- Coyote - Joni Mitchell
The Last Waltz recording is my favorite, although it is remarkably similar to the studio version.
- Where the Streets Have No Name - U2 - The Joshua Tree
The toughest choice I had to make. It's been more than 20 years since this album came out, and I am not sure that there have been 3 better albums released since then.
- Third Movement from Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat - "Emporer"
Pick whatever recording you like, I've spent many a late night parading around my own house conducting the orchestra in my stereo to this one. Sadly, I was not always alone during those episodes. The quiet section at the end with just the piano and timpani is absolutely amazing.
- Warehouse - Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Live at Luther College
Something crazy happens at the end of this one, when you can tell that they are positively jamming, and the audience is loving it.
- Terrapin Station - The Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station
There's a little bit of everything in this one, from what is my favorite Dead studio album. Lots of great memories of this one, including a re-make from the late 90's (by me) called "Impound Station." I am so glad I don't have to park on the street anymore.
- Dead Souls - Joy Division - Substance
I understand that they use to open a lot of shows with one, because it has 3 minutes of music before the lyrics kick in, and Ian Curtis could get a feel for the crowd during that time.
- Old Laughing Lady - Neil Young - MTV Unplugged
During rehearsals for this performance, Neil walked out because the band wasn't ready. Production was delayed for a few weeks, and I still don't know exactly who the Old Laughing Lady is. Maybe I will find out someday, but I kind of like not knowing.
- Range Life - Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
There was lots of great Pavement to choose from. This is one of several albums that I have somepltely worn out in my day. A classic.
- Schizophrenia - Sonic Youth - Sister
I prefer my Sonic Youth in the more melodic and not so noisy way, and this is a good sing along as well. This was the encore at the outdoor concert they played the night Jonathan came to town.
- Plush - Stone Temple Pilots - Core
My second favorite karoake song, which I mean as a sincere compliment. Here's a tip - it's easier to sing this one after about 12 cigarettes.
- Can't You Hear Me Knockin' - The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
Honestly, I am not a big Stones guy, and I haven't heard very much of their music. This one I got from Guitar Hero, and if you ever want to rock, you can't do much better than this one. Plus I freaked out at a wedding reception one time when H&B played it.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I always liked that picture of Nicole!
If you think that I hesitated at all this morning when I saw that Madonna's debut album was made available at Amazon's Music Store today for $1.99 , then you don't know me. The only question now is how much work will I be able to get done today when I am rocking Borderline all day?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Now, this is a problem for two reasons: 1) I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the list. Specifically, I thought it was important to keep the set on one CD. When we are working on these kind of lists, the limit we set is important. A top 10 list with 12 songs on it rings hollow to me. The interesting part of this exercise is making the hard choices, and if we allow extra songs on the list, then the list itself is tainted. So having 10 songs that all fit on one CD was important to me. The other problem: 2) Since I am iPod-less right now, if I want to enjoy the list, I would need to burn the disc on a CD. If all the songs don't fit, I have to leave tracks off the final production CD, which would be lame for obvious reasons.
So I am cheating, but I think it is ok. I am still keeping 10 songs (although I am including a couple of extra tracks due to the solution I came up with). But I decided to burn the CD in mp3 format. This method means there is no problem fitting all the tracks on one disc (a regular CD could fit 70 or more mp3 tracks). And since most CD players being sold these days play mp3 CDs as well as regular CDs, the format should not be a problem for most equipment I come across on a tropical beach. The main issue now of course is that why keep it to 10 songs? Since the mp3 format would allow as many as 70 songs to fit on one disc, why not just do a top 70 disc? Well, I am not doing that. I'm sticking to 10, and that's that. It's a nerdy controversy after all, so there is no need to stop the exercise altogether.
The picture with this post is from the trip we took to the North Shore with Emily and Jonathan in the fall of 2006. On our way back, we took a short hike at Gooseberry Falls. Very good times!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Clearly, we are overdue for another Beer Review post. It's the season to sit at home, by the fire, and drink a bunch of winter brew. Luckily, there are lots to choose from. The goal this winter is to drink them all.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I think my iPod is dead. Long live my iPod!
