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, November 29, 2004

Nipping at my nose

Photo of the Day | Jack Frost is in the air | Yerba Buena Gardens | San Francisco, CA | October 29, 2004

Go north, young liberal

"I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?"

� Read the full article...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Sorry, we're closed

Photo of the Day | This Valencia Street shop decided to celebrate Buy Nothing Day | San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Verse chorus verse

Photo of the Day | Kurt Cobain | San Francisco, CA | by Tony Alves

Rare and wonderful

After several years of legal wrangling with Ms. Love, Krist and Dave have finally been able to release the Nirvana box set, "With the Lights Out."

The three-CD, one-DVD collection features many rarities and hard to find recordings, including an early Sub Pop recording of "In Bloom" with Dave on vocals, a live rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker," and much, much more.

You want it? Yeah, me too (my Wish List).

The paradox of our time

by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember to say "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Orange glow

Photo of the Day | CNET glows at night | October 22, 2004

Lucifer arisen

BeauSoleil gets an intense look on his face. "Before we could consummate our relationship, I was almost killed," he says in a voice that projects over the entire room.

I steal a peek at the tweaker-looking inmate sitting next to us and can tell he's trying his best not to eavesdrop.

SF Weekly has an interesting cover story this week on Bobby BeauSoleil, one-time semi-rockstar, contemporary of Anton LaVey, Kenneth Anger, and Charles Manson, and currently resident of the state prison system. A black, fascinating story of the descent of a youth who was by all accounts a charismatic, accomplished artist in the 1960s and '70s, but whose hedonism spun his life out of control and landed in him in prison for murder.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Looking up

It was only a few weeks after I moved to SF and started working downtown that I realized something I missed already about having previously always lived in more rural (okay, suburban) places.

I was taking one of my daily break-time exploration walks around the neighborhood of my office, and I passed a large ivy hedge that grows up a chain link fence near a parking lot on Clementina, when I was struck by the sound of a songbird. I suddenly realized that I hadn't heard a bird in The City yet.

I've since passed this hedge numerous times, and I almost always hear that little bird singing. At least I presume it's the same bird; Olya assures me that songbirds are territorial, so I assume it nests in the ivy. It's a nice sound to hear, especially when sounds of nature are so rare here and so often in danger of being drowned out by honking horns, trucks lumbering by, and the disrupting sounds of almost constant construction.

Yesterday, on another walk late in the afternoon, just as the daylight was waning and the sun shone orange-pink-red on only the uppermost floors of the tall downtown buildings, I noticed that hundreds of small dark birds were zipping by in huge swarms, about 150 feet up, seemingly heading toward the Bay. Migratory birds, I thought, heading south for the winter? I'll have to ask my birding expert.

It's funny how few people look up in cities. I like looking up. Buildings, rooftops, wires, interesting clouds. And even birds. I probably look like a tourist half the time, walking around as if I'm gawking up at all the tall buildings in the Big City. But who cares.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Photographer of the day

Well I've been slacking on posting the Photo of the Day. So, here's somebody else's work to look at.

Thanks to Diane a.k.a. Big D, who was able to figure out what photographer I was describing when I sent her a couple of rather cryptic emails trying to describe Robert ParkeHarrison's style (which is quite amazingly indescribable, so I don't feel so bad for not being able to put it in words properly). She had shown me a book of his work when I was in NC a few years ago, and I was simply blown away by it. A couple of weeks ago, when I was talking with Ynnej about photography and tried somewhat futilely to describe his work to her, I couldn't recall his name.

Here's his other site. It's really too bad that the small size of all the web images doesn't do justice to the work. It's much more impressive larger. Next time you're at the MoMA bookstore or someplace with a good selection of photo books, look him up.

Hey Velms, he's from Fort Leonard Wood, MO -- where's that?

Tell the rest of the world how sorry we are

Millions of Americans are ashamed of what happened on November 2. Many are using to apologize to the rest of the world for what BushCo's done in the past, and what they'll do in the future.

Whole Foods coming to MV

W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA. 55,000 sq. ft. Opening date to be announced.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I used to really like Colin Powell

But after his famed performance at the UN I lost some respect for him. Surely he knew that when he resigned, the hated Condoleezza Rice would be his replacement (anyone want to adopt a sniper?).

On one hand, I'm sure he's been raring to get out of that administration. But on the other hand, how coud he step down and let this happen? I hope he'll write a memoir now, because I'd really like to hear his side of things and regain some respect for a man I once regarded highly.

Help fight terrorism today. Adopt a sniper today!

You can help the poor, unfortunate snipers in the battle against global terrorism through Adopt a Sniper, a new program brought to us by the friendly folks at Sniper's Paradise and Snipers Online.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I finally have a home phone

I'm using voice over IP (VoIP), which means I can bypass Ma Bell (in this case, The Devil SBC) and route my telephone calls through my broadband Internet service provider straight to another VoIP user for free, or to another conventional phone user via their traditional Baby Bell service for an extremely low price. Yep, that's right. I am rid of SBC.

