You are viewing rachel_martin64

Tue, Apr. 3rd, 2012, 07:57 pm [sticky post]

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Sun, Nov. 2nd, 2008, 10:32 pm
AC/DC in Chicago

I just got out of the AC/DC concert in Chicago at Allstate Arena. It was amazing! A completely sold-out show, about 19,000 fans there. I got a great seat through the fan club, on the floor, 21 rows back from the stage, next to the catwalk. Angus came down the catwalk! I could have touched him! Except for the 300 pound security guard who threw himself between me and Angus. Damn. The scurity inside the arena, and the police presence outside, was pretty over-the-top. We're all waiting in line to get in and an actual SWAT van rolled past and we all started laughing. It was hilarious to see all these young cops in helmets staring warily at us old farts like we might start rioting and laying waste to Chicago. I guess the decades have not dimmed our reputation, lol.

Anyway, a great show, not long enough, though. A good mix of old and new songs. I think I should have some great pictures. And none of them taken with a zoom lens, that is just how close I was.

Wed, Oct. 15th, 2008, 11:03 pm
The funniest damn thing to come out of this election

It's interactive. Start moving the cursor around the picture of the Oval Office. Wherever the cursor turns into a hand, click or double-click. It is hysterical. I clicked on the windows and the shades rolled up so you could see a dinosaur walking around on the White House lawn. And after the windowshades roll up, click on the glass of the window to the far left and see what happens.

Click on the door at least six times...

Make sure to click on the red phone!

Sun, Sep. 21st, 2008, 01:19 pm
AC/DC ticket!

So I was on the phone with ridesandruns, telling her sadly how I was not going to be able to see AC/DC in concert. They are not coming anywhere near my town; the closest (and I use that word loosely) venue is Chicago, on Thurs. Oct. 30. I'd have to take a couple of days off work just to get there and back, and anyway they sold out Chicago about an hour after tickets went on sale. And as I'm telling her this, I'm pulling up just to stare and wallow in my misery... and to my disbelief, I see that a second Chicago date has been added. Sat. Nov. 1 -- not a weekday! not a workday! And fan club tickets are still available!

Ridesandruns urges me to quit talking, get off the phone and buy that ticket.

So I am now the proud owner of a ticket on the floor at Allstate Arena. I have a terrific floor seat right next to the catwalk, for the Nov. 1 show in Chicago. (Not General Admission, but an actual seat.) And I got it through the fan club at face value of $89.50. I can't believe it.

I am even more amazed I got this ticket when I read the stories about ticket scalping. I can't believe the scalping that is going on. Apparently scalpers bought themselves multiple fan club memberships and used them to buy multiple seats at multiple venues. Now they are re-selling the floor seats for up to $2,000.00 each (face value $89.95) and they are selling seats in the nosebleed section for up to $500.00 each (face value about $50). AC/DC tried to prevent scalping with an elaborate system I won't go into, but sure nuff, the scalpers have figured out a way to get around this system.

But the worst story I read on the AC/DC community board is that Ticketmaster sold all the Vancouver, B.C., Canada show tickets to companies called TicketExchange and TicketsNow, and these companies are now engaging in legal scalping, re-selling the tickets for $500 to $2000. According to the Canadian fans, there are no laws regulating ticket scalping in B.C. The B.C. fans never had a chance to buy the tickets at face value. I don't see who on earth can afford tickets at these prices.

So I am going to be thankful for my own luck, while feeling bad for fans who got shut out by scalpers.

I reserved a room at a decent hotel for a decent rate within walking distance of Allstate Arena. My plan is to leave home at the crack of dawn and drive to Chicago on Sat., Nov. 1. Drive back on Sunday, Nov. 2. The big, big problem with a Nov. 1 date, no matter what my mode of travel -- snow. If there is snow, I have to give up and eat the cost of the ticket. I won't be able to give the ticket away due to AC/DC's anti-scalping measures. So I have a hotel room that I can cancel the morning of Nov. 1 without penalty, and I am not going to buy a plane ticket because the refundable ones are too expensive. I'll just see if the weather allows me to drive on the day. The most I will lose is the cost of the concert ticket.

Wow, I have a great seat at an AC/DC concert, can't believe it.

