30 August 2004

Marooned In the Doldrums

What I have to do to get to sleep: a shot and a half of blackstrap rum. I have had problems with going to and staying asleep, despite the enervating job I have. I'll not be able to go to sleep, regardless of how tired I was at work, until 1030 or so, and will only sleep till about three or four.

This is one of the reasons I am not completely enamored of my own life. I have school coming up, too.

At least I can take the Dreamweaver class online.

Development: Due to a bit of donateware from Telegraphics, a fine Ozzie firm (click this parenthetical to go to their download site), I have the ability to save .psd's in Win .ico format from Photoshop. Icoformat is a plugin and well worth the cost/effort in acquisition. Free unlimited use, $5 donation to PayPal requested. I'll probably do it in a little while; right now it'd be the Cruzan Traditional Navy Rum talking.

Right now the result is that now I have my own favicon (that little blue, yellow, and white bit in the address bar). Huzzah me!

Latest acquistitions in the Media department; a good anniverserary with The Wife[tm]. It's number 14, thankyuvermuch. Such is the glory in getting married on a decadal year, it's a snap to figure how long you've been married (though I sometimes get that wrong in the right way, a subject for another posting). I got her Have Gun Will Travel, the Complete First Season and a Black & Decker food processor she's been wanting for a while. She was very happy. She got me a gift box of the first thirtteen epis of the Gerry Anderson series UFO (1969), an old favorite from childhood. I've wondered: if the science in Gerry's series (Space:1999, Thunderbirds, UFO, et.al.) is so piss poor, why are they so damn much fun to watch?

She also advance-ordered The Day After Tomorrow. My The Wife[tm] dotes on me, in her inimitable way.

23 August 2004

Rain,Rain,Wonderful Rain part 2

August and the rain has returned. Lovely. Wet streets are poetic, gray skies the norm. Just looked at the forecast, not an 80-degree-day in sight.

You see, this is the way Oregon's supposed to be.

22 August 2004

Portland AM Radio Rundown

I listen principally to three Portland radio station. I used to listen to a whole lot more, but then again, Portland radio used to be a whole lot more interesting.

In the 90's no matter what your tastes there was something that was interesting and local. Now, in the days of Entercom, Infinity, and Clear Channel, there ain't much. We hear stuff that everyone everywhere hears, including ads from merchants who don't have a store within 1000 miles of here.

Anyway, these days there's really only four AM radio stations of note:

KXL AM 750. This was the radio station I religiously listened to when I returned to Portland in 1991. Great selection of real decent, local hosts. I still fondly remember Bob Swanson and Bill Gallagher. Today? Feh. It's like our little local radio version of Fox News. The only local voice still on it is Lars Larson, and he's found syndicated heaven since honing his irritating conservative talk. I swear, he's the only man I know of who's voice irritates me even when I agree with him. Not saying, of course, that that happens often. He's the sort of smug-bastard arrogant righty that drives sane people to thier CD players. They also have Michael Savage. Any station who seriously puts Savage on the radio should be ashamed of themselves. And O'Relly is such a sanctimonious twit that he makes be begin a sentence with a conjunction.

In the early and mid 90's, I could leave KXL on all day. These days, I can hardly bear to admit it exists.

KPAM 860 amWhat a disappointment this station has been. When it debuted what, about four years ago I think, they came on with this big "Radio Free Oregon" campaign - Free your mind!!!. They had this real neat palette of locals, including a missed voice (Ralph Steadman), a really cool sports-connected fellow who never had an uninteresting story to tell ("Dream" Weaver) - I mean, how many local hosts had Bob Costas calling them in the middle of the night just to chat? Pete Schulberg had an extermely engaging morning show, and Dwight Jaynes was sassy and fun. And my favorite from KXL, Bill Gallagher, with his moderate-left talk style, showed up in the afternoon.

That started to flake off soon enough when Dr Pamplin didn't see the profits he'd hoped and his personal finanacial empire hit a rough spot. Dream Weaver went, followed by Steadman, and Gallagher was limited to an hour in the afternoon ("Gallagher's Crime Scene"). Now what are we left with? Jaynes a couple of hours in the PM, and the even-more-irritating than Lars Larson (I was surprised, but, yes, it's possible) Victor Boc.

