Monday, September 29, 2003


Some people think it's cool that I have perfect pitch. The kids in this article, though, are nothing short of amazing:

It certainly shows the true power of music...

Response to Restau-Rant

I recently got an email in response to my Restau-Rant post from earlier in the month, where I was complaining about getting stuck behind people with mulitple orders at fast-food places who paid for each order separately. I'm not sure what was more shocking--the fact that I asked for email responses from readers and actually got one, or the realization that someone else is actually reading this blog besides my little group of friends and fellow bloggers (haha).

Anyway, Jeff, who's worked in the industry, weighs in with some good points:

I couldn't agree with you more, about these multiple orders and separate checks. It shows a few things:
--The guy suckered into getting lunch for everyone has never worked in a job serving the public. (So, he may just be naive, and feeling a little pressured by the folks back at the office)
--The folks back at the office have never worked with the public, don't care about inconveniencing others (the worker at the restaurant, the guy sent on the lunch run, other customers at the restaurant), and they are just plain CHEAP...counting every stinking penny. Can you imagine how they would tip if they went out to a regular restaurant?! Back when I was a bartender, we used to joke about tight-wads getting splinters in their fingernails because they had to scrape up every last coin from the bar.

So it's not just me...thanks, Jeff, for the feedback.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (on a license plate frame of a Saturn in front of me at a stoplight): "You touch my Saturn, I'll kick Uranus."
(And yeah, that license frame is probably illegal under that stupid new Texas law too. Ugh.)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Finally, Some Chill Time

At long last, the nearly three weeks of almost constant activity have come to an end. Yay! Everyone taped for State Jazz yesterday, so the jam sessions will hold off for a while, probably until marching season is over anyway. Now comes the waiting part, as the state panel chairs will get the tapes in about two weeks and then have until early November to get them judged (which reminds me, I have to assemble my own panel pretty soon--I'm doing tenors this year).

One funny story out of that: I'm talking to friends online on Friday night around 1 a.m. when I get an IM from Betsy the bari player; seems she's left her horn at school! (Normally I wouldn't use names, to protect the innocent, but her name becomes a part of the story below.) Since her school had hosted Region Jazz for the past few years, she didn't even think about bringing it home after their football game that night. Good thing I was online, as Kev's Midnight Bari Loaner Service could spring into action. I felt bad for her dad coming out to get it at that hour, but there weren't too many alternatives...

So there were two results from that: 1) She wants a new bari now, and 2) when she brought it back yesterday, she came bearing gifts: some "Burrito Bucks" from my favorite haunt named after a smoked pepper. Or, as the sentence would read, I opened the door to find...Betsy bearing Burrito Bucks for borrowing my bari. That's almost as many B's as on my birthday blog. :-)

The activities ended with the Province Council meeting yesterday, which I held at the college in a fit of sheer laziness (I drive out to everyone else's chapters all year; they can drive to me this one time). Got a lot done and a good time was had by all.

I had to bust out all my old Robert Palmer CD's this weekend, since he died a couple days ago. Hadn't listened to them in a while, and kinda lost track of what he'd been doing lately. Besides the rocker tunes that everyone remembers ("Addicted to Love," "Simply Irresistible" and so on), he also did some cool jazzy ballads like "It Could Happen to You" and "People Will Think We're In Love." Even if he wasn't on the radar screen of hit radio lately, he did make a contribution (if for nothing else than those groundbreaking videos with the identical-looking "Palmer Girls" in the background) and will be missed. (I'd forgotten how much I liked some of those ballads.) Nice website too; hope it stays up for a while.

This week was weird, as I actually played alto instead of tenor in church this morning. I had loaned my tenor to Ryan for auditions last week and we hadn't hooked up on getting it back yet. I hadn't played alto as a solo instrument at NBC, ever...just as a section player in the old days in the orchestra when I was doubling French horn parts. When I first went in to audition for the old music minister as a soloist, I brought the alto and the soprano. He liked both, but said that the alto was "too sensuous" for playing in church. (Hmm, I thought, that could come in handy sometime...but no, not so far. *sigh*) So I stuck with soprano for the more traditional service and added the tenor when I hooked up with the Impact (contemporary) band. At any rate, alto was kinda weird, but it worked fine and felt more natural in the second service.

