Friday, September 30, 2005

We Can Podcast!

Podcasting works! Both my test files pulled down to the reader. Whoopee!

I do it because I the challenge will be to post some substantial content. Stay tuned, I know I can do this!

Oh yeah...if you're interested in getting podcasts (especially good ones from other people much more talented than I) I'd recommend downloading iPodderLite if you have a mac and 10.3.5 or better. It's easy to set up and use, and free. I don't have a line on a windows product yet, but will research and let you know.

I'm a little obsessed by this technology because it really gives a person the ability find the things they want to listen to and get them independent of all the advertising spin that surrounds even the best work. NPR, a lot of news outlets, many bloggers, and of course all sorts of entertainment selections are out there. The best part with the RSS is that you can choose what and when you want to listen to something. So for instance, I downloaded a lot of artist interviews, saved them to my ipod, and then listen to them when I'm driving. Also, selected NPR stories, Meet the Press the day Chertoff was on, and music/poetry extravaganzas from sites like Beauty Dish Radio.

One can only aspire to such quality.

Have a great weekend.

AM addendum

On the low tech site, the only links active right now are "movies" and "words". More to come as time allows.

Dawn patrol

Sitting in the dim light waiting for enough daylight to go for the morning Lucy walk. Then off to the day job.

Stuff done yesterday: I think I got RSS to work on this site, but will have to wait till this evening to verify. ( Don't have a reader on the laptop.) Also, in prep for posting more sound and movie files, I set up this site. If the service works like advertised I'll let everyone know, it has to be the best deal for no-frills webspace around.

It got fall around here about 5 pm yesterday...this morning will dawn clear and crisp. I'm glad the woodpile is split. Before long we'll be needing it.

This is me, off to work. Have a great day, be nice to people, and play with your pets.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The daily fizzle


Resting up today, back to day job work tomorrow. I have a big pile of wood in the front, and a sore body to prove it. Drove down the hill to do fall grocery shopping, larder now stuffed with canned goods should the revolution come. I'm on the side of the peacemakers. Some webbing, playing around with sound files and pursuing a new and wonderful low tech path on my website (not published yet but has possibilities). Now a quick siesta and then down to the shop to get it in shape for making pots next week in the evenings. It's firing weather.

The earlier post was me getting the hang of rss and podcasts. We'll see.

Have a great evening!

A podcasting test (redux)

(it helps if you have the link pointing to the correct file, even better if its an ACTUAL file in existence...DUH!)

So I'm supposed to post a link to an mp3 and then set up a feed, etc. So, here is the link to Waternoise.

I think i need to leave this up 24 hrs to test.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Throwing in the HTML towel

So here's the thing: I'm a wysiwyg kinda guy. I can back into just enough html to get by, but not enough to make my page look much better. So, I have to choose what I want to do with my time.

And learning html so I can put images in my heading isn't it.

'Nuff said. Life is short. Write on!

Day's End

So, figuring I'd finish the wood mid afternoon turned out to be pretty ambitious. It actually took me all day, and I'm whipped. But I have a big pile of heat on the hoof.

Tottering down the hill this late evening with Lucy, I spied in the woods a blast of unnatural orange. Closer inspection by dog and man required. To our delight, fungi. Or as I like to say "moss on a log".

log spotted with groovy growth

detail of said fungi

So this is days end, with my slogging my way thru HTML (still) to get things to look like I want. Maybe I want too much???

Have a great evening!

Thursday Buffet

Welcome to a morning edition of small ponderings!

I love the mornings (usually). It's the only time of the day when my head isn't cluttered or racing with all the junk a person is impacted with on a regular basis. I have something akin to a flystrip mind- everything that floats by gets hung up in it. Good, bad, important, trivial, it doesn't matter; my mind is an equal opportunity collector, much like a lint trap. But if I'm lucky i will have had a decent nights sleep, and wake with a little quiet space. Then the trick is to maintain that. Which I usually fail at dismally.

Today awaits a veritable cornucopia of activities, most important the Spliitting of the Wood. Since I have a day job and time is precious, I break down and rent a splitter from the local equipment shed. I set to the task of splitting the whole winters worth of wood in one day. Doable, but not if I sit at the keyboard all day. I can (and have) split many years' worth of wood with an axe, I actually enjoy that and find it gratifying. I like doing things where effort has a direct relationship on results. But I give in to the time constraints, and thus the splitter. Stacking and tarping will happen later in the week.

