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I used to be a Microsoft fanboy, really, used to be. I had Windows Phone back when it was SmartPhone or Windows Mobile, or whatever they wanted to call it (too long ago to remember, and it was always changing). I purchased a 30gb Zune the day they came out (unboxing video), I purchased a 4gb zune after those devices came out. I had a Zune Pass for too many years to count.

So I’ve been finding it harder and harder to use up my Zune pass credits every month lately. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a month or two as well.

What am I talking about? If you subscribe to Zune pass ($14.99/mo) you can pretty much download almost all the music you want (ex: the social network soundtrack is apparently not available), but that music is only good as long as you have a subscription.

With your subscription you also get 10 “credits” a month that you can use to download and keep 10 songs, meaning they won’t expire if you cancel your subscription.

Lately I’m finding myself not really branching out into new music, I listen to Cake and Pearl Jam primarily, and often times I just use Pandora to pick my music for me. I’m thinking it is likely time to shut off the Zune pass subscription, at least until they come up with some “video” content that would allow me to cancel my cable service…..

So if you are a cake fan (www.cakemusic.com) you might find this next blurb a little interesting. I got this in an email from the Cake Newsletter last night

CAKE is pleased to offer their "Motorcade of Generosity" on a high quality 180 gram orange vinyl disc. Both a "Motorcade" poster and a digital download card for the full album will be included inside the jacket. In advance of the forthcoming black vinyl, this orange vinyl collector's edition album is available for $15 for a limited time only at http://www.cakemusic.com/mog.html while supplies last!

I’ve ordered my copy! I will probably even buy a record player just for this one album, though I do have a Korn album in Vinyl as well.

“Motorcade of Generosity” was the first Cake album I ever owned, it started it all.

So I’m sitting here working on Chapter 1 of the book, not getting as much done as I would like, but far more done than I expected to actually get done tonight. I find myself easily distracted, playing with my music, posting on twitter, running downstairs to get a drink, snacking, with a little writing sprinkled in here and there. Another common distraction I like is to read the headlines and news. I don’t just do this when I’m working on the book, I do it all the time, at work, at home, it’s a habit, I’m not sure it’s a bad habit though?
A short review for tonight, perhaps a longer one in the morning, perhaps not. Ashes Divide, eh, not a fan. They performed well, I'm just not a big fan of their music. Saliva, great live, I might have to buy an album of theirs on my Zune this week. Chevelle, good show live, sounded great, but not a huge fan of their music, I have one album, not likely to buy another soon. STP, amazing, great show as always. My first concert back in 1994 was STP at Arco Arena in Sacramento. This show wasn't as flashy but still good nonetheless. I think this is my third time seeing STP, and 4th Scott, I will definitely make the trip again sometime if given the chance. We were sitting in what amounted to the 5th or 6th row, in front of that was the "mosh" pit, but I can't say I saw any moshing today. I shot some video on my phone, will try to upload it tomorrow if it turned out at all.
Wow, I was just about to head to bed when I saw this post from Cesar over at Zune Insider. Great news, the spring update for the Zune is here, or almost here. I'm looking forward to these specific updates.
Sweet! Signing up for the Stone Temple Pilots fan club was the best thing I could have done. I just purchased 4 tickets for the June 8th show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater here in St. Louis, in Row K! It should be a great show!
So STP is coming to town! They were the very first concert I ever went to, back in 1994 at Arco Arena with Jim. It was an amazing experience and I've seen them one other time here in St. Louis. It looks like they will be back in town on June 8th, 2008, I'll be there for sure!

