Entries for October 2000 (November 2000 »    December 2000 »    January 2001 »    Archives)


I got a chance toOCT 31

I got a chance to play the Playstation 2 the other day (courtesy of Taylor, who camped out to get one the first day it was out). I'm not a big game person so I didn't get that excited about it. Plus, I got my ass handed to me by pretty much anyone I played against. Looked very pretty though.

Well, it looks as thoughOCT 31

Well, it looks as though the gang over at Bloghop caught on to my little game of misdirecting votes to other weblogs. Now all the votes are going to kottke.org. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. That rainbow-colored meter over on the right will most likely disappear in a couple days...as implemented, Bloghop ratings are useless, except for those who can drive large amounts of traffic to their voting booths, which turns it into a big popularity contest.

I'll be attending Web2000 theOCT 31

I'll be attending Web2000 the latter part of this week. If you see me wandering around, feel free to come up and say hey.

I'll also be carrying a Palm Vx with a wireless connection around with me. Hopefully I will be able to post my thoughts and such from the show either directly to this site or to somewhere else (which I will then link to).

There's some excellent stuff todayOCT 30

There's some excellent stuff today over at Robot Wisdom. I want to point to about 6 things from the site, but I'll just direct you over there and let you root around.

I started my new jobOCT 30

I started my new job today. This is the fourth time that I've made such an announcement on this site. Hopefully, I will not have to make another for a long while.

The webcam will be back up soon. And, much to everyone's chagrin, I will be much less naked on it.

Now that I have this kick-ass laptop for work, I need a bag in which to haul it around. Here are some features I'm looking for:

- space for laptop, laptop accessories, Palm, cell phone, and other assorted goodies (pens, note pad, business cards, a book or two)

- separate padded laptop compartment

- padded "over-the-shoulder" strap

- black or other neutral color

- no huge logos (I'm already going to pay quite a bit for the bag...I don't need to advertise for them as well)

Are you currently using and enjoying such a bag? Email me with suggestions. Thanks in advance.

ps. The Vurt and Endo by Spire are both very close to what I'm looking for.

Jakob Nielsen on Magritte. viaOCT 28

Jakob Nielsen on Magritte. via Kaliber 10000

There's a signed first editionOCT 28

There's a signed first edition copy of Tolkien's The Hobbit up for bid on eBay. Only ~$16,000.

How much do I loveOCT 28

How much do I love DSL? Lots.

One of the niftier partsOCT 28

One of the niftier parts of the Amazon site: the Build Your DVD Collection section. It's perfect for a DVD fan such as myself and yet another reason why Amazon is better than 99% of the "just-an-online-catalog" ecommerce sites out there.

Seen on a truck inOCT 28

Seen on a truck in Nebraska: "Batesville Casket Company. Please Drive Safely, Heaven Can Wait!"

Nobody's really saying it, butOCT 27

Nobody's really saying it, but the blame for the situation the Timberwolves are in lands squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Garnett, his agent, and his monster $126 million contract. With that contract in place, the Wolves cannot get the players they need to help Garnett win a championship. That's why they did that under-the-table deal. So greedy. So dumb. No matter, though. Garnett and his big contract will be gone in a year or so anyway and the Wolves will be right back where they were.

I hate moving. I willOCT 26

I hate moving. I will be quite happy when it is all taken care of.

It took me three days to drive most of the way across the country. It used to take people months or more, if they made it at all (I zipped past Donner Pass at 85 mph along the way). With this Internet contraption, I can sit here in California, access files sitting in Minnesota, and communicate with someone in England in the blink of an eye.

The salt flats ended abruptly as I left Utah for Nevada. As I entered California from Nevada, the desert was replaced by rugged hills, tall conifers, and among the most beautiful views in the world. No salt and beauty for Nevada.

Hello from Nebraska, home ofOCT 22

Hello from Nebraska, home of the very first Arbor Day (or so the sign told me) and Almost Cool World HQ. The trip is going fine so far, not too much driving today. Aaron made me some angel hair pasta for dinner; we ate and reminisced about The Good Old Days™. Good times, noodle salad.

