Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.
August 2010 Archives
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.
Out of that set of conversations, Luke and I decided to meet up today to refine the topic and work out a few kinks on the rocky road to growing one's own business. The best part is that as we worked through a list of skill sets and discussing what was important for a web designer to have, Luke suggested that we rate skills as one would have levels of power or talents in Dungeons & Dragons.
Luke is a 13th power typographic visual wonder Elf Mage. I am design developer mobile hybrid Warrior Princess.
As you can tell, I have never played D&D or WOW, only picked up, vaguely, enough from others to be dangerous...
I am a spaz. I am not insulting myself.
My hands shake. Almost all the time. Sometimes it is hard to hold objects without pain & tremors and it is getting harder recently to hold a pen or other small, thin objects.
I have had a noticeable shake in both of my hands since I was 12 or 13. My biology teacher in high school said after watching me dissect a frog and a shark's brain that I should be a brain surgeon as I made the cleanest cuts he had seen in 30 years of teaching but I would make all the nurses nervous due to my hands and the scalpel shaking all the time.
I had a formal diagnosis of Essential Tremor when I was in my mid-twenties by a Harvard neurosurgeon, who told me that it will get worse over time and when it gets too hard to write or hold a fork that there are medications that I can take. He also told me that I was lucky that I didn't have the 'head bop' version of ET.
Nearly 14 years later, while I am not at the point where I need the ET meds, it is getting harder to do certain tasks. I can't put on mascara without using both of my hands - one hand to hold the mascara wand and one to hold the wrist of the hand holding the wand.
Yesterday, I was out at lunch and went to take a photo of my lunch, when I heard the folks at the next table talking about me in Spanish. While I can't talk back in Spanish, I do understand. The conversation started by talking about my hair, then they moved to the fact I was shaking. The woman doing most of the talking about me kept saying that if I was an alcoholic, I should just order a drink to stop the shaking. Then they all laughed.
First I was appalled, then a bit angry, but I let it go quickly, as I did not even want to get into a conversation with these folks about what Essential Tremor is, why I have it, why it makes my hands, fork, & camera shake, and no I am not an alcoholic, as well as explaining why I can understand Spanish but can't speak back.
I quickly forgot about this, as I will be the first to call myself a spaz. In the common California version of English, a spaz is a person who shakes with excitement, it has nothing to do with mental illness and only vague relation to people with MS or Cerebal Palsy but it is much more informal in its usage. I have been called a spaz all my life by many people due to my hands shaking, my voice, and my general excitement about life.
I am more than OK with being called a spaz as I don't see it as an insult, but merely a concise description of true statements about me - I shake, I have an unusual voice that gets more unusual & fast with excitement, and I am a bouncy and overly cheerful human.
Why am I even writing about this? A web designer, developer, and blogger that I like and respect from the UK, Ann McMeekin, has written a blog post that to use the word 'spaz' is an unacceptable term. I see the argument she makes in her post and in her reply to Christopher Fahey (commenter #13) who tried to explain the American usage of the term, but I do think that it is very hard to keep up on the usage of English words across the world as they are used in lcoal parlance even if the writer or speaker may be speaking to a non-local audience.
The more I meet and get to know folks who are native English speakers from various countries across the world the more I realize that each country or sub-section thereof ascribes different nuances or even full meanings to words that we would all call common to English.
I am always terrified to ask for a napkin when dining in the UK, as I was told that it meant a feminine hygiene product, not a paper or cloth square of which to wipe one's hands with when eating. I have perused whole lists to figure out what the differences are between UK and US English and do my best to keep up on different usages, but that does not take into account states or counties with in each country or even other countries that have English as a native language.
Nor does it take into account all the subtle cultural meanings that may be attached to word or phrase usage right now that weren't the case ten years ago or many not be the case ten years from now.
When I was fresh out of college, I spent three months in Amsterdam and then two months in Budapest living with and in community with a set of folks from all over the world. One of the things I learned fast is how words that may be innocuous to you will be highly insulting to another. My English friend said fuck like it was going out of style, but if I used the word 'bloody' she would be insulted. My friend from Australia damned everything, but if I say I was 'pissed off' she would bawl me out.
The best is when our very innocent friend from Germany had a long conversation with a missionary group from the American South at the youth hostel we were staying at and she kept telling them about her problems with shit. She needed shit massage as she was constipated and went into great detail about how the shit needed to moved out of her bowels. The best part was watching the faces of said missionaries, at first they were very interested in listening to her, then I could see that they were determined to save her from her sinful swearing ways, and finally they got up and left as they were so insulted to be treated to a conversation that went for a half hour about shit.
My German friend was baffled by the missionaries abrupt departure, another American friend and I tried to explain to her that in the US to talk about shit was really taboo that one only talked about one's 'bowel movements' briefly with very close friends and family and even then only used a euphemism. The concept of a euphemism for shit was unknown to her as German does not have gradations of delicate terms for going #2.
If you are American, you many be quite uncomfortable right now that I just said fuck and shit in a blog post. If you are English, it may be seen as unprofessional but not uncomfortable. And if you are from a culture that does not have shades of delicacies for such words, then you may be plain baffled that I have to write this paragraph at all.
All of this to say, that I agree that Ann is right about the global nature of the internet. Yes, we do need to be aware that our readership is not just from our local area who may understand the finer subtleties of our word usage or even of the words we just use without thinking. But on the other hand, it would be a whole study in and of itself to keep up with the thousands of common English words and how they are used both in formal writing and common speech in hundreds, if not thousands, of cultures and sub-cultures around the world.
I understand that it is important to not insult, I would like to call for giving each other a bit of grace and then if one is still bothered then to discuss the terminology with the person in question what was meant by its usage, and then still extend grace for the fact that even though we are global online we are still local in our daily lives.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen on 08.28.10 with her Nokia N86.
Sat 08.28.10 - Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish has over the course of the last two years an ongoing series of posts called "The View from Your Recession", where readers write in about how 'The Economy' is affecting their lives either directly or indirectly.
Even before the economic downturn in late 2008, California has had budget woes, particularly in the summer when the legislature has been chronically unable to pass a budget before July 1st. The last 4-5 years has featured July and August as a monumental struggle between the legislature and Arnold, of which Arnold has turned off the budgetary taps to get the legislature to talk to each other and resolve their issues. The result has been steep budget cuts year round and a frozen budget in the summer months.
Last summer Bolsa Chica State Beach tried to save money by turning off fresh water in the park, thus no showers, no drinking fountains, etc. The local surfers revolted, as they all pay $125 a year for a parking pass which supposedly supports the state beach, and went to the State Beach commissioner's house and threatened to turn off his water all while they demanded their parking money back. Water got turned back on the next day and has remained on since. It does help that Bolsa Chica State Beach has the greatest revenue and attendance of any state beach or park in California, so the commissioner can make an argument to Sacramento that the surfers are paying for their post-ocean showers with their parking pass fees.
[Disclosure, I have a State Beach parking pass and use the shower to wash my feet off and give the dogs a drink post-dog beach.]
Most years at Southern California beaches the lifeguard towers are only open for business during the summer when the kids are out of school and the tourists are out in force, during the school year most of the lifeguard towers are closed up and the only the ones at nearest the main piers are open. Most of the SoCal beach communities do have full time rescue and lifeguard staff that is augmented by trained young lifeguards in the summer time who staff the towers.
The past few years Huntington Beach has all the towers staffed with lifeguards during the summer months from the HB Pier to the Santa Ana River to the south and to Bolsa Chica State Beach to the north, as well as roving lifeguards on red four wheel all terrain vehicles & red trucks patrolling between towers that are spaced at a greater distance, like towers 28-24 at Dog Beach on the north side of town.
