Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Chance Half Marathon complete

I completed the "Last Chance Half Marathon" today, And once again I came in first place.

It started out at 39 degrees but the temp and I warmed up quickly. I saw a few armadillos, but they offered little to no encouragement.

My last few miles were excruciating. I was wondering if it was possible to jog any slower than I was jogging.

My phone battery died at 9.5 miles, so I'm not sure on my time, but at that time I was clocking in some scorching 12+ minute miles.

I was hallucinating during my last few feet. I had targeted a bridge that was going to be the end. I had passed the 13 mile marker, so I figured that the bridge would make it the last point-one-mile. Mysteriously, every time I looked up at the bridge it was still the same distance away. Even though I knew I was still moving forward the bridge never got any closer. WTF?

Finally, I was on the bridge and my journey was complete. I stopped running and found that all my aches and pains while running were not as bad as the pain of walking.

For reasons that are more boring than this story has been (and will be) already, I had calculated the end of my route to be a good .75 miles from my car. So I had to walk another .75 miles after finishing my 13.1 mile run.

I walked just over .25 miles when I saw a bench. As bad as I wanted to be at my car, I wanted to sit down even more. I stopped and sat on the bench. There were so many different muscles, ligaments, connecting tissue, etc. yelling at me. I didn't sit long, as I wanted the comfy seat of my car, and wanted to get to large amounts of fluids. You see, my preparation for this consisted of waking up and going running. I had not eaten, I didn't drink any water, I didn't stretch, and I didn't do anything but just took off running.

To be fair, I do run. Or I should say, I jog. I jog a couple of times a week, and usually about 3 miles. Each year I try to work up to a half marathon at the end of the year.

For a few years in a row I ran the White Rock "Half". It was pretty cool. It was a well-supported run with lots of fun stuff along the way. There were bands that play along the route, and lot of rest stops with food, water, Gatorade, and lots of encouragement.

A little Troy running history
I had run a 10K once, and then saw a 15K advertised. What the hell, I gave it a try and completed it. Well that's just a few miles shy of a half, so I signed up for the Half and completed it. So I made that a yearly tradition and did the Half in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In 2007 the fee rose and I really couldn't pay it. I decided to just go outside and run my own half marathon. So for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and now 2013 I ran my own race that was sponsored, organized, and run by me. My goal is to get it in by the end of the year, so it's called the "Last Chance Half Marathon".

I am a 6-time winner of the LCHM. I have the medals to prove it.

Does anyone have a a good Vicodin source?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New song in the works. It's about love gone bad. Funny, you can substitute Obama and it still works. Or Bush I guess.

Had fun being iced-in the last couple of days as it produced a new tune. I had started on a riff a few days ago, and some words started coming together this weekend.

I guess I'll post it. Sharing my music is always kind of a let down to some degree. I put a lot of thought, time, and effort into my music, and I know going in to it that I'll never get back what I put in to it. I don't create for applause, but it's sure nice to hear. I sure wrote lots of songs before there was facebook, blogs, or even the Internet as we know it, so that's not my motivation, but I like hearing positive feedback.

Oh well, maybe I'll be famous when I'm dead. Maybe I'll get big in the Netherlands or Holland, or is that the same thing? I think it is. I think the Dutch would like my tunes.

Spent an hour putting books into shelfari. Why? I don't know. Pretty much all WebDev/Design and Beatles. I'm not very well read.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

49ers Ahmad Brooks said the roughing the passer call was the reason why they lost.

49ers Ahmad Brooks said "...that was a big call in the game, and then we lost the game, and that's probably the reason why."

So let's pretend that call was not made and the 49ers take over at the Saints 46 yard line with 3:12 left in the game. The Saints have all 3 times outs left.

We don't really have to pretend because we know what happened when the 49ers did get the ball back. They moved the ball a whole 6 yards and only took 21 seconds off the clock.

