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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So, where's that woman?

There's an old story with which I can identify somewhat. Thus, I'm
allowed to paraphrase it, to put myself into the story.

So, there I was, after my first X months living and working out on the
unnamed reservation in northern Minnesota. Got rather drunk, and said,
"Ya know, I really, really wanna be a member of the tribe."

Uncomprehending looks.

"You want what?"

"I really want to be a member of the tribe."

"But you're not an Indian at all."

"Not true, my Mom's Dad's Mom was full-blooded Ojibwe. Canadian, so a
Native living on the Reserve, rather than a Native American living on the
Reservation. But even so. My aunt did a geneological search, and came up
with a name, and as far as I know, I'm 1/16th Native, or something like
that -- can't do the math in my head right now. Beer thing."

So they look at each other, with an expression meaning "WTF is up with
this fat white dude?" And finally Speedy says, "Well, okay then. Here's
what you have to do... um..."

"Drink a pint of whiskey."

"Wrestle a bear."

"Make love to a young woman."

I ponder this for a moment.

"Okay, make love to a whiskey..."

Exchanged WFT glances...

"No, DRINK a pint of whiskey, wrestle a bear, and make love to a young

"Okay, no problem."


"I can do that. No problem. This is really, really important to me. I
love you guys!" I say, teary-eyed. "Wrestle a whiskey, and what was the

I was, of course, way too drunk to remember all this. It's all kinda
blurry to me. I'm not a really brave guy, so the bear-wrestling thing
seems kinda unlikely. Making love to a young woman, well, back when I was
a younger man, that used to happen from time to time. I still remember
how. Probably. As far as you know.

Anyway, apparently, I actually finished the pint of whiskey. Suprising,
cause I hate whiskey. Wine, maybe, but whiskey? Oh, well, must be true,
I trust them explicitly.

So, I was there at one point, and all of a sudden, I was gone. Nobody was
sure where I went. They were ready to call out the troops to go look for
me, but hey, how much trouble could I get into on a small, admittedly
wild, reservation, so close to the Canadian border?

I don't remember this either, but eventually I came back, stumbling out of
the woods, filthy, my clothes all tore up, bruises and scratches all over
my arms and back and legs and what-not, raised my head and said with
bleary eyes,

"Okay, so where's this woman I gotta wrestle?"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New Format for the show -- shorter, and daily?

I've started a new practice with my podcast. Since I had such problems
with getting a 30 minute show done the other day, I decided to do shorter
shows. I've been consistently 10-11 minutes so far. Works well for me,
anyway. To be honest, my intro is a minute, and I run one song a show
that's maybe four minutes, so that leaves me five or six minutes of Me

And I'm actually Writing these days, too, although I hope it doesn't sound
too scripted. That way I can cover everything I'd intended to talk about,
sound reasonably coherent, and usually have some sort of central theme, so
I'm actually talking about something as compared to nothing in particular.
I won't rule out doing longer shows if I have some content to justify

Anyway, I hope those of you who listen like this way of doing things. And
I hope I can sustain it. Daily is a whole lot to do, and I won't promise
it'll always be daily. But I might get to like it, ya never know!

Thanks for your interest. Talk at you later, and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Vista vs DOS 3.x

Okay, having spent some time trying to explain Vista, or XP, or you-name-
it, to various folks who just bought a computer because they thought they
ought to...

They should be using DOS 3.3, maybe with Win 3.1 on top, but probably not.

They need word processing, which was easy to do with DOS.

They probably don't need spreadsheets, but they could be done with DOS.

Most of what they actually need to do with the Web could be done with Lynx
under DOS. If there's more they really need to do, Netscape under Win 3.1
could do that, and then they go back to DOS.

And... well, that's pretty much it. There are a handful of fiddly things
they could do with newer OSes, but they probably wouldn't understand what
they are, anyway. Bill Gates said, "640K should be enough for everybody." So why are they paying for more hardware, and a couple-
three hundred more for the Operating System, for stuff they never do

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Congress Vs. who?

Okay, some Congress Crittur is now jumping on Google for their actions as
regards invasion of privacy.

Excuse me? Congress, having recently abolished the Bill of Rights, is now
attacking _Google_ for invasion of privacy and deprivation of civil
rights? If Saddam Hussein wasn't dead, they only way Congress could look
more foolish is if they hired him as their spokesman.

Google is invading privacy? And Congress is perfectly fine? Et tu,

Grizzly's Growls -- The Life and Times of a Minor Local
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Grandma-proof MP3 player

My Mom loves to listen to audio books. She usually gets them as CDs,
sometimes tapes. I think she might (for example) enjoy some books from
Audible, and she might enjoy some of the books available as MP3s (from, for example).

She also likes to listen to some of her old vinyl collection, and would
like them available on CDs. But it'd be simpler, I think, to get them to
MP3s and have her access them via an MP3 player of some sort. However...

I've used a couple of gadgets for MP3 playing myself, including a teensy
device from RCA, and my now-aging PDA, which is what I'm listening to as I
type this. But...

Boy them buttons are tiny. And the displays are ridiculously small. I
have to put my glasses on, even on the PDA, just to be sure what the heck
I'm playing. I'm 49, my Mom, well, you do the math.

Anybody know of an MP3 player that is simple to use, and big enough in
buttons and display for use by my 70-something Mom, and not way out of my
barely-employed budget?

Christmas is coming. Come up with a good answer, and Santa will put you on
his Nice list!


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Sunday, December 16, 2007

A downturn in my (future) career

I just wanted to make something perfectly clear. Despite the rumors it
turns out I will -not- be a contestant on "Make Me a Supermodel" this
season. As to why, your guess is as good as mine. Can't have anything to
do with my being nearly fifty, gray-bearded and overweight. That would be
descriminatory, wouldn't it?

Although I never actually -asked- to be on the show. Maybe for the

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Ma Cable

One of the cable companies is running local to me a whole series of ads
promoting what a Wonderful Thing it is that you have one company providing
all your (phone, internet and cable) services, and how "competitive" it
is. I forget which cable clone this is, they're all the same, the name is
changed, but it's still the same old gas.

I'm old enough to recall Ma Bell, and how they just barely didn't entirely
suck on their core services, and how stuck one felt with them. And I
recall how the Fiddle Gummint decided they were profoundly anti-
competitive. I also recall $5 a month for local phone service, which is
all I really have a use for.

So how is having Bob's Cable Company doing everything better than having
Ma Bell doing everything, including cable TV? Are the cableco's going to
get me the phone service I actually use for five bucks a month, like Ma
Bell did? Are any of the wonderfully competitive other phonecos going to
get me core phone service, with no other services required, for five bucks
a month? Are the cable companies finally going public in proving that the
old Ma Bell doing everything model actually works?

Or am I going to get spectacular bargains on long distance services I
don't need, or cable services I don't want?

Gotta love competition without regulation.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Eastern Standard Tribe, by Cory Doctorow

Just finished to Cory Doctorow's book, "Eastern Standard Tribe," which I
got from I'm not sure how to categorize the book; science
fiction, probably, but technopunk, or whatever they call it? I dunno.

I like the basic concept from which the title "Eastern Standard Tribe" is
derived, and it makes a lot of sense to me. Cory's explanation of the
concept in the second episode of the Podiobook version is better than
anything I could come up with off the top of my head, of course.

Basically, his protagonist points out that people tend to form up into
tribes, and derive much of their norms of behavior from the tribe that
surrounds them. In the Olden Days when I was a boy, folks didn't travel
or communicate over long distances, so they if they didn't like or agree
with their tribe's normal behaviors, they were stuck.

Now we can at least communicate over longer distances pretty regularly, so
we can form new sorts of tribes with people in other areas who are more
conducive. Since those other areas are often in other timezones, we
adjust our diurnal cycles to be able to communicate live with our chosen
tribemates. (Kinda makes the title have obvious meaning, doesn't it?) Or
some folks do, anyway; doesn't work that way for me.

I just don't do much instant messaging. I rarely even remember to crank
up my IM client, Trillian, even if I'm online for a long stretch. I think
I never got the habit, because I started out with offline messaging
through BBSes, and even running my own BBS. True, I have had a number of
tribes over the years, one of them for a couple decades now, but since
that sort of messaging is all time-shifted anyway, the timezone tribalism
was never gonna be an issue for me.

My attitudes are awfully old-school, I suppose. I keep hearing about
these social-networking sites, Twittr, for example, that involve
constantly sending instant messages and text messaging on phones, and I do
some occasional IMing and IRC chat. So I know that's what people do now,
but I've never been very happy with the feel of IMing, or with using
websites for messaging. That's not what the Web is for. I hardly do any
IRC chatting, either, anymore.

Anyway, the Podiobook was excellent. A storyline I could understand, a
protagonist with whom I could identify, lots of cool techie ideas. I
kinda felt like I had to listen to that one book in particular because
Cory Doctorow is an SF author I've heard of. Think I might have seen some
of his work in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, back when it was
still called that.

