Time travel to SF 2000

Holy cow! Back in August 2000, I linked to three videos that a nice guy named Beto made when he came to visit us at Pyra HQ in San Francisco (in March 2000). Sadly, the links stopped working after some time, the site was gone, and Beto seemed to have disappeared from the web. I kicked myself for not having saved copies of the videos.

But all is not lost, because Beto converted his old analog tape to DV and used iMovie3 to create In the Beginning: A Video on Weblogs History! It's a little hard to hear what we're saying, and we're not really saying anything worth hearing anyway (I sound like an idiot. Is that really my voice? Oh my God, I'm never speaking again! Also, this is when I had blonde hair.) Ego aside, it was magical to watch this and brought back a flood of memories, especially the walk down to our basement offices and the arrival of our first real, rack-mount server.

Watch the video [14 MB, Quicktime 6] and travel back to a time when Blogger had ~50,000 registered users, when the whole application ran on a Dell desktop machine beneath Ev's desk, before Blog*Spot existed, before warblogs, or celebrity bloggers, or MovableType. Travel back to a time when Ev, pb and I dreamt of changing the world with a little app called Blogger.

Remembering Manny

When I was in 9th grade I was crazy about basketball so I took a gym class that was entirely basketball. Unlike other gym classes ("Weight Training" or "Team Sports") which involved a variety of physical activities, "Basketball" was pretty much a full-court 5-on-5 pick-up game every class. I remember the first day changing into my high tops, pulling up my knee socks, and heading out of the girls' locker room, excited to play. As the class came together, my enthusiasm was quickly replaced with intimidation. I was the shortest. I was the youngest. I was certainly the slowest. And I was the only girl in a room full of boys. Why oh why didn't I take one of the other gym classes? I thought.

But I loved basketball too much to chicken out, and we took the court and started playing. I was jostled, elbowed, stepped on, and ignored. I couldn't grab any rebounds and no one passed to me. Pretty soon I took to hanging outside, near the top of the key, alone. No one paid attention to me out there except a lanky sophomore who'd drive the lane and at the last second dish the ball out to me. I had a knack for hitting that outside jumper, especially when I was wide-open.

Soon we developed a nice routine: Manny would drive towards the basket and then, at the last second, pass it back out to me for an easy two. He'd always smile, a great big wide smile, even when I missed. And give me a high-five. And unlike some other people, who share a class with you but pretend not to know you when you pass each other later in the hall, Manny always said "hi" and grinned when we saw each other on campus.

I stopped playing basketball after my freshman year and joined the ski team. Because I was a varsity athlete, I didn't have to take gym, and soon Manny and I drifted down different paths. But I've never forgotten how welcome he made me feel in that class, how he made a fourteen year old girl feel like she had what it takes to be a great ball player.

I wasn't surprised to hear that Manny DelValle moved to New York after college. And I wasn't surprised to hear he became a firefighter. But I didn't hear that until September 12, 2001.

I can still see his smile.

Fresh tomatoes are the best tomatoes

I'm increasingly perplexed by the poor quality of tomatoes when we're in the height (albeit waning days) of tomato season. My lunch today contained tomatoes of such lackluster quality — mealy and pale pink — that I was forced to remove them from my sandwich. Which makes me realize that food service companies must not get tomatoes locally, since that would necessitate switching vendors with the timing of the tomato season. Instead the tomatoes must come from a consistent source, probably some farm in California or Mexico, who can reliably offer tomatoes year-round. But what's the point?

This summer I rediscovered the joy of eating a really ripe strawberry in June. I experienced the thrill of the first corn-on-the-cob of the season and the sadness as I bit into my last, knowing that it would be another year before I tasted the sweetness of an ear. Is it worth it to have certain fruits and vegetables year-round when the quality so obviously suffers? Wouldn't it be better to have really delicious tomatoes in a salad or sandwich for a few magic months, and then just let it go? I think of the bad tomatoes, the strawberries in California supermarkets that were large but never very sweet, the Red Delicious that are certainly Red but not Delicious, and realize progress isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it would mean eating cabbage, apples, and potatoes all winter, but honest, after today's tomato, I think that'd be preferable.

Tuesday quiz

If Friends final season begins September 25, and Ben and JLo are to be married September 14, and Joey Tribbiani's character will be spun off into a new show called Joey after Friends 10th and final season, which event will occur first: Ben and JLo divorce or Joey is cancelled?

Ashcroft at Federal Hall today

From MoveOn.org, there's a demonstration today. I can't seem to find a link to it on their site, so here's the detail from the email they sent. See you there?

WHAT: Demonstration to demand the protection of our basic civil
liberties, and counter Attorney General John Ashcroft, speaking in the
latest installment of his stealth Patriot Act road show.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 9 at 12 noon

WHERE: Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street at Broad Street (next to NYSE)
2/3 or 4/5 to Wall Street or J/Z to Broad Street
Map: http://www.moveon.org/r?469

WHO: New York ACLU (www.nyclu.org), New York City Bill of Rights
Defense Campaign (www.nycbordc.org), United for Peace and Justice
(www.unitedforpeace.org), and 60 other civil liberties organizations.

Better late than never

Five or so months ago, Darin from darinsan.com emailed asking if I'd do a little "11 Questions" interview with him. I said, "sure" and then let the message sink to the bottom of my inbox (and by "bottom" I mean it was about 1500 emails above the darkest depths of my inbox, where those scary fish — with horrible teeth and hangy things in front of their eyes — live and use bioluminescence to highlight messages that have been there since 9/13/01). Over the weekend, I finally responded and Darin, who inhabits a higher karmic email plane than I, promptly posted my inane replies.

An exciting intern opportunity in NYC

From my friend David at MediaRights comes a great part-time internship opportunity in Manhattan. I was a judge for their Media That Matters film festival and had the privilege of interacting with the great group that is MediaRights. If you apply, tell 'em megnut sent you. Description follows:

MediaRights.org is looking for two good technology interns. We can offer a desk, great co-workers, and lots of strong networking opportunities. MediaRights.org helps filmmakers, activists, librarians and educators create and use social issue documentaries for social change. We also produce a yearly film festival (http://mediathatmattersfest.org/) that streams on-line, is screened across the country and is available on DVD for free (http://mediathatmattersfest.org/dvd). At the end of the month, we're launching a new Web site dedicated to youth media distribution (http://ymdi.org).

Continue reading “An exciting intern opportunity in NYC”

Shopping for a new Mac?

Here's an incredible deal from CompUSA reported on dealmac: buy a Mac for $999 or more and have no payments or interest until 2005! Available only at retail stores, according to the link, and arranged through a CompUSA credit card. Still, if you can be responsible about your money and pay the thing off before payments start in March 2005, not only do you get it interest-free, you don't even have to pay for it for more than a year! Baby needs a new pair of 12" PowerBook G4! Well, just one will do. If the 12" came with the 1GHz processor like the 15", I wouldn't even be able to type this post because I'd be on the train uptown to CompUSA this second!