I spend a lot of time on the computer for work… As anybody who works on a computer all day long knows, that usually means a lot of browsing around. Every week, I’ll try to cover some of the things I dig and maybe turn you on to something new. Or maybe not. I don’t claim to be an arbiter of good taste, but I do think there are some many things out in the world worth discovering and exploring that don’t always get the attention in the mainstream that they deserve. I love the underdogs, the independents, the artists that march to their own beat….. Here are some of the coolest things I came across this week while, ahem, working:
I’m feeling stressed. I’m feeling overwhelmed. I am feeling like there’s simply not enough hours in the day for me to get through everything I’ve got to get through. And I’m not even talking about work-related projects; I’m referring to the backlog of TV shows that is growing exponentially by the hour.
Yeah, you read that right. I’m posting about smoke detectors. You got a problem with that? Never in a thousand years would I ever have imagined writing a blog and including a post about….. smoke detectors.
Well, a post about smoke detectors would never have happened, EVER, if it hadn’t been for the genius engineers and designers at NEST, who have come up with the Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detector.
October is one of my very favorite months for lots of reasons.. the cooler temperatures, the beautiful explosion of color as the leaves on the trees put on one last show before winter, Octoberfest beers…. and Halloween. And one of my favorite things about Halloween is that it gives me an excuse to watch ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’ I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve missed it in any of my 44 years on earth. It’s to the point where if I MISS it, I will be depressed for days. This is crazy, because I’ve owned it on DVD for probably 15 years. Click through for the full post and a glimpse of these magical music.
One problem with having an obsessive love of culture, be it music, movies, books, whatever… is the accumulation of STUFF. Stuff which, just as the sun sets in the west, will invariably become obsolete within a matter of a few years. Technological advancements (and the associated marketing by their makers that the ‘new stuff’ is better than the ‘old stuff’) means that every 5 years or so we’re switching formats. Vinyl records to 8-tracks to cassettes to compact discs to mp3 to streaming….(and back to vinyl, in my case). With movies, it was VHS to DVD to Bluray to streaming (with a pitstop on Laser Disc alley for me along the way).
It seems that in the last 10 years or so, I’ve spent an awful lot of time and garbage bags getting rid of yesterday’s formats that have piled up in my closet. The VHS tapes were the first to go; when the VCR broke down, it was time. The dozens of tapes I had spent a small fortune on, and countless hours recording and “dubbing” movies….. gone. Several large trash bags of memories, spools of poor-quality recordings of Friday Night Videos (we didn’t have MTV you see), and unwatchable (due to the dreaded “dropouts”) copies of Fletch, Three Amigos, Blues Brothers, and a thousand other 80s classics …. gone. Continue reading “Dealing with Dead Media” »
I do a lot of writing for a green-living website called Green Home Source, and as a result I often end up researching things and end up obsessing over them and wanting to try them out personally. Case in point: Composting. I’ve written several pieces about the benefits of composting stuff like kitchen and yard waste, and on paper (or onscreen) it sounds like a wonderful magical thing: Throw your scraps in a compost bin and a few months later you’ve got compost, a nutrient-rich organic material that is a perfect natural fertilizer.
My latest adventure in jury duty is over…. for the 4th time, I was called to perform my civic duty as a member of a jury. For the first time, I was not selected to actually sit on a jury during a trial. Thank God. The jury I was nearly placed on was going to try a doozy of a case.
When kids are being gunned down in the streets, the playgrounds, and basketball courts of this country, EVEN on the south side of Chicago, or Detroit, or East St. Louis, or anywhere else, we’re living in a third world country. All of us.
I spend more time thinking about/fretting over/trying to do something about my bowel habits than anyone else I know. I do this because, quite frankly, my digestive system simply doesn’t work very well. If it’s working at all.