It strikes me, too, that the book has a bit of the feel of a Great
American Novel, first person narrative style with a certain psychic
distance between the storyteller protagonist and the other characters, and
a certain edge to the quirky "supporting cast" that I haven't seen in
Science Fiction. Don't know if I can explain that well enough, but seems
to me that it's there.

The author does the reading himself, solo, does so quite well, and damn he
reads fast! The book proceeds at a breakneck pace because of that, I
think, and the reading style does a lot to add energy to the book. The
downside is that I was left wanting more -- I go through a lot of audio
books -- yet I'd have to say the book really did tell the story and, if
you will, it ended at the end.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And another thing...

And speaking of my earlier speaking of...

This series of novels, "Quarter Share," and "Half Share" and "Quarter
Share," is a brilliant resource for understanding the necessary
constraints of any fully-recycled environment, but of course a
specifically space-faring, self-supporting environment. If you want to
understand the fundamentals of a self-supporting environment, as well as a
shipboard environment, this is a purely wonderful source.

Granted, it's a bit saintly in perspective, but it's what used to be
coolest about the Golden Age. So, it is good science fiction, but it's
also a brilliant source for real-world life. It is, bottom line, how do
you survive in an unfamiliar environment? How do you learn how to cope
with a new environment?

So I still think this is a wonderful book. I'm now up to chapter 6. I
have listened to a lot of audio versions of a lot of books, for the past
several years. But still, I this book, narrated by the author, is
brilliantly done by every measure I can come up with. It is a good book,
it is good based on the standards of the Golden Age -- the best era for
storytelling in SF, and why I keep looking for Golden Age stories I
haven't read or heard yet, and why it's called the Golden Age, a damn
demanding standard -- and it's brilliantly read, oddly enough, a writer
who can read well, too? He must be killed before he makes the rest of us
look bad! He said, with a scary tone in his voice...

This guy is really scarey good.

Yeah, I'm a geek, yeah, I'm absorbed with this whole audiobook thing -- I
need to have two or three things going just to be able to be focused on
any of them --- but I'm getting just a profound kick out of this book,
because it's about someone LIKE ME -- someone who can't be fascinated by
any topic unless I know how it's part of everything else. And this is a
story about trying to understand everything at once. Which is something I
can't help but do.

So, yeah, I'm well-suited for that time, someday, when it's possible to
make a use of all my skills in an environment that asks for them.

And the bad news is, I'm a telemarketer, and none of my best skills will
ever be used by my current employers. I am likely to remain in a place
where no one will ever actually make use of the areas of expertise I have.

Because I'm a telemarketer, and that's all anyone will expect me to be
capaable of.

So, what's a guy gotta do to get a cup of coffee around this joint?

Oh, what's you're missing, and why haven't you already subscribed to
"Quarter Share" on

Grizzly's Growls -- The Life and Times of a Minor Local
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... and ya know what's really cool?

Speaking of my previous entry, you know what's really cool?

My best friend, Jeff Fosle, who I grew up with -- I literally have known
Jeff since before he was born, having seen his Mom when I wandered across
the street to his family's house, since my brother played with his older
brother, and my younger sister played with his (later) big sister.
There's his Mom, big as a house as they say, and she was carrying him at
the time.

Knew him since before he was born. Literally.

Anyway, Jeff -- and his son, John -- are now certified to go out on The
Boats. Duluth and Superior are big shipping sites, and getting On The
Boats is the core function here. We used to have a lot of other stuff
going on, but the steel industry is in the toilet and the Air Force base
is now a minimum security Federal prison.

But going on the boats is the real money job.

So I'm thinking, this is a great source for understanding The Boats. I'm
wondering if the author doesn't know a bit about this stuff...

Fascinating stuff. Might even learn something, go figure.

Grizzly's Growls -- The Life and Times of a Minor Local
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Quarter Share Podiobook

Still working my way through the library of I mentioned
the books I've been reading/listening to on my podcast with my last
(rather huge) show.

My latest acquisition is "Quarter Share," a science fiction book focused
on a brand-new crewmember on an interstellar trading ship. I've been
reading science fiction for decades now. This one, I'm just loving.

What I particularly love about this one, is our brand-new crewmember gets
into a steward's slot on the ship, primarily food service. I have a dozen
years of experience with food service, even a degree in "Commercial Foods
& Restaurant Management." Never was a particularly good cook, but I can
manage the mechanics thereof. I am particularly good at Food Costing,
ingredient costs being a particularly important element of any restaurant.
But of course, right out of school, they didn't want me to handle recipe
costing or stock management, they wanted me to cook. And I suck at
cooking. So I gave up cooking a decade ago or thereabouts.

Anyway, there I am, listening to a science fiction novel, about becoming a
crewmember on a space trader ... and this new crewmember falls right in to
place, because he makes damn good coffee.

And I make damn good coffee.

So I'm thinking, hey, waitaminute, for years I've been reading science
fiction, and thinking "yeah, but I'd never have the skills to do that sort
of thing," and they need a good coffee guy? Maybe, after all, all this
science fictional stuff comes down to doing what you do, but in an
environment that might involve a lot of high-tech whatchamacallits, and
yeah, there's a need for high-tech-whatchamacallit experts... there's
still a need for people who know how to do the basic stuff that still
needs to be done.

And I can do that.

Reminds me of when I was working down at Ocean Reef Club back on the
pointy end of Key Largo. Very high-end environment, and certainly they
had a bunch of folks who were brilliant on alla that fancy chef stuff one
needs to do. One day I had a chat with the overall Chef of the whole
operation down there, who's name as I recall was Jeff Olson. I pointed
out that I really didn't have all the fancy-schmancy skills some of the
guys had, and he said, "yeah, but all the other stuff -- pealing potatoes,
and prepping vegetables, and so on, still needs to be done, and done
reliably and consistently. With enough money we can get lots of the
brilliant guys. But the day-to-day stuff still needs to be done. And the
brilliant guys sometimes think they're Too Cool to do that stuff. So we
need you here -- maybe more than we need the brilliant guys."

Never meant more to me than right now.

I gave up cooking maybe two years after finishing cooking school. That
was probably closely related to leaving behind my fiancee, who I'd met
while working down in Florida as a cook. Kinda kicked my enthusiasm for
cooking to the curb.

Granted, the NASA astronaut program isn't looking desparately for me. But
if there is ever a real space presence, there will be a need for people
know how to do the basic stuff really well. And that I can do.

And it's nice to be reminded that science fiction after all isn't about
Dirk Savage, Space Hero, but in the final analysis about regular folks who
find themselves in a complex environment, and still have to live their day-
to-day lives.

Like us, when you think about it.

Anyway, based on a dozen episodes, I can strongly recommend "Quarter
Share," and the following "Half Share" and "Full Share," already online at Science fiction about the real world. Reminds me of the
best Golden Age science fiction, most of which I've already read.

Gotta see if there's a promo for that, for some future episode of
"Grizzly's Growls."

Grizzly's Growls -- The Life and Times of a Minor Local
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Making Amends

I tried to start another show last night, but ended up trying to write the
show still at 3:00 am or so. Never finished.

Anyway, decided I'm not sure what to say about this particular topic.
It's not done yet. I have a vague idea of the questions, but no clue as
to the answers.

This weekend, off singing Kareoke at one of my primary bars (I've pretty
much given up on one location, but that's a story for another day), I ran
into someone I hadn't seen in a couple of decades.

He turned out to be someone who used to bully me back in High School. He
turned out to be someone who is now a recovering alcoholic. And he turns
out to be seeking to Make Amends, as required by one of the 12 steps. I
have no idea which one, but one of them. He didn't expect to see me, but
upon seeing me, he decided he needed to Make Amends to me, too.

Which raises the question: How do you make amends for bullying?

For the first four years of my life, the only people I encountered were
family, and a very few, very close neighbors. My oldest friend from those
days wasn't even born then.

Then I went off to school, kindergarten. They didn't have Day Care back
in the day. My first meeting with people other than that little group.

It was a long time ago. But my first memory of Kindergarten, my first
memory of meeting anyone not family and dealing with them day-to-day, was
of being bullied by a big guy named Bruce. I don't remember his last
name, and it's possible I never new it. It's not like it would have been
my top concern.

Up to that point, I had gotten along okay with nearly everyone I'd ever
met in my entire life. The few exceptions included three guys from the
next street over who'd already been bullying my brother, and decided since
I was nearby, I was a target, too.

And then I went to Kindergarten, and became a target.

Sometimes I wonder whether this whole Aspergers Syndrome thing means
anything. Take any child and torment them from the age of five, for the
rest of their young lives, and see if that makes it hard for them to
socialize, to react with extreme stress to the contact or even closeness
of anyone. See if romance is utterly absent from their lives. See if
they start rocking, flapping their hair, and staring at the ground.

