Monday, July 28, 2008

Rock The Bells 2008

Sunday, July 27th
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, MD
Me and Ali got there at like 5pm, so I guess you could say we missed most of the acts. But we didn't miss the biggest. I was pissed that Immortal Technique had finished like two hours before though. First off, we saw Method Man & Redman. Not a huge fan but they put on a good show because they act so crazy. Method Man even did a flip into the crowd at one point. Plus they said they're shooting How High 2 at the end of this year, and coming out with a new album sometime soon.

The Pharcyde
came on and did the two songs I know by him "Runnin'" and "Passin' Me By" and some other stuff, it was only ok, so we went to go get some beer.

By the way, Mos Def is ridiculous live. He's just good. He played some shit from '99s Black On Both Sides, like "Hip Hop" and "Umi Says", and I remember "Undeniable" from True Magic and some parts from Black Star ("1,2,3, Mos Def and Talib Kweliiiii").

Before Nas we got up to go to the bathroom, and I happened to see Immortal Technique just standing there taking pictures with girls, with his two bodyguards behind him. I was not about to pass up this opportunity, so I went up and said "Hey man can I get a picture with you if I admit that you're the best rapper alive?" He just smiled and laughed a little, and Ali got a cell phone pic.

The night kept getting better and better. Nas first came out playing "Hip Hop Is Dead" but asked everybody if he could kick it old school and started playing stuff from '94s Illmatic. Then he just kept switching it up, pretty much doing like one verse from a song and then onto a new one, sometimes yelling up at DJ Scratch. He did "Street Dreams", "The Message", "If I Ruled The World", "Nastradamus", "Hate Me Now", "One Mic", "Made You Look", and more.

Last up was A Tribe Called Quest. Q-Tip did some new solo songs first, and Mos came out and grabbed the mic to spit a little. But when Phife Dawg and Jarobi White came out it got 10x better. They played everything I knew by them ("Vivrant Thing", "Check The Rhime", "Award Tour", "Buggin' Out", "Bonita Applebum", and when the drums came in on "Can I Kick It?" everybody was jumping up and down, Yes you can!). They did "Oh My God", "Lyrics To Go", and basically ripped the shit up. Good music.

Look out for Q-Tip's album The Renaissance (TBA 2008), Method & Red's Blackout! 2 - The Next Generation (summer 2008), and Mos Def's The Ecstatic (fall 2008).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FYI: Bluetooth > Bluetooth Overview
Why is it called Bluetooth?
In 1998, a special interest group (SIG) was formed to develop and promote the technology. The SIG took the name from Harald II "Bluetooth" King of Denmark who was born in the 10th century. Bluetooth peacefully unified Denmark and Norway.

What is the Bluetooth SIG?

The Bluetooth SIG was formed as a group of companies working together to define, develop and promote an open, royalty-free specification for seamless wireless connectivity and cable replacement for a wide variety of mobility-enhancing devices.

Who are the members of the SIG?
The founding SIG members are Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Nokia, and Toshiba. Since then over 2000 adopter companies have joined including HP, Lucent, Motorola, and 3Com.

How does Bluetooth work?
uses a frequency hopping spread spectrum technique. Spectrum spreading is accomplished by frequency hopping up to 1600 hops per second on 79 channels between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz.

Bluetooth radio modules avoid interference from other signals by hopping to a new frequency after transmitting or receiving a data packet. The sophisticated mode of transmission adopted in the Bluetooth specification ensures protection from interference and seeks to insure the security of the data.

In what frequency range do Bluetooth devices operate?
Bluetooth operates in the 2.4 GHz range referred to as the Instrumentation, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band. This band provides license-free operation in the United States, Europe, Japan, and most industrialized nations worldwide.

What is the transfer speed?
The gross data rate of Bluetooth 1.1 is 1 Mbps. The protocol splits that bandwidth to support both voice and data communication. Bluetooth can support an asynchronous data channel, up to three simultaneous synchronous voice channels, or a channel, which simultaneously supports asynchronous data and synchronous voice. Each voice channel supports a 64 Kbps synchronous (voice) link. The asynchronous data channel can support an asymmetric link of up to 721 Kbps in either direction, while permitting 57.6 Kbps in the return direction or a symmetric link up to 432.6 Kbps.

