Posted by Alan McLeod on Saturday, May 24, 2014 in Gen X at 40 and its Readers, Web, Blogging and Computers - 1 comment
The fourth Internet is scary like Darwinism, brutal enough to remind me of high school... If the first Internet was “Getting information online,” the second was “Getting the information organized” and the third was “Getting everyone connected” the fourth is definitely “Get mine.” Which is a trap.
It sums it up neatly. The end of information. The prostitution of data space. I am not sure it has caused me to consciously draw away from writing on this blog but it may have contributed. "Getting mine" includes those paywall spaces, too. Fees are necessary, agreed, but what ever happened to micro payments? Surely PayPal could be harnessed to let me reach newspaper articles for four pennies a piece. Not that I had high hopes all these years ago. I compared blogging or Web 2.0(a) to CB radio when it was mainly a hobby. Over eleven years ago as it turns out.
Perhaps it is because I make a little money from writing now. I used to make money from blog ads and now make money from book contracts. I am regressing into old media. Because it is reliable. Should I add a question mark to that? Because it is reliable? If I titled this post "Twenty one ways the fourth internet will make you angry... and then leave you amazed!" I would fit in better these days.
Previous celebrations: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Unlike last year when snow lays about in dirty lumps, it lays about us deep and frigid. No seeds have been ordered let alone sprouted. Baseball seems months away still. Thank God for a small wine cellar and a working furnace.
Posted by Alan McLeod on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 in Weather, Holidays and Seasons, Me and Mine - leave a comment
Happy we are that the stove top and basement fireplace both run on natural gas. We still have electricity but if and when we don't it'll be days and days of grilled cheese then porridge, grilled cheese then porridge. We can hold out on that for a week. Week two? Beans on rice? The back step will be our freezer, the cold room under the front step our fridge. For suburbanites, we have it good - or at least the house was built in '64 with an awareness of nature. Wine is expected to still operate in an extended blackout. As with banjos. Very Christmassy so far... sitting here early on a Saturday evening, four days before the day. Best image of the first day of the ice storm? Street skating.
I made a quick trip to the Library and Archives of Canada as part of researching the book on Ontario beer history. Among the most interesting things seen was all the white with black veined marble throughout the place. That's the foyer up there. The Wellington Street building down the road from Parliament and the Supreme Court has an odd combination of the white marble, aged pine and brass fittings. It feels like the Earth HQ might have looked like on Space:1999. Apparently I failed to notice the Henry Moore down to my right when I took the picture.
I finally figured out how to pronounce the name of the capital city of New York state. I knew "Ahhhlbany" was wrong but could not figure out "Awlbany" until I heard it was called "Smallbany" too. So it rhymes with small. There you go. We were there for an Albany Ale Project event at the Albany Institute of History and Art. It was a great event which I will likely write about over at the beer blog but wanted to note a few things for now about the travel aspects of the trip.
First, as illustrated, we had a great brunch at the Gateway Diner handy to the simply majestic Oliver's Beverage. The place was big for a diner but the spaces were broken up so that you had a sense in each part of it that you were in a busy family diner. Service was fast and friendly. The coffee was good. I like having New York strip steak while in the Empire State. This was my first one with eggs. Poached. One must be careful these days.
The diner was not that far from where we were staying, the CrestHill Suites on outer Washington near the State Campus. We picked this up for 91 bucks on Hotwire. Clean. Generous room with a real kitchen that defied the use of nook. Armchair and sofa. Quite even if near the highway. We had room 312. We will book again. Best thing was the laundry basket in the bathroom. A $1.79 item that meant we did not have to leave damp used towels on the floor and, presumably, allowed the staff to clean up with a little more dignity than getting down on all fours to recover the last facecloth from under the sink. A simple smart thing that earned our respect.
Last, after the event three couples went for a Mexican dinner before heading for beers at the Lionheart Pub closer to downtown. The restaurant, El Mariachi, sits across the street from the Institute. Its one of those spots you go to in the States that reminds you that Canadians thing BBQ is a wiener on the hibachi. I won't go into much detail except that supper for six was only a bit over $80 and that I had something that really rearranged my thoughts about Mexican food - chicken with pumpkin seed sauce. Fabulous. I am now going to make pumpkin seed sauce and pour it over everything. Generous portions. Great service and cozy small spaces.
So, as you can see, I have thought about something I want to write about in this space other than gardening. I mean I could write how the fence blew down on Friday but... really?
Ry was nice enough to leave a comment asking why it has gone so quiet here. Why has the blogging gone so cold? Well, I have to admit that the beer blog is getting all the focus, isn't it. So, I am blogging. Plus, I am co-authoring three books with three different beer writers, a history of Ontario, a history of Albany NY as well as a fantasy dialogue on the state of beer culture. Two of them are actually under real publishing contracts. So, I am writing a lot.
On top of that, politics has gotten so dull, so rote. Factionalism in US politics has led to stagnation more than roadblock and we are watching someone commit suicide - just not sure who yet. In Canada, the PM is sleepwalking through the slow disintegration of his career. The opposition is a bit dull even with Grit hints of some vital signs. Beyond politics, has anything caught my attention in broader culture? Pope's an improvement. Economy's better but not roaring. No really better bands, food products or computing options. I am writing this on an iPad mini. Does that count?
Maybe it's the relaxed state of affairs in life that have quieten end my mind. Fewer responsibilities are in front of me. My favourite teams are playing well. More time for SCTV DVDs in the den or poking around the garden. No frost yet even though we are well into October. I go to bed early on Friday nights even, up early enough for the fishing shows and the farm report.
What has become of me?