18 ArtLung posts from October, 2008
October 14th, 2008
Dear AOL Journals user,
As we wrote in an e-mail on Sept. 30, AOL® Journals will permanently shut down on Oct. 31. It’s never an easy decision to shut down a feature, especially one like AOL Journals that some of our members have used for a long time. But with a decline in Journals usage, we have to look carefully at all of AOL’s features to make sure we’re providing as much value to our members as possible.
Though we know this might be an inconvenience, the good news is that we’ve partnered with Blogger.com to provide a smooth transition for your journal. Blogger is a free service from Google that makes it easy to share your thoughts with friends and the world. Blogger supports most of the features you’ve come to expect from AOL Journals, and it’s easy to get started. If you wish to transfer your journal to Blogger, they will move your posts, comments and photos to your new blog on their service. When you’re ready, go to this link to get started.
Remember, it’s very important to save your Journals content before Oct. 31. If you choose not to move to Blogger, you’ll need to save your information manually (for example, by copying and pasting its contents into a word processor).
Again, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we make this transition, and we hope you enjoy using Blogger.com.
The AOL Journals Team
They made it pretty easy for me to migrate to a blogspot address.
I started it way back in 2003, and that’s where it ended too.
October 22nd, 2008
October 22nd, 2008
Our houseguests and Leah and I went to Disneyland several weeks ago on the dime of one of Leah’s blogger things, and I was impressed. I was not feeling that great, but I was stunned by how well the fun machine of Disney’s making works.
October 22nd, 2008
When I got back home I found a message on the door
Sweet Regina’s gone to China crosslegged on the floor
Of a burning jet that’s smoothly flying:
Burning airlines give you so much more.
How does she intend to live when she’s in far Cathay?
I somehow can’t imagine her just planting rice all day.
Maybe she will do a bit of spying
With microcameras hidden in her hair.
I guess Regina’s on the plane, a Newsweek on her knees
While miles below her the curlews call from strangely stunted trees.
The painted sage sits just as though he’s flying;
Regina’s jet disturbs his wispy beard.
When you reach Kyoto send a postcard if you can,
And please convey my fond regards to Chih-Hao’s girl Yu-Lan.
I heard a rumour they were getting married
But someone left the papers in Japan.
Left them in Japan, left them in Japan…
I have felt a strong connection to the work of Brian Eno in the past week. I actually think I may have chosen the wrong hero in high school. I listened to Talking Heads and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and extracted David Byrne as the more important partner. I think Brian Eno was the more important figure. His pop work, his aesthetic, his work with Roxy Music, his production of a panoply of bands: incredible body of work. Seriously, read the man’s wikipedia page.
Or perhaps it takes 25 years of perspective to really hear Brian Eno.
October 22nd, 2008
Like many people, I was perplexed Sarah Palin when John McCain chose her as his running mate. I am not impressed by her thoughts on policy issues. She can’t cite a newspaper or a magazine she’s ever read. She can’t name a Supreme Court decision. And yet, she didn’t do that bad in her debate versus Joe Biden. How can it be that a person unwilling or unable to hold a press conference can simultaneously be great on tv?
The answer came several weeks ago in the Doc Searls Weblog: “Talking to lenses”
Sarah Palin was a sportscaster and sports reporter in 1988. If you think of her, and her public appearances, interviews, speeches–in that context–her demeanor, her camera-skills, her affect, it all makes sense. The smarmy friendliness, the banter, the attractive appearance: these are all features that a sports reporter might (and often do) have.
I think she’s perfectly acceptable on television, give her a TV show now!
But despite all her post-TV political accomplishments: City Council, Mayor, Governor of Alaska — I don’t think she’s qualified to be Vice-President of the United States of America.
Reading a teleprompter, maybe even writing copy occasionally.
October 23rd, 2008
Image via boogah.
October 25th, 2008
This is where I am. See http://twitter.com/artlung and http://www.flickr.com/photos/artlung/tags/barcampla6 for current photos.