The Saints got the ball with 1:41 and 1 time out. They go right down the field and kick a game-winning field goal.

If the flag was never called the Saints would have got the ball back with 2:51 left. There's not guarantee that the Saints don't go down the field and score a touchdown and use up all 2:51 and game over. Saints win.

Best case scenario for the 49ers would have been that the game would have gone into OT.

The only real play you can say decided the outcome was the field goal that was kicked with time expiring. Obviously if Harley misses, the 49ers win.

There's a ton of "ifs" in every game. If they call Kap for intentional grounding the Saints get a Safety and are ahead by 2 points and get the ball back with 1:56 left and the 49ers only have 1 timeout left. Saints win.

If they don't hit Sproles on the fair catch the Saints might not have enough time to make it down the field to kick the game winner. Niners win.

If Lance Moore doesn't muff that punt, if Cory White doesn't fumble into the endzone for a touch-back, if Gore doesn't drop that pass with 7 min in the 4th, etc, etc.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm a Saints fan #1, and Cowboys fan#2. Glad NO won, but Dal looked horrible. Not happy with that

First thing's first. Brees is a stud. Saints fans will look back at this era like Dallas fans look back at the early 90s with Aikman, or the 70s with Roger. I don't know if they'll win another Superbowl with Brees, but he has secured his place in NFL history and will be in Canton one day. 

But WTF is going on with Dallas? This era in Cowboys history will look great on paper. Romo will hold all the Cowboy passing records, Witten will have all the receiving records, and Ware will probably hold the franchise sack records. That is saying something when you're talking about a team that's had so much success in the past, but Cowboys fans will be scratching their head when they read those stats.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Great jam with The 1969s on Tue. New tunes on the way.

Worked on some new jams. We're getting ready to start recording our 2nd album soon. Look for The 1969s on Spotify and Amazon. You won't regret it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Went to Canton to browse the junk. I have a pretty short window of interest for that sort of thing, but had fun.

Canton Texas has a huge flee market every month. It's a full day if you want to see everything. I'm not that interested, but once a year is enough. I do like looking at the old junk for a little while, and I like hanging with our friend Marisol and her family, who come up from time to time to visit and really like going to Canton.

It's a bit white trashy, but on the other hand there's a lot of nice stuff, but most of the nice stuff is not really stuff I am interested in. I usually like the used stuff, or what looks to be surplus stuff. I like looking at the old records, tools, fishing stuff, knifes, gun stuff, etc. I usually buy a cheap pocket knife and some kind of tool, or tool accessory. It just takes so long to walk around and see everything.

The weather was great and the company was too, so it was a good day.

First things first. Must get corn dog.

I found this cool old Chet Atkins LP cover. The record inside was not Chet. Oh well, the cool cover was worth a dollar.

I bought this interesting looking old book from 1958 for Lisa. It was 50 cents.

I saw this other old book from the 60s called "Computers made really simple". It was all about punch cards. I should have bought it just for giggles.

This vendor went with the Quayle spelling of Potato.

I followed my own tradition and bought a couple of cheap knives. One is a decent Kershaw, but the other is a very cheap one.

I have a lot of cheap pocket knives, but I really don't know much about knives. I have a couple of really nice Bucks. I can tell they are way better than pretty much all the other knives I have, but I don't know that much about them. I just like them.

Troy on collecting
I want to say that I have a collection, but I don't know anything about the ones I have, and don't know what knives are good, rare, etc., so I guess I just like having them and messing with them.

I don't have much drive to be a "collector" of anything. I guess if I were wealthy I would collect guitars, but I would just collect the ones I like, whether they were rare, valuable, or not.

Over the years I have contemplated collecting something. I thought about beer bottles, bottle caps, guitar picks, fishing lures, etc., but I don't really have it in me. I guess if I find something unique that interests me I could jump in, but I don't see that happening.

