on ferry from liberty to ellis island 8/24/93 11:40 EDT NY NY

September, 2003: 27 posts.


Is it a cliché to ask how we got here so fast?

Zappa, Thursday

Archeology: Respiratory Therapy & Neighbors

Hello sports fans. The three day weekend is nearly over. L. is taking her kids back up north. I’m here unpacking boxes, making goodwill piles, all the while watching TV stalwarts The West Wing and Law & Order.

Unpacking things quite naturally leads one to throw things away.

Some things are noteworthy. Some things garner a mention here.

Item: One note once left under my door, because one night this year my neighbors pounded on the wall of my bedroom for noise — there was no noise! I continued my chatting session in iChat, and turned the TV down even further. A minute later, there was more pounding! I was incredulous. Soon the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor, complaining about noise. Complaining that it sounded like a “videogame” – a “beep beep” — turns out my iChat session, with the tiny “blorp” sound on every incoming instant message, was the problem. I promptly muted my computer that weeknight at 10:30pm.

And now, the contents of said note:



I was quite touched, actually. I’m a big fan of reciprocity, and I learned that my speakers are pretty badass when they’re next to the wall.

ITEM NEXT: Two mailed flyers for organizations of possible interest to Respiratory Therapists:

I get solicitations for work via my RT Resume pretty regularly – via email, via phone, so I keep current. I’ve been thinking for a while I should put together a community website for RTs. Anyone interested in such a thing?

And another…

traveling RT gig via Platinum Select Staffing

Snickeringly Funny Phil G Post

I think this explanation of the USA’s two parties current operating methodologies is apt: Democrats = mediocrity; Republicans = lottery ticket. It’s undeniably snarky, but rings true.

Myself, I think most politicians of both these parties are dunderheads, and when not dunderheaded, deceptive. Though I tell you, that Howard Dean makes a heckuvan impression. But perhaps I’m biased because the dude has his own blog

Miva Acquired

Miva is an interesting small company. They’ve got their own server-parsed language, and they build (especially) eCommerce type functionality. It’s not as well known as PHP or ASP, but they’ve done a good job marketing and are still around, several years later (I once interviewed with them for a job as a designer, probably in 99 or so)

And there’s a Miva Conference happening now. Interesting.

See the news of their acquisition at: findwhat.com and miva.com.

Archaeology – Comic Con Stuff; And More

More stuff going to the trash and filling our landfills while perpetuating our throwaway culture…

Comcollect: non-sports card collecting site… I have a few cards.

There’s a movie now filming in Prague, Rome, Paris, and Los Angeles called Van Helsing and it features The Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein’s Monster.

Sharon George is an artist of fantasy / “goddess” art, not my taste, but she’s got a killer domain name — she got gorgeousgeorge.com

Kinokuniya is a worldwide book chain, and there’s one in Little Tokyo. They also sell anime and manga. That’s why they were at Con.

I forgot TwoMorrows Publishing, they’re still cool.

CafePress was there.

And a new similar service — they do full color or black and white books — udoprinting.com.

Seonna Hong is a cool playful illustrator.

Hey, I forgot about the blood drive! sandiegobloodbank.org was there!
Hey, Astro Boy is coming to Kids WB this fall.

Curtis Broadway is an interesting illustrator.

SharkSlayer is a new animated movie with a bizarre cast (Ziggy Marley, Will Smith, Peter Falk, and others?) coming in Fall of 2004.

Attack of The Killer Tomatoes is coming to DVD this month. Supposedly on Rhino Home Video.

Neopets are huge. Supposedly there’s a new magazine dedicated to them: beckettanime.com/neopets/.

Another 2004 movie Shrek 2.

I don’t want to, but I almost feel I must, ridicule The San Diego Star Wars Society.

And another interesting illustrator, Tim Biskup.

An interesting Orange, California corsetry shop was there: Ms. Antoinette’s Versatile Fashions.

Seattle is working on a new museum: Experience Science Fiction : ESF opens in Summer of 2004, and on the board: ArtLung favorite Neal Stephenson, among other luminaries.