Ghosts I-IV

Chris Hammond
Yesterday I mentioned that NIN has a new release out, Ghosts I-IV that you can purchase from www.nin.com for $5. Well I purchased it last night and have been unable to download it completely since. I've emailed support and am hoping to hear back from them soon as to how I'm going to be able to download it.
So last night 7 of us went out to dinner at Llywelyn's in Webster Groves. I wanted to go see Steve Ewing from The Urge playing there, and I figured I'd drag along a few guys from work so Natalie and I would have some people to talk to. It was a great time, and I must say, Steve is an amazing singer, if you get a chance to see him playing somewhere do. In person he sounds just like the recordings except with a little more crowd enticement there. Check him out at www.steviee.com I'm also proud to say I'll be using some of his music in upcoming videos for www.corvettez06.org and www.project240z.com
What did I do tonight? More than most nights! I got home and decided it was time to tear into the motor that blew in the 240Z. So I did that! I found the piston. Well, I found some of the piston, in 100+ pieces. After working on the car tonight I had dinner with my wife, then came upstairs and was planning on getting some work done. Instead I opened up my Bass case and plugged into the amp. I played for quite a while, far longer than I expected, mostly learning some Green Day tunes. I must admit, I think I was born a base player, not a guitar player. I find it so much easier to just pick up and play a song, though, bass parts are generally...
So, you're lazy like me, and hate taking your Zune inside the house because really all that means is that you forget to take it with you in the morning when you leave. Well never fear! With the new firmware update 2.1 it looks like you're going to be able to leave your Zune in your vehicle, and sync up the device! I'm excited about this. My Zune is always in my Tahoe, plugged into a power source, so this should work out excellent for me assuming the Wifi has a strong enough signal in the driveway, which wasn't a problem when I was outside working on the Project240z all spring with my laptop running! This also means it should work well for Natalie's Zune as well! Though, if I buy a Corvette it now means I'll have to wire up the Zune again, as it won't have the connection I already added for the...
I've been trying to track down a copy of Pow Wow '93 for the past few years, but have been unsuccessful in doing so. Pow Wow was the annual talent competition held at Maconaquah High School in Bunker Hill Indiana. I was in a band back in 93, my sophemore year, called The Flying Gimps. We performed in Pow Wow, playing Helmet's "Unsung". We ended up winning $100 from the competition. At one point I had a copy of Pow Wow for that year but it got recorded over by something a few years later. I've tried contacting the school, but the media teacher who ran the show for many years no longer works there and no one there has an archive of the old shows. A few weeks ago Derrickfound me on Myspace.com. Derrick and his brother Sean were in the band as well, Derrick actually wasn't going to play in the show but do to some unfortunate circumstances had to take Sean's place and fill in. I asked if he happened to have a copy and he gratiously offered to dupe me a copy and send it over! It should be here in the next few days! I'm hoping to digitize it and get it online, as well as get a copy for Lindsy as she also performed in a different part of the competition. More on Pow Wow...
At CES this evening it was announced that the Xbox 360 will get a HD-DVD external drive attachment later this year! Good news for 360 Owners. Now if they would just upconvert regular DVDs as...

Twas an audio Christmas!

Chris Hammond
Christmas was good this year! Natalie and I both spoiled each other rotten! I just installer her new car stereo into the F350. The stock stereo was hurting! It only had AM/FM, no CD or Tape! I got her a nice Sony CD Player for the dash, two new kicker speakers for the front doors, and an XM Roady2 for the must have Satellite radio. There's no Sirius in this household, down with Howard Stern and Sirius Radio! I installed the CD player this evening and made sure everything worked. It's a very clean install, you have to love Crutchfield for including everything you could need to install a radio ordered from them. The new CD player went right in the old unit's place courtesy of the Crutchfield mounting hardware. I also picked up some fine jewelery from Krekeler Jewelers for Natalie's Christmas gifts. Thanks to Jeff for all the help picking a few nice things out!  Natalie spoiled me with some new Oakleys, a cool North Face Jacket, and the Klipsch floor speakers I'd been asking for! The new speakers sound amazing in front of the 50" plasma! I've ordered the Klipsh C-3 center channel speaker from Best Buy using some great gift cards I received. Sometime later this year I'll get the new receiver and 4 surround sound speakers to complete my new and improved home theater setup. My parents sent me money to purchase an aircompressor and some tools for the garage, so I was out looking at Sears today. I did realize however, I'm going to need to take the truck next time I go, as the air compressors won't fit in the 350Z! Thanks to everyone for the great Christmas. Natalie and I spent our first of many Christmas' together, hopefully next year we'll be able to see our parents though, it was my first Xmas away from my family :( More to come in...
Well, it's almost 1am and Thanksgiving weekend is almost over. I'll be getting up and heading back to the grind in the morning. Though this coming week will probably fly by for me. Natalie and I are headed to Vegas Friday evening. I bought a flight/hotel package early last week to take her out of town for the weekend. We leave on the 2nd of December, which is the date we've set as our wedding day for 2006, so this trip will be a little celebration of the year anniversary before our wedding. I've never been to Vegas, bar a trip with the family when I was 12 or 13, so I look forward to getting to see all the Casinos, and of course see how much money I can come home with! Here's to hoping it's more than I started with! We've also got tickets to see the Blue Man Group, who I've always wanted to see, and Natalie's never heard of. They're at The Venetian, which happens to be the hotel we're staying at. Other news. The Xbox 360 is going well, solo I've been playing Project Gotham Racing 3, it's got some great online action, and the single player so far has kept me entertained. Head to head I've been playing my future brother-in-law in some NBA Live 06, which is a great game to play when the other guy is in the room. After making a great play you can hit the replay button and rub it in their face. Other than those two games though I haven't touched much of the other software I picked up for the 360. I've also yet to get it working on my network to be able to stream files off my PC. Hopefully I'll get that working, I think it may be related to my PC being on a domain, but we'll see. More news to come soon, lots going on in the Hammond...
So you're wondering how to get yourself an Xbox360 before Christmas? Here's a few tips. Take 1: On November 21st, head to your local Best Buy, Wal Mart or Circuit City, Target, Kmart. Take warm clothes, some food, and a comfortable folding chair, you're going to be there a while. Wait, wait, wait, until 8am on November 22nd. Go in the store and buy one! If you're lucky enough to be one of the few in line that will get one. Take 2. Bid on one on Ebay. Take 3. Try finding one on Black Friday. (yeah good luck with that.) Take 4. Wait till after Christmas!   Any of your own tips on how to find a 360 before Christmas? Post them...
So the alarm comes on this morning and I hit snooze the required 3-4 times per morning. It's blaring 105.7 at 7AM, which has the king of all that is bad, Howard Stern, on in the mornings. I absolutely cannot stand the guy, IMO Howard Stern is just a dork who surrounds himself with people lower than himself so they can boost and praise him. This morning I actually listened to the show for a bit though. He had Jonathan Davis from Korn on this morning, talking about Jonathan's childhood and family life. It was kind of interesting, as I've always been a HUGE Korn fan, ever since Kevin Corcoran (sp?) gave me a tape of their first album back in 94. I knew he had a screwed up childhood, but to hear him talk about it was definitely interesting. ...

