Ah yes… Broadband

At hope, ready to bask in the glory that is our homes rendition of the modern technologies of Broadband and Wifi. Not to imply that they aren’t really broadband and wifi, they are. But they just don’t work as one might expect. I had been thinking about playing some MMORPG, but after logging on, I thought maybe I should run a speedtest…



Speedtest




Speedtest





Hmmm. Does that say 53 kbps? As in, slower than a 56k modem? Sigh. Maybe a blog post is all this connection can handle right now.

Vinyl bratt’s

Though, aside from two brief school related visits to the Grad School, I had only made it to Brattleboro once before… Six years ago. I have, since that visit, thought of Brattleboro as the place to go to shop for records… At least in the 2+ years I have lived in Vermont… So going down last weekend, while it was exciting for the school graduation that was the main reason for going, and also exciting for the social visiting, I couldn’t help but think about shopping for records. The only record store there that I knew of, Turn It Up Records, I had a positive recollection of, so that was goal number one. However, when we drove into town, I saw another store which, just as the luck of the draw became the first store I stopped at. In the end, the only store as I never did make it to turn it up, because In The Moment Records was just what I had been looking for.

It’s was really a great little store. It matched my three favorite records store criteria: All vinyl, new and used and a Metal section… The chap working there was knowledgeable,  quite nice and conveniently up for discussing all those important topics from Metal to Blues to the quality of vinyl. Plus they had quite a few records that I already had, which is a good sign, and in better condition than mine, which was an even better sign. I was especially tempted by better condition copies of BöC’s Secret Treaties. But I avoided them…

Luckily, I didn’t avoid all of the records! I did pick up four of them:


Wolfsbane


Wolfsbane? Well, I don’t know. Though I am generally looking for Metal LP’s of an earlier vintage, the fact that it was such an early Def American release (1989), I figured I’d give it a shot for 5 bucks.


Witch


Witch is apparently a somewhat local band to Brattleboro which the record guy sold me on. Oddly enough I actually listened it before buying! I thought it was pretty good doomish metal. I was a bit put off by the sound of the vocals and the fact that J. Mascis was in the band, but I liked the sound of the music, so I bought it anyway.


Hallow's Victim


Saint Vitus is a band I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately. I don’t have any of their vinyl and this is normally the kind of band that I would only want original vinyl of, but… I was tempted by the New copies of their records that he had in stock. As he didn’t have the self-titled record, I opted for this copy of Hallow’s Victim.


Stomping On A Saturday Night


Blues can be even harder for me to find records that I want than Metal is. But as I have an electronic copy of Blind John Davis’ 1938, when I found this Blind John Davis record, Stomping on a Saturday Night. I just had to have it!

All in all, a great trip and a very satisfying record shopping experience. Unfortunately, the town was hit with severe flooding, courtesy of Irene, the very next day. So I hope that all is well with the record store guy, and everyone else down there.

Team spirit…

Sometimes, as I get a couple of hours into my shift at work, I wonder if I will actually go the entire work day without exchanging any words with, or coming face-to-face, either one of the other members of my department. Honestly, it never actually happens, as my boss always makes sure to at least wish me a good evening when he leaves for the day, but it does get pretty close.

Quite a bit different than the “team” situation in my previous job where we would generally interact throughout the day. I have been thinking about this and also thinking similar thoughts about the home life. It seems that if you are isolated enough from peer situations (by which I mean, people doing the same thing as you, like raising a family or dealing with the Information Systems at work) you can start to lose track of, or, at least, lose connection with the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish. It is good to have the freedom to do things in your own way and in your own time, but, just maybe, some interaction with what others are doing and how they are doing them may be beneficial.

At least that is how it seems to me at the moment.

Here’s a thought…

Let’s abandon all of these facebook, myspace,flickr, picasa, creepster(?) Google+ sites! Those sites that are set up as “free”, so that they can just get you to sell yourself off. You know, the same way that broadcast television used to be free. Ever wonder why industries that give away their products for free could make so much money?

