Summer 2003 / San Diego California

July, 2003: 60 posts.

Summertime, and the living…

Not easy, but it sure is pretty.

Style Changes

I’ve made some changes to San Diego Blog. The styles are perhaps a bit more stylish. Anyone care to write for the blog? drop me a note!

Social Software Makes Me Giddy

Clay Shirky’s latest essay, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy, is so right on with what my gut, experience, and intellect tell me about groups and software that I find myself wishing I had written it.

Some writing is so good it makes me jealous.

Mind you, this essay is not for everyone. But for those of us who like to watch social interactions inside online forums of various kinds, it’s fascinating.


Celebrity moblogging (more about moblogging at

Pulled Army Times Editorial

I found this interesting, particularly in light of claims made that the current administration is more on the side of the common member of the armed services than the previous:

This Army Times article critical of the administration and congress was pulled. Nefarious forces are implied, but even if that’s not the case, it’s an interesting piece of reporting and editorial.

via rc3

Hanging in Little Italy

So after work I went and saw the new Terminator movie at the Pacific Gaslamp theatre downtown. T3: Rise of the machines. I missed the bombastic music of the 1st and 2nd ones. Still, it was a worthy movie. It fits into the franchise, though there’s a great risk that they’re at once making the franchise’s appeal greater and yet diluting the impact.

I suppose that’s the James Bond effect at work. We know the rules of a Terminator movie, and so it has less effect. But as far as the time travel paradoxes plausibility issues – it’s true that when anything is possible, nothing is interesting.

I must say though, that I was thoroughly entertained, and enjoyed the sense of humor of the picture. It’s got some extraordinarily grisly moments though. These are thankfully brief though.

It’s the night before Independence Day. I’m chilling out here in Little Italy, feeling very introspective. I wrote a long email to my folks and sister about how things are. Lots in flux at the moment. And I needed some catharsis. Clear the decks and ONWARD. Some things that have been bottled up and wanted out of my psyche. Needed out.

Housing is in flux. The gig is in flux. Money is in flux. No details specifically, but things may be quite different in 2 months. We shall see. I’m not detailing them here as the quantum theory holds some sway these days — more observers to these events and the events risk too much change.

Perhaps that’s my natural recoil from being too specific here. It’s always a risk to do that, and I don’t want to expose so much of myself that I lose my sense of my private life as belonging to me.

And I’m acutely aware of the paradox inherent considering I’ve been journaling in public for so long, and sharing myself online for, what, 7 years give or take? Out of a life of 33 years? One fifth of my life?

Interesting, that.


It was a nice sunset tonight. I took a picture, and so did Leah, from Utah. It was a little thing we could sort of do together. Making that connection psychologically. Subtle, symbolic. I miss her. And I know she’s having a wonderful time with her kids and brothers and sisters. She’ll be seeing her parents for the first time in a while. She’s looking forward to that. They mean a great deal to her. Likewise, I’m looking forward to seeing my own parents and sister soon as well. It’s a heckuvan interesting summer already. And it promises to be fun.

Soon I’ll be leaving this cafe — the It’s a Grind coffeehouse. Get on a bus and head home.

It’s been a good day. Pleasantly refreshing physically, psychologically, and emotionally and spiritually. The four legs on which my psyche sits.

And it’s been far too long since I’ve said…


Loosely Joined

Thanks for the link, Dan.

Big notice for San Diego Blog, the local newspaper the U-T has got blogs now, and they have linked, and even trackbacked that fledgling blog. Read the whole scoop there!

Speaking of social software, which I mentioned the other day. I wrote (read that: rambled) about that on the websandiego list today.

And on a personal note, I got a great note from Mom today. Things are cool. Feeling so lucky and relaxed today. It’s great to be independent.

I hope you’re all having a great 4th of July. Read this:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.

Read the whole thing.

Have a great fourth. I’m off to the beach.


I Walked From Pacific Beach To Old Town

…and boy are my arms tired

but seriously… I had a culturally fascinating evening. I went to the beach (walked from Garnet and Ingraham to Crystal Pier). The water was choppy, but not bad for sunset. Then I walked south along the boardwalk, watching in turn the Sea World and Ocean Beach fireworks. My camera is acting up I fear. The display failed. I think my media card died or something. I saw tourists. Irish accents. French accents. Cute girls. Bikinis. Families with infants in strollers. Lots of litter. Drunken mustachioed stoners in their 40s. People lighting fireworks. Drunkenness. Rudeness. Extreme friendliness. Real camaraderie. Wishes for a Happy 4th. A mini-rave. LOTS of traffic. So much traffic the buses were barely moving. So I decided to walk all the way to Mission Beach. I actually passed a bus on the way! So my foot speed is maybe what, 3 miles per hour or something (don’t quote me on that please) and I was beating the bus.

