October 2007 Archives
Wed 10.31.07 - Bird as a Lamb and her two pumpkins.
Today is International Be Really Nice to Web Designers and Developers Day, which means that you, lovely internet public, should upgrade your browser.
If switching browsers is not your thing, then please, please, pretty please on top, be very nice and upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.
Yes, I know, Microsquash makes it hard, you have to find the Update area in the Start menu of your PC and then download about 62 security updates, but do it. Do it tonight before you go to bed, leave the MS update running while you sleep and hopefully when you wake up, your computer is happy and your favorite web designer and/or developer will be happy too.
Spread the love. Switch or Upgrade.
Sun 10.28.07 - Today was the Haute Dog Howl-oween Parade on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. Scruffy was a "Little Devil", Belle was a bee, and we commandeered Abbey from Family Callis to be Mephisto (although most folks thought she was Toto). It was a warm day, a bit confusing, and there were many, many more dogs registered for the Parade than last year (550 dogs in last year's Parade, Belle was 1432 and we were not at the end of the line). There were a surprising amount of lobster dogs this afternoon of all shapes and sizes.
The highlight was all of the wonderful dogs and the creativity of their owners in terms of costuming. The lowlight was me stepping in dog barf that flowed over my flipflop on to my foot at the very end of the parade, which caused a bit of shreaking and much laughter on my part. Last year, Scruffy, Belle, and I watched from the sidelines, and this year it was good fun to walk in the Parade. Big thanks to Justin Rudd and the Haute Dog folks for putting together such a fun event.
Over the last few days, as I have had time, I have been trying to clean up the Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen Archives, esp. the complete change in directory & naming that occurred from Movable Type 3.3 to Movable Type 4. If you can't reach an entry right now, sorry, I am working on it.
Ms. Jen, .htaccess, and mod_rewrite are in the server solving the problems. Hopefully. ;o)
Update, 9:54am : Solved!
Fri 10.26.07 - Big thanks to all the firefighters and rescue folk who worked so hard this week!
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is that season again. While it may be autumn in the rest of the northern hemisphere, it is Fire Season here in gritty, smoky, Southern California.
Add one part super dry land due to the driest year on record
Add one part Santa Ana winds
Add one part arson or human error or a downed power line
And within the course of 24 hours one can have 12 fires, count 'em 12, in Southern California!
The LA Times has made a Google Fire map with a current listing of the fires. The nice folks over at the Earth Observatory have once again provided a 2 times daily satellite shot of SoCal in all of its smoke plumed glory. Waiting for the FireMapper folks to get their aircraft up, so that they can document the current round of fires.
While the air quality is quite low here in Seal / Long Beach area, it is nothing like the folks up in the Castaic area or in San Diego where 250,000 folks are being evacuated.
If you are not in a fire zone or being evacuated, the authorities are asking folks to stay inside due to air quality and keep cell / mobile phone usage down as to be able to free up the networks for emergency work.
Amongst several of my "Recovering Evangelical" friends we have a running joke that we now attend the Church of Krista. Ever since I hit my personal wall of dealing with religious institutions in late 2004 / early 2005, I have been searching for clear, equitable voices on faith and religion. In 2005, while driving to the market one Sunday afternoon, I heard the Speaking of Faith public radio show on KPCC.
Most Sunday afternoons, I am not near a radio, so I have taken to listening to Speaking of Faith on podcast and truly appreciated the show's far ranging points of view. I have learned about faiths and perspectives that I had not been exposed to before, as well as being reminded of author's who I would like to read their books. Most of all, while I walk through the valley of questions and exploration, I appreciate the company.
In today's podcast on "Beyond the Atheism-Religion Divide", Krista delivered:
"I haven't interviewed Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, for the same reason I never interviewed Jerry Falwell, which is he had all the answers for himself and everyone else." - Krista Tippett
Recently, a few friends who I greatly respect have become devotees to the Cult of Dawkins. What I have read from Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens has been just as definitively dogmatic and toxic as anything spewed out of the mouths of James Dobson or Tim LeHaye.
