Random thoughts (mostly) unrelated to April Fool’s Day

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Yesterday had more texture. Today is a bright, sunny spring day in North Carolina, which means, of course, that I do not particularly wish to leave the house because of the bright (and the pollen). So I’m taking care of things at home. And creating bullet points:

  • A month or so in, I ask again why I never used Plex before. It’s pretty wonderful, especially with my new router. Having everything I own from porn to film noir to home video on every device in the house rocks.
  • Credit Karma Tax. Love it. It was quick and painless, helped along by the fact that I no longer have itemized deductions since I no longer have a mortgage. If I hadn’t had a few thousand dollars in one-time freelance income for a consulting project I did, my taxes would have taken all of five minutes. And no fucking TurboTax fees and add-ons.
  • Anyone have a good commercial VPN provider recommendation? I’d been thinking of going with one for quite a while and in light of recent events I’m pretty sure I will.
  • For the record, it’s kind of discouraging realizing that your home state is more concerned with college basketball than with your basic civil rights.
  • Lovely. North by Northwest is having one of those TCM limited screening things, and i’ll be crammed into an airplane for both dates.
  • Best April Fool gag this year from NPR.
  • I’ll be in Albuquerque next week. That’s just not something one gets to say all that often.

South by southwest?

This makes me a little sad. Winston-Salem seems finally to be abandoning its never-much-used quadrant system. As street signs age, they are being replaced with new ones that lack the “NW/SW/NE/SE” indicators.

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The quadrant system for identifying streets seems to have been introduced in the 1950s. Several North Carolina cities (Hickory and Concord for starters) implemented some version of the system over the years, and it was not a big success in most of them. In fact, it seems to have been largely ignored in Winston-Salem by the 1980s, no longer being used in published addresses even though the designations continued to be included on the street signs.

When the ex and I moved to Winston in 2006, we added the “SW” to the end of our address from day one, just because that’s the sort of geeks we were. I liked the the whole anachronistic nature of using this convention most people no longer observed, even though the city apparently still did. I believe the quadrants may even have still been part of the tax map database as recently as a few years ago.

I haven’t seen any official notice of the change anywhere (though I haven’t looked very much) but it’s pretty obvious that the signs they are a-changin’.

Otherstream at 20: 2014

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Only two more years to cover before Wednesday’s big anniversary.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

Otherstream at 20: 2009

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In 2009, I got my master’s, got my first professional library job, thought a lot about cities, and bought a house in Pittsburgh. It was perhaps a more interesting year than I gave it credit for at the time. Anniversary in six days. Highlights from 2009 below.

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Otherstream at 20: 2005

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Back to one year per day as we move toward the big anniversary on 13 January. 2005 was another pivotal year as it brought my departure from San Francisco and return to the East Coast. Highlights and favorites follow.

January:

Febtuary:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

A very kine Christmas

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While watching Christmas specials from the 1960s on GetTV, it struck me that, while they would originally have been videotaped, the versions bring shown looked to be from a really bad film transfer process. I assumed it was some favor of kinescope (the process that allowed live black and white shows to be recorded on film for later rebroadcast in the 1950s, before videotape).

I knew videotape was still quite pricey even in the 1960s and was reused often, which is why so much TV from that era (particularly game shows, soap operas, and talk shows) just doesn’t exist anymore. But when I dived into the interwebz looking for stuff on “color kinescope” I was surprised to discover how common it had been to preserve videotaped shows this way, even in the 1960s and beyond.

None of this probably matters much to most of you, but after an hour or so passed, it occurred to me that this is why I never seem to get anything much done on Sunday afternoons.

Along with my habit of never finishing and old movie or TV show because I’m too busy trying to decipher where the location shots were done and finding contemporary views on Google Street View, this is probably why I will die alone and unloved. And I’m pretty much OK with that.

Another Saturday night

Watching old movies and uncovering filming locations on Google Maps. This one, from Tension (1949) was tricky and required diving into my Los Angeles list on Groceteria.

West 6th Street at South Alexandria Avenue (southwest corner), Los Angeles:

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It’s good to have a hobby, I guess…

It works now…

So just to set the record straight: While the email issue still baffles me (but seems to have worked itself out), it turns out the iTunes issue was to some extent my own fault–an artifact of creating a separate library for video on an external drive. Once I figured out what had happened, it was relatively easy to fix by recopying my media folder and doing a global find and replace in one XML file.

This sort of makes me wonder (again) how people who are afraid to go under the hood of their computers and do things like edit XML files get by sometimes. But the answer is that they probably just don’t get themselves into situations where they would need to do so in the first place.

Anyway, all my music lives where it’s supposed to now for the first time in years and has been pretty much de-duped, etc. All I need to do now is fix lots of dates and determine which “protected” items from my ex’s account that were never converted to DRM-free versions I need to re-acquire (not many, it seems…).

In which I nag about Greensboro history

This is a really great post and I love anything that will push locals to know more about the history of there they live. That’s always been important to me wherever I’ve lived. But there are a couple of factual issues I must address because I’m OCD that way. I’m posting this here where a maximum of twelve people will ever read it because there doesn’t seem to be a comments option on the article (EDIT: There actually is a comments option but it doesn’t show up in the mobile version and also involves Facebook platform apps).

It’s kind of a stretch to suggest that Glenwood was ever the “center” of high-end shopping and social activity in Greensboro and to compare it to Friendly Center. Glenwood was, at best, a nice streetcar suburb with a small neighborhood shopping area, most of which still stands (albeit in some disrepair) along Grove Street. Similar districts still exist on Tate Street by UNCG, at Walker and Elam Avenues, and other areas. It was more analogous to today’s small shopping center with a grocery store and a drug store (think Golden Gate, for example) than to a major shopping area like Friendly Center. There was, I believe, a popular recreational area in Glenwood as well.

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Also, the downtown bypass was not really a precursor to the Greensboro beltway; they were both planned around the same time and were to have coexisted. The one downtown just got funded and constructed several decades earlier. If I’m not mistaken, most of it was built more or less as planned, with Murrow Boulevard feeding into paired one-way streets (Fisher and Smith, then Edgeworth and Spring) to create a surface-level “loop” bypass. The part that was not constructed (and it’s probably a good thing) was the southern leg that was to be built as a major expressway, running parallel to Lee Street all the way to the Coliseum area. This part was scrapped for lack of demand and funds in the 1970s. The big mound of dirt and awkward traffic pattern at Lee Street and Murrow Boulevard live on as a reminder of the interchange that would have been there.

Last but not least, it’s “O. Henry”, not “O’Henry”.

So ends my unsolicited history lesson for the day…