Confession Category Archive

Time for a change

This weblog ends here, now.
A new one will carry on. It will step in, fill the old one's shadow.
See you on the other side.

*right now*

The age of the information one has access to, and the age of one's assimilation of it.

The present, is a separatrix between the past and the future: the line that exists only as the point where memories and dreams meet.

But memories do not exist; you cannot touch or see or smell or hear or taste a memory. It is purely information stored and archived.
And neither do dreams; they are conjectures, vectors drawn out on the anchor points of memories.

The only thing that exists, is the present. You and I and everyone,
exist right here,
exist *right now*

But most of us live in the past.
Most of us live in a world made up only of what we recognize; what we see in our memories.

Memories reside not only in our individual minds, but also in our collective minds.
Memories reside in words, in images, in songs, in movements and actions.
They manifest themselves in the comings and goings of societies, in their cultures and customs, in their policies and politics.

When we share memories, we spread information; we create a culture, a common view of the world.

And it takes time for memories to spread. Time from the moment a memory is created to the moment it is widely accepted as ... a reality.

Most of us live in the past. And there is no future.

There is only *right now*

And the closer you keep an eye on *right now*
and the more memories you have and understand,
the quicker you realize what's happening.

*Right now*

A cruel trick

(written December 19th, 2006. Forgot to publish until December 31st, 2007)

My thoughts as I ride a taxi out of Delhi towards the domestic airport on my way to Bangalore, turn to the chaos, the disorder, the disarray, disrepair, destitute and abject poverty evident everywhere I looked in this city.

The saying is that "time is money", but this is a cruel trick; a slight of hand to keep one from seeing that when one has no money, time means little. Yes, even the poorest strive every moment for any rupee they can get, but it is out of purest survival and not the for the maintenance of the many layers of abstractions many of us, in the so-called "civilized" west, live in, removed from that most frightening point--the point where survival runs out.

I came here with an enormous sense of anxiety, the source of which I was not entirely clear on. I knew it was not work related, and though I thought I could chalk it up to apprehension towards the unknown elements of my travel plans, I knew it couldn't be that. I work well in adversity, I can flow with the moment.

"Please sir, two rupees," she said as she weakly presented some daily newspaper to me and mimed putting food in her mouth. Her eyes were dull. Almost dead. She was under ten years of age and perched here on the side of an overcrowded roadway, peddling whatever she could for survival.

I, on the other side of the open window, was in a taxi that was going to cost me 350 rupees. I rather not even think for one second how many rupees I just credited the last 3 nights in a 5 star hotel to without going flush, with a weight in my chest.

The taxi began to move again, but I was paralyzed.

(I have no illusions of the many faces of this coin: a few moments later, at the next intersection, two children came and begged and after another tortuous refusal, they both cracked huge mischievous smiles, the younger boy smacking me on the knee as they ran away laughing... It was not malicious, and I am not callous or over sympathetic; I laughed then too.)

The anxiety I had been feeling came from weeks of preparation for this horrible moment. Weeks of dulling my emotions, killing my heart and steeling up for the moment when another sentient human being came to me and asked for help that I could so ... SO easily and fluidly provide... and have to refuse.

Why refuse? I don't know. But the shock is tremendous.

As I pondered this, a scooter zipped by with the following admonition advertised on it's spare wheel cover:

"If your neighbor is suffering injustice and you can sleep, then just wait your turn."

2007 in quick review

Started the year in Tokyo, after having travelled from Delhi, Bangalore, Singapore and Bangkok.
Ended it in Tokyo, after travelling to London and Paris.

Spent a week in Hong Kong setting up a blogging platform for the HKU Journalism department (JMSC)

Got offered a job in Hong Kong as Interaction Designer. Failed to follow up.

Consulted The Japan Times, informally, on matters of business models for journalism.

Consulted Reuters, for GlobalVoices, on web technologies and interaction therewith.

Launched a full redesign/restructure of

Launched the Global Voices "Lingua" translation project.

Started, produced and hosted Pecha Kucha Montreal, 3 times by year's end.

Visited Tokyo, twice.
Visited Paris, France, twice.
Visited London, England, twice.
Visited New York City, once (and stayed in a former Greatful Dead's apartment on the border of ChinaTwon and Little Italy)

I travelled to far away places, mostly to see people who are important to me.

Joined as Lead Web UI Designer
(or something like that... titles, pshaw!)
Moved to London, UK for 6 weeks to work on

Biked, a lot.
Drove, a lot less.

Ate a lot of fruits and veggies.
Ate a lot less meats and dairy.

Met a lot of truly great people,
and made a lot of new friends.
Lost a few too, I always do,
and met a few wankers as well.

I loved, was loved, and lost. I am loved, and love, once more.
Let us not dare to hope, lest we lose again.

I had one thousand conversations that had deep impacts on me; I can only hope some of those had an impact on you too.

Thanks to all of you, one way or another.
Without you I am no one, no where.

Right then...

That was a tad dramatic, wasn't it.
Where was I...


Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) - Wild World

Now that I've lost everything to you
You say you wanna start something new
And it's breakin' my heart you're leavin'
Baby, I'm grievin'
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there

Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
I'll always remember you like a child, girl

You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do
And it's breakin' my heart in two
Because I never wanna see you a sad girl
Don't be a bad girl
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware

Baby, I love you
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware

This song, and sadly Leo Sayer's "More than I can say" are etched permanently in my skull thanks to my first WalkMan and a Caribbean cruise I was stuck on at the age 6. :p


don't think; just start.

This post started while thinking about "who do I look to as role models", which is a whole other post.

I'm pretty much an exact 50/50 blend of my father and my mother, in every respect, including temperament. My father was patient, thoughtful and cautious. Too much so. My mother was fast, impetuous, nimble. Also too much.

All my life I've battled these two (oh and so many others!) dichotomies in my demeanor. "I have infinite patience" I've heard myself say over and over.

Except when I am driving.
Except when I am barreling down a hill on a snowboard.
Except when I am in line for the cashier.
Except when that girl winks at me.
Except when I know exactly what I want and how to get it.


It's a lie. I've been using patience as an excuse, a stopgap, time-maker while I figure it out, while I think about it too much and convince myself out of whatever it was and miss the chance.

"A man with too much patience is a man who is unsure of what he wants."
That's the nice, thoughtful way of saying "Patience is for the insecure."

No I'm not going to turn into a "brute of action". I of course still appreciate the value of thinking it over, sleeping on it... but within reason. And I am now secure enough in my own vision and wisdom to lower the threshold of what I need to feel certain, my Required Certainty Percentage, some. Maybe even drastically.


Humanity is unsustainable; designed for extinction.
The only sustainable solution is the eradication of the most developed (overdeveloped?) societies of humans on this planet. Yes, that means you and me.

Since we will not make that decision and take that action, nature will do it for us.

ying yang

So, what do we do?



I just sent an empty text message ("SMS") to someone.

It happened because I was thinking the message as I went though the process of creating new message, adding contact...

and send. woops.

désolé Izo.

A place or a feeling?

Bruno throwing snowballs at me and Ty
Originally uploaded by Shawna Nelles.

Last night at Laïka, I had a brief conversation with Michael, founder of Ile Sans Fil and good friend, about various things, including how places are not just geographic coordinates or a point on a map or an intersection of two streets or a corner of a neighborhood: they are communities, shared experiences, stories (as Matt Jones said somewhere sometime somehow I don't remember).

One example of this is how the Flickr isflaika tag, which get aggregated into Laïka's ISF portal login screen slowly morphed from showing cups of coffee and glasses of beer, to people hanging out, to pictures of the staff... then increasingly to pictures related to the community of Laïka (former staff member on the beach in Thailand, me in Shinjuku, one of the regular DJs, Vincent Lemieux, playing in Tokyo, etc...)

This picture is of Bruno, the big boss, caught in his afternoon fun today of throwing snowballs at neighborhood regulars as they came by. The photo was snapped by Shawna, whom I met one evening at Laïka and who is now one of The Officemates.

I know where that corner is: it's in me heart.

No way

Tomorrow at 3pm I am meeting someone who was instrumental in introducing the Shibuya Kei style of music to North America in the 1990's. If it hadn't been for this, I would never have heard of Pizzicato 5 and my journey of discovery of Japanese culture would ... well not have started there. Which it sorta did.

Cornelius, Joi's second cousin, was/is a major figure in Shibuya Kei, and one of my favorite musicians ever.

Tomorrow night, 2 Many DJs, a.k.a. SoulWax are starting a two night stand at Womb in Shibuya. One of my very first comments on Joi's blog, and thus contact with him, and, oddly, seminally, Adam Greenfield, whom I handed a CD with 700megs of mashups to at SxSW that year, was about... 2 Many DJs.

The mind reels, as the story unfolds.

Oh and Saturday, the guy who used to run the record shop which is now occupied by the geek room at Laïka, plays at Yellow. Contexts collapsing galore.


Aaron is homesick too

Me too, oh man, me too.
(Today was such a total clusterfuck, I'm crying listing to this.)

So out of shape

nike ipod run 2
(sorry about posting these... having fun ;)
And the course I ran, mapped on GMap Pedometer.

run 2 pedometer map
(Funny how mapping a jog like that brings the enormity of Tokyo down to a personal, human scale. If my lungs held out, I could easily run to Shibuya, Shimokitazawa, Naka Meguro, Shirokanedai...)

this is the time on sprockets vere ve ... pump yoo ahp

2st run, Jiyugaoka

After Jan called me a weakling in that heavy german accent that could only remind me of Hans und Franz ("you are litta giwly maan! we are gonna pump j00 up!"), because I said it was too cold to run for me, my lungs start to hurt yada yada... my pride took over, grabbed my inner geek and forced me to get this stupid Nike+iPod gadget to work.

So I stuck the sensor under my insoles and went out. The thing finally worked (it didn't when i first got it and yes I lugged it with me out here).

