Meat Twice a Week

Sesame BurgerTwo years ago about this time I blogged about my resolution to give up soft drinks, which I'm glad to say I've successfully continued for a second bonus year, despite it having no noticeable positive effect on my health while making me an outcast at all of those cola-centered social gatherings. And despite the bottles of Dr. Pepper that people sometimes leave sitting around me, sometimes even in my own fridge.  But I digress.

For now I'll skip over last year's resolution - which failed miserably - and bring you to my 2009 resolution, which is to eat less meat. Specifically, I'm trying to eat meat at no more than two meals per week. This is a revised plan of attack from past attempts to try an all-vegetarian diet, which I eventually decided wasn't tenable for me.

Without getting too far into the food ethics involved in meat-eating (which are nonetheless important and deserving of further treatment), I thought I'd note why I'm doing this, and how it's going so far: Continue reading Meat Twice a Week

Choosing when to go deeper in conversation

Alive MenuI've been thinking lately about the moments in a conversation when the people participating make a choice - conscious or not - about whether to let it go "deeper," or to keep it at a pleasant and polite level of chit-chat. I'm exploring that because (A) I really enjoy deconstructing how we communicate with each other, and (B) I want to take responsibility for my own part in the cases where more depth would have been a good thing, but was avoided. (I even kind of wrote a little poem about it a few years ago.)

I put "deeper" in quotes because it's one of those touchy-feely words that needs a little more definition to be useful here. When I think of a conversation reaching a new depth, I think of the people involved taking on topics that are significant or meaningful to them in ways that invites personal vulnerability or reflection, where you might have to take a stand, where the stakes are higher and there is something to gain or lose by going there. The topics that achieve this will of course vary widely by personality, community and culture.

So, what do those turning points look like? Here are a few I've noticed:

Continue reading Choosing when to go deeper in conversation

The one where the plane failed to depart, twice

Chris and Mark arriving at SFOSometimes you see those weather stories on the evening news where they show a few seconds of airline passengers stranded in some airport looking like hell as they try to figure out how to cope with canceled or delayed flights, and usually you just feel a little bad for them and then move on. At the moment I'm feeling some appreciation for the misery that's displayed in those brief clips, having had a bit of a travel adventure myself:

It started with Mark and I barreling through the snow on I-70 toward the Dayton airport, wondering if planes would even be taking off at all today. But, my handy dandy text message updates from Delta.com declared the flight was on time, so we pressed on.

I should have known we were in for a special time when the guy at the ticket check-in counter (which has largely been replaced by self check-in kiosks) was delighted to point out how much cost cutting Delta has done. Me: "Do you have one of those little folders for these boarding passes?" Him: "No, they did away with those some time ago. Heck, all we've got left now are the airplanes! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Right.

Continue reading The one where the plane failed to depart, twice

Random Twitter Things

I really am sorry, but I can't help but share a few random things about my Twitter experiences lately.  (This blog post will not have any socially redeeming value, and may need to be taken as a cry for help.)

  • On Friday, I received an e-mail from Aaron Scamihorn at MediaSauce, who apparently saw one of my Twitter posts quoting a line from The Princess Bride (in Spanish, the translation for which I ripped off myself), and decided to create a bit of art because if it - see the image to the right.  Quite nice, well done, wow, I'm honored.
  • Two all-around interesting guys from Star Trek: The Next Generation (among other things) are on Twitter now - LeVar Burton and Wil Wheaton.  Rumor has it that Brent Spiner might be next - sweet.  There's something surreal and pleasant and twisted about now knowing when someone, who once played a character in a story on a show that I was thoroughly engrossed in from quite a distance, crosses the street or drinks some tea.
  • I'm starting to get over Twitter, but remain intrigued by its immediacy, intimacy and global reach.  It's the closest thing to a global chat room that can probably exist with today's slow hand/keyboard/monitor interfaces (and that may already be going farther than what's good for us).  But it's just a bunch of people, all doing their thing, all thrown in the mix, and most of the time, it's just fascinating.

Okay, that's all, I'll stop now, carry on.

WhatIsYourStory.org, an oral history project in Richmond

Despite things being fairly quiet with my original podcasting project (the Richmond News Review), I am still working on a few audio production projects.  One is a new podcast which I'll be ready to announce in the coming weeks, but the other is a great new oral history project that's moving forward quickly here in Richmond.  If you're familiar with StoryCorps, the NPR-affiliated project that gathers compelling personal interviews (mentioned here previously), you know how powerful some of those audio segments can be as they capture the stories of our lives.  Fortunately, Girls Inc of Wayne County applied for and received a generous grant from the Wayne County Foundation to bring the StoryCorps folks to Richmond and record some of our stories here.

This is just the first phase of what we hope to be a broader oral history project in the area.  You can read all about it on the new project website, WhatIsYourStory.org.  If you're a podcast listener or producer, a fan of StoryCorps or oral history projects, want to be trained on interviewing and audio production, or just someone who wants to be involved in this effort, please contact us!  We'll find a way to put your talents to work as we try to honor and appreciate those who live in our community, through listening.

Using the iPhoneOS SDK on older PPC Macs

I'm just getting started with developing applications for the iPhone / iPod Touch, and one of the first real hurdles I encountered was that Apple didn't make it easy by default to use their iPhoneOS SDK on non-Intel Macs. With some Googling around I was was able to find a variety of articles that mentioned workarounds, but the comprehensive solution was spread across lots of blog post comments, forum postings, etc. So, for my own reference and hopefully as assistance to anyone else who might be in the same boat, I'm consolidating the steps here.

Continue reading Using the iPhoneOS SDK on older PPC Macs