Digital Flotsam #71 – For Children Of All Ages


Yes it’s Christmas time.  I pull out some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue… etc.  Something for all ages… much welcome after that “not safe for children” episode #70.  As usual this one contains music I know you will be interested in…

My theme, which was created by 3 Blind Mice
“Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong
“O Tannenbaum” and “Jingle Bells” by the Porter Music Box Company
I Still Remember – by Jim Fidler
Lillian, A Portrait in Sound – by Jim Fidler

The story about my most perfect Christmas ever has appeared in a Digital Flotsam before, but this one has a few enhancements not in earlier versions.

This episode was actually one of several episodes in production, but I pushed it ahead of the others in order to be sure to get it out in time for the Christmas Season.

Like Tears In Rain (re-issued)


Right click to download, click arrow below to play…


This is a very special Digital Flotsam. It features a guest story teller, something that has only happened a few times in the history of this show.

This episode got it’s name from a very moving scene in the movie Blade Runner in which one of the main characters, facing his own mortality, ponders the fleeting nature of existence, and speculates that all traces of his life will soon be lost forever – like tears in rain.

This story reminded me of that scene because it has to do with a man whose life’s record had been similarly diluted by the much more notable circumstances that surrounded his death.

After I made the association with Blade Runner I couldn’t resist sticking with it. So just about all of the music is from the excellent Blade Runner Soundtrack. As always I include the wonderful theme music provided for me by one of my favorite bands 3 Blind Mice. And the story ends with a reprise of one of my own songs Above The Clouds.

If you haven’t listened to the show yet, please do so before you examine any of the material that follows.

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I Need You!!!

So there is this contest to make a commercial about why you should get a .TV domain name. Fabulous prizes at stake. I made an entry. I think it’s very funny. I was chosen by the judges as one of the 10 finalists. Now it’s up to the public to go on Facebook and vote for their favorite. I need votes badly to even come in second.

Here’s my 58 second entry…

In order to vote for it, you must find it by clicking HERE.

Thanks for your support.

l’inaspettato (the unexpected)

Imagine you have toiled hard and long, spending all you could afford, in order to create a beautiful documentary about how one region of Italy was managing to preserve its historic culture while still finding ways to welcome millions of tourists from around the world. As you near completion of this grand labor of love… the situation in that region changes dramatically, and suddenly, the very things your documentary celebrates are in danger of extinction. Unexpectedly, your film is not complete… there is much more story to be told… and perhaps greater purpose to be served. But your budget is gone… the money spent.

Well some friends of mine are in that very situation. Check out these brief clips and get an idea of what they’ve been up to… and are now up against.

If you think you can help in any way… click right here to visit their website,

Quotes by famous people – A rant

People seem to love quotations… bite sized chunks of cleverness. The Internet is awash with websites that are nothing but huge collections of “quotes” on any and all subjects. All of them supported by advertising, sometimes even supported by spam. The one thing they have in common (at least 99% of them) is that none of the quotes they list are supported by citations. They are just collections of sayings, attributed to famous people, and they are filled with utterly bogus quotes unsupported by any documentation.

Albert Einstein appears to be a particular favorite. Anybody wishing to promote a particular point of view on any religious or philosophical subject seems to have created, out of thin air, some clever sounding quote which is then attributed to Albert Einstein. I suppose it’s an understandable preference. Albert Einstein is widely accepted as one of the greatest minds of all times, so anything that claims him as it’s source earns a certain gravitas without question. Except of course… he was mainly a physicist… and everything on the Internet should be questioned.

It’s one thing to offer up a quote like “Most people would die sooner than think” – Bertrand Russell.

It’s another thing to offer up a quote and cite where it is documented, as in… “We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so.” – Bertrand Russel in The ABC of Relativity (1925), p. 166

While in this case, both are correct. I would never repeat the first quote without knowledge of the second.

