Thursday, 16 December 2004

Another week, another great show. This time it was Los Straitjackets at First Avenue with their Christmas Pageant. It was truly a banner night!

The opening act, The Hi-Risers, was fantastic! They’re a rock-and-roll act who’s sound I’d compare to Buddy Holly. I was so impressed that, right after their set, I hit the merchandise table and bought two of their CDs. Turns out they’re really nice guys too.

Los Straitjackets put on a great show, doing several Christmas tunes along with a bunch of normal tracks. You gotta love that 50’s surf-rock sound. Add to that the Pontani Sisters doing their Go-Go thing. The whole thing is a sight to behold!

After the show, all the bands came out and I managed to get autographs from all 11 performers: Los Straitjackets (4), The Pontani Sisters (3), The Hi-Risers (3), and Kaiser George (the announcer and part-time singer with Los Straitjackets.

The guys in The Hi-Risers were totally cool. I hit up Greg, the guitar player, for his autograph first. He saw me and said I looked like a "man on a mission." When I relized I fogot my Sharpie and only had a ball-point, he ran to get his own marker. We chatted for a couple minutes, then he pointed Todd, the bass player, at me (not the other way around) so I could get his autograph. Todd, in turn, caught Jason, the drummer, before he could sneak out. Admittedly, it was no big deal, but it’s the kind of thing that turns someone who simply likes your music into a fan.

Finally, a friend and I were standing in front of the club when "Pedro", the bass player from Los Straitjackets, came out and was getting directions from one of the club staff. I caught up with him at the end of the block and got a chance to chat for about half a block where we each headed our separate ways; me to my car, him to a cab.

I’m kicking myself now for not offering him a lift. I’ll remember next time.

Monday, 13 December 2004

I managed to squeak out of work in time to see the 2004 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on it’s stop in North Minneapolis.

It’s one locomotive and 10 cars decked out in Christmas lights. There are actually two trains, one in the US and one in Canada. They run a cross-country route to raise donations and awareness for hunger relief efforts in North America.

It was so last minute for me that I ended up borrowing a friends camera so I could take pictures. Despite complete unfamiliarity with the camera, I got a few really good pictures and a couple great ones. Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to get the Web-ready and share them on-line.

For a train geek like me, it was great. I loved it. The only thing that could have been better was if they had let me up in the locomotive. It would have so cool to get a few pictures from inside the cab.

Thursday, 09 December 2004

Saw the Reverend Horton Heat show last night and it kicked ass, as always. A couple friends and I went to dinner before the show, so we missed the opening act, but Copeland’s was worth it.

We hung around after the show and I was lucky enough to get Jimbo and the Reverend himself to autograph my Lucky 7 CD insert.

All in all a good evening. I even remembered my ear plugs this time.

Saturday, 27 November 2004

Just got back from spending Thanksgiving Day in Kansas City with my mom. There was turkey and there was trimmings and it was good.

While there, I got most of the redesign for my Web site done. Unfortunately, when I went to test it, I discovered three problems:

  1. There are browser compatibility issues that I need to fix, most important of which is…
  2. IE really does a number on the page and it looks horrible. Mozilla, Firefox and Opera do OK, but IE really does a number on the page. It looks horrible.
  3. I’m having trouble getting the Perl module I need installed at my ISP.

For the Perl issue, I may be able to work around it, but it will add production time in getting new stories on-line. That’s why I wanted to use this new method.

As for the browser compatibility, that’s a big setback. It just won’t do to have the site broken in a major browser.

Monday, 25 October 2004

I got to spend the better part of the weekend undisturbed in the basement. I used the time to break down one of the old tables (weep) and to wire a significant portion of the new layout.

The main lines along the East wall and the South wall are powered and I spent a couple hours just running engines back and forth, pulling short drags of cars. Sadly, it can’t go very far yet, but at least it’s a start.

The old table was along the north wall. Teardown started because I wanted a couple of the switch machines on that table. Once that was done, I just kept going until I had the whole thing torn down. It was preventing me from getting at the wall to hang new tables, so it’s no big deal.

Thursday, 21 October 2004

I’ve been working on a redesign of the site for quite a while now. The major element was the program that handles the formatting for In Other Words. In a major breakthrough, I have it done with the exception of one minor bug and a tiny formatting change. I should be able to have the new version on-line by Thanksgiving.

In some ways it will be a major departure from what you see now, but not earth shattering. The main goal was to incorporate some new Web design techniques I’ve learned in the last couple years and simplify the code a bit making maintenance easier.

My ultimate goal is to go all CSS Zen Garden on the place and offer several different layouts that visitors can choose. But that’s quite a ways out yet—the new layout comes first.

Monday, 02 August 2004

From the “Gee, wish I’d thought of that” department:

Thursday, 22 July 2004

How very odd. Early this morning I lost the power supply on my server. It just died. What’s very strange is that it happened while I was logged in and working on something.

Guess it will mean a trip to Micro Center to either buy a new power supply, or the remaining parts to spin things up on the new server I’ve been working on.

I was really hoping to do things in a more orderly fasion. Oh well.

Monday, 17 May 2004

What is it about people writing “waaa laaaa” when they mean “voilà” that drives me crazy?

Wednesday, 21 April 2004

There’s not much else to say about this one other than absolutely brilliant!