittersweet for any Porcupine Tree fan, for while he has emphatically rejected making any sort of grand pronouncement about the permanent demise of the band, it is clear that it is on the back burner for him for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, for anyone that is a fan of what is contentiously labeled “progressive rock,”, I urge you to give this a listen.  Having only listened to it a few times, I am not sure, but it might arguably be, on many levels, the greatest work that he has ever produced. A...

posted @ Friday, March 01, 2013 11:05 PM | Feedback (0)
A question of deep philosophical import concerning Taco Bell

Why didn’t they create a version of their Doritos Loco tacos using taco-flavored Doritos?

posted @ Wednesday, July 18, 2012 12:11 AM | Feedback (0)
Marillion, Park West, Chicago, IL – 6/23/12

A different concert in a couple of different ways. But first, the set list: The Invisible Man Open My Eyes Slainte Mhath Out of This World Afraid of Sunlight Cannibal Surf Babe The Great Escape Estonia Lucky Man Between You and Me Neverland Encore 1: This Strange Engine Encore 2: Kayleigh ...

posted @ Sunday, June 24, 2012 7:10 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion, Park West, Chicago, IL – 6/22/12

If there were two things that were confirmed at this concert, they are: Though I was encouraged by the presence of my still noticeably older brethren, I am perilously close to becoming too old to rock Sometimes, you can go home again First, the set list: The Invisible Man Beautiful You’re Gone Easter King Fantastic Place A Voice from the Past Ocean Cloud ...

posted @ Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Repost: Comments Commentary

Via John Gruber at DaringFireball, Matt Gemmell has a post that describes the pros and cons of allowing comments on a website. I’ve long been of the view that you really should have (moderated) comments if you want to say that you have a blog.  Of course, given that Gruber doesn’t allow comments, I’d then have to figure out what DaringFireball is, if not a blog, and if that’s a difference that makes a difference. In any event, none of the comments in the linked post favors the Rob Conery patented “turn on comments until you start getting...

posted @ Monday, January 09, 2012 11:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Jesus does not influence the outcome of NFL games

After watching yet another miraculous Tim Tebow led comeback, I began to reconsider my stance that Jesus was not interested in the outcome of NFL games. There are two particular aspects about the Tebow phenomenon that I particularly enjoy. One is the obvious religious aspect. Although it isn’t the only factor, by far one of the largest aspects that drives the Tebow-haters, and drives them nuts, is the fact that Tebow is openly Christian, and unapologetic about it. These same people generally wouldn’t mind thuggish behavior in their athletes, or manslaughter convictions, or what have you, but an occasional mention of Jesus...

posted @ Sunday, December 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Feedback (2)
Report: There were too many people and they were too drunk

Truer words have never been spoken about many things, but it definitely applies to this one.  As the link states: “Let’s make sure we have this straight: too many drunken people in too close of a proximity to each other, in an emotionally charged environment, without enough police supervision will lead to problems. Glad to hear it only took two months to come up with that kind of hard hitting analysis.” As a proud Canadian (and a proud American, as like my sisters, I am a dual citizen of both countries due to being born in Canada of...

posted @ Friday, September 02, 2011 5:14 PM | Feedback (0)
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Big White Gate (Live)

Sometimes you come across a band and wonder to yourself “where the hell have they been, how did I miss this?” and this, for me is one of them. They are on tour for their current album (which I actually don’t like as much as their 2007 release, which is why I’m posting this one), and I actually looked into driving 10+ hours to see them, but it doesn’t work out. Anyway, damn can she sing. Saint peter won't you open up the big white gate Cause i heard about forgiveness and i hope...

posted @ Sunday, August 28, 2011 7:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Repost - Insane Moron Draws Conclusion From NFL Preseason Game

Funny.

posted @ Friday, August 26, 2011 9:47 AM | Feedback (0)
Misheard Lyrics – Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter

After spending a week’s vacation in Canada with my family (Kingston, where I was born, Montreal and Quebec City….I’d never been to Quebec City, and especially enjoyed it), I was driving my sister and her husband to the airport when this song came on the radio and we all began ‘singing’ it, which of course meant muttering random and incoherent sentences, because no one can really tell what the hell Eddie Vedder is actually singing. Anyway, she forwarded to me this video which explains it perfectly.  As one commenter said, “whats so hard to understand that he doesnt want...

