Thursday, October 31, 2002

Halloween Costumes Over The Years

A few come to mind. A long time ago my sister and I went as Al Jolson and Aunt Jemima, but that is so politically incorrect now, I can't even believe it. Of course, she made me be Al Jolson and jump down on one knee and sing "Mammmmmy!" at every house.

I did a very flat-chested Scherezade in 5th grade with a pink danskin long sleeve high turtleneck and harem pants. Some turn-on that was. 1001 Arabian Nights -- not.

Green Onion or Scallion?

Yes, one year I did a great Halloween costume as a green onion. I called it a scallion. I wore a white wool knit cap with white pipe cleaners sprouting out the top. I wore a green wool jersey dress, turtleneck, long sleeves, long skirt, green from top to bottom, green stockings, green suede pumps.

One Year I Was Highway 101

Yes, it didn't take much to do the highway part but it took a lot of crazy glue to get those darned cars glued into place.

About The Pregnant Nun Costume

I can't remember where I got it -- I don't think I borrowed it from a real nun. AKMA please don't take offense -- me in a wimple, I know it's hard to imagine.

And Then There Was Hester Prynne

But that's a long story. Here goes. I was invited to a Halloween party at Amherst College. I wore the classic pilgrim outfit with an embroidered "A" on the pinafore. A guy asks me if I'm part of the Amherst cheerleading squad.

Bright Red Cheongsam

Well my son went to school like GI Joe and I'm at work in a bright red Cheongsam, also known as a "Suzie Wong" dress. It's freezing here in Boston but the silk is fairly heavy and remarkably warm. The platform sandels are killing me though.

Ev, Love The Pumpkin

Very cool. Very festive. Very seasonal. We're all dressed up here at work. I'll go find a picture of what I've got on. Back soon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Rageboy: Small Medium Large

I agree with Doc that we need to talk about what Rageboy is doing over at his site. Not that we know exactly what to say. In fact, we really don't get it. But we've got to try to figure it out. Let me take a stab at it. He's making this small medium large. He's showing us where it's going. He's showing us he's already there.

I was standing in the shower, washing my hair, thinking about it the other day, knowing that in about five years we'll say to him, "Chris, now I see what you were doing. We were right there up close watching it happen but we really didn't get it then, did we?!" We'll have to apologize to him. We'll have to yield to him. We'll have to admit he really was spot on and we were off in Lu-Lu Land.

He knows a few things about the Net. He knows a few things about blogs. He knows it's about connecting with people. He knows it's a medium of passion. He knows there's something going on with women here, naked women and women getting "naked" -- i.e., women telling the truth for once. You can hear their voices for the first time ever in blogs. He knows it's about graphics and sometimes words.

He juxtaposes big flashy pictures of Las Vegas, Entertainment City, with simple heart-felt words about the common ties of friendship. He shows the clash of phony neon lights and real flesh people.

He can't stop talking about sex and love -- as if they were the last outposts of what makes us real and what keeps us alive and what is true. He summons them like a sorcerer, as if to jolt us awake. Maybe he thinks we are so numb, it's the only weapon he can use to get our attention, to make us notice, to bring us back to life. He uses porno like cardio paddles -- shocking us back into consciousness. And once our hearts are racing like his, we just might start to get it. Maybe this is a medium where we can be alive again.

De Ma Fenetre

I'm thinking of some great books I read in French classes over the years. Of course, I went kicking and screaming into each book and was pounding pencil, paper and cranium together to come up with something resembling a book report for most of them. After all was said and done, I'm really glad those profs dragged me through the exercise.

