Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Night's Concert

Man, it's been a busy freaking week! I'll begin at the end: Last night was the third club gig for Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous, and our second at the Smiling Moose. There were good times all around. First off, gotta give props to those of you who made it out. We really appreciate it, and we don't take any of our fans for granted! Of course, we also don't expect all of our fans to come to every single show! But hopefully those who were there had a good time.

We had a couple surprises in store. First, we played with an electric guitar for the first time every. Tom & I passed the electric guitar back & forth for max rock, although some songs we stilled played with two acoustic guitars... Actually my guitar gets out of tune really easily because of my dumb Bigsby Tailpiece. (I am pretty sure I have complained about this before.) So there were a couple times where it went out of tune during a song, but for the most part it was all good. We also dressed up in a band uniform: White shirts, black ties and black pants. Some lady at the bar asked us where we worked. We told her, "we work in a band."

The other bands on balance were pretty good, but way too loud. My ears have been messed up all day today. But seriously, this band Stone Cold Killer is really great & hilarious. They are sort of like a new 70s-style metal band. You could probably compare them to Eagles of Death Metal, or maybe the Supersuckers. Definitely check them out.

OOPSLA 2009 & Disney World

Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
I just posted a bunch of pictures from my trip to OOPSLA 2009, in Orlando. Really all of these pictures are from Monday, the day Josh & I went to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. I am a huge sucker for the Disney parks, and I am willing to fork over huge amounts of $$$ in order to experience the child-like exuberance that they instill. Anyway, I had a great time. Most of the good pictures are from the ride "It's a Small World."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick Ridiculous Closes Out Rocktober

Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous has a show coming up next Thursday! It'll be our first club gig in quite a while, so you should definitely come check it out. We have a few surprises up our sleeves. Also, the headlining band will be Sound of Urchin (on their Rocktober Tour), a band that has been on the Late Late Show and that has opened up for Tenacious D. So, we'll be in good company. Here's the facts JACK:

When: Next Thursday, October 29th (Wear your Halloween costumes)
Where: Smiling Moose on the South Side (1306 E. Carson) This show is upstairs. If you saw us there last time, this is different.
How Much Bling: 9USD
With Whom: After the Fall, Stone Cold Killer and Sound of Urchin (We will go first)
At what time: Web site says 7:30

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scavenger Hunt Location: And the Winner Is...

This Saturday is the annual Urban Hike Scavenger Hunt. Feel free to join us. Should be a great time! Here's the official press release:

Although the competition was intense between the four locations that made it to the final round, the Urban Hike Committee agreed that Bloomfield's bid was the most compelling.

Join us there on Saturday October 24th for our annual Scavenger Hunt. We'll meet in Friendship Parklet (near the intersection of Friendship and Mathilda) at 1:00pm. Get ready to compete against teams from all around the world (well, all around the city, anyway) for bragging rights, and maybe even a few prizes (we might be just a little short on medals).

Your team will need one digital camera, and a connector to upload photos to a laptop (we can't accept photos via e-mail). We also highly recommend you delete any non-Urban Hike photos from your camera prior to the event - this is mostly for speed and ease of scoring, but for your own embarrassment factor as well. ;-)

Form a team of up to 5 people, or come on your own and we'll put you on a team. RSVP's from teams would be much appreciated, and you can respond to, or on Facebook (become a Facebook Fan of Urban Hike, if you haven't already!).


I just finished my application to CMU's IMPAQT project. This project attempts to better connect CMU's Pittsburgh campus with its other campus in Doha, Qatar. I think I made some good points in my application, but  I always have trouble with these things. I also tried to keep it light. Let's see how that works out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

BlogFace in the BlogSpot?

Hey folks. I have lately been thinking about moving this blog over to a different service, most likely Blogger. I wanted to see if anyone had any comments or suggestions. I know this will mean a few changes. Among other things, those of you who follow me as a friend on livejournal will no longer get my updates., which now resolves to this blog would naturally be updated to resolve to my new blog. This could mean a change to those of you who subscribe to my livejournal RSS feed. I have thought about that. In order to future-proof yourself, you could change that subscription to instead point to, which as of today will always point to the current RSS feed.

The main reason I am contemplating a switch is flexibility. Livejournal just isn't that flexible. Its methods for creating blog entries can also be somewhat painful. I can't post cool gadgets like a most-recently played songs widget. There are only a limited number of templates. I cannot install Google Analytics. Other things. 

So what do you think. Is this a bad idea? Would you be adversely affected?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Evening With Mike Doughty

An Evening With Mike Doughty
Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
On Thursday I saw Mike Doughty at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh. He was touring in support of his new CD, "Happy Man, Sad Man," which I just purchased today and already enjoy. The concert was pretty much everything I could ask for in a concert-going experience.

So first off, as you might be able to tell from the ticket, this was AN EVENING with Mike Doughty. This is industry code for, "there are no other bands playing." This was, frankly, awesome. Yes, I know it is important for bands to have opening bands, to increase exposure for up-and-coming bands (which, by the way, is why you should come see Sick Ridiculous & the Sick Ridiculous October 29th at The Smiling Moose!) but sometimes you want to show up at 7pm, rock for the next hour and leave. This is exactly what happened.

Moreover, the sound at Club Cafe was great, and we had a table with a great view. See normally Mike Doughty plays at Mr. Small's-sized venues, but this time he decided to play three shows at Club Cafe instead. In this case smaller is definitely better! This is now the third time at least I have seen Mike Doughty in some form, the second time where it was just him, and acoustic guitar and his boy Scrap Livingston on the cello.

As a nice bonus, Mike put out a jar for questions from the audience. He answered the mostly-funny questions over the course of the evening, and I think through this we gotta a pretty good sense of his personality. Also, he like me, does not like when people in the back are talking and yelling things during the show. So he boldly (if somewhat confrontationally) told those people to shut up.

Um, and that was about it. He played most of my favorites, so it was a good time. His voice sounds great, low and gravelly. Also, they recorded the show and offered it for sale immediately afterwards, which I thought was pretty cool, although I didn't have any money so I didn't actually buy it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This song is unbelievably funky:

"You Dropped a Bomb on Me," by the Gap Band 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Technical Challenge: SML

Success! I finally got SMLNJ and the MLton optimizing compiler to work with Windows. I am very happy about this, as I had been trying for quite a while and ran into various annoying compilation and DLL problems. (Really mlton was the difficult one.) Here's how I did it.:
  • Download Sun's VirtualBox VM software.
  • Install Ubuntu.
  • Use apt-get to install smlnj and mlton.
Seriously. I really think this is the way to do it and I am perfectly happy to launch Linux every time I want to program, it's just so much easier in Linux land. I like cygwin generally, but I have found that if you want to install some software and there's not already a distribution for it, it can make your life miserable. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has like 9 million packages, and even includes obscure stuff like sml. Problem solved!

Thursday, October 1, 2009