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powazek productions
{ personal log }

tourist trapped

When I first mentioned going to Poland, several people suggested we stop by the Wieliczka Salt Mine outside of Krakow. And today, that's just what we did.

A million years ago, a mountain of salt rock formed under Wieliczka. Hundreds of years ago, people started mining it. And today, if you visit there, you can pay thirty Zlotys and get dragged hundreds of feet below the surface of the Earth in a tour group of thirty-five to see, well, a whole lot of salt.

{ more » }   { 9:45am }


talking about it

Talking to my dad and Barbara over runny eggs in the Europejski hotel and the conversation turns to Kaycee, of all things. It turns to trust and honesty, public and private, internal and external.

And dad asks, "Did you write last night?"

And for this moment they both look at me.

{ more » }   { 1:41am }


waking in warsaw

You're never really in a place until you wake up there.

Before that, it could just be a dream. A hallucination. Before that, you've still got the smell of California in your hair, the feel of your soap from your bathroom clings to your skin, and the clothes you put on that morning in your bedroom are still there.

Before you wake up in a place, you could always turn back.

{ more » }   { 11:53pm }


bags packed

Today I walked out of the drug store with three kinds of allergy medication, four digital video tapes, six roles of film, and one Wired Magazine. A quick trip to the book store and I added Chuck Palahniuk's latest (I always wind up reading him on airplanes) and a pocket Polish/English dictionary.

I packed all of this in a suitcase along with three different cameras (digital still, film still, digital video), a wad of socks and underwear, and whatever clean t-shirts I had left. Then I ran all over the apartment throwing in random stuff. A voltage converter. A jacket. Some earplugs. Gum.

I packed it all up nice and neat (and heavy) and stared at it. Here's where I say, "I'm ready," and blast off into the great unknown. That's what I really want to say. But I'm not.

{ more » }   { 1:46am }


I'm currently in Poland! I'll be back on June 4.

{ more » }   { 1:10am }


dfc news: covered

Ladies and gents, we have a cover!

{ more » }   { 5:59pm }

new in {fray}

"It wasn't until I was 3,000 miles away that I could finally say good-bye to Mike."

Don Bruns finds Baker Beach.

{ 4:28am }


new in kvetch

Today I changed the Kvetch of the Moment to more closely match my current headspace. Also, Kvetch is pleased to have a new advertiser.

{ 8:44pm }

dotcom documentary days

Did you catch some shrapnel from the dotcom bomb? El Sucka wants to hear your story. He's doing a road trip to gather stories for a documentary.

The idea of a dotcom documentary got me thinking....

{ more » }   { 2:12am }


link: munchausen syndrome

"Munchausen" isn't just the name of a fabulous movie....

{ 11:58pm }

apple hoo-ha

Apple released a sweet 17-inch flat-panel monitor today that I completely covet.

"There's now no reason not to be using one of our amazing displays with your Power Mac," said Steve Jobs.

Well, there's one reason. If you own a Power Mac that's a couple years old like I do, then you can't use the new displays, because you don't have an Apple Display Connector, Apple's new proprietary connector, and the new monitors don't take the industry standard VGA input.

{ more » }   { 5:52pm }

and now for something completely different

Puppy porn!

{ 12:17pm }


a conversation with my sister

I did not know Kaycee Nicole, but my sister did.

Jenny is my little sister, and though it may be wrong to call an independent 25 year-old "little" I still see her that way. So when she started a weblog a few months ago, I felt a little protective of her. Jenny had far less experience with the internet than I did. She hadn't seen much of its dark side.

Jenny took to the web with abandon – telling her stories, meeting new people, forming virtual relationships. After Jenny had been reading Kaycee's weblog for a while, she began emailing her off and on.

{ more » }   { 4:02pm }

fd5 news

Fray Day 5 finally has its own page:


{ 3:16am }


thank you

The amazingly cool thing about the internet is that it's given me all these people, all over the world, who I know and love. And today you all sent me cards and email to say happy birthday. And that means so much. Thank you. It's nice to be remembered.

Now if only we could all go out for a beer together....

