Married, moved, and getting it together.

April, 2006: 35 posts.

We’ll be speaking at MacGathering in May 2006

Leah and I will be speaking about websites at MacGatheringhere’s the instructors.

We’re not bad looking at all


In fact, we’re cute as heck in that one.

Photo by the inimitable Leah.

Anniversary of The April Fool

On the April Fool’s after my eighteenth birthday, I got caught being a fool.

So that was 1988. That’s 18 years again since the event. So I’m twice as old now as I was then. Maybe twice as wise. Maybe even 18 times as wise.

Part of living an authentic life is being able to look at ones faults, and where one has wronged others. And I think yesterday and today one of the things on my mind is this particular 18-year old event. I won’t belabor it, or detail it too closely. Maybe next year. Since the event occurred, I have never directly apologized to the person who was on the receiving end of my disordered thinking. I’m not sure I’ll ever get a chance to.

There was a chance meeting many years ago, but we were in a group of friends, and that would not have been the time. It was an excruciating, scary moment.

I don’t want to go into details, but I somehow feel I need to get into some of the details of it or else you’re all going to think — well, I don’t know — but I’m unafraid cautious about detailing it all. For years I would talk to nobody about it, and I carried it around as a cross, a sackcloth, burning into my skin.

It still pricks at my conscience, but mostly as to the inability to make amends more than anything else. In 12-Step programs they talk about making amends except where to do so would calse even more pain. Not knowing this person anymore, I don’t know if it’s possible.

The short version of the story is that I became obsessed with the idea of a relationship with a certain other person. This idea was wonderful and terrifying. I, as a young man of 16 / 17, was unable to express my own heart in a way that was unafraid. So I did not. Instead, I began anonymously leaving notes for this person. Cryptic notes, what I thought might be romantic notes. Yes, unsigned. I left them on her car, I left them anywhere she went. I left them stealthily.

I thought I was the cleverest thing since Cyrano de Bergerac. I had no idea how it would be resolved, but I thought “this is what people do, they are romantic and they are interesting.”
I was not, and I ended up terrifying this girl, and her family. And it all culminated in the back of a squad car with me in handcuffs. I was not arrested, just scared to death by the police officers who claimed that I’d get “a new boyfriend” if I did this ever again. Sobbing in a squad car.

This was not the romantic ending I forsaw. It was a pathetic outcome, and was my first taste of how wrong I could be about something.

It was April Fool’s Day. And I was indeed an April Fool. This was no joke.

The political bloggers talk about “the reality-based community.” Well, my teenage self was certainly not a member of that. I was in a world of fantasy then. I think it’s taken until this year for me to really come to grips with what it means to live not in fantasy, but in reality. This year I became a grown-up, and it’s been a difficult slog. But it’s been worthwhile because I have had a taste of Grace with a capital “G.”

Somehow, life is a blessing, and not sackcloth.

I am a blessed man. Check out that picture.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that the truth shall set you free.

Thanks for listening.

Joe. 02/April/2006.

Olivia Rex with some new songs

Hey you kid! Want to hear some tasty new tracks from Olivia Rex? Get on over to:Olivia Rex: Listen now to hear the scoop. She‘s seriously awesome.

You should hear her live!

Did you forget brother?

Every DAY is new!

Always hope.


Michael The Archangel

This morning I went to an early Mass at a Church with which I was previously unfamiliar. It was held in a small chapel. Very nice. But at the end, there were several prayers with which I was unfamiliar. The one that stood out to me is this one:

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


I sort of like it, and I sort of am cowed by the intensity of the thing. But It got my attention and got me to look up Michael, who I sort of remember, sort of. Here’s more information on him on wikipedia: Michael (archangel) which says:

Michael is one of the principal angels in Abrahamic tradition; his name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.

It also says:

The Catholic Church honors Michael with four main titles or offices. He is the Christian angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Last, he is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.

This stuff fascinates me.

I suppose in some ways we all do battle. What do you do battle with?

Word of the day: psychopomp

Many sets of religious beliefs have a particular spirit, deity, demon or angel whose responsibility is to escort newly-deceased souls to the afterlife, such as Heaven or Hell. These creatures are called psychopomps, from the Greek word psuchopompos, literally meaning the “guide of souls”.


Best Web Code Comment Ever

This applies to HTML, JavaScript, and CSS equally well. Concerned about someone being able to see your code? Get over it.

