Saturday, April 04, 2015

Greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Performances

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is currently polling this topic: Voting ends May 1, 2015.

I consider myself uniquely qualified and exceedingly opinionated, having visited the museum hundreds of times, attended many events related to the museum (though only one induction, in 2012, but soon to be two), I bought the 10 DVD boxed set of induction videos when it came out a few years ago, and most importantly, I carefully listened to all the entries yesterday evening on my big hi-fi at as high a volume as I could take it.

So I mercilessly rated all the nominated performances from 1 to 10. The obvious favorite is posted in the #1 position on their page - the sublime While My Guitar Gently Weeps performance from 2004. 
  • While my Guitar Gently Weeps 2004 - I get chills every time. One wrong note sticks out. Still a ... 10
  • Let it Be 1999- horrible rubbish. 2
  • Roll Over Beethoven 1986- the real deal - Jerry Lee! Keith! A real JAM. 8
  • Sweet Emotion 2001 -Nice Take on the song! Totally rockin. 8
  • Light my Fire 1993 - Nice, nice Doors + Don Was and Eddie Vedder. Acid. 7
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 2005 - UBoss 7
  • When the Levee Breaks - Neil  Young and Crazy Zeppelin. He dominates ANY band! 8
  • I Saw Her Standing There 1988 - Fun jam. Jeff Beck guitar solo! So many great moments. Dylan! 7
  • In the Midnight Hour 1999 - The most soulful! 6
  • The Weight 1994 - Best song of this bunch. Well performed. 7
  • Honky Tonk Woman 1989 - Best party (just cuz it's the Stones for cryin out loud). 6
  • Green Onions 1992 - Really bad. Keith, the Edge, Johnny freakin Cash, Neil Young, Joh... aw nevermind. 1
  • Blue Suede Shoes 1987 - Carl totally carries an otherwise poor performance. 5
  • Sunshine of Your Love 1993 - CREAM, A bit slower but better than ever. Real rock and roll. 6
  • Enter Sandman 2009 - Welcome to Cleveland. 6
  • I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) 2003 - lost jam but lots of joy! 5
  • Come Together 1994 - Good tribute to John Lennon. 6
  • You've Lost That Loving Feeling 2003 - The vocals are hard to take. 1
  • Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend 1996 - They should do this again in 2015. 4
  • Hey Bo Diddley 1987 - Paul Butterfield rocks! 5
  • Teach Your Children 1997 - CSN & JT. A bit rough. 3
  • Teenage Lobotomy, Rockaway Beach, Blitzkrieg Bop 2002 - Green Day showing why they are being inducted. Great covers. 7
  • Respect Yourself/I'll Take You There 1999 - nice. 6
  • Higher Ground 2012 - I was there! It's about how I remember it. A cacophony at 1:30 in the morning. 6
  • Wish You Were Here 1996 - Nice unplugger. 6
  • Barracuda 2013 - Still works. The Gibson SG sounds great. What a riff. 6
  • Crossroads 2013 - Geddy Freeking Lee! Great synthesis of performers. Dave Grohl. One of the best thanks to Geddy. 9
  • Paradise City 2012 - Clevelander Gilby Clarke has the smallest ego on stage and should also be inducted. 6
  • It's So Easy 2014 - I saw Linda in 1973. This did not capture that spirit. 4
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit 2014 - Joan Jett channeling Kurt. Outstanding. 7
It was a lot of fun to watch them all. It took hours to do! After all the careful listening, While My Guitar Gently Weeps is still solidly number one. Crossroads is a surprise #2!

Other observations

Early on I was impressed with Billy Joel taking the lead in I Saw Her Standing There and elsewhere, but I also quickly hated Paul Schaefer's contributions. He did not belong on stage with the others, and he kept showing up, ruining many of the songs. Sorry, Paul. It didn't work.
I hope there will be great moments at this year's induction. Ringo and Paul can't help but be cool, Stevie Wonder inducting Bill Withers sounds exciting, and I look forward to Joan Jett. Green Day opened the 2012 inductions with a nice little set and a dozen f-bombs about the audience that arrived in a comatose state (and by the end at 1:30, we were mostly zombies). Hopefully we will be a better audience this year, but the line up looks huge again and I don't see how they can make it through the proceedings without going late into the night. Bring a blankie and pillow. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

You CAN Attach the Same Content DB More Than Once

... you just have to detach it first.

Let me back up. I think at least three times I've gotten all excited and apprehensive about restoring a test DB to a SharePoint 2010 farm for a second test because I already did a test in the same farm with the same database.

If you read this great Technet topic you could walk away with the idea that you won't be able to attach the database (even though you have detached it).

Rest assured, that although the Technet posting is accurate, it is not trying to say that you can't attach the database, detach it, and then reattach it. I think it would have been better worded to simply say that all the site collection/GUID combinations must be unique, so you can't attach the same one twice.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Personal Automation - what I am looking for

I want my computer assistant (device) to always be on and watching and listening to what is going on. I want it to identify me by voice and face, and learn who other people (and animals!) are. It needs to interface with devices around me (communications, car, lighting, heating and AC, etc.). It needs to know where I am at all times and go with me everywhere.

We have the technology for all that and we can make it secure. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it to all work well. Microsoft seems pretty far down that path (farther than anyone else), but it isn't quite all there and working well enough to really be effective.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why the Farm Account Can't Access or Configure Service Accounts ...

... and What is the Correct Domain Account for running SPTIMERV4?

These are two questions that have plagued man for too long. The answers are both 42.

The farm account can't access configure service accounts because it is not in the local administrators group on the server (or at least it is not supposed to be). Thus, it cannot change who runs services. If you want to configure service accounts you must use an account that is in the local administrators (make it yours or maybe the setup account).

The farm account is the correct account for running the SharePoint Timer Service (Windows service). The permissions must get delegated to it by psconfig or some other magical process.

Those are my answers and I'm sticking to them until I get a better answer. I based this on a bit of painstaking research and experimentation. I did not find the correct answer anywhere, but you just found it!

This is based on SP 2010 Foundation on Windows Server 2008R2, but I am pretty sure it holds true for a number of others.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Figure Skater Jason Brown Totally Looks Like Sue Heck!

Almost from the moment I saw him in Nationals I had the idea that figure skater Jason Brown totally looks like Sue Heck. I agree with this post that Figure Skater Jason Brown Totally Looks Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the photos tell that story, but look at this:


Jason's genuine enthusiasm is a lot like Eden Sher's characterization of Sue Heck - they seem so over the top, yet they are totally sincere. You have to love them both!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thrift Haul

I'm not sure if I've entitled a blog post "thrift haul" before, it is quite possible. Big or small, purchases of second hand things are thrift hauls, but the term also denotes a major score. I had a major score on Friday, August 30, 2013 in two cool sets of loudspeakers from one seller. A thrift haul.

I have a major weakness and definitely a hoarding problem as it relates to one thing - loudspeakers. Part of the problem is that once you acquire them, they are hard to get rid of. The good ones are pretty bulky and in general, most people (consumers) believe that loudspeakers don't need to be large any more - that somehow science has made the bulk unnecessary. This, of course, is not at all true.

I made a random, unplanned stop on Lakeshore Boulevard in Mentor to a garage sale. I was in my Town and Country, so I was prepared for what I found. First, there were two beat up looking old smallish speakers stacked on top of one another with $1 marked on them. They were said to be untested. They had stamped "Made in Denmark" on the backs of them and my memory went to work and identified them as Dynaco A-25's. Sold. But they were $1 each not for both! I told the seller that he drove a hard bargain and I was unemployed, and he almost gave me a dollar back. I told the two guys that testing these speakers would make my day. It certainly would have been the highlight if not for the rest of the haul.

