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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The video podcasting system - Don't Panic!

I tested my new setup for live-streaming and/or uploading vidcasts for YouTube et al.  Now I'm gonna see if I still remember how to include an enclosure link to pull a file from, as in Podcast, as I did for The IDSL back in the day.  Might even work.  You an't missin' much on the recording itself.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Watch this!

Had a Microsoft Band I really liked.  I'm not even a little athletic -- well, I do bicycle in the summers, for transportation.  I mostly wanted a wristwatch that always showed the correct time.  The Band asked my phone, the phone asked the cell company, and I had the right time.  I liked the Band enough that I'm the owner of two of the special recharging cables that are utterly useless for anything but a Microsoft Band, so I could plug it in to charge at work.  Had maybe a day of battery life.

Got it on sale at Best Buy.  Seems they had too many of the large size left over.  Wasn't cheap, but cheaper than they usually were.  About 6 months after I got my Band,the hard rubber "band" part of it cracked, clean through.  (Probably the Large size being wrapped around my Medium wrist, excess stress on the materials.)  Only thing holding it together was the wiring through that part of the band.

Went to Best Buy for service, they said their contract with Microsoft meant I had to mail it to Microsoft for warranty service, more likely replacement.  Didn't want to do without it, so I superglued it back together.  Was fine for a while.

Month or so later, the battery stopped taking a charge.  So, non-useable Microsoft Band.  And two charging cables.

Thought about getting another Band, because of the charging cable thing.  But they're kinda pricey, and it was disappointing, and I don't entirely trust I wouldn't have another six-month watch.

So... tonight I found a Pebble watch on sale.  Functionality looks good.  Battery life claims look okay.  It's "Certified Refurbished" from the Geek Squad.  Yep, Best Buy again.  And of course, the Pebble uses a whole different proprietary charging cable.  I'll probably go ahead and get one.

Ever notice how much buying technology is like dating?

The (Dates and) Times, they are a changin'

Just a heads-up.

Since I started podcasting in 2007, I've numbered my podcasts, from grizz001 to grizz173.  Did the same with Hiber-Nation (GGHN0001 and so on).  I did things a bit differently with the IDSL, for example the December 11, 2011 episode was IDSL111211, yymmdd if you will.

One of several troubles with numbering is my sequence is constrained.  Already had grizz171 and 172 and 173 recorded with chapters of Everlasting Man, and I wanted to do a special Christmas episode.  So I had to insert a 171a.  Which was actually derived from GGHN0045, but who's counting?  Well, yeah, I am.

So sometime soon instead of starting with "Episode 174" et al, and numbering grizz174, the audio is just going to include the recording date, and the filename is going to end with year month day. 

Considering going with four-digit years.  Wouldn't want to run into Y3K issues in 984 years, of course.

What this may mean is a fairly open grid of evenly spaced regular podcasts (as much as I've ever managed that), with the occasional injection of more spur-of-the-moment podcasts on topics I just feel like talking about, with the dates (and track numbers will be tricky) putting them in the correct order.  Audio with recorded dates, filenames with posting dates, I'm thinking.

The numbering on both podcasts is low enough that this new numbering will still put the newly-numbered casts after the current ones.  Mostly.  Impulsive as I am, I might start doing this before I run out of the old ones.  So grizz20161229 is a possibility, for example.  I almost did this blogpost as a podcast.  But I'm kinda tired, and I didn't have much to say, as you can see.

Thoughts?  Should I bother with the four-digit years (yes, the Y3K stuff was facetious)?  Makes it more clearly a year...

I probably should have started that way, I suppose.  But it's 10 years too late now.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Episode 172 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter VI The Five Deaths of the Faith

Maybe strained my voice a bit recording this second- or third-to-last episode for this book, but I definitely want it on Podiobooks, too, so...


Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter VI The Five Deaths of the Faith

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Episode 171A -- The Symbol and the Saint by Eugene Field - Revisited

"The Symbol and the Saint," from "Christmas Tales and Christmas Verse," by Eugene Field, published in 1912.

A very pretty story I found, and recorded on this date back in 2008, as Hiber-Nation 45.  Still makes a good audio Christmas card, not perfect, but heartfelt.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate!  And here's to better times in the coming year.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Episode 171 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter V The Escape from Paganism

Preparing for Chapter V, I found out there's also a Chapter VI that I hadn't known about, as well as a Conclusion chapter, then there's the two appendices.  So I better get to steppin'.

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter V The Escape from Paganism

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Moving right along...


As I mentioned a podcast or two back, I have a little bit of time to squeeze "Everlasting Man" and "Swinging Doors" into under the old standards.  Have to get anything up prior to the end of January.  Doable, but.

I had been done with Everlasting up through Part II Chapter IV.  This weekend, I got Chapter V recorded.  In the process of doing that, I found Chapter VI, which wasn't in the table of contents.  After reading through that, I found the Conclusion chapter, also not in the contents.  I already knew about the two appendices.

So that left me with four more pieces to record before Everlasting is done.  So, I recorded Chapter VI, too.  Unfortunately, you gotta keep in mind these chapters are about an hour long, each.  That's a whole lotta talkin'.  That chapter it sounds like I had a bad cold.  Maybe I did; I do have ongoing allergy issues, so it's a strain to talk that much at once.

Had to get that done to stay more or less on schedule.  The reading was okay, but it's unfortunate that my voice quality wasn't the best.

And that's just the one book.  I've got ten or eleven chapters of "Swinging Doors" to record, too.  Those are much shorter chapters.  I can record two chapters and have the episode come in about a half hour.  Not as painful.  Still, that's a lot of recording and editing.  Add to that, I have one chapter that's supposed to be recorded by the wife of the author, and that'll happen when it happens.  Not just my schedule involved.

I can definitely get Everlasting done in time.  I can reasonably say I'm "almost done" now.  Swinging Doors is a maybe.  But I think, once I can get Everlasting out of the way, that'll leave a lot more flexibility for Swinging Doors.  That'll help.

Being me, of course... recently I came across a book that's a collection of Teddy Roosevelt's columns during and about World War I.  Saw some quotes from one of the columns, and they seemed worthwhile.  I'm kind of intrigued.  I always wait to read the book till I'm recording it.  Keeps it fresh and alive for me.

One important flavor I bring to these old books, I hope, is a breath of life.  Old books are hard to read, granted.  I know, I've read a lot of them.  I feel when you provide a real, living voice for the words of the author, the listener gets more of what the author meant to say.  Authors are people.  Authors of old books were people back when they wrote the book.  Usually dead by now, of course.