posted @ Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:29 AM | Feedback (0)
Now that the lockout is over and football is on the way…

…We can again get the fascinating, insightful and in-depth analysis from ESPN that we’ve all come to know and love, especially from Trent Dilfer and Mark Schlereth. On how Plaxico Burress will perform now that he is back in the NFL after his prison term, Mark offered the following fascinating, insightful and in-depth commentary:  he could be rusty and out of playing shape from being away from the game, but he could also be refreshed from being off his legs during all this time, possibly giving him what he and his teammates’ used to call ‘fresh legs’ in training...

posted @ Sunday, July 31, 2011 7:07 PM | Feedback (0)
If it doesn’t exist in a current file format, does it still exist?

As an undergrad, I wrote a novel for my senior Honors thesis.  Even after all this time, I’m still unable (and probably too biased) to figure out whether or not, on a scale of 1-10, whether it rated a 1, or if maybe, just maybe, it was good enough to rate as high as a 3.  If I ever make it to that point, and have the time, when I’m in my fifties, I think I might try to re-write it.  But the purpose of this post is not about literary criticism. I wrote it on an electronic typewriter,...

posted @ Friday, July 29, 2011 7:56 PM | Feedback (0)
Take a minute and thank a veteran

I’ve posted about this before, but got an email today from a friend of mine about a family member who was in the army and just died in Iraq. These people are true heroes.  They let us bitch and moan and whine about irrelevant things like software development.  Perhaps it is the Lutheran in me, but it really doesn’t matter what your political stance is, or if you think the efforts in the Middle East are worth doing or a total mistake, the soldiers on the ground deserve our thanks and our respect regardless.  Always show respect,...

posted @ Tuesday, June 07, 2011 9:04 PM | Feedback (0)
Roger Waters – Amused To Death (Live)

Update: For copyright reasons, this is no longer available on YouTube.  I don’t know what the original source was, so cannot point to that. I encourage you, if you are interested, to find other ways of hearing this song, especially if it involves paying the artist who created it.  Thanks. I’ve posted about the album before but there’s a good concert video of the title track available.  It has the obligatory Pink Floyd-ish trio of swaying female background singers, and well played guitar riffs, but although the music itself is well done, it is somewhat besides the point. ...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2011 8:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Concrete Blonde – Side of the Road

A song that they never played live (at least at any of their concerts I attended), a great song about sadness and loss.  Or something like that.  Can’t personally relate, of course. i can remember us laughing in bed hung over happy and holding our heads we didn't care about what people said it's hard recognizing a dream that's gone dead feeling my liquor feeling alone ...

posted @ Monday, May 16, 2011 7:48 PM | Feedback (0)
How to get a series on the Food Network

Step one - Pick a contestant skill level: incompetent, novice, ‘foodie’, professional Step two – Pick a theme: could be a particular food type (e.g, cake), could be a particular food technique (e.g, grilling), could be just a general competition in order to become the next <insert next what here>. Step three – Pick a judging panel: should be (though isn’t always the case) relevant to what you pick in step one and two.  If possible, include at least two of the following: generally effeminate guy, guy with bad hair, fairly smoking hot woman.  This helps satisfy the...

posted @ Friday, May 13, 2011 8:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Steak

For Lent, I normally give up lima beans, but since I generally hate the little fuckers, it has never really fit into the whole idea of sacrifice.  So, this year, I decided to actually give up a few things, which led, among other things, to becoming a pescetarian for 40 days.  And no, I had no idea the term existed, either. When I stopped being broke (one of the ‘advantages’ of getting a Ph.D. in Philosophy is that when you graduate and try to be an adjunct professor, your income tends to top out in the $20k range, at...

posted @ Sunday, April 24, 2011 5:10 PM | Feedback (0)
Go Pens: BOOM-LAY BOOM-LAY BOOM!

As with every team in the NHL, right before the home team Penguins come out at the beginning of the game at CONSOL Energy Center, they play the obligatory video to get the crowd riled up.  “Yeah Home Team!  Boo Road Team!”  Crowd goes wild. The Pens use a song by Shinedown called Diamond Eyes, which is incredibly catchy and includes lyrics like: Boom-Lay Boom-Lay BOOM! [x4] I'm on the front line Don't worry I'll be fine the story is just beginning ...

posted @ Friday, April 22, 2011 11:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Tip to paying taxes electronically

If you switch from paying taxes ‘manually’ to electronic payment through your accountant, take the extra minute to verify that they are going to try to pay it out of the right account. Merde.

posted @ Monday, April 18, 2011 11:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Road Trip – Briefest of summaries

Length: 16 days. Miles travelled: 6074. Cities visited (well, where I had advanced hotel reservations anyway): Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary. NHL arenas visited: LA, Anaheim, San Jose, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary (Also took in a Lakers game and a Dodgers game). Number of months it is going to take me to pay it off: too many (I luckily didn’t budget it carefully ahead of time, otherwise I probably would have realized it was too expensive). I may put up a separate post with some of the ‘nature pics’...

posted @ Tuesday, April 12, 2011 5:51 PM | Feedback (0)
Road Trip

The last road trip that I took this February took me through Dallas, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Denver and Nashville.  It was highly enjoyable (especially seeing my cousin and his family in Denver, complete with kick-ass 5th row seats to watch the Pens beat the Avs), but the enjoyment was tempered by the fact that I knew when coming back, I had to launch to production a six month project that was already delayed, and with less than perfect confidence that it would be successful.  There was also the outside chance that if the production launch failed, I’d eventually get fired. ...

posted @ Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:20 PM | Feedback (0)
Final Creative 32 GB Most Popular List

I recently bought a Zune HD 64 GB player.  I had hoped the Creative Zen 64 GB player, physically identical to my 32 GB unit, would have been the one, but alas…. I never would have considered the Zune, except for two reasons: Because of my Windows 7 Samsung Focus, I got to play with Zune Marketplace and sign up for the monthly pass thing. Someone at a recent Chicago Alt.NET meeting had a Zune HD, gave it a good reference and let me look at it.  The physical design of it...

posted @ Monday, February 28, 2011 9:41 PM | Feedback (0)
Travel Tip: Don’t flee from the Texas State Police

In my defense, it wasn’t my fault.  Well, not exactly. I took a well-deserved (well, I think it was, anyway) vacation that I might get around to posting about.  As a huge hockey fan, I visited Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, and Nashville to catch an NHL game in each city (highlight was obviously watching the Pens win in overtime against the Avalanche.  On the one hand, it was the Avalanche, who aren’t exactly doing well.  On the other hand, the Pens are dressing half of their AHL franchise because of all their injuries, so I’ll take it).  I actually drove...

posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:10 PM | Feedback (0)
Words of Wisdom – Nigella Lawson

Judging a dish on Iron Chef America: “It’s witty, without bringing attention to itself.” That’s exactly how I feel when ordering off the dollar menu at Taco Bell.

posted @ Saturday, February 05, 2011 7:16 PM | Feedback (0)
Fun Link: Studio Multitracks

Via John Gruber, Studio Multitracks is a site that deconstructs classic (and some not so classic) songs into their individual tracks. The hook that got both Gruber and myself to visit is the deconstruction of The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter.  If you don’t like the song, you probably won’t be as impressed, but then again, if you don’t like the song, there’s something wrong with you. Check it out.

posted @ Friday, February 04, 2011 6:39 PM | Feedback (0)
Wintery Wonderland, Chicago-style

Officially, something like 19” fell.  Hard to get quite the scale, but it’s a lot.  Most sidewalks and streets are still impassable.

posted @ Wednesday, February 02, 2011 6:04 PM | Feedback (0)
Fun Link: Never said about restaurant websites

Have you ever noticed how bad some restaurant web sites are?  The overuse of Flash, the occasional difficult in finding somewhat important items like, oh, directions, menus, operating hours, little things like that? Apparently I’m not the only one.  Courtesy of John Gruber, the site Never said about restaurant websites tracks some of the more idiotic, not to mention humorous, aspects you can come across.  A current favorite: “I love downloading PDFs. Even if the menu is totally out of date, it’s worth the thrill.” Enjoy.

posted @ Thursday, January 06, 2011 1:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Robert Fripp ends career '”in the conventional role of a professional player”

From his blog, after a performance at “WFC 1” (which is across from the WTC site, and which I visited in my last visit to NYC): “Speaking in the dressing room afterwards to John Schaefer & the Power Person responsible for the programming here: this evening’s performance is the last for me in the conventional role of a professional player….conventional venues & conventional approaches to the conventional wisdom of the conventionally-professional musical life are at an end. Not retirement, as with Billy B., but continuing to play & practice with the work of the Guitar Circle & writing in...

posted @ Monday, December 20, 2010 6:09 PM | Feedback (0)
Does this 16 GB of Ram make my butt look big?

One of the advantages of moving completely 64-Bit is that you can finally use all of the memory you can install on a system (32-bit Windows always hit the limit around 3.5 GB, depending on the machine, due to memory addressing blah blah blah…..I remember when I used to have to set up memory management so that I could play whatever version of Ultima or whatever I wanted to play at the time which required that extra 12 MB you had to squeeze in somewhere…I vaguely remember running some version of Novell DOS at one point just because...

posted @ Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:41 PM | Feedback (1)
A Week in Manhattan

My dad worked in Manhattan for something like a dozen years, and lived in a building that had free guest rooms (awesome!) so I’ve been to NYC dozens of times, but since he retired and the free room and board went bye-bye, I hadn’t been back in 7 years or so.  Things are going well, and I had tickets to the Porcupine Tree concert at Radio City Music Hall (see post here), so I decided, what the hell, let’s make it a really expensive week long vacation.  And it’s easier to post than send emails sometimes.  As a solely personal...

posted @ Monday, October 04, 2010 8:45 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – Live at Radio City Music Hall – 09/24/2010

A couple of days before the show, I ‘discovered’ Porcupine Tree’s twitter page, and so was prepared for a 3 hour show that featured one ‘half’ of a performance of The Incident, and one ‘half’ of them performing older material from the 1993-1999 period. It didn’t turn out quite that way.  With two 10-minute breaks, they didn’t quite perform for 3 hours, they didn’t play The Incident in its entirety, and they didn’t just play other material from 1993-1999.  But, regardless, it was a pretty fantastic show (with only a minor quibble).  Here’s a mini-review, including the set list. ...

posted @ Monday, September 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Feedback (0)
If They Can Make It There (Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall, 9/24/2010)

Back in February (I think), Porcupine Tree announced that they were going to have two special concerts, one in NYC, and one in London. It was never really explained why they were special concerts.  I’m unclear at the moment if they are at all, as Porcupine Tree is touring ‘normally’ for The Incident. In any event, I decided to turn the concert event into an excuse to take a full week vacation to NYC, which starts this weekend. Before he retired, my father lived in a building that had one (or more) guest rooms that allowed myself...

posted @ Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:38 PM | Feedback (0)
Pool Safety is Important

A completely unrelated topic to what I normally post, but what the hell. If you have kids, and they are going to be in a situation where there is a pool involved, make sure it is fully staffed, especially with lifeguards. Very good friend of mine had the ‘joy’ of having her kid (a decent swimmer for her age, but age 4) pulled from a pool today because apparently the non-lifeguard staff lost sight of her and didn’t notice that she was struggling and in danger.  Luckily, the lifeguards did their job and all is well. All’s...

posted @ Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Concrete Blonde, 6/12/2010, Vic Theater, Chicago, IL

I’ve never been what I would call the ‘target market’ for Concrete Blonde.  I don’t care about vampire songs, the recurrent anti-religious and “be true to yourself” lyrical themes have never done much for me, and I’m pretty sure I’m not a young single woman looking for a role model (let me check….nope), or whatever other demographic trends towards them. But they’ve always been one of my favorite bands and for a number of reasons.  The guitarist John Mankey has always been solid, there’s the “don’t mind the details” nostalgic reasons why their songs have resonated for...

posted @ Sunday, June 13, 2010 12:38 AM | Feedback (0)
Congrats to the Hawks

I thought they should have won in five, but there you go.  It was one of the worst goaltending Cup Finals ever (so Fleury would have fit in), but the better team won.  The Hawks face massive salary cap issues, but like the Pens, the core that they have is tied up for a bit, so they will be in the running for years to come.  A Pens-Hawks final would be interesting. It was fun to head to Clark Street to watch the celebrations for a while.  Since comments are disabled:  Oot aboot round...

posted @ Friday, June 11, 2010 9:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Postmortem of Pens-Habs series

Halak good, Fleury bad. The end.

posted @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:29 PM | Feedback (1)
Porcupine Tree, 05/01/2010, Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH

Bogart’s is one of those clubs that has a large open-space in front of the stage that extends two-thirds of the way back in the building to where the mixing desk is, behind which is another smaller space, and the all important bar.  There’s also a second-level above the bar and mixing desk. The sound quality in the place was highly dependent on where you were standing.  The music was notably muddy, especially if you were towards the back. Anyway, I was probably in the first third of the open space when I overheard some guys behind me...

posted @ Monday, May 03, 2010 7:50 PM | Feedback (0)
Jane Siberry – Love is Everything (Live)

Jane Siberry follows in a long line of Canadian singer-songwriters, and here is a beautiful live rendition of one of her best songs. The title of the song is ‘Love is Everything’ which means, of course, that it is about love ending.  Huh, go figure.

posted @ Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – The Sound of Musak (Live)

One of their best songs, with some of SW’s most cynical (yet accurate) lyrics. The music of rebellion Makes you wanna rage But it's made by millionaires Who are nearly twice your age

posted @ Sunday, April 11, 2010 11:14 PM | Feedback (0)
Loquat – Swingset Chain (live)

A really beautiful song I’ve mentioned before about the loss of friendship and other stuff (like alcoholism if you listen to the entire lyric…LOL).  It’s also misnamed. You’re a dandelion seed That files through the air And lands randomly Then disappears Check it out.

posted @ Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Feedback (0)
O Canada

It was like rooting for the Penguins last year.  They couldn’t make it easy.  They stumbled out of the qualifying round, barely beating the Swiss and losing to the US, putting them into a potential run against Russia, Sweden and the US again. After a somewhat surprisingly easy victory against the Russians, they ended up with a lucky break when Slovakia knocked off Sweden.  And then they nearly blew a three goal lead, winning only with a late second save in the final seconds. Up by one against the US going into the third period,...

posted @ Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:38 PM | Feedback (1)
Melissa McClelland – Brake (live)

A snippet of this song was played on Hockey Night in Canada, related to the death of Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke’s son. Obviously, I don’t know Mr. Burke at all, but condolences and prayers to him and his family.  I’ve never understood how people recover from the death of a child.  It’s something I wish on no one. Anyway, here’s a beautiful rendition of a beautiful (albeit depressing) song.  Resolution kind of sucks, but there you go.

posted @ Saturday, February 06, 2010 10:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Guilty Musical Pleasures: Lita Ford – Kiss Me Deadly

I went to a party last Saturday night I didn’t get laid I got in a fight Uh, huh, it ain’t no big thing I’m thinking that if Lita didn’t get laid, Lita didn’t want to get laid. Anyway, the powers that be decided to try and make her a star with a series of videos like this one.  Another one had her do a duet with Ozzy Osbourne.  It didn’t really work, but you can’t fault them for trying. A couple of questions arise.  Why...

posted @ Wednesday, November 04, 2009 9:59 PM | Feedback (0)
Awful Announcing

I had no idea this site existed.  Of particular enjoyment are the weekly Pammy awards.

posted @ Monday, October 05, 2009 2:40 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 09/22/2009, Chicago IL

Overcoming a less clear sound mix, Porcupine Tree put on another solid show at Vics Theatre, mixing up the second part of their set from the previous night, as I had hoped. It could have been where I was standing for their set, but the sound mix for Kings X was muddy, to say the least.  For a number of songs, Frontman dude would play some opening bass riffs, and you couldn’t tell what the hell it was really (which sort of made the 8 string bass number a miss), with only the lowest notes discernable.  Frontman dude did a variation...

posted @ Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:03 AM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 09/21/2009, Cleveland OH