To this end, I am very surprised that my friends are falling for this style of atheism that is verging or already verged on dogmatism. If you are going to be a devotee, why not pick Sam Harris who at least can laugh at himself, point out various perspectives and encourage the faithful to consider how atheism can fulfill or at least consider the spiritual?
Folks, modernism is over, we are now in the digital age of multiple connections and convergences, why do we still feel the need for apologetics and dogma? Can we not have discussion and community? How about Open Discussion and Thought 2.0?
Wed 10.17.07 - Thanks to Jeff K and Bill P at Nokia for the lovely bundle of mobile tablet joy that arrived via UPS this morning.
Tues 10.16.07 - Tonight our team, the Barflies.net One Pin, played against the Bowling Stones in the Alex's Bar Bowling League. Yes, somehow a bunch of us loosely related to Alex's have managed to show ourselves up at the Valley View AMF Bowling Lanes every Tuesday evening for a real live organized league.
A few non-Alex's Bar teams are in our league to round us up to 12 teams and these folks are WAY TOO SERIOUS. You would think that bowling was something other than to have a good laugh at. Really.
So far Joe, Maggie, Jim, and Jana of the Bowling Stones have been my favorite team to play with. We all had fun, we all cheered each other, and no one was too serious or took smoking breaks that lasted forever. The Bowling Stones were a delight. Thanks!
You drooled at the announcement. You figured out where you would get the money from, maybe even had an argument with your credit card about your desire. You marked the days off on your calendar. You took the day off work or at least told your clients you were faintly indisposed for the day. You stood in line with your sleeping bag and a camp stove. Hours later you walked out with a lovely black shopping bag which enclosed a black box which enclosed your one true love, at least on June 29th of this year.
Now what are you going to do with your delicious, lovely, new iPhone?
No, don't show me how it maps directions to Google Maps, my Nokia N95 can do that with the onboard GPS. No, don't show me the two handed keyboard technique you have developed, as we both know that a teenager can kick your two handed technique with one thumb.
Show me what are you going to create with your iPhone on your iPhone. Don't look at me like a deer in headlights.
Don't tell me you don't use your mobile or cell phone for creative acts. I know you do. Ok, so you can't afford an iPhone right now, or you love your Blackberry or Treo inordinately, or like me you are a Nokia fan, or you have the free clam shell phone form your carrier, or, or, or...
You do use your mobile device for more than just phone calls, I know you do. Now how are you going push your device? Pull it? Create with it?
Sun. 10.14.07 - Los Straitjackets played in Jim & Kay's backyard for their "25 to Life" anniversary party.
This video of the last song were Jim & Kay dance their 25th anniversary dance to Los Straitjackets' version of "Sing, Sing, Sing".
Video captured by Jenifer Hanen with her Nokia N95 camera phone.
Sun. 10.14.07 - Los Straitjackets played in Jim & Kay's backyard for their "25 to Life" anniversary party. Per usual, there were more men dancing up front to Los Straitjackets than women. This particular bunch were too funny not to record on video...
Video captured by Jenifer Hanen with her Nokia N95 camera phone.
Sun 10.14.07 - At Jim and Kay's 25 to Life party.
Laura Moncur sent me an email today on my post about using my N95 to tether my MacBook to the net. Laura's email got me wondering, even though I don't have an iPhone, can one use it as a modem to one's laptop? Consult the Oracle of the Internets...
According to cre.ations.net, one can use the iPhone to tether a PC to the net using the SOCKS proxy, which also has further instructions on how to hack a package for Mac.
Thanks to Laura for getting me thinking about this.
Ok, wordy title, but after doing some reading on WOM World, I decided it was time to plunge in and set up my Nokia 95 to act as a modem for internet connection to my MacBook Pro to be used on the go when no wifi is present.
This frees me up to be able to compute online, albeit slowly, anywhere. No wifi or expensive wifi? No ethernet cable? Anywhere that I can access the internet on my N95, I can now tether my Mac to it for connection.
Thanks to AT&T for my unlimited data plan, even if Cingular's EDGE is slowish, and thanks to The Nokia Blog for the tutorial on How To: Tether Your Nokia to a Mac for Net Access Via Bluetooth.
A note for other AT&T customers who want to set this up, I still have my old AT&T sim chip from 2004, so I am using the mMode settings and my APN is "proxy", no username, no password. If you are a Cingular customer or you got your sim chip during the Cingular era, then your APN will be different.
Since I am at home, now that I have proven that I can use my N95 as a modem and written this post, I shall go back to using the wifi.
Thank you Mr. Greene for the best sum-it-up succinct quote of the last few months:
"The iPhone is for consuming content, while the N95 is for creating it."
Jonathan Green, in his blog post "Nokia N95 or Apple iPhone?" (via Darla Mack), compares the features and approaches of the Nokia N95 and the Apple iPhone as an owner and daily user of both mobile devices.
When my Nokia N80 took a plunge in oblivion this June, rather than rushing out and purchasing the Nokia N95 reflexively, I charged up and put my sim chip into my faithful old friend the Nokia 7610 so that I had time to really research the then upcoming iPhone and the Nokia N95, as well as think about what my dream phone features would be. The conclusion of several weeks of research and thinking lead me to buying my Nokia N95 mid-July and I couldn't be happier.
Since that time, I have been in a number of social situations where I have been teased or questioned by fellow geeks and design folk who own iPhones on why I did not get an iPhone. In every instance, I bring up the Nokia N95's 5 megapixel camera with flash, great video capture, and GPS and the iPhone's complete lack of these features (no video capture, no GPS, 2 megapixel digital still camera with no flash). My friends are entranced with the user interface of the iPhone, I am entranced with the photos and video that I can moblog from my N95.
To paraphrase Madeleine L'Engle, "Fire consumes, cancer consumes, I am a human being not a consumer." To that I add, "I am a creator, not a consumer." So, Nokia bring on the creative-centric mobile devices!
On the GPS note, online and mobile presence has been bubbling up from the geeky underground and this week it started seeping into the internet mainstream when Google purchased Jaiku. Factory Joe weighs in with his opinion on why Google bought Jaiku. Darla thinks that Nokia missed out by not acquiring Jaiku.
Monday, Oct. 8, 2007 - LHR to LAX
Things I would Twitter if there was connection on the flight:
2:56pm (GMT) / 6:56am (PDT) - Yeah, my seat has a power port! Yeah! I can compute.
3:02pm (GMT) / 7:02am (Pacific Time) - Glad I never fully acclimated to UK time, as I will still be awake upon landing.
4:30 something pm (GMT) / 8:30 or thereabouts (Pacific Time) - I had something witty I wanted to say while eating boxed food, can't remember it now.
11:13am (Pacific Time) - Going over the southern tip of Greenland, with a bit of turbulence. Listening to podcasts.
around noon (Pacific Time) - attempted to clean up the 34,000 (approx) photos in my iPhoto, starting with 2004 & made more of a mess. Stopped. Will have to correct files from last week's back up.
1:21pm (Pacific Time) - Nearing Hudson Bay. Finished funny Bill Bryson book that I bought yesterday at Victoria Station. Now to finish Cameron Moll's Mobile Web Design.
1:24pm - Wishing for wifi on plane. On page 89 of 103 of Mr. Moll's pdf book.
1:31pm - I hate the phrase, "rich web experience". What a load of hooey. Moll uses a lot of cliched marketing speak. AGH~ No wonder why I can't read more than 8 pages of this book at a time.
1:44pm - huh. done with Moll's Mobile Web Design. huh. 4 hours & 48 mins to go to LAX.
