general, photos

I Went to the Airport for a Run

Actually, I went to the airport to fly to Minneapolis, but some sort of faulty hydraulics in Fresno made me late to SFO. My connecting flight was in International(!), all the way across the airport from where I landed, so I ran. In fact, my technology tells me I ran 0.71mi in roughly 5m. With a bag in human traffic, that’s not bad. I arrived at the gate breathing heavy and sweating. Plane—still there. Terminal umbilical thingy—still there. Door—locked. I was 100ft away but it might as well have been 30,000ft. I was sad. So I took a picture of the plane that left me.

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A Picture for Everything

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Floating Heads with Tentacles

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Floating Heads With Tentacles

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running

Minimalist Run #12: A Small Breakthrough

minimal_run_12If there’s one thing I’ve truly learned with this transition to minimal running, it’s patience. Over the course of 2.5 months I’ve had (only) 12 runs with a few long breaks for injury. Everyone said to take it slow and I thought I was…but my body has told me otherwise.

Running in these Vibram five-fingers, I’ve been pushed to really think about and digest each step and stride on my runs. I’ve felt muscles and other parts (tendons? ligaments?) that I’ve never felt before. My feet, achilles, and lower calf are sore and tired. And I feel great.

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This Artist has Really Captured the Joy of this Child Playing Cymbals

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general

Are Streaming Music Services Evil?

I have to admit that I do believe that most businesses are sort of evil, because I believe that money really is the root of all evil. This belief doesn’t stop me from supporting businesses because, well, I’m an American. I’ve grown up in this glorious first-world country, growing accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and while I try to mitigate my negative impact on the world through smart consumer choices—and through recycling, reusing, and blahdy blahdy blah—I still basically support evil.

For the longest time I resisted paying for a streaming music service, but the need to balance my greed for music and how much I was paying for it finally pushed me over the edge to subscribe to Rdio (plus my friend works there). And like most addictions, I was in denial because I didn’t want to believe there could be anything bad with it. Yet I started to let myself wonder: how do artists actually make money off this shit? I mean, I’m only paying $10/month and I’m listening to hundreds of artists/songs/albums…the math doesn’t work out.

Then today, I read this:

A few bands or labels, it seems, haven’t quite jumped on board. Part of the reason is that a song has to be played between 100 and 150 times on a streaming service in order to generate the same licensing revenue as a single download sale.

Ouch. And then I read this:

Here’s how much money one band estimates it makes per Spotify play: $0.009. That’s not a typo. It’s almost one cent. And we know what one cent is worth. A post on TheNextWeb estimates that, at that rate, the band needs more than 5,000 plays to break even (based on how much it costs to have a service digitally distribute the music). To make $50 profit, they’d need another 5,000 plays.

Double ouch.

Being a musician and having many musician friends, of course I believe musicians should get paid. Yet I’m still not sure I’m willing to give up my virtually unlimited music fix that costs me $10/month. To maintain this habit of mine through direct music purchases, I’d have to spend at least 10x that. It’s the Walmart syndrome: I know the cheap stuff made in China is badness for everyone, but I can’t afford the stuff that’s locally-made/organic/fair trade/produced-by-Americans-or-some-equally-happy-worker. So I have to decide if I make it a priority and pay extra, go without (gasp! horror! apocolypse!), or buy “the cheap stuff” and turn a half blind eye and tell myself “everyone else is doing it” and me stopping won’t make a difference anyway.

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