Baylink - The Things I Think
Everyone takes everything too seriously. Chill out, people.

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Just what is this place about, anyway? I'm E-pinionated

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"See The Music You Want To Hear"

That's CMT's new slogan, and I found the spot where the reader is Bryan White stunningly ironic...

in light of the fact that Shania Twain released a video of her song "From This Moment On" to match the "pop radio" mix... from which White's duet part was mostly excised.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000 @ 03:36 p.m. - Comment


Obviuously...

Christopher Blank is a jazz purist...

The bookers at the Jazz Holiday have a tough row to hoe; the need to book enough popular and big name acts to pull and audience, while still mixing in enough traditional jazz to avoid losing their credibility with aficionados.

I'm glad *I* don't have their job...

Monday, October 23, 2000 @ 12:45 p.m. - Comment


Sunday Wrap

to follow. Day off. Nasty headache. You know.

Monday, October 23, 2000 @ 12:38 p.m. - Comment


Aw, crap.

I had this cool bit written about Patti Austin, and restaurants named after parts of the anatomy *other* than Ed Droste's favorite... and the computer ate it.

(My computer ate my homework. That's the new excuse, right?)

So here's the piece I wrote *at* the Jazz Holiday, and damnit, it will have to do.


COACHMAN PARK, CLEARWATER -- Well, I'm embarassed.

I had such grand journalistic visions of being out at the park here all weekend long, reporting on all the fantastic jazz music and such.

It didn't work out that way.

"An old soccer injury" (doesn't that sound impressive? Youth soccer; age 11) put my left knee out of competition (it felt like it was going to be permanent; luckily not). I spent Friday not walking around much.

Overslept this morning, just to put a cherry on the sundae, but now I'm back out here. Walked in to the sounds of the "other Bay Area's" Tim Hockenberry band. They played a set of mostly covers, but damned fine covers, that had the crowd hopping and clapping.

Their set was followed by Bob Seymour and a sponsor break, which included folks from the Bank of 'Murrica, the St Pete Times, and Mayor Brian Aungst... or maybe he's Community Relations Director for Time Warner Cable; he can't really seem to make up his mind which job he does.

My suggestion: talk louder, people.

Next up were conga player Jerry Gonzales and the Fort Apache Band, an Afro-Caribbean worldbeat band from, of all places, the Bronx. Playing with Dizzy Gillespie in 1970 certainly didn't hurt his chops any, and the current band, including his brother Andy, lays down a beat that is paradoxically both tight and loose. Just how 'afro-caribbean' it was, I can't say; it's not a sub-genre I'm all that familiar with. It certainly sounded like jazz, though, and not the 94.1 kind. It was also, as I have noted, well played.

But not party music.

For that, you have to look in the dictionary under 'infectious'. What you'll *find* there is the band Bellevue Cadillac. And they flat took over the park, tailfins and all. It was a shame they played after dark, because it made it that much harder to see the impromptu swing dance competition that cropped up all over the park.

This Boston septet's freshman album is called 'Prozac Nation', but I'm tellin you what: they ain't on Prozac, no way, nohow. As I sit here in the back of the merchandise tent typing, there isn't a set of hips on the line of volunteers in front of me that is *not* swaying in time with the music. They call it hep-cat jive, and they ain't just whistlin' Dixie.

But I'm sure they'll get to it later in the set.

Closing out Saturday night was the unmatchable Patti Austin. She did her two song allotment of smooth jazz, then let us know we were in for a little rough jazz... and *damn*, did she deliver.

Ranging from a funk arrangement of "til There Was You" to her two James Ingram collaborations, to her closing "Test of Time", the music, and the jokes, never stopped. Demonstrating a delightful though occasionally rough sense of humor, Patti did pretty long breaks between songs, including "no particular opinion about politics" ("Don't vote Bush". :-), but never lost the crowd. She thought it was 35,000 people; the cops think it was more like 14,000. I don't really care, myself; we all thought the same thing:

"No. Don't go home yet..."

Killer night, and there's still one more day left to go.

Oleta Adams and Fred Johnson tomorrow. See you there.

Sunday, October 22, 2000 @ 12:21 a.m. - Comment


Ouch!

Damn, this is annoying.

The one weekend all year that I really care... is the weekend my left knee decides it's time to go on vacation.

If I go to the festival tonight, I will not make it there this weekend. Strategic decision: skip tonight.

Phuque.

Friday, October 20, 2000 @ 04:19 p.m. - Comment


Well...

I'm a Libertarian by nature, I should be voting for Browne... but what do you do? Shrub *really* sucks, Algore2000 sucks just a tiny bit less... Browne's not gonna win this year; I'll admit that. Nader, on the other hand, just might.

Michael Moore thinks so, and he's not exactly a moron.

