Delightful UI suprise

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Driving to Raleigh the other day, I noticed the new, easy-to-spot “lane paintings” on I-40. They’re large (4-5 feet across) and look just like the shield that is used to denote interstate highways.

It’s *great*! It makes it SO much easier to tell which lanes stay I-40 and which ones become Wade Ave.! I am all for increasing information density when possible and this was an easy way to do so.  YAH Raleigh!

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Growing pains…

It’s an odd (and somewhat unsettling) thing to realize that my web content is spanning two sites.  I’d like to hurry up and get the migration done, but I also know I need to do the proper housecleaning before porting content — when you’ve been online since 1996, you accumulate a lot of driftwood.

I always tell organizations that I’ve worked with that diluting your message can be nearly as harmful as not having one, so clearing out the clutter (particularly in the main pages of the site) is a must-do.

Wonderful Bela Fleck show

The best part was that it was his original lineup, so Future Man, Victor Wooten (both of whom I had seen before) and Howard Levy (who I hadn’t) joined Bela — wow! I have never heard harmonica playing like Howard Levy… there were times he was playing harp and if I closed my eyes I’d have sworn he was playing sax, the notes were so clear and distinct. At one time, he did a little solo bit where he played Ode to Joy… I was about 20 seconds into enjoying it before I realized he was playing all the parts — the slow chord progression that’s normally played by the left hand *and* the more “active” melody played by the right.

I wondered for a moment whether he was somehow looping it (he wasn’t) or using two harps (he wasn’t)… my jaw dropped open and I wished dearly for my Tivo so I could have “mooped” back to the beginning to watch again now that I knew it was *all him*.

And getting to meet ALL OF THEM afterwards…HEAVEN! (I did ask Levy how he did it — he said he uses his tongue to block the center part of the harp then blows the chords out the left while using his lips to control the melody on the right!)

 

Fresh Start

It was about time I switched from the advertising-laden Livejournal over to something more flexible and less annoying.  I’m hoping to import some of the content from LJ, but that’ll have to wait until I have at least the basics set up here.  Thankfully, I’ve at least spec’d the configuration of) WordPress sites before (and set up a really basic one), so this is more of a “let’s see what I can do with it” thing.

(Does everyone post an equally boring first entry just to ensure that everything is set up correctly?)

Just Tires Road Hazard Protection Plan — really, quite useful.

For the record, I *highly* endorse (a) Just Tires (or at least the location on Hwy 55 in Durham) and (b) their Road Hazard Protection Plan (which is the sort of “Extended Warranty” that I normally frown upon).

In this case, however, Just Tire’s Road Hazard Protection Plan (which I think cost me <$15/tire) covered sending someone out to put on the MINI's little spare (when I called them to tell them that one of my tires had a big bubble in it) *and* is going to cover replacing the tire *for free*.

Seriously! I just called them up and said: "I have the tire protection plan and I've got a big bubble in my tire." And they said: "You shouldn't drive on that — it's too dangerous. Let us send someone out to swap it out for your car's spare tire."

So someone came out to work (they work through the same system as AAA, I think) and swapped out my tire. I have to remember to take the back roads home and drive slowly, though…

The amazing thing is that they do this for the lifetime of the tire. Even if it's your fault. Even if someone slashes your tires. Or if you run over a nail. Or if you got a little distracted and veered up onto a curb a bit…

I like them. :-)

grouse grouse (good concert, but audience grouse)

So tonight I went to see Steely Dan, a concert to which I’d been greatly looking forward to and for which I’d paid relatively dearly for tickets.

And I was treated to the delightful croonings (crowings? no, more like shoutings) of my seatmate, who seemed to think that he was just as capable of delivering classics such as Peg and Aja as Donald Fagan. Sadly, he neither the vocal sylings, nor, in fact, even the pitch of Mr. Fagan.

FWIW, I *do* sing at concerts but I (a) do it sotto voce unless it’s a a great big whole-audience sing-along (which I love, BTW) and (b) I try to do so on pitch.

Couple this with his space-invading arm flinging and his periodic mid-song howls and air punches of encouragement to the band (who I’m sure would have just stopped without the added cheerleading) and he almost managed to foul up and otherwise pretty great show.

I’m trying to let it go now (I’m being ridiculous, right?).

Sigh.

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A real coversation via IM with one of my co-workers

Gina Norman [2:14 PM]:

Have you ever heard Foster Street by the Beelzebubs (Tufts)  [ed note: an a cappella group.  The co-worker in question was in her college a cappella group.]

Julie [2:14 PM]:

hmm i’ve heard the group

Gina Norman [2:15 PM]:

is on my iTunes — listen to it… is OLD — my college era… pre digital… 1988ish?

Gina Norman [2:16 PM]:

their version of comfortably numb/brain damage is fab

Julie [2:16 PM]:

oh wow. old school!

Gina Norman [2:16 PM]:

yep. as am i

Julie [2:16 PM]:

haha that’s awesome

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

I think this is the point where I say I have a Capella recordings that are older than you are, right? [ed note: This was, of course, intended to be a joke. ha ha ha ha]

Julie [2:17 PM]:

haha. if they predate 1986, then yes

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

oh f*ck

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

that’s not even funny

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

seriously

Julie [2:17 PM]:

sorry..  :-/

 

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