Now I can die happy

Originally uploaded by thetejon

The concert was, and I don’t hesitate to use this word, amazing. The openers, Street Sweeper Social Club, featuring Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, were cool. They put on a good show. If I still ever listened to music, I would think about buying their new album next week. We did not stay for Jane’s Addiction, so I can’t say anything about them. When we arrived, having bought presale tickets through, we found that not only were we not on the grass, but we were actually on the floor, right in front of the stage. Now, my friend and I are not really the type (Or the age, I guess) to crowd up front, but I could have held a conversation with Trent at a more or less normal volume from the distance we were away. Not with the crowd there, sure, but that’s an idea of the how close we were. By the way, note to other bands – this is how to treat your fans. Presale tickets just required that you sign up at the website. When we arrived, there was a longish line to get in, and a short line to get presale tickets at will-call. I handed them my id, they gave me my tickets. They had my name printed on them. We went straight over to the presale entrance line, where they checked id again. So we couldn’t possibly have scalped them, even if we had wanted to, and we barely had to stand in line. Plus we got awesome seats. Do you notice how this makes you money, makes your fans happy, and works perfectly with or without the horrors of music piracy? And then Nine Inch Nails came on. This is a text I sent the wife:

This is [expletive deleted] awesome. I’m getting goosebumps every time they start a new song

They played a great variety of stuff. They played the song from The Crow soundtrack, which was surprising. They played “Gave Up”, one of my favorite not-as-well-known songs off 1992’s Broken. They closed with “Head Like A Hole” and encored with “Hurt”, much to the delight of the crowd. For most of the concert, I was just standing there, thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here listening to Nine Inch Nails live”. I’m looking forward to telling the kid someday how I left her with the wife to go see them. “Dad, you’re old”, she’ll probably say. But that’s okay.

Nine Inch Nails Setlist Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD, NIN|JA 2009

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Thanks, Trent

I think I posted a while back that I’m going to see Nine Inch Nails next week. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the video for Head Like a Hole on MTV a million years ago, but I’ve never been to a show. This is their last tour “for a while”, which maybe means forever, so I just bought tickets. I just found out today that Jane’s Addiction, the worst band in the history of the Universe, is actually going on after Nine Inch Nails. This is the best news ever. Now, I don’t know if there are Jane’s Addiction songs that don’t suck – the only ones I know are the few that got on the radio back when I was actually listening to the radio. But the ones I know are truly and amazingly awful. Sorry if you’re a fan, but that just means you have bad taste in music. It’s really your fault. In any event, I’m pretty excited.

Do you need a free custom honeymoon registry?

When I got married, we had a honeymoon registry. We had both been living on our own for a while, and then together for a bit, and so we had a lot of the things that people typically put on a wedding registry. It was fantastic for us – because so much of the honeymoon was paid for, we felt free to splurge a bit on things like a helicopter tour of the Twelve Apostles and mass quantities of wine in downtown Melbourne. A friend and his wife did the same thing for their wedding. It was easy for us because both of us are software guys, and know how to build a website. It may not be easy for you. That’s why he and I created After the I Dos. It’s a totally free (except for Paypal fees) honeymoon registry site. You can set up a registry and let your guests help finance your honeymoon. I mean, do you really need another set of towels? Wouldn’t you rather let your guests help pay for your skydiving adventure, wine tour, resort, or whatever you plan on doing for your honeymoon? All you need is a few minutes to set it up and a (free) Paypal account. You’ll get a website you can send out to your guests, and you can even show links to your other registry sites, or maybe your wedding site at The Knot or whatever. An added benefit is ease of thank-you notes. All you need to do is take a picture of you and your spouse doing whatever it is the person helped pay for, print a copy for 12 cents at Target, and write a quick note about how much fun you had. No more making excuses for why you haven’t used that expensive food processor that Aunt Greta bought you.

Are you Flickr friends with the Smithsonian?

