Thursday, July 4, 2002

JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events #182: Leave it to a Scotsman to Make an Absolute German

In the complaint department, I just gotta say I'm sorely disappointed in Maven Technologies, LLC (2099 Mt. Read Blvd.) Here's the deal: since I'll be going away for a few days, I really wanted to be able to bring along my laptop so I could have access to my map software and MP3's. I figured I could get a "spare" PowerBook or iBook in short order, get it set up with just that, and bring it along instead. (My homeowner's insurance would cover the theft or loss, but the data on it would be ... umm ... liberated. You know, password files lists, all my receipts from 1999 onward ... all kinds of sick shit from a chaotic anal retentive such as myself.)

Anyway, I started at Maven because I had been there before, and found a nifty Indigo G3 iBook for $799. It wasn't perfect for what I wanted (video output would be nice) but after crawling all over town, I thought it'd be good enough so I picked it up. So I get it home and start poking at it to set up. Well, after 24 hours, I get ... no charge on the battery at all. In fact, after letting it go while it was asleep, I tried charging it all night while it was off. No luck there.

Since I need this soon, it's important that this thing just work ... I don't have enough time to debug some flawed system for a couple weeks. I figured I'd just take it back--I thought the battery was completely dead. I get there and am told that (1) there is no battery warranty, (2) they gave me the wrong power adapter, and (3) I would have to wait until probably Friday to get the right adapter. I said fine ... no thanks--please just refund me and I'll be on my way.

Well, our policy is that there's a 20% restocking fee on working items. Ahem--I say--this isn't working because the battery won't charge. They say they'll repair it by giving me a new adapter. I end up in an argument with the person behind the counter then I talk to the "manager" who says "policy is policy--end of story." Come on ... I had it for 24 hours, I didn't do anything with it ... it's not like I had it for a week and used it on the trip then wanted to return it, even more used, for free. Customer satisfaction is definitely at an all-time low. So very sad.

I guess my warning is, if you are to buy something at Maven, once they have your cash, you're screwed. When you bring something back and say it's broken, first they'll tell you if it's broken or not, then they will never ever give a full refund. Yikes. I think I'll track down the owner and let him know.


In other nerd news (which you all know by now that I just say that way because it makes me feel like I'm hosting The Daily Show) I got the PowerMac 7100/66 set up with the video capture board from my 7100/80 and it's now in the basement handling both the X-10 and the WebCam. It works much faster than the LCIII and I even managed to turn back on the "page me if the motion sensors go off" feature. I'll see how long that lasts. To answer the question burning in everyone's mind, I needed two serial ports and I think one of them is bad on the 7100/80.

Wait, wait ... more nerd stuff. Well, kind-of nerd stuff anyway. I set up a page that describes what this site is about. There's always people who write to ask about the site and I just ignore them. I finally got around to making some explanations.

Yah yah--one last thing. I lost my cable modem service for a few hours on Wednesday which is why this is going up on Thursday morning--thank goodness for the holiday, eh?


Now for some non-nerd stuff. On Saturday I went out in a pretty foul mood. I wasn't so much mad or depressed as I was just disaffected, I guess. I had been hacking on the webcam project for a few hours and didn't finish, so I had that kinda hanging over my head. I went out anyway. Oh, and I only drank soda and water all night. Throughout the evening, I didn't want to talk with anyone and I had an acute awareness of how good a performance was. No expectations ... no alcohol ... just straight up honesty.

I started at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and waited until the band set up. When they introduced themselves as The Rat Kings I thought to myself, "oh, I remember these guys. They played on New Year's and I really didn't like them." Too bad it took me that long to recognize them. From there I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and caught The Red + The Black and Life in Bed who are both okay bands. They're on the same tour and they were pretty similar. I headed back to the Krown and saw a little of The Drones GarageBand linkMP3 link who were really good. They are a three-piece (guitar/drums/bass) and play frenetic, clean-cut punk, all while maintaining the causal stance of a groove-rock band. Kinda eerie and pretty cool. [As a side note, they played for free on Wednesday night--they went to New York for part of the week and stopped back to the Krown for some free beer and to play. They're really cool guys and can really tear it up.] After a couple songs I headed back to the Bug Jar and caught most of the Shackletons set. They're also a punk-rock band but kinda sloppy and broke one of my unwritten "cool band rules:" they complained that the audience wasn't interested enough ... dude, if you were interesting, we'd be interested.

I did talk with Ed from Eddie Nebula and the Plague GarageBand link who came over to me and said hi. He insisted that I stay for The Realistics MP3 link who he described as (more-or-less quoted) "better than I dream I could ever play." In my mood, I thought, "ok ... I'll hang out for a couple songs and head home."

I ended up staying through the whole set that ended around 2:30. These guys play some of the most interesting, solid, straight-up rock-and-roll that I've ever heard. Their talent and stage presence is so good that I'd wager to say they're the best rock band I've ever seen live (which isn't saying much because I never saw the Stones or the Who or any of the famous rockers.) Plus, they pulled some joke where one said they were bragging and would have to "throw down" and another said "the gauntlet?" to which the keyboardist replied (off mic, but I was standing right there) "Don't shoot the valkyre." How cool is that--a reference to the arcade game "Gauntlet." Plus, when they got to the last song, they were visibly tired but managed somehow to create energy from nothing. They hit that last song so hard that I actually (for real) said "Holy shit" out loud. I was that impressed, let me tell you.