Early this summer, I noticed that the 3 lifeguard towers at Dog Beach had fencing placed around them with signs saying "No Lifeguards This Area", and as the summer progressed the towers were not opened at all not even on the busy weekends like the Fourth of July. Even more surprising is that I have not seen the roving lifeguards in trucks or all terrain vehicles patrolling the areas with no staffed lifeguard towers.
The most active surf, the most amount of rocks, and riptides in North Orange County are right in front of Tower 24 and Tower 26 at the Huntington Cliffs. This is a highly trafficked area with surfers clambering down unofficial paths of the Cliffs to get to the surf, dog owners trying to get themselves and their dogs to the beach, as well as random Angelenos and tourists wanting to experience the beach.
Either the City of Huntington Beach consulted with their lawyers and determined that big signs warning folks of no lifeguards and that folks were taking responsibility for their own lives by swimming was sufficient to repel any lawsuits in the event of child whisked out to sea by riptides or the budget cuts plus decreased tax revenue due to 'The Economy' really has taken a toll on the Huntington Beach lifeguard and rescue budget.
Anyone know what the real story is on the lack of lifeguards at the towers?
Fri 08.27.10 - At Tuttle Club LA today, I found myself in possession of a Nokia E73 (trial phone), my Nokia N86, and a Nokia N97 of which I was testing out Foursquare via Gravity (works) and Gowalla mobile (doesn't work).
When I first sat down at our table, I loved the contrast between Toorak Coffee's interior orange walls and the green shirts that Geoff and Al were wearing, so I pulled out the first camera phone, the E73, in my bag and took a photo. Then I pulled out the N97 to check in to Foursquare and the like and took the same photo (mostly) from the same angle (mostly). Out came the Nokia N86 8 MP to take the final photo.
When Matt and I looked at the phones' screens, the N86 rendered the best photo where the colors looked as they actually were, the E73 the second best, and on the N97's screen the photo looked washed out. But now that I have them transferred to my computer, resized to 800x600, and posted to this blog, the N86 and the N97 look better but the real color was somewhere between the two with the N97 being a bit washed out and the N86 being a bit dark/saturated, and the E73's photo is a bit blurred and the color a bit light/bright.
The interior of Toorak is a good challenge for a point and shoot camera or a camera phone as the ceilings are high with big halogen/fluorescent lights and orange paneled walls with dark wood furniture. It is a gorgeous interior visually but a bit stressful for a camera, then add on Geoff & Al's shirts.... A comparison waiting to happen.
What do you think?
Photo of fish on sidewalk taken this morning by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86 while walking Scruffy McDoglet.
While I had a wonderful time having all the WomWorld/Nokia folk and E73 Mode party attendees in town and around to hang out from Friday through Sunday/Monday, I got quite behind in a number of things, one of which was blogging on time.
So let me get a bit caught up here:
Mon. 08.23.10 - Have a late brunch with Donna, James, and Adam of WOMWorld plus Jeb Brilliant at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach. Drop off the remaining suits to the charity drop off. Go home & work.
Tues. 08.24.10 - Work before driving up to Los Angeles for Eoin's Birthday Party. Have fun at the party. Happy Birthday, Eoin G!
Wed. 08.25.10 - Have a good time, yes, a good time, packing everything (remaining party stuff for the @womworldnokia crew) up in two boxes, then drive to the Good DHL in Irvine to have it shipped back to London. Realize that I really get the most satisfaction in life from helping others, realized once again for the 17,647th time this summer that I need to apply for a job where I work in a team and not in my living room. Make self an interesting dinner* while prepping a client's website for moving.
* An interesting dinner is the kind where you look in the fridge and pick all kinds of odds and ends, cook, eat, and later think - WHAT WAS THAT I ATE?!?!?!?
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Sat 08.21.10 - More photos from the Nokia E73 Mode Beach Party, as taken here and there with my Nokia N900. Don't ask my why I had two camera phones running that day...
Let's consider these photos the outtakes.
Sun 08.22.10 - Scruffy, Belle and I met up with Donna at the Nokia Beach House and then we all trundled down to Dog Beach for another walk on the beach with all the various dogs in Huntington. It as a lot of fun and Donna met a lovely pug.
What more can one ask for?
Attendees were given the choice to dress up in suits provided by the WOMWorld folk and to be apart of the challenges that also involved a film crew. The film fellows were using Canon 7Ds to record the video of the adventures.
WOMWorld's Donna was our 'boss' and the best parts were going out kayaking in the Huntington Harbor and the volleyball game in front of the Beach Party house, as seen in the photos above.
I enjoyed using the Nokia E73 Mode to take photos, as the camera is 5 megapixels and much improved over the last ESeries device I trialed - the E71. The photos are clear, the color is fairly correct, and the camera was fairly fast. My only complaint with the E73's camera is that in automatic mode it does best focusing at objects about a meter (3 feet) away and is a bit blurry and anything closer as seen in the photos above.
As always it was wonderful to catch up with friends who are also passionate about mobile and make new ones. Big thanks to Nokia, WOMWorld - Donna, Adam, and James, for hosting a lovely party and weekend.
The big question is when will the video come out?
The big question of the day yesterday that everyone at the Nokia Beach House asked me was, "Are you going to pre-order the Nokia N8?"
Am I going to buy the Nokia N8? YES!
Am I going to pre-order? NO!
I have several reasons for buying the N8, which are:
Do I need to buy My Future Preciousssss before it is released, wait weeks, and then have the early adoptor's blues? No.
I will let all the I-gotta-have-it-first-or-I-will-explode-but-will-be-bored-in-3-weeks-and-sell-it-on-ebay crowd go before me. Then I will buy the N8 on Amazon or Mobile City Online or the like, whoever has the best color selection.
The real reason for not pre-ordering My Future Precioussss is that NokiaUSA only has black/dark grey. What?!?!?!?! There are 5 lovely color selections and the US only gets black during pre-order? Join me and Bill the Cat to sputter, "Pppffffffffttt!"
Now, if they had Purple available for Pre-Order, I would have already made my order, but no purple. So, wake me up when blue, orange, or green is available in the US.
Right now, I am favoring Orange, but I might end up with Green or Blue.
Fri 08.20.10 - The nice folk at Nokia and WOMWorld are holding a Nokia E73 Mode Beach Party tomorrow, Saturday, in Sunset Beach. I am quite excited that Donna, Adam, and the other James (not Whatley) are in town organizing the event, as well as being very happy to see Nokia Open Lab alum Mike Maddaloni and Glenn Letham are in town for the party as well as meeting Lenny of Nokia Innovation and Dennis of Wap Review.
This morning Donna and I met up and we took Scruffy and Belle to Dog Beach, which is about 3 miles south of the Beach House. We had a lovely walk and talk.
I joined the group again later in the early evening at the Beach House to have a good hang out time and eat a lovely dinner that Donna made for us! Thanks, Donna!
It was good to have a relaxed time before the party started to catch up and exchange ideas, thoughts, and laughter. I am looking forward to the party tomorrow afternoon.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen at Dog Beach with her Nokia N86.
Recently I found myself thinking about camera phone apps, more specifically about Hipstamatic and do folks really use it past the week they bought it out of the App Store?
Amongst the photographers and designers I know and follow on Flickr, I will occasionally see a photo that looks like it was Hipstamatic-d but not often, which makes me to wonder if it is due to the fact that Hipstamatic does not make a back up of the original photo before it is processed or if folks just aren't interested in Lomo like mobile camera phone photos.
My curiosity continued to wander and I started to wonder really how many camera phone apps people were using past the first week of buying them. Furthermore, what iPhone and Android camera phone apps were people buying and using with any regularity. Do folks like the 'toy camera' apps or were they using camera apps with other functionality?
The Camera phone app world has quite exploded on the iPhone and Android is catching up, but when I searched the Ovi Store there were very few camera phone apps for Symbian devices and those that were there were more geared to an East Asian J-Pop photo booth cute overload on neon aesthetic than the Graham Parson-esque Silver Like circa 1972 via a yellow daisy filled green meadow in misty sunlight aesthetic of Hipstamatic.
