July, 2001: 30 posts.
Doing some spring cleaning today on the office. Sorting, categorizing. Discarding.
What? You’ve never heard of Manga? Manga is a style of comic from Japan. Manga which you might have heard of in this time period might include things like Pokemon and Dragonball Z. These two examples, say almost nothing about the medium though. Here’s a definition of Manga which includes discussion of Anime as well.
Which reminds me: Comic-Con is coming!
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 [imdb] [amazon] is a great cheap date for a Saturday Night. It’s a guy movie that even my wife likes! It’s a “caper picture” – several armed men hijack a subway car in New York City. It’s filled with wonderful character actors. I like that the characters are cynical and smartasses. Any movie where even the bit players get to have great, funny lines is on the right track. In too many movies, only the stars get to shine. In this one, everyone gets to play.
I’ve been doing even more spring cleaning this weekend. Nice to go through old things. Among the items I found are old notes to myself when I was first learning about the web. My interest was almost exclusively graphics. That was my way in. Now what’s interesting is the enabling of human interactions. I used to seek eye candy. Now I seek something else.
I don’t know where Dennis Wilen got it, but he gets it when he says that it’s not the downloads that are the amazing part of the ‘net. It’s the uploads. The instances where people are encouraged to dive in and have a new experience on the web, and on the net. These are the things which are where the fun stuff happens.
Eye candy can be a bonus, though.
I saw Jerry Hirshberg speak the other night at San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art.
He’s a great speaker. He’s articulate about creativity. He has a passion for design, and is evangelistic about the power of design to change, and look ahead which is completely infectious.
His book: The Creative Priority : Putting Innovation to Work in Your Business – is another thing I need to put on my shopping list.
Beach party! Silver Strand State Beach – absolutely lovely time with family. The water was hideously cold though – even by my standards – I personally require 63 degrees Fahrenheit before I go in. But the waves were excellent. Big. Powerful. nice bodysurfing.
AuctionMart seems to be an excellent application of the internet to an old problem. Seems like every Respiratory Therapy Department I ever worked in had equipment which was in disuse, but was perfectly functional. These were untapped resources, which could be easily sold to other facilities which could use them. In return the selling department can use the generated revenue to get equipment they can use. The internet enables geographically distant places to carry out these transactions.
And yes, eBay does the same thing with, say, Beanie Babies.
Happy Hour #8 is totally tonight. Hope to put some faces to names and email addresses.
Will will be playing at Lestats Coffeehouse (here in San Diego, yes) on the 24th of July. I work with Will, and have heard him play. He proves that a killer ASP (and Cold Fusion, and SQL Server, and Flash) programmer can be a sensitive singer / songwriter / guitarist. Go to his site.
You might also want to harangue him into putting some darn audio files of his work up. Heh heh.
Lab time again! This time I’m addressing the question of the dotted lines in Windows MSIE. It’s titled: Why not to use blur() to make dotted lines go away in MSIE for Windows. The cousin of this entry is outline: none CSS property.
My goatee is getting long. I can’t figure out whether this is good or bad, but it makes me think of ZZ Top. This is bad inasmuch as ZZ Top is kind of a joke as a band. Like a musical footnote in the latter 20th Century. They do play some mean guitar though.
What do I know from guitars though. I think my musical taste is atrophying. This is my playlist this morning: The Gourds: Gin and Juice; Dynamite Hack: Boyz N Tha Hood; and Pink / Mya / Lil’Kim / Christina Aguilera: Lady Marmalade.
I used to passionately follow Talking Heads, Joy Division / New Order, They Might Be Giants, Matthew Sweet, Tori Amos, Morrissey. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t take popular music seriously enough. When people recommend bands to me I’m usually unimpressed.
For me I think it’s got to be be either Zappa: vast Antarcticas of history and complexity in a huge body of work … or it’s Christina Aguilera: aesthetically pleasing, with an underlying vocal talent, and evidencing hard work – but ultimately the judgment of history will probably be that her work was overproduced.
