Running in place to get to work

The baby is in her chair now in the living room. Rock and roll music, early music, is playing on the radio. I love having a radio in the house like this and definitely appreciate being able to turn on a box and let other people make the decisions for me in terms of what song comes next. I am tired and not looking forward to going in to work tonight, but it'll be fine. This is kind of a dream time where I get to play a different role while holding on to my old ones.

This new radio is otherworldly, with those odd speakers and the stand, which grants the radio much more dignity than any other appliance in our house. The songs coming out of it at the moment are amazing, timeless, fast. Baby is sitting in her chair kicking her feet into the air and waving her arms while she and the Butterfly catch up on old times. The dial is tuned to 91.2, which is something you don't see in North America. The jingles for U.K. radio stations can be jarring, hearing frequencies ending in even numbers.

I'm thinking of the impending trip to England and thinking about my Englishness and my Americanity and what they are and how they influence me. I could look through that chest of drawers forever, searching through a collection of memories and images and maps that belong to two places.

I think I like working at Court Square Tavern because it's an English kind of place. I get to be myself there in a way that I don't get to be anywhere else. I keep working there despite being awfully busy with podcasting because I want to retain this part of my identity.

In any case, I'll be there, exulting in being a server, a dishwasher, a manager, a bartender and a podcasting salesman. If anyone reading this through cvilleblogs.com is in town, I'll be in tonight, tomorrow night and New Year's Eve. A special prize for anyone who comes in and records their New Year's resolutions for a podcast.

And, the offer on the Scrabble game still applies.


Jon Stewart to CBS Evening News?

Okay, that's a gotcha headline, definitely. The idea of Stewart crossing over to a corporate sister is something that has been bandied about a lot since Dan Rather stepped down, and I have nothing new to offer on that score. But, this article in Forbes by David Andelman mentioned it as part of a slightly tongue-in-cheek list of media predictions for 2006.

CBS News will move The Daily Show over from Comedy Central, and anchor Jon Stewart will replace an aging Bob Schieffer in a last, desperate effort to attract the young viewers that advertisers so lust after and increasingly fail to find on the networks' news programming.

On the face of it, I don't think this is likely at all. First of all, Stewart is not news, and his demographic doesn't start watching television until later on in the evening. The network may not have a hit on its hands, but I'm sure the status quo makes money. I think it's too big a risk to move Stewart to broadcast television, because his act would largely have to change.

Besides, I don't believe the show is as good any more since The Colbert Report began. Colbert always had the best lines on the Daily Show, and his absence has created a huge void for the parent show. I'm confident the Daily Show will find its stride again, but it won't be on CBS.


British comedy quote of the day from Nigel Planer

"People talk about alternative comedy, but how it started was simple. We
were bored and knew we would never be part of the mainstream, so we thought, 'why don't we just do what we like?'"

That's Nigel Planer, who played Neil the hippy on the Young Ones, BBC's ground-breaking "alternative comedy" series. Americans were exposed to this program thanks to how much cooler MTV was back in the days where they didn't exactly know what was going to make the most money. The Young Ones is a glimpse into how crappy Britain is perceived to have been in the 1980's: Bleak, despairing, and run-down.

The 12 episodes, spread apart two series, follow the day to day lives of four flatmates attending university. None of them are particularly good students. Rik is a self-proclaimed People's Poets who always talks about others' first, but is always looking out for himself. Vyvyan is the metal medical student who wings up pregnant in one episode, despite being a man. Mike is the cool person, and Neil is the classic hippy, always eating lentils and pointing out how cruel everyone seems to be. All four are loathsome, but in British comedy, humor often flows from the despicable nature of the characters.

The show was one of the most surreal programs of its kind, with sudden segues into odd sketches that often only grew funny on repeated viewings. The show was a gigantic experiment along the lines of what Nigel Planer describes above. And, the show was a major milestone in the careers of what is now mainstream British comedy and light entertainment. The roster of actors who had cameos on the Young Ones is impressive: Robby Coltrane (Hagrid), Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders (half of Absolutely Fabulous), Hugh Laurie (now House), Elizabeth Thompson and many more.

