Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

What's your Hobbit name?

"Well, hello, Pearl Bumbleroot, I'm Milo Deepdelver. Thass some nice Hobbit ass ya gots on yeh. Would you like to come over to my Hobbit-hole and smoke somma tha ol' pipeweed?"
� Find your Hobbit name...

Yes, now it's oneupsmanship!

Photo of the Day: Dandy Warhols | Fillmore, SF | summer 2000

Oh my

Very excellent. Very, very strange. See if you can make it through all 99rooms... [Flash+sound, but it's worth it]

You are never, ever

...gonna believe what this picture of Britney is made out of.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Word of the Day

smolfering /smol"fer*ing/ [adj.]

Definition: Attempting to show an angst-ridden, sexy look, in the way that an attractive but probably vapid actor or model would, but instead failing miserably and simply looking angry or possibly constipated.

Example: "The b-list actor tried to pull off a look that would've been described as 'smoldering' if he had a less unattractive nose, but he instead simply looked smolfering."

What? Of course it's a real word...

The Russians are coming!

Well, one of the Russians, anyway. Yuliya the Great is back from Eurasia, although only for a few days before she jets off to Ghana. Wasn't quite sure it was her when someone came on IM as "LeninaBNW," but then I realized Yuliya's screen name wasn't on my list anymore, and I guessed she must've changed it.

Hey, Y, if you get out of jury duty on Monday and have Tuesday afternoon free, call or IM me and I'll fill you in on what I had in mind for Jenny's birthday, but don't tell her because it's a surprise. You can come along if you're into it; the more the merrier!

And now... Photo of the Day:

Googols of Google

I already knew a lot about Google. I've been checking out their other technologies [1] [2] [3] and watching the business grow for a long time, and I got a glimpse inside their AdWords program since Acterra was one of about 300 nonprofits chosen by Google employees to receive a free AdWords Grant.

But I learned even more by watching this video about the IPO. Don't expect something flashy or slick (c'mon, let's face it, Google's the best in search technology but their aesthtic sense is about a 2 on a scale of 1?10), but it's a well-scripted and informative vid.

Pixar rules

Could I just say that the animation for "The Incredibles" looks amazing? Espcially the first clip. I can't wait for this movie, it's gonna be awesome.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Bored with the board

Don't tell anyone, but I actually used to look forward to board meetings. Yeah, that's pretty scary.

But they were actually pretty fun to me. I was privileged to work with a group of people for whom I had amazing respect, from whom I learned a lot, with whom I liked to share time. Even if we were stuck in a board meeting.

It was a group of individuals -- well, more of an extended family really -- I was proud to be associated with. Really, there's never been a group of people I've been more proud to be associated with.

Things have changed. For the past year and a half, I've dreaded every board meeting. It's not the same people anymore. More importantly, it's definitely not the same organization anymore.

Tonight I will break a perfect attendance record, and skip my first board meeting in 7 years.

Instead, I'm gonna whip this newsletter into shape for a few more hours (gotta figure out a way to graphically illustrate how BushCo is hurting California's environment with their policies), and then I fully intend to track down a cute blonde and go skinny-dipping by moonlight.

It's a start

I have numerous other websites I need to dig out from old disks and make screenshots of, but here are my first 12 sites in the new portfolio.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Less distracting

This desktop makes it a little easier to stay in a designing frame of mind.

Yesterday was a fun-filled day. I helped the �ber-talented artist Aaron Zonka scan some pencil illustrations that a yoga magazine is paying him to do (his first paid work!), then we looked at some photos and stuff.

Then I biked to Menlo Park for a happy hour get-together at the BBC with staffers from the various orgs at the PCC, and a few other assorted humans thrown in for good measure. Good turnout, even without pool tables or dartboards. Regretfully I didn't get a chance to talk with Velmer's friend Shannon before she had to go, but I had fun talking with Justin and Kathy and the other Kathy and Jana and Jess and others, and even Carrie.

Had a couple beers and was a little too buzzed for biking home, because I hadn't eaten anything but a bowl of chili all day, so when things broke up I decided to stay at Cafe Baroni and write long letters to Olya bemoaning life's infinite tribulations and amusing her with some photos I Shutterfly'd last week to send her.

So I got a few more pages on the portfolio done yesterday, but not enough. If I can get a few more done tonight, I'll post them and then the pressure's on. I'll actually begin applying for some of these job things...

Tonight: A farewell dinner with Julie and her new hubby Kurt, who are moving to Italy soon *snif*. Then work on the portfolio.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What is awesome?

o Loud rocking-the-planet music while you work.
o Indian food with your friend Jess.
o Fog.
o Swimming by moonlight.
o A nice hot shower after swimming laps and doing 140 pull-ups (well, water-assisted pull-ups anyway; I'm not crazy).

Monday, July 26, 2004

Well isn't that nice?

Looky below at the email I saw on the staff list, about a party to mark my "transition." Isn't that thoughtful. I wish someone had bothered to ask me if I was actually going to be free that day.


