The Mavericks

Saw The Mavericks this past weekend. Today’s a friend’s birthday and she chose to have her party out on the lawn at the lovely NC Art Museum where they were playing. So we went!

I only knew them from one song they did on the great 1999 Gram Parsons tribute album, “Return of the Grievous Angel”. They did “Hot Burrito #1” on that:

The Mavericks "Hot Burrito #1" (September 19, 1999)

I’ve always liked the way they did that tune, but I never picked up anything else by them. So, this show was my first real taste of what they do. For marketing purposes, I guess they’re in the “country” category, but in reality they’re a mixture of old-style country swing, rockabilly, Tex-Mex and traditional Cuban music. They even have touches of ska here and there – I swear they were starting a cover of Madness’ “One Step Beyond” at one point, but it turned into something else. They did do a very pretty version of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” – under a bright full moon on a late-August night.

Tons of fun. A great live band.

The Mavericks – In Austin – All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down

Wire Framed

If you’ve ever done any 3D design, you’ll know that feeling you get the first time you see your objects with their skin on. They’re no longer wire-framed sketches, they’re solid.

Drywall!

The electrician hasn’t put in the wires for cable or ethernet, like I asked. So I assume he’s going to have to fish them through the drywall. Why not start the cabling in the months before the drywall went up? Beats me! I asked the builder about it three (now four) times. But that’s just not how they do it.

Turns out we can’t even get cable on that street. The cable co. won’t run a line without knowing they’ll have a certain number of customers, and the people there apparently don’t want it. Which is fucking crazy because that means the only options for internet are satellite or DSL. And the DSL carrier’s website says we’ll be able to get 3Mbs (three!) at our new house. Currently, we have cable and while we’re paying for 30Mbs, we’re actually pulling down 100Mbs (according to on-line speed tests).

We were planning to drop cable anyway, but we thought we’d be replacing it with Hulu, Netflix & Amazon. 3Mbs is slow enough that those might not actually be options – at least not in HD.

Honestly, if I had known about this before we bought the lot, I would have disqualified the lot. I just couldn’t believe that we’d have trouble getting a decent connection. It’s only a mile (literally, as the crow flies) from our current house, so I assumed we’d have the same options. Nope! Fail!

Job Search

One morning, while working on a project, I Googled “python lambda function list comprehension.” The familiar blue links appeared, and I started to look for the most relevant one.

But then something unusual happened.

The search results split and folded back to reveal a box that said “You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?”

What happened?

Three months after the mysterious invitation appeared, I started at Google.

Hold Your Houses

Nothing is happening in the new house. Progress has stopped. It’s been over three weeks since anything visible happened. Well, OK, one thing changed: they’ve stacked drywall sheets in each room. So I assume that’s going to start soon. I hope it does. But I hope they put in the ethernet, cable and speaker wires like I asked, first.

Cabinets and countertops have been selected and ordered. Mrs is breaking her brain trying to pick out light fixtures. I’d help, but our tastes are different enough that my participation just makes the job even harder.

They haven’t started heating, or AC; they haven’t dug the wells; the haven’t cut down the trees for the solar stuff; they haven’t done a lot. And this is making me doubt if we’ll be in by Thanksgiving or not. Last month, the builder seemed confident that it would happen. But looking back at the timeline for our current house, and knowing how fast that builder builds does things vs how fast the new builder does things, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen. This time, last house, the drywall was done, the floor was done, trim carpentry was in progress, driveway was done, cabinets were days from being installed. Nah gun hapn.

Mobile Web

Browsing the web on a mobile device is complete suck. I can’t remember the last time I was able to use a mobile browser without having it crash or hang or spend an eternity loading ads.

Also, I find that scrolling up and down on a touch screen that’s constantly being redrawn and re-flowed as new ads and images are inserted is nearly impossible to do without accidentally hitting an ad link. I assume that’s 100% deliberate.

I’m to the point where I refuse to follow links out of the Facebook app. If it looks interesting maybe I’ll remember to check it next time I’m at a desktop. Otherwise, no.

Ooops

Stocks took a stomach-turning dive on Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 1,000 points in a matter of seconds.

Sorry everybody, my bad. Without thinking, I lowered my 401K contribution by 3%. I didn’t take the time to consider the effect my actions would have on the global stock market.

I’ll put it back next month! Promise!

Precrime

In a little-noticed filing before an Oregon federal judge, the US Justice Department and the FBI conceded that stopping US and other citizens from travelling on airplanes is a matter of “predictive assessments about potential threats”, the government asserted in May.

“By its very nature, identifying individuals who ‘may be a threat to civil aviation or national security’ is a predictive judgment intended to prevent future acts of terrorism in an uncertain context,” Justice Department officials Benjamin C Mizer and Anthony J Coppolino told the court on 28 May.

“Judgments concerning such potential threats to aviation and national security call upon the unique prerogatives of the Executive in assessing such threats.”

It is believed to be the government’s most direct acknowledgement to date that people are not allowed to fly because of what the government believes they might do and not what they have already done.