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The Piano Man returns! Wow what a really fun concert my wife and I experienced last night. I had never seen Billy Joel live before and am so glad I had the chance to. He is so incredibly talented.

My opinion of the night, a good time. The music was excellent, though not flawless, but honestly I don’t give a damn. The six person band with Billy were all having such a good time on stage, you could see it, you could feel it. My biggest mistake was reading local reviews of the concert on the way into work. Man what assholes, these writers where just looking for dirt to write about. Like this article by Bob Gendron of the Chicago Tribune, who couldn’t rip up Billy enough, he killed him with his pen. There was an OK article by

Billy really adds a personal touch to his performances which just made everything more. After the first song, “Angry Young Man”, Billy indicated that he was actually Billy’s dad, and Billy had asked him to play for him tonight. 🙂 Billy also made some other comments about his added years like, “I may have a lot less hair, but I am getting more head!” Before one song (can’t remember which one) he says, “I can’t believe I am still doing this.” Well I’m glad he still is.

A few songs later, the crowd was given a choice to choose one of three songs for Billy to sing, “Vienna”, something else, and “Captain Jack.” While naming the songs to choose from, Billy indicated that he cannot sing all the songs, which brought some moans from the crowd. Then Billy said, “I am going to be 58 in a few weeks, we cannot cover all the songs.” A few more moans and Billy followed this up by thrusting his pelvis up from his stool and grabbing his nuts, to laughter from the crowd. Just 12,000 people having a good time.

About midway through the show, Billy had a long-time roadie sing AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, while he played a guitar. He did an OK job, the voice was almost there, it was fun. I see now, what really happened to Bon Scott, he didn’t really die, just became a roadie for Billy Joel the last 25 years. Again the damn critics tore this apart, saying he was just strumming his guitar for a while and looking out of place, then leaving the stage for a while. Well yeah, you dumb-asses, the man needed a break. He just spent an hour or so on stage and took a break. It was the whole reason for the song. Something a little different to allow the star to take five. I would like to see any of the damn critics play for over two hours straight.

For a while Billy’s piano retracted back into the floor–it rotated too, as Billy stated after the first time it changed direction, “That is all of the special effects you get tonight. The piano goes this way, then back that way.”– and he stood at a microphone and sang, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “Big Shot”, and “Innocent Man”; among some others which I don’t remember the songs. I never seen Billy rock like this before, it was new and fresh to me. He seemed a little awkward, but always having a good time.

The last song of the night was “Piano Man”. Billy had just played, “Only the Good Die Young” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” as part of his encore. Big cheers for the whole band, the crowd going wild. All the lights go out except for the spotlights on Billy. This brought huge cheers in appreciation for his performance. Billy walks toward the rear of the stage and heads stage-left away from his piano. A few boos come from the crowd. So billy moves toward his piano and receives cheers from the crowd. So he steps away from the piano, and now the crowd getting into it, boo. Then he steps toward the piano again, cheers. He does this a little bit, goes back and forth quickly to see if every one can keep up–laughter (everyone having a good time). He moves back to the piano a last time and has a seat, to a huge roar. Billy plays a quick classical piece, just a few bars, breaks, then goes right into “Piano Man”. Spine tingling, I tell you. Billy was obviously tired at this point but still pounded it out beautifully.

All I can say is Thank You Billy Joel, it’s a night out I shall remember for some time.

Song List

“Angry Young Man”
“My Life”
“Everybody Loves You Now”
“The Entertainer”
“Captain Jack”
“New York State of Mind”
“Root Beer Rag”
“Ballad of Billy the Kid”
“Movin’ Out”
“Innocent Man”
“Don’t Ask Me Why”
“Always a Woman”
“Keeping the Faith”
“River of Dreams”
“Highway to Hell”
“We Didn’t Start the Fire”
“Big Shot”
“It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me”
“You May Be Right”

“Only the Good Die Young”
“Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”
“Piano Man”

I actually completed this a couple of weeks ago–none the less I am still pretty excited about it. I was looking for some ways to help increase search engine rankings with my EVE Tools page. Since I have put this stuff together and some people find it useful, maybe others will to and provide some feedback on stuff they would like to see, or just tell me it sucks, none-the-less, it’s always a nice feeling when people use your stuff.

Knowing that I could never have enough content to continuously add to Brettski’s EVE Tools, I needed some other way to keep new content flowing to the site. The EVE-Online news feeds came to mind.  Of course, there is always new information coming out, I just need to read the RSS feeds and display them on the site.  Like any good hacker, I started researching the art of consuming RSS feeds, since its something I have never done before.  It seemed pretty simple to pull off by writing a class, then I started to think about caching, etc. and got lazy and looked for a tool.  There was some stuff on Codeproject, and here and there.  Then I ran into Dmitry Robsman‘s blog on msdn.  What a life saver, rsstoolkit, this little tool of his, written for .NET 2.0, met most of my needs and was a snap to implement.  I now have EVE’s feeds on the site and could develop my own feeds if I ever wanted to, though can’t think of any reason to do so at this point.