Originally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution

If you aren’t, you should be. The Smithsonian is one of the organizations, like the Library of Congress, that is using Flickr to share all sorts of images free from any kind of copyright or licensing restrictions. This makes the hippie socialist in me very happy. For $25 a year, they have unlimited storage of photos. I know the Library of Congress encourages people to tag their photos, so they’re crowdsourcing the categorization of whatever they post. That certainly saves them more than $25 a year. And this way everyone benefits because people can use the photos for whatever they want. And we all get to look at cool pictures like this one, a supernova photographed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Looking for a present for me?

Gizmodo | Knight Rider GPS With KITT’s Voice!

Apparently, you will recognize his familiar voice as soon as you fire it up and hear “Hello Michael, where do you want to go today?”

The wife doesn’t think this is awesome, which would be grounds for divorce if she wasn’t so cool otherwise. But this is a GPS that gives you directions with KITT’s voice. There are two things that would be cooler. One, if you could get it to say your own name instead of “Michael”. Although it would be cool if it asked where Michael was now and then. And two, the whole turbo-boost, auto-drive, and bullet-proof-ness of KITT would be pretty awesome. But I guess that’s a little much to ask from a $300 device.


Just announced today, Flickr now does video. I don’t really care at the moment, because I don’t ever make videos of anything (Maybe that will change when the baby comes, but I doubt it). But just yesterday I was writing in my novel-in-progress, which takes place in the not terribly distant future, about Flickr and video. I had been thinking about what Flickr (Or whatever takes its place) might be like in, say, 30 years. Once you start thinking about that, you have to go back and try and define what Flickr is now. On the surface, it’s a photo sharing site with a community surrounding it. But the ways people use it mean that it really goes well beyond just sharing photos. Some people use it as a cheap and reliable image hosting service for their blog. Some people use it to track changes over time in something. You see this a lot with babies and pregnancy. Some people use it almost instead of a blog or public journal – “See what I did yesterday, here’s a picture”. The Library of Congress is using it to crowdsource the categorization of their photo library. Barack Obama is using it to connect with supporters and advertise himself. So I was thinking, as technology advances, will we still take photos? In thirty years, you could be wearing contact lenses that can record hours of HD video. Maybe you’ll even have a hard drive installed in your head that can store video recorded by your eyes. Do we only take lots of photos now because that’s the convenient technology? There may always be a demand for still images as art, but we may get away from using them to say, “Hey, look at my cat!”. Or maybe not. Anyway, just thought it was cool that Flickr is doing what I thought they’d do, thirty years early.

Top Three Reasons my Wife is Awesome

There is no question that my wife is awesome. You may think I’m biased, but I assure you that my bias pales in comparison to her awesomeness. Reason #1 that my wife is awesome: She refuses to rest on her laurels. The reasons she is great right now are not necessarily the same as the reasons she was great last year, or will be great next year. For example, earlier in our relationship, she had the opportunity to meet a bunch of my friends from way back all at once. They can be a little intimidating – it’s a big group of people who have known each other a long time, and they’re full of inside jokes and whatnot. Anyway, instead of being intimidated, she jumped right in and made friends. But that’s not on the list now. Reason #2 that my wife is awesome: She’s taking me to Paris for my 30th birthday. She just told me today (Through a little treasure hunt). I can’t wait. She’s wanted to take me for a while. She lived in France for a year or so and speaks fluent French. I’ve never been to France, and can say, “I don’t speak French” in French. But I’m very excited. We’re renting a little efficiency for six nights in late April. It’s right in the middle of everything, and we’re going to see the Rodin museum and the Champs Elysees and we’ll eat baguettes and cheese. Reason #3 that my wife is awesome: She’s pregnant. Yup, about fifteen weeks in. This is our first, and I’m more excited than I’m even going to get close to expressing. I got to see an ultrasound two weeks ago, and just watching my little son or daughter hopping around in there was surreal. Anyway, more to come, but I think I’m going to get off the computer and go hang out with my awesome wife.