There was one Symbian app, Joyeye, that promised Lomo style photos, but it did not work on my Nokia N86 and I did not try to download a version for the N97. It may be that it is only for touchscreen Symbian devices or it may be that the Ovi Store seems dead set on thinking my N86 is an N97.
Two weeks ago to satisfy my curiosity, I conducted a very small survey on Twitter by asking:
msjen: iPhone folk, what is your favorite camera or photo app & why?
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Mon 08.16.10 - Or why I love my Nokia N86 camera phone, the camera really is extraordinary. Hello, little bee.
This morning, my Mom, who had read last night's blog post, asked if I was anxious.
I responded, "No, I was just reflecting on the last ten years and stating where I would like to go from here."
This is a true statement. Right now in my personal life, I am happy and surprisingly content. In my professional life, my dance card is currently full, but I don't want to get lulled in complacency.
Reflective, yes. Anxious, no.
The last two to three years brought a clarity to the fact that I work best in collaboration, my favorite projects of the last 5 years are the ones where I have worked in a team or closely with a creative client who wanted to collaborate. The last year worth of projects has made it even clearer that I do best when I am working with people in the same space and then am able to work on my tasks. I have honestly looked at my productivity patterns and see that they are not at their best when I am working at home all by myself with no client/collaborative contact for weeks at end.
I have several web designer friends who work best when left alone to themselves and they don't want to work on team projects. I have one friend who after the initial client meeting will only deal with clients via email.
The Myers-Briggs personality assessment can say a lot about one's working patterns and what environment they do their best work in. I will bet that my friends who do their best by themselves are Is for Introversion, in that they get their energy from being alone & work best when left alone. Reductive, I know, but I don't want to dedicate paragraphs to parsing this out, when you can go read about it yourself.
I have taken the long form Myers-Briggs several times in the course of my life and I always test out as just a little to the Introversion side but very close to the Extroversion. This means that I get my energy from being by myself at least a few hours a day, but I am still social. I have noticed that I am happiest when I am able to touch base on what the plan is, break up into small groups or alone to get the task done, and then reconvene to assess and then iterate.
I wrote last night's post on my ten years as a freelance web designer as a way to celebrate and reflect on what the last ten years of my professional life has been all the while being honest about the bad as well as the good. If that honesty was conveyed as anxiety, that was not my intention.
I think it is all to easy, particularly given that a web professional is always connected and by the nature of our professional community we are frequently on social networks, to paint one's client situation as rosy and to only announce or put up in one's portfolio the good projects, but it hard to talk about the doubts, the mild to major failures of projects or hopes, and otherwise be honest as it can be seen as unprofessional or it would look bad to do so.
I am interested in being honest. Honest that I don't want to get caught in complacency of my life, but I want to examine where I have been and where I would like to go. And professionally, I would like to work at a company or firm where at least 50% of my time would be working with/for/around the mobile space.
Thus, not anxious, but examining and moving forward.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Sun 08.15.10 - Today was the day that I took the peeling & sliced peaches and turned them into jars of peach jam. Canning fun was documented on Qik:
I was wrong in the last video, it was not 5 minutes of the boiling processing bath, but 20 minutes. I corrected myself after I finished this Qik video and processed all the jars of peach jam for 20 minutes each in the boiling water.
Ten years ago this week, I gave my two week notice at my well-paid but non-web related corporate job. I gave my notice so that I could go pro as a web designer rather than just doing it as a side job or hobby. I gave my notice so that I could start my own web design freelance consultancy. I gave notice so that I could teach web design and 20th Century art history at a local university. I gave notice so that I could grow into my new life as a full-time web designer.
My timing, I have joked for years, was impeccable. I gave notice to start a web design business right on the precipice of the Dot Com Bust of 2000/2001.
