Saturday, November 08, 2003

Happy Saturday Night

Have a good one. It's a chilly night here, best spent under the covers.

Trippi's A Trip

Andrew Sullivan points to this very funny piece by Noam Scheiber in The New Republic Online about Joe Trippi's guerilla tactics. Quite the innovator.

Follow The Oil

Follow the oil, it leaves a dirty black trail. Glad people are finally calling this the Oil War.

Dean And The Networks

Everything about this campaign is unprecedented and more exciting by the minute. When Dean polled his supporters -- wasn't it all about demonstrating the amazing network of support he's built, not about the money he needs to raise to put commercials on network TV?

Watch the battle royale play out this Christmas. Bush will play Santa by bringing home all the swiss cheese half-shot up soldiers (the ones that are still alive) and flooding the TV networks with sentimental family photos. When we're not being served up a platter of that schmaltz, we'll be hearing about how great his economy is.

If you build a network like Dean has built and create momentum like he has created, I expect you don't need to spend every last dime trying to buy votes with expensive ads on TV. Dean supporters need to start the TURN OFF YOUR TV campaign. We're sick of those networks and all their lies, we're building one of our own.

South End

Heading down to the South End today to catch some rock and roll and also catch pneumonia if I don't bundle up. It's cold in Boston today.

Pull-Down Menus

I had friends who were painters in New York City and when they were really bored and wanted to yuck it up, they used to go take the civil service exams for being a graphic artist for the State of New York. It was free. They gave you a bunch of pencils, paint, pastels and you spent the day in a big room drawing pictures of fire hydrants and stuff and they used to have a blast doing this and had no intention whatsoever of getting a job, but they liked to do stuff like this. This is like a bunch of us bloggers taking the exam to become police officers -- it would be fun, wouldn't it? You have to admit it would.

Very few people think taking tests which you don't need to take and don't care if you pass is a lark, but I do! Fewer still think going on job interviews is their idea of a party, but again, I do!

So ... this is a rather long story. It ends up that a particularly terrific blogger friend of mine is probably relocating to Boston and she needs to find work, so I thought it would be cool to go downtown and register with a temp agency and find out the routine, both for her, but also for me. Run reconnaissance for her. Also I have no pride or attitude about temp work. My ex started as a temp at Sony Pictures Entertainment in LA when we first moved there, and within a few months was in the Finance Dept doing very interesting and important work and then within a few years was Manager of International Finance, trading billions of dollars of Sony's foreign exchange monies and buying hedge fund contracts. No slouch. All because he knew how to use a computer.

So, afer they interviewed me, there were a bunch of tests I had to take.

I had to take a test for Microsoft Word.

I had to take a test for Microsoft Powerpoint.

I had to take a test for Microsoft Excel.

I had to take a test for Microsoft Access.

I had to take a typing test for speed and accuracy.

The funny thing was with all the Microsoft apps tests, you had to do the functions (cut, paste, move, copy, SUM, etc.) with the pull-down menus. No shortcuts. You flunked if you did them with shortcuts or the right-mouse button. They were pretty cool tests. They were computer-based tests with questions like, "Open the excel spreadsheet called SALE.xls. Copy the formula from cell A3 into cells A4, A5, A6" and then if you did it correctly they asked "REPEAT QUESTION of CONTINUE TO NEXT QUESTION" so you got a chance to try it again if you totally blew it the first time.

They had me doing Powerpoint slides with 5 second transitions, fly out from the left, embedded with bar charts, you name it.

I was creating records in M/S Access database software and defining required fields and all this crazy shit. Crazy because I really had never even used Access more than about 5 minutes. Still, it was straight-forward and reasonable in the assumptions it made about databases and I have used Foxpro and dbase.

