You people are pretty cool. I got some great voicemails this time around....and no music or static. I still have a little bit of time left on there, so scroll down a bit to find the number, give me a call, and leave me a message.
Online Repertory Theatre has an interview with yours truly online. Well, I guess it would have to be online, otherwise it would be Offline Repertory Theatre. <rimshot> I'll be here all week folks, don't forget to tip your waitress.
This is pretty neat: the daily headlines over at mod7 takes a daily event and represents it visually. A graphical weblog?
If you're in Minneapolis, you *must* dine at the Modern Cafe. There's all sorts of great stuff on the menu, but the roasted chicken is so good, I can't bring myself to try anything else.
My dad: "I just had to get out of the house and go somewhere, you know?"
Me: "Yeah, but that's what the Internet is for."
My dad: "Travel on the Internet is like eating apple pie on the Internet. It's just not the same."
You really haven't lived until you've gone toilet plunger shopping with Bryan Boyer. Well, I mean, you have...if you can call that living.
I just saw Boys Don't Cry. Great movie....and Hilary Swank deserved the hell out of that Oscar she got, but I don't ever want to see it again. I've not been that disturbed by a movie in a long, long time. As I was sitting in my seat in the theatre, leaning forward, my elbows resting on my knees, propping my head up, I felt this ball of rage welling up within me. It still hasn't subsided...I was in a daze on the trip home, like driving in a dream.
For some reason, currently unknown to even me, I've updated the about and biography sections of this site. If you're new to kottke.org and have no clue as to what is going on here (which is entirely likely due to the minimal explanation of what this site is), the about section is the place to go.
Well, I haven't seen it yet, but Derek has taken his site down...presumably to put up the new design he's been working on.
Everyone is talking about words. Not enough words, too many words. War and Peace is great. Haiku is great. It's all good.
Ok, the last time I posted my voicemail number here, all I got was a bunch of people playing me music and soundclips from movies....or 2 minutes of static. While I appreciate the thought put into the selection of the music, I don't really want any of that this time around. Talk to me. Tell me something. It's toll-free: 1-877-218-0260 ext.358.
5 days and counting until the deadline for the 5K Award contest. Get your entries in, kids.
Teens overcome by the Holy Spirit at Citgo Station. Replace all instances of "The Holy Spirit", "God", and "Christ" with the word "marijuana" or the phrase "copious amounts of alcohol" and suddenly those pictures start to make a lot more sense. Try it, it's fun! (link from CamWorld)
Well, the Oscars didn't suck so bad after all. I was kinda pissed that some of the better films from last year weren't nominated, but at least American Beauty won Best Picture, Sam Mendes won Best Director, and Kevin Spacey got Best Actor.
Did you know that comedian Jonathan Winters was the voice of Papa Smurf? That's Smurftastic!
I've been using ICQ a little bit over the last couple days. It's interesting how the communication that happens via instant messaging is different from other types of communication:
- IM messages tend to string along from topic to topic, one topic at a time. Very rarely, two topics may be going at the same time. There's very little context from one message to the next...it's almost stream of consciousness. It's sometimes difficult to change the subject without interrupting the flow of the conversation.
- Email messages cover a variety of topics at once, often with extensive context from past emails built in. Email conversations, even those between two people, often splinter into different threads. Changing the subject is easy....you just introduce it in a new email or append it to a reply to an existing thread.
- Chat conversations are a lot like IM conversations, except shorter.
- Phone conversations convey more information in a shorter time span simply because most people talk faster than they can type. Plus, you can glean information from the person's tone and inflection. Natural speaking pauses allow people to change the subject easily.
- In-person conversations offer the most information in the shortest period of time. Unlike most of the other types of conversation listed here, you can't really do other things while talking with someone in person. With email, IM, and chat, you can surf or balance your checkbook while waiting for people to reply...and there are any number of things you could be doing whilst on the phone.
You know, I'm all for personal expression, but having an air freshener shaped like a pot leaf hanging from your rear view mirror pretty much assures that your car is going to get tossed by the police if you're stopped for a moving violation.
