Digital cameras and the kitchen sink

Found some nice light the other afternoon. Here's what I saw--afternoon sun, my favorite crystals, a volunteer avocado plant.

The hail/lightning/wind storm fried my computer. I am exceeding all known equations of happiness to have it back safe and sound.

And to have a little time to take stock. Lots of transition at work, not good news on back, daily business, rehearsals piling up more than I would like.

In less than a month, I'll be schlepping a bag east to west from Budapest through Slovenia to Prague to Dresden to Leipzig to Frankfurt. Houston-London POE. Singing mostly gospel and colonial church music in the churches and cathedrals there.

So I'm delirious to have a few moments to practice with my wowie camera (present from my daughter) and get a grip on how the heck I'm going to negotiate ONE bag with concert gear (long, black 100%), music, personals, camera, and clothes for ten days. I saw a site that demonstrated "bundling," which I may try this time.

And to get back to Fried Okra Productions. I've missed it.


John Slatin AccessU

A few years ago, Glenda Sims assured me that if I wanted to really understand accessibility, I should attend AccessU--it would entirely change my perspective on usability. This year I was able to attend the John Slatin AccessU, and yes, Glenda was right. The two-day conference, held on the St. Edward's University campus was an eye-opener and packed with information and tips.

The conference was renamed this year to honor John Slatin, UT professor of English, and director of the UT Accessibility Institute who recently passed away. John was sight-impared, and understood exactly what differently abled people need in order to access and use the Internet.

You know how I love paradigm shifts, how I reach out and snag any that look interesting...here's my big reification: applying accessibility guidelines to the Intranet makes access easier for EVERYONE, not just folks with disabilities. Consider the curb cut-out. You know, the mini-ramps at most streetcorners that allow you to more easily get a baby stroller, a dolly heaped with boxes, or a rolling backback across the intersection without having to negotiate a steep curb.

Chances are you use curb cut-outs on a regular basis. The next time you do, think about how difficult and dangerous it must have been for anyone in a wheelchair to safely and easily cross the street before cut-outs were available. A simple thing, but it can make the difference between living a relatively independent life, and a life hemmed in by barriers.

Plan in accessibility, and it's relatively easy. You'll have a much more difficult time refitting a site for accessibility--do it right the first time, and you're done!


Music for your every mood!

Start your week with music.

b5media's Music Channel offers 38 tracks to get you through your Monday.
The selection is vast. The tracks are ones we feel you should hear. Discover music and let us know what we should be checking out. Have fun and welcome to a great selection of music.

Every Monday
should start off with some quality Jazz. The Jazz and Blues Lounge is our online authority. Keeping with the jazz era The Good Musician gives us two of the greatest of all time. Finish your third cup of coffee and bring it upbeat a bit with either Pop and listen to some new Nelly & Fergie at Pop Music Scene or download two free metal tracks at Metal Martyr.

From the world of four global music meccas....Jet-set half way around the globe for two must have Aussie tracks at Oz Music Scene. Heading back to the new music mecca of America, Big Apple Music Scene gives you two tracks that should be on every iPod. Down to one of America's strongest indie cultures, Austin Sound Check gives us two tracks that you need to hear. Toronto is a bustling and exciting music scene and Toronto Unplugged gives us two solid, solid tunes.

Our online music resource Our Digital Music lets us in on two key tracks to download. Anything with Dylan is good, but this Rock Dose is the best. Christian Music Fan outlines two tracks within the Christian genre. Ear Sucker always features a wide variety of quality music and these tracks are no different.

After your coffee, enjoy a martini and crank up some good ol' fashioned crooning by blasting these two gems from Crooner Culture. No day is complete without some top notch classic rock - head to the Rock Relic for your rock fix. After the magical mystery ride in rock, float over to New Age Vibe for two favorites. New Age to Industrial Addiction for great cuts from that growing genre. She Plays Music always has the inside track of women in music - here are two solid recommendations. Punk Rock is alive and well! News in Punk features two outstanding punk tracks. Add a little Hippie to your day with these diamonds at Hippie Sounds.

Hope you enjoy the wide array of selections!


This is a sweet little nuthatch who showed up for lunch last weekend. My sister puts food out for all the different songbirds. Her retreat in Wimberley is a popular stop on their migration routes. It was her birthday, so the immediate family had a nice get-together, and I spent the weekend in the Hill Country. A nice break away from the city.