Our Finest Year

The 2005 Wrap Up

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 11:29:18 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
So, 2005 has been a pretty big year.

The biggest event, by far was seeing Katie again, and finally experiencing Tempe, Arizona, and everything that goes along went with that. A notable mention there (to avoid rehashing everything that was blogged in April) includes seeing the Gin Blossoms in the flesh, and meeting the whole band. The girl, the rock, the desert, the highlight of 2005 without a doubt.

The next big highlight of 2005 was no doubt beginning working for a NASDAQ listed company, designing and implementing an email and internet system for airlines, for use inflight. Kinda still bizarre to look back to the first half of the year, and then think that I spent the second half doing that, and have had my work literally demoed all over the world in the last few months.

Another cool part of 2005 was seeing Danny White (ex Roger Clyne and The Peacemmakers) in Melbourne, touring with Kevin Montgomery and meeting / chatting with Danny after the show. It's really cool that I got to see the rest of the Peacemakers in April, and got to see Danny the same year. Another highlight from that night was hearing a Gin Blossoms song played live in Melbourne! (Not quite as cool as hearing the Gin Blossoms do a Gin Blossoms song in the States, but still...) Kevin and the band breaking into Cajun Song that night was the coolest. This year I saw the Gin Blossoms do Cajun Song in Solana Beach, CA in April, and then Kevin Montgomery do it in Melbourne 5 months later. Did I say it's been a really good year.

Another cool part of this year has been the Creamy Radio / Live Exit broadcasts, and rediscovering the Tempe music scene again. Not that I really lost that, but this year has been certainly been like a rediscovery, and following the scene closely again. The Creamy Radio Live Exit broadcasts have certainly made that easier.

That sums up the monumental moments of 2005 (very briefly). It's been such a good year, with many more little moments which either don't warrant mention in print, or do but I don't want to spew out all over the internet. [wink] In anycase, 2005 has truely rocked.
Now Playing: Ghetto Cowgirl - No Sound

New Years Eve

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 09:04:05 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Today I made another big techological buy - a digital camera, which I've wanted for a while - well, since I was in Arizona. It was an interesting day for heading into the city, given they who 44 degrees thing. Talk about friggin' hot! In anycase, I brought a Nikkon 6.2 megapixel cammera, with 5x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom. I like. However, it wasn't until after that I realised it doesn't have a conventional view finder, only a digital display (upside is that it's a chunky one). That takes a bit of getting used to. Maybe it's not too friendly to batteries either - oh well. Overall I really like the camera.

Much of the afternoon was spent playing around with it, both just learning how to use it, and trying to get a couple of good shots, that I've been waiting months to do. Tonight I took a lot of cool photos of my guitar. When I have a chance, I'll organise them, and link them here.

NYE wasn't a huge even due to the lack of things going on. This worked out okay, as I was pretty tired, and was happy enough to play with my new toy. A couple of Johnny Walkers, and about 500+ photos (most deleted) wasn't too bad.
Now Playing: Ghetto Cowgirl - Mood Things

My Name Is Luka

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 07:04:34 am
(Posted Under: Music Music)
I just woke up 10 minutes ago to Luka on the radio. I was first reaquainted with Luka in Tempe watching VH1's with Katie. It was such a trip, as I obviously knew the song from the 80's - I'd totally forgotten about it, kinda couldn't remember it, yet could sing the lyrics.

I would say I've probably not heard it on Australian radio (or elsewhere for that matter) since the 80's. Hence, it was a trip that MMM played in this morning.


So I guess it was as part of the Barry's 583 Big Bananas of the 80s countdown. Still, so cool to hear it before the year is out.
Now Playing: Live - All Over Me

Last Train Down

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, December 26, 2005 - 03:04:44 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
I just broke into The Pierson's Last Train Down, which is one of the few CD's I hadn't yet opened from my assult on the local music section of Zia Records in April.

Yeeeeeeah! Humbucker is one of my favorite records. Appleberry Wine didn't do it for me. Have I given Appleberry enough of a chance? Probably not. But Last Train Down - oh yeah, it's Humbucker all over again. Absolutely the rock sensibilities of Humbucker, and Patti sounds just like he did on that record. The first two tracks have specific vocal lines that remind me totally of tracks from Humbucker.

Last Train Down (the track), has some killer Hopkins-ique octave riffs. Speaking of which, Doug appears in the thank you's, which is always great to see. Great, great song. Alicia is a slow one, but is perfect.

Wreckage is cool, and seems so fitting - I could imagine singing it if I was in Tempe 2 days ago. "The wreckage is all I came to see here anyway" (re Long Wongs).

