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Had a really fun gig tonight at this thing called "Smyrna at Night," which is where the cute town of Smyrna, DE shuts down a few of their "Main Street USA"-type streets and fills them will food trucks, vendors, 25 bands... and all of the local businesses stay open late and people just walk around and have a spiffy time.

It was hot and humid (they were calling for thunderstorms that never came) and thankfully we had an indoor venue (this cute place called The Drunk'n Baker, that makes booze-filled cupcakes (and regular ones, too), coffee, teas, etc) that blessedly had air conditioning. The AC couldn't really keep up with all of the people packed in there, but it was definitely better than being outside.

I felt bad... the guy who played before us is a hauntingly beautiful singer/songwriter who tours the world ("I wrote this song in the Southern part of Thailand...") but people just talked/yelled over him and I felt like he maybe had three people listening attentively, two of which were me and Matt.

The event people provided a sound system, but it was just a speaker with two inputs and no volume controls, so Matt and I had to share a mic (not easy when he also plays guitar), and we had to way to turn the vocals up, so I reeeeeaaallllly had to push. I always over-enunciate anyway because I wanna make sure people can understand our lyrics, but having to REALLY extra over-enunciate plus sing as loudly but still as musically as possible for a 70-minute set was taxing... but still fun.

It was very cool that a bunch of people came out specifically to see us, and other folks who had no idea what to expect when we started playing wound up sticking around. I love when we first start a show and maybe 1/5th of the audience knows to yell "HOT BREAKFAST!" and everyone else is looking around like "What the hell just happened?" And soon we let the newbies in on the deal and then the whole place is going nuts. I still can't believe how that yelling-Hot-Breakfast thing has taken off, and I sincerely, genuinely, honestly have no earthly idea how it happened... it definitely wasn't our idea, it just kinda happened, and I feel like it happened at our very first show at the Tin Angel maybe. Either way, I am so grateful; I cannot express how much fun it is while we're on stage in the heat of battle having people cheering us on in a dork-rock salute. (I acknowledge that outside a concert situation, it is annoying as hell for everyone else, so we are hyper-vigilant about working to limiting its use to gigs. We don't want people (especially other artists) hating us, and we DEFINITELY do not ever wanna take the spotlight away from someone else. Dick move.) Though it is amusing to be pumping gas and hearing someone yell "HOT BREAKFAAAAST!" while they drive by the gas station. Those interactions are surreal and funny. :-) I am still convinced if I ever cut or dyed my hair a different color nobody would recognize us.

(Wow... it is pouring really hard out of nowhere. Guess we're not mowing the lawn today before our next gig. We've got our Billy Joel tribute show tonight (Saturday) at World Cafe Live in Philly.)

In other news, I find that on days of gigs, especially when I have to carry our 50-pound backpack full of gear/merch/etc. to/from the venue from our car (assuming it's a slight hike, which today was), my restless legs are merciless later that night. (Don't worry, Matt is carrying a guitar and a pedalboard and other heavy stuff. I'd much rather have the backpack.)

I went to bed around 12:30AM tonight (wow, so early for us!), but I woke up around 4-ish with MERCILESS restless legs. (well, leg... singular. My left leg is being an asshole.) So yeah, I started writing this entry at 5:32am and I've been up for the last 90 minutes gnashing my damn teeth over this fucking RLS. I even took my RLS meds (Clonidine (not Klonopin)) which has taken it from an 11 to an 8... so then I took a OTC sleepy-thing (doxylamine, which doesn't make my RLS worse like Satan's Remedy known as benedryl/diphenhydramine does-- OH JESUS), and no dice. So lucky you... you get a whiny shitpost from me.

The only thing bringing me a shred of relief is taking really long thick socks (think baseball/soccer socks) and tying them tightly around my thigh like a garter or a tourniquet. Having the constant pressure on my screaming/itching/twitching quad muscle is vaguely helping, and since the socks are a little stretchy it's not cutting off my circulation. I can still feel my leg screaming, but the sock pressure is a distraction, at least.

But I swear, I wanna cut my damn leg off.

