A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Non Blog’ Category

[PHOTO] Pride rainbow crosswalk, Queen and Grafton, Charlottetown

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Pride rainbow crosswalk, Queen and Grafton

Rainbow crosswalks mark the intersection of Queen and Grafton streets in downtown Charlottetown, an initial painting in 2016 being followed up this year in a pre-Pride freshening up. This is an unalloyed good, and yet I wonder: why couldn’t this sort of demonstration of community support have happened two decades ago? It would have been nice.

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Written by Randy McDonald

August 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm

[PHOTO] Three posters of the Manhattan skyline on my wall

One New York City poster of three

Two New York City posters of three

I bought these posters, neatly framed behind glass, from a now-defunct store in downtown Charlottetown–Zellers?–when I was 10 or so. These posters have remained on my bedroom wall ever since, even after I moved. From skyscraper skylines on my walls to skyscraper skylines outside my walls, I’ve gone.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm

[WRITING] On losing things, and finding new things

Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don’t decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

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[MUSIC] Susan Agkulark, “O Siem”

The first live music concert I attended was a 1995 show in Charlottetown put on by Inuk musician Susan Aglukark, touring Canada in the wake of the success of her hit and signature song “O Siem”. “O Siem” is still as lovely as I remember it.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 25, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[PHOTO] Me outside, with my Quora Top Writer 2017 jacket

Me outside, with my Quora Top Writer 2017 jacket #toronto #me #selfie #quora #quoratopwriter #dovercourtvillage

Quora is fun, not least because of the swag you can get if you qualify as a Top Writer.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

[┼┤RITING] On the end of my LiveJournal experiences

Goodbye, rfmcdpei

Almost two hours ago, I deleted my LiveJournal. User rfmcdpei is no longer active on this site.

I do allow for the possibility that I might change my mind. Maybe I will bring it back temporarily, so as to convert it to some kind of personal docment via BlogBooker, or perhaps I will restore it in the name of minimizing link rot on the Internet and to continue to be able to read what few (ever fewer) people still write only on LiveJournal. This post, however, is the first post that I will not be crossposting from Dreamwidth over to LiveJournal, and no other post shall follow.

I did join the rush on account of the new user agreement unleashed earlier this week, of course.

Any number of news sources, like the Daily Dot and Boing Boing and Gizmodo and Charlie Stross at Autopope, have written at great length about the new terms of service agreement. That this agreement is not available, not in a legally binding form and not in a well-translated form, in the English language made the exodus inevitable.

Russia, as a classical dictatorship, wants to be able to restrict what people write about within its sphere, to do away with anonymity and to limit the range of permissible subject matter. LiveJournal, which happens to be based in Russia as a consequence of a long series of business decisions (bad decisions, I would argue, ones which kept LiveJournal from emerging as a lasting social network of worldwide scope), is subject. Therefore, anyone who is not dependent on LiveJournal is leaving a social network that appears to be fatally compromised.

(What is the opposite of soft power?)

I have long had alternatives ready. Back in October 2012, I blogged about how I had moved away from LiveJournal as a primary blog, towards Dreamwidth for LiveJournal-like social networking and to WordPress for the more blog-like functions. I am losing nothing as a consequence of this. My regrets about this are not especially profound ones, characterized much more by wistfulness and nostalgia than by serious regret.

rfmcdpei has been around for a month short of fifteen years. It’s amazing.

LiveJournal was always been there for me. I remember reading Tom’s LiveJournal, and the LiveJournals of others, back in early 2002 when I was so desperate to connect with anyone. I remember how excited I was when I got an invite code from Darren back in June of 2002. I remember writing an online diary of my life there, and then, first slowly then with speed, transforming this diary into a blog. I know that I met all sorts of people who I know nd like even know there, came to learn all kinds of things there, helped other people learn through LiveJournal. In my life, LiveJournal was a huge net positive.

And now it’s over. It’s an era that was bound to end, I know, and what an era it was. Thank you, LiveJournalers and LiveJournal founders, too, for making this so good and fun.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm

[MUSIC] Annie Lennox, Diva

A Eurythmics fan group on Facebook just reminded me that today, the 6th of April, is the 25th anniversary of the release of Annie Lennox’s solo debut, Diva.

Wow.

Much of the video album, directed by long-time collaborator Sophie Muller who was also responsible for the exquisite 1986 Savage video album, is viewable here. I blogged about one track from Diva, “Little Bird”, back in 2008. A lot of the tracks–“Why?”, “Walking on Broken Glass”, “Legend in my Living Room”, all of them really–deserve extended commentaries of their own.

What can I say about Diva but that this album is one of the highlights of the career of an artist who has been hugely influential in my life? Without seeing “No More I Love Yous” on MuchMusic back in 1995, I can imagine that I might have gone into the sciences rather than the arts. Lennox’s music has been a constant throughout my life, with its art and its poise and its personality. My life is much the better for having had it.

Thanks, Annie.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm