Monday, May 30, 2005

Euro blogging

So, Mrs. Ober and I made it to Europe ... Munich, specifically. Blogging could be an issue as i can't find the caps key on German keyboards and I can't create hyperlinks.

Oh, such high hopes but alas, now they are dashed. Anyway, I thought I would post this rather than sending 40 emails and getting back on the s-bahn to get a phone card. ...and hopefully, i'll get this shit figured out!

UPDATE I found the caps key! ...but lost the colon in Italy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ober, In Person

About 10 days ago - or so - I was in Nashville, TN, and caught the Raveonettes live. I'm a big fan of their work and especially like the new album. I'm not sure why AllMusic gives it two stars but oh well...

A few things bothered me about the show. First, during "Ode to L.A." the group insisted on piping in the vocals of Ronnie Spector. This was a horrible idea and I'd encourage the band to ditch this plan right now whilst the tour isn't yet ruined. The idea of vocals being played back during a live show is rather, eh, er, shall we say, uncomfortable.

Second, and along those lines, the dubbing of background vocals during "My boyfriend's back" is miserable. Stop it.

Finally, per my usual complaints, the band only played for about 1 1/2 hours; I'd like more.

A few positives though. Their music is great and I'd encourage you to at least go listen to the records. They are super loud in concert and I absolutely love that. The Raveonettes aren't loud in the we-can't-play-so-we'll-just-turn-it-to-eleven fashion; they're loud in the Sonic Youth way. Both Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo's vocals are great live and on recordings. Naturally, the actual content - the songs themselves - is well worth experiencing.

Finally though, the most surprisingly positive note to the night was Autolux. With a unique sound and solid musicianship, Autolux really sold me. But after I read who was in Autolux, it wasn't much surprise. Go find out for yourself lazy ass.

Crazy Shit on My Dresser

After a whirl-wind tour of the US of A over the last few weeks, I have one - and only one - initial thought.

When I walked in the door Saturday night, I put my stuff on the bedroom floor and glanced up to see a clown with a tambourine and a pistol. This, although my life is certainly interesting, is well beyond the normal level of excitement I'm used to.

The truth is, it's my clown. But I suppose it never dawned on me just how damn weird a porcelain clown with a tambourine and pistol is. When my mom came to visit last year, she brought boxes of "stuff" from our house in Colorado. My guess is that some time in the 70's, some perverted soul bought me this clown. ...what a strange gift. As the years past, the clown was packed in the basement and never heard from again.

But now this jolly clown and his sufficient rhythm and armament adorn my dresser and makes me chuckle nightly. Naturally, if freaks Mrs. Ober out but isn't that what marriage is about anyhow? I mean seriously, who gives a clown a tambourine and a pistol?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Phoning It in

Pitchfork's Rob Mitchum reviews Weezer's new turd-fest, Make Believe.

I've listened to the album and find it utterly offensive. Albeit, not as offensive as Mitchum:
So does Make Believe completely ruin not just present-day Weezer, but retroactively, any enjoyment to be had from their earlier work? I don't know-- I'm too scared to re-listen to those first two albums...

Whether recycling dynamics from the band's back catalog (see: "Perfect Situation") or taking the easy Mother Goose rhyme (see: every fucking song here), these 12 tracks sound as if they were dashed off in an afternoon's work, maybe with Rubin holding the band at gunpoint.

Here's what I know: I've seen Weezer a few times; it has never been pleasant. Last time they played at Cobo, Mrs. Ober and I (although courting at that time) dropped $25 or so to see about 50 minutes of pure phone-it-in, go-through-the-steps, token, waste-of-effort "music." I vowed never to see them again. I haven't.

If you've heard the new album, or at least the first single, you'll probably be joining me in moving on to bands that won't break our brittle hearts.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Catalunya 2005

Go Mclaren! Go Kimi! ...now shut your cakehole "sawdonkey."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Unintentionally Sexual Comic Book Covers from Maddox

More here.