I was thinking of you Scoble and you Porcaro,and you Beth, and laughing quietly to myself. It was like I was visiting the inside of a Microsoft developer's mind. Since I was using some apps I'd never used and other features of apps I knew well (but never used w/pull-down menus), it gave me a whole new insight into how you design something and try to make it simple and obvious. Of course, there were lots of simple, useful design aspects I felt kind of happy and thankful for. But then there were some insanely complicated ways of doing things -- especially because I've learned the bad habits of a zillion shortcutting friends who've taught me how to do everything ad hoc and nothing by the book.

I was thinking about people in the cubicles next to me, sweating the tests, really really needing the work and the money. I was thinking about how learning Microsoft software could make a living for a person, put bread on their table, shoes on their kids' feet. Say what you will, Microsoft is deeply embedded in this society, for good or ill, depending on how you see it. But yesterday, I saw it as good.

I actually aced the tests and got great scores -- which cracked me up. I undoubtedly did well because I didn't feel there was a lot riding on it. Since I happened to have both my license and my passport on me, the temp lady was able to W-2 me and INS me, to prove I wasn't an illegal alien, and then signed me up and wants to send me out next week! I do clean up good, I must say. I had my black suit on, pumps, black stockings. Dippy Angie Dickensen 60's blond hairdo.

The ironic part of the whole thing was how much fun it was. And now I have all the inside dirt to share with my friend when she gets here.




Cup of Tea

I'm making a pot of Irish Breakfast to go with my Irish Oatmeal. Come by any time and I'll pour you a cup and I can put cookies on a plate too, help yourself.

Blog Integration

Back to that notion of blog integration. Can you be everything on one site or do you need to create a few brands for your shelf, as Boris suggests in this post.

I'm sitting next to a copy of Penthouse -- an advance copy -- I got yesterday in the mail. I have a short story in it. It's exciting as heck. It's a story I wrote about a guy who's widowed and despite all his good intentions (and those of his friends and neighbors) to get hooked up with a nice girl in the neighborhood (a neurosurgeon, a lawyer, a CEO of a high tech firm) he finds they just don't turn him on. Au contraire. He's finding they leave him a little limp, so to speak. The guy is an expert on robots and does a lot of speaking gigs on the circuit, attending a lot of high tech conferences. One thing does turn him on a lot. Here's the opening of my story, which I posted here last year and the editor of Penthouse read and bought:

He liked to make it with the maids at turn-down time. In one expensive hotel after another, at one fancy conference after another, he was finding the maids were a big turn-on and more than willing. And what he liked best was that they never really wanted anything from him. Everyone else did. He was getting to be rather famous in his field of robotics and so many women educated, intelligent, well-dressed women of business -- were simply after his ass. It was really shocking to him. They had all read his book, or at least said so and obviously had read his bio and they scanned the interviews and they knew a lot about him certain details would come up in conversation that showed these girls had done their homework. It was flattering at first, but now was alarming.

So can I integrate the person who writes erotic fiction with the person who makes lunch for her 8-year-old son, who writes about technology, who writes about the death of her father, who serves wine and wafers at communion in a mid-calf grey pleated wool skirt, white "good girl" blouse and school marmish grey cardigan with the woman who plays Scrabble with her 95-year-old shut-in lady and the same woman who gives speeches at Harvard and sometimes appears in photographs half-clothed and publishes case studies in The Harvard Business Review?

Is there a benefit to having all those personas live here at Halley's Comment?

Is there something wrong about wanting to hide one or the other of them?

As for Penthouse, I'm thrilled to have my story published there. Buy one. They went bankrupt last month and are just getting back on their feet. They need your money. There's an awesome pictorial of a menage-a-trois right before my story -- two guys and a girl. Much hotter than my fiction. I have to remember to make my characters do it naked with sunglasses and hats on next time. Classic but always cool.

Sticky Stuff

There may be a whole new product category of "sticky stuff" and two big items in this category are Clorox SoftScrub and Gulden's Mustard.

Here's the trick. They come in handy squeeze bottles now and truth be told, by the time you're about 1/2 way through the bottle, you have to be a muscle man to squeeze the damned thing to get anything out of it.

