Friday, September 30, 2005
Two podcasts in one day
on my Odeo Channel
Thursday, September 29, 2005
By the way, I'm testing out the new Odeo Studio, so check out my Odeo Channel
to listen to some new podcasts of mine! Please ignore the following: (odeo/90625d3a6784ddab)
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
"Our time is up for today," my psychiatrist informed me.
"Oh, okay..." I responded bluntedly*, surprised by the swift passage of the hour.
"So...how about next week?" the doctor asked, "Would the same time be okay?"
"Yes, of course. Same time, same place." I rose to leave.
"Oh, and Harold?"
I'm just kidding. That's not really what happened. Wouldn't that be funny, though? Or perhaps funny
is not the word...
I haven't put a Something That Happened
podcast out there in awhile, but you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that I have a LibSyn
account where you'll find some podcasts I've put out under another persona, Harold the Liberated Synner
. Visit the blog
or add this link to your podcatcher: http://haroldjjohnson.libsyn.com/rss
*I'm making up this derivation. So there!
Monday, September 26, 2005
I hate the idea of our military fucking with dolphins
. It's not that I love animals more than people - though that's very nearly the case when you compare dolphins to some humans I've encountered - it's simply that these poor creatures are clearly being exploited. Dolphins are remarkably intelligent - you could say too smart for their own good - and due to their capacity for learning, they've been trained to carry out tasks humans would have some measure of difficulty performing (safely). I'm inclined to wonder how much military-trained dolphins are aware of their slave-like condition?
I don't believe dolphins are saying to themselves, "Hey wait-a-minute, what in the ocean am I shooting these darts against terrorists for? They never did anything to me
!" Yet perhaps they are aware, to some extent, that they are being lead to perform tasks against their own will. Certainly they'd rather hump and play with other dolphins, but instead are being held in isolation - soldiers drafted against their will - to live out their lives in bootcamp rather than live the joyful existence nature had originally dictated for them.
As a child, the film Day of the Dolphin
, starring George C. Scott (and two dolphin), was one of my favorites. Whenever it was presented on television, mom and I would cuddle up on the couch to enjoy the tale of idealistic dolphin trainers resisting the attempted militarization of their family of English-speaking Delphinidae. Together we'd root for the talking dolphins as they attempted to escape the evil machinations of a sinister group of would-be assassins...
Just a quick Slashdot
headline that caught my eye: Korea is going to build a frontline combat robot
. My girlfriend snickers at this, perhaps remembering some of the disastrous old Hyundai automobiles...
Friday, September 23, 2005
Today was quite a day. I'm closing it out playing Half-Life, a game I've never had the opportunity to play before now. Last year, a friend gave me an old PC, and today I picked up an old graphics card at the downtown L.A. Goodwill
location, so now I'm playing the game I've long wondered what all the fuss was about...
Listening to the audio posts I made earlier today (and yesterday), you'll learn that I've made some progress towards getting my mom tested for NPH
, the condition I'm hoping my mom has (as opposed to Alzheimer's
). I was able to drop off her brain
, the first step (or second, or third, or fourth, depending on how you look at it) toward realizing my goal of reversing mom's condition.
Don't worry about my sanity; I'm quite clear on what I'm doing. In other words, I know the odds, and they are slim. But I'm a dreamer - mom must have instilled that quality in me - and I do believe in miracles, though not necessarily in a mystical sense. I aim to find out one way or the other whether my mom's condition can be, in any significant way, reversed.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Allow me, Harold, to herald this wonderful event:
Sound the trumpets! Mark the occasion! The great and noble Yoli
* hath beareth a child, a young lad named Luke (as in
As soon as you mention Medicare
, those doctor's ears sure perk up...
My mom is on Medi-Cal
, the State of California's version of Medicaid
. This is the medical "insurance" the poorest of us use, provided by the State when you have no other options - no other health insurance, no money or assets. Yesterday I mentioned to a doctor at the makeshift hospital mom is currently doing time in
that she would soon be receiving Medicare
- that's the better insurance, as it pays more - and that doctor, who barely seemed to acknowledge my concerns about mom's health, began listening quite attentively once I mentioned the upgrade to Medicare. So much so that he followed me outside the hospital to request I provide a copy of mom's Medicare card to the hospital. He didn't seem to hear me tell him that the card won't be active until November.
It's just past 9am, and I've just received a call from the receptionist at the hospital. The receptionist has received a Doctor's Order she needs to fill: collecting a copy of my mom's Medicare card. Apparently your mother is receiving Medicare?
No mention of mom's status or anything like that. It's a rainy day, the thunder is growling, and I suppose Doc is interested in the prospect of the extra funding Medicare would bring...
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
I just learned that author Roald Dahl had a child with hydrocephalus, and as a result became involved in the development of the Wade-Dahl-Till (WDT) valve
, which I'm guessing is a shunt-like device. So if they stick this shunt in my mom's head, will she have dreams of Chocolate Factories, Giant Peaches and Glass Elevators? As long as those dreams don't include any Vermicious Knids
, I suppose she'll be fine...
I often wonder what my mom's dreams are like now. What does a mind riddled with Alzheimer's or dementia think? What does a mind swimming in the abyss of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) grasp as reality? Is it a frightening place to inhabit, full of the demons of confusion, or is it a peaceful experience, blissfully unaware of the trials of life? Is it generally more akin to the balanced nature of a "normal" state of mind, in which our daily joys and horrors are compartmentalized and framed so that we may breathe more easy?
I'm inclined to believe it's closer to the latter description than either of the former, but I'm hoping that's not simply wishful thinking. Looking upon my mom's face, often twisted in anguish, I'm drawn to wonder whether she's in a constant state of distress. Of course, I may just be obsessing on the negative expressions, ignoring the occasions of her more peaceful aspect.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
. We are complacent, here in Los Angeles. In fact, to live in the state of California is to live in a state of complacency, in some sense - oblivious of the impending Earthquake, the Doomsday Device, the Day That California Will Separate From North America And Disappear In The Abyss Of The Pacific.
Yet I won't consider myself
complacent. As a whole, we are complacent - but not as individuals. I've lived in Los Angeles all my 34 years, and though I persist in living here (perhaps irrationally), I'm still more than conscious of the fragility of our circumstance. I'm faced with it every day - the alarms that wake me are buses or sirens or medevac, the air that I breath is odorous, the water I drink is always
filtered. I see evacuations during blackouts
or bombthreats or depictions of L.A. horror on 24
; I know firsthand that Santa Monica is, as Shearer calls it
, home of the homeless
Yet most of us angelenos
are well aware of all this, and have accepted our circumstance. We have found comfort in numbers, and together entrenched in our doom, we are complacent - only as a tribe, a family composed of individual malcontents choosing to collectively perceive the landscape through rose-tinted sunglasses. We, individually, live in the backstreets and gutters; together, in Disneylandia.
? Yes, it's true, but I will begin anew...like New Orleans, "better than before" (one can only hope)...
Monday, September 12, 2005
Just a blank look, perhaps the blankest I've ever seen from her. No acknowledgement of either me nor the girl. She barely made an effort for the chocolate milkshake I brough her, too.
The nurse had called to tell me mom had a swollen foot, possibly a blood clot or a fracture. Possibly - but they really don't know what it is yet. They're running a series of tests. The nurse advised me, on the sly, to think about having her taken to a hospital. But not right away - she advised me to wait for tomorrow's results first. She doesn't recommend jumping the gun right away.
This is my mom, though, see, and I'm ready to take her tonight. As in now. I'll wait, though, because now that I've seen her it seems to me that her foot may not be as bad as imagined. I'm not pretending to be a doctor or anything, but her foot doesn't worry me so much as her irresponsiveness.
It seemed as if she was looking right through me...
We've just had our first post-9/11 (2005) scare: the power went out in Los Angeles today
. I was walking down Westwood Blvd. when it happened, wondering why people were evacuating shops and students were evacuating the UCLA Extension building. Traffic signals were off (though some were on)...
I just picked up a message from my mom's home. They need to tell me something. I hope all is well...my mobile phone's not working, and I don't have long distance enabled on my landline. Skype? The Mac's not hooked up. What to do, what to do?
The girlfriend has a mobile, though the battery's low...
Speaking of skin
, artist Shelley Jackson has proposed Skin
, a "mortal work of art" in which participates agree to tattoo one word of a story - Shelley Jackson's story, I presume - into their flesh. Hmm...I already have the word "sin" tattooed - can I simply toss it into the mix and call it a day? (Then again, I'm probably going to have that mark erased someday...)
