Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Blogs I Like

I read a number of blogs, some enormously popular (like Boing Boing & Seth Godin's), but also several that have a small readership. While the popular blogs are all fine and good, I prefer those with a smaller readership because of the personal interaction I can have with the writers. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Poppy Seed Heart - This is written by a lady named Joanne, who lives in Seattle and has a bun in the oven. (She calls her bun "bun".) She is following the course of her pregnancy through her blog, which is simply fascinating. She also talks about her doggies and her significant other. Joanne has a very approachable writing style that keeps me engaged. She also has some great links on her sidebars (gotta love free knitting patterns!) I'm envious of her ability to put photos on her blog, something I haven't quite gotten around to yet. Probably because I don't have a digital camera or a scanner. (Those might help, don't you think?) Cute blog name, too.

Copyrightings - This is a blog by a student named Kevin. He is interested in intellectual property rights and in finding a balance between the rights of copyright holders and the public's right to fair use. He highlights some fascinating stuff in this volatile field.

Check out these blogs, if you've got a little time on your hands. And, don't be afraid to leave a comment.

Serendipity brought me to these blogs. Do you see that little "Next Blog" button at the top of this page? That is a random blog selector (a.k.a. "serendipity"). If you click it, Blogger will take you to another blog. Be forewarned, not every blog has this button at the top and some of the random blogs that pop up are sales blogs, so you might come to a dead end. Clicking the button will give you a view of the multicultural aspect of blogging, with blogs written in languages other than English regularly making an appearance. If you're adventurous and click "Next Blog," you may just find sites that connect with you.

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Gray Snow

It was snowing on my drive home from work. A gentle, full-bodied snow mixing with almost dusk, pulling gray down to the ground.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Curious Phenomenon

Isn't it curious when a person proves your point while arguing against you, but they don't think they're proving your point? They're sure as all get-out that they're proving their own point.

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Monday, January 29, 2007


Eighty-nine Dollars

I wrote a diatribe today. In fact, I started it with "Welcome to my diatribe." I'm very tempted to print the whole thing here on the blog, but I'm afraid most of my readers (that means You!) will get upset at the length of it. I know that when I'm blog coasting, I don't always have time to read a long post, so I dare not do that to you. Suffice it to say, my diatribe is about a couple of field trips that the school has planned for two of our children. The total cost of both field trips is $89, a sum that we can't really afford at the moment, and on principle, don't want to afford. Let's just say that it's pretty shameful for a public school to divide children into separate classes based on income and that we didn't have any say in whether this field trip was necessary to our children's cultural development. If you want to read the whole essay, send me an email at and I'll send you a copy. 'nuf said. Now, I'm gonna spend a little time working on my current story.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007


Idea Gone Missing

The other morning, I was dreaming of starting a magazine and I was thinking of possible names for it. One name stuck out, and in my dream, I repeated the initials of the name so I wouldn't forget it. Guess what? I woke up and forgot it. Okay, I didn't forget all of it. I remembered the initials - ISOG, because I had pronounced them in my dream. I also recalled that the SOG portion stood for Shades of Gray. I cannot, however, for the life of me, remember what the "I" stood for. It was cool as all get-out, though. I'm sure of it.

This is one of the many reasons I write - so that ideas don't go missing. But, I can't very well write while I'm sleeping now, can I?

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Saturday, January 27, 2007



The hubby and I just watched Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" movie last night. Sobering. Our daughter said she didn't want to watch it because the subject of global warming is depressing to her. Or, as she puts it, "We're all gonna die!" Al Gore has been working on this topic for decades and we could have made some progress by now, if it hadn't been for the ostrich-like politicians and the short-sighted petroleum companies. (Of course, GREED is their middle name.) And, now we get to live with the results. Glaciers disappearing. Antarctica & Greenland breaking up and raising the level of the oceans. We're seeing the effects first-hand in Minnesota, with the dreadful lack of snow this winter.

Do we really think that Earth is wedded to having homo sapiens living on her surface? Or, are we a bad case of dandruff she wants to shake off? Can't say as I blame her, really. (What did those Neaderthals do to tick her off?)

The good thing about the movie's popularity is that global warming is now undeniable and if we pull together, we can help Earth to heal herself. The trailer for the movie shows a bunch of small steps we can take that will drastically cut global warming emissions. In watching them flick by, I realized that we're already doing about half of them. We have a ways to go. If we could just put a windmill in our yard . . . .

