Driving Into San Francisco For the First Time

I’ll never forget coming across the Bay Bridge as the fog rolled in, moving to SF on a whim. I’d been shooting video on the way and happened to catch golden hour just as I entered the city.

As Anderson mentioned the other day, we’ve been here over a year now, and I often think of these first moments.

Put this together last night after seeing LCD Soundsystem in Boston with David. Hearing this song was the highlight, naturally.

Miike Snow – “Cult Logic” Guitar Tab

When I first arrived in San Francisco, I recorded a sparse version of Miike Snow’s “Cult Logic” at Rachel’s place. My playing style gets quieter as my listening tastes get louder, and I frequently find myself deconstructing electronic songs.

So far over 25,000 people have watched it on YouTube. Many have asked how to play it, so I’m posting a tab and how-to video here for those who’ve watched, commented, and liked. I’m blown away by your enthusiasm, and I’m truly grateful that you enjoy it!

I promise to post more music too. Again, thank you!

Here’s the original, and the how-to is below the tab.

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Advice For My Brothers (and For You)

Just before graduation, the seniors at my high school go on a retreat where they receive letters from their families. Parents, grandparents, and siblings write about how proud they are, how much they care, and what they hope for the graduate’s future. I read mine with tears in my eyes.

Bethany’s younger brother just had his retreat, and she’d asked me if I could think of any man-to-man stuff that might not occur to a big sister. I marinated on it for a few days, and thought the results valuable enough to pass on to my younger brothers and to you.

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Unintended Consequences: How an Album’s Name Made It Unplayable

My phone is a piece of shit. The Treo 755p was released May 14, 2007, back before the first iPhone was even a twinkle in consumers’ eyes.

After my iPod was stolen, I figured I’d play music with my phone, anticipating replacing it with a modern device and wanting to avoid a potentially redundant iPod. That hasn’t happened yet.

Anytime I tried to check out The Golden Filter’s new record, I was denied. Pocket Tunes, the preloaded music app, just couldn’t access the folder containing the mp3s.

The folder was named “The Golden Filter – Völuspà 320,” and since nothing else was inaccessible, I figured the special characters (the umlaut and grave in Völuspà) were the culprits. Renaming the folder worked, but I immediately switched my memory card with another containing the original name.

I’ve tried to listen to the record at least five times now, and the name has made it unplayable on my (admittedly ancient) device. Maybe I’d have loved it and become their loudest evangelist, or maybe it would’ve inspired me to drive my car into a swimming pool. But most bands would never consider that an exotic-looking title might make playing its album physically impossible.

I take it as a reminder that many decisions, especially related to design, have unintended consequences.

nginx, PHP, and WordPress (migrating from lighttpd)

Though lighttpd has served me well for the last couple years, it’s time to switch.

lighttpd 1.5.0 has been in the works since at least 2006 and doesn’t look like it’ll be out anytime before Duke Nukem Forever.

nginx, on the other hand, is leading the pack of extremely resource-efficient C10k-answering web servers these days.

So let’s jump into a CentOS/RHEL install. First, download Continue reading

Pomegranates – “Beachcomber”

Venice Beach

The Pomegranates’ latest record was released in April, so I’m a bit behind the ball on this one, but the first three tracks are worth a listen. They’re not really chaotic, but I wouldn’t call them smooth either. “Beachcomber” has polished edges.

Pomegranates – “Beachcomber”

It reminds me a lot of the movie Adventureland. The high-hat, toms, and repeating riff at the beginning sound like an overexposed cellphone video of your adorable hipster ex-girlfriend smiling her way down Venice Beach on a clear night. Then you get a Continue reading

Microsoft Charges For Windows Mobile; Google Pays You To Use Android — Why Google Was Smart To Destroy the GPS Navigation Market

TomTom's stock price

Google’s release of free turn-by-turn navigation in their newest release of the Android 2.0 operating system for mobile phones has turned the entire GPS industry upside-down. The incumbents’ and would-be competitors’ responses are a case study in desperation.

For example, the VP of Marketing for the makers of VZ Navigator:

The reason it’s sad for me is that Google is attacking the most profitable part of the mobile software development community.

And that brings us to the next point, which is that, if they’re going to make this part of the Android platform, who’s going to do all the dirty work? Who’s going to do that integration and porting work for each new device, each new screen, each new chipset, each new set of firmware, each new tweak to the OS.

Networks in Motion: Google Attacking Developer Community

I’d be sad too if Google took over my entire market because Continue reading

LAKE – Let’s Build a Roof

LAKE the band

Ended up catching the tail end of a party last night. Seven of us sat on the floor telling stories and playing catch with a tiny pumpkin, a sleepy pop playlist drifting in the background.

Digging into LAKE’s Let’s Build a Roof this morning was like an extended outro. Goes to show you that tons of personality can play nicely with low-key.

LAKE – “Breathing”

“Breathing” is a good preview and a nice opener — understated Continue reading

Is the Back of the Plane Really Safer?

Sitting next to me in the airport, Anderson asks, “Where’s your seat?”

“Second row from the back.”

“Why?”

“That’s where your odds of survival are greatest.”

He laughs for 30 seconds and asks if that’s really true, and I can’t remember where I read it. I just fired up my laptop to do a little work, and I’d hate to be spreading misinformation, so I look it up.

Google result

Shit. “I’ve heard this myth so many times and there’s just nothing to support it,” said Nora Marshall, who’s spent 24 years investigating plane crash survivability at the National Transportation Safety Board, in an ABC News article.

But Nora appears to be wrong. Continue reading