Mes Amis!

July marks a major transition at Acterra. Our beloved colleagues are waving the white flags and moving onto other adventures. Peter, Mark and Jan are all off to new ventures and we shall gather to mark their transition with outdoor festivity.

When: Sunday August 1st, 2004 2 PM to 6 PM
Where: Chez Kayla (coordinates below)
Who: Acterra staff, board, alumni, and friends
Why: Change is good, ceremony regarding change is FUN and required
How: Bring a story about one or all, food or beverage to share
White pants and wild shirts encouraged (invasive plants verboten).

Sentimentally yours,

David, Cindy, Kayla and the K-9's

PS Pour favour peruse the invite list and ensure all eligible invitees are included - Merci
112 Foxwood Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028-8113

Highway 280 to Alpine road, go west.
2.0 miles up Alpine to Los Trancos Road, left (only goes left, just past Alpine Tennis Club) Do Not Stop at Zots (tex!)
2.25 miles uphill to Foxwood, left
112 is the second house on the right, park where you can and come on up the 30 steps to the house! Rudy and Sheeba will bark, but they're (mostly) harmless!

(at 2.0 miles Ramona St. is a left, stay on Los Trancos, winds steeply uphill)
To find Foxwood Rd,
* Look for 1091 Los Trancos Road and a group of mailboxes with a shingle roof over them on your left.
* Monitor the mileage, it's pretty accurate.
* If you come to a one-way road, come on back down, you'll go straight onto Foxwood at the end of long straight hill instead of going left around the curve.
* Call!

Possibly the best use of Flash I've seen all year

� Hilarity will ensue...
Totally worth the time it takes to download 3.7 MB.


I have corrupted Se�or Ables, the man who "doesn't read blogs"!

See? It's opinionated old farts like me just can't resist the urge to rant, whine, 'splain, and the 5 people who might be reading.

The Monday agenda

1) kill rock stars
2) floob all night
3) h9kr

Current music: All Metallica, all night, and at extreme volume (I will undoubtedly have suffered a brain injury by morning, from the headbanging alone); currently: "Sad But True"

Okay, let's give that another try...

1) Gonna try to get a shitload of work done at Smackterra.
2) Return a bunch of phone calls.
3) Go see my friend Jessica for dinner in San Francisco.
4) Possibly: swimming by moonlight.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

ha. so there.

Something happened to put me in a not very good mood earlier today.

But now I'm in a really good mood. Even though I'm angry. Because:

1) I'm not letting it bother me (much), even if I do have to force myself.
2) I'm getting muy shit done on the portfolio now that I said fuggit to the goddamn buggy thing that was screwing up my life for several hours last night (hooray for workarounds!).
3) The Cure fucking rocks.
4) Dancing around in your chair while listening to The Cure rocks.
5) Looking like an idiot if anyone walks by the open doors while you're dancing around in your chair to The Cure rocks.
6) Ginger ale rocks too.
7) And I'm keeping the flowers for myself. So there.
8) Ooh, now U2 rocks (I absofuckinglutely lurve iTunes on random).

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Fun food fact #236

You wouldn't think that french fries and a good Fetzer Johannisberg Riesling would be a good dinner. But you'd be wrong.

Rude logos

French conceptual artist Claude Closky deconstructs letters from the world's trademarks, then puts them together again in way [warning: link includes sound].

The good body and the even better body

Velmer and I went to see Eve Ensler's one-woman show, "The Good Body," in SF last night, and it was great. Even better than I expected. Afterward was even better...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Today's (okay, yesterday's) progress

I really did get a lot more done on the portfolio today, despite the fact that every time I switched to my desktop, I got really, really distracted.

Goals for Friday:
1) Get a bit more done on the portfolio.
2) Go to Smackterra to fix a bunch of stuff and send out the EcoAdvocate. Late.
3) Go to dinner and a play with Velmer and try to behave myself even though she'll be wearing her leather pants.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


If you have ninja gear, you get hooked up with fries. Believe it.

My only complaint with Safari

is when it does this trick. Not cool.


� Ynnej cries over things like this. I laugh. [.mov]

Let Cam do your breast exam

� Linky-dink [.mov]

Alter ego?

I bet Ynnej and Yuliya, who both for some reason persist in claiming I'm gay, will think this guy is my alter ego.

Well, thanks a lot PG&E

Due to a billing error, PG&E failed to bill me for the gas portion of my energy bill for the past year. Of course, they didn't bother to send me a letter apologizing for the oversight and explaining how lame they are for such a mistake.

No, they just sent me a bill for $500.71 with no explanation whatsoever.

Well, luckily the karma was smiling on me today for a change (normally I get the most moronic ESL failures when I call any company's customer service center), and I got the lovely and telented Monica, who took pity on me and I think felt sorry that her employer was lame enough to just sent me a bill with no explanation, and she kindly arranged for the bill to be paid off in 12 months (actually, it's PG&E's policy when it's their mistake, but I could tell she was pitying me).