Mmmmmm, Smell the Welfare

Thanks to a horrible business model and miserable execution, United Airlines is defaulting on its employee pensions. Next Monday's trip on United will be my last. I fly United sparingly due to shitty customer service but sparingly will now become never.

Blame it on the unions; blame it on gas prices or whatever. But two things won't change: Airlines and their penchant for losing money and the U.S. government’s lust for dropping billions of dollars to prop up their losing efforts.

If this was, oh, I don't know, the so-called Welfare Queen of Chicago, this would be anecdotal evidence to revamp the whole system or end funding altogether. Somehow though, I doubt our "system" of funding failing industries will end anytime soon. I can’t remember who coined the phrase “A free market is the best market; I would be nice if we had one.” These Airline boondoggles remind me of that saying everyday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Beck's Guero: You Already Know

If you have the new Beck record you know the knowledge I'm about to drop. If you don't, you too know.

Guero is a good record. You should own it. As All Music (best site in the universe) put it:
He now operates with the skill and precision of a craftsman, never dumping too many ideas into one song, paring his words down to their essentials, mixing the record for a wider audience than just his friends. Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago.

Please note that I said Guero is a good record. It isn't a great record like say, Live a Leeds, but it will get you through a few months of happy listening.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

History of the GUI

Ars Technica has a nice article on the history of the Graphical User Interface or GUI. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

New Bathroom Trends: Commentary on the Nation's Airports and the Idiots that use Them

Sweet fancy Moses. When do it become acceptable to talk on your cell phone in the airport bathroom shitter? Come to think of it, when did it become acceptable to use the shitter in the airport at all? Naturally, emergencies arise, but this post isn't about emergencies. This post is about the guy in the shitter yelling on his cell phone, just making conversation. Talk amoungst yourselves as to which part of this is most bizarre.

Topic number two involves Maury Povich and me playing the "Find the Ghost Writer" game. Maury and I spent some time yesterday discussing which books where ghost written and which were not. How did this start you ask? I picked up Elaine Chow's book (so rare that I couldn't find a link) and wondered aloud, "Wonder who really wrote this." To which Maury replied, "What. You saying she can't write?" Well, Maury and I had a blast in the airport bookstore. It was fun while it lasted. Thanks Maury.

Things They Didn't Tell You in $6000-per-week MCSE Camp

Taking a break from my vacation in Clear Water Beach to note a few things I wanted to note a few moons ago.

When moving a Cisco CallManager (CCM) cluster from one Active Directory (AD) domain to another, a number of CCM services - both local and domain - began failing. We saw 529 and 681 errors which for this issue, turned out to be red herrings...so I'll skip them as they were a separate issue.

The other series of events we saw were ID 36 errors coming from the W3SVC. Now, those are the money events we are talking about here. I'm not going to walk you through this whole thing. Actually, I'm going to link to a few references and leave you alone. What I'm really going to do though it make a final security-related comment at the end.

There is a know issue where The passwords can get out of sync between the IIS metabase, Users and Groups, and/or MTS/Component Services. You may see things like: Source: W3SVC Error: "The COM Application '{3D14228D-FBE1-11d0-995D-00C04FD919C1}' at '/LM/W3SVC/4/Root' failed to activate out of process." and Source: W3SVC Error: "The server failed to load application '/LM/W3SVC/4/Root'. The error was 'c000003b' in your application logs. To fix this, you would follow the steps outlined in Q297989.

These steps require you to first identify the problem and to then fix it. You can further identify your problem by heading to the AdminScripts folder and running cscript adsutil.vbs enum. If you have a problem, you will probably get errors back from the script as documented here at EventID.net.

You may have just read Q297989 and seen this: "Use the Adsutil.vbs tool to obtain the passwords for the IWAM and IUSR accounts from the IIS metabase" and wonder how the hell you'll accomplish this task.

To decrypt the hard coded (but hard coded by install instance) IWAM and IUSER accounts try the steps documented here. Now this is some scary shit. Basically, by manually editing the adsutil.vbs script you now have the ability to decrypt the hard coded IWAM accounts password.

So bottom line to this long post: For the love of God, lock-down that AdminScripts directory!

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