Saturday, October 25, 2003

Happy Happy Happy For Those Big Big Fish!

The Marlins most definately, most decidedly, most undoubtedly ROCK! So glad to see them win that excruciating game tonight. Wow!

Take The Test

Take the test. What do you know about rockets?

Kevin's Up!

Kevin Marks takes me to task about saying the Blogstreet's 100 Top Most Excellent Influential Blogs are populated only by 3 women. He's right and now that's he's answered his email and he's up on the West Coast let me post his excellent reply.

He mentions these in an email to me, numbering the blogs listed in the top 100 which are solely written by women or group blogs that include women:

>> 5: boingBoing includes Xeni
>> 7: DailyKos includes Melanie
>> 10: TalkLeft is Jeralyn Merrit
>> 17: Asymmetrical Information is Jane Galt
>> 19: Samizdata include Adriana Cronin, Natalie
>> Solent, Alice Bachini &
>> Natalija Radic
>> 28: Volokh conspiracy includes Michelle Boardman,
>> but she doesn't post
>> much
>> 34: Natalie Solent
>> 35: On the Third Hand is Kathy Kinsley
>> 36: Slashdot includes Pudge, but is mostly blokes.
>> 43: Eve Tushnet
>> 46: Tapped is another group blog with men and women
>> 49: Cut on the bias is susanna
>> 50: Winds of Change is another group log with some
>> women
>> (I'm stopping halfway as it is late and 50 blogs is
>> enough for now)
>> Also, Virgina Postrel IS there at no. 61
>> I think the moral is that group blogs win out in
>> their metric.

Thanks, Kevin, I'll still say that blogs written purely by one woman out of 100 number somewhere near ... 10.

Eve Tushnet
Meryl Yourish
Jeryln TalkLeft
Jane Galt
Natalie Solent
Kathy Kinsie

I love these guys and I'm glad they are on the list, but expect there will be more and more.

Forbes Better Off Dead List

Is this a Halloween stunt or something?

I guess Elvis has left the building ... but not the bank.

Yes, per Forbes list of the Wealtiest Dead People (aka The You-Can-Take-It-With-You List) my favorite hunk boy Alpha Male in his white leather angel suit is at the top of the list.

Kevin Marks Wake Up!

I'm waiting for Kevin Marks to wake up on the West Coast and agree to let me post something he sent me in email .... get up man ... boil that tea water, get that orange marmelade jar on the table, fry up some bangers! What, do you Brits just sleep til noon on Saturdays?

He corrected my stats on the 100 Most Influential Blogs and gave me the exact numbers of blogs that are written by women AND group blogs that have women featured. I think I'd still argue the number is too small and I don't think being listed in a group blog is the same as being listed for your own blogs.

Take Boing Boing for instance. We know Xeni Jardin is there and does killer posts, but when you think of Boing Boing -- don't you think of it as Cory Doctorow's blog? No offense, Cory's terrific, but I wonder if women bloggers have to ride on the coattails of men bloggers or team up with them to get any traffic?

BTW, I read three great post's of Xeni's over there just now and one by Cory about breast cancer and the shockingly short hospital stays they allow patients (including his mom) these days. Don't miss them.

No More Candy Drawers

Shelley's burning up the page too. Wow. She describes what it's really like for a woman to work in technology and how when you shut up and let the guys push you around, everythings fine, but if you stand up and fight -- well, watch out:

What do I mean by this? Well, when I deferred to the group in all things, I was an okay person. But when I disagreed, I became a bitch. I know. I was called a bitch. You see, unlike at Intel, I wasn't going to be quiet, be good, or be conciliatory. No more candy drawers. I was going to fight back, and I've been fighting back ever since.

I'm posting this BEFORE I finish reading it. I suspect she'll kick my ass towards the end of the piece. But man, can she write, and I'm always willing to have my ass kicked by someone who can write that well and tell the truth that courageously.

As for my ass, it's too late to try to cover it ... feel free to take a look at my drawers.

Jeneane Nails It Again -- And Nails Us To The Wall

Better get over there ... Jeneane's telling the truth again. She sees where blogging is going and it's not very pretty. I really felt sad when she talked about how ill Jenna, her daughter has been this week and then REALLY sad when she admitted that she didn't feel like it was safe to blog about it.

Read this for starters:

More and more, it's big-media topics and news and politics. Why? Why do we want to replicate what we came here to escape? What are we feeding on here with aggregators and all news all the time.

We have no mandate, no laws of decorum, no way to say, Did you read him? did you read her? can you see he's hurting? Are you looking past your own post? Your own site meter? A post above or below the one you followed the link to?

