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old school cupcakes

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

This absolutely made my night. It’s near-perfect… sub Calibre 12 with Operation Ivy – boom. Done.

Categories: influences, music

retiring status messages

January 1, 2007 Leave a comment

It’s 2007; a fresh start requires us to put things away that have grown stale or played out in the previous year. Of course, I’m talking about instant messaging status messages. I don’t really do resolutions, but I will commit to putting to rest the status indicators I’ve used this year.

It’ll be hard – as obtuse as most of them are, they convey a TON of information about what’s up with me… they just require a bit of creative interpretation.

Ten status messages you won’t see again (from me) in 2007

  1. “supreme clientele” – a Ghostface reference, usually implying that I’m dealing with clients
  2. “Freitas on Civility” – I’m still amused by the title of Mark Bernstein’s post on my Wikipedia comments
  3. “we smoke as we shoot the bird” – Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Mooninites are a treasure trove of tough guy language
  4. “remarkable but unmarketable” – Aesop Rock sums up how I feel about too many of the ideas I get
  5. “yes i said yes i will yes” – usually a direct response to something Dan asks, since I know he gets the Joyce reference (I don’t use that final punctuation)
  6. “gritty, debonair, battling” – this one is pure ego; it’s from Carter Beats the Devil, and three words I’d love to live up to
  7. “bad scene, everyone’s fault” – when things get hectic, Jawbreaker‘s always got the best way to describe it
  8. “aim away from face” – sage advice from Halo‘s M19 SSM Rocket Launcher
  9. “poor impulse control” – guilty as charged
  10. “if destroyed, still true”

approaching a local maxima

June 27, 2006 8 comments

Did you see the Portugal v. Netherlands match? Meu Deus! Portugal advanced, and now Rachel, Mike and I will cheer on our boys against England. I must admit, I’ve enjoyed cheering on the English since Garry taught us the chants and songs in the Mad Dog years ago. My favorite? Versus the Germans, “Two World Wars and One World Cup” works pretty damn well.

Never thought I’d be forced to root against England. Damn shame.

Especially because today I finalized on tickets for the vacation we’ve been planning for a bit – we’ll be headed to London to visit friends and celebrate some birthdays (mine included). If you’ll be in town second week of August and looking to have a bite (especially at St. John), do let me know.

Meanwhile, Adam spoke at AP. We all got an opportunity to eat at Koh Samui afterwards, and discuss the implications of his “Everyware” presentation. His thoughts on the necessity of exposing the “seamfullness” of location-aware systems in the future is something that’s been on my mind of late, with regards to what both Dan and Nick Carr have been citing as the generational effect of technological development.

I’m convinced that for the first decade of development and popularization of RFID and ubicomp systems (is 2006 to be considered Year One?) the experience will be inherently seamfull – I think of it like the spread of cellular networks, with deadzones appearing on the edges and in-between every area of service, ultimately to the frustration of most users. I’m inclined to think that there will be an entire generation of people with no choice but to be aware of the change in state as they move from data-enriched environments to traditional “flat space” and back again.

If the system emerges with obvious seams, and no means or standards to even come close to ensuring a frictionless experience, will the generation that follows be inclined to reduce the perception of those seams between overlapping systems? Or will they persist as vestigial alerts on whatever interfaces they employ, like the subtle changes in provider status message my phone registers as I move from Louisville, to New York and back to SF? Food for thought.

To wrap it all up, Will Wright and Brian Eno spoke tonight at the Herbst Theater. All 900 seats sold out, and you couldn’t swing a dead cat over your head without hitting a blogger. I’m sure you can find a write-up if you look around. My own thoughts on “one pixel errors,” generative systems, and the pursuit of ultimate success probability spaces vs. local maxima will find their way into a post (maybe), once everything that was discussed has a chance to sort itself out in my brain properly.

In the meantime? Pictures from McCormack and Elaine’s wedding!

friday reading list

May 19, 2006 Leave a comment

DHS privacy office slams RFID technology. That was unexpected.

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In Tape Op magazine, Public Enemy producer Hank Shocklee says “all the true hip hop” is in alternative rock ‘n’ roll. As Pitchfork’s Nitsuh Abebe says, he sounds like one of the Velvets now.

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The beginning of Raph’s essay on exceptionalism goes straight over my head, but this paragraph reinforced something I’ve been thinking about user-generated content:

The thing we must not lose sight of here is that content creation is a skill just as much as being a badass game player is, and it’s therefore subject to the same power law sorts of success rates.

[via bbj]

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Obligatory comics post: Fell #5 is out this week. The “backmatter” section includes an amazing essay on Will Eisner‘s attitudes towards creator-ownership, and other topics.

Categories: comics, elsewhere, everyware, music

i can hear a collective rumbling, in america

May 4, 2006 4 comments

I’m trying to quickly put together a playlist for travelling today, and my iPod is polluted entirely with “working music,” the albums I listen to while trying to get stuff done. Not at all appropriate for a mini-vacation, especially when the themes of the next few days will be bourbon, horses, and women in big hats. Off to Kentucky for the weekend, and no posts til Tuesday. Entertain yourself with a little bit more about music to build deliverables to, won’t you?

There are times when the music you listen to while working needs to serve primarily as sonic wallpaper. I’m not particularly good at writing anything other than the occassional email or blog post – the joke is that I take five paragraphs to write what takes most people one – and so the music I listen to during has to not distract me, and maybe even help coax the words out of my head as I struggle to articulate my points.

For that there are two sure fire albums I’ll listen to: Prefuse73 Reads the Books and Jeff Beal’s Carnivale soundtrack. Both are amazing, rich soundscapes – what my friend Ryan finds in Boards of Canada is similar to what I see in these two. They stay out of my way, and get that higher level goodness off my mind and into my writing.

I do not find myself in contemplative-writing mode as often as I’m stuck in a marathon production effort. Geting deliverables produced in a single go helps me maintain consistency and overall information design, and so I tend to have long sessions focused entirely on pushing them out. The soundtrack for that tends to be on the “hella loud” side: headphones-only, punish-the-ears, break-the-neck (and, yeah, get shit done).

The two best options for that right now are The Sword and Ghostface Killah. I am not by any stretch a metalhead, but my friend Jim in Atlanta probably wouldn’t mind that title (the first three bands we had in common were Nashville Pussy, Mastodon and Early Man). He took a listen to the new Sword album, Age of Winters, and declared the band, “the new mayor of Awesometown.” There is no superlative grander than that, friends.

Ghostface put out Fishscale earlier this month, and it’s simply gorgeous. Whoever was on the boards while he was in the booth must’ve pushed the head nod levels to “11”… the whole album is just sick, but those first four tracks are ridiculous.

So. Go find, listen to, and buy the above. Hell, browse around Aquarius while you’re at it, if you’re feeling adventurous. Enjoy the tunes, and the weekend.

Categories: music, work