Bruce tormented me through the next six years of my life. He created a
culture of abuse focused on me, as part of a culture of abuse that was as
much a part of our school system as number 2 pencils. Your school system,
too, probably.

"Boys will be boys."

Maybe that's true. Let's ask an expert on boys, like John Wayne Gasey, or
Jeffrey Daumer.

I was tormented for so long, and by so many people, literally a culture of
abuste, that by my junior year in high school, people were tormenting me
by calling me names that had had a particular meaning in Kindergarten, but
no one but me (and Bruce) actually knew what the hell those abusive names
referred to. People would call me those names -- I haven't quite gotten
to the point of closure where I can even type them -- and think them
nicknames or terms of affection. I eventually blew up at my desk-partner
in homeroom, because he called me one of those names. After I explained,
he told me he'd had no idea what the name referred to.

I managed to turn maybe half of my Senior year of high school into
something resembling a good year. But I was still fouled up. Call it
PTSD, it's not a bad description. I was voted the Most Intelligent of my
senior class. I didn't graduate with my senior class. I had to take
night school to finish one class, and summer school to finish another,
both required courses.

At the time, I could have attended college locally, at a fully-fledged
college, for free, funded by my state, for a four-year degree, anyway. I
didn't go. My experience up to that point had been that school meant
abuse. School meant ridicule and humiliation and torment. I didn't want
more school.

Then, one could get a Good Job with a High School diploma -- I've got one
of those, barely. Now you can't get a decent job without college. I've
got none, I'm a telemarketer.

So, let's make amends.

How do you fix that? As George Cluny put it in another context, "So who
do we see about that?"

He wants to fix the mistakes he made. And yes, he was part of the torture
I went through for a dozen years. But he wasn't the only one, and I
didn't remember him by name, so I suppose he didn't own such a big piece
of that pile of crap. But I'm 49 now, no education, no decent life, no
American Dream for me, can't do a job interview without being overwhelmed
by expectations of ridicule. I'm a telemarketer. "So who do we see about

Does it make it better that he just bought into the existing culture of
torture? Does it make it better that he was just accepting the pain
others inflicted, while only creating a little more pain himself,

How does he make amends for that, for not standing up?

How does he make amends, for just being a soldier in the army, for just
following orders, for whatever reason -- if you're not with us, you're
against us, you're against us, if you're not a killer, you're a victim.

Sure, Killer seems such a strong word. "That which does not kill me makes
me stronger." And that which takes away most of my life -doesn't-
essentially kill me?

How does he make amends? How do you fix that?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Re: [Long_Live_TechTV] Consumer Groups Ask FCC to Fine Comcast

It was 2 Nov 2007, when jimmy miller commented:

> A coalition of consumer groups has formally asked the Federal
> Communications Commission to stop Comcast Corp. from interfering with file
> sharing and to fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber.
> The petitions will be the first real test of the FCC's stance on
> the so-called "Net Neutrality" issue. The agency has said that Internet
> service providers can't block customers from Web sites or from using
> Internet-based applications, but it has not had to enforce that policy,
> given the long-standing industry practice of treating all Internet traffic
> substantially equally.

You wanna hear my Conspiracy Theory?

Currently, we have a handful of corporations (with large amounts of money
attached thereunto) who control access and use of a significant number of
tunes people love and want to keep hearing.)

They currently have access only to those tunes they've bought.

They are, apparently, trying to kill off the access of anyone, even those
who have paid for access, to their paid-for songs. They're getting
viciously aggressive as regards anything even approaching reproduction of
those songs, even if those reproductions are local, only for the use of
the person who's already paid for access.


Well, lessee. We have companies that have paid billions to create the
ability to reproduce and promote music. But they can only reproduce songs
they're licensed to reproduce.

But what if there were no longer any copyright restrictions?

What if the companies that are best positioned to reproduce in volume can
reproduce in volume anything they care to?

They no longer have to decide which songs they reproduce -- if they have a
copy, they can produce more, whatever happens to be saleable right now.

So, if they want that, what's their biggest obstacle? Copyright. They
need to get permission from whoever has the authority. Even if they're
"friends" with the source, they still have another negotiation to get
through. And even if they're friends, there's still anti-trust -- can't
have all the buddies negotiating deals so they can just do what they want.

So, let's suppose everybody figures they'd be better off if they can just
do what they want without having inconvenient obstacles like the law and

But yeah, there's still copyright, back in the real world. How do you get
past that?

So, how do you get past copyright?

Convince everyone that Copyright Is Wrong.

Convince everyone that Copyright Is Evil.

Convince everyone that Copyright is something driven by that artificial
satan, the RIAA.

Except, the RIAA is just an artificial entity. Driven by all the Vinyl
Record Creating Corporations.

It is a lie. And it is the Father of Lies.

But damn profitable.

God Bless.

There is no try. There is only "do."

grizzlysgrowls at gmail dot com
Podcast: <>
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The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, November 12, 2007

So, where have I been?

Had intended to do a show last weekend, but we got one a them shed
thingies, that's more like a tent with a heavy frame, and we put that up
on Sunday, so I didn't get it done. Or started.

Then early in the week I blew up at the bartender at one of my two regular
Kareoke bars. Then late in the week I got pissed -- in a couple of
different senses -- at my other Kareoke bar. I'm out of places to sing.

Just as well, I'm really tired of Kareoke.

It isn't Kareoke I'm tired of, really. I'm tired of hoping that something
major will change in my life. Because it doesn't change. Same stuff,
different day.

I should have done a show this weekend, too. This weekend, I don't have
any excuses.

Does back pain count?

Okay, let's pretend it does.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And the Costs just keep on coming

My last podcast was about bullying, mostly, and about the cost of doing
the right thing. I've had plenty of experience of bullying. A bit less
of doing the right thing, I suppose.

As it turns out, my stressful evening the other night is still costing me.
I'm now having nightmares about bullying. Very realistic dream. Sad to
say, all that experience gives me dreams of very high quality - if you
want to call it that.

I woke up in the middle of the night, with all those memories roaring in
my head. The voices of my dream just wouldn't stop talking. No, this
isn't a "voices in my head" scenario. Just my heart beating a million
times a minute in a room that was way too quiet and too dark, and me still
not quite awake. But it wasn't a pleasant feeling.

People like me who have lived through bullying sometimes describe the
effects as PTSD -- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not as like PTSD, but
as PTSD. I'm not an expert on such things, but I wouldn't entirely rule
it out. It's not a feeling that goes away. And you learn to avoid
getting hurt again, either by hitting first, or by fading into the
background, and not trusting anybody entirely, either way.

Ugly business. And I have my new, large friend to thank for that. It
isn't easy to forgive for that. But I still feel like I ought to. But
I'm not so sure I will. Maybe.

By the way, I in my show about bullying, I used a song entitled "Terrified," by The Raventones and or TR Kelley. As it turns out, unknown to me, the song is part of a larger work. About bullying. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Now what do I do?

I'm reminded of the end of the old Robert Redford movie, "The Candidate."
Redford's character goes from an idealistic but not too articulate civil
rights lawyer, to an articulate but not too idealistic candidate. At the
end he's elected (hope I didn't spoil it for you), and then he asks, "Now
what do I do?" And none of the campaign pros who got him elected answer.
The election's over, their job is done, now it's up to him.

I was just thinking, having put up a post a while back about being a
candidate for City Council in Ann Arbor MI's 4th Ward, even though I don't
live anywhere near there and haven't for years, what would happen if a
bunch of folks put me down as a write-in candidate? I probably would be
ineligible. Probably. But suppose I got the majority and was "elected,"
more or less.

Then what do I do? Pack my bags and move back to Ann Arbor?

Not gonna happen. But be careful what you wish for, sometimes you get it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

All my Sins Remembered

Just got a comment on my blog, to a post I did a long while back, about
when I ran for Ann Arbor City Council maybe 10 years ago.

I did respond to the comment, and that's a whole 'nother thread. But what
struck me is how ironic it is that people assume that what they say on the
Internet is entirely anonymous, just because there's so much Stuff on the
Internet, surely no one will find that one thing they wish they hadn't

Not so much.

I don't regret what I said, and I don't feel differently about what I
said. But I will point out that on a recent podcast, I pointed out
repeatedly to my co-host that everyone would know what she said, and I
don't doubt that happened. In any case, there is no security through
obscurity. There is only security through security.

Funny, though, how many people think they're perfectly fine, because after
all, who's going to pay attention to what _I_ say...

Nope, not so much.

grizzlysgrowls at gmail dot com
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sosthenes Behn and the New at&t

Ma Bell's zombie clone, currently known as at&t, why, I dunno, has decided
they can freely suppress any content on their network that "tends to" say
anything negative about them.

The little cockroach-sized version, the modern Ma Bell, also feels that
"net neutrality" is unnecessary and a bad idea. They seem to think it'd
be a bad thing if service providers can't supress the speech of those they
don't like, and/or can't demand extra money for free speech and access to
free speech. And I never once mentioned Google.

Wonderful how free enterprise has improved the quality of dialog in the
American Experiment and the worldwide experiment in the freedom of man.
This company brings back memories of Sosthenes Behn, who used to be the
the leader of ITT, the lovechild of Bell Telephone and the Third Reich.
Wikipedia doesn't have much, but here's the link:
<> There's more, but you need
to see if Google will let you find it.

Fascinating stuff. The "new at&t" and their behavior reminds me of ITT.
Note that ITT is -not- the same as the old AT&T, which is why there's no &
in the name. There's a lot of history in there, much of it deeply and
profoundly scary.

And this is the company that wants to decide what the users of the
Interweb ought to be able to do, especially when they're talking about

Not ITT, not AT&T, but at&t. Something completely different. Some entity
without the long-running monopolistic history of a company like AT&T and
the Bell Telephone Company. I'm talking about a completely different
company, and naturally I wouldn't want to accuse the new at&t as compared
to the old AT&T of something someone else is guilty of.

Only things they're doing themselves.

The lovely thing about math, you can do the math yourselves, and come up
with the same results, and come to the same conclusions. Or different
results, and different conclusiions.

You do the math.

grizzlysgrowls at gmail dot com
Netcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Good news, bad news, good news, bad news, and so on

A friend of mine changed jobs, and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

She's a very pretty lady, and I've known her for a little while, working
together. Younger than me chronologically, but has a range of life
experience beyond my comprehension. Interesting to listen to her, talking
about her life. Recently, she went back to her old career.

Exotic dancer.

So hey, I hadda go look, and yes, she looks every bit as good nekkid as
I'd thought. I've seen exotic dancers before, never was a problem. But
another part of me is uncomfortable seeing a lady I know from elsewhere,
dancing nekkid. I respond to her the way guys to respond to pretty,
nekkid young women, but I feel a little uncomfortable feeling that way
about someone I sorta know from elsewhere.

Note the use of the word "nekkid" here probably demonstrates some of my
discomfort -- "nekkid" isn't the same thing as "naked." I wonder if that
doesn't describe it well. I see her as a dancer, and she's "nekkid," and
hey, I'm fine with that. Then I recognize my friend, all of a sudden,
she's "naked" in public in front of Gawd 'n' everybody and there I am
watching, and that makes me uncomfortable.

Don't know what I'm supposed to feel about that. It's her choice, her
life -- lots better money than where I work -- and she says it makes her
happy. And if it makes her happy, it can't be that bad, right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Tried to replace my "gonna post someday soon" podcast post with my newest
(and really rather bad) show. Didn't work. New shownotes, old show.
Took it down.

I'm going to either (a) recompile the MP3, or (b) scrap the old show and
put up a new one.

In any case, sorry about alla that. Won't happen again, for at least a
few days.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Centipede's dilemma

There's a very old story, possibly covered by the Brothers Grimm.

A little girl comes across a Centipede in the garden. Might have been a
millipede, depends on who you ask.

So the little girl watches the Centipede (or whatever) for a while, then
says, "Excuse me, but that's really remarkable. How do you manage to walk
with so many legs?"

So the Centipede looks up at her, looks down at his legs, up at her, down
at his legs, takes a step -- and falls flat on his face. When he really
thought about it, he couldn't figure out how he did it. So he couldn't do
it anymore.

I've spent far too much time thinking about how I do podcasts. I never
really thought about it. I cranked up the computer, grabbed the mike, and
started talking.

Now I think about it, and I don't even pick up the mike.

I feel self-conscious.

So I don't podcast.

To paraphrase Mur Lafferty, "I Should Be Podcasting."

It's not really a writer's block, because I don't have any trouble coming
up with more of the crap I used to talk about back when. I just get into
this loop when I start thinking, "But what will people actually think when
I say that, or talk about that? What if I look stupid, what if I make a
fool of myself?"

And I don't podcast. I talk -about- podcasting, I look at my stats -for-
the podcast I used to do up till last month. But I think about it, blush,
wrap my arms about myself and walk away for another week or three.

I did do one little thing to say I wasn't podfaded, that I was just
working on ideas. And I suppose I'm not really podfaded, I'm still
blogging, ain't I? I'm not entirely shut down. But I don't carry my
microphone around with me anymore, just the laptop. I still email, I
still blog (and am frequently and asshole about that, but that's another
post), but I don't podcast.

Because I don't want to make a fool of myself.

Probably, if I was going to make a fool of myself podcasting, I've already
done that. But a handful of people have liked some of what I've done
previously, and I have no idea what That is.

And I dunno if I have any more of That left, whatever it was.

And I certainly don't want to be an internationally syndicated, really bad
podcaster. I want to be good at it. And I don't know if I am, ever was,
or ever could be.

Too many legs, and when I think about it, I can't take that first step
without falling on my face. Or can I? Film at 11.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Friday, September 21, 2007

How long is too long?

An interesting topic has come up in one of the email lists I follow, and
in which I occasionally participate. I run my own mailserver and a couple
other web-based outlets (like this one), and spent several years as a BBS
Sysop, so I figured I earned it. I thought I knew the answer to this one,
and then I thought, "Waitaminute, is this really that obvious?"

Anyway, let's suppose you're an ISP. Let's suppose that someone is
alleged to have a "Phishing" website hosted on some of your hardware, say
on a piece contracted out to one of your clients (perhaps a client of a
client, even).

How long is a reasonable time to expect you to at least block access to
that phishing site?

Phishing is a way of defrauding clients of various banks and credit card
companies and such, by fooling them into giving you their usernames and
passwords and whatnot, possibly credit card numbers, expiration dates and
Mother's Maiden Names and such.

Often I receive emails, for example, telling me my account at US Bank or
Citibank has been compromised, and I need to click on a link and enter my
identification info to revalidate. (Since I have accounts at neither
bank, and I know how this stuff works, I don't respond, and send the email
off to the appropriate complaint address.)

The links need to connect to a particular website hosted somewhere.
Sometimes, these websites are subversively injected into pw0ned sites.
Sometimes they just buy space and put it up. Somebody owns and is
responsible for the hardware hosting those phishing sites.

If it were on your hardware, how long should it take you to take it
offline from the time you're notified it's there? How about if it's on
equipment you're providing to a client? Or a client of a client? Or a
client of a client of...? How authoritative does the source of a
complaint have to be?

My initial take was, well, phishing is a crime. If you're a landlord and
you know somebody's committing a crime, say selling crack from their
apartment, you call the cops, the SWAT team shows up, you wash your hands
and get to work cleaning up the apartment for the next tenant.

But how sure do you have to be they -are- committing a crime? What if
somebody just told you they were, but you never saw that? What if you own
a dozen buildings on a block, lease each building to a different landlord,
and that landlord rents out to various tenants, and someone you've never
heard of, and who you can't be sure is actually who they say they are,
claims that one tenant of one of the landlords is committing a crime? Do
you close down the block (given metaphorically you could)? Close down
that landlord? Figure out how to get that particular tenant isolated?

What if someone wearing a cheap suit showed what claimed to be FBI I.D.,
and made the same claim? (Do FBI agents have more expensive suits these
days? Agent Starling in "Silence of the Lambs" dressed rather well.)

So the answer isn't quite as obvious as I thought it was initially. How
do you set a "burden of proof" for such a complaint? How much action do
you take IMMEDIATELY to block the alleged criminal activity?

And even if it's the Gubmint claiming the crime, how responsive ought you
to be in terms of freedom-of-speech issues? Even if it is the FBI
(phishing seems like it'd more likely a Secret Service issue), are they
complaining about phishing or making such claims to stop someone who, say,
is blogging negatively about administration policies, or Committee for
State Security -- excuse me, Department of Homeland Sekurity --

Is it a crime to shout "Komitet!" in a crowded political meeting?

What's a reasonable expectation for prompt response, based on what are
after all apparently unsupported allegations?

Not so sure I know the answer anymore. <sigh> This InterWeb stuff sure
gets complicated, don't it?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Oh, yes you can

One of the many podcasts I listen to is CNN's "You Can't Make This Stuff
Up." Fairly clever, fairly funny. Can't beat the price.

So, they did one story which had me scratching my head. The police pulled
this fellow over because he was weaving, and they thought he was driving
drunk. Turns out, he wasn't drunk, he was blind, and was getting
directions from his much younger passenger. "You Can't Make This Stuff

Well, um, seems to me, they -did- make this stuff up. This same incident
happened in "The Scent of a Woman." Remember, Al Pacino, "WHOO-haw!" and
so on.

Sure, I suppose it happened in real life -- though sometimes stories show
up in the news that never actually happened, what they call Urban
Legends. But suppose it did.

You still can't say you -can't- make this stuff up, because somebody -did-
make this stuff up, now didn't they?