We're losing one another.

Go back and read your own old posts. I've been reading your old posts all week.

I saw you there. You and you and you.

Don't forget where you came from.

And don't let me either.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Sure Hope This Was The Warm-up Act For Personal Hovercraft

I'm figuring Dean Kamen's mind is always a little bigger and bolder than he lets anyone know. Getting the Segway to be steady and getting people used to finding their sealegs on the thing, I hope is a warm-up for building me my own little hovercraft.

Liver Sashimi

Interesting. Listen, Ito-San, if I come to visit, I think I'll have to pass on the liver sashimi. Feeling kindof American here. That stuff looks like something from a horror movie.

Can't we have Boston Baked Beans and Frankfurters with Brown Bread, instead?

The Politics of Male Blogging

This week as we looked into the Perseus Study, which David Weinberger linked to in his excellent post "When Blogs Get Really Popular" to find out that "56% of hosted blogs" are created by women.

Connect that with Dana Blankenhorn's interesting post on Corante called Everybody Wants To Rule The World and his assessment that the most striking thing one might notice when reading Blogstreet's 100 Most Influential Blogs is how many are about politics ... call me crazy, but isn't the MOST STRIKING THING rather that in a new technology dominated by women so few women are in the list? This would be like reading a list of the Most Influential Civil Rights Leaders and not having any African Americans in the top 100. Imagine a list that read "Lyndon Johnson, Bob Dylan, Robert Kennedy, Joan Baez," and on and on. Martin Luther who?

And if African Americans complained -- would they be taken seriously? You bet.

Play my parlor game, -- out of the 100 Most Influential Bloggers, how many are women? There are a number of blogs on the list with which I am not acquainted, so it makes it difficult for me to count the women, but here's my guess. 3?

Which, of course, gets us to the definition of "influential" and Blogstreet's algorithm for determining who is influential. They say it is based on who blogrolls whom. I will email them today to ask about this in greater detail. If you look at some of the most influential blogger's blogrolls, they all have women listed. Many have the same women listed -- so how is it that none of these women are on the Top 100 list? Women like Shelley Powers, Virginia Postrel, Mena Trott, GnomeGirl Cheyenne, Jeneane Sessum, Elaine Kalily, Asparagirl, Esther Dyson, Karlin Lillington, Elizabeth Spiers, Reverse Cowgirl, Denise Howell, Moxie, Betsy Devine, Xeni, Susan Mernit, Jennifer Balderama, Amy Wohl, Jenny (Shifted Library) Levine, Elizabeth Lane Lawley. I am throwing this list up in no particular order -- actually referring to the top 5 male blogger's blogrolls. [If I forgot you, remind me.]

It's clear that the top male bloggers are not denying women their blogroll inks, for the most part. It's clear that the top male bloggers take every chance to list women bloggers and engage the topics that they raise. These men are too smart not to take us seriously. We are their colleagues, friends, girlfriends, sisters, bosses, moms, daughters. They want the best for us. Guys, feel free to blogroll us anytime.

Still we are almost inviisble and I want to know why. What are we doing wrong? Are we not publishing our blogs in RSS? Are we not promoting ourselves enough? Are we not expressing ourselves clearly? Our footprint is illegible, although our actual influence is not inconsequential. If you take a look at the list of women above, there are a few pioneers listed who could actually be considered founding fathers ... whoops, I mean, founding mothers, no, ... well you get the idea.

LA Has A New Concert Hall

Los Angeles finally has the new Walt Disney Concert Hall up and running. We lived there from 1990 to 2000 and I remember hearing about it endlessly and it never being completed. So it's finally done. Looks AND SOUNDS great.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Ad Space


Close Shave


Driving By


Oh, Yeah, Banana Split


Read The Signs



They did it! Home run to finish it off. Wow! Marlins win the 4th game! 4-3

All the nachos are gone, same with the popcorn -- I'm eating Special K -- it's practically dawn anyway.

Looper Looper Looper


Hang tough, man!

You rock!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Tenth Inning Nail Biter

Holy Heck! Is this really happening?!

Still a Red Sox fan, much habituated to hating the Yankees, so I'm routing for the Marlins.

Not routing actually, PRAYING.

And A Very Happy Blogversary

And Liz Lawley is one year old. Is that possible?! It doesn't seem like a year, but maybe 10 years there's so much great content over there!

Some Strange Things Are Happening

I swear -- it's really not my fault. I was talking to Liz Lawley on the phone, lovely chat, but she says all of a sudden, "Gotta go, plumbing disaster" and click. Hangs up on me in a hurry.

