«   Thoughts from March 2003   »

New in {fray}: Bookends
Just a thought from 30 March 2003 about .

New fray story - a place to tell the personal stories of life during wartime, 12 years apart. Bookends: From 1991 to 2003. From school to salary. From home to away. These gulf wars are the bookends of my generation.

Random Saturday Bits
Just a thought from 29 March 2003 about .

» Heather and I went to The Container Store today. Two giant floors of, well, containers. It's an anal-retentive wet dream. Everything in its right place. And yet we still couldn't find a magazine rack we liked. I don't know if that means we're too anal, or not nearly anal enough.

» The Core is actually a great flick, in a Saturday afternoon popcorn and Coke kinda way, so long as you go in expecting the worst. And, really, how could you not?

» It's funny if you say it five times fast: Rumsfeld Baghdad Bunker Busters. Rumsfeld Baghdad Bunker Busters. Rumsfeld Baghdad Bunker Busters. Rumsfeld Baghdad Bunker Busters. Rumsfeld Baghdad Bunker Busters. And if you say it enough, you can almost forget what all those words mean.

» It's the most beautiful day here in San Francisco. Brighter and warmer than any day I can remember. The first Saturday I've been able to relax in weeks. So I think I will.

Yeah, right
Just a thought from 27 March 2003 about .

Tell me again how this war isn't about religion and isn't about oil and isn't about money. Ugh.

SF Stories in Mister SF
Just a thought from 27 March 2003 about .

San Francisco Stories ended its intermission today with two stories (that had previously appeared here, but still): The Secrets of Cole Valley and Oh My Aching Legs.

There's also a nice mention of the SF Stories book over at MisterSF.com, which also appears in the San Francisco Independent today. If you trip over it on your doorstep, give it a read!

Just a thought from 24 March 2003 about .

Off to the User Interface 7 West conference. Hope to see you there.

January 15, 1991
Just a thought from 22 March 2003 about .


protest17.jpgThat's me, second from the right, a few months from 18, when life was much simpler. I was interviewed by the local paper, The Pomona Daily Bulletin. My answers are pure know-it-all teenager brilliance. Back then, I really believed that that all our problems could be solved by just talking to each other.

On my good days, I still believe that.

On a positive note
Just a thought from 21 March 2003 about .

The Mirror Project is having a funding drive! If you've enjoyed any of the 14,000 mirror shots from all over the world, now's the time to say thanks.

Snapshots from San Francisco
Just a thought from 20 March 2003 about .

And here we see the socially-conscious people of San Francisco keeping other people from going to work, because we're bombing Iraq.

And here we see the politically aware people of San Francisco keeping a Muni driver from doing his job, because we're bombing Iraq.

And here we see one of San Francisco's most valiant citizens punishing a newspaper box, because we're bombing Iraq.

I love San Francisco. I really do. I love San Francisco because we're a little wacky. A lot different. But there are times when I'm sad for my city.

For example, when my fellow citizens put red food dye in milk, drink it, and then go to the financial district and vomit on the steps of buildings where ordinary people are trying to go to work, that makes me sad.

And yes, oh yes, they are feeding the capitalist machine, those people. I know. I went to college, too. But we're not talking about the capitalist machine today, class. We're talking about one moron head of state dropping bombs on another moron head of state because he can. Preemptively.

In 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland and began to kill a lot of people, including most everybody who's last name was Powazek, that was a preemptive attack. In 1988, when Saddam gassed thousands of Kurds, that was a preemptive attack. What we do now, under the guise of a preemptive attack, is no better.

I am ashamed of my country. Ashamed of my president. But all those things are far away and out of my control (at least until 2004). It's the close-to-home stuff that stings. It's the black-clad Korn kiddies walking down Market Street spraypainting on windows that sickens me.

These people have their heart in the right place. They really do. And I am every bit as outraged by what's happening in the world as they are. I just don't think we should use it as an excuse to break windows and act like lunatics. I don't think we should take it out on each other. It doesn't help our case, it just makes all our lives harder.

We need to show the world that smart, rational, intelligent people oppose the war for good reasons. Not because we think Saddam is a kick in the pants, but because we don't believe in punishing the people of Iraq just because we haven't mounted bin Ladin's head on our wall yet. And because we don't believe our president when he says that Iraq has something to do with the horrible events of September 11, 2001. And because we all know that there really was no pressing need to do this now, except for our oversized national ego.

We need to come up with other solutions. Other ideas. We need to fight idiocy with logic until the truth is just so obvious no one can deny it. And, if nothing else, we need to let each other get to work on time.

Warblogger? Moi?
Just a thought from 20 March 2003 about .

I'm busy contributing to AlterNet's War on Iraq coverage today.

It bears repeating
Just a thought from 18 March 2003 about .

They're cutting the bull
And they're drinking its blood
Show me a patriot
Show me a scud
And that's about all I can get from TV
and there's still this feeling sticking with me.

– Michael Penn, "By the Book"

Pain at the Pump
Just a thought from 14 March 2003 about .

I filled up Flo (my '91 Honda Civic) last night. I drive so little, I only do this every couple months. It was only after I'd already swiped my credit card and started pumping that I noticed the price: $2.29/gallon.