One month from today, I am hoping against hope that the Non-Voting Majority in this country will decide that they've had enough of the b.s. and go behind that curtain for just a few minutes and rock the nation. It is the only day every four years when the average schlump has more power in his or her hands than all of media, all the oil companies, all of Congress combined. With the flick of a switch or the stroke of a pencil, we outnumber the bastards by 99 to 1 on that single solitary day in November. Nothing, literally nothing, is stopping us -- other than ourselves and our belief that it can't happen.

So, what do you do?

Friday, October 20, 2000 @ 11:20 a.m. - Comment


Well...

maybe not everybody was happy.

I concur with the lady; they've pushed this one too far, in my humble opinion. I sometimes wonder if the Holiday 'Jazz Force' realize *just* how much their success swings on public opinion. I'm not sure they do.

Friday, October 20, 2000 @ 10:50 a.m. - Comment


Times Reports: Everyone Liked It

Well, everyone they talked to, anyway. :-)

Friday, October 20, 2000 @ 10:41 a.m. - Comment


Thursday Night Wrap

Fans of Latin Jazz -- and there were roughly 2500 of them in Coachman Park tonight -- grooved to the heavily brassy sounds of Orquesta Infinidad. Their show-opening set, which sounded *much* better over the sound system in the park than has often been the case in prior years, closed with the obligatory version of "Oye Como Va", the Santana classic penned by last year's headliner, the late Tito Puente. The crowd was a bit smaller than last year, but they certainly had more than their share of fun.

But, obviously, opening the new Centro Ybor retail and entertainment complex in Ybor City last week hasn't harmed them any. :-) Smooth Jazz host Al Santana welcomed them to the stage, and they were tossed off by WUSF jazz host Bob Seymour, who has had something or other to do with the Holiday almost since it's inception -- hosting, playing, or just rallying the troops.

After everyone took a break and wandered off to Merchandise Row to look at (and hopefully buy) some T-shirts, hats, and posters, in addition to drinks and munchies from sponsors like Hooters (yes, the girls were in uniform) and vendors like Alessi's (whose lemonade is more refreshing than it has any right to be).

Temps were seasonable; maybe a degree or two warmer than I'd have liked, but the breeze managed that nicely. The people were as nice as they always are; I rarely meet jerks in the park, except for the few who came solely to take advantage of the alcohol sales new to the festival these last couple of years.

One new addition to the festivities is the commercial announcements that were playing over the between-acts music. I don't especially object to them, but I don't think they were all that well *done*, and there were too many of them.

The shirt art this year is much more abstract than has been the case recently, as befits the posters, which are photographic for the first time in years, but succumbed to a seriously deep collection of Photoshop filters. There are half a dozen colors of hats, including a couple in velour; strawboaters are back this year, and for the first time in *years*, there are shirt/hat pins available to the general public. Needless to say, they're popular. So, now that you're done prowling the aisles (you *did* remember to hit the port-o-lets, right? ;-) it's back to the stage, for the Eric Reed Quintet. Wynton Marsalis' sideman for years, Eric and his outfit lay down a straight ahead jazz beat that serves as notice that this year's line up, while not disappointing the 94.1 crowd, won't leave the 89.7 fans out in the cold, either. With the extended solos and features traditional to combo jazz, Carl Allen's drums not least among them, the Quintet highlighted each of it's members, proving not only that traditional jazz is not dead, but that it's even still pretty popular.

After the *next* break (during which Eric Reed signed about a dozen happy people's CD), headliner Dee Dee Bridgewater took the stage. Her set combined more traditional combo jazz with some incredible scat vocals, the likes of which I've not heard in many moons. But that's not her only talent, of course. About a third of the way through the set, she shifted into an Ella Fitzgerald torch that inspired slow dances in the crowd.

Well, at least my part of it.

Following along with the Basin Street Blues, and then the Cape Verdean Blues, she wrapped up the set with introductions-over-jam, followed by jam-over-jam, and finally, thank-yous-over-jam.

Smuckers executives could not be reached for comment.

It has been said (I should know, I just said it) that "jazz is what it is if you can't tell what it is." That sums up tonight's program pretty decently, I think. Whether it's the music, the food, the people, the weather, or, if you must, the beer (*thanks*, Michelob), the opening night of the 21st Annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday must be considered a success. The crowd certainly seemed to think so.

Thursday, October 19, 2000 @ 11:47 p.m. - Comment


Guest Review

[Here's a guest review from a special correspondent to FOCUS Magazine, the local music magazine edited by the State Theatre's Dave Hundley, Tampa Bay's Local Music Ambassador.]

By Sandy Pants
FOCUS Correspondent

CLEARWATER-- As the sun set over Coachman Park on Sunday afternoon, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday finished four days of what sounded like music, although no one in the audience could be sure. Not surprising, since the VIP area took up all of Coachman park, and the blanket-sitters were forced to bivouac in neighboring parking lots.