I can take a long walk this morning, meandering by Lucy's agenda. I love not being on a timer. Then to work on the woodpile. After that, maybe some additional blog renovation. Then if there is time and energy I can work on my interview with Cap'n Rich Long, since I'm going over to see him tomorrw. (If I can get a taped interview of him it will be a hoot!). Since I'm not working, I'll have time to cook something decent for dinner. And finally, I hope to whip my studio into shape and start making clay stuff for a sale I'm committed to in early Dec. (footnote: for me, these things tend to be more a show than sale; for some reason my stuff always ends up being not so highly demanded in the functional clay marketplace, but whatcha gonna do?)

As you can see, a day beginning and brimming with intent. Realization? That's another story...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Late night silly fun...

I forgot to point to my latest little foolish project so here it is: my first animation (i only have single track video) which is a commerical for my friend Rich. (Rich is a wild old dude who has an endless stream of stories, I'm trying to interview him for a little documentary, but it always degrades into some tomfoolery. He and his wife the lovely Ms. Martha build these ships in a bottle, you wouldn't believe it...)

Anyways, for a giggle click here. Their website is worth a look too, for the sheer novelty of it: There is a long story behind all of this, maybe I'll share it one day.

Have a great evening. I'm off to beauty should begin working any day now.


Hey, look at me! I got fall color (after hours of poke and hope...)

Now, for my next trick: Images in the title bar!

Autumnal Changes...

About to begin working on my template for fall colors and form. Stay tuned. Comedy imminent. HTML isn't my strong suit.

Oh yeah, began the winter wood splitting extravaganza today. People may split faster, they may split neater, they may even be better at it. But at the end of the day, its hard to argue with a pile of wood.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Good Friday

Good things on Friday:

Autumn light on a different slant
The chance for a siesta!
Waking up and having a perfect cup of green tea (bulk sencha or bancha) and a piece of chocolate
Wikipedia as a resource
An old laptop with a new battery, and wireless dsl (look ma, no wires!)
Perfectly fitting well worn Birkenstocks (the worlds most perfect footwear)
Late season hummingbirds at the feeders
Affectionate cats, chihuahua, and golden retriever (simultaneously)
Grilled chicken wings with hot sauce and cold blue cheese dressing and a bloody mary on the deck
Anticipating a long walk in the warm early fall twilight
Reading in the evening
Early to bed in our new yummy bed (no more aching back!)

This all after an abbreviated workday...I mean, how can you not want to leave work behind and play a little (especially since I'm back at it early in the a.m.?)
I suppose this entry is trivial in light of all the bad news of the day, but its my way of remembering how lucky I am and being grateful (I am too often forgetful and prone to complaining.) I wish everyone reading (and those that aren't) to have some trivial good things of their own to talk about this Friday.

I'm off to light the grill. Have a great evening!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

6 am wake up call

I'm waking up early these days. 6 am usually, no alarm, just me. This morning, updated my Salon site to point over here, strong black coffee and waiting for the sun to rise. These are great days in the mountains, bright, clear and warm during the day, cool at night. Just a little color in the woods now.

I was going to post a sunrise picture, except for we're about 45 minutes away from the live happening. I'll fish around in my photo archive and see if I have a sample....

oooooh! my first Blogger problem: photo won't upload this morning! Is this normal, and is there a reason? And btw, does anyone know where the photos you upload to Blogger actually live so you can see them in a directory? Anyways, let me try this workaround:

so there. This from last November, imagine a bit more leafery and you'll get the idea of what this morning will look like.

Hope everyone has a great day. Be nice to people, make a fuss over your animals, and always question power and authority!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mid week ramblings

A question that is a constant companion to me is "what is the deal with time?" As in what happens to it, where does it go and how do you make friends with it? I have no answers, I have little clarity. I'm fairly organized and at least average in efficiency of my processes, yet one day its Monday and the next thing you know it's Wed evening and where the heck did all those hours go, and what EXACTLY did I do with them? So yesterday I wrote everything down. And in review I have come to the conclusion that there must be some kind of metaphysical time vacuum. I suspect this diabolical piece of machinery affects people with children even more than me.

This is my excuse for inconsistent blogging. There are only so many hours in the day, one must make choices. Today, I chose to paint a little. I still don't have the time to get down into my clay studio and make stuff, and when I don't make anything, then I get the grumpies. So hopefully this well help. Here's two little postcard sized watercolors, inspired by last week's trip to the hurricane-y coast. I'm not sure they're done yet but maybe. I never like anything I make right after I do it so it's too early for me to say.

