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Twenty years ago today

 I was talking with a friend over the weekend about the origins of podcasting, and how, in June of 2004, I finally decided to do an audio post, to get my feet wet, and to prove all you needed was a laptop and a little software and you could be doing radio almost as easily as writing a blog post.

That was June 11, 2004.

Then it hit me, it's June 2024 now, it's been twenty freaking years.

In hindsight, that podcast was the start of the bootstrap that saw a dozen shows by September and then hundreds and thousands, and now here we are, podcasting has been through quite a few bursts of growth and it's still as open as it was back in June 2004.

Anyone with a laptop can do a podcast. That was the goal. You don't need anyone's permission. That was a breakthrough in radio. Prior to that, you had to get a lot of approval, and every step made it less real and less interesting, imho.

My partner in this at the time was Adam Curry. Sometime in that period he started The Daily Source Code, and then we did a podcast together for a few months called Trade Secrets. My own podcast was called Morning Coffee Notes.

So I thought, why not do a Serial-like podcast over the next few months, with the actual programs from 2004, along with the Trade Secrets shows. I think I have them all archived. And it would be great if Adam did the same with his shows, starting when they started. And Dawn & Drew, Dave Slusher. This can go on forever if you like. (I promise mine won't.)

So here's the URL for the podcast.

I'm sure there will be a lot of cringeworthy moments, but what the heck. I'll hopefully have the feed up before the end of the day, and I'll register it with Apple so will hopefully be transcripts.

I hope I can count on you to spread the word, this is how the podcasting bootstrap happened. If you want to learn how two weird geek hippie types like Adam and myself, can have an idea, and then by constantly trying out new approaches, eventually it sticks and becomes a new medium that's still thriving twenty years later.

It should be quite a story! :-)

Here's a picture of myself and Adam at Gnomedex in the summer of 2004. And that's the laptop I used to make all these podcasts. I was living in Seattle at the time.

Dave and Adam at Gnomedex in 2004.

PS: Here's the Apple Podcasts page.

Scripting News

17 Jun 2024 at 16:28

On Old Blog Posts and Nostalgia

 This past Saturday, I found myself in a nostalgic mood. I watched She’s Out of My League, a comedy from 2010. When the credits started rolling, it sank in that She’s Out of My League came out fourteen years ago. Mentally, it feels like five years to me.

Entertained by the humor of TJ Miller, I thought it might be a good time to finish up Silicon Valley. It’s been a few years though, so I figured I’d start at the beginning. Once the opening credits began, I saw the MySpace logo and thought to myself, “Surely, this isn’t that old” and that’s when I realized it’s been ten years since Silicon Valley debuted. I guess these things happen, you get older, and time seems to move at a different pace.

I began to wonder what I was blogging about in 2014. I no longer have copies of those blogs, so I fired up the Internet Archive and read a few posts. It really got me thinking about preservation of blog posts, which is something I’ve done a 180 on in the past year after speaking with a few people, running a small survey, and being disappointed when discovering a post I really liked no longer existed.

The posts from 2014 weren’t too bad, but as I dug a little deeper, I realized that posts written before 2010 were not to my liking. My views have changed too much, and my writing has improved. So, I began thinking about what I refer to as my modern era of blogging.

In 2017, I launched Brandon’s Horror, a non-spoiler horror movie review site. It was my first real big undertaking that I stuck with for some years. Then in 2020, I began a new personal blog, which I feel like is an extension of this site. My life had changed for the better and my blogging was more positive and less mopey. Although that blog bounced around a few platforms and a few name changes, I don’t feel all that much has changed since 2020.

Then in 2022, I launched Middle-Aged Fat Kids with a buddy of mine. I split my pop-culture related posts to that site, but overtime it was just something else to manage. Recently, I deleted both Brandon’s Horror and Middle-Aged Fat Kids.

But I’m proud of pretty much everything I wrote during this time frame, the past seven years or so. I feel like my outlook on life has been more consistent and I’ve revisited the same themes and concepts several times over the years. Thinking about these posts, I began to realize that while catering to different audiences, all of these posts were parts of me. Little pieces of Brandon being shared with the world.

I pulled out my external hard drive to see what backups of my blogs that I did have. I know I converted all of my posts since 2020 into .epubs last year, but I wanted to see what might have survived in terms of proper exports. I found some from June 2023, while incomplete, it was better than nothing.

Over the weekend I began importing these posts. If you dig into my archives now, you’ll see they expand back to 2017. The majority of these posts are missing images, have dead links, and all the other technical BS that comes with this sort of undertaking. I was still working on my posts I brought over from Scribbles, so I’ve got a ton of work ahead of me. I’m talking months’ worth of work.

Pretty much all 746 published blog posts will have to be assessed, updated, and categorized, along with another 129 in drafts. I’m also missing what I estimate to be another 150 posts I’ll need to snag from the .epub or Internet Archive.

I do have some duplicate posts that’ll need to be deleted and I’m removing any clutter posts, like little site updates or content that may have been rewritten at a later date in a more efficient way. It won’t be a complete archive and I’m sure some things will be missing, but it should be pretty close. There are also some bonus posts, stuff I wrote and never published or even a string of ten or fifteen posts I wrote last year when I stepped away from blogging for a bit.

Over time, I plan on writing a few discovery posts to help bring some of the old content to the light that I feel is worth reading, because not all of it is great. But what is posted is a pretty accurate display of my interests/views/ideas at a certain time and how I felt like sharing those.