RLS is often the first sign that my anemia is in overdrive and it's time for an iron infusion, so I should probably schedule my labwork for this week. My last infusion was November 8th, so it's definitely possible... especially since I went through all of 2016 with just one period for the whole year (it was magnificent), but this year The Ladytimes are back in full force... so I'm back to losing a ton of blood each month-ish again. (Why body, WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME SO??!)

Anyway, it's now 6:40am (which means Jenn Abrevaya has already been up for an hour -- hah), so it's now been 2.5 hours that my leg is making me nuts. It's maybe down to a 6.5 now, so I'm gonna put this down and see if I can power through it. Come on, sleep. I need to be on tonight! (It's so weird when your body is your instrument... self-care is critical.)

OK-- I hope everyone has a spiffy day/weekend!

If any Philadels wanna come to the Billy Joel tribute tonight, hit me up VIA TEXT... I can probably toss you one comp.

(ps: I love the term "shitpost." I also love the term "shitshow," but that's mostly because I can't hear "shitshow" without hearing Lord Buckethead using the word as he describes Brexit. I am obsessed with Lord Buckethead, and am seriously considering a Lord Buckethead tattoo. Yes, really.)

(Scroll to 16:19 for Bucketheady "shitshow" goodness.)
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Instagram: Smyrna at Night is on like Donkey Kong tonight starting at 5:15pm. Here's the deal. 25 bands, 15 food trucks, a biergarten featuring Blue Earl brews and Painted Stave spirits. This thing is FREE, come and enjoy! (Hot Breakfast! plays from 8-9 at The Drunk'n Baker, 1 N. Main St!) 🎶🌃🌤 repost via @instarepost20 from @gablemusicventures #instarepost20 #hbfb #dw
This was automatically posted. Hooray for computers and IFTTT!

A Verizonny Day

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:06 am
xtingu: (house)
[personal profile] xtingu
Hit a home run with Verizon Residential and a bunt to first with Verizon Wireless today. It's been a Verizonny day.

In a nutshell, Verizon Residential came out (and was on time!) this morning and they confirmed my diagnosis and remedy, because I am awesome. So yep, turns out the ONT (optical network terminal) wasn't getting power from the outlet, and was only getting power from the BBU (battery backup unit). The tech was awesome and took one look at our 10-year-old ONT/BBU and immediately said "I gotta replace this shiznit," at which point I said "Whoa whoa whoa, Amigo... the new units don't have battery backups, so you're not allowed to replace it because I have a landline that relies on the battery in the event of a power outage." And he was like, "Holy shitballs, you're right, which is weird because you appear to have both technical skills and boobs." Yes, I get that a lot. I understand. It's an anomalies in your home and native land of DelCo, where everyone has Rodney Anonymous' accent. Anyway, he replaced the power supply and didn't charge me anything, and said "I just gotta warn you though... a sales guy is gonna call you and they're gonna try to get you to upgrade your FIOS. Right now you have 256MB Up/Down, which was bleeeeeeeeding-edge speedy 10 years ago, and now we've got Gigabyte Up/Down. So just brace yourself." I asked if I was in any danger if I didn't upgrade... like, was I vulnerable to some nutty exploit, and he said "Nope, none that I can think of. As long as you keep your router firmware up-to-date and don't keep default passwords, you should be OK." So, yeah. I call that a win for now.

* * * * *

The bunt to first base happened overnight last night when I tweeted to VZWSupport about a problem that has been plaguing our neighborhood and environs since May 2014: We had a freak hailstorm in May of 2014 with baseball-sized hail that got me and my neighbors new roofs/siding/car bodywork/etc.

(see cool photos of hailstones and damage to my house and car: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xtingu/sets/72157645237393142/ )

It also knocked out the Verizon cell tower that serves our area, and since that very afternoon, cell reception for everyone around here has been shittastic... you either have baaaaaarely one teeeeeeny bar of signal or none whatsoever, or you have to go outside to make a call. (This is why I still have a landline.) Various neighbors have called VZW to complain over the years, and Verizon resolved the individual Incidents (be selling signal boosters to people who complained) but never addressed the Problem of fixing the smashed tower. So after I tweeted VZWSupport last night, they called me today and I was able to explain to the rep that it wasn't just me and Matt experiencing this, but it was over 200 customers in the area, many of whom are switching (or already switched) to Sprint. She said "Holy crap, we'll get someone out there within 5-7 days!" Which seems like a long time, but we've waited three years, so what's other week?

There's a slightly more locked-down social media site called "NextDoor" which is a neighborhood message board that somehow verifies you actually live in a certain neighborhood before it lets you join. This "Damaged Verizon Cell Tower" has been a very sore point for a looooong time, but I'm suddenly a hero today for telling everyone in our surrounding neighborhoods that this might FINALLY get addressed. I am cautiously optimistic, hence a bunt to first base. I'll keep y'all posted... I'm sure you're all biting your nails wondering how the cell reception is in North Wilmington, Delaware.

Other than that...

Music Stuff This Weekend

We've got two gigs this weekend. On Friday (6/23) we're playing this neat town festival called Smyrna At Night. Smyrna, Delaware is a cute town about halfway down our tall skinny state that has a street festival every summer where they close the main drag, have a ton of vendors, food trucks, bands, and stuff all night. We're playing an indoor venue at prime time, from 8-9pm at a place called The Drunk'n Baker, which is a bakery that makes booze-infused treatz.* Should be fun, even if I won't eat their boozey snax.

The second gig is the next night (Saturday, 6/24), where we're playing in our Billy Joel Tribute Band at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, on the big stage downstairs. Show starts at 8pm. I sing lead on a few things, I sing backup on a zillion others, and play tenor and also saxes, and a crap-ton of percussion. It's a blast, and I love playing this music with my friends... it's an 8-piece band and we make a good racket. If you're in or around Philly, come on out if ya want. We'd love an audience. :-D

On Sunday we'll do a belated Fathers Day up at my folks' place in NJ and we'll stay with them for a few days. It'll be nice.

So that's the news.

Riveting, I know.

Ok, bye. :)


* Seven dollahs, get a big bagga treatz!" (Inside joke. Sorry.)​​​​​​

I shouldn't be writing this.

Jun. 21st, 2017 12:22 am
xtingu: (house)
[personal profile] xtingu
This is costing me ridiculous amounts of money to post.

Our Verizon FiOS box (the ONT box, not the BBU) died unceremoniously last Wednesday... it is not getting power unless the battery is providing it... however, batteries can only provide power for like 11 hours until they drain. They are not rechargeable. (The power outlet is fine, for you troubleshooting at home.)

This means we have no home phone and we have no wifi, and my main desktop computer has no internet access since it has a hardwired network connection.

This means that in order to get on the internet, we must use our cell phone minutes (which are looooong depleted now).  So using the internet (as I am doing right now) is costing me cell phone overages. I can't imagine VZW waiving these overage charges because Verizon's Residential Service wasn't working. I can't imagine they talk to each other.

The problem is that we had a freak hail storm affect our neighborhood and Arden (across the street) about 3 years ago, and the hail storm knocked out the Verizon cell equipment there... so if you live in our neighborhoods you have baaaaaarely one teeeeny micro-bar of Verizon cell signal here.  It's enough signal to get text messages, but it's not not enough signal to have a pleasant cellphone conversation (hence why I still pay for a landline).  Connecting to the internet via cell is just okaaaaay. 

Anyway, the Verizon tech was supposed to be out here on Saturday between 11 and 3, and never showed. I opened another ticket so we're trying again for tomorrow. Fucker better show. 

Guaranteed I'm gonna need a new ONT (optical network terminal) because I suspect they've been wanting to upgrade it for a while (to charge me for faster service that I do not need). I'm gonna be pissed when it costs $350 to fix what is essentially obsolescence. 

I know I sound like the crazy old idiot who doesn't wanna upgrade from Windows XP, so I will go along with their upgrade. But MAN I don't wanna have to pay for it. But I use the WinXP analogy, I know it's my responsibility.  But I still get to be annoyed about it.

Guy better show up.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

First book by Daniels that I've read. On the whole, a pleasant surprise. I suspect this is in the "YA" bucket, not because of the content, but based on the formatting. Wider line-spacing, for one. Also a very quick read, based purely on the ebook-reader's page number function, 300 pages, or within 1%-2% error margin, started on the morning commute, finished during the evening commute. Clear YA sign, that. 250 pages, I could've believed it was just the quality of the book (the better, the faster I read, or something like that). Where was I?

