Tuesday in Santa Fe

02009-11-03 | Photos | 16 comments

Another lovely Autumn day in Santa Fe. In the Morning I delivered my car to Amigo Tires on Cerrillos Road for the mounting of two winter tires in front – my car is a front-wheel drive – while I walked to have breakfast at nearby Counter Culture. I was told that all tires are becoming fatter as a result of the Nascar daddies wanting something that looks like racing tires. Real men, however know that snow tires need to be skinny – see this YouTube clip of racing in the snow. It’s simple, really… the weight per square-inch is much higher on a skinny tire. Add a nice hard edge and you find grip in the snow. Since I couldn’t find a nice year-round tire – all too fat and useless – I decided to do what my dad always did: to buy one-season winter tires for my drive-wheels, and change back to regular tires when Winter ends.

I checked out this article on iPhone apps RE Tokyo, since we will fly there next week.

Globalization: fixed gear bikes in Prague, covered by a blog in Hongkong.

Japanese tea ceremony, Chinese tea, a little history, some Alan Watts:
Buddha in a tea cup.

Composer John Adams has a blog:

John Adams: Hell Mouth: Hocking a Hooey at the Concert
The phenomenon of aggressive throat clearing in public settings is a subject best analyzed by behavioral psychologists. I myself think that much of the barking and hacking one hears at a concert is an unconscious expression of profound psychological discomfort, a discomfort brought on by feeling caught in a confined space with a large number of people all sharing emotions of extreme delicacy.

Travel without moving: photoblog by Jan Chipchase. He calls it

Future Perfect is about the collision of people, society and technology, drawing on issues related to the design research that I conduct in part, on behalf of my employer – Nokia.

I wrote this in answer to Boris comment:

Let’s see, there were 5 downloads in March, 8 in April, 4 in May, 7 in June, 6 in July, 3 in August, 6 in September, 7 in October, and 2 this month… makes 48 downloads so far. That number includes a few FLAC downloads and a couple of AIFFs. But basically, since you started in March you should have downloaded at least 40 mp3s at this point.

The cover I embed in every subscription mp3-file looks like this: (((yes, I liked the pixilated look!!)))

I figure that way all of the songs from this year have the same cover and belong to the same album, which is “Ottmar-Friends Subscription”. I enter “Ottmar Liebert” as the Album Artist and then e.g. “Lava” or “Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra” as the (Song-)Artist – most music cataloguing software seem to be able to differentiate between album-artist and song-artist in that manner.

And while we are there, maybe it’s time to reflect. How do you like this Backstage area so far? Feel free to heap praise and scorn in your comments. Ready? Go!!

The Autumn moon was the only light source for these photos:

This is the clothes line, with a clothes-pin on the left:

Here I just waved the camera at the night sky with the moon…


  1. Günter

    Dear Ottmar,
    this is my first mail to you. I’m from Germany and I discovered your music almost two years ago and together with Mark Knopfler you have become my favourite artist. For me you have an extraordinary muscial talent, your music has a beauty, an inner quietness and depth rarley to be found. And your music stays with me and lasts even after often repeated listenings. So I would like to thank you for making my life more beautiful through your art.

    Since I joined Ottmar Friends in May I come back to your site almost daily and I’m very grateful that you grant us an insight in your life and that you share your thoughts with us. For someone with a day to day office job like me it is so enriching to “participate” in your different kind of life style as an artist.
    Finally it is more than generous of you to have given us so many unreleased pearls of your music in the months since the start of Ottmar Friends.
    Please continue, it really means very much to me.
    My heratiest regards

  2. Matt Callahan

    Growing up, I knew that autumn was over and winter was finally at hand when the snow tires went on the family cars. You may want to consider using rear snow tires as well. With so little weight distributed to the rear end on a front wheel drive, the back end tends to float and wider tires tend to exaggerate the issue. With no bite at the rear tire, the back end can float over the snow and swing the entire car around when driving. It’s quite an experience.

  3. Ottmar

    Günter – thanks for that!

    Matt – but I love that and often initiate it by pulling on the hand-brake (which effects only the rear wheels) to get around tight turns. :-)

  4. Brenda

    Oh My – I have survived,as a passenger, 360 in the snow, going across a bridge, view of two intersecting rivers in the spin , and yes, the driver did believe in the hand brake. I do prefer driving a standard (Stick Shift) in the snow, more control, but many times pulling out of driveway (w/automatic- I now have a standard again) and beginning the incline down the hill the back end does start coming around in the snow, then slide begins and yes ,you are sideways now and next; an unwelcome visit into the neighbor’s yard and then two years ago flying down the hill and front end caught by a large rock. My hill is steep, one year we had 3 feet of snow and so it became a place to sled and believe it or not ski. We used to get our snow tires studded, now that will give you traction but they are illegal in our state.
    My new job is within walking distance so bring on the Snow!.

