December 02, 2005

You are so right when you say the moon is made of green cheese

Oh man. Oh man oh man.

Exactly.

Please do yourselves a service today and read Susan Mernit's post about the lengthy, investigative Craig's List article from the SF Weekly. While Susan praises the article for its look at the life of master Craig, she also points out at the end of her post the suspicious absence of women as sources--and folks there are a lot of sources in the article.

Yep, one interesting side note here, not the focus of this terrific story--is that every single person mentioned or quoted in it--except for Craig's unnamed girlfriend--is male.

It's clear that the article's author left entire layers of the citizen journalism perspective out of the article. What wasn't clear when I initially heard about it is why. Was the writer being 'unthinking'? Was it easier and quicker to find the men to interview? Was there some bias or hidden agenda? Were all the women having PMS that day?

I'm glad I waited to post because the writer answers some of these questions in comments here. And the answers were worse than I thought:
Sadly, you are right. Few media critics and leaders of the citizen journalism movement are women.

Sphincter says what? Oh tell me this is flame bait and not the view point of a ''''''legit'''''' journalist. Rather than naming the hapless reporter, I will name the women who commented on the article with some sound advice: Elisa Camahort, Liza Sabater, Nancy White, Sylvia Paull, and Halley Suitt.

head-splosion, head-splosion, head-splosion!

Finally just finished working for the day. hmmm. started at 7:50 so that brings it in at about 18+ hrs and more work to do. I went out to office depot to look at headsets about 8 so that was a break. Bought one that I hate and am taking back--wish I'd seen Ken's comment below before going. Ken, is this the one you were talking about?

You're right--it looks really nice and not whimpy/twisty/all/flimsy at all. This one I bought tonight that sux-so-bad is the kind that goes behind the neck and over the ears and through the woods to grandmother's house and by the time the sound gets to my earholes, there's nothing to hear, PLUS, whose head is shaped like that: one size fits all, potato-headed, non-adjustable doo doo.

I think I might go for the real deal. Ken has never steered me wrong. Come to think of it, he's never steered me period, but he has been a fellow gonzoengagedite for a long while. And you never bite the hand that blogs you. Well, at least not more than twice weekly. Unless it's Dave Winer.

In the mean time, I found a $7 mic at Office Depot, and an old pair of headphones from my dresser drawer, and that combo worked okay for my i-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t business call this eve.

Can I confess something I haven't done since we were giddy with blogging back in aught-two. I did a lettermanesque test to see if anyone else was in on the secret.

After picking up the headset, ink cartridges, a ream of paper, and the little mic which became a big life saver, I plopped the commerce down on the counter belonging to the young guy in the computer area to make my purchase. And I said to him:

"You know what? This is Web 2.0. Did you know that?" And I'm goofin kind of like, hey, let's play Net banter, blog with me real time in person, because you know I'm jazzed about my new stuff and the feel of the web right now.

Right?

Kay?

helloo.

He says "wha?" and then I know he doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about. Just to make sure I ask my girlfriend as she rounds the corner looking for me - "You know, it's Web 2.o right? I'm on Skype and talking business and have 8 projects due at once and I'm sure I'll be up til 3 a.m. SO--get it? That's what it was like the last time."

She said 'what are you talking about' first, but I could tell she was ready to go to Chick-Fil-A and thought I was up to my usual time wasting activities. All the computer guy said was: "I have no idea what you're talking about, but it sounds great."

Now, we can sit here and be old fuss-budgets who, of course, are right when we say things like: web 2.0 how stupid. what day did that announcement come out and how come i wasn't cc-ed, and how come no one woke me when 1.0 was over. SURE we can be like that because we are really good at not believing hype and spin, because THAT's why we spend time here in the first place, to get away from Empty Promises.

But even you old fuss-budgets have to admit that something's going on.

And it's feeling kind of fun.

And if we're not careful, we might get a little giddy all over again.

December 01, 2005

Cut. It. Out.

Skype. Oh man! hello, is the 21st century home? Well of course I've heard about it, but I'm getting set up and I'm pretty much (you know me) thinking this is the best thing since orkut. (hee hee--had to be there w/ me kinda). Anyway, I'm all googleyeyed over skype now, and I need to know something for folks who have been using headphones and mics with their computers for the last three decades: what kind of headset really rocks? I mean, for comfort, sound, easy speaking while typing very fast, fast as I can go?

1) I don't like wrap around headsets (i know that bec/ i got some crap at office depot tonight and am taking it back.

2) I do like snug ear muffins (as jenna calls headphones)

3) I think I want a built in mic because sometimes (mostly) I lay down when I have to think and write simultaneously. (try to avoid it, but some days there's just no use.)