And I just kept walking. When I hit Mission Beach, I just kept walking. I thought I could make it to the Tower Records across the street from the Sports Arena. Again, the traffic made this kind of a reasonable thing to do.

There is a problem with doing this much walking though. You need to protect your feet. And I was wearing my beat up old white shoes. And the KEY MISTAKE: I didn’t wear socks.

About halfway through the walk I developed a nasty callus on my left foot. It hurt and still hurts. And I had no band-aids with me. Instead, I actually used some gluestick to secure the raw flap of skin down. The logic here is to just seal the darn thing up and keep walking. It worked marginally.

Anyway, I kept on walking, faster than the traffic leaving the beach areas. Eventually I slowed down, and traffic picked up. I eventually got to Tower Records on Sports Arena Blvd. I hung out there for a little while – a respite. An aside, I hear that the parent company of Tower Records is going out of business. Can anyone verify this?

And I kept on walking. I got a burger at In-N-Out at Rosecrans and Sports Arena. That tasted so good to me. Difficult to describe how good that was. I know it’s just the context of being tired and hurting, but it may have been the best burger I ever ate.

After that it was a quick walk to Old Town, and onto the Trolley, then a connecting bus home.

Lickety split.

The fireworks over OB were cool. The Sea World fireworks were AWESOME. I can see why people brave the idiotic traffic.

I doubt I’ll be doing that next year.

Next time I attempt to walk more than I think I can, I’m gonna wear socks.

I just ran the numbers on a map. I walked 6.2 miles.

It is nice to know that I can do some darn walking if I need to. Even if I have to limp a bit.

I saw so much. More than I can write. But it’s time to sleep.


My feet hurt.

Word of the Day (yesterday)

Sleepy Missing

I’ve been sleeping most of the day. Recovering from yesterday. Off and on I do some cleaning, drinking and eating.

Right now the main thing I’m doing is missing Leah.


New pictures area: Miscellany. Some fun stuff in there.


Well, it was stuck in other locations, and it needed to move.

Today I’m doing what Leah calls puttering, not really work per se, but useful things nonetheless.

Great Thoughts

Mitch Wagner’s post about gay marriage and marriage in general gives voice to many of my own thoughts on the subject.

One of the Funniest Web Sites Ever

Squirrel Fishing … ever seen it? Well, now you have.

*chuckle* … Liftoff … heh.


The other night Leah were several hundred miles away, but we did something together regardless. We decided to take a picture of the sunset. Here’s mine:

San Diego Spots Domain

San Diego Spots now has its own domain — san diego spots dot com. And the boards are open for business, still Though there are no posts except for 2 now. Perhaps it will grow with time? I certainly hope it will.


It’s a new week! Hit it!

Blogs added since February, San Diego Blogs, by Date of Addition:

See the whole list at

Want to be added? Drop a note to me.


It seems like it would be cool to work for SocialText.

New Header

New header, old ones here.

That’s me in a lab coat. One of my old ones.

I’m Joe Crawford, Your Official Transit Greeter

So now two times in the past 10 days I have answered the questions of people riding the bus or trolley, and have handed over a copy of the pamphlet for the bus they’re interested in. I gave an older gentleman a copy of the route 7 the other day (he was visiting with his wife and wanted to go to the Zoo), and today I gave a french-accented kid with a skateboard a copy of the 34 schedule.

San Diego Transit should totally hire me.


Leah is returning from her trip. Wish her a safe one!

I love this guy!

As a hobby, this guy spots new pipeline the length of Kuwait out of Iraq!

I love that kind of obsessive competence!

Celebrity Moblogging – From idea to reality in 1 week

If you…

  1. Have a phone cam…
  2. And spot a celebrity…
  3. And take a picture…
  4. You can now put them online…

Find out more at Andy’s site

(No pictures yet. But give it time.)

I’m not bowling.

More edits to San Diego Blog today. Mainly of the backend variety. It’s improving bit by bit.

Had a chance to bowl today. Didn’t. Glad I didn’t.

Going to the WebDesign Meetup tonight to geek-net-work. Should be jazzy.

I mentioned Leah is back right? That’s cool.

Also, more pix online at Miscellany.

Gotta go hop a bus!


The meetup was great! Met some new folks, and some folks I knew before. Nice turnout. Good talk. Open source, moblogging, digital photographers, open source CMSs, vegan roommates, vegetarianism, real estate… the talk ran the gamut!

