Shuffle Along

One of those Facebook-y notes that doesn’t require a lot of thought!

  1. Turn on your MP3 player.
  2. Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
  3. Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please.
  4. Choose 25 people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I’m betting that your musical selection is entertaining, or at least amusing.(To do this, go to “NOTES” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, enter your 15 Shuffle Songs, Click ‘Preview’ below to tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click Publish, the little blue box at the bottom of your screen).

I tend to make the “tag someone” part optional, though that’s usually out of sheer laziness.
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Take 5

Another one all about music – that’s the kind of chain thingy I can get behind.  Hey, at the very least, they’re getting me to post stuff on my website again (link on my website, to my website – seems silly until you relaize the people who would click it are not reading this on my website 😛 )

List your answers and tag your friends to compare and contrast your tastes.  Answers do not have to be in any particular order.

  • 5 favorite artists or bands
    1. Rush
    2. Genesis (Hackett-era mostly)
    3. Yes
    4. Pink Floyd
    5. Led Zeppelin
  • 5 favorite singers
    1. Freddie Mercury
    2. Jon Anderson (Yes)
    3. Stevie Wonder
    4. Peter Gabriel (Genesis, solo work)
    5. David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
  • 5 songs that make you really happy
    1. Stevie Wonder – Superstition
    2. Yes – Mood For a Day
    3. Rush – 2112
    4. Genesis – Los Endos
    5. Dire Straits – Walk Of Life
  • 5 favorite sad songs
    1. Led Zeppelin – The Rain Song
    2. Moxy Fruvous – The Drinking Song
    3. Yes – Time And A Word
    4. Johnny Rivers – Memphis
    5. Rush – Nobody’s Hero
  • 5 favorite “guilty pleasures”
    1. Vengaboys – We Like To Party (some may know it as the old guy’s song in the Six Flags commercials)
    2. Taco – Puttin’ On The Ritz
    3. Starship – We Built This City
    4. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
    5. The Bee Gees – Run To Me
  • 5 favorite songs with a person’s name in the title
    1. The Turtles – Elenore
    2. Genesis – Lilywhite Lilith
    3. Pink Floyd – See Emily Play
    4. Elton John – Roy Rogers
    5. The Beatles – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  • 5 favorite covers
    1. U2 – Everlasting Love
    2. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – Elenore
    3. Elliot Smith – Because
    4. Yes – America
    5. Moxy Fruvous – I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You
  • 5 artists or bands who should fade into obscurity
    1. Madonna
    2. Bon Jovi
    3. Bruce Springsteen (yeah, I’m from Jersey, and yeah I’ll catch shit for it – I DON’T CARE 😛 )
    4. Puff what’s-his-face
    5. Biggie dude that got shot
  • 5 artists or bands you miss most
    1. The Who
    2. The Grateful Dead
    3. Freddie Mercury
    4. Genesis (the early lineup – Gabriel, Hackett, Banks, Collins, Rutherford)
    5. The Mamas & The Papas
  • 5 artists or bands who don’t get the recognition/airplay they deserve
    1. Old Genesis (before “Trick Of The Tail”)
    2. Gentle Giant
    3. Old Rush (before “A Farewell To Kings”)
    4. Asia
    5. Yes

Albums That Rocked Your World

It is with many thanks to Brian Jones that I write this note – thanks, because I finally got tagged in one of these Facebook chain letters which I’m interested in doing again (a lot of the ones I’ve seen lately are the same thing over and over).  This one, however, is something I can really get behind; so much so, that I’m doing a little more than required of the note:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wasu, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good.

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Dedicated To The One I Love

Saw this as a Facebook note.. these things go around a bit, and they can be kinda fun (such as “Movie Quotes” or “Song Quotes” where your friends try to guess lines from movies/songs).  Here’s the rules for this one:

  1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the same. (obviously doesn’t work as well on a website.. so email it to 10 friends or whatever if you’re not reading this on Facebook)

Questions, and my answers, to follow :>

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Forget About The Sandwich!

