Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Matt was kind enough to remind me that not everyone reads every tweet, so some of the people who read this blog (people read this blog?) might not have noticed that it's been migrated to Go forth and sin no more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World of Goo Releases for Mac!

2d Boy has released World of Goo for Mac! Go forth and make tarry snot bridges to DESTINY!

Because I can't. Because I'm 16,000 words into NaNoWriMo and must continue to beat some words into submission. But in December, just you wait.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The People Have Spoken...

...and the results are here: The PDX Breakfast Tweetup Survey was a tremendous success in terms of response (what? What else would I be talking about?). Twenty-six people laid it on the line and told me what they wanted out of a Breakfast Tweetup. In true "um, DUH!" fashion, I did not answer my own survey. Rawk! My comments are appended to the end of each question.

How Often should the Tweetup Breakfast Occur?

  • Weekly - 7 votes, 26.9%
  • Every Other Week - 11 votes, 42.3%
  • Monthly - 8 votes, 30.8%

    Leaving alone that this question is butterfly-ballot confusing (the proper inquiry is "how far apart should the breakfasts be?" or something), it was also very close - deadlocked, in fact, when I went to bed on Monday. I woke on Election Day with Every Other Week the clear favorite. "Monthly" made a late surge to actually overcome "Weekly." I expected the "Weekly" voters to be people who also selected "I would probably always attend," but only 3 of the 7 did so. My feeling is every other week makes sense.

    Should Each Breakfast Have a Topic? (multiple answers allowed)
  • No, I just want to hang with friends and have eggs. 9 votes, 34.6%
  • Yes, but continue the "suggest but don't enforce" policy. 16 votes, 61.5%
  • Yes, and formalize the topic somehow. 1 vote, 3.8%
  • I'd like to see an actual micro-presentation on something cool. 3 votes, 11.5%


    1. I think we should set it up as an official Geek Breakfast in the style of The three rules of Geek Breakfast are: 1. Everyone is invited, attendance is free (excluding food, beverage and gratuity). 2. Pictures, audio and video should be licensed under Creative Commons and tagged using "yourcitynamegeekbreakfast" and "geekbreakfast". Please add them to the Geek Breakfast Flickr Group. 3. Geek Breakfasts shall never be sponsored. If a company approaches you about sponsorship opportunities recommend they sponsor local unconferences instead, like a barcamp or podcamp. It's important to note that if the breakfast gets sponsored you'll wind up with many people turning up for a free meal, rather than being there to contribute to the conversation.

    2.Micropresentations are AWESOME! Show, don't tell!

    3.Micro-preso would be cool, but isn't absolutely necessary. Time to just hang and eat eggs is nice too.

    4.breakfast should be delicious, healthy, and quick. lets keep breakfast away from being a camp or a meetup. i think techies benefit from being simply social.

    I thought the same as the vast majority of people, that we should suggest a topic but not push it. So far the conversations have been awesome, with no need to resort to canned conversation starters. I definitely want to check out the Geek Breakfast concept, especially as our rules appear to be (mostly) congruent. But I'm not sure it needs to be specifically any kind of thang, so for now it remains unaffiliated.

    Assuming that your calendar was free, what are the factors that would convince you to attend a Portland Tweetup Breakfast?
  • Restaurant choice; 11 votes, 42.3%
  • People attending; 11 votes, 42.3%
  • Suggested conversation topic; 5 votes, 19.2%
  • Scheduled presentation; 3 votes, 11.5%
  • Bacon; 12 votes, 46.2%
  • I would probably always attend; 8 votes, 30.8%
  • Proximity to where I live/work, 17 votes, 65.4%
  • Chance to take a breather from work; 5 votes, 19.2%
  • Exchange of ideas with crazy people, 11 votes, 42.3%
  • Other; 3 votes, 11.5%

    "Other" Responses:
    1. not at the crack-*ss of dawn. =) i.e., one week breakfast, two weeks later after work drinks would be my preference, cuz i don't think i would ever make your breakfast times.

    2. Proximity to MAX line or streetcar ... if it's not in SW, I'm gonna have to jump on the train to get there and back.

    3. Proximity and time. 8AM=too early 9AM=maybe 10AM=done deal. Hey, I'm an artist and a 45 minute bike ride pre-breakfast + sleep deprived is tough! How about a SE venue?

    Not surprisingly, no one wanted this to demolish their entire morning. "Proximity to me" won by a wide margin (bacon was hot on its heels for a while, but cooler heads prevailed). Good argument to continue finding new places on both sides of the river, so that interested folks can get to one.


