Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

February 18, 2008

Webb Gives Me A Shoutout

I took a group of folks to 3rd & Lindsley Saturday night to see Webb Wilder. We were celebrating my birthday (which was actually last Thursday). I’d requested, via the Webb Board, that Webb play TCB Yodel #9. That’s the first Webb Wilder song I ever heard him play. It was on a local late night comedy show on Channel 4 back in the late ’80s. He and Shane Caldwell were on the show, and he sang that song and I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.

Anyway, he did sing it, and kychopperfamily on the Webb Board recorded it and posted it on YouTube. Here it is in all its glory:

He also sang, at Brenda’s request, Miss Missy From Old Hong Kong. Here it is:

All in all, it was a great show. George Bradfute played along with Tony Bowles on guitar, and their synergy is amazing.

February 14, 2008

Comcast, there’s a bug in my DVR.

Ah, the joys of having a DVR: You can watch TV when it’s convenient and skip those pesky commercials. When Comcast started offering the DVR’s here in Nashville, I couldn’t wait to get one.  I actually drove out to their office on Lebanon Road to pick one up.

So, we’ve had it for a couple of years now. I’ve probably run into the same bugs as everyone else: the “queue” bug (which Comcast says is going to be fixed this month), the mute bug, and maybe one or two others.

But apparently I have a bug that no one has seen. Here’s how to recreate it:

  1. Set up a series recording on a series that has shows that repeat at midnight (like something on Discovery).
  2. Set up another series recording (or a single recording) at the same time as the first run of the show in #1.
  3. Now you discover that there’s a third show you want to watch, but it comes on at the same time as the shows in #1 and #2. Go into the “scheduled recordings” menu, pick the show in #1, and tell it to not record that one episode of the show.
  4. Create a single show recording of the midnight (and it has to be midnight) showing of the show in#1.
  5. Stand back as the midnight recording will record until you stop it.

Yes, the midnight show will NOT stop at 1:00 am (or 12:30 am or whenever it’s supposed to). It’ll keep recording, and if it needs space, it’ll erase the older shows (that you probably either haven’t watched or were keeping for a reason).

This happened again to me on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I’d set up a series recording for Parking Wars. It ended up conflicting with a couple of other shows at 9:00 pm that I wanted to watch/record, so I set it to record the midnight show. When I got up and looked at the DVR on Wednesday morning, the recording light was still on. I realized that nothing was scheduled to record at 7 am, so I looked, and sure enough, Parking Wars was still recording!

There was something a little different this time though. Instead of having a 72+ minute recording, I had page after page of “interupted” recordings of “Parking Wars”. Obviously, only the first recording had Parking Wars. The others had infomercials and other overnight programming.

So I decided to finally call Comcast about it. I pretty much described the problem as I have above. They said they’d send a technician out. Told them I was just reporting a bug, didn’t need a technician. So he came out this morning.

I again described the problem to him. He didn’t get it after several explanations. Kept trying to tell me it was the way I’d set up the recordings. I finally gave up. At the end, he said that the ticket had been written up as a chargeable ticket, but that he wasn’t going to charge me. HUH? I just wanted to report a bug with their stupid DVR; I didn’t need anyone coming out anyway.

So, I’m going to recreate the problem, then call the technician on his cell phone. I’m going to take digital pictures of what I do (or maybe video it), so they can understand what’s going on. Then if they don’t do anything, I’m going to post it on YouTube. I just have to make sure we have enough room left on the disk before doing this.

If you’ve had this problem, leave me a comment. I’d like to find out how widespread this is.

January 11, 2008

Working the Polls Again

I took today off from work. I’ve got a ton of vacation time and I’m to the point where I almost have to take a couple of days a month just to keep from going over the max.

Anyway, the reason I took today off is that I’ve been chosen (again) as a voting machine operator and today is the last day of training. They’ve also asked machine operators to cross train for the duties of application clerk and registrar. Since this will be my third election with the new machines, I don’t think machine operator training will take too long. Application clerk and registrar training is scheduled for 2.5 hours. I’ve never done those jobs, so it should be interesting.

Davidson County has a major shortage of folks to work elections. They try make sure both parties are represented with workers. I think I’m the only Republican who works at my precinct. That would make me one out of  about nine or ten who work my precinct; in Nashville, that’s about the right ratio. Republicans in Nashville are scarcer than hen’s teeth.

