Bye, bye Burningbird

Shelley Powers is shutting down her primary blog Burningbird, but that doesn’t mean an end to her writing, or blogging necessarily. She joins a growing list of first and second generation bloggers who are moving on (or have said they are moving on). Her blog was one of the few whose comments I frequent regularly and where I’ve connected with some who I can see myself becoming friends with one day. Her passion, compassion, great writing, creating and participating in her environment that welcomed terrific online conversations, and her views that don’t toe the line enabled that. I’m looking forward to what she does next.

Thank you Shelley for Burningbird.

“Being a mom could be a 6-figure job” got some deserved buzz last week for their report on the valuation of mother’s work. According to the report, the work a stay at home mom would be valued at, if earning a paycheck, could be well into six figures.

Give their salary wizard a try. It says the median paycheck that Richelle would earn in our area is $143,754. If that seems high to you, then you have no idea the hard, complex, or challenging, the work a stay at home mom performs, day in and day out.

Here’s the thing – though it’s nice to see some hard dollars and cents as a way to recognize what stay at home moms do, there seems something sad that’s wizard got so much coverage. In a real way it continues to confirm just how much we take them for granted. In the end, there is no way I could put a price tag on what Richelle does. Even though I am a full partner here, priceless wouldn’t be an adequate word to describe it. And single mom’s like my mom? I have no idea, no idea, how they do it.

I don’t think there are many men that think this way anymore, but if you’re a “man” with a wife who works her ass off all day and you don’t contribute at home, not only are you missing out, you deserve *your* ass kicked. And if you’re a man, who like me, may help but sometimes doesn’t say thanks enough, well just keep in mind that Mother’s day should be *every* day.

Maybe Doc’s Right?

me_as_south_park.pngI have a line in one of my songs that laments that “I learned about life at the age of 3, had it all their on my TV screen” so I can attest what happens when you expose a kid to too much media too soon – that’s me as an early teen on the right btw.

But the web is far more empowering. Not like passive media at all. If MySpace was available when I was a teenager – I would have been all over it. I probably would have found new outlets for expression. I probably wouldn’t have felt so lonely.

But maybe I’m lucky it wasn’t?

The great many things I know I fucked up while learning to be a man, aren’t all over the web, to be findable and usable forever by those that want to do so.

I didn’t have responsible and knowing parenting that would have educated me to the consequences of living life so in the open with so many. And I haven’t grown so old as to forget that my teenage years were messy, confusing, and sometimes downright ugly. I’m happy to have lived them – I wouldn’t change them – they made me who I am – but thank the Lord it’s difficult to exploit them. They are difficult to exploit because because they weren’t public, cached, searchable and available for all to see in perpetuity.

Maybe my childhood is an example of an edge case. But I feel a responsibility to ask if is not.

Back on April 5th I wrote a small piece in response to the concern Doc Searls posted over media consumption and children, including the net. I pretty much agreed with him, but wondered aloud how he would handle it when his son ventures onto MySpace. He came by and replied in a comment:

Ya’ll missed some modifiers. I said,

“I think letting *small* children watch TV is like giving them Quaaludes. I also think kids in their *most *formative years*…”

So I’m talking about young kids here: from 1 to 6 years old; or, to stretch it a bit, through age 9 or 10.

Thirteen year olds are another matter. I wasn’t talking about them, and I’ll gladly defer to the expertise of Danah and others on what MySpace and Xanga and Second Life and World of Warcraft might mean for them.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a 9-year-old kid who still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and who loves to swim and play basketball and read books. From what I can tell so far, the stories and lessons he’s getting from those books, and from his Waldorf School (where none of his peers, for what it’s worth, watch much TV or use computers… yet), will help equip him to be a discerning and independent soul in the Connected World where he and his peers will spend plenty of time in their teenage years and beyond.

I definitely missed the modifiers. Read his post again. He did make a distinction between being a teenager and not.

More behind the scenes tech

Joshua Schachter of “Things to look out for when building a large application”

NASA: Object Oriented Data Technology: is a project run at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. OODT makes data discovery, query optimization, information correlation, and format conversion a snap.. Interesting presentation to watch: Better Web App Development – Django, Rails, Turbo Gears, Zope and J2EE.

Database War Stories #6: O’Reilly Research, previously Second Life, Bloglines and Memeorandum, Flickr, NASA World Wind, and Craigslist.

In September 1985: Frank Zappa’s Letter to His Fan Club

In 1985 Frank Zappa sent a letter to his fan club to warn them about the “Wives of Big Brother” – the PMRC.

There is very much I agree with Democratic party on, but whenever some of its leaders find common cause with social conservatives, most likely in pursuit of middle America, it drives me to a place where I find both parties bereft of principal and unworthy of my vote. The 90s seemed to be a time we were past such things, even if I know people who didn’t vote for Al Gore because of Tipper Gore’s involvement in the PMRC. But the echoes in Hillary Clinton’s Family Entertainment Protection Act are too strong to ignore. The legislation Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Evan Bayh is sponsoring would fine the sale of labeled games – it does not propose labeling. No one would argue over the constitutionality of labeling these days. Our view of our constitutional rights has grown far narrower.

Following is Frank Zappa on Crossfire in 1986, debating censorship and rock music. It’s an eye opener. He called himself a conservative. Do you think he still would consider himself one since the fundamentalist wing of the Republican party holds so much sway? Since the non-invasive government, balanced budget, rule-of-law conservative is effectively extinct (they’re Democrats now)? For humor, the exchange between Washington Times columnist John Lofton and Frank Zappa over the “obscenity” of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” is priceless. Or then again, you could find it depressing.

The exchange from 08:45 in the video to 11:40 is as timely today as it was in 1986. Zappa said that America was on a march toward a “fascist theocracy”. Well what do you think?


This exchange should speak to many locally involved folks I know:

Q: What would you tell a kid he aught to hope for now a-days Frank?

A: What I tell kids and what I’ve been telling kids for quite some time is first, register to vote, and second as soon as you’re old enough, run for something.

Damn straight. And that’s just what is taking place. Look out establishment.

More at Metafilter. Read the testimony committee testimony on record labeling from back in September 19, 1985.

Alice Cooper for Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame

Rock n’ Roll shouldn’t have a hall of fame. It just shouldn’t. Official ‘recognition’ of Rock artists devalues and degrades the core of what Rock is all about. Now getting past that, since there is a “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, the fact that Alice Cooper isn’t in it, just goes to show just how broken it is.

Bob Lefsetz: This Week�s Podcast – Alice Cooper

A VC: Nuggets

Kent Newsome: Another Vote for Alice