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Friday, January 26, 2007


Who's on the Other Side?

This whole Web 2.0 is the wildest ride. Through my blogging and reading of other people's blogs, I've become acquainted with a handful of new folks that I wouldn't have met any other way. I've also emailed (using the old Web 1.0 technology) people that I have yet to meet. It makes me intensely curious. Who are these people on the Other Side? One could write a story about such things, using the imagination to conjure all sorts of characters on the Other Side (even conjuring the look & feel of that Other Side). I just know that, when I get a response to an email or a comment on the blog, the Other Side is populated with sentient beings.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Isn't This Telling?

I found this little article on Boing Boing. Basically, it says that if you Google "African Ingenuity," Google asks you if you're sure you don't mean "American Ingenuity." Do I smell bias here? I believe so.

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Seth Revisited

I haven't commented on Seth Godin for a while, probably because I'm not reading any of his books at the moment (I've read most of them). I do keep up with his blog, though. He had a great post on creativity today - short, sweet and to the point. It is definitely much harder to physically realize the machinations of our minds than it is to slosh those synapses around in the first place.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Last night, I had a writers group meeting. Great fun. We spend lots of time laughing.

During last night's meeting, we did a writing exercise that was intended to make us think more deeply about how to use props in our writing. Fiction writers often use props (everyday items) to convey deeper meaning in a piece in a way that isn't slap-your-face obvious. The exercise was to spend five minutes riffing about the prop of our choice. I chose a window as my prop and this is the first thing that came to mind:

They say windows are the eyes of the soul, but what about frosted windows?

Another sentence later, I realized my mistake & blushed inside with stupidity. I started over.

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Guilty of Nothing

Yesterday, our youngest son bolted into the bedroom and asked if he could go to the grocery store with a friend of his. He and the friend had heard that another friend had been at the grocery store recently and had been there no more than ten minutes when a store employee told him to leave because he knew he was there to shoplift. My son and his friend wanted to go to the grocery store and avenge their friend. While a valiant maneuver, I couldn't let him go. I've long been afraid something like this would happen, where a store employee would pick on one of my kids just because they were young and at the store without parents. It's a horrible, silly attitude that adults have toward kids. Every time our son has gone to the grocery store with a friend, I've forewarned him to be on his best behavior and not to act like he's up to something suspicious.

Yesterday afternoon, we finally allowed Young Son #2 and friend to go to the grocery store. They were followed around the store by an employee, even though they went to purchase something specific and my son ended up buying several other things (a coconut, a star fruit, and a cucumber - he realized once he got home that he doesn't really like coconut, but wanted the experience of opening one). Here they were, guilty of nothing, except for being customers, but they were treated like shoplifters. Crazy. How long would an adult put up with this before deciding not to shop at a store again?

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Saturday, January 20, 2007


Comparisons, Part II

Back in December, I posted about the comparisons critics make when attempting to describe the work of a creative artist who's just busted onto the scene, so to speak. Critics (and the rest of us), tend to make comparisons between the new work and the work of established creatives. At the time, I wondered why it was so common to do this. Well, I've found an answer. I'm working my way through the book "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. One thing that helps to make new ideas sticky is to frame them in terms of what people already know. In other words, it's easier to wrap your mind around a new idea if you can compare it to an older, better known concept, even if that comparison isn't a perfect one.

So, even though it smacks of lazy writing when critics compare creatives this way, this is a very successful shorthand for getting people to immediately understand what you're talking about. It's probably also the reason behind our inability to beat cliches to death with a stick. Let the comparisons continue.

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Friday, January 19, 2007


Movie Recommendation

If you haven't already seen it, I recommend renting the movie Little Miss Sunshine, which hubby and daughter and I watched tonight. Fabulous, quirky story.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007



We're mid-way through January, a time when most people are breaking their New Year's resolutions, and I have given nary a thought to coming up with one. I figure, if there's something you want to do, why wait until some special date to resolve to do it? Just do it. (Sorry, Nike.) There are some goals I'd like to meet during the year, but I don't see them as resolutions that I must absolutely get done. They're just part of the overall list of goals I've set to reach before I die. (Did I mention that I plan to live to be in my nineties? When I first decided I'd make it to my nineties, I thought 92 would be a good age. Every year since then, the age creeps up. There's too much living to do and not enough time to do it. I'm thinking 97 sounds pretty good.)