I think I’ve decided to play with some python.

My folks are coming into town really soon, and I’m looking forward to them!

Now playing:

King Kong by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

Goin’ Out, with my baby

Tonight I’m going out on the town (read: to the movies) with my girlfriend. It’s been a pretty good week all in all.

Can’t hardly wait!


So at random, I, Leah, and my parents went to see Santana tonight.

Who was great.

I was nervous about my folks meeting Leah, but things work out well, I come to find out.

More evidence that I lead a charmed life, today was.

When the world is running down…

It’s a busy week
But it’s all gonna work out
My parents are in town
Comic-con is this weekend
Big beach party this weekend
Sister coming soon
Helping Leah move
Laundry to do
Bills to pay
New place to find
Work is okay
Blogging not done
Racquetball missed
Taking time off
Haircut gotten
Lunches with colleagues
Trains to take
And more
And more
And moe

Must remind myself: this is all doable.

Comic-Con To Go!

So today is Comic-Con. I’m leaving real soon, and it should be rad.

You can talk about it over on San Diego Blog if ya want.

I see my favorite comics blog, The Comics Journal’s Journalista! is taking a hiatus while Con is on. That site (Journlista I mean) keeps up with comics news better than anybody. As an addition, it has COMPREHENSIVE (all caps) links out to great comics blogs, news sites, message boards, and individual people in comics with blogs. Rad!

I don’t read him, but Wil Weaton is going, I was turned onto this fact by a Shawn of Textamerica.

TextAmerica, incidentally, has set up a San Diego Comic-Con Moblog — whether and how much it will be used, I have no idea. I don’t (yet) have a mobile camera. But I dig the concept like crazy.

I’m going to the con with zero expectations. I’ve only glanced at the program, and will decide what to see when I get there.

It’s possible I’ll see some people I know, notably Kynn, Daniel. Now that I have a cell phone that coordination will be much easier. You can call my regular number — 619-516-4550 and leave a message if you want me to call you back on my cell. Just in case you’re interested in getting together at Con this weekend.

One other thing, I won’t be attending Saturday, as far as I know. I have a big beach party to go to. Well, I may attend late in the day, but no guarantees.

Otherewise, I should be there for maximum time today, Friday, and Sunday.

In other news, Leah and I think we found a nice place to live last night. Won’t be till mid-August. But it feels good to have a first and second choice.

Okay, off to Con! Geek out!


Unbelievably tired now that I’m back from comicon.

Coolness: there’s a killer pic on San Diego Blog from a 1970s Con

Let me chill. Will I blog now, or at the end of Con.

Dunno. Too tired to think.

California Community Colleges in Peril?

Support Your Community Colleges: Check: Save Our Schools, and Keep The Doors Open!

(via Steve E)

Bad Boys 2 Sounds Astonishingly Bad

The rest of Bad Boys II, which runs on for an unfathomable, unforgivable 2-1/2 hours, is like being cornered by a drunkard at a party who insistson yelling unfunny jokes in your ear, complete with sound effects. In the past, Bay’s movies sent you out of the theater feeling like you had been beaten up. Bad Boys II is the first one, though, to send you home thoroughly depressed.

…from this miami herald review

Woke Up

Con again yesterday. Awesome. Ronny Vardy has a site! Met the guy who does Diesel Sweeties. Saw my co-workers on their lunch break, and found out someone else reads this blog (thank goodness for my discretion!). Bought some new comic book boxes. Then came home, and went to family dinner with Leah. It was really great! Today: beach party with the whole family, including my sister, who will have arrived in the middle of last night!

More later.


Teen Titans starts tomorrow? — it seems like I should have seen something about this at Con…

Things I Have Learned At San Diego Comic-Con So Far

Lynne Naylor makes some spiffy cute girly art.

Dean Yeagle is an older fellow who does some great work as well.

The Mighty Heroes is the name of the cartoon featuring a bunch of peculiar goofy super-heories I remember as a kid.

TwoMorrows Publishing does a nice job with their books (like Mark Evanier’s collected columns) and magazines (especially Comic Book Artist). I picked up The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, which is good so far.

This book: Concept Design, is impressive but prohibitively expensive (to me). It reminds me of Syd Mead, pioneering visual futurist, but it’s by multiple artists.

Bud Plant Comic Art rocks.

SQP sells lots of pinup art.

Comic Book: The Movie looks wild. (But not in a Girls Gone Wild way)

PMBQ studios does some really cute and appealing anime.

