Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dancin' in the Gorge

on the road with Trim!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mozilla Firefox 3 release

Not sure about the party hats and the surge of downloads but next Tuesday - June 17 - Mozilla releases Firefox 3. Don't know about you but I love using Firefox over Explorer. It's more intuitive for one thing. I really like the multiple open tabs. I'm sure there are ways to make it dance better than I do but its definitely my browser of choice - and I like Microsoft products for the most part. Big advantage is its security - or so I've read - and the new release is even better. The updates are smooth as butter. Thank you developers!

Everyone knows I'm no wizard but wizards I know heartily recommend its use. Tip o' the hat to my pal, Tom Sowa, who alerted me via his .txt blog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weekly Media Diet

David Reich tagged me a week or so with the Media Diet meme. He got touched by C.B. at Flooring the Consumer who was asked by Blog till You Drop's Lolly. Arun was tagged by Ryan - who was tagged by David the same time as me. Life really IS a cycle of circles, a network of connections-wouldn't you agree? Pic is my under 30 yo niece reading the newspaper - a habit developed over the generations. Warning: this post is link heavy.

These are some serious media consumers. My media diet might be bland in comparison. What I read, watch and listen to creates my own little media niche. I feel each of us define & grow our own base of knowledge through the increasing mounds of available information. Sadly, the misinformation begins to outweigh the good stuff. There are influences along the path but those are for another meme - something like "major impacts to my thinking" or "what I've learned from gurus" posts.

Media I read - My hometown daily newspaper The Spokesman-Review - every day*. A carrier brings it to me. I prefer it in print but read it online in a pinch. Frankly, its a pain to boot my pc before the coffee is brewed. Plus, I spend my spare money on bikes and guitars so nothing remains for gadgets like Blackberry, iPhone or Treo. I like the smell of ink. I like the way a story can move me through a range of emotions. I like the box scores during baseball season. When traveling, I buy the local paper. Here is the main reason. At minimum, the front page of your local paper provides 5 things you can talk about - have a conversation - with anybody at any time. It also presents the opportunity to remember what they were - today it was the earthquake in China, a battle for superintendent of schools in the state of Washington, McCain talks about global warming, a local human rights activist retires, and the bonehead who refused to turn his cell phone off in flight resulting in arrest. I also like to read the NYT, SF Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Des Moines Register and Waterloo Courier online. Admittedly, not every day do I read and/or visit. Their email feeds alert me to stories of interest.

Part of my monthly diet, magazine and newsletters are a basic food group - The Nation, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Bicycling, Adventure Cyclist, Utne Reader, Wired, Washington Spectator, Real Money along with publications from the charities I favor. All of these are consumed hard copy and then recycled. Again, in a pinch, I'll access online. Like now - when I needed the links. The trouble with me reading online is I'm easily distracted. There are far too many places to visit. I am poorly disciplined and tend to wander.

Media I watch - live - Jeopardy, Dancing with the Stars & Mariners Baseball. Via tape - Grey's Anatomy, SNL and a wide array of movies. I currently possess over 1200 VCR tapes with 3-4 movies on each one. The earliest is from 1922 - Nosferatu - and the latest are current. My favorite HBO series are The Wire, Big Love, The Sopranos, Entourage, and Showtime's Weeds. I LOVE the big screen. Movies I've watched this year - with popcorn - are Juno, The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, There Will Be Blood, and No Country for Old Men. I'm also fond of YouTube - a real easy place to get lost.

Media I listen to - right this moment it's Phil Lesh and Friends on Internet Archive. I listen to Stephanie Miller - laughing out loud at her morning drive time radio on the AM frequency. Occasionally, I'll catch local public radio - KPBX - on the FM. On XM, I listen to Bluesville, Bluegrass Junction, Deep Tracks - especially developing a fondness for Tom Petty's Buried Treasure and Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. I catch the Tapers Section at along with GD Radio Hour hosted by David Gans.

While not strictly consumption but for pure listening pleasure - and community building - I jam with a bluegrass bunch twice a week.

My media diet has changed over the last 50 years but the basics remain the same. This week is not much different than the last 52! I've become more of a media glutton for no other reason than availability - heck, there's 170 radio choices on the XM. Frankly, it's astounding all of the message is available via the medium called internet. It is everywhere and there's still only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year, 366 in a leap year.

Choose willfully - consume wisely. Take your proper portions. And ride your bike now more than ever. The media smorgasbord will wait.

I'm tagging Mario, Cody, Robyn and Jackie. Realizing you are all focused, play when you can. Anybody else who wants to play, here's an open invitation. The weather is warming up in the NW.

*full disclosure - I work for the local newspaper

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Every day is Earth Day - "On Your Left"!

When I was in HS, ecology was scorned and Earth Day was a celebration for the new activist. We were only just being exposed to our impact on Mother Earth. Here's a little something from the "founder". We are still learning how our actions effect future generations. The result is that today its a movement - action, marketing, advertising ... the works. Green is the buzzword and beyond. Who says you can't change the world?

In honor of gently treading upon our rock in space, I favor riding a bike. "On Your Left" is a term of warning when passing another rider or someone walking along the path. No way for me to tell how many readers are local or how many climb onto a saddle. Just in case, here is a link to a survey for cyclists who use the streets in Spokane. We are currently updating the Master Bike Plan for the city. Does your city have a bicycle plan?

An organization based in SF is planning and designing for a Bicycle City in every state. Washington, DC is trying a SmartBike program. It's funded at least in part by a division of Clear Channel. At first glance, this program appears to be a great example of private and public enterprise coming together. Anything to move people from point A to point B with one less car is a giant step.

Ten Ideas for a better today and the 364 days leading up to Earth Day 2009 -

1 - climb on your bike
2 - count how many days in a month you can avoid turning on your car ignition
3 - plant a tree
4 - remember to carry your reusable cloth bag to the market
5 - find biodegradable shampoos and soaps - use them
6 - switch that darn incandescent light bulb
7 - reduce, reuse, and recycle metal, paper and plastic. support organizations who walk the talk.
8 - if you must print something - print on both sides of your printer paper
9 - use tap water - buy a filter if you must - its cheaper, cleaner, and you don't have to toss a bottle
10 - add your own by letting your imagination fly

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday's for Art

A few months back I began posting about aspects of Art on Fridays. You loyal readers will note a decided slowdown in this "regular" part of One Reader. Life happens :)

An aspect of Art that I've grown to love is it's intersection with Science and Technology. One of the best examples is Leonardo. The Italian Renaissance opened doors to the matrix that along with Art and Science included humanism, religion and self-awareness. To me, the finest example is Michelangelo's David.

Yesterday, I wandered onto a site created by The Baltimore Sun newspaper. The site is part of their effort to reach the elusive 18-34 yo members of US culture. While 34 is but a foggy memory, I really like what they are doing.

Here's the feature that caught my eye. But the real story is the student/designer/artist Rebecca Stern. Her work combines technology with her passion for art. Its worth a look at the projects to learn she and her colleagues are immersed in. A couple of my favorites are SensorSquid and DeclarativeLampProject. Both are open source exploring the links between creativity, community and imagination.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

About the future, hope, and yes we can

Last - and only - time I visited NYC was 1972. We visited a teacher in his classroom in the Bronx. The school - PS-something or other - was rundown, in need of paint, and appeared abandoned. Jaime, the teacher, was a friend of the guy, Bob, who took us on the trip. He reflected on how much he loved teaching but how difficult it was to focus and ultimately "teach" the kids within the environment.

I'm not naive enough to think this video is representative of every HS in NYC. Or in the US. These are obviously gifted children. The classroom size alone reflects a special group. Racism is not simply solved.

It is solved through one speech, one election, one YouTube video, one group of people, one conversation.

One at a time. One little instance at a time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good News, Bad News - Congrats, Des Moines!

Of course, the real point is Spokane's catapult into the top 10. Forbes magazine ranks our fair city # 9 in its yearly Best Places for Business and Careers. We've always been known as the biggest city between Minneapolis and Seattle. The good news is more people will take notice - the bad news is more people will take notice :) We don't have RAGBRAI but we do have a nice river plus riding trails.

You'll need to visit to discover the real secrets. Hint: mostly it centers around driving less than an hour in any direction! Let me know and we'll have a grand time. You can all stay at my house - only rule is we don't talk business!

Here's how the top 10 rolls out:

Raleigh NC
Boise ID
Fort Collins CO
Des Moines IA
Lexington KY
Atlanta GA
Richmond VA
Olympia WA
Spokane WA
Knoxville TN