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.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Hello from Black Rock City, Nevada

It's been a busy three days, a lot of driving, and a lot of camp-building (and we're not done!) but we're here (most of us) and havin' a blast.

The weather is wonderful. Barely any wind (save for the little dust devil that danced through camp at lunchtime) and it's not too hot. Maybe 93? I dunno. But it actually doesn't feel that hot to me for some reason.

I'll upload a photo or two when I get some time, maybe tonight. I've had barely any time to take pictures and I haven't explored the city at all, save for biking to where I am now, Center Camp, which is where the WiFi access is at present. A little spotty, so I hope it lasts. But if all goes well, we'll have a repeater antenna out to our village in a day or two. Just gotta track down an antenna...

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Heading to BRC

I'm heading to Diane and Jonothan's wedding on Saturday and then straight to Burning Man on Sunday, and I've been crazy with job interviews and packing for the dessert for the past 4 days. You can tell how crazy it's been because I've even neglected to post the ever-popular, much-sought-after Photo of the Day, which is a travesty that surely won't be forgiven by the innumerable readers of this blog. Undoubtedly the readership has subsequently plummeted from 5 to 2.

I'll be posting (hopefully) from Black Rock City, NV (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere, in the Black Rock Dessert), from Sunday through Sep 6 or 7. Apparently our village (Infinite Oasis) will have wireless Internet (!). No phones in the entire city of 30,000 people. But Internet? Yup.

So the plan is to post photos and such, direct from the dessert. We'll see :)

For a taste of what's in store for moi, see Velma's photos from last year [@Shutterfly].

Friday, August 27, 2004

Oh, one more interview

I ran up to Oakland today (in the middle of packing for the playa) for an interview with Transfair, better known as the organization that brings us the "Fair Trade Certified" label on coffee, tea, and other stuff (they're also doing fruits now). They seem very cool, growing fast, looking for someone with exactly my skills and experience, and I think I'd fit in well there. The job is, however, in Oakland, so that would definitely mean moving to Oaktown, Berkeley, or SF. We'll see; they're going to bring me back for a second interview when I return from BRC.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Maybe, maybe not

I may work for the World Peace Music Awards. I'm not sure if I want to work there or not. But I interviewed with them and they pretty much wanted to hire me for a short-term contract right away. But I'm heading out of town on Saturday. So I did some quicky work for them. I dunno. I've got mixed feelings about working there...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Note to self

Must remember to ask Aaron the name of that artist.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


This is a current job posting on craigslist.

Design Logos for Major Food Companies!! + Admin support

We are an employee-owned firm that develops new foods and beverages for national food companies ranging from packaged goods companies (such as Kraft, Nestle, Pepsi) to restaurant chains (such as Starbucks, White Castle, and Round Table Pizza). Our business is booming and our working enviornment is fun and fast-paced. We have been in business for 27 years.

We are looking for someone with 2 sets of skills:

1) Administrative. Responsibilities will include:
- Answering swtichboard phone
- Typing/data entry
- Miscellaneous office support (shipping, binding, copying, etc)

2) Design
- You will be responsible for "spicing up" our presentations to our clients
- This will include developing logos and brand identities for the new ideas we come up with
- In the future, this may include digital photography and/or video to support the concepts
- Knowledge of PHOTOSHOP and POWERPOINT are a MUST

...Wow. You mean, I could do data entry and develop brand identities? This must be a verry prefeshunal outfit.

Um, switchboard?

Nice pants

The Ukes of Hazzard present their latest fantabulous music video (9 MB, QuickTime), for the smash hit "Gay Boyfriend." I have no idea how these girls get away with not being able to sing at all, but pulling off such a good video. I'm not qualified to pass judgement on the Ukulele skills, so I won't.

A couple of suckers

Happy birthday Julie Ann!

Photo of the Day | Julie and Mark, heading to a Giants game | June 2000

Monday, August 23, 2004

Last month

A little more than a month ago I was in Tijuana. It was not fun. But I took a few decent pictures. Eventually I'm going to find a day to put these photos in a new online gallery.

