All posts by AJ

Like lemmings to the sea

I have joined the crowd. The flock. The herd. I say “baaaah,” and relish each syllable as it rolls off my tongue. I have added a hit counter. That way, I can know how many of you don’t come to read this rambling monolouge.

Like a good boy, I started the counter at 0 and left in the silly little ad link. I wouldn’t click on it if I were you. Like the naughty boy I truly am, I’ll be taking out the link to whereever once I feel like the crew of the mother ship has had ample time to probe my poor little blog. I actually doubt they’d waste their time. I mean, come on. If I had enough traffic, time, and talent, why (oh dear god, *why*?) would I put a silly little graphical counter on the Web page? And since I don’have enough of the holy trivecta, is it really worth a company’s time to make sure I’m toeing their particular line in the sand?

This is the same dilema faced by anyone who has pirated music on thier computer. To paraphrase one of my favorite bands:

Should it stay or should it go now?
If it stays, there will be trouble
If it goes, it will be double
Come on and let me know:
Should it stay or should it go?

Then, to be really accurate, a spokesman for the RIAA dressed all in black leather, and with plenty of dark makeup and black fingernail polish, should storm onto stage, grab a mic, and scream:


Here’s what I figure:

  1. The vast majority of working musicians are following their dream, putting their creativity and chutzpa out there on a daily basis. We should reward them for this because following dreams is the only thing that’s ever gonna change the planet for the better.
  2. Since we (I’m talking about Americans here; Sorry rest of the world; I don’t know how it is for you so I’ll be damned if I’m gonna speak for you (unless of course you want me too, in which case, I’d be more than happy to. Have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.)) all share this mass delusion that we have to have newer and faster boxes that sit unused on our desks at home and at work — how many billions of floating point operations per second does it take to type that e-mail, Bob? — I figure we can damn well afford a buck a song or so, especially if most of it goes to the artist.
  3. I have a small, cold, dark corner of my heart for big corporations that try to tell me how to live my life; try to take our (as in yours and mine) world away from us; wage business as war. So I say stick it to ’em, but only if you’re ready to live with the consequences, which right now are:

    “The online infringement of copyrighted music can be punished by up to 3 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned up to 6 years. Individuals also may be held civilly liable, regardless of whether the activity is for profit, for actual damages or lost profits, or for statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringed copyright.”
    So sayeth the RIAA.

    • Of course, the best way to stick it to the corporate man is to not buy his crap. Litteraly. Keep your dollars in your pocket. Come on, you can do it, big spender!
  4. If you really want free music, write your favorite artists, and make your case. Maybe you can convince them to post a few MP3s online. Maybe they’ll send you the complete box set of all their work ever. More likely, they’ll say “No, but thanks for asking.” So you’re back where you started, no harm done.
  5. Ask yourself this: If I was trying to make a living by sharing something beautiful I made with other people, how would I feel if they ripped me off?

*Gets off his soapbox and dusts himself off*

And now, to breakfast!


Alarm clock? I don’t need no stinkin’ alarm clock! I got me a scratch-a-frass. A harass-a-frass. An it’s freakin’ 4:50 in the morning and I dang well am not getting out of bed to feed-you-frass. An it’s 4:52 and I’m getting ready to open the briefcase for the launch-codes-a-frass. An it’s 4:55 and I’m stumbling down the stairs to feed your silly ass-a-frass.

And now I’m up. And I’ve figured out how to install the digicam on the Linux box. And how to use Flickr to upload pics. And I’ve posted. All before 6 a.m. It’s going to be one of those days, eh?

The flower lady

I was downstairs getting a drink at the water fountain when the flower lady came around the corner.

“Excuse me,” she said in a strident flower lady voice. “What’s the address here?”

I shruged and laughed a little. “I’m sorry. I really don’t know. Can I help you find someone?”

“Well, I’m looking for ‘Desnch… Lench… I don’t really know, but I thought maybe you could help,” she said, shaking her boquet-laden vase at me, coming dangerously close to soaking the carpet. “After all, the sign says ‘Information.'”

“Ma’am,” I replied, biting the corners of my mouth to hide my grin, “This is information technology. Maybe the campus post office can help you out.”

My name in lights

Check it out: I made the “Fab Five” of this month’s music reviews at with my thoughts about K.J. Denhert’s “Girl Like Me.”

I’ve been writing for for a couple months now, and dig it. My editor is really cool to work for; she’s very laid back and easy going, but also competent. Soon, I’ll even start getting paid for my words. Yee-haw!

Check out my other reviews there:

The birth of the Digital Beest

If P.T. Barnum was living today, he might say, “A pain-in-the-ass blogger is born every second.” And, of course, this second, I’m the pain in the ass. I’ll be coming to you from the tippy-top of Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior, and where ever else I roam, on a regular basis. You’ll notice I slyly didn’t mention what “regular” means. It could be daily. It could be regular like uncle-louie-in-the-outhouse-for-45-minutes-every-other-Tuesday. You choose. I’ll post. Maybe we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.