This is Not the Zen Center

This afternoon I recycled some Christmas money (thanks, Mom!) into an M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 , a high-quality digital recorder for podcasts. I found one available at the Guitar Center on Colorado Boulevard, a place I didn't know existed. What a zoo of sound! Music was playing overhead, customers were strumming guitars and other instruments everywhere, and every now and then a voice would come over the intercom saying, "Howard, call Drums." Darlene lasted about five minutes before retreating to the car while I made the purchase and then ran into a guy I know from a much quieter place, the Zen Center of Denver. Jim Hubbell was playing some impressive riffs on an electric guitar, trying out a new pedal. Once I figured out where I knew him from, we chatted a bit, and noted the recent passing of another Zen friend's wife, Geri.

Back home, everything looked great with the new recorder, except that the stereo microphone was missing. So I will have to wait a few days for a new one to arrive. The salesman, Brandon, in photo at right, is an assistant manager who has only worked at the store nine months, but when I called him back he was very helpful with the problem. If he can avoid going deaf, I see a fine career ahead for him, partly because of his 100-watt smile.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sarko's Podcast Coup en France

Loic Le Meur, a leading French blogger, did a video podcast interview with Nicolas Sarkozy, the Minister of Interior and still the leading candidate for French president in 2007 despite his fall from grace during the riots when his tough talk alienated many young people.

Eh bien, what's a little tough talk when the savvy Sarko becomes the first French politician to do a podcast. And, what's more, he invites his interviewer to use the familiar "tu" form, just right for le blogosphere but a shocking departure from the formality of the French Political Class. Le Meur blogs in French and English. C'est magnifique!

(To see the interview, which is in French, scroll down to the video screen image and click on the left arrow. Thanks to my friend Ben Beach of The Wilderness Society for putting me onto this one, via a Business Week online story.)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Musical Love on the Mall

Walking back from my noon meeting today, I heard someone playing very fine saxophone on the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall. I fired up my trusty Pentax Optio s5i and started an MHPC episode, waiting for the musician to pause so I could propose an interview. He turned out to be Norman Love, and he was more interested in talking about his father than about his own music. The late Preston Love played with Count Basie, had a radio show called "Love Notes" on KIOS in Omaha, and wrote an autobiography that was published by Weslyan. He also inspired his son to play wonderful music one mild December day in downtown Denver.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Merry Podcast from the Friendly Skies

I just came across a ho-ho-heart-warming podcast episode by Joe d'Eon, a pilot for an undisclosed major airline. (If you click on this link to the episode, you'll then have to click on where it says "Download this show here!" to listen to it.) His podcast is called "Fly With Me" and it has received buzz from Slate and Salon. d'Eon's creation is a good example of what I'd love to do as a podcaster--no fancy audio tricks, just an amateur speaking about his world in a compelling manner. You can subscribe to "Fly With Me" at the iTunes Music Store.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Post Christmas Post

My Nano is nestled in a new Bose SoundDock, playing a soft French Léo Ferré song about poets, followed a rowdy Eminem track from his latest CD; thus the genius of the shuffle. A new Barclay Show post is up here, snippets from a tour of the building by five interior designers interested in our lobby renovation project. The iTunes Music Store seems to have settled into a reliable ability to find both of my new podcasts, The Barclay Show and the Mile High Pod Chronicles. From the Music Store home page, you simply click on "podcasts" and then search for them for an easy, free subscription and automatic updates of new episodes to your iPod.

We had a quiet Christmas with friends Tom and Tish visiting from Casper. Quiet, that is, except for the several hours Tom and I spent shooting aliens on Halo 2.

I'm including a Cambridge photo from our last trip for this day after Christmas, because that's where all most of my immediate family gathers this time of year. It's a beautiful city in all kinds of weather, as when a steady rain arranges late fall leaves on a brick sidewalk along Brattle Street.

Monday, December 26, 2005

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