The Flipside of Life

Posted in Blogging, Observations on September 10th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Well, that didn’t take 72 or even 48 hours. Heck, not even 24. Like, overnight, baby. My domain name transferred quietly overnight from Edmonton to somewhere in Jacksonville FL. Blogomania is their name, web hosting, their game. Why the switch? The local host company wasn’t that reliable, and they wouldn’t support programs like Gallery, of which I am looking forward to loading onto my server. I did some homework in that Geoff switched to Blogomania last year, and still sings their praises. I can report that each in a series of questions I sent to their helpdesk have been answered with, as Monty would say, “With all speed.”

:: It’s been a stressful week on a number of levels, I’ll write more about this shortly. Today I put a stainless steel U of A mug with coffee in it into a microwave to warm up the coffee. The microwave melted a small part of the plastic handle on the mug – which was a gift, btw. I had to clean the microwave afterwards, wiping away the sootlike black crud that adorned the its innards after the meltdown. This, plus missing a meeting, and struggling for hours, literally, trying to get a document to the CNS Plotter. Suffice it to say that by 4:30 pm, I was 1) in virtual tears, and 2) ready to put my fist through my work computer screen. Good night.

Slow But Steady, Sho’ Good Eatin’!, Show Biz Kids…

Posted in Blogging, Music, Observations, Pop Culture on September 5th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I took another baby step tonight, preparing for the move to another host. Yesterday I successfully loaded Moveable Type 2.64 onto the new server. Today, with a dose of patience, I was able to initialize the system so that I can reach the MT prompt on the new host. Patience was important: I encountered two errors while working, and was pleased that I was able to determine their source, and correct them. One was a typo (I had typed DBI:mysql instead of DBI::mysql – damn extra colon!), and the other was an incorrect URL I had loaded into the mt.cfg file. Whatever. Details, details.

This is too much detail, but forgive me the indulgence: this blog, the one you are reading, is running on as a Berkeley db (whatever that means). The new one will run as a MySQL db (whatever that means – Geoff, he knows what that means; so does Kenton.)

What’s next is that I have to create a weblog on the new site, and then try to import the entries from here to there. As well, I want to import my templates. I hope I can do it without much grinding and gnashing of teeth.

:: Perhaps the best nutrition site I’ve ever seen is this one: NutritionData. It features a db of 7,154 foods, and “generates nutrition facts labels and provides simplified nutritional analyses for all foods and recipes.” The only drawback: no foods found only in Canada are in the db (such as Vector or Optimum cereal).

:: This article on “geezer rock” is more annoying than anything else. It’s been interesting watching rock music age, from its beginnings in the 1950s, to present day. The musicians who create and play pop, rock and folk rock music, seem to be the only ones who get slagged because they get older. Musicians working in classical, bluegrass, country, blues, soul, rhythm and blues, opera, klezmer, whatever, are never bashed around because they get on in years. But in rock, journalists like to lambaste them, as Jim Derogatis does here, almost just for the exercise itself.

Derogatis’ thesis: that “the best rock ‘n’ roll is immediate, urgent and vital–it is music that celebrates living in the moment“, is a good one, but it doesn’t necessarily need to apply across the board. I mean, do the Artists That Matter need to rebel 24/7? I’m biased towards Steely Dan, but damn it if their new album doesn’t haul ass, and sound better than most of the shyte being fobbed on music fans by artists and acts half their age. Derogatis offers five geezer lists, from Geezers who still matter, to Geezers who never mattered and are now less relevant and more offensive than ever. In the end it’s all subjective. Who’s to say the music being made now by (some of the) artists who’ve been active in these genres for 25-40 years can or cannot stand on its own merit?

Check out these responses from the Hoffman forum, many with which I agree. My favorite comment: “Terrible article. I wish I could have written something so shallow and negative when I was 15 and get paid for it. Might as well tell us that Jazz is for dead people. Go fling yourself in front of a schoolbus.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Confidential

Posted in Observations on July 7th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

As mentioned in the last entry, my high school is having a 32nd-year reunion next weekend in Winnipeg. I missed the 25th, in 1996, and decided to attend this one when I heard it was happening. Tonight, I called one of my classmates from high school, Brenda C, and we had a wonderful, laugh-filled conversation that lasted over an hour. I hadn’t talked with Brenda since 1971, and we didn’t miss a beat. I’m looking forward to seeing her, and many of my 1971 classmates next weekend in Winnipeg. Tom Wolfe and Justin Hayward may be right, but it’s still ok to go back and see old friends who still matter.

