Help Me Internets, You Are My Only Hope.

I have spent the last few days trying to set up the band's blog. This is what I have so far. I need to design a header and change the color scheme, but overall I am happy. The problem is that I have a few things that I would like to do that I can't seem to find any plugins or widgets for. Note, this is a Wordpress 2.1.2 blog.

First, I would like to be able to select an author's name and go to all of the posts by that author. I have seen this done, but I can't seem to figure it out. It would also be nice to have the author's names appear on the sidebar with the same clickable functionality.

Also, I would like a section in the sidebar that lists our upcoming concerts. It would be nice if you could click on them and go to more information, be it a post about them or whatever. I have tried this, but I can't seem to make it work. Any help would be much appreciated.

Also, feel free to let me know if you have any other ideas for band blog functionality.


Baseball Preview...

We are less than one week from Opening Day, otherwise known as the greatest day of the whole year. Admittedly, the prospects for the Nationals are not great. Sports writers can't seem to decide if the Nationals will lose a laughable number of games, a historic number of games, or somewhere in between. My current favorite prediction comes from King Kaufman's Sports Daily. His prediction for the finishing order for the NL East is:

"Philadelphia, Atlanta (wild card), New York, Florida, Grand Canyon, Marianas Trench, Washington"
So why go to the ballpark this year?

The first, and most important reason, is that this is a year to get your Fan cred. When the Nationals start winning, and people start showing up to the stadium with new baseball hats you will be able to scoff at them and say, "I was there in 2007."

If you go with me, you can watch me try to keep up with all of the runs scored and pitching changes in my scorebook. I imagine that things could get pretty hectic around RFK this year, and the 2007 season could be the greatest test of my scorekeeping abilities for years to come.

Also, there is a certain poetry to the dejected baseball fan watching the other team bat around. In fact, baseball fans are better at yelling at/hating/cursing the team they love than any other sports fans.

Finally, a day at a baseball game is better than just about anything else.

But you should be prepared. This season could will be ugly. The Phillies fans will be even more insufferable, and New York fans even more smug. You will have to hear the horrible Tomahawk chop from Braves fans, and...well, I don't think their are Marlins fans. That said, the Presidents race is one of the greatest innovations to team sports in the last 10 years, and Teddy has still yet to break into the W column. That alone is reason enough to visit RFK.


April 11th at the Velvet Lounge

I am please to announce that my band, The City Veins, has its first concert on Wednesday, April 11th at the Velvet Lounge. I will give you more details as they become available. But you all have to come, and these are the reasons:

  1. Most of you live within 6 blocks of the Velvet Lounge
  2. Most of you have never seen me perform live
  3. Most of you don't have real jobs that you have to wake up for on Thursday
Again, click here to download our album. Remember, my blog readership is small and I know almost all of you personally, including all of your home addresses. There will be penalties for non-compliance.


Friday Miscellany...

This whole voting rights thing has made me so angry that I can barely contain myself. Never mind that we are fighting for legislation that will still leave us short of full representation, but the way that the Republicans derailed the bill only highlights why it is so necessary. The fact that people who we didn't vote for can change our gun laws proves why we need someone on the Hill that represents us.

I am pretty sure that I am going to take off of work to participate in this, and you should too.

I really like DCist's answer to Representative Charles Boustany. I am still figuring out what issue I want to bring up with my new Representative. I wish that we could go farther. I am envisioning a day when all DC residents don't work. I would imagine there are enough residents working on the Hill, as Waiters, Cab Drivers, Metro Operators, Security Guards, etc. to make life markedly more difficult for the congressmen who domineer over us.

In related news, D.C.'s own These United States are the Thursday session over at Daytrotter and you should go give a listen. It seems to me that D.C. is starting to develop a pretty good, non-Dischord, music scene. It is nice to see.

Finally, due to Catherine's prodding, and boredom at work, I now have a Facebook profile. You should go over an be my friend. Full disclosure, I mainly plan on using it to harass people to come to my concerts.

UPDATE: Apparently it was Congressman Louie Gohmert that brilliantly opined:

"I would submit to you that Washington, D.C. is also the only city in the entire country that every Senator and every Member of Congress has a vested interest in seeing that it works properly, that water works, sewer works, and no other city in America has that."
I for one have noticed a fair number of potholes around that I am sure that Louie wants to hear about.

Also, I forgot to add that Matt is not welcome in my apartment if he is packing.



On of the unfortunate side effects of being in a band is that you have to use MySpace. I have accepted that we have to have a profile and that I will have to use the site fairly regularly, but I still hate it. It is just so very ugly, both visually and functionally.

