Monday, December 26, 2005


City Hall

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Su Doku!

This post is for Katie.

Blogging for Bosley!

A few days ago I posted a "call for help" regarding Ocean County College Prof. Karen Bosley, whose contract as student newspaper adviser and journalism instructor will not be renewed once it expires in June.

Well, the AP picked up the story today and several groups are getting involved in protesting the college's decision. As a result, I suspect this is going to be a fairly large, ongoing issue that requires its own space. Hence, I give to you...drum roll, please...

BozWatch! -- a blog dedicated to getting OCC to reverse its decision and renew Prof. Bosley's contract. After 35 years of dedicated and wonderful service to her students, she should be the one who decides when it's time for her to step aside...not some thin-skinned college president afraid to be challenged.

So please join the fight for freedom of the press by joining me over at BozWatch!


- BK

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New blog name...same BK!

As you can see, I changed the name of this blog from the completely boring and self-promoting "BK's Blog" to the much more creative "Tandem with the Random."

The new moniker is a line from Peter Gabriel's "Humdrum" and I had used it as the name of my column during my college newspaper days. I don't know why I didn't remember that when I first set up this site, but it finally dawned on me this morning that I should make the change.

So enjoy the new "Tandem with the Random."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Opening Pandora's Box...of music

I love music and I especially love finding out about independent artists or under-the-radar label acts that exist outside the mainstream.

Well, tonight I stumbled onto a site called Pandora. Basically, you enter the name of a musical act you like and it will create a streaming radio station based on that act's musical style, giving you the opportunity to hear similar artists that you may have never heard before.

Check it out.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Lord, here comes the (office) flood

Office flood

This has been one of those weeks...let's recap:

Monday: I get yet another flat tire...and it couldn't be repaired. I was told I needed a new one. Actually, I was told I needed four new ones. Great.

Tuesday: While getting the flat tire replaced at another location, I was again told all my other tires needed to be replaced, but I decided to put that off until after the holidays. But, wait! There's more. As they were bringing the car off the lift, they found that a bearing in my drive shaft had separated. So I need that done now, too. All in all, I need another $800 or so to get my car in proper driving condition. I'm getting the drive shaft fixed Saturday. Lovely.

Wednesday: I went to the doctor because I have been experiencing some intermittent chest pains. He thinks I have some form of heart disease so I'm going for tests next week. Fantastic.

Thursday: Nothing really bad happened this day except for a minor insurance issue regarding my doctor. Turns out they were punching in my insurance ID number incorrectly.

Friday: Came into work to the scene above. That isn't my belongs to our graphic designer. My desk doesn't appear to have a drop of water on it, although there is a garbage can collecting water right behind my chair.

Click on the image to check out a QuickTime movie of the damage in my office.

Note: For those curious, the title of this post is a Peter Gabriel reference.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hmm...can I vote maybe?

The following poll question was on's sports forum the other day. Although you may not realize it right away, think about this poll question and the choices given here and you'll find there is something seriously wrong with this...

So, if you figured out that this poll question cannot be answered with a yes or no response, congratulations. Somehow, though, as this screen grab from tonight shows, 128 users—or 84 percent of respondents—have voted a resounding "yes!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A call for help

The headline does fit this post. However, you'll have to get through this history lesson first before it all makes sense...

As most people around here know, I wound up as a student at Rider University in the mid-90s after spending a few years trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

Just out of high school, I went to Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ, for a year and a half before I just lost interest. I was taking liberal arts courses and nothing was really exciting me so I withdrew despite only needing one more semester to get my associate's degree. After a semester off, I went back as a business administration major. But then I realized I'm much better at spending money than I am making and managing it. Plus, it just didn't mesh with my personality. So into my second semester as a business major, I dropped out again...this time for about two years.

In 1994, I was working in retail and realized I had been an idiot. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing for my high school newspaper years earlier and decided to return to OCC as a print and broadcast journalism major. As a result, I was in a couple of classes taught by a Professor Karen L. Bosley, the adviser to the Viking News, the student newspaper at OCC.

It was under Bosley's tutelage that I honed my skill as a writer and editor. I seriously doubt I would have gone on to accomplish what I have without her. It was also Bosley who suggested one day that I check out Rider as a post-OCC academic destination.

So what is the point of all this and what does it have to do with the "call for help" mentioned in the headline of this post?

Well, thanks to OCC president Jon H. Larson and the college's board of trustees, Bosley will be out as adviser to the Viking News next June. Why? According to this Asbury Park Press story, Bosley was told it was because the newspaper contained too many errors and that because students weren't being properly prepared for the real world since they use Apple Macintosh computers rather than Windows-based PCs.

First of all, as shows, there are plenty of mistakes being made in professional publications around the globe. It would be great to publish an error-free newspaper, but considering I see a minimum of three mistakes a day in widely circulated Associated Press stories, I can't imagine that has ever happened.

And if students are not being properly prepared for the real world by using Macintosh computers, then why is the Rider Journalism Lab chock full of Power Macs? My first experience with a Mac came in the Viking News office. Guess what computer I use at work today? Yup, you guessed it...a Mac.

