Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whoa... It's August?

Time flies when you're doing whatever it is I do.  Actually, what I'm doing (professionally) these days is different from what I was doing six months ago.  Back then, I was managing a technical support team; nowadays, I'm immersed in data, from both clients (repairing and exporting/importing medical billing software and electronic medical records software databases) and from us (I update Microwize Technology's 'blog and maintain its Web site and user forum), and I do a bit of marketing work on the side as well.

While I need to get crackin' on creating some more of my own music, I was inspired to record a cover of Willie Nile's "One Guitar" this past weekend.  I'd already learned the song three months ago when I marched with the Occupy Guitarmy on May Day, and then last week I heard about the One Guitar Collaborative Charity Initiative, which hopes to both raise money for the TJ Martell Foundation and break the Guinness Book World Record for the most recorded song in history.  Sounded good to me, so I plugged in one guitar (the Danelectro) and came up with my own quick version; I even convinced Laura to help out with backing vocals!

On Monday morning, as I was approaching the office, I encountered a bird sleeping in front of the garage entrance!  I bent down and ruffled the feathers on the top of its head, and it opened an eye to look at me, then buried its head under a wing and went back to sleep.  Since it obviously wasn't interested in moving on its own, I elected to pick it up, carry it in my palm a few feet, and put it down in some bushes, where it wouldn't run the risk of being run over.  The bird didn't seem injured or sick, just sleepy.  Heh...  When I checked back a few hours later, it was gone, so hopefully that means it eventually woke up and realized it had an angry spouse waiting for it at home.

Within the past few weeks, I've joined the Internet Defense League ("Protecting the Free Internet Since 2012"), RebelMouse ("your social front page"), and Vizify ("one definitive, multidimensional, graphical biography").  I didn't have nearly enough of a social presence on the Web before. I mean, I was making do with only Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace (yeah, still got that), MyOuterSpace (something else entirely), YouTube, Orkut, and the music-related sites like ReverbNation and Google Play and SoundCloud and Bandcamp and... Anyway, the latter two new sites, RebelMouse and Vizify, basically take content you've already posted to social networks and make them more visually appealing; Vizify is more about turning that content into a visual bio, and it has a lot of potential, I think, but I've already run into a bug with the locations (I do not live in Nutley anymore). The first one, the IDL, is so my Web site (well, one of them, anyway) can automatically join in broadcasting a message when the open Web is threatened again, by SOPA or PIPA or CISPA or DOMA or whatever ridiculous act Congress cooks up next. If they're really interested in protecting copyright holders and content creators, let them do so with legislation that's as narrowly focused as possible and can't be used to shut down Web sites willy-nilly. I'll give you my site when you pry it from my cold, dead hands! If you come for mine, you better bring yours. Web sites don't kill people, people with guns kill people. Et cetera, et cetera...

"Free Pussy Riot!" sounds like an advertisement for a really bangin' party (pun unreservedly intended), but it's actually a movement to try to obtain some justice for three young women arrested in Russia and charged with hooliganism for protesting in a Moscow cathedral against Russian president Vladimir Putin and the relationship he seems to have with the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership.  Pussy Riot is a punk band / feminist performance art group that has given voices to the anti-Putin movement, and the arrest of three of their members in March resulted from a one-minute "punk prayer" ("Virgin Mary, Send Putin Away") at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and could result in seven-year sentences.  It seems that Vlad the Repealer is trying to unravel Russia's already fragile democracy and make an example of these girls.

Laura, a punk girl much closer to my heart, is getting ready to run another 5K, this time in Asbury Park in two and a half weeks. There's a 10K in September she's got her eye on, too, and she's been training; in fact, the poor girl got soaked this morning by a sudden, powerful downpour (which I mostly avoided on my way to work twenty minutes later).  We've recently celebrated a milestone by completing our 26th weekly installment of Slime, the Web comic (half a year's worth, and none of them have been published late).  Slime merchandise is a very real possibility; anything you'd like to see/purchase? No, there probably won't be any Slime knitwear.  I'm just not very good at knitting yet.

In addition to the race, our plans for this month including seeing the glorious gals of Goli again at Caffe Vivaldi (Friday the 17th, if you're interested), going to the Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest, weather permitting, and visiting the Grange Fair in Centre Hall, PA. Perhaps we can sneak in another visit to the Met, as well. What are you up to this month, voiceless anonymous readers?

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