Maybe I’ll get into Gilbert and Sullivan. That music has lasted a hundred years already. I did really Like Topsy-Turvy. I could definitely see myself in the depiction of Mr. Gilbert.
Last night as I was making my way from work to my car I was greeted by the sight of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones — apparently now a couple — moving northeast in the Gaslamp Quarter. They looked great, Lara even had her sunglasses on. I’ll admit that her windbreaker didn’t help my suspension of disbelief, but still.
The only explanation of these fictional characters coming to life is San Diego Comic-Con!. I missed Thursday and Friday. But I’ll be there all day today and Sunday. Should be good. Toss me a message if you’re in town!
Comic-Con is pretty cool so far. Hooking up with friends, drooling over expensive merchandise, laughing at my own age and nostalgia (I get all wispy when I see things like the Micronauts, which are these cool toys from my youth which I can’t afford now).
The best thing I picked up was a book — The Busy, Busy World of Richard Scarry — a biography of an artist / author whose work had an impact on me as a child. His best books are oversized, superdense with words and text, very innocently drawn, but definitely educational. I loved the details in his work. I loved the fact that there were always things going on on the page which were not referred to in the text. For me, a visual child, always, this was a special treat. Words and pictures can interact – this is a core principle of comics. It’s not simply illustration. It’s not merely writing. Comics happen when you multiply the two together!
I was reading the biography last night. I got it from the booth of Bud Plant (a great comics and culture book dealer). The book is out of print on amazon, but they have it at budplant.com and they have it at the Con.
Unexpected things delight.
I’m reading Watchmen again. I bought a reading copy at Con. Still an amazing read. Bleak. Dark. Moody. Funny. Cynical. But definitely a great story. There used to be talk — maybe there still is? — about Terry Gilliam directing a film or TV adaptation of the piece. One rumor I remember reading somewhere was that it might be a mini-series in 12 parts. I remember reading the original comic in 12 individual issues, and they make sense as individual “chunks” – so this might be a good approach. The story is certainly intricate and rich enough to tolerate being that long. One thing that’s interesting is that in the 15 years or so since Watchmen was originally published by DC as a comic book, the realm of what’s possible in terms of visual effects has expanded immeasurably. The Spider Man trailer certainly proves that point in spades.
linklint is one of a very few perfect pieces of software around. By which I mean that it does what it sets out to do with a minimum of fuss.
Hm. Looks like urls with querystrings (like my wedding photos) get treated gently. That’s good robot behavior! You can also set a delay so that you don’t inadvertently slashdot yourself. Heh.
I picked something else up at Comic-Con. Something not sanctioned by Lucasfilm Ltd.
As the credits rolled and Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman and Art Carney rolled, I started uncontrollably laughing at the thinking behind the special. Essentially they crammed The Star Wars Phenomenon into the 1970’s Variety Format. And the end result is long, disturbing, and just silly.
And I will not be accepting that Chewbacca has a son named Lumpy. Or that his father is named Itchy. This is not part of the Star Wars Canon.
Jenny and have watched about 40 minutes of it so far. We’re trying to pace ourselves. We feel prolonged exposure may result in health problems.
Great essay on why Dmitry Skylarov should be released. Brings up the key issues: Fair Use, the DMCA, the dead media problem, the rights of authors, the transnational issue – and from the unique perspective of someone who has actually published eBooks..
I love books. I love technology. I love the internet. I think authors have rights to be protected.
Dmitry’s incarceration is wrong on many counts. Free Dmitry!
Something very neat, and a little bit scary as well — www.mapquest.com now provides aerial photos of many locations. Southern California is covered well, Virgina sporadically, D.C. pretty well, some parts of Washington State are in b+w, Miami is pretty well covered.
Unsettling to see one’s dwelling in Smart-Bomb-O-Vision though.
Some men see things the way they are and say “Why?”. I dream things that never were and say “Why not?”
– Robert F. Kennedy.
Comment: This sentiment bears repeating.
Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.
Just get up and dance.
– Dave Barry