Thwarting late arriving equipment (making it unfortunate they didn’t play Arriving Somewhere But Not Here), Porcupine Tree pulled off an impressive show at the House of Blues in Cleveland OH. Right before the opening act came on, the tour manager for Porcupine Tree came out and announced that the equipment from LA was arriving late, but would make it there and the show would go on.  There would just be a longer break after the opening act. Said act being King’s X, who has been around since the late 80’s, whose only song you probably heard of was...

posted @ Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:24 AM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – The Incident (First Listen Thoughts)

So since I have no life, I paid the extra bucks to be able to download the newest Porcupine Tree release a little earlier than others.  Having sat through the first listen, here’s a couple of thoughts. Disclaimer: there have been times in the past when my first listen thoughts ended up being radically different from what I thought later on.  I didn’t like Marillion’s Clutching At Straws at first, then came to think of it as the best release of the Fish era.  In a totally different area, I thought Jane Siberry’s Since I Was A Boy was,...

posted @ Monday, September 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Feedback (0)
I hate fantasy football

There, I’ve said it. I hate it.  Really.  A lot. There are many reasons why I hate it.  I hate tuning into a sports radio station and finding people discussing it.  I hate watching ESPN (which I hate in general anyway) to find some blowhard talking about some 2nd receiver on the Bengals (or whatever) and why everyone should pick him up for the week.  I hate hearing that Don Brown is at worst going to get 900 yards and 8 TDs for the Colts this year (um, no, at worst, he’s going to blow out a knee...

posted @ Tuesday, September 01, 2009 12:29 AM | Feedback (2)
Till Next Time

Those in the know, know that “Till Next Time” is the tagline of Derik Whittaker. I don’t remember which of us (where ‘us’ refers to Derik, Sergio, and myself) made the post (and I’m too lazy to look it up), but one of us made the suggestion on the old alt.net Yahoo mailing list that people in the Chicago-land area should get together and think about setting up an alt.net group.  We met at some bar up north of Chicago (I’m thinking Fall 2007).  In any event, the meeting went off well enough that Chicago alt.net was born. ...

posted @ Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:01 PM | Feedback (2)
Insulting a PGA Major Winner

I know I’ve posted this before, but I’m too lazy to find the URL, so I’ll recap again. Rich Beem won the PGA Championship in 2002, beating Tiger Woods by one stroke.  The following year, the PGA Championship happened to be played in Rochester, NY, and as it happened, I was visiting a friend the week before the tournament was played. Sitting in the hotel bar on a weekend night (maybe Saturday night), an NFL preseason game was on, I think it was the Giants vs. Bills.  I was killing time before going out to dinner,...

posted @ Friday, August 14, 2009 8:36 PM | Feedback (0)
Stanley Cup Champions 2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins

What a magnificent end to a crazy season. Maxime f’ing Talbot. During a season where the Pens played some of the worst hockey imaginable, where they had to fire their coach mid-season (a move that never works) after a horrible game in Toronto, going down 2-0 in two series, having an at time horrendous power play, a goalie giving up incredously soft goals, with their star and captain going out due to injury in a Game 7 on the road (where no one had won since 1971), the Pens did it. I have never been so happy...

posted @ Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:31 AM | Feedback (1)
Pens vs. RedWings – The Rematch

I guess there was a precedent with Larry Robinson being hired as coach in mid-season and leading the Devils to the Cup, but when the Pens whacked their coach in mid-season, I was skeptical.  I remember thinking to myself “Right, the Pens are out of the playoffs right now.  Whacking the coach is really going to fix their horrible power play, their inability to out-shoot an opponent, and they are going to win the next 80% of their games, storm through the playoffs, and make it back to the Finals.  Right.” Whoops. Usually, when a fan tries to...

posted @ Thursday, May 28, 2009 7:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Quick Recap of Pens’ Series Victory over the Flyers

I would say that they didn’t deserve it, as they were clearly outplayed for significant portions of the series (especially Game 4 which Fleury stole out-right), but the Flyers choked away two of the games, so they didn’t deserve it either. I’m not overly enthused about their chances going forward (then again, I thought they had no shot making the playoffs at all), for a couple of reasons: Their powerplay remains abysmal.  When the Guerin and Kunitz deals came around, I thought there might be some improvement, but except for rare instances, the Penguins seem...

posted @ Saturday, April 25, 2009 8:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)

