Monday, August 30, 2004

Narrow Field of View


Source: Yahoo/AP/Greg Bull

Will someone please remind the major web media outlets that a truly epic protest is currently underway in New York? Protest coverage seems unduly relegated to the below-the-fold regions of the web's major news sites.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Sauntering is 1 Year Old

This week is Sauntering’s one year anniversary, and I’ll take this opportunity to share a couple thoughts on what I feel like I’ve learned during this great year:


  • On Writing

    Although regular writing’s therapeutic qualities came as no surprise, I’ve been surprised how quickly my attention has solidified around core topics, politics especially.

    Even though Sauntering’s daily audience rarely reaches double digits, the idea of audience nicely counterbalances the occasionally caustic quality of my unfettered opinion. In my cocktail party discourse, I’ve often closed ears by overstating my case – I hope that exercising some restraint in the written word enables me to similarly temper my real world dialogue.


  • On Visitors: Mark Saul

    Starting mid-January, I signed up for Site Meter – a website usage tracker that keeps general track of what people are looking at on Sauntering and occasionally what they’re searching for when they arrive at Sauntering. (BTW, I don’t password-protect these stats, so you’re welcome to check them out as well by click on the Site Meter icon in the right column or clicking here.)

    By far, the most frequently searched item I’ve ever blogged was my brief comment on September 23, 2003 regarding media coverage of the untimely death of venture capitalist Mark Saul. At the time, I was distressed by how his shocking end was covered in VentureWire, coverage that I considered gossipy at best and mean-spirited at worst. Since September, at least once a week someone has arrived at my website after searching for Mark Saul Sofitel (where he died), Mark Saul Obituary, or some such term.

    I don’t know why people search for Mark in this way, but I’ve imagined why.

    Back in January 2003, my wife’s great-uncle suddenly passed away. As he had recently become an aficionado of all things computer, I googled him to see if his writing or thoughts were online anywhere. I smiled when I saw him asking a few introductory questions on some decidedly techie Linux/BSD bulletin boards. I felt this last image of Uncle Dave was a fitting online remembrance of him – a man excited to learn new things well into life’s twilight.

    I think people google Mark for the same reason. To the extent that any of us has a real world identity out there online – an identity someone can google – each of us might imagine that this identity will be frozen when we die. I feel like those people looking for Mark look for this last image. Sadly, today’s web promises no lasting chronicle of any of our lives – a sad fact that only Brewster Kahle seems interested in remedying. Newspaper web pages come and go, disk space is recycled, the web has no memory. (How about diverting some of the Library of Congress’s budget to Archive.org so that we can chronicle the web even as it changes before our eyes?)

    I hope that those who care deeply for Mark draw some comfort from knowing that people still think about Mark and that people still ask (via search) about Mark.


  • On Visitors: The Self-Google

    On a lighter note, I’m amused by how much people Google themselves.

    From time-to-time, I mention people’s full names: a photographer’s credit here, an article writer’s name there. Since I almost never mention the same name twice, these references are effectively buried in the search results for these people’s names, appearing on page 30, etc.

    Since would-be searchers are still clicking through on these hard-to-find links, I’ve determined that either these searchers are performing a CIA-level background check on these once-mentioned minor celebrities... or that the minor celebrities themselves are undertaking a bit of a self-investigation, clicking on any link that bears their moniker.


  • In Closing…

    All in all, it’s been a joy.

    In the last year, I’ve convinced a handful of my friends to become bloggers, and they seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Although a few people have indicted this style of writing as nothing more than a daily vanity, I encourage you to consider regular writing.

    From one vantage, the case can be made that regular writing makes you a better writer, even if the only feedback comes from your internal critic. From another vantage, regular writing lets you get those thoughts out there, to see if you think what you think you think and to leave evidence to your family and friends that you’re alive and thinking.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fake Subway Map for RNC attendees

Ted Rall's much-syndicated column NYC TO GOP: DROP DEAD suggests that some protesters will be handing out altered NYC subway and street maps to add to RNC confusion.

I couldn't find any maps online altered for specifically this purpose, but I found a map designed by a subway enthusiast that will work just fine for so-inclined protesters.

Click on a map for a flyer-sized, printable version

The Real Thing: The Proud NYC Subway

Source: New York City Transit

The Ideal Thing: A special map for RNC delegates

Source: TransitGallery.com [...and Michael Calgano, by extension]

Since the T & 8 don't exist at all, I'd guide RNC members to those lines. Otherwise, a great number of the depicted stops are fictitious. Simply telling them to take the subway to Staten Island (where no subways run) would be fun.

Get out there and enjoy a little civil disobedience.

Borderline Pronunciation

Last weekend, I was in Mexico for about 3 hours.

Normally, a quick trip south-of-the-border with a rowdy bachelor party produces very little material that is both blog-worthy and blog-appropriate; however, consider this:

Based on how Gringos pronounce the city's name, I was surprised to learn that the city of 1.2 million souls just south of San Diego is Tijuana and not Tiajuana.

Just try and say it without sticking a little "a" in there. Funny, huh?

Monday, August 16, 2004

NBA Champs Should Be US Olympians

I like ESPN Motion's suggestion today that the And1 Streetball Team should represent the US at future Olympics.

As basketball becomes the world's second game, we should consider resigning ourselves to our inevitable international fate -- that we just aren't going to win every Olympic basketball gold. US streetballers could serve as much-needed US goodwill ambassadors, showing how basketball antics, athletics, and acrobatics can happily comingle into a non-violent version of Capoeria, the Brazilian fighting art/dance. So what if we wouldn't win? Dream Team IV is evidence enough that we're not going to automatically win just by showing up with a roster of superstars.

As much as I like the idea of sending Streetballers, some people are still going to go for the gold. Well, there is a relatively simple way to accomplish this. I'll just parrot what Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons said last week: If we wanted to win, we should have sent the Pistons.

The winning side in baseball's All-Star game gets homefield advantage for the World Series. Let's up the ante in the basketball finals by letting the NBA champs represent the US. Absentee players and Darko Milicic's can be replaced with other domestic All-Stars, but you'd want to keep the Piston's core intact.

I understand that if the Sacramento Kings or Dallas Mavericks (or Toronto Raptors, potentially) had won this plan would not be pulled off easily. If one of those teams won the NBA title, our Olympic team would look a lot like it does now -- a hodge-podge of middle marquee NBA names.

Since basketball success is so closely tied to team cohesion, such an option should have been the last resort anyway.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Don't Spend 30 Seconds...

...reading what I think about the election, President Bush and America's place in the world.

Spend 15 minutes reading what Norman Mailer thinks about it.

Sinister Dexter @ CD Baby

Dexterity is now for sale at CD Baby, for a little cheaper than it's available at Amazon.com.

If you'd like to try before you buy, at CD Baby you can listen to samples of each song before you buy.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Up Sign Down

The public works people in Manhattan are really busy.

That's still no excuse to hang Walk/Don't Walk signs upside down.

Sinister Dexter @ Amazon.com

My band's new album, Dexterity, is now for sale at Amazon.com.

Why buy just one?