April 2008 Archives
Sat 04.26.08 - Happy Birthday, Bill West!
Fare the well to my thirties, I didn't like you much.
May the next decade be much better.
No, obviously not. Eight is not ten, especially when one skips seven. Seven may possibly be the new thirteen.
Speaking of numbers, this Thursday is the birthday I am not having. Last year was my last birthday ever. Hmph.
On to better numbers, very late on this upcoming Thursday and/or very early on Friday morning will be this blog's 5th birthday.
Oh, and, Happy Earth Day to you.
Ha! Dave got me... Good thing I was keeping up on my feed reading... So, here it goes, my Eight Random Things...
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
Fact #1: My two childhood passions were volcanoes & whales. One year, when I was 8 or 9, I convinced my Mom that we needed to do a roadtrip to visit all of the major volcanoes in California & Oregon. Good thing my Mom is cool.
Fact #2: In commemoration of my childhood, I am planning a road trip to Seattle for Bumbershoot this year and I plan on driving by and stopping at all the major volcanoes along the way in CA, OR, & WA.
Fact #3: Major West Coast Volcanoes of Note: Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, Crater Lake, The Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Black Butte, Mt. Hoot, Mt. St. Helen's, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Rainer. Now I have visited/ walked about / climbed: Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, Craker Lake, The Three Sisters, Black Butte and Mt. Rainer. So that leaves Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Baker, and Mt. St. Helen's left for this August / September.
Fact #4: I am a rice-a-tarian. I have Celiacs Disease and rice is always the safest option.
Fact #5: Once I placed #3 for my age bracket in downhill ski racing for the whole of the West Coast. I also had the chance when I was 19 to ski a whole weekend with the US Olympic Ski team recruiters who afterwards told our mutual friend that they thought I had the "prettiest" skiing technique that they had ever seen. But the truth of the matter is that I was simply not competitive enough or aggressive enough to ski for the A, B, or C teams. Glad for that now.
Fact #6: I learned to ski when I was 2. Yep, 2 years old. My Mom & Dad met when they both worked at or around Mammoth Mountain. My Dad was on ski patrol at Bear Valley on the west side of the Sierra's when I was 2 and he put me in ski school.
Fact #8: As a child, my Mom's dad was obsessed with technology and pushed me constantly to learn how to program computers. I rebelled by not touching a computer at all until I was 19. Now he has the last laugh. Still does.
Fact #9: The area I live in is 6 feet below sea level and 1.5 blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, we did not have a storm surge at the same time as an extra high tide during one of the storms this winter , otherwise I would have been 3 feet under water at my apartment. This happened at our area in 1983. While I love being near the beach, am thinking that I should move back to Orange.
Fact #10: I have a book addiction. While the rest of the world loves their TV or gaming or sports or whatever, I love books. I am currently trying to decide where I should put another bookcase as to free up floor space currently taken up by stacks of books. I did make a positive step to break the addiction today by going to the Library to check out a book rather than order it on Amazon...
Now I am supposed to tap 8 other folks, and to follow Dave's example, I won't email them but let them find this post via my feed:
When I met up with Charlie Schick in late February at Paddington Station in London when we were both in transit, Charlie told me that he had left the Ovi group to start the official Nokia blog. I was and am darned excited about it.
Charlie and his team will be writing on Nokia, the Mobile / social space, and the like. Most importantly, they will be the continuing to make Nokia more open and transparent to the public. This can only be a good thing.
Amy Gahran of Contentious.com's N95 bricked during an update recently and there is no recourse. Nokia needs Authorized Repair Centers that will take Nokia devices from all over the world & repair them, be it under warranty or for charge. Dell & Apple do it, Nokia needs to join the party.
From my first comment on Amy's post:
What do I think, well, Nokia needs to do the following:
A) If they are unable to have retail stores with repair centers in every major city in North America, then they should have authorized repair folks that one can take one's phone to be repaired on the spot or within a few days either under warranty or for charge. Before Apple opened the Apple Stores, they had Authorized Retailers and service centers all over the US and Canada. Nokia needs to do the same.
