02 NOV 13
Man, long time with no post here (though that has been, admittedly, something of the voice in the wilderness, a poor thing but still ... my own.) But the advent of Twitter (see the May 2012 post, below)and all the associated distractions and inducements, well they make it hard on a girl.
But here's why I'm posting today: for all the Haters on FrontPage ... I so indulged in Stockholm Syndrome with you people that I honestly believed once MS XP was gone, so would my web authoring tool go with it. I tried getting an XP box to replace one that died sometime over the past couple of years, but that was fruitless, as was inducing someone to wipe a drive and install it for me ... so I got this Win7 box and hesitatingly, haltingly, I set it up with FrontPage 2K ... hey, whaddya know, that was flawless. Hmmmm. Could all the rumors of demise be just that - rumors, unsubstantiated in RL? Perhaps. The true test will come when I upload the work I'm doing right now, and see the results.
Now, in the meantime, if you've gotten here, I hope you're also listening to the new show ... via the widget on the Home page ... go now, do that. Enjoy!
04 MAY 12
Oh good heavens has it really been six month since the last post? Blame that on digital overload, I suppose ... I keep getting new things to interest and intrigue me but, as I've pointed out before, no one yet is offering me more hours in the day to spend investigating all the new toys ... I fault Apple, actually -- if they were as perfect as their followers believe, wouldn't we all have 30 hour days to play around in now? Anyhow, if you're inclined to know what I'm thinking on a daily basis, you'll want to check out my Twitter feed .... MadameFLY c'est moi.
But that's not why I'm posting today ... without going back thru my personal papers, I'm thinking this is the 10th anniversary of my divorce (it was either the 4th or the 10th of May ... I'm going with the 4th, as in the old Star Wars joke: May the 4th be with you.) There's no story here ... as usual, everything I think about anything is somewhere encapsulated in a playlist and is streaming from my show on Mixcloud or on mix.dj (listen via the MC widgets on the BeatConscious home page if you like) ... and so it is with Lucky Break, my look back at the narrative arc of finding the perfect mate and then finding out that imperfections lurk there, too. But we had a good, long run and it left me with every kind of memory and emotion -- the (as the saying goes) good, the bad, the ugly, the ecstatic. You know you've had a fair serving of life when every negative memory is balanced out by a blissful one. My attorney at the time used to say: You don't need to call it "divorce" ... you can simply say, "The marriage was successfully concluded." Works for me ...
'Til next time ....
11 NOV 11
Might as well give a hat-tip to 11.11.11 though, to be honest, while I did catch it in the a.m., I didn't quite make it to 11:11:11 pm on that day ... but I did see the full moon before I wandered off to bed. I had also finished a show (Ample Rhythm) but didn't upload it -- dinner with friends took precedence. I'm content with that. Contentment, in the run-up to Thanksgiving, seems like a win to me.
31 JUL 11
Mid-way thru the year, and as usual, the news that you can use is on the main page, in the form of the write-ups for each show ... FLYpaper is a victim of the BeatConscious show's success, I guess you could say. I'm especially happy with the results of adding the mix.dj platform as a streaming source for the show ... in particular, the comments the shows are receiving from this apparently more sophisticated audience are a delight, and I've devoted a section of the site to them, under the title Trust the DJ ... answering that eternal question, Why should I bother listening to BeatConscious? I've always been a bit skittish about marketing myself (reflecting my distaste for being marketed to) but I'm not opposed to sharing what others have been saying. I suppose I should state for the record that I haven't cherry-picked the comments, just looking for compliments: It may be that the culture at mix.dj is just different, but people who don't like your stuff don't bother to post any insults. These days, that's refreshing.
I've also stepped up my output a bit, something that's been possible, on the one hand, because I have archives to plunder in getting the mix.dj roster up to speed, but also because I'm trying to be responsive to all the promotional music that comes my way and all that I find via Twitter, etc. In addition, I'm just curious what my maximum efficiency might be: So far, I'm not capable of turning out one mix a week and still holding down a full-time job.
As the newest show indicates, the USA is back in the financial sh!t again, this time by choice -- by the choice of the radical right, as some are calling them. In recognition of the current fiasco (probably just a thinly-veiled attempt to impeach the President, when you strip away the pointless rhetoric and manuevering) I've reworked my January 2009 show, Too Tight - The Money Funk ... good tracks, and it shows I'm paying attention to current events.
Til next time .... enjoy!
30 JAN 11
Just wrapped up the visit with Tepmix, lots of soul searching about whether or not to proceed with the SNS project we had talked about ... we have a couple of willing participants, but not nearly critical mass in terms of people stepping up with technical skills and contributions to the overall vision ... here's the thing: we wanted a community-built project, not a top-down directive project. My theory remains that people are currently confronted with hundreds of ready-built opportunities and to expect them to elude those distractions in order to build one of their own is expecting too much.
And there's that same old issue of hundreds of new stimulant possibilities every day, but never more than our same old 24 hours in which to experience them ... the culling is brutal, as it must be until someone discovers how to create more time -- I'm thinking: perfect wormhole travel (both ways -- return is crucial to the plan) which will permit you to spend time elsewhere that doesn't get added to your chit here; then come back and resume this life. So, to the wormhole for travel to a job in some other dimension; travel elsewhere for holidays and adventures; and certainly go somewhere for sleep so that 8 hours a day doesn't come off your activity total. Yep, soon as that gets sorted, any number of fun things we now must, regretfully, pass on, we'll be able to add to our dance cards (you could Wiki it.)
I'm OK with it ... as we both agreed, we each have creative options we'd like to be exercising ... the clock is ticking for both of us, it's time to be rolling this stuff out with the intent of leaving something behind ... that message in the bottle that we are all, in some way or another, busy working on.
Well, 01 JAN 11, but I had to be able to put that 01-01-11 down somewhere, because I'll be seeing it everywhere around me today ... including this bit from Twitter:
"Yanks, it's 01/01/11, not 01/01/11 ... try to keep up."
As indicated on the main page of the site, mmRadio was turned off for good on December 30, 2010 ... the fate of the beatmixing.com forums remains unclear, but it seems as though streaming will migrate to Mixcloud, Soundcloud or one of the "DJ mix upload" sites that have become popular over the years. I'll be using Mixcloud for as long as it's agreeable, while work goes on regarding an alternate forum possibility.
I don't think it's possible to overstate the importance of mmRadio for me personally over the past ten years -- it might be seen as key to the fundamentals. I'll just leave this note here to remind me of that fact, in case I begin to doubt the value of the effort that will need to be put in on creating a successor.
To anyone who wanders by, my best to you for the coming year ... drink it up! Remember: The primary feeling you are going to confront when you finally reach the point of realizing that there won't be any more new years for you, is that life will go on and you won't know what'll be happening. It's a particularly strong sensation, and the only thing you'll have to balance it is knowing that you found out as much as you could about as many things as you cared to during the time you were here. If you haven't been living with that in mind up until now, you'd best get started.
Sometimes you get a Christmas present from someone you don't even know:
A TED talk by Brene Brown, courtesy of The Daily Dish (her site is here: http://www.brenebrown.com/ and the TED page is here if the embed doesn't work for you: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html .
2 NOV 10
Because I could:
So I did ... go home for the Rally to Restore Sanity, that is. Not only did I get to re-up my hippie cred (including getting down to the rally by bicycle), I got to visit with some of my oldest and dearest friends, experience very brisk fall-into-winter weather (thus the many-layered outfit you see in the pic) and see the fall colors on all the gorgeous trees, eat great food, hear good music, visit an art collective, learn new things about the internet and spend time around big friendly dogs. Everything seemed to be both astonishing and gratifying, and I'd be hard-pressed to imagine a better vacation. The fact that I'm urged to come back again soon is just the awesome sauce for this delicious dish ... I hope to do that very thing, and this time I won't let a dozen years pass between visits!
