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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?


Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of

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 Comment Line: 218-234-CALL   218-234-2255

Listen now?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday didn't matter

As it happens, it's Friday, and I didn't work today.  So one would assume I'd do something that one can only do on a weekday, cause stuff is open.

It didn't happen.

I spent the entire day sitting in front of the computer, doing what one does sitting in front of a computer.  A bit of typing, a bit of shopping, some wandering around Second Life.  I didn't leave the house at all.  Not yet anyway. I'll probably run down to the store for a bit, but I could do that on a weekend, too.

I didn't ask for Friday off.  I was told I had to work on Sundays, and I had to have a different day off so they didn't need to pay overtime.  I was told also I needed to work 10 hours on Sunday, so I work 6 hours on Thursday so they don't need to pay me overtime.

I suppose if the Friday had been my own choice I might feel differently.  I might have plans for the day.  I might have all sorts of weekday tasks I'd do on my Friday.  It's my Friday, but it's not my Friday.  It's the one to which I've been assigned.  It feels like it's another part of my work week.

At the moment it feels like my whole life consists of work, preparing for work, finishing my day so I can sleep to get up for work.

This is not the way this is supposed to be.  This is not what they promised me back in the 1960s when I was growing up.

So.  Change.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Day Two

For some odd reason I'm watching MacBreak Weekly.

I don't own any Apple products at all.  I never have.  I have never been able to afford them.  Even before Apple's position was to be the most expensive (if most Shiny), I couldn't afford them, because I couldn't afford much of any computers of my own.  I don't get those kind of jobs, it seems.

But I do see the occasional gadget.  I like the little charger devices they have.  And they do occasionally mention devices like smartwatches I shop for.  I don't buy any.  I don't trust the cheap ones, and can't afford the expensive ones.  And it's not like I need one.  But I can certainly look.  And hey, I find the right gadget, I just might buy one eventually.

And now I know how to properly coil a cable.  Over and under.  Educational.

I still have over 800 podcast episodes to watch or listen to.  I will most likely never catch up, unless someone breaks the Internet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Day One?

So, was watching IOS Today, one of Leo LaPorte's netcasts, and they mentioned an app called DayOne.  It has an outstanding feature, it reminds you if you haven't journaled today.  Or if you're me, you haven't journaled in the current millenium.

And I says to myself, I says "Self, you could use your blog as a Journal, right?  Then you'd have blogposts and a journal, and kill two birds, and if the two birds are chickens, you've got dinner, too!"

Or words to that effect.

Downside, there's no app reminding me I haven't done a post.  And I'm not entirely sure using a blog as a journal is a good idea.  My content ought to be fascinating, clever and insightful.  Which a journal entry is unlikely to be. 

On the other hand, the only audience I'd lose would be all the people who haven't been reading the content I haven't been posting.  So there's that.

I keep promising myself to podcast more, too.  But podcasting has a whole setup and preparation process you have to get through before you can even start recording.  Then there's a bunch of other stuff I have to do after recording.  I'm on the Autistic spectrum.  One impairment from that is called Executive Dysfunction.  That can be hard to explain without getting "I do that alla time, too, and I'm not autistic!" back. 

By the way, have to call it Executive Dysfunction all spelled out and not ED.  People would mistake it for a whole 'nother sort of Dysfunction.  Which I don't have.  As far as you know.

Best explanation of Executive Dysfunction is in "Mozart & The Whale," the movie.  Josh Hartnett's character (who's name escapes me) is all dressed to go out on a Halloween date with his girlfriend, in his Whale costume, sitting on his bed, all ready to go.  And sitting.  And sitting.

And an hour or so later, she rings his doorbell, he answers it and says "I'm sorry," and she says, "That's all right, I knew you just screwed up."  Words to that effect.  With everything all sorted out and ready to get started, I can end up sitting there for a very long time, and never actually start -- never Execute.

And yes, I do recommend watching Mozart & The Whale.   You can learn a lot.  And it's a great romantic story.  I identify with the main character (Donald?)  a lot.  And Melvin Udall in "As Good As It Gets."  Who isn't Autistic, he's OCD, except kind of autistic-acting, too.  Anyway, Executive Dysfunction...

It's not laziness at all.  It's not a pleasant feeling, and it's easy to get down on myself when I just can't get started on something.  I have stuff I have intended to do, literally, for years.  Everything is in place to do those things.  But they're not done, because I never started.  Or worse, never started again.

Anyway.  Journalling.  Now you can see the downside.  Completely around the Horn topicwise.

Let's say that's Day One.  Will I post Day Two tomorrow?  I will probably think about how I'm supposed to, and end up doing something else.  Or do nothing at all.  Welcome to my world.

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 ...