av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
So, what's been going on the past month? Lots of the same uninteresting stuff, like trying to organize stuff around the house and get things unpacked. The PHP/MySQL project for work for which I've been up to my eyeballs finally seems to be clearing, so I may actually have time to start doing things like updating and Support again. It's been really interesting, and I've learned a lot about server-side programming, but probably not enough to help out significantly with DW/LJ because I still find Perl pretty impenetrable, and I didn't have to consider a lot of scalability problems for the work site.

For Thanksgiving Jamie and I flew back to see her family in Wisconsin. I found it amusing that the question nearly everyone asked was, "How was the security?" or "Did you get [frisked]?". What people who have been following the stories only loosely may not have understood is that not everyone is required to get scanned. At BWI and Milwaukee, for instance, I only went through the same metal detectors I always go through. The millimeter-wave scanners were there, and some people were going through them, but I couldn't see a pattern to it, nor was I asked to step through. So, you do still have a choice, and it's not exhibitionism vs. groping vs. arrest.

Anyway. Off to a full week of rehearsals for 3 separate concerts!
av8rmike: Text: Resistance is futile (if < 1 ohm) (resistance)
Shakespeare may have written, "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them", but he didn't say anything about having greatness occurring only to people they know. I refer to two incidents in the past week where things happened to other people in my life:

Two co-workers of mine were on a team that caught a 97.5-pound white marlin at this year's White Marlin Open. As such, they get to split over $800,000. We'd better get a lot of doughnuts at the office after this one.

Then yesterday, my brother was on a JetBlue flight back from Pittsburgh to JFK and overheard an irate flight attendant swearing over the PA system and exiting the plane via the emergency slide. Then he encountered the same flight attendant on the train relating the story to another passenger. Naturally he tweets about it, and within hours, the NY Daily News is interviewing him to get the story. By now, most of the major NY and national media have picked up the story and run with it. Too bad I missed his TV appearances on CBS' The Early Show, FOX News, and the Today Show. But, like I told our mother, once these things are out on the Internet, they never really go away.
av8rmike: Futurama's Farnsworth, text: oh, I made myself sad (farnsworth)
I know, that's the worst, most clichéd headline I could come up with, but that's why I'm not in the newspaper business.

Baltimore Opera Company to close
Three months after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and canceling the remainder of the 2008-2009 season, the board of trustees of the Baltimore Opera Company voted yesterday to pursue Chapter 7 liquidation instead and dissolve the 58-year-old organization. The company's assets, including a warehouse, scenery, costumes and technical equipment, will be sold, and the proceeds will be distributed among creditors.


Supplementally, Tim Smith's blog entry on the subject. Looks like I was largely correct that not only had they blown all their money last fall on Aida, but they hadn't even built up an endowment and were basically living week-to-week.


Still want to move here, Jamie?
av8rmike: Flying TARDIS on UFO poster, text: I want to believe (believe)
Obama to speak Saturday at Baltimore's War Memorial Plaza

So, President-Elect Obama is going to be speaking about half a mile from where I live. I knew in advance because the city police have put up "no parking" signs for Saturday all up and down my street (which is the main route from the train station to the speech venue). Am I an idiot for not wanting to go? They're expecting 100,000 people to show up in a space that can hold probably a third of that. "Doors" open 3 hours before the speech, and with the security checks and all, it would mean standing in 20° weather for maybe four hours. The local TV stations will be carrying the speech live, anyway, so why not stay warm inside?

Also, I don't believe the man is our Savior. To quote Stephen Colbert (I think), "even Jesus had to do stuff before he got his own holiday."
av8rmike: Pittsburgh Steelers helmet and logo (steelers)
Mayor wants to drop 'Ravens' from his name
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, at least for this week, wants to be known as Luke Steelerstahl.

"On behalf of the Steelers Nation, I've decided to remove the word 'Ravens' from my name just like the Steelers will remove them from the AFC Championship," he said, referring to Sunday's playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The mayor this morning began, but did not complete, a Verified Petition for a Name Change. [...]

Mr. Ravenstahl said the idea for the name change was not his own. Callers to the Star 100.7 morning show "called in and thought it would be a good idea to change from Ravenstahl, given we are playing the hated Baltimore Ravens this weekend, to Steelerstahl," he said. "As soon as I heard it, I thought it was a great idea."

He said he and his wife, Erin, and 2-month-old son, Cooper, "didn't really talk about it, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind doing it, either."