4) It has to be durable--I'm going to be ripping this thing off and on about 3939 times a day.

So I guess I'm looking for the three Cs of headsets: Comfort, Clarity, and Cuality.

Thoughts?

I'm Gonna Disco Like It's 1981!

You remember last year we were fortunate enough to be invited to attend the SO COOL xmas party hosted by the Captain Planet Foundation, right? Well, these folks were actually silly enough to invite this Cobb County couple back to the ATL this year for another round of food, drinks, merriment, and amazing stuff being bought by some really red-cheeked party-goers.

WAY!

We'll be hitting xmas party 2005 on December 9th where the theme is Disco and the mission is to save the planet, or at least move it in the right direction, raising money for children and the environment.

The most glitterific news of all? K.C. &the Sunshine Band will be there. AND so will my digital camera.

Again, Way.

This is some of the stuff we get to see:

  • The “Disco Power Princess” arrive on her white horse
  • The “Pollution Armor Entourage” where you get to dress in armor from the sets of Warner Bros. Studios
  • Disco Diva and pop icon Martha Wash
  • And if it's like last year, FOOD TO DIE FOR, from Whole Foods Market, prepared by A Legendary Event.
  • “I Love the Nightlife Lounge and Open Bar”
DID someone say open bar???

AND the official word on why this event is so important (and if you have the dough you should go):

Over the past 10 years, proceeds from X-MAS Party have raised over 1.8 million dollars for homeless children and the environment. This year’s X-MAS Party beneficiaries are Captain Planet Foundation, The American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Our House and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Educational Waters to the Sea Program.

Now that's boogilicious!

My Life as a Top 10 Non-Sexy Source

Hey Cool! I'm a source on Halley's new Top 10 Sources page, on what looks to be a site about neat larger website sources on stuff--that's the non-tech definition. Honored I am to be among the likes of Shakespierce, Andrew Sullivan, Denise Howell, the gang at the Huffington Post, Dooce, Mindy, Joi Ito, Thoughts in Random Patterns and Fish is just fish. Now three of those folks I hadn't read much, if at all, and I've looked at them since seeing them in Halley's list--GLAD to have found them. I haven't been this excited since I won Fishrush's Five Fish Blog Award back in O2.

Halley promises more to come -- I'm assuming sexy is right around the corner, and isn't it always with Halley? Look forward to seeing what develops. ;-)

November 30, 2005

Okay

Thanks to the ton-a-yous who have been telling me to STOP worrying about what kind of camera I DIDN'T get and start posting some pictures, I've seen my way clear to take your sage advice.

You know, I like this new age of crisp digtal photos. I think I see more than I ever meant to. I still prefer the sound of vinyl for music, but I can get used to digital pix. And so, I give to you, the simple joy of what every child in the South would do, if they could do, on Thanksgiving day:



They like to jump and jump and leap for joy, and this they do AFTER their tummys are full of turkey and dressing and sweet potatoes and pie. This particular athlete and his sister are two of Jenna's best friends, and the trampoline lives at their house. This is the infamous trampoline upon which my dear daughter broke her wrist a year ago. She's much better at it now.

So jump and jump and jump they did until dusk fell like a cool mist upon their little reindeer games.



Then it was on dancer, on prancer, on donner and vixen, off to the bowling alley where we'd get a few trix in.



Hey, Jenna, is that gravy on your shirt?

Okay, and a bonus shot of me looking tired like I am this evening:



Next up, some impressive, deep photos of local cemeteries and more from a day in the life of this old mom.

November 29, 2005

Who can say they've been blogging half their life?

My kid can.

She started at 4, she's past 8 now.

Yes, so 2004 was a rough year. Perhaps it will become known as her dark period, her days of writer's block and a first-grade teacher who gave homework out the wazoo, but don't tell Jenna where or what a wazoo is. She's impressionable.

2005 holds much promise for her blogging prowess, since now she knows how to type herself, and she's even made her own amazon wishlist--I don't have to sign her in anymore to Amazon and thank goodness she has her own login [[one-click pony]] even though I think that's against the law, her being 8 and all.

Whatever. I'm pretty sure her posting will pick up some velocity as she enters her 8s.

She wrote about Thanksgiving tonight. I typed the post because it was past bedtime to say the least. But I was amazed when she decided to share something pretty personal -- the fact that she didn't make it through her scheduled sleep over on Thursday night at her friend's house.

Because she missed her mom.

"I missed my mom..."

That goes something like this at midnight:

Ring ring... "Hello?" "Hi momeee." "Honey, what's up--why are you crying?" "i miss you momeee." "Oh honey, I miss you too but it's time to go to sleep and I'm right down the road. I'll be there in the morning." "but momeeee i trieed (sniff sniff) four times and i can't do it--i can't sleep and everyone else is asleep and i miss you momee." "Oh baby it's okay, just relax and let sleep come to you, don't try so hard." "i did momeee i miss you pls canicomhome?"

Now the sleepover parents had to get up VERY early for work, or I would have probably made her stick it out. But as it was, Jenna was the only one awake in the house. So that made the decision for me. I had to go get her.

Oh who am I kidding, I'm not going to leave my kid crying herself to sleep at someone else's house; I would have gone and gotten her either way.

So I got her. And I let her know I wasn't PLEASED about coming out to get her, but that I understood. And that it would be a long while before we'd try this again.

Although, we had to go over there at 7 the next morning because I was time-sharing the kids with the other mom during the holiday week off school.

So that's what she's talking about in her post.

When she says: "I missed my mom. So my mom came and got me."

(and you know what: i missed her too.)

One last comment on comment dilemmas

Read the comments to my comments post--they're smart and they say things that Blogger and RSS enthusiasts should hear.

Here's what it's like to be only sort of techy and a blogger

You hear these conversations going on about Ruby and then you know there's a blogger named Sam Ruby, and you glean from the folks raving about Ruby that it is some kind of programming language and then naturally you think it must be a language developed by Sam Ruby because how the hell would a coincidence like that occur -- a blogger named Ruby and a techno-advancement named Ruby at the same time -- and then you start hearing about Ruby on Rails, and all the time you're thinking Sam Ruby must like to ride trains, or he wrote a book with a railroad track on the cover, like an O'Reilly book or something, and now these tech bloggers are going on about Ruby on Rails, like a rollercoaster ride or something, and everyone has a ticket but me.

Then you see stuff about Ajax and you're not stupid enough to think it's a household cleaning aid, and you're smart enough to know it has something to do with making shit work, maybe it's an OS or maybe it's a language or maybe it's end-user software, you're not really sure, and you're not interested enough to pay rapt attention, but you're wondering if it's something that you'll be seeing boxed on the shelves, or is it like Ruby on Rails and invisible to those of us that wouldn't know what to do with it.

Don't get me started with podcasting and how magical I thought all of that was until I realize that it is: 1) having a blog, 2) having or recording an mp3 file, and 3) knowing how to put a little enclosure tag around the mp3 file. Badabing--you're podcasting. But before all that, I hear about it here and there and assume that you must own an ipod and you must have a studio and on and on, and it comes down to a little tag, man, but as an only-sort-of-techy, it takes months to figure this out.

Never mind tags and taxonomies and constructs like that--things that border on the fine line where the philosophical meets the symantic meets the stand up comic. I mean really.

Move on to OPML and I have to wonder why Dave Winer names everything with initials, mostly consonants, and was he deprived of vowels as a young man, or is it to scare those of us afraid of initial-caps away, and what the heck is OPML, I'm assuming it's like HTML, because of the ML, and I know what HTML is, I know basic HTML tags, hell I even know bookmaster tags, but what is OPML and what does he mean by "outliner," and then ONE DAY, Dana Blankenhorn sends me a file to open with my OPML editor thingy which I don't have but I certainly can download it and install it, so I do, and magically I see that it's a way to pass lists of all the feeds in our aggregators back and forth, and I remember ASKING for something like this like a year ago, and all this time when people are yada-yada-yadaing about OPML I have no idea that's something an outliner does, and I wonder why did they have to make it all sound so secret and difficult

And then I wonder what does Sam Ruby have to do with all of this anyway.

That's kind of what it's like.

Note to my really smart readers...

(and the others too)...

To clear up any confusion, I never said that the ONLY post you could comment on was the post I wrote about comments.

see, other posts have comment opportunities too.

See them all, readers?

just wanted to make sure you understood.

since you're being really fucking quiet.

Rethink Your Processes

Tony Pierce isn't the only one with uberletterwriting talent. Enter engadget, with a friendly note to some unfortunate business owners:

Dear Counterfeiters,

We’re totally not trying to tell you how to run your business, but when the printer you’re using to pump out counterfeit hundies and fiddies breaks, it’s probably a good idea to remove all the fake money jammed inside of it before you send it out for repair. Otherwise you’ll end up like that gang of geniuses in Arizona which just got busted this week for pumping out $160,000 in counterfeit cash.

Your friends,
Engadget

That is so sensitive the way they give advice over there at engadget. And wise advice too. 'Cause that is something I can so totally see myself doing in a rush to be productive. And then, that little voice in the back of my head: "Drat!"

catching up on...