RIP Dimebag Darrell

Chris Hammond
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/12/09/nightclub.shooting/index.html "According to witnesses, the gunman initially shot the band's guitarist, Dimebag Darrell. Darrell, 38, and his brother, Vinnie Paul, 40, formed Damageplan after Pantera -- a group they formed in the 1980s -- broke up last year. Their father is Jerry Abbott, a country and western songwriter and producer." Today will be a Pantara Day of Music in...
Well, this is the first post about a great weekend! Friday night Roger and I went to Mississippi Nights to see Papa Roach, Trust Co. and Chronic Future. When we got there we noticed the guys from proach were standing out on the side parking lot talking to fans. So we parked and walked around there to say hello. I said hello to Jerry, the guitar player, and told him we'd met before, at Pop's in Sauget Illinois in 2001, and that I went to school with his brother. He faintly remembered meeting me, or at least acted like he did. After saying hello to Jerry I walked over to Jacoby, the lead singer, and said hello, told him I went to high school with his wife. To which he replied, “She's here, on the bus.” So I went over and waited by the bus until they were done with their signing, which I came to find out later was an invite only signing. I guess Roger and I just looked like we belonged there? :) After the signing Jacoby got Kelly off the bus, she came out and said hello, asked what the hell I was doing in Missouri (I know, it's not the most exciting of states, but it's been home for 9 years now). Roger and I went in and watched the first  two bands, I am not much of being right up in the crowd, so at Mississippi Nights it is nice because we could grab a chair in the back and still be able to see. Later in the evening I noticed Kelly was inside watching Papa Roach play, I went up to her and another girl (kelly is in black, jennifer in the striped shirt) at the bar to say hello. We talked for probably an hour to an hour and a half. We got caught up on all sorts of things. Kelly just had her second son, 6 weeks ago, named Jagger. Her and Jennifer had flown out and met up with the guys in Wichata the night before, they were on tour with them until Monday and then were heading back to California and the kids. Jennifer also went to Vanden High School and was in our class (95). Jennifer married Tobin, the bass player for Papa Roach. Jennifer also has two kids now. All the kids (4) were staying at Kelly's mom's house while they were out on tour with the band. Kelly told me about everything that's been going on, how life still is very regular for her, even though she's married to a rock star! It was a great evening, getting caught up with Kelly and Jennifer, getting to hang out with the band members afterwards. I didn't know this, but Dave, the drummer, is married to a Tyler, as in one of Steven Tyler's daughters, Mia to be exact. Seeing things from the otherside, you realize how real people are, even though they look so far away, they are just regular people to, it's nice to see that. Best of luck to the band, and to Kelly, Jennifer and the kids. I hope to see them all again soon, who knows, maybe they will show up at our 10 year reunion next year at Vanden! Here are some photos taken that...
I just got two tickets to see Papa Roach and Chronic Future at Mississippi Nights on Friday November 5th! The last time I saw Papa Roach was in April of 2000 right before Infest was released, Greg and I saw them at Pops in Sauget. I missed Chronic Future last time they were in town at the Creepy Crawl. This should be an awesome show! Now I need to find someone to go with...

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at https://www.christoc.com/