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Date: 2008-10-08 16:33
Subject: Undecideds
Security: Public
Tags:announcement, election, space cowboys
I don't get Undecideds. Probably because in most things I like having 2 speeds: On, off.

Ok, let's pretend the Election is a big wild ass house party, like at the end of Weird Science, and instead of casting votes we're really all just trying to get laid.

Some people show up to the party with a date, so they already know who they're going home with -- in fact these people could've just skipped the party completely and stayed home with thighs covering their ears.

There are others who show up without knowing exactly who they want to nail, but they've got a type. Maybe they've got yellow fever and they go for Asians or Gaysians , or maybe love ass. Maybe they go gooey for bangs and big sunglasses, or hairy chests and ironic beards. Whatever; the point is they know what they like, and when they see it they all over it like gravy on a biscuit.

Some people don't have a type, they like to keep their options real wide. Let's say they're pansexual, and everyone at the party is looking good. This is a blessing and a curse, because they see a little sumthin-sumthin worth trying in just about everyone at the party. But let's say these happy, adventurous people are also pragmatic, and around midnight when the pickins are at risk of thinning out, they'll do a couple shots of tequila and hop on the next sweet thing that doesn't move faster than they do. If it doesn't end up working out, worst case scenario is they come back (in 4 years) and try for someone new and friskier.

But then there are people who can't make up their fucking minds. Maybe they're like our pansexuals -- except instead of everyone at the party looking Hot, to them everyone is looking really, really Not. The party would be a lot more fun for these people if they'd drink some of that tequila. Their options would certainly start looking better. Or maybe the problem is -- like the dummies on bad dating reality shows are always saying -- these people are waiting for what they think of as "the complete package." And wouldn't that be nice? But while they're waiting for that complete package to materialize, time's awasting and soon the party will be over.

These people who stand around while everyone else is hooking up around them are the Electoral Undecideds. But the problem is, unlike in the party metaphor, when they don't make the right decision everyone gets fucked.
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8B
Date: 2008-03-02 14:36
Subject: Adding to the bedside pile
Security: Public
After brunch at Naomi and Scott's place I went wandering in the Mission. At some point I'm planning to pop into 12 Galaxies for Noise Pop's Pop & Shop where Ryan P is spinning, but at the moment I'm at Ritural Roasters working on my IA Summit and Web 2.0 Expo presentations. Or trying to work on it. I also popped into Borderland Books where I suckered myself into picking up The Town That Forgot How to Breathe and Neal Asher's Gridlinked. As if I don't already have enough fiction piled up at the bedside.
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8B
Date: 2008-02-28 14:54
Subject: I love you, I hate you
Security: Public

I love you, I hate you, originally uploaded by joshdamon.



Peter Stahl and I are preparing a talk for IA Summit and Web 2.0 Expo on an audit we conducted of eBay's many and disparate interactions. He lives in Mountain View, and after taking Caltrain up to SF a couple weeks ago, he hopped on MUNI. Peter was treated to a first hand example of the importance of good affordances and expectation when he tried to get off the bus -- he'd never 'stepped down' to open a door before. And MUNI's contradictory signs don't help things ("Step down" into the stepwell to open the doors, but "Do Not Stand In Stepwell" because you could get smushed) .
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8B
Date: 2008-02-23 07:45
Subject: Week one done
Security: Public
I made it through the first week of Bootcamp without puking, grievously injuring myself, or flat out skipping one of the four class per week. The biggest pain in the ass is that my sleep schedule is like a new parent's. Class starts at 7am, so I need to be up around 5:45 to dress, eat, have coffee, and walk from my place to 20th and Sanchez. Surprisingly, I had no problem the first few days. But Wednesday night I went to the Dope Show, went home with badly ringing ears, and maybe got three hours of real sleep before it was time to go to the Thursday workout. Work, after the workout, was horrible. My brain was trailing about two seconds behind any conversation going on, any brainstorming that had to take place -- basically I was a retard until I got home and sacked out in front of the TV.

Regardless, that's one down and five to go.
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8B
Date: 2008-01-25 09:43
Subject: "It's the economy, stupid."
Security: Public

NODs2007, originally uploaded by mikeand100.

Don't know what this is going to mean for us when we start looking for a new house, but I'm guessing it ain't going to make things easy. Add to that, my salary bump this year was tempered by uncertainty about how the recession will impact the design consultancy industry.

There's an article by Daniel Gross in last weeks Newsweek where he points out eerie similarities of this year's political and economic landscape to 92... War in Iraq? Check. Unemployment up? Check. Election year? I don't know, let me go out and CHECK.

Not since James Carville helped Bill Clinton take the White House 16 years ago by reminding him "it's the economy, stupid," has the nation's economic state played such a key role in a presidential campaign. CNN's New Hampshire exit poll found that 97 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans expressed anxiety about the economy.

 

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8B
Date: 2007-07-13 09:07
Subject: SFPD's got a new job
Security: Public

SFPD's got a new job, originally uploaded by joshdamon.

I'd seen a couple of SFPD's new Ford F-series trucks rolling around the city, and I kept wondering what the heck they needed pickups for... Well, today I found out. Here they are at the corner of McAllister and Jones, all loaded up with shopping carts, couches, blankets, shopping bags, with the flag flying over it all.

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8B
Date: 2007-07-08 14:12
Subject: Note from the cleaners
Security: Public

Note from the cleaners, originally uploaded by joshdamon.