My biggest goal for the year is to finish a book project that's been three years in the works. I'd also like to knit a pair of socks, which is something I thought would be nice to do last year, but it didn't happen. Unlike typical New Year's resolutions, did I drop the goal completely? Heck no! I carried it forward. I'm also willing to let the goal evolve to encompass a reasonable facsimile of the original goal. See, I live by the notion that you've got to give the Universe a little leeway in helping you to live your dreams. A little wiggle room. So, I might not get to a pair of socks, but I'll be plenty happy if I can knit a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007



I'm in the middle of reading "Bono: In the Name of Love" by Mick Wall. You know, I've read a few band-ographies (and believe me, this is more a band-ography than a biography, albeit a band-ography from the Bono point of view) and most of them leave me feeling oogie. There's a sloppy passion about band-ographies that detracts from telling the story. Now, when you're writing a book, you definitely have to have passion about your topic, or you're not going to get through the 100 to 400 pages you've set out to write. However, there can be such a thing as too much passion, a drippy, sticky syncophantic fanaticism that draws the attention away from the band at hand. I'd like to see a band-ography written by a historian who understands how to communicate passion with a fair amount of dispassion. Maybe it's easier to write historical biographies because, in many cases, the subject is dead and there's no need to impress a dead subject.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007



I'm posting late. I should be in bed. This isn't going to be terribly long. Here's a question that I wrote in my blog ideas notebook:

Why is it so many of us jump at the chance to give up our own authority, to give it to someone else?

That question is dated November 17, 2006. Last night, I watched a show on Jim Jones and the final week at Jonestown. What a horrendous example of our will to give up our authority. I'm sure there are other examples you can think of.

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Monday, January 15, 2007


My Craziness Backed by Scott Ian

Boy, it's nice to have confirmation of my feelings on an issue. I've been going on and on about how technology has changed the music industry, some of it for the better, some of it for the worse, the worst part of it for me being a potential loss of album art and printed lyrics. So, a couple of nights ago, the hubby and I were watching a show on the history of heavy metal on VH1, and Scott Ian of Anthrax said something that was music to my ears. They were discussing the group Iron Maiden and, specifically, a character called Eddy who shows up on the cover of all the group's albums and made appearances at their concerts. Eddy is a ghoulish thing, all shrunken skin, evil eyes and wicked teeth. Scott Ian said that Eddy really gave Iron Maiden a particular image, along with saying that album art is very important. Hah! Vindication!

P.S. I'd post a picture of Eddy here, but don't want to get into trouble violating someone's copyright, so check out this link. Also, I didn't really want the first picture I attempt to post to be something ghoulish. Sorry, I'm a wimp.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007


Album Art & Lyrics Cards

Until a solution is presented, I'm going keep coming back to this. Now that music is going digital, what's going to happen to album art and printed lyrics? We're so quick to jump ship toward something new that we forget to look for sharks in the water. We're so quick to embrace the newest in technology that we forget to examine what we might be giving up. When it comes to album art, some think, "Good riddance to bad rubbish. No tears here if there is no album art. " On MPR's The Current music blog, Hans Eisenbeis posted "Album art! Does it matter anymore?" The title says it all, but there are several wonky album covers pictured in the post. If we want to have a discussion about album art, why don't we pick the cream of the crop, rather that the crap? I, of course, think that album art is important. I am an artist and album art is a great way to bring fine art to the masses. Album art gives fans a physical representation of musicians and bands. It allows us to connect with musicians along another dimension. Album art helps to brand musicians. It is also one avenue of employment for visual artists. If pictures of the musician or band members are included, we get to know what people look like. Another important part of album art is the printed lyrics. How often have we misinterpreted a song because the singer or our hearing wasn't as clear as desired?

I asked my daughter, who did not grow up with 12-inch albums, if she liked CD booklets with their album art. She answered in the affirmative. She especially liked being able to read the lyrics. Daughter has an iPod, and she said, "Mom, the album art comes with the downloads." I asked her to show me this album art. There it was, in postage stamp form on her iPod screen. If that's what album art has come to, why bother?