This is a picture from Keri and Noah's wedding. It was March 2005, and this was the first trip that my iPod went on. I purchased it very shortly before that trip, after seeing the wonders it could perform. See, I often struggled to figure out which 24 CDs I could bring in my Case Logic whenever I traveled. I mean, how can you commit to just 24 CDs? What if you leave the wrong one home? The iPod was going to change all that.
So after much consternation, I went out and spent $300 on a 20-gig iPod classic. At that time, I think you could only get a 20 or 40 gig model, and I figured 20 would be enough for me. Now, for some reason, I have become a bit of a cheapskate as I have gotten a little older. Of course, when it comes to food and booze, this is not the case (the more expensive the drink, the more likely I am to buy it), but for material goods, I hav discovered that I have a very hard time spending money. STrange, but true. So that $300 was a pretty big deal to me at the time. I remember going in Best Buy to get it one time and leaving without it, I just couldn't pull the trigger. But in the end, I made the purchase, and it is one of the best purchases I have ever made.
I used to joke that the iPod changed my life. Well, I told people it was a joke when I said that, but the reality is that it did change my life. First of all, loading the iPod with all of my music was a terrific way to spend a month. I had a great time going through all my old CDs. I was sad when I had imported my last one. The ability to carry my entire music collection with me wherever I went pleased me very much. And playlists? I have made and saved more playlists than I care to admit. If a person could invent a reason or theme for a playlist, I did, and made the list. (Then I would go around and tell everyone how great the playlist was of course).
It wasn't long before my iPod went everywhere with me. I listened to it everyday at work. It provided the soundtrack for our living at home as well - why try to pick 5 CDs for the CD player when you can shuffle every song you own? In many ways, it became a very important part of my life. I remember being at a cabin one time for a guy weekend, and someone was looking at my iPod - scrolling through it. I felt as though they were going through a diary of my most personal thoughts. This person was making fun of me a little bit (I have been known to drunk download a bit), and it was as though he were insulting the essence of who I was.
So when my iPod starting acting up a couple of months ago, I was a little bit alarmed. I had never had a problem with the battery or anything - it had performed beautifully for me ever since I bought it. But it was starting to skip songs, end songs early, and just act strangely in general. I restored it, reloaded it, and it was better for awhile, but then a couple of weeks ago, I think it died. It won't play any tracks anymore, and when I try to connect it to my computer, the computer randomly turns off rather suddenly. That's not good. SO I am fearing the worst.
I have been trying to convince myself that the iPod is just a "thing", and not really part of me. It seems so materialistic to talk about a piece of electronics "changing my life" or "making me happy." But the more I fight that feeling, the more real it becomes. I miss it - not like a person of course, even I am not that shallow. But I miss the freedom it gave me, the power to pick whatever I was going to listen to whenever I felt like it. To be honest, I had been thinking about getting a new iPod sometime anyway. I had long since filled up the 20-gigs of space, and everytime I buy more music I have to remove some other music from the iPod, and that just doesn't feel right, since one of the greatest features of the iPod is that you can carry ALL your music on it.
But it is money to spend, after all, and I don't like doing that. Is it worth it? Will I get the use out of it? Even though you can get 6 times the storage capacity now (for 83% of the original price), it is still a lot of money. So I decided to break it down, to prove it to myself:
Total number of days in operation: 1310
Estimated average hours of play per day: 5.5
Total number of hours played: 7205
Average Song Length: 5 minutes
Total songs played: 86,460
Cost per day: $0.23
Cost per hour: $0.04
Cost per song played: $0.00347
Yes, it was less than 1 penny for every song I played on that thing. So that does it. The iPod does not make me a better person. It does not complete my life. But it is cool, I do like it, I use it every day, and it is totally worth it. So I am going to go get a new iPod tomorrow.
