Abby & Brittany Hensel turn 16 Holy crap talk about a back-seat driver!
Charlie Cats have the best damn reflexes. I wish I was a cat.
John Ashcroft “stunned” people think detainees deserve trials What a disaster this attorney general was.
The Muppets’ musical salute to America Culture, morality, and patriotism...Muppet style. I’d actually like to see McCain walk onto the floor of the House to this music.
Poladroid The Polaroid instant camera, as we knew it, is now officially dead. Polaroid pulled the plug on it. For those of us who still like the look of those instant prints, there’s Poladroid, a little application that will turn your digital images or scans into digital Polaroids. Download Poladroid OS X (also coming soon to Windows), or check out the Poladroid Flickr group.
Zoetrope University of Washington and Adobe Systems are presenting a new technology called Zoetrope that allows people to, among other things, browse a web page over time [video]. Meaning you can skim through the last 50 or 100 front pages of the New York Times, and see what’s changed over time. It works with portions of a page too [article], so you can compare two or more things on the same page over time, or even on different sites!
Who’s been naughty this year in the direct mail industry?
ForestEthics has released its annual Naughty/Nice List, their report on the direct mail industry and who’s been playing nice in the past year (phasing out their print catalogs, for example), and who’s been naughty (being secretive about the source of their paper, for example).
If you shop at or receive catalogs from any of these companies, you may want to download the 2-page PDF:
Lies, lies, and more lies Sadly, I predict the BushCo administration will fade quickly from the minds of Americans who wish that it had never happened and have been yearning for a new start for so long that they’ll revert to the sort of apathy that allowed it to happen in the first place. I don’t think any of the BushCo cronies will ever be impeached or prosecuted. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want it. Articles of Impeachment, drafted by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
Chris Dane Owens This man shines on me with the power of his awesome. [via Jason]
Early this year, when I decided to take a few months off, I started getting questions from friends and former co-workder like, “So what are you doing with all your time?” Obviously these people didn’t know me well enough to realize how many side projects I always have simmering on back burners.
The prospect of six or seven months off did not, in fact, present me with a quandary over how to fill my time. I had so many things on my want-to-do list that I knew there was simply no way I’d be able to accomplish all of them. And of course, Life always feels the need to rear its ugly head and present you with plenty of vexing obligations and a healthy helping of unexpected obstructions you have to deal with (like breaking your clavicle, for example).
I started keeping a list of what I do each day or week, just to illustrate all the little things one has to deal with and work on, even if one doesn’t go to a 9-to-5 each day. Here’s list #1, and list #2.
And here’s list #3, started June 1:
Made minor updates to my résumé.
Thought a lot about TICs in a marathon three-day last-minute option to buy into one. It didn't happen after all.
Went to see two of the flats in the above-mentioned TIC a couple times, and measured their floor plans completely.
Spent a lot of time looking for the cat when he escaped.
Cut down the 4-foot stump next to the fence that we thought Orson was using to get out of the yard.
Updated some blog posts.
Backed up my entire personal photo library (70 GB of digital pictures I’ve taken since 2000, plus a smattering of pre-digital pics from 1974 through 1999 that I’ve scanned). It took two full afternoons and 15 DVDs.
Went to Walgreens for some stuff.
Got a burrito with Olya and Jenny and then went to free beer hour at the Double Dutch.
Spent an afternoon and evening showing my friend Dave W. around our neighborhood, taking him to the best burrito joint in SF, and going through my collection of Ozzy memorabilia. (We became friends in the 7th grade and he introduced me to heavy metal. So now you know who to blame.)
Endured, for over a week, and with increasing fury at the landlord, being woken up each morning at 8:30 by workmen pounding and sawing on the wall outside my bedroom. It was supposed to last “a couple days.” Which ultimately meant seven, I think. And did I mention that they punched a bunch of holes in our bathroom interior wall, knocked all kinds of shit down, and generally made a mess of the garden?
Went on a long weekend trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with Velma.
Sorted about 10 years worth of miscellaneous digital files into more logical groupings.
Finally got the last few re-calculations to our tax accountant.
Updated my credit card info on a bunch of auto-bill-pay websites.
Picked up some packages at the post office which I missed when we were out of town.
Showed the pest control guy around, thereby learning way more than I ever needed to know about mice, rats, and traps. What is it about tradesmen that they have to tell you their life story?
Showed the landlord and pest control guy around again.
Drove around the city for 3.5 hours to get our taxes to the post office on time. Got it to the post office with 11 minutes to spare.
Went to lots of meetings for a project that I thought was supposed to be a lot simpler.
Renewed some of my domains.
Put together an icon set.
Answered the questions of Velma and two classmates from her permaculture class, because their class project included designing a new plan for our garden.
Bought and installed two new 1.5 TB Seagate hard drives, and moved files to them. The two 750 GB drives I removed will be used for off-site backups.
Worked many many hours on the e-commerce client project, including enduring numerous days with the creative director sitting with me at me desk while I worked (yeah, because working with someone looking over your shoulder and having to explain every simple thing you do makes for a great work experience and doesn’t slow down the productivity at all).
