Every week

Another Sunday, another post. 52 a year (just once a week – I’m not huge on social media) for going on 5 years. Not always a lot to talk about. This week, we’ll get the government back up and going (for three weeks – 3, just 3). I guess I’ll find out how pressing the issue was we had at work by how soon I’ll be contacted to talk about it. It’s pretty minor, so I won’t hear anything for a while (maybe more than 3 weeks – that’s how minor it is). Let’s see if we can keep the government open this time. We don’t need a wall.

So join me today in welcoming the opening of the government with Traffic, Neil Young, Shemekia Copeland, John Mayall, Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band, Otis Rush, Tracey Thorn, Beth Orton, Hooverphonic, John Lennon, Spinal Tap, Nilsson, and the Monkees.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


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Snowmageddon – Snowpocalypse

The snowpocalypse scheduled for this weekend has once again (sort of) fizzled out, and instead of snow all day we’re getting freezing rain. Bring on the snow, I say. Much easier to deal with snow than frozen rain. Ugh – lots of work ahead of me shoveling and swearing today and tomorrow morning.

To get ready for the work, I’ll be listening to music, and on today’s podcast includes Kevin Morby, Magazine, the Bats, Black Grape, Wire, Television, the Velvet Underground, John Cale, Ray Charles, Graham Parker, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who, Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Allman Brothers Band.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


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Cold

It’s cold. Usually the cold doesn’t affect me, but lately, I’m starting to feel it. Maybe it’s time to start taking the “Move South” movement my wife’s on seriously. In past years I’ve shrugged off bad weather; maybe it’s a temporary thing. Let’s hope so, as we won’t be moving south anytime soon. Ooh, look, it’s going to warm up a bit this week- problem solved.

We can start thinking about warm weather with today’s podcast – the first set is by bands from the south, so let’s toss on a sweater anad hear R.E.M., Dreams So Real, the Connells, Matthew Sweet, Eugene McGuinness, Sharon Jones, Kings Go Forth, La Sera, Norah Jones, Dr. John, the Black Keys, Gotye, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and the Dandy Warhols.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here

Resolutions

How’s your January going? Are you keeping up on your New Year’s resolutions? January seems to be the month of broken resolutions. How long does it take you to give up on your list? Have you kept up on your list past the first weekend? Good intentions and all, but generally nearly impossible to keep up with.

That’s why I don’t keep a list, although there are always some things I do to try to improve myself. My batting average isn’t bad right now on January 6, but the year is young. Let’s all try to keep the good things going this year (or at least until MLK Day).

My quest for the perfect podcast continues, but today’s is a goodie. Let’s break some resolutions together while listening to Translator, the Plimsouls, the Three O’Clock, Van Morrison, Junior Parker, Sonny Biy Williamson II, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Walter Horton, Nancy Wilson, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Labelle, Fleetwood Mac, the Moody Blues, and Tony Joe White.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here

2019 to move

Hey, thought I’d welcome everybody into 2019 with some rocking tunes from 2018. I’ve peppered the podcast with tunes that I’ve enjoyed from 2018. It’s not a best of, just a bunch of songs that fit together from last year. 

Let’s enjoy the start of a new year (one which involves me shoveling) with Tracy Thorn, Franz Ferdinand, David Byrne, the James Hunter Six, Holly Golightly, the Vryll Society, Belly, Father John Misty, Essex Green, Neko Case, the English Beat, Blood Orange, Tracyanne & Danny, and Elvis Costello.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here



Happy 2019

2018 was a year of change. It wasn’t planned (mostly), but change is inevitable, and you have to learn to lean into the change and make it work for you.

First up was that I got a new job in April. I left Northern New England Housing Investment Fund after more than 13 years and became the Director of Asset Management at the Caleb Group. NNEHIF had done a number of deals with Caleb, so we knew each other, and the transition was pretty easy. I’m doing a lot more at Caleb regarding the refinancing of properties which is different from what I had been doing at NNEHIF. Unfortunately, the commute is the same. I had been hoping that if I did change jobs that I would travel less (what, there were no companies that are in easy walking distance to my home?).