B) Nokia needs to increase the scope of their customer service to be like Apple or Dell, in that all of there devices can be repaired in any country that they sell their devices in. Don't tell me that the US customer service can't help a device bought in Europe or Asia. If that is the case, then sell the US devices at the same time you sell the European or Asian devices rather than 1.5 years later.
C) Nokia needs fully functioning "Suite" for updating & backup & multimedia for Mac & Linux folk. While the worldwide market for mac is only 4%, it is much higher in North America (17%?). Demographically & psychographically, the folks who buy Apple/Mac computers in North America are most likely going to be the market for Nokia Nseries (prefer design & high end function over cheapness). Folks buying $299 PCs at TigerDirect are unlikely to purchase a $649 Nokia N95.
Cell Phone Art (Installations) : Megan & Murray have linked to Rob Petit's SMFA's 2008 Fifth Year Exhibition installations which are fabulous installations of cell phones that make a commentary on the environmentally disastrous nature of our disposable culture.
SixApart starts a Movable Type Media division with the acquisition of Apperceptive. Does this mean that mobile will get a little more love from Movable Type? Please say yes. Dave Jacobs has hinted in the past that Apperceptive has created a mobile blogging / blog from email plugin for MT for clients. Please make it public... please...
When Muslims become Christians (or Atheists) : Last week, British teacher Daud Hassan Ali, 64, was shot dead in Somalia. His widow, Margaret Ali, said her husband was targeted by Islamists who "believe it is ok to kill any man who was born into Islam and left the faith". Those renouncing their faith for atheism or agnosticism are viewed in a similar way to those who adopt another faith.
The above photos were taken in Mumbai (the city formerly known as Bombay), India, from Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 until late Wed. Feb. 20, 2008 while on the Nokia Urbanista Diaries. Mumbai was my last stop in India and my second to last stop before passing the 'baton' on to Ryan Gallagher.
What to say about Mumbai? Within 15 minutes of being away from the airport and driving the hour plus south to my hotel, I knew that I was going to love this city. Mumbai is great big beast just like my other two all time favorite cities: Los Angeles & London. Mumbai is the Indian sister city to a mash up of LA & Miami. Big, spread out, something going on all the time, lots of lovely art deco to modernist residential architecture from 1920s-1960s (like LA & Miami), lively, and more than a bit chaotic.
I stayed at a hotel that came recommended by Lonely Planet in the Colaba district of southern Mumbai, as I could walk to most of the stuff I wanted to do from there. In the 2.5 days that I was in Mumbai, I walked around as much as possible, took as many photos as possible, and took an afternoon ferry out to Elephanta Island in the Mumbai Harbor.
I would like to go back to Mumbai and spend more time exploring the city, as 2.5 days was not enough.
Click on a thumbnail and then navigate through the lightbox slideshow by putting your mouse over the top right hand side of each photo, titles along the bottom.
Enjoy the photos, I have only the Austria photo essay to do to wrap up the all of my favorite photos from my leg of the Nokia Urbanista Diaries trip.
Tue 04.15.08 - Taxes.
On Friday and today (Sunday), I have been so chained to my computer and finishing up tasks, that I have not posted any photos worth seeing the light of pixels and leds other than the memory of my camera. Why, you ask? Well, I am deep in the deadline doldrums.
Yep, too much to do, too many tasks to complete: client work, proposals (2 of them), and taxes. Yes, taxes. Bah.
Today was spent in two ways: the Dog ways and the Interaction Design ways.
Belle was a hair ball beyond Polar Bear status and desperately needed to visit a groomer to get shaved. Given that all the pet salons that I knew of were booked up due to predicted weekend hot weather, it involved me driving up PCH in this morning a bit looking for dog salons and walking into Purr-cision Grooming in Sunset Beach and begging for Belle to get a slot at the grooming table.