So you end up buying 16 ounces and probably tossing out 4 or 5 ounces as you get near the end. The damned bottle makes the sticky stuff nearly impossible to get out of there. These products go from convenient to hair-tearingly annoying.

"Handy Squeeze Bottle" oh yeah sure.

Blog Thoughts

Thinking about a bunch of blog posts while I clean my house. My towels are not organized and this is bugging me. I'm trying to think of a new way of putting them on the shelves in each bathroom.

One post I'm thinking about is Boris talking about having a "dressed up" weblog and a kindof "let your hair down" blog.

I have that good intention too, but always run into a problem with it. Another blogger told me there's nothing good that lies down that road. We should be able to integrate our work, our lives, our blogs.

Thinking about that. Easy to say, hard to do.

Also thinking about how funny Gary Turner is and how I can never get over how funny he is.

Cleaning the bathroom sinks and tub next.

Blogroll

More housekeeping this morning as I knock off my errands. I notice for some weird reason, I don't have Clay Shirky or Nick Denton on my blogroll, whoops, sorry, let me go fix that.

Oatmeal just made a click noise, maybe it's ready.

Irish Oatmeal

Rice cooker from the other night sitting in the dish rack. Still one of my favorite appliances. Makes perfect rice. Thanks again to my Chinese mother-in-law (does she become an ex when my husband becomes an ex?) for the useful gift. It's called a Comet Rice Cooker, perfect for someone named Halley.

Best kept secret. It makes great oatmeal. That thick nutty kind of Irish Oatmeal in a metal can.

I am finally meeting Dervala next week, so I should celebrate. Pull out the oatmeal, measure out a 1/2 cup, toss it in the rice cooker with the right amount of water. Flip the switch. It cooks, I keep cleaning my house.

Prescription

Need a refill on my thryoid meds. Call the auto-refill line. Punch in the numbers. "Your prescription will be read at ... ROBOT GIRL VOICE ... 4:00pm on Sunday Afternoon." Check that off the list.

Clorox

Laundry sorted. I notice ... I have a lot of red and pink laundry. Toss in the whites first. Turn the knob to hot water. Clorox Bleach. Hello Saturday morning. House smells bleachy clean.

Friday, November 07, 2003

More Men In Skirts?!

More men in skirts in today's New York Times ... christ ... what gives?

Kilt okay, kimono, okay but ... I don't know -- plain old girly skirts -- and this guy featured today is in a full-length denim jeans skirt -- I don't think American men can carry it off.

Roast Chicken

Wow, I forgot to mention my mother-in-law when I wrote that post about great cooks below. She is one helluva great cook -- and a Chinese cook to boot, which means she it enormously resourceful and knows her way around a kitchen like nobody's business.

She taught me how to roast a chicken the Chinese way -- with a generous shake of garlic salt on the skin, but otherwise no other preparations (just be sure the chicken is clean, all parts removed from the cavity -- believe it or not I left them in the first time I ever cooked one). Oven very hot at 450. Cook for about an hour. The chicken has a very crunchy skin and great soft, self-basted meat. Delish!

Dishing It Out

With the cooler weather and a lot more cooking going on in my kitchen, there are a lot more dishes to do. Just the way it works. No avoiding it.

But I had forgotten what a nice meditation a sink of soapy dishes can be.

Something about keeping my hands busy that frees my mind to wander. I get a lot done washing dishes - much more than just the dishes.

Don't Mind My Foot

I just love to impress guys on job interviews. I met the head of operations for a great company this week -- a second meeting -- and after an interesting hour or so discussion, and I mean it really really really really was interesting, I got up to leave and my foot was asleep.

No other part of me was asleep -- I swear.

But when I got up and put weight on my needles and pins foot, it turned and I stumbled backwards and nearly fell on my ass.

Embarrassing?!

Yep!!!!

I caught myself and only fell into the chair I'd been in.

But I'm cursed wth a Pollyanna Attitude -- I have to admit, better to fall backwards while attempting to shake the guy's hand, that fall forward and knock him over. (DEF CON 1: INCOMING BLONDE.)

