Category Archives: Uncategorized

Goodbye Google Reader

So Google has announced that they are shutting down Google Reader in July. We will see if that really happens after the huge backlash of complaints. I love Google Reader and live in it all day long, either in my browser, or via an app on my mobile devices. It’s a service that I would totally pay for. That being said, Google’s monopoly on feed readers has really caused Google Reader to be quite stagnate. I don’t remember the last useful feature added to Reader.

Maybe it’s true that less and less people are using RSS, but I still think lots of people are still using it. Some people are replacing feed readers with Twitter and Flipboard. While I love Twitter and Flipboard, I don’t think they could ever replace my feed reader. I’m too OCD and worried about missing something. I never miss anything with feed readers.

If Google does shut down reader I will be lost for a while, but I’m sure a good replacement will surface. Someone just needs to write a nice online feed reader that’s clean, has plenty of sharing options, and syncs with current iOS app and I’m sold.

I’ve been reading my RSS feeds long before Google Reader, and will continue long after. RSS is not dead. I remember when I first started reading RSS feeds. I started reading them on a desktop app. I don’t even remember which one it was, but I went through a couple different ones. I was actually reluctant to switch to an online reader at first. I didn’t want to be dependent on a website. Now I couldn’t imagine not using an online feed reader. I learned to love NewsGator. Then eventually switched to Bloglines, and then to Google Reader. What’s next?

While I’m bummed to see Google Reader go, but I’m excited to see what the future of RSS readers has in store. Is there even a current competitor to Google Reader? If so let me know. I’m sure the code monkeys are already at work to have many competitor before July.

First of May

So when I hear that it’s the first of May the first thing that comes to mind in the Jonathan Coulton song. I wish I lived closer to Minneapolis. He is performing at the Varsity Theater tonight. How cool would it be to hear JoCo sing “First of May” on the first of May?

If you have no idea what song I am talking about check it out here. Just so you know, it’s a little NSFW.

He is giving it away on his site, so I am sure it’s fine if I gave it away. If you like it check out his other stuff. I bought it all, and it’s good stuff.

Motion City Soundtrack Acoustic EP

motion-city-soundtrack.pngSo if you are regular reader of my blog you know who the best fucking band in the world is right? Well, next Tuesday they are releasing a little 5 song acoustic EP on iTunes. I don’t know if it’s only going to be on iTunes or if it’s going to contain DRM or not, but I will be getting it. You can check out one of the songs over at Spin.com. Next month I will be seeing them for the sixth time. I can’t wait.

Money

Thanks to Salena I now know when to expect my “economic stimulus” check from the government. I will be getting a paper check around June 20th. It doesn’t really matter to me when I get it. The money is going right into our savings account. We are trying to build it up again after the house purchase put a big dip in it last summer. I love having a big chunk of money in my savings account. I just feel more comfortable knowing that I have enough money in savings that I could miss several months of work and not have to worry. Currently we could probably go three months without any income. I would like to at least double that this year.

Next Step

So it’s been a busy week. It’s been reasonable nice out so I have been busy doing outside house stuff. We got an estimate on a fence. Sometime in May we should be getting our backyard fenced in. It will be nice to be able to let the dog and not have to keep an eye on her.

We also had another thing going on this week. We had a two day adoption workshop. I tend not to blog too much about my personal life. I might start opening up a little more. We have been trying to have kids for some time now. The doctors can’t find a problem, it just isn’t happening. We have been talking about adopting for a while. In January we went in to start things rolling. It’s a long process to adopt a child. At first I wasn’t sure if I was up for it. I have always admired people who adopt, but I never thought I could be one of them. After attending this workshop I can see myself doing it.

We learned a lot about how adoptions work this week. There are a lot of misconceptions about adoption. In the past it was kind of kept a secret from the child. Then when the child learns that they were adopted it’s been hard for them to find their birth parents. Now days adoptions are more open. The birth parents actually chose who they want adopting their child. There are varying degrees of openness depending on the comfort level of the families, but the child grows up knowing who their birth parents are. Sometimes the birth parents get to see their child a couple times a year. Sometimes it’s just pictures and letters, but it’s all to benefit the child. Everything is geared toward the child.

Adoption is a great thing. I am actually kind of excited about it now. The next step is a bunch of paperwork. I am not to excited about that.

=w=

So I have been sick the last couple days, and really haven’t been in the mood to blog, but I had to blog about this. Weezer has leaked the first song off of their new album which is coming out June 24th. It will be Weezer’s third self titles album. This one will be known as “The Red Album”.

You can hear their first single titled “Pork and Beans” here.

I so can’t wait for this album. Weezer is one of my all time favorite band, and I have seen them in concert five times.

The Beeps, the Sweeps and the Creeps

Last night the wife got free tickets to see Michael Winslow. If you don’t know who he is, he is the guy that makes all those noises in Police Academy. I know him from one of my favorite movies Spaceballs. He was pretty funny, but I thought his opening comedian was funnier. He still put on a great show. It was amazing the noises he could make. That was something to see. At one point hs sat back and played a clip from Star Wars and suplied all the voices and sound effects. It was pretty funny and amazing.

TV is Dying

I watch very little TV. Most TV shows bore me. I am watching more and more online video. I love most of the shows on Revision3. They have a new show called Scam School that is pretty cool. Brian Brushwood is the host. He is a magician, and each show he shows cool tricks to play on your friends to get them to buy you free drinks. He recently did an interview with Drew Domkus from the Dawn and Drew Show on his N3rd Moment show. During the interview Brian said he was trying to get his show on a TV network, but they didn’t get it. They wanted him to comb his hair, put on a sweater, and tame it down.

