til its gone. I really didn't realize how much I enjoy my daily IM banter with a buddy of mine until he got laid off last week and is now offline for the time being. It was nice when I was bored at work or had something random to say to be able to send him an IM and we would chat for a few minutes here or a few minutes there. Now I actually have to call and stuff, which is just not as fun or easy.
June 2003 Archives
GOD DAMNIT, IT'S FREAKIN 92.5 in my living room right now
My guitar playing started a few months ago. Well, actually, it started many many years ago, but over the past 10 years or so, it has been rather sporadic. Usually I would play for a few days, not feel like I was making any progress and hide the guitars back under the bed.
This time, I tried to keep myself doing it. I devised a scheme. I decided to write a quick group of CGI programs to list songs I wanted to learn and update the progress of them as I went along. This has been working pretty well. I got a list of about 20 songs I wanted to learn, found the tablature and started practicing. I even made CDs of the songs I was working on.
Over the past few months I have gotten better and better at playing. Originally, I was psyched that I was playing again. I enjoyed that I was starting to have calluses on fingers, I loved that I learned some new songs, etc. Slowly I started to expand the songs I wanted to learn. Now I probaby have about 25ish songs that I know pretty well.
The next step for me at this point has been working on singing and playing at the same time. If you have never done this, it is VERY difficult. The reason it is so difficult is that you really need to play guitar on auto-pilot and think of the words to the song. For a while I could not do this to save the life of me. It totally screwed up my playing. Now, as I have gotten better and better at guitar, I can almost pull this off. I don't have the best voice in the world, but I can usually at least stay somewhat in tune :) This has been really nice for me. Even tonight, I was able to pretty much learn a song and be able to sing along with it in just a few attempts. The funniest part? I don't even own the CD, I was going on what I remembered from hearing many friends play it over and over.
The real next step for me is to go back and re-learn all the music theory and then apply it to guitar. I used to be very good at this (aced the class I took in college), but have forgotten most of it. The applying it to guitar is going to be even more difficult. I really need to learn the notes on the neck of the guitar MUCH better. Then, I will actually be able to solo some more :) Right now, I basically just play chords and some parts of songs, but actually jamming and being able to play along will be much more fun.
Hopefully I will work on this over the next couple of weeks. I think I am going to play with a buddy of mine on Sunday for a few songs. We'll see what happens. Should be interesting to see if I can pull off what I can do at home on a stage. Maybe I will even sing one or two ;)
If I can get the second half of this learning process and the get the music theory part down, it will really be fun to go down on Sunday and really be able to jam back and forth with my friend.
Coming home at 4AM to the fire alarm in your building going off is NO FUN
I just spent parts of the day reading Holes. I heard from a number of sources it was a good book, so I picked it up when I made my big order from Amazon. It didn't look like too bad of a read, so I started it this afternoon and now at 7:15 am already done with it. It was definitely a cool story. Lots of little pieces interwoven throughout the story that you really have to pay attention to to notice. I missed a few over the course of the book, but many of them get explained a bit better later on. Definitely a good quick read. I have to wait until Monday for HP5 to get here, so I figured this would be something good to pass the time :)
Returned to Boston yesterday afternoon after a week in NY for some home time and the SIA trade show.
Had a nice relaxing weekend on Long Island last weekend. Saw Dad for Father's Day. Had a good dinner and hung out. Good to see my dad. We don't really talk all that much these days, so the chances I do get to see him are nice. The two of us are both very bad at making phone calls, keeping in touch, etc, so it just leads to the two of us not talking all that much.
Headed in to NYC at an un-skadzly hour on Monday morning. Headed straight to the Hilton New York to set up for the show. We were in the Intel booth for this show. Set up went rather smoothly considering it was just me from Egenera. The Intel folks were rather helpful. I was pretty much up and running in about 4 hours, which I think is a record. Sadly, we had a partner doing some exhibiting on our machine and they had issues, so I ended up hanging out until about 5 or so before I gave up and headed to my hotel.
The show itself was pretty good. Talked to some good people. The scanner for the badges was rather inconsistent, so we didn't get as much scanning in as we had hoped for. Hopefully some people we talked to will contact us if we didn't get their information. A lot of people seemed very interested in our technology and saw the power of what it could do in the datacenter. I also see that we are slowly but steadily getting more and more brand recognition, which is a very nice thing. Hopefully this trend will continue.
This show was an interesting one because my trade show manager had some family stuff to deal with, so I played not only technical guy and booth staff, but also trade show manager for this show. Luckily, there were no major issues, so it was an easy job for me.
