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.
I’ve been using ‘brainstembob’ as an email address name for 10 years now. So long in fact that I no longer think anything of it. But that doesn’t stop people from sometimes giving me strange looks when I give them my email. These odd glances always remind me that maybe it is a bit strange. I’d change it to something more professional and ‘normal’ sounding, but after a decade of using it for more website user names and account logins than I can count, it’s too ingrained for me to go to all the trouble of changing it everywhere.