At one point I was collecting football cards back in in the early 90s, but I just loved football and there was a little nostalgia because I had football cards when I was a kid, and I bought some of the old ones that brought back fond memories. After a while I lost interest and then now with the internet you know and can find out whatever you want about the players and teams. I still buy some every once in a while, but I quickly lose interest again.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don't think I need to validate my skills with tons o praise, but received nice feedback from clients in the last two days

 I didn't blow their minds, but they gave me some specific ideas on what they wanted, and it was nice to hear things like, "Exactly what I had in mind" and "really liked the design".

Unfortunately there are other parts of my professional life where the burden of proof is on me to prove my worth. It wasn't always that way, and it feels like I'm starting from scratch. But don't cry for me. I had boudin for lunch.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I hear the word bespoke thrown around in Web dev-design circles. I think I like it.

A bespoke website is one that is custom-built, often from scratch, to suit the needs of a business or organization. This may include a custom layout, custom database integration, and other extra features the client may require. Because bespoke websites must be individually tailored to a client's needs, they often take longer to develop and are more expensive than websites built from templates.

Spam cops have taken it up a notch. Legit emails are having tons of trouble getting to inboxes

I spend a lot of time at my job developing emails for clients. We sends tons of emails for a variety of clients. To my knowledge, all of these addresses were acquired by ethical legit means. Most, if not all, are people who signed up to receive these emails. Some are transactional, some are informational, and some are purely promotional. They all are being sent from legit domains with strong reputations. But something has changed recently. Spam filters have cranked it up a notch. We have emails being blocked, filtered, and some blacklisted. 

In come cases it's an issue with a specific email client. For one client, Google is directing the emails to their Spam folder. This is tricky because it's not a deliverability issue per sec, as they are getting delivered, but not really.

In other cases, sending domains are being blacklisted. 

BTW, this is a handy tool to check domains,

There are also others that are failing to pass specific server spam filters (Spam Assassin, mimecast, Postini, etc.).

This is an ongoing issue that comes with the territory, but in the last two weeks we've seen a big change. Emails that normally don't have these issues are being filtered, blocked, etc. These emails all have really good content. They don't have much spammy words in the the subject lines or body. They pretty much follow best practices across the board. They avoid the spammy words, have a good text to image ratio, have text versions, etc.

The sending domains have been properly warmed and large blasts are being throttled down to reasonable numbers.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saints win, Cowboys win. Just need a Miami win and all will be right in my house.

Not to mention the Eagles, Redskins, and Giants lose.

Funny when the NFL official starts his call with "Here's the situation".

Murray TD in 2nd QTR should have been a touchback. Why you ask? #Cowboys

DeMarco Murray scores a TD in the 2nd quarter of the Cowboys Rams game. But was it a TD?

Murray did not have clear possession of the football at the exact point it touches the pylon. Check out the picture above. This is right when the ball hit the pylon. You know this because the pylon moves when he hits it with the ball, but in this picture it is just leaning slightly, so this  is right when the pylon is hit. With that in mind, look at his hands and the ball. He does not have possession. The ball is not touching the ground yet, and Murray's feet are in-bounds, so if he would have possession this would be a TD.

What this means is that the ball is fumbled into the end zone an then out of bounds, which would make it a touch back and the Rams would take possession.

I'm a Cowboy fan, so I am glad it was not called, but the intricacies of the NFL fascinate me, and it is a big reason why I love this game..

Murray is earning his paycheck today. #cowboys

Sent from my Droid Charge on Verizon 4G LTE

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Resond.js, Modernizr, html5boilerplate, html5shiv, etc. --> IE, the Al-Qaeda of browsers.

I remember my first real job doing Web stuff. I was working Working for Verizon SuperPages, and had to build our sites using this template based CMS. We would find ways to hack the CMS by putting code in places that weren't design for it, and customizing sites. This was 2001 - 2005. It was pretty much an IE world. But even then, we an issue came up I would check my sites on a Mac we had up there that was running IE5. What a mess. I remember being so relieved when the Mac/IE5 browser feel off the map. Little did I know that this was only the beginning.

