Filing lore

wooten deskPerhaps only Linda will understand my appreciation for this bit of filing history, but it is directly related to my graduate studies of information management. Erin on references a chapter concerning filing systems in an arcane book about the history of business management.

Today, we all know and use systems of vertical paper files, you know, pendaflex and manilla folders. They may be organized by subject, or alphabetically or even chronologically, but the mechanical structure is the same with pieces of paper stored in a vertical position.

But it wasn’t always so, and Erin shares that vertical filing was invented in 1893, and prior to that there were other systems doomed to fail.

Zappa review

Last week Linda and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe to see Zappa Plays Zappa. We were both fans back in the day. I owned two consecutively released albums with which I was most familiar: Hot Rats and Waka-Jawaka. Dweezil Z. leads an outstanding band of musicians, and he’s been doing this gig playing his father’s music for at least a couple of years. There are a ton of concert clips on youtube.

We had modest seats in the balcony, but the sight lines and sound mix were very good. When they started up the show I sunk in my seat a little realizing that the avant-garde elements of Zappa’s music might get a little tedious for me. As the show proceeded I kept waiting for something familiar from my cherished albums, but it didn’t come. All the music sounded very Zappa-esque, and I recognized bits of songs here and there, particularly from Joe’s Garage. But I don’t think there was anything featured from Weasels Bit My Flesh either.

But, it did not get tedious for me, and the 2.5 hour set+encores went by pretty fast. Linda loved it, she was also a big John Mclaughlin fan and I had not realized before how similarly rooted are their musical styles. Ultimately, as the final encore, the band tossed off Willie and the Pimp from Hot Rats. But, regretably, no Peaches and Regalia. 😦

post script: The next day I was listening to the Peaches clip at home while waiting on some AC repair, and the service guy came in the house and recognized the song instantly. “Is that Zappa?” he said. He was a trumpet player in his youth and was sorry to hear he missed the concert the night before.

Inshore slam

The trifecta of shallow water fishing in these parts is known as the “inshore slam“. It means catching one of each of the major sports species in a single trip. (trout, snook and redfish). I got my first slam today!

This morning I went out with an acquaintance from one of my fishing lists. We’d traded correspondence a while ago and he invited me to call him up some time and he’d show me his spots. Joe lives in Sebastian and fishes almost every single day since he retired. He knows his waters real real well.


My boat is in the shop this weekend, so I gave him a call and we hooked up at 5:45am this morning down at the boat ramp, and Joe put me on fish. I got a sea trout on topwater, this little snook on a gambler jerk bait, and a slot sized (23″) redfish on a gulp crab. We’re having the redfish for dinner tonight, stuffed with real crab.

Recurrent Corneal Erosion

It has a name; you can look it up. I finally saw an ophthalmologist yesterday for an eye problem that has been plaguing me with increasing frequency for over a year. This last weekend was a particularly severe instance which caused me persistent eye irritation into monday. It was so bad I couldn’t work on the computer, so I went home for the afternoon and lay in a dark room with a washcloth over my eyes. When I went for an exam on tuesday, the corneal damage was still visible, although the symptoms had abated. RCE is recurrent loss of cells from the surface of the cornea, with symptoms of extreme irritation and a sensation of foreign objects. Its something like a scratched cornea. Healing can take from hours to days. My symptoms are textbook, and its been occurring about once a week lately,

The doctor explained that it should be treated conservatively and prophylactically (drops and ointment) for a while to see if we can control it. If not, more ‘heroic’ treatment may be called for, eg. surgery.

more a cappella

There’s a book review at on Pitch Perfect, (2007, Mitch Rapkin) which is a close look at the collegiate sub-culture of a cappella groups. Linda gave me this book for father’s day and I read most of it on vacation this summer. The slate reviewer comes at it with an insider’s viewpoint; she was formerly an undergradate a cappella singer while at Yale. She offers more perspective than the book does, admitting she was reluctant to share her nerdy past with her current boyfriend:

The crimes of a cappella, after all, are legion and well-documented. The dumb outfits. The fact that on many college campuses, it’s always being shoved in your face. (Your roommate might have been a Level-20 Wizard in Dungeons & Dragons, but he wasn’t constantly sprawled in your entryway, forcing you to watch him roll his 12-sided die.) The bands most frequently covered on the circuit are uniformly schlocky: Coldplay, Maroon 5, Billy Joel, Journey. Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that a cappella is so painfully earnest, so distressingly eager to please. read more.

7/19 update: just saw this compilation of the Funniest A Capella on the Web (sic), and its mostly college groups.  Check out the mormon (BYU) white boy choreo to Thriller!

Whats missing in the Obama campaign?


Its apparently not politically correct to make fun of the first African-American contender for the presidency of the U.S. So says the NYT, and the controversy over the New Yorker cover cartoon just goes to show. Bill Maher says “If you can’t do irony on the cover of The New Yorker, where can you do it?”
Barack and Michelle on the cover of the New Yorker

Update: Leonard Pitts weighs in with his opinion: “Me, I like the cover. It strikes me as an incisive comment on the fear mongering that has attended Obama’s run for the presidency. Still, I understand why it is incendiary: some of us will take it seriously.”  [Regrettably, the Orlando Sentinel dumbed itself down recently with a USA-Today like makeover, and I think they discontinued the occasional Pitts column.  I keep up with him here. ]


The scallop sport season off the gulf coast is reportedly really good this summer, however snorkelers are having to dodge excessive numbers of stinging jellyfish, which keeps some people out of the water. Guys on my fishing lists are debating the merits of different weave long sleeve shirts for protection.

Here’s a snapshot of a one day harvest by some good old boys from an email list.

Scallops and Redfish

BTW, I learned some new seafood slang this weekend. In south Florida, “summer shrimp” means illegally harvested lobster.