But, the Young Ones is related to another odd program that MTV later showed as well. How many remember the Comic Strip presents? MTV began showing this as an alternative to showing the same 12 episodes over and over again. This program was different. They were more like short films, shot on location, with each installment being completely different to the next. In all, there are 37 films released by the Comic Strip Presents, which is apparently now available as a boxed set in the UK. Likely not here.

A 38th edition begins this upcoming Wednesday. It's described in this article in the Independent.
That's where Nigel Planer's quote came from. I'm posting it because I feel inspired by the idea of doing something you want to do, and then profiting from it.


Motel 6 Podcast

The question on everyone's mind: What will become of advertising in the podcasting world? Well, the folks at Motel 6 are proud enough of their witty radio commercials to turn them into a podcast. Chain spokesman Tom Bodett gives the top six reasons why you should stay at Motel 6 this Christmas.

Will this sort of thing work? What's their motivation for doing this type of thing? Do they really think they'll get an audience?

I'd be interested to know what people think about this.

(corrected - Georges le Mener is the CEO of Motel 6, not Tom Bodett. Bodett is an author who is currently hosting a show on BBC Radio 7.


They Might Be Giants Podcast!

This is what podcasting was invented for - They Might Be Giants have a podcast, and it's offering exactly the kind of material that used to be on their Dial A Song. Subtle evidence that podcasting will replace using the phone to get audio information, perhaps?

The first track on this album would probably not have sold too well, but that's what used to make They Might Be Giants so amazing. I've always thought their better songs to be the whimsical ones. But some of this stuff borders on comedy, as with "Turtle Songs of North America."

I don't know how often they're going to offer podcasts, but when they do, it'll be like a little album each time. How they'll make money off of this, I don't know, but should that always be what motivates people to do creative work?


Podcasting in Australia

As radio changes, content producers are no doubt going to be looking at innovative ways to make money. The incremental stripping of audience to digital forms of delivery will begin to add up. In Australia, podcasting success is causing one of that country's radio networks to dramatically rethink its business model. Here's a quote from an article in the December 8 Sydney Morning Herald.

ABC Radio, by far the country's leading podcaster with 300,000 downloads a week, is so enthused with the figures it has embraced the unthinkable - exploring ways of charging listeners.

It has already done so in a small way with a $5.95 podcast fee for each of this year's six Boyer Lectures by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen.

Read the rest here: (subscription required)


Pete and Geoff getting a divorce!

Thanks to the Internet and podcasting, I've been able to connect to British culture in a way not quite possible before. Now I can listen to BBC Radio 4 when I'm in the U.S., catch up on various television shows (erm...), and of course, I can know what's happening in pop culture thanks to the Pete and Geoff Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio. England is part of my every day life.

But sad news this week with the announcement that Pete and Geoff are splitting up. After ten years together as a radio duo, they've decided to go their separate ways. Pete Mitchell is the straight man, much older, and it sounds like he's being pushed out. Geoff is my age, and provides the wacky irreverence. The two of them together are nothing terribly special, perhaps, but to me they keep me company while I walk the dog and try to live my life. And, help me feel a tiny bit more connected to the country where my son is growing up. Divorce isn't really fun for anyone.

So, I'll miss this show, but I'm going to enjoy the next two weeks, as Pete becomes much more candid. He's done in radio, so he can say whatever he wants. It's incredibly entertaining to listen to someone doing a controlled burn, eviscerating management, commenting on the songs he's forced to play, and of course, being egged on by his working partner of ten years.

If you want to hear the show, check it out in Itunes.