Ah, yes. We follow Danny Tozer, who, when the book starts, is a teen with one set of problems, which quickly change for whole other set of problems, which slowly transmute to a third, somewhat related, set of problems. The rapid change at the start have something to do with "a dying superhero just gifted his powers to you", and the slow transmutation is definitely related to the same thing (and various other reactions of the book's world to this).

This is not the bookmeme post I was planning, but this one is better, even though (until now) it didn't mention lesbians, nor trans-phobic feminists. But you can't have it all, people.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Fourth in chronology, fifth in publication order. Gladstone's Craft Sequence goes from strength to strength. In this volume, we meet several characters we've met in previous volumes, with some twists and/or new information occasionally revealed.

If I had to summarise these books, I'd say they fall in that narrow overlap between theology and jurisprudence. Or possibly gaping void. It probably makes sense if you've red them, though.

But, basically magic, fantasy, epic, thingie, wossname. Go, read, pretty good.

Ah fuck that shit

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:10 am
rbarclay: (stinkefinger)
[personal profile] rbarclay
We have a "vacation law" around here. Which states that after 25 years of working at a company, one is entitled to an extra week of vacation per year. I look at the details.

Oh hey, previous employments of >= 6 months count.

School, after the first 9 years, counts. To a maximum of 4 years.

Military service (or equivalent) counts, too.

And: bingo! That adds up to exactly 25 years for me. Yay, extra vacation time!

Of course, after explaining all that, another couple paragraphs down, there's restrictions: previous employments only count to a maximum of 5 years, and school time (after being counted as a max. of 4 years) is reduced to a maximum of 2 years. So if I stay with this employer, in about 2025 I can get that extra week.
reddragdiva: (geek)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

Dear Lazyweb! How do you manage keeping spring boot applications up to date?

We run an arseload of Java webapps. Our devs have taken a strong liking to spring boot, where everything including the Tomcat is uploaded as a JAR. A delight for them, but somewhat of a concern for the sysadmins who are the people first dealing with security issues.

So I've been asked to come up with recommendations to deal with this, and I haven't a clue as to how to do this other than laborious iterative checking, or automated versions thereof. Nor can I find recommendations.

Has anyone else got this problem or one like it? (Where applications are uploaded as a package that then runs.) What do you do?

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

First in internal chronology, fourth in publication (and presumably writing) order. Still an eminently readable series.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allen
A fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers - Alyssa Wong

Neither felt exceedingly groundbreaking, but neither was a waste of time reading.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

You should probably read this and ponder the contents. Especially if you think you would be outraged by it.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This series pretty much goes from strength to strength.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

been a while since I read this. It's basically three novellas/long-shorts with a framing story wrapped around them. Works pretty well. One of these is heavily echoed in KKomarr.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Seems I've managed to not post as frequently as I should, so I am somewhat in a catch-up mode, which means the next few posts will all be quite short n waffling.

In short, pretty good reading.
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
I fell asleep while painting my nails at 4:30am, post-gig. Woke up to this. #derp #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
False alarm. Good thing, because *nobody* moved a muscle despite 5 mins of flashing lights and alarms. #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
At the #Phillies game, cheering for our boy #AndrewKnapp! #norelation #butwhocares #sportsball #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Wow, I've been writing a lot. I take this as a good sign, and maybe the first sign that maybe my hermitty ways may be ever-so-slightly starting to lift.

I wanted to jot some things down so I don't forget them, in no particular order.

1) My company, Knapp I.T., Inc. is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. Coincidentally, my brother's company, Jephens Tech is celebrating 20 years this year. I feel like we should get the employees of Boutell.com and Moskowitz-Inc and go spend some pre-tax dollars on an employee appreciation dinner. :-)

2) If my company is 10 years old, that means I've been living in my house for 10 years come this November. Jeeeezus. So much for only moving to Delaware for six months until I figured out where I wanted to wind up. :-)

3) Matt and I have tickets to a Phillies game tomorrow. The weather should be perfect. This will be my first time at the "new" stadium.

