Tag Archives: general

Motion Charts

I was playing around with Google’s Motion Charts as a way to visualize the traffic that comes to baconworks.com. The chart below represents visits to baconworks by country over time. Each ball represents a country. When you click the play button the balls will begin to move showing you the visits per country per month, as well as page views and average time each country spent on the site. Also, you can hover over the balls as they are moving to see which country they represent.

As you can see, from the bouncing red ball, baconworks has not really caught on outside of the United States. Although you may notice a slight rise and fall from Switzerland during the month of August in ’07, which coincides with my trip to Basel. I guess if I want more foreign traffic I’m gonna have to start scheduling more European vacations.

Fun with Twitter

All sorts of fun tonight. I just connected baconworks.com to twitter.
So, now every time I post to baconworks.com a tweet will automatically be sent to twitter. Incidentally my twitter account is http://twitter.com/baconworks. Lastly, if you have no idea what I’m talking about then you might want to check out this useful newbie guide to twitter. Suffice it to say, you can now be notified on you mobile phone when I post a new article.

facebook page

I created a new facebook page today called baconworks which can be found here.
facebook page
Apparently a page in facebook terminology is different than your standard-run-o-the-mill facebook account. Check it out. You’ll notice that somehow I became a fan of myself. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to figure out how to become an un-fan in the event that I decide that I really don’t like myself anymore.

…and, just moments before I posted this, I noticed that Sally has also become a fan. Thanks Sally. Now I don’t feel so lonely.

Memories of Westbrook

The Mariners at Westbrook
From top to bottom this past weekend was one of the best Westbrook Musters I can recall. The weather was beautiful, the music was a blast and the company was great. Here are just a few highlights for me. Feel free to reply with your own.

  • Deb, it’s so nice to see April again.
  • John E. Boy, thanks for the interpretive Irish step dancing.
  • Alan, that spider nearly killed you, glad I could save your life
  • Dan, if ever you need any attire correction in the future, you can count on me. Besides I don’t want you to embarrass the rest of us
  • Beave, good man on ye ol’ goat skins. I guess we’ll have to continue carrying the Gary & Ralph torch since there are no others.
  • Richard Benoit, nice chatting and playing tunes with you. I’ll be sending some music your way.
  • Katie, you are sooo grass roots. Thanks for advertising our session before I knew we were having one. Also, thanks for making me feel good about B minor.
  • To those two girls from Delmar who said they were going to go find Wi-Fi so they could check out my web site … you girls rock!
  • Tim, impressive flute playing. Glad I could convince you to play one more tune.
  • Bosse, I can’t believe you played Shenandoah in F! Cool. You’ve come a long way in a short time.
  • Deirdra, mighty whistle playing. With a little more practice, you should be able to get those tunes up to speed  ; )
  • Jeff, glad you found us.
  • Craig, ninety seven versus of The Humors of Whiskey and I could see the finish line for the first time in three years. But, once again, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. Someone has to take the blame.
  • Mountain, you should play that Em tune like nine times through. Good shtuff.
  • Kate, bring your pipes to Sudbury, we’re putting you on tape.
  • Tish, your fifing rules.
  • Biscuits, you would have been proud.
  • McGraw, you know how to make ’em. Thanks for bringing them down. I’m so happy you all came. It was the best part of my day.
  • Max, I know you can’t read, but Happy Birthday my little punky pirate.
  • Sudbury and the Troopers, Great performances. Thanks so much for playing my tunes.
  • Rachael, thanks for starting Blackwater Tide in the jam. I guess I should re-learn it now.
  • The only downer of the weekend was that Mr. Dukes and The Salad Queen did not make an appearance. I hope you guys show up at Sudbury because my fans hate it when you’re not there.
  • finally I’ll leave you with Eighteen fifes, Six snare, Six bass, Eight flags, Three gunners, Two prisoner handlers, One prisoner, One musketeer, One Jeff, One Commode and, apparently, a fair young maiden. Boom.