Newsplex presents series on Charlottesville race relations

Gray Television has been providing a news presence in the Charlottesville market for over a year now. A very young crew has learned the ropes of how the town works. With two news programs to fill, there is plenty of time to produce long-form reports. Thanks to a google news alert on Charlottesville, I came across a piece on race relations in Charlottesville that I thought was well-produced and not your typical local news piece. I get the feeling these reporters want to be a part of this community. This two-part series is worth watching.



NBC-Universal signs deal with peer-to-peer network

Peer to peer might go legit yet as a distribution tool for entertainment content. NBC-Universal has signed a deal with Peer Impact to offer limited downloads of its library of content. But, this one comes with a small snag. You'll only be to able to access the content for 24 hours after hitting play, after paying $3 or $4 for the privilege. Ad-Age's Jay Sherman reports...

Users willing to store files on their computers will earn perks. However, Peer Impact will retain control of the files and users will not be able to access them for additional viewings after they've watched the movie the first time. Further, users won't be able to burn those files onto other devices or onto compact discs or DVDs.

I think this part will turn a lot of people off, as will the 24-hour window. Eventually, I'm convinced one of these strategies will take off, but I'm betting people won't spend moneyon something they won't actually own. If they marry the peer-to-peer concept to the all-you-can-eat buffet concept (a la Netflix and Rhapsody) they'll have more success.

Sneak Peak of the New Doctor Who

I'm not hiding my love of geeky things anymore, and I'm not ashamed of what I like. So, I can report to you with extreme joy that David Tennant has had his debut as the tenth Doctor Who during the BBC's annual Children in Need special. Only about four minutes long, the clip takes place seconds after the Doctor's latest regeneration. I think you can watch it here.

I'm still disappointed that Christopher Eccleston's season-long tenure as the Doctor was not shown in the United States. The Sci-Fi channel deemed it as too British, and indeed it did not hide its country of origin. Why should it? In any case, if you missed out, I'm hoping that it will eventually be shown here, as it was in the rest of the English speaking world. It's not the clunky Doctor Who of old.

It's worth mentioning that the show's rebirth was shepherded by Russell T. Davies, who also created the original version of Queer as Folk. Davies knows the mythology of the series quite well, but also crafted his incarnation for a non sci-fi audience. The result was one of the BBC's biggest hits last year.


DC to shake up its universe, again

I've got stacks and stacks of comic books from the mid-80's. Yes, I'm still a 12-year-old boy. What's wrong with that? In any case, now that I'm in my thirties, I find there's a whole culture of nostalgia waiting to envelope me so that I may be parted with my money. The move to video on demand is certainly going to be fueled by a generation's need to rekindle youth.

But, what about comic books? Could DC or Marvel do anything to get people like me to return to those media? Obviously, they'll have to change the narrative style slightly, which is exactly what this Minnesota Tribune article alleges.

DC Comics is in the midst of a major effort to revitalize the company's fabled superheroes for the 21st century and better connect with today's readers. The undertaking, which began in 2002, has involved a critical look at DC's characters -- from Aquaman and Batman to Zatanna -- and developing story lines that sometimes have heroes engage in decidedly unheroic deeds.

But, how do I find these comics, and where do we begin? I did pick up a couple of copies of Identity Crisis, which I thought was definitely more adult in tone than the Justice League yuk-ups of the 1980's, while retaining the humor. But, really, do I need to go there?


The Sound of Young America

The Sound of Young America is one of the best radio programs out there. I thought I was alone in my praise of the show, but Salon just wrote a nice review of the show. The show is primarily a show about comedy, and features serious interviews with comics, writers, producers and all sorts of crazy hijinks. Recently the show featured several of Van Morrison's contractual obligation tracks. Songs like "Ring Worm" and "Here Comes Dumb George" have to be heard.


