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The personal blog of Michael Ashby

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.

Calendar with the 7th circled with a pencil

So Far, So Good

It’s been over two-weeks since I deleted my Facebook account. This means that it is truly deleted with no chance of coming back. Over these past two weeks, I’ve been monitoring how much friction I’ve had not having an account and I’m happy to say — not that much.

  • I lost a recommendation for a graphic designer that was in a Facebook chat
  • I’ve lost contact with a couple of clubs I belong to
  • I’ve lost contact with customers that post information exclusively to Facebook. In other words, not on their web site, or Twitter as well.

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You Are What You Love, Not What Loves You

Swiss-Miss has been on a roll recently and I seem to be echoing almost every post, but there have been some real gems, like this one.

This video clip is from the movie Adaptation, which is one of my favorites. I love everything Charlie Kaufman writes and Spike Jonze is one of my favorite directors.

That being said, I don’t recall this quote in the movie. Having it isolated like this really packs a punch, even if you don’t know where it falls in the story. So good.

Source: Swiss-Miss

The words delete written in graffiti in East London

I Deleted My Facebook Account

I have been in a love-hate relationship with Facebook for a while now and as of almost two-weeks ago, I decided to delete my account. I took it a step further and instead of doing the default by suspending my account, I actually requested that my account be deleted.

Facebook has felt like a necessary evil in order to stay in touch with friends and family, but I found that my usage habits had changed as well and I didn’t like the result. I think, like most people, Facebook has become a welcome distraction during the day. Work/life/whatever sucks, so let’s see what other people are doing, that sort of thing.

After all the focus on how Facebook and bots contributed to the 2016 US presidential election and listening to podcast episodes like Sam Harris: What is Technology Doing to Us?, I became more aware of my habits and began questioning why I continued to use the service. Was it really to stay-in-touch, or was it more a Pavlovian response to stress?

Ultimately I think it was the latter, which is why I opted to delete my account.

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