I had the idea about this time last year that when I was short on writing ideas, I would consult my unnecessarily large email and instant messaging archive for topics of conversation. And appropriately enough, I cracked open my email archive file to this day last year, March 27, 2007, to find the beginnings of the following conversation between myself and Jay:
I love this one. Extremely mellow but there's such a great flow to the whole thing. I could listen to it forever, I think. Though, I can see how it may not do anything for you at all. It just connects for me. Great background music for me. That's how I listened to it, until it really grabbed me. I also didn't know how I felt about the guy's voice at first. It reminds me of someone, that I know well, but I can't place it.
Give this one the chance it deserves.
Included with this was a link to a prerelease copy of Lewis & Clarke's latest album, Blasts of Holy Birth. I've pulled this album out every now and then over the past year and found it to be a really solid album.
Coincidentally, January actually knows Lou Rogai from several years back. When the band was first starting out, they played several shows a year here in Columbus and would end up spending a lot of time after the shows with January and her roommates. Also coincidentally, Lewis & Clarke is scheduled to play in town tonight at the Surly Girl Saloon. I don't know what the cover is, but with the Black Swans opening, it's sure to be a good show.
If you're not familiar with Lewis & Clarke, as I wasn't this time last year, here's an awesome ballad off of their latest album. It's offered as a free MP3 on their site, so I assume there's no problem with passing it along here.
Just over a year ago, I finally got with the 21st century and started up a new blog. Team Soell. You're reading it now. The biggest headache that has come up in the whole process, apart from keeping up the motivation to write decent articles, is keeping up with the ridiculous amount of blog spam that goes with the territory.
When Team Soell first launched, the comments section was wide open; no registration required, no moderation, just immediate publication of everyone's comments. Over the past year, this policy slowly got ratcheted down to it's current position, where all comments are moderated. But add to that my lack of motivation in reading through 50 v14gr4! adverts every day, and we ended up with a pretty useless system. Ask anyone who has tried to comment on my articles in the past six months, and they'll tell you.
Over the past several months, I've had the opportunity to work with the Joomla content management system, and it has proven itself to be a pretty solid contender. With its open source license, flexible templating system, and with army of plugin developers to tap into, it seems like a solid platform to switch to. So today, I'm relaunching the "andy" portion of the Team Soell blog in the newly-released Joomla 1.5 framework. Comments require approval at this point, but it is supposed to be smart enough to recognize repeat commenters.
So take a look, let me know if anything seems broken, and thanks for everyone's patience.
[Update] Nathan mentioned the Akismet Anti-Spam filter that WordPress runs, and I realized that the commenting plugin I'm using supports that as well. I've enabled the Akismet filter which should drastically reduce site spam. In light of this, I have turned on guest commenting -- we may have to turn moderation back on eventually, but I'm curious to see how well this system actually works.
As I mentioned, this past weekend was our annual RBI Baseball Tournament out in Chicago. The notice this year was a bit short, and I had committed to a lot of extra work that really shouldn't have allowed me to leave town for the weekend, but I can't say no to 12 straight hours of classic NES goodness. I thought I would be clever and book a ticket on MegaBus, the low-fare regional transportation system that goes to and from Chicago daily. Even at the short-notice cost of $45, it was cheaper than gas and would leave me free to work on my projects on the way out.
After waiting at the bus stop for an hour, some of the other would-be passengers started to get antsy and called up the bus company. It turns out that our bus had broken down a few blocks away from our station and wouldn't be able to take us. MegaBus proceeded to waste the next hour and a half of our time promising to book us a charter bus, when ultimately the whole thing was just scrapped and we were told to reschedule for that evening.
Luckly, a friend who was also attending the event and who didn't live too far away hadn't taken off yet, and we were able to meet up so I could catch a ride. Crisis averted, although I am significantly further behind on my projects than I'd like to be at this point.
The tournament was, of course, a success. We managed to capture even more footage than last year; Enough footage that I thought I would try my hand at video editing.
As you can tell from the video, we had a marked increase in attendance this year. Enough that we had to add a third NES system and even with that addition, the round robin tournament stretched to nearly nine hours. In the end, Barn walked away the winner, despite being stuck with the New York Mets. Brent Cline's reign of tyranny came to an end, and the RBI trophy made its way town to Tennessee for the year. With a 5-6 record, I've got some practicing to do, but I should be able to squeeze in a few games between now and then so I can be a contender in next year's tournament.
Unless Marty shows up again. That jerk.
"When are you going to start a blog?" "Are you on MySpace?" "Why don't you write on Xanga?" I'll tell you why, once and for all: Because I'm lazy. And not really all that interesting.
I tried to blog once. The summer I moved to Chicago, I set up a LiveJournal account, with the incredibly pretentious username of a-a-a-a-a, and tried to write a few things. The whole experiment devolved into me just posting what were, to me at least, humorous instant messaging conversations I had with my friends, and the whole thing was all but dropped in a matter of months.
My wife January, on the other hand, has been blogging for years on Xanga. She's good at it. She says thing other than what she had for lunch or describing in agonizing detail how much she hates whatever the weather happened to be like that day. And from what I'm told, marriage involves doing things together, and enjoying common interests. As much as I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in my daily musings, January recently suggested the starting of a joint blog. We have joint checking, so why not a joint blog? Thus, Team Soell is born.