And what of the Rally itself? Much discussion about that, obviously, among me and my friends and throughout the blogosphere ... In the days preceding, I was chirping a lot about the new Silent Majority ... it seems Andrew Sullivan over at the Dish tapped into the same idea, but more correctly called it the Silent Plurality .... Spokesmen for our very goal-oriented society demanded to know what had been accomplished and were quick to see a 'missed opportunity' tho' none that I read were any quicker to define just what that opportunity would have consisted of had it not been 'missed' ... in my view, the point was to do it, the point was to show up ... I'm happy I had the chance to contribute to the roughly quarter-million head count. A collateral point is: we're just the ones who had the free time and the money and were able to make the effort -- plenty more feel like we do, but couldn't be there with us, for a multitude of reasons. But there ARE plenty more who feel like we do, and it would be a mistake to forget that.
24 OCT 10
I find it extraordinary that it's been nearly six months since the last post here ... that's a testament to the power of Social Networking sites having redirected my mojo, I guess ... following tweets turns out to be something like a full-time job, if your job happens to be answering the hotline at a self-regard feedback service. In addition, of course, there's been occasional posts to Facebook (of which I remain wary), a couple of blogs created mainly to help decide which platform I enjoy more -- currently using both Blogger and Wordpress, and investigating now the possibilities in Elgg. And, you know, keeping up with email, turning out the shows (thanks to my Muse, 2010 has seen a doubling in my output, and it's been high quality stuff, too), reading the news (I'm especially devoted to following the Daily Dish) ... and then there's that pesky full-time job that I remain grateful to have, single-handed maintenance of my home and property, which is another occasion for gratitude ... and finally, of course, all the hours dreamily spent contemplating the possibilities inherent in having a Muse to begin with (and, perhaps -- who knows -- to begin again with.)
But recently there's been more profound changes afoot, so let's briefly catalog them here: Numark/MixMeister have taken the decision to revamp the beatmixing.com community forum and kill the radio station after nearly 10 years of distinguished service to the MixMeister community members. For reasons discussed in depth elsewhere, this isn't entirely a bad thing -- the radio server has always been only barely up to the task which has been demanded of it, and most of the upkeep burden has fallen on Tepmix over the past four or five years; in addition, it never supported Mac users, which is a shame, since some of them probably made mixes worth hearing. Numark has no clear interest in continuing to absorb the cost, especially with the arrival on the scene of services like Soundcloud and Mixcloud -- and of course, I'd already started using Mixcloud, anticipating this day.
But there's more ... or there will be, soon, though now is clearly not the time to discuss it in public, not even on such an obscure publication as FLYpaper ... but suffice it to say, strong sentiment exists to ensure the community that once was thriving at beatmixing.com -- before it became little more than a bitch-fest for complaints about dev problems with the MM software (particularly as it concerned Mac users) -- has options other than to continue being connected with a software/hardware forum for unhappy customers. Hard work going on behind the scenes, my lovelies ... fresh blood, high hopes, good intentions, a scheme for the future: All this and more swirling around on the other side of the virtual curtain. Soon, I hope and anticipate, there will be announcements and pointers to new possibilities for the music lovers who have been following the BeatConscious project as it has developed over the years.
15 MAY 10
Love the DollQueen cover art:
My gamble? I'm betting on my Muse … to discover that sexuality is online everywhere, but for sensuality, you need to be there in the flesh.
11 APR 10
In addition to the main page write-up on the new set, I'll just slip off over here to FLYpaper to give a shout-out to the Muse, whose birthday today helped create a timeframe for uploading the latest set, (In this life) It All Comes Back 2 U, and also creates a resonance with the Bliss track that helps to close out this mix, "Breathe", and with its observation:
Have the courage of conviction
In everything you do
Cause every little action
Only falls on you
And I don't want excuses
To hear your bitterness
There's far too many people
Who want to give their best
I won't run
I won't hide
I only want to live
To live my life
Breathe of pain
I'm the ruler of my world
Breathe of peace
I'm the ruler of my world
In this light
In this life
In this love
It all comes back to you
I could be wrong, but it seems to me to be possible to overcome the ambient negativity and cynicism that we float in day to day, looking at the apparent hopelessness of changing the big picture, the constant campaign culture of leaders who should move on to governing once they are in office (whether national or local) ... it's so big, amorphous and difficult to grasp, much less to steer. But if we focus on component parts, and fixing the fixable ... if we grasp and steer a single process to better serve those who use it, isn't that something nourishing to the soul? To be the 'ruler' of anything is to take complete responsibility for it ... it all comes back 2 U.
20 MAR 10
Just want to make another pitch for the new links out that I talk about on the home page, since these FLYpaper posts tend to stay sticky longer:
If you check the links panel on the left side of the homepage, you'll see some new additions at the bottom ... links out to the FLYblog and to the FLY on Twitter. I know, I know ... you thought maybe I was above that stuff, and so did I. Life is full of little upsets like that .... But here's the thing: If, as I often say, I'm just here to spread the love of music and alert you to new and worthy additions to your musical connections, then we have to admit most of that alert-style communicating is the province of blogs and especially Twitter. Don't worry, if you follow or subscribe, I won't take a lot of your time ... I don't spend all day adding to the overall noise levels with every bit of ephemera that passes thru my mind -- just an alert when a new show is available for your consideration, or there is some music-related event worth celebrating. If you're actually interested in the ephemera, then by all means, check in here, where I feel free to ramble ...
14 MAR 10
As some folks have already heard, I have been making plans to visit China sometime this year, with a friend from work -- her parents still live there, and she regularly takes the grandkids back for a visit. We're still figuring out how to integrate this with work, and also keeping our eyes on the air fares. Well but so anyway, after reviving the original FLYblog on Blogger, I realized that I wouldn't be able to post to it from China because of the China - Google problems, which as I understand it extends to Google products/services like Blogger. OK, not to be dead-ended by that little contretemps, I fired up a second blog via WordPress, which I'm guessing won't run into the same problems, not being Google-served. So here ya go, the other blog: http://mmeflyword.wordpress.com/
So am I effectively gutting FLYpaper? Non, non, non ... don't think it for a minute. Problem with FLYpaper, though, is that as part of this BeatConscious site, which can only be updated through FrontPage (quiet in front, please -- I've heard all that before....) there is no way to post to it unless I'm within reach of my trusty web maintenance computers ... and those are items I won't be taking to China with me. I now have a notebook suitable for traveling, and while I'm out and about, it's my intention to blog regularly about the trip ... that way, even if the notebook is lost or stolen or has the hash x-rayed out of it at the airport security counters, I'll still have as much of a record of my trip as possible.
And that's why I work in the Planning Department ....
7 MAR 10
Seems I let the new year slip in without acknowledgement here ... but then, you were probably busy with your own amusements ... I know you don't let me slow you down
In the "because I can" category, I've re-energized the original blog I had established via Blogger back in 2002 ... for technical reasons having to do with creating a FrontPage website, as this one is, I could never really utilize the Blogger tools and FLYpaper became the default blog presence for me and mine. In the intervening years, all sorts of improvements in online life transpired: among others, Blogger was acquired by Google and blogging tools became more robust, as the marketing folks like to say. Noticing this (somewhat belatedly), I thought I might just fire up the blog again in this new environment and see what could be made out of it. Because it's so public -- unlike FLYpaper which more or less requires that you a) know it is here and b) seek it out -- I can imagine the blog serving a slightly different purpose: to announce new shows, highlight tracks which have been brought to my attention by artists or their labels, and otherwise be newsy ... FLYpaper, in this scenario, would continue to be a a venue for news of a more intimate variety ... you know, all that 'what I'm really thinking' stuff, one step up from the offline journal with the MYOB lock on it. Will it thrill? Will it last? Who can say ... it's def in the 'tune in next week' category of things that can be expected to morph over time, as the times demand.
Oh and, for the record, this winter in Florida has been among the coldest on record ... we've had 2 or 3 hard freezes and many, many mornings with frost on the ground and on the roofs, most recently this past Friday -- yes, frost on March 5th! If I was still in Maryland, I wouldn't even notice, but here? Here it's like a weather outrage ... and I'm not even one of the people that spent good money for a vacation in 'the sunny south' hoping to thaw their bones from what has been an even worse winter up north (as in, six feet of snow in some locations.) People can't catch a break this year, seriously. And yes, I do recognize that the suffering caused by those earthquakes in Haiti and Chile make muttering about the weather seem very silly in comparison.... I'll just hope that the coming summer storms don't give me something more significant to mutter about.
