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December 20th, 2007

Chronicle of an Unexpected Moment Foretold


December evening, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

Thank you to each of you for the well-wishes. My father had a minor diagnostic procedure done yesterday, which appears to identify the treatable issue at hand. As happens sometimes, the new issue is not an outgrowth of the prior surgery or the condition involved, but instead a different issue in the same region which came to light in the aftermath of things.

I'm working away on getting all my ducks in a row prior to the holiday.
For some reason, December has never been a "down" time for me in my work load, although for many lawyers it is a bit of a "down" time. Our original plans were to go to my wife's people at Kansas City this holiday, and this plan may yet be enacted, but we're waiting to sort this out. Nearly simultaneously, we've had a travel complication arise in the scheduling of our Costa Rica trip next month, which may require its postponement or might not require postponement. I am not a juggler, but I imagine, from amateur efforts at the craft, that coordination of the balls in the air is half the fun.

Winter in Texas


Winter in Texas, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

I am never sure about the seasons, other than that in inland southern Califonria we had roughly three, and in north Texas we have roughly four, three of which occur recurrently throughout the day in the early Spring and late Autumn.

I believe that today is something like the nearly shortest day of the year, which rings as if I were saying "three quarters pregnant", but I'm not, being unschooled in any matters pregnant other than pregnant pauses.

I think the song "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the mroning" would be fun if the word "solstice" were substituted for "hammer".

I am going to write a poem about Karl Guthe Jansky, the man from Oklahoma who discovered the potential for radio telescopy, but never got to fully develop his discovery and died at 44.

I am going to relax tonight. My father got out of the ICU tonight, and moved into the regular precincts of the hospital. An on-line friend offered to send me an entire CD of mp3s of his music, of which I am a big fan. The Calendar Songs project reached its first culmination--and it's fun to see. I believe in people who do as well as dream--and it's really doing something to post songs on a website so that people will remix them into gems. It's almost as much fun as I imagine radio telescopy would have been, if I had been Karl Guthe Janky, and lhad world enough--and time.

I am grateful for every moment I have--and every fact I read--and every
kindess I encounter.

The most exciting commercial record label in America is Magnatune, which uses artist-friendly contracts (50% of sales directly to the artist), Creative Commons licenses for people to hear before they buy and remix non-commercially at will, little flash players on the album pages for free no-need-to-download sample, and even something like if you buy their albums, they'll let you give a friend or two the right to download.

Only some people celebrate Christmas. Another set of people like good Christmas music despite their belief systems, but cannot abide what usually shows up on the radio and the store Muzak.

Magnatune has a simple solution: until Christmas Eve, the label is giving away a free album of tasteful, well-played, unique and worthwhile Christmas sampler album. No sales pressure, no hassle, and they e mail you the link for free download.

This is why I completely agree with them when they say their motto is "We are not evil".
I wish the companies represented by the Recording Industry Association of America would remove their deer-ishness from the headlights, and get similar clues to the future of music distribution. In the meantime, I'm glad to have Christmas songs which don't feature the words "blue Christmas", Santa and baby in the same line, or any citizens band radio lyrics.