The Java Girl comic looks truly inane.

Bill Cole Enterprises makes great comic boxes and bags.

Eovia makes software like VectorStyle, which exports to Flash and 3-D vector, and Carrara 2, for web print and video. Their stuff is for both Windows and Macintosh.

XXXTremeStickers makes, extreme stickers featuring scantily (sometimes less than scantily) clad women. It’s essentially pornographic in nature, and I found myself wondering how it was different from, say Sorayama or Olivia or Vargas. And I think the difference is that it just feels different to me. When Leah went with me to Con, she was appalled to see young boys sneaking long glances at the folders they had open. I myself am a fan of pinup art, heck, I have my Ronny Vardy fansite. But I guess it’s like the famous metric for obscenity — “I know it when I see it.”

I missed this Matt Wagner title: Trinity.

A book that looks really interesting: Planet of the Apes as American Myth, I’m putting it on my Amazon Wishlist.

Another of the EXCELLENT seasonal oversized, Alex Ross illustrated DC Comics will be out this fall, Liberty and Justice.

Millenium Actress, a Japanese anime, looks interesting.

I know one of the guys involved in the company behind Comic Book: The Movie.

Haunted Mansion, the movie, comes out soon. The cool bag I got with its logo ripped during my move (awww), but all good things must come to an end.

And on an RT note: another staffing agency for Respiratory Therapists: onassignment.com

4 Meetup Photos

Back in August Leah took some photos of the webdesign meetup. I’m doing some hard-drive cleaning, so here are some meetup photos. The next one is this week, on September 11th.


Quixtar Blog linked to my Quixtar Links page. And vice versa.

Some stray updates

Went to a party on Saturday — that was boss.

Saw Step Into Liquid — that was moving (I cried!)

The house is coming along great

We’re going to have a garage sale Saturday

We’ve scheduled a housewarming party — choosing the invite list was fun — I know a lot of people, but I don’t want them all to come have a drink with me

I really like hot beef jerky — though I can’t say the same for my stomach

My folks are on their way to California by car — can’t wait to see them

Leah and I have A LOT of paintings and pictures — we’re deciding which ones go where

We really need to do laundry

I start a racquetball class tonight — that may be interesting

Walking onto the San Diego City College campus yesterday was a bit disorienting after 15 years

I was happy to see their processes seem to have improved

Thursday there’s a new webdesign meetup — should be great again

SUMMARY: things good, things busy, things fun, things best when one on one not taken too seriously


Blogger Pro no longer for-pay

I guess the revenue model is textads. Blogger Pro features to get rolled into free product, refunds going to go to Blogger Pro users.

I’m glad I’ve stuck with Blogger.


For Today

San Diego Web Design Meetup today!

My folks got in safe last night, yay!

I got rid of many boxes last night — gave them to a friend and his wife who are moving! So fun!

Tuesday night, Racquetball class was good. It put me low – I was achey and creaky and fell directly to sleep.

Now, work.

New Header

Okay, so I didn’t want to leave up the 9/11 header, so here’s a new one.

The meetup tonight was good. I am tired.


This morning: parents to airport at 6am
Now playing: Montana by Zappa
Need to: pay for racquetball class
Must: car insurance
Eating: canned corn and Tiger’s Milk
Drinking: orange juice
Downloading: gentoo linux for PPC
Wearing: Zappa t-shirt
Doing: blogging and depacking
Leah: out doing her stuff
Tonight: more depacking with Leah
Tomorrow (we hope): garage sale
Feeling: nifty, sweaty from racquetball this am

First Sterling, Then Gibson

First Bruce stopped his main blog, but he’ll return on a Wired blog at some point, now William Gibson has stopped blogging. He says, and he’s been writing for more than two decades, that blogging takes away from novel writing. I know there are other novelists who blog, Neil Gaiman for instance, so it can’t be a truism. I wonder if there would be circumstances under which I would stop blogging altogether to put my mind on some other project.