21 DEC 09
Not to be unfriendly, but ... the online community thing, the amount of time people spend engaged with one community or another, and the futility of expecting great things from multitasking have all been coming up lately ... two articles in particular will stand in for the multitude: In this morning's New York Times, yet another article on the siren song of Facebook and the lengths people go to in order to resist it and via The Daily Dish over the weekend, yet another nail in the coffin of multitasking as a reasonable way to approach things that actually need your attention. Good friends and online acquaintances have encouraged me over time to join a number of online communities, so you'll find FLYprints over at myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Gather and the like ... and you'll notice the dust gathering in each place as I find I just can't be bothered to visit, to update and to search out other community members to friend or otherwise connect with ... because people keep creating apps to amuse and engage us, but continually fail to provide any extra hours in the day to spend on these amusements ... in making the choice how to spend that niggardly amount of personal free time I have, things in my immediate space get the attention these days ... it takes all the time I have to allot to digital life just to check the email, visit the forums at beatmixing.com, and keep up with the Dish ... how people do more is baffling to me, but then I was always astonished to learn how much television the 'average' American watched ... for instance, this quote is from the LA Times in 2008: The average U.S. household watched TV for 8 hours and 18 minutes a day from September 2007 to September 2008, which is a record high since the days Nielsen Co. started measuring television in the 1950s. I mean, are they unemployed? Jeez Louise, how do you manage that? Well, but in the final analysis, who cares ... it's not a measure of me or a practice I aspire to ... at least, not until someone engineers an 48-hour day to pack it all into.
Speaking of which, you may already be aware that tonight, in the northern hemisphere, is the longest night of the year ... use it wisely
15 DEC 09
Well, what a fine mess it's been for the past two weeks, with the site off-line and a change of domain registrars to be gotten through ... and I hope we're there now. As part of the process, however (and always looking for that bright side) I found that the mmefly domains were available and scooped them up ... purpose as yet unknown, like all the rest of my life ahead.
It's time to drag out the Xmas tree again ... time to see what's been added to the goodies there.
29 NOV 09
I had a notion I've been wishing the world (or at least, those in the world who celebrate it) a Happy Thanksgiving each year, but a review of FLYpaper indicates otherwise ... odd: It's my favorite holiday, focusing as it does on sharing food and gratitude with friends and family. Maybe it's just that here on the internet, so large a percentage of possible readers of this page are from places where Thanksgiving either isn't a holiday at all, or is celebrated at a different time of the year, as in Canada. Well, this year at any rate, I will wish you well and specifically that you have both things to be thankful for and the consciousness to recognize them as such.
There's talk in the air of a possible trip to China in the spring ... my standard of excellence for travel is to stick to places where either I or my traveling companion(s) have fluency in the local language. One of life's gifts has been the Chinese friends I've made since I went to work at my present job ... just some folks who came to America about 15 years ago, settled down to complete their education, have some kids and basically go about the business of becoming Americans themselves. They've just gotten their citizenship in the past year. Her parents still live in China, and a trip is planned to take the kids to see their grandparents, whom I've met when they visited here. The kids won't know much Chinese either, but certainly more than I do ... I wonder how many phrases I could learn on the plane ride, if I had some program on my notebook to work with? It's a daunting language to take on; I've learned Russian and French -- and because of the similarities, can understand a bit of Spanish -- and only Russian comes close in terms of "foreign-ness" to the tongue (I'm certain I would've failed to hold up my end of any conversation outside a classroom, but at least I got a sense of it.) But traveling with the whole family, I'm likely to always be near someone who can help me understand.
Whether we'll be able to swing it will
depend on work and, of course, on the economy, but as far as the cost to
me, I'm having one of those What are you saving the money for anyway
moments. It really is time to start having those, when it comes
to big opportunities like China.
4 NOV 09
I really have nothing in particular to add, except a shout-out to my Muse ... you keep me guessing, I won't deny it.
17 OCT 09
Not that my intention is to turn this into a video links page, but sometimes there's a Mental Health Break at the Dish that's just too good to walk away from ... such is the case with "A Day at the Office" or what I call Cube Dub:
And I'm here to tell you, this rocks regardless of whether or not you have fond memories of the Backstreet Boys ...
26 SEP 09
19 SEP 09
Been awhile, but don't worry, I've been busy ... whatever the jam up was earlier this year, it seems to be over for the moment.
Because I posted a video about MJ when he died, and he was never even at the top of my personal list once he got strange and started carving up that pretty face, I'm not gonna pass up the opportunity now to reference Prince ... following the discussion at the TNC blog at The Atlantic, I was reminded of his track "Kiss" and educated as to how it strikes the men folks ... and I note the folks over at the TNC blog are backin' me up on this in the on-going Mike vs. Prince discussion ... esp. 'ellaesther', if I may quote it:
See, now, I know exactly what she's
saying ... especially about how his dance-moves bumpin & grinding wasn't
even a little bit sexy ... meh. Check the show from Prince in the
video for "Kiss" ...
heheh ... it reminds me, especially there at the end, of a remark I made elsewhere recently -- don't stand behind me if you're talking to me ... there's really only one good reason to be doing that ... well, two, if you count robbery. Prince knows....
So anyway, I gave myself a little 3-day weekend, in observance and celebration of the fact that it's one more year and I haven't been voted off the island yet ... with any luck I'll still be giving myself 3-day weekends for this reason long after I've forgotten where that metaphor came from ...
18 JUL 09
Well, the hits just keep on coming ... but even "hits" has more than one meaning, like so much in the world ... I talk elsewhere about the ability of music to provide an electrical charge ... from all the contextual emotions that it evokes and that's certainly what was underlying just about every mix-tape I ever made once I got past the simple pleasure of just putting all my current favorite tunes together on a cassette ... beginning in the late 70's / early 80's with Sparky's Radio and Billies, to name just two, these were the years of the message in a bottle motivation behind the assemblages ... if we were meant to know each other better, then the spark would be in the mix and that spark getting to you would be evident to me in your reaction to the music ... or as I also confess elsewhere, Yes, I'm a big fan of Nick Hornby's book/film High Fidelity ...
Having gotten news recently that carried it's own sort of electrical charge (both shocking and energizing), I had the reaction most natural to me: I made another mix-tape, or in this case, a new show for the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio. It's written up on the home page where that link above will take you.
One of these days, I hope to launch a podcast site that will provide a place for revisiting some of those early mix-tapes ... a chance to hear once again some of the great music captured there, as well as sharing my thoughts on the context and the emotions of the times in which they were created ... and I promise, you'll be able to have it either way, with commentary or without.
26 JUN 09
RIP Michael Jackson ...
And this one, of course:
What's most profoundly sad to me about the second one is the disconnect between his older self's look of love and appreciation for the phantom child at the end of the song, and the carving away of all visible evidence of that younger self in Jackson's real life ... combine that with the actual lyric of the song because, of course, no matter how much we try to carve away our childhood selves, they will always be there ...
24 MAY 09
My 3-day weekend, in observation of Memorial Day and, as I note on the main page, I'm spending at least part of the time creating a memorial to a fallen comrade, in this case a MM Community member who we learned had lost his battle with cancer earlier this year ... normally I would think twice about employing the common "battle" metaphor for describing the arc of the cancer experience ... but as this IS Memorial Day, meant to remember and honor those fallen in battle, I can concede ... if, someday, it falls to me also to be contending for my life against cancer, I'll know better whether "battle" is the best metaphor ....
The rest of my time, I'm investigating the extent to which free time (that is: time upon which no one and no thing has any demands) is the essence of the long weekend. Of course, I have chores to do, like everyone else ... the normal weekend stuff plus anything extra that I might only undertake when I had an extra day at my disposal ... but I tried yesterday to simply dally around and have some moments, at any rate, of doing, really, nothing. It's hard. It might be impossible, especially if reading, for instance, counts as doing something (most people I know who read for enjoyment give it a pass, considering that time spent reading is free of common obligation and freeing to the spirit.) You could say I'm trying to plumb the full extent of being unobligated, and once I've had my fill, I'll look for the next thing to commit my time to ... that makes it all sound like just another chore, if only an intellectual one ... perhaps in hindsight it will seem so.
