Archive for the ‘What Googlebot Sees’ Category

Bloggers Law

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Quonset hut house on Titus Avenue in Rochester, New York

I thought I would read a bit more about Putin’s new “Blogger’s Law” before I risked speaking my mind but as I typed “Putin” in Google I was prompted to check out “Putin’s girlfriend” and I never got to the law so here goes.

When I was building homes as a “rougher” we built three types of homes, split levels, ranches and center entrance Colonials. Oh and there was this thing called a “raised ranch.” These “Domas Homes” were in a new development off Lyell Road. They were cheap and probably didn’t age well. In case you don’t know what a rougher is, some people call them framers, they build the basic wood structure and get out before the “finished” carpenters move in. When I first started as a rougher I hollered out a measurement to my boss, Salvatore Caramana, something like “62 and an eighth.” And he hollered back, “An eighth? I can’t see a fucking eighth.”

Anyway, we didn’t build any Quonset huts. They look like something they might have in Russia.

Here is a song from last week’s gig.

Margaret Explosion - Contemplation
Margaret Explosion – Contemplation

Margaret Explosion – “Contemplation”

Mental Floss

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Wegmans news stand in Rochester. New York

Magazines and the whole print world have clearly taken a hit but somehow the magazine rack at Wegmans hasn’t gotten any smaller. I picked up a few this morning and would have bought something if I could have found anything interesting. It seems instead of just going out of business they have filled their pages with more ads and shorter articles. Rolling Stone was hard to even flip though. It was stuffed with blown-in subscription cards and heavy stock, multipage ad supplements. An article entitled “The Year Pop’s Future Arrived” had a picture of Paul McCartney in it. Maybe that was the point. No future.

A casual glance reveals there are more Mac oriented mags than PC ones and for a system that is so intuitive and easy to use there is the niche journal, “iPad For Seniors.” I was afraid to open “The Saturday Evening Post. Did it come back from the dead? “If “Fast Company” really knows “The Secrets Of The Most Productive People” they certainly aren’t secrets. And I was too skeptical to look at the “Skeptical Inquirer’s” article on “Islamic Creationism.”

Do Not Call

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Concrete block wall with block windows in downtown Rochester, New York

I still don’t have a cell phone and I realize some day I will wish I did. For now a phone call is the last thing I want when I leave the house. But I’m beginning to think a cell phone might be easier to ignore than the land line I sit next to. I started to yell at “Pamela from the Notification Center” but quickly realized it was a recorded voice telling me I had won some damn thing and I had to call back to claim my prize. A lot of good the “Do Not Call” registry does. Last week I got a call from someone at the National Riffle Association. They must really be desperate.

I had the choice to “Approve, Trash or Spam” this comment to my blog. I spammed it but I’m posting it as well. The guy writes better than I do.

“I intended to compose you that bit of observation in order to say thank you again on your pretty opinions you’ve contributed on this page. It’s quite wonderfully open-handed of people like you to allow freely what exactly many individuals could have supplied as an e-book in order to make some money on their own, particularly considering that you could have tried it in the event you wanted. Those solutions likewise served as the great way to comprehend most people have similar zeal just like my very own to understand a good deal more on the topic of this problem. I am sure there are lots of more enjoyable occasions up front for those who look over your website.”

Disco Devil

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

We stepped out for a walk at the exact same time as our neighbor so we walked together down the road in to the park and back through the woods. We ordered new Merrill hiking boots when got back. Been meaning to do that since we’ve both worn through the bottoms with all or construction work. We called MedVed but they were out of both of our sixes so we shopped online.

We listened to a lot of music while we worked on our project and I got a little tired of all the big musical notes that my iTunes library shows when it can’t find the cover graphic for a song so I’ve started what could be an even bigger project – tracking down graphics through Google image search. Found a good one for Lee Perry “Disco Devil.”

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble plays out at the Lovin’ Cup tonight with the great Corey Wilkes on trumpet. How great is he? He filled the trumpet slot for the Art Ensemble when Lester Bowie passed away. I took this movie of Kahil El’Zabar’s drum solo last time they played the Village Gate.

World Go ‘Round

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Paul, Larry, Kenny, Steve, Bill, Dave Bloomington 1969

My father is planning an open house for the Super Bowl. I don’t even know who’s playing and by that I mean the half time show. I could give a hoot about the game. Last great halftime show for us was Prince’s amazing performance in the Florida rain. Prince is always making a comeback and I love his new song with the double bass drums.

