Tangy + nerdy

February 27, 2009

Mini Orange 1 (BW)
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

» The other day I ate a tangerine for the first time. The closest I’d come to eating a tangerine previously was a tangerine-mandarin hybrid. That was fairly tart but in no way prepared me for the near-lemon intensity of pure puckering acid of a true tangerine. I think you could probably cauterize a wound with the juice. It has just occurred to me that since this was the first pure-bred tangerine of my life, I don’t know if it was actually a common example of tangerinehood or if it was an anomaly. Maybe this was an especially feisty tangerine and the average tangerine has a milder disposition. Perhaps it was an adolescent full of the fire of youth and hadn’t yet settled into the delicious mellow ripeness of middle-age. I think I might acquire myself another tangerine today and further investigate this vigorous fruit.

» I’ve never been a sci-fi convention. I’m not sure it’s even a "nerd hurdle" for me so much as I just don’t understand the appeal. I guess because it’s a clandestine world I’ve never entered. What do they do in there? It’s as mysterious as the Masonic Lodge. And similar too. Trekkies and Masons both wear strange costumes, hoard strange artifacts and discuss things only known amongst their peer group. Mandi has entered the inner-circle a few times so we chatted about the mysterious world of the sci-fi convention in episode #7 of Nerd Hurdles.

Tweets of Wisdom

February 25, 2009

» Mr. Dapper can now be followed on Twitter for daily doses of dapperness, euphoric aphorisms, and magical moments of mirth.

Podcamp + Meeting Kennedy

February 23, 2009

» This weekend Mandi and I went to KennedyKamp ’09. That should read: Podcamp Toronto 2009. It was supposedly a podcasting (un)convention but really it was a “media studies poser douche” conference. Which, really, I knew it would be just from the term “un-convention”—a term meaning the ‘organizers” had applied wiki-theory to the organizatiom of a conference. It was prosumerism in effect as the attendees organically created the event online. A neat idea, but the execution was a rambling shambles of an event. Also fine in itself, but perhaps more aesthetically suited to zinesters or crafters than uber-techy bloggers. It seemed unfocused amidst the veritable sea of cutting-edge iPhones, laptops and gadgets I’d never seen before.

The focus of the event was also not geared towards my interests. I’m pretty realistic about blogging (technically I don’t blog anyway, this is an online diary) and podcasting. Podcamp was full of men and women who were clearly either attempting to make a living in new media or, more likely, dreaming about it. These are the same marketing oriented weasels you’d see at web-design events ten years ago. Now you can find enough open source tools out there you don’t need to be a designer to blog and podcast, so this sm-army of smooth talking nerds has migrated over to “social media” enterprises (in better economic times many of them could have looked forward to careers in publishing and TV). They all enough had dollar signs in their eyes to fill up the terabytes of storage space they carried on their person in several devices.

I speak somewhat hypocritically. I would love for Ampersand Publishing / Podcasts to sustain itself (and me) financially. But ultimately, I don’t think it’s going to happen the way people at Podcamp seemed believe it’s possible it can happen. I’ve never be struck with so many people being so earnestly (and arrogantly) enamoured with a pipedream since getting involved with the music business.

But all that is beside the point. Mandi and I didn’t go to hand out Nerd Hurdles business cards (which I had printed), we went to meet up with fellow podcaster Kennedy. I’ve “known” him online for about a year (Mandi about four months) and he’s one of the people I’ve been most excited about meeting. Not only because his podcasts and blog are pretty impressive, but he’s always seemed like a genuine person, if not rather surly. I have to admit I was actually somewhat concerned about meeting him. I wasn’t sure if he’d be even more grumpy than he sometimes comes off as online, or if he’d be a massive new media weasel douchebag like most of the podcampers and, ultimately, if we’d just not hit it off and thing’s would be weird on the forum we frequent and Twitter from then on.

Within seconds, my fears were put to rest. Kennedy is a warm, funny, wry (not surly) and, indeed, genuine guy. Neither weasel, nor douchebag, it was like meeting an old friend from university, not a complete stranger. Though not a tall as I’d expected. You can hear his take on  Podcamp (he was more positive about it) and our meeting by clicking the words Weather Station 3.

More dots + collaboration

February 19, 2009

» Podcast listenership slowly rising. We’re gaining in the USA now, though not in the mormonlands. Probably because we bollocked Twlilight. Plus, three upside-down teardrops in Australia.

» Arachnidiscs has released a new split album. This time featuring Heavy Moon (me) and my imaginary friend Tony whose musical persona is Rubacuori. He recorded an EP based on the words “heavy moon” and I recorded one about the word “rubacuori.” It’s a double 3-inch CD-R available at arachnidiscs.bigcartel.com. There’s only six copies available. EDIT: 4 copies available.

Not kendal mint cake

February 18, 2009

Not kendal mint cake 2
Originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

» A few weeks ago, late at night, with a sleepless fever, I tried to make kendal mint cake. It didn’t work out. Making candy is a touch-and-go process at the best of times but attempting it while barely functioning was probably a lapse in judgment. The result was clearly not kendal mint cake. It was, instead, some kind of mint toffee. I realized I have no idea what the chemical process of boiling sugar really is. Either I cooked it too long, or not long enough or at the wrong intensity. I might need to read and actual book on candy-making and not rely on the internet. In the end, Mandi and I cut it into cubes and covered them in chocolate. They were amazingly good, if a bit crystalline. Strangely the remaining few are almost entirely crystallized now and almost kendal-like with almost no toffee bits left. Sugar is weird stuff.

Ideas, zeroes + rain

February 12, 2009


» My head is too full of ideas these days. Projects I want to complete; projects I want to abandon because I have better ideas; books I want to write; half-finished short stories I’m avoiding writing; podcasts; films; records; bands; networks; promoting ideas already in effect; publishing other peoples’ writing and music; performing; ideas; ideas; ideas. Ideas are great. But they take time and resources. I have the resources right now, but not the time. If I acquire the time, resources will dwindle. It’s a sea-saw of crazy-making creative angst. This week I formulated the worst life-plan ever. It’s pretty awesome.

» Mandi and I don’t know enough about superheroes to podcast about them. So here’s a podcast about Adam West and the fur trade.

» It suddenly got really warm here in Toronto. The snow slinked away, the rains came. Apparently a week from now there is going to be a last hurrah for the snow. Amazingly, people drive worse in the rain here than in the snow. I almost got run over three times on my way to the subway.


February 5, 2009

new yaki, originally uploaded by individual6079.

» Apparently Middle James Co has released a cassette of New Yaki recordings. Stephen isn’t sure what’s on it. I can’t figure out how to order one to find out. I’m curious though. Apparently Thurston Moore figured out the arcane ordering process. Thurston is smarter than me.

Worldwide nerdery

February 3, 2009

Ampersand Publishing Podcasts (Feb 3, 2009), originally uploaded by Ampersand Photography.

» Ampersand Podcasts finally has listeners south of the equator! Though we still haven’t broken into South America or Africa. Perhaps Nae‘s dulcet tones will help. He joined me on this week’s [p]Reviews where he talks about a pair of films he’s seen recently. Welcome to the fold, Nae.

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