Can you please help someone in dire straights?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 08:00 am
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Reece Markowsky is a friend and colleague of mine from work who lives and works in British Columbia.  Late last week he received word that his brother passed away after a protracted period of hospitalization.  As one might imagine he's devastated by this.  Unfortunately his sister-in-law Shari is now a single mother of two young boys who is now on a single income, trying to pay for the funeral, and trying to get by until she can find a job.  Reece has started a crowdfunding campaign on her behalf.

If you can spare it, would you please donate to their Gofundme campaign to help the family get back on their feet?  If not, could you please spread the word?

Thank you in advance.

Alphaville - 11 August 2017

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 07:02 am
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I've been a fan of the band Alphaville since I was quite small.  They seem to have a knack for catch hooks and lyrics that never fail to make you think about when and why they were written.  If you're not familiar with them, you've probably heard Big In Japan and Sounds Like A Melody, so that should job your memory.  So, when I heard that they'd be coming to the States to tour for the first time in eleven years I bought a ticket immediately.  It caught my attention that Christopher Anton (former frontman for InSoc) had assembled a band and would be opening for them.  I'm sorry to say that Anton did not put on a show of the caliber I've come to expect; they did four covers of classic InSoc songs... they did pretty much all covers, really, and not particularly inspired ones.  It was plain to see that Anton and his band were trying to ride on the notoriety of InSoc, even jibbing at them on their t-shirts.  On the other hand, Alphaville killed it.  They played a wide selection of songs throughout their entire stage career and threw in some new tracks from their latest album, entitled Strange Attractor.  It was like a walk down memory lane for me, finally getting to hear all the songs I heard in the car as a child driving around with my grandparents.  Another concert has been knocked off my bucket list.

Anyway, here are my pictures, taken from halfway back in the crowd and here's their setlist if you're curious.  I'm sorry that they're not the greatest quality, I couldn't afford front row seats (which were sold out, anyway).

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Because I don't have it in me right now to do a full writeup, here are some pictures from the iVardensphere and VNV Nation concert on 18 August 2017.  They were taken at the San Francisco show of the Automatic Empire tour, in which VNV played both the Automatic and Empires albums back to back.  iVardenSphere was a solo act this time around, and performed an all-improvisational set on his equipment, something that one person carefully characterized as an industrial algorave.  VNV Nation took the stage with their usual aplomb and Ronan spent an unusual amount of time talking with the crowd.  He explained that earlier this year VNV Nation had been invited to play a concert to raise money for a German youthclub the night before playing a sold out show in an abandoned factory in Munich.  The youthclub didn't have much in the way of a PA system or lighting but was packed just the same, and it reminded him of how the band got it start in the late 1990's.  This is why many of the shows on this tour are being played in little hole-in-the-wall clubs instead of the usual larger venues.

Neologism: Quantum budget superposition

Monday, September 11th, 2017 07:18 am
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quantum budget superposition - noun - A bank account's state of existence during the time in which you're waiting for your landlord to cash the rent cheque so you don't actually know how much money you have at a given time t.  Spend too much and your rent cheque bounces.  Spend too little and you put off important bills for too long.