It was hardly a spill, more like a spritz, and it was only note book paper with more doodles than notes. But I was touched that they actually bothered to leave a note. The cleaners who come to our apartment have made all sorts of messes and they only way we find out about them is when we stumble on the evidence.

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8B
Date: 2007-06-26 10:19
Subject: Angelina Jolie is to 9/11 as Absolute Bullshit is to [blank]
Security: Public
Music:H8ball Electro house v1.0 - H8ball
Slate podcasted this excellent review of a celebrity puff piece on Angelina Jolie. Everyone knows that celebrity profiles aren't exactly deep, and are mainly there to prop up the sexy cover photo. I think magazines usually get a pass on these since swallowing fluff is part of the public's responsibility in the social contract they enter with celebrities (the brussel sprouts that earn a desert of tears, cheating and DUIs), but a recent piece in Esquire on Angelina Jolie that intros by comparing her importance to 9/11 went too far for Slate. Sure, it's like shooting fish in a barrel (or just walking past fish in a barrel), but the article does a great job identifying the flaws, sins and shear stupidities of a piece that is so full of shit I wouldn't be surprised if toilets clogged in every bathroom the issue gets read in...
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8B
Date: 2007-06-22 09:15
Subject: The Grocery Lady
Security: Public
I wrote about a morning encounter with an old lady who was peddling groceries on the corner near the court house a while back, but never posted it here. I saw her again this morning with a wire-framed pushcart half-full of shopping bags this morning, and I snapped a couple shots of her making a sale. Like me, the woman buying was trying to overpay for whatever product she'd agreed to "purchase", and like when I tried to overpay, the old lady insisted on giving back change. I got away because I didn't stop walking, but it looks like change might've actually been made in this case. After I wrote the bit below, I heard from some other locals that they'd seen the old lady before and suspected she shoplifted her wares, which, if anything, makes me think MORE of her.
May 31, 2007

I walk to work in the morning. It's about 2 miles, door to door, and in someways it's a better kick start than coffee, though I still drink a few cups when I get to my desk. It's the same walk everyday, so even though I'm super into all the building, people and scenery in SF, most days I tune out, listening to music or podcasts, and I probably tread the exact same path each way, step for step. It's like a trance, and that's why, when something unusual happens along the way it takes me a moment to snap out of it. Which brings me to this morning.

I was passing the courthouse on McAllister, where I always have to run an obstacle course of people who respond to the summons to jury duty with all the vitality and enthusiasm of the living dead. I'd just skirted the entrance, and was about to step past an old lady who I thought was another prospective jury, but instead she reached out and touched my forearm. She was little and round lady, with thin, greasy white hair covered in scarf that looked more like a dish rag, and her glazed blue eyes seemed to wander independently. I was listening to music and didn't hear what she was saying, but I saw she carried a generic brand bag of white rice and a soup can under one arm, and held a can of cranberry juice concentrate in her hand, which she offered to me. Normally, I ignore people who approach me on the street; if I didn't my 30 minute walk would take an hour. This one time, though, I decided to go ahead and take out my earbuds, even though I definitely did not want the can of cranberry juice concentrate she was trying to give me. There was something grandmotherly about her, and even though her clothes weren't clean, she definitely didn't look homeless, addicted or even more crazy than, say, my own grandmother. She just seemed desperate and fragile. I figured I could at least acknowledge her, before politely moving on. "Please. A dollar. Is good," she said. Her accent was Russian or some other Eastern Europe country, and she suddenly seemed very provincial. I shook my head and said No thanks, but she said, "Please," again, and held the can up higher, like maybe I only said no because I hadn't seen it clearly. The crosswalk countdown started, and I said No, again, and skirted around her continuing on my way.

I got halfway down the next block when guilt hit. Dodging open handed drunks, addicts and gutter punks is one thing, but I'd just walked away from a poor old lady trying to sell groceries on the corner. What an asshole I was, Asshole with a capital A. I turned around and saw her down the street, still on the corner, trying without much luck to stop other pedestrians. I'd go back and give her a few bucks, I decided, but when I fished out my wallet I found I only had a five. Why not, I thought. Walking back, I saw a woman stop and "buy" the old lady's can of soup; after she gave the lady a dollar the woman tried to give back the soup, but the old lady was insistent. She pushed the can of soup into the woman's arms like it was something precious. The woman smiled and shrugged, and then watched me as I came up and gave the old lady my rolled up five. The old lady took it and gave me the cranberry, which I also tried to give back. "You keep it," I said, but the old lady shook her head so violently and she seemed suddenly more fragile than when I'd first saw her, I was worried she might start yelling or crying or something. Then, when she unrolled the bill I'd given her, she did start yelling. "No!" she shouted, "Is TOO much. TOO much!" I said it was Ok, and smiled and said that she should keep it. But she kept yelling, and some of the people who'd been walking by, ignoring the old lady, now stopped and stared with confusion at her and then at me. "TOO much!" she shouted again. She waved a handful of money around like she was swatting at flies, and she was now on the verge of tears. The woman who'd bought the soup stood behind her and shouted at me, "She's ONLY trying to keep her dignity!" And then everyone around was glaring at me. I'd given the old lady too much money for a can of cranberry concentrate, and now I really was an Asshole. I hurried off before a mob could form to burn me at the stake.


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8B
Date: 2007-05-24 17:07
Subject: Searching for Rocky Balboa?
Security: Public
When I first heard about Chess Boxing I figured it must be more complicated than it sounded. I was wrong. Chess Boxing is exactly what it sounds like -- boxing and chess at the same time.


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