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What’s in a Name?

Flying Pig
As the votes continue rolling in for the tune writing contest, something has been on my mind. Before I get to my question, let me remind you that all votes must be in by 5pm EST, Friday, January 11th. So, if you haven’t voted yet, now is your chance.

With that out of the way, here is what I’ve been wondering: What impact does a name or a title have on your decision making process?

Let me lead in with an example. My boss recently told me that she is planning on running the Flying Pig Marathon. Why this particular marathon? Because of the name. She is willing to run 26 miles and 385 yards, in this particular marathon, because of the name. Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t even drive my car 26 miles because of the name, but I digress.

Here is what I want to know. Are you more likely to learn a tune because of the name? We could even run a little side contest…ooh, good idea, let’s run a side contest. This contest, actually it is more of a survey, is much simpler than the first. Of the twenty tunes submitted to the contest, is there one or two where the names are really compelling? Which name do you like the most and why? Instead of emailing me, simply leave a comment to this post with your favorite names so everyone can see.

My votes goes to The Festering Fish, because of the disgusting alliteration, and The Feast of the Geese Eaters because of the intrigue and the imagery that it conjures up.

WAVE/MP3 Recorder…

Edirol R-09
For those that are interested, I did all of my audio recording in Switzerland on an Edirol R-09. I had never used it before and, in fact, a co-worker loaned it to me the day before I left for Europe. I threw some fresh AA batteries in, 2 gig of SD memory and I was off to the races. I found it very easy to use and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality, compact recording device. I recorded in some very adverse settings such as bars filled with drummers and fifers. In spite of the conditions the quality of the recordings were consistently good.

In addition, I found it really easy to transfer tracks to my computer. Just plug it in via a USB port and it was instantly recognized as another hard drive. Simple.

Amazon has it listed for $349. I give it an A+.

This is a test of the emergency broadcast system…

I’d like to take a quick pause in my Mariner posts to give a nod to the spammers. Every day I filter out loads of spam that I receive as comments. Today I got one that I found amusing. It contained one line of compliments followed by a link to some porn site, followed by another line of compliments, followed by another link to porn, and so on. Just so they feel as thought they have some measure of success I am going to post the lines of compliments, minus the links to the porn. Here they are:

Very good web forum, great work and thank you for your service.
What beautiful text and visitors!
The Author, you – genius…
The Good lad an author! I much like site!
Very good contents…
The Author, you – genius…
I am glad to find this forum!

How does Mr. Spammer know that all my visitors are good looking? Impressive. I especially like the bit about ‘Author, you -genius’. Thank you spammers, you’re too kind.

O.k., now back to our regularly scheduled program.

I Scream for Ice Cream

My buddy Joe and I have had a handful of lunchtime practices to prepare for our upcoming trip. On the last day of our last practice, during our last run-through of Drummelhund before our trip to Switzerland the building manager of The MathWorks drove up and asked if we were from The MathWorks. ‘Yes’, I replied. ‘Well’, he said, ‘someone filed a complaint about the noise.’ Here is the amusing part. They thought we were an ice cream truck…playing the same tune over and over and over. Well, it certainly is not the first time someone has asked me to stop playing, but this might be the most unique complaint so far. See you in Switzerland!

Pic from the Past

I stumbled upon this old picture today:
Roger and Greg

That is me on the right and my buddy Roger on the left. We were new to the Mariners and enjoying an ale just moments before a performance at the Roman amphitheater in Augst, Switzerland, which I will be returning to next week. It was the first time I had ever played in front of an audience that really cared and I can’t tell you how hard it was to play a fife while my knees were shaking.

The picture was taken seventeen years ago. Ugh!

Capo Magic

I just came across this nice set of tunes on YouTube. As a fretted instrument musician I have always struggled with removing the capo in the middle of a set of tunes as a result of an unexpected key change. This kid has a novel technique for dealing with the problem. Watch what he does with the capo about halfway through the video.

I would love to know what kind of capo he was using.