Blog Archive for August 2005

The Major-Label Surprise Is Here!

OK, so maybe it wasn't the big surprise. But announced yeterday was The Elms announcement of being signed to Nashville-based Universal South. Also, the band will go into the studio and co-produce their album with David Bianco (Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, AC/DC, Black Crowes, Primal Scream). Sounds like a great position for my favorite rock 'n' roll band to be in. Let's just hope Universal doesn't keep the album in limbo for too many months. These guys are ready to dominate and I can't wait too long for new music.

Never heard of The Elms? Need to hear a couple new tunes? Check out their MySpace page.


Back In The Old Days

I've been reading up on stuff and found that, in the old days, they didn't have computers. And therefore, the mathematicians and physicists of the world needed some help. So, until the computers were easy to get, they used a slide rule. It's like those tables we used in Stats class except they're printed really small on plastic instead of in the back of a big book.

If you want to learn how to do it the hard way, you can invest in a slide rule too! Apparently these things are the real deal because they were put in their boxes almost 50 years ago. Now that's an antique!

I remember one year that Mr. Jehring and Mr. Hall were offering the relic "Slide Rule of Antioch" if you won the chess tournament, but I sure as heck didn't win.


A Crazy Fall

This fall is shaping up to be a crazy one for me. As of today, not only am I moving into a house by the University that will probably have 20 other guys in it, but I'm also starting a new job in a couple weeks.

"Wait, Dan, I thought you just got a job," you're probably saying. Yeah, you're right, I did just start a job six and a half weeks ago. But this new job is exactly what I want at this point in my life. Doing phone helpdesk stuff is still a good occupation, but what I want to do is something that closely complements my work at

At this new job, I will learn most if not all of the skills I need to create the next version of cMusicWeb, which will probably be called inReview. I've been trying to work on that for years, but it's been very slow in coming because of other projects and my lack of knowledge of the stuff I need to know.

Figuring it out as I go has helped me with a great many projects in the last couple years, but getting paid hourly to figure this stuff out as I go (and get some help from people who know better than me) is even better. And for the geeks, it's great to see how well this company is adhering to standards and still making amazing-looking product. I can't wait to get in there and look at the code.

So am I excited? Heck yeah. Do I feel a bit guilty of leaving my old job barely even before I got settled in? Yeah, a bit, but when an offer like this comes up, you don't just say "No, I don't want to have a great career now."


Idiot Politicians!

According to news sources such as this one, President Bush is supposed to sign an "energy" bill that makes Daylight Savings Time longer. The argument is that if there's more daylight during the evening then we won't use as much electricity. Of course, nobody's talking about the fact that we won't want to get out of bed becasue it's still dark out at 8:30.

Cany anybody stop these insane politicians? As the story claims, it's going to mean as much temp work for programmers as Y2K was, just because nobody was expecting to have to change the daylight savings settings. (And, I might add, I don't think programmers want to do it even if it gives them a chunk of money.) In my mind, changing daylight savings time so that it's a month longer is just a waste. It's fine how it is, darn it!

EDIT: Darn them, I just knew they'd do it! And the word is they have, sadly.


My Podcast Subscriptions

So what have I been listening to recently on my iPod on the way to work? Good question!

Much like my last post about Digg, I've been listening to their official podcast: Diggnation. As well as covering the week's biggest Digg stories in a half hour, they sample a new beer or two every week.

Another one I've picked up is the Catholic Insider. Fathjer Roderick Vonhögen of the Netherlands gives his listeners an inside look into the Catholic church and other things. I really enjoyed listening to his on-site coverage of the choosing of a new Pope in Rome. And he offers a spiritually-minded look at Star Wars and Harry Potter via his podcasts too. It's definitely worth a listen, and maybe even if you're not Roman Catholic. I just looked at the website and noticed that his latest project is an audio commentary track you can play with your Star Wars movies for his thoughts on them. That should be cool.

Another thing I thought was cool was the coverage it gets because of the popularity. At the Podcast Awards it not only won the Religion category, but it also was nominated for "People's Choice" award too. Also, the show is one of the top-rated podcasts on, so it is part of a podcast that play the top 10 of the week. Podcast found acually plays this podcast list to a talk show station on Sirius Sattelite Radio, so it should get some good listening there. And it's great to see a faith-based podcast right up there next to podcasts about tech and sex.


Let's Go Digging

As you may have notice if you want my links closely, I'm now into Digg. is kinda billed as Slashdot without the top-heavy management that filters stories. So most of the stories are geek-related, but then again some are just random, weird stories. Anyone (who has signed up) can write up links to stories, and if somebody enjoys it, they "digg" it. If it's really cool, it'll show up on the front page of Digg. Check it out to find some really interesting stuff. And if you ever want to see what I've been reading, check out the link in the "All Mine" section: Stories I Dugg. I thought those links were interesting reading, so maybe you will too. Oh, and if you join Digg, add me to your friends list!


The Google Image Game

Here's a cool thing I just found on The Google Image Game. A cool guy made a program to take a Google Image search and make a collage of the images. But this twist is you have to guess what the keyword that created the collage is. It's pretty fun to guess what all the images have in common. My only beef is that the program doesn't give you the answer, it just gives you the first letter of the answer. That's not cool because this program should have an almost endless supply of words and it leaves me hangin'.


My New PAL

Tivoli Audio\'s iPALLadies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my newest friend, the Tivoli Audio iPAL. It plugs into my new iPod and plays the music wherever I would like to go.

For a couple years now, I'd been wanting a speaker system to tote around with me on my various journeys. iPod lovers are always ready to point out the great sound of the JBL Creature, but that's not portable at all. Many pointed out that the Altec Lansing inMotion series had some nice, very portable features for a good price, and I thought, "Yeah, maybe." But still, if I wanted to go really mobile, I'd have to start packing AA batteries. And those speakers are so thin, it's hard to get enough bass response out of them, I'd wager.

But the iPAL has all the good features I'd be requirin'. It's got a large speaker that can kick out some sound. It's kinda weather-resistant so I can carry it around a bit. It's small and compact and doesn't even take up all that much space in my backpack. It has a rechargable battery with a 12+ hour battery life. And it has an AM/FM tuner built in for good measure. (The analog tuner reminds me of the days not-so-long ago when I toted around a Fisher-Price microphone with a radio built in.)

Some may complain that the unit only has one speaker. But who cares about stereo sound when you're on the go? Getting a good sound out of one speaker is better than having two tiny speakers that are six inches apart. Plus, this thing kicks out some beautiful sound when you turn both the iPod and the iPAL up. And even at high levels, it sounded almost as good as my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system. Of course, I guess it should becuase I paid almost as much for this.

I don't know if my mom's gonna be excited because now I can listen to my music anywhere in her house when I visit, but I know I am excited!