So above is my quick run. 1.07km in 7 minutes and 8 seconds.

My lungs are on fire and I think I need to lie down. Girly man in-deed. ;)

Oh, right, the reason I humiliate myself so here with this is: look at the graph above. It maps directly to my coming across intersections where I had to slow down, as well as the hilly terrain around here. Oh and I sprinted the last 100 meters. My legs were getting cold. :p

Oh and here's the XML data the iPod created for my run:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
		<distance unit="km">
			1.07 km
			6:36 min/km
			<title><![CDATA[(don't) give hate a chance (st]]></title> 
<![CDATA[(don't) give hate a chance CDM]]>
	<goal type="" value="" unit="">
	<snapShotList snapShotType="userClick">
		<snapShot event="pause">
		<snapShot event="resume">
		<snapShot event="onDemandVP">
		<snapShot event="stop">
	<snapShotList snapShotType="kmSplit">
		<extendedData dataType="distance" intervalType="time" intervalUnit="s" intervalValue="10">
			0.0, 0.0111, 0.0264, 0.0476, 0.0851, 0.1209, 0.1562, 0.1918, 0.2254, 0.2626, 0.2816, 0.2964, 0.3129, 0.3294, 0.3456, 0.3616, 0.3765, 0.393, 0.423, 0.4596, 0.4955, 0.5296, 0.5631, 0.596, 0.6101, 0.6277, 0.6424, 0.6582, 0.674, 0.6927, 0.7293, 0.7657, 0.7944, 0.8285, 0.8453, 0.8612, 0.8755, 0.8914, 0.9215, 0.9592, 0.9983, 1.0298, 1.0483

"I should blog that"

I think it was sometime in 2002... I hadn't even started this weblog yet, in fact that stuff to me was still just personal websites. (that's all it still is to me, really)

On a lark one Sunday afternoon I remembered to search Google for the lyrics to a song I had heard too many times in my life without ever really getting what was said: "La grange" by ZZ-Top.

I found the lyrics (snore, it was a particularly lazy sunday), but also, I found the homepage of someone who later became my best friend. :)

(I can pinpoint the exact moment I realized, maybe two years later, that I cared about him too. Funny. And totally unique. I remember thinking "holyshit i hope he didn't go and do something stupid" as I ran out the door to try to find him.)

About a month ago, sitting at our favorite sakana-ya (fish place) in Shimokitazawa, he told me between bites of freshly steamed crab: "I'm stopping."

"Ah? Ok." Said I. The moment passed.

Wasn't till tonight that I stopped by his site only to see his farewell message. (Karl stopped blogging.)

Funny, I did the opposite. I stopped reading weblogs over a year ago. No joke. Once every few weeks I'll go poke around... but honestly i can't think of even 5 weblogs I really read with any kind of frequency. That includes Karl. And you, too. ;)

And that's why I don't miss Karl. Oh and the fact that he's my best friend and we talk everyday. :)

Acht Jahre

Papi passed today 8 years ago. Depending on which metric I use, that's anywhere from 2 to 10 lifetimes ago for me. Sad you couldn't have watched me go through them.

Strange coincidence: the only thing I can remember from the day that preceded the night's events was that I had gone to the YMCA on Parc Avenue, corner St-Viateur up in the Mile End with a friend of mine whom a few years later ended up the client that helped sustain my freelancer work life for a looong stretch.

That guy arrived in Tokyo... today.

Mémoire courte

Je ne me souviens plus de ce que je croyais.
Tant mieux.
Beliefs are memories twisted out of shape by desires.

White Day


White Day is a festival that was created by a concentrated marketing effort in Japan. White Day is celebrated in Japan and Korea on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day, women give gifts to men; on White Day, men who received chocolate on Valentine's Day return the favour and give gifts to women. This holiday is starting to gain popularity in Hong Kong, where Japanese influence is strong.

First off, out here, on Valentine's Day, it's the women who give the men gifts, etc.

Second, any woman I love will know I love her every day, and not need a commercially sanctioned day for me to give her flowers or chocolates so that a whole caste of spoiled brats can live off of trust funds.

Third, sadly it seems that most people rather just get the flowers and chocolates than really be loved.

The line between freedom and captivity in love is very very thin. One may be able to see it but still waver back and forth over it wildly. Stabilize man, dammit.


flickr twitter down

Well shit I guess I'll just have to go outside then. :p

Year of the ... wait what am I?

So year of the pig (or hedgehog or whatever) coming up in the Chinese zodiac, and I forgot what chinese year I am. Quick search and, oh hey cool I was born in a year of the Tiger.

It kills me how these things are always somehow right on the money. Check this out:

Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy.
Too sensitive and too deep thinking and too much sympathy. So much so that I've had to throttle the sensitivity, cut off the sympathy and drowned the deep thinking for a few years. (that's over though)

They can be extremely short-tempered, however.
Holy shit no kidding. And mostly with people close to me. (That must be the scorpio thing)

Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority.
Some people show me altogether way too much respect. It makes me really uncomfortable. Some others, whose respect I yearn for, step on me.
The short-tempered thing comes in with the authority: I feel my eyes bulge and wooop there goes the ultra arrogant silver tongue. :p

Sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late.
Every. Goddamn. Day.

They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful.
I trust no one. The scorpio reinforces this too. Powerful, maybe. When I put myself to it. Courageous... eeeee... working on it. I know what the problem is.

Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs
That's just gross. Besides, I hate horses (too big) and dogs (too stupid and smelly).


2 and 4, 1/2 and 1

Two weeks from now I am arriving in Delhi.
A month from now, Tokyo.

The next 4 weeks are going to fly by in an instant, and then... and then... ?

Montreal -> Narita -> Delhi (4 days) -> Goa (beach 4-5 days) -> Bangalore (urban groove 4-5 days) -> Dehli -> Tokyo (who knows) -> Hong Kong (hopefully) -> Tokyo ... ...

A consciousness

(get past the melodrama and the fact that it's an anime / "oh it's cheesy scifi" ;)


Just as there are many parts needed to make a human a human
there's a remarkable number of things needed to make an individual what they are.

A face to distinguish yourself from others.
A voice you aren't aware of yourself.
The hand you see when you awaken.
The memories of childhood, the feelings for the future

That's not all.

There's the expanse of the data net my cyber-brain can access...*

All of that goes into making me what I am.
Giving rise to a consciousness that I call "me."

And simultaneously confining "me" within set limits.

* Drop this phrase for a moment, and consider "what am I? What constitutes "me"?". Then consider that your knowledge and memories are all products of your experience, as transmitted to your mind via your 5 senses. Then imagine that you have a new sense, which feeds knowledge directly into your mind (regardless of I/O: be it visual/audio, direct neural stimulation, whatever).

What is "real" then, and what makes you, you?
And when everyone you interact with is at that same level, where knowledge and experince sync happens, what differentiates you from me? (this is explored in the later TV series, where 9 AI robots develop personalities even though they are continuously synchronizing their minds.)

We are still far from accessible "augmented reality" systems, let alone sync'ing capabilites, but we do have their early forbearers now: weblogs, social network aware software (still crap), aggregators, moblog photo sharing. All these things contribute to peripheral awareness enhancements of select people and data sources around us. Most of those who have been exposed to all this have stymied the "data overload" by retreating a little bit, hitting our aggregators a little less often, etc, but we have tasted the fruit and we do seek to stay connected.

I'd like to start building better tools and UIs for this peripheral awareness, this external, tele proprioception.


The MacBook was repaired earlier this week and I am now on it full time. Sadly, it is hotter than the G4 Powerbook it replaces, and noisier (the HDD). It is also markedly faster, so the tradeoff is... acceptable.

India trip preparations are moving along. Visas have been procured and immunization shots, administered. Tetanus bruising is... less that pleasant. The indian travel agent never replied my email so as of now I still have no idea what the hell I am going to do in India for a week and a half, other than one or two encounters with friends of friends. Must get my act together. Desire to sit on beach, waning. With just over two weeks left until departure, there is lots to do.

Primarily due to sickness last week, I exposed myself to the entire corpus of Ghost in the Shell material (the two movies, both seasons of the TV series as well as the recent TV special). There will be repercussions, starting with the next blog post. Be warned: my fetish for connected awareness and consciousness is spiked.
Without you I am nothing.


(rambling alert!!!)

Everything is a node.
And every node can be, at once, part of many contexts, and can also, just by being, create many contexts.
Every node has many properties.
And contexts can add and modify properties of nodes.
And every context has many properties as well.

This is what is on my mind. It is infused in everything I do and everything I am; from building multi context web aggregators, to how I view my self, society, and my place in it.

I am
I, the base node in my experience, who's core context, my self perception, which is only clear to me when I am lying quietly, alone... am.

Some examples

I do
Professional context: web specialist. This context groups me with a large number of people (globally). Some are friends, acquaintances, etc (relationship contexts), most I don't even know exist.

Where I do
I live and work in Montreal. This reduces the number of people in my professional context to a geographic context of "Montreal". (In my case this is deceptive: I am not part of the local web scene really and therefor I know very very few of my fellows here. But for arguments sake, let's ignore that.) We can further refine the geographic context with a location context: Laika. If I were more connected in teh social context of Montreal, very likely I could identify more web-workers at Laika.

Profession context: web-worker
Geographic context: Plateau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (AND or OR)
Location context: Laika, BoLab

What I like to do:
Professional interests context: web-based communications, mobile connectedness, peripheral awareness, etc etc.
Personal interests: (some overlap... ;) Phenomena of culture, movement of society, perception and translation of environment and how that affects, feeds, informs and drives the previous two.

Who I like to do with:
Relationship contexts. Some broad ones, many specific one, and as many individual ones as individual nodes I interact with. Much overlap (node from Friends Context A is [relative of] node in Acquaintance Context Y, etc)

Time context. File created? File updated? File last accessed? File access frequency, across time. Forgetfulness, fog of time.
(Replace "File" with "Relationship", "Interest", "Location", etc... When was the last time I was in Vienna? Often had I been there? How frequently do i return? When was the last time I thought of snowboarding? Went? When was the last time I saw her? Emailed him? ... ... ...)