Anyway, I digress…

Ditch all those sites! Then have everyone who is interested in such things to set up their own blogs and photo libraries (not at evil sites like Blogger, but by paying for their hosting [or just hosting it themselves]) and then, if they want to keep up with what their friends are doing, subscribe to rss feeds for those blogs and libraries.

Sure, you would miss all the centralizing of your miscellaneous internet data, the centralized games and the advertisements, and it would be harder to let everyone know how many fiends you have and you would need to actually make some attempt to see what your friends had to say… But I like the idea.

All we would need to do next is move to a distributed internet that didn’t rely on the telecom lines, the government or the evil and poisonous wi-fi, one where each person could host their own data on their own computers and communicate through a grassroots collection of Ethernet cables strewn from house to house. Hmm… Maybe that is a topic for a later day…

Talk about Schmupgrade…

Seemingly, this new version of WordPress has decided that it wants to remove all spaces after commas. I find that very unsightly. Word to the wise, before upgrading anything, always do a google search to see if there are any issues with the newest version.

Update: seemingly the problem is actually with this theme. Regardless, the above wisdoms remain true.

Luckily… http://forum.bytesforall.com/showthread.php?t=14143

 

 

Endlessly intriguing.

One thing that I must say that I like about Vermont (aside from the lack of roadside advertising, which is reason enough to live here), is the crazy notion of the New England town. When I first met my wife, it took me months (literally) to really get my head around how completely different things were structured here than they are elsewhere and I still think it is somewhat odd, yet very inspiring it is allegiance to the ideals of Democracy.

Anyway, so pondering it a bit today, I thought that I would post a truncated (and rearranged) description of it from the Wikipedia entry on New England Towns:

 

The New England town is the basic unit of local government in each of the six New England states.

Without a direct counterpart in most other U.S. states, New England towns are conceptually similar to civil townships in other states, but are incorporated, possessing powers like cities in other states. New England towns are often governed by town meeting. Virtually all corporate municipalities in New England are based on the town model; statutory forms based on the concept of a compact populated place, which is prevalent elsewhere in the U.S., are uncommon.

County government in New England states is typically weak, sometimes even non-existent; for example, Connecticut and Rhode Island retain counties only as geographic subdivisions that have no governmental authority, while Massachusetts has abolished eight of fourteen county governments so far… most functions normally handled by county-level government in the rest of the United States are handled by town-level government in New England. In Connecticut, Rhode Island, and parts of Massachusetts, county government has been completely abolished.

Characteristics of the New England town system

Towns are laid out so that all land within the boundaries of a state is allocated to a town or other corporate municipality. Except in some very sparsely populated areas of the three northern New England states, the concept of unincorporated territory, even in rural areas, is unknown. With the exception of those very sparsely populated areas, all land in New England is within the boundaries of a town or other incorporated municipality.

Traditionally, a town’s legislative body is the open town meeting, which is a form of direct democratic rule, with a board of selectmen possessing executive authority. Only two small Swiss Landsgemeinde remain as similarly democratic as the small New England town.

A town almost always contains a built-up populated place (the “town center”) with the same name as the town. Additional built-up places with different names are often found within towns, along with a mixture of extraneous urban and rural territory. There is no unincorporated territory between the towns; leaving a town means entering another town or other municipality.

Since virtually all residents live within the boundaries of an incorporated municipality, residents receive most local services at the municipal level, and county government tends to be very weak. Differences among states do exist in the level of services provided at the municipal and county level, but generally

Residents usually identify with their town for purposes of civic identity, thinking of the town in its entirety as a single, coherent community. There are some cases where residents identify more strongly with villages or sections of a town than with the town itself, but this is the exception, not the rule.

More than 90% of the municipalities in the six New England states are towns. Other forms of municipalities that exist—most notably, cities—are generally based on the town concept as well (most cities in New England are merely former towns that grew to have too many inhabitants for a town meeting to be an effective legislative body).

Hot and Nasty…

Not that I think much of being a coffee consumer, I must admit that I am one. Though my scope is generally limited to the free coffee at work and French-pressed Chock Full O’ Nuts during the weekend at home…I do still have my standards.