After that, I just enjoyed the "me time" today and finished catching up on the TV shows I'd taped over the past three weeks (the VCR kept spitting the tapes out when they got full), and now I'm catching up on this....which takes me to now. Looking forward to a few nights off this week....which I'm sure means more blogging.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The First Day of What???

OK, so it's supposed to be the first day of autumn here in Texas. I guess that means that four or five more people wore jeans instead of shorts and sneakers instead of flip-flops. Anyway, it's after 10:00 and still in the 70's outside. I feel bad for my freezing northern counterparts, but ya gotta love it here...

Long day...more later.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Music and (Counter-)Culture 101

During my trip, I got the chance to attend the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park. Though we were basically there to hear Soulive, there was a whole day of music going on (and two days prior to that), so we had to catch some of the rest of it. Here are the highlights:

SOULIVE: These guys delivered the goods. They only had a 45-minute set, but they filled it up, and nobody seemed to mind that we all were getting rained on as we watched. Brothers Neal and Alan Evans (on organ and drums, respectively) were incredibly tight; you could just tell they'd been jamming together since they were kids. Guitarist Eric Krasno rounded out the group in fine fashion, either by doing fiery solos and lead lines or just contributing to the groove. They didn't play a single song I knew (since I don't have their very latest CD yet), but it was still awesome. (OK, they did bust into a bit of "Chameleon" for a second on their final extended jam.) I just hope I can catch them for a full set sometime soon (they said they were coming back to Austin in October or November).

DOYLE BRAMHALL: This guy wasn't on our original agenda, but we stopped by for a second and stayed for most of his set. He's a local Austin bluesman in the tradition of Stevie Ray Vaughan (I noticed some astounding similarities vocal-wise) who did some enjoyable stuff. The most obscure thing he did was a cover of the Beatles' "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" (yes, it is a blues already), which he expanded quite a bit from the short version on the White Album. About the only thing I don't like about blues concerts is (OK, this may be the stupidest thing I ever write in the history of this blog, but I hope you get my point) that nearly all the songs are blues! I get burned out on that same chord sequence sometimes when it's done for six songs in a row; Chris and I were both saying that we would kill for a ii-V-I progression about that time. At any rate, the guy was definitely great at what he does, and hearing him added a cool flavor to the musical casserole we experienced that afternoon.

BEN KWELLER: I had heard of Ben for a long time, since his days as a teen phenomenon with the group Radish out of nearby Greenville. I'd also enjoyed his stuff on the listening station at Borders. So it was a bit disappointing to hear him start a little late, and with amp problems to boot. Then the first thing he said on the mic was that he'd had "a few Heinekens" before the show, and it showed--he just seemed a bit out-of-it. He had plenty of die-hard fans there who were totally digging it, but none of us in my group were really into it at the time. It picked up a little as the set went on, but we decided to migrate over to the other side of the park for the other group we wanted to see. I'm sure I'll give Ben another chance, but that just wasn't his day.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE: This was the group playing opposite Kweller on the other end of the festival. You may have heard of these guys: A band of over 20 members (the cast is ever-changing), all wearing white choir robes, with such atypical pop-band instruments as harp, piccolo and French horn, all led by former Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter. There's a definite Beatles influence running around here (they're huge in England, incidentally), and the orchestral sounds and DeLaughter's vocals reminded me of (a much more lighthearted) Mercury Rev. Everyone in the band and the audience was having a great time. The whole vibe of the band is "happy, happy, happy"...indeed, at the end of the set, a college-aged girl passed by us skipping all the way. (I'm not sure when the last time was that I saw an adult doing that.) You might have to be in a certain mood to enjoy this much happiness, but I thought it was awesome.

KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE: I had never really heard of these guys before the festival. The name Karl Denson rang a really small bell with me, and I had it in my head that it was sort of a jazz thing (plus the guys from Soulive said they would be jamming with him later that night), so we got there early to get close to the stage. It was more of a soul-funk band, but definitely very cool. Denson is a saxophonist and flautist (or as the idiot local DJ who introduced the band said, "not only a fine saxophonist, but a fine multi-musicianist") who leads a band with trumpet, organ/keyboards, guitar, bass and drums. They had more than enough of a groove to satisfy the party crowd, but their solo chops also appealed to hardcore jazzers like Chris and myself. Not that many people probably noticed it, but Denson himself was quite impressive with the way he would take a mostly-pentatonic solo and go tastefully "outside" for a second. Definitely a fun band whose CD I'll certainly check out and whom I will surely see again.

THE AUDIENCE: Besides the musical aspects of the festival, another highlight was the people-watching. Let's face it: Austin is...weird. (Indeed, bumper stickers and T-shirts encouraged people to "Keep Austin Weird" by supporting local merchants.) We saw a bit of everything: Aging hippies, piercings in unusual places, white guys with blonde dreadlocks, really old fat people trying to dance, a couple of kids totally covered in mud (trying to have their own Woodstock experience?). The only sight I could have done without was this man woman person that Chris's friend Chetan pointed out to me who was obviously in the middle of a transgender operation. I won't go into too many details (think cleavage and mustache--ick!), but I would have been happy to go for the rest of my days without seeing something like that. I think I'm scarred for life...

Oh yeah, and among the counterculture (including all kinds of T-shirts you'd get busted for if you wore them to school), I saw this guy wearing a Texas All-Star Jazz Camp T-shirt. Not the kind of thing you see in Austin every day, and it was even stranger when the guy wearing it said hello to me by name. I'm guessing it was the parent of a camper; that kind of thing happens a lot in Plano, where I'm always being recognized and asked about the next year's camp (so much so that I carry posters in the car now). It was pretty funny to think that, with all the artist T-shirts being worn that day, someone had one with my name on the back (along with the other 18 faculty members). Does that mean I qualify as "Demon Kev" now?

So all in all, I more than got my 30 bucks' worth out of the day, and I'll definitely check out the schedule for next year.

CAR MUSIC OF THE TRIP: The Michael Brecker Quindectet, Wide Angles, and Hybrid, Wider Angle. On the surface, these CD's have nothing to do with each other; Hybrid is an English "breakbeat" band that Zack turned me onto over the summer, and Brecker is, of course, one of the greatest living jazz tenor players. When the new Brecker came out last week, I ordered it from Amazon, and I needed another CD to get the free shipping. I remembered the Hybrid one, and delighted in the similarity of the two CDs' titles; I knew I simply had to order these two together, so I did.

Great Weekend

OK, I'm back, and what a great weekend it was. I'll review the ACL Festival in the next entry, but here's the rest of what went on:

Saturday morning meant Region Jazz tryouts, and this year was really great, as I came close to having a clean sweep--as in all the saxophones who made the band coming from my studio. As it was, I had four of them (and I've taught the other guy in the past). So congrats to Matt B.and Matt D. on lead and second alto, respectively; Jason R. (a freshman!) on tenor and Betsy on bari. Another freshman, Andy, came in right behind the two Matts on alto, which certainly bodes well for the future. The judging was quick and easy--we got done by noon--and the panel was almost all of one mind, at least on the altos and the baris. By the time we got to the tenors, we started to veer off a bit like in previous years (as in the band directors on the panel liked the more classical sounds--ugh--and I didn't), but all in all it was a great day. Oh yeah, and Lee made it on bass bone for the fourth year in a row....surprise, surprise (haha). Next week they'll get to tape for State, which means I'll be hosting more jam sessions next week during this flurry of activity which never stops.