So, I’ll miss Gibson, but I take solace that in a week, The Baroque Cycle begins with the 944 page Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson.

Stuff Done: Progress: 2003

Helped a bit with a pal moving. More progress today on the house. Leah created our living room today! Well, the basics were there, but it looks awesome. Didn’t do a yard sale yet. Renter’s insurance and car insurance is in place here now as well. The new vehicle is wonderful and useful. The bedroom looks great (lava lamp!). This old house has lots of doors, and we’re covering one, but I think it’s fine. The room has two other usable doors anyway. We have many more pictures on the walls too, and they’re great. This is home. There is still much to do, but these issues are all finite, and it’s all doable.

Time to say…


Now That’s Unexpected

So I had a long talk with my friend Chris last night, and we caught up and talked and talked. He and his wife recently had another child. Young Zachary. I’ve been asked to be a Godparent. I wept and was honored.

So how well does an unorthodox lapsed Catholic agnostic do that?

I don’t think I can do any worse than other people do, and I might even do better.

So here’s something I haven’t thought about lately: spirituality, spiritual growth, and teaching.

And really, there’s much more going on. That’s just a snippet. Ikea and Target were also interesting last night. And yes, Der Wienerschnitzel. And the Trolley.

I lead an interesting life, and I like it. I am happy.

Time to shower and get to work.


San Diego Computer / Web / Geek Events for This Month

Three word updates

Work not bad
Car insurance enabled
Racquetball class rewarding
Two feet aching
Truck driving well
College parking sucking
Dishes need doing
Rearviewmirror fall down okay, cheated there
Address changes pending
Bills paid today
Still in arrears
Home office chaos
Leah stomach churning
New curtains awesome
Hot dogs enjoyable
This entry over


Awesome party last night. You really had to be there. Leah and I are blessed with wonderful friends.

I’m tired but I’m working, yeah

The new place is officially christened. In spoons and beer and the kind of excellent talk you get when people have no agendas and chill out the way human beings can when we are at our social best.

No, I’m not afraid to intellectualized things of the heart. There’s definitely something happens when good people together that is inexplicable, unreproducible, mysterious, and wonderful.

And I mean wonderful as “full of wonder.”

There’s some wax to clean from the living room. And the floors could use some cleaning, but all is right with the world. I’m struck by the sense that…

And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right — too-looral-lay!

These Changes

Something Deeper Than These Changes comes out tuesday. I went to Tower today and they had one in the bins. I won’t quibble that it’s out a day early. I was hoping it would be there. So far I like it very much. But then, I’m a fan. The Statue Song makes me want to cry it’s such a perfectly sad song. And of course some of it has made me laugh out loud already. Stew is a great favorite. Several months ago I went north to see him play with “The Cover Problem” in Los Angeles. Took a train up, and a bus to the gig, and a Greyhound back. It was a great disorienting/orienting evening. The man actually recognized me, we having had corresponded since I set up his online “diary” stew sez.

The new record actually includes lyrics. I’ve been transcribing Stew/The Negro Problem lyrics since 1999 or so (and I think I can believe my smorgasborg). So it’s kind of neat to have the lyrics and not have to interpret so much, not that the lyrics aren’t a hodgepodge of baroque, arcana. Stew’s words are lovable to me precisely because he woos the muse of the odd.

I’ve seen Stew play several times now here in San Diego. I think three times. And then up in Los Angeles with TCP.

It’s bittersweet then, to note the news that he and Heidi Rodewald appear to be headed to Gotham.

As usual, Stew has insight to burn, and kicks the ass of anyone who thinks it’s a dis to L.A., or who thinks the move legitimizes the NYC bigotry of New Yorkers. That bigotry being that NYC is somehow the greatest city in the world. Screw that. He says, on the negroproblem mailing list:

New York Provincialism – one of my big topics. my biggest problem with NY (besides large rents and larger roaches) is New York’s weird love affair with itself. It strikes me as oddly provincial for a place so super cool.

