Out of the House

I’m getting ready to go to my first day of my new job. It will be the first time I’ve had to get up and leave the house to go to work in two years. It will be the first time I’ve had to get up and drive a car to work in three years. Here’s to the next phase of the adventure!

R.I.P., Jim Baen

Science fiction publisher Jim Baen has died. I didn’t know him personally, but I’ve always been impressed by the way he handled the e-book portion of Baen’s business. He was the only print publisher who treated electronic distribution like another valid revenue stream and not some kind of rattlesnake in a crib. The field is diminished without him.

Nacho Libre

I’m actually a fan of lucha libre to the point I’ve considered getting the Spanish language tier on our cable so that I can watch it on Galavision on Saturdays. I own on VHS and DVD El Santo movies. I have my own mask, boots and tights. I also really like Jack Black. Basically, you can’t find a more receptive audience for Nacho Libre than me. And I didn’t really like the movie. I didn’t hate it, but it was just ehhh. At 89 minutes, it felt long. It wasn’t over the top and ridiculous enough to be crazy fun, it didn’t have enough wrestling in it and just didn’t have enough of anything. It dragged along being not very funny, spending a lot of time in the dull monastery and not that much time in the ring. I can’t recommend this film. It had all the ingredients to be hilarious, and just never seemed to try that hard to get there.

On the upside, when it was done I went for a walk on the beach since I was already most of the way there. That part was fun.

My Enthusiasm is Curbed

As much as I enjoyed Seinfeld, having now watched a number of the episodes there is no doubt in my mind that Curb Your Enthusiasm is a far funnier show. The chef with Tourette’s episode with the “I am Spartacus” swearing moment might be the funniest scene of TV I’ve ever seen. Forget Lucy shoving chocolates in her mouth, that’s not even a grin on my scale. Larry David reigns supreme.

In Between Days

I don’t think I blogged this in text, although I talked about it in the recent podcasts. I was in Raleigh last week wrapping up my current job. At the end of this week, I start on the new one. I wanted to have a few days buffer for transition issues, and also to recharge the batteries a little.

Exhaustion and burnout are a big factor in this change, so I plan on watching some movies and reading some books and perhaps even lying on the beach if the weather cooperates. On Tuesday the KISS coffeehouse opens, and I might go up there just for fun. Just like Nixon, I hope to end the week “tanned and relaxed.”

Grilled Okra

I made this recipe for grilled okra tonight, and man was it good. We happened to have the World Ark magazine lying around, and I read the article on “Grub”, which is all about local and sustainable food, urban gardening and such. This recipe was a sidebar and I’m glad I saw it. Before this afternoon, I had no clue it was possible to grill okra, but now I know. Yum!

Spam Poetry of the Day

Here are the texts of some comment spams that were trapped in my Akismet spam filter.

The located orbital filters Jessie into the declared radar. Personal loans awaits Jessie. Jessie tosses the feat sod before the breathing limb. Jessie forests personal loans.

USA and UK targets payday advances. Why does an unpleasant nature grant a deadly physics? The elevator prostitutes payday advances outside a prayer.

Those have kind of a William S. Burroughs feel to them, don’t they?

EGC Clambake For June 20, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for June 20, 2006.

A spontaneous show! I play a song by the Decemberists; I play two snippets from the Web 2.0 conference panel on “Future of Entertainment” and throw in my commentary; I play a song by the Magnetic Fields; I discuss Jon Udell and This American Life; I play a piece from The Onion; I rock out to a song by the Famous; tell a story about carnies and call it.

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To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Goodbye, Podcasting News

I’ve been subscribed to the RSS feed for Podcasting News, probably since right around the time the site started. Today I unsubscribed because I just hit my limit. Their stories with no links are pretty much useless in a web context. It’s pretty damn frustrating to consistently be forced to Google after reading one of those stories because they fail to provide hyperlinks back to the source material. It’s like needing to stop and eat on the way home from a restaurant – not a ticket for a lasting happy user experience.