After the judging was over, I headed for Austin, stopping off in Waco to get my buddy Chris, who also went to see Soulive and visit a friend. It took a second to find "the dorm across from the parking garage," as there's more than one parking garage on the Baylor campus, and I was pretty sure the one I was supposed to go to wasn't the one with the Starbucks and Chili's in it (and btw, that Chili's is the only one in the entire nation which doesn't sell alcohol!). Chris is car-less for his first semester (as I was for mine), so he was happy to be "sprung" from Waco for the weekend.

Once we found the friend he was staying with (no easy feat at UT-Austin), I drove out to my sister and brother-in-law's to see my new nephew Caleb and my older nephew Noah. Noah, who's 2 1/2 now, is very interactive and full of new vocabulary, so I would point out a lot of stuff for him to name, which he did successfully, and then we of course shot hoops, which he's been into for a long time. (OK, the basket is two feet tall, but still...)

Caleb slept during most of the time I was there, but I did get to hold him for a little bit. Not to pontificate too much, but I don't see how anyone could gaze upon the face of a newborn and still think there's no God. Every little feature is so perfect, there's just no way it could have been formed by chance. It'll be great to watch him progress through the same stages that Noah done for the past several years, and if he turns out even half as sweet as Noah is now, what a blessing that will be.

Oh, and while I was there, I got to see the prototype for a new Despair Inc. catalog that'll be blanketing the nation soon. I'll make note in a post when it actually comes out.

So after the first decent night of sleep in a long time, I bade my sister and Noah farewell and headed out to the festival. Not much else to say about the trip, except that I got to try Rudy's BBQ on the way home--great stuff. I don't know why the one in Lewisville didn't last, but I hope it comes back to the Metroplex soon.

One more week of frenzied activity, then chill time sets in about 2:00 on Saturday.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Crazy Eights

OK, evidently Talk Like a Pirate Day was also Eat Like a Pirate Day in my neck o' the woods, as the League of Lunatics welcomed its seventh and eighth members, Jonny and Ryan, into the fold. This time, the Chipotle cashier guy actually recognized them going through the line the second time and wondered what was up, and they told him about the whole concept of the 2BC. The cashier seemed to think that was an idea that the company might have to "pirate" (haha) from me. At first that bugged me a bit, but then I realized that could mean either 1) the 2BC for money (hey, I'd do it again if cash were at stake), or 2) royalties, for coming up with the idea. Either way, not a bad thing.

Oh yeah, and there was a great moment tonight when Ryan actually thought Steven's given name was "Steven Dingus." I'll have to explain the whole Dingus thing on here pretty soon, as well as the run-yourself-through-Google idea I was talking about earlier in the week.

But for now, I'm off for a bit. I'll be judging Region Jazz tryouts in the morning, and then headed to Austin to visit my sister and her family, including my first look at new nephew Caleb. While I'm there, I'll be seeing Soulive on Sunday as part of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I'll have a full report when I get back.

It's herrrrrrrre

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, mateys. Still wish I had a better pirate name, but what can you do? Go here if you haven't found yours yet.

(Maybe I can be the "Dread Pirate Frank")

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

More Random Stuff

Chalk one more up to the good guys; your friendly neighborhood ISP is fighting to keep the RIAA from forcing them to identify their customers who may have shared or downloaded songs.

Oh license-plate frame might be illegal now....and yours may be too. And we paid our legislators to come up with laws like this?

Quote of the Day: "Wow...the clarinet can sound really pretty when it's played properly."
--One of my saxophone students, expressing surprise upon hearing the clarinet teacher practicing in the studio next door. I assured her that any instrument will sound pretty when played well...even the oboe (haha).

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

A few quick'uns

New Study of the Day: How you sleep may reveal your personality...and perhaps how long you sleep (or don't) may reveal even more (which explains the lack of blogging the past few days).

Weird Website of the Day: I'm not sure I'd like to work in their shipping department...

Long week already, and it's only Tuesday. I'll post more later.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Bass From Space

A Deep Voice From Deep Space ( You probably heard about this already--the discovery of soundwaves emanating from a huge black hole which "sound" a B-flat that's 57 octaves below a piano's middle C. To actually hear the sound file, go here and scroll down a bit to where it says "video."

And speaking of low sounds, I just found out about a site called, which specializes in all the low instruments, both common and obscure. Fun stuff, including a link to a factory that still makes bass saxophones on a regular basis.

(If you didn't know, I was the bass saxophonist on a Dallas Wind Symphony recording called "Pomp and Pipes" on Reference Recordings under the baton of the amazing Frederick Fennell. Great fun! And playing bass sax did wonders for my bari playing...)

Friday, September 12, 2003

A Very, Very Small Portion of my 15 Minutes of Fame

Sweet! I actually got acknowledged by name on the Web for something I sent in to Dave Barry's Blog the other day. Maybe that'll catch me up with my alter egos on Google searches--a subject I promised to write about a few days ago, and will do soon...just not tonight, I need the sleep.

Weird story of the day

Yahoo! News - Bug beat: Grow bacteria on your CD for the latest sound

So this begs the question: If you download an mp3 made from one of these "yogurt discs," who will sue you--the RIAA or Yoplait? ;-)

Uncle Kev x 2

I'm an uncle again. :-) My second nephew, Caleb, was born this afternoon at 12:30 (7 lbs., 14 oz. and a little over 19" long, if you're into "baby stats"). Mom and baby are doing fine, Dad is excitedly snapping pictures left and right, and big bro Noah doesn't quite know what to make of all this (since he has to "share" his family now).

My first visit will be next weekend (yay!). In the meantime, I'll see if I can upload one of the pictures I've already gotten and put it on the "uncle page" of my website before too long. (UPDATE: The uncle page didn't make it to my newly-redesigned website, out of respect for their privacy, though I may post an occasional family picture or something.)

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Bebop 'n' Burritos, Part XVII

We had a "bond with the band burrito bash" today for Combo Too. Turned a few new people onto the "foil torpedo" (hey, don't groan at me; that comes from one of their radio commercials) and they really loved it. If Chipotle were a pyramid scheme, I would be so ridiculously wealthy...

Oh, and I managed to experience another episode just like the one chronicled in yesterday's Restau-Rant, where one person comes in alone but orders for five people (right in front of me, again). This time, I was stuck there for what seemed like an interminable time waiting for them to finish with this guy while my burrito, in its pupal stage, got cold on the counter awaiting the rest of its innards. Oh well, at least this guy paid for everything all at once.

Not much sleep this week; I'll recap the highlights when the blessed weekend arrives, even though it'll be full of activities too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Let's see if anybody agrees with me here that the following scenario is an example of rude behavior:

Someone comes into a fast food restaurant, usually alone (never more than two people), and proceeds to make up to five separate orders, which the cashier has to ring up individually and make change from five distinct piles of money. They're obviously buying food for their entire office, but you can imagine how much time it takes up, both for the cashier and for the unfortunate customers stuck behind this person or persons.

I say this is selfish. You should either a) call in the order, so the kitchen has a chance to prepare for it (then it can be waiting for you when you get there) or b) order everything as a single order. I know that the argument would be "but not everyone will get their change that way," but I say you should divide that up back at the office, on your own time, instead of wasting the time of those who are not in on your little office party and just want lunch in a reasonable amount of time.

Anyone agree with me on this? If you're a dedicated reader (and I know that both of you are out there, haha), shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts.

The New Zackmobile

Last night, Zack brought his new RSX over. He was beyond psyched about it. Seeing as how it was after midnight, I normally wouldn't have been too thrilled about having a visitor, but I happily made an exception in this case and tooled around Garland with him for a bit when it was "way past my bedtime."

You see, the RSX was what I was hoping to replace the Kevmobile with until it failed the emissions inspection last October. So while I'm tooling around in a pre-owned Civic for a while (which is just fine), Zack actually gets to live my dream (and his, of course) now. It was very cool. I'm officially jealous.

(And yeah, I know that sounds like it's bordering on un-Christian behavior, but I don't consider this to be envy or covetousness, because I don't want what belongs to anyone else--I just want one of my own also. I think of it as more of a goal to shoot for.)