Tue, Sep. 2nd, 2008, 01:20 am
There is a god (or a reasonable facsimile thereof)

I can't believe it. Yea, verily, I have lived long enough to SEE AC/DC GO BACK ON TOUR!!

Did the faithful ever think this day would come? Not I. I am ashamed to say I gave up.

But lo! On October 20th AC/DC will release Black Ice, their first album in 8 years. There is going to be a world tour! Their first world tour in 8 years! And it is rumored to start in Chicago this Halloween!

This, on top of the new Metallica album, Death Magnetic, coming out Sept. 12, and their North American tour, after years of performing overseas. The North American pre-sale to Metallica Club members was Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. AND I GOT A TICKET!

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Sun, Jul. 6th, 2008, 02:06 pm
"Little House" road trip

On the 4th of July I got in the car and drove several hundred miles to Mansfield, Missouri, to see the house where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived out the rest of her life from 1894 to 1957. Then I drove a couple more hundred miles west to Independence, Kansas to see the place where Laura and her birth family lived in "the little house on the prairie" from 1869 until 1871, when that part of Kansas was Indian territory.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is a famous American children's novelist. When she was an elderly woman, she began to write books about her childhood in a pioneer family living on the frontier. These books are collectively known as the "Little House" books. Many people are familiar with the Michael Landon TV show based on her books.

For those who think fandom began with the invention of the World Wide Web, Little House fandom began in the 1930s and continues to this day. Toward the end of her life Laura received about 50 to 100 fan letters a day and was earning a comfortable sum from her writing, enough to live a middle-class life. Unfortunately the copyright to Laura's books was stolen from Laura's elderly daughter Rose by a conman named Roger MacBride. Laura had asked for the rights to revert to the Mansfield library after Rose's death. The Mansfield library went to court and lost. MacBride's heirs are still profiting from the rights. But small private foundations own and operate Laura's home sites with the aid of volunteers (and apparently with no aid from the MacBride heirs), so don't refrain from visiting or donating.

No photography was allowed inside the Mansfield house. (I bought postcards but don't have a way to scan them.) It was so very interesting and wonderful to see the rooms and furnishings actually used by Laura and her husband. It began as a tiny one-room home and over the decades they expanded it into a larger place. We got to see the room and desk where Laura wrote out her stories by hand. In the kitchen it was very cool to see the dishes and wood-fired cook-stove Laura used, plus the early electric stove and refrigerator they bought later. Many artifacts of her life are preserved in a museum next to the house.

After visting Laura's grave in Mansfield, I got in the car and drove 200 miles from the Missouri Ozarks to the Kansas prairie to see the location of "the little house on the prairie." I got into the small town of Independence, Kansas about an hour before sunset and found a place to stay. The hotel clerk told me there would be fireworks at the town park a few blocks away. So that is how I ended my Independence Day. Sitting by the fountain in the park of Independence, Kasas, watching the fireworks with the local families. I certainly did think about the blessings of liberty.

The next day I set off to see the Ingalls home site, several miles southwest of Independence. The location of the Ingalls cabin was sleuthed out by Little House fans and a cabin has been recreated on the site. The Ingalls family traveled here by covered wagon from Minnesota and settled here in 1869 when it was still legally Indian territory. During 1870 the U.S. Cavalry and the Osage Indians skirmished in this area. The Ingalls left in 1871. I think the story goes that the Cavalry required them to leave.

As both a Little House fan and a Supernatural fan, I must note the connection between my two fandoms. Laura talked about her memories of the Benders during a speech that she gave in Detroit in 1937. Apparently her father was part of a posse that dealt with "the bloody Benders," who operated near the Ingalls' Kansas homestead. Apparently Pa Ingalls narrowly escaped being murdered -- he didn't enter the Benders' tavern because he couldn't afford to buy anything. He just got some water from the pump outside and went on his way.

And finally I got back on the road and drove east. This trip was also a chance for me to see some sights in Baxter Springs, Kansas and Cuba, Missouri, two towns along historic Route 66. Route 66 is "the mother road," the first cross-country road established in the U.S. It passed through small towns from Chicago to Los Angeles. Route 66 disappeared from maps after the Interstate system came into being. But many people like to travel on what's left of it and see the sights that still exist. It has a strong nostalgic and romantic appeal.

What a great way it was to celebrate the 4th.

