Wilco, Raleigh Auditorium 9/25/2004

It had been years since I had seen Wilco perform, the last being a rainy day at the Oxford Double Decker festival. At that time I was mostly there to be that guy who hopes to hear Gun; I was a Son Volt fan who thought Tweedy’s destiny was to forever be the raspy punk in Uncle Tupelo.

I also saw them at the beginning of the Being There tour at Lafayette’s. As best I remember, I showed up pretty late with Mack to an empty bar. If a show was dead, there was always a good chance you could skip the cover, and I remember getting in for free and being both surprised and bored that they were going psychedelically jammy. It’s also entirely possible that the show was packed and I’m just remembering this wrong; lots of post-study late night bar visits to bands I only half cared about all run together.

I was last at the Raleigh Auditorium to see George Carlin; Brad was visiting from Oxford soon after I’d moved to Raleigh. It is a fitting venue for a theater show, beers held with napkins and plastic wine glasses and paper plates of cheese. I expected it to be a terrible place to see Wilco, but it was strangely fitting, in the same way that the Memphis Orpheum was a great place to see Counting Crows just after they got too big to play bars. I still respect Tweedy’s music more than I love it, but they definitely have product of significance.

They’re coming right for us

The other weekend I got a little too intimate with some trail roots. Recovery from bruised ribs takes time, but I’m now growing impatient. I’ve definitely seen improvement over the past two days, but I have a new-found respect for real athletes with rib injuries. An unexpected benefit has been that it helps wake up in the morning; the lean on the way to snooze the alarm just isn’t the same sleepy fun with an electric jolt in the ribs.

Thursday evening, the mother of all deer flies bit the absolute holy shit out of my leg, so much so that I was initially convinced I had stepped on a snake. All the bad karma I’ve accumulated over the past six months from using Brent as a bug decoy was focused and delivered in a single pop. I don’t recommend swatting these things unless you’re packing a pistol.

Life in civilization hasn’t been much safer; Jeff and I were middle truck in a three-car crash in the lunch-time shit pile known as I40. Our steely constitutions ensured we emerged unscathed. Jeff’s truck wasn’t so lucky. Thanks to Brent for picking us up.

The weather in NC has been beautiful all week.

Software instruction, of late

I attended a comparative J2EE and .NET education session Thursday, and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the presentation. Ted Neward (editor-in-chief of TheServerSide.NET) was the presenter, and his talk brought back recent memories of the enthusiasm I had for .NET (and particularly C#) just a year or so ago. It’s time for me to finally plow through the O’Reilly Mono: A Developer’s Notebook.

In other computering book news, I’ve picked up two different books titled C++ for Java Programmers. I’m interested to discover what sort of perspective this will bring to C++ instruction. Looking forward to reporting my impressions.

Naive political conclusion for the day

My naive political conclusion of the day is that business is the only first-class American citizen. Otherwise, dump trucks would be illegal.

Obviously, quite a bit more torque is required to haul many tons of earth than does a single-yuppie-plus-latte payload. Moving tons of earth is required for any sort of real estate development, so dumping out pounds of visible soot into the air and randomly flinging rocks at following cars is essential to the survival of our economy. Applying similar environmental standards to business vehicles would cost businesses a fortune. Should development be more prohibitively expensive?

What I find irritating is that our economy encourages this sort of double standard. It requires it. We build too freely. We are a running cycle of consumption.

I believe in sustainable cycles. I believe in intellectual consistency. I don’t trust those in power to understand this much better than I do.

Giving WordPress a go

I’ve been intending to do this for quite some time, but I’m finally giving WordPress a try at my bo.cornbreadtree.org/log site. Never fear, I don’t intend to switch to it until I have a facility to automatically push all posts to LiveJournal. LiveJournal friends shouldn’t be able to tell a difference (other than the fact that I’ll actually be posting again). Hopefully the synch code will be ready by the end of this week. It’s a simple bit of Python which I will gladly make available to anyone who wants it.

Using WordPress (or some other self-hosted weblog) gives me some flexibility beyond what LiveJournal gives. Searching posts will be much easier (particularly nice if you have tons of private posts with links and such). Pushing to LiveJournal (rather than telling people to subscribe to a LiveJournal RSS feed) still allows me to receive emails with LJ comments, and LJ folks never know the difference.

Contact me if you’d like to give it a try.