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wednesday, june, 28

There's a new Kvetch of the Moment today: "Only people who don't have it say it can't buy everything." –Dani. Kvetch about money!   + 12:44 PM

So I got my copy of net.people today. I have to admit, I'm totally stoked. It's a great idea for a book – personal, in-depth interviews with people who make websites for love, not money. Most of the folks in the book I'd never heard of, and, to be honest, a lot of the sites look fairly cheesy. But the sites aren't what's important – it's the personal stories that make the book interesting. And don't let the cheeseball cover and clipart graphics dissuade you, there are some amazing stories in there, and I'm proud to be one of them. Mom and Dad, your copies are in the mail.   + 11:52 AM


tuesday, june, 27

scary technology idea number one

Palm computer + digital camera/scanner + high res imaging software + giant networked database = portable, handheld fingerprinting device.

Imagine coming back to your car to find your radio stolen. Would the cops send over a fingerprinter? No, it's too costly for such a petty crime. But with this device, you could wave it over your car and see who's touched it recently. Once you have the name, you could cross-reference the person's address and phone number and....

"Hello, police? My car stereo was stolen. Yes. Uh huh. You're very busy. I see. Well, I can give you the name and address of the thief, would that help?"   + 8:43 PM

New in sfstories: Sometimes my morning commute is like magic.   + 8:38 PM

Javascript was invented by very mad, very grumpy people who's only joy is making web designers who try to use it very mad and very grumpy.   + 7:24 PM

Attention fellow Bay Area devotees of the octopus messiah: Ian is in our midst! You can catch him this week at the following performances.

    Wednesday (tomorrow!), June 28, 8:00 pm
    at The Starry Plough in Berkeley
    3101 Shattuck Avenue (between Ashby & Alcatraz), 510/841.2082
    $5 cover charge includes admission to subsequent poetry slam.

    Thursday, June 29, 7:00 pm
    at Copperfield's Cafe in Petaluma
    144 Kentucky, 707/762.8798
    No cover charge (so buy a coffee or something, eh?).

    Friday, June 30, 7:00 pm
    at Notes from the Underground in San Francisco
    2399 Van Ness (@ Green), 415/775.7638
    No cover charge. (Or, you know, a pastry, maybe a soda?)

If you've never been exposed to the brilliant light of truth and fiction that is the Octopus Messiah, you can check out his performance from fray day 3 in photos and real audio (22 minutes in). Or you could just buy his damn book, of course.

I'll probably be at tomorrow's show. Hope to see you there!   + 11:28 AM


sunday, june, 25

Hey sfstories posters – check your mail. You're in for a treat.   + 3:54 PM


friday, june, 23

rockin' the headphones today: Fat Headed Stranger by Wammo

"'Cause there are no more home run heroes.
There are no more thirty minute guitar solos.
There are no more happy trees and fluffy little
clouds. So don't worry about me."

Mid-nineties twenty-something acoustic angst has never sounded so good. What the Violent Femmes were to the 80s, Wammo is for the 90s (only Wammo can play a mean washboard, too).   + 12:30 PM


thursday, june, 22

Was that a flying pig I just saw? Did hell just freeze over? Or is there really a link to {fray} from the front page of Fast Company?   + 11:25 AM

internal decisions made external

"Weblog" is a nebulous term. Because I am an optimist, I give it an all-encompassing definition: a place where you put your voice online, updated frequently.

In that definition, powazek.com is a weblog. But in the more fundamentalist definition, where a weblog is external links and commentary, powazek.com is not. Not anymore.

I have made an internal decision to refocus this site on its original goal: to tell the people who care about the Powazek Productions (fray, kvetch, sfstories, and more) what's up with them, and me.

That means I'm making a (hopefully) graceful exit from the "community of webloggers" as of now. I have marked this site "private" in Blogger so it will not show up in the directory. I have removed it from weblogs.com and the beebo ratings. I deleted my metafilter bookmark. I will most likely redesign this site in the near future to look less like a weblog.

I am doing this because I want my site back. I feel that my conscious effort to be a weblogger has brought me too much annoyance and bile, taken too much time and energy away from my other projects, and interfered in my personal life and friendships. It hasn't been all bad, of course. Just bad enough to make we want to refocus on what brings me joy, instead of what doesn't.

So if you love the sites I make, or care about what I think, please come back once in a while. I'll have some treats for you. But if you're a weblogger who's only care is trying to get a link or worrying what the "popular kids" are up to, go away. This site is no longer for you. (In fact, this is the last time I will ever address this proverbial "you" directly.)

No, I am not doing this for attention or to cause a stir. No, I don't want to debate it. I'm just refocusing my site on what I want it to be about, and who it's for. I'm doing this because I feel I need to. For me. I'd like it very much if everyone just shrugged, said "good for him," and went on with their lives. Because that's what I plan to do.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with something to think about. If you run a site that you call a weblog, who do you do it for? Yourself? Your friends and family? The "community" of webloggers? Any answer is the right answer, of course. It's up to every site creator to decide for themselves. But if you've never thought about it, you should. The answer may surprise you.   + 10:58 AM


wednesday, june, 21

Please welcome love is a dog from hell personals, the newest advertiser in Kvetch!. Remember, you could be a Kvetch!vertiser, too.   + 1:26 PM


tuesday, june, 20

I just paid my yearly invoice for fray.com. That means I've had the domain for four years now. It also means there's a party coming up....   + 7:07 PM

(Confidential to Kristina: Robots!)   + 5:45 PM

Ev pointed out some more thinking on voluntary micropayments:

    "Every online payment system that exists today operates on one fundamental assumption: that the user has to be forced to pay even a few cents for content. This, by necessity, involves limiting access to content before payment is delivered. So why is it that no one has tried a voluntary, post-facto payment method?"

Well, I'm sold. My PayPal account is growing with goodwill as we speak. I can hardly believe this. Tomorrow's mocha is on you!   + 4:47 PM

I have now received $1.75 via PayPal. It's easy to make jokes about this because it's really just pocket change. Hell, a buck sevety-five won't even cover my morning mocha. But somehow it still boggles my mind. In all my years of giving away content on the web, I've never seen such a quick, easy, voluntary way to throw money around. I don't usually say stuff like this, but, well, this could really change everything.   + 2:53 PM

At lunch today, Ev, jack, Matt and I all talked about what happened in LA. (Side question: Is it still considered name-dropping if they're really just the people you work with and you don't add links?) "The thing I don't get," I said, "is that they won! Shouldn't you start a riot if you've lost?" Then I came back to the office to find a nice email from Siobhan with a link to some similar thoughts on LA and a reminder that there are still some decent people there. Of course there are! You can pick them out easily, too: they're the ones shaking their heads in embarrassment.   + 2:39 PM

Moments like this make me so very happy to no longer be a living in LA. Sheesh. At least there's humor to be found in the situation.   + 11:12 AM


monday, june, 19

A year and a half ago I was interviewed for a book about the net. Today I find out that it is finally about to be published. Man. A year and a half is a pretty long time online, and my thinking has changed so much. I can only hope I said something coherent.   + 7:53 PM

All my hard work pays off at last! Today Dinah sent me fifty cents through PayPal – a quarter for {fray} and a quarter for this here site. Thanks, Dinah! I always thought the idea of micropayments was a bit wanky, but voluntary micropayments? Well, that's just sweet.   + 6:39 PM

So that is what an internet rock star looks like....   + 10:57 AM

Today only, it's ... derek.cam!   + 10:29 AM


sunday, june, 18

Apparently I am fucking brilliant. Don't worry, you can be, too!   + 4:48 PM

Just down 16th Street, past Katz Bagels where they make the best everything bagels in San Francisco, and before the black man with the gold tooth sang sweet soul to us, we found a dingy tailor shop with beautiful colors in the window....   + 3:52 PM

Happy Father's Day, Dad!   + 3:27 PM


friday, june, 16

StripCamHistory1.jpg   + 7:28 PM

Cool stuff from the work front! Two things I've been working on (along with all the other talented folks here, of course) finally went live today.

First off, if you use Blogger, be sure to check out the new how to section (jack's one about Tom Cruise is a personal favorite).

Then head over to pyra.com and check out the new design. It's not the fullblown site yet, but it's a cool start.   + 5:08 PM

These people are having way too much fun.   + 5:03 PM

Just when I think I've seen and read it all, when the daily emotional outbursts of the internet have made me tired and calloused and I finally feel like my skin is so thick I could sit on nails and eat glass and not care, something busts through the din and makes me actually feel.   + 11:04 AM


thursday, june, 15

Happiness is listening to Aimee Mann on Fresh Air two days later in real audio.   + 12:18 PM


wednesday, june, 14

It is now, officially, hot as fuck.   + 12:06 PM


tuesday, june, 13

"Stop poking me!"
"Stop poking me!"
Poke. Poke, poke, poke, poke...   + 5:53 PM

Sometimes I think about forever.   + 10:23 AM


monday, june, 12

Dearest Jezebel.com,

Where has the time gone, girl? It seems like just yesterday when I discovered you. All tilde-ed and humble, waiting to burst onto the scene. Remember when Glenn linked to you because you did the little happy boy pog graphic? It seems so long ago now....

I do remember you, you know. I remember looking at that cute girl in all the mirrors, too. A long time ago – before I met her. Did I ever tell you that when we finally met, I didn't recognize her? It's true! What can I say, I was tired. She forgave me, though. Eventually.

So happy birthday, baby. I hope it was filled with cake and champagne. I'd offer some sage advice, but, well, none of my sites have made it to four yet. Soon, though. Then maybe they can come sit at the big kid's table with you and Mister Z.

You don't look a day over three, baby.

Big love,

-- Derek, a long-time admirer   + 5:03 PM

I always suspected Greg Knauss was a man of his word, but now I know for sure.   + 3:30 PM

Hey Bloggers! I have a request for you about {fray} stories. If you wanna link to your post, that's great. I love that. But it'd be nice if you also linked to the beginning of the story. See, it's intended to be a sequential experience, and I want people to actually read the story before posting. Chalk it up to me being a fussy artist or something. Just think about it. Thanks.   + 9:38 AM


sunday, june, 11

New in {fray}: "I can still hear the sound of her idle – a sexy rumble like a mischievous cat." Caleb Clark's high maintenance.

This story got me thinking about my old bug Rosie and all the trouble we got into together. I still miss that car.   + 7:14 PM

Before there were such things as "web zines," I worked on real life print zines. My hands smelled of carbon and glue as I pasted pages together at Kinkos during the midnight shift when they really didn't care if you paid or not, so long as you didn't disturb their nap. Sometimes I miss those days.

When web zines came along, I was into it. Heavy into it. But I never thought the term "zine" fit very well. Web zines seemed to lack some of the cool of their print predecessors. They never really felt as alive. Sure they were global in their reach (distribution being the key limiting factor in the print zine world), something was just missing.

Well, forget all that and check out Shorn. Yes, it's all Flash. Yes, David Carson would be proud. Yes, it's only a prototype. But the it's brimming with life, humor, and cool. If the final product delivers on the promise of the beta, the web zine may have finally arrived. [via skizz]   + 10:19 AM


saturday, june, 10

I like a girl who can radial blur.   + 9:07 PM

fun with numbers!
As of tonight, there have been 10,000 posts to {fray}. The biggest individual story, as far as posting goes, has been the year 2000, which is at 451 posts and going strong. Big numbers aren't the point, of course, but sometimes it's nice to stop and look back at how far you've come.   + 8:45 PM


thursday, june, 8

Timing is, as ever, everything.   + 10:27 AM


wednesday, june, 7

Only in Salon would you see:

1. A story say "Eminem has the right to rap about whatever he wants, and if executives at Interscope are comfortable releasing that sort of CD, then the debate ends right there" and then go on for three pages.

2. A story about how there is, essentially, no story.

3. A business writer reviewing rap music.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think Eminem is a prodigy or anything. His lyrics make me uncomfortable, too. But three pages of whiny commentary by a business guy that basically boils down to "why isn't everyone morally outraged like I am" seems desperate and sad, even for Salon. It's like saying, "Boy is it quiet in here." The very act of saying it makes the statement untrue.   + 2:05 PM

I'm rooting for the bug.   + 1:46 PM

Ten ten ten ten for everything everything everything everything....   + 10:57 AM


tuesday, june, 6

It's my first post to blogger.com. Woo! And it only took me three and a half weeks to work up the gumption, too.   + 7:16 PM

More graduation stories: + + + +   + 12:12 PM

This morning was one of those awful comedies of errors that would be funny if you were watching it happen to someone else. It's eight thirty and the shower has forgotten how to make hot water. Then the sink refuses to drain. Then you miss the muni train by a second. Buckle up, boy. It's gonna be one of those days.   + 10:35 AM

How come no one told me that Loobylu had moved out of her old pitas digs and into her very own place? Yay!   + 1:13 AM

Listen to the animal.   + 12:46 AM


monday, june, 5

Go Betty!   + 8:42 PM

Believe it.   + 7:23 PM

What I remember most from my high school graduation: the itchiness of the green polyester suit jacket I bought for the occasion at a second hand store; the feel of the grass as I took off my shoes; the look of amusement on the face of Mrs. Penn, my beloved English teacher, as she saw me walk up to accept my diploma sans-shoes; and the note from the principal, a few days later, which asked me to come into her office to explain my behavior. Right now, lost in some drawer in Southern California, is a photographer's contact print of me in that maroon gown, walking up to accept my diploma, where you can just see the tops of my rebellious naked feet.   + 10:21 AM


sunday, june, 4

Beautiful stories about photos. I especially liked the last one.   + 2:08 PM

Food for thought.   + 1:30 PM

She says I help her grow. I say she sets me free.   + 12:48 PM


saturday, june, 3

We are everywhere.   + 9:36 PM

There's nothing more depressing than a raging party next door.   + 9:23 PM

Dude! Next time just come say hello.   + 9:19 PM


friday, june, 2

Helvetica is so poised for a comeback.   + 6:05 PM


thursday, june, 1

"Hey kids look at this. It's the fall of the world's own optimist. I could get back up if you insist, but you'll have to ask politely."
Aimee Mann, Bachelor No. 2   + 11:19 AM

 © 2000 derek m. powazek ^top