Thursday, July 31, 2003


Meet John:

Last Thursday, July 24th I was "downsized" from my job of 3 years at a software company.

Later the same day I heard that President Bush's economic team would be doing a bus tour through Wisconsin and Minnesota this week touting Bush's tax cut and its prosperous economic effects.

"What a bunch of BS. I'd like to give their PR tour a dose of reality," is what I thought. So I packed up the minivan and decided to follow their bus around the countryside and talk to whoever would listen about the real facts--that this economy stinks, and Bush's tax cuts are making it worse.

The best part: He actually has a conversation with Treasury Secretary John Snow:

John Snow: "Just wait, I'm sure you'll find a job."

At that moment the car in front of me pulled ahead for their order and John stepped back from my window. The SS agents signalled for me to pull ahead.

"Just wait?!" I've got a $350 payment for this minivan, a morgage and two kids! Here's a guy who drives a few hundred miles to see you, four days after he's been laid off, and you tell him to "just wait?"

Boy I'd like to see those words on a PR banner behind Snow at the podium: Jobs and Growth: Just Wait.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


  • Mmm, Cream Pain! I think I experienced that as a teen. Probably while fantasizing about one day visiting a Cuntry Pub. Yes friends, all this and more at ENGRISH.COM, "the humorous English mistakes that appear in Japanese advertising and product design." [ via squeakmaster ]

  • LEGAL DOCUMENT OF THE YEAR: The F Word A history of the effenheimer. Drafted to defend a kid caught by the principal smokin' in the boys room. The youngster called him "fucker, a fag, a fucking fag." I hereby sentence that boy to permanent detention in 1980's heavy metal music videos.

  • RIDICULOUSLY THWARTED NETSEX - here's a little sample, but much better to read these encounters in their entirety:

    Wellhung: I'm fumbling with the clasp on your bra.I think it's stuck. Do you have any scissors?
    Sweetheart: I take your hand and kiss it softly.I'm reaching back undoing the clasp. The bra slides off my body. The air caresses my breasts. My nipples are erect for you.
    Wellhung: How did you do that? I'm picking up the bra and inspecting the clasp.

    [ via a little piece of me and Primal Purge ]

  • Genuine Canadian Rabbit Droppings NEW! bacon flavour [ via Harrumph ]
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2003

    LOW FAMILY PICTURE (by starfire)

    My fish, Little Fucker, died tonight. Well, he was almost dead anyway. I never expected to grapple with the morality of fish euthanasia, but I was momentarily pained about whether to flush a living creature. Then we looked at him again - yeah, pretty much dead. So long Lil' Fucker! I hope he doesn't grow to an unholy girth in the sewers of Minneapolis. I don't want to wake up to a giant pissed off fish weilding a steak knife.

    Today I watched and sometimes advised as Lori signed, and sometimes didn't sign, a mountain of FHA mortgage documents. This is a soul-sucking activity, and Monday is a soul-sucking day. Yellowtail chardonnay, at $5/bottle, is a temporary healing balm when mixed with equal parts Conan Obrien and the Daily Show.

    One of my favorite olde-tymey books is the Universal Self-Instructor of 1883. Now Sharyn has brought a new olde-tymey delight to my attention: Codex Seraphinianus, a surreal and hellish encyclopædia documenting phantasmigorical life on a planet very much like ours, except drenched in LSD and/or mental illness. How wonderful!

    My thoughts go out to HeatherHeather, whose mom has ovarian cancer. My mom made it through breast cancer. Operation, chemo, radiation. She still has her hair, it's all white now but she's damn proud of it.

    Monday, July 28, 2003

    If all goes well we'll soon have a real garden, and a real fine 1900 Nordeast house. Our offer was accepted, but we dare not get excited until our name is on the mailbox. Meanwhile, enjoy a few delicious links, won't you?

  • Tango commuter car would go great with a car PC. On second thought, why not a bamboo bike?
  • Why 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' is a failure
  • Sarah Silverman - 'One Fine Lookin' Jew'
  • Dance Dance Revolution is probably more fun than this slideshow makes it seem.
  • Pete Scholtes has a great writeup on the rerelease of Wattstax – "The Black Woodstock."
  • Civil Liberties Alert! Salon article on government no-fly blacklist
  • Bush Disses American Flag I'd like an American flag t-shirt that says "Try signing this one, asshole!" Of course, I'd also like a bumper sticker that says "I BLOG AND I VOTE".
  • Friday, July 25, 2003

    Gender: Male
    Interested in Meeting People for: Friends, Activity Partners
    Status: Single
    Age: 18
    Occupation: I'm going to NYU (p.s. I'M NOT GAY)
    About Me: "I am 5'7' and lookin' to partay..i used to have an afro but i cut it off and donated it to locks of love.....awwww!! do me!"

    Please describe your perfect date with Ian.

    Thursday, July 24, 2003

    If you are available from 6pm - 7:30 pm TONIGHT please Email me ASAP. I promise it will be painless, in fact it's quite enjoyable. You'll get a bag of goodies, free parking, a t-shirt, some food and a warm fuzzy feeling. This blog post will self-destruct in six hours.

    Anyone interested in digital culture would do well to Ratchet Up. It's the new blog by the entirely too-talented John Schott. I had the pleasure of working with Schott on his stellar PBS program American Photography: A Century of Images. He also produced one of the most innovative and groundbreaking television series of all time, Alive from Off Center. He's also an accomplished photographer who broke ground as part of the exhibition "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape". In his spare time, Prof. Schott is director of media studies at Carleton College and enjoys levitating, walks in the park, and transdimensional communication.

    Welcome to the blog, Mr. Schott. Now when are you going to help me kick Blogumentary into high gear?

    AUDIOPAD is a cool new music toy from our friends at M.I.T. New Media Lab.

    Fimoculous Rex has a good roundup of the Minneapolis Mob at the Mall of Amerikka. Sadly, I was on a bus picking up my car from the shop. Wish I'd been there with my MPR pal Nikki who sees all things in SnarkVision(tm), much to Rex's chagrine. Here's the audio of Nikki chatting about the mob with Cathy Wurzer mid-morning. Nikki and Cathy "The Z" Wurzer are clearly from different planets, and they're talking about flash mobs which are from yet another planet. Everybody wins!

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    Lori and I are *hopefully* buying a cute little brick house in Northeast Minneapolis. I have already dubbed it Fort Awesome. However, we need to come up with some "earnest" money. To show we're "serious" about "buying" the house. Here's where you come in. The legendary and pristine Blogumentary camera is now for sale and priced to move at $2000. Yes, this is the camera [ specs ] that captured Matt Haughey and that he captured in return. The whole Anil-Sopranos-Starbucks incident. The lovely snarkstress Elizabeth Spiers of Gawker, Kottke and Meg, the 2003 Bloggies, you name it this camera shot it. Plus, a spiffy hard carrying case, a 9 hour battery, and other goodies. Email me ASAP if you know anyone interested!

    PLEASE NOTE: Don't worry, this will not affect Blogumentary production. I have lotsa friends with cameras and an IFP membership to cover my cam needs until I reacquire one.

    AND SO... Lori and I are in a house-buying daze. It's just so, so huge. I'm utterly numb from thinking about it. My mom loves it. We love it. We strolled around the neighborhood tonight; all was quiet. Still, anxiety creeps in. It will feel alien moving away from Uptown where my friends are. Fort Awesome is in this odd secluded area near the freeway, one of only two houses on the end of a meadowy cul-de-sac. I will miss being in a buzzing perpetually young neighborhood where goth-punk girls walk mean-looking dogs to the co-op. I'll miss the annoying Mexican neighbor kids playing with a bottle of dirt. I will miss the old mentally-ill guy on his bike, who endlessly returns to the apartment building next door and grumbles "HEY CHAAACK" over and over. I imagine he had a friend named Chuck there long ago. The Mexican kids give him a baggy of carrots and he goes away, for a day or two. I'll miss being able to walk home from doc chameleon's tipsy from too many G&Ts and sleepy from too many movies.

    How important is it to feel part of a community? I love the community I live in, yet I don't know any of my neighbors. Our (hopefully) new house is in this weird industrial area, on the outskirts of a real residential neighborhood with only one proper neighbor. I think – and hope – that suits us. Lori and I are both loners in a way, at home in the outskirts. Still I feel the need to be connected to city life, to stuff actually happening even if I'm only observing or sensing rather than participating. Good thing it's only a 6 minute drive away.

    Friday, July 18, 2003


    James Lileks' Story of Bread is the funniest thing I've seen all week.

    I just found out my old girlfriend Renee, who used to sing in a Minneapolis band called Moneypenny, is now singing on the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailer of all things.

    Perfect Duluth Day is trying to maintain the #1 position on Google for "skinny dipping pics". God bless 'em. I'm here to help.