But for now, sweet peace and freedom.
26 APR 09
Not so much new ... season is winding down, which leads to some frantic partying on the part of those headed back north for the summer, and so I am content to follow along and let the festivities play themselves out ... it's been a troubled time at work in some regards and in others, just unsettled ... new seating assignments, the constant drumbeat of the budget battle ... worse for some other folks and as we have been cautioned: before you start to celebrate just remember that those folks won't be happy and they might just blame their bad fortune on your good fortune ... I think we're all adopting that most useful of Yogic postures, Keeping The Head Down.
But all this stuff is making Uncle Mo nervous and he's staying away most of the time ... which gives me an opportunity to rework another classic mix from the past ... this time it's FreeFall ... new CD cover and all (links on the home page.)
30 MAR 09
Can it really have been so many months between updates on FLYpaper? Well, the numbers don't lie ... most of what I've had to share has gone on the main page, including this bit:
So, later has arrived and I can tell you we got to have our "reunion" which was actually more like our first opportunity to really get to know each other ... that first encounter in Key West having been very brief despite being crucial to my musical development ....
I talked my friend Beth into accompanying me to South Beach to share the weekend and to (finally) get an insider's look at one bit of the world I spend my time in ... she agreed to come along, which made the weekend much more agreeable in terms of travel, economics and simply having a friend along to talk to ... We arrived on Friday and were able to get together with Donald (Tranceporter) on Saturday for a visit to his pied a terre at the Icon and lunch at the rooftop restaurant there ... the view was spectacular, as witness the pic:
Donald, since the time I met him in Key
West, has had a grand life, but I won't impose on you with the details ...
suffice to say, things turned out as well for him as I ever could have
wanted for a friend, and surely it's a testament to what a sweet man he
Tomorrow: back to reality.
30 NOV 08
In a word, best Thanksgiving in a long long time ... I'd write more, but it's still on-going and I want to jump back in before the party's over ... between the election and this, can't help but feel blessed ... and then I read the papers (Mumbai this time) and it takes the edge down just a bit .... Oh, and I should mention Aaron -- let go from Numark just ahead of the holiday ... which simply goes to show no one is immune from the downside ... part of today and the upcoming week will be the MM mods, mulling this over....
5 NOV 08
11 OCT 08
Main page has info about the newest upload to both the BeatConscious show and the Live365 stream, and the bliss we have to share with you ... but in those moments when I'm not feeling so blissful, I just have to ask ....
Trying again for the vacation soon ... gas supplies no longer seem to be an issue holding back my journey ... and the prospect of being where there is a little less media barrage during each day is starting to seem like it might be beneficial to my mental health.
29 SEP 08
First, happy birthday, Mom....
Second, can it really be only 8 days since I was thinking I'd get that vacation trip to NC? Well, it seems Ike had its way with my travel plans after all: virtually the entire southeastern U.S. is without gasoline ... or it's in such short supply that there's rationing and gouging ... Naturally, I'm not heading out for a driving vacation in a land that has no fuel ... I'm taking a four-day weekend instead, and planning to try again in maybe 3 weeks, depending on the improvement in the fuel supply. Sheesh....
And then there's the bail-out, which has been pretty riveting ... along with the campaign, it's provided plenty of what I suppose you could call entertainment. I could probably say more, much more, but the babble has already drowned out most everyone's thoughts, so I'll hold my fire.
So, anyhow, with the storm scene
supposedly quiet for now, I can pack my kit and get away for a week ...
hopefully will see the Biltmore and more of Asheville this time ... and
put in a little study effort during the day while Jaron is at work.
This update wouldn't be complete without
acknowledgement of the very excellent birthday party I shared with Rex at
his and Karen's house ... it occurred to me that I don't really appreciate
how much I miss those guys until we actually get together and I have such
a great time and realize the space they occupy in my life ... I'm lucky to
know them and their friends and relatives, and Frank & Margaret who also
came ... only Beth and David were missing, and they'll be back in town in
less than two months ...
Seems I've covered everything except the meltdown of the financial markets ... this is one exceedingly bad boogie that we're likely to carry far into the future. Now all those kids I didn't have can thank me for not shackling them to this trillion-dollar debt ... the mind reels.
As I mentioned on the main page, I took the opportunity provided by TS Fay to update the L365 show ... for the first time, I hit the DMCA compliance checker calling out "too many tracks" by a single artist or from a single album ... of all the roadblocks they could've put up, please please help me understand how that particular one protects and improves any artist's economic prospects. There's a sense in which I'd drop the L365 station just out of a disinclination to contribute anything to the world as the RIAA sees it ... it's easy to imagine this being the last year for BeatConscious on Live365.
In fact, BeatConscious show production has more than a little competition at the moment, primarily because the upcoming elections (local and national) have proven to be powerful distractants ... and why not, with so much hanging in the balance. But there's more ... I've taken on the challenge of learning a new web-authoring software, with an eye toward firing up the dot-net version of BeatConscious, possibly to host and serve up podcast versions of the stream. Yep, it's a little premature to discuss it, since I can't imagine making it real before next year ... but at this point, it certainly does demand some time and attention. And the more I dislike the game at L365, the more incentive I have to push in this new direction ...
And there's the prospect of a late-summer vacation still to be sorted out. Depending (always depending!) on the weather in September and whether or not there's any storm damage to clean up, I would make the drive one more time to visit NC and experience whatever the new reality is there, compared to my last visit. But, even though I've claimed those days off from work, the final decision on whether to make the trip is still to be determined.
13 JUL 08
This is all about Independence Day 2008 ... and why it was more significant to me this year than probably any other year I can remember. Oddly, it has nothing to do with political concerns, which have been running high this year, of course. It has to do with personal independence or perhaps it's appropriate to say, the end of co-dependence. At any rate, through nothing I've done in particular, I find that this year (about six years since since my ex became an "ex") is the year I really feel like I've moved on ... like I've become not only accustomed to my current circumstances, but actually deeply comfortable with them. That turns out to be the true gift to me arising out of the 10-day visit just ended ... to experience the endless commotion associated with the high drama that seems to be the hallmark of his life is to know how little tolerance I have for that approach and how fundamentally puzzling I find it -- that someone would choose to live that way. If I may just quote The Boss: Your life is one long emergency. I find I don't any longer miss being part of it.
There was a time when I couldn't really understand people who talked about danger and adventure and thrill-seeking as something that made them "feel alive". I'd think, how can you see a flower or a sunrise or walk in the rain or lie in the grass and not feel alive? It was a mystery for the longest time ... until I came to recognize that adrenaline, which all our bodies produce in response to stress or excitement, is a drug just like any other drug ... and that some folks actually become addicted to this drug: the Adrenaline Junkies ... constantly putting themselves in harm's way just to experience the rush. I'm pretty sure the ex qualifies as one of that group.
Well, at any rate and for whatever reason, I wake up this Sunday morning, back to my solitary routine, my community activities, my commitments to my friends, and I'm delighted with my circumstances. The future isn't clear -- in fact, the future looks pretty dicey for most Floridians and for many other Americans, and I'm well aware that I may have very little to be delighted about this time next year ... but right here, right now, I am content and I feel like I've made the right choices. Can't ask for more than that.
27 APR 08
It's been work work work, as expected ... but the end is in sight. And besides, I still HAVE a job, which is increasingly a good thing as well as good luck. Will it last? There's no telling ... but if things change for the worse, you'll be among the first to know.
My ex is a complete computer dinosaur, but he's hitched up his big-boy pants, gotten himself a laptop and posted his own ad on Craig's List ... he has a house in North Carolina that he's interested in selling and/or renting while he gets the rest of his life sorted out. If you're in the market for that kind of thing, have a look here: http://asheville.craigslist.org/rfs/654899541.html I think it may already have garnered a few offers, but that's no reason you shouldn't have a look.
