Kerry is so very.

Monday, February 23rd, 2004

“On Foray Into the South, Kerry Gets a Spirited Welcome,” says the NYT this morning, and I suspect we were a little tiny part of that hoorah. Our niece seemed a little dubious about the nearly nonstop parade of standing ovations, but hey, that’s what a political rally is about.
Me (and I suspect Sammy) went there to be convinced that this man is who we want as our next leader and I came away with no qualms about the guy’s intelligence and commitment to the process. I think that’s what it comes down to for me…and it’s easier to assess in person than through television: the man’s intelligent, and even more these days, that means a lot to me.
It was I suspect a little like going to a Lincoln rally, because there is something of the quiet reserve about the guy, although I think he as doing everything he could to be energetic, just this side of tipping that over into Howard Dean hooaaaaggghh-land.
My fellow Atlantans seemed to be taken by him, offering warm welcomes and praise, topped by a healthy couple of dozen standing ovations. Our local democratic politicians were out in force…former senator Max Cleland used the word hero about a dozen times in describing his fellow Vietnam vet, and Kerry repayed the compliments in full.
He demonstrated good advance-prep briefing when he said “We have people listening to this outside…the fire marshall would only allow so many in here. I thought ‘everything goes’ in Buckhead?”
Yeah, almost everything. The Roxy theatre is where Sam and Nance and I saw Warren Zevon a few years back…good memories, there.
Sammy cleverly planned ahead by bringing the new camera along, and as you can see on this fine page of photographs, anytime the AP needs a new third-string campaign photog, I’m their man.


Friday, February 20th, 2004

Hey, Sammy and I did the appropriate web research, sat down and thought about our needs, calculated, visited the photo store, and, yesterday, made a sensible and yet quite thrilling purchase that takes our shared interest in photography to the next level. Please, have a look at the first 12 hours or so with the new tool/toy.

jcburns dot-dash-dash-dot-dash-dot

Thursday, February 19th, 2004

from The Associated Press…
Morse code is entering the 21st century — or at least the late 20th.

The 160-year-old communication system now has a new character to denote the “@” symbol used in e-mail addresses.

In December, the International Telecommunications Union, which oversees the entire frequency spectrum, from amateur radio to satellites, voted to add the new character.

The new sign, which will be known as a “commat,” consists of the signals for “A” (dot-dash) and “C” (dash-dot-dash-dot), with no space between them.

The new sign is the first in at least several decades, and possibly much longer. Among ITU officials and Morse code aficionados, no one could remember any other addition.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Paul Rinaldo, chief technical officer for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio operators. “There certainly hasn’t been any change since before World War II.”

The change will allow ham radio operators to exchange e-mails more easily. That is because — in an irony of the digital age — they often use Morse to initiate conversations over the Internet.

Geolocated on a Friday.

Friday, February 6th, 2004

I’ve had one of those moments where I zoom back—from my own body and space—and have a good look in me in my environs. Feet up, warmed by the fans of my turned-around-G5, fancy new pianoesque keyboard to my left, cup of Starbucks to my right (brewed fresh this morning on my back porch), Sennheiser headphones for the moment sitting on the piano keys, and a lamp on in the corner compensating for the grey dampness outside. Yes, I have some sense of where I am, here on earth, and that’s even before Sammy and I get a fancy new GPS unit to show us the way. Sam spent a chunk of this morning surfing for GPS information, and I have to admit, I’m getting the purchasing jones, although it doesn’t take much research around here to reveal that my purchasing jones gets going way too often for way too much—or so it seems to me at this particular moment.
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Maybe I’m just set up for a Friday afternoon rant-ette: And what’s the damn deal with my hair? Even after dropping twenty bucks on a fancy Ansley Mall haircut, I still look like I just rolled out of bed. It’s almost as if when a certain side of my brain starts working harder than the rest, the static electricity generated clumps all the remaining strands atop my head into a little off-center thicket of thinking. It’s not pretty.
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I think when I get in this frame of mind, my energies are best spent spinning out some internet tidbits for youall, separated, of course, by five asterisks.
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The best Usenet newsreader I’ve ever seen is, fortunately for us Mac users, a new one made just for OS X. It’s called Unison. Why does that make me think of Steve Wozniak’s attempt to teach us all to sing in perfect harmony?
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Don’t design on spec. It’s not just a good idea, it’s—well, it’s not the law, but it ought to be, and Mr. Zeldman makes the case well here. As budgets tighten, designers get…well, okay, desperate…and they make bargains with various representatives of satan disguised as potential sources of revenue. It’s (in my experience) never worth it. My sister’s site (beautifully re-crafted into CSS-y goodness by my brother), has some more words of wisdom for freelancers. She’s focusing on photographers, but writers and designers would do well to pay heed.
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Did you know Todd Rundgren recorded samba-ultralounge versions of some of his big hits? Well, I didn’t, but I find them oddly…hypnotically…listenable..and..
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Oh, sorry. Sometimes my taste in music does kinda betray a life spent around too much white bread, or, at the very least, a pair of ears that have survived more than four decades of music.
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Hmm. Todd Rundgren? Maybe I’m spinning this stuff out just to avoid commenting on the real watercooler fodder of American life this week or to get too let down by the decline and subsidence of one candidate I’d feel really good voting for. I’m going to refill my coffee cup, get the mail (just plopped in our living room), and try to get some perspective on my perspective.

Look up.

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

Sometimes I think there’s too darn much stuff out there available at the click of a mouse.

There’s a site that tells you how much clear sky we’re getting here today and in the near future, there’s one that tells you who else is writing blogs near me, and there’s a site where the creators of the Mac are posting anecdotes, a sort of preemptive strike against the amnesia of lost time.

There are all kinds of fine stories about my life at TBS, or at my old company, or elsewhere that are just sort of fading away in the mist, while the exact wording of the WOUB-TV signoff or how one operates an Ampex ACR-25 stay vividly intact. Just doesn’t seem right.

We had a great dinner last night prepared by master chef Bob and dessert chef Susan, who know how to take guests’ minds off the Superbowl, I tell you.