The Highs and Lows of Touring with a Moderately Successful Rock Band

Article by James McDuff

Touring and sharing small, intimate spaces with people you don’t like being intimate with is tough. Hi, I’m James, guitarist to a rock-band extraordinaire that our lawyers have wisely advised under no circumstance should be affiliated with my writing and all names changed to protect the innocent. Want to know the highs and lows of touring with a top-notch, moderately successful rock outfit? Then follow me into the realms of my band’s underbelly. The belly of the beast. The belly of Rock and Satan.

I joined the band about four years ago, having lived with its creative force eight years back when I was a student—we have since toured select parts of the UK, and most importantly, released an album which, speaking entirely objectively, was the best album of that year; promoting it brought us to Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh.

This is what a touring cycle will do to you; health is abandoned, books are unread, staring out the window is commonplace. The head-honcho of the band opted for sensible travel arrangements, four days in Edinburgh with his girlfriend and no worries. The rest of us decided the opposite would suit better: charging our good friend and drummer with the responsibility of renting a camper van. They say the best journeys are those that are unplanned. We chose to roll the die with Death in a camper van from a Polish company (that we shall name Wonderland Camper Vans) for the price of $100 a day for five days.

I will not speak ill of the Polish for the rest of this article, but suffice to say, them’s some sneaky voodoo-bastard bitches.

Before our drummer (who was also our driver) turned up, I was preparing myself for a lush trip—I thought the van would have individual bedrooms, perhaps en suite, and I proceeded to pack my lunches with the same delicacy my mother would so many years ago, staring out the kitchen window at her adored son playing tic-tac-toe on the pavement while trying not to mingle with the bigger kids.

Boy smoking a cigarette and drinking a Miller Lite
And getting mad pussy.

Our drummer had said it was a six-berth, which once I stepped into the van I associated with the pain of spreading one’s legs and forcing a bowling ball out from the vagina. He said it would have a shower, a kitchen and a fridge, but what he actually meant was a bidet that leaked antiseptic fluid, a counter and a cooling unit that could only function when the engine was running, so the nights we slept or all of the hours we weren’t driving contributed to the gradual cultivation of herpes on all of my freshly prepared tuna-fish and salad-cream sandwiches.

When we first got into the camper van, the handle to the door snapped off—this was our first warning sign, but something we foolishly brushed aside as I’m sure Israel did when Hitler first came to power. I also thought I’d be Xboxing all the way to Edinburgh, but it turns out that legally you can’t sit on beds in a moving vehicle, and Polish fucking voltages don’t comply with UK gaming consoles.

Goddamn bastard-voodoo bitches, man.

More hilarious still, our vocalist asked our drummer before setting off whether we needed any extra duvets, so as to "cover the gear" we had in the van’s hold, and so our sleeping arrangement of three small duvets for two double beds and one single (I say single, it was more a table that would convert into a much smaller table that you would cling on to for dear life) became a lesson in suppressing sexual dreams once lights out.

Because of the weight of two amp heads, three guitars, drums, recording equipment, and five people (a reserve driver included) we soon found that the vehicle struggled with anything heavier than a spare wheel, especially when going uphill. The walls would rattle, and we would look as nervous as the Enterprise’s crew going into warp drive with a defunct reactor core. Thankfully, once we got out onto the open road we were good, even though the bass player and I had yet to solve the problem of our very slack seat-belts—should the van have halted suddenly, amputations were in the cards.

Our travel patterns were set in concrete within an hour of departure with a pit stop and a McDonald’s; our ratio was 50/50 travel/rest. My sandwiches and Moroccan lentil dish was due to go fungal over the next five days so I went through the seven stages of grief and joined the crew in eating shit food. This is what a touring cycle will do to you; health is abandoned, books are unread, staring out the window is commonplace, and not showering for a good couple of days is taken to the extreme that all water is Holy water.

Our first night over at a rest stop went fine, since after discovering that we had parked in the wrong zone and our fee was a hefty one, we found out that they couldn’t stop us from leaving without paying. They merely had faith in the goodness of people, so we said "fuck it, we have Polish plates," drew little moustaches on our faces, and drove by the parking lot’s security cameras with our middle fingers raised high and proud from the windows. This was the most rock and roll thing we’ve ever done, and will most likely ever do.