And what about you -- what's new with you? You can always drop me a line and let me know: talkback (at) beatconscious.org ....
10 FEB 08
The New Year came and went without much drama, I'd say ... work is crushing right now, an avalanche generated by the attempt to get a little something called "Hometown Democracy" on the ballot next November ... that attempt failed but the work-load remains behind like litter in the street after a parade. The effects should be felt right on through the end of April ... and then we quiet down for a spell, I think. Layoffs are still promised for the future; indeed, we're told entire departments of County government may disappear. At best, I'm likely to wind up with that four-day work-week I've always wanted ... with a concomitant 20% cut in my take-home pay. I'll do my best to have fun with it ...
12 NOV 07
If you asked me what's been occupying my mind so much over the past 45 days, I guess I'd say the on-going drama at work ...who will have to go, who will get to stay ... and even then, for how long? As the country slides into recession (or so it seems at this point) and jobs in local government confer no particular immunity from the retreat (or -- as in the case of Florida -- lead the charge to the rear) I guess we'll all find out a little something about belt-tightening ... all except the folks at the very top. Which is why I'm a big fan of the candidacy of John Edwards ... though I have no illusions he'll get to be my president.
For now, the weather is lovely, friends have returned to Florida for the winter, another couple who are rebuilding their home (damaged in 2004 by Hurricane Charley and finally demolished late last year) are hoping to finish by the end of the year and have something to celebrate for 2008 ... there's always a little something on the plus side to balance out the bad news. Or so we hope.
30 SEP 07
Well, been there and back ... North Carolina turned out to be just lovely and even though all the natives told me the weather was exceptional and that I had really lucked out, I'll probably continue to imagine that it is just a perfect spot ... at least until I visit again and hit a heat wave or something else disagreeable. I stayed in a lovely area in the SW part of the state, and I call my host's home his "Bowl o'Greens" ... here's why:
But the real eye-opener was Asheville ... I barely saw it (just enough time for a short walk around downtown, dinner and a show at the Orange Peel) but what I saw was very encouraging. I can imagine returning to find out more ... who knows, it may turn out to be the perfect Plan B.
For now, I'm happy to be back home and sniffing a bit of fall freshness in the air ... stepping out to get the newspaper this morning perked me up. I had the usual assortment of home maintenance issues to confront when I got back, but they just make me feel like I'm doing something important to justify my existence here ... otherwise, it'd be too perfect, right?
9 SEP 07
Those rains turned out to be spotty, for which we can thank the Bermuda High that's been huggin' the east coast all summer. Much as the rain would cool things down, it's that Bermuda High that is keeping storms from hooking up out of the Caribbean, into the Gulf and onward into Florida. So, what can I say ... I'll take it. In the meantime, even the "rain forest" section of NC that is my vacation destination is dry as a bone; water restrictions and outdoor burning prohibitions are in place. I expect that will be more pleasant for me, the visitor, than living with it full time is for the residents of the area ... all I need to do is figure out the right clothes to pack and I'm set.
I hope to visit Asheville and see if it seems like a welcoming place ... who knows, I may need to find my own FLA alternative, depending on how badly the clever fellows in Tallahassee hose up the state's finances and prospects for the future. (If you can find it online, the New York Times ran a fascinating article in it's Sunday Magazine last week entitled Nature's Casino ... it tells you everything I've been saying about FLA's approach to risk, and says it authoritatively. Check it out.)
For the time being, I received a great evaluation at work and while we all know it probably won't generate much of a raise (my County Commissioner wants us to work without any increases at all ... I wonder how she would pay my bills on my salary?) it was still good to garner praise and have the past year's efforts acknowledged.
See ya this time about two weeks from now ... with any luck at all.
5 AUG 07
Finally, the rains came ... and although the typical Florida afternoon rains pattern is disrupted, we're not currently in danger of becoming ash and smoke .... Now, instead, we can concentrate on what's expected to develop during this hurricane season. The "pre-season" has been very quiet, and in fact, forecasts for this summer have all dropped the number of storms predicted, some more than others ... the one we pay attention to comes from those lads in London, the same one all the insurers follow ...
That said, August and September are the high-risk months in anyone's book, so we're starting to be wary now. I've paid half the cost of a new generator to have my old one repaired ... a new carburetor was required. Post-Charley, I was too hammered emotionally to attend to little things like starting and running the generator every week in order to keep it from gumming up ... besides, who wanted to ever hear a freakin' generator run again? Well, the price for that neglect was pretty steep, and even today, with the new hardware, I can't get it running ... it takes someone with more body mass than a FLY to haul away on that starter cord and get results. I have to believe that in the event of losing power again for a significant time, I can find someone to help me get it going.
In addition to the expected (and unexpected) changes resulting from the Property Tax Reform movement that took wing as a result of climbing valuations during the recent home price run-up, Florida has gone into an economic tailspin as the housing bubble has (predictably!) burst and the sub-prime melt-down has gutted the national mortgage markets.
We Floridians, whose economy unfortunately has no basis other than real estate sales and development (well, OK, tourism counts, but in reality, the hope is that those tourists are going to buy vacation homes) are faced with massive government budget shortfalls and the resulting belt-tightening in public sector employment. I'm seeing friends at work get cut and wondering about the long-term prospects for my own job. Things seem to have stabilized for the time being, but as we are often reminded, this will be a five-year process at the end of which (in the absence of yet another real estate boom/bubble) there may be very little local government left functioning. The prospects are pretty ugly if you work for local government, and actually not much more encouraging if you only depend on local government for services. Watch out what you wish for.....
I wonder if I'll be saying that about the trip to NC that's been proposed for late September? By then, the mountains could seem like a refuge ... or a distraction ... or (in the tradition of "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar") simply a vacation after a hard year ... we shall see.
2 JUL 07
We're in the run-up to the July 4th holiday, but the question of fireworks is tricky this year ... drought conditions that are starting to seem permanently embedded argue against setting off anything that could generate a deadly spark. Here's a peek inside the befuddled heads of Florida lawmakers ... Charlotte County banned the sale of fireworks, to protect us all from inadvertent blazes ... the State Legislature, bowing to pressure from fireworks merchants, forced the recission of that ban ... so the merchants can (as is their god-given right, apparently) continue to sell devices that sheer common sense argues against using. However, local authorities can still declare a "no open burning" law, in which case those fireworks you bought cannot be lighted. So, you may have spent the paycheck on fireworks ... tough! You're out the money but at least the merchants are happy. I dunno ... does that seem messed up? I guess there's a point of view that says, if someone is mindless enough to want to buy fireworks in these conditions, they deserve to have wasted their money. But still....
Just waiting at home today for the generator repairman ... in the twisted logic of my world, I'm happy to pay money to get the generator running even though some say it won't be needed this year either ... happy to spend the money if the Law of the Unprepared-For Event dictates there will turn out to have been no need for it .... Here's hoping the Brits are right about this year's prospects.
17 JUN 07
Speaking of blogs (as I was on May 26th) I came across a new column by my favorite curmudgeon, John Dvorak, writing for PC Mag online ... he calls it This Digitally Mundane Life. Here's the link to the PC Mag page. However, and I hope John won't hold it against me, I really must quote a bit of it here (the better to entice you into reading the entire thing, obviously....)
Well, I hear you asking, my point is? Uh, obviously I agree with the guy ... even as I type this, um, blog (or online journal, or virtual Howdy! or whatever it is to whichever of you is reading it) I recognize that it's for me as much (or more) than it is for you ... I, at least, will reliably return to read it ... I, if no one else, will get the humor, understand the references and appreciate the effort that was expended to create this look into yet one more digital life. And when I'm gone, or can't afford the electricity to run my computers, or the DSL line to upload my musings to the internet, or that new prescription for my glasses so I can see what the hell I'm typing in 10 pt Verdana ... well, then it will quietly disappear from the now and will live on only in the past ... a past that will be kept alive to some degree by the most diligent Google searchers.
