Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beware The Giant Halloween Tick

I later decided our Halloween door decor wasn't scary enough, so I added a Hillary In '08 button to the mix. I really should warn my dad in case he drops by.

The Power of Activia Advertising

In case you wonder just how great the impact of television advertising is on children, of any kind, to any demo, wonder no more. I bought some Dannon Activia yogurt the other day, since any mode of modern living, other than lying in my preferred vegetative state on a beach, tends to annoy my delicate innards. This new dairy product, in the TV ads, promised great things for one's GI system. As soon as my seven-year old saw something new in our refrigerator, she reached for a carton and said, 'Hey, I've seen this on TV." Then, despite an historical indifference to yogurt, she swiftly ate an entire serving, and quite seriously declared, "My stomach really does feels better now."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Georgia Political Podcast #14

Episode 14: Georgia's Drought, Genarlow Wilson, Presidential Race, Senate Race. Thanks Rusty and Amber!

Comcast Wants To Be First In Evil Empire Race

Not only is Comcast, our local cable provider and ISP to many, slowing traffic along their tubes, they're also geared to fire employees who talk about what they're up to. So of course the techno-geeks are talking! Good for them. And at least one reason to be glad you stuck with Bellsouth. From Ars Technica:
Ars has heard from multiple Comcast employees since the story broke, and they're all telling us the same thing. They're supposed to tell customers asking whether Comcast limits access to BitTorrent that the ISP doesn't block access to any application, including BitTorrent. Furthermore, tech support workers are supposed to toe the party line at all times, or they'll be fired. "Management informed anyone that discussed this issue with any customer or press associate that it would lead to termination," an internal tier 2 tech support worker told Ars on the condition of anonymity.
Full post here. And call your Atlanta Comcast office and see what BS they have to offer you: 404-266-2278. Does anyone know who handles PR for Comcast here? I'd love to blog about them too!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Working Hard To Coalesce The Georgia Blogosphere: Georgia Blog Carnival #21

With a hell of a lot of hard pro-bono work, Rusty Tanton somehow managed to wrap-up the increasingly vibrant, comprehensive Georgia blogosphere for the last two weeks. Rusty tackled the crazy job so well, he should keep at it! Take some time to browse the best of the local blogosphere with Georgia Blog Carnival #21. And thank Rusty for hosting too when you have a sec.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slim Chance To Host Spam & Grits Friday

In what promises to be a stunning showcase of fine Atlanta music throughout the ages, James Kelly will guest host WRFG's Spam & Grits show on Friday night from 8-10pm. No one knows country, cracker-roots music better'n James, a.k.a Slim Chance of longtime Atlanta honky tonkin' band, Slim Chance and the Convicts... and of numerous other ventures and pursuits to benefit humanity. Says Slim:
This show will feature only music by alt. country, folk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and various artists from the Atlanta and surrounding region. I have dug deep in the archives of the Slim chance Music Museum, and come up with a slew of great obscure and long lost material. There are artists who you haven't heard in years, artists who have moved away but maintain their Georgia identity, artists who are probably playing this weekend, and artists who have left this mortal coil, but are still missed. We're gonna have a lot of fun with this one friends, I promise.
Also, this is pledge drive time at WRFG. Support Atlanta's best alt-radio in whatever way you can. The number is (404) 523-8989. You can also pledge online here.

ATL's Mike Alvear On NYC TV

Relationship guru, Atlantan Michael Alvear, is getting ready to go big with his video sharing advice site BlabberMash.com, soon as it's out of Beta that is. He's already hitting the morning talk show circuit with a BlabberMash tag. Watch that here to find out what not to do, and what to do, if you find yourself falling for a friend. Yikes.