Letter From The Congo 1

Posted in Observations on July 2nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: What you will read below is the first in a series of e-mails from a friend currently working on a UN peacekeeping mission in The Congo. Said friend has approved the posting of the e-mails, albeit anonymously. That said, I think you will find the observations worth the read(s). This entry was sent in late May. Note that any links below were added to the e-mail by me afterwards.- Randy
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Posted in Observations on June 28th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: It is a few minute past midnight on June 28, 2003. I was born at 12:06 AM Mountain Time, on June 28, 1953, so the moment of turning 50 just passed by. No, I don’t feel any different. Earlier today I received wonderful birthday wishes from my colleagues. Tonight, I was picked up by Geoff and Kim, and driven to Kathryn’s for dinner. We arrived a bit late, and entered the house. Honestly, I thought we were meeting for dinner. Once in the house, I noticed bowls of chips and cheezies on the table rather than table settings and suspected something was up. I looked around the corner and saw two friends and colleagues, Pam (with her daughter, Rebecca), and Kathy, grinning at me. I turned around and saw more friends and colleagues descending the staircase, including Kenton, whom I learned afterwards had a hand in the organization of the evening (like e-mailing my Dad!). Kathryn then told me to check in the pantry for spices or something, so I opened the door, and saw my Mom and Dad, and my brother Chris and his girlfriend Debra, hiding inside.

I was sort of numb and stunned at that point, very happy to see everyone, and a bit shocked to see my family (although I did think they were “up to something” this week). Chris brought three Jeanne’s cakes from Calgary (which are flown in from Winnipeg, where they are baked the same day); in all, there were five cakes! I received a number of nice presents, cards, and good wishes from everyone. And all of this happening before my actual birthday, which began a few minutes ago!

We had a great evening, and I thank everyone who was there, and who took the time to organize the party, and for Kathryn for providing the locale, and for cooking me a quick but delicious asparagus and scallops appetizer!

So now I’m fifty. Sheesh. And there are so many reasons to be grateful. I am blessed with amazing, caring friends and family. Later today I will spend time with my parents and brother and his girlfriend, and enjoy the day. For now, thanks to all of you, with my love and appreciation.


Posted in Music, Observations, Random Thoughts on June 5th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’ve finished Day 1 of the EBL Conference. I’m exhausted. The day went well, met some very cool people from Australia, the UK, Norway, USA, other parts of Canada. I MC’d the door prizes at the banquet, and only made one major gaff. Now I’m home, packing for SLA on Saturday.

:: I borrow music from the public library, and listen to the CDs in my car while driving. I borrowed an album called The Last Broadcast by the band, Doves. I must’ve read a review of it somewhere, having never heard of the band. I popped it into the CD player with no expectations, and can report that it’s quickly become one of my favorite albums of the year. The biographical info on the site is a bit cryptic, and I can’t confirm if there are three or four members in the band. The record sounds like there are many more. This band must be something to see in concert, if they are able to replicate the wall of sound in some of the songs on The Last Broadcast. I might describe them as Coldplay meets Radiohead (circa OK Computer) meets the Manchester Sound. It’s a great record. More short reviews here.

The weirdest thing, like, really weird? I was listening to the album yesterday, and stopped at Zeller’s to pick up some socks. I walked in, and the music in the store was “Pounding“, my favorite song on The Last Broadcast. Hello? Who’s programming music for Zeller’s?

:: Finally, many people are relishing the indictment of Martha Stewart, but some are pointing to the hypocrisy of the non-indictment (to date) of Ken Lay, who headed Enron while it stole billions, wiped out savings of 12,000 workers, cost 5,000 workers their jobs, misled and lied to their stockholders, and nailed California by rigging electricity prices during its energy crisis. Lay and his wife, btw, have annuities which, when they reach maturity in 2007, will provide guaranteed monthly payments for life of $43,023 to Lay, and $32,643 to his wife.