Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Choice cuts: music finds for the week of 10/7/15

Watkins Family Hour - self titled: Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, and star-studded cast of musical badass friends. (Fiona Apple! The bass player from Soul Coughing, among other amazing people! Doing rootsy authentico bluegrass! Mind-bendingly awesome.)


Love this Nancy Griffith tune and used to cover it, but forgot all about it.


Jeremy Pinnell - OH/KY: purt near every damn track

The Wood Brothers - Paradise: I heart Medeski, Martin and Wood, but somehow The Wood Brothers escaped my notice.

The Meadows Brother - Won't be Troubled: Tennessee Stud and Boomer's Story


Original (or at the very least damn early)1919 recording of Blues My Naughty Sweetie Give to Me on the Library of Congress website

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Kindergarten Reality Check - an experiment in accidental viral video

I'm keeping an eye on this YouTube video, belonging to one of the partners at work - a "How was your first day of kindergarten, honey?" convo she had with her son that went in a fun direction.

The child didn't know he was being filmed, and she's coaxing him a bit because this is a little bit of a re-tell. He'd already started to tell the story, and she had that mom-instinct that it was going to be funny and grabbed her phone to film it surreptitiously.

She originally posted to Facebook only on 9/9/15, shared with just her own friends. I was pretty charmed by it and wanted to share, so I asked if she'd repost it to YouTube. "It will go viral," I said. "Kidding/not kidding." (I really was kidding/not kidding - figured nothing would happen, but saw some potential. Really, I just *did* want to share it myself, and her FB post was set to Friends Only.)

She did repost it to YouTube, the night of 9/9. The next morning (9/10/15), YouTube had just 4 views. I shared it on FB, then on a whim, I put it on r/videos on Reddit. I expected it to go nowhere and get buried pretty quickly, but it actually gained a little traction. The YouTube started getting some traffic. Some viral content folks started trying to contact her with "business opportunities," whatever that means.

Day 3 and it's broken 40,000 views. A couple of us from work are sharing and boosting it here and there, trying to keep the ball in the air, as an experiment more than anything. I'm doing goofy/shameless things like tagging George Takei and Ellen Degeneres on Facebook. Will be interesting to see if it gains any more momentum.

Here's where we're at now, 11am CST, midway through the third full day:

UPDATE - 9/12, 2pm CST: Blogged by Hello Giggles (which was under my radar - nicely curated feel-good content, targeted to women. I like it and will start following it). Really excellently written blog post. Learned that Zooey Deschanel is one of the founders.

And then, here's the kicker, today's big win: shared on Zooey Deschanel's Facebook. Here post is currently at 321 likes, with 54 shares.

Going to see what this does to the hit count later. Too much fun!

UPDATE - 9/13, 11:30pm CST: Blowing up a bit. Yesterday afternoon/evening, it jumped up to 60k, then was at 74k by 7am this morning. Now, nearly 90k.

Zooey's post (she lets me call her Zooey) is up to 720 likes and 109 shares, more than double what it was when we learned of it yesterday. Tracked back to the original Hello Giggles post, which I hadn't done before, and it's at 565 likes and 205 shares.

Would be cool to get some other blog/celebrity attention, but for now, I think it's just the shares off the ZD/Hello Giggles posts that are keeping the momentum.

A flashback to one of my favorite days (so far) on this planet

Throwback... Friday? Saturday? What time is it? Whatever day it is, just Throwback.

Last night, I stumbled onto this little video my buddy John Whipple shot, from a 2004 gig I did with Glenn Allan at Bubba's Big Deck in Gruene, Texas. For those that know Gruene, this spot is right next to the low water crossing/bridge. Basically at river level. Which mean the big deck washes away in a flood every few years. But it's a sweet spot, so they rebuild. The deck has been in various locations after various rebuilds - this particular configuration, with the deck thrust out over the water and the river at our backs, was my favorite.

In the video, you'll see and hear Glenn and I singing a duet on the Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. This is a tune I brought to the Glenn+Kim show, having done it for years prior with my old band in Hawaii, Manny's Bones.

Heard but not seen (which is how I prefer my rhythm sections - KIDDING!) are the ├╝ber talented and all around good guys Ernest Hernandez on bass and Luckey McClain on drums, who currently each front their own creative ventures*/bands (King Pelican and The Mullberrys, respectively - both bands kick ass).

That day was one of my favorite days yet on this planet, with my back to that beautiful river, playing music with this fine folk, jumping in the water to cool off between sets, drinking beer with good friends afterward. If I could keep time in a bottle, this is the day I'd save.

