Friday, August 29, 2003

I'm supposed to be on a blogging hiatus for a couple of days -- shhhh! -- but I didn't say anything about posting to Collaboratory, and anyway, this is too cool not to share right now: Warren Ellis had something called "Worldwide Wednesday" the other day, in which people sent him snapshots from their digital cameras or webcams or whatever for an entire day. Start here (this is the last entry in the series), and work your way back for some nifty bits of impromptu coolness.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

On the 40th anniversary of its delivery, the annotated "I Have A Dream" speech.

So, to revisit John's post, how many of us have actually done any Mars-gazing?

Monday, August 25, 2003

Well, I don't know how it happened, but somehow I was allowed membership to this elite group. I'll take the opportunity of my first post to provide my profile.

On July 4th 1972, I was born in Des Moines, Iowa (firecracker kid, yankee-doodle dandy, yes I've heard them all), and lived in the (ahem) glorious capitol city through high school. I attended Wartburg College with Jaquandor and Sean (I really didn't know Sean, but I knew of him). I played in the Concert Band and Jazz Band with Jaquandor, although my first encounter with him actually came during my senior year of high school when he hosted me for the Meistersinger Honor Band. His roommate was gone for the weekend, so Jaquandor graciously allowed me to sleep on said roommate's bed, contrary to explicit instructions forbidding such slumber. One sore point from that weekend was that Jaquandor failed to warn me to avoid a certain religion professor’s classes. I still hold a grudge.

I started out as a Music Education major, but soon realized that I really wasn't a good enough player to make it through my required recitals (I really think would be a lousy teacher anyway). I did however have a knack for theory and composition. So I abandoned the Bachelor of Music Education path in favor of a straight Bachelor of Music, with an emphasis in composition rather than an instrument. I would still have to meet the recital requirements, but I wouldn't have to play, just write the music. At this point I suppose I should mention that my main instrument was trombone. I had switched from trumpet my sophomore year in high school when playing trombone meant a guaranteed spot in the top jazz band.

Somewhere along the way I started hosting a few radio shows on the college radio station (including a couple of all Beatles specials co-hosted by my advisor/theory professor) and developed an interest in broadcasting. I was never particularly that good on-air, but I did enjoy the production aspect of it all. The thought occurred to me that this might be a way I could earn a living in my post-Wartburg days. I certainly didn't see anybody paying me for my analysis of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck." I added a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Journalism (electronic media emphasis) at the beginning of my fourth year. Working on two degrees, a fifth year seemed to be in the cards. During the course of my journalism studies my focus shifted from radio to video. Still concentrating on the production end of things I became quite a decent videographer and editor. I did have an interest in the journalism side, but my lack of on-air talent precluded me from following a career as a reporter, and my journalistic standards were much too high to allow me to make it as a producer. So, I stuck with the creative/visual side of things.

Midway through the second semester of my fourth year I heard rumor that my music advisor, and sole teacher of nearly every course required for that degree, would be leaving at the end of the year. When I asked him about this he simply said with a grin "I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." OK. I decided within an hour that I would drop the Bachelor of Music, and try to get out in four and a half years. Who really needs two bachelors degrees anyway? I talked my journalism advisor into an independent study, and it was all set. I still needed a science credit, but that was easily taken care of in the spring at Des Moines Area Community College, saving me a fair bit of debt.

While at Wartburg I also met my future wife Krista. She was also a music major (both education and performance) and played in the concert and jazz bands. Her main instrument is the marimba, as well as all other percussion. We were married in the summer of 1995. We live in south Minneapolis, near Lake Nokomis, in a house that we bought two years ago. I am a video editor at KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate, where I have been for nearly eight years. Krista teaches percussion and piano (as well as the occasional wind instrument) for the Children's Yamaha Music School.

I tend to have too many hobbies. We played together in a rock band called “44” for several years (one song is still available at Krista was the drummer, and I played guitar, bass, and horns. So, in addition to working on our house, we are also trying to get a home studio set up to start recording some music. In these summer months a lot of time is spent bicycling and riding my motorcycle. I also enjoy photography (despite my being a total hack), and would love to get a telescope one of these days. There is also the possibility of a short independent film (making, not watching) somewhere down the line.

I don’t read as much as I should, but my favorite authors include Tolkien, Kerouac, and Vonnegut. My musical tastes vary widely. There is no genre that doesn’t have something for me (with the possible exception of the whole boy band/pop diva thing). To list just a few: The Beatles, Beck, Bj?rk, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Tori Amos, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk (my cat is named Monk), Dave Matthews, and the list goes on.

As far as politics go, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and I do not consider myself a centrist. My views tend to fall far to the left or far to the right, depending upon the subject. I won’t go into detail here, I will simply let it all come out as time goes on.

Now what brought me to Blogistan? The incessant nagging of Jaquandor nearly every time I would comment over at Byzantium’s Shores, “You should have a blog of your own.” So, I got a blog of my own. As you will notice, my posting is rather spotty on my own weblog, and I can guarantee that the same will be true here (how long has it been since Sean added me to the sidebar?) But I will try and bring something to the table.

Was that long enough?