Oh, Shenandoah! · What hap­pened was, back when I was do­ing Songs of the Day, I wrote up that great old Amer­i­can tune Oh Shenan­doah, and idly won­dered who Shenan­doah was; the Wikipedia en­try said he was a re­al per­son, an Onei­da of the seventeen-hundreds. Then I thought of that lyric Oh Shenan­doah, I loved your daugh­ter, and won­dered who she was and who might have loved her, and found my­self go­ing down a rab­bit hole. I have now read sev­er­al books on the sub­jec­t, un­cov­ered a hell of a sto­ry, an idea for a billion-dollar play or movie, and met some re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing dead peo­ple. I’ve (so far) failed to solve the mys­tery of who loved his daugh­ter, but haven’t giv­en up ...
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Unbrittle Events · At AWS, I’m now in the Server­less or­ga­ni­za­tion, which in 2018 is big fun. Some­one asked me to check out the work be­ing done at the Cloud Na­tive Com­put­ing Foun­da­tion (CNCF), par­tic­u­lar­ly around CloudEvents. There’s been a par­tic­u­lar­ly in­ter­est­ing ar­gu­ment go­ing on around there that I think has use­ful lessons for any­one who cares about de­sign­ing net­work pro­to­col­s ...
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Diversity “Goals” · Many of us (s­peak­ing from the tech sec­tor where I work) think the sector’s work­place di­ver­si­ty isn’t very good. Specif­i­cal­ly, there aren’t enough wom­en. Large com­pa­nies  —  all the ones I’ve worked for, any­how  —  have goal­s, and gen­er­al­ly work hard at meet­ing them. Many com­pa­nies now say they care about di­ver­si­ty, and have goals around im­prov­ing it. But im­prove­ment is painful­ly slow; why? Maybe part of it is that those aren’t the same kind of “goals” ...
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Bye-bye Haida Gwaii · I’m down to my last few pic­tures and sto­ries from our Ju­ly va­ca­tion in Hai­da Gwaii and Gwaii Haanas ...
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Why Serverless? · We were ar­gu­ing at work about dif­fer­ent modes of com­put­ing, and it dawned on me that the big ar­gu­ments for go­ing server­less are busi­ness ar­gu­ments, not re­al­ly technology-centric at al­l. Maybe ev­ery­one else al­ready no­ticed ...
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Ninstints and Koyah · On the sec­ond day of our Hai­da Gwaii ex­cur­sion, our long morn­ing Zo­di­ac stage start­ed just out­side the park (the green zone on this map), head­ed through in­te­ri­or chan­nels and then out in­to the He­cate Strait around the bot­tom right of Mores­by Is­land, where we saw the seals and whales pic­tured pre­vi­ous­ly here, then turn­ing west along the bot­tom of Mores­by through the Hous­ton Ste­wart Chan­nel and end­ing up at the place you can see marked “Ninstints” near the bot­tom cen­ter of the map. It has sev­er­al oth­er names but to the lo­cals it’s SG̱ang Gwaay Llana­gaay; they drop the third word so it sounds like Sgang­way. The place is among the most amaz­ing I’ve vis­it­ed ...
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Photographing Haida Gwaii · The pho­to­graph­ic land­scape is shift­ing un­der us. I took four lens­es to Hai­da Gwai­i, as­sum­ing you count the Pix­el 2 as one of them, and you should; that’s the land­scape shift. The “real” lens­es: ...
 
How To Visit Haida Gwaii · It looks re­mote on the map and it is, but it’s not that hard to get to. The big rea­son to go is Gwaii Haanas, the huge south­ern Canada/Haida-Nation park. It is re­al­ly hard to get to and, since it’s a large ex­panse of rocky is­land­s, hard to get around in. But you can do it ...
 
T'aanuu ll­na­gaay · On Fri­day Ju­ly 13th I was sit­ting un­der trees look­ing at the ocean and I thought “This is maybe the nicest place I’ve ev­er been.” The beach was at Tanu (T'aanuu ll­na­gaay in the Hai­da lan­guage), which is here. In front of me, the He­cate Strait, much hat­ed by West Coast mariner­s. Be­hind me, the old Hai­da vil­lage site, with in­ter­est­ing me­men­to mori: a mass grave of fifty or so small­pox vic­tim­s, and the beau­ti­ful mod­ern grave­stone of Bill Reid. Flow­ing over me, a breeze of what struck me as the fresh­est, cleanest, nicest air I have ev­er breathed. This was on the last day of our Hai­da Gwai­i, uh, let me see, I can hard­ly call it an ad­ven­ture af­ter all that. But it sort of was ...
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Jag Diary 3: What We Know · Between June 4th, when the first wave of re­views of the New Jag hit (off­i­cal­ly the I-PACE, what a dumb name) and the time the sales­man called me say­ing “Time to sign the or­der if you want to be in the first wave”, I had to de­cide whether to spend a lot of mon­ey on a car I’d nev­er seen or touched. So I paid damn close at­ten­tion to those re­views. I’m a crit­i­cal read­er, and sus­pi­cious about the mo­tives of prod­uct re­view­er­s, and I think the pic­ture that emerges is pret­ty clear. This post is to enu­mer­ate what I think it’s pos­si­ble to know for sure about the car with­out hav­ing owned or even driv­en one ...
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Jag Diary 2: “T-K” · Ap­par­ent­ly Jaguar com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing a se­ri­ous elec­tric car back in 2014, which was a brave move at that point. Ob­vi­ous­ly, this wouldn’t have hap­pened, nor would the up­com­ing Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes BEVs (Bat­tery Elec­tric Vehi­cles), if Tes­la hadn’t proved that these things can be built and peo­ple want to buy them. Now, sup­pose you had the job of mar­ket­ing this new thing to the world; how would you start? ...
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Jaguar Diary · On Wed­nes­day, I signed an or­der for a 2019 Jaguar I-PACE, to be de­liv­ered in the late au­tum­n. For those who don’t fol­low the electric-car scene, this is a brand-new no-petroleum prod­uct with range and per­for­mance in the same range as a Tes­la S or X. Since elec­tric cars in­ter­est geeks and greens  —  both over-represented in my read­er­ship  —  and since the Jag is a new thing and con­tains a lot of tech­nol­o­gy, I thought I’d do a diary-and-notes se­ries on the car and the ex­pe­ri­ence of get­ting in­to the electric-driving space ...
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SotD: What a Wonderful World · That’s al­l, folk­s. Wel­come to the last Song of the Day. I knew pret­ty ear­ly what I want­ed it to be, be­cause ev­ery ex­tend­ed en­deav­or should en­deav­or to end on a high note. And What a Won­der­ful World fit­s, al­beit in­di­rect­ly, in­to the ex­it the­me, wor­ship and rev­er­ence ...
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SotD: It’ll Shine When It Shines · At the end of the day, the pur­suit of the di­vine is sup­posed to of­fer up wis­dom and, prac­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, teach you how to live life bet­ter. But for me, the sa­cred scrip­tures are songs; not that I lis­ten to them look­ing for life lesson­s, but some­times they’re there any­way. It’ll Shine When It Shines is by the Ozark Moun­tain Dare­dev­ils, and it’s up-front about its mes­sage; one that I feel good about pass­ing along ...
 
SotD: The Return · I in­tro­duced Fer­ron to the Song of the Day a cou­ple weeks back with Belly­bowl, and I’d like to use her beau­ti­ful The Re­turn in this clos­ing focused-on-the-divine se­quence, to help talk about my own ex­pe­ri­ence of wor­ship ...
 
SotD: Graceland · In case it wasn’t ob­vi­ous from yesterday’s piece, Grace­land  —  the re­al one I mean, Elvis’ man­sion in Mem­phis  —  is a place of wor­ship. The vis­i­tors are serene, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­lief not faith; a lot of them saw Elvis on TV or even in the flesh. They know that, as Paul Si­mon sings, in his love­ly, love­ly song al­so called Grace­land, that there’s rea­son to be­lieve that they’ll all be re­ceived there. And al­so just the name “Graceland” is the pret­ti­est word imag­in­able ...
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SotD: So High · More mu­sic on the sub­ject of God (and Heav­en too); a tra­di­tion­al spir­i­tu­al ar­ranged by Elvis Pres­ley for his 1967 Gospel al­bum How Great Thou Art, which was a triple-platinum hit and won the 1967 Gram­my for Best Sa­cred Per­for­mance. So High is a fine, rous­ing tune with a good ar­range­men­t, and just ter­rif­ic singing ...
 
SotD: O vis aeternitatis · Ladies, gen­tle­men, and oth­er­s, wel­come to the 2018 Song of the Day clos­ing se­quence. This has been a lot of work and I thought I should try to end it with more than just a set of ran­dom tunes, so I picked a the­me: Wor­ship, the sa­cred, and the di­vine. To start, from Hilde­gard von Bin­gen, the old­est song to ap­pear, first sung some­time in the years around 1150: O vis ae­ter­ni­tatis means “The Pow­er of Eternity” ...
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SotD: Live at Leeds · I love rock mu­sic, and I love live al­bum­s, and this might be the best live rock&roll record­ing ev­er. I’m not claim­ing the whole album’s a Song of the Day (and any­how, there’s been a baf­fling pa­rade of re-issues and re­mas­ters and so on). But I am go­ing to dou­ble up and rec­om­mend two songs: I Can’t Ex­plain and the My Gen­er­a­tion Med­ley. The first be­cause it’s a pure pop gem, the sec­ond, even though it’s way long, be­cause in­hab­its the joy­ful heart of the mu­sic I love ...
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SotD: Subcode · By ap­pear­ing twice in this se­ries Jah Wob­ble joins lu­mi­nar­ies like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. I’m not go­ing to claim that he looms as large on the mu­si­cal land­scape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes fea­tur­ing di­vine­ly great bass lines. And, well, I just can’t say no to that. Sub­code is a slith­ery, icy-cool riv­er of funk ...
 
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