And so on... just imagine.

RDF (Resource Descriptive Framework) exists for the purposes of modeling the information sphere on the reality of nodes and contexts.

Wheels within wheels, the myriad creatures.

Well stated

Lucas Gonze puts into words what most iPod/iTunes users haven't quite become aware of yet:

why you need more music

from Wired -- The Day the Music Died:

I thought at first I had misheard him.

"... library of 90,000 songs, and iTunes can't handle it." [...] I had
no idea people were amassing collections of this size.

My own paltry iTunes library runs just shy of 500 songs -- a little
over a day and a half of music -- and that includes every selection
from Pipes of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Now, I spend a lot of
time listening to music, but like most people I tend to play my
favorites a lot.

Research I have seen supports that writer's number. 500 songs is about the average.

I remember times in my life where I had a strictly limited music collection, and I kept things fresh by listening at finer and finer levels of detail. Those days should be over for most of us, though. It's important for individuals to grow their collections past the "enough" marker, whether that's 50,000 songs or even just 500, because at that point you stop listening in the old way.

The new way is to treat music more like a newspaper than a book, so
that a continuous stream of fresh content is intrinsic to the media.
If you hear a good hook somewhere, the next day you should find that
hook remixed into another song. You should never again, post 20th
century, post the era when music and manufactured goods were
synonomous, think of music as something so static that 500 songs could
encompass it.

The idea that a 500 song collection makes sense is based on a
misunderstanding of the medium. Maybe you'll only have 500 songs on
hand at any one time -- that makes sense. But which songs those are
should be a constantly rotating subset of a gigantic collection which
lives out in the cloud.

Yep. I was thinking about another facet of all this just last night as I was reminded how I haven't had time in a long time to a) get new music, b) maintain my playlists and c) update my iPod. There are now enough services which could theoretically stream me new tunes constantly, but so far they all require some acrobatics, which is annoying.'s player comes closest to what I want, but there's no way to take anything with me if I want it.

(Podcasting and radio streams have too much blah blah. Shut up already. If the price for not triggering my language centers with inane claptrap is my having to take the time to manage my own music, then I guess I may have to go that way. Just saying. ;)

In any case, it isn't a terribly high priority for me at all, hence the cost/benefit barrier not being overcome. Back to 80Gig library.

Oh and nevermind the insanity of attempting to manage so much media. Between file and metadata management, it all becomes a pile very quickly. ;)


MacBookPro Made it this far. Time for a gift. I mean upgrade. Haha.

Dream team

Can't really get into why, but I wish, I dream, one day, OMG would it be amazing... to be able to work on projects with Aaron Straup Cope, Michal Migurski and Maciej Ceglowski.

There is nothing we couldn't do.

(Though we might argue about *what* we should do... and *how*... hahahaha.. but it'd be a wildly entertaining, rip-roaring, enlightening and educational fight, every time, for sure. But then we would of course also have Karl Dubost with us to manage us and keep us on the path... ;)



This afternoon, Boris zipped into downtown, to return a pair of heavenly soft flannel black wide-set chalkline pinstripe slacks because, frankly, he just can't get into slacks. Even though they were a size too small, the feeling of nakedness was all a bit too much like walking around, well, naked. And besides, it made him feel like a dad. His dad, more particularly.

He also realized they were far to expensive to have been a sensible purchase for him in the first place.

Standing at the cash he decided to not only return them but instead exchange them for another pair of the much cheaper Corduroy pants, the exact model were bracing his hips at the time. When you find something you like, get two. He'd get credited for the balance.

Finding a pair on a rack placed in such a way as to indicate they were not particularly hot sellers, he got close to make sure it was indeed the same black color as the beloved pair he was wearing. At first glance they weren't but comparing side by side, they were. And to him, they seemed a deep "almost black" gray.

"Oh if you'd like we just got in some new pairs, these ones in black!" exclaims the sales girl.

"And what are these?" asks he.

"Oh those are the navy blue."

Navy blue? ... Funny, now that she'd mentioned it, here under these fluorescent lights... Though in all honesty, he would have sworn, in the light of the sun--and the light available in his apartment--these pants had seemed more a very dark shade of brown, which had always bothered him a bit.

"Here's a 32! try them on!"

"Oh my, yes... these are black." he thinks. Truly black. The light just falls into them. They are a black hole in the shape of pants, though he suspects the only thing that will be sucked into them is cat hair, duvet feathers and dust. :p

"These are nice." he says, having tried them on, "Narrow cut, softer material... more snug. I'll take 'em. Thanks."

Corduroy's etymology, corde ru roi in french, though in french corduroy is "velours côtelé" (ribbed velour), is something to do with "King's Clothes." This has always caused a cognitive dissonance for me with "the Emperor's new clothes." Sort of like how when Joe waved his hand backwards over his head last night and said "it's all water under the bridge" when he meant to say "it's all behind us."


life throws you off balance, dance.

Someone, somewhere recently placed the notion in my mind that dance, amongst many things, is a voluntary throwing off balance, whose joy and pleasure is derived in playing with this state and the pursuit and evasion of which at once ... blah blah blah.

I danced tonight. You should too.

Sofas and the malaise they create

Had I known what kind of a monumentally feel bad day I would have just because I decided to get rid of this sofa today... I woulda carried it out to a beach somewhere myself and burnt it.

In 1985, when I was in 5th grade, some friends of mine very briefly got into Role Playing Games. I played once, for one afternoon. That evening I went home and "rolled a character" for myself. In the profile I created, I said I was an orphan. At some point my mother saw that and asked "do you wish you were an orphan?"

I don't play role playing games. Playing myself is enough of a challenge.

"It's going to a good home, Boris. In fact I think it's worst days are past."
Thank you sir. What you say cannot be truer.

My living room is clear.


An email I just sent to some of my colleagues at GlobalVoicesOnline:

Hi gang,

In the last 36 or so hours, the site has gone down twice. In both cases, the culprits were simple, yet monumentally stupid oversights on my part (a single missed character in a copy/paste, and bungled theme folder update... so much for being a hotshot!)

Aside from technical and process procedures I should put in place and use for the kinds operations I was doing... I think the first thing I need to do is take a bit of a break.

For this weekend, I am stepping away from GVO. Unfortunately I can't completely remove myself from the computer or the network (ohhh the network the network!!), but if I can at least not think about this great and grand project which I love but which is so terribly present in my mind at all times... it might do me some good. ;)

If anything urgent comes up, of course do not hesitate to contact me! but otherwise, I bid you all a good weekend. See you on monday.



Who knew that in the half second it took me to rename a folder, WordPress would blow it's brains out? Who knew!? I shoulda, duh.

Productive day

Somebody in my network today said:

A way to deal with bothersome emotions beyond reason is either reading about human physiology as science, or doing some very basic mundane tasks such as cleaning.

I read this after an IRC meeting, dropping my car off at the neighborhood garage (next door to my office) to fix a flat tire and diagnose some muffler noise (the exhaust manifold is still under warranty! yokataaaa! That spares me $1100!), a full laundry load, scheduling a pickup to have my living room's cream colored (supposedly) knotted wool rug thoroughly cleaned (damn you, cat) for the first time in it's existence (must be over 10 years old), moving my living room furniture and rolling up said rug (aaaaahtchoo!), vacuuming, taking out the trash AND, just now, hopefully recruiting a programmer.

And it's only 8:45pm. Time to get some work done.

Work much?

This is what my "Virtual Desktop" pager looks like right now, a more or less busy average Sunday night.


That's 3 separate "jobs" open concurrently AND taking care of a task for someone who just pinged me in IM. Normally there are maybe 2 or 3 more projects open. That gets a bit much though.

This is how I work. It's how I have been doing it for 4-5 years. Sometimes, if I seem distracted...

I'm not saying it's a great thing. It has serious shortcomings and sometimes it drives me nuts. But what can I do? ;)


I had a very strange and in some ways worrisome experience early this morning.

I went out last night; a going away party for a filmmaker friend and then some chilling out at Laika. Nothing extravagant or crazy. I did have 2 or 3 more drinks than I might usually, but I went home feeling fine, even ran a Grand Prix on MarioKart.

At some point during the night, I got up to go to the washroom to pee. That done, I suddenly felt very warm, sensed the possible need to do #2 and then got intensely nauseous. I stood there for a moment, feeling out the situation. No matter how drunk, high or otherwise influenced, I pretty much always am quite aware of myself, able to reason etc.

The nausea throbbed a little and I moved closer to the bowl. (Sorry for the description... I imagine most of us have had this painful experience.)

Then I apparently lose consciousness.

The next thing I know, I am on the floor, half in the hallway, half in the washroom. All the stuff usually stocked on the toilet's tank is on the floor too and the carpets are all out of whack.

I get up slowly. I feel totally fine, better than before even, except for the throbbing in my head. Makes sense as it seems that's what I landed on. There's a gash in my forehead where I impacted, and a small bloodstain on the floor. I have a small scrape on the bridge of my nose and a bigger one on my tummy (which still burns now due to friction with my t-shirt. ;)

I throw some cold water on my face and almost cry at how good it feels. The gash is already semi-dry. How long was I out?! I wash it and pat it with some peroxide. Wash my hands. I sit down on the toilet to collect my thoughts.

I'm naked, I am cold, I am confused and now I am suddenly very aware how alone I am. And then the fear hits me. What the hell just happened? I cry for a few minutes.

I think of the only two people I would want to talk to at this moment, but both are at opposite ends of the planet from me right now. There is precious little anyone can do for me anyways.

I find one of them on IM and explain what happened. Everything's ok, I should take some time off, stress must be it, see a doctor too, you never know, maybe your heart... aack.