From this critic's position -- behind the funnel cake stand -- the notes coming from the speakers sounded as if the volume were being turned rapidly up and down. This may have been caused by the strong but cool breeze off the bay as it carried the music in an uneven way. However, the windy acoustics actually improved Jazz Holiday newcomer, the loud-playing Air Force Band. Though no one could be sure, the band seemed to play a patriotic selection of John Philip Souza tunes and several jazz classics such as Kenny G's "Hey, You're Shopping at the Mall and this Music Makes You Want to Buy Expensive Things."

Many patrons were not dismayed at the lack of prominent jazz musicians in this year's line up. For them, it was enough that Clearwater simply kept its tradition of free drinks behind the band shell for the filthy rich.

"Goodness knows how I love jazz," said Patsy Glazier-Steinbrenner, while enjoying free food in the VIP area backstage. "Who's playing now? The Belvue Cadellacs? Yes, the music is hardly bothering me at all. I'd call it a smashing success. Now please, you're not supposed to be in this area."

On Sunday afternoon, local jazz musician Fred Johnson created a sensation by using his voice to imitate a trumpet solo by Miles Davis. Because the blanket-sitters could not see that it was only Mr. Johnson's inimitable voice, there was a rush of people from the parking lot to catch a glimpse of a real jazz trumpeter.

Two volunteers were crushed in the stampede and are now in stable condition at Bayfront Medical Center. The Clearwater Fire Department, who headed off the insurgents with firehoses and pickaxes, were rewarded with VIP passes. However, concert promoters later rethought the reward and gave them instead one free hot dog and discounts on Jazz Holiday merchandise.

Despite the injuries, and the rumor that the whole thing was really just a recording of last year's concert played in reverse, city officials were quick to proclaim this Jazz Holiday an unqualified success.

"Most people don't know anything about jazz," said Dwayne Garcia, the media relations coordinator who told the press they could either sit behind the Port-a-Potties with the rest of the rabble or go jump into the ocean. "Basically, we've discovered we can put virtually anybody up on stage and people will come just to get their snotty kids out of the house. All jazz sounds the same anyway."

When asked if it sounded better from the VIP section, Garcia replied: "Sure, if you can hear it over the people talking. I suppose you don't have to worry about that, though."

[ Note for the humor impaired. That's all; that's the entire note. :-) ]

Thursday, October 19, 2000 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment


Jazz Begins Tonight

Well, it's that time of year again.

Tonight is the first night of the 21st annual (that's the 20th Anniversary, for those who want to celebrate again) Clearwater Jazz Holiday. The St Pete Times has covered the details of the event much more thoroughly than I have space for, so I'll hit the high spots.

Tonight's line up includes local Latin band Orquesta Infinidad, whose name everyone seems to mispel. They'll kick off the festival at 6pm, a spot they won in a Jazz Battle of the Bands a couple of months back at Jackson's on Harbor Island. You remember the place? It used to be Blueberry Hill before someone closed down The Shoppes and Harbor Island... which I guess they're reopening.

Duuuuuh.

Following OI at 7:45pm is Wynton Marsalis piano sideman Eric Reed, and wrapping things up at 9:30 is actor and vocal jazz sensation Dee Dee Bridgewater. No word on whether she's playing with Trio, Big Band, or Orchestra, but they tell me it doesn't matter much. My own opinions on that topic later tonight.

If you come out to the park, you might find me in the South Merchandise tent,; I'll be the 6-foot brunet with the 1999 "Key Of Sea" T-shirt and the white duckbill jazz cap with 2 pins on the brim. Feel free to stop by and say hi, but whether you do or not, if you like jazz and you do *not* come out to the Holiday, I don't want to hear you bitching next week. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2000 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment


When is Easter?

A client, reservationist at a travel agency, asked me just now "when Easter was?"

Turns out that is not as simple a question as it seems...

The commonly stated rule, that Easter Day is the first Sunday after the Full Moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox, is somewhat misleading because it is not a precise statement of the actual ecclesiastical rules. In order that the date should be incontrovertibly fixed, and determinable indefinitely in advance, the Church constructed tables to be used permanently for calculating the age of the Moon. Easter is determined by the "ecclesiastical moon" defined by these tables, which is not strictly identical with the real Moon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 @ 02:05 p.m. - Comment


Ships That Pass In The Night

You know, I really have to stop running across pretty girls half my age. It's not good for me.

If nothing else, you can't get high-speed internet connections in prison.

Now, whether she was really calling for work, or whether that number my phone didn't bother to save was her cellphone, I can't tell you... :-}

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 @ 01:58 p.m. - Comment


It's Sweater Weather

and as Jen noted, that's *just fine* with me.

