Hot SF = Cold Latte

It's been so warm in San Francisco these past few days (even here in my foggy part of town) and today I finally cracked -- I made an iced latte for myself this morning rather than my usually "hot" latte (I guess we just call that a latte). Usually I open the curtains to let the sun flood my room and warm my "office" but today I've got them closed to ward off the hot rays.

San Francisco is trying to tempt me, "See how nice it is here? See how sunny and warm? It's summer, in September!" she says. But I won't have any of it. I remember your cold foggy days, lady. Nearly every month you enshrouded me and mine with a fog so thick I felt the mist on my face as I walked outside. The streets were wet -- it looked like it had rained. You were especially cruel through July and August as my friends elsewhere frolicked in t-shirts and shorts while I sat bundled in wool sweaters and scarves, drinking hot water for warmth. Nice try, City by the Bay, but you're not fooling me. You're just a tease, and as soon as I decide I like this sunny warmth, you'll shock me with a big misty rolling cloud of fog and send me scurrying back indoors.

Panel write-ups

Christian over at Radio Free Blogistan has written up lots of thoughts on our panel the other day. All in all it went well and was a good time. The audience had lots of good questions to ask as well. Alas, I'll leave the write-ups to others with more time.


I'm aware that my design is messed up because I haven't been posting enough. I never could figure out how to get the green footer bar to float properly. Perhaps a redesign is in order at some point. Or maybe just more posting...

Challenging Mass Media and Society panel

Next Tuesday (September 17th) I'll be speaking on a panel at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism entitled, Weblogs: Challenging Mass Media and Society. It's free and open to the public, and it starts at 6:30 PM. The panel is chock-full of interesting folks, so I anticipate a good time will be had by all. Please join us if you can.

Desert Silence

Vista from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Vista from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Vista from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Vista from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Back from Las Vegas and I have re-affirmed my love of the high desert country. Driving for hours across vast expanses of Joshua trees, through parts of the Mojave and up and over the mountains and past the windfarms of Tehachapi was soothing and almost meditative. Hiking around Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, I experienced the splendor first-hand. And the quiet and stillness of the surroundings encouraged my reflections on everything -- life, love, the vast and varied beauty of America -- these last few days. I feel like I'm still carrying some desert silence within me.

Vegas Baby!

Vegas, baby! I'm here in Las Vegas, enjoying a few days of sun and fun before the Web Builder conference starts tomorrow. I'll be speaking on Tuesday: a panel on content management systems and a session on microcontent management systems. If you're in town for the conference, be sure and come by, at least to say hi!

The Lords of Dogtown

Greg Beato wrote in with a bunch of background information about the Dogtown film I talked about last week. Back in 1999, Greg wrote an article for SPIN magazine entitled, The Lords of Dogtown. The literary rights were eventually optioned by a studio with the intent to create a fictionalized film, and many featured skaters optioned their life rights as well, but not Stacy Peralta. Peralta decided to write and direct a documentary on the early days instead, scrounged up funding, dug up old archival footage of all of them skating and surfing back in the day, and the result was Dogtown and Z-Boys. Rad, as they say.


We've got Googlewhacking, Googlebombing and now we can add Googlecooking to our lexicon. My mother types whatever ingredients she has on hand into Google and then picks the most appealing recipe returned in the results. What a good idea!

What's funny is I've always wanted a database of all my cookbooks so I could do just this. It never occurred to me to use Google instead. If I didn't have dinner plans, I'd try it tonight. I wonder what it would return for rotten basil and an onion?

Get Back to Happy Mac

Fishback Research has released a program called "hello Jaguar" that returns the Happy Mac! This software installs an edited version of the boot loader found in Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" which brings back everyone's favorite friend, the Happy Mac. After installation, your computer will restart, and you can see the familiar icon smiling back at you. Woo hoo!

Audioblogging Ahoy!

A really neat article on the up-and-coming meme of audioblogging that uses OS X scripting and AppleScript, AppleScript: Automated Audio Blogging. If I find some time in the next few weeks, I'd like to try this out. I've been meaning to dig into AppleScript since I got the iBook and haven't yet gotten around to it. I don't know if I'm keen on being an audioblogger myself, but it could provide an interesting alternative voice (literally!) for this site.

Thomas Keller in the NY Times

How to Boil Four-Star Water: A Master Class is a New York Times' article about French Laundry chef Thomas Keller and his approach to food. Less focus this time on his perfectionism and more general details about his approach in the kitchen. And more about his use of the word "finesse."

Bring Back the Happy Mac

Several readers have written to share this link about modifying your boot image in Jaguar (Mac OS X.2). This allows one to solve the problem of the missing Happy Mac icon. I haven't tried it yet, but perhaps I will once I finally upgrade.

Mag Lev in the wild

All this time, I thought mag lev trains were dead, but it looks like there's one in the wild (or almost). A 40-mile link between Shanhai and its new airport will be serviced by the mag lev train. While that's cool and all, I kinda wish they were going a little further -- maybe a train between Shanghai and Beijing, for example. 40 miles doesn't seem like enough distance to really get up to speed and appreciate the ride. Imagine going 300 mph in a train! I hope someday we get them here in the US. It'll make the Acela look like a rinky-dink freight train.

"We Blog" in the Wild

Spotted at the Barnes & Noble at Astor Place, NYC it's "We Blog" in the wild! Thanks Anil.

Battle Tomato

I am pleased to announce that "Battle Tomato" has concluded after a ten year struggle. You see, I never liked tomatoes. In fact, I found them gross -- mealy and slimy and infused with that slightly tart/tangy irritating (and did I mention slimy?) taste. To my constant irritation, everyone else in the entire world seemed to love tomatoes, and I would find this noxious vegetable (fruit, whatever,) in sandwiches, salads, sauces. You name it, it was there, often hidden, waiting to spring its slimy trap on my tongue. "Hold the tomatoes" I'd say, in vain. It continued like this, for years.

Realizing the futility of my situation, in the early 1990's I undertook Battle Tomato -- I decided I would learn to like tomatoes. I would retrain my palate until the idea of eating a raw tomato would trigger the mouth-watering juices beneath my tongue. I will spare you the details of the various skirmishes, of the flanking counter-attacks waged by nefarious cherry tomatoes and over-sized heirlooms, of the gagging and horror of this most difficult of battles. There is only one story to tell now:

Last Saturday I spent the afternoon cooking and drinking wine with friends. To prepare our bruschetta, we picked fresh tomatoes from the garden in the hostess' backyard. As I carried the little yellow cherry tomatoes back into the house, without a thought, I popped one in my mouth. I smiled as I tasted its sweet juice. Victory was mine.

Doing What the Web Does Best

These past few days, I've become re-enamoured with the Web through the simple act of doing research. I'd forgotten how amazing it is to have so much information at one's fingertips, and how powerful that can be. And it's got me all jazzed again about why the Web is so great. From custom orthotics to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to VIPERs, the Web has thoroughly provided the knowledge I've needed these past few days, and for that I'm thankful.

Dogtown and Z-Boys

I watched Dogtown and Z-Boys on DVD last night and really enjoyed it. It's the story of the early days of skateboarding and the style and attitude that came out of the "Dogtown" area of coastal LA in the 70's. Great moves, great music, and great stories. One thing I did wonder about though was the "truth" of the tale -- written and directed by Stacy Peralta, it was the history of the revolution as told by one of its own members. Still, it was rad and reminded me of all the Bones Brigade videos I used to watch in high school.

Danger Facts

My source at Danger responds to Monday's post about the sound quality in the T-Mobile Sidekick:

A headset is NOT required, and the phone quality is fine. I use it as my everyday phone, forward calls from my Nokia 8290 to the hiptop, call my mom with it, and haven't had any problems (nor have the people I'm calling commented on it). It may be that I'm not very particular.

I may be required to test out this device in the name of investigative journalism so that I can get you folks the straight story on this one. The things I do for my readers...

Happy Mac II

A New York Times article on the disappearance of Happy Mac.

Goodbye Happy Mac

NOOOOOO!!!! Ever since I got my iBook last spring, I've been meaning to write a post about my fondness for Happy Mac, an icon of a smiling Macintosh that appears when your computer is booting up. The first time I turned on my iBook, I saw that smiling face and I felt like I'd come home. Happy Mac used to greet me back in the early 90s on my Mac Classic (except for the time the "?" and a disk icon appeared, indicating the hard drive had gone missing, which is another story entirely). Seeing it on my new machine instantly brought a smile to my face and created a kinship between me and my machine. But it appears that Happy Mac is gone with the Jaguar upgrade (which I haven't done yet). Wired News is reporting that Happy Mac is dead and Apple has no comment. I hold out hope that the outrage of Mac users everywhere will bring about its return, just as it did the last time they tried to remove Happy Mac, with the original launch of OS X.

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