Unlike the rest, the hidden track sounds a lot more modern, and less like Humbucker, but is an absolutely awesome balls out rocker. You're so faaaaaar away!

The Pierson's rock my world!
Now Playing: The Piersons - Alicia

The Skank Next Door

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 08:13:28 pm
(Posted Under: Rant)
I have no idea how long this link will last, but...

Top 10 Girls Next Door.

At what point exactly did "Girl Next Door" constitute a scadly dressed lingere model with a great rack and ass? Don't get me wrong, a few of them are way hot, and I'll look, but "Girl Next Door"? Okay, riiiiiight, suuuuuuure, whatever!
Now Playing: The Refreshments - Sister Golden Hair (Live - Boulder, CO - 1996)

The Linux Desktop

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 01:06:04 pm
(Posted Under: Linux Linux, Gentoo Linux Gentoo Linux, Geek)
As of last week, I've been trying out Linux desktops. Something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, and became forefront last week, thinking about making a Gentoo live DVD for my laptop.

Firstly, man, I was shocked at how long it took to emerge Gnome. My server is a 3.0Ghz hyperthreaded P4, which laughs at compiling X or fvwm2 - only taking about half an hour. Gnome on the other hand went for about a day an a half!

Secondly, man I can be completely stupid at times! Last week I was playing with Gnome (once it had finished) - on a VMware console on my server over VNC from my workstation. Which was, y'know, pretty hard! I did want to play with the desktop locally, but didn't have a machine I wanted to install it on. Idiot. Fucking idiot! This is X Windows after all! I have no idea why it took me days to think "I can run an X server on my workstation under cygwin, and bring the remote desktop to my local machine". It's not like I haven't done that before. Why the hell I didn't think of that on Tuesday night, I have no idea! At least now I am typing this from Firefox on Gentoo Linux, on my workstation machine via X11 forwarding. A much better representation of using a Linux desktop that trying to do stuff over VNC to a VMware console.

So, a Linux desktop should be easy. I've used Linux extensively for years, in a text mode / server type setting. Linux kicks ass over Windows. There's Firefox for web. There's Thunderbird for mail. (Both of which I use on Windows). There's gaim for instant messaging. It can't be that difficult...

My first impression is how much fonts in Linux suck. Immediately I was reminded of 1996, using Netscape on Solaris. No, for a real blast from the past, Mosiac on Soloris. Surfing the web just doesn't feel the same without Windows fonts. Similarly, Thunderbird looks like ass as well. I guess it's mainly the fonts. Though, in general is looks fairly boxy and Motif like, and again reminds me of the days of reading mail using Netscape on Solaris. The window borders also remind me much of the old Unix days. The title bar is definately an improvement over the old days of FVWM2 though.

Which is all fairly superfical - like not wanting to go out with a fat chick. But still, the fonts (largely) are really off putting.

Upsides are definately the multiple workspaces / desktops.

Running this desktop from cygwin means I don't have window switching (ala alt+tab), or use of the Windows key (which I assume opens the gnome menu). I mean, I do, but of course Windows captures the key pressed rather than the X desktop. Which is making it a bit harder to be able to get a good impression of what it's like to use.

At the moment I'm emerging kde, which is seeming like it'll have the same ETA as gnome did. I've already had Christmas lunch, and it's at 5 of 44 packages. Gnome had 199, but speedwise this doesn't seem any faster. In anycase, I will try out KDE when it finishes, to see if I like it anymore than Gnome.

In anycase, over the next week I'm going to try and use the Linux desktop, exclusively, or as exclusively as possible. (That is of course, in a cygwin X session on Windows.)

Tune That Old Guitar...

Scott Johnson @ Four Peaks

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 23, 2005 - 07:58:05 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Today at work I got a call from Katie, from Four Peaks - Scotty and Troy on stage. Really nice hearing the boys again! The acoustics in the place were really good, and the music came down the line beautifully! [smile] I've actually gotten a call from a show before, and it sounded like a 22kHz 32kbs MP3 - or worse actually. But this call from the Scotty show sounded really good!

Got a little Lost & Found, Memphis Time and then Better Beautiful Than Perfect. And something else - I walked back into the office after Better Beautiful, and heard them start doing Better Beautiful in a different key, and then the start something else that I don't remember. I had to hang up not long after because I had to have a talk to my boss about taking time off next year for the trip to Mexico. (Which went well).

I must say, and maybe I've said it before, but Scott makes Memphis Time so cool. The Gin Blossoms version has nothin' on Scotty and Troy doing it. Well, more to the point, my care factor for the Gin Blossoms version is fairly low. However, when Scotty does it, the song is nothing short of a really cool song.

