February 27, 2010

Josh Ritter and The Swell Season, Paradiso, Feb 23

Last Tuesday I went to see Josh Ritter open for The Swell Season... It was a great, chill, fun, beautiful concert. I got there semi-early and nabbed a chair in the balcony. Josh Ritter was awesome, I haven't seen him live in awhile, but he loves playing in Amsterdam and is always so enthusiastic. I got chills during a couple of the songs, he was just so into it and enjoying it so much. Here is most of Harrisburg:

And then during The Swell Season, just so much went on, all sorts of getting the audience to sing or whistle and everyone was really into it, it was such a wonderful connection between the band and the audience. They played for over 2 hours, the encore was at least 5 songs, with Josh coming out back out for the whole band to play one of his songs. They ended with a Daniel Johnston song and the audience snapping and singing along. It was how shows should be.

February 15, 2010


February's only half over and it already feels interminable. Not much going on, all the stuff to look forward to is still really far away... At least I'm still enjoying the wintery weather.

Some little things to look forward to in the near future:

- Someday I'll receive some magazines from the Oregon tourism board, if they haven't gone missing en route. I ordered them over 3 weeks ago. Maybe the email I got confirming my order, describing how the guides were going around the state to soak up all Oregon has to offer, wasn't so tongue-in-cheek after all.

- I'll get the new Quasi album in the mail, along with a DVD of their Who covers New Year's Eve show. In the meantime, I got a link to download the album and I must say I quite like it so far. Not as heavily political as the last couple of albums, quite rocky, with a more fleshed out sound thanks to turning into a trio with the addition of Joanna Bolme. I look forward to seeing them live in a couple of months.

- My only live show of the month is next week: Josh Ritter opening for The Swell Season. I admit I bought the ticket for Josh Ritter, who I haven't seen live in awhile, but I have now watched Once and am looking forward to seeing The Swell Season as well.

That's about all at the moment. Still about two months until my next trip. We are far away yet from being able to envision spring. Energy levels are low. I can't wait for this month to be over.

February 6, 2010

New computer

A couple of weeks ago I finally assembled everything in my new computer and installed Ubuntu, which happily worked fine from the start. The basic internet stuff worked straight away, but in the meantime I've slowly been getting everything to match my old computer, all my files and programs. Patrick came over and volunteered a few hours to the tedious task of transferring the contents of my old hard drive to my new one. Since then, I've been using the new computer exclusively and I'm very happy with it. It's such a huge jump in hardware, as well as having the latest Ubuntu. It works so fast, I'm still getting used to how quickly things open and how smoothly they run. I don't have to worry about playing mp3s while editing photos or while running multiple programs anymore! Or just running multiple things at once, period. If I wanted the old computer to try burning a CD while downloading files and playing a Youtube video, it was definitely straining. But bless it, it never crashed, it was just frustratingly slow.

Here's the old behemouth next to the sleek new guy:

To geek out a bit, I've gone from a Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor, with 2 GB memory and a 120 GB hard drive, to an AMD Athlon 64 x2, 2.70 GHz processor, 4 GB memory, and 500 GB hard drive. The construction of the box is so much more modern as well. As you can see from the photos, the old computer still has a disk drive and it has no USB ports on the front (leading to me always having to crawl to the back of the computer just to plug in a USB stick). The new computer has all sorts of helpful things right at the front, including a lovely built-in card reader. The panel at the bottom that contains the power button can slide up to cover the card reader/USB, etc area, but it's kind of fragile-seeming plastic and I figure I'll need access to the ports enough that I think I'll just leave it in the lower position.

I can't thank Patrick enough for all of his guidance and time in helping me get the new system set up. I learned so much in the process, which is still ongoing. In order to write this post, I first needed to install a couple of photo-related programs which didn't go as easily or as quickly as I hoped, but about an hour later I got there. I still feel very much like a Linux newbie, but I'm always so happy when I sort out my problems through the volumes of help there are online. Today I fixed the simple problem of my speakers popping loudly every time I started a soundfile or video; tomorrow I might tackle installing Skype, which is possibly a headache-in-waiting.