Anyway, it increases my energy bill by about 2/5 every month. Dammit.

I can't believe a fucking pilot light consumes $17.92 in gas each month. I'm so shutting off the pilot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Please please please

Register. It's so fucking easy. It's so fucking critical.

Mission accomplished

Got a lot done on the portfolio last night.

Goals for tonight:
1) Do a bunch of Acterra webmastering that I really don't want to do.
2) Back up all my files at Acterra and bring 'em home.
3) Do more work on the portfolio.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tonight's goal

1) No slacking.

2) Work really really hard on the portfolio and get the website pages at least mostly done.

3) Ignore the fact that no women find me attractive anymore. Damn them all!

Okay, it's 8:16pm. Ready...set...go!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Someone else is reading

It's always nice to find out you helped a random person with Internet?...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, etc....

I just received a Airport Express Base Station and this hint finally lets me listen to Air America Radio on my living room stereo.

DId I say thank you?


Nurture versus nature

More and more over the past few years I've been connecting the dots between things I probably learned from my parents.

I have only a very miniscule circle of close friends. They are the people I respect a great deal, and would do almost anything for. Most importantly, I can count on them. I rarely ask them for anything, but I always know I'd get it.

I think I choose these types of people because all my life I've wanted to avoid the sktechy people my mom chooses.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


Thu, July 15, 2004 | 10:40pm | San Jose, CA

Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Who the hell are all these people anyway? Jeebus, why the crap isn't she finished packing already? I thought she was doing this yesterday. Man, I really want to get through LA before rush hour, can we get on the road already? Come on. Come on. Come on. Come ON.

Try to make the best of this. Try to make the best of this. Try to make the best of this. Oh, man...


I haven't been looking forward to this trip to Tijuana at all. I can think of about 50 good reasons to go to Mexico, and this is not one of them.

I've had a baseball-sized knot in my neck all week.

What has it been, something like 24 years they've been married? He's been crying wolf about going to Mexico for so many years that it's ridiculous. But now he doesn't have a choice. He's stuck there, whether he likes it or not.

The marriage, as it once was, is over. Her words. She will have to tell him this, and this may be the biggest blow. But he has to see it coming.

Can't imagine why I'm not looking forward to this.


Fri, July 16 | 4 something am | City of Commerce, CA

We're right smack dab in the center of LA. If you look at the map of Los Angeles, the words "Los Angeles" are really big. But L.A. is surrounded by about several billion little nothing cities that make up what people really think of as Los Angeles. And right there, in the middle, where the words "Los Angeles" are really big on the map, there's a tiny little word a little to the lower-right: "Commerce". That's where we are.

I took the first turn driving. San Jose to Los Angeles in under 5 hours, I'm a little impressed with myself.

But right now I'm too tired to do anything other than wolf down my omelette and the driest toast I've ever eaten. The omelette sure is good. I'm pretty damn hungry, though.

Trains roll by in the dark, behind the Denny's parking lot. City of Commerce, USA.


Fri, July 16 | 5:26am | Somewhere on Highway 5

Typing in the back of a van blazing down the highway is not easy. Neither is sleeping. Dammit.

Is there a single mile of highway in Southern California that isn't incredibly bumpy? Pavement is uneven. I'm jostling around so bad in the back I can hardly stand it. I'm so glad it's my turn to lay in the back and try to sleep. Fuck.


Fri, July 16 | 7:13am | Chula Vista, CA

What a dump.


Thank bog for friends. Velma and Jenny, you helped make the excessively stressful days leading up to this trip tolerable. Jenny, I appreciate that you went out of your way to go by the library and bring me audio books for the trip. Velma, coming by to wish me luck and give me a big hug was incredibly supportive. I'm so glad I have friends like you two.

The simplest gestures, yet they meant so much to me.


Fri, July 16 | 7:58am | Chula Vista, CA

I just spent half an hour standing in an Enterprise rental agency parking lot, cutting my cuticles. Yes, I am bored.

I think I got an hour and a half of sleep on the road, from which I was awakened numerous bumpy times.


Fri, July 16 | 9:37am | Placio Azteca Hotel, Tijuana, Mexico

Uneasy arrival. Is this the right hotel? Is he here? The doorman knows him, he'll call up to his room.

Wait for him to come down. What will he look like? How long's it been since I saw him? Almost two years?

Will the rental car be safe? Is there a garage? The rental company made a big deal about how safe it had to be in Mexico. SUVs are on the most wanted list for car thieves south of the border. A brand new one, like our rental, poses quite a prize.

Wow, he's so thin. His hair is completely white now. Was it that white the last time I saw him? But he's still got the flat-top crew cut. He shuffles a bit, but he's walking pretty good. Maybe a little stooped, but I expected him to be using walking sticks.

His eyesight is terrible. He doesn't even recognize us as he comes out the hotel doors, until he hears our voices. All he can see is blurry shapes and colors.

All this time I haven't been sure how to greet him. At the last moment, I let it be normal. As normal as possible. But at the same time, everything inside me is acutely aware that these circumstances are not normal.

It's strange how normal it seems.


Nice hotel. Recently remodeled. Pretty upscale.

Should we have breakfast? The hotel has a very nice restaurant. How awkward will this be?

The restaurant's muzak of choice is poppy country and western. In English. The clientele appears to be upper middle class, almost all Mexicans. The one incredibly blond guy looks so out of place. A large family at a long table in the corner and a pretty girl taking care of a cute little baby girl, two attractive stewardesses, lots of other handsome people around, probably all on there way from the States or to the States.

We're about 5 minutes from the border.


Chit chat over breakfast is very copacetic. Almost too normal. I'm not hungry. I thought I would be. I was still hungry after the omelette 5 hours ago. But now that I'm here, I'm not hungry. Nerves.

As more and more people enter the restaurant, I realize that there are some incredibly chic and hot women here. Like about one-quarter of the restaurant.


Fri, July 16 | 3:53pm | Room 217, Palacio Azteca Hotel

I must be tired. I've been napping by the pool, even though there's a dozen screaming and splashing kids ten feet away. And one baby wearing pink water wings, who hasn't stopped crying for the past hour her mom has had her in the water. Why doesn't she take her out?

The sun has hit the deck chairs directly. It was nice earlier, warm but a steady breeze in the courtroom that contains the pool. But now it's too hot. I finally have to go up to me and Tom's room to crash. I'm exhausted. I've got to sleep.

She's up in his room. They were just going to lay down and rest. Not talk about anything heavy. That keeps going through my head.


I awake to the honking of horns. Wait, that's Tom blowing his nose. And belching extremely loud in the bathroom. And making as much noise as humanly possible, apparently.

What did I get, another hour and a half of sleep?

Ignore it. Maybe he'll go away.

The door clicks shut. He went away.

My head clears a bit, laying there as the air conditioning rattles quietly. I can hear some sort of music from an adjoining room's TV. I realize that, while sleeping, I actually had nightmares about what's to come. Isn't the mind a wonderful thing?


Hmm. The light switch in the bathroom doesn't seem to work. None of the three switches work. That's weird. Wait, Tom was in here earlier, wasn't he? Ugh, stepped in something wet. Did he take a shower?

Okay, the light switches by the room door activate the power in the bathroom. That's weird. Jeebus, is that puddle on the floor yellow? Oh bog, this is going to be fun.


Tom's back. He turns on the TV, even though I was trying to go back to sleep. He sucks his gums when he's awake. And snores sometimes. When he's asleep.

I wonder what annoying habits I have?

Typing on a laptop in public, probably.


I like it when people hold the remote control and stretch their arm out as close to the TV as possible, as if that's the only way to make it work.


I have three words for you: Buffy with subtitles.

I really need to go down and sit in the lobby or by the pool or something.


Fri, July 16 | 4:55pm | the lobby

Thank bog for cushy couches, iTunes, and headphones.

I may take a walk around Tijuana, or at least the nearby part, later. I've got a good sense of direction, luckily, but I'm still going to have to be careful to not get lost.

One of those really cute women just walked by. It would be nice if this trip actually brought me some good luck. Nice. And a miracle.


Tom joins me in the lobby. And obsessively picks his teeth with toothpicks for 15 minutes straight.


Burning CDs for the drive back. This is why iTunes rules the universe.


Fri, July 16 | 11:08pm | Room 217

We had dinner at a cantina a half-block away from the hotel. Not very good, but I've never been a fan of mol�.

Afterward, we called the taxi driver who the hotel arranged to have on call for George, to get around to the hospital, to the airport to buy his tickets, whatever. He took us about 15 minutes away, to the playa (that's beach, for the Espa�ol impaired). He was incredibly helpful and kind all night, helping George down steps, walking with us on the beachfront, going to buy mom a churro. He deserved a huge tip at the end of this.

I'm especially amused that his radio station of choice is a San Diego hard rock station that plays lots of Metallica and Ozzy.

It was just after sunset at the beach, and still warm and mild. People playing soccer in the dusk. A campfire or two, and a dozen or so small circles of college-age Americans huddled here and there on the beach. A cult? Religious outing? A group of volunteers on a summer trip? I dunno, but they were standing in circles and seemed to be, um, praying in the twilight. A little strange.


Tom snores. Loudly. I really hope I'm tired enough to fall asleep and not care.


They had their discussion in his room in the afternoon. It went well, she reports later, although he was disappointed that he wasn't getting his truck and $10,000 right away. She clued him in to the financial picture and he took it better than we had anticipated. At least, better than most of the ways I had envisioned it.


Sat, July 17 | 4:47am | Room 217

Tom snores. Incredibly loudly. He may not survive the night.


Sat, July 17 | 11:12am | Room 217

Jeebus, Tom snores like a fucking windstorm. But I didn't kill him.


Sat, July 17 | 12:10pm | Hotel restaurant

There's another large family gathering in the restaurant for breakfast. I guess this is the place to celebrate the occasions of your older relatives, because the large party yesterday and the one today both got serenaded by waiters. They were singing en espa�ol, of course, so I have no idea what the occasions were, but I think it was birthdays.

There is an incredibly cute girl in glasses at the table.

We have to go to the airport today to settle his ticket to inner Mexico. I still don't know if he's leaving tomorrow or if he's going to get his first eye operation here in Tijuana. He went to the general hospital yesterday and they told him it'll cost $100 per eye. That seems awfully low for cataract surgery, so we have to wonder. But one of his brothers is a retired doctor in inner Mexico, so it makes sense to mom and I that he go there before he gets the operation, where his brother can hook him up with a reputable surgeon, and he can recuperate with his family who are already waiting for him.

Planning is an artform for Mexicans. A lost art.


Before we leave the hotel I corner him alone in the lobby. I tell her to keep everyone away, I want to talk to him.

I tell him to get on the plane tomorrow. To take care of his eyes. To go do it there, where his family can take care of him. I tell him he has to recuperate and not to expect to be up and around in a week, trying to get his plans going right away to set up an alfalfa farming business.

I want to be hard on him, but I can't. Even I am affected by his condition now. I tell him how hard it's been on all of us, not just him, but that's about all I can say about it. I wanted to rake him over the coals. But I urge him to go and take care of himself instead. Get well. There's time.

He cries.

He tells me to take care of my mom because I'm all she has, and tells me how much he cares about her and how he wants to get his business going so he can make money to send her. I know he profoundly means it. But it never turns out that way. His business schemes never work out the way he plans. But you can't tell him that.

We talk about the money issues a bit. I remind him that selling the ranch won't happen overnight. It'll take time. There's a lot of shit to sort out, figuratively and literally, before it can be sold. He's got to be realistic.


Sat, July 17 | 4:08pm | Revalucion

This is the tourist shopping district, but I fully expect it to be the only remotely interesting or fun part of the trip for me. At least I can take some photos. If I can find one or two good deals, that'd be even better.

I shook everyone after a half-hour. Thank god. Alone finally, I feel more normal. I don't have to put up a front of glazed interest or happiness.

I walk 15 or so blocks, zig-zagging around a bit to see the streets off the main drag, where all the Americanos are getting hustled. Two blocks further up the road from the tourist area I find a rock shop and browse the T-shirts and stickers and stuff. I want to but a T-shirt but the one I want has a stain on it. Oh well. I get a patch for Jenny.

I'm looking for: Converse All-Stars in blue, a new messenger bag, and T-shirts. I find rip-off All-Stars, which I consider buying, for about $13. At another store, I find every conceivable color or All-Stars (the real thing, this time), even colors I've never seen in the States, but they're the same price I'd pay in the States. Maybe I'll keep looking...

No messenger bags. Apparently backpacks, butt-bags, and all kinds of ugly leather saddlebags are still all the rage for American touristas in Mexico, but the messenger bag style hasn't quite caught on yet. The only three I see, at one of the 20 billion sidewalk kiosk shops, are pretty good, except they don't have a padded shoulder strap.

When I get back to the caf�/smoke shop where they've been camped out waiting for me, Tom has been sent out to look for me. They got worried because I was gone more than the hour I said I'd be gone. Brilliant. Tom would never find me in a million years. Duh. Another wave of consternation comes over me at being perpetually treated like a 10-year-old. Yeah, it's Tijuana, but please. I'm not 10.


Sat, July 17 | 6:31pm | Palacio Azteca restaurant

Dinner back at the hotel. Last dinner. We're leaving tonight.

The chitchat moves to stories of the various California prisons. The nice ones, the bad ones. The corruption. How to get along. He "went to school," as he puts it, before his eyes went bad. High school equivalency and small engine certification. I'm actually impressed.

I think of Rick Springer, who was imprisoned in the early '90s for smashing an award then-former President Reagan was accepting at a convention, and being tackled by Secret Service. I met Rick years later, after he got out, when I attended a book-reading he did. I was enthralled by the story of what it's really like inside. Later, when I got to know Rick, I learned he was the gentlest, kindest man I've possibly ever known.


We're leaving. Thank bog.


Sun, July 18 | 2:58am | middle of nowhere, Highway 5

Pitch black. Nothing but blank, black highway lanes stretched out in the pools of headlight illumination. A tiny, far-off smear of yellow and white lights off in the distance to the right. Must be a town a few miles off that way. Or another prison.

I handed over the driving duties about an hour and a half ago. Tom took over. I tried to get comfortable in the passenger seat. Apparently this vehicle is built specifically to inhibit passenger comfort. I try about 29 different positions to no avail. I will have another crick in my neck when I awake.

Tom likes to randomly say a word or two out loud when the other people are trying to sleep.


We pass one of those roadway signs with all kinds of gas station and fast food logos.

Tom [in heavy Polish accent]: "We have about quarter-tank. We not make it to San Jose."