{ 3:35pm }

happy birthday to me

looking up

{ more » }   { 12:34am }


a sort of homecoming

On May 24, just nine days from now, my father, my step-mother, and I will step foot on Polish soil. We will be the first Powazeks to do so in over fifty years.

This is not going to be a light trip.

{ more » }   { 1:01am }


accept change

accept change

I know Microsoft wasn't intentionally being philosophical when they wrote this particular contextual menu into Word, but, still, whenever I see it, I pause for just a moment.

{ more » }   { 11:55pm }


happy mother's day

I know it's just a Hallmark holiday, made up to sell cards. But I don't care.

We don't often think about how much our mothers have given to us, have meant to us, have done for us. This one day on the calendar in May is just a little reminder.

So happy mother's day, mom. The card is in the mail.

{ more » }   { 4:12am }


idea: rivo

Anyone who's been converted to the Church of TiVo can tell you that it changes your entire relationship with television. Now, instead of sitting down and tuning out to whatever dreck happens to be on, you just tell TiVo what you like and it preemptively records it. So when you sit down to kill a few brain cells in front of the tube, all your favorite shows are there waiting for you.

Since I've become a TiVo addict, I've been thinking: I want TiVo for my radio. Call it RiVo.

{ more » }   { 3:34pm }



In my own completely biased view, seems like the mutant child of Kvetch! and {fray}. It's an interesting new site that possesses all the randomness of Kvetch with the intimacy of {fray}, plus an interesting Slashdot-esque karma system. Perhaps this will explain it better. Definitely one to watch.

{ 5:01pm }

the pups

Did I mention that the pups are here? It's amazing how quickly dogs that small can wiggle their way into your heart.

{ 4:54pm }



Fray Day 5 is coming! We're still looking for people to organize Fray Days in their towns. We're going global with FD5. On September 8, four months from now, live storytelling events will take place all over the world. Among the first cities to sign up: Washington DC and Toronto, Canada. Wanna throw one in your home town? Get in touch.

{ 11:13pm }


aw shucks

You know what's cool? Reading reviews of your labor of love by your mom and dad. That's cool.

{ 7:54pm }

stickers for stories wants to right past wrongs and send you some stickers. The catch? You have to tell a story on the subject: "kids are mean."

Not that kids are ever mean, of course....

{ 12:32pm }


"This night is the perfect antidote / for all of the poison that you wrote."
– Elvis Costello, All Grown Up

{ 1:29am }


freedom for my people

It never fails.

Every year, about this time, I start getting phone calls from my parents. And every year they ask the question.

"What do you want for your birthday, Derek?"

And every year my answer is the same.

"Freedom for my people!"

This year, however, I also sent them to my wish list.

{ 10:02pm }


There's a special place in hell for downstairs neighbors who lack the capacity to understand why 4am is a bad time to blast their television, in spite of the ragged, weary, sleepless person standing in their doorway at that horrible hour to tell them so.

And I don't even believe in hell.

{ 6:18pm }


viva la web

Sometimes the amount of brilliant shit that comes pouring out of the web astounds me. Lance comes out. Jeffrey tells it like it is. And my own little sister gives me props. Viva la web!

{ 9:52pm }


pretty please?

Vote for {fray} in the Webby People's Voice Awards!

{ more » }   { 2:47pm }

one more thing

And, just in case there had been any doubt, it's the double-whammy of and that's nominated for the community webby.

Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the People's Voice section because of complicated database issues. Still, it's nice to have the relationship between the two sites officially acknowledged.

{ 11:43am }



It's finally May.

May is the month of my birthday, the month San Francisco sheds its fog and starts acting like summer. This year May is the month I will finish my book (I will. I must.), the month I'll get on a plane and meet my father in the land from which his parents fled.

It will also be the month Heather and I finally unpack. Probably.

{ more » }   { 11:18am }

{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

{ me.elsewhere }
  My snail tracks on the web.
» DfC profile
» New Riders profile
» Amazon wish list
» {fray} is page
» Mirror Project pics
» FilePile profile
{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }