Sunday, September 25, 2011

The March

Reading the Atlantic's article on Robert Ebert I found this memorable passage from his book:

"I came to the Sun-Times with a lot of experience from the News-Gazette and the Daily Illini, but [Robert] Zonka taught me his newspaper code, which he liked to express as, 'When you have to march, march.' This included writing a story you lacked all enthusiasm for, meeting a deadline no matter what hours were necessary, getting an interview after you'd been decisively turned down, not falling in love with your deathless prose, remembering that you were there to write a story and not have a good time. These were not rules he enforced. They were standards he exuded."
The words could just as well be about software development.  I'd never considered the similarities between the professions before.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I was syncing my iPhone and noticed this picture I took a couple of weeks ago.  This is Jayne's reaction to walking into our hotel room at the Hampton Inn in Bath ME.  During the day we had a nice little view of the Kennebec but when we walked into the room later that night - Aaaaaahhhhh.  Note to self, in the future don't get rooms on the 2nd floor.


Cardigan Loop Trail

I hiked the Cardigan Loop last weekend.  I did the Manning trail up Firescrew and then over Cardigan and down the Clarke to the Clark/Holt cutoff.  It was a great hike.  It was also the first time I've done that route.  For all the times I've climbed Cardigan I've never had a trail map before.  My first few times hiking it were with my old trail crew friends and they all knew the mountain.  Subsequently I've just hiked the paths I knew.   

I finally went looking for map though and I found this PDF version using Google.  It was hosted at the NH division of Forests and Lands but with no apparent linking page so who knows when some file clean up might delete it.  I've taken a snapshot for safe keeping. 

If you're looking for a not-too-difficult day hike this is a great one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughts on Spotify

I signed up for Spotify a few weeks ago. I bought the $9.99 a month premium account. I probably wouldn't have done it except that I needed the account for some development I'm doing.  I'm glad I did though.

It's a pretty cool service. You get access to so much music you don't know where to start.  It's actually intimidating.  When you can listen to almost anything what do you choose?   There are holes in the catalog around some major acts but it goes deep and wide for everything else.  Pick a band, any band, type in their name and listen to any of their albums; it's crazy.

Generally, I dislike the sort of music you find on the radio.  I guess I don't share mainstream tastes.  This makes discovering new music tricky.  I've used Pandora and to identify a few interesting tracks but I've always needed to buy the full album to know whether I really liked the band.  Spotify solved this problem.  Using their service I can listen to much more than a single track.

Just this week Spotify paid off with my discovery of a band called Port O'Brien. I stumbled across them this morning and listened most of the day. I'm going to buy at least two of their albums if not three. Who knows how many shotgun, random album purchases I would have had to make in the past before I actually narrowed down a band I really liked.

I normally grumble when I have to dish out cash for work but in this case it was worth it.

Blogging from an iPhone

This is my first and perhaps only post made using the new Blogger app for iPhone. My little Blog doesn't demand enough attention that I'd often feel compelled to update it on the fly. Perhaps a quick picture here and there but who knows.
I saw this Bald Eagle the other day in Maine. If I had had this app I might have blogged about it.
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism