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Dear Reader,

In my never ending quest to find things to fill my time, I have stumbled across a gold mine. Well, it’s dark and kinda dank but its not really a cave, more of a dive. I speak of a place called JJ’s which is right down the street from where I live. Awsome little dive where the blues rock every night of the week. This little hole-in-the-wall bar is located in a generic strip-mall on Stephens Creek Blvd in San Jose. Sandwiched between a matress store and a sporting goods shop is a blues emporium that will surprise you.

I hit it Sunday night for a couple of hours and was blown away. When I got there 5 old white guys (and that’s important only because you don’t normally think of 5 old white guys when you think of blues.) were turning up. Since the show hadn’t actually, started, I hit the free Sunday BBQ and sat down to wait. Soon enough, they started picking. They had a tight sound. (well, ok, as tight of a sound as you can get playing blues) To my untrained ear, they sounded like they were a bunch of guys that got together every week and picked for a while. Imagine my surprise when I asked the Sound Engineer what band this was and he replied that they were just 5 guys that showed up with instruments. (Yes, Love, like Amy and the Total Strangers but with facial hair)

They spent an hour running through some of the classics. At one point the guy playing lead actually looked at the others and said “let’s play something in G”. And with the practiced ease of national acts like “Stewie and the Cow Tones” the launched into a song that I assume was actually in G. Of course, they played one of the few blues songs I recognize, “Sweet Home Chicago”. (I sang along but now, reading the words, I butchered it. No wonder people were snickering.)

Long about 9:00 PM, Alvin Draper hit the stage. Alvin looks a lot like Morgan Freeman but sounds nothing like him. He and his band (at least one of the pickers from the Jam Session) let lose for a set that was pretty damn good. For an old guy, his boney old fingers can really pick.

So for the price of a couple of drinks, I was fed, entertained and left with a warm feeling in my stomach. (Which was either the alcohol kicking in or the polish sausage, not sure which)

If you are ever in San Jose and looking for some place nice and quiet to just kick back and relax, JJ’s is probably not the place you want to go. but if you are looking for dark and dank with killer blues and decent drink prices then yea, JJs is the place you want to hang.

Until next time, It’s lonely exploring out here by myself,

New Toy!

Dear Reader,

I have been given a shiny new Blackberry! So now I can finally say with confidence that the Treo rocks! I’m sorry, I know the BBerry is “push” and my little Treo has to “pull” email but still the BBerry just can’t compare to the plethora of applications available to it. FWIW, this is my 3rd BBerry, I had one of the original ones and one of the original in this form factor and while they’ve gotten better, they still can’t hold a candle to a 650.

I guess, given the price difference, if you want a phone with some cool options, the BBerry is good. If, however, you want a true PIM/Phone and communications device, it’s Treo, hands down.

Until next time, “…the weather is here, I wish you were beautiful”.


Odd Bits and random thoughts

Dear Reader,

I have a conference call with a guy form a company ( pronounced skip dot com. They make an “identity solution”. Anybody remember when we just wrote software? yea, back in the days when Marketing thought we were nerds and left us alone. Anyhow, this looks like a great black box access control solution for a project I’m working on.

The server move went, well, less than smooth. but it’s done and I don’t ever want to do that again. I’d like to say thanks to all my customers who showed infinite patience as I worked through some of the technical details.

Kathy has been at SIGGRAPH all week. For those of you who don’t know, SIGGRAPH is German for “Open Bar”. :) She’s having a great time and since she spent my food budget for the month on a camera, maybe she’ll upload some pictures to either my site or hers.

Santa Clara has a radio station MAX-FM that started off like Nashville’s JACK-FM. However, now they have live DJs and insipid banter in the morning so I’m forced to find another station or just listen to podcasts on my morning drive-time. (For those curious, JACK-FM is really somebody’s C=64 sitting in a closet somewhere.) :)

I think that’s all for now. Any more and I run the risk of rambling.

Until next time, it’s awful quiet in my world these days.


I know what the hell is wrong with Hollywood!

Dear Reader,

I’ve done it, I’ve cracked the code. I know what is wrong with Hollywood; “Content Overload”!

No, not in the traditional sense of we have too much coming at us so we can’t absorb it all. No, the problem with Hollywood is they keep making more and more ‘content’ for us to consume and most of it is crap. Let face it, good movie ideas are like good business ideas. One out of every 100 or so may be good and out of that only 5% will actually make it. So why does the Hollywood entertainment engine feel that it has to fill our lives with every crap script (‘cmon, who actually green lighted “Evolution”?) that comes across their desk. I mean some of them are good but most of what comes out of the mainstream entertainment industry is total crap. I’m not talking about, it’s a niche vehicle and just not targeted at me; no, I can recognize the difference between bad and just not interesting to me.

“The Jerk”

Father: “You see that?”
Navin: “Yeah.”
Father: “That’s shit. And this, “shinola.”
Navin: “Shit, shinola.”
Father: “Son, you’re going to be all right.”

Wake up Hollywood, we can all tell the difference between shit and shinola!

I’m tired of the entertainment industry being one of the few industries that, if they sell you a bad product, you can’t demand your money back. If you bought a car that looked beautiful in the brochure and on the show-room floor, only to find out that it smelled of BO after a week, the floors were sticky and you always had 2 people behind you that were so bored with where you were going that they’d rather hold their own conversation? No, you’d take it back and demand your money back and throw a royal hissy.

So here’s what I propose we do about the problem. To all who actually care that great baskets of money are being wasted on people watching bad movies, let’s setup a “Movie lottery” Insert of everybody in the US going to see the latest celluliod fluff foisted upon us at the theaters each week, we’ll all draw straws. Each week 100 of us will see each movie that comes out. That’s it. Everybody else stay home and watch “Caddyshack”, “Stripes”, “The Shining”, “Moulin Rogue!”, “The Jerk” or whatever your personal favorite movie is but don’t go to the theater. Then, the 100 that go see each movie will post reviews. Now at this point, it’s up to you.
Once you read the review and check the score given to it by ‘The 100’ then you have to decide then if it’s worth your money or not. But at least you aren’t going in blind.

Until next time, hope all is well.


The Forgotten

Dear Reader,

One of the most aptly titled movies ever made. This movie soon will be forgotten. I hesitate to even review it here for fear of piquing someone interest and thus prolonging it’s life.

Gary Sinise ought to be ashamed of this one. I’m sure he’s not because it serves the purpose of covering the stain on his record we know as ‘Reindeer Games’ (why does Ben Affleck still get work?) And sadly, this could have been a great movie. Ok, maybe not great, but it could have been a good movie. It has a quasi-interesting plot, a slightly X-Files feel to it and the lack of any major names starring in it. (Sorry Gary, you are a recognizable name but not a major name FWIW ‘major name’==anyone who has not appeared in a movie with Ben.) So it had all the ingredients to deliver.

Sadly, Julianne Moore just failed to deliver. She was much less the woman being driven mad and much more just a whiner. Yea, ok, your son isn’t really missing. Quit explaining it in detail to every extra that steps onto the set and DO SOMETHING!

Please dear reader, do not rent this, do not watch it the 15 times it will be on TBS, if a friend rents it, find a new friend. Let’s let this one die.

Until next time, have a sunshiny day!