So you can reach me at home at the 415 number I sent out via email to many people last week. One of the many cool features of my VoIP service is free voicemail that automatically sends me an email when someone leaves a message. And I can listen to the message via the Web without even needing to phone in and check my voicemail. Cooool.

There are many other cool features. I'll expound on this later, since I've been working on a VoIP Special Feature for that will launch in a couple days.

Important note about my phone

If you're trying to phone me on my mobile number, I won't get the VM message right away. For some reason, my phone decided to stop ringing a couple days ago. Everything else seems to be working, but it doesn't ring when a call comes in. So reach me at the new work number during business hours, or call the new home number after tonight (I'm going home now to hook up the new voice over IP box to see if it works).

Now we know why he's called Dick Cheney

Sheesh. Why do people send me these things? And why the hell do I post them?

Have a Buy Nothing Christmas

Buy Nothing Day is just one day. But this year, you can have a Buy Nothing Christmas.

I'm not sure I'd be able to get away with this one with Mom. It's already a huge stretch that I'm having Thanksgiving at my house for the first time ever. I probably don't want to throw too many cultural curve balls in one year.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Own a vintage PowerBook

I'm selling this PowerBook 170 on eBay. Over the coming months I'll probably be selling other things that way.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I had no idea Diane was into graffiti

Photo of the Day | Mission Street sidewalk, downtown SF | October 27, 2004

Boxes everywhere

I'm tired of unpacking. But there are still about 50 boxes to go.

Okay, so I'm a bad person. It's still funny.

President Bush was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy".

So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a "tragedy."

One little boy stood up and offered:

"If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Bush, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," explained the president. "That's what we would call a great loss."

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Bush searched the room.

"Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Finally at the back of the room a small boy raised his hand.

In a quiet voice he said: "If Air Force One carrying you and Mrs. Bush was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy."

Fantastic!" exclaimed Bush. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?"

"Well," says the boy, "It has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Please give

I'm walking around this afternoon with a bright green bandage on my arm.

I gave blood for the first time today at work (or anywhere, for that matter). I've been wanting to do this for a while, and I even made an appointment at the Heinlein Society's blood drive in San Diego when I thought Ynnej and I were going to go down there for a comic convention a few months ago, but we ended up no going and I ended up not giving blood.

I've been a little freaked out about needles ever since I slipped in the tub as a little kid and cracked my chin open and needed stitches. It took something like four nurses to hold me down. I was pretty scared by the whole ordeal.

It always stuck with me, and whenever I've had a blood test since, I get a little nervous. Once of twice I got a tiny bit woozy. So even though I've always thought it would be great to donate blood, and I think it's an incredibly, wonderfully generous thing to do for your fellow wo/man and a totally insignificant sacrifice of time considering it truly is, as they say, the gift of life, I've always been too nervous to do it. Until today.

CNET made it easy by hosting the event. If your employer or school doesn't do the same, please consider making the tiny bit of extra effort to make an appointment at a location near you.

Wireless at 235 Second St.

If you're ever in the neighborhood of my office (235 2nd Street), you can hop on the wireless at CNET.

CNET advocates Firefox over IE

In a bold move, CNET has advocated moving away from the aging Microsoft browser. One of today's headlines on CNET is "Dump IE, get Firefox."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What Butterfly's been up to

Today's East Bay Express features a great covery story by Sam Hurwitt, You Say You Want a Resolution, about Julia Butterfly Hill and all the great work her Circle of Life Foundation has been up to in the last year or so, including a bunch of things I hadn't even heard about. Very good article.

An excerpt, from a speech Julia delivered to a gathering of animal rights activists: "A big part of what I stand for is being part of a movement that I call 'resolutionary,' which means being focused on solutions. I feel like we've gotten so good at defining what we're against that what we're against is beginning to define us. So I'm here to try on the idea of what an animal-rights movement would look like from a position of building what we are for, not just taking down what we're against."

Oh, and by the way, this weekend is the second We the Planet concert/festival.

Mixed up mashups

Ynnej might be interestesd in "Brazil is Full of Love" [MP3, 256 kbps, 12.1 Mb], a Bjork vs. Death Cab for Cutie vs. Cat Power vs. Chris Isaak mashup by the incredible DJ Earworm.

Monday, November 08, 2004


I walked past this place on my way home tonight. Gotta go back and check it out when they're open some time. Cool T-shirt designs.

U.S. foreign policy redux

A view from a couple o' blokes across the pond. And a really excellent use of motion graphics and type. [Quicktime, 24.8 MB]

Olya Milenkaya :: Selected Works 1998-2001

The Russian artist and midget activist (no, that doesn't mean she's pro-midget-rights, that mean's she's small and an activist) has returned to the States, and is probably en route from NY to CA as I type this.

Since I have felt incredibly, terribly ashamed that I have lagged for so long on completing her website, which I've been promising to do for *ahem* about three years, I stayed up late last night completing at least a portion of Olya's color work.