Read Skin's news page
to keep up on the status of the project. [Thanks to Ponzi for flashing this bit of skin
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Now I remember what I was thinking
: I was going to start a porn podcast
. At least, I was thinking of it back in April - but now there's a few of them out there "doing it" for me, and when it really comes down to it, did I really want to spend all of my waking hours creating porn? Even if it was just audio porn
...it's just so base
, you know? It's the easy way out, the low road. I mean, where's the challenge? It's like telling different variations of the same old dirty joke
- it's extremely pleasing for awhile, but too much of a good thing all at once can wear one out rather quickly.
I've been busy all day updating VoyagerRadio.com
, my Internet radio station and host of my podcast, Tempo of the Down
. It's slow-going, but I'm getting there, fixing broken links and cleaning up the place a bit. I hope you'll consider listening and/or subscribing to some of my podcasts
there. If you're curious about podcasting but don't know how it works, make certain to visit my informational blog audioblogs.info
, where I provide introductory info. on podcasting
and other personal audio on the Internet.
I've neither created a podcast nor posted an audioblog entry on Something That Happened
in months, but here's some of my babbling today
The term of the day is Disaster Morticians
. This Coast Guard crew is currently traveling from house to house in New Orleans in search of dead bodies
. (Once you reach the CNN page, click the boat search team link to watch the video of this team's activities.)
The Red Cross is now seeking 40,000 volunteers to meet the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Meanwhile, some conservatives are in an uproar over the amount of money being spent on the disaster. Apparently, the Bush Administation's pledge to spent billions of dollars on New Orleans' recovery contradicts his policy of less government
. [Registration for latimes.com required to view article]
Oh, and in case you missed it during the storm: Gilligan finally got off that island
. R.I.P., Bob Denver
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Some months ago I wrote a short story about a coffee shop in Alaska I had spent some days in nearly 10 years ago. I posted that story on a website called Meridian Coffee House
, a blog about coffee house culture. Today I happened upon my post
and was pleasantly surprised to find that a few visitors had commented on my story
I always wonder how readers (and listeners) are reacting to my stories, so it thrilled me to find that I touched a few people by sharing my experience. So I invite you to read about my experience in Alaska
, and most of all, I invite you to contact me anytime
to let me know what you think of my stories. Be honest, too - I promise not to cry. (In fact, I haven't cried in many, many years; but that's another story, and I'll tell it on another day.)
Friday, September 09, 2005
The truly nerdy among us will understand and enjoy the humor behind Daring Fireball's depiction of "The iTunes 5 Announcement From the Perspective of an Anthropomorphized Brushed Metal User Interface Theme
These are the lyrics, more or less:
Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I don't despise
Now all I can do
Is love what was once
So alive and new
But it's gone from your eyes
I'd better realise
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
Such a human waste your eyes without a face
And now it's getting worse.
--Billy Idol, Eyes Without a Face
, Live at the Roxy in Hollywood, CA, recorded from FM frequency 103.1 to an iRiver iFP-890 MP3 Player
As the voluntary evacuations from the City of New Orleans are reaching completion, authorities are reporting that far less bodies are being found
than was originally expected. Like, not even near
what was originally expected. So what can this mean? Did all the folks that were presumed drowned escape the flood? Were the numbers of dead exagerrated in order to get FEMA and other relief efforts moving?
I don't know yet, but at least the prospect of having 10,000 dead Louisiannans on our hands moved us to get in there faster than we would have otherwise...
What the hell was I thinking when I purchased that domain, NaughtyKnowledge.com
? What can I do with it now?
I still haven't found out whether Motorola's new ROKR phone is able to receive podcasts wirelessly
. I've discovered some evidence that it doesn't
. Plus I held one today, and though the salespeople didn't know how the device operated, they showed me its USB port, which means either the device has multiple ways of transferring iTunes to the device (wirelessly and via USB), or only one (via USB).
So here's the story: the girl was sick today, so I headed to the pharmacy to fill some prescriptions, and while waiting for the drugs to come down the pipe I headed to the Cingular store across the street. The store had a ROKR available to play with, so I took it from them and began weighing its value.
