Here's the Guide edition as originally published on the date shown. The added news and events that were continuously joining the content here are now in their own, more current, edition. (We were "adding on" because the platform's publishing tools are shutting-down. They still work, so 13 years in, we're still doing fresh editions here -- for the time being.)
Covidology 101 (our ongoing series)
First up, these masks were offered on Garrison Keillor's website. Alas, they're now sold-out.
Next, the serious part...
"Here are the most and least effective face coverings to use during COVID-19"
From the Seattle PI (updated Aug 13):
We'll also add some events, BELOW the text edition; just scroll down (hopefully after you read the short edition).
We're moving. Soon. To another platform. Important announcement, August 14 2020.
Moving when you've been settled someplace a long time is never easy. We decided to take the time to tell you the story because you might suddenly find yourself in a similar situation with a platform that you use to post original content.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide moved to Blogspot in 2008, after getting established under other names elsewhere. Back then, we were "The Acoustic Americana Music Calendar and News." We soon shortened that unwieldy title, became The Guide, and have been something of an institution here ever since.
From the latest edition before this one, to back when we first got here, our whole history at Blogspot has steadily built a searchable archive that readers, researchers, and artists regularly access. All those early editions-- every one of 'em -- is still in the archive. And new stuff has appeared in each one of those editions. More than 1,900 editions here at Blogspot.
We began our 13th year here two months ago.
But it's time to get outta Dodge.
Well, THIS is disorienting. We thought we were coming back after a short hiatus -- singular and shorter than the frequent ones Trevor Noah or Colbert takes. That was August 7th. We had content for new editions ready to go. But we found that Blogspot had changed everything on the posting / publishing end, and done it in the short time we were gone.
YOU don't see the reason why. So we must describe it. What YOU'RE reading still conforms to the format we set long ago -- page layouts, fonts, left-side navigation pane, searchable content, etc.
But everything WE see when we write, compose/composit, choose visual art or photos, and go through every step as we attempt to publish, is now in a post apocalyptic cyberian landscape.
It is line-after-line of code and techobabble crap.
It isn't a glitch or a user error. We didn't "just enter the wrong command" by nicking the wrong button. Nope. "They" did it and it was intentional.
What happened is this:
• Google -- the biggest empire of cyberspying that's ever existed -- bought Blogspot.
• That part happened a while back. Since then -- and until now -- whatever they have been doing to increase their data collection and monitoring of sellable product from cyberspying has been subtle. Well, subtle enough not to intrude on our ability to publish frequent lively editions with plenty of links and illustrations.
• But now, the overpaid technonerds who rule the Cyberberian realm are doing their employers bidding and increasing the ways for them to know all about you. And along the way, those technonerds are flexing their egos and enjoying the fact the are forcing a "mandatory improvement and upgrade" on everyone who publishes on Blogspot.
• And unless you are one of them and able to navigate their convoluted world, their "improvement" has made it far too ponderous, inscrutable, and impossible to stay here to keep doing what we do.
• There is a backstory. It's the other shoe dropping. It seems Google found a way to collect data across more platforms, including getting past the barriers and constraints that Apple iOS users bring as readers. But for Google to do that through Blogspot, WE get stuck facilitators and enablers. WE must navigate around and step over all their lines of code. Acres and acres of it. And we can't turn it off or get around it or evoke the old paradigm of "whiziwig" (What You See Is What You Get). So, any time we want to add a quick update atop one of our own published editions? Or compose a new one for publication? NOW we have absolutely no idea what it looks like before you see it.
Attempting to deal with THAT would mean huge errors we never saw -- things that both affect and effect readability. Like lines of text being bunched together. Fonts and text sizes being all over the place. Tiny titles that would get second and third and fifteenth items lost because the reader could not tell where one thing ended and the next one began. And for us, it would require untold amounts of time trying to find the exact point needed to go back in and fix each of those things after the fact.
We can't tell you how maddening it is that everything changed while we were taking a needed couple of weeks off, expecting to return and produce content from (literally) over a thousand submitted items from artists, bands, labels, publicists, music awards and contests and museums and exhibition organizations and more. And we come back and find we can't anymore. At least not here.