Wow, was it my breath? So I go off to check my email. I start thinking about my day. Something strange did happen today to me. This fire hydrant down the street from me just started shooting water all over the street. I called the police to report it. They asked me questions like maybe I had something to do with it. I had nothing to do with it.

So Liz calls back. She heard this weird water whooshing noise in her kitchen as she's standing in her dining room. She goes into the kitchen to see if the sink is backing up -- or the dishwasher overflowing or something. No, they're fine, BUT THERE'S WATER POURING OUT OF THE CEILING LIGHT FIXTURES.

She starts yelling and running upstairs. Her husband had been running a bath, with bleach, to clean the tub or something.

But then ...

He decided to leave it running and read some blogs.

And you know how one blog leads to another.

And guess who's blog he was reading when the water came happily running over the top of the tub and all over the floor and through the kitchen ceiling ... you got it -- Halley's Comment.

All We Want For Christmas -- Legos Of Course

We want this. And about a million other Lego sets.

Jolie Madame -- Evocative Of The 1950's

Un parfum sophistiqué, évocateur de grandes soirées, de moments exceptionnels. Pierre Balmain le décrivait à l'époque comme "Le parfum de l'aventure pour les soirées de passions et d'enchantement". Parfum oriental, très évocateur des années 50, Jolie Madame est une note intensément fleurie: délicatesse du jasmin soutenue par le lilas et la violette. Force du cèdre, tempérée par la tubéreuse et le néroli.

note de tête : Petit grain, girofle, néroli

note de coeur : Absolue jasmin, fleur d'oranger, feuille de violette, absolue tubéreuse, lilas

note de fond : Absolue mousse de chêne, essence de patchouli, absolue tabac, cèdre

Jolie Madame

The perfume my mom used to wear. Jolie Madame by Balmain. Love it. Very sexy.

The Marriage of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

Up Close And Personal

I was looking at the real estate and land purchase records for 1640-1752 in the Greenwich, CT archives. I scrolled down from A to C and saw a bunch of people named Close buying and selling land in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Must be Glenn Close's relatives.

In this E! Entertainment Network profile, they've listed every man Glenn Close ever dated for goodness sakes! The problem is how accurate any of this is.

It's amazing how much you can dig up on a public person these days. Do any of us really need to even discuss the issue of privacy anymore? Isn't it gone?

Greenwich, CT 06830

I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut -- a Greenwich before all the corporations moved into town. A Greenwich that had a big old hotel called the Pickwick Arms sitting majestically at the top of Greenwich Avenue.

I found some old photos of the Pickwick Arms. I remember the day they took a crane and let the wrecking ball flatten it.

Also came across these gravestone transcriptions. People who lived in Greenwich long before I did.

Note to self: we all die.

Have You Been To Build-A-Bear?

My kid's new passion -- a store called Build-A-Bear. The are in the malls and online. They have a very interesting business model. And talk about case studies in the experience economy. I'll write about it in detail later today.

World's Fittest Man

I think I saw the world's fittest man the other day at the gym. Honestly, I saw a really buff guy who must have been at least ... 50. I had to stop and stare. He looked like one of these guys -- say, Dan Elsberry, for instance.

No offense to you youngsters below the age of 50, but a guy that looks that good at that age is a way bigger turn-on than a guy that looks good in his 30's or whatever.

First of all, you know he's probably been through a few of lifes ups and downs and secondly, you know how damned hard it is to stay in shape at 50 as compared to any age below 35. If you're below that age, get ready to watch your metabolism grind to a halt around that critical point.

Anyway, my health club hosted the "World's Fittest Man" at their clubs in the DC area a few weeks back. I'd loved to have taken a peek at the guy, but I guess I'll just have to read his book.


Interesting piece in Wired about who the great connectors are. Are we surprised to find a few of our friends listed? Not very.

Mysteriously Fixed? Way To Go!

Wow! My Yahoo email interface is self-healing! All I had to do was blog about it, go to bed, get up early and it's changed!

The thing I complained about yesterday ... is fixed!

My message buttons now read:


I was playing with the SPAM button and it looks really useful. Wouldn't you know I've had very little spam to practice on within the last 24 hours, no URGENT business from Nigerian dignitaries, no lower mortgage rates, even my penis will have to be satisfied at its current length and width.

It's like having my own bug zapping light on the back porch of my inbox.

It's a great improvement for Yahoo email -- one small step for spam-haters, one giant step for Yahoo lovers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Fix One Thing, Break Another

Yahoo made a major user interface change to their email today.