The job doesn’t pay much, about $95 for the day. You have to be there at 6 am and you usually leave at 9 pm. So it’s not a job you take for the money. But it’s a job I think more citizens should do. Once you do it, you won’t ever complain again about it taking so long to vote (and you really shouldn’t complain about that anyway; at least you’re getting to vote).

The Davidson County Election Commission is always looking for volunteers. Do something for the community, why don’t you?

Now, if they only had better security

The primary is February 5. Go vote.

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas today.

Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2007

Help Save Nashville Speedway

A part of Nashville history is under attack. A “grassroots” group is out to get rid of the speedway at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Ostensibly they want to “relocate” the fairgrounds and the track. Realistically, there’s no way it can be feasible to build another race track in Davidson County. So in effect,they want to shut racing down in Nashville.

To counter one “grassroots” movement with a real one, I’ve created a web site called Save Nashville Speedway. There’s an online petition that you can sign to show your support. I’ll be updating the site often, so be sure to go and check it out. Over the next days and weeks I’ll be posting pictures and other historical data from the track.

If you’re a race fan and you don’t want to see this historic facility be pushed aside for “progress”, then I would appreciate it if you would go to Save Nashville Speedway and sign the petition.

December 17, 2007

The Next Great Nashville Band

The producers of American Idol had a little free time, and decided to find out who the next great American band would be, so naturally enough they created a show called The Next Great American Band. It’s been airing on Fox on Friday nights for the last couple of months (and Friday night is a horrible night for this show; it should have been on on Monday or Tuesday).

Anyway, it’s similar to Idol, in that you have a dozen performers (in this case, bands), three judges, a host, and the American telephone-voting public.

Friday night was the penultimate episode, and the final three are bands called Sixwire, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, and The Clark Brothers. What I find the most interesting is that the bands came from all over the country: California, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Florida, and Nashville. And the three finalists are all from Nashville.

The Clark Brothers are by far the best of the three (they’ve been the band to beat from day one). Sixwire is good as well. While Denver and the Mile High Orchestra isn’t quite my cup of tea, their musicianship is top notch. The funny thing is, living here in Nashville, I’ve never heard of any of them.

My prediction for next week’s finale is that the Clark Brothers will win, followed by Sixwire, with Denver and the Mile High Orchestra coming in third. I’m not sure this show has enough of a viewership to propel one of these groups into Carrie Underwood stardom, but it should be enough to get at least the Clark Brothers (two of whom used to play with Underwood) noticed.

Honorable mention goes to Cliff Wagner and the Old #7, a bluegrassy band from California, who got booted off way too early.

I’d like to see this show come back next year. From the outset, the talent was top notch; you didn’t hear any sour notes from anyone. It always amazes me how bad some of the final four or five sing sometimes on American Idol. The producers didn’t play any silly games by highlighting bad auditions, and and the series didn’t drag on for months and months showing auditions.

My favorite show in this genre still has to be Nashville Star, since those performers are also expected to write music and to some extent play an instrument. That’s partly what made The Next Great American Band interesting to me; the bands were allowed to play original music. American Idol should take a cue from Star and Band and allow their performers to sing original songs at some point during the competition.

So, next week is the season (or series?) finale. Good luck to The Clark Brothers.

December 13, 2007

Com(spam)cast

For a company that touts their anti-spam stuff as much as Comcast does, they sure let a lot get through. I have a Comcast email account, which I’ve never given to anyone. Yet I get spam on it every day.

A few months ago, I found an email address on Comcast’s web site that would let me report spam in order to help prevent it. You basically forward the email as an attachment to them. So I figured why not. I was getting one or two a day, so it wasn’t that annoying, but I thought it might help.

Funny thing is, after I started forwarding these emails to Comcast, I started getting more spam. I’d get as many as 10 a day. I kind of thought that was a little odd (about as odd as getting email on an account I’d never publicized).

Then I stopped forwarding to their spam reporting email. My spam email dropped back to one or two a day. I don’t know what’s going on, but Comcast seems to be a party to the spamming; I don’t know how else to explain it.

I know they have the power to shun an email address; they’ve shunned mine (my regular email address) a couple of times, after I’ve forwarded messages to my wife. I had to go through there web page to tell them that I wasn’t a spammer. It’s a real hassle, especially when you consider that they’re not really stopping spammers.

What I should do is just stop checking that email address. Maybe when Comcast’s email server fills up with spam, they’ll really tackle the problem.

December 3, 2007

Save Nashville Speedway!

