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Monday, June 30, 2008

The end of "Biography of a Grizzly"

I was just up all night, recording, editing and posting Hiber-Nation 6, the end of "Biography of a Grizzly." I didn't read the book before I recorded it, I read it -as- I recorded it. I added the last chapter, pasted on the ending music, and cried my eyes out.

What? It's just me reading a book! So, I got it posted on Libsyn -- going out on Thursday as always -- and went back and played the whole show again.

And cried my eyes out again.

It's mostly because it's a very good book. But I got very lucky, finding this particular book when I was looking for something to start the series. If I do say so myself.

I think you'll like this one.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First Impression about "New" iPhone coverage

Listening to various podcasts about the new iPhone. Here's my official opinion, and I know you've all been waiting breathlessly for this.

Don't bother.

The new iPhone does a bunch of stuff it should have been doing in the first version, invades your privacy, and costs way too damn much. There are, I hear, better phones already out for lower prices, just called something else. Don't waste your money on this shiny-shiny, you're smarter than that.

Then again, I use an aging Nokia that does phone calls, and text messaging, and... that's it. Hey, it's a phone, ya call people, or they call you. No calls, what ya need a phone for?

Just my opinion.

Do people still do longform blog posts?

The other day, I set up a Thingie -- that's the technical computer term, a Thingie -- to have all my Twitter posts show up on my "regular," longform blog. This one.

Frequently and strenuously hated. Took it back down. Even I found it annoying. It is what all the Cool Kids are doing, but it still sucks.

But now I'm wondering, do people still do regular blogposts, anymore? Have the number of regular blogposts gone down, since the number of microblog posts have gone up?

For me, I often don't have that much to say. Then again, I think the reason I -don't- have so many regular blog posts, is that I'm used to not having to think about what I'm saying. "Hey, I need two or three sentences. How difficult could that be?"

But I don't actually have to think about what the post means. What does what I just said imply? What also has to be said, for that to make sense? To what extent is what I said just plain, flat wrong, if I don't take it further? Am I totally full of crap, and I can't tell, because I didn't take the thought to it's logical conclusion?

Twitter and other services can be great fun. But it just ain't blogging. Maybe one tenth of one percent of the Tweets on Twitter are actually significant. And the rest is mostly stuff people would mumble under their breath, if they didn't have a computer or cellphone handy.

And I'll probably still keep Twittering, because it's an interesting community. I first learned of the death of George Carlin, from a Tweet by Andy Ihnatco. Sometimes, you see something you'd never even know about. Most of the time, a ham sandwich reference would double the excitement level. But someday, when we're all old and gray -- not just me -- we'll be able to say, "Yeah, when I was a kid of 50 or so, we used to Twitter all the time."

Won't that be exciting. Especially when they say, "What's Twitter?"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Tweets Today

  • 12:40 @mwsmedia Matt, don't you use Podpress? @PodcastPickle was looking for someone who did. #
  • 18:40 Just installed some very very old software on my new Vista machine. Just cause I can. The stuff I know how to use, from way back when. #
  • 23:27 @mwsmedia So, if I understand this correctly, one downloads each song via the links on your site, then the CD graphic, and burns one's own? #
  • 23:28 @mwsmedia Potential business idea for Amazon -- buyable downloadable ISO of your selections? Sort of a virtual album, if you will. #
  • 23:44 @mwsmedia Hm... I wonder if one couldn't create an "RSS feed" file for the selection; most aggregators could... Oh, wait, money. Never mind. #
  • 23:46 @mwsmedia Sounds like a Widget idea for some programmer, then. #
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Tweets Today

