August 2009 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


Sorry I’m bit late this month. I got caught up in the Woodstock 40th Anniversary celebration hoopla and lost track of time. Yes, I actually was at Woodstock, although I can’t claim to have heard most of the music. My primary memory is of spending 45 minutes, on several occasions, stepping over people while trying to make my way to the Porta-Potties, then another hour trying to find my way back to where I had been sitting with my sister and her friend. After 24 hours of this, we bailed out of the main bowl and spent the rest of our time at the Hog Farm encampment over the hill, where there was a smaller secondary stage and things were much less stressful. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate crowds?

Anyway, I did have my trusty Nikon F with me, and took some snaps, of which this is my favorite, because it really captures the experience of being there.  Click the image for a larger version:


A Sunday Afternoon in the Park on the Iffy Brown Acid

What I didn’t know until after the whole thing was over and we were home was that my cousin John was actually the Operations Manager at Woodstock (he shows up at several points in the movie). I don’t know how much good that knowledge would have done us at the time, but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt.

Onward.  I don’t know whether its because of the recession (ha), the depression that afflicts many of us because of the recession, or just some sort of cosmic doldrums due to sunspots, but the number and quality of questions I receive has dropped precipitously this summer.  So if there’s a word origin or weird phrase you’ve always wondered about, please send it in, with as much ancillary detail as possible (e.g., where you encountered it, other explanations you’ve heard, etc.).  I really do depend on y’all for grist for this little mill, so dust off those brain cells and get cracking, mmmkay?

Similarly, we are always, as we say, dependent on the kindness of strangers, so please consider subscribing.  Great thanks, of course, to all those who have contributed this past month.  It’s scary how much difference $15 can make.

Lastly, could somebody please update KNewsticker for the new version of KDE or rewrite it for Gnome so I can run it in the current version of Ubuntu?  Thanks.  If this doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry about it, but you don’t know what you’re missing.  KNewsticker is an awesome Linux news ticker application (free, of course) that scrolls RSS feeds of your choosing in a long, narrow window, just like the “news zipper” in Times Square.  If you see an interesting story, clicking on it opens it in your browser.  There’s a similar BBC ticker for Windows, but it only shows BBC stories (and I don’t do Windows).  I have KNewsticker set up to show headlines from Reuters, the NYT, Slashdot, the AP, Agence France-Presse, the Register and the Wall St. Journal.  I love this app.  It just sits at the top of my screen and I always know what’s going on without clicking around the web.  But it really needs to be updated so I can update my system.

And now, on with the show……

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