The recording industry in this country makes tons of money selling crappy music to people by telling them they need to listen to it. With online music, you can pretty much listen to whatever you want, when you want. When people don't have to listen to crap anymore, do you think they will anyway? Maybe that's why the recording industry is scrambling to get control over online music distribution....just imagine how much effort and money would be involved if they actually had to start producing good music.
Believe it or not, I remember Oscar nominee Hilary Swank from The Next Karate Kid. I don't know if I want to remember that anymore.
You'd think if a corporate logo contains the URL for that company's Web site, that URL should work, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong.
For all the talk about how the Internet gold rush is changing the financial landscape of American business, few have noted that the folks that are getting rich are the founders of the tech companies, the VC people, and the folks at the big trading houses. What do all these people have in common? They are all predominantly white males. Business may be changing, but the power is still in the hands of the people who have been in control of things for quite some time. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
All this meta meta meta stuff needs to stop. It reminds me of crap like Soap Opera Digest and Entertainment Tonight....both of which are very icky. You know who you are and what I'm talking about.
I seem to have started something by adding a permanent bookmark link to my entries....now everybody's doing it. Even Dave.
More links appearing on Google's front page: the Google directory, a page urging people to tell their friends about Google, and a link to their new affiliates program. How much longer can they hold out before turning all portal-riffic on us? Just think of the uproar on Slashdot if they start putting content into multiple columns on the front page. The horror!
I found $12 on the street today. Believe it or not, I saw the money on the pavement from a moving car...I drove right over it. I was amazed that in the split second I saw it, I was able to discern that it was money and not a leaf or something.
A lot of stuff happens in my life that I don't write about here....and that's been happening more and more lately. I don't write about it because a) it's not really all that interesting, or b) there are too many people that I know (online friends, offline friends, ex-girlfriends, parents, co-workers, etc.) that read this thing, or c) it really doesn't fit in with what my goal for the site is. Truth be told, reasons a) & c) have never really stopped me before...but reason b) has. Which is OK....this is really isn't a personal journal in that sense.
But sometimes I really want to post that sort of stuff.....not necessarily here, but somewhere. And then I get to thinking: why don't I just write it down somewhere private...a Word doc on my computer or in a paper diary? Somehow, that seems strange to me though. For a lot of the personal Web publishing crowd, the Web is the place for you to express your thoughts and feelings and such. To put those things elsewhere seems absurd. Or is it just me?
Just a friendly reminder...there's only 10 days left to get your entry in for the 5K Award contest. I think there have been quite a few entries, but none of them are as good as yours will be.
I tweaked the settings on my webcam last night. The lighting still sucks where I sit, but you may notice a clearer picture from now on.
Orange juice mixed with Mountain Dew is surprisingly good. I don't like coffee, so this might be a good way to kickstart myself in the morning.
This is great: there's a Yahoo! page dedicated to the company's softball teams. It's not too terribly up-to-date, however.
This site would be powered by Blogger if Jason weren't such an anal retentive wanker.
Neat toys! Neat toys! Jason loves neat toys! The lego font creator is a Shockwave app that lets you make words and other stuff out of Lego pieces. I made this very quickly...before I realized they let you do color. :)
A stale green light is a green light that is almost ready to turn yellow. You can tell a stale green light from a fresh one by the observation of a frantically blinking "don't walk" signal.
Based upon a few factors, your car insurance company basically assigns you odds that you will do something that will result in the company having to fork over some money to someone (they might say, for example, that I have a 1-in-100,000 chance of damaging my car somehow). These odds are inversely proportional to the amount of your insurance payment. Now, when you do something that costs your insurance company money (getting into an accident, for instance), you are assigned new odds (and a new, higher payment). When you think about that in terms of the probability theory of random events (10 tails in a row doesn't mean a higher probability for a tail on the 11th flip...it's still a 50/50 chance), it hardly seems fair, does it? (I know, I know, apples and oranges).
The Web is a multi-million member mailing list with everyone using HTML-formatted mail.