Photo of the Day | A really big banner, on a really big building

Bruce Sterling: On Blobjects, Spimes, and the Terrorism-Entertainment Complex

Purely aside from his reference to hobbits winning "Oscars by the bushel full," I thought some of you (Ynnej) might be interested in this address by Bruce Sterling.

He is a sci fi writer, and a very good one. He was addressing SIGGRAPH, a longstanding professional computer animation festival/conference that you might want to know about if you eventually head in that direction as a career. He's also funny and informative. So you might just like it for that. Or, you may just have nothing better to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day | Moffett Garden

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I knew it

Photo of the Day | Proof that the phone company is in league with the devil.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Serendipitous chuckles

I was working really hard on...

Okay, I was Googling my high school journalism teacher, Paul Page, and among the links I found Paul's Page (who was a journalism major in college).

The "interview, high school journalism student style," was good for a few laughs.

Monsters on the Green

This fantastic shot is by my buddy Tony Alves, who I really have to call one of these days. I also have to update his website one of these years.

This photo was selected as Shot of the Year in the 1991 year-end issue of a now little-known newspaper called Western Front News.

Photo of the Day | Jason Newsted and Kirk Hammett, Metallica | Day on the Green, Oakland Coliseum | Oct 12, 1991 | by Tony Alves

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Loop Feedback Loop

The street network of Los Angeles has become the most instrumented and managed of any American city. Sensors embedded in the ground and on poles measure rates and volumes, and deliver their data to control centers where it is assembled into a dynamic image of the collective traffic picture. Increasingly automated, signals also flow out from these control rooms, adjusting timings of lights at intersections and freeway metering ramps, dispatching incident response teams, and updating traffic reports, including live maps on the web.

Loop Feedback Loop is an exhibit of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

Look Ynnej, it's you and me

I'm the cat, BTW.


Last week I bought something at the Gap. Those of you who know me probably just let out a shocked gasp.

If you don't know me, an explanation is in order. The Gap is one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the world, and as such, a company that wields immense power in its industry. It is also one of the biggest purveyors of clothing made in overseas sweatshops.

I didn't buy any clothing. I bought a messenger bag. This doesn't really make it any better, since the bag was probably made in a sweatshop in China or something. But I try to find a modicum of justification in the fact that I've been looking for the idea messenger bag for over six months, and simply haven't been able to find what I was looking for anywhere else. Not until I walked by a guy in San Francisco last week who had a really great bag. I asked him where he got it.

"At the Gap," he offered helpfully, not knowing that my well-hidden reaction inside was, "Aw, crap."

I had an hour and a half to kill before I met my friend, so I walked down to the Gap to see if they were still carrying it in stock. Indeed, they were. And indeed, I bought it. It truly is a very good bag; has all the features I've been looking for and a few I hadn't been, and was a very good price. Damn.

About a dozen of my closest activist friends would probably cringe slightly if I told them this, but I also know some of them are reasonable enough people to understand when sometimes a compromise must be made. And yes, I actually do mean "when one must compromise one's principles."

I realize that's what I did. But I intend to make up for it. Because, in the same way that I try to make up for occasionally buying books from by purchasing an overwhelmingly larger amount from locally-owned used book stores, I believe that it's incumbent on me to not let my $35 go into the pockets of Gap Inc.'s shareholders without them hearing from me (or at least the company's management).

So I intend to do something to balance the scales. I haven't decided exactly what yet. I've got a few ideas so far:

1) I might write a letter to the Gap about my concerns.

2) I might create a new microwebsite about the Gap's past sins, thereby educating more people about their shady labor practices.

3) I might bring back the Crap T-shirt (a parody of the Gap logo which an SF company used to produce, but mysteriously doesn't any longer), by producing them through Caf� Press (until I hear from the Gap's lawyers, I suppose).

Wanna weigh in on which you'd prefer? Leave a comment...

And in the spirit of telling multinational corporations that we indeed an informed consuming public, that we're watching them, and that we're demanding them to do better, here's the Photo of the Day (Heidi and Olya outside the Telegraph Ave. Gap, Berkeley).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

ignore this

This is a time-stamp marker for Russian mailing purposes.

Ever been really bored?

