happy solstice

And we didn’t even need to sacrifice anything to bring the sun back. But don’t forget the old Scottish saw: “As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens.”

definitely clean

iTunes 'clean' marker

iTunes‘ clean/explicit labelling worries me. Shouldn’t I, at the age of Dennis the Communist Peasant, be able to decide what’s good for me? Not merely that, but it takes up a bunch of the song title entry, and they label songs by artists who don’t produce bowdlerised versions. Gah!

From Eldoret to Sighthill (to Toronto)

Daniel Aliangana is a medical technologist from Eldoret, Kenya. In 1994–95 he was studying at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, and living in the apartment blocks in nearby Sighthill. He recorded these tracks in his spare time, and gave me a tape before he left for Kenya.

Daniel recorded these on a double cassette deck, carefully overlaying each track by recording live over the top. He used a classical guitar, an electronic keyboard, and some kitchen objects for percussion.

There are occasional harmonies which might have been provided by Catherine‘s former flatmate Grace Achiya. Grace is also from Kenya, and it was through her that we got to know Daniel.

I don’t know where Daniel is these days, but there’s a Mr D. Aliangana listed as Chief Technician in the Department of Medical Physiology at Moi University in Eldoret. Wherever you are, Daniel, I hope you are well, and thanks for the music!

  1. Huyu Odote
  2. Dada Margaret
  3. Usikoti
  4. Mama
  5. Binadamu
  6. Mama Watoto

(originally linked from my music page.)

best of 2006

In no order you’d care to guess:

  • The Information — Beck
  • Awoo — Hidden Cameras
  • The Optimist’s Club — Casper & the Cookies
  • Cue Are Es Tea You — Mayor McCa
  • The Sole Inhabitant — Thomas Dolby
  • The Jig Is Up — Peter Stampfel
  • Black Gold — King Biscuit Time
  • Calico — Erynn Marshall
  • Ys — Joanna Newsom
  • Olé! Tarantula — Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3
  • Cannibal Sea — The Essex Green
  • Just Like The Fambly Cat — Grandaddy
  • Back To The Web — Elf Power
  • The Eraser — Thom Yorke
  • The Crane Wife — The Decemberists
  • either Tales of the Rat Fink Original Soundtrack or In Concert Vol. 1 — The Sadies
  • The Way the Wind Blows — A Hawk and a Hacksaw

Discoveries of 2006: Karen Dalton, Nic Jones, Lee Hammons.

When you really haven’t chosen not to trust: Citrix, Mac OS X, and Entrust certificates

NB: this article is a few years old, and I haven’t tested any updates since I wrote it. It may still work; who knows?

This is one that the support desk of my employer really should’ve answered, but they gave their usual, “You mentioned Macintosh in your e-mail, so this conversation stops here” response.

Anyway, they’ve just upgraded their Citrix access, and what used to work now gives the rather cruddy response:

SSL Error 0: You have not chosen to trust

Just what SSL Error 0: You have not chosen to trust “Entrust.net Secure Server Certification Authority”,the issuer of the server’s security certificate. Error number: 183 is supposed to mean to anyone, I don’t know. (Well, actually, I do know, but in rants like this it’s customary to feign ignorance in a huffy manner. Work with me here, people.)

So, to fix this:

  1. Make sure that Citrix ICA Client is installed
  2. Go to entrust.net/developer and click on Download Root Certificates
  3. Select Personal Use, and click on Download Certificates
  4. Download entrust_ssl_ca.cer and entrust_ssl_ca.der to your desktop
  5. Open a terminal (it’s in Applications/Utilities), and enter the following:
    cd /Applications/Citrix\ ICA\ Client/keystore/cacerts/
    cp -p ~/Desktop/entrust_ssl_ca.* .
    ln -s entrust_ssl_ca.cer entrust_ssl_ca.crt
  6. Exit the terminal, and try your Citrix session again.

There might be some unnecessary steps there, and this might all be fixed by downloading the latest release of the ICA client, but this works for me now.

no more rounders

I heard last night that Steve Weber has announced his retirement, and thus the chances of new releases and shows by The Holy Modal Rounders are slim to none. Let’s hope that Steve enjoys his retirement, but I can’t exactly see him on the golf course.

not so shuffley

Coincidence, I know, but what’s the odds that, out of more than 460 songs, my nano just played “The Continental”, followed by “Cheat” – both by The Sadies, but different versions of the same tune from different albums? Whoah!

weedtree

Did some remedial gardening today, which included lopping some trees that have sprung up. Man, are these things soft wood:

tree section

It’s about the thickness of my wrist, and got there in only five summers.

Weird weather; there was a dandelion flowering, and some of the trees had buds.

Frosty’s Drano (or the snowmen’s suicide pact)

Catherine pointed out that the current Tim Hortons “Happy Holidays” campaign depicts an ill-advised, possibly fatal, beverage choice for snowmen:

tim hortons suicidal snowmen

To me, it’s clearly a suicide pact. They don’t want to see another summer. They’re going to a better place where it’s always ten below.

in the running

Almost ‘Best of The Year’ time. In the running are:

A Hawk and a Hacksaw – The Way the Wind Blows
A.C. Newman – Souvenir of Canada – EP
Beck – The Information
Calexico – Garden Ruin
Casper & the Cookies – The Optimist’s Club
Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Shirley Collins
Eels with Strings – Live At Town Hall
Elf Power – Back To The Web
Erynn Marshall – Calico
Faun Fables – The Transit Rider
Grandaddy – Just Like The Fambly Cat
Grant-Lee Phillips – nineteeneighties
Hidden Cameras – Awoo
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Jolie Holland – Springtime Can Kill You
King Biscuit Time – Black Gold
Mayor McCa – Cue Are Es Tea You
Peter Stampfel – The Jig Is Up
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – Olé! Tarantula
Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas – Volume V: Peace
Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche – Outtakes And Extras From The Illinois Album
The Be Good Tanyas – Hello Love
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
The Essex Green – Cannibal Sea
The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
The Handsome Family – Last Days of Wonder
The Instruments – Cast A Half Shadow
The Sadies – In Concert Vol. 1
The Wailin’ Jennys – Firecracker
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Thomas Dolby – The Sole Inhabitant
Wendy Arrowsmith – Crying Out
Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

Miraculously, all of them fit on my iPod Nano, so they’ll be in heavy rotation over the next week or so while I decide.

nostalgia for something that never existed

The Verbatim FlashDisc seems to be a solution without a problem to solve.

verbatim flashdisc

It’s a cheap ($4) but very tiny (16MB) USB memory key in the vague form of some kind of magnetic media. There are problems:

  • $0.25/MB may seem cheap, but it would mean that a 1GB key at this price was $256
  • It neatly blocks most of the USB ports on a machine
  • Just what kind of media is it supposed to be? It looks closest to an old spool of mag-tape, but folks buying this wouldn’t remember that.