Of course, with music becoming available solely through the digital realm, album art can't remain the way it has. For one, most people download singles, rather than entire albums. We're not going to want an entire CD booklet for one song. You can find lyrics for most any song online, but I, for one, don't want to be intravenously connected to a computer 24/7. I listen to music away from the computer and want to be able to have quick access to those lyrics.

I've been pondering this problem of dying album art & lack of lyrics for a while and have a possible solution: Lyrics Cards. For each song a band creates, there could be a card produced that has lyrics on one side & art on the other. Think of playing cards, no . . . that's not quite right . . . think of Tarot cards. Lyrics cards would have to be bigger than playing cards so the lyrics would fit. I suggest cards about the size of current CD booklets, if only because most of us have CD holders we could fit them into. They'd also be big enough to show some decent artwork and allow the lyrics to be seen without a magnifying glass. I imagine Lyrics Cards to be like trading cards. We can mix-and-match with friends. We can arrange our own playlists with them. When someone downloads a song, if they desire, they could have a Lyrics Card mailed to them. Bands could use them as promotional items.

So, there you have it. My crazy idea for saving album art: Lyrics Cards. Will it work? I have no idea. Maybe I'm just an old codger at the tender age of 39. Maybe I'm not with it and the majority of people want to see album art and printed lyrics leave in a whimpering fizzle. I, however, am not ready to give up without a fight.

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Friday, January 12, 2007


FtTP - Dave Matthews Band + Tainted Love

While writing, I like to listen to music. So, I was listening to Soft Cell's Tainted Love today and thought of the most unlikely Frankensteining the Talent Pool combination. I'd like to hear the Masters of Complication, Dave Matthews Band, play Tainted Love, just to see what they'd do with it, especially seeing as how they don't use synthesizers. Could they dial it down a notch and do some creative instrumental substitution? Could they bring themselves to play a candy-pop song? I wonder . . . .

January 13, 2007 - Addendum: I heard Tainted Love playing in Wal-Mart last night. They played the whole version, not the truncated one. You know, if DMB were to perform this, with Dave's growly voice, the song would become dangerous, rather than sultry. Just my opinion.

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Repeating Myself

It's an unusual day for me to write, on a Friday, rather than a Monday, but I had to work Monday, so I took today off in order to keep from getting too far off track on my current story. Last week, I reread what I had written and had this horrible sinking feeling that I was repeating myself, that my work was stale. I couldn't pinpoint the problem, so I asked everyone at Writers Group on Monday evening. They were so helpful. One said that a certain amount of repetition is to be expected. Another said that I should keep going and the problem leading to my feeling would become apparent over time. Everyone seconded the idea that I should just keep writing. Here it is, the dead middle of the project, story six out of ten, and this is where I'm getting bogged down.

This morning, I woke and realized that part of my repetition seems to be coming from the fact that all of my characters are undergoing a shift in awareness. They are realizing that their current issues are mired in past events & psychological wounds and I'm doing quite a bit of flashbacking to show this. Literary types will tell you that this is a death-knell for a story and that a writer must keep the action going in current time. I don't know whether this is really a story killer, or whether I'm guilty of having my characters slip into memoryland, but I do know that it's very human to compare the present to the past and gain insight from the comparison.

The one thing I don't want to do is reread all of the previous stories at this point. I'd rather forge ahead with this one and fix it later if need be. No need to be thinking all of my stuff is crap just because I'm wading through some now. That'd be frosting the frog for sure.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Finishing & Starting

I do believe I have spring fever. Can't have anything to do with this crazy non-Minnesota winter, could it? I finished knitting a hat & a collar. I'm working feverishly to finish a quilt I started for my son three years ago. It was a promised birthday gift. Today is his birthday. I think it's about time he get this gift. As if this isn't enough, I've started knitting another hat. One simply can't have too many projects going at once, no-sir-ee.

And, there are those two books to finish, plus another two to start . . . but, books don't really count, 'cause I'm always in the middle of one.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Comments, please!

