A future view of City Plaza

There’s been a lot of discussion about the renovation of Chico’s City Plaza. The city placed a video of what the completed park will look like on its Web site. Unfortunately, the video is in Windows Media — unviewable on the Mac I have.

So here it is after being uploaded to Google Video:
Edited out link on Aug. 31, 2006 — I removed the video from Google Video because I’m using my account for work-related features.

So you say it’s your birthday

POWAY — When I was young, I liked watching the weathermen on Salt Lake City newscasts. I guess it was because they were funny, they stood in front of computer graphics and seemed to know what was going on.

I guess I identified somewhat with them, but I was probably more interested in my Legos. However, one family took a three-year-old child’s love of TV program one step further with a NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” birthday party. The Washington Post was all over it with a June 15 column.

Henry Schally’s parents wrote the PBS production for photos and some other items. The WaPo published a photo of Henry wearing a Lehrer birthday hat in front of one of those cakes with a publicity photo on it.

I don’t know what it all means, although I’m curious. Even Schally’s parents admit that it’s not the most exciting program on TV, but their son apparently loves it. I, for one, would be interested in seeing how little Henry turns out in 15 years or so.

Worst 111: Round One

The first round of the “Worst 111” karaoke countdown was launched at Madison Bear Garden on Monday night. I think it got a pretty good reception from the crowd although some of the songs were truely awful.

Some of the songs weren’t in the karaoke book, but I’ll try to catch up with part of the list on Wednesday at the Maltese.

111 – Rock Lobster — The B-52’s classic (but not as classic as “Love Shack”) was a little hard to master.
108 – Mambo No. 5 — I can understand why Lou Bega sold out on this song. The chorus makes the song. The melody? Not so much.
106 – Let Her Cry — It took a while for me to get into the song, but this Hootie and the Blowfish song really has some legs.
103 – Jenny From the Block — Kelly helped me with this song, but neither of us could capture the “magic” of J. Lo.
102 – Born to be Wild — I think I captured the Steppenwolf original better than Ozzy and Miss Piggy (whose version earned this place on the list). Maybe it was the two dancing women who helped.

That’s five down, 106 to go — minus the ones that aren’t in the books.

Counting down the worst

Starting tonight at Bear-e-oke, we’ll be singing as many songs as possible from the Top 111 Worst Songs. My colleagues and I dispute many of the songs’ placement on the list. While not the greatest, they’re still pretty good songs.

They were apparently voted on by the users of AOL Music. I kinda question their taste — some of the songs were probably picked because they were overplayed (like “One Week” from Bearnaked Ladies). I also don’t know how many people voted for the list — I can’t use AOL’s service because they want a Windows machine.

Alas, it still should be a lot of fun to go through the list. It starts with “Rock Lobster” by the B-52s and ends with “Who Let the Dogs Out” by the Baha Men. Good times.

LostUP: ‘Pure Michigan’

One of the blogs on the Detroit Free Press is asking what “Pure Michigan” means to its readers. Apparently, the state of Michigan is looking to boost tourism to its beautiful state and is working on the “Pure Michigan” angle. Here’s my take on what Michigan means to me.

“As a former Upper Peninsula resident, I’ll always remember those cool summer nights in Houghton sitting on a wooden deck watching as cars make their way over the mechanical majesty of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. Aside from the cars, most of the area is silent as the thin strand of Lake Superior that forms the Portage Lake Shipping Canal slowly floats by. I would enjoy the view with my friends as we drank Bell’s Oberon and marvelled at the connections in the world.

These connections — bridges, waterways and friendships — seem to be vital to Michiganians. They are definitely things I would consider to be ‘Pure Michigan.'”

I don’t know if it’s meaningful or anything, but that’s what I think about when I miss Michigan.

I’m like Jack Bauer …

… if he worked a 14-hour day in an office and had a more mundane deadline that didn’t involve, you know, death and terrorism.

Well, aside from my puffery, it’s been a hectic past couple of days from top to bottom. Most of it has dealt with my work on ChicoER.com. We’ve done a lot in the past couple of days and we’re working on a whole lot more in the months to come.

I’d write more, but this isn’t the place for it. My rarely updated pro blog would work well if I stay away from too much “inside baseball.”

Time to reset and begin again tomorrow.

Reflection on vlog Rocketboom

There’s a ton of articles about the vlog Rocketboom. It’s a five-days-a-week take on technology, Internet culture, viral video and pretty much anything else that catches the fancy of the small staff.

Anywho, there’s a lot of articles about the meteoric rise of the video blog and its host Amanda Congdon. Some articles, including one in a national journalism magazine, are pretty interesting to read. Some writers speculate that thousands of these blogs may overwhelm national broadcast news.

I certainly see that being possible given how fragmented our media landscape has become with increasing diversity in both the high-price mass media and the other venues (such as the Internet). I’m simultaneously elated and sad because as it becomes easier to disseminate a message, the mass audience grows more diffuse.

The whole point is this — with all the questions about the importance of Rocketboom, it seems that not even its partner TiVo knows how to describe the program. In its “Now Playing” section on my TiVo box, Rocketboom is listed as having “Quality: Unknown”. It refers to the image quality, but it might open a box of other questions too.

Random MySpace muse – 2 June

There’s been a little pestering thought in the back of my mind as I browse through MySpace profiles. It’s nice to see what people are “here” for, but Tom only gives us four options. It’s not nearly enough.

We can be here for “dating,” “serious relationships,” “friends” and “networking.” I’m certainly here for more reasons that the four stated. I sometimes use MySpace for work, there’s not really an entry for that (although I suppose “networking” would qualify).

Tom — How hard would it be to include a box for people who are “here for the party.” 😉

Good night, folks. Try the veal.