How I started playing bass

In 2007, my friends and I were playing a lot of Guitar Hero on the old PS2.

Like, a lot.

One day, I thought to myself: “This is a heck of a lot of fun, but you know what would be even more fun? Playing bass for real.”

So that’s what I did. I bought myself  a bass, and I learned to play.

Here’s a picture of my first bass:

My wife LOVED having those massive speakers in our living room, I can tell you.

I seemed to pick it up pretty fast, and my friends said that I sounded good, so I went and found a band to join.

The band was led by an old dude named Wally.

Here’s what Wally looked like:

Wally played drums and sang. He learned to play pretty late in life, so he wasn’t the most accomplished musician, but that didn’t matter. He was incredibly enthusiastic and optimistic. The guy LOVED to play, and he wasn’t going to let anyone stop him.

Wally had faced down some very serious life challenges before I met him. By the time I came on the scene, life to him was pretty much gravy. He was making the most of it.

Wally’s optimism was downright infectious. He would meet people, and invite them to come jam. Invariably, everyone was on board. Wally just had a way with people. Because of that, I got to meet and play with a ton of different musicians, most of them much better than I was at the time.

Our band played more gigs than you could shake a stick at. I learned how the whole becomes more than the sum of the parts when you’re playing in a band.

There’s nothing better than seeing a room full of people dancing, and knowing you were a part of making that happen. Playing an instrument is one thing, but making music with other people – that’s it right there. That’s the bomb, if there ever was one.

Sadly, Wally’s not with us any more, but I’ll be forever grateful for having met him, and will always credit him for being the guy responsible for me not still just practicing in my basement.

Rock on, Wally.


How to chain multiple git hooks with bash

If you spend any amount of time with git hooks, you learn pretty quickly that There Can Be Only One. Git doesn’t provide a way to call multiple scripts from a single hook.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about any lack of functionality. In fact I think it’s a great example of clearly defined scope. Git provides a basic hook mechanism. What you do with it is your business. End of story.

Still, the problem you eventually run in to is that you either have to choose between which 3rd party hook script you require more, or you need to try to lace multiple scripts together into a single file. This can be tough if you’re not familiar with the language used in the hook script, or even worse, if the two scripts you need to combine are written in different languages.

But with a little bit of bash and some cleverly placed symlinks, you can run as many pre-receive, post-receive, or whatever type of hook scripts you need. This allows hooks from different authors in different languages to co-exist peacefully and independently.  It also allows you to keep your hook scripts small and dedicated to a particular purpose, which can in turn make them highly reusable.

This article will get you up and running with what’s called Hook Chaining in less than 10 minutes.
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