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{ personal log }

feeling diverted

{fray} is MSN's "Daily Diversion" today. Their description: "Dip your imagination into the Fray -- personal stories of personal expression." Personally, I think that's cool.

{ 7:36pm }


songwriter musicmaker storyteller freak

Fun with the internet: In 1997, Ms. Magazine named folk-punk maven Ani DiFranco one of "21 feminists for the 21st century." She had some thoughts about that, and you can still read them thanks to this fan site (which is number one in Google, so you know it's been around a while.)

But the reason why An Open Letter from Ani DiFranco is so captivating is how frank she is about her place in the world, how clearheaded she is about her role as an artist, and how inspiring she is to anyone with a similar ambition to be true to their art.

"If it all comes down to dollars and cents, I've led a wholly unremarkable life. Yet I choose relative statistical mediocrity over fame and fortune because I have a bigger purpose in mind."

{ more » }   { 8:53pm }

it's like totally cosmic, man

Dig this: If global warming gets out of hand, NASA says all we have to do is nudge the earth a litle farther from the sun. And by "nudge," they mean a 100-kilometer asteroid. I love a news story that uses the phrase "cosmic velocity."

{ 8:39pm }


call for help

Are you a San Francisco Stories reader? If so, I have a favor to ask. I'm compiling an anthology of the stories for a project, but I can't use them all. And since I wrote them, I'm not a very good judge. So you tell me: Which SF Stories are must-haves?

{ more » }   { 9:25pm }

now playing

Thanks to Kung-Tunes, you can now know that at this very moment I am listening to:


Interesting? For me, maybe. But, then, I already knew what I was listening to.

{ 2:32pm }

a gift of rabbits

Heather is selling some art to buy some rabbits. If you want to help, and get an original Champ in the process, do it now - they're gonna go fast! [Update: All gone!]

{ 10:00am }



You know, if I ever start a company, the first thing I'm going to do is post a no-deep-linking policy and a form just like NPR. You can't buy this kind of publicity.

{ 7:29pm }

new in sfstories

When I first met Stephan, it was after a long trip, when he greeted me from my own bathroom, covered in paint, grinning a toothless grin and manhandling my cat. I immediately pegged his accent as Russian, and his demeanor as pesky.

I was wrong. The accent is Transylvanian.

{ 4:06pm }


national public ridicule

At least someone is being clearheaded about the whole NPR linking flap. Personally, I stopped noticing when big companies spouted nonsense about the web a long time ago. They'll come around. They always do.

{ more » }   { 12:24pm }

new city stories

The City Stories Project had a total backend overhaul today, thanks to my new best friend, Movable Type. Diggit!

{ 12:36am }


fray travel mugs and frisbees

For a limited time only! Get your {fray} travel mugs and frisbees! I just got my order today, and they're sweet. The frisbee is really just a sticker on a frisbee, which is kinda cheesy. But the travel mug is a thing of beauty indeed.

{ more » }   { 7:19pm }

make time less precious

Amen to that.

{fray} started because I was bored at work. Kvetch! launched when I was avoiding a problematic client. I often wonder what I might create if I had the time I used to have.

{ 5:20pm }



Small dog, big heart.

The thing about walking small dogs is, you hear all the same jokes over and over. Big rats! Ha ha. Taco Bell! Ha ha. They used to be food! Ha ha hee hee ho ho.

But the other night, while walking the pups with Heather, someone sitting in a stoop with some friends actually cracked one I've never heard before.

"Wow, those are people are HUGE!"

Heather and I snickered for a block.

{ 12:08pm }

dmp in new architect

I wrote a review of Nathan Shedroff's fabulous book, Experience Design 1, for the July issue of New Architect Magazine.

Since reading Experience Design 1, I've found myself returning to it – not as a reference manual, but as an inspirational tool. In those dreaded moments when the checkerboard pattern of the Photoshop tabula rasa seems to stretch on forever, flipping to a random page and reading about the windows in a French museum or the performers in a circus always seems to replenish my creative juices.

{ 9:16am }


photos from the haight street fair

Swirling colors.

{ more » }   { 10:37pm }

why I still use explorer

I don't want to get caught up in a religious war, but I've tried to love the new Mozilla (that's an open source web browser, mom) and I just can't. I wasn't sure why until I read this Kuro5hin story. Expecially:

Perhaps one of the most ill-fated decisions in the project was the use of XUL (an XML-based system) for the user interface. This results in Mozilla not using a good, standard interface on any platform, and instead of progressing beyond the Netscape 4 UI, which was behind IE and one of NS' weak points at the time, we are still using Netscape designs by default! Now Mozilla does indeed allow you to change your theme, but this does little beyond changing which pixmaps you are seeing instead of your OS' widgets, and the sets which use images of your OS' widgets to emulate a real application seem only to drive home the fact that you are not seeing a real interface when you go to use them. XUL does have interesting possibilities if you are looking for a, "cross-platform toolkit for developing Internet-based applications," but if you are looking for a web browser they amount to little more than a lazy port job.

