Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The official rating of the week in St. Martin was Highly Non-Suckish. Mostly just walking the beach, enjoying the panoramic views to the horizon and the many shades of blue in the ocean. We did hike to the top of Pic Paradis, the highest point on the island. I did learn a lesson tho. I did way too much gloating before we left and was punished by the laws of karma -- a smallish ice storm canceled our flight out on 2/12, so we were only there for 6 days rather than 7.

Got lots of reading in. I'm feeling lazy, I'm not going to hyperlink these, cut and paste to google please:

  • "The Android's Dream", by John Scalzi. Nicely written and diverting, 3 stars.
  • "Yhe Dog Said Bow-Wow", by Michael Swanwick. A good collection of stories, and not much evidence of Swanwick's sometime misogynism, 3 stars.
  • "Rewired, the post-cyberpunk anthology", edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. A very good collection of stories. Unfortunately I had already read 3/4 of them. Still, 4 stars.
  • "The Lightstone", by David Zindell. My friend Jon really liked Zindell's Neverness novels. I did too, enough to read them twice. Here he does high fantasy. I was kind of freaked, the thing just kind of ended. Wikipedia says there are 3 more in the series. I guess I have to read them now. 3 stars.
  • "The Tin Roof Blowdown", by James Lee Burke. A Dave Robicheaux novel. Seemed appropriate to be reading the cajun cheap detective series in French St. Martin. This is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, and is very disturbing. 3 stars.
  • "Quirkology -- How We Discover Big Truths In Small Things", by Richard Wiseman, Ph.D. Kind of a bible of Fun Facts To Know And Tell. A very fast and easy read on real-life experiments in social psychology, uncovering numerous quirks of human nature. 3 stars.
I took my ukulele to St. Martin, but it's not the same, I missed my guitars. Blues jam tonight, I'm ready.

Just upgraded my Apple TV. They really changed the UI, I guess we've gone from around v0.8 to v1.5. Kind of refreshing to see them hacking and burning -- agile software development rules, yeah!!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Four Versions

So, I'm listening to the Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli recommended by indogout (thanks again) -- 6 tracks, so far most excellent, 4 stars, and for jazz even! Track 3 is "Someone To Watch Over Me" -- and I noticed, I have 4 versions in 3 genres of this track in my iTunes:
  • Art Tatum, jazz
  • Frank Sinatra, pop
  • Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, jazz
  • Rickie Lee Jones, chick pop
Ain't life grand? (St. Martin in 5 days ...)

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Finished reading a Gardner Dozois short story collection "One Million A.D.", which (duh) had the theme of the far future. The 1st and last stories I had already read in The Year's Best. The rest were all pretty readable. But, the Charles Stross story "Missile Gap" made me realize what the others were missing: evolution as a major part of their theme. I've mentioned before, Frank Herbert was always one of my favorites because his stories wound up being about evolution. As our knowledge of evolution progresses, it is good that science fiction continues to stretch it, as in the Stross story, or in Stephen Baxter's "Coalescent" (blogged 2/26/5), which touched on the same topic as the Stross story.

Accompanied keyboard man extraordinaire Bob Hopps at his Clay's Steakhouse gig last night from 6-9. I took Black Beauty out in public for the 1st time. The owner of Clay's commented on its beauty -- "A class guitar for a class joint" I told him. It was fun, played pretty well, but both thumbs hurt this morning.

Re music in, I have been listening to:

  • Delbert McClinton, various albums. An interesting musician who's been around since 1962 (harmonica on "Hey Baby") playing blues, rock, country, honky-tonk, etc. My favorite is the song "You Were Never Mine" off of "One of the Fortunate Few", 1997.
  • John Legend, "Get Lifted". West Coast R&B, could be a little catchier, 3 stars.
  • The Jefferson Airplane, "After Bathing at Baxter's", 1967 -- I think this is the best psychedelic album made, 4 stars; 5 stars for "Watch Her Ride", maybe others.
  • Tinariwen, "Aman Iman: Water Is Life" -- a Tuareg (North African nomad) group. Nicely odd, 3 stars. This came from a college friend/keyboard player Del, who spent his high school years in Tangier, Morocco. He set up this Virtual Tangier Web Site.
  • Various blues (John Lee Hooker, Albert King) from, checking out songs for the Wednesday night blues jam. Last two weeks have been good. Getting to do 6 songs, numerous folks from Exstream have come out.
Speaking of Exstream, on Jan 22 it was announced that HP was acquiring it. Closing will be next month, April 1 is supposed to be Day One as an HP employee. Finally made the front page of the Herald-Leader, but no coverage in InfoWorld or Computer world -- of a > $500M acquisition?!?!?

My baby sister sent me a link to a fabulous collection of anti-Intelligent Design cartoons. I posted to KASES, and it was well received there, and everyone I have sent it too has really enjoyed it.

We had a mockingbird eating suet today. We used to have mockingbirds around all the time, but hadn't for the last few years, so I was glad to see one.

In 9 days at this time, I will be on St. Martin, woo-hoo!