If you're a gay man, you likely know all about Mike. If not, you may recognize him from HBO's Sex Inspectors. I'm looking forward to seeing him all over the media soon with BlabberMash, which is for anyone of any sexual inclination or gender who might need just a little more feedback on their relationship, uh, trajectory. And don't we all?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Halloween Costume

Funny comments here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Georgia's, uh, Crisis Not Sexy Enough

Just when Sonny was, finally, back from Japan and seriously on his A-game, sounding every bit the powerful crisis-management leader, then wouldn’t ya know… along comes Schwarzenegger again, with his “perfect storm” sound bite and perfect bod and way-cooler disaster. Sonny got bumped down to second tier for America’s Best Crisis Governor all over national news last night.

We were reduced to a mere VO on ABC, while over on CBS’s second block, some babbling dope kept yammering about how “panicked” we were here in Georgia, yet failed to display anything remotely resembling this ”panic” we’re having. (You in a “panic?” I’m in a “panic” because my car has to go to the damn car spa — again.)

It’s just hard for a southerner to lead a national newscast nowadays when you’ve got Suzanne Summers and Ryan O’Neal evacuating estates in only their underwear. Between Malibu fires and Malibu Barbie (Valerie Plame Wilson) raging all over the national airways, Georgia’s water emergency never stood a chance at #1. Heck, even Tyler Perry’s movie dropped in sales over the weekend.

We are soooooo B-list.

This entry cross-posted at Peach Pundit.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kanuga Weekend

All Saints' Parish weekend at Kanuga Conferences, Hendersonville, N.C. October 6-8, 2007. Music by All Saints' Youth Choir.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Citizen Journalists -- Keep Hope Alive

Yes, it is kinda tough and often discouraging talking yourself up to get out there and commit citizen journalism yet again, for no apparent rhyme nor reason nor enough of an audience or YouTube views. So let me offer up my two news icons for you to gaze upon, Lara and Mike, who never fail to inspire me and to raise my hopes to another 40 page views. Let them too be the hot wings beneath your gonzo aspiring winds.
Plus, you know you'd look hot hot hot too in all that This Is Where The Story Is semi-military/native get-up!

And if all the above ain't doing it for you, there's always AC of course.

Chilton Music Project Scheduled To Rock Columbus, GA

Chilton Music Project

Saturday, October 27th, 2007
The Loft - 8 &11 pm
1032 Broadway
Columbus, GA 31901-5257

Nappy Cracker Head Ho In The ATL

This is an odd video, one with a rambling (and not terribly timely) political agenda. For instance, there's a Stomp And Stammer shout-out at 04:22, although Jeff Clark hates people with dreads. Then again, he hates people as a rule, so WTF. Here you go, Ho:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seeds and Stems Time

1.) Mary Gauthier tonight at the Five Spot in L5P. One of the best singer/storytellers you can experience, in such an intimate setting. Wish I could be there.

2.) They's Democrats here with guns! And smokin' cigarettes. And drinkin' shine, although that shine looks an awful lot like ice tea now don't it? Call the ATF. EPA. DEA. HHR. ICE. FBI. FDA. BLM. NPS. OSHA. And we ain't even started with State.

3.) I had the good fortune to catch cultural performer Sara Jones live about a year ago -- a master of contemporary global accents. Catch some of 'em here now.

4.) Southern Political Report gets a new site design. They're still woefully lacking in social media tools though. Hope that's next.

5.) Drought continues despite rain.

6.) Join Atlanta blogger Bernita Smith as a Friends of Nita in her fight against her breast cancer by visiting her Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team page here. Her team walks on October 27th at Atlantic Station at 8am. Nita is so many things to so many people in the South. Now's when she needs us the most, and you know it's usually the other way around!

7.) Add your own stuff for the week.

Chattering Class Rebellion

Blame it on Pledge Drive. I just stay cranky during Pledge Drive. Waking up to WABE locals yammering financial guilt into my ear at 6am does not make for a happy yupster. Not on top of having just been buffeted by confounding dreams of guilt and rage.

My karma's been all wrong lately, and I just had this overwhelming wave of despair come over me this morning with my coffee that things were just not going right at all, despite the (good?) news of Benhazir Bhutto's emotional return to Pakistan.

