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  A Few Things Saturday, February 11, 2006 
Rock'n'Roll:     Radio:     Live Music:
Vault Radio !!!      #

Ditdahditdahdit .... Media Alert:

Remarkable new music source: Vault Radio

Drawing from an archive of over 35,000 recordings made by Bill Graham Productions of live performances from 1966 or so onwards ....

Streaming at 128 kbps. Free. [Theoretically not recordable; I use/recommend Total Recorder Pro.]

[NPR did a story on this today, which is how I found out.]

Here's a sample playlist -- this is from the last hour or so:

  A Few Things Sunday, August 7, 2005 
Blogosphere:     Supreme Court:
Blogging the Roberts Nomination

A number of blogs are doing a good job following the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Here are a few; follow their blogrolls to find even more:

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  A Few Things Wednesday, August 3, 2005 
Guy Ledez and AnonymousHero

Two bystanders, car rental employee Guy Ledez and a so-far-anonymous other person, helped folks out of yesterday's Air France crash. Then, when the flow of exiting passengers ended, the two men entered the burning plane and did a sweep to make sure nobody was left on board.

Hilda Hoy of the Toronto Star has a detailed report. (free registration required).

"We each took an aisle," Ledez said. The two men did a sweep of the plane to ensure that nobody had been left behind.

Inside, it looked like "disaster had hit. It was really hard to see. Stuff was everywhere. It was very smoky."


Satisfied the craft was empty, they headed to the front of the plane, where the exit didn't have an emergency chute. The first man jumped, but just as Ledez was about to, an explosion rocked the rear of the plane. He jumped at least five metres to the ground and just started running. "The only time I had a rational thought was when I was in the plane and about to jump out. I thought, `Oh my God, I could die.'"

Here's a photo gallery (free registration again required) of the crash. Major acts of courage to enter that flaming fuselage and look for stragglers. Huge salutes to Guy and his partner in goodness.

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  A Few Things Monday, August 1, 2005 
Hall of Fame speeches

Baseball added two players, an announcer, and a sportswriter to the Hall of Fame this past weekend. In the following, each new HOFer's name links to the full transcript of their speech:


Ryne Sandberg of the Cubs:

I love to play baseball. I'm a baseball player. I've always been a baseball player. I'm still a baseball player. That's who I am. ... I was a baseball player when I was ten or 12 years old pretending to be Willie Stargell or Johnny Bench or Luis Tiant, when my bat was an old fungo, my ball was a plastic golf ball, when the field was the street and my older brother Del and I would play all day.


Wade Boggs of the Red Sox, Yankees, and Devil Rays:

I have a message for the young kids. Life is about obstacles, endeavors in life are not to be overlooked. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but how we react to what happens, not by what life brings us but the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.


Jerry Coleman of the Padres:

The next exciting moment I had in broadcasting took place in Kansas City, a hot day like this, twice as hot, humid. Broadcasters on television took off their jackets and in this case their pants to stay cool. And don't laugh yet. It gets worse. And finally I had to go from the radio booth to the elevision booth, which I did, a little cat walk. I went right across there and it was wonderful and I'm sitting down doing the game happily and all of a sudden a hand on my shoulder. I turned around. It was a policeman. He said, "Put on your pants." Some woman had complained. I didn't think my legs were that bad to be honest with you.


Peter Gammons of the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN:

...baseball more than any sport is who we are. It is reflected in our immigration patterns, our history because we're all immigrants. We should want the world to see us not for our politics, not for our business, but for baseball as our metamorphic soul, inclusive, not exclusive, diverse, not divisive, fraternal, not fractionalized.

If any of you are familiar with the Cape Cod League you probably might have heard of Arnie Allen, a special needs gentleman who for 40 years was a batboy for the Falmouth Commodores. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2002. 72 hours later a duffel bag of Angels paraphanalia arrived in Falmouth, courtesy of two Falmouth players, Darin Erstad and Adam Kennedy. Of course the Angels went on to the world series in 2002 and after winning one incredible sixth game coming from five nothing deficit in the eight inning. Before game seven Erstad and Kennedy pulled me aside before they went out to stretch, they told me, we know you are going to be speaking at the Hall of Fame in deductions in two weeks on the Cape. They said in unison, "as you speak, could you do us a favor, Arnie will be there probably for the last time. Could you just tell him that Darin and Adam Kennedy said, we are thinking of him before they went out and won the World Series?"

For we who love baseball and its participants, each of these tugs at the heart. The Gammons speech especially brought forth tears. Thanks to all these greats, and to the immortal American game they've added their lives' energies to.