October 26th, 2008
Note: I wrote this in a text editor around October 2nd, nearly three weeks ago. I’m posting with only minor edits to what was in the text file.
My latest contract is having the usual big corporation slowness with regards to paying, and as a result I’m owed 4 1/2 weeks worth of paychecks. But it’s really coming Real Soon Now™. Really. (Note: we’ve been paid now, and expect to be paid again real soon now).
Personally, I feel pretty good. The end of the summer has been a bummer, and I’ve not swum in a while, but I have been working extensively in the garage. Where we could not walk around inside the garage before, now we can. I’ve even cleared enough room so that the treadmill can be used, and set up a desk out there. I’ve got more to do, but it’s very satisfying to take control over something that was so chaotic. I think it’s been good exercise moving boxes, adjusting. The impetus for all this was that several weeks ago the Simi Valley Dump had a FREE DUMP DAY. I got rid of two mattresses and a box spring that we’d not used in 2 years and I was unable to give away on FreeCycle. I observed that I was far happier about the prospect of a free trip to the dump than seemed rational. Sure, it’s a savings of $18.60 minimum, but still.
I suppose it’s something to do with being approximately middle-aged plus or minus. I’m 38 years old — multiply times to is 72 — as I work on my health that seems not unreasonable given the good genes I have.
Back to FREE DUMP DAY though–I was talking about how excited I was for a free dump day for several weeks. Put it on my calendar, and got there 20 minutes before the listed opening time and I got right in–no line. I dumped the mattresses and box spring and was on my way. I was very pleased as, on my way out, there was a line of 20 vehicles waiting to get in. Double-win!
In High School some of my friends said I was "like a middle-aged man" — I had a very serious manner, and took to wearing a khaki businessman’s coat and carrying a black umbrella sometimes. To the "Senior Sleep In" thing I wore a thick red robe, further solidifying their impression that I was like some guy already in his thirties or forties. I suppose I was parentalized early, having to be the man of the house at times while my Dad was away at school, at work, or at sea.
Well, these days I am a patriarch, the head of a household that I am proud to care for and be concerned about. Granted, the kids are not with us most of the time, but I feel a need to be parental and fatherly toward them that’s strong. We’re not financially able to do much, but money is not everything.
Spiritually I’ve been reinvigorated to be going to Mass a bit more regularly. I went to the San Buenaventura Mission for Mass last weekend. It’s got a rather rich history–founded in 1792 by Father Junipero Serra himself . It’s an honor to worship in an edifice that is over 200 years old, an age rare for a site in the Western United States. Of course California was Spanish when it was founded, part of the Virreinato de Nueva España, the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain. Usually I go down to the Cathedral, which I really like. It’s usually minimal traffic, and free parking, and any chance to hit Los Angeles is a good excuse.
In other news, I have a pile of new and rediscovered books to read I’ve largely neglected, owing to other priorities, but I look forward to curling up with some of them.
The financial crises the nation is going through remind me of James Howard Kunstler‘s predictions about The Long Emergency, but I’m not sure that’s where we’re headed. In fact, I have doubts that the trouble in the financial markets will affect me at all. Leah and I bank with WaMu, which was bought recently by Chase, but there’s been no interruption of service.
I do think the country is in for more hard stuff before there’s easy stuff. I sure don’t want President Barack Obama’s future job. Looks like it’s going to be a tough one. In the short term, things look bleak for the home team, but for me personally I just need to do precisely what I’m doing, generating the income I need to, paying down my debts, and looking forward to being debt-free and prospering. In the meantime I have family, friends, and things like DrupalCamp, BarCamp, excellent books, great movies like Michael Clayton, and yes, those books I have been neglecting.
It’s all good.
So, that was what I had to say a month ago. So what now?
Contract still going well, it will persist through the end of November then I’ll be on the market again after Thanksgiving.
We have to move, which stinks, but our landlord will pay us a premium for us to break the lease, so we’re going to do it.