I'm not saying that makes me Ozymadias ... but between Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Dvorak, I do have a better grip on the value of this page ...
26 MAY 07
Not much of a blog, is it? Well, arguably, if you're busy living, you may not have time to also be recording much of that life, but I know some people drink more coffee, stay up later, work less or play less, and generally just find the time ... and by now, there are thousands or hundreds-of-thousands of them turning out blogs on every conceivable subject -- obviously, you won't lack for reading material as long as you have the electricity to keep you connected to the internet ... So, if you come here, it's not to measure my productivity, but to take a peek at the latest thoughts to make it to the page and measure my mood, instead.
The mood today is good, thanks for checking. It was the worker's trifecta -- the weekend, make that a 3-day holiday weekend, and payday. Plus the arrival of a little gift from my pal in North Carolina, guaranteed to improve my mood ... But wait, that's not all: last night was dinner at the Perfect Caper and I took two folks for whom it was a new experience ... foodies like me, they loved it (of course) and will, in turn, take other friends. And so that's my way of showing appreciation to owner James and Chef Jeannie for all that fabulous food over the years: Live long and prosper, you two.
But even that isn't all ... new music in the form of CDs from CDBaby arrived on Thursday, and this morning, my emusic.com subscription reloaded and I pulled in another 65 tracks from them ... as if that weren't enough, Saru opened his vaults to the downtempo list folks and I had the chance to acquire most of his catalog, including the new release, Machine, out on iTunes this week. I am, without a doubt, swimming in music right now ...
So ... if you are in the mood to measure my mood, you'll have figured out that it is quite good, and with good reason. And it's important to acknowledge that, to say that out loud and to publish it ... because before too long (if the forecasting is right this year) the winds will be howling, the rain will be lashing down and maybe various parts of this structure I call home will be snapping off and flying down the street. And at that point, it'll be worthwhile remembering that it was once this good and remembering to believe that it will be this good again someday.
Which is exactly the same advice I gave Jaron this morning ... if it's good for him, honey, it's good for me, too.
No fooling, this was the FLY back in the day:
Any resemblance to Bob Dylan was purely intentional (all that's missing in this picture is my copy of Bringing It All Back Home, which is a shame since that cover art was itself a photo referencing the other photos shown in it....) In any event, I'm considering seeding this pic around and about in place of existing avatars ... partly, it's a reminder to myself of those years when people like me actually stood up and protested what we perceived as illegal wars, ready to go to jail if need be for the right to make our beliefs manifest. But, of course ... when ya got nothing, ya got nothing to lose. Nowadays, we wait for things to implode under the weight of their own internal inconsistencies (e.g., I said it was the truth but it was actually a lie....) which either demonstrates a touching faith in the power of the universe to sort things out, or the extreme fecklessness of people.
Despite my own uselessness in this respect, I do support grassroots action to help change opinion ... for instance, on the subject of the RIAA's move to impose punitive new royalties on internet radio. You might ask, what about terrestrial radio, don't they have to pay royalties also? Yep, but remember, terrestrial radio is snugly in the pocket of the corporate music industry ... whether through outright payola or a less-criminal willingness simply to go along in order to get along, terrestrial radio is the marketing handmaiden of corporate music -- they play the designated hits and shun all those distracting little indie music entities so as to focus public attention on what the industry is peddling most vigorously.
Internet radio doesn't play the game ... internet radio DJs are interested in serving the niche music tastes that are still so abundant in this country, despite the efforts of commercial radio to anesthetize those non-conforming tastes. With a global reach and their own personal musical passions fueling their shows, internet radio offers a kind of "reality radio" versus the plastic-packaging approach of commercial terrestrial radio ... internet radio DJs are, by definition, off message and they know you appreciate it, because of the ever-increasing numbers of committed listeners.
But ... oops! They are not serving the corporate music industry, they are competing with it for available ears ... and so they must be stopped ... or, at least slowed down. And that's where the increase in royalties comes in, cause nothing will slow down the non-commercial radio stream like pricing it out of existence.
Do I really have to say Don't let this happen!! I hope I'm preaching to the choir today: I hope you are writing your Congressman to protest this outrage because you care about your right to listen to the music you want.
Well, here we go again, with the congressional lackeys of the RIAA attempting once more to shut down internet radio streams via punitive royalties. Forgive me if I resort to a little copy/paste, since this is much discussed on various forums and why reinvent the wheel:
Posted by Tepmix on the MixMeister Community Forum:
And I found the following information courtesy of Chauncey Canfield on the downtempo list:
Just to repeat that tip from Chauncey: Write your letters the conventional way, don't email your representatives. Emails don't count, they don't have the same impact on the Congressional mailroom that bags and bags of letters from constituents have. Play to win and write that letter.
Aaggghhhh ... well OK, between that and the home page details, I'm hoping you get the message
I've wanted to post a page about The Worst President in Our History for a while ... but now Jane Smiley, a much much better writer than I am, has done it for me on HuffingtonPost.com. You can find the link as well as the article here on the Peace page, posted as a public service for all the pressed-for-time folks that pass thru these pages on their way to elsewhere....
The Huffington Post provided another excellent opinion piece in the form of Paul Loeb's "A Storm of Denial" ... primarily about the vicious mid-December storm that hit the northwest USA, downing huge trees and causing widespread loss of power and other services. Of interest to me as a Florida resident caught up in the "insurance crisis" was the roll-call of recent national weather catastrophes that Loeb's piece provides. One of the possible answers to this state's insurance crises is a national Cat Fund (catastrophe funds pool) but usually when this subject comes up, you'll hear people say that "folks in less prone areas don't want to pay for Floridians to live in harm's way." What Loeb's article (and other national disaster tracking information) clearly shows is that we all live in harm's way when it comes to weather-related damage ... and the concept that Florida (or any coastal state) would be getting a free ride at the expense of their countrymen ignores that reality as well as the reality that we are all one nation ... a nation that cannot thrive without the ability to have a safe and stable population along it's coastline, providing the huge economic input represented by shipping, fishing, oil-drilling, tourism, agriculture, cattle ranching and the million other enterprises that characterize life along the coastline of the United States ... Hey, it's like the man says: "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later...."
Should there be some "marking the New Year" words here, as well? OK, then ... make this a year for changes and for completing whatever was left undone last year ... make this a year for seeing old things with new eyes, which will perhaps lead to thinking about old things in new ways ... or perhaps to deciding that they are no longer worth thinking about.
Florida people: Appreciate that 2006 was a breather from the storm destruction but that 2007 makes no such promises ... prepare to be overwhelmed by the cost of living here and underwhelmed by the ideas of politicians for improving those conditions ... start thinking about where else in the world looks better, and don't be surprised if no other place that you know seems any more promising than this.
USA people: You've been bowed down so long, willing to be scared into accepting the worst from those with no right to lead other than their willingness to be the worst and call it necessary ... but you're starting to become dismayed, it seems ... at least, the midterm elections would suggest that ... so act on it ... choose change and make it real ... and most importantly, make it better.
I have two resolutions for the coming year ... some people feel like resolutions don't count unless you make them public ... it's sort of like joining AA and admitting to being an alcoholic ... now that everyone's heard you say it, you're under more pressure to live up to the need for change. But I find I don't really work that way ... that's a method meant for other-directed people and time has seemed to confirm that I'm an inner-directed person ... I only have to talk the talk to myself to create the pressure to walk the walk ... what you think about me won't make me be any better than what I think about myself. So ... I have two resolutions and I think they are manageable and they will improve my life, or so I believe. And if you are really curious as to how that turns out, then be here in December, and we'll catch up on all that ....
But for now, enjoy your own New Year's Day in the way that pleases you best.
After the thumpin' came the drubbing, in the form of the Iraq Study Group report ... or report card as I like to think of it ... I'm not sure whether that bunch will take the failing grade seriously, or whether they'll just pretend it was an E for effort, as folks used to say ... if it sounds like I have very little faith in the current administration, then I'm communicating efficiently. In any event, they can play it off if they like, because there's plenty of people out in the world keeping score now ... some are saying "told you so" and if you want to read a bit more in this vein, you can check out the Peace page ....