I recently added a Search function to the sidebar and expanded the number of posts shown on each page to twenty-five. It should make sorting through the content a bit easier if there is something specific you wanted to see or are looking for.

So, as we used to say in the olden days, please excuse the construction and like all highway construction, this might take a while to get finished.

Brandon's Journal

17 Jun 2024 at 14:26
 A more elegant way of saying what I was trying to say yesterday. Robin Wall Kimmerer:

When Nanabozho, the Anishinaabe Original Man, our teacher, part man, part manido, walked through the world, he took note of who was flourishing and who was not, of who was mindful of the Original Instructions and who was not. He was dismayed when he came upon villages where the gardens were not being tended, where the fishnets were not repaired and the children were not being taught the way to live. Instead of seeing piles of firewood and caches of corn, he found the people lying beneath maple trees with their mouths wide open, catching the thick, sweet syrup of the generous trees. They had become lazy and took for granted the gifts of the Creator. They did not do their ceremonies or care for one another. He knew his responsibility, so he went to the river and dipped up many buckets of water. He poured the water straight into the maple trees to dilute the syrup. Today, maple sap flows like a stream of water with only a trace of sweetness to remind the people both of possibility and of responsibility. And so it is that it takes forty gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup.

… When my daughters remember our sugaring adventure now, they roll their eyes and groan, “That was so much work.” They remember hauling branches to feed the fire and slopping sap on their jackets as they carried heavy buckets. They tease me about being a wretched mother who wove their connection to the land through forced labor. They were awfully little to be doing the work of a sugaring crew. But they also remember the wonder of drinking sap straight from the tree. Sap, but not syrup. Nanabozho made certain that the work would never be too easy. His teachings remind us that one half of the truth is that the earth endows us with great gifts, the other half is that the gift is not enough. The responsibility does not lie with the maples alone. The other half belongs to us; we participate in its transformation. It is our work, and our gratitude, that distills the sweetness.


17 Jun 2024 at 12:46

Roll-157 (Nikon FM2n/HP5)

 Roll-157 (Nikon FM2n/HP5)

My wife and I met my daughter's family for a Father's Day picnic in a nearby park. My grandson loved the swing, so most of the roll ended up of him on the swing. posts

17 Jun 2024 at 11:12

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


It’s true I do have time and freedom and I love it, sometimes. But the notion that I should be “making the most of it”, travelling the world or out every night, there’s a kind of tyranny in that too, that life has to be full, like your life’s a hole that you have to keep filling, a leaky bucket, and not just fulfilled but seen to be fulfilled. “You don’t have kids, why can’t you speak Portuguese?” Do I have to have hobbies and projects and lovers? Do I have to excel? Can’t I just be happy, or unhappy, just mess about and read and waste time and be unfulfilled by myself?

David Nicholls, You Are Here: Novel (Harper, May 28, 2024)

Book Review: The Guardian & The New York Times

Live & Learn

17 Jun 2024 at 08:03

Scripting News: Sunday, June 16, 2024


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Cat Stevens: "Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy."#

Buffalo Springfield: "You make the rules, you say what's fair."#

I've written a crawler for the network of blogrolls via connective links in HTML and/or RSS feeds. When I started the project, I had no idea what I'd find. How many blogrolls of what quality. I still don't know the extent of it, but there's a non-trivial number of blogrolls out there. I'm thinking about ways to get a handle on all the feeds in all the blogrolls, and see what we get from that. And I'm beginning to see the utility of FeedLand as a feed operating system, which is what I wanted it to be. It's not just a feed reader. It's able to do things most feed readers don't do, maybe none do. We don't have a good grasp of the depth of the feed products either. I will of course share the results when they are shareable. #

Three movies I've watched in the last few days: 1. Fight Club. 2. The Matrix. 3. The Devil's Advocate. I had seen all of them before. But they go together. And they're all about the same thing, about choosing to live in a dream, or to live the life you're actually living. All three are excellent movies that I watched straight through from beginning to end, which is really unusual for me these days. #

This would make a great campaign ad. Remember how lost we were. Understand what you're voting for when you go MAGA and what you could get if you sit this one out or cast a protest vote of some kind.#

Imagine RSS as a cover story#

  • RSS has never been on the cover of a magazine, so you can't say ChatGPT is stealing this from anyone. In fact I'm offended on behalf of ChatGPT that the press has chosen to focus on the idea that it's plagiarizing journalists. The ideas journalists write about do not belong to them. If they're doing their jobs, they're reporting facts that exist whether or not they wrote a story about it. A simple example. I may have read in a local paper that the Mets swept the Dodgers in the NLCS. I don't owe a news org anything if I wrote that the Mets won, because I read the news on their site. The news doesn't belong to them. #
  • The idea that RSS could be on the cover of a magazine isn't so far-fetched, but no one ran a press release and there were no billionaires involved, so they didn't consider it newsworthy I guess. Some day we're going to have to accept that we have to make our own news, in the sense of Scoop Nisker's famous line -- "If you don't like the news go out and make some of your own." So here we go. I asked ChatGPT to imagine a magazine with RSS as the cover story. #
  • Imagine RSS as the cover story.#

  • PS: Does the concept of a cover story even exist now that we rarely read printed magazines?#

Scripting News for email

17 Jun 2024 at 05:00
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