Art on the Streets

Dave Seiler, shown above sitting on 14th Street in Denver this morning, was one of the artists working in chalk and pastels durinng the 4th annual La Piazza del L'Arte. It looked like back- and knee-breaking work, and as the day wore on the heat grew fierce in the direct sunlight. The artworks will be finished tomorrow in time for street-cleaning equipment to wash it all away. I spoke with Dave, who is part of a group of artists known as Artuvus, for this podcast episode, which lasts just under seven minutes:

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tomorrow He's 64

Yes, we still need him--Sir Paul McCartney. I can remember thinking when I first heard the song 39 years ago: "I wonder what he will be like when he really does turn 64? I wonder if I will be alive when it happens. " From Dave Winer's blog today, I learn that tomorrow's the big day. The NY Times has a graceful piece explaining the implications. Unlike my sister, I never picked Paul as my favorite Beatle. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I had one--maybe John, for his edgy wit; Paul was too cute and too sweet, Ringo was too dumb, and George was a spiritual poseur. But now Paul reigns. I heard him at a Denver concert a few years ago, and his sweetness, tested by time and many tragedies, won me over. I bet he'll have one huge birthday bash, and that "When I'm 64" will be played tomorrow more times throughout the world than it ever was in 1967. Big smile.

Perils of Pod-Fading

I like Flock, the new browser for those who hate Microsoft AND Google, but Flock just froze up a blog entry I had cooking in Blogger, forcing me to try the Apple browser, Safari, which didn't work either, and now I'm in Firefox. But the main thing bugging me this morning is that I haven't put up a podcast in 11 days.

I've been happily occupied with lots of projects, motivated by the building time crunch as another big trip looms. In five days Darlene, our Yorkie Claire and I will head out in our hail-damaged Volvo named Dimples on a 2,000-mile drive to Cambridge, Mass., and then Maine, where we will spend the month of July in a 1o0-year-old family cottage by the sea. I've been squeezing gnarly PC-to-Mac transition projects into this shrinking time, along with learning how to use a new Motorola Q smartphone, teaching the Q to talk Mac with the help of Missing Sync, working on a project to renovate the lobby of our building, some Western States Arts Federation projects, and getting ready to host a Texan niece from whom we haven't seen in 15 or so years.

There's nothing that stings a podcaster more than an accusation of pod-fading, which is when a regular schedule of new episodes tumbles into a hole of nothingness. Rob of Podcast411 and his wife recently had their first baby, and so understandably he has been busy. Fourteen days went by, and someone used the dreaded P-F word on one of the podcasting gathering places, probably Podcast Alley, whose rankings represent the Holy Grail of pod-fame. I heard Rob in his recent episode clearly offended, defending his absence, uncharacteristically prickly. Since I always like to be the first one on my block to criticize myself, I'll do the honors here and say, "Where the hell are the Mile High Pod Chronicles?"

Part of the problem is video. I had a terrific time playing with video blogs or vlogs or v-logs or whatever they're called--no one seems to agree yet--in the Caribbean. And compared with video, audio seems a little tame. It's like the difference I felt two days ago when my sister and I did a video iChat on our Macs. At first we spoke on cellphones, setting up the logistics, and it was the normal connection, good to hear her voice in Cambridge but feeling her far away still. Then her face zoomed onto my full Mac screen, we hung up the cell phones, and it was as if a good deal of her had walked into my studio. I could see her smile, I could see her earrings dangling, and I suddenly became aware of my own image, since I could see myself in another little window. I began communicating with my face as well as my voice. All of that extra information is in a video.

I don't feel I have to choose between video and audio podcasting, and I'm only playing here anyway, so there are no worries about whether my podcast is going to plummet on the Podcast Alley rankings. Actually, I just checked, and Mile High Pod Chronicles is the 3,095th most popular podcast, out of a total of 20,799. My ranking is based on zero votes, so I'm not sure how it all works. No matter. Top-rated NYC raunchsters Keith and the Girl are worried, I'm sure of it. Rob's Podcast411 is holding its own at Number 288.

Anyway, this is all meant to put heat on myself, and it seems to be working. I'm thinking that my visiting niece, Breanne Determan, now of Phoenix, might be a good guest for today's show. Three years out of college, she supervises 12 purchasing agents buying equipment for a company that crushes big rocks into little rocks for making concrete. Or that's as much as I know based on questions last night on the way in from the airport. We have tickets to take Breanne to a matinee today of "Movin' Out," a musical based on Billy Joel tunes. Maybe the podcast will be her review of the show, or more about concrete.

Stay tuned, loyal listeners!

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