I guess this is what reeeeeaaally bored Flash designers do when they've got no jobs to work on [Flash].

Goals for the rest of the day

A. Try to be more realistic by limiting myself to 3 major things per day.
1. Clean the studio, which is in major post-camping/post-shopping disarray.
2. Do more Burning Man research.
3. Do the BEA Call for Applications mailer changes for Smackterra.

Studio Xclusive

*News flash for Ynnej*

Ynnej will want to give me a big kiss when she reads this: "The Seattle rock quartet Death Cab for Cutie recently stepped into the studio to cut the Studio X Sessions EP exclusively for iTunes..." Get it here...

Not only that, but it seems that DCfC mainman Ben Gibbard has another side project, All-Time Quarterback.

My dear, I certainly hope you can find a broadband connection in Alaska.

RoMANCe of travel

Almost three years ago I took a great trip to Massachusetts and North Carolina to visit old friends and make new ones. That was probably the best vacation I've ever had. I took a lot of photos, and put up a gallery just for the fun of it. I'm thinking of redoing it sometime, and swapping out some of the photos I used in favor of some I didn't, like the one below.

Photo of the Day | Olya's dorm | Swannanoa, NC

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

What I've been workin' on today

The interactive design company I interviewed with last week had a rather urgent need for a design for a client called [name removed to prevent panicky lawyer types from hyperventilating] (the market leader in Flash memory, although you wouldn't believe it from their current website), and asked me to put together a design for them to pitch.

So, today's Photo of the Day is actually a Screenshot of the Day.

Forward three...and stop

Jessica, who I used to work closely with (she was Bay Area Earth Day 2002 coordinator) and keep in touch with regularly, has been guiding on the South Fork for almost three years now, and she and a couple other guides (thanks Mike and Jon!) put together a private trip this past weekend for their friends. Yeah, I got invited too.

Jess is definitely a fantastic guide, and I've been fortunate to go with her a couple times before. Definitely beats being stuck on a boat with two novice (and terribly unskilled) guide-trainees, like I was stuck with for an afternoon back in June.

A good guide means a world of difference for those on the raft, not only in how pleasurable the trip is, but whether you're sore the next day. A lousy guide makes the crew work unnecessarily. A good guide doesn't need to, because she, for example, avoids eddying out at every little placid spot for no apparent reason, then making the crew paddle hard to get back into the current.

This time, for both days I was fortunate to be the only guy on a raft full of beautiful women. Oh darn. Poor me. Plus Jamie, Jamie (yes, two of 'em), Carly, Shannon, Janet, and Velma were all excellent paddlers and a lot of fun to boot.

The people were fun, the weather was great, the river was great, and we had a most incredible barbeque on Satuday night.

One guy, Rob, brought more meat than I've ever seen outside a grocery store. His tandoori chicken was a huge hit, but it went fast and I didn't get a taste. However, I was a big fan of the simply incredible pork. I think it was the first time I'd had pork in about a year, and it was without a doubt the best I've ever tasted in my life.

So, it sounds as if this maiden voyage of Water Wings Voyages (yes, we had a coupla Tweety Bird water wings fastened to the bows just for this weekend) will be an annual event. Should be a blast again next year!

Doin' the design thing

This is where I live and work. It's a mess right now, with stuff all over the floor. Which is why this is a photo of the wall, from the loft.

Photo of the Day | View from the loft

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Jessica the River Queen

I'll post more about the rafting weekend later. But for now, here's a photo of the lovely Miss River Queen.

Photo of the Day | Jessica the River Queen | South Fork, American River | 15-Aug-2004

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I'll be on the river all weekend

So, in order to satisfy the thousands (read: five) of regular readers of rant, whine... who will surely be at a loss when I'm unable to post a Photo of the Day™ on Saturday, here's a photo of me and Carmen on the South Fork of the American, from back in June. Yeah, I know, what's with that dorky hat?

I hope you all get out and have a great weekend too (thismeansyouYnnej). Remember, summer's not around much longer!

