Jan 012011

Trickling WellI’ve had a week off to think about it and I’m ready to write again. The annual habit of new year resolutions and predictions is a fabulous excuse to take the time to do so.

First I should go back and take a look at what I wrote last Jan 1 . . .

Oops, looks like I wrote nothing between July 2009 and April 2010, and nothing at all after April. Shame on me.

2011 Resolution One: More writing.

The past year has not been one of my favorites. Health issues have slowed me down quite a bit physically. To prevent this from leading to an accelerated downward spiral of physical condition, I need to take better care of myself. That means . . .

2011 Resolution Two: More activity, less eating.

On to the here and future now. One of my constant mental themes in 2010 was ‘new’ – A new decade means new things. A general mantra of ‘old things suck’ pervaded my thinking. I searched for and embraced new wherever I found it and ended up pretty disappointed. From media to gadgets, the newer things didn’t live up to their promise – myself included. New didn’t amount to much progress for me in 2010. So I’m turning around a bit for the new year and picking up some of the good things from the past to move forward with.

My interest in personal electronics, particularly ‘vintage’ gadgetry, is solidly back on the table. I just completed a piecemeal gathering and assembly of a classic Video Toaster system on an Amiga 2000. There is a practical intent behind this madness, if you can call wanting the ability to do live switching with effects and overlays for streaming live events on Ustream as practical. I know I can.

Fat Agnus

I had to do this because there aren’t any current solutions. For some reason there are not any consumer-priced multi-input hardware switcher cards for modern computers. The modern equivalent of the classic Video Toaster (TriCaster) costs well over $20,000. Granted, it’s got 16 inputs and they are all HD, compared to the classic’s four SD inputs. But if one wants to do live switching of up to 4 video sources, there just isn’t anything at the consumer level any more. So I built a classic one with stuff I bought on eBay for a few hundred bucks. It’s an example of recent regression that has me looking back for good stuff.


Speaking of regression, I need some serious help with new music. I know there is a resurgence of intelligent alternative music, but I’ve not found much to really capture my interest and I need more input. I will try harder. Please point me to some good new music by using the ‘Send me a Link’ button at the top of the sidebar.

As Patton Oswalt so enflamingly addressed in Wired recently, we do seem to be accelerating towards some kind of culture regurgitation collapse. Maybe it is necessary to get past that event to start creating again, maybe not. I’d like there to be some new stories, new characters, being created. I’d like to participate if at all possible. But for me, for now, what is new seems less than what is old so I’m looking back.

To close out this rambling mess, there is a retro-inspired music video I’d like to share. I came across it on a local secondary broadcast TV channel called Cool TV (They play music videos! Can you believe that?). It’s by a young British band called Late to the Pier and their song and video ‘Space and the Woods’ (see below) is rocking my world since the moment I experienced it. They feel like DEVO reincarnate. They’ve gone back to the well and pulled up something fresh that hits the dormant dance centers in my brain. I hope you like it, because that means you are cool like me.

Find Late of the Pier on iTunes

Trickling Well photo by Martin Schmid, licensed under Creative Commons

 Posted by at 9:32 am