Entries for April 2001 (May 2001 »    June 2001 »    July 2001 »    Archives)


May 1st Reboot - AAPR 25

May 1st Reboot - A Reinvigoration of the Web.

Reboot? Reboot? Reboot? Reboot? WTF? Rebooters?

Skiboot! - A Reinvigoration of Ski Footwear.

Sweet zombie Jesus...it looks likeAPR 24

Sweet zombie Jesus...it looks like MTV is using Silkscreen a little bit on their site. Bees!

My new favorite site is....APR 24

My new favorite site is.... Pseudodictionary:

"this is the place where all of your made up words, slang, webspeak and colloquialisms become part of the dictionary as well. we take the words you use every day, but aren't in the dictionary, and put them into ours. all you have to is submit them. you'll even get credit and a link to your website (if you've got one). help us grow our dictionary by sending us your entries now! everyday more entries are added, so check back often."

Are you a Web designer?APR 24

Are you a Web designer? Do you like the environment and stuff? Greenpeace is looking for designers.

Back in the dot comAPR 24

Back in the dot com heyday, Techies.com was going to go public in a big, big way. Today, you can own a bit of someone else's broken hopes in the form of a Techies.com IPO champagne flute, adorned with their unused ticker symbol (TCHS). Bid early, bit often.

I hate.APR 23

I hate.

Some recent press: - SilkscreenAPR 21

Some recent press:

- Silkscreen was profiled in "For Online Eyes Only", an article in the April 2001 issue of I.D. Magazine. Unfortunately, they completely screwed up displaying it, making it look, well, not so good. I suppose I shouldn't complain too much though...it is I.D. Magazine after all.

- kottke.org was featured in the "Best of the Blogs" list in the "Human Portals" article in the May 2001 issue of Brill's Content.

A list of movies fromAPR 21

A list of movies from late 1998 that were set to be released in 1999 & 2000. Many of the movies have since been released, some have different titles and actors (Jenny McCarthy, Jada Pinkett & Michelle Yeoh in Charlie's Angels?), and some were never released at all. An interesting look back.

Chicken kazoo or is grannyAPR 20

Chicken kazoo or is granny smokin' a bowl?

Greg Knauss, who refuses to write a bookAPR 20

Greg Knauss, who has written for more Web publications than there are Web publications, is my latest mini interviewee.

Q: Why don't you write a book already? I mean, come on!

A: Oh, were you waiting? I'm sorry. I can give you a place to send the check if you want to pre-order.

Why don't I write a book? Minor things, I guess, a lot of minor things: "Plot," "characters," "editorial common sense," "the petty insistence of the publishing industry that books be longer than 2,000 words." Y'know. Minor things. Not that I don't have the ego to have thought about it, of course. I just don't have the work ethic.

I _did_ try, once, or started to try. Years and years ago, a million years ago, I was convinced that what the world needed was all the angsty whining my sixteen-year-old ass could produce, so I took a bunch of stories I had done up -- bad, _bad_ stories -- and loaded them all into AtariWriter. AtariWriter then crashed, because it only left 24K free on my 400. And that was the end of that.

But now, with Word allowing me a good 36K to fill, I'll blame the limits of my talent and temperament. Writing a book -- and by "book," I mean "novel" -- requires a focus and consistency that I don't think I could come close to mustering, even if I had the will to try. Characters need motivation, plots need structure, books need theme -- I mean, _gah_. I only burp up the little stories I do because otherwise my story duct might clog and get infected. I don't have to worry about tone or pacing or length or actually inventing situations or any of the other nonsense that defines actual writing. Which, um, pretty much explains why I'm on the Web, right where I belong.

You can still send the check if you want to, though. :: end

Ok, this is the bestAPR 19

Ok, this is the best thing ever! Ever! All those other times that I told you about the best thing ever? I was lying! Go see Extreme Stick Death #3 right now. Now! Turn up the sound! (Note: I've had *way* too much sugar this morning....)

