Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I'm nearly ready to make Part Two of "Truth
" (an audio series) available, but first I'm waiting to hear from Brendan McCabe, one of the voices you'll (hopefully) be hearing on the recording. While listening to Brendan's latest audio
, I was moved by a story he was relating, something I could sincerely relate to. I'd like to share that story with you in my own way, but first I'm asking Brendan for his permission to integrate his recording into my own. I hope he grants it, because I've already edited most of the audio and am ready to make it a podcast. (That is, I'm ready to enclose it in an RSS feed and put it out there for you to download.) Also, I think you'll really enjoy this piece.
In the meantime, I invite you to head over to brencast.blogspot.com
to check out Brendan's work. By listening to Brendan's podcast before my own, you'll have an opportunity to gain some insight into my own podcast production process; you'll hear the raw audio before I sample it and change its context a bit (hopefully retaining the truth
of the original recording).
Monday, November 28, 2005
Where can one find music video downloads? Not the BitTorrent
kind (though I'm not opposed to downloading videos using the P2P method); today I'm looking to legally download a music video or two to watch on a portable media device. I'm already familiar with the iTunes Music Store, but I'm not willing to pay two dollars to download the latest crappy Green Day video. (Crappy, I say, because "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is
a real stinker; I'm not believing the actors for a moment. Don't get me wrong - I like
Green Day; this is just one poorly-performed
I'm heading to Ourmedia.org
to see what I can find. Hopefully the independent artists have begun filling up Ourmedia with their music videos...
I've been attempting to present my life as an open book, but I feel that my efforts have been inadequate in revealing the True Harold. I could set up a webcam, but my face ain't that pretty, and I enjoy walking around my shoebox nekked most of the time. I'm not quite ready to reveal that side of me yet. Besides, most of the on-camera action would feature arguments between myself and my other personalities. Rather than revealing the True Harold, you would probably be overwhelmed and confused by the various Other Harolds Who Are Not Really Harold But Manifestations Of His Schizophrenia*.
Yet I feel the need to expose more. I can more frequently update the photo of myself I've currently got situated near the top left corner of my blogsite, but that seems narcissistic and besides, pictures may say a thousand words but are they the words I want to express? Not always, as I've learned. Sometimes my Serial Killer looks don't accurately portray my (usually) gentle disposition.
So how do I reveal more? Do I write more? Podcast more often? I'm afraid to do too much of either for fear of producing an inordinate amount of crap. At the same time, however, I don't want my perfectionism to prevent me from posting material that you might actually enjoy reading, viewing, or listening to (or perhaps, in the near future, feeling or even tasting). Perhaps I should visit you from time to time, so that you'll understand a bit more about me. We'll have coffee, share a beer, cook marshmellows over a campfire, have a one-night stand. Then you'll know me more fully, and then I can proceed without this particular anxiety I've here expressed.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I'm always so thirsty. I'm dying of thirst. I drink water all day, all night, even while I sleep. I rise in the middle of the night to go pee for the third or fourth time, and upon returning reach for my glass of water. With ice. I can't drink water without ice. I'm drunk on water.
Why am I so thirsty all the time? I run a Google search and find kidney disease at the top of the results. My piss is also bubbly, another symptom. I begin worrying about my kidneys. When did I begin drinking so much water? It's been years, hasn't it? Years of thirst.My favorite artist
has kidney failure, and I wonder how he's living. I'm thrilled to find he continues to produce, transforming his illness into art
...and so find myself in possession of a new, Pentium 3-based PC, having today found a motherboard, CPU, RAM, and CD-ROM drive for a total price of $26 at the Goodwill store near downtown Los Angeles.
Following yesterday's Black Friday purchases
, I drove out to visit my mom, a much belated visit. After the visit, on the way home, I stopped for a few minutes at a local Salvation Army store, where the salesman convinced me to purchase an Enermax server case rather than an old Compaq. "If I was thinking of building a computer", he told me, apparently having read my mind, "I would go for that tall case over there..." He directed me to this (what appeared to be) never-used, gorgeous black and tall server case, complete with a 330-watt power supply and three internal fans. I'm sold for thirty dollars, though I don't know why I'm convinced I can build a PC; I've never done so before.