When I heard Boc was in the top 100 influential voices in a industry publication, all that told me was that that bar is obviously set entirely too low.

Listen to him, I dare you. Angry white guy with a horrible nasal voice. Ai yi yi.

Oh all that and Sean Hannity too, which is another thing to be ashamed about.

Sure, Bob Miller (AM Drive time late of KEX titan) and old friend Jimmy Hollister is on (on the weekends) but since KPAM took a ton of promise only to end up sucking, why bother?

KEX 1190 AMThe only big boy left worth listening to. The Morning Update (5-9 AM) is the grandaddy of Portland radio morning shows. The great Barney Keep held court there for decades, then retired in favor of Bob Miller (who is now at KPAM). Since Bob has moved on, Paul Linnman has filled the spot and is doing so admirably. He's got chemistry with the morning crew, knows how to make a joke and keep the attitude up, and is generally just a good fella. The rest of the schedule is touch and go, with Rush Limbaugh (why isn't his 15 minutes up yet? especially after the drug abuse?) and Coast to Coast AM (that joke is entirely stale now). Although Troubleshooter Tom Martino is a bright spot after dark, regrettably, he's not local.

KPOJ 620 AM. This is the station I listen to the most. Right now it's because it's so nice to have an entire station with a left-wing point of view that doesn't act apologetic about it. Franken is a godsend, he's funny and right. Randi Rhodes is a kick in the ass. It's real weak on the local side, though. The news is done by Clear Channel Portland in-house voices clearly on loan from KEX (McLaren, Convery). And they did make the mistake of running those loathsome Francesoni ads. But you do have to pay the bills. Just wish i wasn't that way..

Over the next few weeks, as the mood hits me, I may expound at length upon a couple of bits of broadcast history as I remember it. In particular, what KPTV useter be, the legend that was Barney Keep, and that gosh-darn-likeable Paul Linnman.

Saturday Slant:Layover Luck

This weeks thinker:
Today’s Slant is Inspired by my recent and unexpected 3-hour layover in Atlanta. Instead of boarding your connecting flight in a never before visited airport, the airline announces that the flight has been cancelled. You will, however, have a seat on the next flight to that destination—tomorrow. To help make up for the inconvenience, the airline has given you a hotel room for the night and $100 USD. You have 24-hours to yourself in a new city. Where are you? What do you do?

For me, it's Washington DC. I've known people, friends and family, who have been, and they keep saying I must go. The sense of history, I'm told, is palpable. I've long admired the layout of the town (props to Monsieur L'Enfant) and the beautiful, beautiful architecture.

I'd love to walke the National Mall from one end to the other.

I've always wanted to be to the top of the Washington Monument, see the Pentagon, see the Naval Observatory, see the Tidal Basin.

I've always wanted to see the White House in person, rather than on TV, like in the news reports.

I want to see the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and the original copies of the Declaration and Constitution (I have a printed copy of the Constitution at hand? If you're an American, do you? Do you look at it unfraid of what it says, or do you project what you want it to say on those pages? In times like this, that's important to know).[1]

I would also collect the maps. I love maps. I must have over two or three thousand city maps from all over the world; maps from the few places I've visited, sent to me by acquaintances far and near, and specially bought from places I may or may not evre see. I'd get maps of Washington, ones that show the exquisite street plan of the District, and maps of Metro! I'd ride Metro for hours and fantasize about being selected the person who got to design the maps and signage.

Yes, that's what I think I'd do.

Straight back to the Source:
The Saturday Slant - New Every Saturday Morning

21 August 2004

InDesign User Group

There's a cool thing locally. An employee at the Portland Mac Store organized a chapter of the InDesign User Group, and I got to go.

It's free. Chance to win prizes and all that stuff. Had a very nice lady from Adobe give us some more info on IDCS (which you should really be upgrading to if you haven't).