Colette's book De Ma Fenetre (1944), her diary, simply looking out the window of her apartment in Palais Royale during the war, was a favorite. It's probably one of her least well known books, with Gigi and the Claudine books being the better known. And also Daudet's Lettres de mon Moulin or in English. Both books are rather blog-like

Other French books I've loved, Memoires D'Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar who I had the chance to meet in Boston once actually. She was so cool.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Sometimes You Just Can't Help It

I still haven't met Eric Norlin -- Conference Thrower Extraordinaire, Stand-up Guy, Brilliant Amusing Person, but, jeez, you just can't help liking the guy. You just can't help it. We got a moment to talk today somehow between him flying off to London, running marathons, putting on events, we actually got some time to chew the fat, and he is ... well, Christ ... he is THE MAN. He knows a lot. He knows a lot of people. He has a lot of good ideas. He's got street smarts. He's got balls. He's got good instincts. Who could NOT like this guy?!?

Tell Me To Go

I must have needed to talk today. Can't get away from the phone. Can't put the apparatus down. Please, I say, tell me to go. And, thank goodness, he makes an opening. Holds the door open for me to pass through. I leave reluctantly.

Talk Talk Talk

Hey, Gary, I'll never get used to that Scottish accent of yours. I keep reading your blog with MY accent -- I've gotta get over that. Great to chat today. So Baby Turner is headed your way in 3 weeks -- good golly. And yes, Rageboy's fish that quotes Dickens is very disconcerting.

Tiny Town

When we were little my dad worked in NYC and was often late coming home so we ate dinner before he got there. When he finally rolled in, he'd get a saucer and make a tiny version of his dinner -- two peas, a sliver of pork chop, a thimbleful of mashed potatoes -- and call this a Tiny Town Dinner.

Now, of course, there was more to just sitting up late with Dad eating a Tiny Town dinner while he ate his real dinner. There were Tiny Town Tales -- he'd tell us these long convoluted, action-packed stories about the people who lived in Tiny Town. Our favorites were The Great Tiny Town Bank Robbery and then there was The Tiny Town Mayoral Election. The mayor who won by a tiny landslide was later found to be corrupt and had to be dragged out of Tiny Town through the Tiny Town Town Square tied by his ankle with a tiny rope off the back of a tiny wagon -- it was terrible. Sure miss my Dad, but I'm making Tiny Town dinners for my son now.

Hey JYS -- Give me a call tonight

Pouvez vous m'aider de trouver un vieux ami qui s'appelle Sebastian Bacholet. Ce n'est pas St. Sebastian avec tous ces fleches. No, c'est un mec d'IT qui travaillait chez SNCF a Paris, il ya quelques annees. Merci beaucoup.

Sebastian Bacholet

Hey guy, ou etes-vous? Email me. I wonder how long it will take me to find you. Etes-vous encore au SNCF? Still riding that train? Drop me a line.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Scripting News Alive and Well

My pilot error. All's well. BTW, if you don't subscribe to it, get with it and sign up.

My Big Mouth

Boy, am I bummed the Giants lost! On top of it I made a wager yesterday -- FIVE BUCKS -- they'd win and now I'm owing a guy some dough. I made the wager at church, of all places, so I guess I'm going straight to hell for this one. I hate staying up late to get so disappointed. It was a great World Series though, wasn't it?!

Scripting News Bye-Bye?

Weird. I'm not getting my nightly Scripting News and you just can't do business without it! It must be bouncing back to SF after trying to get into my inbox in Boston and finding no room. My Yahoo mailbox has been packed lately -- mostly thanks to the flood of spam. And Dave's so reliable. Go figure.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Blog Talk

Had some great conversations yesterday with bloggers David Weinberger and Jen Balderama. It's fun to know someone's actual voice when you read their blog. Thanks to both for months and months and months of great posts.

Attention Economy

Hey, baby, hey, baby, hey! Do blogs simply get our attention better than plain old newswires and plain old newspapers and really boring plain old TV because they are a medium in continuous transition and growth? Is there something about blogging that defies our expectations and therefore keeps them fresh?

Business The Ultimate Resource

Okay, the first thing to do with this book is not let it get near the edge of a desk and then slip off and come crashing down on your foot, because then you are pretty much guaranteed to end up in the Ultimate ER. It must weigh 20 lbs. I'm on page 159 out of 2136. I'll be done soon.

Reading Leading Quietly

Very interesting book by Joseph Badaracco and falls right into the middle of a new trend of business books on non-egomaniacal leaders simply doing the right thing over time and not being crazy, hot-headed, charismatic, megalomaniacal lunatics. I guess we've all had enough of those folks.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Snow Globe

What's with this early snow? We had snow here in Boston yesterday on October 23 -- that is way early. I guess these guys are okay with it.

El Beisbol

Watching the World Series with my son has been so much fun. At the ripe old age of 7, with three seasons of little league under his belt, he's quite the fan. He sits on the couch downing Gatorade and munching popcorn with me and then, all of a sudden out of the blue, roars "BARRY! BARRY! BARRY!" when Bonds come up at bat. He also likes Reggie Sanders. I'm nuts for Benito Santiago.

I used to watch baseball with my dad too and he loved to see his grandson in his little league outfit. In the late winter this year, we visited him in the nursing home at a time when he was not well and not talkative. On that particular day though, when he saw my son, he sat straight up and said, "Is it baseball season?"

What an odd game it was last night. The real turning point -- and it was a zen moment, I tell you -- was the weird way that ball rolled up the line and then Glaus scooped it up thinking it was foul and it wasn't. The whole game turned on that moment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


I've had one of those, just-can't-get-rid-of colds and been beyond blogging. But today, I'm almost better. I've been watching a lot of TV. And I had a really weird dream.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Dark Side of Coke

My desire to be a Coca-Cola sponsored blog brought many interesting viewpoints to my doorstep. Little did I know today ACT UP NY was protesting Coke's treatment of their workers in Africa for providing limited HIV health benefits. Check this out. Thanks to Daniel Raymond for the info.

Real Porn

Terrence Real writes about porn in his new book, How Can I Get Through To You. First he does a devastating analysis of the movie, American Beauty and talks about the Kevin Spacey character, Lester, and his infantile sexual fantasies. He follows with this:
The essence of porn is a fantasy in which everything the man does is perfect, and the woman's sexual pleasure lies in the giving of pleasure. This archetype of male desire resonates with another. Who else in our culture is pictured as deriving pleasure in the giving of it? What Lester most yearns for, as do most of the men in my practice, indeed in my life, is the unstinting limitless nurturer, she who was untimely ripped from his arms as a little boy. I call this voluptuous pleasure-bestower the sexual mother; the caregiver boys did not get enough of, now transposed to manhood and eroticised.

Harvard Conference Rocks NYC

We rocked the town yesterday at the Four Seasons. Despite the most monsoon-like conditions, we got a killer audience of enthusiastic, smart folks who really are so eager to do business. If this is a dead economy, it sure looked lively yesterday. I feel so much pent-up energy in NYC and Boston. Good stuff coming down.

Halley's Comment's Comments

Certain parties are suggesting I add comments to my site. Okay, all right, already. Will do. But I'll be doing a bunch of upgrades, so give me a little time, hokay?

Monday, October 14, 2002

Show Me The Money

There has to be a way for bloggers to have sponsors, make money, share a percentage of that money with the people who build the blogging platforms, fully disclose who's paying whom AND keep their editorial integrity.

Magazines separate church and state by making editorial copy look like editorial and advertising copy look like advertising. The loathsome beast in print publications called "advertorial" is not an attractive animal. TV does it with commercials -- again the look and feel of commercials are different from "programs." Infomercials are that spooky grey area where editorial and marketing mingle, again, with embarrassing results.

I want Coke for a sponsor. I want to write about Coke because I like Coke. I have written about Coke, but have never received money or products or anything from them to influence my writing. So ... I get Coke as a sponsor and then ... what, I never write about them again to demonstrate they can't compromise my editorial integrity? Or I do something way more fun like get Rageboy to do some insane graphics for me and I make some trompe l'oeil wacky Coke ads, semi-naked goddesses imbibing Coke, as well as disclosing how much I paid him to help me get my new improved Coke ads up on my blog and how much Coke paid me?