Read the book aloud, when you know how.  The process reminds me of when I used to perform Shakespeare with Blackthorne Repertory Theatre.  Some folks read Shakespeare in a sort of singsong.  You know what that sounds like.  But it's entirely different -- and much more intelligible -- if you actually understand what Shakespeare was saying.  Sure they are characters.  And sure, they were characters from a long time ago.  But they were also (fictional) people.  So you read the words like a person, with a real message to convey.

Old books, same deal.  There's a real message there.  And the author may have spent months or years finding exactly the right way to say it.  So, I figure out what the author wanted to say, and try to say it the way that best conveys what the author meant.  I absolutely do not try to do any impressions.  (GK Chesterton was an Englishman.  I suck at accents.)  Rather, I try to convey the author's message as a sort of metacharacter -- not really the voice of the author; rather, I guess, the voice of the book.

Never did get to do the interview about that with the Podioracket podcast.  Anyway, I hope I'm adding some value by recording these.  Gotta keep on, assuming that.  Because it's fun, and because it makes me feel like I have a worthwhile talent.  Which I will probably only ever get to exercise as a hobby.

Because nobody, including the folks who run radio stations, want the New Guy to be an Old Guy.  ;-)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Episode 170 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter IV The Witness of the Heretics

I can maybe get this book up on Podiobooks in time... along with my other project.  But I'll have to be very quick!  And then...

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter IV The Witness of the Heretics

Book Theme "Deliberate Thought" from Kevin MacLeod of


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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Episode 169 -- The Latest Thing

Only a couple subjects to cover tonight.  Maybe a brief "get off my lawn" rant on this new Virtual Reality thing.

First let me give you some rather bad news. has been sold to a site called Scribl.  Podiobooks is still there.  Sort of.  The stuff I've already posted is still on that site.  So far.

Thing is, Scribl is all about _selling_ audio versions of books.  Podiobooks was about giving away audio versions of books, and accepting donations, if any.  There weren't many donations, or at least I didn't see many.  Lots of downloads and listeners, not so much with the money.

So, Scribl the sellers of audiobooks, don't accept anything using Creative Commons content.  Can't sell something licensed for only non-commercial use.  And even if I decided my recordings were not so licensed... I use Creative Commons licensed music and sound effects.  I'd have to pay for commercially usable music to support the Public Domain books I record.  And of course I can't afford to do that.

Higher bitrates, that I could manage.  A few minor technical changes, maybe.  Paying money I don't have for audio I don't want to use just doesn't make sense for me.

So while I've been preparing both the books I've been recording for posting to Podiobooks over the months I've been producing them... I can no longer put them on Podiobooks, because Scribl sets the rules there now, and I can't afford to fulfill their requirements.  The only place my recordings of these books will be available will be on my own website.  Which will be disappointing, because I don't have the audience Podiobooks has had.  And I won't be able to do that final stage of posting Mike Hampston's book on Podiobooks, either, because I don't have the right licensing on the music I used to back those recordings, and I don't have the right permissions from the author to put it there anyway.  Not on a commercial site like Scribl.

I suppose I might put the recordings on Librivox.  The old books like Everlasting Man would be fine there.  Don't think I can put Mike's book there.  So all in all, after years of work... that kinda sucks.  I can understand Evo selling the place.  He's not obligated to keep it up just for someone like me.  But that kinda breaks my plans.  And I don't know what to do next.

And that other thing...

I've seen a lot of coverage of all the swell new-ish tech they offer now for trying Virtual Reality.  Got yer basic wrap-around headsets, and special motion controllers and whatnot.  All very shiny, new and expensive.  Tend to require more powerful computers and more powerful graphic cards.  Also very shiny and new.

But once I thought that through, the tech is all that's new.  I've been playing around in a simulated three-dee environment for several years now, Second Life.  No wrap-around goggles, just a keyboard and mouse to control interactions.  But still, it's a three-D environment, albeit rendered in two-D.  To be fair, sure the three-D effect is clever and new.  The fancier controllers are new.  To make all that work you'll need pretty heavy-duty graphics capabilities.  So does Second Life, but I don't think the machine I use for SL could manage that.  I'm sure playing with the new hardware will be fun for a while.

And yet...

What'll happen in these new VR worlds, in a social sense, will not be new.  You'll start with the early adopters, and for a while the only people there will be those people.  Exclusivity has a profound impact on the feel of any social environment, on computers or otherwise.  If you were there, you know that about every previous social site, for as long as there have been computers.  But then, of course, the companies trying to make money off all that will expand, and try to expand their audience.  Crowds of new folks will come.  The builders will come.  And so will the griefers.  The nice folks who treat each other well will be there, for a while.  And the bad folks who treat others evilly will be there, too.

The new tech might allow new ways to interact and experience the environment.  That'll be swell.  But the people will still be people.

So I figure if you want to know how VR in virtual worlds, as compared to 3D video shows from real life, will turn out... you'll come to Second Life.  The anonymity will most likely be the same.  The interactions without apparent consequences will be the same.  The loves will be the same, the hates will be the same.  People will be the same.  Only the technology will be different.

VR will be, they say, immersive.  Second Life is immersive, too.  Takes some time to get used to.  So will VR.  It would be entirely possible to upgrade the existing SL to work somewhat with VR hardware.  It might not work well, but it's liable to be doable.  And for that matter, however hard, it'd likely be quicker and cheaper than building a whole new world from scratch.  Probably won't happen.  But it could.

Anyway, if folks want to know what a real Virtual World, a real Metaverse would be like in a social sense, well, we can show you.  Second Life started out as an experiment in exactly that Metaverse like experience.  Been there, done that, got the virtual teeshirt.

Some of it is wonderful.  Some of the people, in particular, are wonderful.  And some of it sucks.  The sucky parts suck disproportionally to the time and effort involved.  I suppose the same could be said for the wonderful parts.  

I don't think saying any of that will change anyone's opinion of SL.  People who haven't been in SL, or been long enough to actually settle in, have already set their expectations in stone between their ears, and me talking here will probably not make a damn bit of difference.  I don't think much of anyone more will come to SL to find out what VR will turn out to be.  

But it's the truth.  And if anyone is still interested in the truth anymore, this would be a good place to come find some of that particular truth.  We have more than a decade of experience in a laboratory for the beginnings of that same phenomenon.  Some of it will be new.  Most of it will not.

Enjoy the magical new technology and hardware.  But don't expect magical changes to human nature.  Given time, you'll be in a place very much like here.  And from my experience of previous technological advances and changes, it'll probably be much less than what we already have.  