While I don't remember too many particulars (I was too busy trying to record details on my fellow attendees, get a feel for the group) I do remember one reaction I had overall. As things were being gone over I compared them with what I knew about QuarkXPress (lets face it, IDCS is still positioned as the antiQuark). Now, I'm no Certified Expert in QXP, but everything that IDCS did was just beyond QXP by light-years - just everything. Were it only for the native file use (you drop things from Photoshop into IDCS without converting to TIFF -just drag and drop - that would be cool, just that.

But IDCS respects transparency. That means no clipping paths!

IDCS handles tables better.

The Print dialog is less obfuscated.

Get to Adobe.com and get a demo. Just do this thing.

And I didn't win anything in the raffle, but I did get a free CD with two converting-from-QXP video workshops. One was with the ever-fabulous Deke McClelland, and the other was with the former "Mr QuarkXPress", David Blatner.

It all reminded me how much better than sliced bread IDCS and the whole CS is.

19 August 2004

On Francesconi: If You Don't Believe Me...

After the recent run of negative ads that Francesconi has run, the Portland Police Association just did something they've never done before: rescinded thier endorsement.

Thier press release encapuslates very nicely all the problems I have with his ads, when reinforce a perception I now have of him of a cynical, ends-justify-means power-seeker.

But, hey, I could just be a disgruntled voter, right? Maybe. I know what behavior disgusts me though.

Like I said, if you don't believe me, read this

12 August 2004

Noted During an Episode of Insomina

That offensive Francesconi attact on Tom Potter hasn't been broadcast again.

At least, not that I've heard.

Those things usually saturate the airwaves, and, as those ads say, Radio is your best advertising value....

Added The One True B!x's Portland Communique to the links list

(12:59 update) No, I just heard that Francesconi ad again. It's still being broadcast. Although where, at first, his own tag says he approved of the message, now it says he authorized it.

I still think he should be ashamed. He won't be, of course.

Will Someone Please Explain John McCain?

First they went after him in the 2000 elections, with lies so scurrilous that I do not care to repeat them.

Then they went after Kerry's military record-and are still doing so-in such a dishonorable way, they ought to be ashamed. They aren't, but they should be.

And McCain called them on it, noting that "they pulled this on me."

So, if McCain is a War Hero, more than that, a Republican War Hero, more than that, a Loyal Republican War Hero, which I would think would be worth its weight in gold, why did they treat him with such contempt?

And if they treat him with such contempt, and do him such dirt, why does he still love his party and support his partisans?
Does he have any self-respect left? Or do years in the Republican party make you into a self-depracating bitch for your party?

Click here to see how John McCain behaves toward people who can't actually stand him.

11 August 2004

Francesconi Goes Slimy

Just heard, on KPOJ 620, an attact ad against Tom Potter.

The thrust of the ad was that, back when he was Police Chief Potter, he mishandled a incident where a policeman shot a citizen, even accounting how many shots hit/missed, and that as Chief, he 'protected' an officer over it.

I'd like him to site actual facts. Use of police force is a serious controversy in Portland, and it's caused more hurt feelings, families without loved ones, and mistrust of the Law than I think we need to have. I, myself, am a believer and fan of the Police, and I want these issues dealt with so that every citizen has confidence and trust in the Police Bureau.

Portraying vaguely-presented tragedies in smear ads like this may or may not help Francesconi get elected mayor, but it pretty much harms every other facet of the problem. I draw two personal conclusions from that ad: Francesconi just wants to win, and he's afraid that Tom Potter is good enough to beat him.

He doesn't want to address the issue, he just wants to plant doubts in the citizens' minds about his opponent. This is not the "poor-man's" candidate he wanted to position himself as, after Potter's true poor-man's campaign nearly wiped his backside. This is the same cynical attitude which produced his slick, rich-man's campaign...which fizzled.

I'm not voting Francesconi for mayor, and should Potter win, I'm voting against Francesconi when and if he runs for re-election as Commissioner. He's been a let-down as that, anyway.

Yes, I fired off an email at his office. I think he should be ashamed.

08 August 2004

QuarkXPress News: QXP 6.5 and 7 in the Offing?