2:22pm - back to listening to podcasts. Now over Ontario north of Lake Superior.
2:24pm - the fellow in front me has watched the same movie 3 times over. Of all the choices, he only likes the classic version of "Sunset Boulevard".
3:08pm - Nearing Winnipeg. LAX is supposedly 3 hours and 24 mins away. Am officially sick of sitting.
4:52pm - Over the Great Basin, flying towards Lake Powell. Tired. Listened to 3 podcasts. Thirsty. Hungry for real food, not plane food.
6:22pm - Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Big Bear on seat back screen. Seat mate from Glasgow asks what is Big Bear.
6:30pm - Gliding in the LAX landing formation / stack up. Can see the San Gabriel Mtns to right. Seat mate impressed that LA has big mtns.
6:40something pm - Landing! Landing! Landing!
7somethingpmforever - Bradley Terminal Customs. GROAN... Cheeky Mr. Sui the Customs Officer does NOT like my hair and tells me so. By accident step on drug sniffing dog.
8:44pm - At FuRaiBo for real food non-airplane food with Erika.
11:34 - At home. Showered. In bed. Happy.
Day One - Future of Web Apps 2007
at the ExCel Centre, London, UK
[As usual here is my transcript of sitting in sessions, plus my commentary]
Start of Day - Took longer to get here than I thought. The Circle Line is slow, but it was the right way to go.
9am - Intro with Ryan Carson, Brian Oberkirch, and Om Malik - Lots of chat about Facebook.
10am Heather Champ-Powazek and Derek Powazek
Chelm Sweet Chelm
Don't Keep Score
Make Real Stuff - Editorial layer- 24 hours of flickr, JPG Magazine, etc.
Rip that Band-Aid - Old Skool Merge (still cranky about this) - announce it, 6 weeks, do it. Don't drag it on.
Community, Manage Thyself - Give people the tools they need to manage it themselves.
Communicate Expectations - "I love lawyers" - Heather. Don't be creepy. You know that guy. Don't be that guy.
Don't Create Supervillians - be creative and personal in dealing with Trolls
Know Your Audience - too many constraints causes rebellion
Embrace the Chaos - Whenever you create a space that gives folks a voice, you will be things you don't expect.
After this went out to see if I could get the MMS for my UK sim chip to work and it was a no go. Then chatted with Thomas van der Wal at the Microsoft bean bags. Then chatted with Family Powazek Champ.
I love the hustle and bustle of airports, TSA security theatre of the absurd aside, I like the engery and people watching. I like flying, but I don't like taking off or landing, esp. landing, in the plane. Most of what I like about flying is that one is set apart from home or your destination, it is a passage of sorts. If one uses the time wisely, be it an hour to Vegas or 11 to London, one can have all the time in the world to de-stress, to catch up, to catch a nap, to daydream, to get bored and restless.
I have had a few pretty intense weeks recently with a lot of thought, prep, work, networking, new allergy rotation diet, and stress. I welcomed getting on the Boeing 777 to London Heathrow at 10pm on Monday night. Last night's plane was 2 hours late out of the gate giving me time to read the whole of the LA Times and have a chat with a fellow passenger. Once the plane lumbered off the runway, I had a decent chicken and rice dinner, and off to sleep I went. I woke up after about 5-6 hours, still feeling a little sleeping and with 3 more hours of the flight to go.
Before departing for the airport, I loaded a bunch of blog posts and articles into browser tabs so that I could catch up and read them whilst waiting for the trans-Atlantic flight to be over. As I read, I am still mildly comatose and have my laptop screen set on the lowest brightness. Yeseterday's tea at dim sum must of been gunpowder green tea, as I have had a nasty sore through since lunch. Stages of awake and allergies aside, it is delightful to be flying under Greenland and Iceland on my way to London-town. London calling...
And for the record, while I was sleeping I did not attempt to open the plane door to let the pixies out, I did ask them to curl up around me to share a bit of heat as it is danged cold in this cabin...