Friday, May 26, 2006

New Yahoo! Maps Beta

This is really cool. On some of my previous posts I've commented on the fact that I'm a big nerd about transportation, maps and urban planning. In this vein, I've become addicted to Google Maps. One problem I've encountered a lot while perusing that site, though, is the tendency to be very outdated. For instance, the Westpark Tollway has been complete all the way to the Harris County/Ft. Bend County line since about August 2005. Google Maps doesn't even show it existing past Highway 6. However, Yahoo Maps Beta does...well, at least on the satellite imagery - I guess the map gods haven't told Yahoo and Google that they can go ahead and put the road on the map - and it's my new de facto map standard. I don't know how long Yahoo has had this feature; it's been a very long time since I've used them instead of Google. But it's cool nonetheless.

So, just because of this, congratulations, Yahoo. For once you've usurped Google.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

While I do love sports to an almost unhealthy degree, my true love lies with music. Well, after my wife. But she and I are musicians. No, not the hippie, weed-smoking type that have no motivation in life; we're legitimate, classically-trained musicians that have jobs. We just happen to be teachers of the art that we love. Of course, since she's an actual band director, and I am a transient gypsy (or private lesson teacher; whichever), I guess we can be called sell-outs. But wait! We still embrace cutting-edge composers, avant-garde performance ensembles and students that are willing to take a risk. But we do have to earn a living.

What's my point? Well, tonight Jen and I listened to some great music on our respectable home theater system. (I guess this means I'll have to post something soon about what I've got in my system. Let's just say I'm not craving anything in that department right now.) We listened to Holst, Maslanka, Ron Nelson, John Adams, and Astor Piazzolla. Now, I've gotta tell ya, there's nothing like listening to Maslanka's Symphony #4. Absolute brilliance or insanity, depending on whether you're under the influence while listening. Hearing the First Suite in E Flat by Holst sends me into the rejuvenation stage of my teaching career all over again. Jen felt the same way. And the #4, well, let's just say that we're officially back in the David Maslanka fan club.

Okay, so I'm too lazy to give you links to what I've been talking about. But give me a break; it's 2:45 am, and I have to go with Jen to UofH tomorrow morning for the Symphonic Band to record once again for Honor Band. Maybe I'll just give her a ride to the school, come back, take a nap, go to Houston, drive around looking for a good golf bag, and then catch the performance at noon-ish. But I've heard so much HS band lately, it's kinda like getting a big plate of pancakes at IHOP: They kick ass at first, but after the 2nd pancake, you may as well be chewing your own foot.

So that's all. Oh, and the Astros finally won tonight. They went 1-6 on their road trip, Brad Lidge is officially sucking balls, and the rest of the pen isn't exactly lights out, either. Hell, even the Red Sox got blanked by the Rangers (mixed bag, I know...). Well, maybe this first win in the 9-game homestand will get them off to a good start.

Good night...