I discovered last night that I had a few more blog readers than I thought. Incredibly cool! I really appreciate all of you readers out there & am glad you make the time to drop by. I also found out that some of my readers want to leave comments, but don't seem to be able to. I've checked all my comment posting settings, which I've tried to keep as open as possible, and found that they are set to accept comments from everyone, whether you have a Blogger or Google account or not. I'd like to check this to be sure it's working, so for those of you reading, can you send a brief comment (one word will do) to see if it posts? If you don't have a Blogger or Google account, try to send a message via the Anonymous setting. If it doesn't post & you know one of my email addresses, drop me a line and let me know. Thanks much! :)

Oops! I forgot. I have a link to my blog email account along the lefthand column of the blog. Just scroll down 'til you see the word "Email" in gray. When you roll over it with the arrow, it'll turn green. Just click the link & send an email if your comment doesn't go through. Ta-ta!

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A Thought on Global Warming

I don't mean to diminish the severity of our role in contributing to global warming here, and I don't want people to get on their high horses and say that the situation will fix itself, but I had a thought.

With our warmer than usual Minnesota winter, we aren't burning as many fossil fuels to keep our houses warm. Hmmm. Almost as though Earth is forcing us to quit contributing to global warming by warming us up. How passive-aggressive is that? What do you think Earth will do to get us to stop using engines to move around?

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Monday, January 08, 2007


Knitting a Hat

I was so busy cleaning the bedroom yesterday, and thinking about cleaning the bedroom when I posted, that I forgot to mention that I successfully finished knitting the hat I started a week or so ago. The double-pointed needles were a little difficult to get used to - too many points flying around - until I decided to cap the ones I wasn't working with. My daughter was hankering to start a hat on the circular needles I was using, so I had to finish up lickety split. Last night, after the cleaning streak, I sat down and started the hat my daughter wants to knit. Her cast-on stitches are a little tight and establishing the pattern in the first couple of rows can be a bear, so she asked me to get her going. I'm feeling so confident now that I bought yarn to make fingerless gloves. Obviously, I'm not so confident that I'm willing to attempt gloves with fingers yet. No sense in getting silly about it.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007


Cleaning the Bedroom

My husband has been sneezing a lot when he wakes up, so I decided to do a thorough cleaning of the bedroom today. Not just a sweep around the major pieces of furniture, but a complete dusting of the furniture, plus moving it to vacuum underneath it. In the end, we reorganized some things, moving a piece of furniture out & another one in. The massive overhaul. It took most of the day.

When I'm cleaning, I go into exactly the same zone as when I'm writing or creating art. Is there a cleaning muse out there, just waiting for us to get to work? Actually, it's not so much the cleaning that hooks me as it is the reorganization of things. What goes here, what goes there, move it, move it, move it. Rearranging my books is my favorite reorganization task. Fruit basket upset, followed by the resulting tidiness is just the ticket sometimes. I'm sure a feng shui expert would agree.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007


More on Music Trends

Here are a few posts from other sites about the trend toward digital music and away from the purchase of CDs.

From The Long Tail - Music sales from the past year

From Wired Magazine's Listening Post - The Ropeadope record label decides to go 100% digital for all of its releases.

From the Dangerous Intersection blog - We can't even sing anymore

I'm still wondering how people without digital toys are going to get access to music. Doesn't matter if we have unlimited choice if we don't have access.

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Friday, January 05, 2007


A Day Off Used for Writing

I took a vacation day from work, which I used for writing. I'm pleased with my output today - an additional 1,100 words on the story I've started. I already had 550. The funny thing about all this word counting is that I don't know where I'm headed. Is the story going to be 5,000 words or 10,000? In the end, it'll be the length it needs to be to properly tell the story. That's the way it works. The crazy thing is that the characters never cease to surprise me, like when some past event one of them has experienced comes to the surface and explains a psychological trait. That's the fun of fiction.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007


The More I Write

Lately, I've noticed a strange little phenomenon with my writing. It seems that the more I write, the more the language gets away from me. I misspell words with more frequency, my grammar slips up, I misinterpret the meanings of words. Recently, a friend used the word meteorologist in an email and I intepreted the word to mean "someone who studies meteors," instead of a weather forecaster. I had a good laugh when it finally dawned on me, but it makes me wonder if other writers go through stages like this in their writing. Writers out there, have you experienced this? How about you other creative types? Any strange plateaus or slides down the mountain of your craft?

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007



There is an archaeologist in Minnesota who has thoroughly studied the journals of explorer Zebulon Pike. Lt. Pike was sent to explore the headwaters of the Mississippi River in 1805-1806. While doing so, he kept a journal of his trip, making almost daily entries about the weather, the terrain, the people, and the animals of the territory, along with his travails. In analyzing Pike's journals, this archaeologist (his name is Douglas Birk) discovered something quite astonishing. Birk realized that the lengths of Pike's entries varied on a regular basis. After a bit of study, he found that Pike wrote more when the moon was full. Of course! Brilliant observation.

Here's what I've noticed about my own writing and the map of my mind. They, too, alter along a cycle, and while I couldn't call it a literal moon cycle, it is no stretch to say that they run on a figurative moon cycle. When some historian comes along and reads my daily journals and the print-outs of my blog, will he/she see this cycle?

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Forecasting Access Issues

Continuing on with my rant about the lack of physical music stores and the dwindling physicality of music . . . . My husband had the most mind-blowing thought while we were discussing this issue. Actually, he had a couple of them. When we purchase music in a physical format (records, tapes, CDs), if we get tired of an album, we can sell it or hand it off to a friend. We can't legally do this with digital music. Normally, the license for a download allows for the music file to sit on one computer and on a personal digital music player. There's no reselling of that digital file if we no longer want it. (Of course, the music industry is perfectly fine with this.)

Okay, second hubby thought: How are libraries going to allow people to check out music if it all goes digital? Think about that for a minute. Libraries have allowed all of us, the poor included, to have access to all sorts of cultural materials. If music goes completely digital, and it certainly looks like that's what's happening, only those who can afford a computer and an internet connection are going to get access. Unless something is restructured at the library (dedicated computer, maybe?), I can't see libraries allowing people to download songs onto public computers so they can download them to personal digital music players. Even if library technology was restructured to allow for this, the music industry would have a royal fit and put the legal kabosh on the whole thing.

If you are completely wrapped up in the digital world and can't possibly imagine that there are still people in the real world without a computer and an internet connection, let me tell you that my mom is one of those people. She is a die-hard Johnny Mathis fan and wanted no more than to stroll into Wal-Mart and find a Johnny Mathis disk. Nothing doing. This system isn't working for her.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Music Industry Tail Spin

Check out this post on Chris Anderson's blog. (He's the guy who wrote The Long Tail.) There's a chart that shows the massively slumping sale of hit albums. Say bye bye to the traditional music industry.

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Monday, January 01, 2007


What's Unusual

I'm roasting. Sitting upstairs at the computer & sweating, even though it's winter in Minnesota. (We finally have a wee bit of snow & a whole lot of ice - the roads are skating rinks.) Heat rises, so our second story is always warmer than the main floor. What's unusual about my warmth is that I tend to run on the cold side, so even if a room is warm, I'm the one that's over-dressed. Not tonight. Now I'm stripping layers off.

I'm sitting here listening to a new CD while I blog & surf & sweat. I broke down and bought 2 new CDs for myself, Dave Matthews Band's The Central Park Concert (currently playing) and The Killers' Hot Fuss. Those who know me well know that I'm tight-fisted and have great difficulty spending money on myself. This is a direct result of having grown up in a household that was perpetually short on cash. I was well indoctrinated in scarcity thinking & it's pretty hard to break out of that rut to move into abundance thinking. I keep trying. Buying myself CDs, books, or fiber arts materials is the way I manifest abundance thinking when I can stop myself from worrying about the bills. (Ever notice that there's always one of them due?) I decided to buy these particular CDs after having checked them out of the library & giving them a listen. (See, music biz executives? Sometimes a free listen turns into a purchase.)

My other recent purchase was a nice wooly skein of yarn, hand-dyed, I believe. It cost about $7 for the skein. I also got some circular knitting needles. (I'm going crazy with the Cheese Whiz on this abundance thinking thing. Don't worry, it won't go to my head.) I've decided to knit a hat using a pattern from a book I got for Christmas. I've never knitted in the round before, so it's an adventure. Knitting was one of the last fiber arts forms that I learned. As such, it's been the most difficult for me to master. The hat is going well so far, once I got past figuring out how to join the stitches in a round. (Thank you, sister-in-law!) The next obstacle will be decreasing for the crown, which involves switching to double-pointed needles. If I can lick this, I may just be able to tackle a pair of socks. (Crossing my fingers on that.)

By the way, Happy New Year, readers, and thanks for reading my blatherings.

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