Straight home with the case, giddy with anticipation. Where do I begin? I've only changed RAM cards, hard drives. More recently, a sound card or two. Never have I built a PC from scratch
And I can't really afford to do so, either. All the parts I've thus far compiled bring me to a grand total of just under $50; since I already have a nice monitor, a keyboard and a few mice, I'd only need a motherboard, a CPU, and some RAM. Oh, and perhaps some type of optical drive, though I do
have a few of those sitting in an old AMD K6-2 box. I even have some RAM I may be able to use. So I really only need
the motherboard and CPU.
Only. Hell, if I spend more than fifty bucks I'll be cutting into my next month's rent. A quick scan of the Fry's Electronics ad shows the cheapest motherboard/CPU combo at $120. Out of my budget.
That was last night, and you know the rest of the story: today at Goodwill, and twenty-six more dollars in the hole. Add a few more dollars for gas, and...not bad. Not bad at all.
The miracle is that I was able to build the beast, all in one sitting. I guess it's not too
difficult to build a PC, but with my luck it'd still take six months for a 1-day job. This must have been one of my blessedly lucky days, though, as I now have a shiny new (well, sort of) PC of my own making. It's not a Hot Rod or anything: it's merely a Pentium 3 450 with 256MB of RAM, but it's got a brand-new 80GB Hitachi hard drive and an Nvidia 128MB AGP graphics card. In a beautiful (and big) case. It's a start, and it's got plenty of room for expansion. Mark my words: one day I'll be running Mac OS X on this box.
Friday, November 25, 2005
An evil thing happened on the way home from dropping the girl off at work today. I found myself in Peet's, drinking a cup of Fair Trade and poring over the paper, scanning the Fry's Electronics pullout for the Black Friday deals. I wasn't really planning on visiting Fry's, but I was drawn to this ad for an Nvidia graphics card that could be had for a mere $15 (after rebates). Now, I've never had a decent graphics card, so the Devil was really dealin' a good hand...
Next thing I know I'm in line at Fry's. The line is weaving throughout the store, snaking from aisle to aisle. Am I really going to buy this?
I'm asking myself, knowing perfectly well the card requires a Pentium 3 or Celeron computer, neither of which I'm currently in possession of. Still
, I'm thinking, I do need that TORX screwdriver hanging there in the Tools aisle I'm entering
So I stay in line, and make the purchase. Along with an 80GB Hitachi hard drive. (But hey, that drive'll be free after rebates!) And some photo paper. (Also free! And the girl can use them!).
Feeling guilty, I made this recording
immediately after exiting that electronics store that should display over its entrance, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here". So tell me, after listening to the recording
- am I evil? (And yes, that is
I currently use a news aggregator called NewsGator
to subscribe to and read RSS and Atom feeds. (Whoah! Did I lose you already? Don't worry; Podcaster Herald has got you covered
.) I use NewsGator Online with Firefox, and I find the application incredibly useful except for one minor (and becoming a major) headache: the darn thing keeps timing out! I keep having to log back in when I'm away from NewsGator Online for a little while.
if you know what I need to do to fix this; I promise to mention you in a future podcast. I will! (Wow, aren't you lucky! LOL)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Yesterday I posted my latest podcast
, titled "Truth (Part 1)". Evidently, this is the first portion of what will be a series of podcasts titled "Truth". Of course, I've made similar promises in the past; for example, in April I promised to post the third part
of a series of podcasts titled "Dream Job". I never did. (In case you're curious, here's "Dream Job (Part 1)
and "Dream Job (Part 2)
In this case, however, I am telling the truth.
(Based on my past history, however, I understand if you don't believe me. In which case, I offer someone else's podcast for you to listen to, some real truth in podcasting: Skepticality
It's Thanksgiving Day, and today I give thanks to the best Thanksgiving storyteller of them all, Arlo Guthrie. Here's another excerpt
from the best Turkey Day song I've ever heard, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree". (This is merely a brief excerpt of the 18-minute song; buy the entire song
, you'll thank me every Thanksgiving for advising you to do so.)