We're not masochists, and we certainly do not have unlimited time to deal with finding some innovative program that expensively deals with this. Our devotion to producing The Guide all these years, and into the future, has limits that are frequently exceeded as it is. So -- beyond we usually devote -- we just can't sink any additional time into it, on any level.
With no other choice, we will be test driving other platforms. And we won't jump aboard the first streetcar just because there's one going by. We were here into our 13th year. Wherever we land next, we want to be safe there, bringing you the content you expect, for at least another 13 years.
Y'know, before they created their train wreck, Google really should have remembered a useful adage:
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Or as expressed in a recent planned "THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date":
"Those who believe without reason cannot be convinced by reason."
~ James Randi, magician and skeptic (born August 7, 1928)
We feel very qualified to say that to Google. Because way back in 2008, when we moved to Blogspot from MySpace, it wasn't just that MySpace was no longer the cool kid's table. It was because THEY screwed up a perfectly good thing without reason. The June 7, 2008 edition from MySpace was the first thing we posted here at our new Blogspot home, back on June 10, 2008, with this notice:
"WHY WE’RE ON BLOGSPOT.COM: after a long presence on MySpace, that site suddenly changed parameters to accept only short posts, now requiring a ponderous and VERY time-consuming process to list events in small increments. It’s far too time-consuming. So we began posting the calendar and news on Blogspot. We’ll see how it works, and if everyone adjusts and gives positive feedback, we’ll move, and soon." (June, 2008)
It did work. And everyone made the move.
It worked for more than 12 years.
It was here on Blogspot where we became the "go to" site for acoustic music, from Folk-Americana to classical to acoustic renaissance. From blues to bluegrass to borderlands, Cajun to cowboy to Celtic to Quebecois, new-old-trad-alt-post folk, and the exciting and innovative sounds of acoustic songwriters and instrumental wizards.
School libraries bookmarked us.
Other publications and sites used us as their source.
Venues depended on us.
Artists and bands and labels gave us exclusives and debuts of new recordings.
Tours and collaborations were announced here.
Readers' needs and desires for all those things is why we keep on keepin' on.
And, ironically? Why this platform no longer works to keep doing it? That is remarkably similar to why we moved here in the first place -- because an established "place to be" recklessly changed the parameters of the environment, damaging the habitat beyond its ability to sustain what we do.
As the main title song lyrics from a Broadway musical -- that also became a movie -- say:
Where am I going
I don't know
When will I get there
I ain't certain
All that I know is
I am on my way
Come along, boys,
Paint your wagon
And come along!
We hope to maintain the existing archive of the previous twelve-plus years here at this old address. That will depend on whether the platform's Google masters will support the necessary format for reading past content as it was created. If all our 1,900+ previous editions become oceans of techno gobbledygook and lines of code, there won't be any point.
To be on the safe side, if you've ever wanted to search anything from our past content, do it now and copy it into your device -- while you still can.
We'll be back with the address of our new home -- where you can find us on that new platform -- when we have it established. Meanwhile you can still write to us using the email address or this site's tools, both in the bottom section.
And... if you have suggestions for our new platform -- from choosing one that you think is the place we should move, or any changes you'd like to see when we get there -- please feel free to let us know!
___ ___ ___
Meanwhile, what's out there to see, hear, virtually experience, or otherwise enjoy:
Here are some events, etc. -- much more has been added in a later edition, and news and events temporarily parked as "additions" here are in that new edition. We will continue to publish NEW EDITIONS here until we are no longer able to access the platform's old posting tools (which is any day now).
Tuesday, August 18, 6 pm PDT
John Fogerty Tour Dates
The Bob Malone
Events added to this edition ...
Sunday, August 16:
Monday morning, 10 am Pacific, it's...
Monday, August 17:
The very talented and funny PHIL WARD
Finally, here's The Guide's boilerplate as you're accustomed to seeing it.
___ ___ ___
On mobile devices, ALWAYS click "view web edition" to bring-up the left side bar with navigation tools and direct click access to all recent editions, month-by-month archives to everything this year, and each previous year since we moved to Blogspot.
in this new world of the improbable unknown...