Spotify Music Embedding

I’m really enjoying Spotify.  A few days back I asked the Internet for their music streaming service recommendation.
My subscription to Rhapsody is to be renewed in four days, and this gives me a chance to re-evaluate my service choice without incurring additional costs.  As you can see in the comments above, the hive mind believes Spotify is the best choice – even with some prodding towards Rdio.   Spotify is definitely a step up from Rhapsody in a few ways including selection, interface and the ability to share music – such as below:

Perfect Coffee


I’m still pursuing the perfect cup of coffee.  It looks like I’m going to have to invest some money in a few things.  I somehow managed to miss The Specialty Coffee Association of America publication on this subject back in 2009.  It could not be more specific.  As a service to you, I’ll condense the eight page article in to these simple steps:

  1. Roast the beans to approximately 58 on the whole bean M-Basic Agtron scale in 8 to 12 minutes
  2. Air cool the beans to room temperature 75 degrees
  3. Store in air tight containers at room temperature (not in a freezer or refrigerator)
  4. Weight out slightly less than one ounce (26 grams) of whole beans
  5. Grind the beans so that 70 to 75% of the particles pass through a U.S. Standard size 20 mesh sieve (slightly courser then you get when you get coffee ground for a paper filter drip)
  6. Within 15 minutes of grinding, pour 200 degree clean water over the ground coffee

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll need to secure access to bean wholesalers so you get fresh beans
  • The M-Basic II will cost you $9,950
  • The coffee grinder will cost you $400
  • You’ll need to invest approximately 60 minutes each day roasting, grinding and brewing your own coffee

The above does not begin to touch on all of  the details.  So yea, I’ll probably continue to go to Starbucks.

And of course, I now have a new quest.

…and we’re back

Back in November, I announced I was transitioning hosts for this website.  I’ve managed to get everything fully transitioned back to a self-hosted site.  Amazon Web Services are awesome.  More control, more power, more capacity and less cost.  Hard to beat.  I’ll not speak poorly of where I’ve been, but it was not everything I dreamed it would be.


I took this picture of Sugar on the way in to the vet this afternoon.

We put Sugar down this afternoon. We used to joke that he would live the longest. While he lived longer than his litter-mate Spicy (who passed away 11 months ago), Toonces is the last cat standing, ‘er waddling. Like his brother, Sugar had grown anemic, and his body was shutting down.

It was ironic to joke about Sugar living the longest. If we ranked the three cats, he was a clear third. Not as bright as Spicy. Not as affectionate as Toonces. Sugar was so fat it was awkward for him to lie on the ground.  He could wander into a room and not be able to find his way out. He had a lifelong issue urinating all over the house that was so bad we were forced to put him in the garage when we were not around to supervise him. No – Sugar was fat, vacant, distant, annoying and yes – not that smart.

But he was my fat, dumb, anti-social, peeing cat and I’m sorry to see him go.

Sugar preferred to rest behind furniture.
Sugar preferred to rest behind furniture.
This was as relaxed as Sugar ever was outdoors
This was as relaxed as Sugar ever was outdoors

Heart Attack

Monday evening I received a call from Carole‘s sister Alice.  My Dad had several heart attacks and was currently in the Emergency Room at the Kettering Medical Center.  He had been at the VA Center having an issue with his foot looked into when he first started experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.  The doctors there had him flown via Miami Valley’s Care Flight to the Kettering facility.

Once he arrived in Kettering, they determined that he had 100% blockage of the left anterior descending (Widow Maker) artery (through which all the body’s blood flows into the heart).  The on-call surgeon went up through Dad’s groin to place the stent in the artery.  As the picture shows, the positive effects were sudden.

We had dinner with both Dad and Carole Saturday evening.  While obviously still recovering from the ordeal, he was doing pretty well.  I’ve put a few other photos in a Flickr photo set.

Alice, Carol and Dad relaxing after the procedure
Alice, Carol and Dad relaxing after the procedure

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz died yesterday.  He committed suicide.  I’ve been reading about Aaron for years it seems.  It turns out he was only 26 years old at the time of his passing.  He’s a contemporary of my son.  He managed to help write the specification for sharing content across websites (RSS 1.0) at the age of 15 for God’s sake.  If you’re reading this somewhere other than my site, you can thank him.

As much as I read about Aaron – I didn’t know him.  Cory Doctorow (who did know him) has written a thoughtful eulogy.  Lawrence Lessig (who also knew Aaron) has written an admittedly emotional response to his death including events that have transpired over the past several years.  The co-founder of the Creative Commons, Lisa Rein was a good friend of Aaron’s.  Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation also reflects on Aaron’s brief life.

Aaron was a very well-connected and accomplished 26-year-old.  While not everyone agrees with his principles, Aaron followed his throughout his life.  It’s always tough when someone takes their life.  It’s tragic when someone as young and influential as Aaron does so.  Ironically – Aaron anticipated his own mortality.