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mashby

The personal blog of Michael Ashby
Selfie of me on my 5th birthday

So, This Is 50

On Wednesday I hit a milestone birthday — I turned 50. The words feel strange in my mouth (and under my fingers), even though I haven’t hesitated to tell anyone who asks. In fact I almost respond as if I’m asking a question back.

Them: “Oh, is today your birthday? Which one is it?”

Me: “50?”

Thankfully, I’m not allergic to birthdays and I don’t go into bouts of depression over them either. It is a big one and I can feel its weight and yet at the same time I have to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I don’t feel older. I still don’t feel like an adult and I feel no different than when I was 25. Although, when I look back on those days I can now see just how big of an idiot I was and I’m thankful that at least some things have changed.

I’ve done a lot of “looking back” over the past few weeks. Grateful that I have few regrets. Thankful that I have many more years in front of me (hopefully) and blessed that the wheels haven’t fallen off the wagon just yet. I don’t have to take any medications, I still have some hair, I’m still married to my best friend and the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m also surrounded by friends and family — both near and far — that were gracious enough to let me know that they’re thinking about me this week.

Of course there could always be more money, more time, more travel, less work, less stress, and less strife but that’s what life is. Isn’t it? In my experience, you can’t have the good without the bad and as I take stock of my life I believe I’ve been dealt a winning hand.

Not much more to say, really. I’m still full of piss and vinegar and I have no plans to slow down anytime soon. There is still so much left to do! 🙂

macOS High Sierra Promo

Upgrading To macOS High Sierra

It’s been awhile since I did a post regarding a macOS upgrade. In fact, it’s been GASP 4-years, so I thought it might be fun to take stock and do a deep dive on how I did the upgrade. So let’s get to it!

The Boot Disk

For starters, I downloaded the new OS and created a bootable install disk on a thumb drive. This way I didn’t have to perform multiple downloads for each machine and I could have a boot disk handy in my “jump bag” when I travel.

On the day that the new macOS was available, I downloaded it to my laptop and then followed the guide on 9to5Mac.com to create the disk on a new 8GB thumb drive I bought from Amazon. The 9to5 guide was great for people who aren’t that comfortable with the Terminal due to the fact that they had a drag-and-drop style that saved a ton of typing.

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One Month Facebook Free

It’s now been over a month since I deleted my Facebook account and I thought I’d take a moment to share a few thoughts and experiences that I’ve had over the past 30+ days and take a moment to reflect.

I Don’t Miss It

I had a routine where I would go to Facebook at least once-a-day just to catch up what my friends and family were up to. After deleting my account, I thought that I might miss that part of my routine but surprisingly have not. If anything, I’ve reached out via text messages or other formats to keep in touch and I think I like it better. It’s more direct and more focused. I’ve even gotten on the phone a few times. 😯

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One Of My Biggest Pet Peeves

Holly and I moved to Nashville in 1998 and we’ve seen the metro area steadily grow consistently every year. According to the Tennessean back in March of this year, we’re averaging 100 new people every day. Of course I didn’t need the local newspaper to tell me that, I’ve have steadily felt the change in my daily commute.

When we moved here, it took approximately 15 minutes to get wherever you needed to go. That was my rule of thumb. Now it’s 30 if it’s on the weekend and 45-minutes to an hour if it’s during peak traffic. In addition to the added traffic, there has also been an increase in distraction with mobile phones which has impacted traffic as well.

In addition to all the increased traffic has been an increase in the number of drivers that don’t know that the left-lane is the passing lane. It’s a pet peeve of mine and Vox created a great explainer video that I had to share.

Logo for the Internet show The Northern Groove

The Northern Groove Show

Most of my day is spent behind a computer with a pair of headphones on listening to music while I work. In addition to Apple Music and listening to my own personal library, I’ve always found Internet streams to be a great way to find new music.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a live show out of Old Trafford, Manchester, England called The Northern Groove Show. It’s hosted by Dan Soulsmith on Bassdrive and it’s been a standing Wednesday appointment for me going on two-years now.

Drum and bass can be a bit high energy for some people, but Dan’s focus is more on the “liquid” side. He slides between jazzy to spacey vibes but always throws a few tracks out that are a bit out-there to mix things up later in the session. Personally, I find it somewhat relaxing and that I can more easily slide “into the zone” when I’m working.

If you’re a fan of electronic music, especially drum and bass, I would encourage you to give it a listen live, or check out the archives to download a past show.

Lamb – Lusty (1996)

One of my favorite songs came up on my playlist today from one of the bands that I follow very closely – Lamb – and I felt motivated to post about it and share it. The song is called “Lusty” and it’s off their self-titled debut album. The video above is a live studio recording and you can listen to the Album version here.

So long ago I can’t even remember, a good friend of mine made a recommendation and I’ve been listening to them ever since. Thank you Emily! Lamb gets labeled as a “drum and bass” group but I find that they are much broader than that. There are elements of DnB for sure, but also jazz and trip-hop to name just a few.

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Henry Rollins Band – “Liar”

Last night my wife and I were watching the latest episode of Hot Ones – Henry Rollins Channels His Anger at Spicy Wings and Holly was struck at how engaging Henry was. She couldn’t remember where she knew him from which sent us down the YouTube rabbit hole.

We watched a bunch of Black Flag videos like “Rise Above” but nothing struck a chord until we hit on one of Henry’s biggest hits with the Henry Rollins Band, “Liar“. After making the connection, we both sat back in awe as we listened to the lyrics. It was released in 1994 but you would think that he wrote it during the 2016 US Election.

Even if you don’t like this style of music, I would encourage you to give it a chance. It’s really good stuff. If you want to learn more about Henry Rollins I think this video is the one to watch.

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