In the last ten years, I have built a web design and development business / freelance consultancy that has focused on small businesses, creatives, non-profits, and education related endeavors. In the last ten years, I have offered my clients not just a new web site, but also how to conduct an online marketing or promotion campaign, how to use the internet to grow a business or project, as well as helping the internet phobic get comfortable in this new space. It has at times been very satisfying and at others deeply frustrating.
Five years ago this month, I wound down my web design business and teaching at the university to go back to school myself. I packed up my whole life, gave up my lovely 1890s back of the house in Orange, and in Sept of 2005 I moved to Dublin, Ireland, to attend graduate school at Trinity College, Dublin. I went to graduate school with the intention of learning more about programming and web development, as well as to focus on a mobile project.
When I first returned from Dublin with my new minted Masters degree, I spent 6 months in a job search of which many leads were pursued, paths investigated and interviews conducted but none lead to a corporate web or mobile design job as I had hoped at the time. In 2007, I spent a great deal of the year trying almost any new professional adventure offered to me - speaking at developer conferences about design, working as a web developer contractor to an East Coast based agency, thinking & planning a mobile hack day, etc. In one way, this was good, as I got to discover what I did not want to do, but on the other side it was bad, as I felt like I was too full of post-masters degree energy and that I was scattered and did not focus.
For the last three years, I have been working more on the web development and programming side of my skill set, both on client projects and a large semi-collaborative web application, as well as mobile development projects. Something funny happened on the way to the web app forum, I discovered that what I knew to be true in early 2007 when I was interviewing, which was that I really did not want to work for myself anymore but instead work on a team doing bigger projects than one person can accomplish alone, is still very true, in fact truer now than it was in 2007.
Furthermore, I have discovered that the longer I am a freelance web designer and developer working with remote clients or on contract, the more demoralized I become. It is not enough to work on a remote team where there are weekly phone or Skype meetings, I deeply desire, be it a larger company or at an agency, to work on an in office/studio team to be a part of a larger whole than what I can accomplish on my own. I want to hear more than just my own thoughts or what little I can glean when I throw out an idea on Twitter. I want to participate in discussion and discourse, I want to be challenged, I want to learn from colleagues, I want to be able to mentor in turn, I want to collaborate, and I want to participate together on projects.
To this end, I have spent much time this summer dusting off my resume and working on how to best presentation of my portfolio. I have been watching the job listings at companies I admire and would want to work at. I have let friends and contacts know that I am starting a job search.
While most of my client work the last ten years has been mostly web based, be it web design, development or marketing, my true passion and where I have spent most of my non-client working time in the last five years is in mobile. If you have read this blog, you know that besides mobile blogging & camera phone photography, I tend to blog about mobile. Thus, I am searching for jobs in mobile and at mobile companies.
If you know of any openings in mobile for a passionate and bright designer / developer hybrid with strong talents in user experience, communication, marketing, and systems design, please let me know.
Follow Up: Anxious? No.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Sat 08.14.10 - Today my Mom and I turned a box of peaches from Erika & Thomas' peach tree into peeled, sliced/diced peaches ready for to become peach jam. I captured a series of Qik streaming videos about what we were up to with the peaches that can be found here:
Photo taken by Ms. Jen late this afternoon with her Nokia N86.
Happy Day. I received an email today saying that Sports Tracker is back and ready to be downloaded.
Sports Tracker has been on hiatus the last year or so, after it was spun off as a beta software product at Nokia to become its own company. The nice folk behind Sports Tracker have updated the website, ported over all of the data from folks' accounts at Nokia's Sports Tracker server, and have created mobile apps for all the current Nokia phones with GPS on board.
I am quite excited as I have missed Sports Tracker on my Nokia N86. I have missed mapping my route as Scruffy and I walk each day and I take photos. It is good fun to have a record both in terms of a map and a data record of how fast or slow one walked, the altitude and other fun geo-athletic details.
Sports Tracker ported about 95% of my 'routes' to the new server, only leaving out all routes before the Chennai photowalk, of which those previous routes were when Sports Tracker was in beta and I was testing SP before departing for the Urbanista Trip to India.
