Donors Choose - Grizzly's Giving Page

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why can't I find stuff anymore?

It's really discouraging to me that I can't find stuff on the Interweb

I used to be one of those guys you could go to for solutions to computer
problems. I could find what was needed, assuming I didn't already have
whatever it was.

I don't seem to be able to do that anymore. For one thing, I don't have
my BBS anymore, so I don't tend to have vast varieties of files and
programs lying around. For another, it seems web search engines just
don't work as well as they used to. Do a search for just about anything,
you'll get a whole stack of ads for buying something allegedly similar to
what you were trying to fix. Then you'll get a stack of links to "link
farms," sites that claim to have the file or info you're looking for. The
rest of the results will have nothing to do with what you're searching

I bring this up because I went to a rummage sale and bought a cheap little
digital camera for a quarter. The guy'd lost the driver disk for it,
though. So I went on the Google and searched and searched, and didn't
find workable drivers for it. Then I went to Yahoo, same results, none at
all. Finally found a technical discussion forum, with an extended thread
from a bunch of folks who also hadn't been able to find drivers for the
same camera. No drivers, though.

Shouldn't bug me that much -- it was only a quarter after all. But hey, I
used to be able to do this stuff all the time! Now, it just doesn't work

By the way, I put up a picture of the camera on the blog website (swiped
from that technical forum discussion I found). If you recognize it, and
have drivers that would work, I'd appreciate it much. I'm stuck.

The other day, my sister started having problems with her laptop. So she
took it to a shop,`rather than have me try to fix it. They had it for
three weeks, thought it was a virus (it wasn't), decided it was a hardware
problem (probably not, since it worked fine under Linux) and finally
disconnected her internal keyboard, sold her a USB external keyboard, and
sent it back. I fixed part of what they screwed up while they "fixed" it,
but she doesn't want me to fix the part that was broken in the first

On the other hand, I'm not so sure I could fix it. I don't have the kind
of confidence I used to have about such stuff. The computer world has
moved on without me. Oh, well.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
"iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!"
Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What, no millions?

As it turned out, I didn't win the Powerball on the 21st.

I suspect two reasons. While I recorded my 21st show on the 7/21/07, I
didn't get it into MP3 and posted till 7/22. Also, I skipped a very
important element. I didn't record the show at the local Irish Pub, thus
invoking that whole Luck of the Irish thing (I'm 1/4 Irish, so it would
have worked for me).

So much for best laid plans and whatnot.

Shame to miss such an important opportunity.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
"iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!"
Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fair Use Legislation? Yeahbut...

One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is involved in an ongoing an
multifarious rant on Fair Use, and how it's a shame that there's no
legislation for Fair Use. Well, yeahbut...

We didn't used to have legislation about Spam. Now we do, and it makes
spam "legal." A bunch of stuff that had been made illegal by various
states is now perfectly "acceptable," because the Fiddle Gummint says so.

We certainly don't want the Fiddlers writing legislation formalizing fair
use, because they'll mostly abolish it, and make big bucks from the RIAA
in doing so.

If fair use is valid under common law (the law of regular folks, that
means), then that's all that's needed to make it legal. It only needs to
be enforced by the courts -- and not tampered with and diluted or
eliminated by the Fiddlers.

And that's all I have to say about that, for the moment.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
"iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!"
Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Never that much, ever

Okay, it'd be nice to be a Big Deal podcaster, with a huge audience. But
it seems like that can never happen:

Wisconsin: Dawn & Drew are the Big Deal Wisconsin podcast. Forget that.

Minnesota: There is no Big Deal Minnesota podcast I've heard of.
Probably never will be, because of the ...

Big Deal Midwestern podcast: Dawn & Drew, of course. NPR does podcasts,
including one or more with Garry Keilor, who does a show about a town in
Minnesota that doesn't exist, and therefore any made-up stuff he cares to
come up with actually happens. Doesn't have to come up with really cool
stuff that actually ever happened here, or is ever likely to happen here
without a Martian invasion.

Hard to compete. I gether he's still living in New York NY, so I guess it
doesn't matter much to him anymore, anyway.

Big Deal Aspie Podcast: Well, we have, which is of
course the definitive podcast about anything related to autism, even
though it isn't by anyone on the spectrum, and admittedly so. But they
have the cool URL, so ignore the rest of us.

And doesn't host a podcast, so nevermind. And that other
fella does a blog he hasn't maintained in months, so why ask?

The rest of the possibilities, well, I can't imagine there's a lot of
demand for podcasts by fat, aging guys from the midwest, so I fail to find
any other categories to fit into.