The next event that happened was the event that had been planned. My son got married in late June. This was a very happy event – the wedding and reception went off very easily and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. After the wedding my wife, her brother and his wife and I went to the Jersey shore for a couple of days. That was nice, too.

Nick and his wife Lindsay went to Hawaii for 2+ weeks. They had wonderful adventures there. We had gotten them a week there, which helped with their out of pocket (although they did quite well at the wedding). They spent Thanksgiving with us and will spend Christmas at the in-laws. For now, they live closer to us, so we see them more often.

The last event that happened was very recent – I was rear-ended and my car was totaled in early November. I’m still dealing with the insurance company about this. I finally got a new car a month afterwards – a very similar car to the one that was totaled. I went from a 2017 Camry to a 2108 Camry. I tried other cars but the ride in the Camry was much better than the tanks I tried (and other non-SUV cars).

I’m looking forward to 2019, where I hope that I do not have to go through any changes. I’ll take a year of calm. On the other hand, my wife is looking towards retirement (maybe June 2020 – will have to decide in late 2019), and I have a knee replacement that is in my future, but hopefully I can put that off for years and not just months (the knee had been much better until the accident and is starting to subside again – I keep hoping that it stays at a tolerable level before I head to the next round of shots).

I hope that everyone had a good 2018 and that 2019 is looking up as well.

Let’s get ready for 2019 with tunes from Badfinger, Pet Shop Boys, XTC, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Shriekback, Flock of Seagulls, the Kinks, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Donovan, the Hollies, Bettye Lavette, Crazy Horse, Neil Young, and Dinosaur, Jr.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here

Nightmare Before Christmas

Quick Merry Christmas to everyone. As always, try to remember the reason for the season (no, it’s not the acquisition of presents) and be nice to your fellow man. Let’s hope that the people who have unexpected days off this Christmas have a shortened time off and that they can get back to work (there’s one meeting I can cross off my list for Thursday).

Let’s celebrate the times we share with family and friends, and maybe include music, which on this week’s podcast involves Hollie Cook, Gary Clail & OnU System, Martha & the Muffins, Rabin Lane & the Chartbusters, Yumi Zouma, Jane Weaver, Holly Golightly, JoeJackson, Bob Mould, Grant Lee Buffalo, Rosanne Cash, Kate Tucker, and Eleanor Friedberger.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here

New Car Sound

I had a request that I’ll honor.  I talked last week about my new car and was asked how the sound in the car was. I have mentioned that one of the ways I listen to music is during the long drives  I have to exotic places, like the trip to Bangor, Maine I made on Thursday. That was the perfect time to try out the stereo in my new car and report back.

The first thing I noticed when I got into the car is how quiet it is. As well as the 2019 Corolla we have, it can be difficult to know if the car is on or off (if we don’t have the heat or air conditioning on high). The engine is whisper quiet or better. The whole car is pretty sound-proof – there’s not a lot of road noise that penetrates, either, so overall the car is a good place to listen to music.

My Camry has a JBL audio system installed in the car. There are 8 speakers installed front and rear, with tweeters in the front and woofers in the back (I’ll keep it basic). I just did a quick search and found bascially favorable reviews for the JBL system. For installed systems it rates excellently. When I owned my Altima I bough an after-market system that was also highly-rated, and while it was good, there wasn’t the separation I found at home.

In my Camry (and indeed, in all the Toyotas I’ve driven) there seems to be a bias toward the front speakers. If I change the the fade settings to rear speakers only, the sound is far less than if I have all the music coming to the front. I know that’s in part to the fact that I am sitting in front, and therefore placement favors the front speakers. I found a sweet spot between the front and rear that was noticeable depending on which songs I was listening to.

So, the sound test. I had my iPhone (forgot to grab a couple of CD’s) for my 3-hour trip to Bangor, Maine. Overall the sound is very good, and you do get decent separation among the instruments. Better engineered tracks sounded better than some of the muddy tracks. The sound wasn’t up to the level of my home system, which is very good, but it wasn’t bad overall.