The original line-up of buttons across each message read like this:


I might be wrong but I think that's what it used to look like.

Now it looks like this:


Anyway, the key I'm very used to hitting in order to REPLY -- that is, the 2nd key -- is now SPAM and that means it's easy to dump a message when you're trying to reply to it. A little dangerous.

Meanwhile, they did make it much harder to REPLY TO ALL accidentally, by making the REPLY To Everyone, a pull-down menu and nothing you can hit by accident.

Tom Peters In Boston Next Week

This will be a really excellent event. Can't wait to go.

Tom Peters speaking about his new book at BU.

Cool Babe

Wow, I totally forgot Annie Liebowitz was at Rolling Stone before doing all her great work for Vanity Fair. Here's the dish on the book -- swiped from Amazon:

As Rolling Stone’s chief photographer for over thirteen years, Leibovitz created a legendary body of work. Her portraits of some of the world’s most talented musicians capture more than the performer, they convey the art of making music. For AMERICAN MUSIC, Leibovitz traveled across the country to juke joints in the Mississippi Delta, honkytonks in Texas, and jazz clubs in New Orleans “to take pictures in places that mean something.” In her signature style, she shares stunning portraits of American greats -- B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Miles Davis, Etta James, Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, The Dixie Chicks, Dr. Dre, The Roots and many more.

AMERICAN MUSIC includes a commentary about the American Music project by Leibovitz, short essays by musicians Patti Smith, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Mos Def, Ryan Adams, and Beck as well as biographical sketches of all the musicians.

Yes, There's A Reason

The reason I don't have a coffee table is that I exercise in the living room in the front of the TV to different exercise tapes. I found I was spending a lot of time moving a coffee table in and out of place.

Also found the coffee table gets to be a mess very very fast and if you don't have one, you don't start piling up tons of magazines and newspapers and old coffee cups on it -- hence, no coffee table.

But I got rid of it long before that anyway. I got rid of it because it's a magnet to toddlers heads and especially was one to my toddler's head. He is no longer a toddler, but can still wham his head on anything and everything while he's horsing around.

Coffee Table

No, I don't have a coffee table.

American Musicians

I think it's interesting when so much is melting down in the music scene these days, Annie Liebowitz, the photographer, is doing a book on American Music. The Vanity Fair Cover is excellent. Remember when she does the American Bloggers picture to stand to the far right, so you end up on the far left, which is to say, you end up on the cover, not hidden away past the fold.

Perfect coffee table book for Christmas. Hell, it looks so good, I might even go out and buy a coffee table to go with it.

Hey Doc, Check Out The NYTimes Science Times Today

Doc -- there's a great piece in today's paper about geology, geography, rocks, volcanic eruptions -- stuff you love. Can't wait to see what you write about it. Bigger than Krakatoa -- now that rocks!

Are You Experienced?

Okay, who took my copy of The Experience Economy by James Gilmore and Joseph Pine. I need to write about it here and I wanted to quote from it and I can't find it in my bookcase. I must have loaned it to someone. Oh, heck!

Most Coveted Halloween Costume

Someone is about to make a boatload of money making the most popular Halloween costume of 2003.

If they had my weblog referrer log, they'd already know what it will be. I keep getting a lot of traffic off of this search:


I wrote a post about Steve Bartman, the Cubs fan who caught that fateful baseball. I also wrote a post last year about weird Halloween costumes I've worn. The two were not related.

But obviously a lot of folks want to go to parties dressed as Steve Bartman. Not sure what that will look like, but maybe it features a reversible hat with the Cubs logo on one side, Marlins logo on the other? Oh, yeah, and a hatchet planted on top of his head.

Well, Don't Tell A Guy You Don't Use An Aggregator

It's like telling him you've never heard of condoms. Makes them very eager to give you a demo.

Holy Smoke! I posted an admission the other day that I don't use an aggregator, since I just don't have time. WELL, boy did I hear from some folks about that. Werner set me up on one right away and now Greg's showing me another. One's Bloglines and one's NewsGator.

I think I'm really getting into it.

And little did I know, "don't have the time" is the WORST excuse for not using one, because they DO save so much time. Scoble will tell you all about it here.

Also, talk about biting the hand that feeds you! So many people tell me now that they read my stuff SOLELY because of finding me in their news aggregator.

Top 20 Definitions of Blogging

I'm sure you've all read this, right? NO?! Hey, read it.

And even if you have read it, read it again.

Debbie Weil has lots of good things to say over there at WordBiz Report.