I considered stopping at half-tank to save money. I could go for a couple weeks on half a tank, I thought.

But then I remembered: In a couple weeks, we'll be bombing Iraq.

I filled the whole tank.

(And if you think it's sad that I'm thinking about war at the pump, well, that's where our leaders are thinking about it, too. And you're right, that is sad.)

Random SXSW Thoughts
Just a thought from 9 March 2003 about .

» I remember when SXSW was not all about weblogs. Of course, back then, it was all about plugging your company. But at least, back then, when you saw people typing into laptops in the audience, you didn't suspect they were chatting with each other.

» Everything that can be said about weblogs has already been said. Over and over and over. And still we don't know anything. One thing is clear: We need a larger set of descriptive terms to talk about what we're doing: Journalistic blogs, personal homepages, event calendars....

» WiFi really does change everything. Being able to select a node and instantly be online from the conference room, hallway, and bathroom is amazing. And, yes, I really did see someone walking out of the men's room with an open laptop.

» Know that old metaphor? "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Well, when you're a blogger, everything looks like a blog. Unfortunately, not everything is.

» Good Lord am I tired of talking about weblogs.

» Historical note: I was the first person to ever hold a panel on weblogs at SXSW. Hell, I'm the one who told Hugh to cover this stuff. That was back in 2000, when Ben Brown delivered a passionate speech against them. So, basically, this is partially my fault. Sorry.

» What I love about SXSW: They sell beer in the corridors and cigarettes on the balconies. Texas understands vice.

Just a thought from 9 March 2003 about .

I am at SXSW. In a panel about weblogs and journalism. With wireless internet acces. On my shiny new Powerbook. I am a nerd.

And, yet, I refuse to "live blog." Sorry.

Instead, come see me tell a story tonight at Fray Cafe. It's gonna be a doozy.

Two Recent Clips
Just a thought from 5 March 2003 about .

The Things We Do for Love: Gifts from Strangers, Left in Public, Guided by Satellites in Receiver Magazine (Issue 07).

Connecting Invisibles: How Associations Can Get Their Members Talking Online in Executive Update Magazine (February 2003).

Conference Madness
Just a thought from 2 March 2003 about .

Pardon me while I toot my own horn and make you an offer you can't refuse.

Operators are standing by!

On March 24-27, I'll be speaking at User Interface 7 West in beautiful San Francisco. It's a fantastic conference – informative, deep, and packed with brainy speakers like Jared Spool and Molly Holzschlag. The spectrum of topics covered is just incredible. Of course, I'll be talking about community design, presenting an update of many of the topics covered in the book.

If all that sounds good you'd like to attend, I have a special treat for you! Just mention special promotion code DP01 to get $60 off each single-day registration, or a whopping $300 discount off the four-day registration. Such a deal!

So go register already! Hope to see you there.

Speaking of conferences...

I'll also be moderating a panel at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX, on March 10. If you're attending the conference, do stop by to witness, as the conference panel description says:

Surviving Your Own Collaborative Project: Independent site creators Heather Champ (The Mirror Project), Derek Powazek (Design for Community), and Michael Schmidt (K10k) discuss the hazards of running a collaborative project, as well as pass on their tips and tricks for surviving their creations. A must-see panel for anyone running a multi-author blog, intranet, or community site.

SXSW is also ground zero for Fray Cafe 3, so if you're in Austin on March 9, come tell a story! You'll be sharing the very same stage as Scott Andrew LePera (of the Walkingbirds), who will be playing an solo acoustic set. Rumor also has it that two all-time favorite Fray performers will be performing: Slam poet chanteuse Tarin Towers and local Austinite and crazy man Ben Brown. Are the rumors true? Come to Fray Cafe and find out!

This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts from March 2003, including:

New in {fray}: Bookends
30 March 2003

Random Saturday Bits
29 March 2003

Yeah, right
27 March 2003

SF Stories in Mister SF
27 March 2003

24 March 2003

January 15, 1991
22 March 2003

On a positive note
21 March 2003

Snapshots from San Francisco
20 March 2003

Warblogger? Moi?
20 March 2003

It bears repeating
18 March 2003

Pain at the Pump
14 March 2003

Random SXSW Thoughts
9 March 2003

9 March 2003

Two Recent Clips
5 March 2003

Conference Madness
2 March 2003

Join the POWlist
Enter your email address here so I can send an occasional note to your inbox. Only good things, I promise. More info »

The Fine Print

Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »

Join the POWlist to receive the occasional note.


New in {fray}: Bookends  30 March 2003

Random Saturday Bits  29 March 2003

Yeah, right  27 March 2003

SF Stories in Mister SF  27 March 2003

Interfacing  24 March 2003

Thought Archive »


Thoughts by month:

Thoughts by subject:

Search with Technorati:

Search with Google:

In Print
My CaliforniaMy California
Contributor (Story)
We DoWe Do
Contributor (Photos)
Design for CommunityDesign for Community
Author (Tech)
San Francisco StoriesSan Francisco Stories
Author (Stories)
We've Got BlogWe've Got Blog
Contributor (Essay)