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Monthly Archives: January 2009

How to Successfully Fail at Portal
sometimes you have to interpret the message yourself

HINT: watch it with your eyes closed

Now THAT is what I call a frying pan! It says “OLD MOUNTAIN” on the bottom, along with a lovely scene of a few mountains and fir trees. It weights 8.5lbs [I just weighed it]. And you have to wear oven mitts ’cause the handle gets VERY VERY hot.

It needs to be seasoned occasionally – which means bacon occasionally. TIP: For cooking bacon, you can’t beat a cast-iron skillet. Set your oven to 350 degrees F, lay the bacon strips in the skillet, and place it on the middle rack. It doesn’t spatter nearly as much as you think it would.

I made some corn muffins once in non-stick tins, and when I pulled them out after they cooled, about 30% of the the non-stick surface came right off attached to the muffins. It was one of the grossest things. I wonder if they make cast-iron muffin tins… maybe I’ll go google it.

My Palm IIIe still works fine.
Love the stylus and “Graffiti” – bought it and still use it for that reason.

I’m tactile. I enjoy the sensation of using written hand-motion [as opposed to keyboard-entry] to enter a “todo-list item”, be it on a piece of paper or an intelligent touch-screen. I find that I use my left and right hands almost equally to pick up my Palm, tap to the list I want, and create a “written” item or note.

The rational side of my brain is telling me that one of these days either the laptop or the PDA will cease to function – so I’d better upgrade soon. The other rational side of my brain is saying “why upgrade just for the sake of upgrading”.

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How people choose to represent themselves when given the freedom to be anonymous has always fascinated me. With social networking sites and comment-as-you-watch interactions becoming more and more popular, it stands to reason that more and more people are coming “online” to see what all the fuss is about.

Ah. But first you need to create an identity. An electronic you.

Who ARE you going to be? When it asks for your NAME, are you going to be “alice_smith” or “ilovebaking”? Will your email be one you typically use, or are you now “” ?

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really – like “tim o’reilly” wants to hear me babble about fractals in the middle of
Thinking About Wendell Berry’s “In Distrust of Movements”.

what was i thinking?

oh yeah – i was thinking that Wendell Berry’s writings reminded me that while our processing and data-mining capabilities keep growing exponentially, the socio-economic issues we seem to love to model don’t seem to change much.

i was also thinking about fractals… and that we need to recycle our ideas as well as our garbage… and that we live in a virtual world every bit as much as we live in a physical world…
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While I was typing this on one of my hello pages…

i wasn’t sure initially if i really wanted to set up a “blogspot” – it’s kind of like getting a dog. sure. it’s all cute and cuddly when it’s a puppy – but what about when it wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to be posted? what if your life changes again and you get too busy to take it out for a nightly update?

… it really made me miss my dog. and i keep seeing videos of dogs …

her name was lucy … she was a black lab …
… the older she got, the more her poor old hips bothered her …

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Do you think that social networking sites ARE psychotically non-linear ?

In a previous twitter comment, I said:

we used to think of “web-page-surfing” as “non-linear” linking – twits and other soc-media are “psychotically-non-linear”

Really. Think about it. Have you ever had anyone ask you how you ended up following them, and you had no idea? Seriously… Read More »

How often do mistakes spark creativity?

Did you ever play that game where one person starts by whispering a phrase into someone’s ear, and the phrase is passed by whispering it from one person to the next – and it is very funny to see how the phrase gets distorted by the time it reaches the last person in line?

Well, I just had a similar visual experience. I was browsing online at, and I read a headline out of the corner of my eye. It said…

“Satellites unearthed in ancient Egyptian ruins”

If course, it didn’t REALLY say that. It said “Satellites unearthing ancient Egyptian ruins”. But for a split second, my mind raced through a myriad of images and thoughts [some could have made a good prequel to AVP – others a sinister conspiracy theory].

The fact-checker part of my brain forced my eyeballs to re-read the headline. I was mistaken in what I had thought I read. And less than 3 seconds later I was back to what I was doing. If I was an author or a script-writer I would have been scribbling notes to myself. I’m not, so I didn’t [there are lots of things I DO scribble on napkins, though].

Was it a “spark of creativity”?

if you want to go down that path …
… it was … a new, sensual thought experience …

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