The one song I played that is a great test of a system (reminder to add it the next time I test any component) is the Columbia version of Satin Doll by Duke Ellington. There’s a great bass part that is not mixed highly, but is just an incredible piece of playing that really makes this version sing to me. Unfortunately, the bass drops out quite a bit in the car. I tried adjusting the bass level (and treble – the bass plays some beautiful higher notes as well), but to no avail. After I stopped the car I listened to the same song on headphones (form the iPhone), and I could hear the bass, so it wasn’t just the transfer of the tune to iPhone. So the Camry loses on that point.

Overall, the system is good. For most car listening it works very well, especially because of how quiet the car itself is as a base for listening to music. I am beyond looking at aftermarket systems for a car, so the system I have has to be pretty good, and this JBL in th Camry is sufficient for my needs. 3 stars (out of 5). I’ll continue to mess with the system and report later if I see any improvements. 

Today’s playlist is good for a trip, so let’s hop in my car and listen to Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Five Royales, Bob Mould, the Motels, Robyn Hitchcock, the Mosquitos, Mouth Music, Moreno +2, Mabulu, Talking Heads, Chris Isaak, and John Hiatt. 

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.


Download here

New Car

Well, a month after my accident and it was time to buy a new car. I don’t love buying cars, because I know it’s going to burn an entire day. The car dealers have control over time – we don’t. Although the dealers have gotten better at pricing cars and putting out better pricing, there’s still a dance that happens to ensure we’re getting the best deal possible. I become stubborn, and last time was ready to walk away because I didn’t get the price I wanted to pay.

To me, cars are a tool to get me from one place to another. I’m not a big car guy. I research cars that I want to buy using Consumer Reports and other online tools and websites to ensure that I’m getting a car with good mileage, safe features, and a car that gets a good customer satisfaction level.  I’m not going to have a mid-life crisis and get a flashy car.

So I ended up with another Camry. I liked my other Camry, and it turned out that the safety features worked out very well, even when rear-ended at 40 MPH. That was a plus. The new one is very similar to the last one I bought. It’s a 2018, not a 2017, and the new one has top of the line everything. It’s a step up in bells and whistles from the2017. It rides well – I tried some other vehicles that didn’t ride as well, so I went back to the Camry. This is not a paid endorsement, although I have a great sales person who could help you if you need a car. 

To help me in my test drives, I carried my tunes with a cord to plug in -the music system is important. Among the tunes I played were ones in today’s podcast, which features Mose Allison, Bobbie Gentry, the Yardbirds, the Who, Annie Ross, Doug Sahm, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, J.J. Cale, Dave Alvin, the Be Good Tanyas, Rosanne Cash, the Cash Box Kings,  Charles Brown, and Leonard Cohen.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

30 Years Ago

So, George H.W. Bush has died. Although he did have a questionable legacy, he was one the last of the old-fashioned politicians, in that he was willing to work and listen to the other party if he felt they had good ideas, and he was always very gracious (as an old patrician can be). Let’s remember that we voted him in thirty years ago, in 1988. He became our 41st president.

What was happening musically thirty years ago? Not sure there’s anything specific to point to, but Google chose Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” as its top choice. Billboard says it was “Faith” by George Michael. Hmm. Well, you won’t hear those on my list of music for the year. I think of the rejection of the corporatization of music (Neil Young), a band’s move to a major label (R.E.M.), and the end of an era (Talking Heads last album- the fracture had started earlier). Still, lots of great music, some of which didn’t make the cut (as usual).

Let’s take this Wednesday to remember the events of 1988 (or at least the music) with Neil Young, the Dream Syndicate, Johnny Adams, Leonard Cohen, Traveling Wilburys, Crowded House, Paul Kelly, Go-Betweens, R.E.M., the Smithereens, Erasure, Cocteau Twins, Talking Heads, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and Tracy Chapman.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here