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Mess With Texas 2003

This week I have to give a 45 minute presentation to some librarians in Texas.
This will require spending 50 hours traveling, staying in a hotel, wandering around until it's time to present, staying in the hotel some more and then more traveling.
The convention is in Houston.
The humidity in Houston is 93 degrees.
And it's Houston.

Upon my return I will need to work for 3 or 4 hours, after which I will return to my wonderfully freaky neighborhood where I will spend the evening with men in dresses and lots of makeup who will restore my faith in humanity.

All I can say is it's a damn good thing I'm coming home on Bingo night.

Posted on March 31, 2003 at 10:14 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (1)

Spring is in the air... 2003

This morning, in the Castro St. MUNI station, a clean-cut young man in a suit approached an even better looking (O how I love living in the Castro!) casually-dressed man and, quite charmingly, asked for assistance in tying a tie. With a smile and no hesitation, the cutie put the green bit of silk around his own neck, tied it smoothly and expertly, then loosened it enough to remove it over his head and pass it to the boy in the suit as they hurried onto the train. When last I saw them, they were each reading (or pretending to) and wearing the sweetest blushes you ever saw.

A moment later, a pleasant Asian man asked me the time, engaged me in conversation and asked me out for coffee. "No, thank you. I live with someone...but 10 out of 10 for boldness," I said as I got off the train.

Ah, Spring! And tomorrow's Saturday so I won't have to kiss the handsome man in my bed goodbye and rush out the door.

I do hope suitboy and his valeting cutie hook up. Someone needs to teach the sweet young thing not to wear white socks with a dark suit.

Posted on March 28, 2003 at 08:19 AM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sense of ease not found 2003

You know you're having one of those days (and that you're a web geek) when you look at the clock, see "4:04" and say, "Man, ain't that the truth."

Posted on March 26, 2003 at 04:11 PM in worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bite me, Sportbrain 2003

In the height of stupid dot-com wackiness, a company marketed a pedometer that could sync with a website and let you see not just how far you walked, but when and how intensely. You could graph it over time and it was a kind of cool tool, especially since you could share some of the data with a group of virtual exercise partners to keep you motivated.

However, the device could only talk to their website and thus, when they went belly-up, it became a useless lump of plastic. So I held onto it for a while and then realized a) it was unlikely it would ever be useful again and b) even if it was, I probably wouldn't use it. So I tossed it when I moved to San Francisco.

Suprisingly enough, Sportbrain appears to have risen from the grave and, in a new twist on flesh-eating zombie-dom, started sending piles of mail to all their old customers. Here's what I say to them


Your company coughed up blood and I threw away the stupid device I should never have bought anyhow. Thanks, though, for the lesson that single
function hardware that doesn't use open standards is a BAD investment.

Please take me off your list now that you're proving your business
viability by spamming anyone who's ever given you the time of day.



Posted on March 22, 2003 at 06:53 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (6)

Happy Discardia! 2003

Hooray! Discardia is upon us once more! Time to get rid of things you don't need, shed bad habits, let go of emotional baggage and generally lighten your load. You'll have lots of time as this Vernal Discardia runs through April 1st (a nice conjunction with St. Stupid's Day this time around).

Though my big celebration was actually last week when I abdicated pretty much all responsibility to do anything at all (and I must say that sitting around watching clouds go by is a very nice way to spend a day), I will continue to enjoy releasing myself from mental and physical clutter during the next week and a half.

Posted on March 20, 2003 at 11:07 AM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (1)

Increase Tentacle Length 3"!!! 2003

I hate that Lovecraftian spam.


Posted on March 18, 2003 at 06:00 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (1)

Is it what you do when you're all alone and can do whatever you want that defines you? 2003

[This post is a reaction to Kristin's wistful comments at the end of SXSW]
I have similar feelings at SXSW too. It's the height of my feeling connected to this great community of people and also when I feel most alone and foolish. I guess that's because I like the people so much I worry more about them liking me, maybe? Anyhow, I am sorry I missed the fun this year, but it was good to stay home. I was a very different Dinah than I expected to be this last week and I'm still sorting that out - not web geek project grrrl or walk all over the city woman, but reading sleeping daydreaming movie watching mostly by myself Dinah. Reminds me of who I was as a teen; an only child sitting up in her room listening to music and gazing out windows. Perfectly happy except for that nagging sensation that I was somehow supposed to be doing something different.