Pre-dated post of the Photo of the Day | Carm and Marky | June 19, 2004

Friday, August 13, 2004

And a good time was had by all

So yesterday, after my job interview in SF (which incidentally I think I have a good shot at), I had lunch with Big D, and then walked to SOMA to find the gallery where the Sneak Peek mixer for Movable Type 3.1 was a-happenin'. While the other gig might be alright, this was the company I'd really (really, really) like to work for.

I met several people who work at Six Apart (like Walt and Mark), and they seemed very cool. I picked their brains without dropping the hint that I wanted to work there.

My interactions just reinfoced my impression that the company's an extremely energetic, youthful, creative group. And made me want to work there even more, dammit.

Ben and Mena, who founded the company, were simply the cutest as they ran the demo, Ben on PowerBook and Mena on mic. And then there's the new designer they just hired, Jamison (on the left), who is incredibly cute in the way that makes ya wish you were gay -- frosted blonde hair, pretty face, cute chipmunk cheeks when he smiles (which is apparently all the time, at least at parties), dresses like he just walked out of an American Eagle catalog. And he wasn't the only incredibly attractive one who works there, by any means.

Hopefully Mena had had enough drinks that she won't really remember how I gushed embarrassingly about how much I really really wanted to work there, and then handed her my business card.

Anyway, when I got home later that night, I checked my email only to find that Anil, Six Apart's VP, had commented on my previous entry about how much I want to work there, and said I should send him my r�sum�.

Which I promptly did. Duh.

PS> Check out Anil's photos, especially his moblog.
PPS> Photos linked above are by Mie.

This is beginning to be the Schoolie alum blog!

Yet another former Schoolie heard from: Brian a.k.a. Meerkat is back home after two months of travelling around performing with the Blue Devils. Yes, Brian is a drum corps dork. And we love him for it.

If you want to see him perform Saturday night, they are in San Jose.

Photo of the Day | Brian (and Kristen's leg) | Dec 2001

One of my favorite Mac newsletters

MacResolutions is a Palo Alto-based consultancy run by Fred Balin, a former Apple product manager. I've never actually needed to call on Fred's expertise before as a consultant, although I've referred my clients his way numerous times.

But Fred's occasional email newsletter is fantastic. It's one of the few I actually read all the way through, almost every single time. It's highly informative, well written, and only comes at you about every month or two, which even my ridiculously over-stuffed Eudora in-box can handle.

I highly recommend subscribing to it. Especially if you're not a geek.

For those Calvin and Hobbes fans

For those Calvin and Hobbes fans (me, Ynnej, and at least half the universe), I offer this article from 2003 in a Cleveland alternative newspaper. Here's an excerpt:

"...Watterson apparently has no immediate plans to bring Calvin back. In fact, it seems that he has no immediate plans to do much of anything. He lives a quiet life in Chagrin Falls. He paints landscapes with his father in the woods, but produces nothing for those who once embraced his comic strip. He won't do conventions anymore. He won't sign autographs. And he certainly won't sit for interviews..."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Another former Schoolie heard from

I was online at 4:19am (well, actually I was brushing my teeth, but my computer was studiously downloading some filez without me) when AIM rang me. Who the hell could be up at 4:19am? 'Twas Carmen, who is in Ireland, traveling around doing organic farming and staying with people on their farms. Bog, I love Schoolies, they fucking rock the earth.

I promised to give you all hugs from Carmen (pictured in the middle with Giovana and I smiling more than her, because she hated her braces), and to pass on this message: "...tell people that i love them and that im doing well..."

The return of Mr. Attitude

Photo of the Day™ | Jason, a.k.a. Mr. Attitude, a.k.a. Headbanger Hellmonster, circa 1989 | photo by ? (probably Ed Svoboda)

Jenny saw this photo the other night and said "Jason was pretty hot...back in the day," with both admiration and surprise in her voice. Yes, she is Mistress of the Backhanded Compliment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Job hunt progress report: Interview No.1

So tomorrow I have an interview here [Flash] for an opening for Senior Interaction Designer. Not very sure if this is the type of place I want to work or not, but hey, they're the first ones who called and so we'll see where it leads.

The blogosphere

Since I've been really, really, really wanting to work for this company, whose Movable Type is described by as "widely considered to be the world's most powerful blogging tool, the system that sits at the heart of the Web's busiest blogs," I was intrigued to see this story today at Salon [day-pass access requires watching a very short commercial].