Heard a bit of sad news today. Denny Doherty, 1/4 of the Mamas and the Papas, passed away on Friday. His voice was the one most prominently heard on their recordings (not John Phillips, the primary songwriter, as most assumed). And while that bit of news was a downer, what followed in all the postings that I saw about it.. well, that’s what pissed me off the most. And what was that? This line, which I read over and over in various places (from the Associated Press):

The members re-formed in 1971 for the album “People Like Us,” but all hope for a reunion ended in 1974 when the 30-year-old Elliot choked and suffered a fatal heart attack while eating a sandwich in London.

Now, if you go look at the story on their site, which will only be available for a few days before you’ll have to pay to access it, you’ll see this line. Or will you? When I first loaded their site this evening looking for the original source (I’d read it from somewhere else, but saw the dateline was AP), that line read “Elliot suffered a fatal heart attack in London.” Now I go back, and it’s back to the sandwich. Half the news sites say there was a sandwich involved in Mama Cass’s death, the other half just say the heart attack. Now, I’m no expert, but when so many other places say the sandwich was just there and had nothing to do with her death, I have to wonder what moron does their fact checking, since this has been a known fact for quite some time now.

On a related note, since John died in 2001, that leaves Michelle Phillips as the only member of the group still alive.

Yep, I’m That Bad

With a crash that kept happening in iTunes recently (since I’d upgraded to 7.0.x), I was getting annoyed. Got to the point where I could sometimes play one song, but never a second – as soon as it would try to load another song, *poof*. Turned out to be an issue with the Macbook Pro’s audio settings (bitrate was too much for iTunes to handle), but then the latest release also fixed the problem so I didn’t have to keep changing the bitrate on the sound card. But, before I discovered the correlation, I ended up wiping my entire library, again (first time was when the laptop crashed, and thanks to FileVault, I lost a bunch of stuff). So, since I was going to have to re-sync the iPod, I thought I should clean up the library. And I did.

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2-Man Pipeline

I found this a little while ago, after years of searching… still want it on DVD though.

Feast your eyes on this… absolutely amazing.

Oh, in other news, I’m not so sure what I think about this theme now.. have to see if I can edit the text for links, ’cause I realized today they are kinda hard to see in there. Just about the same color as the other text. We’ll see what happens.

Emotional Feedback on a Timeless Wavelength

…Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

Tonight, Stephanie and I head to the PNC Bank Arts Center for an evening with Rush, their 30th anniversary tour. They’ve got a new album out too, which is a tribute album (covers) to bands that inspired them in their creative process. “Feedback” seems to have received some good reviews, and I’ve heard a couple tracks from it already – so far, I like it! Counting down the hours until the trio takes the stage, and hoping the weather holds out until after the show (though it’s raining here right now, ugh). I’ll likely post something up here after the show, either tonight or tomorrow, for those interested. Needless to say, we’re in for an evening of great music, showmanship and all around good vibes :>

Oh, and Get Me the Machine that goes *PING*

So… it’s been awhile. Partly because I’m lazy, and partly because I’ve been busy at work and by the time I get home, I don’t have much playtime. So what’s new in the world?

Been playing with APRS, the Automatic Position Reporting System (Some links: here, here and here). It’s basically a packet radio system, but instead of normal packet radio which is point-to-point, this is more of a broadcast type system. Packets can be destined for a specific radio, so you can send messages from one system to another, or they can be broadcast for all (all amateurs, that is, not really for the general public and therefore not “broadcasting” in the FCC’s eyes). Since I don’t have a TNC (Terminal Node Controller, basically a modem that connects to a radio) to receive APRS packets in my area, I have it setup with an internet link (the last link above is to APRS-IS, the APRS internet service, which links digipeaters over the internet) on my laptop and at work, the latter runs pretty much constantly now as W2SRH-1. Oh, and just for completeness, a digipeater is for digital packets what a repeater is for analog voice – basically, it takes the packet you send, and re-sends it for all to hear. This way, if you’re running a very low-power radio in your vehicle, your packets still have a chance of getting over a large area if a digipeater picks them up and rebroadcasts them. Now why would you run a packet system in a car? Because you can hook a GPS receiver up to it, and as you move about the planet the little TNC and associated systems will send out your coordinates as a packet, which is picked up by these digipeaters and I-Gates (internet gateways), and someone else with APRS will see a little vehicle icon move across their screen as you travel. Pretty neat! I can watch as people who live in my area, or around the world since I read an unfiltered feed at work (ie, the packets I get are not limited to a specific area), move from one point to another. While that may not sound too interesting to everyone, it is kinda neat to see, and has other uses as well. For search-and-rescue work, an area can be setup where the operation will take place, and if everyone is carrying APRS transmitters then someone can monitor their progress and see what areas they’ve covered. Or in the case of an emergency, someone can pinpoint the location on the map, and others can see it. You could even use it to mark off an event of some sort, or something that others might find important: an accident location on a highway that should be avoided (or where help is needed), or the current and predicted location of a hurricane (which I saw just yesterday). While using this system with a radio is how it was originally intended, it’s still neat to be able to use it with an internet connection.