Now it's the last day of my vacation (*sigh*) and a beautiful afternoon. I'm watching clouds go by and listening to music. Dreamy and indolent. That voice in my head says I should seize these hours and run around and DO SOMETHING, but I think it's full of it. Tomorrow I will be back at work in the middle of the usual frenzy, putting out whatever the fire du jour is. Time enough for hustle then. Now the sun is shining, the trees are blowing in the wind and I don't have to do a thing...

Posted on March 16, 2003 at 01:51 PM in worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (2)

You know what I really want? 2003

I wanna hear The Donnas cover "Cashmere" by Nerf Herder (from the album American Cheese).

You go to school, you do the homework
Extra credit - But you still feel like a jerk
Second captain of the debating club
You've got the GPA, but where is the dirty love?
It's not right
You're by yourself on a Friday night
Lost and alone
You gotta bark if you want the bone

Put your hands on my cashmere sweater
My cashmere sweater
Put your hands on my cashmere sweater
Don't it make you feel better?

Posted on March 10, 2003 at 11:01 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Qualities of my ideal home 2003

Here are some that make a home better (in my idiosyncratic opinion):
- a close connection between the kitchen and hanging out spaces (a.k.a. the living room)
- a kitchen big enough to cook a large meal with many ingredients
- views of greenery
- a desk area for my computer with storage for lots of different kinds of papers in or around it
- some project space which I can take over for a couple days now and then, including space for messy projects
- storage space for projects I haven't done yet
- a warm, well-lit but not too sunny spot for Luxury, my big leather chair & ottoman
- a substantial closet (depth more important than width)
- a washer/dryer
- texture/character/detail (not just a 70s stucco box)
- alcoves
- a window seat
- natural wood
- a pantry
- separation between the spaces used for dressing, grooming, and bathing for pleasure.

When I lived in the little house on the western outskirts of San Jose with Keoni & B.J. after we came back from Hawaii, the things I liked best about that place were gardening, cooking at the gas stove, the interesting kitchen details, the view from the sink, all the different ways to get through the house and that it had lots of light.

In my first place that was completely my own, my 400 square foot studio in Sunnyvale, I liked having comfortable places to lounge (in Luxury, on the bed), all my music handy (since I had the vinyl out of storage there), a style of my own including my collection of artwork on display, a good soaking tub and that glorious huge walk-in closet.
Damn, I miss that closet.

The huge attic apartment Joe and I shared in San Jose near the light rail line, had lots of good qualities too including a good tub for soaking (long baths got me through grad school), space for projects, a great big kitchen with lot of counterspace, a washer/dryer in the apartment, and interesting non-boxy architecture with great climbing spaces for our cats.

The townhome Edmond and I shared in Mountain View was notable for being one of the largest places I've lived since moving out of the house I grew up in. We had a big separate rooms for computer and non-computer leisure, workshop space, a dishwasher, a big freezer, a good soaking tub, and a washer/dryer. Plus it was just a nice, clean, pleasant place to have people over. The colors were generally soothing and muted. Also Edmond's techical skills meant we had a well-organized computing environment and a kickass MP3 jukebox. It was a good place and I know we both look back on it fondly.

Now I live in a new place in San Francisco, my favorite place in the world, in the Castro, the part of the city where I feel most at home. It's a beautiful, distinctive, slightly quirky space with gentle white walls and lovely hardwood floors. The play of light through the day is heavenly. The kitchen is very efficient for its size and I have a gas stove (which is really an essential now as I've become even more of a cook). The view out the windows onto the tops of trees or over to the cliffs leading to the park is great and we hear birdsong frequently. There's still a lot of settling in to do (I don't have a desk and we need to get a plumber to look at why the bathtub takes all day to drain) and there's no washer/dryer, but as I look to one side to see the fog rolling over the hill obscuring and then revealing the Sutro Tower and to the other to see the sun shining over the bay, I know I can make do with a few inconveniences.

Posted on March 10, 2003 at 04:48 PM in Dinah - preferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ain't this the life? 2003

Ah, Sunday night when you don't have to go to work for a week is fine time. I'm listening to rowdy music and drinking some high octane dessert wine. Now for a little chocolate to complete the picture...