So does that still count?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


CNN Marketplace says now that Arizona has the fastest Houset Markingplace
in the whatchamacallit! WTF? Markingplace? Haven't they banned mind-
altering drugs at CNN yet?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

... But Not Mine!

I follow the Dawn & Drew podcast, and no, I don't mention this to glorify
myself or my own show. I'm just "noodling," thinking about what I'd have
to say about that stuff.

A short while back, some nasty critter from The Wild came into the coop
and killed off their miniature chickens -- not the fullsized kind, just
the teensy little ones that still look like chickens...

And I was gonna get all sentimental about the dead little ones, and then
just after listening to Dawn weeping about their lost children, I get THIS
and so on.

Apparently, the best and the brightest aren't involved in their

Dawn, I feel your pain, and I expressed some of that in my phone message.
grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Stick-on barcode on Paypal fobs?

I have one of those new Paypal security fobs. Like the idea, worry about
losing the thing, or Something Going Horribly Wrong.

Thing is, it's got a stick-on label with a barcode on the back. On the
one hand, I'd think to remove it, the same way I'd remove the sticker on a
combination padlock. On the other hand, I'd think there might be some
moment in the future -- this is a whole new gadget, and it's all future --
where I need that barcode. On the gripping hand, even if it is necessary,
it seems like it'd be a security hole while I'm carrying the thing around.


grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Answers

Periodically, like tonight, I see women with other guys. I especially see
women who I find attractive for myself -- Guy Thing.

And when I'm most intimidated is when I see them with guys who have their
Answers. The Answers are what you find when you know who you are going to
be and what you're going to do. They have them.

Women are attracted to the Answers. They want confidence and security,
and I don't blame them a bit. Wish I had them to offer.

I don't have the Answers. I've found the Questions a few times, and they
always led to more Questions, and no answers.

On occasion I find women who aren't looking for the Answers. Because when
you find the Answers you're done. Then you finish your business in the
world, and then you're done, and you die.

Some very few women find the Questions far more interesting than the
answers. Not often, not many, but some do. Those are my moments of

Gotta get me more of those.

Because Answers have I none.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I hate forums!!!

I really, truly, deeply and profoundly hate web-based forums.

There are already technologies for messaging that have been part of the
Internet for decades now -- email, newsgroups, even the IM technologies
that are relatively new, though there were IMing technologies decades ago.

I don't care to use a webbrowser for stuff other than browsing the web.
And I gather that's a crazy idea. Oh, well, I'm crazy, and that's a bad
thing. Huh, go figure.

Not doing it. It's annoying, and I have to message while looking at 3-d
full-motion video advertisements, and that's Better, because... well,
because who ever runs the website wants to sell adspace. And I interfere
with that.

I'm not gonna buy it, why scream at me about it?

Discussion forums use discussion-oriented media. If you wanna discuss
stuff with me, use a discussion media. If you wanna use something that
works well on the Web, put it in the web. Don't waste my time, otherwise,
I wont' be listening.

There are some vague middle grounds, like the flash-based or javascript-
based live chat support links. Since such tech support usually sucks,
using the links usually sucks, too.

Otherwise, use the appropriate technology, or don't expect me to be

What I really want for Christmas (even though I do kinda need underwear)

BTW, I found this really cool gadget that'd be ideal for my podcasting --
I know somebody (Michael W Dean) who's already using it for that. Only $199 on this particular site, which I like because it also takes Paypal. Gotta get one
of these some day soon.

ZOOM H2 Portable 2 Track Digital Recorder w/FREE headphones

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Heard about Google's Blog Search thingie, so I thought I'd check to see if
mine showed up. Well, the podcast shows up, but the blog didn't, that I
noticed. What did show up was a blog called "Grizzly Growls," also on
Blogspot, at a nearly identical URL, .
Seemed like a very nice blog, but she seems to have given up on it after a
month or so. Kind of a shame, really; hope she didn't drop it because of

Maybe I should drop her a comment?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"There is no known firewall that is invulnerable..."

Listening to the Security Now podcast from

Steve Gibson
and Leo LaPorte list a whole slew of vulnerabilities that no firewall
actually blocks. Every single one has vulnerabilities, there a dozen or
two vulnerabilities everyone knows about, and no firewall on the market
blocks all of them.

Steve wrote one of the first Leaktest utilities, which worked fine, and
alla the folks who create firewalls that fixed the problems he pointed
out. Dozens (at least) of other vulnerabilites are out there now, that no
firewall will catch.

And essentially nobody fixed them.

And essentially everybody sells their firewall as completely secure.

Firewalls are good. Firewalls that don't really protect you, and then lie
about it, are bad. And that essentially means all of them.

WTF? If you can fix it, and claim you -have- fixed it, it might be kinda
nice if you, oh, say, actually fixed it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Fix it, damn it!

Look at for more info. Me, I'm screwed.

Nice how the Interweb made all that computer stuff eversomuch more
pleasant and enjoyable ain't it?

Sony Vs Sony?

I was listening to CNet's news podcast, and caught a brief bit that makes
me scratch my head.

Sony created BlueRay, fine, got that. According to the show, HDDVD is
also backed by Sony. Wassup with that? Sony is backing -both- formats?
Does this fail the WTF test? And if not, why not?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing

So, lessee...

I've done a great number -- well, for me, a great number of posts -- about
various stuff I felt really strongly about. Got up to a whole 3 people
who actually cared what I thought.

Then I did one post about somebody elses post that was about yet another
person post about some topic that... well, I have no idea what they posted

The number of people (technically) listening increased by 400 percent or

For a post about nothing. An event that was essentially an administrative
anomaly in the vast mound of automated paperwork that is the Internet.

So now, I come up with what I think are clever things to say, and
waitaminute, a whole slew of people came over here just because I said
nothing of redeeming social value.

So what the hell was I thinking?

What should I be talking about?

Do I have anything else to say, that is of value by virtue of saying, and
meaning, nothing whatsoever?

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound fury... signifying nothing."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Barak Obama does commercials?

Okay, so I'm sitting in Friendly Local Bar, reading email, listening to
podcasts, drinking beer, and I look up at the TV, Colts vs Saints, and I
see a brief snippet (as compared to a whole Snip) of a commercial. Didn't
see enough to know which sandwich chain it was, but there was a submarine
sandwich in there, so I have some preliminary assumptions.

Anyway, I'm seeing the guy on this program, and I think, "Waitaminute,
Barak Obama is doing sandwich commercials?"

Nobody else in the bar noticed. There was no indication on the
commercial. I couldn't prove it. But that guy sure -looked- like Barak

I mean, hey, the only bad publicity is when they don't spell your name
right. But Sandwich commercials?

Did anybody else see this commercial? Did I get this wrong?

I don't think it's a bad thing, we do have wassisname doing movies and L&A
and whatnot. (Very good in "Hunt for Red October," BTW.) Just saw it,
with nothing indicating who he was, or why he was there. Just kinda out
of the blue.

And hey, maybe he needs a commercial career to fall back on.

BTW, how did I know? It was all about the ears.

The more things change, the more they stay the subject of a new class-
action lawsuit.

What'd I Say?

I did, what, four new posts yesterday. Overnight I went from 3
subscribers to 13, and I'm in the midst of downloading not my usual 500-or-
so emails, but 6290 emails.

Six thousand, two hundred and ninety emails, in one day. Yikes!

Wonder what touched that off? The 24-inch iPod? Nominating the entire
country for President? Contending nobody likes Communists anymore?

Maybe something completely different?

This Internet stuff sure is confusing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The new 24-inch iPod!!!

I was just listening to CNET -- I do a lot of that -- and heard about
Apple's new 20-inch and 24-inch iProducts.

So I figured you'd all wanna know about the new, bigger iPods. Great, the
new video iPods they've been rumoring about. Granted, even the 20-inch
device will be difficult to carry in a pocket, but even so, that'd be a
kick-ass podcast catching platrorm. And hell, 24-inch? That's not only a
truly spectacular video podcast platform, you could do some serious gaming
on such a gadget. Just imagine, playing cutting-edge video games on a
device you can stick in your pocket.

Except, 24 inch, that seems kinda big for a pocket device.

I mean, heck 24 inch, isn't that kinda overkill for a podcast-catcher?
Nice, but it just seems kinda big.

Heck, 20-inch still seems to big. Decent size for a DVD viewer. Too big
for a handheld video device. What the hell were they thinking?

Oh. Wait. Just a second.

Just checked the source on this, and as it turns out, they were talking
about iMacs, not iPods.

That's completely different. Never mind.

Vote Me for City Council!

I've decided, now that I'm an internationally renowned celebrity, to run
for City Council.

Actually, the City Council seat in Ann Arbor's Fourth Ward.

That would be Ann Arbor, Michigan, of course.

Now the campaign won't be easy. For one thing, I no longer live in the
Fourth Ward. Or in Ann Arbor.

Actually, I haven't lived anywhere in the state of Michigan for the last
four years or so.

So it'll be an uphill struggle, and I'm sure my millions of fans are up to
the challenge.

I did actually run for City Council in Ann Arbor's Fourth Ward a while
back. I came in second. The only other candidate came in first.

So, the good news is, I'm an experienced City Council candidate. And
people did actually vote for me. A remarkable number of people, though
not enough to elect me. BTW, thanks, guys, I was amazed and humbled that
people supported me for City Council, even though I didn't do very well at

It seems that in the process of trusting the existing Democratic political
structure, and in particular the Ward Chair, Greg Hebert, I did what he
said I should do, which turned out to be the exactly wrong way to run a
City Council campaign -- or any political campaign on a planet that
supports human life -- so I'm thinking Greg is a really lousy source for
campaign advice.

Now, since I know they have a Ward Chair that sucks at political
campaigns, I figure I can continue to run for Democratic candidate for 4th
Ward from way up here, and actually win. If Greg's still in charge, they
won't have a candidate who can win, anyway, so I'll be a shoe-in, at least
for the Democratic slot -- Greg won't properly support any existing

If my constituents, or future constituents, insist, I'll be more than
happy to move back to Ann Arbor. Always liked the town, just didn't like
being so far away from my family, who mostly live here in northern

FWIW, when I ran for city council, my team put together Ann Arbor's first
campaign video. I did the words, I did all the talking-head stuff myself,
my videographer (who's name I regretfully forget) chose the sites and did
the video stuff.

And I did get stopped once by a young couple, who asked me if I was me,
and excitedly said "We voted for you!" People were enthused by my
candidacy. And they voted-by-default for my opponent. So I was likely
the better candidate, but since Greg HEE-bert insisted on campaigning in
the areas where people didnt' support me, rather than making sure
Democrats knew there was somebody running for the job, the other guy won.
Thanks, Greg. I'm sure, by now, you've been put in the Ann Arbor
Democrats Hall of Fame for your fine work.

Test Message, please tell all your friends

This is a test message. It conveys no useful information whatsoever.

Please tell all your friends. If you know anybody in the media, make sure
they know about this. If you know any national leaders, tell them, too,
and make sure they forward a copy to other national leaders, especially to

Not that they'll (a) care, or (b) even mention they'd ever heard of it.
But, hey, the only bad publicity is when they don't spell your name right.

You for President!

I was suddenly struck by a wild idea, which of course means it must be
immediately implemented, reviled in the press, ridiculed in the tabloids,
and eventually banned.

The Time Magazine Person of the Year not so long ago, was You, since You
produced most of the cool new content on that Interweb thang what they
talk about on the Tee Vee alla time.

So, how about nominating the Time Magazine Person of the Year for
President? Preferably as a Republican. Maybe as a Libertarian, they need
a candidate practically everyone would vote for. Maybe for the
Communists, then folks might like them again.

I don't know if the Scientologists have a Presidential candidate. Some
might say they already have a President. But hey, Tom Cruise for
President, we need more psychos as candidates. (Meant in the nicest
possible way; wouldn't want to be stalked by a Hollywood celebrity, that'd
be much too weird.)

So, yeah, You for President! Oh, wait, Democracy, You already have
absolute power, don't We?

Yeah, right.

The Fake Clifford Irving?

Ya know, if Clifford Irving hadn't been born too early, he might never
been arrested, or sued, or whatever the heck happened to him. I really
don't remember. I'm old now, it happens.

Yours Sincerely,

The Fake Howard Hughes

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

The Fake Daniel Lyons

So, do you think there's an audience for the Fake Daniel Lyons blog? Or
are there already three of those?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Vote for Ron Paul!

I wanted to recommend you vote for Ron Paul for Republican candidate for

No real reason. I'm a Democrat, so I'm not going to vote in their
primary. As far as you know...

Anyway, I just heard on CNET's podcast that Ron Paul, whoever the heck he
might be other than a Republican candidate for President, is the most
popular candidate of bloggers. I'm a blogger. You might have noticed
that. Therefore, I'm supposed to support him. So I do.

Of course, my support be a bit disingenuous. I'm a Democrat, and the more
support that goes to a Republican candidate who'll likely lose is all the
better for me (he said, chuckling evilly). But I don't NOT support him;
what little I know about his positions seem good. If I were a Republican,
I might well vote for him. But I wouldn't vote in the Republican primary,
because it would be wrong. As far as you know.

So, Vote Ron Paul for President! It's the Right Thing to do in the
Republican primary. Heck, the Libertarian primary, the Communist primary,

Just don't vote for him in the Democratic primary. We have enough

Oh, the General election? If he's in the game at that point, we'll really
have to talk about that, won't we? I might have to take credit for the
success of his candidacy in the primaries.

But I wouldn't do that, it'd be wrong.

As far as you know.

Gee, if he gets elected President, maybe he'd make me Secretary of the
Interior or Ambassador to the Court of Saint James?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An even dirtier job

Was watching an episode of that cable show, "Dirty Jobs." Love the show,

So, there Our Hero was, crawling his way through this teensy little hole
in whatever he was crawling into -- I dunno, didn't say I was paying
attention, just said I saw it on the TV -- and said to myself,

There's a worse job.

Cameraperson on the show. I was about to say "cameraman," but I'm old
now, and us old people recall when alla them technical jobs were done by
Real Men, so Cameraman was a real title. So, this Cameraperson, who ever
he is -- yeah, right, like some girls gonna wanna get all filthy crawling
through little holes in factories and whatnot -- though, actually, that's
kinda hot...

Back now, I'm done. Oh, waitaminute, what was I talking about?

Crawling through the same teensy little hole, in the same overheated
HAZMAT suit... with a TV camera and various attached cables.

They were showing a shot of the top of the star's head, as he crawled in.

And the hell of it is, nobody ever notices the cameraman - person -
technician - whateverthehell. Big deal, your job is being on cable, doing
filthy jobs, for a cut of the revenues of the ads. And that's -worse-
than doing the same stuff, doing it first, and getting paid Union scale?

Thanks for your concern for the working folks. Studs Terkel you ain't,
buddy. Don't even recall your name.

Come to think of it, you did that show about the tremendously dangerous
job of fishing for King Crab off the coast of Alaska. Your dangerous job
was narrating in the studio. Gee, wonder who did the video recording on
the actual boat, Up Close And Personal with the dangerous stuff the
actuall working people were doing, oh, say, the almost-dying stuff, for

Showbiz is tough, huh?

But, really, I'm kidding. Probably. As Far As You Know.

Anyway, you want a real Dirty Job, be a cameraperson. It's been a Dirty
Job since George Eastman came up with that whole rolled film idea. BTW,
it turns out I was right. It was just a passing trend.

It's been a dirty job since folks used to be unfortunate enough to be at
the front lines of an historically important battle (involving spears and
wooden machines throwing large rocks), so that you get the privilege of
running 26.6 miles, from Marathon to Athens, reporting the results of the
big battle, and then collapsing and dying.

That was that Achilles fellow, wasn't it? The star, not the guy(s) who
did the actual work.

Dirty Job. Star on an internationally-syndicated broadcast show.

I feel your pain. But you can't know how much, since you can't just see
me, just feel me, touch me, heal me...

No cameras, just folks.

Anyway, glad I can make my own contribution to history. I dunno if I will
ever run 26.6 miles anytime in my life.

Dirty Jobs. Or, you could be on the TV!

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Oh, wait a minute...

I was suddenly struck by the fact that, in a recent episode, I named a
whole lot of names I'd use for sons I'd have, if I had any children of any
flavor, male or otherwise.

I missed one. John Smith.

Gotta have a John. Don't actually -like- the name, but I figure if your
name is John, you gotta do something of the sort.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
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The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Blog post about a blog post about a blog post

Ya know, after I got three links deep or so, I decided to flat give up,
life is too short, and I spend way too much time tinkering with the
InterWeb, when I could be playing decade-old video games.

It was 31 Aug 2007, when Michael W. Dean commented:

> about a book.
> Maybe I'll podcast about it and then blog that.
> (p/s if anyone blogs this, send me a link and I'll probably blog about it.)

Monday, August 27, 2007


Here's a spoiler for you.

At the end of The Tragedy of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, by Shakespeare
(you may have heard of him), Hamlet dies from poison.

Not that you planning on reading that.

At the end of the "Harry Potter" series, Harry dies.

Not that you were planning on reading that.

Of course, that depends on how you define the end of the story. Every
story ends when the main character dies. Sometimes after the story ends,
the main character dies. Someone pointed out in a fiction series I read,
every romance is a tragedy, because at the end, everybody dies.

Spoil what, exactly? At the end, did anyone have the idea that Harry
Potter achieves immortality, that he never dies, ever? Is this one of
those religious things? Is Harry Potter snatched up by a passing
spacecraft, either living forever or returning after a lightspeed journey
to some other galaxy -- say ours, for example?

There is no spoiler. There is either a story worth reading, or there
isn't. And I don't think the fact he's beheaded at the end should have
anything to do with the value of the story itself. Aren't all the -really-
good stories read repeatedly, anyway?

And if you care if I'm right, WTF are you doing reading this blog before
you finish the book?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

We Don't Need Digital TV

The Government has decided that we must eliminate analog TV. So all the
TVs made for analog TV will stop working. We will break them. Resistance
is futile. We will assimilate you.

The Government has declared that all the TVs that you own now will cease
to work, and that you will have to buy more stuff by February 2009. If
you haven't bought more of the new stuff by then, you don't have TV

Nobody actually needs more stuff. But the Government needs more tax
money, which they'll collect from digital carriers. And the folks who
fund their reelection campaigns, folks who sell electronics, need to make
more money. And the Government wants to sell the broadcast TV bands to
Google, who want to buy broadcast TV.

If you have Cable, you have more stuff. If you don't, you TV will stop
working. Period. And the Democrats and the Republicans both agree that
you are screwed, and you TV will stop working, unless you can afford

And nobody bothered to ask you.

Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
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The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Welcome to Europe -- here's your accordion

Listening to CNET's "Buzz Out Loud" and they're whining about how
annoyingly persistent the EEU has been about Microsoft's antitrust

Well, Duh. If Microsoft persists in violating the law, judicial findings
notwithstanding, then the enforcement agencies are supposed to keep
kicking their butts. That's their job.

So, gee, how annoying and nasty the EEU is to actually expect Microsoft to
abide by their agreements in settlement of their violations of the law.

WTF? Yeah, you're supposed to be funny. Does that mean you're supposed
to ignore reality, and ignore violations of law and legal settlement
agreements? Funny. Ha-ha.

But it's Microsoft, so I guess it's okay.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Internet is Broken! Okay, maybe just लिब्स्यं

I went to a lot of trouble to do the last episode well. I did the next
episode well. I certainly tried. True for all my shows, for that matter,
as best I could manage.

But apparently, nobody has seen my last episode for the last week or so.
Or the previous episode. And probably not the one before that.

I don't expect any vast number of people to be impressed by my brilliance.
I do expect that those folks I'm paying to provide access to my show to
have their heads somewhere else than their butt. I'm figuring it'd be
nice for the company that I'm paying to make my (cough, cough) content
public, namely Libsyn, would make my content public -- and would know what
has been made public, would make sure that the agency -they- have
partnered with, namely Kiptronic, would know what's been publicized and
seen by interested parties.

Not so much, so far.

Kiptronic, Libsyn's partner, is convinced that no shows at all have been
heard by any listeners at all, for the past week or two. Even Libsyn's
broken stat system claims I have 45 listeners. Kiptronics says I have no
listeners at all, and have had none at all...

Maybe it's an oversight. Getting the money out of my Paypal account, that
they don't overlook. Getting the content to the audience, not so much.

If you want to be the best, it might be nice if you actually did the work
and -were- the best. Haven't seen it.

I admire everything about Libsyn, except how much they suck, deeply and
profoundly suck, at actually providing an environment for podcasts, and
access to same.

Let's be fair. Feedburner handles my feed, and they kinda suck, too.
They simply don't do anywhere near good service. Stuff gets lost.
Regularly, and on a continuing basis. And Feedburner is one of the best
in the business, maybe THE best in the business. But they really don't
know what's going on with the feeds they have.

Or if they do, you can't find out what that is.

There are only a handful of outlets where the relative handful of folks
actually download and listen to podcasts. If one of those sources no
longer recognizes Feedburners feed, Feedburner has no clue. I have a
significant (for my show) number of subscribers who use iTunes. If that
breaks, I lose a quarter or a third of my subscribers.

But Feedburner just tells me I have a whole lot less subscribers. And
maybe I do. If Feedburner doesn't know how to get it there, and doesn't
know when it doesn't get there, then yeah, there's a whole bunch of
subscribers by my standards who aren't subscribers anymore, because they
can't get the content. So they aren't subscribers anymore, because
Feedburner, or Libsyn, is broken, and badly broken at that.

I know there are a number of RSS Agreggators who haven't seen my last half-
dozen shows. That's broken. Since Feedburner's main power is promotion
to aggregators, and that doesnt' happen.

Real Simple Syndication. Real Simple, till it doesn't work, then it's not
Syndication, it's a lie, but I'm still paying the same amount.

It seems that some aspects of RSS are broken. The only aspect of RSS that
certainly isn't broken is the part where I get billed.

Aggregators don't know what's changed with my feed. An ad server service,
partnering with my own host, doesn't know what's changed with my own feed.

So, what am I paying for? And why am I still paying for it?

I'm not paying for Feedburner, Google is paying for Feedburner. And
Feedburner has no idea what's going on with my feed. So what is Google
paying for?

So, where's this whole Internet thing I've heard so much about? If you
can't transfer one file from point A to point B, WTF exactly are y'all
doing? Hell, I could transfer files 30 years ago. Has something changed?

I didn't create the standards, y'all did. So how come y'all can't live up
to your own standards?

Libsyn, Feedburner, Kyptronic. What do you do for a living, and why am I
giving Libysn money?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Threatening the peace in Iraq

The President just put up a Presidential Finding that if you threaten the
"peace in Iraq," anywhere, and in any way, shape or form, your money and
property can be seized.

Since there is no peace in Iraq, wasn't any peace in Iraq when we showed
up, hasn't been any since, what's threatened? Oh, wait, it's a Cheneyism,
doesn't matter if it's true, the Dark Side is Good now, so if you think
the Dark Side is Bad, we can take your money, your property, your life,
your fortune, and your sacred honor. To protect America, to protect
American Interests.

For peace in Iraq, not for peace in America.

As usual, this may be my last post. Watch this space.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

The post-lobbyist paradigm

Every time something changes in technology that impacts the heavily-funded
existing industries, they go full-goose-bozo buying legislators trying to
claw their way out of the toilet.

One could conceive of a horror movie where we sit down on the porcelain
throne, and when we get up, what we've left behind claws their way back
out. Welcome to Congress. Welcome to the Executive Branch these days,
too, for that matter.

We should never have to deal with that in Congress. That's why we elect
good legislators. They should be smarter than let that be our problem.
They should be smarter than to be bought by lobbyists. That's their job.
If they don't do their job, they are out of work. If they aren't doing
their jobs, they're stupid. They might have well-dressed gray hair, have
good speech writers, and they may even have been a good legislator back in
the day. But they're not doing their job, they're stupid, and they're

Congress really, really doesn't want military veterans like myself getting
involved in making sure the legislators are doing their job, and neither
do we. If voting to elect smart folks doesn't work, and I would rather it
did, all bets are off.

I'm still betting on the Democratic Republic I love and swore my life, my
fortune and my sacred honor to support. So it's GOING to work. And it's
GOING to work soon. And the pathetic incompetent little weasels who
wormed their way into the Democratic Republic I swore to protect from ALL
enemies, foreign or domestic, ARE going to make sure the problems are
solved, even if there are lobbyists in the unemployment lines, and
obsolete major corporations cease to exist.

Aren't you?

But I mean that in the nicest possible way.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

The Mailbag Episode

I need to announce a cancellation of my "Mailbag" episode on the podcast.
Apparently my system is not capable of dealing with the consistent volume
of comments the show has received.

I've gotten 5, and I've responded already to 4.

So, I'm thinking a whole, dedicated mailbag episode about that one
response might be not ideal.

Maybe after the wave of iPod rumors responses come in.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

New Vista-based iPhone!

Did you hear the new rumor about the Vista-based iPod? Well, you have

Is there an authoritative source for this? Of course, Some Guy on the
Internet said it! (What, I'm -not- Some Guy on the Internet?)

Is there corroboration? Sure! Do a Google search, not only will you find
a link to some guy saying there's a Vista-based iPod, there's a link off
on the right saying you can search for a Vista-based iPod on Amazon.

So it's as true as anything else on the Inturweb.

BTW, if somebody demands an original source for the rumor of the Vista-
based iPod, you got it from me. It's a perfectly legitimate rumor, I just
made it up myself.

As for whether it's factual, well, hey. It's the Interweb. Who looks on
the Interweb for facts? You want Truth? You can't handle the truth!

Rumors we got.

Nickle a piece, three for a dollar. Just click on the Paypal link to pay
for them.

I'll be waiting for all the money to flow in. Hope Paypal doesn't crash.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Okay, thought I'd throw this out to my own little world.

In the US and all over the world, there are many many podcasts who are, as
John Denver put it, are "wishing for someone to sing to."

In the US, many/most cable channels have a Public Access Channel. These
can be required by local Public Utility Commissions to fulfill the public
service aspect of being broadcasters, as Cable providers are, mostly,
kinda. Similar things might exist in other countries, but I wouldn't

Because of that requirement and public access impetus, PACs are required
to accept most non-offensive content. In many cases, they're begging for
content, and playing a lot of stuff over and over, because they just don't
have much to play.