At least their mayor isn't under indictment for corruption.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
Baltimore Opera seeks Chapter 11 Protection

After 58 years and more than 200 productions, the Baltimore Opera Company will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection today amid dwindling ticket sales and contributions.

The remaining two productions of the 2008-2009 season, Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, have been canceled. Ticket holders will not receive refunds. Singers engaged for next season are being released from their contracts, but the company plans to continue fundraising in an effort to resume productions in the future.


They must have mortgaged the farm to stage that production of Aida, but apparently the ticket sales weren't enough to make up the shortfall. I know several contract musicians in the opera orchestra, and I can't imagine that the loss of this income is going to make things any better. I can only hope that the company can manage to find a new source of donations and emerge from Chapter 11.
av8rmike: (watching elljay comments)
..in case you didn't see [livejournal.com profile] news or [livejournal.com profile] lj_maintenance:
No LiveJournal from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST (8-12 PST) because of the server move. No posts, no friends lists, no messages, nothing. Get back to work!

History

Nov. 5th, 2008 02:29 pm
av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
Yes, my friends, it is truly a(n) historic day; One which I wasn't sure I would see in my lifetime. Now that it's here, I have to keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.

Google Maps' Street View has finally come to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

EDIT: Although, judging from the appearance of the building next to mine, the pictures are at least a year old, and they're missing several major streets in downtown Baltimore.
av8rmike: Futurama's Farnsworth, text: oh, I made myself sad (farnsworth)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25145431/

He was only 58 years old. He had a massive heart attack while working on the voice-overs for "Meet The Press". Unbelievable.

Nobody had the political presence and gravitas he had in Washington. Not George S, not Olbermann, O'Reilly, or Blitzer. While it was a little silly, his ever-present whiteboards during the elections and primaries are practically iconic. I really wonder what NBC will do with "Meet The Press" now, and if I can watch it as faithfully.

I also think I need to call my dad.

Go Bills.
av8rmike: Firefox logo (firefox)
Mozilla has finally announced the launch date for Firefox version 3: Tuesday, June 17. Help them set a world record for most number of downloads in a 24-hour period. Or, plan a download party.

Download Day 2008
av8rmike: (watching elljay comments)
Since [livejournal.com profile] chasethestars wants some actual content and not just notes ;), and since I fall into her second category of friends (the actively informed ones), I feel compelled to weigh in on the current situation.

I first saw the story here in [livejournal.com profile] no_lj_ads about Anton Nossik, the "Chief Blogger" of SUP (our Russian overlords) being interviewed for a Russian Internet site. The original is in Russian, but there are translations here and here. In it, he's dismissive of the concerns of these striking users, labels them "idiots" and the tactics "blackmail", and confirms the removal of new Basic accounts was done because they were not profitable.

Linked to in [livejournal.com profile] the_lj_herald is a statement in Nossik's own journal, in which he claims he was misrepresented as the head of SUP. He denies making the claims attributed to him, calls himself a "Social Media Evangelist", and basically tries to absolve himself of any responsibility of speaking for SUP. He also refuses to list what his actual capacities are in someplace appropriate and visible, such as his userinfo page; instead, he tells people to seek out that information on the Internet in general, then criticized it as being out of date.

Here's the thing that gets me, though (as if that weren't enough). Anyone who has been in a sufficiently large organization should know that there is supposed to be one avenue of communication. It might be a dumb example, but in my fraternity days, we were always told never to claim to speak for the house. If a reporter wanted some kind of opinion, always say "no comment" and refer them to the chapter president. That prevents one guy from making the entire organization from looking bad. Nossik can't have it both ways; he can't grant interviews to reporters, trash the users and the site's founder, then claim he's not empowered to speak for the organization and say "it's just my opinion". As one of Russia's "most visible bloggers", a SUP employee, and a longtime LJ user, he has to know that reporters are going to ask his opinions and that they will be representing the company. Either he is the company spokesperson, or he shouldn't grant the interviews.
av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
In my ire over the podcasts yesterday, I completely forgot to mention something that made me laugh.
Woman Charged with Running Prostitution Ring. An excerpt:
Elizabeth A. Harrison, 35, was charged with engaging in prostitution and other offenses, police said in a statement. The operation, which police broke up last week, advertised "sexual services" online and arranged meetings with clients at an apartment in the 3500 block of Sharon Wood Road.

...It's one of those "say it out loud" jokes.

Back

Dec. 3rd, 2007 09:34 am
av8rmike: Man in suit at computer looking pleased, text: Internet/serious business (serious business)
I really need to get back into the habit of posting more often. Time was when I tried to post an entry almost every day, even if I was just talking about what I was practicing. Sometimes I go and read older entries, and it's nice to look back at what was going on at any particular time, especially since so much has been the same for the last several years.

I also need to pay more attention to who's friending me. Welcome [livejournal.com profile] afuna, [livejournal.com profile] camomiletea, and [livejournal.com profile] chasethestars, my fellow Styles Support junkies. ;)

Two big concerts over the weekend: The world premier of Jared Denhard's American Voices for narration and orchestra with the GVO, and the Brahms/Ives concert with Columbia. The latter got a nice preview in the Baltimore Sun, although I doubt there was similar coverage for the other.

Anyway, the GVO's audiences are slowly increasing with each show, which isn't too shabby for a group only 5 years old. The concert went about as well as could be expected with the amount of over-rehearsing we did. Jared's piece was pretty well received, but it always helps to bring the house down at the end with Tchaikovsky's "Polonaise" from Eugene Onegin and Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld Overture.

Saturday's concert was just awesome. A Charles Ives symphony can be a bit of a tough listen, but this one was one of the more approachable, and the audience seemed to be into it. It was definitely a good decision to play it before the Brahms concerto. Speaking of which, Brian Ganz was just incredible. I was sitting just feet away from him, and the energy he puts into his performances is palpable. I also have to compliment our audience for being more cultured; after each movement, where there would usually be a little bit of applause, no one moved. That definitely added to the atmosphere.

Next up: two weeks of practicing for The Nutcracker. It's my fourth time through, so I'm going to try to get even more parts down.

OMGWTFBBQ?!

Nov. 2nd, 2007 10:47 am
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
Explosion, Fire Reported at Domino's Sugar Factory in Baltimore

Not sugar! White gold! Texas Tea! What'd it ever do to anybody?
av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
Study: One in Four Americans Doesn't Read

Apparently, this article is today's source of ire and disdain. While I can't say I read no books last year, the actual number couldn't have been more than one or two. I just don't see where people get that kind of time. I hear about or see lots of books and think, "that seems like it'd be interesting," but never so much that I'll rush home to start reading it. Of course, my time management has never been all that great, either. Maybe it's true that the Internet makes you stupid. I hope I haven't made [livejournal.com profile] gingy or [livejournal.com profile] bristlesage too crabby or amazed.
av8rmike: (harmless)
When I saw this pop up in my Google Desktop RSS reader, I just assumed it was something out of The Onion. Sadly, it appears to be all too real: Weekly World News Killed By Aliens, Zombie Elvis, Declining Circulation
MSNBC article, in case the first one isn't real-sounding enough. Check out the picture. I remember when that stupid alien met with then-President Clinton, the flip-flopper.

Also, how'd I not hear that Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner died on Sunday?

Weekend!

Jun. 25th, 2007 12:03 pm
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
It was my first time in Atlantic City yesterday, and half of it burned down. I'm going to have to renew my Flickr subscription, because I'm way behind on the photo uploading.
av8rmike: Aqua Teen's Frylock, text: Bitch, are you for real? (frylock-forreal)
I've never heard of this "Juneteenth" thing before, but apparently, you don't want to drive anywhere near it:

Angry crowd kills passenger in car that struck child (Austin, TX)
Man pulled from car and beaten in Milwaukee
av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
So, you'd think I'd talk more about aviation-related things than music-related. I meant to post this yesterday but never got around to it, from the Washington Post:

Inaugural Flights Draw Airline "Geeks"
If you can't read the article (the site may require registration or something), it's all about people who spend their hard-earned money and frequent flyer miles to be on that first flight when an airline starts a new route. Such as, Washington Dulles to Beijing, in the case of the person interviewed. I used to be into some admittedly geeky aviation stuff, but wanting to fly for three days to China and back (a 14-hour, 6,920-mile route) wasn't one of them.

Also, here's an article, also from the Post, about the double-decker Airbus A380 making a stop at Dulles. Now that would have been cool to see. Too bad it looks like it's going to be the company's Spruce Goose, because they have to sell over 400 of them to break even on the design costs, and airlines are dropping orders left and right.
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
Bank Robbery Suspect Killed in Severna Park

This bank is maybe 2 miles from my office. Fortunately, he went the other way from us.

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av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
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