I'm in San Diego at Etech. If you're here, come say hi! I look a little different. According to Xeni — who didn't recognize me — I look, "less stressed" that I used to. I think it's also the longer hair that's a big frizzy mess in the oceany yumminess that's San Diego's humidity. I've snapped a photo from my phone so you can get an idea of my new "look" and how tired I am from flying so very far in a horribly old cramped 737 that felt like taking a pick-up truck through the sky for six+ hours.
The conditions were a bit crazy these past few days for skiing, and I had my share of spectacular falls on Wednesday. But nothing like this photo of a man who's Tree-Ski-Jumping.
The jumpers will be aiming for the trees and the higher they land in the trees, the better their scores may be. The idea is to take flight from a mound of snow, fly through the air and land in a tree. To qualify as a completed jump, the skier has to hang onto the tree without falling to the ground.
I like getting air and all, but I'm not sure I'd try to land in a tree! That seems like something that would just happen by accident.
In case you're as coo-coo for skiing as I am these days, you might like this New York Times Travel Interest Guide to Skiing. It's a list of skiing-related columns and articles from the past few years.
Please note: this is only a link to an article about free land. I do not know anything about getting free land so please don't email me asking how to do so. Thanks.
The Mid-West is offering free land! To stem the exodus of its populations to cities, many small midwestern towns are offering incentives to folks who'd be willing to move there, according to this New York Times article, Empty House on the Prairie. As a fan of the Little House on the Prairie, I must admit I'm tempted. On my one visit to rural Nebraska, I was stuck by the beauty of the prairie landscape. And then there's this:
In some of these towns, a commute to work is four minutes; crime is all but nonexistent; at night you half-believe you can look toward the soundless sky and see the outskirts of heaven. And isolation, in our age of 500 channels, of easy Internet access and e-mail, does not mean the same thing it did to generations past.
Perhaps I'll load the covered wagon, hitch up the team, and hit the trail. When you next see me, I'll be running down a hill in my calico dress, my arms outstretched at my sides, my bonnet flapping in the wind.
You may have noticed over on the sidebar (unless you're an RSS reader, in which case here's a special message for you (non-RSS readers, feel free to skip ahead): you're missing new content that I don't syndicate! I put little messages and pictures in the sidebar! Come back to the lovely old HTML megnut.com!) that I'll be attending the 4th Annual O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference later this month in San Diego. I've been to every Emerging Tech conference and am once again looking forward to the trip and the experience.
I'm especially looking forward to hearing New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki speak (Independent Individuals and Wise Crowds, or Is It Possible to Be Too Connected?), as he's one of my favs from the magazine. And there's a hardware hacks (Hardware Hacks from the Far Side) session that piques my interest as well. I always find I go to the sessions about hardware and then envision myself soldering things and building my own army of robots once I get home. Alas, I have yet to build one robot arm or leg, so there's nothing even close to a company or regiment of robots in my apartment. But maybe this is the year! Of course, my army of robots would be a peace-loving type of army, tasked with feeding the cat while I'm out of town and emptying his kitty litter. Maybe they'd do some dishes too.
In summary, in case you had trouble following that crazy post: I'm going to the Emerging Technology Conference. And: yay!
From the New York Times travel section comes this nice article extolling the virtues of the ninth arrondissement: In Paris, the Rue des Martyrs Is a Slice of Village Life. I don't think I've explored that area before, so I'm going to put it on my list of sites to see when I'm in Paris in April.
What a perfect article to welcome me back on my visit to NYC: Here Is New York, Right Where We Left It. Phew! Except of course the author is talking about old New York: hat shops, places to get a mug of beer for fifty cents, and pigs-knuckles lunches. It's a neat look at the small New York shops, bars, and restaurants hidden amongst the ever-increasing sprawl of national chains springing up around the City. At the very end of the article is perhaps the most important bit:
One thing the streets surely stand to lose when these frayed patches of New York's vast tapestry are finally replaced is a measure of their human scale. These remnants of a less mobile and more local New York speak of a more modest urban life in which goods and money traveled in smaller amounts between slightly less hurried parties moving in slightly smaller orbits.
No one goes to these old places to be seen or find the perfect pair of shoes or have a life-changing culinary experience or stock up on Turkish pistachios or toilet paper. If for nothing else, people go to these unfancy places because they embody a hidden truth about New York: that it is possible in almost any part of this monstrously huge, indifferent city to feel strangely at home.
How perfectly true.
As someone who's started two companies, I know the horror and thrill that comes with giving up a steady paycheck to follow a dream, and I'm so happy to see that Jason has decided to join the ranks of entrepreneurs and devote himself to full-time blogging at kottke.org.
Jason is not going to support himself through advertising, rather he is asking for readers to act as micropatrons of his site and contribute to its upkeep. Please consider supporting him, not only because he writes a great site and because supporting dreams is important. This is the chance to support something new: an "amateur" deciding to edit a blog full-time without corporate support and without advertising. It's a long time blogger chosing to go pro, and Jason is the perfect person to do it.
Digital Lifestyle Day 05 is underway here in Munich and happily my panel was not only the very first one, but I was the first speaker. So now my work is done and I can enjoy the conference and the mingling and the snacks and coffee! It's been very interesting so far and fun to share the stage with people like Caterina (from flickr.com) and Michael (from last.fm). My brain's bubbling with lots of thoughts, most of which would be clearer if I weren't quite so tired. Still, the conference is fun so far. Check out the website for more information, I believe they're putting up streams of the presentations so you can see what's going on.
Drat, here I am about to leave for Munich in a few hours, and I just now remembered I hadn't posted asking for recommendations of what to see while there. I'm sure I'll find some Internet connection when I arrive, so go ahead and let me know what I can't afford to miss during my brief sojourn to the Bavarian capital. Neat architecture, pretty scenes, and cool cultural suggestions are appreciated. And of course, if there's something I just shouldn't miss (a museum? a food? a beer?), let me know. Thanks.