I am, after all, at work where the general public is actually expected to pay for this stuff. Funnily enough, yesterday there was an elderly old Vermonty couple (old vermonty as in, the gentleman was wearing a bowtie) at the coffee and they saw the “fancy” labels, Black River Roasters Organic Mexico, and they asked, “Where is the regular coffee”? I wanted to warn them, oh don’t be dismayed, that coffee will taste pretty damned regular.

The free drip coffee at work is really just terribly inconsistent. It varies from hot to lukewarm, from alright to terrible and sometimes the lesser charitable side to myself feels downright indignant about it! Shaaassh!! What is this? Though this morning’s cup is lukewarm, the above mentioned Killdozer song, “Hot N Nasty” was the first thing that jumped into my head. Which, I suppose, isn’t bad as frequently another Killdozer lyric (this one about coffee specifically) comes to mind while struggling to down this first cup…

You call this cup of shit coffee?

I’d rather drink from the dick of a goat

Anyway, this is all just some excuse for dilly-dallying. I am only three days into my 30 Days 30 Song challenge, even though something like 35 days have elapsed since it started… I continue to be years behind on the movie blog… But I have been reading the blog of a gal I used to know, Heidelfinc, and while it is one of those personal blogs that aren’t usually aren’t really my thing, I am really quite enjoying it. I think I (well, both the wife and I) am feeling a strong lack of hominess in our lives and so I am actually getting into reading the daily trials of home of family of someone I used to know. Plus, and more to the point of this, I has made me feel self-conscious about how rarely I contribute to my own collection of blogs. Sigh.

Upgrade, schmupgrade… or We Fear Change.

So I’ve been troubled for months by the most recent Last.fm upgrade. I upgraded it at the beginning of November and, ever since, scrobbling my iPod plays has been hit or miss. Sometimes it won’t happen at all, sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes only some of the songs scrobble… The process got more elaborate than it had been before and even patiently waiting for those steps it still only works now and then. I even sunk down and upgraded iTunes (which I am always loathe to do) back then and it didn’t help. On my other login (the one through which I manage my iPhone) it works somewhat better, and much faster, but I am still frequently greeted with no, or incomplete, results. It did lead me to cancel my last.fm subscription. Which is too bad, but I just can’t justify it if one of my most basic needs from the service isn’t working and I am really surprised that with the number of folks complaining about the same problem that they can’t figure out which change it was that they made that messed things up.

Also, Ubuntu came out with it’s new version recently, Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, and I am not enthused. Though I have yet to try it, I am finding Ubuntu 10.10 to be almost too “user friendly”, already as I like there to be something for me to do with my OS!

While I generally fear the changes that each new version of Ubuntu might bring, the new version of Gnome really just takes the cake. I don’t like Aqua, I don’t like whatever microsoft calls the Vista and W7 Gui’s… They are flashy and bloated. But now a snazzy new Gnome? Looking at screenshots of it make me feel quite certain that I don’t want to upgrade to it. Which, of course, means that my Linux install will either start becoming more and more outdated, or I need to switch to a different flavor of Linux. But, oh, soo many to choose from, none of which I have tried. Slackware seems like the best choice, but Lime seems well thought of… Anyway. I suppose I’ll need to figure something out soon. If only everything would just stay the same…

Um, yeah… No. 30 Days, 30 Songs: day two

Sort of. Okay, I totally spaced this out yesterday… So maybe I’m not off to the best start… And then I have to go and get all serious and down with this entry. I don’t mean to, you know… But I just have to in this case…

Day 2: Least Favorite Song.

Firstly, let me just mention that I’m only familiar with this song because I used to hear it on the radio somewhere that I briefly worked. I’m just, you know, defensively “saying” again.

My least favorite song would have to be Zac Brown’s (?) Chicken Fried. Just a spew of inane lyrics best summed up by this ridiculous example of the sort of arrogant ignorance that always gets this country in trouble…

Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives
So we don’t have to sacrifice
All the things we love

Like our chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up

Hmmm. I don’t think I need to point out what is wrong with this picture.