Good night.  And good luck.


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Episode 168 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter III The Strangest Story in the World

Noticed an ironic typo in the title of the current chapter, and had to share that, but went with (probably) the correct version.

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter III The Strangest Story in the World

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Episode 167 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter II The Riddles of the Gospel

Upgraded my computer a bit, new SSD, but I might have done it wrong.  Whole lot of room now, though.  And then, "The Everlasting Man..."


Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter I The Riddles of the Gospel

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Monday, September 26, 2016

I was sick today.

I was sick today.

Viral thing.  Basically been sick all week, possibly a couple weeks.  This morning got the full BLAM! of viral.  Called in to work, spent the day sleeping curled up under my usually-winter blanket.

Sad and ironic.  I had lots of time to myself, all day.  And of course the rumor is I'm a podcaster, and one would think all that time would allow me to podcast more.

Except, of course, with a sore throat, coughing and sneezing, talking into a microphone isn't a great option.  Hell, talking ain't my idea of a good time today.  Or these last couple weeks.

Once I'm actually able to speak comfortably again, I'll be back to wishing I could take some ridiculously long period of time to just podcast.  Get both of my book projects finally done with.  I'm down to the last 11 chapters on "Swinging Doors," and I've completed the first half of "The Everlasting Man." 

With some reasonable amount of time, I could actually finish Swinging Doors.   They're short chapters.  Do need to get that recording from Rosie for her part of the one chapter.  But I could do all the rest, and assemble in her portion later.

Everlasting Man, well, keep in mind basically every chapter is an hour long.  If you've ever tried talking for an hour continuously... it's not as easy as it might seem.  And then I have to stop for traffic noises outside, so recording that hour takes maybe two.  Then it takes maybe twice or three times that to do the editing.  I like the book, and frankly, I like the way I sound reading the book.  Till I get to the end of the chapter and start losing my voice.  At least one chapter I really struggled through.  Very ragged sounding.

Try that with a cold.  I'll wait.

So, I got an entire day to myself.  And I slept.  Which was the most I could do.  After a day of that, I don't feel as bad.  I don't feel good, but not as bad.  And I'll go back to work tomorrow and still be coughing and sneezing.  Probably. 

Someone said that a podcast actually is a business.  And I suppose, my podcast is a business.  It's a business at which I don't make any money.  Then again, how many huge businesses these days (cough-Twitter-cough) don't have a good money-making business model ... yet?  So... it's a business.

Sort of.

Could be pointed out that many very successful entrepreneurs started out making no money at all.  Repeatedly.  That's quite true.  It's also true that many, many more have continued to make no money at all for the rest of their lives.  Not like you'd ever hear about them, cause there's really nothing much to hear, is there?

Anyway, I'm sick today.  So, I don't suppose one can expect a positive life outlook, can one?  Maybe tomorrow.

(cough sneeze sniffle)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Great National Nightmare of Obfusition

Today I decided to create a new word for the English language: OBFUSITION.  It is a term for a debating technique that is deliberately deeply offensive.  Those who use this technique think it's okay, because everyone is being deeply offensive.  If it's not deeply offensive, it's un-American.

Obfusition is a portmanteau of obfuscation and opposition. 
    render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.
    resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument.

Simply put, Obfusition is the use of obfuscation rather than an actual response to oppose an argument.

Note I used obfuscation, and not obscuration, because fewer people know the word obfuscation and thus it is ever so much more clever and pretentious-sounding.

Obfusition is a superset of an old concept called a "straw man argument."  According to Wikipedia, "A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent."  If your opponent says something to which you don't have a response, you say or imply they said something else, and respond to that.  If you succeed, they respond to your straw man and defend the position they never actually took, rather than sticking to their original point, so you win.

Obfusition is easier than a full straw man.  In it's simplest form, you hang a loud and offensive label on your opponent's argument -- or on your opponent.  If that label, that meme, is loud enough and offensive enough, your opponent may not be able to respond at all, being so deeply angered and offended. 

Further, many of the labels commonly used in obfusition tend to cause knee-jerk, devisive reactions from your audience.  Your supporters and those of your opponent start screeching and throwing poo at each other, unless they didn't actually bring poo to the debate, then they just screech.  Often, no more words are necessary; they won't be understood in any case.  There are no longer any English speakers in the room.

Obfusitions can be unreasonably powerful, because the use of some obfusitions implies your opponent is not allowed to respond, and for that matter, may not be allowed to be offended.  Many obfusitions are taken as true on face value, so emotionally fraught with connotations that the audience believes they must be absolutely true because they've been stated.  Then the obfusitionist need only offer reasons why one ought to agree with the obfusition.  Your opponent's original statement is not, and often can not be, intelligently discussed any further.

It should also be noted that the word "obfusition" is recursive.  Calling an argument an obfusition may be an obfusition.

Also, many obfusitions are abuses of clever and trendy words, phrases and memes that previously had a very specific meaning, referring to one and only one sort of behavior.  Use the obfusition for any given behavior, and It Must Be True, because the word or phrase is familiar and clever-sounding, even if the original meaning is forgotten and has nothing to do with what actually happened.  "But he liked so well having thought of it, he says again, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors."

One reason, I believe, that obfusitions are so impactful, is that they trigger something fundamental in the "lizard brain."  Humans are genetically still those wild creatures that ran naked on the plains, or in the jungles, mountains or forests, chasing down and clubbing other creatures to death with sticks and stones and eating their flesh raw, peeing and pooing wherever they happen to be.

One concept from the lizard brain we follow at a level long before thought, is "Us and Them."  We detect others of Us by sight, smell, actions and rarely speech.  Someone said somewhere that the name every tribe has for itself translates literally as "The People."  It follows that if we are People, they are not People.  Essentially every war is begun by convincing Us that They are not Like Us.  They are not Human.  Therefore, killing them is okay, and may even be required.

Our storytellers have vast influence, harkening back to the early Shaman who told the stories of The People, demonstrating by example what We do and how We do it.  If you don't do what we do according to the stories, You are not one of Us.  We should kill you.  Even if a storyteller intends some entirely different message, the Story impacts how we perceive the normal behavior of The People.  Some homework for you.  Consider horror stories in this context.

An effective obfusition applied to you makes you Them, not Us, not one of the People, not a Human.  We should not listen to you. If you keep talking, we should shout you down and chase you away.  Taken further, perhaps we should injure or kill you.