The ROKR is a sturdy-looking phone, Plain Jane and rectangular (as all mobile phones generally are), with rounded edges and a silver-ish keypad. It's slightly larger than my Nokia phone
, in thickness, height, and width. It had a decent color screen, and I noticed it also had a camera on the reverse side. The software appears to perform similarly to an iPod's, though the particular unit I was playing with was having some trouble playing the iTunes. According to the salesperson, the phone probably needed to be reboot. (They had just received the phone in the morning and hadn't yet had much time to figure out how to use it.)
There have been mixed reactions to the phone
. Some analysts don't see a need for a cellphone/digital music player hybrid. Others do. Fact is, we don't yet know if consumers are going to buy the device the way they have the iPod. My opinion is that the ROKR will be desired if it can do something truly different: download iTunes and podcasts wirelessly using GPRS and/or Wifi networks. Then it would essentially be a portable Internet radio receiver, not just a cellphone that stores iTunes. I don't want to be stuck with iTunes music! The iTunes Music Store doesn't even sell all my favorite recording artists! Deliver me the podcasts, and then I'll consider pitching dollars for iTunes...
Thursday, September 08, 2005
In case you somehow missed it, check out The Interdictor
. This blog is a firsthand experience of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, composed by a group of employees at an Internet company located in New Orleans. Apparently the blog's been getting a ton
of visitors this past week or so...
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I had to call this fellow
to task for being disappointed with Apple
. I followed up his blog post,
After announcing the new ROKR phone, and the new iPod nano, Steve Jobs says that the most important thing is “the music”. I think he meant lives and homes. As we enter the Christmas quarter, America faces the double-whammy of a cataclysm and skyrocketing petrol prices. Ostentatious displays of materialism is the unnecessary.
with my own comments:
Interesting, but do you really expect all businesses to redirect their resources toward saving the lives of those caught in Katrina's wake? Truly, that would be ideal, and I would commend you for calling out Corporate America in general for not getting involved in the relief effort - but specifically calling Steve Jobs to task for this is a bit over the top...he's simply moving forward with the business of the day, my man! And I don't think that's evil... the introduction of these new devices is really quite exciting, too, I might add...we all could use more music (though I wish the tunes didn't have to cost so much)...
Hey, I'm not an Apple Defender Superhero Dude or anything, but I simply didn't agree with some of his points. On the other hand, the guy's into AppleScript
, so he must be alright.
One of my dreams may have been realized today. Okay, maybe "one of my dreams" isn't the right phrase, perhaps it connotes the wrong image. Perhaps the phrase makes you think of lofty goals, of mountain peaks rising above clouds, of treks up Mount Everest. Perhaps the problem is with the word dream
; perhaps calling this a dream
is hyperbole, exaggerating the sense of my meaning. Perhaps the word I'm looking for is...fantasy
. Yes, fantasy
! One of my all-time fantasies
may have been realized today...
A truly portable Internet radio device may have been introduced today. Now, I don't have all the facts yet, but what I do know is that Apple and Motorola introduced a mobile phone that is able to download and play iTunes audio
. That is, a cell phone that is able to receive iTunes music and - I'm hoping - other iTunes audio. Other iTunes audio
meaning audiobooks and...Lord have mercy...podcasts
Now I'm not certain about all this yet, but if the new phone, called the ROKR
, has the ability to download podcasts, then we have probably entered the first era of truly wireless Internet radio. No more plugging in your iPod at home to sync up with your computer, no more heading to a coffee shop in order to download podcasts to your laptop so that you can then transfer them to your digital audio player. If the ROKR works as I've described, and works well, then you may remove the word probably
from the preceding phrase, for we'll have certainly
entered a new stage of broadcasting...
Here's another perspective of the New Orleans area
, this time provided by Google Maps
. Add this to the other perspectives I've mentioned
. To view the satellite images related to Hurricane Katrina, run a search for "New Orleans" and you will be presented with a map of that area. You should also see a red Katrina button on the top right corner of the map. Click that, and you'll see the Katrina satellite image.