We finally got to our destination having shat our pants at our driver’s gradual descent into madness—sleep deprivation and energy drinks all of a sudden made "Elgenfoot" funny enough to laugh at the floor with the lives of five other people in his hands, the relationship between the steering wheel and the road forgotten for the great jokes his shoes were telling him. A warning to bands touring by road: always have a reserve driver, even if he is an android sent from the future by your drummer’s parents.

Our first gig went down smoothly, so we celebrated the nightlife of Edinburgh where black people walk noticeably more on edge than they do in the more liberal South; drunk Scotsmen did not deter our drummer from parodying the city’s dialect by talking like a Liverpudlian and prancing like Ted Levine at the end of Silence of the Lambs.

We lost our vocalist at some point, somewhere, despaired (the guys will tell you I cried for him but that’s a load of bullshit—more like laughed at him sucking dick to get home), found him again, woke up the next day, took in the town as tourists, and I will say this, if you have the chance to visit the places you play in during your downtime, touring in a band is an absolute luxury, despite the genital rashes and Chris’ penis brushing my nose while we slept at odd-ends. Whatever the author Irvine Welsh may think of the city (going by the film Filth), I was truly enamoured by Edinburgh.

Not so much at night-time on a Friday though when we had drunks clambering all over the camper van, but that sealed our stay in Scotland’s capital, a sublime final lager at the local brewery, the next morning coffee and growing tensions, depleting energy levels AND YOUR COCK TOUCHED MY FACE WHILE I WAS SLEEPING, CHRIS! while our fifth band member warmed his toes and marshmallows by his hotel room’s fireplace. His trouble-free stay culminated in another night comforted by linen sheets while ours was a two-day return trip in the rickety camper van that just then decided to loosen its bowels and shit all over our parade.

The toilet blew out, the septic tank (which had not been emptied in four days) leaked, our clutch went, and we were forced to pull over outside of Birmingham. While awaiting our rescue team (the owner of Wonderland Camper Vans drove out to meet us with a replacement van—suspect much?), we thought it would be a good idea to gloss over the terms and conditions of our contract, which we discovered to be in such broken English that it would fail to hold up in any court of law. There was something about removing the hair, teeth, and nails first and then adding lots of lye, but otherwise, "If break-down van should electricity work not my problem."

So the guys ransacked the contraband Polish DVDs that came with the camper van and relaxed while I stood on the edge of the highway in the middle of the night and tried emptying the septic tank. This is done exactly like sucking gasoline out of a car.

Avocado milkshake with a straw
Delicious like all the colors of the rainbow.

Our saviour, so to put him, after numerous phone calls, turned up just as we were about to be towed away, his partner in crime quickly filling the broke-down engine with vegetable oil and taking off in a trail of industrial smog. None of us knew if he would ever make it back alive, and I don’t think any of us cared, least of all the friend he had come with. So we were driven back to our drummer’s house where linens, cold pizza, and beer awaited with stories to tell.

I have omitted a fair deal—the drugs, the prostitutes, our absurd demands for unicolored M&Ms—because we are actually a Christian rock band and must keep this on the DL in case Jesus finds out, but the excursion will remain one of the fondest memories of my life. Everything that could go wrong did, and it all happened so bleeding perfectly.

Modern Office with Christina Hendricks

Modern Office with Christina Hendricks

Modern Office with Christina Hendricks 1:55
When Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) gets a job at a new office, it’s unclear which is more old-fashioned: her style, her typing skills, or the office’s policies toward women.
Submitted by: chris_singel
Keywords: modern office present christina hendricks mad men equal pay fair wages fax 60s sexism wage minimum poptart hamburger phone iphone case stroke smoke martini drink mad women
Views: 1,300,805

The ONLY 6 Reasons to Not Tip Your Server

Column by Jacob Trowbridge

Zero percent tip for a restaurant server

Lately, there’s been an uproar in the media over "tip shaming," where servers share photos of the actual receipts of customers who left a hefty "0" in the tip column, generally with some sort of pro-religion/anti-gay message scrawled along with it.