Minification v Obfuscation » Yahoo! User Interface Blog
Then finally, there is that question of code privacy. This is a lost cause. There is no transformation that will keep a determined hacker from understanding your program. This turns out to be true for all programs in all languages, it is just more obviously true with JavaScript because it is delivered in source form. The privacy benefit provided by obfuscation is an illusion. If you don’t want people to see your programs, unplug your server.

Items of Note, and a Photograph

  1. I’m terrifically busy right now work-wise.
  2. Waiting on some answers on some big potential clients.
  3. Money = tight
  4. San Diego Blog is taking ads more directly now. Buy one!
  5. Thanks to JeSais, you can buy San Diego Blog T-Shirts here, and you can also buy Mugs!
  6. Palm Sunday mass 2 days ago was pretty awesome.
  7. I bought a crucifix and am wearing it right now. Pondering the meaning of it.
  8. Leah and I are rocking out.
  9. Missed an important meeting last night. Bummed about it but There’ll be another one soon enough.
  10. Got to see some video of the 22 year old me. Whoa. Trippy 14 year old video.
  11. going intermittently strong. Lots of chatter on the nets about avian flu and mechanical ventilation.
  12. Nice new essay from Joel on Software.
  13. I’m feeling pretty good lately all around. Good feeling and good living.
  14. My Life In The Bush of Ghosts has been re-released. That’s really cool.
  15. You know I work for Crawberts and we do web design, right? Well, hire us already!
  16. I also put stuff up over on my LiveJournal sometimes.
  17. I’m feeling pretty good these days, though my hair feels long right now. With very short haircuts, 2 weeks can get you shaggy pretty fast.
  18. Did I mention San Diego Blog? Well, it’s really going well these days. I love the content that folks come up with. I want it to also generate some revenue that exceeds the costs. I make more from my ads on various parts of than I do from there. This suprises me, and I want SDB to pull its’ own weight a bit more. How do I do that? I’m open to suggestions!
  19. I mention again that Leah and I are speaking at MacGathering. Registration is open for that now! See you there?
  20. I really like green olives stuffed with jalapenos. Tasty!
  21. I think that’s all I have for the moment.
  22. Here’s the photo now, it’s of Devon and me watching Tony do the shotput:

Joe and Devon

14 Hours of Driving

Dead tired, dude.

But not too dead tired to check some email and do some work.

Utah is lovely.

Wedding for Alison on Saturday.

Wotta day.

Back. Tired.

Back from our trip.


Getting back in the swing of things.

Good morning y’all!

Utah Trip Collage, 2006

Utah Trip Collage, 2006

Posts That Might Be

coming this week I hope:

Zion (a good question)

Hiding Eggs

The Extra Bone Bet

Carrying Dirt Is For The Young

Cherry Blossoms

Ingrown Toenail

Tyler’s Red Vomit

James Leland: Photos For Sale

A fellow 3ones member, James Leland, photographer and artist, has been having some serious troubles this past year.

From his website,

The other day I got an e-mail from a friend about a rent party for a charity group he was affiliated with. My first inclination was to help him, but instantly it hit me that I am far past being broke. I have been unable to generate income for more than a year now due to an affliction I suffer called Crohn’s Disease. At this point my rent and other bills are far past due. For the past several weeks I have beeen recieving a new treatment in the hospital in hopes of turning my situation around. The result has been slight, but promising. In the meantime I have what seems to be insurmountable medical and other bills that frankly I need help with. I am trying to sell prints to pull me as far out of this quagmire as I can. If you are in a position to purchase a print and help I would appreciate it beyond words. Please have a look at the gallery of images I have posted online here. these framed images are for sale at $800 each. If nothing in this gallery appeals to you please do not hesitate to e-mail me to discuss other unframed image options. These are desperate times for me, and I pray that help will arrive soon. Each of my photos are unique. I do not print editions of anything. They are each one of a kind. I am far past the end of my rope and now have to count on the generosity of others to pull me from this steel door trap. I would appreciate it if you would forward this on to anyone you feel would possibly be interested. Thank you in advance.

He’s a brilliant photographer. Moody, analog, one-of-a-kind photography. Evocative, emotional, wonderful stuff. Some of the artwork contains nudity, but it’s not the sole subject matter of James’ work.
$800 is a fair price for truly unique works of art. If that is out of your particular price range, perhaps you would be interested in some of his other work, in the sale gallery . All images in that gallery are $150. Well worth the price.
Please spread the word about James’ work, and these works on sale.

Zion (a good question)

On the drive from Mount Pleasant to Kanab, we drove the 89 south. We passed several signs that mentioned “Zion” in one form or another. Zion National Park is not too far away, and many businesses are named for Zion in one name or another.

Tyler, sitting in the front seat, and recuperating from his earlier vomiting episode, asked me, “Joe, what’s Zion mean?” Ty is 12 years old.
I answered him, “it’s the national park around here, very pretty apparently.”

“No, I mean what is it, what’s it mean?”

“Ah, where’s the word come from? That’s a very good question, there are several uses of Zion around. The first one I can think of is that ‘Zionists’ are those who are in favor of returning the Jews to Isreal. In that sense I think it means something like “homeland” or “home.” This was my first answer. “Another sense is that Rastafarians refer to Zion as a kind of promised land, seeing themselves as a kind of lost tribe.” I believe that there are also uses of the word in The Book of Mormon sort of like this, but I don’t really know the details of that.”
We were both quiet for a while.

Then I added: “It’s a word that means a lot of different things to different people, but basically it’s a good place, home.”

He very quickly said, “and there’s the city of Zion in The Matrix.”

I replied “I hadn’t even thought of that, but yes, absolutely — there’s an example of the creators using a word with a lot ot meaning in their own work.”

I was pretty surprised by two things in this little “on the road” interchange. The first is that even without access to Wikipedia (Zion), I didn’t do too bad in my answer. The second is that Tyler’s question was a really good one. One which made me want to do further research for myself. Also, I had forgotten about the Matrix connection altogether, and the connection was quite germane, and it was Ty who brought it to the table here.

It’s moments like that that make a long drive fun. And do read that Zion article, it’s pretty interesting stuff. I was not precisely correct, but my Rasta comment was right on.
(See also: Posts that might be)

Hiding Eggs

Leah was not feeling real hot, so on Easter it fell to me to hide the eggs in Grandma & Grandpa’s backyard. Tyler could not get in on it, he was feeling too ill to compete. If you know Tyler, you know that that indicates he was really really sick. The boy has competitive spirit in his bones.

I had a blast hiding eggs. I hid them in the taller grass along the raised planters. In the holes in the fence, under and on the playground equipment. And it was even more fun watching Dev, Alex, and Tony search for the eggs. They were pretty fast, but only one or two stumped them. All told I hid 41 eggs. As a stepparent I have little if any real authority over the kids, except to back up and support my wife. If she was gone I would have no legal rights or responsibilities whatsoever toward the kids. But man, as a guy with no biological kids of my own I am really starting to “get” the parenting thing. There’s a lot of fun to be had. Of course, there’s plenty of stress and sturm und drang as well, but the positive perks are really fun.

I totally want to do it again next year.

There may be photos later in the week of some of the searching.

(See also: Posts that might be)

The Extra Bone Bet

So this little anecdote is not from the trip to Utah, it’s from the weekend before, after the boys’ track meet.

The boys were explaining to me that black kids are faster because there’s an extra bone in their ankles. Inside my skull, a million angry neurons fired as I tried to think of the proper response to race-based physiological malarkey coming from the mouths of the kids whose education I have partially taken on as part of my role as stepparent.

I caught as much of my adrenaline in my throat as I could, then I opened my mouth. My response was, “No, there is not an extra bone in the ankles of blacks.”

Ty said to me, “yes there is, Devon totally looked it up and showed me it.” I said, “okay, that’s great, but I don’t believe you. It’s not true.”

I can’t remember now who suggested a bet, but either Ty or I said “what do you bet me that this is so/not so.” Now, Tyler is an ace poker player. Even at 12 years old, he does pretty well. He likes a good bet, and he was ready to wager. He also knows me, and knows that I have a broad base of general knowledge. Also, given he’s been around me going on four years now. We’ve had a few bets of a penny, or a quarter, or a dollar. I think the max was maybe five bucks. When I’m not very confident, I’ll say “yeah, but I’d only bet 5 cents for that one” or “that’s about a five dollar bet.” There’s a direct relationship between my confidence level and the amount of the bet.
How much did I say I would bet? I offered, “fifty, no… one hundred and fifty dollars. If you can prove to me that black people have an extra bone in their ankles I lose.” This is not an idle bet. Tyler is a very hard worker, and has saved money from mowing lawns. He would be good for it. I was daring him to bet me, really.

Leah chastises me, gently, “come on, give him a bet he can actually make!” (She told me later she found my behavior a little juvenile, and she’s perfectly right about that, but I also have very strong feelings on the subject of race, and though I was a little amped up with outrage, it was not really an uncharacteristic moment for me).

I say “we could use the money!! — hey, wait, make the bet eight hundred and fifty dollars, are you interested?” I offer my hand. Will he take the wager?

Ty regards my hand with a kind of horror. I like to think it’s at this point he knows that I’m right. But he’s still unsure, which is perfectly valid. I mention that I have taken anatomy and physiology. I put down my wager-hand and Dev comes around. A laptop comes out, and internet research commences. Search terms are tried — “black” and “african american” and other various searches are tried. I put my attention elsewhere. The pro-extra bone contingent come up with nothing. They’re a little disappointed. It feels a little like I’ve killed an ant with a bazooka. But I’m not unhappy with my conduct. I didn’t lose my temper or lose my breath arguing. I put my money precisely where my mouth was.
Dev and Tyler keep searching, but then we’re onto the next thing, we’re to go out to dinner for pizza. The subject is changed.

In the car, later, Leah mentions the episode to me, a little aghast at how I handled it. I admit it was a strong reaction, and I know that it would not be how she would have handled it. But instead of feeling guilty about it, I re-run the interaction in my head and I’m happy with how I handled it. I tell her so. Nobody got hurt, and even feelings were not hurt. A claim was made, a strong and bizarre one. I objected strongly. And I did what I did in the spirit of not tolerating pseudoscientific bull. Who knows where this extra bone theory came from. It’s so bizarre, and like a weed in a garden. It has to be plucked out. This kind of wive’s tale thinking has to be challenged. Why it has to be me, and why I tend to get self-righteous about it is an issue that I need to do some personal self-examination about, but the weeds are out there. I have no shame for being a little nuts about it.

Even now, I think a week later, the notion gets my dander up, and I’m happy with how I handled it. I might be a little crazy, but I was really sure of my facts.

Leah also mentioned privately to me that in the interim (after the bet and before pizza), a website was found about the controversy. The problem was it was a debunking site, and it basically disproved their contention.

(See also: Posts That Might Be)

Carrying Dirt Is For The Young

Say that my mother-in-law brings dirt, in large boxes, to one of her daughters. These are heavy boxes, very heavy boxes like the ones reams of paper come in. Filled with moist earth intended for gardening.

There are three boxes. Young men, two grandsons carry two of them.

The third box is carried by two of the sons-in-law, together. And even together, these are heavy boxes. Old (well, thirtysomething and fortysomething) men know their limitations, and know to protect their backs.

The young might not have learned this lesson yet. Or maybe they’re just stronger!

(See also: Posts That Might Be)

Cherry Blossoms

Driving south on Route 89 in Utah, specifically through the small towns, I noticed that many of the houses right on 89 had pretty cherry blosson trees in their front yards. They were pink and bright in the lovely sunshine on Easter morning.

For some reason I really liked seeing that adornment.

Later we talked about adornment with tattoos and piercings, and their moral right or wrongness at Leah’s folks’ place. I find them to be morally neutral, basically.

Does that make the cherry blossoms neutral? Why am I suddenly reminded of the discussion of the gas we pass conversation?

Sadly, we took no photos of the cherry blosson trees, but in my mind’s eye, there they are, pink and bright and beautiful.

(See also: Posts That Might Be)

Ingrown Toenail

Yeah, horrible. I have one again. It’s been a few years.

I cut my right toenail too short, then I pushed a gas pedal for 14 hours. This is a terrible state of affairs.

Must. Soak. Feet.

(See also: Posts That Might Be)

Tyler’s Red Vomit

Rolling down the 89, we’re suddenly in a teeny town, doing 35, mindful of the possibility that the local constable might want to give us and our California license-plated van a ticket, when suddenly we see this:

ATV on a Pillar

Which reminded everyone of the scavenger hunt game we had played looking for “farm equipment on a pillar” just the day before. I initially drive right past it — a block past it. We want to take a picture, one of us. I forget who. I pull over to the right and stop.

Then I make a u-turn and begin driving I drive a block, and then suddenly, from the back, Tyler says “Stop, stop” — there are some cars coming, and I do my best to make a left turn into the driveway, and Ty has his mouth covered, and is getting up from the back set and going towards the door, now opened for him. He makes it to the door, then one step out, then SPLAT! — out comes Ty’s red gatorade. He had not been feeling well, so had declined breakfast, or that would have been there too.

I went into high-alert mode, what do we do? what can we do? And Leah says to me “it’s okay Joe” — which somehow snapped me back into reality and I was not amped up as though ready for a Code Blue at the hospital. I really don’t have a lot of experience with simple sick-kid stuff. If someone’s heart stops, I know precisely what to do. If someone stops breathing, I know what to do. But a simple vomiting episode or other child-crisis tends to bring in “Code Blue” Joe. I like to think that in the next kid-emergency moment, I’ll be able to be be ready and calm on my own.

(See also: Posts That Might Be)


I love that when flickr makes its’ 75 pixel by 75 pixel thumbnail of the San Diego Blog logo, the only letters showing are “ego.”

To wit:
San Diego Blog Logo

Word Terms of the Day

Two terms that are sort of fascinating the sort of odd, and which I thought were more widely distributed, and which I really like, are: “word finding” and “word salad:”

Word salad:

In the mental health field, word salad (originally from the German Wortsalat) is used to describe the symptom of confused, and often repetitious, language that is symptomatic of various mental illnesses. It is usually associated with a manic presentation and other symptoms of serious mental illnesses, such as psychoses, including schizophrenia. It describes the apparently confused usage of words with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them. In this context, it is considered to be a symptom of a formal thought disorder. In some cases word salad can be a sign of asymptomatic schizophrenia; e.g. the question “Why do people believe in God?” elicits a response like “Because he makes a twirl in life, my box is broken help me blue elephant. Isn’t lettuce brave? I like electrons, hello.”

Word finding:

Word-finding is a common, and often annoying, problem. Almost every head-injured person has this problem to some degree. Head-injured people may talk normally; speech flows evenly and it’s easy to understand. But they’ll have this very odd problem–they’ll know the word they want to say but just can’t come up with it. Professionals call this “anomia,” which means “can’t name”. Everyone has an occasional anomia; those with a head injury have it frequently. It is particularly annoying if you are dealing with people all day long. For example, it will stand out if you’ve got to give a lecture to 100 people and you stumble over words. You develop poor self-esteem because you’re just not sure of what you’re saying anymore. A variation on this problem is that you say the wrong word. Instead of saying, “pass me the spoon”, you might say “pass me the noon.” Or, instead of using a similar sounding word, you may use an entirely wrong word. Instead of “pass me the spoon,” you may say, “pass me the car.” You may not even recognize that you said the wrong word until people point it out to you.

Photo from the Egghunt

Egghunt: Tony, Devon, Alex

Previously: Hiding Eggs 

Not a great knight

Was up all night working, not a great night.

Sometimes it’s really hard to believe that each day is a new day.

JavaScript trim() function

it’s hokey, but it’s a nice basis for some other things. why didn’t i go looking for this last night when i was slamming my head against stupid code? ugh.

function trim(str)
    while(''+str.charAt(0)==' ') {
    while(''+str.charAt(str.length-1)==' ') {
    return str;

“Click to activate and use this control”


This is the latest in a series of failures in the last 24 hours.

Eolas and Microsoft are cheesing me off this afternoon.


Track meet, some work, chilling.

The day is a little somber. Theme: atonement. They say time heals all wounds. I have trust that that is so.  Though I can scarcely believe it at the moment. Affirmations, don’t fail me now!

I need a haircut, too. Self-serve, or splurge on the real thing?

Decisions, decisions.

Running On Empty

One of my favorite movies is Running on Empty. I don’t remember the first time I saw it, but it never fails to move me. It’s about a couple who are 15 years on from a bombing of a napalm factory. They’re on the run, wanted as terrorists. The wrinkle is that they have two kids, boys, one is maybe 10, the other 17. The movie is about the older boy’s struggle with living in a world he did not make. It’s one of River Phoenix’s best roles.
I identify with the movie. Not just one character, the whole movie.
We moved around a lot when I was a kid. We were itinerant. Always moving. The father reminds me of my dad. And the father reminds me of me. He’s circumspect, he’s cautious, he tries to defend the family. He does what he needs to because it’s what’s right. But he’s inflexible, and he always knows best.

My father moved us around a lot when I was a kid. I think I often felt like I had not made my world. What kid does? In retrospect I think I never felt in charge of my own destiny. I think maybe I never felt in charge of my own destiny until I hit my twenties.

The first time I felt intimidated by and proud of my independence was talking on the phone with my sister. I had moved away, to Charlottesville, to work at the University of Virginia. My sister called me, and she was crying. I remember her saying “it’s bad.” My parents were fighting and separated, and it was tearing my sister up. I was 22, and she was 15. I told her she could come and stay with me. I remember hanging up the phone and being shocked at the realization that I had an income, and if she wanted it, she really could move up and stay with me. As I write this I feel sad, thinking about that moment. My parents somehow got through that time in their lives, and together.
Back to the movie. River’s character plays music, and he wants to play music. He’s urged to apply to Juliard. He wants both things, a life outside, and his family.