AOL to offer re-runs of television programs

From the Washington Post:

America Online Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. are planning to put thousands of episodes of once-popular television shows like "Welcome Back Kotter" and "Chico and the Man" on the AOL.com Web site

Television is evolving in front of our eyes. If these are given to us for free, they'll figure out a way to get advertising into them. Ads will be quick and frequent, perhaps, but it's a great cheap way for AOL to experiment with a new delivery mechanism. And, right now they're getting a lot of free press.

For more info, there's this New York Times article summarizing the recent news. Those experiments are closed to the likes of me. I'm more open to try AOL's service. I'd even subscribe to AOL, for instance, if it also gave me access to certain shows that I watch on a regular basis. Three of the programs I like are on at the same time on Thursday nights. That's just absurd, unless the first viewing is treated like opening weekend, measuring popularity. In a digital world where all content is available for sale to anyone who desires to consume it, the long tail ensures that everything makes a decent profit.


Television industry changing fast

So, ABC announces a deal with iTunes, so CBS and NBC decide to get in on the act. This is incredibly promising for the network, but bad news for the affiliates around the country.

Comcast said beginning in January, its digital subscribers in certain markets -- but not those served by CBS affiliates -- will have download access to episodes of four CBS shows: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "NCIS," "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." In some cases, the shows will be available within hours of their original airing.

Meanwhile, DirecTV subscribers who use the satellite service's digital video recorder features will have access to a menu of shows from NBC and Bravo, including "Law & Order: SVU," "The Office," and "Battlestar Galactica."

I don't use the local television stations that much, but I bet you I would if I could their material on demand. I get more news from 16/19/27 than 29 because their stories are accessible through the net, and my google searches
pick up their headlines.

Right now, if I miss an episode of the Amazing Race, I have to try my luck at getting a copy from illegal sources. One day I see a market for television shows that is independent of networks, aggregators of eyeballs, gatekeepers of ideas. And, that day is coming closer and closer.


Video on television

So, I just found out that CBS is going to be streaming episodes of its new show Threshold in an attempt to boost overall audience. A great idea, and one I applaud, except when I went to the site to check it out, I was told I didn't have permission to load the page. Will I remember to watch again in the future?

Probably not. Mostly because the episodes are only available for three days or so. Not nearly long enough for me to watch them.

Sci-Fi has the smarts to leave whole episodes of Battlestar Galactica up, though I wish they would change this to the Season 2 mid-point finale.

From Our Own Correspondent

As you may know, I'm a huge proponent and fan of the BBC. I won't go into that now, because all I want to do is post a link to this week's installment of From Our Own Correspondent. I listened to it this afternoon as I tried to wake up following a pair of long nights slinging drinks.

The first two items on the November 5 edition caught me by surprise. I've raised my news filters these days because I've been so focused on Central Virginia and my role here. I've not been paying attention to world events. I vaguely know about the summit they just had in Argentina, but really, I've just not been paying attention. The entire world revolves around out there.

"Today the swallows can nest in peace, with the BBC forced out of Tashkent for its reporting on Uzbekistan."

In other words, the BBC was forced out for reporting on the May massacre in Andijan. I somewhat remember the story, but hadn't heard anything as chilling as a description of sound the BBC used. Those not familiar with "From Our Own Correspondent" should know that the show consists of essays

The Uzbek government admits 173 people were killed, but people who were there put the numbers much higher. Shades of Tienamen, but the U.S. government has been unable to say anything critical, because we need our bases in Uzbekistan to help fight the war on terrorism.

Meanwhile, Parisian suburbs are on fire because of the uprising by what the BBC describes as "Asian and African neighborhoods" - their style guides are more stringent about how they describe people. And, many in this country would be uncomfortable listening to the second item on this week's Correspondent - a piece about a reporter's trip to speak with some of those rioting. Massive unemployment in France has led to a whole generation of disgruntled people, and so many of them are joining ranks with those who seek to offer another way of life. Worth listening to.


News While I Work

The best and worst thing about our generation is that we seem to have to be doing two or three things at once. As I type this, I'm babysitting the daughter while she sleeps. I'm listening to mixdowns of a story I'm filing for WCVE and WVTF, while also cruising through the web looking for news, trying to keep my e-mail box down.