    1. I'm happy you made this, Lawduck. It's totally Sweetopian. I had no idea the Breakfast Tweetup would become a PortlandTechTradition

    2. What about moving it later in the day? Portland Tweetup Lunch or Dinner (focused on eating + conversing rather than beer) seem like a natural extension. w00t!

    3. Move it around, including, if you dare, different sides of the river!

    4. Juniors in the SE. Might be too small though.

    5. Restaurant suggestions! Rumpspankers (700 NE Dekum. Okay, it's down the street from my house and that might be considered cheating...) Tin Shed (1438 NE Alberta) Milo's City Cafe (1325 NE Broadway)

    6. This is great! I'm probably not as techy as most twitterer's. I love the Stepping Stone. Also like J&M and Bijoux and Genie's.

    7. nice survey, lawduck!

    8. i keep forgetting to not eat breakfast w/ the fam that morning!

    9. I think they're wonderful, and *thank you* for organizing them!

    10. weekends would be great. many of us have office jobs and leaving mid-morning just isn't feasable

    11. You are my personal hero.

    Some good suggestions for places to eat, and thank you all for the accolades - at least two thirds of the credit goes to the Fuller's crowd that showed up for the first one, and the fertile minds of Amber Case, Bram Pitoyo, and Don Park.

    So that's it. Every other week, suggested topic, roving around the city. The next one will be next Thursday, on the east side (leaning toward Milo's City Cafe). My suggestion for topic would be preplanning/brainstorming for @neophiliac's Startup Workout.

    Thanks for all the responses. This is how democracy works. I wish there were a more momentous demonstration of the principle that I could point to, but what is more momentous than bacon?

  • 50 ways to lose attorney-client privilege

    Inspired by this tweet from Josh Bancroft. I might not really get to fifty...

  • The classic "shield not sword" argument applies when you disclose partial documents that would otherwise be privileged to prove how awesome your case is.
  • Similarly, talking about privileged communications in a way that makes them part of the dispute will waive the privilige, because those communications are now "at issue" in the litigation.
  • Perform an internal investigation into potential patent infringement before retaining outside counsel.
  • Loop people into emails about pending litigation.
  • Engage in shenanigans around your preservation process during discovery
  • Engage in shenanigans, generally, and then cooperate with the Feds to save your ass.
  • The Yale Law Journal appears to be having some server problems, but they've got an article about Contractual Waiver of Privilege if they ever get back on the interwebs.
  • Sixteen Ways to Waive Attorney Client Privilege from the Government Contracts Blog.
  • As might be expected,, a clearinghouse maintained by Professor Paul Rice from American University, has a bunch of articles and resources. Sadly, since his big fancy book was published, he appears uninterested in keeping any information up to date, so this contains resources up to 2000 and not much else. Still, there's a bundle of reading.

    I think that'll do for now. :)

  • Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Not so bad. Famous last words.

    When I get 11 hours of sleep and then everyone leaves the house for an hour, it is totally not a problem for me to crank out 1000 words. So, from the standpoint of "days that will never happen again," I'm golden for National Novel Writing Month. I wish I could say the same for the website, which seems slower than molasses on the tin roof of a cabin in winter. At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Nanowrimo gods, I think I'm going to mostly post updates of my word count on Twitter.

    My novel is rad. It's the story of a starving law student who takes a part time job as a clerk with a solo practitioner. A solo practitioner who practices law in the realm of Faerie. And other courts. Dark courts. Courts that do not concern themselves with bar credentials so much as true names. Jim Butcher and Simon Green walk into a bar with John Grisham, blah blah blah.

    So far it's a lot of fun. And it's got the advantage of being really easy to write. I've often said I could fill a book with snarky comments about law school. Now I get to, and write spooky nonsense as well. Wahoo!

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    RSS Terms of Use - Really?

    I was perusing as usual in Google Reader and came across this interesting little tidbit -

    Google Reader (1000+)
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

    The Terms of Use are fairly tame, and seem mostly concerned with traffic - please don't "host" our article on your site and pretend it's your news. I can imagine that this is a concern but hardly think that this is the way to go about it. There also seem to be implications for feed aggregators or shared feed sites like social|median...many such services have pages with some (though not all) of the content, and a place for comments by users of the service. I only glanced at the terms of use, but that seems to inch pretty close to their concept of "misuse" at first glance.

