Sunday, May 03, 2015

This Week in EID - Episode 52

The papers on the EID site this week covered some interesting topics.

On Innovation Monday, I discussed a few new ways that were suggested to fund the news industry.  Clearly, something needs to be done.  Music found streaming and app stores.  What is in the future for the news? The public radio model?  Foundations? Banner ads? Subscriptions? All of the above?

On Tuesday I covered the idea of upcycling. I love this one because it is largely about making high end product out of what would otherwise be waste.  As a freeganist, I can really appreciate the idea of making something from nothing.

On Wednesday we shameless plugged the Ergo-X conference.  It is a great conference so it deserves our praise.  It is also part of the HFES family, so we want it to be successful.

But my favorite topic was Thursday’s article on getting around the broadcasters to get Netflix content in New Zealand.  Unlike here in the US, the NZ broadcasters cut a deal with Netflix to include it in their offerings rather than direct subscriptions through the web.  I am a cord cutter so philosophically, I think the deal sucks.  Normally I am against loopholes on principle.  So my principles conflict on this one. Since I have a problem with the extortionist business practices of the telecom monopolies, I definitely like this exception.

Simple Karma

I went to a combined beer/wine tasting last night, hosted at my favorite liquor store.  I go to these all the time, but this was their big Spring high end event.  Instead of the typical beer one and beer two, they had distributors of some really good double IPAs and Belgian triple bocks and Imperial stouts and that kind of thing.  The wines were also better than the usual wine tasting fare.  They also had a table for a local bakery that was trying to get some shelf space, even though this particular liquor store doesn’t have a food section (except for the candy by the register).

Because I am WAY behind on my grading, I spent most of the afternoon at the office and got to the tasting about 30 minutes before it ended.  I spent a little time at the bakery table at the front talking to the rep there about what it’s like for a new business trying to get into new vendors.  It was a brand new bakery apparently and they were trying to expand their business by getting local businesses to carry their breads.  They made everything in baguette shape, and had seven grain, date/nut, and regular baguettes there for sampling.  I was the only person who likes the elbows of the bread (the ends that are mostly crust), so I sampled those, which were all still sitting around even though it was near the end of the event.  The rep didn’t have a chance to sample any of the wines, so I asked her what her favorites were and I got her a few samples.  It just seemed like a nice thing to do.

When I went to the beer tables, I was really excited by the beer selections.  Double IPAs are by far my favorite beers.  Nothing else comes close.  One of the tables had a habenero IPA, which was absolutely phenomenal.  Because the distributor had been there for three hours, he missed the end of the Red Sox/Yankees game.  Despite the terrible way the game ended, I shared it with him because I had been listening to it on my MP3 player on the way to the tasting.  He was grateful.  At 8pm when they were closing up, the distributor asked if I wanted to take a leftover 24oz double IPA bottle home with me.  I hadn’t seen him offer anyone else anything, but I was extremely happy to accept.  I think I was the only one.  Just a small gesture, giving him the last innings Red Sox play by play, evoked some good karma.

As I walked out of the store, I passed by the bakery table as she was cleaning up.  She still had  most of the elbows left because most people don’t want them.  She asked if she could put them in an empty baguette bag for me to take home.  Again, I hadn’t seen her offer this to anyone else, but again I was quite happy to accept.  So I went home with a bottle of awesome double IPA and a bag of great bread elbows.  Just for doing the basic nice things that seem like what anyone would do.  Getting the bakery vendor a few glasses of wine and giving the Red Sox play by play to the beer distributor. 

Walking home, I have to admit that I was pretty toasted from the 20 wine and 20 beer samples.  But I was feeling pretty good having the IPA bottle and the bag of bread elbows in my backpack.  And on WAAF double shot Saturday, I got 45 minutes of AC/DC Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, and Radiohead.  Even though I didn’t get my grading done and hadn’t had a very good day up to that point, I felt pretty good.  I made myself a great salmon dinner with a garlic/cumin/mustard/sriracha sauce. 

Making dinner, I dropped a bottle of malt vinegar that smashed on the floor and left glass all over my kitchen.  Took an hour to clean up the glass and the vinegar.  This morning, my kitchen still smells like malt vinegar.  But it doesn’t bother me.  Not just because malt vinegar actually smells pretty decent, but because of how good I still felt about last night.  Karma.