Saturday, February 28, 2004

Big Music shoots itself in the foot yet again

Beatles and Jay-Z For the last few days, I've been grooving to the beats of the Gray Album, D.J. Danger Mouse's artful mix of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album. The funny thing is, if it wasn't for EMI's ridiculous attempts to sue this album out of existence, I probably never would have even heard of it, let alone downloaded it. The music industry needs to get over its insane addiction to lawyers and focus on coming up with better ways to take advantage of digital music. The EFF has an interesting proposal for "voluntary collective licensing" of music on file sharing networks. Sounds like a good plan to me -- a lot better than continually paying lawyers millions to sue grannies and grade school kids.

Gotta fix that gaping hole on the upper left

Rearview Mirror I finally got around to putting together my visited states map. (Thanks for the inspiration, Laura.) It was harder than I thought, because I've never really kept track. Initially, for example, I had Vermont checked off, because I've traveled all over New England and just assumed I'd been there. But when I started thinking about it, the closest I could remember being was Plattsburgh, NY, across the lake. So to be fair I took it off the list, making it the only Eastern state I may not have visited.

As you can see, there's a gaping hole in the Northwest quadrant of the country. My cousin is getting married near San Francisco this summer, so maybe I'll try to fill in a few more states on that trip. I also have another cousin in Alaska who has a four-year-old daughter I've only seen in pictures. One of these days I want to make it up that way.

I tried doing "visited countries," but it hardly seemed worth it. The complete list (other than the US) is Canada, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Vatican City, and France (but only a tiny corner of France, so it felt wrong to check off the whole country.) I think I'm going to try to expand that list this year. I was briefly considering doing a last minute trip to England in the next few weeks due to crazy-cheap fares. But I procrastinated too long and the fares disappeared. So I'll probably wait until the summer or fall for my next international trip. Anyone got any good international travel ideas?

UPDATE: I just filled in Vermont without even leaving home! See entry above for details.

create your own personalized map of the USA or write about it on the open travel guide

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Sedalina started an lively debate about the gay marriage brouhaha with this post. An interesting read...

Mountains... Trees... Wildlife... Skiing...

Room with a view on Bryce Resort If you like those things, you should make Vail and Jesse happy by buying this house from them! Hey, it has its own domain name, so you know it's gotta be good!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Another way of looking at things...

Feeling a bit backward? Try out Elgoog!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Random Childhood Memories: Installment I

It probably started with a Hardy Boys book or some other literary opus where the characters made a daring escape through a tunnel. I decided I was going to start digging in the back yard. My parents had given me a set of orange-pained child-sized tools for Christmas, so I was well equipped.

The excavation commenced one afternoon. I applied myself vigorously at first. It soon became clear that the people who dig real tunnels probably aren't using a six-inch square spade designed primarily for sandbox use. I think the hole ended up being about a foot deep before I tired of this game. But not before I struck what I thought was a rich coal seam. More likely it was the leavings from someone's hibachi, but I entertained brief fantasies of retiring early from Elementary school and living out my life as a coal baron.

My dad eventually dug deeper and planted an azalea in the hole. That was the end of my tunnel-digging phase.

Another time, I was playing mountain climber on our back hill using a massive claw hammer that looked like a climber's pick. I swung a little too vigorously and embedded the claw in my ankle. 20+ years later, I still have a tear-drop shaped scar to remind me of that one.