And The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Long Wongs Being Demolished

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 10:43:04 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Apparently Wong's fate is near. According to this post on the Watering Hole, it looks like the demolishing of Long Wongs is under way...

Fuck progress!

At least it survived almost 6 years beyond it's initial pending doom (2000), and was standing long enough for me to witness the beast that gave birth and a home to all the bands I'm into. Kind of a godsent that I got to see it, 1 year (exactly) after it's close, but at least 7 months before they tore it down.

There goes another slice of Tempe music history in the name of progress.

So Long Wongs.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Jet Black (Live - Mohegan Sun Casino)

You Have To Be Signed In To Do That

More Myspace Madness

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 04:05:42 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Okay, so it doesn't take much for me to rip myspace. [smile]

I was trying to sign in today - well, no, that would imply I had an account! [wink] A "friend" was trying to sign in [wink] and "they" got "their" password wrong. Myspace brought up a page announcing "You must be signed in to do that". Now, this is actually the page it redirects you to whenever you try to access something - that requires you to be logged in. Which is fine, but they're obvious also just using the same page for incorrect login attempts. Which is pretty pathetic. Gee, I want to work as a developer for myspace, where do I sign up?!? [smile]

So, what I can deduce from this is that - uh - I need to be logged in to log in. [wink]

Like I said, it doesn't take much.... [smile]


(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 06:04:35 am
(Posted Under: Geek)
Last night I orded a Dell Inspirion 9300. Rock! The offer on it on the weekend was impressive, and what prompted making a move on getting a laptop, however this week they've add another free upgrade to the deal (UXGA screen, which I was going to pay for), which meant I was able to beef up the video card, add a bluetooth module, and still come out with a price even cheaper than the weekend.

Now I just have to wait for the puppy to arrive.
Now Playing: Ghetto Cowgirl - Don't Care

The Skivy

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 16, 2005 - 07:16:21 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Today I finally got my Crumpler bag (The Skivy) for my birthday - 5 months after my birthday, because of stock problems, but well worth the wait - it's bitchin'! [smile]

Now, I just need the laptop to go inside it! [smile] Which I've actually been looking into tonight.

In other news - it shames me to say, but Shannon Noll's song (Shine) is pretty good. Not world changing, but I dig it. It's completely painful to admin being able to stomach anything related to Australian Idol - you have no idea. But I have to call it what it is, and Shine is a decent pop song.
Now Playing: Shannon Noll - Shine

All Hail Browser Compatibility

IE7 Adopts Firefox's RSS icon

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 16, 2005 - 10:13:25 am
(Posted Under: Geek, Firefox Firefox)
The Orange Icon.... (Microsoft Team Blog)

It kills me that Microsoft collaborates ('collaborate', 'uses what what has already been done by another company', same thing [wink] ) with Mozilla on a fucking RSS icon, and everyone starts singing hallajulahs because browser compatibility is on it's way. Dream on, dreamer.

Call me when all browsers use the same rendering engine.

Mark Says It's Tempe Arizona!

Harry Luge's Sara Says

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 04:52:27 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
This weekend I downloaded Harry Luge's version of Sara Says.

They change the highway in the chorus 3 times. First time it's out of Tempe, Arizona, seconds it's Mesa, Arizona and third time it's Tuscon, Arizona.

I've heard Mark Zubia (who wrote it) sing Tuscon with Los Guys. Seriously, don't these guys know that the killer lyric of the song is "on the highway out of Tempe, Arizona" and you just shouldn't fuck with it? [wink]

Tuscon works okay, not as cool as Tempe, but it works. Mesa...well, Mesa just sounds weird. [smile]

The Harry version is much more country, compared to the Zubia Brothers version - which itself is pretty country - especially in comparison to the Pistolero's full out rock version. Largely due to the vocals, Harry's are quite country, versus Lawrence's grity vocals. However, the Harry version lacks the pedal steel guitar lead intro of the Zubia Brothers version. Instead the intro is stripped back to a single acoustic guitar playing rythmn. Not that I have a problem with the Zubia Brother's version, but the Harry Luge intro is da bomb. Overall I prefer the Zubia Brother's version, but certainly love the Harry intro.

Interestingly, their album also has a cover of Steve Larson's Wasting All My Time

Sara Cina says there's love in California...
Now Playing: Harry Luge - Sara Says

100 Miles From Here To Tucson Might Be Far Enough Away

Doug Hopkin's Anniversary

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - 11:59:51 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Today is the 12th anniversary of Doug Hopkins death.

