Daily Archives: January 2, 2003

It’s alive!!

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Or damn close to it. After many months (“many” being measured in the dozens, at this point) of promises, my site with information on rollerblading paths in the Capital District and beyond is up and ready for the critics. Be gentle.
I had a few hits on the page last week, and it ticked me off that I had never gotten that information up, and there isn’t any other area resource for this info, so, here it is.
Tucked in some links to other places I’ve skated, too. More to come, as they say.

By the way,

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I was right about The Hives. They do rock. The White Stripes do not. Dissent from this viewpoint will not be tolerated.

While trying to avoid the same commercials over and over during the “No Boundaries” marathon yesterday, I kept flipping over to VH1 Classic for snippets of old videos from the ’70s and ’80s that alternatively gave me a warm fuzzy (I mean, c’mon, A Flock of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song” did not suck) or filled me with revulsion (any song even vaguely associated with the movie “Footloose,” for example). Sometimes they cheated, showing a Meat Loaf Storytellers clip from a couple of years ago but plunking it down in the ’70s show. Yes, he was singing a song from the ’70s, I know. But really. Some elements of my musical purism remain, even though it’s been years since I had the luxury of fading down the stereo instead of just turning it off.

At some point over the weekend, I also stumbled upon something that was hypnotic and terrifying. It was called “Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live,” and featured odd, grainy black-and-white and primitive color footage of beach and surfing scenes overlain with what was apparently the Brian Wilson of today trying to sing his songs of 36 years ago. I know he’s had a hard life, but there was really no excuse. I was afraid the kids would hear his geriatric version of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and go running from the room. Judging by some of the reviews of this I just Googled up, others did not feel as I did. Those others would be wrong.

The absurdity of the Google

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In addition to a visitor from Singapore who found the blog, I have now been Googled by someone who was searching the phrase “she’s too tall”. I made that remark in reference to my 6-year-old’s major academic challenge, but it turns out to have been the title of a movie, and I’m hoping that’s what someone was looking for. But having seen just a snippet of my site with those words in it, that brave soul decided to come on in and see what was going on. It warms the cockles, it does. I’d say it seems odd, but I do the same thing — it’s the side searches that are more interesting than what I was actually looking for. For a while, I mourned the loss of the library card catalogs, and not just because I loved the scent of oak and manila card stock, but because I often found things by accident that were more interesting than what I was actually looking for. In fact, my willingness to be so diverted may explain much of my academic career. But the ability to browse was powerful. For a long time, the computerized library catalogs that replaced the old cards were hyper-efficient, delivering pretty much only what you were looking for, and sometimes barely even that, and the delightful chance encounter was lost. In libraries with closed stacks, that effectively meant the end of browsing.
But now there’s the web, and Google, and the likelihood is that you’ll find exactly what you’re searching for, and you’ll probably find something else interesting, too. Or at least I’m hoping that someone looking for information on a movie thinks the academic challenges of my first-grader are interesting. At least more interesting than a movie whose best-known stars were Corey Feldman and Brigitte Nielsen.
You just know that’s going to generate even more Googling….

Another 7 years and we’ll know what to call the decade…

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To folks who have stumbled on this site and seem to actually be reading it over and over and over again, thanks. But fair warning: I don’t post every day. Usually not even close. And some days I’ll post 3 or 4 things. I lack the commitment and prolificness (prolificy? or just plain prolix?) of a Lileks. But what I lack in prolix, I make up in oversized digital pictures. Sometimes.
Lee was still sick on New Year’s Eve (is still sick, still, in fact), so no First Night for us. We had a family party at home — Hannah and I made pizza, we watched Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (first time the kids had seen it — Rebekah, as usual, was terrified, then begged to see it again the next day), and then we had ice cream sundaes with homemade whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream rules (not that I would ever eat the stuff from a can). I got two new mixers for Christmas, as the old one, my mother’s avocado hand-me-down from about 1970, had finally bitten the dust. I’m sure if I just put new brushes on the motor it would have been good as new, but the economy doesn’t roll with 50-cent brushes and who has the time to tear down motors anymore? Anyway, a very pleasant New Year’s Eve. Oddly, there were fireworks somewhere in town, and a big party up the street, so midnight was quite noisy for the first time I could recall. Kids slept right through it though. New Year’s Day was supremely lazy. Should have done a ton of laundry but didn’t. Mostly spent the day goofing around and watching snatches of the “No Boundaries” marathon on OLN.
2002 was a pretty good year, despite the difficulty of the first few months and all the WTC work. Lee got into skiing and had a good time, and started biking with the girls, too. Rebekah learned to ski and ride a bike, and suddenly blossomed in her reading. Hannah continues to blossom on her way to the angry-pre-teen years — she got a 7-speed bike with hand brakes and can now ride along with me for miles, which is very cool. We saw the ocean at Chincoteague and boiled in Lake Ontario, hiked up the stairs at Whiteface, and oohed and aahed under the balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We saw ski jumping on the Fourth of July (2nd year in a row), camped out with friends, visited cemeteries and hiked around lakes. The girls were fabulous and incredibly smart in responding to Lee’s accident. We kept emergency room visits down to two (about average, I think), but they were doozies — anaphylactic shock and a broken arm. I ran a faster 5k and got my first new bike in 20 years, and love biking again. At work, I didn’t get to travel much (bye-bye, Silver Preferred Frequent Flyer status), but I did a number of morning runs on the National Mall in DC, skated around the bay in San Diego, and enjoyed some lovely nights in New York. Also, I got a bill signed into law by a president, which still feels pretty cool.
Changes at work, people leaving, uncertainty and tension and opportunity with our budget problems, so the next couple of months will be difficult, but that’s what comes with being the man. Damn the man!

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