Women? Sweaters? Cool.

[ no pun intended ]

Monday, October 16, 2000 @ 03:16 p.m. - Comment


It's Jazz Week

I'll be filing reports from the Jazz Holiday site at the end of the night Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, phone lines permitting. (Or, maybe, if GTE ... excuse me: Verizon has their DSL demo van out there again this year. :-)

It's a pretty decent looking lineup again this year; Patti Austin is back, as is Oleta Adams, and Tampa Bay jazz vocal legend Fred Johnson. (A link was going to go there, but I'm stunned to find that I can't find a website on the man.) If you love jazz, scat, and related sorts of jazz vocal, you need to get out on Sunday and see this man.

No, really.

Monday, October 16, 2000 @ 11:13 a.m. - Comment


What Presidents Are For

Foreign Policy is back. Big time.

[ Thanks to Signal vs. Noise, who showed up in my referrer log a while back. I find more good reading that way... ]

Monday, October 16, 2000 @ 11:00 a.m. - Comment


Damn...

but I've been busy.

The Zoping is coming along slowly (having a laptop big enough to run it helps a lot), but there seem to be some fundamental holes in the documentation that I can't quite get around. I'm thinking I'm going to have to download the mailing list archives, and spin through them.

I have to move email from my desktop to my laptop this weekend, which will entail learning procmail...

Gotta get my portable inkjet printer working this weekend, in case I need it next weekend at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

Got more going at work than I know what to do with.

Shot a video last night for a band with the unlikely name of The Blessed Virgin Larry.

And it's time for lunch. More Later.

Oh... and thanks to those 2 dozen or so dedicated individuals who check in every day, even though I don't *write* every day. It's nice to know someone cares... :-)

Friday, October 13, 2000 @ 11:23 a.m. - Comment


Damn!

but the weather's nice today.

Maybe today is that day the weather guy was talking about where the *high* temp was gonna be 66. :-)

Monday, October 9, 2000 @ 10:33 a.m. - Comment


Zenning Zope

Zen is the art of unscrewing the inscrutable, roughly; so it doesn't surprise me much that the term is applied often to Zope, the open-source web aplication development environment from Digital Creations. It's exceedingly powerful -- enough to crush the other kids -- and therefore very difficult to get your head around.

Much of the problem, though, comes from the fact that what documentation exists concerns mostly the trees. Finally, someone's documenting the forest.

Friday, October 6, 2000 @ 04:27 p.m. - Comment


Hi, Carl.

I enjoyed the Travelogue.

I'm not quite as thrilled with your protege at TPC's current behavior and frame of mind, but these things happen.

Nice having you over at MetaFilter; hope you stick around. The Museum's cool, too, BTW.

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 11:48 p.m. - Comment


Did you hear the one about...

the FBI supposedly ordering a bunch of pizzas while doing an investigation at a mental hospital... and getting blown off?

Guess what?

It's true.

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 10:29 p.m. - Comment


It Could Have Happened...

so it *must* have happened. That's the slogan of alt.folklore.urban, and it's spin offs, including the website of the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.

Go visit.

Before the next time you forward me a chain letter. :-)

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 09:25 p.m. - Comment


Sal's Coming!

Sal Piro has been announced as the special guest emcee for this year's performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with the Larger Than Life 6 case (which I am not stage managing, again this year -- there was a fuss last year, and they're slightly more tired of me than I am of them).

Notwithstanding which, it's still a damned good show, and probably the largest regularly scheduled one in the world -- last year's show drew about 96 people short of a full house in the 1446 seat Tampa Theatre.

You really should go see this show; especially if you're still a virgin. :-)

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 08:04 p.m. - Comment


Someone I know...

recently tried to pitch me the "they're training kids to be gay in school" routine.

Doesn't look like it to me...

His anti-homosexuality motivation was the most interesting one I've ever heard, though: they don't contribute to the population, and we need to force a population crisis in order to ensure that we make it off this planet to colonize -- so the race won't get wiped out by the next passing asteroid.

Not exactly the approach I'd take to the matter, but an interesting one, certainly.

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 07:35 p.m. - Comment


Why Gay Men Aren't Judy Queens

anymore.

This is important to me as a straight man who sings "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in a gay bar. :-)

Thursday, October 5, 2000 @ 07:28 p.m. - Comment


It's almost time...

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday (they *should* be at jazzholiday.org, and don't even get me started..) is coming in about two weeks. I'll be out there, all four days, as I have been for most of the last decade, though I do miss the parking passes :-}

If you like almost any sort of Jazz music from classical to bebop to fusion to "smooth", you're going to find something you'll like out there. I'll be writing wrap-ups from the park each night, assuming I can talk the merchandising folks into letting me commandeer their phone line for a couple minutes.

