Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sara Bareilles’ Brave

I recently discovered Sara Bareilles. (Yes, I know, she’s been around awhile. I’m always late to the Cool Party.) She’s the awesome.

This is “Brave” from her new album The Blessed Unrest.

I like the music, but I especially like the lyrics.

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

It’s an interesting song. She said (source?) that it was to inspire a friend’s coming out, but if you listen to the lyrics, I think “provoke” would be a better word than “inspire.”

She’s written a lot of excellent songs. I’m amazed at how high a proportion of the songs on her album I also like. Here are some favorites:

Uncharted,” “Gonna Get Over You,” “Hold My Heart,” and “King of Anything,” a stunning series of four songs on her album Kaleidoscope Heart.

“Vegas,” “Bottle It Up,” “Come Round Soon,” “Fairytale,” and “Love Song” from the nearly-as-good Little Voice

Plus (in addition to “Brave”) “Chasing the Sun,” “Hercules,” “Little Black Dress,” and “I Choose You,” from The Blessed Unrest.

Bash Initialization

Every time I monkey with my .profile or .bashrc file I regret it.(.profile is what graybeards like me use instead of using .bash_profile like all the young people who won’t stay off my lawn.)

If you’re like me, you get those confused all the time, so let’s go to the bash(1) man page. (Amazingly, it is a man page and not an info node. Ahem.) Here’s the salient bit of that 37,000 word tome:

When bash is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a non-interactive shell with the –login option, it first reads and executes commands from the file /etc/profile, if that file exists. After reading that file, it looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile, in that order, and reads and executes commands from the first one that exists and is readable. The –noprofile option may be used when the shell is started to inhibit this behavior.

When a login shell exits, bash reads and executes commands from the files ~/.bash_logout and /etc/bash.bash_logout, if the files exists.

When an interactive shell that is not a login shell is started, bash reads and executes commands from ~/.bashrc, if that file exists. This may be inhibited by using the –norc option. The –rcfile file option will force bash to read and execute commands from file instead of ~/.bashrc.

When bash is started non-interactively, to run a shell script, for example, it looks for the variable BASH_ENV in the environment, expands its value if it appears there, and uses the expanded value as the name of a file to read and execute. Bash behaves as if the following command were executed:

if [ -n "$BASH_ENV" ]; then . "$BASH_ENV"; fi

but the value of the PATH variable is not used to search for the file name.

Got all that? The key is that your .profile is read first for login shells and .bashrc for non-login shells. There’s no reason why you should ever worry about what order they get invoked in, because there’s no reason to invoke them both at all. Except if you want to observe the DRY principle. In which case they should both invoke a separate startup file of your own design.

Newsboys at Fusion 2013

We saw the Newsboys last night. They were performing at the “Fusion 2013” event at the Anchorage Baptist Temple (the only church I’ve ever seen with a disco ball). Here’s a shot from the show.

Newsboys 2013

Judging from the number of people holding up phones (and iPads!) to record whole songs, you should be able to piece together the entire concert experience if you surf YouTube for a while.

Most of the songs last night were from the God’s Not Dead tour. I didn’t keep a set list, but I remember “The King is Coming,” “Your Love Never Fails” and (duh) “God’s Not Dead.” If they played “Forever Reign” or “I Am Second” I don’t remember them.

They also played a few songs from their forthcoming album Restart. They were fine songs but I don’t know them yet, much less remember their names, except for “Live With Abandon,” which is not infrequently on the radio.

I was surprised that they didn’t do much from their Born Again album. I think(?) they played “Born Again” and “Miracles,” but not much else. I was hoping for “Way Beyond Myself” and/or “Impossible,” and wouldn’t have complained if they’d played “One Shot.”

But I couldn’t be disappointed because they also threw in two of my very favorite pre-Michael Tait Newsboys songs: “Something Beautiful” from Go and “He Reigns” from Adoration. (The latter a worship song so wonderful it was included in the recent United Methodist Worship and Song quasi-hymnal.) In a nod to Tait’s history (and the crowd’s wishes) the set also included DC Talk’s “Jesus Freak.”

It was a great show. The venue was a huge church, which is to say, a very intimate stadium. I can’t remember ever being as close to the stage at a concert. The band was excellent, and made an effort to connect with the audience. They didn’t just read “Anchorage” off a sticky note on their guitar, so to speak, but talked about hunting moose and how Jesus would have been able to get some great disciples with so many fishermen to choose from.

Michael Tait was great, not only as the lead vocalist, but — especially — as a showman. The emcee had instructed everyone to stay in their pews because of the fire code, but after the band came out, Tait told them to come down front where he could get down among them and high-five them and make eye contact and hold out his microphone for them and generally connect with the audience as he sang.

This was my third Newsboys concert. Margo and I saw them in 1995 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. They were the headline act in a bill that opened with Tony Vincent, followed by Audio Adrenaline. (If they toured with Audio Adrenaline today, it would be 2/3 of a DC Talk reunion.) That would have been the Going Public tour, I guess.

I saw the Newsboys again a year later on their Take Me to Your Leader tour. They had broken (for a Christian act) with “Breakfast,” and were at the Rose Garden in Portland, with a huge stage show. Theoretically, I was a chaperone for my church’s youth group. But after 1996, I didn’t have the chance to see them again until last night. I’m glad I did.

Banish the Blue LED

Someone has discovered another reason to ban the blue LED:

In a study involving hamsters, researchers found that blue light had the worst effects on mood-related measures, followed closely by white light. (Via.)

I’m glad the blue LED was finally invented, and I’m sure my life is better for it in countless ways. But that doesn’t mean it has to be slapped onto every gadget in my house. I’ve got a USB charger that I have to keep in the basement, because it has the brightest single LED (blue of course) I’ve ever seen, and if I use it in the bedroom, or even in the hallway, it affects my sleep.


It’s been awhile since I blogged, so here are a few things that I might have blogged if I blogged much.

Windows has environment variables, because Microsoft used to steal ideas from Unix. But they never really understood them, so the tools they provide to configure your environment are crappy. Enter REE, the Rapid Environment Editor. (Via.)

Serenity Crew, where are you?. (Via.)

The pinnacle of the typewriter-maker’s craft, introduced 50 years ago. (Via.)