The reasons they give are typically a load of bullshit. But if you really have your heart set on stiffing the minimum wage workers who serve your heaping mounds of fatty, deep-fried goodness, then here are some legitimate excuses you can provide.

1. There’s a mountain lion in your soup.

Mountain lion in soup at a restaurant 

Dearest Server,

If you’re wondering why I’ve written a gigantic "ZERO" where your tip should be, please note the instance where you replaced the garbanzo beans in my soup with a live mountain lion. Though he was uncommonly friendly and certainly added a bit of pizazz to an otherwise bland and uninteresting meal, he was still a mountain lion.

And mountain lions do not belong in soup. God bless.

2. Your server freestyle rapped today’s specials. Poorly.

If I wanted to listen to a white person awkwardly break into clunky freestyles every 5 minutes, I would have eaten at Denny’s. I lost my appetite at the assertion your "motherfuckin’ waffle fries" would have my "motherfuckin’ mouth mesmerized." And frankly, the less said about your unfortunate attempt at rhyming "vinegar," the better.

Oh, and your haircut is ridiculous.

3. Your server tried to poison you.

Skull and crossbones cocktail mixer 

I’m on to you. Did you really think I wouldn’t smell the arsenic in my mojito? And how about your bold choice in "garnishing" my glass with those little plastic skull-and-crossbones? Too clever by a half, though.

I award you no tip, and may God have mercy on your soul.

4. You’re putting that 12-20% into a trust fund for the server’s child.

In lieu of leaving $8 on the table, which you’ll undoubtedly spend on booze, crack cocaine, or hunting a homeless man for sport, I’ve decided to start a trust fund for your child, Timothy, who you wouldn’t shut the fuck up about. I get it, Timothy likes his eggs over easy too, which basically makes us Eskimo brothers.

So here’s to Timothy (who’d better be real and not just a fictitious tip-generator), who hopefully grows up and REMEMBERS TO PUT MY HOLLANDAISE SAUCE ON THE SIDE!

5. Your server gave you lupus.

Because you somehow inflicted me with such a severe disease over the course of my hour-long meal—a disease that isn’t even contagious, by the way—I’ve decided to save your tip for the rigorous treatment I’ll no doubt need ASAP.

I hope God continuously flicks you in the eyeball for the rest of eternity.

6. Your server was a dog.

I don’t tip dogs because I do not agree with their lifestyle choices. Anyone who spends that much time licking their own genitalia forfeits the right to be paid for bringing me shrimp nachos. Also, The Bible does not recognize canines. You are an abomination, Woofy!

Difference between Website and Web Application

This is the most mystifying concept in web development because most novice developers think that these both are same. Because of same steps need to take to create a project or a website. Website and web application both are different and both have advantage and disadvantage. But choosing between them is depends on requirement.
Now see the differences step by step:-

ASP.NET Web Application (Web project):

1.    In web application ,all Business logic (classes),configuration files, resources are placed in the same root directory and compiled into dll.

2.    In visual studio, it is old and default methodology for creation of an application, all application need to have a project file just like windows application project, so web project also has a project file called csproj for C# or vbproj for

3.  Web application creates on project for whole application based on one language you choose for example :- if you choose c# as your application language  then whole project will depend on that language and you need to add all pages in c# language. You can’t add pages in vb language. C# language project created in .csproj, and vb language project in .vbproj extension.

4.   Web project need to pre-compiled before deployment. If any change takes place in any page then again need to re-compile whole application.

5. Migration from old version to new is easy in web application. For example- web application project created in visual studio 2005 can be easily migrate in visual studio 2008.

6. Web application should be created when you have a really huge website, large number of team member.

7.    Steps to create Web application

Open visual studio àgo to file ànew project

Creating web application

ASP.NET Website (projectless website) 

1.    In WebSite, special folders are available for placing different types of files like classes can be stored in App_Code directory, which is compiled automatically and can be accessed throughout the pages in web site.
2. On the other hand, website pages can be created in  multi-programming language          like we can add a page using C# language and Vb on another page in same website.
3. Web site creation is new methodology added in visual studio, it doesn’t need to have a project file like .csproj or .vbproj, any file can be created and deployed easily. 
4. Web site doesn’t need to pre-compiled before deployment. Any change can take place in .aspx and code- behind and just need to replace old to new page by simply uploading, not need to worry about compilation. It dynamically compiled and maintained at runtime.
5.  Migration from old version to new is difficult in web site because of projectless.
6. Web site should be chosen when you have average website, small number of team member.