The day started out with Southbound Train. It immediately hit me how Southbound is the epitomy of Tempe. I was reminded of sitting out on Katie's porch, having the morning smoke as the Tempe train rolled past the back of the apartment complex. Completely uncanny how Southbound Train captures the feeling of being in Tempe.

As the morning progressed, and then the night, complete with the ritual Hopkins guitar session after work, it was obvious that all of Hopkin's work captures Tempe, Arizona. The entire session reminded me so much of the feeling of Tempe, driving south to Tuscon and just 'driving around this town' - and how it's not going to be soon enough until I'm back in the Sonoran Desert. It also reinforced, as it does every year, that Hopkins is the pinnicle. It never ceases to amaze me how the guy had it - the rare talent to consistant pen the perfect song.

Towards the end of the night I also watched the VH1 special on Hey Jealousy (and actually on Doug), which I haven't watched since being in Tempe. Which reminded me that it's 12 years since the first time I heard Hey Jealousy. It's hard to believe it's been 12 years.

Brian Blush summed it up perfectly once...
"His ability to emotionally destroy or elate you was unbelievably keen. He could take a string of words and just make you feel it. It's the same thing that he applied to his guitar playing. It wasn't about virtuosity, but when he played--man, it just hit you like a freight train. It was just so, so fucking cool. The world is just not as cool without him around."
Pick me up, and take me down, southbound train...
Now Playing: The Chimeras - Southbound Train

Another Sunday Afternoon With Creamy Radio

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, December 4, 2005 - 05:36:51 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Another Sunday afternoon listening to the musings of Last Exit and Creamy Radio. Or should that be Last Exit on Creamy Radio. Or the musings of bands at Last Exit on Creamy Radio. [wink]

Currently Shelby James and The Crying Shames are doing their thing. Rather enjoyable. I think there was a missed opportunity to see them in Tempe when I was there.

Whalen, who I've seen before (opening for the Blossoms in Santa Ana, CA) opened the set. I wasn't a big fan, way too old country for me. I didn't catch their set, I was otherwise occupied earlier, but will listen to it later as I had tape rolling.

Greyhound Soul are headlining. I heard (at least part) of one of the guys from Greyhound Soul acoustic months ago on a Creamy Broadcast - ah, opening for the Stephen Ashbrook show. Not knowing Greyhound Soul at all (though PC was on bass) I wasn't going to listen / record it, but did at the last minute, missing some undetermined amount at the moment. As it turns out, they stuff I did catch was pretty cool. So I'm interested to see what Greyhound Soul are like tonight.

To be continued I guess. [smile]
Now Playing: Creamy Radio - Willie Nelson and Friends - Dead Flowers (with Ryan Adams, Hank Williams III and Keith Richards)

My Second Home Is A Third World Cantina

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, December 3, 2005 - 02:45:50 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Travel, Circus Mexicus)
The Marina Pinacate Condos in Puerto Peñasco Mexico are booked for the 19th thru to 22nd of May for Circus Mexicus!

Viva la Mexico!

La polica's asking questions, say you don't know nothing and you ain't seen a thing
Now Playing: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Your Name On A Grain Of Rice

Goodbye YahooPop!, Hello Freepops

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, December 2, 2005 - 11:51:54 pm
(Posted Under: Geek, Linux Linux)
Today while surfing the Mozilla Thunderbird site, the existance of Freepops was brought to my attention. I think I've actually heard of it before, but don't remember if I've tried it before.

Either way, it makes a nice replacement of YahooPOPs for popping Yahoo mail. I started out using the Linux version of YahooPOPs on my server, until it broke not long after. I was forced to use the Windows port, and while it worked...running it on Linux was much preferable.

So moving popping Yahoo mail to my Linux server is quite nice. I still haven't seen the Hotmail or Netscape plugins work, but at least having Yahoo working is nice.
Now Playing: Jebadiah - Feet Touch The Ground

Time Passes Like A Dream

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, December 1, 2005 - 12:17:15 pm
(Posted Under: Geek, Firefox Firefox)
So, November came and went in a blink of an eye. It's frightening how fast November was.

Firefox 1.5 is out, not too shocking, as I've been running the release canditates for 1.5 at work for a while. Though I'm trying out the Tab Preview extension, which makes use of the new canvas stuff. Very cool, but I'm yet to see if it's more annoying than useful. Maybe I need to play with the delay setting.

Along with the release of 1.5, has gone live. It looks nice, but in my opinnion not as good as the counterpart. Interesting for a change, but it'll be sad seeing the go - because I just like it that much.

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