Still alive. 2005
Yes, yes, I've been really quiet, but things are fine. I'm just spending long intense days on the computer at work and not been inclined to pick it up again at home. It'll be better in a week after I get through all my big presentations.
How are you? What's going on in your world? Or, if you want a less far-reaching question, what's the last delicious thing you ate?
Happiness and busy-ness.
Kickass wonderful hamachi at Osaka Sushi on Castro Street near 18th.
Recipe: sopa de zanahoria y horchata 2005
Melt the butter over medium heat in a big saucepan.
Add shallots and let cook for half a minute or so.
Add the carrots.
Cook, stirring frequently.
When more than half the carrots show browning from the butter, add broth.
Cover and cook 5 minutes.
Stir, cover, cook 5 more minutes.
Stir, cover, cook 5 more minutes.
Puree with hand mixer (or food processor or blender, but the Braun MultiQuick is the easiest to clean).
Heat up again if necessary and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
This is a sweet soup and could probably be very nicely garnished with garlic croutons. Note that though it tastes sweet and rich and decadent, it's actually quite low calorie.
It was only after I was writing this post that I realized the maker of the broth I used and of Rice Dream are the same company. Hey, Imagine! Keep making this horchata - it rocks!
(Thanks go out to the ever wonderful Jane for translation assistance).
Bathroom trash after the part-time girl dropped by on our way out 2005
Forgot to write about this last year and just got reminded of it:
On my way back from SXSW 2004 I was doing the crossword puzzle on the plane. Among the clues:
Unravel, as a rope
The answers being my name and the storytelling event at which I'd just performed my "Schwag Queen" duties.
One morning the BART train had a problem 2005
At Civic Center I stepped up into left side of the normally level with the platform train. Didn't think anything of it until we got to West Oakland when there was a terrible juddering sensation and the smell of burning plastic.
Because the car was riding askew, the rail by the door hit the platform edge and scraped the plastic edging.
Note how low the door is
Back to rights
See the scraped paint? And note how the railing is not actually pulled free? It bent a little bit.
Within 10 minutes of us piling out onto the West Oakland platform, they had fired some little shock absorber jet things under the car and leveled it out.
A normal car for comparison
New essay up on Discardia: Internal Clutter
Bloggers Without Borders, lessons learned 2005
Those of you who visited Bloggers without Borders back in December and January who have visited it in the last month or so have no doubt noticed a change; it got real quiet. This is not because Sean, Jonas and I suddenly decided it was a bad idea. It's just that it was Sean, Jonas and I doing most everything when it was hopping and we are some of the worst people you could choose for a site to depend on our full attention. We are just too busy to give it all it deserves.
Here are the lessons I've learned in taking on a major project like this:
1. You need at least one person who can devote at least 20 hours a week to it, week after week.
2. You need more than one person who knows how to make all the backend technical stuff work.
3. You need to make time for a weekly meeting - in person, chat session, on the phone, whatever - between the key people on the site where you talk about not the project of the moment or crisis du jour, but about where you're going with the site, whether you're meeting your goals (or if they've changed), and what needs to happen in the next week.
4. You need to keep a list of stuff that needs doing and the kind of person who could do it AND who can supervise the project. This will allow you to put interested volunteers to work so you can both find out if they are a good fit for the project. If they work out well, then give them more from the list or let them evolve to a more responsible position.
5. Each of the key people should have two more lists: "Things I'd like to be able to delegate" and "Things I'd like to be able to spend more time on". This feeds into making good use of those more responsible & involved people when they come along and provides a safety valve to keep your key people from burning out.
6. You should also keep a big list of finite tasks which you can give to those people who don't have much time but do have major skill or clout. Find a way to make use of them instead of having an "all or nothing" approach to involvement.
Why are half my points lists? Yes, okay, I do like lists, but it's not just that; key people will get busy and need to drop out. They get new projects, have babies, change jobs, fall in love, get sick, or just plain need time off. It's important to get ideas out of their heads and into the group's knowledge before they fade out of the project.
Does all this mean that Bloggers without Borders will stay quiet? Not necessarily. Does it mean I may not be very involved in the next few months? Yeah, probably. Does it mean you shouldn't take on your big wild idea? Hell no. If nothing else we promoted the idea, tested the technology and, incidently, raised a pile of money for tsunami relief. I'm mighty happy about all that.
I am not a journalist, I'm a writer. 2005
"Folks, journalism is a craft. It takes a lot of time to learn to do well. There are rules, written and unwritten, that are applied. Laws that matter. Experience that you have to earn. Journalism - good journalism - is really, really hard.
Blogging, like you're reading now, is not hard. It's not supposed to be. A lot of people have worked very hard to make blogging as easy as typing a thought and hitting a button. That's the beauty of blogging - anyone can do it, about anything.
So again I say: Please, for the love of all that's good and holy, do NOT turn bloggers into journalists!"
Derek Powazek, Bloggers Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Journalists