Facebook is great but almost everything about it bothers me. Do I really want to reconnect with my old friends in this photo? Do I want to know their birthdays? I don’t participate much the FB scheme but I accept friends when I go there and I’m always suspicious about who FB puts in my stream. Why are they there and not others? FB keeps track of every click of course, mine and my so called friends, and they build my page around those stats. They’re dying to get more content on their pages so they can sell ads and it is only a matter of time before photo albums will be interlaced with ads. I’d rather not think about their business model all the time.

Duane Sherwood recently rescued some thirty year old footage and posted some clips on the barely maintained Personal Effects FB page. He not only designed the production, he ran the show and then edited the video footage. He’s preparing a proper YouTube release this weekend.

The Topic Of This Problem

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Paul Dodd Patio drawing, sketch for etching, 1975

One of the joys of keeping a blog is sorting through the spam folder, comments from anonymous senders who hope you will post links to their illicit site. They are pretty easy to spot and read like they were written in Russian and then translated to English through Google. Here’s one from Ethelene Pimentel.

“I intended to compose you that bit of observation in order to say thank you again on your pretty opinions you’ve contributed on this page. It’s quite wonderfully open-handed of people like you to allow freely what exactly many individuals could have supplied as an e-book in order to make some money on their own, particularly considering that you could have tried it in the event you wanted. Those solutions likewise served as the great way to comprehend most people have similar zeal just like my very own to understand a good deal more on the topic of this problem. I am sure there are lots of more enjoyable occasions up front for those who look over your website.”

Funky Signs

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Don't Even Think of Parking Here sign in Sea Breeze New York

I’ve been squirreling away sign photos, looking for the right format to post them with for quite some time. I had a batch on the Refrigerator and I put a batch into a php/mysql database on Popwars but I got bogged down with the mechanics and then I read the article on Tumblr in Sunday’s NYT Magazine. I like the guy’s philosophy for sharing content, so much cooler than the dreaded fb.

So I set up another blog. Just what I need. I picked the simplest theme (it’s called “Simplification”), one column, no geegaws. I wanted to get the endless scrolling feature going like my nephew has on his Twitter page but I don’t think it works with my theme. I’m just getting started but I found something to eat up my spare time. With 64,000,000 blogs, I was kinda surprised no one had taken “Funky Signs“.

Beast Dance

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Occasionally I check the stats that come with my WordPress blog. I don’t care about the numbers but I find the “Search Engine Terms
(terms people used to find your blog)” very interesting. I assume these are people who are interested enough in a particular search term to drill down to the PopWars entry on that topic but I don’t really know.

Today these random visitors were looking for “Keith Richards 1973,” Marlene Dumas,” “Snake Sisters Cafe Rochester,” “buffalo ’66 christina ricci,’” “beast dance cd,” “free budweiser wednesday,” “freedom village use bankruptcy,” “Buddy Holly last photo,” “burdock vs rhubarb” and my favorite “bike in bushes.”

Google Thumbs Up

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Google Street View car on our street, Rochester, New York

My neighbor, Rick, and I were out playing horseshoes when the Google car drove by this afternoon so I wound up with this “making of” shot. I’m thinking we’ll both be in the updated street view when it is released. I had thought Google tried to take these shots early in the day so as not to get so many people, cars and potential lawsuits in the “street view” but that was based on our friends, Alice and Julio, who found themselves in the current street view of their neighborhood. They were up early, walking, and didn’t even see the Google car drive by. Months later they spotted themselves on the sidewalk halfway around the block from their house.

Rick beat me two games to none today. He keeps track of these things on his calendar. I’m up for the year but it’s a long season.

Web Portraits

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

"Model from Crime Page" charcoal drawing by Paul Dodd 2012

I like to say “the only reason I have a blog is so I can understand the content management system well enough to do blogs or cms sites for other people.” When someone asks for a website I recommend WordPress which pretty much puts me out of business and that is use fine by me. Peggi just did a site for Heather and it’s been fun watching her populate it. Why shouldn’t everyone be able to put content on their own site through a simple browser interface. This is 2012 for cripes sake. I also like to say I have a blog to keep track of things. I’ve used to search box on this site many times in order to remember what I did when. And then there’s the ability to share things. It sure saves a lot of “what’s new” conversations.