What with the drought and the State fighting so with The Feds (that kinda shit's just not funny to us Southerners), and this rain-tease God's working on us, and my kid having a meltdown this morning over whatever she wanted to wear to school being "too hot on her back" (I draw the line at backless halter tops and bikinis in elementary school), and this grossly dead tree in our condo yard that could fall on units and cars and cause lawsuits to the board members (me) if the board doesn't do something to get it down soon, and this guy I have a wicked-bad crush on who lives halfway around the world and doesn't even know I exist, and the fact that every woman I know my age, well almost, has The Cancer, and it's just a matter of time before it's me, and the brakes are now really squealling on the Volvo...

So what's a soccer mom to do to right things in her world? Well, I went right to The New Yorker and got myself a tattoo. I swear I feel better already.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Directions To Anderson Cooper

In what surely has to be one of the stranger emails I've ever gotten, I clicked-on the directions to the screening party for Planet In Peril I'd never been invited to in the first place (tonight at the Georgia Aquarium at 6pm) and... voila... AC360 himself!

What a total tease this non-invitation was though as even though the bizarre email also included a full alphabetical listing of invitees who had previously RSVP'd in time to get a slot at tonight's premier, AC was not on the list -- proving once again Atlanta has no celebrities worth trying to con your way into anything over.

The Family Reality Blog

Atlanta poet, Tania Rochelle, runs a family blog. At first glance, it's clearly Tania's wickedly clever, jaundiced eye on her own life -- an interactive journal she keeps on-the-run as a mother, wife, daughter, writer, provider, observer, grocery shopper, teacher, supporter, recovered something, thinker, pet-lover, runner, worrier, you-name-it.

Then you come to realize that seemingly ALL of her numerous family members are joining in the blog reindeer games with their often contradictory and hilarious comments on every post she takes. Everyone from a grandmother, Mamoo, to a teenager daughter's latest boyfriend. You'll get to know them all if you're a regular to The Stone's Colossal Dream. Seemingly everyone she's responsible for, or who's responsible for her, or whom she knows intimately chimes in daily with their personal POV about Tania's World -- and exactly how they fit into the acknowledged zoo of it all.

Coming from a family that takes interest in, let alone something as ghastly as personal involvement in, one another's lives to disconnected heights of avoidance and contact akin to contagion units at the CDC, I marvel at Tania's blog's participatory, familial nature via new media.

With frequent visits, it's easy to find yourself feeling that you're a part of Tania's wacky suburban mayhem, where reflection and chatter and banter and argument and the spiritual and the mundane and seriousness and loopy camping trip behavior all reign and vie for more more more attention throughout any given day.

Tania's passed on her participatory, literate and literary tendencies to her oldest daughter, Sadie, who's now blogging from Costa Rica, where she's happily exploring the landscape, the populace, and herself.

Enjoy! It'll make you feel good, trust me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Red For Burma

The Shelbinator has gone and done something cool. Again. He changed his blog masthead "red for Burma." Maybe he'll share the graphic for our own blogs if we're nice to him? Well, he might share with you. (I tried last week to get everyone to change their Twitter icon to that of a monk. I think 2 people did it. Social media once again fails to obey my orders. Hmmmppphhh.)

How about "red for Myanmar?" And I passed that same beer can pile on SC Hwy. 11 last weekend. Least there was one that looked just like it on 11 just to the east side (?) of Walhalla. You couldn't miss it it was so darn shiney.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Train 'Em Up Early For The Campaign Trail

Stopped by the Hillary Clinton/John Lewis-endorsement today in Atlanta with my kid in tow. I figure when she's about 10, she'll be able to pull in a real camerawoman's wages.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Green Media and CNN

If you caught JMS on AC360 last night, you may, if you are the hardcore media junkie I am, have wondered how much energy was consumed to get that two-way shot with Stipe in Athens up to AC in NYC. A lot, I can assure you, given the price of gasoline used to transport a full MSM crew around Georgia.

Let's assume that a CNN crew based out of Atlanta was sent for the day to Athens, GA to set-up the shot. That's using XXX gallons of fossil fuel, right? In the kind of oversized vehicle needed to schlep all their gear back and forth. (Let's also assume no plane fuel was involved in the making of those TV minutes though, as that would be just thousands of gallons of fossil fuel burned, as opposed to mere hundreds.) And costs involved for that Athens-to-NYC air time were at least in the medium thousands. At least.

Meanwhile, CNN could have leveraged a terrific Green Media Moment (you read it here first; so yeah, you use it, I'll sue the pants off you) to do that live shot, which BTW was not live, but merely live-to-tape as we say in the biz. Notice the nice natural light on Stipe's shot, who was in the same time zone as a 10pm EDT Cooper; that was cool though because doing the shot outdoors saved plenty by not utilizing those energy-guzzling indoor lights.

Instead of incurring the costs for the (fossil) fuel, the superfluous personnel, and the ludicrously expensive satellite feed/uplinking capability needed to get Stipe onto AC360 last night, whereby he could then assist in the pimping of the upcoming green special, Planet In Peril, CNN could have had Stipe fire-up his laptop, plug a DV camera into it, get a wi-fi signal, jump on some live streaming platform like Ustream.tv, and voila -- live GREEN TV! Albeit via the Internets of course, but live or live-to-tape, and totally cool and totally pimp-able for being greener than the rest. A win-win for all. Even the marketeers!

Now of course there would be some energy resources expended to power the Internets-related tools that Stipe and CNN needed to employ to get the great, now-green media to everyone who was seeking such last night, but energy costs would have been drastically lower overall. And think if that laptop could have been... say... solar powered! Now we're talking Green Media, folks.

All the above said though, R.E.M.'s song put the soul into the CNN pictures we were seeing last night. There's energy and power in that kinda human resource that's immeasurable. Let's hope those kinds of energies are renewable, 'cause that's what we'll be left with when the other kinds are gone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

R.E.M. Fans Take Note!

A previously unreleased R.E.M. song, I take it a new one, will be debuting tonight on the I Dream Of Anderson Cooper show. This song will be used in the Planet in Peril special that commences October 23rd.

CNN's got a winner in this one -- women are going to go bonkers, globally. Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Corwin all in one do-gooder-adventure-ist televised romp! My kid, who's seven, is absolutely mad for Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin, so they can pull from not only the news junkie, eco-minded (read to advertisers: deep pockets) crowd, but the Hannah Montana tween demo too.

Like I'd let her stay up that late, but if I had TeVo, I'd tevo it for her at least.

Latest '08 Presidential Candidate Poll Results

Matt Towery of Insider Advantage’s Southern Political Report (who has yet to get the Share Your New Media memo and continues to employ un-embeddable video on his site. Heck, he’s yet to get any sharing media memo as there are ZERO sharing tools on the site from what I can tell) has the latest and greatest data on how the ‘08 Presidential candidates are playing down south… and elsewhere.

Matt’s poll results, and fabulous preacher-man hairdo, are here. Good news for Edwards and Thompson somewhere in there. Clinton and Giuliani strong, strong, stong in FL and SC.

Deeper analysis of I Know What Fred Did At The Debate Last Night is here. But I’m addicted to these gosh darn wacky webcasts. There’s something so ______________ about them. Fill in the blank with YOUR bons motes and priceless feedback.

NOTE: This post cross-posted at PP too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Let's Pick On The AJC! Installment #853

I've heard, time and time again at various press-related functions, the good folk from Cox Media Plantations say news coverage is all going hyper-local, so thus they are too. So let's take a look at just where they've not bothered to "go local" -- on a day when the AJC.com's top, above-the-fold story is about Paula Abdul's makeup. (It was there early this morning, trust me.) Or when they do go hyper-local, it's semi-pointless. Hell, they can't even do "southern."

1.) The NYT had a cover story yesterday about a very dangerous home improvement product that lingered on the shelves of Atlanta-based Home Depot. Not only was the product, Stand 'N Seal, sold in Home Depot stores long after the product was recalled, the company that manufactures the hyper-dubious ingredient in the bathroom sealer product is based in... you got it... Georgia. But we get... Paula Abdul's pimple coverage instead.

