Cool gig in Seattle tomorrow

transPacific and Euphondisson at the Rendezvous (2nd Ave, Belltown) 10:30 pm, Saturday November 19th

I play in this rock band transPacific, we’re a sort of Crescendo-Core Post-Rockish thing. We’re playing with Euphondisson who are also local and are very cool. I’ve been told by people for years that we should play a gig together and finally we are. In the very intimate Jewelbox Theatre at the Rendezvous on 2nd Ave in Belltown. We’ll be getting started around 10:30 pm.

This will be an especially interesting gig because we are short Robert on Guitar. This came up in the last minute and we didn’t want to cancel (’cause that would be lame), so instead we are going to try something new. We’re going to remix ourselves. Carl, Stuart and I are going to do a live remix of our own songs. In case that sounds scary to you, you should know that we’re professionals at this, you’ve got me as Intonarumori, Carl as InBOIL and Stuart has done this kind of thing with Sil2k and SubSonic.

If you dig the transPacific, you definitely owe it to yourself to check out this once in a lifetime show.

Got my Quad!

And I’m insanely delirious with joy

I’ve done the photos for a what-is-in-the-box kind of thing, but honestly it wasn’t too many frills. The CPU, keyboard, mighty mouse and a power cable, USB extension cable and a DVI->VGA adaptor.

Some initial thoughts:
This thing is heavy. It seems heavier than my dual-G5 at work, but I could be wrong. I never had to lift that out of its box.
It is sweetly quiet, it isn’t silent, but I don’t think I’ll need a box around it if I want to record in the same room.
I haven’t had a chance to install any software that will really put it through its paces performance-wise, but it is definitely speedy
I don’t get all the complaints about the mighty mouse, seems totally cool to me. May not even replace it with a trackball (my preferred interface device).

So far the best part was how insanely easy upgrading it was. I got my mac with 512 MB of RAM and the lowest size disk. Then while I waited and waited for my Quad to finally arrive, I got another 4 GB of RAM from Crucial and a 300 MB hard drive and they sat waiting for their host to appear. After booting the mac the first time to enter in my data and make sure it works, I installed all the system updates and then shut down. I skimmed the upgrade instructions in the manual and then bam! installed the extra ram and the hard drive in a couple of minutes. This is by far the easiest upgrades I’ve ever done on a system (although installing RAM into an SGI Indy was really easy), there is a ton of room in the case to work with and the system they have for mounting the hard-drives is dead simple and so insanely cool after having sliced my hand open trying to screw in a hard drive into a PC chassis.

Now, for the rest of the weekend, my goal is to get all my software loaded and really put this thing through its paces. Also, I’ve got to move stuff from my powerbook onto my quad. Looking to the future, I’m wondering about a new or additional video card. I’m wondering if there was something in between the default card which I got and the $1600 dollar card that was the other option. Also, I’m wondering if there are any other cool PCI Express cards to look out for…

I’ll post more when I’ve spent a bit more time, and I’ll post pics when I move my iPhoto library over.

Dear Financial Services Company

You suck.

No, you REALLY suck. Your website sucks. Your phone service sucks. The fact that I have a problem with your website and your “customer service” is automated and keeps telling me to go back to it sucks. Why on earth would I ever give you another dime of my money?

I could tell you which company this was, but honestly I’ve had problems like this with several of them.

Jakob Nielsen has written a top ten list of blog mistakes

and like his top ten web mistakes, this is a must read.

Here is the article on alertbox

As usual, there are some things I agree with and will think about doing:

  • Author Biography and photo
  • Classic hits are buried
  • Mixing topics

Some things that don’t work for me:

  • nondescript titles (this makes sense for my other blogs, but not for this one)

Some things I’m already doing (I think):

  • links say where they go
  • The calendar is the only navigation
  • Irregular posting schedule
  • Forgetting that you write for your future boss
  • having a domain name owned by a blogging service

The problem is that fixing these mistakes is also an issue for the blogging software writers (unlike his web mistakes list). iBlog will let me fix some of this. I can certainly create new blogs and add biographic info to my templates. The classics are a little tougher, but still possible.

I think the one thing I’m missing that would address some of this is the ability to generate RSS feeds for each category instead of the blog as a whole. This way if you only want my restaurant reviews, you can just subscribe to that feed. I think that is actually better than creating a dozen different blogs for everything I may want to ever discuss since each one would get updated pretty sporadically…

Damn you spammers are good

I love seeing the new spammers techniques

I’ve had the same e-mail address for 10+ years now. I had it long before the first spam was ever sent and while I’ve added new secret and non-published e-mail addresses over the years, I still read mail at my old address which has become a spam honey pot getting several hundred spams a day. Entourage does a decent enough job of catching it, but I still need to check out that junk mail folder to see if it caught something it shouldn’t have. I sort my junk mail folder by subject (since sender is usually something made up anyway), so I constantly get to see what new tricks the spammers are up to in their titles, trying to get you to read them. Sure, you get the “Hey Joe! Read This!” kind of stuff, and then you get the zillion different spellings of Viagra and Pharmacy and Cialis. For a while they were just using random combinations of 2 or 3 words which led to some really cool post-modern band names (the best of which I’ve been keeping in a file for my next musical venture). Then they moved on to random sentences from books. Now they are using random sentences from CNN or something because it is very topical. Being a news junkie myself I have to admit being tempted to open a few of these since they aren’t too different from the various e-mail news alerts I get.

I’ve found that if I can’t be amused by the spammers, I might as well just get off the internet once and for all. They’re like dung beetles or cockroaches.

The failure of the Bush administration

what will damn the Bush administration in the history books

This week the numbers revealed that one of George Bush’s main policy initiatives, The No Child Left Behind Act, was making school performance worse, not better. Add to this his fiscal policy which has resulted in causing a debt that will take decades to repay and one thing becomes clear: The worst thing that happened to the Republican party and George Bush’s presidency was his re-election. Bush has been in office long enough that his many failures have become obvious even to the die-hards of the Republican party. Who can the Republican’s blame? They control 2 of the three branches of government and are finishing their takeover of the third. The stupidest of the non-Haliburton executive officers can see that the country is in much worse shape that it was in 2000. You can only blame the terrorists for so long before people start asking why we haven’t caught Osama.

Nope, the one thing that would have saved the Republican party was a John Kerry election, because then they could have come out swinging in 2006 and 2008 blaming all of George Bush’s failures on him.

You know that they will put the blame on someone else, the question now is who? Will the 2008 elections still be about 9/11? Or will they be about Syria? Maybe if the dems take back the house in 2006, the Republicans can blame them so that they can get another Republican president in…

In the world of humorous punk… one band is often overlooked


Their Punk Side Story album and Tumours 7″ are absolutely worth tracking down.

Punk Side Story is, of course, West Side Story done punk-style.
Tumours is the entire Fleetwood Mac Rumours album done in a 7″.

Remember when bands used to do fun things like that? What the hell happened to that?