The next layer of IE hell was IE6. Because of Windows Vista being crap, people stuck with XP for a long, long time (me being one of them). And because of that, people stuck with IE6 a long, long time. IE6 didn't really prompt you to upgrade. Then, when all the cool HTML5/CSS3 stuff started coming out, IE users were left in the dark. Even when IE9 came out, which was somewhat HTML5/CSS3 compatable, its usage was pretty low, because of all the XP machines still out there that couldn't upgrade to IE9 even if they wanted to. Most XP machines were 32bit and IE9 ran on 64bit systems, which was mostly Win Vista, and people were slow get rid of XP. There for a while you could buy PCs with either OS, and lots were still choosing XP (me being one of them).

So now IE6 is pretty much out of the picture, although I just had a project last week that required IE6 comparability (now where did I put that PNG hack?). But IE7-8 are really not much better than 6. Yes, I can use transparent PNGs, but there are all kinds of rendering issues, as well as little to no HTML5/CSS3 support. Granted, IE9-10 have a pretty big numbers, but some really cool stuff just doesn't work in IE7-8 and does not degrade gracefully. 

This is where all the hacks, patches, etc are still needed. Luckily frameworks like jQuery have a lot of built in IE fixes, but you still need Resond.js, Modernizr, html5shiv, etc. to fix some specific issues. And those issues can turn your cool-ass web site/app in to crap if you don't find an IE solution.

This is a very worn-out old rant that many have made over and over again. It just still comes up so often that I have to purge from time to time.

The good news is that if all browsers were equal there would be a big "make website" button somewhere that would crap out a site, and my work and pay would substantially decrease.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Football rant: Bad calls in Saints v Falcons game. Yes, I am biased, and yes the Saints did win, but...

They spotted this about a foot shy of the 1st down. Really? I know the yellow line is not official, but when they brought the chains out, the first down was right on the yellow line. His knees are not down and the ball is over the marker. Should have been a 1st down.

Notice the Falcons O lineman tackling the Saints pass rusher? That would be holding. Not called.

The Saints running back is clearly out of bounds, but the Falcons defender continues to make the tackle and pulls him to the ground a good two feet out of bounds. Should have been a flag on Falcons. Not called.

The Saints on this play were flagged for hitting the QB. This is a close call (I guess), but the problem with the rule is that the defender makes his move to make a hit on the QB when the QB is still running upright, but the QB goes into a slide after the defender has already started his motion to make a hit on him. How can the defender possibly make that adjustment at the last second? I think it's a bad call, or maybe a badly defined rule. If you are the QB and you're about to get him, you can simply go into a slide and get the call every time. 

That's my (somewhat joking) rant. I am so glad the NFL is back!

Go Saints! Go Cowboys!

Day started with a bang, then oyster po-boy (Cajun Food), football (Saints Win), freelance work ($$). I win.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Old dev files still showing up? Redirect w .htaccess: RedirectMatch 301 /dev(.*)$1

I know this is nothing groundbreaking, but just a quick reminder for me. Sometimes I am very reluctant to delete files in a dev folder, but I don't want them available to the public, so that's where .htaccess comes in.

I had worked on a site that had a new design located in a "dev" subfolder while it was be Q&A'd and eventually we copied all the files into the root folder to go live with the new site. But... there was a lone rouge button still pointing to a page in the dev folder. instead of going through the site looking for any other links to dev pages, I used .htaccess to redirect any links to a page with /dev in the path to the same page in the root directory.

RedirectMatch 301 /dev(.*)$1

Yes, I should have done this in the first place, but you live and learn.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home today w a sore chest, shoulder, and back. Pulled something at the gym and it's yelling and screaming at me.

I've been doing flat bench with free weights on and off for 30+ years. I have never hurt myself. I've jumped on the bench cold after not touching it for months and never pulled anything. Oh, I get sore as hell sometimes, but never injured. Thanks father time.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heavy AMPscript coding last few days. ExactTarget so robust compared to Silverpop, but still like some SP things better

ExactTarget's AMPscript is so far advanced to Silverpop's WYSIWYG scripting. You can really do some cool stuff. I don't like how ET handles lists/databases though, but I'll take the great with the not so great.

I have been working on a project that needed a relational table connected to the recipient list. In ET they had a function called "data relationships" and a "multi-join" filter that seemed to be what I was looking for. But I spent a day going down that road and came to a dead end.

I called support and explained what I was trying to do and how I was looking at the data relationship function to try and do this. Well, they told me that this would not get er done. This was relating two tables, but it only a one-to-one relationship, and I needed one-to-many. 

The support person was even sure that what I wanted to do was possible. He suggested I talk with my "Relationship Manager". Well, this was the client's account and the client was using a 3rd party reseller, so that wasn't any help.

ET uses their own proprietary scripting language called AMPscript, so compared to other languages, there is not much info out there on it. They do have a lot of info on their own site and message boards, but it's seem like it's always a pain finding what I'm looking for, and this time was no different.

I eventually found an example that was in the ball park, and I was off and running after that. It took me quite a while to even see any light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't find syntax for custom function, arrays, etc. 

At the time of this writing I have successfully connected to a table and extracted data from it, and rendered it in my email, so that's a huge step. I still need to loop through records and filter out empty fields. This might sound easy, but I'm dealing with a lot of unfamiliar syntax. 

Here's the key to it all working:

Connect to and get records:::

Loop through the rows:::
for @i = 1 to RowCount(@multiRows) do

Set @row = Row(@multiRows,@i)

Get data from the fields in the row::::
Set @LAST_NAME = Field(@row,"LAST_NAME")
Set @CLIENT_ID = Field(@row,"CLIENT_ID")
Set @PATIENT_ID = Field(@row,"PATIENT_ID")

 next @i 

I'm getting there. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Logo iterations. I went through many more than this in the thumbnail phase.

My ExactTarget AMPscript skills come on a need-to-know basis. Learned a cool technique for styling dynamic tabular data.

It's not rocket science, and if this were JavaScript, PHP, etc. it would be a pretty easy thing, but AMPscript is proprietary and even though the documentation looks to be extensive, it never seems very easy to find what I'm looking for.

I first looked to create an array of values pulled from fields in the list, but I couldn't (relatively quickly) find the syntax for creating an array (not sure if it exists). For my purposes I needed to check about 10 different fields, so the code gets a little bloated, but not too bad. I should be looping through an array instead, but I digress.

I first check that the fields is not empty. I then have a nested condition that checks the value of a variable set for the background color of the table row. I toggle the background color every time, creating a nice readable banded table.

  %%[ IF @rowColor == '#e1e1e1' THEN ]%%
  %%[ Set @rowColor = '#959595' ]%%
  %%[ ELSE ]%%
  %%[ Set @rowColor = '#e1e1e1' ]%%
  %%[ ENDIF ]%%
<tr style=”background-color:%%= v(@rowColor) =%%;”><td><strong>CLINIC EXT ID:</strong> </td><td>%%= v(@CLINIC_EXT_ID) =%%</td></tr>
%%[ ENDIF ]%%

finally saw a brochure cover I designed. Pretty cool since I don't do much print and don't have much physical evidence of my design work.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Google, conversation view sucks. Can't turn it off on tablet (Android Jelly Bean). Who uses this?

Desktop version of Gmail gives you the ability to turn of "conversation view", but can't find it on my Tab? 

I'm reading a lot that you can't turn it off. Is that true? I know I can always delete and organize from my desktop, but it really is hard to read individual emails. Just because two emails are from the same person does not mean they are part of the same "conversation".

