Tarangire & Ngorongoro Nat’l Parks

•September 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Had a chance to go on safari last weekend and it was incredible… Totally off the hook.

Elephant - Tarangire

Vulture - Tarangire

Baboon - Tarangire

Lions - Tarangire

Giraffes - Ngorongoro

Cheetah - Ngorongoro

Hippopotamus - Ngorongoro


Back in Arusha… w00t.

•September 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So… It’s nice to be back in Arusha, Tanzania… finally I get to see something I worked on get to the point where it’s finished. Last Summer we came here to install a system to migrate the UN-ICTR’s archive of all of the videotapes recorded during the Rwanda Genocide Tribunal… and now, a year later we are about to hand a completely digital secure archive over to them, and bring our migration system home… it’s amazing. I figured that by the end of this trip, I will have spent 5 months in the last 365 days over here working on this project… and a lot of time supporting it remotely.

Mt. Meru, 7am, 2011-09-13 - Looking out of my my hotel window.

It’s nice to be back and start to see some of the many friends I’ve made over here… already ran into Pally, Bob, Minnie, Moe and a few others… good times seeing these folks. Tonight someone asked me what I’ve learned about Tanzania in all the time I’ve spent over here… and the only answer I could give was that I’d learned about all of the totally kickass people I get a chance to hang out with when I’m here.

Got a great room @ The Mt. Meru Hotel… sheesh, just look at that view. I guess that this is the first time that I’ve been over here as Winter ends for them and Spring leads to a warmer climate and clearer skies… I’ve never had such a good view of Meru.

ICTR Migration System - 2011-09-13

Just so’s you know what we’re talking about over here… this is a picture of the system that we have been working with… the red and blue things are the robots that move the videotapes around and into VTRs that play them into those red-striped servers that are gathering the metadata about the video and digitizing it. In the middle 2 racks are the systems that take those digital files and archive them onto spinning disk and LTO-4 data tape. It’s amazing that we got that stuff over here and set up running as well as it has for the whole year… 70,000 hours of testimony digitized. Badass.

Sitting by the Mt. Meru Hotel pool with a cold Tusker Lager after a day's work.

Then… there’s sitting by the pool, sipping on a cold one… S’nice.

Last Night In Arusha… Dropping Bombs @ The Lively Lady.

•July 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Stoney Tangaweze, Bacardi Black & Fresh Lime - A Tanzanian Dark & Stormy

Last night I went over to The Lively Lady and it was a fantastic time.

The last dinner in Arusha was a plate of Pally’s really amazing smoked pork ribs with homemade pili-pili (hot) sauce, fresh lime squeezed over them, homemade garlic naan & my favorite cocktail over here which is basically a Dark & Stormy made with Stoney Tangaweze sitting in for ginger beer, which it’s darn close to.

Chophouse Blues Band Flyer 2010.... Still on the LL's wall!

Hung out with Pally and his sister Minnie as the evening got started and then set up to play some music…

The night was totally rocking… The place got really full and no matter what I played people were screaming and dancing and carrying on… at one point the power went out (a frequent thing over here,) and the people just went accapella, picking up where the song left off and then into a few other numbers not on my playlist like a really dirty French/English version of “Allouette,” and Tenacious D’s “Fuck Her Gently” much to the confusion of the other half of the crowd who were locals and had never heard anything like that before. It was nuts. People trying to buy me more drinks than I could possibly drink…

Here’s the playlist that goes right up until the power died… it was out for about 10 minutes…