Seen on the mudflaps of a semi truck: "Jesus is Love. Transport for Christ."
Movies recently viewed: Contact (again), Eyes Wide Shut (again), and Mission to Mars (never again).
This is what passes for an update these days? Repurposed content and a list of movies I watched this weekend? Jebus.
The one movie I'm looking forward to seeing this spring more than any other right now is Time Code 2000 (I know, the site kinda sucks, here's another link). What's noteworthy about this film is that: a) it was shot in real time with no cuts; and b) the screen will be divided into four parts, with different action going on in each of the four quadrants. I'm anxious to see if this format will be as exciting to me as that of Run Lola Run, or as boring as all the quick-cut, steady-cam, MTV-inspired crap that's inundating TV and movies these days.
I wrote my first Epinion in quite a while the other day. Actually, that's a lie. I just repurposed my top 10 movies of 1999 bit from this very Web site.
I started keeping my thoughts on this Web site over two years ago. Where does the time go?
Openlog has been redesigned to a pink & red version of kottke.org.
If you are on a mailing list or participating in an online discussion area, don't reply to every single message. Especially if it's only a one-word reply.
Whew. As mentioned yesterday, I'm back from SXSW. It was a lot of fun: my two panels went well (why wasn't I the least bit nervous for either?), I met lots of people that I only knew online (except for Mark...where the hell were you?), saw lots more I already knew (Lance sez: "Hi, I'm Courtney's boyfriend..."), and generally had a wonderful time. It was tiring though....this is Jason by the third day of the conference. Sleepy sleepy.
In a related story, that dastardly hacker who has been updating my site for the past five or so days has been expunged. You never know, he might strike again soon.
I found out that kottke.org has been nominated for a Webby Award in the personal Web site catagory. Evidently, the Webbys are a big deal (Matt Groening, Esther Dyson, DJ Spooky and David Bowie are all judges); akin to the Oscars, only for interactive media. I'm not really going to comment on it much more than that. Although it would be great if you voted for kottke.org for the People's Voice Awards, I would encourage you to look at the rest of the nominees before casting a ballot. Let's try not to turn this thing into a popularity contest where the Web site with the most hits wins....or didn't we learn anything from high school? I voted for Metababy.
Best piece of SXSW schwag goes to Heather for her Harrumph Sweet & Low packets. They are as cute as she is (if that's possible).
I have to agree with Heather on this one: Cam gets a little giggly at times. I saw it happen.
Hello, Greg. I am here, meaning Minneapolis. No time now to post....probably more tonight late. In the meantime, let's all give Greg a big round of applause for keeping the fire burning here @ kottke.org. And while you're clapping, tell Greg he needs to start doing this again on a regular basis....I sure enjoyed his entries, especially this one.
What the world needs now is more benches. I love benches. And the San Fernando Valley has, roughly, six. I'll walk over to 7-Eleven, grab a Slurpee and end up sitting at the bus stop -- with a lovely view of, um, the street -- to enjoy it. When I'm in charge (and, oh yes, that day will come) any piece of grass bigger than a hundred square feet or so will be required to have a bench facing it. And maybe someone there to give neck rubs, too.
I hate. I hate, and I can tell you who I hate, specifically. I can give you an address. Out of the six billion people that currently roam the planet, I can identify the one person whom I hate the most. That should probably bother me more than it does.
Ever forget where you are in your shower-order? "OK, did I wash my hair yet? I don't remember. Damn. I think I did, but that could have been yesterday. My hair's wet, but... Damn."
Geez, I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel today, aren't I? Jason? You out there? Hello?
Los Angeles has a long, distinguished tradition of amusingly named Agricultural Commissioners. If you spend enough time in front of a gas pump -- and if you live in LA, you spend plenty of time there -- you'll eventually notice the little decals that declare everything's been tested by the state. And proudly emblazoned on each decal is the name of the man at the top, the head honcho gas-pump-accuracy-wise: Cato R. Fiksdal!
