# Friday, 07 April 2017

I spoke recently with CVP Erich Andersen and Director of Marketing for Azure Tanuj Bansal about the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program, that assists companies with patent issues.

Watch below or click here.

Friday, 07 April 2017 02:30:53 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 03 April 2017
Monday, 03 April 2017 16:51:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 02 April 2017

4/2
Today I am grateful for an opportunity to finally offer a long-overdue apology. And that it was accepted.

4/1
Today I am grateful that everything on the Internet is true!

3/31
Today I am grateful for lunch with Dan yesterday.

3/30
Today I am grateful to reconnect with old friends and to meet some new ones in Indianapolis yesterday.

3/29
Today I am grateful to spend yesterday with Ted.

3/28
Today I am grateful that we were close to a gas station when we ran out of gas.

3/27
Today I am grateful for drinks with Mike last night.

3/26
Today I am grateful to the organizers and volunteers at yesterday's Global Integration Boot Camp.

3/25
Today I am grateful to kick off a new project with a local startup.

3/24
Today I am grateful to see Al Stewart in concert last night and to meet him after the show.

3/23
Today I am grateful to see Kris Kristofferson in concert last night.

3/22
Today I am grateful that some people want to hear me talk.

3/21
Today I am grateful for the vibrant startup community in Chicago.

3/20
Today I am grateful for springtime.

3/19
Today I am grateful that Tim came to visit me this weekend.

3/18
Today I am grateful for a couple days back in Kentucky.

3/17
Today I am grateful for dinner with Ed last night in Louisville.

3/16
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Mike and Lee.

3/15
Today I am grateful for:
-Attendees who told me they enjoyed the IoT camp last night
-New running shoes, thanks to Nick

3/14
Today I am grateful I can work from home when I need to.

3/13
Today I am grateful to Bret for his help getting me through these IoT labs on a Sunday night.

3/12
Today I am grateful for dinner and a movie last night with Emilija and Larissa.

3/11
Today I am grateful to see Delbert McClinton in concert last night.

3/10
Today I am grateful for an evening with my team at Second City yesterday.

3/9
Today I am grateful for breakfast with Angela yesterday.

3/8
Today I am grateful to see Marcia Ball in concert last night and to meet her after the show.

3/7
Today I am grateful for lunch with Hao yesterday.

3/6
Today I am grateful to all those who chose to listen to my presentation on a Sunday afternoon, even though the weather was nice and they had other options.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 12:34:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Phèdre nó Delaunay was a woman of extraordinary beauty, born with a single flaw - a speck of red in one of her eyes. At first, society shuns Phèdre for this imperfection; but a nobleman recognizes the red moat as a sign from the fallen angel Kushiel that Phèdre was born with special talents. He buys her and begins her training to put those talents to use.

It turns out that her talents are to be really good in bed and the ability to derive sexual pleasure from pain. Her training prepares her to become a high-priced prostitute to be passed around among the court nobles. It seems a harsh fate, but in the land of Terre D'Ange, where Phèdre lives, casual sex is the norm. The people of Terre D'Ange live by the motto "Love as thou wilt" and Phèdre is devoted to her master and sees her sexual romps as a tribute to her god.

Everything is great until her master is murdered and Phèdre is captured by Vikings, who carry her off and make a sex slave of her. She is still turned on by their cruelty, but at least she feels bad about that.

Jacqueline Carey's first novel Kushiel's Dart weaves a story of political intrigue and sex. Lots of sex. Mostly S&M sex.

Carey creates a world much like early Renaissance Europe and follows the upper class of a city founded by the demigod Elua and a group of fallen angels. The current residents of Terre D'Ange are the descendants of those angels.

The story doesn't get going until the murder/kidnapping and the escape and recapture and war that follow, but it takes nearly 500 pages to get that far. Until that point, it's aristocrats flirting and spying and backstabbing and having sex.

It's supposed to be a high fantasy novel but reads more like a sex fantasy novella. Even though Terre d'Ange was founded by fallen angels and demigods, we get only a couple brief encounters with supernatural beings and those don't occur until about two-thirds of the way through the novel.

I liked the interweaving political plots of Kushiel's Dart. But I grew weary of the frequent sexual exploits. It was meant to be a High Fantasy novel, but at times reads like a sex fantasy novella. In this day and age, I can get my soft-core pornography too easily to be aroused by throwing in a bondage scene every few pages of a novel.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:27:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 27 March 2017
Monday, 27 March 2017 11:58:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 26 March 2017

AlStewart2017I was 16 years old when I got my first real job. The day I received my first real paycheck, I drove from work to the bank to local record store and bought Al Stewart's Year of the Cat LP. I took it home and played it repeatedly, memorizing every word of every song on both sides.

Nearly 4 decades later, I finally had a chance to see Al Stewart live - Thursday evening at the City Winery. And here's the kicker: He played the entire Year of the Cat album! Every song, in the same order as on the album. It was like getting a visit from an old friend. The concert transported me back to my teen years, listening to my LP on my parent's Wi-Fi at top volume in the family basement.

In between each song, Stewart explained something about the song's meaning or told a story of its origin. He was surprised that a song about the Rhodesian civil war (On the Border) would become a top 40 hit; All airplane metaphors in Flying Sorcery are about the ending of a relationship; Broadway Hotel often inspires each audience member to attempt to seduce the attractive stranger next to him or her.

Stewart was backed by the local Chicago band Empty Pockets, which also opened the show with a short set of their own. They were joined by Marc Macisso on flute, harmonica and saxophone - most notably saxophone which he wielded with power and passion.

AlStwesart and Me The band played a few songs before and after the complete Year of the Cat set, including his other hit Time Passages. But it was the re-playing of the album that we all came to hear. And that we all enjoyed.


More photos of this concert

Sunday, 26 March 2017 17:14:35 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, 25 March 2017

KrisKristoffersonI took a chance. The show had been sold out for over a month. But I drove to the City Winery in the West Loop anyway. And I was rewarded with a ticket close to the stage. And I was not disappointed.

Kristofferson played for 2 hours with a very brief (maybe 10 minutes?) intermission. He played

He didn't bring a band. Just himself and his guitar and harmonica. It was enough.

At 80 years old, Kris Kristofferson still carries an impressive stage presence. There were a few missed notes on his guitar, and a few missed high or low notes in his vocal range, but his wit and charm more than made up for any shortcomings brought on by his age.

For Kristofferson, it has never been about his singing or his playing. It was always about his music and his storytelling. And he captivated a packed house Wednesday night on stage. He sang love songs and drinking songs and ballads and each one struck the audience as if the story were written and sang only for each of us.

My only complaint is that he apologized too much for any lapses in his musical technique. The audience didn't care. They wanted to hear him sing his stories.

And he did.

And I'm glad I was there to see and hear it.


Photos of the concert

Saturday, 25 March 2017 16:52:30 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 20 March 2017
Monday, 20 March 2017 11:32:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 13 March 2017
Monday, 13 March 2017 12:17:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, 12 March 2017

DelbertMcClintonDelbert McClinton has recorded dozens of albums over the past 45 years, but it was always his live shows that brought him the most praise.

Friday night, McClinton brought that live performance to S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston. For over 2 hours, he entertained a packed room with a mix of originals and cover songs.

McClinton has a devoted audience and all night long this crowd shouted requests and sang along to lyrics they had memorized.

Now, in his 70s, McClinton still has the powerful, gritty voice that made him the ultimate Texas roadhouse singer. What he has lost in range he makes up for with emotion.

For this show, Delbert's only instruments were his voice and his harmonicas. But he was backed by an outstanding 7-piece band, highlighted by Bob Britt on guitar, Kevin McKendree on keyboards, Dana Robbins on saxophone, and Quentin Ware on trumpet. This was a group of top-notch musicians who complemented one another very well. Instead of an intermission, Delbert stepped off the stage for 10-15 minutes in the middle of the show and allowed his band to play a trio of songs without him.

Delbert McClinton is often cited as the definitive Texas roadhouse musician. And Friday, he showed us why. Powerful vocals, a tight band, and a connection with the audience in an intimate venue made me glad I finally saw him live after listening to his recordings for years.

Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:55:56 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)