There is also a 30th Anniversary Edition of the album titled Alice's Restaurant: The Massacree Revisited
. I just found out about this release, so I haven't heard it yet - but now I can't wait to.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Regarding: My current mission for the Something That Happened
Friday, November 18, 2005
Regarding: making new friends and witnessing an exciting demo at the Portable Media Expo.
Audio recorded at the Expo
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Early-morning pre-caffeine phone post/experiment not likely to be repeated (and not included in the podcast):
An experiment, though not experimental or anything. Just me posting audio by phone as I'm warming up the car - certainly not interesting enough for me to include in the podcast.
Sometimes that's what we do, though, isn't it? We experiment with various devices and setups and such in the quest of finding our best method of producing. Clearly, this was an experiment that failed; it's a post hardly worth mentioning, much less me pontificating on further.
Sorry for wasting your time. To make up for it, let's have some cheap fun. Here's something new: Something That Happened's own Frappr map
. When you've got the time, please add yourself to the map
. If you don't want to: fine, then, be a fluckr
. See if I care!
Monday, November 14, 2005
Second audio post about my experience of the Podcast Expo.
Tags: podcast expo, portable media expo
The beginning of my discussion about my experiences at the Portable Media Expo & Podcasting Conference this past weekend.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Audio post recorded with my dad; also see my earlier post
Tags: ovarian cancer, Run for Her, father and son, 5k walk
Today my dad is participating in the Run for Her
walk, a charity event that benefits the Women's Cancer Research Institute (WCRI)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Why I didn't make it to the Podcast Expo
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
What Chris doesn't realize
is that there's another player involved in this: me. I can now publicly announce that I
, Harold "H.J." Johnson, am currently making a bid for that once-thriving Internet service provider, America Online. Once I've made the purchase, I plan to bring down Earthlink, once and for all. That's it. That's my entire plan, to bring down Earthlink, because Earthlink is currently screwing me, and I'll tell you how: they're charging me monthly for dialup Internet service that I'm not using, that I've never used - and they refuse to allow me to cancel my account without charging me for 12 months of service.
"Please hold while we connect you to the next available representative..."
I have now been on a phonecall with Earthlink for over two hours
, and I have yet to speak with a representative about my issue. I have been transferred from one department to another, at least ten times
, maybe more, in the following order:
- the Wireless Support line listed on Earthlink's Wireless homepage at (888) 304-2773
- Wifi Sales at (888) 303-3843
- Handheld Devices and Laptop Cards at (888) 304-2773
- Wifi Sales at (888) 303-3843
- Earthlink's Main line (apparently) at (888) 327-8454
- ??? at ??? (Perhaps I'm in the Twilight Zone at this point; the representative told me I could reach the Zone again by dialing  890-5128)
- Wireless Tech Support/Home Networking Dept. at (800) 895-0620
- Wi-Fi Sales (again) at (888) 304-2773
- W--Okay, you get the picture. I'm being jerked around. From here, I'll be transferred a few more times, until I finally reach the limits of my exasperation, ending the call with a less-than-courteous representative...
It began a few months ago, when I made an impulse purchase for a laptop I couldn't afford. I was enticed by an offer made possible by a partnership between Earthlink and a smaller computer maker, Microtel. The offer? A $400 laptop
, subsidized by a one-year agreement to purchase Earthlink dialup Internet. At the time I noticed the offer, I was at a weak point in my life; I'd been "financially challenged" for some time, and desirous of a laptop I could take out of the house to do my work. I envisioned productive days at the local coffee shop, typing away at my laptop's keyboard, working on my resume and inspired by the caffeinated atmosphere. Perhaps I'd make some valuable contacts Outside, since I certainly wasn't making much progress At Home. Too many distractions...So I jumped on the offer, ponying up $400 and agreeing to a one-year contract with Earthlink.
Next day, I awoke, soberly realizing I couldn't possible afford this purchase. I called Microtel: "Buyer's Remorse?" the customer service agent inquired, to which - somewhat abashedly - I agreed. The agent swiftly cancelled my order and reversed the $400 charge made to my bank card.
