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Wednesday 8 April 2009

No. 13 Baby: You Oughta Know

Last Saturday we gave Pam a rock and roll baby shower. Our friends Ted and Vicki provided the house and, in lieu of stupid shower games, a PS3 and Harmonix Rock Band 2. We like to think a good time was had by all. Three people who had not previously played Rock Band said they were tempted to buy it.

Sincere thanks to everyone who came.

It seemed appropriate to rock out to baby-themed songs, so I set out to compile a list of songs in the Rock Band catalog containing "baby" in the title, band name, or lyrics. We actually played 10 or 15 of these at the party.

The "King of Baby" award goes to Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose 10-track album "Texas Flood" contains three instrumentals and seven "baby" songs. First runner-up honor goes to Roy Orbison, with four out of six.

I'm sure you are burning up with curiosity; I know I am. Without further ado, here is my list of Rock Band "baby" songs.

Song Title Artist
(Don't Fear) The Reaper Blue Öyster Cult
3 Dimes Down Drive-By Truckers
Ace of Spades '08 Motörhead
Action Sweet
All Right Now Free
Any Way You Want It Journey
Are You Gonna Go My Way Lenny Kravitz
Bad to the Bone George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Blood Sugar Sex Magik Red Hot Chili Peppers
Break My Heart Nikko
Call Me Blondie
Calling Dr. Love Kiss
Can't Let Go Lucinda Williams
Cherry Bomb Runaways
Claudette Roy Orbison
Countdown to Insanity H-Blockx
Crushcrushcrush Paramore
Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dead Pixies
Dirty Pool Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Doin' That Rag Grateful Dead
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) Mötley Crüe
Don't Make Me Wait Locksley
Drain You Nirvana
El Scorcho Weezer
Enter Sandman Metallica
Feed the Tree Belly
Flirtin' with Disaster Molly Hatchet
Franklin's Tower Grateful Dead
Girls on Film Duran Duran
Go Your Own Way Fleetwood Mac
Hard to Handle Black Crowes
Hell in a Bucket Grateful Dead
Hella Good No Doubt
Hey Baby No Doubt
Hey Pixies
I Fought the Law Clash
I Think I'm Paranoid Garbage
I Wanna Be Your Man Endeverafter
I'm Cryin' Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Kickstart My Heart Mötley Crüe
Kids in America Muffs
Kool Thing Sonic Youth
La La Love You Pixies
Leaving Here Who
Little Sister Queens of the Stone Age
Livin' on a Prayer Bon Jovi
Love Struck Baby Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Mary Had a Little Lamb Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Moonage Daydream David Bowie
Mountain Song Jane's Addiction
My Generation (Live at Leeds) Who
Next to You Police
Night Lies Bang Camaro
No. 13 Baby Pixies
Oh, Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Ooby Dooby Roy Orbison
Outside Tribe
Pleasure (Pleasure) Bang Camaro
Precious Pretenders
Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) Offspring
Pride and Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Rescue Me Buckcherry
Rock'n Me Steve Miller Band
Screaming for Vengeance Judas Priest
Sick, Sick, Sick Queens of the Stone Age
Simple Man Lynyrd Skynyrd
Slice of Your Pie Mötley Crüe
Song with a Mission Sounds
Suck My Kiss Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sugar Magnolia Grateful Dead
Tell Me Baby Red Hot Chili Peppers
Tell Me Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Texas Flood Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived Weezer
The Greeting Song Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Joker Steve Miller Band
Thrash Unreal Against Me!
Thunderstruck (Live) AC/DC
Truckin' Grateful Dead
Underneath It All No Doubt
We Care a Lot Faith No More
Why Do You Love Me Garbage
You Got It Roy Orbison
You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Monday Night With Everyone

On the first Monday of every month, a bunch of my friends get together for dinner. The gathering can be as small as 3 or 4, but often exceeds 10 attendees and includes people who don't show up to most of our other gatherings. Ted and Mikey, who started this tradition, developed an interesting and surprisingly effective set of rules for getting a herd of geographically disparate people to converge on an arbitrary location at an arbitrary time.

  1. An email list is assembled with everyone who might conceivably want to attend the event.
  2. On the morning of the big day, someone sends an email to someone on the list, asking them to pick a restaurant and a time to meet.
  3. That person indicates their selection by replying to the list.
  4. Anybody may veto the selection, but must provide an alternative selection.
  5. Any number of vetoes may happen before a selection remains unchallenged.
  6. A person who proposed a selection that was vetoed may not later re-propose the same selection in a veto of their own.

For logistical reasons, vetoes are cut off and a final selection must be established by around 4:30 or so. Messages do cross in the mail (for instance, two people may be invited to choose by different participants simultaneously), but this rarely causes any problem. Vetoes are also rare. The chosen person may pass and not make a recommendation. In this case, it is considered polite to designate another person to make the choice. If the chosen person doesn't respond in a timely manner, the process may restart with someone else.

For these large monthly meet-ups, people usually just pay for their own food. But when the number of participants is small (5 or less, for example) and fairly constant, and the number of occasions is greater (weekly, for example), there is a more interesting approach. Everyone tosses a coin to see who will pay for dinner. There is a set of rules for this, too.

  1. If there are two participants, one tosses a coin and the other calls it.
  2. If there are more than two participants, everyone tosses a coin.
  3. The majority (composed of the greatest number of people who got the same side up) drop out.
  4. If the two sides are exactly equal in number, then everyone tosses again.
  5. The previous rules iterate until only one person is left.
  6. That person pays for dinner for everyone.

If the pool of people participating in this scheme is relatively uniform (most of the same people most of the time), then the random process all but guarantees that in the long run, this will average out to everyone paying about the same. It's different from a typical lottery in that there's only one loser and everyone else is the winner. But it's the same in that, in the end, no one stays rich.

Sunday 18 January 2009

You would be...?

Thank you for choosing to devote part of your life to reading this blog. On the off-chance that you are the one person who found it by some means other than being sent here by me, please allow me to provide some basic facts about myself. Me, me, me, it's all about me.

In many ways a typical Silicon Valley geek, I...

  • am male, married, 40 years old.
  • live in Silicon Valley, California.
  • work in the computer industry as a software engineer.
  • sing baritone in a community choir.
  • play guitar, not very well.
  • am fond of ferrets.
  • have participated in NaNoWriMo four times.
  • ride to work on a recumbent bicycle.
  • play D&D.
  • enjoy sushi and anime.
  • am expecting my first baby in about 3 months.

That's enough for now. If I told you everything at once, you'd have no reason to come back. And if you are that marvelous stranger who came here voluntarily, won't you please leave a comment or send email and introduce yourself?