A Number Of Sisters

A number of sisters of mine left me messages the other day to ask if I'd had my other eye surgery done last week and how it was going. They were kind to remember the date. No, I actually had to put it off and reschedule it because so much is going on right now and though I feel like a woman with one short leg and one long leg -- what with one eye working so well and the other useless -- I just couldn't take the recovery time (even though it's short) this past week, expecially with a lot of writing to do, job interviews and a lot of other things going on. I really did NOT want to postpone it, but I had to.

As great as Dr. Shingleton is -- and let me say it DR. SHINGLETON AND HIS WHOLE TEAM ARE SO GREAT -- there's a lot of weird adjustments your eyes and BRAIN have to make after the surgery. It's just too hectic now. It really can slow you down in the writing and reading department as one eye gets synched with the other.

For you geeks, it's like buying a new computer and setting up all your software again. Better to make do with your old machine, unless its really on its last legs than take the time to upgrade.

The Big Conversation

I knew it was coming. There's just too much out there for it not to grab his attention. My 8-year old son wanted to know about sex yesterday. Actually he wanted to know if something a kid at school had told him about what "sex" was right.

We'd been talking about a lady with a baby we saw on the street. I said something about when a mom and a dad decide to have a baby.

He asked me, "How do you just DECIDE to have a baby?"

"Well," I started.

"A kid at school told me something really weird about it," he said.

There was no going back. We were on our way to buy ice skates.

I find you can discuss a lot of heavy things in a car -- especially if you're the driver because you are forced to look at the road and that just makes it easier on everyone.

Job Lob

After a pretty dry period, I'm suddenly getting a lot of jobs lobbed at me. Keeping them in play over the net with a few well-placed backhand strokes. Had a second interview with some folks in Cambridge about a gig. Have a meeting this morning downtown for another job. Got a great opportunity for a writing gig over the e-transom this week. Working on my own book. Maybe the economy IS coming back for real, not just in George Bush's mind.

Used to be absolutely allergic to being in an office -- loved to be the free agent -- but I'm beginning to change my mind on that front. It's generally healthier to have a bunch of people to care about every day (and have care about you) than being on your own too much. They have cool things in offices like water coolers and paper clips and pizza lunches. And there's so much great gossip and histrionics. People in a huff. People slamming doors. People telling secrets. Pretty exciting stuff for a writer like me.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Oyster Bars

I was doing some digging on Google -- reading up on oyster bars. I love the one in Grand Central Station -- but their site is definately not up and running.

Then came across Bibendum in London -- also home to an oyster bar, and a great place which brings back many fond memories. How can you go wrong with a place called "bibendum" which features a stained-glass window of the Michelin man? It's like Notre Dame de Michelin for Christ's sake.

Loch Fyne looks good too.

And then there was that French guy who liked to feed me oysters -- lots of them -- in that place by the metro Vavin. What was the name of that joint.? It had a big sign that said, "Fruits de Mer" ... was it the Cafe Deux Magots? No, it was ... La Couple on the Boulevard Montparnasse.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Feedster Feeding

Having lunch with Scott Johnson and Betsy Devine of Feedster today. Secretly invited a surprise guest who also lives over there. I'm dressing just like him in case he shows up. Plaid shirt, jeans, Timberland boots.

Do You Like Classic Battleship?

My son asks me if I like Classic Battleship or Battleship Advanced Mission, as the onslaught of Christmas toy commercials wash over us as he watches Nickelodeon.

It takes me a minute to realize both of these choices are boxed games with pieces of plastic to play a game we use to play on graph paper with a pencil. This makes me crazy. This makes me a little less crazy than the boxed versions of Charades or Dictionary -- perfectly wonderful games that require no more technology than ... yes, again, that tried-and-true ... PAPER AND PENCIL.

I tell him I like REALLY CLASSIC Battleship -- the kind you do yourself on paper. He looks at me strangely.

Lost art ...