Plus my wife will be happy because now I can stop talking about it!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
For those of you who have not heard, there is, in fact a God, and the people of Alaska are not, in fact, in love with Ted Stevens. The elcetion results are in, and the AP has called the election in favor of Anchorage mayor (and son of the namesake of the very famous Bartlett-Begich High School) Mark Begich. This is truly a great day for the residents of Alaska. Stevens was the longest serving Republican in the Senate, and turned 85 yesterday. We can only hope that he will now be sent to jail to share a cell with Bubba.
In other exciting news, you may recognize the picture below from Josephine's birthday party last year. She had an AWESOME time. We are planning another party this year, although we will probably have a cookie making party at our house instead. Not sure of the date, but it will probably be the night of 12/13 (it is a Saturday), if you want to makr your calendars, or if you want to plan something else for that night so you don't have to come. There will be details to follow I am sure.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In an effort to make this blog almost exactly the same as Jonathan's, I have added a flickr slideshow badge to the sidebar. It was really hard because I am not very smart. Anyone who is smart will be able to add one to their blog in a matter of minutes.
Also, I am going to start adding at least one picture to every post, since pictures are easier for everyone to look at than words. Here is the first one:
This is a pcture of me showing Josephine how to throw rocks during our fall camping trip to Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior. She was properly impressed with my ability, I can assure you.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Obama 326, McCain 212
(That's the Kerry states plus IA, OH, VA, CO, NM and NV)
Popular Vote %:
Obama 51.3%, McCain 46.7%
Election Called by MSM: 11 pm Eastern - when the polls close in California. The best part of THAT is that the polls will still be open in Palin's homestate.
Franken 41%, Coleman 40%, Barkley 15%
And THAT result will not be made official for at least a couple of days.
Total Democratic Senate seats
58, which does not, and SHOULD NOT count Lieberman
Also, I just want everyone want everyone out there to think about making sure that they DO NOT rub it in the faces of their Republican friends. If you remember how badly you felt in 2000, 2002 and 2004, they will be feeling that way as well tonight. The peaceful transfer of power from opposing political parties is one the the things that makes America great. No need to twist the knife as the Republicans leave power.
Monday, November 3, 2008
- Barack Obama
Yes, if he makes it and none of the other races below go my way, I will be sort of disappointed, but not that much. This is HUGE.
- Al Franken
I have been nervous about this one from the moment he declared. But you know what makes me mad? Norm ran with Bush A LOT in 2002. You can't have it both ways, Norm. You were with him then, and to me, that means you are with him now. Plus he ran a ridiculous campaign. Honestly, when you have been there 6 years and all you have to show for it is some free suits and a crappy free apartment in DC, you don't deserve to win.
- Mark Begich over Ted Stevens
Few people know that I went to Bartlett-Begich High School in Anchorage. The school was named in part for Mark's father, who died in a plane crash while campaigning for the US House in 1972. Don Young won that election, and has not lost since (the Bridge to Nowhere was his doing). Anyway, don't think that just because Stevens was recently convicted of corruption that this is over. He could still win- it's possible the carrier pigeons haven't reached Alaska with the news of the trial yet.
- Kay Hagan over Liddy Dole
Dole's recent ad that made it seem like Hagan didn't believe in God is what will end up finishing Dole off, but did you know that in the 24 months of 2005 and 2006, she spent exactly 33 days in North Carolina? If you don't want to live there, then don't run for an officing representing the people who DO live there.
- Tinklenburg over Bachmann
I have a bet with my boss, and so here is my prediction: Bachmann will WIN. The people in that district LIKE the kind of stuff she brings to the table: 3/4 crazy and 1/4 pretty. Here's my advice for you if you ever run into her: If it is daylight, tell her you agree that some members of Congress are anti-American, and that you want to help with the penetrating expose she proposed. But tell her that it would help if she could point you in the proper direction, so if she could name some of the people she suspects, it would be a big help. Then, go donate money to the people she names, because I guarantee you they are doing good work. If you run into her and it is at night, run.
- Chambliss loses in GA
He questioned his opponents patriotism in 2002. That was Max Cleeland, a man who had given three of his limbs in service to his country. They compared him in ads to OSAMA BIN LADEN. How these people sleep at night, I will never know.
Aside: It's strange that all these Senate seats up in this cycle are reminding us of the history of the 2002 election. The one where Bush was floating the idea of invading Iraq, and anyone who wanted to question that idea was called Anti-American. It's time for those people to get what they have coming.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The criteria for this list is as follows: 1) States are listed here with the most generous definition of "swing" possible. So don't freak out because Minnesota is there - this is a very generous listing, because I am trying to be as conservative as possible going into election night. 2) States are listed in order of importance, coupled with how realistically "swing" they are. For example, a highly ranked state on this list is a combination VERY important in the election AND highly volatile for some reason. A state ranked low on the list is either NOT that important to victory or unlikely to really swing one way or ther other. So here goes:
- Pennsylvannia - If Obama wins PA, it is VERY difficult for McCain to get to 270. Obama had a large lead in polls up until today, when an new NBC poll had Obama up only 4 points. Many pundits said that McCain should have given up PA, but he couldn't really, because he almost HAS to win here. Example: If you are a Republican and you take a REALISTIC view of the electoral map (Obama is VERY likely to win MN, IA, NM, and NH) then losing PA means McCain needs to win every other state on this list except for NV. Considering that McCain is behind in the polls in most of the states on THAT list, if you are a Republican you are stocking up on Budweiser or Jack Daniels or whatever, and you are making your drinks stiff early in the night should PA really go blue.
- Florida - If Obama wins PA and FL, it's all over but the crying for McCain. In almost any scenario, FL is pretty much a must win for McCain. All the polls really tell us about Florida is that it is close and don't watch the local news in Orlando.
- Virginia - I heard there are commies in Virginia. Well, if there are enough of them and this state votes Obama, again, McCain's electoral math becomes very dificult. Also, I think that Republicans would probably start to give up hope at this point. Realistic electoral math puts Obama over the top with PA and VA - the rout might be on.
- Ohio - If Joe The Idiot (Plumber) doesn't symbolize many of the things that are wrong with America, then nothing does. Again, PA and OH put Obama over the top no matter what else happens.
- North Carolina - In a way, winning in the late Jesse Helms' state would be piling on - talk of 370+ electoral votes would follow any media declaration that Obama has won here. But I think it is important psychologically for Obama to win NC, to show he has appeal in "Red" state America. Also, it would mean that Liddy Dole probably loses her bid to be re-elected to the Senate. That's a race near the top of my list - posting on that sometime soon.
- Colorado - I believe that there is a semi-realistic 269-269 scenario out there. If Colorado goes blue, that scenario is no longer possible. If you start with the 2004 final map, change IA, NM and NV from red to blue, you end with a 269 tie. That's not that far fetched. Colorado voting for Obama makes a tie almost impossible.
- Missouri - Obama drew 100K+ at a rally there last week. Polls say that it will be close and impossible to pick a winner. But the results from other states above may have already decided the race. If they haven't, it will be a MUST win for either side. There is a way to view this state as the Florida of 2000 in this election.
- New Mexico - Polls have this state firmly blue, which is why it is low on my list. Plus it is out west, and the election may have been decided before the polls even close there.
- Nevada - Same as NM.
- New Hampshire - Probably gos for Obama - BUT: As an early closer out east, look for a lot of momentum should McCain be declared a winner there. It's always been an INDEPENDENT loving place. If they are buying it still from McCain, it could be a sign of good things to come for the Republicans.
- Minnesota - This really has to b considered over, but I am still seeing ads here. The MPR poll out today has Obama up 19. The only thing a McCain victory here would mean is that someone screwed with the election.
- Iowa - Obama won the caucus here. Should be firmly democratic.
I left off Montana and North Dakota. They would be nice to win but not crucial. As we are watching on election night, these states listed above will tell us who is going to win.
UPDATE: Apparently I didn't get all the information on that NBC Poll from PA. According to Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, that same poll had Obama up only 2 points a month ago. So that's actually a net gain in one month. Better news than I thought. However, I am still not bringing out the champagne...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
After going 0-2 in Fantasy Football this weekend, I am definitely going to start playing the martyr card. And yes, I know that no one cares about anyone else's fantasy teams. That's why I put it in a blog you fools!