One Man Band

Ed Sheeran last night at Summerfest.  Terrific performance; Ed alternates with mostly two small Martin acoustics and uses two mics going through an amazing loop system.  One guy, very rich, multi-layered sound, really impressive.

It’s EVERYWHERE and most of us know little about it

Picture this: back in the late 1960′s, when I was in high school, I was at a friend’s house one afternoon after school, and the guy, Robert Fulton, was earnestly trying to teach me the difference between Basic and Fortran computing!  It was so over my head, and I just couldn’t grasp any of it.  That was the first and last time anyone tried to really teach me code.  

Honestly, I still don’t understand it.  But I am intimately aware how code impacts business development, whether they are startups or large corporations. I’ve posted about this before.  Become a top code ninja, I mean creme de la creme kind of coder, and you can rule the world.  Well, maybe not quite, but you get what I’m writing.

This article in Bloomberg is a fantastic overview of what code is all about, and how oldsters in companies deal with it.  I’ll leave it at that.  It’s a long read, but if you feel like you want to do a serious dive, here’s the link:

Code Breaking

When I was growing up in Virginia, and going to college in Charlottesville in the 1970′s, I developed an internal code breaker when hearing many Southerners talk about their Southern pride and love of tradition.  For me, much of their belief system had origins that clearly denied and ignored that the Civil War was a definitive event!  

When you break the code, here’s what it all boils down to in the context of current events:

When a white guy kills nine black people in a place of worship, it is NOT an attack on Christianity or faith, as Jindal, Graham, Santorum and FoxNews frame the issue.  It’s all about RACE.  It’s about a racist going into a church with pre-meditation, and murdering innocent people.  And the absence of acknowledging just that is very telling.  Remember, it’s part of the code, and the delusion.

Steve Doocy, you really take the prize for most clueless:

When a racist white guy plans ahead and then kills nine people in our country for the sole reason that they are black, it is much MORE than just a tragedy, an unspeakable evil, a terrible incident (Rick Perry).   It is an ACT OF TERRORISM, as FoxNews refuses to acknowledge.  Very telling for a network that loves to scare the shit out of us with all things related to their definition of terror.  Again, it’s part of the code.  It’s all tied together.   

The Confederate flag is ‘code’ for racism just as much as it is for anything else, including Southern pride.  So many people who ‘proudly’ display the Confederate flag on their car, in front of their home, are hiding behind it.  They know damn well what it means to their fellow tribesmen.   Governor Nicki Haley did the right thing this afternoon.  It’s an embarrassment to South Carolina.  And the South.

The Pope and Nature


I’m still marveling at how Pope Francis really turned things upside down with his major encyclical on climate change.  A Pope has NEVER been this connected to Nature; in one writing he has obliterated the whole notion of Manifest Destiny, that God created Earth solely for our needs, so we could rationalize how badly we’ve ended up plundering and polluting.  This is what Pope Francis wrote:

“We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man “dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church.”

Here is a great article on how difficult it will now be to flaunt your religion (Judaeo-Christian, that is) and still be a climate change denialist:


Several years ago I wrote in one of my books about my frustration with how fundamentally disconnected so many people are with Nature, particularly conservatives, who feel that their religion gives them ‘cover’ to deny science and the emerging threat of global warming ( ).  

They’ve had it wrong all along.  Pope Francis just set them straight.   

“Sir, tell me when you want me to stop”; and other food photos

At MacDonald’s in Fairbanks, remarkable customer service (I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what the server said!), after some short serves on soft serve over the past year in other parts of the country.  The tower could have been even higher had I not said “that’s just fine, thanks”!

While we were in Barrow and Adak healthy food choices were very limited or nonexistent, but otherwise there was a focus on ordering fresh fish when we could (Copper River salmon, Washington oysters, halibut ceviche, and hamachi):

37 Eggs

13 boxes checked - 1 Bluebird (photo of 5 light blue eggs), 7 Tree Swallow (total of 33 eggs, 2nd photo of a nest), 1 House Sparrow (didn’t count), 4 empty.  No cowbird eggs yet.  Hoping for more bluebirds, but both swallows and sparrows are aggressive when claiming their box.


Goodbye Dave!

You read how Dave has de-invested of late with the show, but when we saw him back in 2012, he was still very involved, to the point of being fidgety during the commercial breaks, huddling with his team, reviewing stuff before going back on the air.  The Ed Sullivan Theater, in the Theater District on West 53rd and Broadway, is so cool, so much rich broadcast history. Had an opportunity to sit at his desk after one of his shows:

98% on Rotten Tomatoes?  This I gotta see.  And did.

You don’t often see a rating that high.  And there was such a buzz.  And I read that there was minimal CGI, that many stunts were inspired by Cirque du Soleil, whose shows, collectively, are in my Experiential Highs Hall of Fame.

At it’s worst, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is an interminably long chase scene!

But for me, the movie is a visual stunner.  There are scenes, and even concepts, that were just shake-your-head experiences, as in ‘who thinks these things up’?  During the Revolutionary War, there were fife, drum and bugle corps assisting in the battle, right?  Fast forward to Mad Max and we now have the speaker-laden Doof Wagon, barreling down the road, havoc everywhere around them, with men beating, I mean pounding, huge war drums while a heavy metal guitarist/flame thrower is shredding at the front of the vehicle suspended in mid-air. 

Worth the price of admission.

The Boys are Back on Tour!

Starts tomorrow night on Late Night with Seth Myers in NYC.  They will be playing their new single ‘Freedom’.

43 Years Ago This Summer...

…right after high school graduation and before we all started our college years, Keith Curtis and I, with another friend, David Cox, borrowed Keith’s Dad’s brand new pickup truck with a camper on top, and travelled to EVERY National Park in the continental United States, in a little over a month!

And last Tuesday night, Keith and I got together for the first time in decades.  Talk about getting caught up, like the story at Yosemite involving three young women, gin and the now discontinued Cragmont soda.  Don’t ask!

When Subscription TV Unbundles

It’s just a matter of time when everyone will be able to pick and choose what you want to watch (and pay for) on cable.  Verizon just announced and now offers a la carte to their TV subscribers.  And HBO is now going direct: $15 a month on the Internet.   So how might this play out?

For sure, the Long Tail I always seem to reference will change shape a bit, in that the first and larger part of the tail will actually get wider, as viewers get a chance to truly put their money where their true interests are.  So the ‘hot’ shows like ‘Game of Thrones’ and the stellar channels, like HBO, will get all that much more revenue.

But the shows that have been subsidized as a result of the bundling?  Not so much.  In fact, they go further down the Tail where it’s narrower.  Definitely less revenue for them.  And more than a few just won’t make it.

Does the tail actually get a little shorter as a result of unbundling?  Possibly.

But we remain, thankfully, in this Golden Age of Television (or Content or whatever you want to call it).  At least for us, it’s hard to keep up. 

In the Keys

In the Keys for the past few days, and as of tonight, after a lot of serious up- before-the-crack-of-dawn mornings, running all up and down Highway 1, count ‘em FOUR new birds to the list, now at 706:  American Flamingo, Antillean Nighthawk, Audubon’s Shearwater and Black Noddy (photos today at Dry Tortogas National Park - first one, I’m at the top of the the fort looking through my scope out at Bush Key at the Black Noddy; this place is an amazing migrant trap, all kinds of great birds stopping for a break before pushing on).  Tomorrow, fingers crossed, the rare Bahama Mockingbird, which I dipped on yesterday in Key West, nowhere to be found, but reappeared today, while we were out in the Gulf.