I also have never been a big fan of their links to a show feed that actually take you to another one of their pages with the feed in it. I always feel like I’m getting milked for one more page view to their advertisers when I click that. So, as of today I’m no longer one of their marks for this grift. Podcasting News people, time for you to go back and read a little Cluetrain because you have derailed.

This American Life Doesn’t Get It

Jon Udell posts this very disappointing exchange between himself and the webmaster at This American Life. In a nutshell, TAL is asserting that Jon is violating their copyright by publishing an RSS feed that points to MP3s that they themselves host. This is exactly the same thing I’m doing with the WREK feeds I host. In my case, I have a close relationship with WREK (they recently put me and several alumni on a plaque honoring our service to the stations) so I can’t see them doing the same thing to me.

I wish WBEZ was still my local affiliate to which I was a donor. I’d write them a note of disappointment as a member. I will still write that note, but with a more tenuous relationship. Public radio wants to be perceived as different than commercial radio. If that’s their desire, getting legal and cease-and-desistish on people for linking back to their own files is the wrong way to do it. It’s absurd on a technical level, and dickheaded on a common sense and moral level. I’m slowly ceasing to think of the organization as “public radio” (in the sense of us all being in it together) and instead thinking them as another form of “corporate radio” (where the corporation is the CPB).

Really, who needs that anymore? I’ve been a deep supporter of and even a participant in public radio as an independent producer in my life, and even I am becoming an antagonist of them. Folks, when you are antagonistic to your supporters you create antagonism. As Colbert says, “You are (this close to being) dead to me.”

Thanks to EGC reader/listener Ken for the heads up on this issue.

Update: Now they’ve even asked him to take down the blog post cited above talking about the takedown notice. To me, that just compounds the cluelessness further and works me into more of a lather than I originally had. When I send them my email, I will post the text as a blog post.

EGC Clambake For June 18, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for June 18, 2006.

I talk about a very important change in my life; I play a song by the Sharp Things; I discuss net neutrality and market forces; I play a net neutrality protest song by The Broad Band; I play a song by the Gentle Readers; I talk about Myrtle Beach and baseball; I talk about reading for pleasure and why I am trying hard to reintroduce that into my life;

The Max Allan Collins detective character I could not remember the name of is “Nate Heller”.

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To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Macally Charger

Thank god, my new iBook AC adapter is here. I’ve never been happier to see the UPS man in my life. I’m once again careening back in my chair at ergonomically unfriendly angles whilst plugged up and charging. The Apple charger was getting distressingly hot at the tip, so I’m glad to decommission it before it bursts into flames and/or sends 5 deadly volts of DC into me. Well, 5 volts of barely perceptible tingling DC.

Stress Relief

Here’s a bit of advice for you Apple laptop users. If the little bit of stress relief rubber at the charging tip ever breaks off or comes loose, fix it immediately. I did not, and I’m paying the price. In a few weeks, the charger went from perfect to barely usable. I have to fiddle with the cord to make it charge, and then not move the laptop on my desk while it is actually working.

Good thing I just bought that replacement battery so that I have 4+ hours of life. The original, several year old battery was down to about 90 minutes per charge. Now, I charge it overnight, unplug and work, charge again around lunchtime, charge again at the end of the day and then unplug in the evening. If I’m lucky, I can get through my day with 3 charge cycles. It’s more strain on the battery than I’d like, but not being able to lean back in my chair or work from the couch or futon whilst plugged up is a drag.

I’ve got this 3rd party charger on order. It looks like hell but is 60% cheaper than the Apple version and has a better rating. I should be here Thursday which is good, because every time I try to fish around and the orange light doesn’t come on, I have visions of my laptop sitting dead with me unable to work until UPS gets here.

Good Earwig

Ever since I did the last show, I’ve had that Blowoff song “Hormone Love” stuck in my head. That’s a pretty benign invasion since it is a fantastic song. Although I like Mould when he is dissonant and angry and bleak, between Blowoff and Sugar you have to admit that he can craft some amazing pop music that both rocks and is catchy as all hell.