We pass a sign that tells us the next exit is the last opportunity for gas for 16 miles.

me: "Well, maybe we should stop at that next exit."

We pass the next exit.

me: "Or not."



Tom: "What is da lights."

me, looking up: "Huh?"

Tom: "There is lights. What is dey doing?"

I look up. Whoa. I hope that's a plane.

me: "Spraying?"

Tom: "Huh?"

me: "Spraying?"

Tom: "Huh?"

me: "A plane. Spraying. I don't know why they'd do it at night..." At least, I hope it's a plane. Could be a UFO I guess. The three white lights sure moved in a way that planes don't normally. Pretty weird.


Tom: "I think is plane spraying. What is spraying I don't know."


About a mile later, we pass a landing strip with its light ablaze. Not a UFO.


Sun, July 18 | 4 something am | Passing Lemore, CA

I think of Julie, who used to live in Lemore. I really need to call her.


Sun, July 18 | Dawn, too tired to look at clock | San Jose, CA

Almost home. Breakfast? No. Hungry, yes, but too smegging tired. I just want to drop off Tom, get my car, and go home to bed. My bed. My pillow. My sheets. No snoring.

When we pull in at mom's, her car is gone. Leticia's car is blocking mine in the driveway. Leticia's supposed to be the only one there, taking care of the dogs.

me: "They better have the keys inside."

I'm at the end of a lifetime's supply of patience.

Mom goes in to wake them up to move the car. Leticia's not there. Her obnoxious little boy is asleep inside, but she's MIA. The other woman's there, with her boyfriend. Yet another massive random person whose name I instantly forget each time I hear it. I don't want to remember these people.

Leticia took random woman's car home for some reason. Of course, she didn't leave her keys, so we could get her smegging car out of the driveway.

I lose it. I cannot contain myself.

I throw all my stuff back in the rental. Now I have to take it home, leave my car, and waste yet another hour of my life coming back here later tonight to retrieve my car.

I leave regretting that I lost my temper in front of my mom. But this was a hot poker on the last nerve.

I just want to go home and sleep.


Sun, July 18 | 9:04pm | Mountain View

Now I have to go take the damn rental back and pick up my car.

My neck is still killing me. I feel like every hour of this ordeal has taken a day off my life. Fuck, I need Advil. And wine. Advil and wine.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

DorkFest Part 2

Should we see if Zonk wants to go? OMG hotels are so expensive. I thought you are broke?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Saying "I do" is everyone's right

"I do support the right of every American to marry, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples. I believe that marriage and other civil rights protections are essential to making all families safer and more secure.

By signing this petition, I agree to support efforts to make marriage equality a reality in our country, and to oppose any attempts to discriminate against GLBT couples and individuals."

� Sign it... I did.

To answer Ynnej's question

The Human Rights Campaign works for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights. And the U.S. Senate will tomorrow (Wednesday, July 14) vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Makes me want to vomit.

In 2000 I said I would lead the march on DC, rope in hand, if Bush won and tried to disassemble Roe v. Wade. I make the same promise today, about the Federal Marriage Amendment.

The Toolbox

Studio Computing
Apple G4
  Dual processor 1.42 GHz PowerPC
  1 GB RAM
  Mac OS X 10.3.4 and Apache server
  64 MB VRAM
  Monitor #1: 20" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2020u, 1280x960, millions of colors
  Monitor #2: 17" Nokia 447L, 1280x1024, millions of colors
  Internal DVD-RW / CD-RW
  Internal 120 GB ATA HDs (two)
  Internal 80 GB ATA HD
  External 60 GB FireWire HD
  External 250 GB FireWire backup HD
  External Iomega Zip Drive
Apple Extended Keyboard and Pro Mouse
Boston Acoustics Digital Media Theater speakers and subwoofer
Kenwood AM-FM Stereo Receiver KR-V76R
Philips DC 222 turntable
Apple iSight
SpeedStream 5360 ADSL modem, with service by SBC
SpeedStream 2604 4-Port DSL/Cable Router
SynOptics LattisHub 2803 16-port hub
Cobalt NAS RaQ web server
Hewlett Packard LaserJet 5MP
Epson Stylus Color 740
Epson Stylus Color C84
Canon LiDE 50 USB 2.0 bus-powered scanner
Wacom Graphire CTE-630 tablet

Mobile Computing
Apple PowerBook G4 15"
  1.33 GHz PowerPC
  768 MB RAM
  Mac OS X 10.3.4
Canon LiDE 50 USB 2.0 bus-powered scanner
Wacom Graphire CTE-630 tablet
Smart ID WiFi Detector
Targus USB retractable 2-button mini-mouse
Jensen Digital Audio headphones (full size)
Philips HE510 earphones (buds)

Photo & Video
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F505V 3.3 megapixel camera
Apple iSight

Audiovox cellular, with digital technology by Qualcomm and service by Verizon
Nortel analog land line, with service by SBC (local) and Working Assets (long distance)

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Leisure Commandments

From the book "Time Off! The Unemployed Guide to San Francisco"

Thou shalt enjoy at least one sustained period of unemployment during thy career.
I suppose I can look forward to fulfilling this commandment soon, if I don't get cracking on finishing the portfolio...

