»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
5/2/17: SORRY, NO VIOLENCE (HERE)
May 2nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL today: Nope, no real “anarchist” violence this May Day (at least in Seattle), just some right-wingers acting all scary n’ stuff. Also: Remembering Mike Lowry; new life for a legendary gay bar; the city’s income tax scheme moves forward; and class in identifying “fake news.”

4/24/17: THE SEASON FOR THE REASON
Apr 23rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your Monday newsletter: The signs at the March for Science may have been funny and punny, but the cause they represented is deadly serious. Plus: what a city income-tax measure would mean (not much at first except work for lawyers); reaching out to GLBT immigrants; Sounders and Mariners both finally win on the road; and a great local-politics blog bids a fond adieu.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/25/17: A TIE FOR THE WIN?
Jan 24th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The first quasi-sorta-positive thing out of the new DC regime has happened. By poaching two WA State Senators, that body now has a temporary tie. We make further glances at instant pipeline protests; more looks back at the Womxn’s March; Seattle’s not-that-purely-progressive past; and one beloved bar surviving by kicking out another.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/17/16: APOCALYPSE NOT NOW
Oct 16th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

So you stocked up on canned goods, canceled your weekend plans, and all for just a few minutes of torrential downpour followed by the usual autumn sogginess. (Turns out the real storm here was at Friday’s homeless-bill hearing.) We additionally talk about Hope Solo’s possible next career move; a gay-rights garden planned for Broadway; a sidewalk with solar panels; how to make the police force more diverse; and an old, old town with a new name.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/10/16: AN UNTETHERED (EX-) ANCHOR
Oct 9th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Former local TV news star turned GOP state boss Susan Hutchison defends the indefensible remarks of a certain Presidential candidate. We additionally think about the rival homelessness plans and their implications (real and imagined); saving some of the “ramps to nowhere”; a police-reform plan presented; and the sudden death of an artist/teacher/shaman.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/16/16: BUNKER BLOCKED?
Sep 15th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

That fancy new police building folks have rallied against? Sent back for further review. Among other topics this day: Loving portraits of GLBT Mormons; whether the police really needed to shoot Che Taylor; still more Chinese speculation money in Seattle real estate; the usual many, many weekend event listings; and a weird idea to give homeless folks “non-monetary donations” online.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/9/16: ‘TERRACED’ ART
Aug 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

This week marks 25 years of the ol’ WWW thang. But instead of getting caught up in nostalgia for Netscape and the sound of dial-up modems, we stay focused on the present day. Specifically, we observe anti-choice hustlers trying to get their paws on UW records; the Yesler Terrace redevelopment commissioning public art from one of its own residents; a Pioneer Square building finally getting redeveloped after being vacant almost a decade; good news for non-rich renters for once; and an electronic dance remix of “Spoonman” (why?).

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/15/16: LOOKING FARTHER
Jun 14th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Someone (actually, the incredible shrinking Seattle Times) actually looked for answers to some of our city’s problems toward another city that isn’t San Francisco! Amazing! Also in your midweek missive: More Orlando reaction (not all of it healthy); no Seattle NHL team this year; Boeing (heart)s Iran; Rhapsody doesn’t want you to call it Rhapsody anymore; and Amazon’s $350,000 fine over a gallon of drain cleaner.

MISCmedia MAIL for 5/30/16
May 29th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

In your Monday missive: The Mariners lose at home again; Central Washington’s wildfire season’s underway already, as seen by Sasquatch! festival-goers; Seattle’s black community’s increasingly a diaspora; a local high-school shooting becomes a streaming-TV-drama subplot; and who really sends the most anti-woman Tweets® and does it matter?

