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CalProg '08

Sunday,  10/12/08  10:31 AM

Yesterday I spent the entire day at CalProg '08, a progressive rock festival held in Whittier.  Thanks to my friend Bill Smith for putting it together!  (our visit, not the festival itself...)  It was pretty cool, four bands spread over twelve hours, with plenty of time for doing nothing (eating, walking, getting coffee, talking about prog rock) in between :) 

CalProg '08

I had never heard of the first band, Presto Ballet, a band from Seattle, but they were pretty cool; their vocalist in particular was great.  Here's a shot of them in action:

Presto Ballet at CalProg '08

Next up were IZZ, and they were okay, I guess; the guitarist in the kilt may have put me off, or maybe their music was too much fusion and not enough rock.  We have to have some rock in "progressive rock", right?  Beat, harmony, melody, that sort of thing?  These guys came out from New York, and they definitely had the "New York feel", with the wizecracking guitarist and all...  here's a blurry shot:

IZZ at CalProg '08

The third band was Sylvan, from Hamburg Germany (!); they're the band we came to see, and they were great.  Really really awesome, all the way from their German accents to their driving bass lines to their wailing guitar.  Could have been louder, is my only complaint, seemed like they didn't take full advantage of the sound system.  Sorry about the crappy camera work but here's Sylvan on stage:

Sylvan at CalProg '08

If you are at all interested in progressive rock, check out Porcupine Tree, Threshold, and these guys :)  Oh, here's what they look like backstage, enjoying the California sun after a long flight out:

Sylvan backstage at CalProg '08

The last band, Echolyn, from Philadelphia, truly sucked.  It is sad to say but I honestly wished we'd just left; their stage personna was hostile, their music was boring, and their musicianship was mediocre.  Hard to say anything good about them except perhaps that they were loud, which wasn't a virtue considering the music.  Too bad it ended that way, but it was a great day anyway!

 

 

Centro navigation

Sunday,  10/12/08  07:27 PM

One of the delights of my spiffy Palm Centro is full support for Google Maps.  Including being "location aware".  This uses that technology which isn't GPS where cell phone tower proximity is inferred from signal strength, and your location is triangulated accordingly.  It doesn't locate you within three feet - more like 30 meters - but that's close enough for you to find where you really are, based on streets and so on, and from there it is really useful.  (It will say "your location within X meters", where X is a big number, but then puts the little blue dot very close to where you really are.)

Centro location

The most excellent thing is searching for "stuff which is near you", and while at CalProg '08 I made use of this feature to great effect, finding a Starbucks within walking distance (crucial, addressing a serious caffeine deficiency), and later an Outback within easy driving distance (equally crucial, addressing a serious beef deficiency).  Once you've found something, getting directions to it from where you are is easy, and the step-by-step turn-by-turn interface is really nice.  You'll appreciate just hitting one [big] button when you've reached each intersection to move to the next leg if, say, you're walking or riding a bike.

I know, I know, it isn't an iPhone.  It's better.  Hit 0 and poof, blue dot.  Hit menu-S and poof, you have a search dialog.  And now you have a real keyboard on which to type "Starbucks" or "Outback" :)

 

 

(New Yorker 10/13/08 - bear market)

Sunday,  10/12/08  07:41 PM

New Yorker 10/13/08 - "bear market"

 

 

Sunday,  10/12/08  08:12 PM

Blogging on a Sunday in October, cold outside (50s), with the wind howling.  It's not summer anymore...  meanwhile it is all happening...

From my archives, a four-year-old post which describes perfectly how I feel today: I wish it was over.  "I don't know about you, but personally I can't wait until this election is over. Of course it probably won't be over next Tuesday either, more's the pity. As we get closer to the election, I find my blood boiling on a daily basis. We seem to have lost civility and reason this time around. I have my point of view, you have yours, let's respectfully exchange views and make our own decisions. But let's not tell lies. Let's not exaggerate things, and spin everything one way or another. Let's not call each other names. Let's make an effort to understand each other's point of view, even if we disagree with it."  Seems the more things change, the more they, er, don't.

A good call, from May 2006: "We are concerned that if effective regulatory reform legislation for the housing-finance government sponsored enterprises is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole".  Signed, John McCain.  All twenty Senators who signed the letter calling attention to the urgency of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were Republicans.  After May 2006, the Democrats continued to use Fannie and Freddy as their private slush funds until the inevitable collapse, which McCain had warned against so eloquently, occurred.  Any questions?

Is it time to buy stocks?  Not clear, maybe the stock market is about where it should be...  [ via Instapundit, who asks "who you gonna believe, the NYTimes or some blogger?" ]

"jumping dolphins"Photo of the day: jumping dolphins.  Beautiful.  Definitely click to enbiggen!

Time wonders Is laser-powered HDTV the highest def yet?  Could be...  oh boy, a new buying opportunity :)

LaCie 7.5TB array for $1,900LaCie ups the ante with 7.5TB for $1,900 (in a very HAL-9000 from 2001 -looking enclosure.  Wow.  That is 40,000 digital slides, at about 5¢ per slide.  And yet, in another year we'll have even bigger arrays for even less money, the "attack from below" in storage has been incredible.

 

 
 

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