VIP Tickets are available, which include a chair(!), food, and much better chances to meet the artist of your choice; if there's someone you particularly want an autograph from of a chat with, spend the money.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 @ 06:44 p.m. - Comment


Damn.

That was fun. Thanks, 'Chel.

I went to the Jim Brickman show at TBPAC last night. You know him, he's America's New Romantic Piano Sensation. ;-)

He's also *funny*. Great show, particularly including his female vocalist for this tour, the lovely and talented (ok, yeah, but believe me: it's appropriate) Jordan Hill. She does have a touch of "I'm Mariah Carey's younder sister" to get over, but...

[ The tripod link appears to be temporarily down this afternoon; hopefully itwill come back up. ]

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 @ 05:46 p.m. - Comment


Wow...

I guess mentioning Lisa Welchel was the most productive thing I've done in the hit-getting department in the last year. :-)

The piece that originally got me into the search engines under that keyword is here. (For some reason, some browsers don't seem to catch the whole link; if that takes you to a top-of-page, scroll down.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 @ 05:43 p.m. - Comment


Bored?

Go run your mouse around on a sheet of perpetual bubble wrap.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 @ 12:59 p.m. - Comment


The Wholigans Return

After jammin at the Who concert last week, the Wholigans (whom I'm told were very well received there) will be back at the State Theatre this Friday, October 6th.

Come and see the show, to coin a phrase.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000 @ 10:54 a.m. - Comment


Well... isn't that nice

Thanks to the letter of the rules at Epinions, my review of Duets is now also online at Tampa Bay Karaoke.

Monday, October 2, 2000 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment


A Victory, of sorts

Community access television, in somewhat of a holding pattern the last few years, has some direction again. Nice quote from my buddy Rich Whitaker, whose name they spelled correctly:

Whitaker, who is a subcontractor for Time Warner, questions whether the county should take in the money from the cable companies as county revenue. He thinks it should go directly to the non-profit organization overseeing the program. That's the way public access is handled in Hillsborough County, Whitaker and Goodstein say.

Whitaker sees a potential for censorship, or at least a chilling effect, on residents who speak their minds about government if they know the facility is county-owned and the two employees who staff it get their paychecks from the government.

"If I'm employed by the county, who's my allegiance going to be to?" Whitaker asked.

Monday, October 2, 2000 @ 01:39 p.m. - Comment


I'm voting Browne

but Matt Haughey, of MetaFilter fame, has done a thought-provoking billboard for one of the other candidates in this race (and how refreshing, to have 4 believable candidates in a presidental race):

Monday, October 2, 2000 @ 01:32 p.m. - Comment


New Epinion: Duets -- A Contrarian View

I'm glad that I make a living having contrary opinions. If I didn't I'd have been much unhappier about my review of the new karaoke movie, "Duets", which I just posted on Epinions.com.

Seems that, except for film.com, I was the only reviewer who actually liked the damned thing. I'd give a pretty to know which of the other epinions reviewers are karaoke singers, I would.

Short version:

Pros: I liked it.
Cons: Everyone else thinks it sucked.

:-)

Monday, October 2, 2000 @ 10:56 a.m. - Comment


Want a TiVO?

They're sort of giving them away...

[Update: here's some winners. These people are *really* screwed up. :-) ]

Thursday, September 28, 2000 @ 01:37 p.m. - Comment


The Feminism Thing

Boy, do I feel silly...

If I sent you the letter which didn't include the address of the debate in question, it's here.

Thursday, September 28, 2000 @ 09:26 a.m. - Comment


Do You Sail?

Well, go down to the sea in ships of *any* kind, really?

If so, check out the people at Sailnet. They recently bought out a client of mine, JSI Johnson Sails, and their website actually has an *editorial staff*.

Damn if *that* ain't a cool idea.

My favorite: they link from the bottom of stories to products appropriate to the content of the story. Yeah; I know: that's obvious.

So why don't more people *do* it?

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 @ 08:04 p.m. - Comment


Oh Ghod is this cool

Go check out the Droplift Project. It's too cool to even explain. Read the press release and the FAQ.

Join in.

And remember: how do you confuse a moron?

PURPLE!

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 @ 04:14 p.m. - Comment


Laptop II: The Sequel

You know, I see that I completely forgot to mention that I'm running RedHat Linux 6.2 on that laptop. :-)

The install wasn't too bad; I got everything including sound and X running in about 6 hours, which doesn't suck for a first time install to a laptop. I didn't have a CD-ROM drive for the MultiBay, so I had to yank the drive out and install it on a desktop -- I have some things to say to Donnie Barnes about that :-) -- and the PCMCIA gave me some grief... as did the fact that the WAV file I chose to test with, as well as the sound player program I picked, conspired to make it *sound* like I had driver level problems when I, in fact didn't... but in all, it didn't go badly at all.