Posted to Pariah's Quark vs InDesign site:

Clicky here to read what someone whispered to AppleInsider about the impending improvments to QuarkXPress Go there.

Back? Good? How about that, huh? Quark is aiming toward an InDesign-like look and feel are they?

Battle won. Quark is plainly following ID's lead now.

War still to be settled, of course. Never underestimate the power of an installed base!!!!!

The Bush/Nixon Axis, Exhbit #1

This is George W. Bush's America:

You will be required to not only sign a loyalty oath but pledge your vote to the Leader to see him in a rally.[1]

Reporters and photogs may well be expected to declare their race if they are assigned to report on the President.[2]

This is evil behavior. Why are they getting a pass on this?

Me, I think if a person or group who seems decent on the surface feels, for whatever reason, compelled to do such things, the question is begged: What's compelling them to do so?

Arrogance? Knowing that they'll at best be "tsk-tsk'd" over it?

[1] Albuquerque Journal, 30 July 2004
[2] Arizona Daily Star, 31 July 2004

Just As I Thought!

Nobody's reading my blog.


This is just what I wanted you all to do.

But you won't read this to figure out you've been foxed....


07 August 2004

Saturday Slant:Evicted from Your Hometown

This week's question (posted by Pariah under somewhat adverse circumstances) is thus:
Your current home town has just been declared (un)inhabitable; everyone must move out of the town. Where would you move? Why there? If you have a significant other, roommate, or other co-habitants, how would the necessity to move affect your relationship with him or her? Would s/he move with you?

I am in a city I love. I live in Portland, Oregon, USA. I was born a native Oregonian but just a little off the mark. I think that being Oregonian and living in Portland is somehow central to my being.

When I dwell on that I frequently do wonder where else I'd plant myself if I had to. If Portland were about to be rendered offcially uninhabitiable, once I got over the initial heartbreak of whatever event might precipitate that, I'd think of two places.

It's important to me that I live in a place I love, am attuned to. That means, in the main, that it be someplace that is important to be in a visceral, personal way. Since was born and grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, it has to be green and pleasant, have evergreens, have hills and lovely mountains as the backdrop, and be near to the sea. I've tried living in places that don't have those features and I suffered as a result.

The first place The Wife[tm] and myself would go is probably Salem. I was born in that particular area, it's in Oregon, It's a lovely town (if a little unsophisticated (not for nothing do locals refer to it as Snailem, as the pace of life there is kinda slow)), the Cascades and the coast are at hand. I feel at home nearly anywhere in the Willamette Valley; I often say it's my hometown, in a greater way.

If, though, the Willamette Valley in whole has been made untenable, theres only one other place we'd think of. I've experienced other areas of our great land and, though I do love my country, I don't feel comfortable anywhere else in it. There's no doubt my The Wife[tm] and I would try to remove to Germany.

We both love the idea of spending time in Germany. We descend from Germans; though few to none of the traditions we may have had have been forwarded to us (Kleins have been Oregonians since many generations now) we have a strong German bloodline, very nearly 100%, and have been encouraged to be smug about this by our elders. I regularly read what I can find on German history, we fancy learning German, and we are trying to plan for an eventual trip there. I subscribe to German Life magazine and enjoy every issue. I regularly visit the shelves in the library and at Powell's Books that stock content on Germany. I have an extensive collection of German maps, including one published during WWII by the National Geographic which showed Germany within borders that one today wouldn't recognize (Nazi Germany had actually annexed part of what is today Poland, took the western 2/3rds of what was subsequently Czechoslovakia within itself as nominally autonomous reasons, and had annexed Austria in whole).

About the only thing that we'd have trouble settling is where to plant ourselves. The Wife[tm] would want to go to Muenchen, (Munich) as she fancies herself quite the Bayerische maedchen (Bavarian girl); I'd want to live in Berlin, as I have had a lifelong fascination with that strange city.

Naturally, home is where you wear your hat, as Lord John Whorfin has aptly said. But, so far as I'm concerned, you only have one go-around, so it's crucial that you live in a place you love, that's important and comfortable in a personal way. For me, that's the Willamette Valley, and if not there, Germany.