Thou shalt switch careers to do something thou really enjoyest, even if it means taking a pay cut.
Dammit, that's what got me in this farging situation in the first place.

Thou shalt pursue on secret childhood dream without regard to status of the judgement of others.
That settles it. New career-path: International spy.

Thou shalt party until dawn on at least one weeknight.

Thou shalt lounge around thy house in thy pajamas.
Anyone who knows how hot it gets in my studio in summertime can guess whether I've bested this one. Why d'ya think I like that fact that there are no windows?

Thou shalt create, experiment, and ponder.
Dammit, that's what I do for work, not leisure.

Thou shalt reconnect with thy community.
Yeah, 'cept I'm trying everything I can to get away from 'my community' right now.

Thou shalt partake of the great outdoors.
True dat. I gotta see the beach again sometime in the next two weeks.

Thou shalt travel and explore, beginning with thine own hometown.
Um, if I actually lived in San Francisco, instead of relatively boring Mountain View, I'd be all over this commandment.


So I went to my dad's yesterday and I pulled up to the driveway and there's a realtor's sign outside.

I've known for six months that he was going to sell the house. I even knew that he was putting it on the market any day now. But nothing quite prepares you for going to the house you grew up in, which will always have a place in your heart as "home," and seeing a "For Sale" sign.

"In the air I'm sensing a change in the weather..."
-"Crazy Life" Toad the Wet Sprocket


On top of that, I have to go (drive) to Tiajuana this weekend to deal with mom and stepdad drama. I'm really, really, really not looking forward to that.

I have a really sore neck right now. Can't imagine why.


Mood: ugh
Music: [angry-beat] "Nobody's Listening" Linkin Park
Music: [nostalgic] "Crazy Life" Toad the Wet Sprocket

Want a little kiss?

Well, here ya go...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Some Kind of Monster

"...filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky ("Brother's Keeper," "Paradise Lost") wind up telling the story of how a de facto family can dismantle itself and then put itself back together, piece by embarrassing piece. The result transcends the rockumentary genre and becomes something uniquely its own: "Some Kind of Monster" isn't about rock music or even the people who make it; it's about people, period, and the myriad ways they mangle themselves and each other..."

Read the review...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

From brushed metal to milk

If you're one of those (lame) people (hi Ynnej) who actually prefers the original OS X plasticky look over the newer (and much, much swanker) brushed metal look, perhaps you'd prefer this milky skin called Plaster. It's kinda cool, but far too white for my taste. If I'd wanted an eMac, I woulda bought one.

Funny, I though Ynnej said she liked the gray look. Hmm, a contradiction? Who'da guessed.

New shades

I thought I'd lost one of the three -- count 'em, three! -- new pair of sunglasses I got Thursday, but I found 'em. And I really don't care if Ynnej thinks they're the ugliest ones, I like the green ones. Plus they were only $6, dammit.

I am absolutely, positively

...going to get some work done on my portfolio today.

Right after I move that bookcase over there, and those tables over there, and clean off that tabletop, and move my stereo receiver to under my desk.

I think Ynnej's amazing powers of slack are rubbing off on me |:/

Velmer will be appalled :(

Se�or Ables will be sooo disappointed learn that a certain JB has thrown in the towel.

Think geek

Possibly my favorite place for finding cool freeware and shareware apps: My latest find being Books, which is pretty cool, and totally free. I've been looking for something like this for awhile -- a database to catalog all my books. And it exports to all kinds of formats, including HTML and XML, so I can figure out a way to put my lists online.

Yeah, like I need another distraction from the Finishing of the Portfolio.

Friday, July 09, 2004


And people think I'm a curmudgeonly pain in the ass to work with. Check this guy out.

For this retort, Ynnej got +10 hit points

Just a little story to prove that word Nazism goes both ways. [Not meant to infer that it�s bisexual.]

So Ynnej and I were having a normal conversation yesterday in Togo�s (and by normal I do indeed mean that it was probably making all the people around us either embarrassed or afraid), and I again used a normal phrase that has been accepted as long as I've been alive (and undoubtedly longer), and which much more recently has fallen into some disarray and has been used by some people with one or two of the words left out, but still presumably having the same meaning. In this case -- and the phrase in question really isn't important to the actual point of this story, which I acknowledge is getting ever further away at this point in the narrative -- *ahem*, in this case, both uses have become so prevalent and are already so nearly identical as to be essentially the same thing, so it really doesn't matter to me which one people use, and actually I myself have said the phrase both ways. It doesn't make a difference in this case.

So, the Point: Jenny actually took me to task this time for using the phrase in a way that she thought was wrong. She then proceeded to berate me. You know, in her good-natured way, which almost never includes heavy use of the word "bitch."