7.    Steps to create Web application

Open visual studio àgo to file ànew website

Creating web site

Video Reference 

Origin Story

Origin Story

Origin Story 0:55
A superhero is born…


Written by George Coffey

Hush Money is George Coffey, Luke Jensen, Rivers Langley, Brodie Reed, Monika Scott, and Josh Wallace
Submitted by: Hush Money Sketch
Keywords: superhero super hero super hero origin story origins x men spiderman batman watchmen alan moore zack snyder zach snyder hush money sketch best amazing the watchmen
Views: 1,373

ASP.NET Application folder (also called special folder) for maintaining security, accessibility, durability and robustness in ASP.NET Websites

In a general website there are collection of files, resources posted on website’s root folder that used by web pages globally on the same website like .aspx files, .jpg file, .txt files, .js scipt files, .css files etc. these resources need to placed in same website folder so it can be used by Web Pages.

Sometimes it can be vulnerable to keep these resources in website folder because of internet junkies that always keep their eyes on vulnerable sites to hack those resources.
Thanks to ASP.NET , it provide application folder to place resources, files In a standard manner that maintain by .NET run-time.

ASP.NET 3.5 supports eight types of special folders and each folder has their own advantage. I will explain these eight in details.
  1. App_Browsers
  2. Bin
  3. App_Code
  4. App_Data
  5. App_GlobalResources
  6. App_LocalResources
  7. App_WebReferences
  8. App_Themes

By default these special folder are not available in your empty website , but you can add easily when you need in few steps

Steps :
  1. Create a website in visual studio by clicking on Menu  file à New website .
  2. On solution explorer right click on root folder à Add Asp.Net Folder àchoose from Eight ASP.NET folder you want

In a website you can add each of these folders only once. The folder that you will add once will remove from add option automatically.
These folder maintains access security. No one can access files of these folder directly through the url, if someone really does so server gives forbidden  message. 

Let’s dig into these special folders

App_Code Folder :

In App_Code Folder we can place class files like .cs or .vb , text and xml files. It will compiled automatically and can be access throughout the web application, means we can access directly on all the pages that is created on current website. In three layered architecture App_Code plays very important role.  To add App_Code folder àOn solution explorer right click on root folder à Add Asp.Net Folder àApp_Code  and its done.
After that to add new or existing files on App_Code right click on App_Code folder à Add New Item à choose file  its done.

App_Browsers :

App_Browsers is used to access browser information and capabilities.This folder contains browser information files like .browser.
Bin Folder:
In this folder we can placed executable files or assembly  files that can be reference throughout the web application .

App_Data Folder :

We can place database files in this folder like .mbf, .mdb,Xml etc. by doing this database file can be accessed anywhere in our web application. We can add .mbf, .mdb,Xml files to the App_Data folder directly by selecting Add New Item.

App_GlobalResources :

We can store resources that we need to access in any page or any code. ASP.NET uses resource files to make supporting multiple languages simpler. We can store single resource file that need to use in multiple pages globally. You can add a global resource file by right clicking on the App_GlobalResource  folder and clicking on Add Items.

App_LocalResources :

The App_LocalResource  folder contain local resource files . we can place  resources file on subfolder of website , in App_LocalResources we can store resources that need to be used by local webpage. There can be multiple App_LocalResources folder in a website but in subfolder that locally access it.You might have local resources for every page in your website, you might have App_LocalResource subfolders in every folder.

App_WebReferences :

App_WebReference  folder contain references to any web services. We can easily add new web reference to our web application by right clicking on App_WebReference  folder à add web reference.