Thank ghod for the Internet, is all I can say here.

I'm playing with a couple of interesting audio packages; more later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 @ 03:54 p.m. - Comment


Congrats

to my friend Johanna, who just got herself a new job as a tester (I think) at Catalina Marketing... who don't appear to have a web page. Silly boys (and girls)...

Hi, Jo!

[ "Yes we do!", she replies. :-) ]

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 @ 03:49 p.m. - Comment


If you want to know

just *any* little thing at all about the United States Government, the place to start appears to be FirstGov, a federal government portal site which, as much as I hate Microsoft, I think should really have been named "start.gov".

Regardless, it's quite understatedly spiffy, and loads damned quickly. If you need to find out something about the federal government and you don't know which agency holds the reins, go here. If you do know which agency's in charge, go to their home page, or Google to find that home page; not all agency homepages are listed on the site -- though I've recommended to them that they do so.

Monday, September 25, 2000 @ 03:26 p.m. - Comment


Biotech, yeah...

On today's CNBC Power Lunch, Heidi Toffler -- wife of Alvin and co-author of the now-30 year old Future Shock -- announced her opinion that "in 5 or 10 years, current medical practice will look barbaric to us... no more surgery".

Wow. I'm not sure what I think about that, even if I believe it. ISTR reading that book about 5 years ago, and thinking, unlike many, that it hadn't held up as well as *I* would have liked had I been the author...

Monday, September 25, 2000 @ 01:28 p.m. - Comment


What He Said

... cause I like the way he says it.

Saturday, September 23, 2000 @ 01:13 a.m. - Comment


The Internet interprets

censorship as damage, and routes traffic around it.

That's a quote from Net 'hat John Gilmore, and it's true even if the censorship isn't taking place on the net.

Friday, September 22, 2000 @ 04:21 p.m. - Comment


Why Sport?

You'll be able to outrun people stupid enough to want ads like this one pulled off the air.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000 @ 07:46 p.m. - Comment


Gun Control...

is the notion that a woman lying dead in an alley, stangled with her pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman standing in that alley explaining to the cops how the man got that bullet hole in his head.

[ and she's a *cop*. If I were her, I wouldn't be worried that he was going to kill *me* if he got out, I'd be worried that I was going to kill *him*. ]

Wednesday, September 20, 2000 @ 07:26 p.m. - Comment


A note of thanks

to Pike Electric, of Mount Airy, NC. They're one of the folks who supplied some of the crew that helped Florida Power get the lights back on after Gordon put some of them out. I chatted with a couple of the after dinner Sunday night, at the Tyrone Bob Evans. As you'd expect from people who do that sort of job; nice guys.

Thanks, gents. KUTGW.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000 @ 09:04 p.m. - Comment


One of the reasons...

that I love the Internet is that it's a great place to find boots. I'm not the tape-trader-maniac sort, but there are a few tracks that I enjoy hearing live.

One of them is Springsteen's Jungleland, and in hunting around to find out if Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf's lyricist, had any hand in its writing, I ran across this very nicely done capsule bio of Bruuuuce's career.

Monday, September 18, 2000 @ 11:06 a.m. - Comment


HurricaneWarning.net

is a site, created by Mike Welch in Pensacola -- who I hope hosts it somewhere else, so it doesn't go off the air when we need it most :-) -- that collects all of the information he could find about Atlantic Tropical Cyclones... which includes some imagery (as we geeks like to call it; makes us feel like characters in a Tom Clancy novel, I suppose) that I hadn't located.

Added to my EOC bookmark folder.

It *is* a bit painful to look at on a 640x480 monitor, though...

Sunday, September 17, 2000 @ 03:18 p.m. - Comment


Saffir And Simpson

"Who were these guys, anyway?" you might be asking yourself..

Robert Simpson was the director of the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Florida, down near Miami. (What nuclear physicist thought that Miami would be a good place to put the Hurricane Center, anyway?) Herbert Saffir was a consultant of some undocumented flavor. The scale is based primarily on wind speeds, but includes some reference to central barometric pressure as well -- another good indicator of nastiness in a hurricane, also referred to as a tropical cyclone.

Sunday, September 17, 2000 @ 03:10 p.m. - Comment


By Way Of Clarification

I live in Pinellas County, as you no doubt have figured out.

Things are fairly calm here, and I'd hate to be the editors of the St Pete Times, who had to put today's front page to bed around midnight.

It's still gonna be messy in Florida, though; Citrus County, about a hundred miles north of here, has raised a mandatory evac inland to 1.5 miles East of US 19; they're expecting 90mph winds by 9pm tonight.

Sunday, September 17, 2000 @ 03:05 p.m. - Comment


We Wuz Robbed!