The source:
The Saturday Slant - New Every Saturday Morning

06 August 2004

For Shame. For Shame.

Follow this link to boston.com. What is the head of a group calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" doing retracting his statements? Someone who defended Kerry in '96 against charges that he didn't deserve his Silver Star, just to reverse his stand after Kerry appeared with his band of brothers?

I believe in our troops. They carry out hearts and hopes out into the world and do what they can to keep us safe.

These guys...well, they just make me mad. I'm satisfied that ten of the eleven crewmembers who were actually on his swift boat are backing him up. The only one who isn't has gone on to his just reward.

I won't say I'm ashamed of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth". I will note that they have to look themselves in the mirror.

Remember Ed Schultz's two rules? This is Rule One in the flesh.

Read Eschaton to get some truth on this.

And read the other news. McCain has criticized this. Even the President is distancing himself.

Oh, and by the way, we are about 7,000,000 behind in jobs, according to those who can add, subtract, and remember what the Council on Economic Advisors said we'd have about now.

Rain,Rain,Wonderful Rain

I'm a native-born Oregonian. There was much rain on my way back home. This is actually quite a good thing and I am happy.
I'm going to be curling up in bed soon next to my The Wife[tm] and all with be as it should, at least for a little while. They say we'll have a 90F over the weekend, so I savor what I can.

Check out the electoral vote predictor. The electoral total is better, but Oregon has gone from Weak Kerry to Barely Kerry.

03 August 2004

Politicizing the War

Now that it's out in the open, I think it's proper to comment. As a citizen.

When Director Ridge was accused of politicizing the War on Terrah in his announcement of elevated threat levels for some Northeastern regions (a nuance that I actually approve of), the reasoning behind it was his pointed crediting of the President's actions as necessitating the results. Look at it this way; when the police come to invsitgate a crime, do they ever pause to credit the mayor's leaadership in making thier arrival possible? If your house is ever on fire, look carefully on the sides of the fire vehicles and see if there's any sort of motto giving the local authorities credit for having the vision for it.

I trust my point should be clear by now. But if it's not, in my opinion, giving credit to the President for his leadership had no place in an announcement of an apparent threat to American citizens. I understand who put Director Ridge there, and if the action is a good one, I'm smart and humble enough to give credit where due. All credit (and blame) for actions of the Bush Administration must, perforce, obtain to President Bush.

Anything else is crass apple-polishing. A cynical attempt to garner credit. If it's about the public interest, then it's about the public interest only. If it's a problem alert, it should be about the problem.

And, on top of all that, we hear via the New York Times that the those unprecedentedly concurrent multiple intel streams that triggered the alert may have been no newer than before 9/11. Some of it, I hear, may be up to four years old.

This is all the evidence I need to show bad faith and cynicism on the part of the Bush administration.

But, as I said before, isn't the fact that we are still in so much danger prima facie evidence that the Bush crew aren't up to the job of protecting us?

02 August 2004

The Columbia Overlook

Got the files from the outgoing designer today. I've gotta say, the nuts and bolts of the design looks very doable. As I grow into the role I'll be able to see and suggest more ways to improve the publication (hopefully).

But the putting-together-of-the-thing is definitely something I can do. The extreme up is the experience in putting together something that is really used by real people for real communications. You can come up with make-believe designs all you want, but there's real weight in real-world things.

And the Sierra Club is a cool organization with goals I agree with. So I'm also helping to try to leave the world a better place than when I found it! How great is that?

Just Heard On Franken: We're winning!

According to Franken on 620 KPOJ right now, AirAmerica programming beat not only Limbaugh but also O'Reilly.

Good. Limbaugh's tedentious and old; and O'Reilly just sucks.

One more time:

In your face!!!!!

The Sierra Club Newsletter Chronicle, next chapter

Will meet with the soon-to-be-former newsletter layout-er, a very nice individual named Caty, to get the template files today. 16:00. Seven hours hence. Gotta gedda bed.

My Political Affiliation

Got my new voter reg card for my new address.


In your face, Karl Rove!!!!