  5. Adam

    Hmm, a minor thing, but I end up changing the Artist tag in iTunes to “Ottmar Liebert”, because otherwise they’re not displayed together! So within iTunes I’m not even sure what the point is of having the Album Artist be Ottmar Liebert – it doesn’t seem to help with organization, at least on my machine.

    N.B. I sort by “Artist” by default. I think this is standard iTunes behavior.

  6. Ottmar

    Adam – I thought it might be useful for everyone to know what I am doing and why. If you set everything simply to Ottmar then you can’t search for Lava, for example. iTunes and other apps support “Album Artist” and “Artist” – “Artist” means track or song artist – might as well make use of it.

  7. Adam

    Oh, I agree it makes sense in some cases. So you’d have to have your library sorted by Album Artist, right? It’s still not a very widely used tag; for example, more than 2/3 of my library (~50 GB) has no album artist, and it would clearly be silly to try to change that. Also, Artist is a necessary field (as anyone who owns an iPod or other music player can attest), so to actively maintain Album Artists would require double-tagging every new file. So I think for the vast majority of users, it’s unrealistic to sort your library (say, in iTunes) by Album Artist. I’d be curious to hear how you do it.

    Just my two cents :) Pros and cons, clearly.

  8. Ottmar

    Adam – as I see it, there are two kinds of people: those who browse and the those who search. I don’t know what makes people browsers or searchers. Maybe they will eventually find a browse vs search gene, or maybe it’s learned behavior.

    People who browse are people who like to go shopping. They use a dock to launch an application or maybe they’ll look at their app-folder. When it comes to music they’ll open iTunes and look at the albums, or in your case at the artists…

    Well, I don’t “go shopping” and I don’t browse. I want my music files to contain as much information as possible so that I can search and find what I want. I open applications with Google Searchbox or with Apple’s Spotlight. If I want to open my browser I invoke Spotlight, type ” f” for Firefox and hit enter. When I want to listen to “Lava” I’ll use the search box in iTunes. I don’t look at the albums, I don’t look through the artists.

    And, why is it unrealistic to sort a library by Album Artist. If you have added “Album Artist” to your iTunes viewIt takes only one click to sort stuff that way. If you like stuff sorted that is. As I mentioned I don’t browse, I search and therefore I don’t need to sort at all.

    Make sense?

    I am thinking about this a little more. For example, browsers have to name folders well, they have to create hierarchies – the business letters go into this folder, the personal letters in that one – so that they can browse for the item they need. They don’t need to be careful naming their files, because they’ll find them in the proper container…

    Searchers on the other hand need only one folder. They do need to name the individual files well, however or they’ll never find them again. They need to tag stuff, when tagging is available.

  9. Adam

    Yeah, I definitely see what you mean. I know plenty of people (all Mac users, of course!) who prefer to search. As you can tell, I’m a browser (I use Spotlight to open apps since it’s so convenient, but not without some guilt for foregoing the pretty Grid view). Why? That’s something I’m not sure I know how to answer, but I’ll tell you this: that hierarchical structure of organization is something I’m much more comfortable with (particularly talking about folders). I’d worry that I would miss stuff by having, say, everything in one folder and searching – unnecessary files would be less likely to get pruned, useful files might go unnoticed, related files not always grouped together, etc.

    On the one hand, I think this is something that is fixed by good tagging, and for me this comes down to my organizational skills (or lack thereof!) which get in the way of that. On the other hand, I would surmise that the better your tagging gets, the more your structures end up looking like folders anyway.

  10. Brenda


  11. Brenda

    “Buddha in a tea cup” – The storytelling made me be filled with tears. thanks for sharing. :)

  12. dave

    Me, I’m really liking the Backstage! Thanks.

  13. dave

    Oh, and thanks for the link to the Buddhist Geeks podcast with Ken Cohen. The qigong I practice has come from him to me through David Mott.

  14. Will

    Love the “Ottmar Friends”. What about a member forum where we can discuss a variety of ideas and topics with like minded folks and get to know each other a bit more?

  15. Brenda

    Praise for Ottmar Friends – It is current, always changing, challenging, enjoyable, entertaining, fun, and a quick attempt of an analogy would be the “distant aroma of fresh baked goodness of yeast bread because it does not just happen in a moment’s notice. Ottmar has evidently been working / practicing for many years to produce this genuine site and I am thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy
    Ottmar Friends, ever so effortlessly. Good Stuff!

  16. Carolynn

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again here since the question was asked — I love Ottmar-Friends! I love the insight into OL’s life (the little peeks he gives). I appreciate the commentary on all of the other subjects that come up. I feel we are quite priviledged to have access to the music that is provided as well. No complaints, really!


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