Big Box Mart from jibjab

Isenberg Speaks

Remind me to listen to this when the link is up. Smart guy. Smart talk.

No one, but no one, writes letters like TPie

Tony Pierce writes an ode to Jessica Simpson in her time of quiet desperation. Moving. That's what he is. The man is moving:

dear jessica simpson,

dont be sad that youre divorcing nick. you know what i say about boybanders: kiss em but dont marry em.

you dont see my girl anna k marrying enrique do you?

no, and thats cuz gay boyfriends are fun, but gay husbands arent so fun. they want you to clean up around the house, they want to play dress up when you want to be in sweats, and they end up just breaking yr heart babydoll so dont blame yourself, blame nature.

now the good book says a lot of things about married women and divorce and technically i cant really marry you since youre always going to be married in the eyes of the Lord to nick.

but.

but we dont have to get married. and to be honest, youre so fucking hot we dont even have to get it on. and from what i could gleen from your tv show it didnt seem like you were that into getting it on anyways.

so heres what i propose. i propose that you move into my hollywood bachelor pad and be my girlfriend. if you wanna buy a dog you can buy a dog. if you wanna call tuna chicken you can call that shit chicken and you know what i'll do, i'll say baby i love you. thats what i'll say.

you know who tells someone as sweet and as hot as you that youre wrong and ditzy? xhusbands.

youre perfect. and you look good in uggs. you sing like youre having sex and i cant name one song of yours but you can sing em all around the house and i'll just say louder baby louder.

and then we'll get some food delivered and heres another thing, i will never interrupt our days or nights by watching college hoops and calling my buddies on the phone in the middle of the game and say holy shit that was a fucked up call.

what i might do is call them up and say jessica is dressed up as a school girl and shes thinking about buying a new purse.

yes i know im not handsome, but your handsome boy just broke your heart.

yes i know im not buff but people who are constantly making their muscles grow are making up for a muscle that will never grow

their heart.

i know youre being passed around by the jackass boys but you need to get out of that world cuz dudes who are that nuts about getting their balls shot at by firehoses and aligators dont know how to treat a dainty southern girl whose dreams have been crushed.

what you need is a blogger.

a failed poet.

a hetrosensual.

a very old one who will look at you from across the room and say stand up on that coffee table baby and spin around real slow.

and when you do it he'll say damn girl.

you might even persuade me to move to calabassas, but only if tsar can play in the backyard on new years.

Jessica, girl, you know what to do.

The problem with half great

The problem with having half-great technology is that even though you spend GOOD money on a new device, ALL the money you can afford to spend in fact, and even though you ENOY your new device very much, you nonetheless can't shake the nagging feeling that what you could afford is half great, and therefore you covet the devices of those who spent more on the truly great.

Oh man.

I like my new camera. Don't get me wrong. And yah, I'll post pictures. I just, you know, I'm having some personal issues with my camera not being what I covet.

It started when I was at a birthday party with jenna this weekend, and the uncle of the newly-turned nine year old had a GREAT Cannon and I of course HAD to take a picture with it of the whole family at the restaurant, and of course he HAD to show me his lenses and the tricks it could do, and then he HAD to tell me for $1200 you can really get everythng that would really make you happy in the life of one who takes pictures, and of course I KNOW that we can be happier for less money than that, but then I start to sort of twitch, and I know that I couldn't afford that little wireless number that lets you avoid hooking up a USB cable every time you want to dump photos, and sure some day I'll have the extra dough to get one of those dandy photo printers I didn't know even existed until a week ago....

But somehow knowing all these things does not erase the nagging feeling of someone else's better, cooler, heavier, multi-lensed, feature-rich camera in my hand. Or the memory of standing in BrandsMart in a 'if shopping is sugar, then I'm in a diabetic coma' moment, staring at all of the many many many wonderful things that now belong to others.

I don't covet my neighbor's wife.

I covet his Cannon.

I hope that's okay.

comment update

I've found that switching back and forth between registration-only and totally-open comments seems to be working well to thwart the spERmmers pretty well. If I can spend the majority of your time offering no-hoops commenting, by golly I'll do it! Plan B, based on your advice: Moderated.

Can you imagine having had this conversation four years ago? That was when we had to get up a 6:00 to register in the two-hour window YACCS had open for new registrants so that they could keep up with the tide of nerdy bloggers wanting to add comment functonality to their blogs. And the only people who ever commented were people on your blogroll.

Time sure flies when you're having blog.

On Being a Cold-Weather Football Fan

I was talking with my friend yesterday who had been home to Greenwood, Mississippi for Thanksgiving, where one of her relatives is married to Kent Hull, former Buffalo Bill who is a three-time pro-bowler and who went to The Show four consecutive seasons.