The first item is this: NPR has announced four million podcast downloads since debuting the service just a couple of months ago. Clearly, podcasting will succeed by repurposing quality content, and by doing in such a way that enhances the experience, boosts total audience.

The second item is this: WCVE Public Radio is expanding its signal into the Northern Neck and into Southside Virginia. This expands the potential reach of public radio content that I create for WCVE and WVTF Public Radio. This is WCVE's first expansion, and I applaud them for their efforts.

The third item is that I gave a talk on the impact on podcasting at James Madison University last week. For anyone willing to take a listen, the mp3 is stored here.


Dealing with a clogged pipe

Another weekend spent at the tavern, two nights in a row, and as always, it takes a day to get back to normal, or even closer to normal. The baby girl is doing well, and so is the mother. I'm getting the chance to go through my e-mail and other things. Catching up on articles. For the fourth year in a row, I totally missed the Film Festival. One of these years, perhaps.

I'm also wiped because I gave a presentation at a conference at JMU on Friday, and I think it might have been okay. Since then, I've not felt like doing much of anything. I worked today on the Rivanna Trails piece, which I'm just about to post. The pieces have also been sent to the places that will hopefully air them, reminding me I had better figure out some time to invoice.

I'm not too keen on the coming approach of winter. Usually I like the approach of cold, but that was before I lived in a big house and had to pay a lot of money for it. We can't put the temperature down too much this year because of the baby girl. I look forward to warmer times, and a trip to warmer climes this January.

Lots of stories to produce this week, so the blog entries will likely be down. I'm also working on stories on the Sorensen Institute, Monticello's Center for Historic Plants and several other news stories for WVTF.


Tapping the Inner Geek

So, yes, I'm a Superman nut and have been since I saw the movie in 1978 when I was 5. When I was a kid, I used to take out a book from the Campbell County public library that was a compendium of Superman comics from the 1930's to the early 1980's. My favorite era was the late 1950's and early 1960's, when the writers went crazy with all kinds of imaginary stories. There was all this crazy stuff happening with all the crazy versions of Kryptonite, and something about that fascinated me. Still does.

Anyway, the first two movies are excellent, and then, well, we all know what happened. I didn't really care for the Lois and Clark show, and I didn't understand anything about the much-hyped Death of Superman. So, I didn't really pay much attention when Smallville debuted on the WB in 2001. When I was in England in January of 2004, I was fairly bored and jonesing for something American to consume. And, I watched the season 3 premiere on one of the digital stations available there. And, I was hooked. Thanks to DVDs and the Internet, I watched the entire show within two months, and now I can't wait to watch every episode.

And why? Because, Smallville is so playfully faithful to the Superman universe, recreating a story we've heard over and over again by taking its basic DNA, tweaking it here and there to create a show that is entertaining, especially when it rises over its WB-ness. The music is horrible, the dialogue is sometimes rotten, but, wow, it's an awful lot of fun.

So, if you want to catch up with the show, one place to start would be to read this entry on TV Guide about this season. The show is constantly getting closer and closer to the time when Clark Kent decides its time to be a hero. Man, it's a lot of fun!


New Yorker article on Justice Breyer

Jeffrey Toobin has a good article in The New Yorker has a great article on Justice Stephen Breyer and his belief in something he calls active liberty. It's a long read, but Toobin's coverage of the Supreme Court is well worth reading.

Morning Thoughts

The little baby girl is staring up at the few things approved for her to play with. She's having a hard time sleeping. I was as well so I decided to get up at 4:00 to get some work done. Of course, the wife-to-be brought the baby girl down here so that she could get some sleep. Now the baby girl keeps waking up every five minutes or so, breaking my train of thought. I'm going to have to learn how to work in spurts, which is definitely not easy when you're writing and producing a radio story.