As for NY, I didn't get out much. Having no trade show manager meant I was pretty much in NYC by myself. I pretty much stuck to the show floor and my hotel for most of the week. These shows do a very good job of wiping me out. Almost every night, I returned to my room and took a nap due to being so tired.
I did get out to Virgil's one night with a number of friends I have known for longer than I care to think about since I know most of them from online :) Food was awesome as usual, though it was a rather quick get together because some people had to catch a train back to Philly.
Show break down was the only bad thing the whole week. Show ended at 12noon on Thursday. Our boxes to pack everything up showed up at 6:30PM. Argh! Sitting around waiting is no fun. Did get packed up in about 30 mins though :)
While I was in NY, Mom took my car in to get tuned-up. Found out that there is an issue with my rotors. The mechanic said they should still be under warranty, so I should go to GM to get them fixed. Oh goody, something else that I will have no time to do.
Took a later ferry than I had hoped to on Friday due to the cat deciding hiding was much more fun than going home. Argh. Of course, she is now the happiest cat alive that she is back in her house. Dumb cat.
My biggest worry about coming home as late as I did was rush hour traffic. Not traffic itself, but the exit I needed to get off to stop by UPS. Luckily, for once, the exit was empty. I got lost about 4 times trying to find the UPS location, but once I did, I picked up my box of goodies from Amazon that I had ordered with my gift certificate that I won from Ximian. I now have 6 new books, 2 new CDs and a new DVD. Yay!
Mom, as always bought me stuff for my apt. I now have a toaster and a kettle. Will be nice to reclaim my pot that I use as a kettle right now. The toaster will make morning bagel much more of a possibility too. Yay! Thanks Mom!
Should be a rather slow weekend, as I really have to wait for my expense check from this past week until I really have any money. Tuesday, Guster is doing a free show in Boston, so I will probably go to see that and then probably stop by for a bit and see Stu.
Now Playing: Ra - From One (Thumbs up on this one!)
On Deck: Audioslave - Audioslave
All I have to say is BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAH
Only I can make potential partner contacts while at the hotel lounge having drinks :)
How do I know? Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, who is possibly one of the strangest men on the planet, was looking at him like he had 3 heads.
So, Gary was just on Jimmy Kimmel with his new cohort Adam somethingoranother from I'm With Busey. He has lost it. He was rambling and trying to stop the audience from clapping and pouring raccoon's blood on food and saying it was good and all sorts of other wacky stuff. Very very very scary.
enough posting for me tonight. I think I posted enough for myself and other people who have been really quiet today. :)
Hall of a threat: Clemens may boycott ceremony: "Clemens said Saturday he will not attend his own induction ceremony if he is not allowed to go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the New York Yankees."
Roger, just because you have an issue with that idiot Dan Duquette, doesn't mean you should turn your back on the place that you made most of your history. Most of us in Boston know how much of a loser Duquette is. I mean, we did get rid of him. And while he was here, he was CONSTANTLY criticized, not just for what happened to you, but for many other bad trades and bad decisions he made.
I don't know. I think these superstars have just gone too far in seeing themselves as the only person rather than looking at things on the whole.
I think the best example of this is this. I was at Roger's first game back at Fenway with Toronto. They stopped beer in the bleachers in about the third or fourth inning. The reason for this? Fights in the stand. Now, this was not the normal out of rowners and locals fighting, this was red sox fans fighting each other because some were still routing for Roger and other's hated him for leaving. Now, if this does not show how much of a fan of Roger Boston is, I don't know what is.
Roger, get with the program, let the Hall put you in in a Sox uniform and go and humbly accept that you have been voted in.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that the real killer product would be for someone to make a wireless power cord. I started to think about writing a blog post about it and while going through that train of thought (yes, I tend to write all sorts of blog posts in my head, many of which never make it here, because I either forget or else I figure it would just be a dumb post), I had this thought that I actually read somewhere that someone had done something where they were actually able to do such a thing. I kept trying to think about where I heard that. Then I realized what it was. It was the damn machine from Atlas Shrugged. I bet thinking about a possibility of a movie of it had my mind in that place.
I still think it would be awesome, but I guess its something that just isn't there yet.
The other album I am totally digging on this week is Avril Lavigne's disc. It's happy poppy fun, but it actually has some good qualities in it. She's got a great voice and some interesting songs. She actually sorta raps (maybe it's Canadian rap (insert Dream Theater fan inside joke here)) on one track. Actually the song I am digging the most right now is the one that is the new single, "Losing Grip". A lot of good qualities in that song. The song I get the biggest kick out of "Things I'll Never Say". I'm not sure who thought it would be cute, but there are two sections that I just love. At one point she sings:
"If I could say what I want to say
I'd say I wanna blow you" [dramatic 5 second pause] "away"
and then another one goes:
"If I could say what I want to see
I want to see you go down" [dramatic 5 second pause] "On one knee"
Yeah, they weren't trying to sound sexual and get away with it on a teeny boppers CD or anything :)
But, in the end, I will admit it, I really like this disc.