I saw a line of pinups signed “Baron” — turns out these large (paintings? prints? posters?) were by one Baron van Lind. They’re in an older style, and seem almost pre-aged to me. — these guys are NUTS! The obsessive level of craftsmanship and detail mark these guys as masters of welded sculpture. They have an amazing one of a battle droid.

I’ll have more to say about the very talented and very nice Ronny Vardy

R Stevens, of Diesel Sweeties, too.

I watched some footage (abut 5 whole minutes) of a CG Appleseed movie that looked really cool. All action, mind you, but it looked great.

That was Thursday and Friday. More today. Yesterday was BEACH PARTY DAY with my family. It rocked. But Leah got sunburned (or is that spelled sunburnt)… oh, either spelling is okay. (sunburnt | sunburned)

Up up and away!



What a Weekend

It was a long and rewarding Sunday. Leah and I looked at some houses yesterday to rent, and have a good line on two of them. So that’s up in the air. I helped Leah take some pictures of garbage for North Magazine. Then we went to Comic-Con. And then we went to a signing and talk by Patricia Santana, author of Motorcycle Ride on the Sea of Tranquility, put on by the great writer’s group She was an appealing and engaging speaker.

This morning I’m cleaning and listening to Bruce Sterling on NPR from January. He’s talking about the future. And he’s charming, funny, and insightful as usual.

At the moment I’m just trying to clean up my room after a busy weekend.

Beachtime, Familytime

So yesterday was a whirlwind of going to the beach at Coronado (bodysurfing!) and hanging out with my family. I’m very glad I took the first days of this week off — it gives me more time with my parents and sister. It’s a great week.

My grandparents have a tetherball pole. Leah and I played tetherball yesterday. It was very competitive. To spare any bad feelings, I’ll not communicate who won. But we’re the same height, and vaguely similarly physiques, and it was a good match.

On the housing front, Leah and I got a new place. It’s closer to downtown. We’ll move in late next month. I’m excited.

Comic-Con Article and Photos

My friend and colleague Pinguino has posted Pinguino’s ComiCon Adventure. She’s got pictures too!

Ronny Vardy

I’m going hiking early in the morning, so I’ll try and keep this brief.

For the last several years, when one did a search for “ronny vardy” on google, like this, you got my fansite:, well, now that she has her own site at, you really should go there!

I met her on Friday. I had seen her work at comic-con before. I saw when she had shirts made by Hot Topic. I’ve followed her work around the net, all of which got posted to my fansite, but now I really do think, her official site should be the number one link!

I was intimidated to meet her. Here’s this person whose work I have admired for years now, and I have the hit for her name, and I beat out her site in the search results. I told her this and her response was you’re that artlung guy!, which I thought was really cool. She extended her hand and we shook hands. I bought a print and a girl-t-shirt from her and we chatted a bit. I’m really excited that she’s on the net with her site, and wish her only the best! I think her work displays great artistry, a sense of humor, and a fun sexiness, which is why I felt the need to put up a site in the first place. I mean, here’s this great artist, but she has almost ZERO profile on the net! Well, she belongs here on the net, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her great work!

(Young) Women Suicide Bombers

Waiting for the man

Going hiking this morning. Racquetball in the evening. Signing papers for the new apartment somewhere in-between or after. It’s going to be a full day. Back to work tomorrow.

Today’s Wrap Up

Hiking to the top of Cowles Mountain with my parents, sister and uncle: check

Brunch at D.Z. Akins, same crew: check

Home to recuperate with a hot bath: check

Bus to grandparents, then racquetball with dad, an uncle and two aunts: check

Trip to sign papers and give deposit for new house rental: check

Home, get food, eat food, blog about the day: check

((Then, Joe Collapsed In A Heap))

Tomorrow: Back to work.

Family, Clots, TV, Worktime!

So things are good. Busy. Back at work. This is good. See my folks and sister again today, this is good. They leave tomorrow. My pal Erin was sick again yesterday — blood clots — including lung ones, that’s “pulmonary embolism” — as in life threatening, get a VQ scan. That kind of thing is worrisome. In fact, I’d rather not talk about friends’ brushes with death here. Ugh.

Went to the University Heights Farmer’s Market yesterday. Leah got some of this roasted corn that was awesome. Then we relaxed and watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, not the one on NBC, the real one, on Bravo. We like this show, despite the amazingly hyperbolic over-the-top hype. It’s a reality show that’s based in reality. When they remake your shoddy dishevled room, they use your own bedspread. They use your chair. The repaint your tables. They don’t do what most of those re-making shows do, which is provide an entirely new space for you. This basis in reality is the key to the show’s success. The humor may be based in gay-jokes, but the show works because it seems actually helpful.