I remember how we used to play. I still know how to make a damned fine house in the dirt with sticks. I have a good eye for finding little sticks with forked branches that support a tiny ceiling which I like to cover with leaves and grass for a thatched effect.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Read It And Weep

I keep reading statistics about how there are more and more blogs being written and no one is READING blogs. I think that's completely silly and not true. I read a lot of blogs. I read links to a lot of other blogs when I go off to read my usual blogs. Tonight I went over to read Doc and loved his pointer to Eric Raymond's blog. I love Eric's writing, and to my mind, being one of the sexiest men I've ever met, he can write about porn and how he feels about it anytime. I loved what he wrote. I read most of the blogs on my blogroll. I read blogs that those blogs link to. I google things that those blogs refer to and run into other blogs in that way. I do regular ordinary google searches and find new blogs in the results. I often look at my referrer log and go read blogs that are listed there. I read blogs to keep up with friends -- to know who's moving to Boston, who's travelling to Florida, who's relocated to LA, who's kid is sick, who's site's been redesigned and so on.

So what's with all this "nobody reads blogs" baloney? I don't believe it for one minute.

Ouch -- More Job Melt-down

So job cuts in October were twice that of September. When they make announcements like this, most working people don't find it a revelation -- they are MORE than feeling the pinch.

Getting Along Swimmingly

I just went swimming and followed it with hot tub, sauna, shower. Feel so good. My son and I were talking the other day about how you really can't feel bad after swimming, it's always the greatest thing.

So I'm in the sauna and some older lady comes in and asks if it's okay if she sits in the corner, "will it bother you?"
The sauna is shaped like an "L". I'm stretched out the length of one side of the "L" -- say the vertical part of the L with my head at the top of the "L" and my feet where the two lines of the "L" come together.

So why doesn't she leave me alone and go put her head at the other end of the L and then yes, maybe our feet would be nearby one another, but no big deal.

No, she has to sit like some idiot, right next to me.

Why?

This is like the friendly jerk who has to come and sit near me in an empty movie theatre, or the annoying moron who has to sit right opposite me, so I can't put my feet up in a fairly empty train car, or the jerk in the restaurant on the cell phone who has to sit at the next table, when all the other tables are open -- like try one on the OTHER side of the restaurant, buddy.

Anyway, she couldn't stand the heat after awhile and left the sauna.

"Will it bother you?"

What kind of dumb question is that?

YES, YOU JERK, OF COURSE IT WILL BOTHER ME.

What did I actually answer?

"Oh, no ... no problem."

I knew I could outlast her.

And the swimming was wonderful and mostly the whole day has been.




Monday, November 03, 2003

Social Software's Substrate Of Love

I had two very interesting conversations recently about community - one with Joi Ito and one with Ray Ozzie. Joi and I were talking about connecting with people and what was the underlying motivation of this need to connect, tell the stories of our lives, reach out to a community. We knocked around the idea that many people are simply lonely and the new technologies of social software like LinkedIn and Friendster, and the hardware that enables them, have a killer emotional app aspect -- that they can turn lonely into ... well, in some cases, literally love, and in other cases, a warm community connection.

With Ray, I was praising all the wonderful friends and parents in our community who have reached out to both me and my husband as we have gone through separation and divorce. They are true innovators in their ways of NOT chosing sides, creating a resilient network for my son, whether it be at school, little league or cub scouts. Ray was recounting how his (fortunately) intact family had also supported other friends and family members through divorces and other social ups and downs. It was a deep conversation about what "community" means.

During my dad's illness and death in April 2002, my online friends were there in myraid ways. They were there in ways that technology facilitated. They could not have been there EXCEPT for technology. I wouldn't even have known them if it weren't for technology, since many were bloggers. Many were there for me via email or IM.

It made me think about what is happening to all our relationships. The divorce rate is high. This means people living apart. The unemployment rate (the the US) is high. This means people working (or not working) apart. Many people spend a lot of time apart and alone. They long for experiences and they long for community. They simply want to connect.