Well, my bedroom is bare,OCT 21

Well, my bedroom is bare, my car is all packed, and I'm ready to go. I-94 to I-35 to I-80 all the way to San Francisco. I'll be offline and away from email for a few days; behave yourselves until then, ok?

I'm going to see LegendOCT 20

I'm going to see Legend of the Drunken Master tonight. If you've ever enjoyed a Jackie Chan film even just a little bit, you should go see this movie. The fight scene at the end is amazing.

Rumor has it that WaitingOCT 20

Rumor has it that Waiting for Guffman is set to be released on DVD sometime before the end of the year. Rumor also has it that there will be 2 hours of deleted scenes on it. So. Damn. Cool. (rumor brought to you by Alex)

I posted a request aOCT 20

I posted a request a while ago about an instrumental version of Radiohead's Fitter Happier. Several people wrote in and pointed me here.

Thanks to those who haveOCT 20

Thanks to those who have written in with best wishes concerning my move to SF. I appreciate it. I'm also going to apologize for not writing any of you back personally...I'm busy packing up a storm and saying goodbye to friends and family, a process that I was not fully prepared for and has me a little overwhelmed.

Documentary trifecta: Hands on aOCT 19

Documentary trifecta: Hands on a Hard Body, Best in Show, and Waiting for Guffman. I'd seen Waiting for Guffman before (always excellent and well worth a rental), but the other two were recent views.

Hands on a Hard Body is an account of a contest in Texas to see who can win a truck by keeping one hand on it the longest without sitting, leaning, or kneeling. Sounds silly (and it sometimes is), but the folks competing in the contest want that truck so much that, as cheesy as it sounds, it becomes a life and death situation for them. A fun movie.

I was really looking forward to Best in Show and was not disappointed. Perhaps not as funny as Guffman, but might become so after a couple more viewings. Chistopher Guest was amazing as Harlan Pepper, a bloodhound-owning Southern gent; he nailed that accent *perfectly*. If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, you *cannot* miss with Best in Show.

Sweet poetic justice! The BurgerOCT 18

Sweet poetic justice! The Burger King that served me crappy food is no more. I drove by it a couple of days ago and it had burned down. There is a God, a vengeful God...and he has smitten my enemies!

The amount of processing powerOCT 18

The amount of processing power & throughput required to handle the information that the American citizen needs to analyze in order to make an informed decision in the upcoming presidential race exceeds the processing power & throughput of the human brain. This seems like a significant problem.

Deadline (NBC, 9pm EST) isOCT 17

Deadline (NBC, 9pm EST) is actually pretty good. I hope the show survives long enough to find an audience and its groove. Sidenote: the new NBCi site is NBCicky.

I don't really have anyOCT 17

I don't really have any explanation of the following poll...I just thought it would be neat to see the results. My guess is that we're gonna see a whole bunch o' sinnin'.

How many of the 10 Commandments have you broken in the past week?

You may also view the results without voting. Please note that the question is not asking how many times you've broken any of the 10 Commandments, but just how many you've broken.

This needs a bit ofOCT 16

This needs a bit of copywriting help (italics mine):

"Many states have resources on the Internet that help movers obtain necessary forms and information on-line, so you don't have to stand on line."

There are songs that makeOCT 16

There are songs that make me remember various times in my life...a soundtrack to life, if you will. Right now, the soundtrack to my life is "Everything in Its Right Place" off of Kid A by Radiohead. It just seems to fit.

Today is my last dayOCT 13

Today is my last day at B-Swing. Leaving a job is always hard. There are feelings of failure. A feeling of incompleteness, of a job half done. Abandonment. Missed opportunities. Friendships made that will never be quite the same after leaving. All my stuff in a box on the floor. People stopping by to say farewell. Leaving a job I really loved is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.

But new opportunities await in a new city. I'm ready....let's go.

Saw Almost Famous last night;OCT 12

Saw Almost Famous last night; it's a movie about rock stars...more or less. It was pretty good.