If you are looking to consume or add rss to your site, look into the rsstoolkit, it works pretty well and saved me a whole bunch of time.   Thank you Dmitry.

I think I have been using for a month now, and I still think there service is good (3/5). I have come across a couple of settings on there servers which really kind of suck.

I asked about sub-domains, as one of my utility sites uses a sub-domain. I came across two issues, one, I didn’t see or figure out any way to user virtual directories with sub domains, and two, I wasn’t seeing any statistics for my sub-domain. So I emailed support to find out what’s up. After waiting a week for a response, I replied to the email to bump it back up in there queue and indicated that is what I was doing, and I finally received a reply. The replay I received is:


Hi Brett, I'll try to address your questions:

1) Sub-domain is a third level domain rooted in a separate folder
below the /wwwroot, a sub-domain does not have any other features such
as virtual folders or statistics that are available for the hosted

2) Internally sub-domain has it's own IIS site and a different subset
of log files. The SmarterStats only reads log files associated with
the hosted domain.

IHost, LLC
Customer Support


To me this really sucks, as I like to segregate stuff with sub-domains, and I get no virtual directory support or statistics. The statistic thing really bugs me.

But as I keep having to tell myself, “You get what you pay for.”

They give you 3 separate directory spaces for three domains and 3 sql server 2005 database, which I can’t find anywhere for $15 a month. So I guess here I stay until I feel like putting a server in my basement and prey I get enough upload bandwidth for the site.

I am very happy and proud to see my great city, Chicago, has been selected as the possible US site for the 2016 Olympics!

Congratulations Chicago! Go get them Mr. Daley.

…That the U.S. income tax deadline is on the same day as the Holocaust Remembrance Day?

I am in no way belittling the horrific events of the Holocaust.

Kurt Vonnegut, died on Tuesday, April 10th, in Manhattan at age 84. His death was reported by his wife, the author and photographer Jill Krementz, who said he had been hospitalized after suffering irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago.

So it goes.

Global warming has been a really hot topic lately (sorry couldn’t resist the pun).  The UN is putting together a letter stated in this news article  via Yahoo! (Reuters), explaining that there is little time to avert big temperature changes here on Earth.

I strongly believe they are missing a bigger picture to this, what are we going to do when the average temperature is 10 degrees Celsius higher?

The fact that carbon monoxide causes hot are to be trapped in earths atmosphere is a theory.  There isn’t enough proof that its what’s causing our temperature rise.  The CO discharge from a volcano is huge, and Earth has been dealing with this for ever.

This is not a statement toward, should we or should we not, cut back our production of greenhouse gases, I am all for cleaner air and a better environment.  Its a statement where I really don’t believe that even cutting all greenhouse gas production will make much of a difference and we need to plan on how we will be able to survive in our world with these much higher temperatures.

When my children are my age, this world will be very different.  If this warming trend continues, things will be very different.  I just hope that some planing is done for when 1/3 or more of America’s grasslands are nothing more than dirt and nothing can really live or grow there.  What is the contingency plan for when reduction of the greenhouse gases just isn’t enough to slow the Earth’s warming?

I use a mobile device which runs Windows Mobile 5, a hand-held based OS which reminds me a lot of windows 95. Anyway, the default home page on the device has a link to the Windows Mobil home page, strangely enough, not very compatible at all with the browser which comes with Windows Mobile 5 (some hacked up version of IE 4 it seams). When I went to the site just now to verify the url, I noticed that there is a large flash area on the page. Mobile IE doesn’t support flash, nor does the site redirect you based on your browser type, so it is almost impossible to navigate around the page

I also receive an email once a month from the Microsoft Windows Mobile group, this email is sent in HTML which isn’t viewable by the mobile Outlook installed on the phone! Mostly what I see is many links to spacer.gif images.

I find this very strange that the mobile group, who are trying to promote their mobile services and offerings don’t support the applications the are promoting. One of the major reasons I have to device is so I may catch up on reading while commuting back and forth to work. Reading which can’t include Microsoft Windows Mobile information.

It’s the little things like this which drive customers away from a company. You either supply exemplary customer service, or you die in business. You think it doesn’t matter with a company like Microsoft? We will just wait and see. The Trio is looking very promising as my next hand-held.

Every year thousands of kids gather here and there to partake in a hunt for multi-colored plastic eggs filled with an array of goodies. This year my family and I went to a local church for a twenty-five thousand egg hunt. Man how would you like to fill all of them eggs, or more interesting, hide them? Well, there isn’t much “hunting” for eggs at these events, unless you consider shooting fish in a barrel, hunting. With so many eggs and so many kids, it’s more of an Egg Dash then a hunt. None the less, it is great fun for all, even in the thirty-five degree weather. Good thing hot chocolate and popcorn was available

Easter Egg Dash

I wish everyone a very safe and happy Bunny Day.


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