As we were loading these in the Chrysler the guy mentioned that they had another set of speakers but they needed to retrieve them from the basement. I could come back (and I left my phone number). But after chatting a while (and getting some nice moon flower seedlings from their garden), one of the two guys got a dolly and (carefully) dragged out the first of a pair of Infinity Quantum 3 speakers. I remembered that Infinity used to make "great" speakers (before they made just "good" speakers, and my 2000 Chrysler has factory Infinity's and they are pretty good). I offered to help getting the other speaker but he insisted on getting them up himself. They mentioned that Empirical Sound in Cleveland had re-(coned or foamed??) the speakers in 1997 and that they mostly sat in the basement since then, unused. They were a little dusty but otherwise the cabinets were beautiful.

He asked $40 for the pair and I hesitated (do I need another project? do I want more big heavy speakers?). I even told them that these speakers probably would not become part of my system as I had Martin Logan's, etc., blah, blah. It sounds stupid to me now. So I bought them for $40.

Now I had a more difficult loading situation in the van, but it went fine. But these things are major ball-busters. They are supposed to weigh 110 pounds each, but I think dust and moisture from a hot day adds 10 pounds. Maybe 20. It felt like 150! So I used my "forearm forklifts" for the first time carrying these things down into the studio. I set them down in front of my Bozak Symphonies (which dwarf the Infinity's) not knowing how I was going to power these for testing.

I decide to look them up on-line before testing. They are Infinity Quantum 3's. The first entry I see calls them the third best loudspeaker in the world. A bit of hyperbole, but it got me thinking I would use the Martin Logan's hookups for testing (each has a Peavey 120/120 strapped to be a 240, and a big ass hunk of wire). I waddled the Quantums over by the Martin Logan's (SL3's) and these too dwarfed the big Infinity's. After connecting them and firing up the amps and turning off all the other speakers (I have a lot running in the large room, normally) I started the random source of Bob Marley Legend from HD Tracks (24 bit, 192 kHz). They sounded very good. Clean, and everything seemed to be working fine.

Putting on Jethro Tull Aqualung 24 bit 96 kHz (unwittingly a multi-channel version), I got my "ah-ha" moment. They sound amazing. Totally freaking awesome. The bass is exceptionally tight and pronounced. Not as powerful as the Bozak's but better defined (yet a little muddier). The mids and high all blend up from the bass beautifully and are completely transparent. It put up such a good sound stage that I had to stick my ear up to the Ohm Walsh 4 center channel to see if it was playing. Very impressive, and I am not easily impressed. I haven't tested extensively, and they sounded just average on a couple just average sources, but I went back to Aqualung (and Locomotive Breath) and again was wowed.

I am shocked that I now have a major new loudspeaker to get into my studio mix (that included the Martin Logan's and Bozak's along with an Ohm Walsh 4 for a center channel and a whole other set of cool ones for another surround in the same room). These are keepers.

So these two nice gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) made a major contribution to my loudspeaker hoarding disease, and I thank them. The A-25's will go into the hoarding pile along with the many EPI's, JBL's and so many other interesting speakers I don't need or use. Something else from my setup of speakers I do use will have to move out to make room for the Infinity's. They work perfectly (for now, using them could rattle them apart, you know) and I love the sound. It will be fun to continue to put them through their paces and pit them against the Martin Logan's and the others. Amplification will be a concern, but I have some surplus in that department (the 120/120 don't need to be strapped, for instance). It will be audiophile fun testing all this quintessential thrift haul.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cleveland as a Film Location on IMDB

Here is an interesting search I stumbled upon. Cleveland as a film location on IMDB. It doesn't work from the Android app, but it does from the full site.

The search yields 544 results as on the date of this posting, but that includes stupid things like sporting events. The search does a good job of sorting by "Moviemeter" but you can also sort other ways:

Numero uno is The Avengers. Number two is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These were movies that took the liberty of disrupting things in the city during their making (and not really featuring it - Cleveland was a stand in for New York), but I think fans of the genre feel that these were good efforts.

I'm looking forward to Draft Day. Maybe it will turn me back into a Browns fan. Frank Langella wearing a Browns cap??

Of course you could do this for any city. File under useless information.

Photo credit: me; Cleveland food trucks on a Wednesday lunch run; panoramic mode on a Samsung Galaxy Note II