Track List: Lively Lady 2011-07-02




1 Dick Dale — Ghost Riders In The Sky Dick Dale
2 The Great Atomic Power Southern Culture On The Skids
3 Tulsa Wayne Hancock
4 Highway Patrol Junior Brown
5 Man From Harlem Asylum Street Spankers
6 Down By The O-HI-O Milton Brown And His Musical Brownies
7 Pussy, Pussy, Pussy Light Crust Doughboys
8 Truckers Speed The Meat Purveyors
9 Little White Pills The Meat Purveyors
10 King Of The Mountain Southern Culture On The Skids
11 Piss Up a Rope Ween
12 Tumbling Dice The Rolling Stones
13 Sea Cruise Franky Ford
14 I Like It Like That Chris Kenner
15 Rock & Roll Music Chuck Berry
16 Speedoo Cadillacs
17 Shoorah! Shoorah! Betty Wright
18 Sticky Sticky Sock-A-Poo The Mighty Continentals
19 It’s A Funky Thing Pt. 1 (Special Feature Mix) Steinski
20 16 bklyn funk i got cash Steinski
21 Funkify Your Life Meters
22 Hot Topic Le Tigre
23 Express Yourself (Digital Remaster 00) N.W.A.
24 Enter the Ninja Die Antwoord
25 God Save the Queen Sex Pistols
26 I Know What Boys Like Bouncing Souls
27 Too Drunk to Fuck Dead Kennedys
28 Judy Is A Punk Ramones
29 She Goes To Finos Toy Dolls
30 Destination Venus Rezillos
31 Cara-Lin Thee Headcoatees
32 Ride That Train Oblivians
33 Have Love, Will Travel Richard Berry
34 Hey Sailor Detroit Cobras
35 Wreck My Flow Dirtbombs
36 One of Those Firewater
37 Miniature Breakdown Quintron & Miss Pussycat
38 Twist & Crawl Death in Vegas
39 Connected Stereo MC’s
40 54-46 That’s My Number Toots & The Maytals
41 Monkey Man Specials
42 Menya Zovut Shnur Leningrad
43 Schweine – Glukoza Glukoza
44 (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
45 Shake A Tailfeather Andre Williams
46 Big Apple Boogaloo Brooklyn Funk Essentials

Pally shot some video with my iPhone just as the party started to rage…


Note… there was a whole table of South Africans with a few friends from Texas who walked into the bar totally amped from climbing Kilimanjaro… they walked into the bar… and as they sat down, heard the country music… one of them walks over to Pally, who’s a tall fellow of Indian descent and shouts “Leave The Country!” at him… Like he wanted to have Country music played all night long… He was a bit loud… filed with adrenaline, booze and whatever the heck those guys were on… Pally looks over at him, and with a¬†characteristically¬†deadpan, straightface’d and says “Leave the country? Right now? Can I pack a bag?” as if the Texan is announcing his deportation or something… this shouted misunderstanding gag went on for a few minutes… it was like the best ex-pat “Who’s on first?-esque” comedy routine I’d ever heard. It had to have taken that long for the Texan to get the joke… As you can see I lingered on the Country/Texas Swing for a while before dropping the Soul/Funk/Reggae/Punk that makes me so happy to play in a place like that.

It was a total gas.

Shut the place down. At the end of the night, after we threw everyone out and it was down to a few of the regulars and the owners we had a last cocktail while l played Elvis songs by request. Really one of the best nights I’ve had over here, completely.

Lively Lady panorama before things got out of hand...

After shutting up the bar, Pally & Minnie gave me a ride back to the hotel… It was 4am! I had to bang on a door to get let in… fell right asleep… and I woke up bright eyed an bushy tailed packing my shit and checking out.

Now the bag’s being stored at the hotel and I’m down the street having my muffin and coffee… Ride to JRO airport’s not till 4pm… So I guess it’s sit somewhere and read for a while…

Spinning Tunes @ Njiro Complex Last Night…

•July 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So last night I was invited over to The Njiro Complex to spin some tunes outside in front of Stiggy’s wine bar… whatever it’s called… There was a large crowd sitting at the tables… eating and drinking, people going into the movie theater to see either the Bollywood film or Pirates of the Caribbean IV… I set up my gear right out in front of Stiggy’s place on a small table, and his guys brought over and set up the PA. I figured that it’d be best to stick to jazz/blues/R&B for the most part… an older, local crowd… not quite the place for the screaming garage/punk rock but some swinging, toe-tapping swaying occurred indeed. The folks were, IMHO, pleasantly surprised… and it was a good time. Plus all my beers were comped.

Track List @ Njiro Complex





1 If You Can’t Smile and Say Yes Old Rugged Sauce LIVE @ BR&GC – 2011-03-03
2 Jelly Roll Nina Simone The Very Best Nina Simone – Sugar In My Bowl 1967-72
3 Saturday Night Fish Fry Louis Jordan The Best Of Louis Jordan
4 Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee Wynonie Harris The Best of Winonie Harris
5 Make It Do Slim Gaillard Laughing In Rhythm: The Best Of The Verve Years
6 Nightime Is The Right Time Shirley Scott Queen Of The Organ: Shirley Scott Memorial Album
7 Tipitina Professor Longhair Rock ‘N’ Roll Gumbo
8 Sweet Home Chicago Magic Sam West Side Soul
9 Strange Love Slim Harpo Hip Shakin’
10 Boom, Boom, Out Goes the Lights Little Walter & His Jukes Murder-Songs from the Dark Side of the Soul
11 Do The Funky Chicken Rufus Thomas Music from the Wattstax Festival & Film (Disc 3)
12 Funky Train Poets Of Rhythm This Is Acid Jazz: Original Raw Soul
13 Take Your Soul The Sahara All Stars Nigeria Disco Funk Special
14 Shala Shala Twist Dark City Sisters African Serenades Vol 14 – Ear
15 Habibi Ali Hassan Kuban Walk like a Nubian
16 Funkify Your Life Meters Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology (Disc 2)
17 Sixty Minute Man Rufus Thomas Can’t Get Away From This Dog
18 54-46 Was My Number Toots & The Maytals The Very Best of Toots And The Maytals
19 My Boy Lollipop Millie Small Ska’s The Limit 1997
20 Son Of A Preacher Man Gaylettes Trojan Sixties Box Set
21 Do The Beng Beng Derrik Morgan The Trojan Story
22 I Can’t Wait Hepcat Right On Time
23 Big Apple Boogaloo Brooklyn Funk Essentials Cool & Steady & Easy
24 Diamonds on My Windshield Tom Waits The Beat Generation [Rhino] (1 of 3)
25 Mustang Sally Jay Mitchell Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay
26 It’s A Funky Thing Pt. 1 (Special Feature Mix) Steinski What Does It All Mean? – 1983-2006 Retrospective
27 Doriella Du Fontaine L Rod Hendrix Munny Changes Everything
28 GBH Death in Vegas Dead Elvis
29 Shoorah! Shoorah! Betty Wright The Very Best Of Betty Wright
30 The Breakdown Rufus Thomas Music from the Wattstax Festival & Film (Disc 3)
31 Sticky Sticky Sock-A-Poo The Mighty Continentals This Is Acid Jazz: Original Raw Soul
32 Working On The Line Soul-Saints Orchestra This Is Acid Jazz: Original Raw Soul
33 Stagger Lee Lloyd Price Glory Days Of Rock ‘N’ Roll – New Orleans
34 A Chicken Ain’t Nothin’ But A Bird Cab Calloway Are You Hep To The Jive?
35 Hell Squirrel Nut Zippers Hot
36 (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go Curtis Mayfield Curtis – Live!
37 Have Love, Will Travel Richard Berry Baby Please Come Home
38 Spoonful Willie Dixon I Am The Blues
39 Cler Achel Tinariwen Aman Iman: Water Is Life

Arusha… Plants & Animals…

•July 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Guard walking by...




Bug or Cocktail?

•July 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment


This guy was on the balcony of my hotel room this morning… I figure he’d go good with about 3/4 oz of White Creme De Cacao &¬†3/4 oz Light Cream… or that’s what I hear anyway.

…breakfast in Arusha.

•July 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Double Latte & Warm Chocolate Muffin @ Africafe, Arusha TZ

Every morning in Arusha I leave the Arusha Hotel and walk across the “Clock Tower Circle” and up the street to Africafe… it’s on the way to the ICTR where I’m working… and, basically the best thing it has going for it is the coffee… they have a menu… they have some food on it… the food is safe to eat, and it’s ok, but nothing to write about… now that double latte and chocolate muffin I’m having for breakfast over there… that’s worth saying something about. The coffee is the best I’ve had in Arusha, really quite good… and the muffin? Well, they have chocolate, lemon poppy… a couple of other good, fresh muffins, but the thing that gets me is that every time I order one, the waiter asks “Would you like the muffin warmed?” Well heck yes I would asante sana (Thank you very much.) And warmed it arrives… probably a few seconds in the microwave… but it makes all the difference. Yum nom nom.