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  A Few Things Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003 
Site Trivia:
Waking Up in RSS-Land

This site's been asleep for a while.
Looks like it's waking up.

With an RSS 2.0 feed, of course

All praise to Uncle Dave for the RSS revolution.

yellow green autumn leaf
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  A Few Things Friday, May 31, 2002 
Wildflower Season Peaking

I live on a creek, in a small mountain valley, on the California/Oregon border. The climate is California dry, with a rainy season that runs thru the fall and winter. April thru June provide a brief green and lush springtime. The wildflowers, well aware of their wee window of opportunity, pop up quickly. Their season peaks around Memorial Day, which seems just right.

yellow wildflower picture purple wildflower picture
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  A Few Things Monday, April 22, 2002 
The Cute One, in Boston

Lucky Sharron and Neil, my extreeemely cool sister'n'brother-in-law, went to Paul McCartney's Boston concert on Friday night. They said it was GREATTT !!!!

[I hardly ever get jealous, let alone cop to it, but yeah ubetcha I'm shockingly jealous of this. Add on the great CSN & Y concert they got to see a few months back .... oy, yow, we are not worthy, bow scrape, we are not worthy .... ]

Here's a nice article by the Globe's veteran music writer, Steve Morse: Vital McCartney defies the years. Some quotes:

Royalty came to town last night and did not disappoint. Rock Hall of Famer Paul McCartney lived up to the history of the Beatles and more with a 21/2-hour show that was off the charts for its brilliance before a sold-out crowd at the FleetCenter.

. . . . . .

McCartney kept building the momentum, whipping through ''Eleanor Rigby,'' a crackling ''Back in the U.S.S.R.'' (with guitarist Rusty Anderson ripping off hot licks), and on to Wings' ''Maybe I'm Amazed'' and ''Live and Let Die,'' along with a smoking version of the Beatles' ''Can't Buy Me Love,'' before settling into the more soothing, peace-laden grooves of ''Let It Be'' and ''Hey Jude.''

. . . . . .

Whatever has been motivating McCartney lately - whether it's his romance with fiancee Heather Mills or the wakeup call from Harrison's death - it has all been poured into this magnificent comeback performance.

The light from this Patriots' Day [April 19th before the Idiocrats loosed its moorings] concert blazed on thru a hope-filled Boston sports weekend: big wins for the Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. Dan Shaughnessy takes note: Welcome to Winnersville:

The new building on Causeway Street has not exactly been a house of good luck. The Celtics never had played a playoff game at the FleetCenter before yesterday, and the Bruins were 4-6 in postseason play at the Vault.

But some old magic visited the arena Friday when the greatest living Beatle put on a show for the ages ...

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  A Few Things Wednesday, April 17, 2002 
Middle East Mess:
Friendly Persuasion

Sometimes a little role-swapping provides a lotta clarification. Here's Victor Davis Hanson in National Review Online: Friendly Persuasion:

Mr. Sharon: But if you go into Iraq, won't you just raise another Saddam and more suicide bombing like 9/11? There will be an entire generation of Arabs who will hate you for attacking Baghdad -- especially in such a one-sided, asymmetrical war, when the tanks and planes are all on your side. Aren't you worried that ten Arabs will die for every lost American -- how will that play in Europe and the Middle East?

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What the Cardinals Must Do

James Carroll, one of America's most important Catholic writers, writing today on the crisis in the church: What the cardinals must do:

When John Paul II looks into the eyes of the American cardinals next week and sees that the integrity of their authority is gone, simply gone - what will he do? The old man has one last opportunity for greatness - an opportunity presented by the awful truth of what the church has become.

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  A Few Things Sunday, April 14, 2002 
I Never Gamble

Dave Winer made a bet with Martin Nisenholtz:

In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times' Web site.

Leslie Walker writes about the bet in today's Washington Post:

"I think it's a sucker bet," Winer said in a phone interview. "There are half a million Web logs now, and in five years there'll be a lot more."

I never gamble, but the borgian power of the blogswarm, as noted by Dave in the quote above, make this a probably sure thing. My money's on Dave.

Hey, wait a minute. I can't really do that (put my money on Dave). longbets.org isn't set up that way. hmmmm ...... hmmmmm ...... hey, why not ???

That is: Why not open up the bets on longbets.org to wagers by the public ?? Putcher $2 on Dave, or Martin ??? (Money going to their designated charities, of course.)

That'd be waaaaaay fun. And good for the charities.

[Hey !! More fun: Someone could channel Jimmy the Greek for odds and commentary ..... I'm sure he's out of PC purgatory by now ....]