Bed time. I go lie down. I feel totally fine as I slowly lower myself into sleep; but cannot help wondering ... what just happened?

Earlier in the evening, before heading out, I watched Kurosawa's Ikiru. This helped nothing of course.


i am rather shocked by how often i need to wipe my glasses clean...

it's like, before i had glasses, i used poke myself in the eyes ALL the time.

with my greasy fingers...



I don't get it.



I've been back from Tokyo for 2 months now. Funny, it feels far far longer than that; more like 6 months.
I've eaten japanese-style food once. (it was my favorite place. I was so disappointed.)
I've not watched a single japanese movie. (if you knew my movie diet of the last few years, you'd know how odd that is)
I've not listened to any japanese music. (at least not consciously)
I've not spent any time with any japanese friends here. (sorry Tigre!)

and I am miserable.

and I didn't realize it until I walked into my neighborhood patisserie where the theme from Lady Snow Blood was playing.

"I know this. I recognize the words. It's that other world... what are you doing here?"

I've set my player to feed me tracks by artists similar to Towa Tei, Cornelius, DJ Krush, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yellow Magic Orchestra... Pizzicato Five... ahhhh... a bit of happy. I'm going to go eat some fish tonight, and dream... and scheme. Ceci ne durera pas!

Every day, in the morning*

Edi Singt Solo

Edi Singt Chor

Lieber Boris,

wir haben zwei Fotos von Edi gefunden. Vielleicht sind sie
interessant fuer Dich.
Lass mal wieder was von Dir hoeren. Der Dutzi (Erhard)
war bis heute bei uns, er sagt Du bist haeufig in Japan.

Herzliche Gruesse, auch an Sophie



*Leo Kottke - Jack Gets Up


Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed
And you crawl out of bed and you crawl out of bed
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed
And you look at the moon where the window is
And the stars shine, and the stars shine, and the stars shine

Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And way down below in the sun belt
And the telephones, and the telephone, and the telephones
And you look out the moon where the window is
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And some of us breathe in the brown ground
Where the worms clown, where the worms clown, where the worms clown
Way down below in the sun belt
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And every night when you lay down
You fall flat, you fall flat, you fall flat
Some of us breathe in the brown ground
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

So we're all asleep in the same dream
In the snort fort, the snort fort, the snort fort
And every night when you lay down
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

Santa Claus modified snow peas
On the sun roofs, on the sun roofs, on the sun roofs
So we're asleep in the same dream
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

If you look in the mirror it's your father's face
And the thin grin, the thin grin, the thin grin

It's Santa Claus pulling up snow peas
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And there's tears in the bank and the credit card
In the back yard, in the back yard, in the back yard
If you look in the mirror it's your father's face
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And once in a while when the wind blows
And the heart winds, and the heart winds, and the heart winds

There's tears in the bank and a credit card
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

But there's lint in the pocket and a breath mint
Or a car key, or a car key, or a car key
Once in a while when the wind blows
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

And your kid has a face like a walnut
From the ice cream, from the ice cream, from the ice cream

But there's lint in the pocket and a breath mint
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed

Noise in the background of my head

Here is a "signature of the music I listen to", analysis of my iTunes playlist, based on 60 most listened tracks.

Take a peek.

Generated by the sparse yet full operational "iTunes Signature Maker" by Jason Freeman. Nicely done.

Warning: The iTunes Signature Maker is a Java applet that you have to "trust". I don't know what else it may be doing so decide for yourself if you trust it or Jason Freeman. I'm thinking it's a safe bet but you never know. ;)


I've long been telling stories about how I seem to be quite aware of many of my thought processes, and often these stories take on computer jargon analogies. Stuff like "the scripts I have running in the background" to make sure I always leave the house with keys and wallet (scripts which needed major rewriting with the advent of a second very large set of keys for the new office), and the time I watched my brain start up the "eat banana" script when my phone rang (I watched the code load "raise banana to mouth and insert"... luckily I kill -9'ed it and chuckled.)

Last week I got a Nintendo DS Lite and started playing these "brain training games" which more than anything got me even more aware of the boundaries of my mind, its methods, and some deeply seated intellectual and emotional responses to challenges, puzzles and other such stimuli which, quite frankly now that I see them under the light, I feel I must rid myself of a load of bad mental habits.

While what I have undertaken today does not address these particular aforementioned habits, I have begun a journey, which so far seems like it will be quite a quick one, to learn not only how to touch type finally (I am making an effort right now and with just one hour of Mavis Beacon, I already have a much better idea of how what used to seem to me wildly complicated is really childishly easy to accomplish and... fun!), but also how to use T9 predictive text entry on a mobile phone keypad. (This too is not so bad. Once you *get* what it's doing, it just sorta goes.)

All of this seems to have one rather potentially dangerous side-effect: driving back from my mother's place I realized I was not tracking my environment--the other cars on the highway and streets--as effectively, thoroughly and predictively as I used to. I was actually surprised and scared at least twice. I will monitor this closely. It may be that I need glasses, or that I was overly tired this evening. Or both. Or, really, far more likely, I've just been very distracted and scattered lately. Focus dammit.

10 years on

I just came across this interview with Joi done in 1995.
Reading it I am struck by a few things:
- 10 years ago Joi was roughly my age.
- He saw very very clearly what was going on, on many different levels and across many sectors, and thus it was very very easy for him to predict certain things (most of which came to pass) and bank on them successfully.
- Having that vision comes from being open, attentive, curious and having access to a lot of people and information.

Note to self.

Spreading wings

yhj crane - spread your wings
(written on thursday... i think...)

This morning I got a handshake for a lease to be signed this weekend for an office which i will take possession of in two weeks. It's 300 square feet, 3 blocks from home and across the street from one of my regular hangouts. I've already filled the room with 3 cool collaborators... and one part time (for now) helper.


You did say "go home now and spread your wings", right? ;)

Good sign

My motor-memory of which way to turn the taps in my shower to regulate water temperature... is gone.

Conversely, my motor-memory of how to quickly zig-zag my way up through traffic on The Main... is still full in effect. Thankfully. ;)

Off we go

About to settle into my last night in Tokyo. Three months. In 24 hours I am over the Pacific again, heading back to Montreal.

I feel anxious anticipation; I wonder how I will react to diving back into my old life, which now seems so distant from me. I know that I will immediately go buy my usual mid-summer groceries at Valmont. I will go have a pho on Cote des Neiges, I will hang out at Laika and go have a drink at Boa.

I will sit at my desk, in my apartment, eating a tomato and prosciutto salad after having taken a jog up the mountain.

None of these things are bad. They are, or at least where once, all highly enjoyable to me. But they are old. They are worn in, and out. Or so I think they may be.

This is what I anxiously anticipate. I *want* the routines to be broken. I won't know if they are until I go back to where they, and I, are from, and see.

And see I will. :)

À propos de rien

Barlow had these lines in a recent email about a friend of his' death:

Fighting clinical depression is inevitably a lonely struggle. What could be less conducive to compassion than a disease that make you whine? Laymen and loved ones tell you to get a grip. They make you feel ashamed to be sick. Even if they're more enlightened about the disease, they can't help but harbor a secret, naturally human, belief that you are suffering a failure of will rather than biochemistry. Meanwhile, the doctors consider little but the neuro-soup and turn you into a shambling medical experiment, testing pharmaceutical nostrums on you that are as blunt as the mind is subtle, though just as unpredictable. But, for you, life just trudges on. It remains, despite whatever visible signs of well-being - wonderful spouse, great kids, well-located house, etc. - a purgatory of uselessness, barren of joy and meaning. Love, incoming or out-going, becomes something you think, not feel.

I don't know if I am clinically depressed, and I sure as hell ain't pining to find out, but this made me think hard, still does actually, about many things.

Perhaps that's just the problem, innit? Hrm. Dammit, what a cliché.


pummeled by waves
Original by cr2joe.

For as long as I can remember now--memory fails when the brain is deprived of oxygen--I've been stuck in an unrelenting onslaught of waves.

Each set is unaware of the sets before it, the sets coming in from other directions. Many directions. All directions.

Each set thinks "gee, what's his problem? this is just a simple set of waves, nothing serious", but they don't realize I am being pummeled from all four.

Each set thinks "gee, his being in Japan is really slowing him down. He must be slacking off."

But I am treading water, badly. I am drowning, almost.

I have half a mind to stand up and walk back to the beach. To hell with this surf.

(Of course I won't. Just saying.)

Thoughts on this morning's train ride

There are 6 billion kinds of people in this world...

Fast food slows you down.

It is incorrect to say "A was drowned by you and you were drowned by B". More correct would be: "A allowed herself to be drowned by you and you allowed A to be drowned by you, and you allowed yourself to be drowned by B and B allowed you to be drowned by her." The key difference here is that responsibility lies with all parties. Miscommunication, lies by omission, letting things go... dreaming, hoping... desiring... These are things we all do, naturally, normally, and must keep an eye on. Sometimes we make a mess. Clean it up and keep going. Love is love and not fade away.

"Para" in parasol/parapluie/parachute, parasite, paramilitary come from both Greek and Latin(?? some confusion here since all references cite "from old spanish" or "old french" which while latin based languages, also had influences from greek, especially after the Renaissance... Anders? Any ideas?) and slightly varying semantics. Neat.

Now that she's away, I will switch my daily schedule up, back to something more "normal" for me (not to say waking up everyday at 7am doesn't suit me mind you): considering I have barely a week and a half left here in Tokyo (yes yes I am going "home", June 12th... ostensibly...), and I am still inundated with work, I will try to work it out so as to ... oh wait no that won't work... There are enough people who I want to see before I go to be busy every evening from now till I go.. ack... drat. Ok I see what I do...

work work work.