I have really been digging the Taproot disc this week. I started off really digging the song "Poem" when it was on the radio (well, I guess it still is), but always wondered if the rest of the album was very good. Well, I put an order in to BMG a couple of weeks ago and put this CD in (as well as 5 others). I am really loving this disc. It has elements of lots of types of music. It has the Nu-Metal sound in some respects, but is also really melodic in a lot of places. I get a Tool feel on a number of songs. Especially the ways some of the songs are arranged. The singer has a nice range. Reminds me of Aaron from Staind in some places (especially with the death metal like growls going right in to nice high pitched singing (think Mudshovel from Staind). Definitely woudl recomment this to anyone who is a fan of Nu-Metal, but I also think that people who like things like ProgMetal would enjoy this disc as well.
That I am sitting in one of world's largest cities, the one that never sleeps, blogging and being bored instead of actually going out and enjoying myself. Hopefully going to meet up with some people over the next few days, but tonight has just be a lazy night. The WiFi access in the room is nice though, sitting on the bed, headphones on, playing with the computer.
This is most excellent to hear. Maybe someday I will actually go to this show, but the whole camping, no showers, no nice comfy bed thing and I don't really get along with each other. Once I get back to the office next week I hope to get a great report from a co-worker who went down.
I think I should add a guitar category sometime soon.
I'm totally aching to play some guitar this evening, but didn't drag it in to the city wit me due to not really having any clue of how much free time I will have. Looks like tonight will be the only night with free time, but still I wish I could strum out a few chords right now and learn some new songs.
Since deciding about a month ago that I was going to try seriously to start playing again, I have been doing rather good. Usually playing every day for about two hours. Learning new songs all the time. Its amazing the ways your fingers can bend and move after some practice.
I've been playing just acoustic guitar due to not really having an amp at home. I used to have one, it went away, don't ask, its a long story. Considering I listen to a lot of music that is electric in nature, I do think I am going to have to rectifiy the situation at some point in the near future. Hopefully I can save a couple of bucks here and there and buy something nice.
Maybe I should take the path Dave took and quit smoking and then buy myself a nice amp in a few months. Wouldn't that be nice (though most likely impossible).
Hopefully this Sunday I am going to bring my guitar down to my favorite hangout and jam a bit with a buddy of mine. Really gotta get some pratice in this weekend to make sure I am ready to do that. He sent me a nice list of songs to play with him. Just gotta make sure I know the changes pretty good. I'm getting good at playing and not having to think about it, but since a number of these songs are new to me, I will have to work on them.
I've even gotten to the point where I can almost deal with singing and playing at the same time. Another buddy of mine joked a few weeks back that once I knew 50 songs, he would put me on the sub list. Would be very funny if that ever happened, since I have been going down and seeing many of these guys play for many years to start filling in for them here and there :) Though I doubt I will ever get to that point, but you never know. I probably should practice playing while drinking if I ever hope to get to that point as well :)
I'd almost love to take some voice lessons at some point. I can almost sing, even can hold a tune most of the time, but it would be good to get some level of professional teching if I ever really wanted to do it in public on a normal basis.
OK, enough rambling about my non-existant musical career. I'm much better off living vicariously through all my rock star friends :) Hopefully one of them will actually make it someday, so I can say I knew them when :)
Ahhhhh, my hotel has WiFi, so I can stay connected when not at the show. Yay!
I'm bored. Had all my stuff up and running for the trade show like 3 hours ago, waiting for someone else to finish so I can go pass out in my hotel room, as I have been up since 5:30 this morning (which is HOURS before I normally get up).
I'm at home on Long Island. Headed in to the city tomorrow for the SIA trade show. Will be working in Intel's booth. Since we don't have our own booth, hopefully it won't be as crazy as some other shows. Heading back to LI on Thursday and then probably back to Boston on Friday. Thinking I will head up to New Hampshire on Sat to see the boys, but we'll see, that's a long time away.
Heading out to dinner with Dad in a bit. Really should hit the sack EARLY tonight, as I have to be on a train at 6:18 or something in the morning. Scary scary.
Posting will probably be scattered this week.
You know you go to the same Subway too much when you don't have to order.
You know you go to the same McDonalds too much when they change their menu, you don't realize it and they still know what you meant when you order :) (and you are at the drive through ;)
You know you go to the same bar too much when the manager apologizes to you for not having any Guinness.
