Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bit Torrent Site to Work with Artists?

This is the kind of thing that will hopefully finally destroy the RIAA and the industry it represents.
Let the Over Analyzing Begin

Looks like Bob Dylan has a new album coming out and the deep readings have already started.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Celebrity Twittering

I found a good website via the Charlotte Observer yesterday. This site, called Valebrity, verifies whether or not that celebrity's Twitter, Myspace, Facebook or Bebo page really belongs to who claims it. There are a few fake celebrity accounts out there so Valebrity offers a unique service. The only celebrities I follow on Twitter are a couple of writers and funny ladies, Paula Poundstone and Joan Rivers and funny man, John Cleese. I may drop Joan Rivers, mostly what she does is pimp her QVC appearances. If you just have to follow one celebrity on Twitter may I recommend Paula Poundstone? Her tweets are pretty clever.

I was pleased to see that all of the famous people I have followed on Twitter have turned up to be real. I was pretty confident of that anyway because I had verified these were real accounts by visiting the webpages of each person I followed. It seems that is pretty much what this website does.
Library Dialog

Patron: I fought in the African campaign.
Charlie: Did you make it to Sicily?
Patron: No, I was captured in Tunisia and spent 27 months as a POW.
Charlie: Really? We don't hear that side of the story very often.
Patron: Yeah, I had a beautiful scenic trip across Europe courtesy of the German army.
I'm Awake Now

Nothing will shake me out of Monday morning drowsiness at work quicker than a library user that is one wrong word away from a meltdown. "Hmmm..." you think to yourself, "If I say the wrong thing I am going to have to taser this guy."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

360 Degree Downtown Charlotte Panorama

I love panoramas. I'll take a panorama of anything. For example:
Sharon and Fairview Foggy Panorama










I did find this sweet 360 panorama today and it's way cool. Super cool.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Redford Remembers Newman

This made me smile: "Mostly I'll miss the fun we had. We played lots of pranks on each other. I used to race cars, and after he took this rare Porsche I owned for a drive, he began to get into racing. He had incredible reflexes, and he got really good, but he talked so much about it that I got sick of it. So I had a beaten-up Porsche shell delivered to his porch for his 50th birthday. He never said anything, but not long after, I found a crate of molten metal delivered to the living room of my (rented) house. It dented the floor. I then had it turned into a really ugly sculpture and dropped into his garden. To this day, neither one of us has ever mentioned it."
I Horripilated

Once again Dick Cavett publishes a blog post that is a treat to read. This one is about his memories of his foray into magic during his teen years and the appearance of his favorite magician on his PBS show. Be sure to check out the video he posted. Amazing stuff. He also introduced me to a new word. The word at the top of this post.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mystery Solved?

I found a guy on Flickr who took race photographs back in the 70s and I asked him if he would take a look at my pictures. He thinks it's the November 1974 race in Ontario, CA. It matches up, I think.

In that particular race Richard Petty blew an engine. You can see him coming down pit road in a smoking car below.
Richard Petty on Pit Road




















Also, that race was won by Bobby Allison and this car taking a reverse victory lap appears to be Bobby's red, white and blue Matador.
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If he is right then we have in the picture below Bobby Allison, A.J. Foyt and Richard Petty nose to tail. How cool is that?
Bobby Allison, A.J. Foyt and Richard Petty


















The Flickr user that helped me out was this guy. I love the internet hive mind. I received three responses on my quest. One from a former NASCAR writer for the Charlotte Observer. That was really cool, he wrote about racing for a long time and has an a great blog where he publishes stories about his years on the circuit. As a race fan that moved to Charlotte in the 90s I treasure accounts of days before I even knew what NASCAR was. I really wish sometimes I grew up in Charlotte and had spent my childhood and teen years going to races in the 70s and 80s.
This looks very cool


Thanks to Mike Woz for the link.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Woody Allen Takes on Modern Problems

O! M! G! This is hilarious. Makes me want to go back and hear some of his old stand up routines again. This piece in the New Yorker reminds me of his Moose bit.
Vroom Vroooooom

I purchased ten vintage NASCAR slides a couple of days ago. I have no idea were these were taken. It's obviously a track over one mile long. I was hoping it might be Charlotte but I see no dog leg or grass on what appears to be the front stretch. I wonder if it's Dover? All I do know is that there is a good chance that these were taken in 1977 because the car in front here is Bobby Allison in his #12 Matador and from what I have found so far he drove that number on that particular model in 1977. That's Bobby at the far left of this photo. I'll be posting a series of these over the next few days.

I am wondering if the pictures are from this race.
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Here's Richard Petty having some problems with his car. He still won a lot of races in the late 70's so narrowing it down by crappy races by Petty will help me figure out where this race was run.
Richard Petty on Pit Road

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They're taking the hobbits to Isengard

I think I may have posted this before but it still makes me laugh.
What a Racket

A couple of months ago I had a moving violation, I ran a stop sign. It was my first violation in over ten years. For five years now I have been with the same insurance company and I haven't made a claim the whole time I have been with them. I have been paying $500 a year to insure my 1989 Honda Civic. I received in the mail yesterday my new policy for the year. My new rate is now $850 a year. I am shocked even though I probably shouldn't be. I know that in general $850 a year is less than many pay for insurance but my insurance is the bare minimum allowed by law, no collision. I think I might start an automobile insurance company because that is a great scam, and it's legal.
A day trip to Asheville, NC

Getting up at 6 am and driving two hours may not be ideal but when you get to spend the day at a great workshop and your lunch hour and breaks taking panoramic shots of downtown Asheville then the day could be worse. It's impossible for me to say how much I love downtown Asheville.

I took this shot out behind the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville.
Another Asheville Panorama











This was taken by the Civic Center. I saw Bob Dylan and Tom Waits at the Civic Center. If you look closely in the right of the photo you can see someone being interviewed by local television.
Asheville Panorama
Media Bias

It can be something we dwell on too much but I think it's those on the right that make more noise about perceived media bias and I think it something that needs to be said on occasion.

Everyone brings their own bias to anything they do but I can't think of any high profile media outlet as obviously and happily biased as Fox news. From what I understand an attempt at being unbiased and doing fair reporting is a fairly new idea in journalism. It was progressive or "lefist" ideals that brought about this new journalism and it's the right that is attempting to bring back yellow journalism. Someone needs to punch that Beck on Fox News right on the mouth. He's as dangerous as they come.

I've seen right wingers claim that NPR is biased and what you get on NPR is damn good reporting that presents both sides of a story. This is what Edroso is referring to. Right wingers get upset over NPR not really because of any bias but simply because they don't adhere to a right point of view. Right now, in the rhetoric of the right, fair reporting is being called biased and that needs to be pointed out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Left Wing Bias!!!

I've been trying to articulate for a while how I feel about the utter nonsense spouted by the far right concerning the so called leftist main stream media. I found today a perfect summation of my view on it. Roy Edroso calls it "the conservative rage over institutions which they perceive to be beyond their control and hence call biased." Dang, I wish I had said that.

Road Work Shot from the Car


Road Work Shot from the Car
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Is it dangerous to take photographs while driving?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Same Old Bullshit

From Salon.com

"Last month, the same government that says it "cannot just abrogate" executives' bonus contracts used its leverage to cancel unions' wage contracts. As the Wall Street Journal reported, federal loans to G.M. and Chrysler were made contingent on those manufacturers shredding their existing labor pacts and "extract[ing] financial concessions from workers." In other words, our government asks us to believe that it possesses total authority to adjust contracts at car companies it lends to, and yet has zero power to modify contracts at financial firms it owns. This, even though the latter set of covenants might be easily abolished."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cool Contest

I didn't know this but this month is Love Your Indie Bookstore Month and the writer, Joe Hill, is sponsoring a contest that is designed to get people to purchase books from their local indie bookstore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The sea was angry that day, my friends

I love this scene. One thing I've noticed about Seinfeld is the audience reaction. Sometimes, like in this scene, you can hear people laughing so hard that they're almost screaming.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Duke Basketball

You know, it's not the program I don't like. It's those fans. If you ever needed a reason to not like Duke I present to you this picture of the Father allowing his son to cry like a baby during a Duke loss. I wish I knew where the original post I read when this picture first hit the internet is located. The poster said essentially that instead of holding his crying son and looking sad a good father would be telling his son that it's only a freaking college basketball and it's nothing to get all that upset over. Something like that.
Blue Homer

Homer Simpson as as Dr. Manhattan. This slayed me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Old Slides

I've been shopping on eBay recently looking for older slides to purchase. Since slides are originals and people tended to store them in firm boxes they seem to come out of garages and attics in pretty good condition. I bought my first box last week and the slides showed up over the weekend. There is no date but most of the shots are in the Tuscola County area of Michigan. They were advertised on eBay as being shot in 1970 but I don't see anyway to narrow it down that closely. I think early 70's is a safe bet. Here are a few.

