the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #4: Marvin Gaye – When Did You Stop Loving Me…

marvingaye_image_1024w[1][Note: Originally posted on Feb 24, 2011. Updated with notes and new observations]

I first wrote about this song 8 years ago. I haven’t ported that post over to this platform yet, but to summarize:

  • Marvin Gaye had an affair with a 17-year old woman by name of Janis Hunter (his muse for the classic I Want You album).
  • Anna (his then wife) filed for divorce and Marvin was forced to pay a large sum of money.
  • Marvin was going through the nose candy like Tony Montana; as a result he can’t pay everything.
  • The lawyers negotiate an agreement that some of the payment would come from Marvin’s next album.

Continue reading “the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #4: Marvin Gaye – When Did You Stop Loving Me…”

the “REAL” Best Break-Up Songs – #5: Isley Brothers – Let Me Down Easy

Harvest for The World[Note: Originally posted on Feb 11, 2011. Updated with notes and new observations]

In my old blog, I randomly posted “Here’s the best break-up song ever – Guy’s “Goodbye Love”.  My brother called b.s. immediately – and he was right. I love that song, but it’s not the best break-up song1. Heck, it’s not even in the top 5.

So that got me thinking – what are my favorite break-up songs? Break-up songs have made a resurgence as late – with Adele’s “Hello” smashing records left and right2.

So, here, in a very un-scientific method 3 are my top 5 break-ups songs. Number Five –  The Isley Brothers’ “Let Me Down Easy” (off 1976’s Harvest For The World). 

I love this song; it’s one of their most underrated tracks off of one of their most underrated albums. “Let Me Down Easy” first shows up in the intro track “Harvest For the World Prelude”, but doesn’t get its requisite shine until the second side (yes, I originally bought this LP on cassette, and always thinks of the songs from a Side A/Side B point of view). Chris Jasper crafts a great intro4 which seamlessly leads into Ron’s falsetto.

The Isley Brothers – Let Me Down Easy

Optimizing Costs: AWS Object Storage Tiers and Lifecycle rules

AmazonS3[1]I’m currently using the AWS free tier, so I’m allowed 5 GB of standard storage for the next 12 months. I’m not close to my limit, but at my rate of usage, I’ll reach that limit in the later part of 2016. To reduce my costs, I’ll move my hosted mp3 files to a lower tier of storage (for those that haven’t been keeping track, I’m in the process of porting my old blog to AWS).

Currently AWS offers four (really three, since S3 – Standard and S3 – Reduced Redundancy Storage are kind of the same) different tiers of object storage:

  • S3 – Standard
  • S3 – Reduced Redundancy Storage1
  • S3 – Standard Infrequent Access
  • Glacier2

For my purposes – hosting a low traffic, mostly static website – S3- IA is a perfectly suitable choice. The latency and throughput is the same as Standard, but comes with a lower per GB storage price and per GB retrieval fee. The trade-off: lower reliability (99.9% – still more that good enough for a personal blog).

I’m keeping my files on Standard for now, but will implement S3 Object Lifecycle rules in the next year (before I have to start paying for my storage). It’s pretty simple to implement – you just use the console to create a simple rule (designate a folder and a duration before migrating to S3 – IA).


I don’t like that you can’t specific files by suffix (mp3) in the Lifecycle rules GUI – but I’m sure a simple script can be created and run to only move mp3 files. And, yes I could put the files on S3-IA  when I first create them, but I think 30-60 days on Standard storage makes sense before moving the objects to a lower storage tier.

Final note – S3 – RRS is a valid option, too. It costs less than Standard (2.4 cents/GB versus 3 cents/GB [US East pricing]) and comes with 99.99% availability. My only problem is that it is less durable than Standard and IA… so for my purposes, I’m ok sacrificing availability (versus durability) for a lower cost.

Favorite Workout Gear: Fitbit Charge HR

A great fitness tracker that captures both steps, heart rate (used to calculate calories burned) and sleep patterns.


My Rating:

My company did us a solid last week and gave everyone a $150 credit to purchase a fitness tracker.1 After looking at a few options, I went with the Fitbit Charge HR, primarily because of the positive review on CNET2.

There are really good reviews out there, where people compare multiple trackers and rank them. I can’t provide a side-by-side analysis of trackers, but I can share what I like, and dislike, about my Fitbit.

HIIT/Weightlifting (5 out of 5)

I’ve workedIMG_0323 with a personal trainer for the last two years3; he does a great job of putting me through the paces and getting my heart rate up. Last week, we did a series of full body exercises, starting with plank rows, weighted lunges, burpees, and a number of balancing exercises on a Bosu ball. In my opinion, the Fitbit did a great job logging the intensity of the session (see the picture to the left). The middle of our session was the most intense – which matched the peak and cardio indicators. At the end, we finished with Romanian deadlifts, pistol squats and shoulder presses – performed at a slower pace. Again, this matches what was captured by the Fitbit.

I used it on two other occasions where I’ve primarily done weightlifting – one session pretty intense (building endurance) the other not-so-intense (building strength). On both occasions, the Fitbit seemed to capture the proper “intensity” – based on my steps (or lack of steps) and my heart rate. Continue reading “Favorite Workout Gear: Fitbit Charge HR”

Using Amazon Lambda

AWS LambdaAs I mentioned last week, I’m in the process of using Lambda with Elastic Transcoder to automate conversion of m4a files into mp3 files. I spent the weekend writing a few scripts in node.js; here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. A Lambda function is a pretty simple thing to write.
    1. There are tons of examples to reference
    2. You can write your functions in 3 languages – javascript (node.js), Java, and Python
  2. Lambda plays nicely with most AWS services
    1. I’m interacting with CloudWatch, SNS and S3… no problems, except for…
  3. IAM/Security can trip you up if you’re not careful
    1. 25% of my debgging time was spent figuring out what permissions I needed to add (without given “wide-open” permissions to my IAM role).

Continue reading “Using Amazon Lambda”