About Ed Cone's Blog

I just told him this, so I can certainly tell you. I like his blog a lot and it was one of the best things about meeting up with him at The Hotel @ MIT hanging around the Friday before BloggerCon -- getting to know him AND his excellent blog.

Ill Wind Blows No Good

But a warm wind certainly does. We've finally had a Fed Ex delivery of all that warm western weather here in Boston and just in time. I was having one of those silk ski underwear moments this morning, in anticipation of going out to the bus stop. To wear or not to wear. Luckily, I didn't need it.

New Busdriver

We have a new busdriver who's really upbeat, really friendly and really nice. The last one was a cranky curmudgeon who was nothing but a complainer. I know everyone is thrilled he is gone.

A few months back someone gave me this book "How To Deal With Difficult People" since I was having a lot of trouble dealing with someone who was really difficult. At the end of the book my conclusion was not what the author intended -- they want you to finish the book armed with an arsenal of how to treat these monsters gingerly and go for a win-win solution. My reaction was "WHY BOTHER Dealing with Difficult People?" A book I should write.

About Blogs

Jeff Jarvis, per Instapundit, does have some excellent things to say about why weblogs rock.

The reason I liked what Markoff said and called his thoughts "Wise Words" below is because I agree with him that we all DO need to give it "5 or 10 years to see if any institutions emerge out of it. " None of us know where it's going. We're in the thick of it. Blogging may fall by the wayside and simply have been a delivery system for some other extremely important technologies.

Also his notion that "there may be some small subset of people who find a livelihood out of it" is spot on. The irony of ironies is that the people arguing most vociferiously with Markoff about his piece are precisely THAT SMALL SUBSET OF PEOPLE WHO WILL FIND A LIVELIHOOD OUT OF IT. Who are they trying to kid?

And you can't tell me there isn't some New York Times Envy going on here. I got the the distinct impression at BloggerCon that a certain "A List" blogger's wet dream is to be named King of the Blogs and sweep "The Grey Lady" off her feet.

Yeah, right, dream on.

I Couldn't Agree More -- How To Date A Goddess

Funny piece here from ... my favorite ... Men's Health Magazine. How to Date Out of Your League by Matt Fitzgerald. But you alpha males already knew all about this, right?

And listen ladies, they have a radical notion here that a man should talk to you like a human being, not some sex object ... amazing, eh? Good reading.

And Now This

This is a spam phrase from old time TV. Remember when they had announcers and they would segue to a commercial with that mysterious incantation "And Now This" which meant "here comes a dumb commercial you don't want to see." I even remember when commercials were an endless 60 seconds long, or a less onerous long-winded 30 seconds long. They had songs, they had jingles, they had testimonies from housewives.

And Now This ... my kid wants eggs and bacon for breakfast, so I've got to put my apron on, back later.

Bad For DeNiro --
Good For Prostates Everywhere

Bad news -- Robert DeNiro has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Good news -- this disease is about to get a lot more attention.

In case you wondered what US cities boast the highest and lowest prostate cancer rates, Men's Health Magazine's got the low-down on that. One's Honolulu and the other's Norfolk, Virginia, but I'm not saying which is which. Go check for yourself.

New York

I did spend some time in New York. I forget how much I love New York until I get back there. Lovely stroll around Gramercy Park. Nice visits on the Upper West Side. Filled up on the requistie minimum daily requirement of pastrami on seeded rye with deli brown mustard. Lovely food. Lovely people -- I can never get enough of watching the clothes, the crowds, the bustle of the town.

Had a walk the first day that took me through the garment district, past buttons and bustiers and piles of faux and not-so-faux furs. Racks of hangered, clear plastic bagged dresses flying down the streets, propelled by young hip hop guys, prom dresses headed for points unknown.

Kept marching a few blocks to find myself in the flower district, even more eye candy than the fashions. Autumn-colored mums, pink carnations and fuscia orchids lining the streets. Even a broken-down dirt digger, bright yellow like a daffodil, was fun to watch as the muddy construction workers tried to get it back into working order.

I played in Central Park as a tiny little girl. It's still there and from a high window looking out on that green felt desk blotter of a park, New York is a lovely desktop from which to plan a new life.

Time Off

Had to disappear for a bit. Thanks for a bunch of emails asking, "Hey what's up? Where'd you go?" Doesn't really matter WHERE I went, does it? Just matters that I'm back.

A Blonde, A Butler And Bad Brakes

The story out of London today about Princess Diana's letter to her butler, fearing someone was tampering with her car's brakes and wanting to get rid of her is just too good not to blog. Hope it's more fiction than fact. Check it out here.