Also of note was a good article at MSNBC on the blogging trend as it pertains to the mostly younger LiveJournal set (hi Ynnej, Yuliya, et al). Here's an excerpt that rings with truth:

"...If this new technology has provided a million ways to stay in touch, it has also acted as both an amplifier and a distortion device for human intimacy. The new forms of communication are madly contradictory: anonymous, but traceable; instantaneous, then saved forever (unless deleted in a snit). In such an unstable environment, it's no wonder that distinctions between healthy candor and 'too much information' are in flux and that so many find themselves helplessly confessing, as if a generation were given a massive technological truth serum..."

Follow-up to VH / Dave's friends post

Warning: Serious dorkdom to follow.

I forgot to mention: Surely another big part of the reason why this time spent with Dave's friends -- especially the after-concert socializing -- was so much more pleasuarable was because they spent a sold 25 minutes debating obscure Star Wars plotlines and details, not to mention philsophy related to whether the Rebel Alliance could be considered terrorists who mass-murdered more innocent people than the Empire when they blew up the Death Star (twice) and killed all the innocent contractors and laborers on board.

I decided not to point out that it was Luke who blew up the DS in IV, and he was only loosely affiliated withe Rebels at best, but I did tell them all to watch Clerks again to settle the argument.

Then I smilingly commented, "I can't believe you guys are seriously debating this." But I was secretly in love with all of them at that point.

Indeed, even Ynnej's dorkdom would have paled in comparison. Unless, of course, the discussion turned to that of half-elves or Shirefolk.

The future's so bright

Photo of the Day™ | random grab from the Mayhemcam

Van Halen (still) rocks

Not quite 100% as hard, but yes, they still rock. Probably 95%.

I went to the show with Dave and a bunch of his friends, and it was definitely the most pleasurable experience I've had going to a concert with Dave's friends (which I've done numerous times over the past few years).

Usually this is a slightly uncomfortable situation for me. Mostly this stemmed from the fact that I don't know any of these people, and therefore it's a little hard to be a part of the conversation when it revolves almost entirely around their jobs (since most of them also work together), dissing the mutual friends who didn't come to the show, and talking about sports teams. So usually I feel like the proverbial third wheel.

Not only did I typically have nothing in common with these people (other than knowing Dave), I almost always felt even more out of place because my life was so centered in my oh-so principled job in the nonprofit sector. My lifestyle, the sort of people I worked with, the people I knew, and the interests I had, were so far removed from these people's corporate jobs and lives, I couldn't talk with them very easily about anything mutual. Admitedly, there was even a tiny feeling of superiority on my part (the holier-than-thou "I make my living saving the planet, you make your living selling shit to people"). Regretable, but I acknowledge that a bit of that snuck in to my feelings.

I seriously think that my much better time at last night's Van Halen concert, and the hanging out at Brittania Arms afterward smoking and drinking, was much more pleasurable for me because of my recent shift away from my possibly-too-many-years-long nonprofit career. It has definitely put me in a slightly different mindframe.

Anyway, Van Halen rocked. The bandmembers all look really fit, and Eddie looks healthier and fitter than ever, although some people in our group said he was noticeably hurting from the arthritis. The sound was shite but the set was tight. A good time was had by all.

And because I don't have any photos of Van Halen but really felt like posting something rock 'n' roll, here's a photo of Ronnie James Dio instead (which is for Aaron, since we were rocking out to Last in Line last night).

Ronnie James Dio | San Jose, CA | 1990

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Yet another example

Yet another example of why I'm tired of working there. I work with people who make requests like this:

"Please put the prospect master for newsletter in my box so I can update."

What decade are these individuals living in? What's she gonna do with that "master," "Xerox it"?

I don't even know how to fulfill this request. I mean, quite aside from the disturbing use of terms that went out with the mimeograph, this individual has been working with me for a decade and still doesn't fathom that it works like this: 1) she gives me a change, 2) I make the change to the doc, 3) I give her back an original (or a master, if that's the way she wants it). How exactly does she think she's going to make the changes to a paper original? Cut and paste?!