Again, we have never stopped being those wild, naked, vicious creatures.  Our children are born as exactly those creatures, and only those creatures.  Look closely, and you will see exactly that behavior in kids, Us versus Them, fighting to be the King of the Mountain, the Alpha.  We have learned over the millenia, and learned to teach our children, to refrain from those lizard responses.  It is not remarkable, in my opinion, that some of our children become killers.  It is truly miraculous that most children do not.  Somehow we make that happen.  Mostly.

So.  Obfusition.  I truly hesitate at a visceral level to use any examples.  Doubtless some of my audience will start screeching and throwing poo at each other.

Elitist.  Intellectual. Idiot. Liberal.  Conservative.  Communist.  Fascist. Nazi.  Racist. Insert here all the racist epithets you can remember, there are a lot of them.  Paranoid. Atheist.   Further expanding the list is left as an exercise for the Reader.

And just for fun, let me offer a derivative obfusition.  "Mansplanation."  It has a specific meaning, you can Google it for yourself.  And is clever sounding.  If what you're opposing is not that specific phenomenon, even if it is in fact a man offering an explanation, even if one or more of the audience are female... it's an obfusition.  And yes, I am male, last time I checked.

Here, you can have your poo back.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: I thought of a related term, "Obfumation."  Affirmation via Obfuscation. Make your position sound like something positive by naming it something that doesn't reflect what you're actually saying, e.g., "Alt Right."

Further Deponent Sayeth Not.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Recapitulating Aggregation... Okay, right... wait, what?

Back when Yahoo! Pipes was working, I created a half-dozen different aggregate RSS feeds.  Some were kind of fun ideas.

Today I grabbed my old lists and played with a site called RSSMix to recreate a bunch of them, cause they used to be quite popular.

BLOGS -- MNVoices Aggregate Feed An aggregation of the latest posts from all the Blogs of participants in the Minnesota Voices Online UnConference.  The UnConference was way, way long ago, but the blogs appear to still be active.  Including mine, you'll notice.

My Chesterton on Podiobooks    All the Chesterton books in particular that I've posted to Podiobooks.  Everlasting Man isn't on there quite yet, that's only half done.  And as it works out, the current four books are on there in book order, starting with Heretics.

The NaNaPooPoo Network   After that one year when I completed National Podcast Post Month and National Blog Post Month, having done aggregate feeds for both, I decided to create NaNaPooPoo, an ad hoc network of podcasts all available in one feed.  Was originally just podcasts from NaPodPoMo (that's where the name came from).  Anyway, never really went anywhere.

With Pipes, I could have the feed only include the one latest post from each feed, even if the latest from one feed, say, might be a couple months old.  With the current setup, it'll just put all the items in chronological order.  Ain't the same.  But they're back in one-big-aggregate format, so it's something.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Episode 165 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter VIII The End of the World

Just a quick note, in case you've been wondering.

I've recorded more G.K. Chesterton books than of any other author.  I like his writing, and I like the way I sound when I read it.

That doesn't mean I agree with everything he says, and I am not endorsing his beliefs.  He was I gather considered a liberal by the standards of his day.  By modern standards he'd be a bigot and a racist.  He was profoundly parochial in every sense of the world, and proud of it.  His views were those of a man of his time, place and background.  He could use terms and language that in a public venue today would  make jaws drop and fists rise.  And yes, I quote them word for word.  Because yes, that's what he wrote in the book.

That said, he was an intelligent man and a good writer.  And he spoke in a manner that has gone out of fashion.  It seems the fashion lately to despise people who don't agree, and to see malice in every opinion and action, what one writer has called the "indig-nation," a whole society whose first response is anger and hatred.  As mentioned in the introduction to "Heretics," Chesterton could disagree strenuously with his closest friends, and they remained his closest friends.  He admired them and treated them with respect.  They returned that view.  That's refreshing, and it's sad how rare that's become.

So I'm recording this book because I was asked.  And I'm recording this book for the reason I recorded the others, because these books are worth exploring, it is valuable to be reminded that good ideas and wisdom weren't invented in last week's latest self-help book.  Sometimes the old books ought to be dusted off and reread.  And it's much easier if someone, me for example, can read them aloud to you so you don't just see what was typed, you know what was meant -- at least as well as I can figure that out.

So now that I've got that off my chest, let's get on with recording the book.


Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter VIII The End of the World

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Episode 164 - No Fly No Buy - Not Buyin' It

I have a severe allergy to too-clever political speech.  This is my abrupt sneeze on a timely topic.  Sorry.  Here's a tissue.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Episode 163 - My Well-Regulated Mansplanation

I casually mentioned on Twitter that the late Chief Justice Warren Berger was wrong about the Second Amendment.  And he was, indirectly.  I got jumped on with both feet by someone with lots more followers than me.  And when I responded without fawning, Twitter decided I must be hacked and took me offline.

So here's my well-regulated "mansplanation" of what I'd only suggested I might say before.  It's not as articulate as it might be, and I didn't make an effort to respond to the million-follower trolls and flamewars in detail.  Just said my piece in 10 minutes or so, and stopped.

It's a discussion we damn well better have now, while we still can.  As some old white guy once said.


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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Episode 162 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter VII The War of the Gods and Demons

Got the Karaoke machine working.  Turned out I simply needed to unplug and reseat the cable from the machine to the mixer, and it seems fine now.  Here's hoping.  And then The Everlasting Man...

Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter VII The War of the Gods and Demons

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Episode 161 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter VI The Demons and The Philosophers

Just a brief mention of trying to get my Karaoke machine working for singing in Second Life.  And I forgot to mention the new logo, based on a gift from a fan (on Second Life, dunno if he listens here)... which as you can see is gorgeous!

Recorded this episode and this chapter of Everlasting Man on the Blue Yeti.  Better?  Took six hours to edit, especially the traffic noises.

Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter VI The Demons and The Philosophers

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Episode 160 - Critical Precedents

About that iPhone encryption thing... Was listening to Leo LaPorte et al on This Week in Google 341, after so many other discussions of the Apple dispute with the FBI over access to the content of the one particular iPhone, and Leo made a passing comment about how some people think phones ought to have special legal protections...  and I thought to myself, "you know, maybe they should!" 

So I spent a few minutes trying to explain off the cuff what I mean by that, why we are setting precedents now that will be critical for generations, well into the Singularity.  So listen in, bear with my pontification, and let me know what you think.

It's a discussion we damn well better have now, while we still can.


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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Episode 159 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter V Man and Mythologies

So, GRIZZLYSGROWLS.COM is back! And a brief discussion of what Podbusker and DigitalVoyageur mean.