That said, it is apparently important that we have lots of friends on MySpace. I can't imagine that people booking concerts pay that much attention to the number of MySpace friends you have. For example, can I get a gig at DC9 if we have 200 friends, but not if we have 150? I have been out of the band thing for a while, so maybe this is the case.

Anyway, if you have a MySpace account please become my friend. Note, Adam messed up something, so our first MySpace account, http://www.myspace.com/thecityveins, is not our account. We are currently using, http://www.myspace.com/cityveins.


Go Ducks!

I think that every person should see this video of Greg Paulus flopping last night. It is fantastic.

In other NCAA news, my bracket is still intact. I have historically done pretty well in NCAA pools. My philosophy is that you have to dare to be great, and not be afraid of looking really stupid. I always pick a few teams that probably are not going to go far, but have a respectable chance of doing so. I like this strategy because, if one does well then I make up a lot of points where other people are not. I don't even try to believe that I can pick everything right, I just try to get lucky with one or two teams. For example, this year my whole bracket depends on Oregon and Louisville. If they do well, then I will probably win, if not (which is likely) then I look like an idiot.


I Feel Like Dancing...

I know that I have a lot of friends who work developing websites, so it pains me to say this, but you all can just give up. I have found the greatest website ever. There is no way that you can top this, so why even bother.

Created here


I Call Upon the Power of the Internet...

Now that I am in a band, I have to design a band website. It has been a while since I have done a band website, and a lot has changed on the internet since then. So I wanted to ask all of you wonderful Web 2.0 people: "what do you like in a band website?" What features must we have, and what horrible mistakes have you seen on websites? For example, I know that long flash intros that are required every time you visit the website are bad. Do we think that a blog is a good idea for a band, keeping in mind that Adam will be one of the people writing for it? Please, leave any ideas you have in comments. Thanks

Also, you will notice that I have left a permanent link to download our album on the sidebar. Again, feel free to pass it around, or link to it, or whatever.


A Weekend Affair

The album, "A Weekend Affair" by The City Veins, is finished, click here to download it. The album is zipped up, which I don't think should be a problem for most people, but you may need to download a program to unzip it. Feel free to share it, burn it, trade it, post links to it, or whatever. All that I ask is that if by the grace of God you manage to actually make any money with it, please give me some.

We called the album "A Weekend Affair" because the whole thing was recorded, and mostly written, over the course of a single weekend. Overall, I must say that I am surprised at how happy I am with the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I still hate everything, but I always hate everything I record. Given that we decided to record the album on a lark, and that we hadn't really written or arranged anything, things could have been a lot worse. There are a few things that I would change if I had more time, but not many.

The only other thing that I want to add is to explain that I intentionally put very little time between songs. I wanted the experience of listening to the album to be like the experience of recording it. We just moved quickly from one song to the next without any time really to reflect on what we had done, and I think that I mostly captured that feeling with the sequencing of the songs.

In other news, it looks like we might actually become a real band. Hopefully I will have news of a show in the D.C. area by the end of the week, or early next week. While we don't have a "drummer" yet, or remember how to "play the songs," we are reasonably confident that we can get our act together in time. Hell, we recorded an album without any real preparation, how bad can a concert be? Assuming that it isn't at the Grog anyway.


Donors Choose...

So this hasn't been a great week. Not a bad "get me a fifth of scotch" week, but a week filled with a series of minor annoyances that added up. I had a bunch of things I planned on accomplishing this week, and managed to complete none of them. It was irritating, and I am glad that the week is over.

The one bright spot was a package that I received from Donors Choose. Donors Choose is a non-profit organization that collects proposals for materials or programs from public school teachers and then asks for donations on their website to fund the proposals. You can read more about the organization here. You can search for proposals by area of the country, subject, and/or price range. One can also fully or partially fund a proposal. The non-profit use to go by the name Means for Dreams.

I came across the site a few months ago during my internet travels. I liked the idea behind it, and found that a Kindergarten teacher at a school near me had put in a proposal for a laminating machine so that her teaching materials would last longer. I decided to fund this proposal, put in my credit card information, and then didn't think much else about it.

Well a few days ago, I got a package in the mail with a lovely handwritten thank you note from the teacher, thank you cards from the students, and pictures of the students. I also got this poster.

It just makes me smile.

So let me encourage you to wander over and check out the site. We hear a lot of negative things about the state of public schools, particularly in here in the District, and this website is certainly not going to solve the big problems that our schools are facing. But if their are still teachers who still care enough to write proposals and go through the vetting process that the non-profit uses, and enough people who stumble across the site and help out with whatever they can, then maybe there is some hope.