Sheesh. I can't wait to work with people who live in the 21st century.

Another former Schoolie heard from

From Hilary Hulteen:

"...i'm living in an ancient little cabin (it was built in 1901 i believe) in a canyon village called sierra madre just outside of los angeles. though it's going to be i think increasingly difficult to be so far from the ocean (about 25 minutes), a river runs right behind the house outside my window so the sound of running water is comforting..

the email is just to pass on the word that if any of you or your crew are passing through this part of the world, i.e. LA or just on your way somewhere, consider this free lodging, whether i'm here or not. though the community here is really tight, this is my first experience living in a house on my own, and i'm stoked to be able to share it. there are a ton of gorgeous trails and a dam and a little market too - i'm just a few blocks from the end of LA county and the beginning of the national forest.. i'm also for the time being working at patagonia nearby, so if you want discounts on some super-green gear (including point blank surfboards), i'm your woman. :-)

BTW, if you haven't ever seen her photography, check it out. And she's geekly enough that she's been coding her own website by hand since she was something like 14.

PS> The photo of her gorgeous eyes featured on her homepage is by yours truly. Hils is an incredible beauty, inside and out.

I wish I was going to Alaska

Photo of the Day™ | Ynnej is going to Alaska. Lucky for her, this photo was actually taken in Massachusetts :P

Monday, August 09, 2004

Will work for sushi

I finished the r�sum� late last night (read: early this morning) and today I applied for a bunch of jobs. We'll see. I'm not holding my breath. But I did send my r�sum� to a particularly ideal job that I've told some of you about. I really hope they respond.

The rest of the day was beers at the BBC with Justin, Kathy, Velma, and John. John's an old friend of everyone else (and a new one to me) who's in town from Missourri for a visit. He was the librarian at the high school Velma and Justin went to, and a very cool guy. Not to mention a huge Heinlein fan who actually met and had a conversation with him years ago.

Justin and John had cigars on the patio of the BBC, and I bought Zippo fluid for Ynnej's new lighter.

The rest of the night was sushi and then hair metal talk with Aaron and Jenny (sort of -- she was knitting; she's not really into Dio all that much, can't imagine why ;) and then watching "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," which rules and Jenny'd never seen (!). Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in one movie? C'mon, how can you go wrong?

Photo of the Day™ on a limb? | Headwaters Grove, photo by Olya

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Good thing Ynnej's done with school

Because I am certainly going to be contributing to her time-wasting activities by linking to these Elven and Hobbiton fonts and these LOTR desktops.

One a day

The Daily Photo Project is an archive of photos of one man's face, from 1998 to 2004 (so far; and he says he'll continue until he dies). It's very interesting.

I've always wanted to do something similar to this with my kids, if/when I have kids. I think it'd be incredibly interesting to watch them grown in weekly or monthly photos. Maybe even daily, although how ludicrously hard would that be to accomplish?

But consider how interesting it would be, when you're older, to watch an animation/movie of yourself growing and changing from week to week.

[By the way, check out his BoxBots too.]

Photo of the Day™

Apple Store | San Francsico

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Photo of the Day™

I know Jason goes to Jamba Juice a lot, but apparently his habit has grown to the point that he is funding the 401k's of several of the employees at the Los Altos location. They love him so much they put his photo on the bulletin board. Jason, I think it's time for an intervention.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Jenny Day

To celebrate Jenny's birthday, which was actually Tuesday (but it was her last week of school, so I let her juggle me around in favor of her completing her final project for Java class, a bad-ass D&D character generator; I know, totally dork -- but hey, she did it in fuckin' Java! how cool is that?), I declared Friday to be Jenny Day.

I gave her a bunch of photos of Schoolies to remember them by, and a certificate that granted to the bearer three wishes, and guaranteed that I would indulge her in (almost) anything (one day only, some restrictions apply).

This is because, being the exceptionally good friend that I am, I normally flat out refuse to indulge Jenny in most of the just plain ridiculous things that she has a tendency to indulge in (self-pity, lack of self-esteem, and, well, self-indulgence, to name a few. but also, um, really really terrible movies).

