The Ben Report: Rose, Ribbon, Popsicle

The latest Ben news? He can say rose, ribbon, and popsicle...at least recognizable to us, but distinct words. He has something like 100 to 150 words now, although I don't think anyone but Lynn and I could pick them out. I'd heard this from other parents before, and now I see how "pee!" and "puh!" and "pee-ee-uh!" are definitely not the same thing. He's teaching us his language as much as we're teaching him ours.

The more remarkable thing is how many objects he knows the names of. I can point to practically anything on the page in his books, including ones with hundreds of objects alphabetically organized or sorted by color, and he will almost immediately point to oranges, owls, or olivetti typewriters. I'm making the last one up.

He got a trike for Christmas. He'll take your hand and walk now. Tonight I asked him after his final milk of the day if he was ready for bed and without looking at me, he walked to the baby gate closest to his room and turned back--looking sleepy. My goodness.

South Eugene High School Class of 1986 Reunion! 20 Years!

SmsehsI'm making this post not because I think I went to high school with regular readers of this blog, but rather in order to reach folks who might type in the right text phrase into Google and then be guided to this page.

I was, not surprisingly, senior class president due to my penchant for self-promotion, catchy phrases, a sunny outlook, and capacity for interest in boring tasks. Some of my classmates told me at the time that they voted for me because they thought I would actually take care of the boring stuff. I got 80 votes to the second place person's 40 (a popular guy, unlike me) for running on the campaign slogan "No rhetoric." That was all my posters said.

It's my sworn duty nearly 20 years later to organize a class reunion. I abdicated authority for the 10th, which I wasn't able to get to. This time around, it's different.

If you went to high school with me, email me (glenn -at- glennf.com). And distribute my email address to others. I have a mailing list that's just being set up for reunion news. We have about 15 of us already corresponding and some leads on 50 to 100 more out of a class of 400.

Spread the news: August or October 2006 are the likely dates, and August is getting heavy voting from parents in the early group of 15. The Web site is now up at sehsreunion.glennf.com.

Take Control of Podcasting

Cover PodcastingI'm mostly known as a writer, but I edit as well. An editor's role should be to work with an author to shape their vision, help them turn it into coherent and discrete sense, and make pieces aren't missing. The author has to have a voice; the editor needs to let them sing. The first book I've edited in a long, long time came out this evening. It's an ebook called Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac written by Andy Williams Affleck. Andy is a podcaster and knowledgeable Mac guy. He's been creating narrowcasts since the concept gelled more than a year ago, and he acquired a lot of very specific, hard-to-collect knowledge. In the ebook--a $10 download in PDF form, no strange tools or passwords required to read--he covers what you need to know to plan, set up a studio, record a podcast, edit it together, and promote it. A lot of what he suggests can be done with existing hardware and software or relatively small investments. You can spend lots of money, but you absolutely don't have to. I've been intrigued by podcasts since they started appearing, and this book has motivated me to go back to the well over at Wi-Fi Networking News and see if I can't put together a regular show that would appeal to that niche audience that is always asking for more information in more forms.

You Can Buy an HD Radio Stereo System at Last

If you wanted to listen to the digital AM/FM broadcasts beaming out across the US from nearly 600 stations, you were stuck until recently: car receivers existed and a $1,900 Yamaha component receiver. The three companies working to push out tabletop radios with built-in speakers had many delays. Boston Acoustics announced yesterday that their $500 Recepter Radio HD is finally shipping. They must be ecstatic to get out first: it's been a difficult race. Radiosophy should be shipping their $270 system soon; Polk Audio may not ship their full-feature $700 system until late winter.