This is something that happened. Jake Ludington reviewed the latest release of the Winamp
, which now includes a podcast directory. Now, I haven't tried Winamp 5.1 yet, so I can't fairly offer my own assessment of this popular digital audio player software. However, I can
say that previous Winamp incarnations have been met with success, and the last time I used Winamp I really enjoyed its simple interface and customizability. (You can add a variety of plugins to enhance the features of the player, and you can also skin the thing. That means you can add an entirely new "face" to the application to satisfy your own style, kind of like adding a new "face" to your cellphone.)
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
This is something that happened. Audioblog.com, the podcast creation and publishing service, has secured funding to launch a podcast and videoblog service and portal in Japan, Korea, and China
. It will be called The Eric Rice Podcast and Videoblog Portal That Eric Rice Built.
I'm just kidding about that last part; I have no idea what it's going to be called.
This is something that happened. Fred Joerger, the Disney Imagineer and modelmaker who helped design the Sleeping Beauty Castle and other marvelous works at Disneyland, has died
. He was 91. Fans mourn
The next time you're at Disneyland, why not go on a Treasure Hunt? Disney Imagineers placed all kinds of secrets around the park
This is something that happened. I found myself bummed out on Labor Day, for no apparent reason. I managed to get a few things done before nodding off for a few hours in the middle of the afternoon. Like a very old man.
I dreamt, and in my fantasy she told me there was now a Gmail Notifier for the Mac OS
. So now I'll always know, in real time, what's being delivered to my Gmail
inbox. I guess that's cool, and I awoke with a fresh perspective, a new chance for the rest of the day.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Have I failed to mention that I've been kicking out my music podcasts
lately? You won't find them on that site (VoyagerRadio.com) yet, though, since I haven't placed links to the latest shows there yet. Here they are:
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Today I took off driving after dropping the girl off at work, planning to visit my mom. I got lost after a brief stop for breakfast at McDonald's and ended up somewhere in Chino Hills, where I spotted a few signs directing me to a Garage Sale. I drove up into a Yuppie-ish suburban neighborhood - I'm not mentioning this in any negative way - and located the sale after following a number of Garage Sale signs posted at every turning point.
Okay, enough of the diary-like entry. You want to know what I bought, dontcha? A "never used" 80-gigabyte Western Digital Hard Drive. Garage Sale price? Ten dollars.
Now, for some time now I've been needing to expand beyond the 9 gigs I've been working on for the past 5 years. Especially since I'm now podcasting...
Long story short: The drive appears to be working, and that's great news. Now that I have some breathing room, expect to be hearing from me more often.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Yesterday I shared some links to different perspectives on Hurricane Katrina
. Add this as another map, this one a simultaneously gorgeous and gruesome high-resolution satellite view:
Friday, September 02, 2005
Developers, come alive! Apple has introduced its new Developer Transition Resource Center
to ease the switch to Intel processors
, as OS X developers will now be faced with the following choices:
- Build applications for the PowerPC processor
- Build applications for the Intel processor
- Build applications for both the PowerPC and the Intel processors
Thankfully, Apple has provided a solution which will make it easier for any of these pathways: the Universal Binary
The AMP Wiki is here
! Now, in addition to the AMP Forum
, you'll have a more centralized place to visit to gather the latest AMP-related info., including current projects, promotions, and the direction AMP is headed.
If you're not yet "in the know", AMP is the Association of Music Podcasting, an organization formed to help promote the independent recording artists heard on podcasts such as my own Tempo of the Down
. Find out more about AMP at musicpodcasting.org
My girlfriend tells me that Spanish-language television such as Univision
provides more graphic views of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, as well as latino stories and perspectives we aren't receiving on English-language t.v. Robert Scoble
points us to another perspective: MSNBC's Katrina: Regional Aftermath
page, a clickable map of the region which includes details of the event. I've also been watching alot of CNN.com
's video segments, especially useful since I don't have cable or satellite t.v.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Ah, man, I forgot to listen to The Chris Pirillo Show
tonight! Guess I just have to listen to the podcast later...
Last week I (along with a fellow named Nick) called in to the show using Skype's conferencing feature. (See the show notes
for details on the experience.) Subscribe to Chris' podcast using a feed on his website
and maybe you'll hear King Dorkus (that's me) speaking with Chris and Nick about RSS aggregators. If you're too lazy to visit Chris' site, here's a feed you can add to your podcatcher now:http://thechrispirilloshow.com/subscriptions/mp3.xml