gerisullivan: (Default)
19 minutes and 30 seconds of non-stop reasons I'm so glad we're living in the future.

Bonus material for [livejournal.com profile] debgeisler, [livejournal.com profile] benveniste and PLATO lovers everywhere starting at 10:25.

With a tip o'the link hat to [livejournal.com profile] elisem, I present "Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice," filmed at TED2011 in March 2011:

gerisullivan: (Default)
When I lived in Minneapolis, I went for years (and years) without cable TV. Many of those years, I didn't even have a TV connected to electricity, though I did keep a 12" portable black & white model in a closet. Daddy gave it to me when I was a student at Michigan State. ("Many moons pass, buffalo cross great prairie....") I remember hosting a Minneapa collation and plugging it in so folks could watch a Star Trek rerun.

I still have a bit more work to finish up, so I'll cut to the chase rather than talking about daily newspapers and other trusted news sources I used in those days.

When I moved to a rural area, cable TV was one of my requirements. It wasn't that I planned to watch all that much, but I did want to be able to flip between CNN, MSNBC, and other sources during times of crisis or other Big News. Cable TV helped me remain connected to the rest of the world.

In April, I canceled my TV service. It was $50-60/month that I didn't have to spend, so I stopped spending it. My internet connection would have to suffice.

Tonight, it's not just sufficed, it's been better than TV. Better, with $0 marginal cost. I had a work project that was going to keep me up anyway, and I wanted to keep current with the Hurricane Ike news. I Googled Houston TV stations, checked out one live feed that proved slow and flaky, then flipped over to khou.com. I've been listening to it for the last 6+ hours, flipping over to watch the live video from time to time. The station is aware that many of the locals are without power and are listening on the radio rather than watching TV anyway, and they're describing things with those listeners in mind.

KHOU's reporting is good. They've skirted the edge of spilling into sensationalism a couple of times, but have been good about pulling back from that and focusing on facts and sharing useful information. I've stayed productive and have about 18 pages of layout polish completed that supports that claim. If I hadn't had the work, I likely would have spent the night surfing, checking out other news sources and blogs. But this was what I needed, and it was enough. It was better than enough.

I love living in the future.
gerisullivan: (Default)
The world I live in is far, far different than anything I thought or expected it might be when I was growing up. Today's proof of that is that a dragonfly just spent most of a minute perched on the edge of my laptop screen.

I'm sitting on my back deck, working on a client project, with music I like in the background and the squirrels raising a racket in the trees. The entire notion that I could make what passes for a living under such idyllic circumstances was well beyond my childhood comprehension.

This isn't my everyday existence. But it is my existence this afternoon, and that is a fine thing, indeed.

One CD ended and I'm now on to the next. And so it will be with work and everything else.
gerisullivan: (Default)
I brought my car in for it's 90K service today and am now happily working and surfing from the leather sofas in the waiting room. One other woman is here with her laptop; the other customers waiting are older men who are reading.

In walked an elderly man. He looked the five of us over and proclaimed his pleasure at being in the presence of two lovely, young women. Then he burst into song.

Really. It was a tad startling. It was also lovely. He sang part of "The Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's Il Trovatore. His voice filled the showroom and he clearly enjoyed hamming it up, singing first to the other woman, then to me, back and forth, for what was only a few minutes but of course seemed longer when it was happening.

The man sings with the Assabet Valley Mastersingers in Northborough. He claimed to be the lowest of them, telling me they're all better singers than he is. Then again, he also claimed that he's shy. Right. And he told me the composer was Joe Green, and ever so smoothly named Guiseppe Verdi when he could tell from my face that I wasn't quite keeping up with him. Hey, I knew it was Italian and opera. And familiar. [livejournal.com profile] calimac and [livejournal.com profile] kip_w would have recognized it in an instant, as would several other friends reading this. Me? I enjoyed listening to the beauty of his voice and the sheer unexpected nature of it all.

If Gypsies had stepped from behind the Toyota Highlander in the showroom and joined in, I would have known I was experiencing my first Improv Everywhere gig. This was better. This was a guy who simply enjoyed bursting into song, had the talent to carry it off, and the sense to know when to stop.

Color me charmed.

Vedi! Le fosche notturne spoglie
De' cieli sveste l'immensa volta;
Sembra una vedova che alfin si toglie
I bruni panni ond'era involta.

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