Duck! and Gather

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  • In: admin
  • Comments Off on D&G moving to JR

Pending changing my mind, this should be the last post on this blog. Not my last blog on socio-politics. Just the last one that I post on

For the last few years, I’ve been maintaining 3 different blogs: this one; my business one; and a health-related one.

Too cumbersome.

From now on, I’m just going to use my business blog — “Jack’s Ruminations” — to do all of my blogging.

A couple of posts ago, commenter Matt upbraided me as follows:

Here is your biggest problem Peter – you are so totally enamored now that your ‘team’ has taken the ‘lead’(and you are a ‘team’ type person) that you have submerged your critical thinking abilities so far down that they practically no longer exist.

Actually, I mentioned and addressed this criticism in the previous post. But even after posting that last one, Matt’s comment was still bugging me. Kind of sticking in my craw. My spider sense was telling me that there was more to the story.

Yesterday, while working on some projects out on our land, it hit me. Matt was more than just a little right in his criticism. I looked back over my blog posts since Obama was elected last November and I’d have to agree that there is more than just a little “gloating” from me about “my team” having “taking the lead”.

Politically, I am at the mid-point of Green and Libertarian. …

Read the rest of this entry »

… this blog and podcast is nothing more than some intellectual masturbation (actually, that’s what I called it last year), validation has arrived.

Indeed, the Duck! and Gather stock has been upgraded from “curious and a tad strange” to “quasi-legitimate”. The event which caused this upgraded rating is the publication of a book that actually cites one of postings on this site.

The book is Millennial Makeover by Morley Winograd and Michael Hais.

A part of page 86 of that book cites and discusses the following Duck! and Gather posting: American Turnings and Music (2 of 4): My Model.

Well, as you can see, this site has now hit the big time. So be warned that I might just start taking a little more than 5 or 6 seconds to respond to your comments. 🙂

My last blog posting was on January 29. That was 38 days ago. In those 38 days, I went from reading the first few chapters of a book (Agile Web Development With Rails), to having a deployed and running website that includes multiple data entry forms, rich text editing, AJAX-supported rating and commenting, searching and sorting of databases, and an online feedback system.

I’d like to claim that my personal brilliance explains all this. However, I must confess Ruby on Rails. What a system!

Thanks to Tom Brown of Here’s Tom With the Weather for turning me in that direction.

Well, we have our first couple of pre-alpha users on the site. And my life is getting back to some kind of normalcy. I might even have time for the odd blog posting, and even a minute to upload the bunch of podcasts I did over the past couple of months.

I would send you the URL of my new site except for two things:

  1. Ain’t nothing to see yet. We have the site behind a password screen until things are blowing up more predictably, and there’s actually a useful home page.
  2. This blog is being inundated by spammers. I even shut off commenting and they still come. Like the undead in one of those cheezy B horror movies. Haven’t had time to figure out how they’re defeating Askimet.

I just uploaded a backlog of podcasts. Been awhile. But here they are:

  • (107) My 2006 Greece Trip. Back after two weeks in Greece. Same story about the amazing food there. Some notes on body odor and Serbia. Also picked olives with my dad, had them pressed, and brought back the olive oil. Mmm mmm.
  • (108) You Know You Are in a Fat Country When … . My experiment making bread — weird results. Also, NYT Magazine article says that Fat Studies are starting to be taught in universities from every perspective but health. Only in America.
  • (109) Predictions Update for 2006. Two years after I issued these obscure 8 predictions, 5 of them are looking even money or better to come true.
  • (110) The Countercorp Film Festival. A sparsely attended film festival in San Francisco with compelling People vs. Corporations-themed movies. Every movie I saw featured a hot, direct battle between people and corporations, unlike my own cool, passive battle to become self-reliant.

Lemme know what you think about the new About page. Thanks.

  • In: admin
  • Comments Off on It’s not a real site until the first flame

Nearly three years to the day I started this blog, it has finally crossed the chasm. Let’s look at a little history of this blog:

But since February, there this blog had stood. Month after month, unique users continued to grow. A handful of commenters (particularly AndI, Sean, and Tom) engaged me in some pleasant back and forth. But otherwise, all was quiet on the blog front.

Just this instant, I checked my site stats and it tells me the site has received 937 unique users thus far this month. But even with nearly 1000 unique users, this site has felt sort of like a child to me. That is, it has felt like a site living in a false dreamworld of quiet readers, plus a handful of polite, highly reasonable commenters. I wondered: would this site be forever consigned to the fantasy world of a 19th century English library?

Today, we have our answer. Thankfully, it is a resounding “no!”. For today, this site finally grew up, and entered the real world. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you America, in these salad days of the new milleneum.

That’s right. Today, this site received its first “flame” comment.

The gates are now wide open, people! There’s nothing stopping you anymore. Post that comment!

Sure, it took nearly three years. But make no mistake. Today, Duck! and Gather became a real site.

  • In: admin
  • Comments Off on Old Podcasts Deleted

I’m almost out of disk space on my site, so I’ve gone ahead and deleted podcasts 001-052 which had been available from the following XML file: That file is still on this site so you should be able to see the desciptions of these deleted podcasts. If you’d like to listen to any, please leave a comment here, or send me an email. Sorry about this.

Due to all the spam comments I’m getting, I’ve set my WordPress options to hold in the moderation queue any comment that contains so much as one link. That sucks because the folks who tend to comment on this blog — Sean LeBlanc, And I, and Tom Brown, to name a few — tend to have interesting blogs of their own that they enter as links to their comments. I’d urge you to check those blogs out.

The problem is that spammers who are trying to send you to Viagra or porn or Phentermine or other such sites also often include only one link in their comment. I haven’t found an elegant feature in WordPress that allows me to distinguish useful comments from spam. And I don’t want to make commenters register.

So, for now, the best I can do is to put all comments in a moderation queue, and approve the useful ones as they come through. That happened this morning when Sean posted an interesting comment on “Finding the Joy in Operations”. So there will be a delay between the time you issue a comment, and when it appears on the site — the delay determined by how far away I am from my Mac. Sorry.

p.s. There’s an obvious but interesting “fighting terrorism” analogy here — but hey, I’ve said enough on this score for one morning.

  • In: admin
  • Comments Off on Podcast-o-rama

I’ve finally gotten around to cleaning out my backlog of podcasts. As podcast #85 explains, since my Summer of unemployment began on May 6, I’ve been doing heavy manual labor pretty much all day every day. But now that this period has come to an end, it’s time to get back to this blog, among other things. Here are the Duck! and Gather podcasts from the last couple of months:

(78) Life in America vs. Rest of the World: PhD vs. Bachelors
(79) Weeping, Pooing, and Creative Writing: Expiators
(80) Endings, Quiet, and Pain: Teachers
(81) I’m a Health Weirdo: Part I
(82) I’m a Health Weirdo: Part II
(83) I’m a Health Weirdo: Part III
(84) Canadian Keystone Cop Terrorists
(85) What I Did During my Summer of Unemployment


for the money has gone too far

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August 2020