Also talked about a possible project with a buddy. Might be some nice work for me. Hope it works out for all.

Yikes! Time to get ready for work!

Debunking Paintballs and Nudity: Media Scammed

Have I mentioned that I really love that exists?

Well, I do. Here, they debunk Hunting for Bambi, which got reported (via Reuters) on CNN!

Chalk the coverage of this non-event publicity stunt to the general shoddiness of the mass media’s brand of “journalism.” Of particular note: this story featured violence and included video of topless women — which as it turns out is a good way to get on television.

The media does not seem to care if they are getting scammed.


I Am Not Brett Jackson!

Brett Jackson has a cool moblog: interests include color, typoraphy, and other oddities in Gotham:

Brett is a kill Flash guy, visit his home, home on the web

1 Wedding Down, 1 To Go (This Weekend)

Leah and I went to one wedding yesterday – a house party wedding northeast of Escondido. That was fun! Some impromptu dancing did occur.

Today, another wedding, but this one closer to home.

In other news, good racquetball yesterday morning. But in sadder news, my folks and sister flew back east after a very successful trip out here. I’ll see them all again this year, so don’t despair.

I’m tired. Have bunches of email to catch up with. Maybe time to do some dishes as well.

In better news, my roomie got out of the hospital the same day she had the blood clots, for those of you concerned. I wish her well.

Okay, time to do some email.

liking my life

The wedding we (Leah and I) went to today went swimmingly. Later, we went and did laundry. I’m relaxed, and ready for a new week. New challenges and puzzlements, as per usual, but I am lucky. I like my life.

Robots ate my job!

I thought this was a pretty thoughtful article: Robotic Nation, by Marshall Brain. Hyperbolic? The author makes the science fictional notion that robots will take over most service jobs in the next 50 years and makes it seem plausible.

Movie of the Day

Big Shamus in Big Controversy

I posted to San Diego Blog a query on the proposed Spirit of the Seas. What do you think?

Relaunch: URM Cargo

The former URMCargo dot com will relaunch sometime in the next 12-96 hours as URM Cargo Services (dot com). This was probably the first site I built where I did every piece. The html is old old old school (spacer gifs!), but I made sure it validated and worked and looked right in all browsers. And it’s time it went back up. The thing still works!

The old domain lapsed sometime last year, and it dropped off the radar, and it also got swept up by domain squatters, so it’s time to reclaim some space on the web for URM. It may not be up yet, but it will be soon.

SD .NET Group

This looks pretty good: San Diego .NET Developers Group — also added to’s resources for web developers (mostly a list of other local geek networking organizations).


Had a good mellow day. Sorting out some stuff. Things are busy but good. Lots of email. Had grilled cheese for dinner.

Sometimes, it’s about the simple things.

Now: bedtime.

I want to remember this

Artist & Craftsman Supply – Store Locations, Hours and Contact Info … specifically the one on San Diego Avenue.

de Facto and de Jure, a meditation in File Formats

Ogg Vorbis, beaten by MP3
SVG, beaten by Flash
PNG, beaten by JPEG & GIF

yeah, this post for geeks only

A whole bunch of links and I think they all work and are current. But no promises.

I tell you. I’ve been busy lately. Some stresses looking forward to the move. Mostly money, but it’s all doable. The summer is winding up with a bang!

Party like it’s 1999?

Networking On The Rocks! – a San Diego networking thing. I’ve noticed that the “buzz” these days is rather dot-com behavior. Toys at work. CD multimedia presentations delivered in paper magazines. The world seems to be returning to bubble-style nuttiness.

Or am I misreading lush Flash presentations promising: Our purpose is to bring Venture Capitalists, Angel investors, and technology entrepreneurs & executives together in a fun and unstructured environment.

Hey, I’m all for success and business, but are there still Angel investors out there?

Rereading; 1 Year Ago

I’ve been rereading Snow Crash and am nearly done.

It is insightful, bawdy, violent, intelligent, mindbending, and funny.

I first read it when I moved back to California in about 1994. Damn. Have I been in California 10 years? What an amazing 10 years. Incidentally, I think this is the longest in a row I’ve ever lived in one state at a stretch.

August begins tomorrow. It will be my last month in this place.

Time passes.

What was I doing a year ago?

Wow: a year ago I was talking about comic con, depression, and my cousin’s suicide

Not sure what to say about that, other than to note that things change.

I guess it’s time to say …


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