My new favorite webcam

Bear and salmon
Bears and salmon
Eating salmon

Brown bears hunting salmon in Alaska.


I can watch the bears catching salmon in an Alaskan river from my couch.

Thank you intertubes!

I didn’t realize that brown bears are bigger than grizzly bears – I thought the latter were the big guys. Nope.

I learned something today.

And had fun with the web cam. Awesome.

Listening to…

I’ve been listening to, uh, different music lately…

Dylan – Live at the Gaslight

This was a Starbucks exclusive – for whatever reason – and I picked up same there.

A lot of the songs are on bootlegs; but, still, one of my fav Dylan albums – where he is, with his own and other’s songs – getting his voice.

Feufollet – En Couleurs

I first heard a cut from this album/band on NPR; tossed in my Amazon cart and – months later – purchased same. Well worth the wait. It’s good Zydeco or whatever music. Me likes!

Soviet Kitsch
Regina Spector – Soviet Kitsch

As I believe I’ve written before, I first ran across Spektor on the 500 Days of Summer film. Liked the music; bought the soundtrack; really enjoyed the two Spektor songs.

Now I own five of her CDs!

Red Dirt Girl
Emmylou Harris – Red Dirt Girl

I don’t know why it took me so long to “discover” Harris, but I’ve only been listening to her for a year or two – ditto for Patty Griffin and Nanci Griffith, both who are – to me – cut for the same cloth as Harris.

And what I’ve been missing! I have numerous CDs, but this one – Red Dirt Girl – is my (current) fav. “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “One Big Love,” “Michelango.” The whole CD is incredible.

Songs From the City, Songs From the Sea
PJ Harvey – Songs From the City, Songs From the Sea

Someone I worked with introduced me to Harvey – not quite sure why, but I’m glad he did.

I ripped a couple of CDs he had to see if I’d like her; I do. I’ve now purchased 8-9 of her CDs; all are great, but this was my first, and it’s still my favorite.

But it’s got a lot of competition, believe me!


Twelve dead in Colorado

Colorado State FlagTwelve too many – and that number may well rise: The latest estimates report 71 shot (including the 12 dead). Once again, a disturbed individual has literally torn apart dozens of lives – victims, families, friends.

Even those just reading/watching about it and recoiling in horror.

Maybe it’s the movies, maybe it’s the books
Maybe it’s the bullets, maybe it’s the real crooks
Maybe it’s the drugs, maybe it’s the parents
Maybe it’s the colors everybody’s wearin
Maybe it’s the President, maybe it’s the last one
Maybe it’s the one before that, what he done
Maybe it’s the high schools, maybe it’s the teachers
Maybe it’s the tattooed children in the bleachers
Maybe it’s the Bible, maybe it’s the lack
Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the crack
Maybe it’s the hairdos, maybe it’s the TV
Maybe it’s the cigarettes, maybe it’s the family
Maybe it’s the fast food, maybe it’s the news
Maybe it’s divorce, maybe it’s abuse
Maybe it’s the lawyers, maybe it’s the prisons
Maybe it’s the Senators, maybe it’s the system
Maybe it’s the fathers, maybe it’s the sons
Maybe it’s the sisters, maybe it’s the moms
Maybe it’s the radio, maybe it’s road rage
Maybe El Nino, or UV rays
Maybe it’s the army, maybe it’s the liquor
Maybe it’s the papers, maybe the militia
Maybe it’s the athletes, maybe it’s the ads
Maybe it’s the sports fans, maybe it’s a fad
Maybe it’s the magazines, maybe it’s the internet
Maybe it’s the lottery, maybe it’s the immigrants
Maybe it’s taxes, big business
Maybe it’s the KKK and the skinheads
Maybe it’s the communists, maybe it’s the Catholics
Maybe it’s the hippies, maybe it’s the addicts
Maybe it’s the art, maybe it’s the sex
Maybe it’s the homeless, maybe it’s the banks
Maybe it’s the clearcut, maybe it’s the ozone
Maybe it’s the chemicals, maybe it’s the car phones
Maybe it’s the fertilizer, maybe it’s the nose rings
Maybe it’s the end, but I know one thing.
If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns.

— Cheryl Wheeler, If It Were Up to Me

I don’t know if taking away all the guns would help much – these guns were purchased legally; shut off that venue, and they’ll be purchased illegally. Someone planning genocide is not going to have qualms about stepping around the law to purchase weapons.

Wheeler has a point – there are a lot of potential targets at which to point fingers. And I sure don’t have the answer about the cause. This is not a rant against guns per se.

But this peculiar flavor of American insanity has got to stop. Somehow. Soon.

Yahoo! given a life-line

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo!

I’m late to the party, but full on-board that this is a good thing.


I’m now (sorta) jazzed about Yahoo!, where previous to this, Yahoo! seemed to be circling the drain.

Veddy interesting….

