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Archive for January, 2010

And one more iPad joke

January 28, 2010 1 comment

Categories: Humor

Taun Taun in the comics. Very cool.

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From Sheldon, by the most excellent Dave Kellett:

Categories: Humor

Memorable Concerts, part 2

January 28, 2010 1 comment

A Momentary Lapse of ReasonWe now return to our regular blog after the Apple announcement of yesterday. As promised, here is part 2 of my fave concert post. Again, keep in mind that my memories are fuzzy and so it may not be accurate in terms of dates but the concerts are real.

Pink Floyd – Capital Center Landover, MD 1987 18,000 seat arena
Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour – First and only time I’ve seen Floyd and it was all I expected it to be, complete with flying pig. Went with a dear friend, Bryan “Boomer” Mahoney who later took his life on November 5th, 1994 (my birthday).

Big Pig – The Bayou Washington, DC 1989 300 seat club
3 Drummers, 2 Percussionists, 1 keyboardist, 1 harmonica player, 2 vocalists. Nuff said.

U2 – RFK Stadium Washington, DC 1993 50,000 seat stadium
Zoo TV tour. How a stadium tour should be done. Wonderful effects, great songs and electric atmosphere

Radiohead – Deck the Hall Ball Seattle, WA 1994 2000 seat hall
During my brief stay in Seattle, I saw two shows that were memorable. This was one (there were other bands but the Radiohead set was memorable since it was acoustic, only Thom Yorke and Johny Greenwood were there and Thom Yorke threatened to jump from the stage and punch someone.

Dave Matthews Band – ?? Club Seattle, WA 1994 300 seat club
Went on a whim, had seen them at the Bayou before and wanted to go somewhere with my sister, Mimi and my cousin, Tina Ziemba. Great sound and last time I was able to see him in a venue this small.

Too Much Joy – 9:30 Club Washington, DC 1995 500 seat club
Memorable for a number of reasons. I loved Too Much Joy, it was one of the first show at the new 9:30 Club, and Derek Palmer broke his arm and still blames me to this day.

Eddie from Ohio – Bad Habits Arlington, VA every Tuesday night 1994-1996. 200 seat club/restaurant
Friends with the band so it’s a bit unfair but they were, and still are, wonderful to see in concert. If you like folk mixed with alt-country, check them out.

Gipsy Kings – Wolf Trap Filene Center Vienna, VA multiple times 7000 seat shed
Will get up up and dancing from the very beginning of the show and you won’t sit down until the end.

Indigo Girls – The Birchmere Alexandria, VA 1996 300 seat club
Surprise show and I went with my then wife-to-be who loved the Girls. Enjoyed it for her as much as I enjoyed it for me.

The BoDeans – Summerfest Grounds Milwaukee, WI 1998
Went with (then)new friends Jason Doescher and Kevin Walter. Also went with Kent “Chuck Taylor” Oldham. Good times.

Then there was a distinct decline in number of concerts attended and consequently, the number of memorable concerts declined as well. The last blown-away concert experience occured last year at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee when I saw the Canadian band the Musical Box. They re-create Genesis concerts in its entirety. Last year was the Foxtrot tour and it gave me goosebumps. I have tickets for their “Trick of the Tail” tour show next month. I can’t wait.

So that’s it. There were so many others that may have made the cut but they’re so hard to remember.

Some honorable mentions:

The Fleshtones
Dread Zepplin
Michelle Shocked
John Hiatt
John Prine
The Eagles
Elton John
Phil Collins
Peter Gabriel
The Smiths
The The
David Sylvian
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
The Pogues
Mojo Nixon
Oasis
Nirvana
Metallica
The Who
ELP

What are yours?

Categories: Music

iSlate iFuror iHypeoverload iPad???

January 27, 2010 11 comments

So I’m buying an iSlate iPad (ugh) today if I can get my hands on one (not available for 60 days at the earliest). One of the nice things about my job is that I can test out new toys. Since there is potentially a legitimate business reason for buying one, I have received approval for the purchase from my awesome Chairman, Dr. Alan David. I am waiting in a Barnes and Noble two stores down from the Apple store. When I asked if there was product to be put out later today, they said “No Comment.” Hmm.

From the McGraw Hill accidental slip yesterday, it sounds like the screen is large enough to accommodate textbooks. This would be a boon to those med students that have to spend $500-$1000 on textbooks. E-Book pricing would certainly bring that total down and would also alleviate countless back issues from lugging 50 lbs of books around. This has been a shortcoming of the current generation of e-Book readers.