I have in the past noted that Sunset Beach has a high percentage of Psychics (2 or 3 in 2 miles), 3 Happy Ending Style Message Parlors (of the Rub & Tug variety), and 3 Tattoo parlours, and one just one dog groomers. Many thanks for Mark Anthony and the crew at Purr-cision for making Belle a dog again rather than a mini-polar bear.
The second part of my day was doing my least favorite activity: wireframing. Wireframing in my book is right up there with doing one's taxes and cleaning the toilet. Just say no.
In my 12 years of designing and developing for the web, I prefer to first think about the task extensively, sketch & makes notes, and then just do it. This is much the same process I use when making art, esp. painting. I think, mull, turn things over in my mind - sometimes for weeks, make sketches, and then start the task.
[After a mad six week hiatus, I am back to posting my Best of Urbanista photo essays...]
As a wrap up for my Urbanista Diaries adventure, I am going to be publishing photo essays of my favorite photos that I took in each city that I visited. Some of these photos are in my flickrstream, most of them on the nseries.com website, and some are new to everyone but me.
The above photos were taken in Panaji, Goa, India, from Fri. Feb. 15th, 2008 to Mon. Feb. 18, 2008. Why did I stay for 2.5 days in Panaji (Panjim) rather than go to one of the Goa beach resorts? Well, I both in Bangalore & Kerala I asked taxi drivers their recommendation for Goa, and they both said: Panaji. I wanted to go to the city (Urbanista, after all) in Goa that was the most Indian rather than the attack of the Euro-Aussie-Whatever-Party-Piglet-Beach. And I am glad I did.
Panaji was a great mix of old school Portuguese buildings, 1940s art deco architecture, 1960s concrete brutalisme, with a good dose of India. It was laid back with a strong tourist component. Most of the other tourists or holiday makers I met were down from Mumbai for the weekend.
Unfortunately, I did not get to Old Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica, mostly due to a crooked cab driver who I would not let gouge me. Next time I will walk the 9 km rather than be shook down. I will go back eventually to see the Bom Jesus.
Click on a thumbnail and then navigate through the lightbox slideshow by putting your mouse over the top right hand side of each photo, titles along the bottom.
Enjoy the photos, two more cities to come.
Wed 04.09.08 - Dismantling the winter storm berm.
Hello New York Times... Uh... the Urbanista Diaries campaign started in mid-January and ended in early March and your article came out on April 7th. Why wait to run the article a full month after the "live" portion is over?
If you are reporting on how Nokia is marketing with a new strategy of "hiring" bloggers and/or the marketing brilliance of the Urbanista Diaries, the why did you not interview one of the four of us?
I was not hired to go on the Urbanista Diaries trip, I was given a really cool opportunity to travel to India with a great camera phone, the N82, and do what I do every day - take lots of mobile photos and moblog them to a website with geo-data.
On the hiring bit? We were not paid, nor were any of the four of us given a phone. In fact quite a few of the phones were 'lifted' by DHL employees or Her Majesty's Customs on the way back to the UK after the Urbanista trip was over*. WOM World (1000 Heads) bought the plane tickets and reimbursed our hotel, food, and local transport. Nokia reimbursed / paid 1000 Heads.
WOM World (1000 Heads) has a policy, that not only do the bloggers get to be honest, but we also return the phones after the trial period. That is a loan, not a hire or a buy.
Yes, Nokia is above the curve on internet marketing, more importantly they are including the mobile community, which in turn creates brand loyalty. Apple or LG or Sony-Ericsson have never offered me to trial a device nor have they asked my opinion on its use or software. Nokia has. This is good.
But, NYT, please do a wee bit more research. kthnxbai.
* Yes, for the record, I am angry about this - crooked business makes me indignant. Given that the phones were to go back to the UK, I would have preferred them to arrived in Oxfordshire in one piece, not the box arriving but missing the phones out of the middle. If I ever meet up with the DHL dude who giggled upon receiving the last N82 for shipment... To the Moon! Fed Ex & USPS have my business from here on out.
