It snowed last night, but

It snowed last night, but it turned to rain today. So it’s that yucky slushy snow that’s not much good for anything. It’s supposed to snow a foot tonight with the snow continuing into tomorrow morning.
I put chains on the van so we can try to make a getaway tomorrow but it might be dicey.

Meanwhile, it’s a stay inside day today with a fire in the fireplace, popcorn and Harry Potter. We’re rereading book two out loud. Henry and Jennifer have never read it – Abby and I have, but it’s fun to read it again. I still have to write my column and web questions for Access today, though.

funny how much easier it is to write this than the column.

I think this blogging thing

I think this blogging thing is getting out of control. Here I am, sneaking upstairs to get on AOL so I can send another blog. Sick.
Did I mention that part of the new contract is a promise to give TechTV one book? We disagree on what the book should be, though.

The publisher they have a deal with, Pearson, wants me to co-author a 10 pound PC Upgrade and Maintenance clunker. I want to do a “Screen Savers Almanac.” Something filled with factoids, tips, and questions and answers that can be released yearly.

I think anything I write should reflect my personality, and the personality of the show. Publishers are deeply conservative. They don’t like doing anything different. Maybe I’ll have to do the clunker to get to do the almanac. Life is full of compromises.

Access Magazine will likely do a compilation of my Ask Leo columns, too. With 13 million readers they should be able to sell a bundle. For that matter, so should TechTV. We can’t claim that many viewers, but 120,000 people subscribe to my daily Call for Help email. Sounds like a market to me!

Great timing, the US Weather

Great timing, the US Weather service has issued a severe weather alert for the mountains. Looks like a blizzard is headed this way on Sunday with snow heavy at times and wind gusting to 70 mph. We weren’t planning on driving back until Monday – hope it clears up by then! I’ve got chains, but I’ve never used ’em before.

Snow flurries, 32 degrees. Net

Snow flurries, 32 degrees. Net access courtesy AOL. It’s bettah than nuttin!
I’m doing some online research real quick on the Napster claim that they can block copyrighted titles. (Napster to voluntarily block songs)Yeah but how are they going to block the Arrowsmyth classic Wok this Weigh? It’ll never fly. Doing an interview in five minutes on KGO AM 810 afternoon news. Then it’s back out to the snow!

A number of people have

A number of people have emailed to say that the links at the bottom of this page weren’t working. I know. It’s a bug in blogger’s code. I use server side includes (SSI) to automatically insert the stuff at the bottom. For some reason blogger parses the included HTML and inserts its own, incorrect, path to the links. This even though I’ve got absolute references in the URLs. I’ve just replaced the SSI include with hard code in my blogger template to try to fix this. If the links are working now, it worked. Otherwise I’ll have to think of another workaround!
I’m not complaining about blogger mind you. It’s an amazing service – a real gift to the web community. If I could post via email it would be perfection itself. (I understand that’s coming.) Then I could update you from my Blackberry – even on the slopes. How cool is that?

One gratifying thing. The studio

One gratifying thing. The studio crew was nervous when I came in for Call for Help. They knew today was the big day. Someone asked me how it went and I said, I guess I’ll stick around and a big cheer went up. That was really nice.
The CFH studio crew consists of the four camera operators (Gabe, Dave, Simon, Aaron, and sometimes Matt), the prompter operator (Javi usually, sometimes Conchita), and Greg the floor director. Everyone else is in the control room, invisible and except for occasional traffic on my ear piece, unheard. So it’s really the crew that’s the “audience” for the show. You develop a real rapport with them after a while, and I guess I really play to them. When they laugh I know it’s going over. (Can you hear them laugh on the show? Probably not most of the time.) That cheer made my day.

Uh oh. I’ve been outed.

Uh oh. I’ve been outed. Looks like people are reading this. I guess I’ll have to watch what I say from now on. Not.
I’m packing up the whole family this AM for a trip to the snow. The one thing I miss about living in Calif is snow – I grew up in Providence – but at least we’re only a few hours from the mountains. We take the kids up each winter so that they have some little experience of what that white stuff is they read about in books. Unfortunately they’ll never know the joy of a school snow day.

I’m not a skier but Jennifer is, and the kids will get their first lessons this weekend. I’m going to go tubing then be a lodge bunny. I’m taking the computer but I don’t think I’ll have internet access, so no blog until Monday night when we get back.

Note: the post time is not a typo. I’m up late (or early I guess) writing up the notes from the negotiation to send to Greg. Next step is a deal memo, then the lawyers nitpick the contract for a few weeks. I’m sure we’ll have a deal by April 1 – that’s when the old one runs out. Even if we don’t my new duties will start then.

There will be some changes to my schedule as part of the whole channel redesign. I can’t really talk about them – they’re not public knowledge yet – but it will all happen with the launch of TechLive on April 2. I will be on the air more, not less (a lot more, 12-15 hours a week instead of 8, and I’ll be back to five days a week), and doing some different stuff, too. I’m really looking forward to it. Some of the changes are painful, as well – no more solo stuff, for instance. But that’s how change is. I’ll talk more about it once it happens. And since I don’t think anyone from TechTV reads this, I promise to be candid!

BTW the TechLive set is coming along. You’re not going to believe it. It’s amazing! It’s a whole new world.

Whew. What a relief. After

Whew. What a relief. After a marathon 32 minute negotiation session Greg and I were able to come to a tentative agreement for a new contract. There are still some details to be worked out but it looks like you’ll be stuck with me for another two years.

OK it’s off to the

OK it’s off to the gym. Gotta work out those tensions before I head to work. My new daily Q&A at Access Magazine should be appearing today. They sent an excellent photog, Christopher Springmann to take some pix for me for the web page and they’re the best shots I’ve ever had taken. Actually makes me look half human. The picture at the top of this page is from that session, as is the one on my resume. There are dozens more which will appear on the Access web site and mine over time. Thanks, Chris!!!

Good morning! Another sleepless night.

Good morning! Another sleepless night. I wonder if things would be different if I had a lawyer or agent negotiating for me. Probably not – I like to be in direct control. I tried a lawyer last year and after spending nearly $5000 had nothing to show for it.
I know this sounds Pollyanna-ish but my biggest concern is protecting my viewers in the “new” TechTV. I don’t want production razzle-dazzle to overshadow the content. I feel it is already, to some degree. It’s selfish, really. I know better than to believe they watch because of my raffish wit and dashing good looks. It’s the content, stupid! Without that it’s just another cnet central. No one will watch that and I don’t want to be a part of it. Sometimes, I just wonder if managment can tell the difference.