So we'll see how this goes for Zack; maybe he can take this car up to a third of a million miles like I did with the original Kevmobile. Maybe he can even beat my friend Kris, who's taken an '89 4Runner up to 342,000 miles now. The challenge is on.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Send in the Clones

OK, so evidently I'm moving to California now, according to this link:
LifePoint Announces Kevin McNerney as Vice President Operations

Actually it's one of the "other me's" running around; if you're a Jim Smith, this happens all the time, but not when you have an uncommon name like mine. I'll blog at length about the "other me's" pretty soon (kinda late tonight), but this one was particularly interesting because he used to live in Dallas a while back, and I would occasionally get his phone calls. The weirdest one by far was from FedEx, who said that "I" had a package that had arrived from Singapore (what, was I gonna cane somebody?). Then later on, "other me" was interviewed on the front page of the Dallas Morning News during an airline strike: something to the effect of "an exasperated Kevin McNerney was delayed on his return from business in California." Back then, my sister was in Dallas and not yet married, so we still shared a last name, and all her friends were calling her at work asking "was that your brother in the paper this morning?" She said, "I don't think so," guessing correctly that 1) my job doesn't normally take me out-of-state on business, and 2) if it did, I would have called her beforehand.

Anyway, a fraternity brother IM'ed me this thing a few minutes ago, prefacing it by saying "so I see you're relocating to California;" just thought I'd share the gag.

Here it goes...

MSNBC: Hundreds of music swappers sued. Notice again that they busted somebody's grandfather, from right down the street in Richardson. I still say this is horrible P.R. for the industry. You might get some money out of this, guys, but you're not exactly Winning Friends and Influencing People.

OK, maybe this has been done already, but someone should commission a study to see how many extra recordings are bought by people who use file-swapping services. With a little tweaking (i.e. allowing the downloading of a few songs from an artist, rather than an entire CD), this whole thing could have been the best free advertising the industry ever had. But now they had to go and get the lawyers involved...

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Random Stuff

Bored at work or school? Try this. (My record is 57 flies; try and beat it.)

Associated Press: Librarians Are Throwing the Book at a New Shushing Librarian Action Figure

If I'm on your Christmas list, you might consider getting me this.

My friend and fellow 2BC champion Mark just did the pirate name thing and didn't like his either; he's "Otto the Peevish." I still think that's better than Frankenberry.

THE GOOD GUYS WIN ONE: In my Too Young to Jam? post from a few months ago, I lamented the fact that an "open" jazz jam session was being held at a place where you had to be 21 or older to get in. Now the jam has moved, to Sambuca in Deep Ellum. This still could be a problem for those whose parents are afraid of that part of town (and there is a food-purchase requirement to be there), but at least there's a chance for the younger folks now. My old college buddy Shelley Carrol is the host.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Tastes Like Chicken

The new Chick-fil-A opened in Garland yesterday, and you know it's a slow news day (or maybe even a slow news town) when that's the biggest thing going on. It was packed at lunch today, and it was all anyone was talking about in the nearby schools. The really funny part was that they had two people dressed up in cow costumes standing along the side of the George Bush Turnpike access roads, carrying sandwich boards that said "EAT MOR CHIKIN." It was great when the cows would walk into the restaurant every once in a while; they got the funniest looks from some of the customers. It was a good thing that it was only in the mid-80's this week and not 108 degrees like a few weeks ago, or that cow suit would've been hideously unbearable. I wonder how much it pays? (Not that I need the gig; I was just curious about the going rate for bovine impersonators these days.)

But at any rate, it's great to be getting more new places to eat along my teaching route, so I welcome them to the fold. Now they just need to hurry up with the Olive Garden and Red Lobster that are supposed to be going up on the George Bush. We'll get civilized yet, I tell ya...

Man vs. (the) Machine...The Saga Continues

It seems that the Machine, a.k.a. Big Music, has actually decided to do something consumer-friendly for once:

LOS ANGELES -- Universal Music Group, whose roster of artists includes 50
Cent, U2, Elton John and Diana Krall, will cut the price of its wholesale
CDs and push for a $12.98 retail cap on its discs in an attempt to woo
music fans back into record stores.

The world's largest recording company hopes retailers, who have suffered as industrywide music sales dropped 31 percent the last three years, will follow its lead and pass on the savings to consumers.

Universal hopes the actual retail price of most of its CD's will end up about
$10 or less, comparable to the $9.99 retail price that music fans enjoyed
in the early 1990s, at the height of a price war between the recording

Read the rest of the story:

Now, I wouldn't say this was the result of some newfound altruism on the Machine's part; it's probably just a (futile) effort to save itself from its increasing irrelevancy. But hey, I'll take it... :-)

Of course, I have my own suggestions on how to sell more CD's:

1) Get more musicians, and fewer bean-counters, involved at the highest levels of the industry. Once the music is once again viewed as artistic expression more than "product," a higher level of integrity can be demanded of what gets released. The industry will be better off as a whole when there is more room for music which actually has artistic merit rather than its ability to make a fast buck.
2) Release a few more CD's that don't suck. (This could very well be accomplished by following Suggestion #1.) This--not file-sharing--is the main reason that CD sales are down.

And word comes this morning that the RIAA (the nucleus of the Machine) is considering offering an amnesty program to the file-swappers against whom it is filing lawsuits. Read the story here:

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Arrr, Matey!

As Dave Barry pointed out in his column this weekend, September 19th is "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Of course it has a website you can check out, including a glossary of common pirate phrases and an English-to-Pirate translator. Turns out it was started by two guys playing

If that's not enough, here's another site that will generate a pirate name for you:

I tried this myself and it gave me the rather disappointing name of "Frankenberry." (I almost felt cheated. What the $#*@!&^ kind of pirate name is that? I thought the only breakfast cereal pirate was "Jean LaFoote, the Barefoot Pirate" from those old Cap'n Crunch commercials.)

I then ran the names of my friends and fellow bloggers Matt, Lee and Zack through it as well, and they came out as, respectively, Bloodstain Bartholomew, Gentleman Jim, and Dry Bone Bronson (would've almost made more since for Lee to be "Dry Bone" since he's a bass trombonist and all).

I also tried this with a few famous jazz musicians:

Miles Davis--Black-Hearted Bob
Charlie Parker--Dread Pirate Read
John Coltrane--Cutlass Jim Breakman
Gerry Mulligan--Plunderin' Billy
Dizzy Gillespie--Calico Jack McGurk

Anyway, enough fun for tonight. Oh yes, and I now have money again, and cheap health insurance. Life is good. :-)

QUOTE: "An industry should know it is in trouble when it gets called Big anything."--Columnist Froma Harrop of the Providence Journal. In her recent column, she was referring to Big Pharma(ceuticals), Big Tobacco and Big Oil, but it certainly dovetails with my opinion of Big Music, a.k.a. "The Machine," which I ranted about earlier in this space.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Not too Laborious...

Happy Labor Day to all! Not much going on here. I did teach a few lessons here and there (and it's a measure of one's dedication if they have their lesson on a school holiday) but otherwise just chilled. It was raining most of the day here (and about 30 degrees cooler than a few weeks ago), which precluded any type of "picnic" thing, so it was nice simply to be lazy and also know that there's only a four-day week left when I get up tomorrow.

Other than that, Labor Day doesn't have the significance that it might have in other parts of the country; schools have already started, and it's certainly not "the end of summer" weather-wise in Texas, though the rain-cooled weekend was quite nice. I went to a Rangers game on Saturday and didn't melt to the seats...though we did have to endure an hour-and-a-half rain delay. It's as if the weather is making up for its lack of summer rain all in one weekend here.

One other good thing, besides the four-day work week: With the onslaught of September checks about to come in (actually I have some of them in my pocket already, just couldn't put them in the bank yet since it was closed), I will officially start being Not Poor again. Yay!