What else is new lately… we got a new machine at work, which is supposed to hold all the data that people want to keep on spinning platters but not backed up. 15 SATA drives, 200GB each, 3U enclosure. Only one problem: No floppy or CD-ROM drives. No problem, we’ll install Fedora with a USB key! Bought two keys, threw a boot disk on one of them, plugged it in, and… oh, another problem, the damned motherboard doesn’t boot from a USB device. Great. Oh, wanna go three for three? Okay, Fedora doesn’t have drivers for the motherboard’s SATA ports. Hell, RedHat in its entirety, as well as the Linux kernel, doesn’t support them – the company that sold it to us compiled a patch from who-knows-where into the kernel to get it to work. Well this just makes things interesting, doesn’t it? One good thing lately, we got rid of 10 of the old Sun Ultra5 workstations, and there’s only two of them left in the building. Those two will be leaving soon, like as soon as I get my hands on them (one’s in a pile in the server room, and one’s in a pile on someone’s desk). We should have enough computers from the decommissioned Beowulf cluster to replace a couple of the Ultra1 workstations too, and it’ll be good to get rid of them as well. That will still leave us with a few Suns in the building, not as many as when I started but getting close to a manageable number since the one machine that is serving their filesystems is no longer under hardware contract, and starting to show its age.

Along those lines, we also have to move faster on deploying LDAP to replace NIS, since our NIS server is getting overloaded (same Sun that serves ‘/’ to the other Suns). At least I’m guessing that’s what is happening, all I know is that every now and then I get error messages from various machines in the building that they can’t contact Newton for NIS information, but when I login to them things are working fine. NIS isn’t really well equipped for this kind of setup anyway, while LDAP is a bit more robust. I tested some LDAP server stuff today, including replication (where one or more ‘slave’ servers get their information from the LDAP master; the slaves are read-only, the master allows writes also) and auto-failover, and it all worked wonderfully. I setup a client machine to listen to the master and slave, logged in, did some things, killed the master and tried logging in again… and it worked just as fast as when the master was up, only it was talking to the slave now. Tried a write operation, and it failed with “Unable to process request”, quite a fine answer when I try writing to a read-only database. Brought the master back up, tried it again… and it tried to write to the slave, got an error, and bumped right over to the master where it worked fine. Perfect! End result is that I can setup a few slaves, and if the master gets overloaded or goes down, the slaves will continue to serve data, but nobody can change their password (nor can any new accounts be created) until the master returns. Sounds good to me!

Stephanie’s graduation is in a couple weeks, that should be fun. At least one of us graduated from college, and she’s now got more letters after her name than I will unless I get some certifications (but she’ll always have more degrees, I don’t think I’ll ever be going back to school). Before that, however, is … RUSH, Live at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey … ahh, this should be good. I have heard a couple songs from their latest album, it’s a tribute album with all cover songs from bands that inspired Rush (Geddy Lee singing “…sometimes I wonder what I’m a-gonna do, ’cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues…”).

Okay, on that note, I just went and looked up the tabs to Broon’s Bane again, and wish I had a room where I could practice and not wake anyone up. ‘Cause now I want to try to play it again. Like I wouldn’t get frustrated since I haven’t touched either my 6-string or my 12-string in ages, but I still want to play. Grr. Off to bed with me.