With the recent news of Friendster being funded by prominent VC's, after turning down an offer by Google to buy them, I think we have to admit that we've got something serious going on here in the social software space. As I mentioned recently, describing the business "Build-A-Bear" -- (see post) -- they have built a business on an "experience" and as the book "The Experience Economy" discussed rather presciently, we will see this more and more. Build-A-Bear is built on love -- and the act of taking a child or loved one to a store in the mall and making a very special teddy bear for that person to hug. It sounds corny and schmaltzy to be sure, but when you throw in the layer of love underneath the experience, you've got a powerful substrate driving social software. We'll be seeing more and more infrastructure built out to support our new ways of relating to one another.

What Is It About Oil?

These oil billionaires just have so muh more fun than the rest of us. Some more background on our friend Mikhail Khodorkovsky -- he's got friends in high places. The question is ... how high? More background from FRONTLINE on PBS:
Khodorkovsky lives with his wife and four children in Moscow. He frequently travels to the United States. He reportedly dined with Condoleezza Rice last year and recently was a guest at Herb Allen's Idaho ranch, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other luminaries, for an annual telecommunications executives meeting.

After a series of dubious business practices, Khodorkovsy has struggled with a poor public image. In 1998, his bank Menatep collapsed, yet Khodorkovsky managed to protect himself, despite damage to his depositors and creditors. (The bank also defaulted on a $236 million loan from Western banks.) In 1999, he moved the location of a Yukos shareholders meeting 160 miles from Moscow without advance notice to minority stockholders, keeping them from voting against the sale of Yukos's assets to an offshore company. That same year, he prepared a large issue of new shares that diluted the stake of American investor Kenneth Dart, who claimed Khodorkovsky defrauded him of millions of dollars. Recently, however, Khodorkovsky hired a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, and he is presenting himself as a crusader for stockholder and investor rights. Khodorkovsky donated $1 million of Yukos profits to the U.S. Library of Congress, and he set up the Open Russian Foundation, with Henry Kissinger as a member of its board of trustees, to donate to museums, hospitals and universities. In 2001 and 2002, Khodorkovsky's net worth increased fourfold.

Run that by me again. Dined with whom?
He reportedly dined with Condoleezza Rice last year ...

Wait. That last line. Did you say fourfold!?
In 2001 and 2002, Khodorkovsky's net worth increased fourfold.

YUKOS Chief Resigns

Here's a bio of YUKOS Chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a link to recent news about his resignation. Frontline did an interview with him here, prior to his arrest.

Weird Word

The term for weblog in French is "joueb" and comes from "journal" and "Web" being glued together. It always sounds funny to me, especially since the verb in French, "jouer" means to play and so it has that resonance -- a good one to be sure -- a certain playfulness embedded in it.

Boston Goes Bangalore

This piece from today's Boston Globe by Chris Gaither "US workers see hard times -- High-tech firms tout outsourcing as crucial to survival" is certainly depressing. It poses the disturbing question, "Why pay software programmers a decent wage, when you can outsource their work to India or China and pay the suckers over there 1/10th the salary?"

When you read it, you are tempted to think of it personally and if you're in high-tech, your mind scrambles to come up with a "work-around" -- to imagine a new way to find work. But even if you can come up with one, what it means to the ENTIRE economy long-term is pretty upsetting. The post I did about the "Neutron Bomb Economy" below might be more accurate than even I wanted to believe when I wrote it.

Misbehaving All Over The Place

I threw an email out to my eight co-bloggers over at Misbehaving.Net, suggesting we all meet in the flesh soon. As I get to know them online, I really find I'm liking them and I want to meet in person. I didn't realize how far flung we are. Jill reminded me she's in Norway! And then Danah gave us the comprehensive cheat sheet on where we all are.
Seems like we've got a woman in every port and a few of towns in between:

New York, NY (2)
Rochester, NY (1)
Boston, MA (1)
Madison, WI (1)
San Francisco, CA (1)
Canada (1)
Norway (1)

Go over and match the woman with her town. The word "Harvard" in my bio might give you a clue, but I just realized I didn't actually say where I live. Whoops!

