Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2021

A week ago, I posted a little something about the upcoming release of Berkeley Breathed’s compilation of Opus comic strips.

The next day, I got an email from a marketing person at Time Warner Book Group. TWBG includes Little, Brown and Company, the publisher of “OPUS: 25 Years of His Sunday Best”. Based on my post, she offered to send me a review copy of the book.

I accepted. And today, in my mailbox, I recieved the book.

Yes, feel free to inject a “power of blogging” anecdote here. I’m getting a review copy, something once reserved only for writers at newspapers, magazines and other “old media” outlets. Obviously, it’s a sign that at least one publisher (a real big one, at that) sees value in getting some online, grassroots buzz going for a book. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who was extended such an offer.

Hold back the hyperbole a bit, though. The traditional media isn’t going to die anytime soon. They’re going to remain a necessary foundation for any marketing efforts in publishing and other sectors. Blogs serve as a potentially potent supplement to the mix, offering something akin to word-of-mouth cred. Handled adroitly, they can be a nice boost.

I think this development is worthy of a more in-depth interview with the folks at TWBG, to get a good idea of their online marketing strategy. I think I’ll try to set that up for next week. If it’s successful, I’ll post it here.

As for “OPUS”, I’ll read it over the next couple of days, and post a review here by the weekend. I think I’ll enjoy it.

I got an unexpected bonus book, shipped along with “OPUS”: “The Crisis : The President, the Prophet, and the Shah — 1979 and the Coming of Militant Islam”, by David Harris. Not what I’d consider a companion set of books (disregarding the political forays often taken by Breathed). I guess I’ll also review this book, but it’ll take longer to get through. It’s not that I don’t like the subject matter — history and political science were my academic specialities — but at the moment, I can’t see diving into it before sometime late next week.

So, to all you other bloggers: Take note. You never know who’s reading your stuff, and you never can tell what your scribblings might yield.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/02/2021 10:22:56 PM
Category: Publishing | Permalink | Feedback (13)


fun in the sun
I know I’m not the only person in Tampa Bay who owns an iPod. But sometimes, I wonder. I never see anyone else toting one around town. By contrast, when I pass through New York City, I manage to spot at least one every block.

But now, I know for sure: There are at least a few others in Hillsborough and Pinellas who cherish their little white music boxes.

Regrettably, the tone of the article is fairly tech-ignorant (sorry, Gina). From reading it, you’d get the impression that the iPod was newly discovered, instead of being around for nearly four years. Makes the Bay area seem less than hip.

What’s on some locals’ playlists?

“As a typical gay male, I have every recording by Madonna,” [Marc] Villalobos says, laughing. He also has plenty of tunes by Tina Turner, the Go-Go’s and Duran Duran.

A favorite song? Union of the Snake.

Um… That happens to be on my iPod too, and it’s also one of my favorites.

Maybe I’d better make sure to hook up this weekend. Yes, with a girl.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/02/2021 09:49:52 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)


I have $300 in cash in my wallet this morning, the result of a couple IOUs being paid.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve had that much green actually on me. I enthusiastically use my plastic in every possible situation; it’s just more convenient (in most situations). I try not to carry more than $40 in bills at any one time.

There used to be something about having the real-deal money in my grubby little paws. It felt more tangible, more connected to me, versus a bank account that I had only electronic contact with. Even though, comparatively, it’s not really that much, just having it directly on-hand used to make me feel flushed with funds.

Now? It’s just a modest stack of paper, making my wallet feel fat. Most of it’s going to the bank at noon, so it’ll become just as ethereal as my paycheck. Not that I’m complaining.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/02/2021 10:05:01 AM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Monday, November 01, 2021

It looks like I need to build myself some celebrity cred if I want to maintain a career in editing. Following on the precedent set when Arnold Schwarzenegger took on executive editor chores for a couple of its fitness magazines, American Media Inc. is giving Sylvester Stallone his own self-titled muscle magazine.

The magazine is set to hit newsstands in early January, coinciding with Stallone’s reality TV show about young boxers, “The Contender,” that will run on NBC.

That’s interesting, considering Fox’s identical reality show, “The Next Great Champ”, has flopped. Despite Stallone’s star power, you’ve got to assume his version of the show will flop. Then what? Does the magazine fold too?

As with Ah-nold’s editorial adventure — or Oprah’s, for that matter — it’s a safe bet that Stallone won’t be terribly involved with the actual production of his namesake title.

And yes, I am trashing this celebrity-hobbyist magazine trend, even though my own mag just put a notable face on its cover, to my great pleasure. Hey, at least Dickie V isn’t editing the issue…

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/01/2021 08:38:22 PM
Category: Publishing, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback


Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t realize that WordPress doesn’t automatically adjust itself for Daylight Savings Time. But in case there are any other WP-powered bloggers out there who can’t figure out why their timestamps are still an hour ahead:

- In your wp-admin backend, choose Options.

- Under the General Options tab, adjust your Date and Time settings to the appropriate variance from Greenwich Mean Time (it’s -5 hours for my ‘hood, in Eastern Standard Time; adjust accordingly).

For the record: My VCR, cellphones and computers automatically re-adjusted themselves for DST. My television, iPod and various household clocks did not, and needed my involvement to keep proper time.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/01/2021 08:15:03 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback


You want alligators? St. Pete’s Lake Maggiore has plenty of big ‘uns, and not everyone in the neighborhood wants to see them go.

I love stories like this, because they provide good shock value for me to use on my New York friends and relatives. Between the big lizards and the hurricanes, they probably think I live in the Amazon…

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/01/2021 07:34:45 PM
Category: Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (1)

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