Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twenty-Eight Years of Clean Livin'!

If you ever want to be reminded what 28 years does to a body, go check out this Flickr set. In it, you will see a scan of three photos from a photobooth that Jean and I took after seeing Tron (our first movie together). Then for good measure, two photos in a similar pose taken today after seeing Tron: Legacy. Oof I feel old!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Princess Pangolin

As I jokingly told my wife yesterday evening, I've been "in mourning" since leaving eMusic. Despite my complaints about the escalating costs increasing the risk of experimentation, and the dilution of truly unique music with standard major-label dreck, eMusic served one purpose very well. It got me out of my comfort zone.

I got very used to listening to bands I'd never heard of, and often got whole albums on the strength of the curated reviews. Now I'm mostly adrift, and honing my sifting and winnowing skills anew. Since early October, my listening time has fallen off a cliff, and it's mostly due to the fact that I'd grown used to a steady stream of new music forming the playlists on my iPod. That stopped, and I stopped listening.

Now, the pain is fading (wink), and I've begun to cast an eye about for new interests. Happily, Mark at BoingBoing chose to vocally declare the beauty of Princess Pangolin, a lovely, soft, folky debut album by an indie artist. It is a short album, clocking in at around thirty minutes, and at $3, is a damn bargain. My favorite song of the week, and due to the hiatus, the month, is "The Great Divide", which could easily be a single on the right radio station.

And now I have to spend at least an evening a week perusing Bandcamp. It's not eMusic, and doesn't try to be, but it is another place to hang out and stretch my boundaries.

P.S. - Chromatophore is nearly as good as The Great Divide. And yes, I am listening to it right now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Almost since the day we bought Jean's four-door sedan, a Honda Civic, she has had trouble with it. For the most part it's been electrical, what with alarms and check lights and the like. They never really could fix all that. Most recently, she took it in for a check engine light and they made some minor repairs and told her that the light was most likely spurious.

The day after we retrieved it from the dealer, it began a mysterious whining, which would come and go, but was clearly engine-related. Well, having had troubles with it almost from the start, we started saving for its replacement, and have been putting money away regularly, almost ten years now. So I told Jean to just go ahead and find a replacement. She did a lot of looking and decided to get the Minicooper. We ordered it and about two days before it was to arrive, her Honda simply crapped out on the road to work.

Fortunately she was still close to home, and was able to limp back in fits and starts. Happy ending, we took delivery of her new car, and got rid of her old albatross.

As an after-note, I still have my Honda Civic Hatchback that is over ten years old, and use it every day to commute to work. We also used it for the trip to Cannon Beach. So this is not a diatribe against Honda, just a particular Honda.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving at the Beach

From Halloween to the second Titan, Thanksgiving! This year we had no relatives visiting, and no plans to reciprocate. We'd spent the last few Thanksgivings at home, so Jean came up with the brilliant idea to hit the coast! She did all the work of finding a place and booking it (and tons more).

We left on Thanksgiving morning in my car, with Renee driving. I knew that the passes over the Coast Range would be somewhat snowy, so I brought the snow chains. It was touch and go, but Renee made it with flying colors. Google Maps sent us to the wrong side of a river in Cannon Beach, but we found our way to the hotel with a little difficulty. It was actually nice to drive around at random checking out the main drag.

We stayed at the Schooner's Cove Inn, which backed right on the beach. It was very nice. Only two complaints: the wireless Internet was very spotty, and the staff seemed a little surly (I guess I would be surly working the holidays too). Every morning and evening, Jean and I would step out the back patio and walk down the beach to Haystack Rock and back. I took lots of pictures, some of which are in this photoset.

Part of the reason we went to the coast in November was that we wanted to watch winter storms. The weather was pretty mild most of the time we were there, but there was one storm that really kicked ass. Jean and I walked around in it for about ten minutes and got absolutely soaked.

This was a great holiday idea! I hope we do it again.