Mixed Bag Special

Posted in Miscellaneous, Mixed Bag Special, Music, Pop Culture on February 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ Look carefully before you decide to close this window after it opens. Thanks, Sharon.

¦¦ I am friggin’ tired tonight.

¦¦ I didn’t know that “yo la tengo” means “I have it” in Spanish. I did know that “husker du” means “do you remember” in Norwegian and/or Danish.

¦¦ Blogging is moving into the mainstream very quickly. Now, Harvard has hired Dave Winer to head up its new Weblogs at Harvard Initiative. So the question is begged: if blogging has made it to Harvard, have blogs moved into the mainstream? If so, I’m wondering what comes next, in whatever embryonic stage it might be at this time. Will blogs become passé? I don’t think so, at least not for a while. I think blogs will continue to evolve and mutate and morph into other formats. Time will tell.

¦¦ Norah Jones and Christopher Cross? Will she suffer his fate? I doubt it.

¦¦ Napster, seemingly forgotten these days, is set to return later this year.

Spun Out Of Control

Posted in Miscellaneous on February 26th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ I was driving to work this morning, west on 23rd Avenue. I sped up a bit to catch up to vehicle in front of me, so that I wouldn’t have to yield to a whack of cars about to turn north on 119th Street. As I approached my turn (from 23rd, turning right, i.e., north on 119th Street), I hit ice, and lost control of my car. It spun to the right, did a 180, jumped the curb, and slammed into the windrow of snow that had been pushed up onto the boulevard by graders a few days earlier. Wearing my seat belt most likely prevented me from slamming into the window of my door. I was lucky that another vehicle wasn’t following me at that moment.

I was stunned for about a nanosecond, realized immediately that I couldn’t open my door, and crawled out through the passenger door. No, I don’t own a cell phone, and realized I had to walk back to Saddleback Road (approx 115th Street), and call the Alberta Motor Association to come pull me out. I left the car with the hazard lights on, praying that no one would hit it coming around the corner. Eight minutes later I reached a phone, I made the call, and started to walk back. I noticed from afar that vehicles were slowing down to a stop at the yield where I’d spun my car, and started running, thinking it might have been hit. As I got closer, I saw that another car had spun into the windrow to avoid hitting me. Three men were trying to dislodge the car from the snow for the driver, a woman, who told me she saw my car as she was rounding the corner, and panicked.

One of the men had a shovel. I had one in my trunk, so we both shovelled more snow, and then four of us dislodged her car, and she left. Then two of the men tried to help me with my car, despite the impending arrival of the AMA tow truck. Less than 5 minutes later, the tow truck arrived, and using the winch, slowly pulled my car out of the windrow (which, btw, is what we call a long row of snow piled up from grading, even though the word means a row created by wind.)

In the end I was mostly embarrassed for driving like a idiot. Trying to save myself 10 seconds, I lost 45 minutes. Lesson learned, I drove off to work. At 51st Avenue, I came upon a large pickup truck, which was stalled. The driver was trying to push it himself. I thought, one good turn deserves another, and pulled over to help him push it off 119th Street, away from the other vehicles.

Wakeup Call? Losing Your Job Because of Your Blog

Posted in Blogging on February 25th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ Surfing around through Kelly’s site, one surf leads to another (isn’t that a song?), and I ended up at Dooce.com. On Feb 26, 2002, the author of this site lost her job because of something she’d written in her blog. So I’m reading away, and notice her post from today has 131 responses, and I’m like, that’s a hell of a lot of comments. So I go to put in a comment because the thread is about if you could take one song and one book as you fled the nuclear holocaust, what might they be? I look over the entire page, and can’t find any place on the site that lets me submit a post. Argh! Frustration sets in.

So I start checking some of the 131 posts, and end up at Paul’s Boutique, and discover that Paul (Gutman) has written the following paper: Did You Just Say That?: Blogging and Employment Law in Conflict, to be submitted for publication to the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts. Paul writes: “While it might be pretentious and unnecessarily legal and long, I think bloggers might find this worthwhile reading if they like their jobs.” I like my job (thank you, God, for tenure.) (I don’t agree that it’s pretentious – it is a submission to a scholarly journal. Legal, yes, but it needs to be.) In the submission, he highlights a number of well known incidents in which bloggers were fired from their jobs because of something they wrote that miffed their employers.

This is serious food for thought, and I encourage you to at least scan Gutman’s submission.

UPDATE (15 June 2004): The draft of Paul Gutman’s article is no longer available for viewing online. It has been revised and modified, and published in v27 n1 of The Columbia Journal of Law & The Arts.

More Stuff About Buildings and Food

Posted in Mixed Bag Special on February 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ The Captions Game, from the site, Edgecurve, is hilarious. My favorite so far is this one with the baby in the box of styropopcorn.

¦¦ Geoff and I were contacted today by Mairi MacLean, a features writer at The Edmonton Journal today. Mairi is writing a story on blogging for the paper. She interviewed each of us by phone, and her questions were thoughtful and probing. Of course, I’ll be checking the paper tomorrow morning first thing to see if we made it to press!

As well, Geoff and I submitted an edited version of a 2,500 word article we wrote on weblogs and how they might work in the library world. The paper, written for Feliciter, was edited down to 1,900 words, and I’m hoping we can keep it there, and not reduce it further. As well, we’ve been asked to present a session on weblogging for Academic Technologies for Learning, at the U of A. This seems to be happening all too fast!

The Latest Report

Posted in Film, Observations, Pop Culture on February 23rd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ My good friend Robert Runté has joined the blogging ranks. He doesn’t disappoint.

¦¦ I have a remote starter on my car. It’s great this time of year, when the temperature is -25C. I saw The Recruit tonight, and upon leaving, discovered the remote starter decided not to start. So, I’ll be at the retailer tomorrow asking them to fix it quickly, and for free. BTW, it’s -25C in Edmonton tonight.

¦¦ Speaking of The Recruit, I enjoyed it, despite Al Pacino’s way-over-the-top performance. Colin Farrell, the current It Guy, was good without annoying me. A predictable story, but worth two hours of escape and $9.95Cdn.

¦¦ The Morning News’ Guide to New York Jargon is hilarious.

¦¦ The lists on McSweeney’s, brainchild of Dave Eggers, are also hilarious. Try Some Famous Names That Can Replace The Word Yesterday In The Song “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney or Actual Entries From The Scots Dialect Dictionary.

Why Protest The (Impending) War?, and Ranking Blogs

Posted in Blogging, NYC, Observations on February 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ One of the first two blogs I started reading in early 2002 was Laura‘s. The other was Geoff‘s. On Laura’s site I discovered a link to brain-terminal, which “seeks to provide thoughtful analysis of the various political, social, economic and technological trends that affect our daily lives.” It is the brainchild of Evan Coyne Maloney. Why he chose the horrid colour scheme will remain a myster. Whatever. Anyway, you must watch the video of his interviews with various NYC anti-war protesters from earlier this month. It reveals that they are passionate, but it many cases, clueless. Of course, leave us not forget that we are seeing only the interviews he chose to let us see. But it makes for entertaining viewing.

¦¦ Daypop is a search engine that searches “14,600 news site and weblog for current events and breaking news.” You can see the top weblogs, the Amazon top wish list items, top news, and the top 40! The Top 40 “is a list of links that are currently popular with webloggers from around the world”. At the top of the list is ready.gov, the US gov’t site that helps their citizens prepare for terrorist attacks. The site is odd and creepy, and at best, necessary. The top search, sadly I suppose, is currently “great white.”

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