April 13-23, 2015


Spent most of the week after Full Frame recovering from Full Frame. Did manage to make it out to see Inter Arma at the Pinhook – it was a good reminder of the life of the touring musician. They put out a nearly universally acclaimed debut album on Relapse in 2013, played a packed Lincoln Theatre at Hopscotch that year. And in April 2015 they played their asses off to a crowd of ~40 people on a Tuesday at the Pinhook.

My folks were coming to town on Saturday the 18th, Record Store Day, so the rest of the week was spent either cleaning house or getting ready for our simulcast of the big party at Chaz’s Bull City Records. Between Merge & the Record Store Day website, I was concerned that we’d get a flood of streaming listeners, so we shelled out for a month of third-party stream hosting (via ShoutCheap).

Apparently people are busy doing other things on beautiful Saturday afternoons in April, though – I think we peaked at maybe 40 listeners online, or less than half of what we’ve gotten at each of our Hopscotch/3 Lobed day parties. 

There were a ton of actual physical people at the actual physical show – I was impressed at how many humans can fit comfortably into Chaz’s parking lot. It looks so tiny when you’re parking your car in it. Good reminder that cars take up ridiculously large amounts of space that could otherwise be used for much cooler things.

Ex Hex totally blew me away, in welcome contrast to every time I had seen them before. Although I went back & listened to the recording of the show and was less impressed. They’re definitely a band you need to see up close & in person. Or on record. Love that record.

Sunday we watched the first episode of the new season of Orphan Black. It was pretty wretched, moreso even than the end of last season. Oh well. 

Gonna have to just shorthand the rest of this week, because I’m supposed to be packing to drive to Virginia.

High points:

Low points:

  • The crappy no-guitars mix at this week’s Sleater-Kinney show
  • The Back Porch Music-heavy lineup for this year’s Duke Performances Music in the Gardens series
  • Local businesses who try to crowdfund the purchase of luxury items (a pool table, for a barber shop) with “rewards” like “Hugs” for $75 donations.
  • The pitch timer

April 13-23, 2015

January 11-13, 2015

I’ve been doing a lot of technical interviewing lately, and I have a suggestion for the nation’s universities’ Computer Science departments:

Quit making your undergraduate curricula so polyglot

I feel like a decade ago, you had a pretty good chance of talking to a Computer Science student who had at least a solid 2 years of Java or C++ under his or her belt, and at some schools more like 3 or even all 4 years.

This was of course highly problematic – it meant that you would encounter students who hadn’t the foggiest idea about web technologies, or how to use useful scripting languages. But at least they knew a pretty solid range of advanced topics in their department’s language of choice.

Lately I’ve been talking to a ton of students who had maybe two semesters taught in Java freshman year, and then perhaps a couple of classes in C, and some more advanced classes in Python, and perhaps a web class in PHP or Javascript, and then maybe some crank of a prof teaching in a functional language.

Which is neat, right? They get exposed to all of these different languages, blah blah blah. 

So they can barely remember how to write a for loop in any of them.

I would like to suggest that perhaps a minimum of four consecutive semesters or eight core CS courses should be taught in the SAME LANGUAGE, which should be enough time for the students to get past the initial learning curve, master the basics, and pick up the more advanced concepts. 

Because right now I’m talking to too many students who’ve essentially repeated the basics in three different languages & never seen advanced topics in any of them.

Anyway. I’m backlogged on writing diary entries again. Let’s see:

  • Sunday was Sunday, with the added bonus of a power outage at WXDU that resulted in no show for me. But I was able to switch our internet radio stream over to a higher-quality audio processor. I think it sounds better. You tell me
  • We watched the Golden Globes. I don’t have a lot to say about that, other than to register my annoyance that Selma didn’t win anything. I mean, I enjoyed Birdman, and I enjoyed Boyhood, but I liked Selma better. And COME ON there have already been a lot of movies about WHITE MEN.
  • Our Alien-series film festival has ground to a halt due to Having to Work At Night After Work. Yuck.
  • My nighttime work has mostly been refactoring someone else’s 10-year-old PHP code so that it doesn’t throw 10,000 errors every time a page loads now that we’re on PHP 5.x. It’s actually fairly straightforward, just gotta put EVERY SINGLE HASH KEY into single quotes instead of barewords.
  • M has had real work-work to do, which is a drag.
  • My work has been rendered far more pleasant by my incessant repeat playing of the new Sleater-Kinney. Gonna be hard to knock this one off of my #1 spot for 2015. It’s January 14th as I’m writing this. Yep.
  • I finished reading Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan. What a great read. Thanks for the recommendation, zmagg! I’m kind of gobsmacked that there are more books in this series & I can read them RIGHT NOW.

January 11-13, 2015