The Elegant UniverseAPR 18

The Elegant Universe (paperback version) is easily the most accessible book on modern (and postmodern?) physics I have ever encountered. The examples, metaphors, and analogies Brian Greene uses to explain the concepts of general relativity and quantum mechanics, both of which are extremely complicated and difficult to understand (even for physicists), can be understood by anyone with a bit of curiosity and determination. Even when he attempts to explain superstring theory, which combines and greatly magnifies the complexity of relativity and quantum mechanics, he lays everything out for the reader, explaining, restating, and then restating again in plain English the most difficult concepts in physics. Highly recommended.

I have an embarrassing admissionAPR 17

I have an embarrassing admission to make. I collected baseball cards in high school. There. I said it. I still have them all somewhere, in boxes, collecting dust faster than value. The Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie, the 130 different Nolan Ryan cards, the complete 1989 Hoops set (with the David Robinson rookie), and several others I really can't remember right now.

I used to spend untold hours sifting through them, looking up the values in Beckett's Price Guide, visiting card shops, flipping through commons to complete sets, looking for patterns in Topps' rack packs (I scored many a Jim Abbott rookie with this technique), chewing that ancient bubble gum (I bought a pack of 1983 cards once and chewed the gum...it was horrible), and keeping track of the total value of my collection with a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet on my dad's 286. It was a lot of fun at the time (as the Web is fun for me now); I guess that's about all one can ask for from a hobby.

What was your hobby as a kid? (95+ comments)

Every elected official at aAPR 16

Every elected official at a state or federal level in the United States should be required, by law, to do their own taxes by hand without the aid of an accountant, financial advisor, computer, calculator, or any other assistance that their money and privilege can buy. Then lock them all in a room until they can agree on a taxation plan that doesn't involve endless loopholes which require expensive professional help to take advantage of. Equal taxation for equal representation.

From the Cluetrain Manifesto (thesesAPR 15

From the Cluetrain Manifesto (theses #49-52), because this stuff is still relevant:

"Org charts worked in an older economy where plans could be fully understood from atop steep management pyramids and detailed work orders could be handed down from on high.

Today, the org chart is hyperlinked, not hierarchical. Respect for hands-on knowledge wins over respect for abstract authority.

Command-and-control management styles both derive from and reinforce bureaucracy, power tripping and an overall culture of paranoia.

Paranoia kills conversation. That's its point. But lack of open conversation kills companies."

Here's the best under-5k pageAPR 15

Here's the best under-5k page I've seen this year. Too bad it didn't make it into the contest.

I had a mustache forAPR 15

I had a mustache for about 8 minutes yesterday. Despite attempts to document this temporary madness, there are no pictures of the event. Move along, nothing to see here.

Matt is taking the extraAPR 15

Matt is taking the extra money people have donated to MeFi and turning it into a $500 college scholarship. What a great idea. If you'd like to donate to the MeFi scholarship fund, visit the donations page....let's make that $5000 instead. (And if you can't donate, at least post this to your Web site if you'd like to help out.)

TV Eye includes TiVo agentAPR 13

TV Eye includes TiVo agent XT359's Field Report:

"8:59:30 Subject turns on television to watch 'Today' show on NBC. I take this opportunity to begin my Primary Mission, showing him a commercial for a new weed-whacker that manufactured by one of our corporate partners and has, unfortunately, underperformed at retail outlets."

"10:20:00 Can you believe this? He's still watching the Tyne Daly show. I think he might be crying."

"10:20:06 Uh, oh. I think I might have snickered. Subject is looking at me funny."

One week later and I'mAPR 13

One week later and I'm still on the webcam. Come watch the madness unfold!

This sentence is a lie.APR 13

This sentence is a lie.

Lesson learned today: the bestAPR 13

Lesson learned today: the best possible day to call the CA DMV to schedule an appointment is on Good Friday. The woman I spoke to said that on any other day, I would have been on hold for more than half an hour. Instead, I got right thru and no one else even called while we chatted for about 15 minutes.

Somehow, this is *after* theAPR 12

Somehow, this is *after* the breast reduction surgery. After.

And then Christina Aguilera saidAPR 12

And then Christina Aguilera said to her fashion consultant, "I'd like to turn the whore dial up to 11 please."

"The MegaPenny Project aims toAPR 12

"The MegaPenny Project aims to help by taking one small everyday item, the U.S. penny, and building on that to answer the question: 'What would a billion (or a trillion) pennies look like?'"