I need to work on my rusty html skills to figure out better photo layouts, but for now this is what I have. It's all about time you know...

Have a great evening. Be nice to people and wish hurricanes to fizzle out in the ocean.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday, monday...

What I did today:

got up and walked Lucy with a bloodorange sunrise on my left shoulder and a full fading moon over my right

worked at the day job all day

came home, made soup walked Lucy in the perfect still clear light evening

ate dinner

updated links on the right and added some

emailed blog pals out there in the universe

left this little entry for you.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Back to mountain daze...

I'm back at my desk, ready to work on this blog and whip it into shape. I had some idea of posting news and views from the past week, but that's fizzled out...I mean how much can one talk about the weather, or my complaints thereof? Better to move past and forward.

I do offer these 2 photos...imagine me in between the two, the sky leaden grey most of the time, with a constant 40 mph wind, and intermittant periods of rain. The place we were at is probably 300 yards wide between the oceanside and the inlet (green) side, your typical NC outbanks barrier island. I suspect, beautiful on most days, and I have to say it was pretty impressive even in these conditions. We left before it got really rough, I'm understand that for a while there was no distinction between the ocean and the inlet, it was all water when the winds were in the 80's and the storm surge came.

And tomorrow, its back to the day job, for an action packed 3 wks. Stay tuned for more stories and better links, and maybe a podcast or two. Have a great evening!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

6 days at the edge of a hurricane...

This was the extent of our vacation. K and I almost never take vacations, both being O/C workaholics so imagine us restricted to the inside, watching the weather. This after driving a day to the end of the world (which i think would be pretty luxe during normal weather). Funny. To be clear, this hurricane and the after effects were nothing, just a drop in the bucket. Think an extended 6 day wind and rainstorm and that's it. So we have no legitimate complaints.

Anyways, we're back no worse for the wear and happy to be on our mountain. Did you know the moon was full and bright, and there is this big ball of fire in the sky, and the wind doesn't blow constantly??? Amazing.

It's good to be home. More later. Hope everyone is well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"trying to reason with the hurricane season..."

On the road, wild weather and bad internet service. Gathering stories for future ponderings. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Small and nearby..."

This post can be found on my Salon site (I had my blogging laptop at that time and was too slack to go up to my desktop.)

My blog sites are kind of like when you're moving to a different place in the same town, it takes a while to shuttle stuff back and forth and you drive a lot. I'm going to take a little bit of time for contemplative silence, and then finish my move to Blogger.

Until then, have a great weekend, be kind to people and animals, find something good in each day, and give it some attention.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Not the government...

A real person making a real difference (one of thousands): read her story here.

Who could have guessed this would happen? Read here. (thanks to Sam)

Who has a grip on the recovery? Read here. (from

Question: Who can we trust to help save our fellow citizens and the greater soul of our country?

Answer: Each other.

I place my faith in the hundreds of thousands of unknown people coming together to rise up and offer relief, hope and support to all those affected by this disaster.

Not the government...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Like a Fox

Last night, I had reached my limit. I swore to myself, no more ranting, either here or in person. I mangaged to to that for about half a day. Until...


It's like putting the Fox in charge of the investigation to find out who ravaged the henhouse. Unbelievable, and ludicrous in the extreme.

I give up. We, the people, are so screwed.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

I'm at work. Just took a minute to catch up on the news while scarfing down a sandwich. Of course, none of it is good (the news, not the sandwich...)

Suggested reading: This from Scott Rosenberg and this article about a Jesse Jackson effort. (I have to say I'm not usually a fan of some of Jackson's antics, but he gets a gold star for this one.)

The scary thing about all this is how little effort it takes to find out details of how the government is trying to manipulate this awful tragedy, or how at every turn the wheels are falling off the wagon. Do we expect this? By now, how could one not? Will we accept this criminally negligent and incompetent performance as an adequate response to this situation?

I hope not.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It's all happening...

Has anyone noticed the news cycle from the corporate media outlets today were a) shortened because of a holiday weekend and b) giving equal or more attention to the death of the Chief Justice than the continuing downward spiral in the Gulf area?

The administration will use this to their advantage, you can count on it. Not only has King George gone over and destroyed a couple of countries across the world, not only has he facilitated the destruction of a whole region and serious damage to our nation by his complete incompetence and lack of interest or compassion, he is now poised to wreak havoc us for the next 50 years.

When does it end? And how do we, the people, stop this maddness? Where are the checks and balances that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening? Why isn't the Democratic Party up in full arms and voice about the failures of last week and the dangers coming in the immediate future? What resources does the average citizen have to effect positive change? (This is not a rhetorical question, I really want to know).

Somehow, someway there should be a way to force a freeze on any Supreme Court appointments/nominations/confirmations until the bleeding is stopped in the Gulf region. Either of these issues require the full attention of all citizens. The situation in New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi and how many other areas we haven't heard about is more immediate and should get first priority. The court issue is equally important, but no one will starve or die if it is put on hold, and the administration will be less likely to pull a fast one if people can give that process full attention.

I really don't believe this government represents the wishes of the people of this country. It can't possibly. So how do we rally, what do we do, how can we stop the systemic dismantling of our culture and society by this unholy alliance of government, big business, and corporate media? Where can the monkey wrench be most effectively applied against their mechanisms?

I have to believe it starts with each and every one of us saying "enough." Not hundreds of us, not thousands, but millions of voices with quiet resolve: "Enough". And then work together to set things on a more humane track. It is clear that the systems we have depended on are incapable of doing it for us.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Essay from local New Orleans news station here.

I'm beginning to think the questions don't matter much any more, at least not for the short term. Everyone has them, (clearly I'm one of the worst), there will be no real answers and you cannot trust anything said by anyone that is/was responsibile for coordinating federal resources for relief and action. I am so depressed and tired of seeing a never ending stream of smug, arrogant, disconnected and insulated Old Rich and Privileged White Men making excuses and spinning the story. Thinking it couldn't get worse than King George, I saw evidence that it could. When questioned by a reporter as to why it took so long to get troops and supplies into downtown NO when reporters have had easy access for days, a National Guard Colonel (and I wish I had written his name down) said "It's hard work getting these things organized and moving...what are you, stuck on stupid?"

That may not be the exact quote, but it's very close. And exemplifies the attitudes of so many people supposedly in charge. It is sad...I think it to be a trickle down effect from W's general attitude and demeanor, and those heartless lemmings he surrounds himself with.

Nope, how this happened and how we got here doen't matter. What matters is what are we going to do now, and how fast? It's best for normal people not to waste time and energy talking and pointing fingers; leave that to the politicians, that's what they'll do as a first response anyway. Figure out how you can reach out and help. Then do it.

I think all of us have to keep each other bolstered and motivated. I know I can't seem to let it go. That's why the endless writing. A woman in California interviewed at one of a million Red Cross donation spots said it best "They're our family, whether we know them or not...we have to help them out."

Yes, we do.

Be diligent

He went overseas to destroy a country and a culture, fueled by greed and delusions of power. Now he is presiding over the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives in his own country, driven by his ignorance, incompetence, and lack of compassion and social responsibility.

Do not trust this man, do not trust this government. Do not depend on them, none of them, from any party. Work in your own way, however you can, locally and nationally, to help the victims of the storm. Those people feel abandoned and ignored; we need to show them otherwise. Work towards recovery IN SPITE OF our government and ineffective leaders.

If you haven't done so already, click on the links below to donate. If you have, then click again when you can give more.

The American Red Cross
The Humane Society

In the meantime, keep alert at what else is going on in the world. Watch Iraq, watch civil rights and liberties, pay attention to the real economy on the ground in our country. Do not let the spinmasters divert our attention so the Rich White Guys can take advantage of the lack of attention. You can bet they will try. They will in fact succeed some of the time, but we need to be in their face at every turn. That we haven't been is how we got here.

We, all the regular people of the United States, are going to have to do this ourselves, and we can. We have no choice.

Be nice, and help where and when you can.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Trying to balance the scales

My latest posts haven't been very a lot of people I'm deeply disturbed by current events. But I was talking with one of my Core students today who is really struggling with the validity of studying and making and thinking about beautiful things, and the meaning of art in a time of chaos. I think it's more important at times like this that we make and do and share, just to show the hope of the human spirit; its a contribution that we can make as artists, reminding people that there is beauty and light in the world in spite of all evidence to the contrary. No, it doesn't feed people, bring them water, or rescue them. I don't know if there is a practical application of art towards disaster recovery, in fact I'm pretty sure there is not. But I feel its the little things that matter now, that there is validity in helping the rest of the population to be optimistic and hopeful and feel helpful. We need to reach out to those in need secure in our knowledge that there is truth and beauty and good in this world, and help them to see and remember it.