2.) When churches throughout Atlanta had their annual pet blessing services to mark the Feast of St. Francis Assisi (historic pet-lover), and a delightful, heartwarming photo-op any 'ole time and place, the AJC runs a wire-service picture of a Golden Retriever in a church in San Francisco. Who needs to get out of the house and down the road a piece for a dog sitting in any church pew along Peachtree Road? Especially when Buckhead has more Golden Retrievers per household than any other place on the planet.

3.) Possibly the most head-scratching omission though is the failure of the AJC, a paper that helped shaped American history by its coverage of all-things-civil-rights, to send one of their own to Jena, LA to cover the civil rights march that happened there on September 20, not here. Rather, they relied on wire service reports the day of the march, choosing original reporting only for... the hyper-local perspective! Too bad that in this case the hyper-local was never where the heart of that story lay. How much can a Motel 6 in Louisisana possibly impact the bottom line?

Local v-blogger Amani Channel did bother to cover Jena, LA though. On assignment for HDNews. Twice. Here's just one of his many fascinating, personal, indie packages from the scene for his blog, MyUrbanReport, proving once again that blogs are now the best place to get your local, in-depth news coverage and analysis. Need more on the Grady crisis? Forget Cox Plantations; try Grift's crib.

NOTE: Once again I find that the best way to work your way through a social media-induced funk is to blog your way out. Confounding medium, eh?

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Plague Rages On

Since Diane's death, three women I know, friends all under 45, have now been diagnosed with The Cancer. In just a few short months. This is starting to get to me. The Cancer. I'm going to go read more about Blackwater to cheer myself up.

The Great Experiment

I see no real power in social media. No burning, critical business applications either -- for the time being. Sharing media? Yes, there's power in that I suppose, but it all depends on the content. Is any of it worth sharing? I'm going to wind down this experiment. I just simply do not feel like blogging. It's starting to bore the fuck out of me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Show The Power of Social Media

Instead of your typical, same 'ole same 'ole icons, avatars and pictures on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Second Life, wherever... why not change them all, for a day or so, into Buddist monks? A terribly simplistic, but necessary show of solidarity for the people of Burma who seek to be free. Be the monk that has been vanished, symbolically at least. So when Anderson Coopers asks again on CNN, "Where have all the monks gone?" they can be conjured from all over the world.

Photo from the NYT. (And NYT, please, please, please don't sue me just yet. Let's just see if we can pull this thing off, k? Take one for the team, right?!)

Thanks For The Oldie, Catherine

Cath, I'm headed back to Kanuga this weekend. I go as always with great trepidation of treading on sacred ground and ghosts. And hearts. I hope as always mine holds up. It hasn't failed me yet. God, how strong we must always, constantly be. Then again, that is what we were tasked to become, eh? Sigh... But this time, I take my daughter with me. The legacy will be required to burn strong in her too. The dubious gifts I casually give away.

Music Industry Still Stuffing Genies Back In Bottles

No offense to our fave Lady at the Bar, Sara, but what planet do lawyers come from? This record label attorney says we're "stealing" when we copy our own music, because that cuts them outta the loop one more time again. I guess record labels will be asking the government to bail them out next too. Especially given the new Radiohead business model just unleashed this week. Take a number. (Or in the Radiohead case, pick a number.)

Pariser (attorney for Sony BMG) noted that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise, which leaves the company particularly exposed to the negative effects of file-sharing. "It's my personal belief that Sony BMG is half the size now as it was in 2000," she said, thanks to piracy. In Pariser's view, "when people steal, when they take music without compensation, we are harmed."

Pariser has a very broad definition of "stealing." When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own.
That full article here. As always, Ugly Bobby weighs in with the straight-up-and-in-yo-face analysis:

Oh, you know that Cupertino company. The one that RUINED THE BUSINESS! Yes, everybody wanted CDs and they developed this iPod contraption and now everybody wants files. Is this really Apple's fault? Or did they just seize an opportunity? More to the point, have the majors constantly SQUANDERED opportunities?