Posted on March 9, 2003 at 08:03 PM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (1)

Happy, Healthy, same thing. 2003

Adam, who reads this site and who I don't know from a (glory) hole in the wall, but who is assumed not to be a hole in the wall based on his ability to type, wrote me a note, which almost got weeded out by my spam filters, requesting an image of the afore-mentioned penis in a trenchcoat.

I'll go one better: a whole website including all the ad campaigns, not just the Dick Tracy one.

By the way, it turns out to be "Healthy Penis", rather than "Happy Penis". It's so hard to remember their cute little names...

(Maybe this weekend I'll get the time to take a picture of the graffiti too).

Posted on March 6, 2003 at 08:34 PM in sex | Permalink | Comments (1)

Citizens of Earth: 2003

I encourage you to sign this petition urging the United Nations Security Council to support tough inspections, not war in Iraq.

Inspections can work. War will not improve things there or here.

Posted on March 5, 2003 at 09:01 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (5)

Department of Redundancy Dept. 2003

In the subway stations of San Francisco there is an ad campaign running to promote awareness about syphilis (which has not raised my awareness enough to be sure I'm spelling it right). The, er, spokesman for the campaign is Happy Penis, an erect cartoon dick in a trenchcoat.

Tonight I noticed that the poster on the platform at Castro Street station has new graffiti. Someone drew a penis and testicles at the midpoint of the front of the aforementioned trenchcoat.

Posted on March 5, 2003 at 08:45 PM in sex | Permalink | Comments (1)

You Know You Live In The Castro When... 2003

... someone walks by on the sidewalk below your windows and a deep male voice floats up singing "Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today...Madam..."

Posted on March 2, 2003 at 05:45 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Our Government Works 2003

The British newspaper, The Observer, has a very interesting story today "Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war" which describes the efforts by the present administration to spy on members of the United Nations Security Council through monitoring their supposedly private conversations in email and on the telephone. The full text of the memo providing these instructions is also available. I encourage you to read both. I found this particularly interesting:

The memo is directed at senior NSA officials and advises them that the agency is 'mounting a surge' aimed at gleaning information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also 'policies', 'negotiating positions', 'alliances' and 'dependencies' - the 'whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises'.

Dated 31 January 2003, the memo was circulated four days after the UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix produced his interim report on Iraqi compliance with UN resolution 1441.

It was sent by Frank Koza, chief of staff in the 'Regional Targets' section of the NSA, which spies on countries that are viewed as strategically important for United States interests.

Koza specifies that the information will be used for the US's 'QRC' - Quick Response Capability - 'against' the key delegations.

Suggesting the levels of surveillance of both the office and home phones of UN delegation members, Koza also asks regional managers to make sure that their staff also 'pay attention to existing non-UN Security Council Member UN-related and domestic comms [office and home telephones] for anything useful related to Security Council deliberations'.

Koza also addresses himself to the foreign agency, saying: 'We'd appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar more indirect access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines [ie, intelligence sources].' Koza makes clear it is an informal request at this juncture, but adds: 'I suspect that you'll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels.'

The business language is unsettling. I can't say I find hearing intelligence sources referred to as "product lines" at all comfortable. Then again, it does make more explicit the fact that political and historical truth is something which is produced rather than found.

Posted on March 2, 2003 at 03:40 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cheese of the Day 2003

Tonight's cheese is some kick-ass Montasio from Artisan Cheese. We had it on pizza baked on the new pizza stone. Mmm, really good pizza. Oops, too much cheese and it's time to sand the cheese residue off the new pizza stone. Oh well. It's worth it.

Posted on March 1, 2003 at 08:15 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1)

IA gang sign 2003


[Information Architecture gang sign shared on Flickr on March 11, 2004.

Riddle commented a year later saying: "I didn't see anybody flashing gang signs at the IA Summit this year. Very disappointing. Although I think I did see a Flickr shot of someone who localized it to 'AI' for Montreal..."]

Posted on March 1, 2003 at 04:20 PM in web design & documentation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Uh-oh. 2003

Is it just me or are you a bit unnerved by this Rite Aid Pharmacy slogan?

With us, it's personal.
And I'm supposed to buy medication from these guys?

Posted on March 1, 2003 at 04:10 PM in random synaptic firing | Permalink | Comments (3)

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