If anything, the problem lies within the newspaper industry. During my time working at the Ocean County Observer and during a visit to The Times of Trenton in the mid 90s, I was amazed by the antiquated hardware and software being used in those operations. I don't know if things have changed or not since then, but I wonder how exactly you can prepare students for the future when the industry for which you are preparing them is still living in the past.

But I digress...

This move by the OCC administration has nothing to do with errors in the Viking News or the students not being prepared for the real world. This has everything to do with freedom of speech and expression. The Viking News—or any collegiate newspaper run by students, for that matter—is not and should never be a mouthpiece for the administration. Bosley would not be doing her job if she put her students in that position. Student journalists need to learn how to be objective and fair, but they also need to learn how not to be puppets and pawns. If the students want to question the administration, that is their right as budding journalists.

I have read recent issues of the Viking News via the Web. There are no personal attacks going on. It is certainly not careless journalism. And I think it is one of the better student publications that I have seen. From a quality standpoint, the Viking News is right up there with many student papers at four-year colleges and universities.

And I don't know how Bosley can do a better job advising the newspaper staff. Back in my day, she stayed with us all through our production nights, helping to edit stories as well as offering advice and guidance. That's more than I can say for the advisers I had at Rider. Except for a couple of individual meetings, the only role they played was attending our Sunday night meetings and offering a critique of that week's paper. I can't imagine anyone thinking Bosley was not doing an excellent job of teaching her students and preparing them for the real world. Anyone who thinks she is not a great teacher doesn't live in the real world.

I wish I had more time to write something more eloquent and compelling, but this is all I can muster at this time. However, if anybody who reads this cares enough about freedom of speech and expression, please take the time to e-mail the OCC President Jon Larson at or call him at (732) 255-0400 x330 to let him know he is flat-out wrong when it comes to what he is doing to Prof. Bosley.


The artist within...

My friend Jason has put some samples of his artwork on his Web site so I thought I would just give him a little plug here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I don't like Mondays...

...especially those that start with a flat tire.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who thought this was a good idea?

I'm watching CNN's coverage of tonight's incident at Chicago's Midway International Airport in which Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 skidded off the runway upon landing in a snowstorm and crashed into a busy intersection just beyond the runway.

CNN is using Google Earth to show an aerial shot of the airport so I went to look at it myself on Google Maps (see picture above). I have never been to Chicago and very unfamiliar with the airports there, but looking at Midway Airport I can only ask myself the question that serves as the headline of this post. I can't believe an airport in a major city that serves 17 million travelers a year was designed with such a minimal buffer area between the runways and the neighborhood roadways.

Nobody on the plane suffered any injuries and were evacuated successfully. However, the plane hit two cars at the intersection of West 55th Street and S. Central Avenue, which is located just beyond the northwest corner of the airport. One car was unoccupied, but the other was carrying a family of five and a six-year-old boy was killed.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Snow and a song

This was the scene outside my window in Fairless Hills, PA, around 5:30 this morning...the first snowfall of the winter. I'm sorry the photo is so dark, but I didn't want to use a flash and draw attention to the fact I'm a geek up at 5:30 a.m. taking pictures of the first snowfall.

Well, anyway...for some reason, whenever I am home for the first snowfall of winter, I feel compelled to sit down at my keyboard and try to write something wintry (i.e., "Mountain Dance" by Dave Grusin). Well, instead, I went back into my archives and brought a song called "Eventually" into the 21st century. This song dates back to around 1989 or '90. My former bandmate, Christian Beach, wrote different lyrics to the music I wrote and called this song "Second Look" (and I'm sure he'll be happy to hear this song again).

Except for a couple of instances, this sounds pretty much just like the original version I wrote so many years ago. The lyrics in the first verse and the chorus have been around for ages. The bridge is something I started playing around with recently so that needs a lot of work. I quickly improvised the words in the second verse and those in the bridge are obviously temporary (when you listen, you'll hear what I'm talking about).

To listen, click on the headline above or, if you have QuickTime, on the embedded player below.

Eventually (demo) (4:12/5.8 MB)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

And now we have "podjacking"

From Yahoo! News, courtesy of

Podcaster falls prey to RSS hijacking

Extortionists now have a new type of victim to pick on: podcasters. U.S. podcaster Eric Marcus has fallen prey to a hijacker who has diverted his really simple syndication (RSS) feed and is allegedly demanding money to release it. Marcus, who runs the site and produces the Erik's Diner podcasts, is looking for legal redress...

...Marcus found that Yahoo has an RSS listing for his podcast on its directory, but that the listing directs potential visitors to rather than to He also discovered that Apple's iTunes online music store associates the Web address with the Erik's Diner podcast...

...Marcus asked to make a listing change. But the site allegedly replied that it would only do so if Marcus made a payment or permanently agreed to its terms, according to press reports.

For more on this case, Marcus' attornety, Colette Vogele, head of the San Francisco-based law firm Vogele & Associates and a fellow at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, has posted a report on Marcus' problems on her blog at

Friday, December 02, 2005

311 knocks Scott Stapp "down, down"

As this CNN/AP story shows, it's always fun when one musical act, in this case the band 311, beats up another, in this case former Creed singer Scott Stapp.

(Note: Yeah, I's not the most insightful of posts, but I have been busy and wanted to push "Happy Thanksgiving" a little further down the page, considering it is now December.)