My Wrong Rant

Ten years ago – back in 1995, I wrote a letter to Wired magazine that they actually published. It was in response to their article about RealAudio. It still exists on the web here.

As with all things – you look back on them with 20/20 hindsight – and I’m actually kind of embarassed at this one. Wired keeps EVERYTHING on their web site, and this will live on as one of my legacies on the internet.

But I wanted to post now letting everyone know how so wrong I was. Of course I didn’t know we’d have iPods back then – or podcasting. But on so many levels I was wrong. We are a mere few years away from not only downloading traffic reports in real time to our mobile phones (which will serve as our MEDIA players – both audio and video). Podsafe music is beginning to get exposed and independent voices are being hear in podcasts – all pointing to the demise of the radio and music industries as we know them today.

It’s such a portable media world, and back then I didn’t see it. I’m not sure if anyone else did – but I didn’t. Dang.

But – is IS kind of funny to look back on, if you think about it.

–*Rob

Scent of Whomever

Here’s an odd pet peeve of mine. I hate when people wear cologne, after shave or perfume, and I have to then shake their hand. Why? Because inevitably the odor of said scent attaches itself to my hand. Then if I put my hand up to my face to scratch and itch on my nose I can smell that person’s “scent”.

Something about it drives me batty. I’ve noticed also since I started having to touch other people’s PCs at work that after I touch their mouse- their scent seems to linger on there as well. (This seems to happen most with women who have lotion sitting on their desk).

Is it me or is there something disgusting about picking up someone else’s scent on you? I don’t think I’m germophobic, though it certainly creates a “reminder” that I have touched someone else’s possibly germ-filled hand.

Can anyone relate? Or am I just odd about this? Maybe it’s because I choose not to wear any scent myself. I don’t know…

–*Rob

Free Speech

So if you’re a regular reader you probably saw my post about our house buying experience. In that post, I took the realtor to task – so much so that it ended up being the topmost Google result if you googled the realtor’s name and the word “sucks”.

The realtor called me today and felt that I was misrepresenting the situation, and since I did not know what was going on behind the scenes, that I really did not have the full story. He did mention the word “legal action” which of course got my attention.

Now – I know that I was well within my constitutional rights to leave what I posted on the web site, and during my initial conversation with the realtor, I told him he’d be more than welcome to leave comments to dispute what I had said.

After some thought, and another conversation with the realtor, I modified the post. Certainly I did not have the full story, and it is possible that they had issues with the sellers as well. Upon further reflection, I did think about something I tell people a lot – there are many sides to every story – in this case – our side, the realtor’s side, the seller’s side – all of which in some combination make up the truth.

I think if legally challenged – my opinions would have stood up to the test of the First Amendment – but honestly – I didn’t want it to go that far. Lawyers cost money, and now having a mortgage, money is obviously tight. Was I scared? Somewhat.

I’m in a bit of a fog right now – I’ve never been challenged in such a way before. I’m not sure if I did the right thing or not. Feel free to comment if you wish….

–*Rob

Why I Love/Hate Disney

Ok parents….you should be able to sympathize with me on this.

Disney’s movies are great. Melissa loves The Little Mermaid, Dumbo, The Lion King and we are slowly introducing a number of other Disney titles to her. Some of their classics are great, and some of the newer stuff is also fabulous.

But I hate their marketing.

Why? Because I can’t buy many of the Disney movies that are classics on DVD. See, Disney has this thing about putting movies back in the “vault” for what – 6, 7, 8 years at a time? So if I wanna buy The Little Mermaid on DVD – I can’t. It won’t be out till next year. Some of the other classics I’d like to share with her are far worse though. A lot of them came out on DVD in like 1999-2000 right at the start of the mainstreaming of DVD. So now I’ve either gotta compete in a bid on ebay to get them, or I have to shell out upwards of $30 to get a copy from an online “merchant” – who could be legit, but also could be selling me a bootleg copy. (I’ve heard that there is a lot of bootlegging going on with the out of print flicks). We’ve been able to dig up the VHS tapes of some of the flicks, but I’d much rather have the DVD because it will hold up a lot better over the years…. not to mention that it is a lot easier to make a backup copy in case it gets scratched.

So – Pinocchio, 101 Dalmations, Beauty and the Beast, and others….we’ll have to rent, or borrow from friends or the library.

It just bugs me to no end that Disney just doesn’t leave all this stuff out on the shelves – they are losing big in the long term – even if their short term plan for each release causes massive sales. They still lose in the long term as new parents start to introduce the classics to their kids – and can’t find them. Wouldn’t they make a heck of a lot MORE by leaving these things out all the time? Parents lose too, and begin to despise Disney, as they pay the extra $$$ to get the movies from other sources – if they really want them.

–*Rob

Corzine v. Forrester, Round 2

Listened to (most of) the debate last night. I was doing tub and bedtime stories for part of it but caught quite a bit of it (NJ 101.5 has the debate available in MP3 in 5 parts from their main page if you missed it).

Overall I think it was another draw. Corzine is good at the details (as he said) but Forrester is more commanding of your attention and speaks more simply (much the way Bush does). Eric Scott didn’t let them get away with much – but was it me or was he throwing the questions all to Forrester first? It seemed like he was – which would then put Corzine on the defensive with regard to Forrester’s response. I didn’t like that – didn’t find it fair (though if there was something at the very beginning of the debate about the actual rules, feel free to correct me).

With regard to lower taxes – in my mind this is just not feasible – period. I don’t necessarily want any new taxes, but I’d like to see us at least use the dollars we have coming in more effectively – and I hope that Corzine would make good on reform in Trenton. Forrester didn’t seem to have a clear tax plan at all, and seemed to tow the party line on it.

I found both candidates to be evasive when asking each other questions, but Forrester was moreso then Corzine. He completely evaded the stem cell question entirely, choosing not to use the word “embryonic” – I’m sure he was hoping that by saying he supported stem cell research that people wouldn’t distinguish between adult and emrbyonic. Big difference here and Corzine kept calling him on it and he kept refusing to answer properly.

The auto insurance thing was interesting. Forrester is from West Windsor – an affluent township – and his statement that he pays “a few thousand” because he has children on his policy, is interesting, but I also have to wonder how many cars he has and what kind they are. Corzine is paying $1200 a year, which is what we pay for two cars. Forrester illustrated that he’s part of the elite upper class with his statements while Corzine showed a reasonable amount of cars/insurance.

Like I said – I think it was a draw. It swayed me only slightly to Corzine (away from voting for independent candidate Matt Thieke) – and that’s only because I don’t want Forrester to get the job. I may end up voting for Corzine, but I’m so frustrated with the two party system now, I’m still not sure what I want to do.

–*Rob

Operation Eden

You owe it to yourself to head on over to Operation Eden and check it out for yourself.

Photographer Clayton Cubitt is documenting the struggle and the people affected by Katrina in a haunting yet touching way. His pictures are like no others I have yet seen of the hurricane affected areas.

He’s also selling prints of some of them to raise money for hurricane relief.

Be prepared to shed a tear. The images are heart-breaking and yet still uplifting.

–*Rob