A NYer was recently complaining to me about how boring a certain very small city was that she got stuck in during a business trip and how “horrible” it was that there was so little to do there. A Manhattanite complaining about a small town being boring is as childish and absurd as a bumpkin whining about Times Square traffic.

I love that The Man Himself runs a little mailing list — and posts to it.

So Stew will be in residency, more or less, in the Northeast. I wish him well, and I hope Stew and Heidi find the city wonderful and invigorating.

I’m sad to hear them leaving SoCal, even if it only ends up temporary. But I’m also reminded of a certain Frank Zappa, taking up a residency in the Garrick Theatre of NYC in 1967.

In the end Zappa was more a creature of L.A., and returned “home” to Los Angeles. Comparable? Time will tell.

These changes are deep for Stew I think. I say, mind the noose and fare thee well.

Aches And A Lame Whine

New blister on 4th toe or right foot. Still undefeated in my racquetball class. Tired but feeling good.

I have procured the signature to add the class. This time not in pencil, so when I take it to the Dean’s office they won’t look at me like an idiot when I look offended when they tell me the add form is an official document and needs to be in pen. Of course, nowhere on the form or in the instructions does it specify ink or anything.

I’m hoping I haven’t made any other errors with the add form.

Experiences like losing a lunch hour because something was signed in pencil and not pen make one surly. It leads me to think things like “when I am king, I will fire your inflexible, bureaucratic, rigid-minded, halfwitted asses!”

Whew. Got that off my chest.

Sorry for the language there Mom. Not called for, but it’s how I really felt. But moderation and calm have won the day, and I am falling in compliance with City College policies.

Time for bed now.

The lines that’re stuck in my head

frederick douglass hip-hop king (mind the noose and fare thee well)
came to me inside my dream (mind the noose and fare thee well)
his advice rang like a bell: (mind the noose and fare the well)
mind the noose and fare thee well (mind the noose and fare thee well)

love is not the enemy of life
love can give more freedom than it takes if you’d like

love is not the instrument of pain it’s just your mind

Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver

And oh yeah, last night Quicksilver came out. And I bought it. And so far I like it. And it weighs a ton. And it’s so dense NS has launched a wiki to let readers annotate and explicate the thing.

Welcome to the 21st Century, where concordances happen in real-time.

WebSanDiego.org Press Mention

A little bird (named Lilia Phleger Benjamin) told me…

Hey Joe, I’m in the Fall/Winter issue of Entrepreneur Magazine‘s “Be Your Own Boss” edition… page 6, talking about online groups, and she included my mention of WebSanDiego.org!

So, that’s pretty cool.

Thanks mucho Lilia!

Weekend Unique

Took off early Friday
Packed up the truck
Drove up north
Talking Heads on CD
Slowgoing, but good company
Made it there in a few hours
Picked up kids
Met Leah’s parents
Hung out till sleep
Morning kid’s football game
Got there too early
Breakfast at Denny’s with Leah’s parents and kids
Back to the football game to deliver a player
Game was great
Talked a lot to Leah’s Mom
Got lots of sun (and Leah a little sunburnt)
Went to a baptism
(Mormon Baptism)
Extraordinary event
Back to the home of Leah’s ex
Trepidatious but okay
Left there and got dinner
Four Seasons store a time warp
(Why did they have magazines from 2002?)
Back for the kids
Othello and Jungle Book
Breakfast continental
Dropped off the kids
Headed back south
Basket preparation from Target
Leah has skills
Visited Los Angeles Cathedral
Explained some Catholic Doctrine
Admired the extraordinary Cathedral
More heading south
Visted friend Chris, and his wife and daughter and new son
Wonderful talk and company
His daughter has grown so much in the past few years!
Lunch at Heroes
Young Zachary is remarkable
More driving south
Making good time
Some groceries at Whole Foods
Home Home / Good to be home
Juicing like crazy
Unpacking and relaxing
Wonderful talk, cathartic talk
What a good life
What a lucky life.

←August 2003October 2003→