And while Mr. Fiksdal -- Cato to his friends -- is certainly a noteworthy addition to the pantheon, he doesn't old a candle to his predecessor: E. Leon Spaugy.
How bad does your first name have to be to go with "Leon"?
So I've joined Jackass Nation. Last week, my boss got me this ridiculously small cell-phone, complete with every technological miracle they can pack into something smaller than my mouse. It chaffs a lot less than the leather leash he was using before.
But, for all its digital marvels, the damned interface on the thing sucks. "OK" is on the upper-left, making the majority of the population (righties) do a thumb reach across the face to get at it. "End," "Clr" and "Menu" are used pretty much randomly. The arrow keys sometimes move you around and sometimes bring up features. Aaaargh.
One day, one wondrous day in the future, every little tech gizmo we've got attached to our bodies will abide by the Principle of Least Astonishment. They may not end up doing exactly what you expect, but at least you'll spend a lot less time muttering, "What the hell?"
At 11 o'clock today, Jason is going to appear on the SXSW Weblog panel with--
Hey! There he is now! Hi, Jason! Jason! Up here! Hi!
Geez, man, couldn't you wear a clean shirt? I mean, look at Derek. He wore a clean shirt. And Matthew and Meg -- they're all dressed up nice. Sheesh...
Note to self: Everything's an adventure when you're stupid.
Note to self: The way to a man's heart is through his rib-cage.
Note to self: "Note to self" is a pretty tedious conceit to mention stuff that you thought up in the car.
Finally! A site that speaks to me! In a droning monotone.
Four words: Steve Forbes, Van Halen. I wish I had the chutzpah to pester strangers for their opinions.
Remember, vote for kottke.org for the Webby Personal Site awa-- No! Wait! Vote for metababy.com!Arrg! Give me that! Vote for kottke.or-- Metababy! Vote for Metab-- Kottke! No! Agh! Mmmbf!
Bear with me on this:
You're a point (Y). Off in the distance somewhere is a line that represents your death (D). Two other lines (E1, E2) -- the extremes of what you can do with your life -- radiate at an angle (A) from Y, eventually crossing D.
Now, time -- cruel, marching time -- is constantly pushing Y forward, shrinking the distance between where E1 and E2 cross D (assuming A remains constant). If you spend ten years walking the straight and narrow of E1, then the place where E2 originally intersected D is gone, forever and always out of reach. You could spend the rest of your life heading along E2, but you'd never quite reach where you might have been.
I spent Saturday afternoon sitting on the lawn in front of my house with my one-year-old son. It was a glorious Los Angeles day, clear, slightly breezy, warm. The neighbors' tree shaded us, and Tom bounced around the grass, yanking it up and tossing it away. He pulled himself up by my shirt and grabbed at my glasses and smiled and laughed.
Sometimes I wonder about E2, about where I might be if I had made different decisions. Happier? More adventurous? Kinder? A better person? If the whole of possibility was spread out before me again, would I still end up where I am now?
Tom blinked in the sun as an airplane passed overhead, and then reached out to grab at it.
And everything else I might have been was forgotten.
Well, this is sort of creepy:
|George W. Bush
|George H. W. Bush
|Al Gore, Jr.
|Al Gore, Sr.
|John S. McCain
Tell the truth now.
Didn't you pretty much expect Jorn Barger to look like this?
Another missed opportunity: someone else has grabbed www.wheresmypants.com.
G'bye, Jason! Bye! Be sure and write! I put your initials on your underwear so we don't repeat the fiasco that happend last time you went to SXSW! And, remember, if someone in Texas offers to show you their "Governor Bush," run away and tell an adult you trust.
Hi, everybody. I'm filling in for Jason while he's off playing with the cool kids. Bear with me, because I'm new to this whole weblogging thing -- you'll have to forgive me if I don't manage to dredge up the latest, keenest links.
In fact, screw it. Let's do just the opposite: here's something from the pre-Web, Mesozoic Internet, back before the dawn of time.
