Life As We Blow It #87: All binge, no purge

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Several months ago, we “cut the cord” and got rid of cable TV at home.

It seemed like a win-win at the time. We’d save money; we’d spend fewer hours in front of the tube, flipping through programs we weren’t really interested in watching in the first place. We didn’t watch a whole hell of a lot of TV anyway, and with the plethora of subscription streaming services available, we’d be covered on about 85 percent of the stuff we cared about.

(Plus, I follow a lot of tech blogs, and while I can’t afford to be what they call an “early adopter,” I’m definitely the kind of person that gets sort of all itchy and sweaty and excited whenever a new smartphone or online trend of which I might possibly attempt to avail myself comes along.)

So I talked Rebecca into canceling our cable TV subscription — picking up a sweet new deal on our monthly broadband Internet contract in the process — and added another one of those futuristic hockey pucks that connect the TV to the web to our home network, which already included one that I, as a half-assed tech dabbler, had been half-assedly dabbling with.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Life As We Blow It #86: Digital Outrage

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This one’s a bit old. Very old, in internet time; the teapot tempest it describes and exacerbated has since died down, until the next time the Tampa Bay music scene gets all divisive about something. And it will; that’s what scenes do.

But I think it has some valid things to say about Perspectives In The Age Of The Internet, and how time is different these days, and how substantial any of this kind of thing really ends up being.

I went on TV to talk about Creative Loafing’s “Meet the Brewers” (VIDEO)

I am not good on TV.

It’s weird. I’ve played music in front of thousands of people (not a lot; mostly I’ve played music in front of, like, two dozens of people), and not been too nervous. I’ve done readings. I’ve interviewed a few people whose mere presence has probably caused some of their fans to pass out. I’ve sat on panels. But TV, particularly LIVE TV, always freaks me out.

I’ve been in a few news segments over the years, usually pimping local music or talking about tech in front of an audience that probably finds instant messaging an alien and terrifying concept. And it tends to make me anxious, to some degree or other. The last time I was on Tampa Bay’s WTSP morning show Studio 10 — which I visited again last Thursday to pimp Creative Loafing’s “Meet the Brewers” cover story — was probably four or five years ago, and I think I gave better TV, because I was calmer; I was also, honestly, significantly hungover that time, and more preoccupied with being conscious in general than being on TV specifically.

In any case, click through to witness my stammering, panic attack-y appearance on morning TV. The crew and hosts were very nice. (Rebecca was embarrassed that I didn’t have time for a haircut beforehand.)

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So I did a big “Meet the Brewers” cover package for Creative Loafing Tampa Bay

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About a ton of local breweries/brewpubs have opened in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding West Central Florida region, and like an idiot I decided I could cover all or most of them.

That, of course, didn’t end up happening, but I did speak/hang/drink beer with the brewers for a baker’s dozen of area craft breweries. It was exhausting, but also a blast, and I discovered that the people that actually make the beer — write the recipes, fill the tanks, taste the results and repeat until they’re satisfied — are as passionate about their own particular balance of art and craftsmanship as any other creatives out there. They’re the kind of people who would do it for free, and get more out of seeing someone enjoy the fruits of their labor than most “professionals” could possibly understand.

Here’s the link to the landing page, with related to links to each of the brewers. The individual interview links are after the break.

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LAWBI #85: Cunning Canine

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One of our dogs, Bentley, looks like a cross between a crotchety old man and Falcor fromThe NeverEnding Story. Which is perfect, because, while he’s loving and clever, he’s also moody and stubborn.

Very stubborn.

We’re not sure what Bentley’s backstory is, but it made him smart and independent and pretty damned sure he’s not gonna do what he doesn’t want to do. It’s a bit like I’m Clarice Starling living with a furry little Hannibal Lecter — I understand that he respects me to a point, in an amused sort of way, but I still don’t go to sleep until I know he’s asleep.

And sometimes he’s faking.

Bentley currently has an eye infection. Giving him eyedrops is roughly akin to trying to pull your wedding ring out of the sink drain while a blindfolded psychopath plays with the switch for the disposal, listening and sensing your movements and different tricks … and learning. If I don’t mix it up constantly, I’m gonna lose some fingers.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing