Passages (again)

grappa4When my lease expires here in Frisco, Texas at the end of July, I will be relocating back to Huntsville, Alabama to be closer to my two daughters, my son-in-law and my granddaughter. I was the news director of WAAY-TV in Huntsville in the mid 1990s, when it was still family-owned and operated. I have good memories of that place and the people, many of whom still live in the area. I got sober in Huntsville a long time ago, so I have friends there outside the news business.

I’m going to continue working with AR&D and its clients in a variety of capacities including webmaster. We’re building a training portal for people in the TV News business, and that’s pretty exciting.

I went back to Huntsville at Christmas and knew that I had to move back. There’s nothing like being a “grappa” to a little girl. My other grandchildren all live in Amman, Jordan, and I miss them every day. I’ve missed watching them grow up, and I don’t want that to happen with this and future grand babies. As my fellow boomers know, there’s absolutely nothing like grandchildren in all of life.

The interesting thing about this to me is that Huntsville, like Amman, is just a node on the network. Geography doesn’t mean what it used to in terms of commerce or work, which means I can participate in what really matters — family — and still remain connected and relevant in the only space that’s essential for work anymore, cyberspace. We’re such infants here.

And so for the second time in my life, I’m leaving Texas. I will miss it. Despite a regrettable personal valley, North Texas has been good to me. I’ll be back to visit, and I don’t leave until this summer.

To my friends in Alabama and Tennessee, look out; here I come.

Passages, my own

I’ve kind of given up on my blog, and that bothers me. One of my categories here is “Passages,” those stories about people moving along from one part of life to another, including death. I’ve been going through my own passage, and it’s kind of disrupted everything about my postmodern message and beyond. I’ve been writing for dear friends at Street Fight and will soon be cross-posting original versions of those pieces (or you can find the edited versions here). My good pal Gordon Borrell said it’s some of my best work, but I don’t know. Like I said, I’ve been dealing with personal issues, and I really haven’t been myself.

This week, I’m beginning a Wednesday feature on NetNewsCheck called “Reinventing Local Media,” the title of my books. This publication is more focused on my old business — broadcasting — and thus more in line with the industry I hope to influence. Broadcasting is in trouble, which is the theme of tomorrow’s first piece.

I’m also reactivating The Pomo Blog, because there are many other thoughts and ideas I wish to express. It’s odd, but the older you get, the less you realize you actually know, and that provides a license to speak with a certain boldness. Culture in the West is confused and burned out, and it’s pretty clear that our leadership isn’t doing much in the way of leading. We need to reinvent “government of the people,” and I have as much to say about that as I do media.

I’ve also discovered, as I’ve gotten older, that the line between one with integrity and one who screams “Get off my lawn” is very, very thin. I hope you’ll enjoy discoveries like these and more as I reopen the door with a sincere “welcome.”

Catching up with everybody

Good grief, it seems like forever since I’ve been in here. That’s because I’ve been writing a weekly column for Street Fight, and beginning today, I’m going to start cross-posting those items here. I don’t want this website to go dormant, because there are still plenty of things I need to say that don’t really fit the niche that Street Fight occupies.

So watch for those posts — and a few others — coming up shortly.

I’m still looking to grow my own business, Reinvent21, Business Reinvention for the 21st Century. Slow going, especially when the message isn’t necessarily one that media companies want to hear.


Off topic: Why I “dislike” cats


Sneakers (at home)

With Karen and Tory in Virginia, Thanksgiving dinner for six was my task last week. It turned into an adventure with our cat, Sneakers, because, well, nothing is easy with a cat. Sneaks is an old girl who lives in the dining room with her litter box beneath the table. Of course, I couldn’t have that for the special meal, so my first move was to exit her from the room, which disrupted her space and her peace. She immediately retreated to safety under the bed in the master bedroom. ‘Nuff said. Meal was great. A good time was had by all. Everyone left. Dishes were done, and peace was restored to the house.

Then, as so many adventures begin, I had this thought. The longer the cat stayed under the bed, the greater the risk to the well being of the bedroom carpet, so I decided to “shoo” her from the room. Broom in hand, I reached under the big bed, and she “fled the scene,” as they say in cop dramas. Of course, I didn’t see WHERE she went, but I didn’t think anything of it.

Until much later, when I discovered she wasn’t anywhere around the dining room table. Oh-oh. So I tore the house apart, and then I did it again, and again. After a couple of hours of looking in every nook & cranny, I realized the back door had been open. Oh crap, she went outside, I thought. That began the first of many neighborhood searches, and it was after that when I notified Karen in Virginia and wound up in the inevitable doghouse. Sneakers, where the hell are you? I opened the garage door, so she could get in, if she happened to have wandered away. I opened every closet and every room, in case she had escaped my view. I prayed she would come back, and I didn’t sleep a wink.

My Friday morning was indeed black as the cat was still AWOL. I made another couple of passes throughout the house with a flashlight. Nothing. I went door-to-door asking if anyone had seen an old gray cat with white paws. A cold front had come through, and it was really chilly, so I just knew the poor thing had died. By afternoon, I had given up and turned the page on the life of the cat. It was my fault, and I truly felt terrible, but what could I do? My stepson Alex’s girlfriend Alex (yup) came, and we looked one more time together but to no avail. She was consoling, but Sneakers was still gone.

Nightfall came, and I retreated to the bedroom to watch TV.

At 8:00pm, I went to the kitchen to get a snack and noticed what I felt was movement beneath the dining room table. Sneakers? I excitedly got Alex, and lo and behold, there was the danged cat, back at home on one of the chairs. The Hallelujah Chorus erupted in the soundtrack of my soul! Sneakers! Thank God you’re back!

This taught me many things, but mostly to never underestimate the ability of a cat to find a hiding place. My catastrophizing had put her in the grave, but she was merely scolding me for messing with her dwelling place.

You know, I never really have liked cats.

The Pomo Blog is back in business

Greetings, fellow travelers.

This blog has been sick for nearly three years, but today I can pronounce it healthy and recovered. Long-term readers will recall I was infected by a virus that likely came in via the shared hosting I was unfortunately using at the time. The event corrupted all of my archives at that point and broke everything. While I was able to get it up and running, it wasn’t the same until these last few weeks and months. I’m now on a dedicated Unix server with people I really trust, and all ten years of my archives have been fully restored (3,000+ posts).

Tony Cecala

I want to thank Tony Cecala, Ph.D., Dallas area WordPress guru, and alpha geek for his effort in fixing what was an incredible mess. I’m also taking some advanced classes with Tony and hope to better my skills at using the software that has become the default, go-to CMS for the open source community. I can’t possibly over recommend Tony and his knowledge and experience with WordPress. If you really need an expert (as I did), he’s your guy.

I’ve also been very busy writing other things the past year and haven’t really been able to dedicate the time necessary to serious blogging. It’s looking like that’s about to change, so I promise I’m back with a serious intent to spend more quality time here.

I want to also take a moment to point to what Dave Winer’s doing with tabbed rivers that run on RSS. The future for information distribution lies here, not in privately held profit centers like Facebook or Twitter. I hope to be adding my 2 cents to this important discussion, for nothing less that the future of our industry (and perhaps even press freedom) is at stake.

Thanks for being with me over the last couple of years. Keep coming back.

Happy birthday to me!

It’s my birthday (a week in which a lot of creative people celebrate), and my friend Holly asked me a question that’s an appropriate birthday blog entry. She’s in her early 30s.

Now that you’re 66,” she wrote, “what’s the one thing you absolutely believe today that you never, at my age, would’ve imagined you could ever believe?”

When I was in my early 30s, we didn’t even have computerized newsrooms (today’s producers would be amazed at how we did things), so I’d have to give the following ten answers:

  1. That my phone could be a computer in my pocket
  2. That humankind could be hyper-connected
  3. That media consumption could first be replaced by tape, then by recorded disk, and finally by a digital file in a “cloud.”
  4. That Kodak could go bankrupt, and that Brittanica wouldn’t be the primary encyclopedia
  5. That video rental stores would come into being and go out of being
  6. That I couldn’t share my music collection with my friends
  7. That humankind’s wish to be God (Godlike) would be so close
  8. That tyranny could be overthrown without weapons
  9. That I’d no longer have newspapers with which to wrap glassware
  10. That an African-American would be in the White House within 30 years

The more I think about this, the more answers I come up with. For example, I didn’t even touch on medical matters. It really has been an amazing 30+ years.