    Tonight: Campy summer movies! I can't wait to see Kristy McNichol smoking in Little Darlings, not to mention Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon as "Sunshine." I also can't wait to see Wet Hot American Summer again. It's like the Office Space of summer camp movies.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2003

    Blogging and email response will be very light from me for awhile. Lori and I are pretty caught up in the insanity and revelation of house finding and buying. I'm also really busy at work, hoping to integrate some Movable Type blog action. For you geeks out there, Matt Haughey has an article on using MT for content management.

    Quote of the day from Lori: "I hate it when you lie, and people think you're lying."

    Ran into Rex at the Douglas Coupland reading tonight. Mr. Coupland interviewed himself and was highly entertaining. "Interviewer: What's the stupidest thing you've ever done? Coupland: Give a sincere and thought-out answer to that question in 1998." I'm afraid Doug isn't looking too sexy these days, though.

  • Mannequins, sexy fiction from Reverse Cowgirl
  • Google News Q&A
  • Catch up with Howard Dean on Lessig's blog
  • has some groovy illustration style
  • Transcript of Jon Stewart on NOW with Bill Moyers
  • Monday, July 14, 2003

    Swami Dâ Prem, aka American Swami, has been gung-ho on the tech front. Not only does he have a swank TypePad blog and Yahoo e-group (which some of you may have found out via Swami's press release...) but now you can hear Swami speak thanks to a service called voicemonkey. Not sure how it's different than audblog, but it does work with TypePad.

    "Big Deal," I hear you say. "I have a blog, and a Yahoo Group too." Yeah, but last time I checked you weren't a friggin' swami. Dude, I don't care how much weed you smoked. Anyway, who am I to get left in the techno-dust? I need to communicate with the people via my resonant heavenly conduit. My soul song. My voice. My friends, for the first time ever, I give you:


    Friday, July 11, 2003

    The gods of metal are whole again.
    More than a decade after their split, Rob Halford will reunite with Judas Priest for an album and a tour in 2004.
    [ MTV News ]

    Dude. Bring it on. (Note to Mom and Swami Da Prem – don't worry, I won't let them sway me to the dark side.)


  • Leah's Life: I am a survivor of childhood incest and this blog is about my healing journey. This is so very wonderfully cool. She also did pretty well on the Geek Test.
  • Me Me Me - The world's first global interactive talent search. Assuming you call farting and nude poetry "talent." Which I do. [ via aka cooties ]
  • Thursday, July 10, 2003

    Scary new article in the Village Voice, Big Brother Gets a Brain: The Pentagon's Plan for Tracking Everything That Moves. When I was in college I was obsessed with Jeremy Betham's panopticon - a jail constructed as a round-the-clock surveillance machine. It was a means of controlling prisoners, who never knew when they were being watched. Our old buddy Foucault showed how that psychological discipline idea is at the root of our educational system and even our economy. I always wanted to do something with the idea of the digital panopticon: if all the databases about us were combined (little did I know the government would actually initiate such a scary, fascist plan) then nearly everything about us - our purchases, our health, our interests and travels - could be monitored. Combine that with this new thing, cameras that can track our every movement, and -- well, I'd just assume be invisible.

  • Matrix ping-pong Holy crap, how'd they do this?
  • Mentos Extreme
  • Wednesday, July 09, 2003


  • Man Wakes After 19 Years in Coma His first word? "Mom" followed by "Pepsi" and "milk." And, since he hasn't been conscious since 1984, he thinks Reagan is still president. Okay, okay everybody -- shhhhhh! shh! Let's totally pretend it's still 1984! Except it'll be a weird Futuramaesque misrepresentation. Like we'll wear Rubik's Cube hats and walk like robots quoting Leonard Coen lyrics.

  • Slashdot political humor

  • GEEK TEST via Liberry Blooze. I'm a hair under 38%, just enough to function in society.

  • Lori told her religious/conservative parents we're trying to buy a house. Email response: It's great to buy a house, but we really advise you to be married first for lots of reasons. Love, Mom & Dad
  • Tuesday, July 08, 2003

    Check out the fine folks at perfect duluth day. Oh, how I ♥ Duluth. There's a recent entry there from Starfire hanging out in Italy with Low, meeting Radiohead, and feeling awkward backstage. Low's Alan Sparhawk also has a blog entry on the experience. I found a review of the first show that described Low's set as "misunderstood." Not surprising given their intimate sound and a huge venue. Wish I'd seen Low play the Spirit of the North Theater on July 3 - I've always wanted to see them play their hometown. Apparently they rocked out, danced, and giggled.

    In other local blog news, Sharyn at Mass Distraction lost her job. But fear not, she has all the best free summer entertainment lined up. Being broke myself, I'm grateful for the free hookup. Weirdest gig: Rocky and Deerhoof in Loring Park.