TV always seems to dumb things down. They have to make shows that suit a wide range of viewers. The Internet is great because you can make a niche show just about anything and if it is good and entertaining, you can get an even bigger audience that if it was on TV. Once advertisers realized that people are really watching online video and are really passionate about them and actually see their commercials, rather then their commercials being just background noise on TV, I believe online TV will explode even more and it wont be just geeks watching it.

One show that I hope makes it to TV is Skeptologists. It has a great cast including Phil Plait, Brian Dunning, Kirsten Sanford, Michael Shermer, and Yau-Man Chu of Survivor fame. If they can’t get it on TV I hope they will do in on the Internet.

April Showers

So it looked like spring was about to get here. The snow was almost completely melted out of our yard. We were making plans for spring. I was going to call some fencing companies today to get estimates on getting out backyard fenced it. I guess I wont be doing that for a couple weeks now. We got a little “April Shower” yesterday. Six inches of “April Showers”.

Here are a few pictures I took with my phone at work. You can’t really see the snow coming down, but it was coming down like crazy.

Spring ShowerSpring Shower

I shoveled last night when I got home from work. It was some heavy ass snow, full of water. Today I got up and we had some more, but it was really frozen. The sidewalk and driveway are a mess now. I am not even going to bother trying to get the ice off. One of these days it should warm up enough to melt it.

10 Years

Ten years ago today I started my current job. I can’t believe I have been working here for 10 years. Since it’s my anniversary, I get a nice 50 cent raise today, plus I now get a little longevity bonus every paycheck. It’s also now been 10 years that I have been living in Fargo. That’s the longest I have lived in one town. That seems crazy. I grew up in a little town in northern Minnesota. It seemed like I lived there forever, but it was only eight years. After my freshman year in high school we moved to a town in southern Minnesota. I also lived their for eight years, then moved to Fargo after college.

Another crazy thing is that I am 33 and have only had two jobs in my life. I got a job in a restaurant in high school and worked their until I graduated college and got my current job. I like my job. It very secure. Not too many people leave. I have been here 10 years and there is only one person that is newer than me. Crazy.

Giving Up on CDs

I have always been a CD guy. I like to touch and look at the physical CD. A couple of CDs that I want came out yesterday, and I am really tempted to buy them in MP3 form from Amazon. I have purchased a few albums from Amazon, but they weren’t from bands that I have to have their CD. No Use For a Name is one of the band that I have to have their CDs. Now that Amazon sells non-DRMed MP3s, they are actually an option for me. I would never buy DRMed music. I couldn’t tell you the last time I played an actual CD. I bet the last couple hundred that I bought have never been played. I just rip them, and then they just sit and take up space. I might as well just buy the MP3s, but it’s tough giving up the physical media.

Weekend

So I haven’t blogged since I got back from Bismarck. Classes went good in Bismarck. They were boring, but informative. They were better than last time I had to go. Mostly because the PowerPoint presentations were better.

I am starting to get spring fever. The snow is melting like crazy. It still is a little cold to do much outside, but so tempting. Yesterday we worked on a few projects around the house, and today was catch up on TiVo and Internet day. I am almost caught up already, and am tempted to get on the roof and take down the Christmas lights, but it’s only 34º and might be a little cold.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. It’s kinda weird missing a week of work and not having to take any vacation.

Second Day in Bismarck

First day of classes are done. After class we hung out in the bar in the hotel. I very seldom drink, so it didn’t take much to get drunk.

it’s kinda nice having this big hotel room myself. The internet is also great here. I am able to keep up on everything.

Oh well, off to grab a bite to eat before I spend all day in class.

fun.

Off to Bismarck

Well, I am off to Bismarck now, so to keep you entertained here are a couple of cool videos I found.

The first one is a live acoustic set of three songs from Bad Religion. I have been a Bad Religion fan for well…ever, and I am a sucker of acoustic versions of songs.

Another band that I have loved forever is Screeching Weasel. This video is from the lead singer, Ben Weasel’s latest solo album.

The final video is from Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s frontman. His solo album wasn’t as good as I was hoping, but this video is from one of the better songs.

Happy viewing!

Rhinestone Cowboy

Yesterday I heard Rhinestone Cowboy from Glen Campbell on the radio at work and actually liked it. Not because it was a great song, but because it reminded me of seeing Soul Asylum cover that song a couple summers ago. Seeing Soul Asylum was awesome. Dave Pirner looked like he was having so much fun up on stage. It looked like he would be doing that even if he wasn’t getting paid. They haven’t had a hit song in quite some time, but it didn’t look like they cared. They were there to put on a show for the couple hundred people that were there. I thought their last album was one of their bests. I was rooting for it to get big, but it didn’t get any airplay. I always root for fellow Minnesotans, but I am not really a Prince fan.

Miro

I watch tons on online videos/podcasts. For the last few months I have been using HappyFish to download my videos, but now have switched to Miro. Miro use to be the Democracy Player. I tried it out when it was the Democracy Player. I liked it, but it wasn’t quite there for me. Over the weekend I tried out Miro. I love it now. It’s pretty much my iTunes for video now. The best part is they have a Revision3 version that already has all the Revision3 shows in it. Since I watch most of the Revision3 stuff that’s the version I grabbed.