4) Our home wifi dies once a week or so, and one of us has to go reset the router in the basement when that happens. So this afternoon the wifi died, but it turns out my entire FiOS box is dead dead dead... it's not getting power at all. The outlet works, and the battery backup seems to be charging, but no power is getting to the main unit. Not sure what's happening, but the nice Verizon man will come out on Saturday to fix it. Until then, we have no land line, and only Internet on our phones. Hmmmm. Suboptimal.

5) This past Friday we went to Hummingbird to Mars, which is a cute speakeasy sorta place in Wilmington. It's not as swanky as Please Don't Tell in NYC or the Franklin Mortgage and Investment in Philly, but it's fine for Wilmington. We went with our pal Brian and also with Kevin and Lee. We all agreed it was very civilized. And no matter how foo-foo and well-prepared a cocktail is, I just don't give a crap about drinking. Gimme a ginger ale and I'm happy.

5a) I went for a quick check-up (more like a check-in) with my regular doctor and he asked me the usual questions. When he asked if I drank, I said no. "Not at all?" "Nope." "Not even a glass of wine?" "Maybe once a year..." "Wow, OK." I found his surprise amusing. :) Anyway, he gave me crap about not having a gone for a recent mammogram or a DEXA bone density scan, so imma go do those, along with my big annual bloodwork and anemia labs.

6) Last week our pal Noelle was releasing her new EP at the Wilmington Art Loop, so we went to grab a copy and to see the gorgeous photo exhibit of images by Joe del Tufo that accompanied the album. We then went to the DCCA to see Lauren at her art studio and seeing all of her paintings made me itchy to paint again. So I started a new piece soon to be called "Hello, Pinball." I love it so far... really proud of it, but the hardest part (the lettering) hasn't begun yet. I can't decide what color to make the letters yet. Hmmmm.

7) Tonight while I was painting, I saw the BIGGEST FUCKING ANT I have ever seen in my life, and I ran screaming as if I were getting axed in the face. Matt saved the day with a slipper... and it took me 10 minutes for my heart to stop leaping out of my chest. I love bugs, spiders, beetles... but ants? NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Little ants? If there's only one or two, I'm ok... but if there's a line, or wosre, a pile? AAAAAIIIGGHH!! And big ants (like carpenter ants)? FUCK THAT GET A BAT. This ant that I saw was waaaay bigger than a standard-issue carpenter ant. I don't know what the hell kind of radioactive mutant ant it was, but if I had to guess I'd say it was probably called a OH MY GOD GET IT AWAY FROM ME KILL IT WITH FIRE ant.

8) When my company was born all those years ago, one of the first things I did was hire an accountant/bookkeeper. Her name is Carol, and I honestly couldn't run my business without her. She's funny, she's brilliant, she talks to me like I'm six, she fixes my QuickBooks stupidity, she handles forms and files my taxes and just takes care of everything and keeps me out of jail. I love her. Welp, she used to be a one-person business, and then she got bought out by a bigger firm, and now that firm is focusing on wealth-management clients and getting rid of their accounting/bookkeeping clients. I am heartbroken. I mean, I totally understand of course. So we're trying to tie up as many loose ends by the end of the month as possible, because she officially goes away on June 30th. It is daunting trying to find a bookkeeper, an accountant, and someone who can run my payroll under one roof, so I figure I'll go back to using Paychex for my payroll at least. No idea about the bookkeeper/accountant yet. Gotta move on that soon, though.

9) Last but not least: I need to see my folks; it's been too long, and I miss them. I have to figure out a Fathers Day Plan. I'm gonna call my folks tomorrow and see what they're thinkin'.

Allrighty-- that's all the news that's fit for bloggin'.

For the record...

Jun. 14th, 2017 01:17 pm
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
I would give my left nut(*) to figure out how to successfully import the day's tweets into DW. LJ had that feature (and it wasn't perfect... it would annoyingly cut everything off at 140 characters, even RTs that logically exceed that limit), though I totally get that DW is not LJ.

But man, I would love that.

(*) I acknowledge I do not have a left (or even a right) nut. But "I would give my right ovary" or "I would give my right kidney" just don't have the same satisfying flow. English is funny.

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