The problem with being an Internet "rock star" is that there's no sex, no drugs, and no rock 'n roll. Christ, why even bother?

Walking down the hallway outsideOCT 12

Walking down the hallway outside the office today, I caught a whiff of a familiar smell: that of Uncle Don and Aunt Mary's basement. Their basement was the very definition of peaceful and quiet and cool when I used to visit as a kid. There was an entire room filled with toys, not the noisy kind of toys, but the quiet kind that you could play with for hours by yourself, the rest of the world forgotten. They had an Intellivision hooked up to the nicest TV I'd ever seen; I played Pitfall, Tron Deadly Disks, B-17 Bomber, and Kool-Aid Man until my thumbs bled. A fish tank bubbled quietly next to the sliding glass doors which looked out upon the lake. A fireplace smelled of fires past and thousands of matchbooks lined the walls and filled giant glass bowls. It was a marvelous place.

Went to see BT lastOCT 11

Went to see BT last night with my friend Kelly. It was a pretty good show...and interesting as well. BT has expanded his repetoire since I last saw him. In addition to the playing the keyboards and some sort of mixing board (or something like that), he also played the guitar (electric and acoustic) and sang. Diverse, just like his latest album. "Never Gonna Come Back Down" and "Blue Skies" just weren't the same without the vocals of M Doughty and Tori Amos, though.

Hooverphonic was the opening act. They were OK...but they didn't play the song from that VW commercial, which is really the only thing I was hoping to hear from them. Yes, yes, I'm the guy in the back always yelling for the band to play their one popular song. So unhip. So uncool. You think less of me now. I do not blame you.

I also found out that Paul Oakenfold will be in town near the end of November. Ordinarily, this would be great news for me, but I will not be in town at that time. Crappity crap crap.

Project: Have some extra timeOCT 10

Project: Have some extra time today? Donate your design skills to openlog. It needs it.

Test Pattern is a newOCT 10

Test Pattern is a new site by a Minneapolitan Scott Wenner. I met Scott a couple of weeks ago and didn't know it. He didn't know it either. In retrospect, that's pretty funny (no, it's not).

You can make the words in the phrase "it is not" into a contraction in two ways: "it's not" and "it isn't". Which one is preferred? Should there be a third version: "it'sn't"? I'm assuming that version would be pronounced to sound like something close to the sound a bug makes when hitting one of those bug zappers.

Lines and Splines is aOCT 10

Lines and Splines is a new typography weblog run by Andy Crewdson, who has set me straight on typographic matters from time to time. Give it a shot if you like that font-type stuff.

High Fidelity is worth watching.OCT 10

High Fidelity is worth watching. John Cusack, as usual, is great. (Have you seen Grosse Pointe Blank? No? You probably should.) The High Fidelity DVD is even better because I liked the deleted scenes more than the rest of the movie.

Good October 8th post overOCT 09

Good October 8th post over at Peterme. It would be even better if I could link to it permanently. The value of microcontent on the Web (such as the content here and at Peterme) decreases without a way to permanently link to it. Pointers to content on dack.com & Zeldman's Daily Report suffer from quick link death as well. Come on boys, you've got some great stuff to say, and the masses want to link and share your thoughts. Why must you deny their impulse?

I used to get disappointedOCT 09

I used to get disappointed when an interesting email conversation died out. "More, dammit," I would say, "More!" In actuality, ending an email conversation is an art worthy of mastery. I like the small bursts of intense conversation followed by silence (a time for reflection, if you're following where I'm going here). In prolonged email conversations, the intensity of the initial exchanges can rarely be maintained and the effort of the conversation begins to outweigh the worth to the participants.

Just because someone is aOCT 09

Just because someone is a talented, well-known, and liked person in their field (like Web design, for instance), does that somehow put them above criticism? A related question: why is criticism usually viewed negatively?

Popular searches on kottke.org inOCT 08

Popular searches on kottke.org in the past two months: dog, dogfood, test, sex, kottke, design, food, flash, fuck, silkscreen, magnolia, meg, and tivo.