Definitely go to their site or to the MP3 link and listen to some of their stuff.

After the show, I talked with each of the band members and they're all really cool guys and seemed to really enjoy talking. One of them (the lead singer, Dennis, I think) recommended that I check out The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA) when I'm in Philadelphia. It's where they played a few weeks ago.

I had them sign the CD I bought and Jen from Purrs told the keyboard player that I was just going to sell it when they're famous. He said he hoped I would and wrote, "Make a lot of money selling this CD someday" on the CD.

When I left, I had broken out of that funk, but still needed sleep. "Badly."


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  • Like Mike - Yeah ... those sneakers hanging from the power lines are magical. Go get 'em.
  • Men in Black II - Taking a cue from Star Wars: Episode I, the crew at Men in Black decide to add annoying animated characters à la the Great Gazoo.
  • The Power Puff Girls Movie - Horseman of the Apocalypse #3 now arriving.

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Fly the flag today.Independence Day

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the new-to-me Isotopes (even though I know some of the people in the band) The Irving Klaws and QUiTTERS GarageBand link (I don't think Mid-Air Collision will be at the show) starting around 10:45.

A big-old punk-rock night with The Flour City Knuckleheads GarageBand link, Sweatshop Boys MP3 link and The Emersons GarageBand link will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30.

Two of the more unique Independence Day events (in addition to chromatic pyrotechnics) are the Red, White & Boom! Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Patriotic Concert with Micheal Butterman conducting starting at 8 at Manhattan Square Park (130 Chestnut St.) and the "Spirit Of America" Laser, Light and Fireworks Spectacular at High Falls Gorge (Pont De Rennes Bridge) starting around 10.

If worse comes to worse you can always see, hear, and/or otherwise participate in Karaoke with Sugar Bear at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) starting around 10:30.

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Jam from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's designed to be more of a true jam.

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Hill Cumorah Pageant (Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, N.Y.) starts tonight and runs through next Saturday, every day except Monday at 9pm.

At Mercury Star Lounge (171 St. Paul, formerly Red) tonight is The VEiNS with Bitter Flesh Thing, Bee Eater and Torsos from Space starting around 10:30.

In case you're shut in tonight (or tomorrow), check out I'm going to make a drug with my mind on cable public access (channel 15 on Time Warner) at 11:30 p.m. featuring Pisspot the Bunny interviewing local and out-of-town bands.

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Checked personally by Jayce O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Oh yeah, the Sterling Renaissance Festival (15431 Farden Rd., Sterling, N.Y.) will be running today and tomorrow from 10am to 7pm. The festival wraps up on the weekend of August 11.

Updated: Doh! I forgot to go through the calendar ... anyway, the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Wet Hot American Summer starting at 8. It's essentially a satire of the whole 1980's coming-of-age-at-summer-camp genre of movies. I saw it on DVD and it's a pretty funny movie ... this is the first time it'll be on the big screen in Rochester.

The Sluts with Champions of the Universe and Let Alone Shimmy will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) tonight starting around 10:30. I'm betting this is the lineup even though Freetime Magazine thinks it's The VEiNS, The Grinders, The Sluts and El Destructo.

The Neptunes will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) tonight starting around 10:30. I assume this is not the hip-hop band.

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The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting an Enterprise Hardcore show starting at 7-ish and featuring Stay Gold, Something Sacred GarageBand linkMP3 link, Down To Nothing MP3 link, Horror Show, Coalition and One Up.

Tonight is the closing night of Looking Over The President's Shoulder at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) at 3:00 p.m.

Not ready for mainstream Open Jar Jam at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) tonight and every Sunday.

Just like on Thursdays, you can see/do/avoid Karaoke with Sugar Bear at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) starting around 9.

Karaoke with Sugar Bear is back at The Blue Room (293 Alexander St.)

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Trivia Quiz continues at The Old Toad (277 Alexander St.) It all gets started a little after 9.

There's apparently a Spoken Word Open Mic Poetry Night at Pythodd Jazz Room at the Heritage House (130 Spring St.) from around 6 to around 10. It used to be on Thursdays but I guess they moved it.

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At The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) tonight, two different tours will both visit--a west-coast tour and a Detroit tour. I'm not sure of the order the bands will appear, but there's six of them in all ... all for $6. Can't beat it. Anyway, here's the big list:

First, from the west coast are:

And from "mostly" Detroit on the f'ed up noise-band Freedom From Summer Tour 2002:



Not ready for mainstream As of a few months ago, Java's (16 Gibb Street) still has open mic poetry downstairs starting around 9:30.

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an interesting "new-material-only" Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) I think they're making it into a workshop type of environment.

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Updated: The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy starting at 8. I'm not a very big fan of Woody Allen, but this looked kinda funny ... you get the idea from the title.

Weekly karaoke contest with Sugar Bear, at Comix Cafe (3450 Winton Pl.)

Checked personally by Jayce Not ready for mainstream Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is Open Mic Night (for music) from 7 to 10.
 
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database
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TV show synopses courtesy TVGrid
Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
William Rankine developed a scale of absolute temperature based on Fahrenheit degrees, a system developed by Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German. Rankine was born 182 years ago in 1820.

Checked by Jayce is an event that has been confirmed either with the venue, the performers, or both.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MP3 link links to a band's page on MP3.com which offers music and entertainment downloads in MP3 format.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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