I suppose FaceBook is enough for most people but I know a few people who’ve recently dumped their fb pages because the whole creepy over-sharingthing thing. My nephew dropped out of fb and has gone twitter crazy so I ca still keep tabs on him. He’s out in Hollywood now walking a fine line. Maybe some day I paint a portrait of him.

I Miss My Mouse

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Three stacks of crime faces from the local paper. Oil paintings by Paul Dodd

I found this photo in my photo library on our iPad. I’m at least three years behind in photographing my paintings. Our addresses, contacts, email and photos all sync effortlessly with our desktop machines and we use theiPad for just about everything. Everything but productivity that is. Unless you count reading, surfing, listening to music or streaming movies as a productive activity. I kind of like typing on the thing.

Who would have guessed that it would take an heroic effort to crop and scale a photo to a particular pixel dimension like 450 x200 for example? As an experiment I tried a few apps like “Crop For Free” and then bought “Photogene” for $2.99 but that didn’t let me crop and scale which is one activity in Photoshop. So I bought FilterStorm and that does the trick in two steps. I saved two versions (the cropped version you see above and the full shot but in a scaled down size for the blowup) of the original photo back to my photo library and inserted them here. When I say “here” I should say I am in the WordPress app because I can’t even reach my photo library from the WP admin panel at my site in Safari. Not sure why that is but it acts like a limited version of Safari.

So I managed to do a post from the iPad but I’m exhausted. I still haven’t plugged in the $29 Camera Connection Kit but that would allow me to reach photos on my camera from the iPad and post to this site through the WP app. I’s all pretty amazing really.
.

It’s Heavy

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Ken Frank, Paul Dodd and Peggi Fournier playing as a trio version of Margaret Explosion at High Falls in Rochester, New York

Ken, Peggi and I played as trio version of Margaret Explosion over the weekend and Brian Peterson took this photo. It was a 50 dollar a head auction/party for the The Genesee Center For The Arts. Rick from Watkins & The Rapiers sat in with on trombone in the second set and we tore it up while Ken’s wife yelled for Stones and Neil Young covers. They had nice spread of food but we had already eaten and the small cannolis on the dessert table looked inviting but I was already paring down my food intake for my Monday morning colonoscopy.

This was second one and because they found a polyp on the run so they wanted to do another in five years. I asked my mom how many she had had and she said she’s never had one and my dad said one of his doctors recommended one but the other said he was too old it. He didn’t really like hearing that. I was dreading this whole thing but as they say, “The prep is the hardest part. Last time I had to drink a gallon of Drano. This time it was one two quarts but that pretty much shoots the day.

The sedative never completely knocked me out but it did space me out for most of the day. I was able to read the paper as soon as they were done but I was little wobbly when I stood up. We went directly from the doctor’s to SEA Restaurant on Monroe for a big bowl of Vietnamese Pho and then to the used bookstore next door. Peggi picked up a few things from the horror section and I found a four dollar book on Picasso and Matisse written by Francoise Gilot, one of Picasso’s exs. It was such a nice day we pretty much blew off work and headed out to the Apple store. I wanted to buy a USB Camera Connection Kit for our iPad. I want to be able to backup photos on my iPad and also work with photos when I’m out of town. My laptop feels so big and clumsy these days and it’s heavy!

Marginalia

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Moose at Vergennes Laundry, a bakery in Vermont

My parents took us down to Nick’s for dinner last night and the conversation eventually turned to the old days. My father, who grew up on Burlington Avenue over on the west side said there were two bakeries near his house on Brooks Avenue and another around the corner on Thurston. My mom talked about the ones near her place on Rosewood Terrace and lamented how now all we have is Wegmans where everything tastes the same. I was thinking about the Vergennes Laundry, a bakery in Vermont with an artfully presented small selection of incredible breads and pastries, so good it is almost worth driving to for a loaf.

This article in this morning’s paper has researchers concluding “The more ‘friends’ people have on Facebook the more likely they are to be stressed out and anxious”, according to a new study and “the negative effects of using the site outweighed the benefits it offers in terms of staying in touch with friends and family.” I like how they put ‘friends’ in small quotes. I have no idea who most of my ‘friends’ are and if I used Facebook as more than just a lark I would probably get stressed out too.

The other tech story I found interesting was about how blogs are getting less popular as everyone moves to fb.

Fox Or Coyote?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Coyote or fox?