And I added a new @BlueMicrophones Yeti which hopefully improves the sound.  Think I might do a review of the thing sometime.  Followed by...


Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter V Man and Mythologies

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Episode 158 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter IV God and Comparative Religion

A reading from my blog, wherein I am "Speaking Freely," and then, my throat was a bit rough from allergies...


Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter IV God and Comparative Religion

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Ummmm... Oops?

I just spend almost an hour recording Part I Chapter IV of "The Everlasting Man."  I've done such recordings countless times.  Started just before midnight, finished just after one, actually.  Just under an hour of audio.

Ran the thing to remove background noise, from computer fans, of which I have a moderate amount.  I've also done that many many times.  Then I closed Audacity, as usual.

The unusual part was when I opened my directory to pull up the WAV file and drop it on Levelator.  And realized I hadn't saved a copy of the audio.


Can't recover it.  Can't find where Audacity saved a copy of the .AU files, since of course I didn't tell it to do that, either.

My Samson Zoom H2 is of course a Recorder, and I could have recorded on that.  I would then have had an actual file as a matter of course.  But I haven't done that in years.  Audacity is so much more convenient.  But with Audacity, no matter how much I record, if I don't actively choose to save it, it isn't saved.

And now it's 1:33 am, past my bedtime.  And I've blown the evening recording with nothing to show for it.

Perhaps I should rethink that "I would make a great audio professional" idea.  (sigh)


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Episode 157 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part I Chapter III The Antiquity of Civilization

Various growls about the Podcast Awards, the Survey, and a couple of "job offer" phishes I got, claiming to be from Australian energy companies.  Unfortunately no, I don't get to go to Australia.  And then, The Everlasting Man...


Part I On The Creature Called Man

Chapter III The Antiquity of Civilization

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Special Delivery!

Something I wanted to share with all of you.  I just did a little piece, but it helped.

From: ""

Hi Grizzly,

Ms. Russell and her students are about to get a special delivery, thanks to your support for their classroom project: Kindles Oh Kindles Are What We Need to Help Us Read!

To help teachers and to ensure absolute integrity, we purchase the resources for every project funded through our site. We just got word from our vendors that the materials for your project are en route to Edison Elementary School!

You'll receive thank-yous and photos from the classroom, but in the meantime, we can just imagine their excitement* when they open the new materials you've made possible.

Thank you for making a classroom dream come true!

- The Team

That particular project I stumbled on very late, but it was nice to be able to help.  Still got those other three, local Duluth MN projects on "Grizzly's Giving Page," of course...  I'm broke till payday, so it's up to y'all for a while. 



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Episode 156 - Donors Choose some more!

Devoted the whole show to my reactivated Donor's Choose Giving Page including three new projects from Duluth:

Seating for Active Students

Classroom iPads


Flexible Seating to Complete Our Classroom

All three are from Piedmont Elementary, not too very far from where I went to elementary school.  They actually closed down all three of my elementary, junior high and high schools, so this was close.  Give early and give often! 


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Saturday, April 2, 2016

One Phish, Two Phish, Red Phish, Blue Phish

Got a rather badly done phishing email tonight:

Best Wishes,

After viewing your profile on Minnesota Workforce, We feel you may be a
good candidate for a position within our company, and hereby invites you
for an on-line interview on Friday 1st April 04/01/2016, at 9am Your time
with Mr Andrew Clark, of the human resource department. You are hereby
advised to read more about the position details below.

Job Title:  Administrative Executive,Administrative Assistant,Data
Entry,Receptionist,Customer Care Representative.

Organization:ORIGIN ENERGY

Key Responsibility: Provides  services by implementing administrative
systems, procedures, and policies, and monitoring administrative projects.

Requirements: Minimum Criteria: High school Diploma/College Degree

Basic Skills: Reporting Skills, Administrative Writing Skills, Microsoft
Office Skills, Managing Processes, Organization, Analyzing Information ,
Professionalism, Problem Solving, Supply Management, Inventory
Control,Verbal Communication

If you meet the prerequisite qualifications and would like to be considered for
the position, it is expedient you follow the instructions provided below :

Make sure you have google account on your PC or tablet, if you do not have, you
can do that on-line at Then create a gmail log-in with which you
would use to gain access to google hangout.  Once you have access, add Mr
Andrew Clark to your buddy list. His Screen Name with google hangout is:

If the stipulated time conflicts with your schedule, it is expected of you to
email Mr Andrew Clark at this Email address:
. He will be standing by
 to abreast you with the rudiments of this job position via  google hangout
right away. It is expedient to get on-line ASAP. I Wish you  best of Luck in
the Interview.

Minnesota Recruitment Team.

From the top, "Best Wishes."  They don't even know how to use a mailmerge?

If it's from a company, why would it be from "Minnesota Workforce" and not from the company?  And of course if the site had sent the email, it would be from their email, and not from a Jamie Walters at Gmail (likely spoofed, of course).

You'll notice the visible emails (also almost certainly spoofed) in the HTML-formatted version are links to a whole different email address.  All GMail addresses, which are not hard to acquire.  Given the way the links were set up, I suppose the "hidden" email address is one Unsub has access to.

Also, it's not "Minnesota Workforce," it's Minnesota Works.  The so-called English tries to use big words with which they aren't really familiar.  He's "standing by to abreast you..."  Seriously?

Origin Energy is an Australian energy company.  An Australian company is trying to hire people who's names they don't know, in Minnesota?  Yeah, right.

They basically did a cut-and-paste from found job posting somewhere.  It is likely but not guaranteed that the postings weren't from Minnesota.  It's a bit creepy they got my state right, but that's not the world's best-kept secret.  As for the email it was sent to, it's the one I use for the podcast, also not a secret.

As for "Supply Management" and "Inventory Control" being in the job description, I suspect this is for a drop-shipping scheme.  Usually on these they say "We're a foreign company, and we need someone to receive payments for us.  You receive and cash the checks, send most of it to us and keep X percent."  They get most of the money, and they're not accessible, so they don't get caught.  Meanwhile if you fall for it, you've just fraudulently received and profited from cashing usually forged checks, etc.

The contact instructions are utterly bizarre.  Probably they want to keep themselves as anonymous as possible. 

It is of course conceivable that this was a legit offer, and then'd I'd be shocked and appalled.  But based on the above details, I really, really doubt it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Since you happen to be in the neighborhood, could you take a minute to take the listener survey?  It is exceedingly short.  Not a large enough audience to get advertisers.  But the Libsyn folks were nice enough to provide a survey.  So it'd be nice, and thanks in advance.

Here's a link for you.

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Episode 154 - Insert Title Here

Autism blah blah blah Executive Dysfunction yadda yadda yadda podcast.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Heyyyy America...? We need to talk | Clisare

Published on Mar 21, 2016
When you have to be the one to tell your friend that everyone hates her boyfriend.

This kinda says it all. "I mean... Germany is worried... Germany is worried about you!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Something there is that doesn't love a wall

I was puzzled and bewildered by Donald Trump's contention he will build a wall across Mexico, and that Mexico would happily pay for it.  I noted that the leaders of Mexico said in no uncertain terms, no, we won't, either.

Then I stumbled across some information that caused me to realize that the whole kerfuffle was caused by a simple  misunderstanding.

"Mexico is a town in the northeast part of Oswego County, New York, United States. The population was 5,197 at the 2010 census." - Wikipedia

Mr Trump is, of course, from New York.  And caring fellow that he is, he found out that the people of Mexico NY wanted a wall.  I'd imagine they mean a wall around the whole town.  It isn't a very big town, I suppose it wouldn't be a very long wall.

Why do they want a wall?  Wild animals, maybe.  Could be bears.  

"Black bears can remain dormant for up to 5 months in winter. Bears eat nearly anything - They are omnivorous; eating grasses, berries, fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, grubs, and carrion, as well as human sources of food like corn, honey, bird seed, trash, and pet food when available."  - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

You can see the problem.  This little town, with apparently too many black bears wandering in, like that moose in Northern Exposure.  Think of the children!

So naturally, the soft-hearted Mr Trump wants to protect the innocent children of Mexico NY by building a wall to keep out those mean old black bears who would eat the pet food for their cute little puppies.  Think of the puppies!

The proud people of Mexico NY would of course not think of accepting charity, though they would I'm sure appreciate Mr Trump's help with this whole Bear Thing.  So he nobly accepts the challenge, offering to build the wall for them, accepting their commitment to reimburse him for the cost of the wall.

Mr Trump, I salute you, sir!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Episode 152 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Preparatory Note and Introduction

So, here's the deal.  On the one hand, I'm still in the middle of producing Swinging Doors over on Stories from the Hiber-Nation.  On the other hand, people who have liked my GK Chesterton books, and said so on Podiobooks, have repeatedly requested I record "The Everlasting Man."  Didn't want to interrupt Mike's book, and didn't want to keep putting off Chesterton's book. 

So I'm compromising.  I'm going to interject the episodes of The Everlasting Man over here on the Growls feed, and continue Swinging Doors on Hiber-Nation till that's finished.  That should dissatisfy everyone with the added advantage of exhausting me.  What could go wrong?  ;-)


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Friday, March 18, 2016

Getting around

Decided to go on a mission for Friday.

We have a two-function vent fan in the bathroom.  Flip one switch, the vent fan blows the bathroom air out through the roof.  Flip another switch, heated air is blown into the bathroom.

Given some water problems we've had with the roof, we have been leaving the vent on longer after showering.  Wanted to put in one of those dial timers in there to keep the vent fan on for X minutes then shut it off whether we're still there or not.  Right now we leave it on, go get dressed, and hike back to the bathroom to shut it down.

Julie got a dial timer that I thought should work fine, and I started installing it. That's when I found out they'd set up the four-gang of wall switches in the bathroom with four three-way switches.  Thought the fan was just a simple switch.  No such luck.  They hooked up the vent fan with a three way switch so that when it's off, it gives power to the heat switch.  If I put in the regular timer there, the heat fan wouldn't work anymore.

So I made a special trip up to Home Depot to try to buy a three-way timer switch.  It was Friday, I try to do something I can't do on the weekend on Fridays so they don't feel wasted.

Used Google Maps to find the bus that goes straight up the hill past my house to the Mall area.  Went out at the right time, got on the bus... and it was the wrong bus.  I could possibly have read the sign on the front.  But I was so sure about the timing...

So I stayed on the same bus as it went up the hill to the wrong place, back down the hill, across downtown, back up the hill on the other side and finally to the general vicinity of where I needed to go.  Then walked two or three blocks in the dark to get to the store.

Couldn't find the timers.  Downloaded and installed the Home Depot app on my phone.  Did a search for the timers.  The app gave me a map showing exactly where it was supposed to be.  Went there, no timers.

Got a store guy to show me where the things were.  Turns out (a) they weren't on the end of the row, they were on an end-cap as they call them, and (b) the store had renumbered their aisles -- and hadn't updated the app.

So there were the timers.  The rotary type I wanted, they didn't have three-way.  The three-way one they had was a digital one more for on at 8, off at 10:30 sort of timing.  So all that way, and no timer.

Then I needed to find a bus back home.  Up there where Home Depot is, the bus doesn't go in front of the stores, just along the access road.  So I could either stand in the street or stand in the snowbank.  I chose the street.

All in all, with snow on the sidewalks and a wet chill in the air, the whole trip kinda sucked.  Very disappointing overall.

You know, last job I had doing basically the same work it at least felt like I had days off.  Current job it really doesn't feel like I have any time off.  I'm so exhausted after a week of This Stuff, I sleep about half of my first day off (my "Saturday"), and waste the rest.  Then my "Sunday" which happens on Saturday I spend doing stuff like laundry to get ready for work. 

Then my Monday (on Sunday) I work a 10-hour day.  Which is why I'm worn out after a week.  Heck, I'm worn out after a day.

Really want to do something else.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Episode 151 - But Wait, There's More!

Took off MeerKat, added #Periscope, another live-streaming option tied to Twitter.  So that's at least 3 ways I can stream video, 4 or 5 ways I can livestream audio, a dozen different ways I can record podcasts on maybe eight different devices...  TOO MANY OPTIONS!  Or... why it took me so long to do another podcast.

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Speaking freely

Saw a young feller stating that old truism, "You only have Freedom of Speech from the government."  The presumption is that since the Constitution and Bill of Rights only govern the limits to Federal government power, the rights listed there only apply in that context.  Which is true.  Sort of.   But...

The freedoms that are protected from Federal interference are protected in part because it would be very dangerous to allow the Gummint to interfere with those in particular.  And it is right and proper that they should be protected from such interference.

They are also listed there because they are valuable and desirable in themselves.  The founding fathers, if there ever were such animals, saw value in those freedoms, above and beyond the Federal context, and long before there was a Washington D.C.

We protect freedom of speech, and of the press, and of religion, because we Americans believe that it is important for people to be able to speak freely, to write freely, and to believe freely.   The Constitution only protects them from the Feds, true.  The remaining protections we have to provide ourselves, as a community and as a nation. I stand up for your freedom to speak your mind because it is important to the preservation of my liberties that yours be protected.  I stand up because it's right to stand up.

The founding fathers didn't spell that all out in the Constitution, because that's not what the Constitution is for.  If I recall, the Georgia delegation thought there shouldn't be a Bill of Rights because someday some fool would decide if a right wasn't on the list it didn't exist.  Demeaning the universality of freedoms, enumerated or not, is a similar sort of error.   The need to speak freely doesn't end at the Beltway.  The need to write freely doesn't end on the last page of the New York Times.

John Stuart Mill said it better in "On Liberty," I think.  Feel free to listen to the audio version I posted on  The Federal government isn't the only force from which liberties must be protected.

Does that mean that every possible venue is in some fashion constrained by the Constitution to protect those freedoms for you?  Not at all.  They are constrained to preserve those freedoms because they are good and healthy freedoms for any open society like ours.  If one wishes to preserve that open society, by extension one wishes to preserve the attendant freedoms, even when the practice of those freedoms are ones of which we don't approve.

Are those constraints absolute, and must your freedoms in those venues be totally without bounds?  No, not really.  If you comment on my blog, that's your speech.  But overall, this blog is my speech.  What I include and exclude, what I bind and loose, is part and parcel of the message of my venue, my own speech, my own press. 

I can include those who agree with me.  I can also include those who intelligently disagree with me, where their disagreement adds value to the whole message.  But finally, the content of my speech in my venue must be determined by me.  Your freedom of speech is vitally important.  So is mine.  If I feel a comment doesn't add value, or worse, detracts from the value of my overall message, I'm free to exclude that comment from my message.

So speak freely.  And so will I.

Friday, March 11, 2016

There is too much at stake to stay home

Still not an LBJ fan, but what he said about responsibility....
This is an actor, in an ad paid for by LBJ's campaign.  And I was a bit young at the time, but LBJ was no great prize.

But I'm not the first to notice just how spooky this ad is in present circumstances.  Ya know what I mean?

Need a computer?

The folks at my Dayjob are updating the computers.  And they're giving away the old ones to employees like me.

So, today, I got yet another desktop computer.  Business-class, I guess you'd say.  Core 2 Duo the fella said, 2 gig of ram, 320 Gig HD, no OS on it, but I might be able to install Win7 on it -- still has the tag from the old Vista install, though the drive is wiped.  Then of course there's Linux, which I've never fiddled with much.

I now have in my lil bedroom two laptops, one of which is hooked up to two external monitors (mentioned elsewhere).  I have three desktops orphaned from Dayjob, with yet another monitor hooked up to the "newest" of those.  One conventional keyboard, one Bluetooth keyboard & mouse, two conventional mice not currently being used.

I also have my Fire 7 (discussed elsewhere), my new-ish Android phone, my previous still functional Android phone, my rooted Sylvania Android netbook (used to be WinCE).  The space program that went to the moon ran on the computing power equivalent of my cheap wristwatch.  I have an utterly absurd amount of computing power, and no practical use for it.

Well, podcasting, so that's one laptop.

Tempted to do those distributed-computing thingies, just to get some use out of all these devices.  Could try Bitcoin, but that mostly depends on a good GPU, and I'm short on those.

Might tap my friend Phred on the shoulder, ask if he could use a couple computers.  Not like I need 'em.

Resell?  Wouldn't think they'd have much resale value.

And I've only got one door, don't need this many doorstops.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

It Can't Happen here

So, had one of those "uh oh" realizations this evening.

You may have heard, oil supplies are up a lot.

So, oil prices are down a lot.  So, people that process and sell oil & such are not making as much money.

As it happens, my dayjob is with a company that sells services to companies that sell energy.  I've been with them five years, as of a couple of days ago.  And the bosses are talking about efficiency and reorganization and whatnot.

Funny thing, before I started there I spent about six years working for another company, a multi-state phone center company like this one.  They got bought by a large southern company, like this one.

The tail end of that period was the start of that big economic slowdown we all remember.  Some said recession, some said depression.  Financial hard times.

The large southern company decided if they were going to trim, they'd protect their own job security by trimming as far from headquarters as possible.  And northern Minnesota and Wisconsin was as far from headquarters as possible.

So they closed the office where I worked, and I ended up a displaced worker for two years.  A Wisconsin state program offered to pay for me to go to vocational school to get into a different field.  And I'd always wanted to be on the radio...

Now during that period I did most of the episodes of most of my podcasts.  I also graduated from Media Studies & Production at Lake Superior College, and having a ridiculous amount of podcasting experience helped a lot with that.

When I got out of school, I couldn't get that broadcast job I'd hoped for and gone to school to qualify for, but I came across this temp assignment, indirectly working for MPR, with my current company.  I took it, temporarily.  I did well enough that they asked me to stay permanently. 

That almost always happens when I take temp jobs.  I'm lousy at applying for jobs, and lousy at interviewing -- Asperger syndrome, remember?  But give me to chance to do the work, I got Mad Skillz as the kids used to say.

Pretty early on, I noted the previously mentioned similarities to that earlier job, and mentioned them to the folks who'd convinced me to stay.  "But this is completely different!  That won't happen here..."

 All of those folks that hired me are gone now.


Better check back in with the temp agencies.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Woulda been nice, though, huh?

There's qualified, and there's qualified.

I got an email back from Minnesota Public Radio regarding that radio host job I applied for. Unfortunately, it was that sort of email one hopes not to receive.

We appreciate you applying, we've found the candidates we want to consider further, you ain't one of them. Maybe we'll find someplace for you later. Maybe.

I could get angry about it, and sad. I already have for a while. And I hate it, but I really kind of get their point, too, although they didn't say it in so many words.

I've been podcasting for nine years. I'm reasonably good at that, I guess. I know how to do the things I've done and the things I do in the way I do them. For a self-taught audio guy, I'm pretty talented.

When they posted the job they were asking for someone with at least a Bachelors college degree "or equivalent experience," as well as experience with various broadcast-specific tools and technologies.

Nine years of anything is a whole lot of experience, and maybe that means I'd be able to do that job. But it is not only possible they could find someone with exactly the qualifications in the original posting. It's nearly impossible for them to not find such a candidate, probably several. And can I honestly say they'd be wrong to hire someone with the qualifications for which they asked in the first place? Given they're confident those qualifications would indicate an ability to do the job, are they wrong to hire someone like that?