With Velma, bought a new sleeper couch, matching chair, and two new large bookcases from Ikea; moved two smaller bookcases (and all contents) into my office to make way for the two larger ones (which Velma put together while I worked).
Reorganized some stuff in my office to get it off the floor.
Searched for the cat when he got attacked by the neighbors’ dogs and went missing for 24 hours.
The guys (and now, it seems, gal) at Whiskey Media have offered up another round, adding a just-launched anime/manga site to their growing list of entertainment-related wiki/encyclopedia/community sites.
Whiskey Media, if anyone’s not paying attention, is the startup founded and staffed by many ex-CNETers. Not surprisingly, they are taking a very CNET-influenced tack to their business strategy: Build individual, highly functional sites in smaller markets where you can compete aggressively.
Foreword: This is a review my friend Dave wrote and sent to a bunch of people over email. I asked him if I could publish it since I knew he would never have a blog and I thought it should see the light of day. Among his friends Dave is known for his particular proclivity for attracting flames, so feel free to leave comments here for him (although be aware that he’ll probably respond). His tastes are also kinda stuck firmly in the 1980s and ’90s, which I think will be evident from the review. –Mark/espd
Journey, Heart, and Cheap Trick — Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA — September 27, 2008
by Dave Wight
I can see why all three of these bands were constantly asked to play Day On the Green in the late ’70s and early ’80s. I have never seen the Shoreline as packed as it was for this show tonight and people actually stayed until the end. I’ve been to over 200 concerts in my life (Mark can maybe help me on the actual number) but this one will rank near the top. These bands deserve to play before 20,000 people...they’ve worked and have made their indelible mark and cemented their legacies with their classic tunes.
I’m not a huge Cheap Trick fan but they are a fun band to watch and would certainly dominate any contemporary band still. Even Cheap Trick has songs on Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
Superstar egos were not in evidence — members of Journey jammed with Cheap Trick during their set.
What can I say about the Wilson sisters? Nancy Wilson is still a hot piece of ass and she would dominate any current guitar player, which is not saying much but still...she’s a very solid player. “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You” still are timeless. The Police could take some lessons from these sisters on how to change the song tempo and not butcher it. They played many of their classics as acoustic numbers and pulled it off very well. Their tribute to Led Zeppelin and The Who were solid.
Nancy Wilson is a goddess and Ann Wilson sounds as good as she ever has. The three stiffs in the backing band are nameless for obvious reasons. A lot of bands do gratuitous encores but the crowd definitely forced the Wilson sisters to come out again — the sound was deafening. Nancy Wilson dedicated “These Dreams” to Bill Graham, a legend in his own right.
And finally, most of the crowd had come to see the Bay Area’s own Journey on their triumphant return. I never thought I would say this but Journey defines Bay Area rock music. Their legend has been etched and it supersedes even that of Metallica. Journey made it on their own, whereas Metallica would not even exist had it not been for a a certain singer from Black Sabbath taking a risk with the then-unheard-of thrash metal band and letting them open up for him...and the rest is history.
I will also point out that I have never seen such a diverse crowd at a rock show before. Usually it is 99% caucasian and redneck. It was nice to see some cultural diversity finally.
I think one of Journey’s new songs, “Changes for the Better,” summarizes this evening. Steve Perry is always going to be a part of the band’s towering past but the new singer Arnel Pineda is every bit as good and is far more energetic. He was phenomenal on vocals. But let”s face it, the band revolves around Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
How many times did I flashback to 7th and 8th grade dances during this concert? Too many times. I saw some bad things during the slow tunes. Some people should not be allowed to slow dance at a concert. I may not be able to close my eyes for awhile. Usually slow songs destroy the tempo of a set, but Journey’s ballads are so classic that people were standing the whole time: “Open Arms,” “Faithfully,” and of course “Lights.” It is very cool to have a song written about the area you grew up in and have it become a huge hit.
I enjoyed “Don’t Stop Believin” but had bad flashbacks to the Journey arcade game from the ’80s. Of course by the end of the song, there was a Journey logo draped on the big screen with a gun hanging down as the ‘r’ (like the Sopranos logo). That show obviously gave the band a huge kick start to regaining their popularity.
Journey did not disappoint and no one left early. Current bands need to take note that they have quite a ways to go to get to the level that these three bands are at; the talent on stage this night was phenomenal.
Now someone needs to do the right thing and bring back Day On the Green. How huge would it be if they got Led Zeppelin (last U.S. appearance was Day on the Green in 1977), Journey, Heart, Van Halen, and AC/DC? They’ve played Day On the Green in the past. That would be the biggest show of all-time. They could pick some contemporary band to open up so people could boo them off stage.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday I had some time to do some personal work on three evenings, so I started coding the new template for my redesigned portfolio. I’ve been working on this design in Photoshop for years. Seriously! (Although only in fits and starts, with long gaps in between.) But I’ve been planning for the past four months to take off this December from all other work, to concentrate on finally redesigning the whole website.
Here’s a sneak peek of the new design. This is actually a screenshot of the HTML-rendered page. It’s coming out almost perfectly identical to the PSD, so I’m psyched about that. “Every pixel matters.”