  • Coffman Events at U of M Free stuff like The Wedding Singer and Zoolander !
  • Stevens Square Park King Arthur's Lemon Elephant Sandwich?
  • Summer Music + Movies in Loring Park is all about boxing this year.

    Pete Scholtes reports that someone stole Spider John Koerner's 1947 Acoustic Gretsch guitar. That's a damn dirty-ass shame. Keep your eyes open at the guitar shops.
    There's been a lot of talk about organizing blogs by topic lately. I have my opinions, but right now I want to throw something out to you Movable Type gurus.

    I work at a public television station. We have lots of shows in different genres. (You can see where I'm going...) I'm starting to think we should use Movable Type to organize the programming highlights. We'd have maybe only 4 large genre areas, really 4 blogs. Science + Technology, History + Society, Arts + Culture, and Kids. (I know, kids is an audience but it's also a genre.) Let's pick one of those, say History + Society. You go there and see a chronological list of program highlights. Each program is a blog entry, listing the usual info but also category (eg. History, Public Affairs, etc) and perhaps a "Comment on this program."

    The question: These programs all happen in the future. I essentially want future dated posts to appear now. Can I make Movable Type do that? Do I tell Movable Type that it's really the year 3003? I could do that, but it makes the archives wrong. Then again, we don't really need to archive these highlights.

    What do you smart people think?

    Related Issue: Allowing comments opens a huge can of worms. We lack the resources to constantly monitor a zillion comments. As much as I want to interact with our audiences and let them interact with each other on programs they care about, it's a tough sell.

    Monday, July 07, 2003

    Well the leisurely 4th weekend comes to a close, and I'm happy I didn't too much of anything. I learned it's hard to use a laptop at the beach – not because of sand, but it's just too damn bright to see the screen. I had to build a little shade fort. I also realized I'm outgrowing my old Sidekick. Don't get me wrong, I love the lil' bugger. Especially when I'm travelling or have a few moments to kill. But I want more - a device that gives me WiFi from (and synchs with) my Titanium laptop, a better camera, and a better phone. I yearn for the wireless lifestyle. I'm leaning toward the forthcoming Siemens SX1, recommended by a reader. I welcome your gadget experiences and recommendations.

  • NY Times on Blogs in the Workplace
  • Apple working on tablet Mac
  • "Flash mobs" thriving in NYC (and soon, Minneapolis)
  • ProBlog Blogologue is a fine new blog about blogs. "Every link has a meaning."
  • First International Love Hotel Moblogging Conference
  • Ray Ozzie's essay on extreme mobility
  • Wish I could make it to Supernova. (Anybody want to register me? It's a tax-deductible donation!) This Supernova is all about decentralization. Everything is. I can palpably feel Blogumentary ascending above blogs into other decentralized phenomena... smart mobs, emergent democracy, open source media, the interconnected cosmic brain.
  • Sunday, July 06, 2003


    I'm as American as they get... dirty martinis and Harry Potter 2: The Chamber of Secrets on a Saturday night with my honey. This, after a leisurely day at the beach. I swear I never used to like old school gin martinis. And I used to pshaw all things Harry Potter, a gut reaction to anything so, so suburban momishly popular. Hell, I never used to have any desire to buy a house either, but now we're doing all of the above. Just dirty martinis and Harry Potter tonight, but Lori and I are finding out what we qualify for on Tuesday. It'll be a miracle if we qualify for a chicken shack given my crappy credit, but at least it'll be our chicken shack. And Harry Potter is about ten times better than T3, although with far fewer explosions and no gay stereotypes. Harry Potter vs. Arnold for California governor, now there's a race I'd pay to see.

    Saturday, July 05, 2003

    Barry White, dead at 58. When, oh when, will the celebrity deaths stop? Don't they have some sort of celebrity immortality potion by now? We had some good times, Barry. Some damn good times.

    Friday, July 04, 2003

    Thursday, July 03, 2003


    Bloggers in America are aiming to spark a political revolution that will be delivered by the web. Guardian

    The more I read about this and what Howard Dean is doing, the more I know I need to be on the blog campaign trail with my Blogumentary camera. Off to the White Stripes!
    One of the most inspirational and - yes - American documentaries I've ever seen, Run Some Idiot, recently screened at the American Film Institute's new SilverDocs Festival outside Washington, D.C. The film was produced by my documentary guru (and grade school chum) Matt Ehling with Jim Taylor.