I’m glad I didn’t spend four years watching the show (only the last year).  I think this has to go down as the worst finale of a series in the history of television. I remember how angry people were at the end of Babylon 5, but this was so much dumber.  The only character I really cared about was Starbuck, and that’s what they did to her character?  Right. Oh well. Update: okay, maybe calling it the worst finale in history was a bit harsh.  Keeping it spoiler free, these are the things that really bug me:...

posted @ Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:32 PM | Feedback (10)
Stick a Fork in Them

Not only will the Penguins not win the Stanley Cup, they won’t even make the playoffs. The last time I was going to write this (a couple of weeks ago), the Pens were down 3-0 at home to the Tampa Frickin’ Bay Lightning, and Malkin decided to play Superman, and they won 4-3 in OT.  Okay, fine.  The Pens are back, blah blah blah. Tonight against the not very good Maple Leafs, they went up 2-0 in the 1st.  And promptly decided to stop playing for the rest of the game, to give up six unanswered and lose...

posted @ Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:38 PM | Feedback (1)
Note to the people using or supporting the Food Bar

To those people who set up the Food Bar, you really need to think about the placement of the food as it relates to how normal people will function.  So, for instance, when you set up a taco bar that moves from right to left, putting the taco shells and tortillas at the left end after the meat and the rice *completely* screws up the flow of people, since they then need to get the shells and swim upstream back against the line, and this just slows everyone down. To those people using the Food Bar: ...

posted @ Thursday, December 04, 2008 7:13 PM | Feedback (0)
Guilty Musical Pleasures: Lou Gramm – Midnight Blue

This is part of yet another new series (not going to number them) where I mention rock/pop songs/albums/bands that I enjoy, even though I know I probably shouldn’t. This entry is for Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue” song.  I think all that needs to be done to indicate why this song should not be liked is to relate the following lyrics: I remember what my father said He said "Son, life is simple" It's either cherry red or... Midnight Blue... or I won't apologize for ...

posted @ Monday, October 06, 2008 6:35 PM | Feedback (2)
End of a nice little run

Read about it here. Fitting that it ended with Mr. Rent a Player just missing.  To be really fitting, he should have hit the post. Here's a couple of things we learned: 1) While it sounds nice, hitting the post is no more effective than completely missing it. 2) If you don't clear the zone, and especially if you pass it to the other team in your defensive zone, they are more likely to score. 3) If you get multiple 5 on 3 power plays, and don't score on ANY of them, you aren't going to win a series. Still,...

posted @ Thursday, June 05, 2008 8:29 AM | Feedback (0)
Alt.NET Seattle, Friday, April 18th, Day 1 of 3, Pre-Meeting Events

Looking at Jeremy Miller's blog entry, it reminded me that I haven't gotten to this yet.  So, here's the first stab at it.  I'm unlikely to remember everything, but whatever.  I will probably have a separate post to talk about what I took away from the event, how it did or didn't change what I think about Alt.NET, blah blah blah, but I'm already late on all of this, so here we go. I arrived at the train station in Seattle around noon local time.  My sister and her husband live in Seattle, so I was staying with them.  I...

posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2008 7:37 PM | Feedback (0)
Chess 'Review'

This isn't really a review, as such, just a comment about something I noticed. Chess was a musical made in the 80s, you can read about the details here. So, it was first an album, with lyrics written by one of the guys who worked on Jesus Christ Superstar and the music written by the two male members of ABBA.  It became a musical later in London.  Then, as they tend to do, they butchered the crap out of it and moved it to Broadway. I've listened to it for years (the original...hated the reworked version).  It's good, nothing that...

posted @ Sunday, September 09, 2007 8:31 PM | Feedback (0)
A $250 Video Game

So, I'm not what one would call a gamer.  I've played Halo before, and I do enjoy games like 'Age of Mythology' and 'Dungeon Siege', but when it comes to first person shooters, I'm pretty horrible, and they don't bring a lot of satisfaction for me. But I kept reading all this stuff about 'Bioshock' and how great of a game it was, and how the story line was excellent blah blah blah.  Then I read that in easy mode, it was really easy.  Perfect.  So, I bought it.  I installed it on my Duo Core laptop, and it ran. ...

posted @ Saturday, September 08, 2007 12:34 PM | Feedback (0)