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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, April 29 2001

Economic reality, timing, and music

Monday will be my last day on my current job. The company that hired me as "senior technical writer" (and its only on-staff writer) in November, like most other Silicon Valley companies, is tightening its belt, and the general economy has already started tightening it. Two major hoped-for contracts for its services (online financial applications) seemed to be in the works when I was hired but they've apparently been scuttled by the prospective clients now, as everything with "dot com" connected to it is suspect for now.

It's much like the economics of the coalmines I remember my parents living with in the 1950's. When car sales fell, steel production was curtailed. When steel production declined, coal demand drastically fell. Layoffs were inevitable and frequent. Even in the best decades for Cambria County's economy, there was constant struggle to keep abreast, much less "get ahead."

The same kinds of factors still rule even in Silicon Valley. When I was the executive editor of the valley's premiere community newspaper group, when the housing market went soft, advertising (most of which was real-estate-related) declined, and writing and production staffs were pared.

What has this to do with music? I've been getting all my music files on my work computer, using the at-work high-speed internet connection. The computer is a laptop that I take home every evening. I back up the music on my own computer's external 10-gigabyte drive, using a cable link. My 56k modem at home, which doesn't connect faster than 28k, isn't adequate for the task of downloading music files (at least not more than one per evening), which generally weigh in at about 4 megabytes (that would take three or more "floppy" disks for each song file, if you have difficulty relating to these kilobyte, megabyte and gigabyte measurements).

I already have a "new" job scheduled to begin on Tuesday, having contracted to return to my previous job. But there I don't have the luxury of taking the computer home every night (or ever), so my Napster surfing seems at an end for now. Maybe a workaround can be found, but I'm not counting on it. And with the current restrictions placed on Napster, meaning there's not much left to acquire anyway, it seems that I've had excellent timing in these developments.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Surefire way to quiet a noisy child in church

Pastor Dave Charlton reports, "After a worship service at First Baptist Church in Newcastle, Kentucky, a mother with a fidgety seven-year-old boy told me how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, 'If you don't be quiet, Pastor Charlton is going to lose his place and will have to start his sermon all over again!' It worked."

Sent by Trudy Myers

A friend...

(A)ccepts you as you are; (B)elieves in "you"; (C)alls you just to say "Hi"; (D)oesn't give up on you; (E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts!); (F)orgives your mistakes; (G)ives unconditionally; (H)elps you; (I)nvites you over, (J)ust to "be" with you; (K)eeps you close at heart; (L)oves you for who you are; (M)akes a difference in your life; (N)ever Judges; (O)ffers support; (P)icks you up; (Q)uiets your fears; (R)aises your spirits; (S)ays nice things about you; (T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it; (U)nderstands you; (V)alues you; (W)alks beside you; (eX)-plains thing you don't understand; (Y)ells when you won't listen, and (Z)aps you back to reality.

Sent by Mike Harrison
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