Veteran's Day slots in quite nicely after the mid-term elections, in which the Bush administration -- by the President's own estimation -- was handed a thumpin' ... as well they should have been. Well, like the pundits are so fond of saying -- the people have spoken ... and let's not mistake what they've said: they voted AGAINST Republicans, not FOR Democrats, and the Democratic Party will have to come up with some really substantive effort in order to make anything lasting out of this expression of disgust with Bush and his crew. Can they do it? I came up with a metaphor for the process that's ahead of them ... you can check it out on the Peace page ....
You know you can help ... just do it.
Aaarrrgh. New laptop ... trying to make it part of my network and my broadband connection ... should have been simple, but I just spent over 2 hours on the phone with the nicest Embarq tech guy ... having many an "ooops" moment because my set-up (w/ a hub and an ancient modem) is so outside their information set ... at one point, I had lost my LAN and my internet connectivity on every unit in the room ... to top it off, this poor guy tried to get guidance from his supervisors and ended up getting reprimanded for spending so much time on a non-support issue (if one PC is connected OK, then technically they feel you don't need support ... oooooK.) My counter-point was that I didn't actually have a problem until after I'd applied the support suggestions therefore they owed me time / support to get back to where I had been ... in the end, I figured that out myself, but still don't have connectivity on the new lappy ... and now I don't even want to call Toshiba support, JIC they hose up my connection also.
On the plus side, Embarq is sending me a modern modem (mine was 6 years old) and *they say* I won't have this kind of trouble in the future. Wanna bet?
Anyhow, that wasted the better part of my Sunday morning .... hope to make better use of the rest of the day ...
OK, though it pains me to admit it, myspace finally was good for something ... somehow the collective network of friends reached out and touched one of my favorite musician/composers, Sven Van Hees ... you might know him from The Money Groove Pt.2 from April 2003, when Too Many Captain Beefhearts was the song to know ... or maybe you remember Matrass Mambo from the Lucky set in January 2002, or What Do You Seeee? from later that same year in the Here's Your Heatwave set. I used a couple from the Calypso album later in 2003, and was still loving tracks from that album when 2005 rolled around. In other words, Sven van Hees is a favored flavor on BeatConscious and I'll have to say I was smiling when I saw that Add request ...
If only the rest of life were that nice ... as for the walking on air bit, oh, you knew that couldn't last, didn't you?
I've been walking on air a bit lately ... can't say why ... or don't dare ... so don't ask.
I've been considering a new blog-style page, musings on the mixes, the choices that guided the selecting and comments on the transitions, etc. But I really have to ask myself: does the world need yet another music blogger? And how is a blog different from the pages I already produce for BeatConscious.org? Aren't Blogger and the others mainly just for people who don't otherwise maintain a web presence? The fact is, I only have the luxury to consider this sort of thing because of the lack, so far this year, of any seriously damaging storms, plus the reality that it's too damned unpleasant outside to be inviting ... more time for the life inside (if I can just forget about all the weeding that needs doing in my garden....)
We'll see how things develop ... blogwise, mixwise and otherwise.
Gettin on toward the second anniversary of the destruction from Charley ... maybe we should have moved on by now, but with parts of the town still wrecked, blue tarps still on roofs, and people struggling to deal with the new costs and restrictions surrounding homeowner's insurance, it's harder to forget what happened than it might be if we lived in North Carolina. There's some pain ... and then I think about New Orleans, and get stern with myself.
And even if you're from New Orleans, and you think you have every right to feel bad, bruised and cut adrift ... even then, there's someone worse off than you are. Por exemplo, consider the people of Iraq ... allow me to direct your attention to this article from the New York Times. To try thinking about what the average citizen in Iraq is going through really beggars the imagination ... I want to write more angry words about it all, but nothing I can say could be as powerful as this look at the cost of war.... I just remember that fool on ChilledBeats.org who argued with me incessantly (from post to post) about the total rightness of the newly-undertaken war ... where is that guy today, I wonder? Still being an apologist for the most embarrassing and demoralizing period in American history since I started keeping score? Hey Buddy: Abu Ghraib? Gitmo? They'll greet us with flowers? Does it still look oh so simple and oh so right from where you sit?
OK, so I got that off my chest. Now go enjoy the music, that's what I'm going to do. I have another indie mix in the works to add to the new one uploaded at the end of July, Indie Summer. And probably another session from My 80s Radio will drop before too long also. Join me on mmRadio or Live365 and if you like what you hear, drop me a line to say so.
Getting ready ...
It's official, the first tropical system of this 2006 storm season has whirled into life in the Gulf (this time of year, they start here ... later on, they come chugging across the Atlantic from Africa) and should bring us some of that rain we need ... heavy rain but not much else, or so we hope. So I'll be starting my first tentative storm protection preparation routine, which will be putting up a few of the storm shutters (leaving the total lockdown for an actual hurricane alert.) The ones I put up now mean less time spent when time is short to really prepare ... and also, the ones I put up now cut down on the intense sunlight entering the house, which means lower cooling bills for the summer ... I like the way that works out.
The next step (don't laugh) is to rearrange my closets. Superficially, this may appear profoundly "girly" but here's the thinking: At some point, I'll feel like it makes sense to take down the art, plastic-bag it and wedge it all into the closets along with a few bits and pieces of computer hardware ... the art is really the core of what makes my house unique, that and my music collection and the contents of my computer hard drives. So I tend to want to secure these things to the extent possible -- that way, if there is a storm that tears the roof off this sucka, the things I treasure most have the best chance of staying put.
And naturally, thinking about the increasing possibilities of shutting down computers and securing them, I think of updating the site ... just so you know I'm not sleepin on it ... I'm getting ready.
Back from the vacation ... got my computer stuff reet ... plundering the vinyl collection and finally reworking the dozens of 80s and 90s mixtape sets that have beckoned for so long ... looking to have the first of these uploaded before the day is out.
The vacation was sufficiently awesome, even considering the hated air travel there and back ... oh, if only I had so much time at my disposal that I could drive ... yeah, yeah, I know I'm nuts, statistically speaking (greater risk of accident) but driving serves my purpose of doing things in my own time frame, not on some arbitrary (airline) schedule ... and believe me, to put up with all their requirements, rules and regulations (even leaving security measures out of the picture), I shouldn't also have to devote a 12-hour day to getting to LA and back. But, hey ... that's all the option I had.
Is it necessary to say that Southern California is gorgeous? Thought not. And I'm sure the real estate there is worth every penny, if those are the pennies you get paid ... my annual pile of pennies is somewhat smaller, of course, and so I won't be moving to LA anytime soon (unless Bess and Ron put a little guest cottage out back ... nudge, nudge.) But I loved being there, among people whose brains work a little bit more like mine than the brains I normally encounter here at home ... I loved the weather, even the coastline fog, actually, though I'd hate to have to commute to work in it. The food was superb, the few times we ate out (we all prefer to cook for ourselves, as a rule.) I'll be headed back as soon as time and funds permit ....
While visiting the LA contingent, I was treated to the kind of cable TV I never get to see at home ... including the Bill Maher show ... it'll be a long time before I forget his riff on Bush's popularity rating plummeting, in the wake of the NSA data-gathering news, to 29% ... as Maher said, "It's hard out there for a chimp" ... getting a raucous response from all the "Hustle and Flow" fans in the audience.
As for the amazing
Steven Colbert appearance at the Washington
Press Corps dinner, my friends showed me the Google video stream version
and I made a link to the Huffington Blog item: Is Stephen Colbert the Last
One to Know How Amazing He Was?
OK, well I guess we all know where I stand on this stuff ...
The other outrageous media thing I encountered were CDs of the performances by comic Robert Schimmel ... this guy is thoroughly demented, wickedly smart, deeply deeply filthy and had me falling out of my chair laughing with every line ... highly recommend, but only if you are not easily offended.
As for the new era of ripping my vinyl to the hard drive and reworking all those juicy sets from back in the day, you can read more about all that on the main page ....