MISCmedia MAIL for 4/13/16
Apr 12th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Your midweek missive includes Cliff Mass really disliking KUOW’s latest move; Trident Seafoods moving some fish-processing work to Germany; Amazon getting into subscription podcasts; an eco-group giving the Duwamish river system a dubious “honor”; and someone wondering when non-corporate, non-white women can even ask for “equal pay.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 3/18/16
Mar 17th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We welcome spring, and the expanded local light rail, with chatter about a way to prove your Northwest-bred-ness on your vehicle; a whistleblower’s blast against Hanford’s waste-treatment project; a resource center for Af-Am entrepreneurs; a new way to keep sea lions from decimating fish stocks; and a plethora of weekend activity choices.

MISCmedia MAIL for 3/2/16
Mar 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Sooper Toosday settled nothing, and neither did the City Council committee vote on saving bike sharing. But we do know that Boeing’s planning a 100th birthday bash; a heroin treatment center’s re-opening; squatters are speaking out in favor of squatting; and one of the guys who “plundered” the Sonics is in big trouble (can you feel the schadenfreude rising?).

AIRING IT OUT
Dec 10th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

john richards b

It’s been a long time since KEXP morning man John Richards regularly broadcast to Seattle from far-off New York, as part of a co-production deal with a station there.

On Wednesday morning at 9:03 a.m. (for 90.3 FM), he was front n’ center as he played the first song from the station’s ultra-deluxe new studios. (It was Robyn Hitchcock’s “Viva Sea-Tac.”)

gathering place a

The station now occupies 27,000 square feet of the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms. The facility includes a big open office done up in Late Dot-Com style (complete with indoor bike racks), a big “Live Room” performance space, multiple audio and video editing/mixing suites, a second DJ booth for future multiple online streams, showers, a laundry room, and a big open “Gathering Place” that will be partly subleased to a coffee house and record store.

The whole thing cost $15 million, most of which has already been raised.

A formal grand opening will occur at an unannounced future date.

As some of you know, I was a “new wave” DJ on KEXP’s precursor KCMU. It was a much wilder, more freeform outfit then, and it was all volunteer-run. It was based in a tiny space on the third floor of the UW’s Communications Building (whose code in campus documents was CMU); a DJ booth, a second booth for newscasts, and a classroom.

The early KCMU could reach amazing heights of aural beauty, and equally-amazing depths of unlistenability. But that was part of its charm.

But today’s KEXP is an empire. It’s got 40-50 regular employees plus volunteers and specialty-show DJs, and an ongoing annual budget around $6 million.

What has KEXP got that other “public” broadcast radio stations (such as the apparently doomed KPLU) haven’t? Several things, including:

1) Its own “brand.” By producing all its own programming, it’s not simply “the local NPR,” or, worse, as simply “NPR” with the local call letters (and local programming) ignored by listeners.

2) A global reach. KEXP’s both a local broadcaster and a global “streamer,” and raises donations from both audiences. So “Viva Sea-Tac,” with a Brit singer-songwriter fronting a band of Seattle music legends, is an even more appropriate choice for the first song played from the new studio.

Today’s KEXP is a big-time, ambitious operation. Its new space is a postmodern palace.

That’s even more of an achievement at a time when broadcast radio, like so many other “old media” institutions, suffers from shrinking audiences and revenues, leading to cuts and consolidations (cf. KPLU).

But damn, I still miss the old KCMU.

skin yard at kcmu benefit, 1986; posted to youtube by daniel house

skin yard at kcmu benefit, 1986; posted to youtube by daniel house

WELL THAT’S JUST A BUTT IN THE PAIN
Aug 20th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

When I was trying to fix my WordPress theme, to try to resolve the comments crashing, I ended up making everything look wrong.

At least the site still works.

Help, somebody, help!

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE:

The look of the site is still putrid. May need to install a totally different design “theme.”

And comments still won’t save to the site. No idea why.

I tried to fix both of these on Saturday, only to end up knocking the entire site out of commission for a couple of hours. Fortunately I knew everything I’d done and was able to undo them.

And two kind readers have offered to help me parse what might be going wrong. Thanks in advance.

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:

By re-hand-coding my “style.css” file, I’ve got the type sizes back closer to how I want them.

Still have to tweak some of the colors.

And comments STILL aren’t working.

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE #2:

Turned out my “wp_comments” table file was corrupt. Got it repaired using tools at my cloud server provider.

(Oy, hard to believe there are people who actually get excited by these kinds of code-bug-stomping activities!)

THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE

Made some more hand-coding changes to the WP files, and finally got the color scheme back, more or less, to what it was. May still make some tweaks.

Don’t know why the sidebar doesn’t have its own background color, or why it doesn’t “slide” in and out of view like it used to.

MISCmedia @ 20!
Jun 8th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

BargeIcon

One of the site’s first logos, from some time in the mid 1990s.

Twenty years ago this week, it was an age of dial-up modems, Windows 95, Internet cafés, and the media hype over an alleged “Seattle Sound.”

I hate to use the old cliché “it was a simpler time.”

But in some respects it was.

The ol’ World Wide Web was a child just learning to walk. It seemed so full of possibilities. It hadn’t yet been tamed, corporatized, or commodified.

The “free”/”sharing” ideology of Grateful Dead bootleggers hadn’t yet taken completely over. There was still hope that journalists, musicians, and other “content” people might one day make a buck from this medium. (I know, crazy, right?)

I was in what turned out to be the middle of a seven-year writing stint with the Stranger. The paper itself had little interest in going online at the time, but allowed me to put my own material up on my own site.

I’d already been a regular at the Speakeasy Café in Belltown, essentially Seattle’s first Internet café. I’d been customer #23 on its then-novel home broadband service (which outlived the café, eventually becoming a business-to-business operation owned by something called MegaPath).

The Speakeasy people helped me learn rudimentary HTML and get a site up. I created some simple .JPG graphics, and reformatted (and, in some cases, retyped) columns and zine pieces I’d written over the previous nine years.

I didn’t call it a “web log” or “blog” at the time, but rather an online version of a classic “three-dot” newspaper column format. It originally wasn’t dependent on links to other websites, and it was only updated once or twice a week.

But it was one of the first sites anywhere to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that, curated and compiled from assorted info sources local and worldwide, based on an individual sensibility.

It allowed me to keep writing MISC after the Stranger fired me the first time.

For a while, it got me enough freelance work to live off of, at least until the first dot-com crash in ’01.

And I’ve kept at it ever since, more or less.

There have been times (such as most of last year) when I haven’t really felt like adding to it.

Times when I didn’t even want anyone to think of me as “a writer,” especially if that meant I was expected to gladly work for for-profit companies for free.

(I am not, nor have I ever been, independently wealthy, despite occasional rumors to the contrary.)

Even more than in the past, I’ve been obsessed with finding something, anything, that I could do specifically for money. Not for coolness, and certainly not for that dreaded term “exposure.”

And having the public image of “a writer” meant many people thought I couldn’t do, or wouldn’t want to do, anything else.

But the Seattle corporate world isn’t a fully welcoming place these days for someone who’s neither young nor a programmer.

And reinventing myself at my age (yes, it’s my own birthday today) would be possible, but perhaps more trouble than it would be worth. Especially if that reinvention involved student loan debt.

So I looked into what I could do that would exploit what I’m already known for doing.

Blog ads don’t earn a lot any more, unless you’ve got a really high readership in a national “market niche.”

And asking people to contribute money to a personal, occasional blog wasn’t much of a proposition.

But, perhaps, an information service that would contribute to people’s lives might be something people would want to support.

In 2007-8, I was involved with a group trying to start a local news site.

The project fell through for several reasons.

But the initial notion, of a single handy source for the day’s Seattle-area headlines, stayed with me.

There have been several attempts, but nothing that came close to the type of service I’d like to see.

So I’ve made my own.

It’s MISCmedia MAIL, and it starts today.

Each weekday morning, your email box will be filled with a brief, breezy summary of what’s going on around here.

It’s everything you’ve learned to love about this site, only in a much more useful form.

You can sign up for it at the handy box in the upper-left corner of this page.

Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be looking into ways to monetize it.

But for now, I’m working on building its audience.

Won’t you join us?

 

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).