Is there some particular reason to hire someone who only maybe could manage the job reasonably well? Someone who might well be thrilled to have the opportunity, but might well be only adequate in skills, even if sounding good on a microphone?

Hate to say it, but... nope.

Sure, it leaves me sad, heartsick and hopeless. But how I feel isn't a legitimate driver for their hiring decisions. I wanna work on the radio, and not work doing what I've been doing since 2003. But if I was the fella doing the hiring, given someone who had the specific qualifications, detail by detail... yeah, I think I'd hire them, too.

Maybe someday. Maybe someday. But at this moment, I can't say it seems likely I'll ever see that someday.

Good luck to the young college kid they'll give the job to.

Maybe someday.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

As if you were a god to punish

I was mostly impressed with Scott Monty's post on Medium about Donald Trump, comparing him to Coriolanus.  As Mr Monty says, Coriolanus was "a general from the 5th century BC in Rome, who was recognized for his exceptional valor at a battle in the Volscian city Corioli.  He was later exiled from Rome for his anti-plebian (perhaps fascist?) views, and he subsequently led the Rome’s enemies the Volsci to attack Rome itself."

A bit harsh comparison.  But I can see it, yeah.  I see it more from the Shakespearean character.  "That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud, and loves not the common people."  

CORIOLANUS Are these your herd?
Must these have voices, that can yield them now
And straight disclaim their tongues? What are
your offices?
You being their mouths, why rule you not their teeth?
Have you not set them on?
Coriolanus was no lover of the common people, fair enough.
BRUTUS You speak o' the people,
As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity.

Harsh.  And yet...

He demanded honor for his bravery in battle.  But at least he had fought and earned those honors.  I'm reminded a bit also of George Patton, at least from the movie.  Arrogant, but his was fought-for arrogance.

Trump is arrogant because...

Help me out here.  Seems like the one thing about which he's got a basis for arrogance is being arrogant.  He's got a real talent for that.  Oh, yeah, he's rich and owns buildings and he's been on TV.  Thanks.

But arrogance isn't the only trouble.  The final question anyone must ask about any Presidential candidate is can this candidate be President of all Americans, after expressing disdain of so many?  Can he or she represent all our values, while condoning behavior we abhor?

If a candidate is running for President of his admirers... well, that's not the job.

If we're not careful, we'll get the President we, perhaps, deserve.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Okay, wait, on this T-Mobile Binge On thing...

I think the T-Mobile Binge On thing is, really, a non-issue issue.

T-Mobile gives you a free choice between two options:

The usual thing.  You use the service as fast as your data will go, and the meter is running.  Eventually you hit the cap.

Binge On.  Instead of using full-speed data, you use data limited to 480p.  Your time is unlimited.  Your quality is technically lower.  But hey, you're watching on your 4.5 inch phone screen, you will probably not know or care.

As to whether it's "throttling" or "optimizing," well, if the providers are sending at that higher speed and T-Mobile is only allowing through some of the data, that's throttling.  But in this case, without having to pay anything, T-Mobile says "this connection is on Binge On," so Netflix _sends_ 480p and T-Mobile passes through 480p.  That's optimizing.  The whole stream is set to the bit rate requested.

So it's a non-issue.  The big issue?  EFF got cussed at.  Deal with it.

So, what's next?

Friday, February 26, 2016

On Liberty

Just poking around in the download statistics on this Podiobook, "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill, read by me.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, two thirds of the downloads were from the UK.  Drilling down a bit farther, most of those were from Hertford.  There appear to have been a consistent 40 downloads a day from there for about a month.

This brings an interesting picture to mind.  "There are numerous schools in Hertford: these include the Sele School, Richard Hale School and Simon Balle School at secondary level, with primaries of Hollybush JMI, Millmead Community School,[23] Bengeo Primary School,[24] Morgans Primary School & Nursery,[25] Abel Smith School,[26] Wheatcroft School,St Andrew's School and St. Josephs RC School.[27]" -- Wikipedia

Maybe someone is teaching the book to their classes at one of these schools.  An English school teaching one of the most important books by an English author...

Read by some old fella from Minnesota.  Rather humbling, that.

Friday, February 12, 2016


I do have a couple of things I want to try. This is one of them. I'm blogging this using my bluetooth keyboard on my Fire, using an app called Blogdroid. Seems to work fine overall. Not doing anything fancy, of course.

I'm also intrigued by the possibilities suggested by Nathan Lowell's "Talking On My Morning Walk" podcast -- well, it's something like that, not looking at it right now. He basically kicks on his phone to record, takes his morning walk out and back and talks "stream of consciousness" for as long as that takes, maybe 20-30 minutes. No intro or outro music, just a couple of habitual phrases at the beginning and end.

I don't think I'd do it exactly that way. I'd keep my audio "branding" pieces at the beginning and end, cause that's how I roll. Don't know if I'd do all stream of consciousness talk. But his way does have the attraction of producing a continuing flow of content.

Quality is important, and keeping stuff interesting is, too. But what keeps a blog or podcast lively is in large measure more content. New stuff, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever you can manage. Even if not always flawless, at least it's there.

The long tail is vital, of course. Past posts give interested audience something to browse through, and in blogs in particular it gives more targets for search. I find the use-more-keywords stuff rather distasteful. Should talk about your topic, if you do that the keywords will probably be there anyway. It's profoundly disappointing to do a search, grab a result and find it's all keywords and no useful content.

So anyway, recording on either the Fire or my new Moto E phone. Might be fun. Awfully cold out there to do what Nate does, with the walking around. Though I gather he's in Colorado, plenty cold there... The main attraction is, I often have ideas wander through my brain (there goes one now, about natural gas). And I tend to talk to myself when those come up. So I'm essentially producing podcast content all the time, but it never gets podcast. And the podcasts I do produce are infrequent, because of my rather fiddly work process. I tend to type out all I want to say, then record it, then edit it (I'm a picky editor), wrap it in music and cover art, and then post it. Training myself to just put it out there with minimal editing will result in more Stuff, and probably no less valuable anyway. Same content, just out now, not someday real soon now.

That's all pretty Inside Baseball. But it helps me to write it out, so I can stare at it and decide if it all makes sense. Having to spell it out in depth forces me to consider the idea thoroughly. But that argues against the ramble into a mike idea. If I don't write it out, I won't know if it's a good idea till I've already added it to my podcast feed.

Decisions, decisions....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Episode 150 - Nine Years After

Nine years of podcasting, 373 podcast episodes including 150 Grizzly's Growls.  And just maybe some good news on the job front?


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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 ...