Or maybe I get a new color hyperlink, that indicates an ad -- every time you see a blue link, you know it's not an ad, but every time you see a red link you know it's to one of my sponsors?

This money + bloggers issue is coming up all over town. Dave Winer points to Mitch Ratcliffe today on the subject of bloggers paid by Microsoft to attend their Mobius 2002 conference. Don't miss it.

Let's Stay Together

This book I'm reading Terrence Real's How Can I Get Through To You makes a good case for staying together and even shows you how. But golly, maybe sometimes it's just not meant to be. I mean check out Al Green's bio -- and he wrote the big 1972 hit "Let's Stay Together". Gotta say "ouch" here!
Besides musical waves, Al Green made headlines on October 18, 1974, when a girlfriend, Mary E. Woodson, poured a pot of boiling grits over Al as he was getting out of his bathtub, because he refused her proposal of marriage.

Love's Small Murders

Once again, this Terrence Real book, How Can I Get Through To You, on the psychology of partriarchy and how it kills passion, is amazing me.
So go love's small murders, tiny everyday escalations of injury, reacted to by disconnection, causing more injury, until one fast-forwards to a couple whose initial passion has become so 'encrusted' with disappointment that they barely function as a couple anymore.
Still, it's one of the most optimistic books on staying together and working things out -- in radical new ways -- that I've ever read and he even gives you the tools to do it.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Stretching Thoughts

Cool blog. Check it out. Nice stuff.

Deep Body Tour

Take it. The Deep Body Tour by Gatorade. Best news of all for those of us who don't drink alcohol much -- Gatorade cocktails available soon in a bar near you.

Digital ID @ Harvard

Can't get away from these burning questions of digital identity. I've been asked to participate in Harvard's Emerging Digital Identity forum which should be very interesting. The forum discusses a broad range of issues, including concerns like how the University's many museums make their collections available online and to whom. Check this out.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Digital ID Conference

Well, I sure could kick myself that I'm missing out on all the fun. Eric Norlin's throwing the event of the season, but I've got another Harvard event next week in New York and they do take a little work to put together. No one should understand that better than Eric. Thanks man for letting me off the hook.

Denise Howell per usual is doing killer coverage. Doc's blogging up a storm. David Weinberger is awash in words over at Joho. Chris Locke is never shy on his site, but I don't think he's too concerned with digital identity here. And I guilted AKMA into attending the show in Denver, last month when we were in the Boston Common and he told me he wouldn't be able to make it! Glad I pushed him. Thanks to all for the killer coverage.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

This Working Out Thing Is Definately Not Working Out

This is one of SpongeBob's favorite things to say, as he weakly lifts barbells, sweats over push-ups and quickly gives up on his exercise session. Boy, can I understand that today. I had stopped working out for a few days and got back to it this morning and I was HORRIBLE. It's so hard to be patient with yourself and build back up to where you were. I can't imagine how it must be for someone who suffers a stroke or breaks a leg, if they are used to being physically fit and have to crawl their way back to their earlier level of wellness. Yikes.

SpongeBob Don't Ask Don't Tell

Strangely, the Wall Street Journal features SpongeBob SquarePants on the front page today, suggesting that his great popularity in shops which cater to a gay clientele, may suggest SpongeBob is not heterosexual. I thought they might have better things to write about -- crazy me.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Simply Connect

Terence Real's new book has some great things to say about health and keeping connected to people. Maybe this is why meeting all the bloggers in person was so much fun this week.
...In another domain, research on resilience, both physical and mental, reveals that rich authentic connection is one of the most salient factors in continued good health, outweighting such decisive forces as nutrition, exercise, even the absence of smoking. We enter life whole and connected and we operate best when richly attached. Intimacy is our natural state as a species, our birthright. And yet, while the push away from genuine closeness occurs at different points in their development, and in critically different ways, neither boys nor girls are allowed to maintain healthy relatedness for very long. ... Instead of cultivating intimacy, turning nascent aptitudes into mature skills, we teach boys and girls, in complimentary ways, to bury their deepest selves, to stop speaking, or attending to, the truth, to hold in mistrust, or even in disdain, the state of closeness we all, by our natures, most crave... We live in an antirelational, vulnerability-despising culture, one that not only fails to nurture the skills of connection but actively fears them. .

