View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: September 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Shots from the Football Trip


Pictures from Curtis's Barbecue in Putney, VT

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Visit to St. Benoit Abbey in Quebec

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Some Pictures from the Streets of Montreal

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The Funniest TV Commercial Ever

This commercial has been on the air 7 or 8 years and I still laugh every time I see it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Halo 3 will be Set in a Nursing Home

From Slashdot

"While not definitively proven, the concept that video games can stave off mental degradation in the elderly is gaining favor. 'Nintendo ... boast[s] that (its new game) Brain Age was developed with the help of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, a respected Japanese neuroscientist whose face pops up at the start of every game. Kawashima believes brains can be kept young and nimble through the rapid repetition of simple mental challenges. The game is wildly popular in Japan, and 4 million copies have been sold worldwide since Brain Age was introduced 15 months ago.'"

Monday, September 11, 2006


Yet Another Reason I'm Starting to Hate My Fellow Americans


All Hail the Night Crew!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Podcamp 2006 Wrap-up

Great event. Especially because of the communal nature of it, and the fact that it was free. I met a lot of very cool people and re-connected with some folks I enjoy talking with.

For next year: I would make each session 10 minutes longer, and post better directions between lecture rooms. I spent a lot of time getting lost.

On the whole, though - great job!


The Showdown of the Century

I happened to see this the other day at the Supermarket.

For many, many year, Nabisco's Easy Cheese has had the spray-cheese-in-a-can market all to itself.

Well, maybe Easy Cheese got complacent. Maybe it was seen by its enemies as soft and weak, and there for the taking.

Because the other day, I happened to glance out of the corner of my eye as I was walking down the cookies and crackers aisle and I saw THIS:

That's right: Cheez-It spray-cheese-in-a-can.

You thought it couldn't happen... but it has. There are two players in this game now, and the war is ON.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


An Afternoon in North Adams

I didn't white balance the camera, so most of the video is wildly hot, but I think that's pretty funny. It looks like I'm driving through a nuclear blast.


Arizona in the Berkshires

While driving through the western part of the state, I saw several "Arizona Pizza" restaurants.

I'd never heard of the company.

They seem to be very popular, part of a new expansion into New England for this chain.


Great Article from the Valley Advocate

Would You Work for Free?
Then don't rip off the work of others.

by Alan Bisbort - September 7, 2006
The World This Week
I am no Metallica fan, but now I understand the band's frustration over the free downloading of their music. I just published a book (shameless plug: When You Read This They Will Have Killed Me: The Life and Redemption of Caryl Chessman, Whose Execution Shook America) . "Used" copies of the book are available on Amazon but haven't yet made it into stores. I have sent out copies to reviewers, friends and those who helped make the book a reality, as has the publisher, Carroll and Graf. Between us, these mailings weren't enough to make a dent in the used book market even if every recipient walked straight to the nearest dealer and sold it. However, when I went on Abebooks, a reliable used book site, and Amazon, I was shocked to see 50 "used" copies of my book for sale, most for half the list price and all by venues who won't, it's safe to assume, share the income with me, the person who worked for three years to write this book.

In other words, this is thievery.

I'm not tossing a pity party here; I'm too angry for that. I also know I'm not the only one to whom this has happened. Many authors wonder how so many copies of their books can be available "used" when there are no "new" ones available in retail stores. One "used" bookshop is even charging $10 more than list price for the book.

I'm not na#237ve about the used book trade; I myself sold used books at flea markets out of the back of my pickup truck for five years. I realize it's the nature of the publishing world for review or advance copies to end up at used book stores, but how in such large numbers?

My first thought is, it's Mob-connected. That is, someone is routinely putting aside pallets of books in warehouses to be sifted onto the used book market. What a bonanza! Royalty-free work! Just like pirated Chinese DVDs! To me, the people doing this are bloodsuckers and bottom feeders, not unlike those "ticket finders" who are little more than scalpers in fancy suites. My second thought: we now have a black market economy, from Wall Street corruption to knockoffs of designer handbags sold on the sidewalk.

Let me put it this way: if you have a friend in a band, would you burn their CD from someone else's copy or would you buy it from the friend? Would you take their blood-and tear-stained labors and give them nothing but your hollow applause in return? If you would, you are a bloodsucker. Taking my book and selling it for list price or higher and keeping the money as your own is the same principle as me walking into the restaurant where you work, heading to the kitchen, making my food and carrying it out to my table. No tip for you!

Where did this something-for-nothing mentality arise? Maybe it's just the residual effect of the corporate world's "trickle-down" Scroogism. Worker productivity has risen 17 percent in the past five years while wages declined 2 percent. No wonder everyone wants something for free.

But I ask you: Would you work for free?

Didn't think so. Then don't take my work and the work of others for free. Pay the piper, support the things that interest you. If you don't, they won't survive.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Pictures from Adams and North Adams

This is my 2006 version of the famous "Holden Street, North Adams" photo taken by Stephen Shore, minus the talent.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Abandoned Go-Kart Track

In Tilton, NH.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year.

Old habits die hard, and if you’re like me, the New Year starts for you in September.

This goes back to when I was a kid. September was when the school year started, with new classes and new clothes and a new schedule and even new TV shows. It always made more sense to me to think of September as the new year, rather than January. After all… how different is your January compared to your December or your February? They’re all cold, gray and long. Take out the holidays and they’re virtually indistinguishable from one another.

But September… September is when all things are new again. When you gather your resources and draw up your agenda for the year, for the slow cruise down through Fall into the inevitable submergence into the winter months. September is for assessing your situation before battening down the hatches in late October. September is the last full month before the furnace kicks on. And that old feeling gets reinforced when your kids become school-age, and you start going through the old routines once again.

So, this September, I’m making a few New Year’s resolutions:

I resolve to make my patented secret-recipe Down East Baked Beans more often than once a year.

I resolve to make a boiled dinner this month. It’s a great meal… why limit it to March?

I resolve to make it a habit to know how much money I have at all times and where it is. And this with a teenager in the house. Can’t you just smell the comedy?

I resolve to spend less and save more. Does that make me anti-American?

I resolve not to get a tattoo like all those other worthless poseurs out there. Unless I’ve had one beer too many and Pepi puts me up to it.

I resolve to buy Season 1 of “Maverick” on DVD the moment they release it… if they ever release it.

I resolve to learn how to take decent black and white photos, which likely means buying Greg Munroe several beers. So be it.

Less High Fructose Corn Syrup.

More Horny Goat Weed. I have no idea if it’s a good supplement to one’s diet. I just like typing “Horny Goat Weed”.

I resolve to drive a bucket of balls and spend at least one morning surf-casting.

And once again this Fall, I resolve to avoid listening to Jim Rome on the radio.

That one’s actually pretty easy to keep.

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