    This is where attribution licenses are extremely worthwhile. Although I can understand an ad-driven blog-o-palooza being concerned about impressions, this seems a ham-handed way to go about it. I'll update when I have more time to look at the Terms with my lawyerin' goggles on.

    In the meantime, your thoughts?

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    The Content You Use Today May be Licensed Differently Tomorrow.

    In Verifying the Commons, the Creative Commons folks point out the tricky subject of attribution licenses converting to traditional copyright. What happens if you used a photo under a CC attribution license and the photo was subsequently re-licensed as fee-for-use? How do you prove that you didn't pirate it? The post points out that there are multiple ways to timestamp or otherwise verify that you first utilized the photo during the license period (note that CC licenses cannot be revoked, so anyone who used content in the "open license" window retains the right to use the content):

    As for the question of verifying whether a work was ever released under a CC license, the innovative can provide this exact service for flickr photos. We used ImageStamper to time stamp all 157 photos used in Jesse Dylan’s ‘A Shared Culture‘ so that we would have proof, going forward, that a particular work was released under a given license.’s archive feature provides essentially the same functionality for any given webpage and also provides a permanent URL for the snapshot.

    Useful to remember that we're not only responsible for attribution, but for verification of the license. Even in the goody goody world of shared content, you need to watch your back.

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Hidden Object Fun for a buck, lots of games half off at Big Fish Games.

    Jay is Games noted on Friday that, until Monday, the 27th, you can pick up Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst for only 99 cents.

    I'm not a gigantic fan of hidden object games, but the Mystery Case Files series makes a bigger effort than most at maintaining a cohesive narrative throughout the game. And, really, a dollar is the right kind of price in any event. If you try it and like the gameplay, you can Return to Ravenhearst when the title is released later this year...

    Edit: Holy crows, I didn't realize until I dinked around on the site some more that Big Fish is selling a bunch of older stuff for 50% off, in addition to the Ravenhearst sale. If you just use the coupon code "Octoberfest" at checkout you'll get a great discount on the games on that page. If you sign up for the game club you can also get branded swag for buying the Oktoberfest games. I have to admit, the prospect of another coffee mug isn't going to make me any more excited one way or the other, but the sale is a chance to get game club prices without actually signing up. Always a good thing.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    KlatchPDX Becomes Breakfast?

    So I was thinking - this whole notion of a salon of sorts. Why can't we steal the momentum of the Portland Twitter Breakfast and make the "discussion of interesting things over coffee" into "discussion of interesting things over coffee and a variety of breakfast items"? We (well, three of us) are already having breakfast once a week - if we shrank it to every other week and slated topics, my work here is done, yes?

    We'll make the most anti-Rotary breakfast-eating organization ever. And once per quarter Brambercaseyo will show up, and it'll be super big funz.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Governor of Poker

    There aren't very many sites out there with a ton of Mac content, but Big Fish Games seems to be making a concerted effort to bring a lot of casual gameplay to the platform with a minimum of fuss.

    My current addiction is Governor of Poker, a Hold 'em game that combines table skills with stake management, heads-up, tournament and cash games. You play a diminutive man or women who speaks softly and carries a big hat. In the game's "quest mode," you start with $300 and a dream, and by the end of the game (in theory) you own the entire state of Texas. The progression from dirt farmer to wagon-owning tycoon is very reminiscent of the old lemonade stand games, and is pretty dang fun (plus, duh, poker).

    My only quibble is that I have yet to identify a marked difference in AI/computer play styles based on the difficulty level selection. The AI is fairly sophisticated (for example I have seen intelligent check-raises from computer opponents), but the starting hand standards never seem to get much better than "pretty dang loose." You have to account for that in your own play style, but on the other hand, that's probably excellent practice for all those charity casino nights or your Saturday game...

    Thank heavens I'm free of my terrible Fairway Solitaire addiction, but now I'm afraid that Gov. of Poker will occupy just as much time and space...

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    50,000 Divided by 30

    1,666.6 repeating. That seems oddly satanic for a writing event, a celebration of right braininess, but in any event, that is the number of words you need to write per day if you're going to make it to the end of National Novel Writing Month with a 50,000 word fictional work. You could also go by rough number of double-spaced pages per day, which rounds up to six.

    Rounding up is key. For example, if you hit 1750 words for ten days (a nice running start), you have effectively given yourself a half-day respite - you can have a day where it's just not in you to crank out the words. The biggest deal about the daily number is that you cannot fall behind too much or it just becomes impossible. The 25th of November arrives and you have to write for three days straight to get back into sync with the terminal goal.

