April, 2002: 56 posts.
hokey spokes – have messages, designs, etc appear in your bike spokes. nifty, tiny technology.
So yesterday was the 14 year anniversary of an event which changed my life immeasurably. I find myself wanting to share it with the world but in the end it was and is a private affair. Had it happened today perhaps the people involved would have blogged it, and there would be a record of it. But there is not.
I’m rather glad nobody knows about it, it was intensely embarrassing and painful.
I wrote an email to apologize for the event to send to one of the other people involved, but in the end reaching out was simply not right and would be an intrusion on this other person’s life.
Even blogging about it feels selfish, but no matter, it’s significant and was on my mind.
None of this makes sense to anyone but me, and maybe half a dozen other people on the planet.
some thoughts are private, and intense, and important enough that they must by their very nature stay private. It’s all well and good to share your life with the public, but one must know that there are boundaries between what is public and what is private. Those borders may be fuzzy, but they are most definitely there.
This is an interesting story on teaching teenage criminals, and their psychology and social structure.
Spicy bowl noodle = Noodle goodness.
Nong Shim makes a lovely noodle bowl and has a great looking website in Korean. That is, the Korean website is lovely; the one in English is lame. I have been eating these for lunch lately, and they are great. Frankly, I think I’ve scared my co-workers with my obsession with Hot & Spicy Bowl Noodle. But no matter. They’re tasty.
Tomorrow morning my friend Vince will go in for surgery to address a tumor in his head near his pituitary gland. Vince is the fellow on the right in this picture. Vince was a big mentor to me in Respiratory School, and in some ways I was to him too. We have had many very good times, including a great time in San Francisco. Vince came out from Virginia for a conference at Stanford on Sleep Studies. I flew up and we hung out. He let me drive the rental car because I’m the City Mouse who can drive in cities. He’s the country mouse who can four-wheel drive in snow and in dirt roads. I can’t hope to capture all this man means to me in a single blog entry. I’m so proud of Vince, and all he’s done in his life. He went from being just a fun-time guy, and has become one of the most serious and dedicated Respiratory Therapists I’ve ever met. Trust me, I’ve met many. Plus, he married one of the cooler and smarter women I’ve ever met, and they have a wonderful son, Jared together. Here’s a news item about him from 1992, from a teeny tiny paper in Virginia. And here’s a great picture of Vince and Jared. Vincenzo, I’m thinking about you.
Dang. Ever have a moment of realization like “Where have I been to have missed this?” While I’ve been nattering on about about xhtml vs. html; tables vs. CSS for layout; PostGRE or MySQL or Oracle or SQL Server; Advogato has been discussing things of real importance. Check a few recent entries: Trust Metrics (which have uses anywhere there are many contributors and you want to have moderated distributed discussion, and applies to other systems as well), “Translation Memory” – Global, Free Repository?, Censor-proof global publishing. Check them out.
Fun fact: I was living in Alhambra California in 1977 with my parents. My Mom was pregnant with my sister. My Dad took me to see it when Star Wars first came out, at Grauman’s Chinese. That was definitely one of the experiences that drove me back to California from Virginia to be a part of the movies. I inadvertently got sucked into a passion for all things internet and web, and, here I am.
Harry Shearer is the best. On Fresh Air, listen to him talk about his new movie Teddy Bear’s Picnic (a spoof of Bohemian Grove), The Oscars, Show Business, and the peculiar fact that current satirists usually end up flattering the satirized. He also gets in a tiny mention of Gene Simmons on Fresh (possibly-apocraphally infamous). Well worth a listen (requires RealAudio).
Jenny has been knitting — and with great facility — in the past few months. She made me a gray scarf with burgundy stripes. For someone who is essentially self-taught, she does great work. She also made a black, fuzzy one for herself that reminds me of Grover.
Oil and The Middle East: Why U.S. Foreign Policy Has To Change by Bill Christison is a great, matter-of-fact distillation of how we got to where we are in the Middle East since World War II. It mentions an agreement with the Saudi Royal family made by FDR which I had never heard of. It’s excellent reading.
You know, things in the world are hellaciously, hideously, unreservedly chaotic. I don’t talk about politics much. I wonder sometimes if I use this venue to the fullest extent. Am I talking about the right things? What responsibility do I have to my very-few readers. What responsibility do I have to posterity?
People, children, are dying today in Isreal, Palestine, and elsewhere. I have no wisdom to offer for this other than obviously things are broken.
Of course, if you’re reading this in English you’re probably not living in a repressive regime. You probably live in a Western democracy. We are the elite of the world. All I ask is that you consider the role you play in your government. I ask you to consider the role your government plays in world affairs. If you dislike the role it takes, I ask you to do something about it. To get involved, to pay attention, and to act. But not just act as part of a herd. Be cautious of those whose cries are a bit too loud, and too certain. Beware of voices of vociferous anger — excessive emotion clouds judgement — beware of pundits bearing simple solutions.
And hey, let’s be careful out there.
No Maps for These Territories, a documentary about William Gibson is now out on DVD.
Some housekeeping here. Individually archived blog pages now have “next” and “previous” links to aid navigation and wayfinding. Yes, I said “navigation and wayfinding.” As if I can’t fancy up my nomenclature? Perish the thought!
Also added a piece to words from November, Jenny helped me out with making it coherent. I originally wanted it to be timely, but six months on, it’s a bit dated. Luckily, I have other more current ideas in my head, and I may even follow through on them.
And in yet another addition, the Referers page has been cleaned up a bit.
Oh, and in yet another note, the archives links in the lower left of the navigation are now driven by a php script, rather than by blogger – whose archive link pages are ugly, and due to some bug sometimes, at random, make some of the links disappear. My bespoke script works pretty well. If there’s interest I may put it into the lab part of the site, or just drop me a line.
Up early again. Today’s going to be busy at work. I also have several projects in the pipeline I’m behind on. Catching up as best I can.
Apple CEO Gil Amelio to speak in San Diego — check techvisionaries.org for details. I’m going I’m pretty sure.
Gateway launches campaign for rights in digital music. This is a good move. I hope other technology companies will take stands like this. Check this Starting Saturday, all 277 Gateway(R) stores will give away CD-R blanks (limit three per customer, while supplies last). This Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. local time, all Gateway stores also will host free digital music clinics — one-hour presentations on how to burn CDs, work with music software, and more. – more at Gateway Digital Music Zone.
My DVD copy of the William Gibson documentary No Maps for These Territories came yesterday. It’s nifty, and has lots more of Gibson chattering on about things like the future, Crack cocaine, the past, and drug gangs. Also more Bruce Sterling! I ordered it on Sunday when I blogged it Sunday. Nice UPS turnaround. I’ll be watching it all again soon.
I’m listening to the song Son of Mr. Green Genes by Frank Zappa from Hot Rats and it sounds glorious. On the way home from worked I visited Jenny at work, went to the comic book store. Dark Knight Returns (DK2) #3 is still not out. I’ve been waiting for it patiently since February. I picked up something I had had on my Amazon Wish List — Part II of the Little Annie Fanny collection. Then home to the excitement of the cat and of course email and Frank Zappa. Tomorrow morning, racquetball!
I may be vile and pernicious
But you can’t look away
I make you think I’m delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
Well, I’m the slime oozin’ out
From your TV set
You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don’t need you
Don’t go for help…no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold
Joe’s Comment: media must serve us, not the other way around. And oh yeah, I like that Zappa fellow.
I bought the new Stew record yesterday on my lunch hour, The Naked Dutch Painter & Other Songs. So far, it’s great. My favorite song is Punk Rock T-Shirt Melting, which has been renamed as North Bronx French Marie. Jenny and I have it from the Sweetboot official bootleg. Best lyric: Tonight I sleep with television / The warm talkative lover / Sexy Electric. This’ll be on my headphones at work for the indefinite while. Jenny and I have seen Stew/The Negro Problem maybe 3 or 4 times live, they’re always good.
I’ve been putting entirely random items into the Smorgasborg since at least early 1999. I don’t add them very often, because I have this blog. My rationale for the smorgasborg was This is a bunch of stuff I have no idea what to do with. So I figured: hey! I’ll put ’em up on the dang web! — and with that, I offer the complete lyrics to North Bronx French Marie aka Punk Rock T-Shirt Melting.
I am a huge fan of absurdist lyrics. My fandom of They Might Be Giants and Frank Zappa are evidence of that. I think what’s different about the lyrics of Stew/Negro Problem is tone and heft. I think that rather than having irony and satire as an endpoint, Stew’s work embraces irony and wordplay, but does not simultaneously reject what’s serious and emotional. Some of their work is silly, but much of it is melancholy and funny at the same time. I suppose that’s a pretty good description of me sometimes. Probably that’s what drew me to their work in the first place.
Can’t resist. Stew records never include lyrics, so it’s up to the fans. It’s not that they’re particularly profound, they just do the job. So here are the lyrics to The Naked Dutch Painter.
Mike says, “the equivocation and silence of the non war bloggers is deafening.” I fail to see equivocation in standing foursquare against killing. But I do agree that the silence is deafening, or at least creepy. Frankly, it’s fearful. These are not safe times to oppose war. Blogging is personal. All of us, regardless of our opinions, are highly exposed.
– Doc Searls
“The fact that inhumanity is coupled with so much stupidity makes one feel almost optimistic in a dangerous way.”
– Erich Hecke
I’m watching Tammy Bruce (discussing her book)on C-SPAN and she’s really good. I disagree with her a lot, but you have to love pro-gun pro-choice feminists who can count Dr. Laura as a colleage and friend. Her argument is excellent. She’s standing for individual, personal, civil liberties. She argues that if you have a cause, then do the research to back up your cause. If your personal beef is with “liberal bias in the media” then you should be prepared, in public debate, to come up with the details and specifics. If you can’t, you look like a clown. Just saying something does not make it so. You must be able to back it up!
I like how she puts it —
I want you to be able to own why you think what you think.
Amen. Do your homework, whatever your pursuasion. Everything else is whining.
Random Thought Last Night: I was at the store and thinking that the key people to think of when trying to raise awareness as an online activist are Ralph Nader (consumer advocacy, serious research); Gandhi (tolerance, love for fellow man); and Edward Tufte (obsessive focus on communicating effectively).
Site Tweaks: The Ronny Vardy Fansite was updated, I added even more lyrics (Stew’s Giselle) to the Smorgasborg, and I also tweaked that page a bit, adding dates to many items, and trimming away a thing or two. As I add dates to it, it starts looking like older blog entries. Lyrics, noteworthy items, links, quotes.
But then any site ordered by time starts looking like a weblog, I think. Maybe it’s this, weblogs are just like the best websites, where you pack lots of loosely related stuff together, and the result is an interesting hodgepodge.
Last night there was a thing on VH1 about the PMRC hearings called Warning: Parental Advisory. My hopes had been low for this, but I was hopeful that at least Frank Zappa might be characterized interestingly (I am a fan). But it was pretty much awful all around. It also made Dee Snider (who played himself!) and John Denver look buffoonish, and seemed to miss the seriousness of the affair. I understand that in drama you tweak things for dramatic effect, but the film was full of mischaracterizations and nonsense.
The wonderful thing about the web is that you can find the full testimony online. Dee, Frank, and Denver all have great things to say in their testimony. So go ahead and read the transcripts, they’re really fun reading, as it happens.
Tired. Need to get up early. Why am I still up? Stupidity. Big pitch for work tomorrow. Wish us luck. And wish me good-night.
And it was very fun. I hope it works well for you. about the redesign, I use kottke’s silkscreen font. I also did work in Painter drawing with a virtual brush to do the lettering. The CSS and xhtml works well in Netscape 6/Windows and IE6/Windows, there will be inevitable tweaks when I check other browsers and platforms, but I’m pretty happy with it.
Now, I’ve had “kitties thinking” in my sig for a while, but the kitty that was featured on the previous splash is gone, so I need to update my sig on all my various mail programs. Where’s the kitty that was here, do you ask? She’s in the portfolio.
I’m still not sure if I should archive the old splash pages publicly. Anyway, I hope you like it.
Longtime readers know that I’m a Christina Aguilera fan, and follow what’s up with this young popstar. This recent interview with Allure Magazine is a nice update. Nice to see her realizing that she got overexposed, and overworked last year. I remember for a while that any time she’d appear on TV she looked so tired. I would note this to Jenny; now, Jenny’s not particularly interested, but she generally agreed. My hope is that Christina will get a rational schedule for the promotion of her new record. The new record, which I’m looking forward to. The inclusion of an Etta James cover can’t help but be a good sign. Hey, Xtina can sing, aiight?
Though I am appalled that she mentioned her 11 piercings (ugh!), it is sort of interesting to ponder where they all might be. *chuckle*
I just realized I can do spellcheck in Pine, my unix mailer. How I managed to assume Pine could not do spellcheck for 4 years escapes me. I feel like a dunderhead.
I’ve posted my transcription of the song The Drug Suite (I Must’ve Been High / I’m Not On a Drug / Arlington Hill) from the latest Stew record. This makes 5 of the 9 (official) tracks. Usually when I get a record I find the lyrics have been posted somewhere and I can just let it slid, but dagnabbit, someone has to be a fan of Stew. The new record is so great. I love how it includes Stew live set banter like this —
“i was thinking – um – don’t you wish there was like another picture of Che Guevara. i’m thinking like, it woulda been like one of him at a birthday party with a bunch of nine-year olds with milk coming out of his nose cause he just laughed a joke somebody told.”
Can’t stop transcribin’: Re-hab by Stew. If I can’t find it on the net, I gotta put it up. Nyeah.
Lone Wolf and Cub was an amazing comic book. It’s having a resurgence in a small, portable format, from Dark Horse comics. I have some of the original tranalations, done under the brand of First Comics, now out of business, and they’re really good. I’m glad to see Dark Horse revive this comic.
Something from an interview with Harry Shearer, from March 2002:
Let’s get back to politics. How about Dick Cheney having to hand over documents about his energy task force and policies? A step in the right direction?
If you live long enough, one of the rewards is to get the privilege of seeing each political cliche mouthed in turn by partisans from each side. So that the same people who were desperately demanding that we know chapter and verse about Hillary Clinton’s top-secret healthcare task force are now saying, “No, no, no, confidentiality, it’s an important principle.” And vice versa.
It explains why, or it’s a consequence of the fact that most of our politicians are trained as lawyers. Because that’s exactly what lawyers are trained to do: Take this side, all right, now take this side. That’s what they do. And anybody who thinks that they’re doing anything else is welcome to bid for some Enron stock certificates on eBay, because that is the game.
Lots of interesting chatter about SOAP, XML, APIs, and Web Services right now:
(this article asks if Google’s API is overly complicated by SOAP)
(the converse take)
Some interesting reading. Though I’m not sure where any of this is going. I think Shirky has the best thing to say about Web Services – which is that it’s an infrastructure, not a business model. Ain’t nobody gonna get rich on this stuff, but it’s an interesting way to get coordination and communication between net entities which otherwise have no direct interaction.