She's so angelic, though. And so beautiful. She's staring up at the big cow hanging above her little chair. Every few minutes she opens up her eyes, and then closes them again.

I think she senses I'm writing about her, or maybe the sound of the keys lulls her somehow. Every time I switch to the radio computer, she squawks.

---five minutes later---

She's back to sleep. So, I'm back to radio.

---30 minutes later---

I've progressed a bit further with the story. Helped out in part by this post from another cvilleblog. I love how the web is becoming a way for us all to share these little fun things like this.


The World at 2.0

60 Minutes tonight had a story about Charles Robert Jenkins, the army sergeant who got drunk and deserted his U.S. Army post in Korea. He spent almost forty years in North Korea, and was only allowed to leave the country last year. In the interview, Jenkins describes what it was like being a prisoner of the regime, and they even show clips of the movies Jenkins was forced to star in, usually in stereotypical roles like The Evil American.

Jenkins was described by reporter Scott Pelley as a "modern day Rip Van Winkle" who had never seen a computer, didn't know what a Big Mac was. Watching the video is well worth it if you have the time.

What a different world we're in in 2005, as opposed to 1965. 1965 was the year my parents came to North America, leaving England in search of a better life. I've grown up in between two cultures, England and America, and I've spent my life wanting to be somewhere else other than here. It's deep in my family history. My great grandfather moved from England to Malta. His son went from Malta to England. My dad went from England to North America. And me?

We live in a different world than any of my forebears inhabited. I can instantly communicate with my family three thousand miles away. At the moment, I'm listening to Virgin Radio over the web, hearing all the latest advertisements. The M25 is closed between junctions 5 and 6 as I type this.

I've never listened to British commercial radio before. I've only recently become a listener of commercial radio in the U.S. My radio career was influenced by British radio, in particular that of the BBC, and the fact that I ended up in public radio has something to do with this. I'm still in public radio, but I've widened my horizon to accomodate other opportunities. Wordcast is a for-profit venture, after all, though CPN will hopefully evolve into a non-profit. I'm temporarily not categorizing things while the whole business model sorts itself out.

England is always going to be beckoning me, influencing me, helping me to sort out who I am, where I come from. In addition to supporting my new family, I'll be trying to earn money to travel over to England at least once a year. I've been over twice in the last year, to see Henry, and to lay down the foundation of a possible emigration of my own.

But, I live in a world where I might not ever have to choose one country over the other. Every day I listen to Virgin Radio while I walk my dog, thanks to podcasting. Imagine being like Charles Robert Jenkins, walking back into a world that is becoming more connected, stronger through the weaving of information through ones and zeroes.

What will it be like in 2045? Where will Henry end up? Rootlessness runs in my family, but again, roots are taking on a new form. We're all leaving trails every day of where we were, what we did, what we saw. Where is this all going to go?

To steal an audience-stealing technique from television, stay tuned.


Anticipating the Word Wars

Fellow Cville blogger L.M. Squires has given me a great tip to add to my Netflix queue. Word Wars is a look at four obsessive Scrabble nerds. I know that I'm guilty of being obsessed by the game, and have had relationships ruined by my former inability to take the game anything less than seriously. Now I'm much more relaxed about the game, but that may be because I've not lost a game in a long time. I don't play nearly as much as I used to, but would love to have a copy of the game at Court Square Tavern, where I work part-time. If anyone has an extra Scrabble board they'd like to loan to my smokey little home away from home, I will buy you two beers. Not just one. Two.

C-Ville Weekly has highlighted the
Franziskaner Dunkel-Weisse as a special reason to come to the Tavern. I'd have to say that I'm not a fan of it, nor any of the other expensive German beers we sell. I prefer American microbrews to the imports, though I do like our Spaten Lager.

So, yes, that's the deal. Loan us a Scrabble board, and two beers are on me.