My Grandfather’s 90th Brithday was this year–we’re having a celebration in Las Vegas, probably his favorite destination, and I’m helping with some of the behind the scenes on that.
Leah is doing well and her work on projects is stunning, hat, jewelry, and otherwise. Expect news on her blog in the next few weeks.
The election is a big one. I have seen several emails from family smearing Obama, and I’m not impressed. Fight The Smears!
Another thing about BarCamp was meeting some folks I only knew through Twitter: kamylynn, DocHobbes, and mskendo101 — they’re actually local to me in Simi Valley. Mark Gibbs was collecting email addresses of VenCo geeks, but I think it’s time to do more there. And there’s Markus in Ojai — surely more stuff can be done, eh? Shoot me an email or leave a comment if you have ideas for Ventura County Web and Tech Meetup type stuff.
Okay, I’m beat. Enough for now.
October 27th, 2008
October 28th, 2008
Awesome but awkward.
October 28th, 2008
- 1880: Miscegenation [Statute]
Made it illegal for white persons to marry a "Negro, mulatto, or Mongolian."
- 1901: Miscegenation [Statute]
The 1850 law prohibiting marriage between white persons and Negroes or mulattoes was amended, adding "Mongolian."
- 1909: Miscegenation [Statute]
Persons of Japanese descent were added to the list of undesirable marriage partners of white Californians as noted in the earlier 1880 statute.
- 1931: Miscegenation [State Code]
Prohibited marriages between persons of the Caucasian and Asian races.
- 1933: Miscegenation [Statute]
Broadened earlier miscegenation statute to also prohibit marriages between whites and Malays.
- 1945: Miscegenation [Statute]
Prohibited marriage between whites and "Negroes, mulattos, Mongolians and Malays."
- 1947: Miscegenation [Statute]
Subjected U.S. servicemen and Japanese women who wanted to marry to rigorous background checks. Barred the marriage of Japanese women to white servicemen if they were employed in undesirable occupations.
- 1948: Barred miscegenation segregation [Statute]
Repealed miscegenation laws. Prior to repeal interracial marriages were prohibited, but no penalties were attached to such marriages, or to interracial co-habitation, or to migration into California by interracial couples legally wed out of state.
Source: Jim Crow Laws: California
Marriage is a partnership of love and commitment. Yes, some people are attracted to people you might not be attracted to. This does not lessen their love or their commitment. Is marriage perfect? No, divorce is rampant, and marriage is on the decline. I say this from the perch of my second, happy marriage. The weakness of marriage does not mean that taking away the newly minted right of marriage from gay people is going to "restore marriage" or "strengthen families"–those are lies, and you know it. The thing that strengthens families is love and respect, and being strong in the commitment to YOUR OWN marriage.
Fellow Californians, please vote No on Prop 8. If you know a Californian, please encourage them to vote No on Proposition 8.
I got a question from a researcher in Germany about the history of these anti-miscegenation laws. Here is how Chuck Hartley responded:
I’ve never seen a single, unified work that discusses the history of marriage in California in a comprehensive manner. The story of same sex marriage and Prop 8 certainly remains to be written, particularly from my perspective.
When the Supreme Court issued their opinion last May they literally write the book on marriage. The combined opinions ran 172 pages. I think most of Michael’s historical questions are answered in III.A, pages 23-36 of the attached PDF.
That case refers to Perez, the 1948 case that legalized interracial marriage in California. There’s a good pre-Perez history in that case as well. Start with the first full paragraph on page 6 of the Perez PDF.
Note there’s really not much before the anti-miscegenation laws, which were passed in the early days of the state (1849 or 50). Before that the Bear Flag Republic lasted less than a year (1846), and before that status was as a Mexican and Spanish colony. I have no good sources for their legal systems in place under any of those regimes, though I’ll note that community property is a holdover from Spanish law, not an American or English originated system.
Also, a grammatical point for our German friend. Miscegenation is racial mixing. The laws were technically anti-miscegenation. Hyphen or not per your own conscience.