Is the Internet the end, or the beginning? Is it really true that no one can get paid online? Or do we just need a better business model? Do bands have to survive on tours? What about composers, non-touring artists...are they FUCKED? The majors would say so.
And the dead-tree news people think they've got it bad. Ha. So after reading Bobby's blog, where he writes about how great it was to hear Pete Townsend/The Who's song, Pure and Easy, again (he heard it via satellite radio I believe), the power of INTERNET-RELATED SUGGESTION works its many charms on me, again, and I'm off to download that very song. I too haven't heard it, also a fave of mine, in so many years.

Who profits from this particular action? You? Me? Us? Pete's kids? A monk in Burma? Just comment here and I'll burn you a copy too. Come to think about it, where's Pete when you need him the most? Downloading kiddie porn? And where's the Dali Lama? Hanging out at Emory? Jeez...

UPDATE: Realizing I still only have Who's Next on LP, I ended-up downloading the entire album. Let the snowballing begin. It sounds so fucking great again! Once was a note - listen...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Save The Porches!

The house/office (they're one in the same now to me) of my dreams is mostly a porch. A series of wrap-around porches really. I grew up with no A/C and have yet to really embrace it, except on the most sweltering days, such as some we had this last summer in Atlanta. A/C makes my nose drip. One reason I doubt I could ever go back to working for The Man is for the summers I've wasted shivering in sweaters in front of space heaters, trapped in ugly office buildings chilled to some environmentally insane 68 degrees.

I'd prefer my dream porches overlooking a pristine intercoastal waterway, with most of 'em also screened-in for summertime use down South. I always wonder at the lack of screened porches in high-density subdivisions and other forms of geographically-clueless architecture. Where are the folk gonna sit on a nice southern, mosquito-ridden summer night and yap and drink amongst themselves when they get claustrophobic from too much A/C-related enclosure? Or what if there was a long power outage in the middle of a sweltering summer? Where you gonna sleep if not on a porch cot?

In related matters, I was drawn to this article about post-Katrina housing build-back projects in Biloxi because it seems that whoever designed this house (in this case Brett Zamora from Architecture for Humanity) didn't immediately check all the dwelling's Southerness at the door. This house just looks "right." It looks inherently Southern. The delighted homeowner thought so too.

Ms. Parker and her children were drawn to the “Blox,” a design by Brett Zamore that reminded them of their old neighborhood, lost to the storm. “It looked cozy and comfortable, like something that would fit right into Biloxi,” Ms. Parker said. “And the porches! I’m an outside person. I love the porches.”

Full story here.

photo borrowed from The New York Times

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bowling For Democracy -- And Off The Bus

Off The Bus installment #3 is fresh from the fields to your screen, Or click here if you're having trouble seeing:

A Breath of Fresh Georgia Political MSM Air

Hope sproings eternal that there will once again be good, readable, analytical, political writing about Georgia that reflects the mood of the contemporary political scene, and not just chronic geezer-rambling about something someone felt 30-years ago. From Walter Jones at the Morris News Service, an unusual reporter in that he actually gets out of the office every now and then to place a finger to the winds (of change).

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin admits now that the Democratic Caucus was too shocked to formulate a strategy for leveraging what remaining power it retained as a voting bloc of legislators.

"It took us a year or so to realize we weren't in the majority," Porter quipped recently at his fundraising reception in an Atlanta watering hole frequented by Democrats, Manuel's Tavern. Democrats squawked when the Republicans changed the legislative rules, underfunded the per-pupil school formula and toughened eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.

Other than a few lines in news stories as the loyal opposition, though, all their noise amounted to little. The only real horsepower they could muster on the floor of theHouse and Senate was to withhold the super majority required to pass the handful of constitutional amendments the GOP kept introducing.

Then came the 2006 election. It swept Democrats into the majority in Congress, which infused the Georgia party with a sense of possibility.

Read on here.