    This is half by way of pep talk to my #nanoPDX tweeps and partly to remind myself that, as the sun rises on Carmen's birthday and the candy hangover subsides, I have an assload of writing to do.

    Good luck to everyone!

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Victory was Mine

    So after much haranguing from east-siders, I ventured over the Hawthorne bridge to the Victory Bar (on Twitter as @victorybar) for some of this:

    (Photo by DLReamer.)

    That, my friends, is spaetzle. Baked spaetzle with gruyere and crispy shallots. And a tiny pot of very tart apple sauce. Very, very good. Texturally very similar to a gnocchi (less like mac & cheese than some have made it out to be), warm and toasty with lovely crunchy shallots. It was worth the trip, and because the Victory happy hour stretches to 7:00, it was a mere $5.

    Not satisfied to report on only one thing, I also tried the jalepeno and cheddar hush puppies. You get three of them, with some house made ketchup, and they too were delightful. It was during the hush puppies (unabashedly fried but not greasy) that I was alerted to the George Foreman Fry 'n' Spin by Gizmodo. Thus my evening was complete.

    Thanks @xolotl, @betsywhim, and @natronics for badgering me into crossing a bridge. :P

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Fantasy President '08

    Better than brackets, Peritus Pundit has a fillable electoral map allowing you to call the election. At the moment, the consensus is that Obama will win with 282 electoral votes, but of course that will change as others log their maps. The great thing - if your prediction is right (I'm assuming that means exactly right, plus multiple tiebreak methodologies, as there's only one first prize) Peritus will donate $1000 to the charity of your choice.

    But who cares about that? We all know that the real point is to get all your friends to sign up and then talk trash about their decision to give South Dakota to Obama...

    Now playing: MC Frontalot - A Very Unlikely Occurrence
    via FoxyTunes

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008


    So I know it's Fox Soccer Channel. I understand that that's, like demographically enticing to specific types of products. But what the heck are you doing trying to sell me: A) A Bowflex home gym, and B) stroke-inducing penis enlargement supplements in a single commercial break? I just want to know what happened in CONCACAF. I'm happy as a clam about my penis. I'm admittedly less happy about my physical fitness but I'm certainly not stupid enough to buy a home gym to remedy that (if I don't use the one that on the first floor of my building, what possible justification would I have?).

    This is an open question to the universe - is the ad model for cable (satellite, whatever - specialized, small-slice TV) so far gone that the offers that automatically redirect into my Gmail spam folder are front and center on the tube? Are we at the place that entrepreneurship and mass media are mutually exclusive? What about bitchin' gadgets? Where are they advertised? If I switched to G4 would I not have to sit through the same fucking ads for Maxoderm?

    And while we're on the topic. The only time "she actually got it for me" and "penis enlargement product" are in the same hemisphere is when you're advertising the aforementioned product. Pure fiction. I have it on wifely authority.

    As I type this rant, I am treated to a Life Alert commercial. Y'know, fallen. Can't get up. Suffice it to say that the targeting is not exact. Lawdy lawdy lawdy.

    Migration Imminent

    CamiKaos has inspired me to make the Wordpress jump sometime pretty soon. Between her and this amazing post about plug-ins I don't figure I can go that wrong. Plus it'll finally give me a chance to give Thesis a whirl.

    Of course, I'd be a lot happier about it if I had an @verso following my every misstep, but we'll just have to plow forward...

    Now playing: MC Frontalot - Wallflowers
    via FoxyTunes

    Monday, October 6, 2008


    I'm having serious issues with the number of aggregators that I'm using to aggregate my activity on other aggregators...just saying.

    Can't there be one central clearinghouse without everything becoming the competition for clearinghouse-status? Is this like really hard?

    More later, just complaining.

    Now playing: MC Frontalot - A Skit About Vocations
    via FoxyTunes

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Peanut Butter (Slight Return)

    As you may or may not know, Claire was on soy nut butter sandwiches last year because of peanut allergies in the classroom. This year, no such restriction on peanut products, but she announced that she didn't actually like peanut butter anymore. This has been a sticking point in a variety of contexts, most of them involving us wanting to offer her peanut butter or being somewhere where a PB & J would have been a lifesaver in terms of mood.

    Last night, Claire was trying celery filled with various things, which of course was a disaster because the foods were touching each other (see below). So Carmen (bless her) suggested that Claire just treat the celery as a spoon of sorts - a yummy stuff delivery mechanism - until all the good stuff was licked out of the middle, at which point it could revert to food and be eaten. Snack saved.