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  A Few Things Friday, April 12, 2002 
Nerd Talk:
The Pot's Bubbling

The personal computer revolution didn't spring from the Big Computing Companies of the time (1975-1980) (IBM, DEC, ControlData, etc).

It came from below, from the hobbyists, the nerds, the dreamers, the outsiders (the Homebrew Computing Club crowd, Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, etc).

The Internet Revolution, which is still just beginning, was and is fueled by the same sorts of folks. Not by the Big Computing Companies of the time, who still Don't Get It and Never Will.

Great essay the other day by Tim O'Reilly on this subject: Inventing the Future:

... the innovators who are busy inventing that future live in a world of their own. They see and act on premises not yet apparent to others. In the computer industry, these are the folks I affectionately call "the alpha geeks," the hackers who have such mastery of their tools that they "roll their own" when existing products don't give them what they need.

For ongoing coverage of this alpha-geek bubbling, you can't do any better than to keep your eyes on the karasses of both O'Reilly and Dave Winer.
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  A Few Things Thursday, April 11, 2002 
Defending Against Suicide Bombers

I am always amazed by the courage of those who work to secure the safety of the public.

Think what it's like to be a police officer stopping a car at night along a dark, lonely stretch of roadway.

Or a fireman going into a blazing building.

Or an Israeli trying to subdue a suicide bomber who's holding a trigger in their hand: Mission: Intercept Suicide Bombers

She scans crowds for a heavy coat, a sweaty brow, whitened knuckles and other signs of an imminent confrontation with walking death. When the moment comes, she will do the opposite of what most people would do. She will attack, trying to overpower the bomber before he or she turns her into another victim.

"Either you respond or you freeze," Uzan said. "A lot of people are depending on you. It's very hard to train for this. How do you train for something like that? You work mainly on your mind, how fast you are, how alert you are."

. . . . . .

... three police officers struggled with Salah, held him face down and pulled off his shirt and pants. A bomb squad expert arrived and tried to defuse the explosive, but Salah rolled around trying to press the trigger button on his stomach against the cement ...

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  A Few Things Wednesday, April 10, 2002 
Nerd Talk:
Three Excellent Programming Essays

A trio of A+ real-world essays by a couple of A+ real-world programmers popped up on the web today:

Brent Simmons: Aesthetics of Application Design

Brent Simmons: How I get started on a new app

Joel Spolsky: Picking a Ship Date

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Nerd Talk:
Some Java Links

Q & A with Jim Gosling, creator of Java: Part I, Part II, Part III

Batik is a Java toolkit for playing with SVG [Scalable Vector Graphics].

BlueJ is a Java IDE [Integrated Development Environment] designed for teaching Java to newbies. It's free. Developed by a coupla universities.

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  A Few Things Saturday, April 6, 2002 
Thinking About the Suicide Bombers

Not a subject I like to think about. But we must if we are to survive.

Mona Charren: Deadly toast of the Arab world

The Arab blood Mr. Arafat has spilled includes anyone agitating for democracy, anyone suspected of collaborating with Israel, Jordanians who stood in his way in 1970, and Lebanese who stood in his way in 1982. Only a couple of months ago, he pulled a pistol on one of his Cabinet members. He is, as he always was, a brutal terrorist ? the complete moral equivalent of Osama bin Laden. Indeed there is no act bin Laden has performed that was not cheered excitedly by Mr. Arafat's hate-imbued people.

Ellen Goodman: The Cruelest Weapon

We are witnessing a parade of young people who finally figured out what they want to be when they grow up: dead. And we are witnessing a culture that cheers and glorifies this ghoulish march.

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  A Few Things Thursday, April 4, 2002 
Nerd Talk:
Happy Birthday XML-RPC

XML-RPC is a means whereby computer programs can communicate with one another over networks. It's 4 years old today.

Happy birthday, X-Baby, and a big mazel-tov to the proud parents: Mohsen Al-Ghosein, Bob Atkinson, Don Box, and Dave Winer.

The great beauty of XML-RPC is that it is both simple and sufficient.

Large programming organizations don't like simplicity. That's because simplicity negates large organizations' key developmental advantage, their ability to throw swarms of programmers at a problem.

XML-RPC's simplicity levels the playing field, empowering small developers. Thus empowered, they can run innovative rings 'round the BigCo's, whose key developmental weakness is their peter-principled-too-big-to-think-clearly stupidity.

Some links:

Dave Winer: Four Years of XML-RPC

XML-RPC Home Page

Maynard Demmon: JOE - How To Use the XML-RPC Macro

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