Weird searches on kottke.org in the past two months: asstastic, i like cake, bratwurst, chutzpah, will to love, motley crue videos, booty shaking, me pants, butt cheese, cow booger, and sexier than a pork sausage.

This Word suicide note looksOCT 08

This Word suicide note looks like a cheap ripoff of Paul Ford's Word suicide note (from his essay on Word).

Mario Kart 64 is stealingOCT 08

Mario Kart 64 is stealing my soul.

From the cutting room floorOCT 06

From the cutting room floor of The Onion:

MacArthur Foundation Funds Search for Real Slim Shady

The MacArthur Foundation announced Wednesday that they are funding a $1.8 million worldwide search for the real Slim Shady. Mr. Shady, last seen near his Lincoln, Nebraska home while grocery shopping, has been missing for almost 14 months. Until today, the search was confined to the efforts of Detroit-area rapper Eminem (née Marshall Mathers). "Mr. Mathers has made a tremendous effort on Mr. Shady's behalf," says Ronald Finch, a spokesman for the MacArthur Foundation, "but we felt it was time to expand the effort." Finch continued, "Mr. Shady is just not responding to Mr. Mathers' pleas to 'please stand up'. Clearly a stronger effort is needed. The MacArthur Foundation is glad to bring its considerable resources to bear in order to locate Mr. Shady."

Over the past week, I'veOCT 05

Over the past week, I've had to do three of the most difficult things I've ever had to do in my life. I've survived relatively unscathed. Whether that remains so long term, we shall see.

Here are all the commentsOCT 04

Here are all the comments on my site that I got from people trying out E-Quill. There are quite a few of them. This one is notable for pointing out that you can annotate other people's annotations. Meta! Whee!

I'm on the J CrewOCT 04

I'm on the J Crew mailing list. I don't know how I got on there, but there I am. Their mailings are formatted in HTML, making it difficult to read on my email client of choice, Eudora 3.0. In fact, their last message to me consisted of only a single sentence detailing how to get off their mailing list. Perhaps not what they had in mind when attempting to tell me about their "October must-haves".

Instead of reading my siteOCT 03

Instead of reading my site today, go read Clay Shirky's thoughts on why the Web grew quickly and, although secondary to his main point, why it's so damn cool: View Source... Lessons from the Web's massively parallel development. Sample quotes include "good tools tell you what they do, not what they're for" and "good tools allow users to do stupid things". Thanks to Tremendo for the pointer.

Also from Tremendo (among other places) comes the 17 Myths of Graphic Design. Some of it seems contrarian just to be contrarian, but some of it makes sense. Myth #15 was particularly interesting: "A broad portfolio will attract more clients. It may seem counterintuitive, but it's a law of marketing that the more narrowly you focus your portfolio, the more clients you'll attract...."

As a generalist (or a wannabe generalist), this alarms me somewhat.

I love this quote: "BeOCT 02

I love this quote: "Be elitist; it is better to read Spinoza than watch Big Brother." (Stewart Butterfield) Some thoughts pertaining to it:

- It is taken out of context. Go read the full account here.

- I am elitist. There. I said it.

- You are too. Breathe in. Accept. Breathe out.

- I don't know who Spinoza is. Well, I do now.

- I think Jim Carrey's work as Ace Ventura, Pet Detective was pure genius. I'm quite serious. Is it better to read Spinoza than watch Ace Ventura? I don't see how it could be.

Beware the words "always" and "never". "Always" is never the case and "never" is always wrong. See what I mean?

A non-exhaustive list of actorsOCT 01

A non-exhaustive list of actors appearing in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge "Freakin'" Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, and Nicholas Cage. I think one or two of them might have made some movies at some point after that as well.

I don't know for sure,OCT 01

I don't know for sure, but 50% off this 2 megapixel camera (discounted to $400) looks like a pretty good deal. We have this model at work and it's not too bad. I took all the photos for the Minneapolis Sign Project with it, and they turned out pretty well.

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