But the setup of the movie, his family is on the run from the FBI. It’s a great story, and not an impossible scenario. I know there were activists from the 1960s on the run from their crimincal activities as late as the mid-1990s. It’s also a great archetype to use for the struggle between the loyalty to oneself versus loyalty to family.

This is a movie I want to share with the whole family.

The movie makes me cry. The father tells the kid what to do, and the kid doesn’t do it. The father is fun and charming and smart, and he can steamroller the son. The kid is wary of everyone. Taught to be paranoid, taught to NEVER TRUST ANYONE. I still have these threads in my personality.

This is a not much of a movie review, is it?

It’s said that our strengths are our weaknesses, and this is most certainly true. My youth and teen years were the foundation of my life, and in that sense I love them. But I hate them too. So much I regret and am angry about. I look at this film and I see a mataphor for my life. There’s hope in this movie, hope that one can move from the life one has, to the life one wants. And in no small part, this requires the help of family, and forces outside the family. And it requires there to be some trust. And of course, such transitions are always painful.

It’s a good movie. Nobody’s a caricature. They seem like they’re real people, with real motivations and real complexities. Movies distort life. One dimensional characters simplify things in a way that people aren’t. We’re dynamic in ways even we don’t seem to kow about.

The past few months I’ve been getting to know myself again, and not everything is stuff I like. However, I’ve been changing and evolving, growing and learning. Life moves on. As ever, I say “onward” as a way to recognize that life is a journey, a complicated one. A hard one. A wonderful one.



Overcast today. Good day though.

On the agenda: work.

On the head: uncut hair.

On my mind: serenity.

Semicolon’s Dream Journal

Sometimes people think your stuff is cool. And somehow, an old illustration of mine inspired a blog post by the enigmatic Craig Conley. Check it out! Abecedarian Web Log: Semicolon’s Dream Journal

I feel honored! And looking at the illustration, which I think was drawn in maybe 1990 or so, I actually still quite like it.

I wonder if there really is a “Dusty, Arizona?”

Leahpeah featured on BlogHer Blog

Pretty cool : Leahpeah: Intrepid Internet Interviewer

BlogHer mission is:

to create opportunities for women bloggers to pursue exposure, education, and community.

Comment is free: The birth of ambient

Brian Eno on how he came to create ambient music, which has since evolved into what we think of as electronica. Brian Eno is an inspiration to me.

Comment is free: The birth of ambient
So I started thinking about music as something functional… that existed as part of the design of your life. Just like the way you decorated your room or the kind of furniture you chose or the kind of lights you used. They were all kind of issues about how you want to feel… so I wanted to make things that were panoramic in a certain way. Things that have a way of existing in the space and you enter them for a while and then you leave them for a while. I didn’t want this narrative thing to be part of the record so much.

In early 1975 I got hit by a taxi as I was crossing the Harrow Road and was immobilised for a while. When I was lying in bed Judy Nylon brought me a record of renaissance harp music and put the needle on when she left. My speakers were a bit dodgy and one of them had broken – and it was also raining quite heavily outside and the volume wasn’t very high. I couldn’t get out of bed and was irritated, thinking ‘I can hardly hear this music’. Then gradually I started to think ‘well, there it is – it’s going to play for the next 20 minutes anyway’.

Suddenly it started to seem like a really beautiful way of listening to music – instead of dominating the environment it became part of a soundscape. The rain was hitting the windows and occasionally I would hear the loudest parts of the harp notes appearing like the tips of icebergs in this sonic ocean. And from that I really developed the whole Ambient idea – which was more an approach to listening than to composing. It was saying: ‘let’s treat music like painting’.

Now playing: Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain

Moorpark Youth Football (Moorpark Packers)

Moorpark Packers: Moorpark Youth Football: has been updated. There was recently some clarification about the formation of Moorpark Youth Football.


12 year old boys are to World of Warcraft as 15 year old girls are to MySpace

MySpace can be thought of as a massively multiplayer game, and World of Warcraft can be thought of as social networking tool. Either way you slice it: demented and sad, but social.

Well, since popular kids use either, maybe what used to be the domain of the nerds is now the domain of all.

Welcome to the future.

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