Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Library Paternalism

My Dad recently made me aware of this:

Lakewood -- Lakewood Public Library Director Kenneth Warren wants you to know there's nothing private about the 60 public access computers at the main branch.

Every 15 minutes, a staff member takes a stroll around the center to make sure library patrons are not looking at pornography, engaging in illegal gambling or visiting other questionable Web sites.

As somebody who used to frequent the Lakewood Public Library's old digs in the pre-Internet days of the early 90's, as well as being a librarian currently working at a library that neither monitors nor filters the information its patrons are perusing, I can't help but think this is paternalistic at best and chillingly invasive at worst.

According to the Library's Acceptable Use Policy,
"Employees are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act which will detract from the decorum of the library or will create a hostile workplace in violation of state and federal civil rights laws."

"Excuse me, sir, but that website you're looking at is clashing with our color scheme."

The Library is also considering using software
that will allow its prying librarians to monitor what patrons are looking at remotely.

There's a surprisingly, refreshingly civil conversation about this going on here that's worth a peak.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

She's Gonna Be A Big Sister

Everything is good, the baby is perfect and on track for a November 20th due date. Why do I have the sneaking suspicion we'll be eating Thanksgiving in the delivery room? And it's definitely a girl, no question about it. My estrogen levels are no doubt on the rise once again.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I've been a music making hobbyist for close to 20 years now. I began by recording on a friends 4-track recorder in the early 90's and slowly, as the technology became more available and affordable, created a decent home recording studio built around Pro Tools and Reason software.

I began making Drift, my latest album for friends and family, in January of 2002 when we were living in Berkeley. Those were very difficult times for me and making music was, as it often is, a source of solace and respite. I never intended it to take this long, though I never had any real goals in mind to begin with. I recorded whenever I was moved to do so, accumulating roughly 60 songs in various states of disarray. Over the years a handful of songs continued to hold some allure, and those are the ones that eventually made it to this album.

It's not perfect (he said with a resigned sigh), certainly not what I had hoped for, and there were times over the last year, as I was happily discarding, that I contemplated simply deleting everything and starting over. Perhaps I should have. There were those moments when I'd find myself asking, "Is this really all there is to it? Is this the best you can do?" It all began to feel stale, more a burden then a source of fun. I was visited by that odious brand of nagging self-doubt that can turn such benign enterprises sour with apathy. I was and am lucky to have had Cathy there, not only giving me more time and space then I deserved to sort such silly things out, but by offering terrifically boosting words of encouragement when I needed them most.

And there are a handful of songs I'm genuinely happy about, songs I'm excited for others to have a chance to hear. They seem to offer good incentives to keep trying. I'm looking forward to recording with my friend Dennis over the next few months, too, hopefully making an E.P.'s worth of pop songs available digitally by the end of September.