My only two minor objections to the new Sports Tracker is that the new website is in Flash and the mobile app I downloaded from the Ovi Store for my Nokia N86 doesn't have an obvious way for me to log into the new Sports Tracker website to pair my routes with the site. Hopefully, the mobile app will ask me to pair the mobile to the server when I start my first 'workout'.
I look forward to seeing what the Sports Tracker team will do and am excited that I can now pair my photos with a mapped route of my photo walks again. Thanks, Sports Tracker!
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900.
My Mom arrived late this afternoon with a HUGE cooler full of organic, pasture raised, rancher slaughtered beef, pork and lamb. She bought at auction 4H raised meat at the Bishop Ag Fair in July. After we packed various white paper wrapped bits into our freezers, Mom, Scruffy, and I set off on a walk around 6pm. We took the long way around Seal Beach.
As we hit Main Street, the first time around, we ran into Mike Magrann and Lucy the wonderful brindled ex-pound pup. Mike is freshly back from CH3's East Coast and UK tour, and he told us the highlights beyond what I had read on his blog.
After chatting with Mike, Mom and I continued on to the far north end of town before looping back down Ocean Ave and then back up Main Street. At the corner of Main and Electric, Mom suggested that we go have a glass of wine at the Wine Bar, as she wanted to wind down from her big drive down from Bishop.
We sat at the pew style benches next to the big open windows so that Scruffy could be right there as we sat and had our glass of wine. Time wound on, we had a 2nd glass of wine, the sky started to darken, and I was watching folks walking down the sidewalk, when I saw Julia Johnson Britt walking by on the sidewalk.
While I have known Channel 3's Mike & Kimm since 1983 or 1984 and see them fairly frequently, the second longest friend I have kept in (mostly) continuous contact with has been Julia Britt. She and I met at Richard's Beauty College in 1985 and had many adventures together including a summer of 1988 tour of England, France, Germany, Ireland, and back to London again. We most recently ran into each other, other than keeping in contact on Facebook, while walking down Cesar Chavez (aka 1st St) in Austin, TX, two years ago at SXSW when Julia was skating with the Houston Roller Derby girls.
A few weeks ago, on Facebook, Julia messaged me to let me know she would be in SoCal for the first week of August plus a bit. I emailed her back to say that I wanted to get together, but didn't hear from her. When I saw her walking down the sidewalk tonight, I called out and she joined us at the Wine Bar.
It was a good deal of fun to catch up. She had not seen my email, as she had not read her gmail in a bit, regardless of nearly missing each other we did to hang out for a few hours at the Wine Bar. It was delightful to see two old friends in one day, particularly delightful to see Julia when she lives in Houston and we did not plan to find each other this evening.
Glad that Mom wanted to go the Wine Bar. ;o)
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.
Today, I broke out the Nokia N97 and the marvelous "Mobile Python" book by Jürgen Scheible & Ville Tuulos, between the two I had a grand good time working through exercises in Mobile Python for S60 and trying out some of the ideas in my head.
I bought the Mobile Python book about 2 years ago and worked through it then, but was not able to really get in to it or process everything that I was learning until I took the Python class last summer and worked on the Alex's Bar Booking app that was coded in python on Google App Engine. Now, as I read the Python for S60 docs and go back over parts of the book, it all makes sense and it seems so easy.
As I was coding today, I felt so good about it all, unlike two years ago or even last year, that I now have a 2nd app idea... I would first like to get my mobile app idea working on the Nokia N86 and N97 before I go deep into the PyMaemo docs to get it working on the Nokia N900.
One step at a time. Next, I have to conquer my sockets issue... ;o)
My personal project of the last few days is to start chipping away at my moblogging app. Roland Tanglao and I have been talking since the Big Adventure in May about working together to get my mobile blogging app idea off the ground.
Basically, I know that if I can get a php script to post to this blog via the Atom or XML-RPC protocol, then I can get my mobile to do it via a python app. I have now spent more than 12 hours spread out over 2 days researching the various protocols, reading docs, and then trying to get several different php scripts to post a simple blog post to Movable Type 4.3's Atom or XML-RPC scripts.
Tonight, I kept getting errors that either the scripts aren't able to authenticate (both Atom & XML-RPC) or with XML-RPC I keep getting a "32300:transport error - could not open socket".
Darned sockets, I shake my fist at you.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.
Sat 08.07.10 - Yes, SoCal is still experiencing June Gloom in August. The weather has been gloomy/foggy in the morning and sunny in the afternoons with temperatures in the low to mid 70s F (19-22C). One would think it was May and not August.
Others are complaining and want a real summer, I love it.
There are several interesting articles on mobile that came out in the last few days that would make a for good weekend down time read:
You Might Find Yourself on Future: Cell Phones As Personal Information Filters:
"Pay no attention to the man holding the receiver; it's the phone itself you'll need to impress.
A small army of editors, programming directors, critics, censors, librarians and curators have shaped choices of entire generations. But just like factory workers of the 19th century found themselves inevitably replaced by the more efficient machines, human gatekeepers are giving way to a new breed of automated tastemakers - sophisticated software that separates the information wheat from the chaff and whose influence is growing as fast as the amount of information we produce.
That is, pretty fast."
Engadget's interview with Nokia's VP talks N8, MeeGo 'milestone product,' tablets, Android and more!
"We're going to put our best foot forward when it comes to the user interaction with MeeGo products, and, of course, it's an evolution. Version two is always going to be better than version one, no question about that one. Then, on the similarities between Symbian and MeeGo, of course, from an iconography and the way it looks standpoint, we can do a lot to make sure that it's visible that it is the same family. I think we have to be very careful in not pulling the legacy with us to MeeGo on certain things. We will make some conscious decisions of things that will not be the same logic. For example, Symbian originally was built as a menu-driven operating system, which is not that practical when you are in a touch environment because the tree hierarchies back and forth. For MeeGo, we have taken a totally different kind of paradigm."
Marek Pawlowski at MEX on A mobile developer day too far:
"Handset manufacturers, network operators and software companies have for some time been falling over themselves to win over third party developers to their platforms. After attending Nokia's less than successful Ovi Developer day in London, I couldn't help but ponder whether this industry infighting is in their long-term interests and those of their customers?
These companies share a simple, common objective: increasing the value of their main product offering (be that handsets for Nokia, network capacity for operators or advertising for Google) by ensuring as many applications as possible are available within their eco-system, preferably exclusively. This is what drives all those developer conferences, free handsets and partnership marketing budgets.
It is hard to dispute the initial logic of this premise: customers will naturally be inclined to buy products which allow them access to the best services. Apple is the benchmark example, where the availability of iOS apps is a key selling point for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. In our consumer research we are seeing increasing numbers of customers making handset and operator purchasing decisions based on the quality and economy of access they provide to specific branded services.
However, numerous companies in the mobile industry are simply trying to beat Apple's App Store at its own game without stopping to consider if this is in their long-term strategic interests."
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.
Photo by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N900.
Thurs 08.05.10 - Belle, after being quite lovely and quiet this week, decided to step up & out in noise and activity level this afternoon and evening. I used the Nokia N900 to take this photo, as I like the grain when the light is a bit low.
Terry Gross' Fresh Air had two great interviews in the last week, go listen to the podcasts:
Ousted Evangelical Reflects On Faith, Future: "If you haven't changed your mind ever, pinch yourself, you may be dead."
Queen's Brian May Rocks Out To Physics, Photography
Restoring the Paradise that Saddam Destroyed: "Saddam Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later, one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream."
Quietcation is when you have a lovely staycation at home while your family members and pets go off on a travel vacation and you stay at home in blessed silence.
My brother is currently having a quietcation while his girlfriend is on holiday with her friends in Arizona and Belle (aka Poopy McPooperson the Carpet Defacer) is staying with Scruffy and I. I hope my brother enjoys his time of quiet.
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.