Edited to add: Some time back I visited "the little town on the prairie," De Smet, where Laura lived from 1879 to 1894. I found out that in 1939 Laura and her husband, by then both quite elderly, drove themselves from Mansfield, Missouri to De Smet, South Dakota to see the old place. Then they drove from De Smet, on the eastern side of the state, to Mount Rushmore, on the western side of the state. Okay, I made that drive just a few years ago and I found it challenging. I am filled with admiration for two elderly people making this drive in 1939.

They traveled from De Smet to Mansfield by covered wagon, and traveled from Mansfield to De Smet in a car. How very cool. They lived through such times.

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Thu, Jun. 19th, 2008, 10:08 pm
Road trip -- along Illinois One

Click on Photo Gallery, then click on Preview

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Thu, May. 29th, 2008, 11:25 pm

Over the week of Memorial Day I got in the car and drove several hundred miles to my old stomping grounds out West. It was good to see the area again and meet up with my old acquaintances, especially as several of them are moving on as well.

This morning I headed back East to the place where I live for now for the job. The first time I drove across the Great Plains, I got a fine case of agoraphobia. Spent the evening in my hotel room shaking. But the open space has grown on me over the years. It is awesome to me now to look around and have an unobstructed view of flat grasslands in every direction. I drive with the windows down and the hot air rushing in and my music blasting over the road noise. The sunlight is so strong I wear a long-sleeved shirt and sunblock when I drive.

Tonight I'm in a coffee shop called Harry's in one of my favorite Midwestern towns: Lawrence, Kansas. I discovered Lawrence some years ago when I worked in Kansas for several months. I liked to spend weekends there when I could. Now it's known in SPN fandom as the hometown of the Winchester family. The show has never filmed on location here, and I wonder if the residents are even aware of this "connection."

I think tomorrow morning, before I continue on my way, I will try to find Stull. It is about 12 miles west of Lawrence and supposedly there is a gate to Hell in the old town graveyard. All us SPN fans thought that the producers planned to make some use of this fact -- why else choose Lawrence as the Winchesters' home town? And yet, to date, Stull has never figured into the show.

I let my Blackberry die a couple of days ago. Feels great, even if I know I am going to pay and pay.

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Wed, Mar. 12th, 2008, 12:26 am

I can't believe it. Thanks to an LJ comm, I have a link to a download of Zork, one of the earliest computer games, written in Fortran for mainframes. And I don't have to break into the Smithsonian and fire up the ENIAC. I can play it right here on my laptop with Windows XP. or

I gather they call the original Zork a "text adventure" or "interactive fiction." No graphics. Absolutely no visual clues. It took lots imagination to play this game. And a lot of intuition. And the ability to read and spell....

"You are standing in an open field west of a white house with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox there." Type in the words, "Open the mailbox," and it all begins.

I have to send this link to my brother-in-law the engineer, the one who introduced me to Zork.

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Mon, Mar. 10th, 2008, 01:37 pm

The Blue Oyster Cult concert was a lot of fun. I was in the second row center. I regret that I didn't buy tickets to both shows (as most other people had).

The nicest part was being around other people who were unapologetic, unembarrassed fans. There were 6 men in particular who were such fanboys, enjoying themselves so much, it was great to watch them.

I thought it was a pity the band didn't come out between shows to sign autographs and take photos with the audience.

Because of work conflicts, doesn't look like I can attend either of Metallica's only 2 U.S. shows this year, one in Tennessee (the Bonnaroo festival) and the other in Tucson, Arizona. I guess I have to wait till the next U.S. tour in support of the next album release.

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Sat, Feb. 9th, 2008, 09:24 pm
Metallica at Bonnaroo

And the Allman Brothers, plus some bands I recognize from the independent music circuit. Somehow I have got to get the time off work. This is the only U.S. play date Metallica has announced for this year.

Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment are proud to announce the initial lineup for the seventh annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The four-day camping and music festival will be held from June 12-15, 2008 on our beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Tickets to the 2008 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will go on sale next Saturday, February 16, at Noon Eastern time through

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Sun, Feb. 3rd, 2008, 09:24 pm

What a game. And I don't even like football. New York City must be going crazy right now.

Prior to the game I was contacted by Hey!Nielsen and asked if I wanted to participate in a live chat/poll about Superbowl ads. I said yes, which was the only reason I was watching the game tonight. I'm a college hockey fan -- WCHA. But this was a good game.

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Fri, Feb. 1st, 2008, 02:30 pm
Next they'll be using a Rolling Stones song in a credit card commercial

I can't believe fandom has come to this:

It's as depressing as this:

Clearly I have lived too long.

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Thu, Jan. 31st, 2008, 01:19 am

Would you pay this man a million dollars? Found on eBay:


It's like reading! The guy is asking for a million. And! Someone has bid $100,000!

A couple weeks ago I was watching the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction broadcast live by the Speed Channel. Watching the $2,000 cars of the 60s and 70s sell for $100,000 to $500,000.

I've been browsing eBay and Craigslist looking for the kind of car I learned to drive on, a Plymouth Duster. The Duster was a light-weight Mopar with the famous 340 V8 4BB. No frills, priced cheap for the youth market. The least well-known Mopar -- not well known today like the Charger, Road Runner or Barracuda. What no one seems to want to remember is how damn badly the Charger, Road Runner and Barracuda sold in their time, while the Duster sold about one and a half million copies. It was the poor guy's muscle car and performed as well as the Mustang, Camaro and Impala.

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Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007, 01:15 am

Over the Labor Day weekend I took some extra days of vacation and hit the road. Traveled across New Mexico and Arizona on I-40, drove on parts of historic Route 66, saw the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.

Seeing Monument Valley has been a long-time goal of mine. It is as staggering and awesome as it appears to be in photos. I want so much to go back, and spend the night in the valley, see sunset and sunrise.

Living in the Midwest has been such an experience. I've stood in the wagon wheel ruts of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails in Kansas, seen Louis and Clark landing sites, Pony Express stations, the "Little Town on the Prairie," the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Mesa Verde. But mostly what stands out in my memory are the wide open spaces. I've driven across Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, and parts of Wyoming. Roads where I'm scared I'll run out of gas before I find the next station. Gas stations that only accept cash. Places with no cell phone reception. Travelling with food and water and a sleeping bag in the trunk. I'm used to travelling by subway, bus and cab. It was hard for me to get up the nerve to drive on mostly empty roads, in mostly desolate areas. It's been scary but so rewarding.

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Wed, Aug. 29th, 2007, 07:48 pm

Wolfgang's Vault

Here's a blurb from the site: There's only one place you can hear Bill Graham introduce the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore East, Steve Miller ask for more PA volume at Winterland, or Robert Plant kill time with the Fillmore audience while Jimmy Page re-tunes in the background. It's the same place you can listen to the greatest live music of all time in full concert format. It's the Concert Vault, the world's greatest collection of vintage concert recordings. Where does it come from? In 2003, Wolfgang's Vault acquired master recordings from the archives of Bill Graham Presents. These live concerts were recorded at legendary venues like the Fillmore East and Winterland between 1965 and the late 1980s.

So far I've bought Santana at Santana Cow Palace on Dec. 31, 1976 and Deep Purple at the Long Beach Arena on Feb. 27, 1976.
while Pandora provides a similar service to and TagWorld, it actually works very differently ... When you create a radio station on Pandora, it uses a pretty radical approach to delivering your personalized selections: Having analyzed the musical structures present in the songs you like, it plays other songs that possess similar musical traits. Pandora relies on a Music Genome that consists of 400 musical attributes covering the qualities of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, composition and lyrics. It's a project that began in January 2000 and took 30 experts in music theory five years to complete.

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Mon, Aug. 27th, 2007, 07:07 pm
Monday, Monday

I had to go into work very early today, five in the morning, and to keep myself awake I started playing Metallica on my work computer. Loudly. We're talking ear bleeds. Because what the hell, no one else is around, and it's Metallica. And just as James Hetfield is belting out Some Kind Of Monster, the stunned face of my boss pops up over the top of my cubicle. I almost fell off my chair scrambling to turn down the volume. He just stands there staring at me like I've grown antlers and then he turns and goes into his office. I was appalled and laughing (in a quietly horrified sort of way) all at the same time. And then about an hour later there's a meeting and he's there and I'm there and he is deadpan and says absolutely nothing about The Incident.

Maybe I can convince him that he hallucinated the whole thing.

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