I'll Take Two

I'll take two. With hardware like this, you ever know when you might have one in the shop for repairs.

Sexy Scots In Skirts ... I Mean KILTS

Martin Little takes me to task for my dumb remarks about men in skirts (see below) and the piece in the NYTimes about that. I definately stand corrected that a Scot in a skirt, I mean a KILT, can be very sexy. Hell, just the weird way they talk is sexy enough, since to my ear it's impossible to know what the hell they're saying, I give them the benefit of the doubt and figure it must be something hot.

In case you wondered why the Victorians started wearing their furry sporran in the front, check this out. I think they spelled "bulge" wrong, but maybe the Scots need a bigger, longer word to describe the bulge under their kilts.

What's Your Nationality?

A certain young man of eight years old I know, who happens to be my son, and later, when he's big and reads this post, will happen to hate my guts, told me the following key insight this morning while watching a favorite cartoon show on Nickelodeon.

"Mom, I love this show because they have guys from every nationality!" he said.

The show didn't seem too long on diversity to me.

"What do you mean every nationality?" I asked him. Maybe I was missing something.

"You know -- BOSSY, MEAN, NICE, STUPID AND SMART," he explained.

I didn't laugh -- that's not fair.

"Honey, actually, I think you mean ... they have characters with every kind of personality, right?" I said.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," he said, taking it in stride. "My favorite shows have people that are really different and fight all the time."

"Yep," I said.

That's my kid, he's obviously got the key to a successful narrative nailed -- conflict, conflict, conflict.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Don't Forget To Call Me On My 487th Birthday

There was a write-up in yesterday's New York Times of the Pop!Tech conference that took place in mid-October, making reference to Aubrey de Grey's presentation about immortality. The notion that we might be able to live 1000 years or longer has gotten me and my son laughing like idiots all day. We've been having a lot of fun with it. He's worried he'll still have spelling homework when he's 100. And I'll still be bugging him about it.

I keep playing with it in the back of my mind -- I feel like I have a little stand-up comedian's stage and open mike back there in my twisty brain. I mean, I am going to need a helluva lot of moisturizer to keep looking young, at say ... 850 or so.

And all jokes aside, can you imagine holding a grudge, not for 20 or 30 years, but try 750?

I had tea last week with my 95-year-old friend. She is still bright as a tack. If we start lasting 1000 years, she's barely a teenager at this point.

Very Scary Catholic School Girl Gang

Wonder if women are feeling more empowered ... check this out.

Corporate Blogging Manifesto Redux

Robert Scoble at Microsoft has some wise things to add to his original "Corporate Blogging Manifesto" blog post about how to work for a corporation and keep writing a personal blog. Just as I tried to imagine all the difficulties this would present in my case study in Harvard Business Review, Robert has the real world version of how to walk that fine line.

I like this in particular:

"Always write like you are speaking on behalf of your company. Why? Because despite the disclaimers, you really are."
This comes in the same week that a blogger at Microsoft was fired ... and I leave it to all of you to suss out whether he was fired for blogging per se or if there were other extenuating circumstances.

Only Mike Myers

Only Mike Myers could play The Cat In The Hat and weirdly still look so Mike Myers-ish. I can't wait to see this movie. I think he's the best.

Neutron Bomb Economy

I want to believe The New York Times. I want to believe The Wall Street Journal. I want to believe all the news coming down about how we've gone from a in-the-crapper, oh, excuse me, I mean, how we've gone from a toilet economy last Thursday to a gung-ho, can't-be-held-back, go-go growth economy on Friday.

But when I read all these great happy-days-are-here-again earnings announcements -- I can't help but think of the line in Repo Man about the neutron bomb -- it destroys people but leaves buidlings standing. This is a the neutron bomb economy -- easy to look profitable when your building is still standing but you've nuked your entire workforce. Soon we'll be forced to hail the new worker-less enterprise, it's sure to be the Next Big Thing.