Having a thick skin, none of this, of course, bothered me. Like water off a duck's back. I simply and calmly explained that the phrase meant the same thing both ways, and the way I said it was around a lot longer than the newer usage -- the way she thought it was supposed to be said.

me: "Look, I just remember the way the language was 20 years ago, before it was adulterated by the likes of you."

Ynnej (not missing a beat): "Don't you mean 'ye'?"

What are friends for?

I'm not so sure it's for this.

Ynnej: "You totally look like one of the Weezer guys."
me: "I don't even know what the Weezer guys look like."
Ynnej: "y'know, like you. Except hot."

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Getting so tidy

I'm so happy I finally got rid of almost all my extra wood, which had been taking up far too much room in the corner for the past year.

Now I'm working on saying goodbye to a ton of old computer hardware I really don't need taking up floor and loft space.

My place is looking a lot bigger today.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Is the a word for "dork" in Elvish?

Ynnej will surely desire this. But it's $75...

Monday, July 05, 2004

Moss and Knoxville enjoy gig -- and kisses

Sorry, Ynnej, looks like your favorite Jackass likes the ultra-skinny girlies. From the Daily Dish:

"Supermodel Kate Moss was spotted kissing 'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville at a London gig on Thursday night.

The British beauty, 30, was seen 'all over' Knoxville at a private concert featuring Shane MacGowan and Nick Cave at the Boogaloo in north London -- just days after she split with actor Daniel Craig.

A source tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, 'The idea was for Shane to showcase his latest singles and other material for close friends.

'Kate brought Johnny along probably thinking she'd be safe there away from prying eyes.

'She spent the whole evening all over Johnny in the corner. They were (kissing) in full view of the other guests.

'It was quite shocking to see because everyone knows she's only just split from Daniel.'

Another onlooker adds, 'She's a single girl having a good time. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a kiss with a good-looking man.' "

I am not a chef

...but my pasta sauce (not scratch, but most definitely not just off-the-shelf) has been recently refered to as "better-than-sex sauce".

Ynnej is going to go ask Apple Store boy out 8)

To: Mark Bult
From: Jenny Cade
Subject: whew
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 14:17:41 -0700
Okay, here we go. Fry's, then Apple Store. I'm so nervous.

Why do I want to do so much?

If I made a list of all the things about which I say "I want to do 'X' eventually," I would never finish the list.

real life

:? "I have amazing powers of suck."

Cleaning weekend

I really should be working on my portfolio today. But I've spent a bunch of (much needed) time so far this holiday weekend cleaning my studio, clearing off my desk, and switching a large monitor out for a smaller one (only because the larger one is starting to die).

And taking apart my keyboard to clean the crud out of it. Let me just say, if you've never done this, you should/shouldn't.

Should, because it's probably incredibly filthy. Shouldn't, because it's probably incredibly filthy. Ick. The amount of crumbs, dust, tiny little arm hairs, and assorted unfathomable (thankfully) gunk in my keyboard was absolutely astonishing. And I've only had it a little over a year. Took me close to an hour to clean. Again: ick.

"Life. Don't talk to me about life."

Being a good friend is being incredibly attracted to someone you really love and respect, and yet not sleeping with her because you know you're not what she's looking for and not what would be the best for her. Even though you both really want to. A lot.

Being a good friend can really suck hard sometimes.

Desktops for design people

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Death Cab

...has a new official website.

re: Firefox

For those who think Firefox is the coolest (and I may join that contingent one day), here are some cool Firefox customization tips.

And Jeebus if it didn't take me about 3.5 hours today (and yesterday!) to find this link about the security flaw fix for Ynnej... Holy crap I think I read the entire Internet looking for it. Since this was discovered in late May, the .9 version you are running may have already addressed the problem, although I could find no mention of it on >:\

Happy 4th, part 1

Spending the Fourth of July reading webcomics in your underwear is not un-American. I don't care what Ashcroft would say, he can

Ah!!!!!! Finally I found it!!!

The damn comic I spent something like six excruciating, mind-bending, frustration-making hours to remember the name of...

the state of web comics

Double Agent is observation and analysis of the state of web comics by Chris Bishop, creator of HER!.

And look, Ynnej, it's like you and me.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Support lesbian girly porno!

I came across Colleen Coover's "Small Favors" comic at Lee's last week (Ynnej dragged me in there and ended up needing a prybar to remove me), and I fell in love with the characters and the artwork in this little book. A woman-created comic about the exploits of incredibly cute lesbian girly girls? How could I not fall in love?

Actually, I particularly like Coover's really simple, clean illustration style, but the fact that it's about hot little lesbians is a definite triple-score plus. Her style reminds me a little bit of a cross between Chris Bishop (who is awesome) and the creators of "Daria" (except better). What can I say? I really like the minimal style. And, well...lesbians.

Support lesbian girly porno! Buy "Small Favors"! [ Book 1 | Book 2 ]

Colleen Coover's lj...