There was an article in National Geographic about wolves mating with dogs and coyotes but it didn’t mention foxes. One of our neighbors took these shots with a surveillance camera he set up in the woods behind his house. I guess the camera takes a shot even in low light when it senses movement. There has been some debate as to whether this is a fox or a coyote. I did an Google image search for “fox” and this guy doesn’t look as good as any of them. Try it for yourself – “fox”. I’m going with coyote.

Finding The Phone

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Peter Sherman demonstrating the "Finding the Phone" feature at the Apple Store in Rochester, NY

Find Phone is my favorite feature on our wireless landline phone. It’s such a gas to hunt for the phone while it beeps. It works every time except when I left the phone on the hood of the car and Peggi drove off with it. I helped my father replace his computer after his house was broken into and when we were at the Apple Store my father asked the clerk if there was any way to track down his old computer. Peter demonstrated how he could locate his iPhone at secure.me.com/find. Turns out it was in his pocket.

Somehow we’ve managed to wear out three different Linksis and Netgear routers over the years. We replaced them with an Apple Extreme and then added an Express to extend our coverage. I’ve been playing with Apple’s new Remote for the iTouch and iPad and I connected our stereo to the Express. I used to have an old laptop out there running iTtunes and of course I needed an external drive to hold the music library. But that was so yesterday. I retired the laptop and the drive and I stream music to the stereo from my desktop. With Remote on my iPod I can control the playlist or just let it go and even control the volume in the two rooms. Oh, and they’ve added the ability to mark your favorites when something good comes along.

The Future Is Not Here Yet

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Robert Meyerowitz's car and dog at Cobbs Hill in Rochester, N

I met Robert Meyerowitz, former City Newspaper music critic, at Cobbs Hill for tennis. I hadn’t played in ten years or so. I think the last time was with Pat Lowery from SLT. I held my own but really fell apart when Robert tried to show me how to serve. And I managed to knock a few balls over the fence. Robert drove here from Alaska and he may be headed to Washington to take some sort of government job.

We had a company ask us to look at their website because they weren’t happy with its performance. The site was designed by company in China and I spent about an hour there marveling at their graphic sense.

Peggi read a book review in Sunday’s paper for “Last Call, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.” My grandfather ran a speakeasy in the city and the book sounded interesting so we tried ordering it on the iPad. We couldn’t find it at Apple so we went right to Simon & Schuster’s site and bought the epub version as a download but the only thing that was downloaded was an html document that launched in our browser and took us to a page with three lines of code.

We received an email confirmation from Simon & Schuster so the credit card part cleared fine but we didn’t have the book. We sent an email to them and they said we would hear from them in 48 hours. That never happened so I called and talked to a woman who took my name and number and told me someone would call. I said, “Really? Someone from Simon & Schuster is going to call me?” And she said, “Well, I certainly hope so.”

I let a few days go by and no one called so I called S&S again this afternoon and talked to Julius. He wanted to credit our account be couldn’t find our order number in their system. In fact he said,”I see no orders all for the epub version of this book.” I spent about a half hour on the phone with him while he tried to contact the guy in charge of downloads. He was unable to reach him on his Blackberry so I told Julius I had to get back to work. He promised he would get back to me. We went down to the pool for a dip and when we returned I found this email.

Thanks for contacting us.  Unfortunately, eBooks purchased from SimonandSchuster.com require Adobe Digital Editions in order to be downloaded and properly viewed.  At this time, Adobe Digital Editions is not compatible with the iPad.  Because of the difficulty, I have issued a full refund for your purchase.  Please allow up to 30 days for this to be fully visible on all of your credit card and/or banking statements.

I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
Sincerely,
Stephen
SimonandSchuster.com

I know our friend, Martin, is deeply interested in this topic so I took notes.

If IE

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Marsh near Lake Ontario in Spring

Spent most of the day tracking down workarounds for Internet Explorer bugs which aren’t really bugs at all but disregards of WC3 standards.
(left single angle quote) !–[if IE]>Special instructions. Switch to Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari now.(left single angle quote)![endif]–>
We thought the Xcart site that we’ve been building here was ready to move to the actual site until we spotted th “bugs” in IE on our crusty pc. Works fine in Explorer and Chrome over there but “ouch” in IE. So you bid on a job and then tack on a bunch to cover the expense of duking it out with IE. All in a day.

It’s beautiful here in western New York and we are not complaining. Margaret Explosion starts a month of Wednesdays at the Little tonight.

