Unresolved

I feel like I should do some sort of year end post but I honest to god don’t know what to say. Or even what I think about the past year. The last couple of months are a little blurry and I’m too lazy to scroll my archives to see what happened before that.

I feel the need to make the coming year… different somehow. I have too few vices to give any up. It’s likely I’m already being the best person I’m capable of.

I think I need more real-time communication with friends. More time in meatspace, less time in cyberspace.

I need to spend more time in "now" and less in the past and the future. In a couple of months I’ll have gone zero to 60. That should be a "now" moment.

2007? Really nothing more than some neurons firing back and forth in my head. Imperfect memories at best. 2008? Same deal. Some brain chemistry fiction projected on the inside of my forehead.

To paraphrase the tag line from one of my favorite TV shows, Max Headroom… let’s take the future in 20 minute chunks.

Illegal to rip songs from CD’s to computer. Yeah, right.

“Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.” [Washington Post]

PROFANITY ALERT: Let me see if I have this right. I buy the CD. I copy the songs to my laptop or iPod so I can listen to them. I don’t share them with anyone. And that’s illegal. As they say on Keith and the Girl, “Fuuuuuuccckkkk you!” Steve Martin used to say, “Excuuuusseee me!”

Update: Turns out this story was wrong. Never mind.

Iowa Exodus

Kay Henderson shares an amusing advisory from the Des Moines International Airport:

Saigon250“An estimated 2,000 rental cars will be returned those days (January 4 and 5) and approximately 50% more people will be departing from the Airport than on a typical day. Many national and international media personnel will be attempting to leave Central Iowa. It will take the cooperation of everyone to ensure this happens efficiently and that the nation gets a good picture of the capability of Central Iowans.”

Twittering the Iowa Caucuses

A couple of weeks ago I wondered if we’d see any live blogging from the local precincts that make up the Iowa Caucuses. I figured someone must be trying to pull this together and found this post by Patrick Ruffini at Hugh Hewitt’s Townhall.com:

“On Iowa Caucus night, I’d like to launch a little experiment in citizen journalism. Mobile technology allows anybody to communicate from anywhere, including from inside a caucus. Any caucus goer can become a citizen reporter, relaying key facts to the outside world instantaneously. I’d like to recruit an army of caucus insiders — both Republicans and Democrats — to report results instantly and share tidbits on what the campaigns are doing to sway last-minute undecideds.”

Caucus bloggers can participate via Twitter, email or by texting.

Not sure how busy I’ll be helping with RadioIowa.com, but I’ll try to keep an eye on this experiment.

Related bonus link on the Iowa Caucuses “entrance poll.”

How newspapers got into such a fix

A fascinating look at how U. S. newspapers got to where they are, by Paul Steiger who spent 26 of his 41 years in journalism at the Wall Street Journal. Thursday is his final day at WSJ.

“Next week I move over to a nonprofit called Pro Publica as president and editor-in-chief. When fully staffed, we will be a team of 24 journalists dedicated to reporting on abuses of power by anyone with power: government, business, unions, universities, school systems, doctors, hospitals, lawyers, courts, nonprofits, media. We’ll publish through our Web site and also possibly through newspapers, magazines or TV programs, offering our material free if they provide wide distribution.

Pro Publica is the brainchild of San Francisco entrepreneurs-turned-philanthropists Herbert and Marion Sandler, who along with some other donors are providing $10 million a year in funding.

The idea is that we, along with others of similar bent, can in some modest way make up for some of the loss in investigative-reporting resources that results from the collapse of metro newspapers’ business model.”

We’re going to need a bigger table

Laptops

Our friend George is here helping Barb migrate her data from her ancient Dell laptop to her new MacBook. He’s also going to be available to help Barb’s transition from Windows to OSX. Expertise gap aside, I’ve learned that husbands should not try to show wives how to do things on computers.

Macworld virgin

In couple of weeks I will attend my first Macworld in San Francisco. 60,000 rabid Mac fans gather for a week of… well, I’m not quite sure but look forward to finding out.

Three Macworld veterans are letting me tag along and their enthusiasm is infectious. These guys are my age and they’re as giddy as a GTO full of college sophomores on their way to spring break.

Macworld500b

They know the ropes and have planned our trip like a Delta Force strike. This morning at our planning meeting, I was informed that we’d be getting in line at 4:30 a.m. for the keynote by Steve Jobs.

Macworld sounds like a bouillabaisse of Burning Man, 60′s Be-In, and Jonestown (substitute microbrews for Kool Aid). Can’t wait.