Well, I try anyway.

Okay, so with this certificate she would be allowed, on Jenny Day only, to be indulged in any number of time wasting, childish, embarrassing, lame, stupid, bizarre, foolhardy, slackworthy, self-destructive, and/or completely drippy past-times that I ordinarily would veto out of hand. Like going to an incredibly cheesy girl-movie, for example.

But I also wanted to surprise her with something in particular I had planned, so I picked Jenny up and we drove up to San Francisco. Turning up 3rd, she commented, "I hope you're not taking me to the MOMA, because I'm not really in a museum mood today." Well, good thing I hadn't planned to take her to the MOMA!

Of course, I had planned to take her to a museum about a block and a half away, the Cartoon Art Museum. Well, I kept my mouth shut until we got there, and when I pointed to the sign and said, "I know you're not in a 'museum mood' today, but maybe the Cartoon Art Museum is cool enough to be an exception," she was either gracious enough to do a really good job of sounding like she really wanted to do it, or was actually being sincere.

Well either way, we checked it out. Small place (but not too small), really cool space (read: Mark's kinda architecture). And just the right size to be not too much for someone who was "not in a museum mood."

The current special exhibits are on political cartoons from 1800s-era SF newpaper The Wasp (fair), and Raggedy Ann and Andy (eh). But the other half of the galleries contain the permanent collection. Very cool stuff from the last 100 years or so, ranging from Fritz the Cat to Zippy and Peanuts to Astro Boy. The highlights for me were the animation storyboards and the Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes prints and sketches. My two favorite comics right next to each other on the wall!

So we also did some shoppin', some futile walkin' around looking for the damn Urban Outfitters, some Apple Store visitin', and some hangin' in the park, where a guy walked by with a huge smile on his face and excitedly exclaimed in a thick Japanese accent that "Some people they say you ugly!" while pointing at me. To which my reply was, "Great!" To which his reply was to repeat that some people, you know down there, down the path the other way from the way he was going, thought I was ugly. "Fantastic! Thanks!" And apparently he was very excited by my response, because his smile grew to a point that it could not possibly have gotten any bigger and still remained within the constraints of his face, and he gave me a double thumbs up.

Now I definitely want to move to San Francisco.

Photo of the (Jenny) Day™

Jenny's 3 wishes:
1) To watch sappy movie Love, Actually (which was actually pretty darn good), without me talking at all. Yeah, I didn't really hear that last part.
2) That I'd use a LiveJournal icon that she'll make for me. I shudder to consider the implications of this, but I agreed.
3) That we'll go snowboarding this winter. Well, it was late by the time she finally came up with this one, and we were both pretty tired, so I didn't bother to point out that I'd have done this one anyway.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Photo of the Day™

Yes, it's lovely Heidi Wall, she of the Evil Eye desktop (which some of you might remember from my old G3 laptop), and her dad Larry, one of the inventers of the famous and flexible Perl. The Wall family lives about 3 blocks from me, and I used to know Heidi before she went to WA for college (here we are in Berkeley, on one of the famous Book Crawls in 2000) but have kind of lost touch with her a couple years ago. Gonna have to look her up... While the Photo of the Day™ is usually by yours truly, today's cool/odd photo is by/© Julian Cash.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

What's your Geek Code?

Version: 3.1 |
GCA$$/IT$ d--(---) s+:+ a C++(+++)(>++++) B* U(>++++)
P+>$(>+++) L+(>++) ! W+++$$ N++ ! K w--- ! M++$ ? PS+++
PE(--)(-)(+) Y+(>++) PGP++ t+ 5(+) X++ R-(<+++) tv(--)
b++++(++) DI-- D--- G(--!) e* h(+)(++)(*) r---(r%) y+ z+(*($))

Another Blogger tool

...that Se�or Ables may want to try. Picasa's Hello + BloggerBot allows you to manage photos offline a la Apple's fabulous iPhoto, but also adds the benefit of working with Blogger (Google bought Picasa recently), which iPhoto does not. Alas, it is Windows only, so I cannot try it myself.
"...Just use Hello to send your pictures to BloggerBot. BloggerBot will automatically resize your JPG pictures, add your captions, and publish your pictures to the Web..."