I then immediately called Earthlink and requested a cancellation: "Certainly," the agent responded, "But it'll cost you..." Apparently I would be charged a hefty penalty for this particular Change of Heart, even though it took place within 24 hours. After a bit of protest, I retired the call and decided to save the argument for another day.
That day came, The Day of Protest, and after being given The Runaround for well over two hours
, I finally threw in the towel and decided - once again - to continue the conversation on another day. It's been months since then, and I'm once again ready to pick up the argument. You see, I've been paying Earthlink every month since early Summer for an account I've never used, and I believe Earthlink should have allowed me to cancel my account without penalty - especially since I had requested to do so within 24 hours of my purchase. Contract or not, it seems to me that Earthlink's business practices are a bit shady, and I aim to correct them.
Help me if you can. Send me your ideas
, Skype me (haroldjohnson
) your encouragement or criticism, Google Talk (email@example.com
) me your advice - and I'll post it here (if you'd like). What can I do to reverse my (mis)fortune? How can I fix this situation? I'll appreciate any assistance you can offer, provided it's within legal boundaries. (Even if it's not, I'm sure it'll be entertaining to hear your feedback on this!)
Technorati Tags: something that happened, Earthlink, customer service, complaints, commentary, true stories
Labels: commentary, complaints, customer service, Earthlink, fuckers, observations, perspective, true stories
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Death by caffeine
Sorry it's been so long since you've heard from me; I try to add content only when it's worthwhile (in my opinion), and I didn't feel I had much to say this past week or two. I've been focusing much of my free time on cleaning up VoyagerRadio's website. Making it more uniformly-designed, easier to navigate, adding my first feedback form, and whatnot. As I'm learning Perl, Python, and other scripting (programming) languages, you'll be seeing a variety of improvements to VoyagerRadio.com. (Right now I'm looking into adding a file upload feature, so that recording artists and others will have yet another way to get their work submitted to my Internet radio station.) Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see added to VoyagerRadio, either the website or the podcast.
There will be some changes around here, as well. As you can (probably) see, I've added an audio player to Something That Happened
, currently located right below the image of my mug. You can use it to listen to some of the audio I've been producing for various projects, much of which has not
appeared on Something That Happened
. (If you want to exclusively hear past Something That Happened
audio, head to the Downloads
area. Better yet, subscribe to the podcast! Here's that feed again:http://somethingthathappened.com/podcast.xml
Given the choice, however, I would recommend subscribing to VoyagerRadio's podcast, Tempo of the Down
, as it's the project I'm currently concentrating most of my time and effort on. The feed? Why, here it is! It's:http://voyagerradio.com/podcast.xml
If the concept of subscribing to podcasts is still over your head, here's an easy way to get started. First,
- Make sure you have iTunes installed. iTunes is Apple Computer's digital audio application; it's free and easy to use. Get it here.
- Once you have iTunes, you're going to head to its Podcasts area. To do this, start the application and head to the iTunes Music Store. (You'll find a link to the Music Store on the left side of your screen.) Once in the store, click the Podcasts link you'll find in there. (You'll find a link to the Podcasts directory on the left - but not the farthest left of the app, since that's outside of the Music Store.)
- Now that you're in the Podcasts area of iTunes, you can either browse the directory of podcasts or run a search for a podcast you'd like to subscribe to. The search field is currently located below the Account box; find it and enter 'something that happened' or 'tempo of the down' and then click the tiny image of a magnifying glass. You'll be taken to my podcast's listing in the iTunes directory. From there, you simply need to click a Subscribe button to begin downloading a recent episode of my podcast. Remember, it's free to subscribe!
Once you're all set up with iTunes, you'll automatically receive podcasts in the future; just look for them in your Podcasts playlist (which you'll find on the far left, right under the Library link). You can listen to them from there, or you can easily transfer them to your iPod (if you have one; I transfer them to my iRiver MP3 Player to listen).
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
There's nothing to see here
, folks. Move along...
Labels: commentary, copyright, downtempo, incident, music, observations, radio, royalties, something that happened, Tempo of the Down, VoyagerRadio