RICHH was the first writer I stumbled across on-line that just amazed me. Funny, smart, sweet, rude, he was -- for me, at least -- the Internet's Poe, the first great writer of the New World.
Plus, he did terrific porn.
For big kids only: the just-launched almost.org, tales of near-sex experiences.
Well, I'm off to SXSW this evening...I'll be back on Wednesday, late. If you're heading there as well, make sure you locate me and say "hey". There are a couple of easy ways to find me:
- I am doing a mentoring session on Sunday, March 12 from 11am-12:30pm. Basically, you can sign up to chat with me for 10 minutes. Why anyone would want to do that, I don't know. But if you feel like talking, sign up.
- I am speaking on two panels on Tuesday, March 14: the Weblog Roundtable from 11:00am-12:30pm and Cease and Desist from 3:30-5:30pm. You don't have to listen to me prattle on about nothing, but stop by near the end to say hi.
One more thing: Greg Knauss will be taking over posting to kottke.org until I return. Greg has written for all sorts of places, including Suck, teevee.org, and Worth Magazine. I hope you'll find him as entertaining and enlightening as I do. I'm sure he won't pass up the opportunity to do something goofy here while I'm showing my site to folks at the Weblog panel on Tuesday.
If you like to windowshop at Amazon (as I do), but don't want to buy anything from them due to their recent crappiness, you can use this handy bookmarklet from Peter Dapkus. Basically, it takes you from a page on Amazon and whisks you to the equivalent page on Fatbrain's site. (thanks, Molly)
RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths. (thanks, Steve)
I know it's not fair to toy with automated systems, but I couldn't resist searching for strange words at thesaurus.com and then looking at how the Amazon banner (on the right) tells me to shop. Hee hee. (Even better are these searches from Dictionary.com)
We got outsmarted by a clown at a Perkins in New Brighton. It was a strange night all the way around.
A note for those of you attending SXSW: Bryan and I were talking a while back and we figured that instead of saying "South by Southwest", which is a mouthful, it would be easier to sound out the acronym and pronounce it as "sick-sow" (you know, like an ailing pig). Go ahead, try it on, see if it suits you. I'm not entirely sold on it yet...it still sounds a little strange and pretentious when I say it.
Mark Frauenfelder brings us Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things, a Blogger joint. Mark is responsible for, among other things, Boing Boing magazine, The Happy Mutant Handbook, and being a co-founding editor of Wired Online. I'm looking forward to reading this one. (p.s. He also has his own mini-Yahoo of nifty links. Very....er....nifty. Ahem.)
It's 5:30 in the morning....and Jason's cranky.
My friend Mark has turned me into a William Shatner fan. And when I say I'm a fan, I mean that in the most sardonic sense possible. In that spirit, the William Shatner Acting Simulator is only mildly amusing (click the right-most red box for the best soundbyte).
Ever so slowly, a redesign of kottke.org is forming in my head. Too bad I won't get around to implementing it for quite a while. I don't even have any time to watch the kick-ass movie I got in the mail today. Alas.
If you need to say you're the best, that's probably not the case.
I need to be more careful what I wish for. I really wasn't expecting to get any entries for the 5 Bytes Contest...it was just a little joke. However, since people did send me entries, I suppose I should declare a winner. The prize-winning entry was actually sent in by my mother...who isn't that Web-savvy, but is apparently getting moreso by the day. Go, Mom!
Since that contest went over so well, and since Stewart thinks he can trump me with his 5 bit contest, I'll go him one better and present the 1st Annual 5 Pixel Contest. That's right, use any five pixels to make a pattern. Here's an early entry:
See, you don't need all those superfluous pixels to draw those 1s and 0s....5 will do just fine.
Meta: Busy week ahead as I prepare for SXSW and finish up some stuff for Deepleap. If I don't answer your email, don't worry, I'll get to it. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just ignoring your email. :)
I went to Manny's Steakhouse last night with some friends. The double-cut of prime rib (AKA The Mountain of Cow) that I had was about the size of my head. Oh man, was it ever good though.
