#5428 – Step into my concert hall, baby

I bought a ticket today for a Belle and Sebastian concert in June. I wouldn’t have known they were going to be in town if it weren’t for a tweet I happened to see where someone was wondering why they were scheduled to perform at Echostage and not somewhere like the 9:30 Club that might be a better venue for them. I’ve never been to Echostage so I wouldn’t know.

I’ve listened to their music for years but never have seen them perform live. They’re coming out with a new album, hence the tour, I suppose.

At first I was thinking that the last concert I attended was Pizza Underground at the Black Cat last March, but there was also a Neko Case concert that I almost forgot that I went to a few months after that when my friend Dave had a spare ticket. I probably go to only one or two concerts a year now so it’s pretty easy for me to keep track of them – then again, it wasn’t like I went to many more concerts per year than that at any time in my past – but while I’d like to go to more concerts I find that most of the time I only go when I know who the band is. Some people I know make a point of seeing lots of live performances, but I can’t really say that I have any interest nowadays in heading out to a venue on my own to stand around and see a band perform that I may or may not enjoy.

I just remembered: Neko Case wasn’t my last concert. I went to see a Last Waltz tribute concert with my family for my Mom’s birthday a few months ago.

Anyway, that goes back to my point. While the Last Waltz performance was good and I enjoyed it I wouldn’t have seen that concert date on a marquee and thought to myself “that looks like fun, I think I’ll go see that.”1

I don’t buy as much new music as I used to, either. I remember when I’d buy a CD simply based on the cover art, not knowing anything at all except for the name of the band and the title of the album. I actually bought several pretty good albums that way. You’d think that I’d be more likely to go to a concert where if I didn’t enjoy myself at least it only cost me a few dollars and a few hours of my time than to buy a CD that would cost me a few dollars and that I’d have to find a way to get rid of if I didn’t like it. Then again, there’s not really much of a chance of being rudely interrupted by someone obnoxious if I’m sitting at home listening a CD I bought at random, and if that did happen then I’ve got bigger issues than a waste of a few dollars and a CD to dispose of: issues such as “Who are you?” and “How did you get in my apartment??”

  1. While I was writing this I was thinking that maybe I’d be more interested in seeing concerts if they were at sit-down venues, but the Last Waltz tribute was at a dinner theater and even in that type of venue I still can’t see myself picking a performance at random and deciding to go. It also didn’t help that for much of the performance there were other patrons sitting by me who kept talking, which I found distracting. At least in a general-admission venue you can walk away and try to find somewhere else to listen. 


#5427 – Git-arzan and his jungle version control system

Nothing too exciting today. It snowed some last night, but even though there was only a trace of accumulation the government gave employees the option of telework. I still had my work laptop with me but after working from home on Monday and staying home not feeling well yesterday that I figured I ought to head into the office today.

Something made me remember the git version control software program Tower yesterday and I thought that the extract/transform/load code I’m developing for my quantitative self dashboard ought to be stored in a version control system. What I’ve done so far has pretty much been just a proof-of-concept with me tinkering as I go, but now that I know that what I’m doing actually works I ought to take better care of my code and clean up what I’ve done already. I installed Tower today and discovered that they’re up to version 2 now, and I only had a license for version 1. Luckily I had bought my copy just after June 1 and was able to upgrade to version 2 for free. I’m especially happy because version 2 has a git-flow management system built in, and I had tried to wrap my head around how to incorporate that into my development process and for some reason just couldn’t wrap my head around the process.

When I originally bought Tower I was trying to use it with OS X Server’s built-in git repository, but for various reasons it just felt too cumbersome. I’m not sure but I think I might remember also having some issues with git not working well with Coda? This time I installed git from Homebrew and with the new git-flow functionality I hope it’ll be easier for me to use.

I recently finished reading The Martian and its use of log entries has inspired me to try to write more frequently here. It’s not like every post has to be an essay; just keeping track of what’s happened each day is enough for me. Plus, I kind of have an ulterior motive for writing more often: I’ve been looking into natural language processing and what it involves, and have also in the past looked into how to perform sentiment analysis. While putting together my quantitative self database I realized that since I migrated my old LiveJournal account over here I’ve got 15 years’ worth of writing across over 5400 posts. Looked at migrating tweets from my Twitter account and their metadata as well, and that’d be another 6 years’ worth of writing across 28,000 tweets (minus however many retweets I’ve done as I’m only interested in evaluating my own writing). That ought to be a large enough corpus for tinkering and experimenting.


#5425 – Hokey smokes

Was just reading about today’s smoke incident and fatality on the Metro. Though it occurred on a Yellow line train, and I take Green, I go right through L’Enfant Plaza to and from work every day. I don’t know how I’d handle the 40 minutes of waiting for rescue in the dark and smoke; considering I once had a panic attack on the Metro when I found it difficult to breathe I probably wouldn’t handle it very well.

I tried looking to see if there was an alternative route I could take to work that wouldn’t involve Metro but none of the ones I found were very convenient. My current commute takes about 40 minutes; 20 minutes by bus to the station, and then another 20 minutes by train to the office. I could get to work entirely by bus, but that would take three times as long: home to Rhode Island Avenue and transfer to another bus. I’ve biked to work once or twice, but have not previously in this cold and ice and doubt I would.

That it could have been my train going through L’Enfant has me concerned. Sometimes other passengers aren’t the greatest1 but that just comes with the territory. Overall, I like the thought of using public transportation but it’s the safety history of Metro that gives me pause. I could drive to work if I really wanted to, but parking fees would be ridiculous. I just don’t know what else I could do except to move within walking distance of my office.

  1. To paraphrase an old manager of mine once after we had an irate customer, the bad thing about taking public transportation is having to let the public in.