I had this whole "thing"APR 12

I had this whole "thing" I was going to write about the David Foster Wallace article in April's Harper's Magazine, but I just can't muster up the energy. Suffice it to say I enjoyed the article and recommend it to you. I also recommend this article from the Washington Post on William Shatner. Now if DFW would write an article about William Shatner, then boy, then you'd really have something. (Don't forget: a search for Shatner on Napster is a recipe for fun!)

Lint rollers - a weblogAPR 11

Lint rollers - a weblog all about lint rollers. I had no idea there were so many different species of lint roller.

It is now ok toAPR 11

It is now ok to split your infinitives. The George Bernard Shaw quote (from a letter to The Times of London) at the end of the article sums the issue up well:

"There is a pedant on your staff who spends far too much of his time searching for split infinitives. Every good literary craftsman uses a split infinitive if he thinks the sense demands it. I call for this man's instant dismissal; it matters not whether he decides to quickly go or to go quickly or quickly to go. Go he must, and at once."

Do you split your infinitives or make other grammatical "errors"? Are you chastised for it? Do you care? Do you use the word "irregardless" to intentionally piss people off? Share your thoughts on grammar and usage errors, intentional or otherwise. (49+ comments)

The entries for the 2001APR 10

The entries for the 2001 5K contest are up on the site. Go check them out and vote for your favorites.

This picture of a jetAPR 10

This picture of a jet being towed across a highway bridge is amazing. What an odd thing to see on the way to work.

From Amazoning the News: "AmazonAPR 09

From Amazoning the News:

"Amazon is a site that has mastered the vocabulary of the web. It engages all 5 goals — share, entertain, create, inform and transact — and it uses all the tools: network, time, interactivity, data and personality.

It has a network of readers who offer reviews, you always know what's timely and how old information is. Users offer not just reviews but their own Top 10 lists, that is, they interact. Amazon mines its deep well of data to tell you what's selling, what's not, how items are ranked. And as for personality, you always know when you're on an Amazon page."

Compare and contrast: Tokyo subwayAPR 09

Compare and contrast: Tokyo subway map, SF MUNI map, BART map. Post your links to other public transit maps. (60+ comments)

Memento was, um, good? Wasn'tAPR 08

Memento was, um, good? Wasn't it? Actually, I'm not quite sure if I completely liked it or not. Anyway, if you want to check it out (and you should...it's a worthwhile movie-going experience even if you don't think the movie itself is any good), see it with a friend....there's lots to talk about after the movie ends.

When I first saw DougAPR 08

When I first saw Doug and Bryan in this seaside photo, I immediately thought, except for the color and quality of the photo, that it had been taken in the late 19th century. The manner of dress, the stern facial expressions, the way they were standing, hands in pockets, all suggested one of those olde tyme photos. Like this one:

olde tyme photograph of doug and bryan. click through for a full size version.

Today is my dad's birthday.APR 08

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy birthday, Dad. Here's one of my favorite stories from my childhood that reminds me of him.

My favorite quote from BadAPR 06

My favorite quote from Bad Sports or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the SUV by Paul Roberts in this month's Harper's Magazine:

"Whether we're in the market for cars, clothes, or off-road running shoes, we are a nation of naked emperors, unable to distinguish between want and need, between actual utility and simply looking the part."

The kottke.org webcam is backAPR 06

The kottke.org webcam is back (drag that link to your links bar if you want to access the popup window from there). Once again, you can watch as Jason sneezes, scratches himself in inappropriate places, yawns, sits in the same place for very long time, and, most importantly, shudders uncontrollably as the 3pm post-caffeine depression sets in and the subsquent dash for a Pepsi.

Lesson learned during new webcam installation: never use the software and drivers that come in the box with the product. Always go to the Web site to download the latest drivers and software. Time spent in class learning lesson: more than 2 hours.

Also, I have been pulling a trick on you folks over the past few weeks with my webcam. The person who had been appearing on the cam up until today was my evil twin, Nick Sweeney. We look pretty similar, especially at a fuzzy 320x240 (compare: me & Nick)...we even fooled my mom (hi, mom!). Anyway, I'm back on the cam and the imposter has been expunged.