  • 18:03 So, my link to my one podcast episode got mentioned on "Twitturly." Not sure why. Is that a Good Thing? is.gd/a1S #
  • 19:05 Just missed the last bus from Superior WI to Duluth MN. Now I gotta figure out how to get home. HINT: payday is next week. #
  • 19:07 Some big celebrity, huh? That Minor, Local" stuff ain't no joke. #
  • 19:08 Hmmmm... what would I say in an open letter to the Yahoo stockholders? How about "Icahn is a showboater, just ignore him?" #
  • 19:09 So, no karaoke likely tonight. Unless, to quote Risky Business, "Sometimes you just gotta say, WTF?" #
  • 19:11 World-renouned Internet Celebrity can't scrape together cab fare across town. Gotta love it. #
  • 19:12 "Can't be too young, too rich, or too thin." So, what if you're None Of The Above? #
  • 19:14 @bloggersblog And what would you do, Tweet to order a couple dozen ten-penny nails? #
  • 19:36 Underemployment sucks, and I recommend no one else ever try it. Except lots of other people do. No choice. No choice is always a bad thing. #
  • 19:40 Next week, I once again become a Full Time employee. For a month or so. Then I'm back to part time. Doesn't seem right. #
  • 19:41 They claim our economy is supportive of anyone who wants to work. I want to work. Got no work. Got no money. Skills, I think I might have. #
  • 19:44 Of course, no one actually wants to -use- the skills I apparently have. They want to hire a consultant they don't know to do what I do. #
  • 19:46 "Service economy." Which seems to mean, that if you don't already have a Good Job doing what you're best at... you get Serviced. #
  • 19:47 "Oh, he'll stop humping your leg when he's done." #
  • 19:49 They want to employ me at stuff that's miserably poorly suited to what I'm best at because they can. "Be nice and hire nice." What, nice? #
  • 19:53 Meanwhile, I get to plan, tomorrow, to head down and donate plasma again, just to have cash in my pocket. Got a job, just no cash money. #
  • 19:54 And ain't -this- entertaining? I'm listed on Stickam as an "entertainer." On my bad days, I'm not entertaining. On good days... good days? #
  • 19:58 But I don't mean that in a Bad Way. Or maybe I do. Every candidate for whatever says "I'll fix the economy!" The last guys said that too. #
  • 19:59 Name me a candidate who you honestly believe will -really- fix the economy. Including having support from the PTB, to actually get it done. #
  • 20:04 @drewdomkus Get a chair. Don't leave it. There's technology now, heard about the lady, two years on the toilet? Wanna be on the Interweb? #
  • 20:25 So, I'm sitting at the table the karaoke guy uses at Champs, and someone again assumed I was the Karaoke Guy. Seems like a job opening..... #
  • 20:26 I mean, hey, I could -do- the Karaoke Guy thing. What, there'd be someone more qualified? I mean, get serious. It's not rocket science. #
  • 20:27 More like Ground Controller science, I'd suppose. #
  • 21:26 I'm out of cigarettes. I can cope with out of money; I can marginally walk home. I can donate tomorrow. No cigarettes? So, who do I kill?? #
  • 22:48 @isabellastella, good lookin out fo' a brothah! @skizzerfitz, musta been somebody else, huh? ;-) #
  • 22:51 @mightymur Awwww... #
  • 22:52 @bexbot Where exactly is this "Bevis" place, anyway? ;-) #
  • 23:06 "Who's Who on the Internet" would be made up mostly of lies, half-truths and science fiction. #
  • 23:07 We are who we say we are, till someone proves us wrong. And who's going to put their own identity at risk, attacking our own? #
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

A small change in the podcast feeds

I was laid off from work for my third day in a row today. Started fiddling with things again. So I moved a couple things around on the website, and I made one small change in the way one of the feed addresses work. Shouldn't affect many people.

Here's the way things stand with the feeds, as of now:

Podcast-only feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/grizzlysgrowls

Story-only feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/grizzlysgrowlsstory

Everything feed: http://grizzly.libsyn.com/rss

That Everything feed is the only one really affected. It used to be podcast-only, and now it's Everything. So, if you want -only- the podcasts, you might wanna check to see which you're subscribed to.

If you're currently receiving what you want, you probably don't need to change anything. The Everything feed gets more stuff, not less, podcasts -and- stories both.

So, if you wanted Everything, you may want to switch to the Everything feed. And you may not; using both the other feeds does the same thing (at the moment).

Also, the "Everything feed" will end up including any other new shows I start (not planning any at the moment), and may, briefly, include that experimental series I'm developing for the local non-profit.

And you never know, I might actually start new stuff. Video's all the rage among the young people, now, ain't it? ;-) The web page looks a bit confusing, since that shows Everything, too. But I'm using the tools I have. And this is how my current tools work out.

If there's anything I haven't explained well enough, send me an email or comment on the website.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Once more

Out again.

Seems like every time I think I've got a handle on this Internet celebrity stuff, it just slips away and turns into something else.

Is there some point when you know you've actually done something, or does it just keep slipping around, leaving a trail on the rug?

I'm as likely to give this up as giving up smoking. But it'd be nice to know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, out here in the world. Like if there were rules and what-not, something that'd tell me when I'm doing something right. I don't much care if I'm doing something wrong, but it'd be nice if I could be sure the Something Wrong was taking a stand, rather than taking a dump.

I probably managed to piss off most of my younger audience. Or not. Wouldn't know.

This socializing stuff is hard. And when a big piece of the Interweb-toobes is about some skill I was born without, it's even harder.

I'm a stranger here myself. Anybody wanna give me a hint here?

Thank you for your patience. Someday, I'll have some profound last words. Till then, I suspect, I'll have no idea what I'm doing.

A Minor Local Celebrity

I had a painful experience tonight, trying something new, and getting mobbed by the Teaming Masses Yearning to Breath Fumes.

So I was hurting, and I couldn't sing. And I sing, that's what I do. When I'm there, I'm singing. When I'm not singing, it's like I'm not there.

It's ironic, it's just karaoke, it's not like it's a big, important thing. But it is. Folks depend on it. I depend on it more. It's part of a normal evening here. I don't get paid for it, but still it's my job. If I'm not there, singing what I always sing, then it didn't happen, much.

And I didn't sing, because I was hurting. But they don't know. They just know it's Thursday, and Grizzly sings here on Thursdays. And if Grizzly doesn't sing, it didn't happen.

That's an overstatement, and exaggeration. And still, it's about right. It's just a teensy little thing, no one will ever mention my singing on CNN. God forbid they ever mention it on Fox News. But in this place, at these times, it needs to happen.

I'm still hurting, a bit. But it is nice to feel needed, at least for this brief little bit of illusion.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New Stuff for Supporting the Podcast

Like most bloggers and podcasters, I've always dreamed of Just Doing This, and not doing that annoying job thing. I'm a telemarketer with Asperger Syndrome, so for me it's not just a dream, it's an obsession. Maybe a medical necessity?

Anyway, added another couple Things for folks who might want to help support the show(s). I just signed up for the Amazon Affiliate program. I review a lot of audio books on the podcast, and I knew Seth Harwood had his first Jack Palms book, "Jack Wakes Up," published in Real Paper and available on Amazon. So I was gonna link to that. Then I thought, "Can I link to it -and- help pay the bills?" Found a Widget that allows me to provide links to all the books I've reviewed that are now available on Amazon. Sure are a lot of 'em.

Anyway, if you heard the review, liked the book, and want to help out, just click on the link in the widget when you're going to buy a paper copy of the book from Amazon, and I make a few pennies. Couldn't hurt, if you were gonna buy one anyway, right? Also put a link in the widget to a package they have for the Samson Zoom H2, which is what I use to record all my audio. Cool gadget, you get a decent deal on it, I make a few more pennies.

And there's a link up near the Donate button (remember the Donate button?) that is simply a link to Amazon.com, which gives me a few pennies more credit for your interest.

Don't gotta do it. Doesn't cost you anything extra. But it'd help me out.

Thanks much.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Freaking out

Okay, here's the deal. I'd kind of reached a plateau with the "Grizzly's Growls" podcast, pretty consistently 100 downloads per episode, four episodes a month, so 400 downloads a month.

Last month I got almost 600 downloads. So far this month, six days in, almost 100 downloads already.

It's kinda freaking me out.

I am doing a couple things differently, "Hiber-Nation" in particular, but that doesn't cover the massive increase in downloads. Unless some kind soul is trying to cheer me up by downloading a few hundred extra shows ... I have no idea what's going on. If I did, I'd do more. Now I'm a bit scared I'll stop doing something I don't know I'm doing, and lose a bunch of listeners.

Imagine my shagrin, bemusement, and overall confusion.

Overall good, but a bit weird.

Maybe it's my careful and meticulous efforts to select the right music for the show, by playing the next song on a computer-generated list (the "It Doesn't Suck" list)?

Maybe it's the tremendous effort I put into audio quality, by recording in my echoey bedroom, and slapping together bits and pieces of audio I've accumulated?

Inquiring minds want to know. Me, too.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tee Morris

Okay, I gotta do this.

I do consider myself a podcasting author, just haven't bothered to write
any fiction for the past, oh, three decades or so. But I heard this from Tee Morris, contending to be the Arch-Nemesis of podcasting authors
everywhere.

Now, I am not a podcasting author, at the moment. I'm just Some Guy Who
Does a Podcast. I've been waiting till I was ready to do some fiction.
But Them's Fighting Words!

Seriously, I wouldn't even know how to start writing fiction again. But
I'll jump into this on general principles! Damn the torpedoes! Full
speed ahead!

May not get up enough nerve to write actual fictional sort of fiction
soon, but even so, it's the principle of the thing!

What am I talking about? Why, I'm talking about the... um... the... well,
I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm mad as hell, and I'm not
gonna take it anymore!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers! And all that happy crap
Shakespeare mentioned and what-not!

Okay, so what was I talking about?

--

Grizzly's Growls Podcast: <http://grizzly.libsyn.com>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Blog: <http://grizzlysgrowls.blogspot.com>
Twitter: <https://twitter.com/grizzlysgrowls>

MP3 player for Grandma

Hi. Two things.

One, a long while back now I sent a comment about getting an MP3 player
for Mom. As I recall you suggested the Zune -- big display, simple
buttons, and so on. There was one other you suggested, I forget which.
Still haven't gotten one for Mom, though I did get one a them cassette
tape adapters for her, for when I eventually get a player she can use.
(She's also expressed an interest in my old laptop, since she wants to
play her audiobook CDs, too.)

Anyway, I wanted to mention that my Grizzly's Growls podcast, at

http://grizzly.libsyn.com, is still getting maybe one hit a week for
searches for "MP3 Player for Grandma." Or maybe that's the Blog; I have
three blogs, including one for the Podcast, which frankly is kinda
ridiculous, I admit.

Speaking of the tape adapter, we get to my other topic. Don't think there
is one of these. I recall there was an MP3 player or USB flash drive
(also an MP3 player?) that came in a box shaped like a cassette tape. You
guys may have talked about it, or it might have been on Gadgettes, I don't
recall. Anyway, wouldn't it be cool if there were an MP3 player that was
(1) shaped like a cassette, and (2) included built in electronics to act
as it's own cassette tape adapter?

The one problem there would be control while it's in the cassette player.
Two possibilities there: an infrared-remote sensor designed to look out
the usual clear window in the tape player door, with a remote, or
mechanisms to sense the movement of the rollers of the cassette player, on
play, fast-forward and rewind, and work the controls that way. I think
the latter has cooler implications, BTW.

I'm fine if somebody wants to build one, I'll buy it. But I do demand
bragging rights for having thought of it! ;-)

Thanks!

Grizzly

--

Grizzly's Growls Podcast: <http://grizzly.libsyn.com>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Blog: <http://grizzlysgrowls.blogspot.com>
Twitter: <https://twitter.com/grizzlysgrowls>

Fixing Civilization III in Vista

I am actually rather proud of myself, for figuring out how to fix Civilization III to work in Vista. Don't know if this would help a lot of other folks, but it worked for me. I know some folks have no problem running Civ III in Vista, some do, and some have had luck with other fixes.

I mentioned my troubles with Civ III on Twitter, and got what seem to be the most common solutions: compatibility modes, run as Administrator, and so on. None of these helped.

Then I thought about what exactly was happening. The program would start, show the splash screen, then immediately stop. What happens after the splash screen? Two AVIs are shown, one the company logo, one "dramatic" movie about Civilization. So, I'm thinking graphics.

Tried manually reducing the resolution of the screen to the appropriate setting for the game. Small improvement; a black screen with some of the text menu items showing, including, luckily, the "Exit" button. So, I think, what does Civ III use to "talk" to the graphics card? DirectX. It installs, or tries to install, DirectX 8.x as part of the game install. Busted DirectX, maybe?

Uninstalled CivIII. Downloaded and installed the newer DirectX 9c. Reinstalled CivIII. And it works. No run-as-Admin, no need for compatibility mode (though I might try that again to improve smoothness of operation).

And as I said, I feel much better, having actually figured out the problem and fixed it. Not as dumb as I look, I guess.

Yay, me!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The New Wave

Wanted to share with you an article from "New York Magazine," I think, that is as balanced as possible a representation of What Goes On with all the groups with positions on the Autism Spectrum. The article brought tears to my eyes. Wish I had written it.

New York Magazine Article: The New Wave of Autism Rights Activists

This is a lot of what I've been trying to explain for the last couple years. But I'm not a journalist, I'm a blogger. Someday, I gotta learn how to write. Again.