Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weekly Music Report

Memorial Day travelling has delayed this a couple of days, but the stats are still good. According to my new methodology, I listened to the following music the most last week:
  1. Shearwater - 16 tracks
  2. Elf Power - 8 tracks
  3. Pavement - 5 tracks
  4. Smashing Pumpkins - 4 tracks
  5. Afghan Whigs - 3 tracks
  6. Hoodoo Gurus - 3 tracks
  7. Iron & Wine - 3 tracks
  8. Pulp - 3 tracks
  9. R.E.M. - 3 tracks
  10. Replacements - 3 tracks
Over the course of last week, I listened to a grand total of 138 songs (and a couple of podcasts). My profile has more details about what I'm listening too (at least while connected to the Internet).

In other news, has been bought by CBS. I'm not sure what this means for the service, but I'm glad they got a payday.

NP: "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me" - Warren Zevon

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekly Music Report

Over the last week or so, I realized that my profile only captures those songs I listen to while I'm connected to the Internet (you can still use this to see what I'm listening to during the day). This misses a large chunk of my listening time—in the car or on the train to work for example. So, I've decided to do a true top ten (made possible with a little work from the iTunes smart playlist. With only minimal math, I've determined I listened to the following artists the most last week:
  1. Sufjan Stevens - 24 songs
  2. Wilco - 14
  3. Catherine Wheel - 5
  4. Charlatans U.K. - 5
  5. The Pogues - 4
  6. Spoon - 4
  7. Swervedriver - 4
  8. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - 3
  9. Feist - 3
  10. Wire -3
Overall, I listened to 228 songs last week, so I had a lot of artists that I only heard one or two times. It's good to have a varied library.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Score One for the Forces of Light

The Red Sox are currently 9.5 games ahead of the second place Yankees. In May. Digest that for a moment.

All is right with the world.

U.S. National Soccer Team Now Has Permanent Coach

It's official. The "interim" tag has been removed from Bob Bradley's title. I'm of two minds about this development. As regular readers perhaps remember, I've was quite critical of his initial appointment late last year. I thought then, and part of me still thinks now, that such a move is a move backward for the U.S. Men's Soccer program. I think the U.S. team has gone about as far as it can go with the status quo.

At the time, I thought Jurgen Klinsman was the answer. And while he proved his tactical acumen at the last world cup, I still had lingering doubts about his organizational nous. Alas, we'll never find out how well he will have done. My second choice was Jose Pekermann. He had proven his developmental and organizational ability in Argentina, and the renaissance of their national side since the debacle in 2002 spoke well of those abilities. I still think someone of his abilities will be required for the U.S. team to made strides toward consistency on the world's biggest stage.

Deals with at least one of these candidates failed spectacularly over issues of control. As for the other, I don't even know if he was interviewed. So we found ourselves stuck in a bad situation, with a temporary coach and no way forward.

All that said, Coach Bradley has done the most that he could with such a situation. I've liked how he's brought in new players. These players will be absolutely essential if the U.S. is to have any success in 2010. My big knock on Area was that he was content to select his team based on past performances rather than current form. I'm especially excited to see future performances from players such as Bornstein, Feilheiber, Demerit, and Bradley (natch). So as we approach Copa America and the Gold Cup, I hope Coach Bradley can stick to his guns, and give us all a squad that has more of the spirit of Clint Dempsey than that of Landon Donovan (though I must say he's looked good in the last few friendlies).

In any case, the U.S. Soccer Federation has now made the bed, and Mr. Bradley and all of the fans now have to lay in it. Now to show well in Copa America.

ATL BBQ Quest: Pig 'N Chik

A couple of months ago, K. saw a show on the local PBS station about barbecue restaurants in the Atlanta area. She even tracked down the webpage dedicated to the show and printed out. So, what else were we to do. We like eating. We especially like eating barbecue. We had to try them all. Who knows, this quest will likely takes us far beyond Atlanta—we'll be passing right by Carolina Barbecue of Statesville, North Carolina, next week.

After some hemming and hawing trying to figure out how to approach such a quest, I figured the seat of the pants of the approach was best, and without much planning or strategy, we headed up to Pig 'N Chik barbecue on Roswell Road in Atlanta. I can't report on what my companion(s) may have eaten, but I decided to best report this (and find the best barbecue for me) that I would be systematic: I would order pulled pork with coleslaw and potato salad as my sides. Pretty much the perfect barbecue meal.

On to the version of this meal at Pig 'N Chik. The pulled pork was fantastic. It had a really nice smoky flavor that was accentuated very well by their spicy, vinegar based sauce. This was definitely the highlight of the meal. The 'tater [sic] salad, on the other hand, was not in my wheelhouse. While it looked like southern style potato salad, it lacked a certain zing. Of course, I'm doomed to compare every version of potato salad to my mother's, but this came up severely lacking. The coleslaw was serviceable, but not outstanding.

Overall grade? B. Solid, but not exceptional all around. I'd still recommend it for the pork alone.

[Ed. Note: I realize that my inaugural food & drink post is late, but I'm still adjusting and busy.]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekly Music Report

As part of the promised changes, the weekly music report is now moving to Monday, since publishes the data from the previous week on Sunday. And Music Monday is alliterative to boot! I plan to use Mondays now to write music themed posts (other themes should emerge as I nail down an editorial calendar I can live with and blog to more regularly).

So, without further ado, I listened to the following music the most last week according to my profile:
  1. The National
  2. The Walkmen
  3. R.E.M.
  4. Game Theory
  5. Blur
  6. The Charlatans U.K.
  7. Nada Surf
  8. Pixies
  9. Ivy
  10. Bettie Serveert

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Changes Afoot

I'm sure that it looks like I've abandoned this space entirely, but that is not the case. While I have been very busy with work of late, I have been kicking around quite a few ideas on how to improve the site. And it's time to begin implementing them. While my schedule is still hectic, watch this space for a number of (what I think will be) improvements over the coming weeks.

Some of these changes will be visual. More of them will be editorial. And, I hope, all of them will be welcome.

UPDATE: As part of these changes, I'm instituting an editorial calendar, devoting certain days to particular themes. As you see above, Monday will now be about music. Other themes that will emerge with their own theme days will be Food & Drink and Sports. I'd imagine, some sort of politics will creep in, and I may even blog about workish things.

Of course, if I see something that interests me, I'll still pass it along, but by assigning certain days of the week to certain topics, I hope to create more thought-out posts and a depth of content that only occasionally appeared here. If anyone has suggestions on what I should be holding forth about, just drop a note in the comments. Stayed tuned for Music Mondays, and Food and Drink Wednesdays (bbq, scotch, and dirt bar reviews)! And sports seems like a good Friday activity since it will be a good wrap-up look forward to the weekend with a certain cup final coming up. Tuesday and Thursday are open now, and I'll just be a lazy sot on the weekends still.