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Really wanted to ride the mountain bike. Gloves trashed, tire flat, trail closed. Fail

I don't remember my gloves looking like this last time I rode, but I guess I trashed them one final time. My grips on my bike are pretty bad, so I really wanted to wear gloves, but these gloves were not going to work.

Not a deal killer, but really wanted to wear gloves. Oh well, I don't need gloves to ride.

I take my bike off the rack and my back tire is flat. I do need un-flat tire to ride. So it's an annoying setback, but again, not a deal killer. I've sure fixed plenty of flats before.

Next, I load up and off I go to Arobr Hills to hit the trails.

OK, this IS kinda a deal killer.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

@optikalefx is a good guy web dev rock star--Sharing knowledge for the love of the game.

REST, SOAP, JSON, etc. My head is spinning a bit, but digging it. I got this.

I've used these technologies very superficially over the years, but a new project is forcing me to dive in a little deeper. It's very interesting, but slightly overwhelming at times. 

When I tell people I'm a Web Developer, I always want to qualify my answer, because the title encompasses so many things.

For example, my .NET skills are shit, but some of the .NET guys I work with have very little HTML/CSS skills. They really don't know much JS, PHP, etc. either. There thing is .NET and they rock at it. This is where terms like  "Front-End" and "Back-End" comes in, but the lines are blurred and it's hard to get by without knowing a little of both. 

I spent a couple years creating Web pages using nothing more than HTML. Then came CSS. Then came JavaScript. Then came Flash. Then came PHP, etc.

It's never ending. The languages, the frameworks, etc. are vast and change quite often. This is why this field is challenging and fun.

Being a designer first, I always learned technologies to meet my needs as a designer. The last 6+ years have put me more in the developer role. I learn technologies to meet the needs of other people's designs. I still do freelance design work, but most of my freelance is dev work too.

Don't know why I went on that rant. (not really a rant, just observations)

OK, off to greet the day and hopefully receive my Android tablet. You are jealous.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Google Fonts look terrible in Google Chome.???

Google Fonts look terrible in Google Chome.??? 

Is it a Google bug? Might be. I've read about about setting GPU Acceleration, setting ClearType in the OS, or a CSS fix (-webkit-text-stroke: 1px), which doesn't help me fix other people's sites.

All that makes me want to steer clear of using them for now. I am purposely using the default settings in Chrome, as I would bet the average user is, so if it looks bad for me, it is probably looking bad for a lot of others.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week in review: 4wheeler pig roast guns guitars recording rehearsal running anniversary car repairs new chair Metal Shop Hooters gun range Cicada Killer Wasps

I had the week off and did my best to take advantage. I had lots of fun and lots of down time. I caught up on  a lot of Mad Men and drank quite a few Old Fashions.

I relaxed a little, partied a little, jammed a little, recorded a little, shot a little, rode a little, ran a little, and did a little of other things. They all add up to a lot of happy non-work time. OK, I did work on some freelance here and there, but not very much.

4 wheeler with cow
Brad and his guns.

Pig roast. Brother Leon cooked and carved like a boss.

The jamming was epic. At least in my mind at the time.

Harbourific bass tracks being thrown down.

The 1969s getting our set lean and mean.

Running at Arbor Hills.

Anniversary dinner at Cadot. The company, the soft-shell crab, and the old fashions made for a great night.

Oil change turns into a $350 bill. WTF?

Burgers, beer, and my babe at Village Burger.

New chair for the living room. It was our anniversary gift to ourselves.

More running and sweating.

Invasion of the Cicada Killer Wasps

April showing the boys how to rock.

Lunch at the local breastaurant.

Avery killing paper at the range.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wordpress adding code that hides content. What the heck WP?