Here and I was looking forward to a nice tropical gale... and nothing. Just nothing. Bummer. Gordon, or what's left of him, is due west of us right now. The Big Bend will reportedly be hating life later tonight, but it's looking like things will be fairly mellow here, unless something weird happens.

Stand down, all.

Sunday, September 17, 2000 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment


From a Jack to a King

Hurricane Gordon has been promoted, and is really pretty, as long as you aren't anywhere near it.

[ Thanks to The Weather Channel for that tropical satellite photo. ]

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 07:47 p.m. - Comment


From the AP Wire

via the Times, who apparently have permission to steal this stuff... :-)

Most of the copy of the latest AP wire story on the storm.

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 06:23 p.m. - Comment


Harry Browne

I'm torn. I'm a Libertarian at heart (card carrying, even), and therefore inclined to vote for Harry Browne for President in November, as I did 4 years ago.

But I think there's a decent chance a write-in campaign for Colin Powell could succeed... and he'd still be an order of magnitude better than Shrub, Jr, and AlGore.

What to do... what to do...?

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 06:16 p.m. - Comment


Tower Cam

Bay News 9's got a tower cam pointed at St Pete Beach.

It's lens is wet right now. :-)

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 06:02 p.m. - Comment


I Love Satellites

Here's a really nice infrared shot of the storm, from Florida Forecast and NOAA/Goes-8.

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 05:46 p.m. - Comment


Pinellas County

has "partially activated" their Emergency Operations Center, whatever the hell that means. :-) The County posts its bulletins on their website, and another useful spot I forgot to mention is the Weather Channel's West Florida Radar image -- this is my browser homepage; that way I always know what's going on...

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 05:30 p.m. - Comment


Eye On The Storm

It's much easier, of course, to keep an eye on heavy weather than it has ever been, due not only to satellites and improved weather radar, but also to the fact that the Internet makes it muc easier to disburse that information to the general public.

One of my favorite local weather sites, of late, is the St Pete Times' Florida Forecast, a very nicely designed site that provides information including lightning strikes. Another good spot to hit is NWS Ruskin's somewhat amateurish looking but very informative home page.

And, as I've pointed out before, long before now is when you should have done all your hurricane preparations.

Hang on tight, folks, here they come...

Saturday, September 16, 2000 @ 04:43 p.m. - Comment


Copyright and You

From Metafilter, an excellent piece on copyright in the digital age. Read this even if you think you've got it all sussed already.

Really.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 @ 06:50 p.m. - Comment


OSS -- Open Source Security?

Here, courtesy Jon Corbet (and co.)'s excellent Linux Daily News compendium, is an excellent piece on why Linux has better security potential than Micros~1 operating systems can ever have.

Solid in his belief that open source software is more secure than proprietary software, the optimistic Ockman is in excellent company--on both sides of the Big Pond. ZDNet UK quoted Mike Banahan, managing director of the security firm GBDirect, in December, 1999: "I don't think anyone who has ever really looked at security has ever taken that `security by obscurity' claim seriously. I have faith in Linux because I can audit it. I wouldn't put my money in an unaudited bank."

And that's the way it is, Wednesday, September 13, 2000.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment


I Got A New Toy

I haven't actually paid for it yet.

But I haven't broken it yet, either. :-)

"It", in this case, is my new laptop. It's a Compaq Armada 7730MT, a machine originally designed to run WinNT, and which sold new, about 3 years ago, for something like $5000.

I won't tell you what I bought it for; you'd cry.

64MB/10GB, P166MMX, 800x600x32 video, trackpoint mouse, the usual assortment of IO ports, and a full-size docking station, which has an *additional* two PCMCIA slots, as well as 2 half height bays and a pair of combo ISA/PCI slots.

A *very* nice little toy, and it's improving my productivity (and my ability to play Hextris) as much as I thought it might.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment


Unforgettable Moments

There's having her father walk in on you (they're always 'fathers' when they're walking in on you :-), there's the cop tapping you on the shoulder...

and then, there's looking across the room and seeing the two thirtysomething guys in a ferocious liplock, and realizing that the place you've wandered into to sing karaoke is an unmarked gay bar.

I can tell you this, though; if you're looking for a place to come out of a 3-month singing retirement, a bar full of gay people makes the *best* audience for that. :-)

No one hit on me. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment


I'm not sure why

"Lisa Welchel" is the most popular search that brings people here...

Oh, hell... yes I do... :-)

Monday, September 11, 2000 @ 11:40 p.m. - Comment


The Ultimate Olympian

Used to be, Olympics were a testament to Sport. Used to be, the American Olympic Team was composed of people who would kill to get there, rather than pros who couldn't be bothered.