    And more to the point, Claire ate all the peanut butter ones, and none of the soy nut butter ones. Ha HA!

    These are the things that sustain me, in the dark moments. Peanut butter back on the list.

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Will you stop touching me?!?!

    Not actually a back-seat problem for us, having only one kid. (If it does start happening, as Cosby says, we'll have a different set of problems.) Rather, this relates to a different aspect of Claire's life - her food. She doesn't like her foods to touch. When they touch, she doesn't eat them. Because they're touching. With the possible exception of soy nut butter and jelly sandwiches, she doesn't eat things that are touching.

    Have I said touch and its various derivatives enough?

    That is why she positively lost her mind when she saw the lunch container from Klip It. It has three compartments, one for a sandwich, and two for crackers/veggies/whatever. Fits right into her lunchbox. It's a win-win, really - none of her food touches, and we're not using eight million ziplocks to ensure the non-touchingness.

    I sound like an AM radio commercial, but I've been looking for a bento-style container for her lunch sack for a while now. There's an easy solution, so long as you don't already own a lunch sack, which we do. So this was a coup of epic proportions. The closest I had come was a hecka-elaborate thing that was originally constructed for diabetics or something, and that was way to complicated to fiddle with on a daily basis.

    Test run tomorrow. Rawk!

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Fridge Frittata

    We're heading out for Danielle's wedding this week and the fridge was full of delectables from a week's worth of cooking lunches and whatnot at home (part of the New Austerity, but also capitalizing on the freaking incredible abundance at the Farmer's Market right now...). So what else but an Everything Frittata? Stuff it included:

  • Beet greens, most of the stem removed and chopped up a bit
  • leftover home-roasted peppers, already chopped but chopped a bit smaller (no long strips, more of a 1/2" dice)
  • heirloom tomatoes from that crazy guy at Farmer's Market who has like 27 varieties in one booth, diced
  • small amount of leftover BBQ chicken, diced small (practically minced)
  • two knobs of pepper jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Truckload of eggs
  • Salt and Pepper

    It was enough to make two with my handy dandy frittata pans. (Note that these are totally unnecessary. Using a regular fry pan you just stir more aggressively before allowing the frittata to set, then finish the top half under the broiler.) We ate half/two thirds of one and had a discussion about how to save the rest. The end result is that we froze pieces in three separate quart-sized freezer bags. I will report back when we actually crack one open (probably next week), but I'm told by the innernets that souffles of various types have held up nicely under similar treatment.

    Had a lovely little new potato along with, and lots of salsa and sour cream. Yummers. This is not the first but the latest in a variety of new cooking thingies I've been doing. Massively inspired by Cook with Jamie, Jamie Oliver's latest and an amazing love song to the art and craft of cooking.

    I have a lot to say about Neal Stephenson but I'm waiting to finish the book.

    Now playing: Diana Krall - You're Looking At Me
    via FoxyTunes

  • Friday, September 12, 2008

    Timbers Dominate, Lose 2-1: The Story of the Season

    A spectacular cross, ball into the net, and a dominating performance in the first half. Then two (literally, two) chances for Charlotte, and they converted on both. The core truth of this season is the absence of that kind of game-changing power up front. We're not making plays. We don't convert like that. Not that we didn't have the opportunity - we were seriously all over them, even down to ten men.

    We're left hoping for some serious voodoo math to make the post-season, at which point we will travel everywhere.

    I dunno, it's disappointing. We have such a solid midfield and (normally) effective backs. We just need to put the ball in the net.

    Thanks, though, to Dietrich for the opportunity to hang out. Next year!

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Articulating KlatchPDX

    This has been percolating for a while, and after attending the inaugural Refresh Portland talk last night (and btw, go give Tyler Sticka all your money - dude is sharp), and some tweets/chats back and forth about the loss of OSCON, I thought I'd write out the manifesto.

    What's a klatch?

    Specifically, a kaffeeklatsch? It's German for, essentially, sip 'n' bitch. The idea is similar to a salon, with a little less emphasis on a topic. In my case, I just like the sound of the word. Salon sounds somewhat pretentious, and anyway Creative Commons has that particular "geeky gathering" definition space locked up. KlatchPDX could be a periodic uncon or perhaps a Shizzup, with loosely defined topic sets and the expectation that you come ready to pony up a relevant take on a topic or topics included in the evening's roster.

    Why do it?

