Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some Recent Concerts

Took Anjali to a few shows over the past few months. Quite a variety too: folk, punk, bluegrass and "guitar".

At a Show
Us at a show

Jonathan Coulton

First up was Jonathan Coulton, possibly best known in geek circles for writing the end credits songs for the Portal video games, and for the theme to the television show Code Monkeys.

Enjoy this video of a "hacker" trying to gain access to a honey pot host. The song is Still Alive, written by Coulton for Portal.

And here is Jonathan performing Code Monkey.

A Punk Show

Cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes was a good choice, since Anjali might recognize some of the songs. And, choosing a show with bluegrass-punk band Old Man Markley ended up great; some mellow to balance out the fast drumming and distorted guitar work of the other music. The first act was New York City punk band, Runny.

Runny was wild!

Here is a video of All The Living Things You Gave Me Are Dead.

Next up was Old Man Markley, combining punk energy with bluegrass melody. These guys put on an awesome show.

Old Man Markley
Old Man Markley on stage

Here are John Carey and Katie Weed of Old Man Markley playing Song Songs.

The Gimmes put a cap on the evening. A lot of energy. They played songs from many genres and various decades. Spike even sang in Japanese.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Here is a video of I Believe I Can Fly. Can you identify all the celebs?

I also found this funny. DNA Lounge was the venue, and the ATM cycles through several interesting message screens.

ATM at DNA LoungeObey the Cash Machine
Reminds me of an old Dead Kennedys cassette tape

Steve Vai

Steve Vai Concert
Steve Vai puts on quite a show

Most recently, we went to see Steve Vai. Wow, what a show! Not just a guitar god, Vai is a performer. He wants you to leave entertained. Another guitarist on stage, Dave Weiner, played The Trillium's Launch during a solo bit, which was a nice acoustic addition. Vai played Frank, a tribute to Frank Zappa, who Vai used to tour with. The song has a lot (a lot) of harmonics work in it.

Not sure what show we'll catch next. Ideas?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Last Third of PhotoadayMay

I am taking a picture each day in May, for an online photo challenge. Here are the final eleven days of May's contest. For each, I am digging up an old photo for each day's inspiration as well. My first ten days and second ten are available for viewing as well. Finally, a slide show of the entire month's photos.

Monday, May 21, 2012

photoadayMay Another Ten Days

I am taking a picture each day in May, for an online photo challenge. Here is the second group of ten days from the month. Click here for the first ten days. I wanted to share the photos taken so far, and to share a photo from my past for each day's inspiration. Beneath, I shall explain how the photos fit the theme for the day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

photoadayMay First Ten Days

I am taking a picture each day in May, for an online photo challenge. Now, I am ten days through the thirty-one. I wanted to share the photos taken so far, and to share a photo from my past for each day's inspiration. Beneath, I shall explain how the photos fit the theme for the day.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo Challenge: photoadaymay

Chantelle (Twitter @FatMumSlim) posted a photo challenge on her blog and I have decided to participate.

Inspiration For Each May Day

Use hashtag #photoadayMay for all your posts.

  1. peace {something peaceful, a peace sign etc}
  2. skyline {where the sky meets land, can be buildings, the beach, forest, whatever!}
  3. something you wore today {while you're wearing it or not}
  4. fun! {something you do for fun - big or small}
  5. bird {a bird in the sky, an ornament, a picture, a pet etc}
  6. you {a self-portrait, a picture of a picture of you, your reflection in the mirror}
  7. someone that inspires you {could be someone in real life, someone well-known}
  8. a smell you adore {perfume, a food, flowers, anything!}
  9. something you do everyday {share something from your daily routine}
  10. a favourite word {a word that you love to say, write or read}
  11. kitchen {can be a picture of your kitchen, something from a kitchen or a cafe kitchen etc}
  12. something that makes you happy {a person, a thing, etc}
  13. mum {a picture of your mum, the word mum, a mum, mother's day celebrations etc}
  14. grass {the green stuff that grows on the ground etc}
  15. love {something that represents love, something or someone you love}
  16. what you're reading {a book, a newspaper, a blog, a sign, a note etc}
  17. snack {something you're eating as a snack}
  18. something you made {food, craft, a child, anything!}
  19. a favourite place {a place you love being in}
  20. something you can't live without {something you'd rather not go without in your life}
  21. where you stand {take a photo of where you're standing}
  22. pink {something pink}
  23. technology {something that uses technology}
  24. something new {what's something new in your life?}
  25. unusual {share something a little odd or weird}
  26. 12 o'clock {take a photo at noon or midnight, whatever you're doing}
  27. something sweet {a candy/lolly, a cake, a person, something cute ... anything!}
  28. the weather today {is it sunny, rainy, cloudy today? Shoot it!}
  29. a number
  30. your personality {show us your personality in a photo, a word etc}
  31. something beautiful {share something beautiful in your life}

I'll update this blog with links to the photos as I take them, as well as links to ones from others I find interesting. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bay Bridge Lightning Strikes

Bay Area thunderstorms? Yes, they evidently happen! And, here are a couple cool photos of lightning striking the Bay Bridge. Bay Bridge Lightning Strike by phil_mcgrew and Untitled from an unknown source.