They often require someone to be a citizen of their core audience to put
up content, and they generally accept most content from that audience,
because they gotta play stuff.

I'm a podcaster, and I want my show to be heard by everybody I can manage.
I'm also a citizen of the core audience of a cable provider to much of
northern Minnesota. And I want to be heard.

So I was kicking around ideas with other podcasters...

What about an idea where I, as a podcaster in a decent-sized market,
exchange full-length shows with another podcaster in another decent-sized
market, who's show I like.

I put up theirs here, they put up mine, there. Both of us gain a new
audience, and possibly new subscribers on our online feeds. But new
listeners, who may or may not even own a computer, and whether or not
they're subscribed to our RSS feeds.

Is this a crazy idea? Is there something fundamental I'm missing here? I
think it's a brilliant idea, and I think it'd be straightforward to
implement with off-the-shelf technologies.

So, what did I miss, other than not publicizing the idea before I file a
patent on the idea and and some patent squatter makes me using my own idea

I call it PodPAC. I wonder what whoever steals the idea will call it.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, August 13, 2007

Is Podcasting elitist, kinda, and can that be fixed somehow?

Okay, here's where this question comes from. It's kinda related to an
earlier discussion about delivery mechanisms, and how there's a huge
learning curve to get over. And in particular, a bandwidth curve.

My Mom asked me the other day about my MP3 player. I waxed poetic about
audio books (she listens to lots of books on tapes and CDs), podcasts
(she's an NPR fan), and a couple other options.

But she's older (she's my Mom, and for that matter, AARP is lusting for -
my- next birthday), she's on a fixed income, and she has dialup. And she
doesn't feel motivated to keep even that, much.

So there I am, trying to explain MP3 players and podcasts and their value
to her, and after trying to show where she could get them, came to the
conclusion that she really couldn't get them in any practical fashion,
because she's on dialup.

Yeah, higher-bandwidth options are cheaper than they used to be, but only
sometimes, and not by much. Fixed income usually means fixed at a low
level. So, dialup.

After trying to do what I remembered of the math, it looks like there is
no practical way at all to listen to podcasts without a pretty damn fast
connection of one sort or another. Not even to the AM Monaural Broadcast
radio level. The files are pretty damn big, and one would have to do a
really, really short show to get within reasonable download size.

Granted, Blogs are a viable option, kinda, since it's mostly just text on
a webpage. Until you combine a fixed income with failing eyesight. And
if she could read a book comfortably in the firat place, she wouldn't need
the audio books so badly.

I won't say "podcasts" are elitist, because I don't think podcasts or
podcasters are intentionally elitist in what they say or in who they
intend to speak to. Nobody I know, anyway. Ayn Rand wouldn't have had a
podcast. But maybe she would -- she wrote like kind of a sociopath, and
everyone was required to listen -- when I was in school, some of her crap
was still required reading.

I don't know of any current podcasts that are deliberately trying to make
their programs less accessible to older folks, starting with officially-
older-folks me in maybe a year, btw. What I'm concerned about is that the
accessibility problem isn't as limited as I have sometimes seen it, and
isn't limited to what sort of software and hardware you use for access.
Decent audio quality requires a pretty damn big file for any significant
length. And big files take bigtime bandwidth to download in a reasonable
time, say, less than an hour or so.

Because of the format of the content, and because of the size of the
content, we can only offer what we have to those who can afford it, which
means people who can afford a really decent DSL connection at the very
least -- even a slower DSL connection is way too slow for any longer show.
So we're talking to the economic elite, since there really isn't a middle
class, anymore.

And people on "fixed incomes," which is a euphemism for "low incomes"
(which is why they called it "fixing" Social Security), use dialup because
it's cheap. Or use nothing at all, because that's cheaper.

So, yeah, I do a hokey little Midwestern show, and I'm trying to make my
content appealing to folks like me. But why bother? I'm an exception,
I'm helping to pay for a shared decent-speed DSL connection, and that
serves well enough to download the many podcasts I listen to -- taking
several hours to download all of them, in an automated process off my
mailserver, at 3 or 4 in the morning.

Most people my age, in my area and my level of income -- most of my real
potential audience -- can't afford to even download my show, and probably
never will.

So if you really wanna talk about the technical limitations on the
audience of podcasting, you gotta include bandwidth, bigtime. Not that
the technical aspects aren't profoundly daunting. I couldn't even find
the right language to explain to my Mom what is meant by podcasting. Not
that a lot of podcasts and similar stuff wouldn't be useful and desirable
for her, but she won't have them, because she's on dialup.

And at her age, "someday" won't help.

So. Is there a way to fix the process of distributing podcasts that will
make them accessible to those to whom DSL is something their kids can
afford, and they can choose as compared to, say, eating? I could pay for
hers myself, as compared to, say eating. Or podcasting.

Based on the bandwidth issue alone, I don't think our position as
podcasters is comparable to the Golden Age of Radio. It's like the days
when a few random tinkerers who could wind their own coils and track down
a chunk of Galenium crystal. And it's not even that good -- once you
bought a crytal, you had it. No monthly fees.

Nobody else listened, and nobody else could listen, because at the time,
the effort and cost was way beyond them.

So? Answers? Further problems? Suggestions? Hints?

How do we turn what we have into what Radio used to offer, before the
medium was taken over by the ...

Insert words as appropriate. You know what I'm asking.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
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The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity


I was suddenly struck with a realization as to why the Dispensationalist
Evangelistas are such big fans of George Bush.

The DE's are big on Revelations, esp. ref. the AntiChrist. The AntiChrist
is expected by them to present himself as an intelligent and well-spoken
world leader, and a beloved and admired world peacemaker.

George Bush is the first President in a long while they can be absolutely
sure is -not- the AntiChrist.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Monday, August 6, 2007


I do a lot of reading both in the online groups for Aspies, and in the
groups for people who have to deal with Aspies. I understand both, sad to
say, and I can fix things for neither. And I'm big on fixing things.

Aspies have just as much need for companionship and affection and
validation from other people as anybody. But it's harder to come by and
profoundly harder to ask for. And it gets harder as the years so by.
While I was acting and singing and dancing over a few decades, these days
it's hard to go anywhere other than home. Now I try so hard, I often
never go home.

Because that's hard, too. Family is hard, because you always have to love
them all the time. No vacations from family. Although I did leave town
for 13 years. And I regret all I missed. But to a certain extent, it was
a relief.

I listen to Aspies who are young enough to still be looking for
relationships with other people, and how hard it is to build a
relationship who you can never, in a fundamental way, really understand.

And I listen to NTs in relationships with Aspies, especially those Aspies
who are a bit older -- like me, for example -- who are so worn out from
trying so hard for so long, that we have to struggle for breath when
trying to hold a simple conversation. That's both a metaphor, and an
exaggeration. And it's true, too.

For the NT's, sure, it's a struggle to build a relationship with one of
us. It's like taking a walk with a person with a limp. We can walk, we
can even run, but it's a struggle, and sometimes we just can't do it, or
just don't want to for a while. And yes, we know how patient you are
being, damnit, and we appreciate that, damnit, and we're sick unto death
of thinking about you plodding along because that's what we can do. But
I'd like to think that "I'm worth the wait," to marginally quote the Janet
Jackson song.

And for the Aspies, well, maybe we get "old" earlier than NTs do। We
get crotchety and set in our ways, the way people with arthritis don't
want to do a lot of walking because it hurts all the time. Even knowing
that walking helps the arthritis, loosening the joints and somewhat
reducing the inflammation.

While many of Us can learn to socialize "with effort," it is an effort,
and one can easily get thoroughly tired of that much work all the time.

So we stop. And feeling entirely righteous, "But it hurts!", we stop
trying, with the people who need us to work hard enough to meet them
halfway. And we stiffen up, more and more, and it hurts more and more,
even to move.

And thus we hurt the people we love, and we hurt ourselves. And they let
us, because they love us, and they don't want us to hurt all the time.
"Though she don't understand him, or all the bad times, or the bad things
he's done, she still loves him for the good times they've had, and all the
good things to come."

Oh, hell yes, I know exactly and in detail how hard it is. But I will
struggle as long as I can to do as much as I can, because it's Worth It,
whatever It turns out to be. Even if it's not much at all, I'm more than
a marginally ambulatory piece of meat, and I should achieve more, and if
that hurts, well, that's part of the job description.

Sometimes it wears me out, and I have to stop and rest for a while. But
I'll stop completely trying when I stop breathing, and my heart stops
beating. Because that's what I'm here for, that's why I'm riding the

If I wanted easy, the merrygoround's just across the lot, and they've got
little ponies. If that's what you want.

Otherwise, enjoy the ride, even the bumps and bruises. It ends all too

"The times are very trying now, the wolf is as the door,
And many folks are dying now, who never died before."

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Promo <>

Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...