    Shot during the 2000 presidential election, this film hilariously chronicles the campaign trail of a very creative and eccentric individual. When Jim Taylor is asked why he decided to run for president, his reply (and new motto) is straightforward: "Because everything is crappy."

    I think we need Jim Taylor now more than ever.

    ALSO: Make 'Em Dance: The Hackberry Ramblers Story, produced by another one of my documentary gurus John Whitehead, won a Jury Award at the Wisconsin Film Festival and was picked up by PBS' Independent Lens. Congrats to John and Matt. Long live doc!

    Wednesday, July 02, 2003

    Somehow I stumbled across Red Dirt Girl's blog, who tells the story of her weird friendship-turned-romance with a rock star she refers to as Mr. X. It reminds me of my friend Jessica who had a weird friendship with Dave Matthews. She's showed me pictures of him, looking much younger, sitting on a hotel room bed with his acoustic guitar. He's what you might call, a "dorm room guitarist." Anyway, if you have time on your hands read Red Dirt Girl's mini-saga: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 (features James Van der Beek and sex!), and Conclusion.
    This sucks. San Francisco Chronicle article

    Okay, keep in mind I'm still tipsy. See my previous post. I frigging LOVE Buddy Hackett. He used to be on Carson all the time and he was outta control. I'm sorry, but jokes about dicks, farting and midgets are pretty much all I ever need. Are you with me people? Here are some MP3s of Buddy live in his heydey:

    Buddy Hackett on farting (600k MP3)
    Buddy Hackett on sex (1.1 MB MP3)
    Buddy Hackett on all kindsa stuff (17 MB MP3)
    Okay, I just want to say that the Atkins diet has kept me from having a drop of alcohol for like 18 days. Makes me sound like I'm in a 12 step program. Well tonight I had a couple of vodka-sodas (no sugar in club soda) with lemon, and damn I'm feelin' good. And I saw my friends, one of whom karaoke'd "Holy Diver" by DIO. Life is good. Give it up for booze, people. It was all for Joel Stitzel's birthday. Weird Science, Copacabana, god i love karaoke. The problem is, the amount of alcohol I need to karaoke is not compatible with the amount I can have to drive home.

    LISTENING: New Starlight Mints, Broadcast, a Devo anthology, a Jamaican calypso collection, New Pornographers (playing sat nite). WAITING TO WATCH: American Movie DVD, Fast Cheap + Out of Control DVD, Necromancy starring Orson Welles, F is for Fake starring and directed by Orson Welles, and all that hot summer booty at the beach. Are you with me?

    Tuesday, July 01, 2003

  • Nader is thinking of running again. I love the man, and it pains me, but I can't risk voting for him again. We need him more than ever to hold Bush's feet to the fire and expose the impotence of the Democratic party, but I have to support him with words not votes this time around.

  • Jeff Jarvis takes Thomas Friedman to task over his "Is Google God?" article. Bravo. If a library has a book that tells you how to make a bomb, are libraries - left unchecked - going to lead to islands of hate and more bombings? Technologies such as Wi-Fi and Google that let us find any information, anywhere contribute to a shared knowledge culture. Evil people can and will harness these technologies toward evil ends, just like they do with telephones and mail. But the global interconnected network - the collective intelligence Pierre Levy calls the cosmopedia – is inherently about giving and sharing information. Information means facts, opinions, conversations, debate, pictures, video... the stuff we all consume and exchange everyday on the Net. I've only built bridges with people from other cultures and countries, and I've only encountered people wanting to build bridges. There are flash in the pan spats, of course, usually from trolls with too much time and dysfunction on their hands. When the Troll Wars come, they will be eliminated and we'll all live happily ever after. On a hemp juice bus. Doing yoga with our robot companions. Naked. And stoned out of our freaking brainbot implants.

  • Bravo! Canada has a video interview with documentary filmmaker Ron Mann. I've never seen a Ron Mann film, but I've decided he's my new hero. He's been making counter-culture documentaries on things like comic books (Comic Book Confidential) and free jazz (Imagine the Sound) and actually getting theatrical distribution. His latest, Go Further, follows Woody Harrelson and his ragtag group of environmental activists as they make a 1,000 mile journey in a hemp fuel-powered bus called The Mothership. The film's been called "Electric KoolAid Acid Test on Tofu." Yeah I know, that's waaaaay too hippy-dippy – and I drive a Volvo wagon.

  • TIME Magazine: Who Lost the WMD? I thought you had the WMD? Who let the dawgs out?

  • IM Robot Friends. A fun thing especially for Sidekick owners – get weather, news, various tools and fun things from an Instant Messenger bot. Neato! [ via Many-to-Many ]