<code style="display: none;"><code style="display: none;"><code style="display: none;"><code style="display: none;"><!-- START OF MAIN CONTENT --></code></code></code></code>

I'm thinking it has something to do with the comment. Maybe it's trying to hide the comment, which should not render by design. But if I removed all that <code> stuff, the page renders fine. 

Also, I can only get this problem to show up on an iPad. I have not seen this issue on any PC (IE, FF, Chrome, Safari) or on my Android phone. I only see the issue (or not see) on an iPad.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

WD Live + Netflix has dwindled from spotty to downright terrible. I've rebooted, reset, etc.

I love the WD Live unit for a bunch of reasons, but Netflix is terrible on it. It freezes and locks up.

I can access and watch Netflix just fine on laptops connected to the same Wifi hotspot, so it's not the network. The WD Netflix app has to be the issue. I reset and it did work better, but quickly went back to long buffering and now it won't play anything most times I try.

I know Mac Fanboys, I should get Apple TV. That's their answer to everything. When my GM car has an issue, a reasonable response would be that I should buy a Mercedes. Well, Mercedes do break down also, but they are out of my tax bracket, and so is pretty much anything made by Apple.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More recording. Having a ball. I hope my equip and engineering ability is doing the Taylor justice.

I'm working on a new recording of an old song called "The World Will Be Fine". I'm finally getting around to recording it although I wrote it 6 years ago. For being a depressing sounding song, this song brings back some very happy memories. I wrote it a few days before one of our ZTNB house shows. I played it with Doug Duhon [ @DougDuhon ] on drums and Neil Brincks on bass.  They had never heard the song before of course, but it was cool how the song built up and had a lot of dynamics. It was a fun night and I've enjoyed the recording from that night for years now, but I felt I needed to make an official studio recording of it.

That ZTNB show was the same night the cops showed up and shut down the show. We were set up in Neil's backyard. We had a stage, P.A., etc. and were having a great time. It was getting pretty late and when the cops showed up they had the "really guys?" attitude. I'm sure they thought that we were too old to be having a party with a live band playing outside in neighborhood. Specially at that time of night, which was right about 1 AM.

Went see Seinfeld Sat night. He a funny man. Read my review of the Winspear and the show.

My wife and I went see Jerry Seinfeld at the WinspearOpera House last Sat night.
The Winspear is in downtown Dallas in the arts district. It's a cool area of town with the Meyerson, Nasher, DMV, etc. close by.  It's a beautiful place. There's a really cool reflecting pool in the front that you can walk on since the water is only an inch deep.

It was sold out show, but there was none of the crowded mass of humanity that you usually deal with at concerts. The crowd was big but no long lines and no one was in my personal space, if you know what I mean. Yes, it was crowded, but you could move around and it just seemed casual.

We walked right in the front door and an usher greeted us and looked at our tickets, and then pointed us to the entrance that was best for our seats. The usher at that door pointed us to a usher inside the theater, who pointed us to yet another usher who pointed it to our seats. This was not a bad thing. They were all very nice and helpful. It made things so easy and stress free.

We bought a couple of drinks before going in. The bartender was really nice, and although the drinks were expensive, my Jack and coke was very good (strong).

The crowd was middle age to older and well dressed. Even though it was a comedy show, the vibe was very conservative. But that wasn't a bad thing either. People were polite and friendly, but I didn't get an "uptight" vibe at all. Not that I talked to many people, but my brief encounters with people were pleasant
Not that I dislike people with money, or fancy places, but I'm always on alert to situations where they soak the common man. They take advantage of the situation were they know you've paid a lot to be there, so why not work in some other ways to take your money.

All this pleasantness makes for a good evening. It just sucks when the parking guy is rude, the crowds are pushy and in your business, the people at the door treat you like a prison inmate, the ushers assume you are an idiot, the concession people barely look you in the eye and they throw your drink/food together like their slinging hash for the M.A.S.H. 4077th

I didn't get that feeling at the Winspear except for the parking. The parking started at $15, and you had to leave after the show. The $15 only bought you that space for the duration of the show. Now, for our show this made some sense because it was a double header and there was a second show later that night, so I know those people needed a place to park. I get it, but we wanted to have dinner after the show, but if we would have parked in the "Lexus" parking lot, we would have had to probably pay again to park somewhere else. Luckily we found a private lot a block away that was only $5.

Look, I know parking is expensive at concerts, sporting events, etc. I know it's common to pay $15 to park, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Yes, I know the cost of the parking lot is built in to everything they sell, but I believe that so is the cost of the parking lot at Winspear, they just know people will pay the extra cost.

Somehow Walmart can sell a bunch of cheap crap and still afford to build a huge parking lot and not charge an extra fee. They would if they thought people would pay it, but they know they won't. Yes, this is capitalism. I get that. I am a capitalist.

But I digress. On to the show.

The show opened up with a comedian that I can't remember his name. I even tried a quick search to see if his name is listed for some of the shows, but I couldn't find it. It's not even on Jerry's site.  Sorry fella. He was very funny.

Jerry's set was great. It was what I expected, and that's exactly what I wanted. He was lol funny. The seemingly conservative crowd was eating it up and there was an abundance of belly laughs all around. Not that I really follow all his stand-up routines, but I've heard a lot of his stuff over the years and his material Sat night was all new to me.

We had a great time. It's a really cool place and we'll go back for sure. Maybe I'll even go see an opera.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Played a friend's Taylor that he is selling. She will be mine. Making room and gathering funds. It's on!

I  "had" a really good sounding Alvarez acoustic. I've had it for 20+ years. It's a pretty mid-level guitar. Not their cheap line, but not in the Yari class. It served me well, and had some sentimental value.

But, I know there's many better sounding guitars, but of course money is the issue. I don't have the money for Taylors, Martins, etc.

Well, I friend at work is selling his Taylor DN3. I played it and it sounded great. It was loud, deep, crisp, and played good too. It's not like I've never played a great sounding guitar, but the prices was reasonable. So, I have to figure out how to make this happen.

As much as I would love to have a warehouse full of guitars, I don't have the money and I don't have the space, so since the Taylor would take the place of the Alvarez, the Alvarez had to go.

So I started looking around of what I can sell to raise the funds. 

Alverez acoustic guitar - Gone!
Calzone 6 space rack - Gone!
power conditioner - Gone!
Crown power amp - Gone!

Wow, in one day I gathered some funds and made space... but I'm still about $100 short. Oh, so close.

Checked out @DangerousGuitar studios today. Pretty cool. Saw Billy Shehan B-day video I shan't speak of

Tried my new heart rate monitor. Not playing nice with phone/headphones, but still cool

I purchased a Omron HR-100C Heart Rate Monitor.

It has the chest strap that sends your heart rate info to the watch, so you can constantly monitor your pulse, and you can set your target range with alerts and all that stuff.

This model was pretty cheap ($34.99 Amazon), so I was not expecting too much.

When I run I have a running app going that tracks my distance and speed and location info (, and also listen to the radio using the iHeartRadio app. I listen using Bluetooth headphones. So there's a lot going on with my phone, and lately my phone has not been performing well. From time to time the phone locks up, or the running app stops, or radio stops. 

Well now I've added another thing to the mix. At the moment, the heart rate monitor has nothing to do with the phone, except that it is also sending info via Bluetooth, so there's two streams going on right next to each other. I'm not sure if this is the problem, but about a mile into my inaugural run with the Omron unit, the phone locked up and all apps stopped.

But, the Omron seemed to keep going. I usually run 3 miles, and I run very slow. The monitor says I was usually around 150, and hit 160 on some hills, and the final hill had me up to 165. I don't know what to make of any of that info, except that now I have a general baseline.

My knees is really bothering me, so I might not run until next week, but I'm looking forward to taking it out again. I just hope I can get the phone to work with it.