In my defense, the last three months have seen every significant part of my life go through incredible changes, but yeah, there's really no excuse for not having finished it before then. I'd promised I'd finish it before she returned from Siberia, so I figured I should make an honest attempt at doing some of it, or I'd feel like a complete ass and a terrible friend.

Teeming masses demand more pictures. And salve.

New readers are flooding to in droves. Three -- count 'em, three! -- new readers have posted comments of late:

Mr. Stephen Coles, he of Typographica and of splendid type-related photos of signs in Stockholm, has demanded more photos of the new loft now that I'm all move in. Sadly, my wonderful Sony camera died several weeks ago, so new photos may not be forthcoming for a little while. And since this past weekend saw the arrival of my final truckload of stuff, any photos of the place at present would merely make it look like a storage locker. Mostly boxes, stacked six or seven high. But hey, Stephen, I've been meaning to get back to you about going out to lunch sometime. How about next week?

Recently an anonymous poster was the second of our dear readers to rain praise on us for posting simple directions for how to listen to Air America radio on iTunes.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, Mr. Crack -- lately a prolific but nevertheless anonymous newcomer -- has asked Dr. Bult to recommend a salve to soothe his tender bits.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Who the dell is Mr. Crack?

Apparently I have a new reader. And a frequent commenter.

I know how you feel

Photo of the Day | Newspaper Rack, 1 Day After Election 2004 | 2nd Street, San Francisco

Whoops, sorry

From ABC News / AP: U.S. fighter jet strafes New Jersey school. Aren't they supposed to wait until they're deployed to a foregin country before they shoot up schools?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

What liberal media?

You probably won't see in the newspapers or on TV that a couple thousand people marched through San Francisco last night (not to mention many other U.S. cities) to protest the election.

$12 Ynnej will want to spend

The Future Soundtrack of America

Aaron rocks

Yesterday I had an IM conversation with Aaron, my buddy who's in art school in Boston.

so when are you coming to visit me

dude, i totally want to visit Boston again.

I have to figure out if I'm going to go there or to Missouri next spring, now that I have a 'real' job, and i have to watch my actual vacation days

well mass is way cooler

yeah, i know, but Velma wants to show me Missouri

yeah well

velma isint as rad as me

dude, velma gives me hot sex, therefore she is radder than you by a mile. sorry, way it is.

I guess

but Im artsyer

true, you are artsier


but she has a better ass.

and she'll let me draw it.


Velma wins

The Swiss will reap the rewards of yet another harmless substance banned by your U.S. government

SF Chronicle: "Absinthe with a low level of thujone is already sold legally in a number of other countries, including Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Austria, Japan, Sweden, Italy and Britain, but not the United States. The Netherlands lifted its ban on absinthe sales last July..."

My fellow Burners and myself polished off a bottle of absinthe flown in to the desert just in time for the Temple burn this year. Needless to say, I had to steer Velma to the Temple that night. She had a bit, um, too much. Couldn't see straight.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mixed emotions

I am happy today because, after nearly a month of waiting and numerous problems, I finally have Internet at home. Of course, it took all morning (another half-day I had to take off work) to wait for the Covad guy, and then over an hour when he finally got here (but Rick from Covad was a good guy and did a great job once he was here). As an aside, my own part of the installation took all of 4 minutes.

However, the elation I'd normally be feeling at no longer being deprived of my connection to the rest of the world is somewhat dampened by the fact that I am in a pisser of a mood because of national events over the last 24 hours, and I am currently listening to the rest of the country's president deliver a speech with sentences like, "America has spoken, and I'm humbled by the trust of Americans." Fuck you, you pig asshole lying prick. I don't trust you as far as I could successfully spit a rat. You're not my president. Your government is not my government. I renounce you.

Yes, I am angry and disheartened. Shame, America. Shame on you.

Monday, November 01, 2004

It's official

I'm now officially tired of moving. I've been moving boxes and furniture every weekend (and several weeknights) for a month, and I've got one more to go.

Today my feet are killing me. Last night I could hardly stand on them by midnight. It was actually painful to stand in the shower and I could hardly wait to collapse into bed.

This whole move thing has not been aided by the wonderful timing of my dad selling his house at the same time, since this subsequently meant I had to move several decades of accumulated stuff out of his attic too.

Luckily, I've had some help. Velma's helped numerous times packing and moving boxes and furniture, plus she took on the burden of making several trips to Goodwill and the Computer Recycling Center. Not to mention that she helped sort and move stuff from my dad's attic not once but on two Saturdays.

Jason's helped on one trip to The City -- his truck full of my books -- a fact which he will remind me of at every opportunity for the next ten years. And Dave helped for about an hour yesterday, but he's promised to help all afternoon this coming Saturday. And Jessica helped muscle furniture up the stairwell a couple weeks ago with Velma. And Willhelm brought a truckload of stuff up too.

Now I have to convince Peter D. that he can work of at least a couple of the 100 or so favors he owes me if he comes to help on Saturday for the last of it...