Sun. Feb. 10, 2008 - I had the pleasure to join up with the Chennai Photowalk Flickr Group folk to participate in the 4th Chennai Photowalk up Mount Road (Anna Salai) . Good fun, great photographers & conversation.
Video captured by Ms. Jen in Chennai, India, with a Nokia N82.
Uploaded by Ms. Jen on 26 Mar 08, 8.53PM PDT.
About two weeks ago, I received an invitation to join a Flickr beta test. I was intrigued, so I said yes. I had to sign an NDA stating that for the love of a tasty chicken I would not breath a blog, twitter, or in person word that I was beta testing Flickr Video. Yes, Flickr can have my silence in return for uploading 60 seconds of various tasty chickens from India, SXSW 2008, and Scruffy & Belle.
Oh, what a delight. I have had quite a bit of fun over the last 2 weeks uploading videos, really participating in a Flickr group in a way that I have not been interested in or invested enough in before, and watching with baited breath what folks would post as their videos. And then there was the Fridget meme that Derek started...
In all truthfulness, while I appreciate YouTube, Google Video, and Vimeo, I am not drawn into these services. I don't wait to see what will be posted, I only go when someone else sends me a link. If the video is longer than 5 minutes, I don't watch, be it too much work or just plain not interested.
It has been very different with Flickr Video. I am drawn in. I love the short format of 60 to 90 seconds. As the Flickr folk said - think of it as a long photograph. I also love the fact that I can use the same uploader and same Flickr tagging and interface that I use for photos. The user interface is simple and easy to use and not just because I am used to it.
Most of all, I am having fun with video on Flickr in a way that has never been fun before. Thanks, Flickr! Y'all rock.
Tues 04.08.08 - As seen today in a strip of "garden" under a house's raised porch, whilst walking Scruffy down Seal Way.
Mon 04.07.08 - Local tree looses most of its white blossoms in favor of light green leaves. News at 11.
Photo of Calif. Poppies by Ms. Jen taken with her Nokia N95 on Sat. 04.05.08.
What I have done in the last 32 hours of my life:
* Drove from the Calif. Poppy Reserve to home.
* Went grocery shopping.
* Made dinner.
* Walked a sick Scruffy.
* Slept. Had a bit of insomnia. Went back to sleep until about 8am.
* Walked a sick Scruffy. Dealt with a big pooh blow-out due to a sick Scruffy.
* Hosed Scruffy's backside down.
* Dried Scruffy.
* Went to the Sunday morning Farmer's Market at the Long Beach Marina.
* Went & took care of some essential errands.
* A bit more work.
* Bleached the front bit of my hair. Worked on re-sectioning the bleached bits on the front of my hair for new hair color that will be completed tomorrow.
* Downloaded the last week's worth of photos & video from my Nokia N95 to my computer. Over 200 MBs of photos.
* Started dinner. Realized I was out of charcoal, walked up to the corner store. Scruffy continued to have intestinal distress.
* Note to self - Do NOT let Scruffy drink out of the Owens River EVER again. Nor let him drink out of the cattle watering area. City dogs do not have the intestinal flora to deal with exciting country bacteria.
* Hang out & have BBQ with the Electric Arms neighbors (Ryan & Tammi, Earl & Sharon).
* Walk Scruffy all the way to Main Street & back to make sure all the distress is out of his system.
What I did NOT do in the last 32 hours of my life:
* Take a photo.
I guess it was the sabbath...
Sat 04.05.08 - My 3.5 day adventure to my Mom's house in Bishop is over and am now driving home.
Fri 04.04.08 - As seen in the Wagon exhibition at the Laws Railroad Museum.
Thur 04.03.08 - Walking in Aspendell.
Thur 04.03.08 - The grape arbor in my Mom's front yard.
Tue 04.01.08 - Spring has arrived in SoCal when the hills are green with grass and yellow with mustard flowers.