Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One More Day...

until I am on vacation.

The big trip to Maine for my family reunion starts Thursday. I am anxious, and nervous. I don't know what to expect from this trip. I am going to be really self-conscious about myself, and people asking about MS. Am I stupid for taking my girlfriend on vacation with me? Probably.

I am really excited about seeing my immediate family, and seeing some of my extended family that will be there. I guess there are going to be family members there that I have never met before. That's what happens when your mom is from a large family and her siblings are spread all over the country.

I hope that it all goes smoothly, but I am afraid it won't/ I am going to try and stay calm, and not over-react. MS is getting stressed out because she knows I am going to be stressed out. AHHHHHH

I am surprised that I am not being asked to delay my vacation due to my job, but I told them that this was planned a year ago (well, not quite, but they don't need to know that). We're supposed to be rolling out new processes and tools to the group in Iowa at the end of August. We're not ready.

Actually I don't think we'll meet the schedule for one big reason. The server hardware we need has not even been ordered yet. I know that once the hardware is on order that our schedules will be screwed until we turn the switch.

The Iowa people are driving me crazy. We ask some really simple questions, and they skirt the answer EVERY FUCKING TIME. my frustration level with them is at an all time high. I am thinking they are trying to fuck this up for us, when in fact this will make their lives so much easier.


I'll see you all after the 4th of August.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Unpopular Music Favorites Meme

After that last meme it made me wonder if I was the only one that had a lot of unpopular music in my past. What are you all hiding in your musical past. I would like to hear from you, and possibly be influenced by you to check out some new music.

Pick 5 groups that you love that you think that most people have never heard of. Hit me with your best shots. I am going to try to find YouTube links for all of these. You don't need to, but if you can possibly manage the time...

I am going to have a hard time limiting this to five, but here it goes.

The Producers - No, they had nothing to do with the Mel Brooks movie or play... or movie. They had a few albums back in the 80s, and I caught them live twice. You older folks that watched MTV in the early days may remember this one.Their energy was incredible. They were a very friendly bunch of guys.

Split Enz - One of the more popular, yet never heard of bands I listen to. I still have some of their songs in my playlists. These guys were weird, but they created some amazing music. They started out in the early 70s, but never "made it big" here in the states until 1980 with this song. A few of the member of this bizarre group later formed Crowded house. If you haven't heard of them you should be ashamed. In doing some research for this post I learned that Crowded House just released a new record. I must find it!

Material Issue - In the early 90s my tastes were way into what was called Power Pop. I was finding next to nothing that I like in the mainstream. My best friend in high school turned me on to these guys. I hadn't seen the video until looking for it today. What a bunch of young kids. But they had a lot of great songs in a short period of time. Unfortunately the band fizzled when grunge came into the mainstream. The lead singer/song writer committed suicide about a year later.

Jellyfish - I've raved about these guys before. This is yet another bizarre group which had influences from 60s, 70s and 80 music. Jellyfish remains one of my favorite bands of all time. Their songs are very complex and fun. They would put on excellent live shows. They only lasted through 2 records. Maybe it was all the weird costumes.

Gary Myrick & The Figures - Another band that I learned about through my brother. I was borderline obsessive about listening to these guys. Every cassette I compiled back in the 80s would always contain a couple of their songs. In 1980 they seemed to be destined for greatness (in my opinion), but the band disappeared faster than they appeared. The band had 2 songs in the movie Valley Girl, and he had a solo record that got him a hit with "Guitar, Talk, Love & Drums". He was also a member of the band Havana 3AM back in 1991. I have enjoyed his music over the years, but none seemed to equal what I heard from his work with The Figures.

I hope you enjoyed them all

Friday, July 06, 2007

When I was 18...

Meme Alert!!!

I got this from Os.

My take on these picks is a bit different that what I think was intended by the Meme. I did listen to a lot of pop radio. I was listening to the college stations to the New Wave shows. Once in a while there is a popular song or group that even my non-conforming musical taste would enjoy. Eventually everything moved away from guitar music and started to make me ill. Then came the hair bands. Yikes!

The rules:

1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (go here, scroll down, and you’ll
see them separated by decades/years on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick the year you turned 18 (1982, for me)
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

"Who Can It Be Now" - Men at Work - I was fully running down the New Wave path when these guys hit the scene. They looked goofy in their videos. Almost 3 Stooges like, so of course that appealed to me. I always loved bands that even though synthesizers were the rage they kept the guitar work up front. They were one of many Australian bands out in that time frame. I liked many of them.

"Someday, Someway" - Marshall Crenshaw - The first time I heard this song I was driving my oldest brother and I somewhere. Billy heard it start playing and turn up the shitty AM radio that was in my mom's 1976 Mercury Comet. It's a simple song, without a lot of flare, but it has heart. I immediately loved it. I bought this album (yes vinyl), and his second album right before heading to college. I was always awkward around "girls". I didn't date all through high school. I never even went to a dance. I didn't know how to dance, and I had no idea how to learn. One day while cleaning my apartment while playing this album I miraculously figured out how to move my ass to a beat. Pretty sad for a musician. I'm still not a great dancer, but I am not afraid to try anymore. Thanks Marshall!

"Paperlate " - Genesis - i bought this album from a used record store near home. I was on a big Genisis kick for many years to come. They were kind of artsy cool for their early career, but turned radio friendly and started cranking out excellent hits. This one happened to only come on their 3 Sides Live album. A double album with one of the 4 sides containing new stuff. Any band willing to put a horn section in has a lot of class in my book.

"867-5309 (Jenny Jenny)" - Tommy Tutone - An instant classic with pretty much the same guitar rhythm as John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K in the USA", or The Romantics "What I Like About You". Yes, I know there are differences, but my point is that they all rock. I was hoping this wasn't going to be a one hit wonder. Oh well.

"Should I Stay Or Should I Go" - The Clash - Probably one of the songs responsible for moving me further away from main stream pop music. Sure it was a hit, but it was Punk. You either loved it or you hated it.

It really surprised me how few artists that I liked were on that list. This may have inspired another music meme. Originating from me means it's going to be a bit odd.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Too much information...

... running through my head

The shit hit the fan at work about the Iowa projects. All that was planned has changed. I am scrambling to get ready for setting them up with the new tools and process by the end of August. I don't think that's enough time, but we're going to try.

My home Vista upgrade has caused me a couple of problems. Battlefield 2 is not working. I have updated drivers and BIOS (which created a big headache) and still it won't let me play. I may have to get a new video card. That is upsetting to me. WoW on the other hand is working better than ever. I guess I have to change my game of choice until a solution is discovered.

I've seen a couple movies this past month...

Knocked up: HILARIOUS!
Not quite as good as "40 Year Old Virgin", but damn close.

Too many holes in the story. Steve Carell is a favorite of mine. It had some good moments, but no where near as good as Bruce Almighty.

Live Free or Die Hard: KICKS ASS
I didn't think they could get another good movie out of the franchise. I was WAY wrong.

Ratatouille: AWESOME!

Brad Bird did it again (he wrote and directed "The Incredibles" too). This guy knows how to write and direct an animated movie.