Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random Thoughts From the Road: MSU

My wife and I spent last weekend enjoying Autumn's glory on the campus of Michigan State University. I love traveling simply because, to paraphrase my brother-in-law , "if you want to have new thoughts, you've got to do new things." So here are some of things hanging around in my head since the trip:

The Starbury. Worn in the NBA and always only $14.98. No comment from Nike, Addidas, or Reebok.

My impression after driving a PT Cruiser: fun to drive but I wouldn't buy one (it definitely prefers
cruising to passing). Though I'm always impressed with the details that Chrysler engineers seem to focus on.

Michigan speed limits: how can you set a limit of 75 for cars and 55 for trucks? Lowest common denominator rules...

If Technology is a flattener, and software-as-a-service extends the metaphor, why is it hard to offshore parts of SAAS?

Why is nearly every mom we know a "sales mom"? How come we never knew about this racket? Another sign of a flat world..?

I'm seeing more and more about biofuels. How come I never see anything addressing the water supply that will help create biofuels? Won't water be much more scarce and in critical supply? Maybe it's not simple. Maybe changes to government, corporate subsidies, water law, and the iconic American farmer are involved. Maybe not. But it's time to start being frank and honest about the environment.

Airport security seems to be much more efficient and less congested when it's dispersed to locations near each terminal rather than centralized in one or two main areas. (Distributed systems rule)

Crushing a beer can in Michigan is offensive. Apparently the can machines need the barcode to pay back the $.10 deposit (or something like that). The general public response to the crush can be quite startling actually.

When I was in college it never,
never, occurred to me that I might be talking to a married person in a bar near campus, and that their spouse might be right over there.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Saturday night I took in a concert the likes of which I haven't enjoyed in a loooong time. I saw Kasabian (and here) with Mew and onethousand pictures at the Gothic Theatre in Denver. I'd never seen or heard really any music from any of the bands, aside from the annoyingly short blurbs on iTunes. But being a top-rated band from Leicester, England, and supporting act for Oasis, I'd heard quite a bit of buzz surrounding Kasabian and I liked enough of their annoyingly short sound to check them out. The concert came at an appropriate time, having read Britpop! just two weeks earlier.

I went through a period of about two or three years in college where I tried to cram in as many concerts as possible. Four concerts in five nights was not out of the question: Rollins Band with Sausage and Helmet, Sheryl Crow, Lemonheads with Better than Ezra, and The Cranberries (absent Suede). And I've always been pretty enamored with British bands. Maybe it's their understated stage presence and overwhelming sound, or maybe it's just because they're relatively hard to come by in Denver/Boulder. In any case, save David Grey (technically) and some group of Asian chaps rocking the
The Dublin Castle, I haven't been touched by the British sound in about ten years.

Kasabian were awesome and that's just about all I can say. The Gothic is a small venue, holding maybe 500 people (300 of which approximately in attendance), and Kasabian absolutely blew the doors off the place, blew me away, and took me back to my first Brit-band show with Radiohead. It was amazing. And I usually don't look forward to opening acts, but both bands were talented in their own right and really caught my attention. Especially Mew with their abstract visuals playing on a huge screen behind them along with their abstract vocals - almost uncategorizable. Could one expect less from the top-rated band out of Denmark? But Tom Meighan, lead singer for Kasabian, was the star of the night... by far. He came off to me as a mix of Mick Jagger and Liam Gallagher of Oasis. A good friend that saw Kasabian a year ago mentioned it's apparent that Meighan's been influenced heavily by Gallagher in the year they've been touring. In any case, I felt lucky to be that close to the stage on that night.

Concert Quote of the Night, toilet wall scratches: God loves, Man kills