So to that end, I've posted my latest little video project. I still don't know what I'm doing, its rough and ragged but the best I can do now. Go here and click on the camera, and give yourself two minutes of something other than bad news. It's all I can offer right now. (it's 4 meg, so if you have a dialup make some tea while it downloads, maybe it will be worth the wait...)

Have a good evening, be nice to everyone, and be hopeful.

Corporate media strikes again

We live in a mountainous area that gets poor tv reception (no great loss) and have no satellite or cable, so we're dependent on broadcast news if we choose to see what's going on in the world. Our best reception station in an NBC affiliate out of Charlotte, NC (WCNC for those keeping score.) Tonight, they made a choice that validates my distrust of corporate media. NBC network broadcasted their evening news from the Katrina area for an hour. Our station decided to pre-empt the second half hour and broadcast a RERUN of the game show Jeopardy. This has me completely pissed off for a couple of reasons.

I think our government has failed miserably in response to this disaster. I am beginning to believe that for some sick reason there is a conscious lack of urgency in getting into those people that are in such desperate straights. There is no excuse for not getting food and water (at the minimum) to places like the convention center in New Orleans. TV news clearly shows the area adjacent to the center is dry; police and media vehicles are able to access the area. If them, then why not trucks? If not trucks, why not airlifted and dropped on the roof tops, or in the open and not flooded areas adjacent to the center. NPR correspondents IN THE BUILDING repeatedly noted the lack of water and food and the horrid conditions. Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff repeatedly refuted those observations, only to later admit they were accurate.

In another lifetime I was in the Navy for a bit. I know a little about how fast you can stage and fly supplies with helicopters, how fast you can call up a crew of 500, load a ship and take out to sea. I know how fast you can be loaded on a helicopter, flown 100 miles, and reeled down to the deck of a tiny little ship bobbing off the coast of Saudi Arabia. I know how fast a ship can be redirected to a hot spot, and how fast it can get there. In short, I have some personal experience in how fast something big can happen, IF someone wants to make the call. I suspect land forces are the same way. So my question is: WHERE IS THE DAMN CALL? And why is it taking so long to be made?

For two days, I've been reading/hearing stories that those people think they are being ignored. I am almost ready to believe them. Anyways, I digress.

I am mad that our local media is trying to divert attention. I am mad that our government is not making every effort to get to those people. I am saddened by the sight of those people, and frightened at the complete civil breakdown. So I donate, and I write. The letter below was sent to the offending station, and its competitors. I'm also posting it here, and on my Salon blog.

We have to speak up, loudly, until someone listens and help is sent, in big, endless doses. If your media outlet is doing similar diversionary tactics, call them on it. Feel free to use any part of this letter, or make up one of your own. Don't ignore it or let it pass: its how we got where we are, and what good is that?


Sent to WCNC channel 36 in Charlotte NC 7:30 Sept 1

I am infuriated that your station chose to present a RERUN of Jeopardy in lieu of the continuing coverage of the Katrina disaster by NBC network news on Thurs evening, Sept 1. With the lives of thousands at stake, the most important effort a broadcaster can make is to keep the focus front and center and expose it to as many people as possible. Your failure to do so is morally reprehensible, and if not crimnally negligent then an ethical breakdown of great proportion. It reinforces my opinion that the corporate mass media in this country is politically and economically controlled. When so many of our countrymen are in such dire straights, and need their message seen and sent over and over the choice to ignore that need validates their ever-increasing rage. It does appear that those poor people are IN FACT being deliberately ignored.
I am quite certain this complaint will receive no attention and no response. I plan to copy it to your competitors, the Charlotte Observer and various weblogs in hopes that someone will take you to task. Much like the people in the devastated areas, I am a small, unheard voice. But I will try to be heard.
Your programming choice during this national emergency is just another example of how our corporate media fails us daily, in every way. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
We live in a remote mountain area, have no cable or satellite, and are dependent on broadcast news for information. I can't say that your competitors have done any better, as they are not viewable on our mountain. I hope they have.
Your station has failed the public. I wish it would suffer some reprecussions, but I know it will not. This is a tragedy, and will only perpetuate your lack of responsibility and accountability.


Mark Boyd