On another note, some purported iSlate iTampon production pics were posted on gizmodo.com. They aren’t sure of the veracity of the photos (they’re originally from Taiwan where the iSlate iPad now with wings! may be manufactured) but here they are anyway. More to come later…

Update #1: Props to Scott Hall for noticing this comeek from PvP:

Update #2: So the presentation is finished and nothing other than the unfortunately named iPad was mentioned. No iTunes update, no i7 chipset, no Verizon iPhone. Just the iPad. At first blush it seems like just a large (9.7 inch display) iPhone. In fact, it runs on the iPhone OS (which means it will be about a minute before someone SSH’s into the thing and hacks it) and runs iPhone apps on it; however, it appears to be more on the order of a Mac netbook, with support for iWork business applications as well as email, contacts, and calendaring in a more easily read resolution. It also features a new app, iBooks that make books on screen appear like real books. Pricing is generally higher than from Amazon ($9.99 vs. $12.99-$14.99) for new releases and bestsellers, and magazines and newspapers will take advantage of the screen to display a mini newspaper page, something you cannot get on the current crop of e-readers.

Pricing is $499 for a 16GB, $599 for a 32GB and $699 for a 64GB. That’s without the 3G, just WiFi (in essence, it’s an iTouch and an iPhone on steroids). If you want the convenience of 3G, then you have to wait and extra month, shell out an extra $130 (making the price points $629, $729, and $829 respectively) AND you have to pay for either a 250MB data plan from AT&T ($14.99 per month) or an unlimited data plan for $29.99 per month. There is also an optional case/cover for it which can double as an iPad stand and a keyboard dock to type more easily. Here’s the updated Apple website with more information and a video.

As for the name…well, this video says it all:

Categories: Humor, Mac, Other, Tech

Best Concerts Ever Attended

January 26, 2010 3 comments
The Clash

William and Mary freshman year concert series

I was in the entertainment business for about 16 years so I’ve been to a lot of concerts. I’ve guesstimated about 200-250 in total. Some were memorable for reasons other than the music (my first date with my wife was a Seal concert, I was at Live Aid and the Amnesty International shows), some were forgetful, and some were absolutely mind-blowing.

Sometimes, concert experiences become transcendent where the energy between the audience and the artist keeps escalating and the end result is a magical event. For those of you that have been fortunate to be a part of one of those events, you understand what I’m talking about.

So these are my magical concerts, in date order. I will try to list the year and venure but my memory isn’t what it used to be. Please add your memorable concerts in the comment section…

The Clash – William and Mary Hall Williamsburg, VA 1981 10,000 seat arena
Couldn’t believe this didn’t sell out. great show. Sandinista tour.

Joe Jackson – Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA 1983 1200 seat hall
Stepping Out tour. Went with a friend from College. Didn’t know what to expect but blew me away. Played with a bass player, two keyboardists, two drummers and a percussionist. NO GUITAR!!!

The Police – William and Mary Hall, Williamsburg, VA 10,000 seat arena
Synchronicity tour. Reflex (The Politics of Dancing) opened.

Genesis – Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD 1984 10,000 seat shed
I had seen Genesis here in 1977, the Seconds Out tour, but this concert can be distilled down to two words: “Supper’s Ready.”

Billy Bragg – Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC 1984 600 seat hall
Billy and a guitar. First time I heard “A New England” and “Between the Wars”

U2 – Capital Center, Landover, MD 1985 18,000 seat multi purpose arena
First big venue concert tour (Unforgettable Fire), Bono pissed off the security detail by telling everyone to “Come on down, come on down”

Depeche Mode – Warner Theater, Washington,DC 1985 1000 seat hall
Went with Susan Anderson and ran into Andrea Bakewell who would later end up being a girlfriend of mine. Probably the most incredible show in terms of energy. We didn’t want it to end.

Midnight Oil – Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD 1985 10,000 seat shed
Opened for UB40. Sat in the pit. Saw the energy being expended by Peter Garrett (now the Minister of the Environment in the Australian government). The drummer was hitting the drums so hard that you could see the sweat that had dropped on the drum head being sprayed as he hits the tom. UB40 was a letdown.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Bayou, Washington, DC 1986 300 seat club
300 person capacity and they opened up for Fishbone. Partied with them backstage during the Fishbone set.

Michael Hedges – The Barns of Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA numerous times 250 seat hall
A virtuoso guitar player who passed away too early in his life. Watch the video with your eyes closed and listen because it seems unbelievable that there is only one man playing the harp guitar.

Grateful Dead – RFK Stadium, Washington, DC 1987 50,000 seat stadium
I remember really loving the tour with Bob Dylan opening. Dylan was great and the Dead were on. Plus they did Terrapin Station which I loved. I was um impaired so my memories of the evening may be a bit fuzzy.

Barenaked Ladies – The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA 1992 300 seat club
Opened up for John Wesley Harding. Had no idea who they were and they stole the show.

There’s more but I don’t want to have a super long post. I’ll do part 2 tomorrow.

Categories: Music

How to defrost your windshield

January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Starring my childhood friend, Patrick Sullivan…

Yes, I know that was totally random but hey, why not?

Categories: Friends, Humor, Stupid shit

Some comics to brighten your day

January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m having a crappy day today. When Monday kicks your ass, I say turn to the comics section. Always makes me happier, even if for only a minute or two.

From xkcd.com:

When Dirty Harry meets Rain Man

And one more…

From asofterworld.com

You know, when I wasn't using it for sex...

Categories: Humor, Stupid shit