Ugh, I need to find some new places to go :)
TV Phone announced by Samsung. Why do I need a freakin TV on my phone? Why don't we just make a microwave phone, so we can cook with our phones too.
Isn't this what things like TiVo are for? When are you going to need to be in front of a TV so bad that you are going to want to watch it on your mobile? I just don't get that at all. If I knew I wanted to watch something, I would have set TiVo to tape it, if I remembered late, I would just log in to TiVo's web server and add it on via my mobile. I just don't see ANY reason for a TV to be on my phone.
A nice little article at CNN about the Bonnaroo Festival this weekend in TN. I know one person going, wish I could have made the trek, but camping and I don't really agree with each other all that much :)
Can someone tell me who at eMpTyV thought it was a GOOD idea to put frat boys on TV?
And another town bites the dust. I guess Sommerville has already passed a ban for Oct 1st as well. This sucks. Oct 1st is going to be a bad time for it to start though because the weather is going to start to be crappy and smokers are just not going to go out. That's the SINGLE nice thing about the Boston ban, at least its the summer and I can go outside without a jacket or anything to smoke.
This is the part of the article I like the least:
He said the Cambridge ban could force bars and restaurants that oppose outlawing smoking to support a statewide ban, given the prospect of losing customers to other communities.
''Now that it affects them, they are suddenly advocates for a statewide ban,'' he said.
Oh, ok, this is a good idea, let's make the different bar and restaurant owners fight against each other. I just don't think this politicing at all.
The Bonnaroo NE festival was cancelled today. No suprise at all after what happened with Field Day. The amusing part was the prganizers up until now swore up and down that they were not going to be affected by the goings on with Field Day. I laughed every time I heard that and now i laugh last :) Glad I didn't spend the almost $200 to go :)
This is definitely the post of the day, I almost spit my juice all over my keyboard when I read it :)
According to this, Atlas Shrugged, the awesome book by Ayn Rand is about to be made in to a movie. They have tried a number of times before, but it has never worked out. Hopefully this time it will. Will be interesting to see if they decide to make this a VERY long movie or a two or three part movie. I also hope they don't lose any messages from the book by the adaption.
So, watching the Belmont here and its POURING in NY and the track is a mess, all mud. Now, since these horses are pretty much raised to do this and if they break a leg or something, its very bad, WHY THE HELL DO THEY RACE THEM IN THE RAIN?!?!?! Just makes no sense to me.
Going to try and keep a running update of my second or third listen to the new Metallica CD:
Starts off nice and heavy almost like old Metallica (when they were good). First thing I notice, the drums sound like crap, Lars sounds like he is playing in a tin can. I read somewhere that they thought the drums sounded crisp, if this is crisp, I don't like it. Next thing I notice is James's voice, sounds like he is almost trying to rap instead of sing. On the way home I heard Battery, why can't he sing like that anymore? The Frantic - tick - tick -tock part is HORRIBLE. He sounds like an idiot. I do like the break with the heavy bass, but there may be a bit too much in there. And the last Frantic-tick-tick-tick-tock where James loses his voice, just plain sounds silly.
Again, starts off nice, again, the drums sounds like utter crap. And then what happens?!?!? What the hell is this slow crap? Also, I still don't like how James's voice sounds. He doesn't have that growl he used to have any more. Maybe that's what happens when you sober up. Why put all the heaviness in to this song to ruin by having all the verses be this slow crap. It also seems to be too, I don't know what the word is, poppy isn't it, but the 'Ya Flush it out, ya flush it out' part annoys me. The music sounds too muddy at the end. James's voice and Lar's drums (which STILL sound like crap) are way too high in the mix.
Some Kind of Monster:
Like the nice crunch beginning. The music is reminding me of old Metallica alot. Drums sound a little better on this one, but still not great. Not digging on this opening solo much though. Sounds kind of muddy again too. James again sounds like he is trying to rap. Sing, not like the pussy way you sang on some of the newer CDs, but the way you used to on things like MoP or AJFA. Argh. Maybe this is Metallica's take on NuMetal? I dunno.
Stop highlighting the drums, they sound like crap! LIke the opening riff to this one. A little more rock n roll, but not too bad. Definite tin can drums again. I think I have heard street drummers who pang on actual tin cans who get better tone than these drums. Still not a big fan of how James's voice sounds, but its a little better in some parts of this song. This may be the most solid song on the CD so far, though its more like new school Metallica, rather than old School METALlica.
"Vermont rockers Phish will perform the U.S. national anthem before Game 4 of the Finals on Wednesday, June 11. The band released their most recent studio record, Round Room, on Elektra Entertainment last December. Known for their marathon concerts and devoted following, the band hits the road for a nationwide tour in July."