Used to be, Gary Shelton wrote damned fine commentaries.

Well, one out of three ain't bad.

Sunday, September 10, 2000 @ 09:45 p.m. - Comment


Listening to earsplittingly loud music

is a research activity?

Saturday, September 9, 2000 @ 12:42 a.m. - Comment


Somewhere

entirely other than here.

Friday, September 8, 2000 @ 05:26 p.m. - Comment


Who's watching you...

and who's watching them?

Given the realities of today's society, most of us would agree that there clearly are times when it is necessary for the sanctity of private communications to be breached for the common good. The most commonly known such interception is the wiretap, which dates to the very dawn of telecommunications.

We've come a long way since the invention of the telegraph and the development of the telephone. The Internet in particular, through its vast reach and increasingly ubiquitous nature, has opened up a Pandora's Box of problems when considering the ramifications of wiretap-type interceptions, even when they are for the most laudable of purposes.

Thursday, September 7, 2000 @ 10:06 p.m. - Comment


Well...

I know what I'm gonna do if I win the lottery tomorrow...

Thursday, September 7, 2000 @ 08:25 p.m. - Comment


'Censoring Dr Laura'?

I'm a touch disappointed. St Pete Times TV critic Eric Deggans is a pretty sharp guy. But, in his current piece, on the Dr. Laura TV show, and hte attempts of gay and lesbian activists to get it's sponsorships pulled, he misses, so it seems to me, the most important point.

People want to call those attempts "censorship".

Hmmm... Doesn't look like it to me.

I see no government agencies involved, here...

Thursday, September 7, 2000 @ 03:13 p.m. - Comment


Breast Cancer Sucks

if you'll allow me a somewhat unfortunate mixed metaphor.

The folks at double-d.com are doing something about it. Buy stuff from them and they'll make a donation to breast cancer research.

Check them out. Even if their graphics do look like spray-painted grafitti.

[ Thanks to the breast-meister herself, Charlotte, both for the pointer, and for letting me link her copy of the sticker. ]

Thursday, September 7, 2000 @ 12:45 p.m. - Comment


Well, y'know...

kinda feeling like this again, lately...

Wednesday, September 6, 2000 @ 11:10 p.m. - Comment


The Bear and the Dragon

It's the new Clancy epic, and I've posted my E-pinion on it just now.

Short version: a bit weak, but Clancy fans can buy it with a clear conscience... unlike Rainbow 6.

Wednesday, September 6, 2000 @ 11:01 p.m. - Comment


Freefind Searching

That search box over there ---------->

You know, the one connected to the little mini-search engine that *will* spider me every day, broke about a week ago.

I've just figured out how to cheat it so that it works again, so all you people looking for information on Lisa Welchel (what's up with *that*, anyway?) can find out what I had to say about her... :-)

Wednesday, September 6, 2000 @ 10:06 p.m. - Comment


Harry Potter #1

most bannable book...

They circulated a petition, spoke up at school board meetings and held protests. The superintendent backed down, removing most of his restrictions. Muggles is now a nationwide movement, with more than 13,000 members as of last week. And the youngsters involved are getting a valuable civic lesson: that access to books is not automatic and must be fought for.

Wednesday, September 6, 2000 @ 09:46 p.m. - Comment


Ghod, I love this stuff

Eric, the HungryMan over at Gyro On Pitas, spotted this Mission Statement Generator.

Cause, c'mon... *everyone* needs a mission statement, don't they?

Tuesday, September 5, 2000 @ 03:54 p.m. - Comment


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Copyright (C-in-a-circle) 2000, Ashworth & Associates, All Rights Reserved, All Wrongs Reversed.
This site is hosted by Pitas, but they have no control over what I say. If you don't like something I said, don't even *think* of suing them or I'll blow up your house. ;-)


If you're down here it's because you decided you wanted to link to me. Wow. Cool. Thanks. :-)

I use Phil Greenspun's clicktracking system to keep track of my traffic, and I like to use it on inbound links too, when possible; it's interesting to know where the traffic comes from, and theCounter isn't quite as spiffy as I'd like. If you could use the following link code to link to me, I'd appreciate it:

Link Text

just copy the link and make up a YOURTAG that's somewhat descriptive. Thanks again for your trouble...

Um, d'oh! Wes Felter points out that it would be nice if the link pointed to *me*... Fixed.

And for those people who think I'm trying to be subversive with the status line crap, it's merely functional: *I* like to be able to see the URL, too. If anyone has suggestions on the (I think insoluble) 'making the link change color if you saw it somewhere else' problem, I'd love to hear them.


No, it's not.

Google finally spidered me a while back... but it's not really up to dealing with weblogs; it doesn't check often enough. The Freefind searchbox at the top of this page spiders me almost every day; retry your search there, if you're still motivated enough. :-)