A few days ago, it was brought to my attention that a group (actually one guy) has started a drive to move the Tennessee State Fairgrounds and “redevelop” the property. He’s gone as far as creating a non-profit organization to raise money to this end.

Nowhere on his site does he mention anything about the Speedway. It’s obviously assumed that the “green” area that will replace the fairgrounds will also do away with the speedway (which I think is the real motive behind this movement). He also doesn’t mention that the house he owns in the neighborhood of the fairgrounds was purchased in 1999 for around $45,000, and that as of a couple of years ago, it was appraised at over $90,000, and that he’s complained about the noise from the track.

It just blows my mind how some people have the nerve to move next to an airport or race track or interstate and then complain about the noise. Uh, if you don’t like the noise, move. I live almost exactly two miles from the track (as the crow flies), and if the wind is blowing right, I can hear the cars during a race or practice. I live a lot closer to the interstate and can hear the trucks go by (despite the speed limit being lowered to 55 mph a couple of years ago, which was spearheaded by a lady who moved next to the interstate). I can also hear the trains occasionally at the CSX yard 3 miles away. Heck, I can even hear the Hillsboro High School band play on Friday nights. If these noises truly bothered me, I’d move away from them; it would never cross my mind to be one to complain about something that I knew full well was going to happen before I moved here.

To combat this, I’ve created a site that will hopefully counter this guy’s attempt at plowing under this historic site. It’s called SaveNashvilleSpeedway.com. The site just went live Sunday night with a placeholder page in order to begin getting indexed by the search engines. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting more info on the site, including historical information about past races there.

If Nashville put a tenth of the effort into saving this historic landmark as it did into saving the Predators NHL team, there wouldn’t be a problem.

So, take a look at SaveNashvilleSpeedway.com, and keep checking back over the next few weeks.

Oh, if you have any files or info regarding the track’s history, please feel free to send them to me at the email address on the site. I hope to make this an archive of race results, photos, and other mementos of the track.

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. In addition to it being Thanksgiving, today is also the anniversary of this blog. It’s also the birthday of one of my granddaughters. She’s nine today and we all miss her very much.

Not much else to blog about. The racing season is over, and Hendrick won another championship. Champ Car wants Nashville to put up $2 million to have a grand prix here. Uh, yeah right.

I daresay that blogging (for all my readers, both of them) will be light the next few days. Got a lot of stuff to do around the house and I’m working on a programming project for a client, so the time off from my real job will hopefully let me get most of that done.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

November 16, 2007

NASCAR: Final Nextel Cup Season Ends

Despite the fact that there are only 86 points separating the top two drivers in the Cup Series, this year’s Chase has, much like the regular season, been a snoozer.

Jimmy Johnson only has to finish 18th or higher to clinch the championship, no matter where Jeff Gordon finishes. So, will he race for five wins in a row or two championships in a row? Is it really good for the sport for one driver to win almost one third of the races? Or one team owner to win half of the races?

I get less interested in NASCAR each week. Apparently, I’m not alone. For the third year in a row, TV ratings for NASCAR are down. I think NASCAR confused the ratings bump they got from Dale Earnhardt’s death in early 2001 with actual fan interest. They must have thought that their new TV package was bringing in the viewers, when it fact it looks like people were watching just to see who would be the next fatality.

NASCAR just can’t seem to find a national audience. Maybe that’s why they’re thinking of “going green.” There are reports that they’re looking at E85 fuel, which is a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. This from the sanctioning body that just recently stopped using leaded fuel.

I don’t have any idea why NASCAR thinks using an ethanol-based fuel will be a good idea. From a technical standpoint, there’s no need. E85 fuel results in lower gas mileage, which would be a nightmare for crew chiefs. From a “green” standpoint, I don’t think race cars emit enough cumulative “green house gas” to make a big difference, even if you do buy into the global warming theory. I can only conclude that NASCAR is doing this for PR purposes.

Speaking of boring championships, the Busch Series this year was a virtual repeat of last year, with the champion being a Cup driver and being crowned several races before the end of the season. I can’t think of any better way to ruin a series.

I doubt I’ll be watching much of the Homestead races. With the Truck Series on SpeedTV, I never can remember to tune in. And why should I watch “Cup Lite” on Saturday? I’ll probably check in periodically to see the status of the Cup race just to see what’s going on.

On a final note, if Google buys Sprint as rumored, will NASCAR fans put up with another name change? And will they tune in to watch Google Cup races?