My predictions (and I know nothing):

  • There will be layoffs – sad, but true. Necessary.
  • Focus on Flickr, Yahoo Finance
  • Slow elimination of the whole portal concept
  • Big guess: Dump Bing; partner with Google for search/ads (why not go with the best?)
  • Big hope: Like Carol Bartz, I hope she tells an interviewer – at some conference – to “fuck off” or some such pushback.

Update 7/19/2012: As expected, Mayer’s compensation package with Yahoo, is, shall we say, generous.

Again – expected. Big bucks for big job that two recent CEO hires – Carol Bartz and Scott Thompson – have failed at. And they did well financially, as well.

And Mayer can’t jump into the ring/shark tank without the unstated announcement that, while she’s a zillionaire (from Google), she doesn’t work for free. Want what I gots? What will the market bear?

My final thought: If Mayer succeeds, it will be big – Yahoo! back (in some way). Could be huge. So the compensation doesn’t matter.

If she fails, Yahoo! is dead – sell off the parts. To me, this is Yahoo!’s last chance to be significant. And so, again, the compensation almost doesn’t matter. Write down the loss…

Personally, I hope Yahoo! succeeds.

Update Deux 7/19/2012: I’ve read/viewed a zillion reports about the Mayer transition, but some – I won’t point fingers – emphasize that she is a “she” (female). And since the report that she’s pregnant emerged, it’s gotten a bit more XX vs. XY oriented.

Here’s my take: I liked what I read about Carol Bartz; she failed. I didn’t know anything about Scott Thompson, but he seemed – to me – “meh.”

I didn’t care about Bartz’s or Thompson’s gender; I don’t care about Mayer’s.

Mayer has chops; she could make the difference. That’s all that matters.

When phones aren’t

iphoneWhen the first iPhone came out in June, 2007, I was in lust. I wanted one, but I just didn’t need one.

But I understood – even way back then – that this was a seismic event, an introduction that changed everything:

Do I think this changes everything about cellphones, as has been the general buzz?


The one striking thing I note when I read reviews about this product is that the reviews are not about a cellphone, the reviews are about a mobile device that does A, B & C – oh, and you can use it as a phone, as well.

I do think this is a watershed moment in cell phones and all mobile devices; I’ll be interested to see what Apple does next (3G, for example) with this device.

And that’s the key – it’s not a cellphone.

It’s a device. A handheld computer.


I was thinking about my thoughts from that distant day when I recently ran across an excellent John Gruber article over at As part of a review of another article, he lays out his vision of the iPhone:

The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters.


The iPod’s success fooled almost everyone (including me) into thinking that Apple’s entry into the phone market would be similar. The iPod was the world’s best portable media player; the “iPhone”, thus, would likely be the world’s best cell phone.

But that’s not what it was. It was the world’s best portable computer. Best not in the sense of being the most powerful, or the fastest, or the most-efficient to use. The thing couldn’t even do copy-and-paste. It was the best because it was always there, always on, always just a button-push away. The disruption was not that we now finally had a nice phone; it was that, for better or for worse, we would now never again be without a computer or the Internet.

Well put.

And Gruber goes on to link to a story from back in the day saying how RIM was screwed, because the mobile market was moving to mobile computers, not phones or messaging devices. And look where Apple and RIM are today. Apple’s on top of the world; RIM’s in the crapper.

It really is stunning how fast this market has changed – smart phones today are not just devices with a phone, but they are cameras, instant messaging platforms, ereaders, gaming consoles, have Photoshop-like apps (Instagram, Camera Awesome) and thousands of other apps so you can make the device whatever it is you want. Even in the heady days following the iPhone launch, I don’t think many would have thought we’d be where we are today in just five short years. It’s mind-blowing.

What’ll the next five years bring? Well, faster connectivity, hopefully better battery life (thank god for Mophie cases!), probably thinner cases and better cameras…

But what’s the feature out there that is not just an improvement, but a radical departure – as the iPhone was from the other hot phones of the time, Motorola’s Razr and RIM’s Blackberry? Will the form factor change? I loved my flip phone, and I really don’t want a bigger phone (bigger screen is nice, but bigger form factor: no). What if very thin smart phones were flip phones? Or slide outs? So the carry-around form factor is half of what it is today, but opens to your typical smart phone form factor? That’d be interesting.

What else could be coming down the pike? I’ll bet that at least one of the disruptive ideas that comes along will seem obvious once it’s adopted. Like touch screens for phones.

It’s been a fun ride, and it’s not over yet…

Photo ©; cropped

Music to my ears

As avid readers of this blog – both of you – know, I’m not a fan of embedding third-party content, especially videos. Because who knows when same will be pulled and … I gots a hole in my blog.


I first saw/heard Keb Mo perform “America the Beautiful” on the Season Seven episode of “The West Wing” that was part of the inauguration of Jimmy Smits.

Great voice giving a unique take to a well-known song. If you haven’t heard; give it a shot.