This is day 3, of 5, in my Certified Ethical Hacker class. It’s been 2 days of review for me, so I’m bored. But that has nothing to do with what’s stuck in my head.
When Cracked Rear View came out in 1994, I was immediately taken in by the group’s sound. It was a great blend of acoustic and electric pop rock and the emerging new country sound. But was so different that the “grunge” style that was just gathering steam. To me, it was an updated Loggins and Messina.
I also found the band name silly; Hootie and the Blowfish. I remember seeing front man Darius Rucker on an interview and he said that the name came from the nicknames they had given two guys while in college. It wasn’t exactly a nice nickname either. May not be a “nice” nickname, but it makes for a great band name! And it proves that something good can come out of USC. (That’s the University of South Carolina, not the University of Southern California).*
(*) I have have no dog in any fight over any college, sports team, or whatever. I only says this because my SC family seems to think that Clemson is the only university in the state, maybe the country. I have no idea why. Not a single one of them have attended any college, in any state or country. But I do have one nephew that graduated from Clemson, so I guess that’s it.
Seems like today is the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to give my faithful, and casual, readers a big thank you! I realize that I do not post anything world-changing. In fact I tend to post mostly useless stuff!
But if you really want useless stuff, then today is also my eleventh anniversary on Twitter! Talk about useless stuff. You should see my feed, it’s all over the place.
This one got stuck yesterday morning. They played a demo version on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks channel. I had never heard this version, and it was beautiful. I cannot find any media to play here of that demo.
This track is usually viewed as George’s statement of the breakup of The Beatles;
The subject matter deals with the transient nature of human existence, and in Harrison’s All Things Must Pass reading, words and music combine to reflect impressions of optimism against fatalism. On release, together with Barry Feinstein‘s album cover image, commentators viewed the song as a statement on the Beatles’ break-up. Widely regarded as one of Harrison’s finest compositions, its rejection by his former band has provoked comment from biographers and reviewers. Music critic Ian MacDonald described “All Things Must Pass” as “the wisest song never recorded by The Beatles”, while author Simon Leng considers it “perhaps the greatest solo Beatle composition”. The recording was co-produced by Phil Spector in London; it features an orchestral arrangement by John Barham and contributions from musicians such as Ringo Starr, Pete Drake, Bobby Whitlock, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann.
The main reason I truly love this song is the lyrics. The words combined with the beautiful musical arrangement show a view of optimism over fatalism. It’s not an overly religious song, although George was the most spiritual of the Beatles. But when taken along with all the songs on this three-album set you can see where George “finds hope and meaning only in God, who does not pass away”.
Normally I don’t like videos with lyrics, but I’m using one this time so that you can read the poem at the heart of this song. But George’s vocal is clear enough that you don’t really need to read, just listen. And enjoy!
While this song has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it many years ago, it only bubbles up to my conscience now and then. But we heard it several time during our visit to Scotland earlier this month. (We’re ready to go back too!)
It’s not surprising that the song was featured during our trip. The Proclaimers are a set of Scottish twins, they sing in a thick Scottish accent, and the song has been featured and covered by lots of folks, including a Comic Relief 2007: The Big One version for the BBC. It took it’s inclusion on the Johnny Depp movie Benny & June for the song to take off in America. It reached #3 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1993.
Not everybody on our tour knew all the words, in fact I don’t think any of us Americans knew them all, but everybody sang along on the chorus! Almost all of us could sing along when Puff The Magic Dragon came on. Out tour director claims that Puff is actually about Nessie. And while I never thought of that connection, it kinda makes sense!
This is one of those songs that comes and goes at very random times. Maybe because so many people have recorded it.
This song is of unkown authorship and is considered a traditional folk song. It may have started out that way, even when Bob Dylan recorded it in 1961 for his debut album. But by the time that The Animals recorded it on 18 May 1964 it was transformed into a “folk rock” hit.
Lead singer of the Animals, Eric Burdon, tells the tale that the group needed a song to end their set while on tour with Chuck Berry, that was different. Not a straight out rocker that most bands were ending sets with. To do this, they took this song, put Eric in a single red spot on stage and rocked it some. The response was so positive they decided to record it over the reluctance of their producer. The song was recorded in one take, all of 15 minutes or so.