Margaret Explosion – Highway

Back In The Saddle

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Apple Guys in the window of the Eastview Mall Store in Rochester, New York

These guys bailed me out by installing a new hard drive in my iMac. I suppose I could have figured out how to install a new drive and maybe even put in a bigger one but you have to take the glass screen off and the procedure looks pretty messy. Besides I had six months left on a three year AppleCare (like ObamaCare for computers) program that I had never used so this was all paid for. When I booted the machine it went through the welcome in many languages routine with the hip hop music and then asked if I wanted to restore from a Time Machine back-up. I did and it all came back, the desktop photo (wallpaper) that I took from the balcony of the Getty in LA, my docs and apps as they were, and even the stuff that was in my trash. My father just called and said he corrupted a large “Pages” file. I told him to go into Time Machine and bring it back from the dead. Peggi made Duane’s Faux Duck recipe for dinner, Mun-Cha’i-Ya (Peking Vegetarian Roast Duck in a can), and now we’re back in the saddle.

I found a copy of Monday’s New York Times in our mailbox this morning along with the local paper. That set me back awhile. It was a half price come on for daily delivery and it sounds pretty civilized but what about work? Speaking of avoiding work, we skied through the woods and then along the ridge on the west side of Eastman Lake in Durand. We stopped a bunch to look around and I felt that snow euphoria come over me. You know how you feel perfectly comfortable, probably near numb, when it’s only 15 degrees or so and you just want to lie down in the snow? We used to do this as kids in a snow fort or a big bank and I did it up in the mountains once and lost the car keys so those days are over. But I dig the dreamy sensation.

We’ve been checking out the snowshoe people, watching how they just walk right up the side of a steep hill they want to and how their big footprints just dart off the trail in all directions. Snowshoes are in are future. Won’t have to worry about going out of control on our skis and doing one of those violent smack downs. I think we might need special shoes to strap the snowshoes on so this might get complicated. Maybe next year.

Time Machine

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Apple logo on start up - if you're lucky

The spinning color wheel that has been haunting me for the last week was an indication of hard drive failure. At least I think it was the hard drive. It got so all I got was a snowy screen. I was concerned that the the system was corrupt and that maybe my Time Machine backups would also be compromised but Marco at the Apple Store assured me that I would be able to do a full restore when I get my iMac back. I should have just looked at the Time Machine folder on my back up drive and I wouldn’t have lost sleep last night because all the files are there. I hadn’t really poked around in there because I pictured it all compressed and unreadable.

When Marco lifted my iMac out the box he spotted the small black and white photo of Peggi, sitting behind her Farfisa and in front of a Vox amp, that I had stuck on top of the Apple logo at the bottom of my screen. He said he was a musician too. He played with friends while going to school in Ithaca but hadn’t hooked up with anyone to play with since moving here. The Apple store was mobbed and they were running about twenty five minutes late at the Genius Bar. The place was packed and I felt like I was in China with all the busy workers running around in blue t-shirts swiping credit cards in their PDAs for the well heeled shoppers. A kid was holding a seminar in the middle of the showroom. Six middle aged students sat on stools at table with their iPhones and laptops. They were learning how to sync the two.

We stopped at Talbot’s on the way home and Peggi returned the sweater she got from my mom for Christmas. Peggi always says my mom has great taste in clothes but this sweater didn’t fit her body type. She found a suitable replacement and picked up an extra top. I found a comfortable chair to sit down in and I noticed that I was wearing the shirt that my mom gave me this year. They had no WiFi in the store but they were playing great music, all black pop, two Michael Jackson tunes and a great cover of “Some Kind of Wonderful”, a song by the 1960′s Rochester band, Soul Brothers Six, later covered by Grand Funk Railroad.

Cache In The Trash

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Spring Valley view from the top of the ridge, winter 2010

Bitter cold and lots of snow – just the way we like it. The cold part keeps the snow in top notch condition. We skied up to the top of the ridge in Spring Valley and stood up there for a few minutes in silence.

I called Apple today because why not? One of my machines is still under warranty and it was acting up. Hanging up, actually, and they had me unplug the computer and all peripherals and then restart which resets my System Management Controller. I plugged everything back in and it worked – for a while. I had a hunch it was my USB hub because it would disconnect my external drives every once in a while. So I called Apple back asked if it was OK to plug a hub into my keyboard which then goes USB to the computer and they confirmed that that was my problem. The technician also told me to go into my User/Library and dump my “Caches” folder. “Drag the whole thing to the trash.” They suggested that I do that once a moth to speed up the performance of my machine.