So I'm doomed to obscurity, and then all the big companies (especially the
drug companies) will jump in and produce something huge and well-funded.
So I'm doomed forever. Glad I have a half-dozen people left who care.

Okay, two-dozen.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
"iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!"
Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Silly Me

I posted the other day, about how people didn't appreciate my Kareoke
singing, and probably thought I was getting paid to sing. And it might be
true at that. But probably not.

I took it down a day or two later.

I imbue kareoke with far too much importance. I guess it feels like
that's the one significant thing I do. And relative to my life, that's
kinda true, too.

But I shouldn't expect other people to see that same level of importance.
For me, the singing is what I do at the bar, and I gotta sing a lot, and I
drink while I'm waiting to sing. For others, the drinking is what they
do, and if somebody's singing, that's kinda nice, too. If they get to
sing once, well, all the better. But it's not a big deal.

So, if there are people who have heard me try to sing, and were offended
by my comments, I apologize. Heck, if there were people were offended by
my trying to sing, I guess I gotta apologize for that, too.

As Willie Beeman said in the movie "Any Given Sunday," "It wasn't me, it
was the devil 6-6-6."

Or something like that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Best Game Ever!!!

I'm listening to CNet's "Buzz Out Loud," and they mentioned somebody's
"Best Game Ever" article.

For the record, the Best Game Ever is most certainly a version of
Civilization. Could be Civ I, which I never played. Civ II was the
WordPerfect of gaming -- one of those that folks played literally alla the
time. I currently play Civ III, but I never find the time to play it
anymore. I gather there's a IV and a V now, but I don't care.

So, Best Game Ever is officially Civilization II. Because I said so.

Glad we settled that. All done. Go on about your business, nothing to
see here.


Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!
Welcome to America. Here's your accordion.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I just posted the 20th episode of my podcast. It isn't about anything in
particular, like most of my shows. But there are now, 20 of them, well
21, if you include episode zero.

I like the idea there are 30 or so people who intermittently listen in.
But I'm a success junkie. I want to be Big. Seems, though, I don't have
anything Big to say.

I think you really need some sort of unique and interesting content, and I
don't have that, except to a minimal level, maybe a 26-person level. I
wish, and yes that's a very good word for it, that I had something to
contribute to the universal mish-mash of Web content that would be of
particular value, and that hundreds or thousands of people would say gee,
that's kind neat, I wanna see what happens next.

But I'm not a fiction writer, I'm not a poet anymore (not since high
school), so the sum total of my original content is me talking about
myself. Not earth-shaking, by any means.

Then you have couplecasts like Dawn & Drew that have been around for a few
years now and have hundreds of listeners, and talk about nothing in
particular. But they're in the prime demographic. I ain't. I'm 48, I'll
be 49 the end of the summer -- prime demographic for the AARP crowd, I

I'm very nearly tempted to start trying to write poetry again, just to
have some unique original content. Sure, talking about people can be
interesting. But there's just me, and there's nothing unique about me.

But back when I used to write poetry, the 1970s, it was all about form
defining content, sort of a Marshall McLuhan thing. I wrote a couple in
the then-current form, which was more about typing than writing, putting
the words in a particular format on the page -- the form was more
important than the content. Now, you actually have to say something. And
about the time I got tired of the format stuff, I also lost confidence in
my own ability to produce really worthwhile content.

And it seems like a lot of Really Good Poetry is based on the more strict
standards of some of the poetry forms, sonnets and whatnot. I don't know
that I have the patience for many of the more strict forms of poetry.
Once I've devoted the time to a more strict form, I feel like I stopped
writing poetry and started typing. I type very well. While it's been
profitable for me to be able to type, I don't think it's particularly
artistic or inventive, and I don't think of it as poetry. It's typing.

At the time, I was in a "imagist" theatre group called Blackthorne
Repertory Theatre. We did just about everything in the way of content.
We did a lot of Shakespeare, we performed the American Debut of a Gertrude
Stein play, we did a few written by our director, Seamus Caine, we even
did a couple plays I wrote myself. But it was "imagist" theatre, and the
performances were more driven by visual imagery than by words -- though
certainly the words were there; hard to do Shakespeare without the words,
though I'd bet somebody's done it.

But it wasn't about the words, and quite frankly I was better with words
than the imagist crap -- er, stuff.

So I stopped writing.