Revisiting an old friend

So, we're sitting here watching the second half of the Battlestar Galactica miniseries while we wait for our baby daughter to have her second feeding. Everyone tells you you should sleep while the baby sleeps. Yeah, we get that, we really do, but we also have to have a little down time.

Anyway, the point is, I'm missing this show so very much. It's three more months until the second half of the second season begins. I think I'm the only person in Charlottesville who actually watches this show. Well, there is the wife-to-be, but she doesn't really count.

Something about this show captivates me. It is the smartest show on television today, in terms of what it's trying to achieve. So many words have been written about this show's ability to twist the viewer's expectations. I'm hesitant to write about it, because I don't want to ruin a second of it for anyone who missed it the first time. But, this show gets in your head because it feels so real. All of the situations are simply metaphors for that which is going on all around us.

I'll likely write about the show again when it feels fresh, when there are new episodes. Watching the miniseries after following the show through one and a half seasons is like watching a history lesson. As I watch the dead bodies spread all across the floor of the Galactica, it reminds me of the fact that we are in this very odd war, at a time when it looks like the world is set to end at any minute. Hurricanes keep getting bigger. People turn on each other every day. And tragedy can strike us at any minute.

I've started this blog because I want to have a place where I can explore what's going on around me. As I said in the introductory post, I'm not going to be political, I'm not going to talk about elected officials, and I'm not going to talk policy. This is where I kick back at the end of the night, and force myself to write something down about what happened. I've turned away from journaling in the last year, as I prepared for the birth of a new child. I could write volumes about how words can get you in trouble.

But I don't want to do that this time. This time, I'm going to talk about what I see in other pieces of pop culture. The season premiere of South Park is on now, and I have to say, we're living in an age of amazing satire. Did it offend people? It's all about hysteria and panicking, satirizing events of the recent past. It's funny, but I don't know if it actually says anything. Does comedy have to say anything? Does drama? What does it mean to "say"? I have art critic friends who I don't understand, because it seems they're looking at the world through only one eyes. I posit we're flies, with composite eyes, and to really see the world, we need to come up with new ways to focus on all of the complexities that shape our existence.

I'm going to end to write a lot of text. There won't be many pictures. There will be links to music files that don't make much sense to many people except for me. But yes, I'll write a lot of text, and no, much of it won't make sense. But hey, this is free, man!


Announcing the Garden Variety Show

So, why this title? Why this name? Why another blog? Aren't there enough to go round as it is? Who would read this? Who will cite this? So many questions about intent, and I don't have time to truly answer them.

All I know is that I am possibly the 3,445,320,043 oldest person in the world. How do we wrestle with identity in a world where it's all been done before? My answer: We simply go ahead and do the things we have to do to to make our mark in the world. We talk about the things we like, we post links to our favorite things. As I continue through my 13th year on the Internet, I'm making a career out of the whole webbiness of our computers.

And so, I've decided to create this blog to provide a way for me to tell people about what I'm watching, what I'm reading, what I think about what happens. Of course, because I'm a journalist, I'll steer away from anything political. I'll steer away from the controversial, at least as it affects by business. I've got the Charlottesville Podcasting Network and other various sites to be my professional presence in the blogosphere, on the Web. This is me time.

This is actually my second public journal. My first was called Codpiece, and was public from March of 1998 to January of 2000. This covered the time I spent working in Georgetown through the time I spent in Calgary. I stopped it for various reasons I won't get into today, but I wonder what would have happened had I kept it live through until now. I penned several Livejournals for a while, but I kept those anonymous. Halfway through the Codpiece experience, I changed all the names to allay the skittish fears of my girlfriend at the time.

But, this is different. This is about having fun in Charlottesville, starting a business, beginning a family, tending bar at Court Square Tavern, filing stories for Virginia public radio, and who knows what else? It's also very much an experiment. And hopefully, an encouragement to others to blog their lives - not to project an ego, but to simply connect to others.

So welcome, and let's all place our bets.