    I'm not sure - I feel like we're missing the chance to get people with different backgrounds and experiences into a room for talks about stuff that matters. Even more, I feel strongly that cool chats are at least as useful as cool talks. There's also the potential to record these and provide some additional shoutouts to the PDX tech/creative community.

    How often?

    Once a month? Yeah? More?

    You are an evil genius, what can I do to help?

    Obviously, we should meet for coffee and discuss. :P Leave a comment and let's figure out a time.
    Now playing: MC Frontalot - I Hate Your Blog
    via FoxyTunes

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    Unpacking InVerge '08

    InVerge is in the books, and there were a lot of amazing presentations and takeaways - and an equal amount of space for critique and comment. Everyone's a critic, of course, but in this case I think that my (thoroughly informal) polling of audience and presenters, the Twitterstream, and Eric's chats with people at the W + K reception, all combine to give me some standing to make some points about the conference as a whole.

    Crack open for meaning and discard the shills

    I'm not alone in my belief that the Big Names at the conference were there to hawk products, position themselves as vendors for the potential customers in the audience, or both. Disney was easily the worst offender, delivering (badly) a scripted tour of, er, excuse me, "Disney immersive media properties." The toy czar sounded like the worst kind of mercenary for the entire presentation, and his minder (a VP?), while less robotic, had even less interesting things to say. They unclenched a lot during the Q & A, and I'll revisit the value of that in a moment.

    Others (dome entertainment guy, Tony Uphoff from TechWeb, etc.) were in the "I did this!" camp; an interesting "convergence" technology was introduced/talked about, pretty pictures were shown, with no unpacking or deeper discussion, and overall I think the audience was neither blown away nor likely to buy. I was looking forward to the Nike+ guy (cancelled due to illness) but I fear that the presentation would have been no better. I can't begrudge their right to be there - everyone's presentation was germane to the subject - but none of it qualifies as "thought leadership."

    Contrast that with the academicians from USC and MIT, who both got into the meaning behind "I did this!" and also pushed the standard "oooooh, interaction!" rhetoric into a place where ideas happened.

    My point is this - if you're a suit, you sit on a panel and get asked questions. This allows you to unbutton (the Disney guys said pretty smart stuff in the Q & A) and also limits your ability to bombard us with pitches. This includes, in my opinion, media (as opposed to thought) leaders like Mr. Uphoff. I'm sure he's really good at speaking off the cuff. Hell, have him moderate. He's more than capable of that.

    So instead of a full day devoted to commercials, you give two hours - one to dome guy/Verizon guy/"look at our cool app" people, one to the Fortune 50s. And yes, we are honored that you're here. We just don't want to hear rewarmed investor relations horseshit.

    Know your audience

    People who escaped the "buy me" trap (Renny Gleeson, Karl Long) were still aiming low in terms of audience expectation. Eric mentioned early on in day one that he'd never seen a more Twitter-headed audience (and he should know). So the "survey of the landscape" talks are never going to be more than preaching to the choir. I thought they both did an admirable job of surveying that landscape, but seriously, push the envelope. I'm harping on "thought leaders," but it's on the front page of the InVerge web site - it is the point of the conference. If you're going to lead on content and strategic thought around Web 2.0 then you for damn sure better have some thought leaders available. Both Renny and Karl should come back, using Josh Green's or Scott Kveton's speeches as the bar over which they must leap.

    We should be having great discourses about the future of this Intertron thing. The Simulacrum is forever shattered! The audience is not passive! For god's sake, get cracking.

    Amatoor theatricals

    The partnership with Portland Center Stage is awesome! Push that envelope a bit more and consider some actual stagecraft discussions mixed in with the rest. I think there's a real opportunity to open the discourse to the arts within the InVerge conference. And no, it's not better placed in Cre8con, it belongs in both and for different reasons. The MC got it - and I bet he knows who to talk to to get behind/beneath the surface of our newfangledness and find the narrative thread.

    This is all "new" only in the sense that the medium has changed. Shame on Karl Long, for example, for not talking about the weddings-by-telegraph, some of which ended bitterly when the bride and groom (who had never seen one another) discovered that they had entered a mixed-race marriage at a time when that was really, REALLY not okay. The artistic/historical perspective would bring needed context to the flux that's occurring at an individual level.

    In sum
    Push harder. Less nonsense, more provocation. And, in case it's not clear, THANK YOU SO MUCH for putting it on. This isn't "I won't attend again," this is "When I come next year I hope the preceding has occurred."

