Flogging Molly and Ani DiFranco

Last Sunday: BBQ at my place! It was exciting to finally invite people over now that my place is all cleaned up and organized. Shan and Josh are moving into their newly-bought condo soon and wanted to get rid of a small coffee table so I inherited it. Good thing because I don’t have any tables in my house! The coffee table pulled everything together and we were all able to eat in comfort.

Now that I own my own place I’m understanding that “nesting” instinct that was such a mystery to me before. Now I’ve got the urge to bring people over for little BBQs and social things. I’m not sure my place could accommodate a large number of people but it’s certainly comfortable enough to hold a half-dozen friends for an evening.

Tuesday night a pack of us headed to the Centre For Performing Arts to see Ani DiFranco work her magic. I have this thing about never missing an Ani DiFranco show ever since I was lucky enough to first see her in Calgary almost 15 years ago. She was as amazing as ever and played heaps of new songs for us. She talked at length about Obama and the positive direction that the States is finally heading in. The stories and the observations she weaves into her performance are what turn every show from a great concert into a fascinating experience.

Last night I was fortunate to be able to get a last-minute ticket to see Flogging Molly at the Commodore with a few of our friends. I’d originally decided to skip the show since I’ve got loads of shows in the next couple of weeks and I’ve also seen the band before. The last time I saw them it was a work night and I’d been at an accounting class that evening too. So I wasn’t terribly energetic and didn’t have the gas to stay out late. Mostly I’d gone to see the opening band, The Supersuckers, rock out. When Flogging Molly came on I was so tired I ditched halfway through the show to get some well-deserved sleep.

Last night I was rested and full of energy and the show was awesome! Flogging Molly is a celtic-influenced punk band with a lead singer from Ireland and they put on a wild performance. The dude looks like a leprechaun and never seems to run out of gas! So this time I enjoyed the show and spent a bunch of time up front jumping around with all the other rabid Flogging Molly fans.

Time for breakfast. I’m hanging out at Re-entry on Main Street while my car gets an oil change. Reilly’s swinging by and we’re going to meet up at Deacon’s for some breakfast. Hopefully he takes a couple of extra minutes so I can listen to the rest of this Fleet Foxes song that the barista girls are spinning.

I’m a Human Fly

Thought I dodged this cold but not so, I woke up all coughy this morning and I’m a little frosted that I have to deal with this. Couple nights sleep and I’ll be back in fighting form.

I left off on Wednesday at the DevDays conference in Seattle which I thoroughly enjoyed. They had lined up a diverse range of topics and it was interesting to see what was happening in other areas of software. What I got most out of the sessions was a renewed excitement about what I do. Sometimes when you’re at work all the time and don’t get to see the more interesting aspects of software development you can become a little bored by it all. Seeing new things at a conference always gets me interested again.

After the conference we were all a little drained so we headed to Mama’s Mexican Kitchen for heaps of Mexican food. I ordered this burrito which turned out to be the size of a small whale when it showed up. Good thing I was hungry. The waitress exclaimed, “wow” when she showed up and my plate was clean. Once we’d eaten we went back to the Whisky for a beer and then an early night. Again, I love the funky places in Seattle. I can’t wait for my November trip to see the Pixies!

Speaking of November, I’m going to go back to Tofino with a pack of friends for a few days first thing in the month. Dave’s going to fire the boat up and we’ll have a good time I’m sure. We’re staying in the same cabins as last time which is perfect since they’re on the water but right beside town so we can walk everywhere.

Tomorrow night I’m bringing a small group of friends over to break in the new BBQ. It promises to be good times despite my not owning a table for anyone to eat on! We’ll manage I’m sure…

No Sympathy For the Devil

I’m at Dev Days this morning after a fun night out. We booked into the Moore Hotel in downtown which I think is the coolest place to stay in town. The hallway carpets on our floor were done in leopard print and they origami’d our towels into a sleeping dog! For real. I had no idea you could make animals out of towels (the dog at the Moore looked way better than the one on this link).

We made good time getting down so we went out and found a place called The Frontier Room that has heaps of tasty meats on their menu as well as a beer list to rival the Alibi Room back in Vancouver. Two dudes with guitars came on later to do a cover band thing. They sounded much like the Barenaked Ladies which got interesting when they started into a Flock of Seagulls song.

Our group wasn’t feeling like sleeping after The Frontier Room so we wandered over to The Whisky Bar for a couple more local beers. One thing about Seattle is every place has a fantastic selection of beers on tap. I’m not sure what it is but I do know I love going out every time I’m in Seattle. Things seems to be more chilled out and funkier down here.

The morning’s been good so far. Joel Spolsky talked about adding features to an application in an elegant way so apps can hide their complexity under a simpler interface. Then Scott Hanselman showed us the new MVC framework in ASP.net. I kinda got lost halfway through when he jumped into all the advanced stuff but it was interesting to see what’s happening in the Microsoft web development world.

Now I’m watching an iPhone development presentation and I’m going to stop writing so I can watch this. It’s been pretty interesting so far.

Stack Overflow Dev Days

In a few short minutes I’m going to be driving down to Seattle with some friends for the Stack Overflow Dev Days software conference. The speakers are going to cover a wide variety of topics and I’ll be interested to hear about some of the technologies I’m not usually involved with.

The conference is one day so we’re going in tonight and will come back on Thursday so we have time to hang out and network with the other geeks tomorrow night.

Otherwise I’ve been kinda busy the past few weeks. My Mom’s back in Vernon and seems to be back on her feet. We drove back on the Thanksgiving long weekend since she was in town for her 1-month checkup after the surgery. It was a fairly short visit since I had to be back to work but I did manage to take a few photos of the last sunny weekend in BC for a while.

Last weekend our friend Steve got married out at the Burnaby Village Museum. It was cool to get together with everyone and run amuk in the heritage village. It’s also fun to throw on the fancy lad clothes for events like this.

I need to get rolling so I’ll cut it off here but I’ll post something this weekend about my Seattle adventures.

I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas

The Butthole Surfers, one of my favorite bands from the past couple of decades, finally came to play the Commodore last night. I never thought I’d get a chance to see them so I was bouncing around excitedly before the show.

Their performance started out kinda slow but soon picked up and I found myself rocking to my old favorites like The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave. I also discovered where the Flaming Lips got the ideas for their stage show from. The Buttholes show is as much visual as it is about the music. There’s a projector system wired up that plays 3 film loops on the stage backdrop so I spent most of the show entranced by footage of surgeries, gory scenes from old b-movies, and naked people.

I found the band’s sound to be more straight ahead rock than the usual frenetic starts, stops, and screaming that’s on their albums. These guys are in their 40s now and I don’t think their voices can screech the way they could back in the 1980s. Still, I had a good time hearing the songs I grew up with in a live setting.