This is the Deford Methodist Church. I can find little or no information on this church. The last reference to it from a Google search is 1967. Dig the outfit
Woman in Front of Deford Methodist Church





















I think someone may be moving from the Tuscola area because there are several shots taken from a car and there is this shot of some folks standing next to a U-Haul truck. I would think if you are going to take a bunch of shots from a moving vehicle you are more likely to be leaving that place.
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Here is a shot from a moving car. This is the picture that told me where these photos were taken. The Caro pharmacy and Oasis Tavern are located in
Caro, MI. I think the Oasis Tavern may still be there. Who knows about the pharmacy...
Downtown Caro, MI
























I like this picture. Driving through a rainstorm with someone's foot reflected in the window.
Rainy Streets and a Feet























I like this shot of the John J. Barden Hardware Store. I still am not sure what city this is in. I'm think either Cass City, Kingston or Caro.
John J. Barden Hardware




























The last picture I pulled out of the box was a nice surprise. This is a picture of Tiger Stadium, in Detroit, MI, taken from a moving car motoring down the highway right next to the stadium.
Tiger Stadium Shot from the Freeway























You can see a more contemporary view here. I think the overpass is blocking the angle that matches the picture from the slide.

View Larger Map

That was a fun little project. I think I'll do it again.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coach K

Viewing the Duke basketball coach in a positive light is verboten in my circle of Tarheel fanatics but there is a nice story about him at the NPR website. I had no idea he was a second generation American.
Another MP3

This song by the White Stripes was on the last mix CD I made. It's off their most recent album called Icky Thump. It explores a theme that Jack White has previously addressed, getting older. I added a little sample to the song and I really like how it fits.

Little Cream Soda by the White Stripes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another MP3

One of my favorite truck driving songs is a song called I'm a Truck by Red Simpson. Yes, I do like enough truck driving songs to claim a few favorites. If you find yourself fascinated by Red Simpson there is a write up about him here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is a test

You can hear a Dirtbombs song here. I re-added the Yahoo player and I want to see if it works. I didn't mention before but the name of the song is "Ever Loving Man" and it's off their most recent masterpiece called "We Have You Surrounded." I hope they don't mind if I post this mp3.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

You know, I like my retired neighbor. He's friendly, he likes to laugh and he's generous. But he's a little too addicted to his lawn and the toys he uses to work on it. When I took this picture this morning he had been blowing leaves for almost an hour. It's frustrating when you go sit on the porch on a 70 degree day and before you get far into your reading he's out there either mowing his lawn, pressure cleaning his sidewalk or blowing leaves. Give a brother a break. You do gotta dig his uniform, though. He's not screwing around out there.

In response to what Walt said I will say this in my neighbor's defense, he does use an electric blower. This may have turned into a BB gun sniping incident long ago if he used a gas blower.
IMG_7694
A definition

If anyone ever asks you do define politician you should link to this story about our beloved congressional representative, Sue Myrick.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Web Presence

I've been working on a class I am going to give in April that is going to be about creating a web presence. I've been experimenting with Google's services and I found that at Google Sites you can create a personal website and link directly in documents from Google Documents. Pretty nifty. You can see what I threw together here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

New Web Project

I find this new project to be very intriguing. A website that actually answers factual questions rather than doing a basic web search. As a librarian this could be really helpful with some questions. For example, we often get a teenagers that come to the desk and say something like "I need to do a report on Anthony III." And I'll have to do a reference interview to determine just who exactly Anthony III is before I can continue. Sometimes there may be more than one Anthony III. If I can type "Who is Anthony III" into this new tool and get a quick answer then I'll know where to begin my real research.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Conan the Librarian
Originally uploaded by Darth Sillious

You see, Flickr is a community!

I think I look a little too much like Michael Douglas in Falling Down

What goes 'bang!' in the Night

Last night we were awoken by Melanie who had been awoken by the sound of a car wreck on the street that runs by our house. Wendell and our friend Barry had gone to a bar last night. Barry met Wendell here and they caught the bus to the bar. He went home via the bus and left his truck parked on the road. Around 3 am some assface barreled into Barry's truck with a red Chevrolet SUV. We rushed out to see if anyone needed any help and the SUV was empty. Hit and run. All that was left was the dust from the airbag and some really, really bad hip hop radio. I thought maybe it was a stolen car so some kid ran off. The cop said the keys were not in the car and the ignition had not been damaged so he thought it was the owner who will eventually call the car in stolen. That's why he's an American hero and not me.

Too bad the driver ran off because my friend's truck may have saved his life. The guy must have blacked out because he had to cross the center line to hit the truck and there were no skid marks. If the truck had not been there he would have smashed head on into a giant oak tree.

Another view of my scary flat top
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Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Snow Man Gets More Deader

Not much left of the bugger now
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I also have the worst flat top in the history of the world
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I think I look like Sergeant Hatred from the Venture Brothers.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Death of a Snowman

Wendell and Randy's snowman, as expected, did not fare well during the sunshine in the last few days. Now it is merely a lump of snow with a stick stuck in it.

This Morning
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This Afternoon
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Old Timey Baseball

I know I have mentioned the Christmas project Melanie and I did for her mother. In fact, I have more pictures to scan in before it's complete. I need to get on that. Below is a picture of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and Melanie's great grandfather on her Mother's side. He's the guy that banned Shoeless Joe Jackson for life.

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Do Not Piss These People Off

Did you happen to see the Daily Show last night? They ripped CNBC a new one. It was a varsity level up yours. Funny, accurate and biting. Comedy doesn't get any better. You can view the video here.
Awwwwwww

The future of Calvin and Hobbes. Found via John Scalzi.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mark Twain at the Library

On March 27th at 7 pm you can experience Mark Twain as seen through
the eyes of Dr. Elliot Engel. This event will also include refreshments and
a silent auction. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased only at the Morrison Regional Library. For more information you can call the reference desk at 704-416-5431.

The buzz on the street is that Dr. Engel is amazing as Mark Twain and this small intimate performance is not to be missed. Tickets are limited so get yours...today!
Davey Allison in, I think, 1992 at Rockingham, NC
Davey Allison
New Look

I had to pick a wider template because I was having a heckuva time getting my last one to do what I wanted. It's going to be nice to be able to post larger pictures and not have to worry about them fitting into the blog.

Dachshund on Couch

Geoff Bodine exiting turn 4

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Embed more than one video on your website

Just found this helpful tool today. You can embed various videos from different websites at one time on your blog or website. Pretty cool. The site is here
Tom Tomorrow nails it again

I've had some online debates with some crazed right wing lunatics on some boards and, yeah, it's pretty pointless. At one point once when evolution came up I stopped debating and just said, "You're wrong." There will be no "equal time" when there is no science that backs up a belief that is being passed off as an opinion.

This quote from Tom Tomorrow about journalism helps: "That’s how right-wingers want to live, in an information-free zone in which facts are supplanted entirely by opinion, in which there’s no need to hear from a reporter on the ground in Fallujah as long as Rush Limbaugh has an opinion on the topic. But it’s not how I want to live."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sharon and Fairview


Sharon and Fairview
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

One more post for today. We went for a walk and I took this panorama at the intersection of Sharon and Fairview. It's gotten real pretty out with the sun shining.

New Figurine

I've been wanting to do this and a snow day is the perfect time to do a time lapse movie of a rotating figurine. This is Rorschach from the Watchmen comic which is soon to be released movie.
The Great Blizzard of 2009

We are still hanging in there. The Mountain Dew and the coffee are holding out just fine. The sun has come up and it is releasing us gradually from the deep freeze we have endured. Local news has yet to report any fatalities. Us Carolinians are nothing if not a hardy folk. There is no precipitation anticipated for the next couple of days and for that we are thankful. The low tonight is supposed to be 13 and we are much afeared. We just got back from a walk and our noses are really cold. We endure.

Frozen Flowers. Can you feel their pain?
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Walking Down the Street
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A Tree
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Melanie Gazes up with Wonder at the Snowman (now with cap)
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The Great Blizzard of 2009

It snowed and snowed and snowed last night. The trees in our backyard that our landlord never has trimmed were dropping limbs like leaves in autumn. The power flickered a couple of times and we lost power for thirty seconds once. Wendell and I stood by the road and watched cars drive by too fast. After I went to bed, Wendell and Randy built a snowman in the side yard. Then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It was pretty treacherous but we got through the night and today we rise in a wonderland of wintry type stuff. We are shut in. We have coffee and Mountain Dew. We will survive.

The Morning Sun Kisses the Tree Tops
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Wendell and Randy's Snowman
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Reverse Angle of Snowman
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See How Dark and Dreary it is?
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Long Meadow Road
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Wendell Had to go to Work
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A Firetruck Full of American Heroes
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The Snowman in Better Light
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Chris by the Snowman for Scale
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The Snowy Tree Across the Street
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Great Blizzard of 2009

It's been snowing for a few hours now. The school system has announced that they will be closed tomorrow. There's snow in the air and on the ground. So far everyone is safe but we get cold when we go outside. We will persevere.

Our Backyard
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The Driveway
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Ice Encrusted Trees
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The Backyard Again
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pano
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

OK, it's been raining off and on in Charlotte, NC for about 36 hours now. If it's going to snow, let it snow. Please, this gray rainy weather blows. If I wanted to live like this I would have moved to Seattle.



AIG

Wondering about how AIG screwed the tax payers? There is a nice article on the New York Times website. Thanks to Talking Points Memo for the link.