Only a few weeks away

You know Nate? He needs help getting to Women in Secularism 2. Any surplus will go to CFI.

If you want something specific from the conference, like a SurlyRamic if Amy’s selling them, some autographs, or anything else, just let me know when you donate and I’ll be sure to get that for you.

And maybe a guest post here, hmm?


  1. says

    What… you think you’d need to twist my arm to get that agreement?

    I don’t know what Dream Theater and Queensryche were thinking in covering that song, but they failed miserably… to my great consternation, because I actually like both bands and figured that, if anyone who’s not Pink Floyd or David Gilmour or the Australian Pink Floyd Show could do that song justice, it’d be these bands.

    Yet they failed.


    They completely missed the point of the song and the solos in the extreme…

    And John Petrucci just proved himself as one of those guitarists who can’t play slow. It was stale and worthless and he had no clue how to use that space.

    I lost so much respect for both Dream Theater and Queensryche after seeing that. It was depressing.

  2. says

    *DING DING DING* We have a winner!! I’m not a 10th of the guitar player that Petrucci is, but I can do better than he did, because when I try to play a Floyd song I’m not in such a hurry to get to the next phrase that I slam through the current one thoughtlessly and without a hint of musicality. Every note sort of slammed into place like playing Tetris instead of guitar. And the Queensryche guys were just terrible!

    Ok, Nate… you can count on me for a donation!

  3. says


    And I agree 100%. I love the way you put it: “Every note sort of slammed into place like playing Tetris instead of guitar”

    When I first saw it, I actually questioned if Petrucci liked the song at all. Part of me wondered if his solo was a protest along the lines of “why are we doing this fucking song?” or something like that. I know Queensryche is a fan of Pink Floyd because they do an actually okay (not great… just okay) cover “Welcome to the Machine”, but Petrucci?

    It could explain why the solo was crap…

  4. says

    Oh… and if you’re not a 10th of the guitar player Petrucci is, then I’m not a 100th of the guitar player he is. Every time I do practice Comfortably Numb, I tend to screw up the solo pretty badly… yet I feel like even I play it better than Petrucci did…

    Maybe they would have been better off covering Money?

  5. Anthony K says

    Guitar talk is always a thread-killer, isn’t it?

    Eh. East Bay Ray’s satirical solo in “Pull My Strings” was pretty sweet.

    I don’t know about these other bands you’re talking about, tho.

    Have fun at the conference, Nate.

  6. says

    Guitar talk is always a thread-killer, isn’t it?

    Depends on where you’re talking about it… 😀

    Eh. East Bay Ray’s satirical solo in “Pull My Strings” was pretty sweet.

    Satirical solo?

    *searches YouTube*

    That is a pretty good solo, actually! Not bad! Does Dead Kennedy usually have guitar solos?

    I don’t know about these other bands you’re talking about, tho.

    Queensryche’s biggest claim to fame is a progressive metal rock opera called “Operation: Mindcrime”. Queensryche isn’t even in my top 10 as far as bands go, but I love “Operation: Mindcrime”. Don’t bother with the follow up, though. It was shit.

    Dream Theater is another progressive metal band with John Petrucci, a famous guitarist, and Mike Portnoy, a famous drummer.

    Both bands are from the progressive school of over-indulgence, unfortunately (think Emerson, Lake, & Palmer gone metal), but they are made up of master musicians, which is why their shitty performance of Comfortably Numb is even more insulting. Both bands have the ability to send that song soaring. Instead, like Improbable Joe said, they basically just played tetris with it.

  7. Anthony K says

    DK weren’t into guitar solos, not usually. The song was a send-up of, I’m not sure who, exactly, but the top-40s New Wave movement of the 80s, I guess.

    I was actually riffing on the Floyd, being a smartass. I do know Queensryche, but I’d never heard Dream Theater, though.

    Don’t mind me. I have terrible taste in music.

  8. Anthony K says

    I suppose East Bat Ray was making fun of the over-indulgence of solos in general. I like some prog rock myself, but I’m no music connoisseur.

  9. says

    I already sent this update to the begging page itself, but I wanted to post it here, as well:
    This campaign has now raised $445. I just wanted to let everybody know. I’m still working out if I’ll be booking the hotel for two nights or three. It’s largely going to depend on my flight. If two nights, then the hotel has been paid and all the excess is going to CFI for the WiS conferences. If three nights, I still need to reach at least $627.

    Either way, please keep donating. Donate for CFI or for me to get you something from the conference if you want.

    And THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

    I just realized, though… there’s still taxes and all that that have to be paid…

  10. Anthony K says

    That’s great, Nate, but I’m holding you to your promise:

    If you want something specific from the conference, like a SurlyRamic if Amy’s selling them, some autographs, or anything else, just let me know when you donate and I’ll be sure to get that for you.

    I’ve already got a SurlyRamic, but maybe your neck is cold and could use a hand-crafted piece for it with the extra dollars (of course, a donation to CFI would be outstanding as well.) At the very least, you should say ‘hi’ to Amy if you can. She and Surly Johnnie are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

  11. Anthony K says

    Okay, if you promise to say hi then I’m all good.

    I’m glad you’re able to go, and I hope you have a blast!

  12. says

    It definitely looks awesome. I very much can’t wait. The only thing I’m trying to weight is… on Saturday it starts *really* early. So teh question is… do I go to bed early, or just get no sleep, or miss the talk. I don’t want to miss the talk, so… one night of no sleep, here I come!


  13. says

    Ya…missing the talk is definitely not a valid option. I mean, come on.

    8:30am – 10:00am

    Women Leaving Religion

    with Jamila Bey, Vyckie D. Garrison, Teresa MacBain, Maryam Namazie, and moderator Stephanie Zvan

  14. Anthony K says

    Oh, sleep is important. I don’t want your health to suffer. Plus, you’ll be too tired to enjoy the Saturday night festivities.

    Promise you’ll get some healthful sleep.

    He’ll have a very hard time not having a blast, if you ask me.

    Not if Nate’s sleeping through it. I went to a conference once (well, I’ve been a few actually), and was so exhausted by the end I missed a great big party and instead spent the evening in my hotel room eating a room service burger and watching Breach. The burger was good, and the movie wasn’t bad, and it had taken me pretty much the entire conference to reach some sort of equilibrium between perma-sloshed and perma-hungover, but that’s not the point.

    Also, Nate, if your hotel room has one of those those sleep number beds that lets you dial in a separate number for bed hardness for each side of the bed, you can set one side to 0 and the other to 100 and then alternate, rocking yourself back and forth like a filling bag of blood at the blood donation clinic. I did that while at a conference. Then I won first place for the poster I presented, but the night before I’d stayed out late and gotten really drunk, and since I wasn’t the first author (she’d dropped out after sending the abstract, so I’d made the poster and attended on her behalf) they called her name instead so I went up and accepted the prize, all dishevelled and red-eyed and stubbly and bedraggled and looking like I’d spent the night under a bus stop bench (which I may very well have) and too hungover to explain just why I was standing there, shaking hands and having my photo taken instead of the name of the researcher they’d just called, and nobody said a thing. Again, not the point.

    The point is that you don’t want to miss out on a single thing, including sleep, because sometimes when you go without sufficient sleep you miss parties, and other times you win prizes. Also, I’m not allowed to go to conferences by myself any more. So there’s that, from one who’s been there.


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