Thanks for this bit of ancient history, John, on the old YouTube account you've probably forgot about (Old Crow Boys open mic series at Riley's - you used this old video just to test the account). We all leave a digital breadcrump trail - yours is always fun to follow.

*PS - while King Pelican does play surf, the Ventures pun was unintended. I noticed it but left it there, because it made me laugh.

PPS - once upon a time, in Hawaii, I played for a number of years with another kick ass rhythm section, who DID prefer to be heard and but not seen. They'd do session work under the pseudonym "The Rhythm Butchers." The drummer from that bygone era, James Ganeko, now fronts his own creative venture/band - also a surf band - called Tiki Taboo. Small/weird world. I see a future King Pelican / Tiki Taboo tour / gig opportunities. Of course, both bands would have to let me sit in - ha!

PPPS - Managed to dig up some pics from my cache of historic hoarded data, and have posted them on Flickr. Here are shots from that day, plus some shots from a couple other times we played at Bubba's with Glenn's daughter Molly Curran on bass. All photos taken by Chris Mackenzie.

Old gig pix - Bubba's Big Deck, 2004-2005

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tail-less Gecko (?) Catch and Release

Tail-less Gecko (?) Catch and Release

This guy is part of our accidental critter catch and release program.

The young cat has started catching critters outside (alive), bringing them in the cat door, then releasing them in the house, where they usually promptly escape under some piece of furniture. We find them later, sometimes alive, sometimes not. So far, roaches, crickets, lizards, geckos, a cicada and one small toad have cycled through the house, and been released back outside.

Found this poor guy in the corner of our dining room today, tail-less but otherwise not too terribly beat up. The stuff stuck to his tail stump is cat fur he must have picked up while hiding from the cat. Took him outside and let him go -- he was a little shaken up, so he hung out (played dead) and posed for a picture. I hope he makes it.

Need to look up his species.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nerd alert - MacOSX 10.8.5, Apple Mail authentication issues, Apple Messages issues, Notification Center issues, etc.

I'm a slow adopter of upgrades - Apple announced Mac OS X version 10.10 this week, free for current OSX license holders. So it seemed like a good time to upgrade... to 10.8. I'm of the mindset that if everything is working, there's no need to upgrade, until or unless there is a feature that I must have. (Full disclosure: a game I bought wouldn't run on 10.7).

Upgrading to 10.8 went surprisingly smoothly -- all of my critical programs seem to work. But when I updated to 10.8.5, Apple Mail broke. Specifically, I could not check my iCloud account any more. It wouldn't authenticate.

Tried many things, including beating my head against a wall. OK, actually, tried manually configuring, with various settings (didn't work). Tried using an app-specific password for two-step verification (didn't work). Tried manually configuring with using a different client (Thunderbird) using an app-specific password for two-step verification (worked).

On a whim, just to troubleshoot, I turned off Apple Two-Step Verification on my AppleID, and voila, suddenly I could set up Mail. I didn't even have to set it up manually. So, inexplicably, Apple Mail seems to not work with two-step verification. Go figure.

Once I turned off two-step verification, several other issues I struggled with today resolved themselves as well: Notes synced, iMessages and Mail notifications are now listed in the Notification Center (I did have to go into system prefs and tell them not to display, close out, then go back in and tell them to display to spur it into action), Mail messages now display popup alerts, as do iMessages.

So, hope this helps someone. Pretty much burned half a day on this.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New band member

He's studying up on his accordion playing.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My 15 Minutes (she says, with tongue firmly in cheek)

Really nice write-up in the Express-News from Jim Beal Jr.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The death of Posterous - well, crap

I read that Posterous was dying, some time back, and didn't think much of it.

Completely forgot that when we went to Vietnam in 2009, I had used Posterous for a lot of the photo hosting for this blog, because it as an easy way email photos from my phone.

So now most of my Vietnam travel posts have broken image links... I have the images, but it's going to be a drag to try to recreate some of the visual narratives.

Paper wasp

paper wasp, originally uploaded by txfiddlechick.

My new hobby seems to be taking macro shots of bugs. Here's a paper wasp that sat still long enough for me to get this shot.

There's a good sized nest on the ceiling of the back porch - not the most ideal spot (one will occasionally fly into the house), but we've had less caterpillar problems in the veggie garden this year, so we're peacefully co-existing.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Peruvian tree cactus fruit

Read they were edible. Thought they might be palatable. But they're quite delicious and something to look forward to. Sort of dragon-fruit / watermelon in texture but lighter. The seeds are flavorless but give it an interesting crunch. Happy our plant has started producing these and adding them to the list of accidental favorite garden foods (along with the Purslane that grows as a weed literally from the cracks in our sidewalk). We're living off the fat of the land, I tell ya.