October 29th, 2008
Another great post from Thomas Barnett:
Ha! There’s always a media bias when you lose, and when you court the anti-intellectual, as the GOP is wont to do, then you’re mad as hell!
But guess what? Winners always charm the media to a certain extent–even Nixon in ’72.
So this is a bunch of whiney, smoke-blowing cry-baby-ism.
What is very clear in today’s world is that both the Right and Left have their dedicated media, so it’s false to claim a systemic bias. Only the unaware buy that BS.
If anything, people’s ability nowadays to live in the media bubble of their choosing make them far too irrational and Manichean in their world views–as in, “If my side doesn’t win this election, it’s the end of America as we know it!”
Yes, yes, the media’s pro-Democrat bias certainly must explain the GOP winning 7 out of the last ten White House elections. No, no, wait a minute! That was “good Americans” overcoming “evil” ones!
Or maybe Americans just vote for who they want, when they want them, and the media’s not nearly as all-powerful as it’s made out to be. Maybe Americans aren’t as stupid as many experts would believe.
End of America? Yet somehow we survive political shift after political shift, this being the sixth in my life. How does the all-powerful liberal media allow this?
But yes, go on and believe in your media conspiracy if you want.
Just go on to another blog where your whining will be tolerated, perhaps even celebrated, for this is the wrong bubble.
(Thanks: Rob Johnson)
October 29th, 2008
October 30th, 2008
Terrific Vampirella drawing by Cliff Chiang, who has a fun blog. It’s an homage to Rio, of course — by Patrick Nagel. Nagel was among my inspirations when I was a teenager. The technical craftsmanship, the acute graphic design sense inspired me.
October 30th, 2008
Just got this email:
After careful consideration, we have decided to shutdown the BlogRush service. If you have the widget code on your blog you will need to remove it.
When BlogRush launched in late-2007 it spread like wildfire all over the Web. Thousands of bloggers were talking about it and the service exploded to become one of the fastest growing free services in the history of the Web. During the first year of the service it successfully served 3.4 Billion blog post headlines and the BlogRush widget could be found on blogs all over the world; even up until the moment we closed down the service.
BlogRush didn’t grow without its fair share of problems — from security issues to abusive users trying to ‘game’ the system to much lower click-rates than expected. We also had some problems with trying to fairly control the quality of the network, and in the process made many mistakes in deciding what blogs should stay or go. All of these issues, ultimately, limited the service’s full potential.
Our team worked very hard to try and build a service that would truly help bloggers of all sizes get free traffic to their blogs. This was our primary focus. Not once did we ever try to monetize the service with ads or anything else. BlogRush never made a single penny in revenue. We wanted to be able to help our users FIRST and then worry about monetizing the service later. Unfortunately, the service didn’t work out like we had hoped. (It happens.)
I want to say “Thank You” to all of the great bloggers that at least gave BlogRush a test to see if it would work for them. We sincerely appreciate you giving the service a try.
We have received several offers & inquiries about acquiring BlogRush, but we are choosing not to go that route. While many might think this is crazy, we truly feel it’s the ‘right’ thing to do for our users. Believe it or not, it’s not always about the money. In fact, BlogRush will have lost a small fortune when it’s all said and done, and it was by choice. There were many things we could have done to monetize the service but we wanted to make sure it was going to benefit our users first.
Last but not least I want to say that I hope the failure of this service doesn’t in any way discourage other entrepreneurs from coming up with crazy ideas at 4AM (like I did with this one) and from “going for it” to just try and see if something will work. Without trying there can be no success. And as we all know, ideas are worthless without action. The Web wouldn’t be what it is today without entrepreneurs trying all sorts of crazy ideas.
On behalf of the entire BlogRush team, we wish the best of luck to everyone with their own blogs, ideas, and crazy ventures.
Nice idea they had, and I used it on rhonchi, though I’m not sure how much traffic it provided to me, or how much value to my readers.
October 31st, 2008
October 31st, 2008
October 31st, 2008
Previous All Hallow’s Eve posts from me:
And here’s an old poster I made.