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Chrome Sweet Chrome

    I had the good fortune to have scheduled a coffee date with Marshall Kirkpatrick long before Labor Day and a certain leak of a certain comic. So he arrived all in a flurry trying to get RWW ready for the beta launch of Chrome.

    This gave me a chance to help out (splee!) but also to be right there at the launch. I have XP installed as a virtual machine on my Macbook, so I hopped over to the other OS and downloaded.

    Initial impressions on my end are in line with pretty much everybody else - it's wicked fast, the interface is intuitive, and (with some minor hang-ups regarding plug-ins working correctly) there aren't really any buggy bits that I could find. Though not a power user, I did open my standard 10-tab Firefox start page, and then tacked on as many rich media sources as I could think of. It really seemed to handle them all effectively.

    I'll wait for the Mac version before I really test on it, but so far the outlook is good.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Labor Day 2008

    Poor grandpa ended up with all the sticks and no s'mores...
    Labor Day 2008

    Kickin' it old skool - no marshmellow required.
    Labor Day 2008

    Nom nom nom.
    Labor Day 2008

    Peeling the crispy outside off the marshmellow.
    Labor Day 2008

    Sugar shock.
    Labor Day 2008

    "That's an excellent s'more." "I know, I'm such a badass."
    Labor Day 2008

    Braving smoke in the face to get melty marshmellows.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin demonstrates proper marchmellow torching technique.
    Labor Day 2008

    Labor Day 2008

    Top of Justin's head. :P
    Labor Day 2008

    An expidition through uncharted hiking trails...
    Labor Day 2008

    Jessica at riverside.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin's turn to ham it up.
    Labor Day 2008

    Hamming for the camera.
    Labor Day 2008

    Chillin' on the rock.
    Labor Day 2008

    Carmen & Kathryn
    Labor Day 2008

    Jessica checking for crawdads.
    Labor Day 2008

    All up in the river's face.
    Labor Day 2008

    Checking out something awesome.
    Labor Day 2008

    Confab at the riverbed
    Labor Day 2008

    Making a triangle
    Labor Day 2008

    Boy with stick.
    Labor Day 2008

    Justin digging in the riverbed
    Labor Day 2008

    Karate chop!
    Labor Day 2008

    Andy and Claire - on the way back from the falls.
    Labor Day 2008

    Susan Creek Falls - as low as anyone's ever seen it.
    Labor Day 2008

    Andy and Claire on Susan Creek Falls Trail
    Posted via Pixelpipe.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Coriander Sparkle Kitten!

    This week and the upcoming weeks are so crazy that it requires the help of world-famous superhero kitten, Coriander Sparkle Kitten.

    So freaking cute...

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    And speaking of junk food...

    Going to the State Fair today! Woo hoo! I've really been enjoying the TV spots for the fair, the best one involving a giant corn dog on a flat bed semi being hauled down to Salem. I mean, the chicken's good, but there's something about a massive corn dog.

    Suffice it to say that Claire will get her fill of nonsense today.

    I've been playing with pixelpipe and so far it's really nice. I'm awful at updating folks on photos and now I have a way to send them out into the aether without having to log into everywhere. The only problem is that the iPhoto add-on makes iPhoto crush, but the uploader is just as simple to use...

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Be Nice and I'll Stuff you Full of Crap

    Overheard recently was yet another parent's plea for polite behavior in exchange for a trip to McDonald's. It struck me this morning that it's a small wonder that we have a childhood obesity problem. It's a question of how you define "treat," of course (and I'm just as guilty as the next dad) but the prevailing custom of cutting deals with your kids struck me as horrifically bad all of a sudden.

    It might just be that it's the end of summer and all of the socialization has evaporated in the summer heat, but it seems to me that I've seen and made more concessions to grumpy kids recently. Granted, I'm not the first parent to pray for the return of school, but I'm going to try to find better ways to make bargains - bargains that honor the need for awesome kid experiences but don't resort to Rice Krispie squares all the time. Bargains that engage and inform rather than stupefy.

    Yeah. And then I'll make peace in the Middle East.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Summer is all kinds of awesome for PDX Kids

    So a planning snafu led to next week being campless! Ack! In an effort to remedy the situation (ha! Might as well count all the sand in Hawaii), I dug up two amazing camps that I had missed on the first pass.

    Zenger Farm will put your kiddo to work in the dirt, which we get by driving to the grandparents in Roseburg. But they also do lunches with the kids using the produce that's coming out of the ground, which is a very cool connection to the whole circle of life thing.