Kent was the center and anchor of the offensive line during the greatest era in football (at least to those of us in Western New York). He played 121 straight games in his 11-year career. During that time, the Bills enjoyed eight winning seasons and won four consecutive AFC titles. Kent was also one of the team's captains for his final seven years.

Being a Bills fan during that era was probably as wild a sports fan experience as any in history. No team before or since has run the hurry-up offense like the Bills did during those years. No team has come from behind more times to earn more surprise wins like the Bills during those years. No team rushed back and back and back and back to the Superbowl with the same players like the Bills did.

And no team handed as many heartbreaks to as many loyal fans who loved them as completely as we loved the Bills during those years.

God, those were the days.

Mmmm. Sleepy Sundays. TV and radio on at the same time. All night call-in shows after the games. .... yes they were the days.

Which isn't to say that I want to get stuck there.

So let me keep going with why I started this post in the first place.

Right.

So, during my friend's conversation with Kent Hull, she told him that she and I had been talking about the team last week. We were talking about the amazing players during that era, especially the offensive line and Kent at the helm, and we were trying to remember Steve Christie's name, and it was one of those tip-of-my-tongue moments where I got stuck on Norwood and couldn't get past it. yada yada yada.

Next she was telling Kent about how her friend-and-bills-fan thought he was one of the most amazing players to have ever graced an offensive line with his presence.

His response: "Wow, I'm just happy someone remembers me."

REMEMBERS HIM?

Remembers him?

I said, "Did you tell him he kept me alive?"

And that's the thing really. From 1980 - 1994, which is when I left Rochester, football kept me alive. Partly, that's the kind of football fan I am. And partly, that's just how it is when you spend half the year at or below freezing temperatures. When autumn hints that it's on its way, you might drive your car into a guardrail without knowing that football season is there to ease you gently into winter. By the time the superbowl and pro bowl are over, you're well into the worst of winter and spring is next on the agenda.

That transitional power of football season is no accident.

And there were some dark times, very dark yes, when it was the reason that this resident of the icy tundra of the Great Lakes decided to go on another day. A reason to brush 8 inches of caked snow off my car one more day. To shovel the driveway one more day. To step through slush one more day. To wrap a scarf around my dry mouth and lungs one more day. To stay hermetically sealed in a 61-degree house one more day. To slide my four tires for a half hour down 390 to work on top of a sheet of ice one more day. To fall on my back walking in pumps one more day. To stand on the register feeling the forced air heat on my legs until the hives on my skin went down one more day. To wipe freezing snot from my nose one more day. To zip up, pull on, wrap around, strap on, and seal up one more day. To trudge through three feet of snow to get the bills from the mail box one more day. To weather dark grey skies, whipping wind, and frozen ear lobes one more day. To never, ever, ever be warm one more day. To coat my cracked, bloody lips with lotion and squeeze my bleeding nose until it stopped one more day. To slide into one more light pole one more day.

Knowing that a game is coming, knowing that it matters, knowing that the guys in the uniforms in a stadium with no roof and no heat and 20-below temperatures with frozen fingers and bare arms are going to bust every inch of their skin and bones for me -- one more day. Knowing that it's never, ever over, and the two-minute offense is a game within a game, knowing that it starts again next Sunday and next Sunday and next Sunday, like the blanket of snow and sleet that is constant...just knowing that.

Remember you?

Kent, you kept me alive.

i had a dream last night

that tom matrullo put up a bunch of animated gifs and he was really excited that the ones he made himself were among those he chose to post. Thing is, the ones he made himself didn't jiggle, wiggle, jump or flash. They stayed still.

They were really cool looking though. I can see some of the thumbnails in my mind. A large cat -- like a running cheetah, and a coffee-pouring-into-mug gif.

Kind of sux that the ones he made didn't move though.

Kinda like the one in the post below.

I really don't know.

Just reporting.

Over and out.

Don't read me

Read the comments on my comments post below--specially ken's. VERY VERY interesting take on RSS and its accidental(?) cultural inherent circumnavigation (ACIC) of comments.

ACIC must not be allowed to stand. VOTE NO to ACIC, or, why, I'll....





Alright--that's supposed to be an animated gif whereby this hand punches through paper right at you. How come it's not animated. It's not in my firefox. is it for you?

tomorrow i will blog actual thoughts.

This was just a test.

i've been real busy.

no excuse.

but when you add in my late afternoon nap, well, NOW you understand, right?

November 28, 2005

I haven't de-aggregated in so long...

my feeds are all filled up.