What that means in English is that the program never feels like a "real" program, interface-wise. Because, really, it's not. It's only faking. Consistent system widgets (scrollbars, buttons, etc.) are required for that feeling of stability and usability, and choosing XUL was a terrible mistake for a consumer browser (if a consumer browser is what Mozilla is trying to be at all).

{ 3:59pm }

fd6sf: step inside the victoria

Curious about the future home of Fray Day 6 San Francisco? I snuck into the Victoria Theatre to shoot a few pics. Come take a look.

{ 2:39pm }

a year later

Journal number 258 has left the building. Finally.

{ 11:04am }


nyt awol

I cannot believe I live in a world where the New York Times gives ink to a petty digital turf war. War bloggers versus web loggers? Please. What's next? Reference librarians miffed at Periodicals desk? Subway drivers mildly distrust bus drivers? If the New York Times keeps this up, they're going to put The Onion out of business.

{ 11:57pm }

two quotes on constancy

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
– Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803 - 1882), US poet and essayist. Essays, 'Self-reliance', 1841

"Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead."
– Huxley, Aldous (1894 - 1964), British novelist. Do What you Will, 1929

Note to self: Embrace inconsistency.

{ 7:31pm }


the mirror project at one

Congratulations to The Mirror Project on its first birthday. Over six thousand contributions in 365 days? Not too shabby.

{ 11:47pm }

so much easier then

Elvis Costello's newest album, When I was Cruel, hasn't left my cd player since I got it. His lyrics are as sharp as ever, the songs are rockin, and his voice carries as much emotion now as 20 years ago. Musically, this is a more traditional rock album, and less experimental as my personal favorite Mighty Like a Rose, but the straight-up rock of this album somehow makes it more heartfelt. I don't know why, but listening to Elvis Costello always cheers me up, even when he's crooning about broken love and cruelty. And this album is just what I needed right now.

{ 12:08pm }


new in citystories

Please welcome the two newest City Stories member sites: Cincinnati and San Diego! Yup, that makes 22. Amazing.

{ 6:36pm }


because I can

Anyone want some new fray schwag? Limited time only!

{ 5:08pm }

as the apple (re)turns

After a five week sabbatical to train the "new intern", As the Apple Turns is back with a new issue! If you're an Apple-watcher like me, this should be one of your bookmarks. Smart, funny, and totally irreverent Apple news and rumors.

{ 1:33pm }

go howard go

Howard Rheingold's Reboot talk is fantastic populist rant.

{ 1:04pm }


joss's new show

Forgive me, I'm slow. I just found out (from Caz) that Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy and Angel, two shows with thumbs up on my Tivo) has a new show coming to Fox soon.

Let's see. Sci-fi premise. Fugative ship. Dangerous universe. Motley crew brought together by circumstance. A soldier, a pilot, a priest. Sound familiar yet?

Still, even if the pieces are the same, Joss is a master storyteller and a great writer. I hope he can pull it off.

{ 6:28pm }

a new record

It took me less than two weeks to stump Apple support. I'm having an esoteric problem connecting to my iDisk. Nothing major, just annoying. When your OS has "connect to iDisk" as a global item in the interface, one would expect it to work. Unfortunately for me, it doesn't.

So I posted the problem to Apple's support discussions and found a couple people who'd experienced the same issue, but no answers. Then today I called support, and after 80 minutes and two tech support guys (both polite and helpful), they said they'd call me back in a few days. Heh.

Any other OSX folks out there unable to connect to their iDisk through the "go" menu?

{ 4:31pm }


your moosy fate

Just my luck. My new favorite show was cancelled in January. How could they deny the power of Invader Zim! Fools!

{ 8:35pm }


dmp in imagestation

A story I wrote for Sony ImageStation Magazine is now online. Check out "How to Get Great Group Shots" by yours truly.

{ 3:49pm }

new in dfc

Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire

Personally, I blame WarGames.

That 1983 movie firmly planted the idea of the curious hacker into the world consciousness at a time when personal computers were still new. Think back to Matthew Broderick, the poor guy, innocently mucking about in military computers. Because they were there. Almost causing Global Thermonuclear War.

When I got my first email account in 1991, I did the same thing in the green and black terminals of UC Santa Cruz. I typed in random commands, poking around the edges, looking for secrets. I never started a war, but I did manage to have playful anonymous conversations with random people until my interest in the game petered out.

The point is, mischievous curiosity is an element of any online interaction, even in this era, where computers are less mysterious than they used to be. Continue...

{ 2:35am }

{ 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 }