Tuesday, September 30, 2008


 Last night at a Steeler's Game Watching Party/Free Concert/Free Hot Dog Festival, I saw two bands.

Nik and the Central Plains: I know Nik from the open mic nights. His music is great. It's like super weird folk music, but is very catchy.

Aloud: Aloud was your more straightforwad modern rock band, but they were pretty good. The were from Boston, MA, and had a good "wall of sound" thing going.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Phone I Just Want to be Alone

 Heads up friends:
I have used all my cellular telephone minutes for the month of September. I will be tearfully ignoring your calls until October 2nd! I will, however, happily accept text messages!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SR&tSR Gig Log #3

Last night Pittsburgh's own, Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous played at Brianne's birthday party. We had a great time, and debuted a few (3?) new songs. We ended up playing three separate times during the night, including as late as 2am. This happened because people kept showing up, and getting upset that they had missed the music. Thank-you guys for feeding our large egos! Also, the first set was a little sub-par, due to some string-related issues. 

With any luck, we'll record a few of the new ones tomorrow, so you can hear that.

The party itself was pretty rad too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stop the XML Insanity!

Um, did you know that some browsers actually give you newline and whitespace characters when they parse XML? What is that all about? It seems to me like one of the two benefits of using XML in the first place is that its easy to parse! So why are you giving me back junk Mozilla? Double-You-Tee-Eff!

Beam Team!

 Wow, I just saw a sign saying that today on campus they are having a "beam-signing ceremony" over at the new Hillman-Gates-Computer-Science-Future-Technologies center. I wonder if Steely McBeam is going to be there...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Urban Hike Scavenger Hunt 2008: Downtown!

Every year Urban Hike holds their anual scavenger hunt. This year is no different! But what is different is the location (downtown) and the fact that we're doing it at night, concurrently with the quarterly gallery crawl. It's a little different, but I think it will be fun. Here's the full "press release."

We are in the process of planning our annual scavenger hunt, which typically rounds our hike season. Please mark your calendars for Friday, October 3rd. The scavenger hunt will run 6-8 pm, with our awards ceremony following from 8 till around 9. We will start at a yet-to-be-determined spot in Market Square downtown. Start assembling your team (3-6 people) and we'll fill you in on more details soon!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flask Drive

Did you guys know there is an external harddrive that looks like a flask? Love the pics of the model as well. Very well-acted. 


Yesterday we had a TG (a happy hour basically) sponsored by Facebook. It was pretty fun. There were some highlights, including facebook dog tags (?!) that give you $5 in free facebook gifts, turkey wraps, and dogfishhead 60min.

A group of us decided that the best possible thing you can do with a Zune is to use its radio function to tune in an iPod connected to a radio adapter. Yes, I know that making fun of the Zune is passe, but the mental image of a Zune being used to tune in an iPod was too much for me to ignore.

In other news, I am really getting upset with the American Auto Industry. Foreign car companies make most of their cars here already, hiring American workers! Why are we beholden to these companies? Why do both major candidates support giving them more money?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Karaoke Duperstar

 Last night did some karaoke singing at Cappy's weekly, "Cappyoke." Great fun was had by all. Sang two songs:
  • Just Can't Get Enough, Depeche Mode. A great song, it's pretty easy to sing, and fairly recognizable without being over-done. I think people appreciated it. It is a little long though. Towards the end, you are really saying, "Just Can't Get Enough" a lot.
  • Shout, The Isley Bros. This was actually Chris' idea, and had I known what he has selected, I would not have gone up there with him (he pulled me up at the last second). That being said, it was a real crowd pleaser, and people were singing and dancing along. Great success!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Car Towing

For those of you waiting in suspense to find out what happened to my car, here the issues:

Yes. My car was towed. Not only did I have to pay the tow pound $100+, I had to pay the city police just about as much. You see I was towed, but I was also cited! Not the good kind of citation, as in publish or perish, but rather the bad kind. So why was I towed? Well the answer to that question was sort of a mystery to me. The technical reason was known: variance posted. But what does that mean?

Well on Tuesday, I tried to find out. First I called the Pittsburgh Parking Authority. Mistake. As it turns out, two both the Pittsburgh Police and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority have the power to issue parking tickets in this city. If you call one, asking about problems for the other, they will yell at you. How can you tell? Just remember this helpful little rhyme: "Ticket is Pink? PPA's the link! Ticket is Yellow? Tell a policeman, fellow!"

So I called the Municipal Parking Court. Not only did they have no idea which variance was posted, they didn't know who I should call. They told me to call 311, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Response Line. That was better. They told me to call the Zone 4 Pittsburgh Police Non-Emergency line. There, a slightly angry man told me that there was a parking variance for three spots on Howe street so that someone could move. In other words, they had the exclusive right to park in those spaces that day. Okay, I can deal with that. (And indeed I did; I ended up paying the fine.)

But I did want to know how many days in advance they were obligated to post the sign! I saw nothing on Monday night, and I was towed on Thursday. Turns out, the Pittsburgh City Code says nothing about the concept of parking variances. Neither does any other official Pittsburgh city web site. Boo this man! If anyone can find out the real skinny, please, let me know!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Car Was Towed!

I can't believe this! My car was towed!  Okay, so on the bright side, at least it wasn't stolen and it's not going to be that expensive to pick it up (still more than I think is reasonable). But I seriously don't think I was parked illegally. (I haven't yet been told why it was towed.) The problem with having your car towed is that you no longer have any evidence of your own innocence. They should take pictures of the cars that they tow so that they can shove it in my face. As it is, I'll probably always believe I was parked legally...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Street Walkin'

 Whoa! Since when does New Orleans have Google Street View? Note the humourous number of trees, which renders the street-view somewhat pointless!