July, 2007

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Ramrod 2007

    Here's my ride report...
  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Begin the day with a friendly choice, a companion unobtrusive...


    In the summer of 1980, I bought my first stereo. And then I started to buy records, though I'm not sure what my first purchase was. I've probably blocked it out because of the whole Christopher Cross/Air Supply thing.

    What I do remember is that my good Pam - who I spent 4 years with in independent-study math - and I had a deal. I would buy a record, and she would buy two tapes, so we could each have one (she had a cassette deck in her car but no stereo at home).

    And the first record that I bought for this was...

    Permanent Waves

    27 years later, I took my 13-year-old daughter (and my wife) to see Rush at the White River Amphitheater, for the "Snakes and Arrows" tour.

    Before the concert, I had two big questions in my mind.

    The first question was whether, to put it simply, they could still rock. After all, they're all in their mid-50s these days, and there aren't many active rockers that age any more.

    The second question was what songs they would play. When a group has created 18 studio albums, they have around 200 songs that they can choose from, and of course I had my own personal favorites I was hoping to hear.

    The answer to the first question is a resounding "yes". The band was musically tight. And despite having 30 years of rock on his voice, Geddy Lee has lost a surprisingly small amount of his vocal range. Lifeson and Peart are as good as they've ever been. And they are clearly enjoying performing.

    The second question had an interesting answer. Here are the songs I remember, in album order (freewill was first, YYZ was last).

    • A passage to bangkok (2112)
    • Closer to the heart (AFtK)
    • Circumstances (H)
    • Spirit of radio (PW)
    • Freewill (PW)
    • Entre Nous (PW)
    • Natural science (PW)
    • Tom sawyer (MP)
    • YYZ (MP)
    • Limelight (MP)
    • Witch Hunt (MP)
    • Subdivisions (Signals)
    • Digital man (Signals)
    • Distant early warning (GUP)
    • Red Sector A (GUP)
    • All of Snakes and Arrows

    There's something very interesting there. First, there are no songs (unless I missed some) from the last 5 albums (PW, HYF, Presto, RtB, VT). Second, they are all themetic in nature - along the lines of the new album. For me, there were a couple of nice surprises - Entre Nous and Natural Science have alway been favorites of mine.

    The sound was pretty good. The shape of the amphitheater helps, and the fact that there are no back and side walls means there are fewer reflections. The sound level wasn't Green Day loud, but I was still happy to have my Etymotics ear plugs with me.

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Perhaps if we built a large wooden badger?


    The Trojan Horse

    (from Ray)

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Where are you?


    If you have web presence, a very interesting activity:

    Go to Google maps, and type in your name. Here's what you get from mine...

    From Phil Plait

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    How to set content of a div using CSS


    I'm working on customizing my new blog, and part of that is adding some image content above the link section. I can do that directly be editing the theme.master file (I'm using community server), but I'd like to be able to do it through the CS dashboard.

    I've put in a div named EricBlogPictureLinks, but I can't figure out how to set the innerText property through CSS. Is it possible?

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Bicycle Adventures San Juan Islands Family Camping Tour

    Read my review here...
  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Cool fence of the day...


    The recently-completed fence in the Gunnerson backyard. The fence is 4'1" high and runs about 80 feet across the yard.

    The wide boards are 5.5" wide, and the thin ones are 2" wide. Posts are embedded in concrete 18" deep, all the framework is pressure-treated, the cross-rails are attached with Simpson Z-max angles, and the boards themselves are attached with stainless steel fence nails (so the boards don't stain).

    Total cost - somewhere around $1000.

    Total time - longer than I had hoped - especially since all the thin boards had to be ripped.

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Cool picture of the day


    Saturn's moon Hyperion, from the Bad Astronomer. Make sure to click on the image to see the full-size version.

  • Eric Gunnerson's Compendium

    Member names and UI controls


    A follow-on to the previous discussion about member names.

    There were a variety of opinions, some of which argued for using no prefix at all.

    For those of you who are in the group, I'm interested in how you manage things when you are doing UI work, and having to deal with your 3 member variables being swallowed by the 100 methods already defined in the base class.

    Is this an issue for you? If so, how do you deal with it?

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