Oh, and I guess I have to post my screed against the insurance industry ... as Floridians and other coastal dwellers are painfully aware, the insurance industry is in the process of pulling away from the business they write for such property owners, either not signing up new customers or dumping existing customers (while many of these same insurance companies are posting enormous profits for the past year and others are simply declaring bankruptcy, leaving their "insured" customers without recourse or hope.) And of course, they are making this move in the face of projections that the current run of "unusually heavy" storm seasons are part of a multi-decadal system that may last 30 years total, and we're in about the 10th year.
Not that I haven't myself, at one time or another, wondered about people who build mansions on barrier islands or right on the beach and then complain about wind and water damage from hurricanes ... but the fact is that mankind goes to the water, preferentially, to build ... in the past, for practical considerations (nearest to food opportunities, for instance) and presently because it's simply beautiful there, whether by the sea or by a river or a lake ... any one of which can cause flood damage. But tornados cause destruction too, and they hit the land-locked heartland as often, or more so, than hurricanes hit the coast ... should insurers pull back from those areas also?
When I raise this issue, I normally think of it this way: What if the police quit whenever there was a crime wave? What if the doctors and nurses quit whenever there was an epidemic? People are quick to point out to me that those are professions that come complete with a heavy commitment to civic duty and the well-being of the populace, whereas insurance is considered to be a profit-seeking business venture, just like McDonalds.... But can it be considered that way, really? So now "profit" trumps every other social concern? If the entire coastal area of the United States was uninhabitable, because it was uninsurable, how would that serve the interests of the country, especially the economic interests? Think about the businesses that are located on the coastline all around this land, and how they provide us with food, oil, vacation destinations, and a hundred other such. Can we do without all that because the insurance companies' shareholders and executives are a demanding lot who want to be sure they take more than they give?
I'm just sayin'.....
Weather-wise, the bliss marches on into April ... if you'll pardon the word-games. All around me, though, people are in pain, so of course, I'm now waiting for the other shoe to drop in my own life. Hope to get out of town for a visit before the worst of it comes to stay (you can tell I have a grim feeling about the likelihood of storms this summer.)
In the meantime, I'm doing stuff and learning stuff and generally keeping the brain active ... it looks like I've blazed through about six months of fairly steady tag-teaming for mmRadio and in the meantime, I've gotten the computer set-up just about the way I'd like it ... I do have some legacy hardware that will require me keeping the Win98 system alive ... that means there are now four boxes humming and generating heat and eating electricity ... well, I guess that's where my cigarettes-and-sodapop budget goes, and it seems like a decent trade-off. Speaking of the price of things, gas is now $3/gal. here; soon we can stop feeling guilty because our friends in Europe pay so much and we pay so little.
B, I don't think you'll see this, but I needed to say somewhere that I feel bad for you both ... I can feel your anguish even if I can't know exactly what happened ... as someone who's spent the last four years coming out of my own dark night, I wish you well, both of you ....
These are the beautiful days, the gorgeous weather, the bliss.
I just had to say that, because 'long about July or August or September, I'm going to need a little reminder ... I'll need to remember why it's good to be here most of the time ...
As noted on the home page, new mixes are up ... I won't go into the gory details of the computer reorganization and realignment, except to say: nothing that you only do once a year (or less) is ever easy to remember, much less accomplish (and people, I keep notes!) But it was long overdue (repeat after me: It's time to put Windows 98 to sleep....) I'll be expecting great things from myself for the rest of the year.
I note that my comment submittal forms are being hacked by some juvie morons who think I'll actually visit a site in Russia or wherever just because some silly compliment in broken English shows up in my email box. Yo, guess again ... I'm not in the market for a keystroke logger today, thanks anyway.
Only got time for the bliss....
Just finished participating in a phenomenal new tag team with London-based Sly Devil ... we've pulled together a worldbeat set with some awesome tunage and exquisite mixing (and BTW, I'm not patting myself on the back -- the majority of the work was done by my tagteam partner) including a classic dovetail section involving three tracks -- a bit that just gives me warm chills. You can check this out on mmRadio (look for You Don't Need a Ticket (to Travel the World) in the stream schedule). The set-list is here.
For those who listen to the Live365 stream (please consider subscribing so you don't get assaulted by their constant commercial interruptions) I intend to freshen up the stream this weekend (ooops, now I've gone and said it) and remember, you can check the Live365 Stream page to see what's currently playing on that station ... do drop by when you get the chance.
I have a fantastic follow-up to that History of My World page I recently posted ... the fine person who was my original guide to all the good music I'm currently involved with -- Tranceporter -- actually saw the page and sent me an email last night ... I have to say, I'm impressed down to the ground by this aspect of the internet ... without it, we would have lost touch forever; because of it, we enjoy one of life's rare "full circle" moments of reconnection.
Bless up, people ....
This is the time that we observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King with a long weekend that, for most folks, is an opportunity to relax and possibly buy some stuff on sale ... it may also be a good opportunity to reflect on the direction in which the present administration has taken us over the past several years ... if you are so inclined, please visit the Peace or War page and reflect on Dr. King's words once again, and think about what you want for your own future the next time you have a chance to elect someone who will guide the country in the coming years.
A small amusement: because I was so pleased with the Now Playing box that CMG helped me create, I emailed a couple of friends to let them know about the new feature. One apparently felt deeply wounded and wrote back to me:
Well, yes, the Live365 profit model does depend on driving listeners to paid subscriptions for commercial-free radio (more about this on the Mixes page) ... what I found amusing is that this friend is a guy I used to visit when we all lived in the DC area in the 70s and 80s ... the knucklehead who always had the TV on ... a visitor would arrive and sit next to this dude on the couch, and though he would carry on a conversation, the TV would stay on, and he would never stop looking at the screen even as he spoke to his guest(s). If I remember TV correctly, it has something like 1 minute of commercial messages for every 5 minutes of "content" ... so this sensitive being spent years of his life uncomplainingly absorbing hours of commercial messages off the TV ... and there was no alternative ... even cable, which is Pay TV, inundates the viewer with commercials. At least Live365 offers the option of a pay-to-listen plan which shields you from the commercials .... That someone would choose not to exercise that option pretty much negates their complaints in my book. And as for me being "spoiled" ... well, I don't listen to Live365 ... I'm too busy making the content that appears on the BeatConscious stream. If I were going to listen, obviously I would subscribe.
Just had to run this one out there....
On the other hand, a special thanks goes out to my friend Beth, who visited the pages, clicked the links, and gave me useful feedback on improvements needed ... particularly impressive, since she is not a fan of the music I listen to ... she's just a good friend, doing what good friends will do and being deeply appreciated as a result.
So it was fun, in its way, the website update ... actually, now I remember web work in all its tedium ... but also the buzz of discovery -- such as now having a "Now Playing" window for my Live365 stream, courtesy of the kind intervention of DJ CMG (faderfools.com and Dancemixradio.com) who spotted me the code and an afternoon's worth of email troubleshooting to tidy it up ... hope I learned something.) Bit by bit, I'm pushing the pages away from the original FP theme and towards Color Kittens territory ... an identity that resists the idea of needing to have an identity.... but a whole day of "fix one thing, break another" is still a whole day of it ... I'm done for now ... if you catch a mistake, just let me know.
OK, it's time ... well yeah, it's past time, actually ... for the web site update that BeatConscious has been due for these many months ... but, you know, for so long I was just so focused on the physical home -- repairs, hardening the shell, all of that post-hurricane activity and strategy that readers of this page will be aware of -- that I had nuttin' left for the web site ... until now. Now, in relative peace and quiet, no immediate threats looming, I've found a long weekend -- while you guys are all out partying! -- to handle this business.
In addition to the general spiffing up on various pages, there are new features (pages) such as the Mix Manifesto and the History article to peruse, a new mix or two on the stream page, and in places here and there, a new look: check out The BeatConscious Style Guide to see what I mean ... perhaps it's all a precursor to a complete web design overhaul, but I'm not making any promises.
More about all this as the day, the week, the year roll on. For now, just best wishes to all visitors ... hope this year turns things around for you, if that's what you need, or leaves you where you are, if that's what you want.
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