One of my favorite typesAPR 05

One of my favorite types of inappropriate quotation marks usage is the application of didn't-get-the-joke? quotation marks. Here's a demonstration from the La-Z-Boy Web site:

"Never content to 'rest on our laurels,' La-Z-Boy has maintained a commitment to quality and craftsmanship for over 70 years."

Apparently, the writer of this passage has little faith in the intelligence of his/her audience to be able to pick up on the pun on their own.

Oh, and in case I've misjudged my audience's intelligence (and I don't think I have), I'm using the word "favorite" in the first paragraph in a sarcastic manner....didn't-get-the-joke? quotation marks are actually not one of my favorites.

Dave EggersAPR 04

Went to a Dave Eggers reading of AHWOSG last night. So. So. Good. I am now in love with Mr. Eggers and want to have several of his children (somehow). However, when I asked if I could see his nipples, I was firmly (but gently) rebuffed.

Anyway, he's really quite funny and charming and interesting and when he talks you want to go write beautiful things, make melodious music, design interesting things, and just generally grab the tiger by the tail and kick the ass of the whole world, all of which I am now eager to do all at once. So watch out world, I'm coming for you motherfuckers!*

* By "coming for you motherfuckers", I might possibly mean "preparing for another long night on the couch watching Silver Spoons reruns rather than doing of any of that other stuff I mentioned previously". But man, I'm going to watch that TV like it's never been watched before.

Some culture jam for yourAPR 03

Some culture jam for your morning toast: Nike Sweatshop tshirts and mousepads.

An article on Tomato atAPR 03

An article on Tomato at the newly redesigned Adobe Web site.

I was accosted by aAPR 03

I was accosted by a Big Arm Swinger on the street today. You know the type, arms tracing full 180 degrees swathes in the air, taking up three times the space they should be on the sidewalk, making it nearly impossible for someone like myself to maneuver around them. A mobile windmill at maximum flow. Anyway, this particular BAS appeared in front of me without warning (I wasn't paying much attention) and caught me in the crotch with her backswing. Stumbling and wincing slightly, I sped around her rather than leaving myself open to further attack. Lost as she was in the freedom of her arm swinging, I don't think she even noticed hitting me.

Two excerpts from Joe Wenderoth'sAPR 02

Two excerpts from Joe Wenderoth's Letters to Wendy's, a collection of prose written as though the author were writing them on Wendy's Restaurant comment cards:

"Today I had a Biggie. Usually I just have a small, and refill. Why pay more? But today I needed a Biggie inside me. Some days, I guess, are like that. Only a Biggie will do. You wake up and you know; today I will get a Biggie and I will put it inside me and I will feel better. One time I saw a guy with three Biggies at once. One wonders not about him but about what it is that holds us back."

"I was so high on Sudafed and whiskey today that I couldn't eat. I got a Coke -- actually five Cokes, as I could refill for free. It's times like this -- dehydrated, exhausted, unable to imagine home -- that your plastic seats, your quiet understandable room, set beside but not quite overlooking the source of real value, offer me a tragedy small enough to want to endure."

I couldn't have loved this book any more than I did; it was funny, very well-written, and the Biggie joke had me on the floor each and every time it was told. So good. (Disclaimer: Normally, I wouldn't bother with this, but Letters to Wendy's is also extremely self-involved and contains vulgarities & profanity that would make Larry Flynt blush. I didn't mind either of these things because they contributed to the overall story Wenderoth was trying to tell. Anyway, consider yourself forewarned...I don't want anyone to buy this book on my recommendation and feel like I misrepresented it to them.)

Peeps are the reason forAPR 01

Peeps are the reason for the season:

"Marshmallow Peeps are a candy celebrating the ressurection of Jesus Christ on the third day following his death. They are manufactured by the Just Born Candy Company in Bethlehem, PA. Bethlehem, PA is is named for the Biblical town of Bethlehem where Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born."

Some shots from yesterday's hike in Sonoma:

big fricking trees new growth on a pine tree the river empties into the ocean the big, bad ocean

Paul posted some of his pictures from the hike as well.

My April Fool's joke isAPR 01

My April Fool's joke is that I sold kottke.org to CNN. Did I fool you?

And recycling content from last year at this time: "To all those who decided not to pull an April Fools joke today: thank you."

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