A great example of a quote frequently attributed to Albert Einstein is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Google it.. you’ll find 540,000 hits. It has a million and one uses. Politicians love to use it. The problem is it gets attributed to Albert Einstein… Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain, depending on who quotes it. In fact, the probable source of the line comes from an author you’ve probably never heard of… Rita Mae Brown, in a mystery novel she published in 1983. Just as clever and thought provoking… but it just wouldn’t carry the weight that it would coming from Albert, Benjamin, or Mark.

Try not to repeat this stuff if it has no citation.

Digital Flotsam #81 – Colorful Dreams


A story about a long unfulfilled dream.

That was a long dry spell… but I finally broke out of it.

This show featured music by…

Hank Marr
Todd Rundgren
Rhett & Link
3 Blind Mice

Summertime Grilling: Take Heed

We are all firing up those barbecues and gas grills, and there’s nothing better. But I’m here to tell you that based on my own experience those “recommended cooking times” like “20 minutes at medium (400 degree) indirect heat” rarely get your food to a safe temperature. With folks actually dying this spring from e-coli poisoning, I decided to share some info.

Do not rely on recommended grill temperatures and cooking times… or on phrases like “cook until juices run clear”. Don’t risk your life on such things. A list of recommended internal cooking temperatures can be found here.

Get yourself a reliable “instant read” thermometer and stop cooking when the temperature reaches what is considered safe. I put “instant read” in quotes because I don’t think there is any such thing. The very best take from 10 to 20 seconds to give you an accurate reading.

Some years ago, for my birthday, I received the Rolls Royce of thermometers. A “Thermapen“. It was the one I wanted because it was the one I saw all the TV chefs using. I had no idea it was so expensive. They go for around $90. Now you can get one that is supposedly better than the one I use… the “new and improved version“. But as far as I can tell, the main difference is mine is grey, and the new one comes in pretty colors…

Now if you are like most folks, that’s a bit pricey. But I am told by an organization that I am not allowed to name that this one is almost as good, for WAY less money, like a quarter of the Thermapen’s price. It’s the Thermoworks – Super-fast Waterproof.

Whatever you decide to buy… measure the temperature of the food you grill. It could actually save your life.

Look… I’m not the only guy talking about this subject:

One of the things I’m up to – Blues Clips

A long reign of emotional abuse is now over…

At approximately 9:30 AM Eastern 5/4/2011, I divorced myself from Microsoft Windows, ending more than 20 years of a hate-hate relationship. This morning I sealed the deal by deleting the Windows partition from my Mac Pro. Windows and I had only been staying together because one of our children, “Adobe Audition”, was still living at home.

Now that she has moved out and become a Mac compatible program, Windows & I were free to finally cut our ties. As part of our divorce settlement I received 250 gigs of hard drive space, and Windows received nothing.

I look forward to spending the remainder of my life a free man.

There’s No Place Like Home – Reissued



I believe it was Thomas Wolfe who said “You can never go home again”. Essentially, this edition of Digital Flotsam is about the process of me discovering that for myself recently.

This is a very special Digital Flotsam in that there is music heard in this episode that was created expressly for this show. I contacted several musical artists and gave them a few sentences describing what the episode was going to be about (I hadn’t started work on it myself), and 4 people… one duo, and two solo artists… agreed to take on the challenge of writing, performing, and recording something for the yet to be created show. I think the results of their efforts are outstanding. The three songs created for the show, in the order they appear, are:

“Finally Forever” – by Smitten Bayou (Dawn Micelli & Paul Blann)

“One By One” – by Munk

“Count To Ten” – by Mike Errico
When this show was first published in early November of 2009, Mike Errico had just finished writing “Count To Ten”. It is now part of his forthcoming CD titled “Wander Away” which will be available April 12th, 2011. Here is a sneak preview of the version that will be on the new album.

There is also instrumental music, not created for the show, but from some of my favorite instrumentalists…

Troy Donockley

Rob Costlow

Shaun Hopper

Beau Hunks

…and of course my theme music created by 3 Blind Mice