Bay Bridge Lightning Strike by phil_mcgrew

Untitled from unknown source

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Making the Pyramids of Giza More Interesting

My vote for coolest thing I have seen on Flickr in a long time? There exists a group called Make it Interesting Challenge Group, which holds contests to alter a submitted image, in order to make it more interesting.

One of the challenges features a photo I took while visiting Cairo, Egypt. It is amazing what has been done to my "starter image". Here is the original.

Giza pyramids
My original photo of pyramids at Giza

Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Days in SF

I spent the weekend in the city: biking up, through and back on Saturday; walking around on Sunday. Bicycling has become part of my routine, and Saturday I biked sixty-one miles. My plan to bike to Sausalito and back did not happen, but I think getting lost is one of the first steps in any true adventure. A bit tired of biking, I decided to walk around the city a bit on Sunday. Wanted to share some photos I took while up there, as there is so much to experience in San Francisco.

Just Nuts
Artwork entitled "Just Nuts"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hinduism Artwork by Sanjay Patel at Asian Art Museum

Hurry, before the exhibition closes (April 2012). The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco presents Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts. An impressive collection of pieces dating back to the 18th Century, the exhibit highlights royal family life.

Another exhibit you'll want to catch is from Pixar animator, Sanjay Patel, entitled Deities, Demons and Dudes with 'Staches: Indian Avatars. His cartoon artwork, derived from Hinduism, is simply amazing! And, by strategically placing stickers throughout the museum, kids can link historical artifacts with the fun and accessible imagery Sanjay provides.

Asian Art Museum News Story

Need a Photograph of Buddha

Visited San Francisco's Asian Art Museum the other day. And, I came across some very different-looking statues of the same thing. It is interesting how various cultures depict Buddha.

Seated Buddha Seated Buddha Happy Buddha
Click images for larger versions

Interesting indeed. If only we had a photo of Buddha...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Unknown Writing

Unknown Indian Writing by s_w_ellis
Unknown Indian Writing, a photo by s_w_ellis on Flickr.

I took a picture of this writing in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. There was no translation nor context nearby. Anyone know what it says? I would guess it is Sanskrit, but am not sure.

Friday, January 27, 2012

kya meri hindi itni kharaab hai

I am slowly (comfortably) learning Hindi. That means, I am not studying, just having fun picking up words and phrases, listening to music and watching Bollywood films. I want to understand the basics, so I have some books, software and MP3 files. The other day, I was asked if I have ever thought about using Rosetta Stone software. Well, I have Rosetta Stone software installed. I am not the biggest fan.

I stopped using Rosetta Stone early on in my learning days. It hates my accent, which is more my problem than its, but was frustrating to work around. I also did not find the exercises engaging. "Writing" in Hindi using the keyboard was a bit painful as well.

But, I was recently asked, so I tried it again. After returning to it after all this time, and knowing more Hindi now than then, I was surprised to learn a lot of the training is simply wrong. Yes, incorrect. Maybe you learn something, enough to build on, but you aren't going to properly learn the language.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January #lspe Meeting

I decided to give public speaking a go by presenting at the January meeting for Large Scale Production Engineering (#lspe). The evening's topics were on Load Balancers, and my presentation was on using anycast as a load balancing solution, without the need for load balancers.


Kadorto by s_w_ellis
Kadorto, a photo by s_w_ellis on Flickr.

In case you were wondering about the source of the name in the URL for this blog, it is from the 80s computer game, Wizardry. Kadorto was a spell you could use to bring a character back to life. In the game, you basically needed to work on your characters until you had someone that could cast KADORTO, to resurrect players, and TILTOWAIT, which could take out any creatures you encountered. Taking care of WERDNA, the bad guy, was no problem at that point.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Determining Public IP Address

Sometimes, it is just the simplest of things. An admin asked the other day what our Internet egress address was. I told him that he could use his browser to find out. However, he was dealing with a remote host, which had a different public address. A couple sites you can use to easily grab your public address from the command line are and

  [bandarji ~]$ curl ; curl
  [bandarji ~]$

These can also be used within bash quite easily.

  [bandarji ~]$ egress="`curl 2> /dev/null`" ; echo $egress
  [bandarji ~]$