Now nobody'd know what an imagist theatre would be. All the form-based
poetry would look pretty archaic these days. I miss writing poetry,
somewhat, but I think often my poetry would fit -- well, exempli gratia,
in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Data is discussing his
poetry (about his cat) with Jordi, and Jordi's comment is "well, it's

My poetry was clever. It was even funny, sometimes, if you think clever
is funny. But I don't know if I ever wrote anything that was worthy of
any further attention. But that was high school, it was a long time ago,
and since then, I haven't written anything of any great interest. Just
talking about me. And work stuff.

I might just give it a shot. I probably shouldn't. If I do, though, keep
in mind that "90 percent of everything is crap," and that writers have a
whole lot of crap they need to write somewhere, just to get it out of the
way, so we can get to the good stuff we'll (theoretically) write
eventually. OTOH, keep in mind I might write -all- crap. That happens,

But yeah, I have that on my list to do. Stay tuned. But don't hold your
breath for brilliance. Probably have to hold your breath to avoid the

"Well, it's clever..."


Grizzly's Growls Podcast: The Life and Times of a Minor
Local Celebrity <>
iPods? We don' need no steenkin' iPods!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Well, now THAT is interesting...

So, nobody's given a crap about my blog, ever, essentially. Quite
frankly, if I produce quality content (and that's questionable, too) it's
on the podcast, and the blog is merely me ranting inanely.

And a few minutes ago, I posted my "choke the life out of" message, and
within a very few minutes thereafter, I had two hits. What, there are
people looking on a regular ongoing basis for stuff related to "choke the
life out of" people, things, and two-cycle engines, and all of a sudden,
within minutes, I've got two hits on my blogsite?

My first thought was okay, Committee for State Security, oh, wait a
minute, something entirely different, Department of Homeland Security, has
nothing better to do with their funding than to monitor posts from
overweight middle-aged white guy on a blog that everybody ignores. Sounds
plausible to me, even likely -- if it's stupid, well, hey, we're talking
about the Fiddle Gummint, run by Dubya (which is entirely different from
Bubba), so if it's stupid, they do it, and they probably have three
departments in charge of it. And naturally, it isn't actually run by
Dubya, it's run by the Chaney, who can't be trusted with a shotgun while
surrounded by armed friends, much less a whole nuclear armed government...

So, thought I'd post a last message while I wait for the special forces
troops to kick in the (unlocked) front door of the bar...

(Exercise for the Reader: determine the acronym for a Committee for State
Security, if you spelled the department name in Russian.)

Welcome to America. Here's your Duct Tape. Hope you didn't plan on
keeping the mustache.

And yes I'm being absurd and paranoid. And if we keep talking while The
Whole World Is Listening, maybe I can stay absurd and paranoid.

I'm only still paranoid while my fears are still unreasonable.

Grizzly's Growls <grizzly at>
Podcast: (n.) a talk show on the Web or iPod
Subscribe: (v.) to get it delivered
The Life and Times of a Colorful Local Character

Gotta love it

I left work today wanting to choke the life out of somebody.

I think it's probably a bad thing to leave work wanting to choke the life
out of somebody. Unless your job is choking the life out of people. Then
it just shows you love your job. And they say loving your job is a good
thing, don't they?

My job, not so much. I'm a business-to-business telemarketer, and that's
not the sort of job one loves. The work itself, talking on the phone, is
okay, I guess. It's the best sort of telemarketing, in the same sense
that gonnorhea is the best sort of venerial disease.

But I thoroughly hate that people think it's perfectly okay to be flat-out
rude to someone who's not being rude to them. "But he's just a
telemarketer." Yeah, and your point? I'm doing my job, and doing as well
as I know how -- as you'd expect your own employees to do, including your
own salespeople in your own business. You wanna argue it's okay to be
rude to shut down a pushy salesman? I'm not pushy. I'm polite and soft-
spoken and certainly anything but hard-sell, as I am in Real Life, too.
But I guess it's okay to be rude to me anyway. Because I'm a

"Well, then you shouldn't be a telemarketer." No, I shouldn't. I should
be in manufacturing, but all those jobs were shipped out of the country.
I should be a programmer, but all those jobs were shipped out of the
country. I should be in customer service, but... And so on. Now they're
shipping the telemarketing jobs off to Bangelore, India, too.

Sure hope nobody's planning on selling anything in this country -- most of
us won't have jobs allowing us to buy anything. Unless we buy it at Wal-
Mart, which mostly sells stuff made in Asia.

It shouldn't be this way. But the leaders of the Greatest Generation sold
us out.

And then we relected them. And then we relelected them. And then...

Grizzly's Growls <grizzly at>
Podcast: (n.) a talk show on the Web or iPod
Subscribe: (v.) to get it delivered
The Life and Times of a Colorful Local Character

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 ...