It would be nice if they jammed it out, but I would bet they are gonna do it accapella.
Don's comment "game starts 20 minutes late due to anthem>loving cup>tweezer reprise>anthem reprise." :)
The guest on Kimmel tonight:
It's been, umm, interesting
I got home an hour ago, since then I have:
filled and started the dishwasher
cleaned out the cat litter
upgraded all 3 of my sites to MT 2.64
updated the tour dates on dreamt
posted about a new venture of the band on dreamt
paid two bills
put fresh batteries in and re-sync'ed my palm
posted what I worked on today to my work blog
Man, that was a nice and fulfilling hour. Now to keep it going.
I've seen the first set before, but never the second.
REJECTED DR. SEUSS TITLES
1. One Bitch, Two Bitch, Dead Bitch, You Bitch
2. Herbert the Pervert Likes Sherbert
3. Fox In Detox
4. Who Shat in the Hat?
5. Horton Hires a Ho
6. The Flesh-Eating Lorax
7. How the Grinch Stole Columbus Day
8. Your Colon Can Moo - Can You?
9. Zippy the Rabid Gerbil
10. The Cat in the Blender
11. Marvin K. Mooney, Get the ##### Out!
12. Are You My Proctologist?
13. Yentl the Lentil
14. My Pocket Rocket Needs a Socket
15. Aunts in My Pants
"Little Golden Books That Never Made It"
1. You Are Different and That's Bad
2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
3. Dad's New Wife Robert
4. Fun four-letter Words to Know and Share
5. Hammers, Screwdrivers and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-It Book
6. The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking
7. Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her
8. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
9. All Cats Go to Hell
10. The Little Sissy Who Snitched
11. Some Puppys Can Fly
12. That's it, I'm Putting You Up for Adoption
13. Grandpa Gets a Casket
14. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
15. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
16. The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy
17. Strangers Have the Best Candy
18. Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way
19. You Were an Accident
20. Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
21. Pop! Goes The Hamster...And Other Great Microwave Games
22. The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan
23. Your Nightmares Are Real
24. Where Would You Like to Be Buried?
25. Eggs, Toilet Paper, and Your School
26. Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
27. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
28. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry
Bah! He took a team from the basement and brought them to the playoffs two years in a row. At least give him a damn chance. Definitely not a fan of this decision (but that tune could change very quickly if the Isles shoot to the top next season ;)
Ximian is set to release an updated version of their Linux desktop next week. Saw numerous articles on it and it sounds like it will be real nice. I am suprised that they did not do a beta period publically (like they do with Evolution). I hope they had a very good test team whomever they were, because I know I have found TONS of bugs in Evolution, especially the kind you only get by letting real life users use the product rather than just letting a select group of developers use it.
Being that I was a software developer for a lfew years (and still play one from time to time), I know the many strange things that users can do. As the saying goes, you make the software idiot proof and they go and make bigger idiots. If this is something that is supposed to be aimed at the Windows users of today, well, there is definitely a large base of idiots out there.
Timmie because he just had to go and remind me that on nice days like today (yes, its a miracle, its actually nice out today), that all the little cutie yuppie girls are wearing summer clothes and all looking very tasty. That is probably THE biggest thing I miss by not working downtown anymore.
After closing Clarke's last night (yes, I should not close bars on Sunday, I know), I jumped in a cab sitting at the cab stand and headed home. I get to my house, its like $7, I hand the guy a $20 and ask for $10 back. He had no change. Asked if I had anything else, I said 2 singles and 2 twenties. He said, well, I guess give me the 2 singles, not your fault.
Now, HOW as a cab driver, do you sit at a can stand, knowing you have no change and not either a) drive to a convenience store and get some change, b) ask one of the other 20 cabbies sitting there if they have some change, or c) tell the potential passenger that you don't have any change right now, so they need exact change (which would have sent me to another cab). So, instead, he loses money on the ride instead of just losing the ride completely.
Just thought it was wierd and rather dumb.
Been a lazy day today, recovering from all the fun at the Funway last night.
I also finished up some more of my guitar songs project. I hopefully will fix a few more things and then maybe even release it as Open Source. Just have to add some more functions and clean up the web interface some. It is usable now, so I am trying to use it as much as possible.
I played a bunch more guitar today too, but more on that later.
Trying to decide if I am going to go out tonight. There is a going away party for a friend of mine from the bar. I really should go. The weather kind of sucks, so my inspiration is kind of lacking right now.
Sorta watching Vanilla Sky right now, but not totally paying attention to it.