    Oregon College of Art and Craft has amazing workshops up to and including high school, and like many places they offer year-round options for folks with especially crafty kids.

    Suffice it to say that competition is fierce for summer planning, and that in general I need to be a lot more on the ball next February (yes, February) to get all of the ducks in a row. Meantime, it's off to the museums next week...

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    Large Hadron Rap

    Whilst investigating nerdcore, Matt stumbled across the Large Hadron Rap. Awesome.

    I am late to this party as usual, but as you'll see below, I am completely blown away by the Front. More in a bit.

    Now playing: MC Frontalot - Secrets from the Future
    via FoxyTunes

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Sand in the City

    These guys are awesome, and their annual display of awesomeness is happening at Pioneer Courthouse Square this weekend. I was there at about noon, enjoying a hot dog and watching teams of people crafting monoliths of sand into...things. Really it was too early to tell. There was a sort of sea lion/Buddha figure, and one of the sculptures looks to be topped with bananas. Probably going to swing by tomorrow and take a closer look.

    There is much to be said about puppets, narrative, the projected self, Avenue Q, and so forth. For now suffice it to say that you should kick down some bills to the felt people.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    Ha ha, overconfidence

    So, the second stratum is kicking my butt. This is the classic Etrian Odyssey moment - "dude, I own this Labyrinth...ow, what's that guy? Oh noes, random encounter! Trap floor! Where's my warp wire...too late."

    I'm not sure that saving map data is kosher, but I suppose that you could say that your guild recovered your map along with your remains...anyway, I always say yes.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    Etrian Odyssey II

    W00t! Who woulda thunk that the thing that brought me back to this blog would be a turn-based RPG?! Hard to imagine.

    Anyway, now it's better, with more classes and burly craziness. I just beat the bejeebus out of the Chimaera (sp?) at the bottom of the first stratum, and it turns out that I might have been a little more cautious than necessary in the first stages. I went after the boss with full Force bars on all five of my level 20 characters and the first round left him stunned and whimpering. I'm not actually sure that he got more than one attack. I also have no idea who all the swarming baddies were - they never got to the battle.

    The familiarity is awesome, but I fear that I'm missing things due to my expectations of the older title. For example (and I swear to god that this is new) you can now sidestep with the L and R keys. That is sick mojo when marching along. The "Auto" button in combat also seems to have improved targeting (or maybe I'm just lucky). You also get to start with Ronins, although I didn't immediately take advantage - I started with landsknecht, warmage, landsknecht, alchemist, medic, per Awesome Party of Destiny (APod) in Etrian Odyssey I*, but it just felt too mechanical. Plus, although it's nice to get the "mono-axe" and "mono-sword" versions of the Landsknecht, you miss out on 2-Hit that way. So, the party that is rolling upon restart is landsknecht, ronin, survivalist, gunner (ooh!), medic. Gunners are like Alchemists only with, y'know, guns. They get 2-Hit but can also hit with elemental ammo. So far I haven't felt the lack of an Alchemist. He also seems to hit his Force bar hard and since the Force skill for gunners is - wait for it - a really big gun, there are obvious advantages to that.

    I'm liking APoD 2.0, just because the combination of mad beats with dead useful passive skills lends a certain evil genius-ness to combat encounters. Also very unlike my previous forays, I'm utilizing "resource slaves" for mining/taking/chopping missions. No skill points for gathering, thanks.

    You gain the Beast class when you clear the first stratum, and I have to say that the prospect of fighting baddies with a panda is pretty delightful. The skill set, however, is really foreign, and I'm not quite sure how/what to make the most of my panda pal. Plus, he's named "Ettin," which is awkward, because I figured he'd be more threatening than a godsdamned panda. In Ettin's defense, I could have chosen portraits of tigers or grizzlies, but dude, you get a panda option, you take the panda.

    The mapping is so much better, now, too. There's multiple colors of floor paint, item spots, etc., as well as a variety of directional arrows for the passages through the wooded walls of the labyrinth.

    I'd geek out more, but really, you should be playing the game. It has completely supplanted The World Ends with You, and that's saying something.

    *I say "per EO I" although of course in EO I it was a Survivalist in the front row, not a Warmage. The point is, Tank Utility Tank is the front row of choice. APoD 2.0 re-articulates this strategy, only with more diverse character mix. I still see absolutely no use for Protectors.

    Now playing: Dungeons & Dragons - Episode 6: Penny Arcade (these are must listens)
    via FoxyTunes