The Animals had begun featuring their arrangement of “House of the Rising Sun” during a joint concert tour with Chuck Berry, using it as their closing number to differentiate themselves from acts that always closed with straight rockers. It got a tremendous reaction from the audience, convincing initially reluctant producerMickie Most that it had hit potential, and between tour stops the group went to a small recording studio on Kingsway in London to capture it.
But, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (you were waiting for that line, weren’t you?). Back in the day when I was a worship leader in churches, we used to play around during warm ups by playing Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun. Since it’s a very basic song in A minor, and in 4/4 time, the basic melody and rhythms can accept many other lyrics.
For fun, play in your head Amazing Grace to the tune of Peaceful Easy Feeling or better yet the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.
And now that I’ve got that stuck in your head, my job is done here.
Once again, I had the pleasure of attending the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Conference. This is the second year they’ve held the conference, and my second year of attending. As usual, the wonderful folks at KnowBe4 put on a great conference. I will admit that there were some things I thought were better last year than this year, but I will hold those criticisms for the email survey they will send. I’m sure the problems I found were more related to me, and not the conference itself. I am by definition a “grumpy old man”. The majority of attendees were probably younger than my kids. So, I’ll leave it at that.
I will mention one issue here. One night there is a “customer appreciation dinner”. No issue there, except for one like me with some severe social anxiety. This year there were almost 1000 attendees (up from only 300 or so last year). Before the dinner, there was an open bar (big plus in my book). My problem (all me, not the folks that set everything up), was that even with free beer, there were so many people in such a small space. The crowd noise was so overwhelming (added to my tinnitus) that I had to leave quickly. I only had 2 beers and went back to my room. My head was pounding, and the anxiety was so high, I’m surprised I didn’t have tears running down my face. I would have stopped and ordered food and drinks at one of the restaurants, but at $9 for a local craft beer that was not an option ( and the scotch/bourbon prices were way above anything I’ve ever seen before). If I attend this event next year, I will go back to the Holiday Inn across the street. Drinks and food prices there are much more reasonable.
ProTip: In the Orlando, FL area avoid the Marriott World Centre unless you have big bucks backing you. Everything is extremely overpriced.
Of course, that is not what I came to talk about. Let ‘s talk traffic. Regular readers of this blog (both of you) know how much I hate traffic. There are several posts about this already. For this conference I had to travel to Lake Buena Vista. Basically, into the heart of Disney. If there is one thing I hate more than driving Interstate 4 (we used to call it the devil’s highway. Not it’s God’s Highway – because nobody else will claim it!), it’s Disney.
ProTip: Orlando’s Airport code is MCO. It stands for Mickey Controls Orlando. And they control much more than that. Their environmental policy sucks. They only bow down to the almighty dollar.
I-4 is undergoing a major “improvement”. They call it Ultimate I-4. As in an ultimate pain in the ass. There are daily lane and exit changes. What once was a simple right lane exit, has now become, overnight, a left lane exit.
On Wednesday afternoon. It only took maybe an hour and a half to travel the 60 or so miles to the hotel/conference center. The return trip home was a completely different story. Almost two and a half hours to make to 60-mile trip. Why? Because I-4 is a parking lot the majority of the day. It just happens on different sides depending on the time of time. Add in the Ultimate (pain in the ass) project, and most parts of I-4 are a parking lot most of the day. And since all the theme parks (Disney, SeaWorld, Universal, et al) are on the west side of Orlando, I avoid them at all costs. I hate I-4 and Orlando beyond belief. In fact I want out of #Floriduh in the worst way.
In “honor” of sitting in the parking lot also known as I-4 for the majority of my Friday afternoon into the evening, here’s “I Can’t Drive 55”, because I don’t think I ever got above 45!
Today would have been my mother’s 98th birthday! So happy birthday to her!
Today is also the Celtic festival of Beltane. So, happy May Day as well!
Beltane was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain (~1 November), Imbolc (~1 February), Beltane (~1 May), and Lughnasadh (~1 August). Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season, when livestock were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were held at that time to protect them from harm, both natural and supernatural, and this mainly involved the “symbolic use of fire”. There were also rituals to protect crops, dairy products and people, and to encourage growth. The aos sí (often referred to as spirits or fairies) were thought to be especially active at Beltane (as at Samhain) and the goal of many Beltane rituals was to appease them. Most scholars see the aos sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. Beltane was a “spring time festival of optimism” during which “fertility ritual again was important, perhaps connecting with the waxing power of the sun”