App_Themes :

We can store page styling files like .css, .skin file to this folder. We can create theme style for our web page. When we add an App_Theme folder, a subfolder with name Theme1 will be automatically created.  We can rename it and then add .css to it. These styles can be applied to ASP.NET control directly. We can as many themes as we want but folder name should be unique. page life cycle (the internal of request and response process in

As you all know that request and response process is very common, but for any non developer or user’s point of view it’s just a process of calling or requesting for a page through typing the name of page or clicking on a link of page, the requested page will gets found and will display on user’s browser as simple as that.
But the internal process of request and response is far complicated then it looks like. As a web developer it is very important to understand the internal working process of request and response, what happened when user send request to server, how web server get the request and then response back to user.
So in this post I will try to explain the internal process of page request and response and try to clear your concept on page life cycle.

In the process of a request for page from user’s browser, then request acquired by web server and then server sends response back to the user’s browser. In between these processes IIS (Internet Information Services) performs and maintains collection of stuff.

Small Intro of IIS (Internet Information Services) 

IIS is a web server software, which waits for browser requests and serves the appropriate pages.
In a simple word, when you want your website to be publically accessible through the internet, you need to publish it on IIS web server (in case of ASP.NET).

A variety of colors of IIS

• Windows XP Professional comes with IIS 5.1. (Previous version or other editions of Windows XP don’t include)
• Windows Server 2003 comes with IIS 6.
• Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 come with IIS 7.

IIS request and response phenomenon 

Initial handling is actually performed by the kernel-mode HTTP driver http.sys.When user sends a request to IIS,request goes through ISAPI filter . ISAPI.dll checks requested file extension and performs further action accordingly in the case of .aspx page then it sends to ASPNET_ISAPI.dll extension to process request. As explained in picture below:

IIS request handling

IIS checks whether it is the first request for the website or not then a class called ‘ApplicationManager’ creates an application domain where the website can run. The application domain is responsible for maintain isolation between two or multiple  web sites hosted on the same IIS web server. After that http runtime object created to create hosting environment for all aspx page. Once the hosting environment is created, the compulsory core  ASP.NET core objects (HttpContext , HttpRequest, HttpResponse). After that main object is created which is responsible to serve the .aspx page is called HttpApplication. In case if website has global.asax file available then the object of global.aspx class is created.
HttpApplication object has the command of all core object of that created earlier. Now HttpApplication of object process the request by calling HttpModules, HttpHandlers and Page events.

These three objects invokes different events that can be  used by developer to insert  logic within that as required.

HttpHandler :

HttpHandler is an extension based processor that means it checks the extension of requested file and then calls appropriate handler. To get more clear see the image below :


HttpModule :

HttpModule is an event based processor, that means we can insert code in ASP.NET pipeline events. ASP.NET pipeline events are listed in the order that they occur:

Description of all above Event below :

This event indicates that a new request occurred  and guarantees to be raised on each page request.

This event indicates that ASP.NET runtime is ready to authenticate the user and any authentication code can be injected here as required.

This event indicates that ASP.NET runtime is ready to authorize the user and Any authorization code can be injected here as required.

In this event, ASP.NET runtime take decision whether the page can be served from the cache rather than loading the original for increase the performance. Any caching specific code can be injected here.

This event indicates that ASP.NET runtime is ready to acquire session variables.

This event is indicates that to handling control to the HttpHandler can be done and required code can be injected.           

In the case of HttpHandler defined in page ,Httphandler logic is can be written logic which needs to be executed as per page extensions.

Page  Init
This event raised just before page load and code like Creation of controls dynamically, Any initialization  etc.

This Event guarantees that ASP.NET controls are fully Loaded and you write code logic as required.

If you have any validation controls  on your page, you can check whether validated or not and write code as required.

When request processed by the server then it need to be send back to user’s browser rendered as simple html code, so before rendering you can insert final code to change something you want.

This event is called when Page object is going to unloaded and released all created objects from the memory.

This event occurs after the handlers are executed successfully any code logic can be injected here.

In this event all saved state for page gets released you can save state
variables like session variables if you need.

In this event you can update your cache if you need.

The End of the Request.
I hope so that this post help you to understand the lifecycle of ASP.NET Page.

Video Reference