Friday, October 04, 2002

What Sony Did

Yesterday, at our conference Clay Christensen was talking about how Sony put little cheap, crappy, transistor radios in the pockets of kids' bluejeans when rock and roll was new and their parents didn't want them listening to rock and roll or even wearing bluejeans. I remember listening to WABC and Cousin Brucie on a little radio like that. He was talking about competition. He was explaining how Sony sussed out the fact that they were competing against non-consumption. That is, they weren't getting these kids to replace a table top radio like their parents owned. They were getting these kids to buy something they really wanted that they'd never bought before and therefore, they were competing against nothing. Imagine the freedom you have when you are the only guy in the game and you've hit on something someone really wants and will pay you whatever price to own.

Then he talked about voice recognition software and the picture of an administrative assistant on the box, looking thrilled to wear a little headset and use this impossibly clumsy software, which instead of simply typing 80 words per minute with 99% accuracy, she could now learn to talk really SLOWLY and have a 60% accuracy rate and spend lots of time making the software work instead of using something that did work for her.

He said one thing that stuck with me. Maybe you should consider making a product that does something people really need to do and helps them do it easily. Maybe you should sell products people actually need.

Harvard Conference Coverage

My fellow bloggers Dan Gillmor, Denise Howell, Chris Locke, Kevin Mark, Robert Scoble and Dave Winer did such an incredible blogging job of the conference here in Cupertino, I don't know if I can add a thing. Our next conference is in NYC and called "Leaders In Value Creation" on October 16th. Any new yawk bloggers who want to attend, drop me an email.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Deep Bloggery Going Down Here

Am I dreaming? Did I die and go to heaven or maybe the Cote D'Azur? On a gorgeous blue sky day, I am sitting on a big stone fountain, lions heads spitting water into a pool next to me as the sun beats down, The Cypress Hotel is very Juan-les-Pins in style and who am I watching ... Rageboy and Dave Winer chatting, Denise Howell, Kevin Marks, Dan Gillmor and Robert Scoble blogging, me soaking up the sun.

Actually that was after the lunch break, now I've kidnapped Kevin's iBook, can't keep my hands off it. Microsoft guy talking about something. I'm thinking about this day -- very fun to get all these guys together in person. Best bandwidth there is. And Kevin tells me that Doc's emailed us to say how bummed he is that's he's not with us -- damned straight, we're bummed you're not here too!

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Kevin Marks, My Hero!!!

He's sitting right here right next to me blushing and choking as I write. But, really, my Wi-Fi holy grail quest is at an end. All you have to do is fly to Cupertino, walk over to Apple, eat one of the best pizzas you've ever had, drink some great coffee, talk about QuickTime, Douglas Adams, homeschooling, Clarence and Clarisse, go to the Apple Employee Store and drool over everything, buy an Airport, yank myself away from the iBooks which I really am jonsing for, walk back to The Cypress Hotel under a Mediterranean blue heavenly sky, ask Kevin to bring x zillion years of technical expertise along, plug it in and VOILA, we're cooking with gas ... WIRELESS GAS.

We're sitting here listening to the guys set up the room for tomorrow's conference and blogging wireless. Hell, it's almost as much fun as blogging topless!

Harvard Conference Sold Out

Looks like we'll have them hanging from the rafters. A big surge in last minute registrations. Eric, did you hear that? If you're going to Eric's conference in Denver, Digital Identity World, for god's sakes, register today, not three minutes before it starts next week!

I Stand Corrected

Okay, I'm here at 1 Infinite Loop with Kevin Marks -- Apple HQ in Cupertino -- and he's told me the real fish story. "So a lady lands at Boston airport and gets in a cab and says to the driver, 'Take me somewhere I can get scrod!" And the driver says, "I've never heard anyone use the pluperfect participle before!"

