Sunday, October 19, 2008

This And That

From Blogizdat LJ:

On Blogging

I know I haven't written much here, recently, and I keep meaning to write more, but it's so easy to fall into Facebook/Twitter mode (yes, I have an account with both) and just post little blips of nothing to those sites, and it all seems so pedestrian, but then again, that's pretty much real life, too, innit, just a collection of meaningless events, connected by more of the same. Maybe that's why I still like blogging, cause it's only in backing away from the canvas and pondering it all that I can see how the pretty and ugly little pixels actually make up a larger picture.

Or something.

So, anyway, I'll try to write more. I promise. Yeah, know you've heard that before, but you'll see, it'll be different this time, baby. I've turned over a new leaf. I'm a new man. I've changed.

Or something.


Read the rest here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cylinder Preservation And Digitization Project

From Cylinder Preservation And Digitization Project:

Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the UCSB Libraries have created a digital collection of nearly 8,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.

On this site you will have the opportunity to find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound. If you know what you are looking for click the search button to begin, or you can browse by genre or sample some of our favorite selections in the featured cylinder section or by listening to online streaming radio.

Very cool.

LOL Cats

From the February 1932 The American Mercury, by HL Mencken, on the moribund League Of Nations, the predecessor to the nearly-equally moribund United Nations:'

“The advocates of the League commonly represent it to be a sort of international parliament, aloof and superior, but it is really no more that than its creature, the World Court, is a tribunal of justice. As I have said, it is simply a congress of ambassadors. During its first years it was perfumed by visionaries who honestly believed in its professed purposes, but of late it has been controlled absolutely by professional diplomats, and they carry on its proceedings according to the immemorial patterns of their order. That is to say, they pay no heed whatever to the rights and wrongs of the controversies before them, save perhaps when the litigants are too weak to be formidable, but confine themselves rapturously to grabbing all they can for the countries they work for, and for the friends and allies of those countries. What interests them is by no means the common welfare of the human race; what interests them is simply the knavish, witless business of their trade - juggling laboriously for advantage (main petty), forestalling and hornswoggling the other fellow, and setting up and knocking down balances of power. In all creation there are no stupider men than diplomats, nor any more anti-social, nor any less honest. Their dishonesty, indeed, is so deep-seated that most of them are quite unconscious of it, as a Georgia cracker is unconscious of his hookworms and fleas.”


While I'm At It

As I said, I'm not much for platitudes, but sometimes I find stuff online that connects with me, like this one, and again, I don't know who should get attribution, but it wasn't I that wrote it. Oh well, it's still worth reading.

Read on.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh never mind, you will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in twenty years, you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future or worry that know that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other peoples' hearts; don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy, sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.

The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults.

If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life.

The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken' on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.

Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can, don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room.

Read the directions even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but a precious few are those whom you should hold onto.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse but you'll never know when either one will run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're forty, it will look eighty-five.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Yeah, if you get nothing else out of that, remember the sunscreen.


I don't go much for platitudes, but I found this on someone's blog some time ago, and it spoke to me. I don't know who should get attribution, but there's pearls of wisdom within, and I pass it on to you, dear reader. (Of course, I'm lying by posting the title, really, cause a whole lot of these I haven't learned at all, but I still know any number of them to be true.

Read on:


I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.

I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do but to the best you can do.

I've learned that it's not what happens to people that's important. It's what they do about it.

I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I've learned that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned that there are people who love you dearly, but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

Like I said, I haven't really learned all of these, not yet.