Quote of the day, paraphrased from a mailing list: "Intolerance will not be tolerated." Excellent!
In anticipation of the 5K Award competition, kottke.org presents the 5 Bytes Contest. So far, this is my favorite entry. I know it's going to be hard to beat, but send me your entries! The grand prize is any change you can find between the cushions of your couch. Those persons who do not own couches are ineligible and may not enter. Void where prohibited.
This guy is bringing us the next big thing in Web applications? Be afraid, be very afraid. ;) (hi, bryan!)
Finally. Did you notice the little icon next to today's date? It links to the permanent URL for this entry. Use that URL to bookmark or link to this particular entry. I've also done the same for the previous entries for this month. At some point, I'll go back and do this for all the previous months' entries as well.
Oh wow. Our best wishes go out to Keith Brown and his wife as their 7-month-old daughter recovers from heart surgery. I choked up a little when I read this:
"when you're seven months old and your chest hurts and you're in a loud place with strange people poking you with sharp things every few minutes and you can't always see mommy and daddy, it can be a scary thing."
Children are frail, yet so strong. Go, Fiona, go!
Apps like Napster, Shoutcast, and LAUNCHcast present some real problems for the music industry....and not just because of the piracy issues. The music industry (not to mention the movie and TV industries as well) is currently geared towards producing a high volume of less-than-mediocre product and cramming it down the throats of the public with tons and tons of advertising and marketing.
With these sites and applications, people can choose what they want to listen to, not what MTV or the "local" radio station wants them to listen to. Hopefully, the "try before you buy" nature of the online music community will result in a higher quality product delivered to consumers from the record labels....now that we can test drive music, we're not going to buy lemons anymore.
An aspiring playwright presents Titanic(er).
Following the lead of a co-worker of mine, I went through the Guess the Dictator and/or Sitcom Character game as myself. The computer thought I was Jack Tripper from Three's Company. I should have seen that coming.
Passed along without comment: WinerLog on EditThisPage.com. Bees! Bees in my hair! Aieeee!
The astute reader will notice that the above article is written by the same guy who wrote yesterday's article on Amazon URL hacking. There's a funny story behind that, but there's no time to tell it right now.
An article over at Wired News this morning about the 5K Award. Your humble Web publisher has a small quote. Side note: I give really crappy phone interviews.
Palm Inc. (PALM) went public today, closing at 95 1/16, up 57 1/16 from its IPO price. In celebration of this event, I once again present to you Simply Porn (just the ads, ma'am).
From the fake hacks department: Jorn Barger is featured over at Wired News as coming up with a clever way to hack Amazon and take money out of Jeff Bezos' pocket. That's great, except that:
- It's not a hack. Or even close. It's just the way the Amazon Associates program works. Since when is hacking entering a URL into your browser's location window? Come on, Jorn....
- Any purchase from Amazon is good for them, one way or another. You want to take money out of Bezos' pocket? Don't buy from Amazon.
These two points lead me to believe that the writer of the article didn't really do any research for it....research that took me all of 30 seconds to do...and I'm not even close to being a journalist. Jesus Christ on a bike.
Stolen! These knobs pilfered Lance's glassdog.net design and are unapologetic about it. (Update: the offending party appears to be taking it down...or something)
More Web theft! Dave's worked hard over the years on a design for Scripting News, and now all these folks (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, among others...) have gone and stolen it from him. Frankly, I'm appalled.
Well, it looks as though the outcry against DoubleClick's plans to electronically stalk people around the Web is paying off. Kosmo and Altavista are scaling back their involvement with DoubleClick. In particular, Altavista accounts for 20% of DoubleClick's revenues. Perhaps the same thing will work with Amazon, the USPTO, and this whole patent mess.
Webcam picture of the day - The Headless Designer:
Uploading was supposed to be something really cool. Now it's "coming maybe", or perhaps never....sorta like the rest of the Web.
Deepleap has their own commercial. What's not to like about a fat man dressed in red jumping in a pool? (Note to self: try the alpha when you get home tonight. Stop slacking, dammit!)
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