The gross data rate of Bluetooth 2.0, the EDR version (Enhanced Data Rate), is up to 3Mbps.

What is the range of Bluetooth?

The link range is up to 10 meters using a 0 dBm radio. The range is extended up to 100 meters using a +20 dBm radio.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Warped Tour 2008

Wednesday, July 16. Merriweather Post Pavilion. Columbia, MD.

For the $35 gate fee, I got a free PETA cd, two free cheap sunglasses, a poster that was lying on the ground, and oh yeah!, an entire day of drinkin' and rockin', mostly at the same time. Also Cmo got Tatania DeMaria, the singer/songwriter for the London band TAT, to sign his chest.

The bands we saw were in order were Angels and Airwaves, Reel Big Fish, 3oh!3, Protest The Hero, TAT, Devil Wears Prada, Cobra Starship, and Gym Class Heroes.

I remember hearing "The Adventure" from Angels and Airwaves. Reel Big Fish was great, and I remember trying to take sips of my Bud Light while jumping and being pushed around to "Sell Out", "Where Have You Been", and some others. I was really hoping for "Beer". Cobra Starship played "Snakes On a Plane" which was tight. Since I already saw Reel Big Fish at college, Gym Class Heroes was by far my favorite of the day.

They played "Cupid's Chokehold", "Viva La White Girl", part of "Taxi Driver", then a hardcore cover that was better than all the other hardcore bands I saw. Travis McCoy even brought out a Guitar Hero guitar to jam, that shit was hilarious. They played two new singles ("Cookie Jar" and "Peace Sign/Index Down") from their album The Quilt coming out in September.

The only downside was that by the time we got there by 3:45, we had missed Every Time I Die, As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, and The Bronx which are all bands we really wanted to check out yesterday.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nadal Wins First Wimbledon Title

Rafael Nadal snapped Roger Federer's 65-game winning streak on grass, topping the five-time Wimbledon champion in five sets. Nadal captured his first Wimbledon title and fifth Grand Slam championship. It was the longest men's championship match in Wimbledon history (at 4 hours, 48 minutes).

The No. 2-ranked Nadal ended No. 1 Federer’s five-title run at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament by the slimmest of margins, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7, Sunday night.

Nadal is the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same season. He is also the first Spanish man to triumph at the All England Club since Manolo Santana in 1966.

“Probably my hardest loss, by far,” said Federer, who was trying to become the first man to claim six consecutive Wimbledon championships since the 1880s.

“But Rafa keeps you thinking, and that’s what the best players do to each other in the end,” Federer said. “That’s what we both do to each other.”

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fourth Of July

While my night wasn't "as big as the Texas sky" or "as wild as a rattlesnake", I did manage to escape another Independence Day without my fingers being lit on fire. The day started with fishing on Lake Brittle, which lasted maybe 20 minutes because it starting storming on Alex, Arthur, and me. Since we were trapped in the car under a downpour, we went to see Wall-E, which I can't really remember. At about 9pm I went to see the Manassas fireworks with my girl, only to be rained on again before the finale. At 10 we went to Cmo's friend's farm, downed my bottle of AlbariƱo and a little schnapps, watched some Jackass the Movie, took a dip in the pool, and lit off my fireworks from Tennessee in the street. The highlight for me was lighting both of my Texas Rattlesnakes at the same time - and probably waking up the neighborhood at around 3am.

And since I always plan ahead, remember to add these to the repertoire for 2009:
Red, White & Blue Salute (24 shots, $30)
Pyrosplash (16 shots, $30, gold willow bursts, alternating color tips)
Purple Haze (16 shots, $15, loud crackling purple starbursts)
Pure Party (19 shots, $30, gold spider palms, strobes, stars)
Red Hot & Blue (16 shots, $25, crackling stars, faster and faster)
Funky Fantasy (16 shots, $15, loud bursts of green and gold)
Magical Barrage (100 shots)
Break Out (only $7)

On the night of July 5th, we lit off a lot of Kpax's extra fireworks, mostly in my street after seeing a cop pull up to the Stonewall field we started on. Good thing we had just laid some smoke bombs before we ran back to our cars.