Blog templates

For Jason, who was hoping for more choices for his blog's look, here are some suggestions. My cursory glance led me to believe that most of them suck pretty terribly, but I didn't look at all of them. The ones at seem pretty good.

Word of the Day™ here.

Photo of the Day™

Now with Minty Fresh Flavor™

Because Brian is the power of awesome. (And Voice of America rulez, man.)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Quote of the Day™

"I have been given the choice of playing God or leaving practically everything up to chance. It is my experience that practically everything is left up to chance much of the time; men who believe in good and evil, and those who believe that good should win, should watch for those moments when it is possible to play God."
– Dr. Wilbur Larch (The Cider House Rules, John Irving)

Definitely preferably

Going through some old files, looking for something else. Instead I found a letter I wrote to a rather special girl who helped teach me one of the most important lessons of my life: It's worth it to take risks for love.

thursday, august 30, 1995 / 2:08am

You're not even out of town yet and I already miss you. I realized, sitting here, that I've been thinking of you about every six minutes for the past four hours. Hmm. Looking at your picture, the one that's sitting near my desk, is not helping matters. There you sit on the shelf, smiling out from behind the plastic frame. It makes me laugh out loud. And smile.

I'm listening to a punk show on KZSU Stanford (just thought I'd mention it for atmosphere). I bet you're curled up in bed right now, sleeping, while the singer of this punk band screams "Fuck you!" in my ear (!). Interesting: I just changed the station and now Trent Reznor is singing "I wanna fuck you like an animal..." Hmmm. Irony is everywhere, and I forgot to bring my irony board.

I'm actually supposed to be working, designing an ad for the Weekly, but I'm not. I bet you guessed that. I'd rather be on a rooftop. But maybe not in a dress this time. But preferably with you. Definitely preferably. Being on a rooftop alone could be alright, but being on a rooftop with you far outstrips just your average oh-I'm-on-a-rooftop-all-alone evening.

{ I'm not at home in the galaxy } In case you were wondering, that's the lyric that just played on the radio. I'll keep you apprised of the lyrics if you wish. Actually, I'll do it against your wishes too. Ha! I put your name in my phonebook tonight. And your phone number. But I realized that you'd be moving to Santa Cruz soon and that made me a little sad. Only a little. Well, okay, maybe more than just a little. But Santa Cruz would be a cool place to live, and I know you'll have a very fun time. You appear to have a fun time most places. Which is a good thing.

There's someone hyperventilating on the radio now. Don't ask. I bet you're going to have a great time on your backpacking trip. Now that I've thought/written that I've been reminded again that I miss you and that you're going to be gone for ten days. Damn. Oh well, at least I've got this picture. I'll be able to remember what you look like, but I'll have to try really hard to remember what you feel like. How soft your skin is. How your earlobes taste. How much I like holding you. How much I like the way your hair gets all tangled whenever you come anywhere near me. And the way you smile. Hmmmm. This is going to be a long ten days...

Photo of the Day (aka happy birthday Ynnej)

Because 20 is a magick number.

Monday, August 02, 2004

There's nothing quite as annoying ants all over your Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I only put the box down for a farging hour! Smargle fegging grumble mumble...

5 of the hardest decisions of my life

In no particular order.

o Shutting down Western Front News, my first company and what I for a long time thought was going to be my lifelong career.

o Leaving the nonprofit organization I spent 12 years of my life helping to create.

o Breaking up with high school girlfriend Sharon -- whom I really, really loved but with whom I had a terrible, horrible relationship -- with no definite assurance that the other girl really liked me. (Luckily, she did. But it didn't make leaving Sharon much easier at the time.)

o Deciding to tell Diane that I had been secretly, incredibly in love with her for a year.

o Coming to the realization that Flux51 just wasn't going in the direction I wanted, and that it was time to break up the partnership and go our separate ways.

Photo of the Day

Redwood Park | Arcata, CA

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I had no idea

But tonight I learned that the feel of cashmere is (almost) better than sex. I also learned that it's apparently named after a goat from Kashmir. Hunh.

Photo of the Day