Tuesday, March 30
Inspired by Homer Simpson's insipid (yet catchy) method of avoiding phone callers, my latest iTunes music store purchase is
by Dwight Yoakam. To avoid confronting someone on the phone, Homer pretended to be an automated phone system and he sung Wichita Lineman as the background music.
That's one code down, 23 more free songs to be redeemed. I've got two more caps at home waiting to be registered so I can buy 18 more Pepsi colas before the 31st.
Saturday, March 27
I had a really good show this morning at WMTU. Everything just seemed to click -- perhaps that's how things go when I get more than 4.5 hours of sleep before the show.
Anyway, I was so revved I did a "mostly vinyl, mostly ?80s" hour at 9 a.m. Things were going well, but swapping and cueing records is a lot harder than slipping CDs in and out of the drives. I was literally on the edge of my seat because I wasn't sure that I would get the records changed in time (and I didn't once or twice).
So, here's some random things on my mind today:
? One vexing thing about the studio is the addition of the tinest keyboard in the world. It's a mini-keyboard that's able to fit in front of the controls. However, the keys are so small and indistiguishable among each other, that I type everything wrong unless I'm paying total attention to typing. It's a pain in the neck and I was tempted to bring my own keyboard in this morning ...
? Throughout the morning, I was relaying the news that MTU President Curt Tompkins was fired. I think the news is signifigant -- I did note only modest regret when I was talking to people around campus. Many of the seem very willing for some change and praised Interim President Glenn Mroz's leadership abilities. I'm hoping for the best and I wish the best for Tompkins -- he was always cordial during interviews.
? While it was the last day for Tompkins, it was also the last day for Managing Editor Bruce Heisel and News Editor Cathy Mason at The Daily Mining Gazette. It's almost like a sign -- someone joked around referring to the old myth that "things happen in threes."
? Speaking of threes, I added three new Pepsi-iTunes codes. I really need to start figuring out what music I'm going to get with those credits.
I don't normally write about work for numerous reasons. It's not because it's not interesting, I don't want to do anything unprofessional or against company policy. However, there's one thing on the Gazette Web site this morning that disappointed me. It underscores the need to make sure the right hand knows what the left is doing.
Friday, I covered the Michigan Tech University Board of Control firing President Curt Tompkins. Obviously the dismissal of the head of the area's largest employer is big news. So my editor gave me the go-ahead to put all the stories on the Web (in part to beat WLUC Channel 6 to break the story). We beat them by 6 minutes on the Web.
OK, I've very thankful to post the full stories online (another story, another time). We don't have a specific way of handling "breaking news" on the Web site, but I've developed a special area above the main story zone on the Web site. I think it's worked very well over the past year. I did the same thing Friday, but the updated versions of the stories (and their headlines) wouldn't be ready until the paper's done.
I couldn't be there at the end (after all, I had a 14-hour day), but I created the pages for the Web editor to update and put online. I didn't leave any sort of note -- I though the big red "breaking news" at the top of the page would be enough for the Web editor to see where the Tompkins story went. In hindsight, I should've left a note.
Here's what I saw this morning:
Further on down the page, the stories from the print edition were in the regular layout. In my mind, that's obviously incomplete (with the story description missing) and should be corrected (which I did). I guess the mistake is easy enough to make -- it's a unusual addition to the site.
All's well that ends well, I suppose.
Tuesday, March 23
Apparently one of the hosts of Entertainment Tonight is marrying a show host from HGTV, according to the AP. (TV hosts Goen, Curan marry in L.A., via Salon.com)
Hopefully we can expect extraordinarily handsome children with an obsessive fixation on Hollywood stars and their gardens. ...
Saturday, March 20
Just added 5 more iTunes Music Storecodes to my collection. I believe that brings my total to about 21 songs available for me to download (minus the two songs I've already downloaded). There's a week and a half to get more codes (up to 177 songs for my e-mail account). I don't think I'll buy that much Pepsi though.
Oh, by the way, I'm a tilter.
Monday, March 15
There's some weird virus stuff going around. There's a spoofed message supposedly from me on my Yahoo! Group. Just minutes after I posted a legitimate message, there was a message "from me" that contained W32.Beagle.H@mm
It's very odd -- especially because it wasn't attached to my original message. I think it's the virus problems that Yahoo! has posted warnings about. Perhaps there's an automatic spammer out there that can somehow post to Yahoo!Groups using a previous message as a carrier.
I don't think it's me per se because -- a) I'm using a Mac, b) I was posting using the Yahoo!Groups Web site (meaning I was using my Web browser [Mozilla] and not my e-mail client [Eudora]) and c) I don't send any messages with my alumni.ucsd.edu address (it's a vanity address that redirects messages to my primary Yahoo! account). In fact, I don't even have my UCSD Alumni username in my Eudora prefs whatsoever.
I'll admit that that's not a guarantee that it's not me but given the total lack of Microsoft products in the equation, I'm not the most targeted mark in the book. There's that and the fact that this specific worm doesn't infect Mac, according to Symantec.
Post contains content from an e-mail I wrote in response to the matter
Saturday, March 13
I don't know if I'm being economical or just a little low-brow. I was at a hockey fund-raiser called Pigs-n-Heat in Calumet. After the game, I wandered through the stands sorting through bottles of Pepsi fo winning iTunes caps. I collected about 12 of 'em.
The $12 value of the bottles outstrips the $5 donation that I voluntarily made for the fund-raiser (I got there about halfway through the game). The police lost to the fire fighters in overtime. It was a fun event.
I also wanted to note for the record that I think I've received inputted about 18 iTunes codes so far (first three, then five and then 10 tonight). I just want to make sure I keep track of the songs because there's no easy way of doing it on iTunes. (BTW - I've also used two codes - for Randy Newman's I Love LA and Outkast's Hey Ya!).
Monday, March 8
I hope everyone made it to my new personal 'blog page @ RTOMedia.com/ryan
A great site gets better (I wish it was mine)
Joe Grimm -- the Detroit Free Press' recruiting and development editor -- had already developed a definitive journalism resource site at Jobspage. Are you ready for the blog?
Just looking through the site briefly, it looks like Grimm has been putting some of the best of his "Ask the Recruiter" content into a daily Q and A with fresh questions. It looks like some really good stuff for those out there in "Get-a-job Land" (of which I am a expatriot of sorts).
Sunday, March 7
After mulling it over for a while, I've registered my new domain name. Better add this to your bookmarks - RTOMedia.com. Right now it links to this page, but I'm going to move this blog to a "personal" sub-domain leaving the primary site for my "professional" image. (and we know how slim the line between the two really is).
Stay tuned for some radical changes.
Wednesday, March 3
Well, today was the last day in Houghton for my best friend Olivia. She's off to bigger and better things down in Holland, Mich. I most certainly wish her the best of luck.
I will of course miss sharing meals with her, much like at Nutini's in Hancock. Olivia is pictured in the restaurant about two weeks ago after a very filling meal.
While Olivia is off on her grand new adventure, there's a strong wind of change coming at work. More later.