Anyway, it the most sunny gorgeous day here and how fun to meet Kevin and (don't tell anyone) take advantage of his employee discount to get a Airport Base Station to call my own. And I can't get my hands off of these iBooks -- oh shit, they are lovely -- and boy would it be easy to plunk down some Yankee dollars and take one home. The company store looks very fun. Wish I could pull up a truck and empty most of the contents into the back of it.

I Got Scrod In Boston

I know there's some old joke about that -- two Boston Brahim ladies going into town to get scrod -- don't remember the rest, but really I got scrod at Legal Seafood's in Logan Airport yesterday and it was terrific. I'm still very thrown off by the fact that I got to the airport with enough time, had a great lunch, had a perfect flight -- yes, thank you United -- and got to SFO on time. Surely something was amiss!

Just joking, but I do expect most travel to get messed up one way or another. Everyone disses the airlines, but United's been great for me on more than one occasion. When my mom was dying of lung cancer in 1997 and I was living in LA and had to bounce between LAX and BOS a lot that year, United was amazingly helpful, flexible and kind. I really appreciated it.

I'd bought a ticket for Friday, September 26. 1997 with an arrival in Boston at 7:30pm and three days before was sitting at home in LA looking out the window and got a flash that I needed to GO right then and there -- not wait until Friday. I threw some clothes in a bag, dashed to LAX and United put me on their next flight to Logan. My mom had taken a turn for the worse that day and actually passed away three days later on Friday, September 26th around 7:30pm. Thanks United counter lady who helped me out and I'll never know your name.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Tough Day To Be Dave

Both David Weinberger and Dave Winer are noticing it's a tough day on Google to be Dave. There oughta be a law. Or at least a dependable algorithm.

Rageboy, Is Sex Necessary?

Of course I refer to the classic text by James Thurber and E.B. White. They solved the mystery long ago. And they can steer you in a more positive direction than your current harem is likely to do.
The sexual revolution began with Man's discovery that he was not attractive to Woman, as such. The lion had his
mane, the peacock his gorgeous plumage, but Man found himself in a three-button sack suit. His masculine
appearance not only failed to excite Woman, but in many cases it only served to bore her. The result was that man
found it necessary to develop attractive personal traits to offset his dull appearance. He learned to say funny
things. He learned to smoke, and blow smoke rings. He learned to earn money. This would have been a solution to
his difficulty, but in the course of making himself attractive to Woman by developing himself mentally, he
inadvertently became so intelligent an animal that he saw how comical the whole situation was. [p. 92]

Their wisdom on marriage, nuptials and that sexy french word "fiancee" exceeds all bounds. And they came up with all of this in 1929 while Freud was still just some guy living in Vienna, visiting America and not finding enough public bathrooms. It was a golden epoch to be sure.
[A man delays marriage because he has] The suspicion that if he waited twenty-four hours, or possibly less, he would likely find
a lady even more ideally suited to his taste than his finacée. Every man entertained such a suspicion. Entertained it royally. He
was greatly strengthened in his belief by the fact that he kept catching a fleeting glimpse of this imaginary person -- in
restaurants, in stores, in trains. To deny the possibility of her existence would be, he felt, to do a grave injustice to her, to himself,
and to his financée. Man's unflinching desire to give himself and everybody else a square deal was the cause of much of his
disturbance. Man had become, you see, a thinking being. He had come to know enough about permutations and combinations to
realize that with millions of . . . females to choose from, the chances of his choosing the ideal mate were almost zero. [pp. 96, 99;
see also Lorenzo Da Ponte: "He who is faithful to one is cruel to the others." Don Giovanni ]
And to hopefully lay to rest the musical question, "Is he really going out with her?" Let me say, "No! No! No! A thousand times No!" All bloggers in the know know that all I ever wanted was to BE Rageboy, not to DO Rageboy. My maidenly virtue now reestablished, can I sell my highly desirable slot on your blogroll on eBay? It should bring a few million Euros, dontcha think?