My sister is in the hospital. I don't know how many weeks pregnant she is but it is way too soon. Apparently her uterus is too thin and her cervix is already open? She must lie in bed and cannot move, at all, to do *anything*. She is hoping to hold on at least 4 more weeks. I think this is insane but of course I hope it all works out for the best. Gambatte kudasai, Sofi-san to Maksu-sama!!

One of those days

Woke up feeling like cordwood; stiff, dead, stacked up and left to dry.
Bad night's sleep. The number of motorcycles and heavy trucks that pass down this supposedly quiet street at 3am is... remarkable.
The number of times a night "Bumbles" decides to meowl and tap-dance around the apartment is also... remarkable.

So up at 8am again. This I enjoy actually.

Three emails and one IM conversation later and I am not in a very sunny mood though.

Unlike the weather outside, which has been in a sunny mood since I got here. Which adds to my bad mood as I have cooped myself up in here trying to move ahead on work only to have stick after stick stuck in my spokes.

Today, I have scheduled no visits, no meetings, no outings: just good quiet solid working time.

Except I am in a bad mood. And my main dev server just went down. Thank you TextDrive. God you suck. I cannot wait for my Dell Poweredge 850 to arrive. Sigh.

Maybe I should just go out and enjoy the su...

Of course and now... I have a sunburn. Just no winning today. ;p
Whining, yes; winning, no.

Different perspective

(a collage of conversations)

So, Boris, where are you from?
Montreal, Canada. But I just got here from Tokyo.

Oh wow, that's pretty cool. What are you doing in Tokyo? You must have big clients there who can fly you over?
Not really. I am working like crazy but not specifically for any single japanese client. I just went cause I wanted to and could.

Jees... ok... so what brings you to San Francisco? Client work?
Uhhh, no. I'm house sitting my friend's apartment and taking care of his cats for two weeks.


You flew half way around the world to house sit cats?
Well if you put it that way...

You must be really good at that...
hahahaha... hrm...

Yes, obviously I am slightly crazy. Who else would hop the Pacific *just* to housesit cats. ;p

Bo Pack

Bo Pack

Among the many many lessons I am learning on this trip, one of the most salient, and indeed one that I pretty much knew about, is the fact that I am nowhere near as mobile as one would think, at least insofar as being able to work is concerned.

Like I said, I knew this already; it's just become very clear to what extent and much more importantly, what i can do to rectify the situation.

Outside of emailing and chatting, a 15" Powerbook screen renders me essentially useless. Trying to get any actual work done without a second monitor is near futile. I'd say that with a single 1440x960 resolution screen, I work at maybe 10-20% capacity.

My capacity increases with desktop space, measured in pixels. It's true.
(For anyone who cares to argue with or chide me: you have your needs, I have mine. I am aware of my needs, and my limitations, and I deal with them accordingly.)

Also, I need a comfortable work station. This means plenty of desk space (deep and wide) and a chair that doesn't send my butt to dream land. Pins and needles in the nether areas is not fun... at least not when yer trying to work. ;)

More than quiet, I need to isolate myself so as to really dive in. People can be around, as long as I can shut them out artificially.

So, this means, to be "work-safe", I need 3 things:
- an external monitor.
- some sort of reliable seating.
- a pair of headphones.

Check this out. (Picture above)

  • 17" TFT Samsung. Bought at Best Buy for $300. It fits into a box the size and weight of a VCR, complete with carry handle.
  • 65cm "fitness ball". $20. The box is smaller and lighter than the Powerbook.
  • Headphones. (not pictured, but I have a pair of Sony DJ's back home and Gen's pair back at the Lab.)

(Headphones not entirely needed if a reasonably quiet space is available with no language around.)

Point is, anytime I want to "temporarily relocate" as I am now doing (2 months Tokyo, 2 weeks San Francisco... where's next? Shanghai?) I can either FedEx or carry this bundle with me. Or, in worst case scenario, go out and buy what I need again...

"Boris will feed your cats AND leave you a TFT monitor!" heh...

I envy those of you who actually can work on 12" screens. I simply can't.
I also envy those of you who have only *one* job or three or four projects. I have at least 10 at any given time.

Actually no I don't envy anyone really... ;)

Time floating again

It's May 1st.
I don't know what day of the week it is.
I don't know how long I've been here.
I don't know how long I am staying "away".
I don't know if I am going to California next week, yet, but it certainly looks like I am.
I don't know if I'll make it to China 3 weeks from now.
I don't know.

ducks, moving ahead, meguro-gawa

I am moving forward though. I am moving forward.

Reminder to self and others

No one likes it when you wear your heart on your sleeve and lose your head.
Pop your heart back in where it belongs and strap your head back on tight.

Everything works better that way. ;)

Gentle brush past my shoulder

This is so close to me it's not even funny.

Nokia and Yahoo! add Flickr support in Nokia Nseries Multimedia Computers

You can upload your full size photos to Flickr directly from the camera or image Gallery application on your Nokia Nseries device. Another supported feature is the ability to add comments to the photos that are uploaded from the Nokia Nseries device.

You know who you are. All 5 or 6 of you. (or do you?)
Big smile. I am just happy to be in the room. Even just as a whispering ghost.

Now if only one of these phones fulfilled *my* I/O needs. (ahem... pen entry, dictation input, cerebral interface... :p


Some days, I tell ya.

Here's an example of how sometimes, try as I might to do something smartly, I end up in a stupid situation.

On my way back to the lab early this morning, I decide to turn right and not left, and go to Akihabara to hunt for a new 2.5" hard drive and external enclosure. This task has almost become tradition for me since every time I come to Tokyo, 2.5" hard drive capacities increase. (I was hoping to find one of the new Fujitsu 12mm thick 200Gig drives but dammit I couldn't find the nifty deli-style hard drive shop anywhere... nor did I find any enclosures that would fit it if I had.)

This adventure started poorly when I realized I had hopped OFF the Yamanote Line at Ebisu to grab the Hibya line metro up to Akiba... when I simply could have just gotten on the Yamanote in the opposite direction, which would take me there much much quicker and above ground.

At that point I should have taken instead the outbound Hibya to Naka-Meguro, then on home to the lab... had I known... but I didn't, and already I was not thinking straight. Where's my head?

So I arrive in Akihabara seemingly a lifetime later. Hibya is slow as molasses and I had to pee badly.

Electric Town does not open till 10ish. It's 9:30. I duck into a Dutour coffee shop, dutifully order a latté and realize only chain smoking salary men hangout in Dutours. Ack. By the time I have finished the coffee and the Dutour employee has finished cleaning the washroom before letting me in, it's past 10. (Buddy was not happy to see a goddamn gaijin jump into the washroom he just made sparkling for his fellow nihonjin. Tough luck pal. He was waiting for me to get out to redo the job. "I just peed bro... and washed my hands..." Whatever.)

Akihabara has *always* confused the hell out of me. The streets all seem familiar... but then they all look the same too. Like I said, I couldn't find the shop I wanted. I did find one that I did recognize from previous flailing visits and a quick run though their chart of "which hard drives we have fresh today" revealed that the 12mm 200Gig drives were not available yet and if they were they'd be a pretty penny... Fine. The 120Gig 5400rpm Seagate is fine by me. Lemme go look around a bit more.

By noon I am no closer to anything. Inside an Ishimaru (big box electronics store, 3rd floor), I decide to pick up a Buffalo 2.5 120Gig 5200rpm 2.5 disk+enclosure deal for pretty much what it would have cost me to buy the parts separately and assemble it.

Except I already spent three hours of my time on this. I bill high lately so that's not peanuts. In fact it'd have been more cost effective to send someone to get it for me, dammit. :p

Anyways. Whining.

So I buy this thing. The cashier does his best to explain that "the software is japanese only"... whatever pal, I don't need whatever software this thing comes with.

Or do I...

Time to head back. I decide to take the Hibya line again since, even though it is damn slow, it takes me straight to Naka-Meguro where I just quickly transfer to the Toyoko track which goes to Jiyugaoka.

As a bonus, Hibya also stops at Tsukiji. I'll be damned if I am not going to have sashimi lunch in the fish market mecca of the world.

I'm gonna spare you the details. Sure the fish was good but whatever. The fish is good everywhere here. Let's just say I had 2 half lunches in two different places, mainly because the guy behind the counter at the first place was... not having a good day.

$35 later, I'm wandering the backstreet markets. Now THAT was awesome. If I bought my groceries here everyday I'd die happy. For 200 yen (roughly $2) I got one heck of a fish steak which I'll grill up tonight.

Don't ask me what kinda fish. It looks like salmon but darker. And the guy wanted to sell me 6 slabs for 1000 yen. Crazy.

Anyways... an hour later, I'm at the lab. It's 2pm, I have 100 emails that came in overnight...

and dammit this hard drive won't mount.

Crack the case open, remove the interface, swap it with my old trusty FW one. Mounts no problem. I format the thing, name it "Hoppy", then transfer it back to it's original enclosure.

Still no mount.

I peruse the packaging and the instruction leaflet--all in japanese--and realize there is some sort of security software built into the firmware on the board. Since I can't read the directions, I don't know what I need to do to get around it. Worse, I have a bad hunch that by formatting the drive via another interface, i may have screwed up their silly little protection mechanism.

This means I have to go buy an enclosure. Decent ones go for about $30-40. And another 3 hours of my time. :p

I am missing something

I'm missing dancing. The long late nights in little cozy sweaty lounge clubs.
The breakbeat, rare groove, afro-electro-house.
The uninhibited moving, grinning, flirting.
Till 4 am.

Oh, I will be home soon. Just no set date yet.

Cue music

I had a funny daydream waiting for my chashumen the other day...

A medium sized ramen shop in Tokyo.
The last bars of "Our house" by Madness are fading out on the radio,

Our house, in the middle of our street Our house, that was where we used to sleep Our house, in the middle of our street Our house, in the middle of our street Our house....

as three japanese rockabilies strut in. Lots of attitude.

They yank out three little stools and take position at the large thick wood slab table.

They shout out their orders in time, as if counting down the start of the next song: "Shoyu!", "Miso!", "Chashu!"

Cue music: "Rock this town" by the Stray Cats.

As the waitress scuttles away with a gleeful "Haaaaaiii!", the three jump up... and start to dance.

We're gonna rock this town, rock it inside out We're gonna rock this town, make 'm scream and shout Let's rock, rock, rock man rock, rock We're gonna rock till we pop, We're gonna roll till we drop We're gonna rock this town, rock it inside out

Salary men slurping their soup 'n noodles, trying hard to not notice. Office ladies giggling, and looking away quickly...

Well we're having a ball just bopping on the big dance floor Well there's a real square cat he looks nineteen seventy four Well, you look at me once, you look at me twice, You look at me again there's gonna be a fight We're gonna rock this town, we're gonna rip this place apart

General mischief...

As the song ends, the three all at once return to their seats as their meals are plopped down before them.

"What a wonderful world" croaked out by Louis Armstrong takes us, through a retreating zoom-out, to fade...

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

(With thanks to Lil for the classic snaps of japanese rockabilies and everyone else who posts to Flickr.)


"Air Canada Reservations, how can I help you?"

. . o o O O ( ( ( my visa's good till mid June ) ) )

I'm not coming home just yet. I hope you all understand.

End zone

I'm on a fast railroad down my last days here.
For the first time in my life, I do NOT look forward to going home.
This is going to be tricky.

circadian cycle clusterfuck

Just when I had overcome the jetlag...

Between 2am trans-global conference calls between Tokyo, New York, Boston and London; 14 hour time-shift work schedules; and hanging out with Joi: I don't know, as they say, if I am coming or going.

I don't know how may days I have been here, at the lab. I think I may have seen 3 sunrises, and as many sunsets. I've been sleeping in 4 hour shifts. Somewhere in there I had some sort of mild food poisoning, which kept my head in a spin as well.

I am actually enjoying this. However, 90% of the work I have accomplished has been almost purely email writing. I have at least 3 jobs I need to "work on" for 4-5 hours at a stretch.

Today I am alone here. After a shower and a chocolatine, I'll dig in.

It's 9:00 am, I've been up since 2, with a 2 hour nap in there somewhere... I've set up a reBlog on a server in New Zealand, tested a Flash based IRC client from France, chatted about small circles as gleaned in Austin, created a development test blog at Harvard, and answered more emails than I can remember. Fun!



on lies: a necessary and healthy feature of sociality is lying. Lying is a feature, not a bug. The great dream of a utopian society is a system where lies are not necessary; the great nightmare, one where it is not allowed or even possible. That said, realizing you have been lied to, can be... very painful.

Fumi: what do you want to be when you grow up?
Me: I am what I want to be: myself. And I never want to grow up!
(I was very surprised myself to hear these words cross my lips.)

When I am here, strange colors appear in my life. I have bought a pair of socks; deep red. I have bought an umbrella; muted orange. What next?


Too much seating

I am doing a giant cleanup of my apartment before I leave so that my house-sitter, Steven, doesn't feel like he's living in my junk, but also it's just a good opportunity to do so, and get rid of a lot of stuff, if not just rearrange it.

For instance I have completely redone the shelving arrangement in the living room, and thus all the books that once were strewn all over the place are now neatly stored.

However I have a problem I cannot so easily fix: I've got too much seating.


There are 5 seats that never ever get used, at least 3 of which there is literally no room for in the place: an office chair, a kitchen chair and a single sofa chair (teak and black leather).

That's not to mention the two antiques, one of which serves purely as a place to drop stuff when I enter, and the other as dust-ball gatherer, perched atop my kitchen cupboards.

Brining these all out to my mother's would require two trips in the Golf... or recruiting someone with a bigger SUV/van type of thing...

Clearing communications

The key to telling a joke that will get you laughs, is telling it the way the audience would (if they knew how).

Same goes for clients.

If you cannot tell the joke, then perform it. Slapstick.
Generally folks don't get my "jokes" until I "do" them, and this is fine by me.
Guess I did get some of my mother's clown.

So fast

The last time I marked the anniversary of my father's passing here was 3 years ago. He passed 7 years ago. So fast. Sigh.


- "Hey how's it going?'
- "Good good. I'm really tired though. I woke up at 5am, flew to Toronto, had a bunch of great meetings and conversations. I just got back."
- "Wow, that a pretty crazy job you have!"

It's a job I have given myself, and I cannot imagine doing anything else, really. At all.


I forgot something...

My writings here have dropped off for about a year now because I seem to have forgotten something that had previously been a hard won affordance: don't worry too much about what people think of you.

If you've been reading me long enough you remember all my crazy way-out rambling on all sorts of topics. I've kept my mouth shut about such topics in here, for various reasons, but have found myself "letting loose" quite verbosely in emails and IMs and "real world" conversations a lot more lately.

I don't know what the reactions are to these brain-streams but you know what? I don't care so much. And I'm gonna start acting like that here again. (I won't do just that stuff but I will definitely start doing it more often again. My random over-wrought thoughts need out. Like my essay on how rough chopped meat/poultry/fish dishes--bones and all-- in some cuisines point to a deep-seated cultural understanding of distribution of labor, resources and energy...)

*cough* looks around nervously *cough*

The fine line is of course being regarded as a complete quack but I think I've proven to enough people, myself included, that i am not insane, that I am frighteningly intelligent, if sometimes misguided. ;)

Remember, my first "blog tagline" was "speaking sense to myself and non-sense to others"...

So there, I've said it. Deal. ;)

On the success of weblogs et al

The success of all these things such as weblogs, websyndication, etc, is directly attributable, I think, to one basic fact: weblogs are basic, rudimentary Content Management Systems. At risk of over-simplifying, I say that human intellect, human intelligence itself, in vasty varying levels of sophistication, is also a Content Management System.

And while over the course of human development we have evolved methods to bridge all our individual Content Management Systems, by using such technologies as speech, writing, printing and their myriad extensions, in keeping with the acceleration afforded to it by "electric communication", it is in the past 10 years that we have built the infrastructure for what we have over the last 3, seen emerge.

It is still early. We have not yet transposed semantics into what we have built recently yet. That will come. Soon.

I gleefully repeat to anyone who will listen, that we are "building out telepathy", echoing McLuhan's "we are extending our central nervous systems"... though we have overshot that already! The nerves are laid out in fiber optic, cable, wireless and POTS world-wide, the basic methods of sending data standardized in protocols layered in the TCP/IP stack (HTTP is a layer in that; the Application layer).

We began relaying messages at first. Now we have begun structuring the messages. This will continue.

All our technology is externalization of ourselves. As such it is fundamentally organic and follows easily predictable paths; if you have the patience and know how to tend a bonsai tree...

Give and take

(to no one in particular, and if nothing else, a reminder to myself)
Are you really so rich, not necessarily in possessions, but in knowledge, wisdom and experience, that you truly believe that you can afford to be so cynical, so elitist, so blasé and dismissive? Do you really believe you have acquired everything you possibly ever could or could want or need? How magnanimous! Thank you for leaving something for the rest of us!

And if so; if you have taken all that you could and all that you need from the world in your short time here, what have you given back? What have you shared? What have you furthered or made better?

As an obstacle to progress and evolution, idleness is death.


Well, no election for me...

Canada's upcoming federal election is this coming monday. By the time the polls open I'll be sitting on the tarmac on my way to Cambridge for 3 days.

"But you could have voted in advance!" Yup, had I know i was going to be out of the country. This trip was planned and booked on Wednesday, the day after the deadline for any sort of advance voting.

So I entrust our country to you fine people. Please don't make me come home to a right-handed majority! ;)

Where's my head?

It's not that I am going senile or any such thing... it's just that...

"my memory space is being flattened, in places, especially recently, by prolonged use of asynchronous text-based tele communication"

In other words, I am beginning to suspect that the use of such things as Instant Messaging and email is somehow confusing the brain, which is normally used to associating experiences with way more environmental clues (such as person's face, lighting in the scene, sounds around, geo context, etc) than you get with an email or an IM chat.

I've already mentioned that I sometimes imagine conversations with people, in my head/telepathically, as if I were actually having them/via IM. I suspect this is akin to ghost limb syndrome. My brain just assumes I can continue the communication, regardless of TCP/IP stack (er, IM software and internet connection). Whether the person is there or not is irrelevant because as far as my brain knows, it's all imaginary anyways right? I mean, there's no live person in front of me, I did not displace myself to interact with this person, etc.

Now I am also seeing the effects of this, theoretically, on my memory as well. My brain is actively "flattening" my memory space of all my other communication modalities as well, as if to compensate following some sort of "lowest common denominator" rule for how much meta data to store, or at least, to keep actively "close by" and easily accessible.

What that means is, I will remember the message of a communication, almost word for word. But I will need to greatly labor to recall a) WHO the conversation was with b) WHEN the conversation took place c) WHERE it took place, be it in physical space or via which network protocol, and of course all three are related and cross referenced. (If I remember who it was with, if it was with a local, I will have to look further for environment clues such as "was it live conversation?", "was it on the street, or at Laika?", etc etc.)

Of course I make this sound far more drastic than it is, but I also am merely scratching the surface of this phenomenon which I can sense is very definitely happening to me.

(The title of this post is taken from my light hearted impression of my mother who can sometimes be a bit absent minded.)

Self medicating... sort of

I imagine it may possibly be a placebo effect but... I started popping some pills about a week ago and holymoly do I feel better as of yesterday! More energy, able to concentrate, and the winter blaaahs don't seem so heavy anymore!

What am I doing? Well, I'm making a little experiment. Every night before going to sleep I take one melatonin and one St-John's Wort. In the morning, I swallow a Ginko Biloba, vitamin D and vitamin C.

Since all this stuff is harmless and my dosage is totally moderate, and I'm not convinced it's not psychosomatic, I'll definitely keep at it for a bit and see what happens.

Any thoughts?


"Have the courage to change what you cannot accept,
the strength to accept what you cannot change,
and the wisdom to know one from the other."

I've long admired this proverb but it never quite sat well with me. I know why now. Or rather I always sensed why, but now I can explain it.

True wisdom lies in accepting all, including what may seem unacceptable.

The trick lies not in the acceptance, but what you do with what you have accepted. To not accept is to reject, and when you reject something, you are finished with it; you no longer have any possibility to do anything with it, be that change it or place it on the back shelves of your consciousness.

When the world presents you with a gift, you accept it. Now you can choose to do many things. If it is repulsive to you, have the courage to change it, or the strength to hide it away and bear the weight of doing so. If you cannot change it yourself and you feel you must, have the temerity and drive to recruit others to help you.

Equally important is, if the gift is joyous, have the generosity to share it others. :)

This has been on my mind for a very long time. Very often when speaking of buddhism and zen with people, their perception of these philosophies is that they are dismissive and lead to complacency because of their focus on accepting the world as it is. This is very far from the truth however. One cannot truly appreciate anything without accepting it when it appears before us. Accepting something affords us to chance to inspect it and to know it more deeply.

I accept that there are atrocities in the world. So far I have shouldered the burden of merely carrying this knowledge along with me, all the while being mindful of it, watching it, learning it, and my relationship with it. All of this is by no means an excuse for inaction--another misunderstood concept of zen and buddhism; action and inaction. I accept also my actions/inactions but know that they will eventually move into directed action.

The lesson here is that acceptance is not a destination, it is a starting point. Once you have accepted something, you must choose what to do with it and how you will live the relationship with what you have accepted.

time X place

The past is a comforting place. It is your old room; a box stuffed with boxes stuffed with memories. It is warm and cozy, everything in it's place; predictable, known. It is stuffy, the window hazed with condensation and outside, the sun has set long ago. The past is all memories, bound in and limited to them.

The future is an anxious place. It is a field stretching out; as far as the imagination that makes it. It is windy and agitated, in a constant flux of boundless possibilities and desires; unpredictable, unknowable. The future is all imagination, bound to and only limited to it.

If the present where a place, it would be the door between the Past and the Future. But there is no such place, just as there are no lines between colors on a canvas. The present is an infinitely small, non-existant point between memory and imagination. And on that point is where you are. The present is a transition.

Just as non-existant as the present, just as much an illusion as memory and imagination: I just am / not.

Couldn't resist the clever little punctuation trick there and the pedantic explanation for it. The slash between am / not is meant to signify this same concept of being / non-being, as expressed in the description of the present. The slash is also known as a "separatrix", which also has a meaning in mathematics. I had also heard the term applied in a presentation given by Greg Lynn in reference to a line created by the meeting of two bodies. There is also a term in art theory for this but I cannot recall it at the present. hah! Totally unintentional pun. Anyways, this is all intellectual diarrhea of course...

There's nothing that is in between?

      Just on the border of your waking mind
      There lies... another time
      Where darkness & light are one
      And as you tread the halls of sanity
      You feel so glad to be
      Unable to go beyond
      I have a message
      From another time...

The visions dancing in my mind,
The early dawn the shades of time.
Twilight crawling through my window pane.
Am I awake or do I dream,
The strangest pictures I have seen,
Night is day and twilight's gone away.
With your head held high and your scarlet lies,
You came down to me from the open skies,
It's either real or it's a dream
There's nothing that is in between

      Twilight, I only meant to stay a while
      Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind
      Away from me.

Across the night I saw your face
You disappeared without a trace
You brought me here but can you take me back.
Inside the image of your light
That now is day and once was night

You leave me here and then you go away.


You brought me here but can you take me back again.
With your head held high and your scarlet lies,
You came down to me from the open skies,
It's either real or it's a dream
There's nothing that is in between


- Electric Light Orchestra - Twilight Lyrics

This has been an entry about reality, screenology, cyberspace, immersion, externalization, cyborg tendencies, dreams... and the disjunction their intersection produces.

(Please do not flog me for also stating that my first exposure to this brilliant brilliant piece of prescient pseudo-romantic post-post-modernism came from it's use as the theme song for Densha Otoko.)

What was I thinking?

Rough day. Long before the time I usually wake up at, I had taken my best friend to the airport as he moved to Tokyo, I dropped off some stuff at my mother's house, I drove by my old high school, got stuck in morning rush-hour traffic, had an allongé and a chocolate croissant (with no chocolate in it... a defect!), visited an office for rent on St-Laurent...

... fielded way too many work related issues, got one "so when are YOU coming?" message ...

... and decided to back out of the whole "new apartment on Esplanade" thing.

I may be sick of living in my current flat, but seriously... what the hell was I thinking? It's as if I had a short circuit and totally forgot a whole bunch of things; things that point me in the exact opposite direction of renting a pricey nice new apartment.

Sigh. Rough day. I haven't even had lunch yet and in one hour I am back in the dentist's chair to boot!

(Sorry Michael. I'm really, really sorry. I'll make it up to you.)

A funny thing happened on my way to...

I did a lot of walking yesterday.

At 1:15 I visited the apartment I mentioned here previously. Arriving at the address, one of my suspicions was confirmed: it was indeed the same building that an english professor of mine from over 10 years ago lives in. Matthew von Baeyer taught a course on essay writing at John Abbott College; I was not actually enrolled in the course but I became friends with him and sat in a few times. When I visited his apartment all those years ago, he showed me his grandfather's Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1905), which he had been awarded for synthesizing the color indigo for use in commercial dyes. He also showed me the small book of poetry he had self-published, all about indigo.

So I visit the place; classic Montreal apartment layout: off from the entrance are two large rooms with no wall between them (making it one big room but still considered separate), a central living room area (which is not much more than a widening or an outgrowth of the hallway, much the same way Lake St-Louis is just a widening of the St-Lawrence River), a tight washroom, a small kitchen (the stove was in a closet...) and a back room. It was... "ok". I went through the motions, filled out the application form, buying time to think about it.

This is where I spare you details about going back home and then returning to bring the landlord some contact info.

After dropping off the envelope with said details, I turn around, snap this pic, and head back home. Crossing Marie-Anne Street, I see a "À LOUER" ("FOR RENT") sign. I get closer to see the details. In shakey hand, a name (George), phone number and "4 1/2") are written lightly.

"What the heck", I think as I key in the number.

A cheerful, elderly woman's voice, heavy with foreign accent answers.
- "Oh you want to see? Come, come see!"
- "Yes, thank you. I am outside! Which apartment is it?"
- "Oh you are outside?! I come out. It is upstairs!"

Upstairs, I meet George. Mid to late 60's greek man. If it weren't so close to Christmas, I wouldn't hesitate to say he was jolly (I find out later what makes him so jolly and his nose so red... deadly homemade greek wine! hah!)

I am showed into the apartent, I remove my shoes and... I look down the hallway... and it seems to stretch from here to Papineau! "Jeebus, how big is this place?" I think to myself.

The first room, off to the left (they are all on the left), is e-nor-mous. Thanks to a large window (sadly all the windows face Marie-Anne and not the Mountain... small price), it is very bright. The following room is a bit smaller but also larger than I oculd hope for and bright. "Bedroom!" I immediately think. ;)

The third room is a tad smaller again, and it connects to a perfectly respectable kitchen, which opens out to the balcony, which runs the length of the apartment. Oh and the ceilings are all about 14". Oh and the floors have just finished drying after being sanded and re-finished. Oh and the previous tenant stripped and sanded all the moldings down to bare wood, including the antique cupboards in the kitchen which have glass doors and little latches. What a treat.

I could live without the stucco in the hallway but eh. C'est la vie.

"Dammit, let's do this." I say to myself.
"What do you need from me to make this mine?" I ask George.
"Ohhh, a small deposit, maybe $100, just to say, and come back tomorrow to meet my son who will take care of the paper stuff."
I had shown up at the first apartment with $400 cash in my pocket in case I needed to grease a palm. But I had since gone back home and left the money on my shelf. Drat I hafta go back!

So back I go, and back I drive (getting tired here...). I ring the doorbell, George greets me, I quickly try to spit out the "thank you very much" in greek my mother had just taught me over the phone from Florida. (something something para poly... :p ) Come in! Have a glass of wine with me! Let's talk a bit!


Plate of smoked pork, some bread, olives... and a glass of 1 year old home made greek red turpentine, I mean wine!

This all goes very well. Everyone is jovial everyone is happy, I am just the kind of guy they are lookign for as a tenant; I know it and they know it. The question of money and where and how I get it barely comes up.
- "Where do you work? What do you do?"
- "I work for myself, at home mostly. Iiiiiii... um... computars!"
- "Ah! Ok! ... I come here in 1954 with five dollars and not speak english!"

(Forgive me if that sounded bad. I in no way intend to portray George in any kind of joking or deprecating or disrespectful way. It was really that kind of heartwarming conversation.)

- "Ah! My father too! He came from germany. He told me that for the first month he ate apple pie everyday at the same diner because he couldn't read the menu and would just point at the pie in the glass dome on the counter..."

After having brunch (our last Sunday brunch together for probably a long time), I returned to see George and meet his son, Spiro; a hip and with it and super nice guy. They had me fill out an application form quickly, a formality.

- "Great, just come back on Tuesday, is Tuesday ok?, I'll give you the keys!"
- "And I guess I'll sign the lease then and give you first month's rent..."
- "Yeah, heh, that too."

Here I am. :D

Getting my hopes up

On saturday early afternoon I have an appointment to visit what could very well be my dream apartment.

I was not actively searching for a new place, but I came across its listing online and though "this I cannot not pursue!" I hesitate to give to much details here now, lest somehow someone beats me to it because my mentioning it here, but yeah... 5 1/2 (Montreal real-estate-speak for 4 rooms, kitchen and washroom), balconies front and back, second floor, on my dream street facing a huge park and The Mountain.

I'm worried about getting my hopes up for a number of reasons: at the price they are asking, it may possibly be a dump, which would really be a shame because it is where I want to be, but no way am I living in a dump. Then again, the price may be low because who the hell wants to move in the winter. Also, I am "scheduled" to visit. This means there's a queue of people before me and after me. It is entirely possible that anyone of the people scheduled before me hands the landlord a roll of bills (as I plan to do if the place is choice) and then I am shit out of luck (as will be the people after me if the place is choice... ;)

In any event, it is entirely possible that Saturday afternoon I have the keys to the ultimate dream Montreal apartment, further reinforcing what seems to be the fact that I am one of the luckiest bastards alive.

That or I will be inconsolably pissed.

Good lord, what was that??

It took five days. Five days for the ecosystem that is my mouth to free itself of the violent shock I had inflicted upon it on this Wednesday past. I can now actually move my mouth more or less normally without too much pain.

I had lasagna for dinner and oh my did I relish pseudo-chewing a little before swallowing it whole. I grinned fiendishly. "I'm still here you bastards!"

A few lessons learnt:
Percocet, a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone is a constipant. (I vaguely remember having this mentioned to me during the post-operation briefing. They really should give that briefing before the procedure. Being under general anesthetic doesn't help much with memory or language processing...) Not only did I not eat for five days ... :p

Acetaminophen when combined with alcohol is toxic for the liver. I did not learn this from experience per se but from poking around on the web. I am immediately switching to Advil for my hangover needs. Anyone have any other insights on pain killers?

Watching samurai movies from the 60's and 70's for 4 days gives you a hell of a hankering for sake, onigiri (rice balls) and chopping people up with a katana. That dentist is on the top of my list right now... ;)
It also teaches you a load of japanese you, as a foreigner, will never need to know: how to yell at inn keepers, how to bet odds or evens at yakuza dice gambling dens, how to say "well well" in a menacing tone.

That curvy syringe they give you for squirting water into the holes in your jaw where your teeth once were... is only useful once you actually start eating again (as opposed to quickly swallowing mush).

Bloodclots! Yum! :p

And most important: life will go back to normal. Eventually. For now, you've got a nasty taste in your mouth and your breath stinks, all the time, no matter what you do.

They're out

So it took about an hour, 3 got pulled. The 4th apparently wasn't worth the hassle. Amen.

The pain killers are doing their job, but I feel like my jaw is wired shut. And oddly I have a headache from watching movies. Go figure. Maybe the percocet is wearing off... time for another pill! ;)

I cannot wait to have a normal meal again.

Construction ahead

Yesterday afternoon, on our way to dim sum in Chinatown, Karl and I drove down Avenue du Parc. At the foot of the mountain, where the street bisects Parc Mont-Royal and Parc Jeanne-Mance, roadwork crews had torn out the sidewalks on both sides.

"This is what the inside of my mouth will look like later this week," I thought and said.

Today and tomorrow will be go-go-go. Between loads of fun client work, IRC meetings and travel bookings, I will need to clean up the apartment, vacuum, do dishes (you don't want to know, ugh) and laundry, stock up on groceries...

Groceries: basically, anything I can boil down to mush or mash up. In other words, fruits and veggies. Two quarts of "fond de volaille" (chicken stock) and I'll be in soups till next friday; bananas, pineapple, soft tofu and orange juice for breakfast smoothies. Oh and yogurt. (writes that down)

I'd hunt for a recipe for congee but I suspect that come thursday or friday night I will be stir crazy and pain crazed enough to stagger my way to Chinatown for a bowl made by that karaoke-singing resto lady. ;)

*Somebody* should lend me a stack of recently acquired DVDs too... just in case, you know, the pain is too much and I can't work... ahem.

Je dors

La vie est un rêve
et je dors.
Les moments passent,
bons et mauvais,
puis je me réveille.

Je ne me souviens de rien.


On my way home from my last dentist's appointment I got a phonecall. It was them. The first thing I thought, and in fact said out loud was: "This can't be good..."

Before leaving, the dental hygienist insisted on doing a set of X-rays since apparently it had been a few years.

"Well, you've got three impacting wisdom teeth and the fourth one is decayed. You mentioned you'd be traveling as well and so we strongly urge you to have them out as soon as possible."

They told me something similar the last time, 3 years ago, only not quite as urgently. "I'll call you back tomorrow and I guess make arrangements?"

That was over a two months ago. "Wisdom teeth out, yeah right. That'll cost me a fortune!" Well over a grand plus taxes for all four, not to mention the pain and time lost as I roil in agony for days...

My four little horsemen of the Apocalypse have been acting up these past two weeks however, and I'm getting nervous. Not to mention plans are afoot for a fair amount of "being away" in the new year.

Looks like I'm calling my dentist tomorrow.

Short notice

Ok ok. So yeah it's my birthday. 31.
This is official notification to all of you, that I will be at Laïka (4040 St-Laurent) from 7pm onwards.

Do drop by if you are so inclined. They serve foods, café and drinks of all kinds. ;)

It snowed on my birthday

Is this uncharacteristically early? I can't remember. I was walking around at 3am again and it was snowing. "Slushing" more like. The kind of snow that melts on contact with the ground. It was quite stormy actually; a transparent snowstorm in October.


So I caught a cold. I first felt the scratch in my throat last friday, but it went away and I thought "hrm, ok, good thing that didn't develop." Monday morning it came back and was pronounced. You know when you just *know* you are sick? When your body just isn't all systems go? I had to postpone my visit to Cambridge. Terrible timing. So much to do and can't get settled in properly to do much of it.

Now it is Thursday, and my throat is still sore. My nose is runny and I'm coughing from time to time. Ouaaaaan. :p

Yesterday evening I went out to my favorite pho place. Before going I minced a giant clove of garlic, added a dollop of chili paste, wrapped it up in cellophane and brought it with me. When my soup arrived I dropped the mixture in. Oh. Wow. Pho with a load of garlic in it is phenomenal. I still stink though. ;)

Another sign summer is gone

When washing face and hands, I switch from turning on only the cold water tap... to turning on only the hot water tap.



Still alive. This server is toasted. Migrating tonight or tomorrow. For those who would know what to make of this: "Stay away from Plesk-based VPS services."

Update: Moved, upgraded. Phew. Thanks Joi and Jason. ;)

So, in a nutshell, my last week consited of much time on hold with support, being nice with support, being not so nice with support. I believe I used the phrase "it's GO time" once.

The Dell replacement monitor arrived and after an initial SNAFU, I now have full DVI glory and oh my god. Sweet. Now I need to call their support to return the defect.

I am getting good vibrations about spending a good chunk of the winter in California. L.A. mostly, but hell if I'm out there I'll be in S.F. a few times for sure.

Christmas in Tokyo. If I can pay off all my debt between now and the end of October, it's a done deal.

There is of course loads more to talk about. Alot of work related stuff as I am totally submerged in it now. Lots of thoughts about aggregation and data/media classification and retrieval systems. The word "context" has taken on an enormous importance, and I see it's application everywhere. You haven't gotten anything until you've gotten context. ;)

Generally, less talk more action. But hang in there, I'll be back. Muscle flexing is coming.

Doing right

Well, Dell, I must say: wow. Wow.

So I ordered this 2005FPW 20" TFT monitor from you over three weeks ago. I complained a bit about the fact that the website was essentially useless for tracking the status of my order, but when I called I was told all was well and that unfortunately there was a back order. Fair enough.

After that, the monitor showed up at my door yesterday morning, a full week earlier than I was told it would. Wonderful!

However, unfortunately, the one I got had a defective DVI port. I spent the better part of my afternoon figuring that out, a process which included a very helpful and knowledgeable support call to you and a trip downtown to a friend's office where he had just unpacked his (he ordered it the same day as me after I sent him the URL to the special you were running) to see if it was the DVI on my Powerbook or a faulty cable. Turns out IS the DVI port on the monitor itself.

I then spent the rest of the afternoon in the maddening maze that is your customer support phone experience. I believe I placed a half dozen phone calls, at one point, being so close to service only to be told your systems were oddly enough down. Roar. Considering I was playing phone tag with two other customer support departments (web hosting.. don't ask), my day was pretty much scrapped.

So I called one last time yesterday evening. The call took all of 4 minutes and it was settled. A replacement would be dispatched within 5 to 7 business days and we'll deal with the return of the defective unit after that. I barely believed my ears then.

I barely believed my ears when I received a call from you just 10 minutes ago. The monitor had shipped, Purolator Express, I should get it latest 2 days from now. Oh and it is a brand new one and not a refurbished one (I had be warned about that by one of the support folks N calls ago...;)

"What about the defective unit?"

"Oh just call us once you've set the new one up. We'll send Fed Ex around then."

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Oh and by the way; the monitor is awesome. I am using it with a VGA adapter at the moment and although that makes the image fuzzy, the brightness and clarity is awesome and I am so loving the rotation feature.



I spent the most part of the last... dunno, lost track... 6 weeks? working on the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division's website, which we launched last thursday morning at 5am EST. (I went on a 4 day celebration tear thereafter. hah!)

It's really more of a publicly-visible yet closed-community weblog aggregator.

Like Soylent Green, it's made of people, mostly. Aside from the "boring static content" ("about us", "contact us", etc), much of the site is pulled together from weblog entries posted by the students, faculty and staff of the division. At entry posting time, the author has the chance to "cross-post" his/her entry to a handfull of sections of the site: the Main IMD weblog (actually, it's an aggregator), the Events Weblog (also just an aggregator really), the Research area weblogs: Games, Immersive & Mobile (oops, these are aggregators too) and also Course specific weblogs (yup, you guessed it, all aggregators).

The entire site is backed by MovableType (3.2 beta 5 baby! living on the edge) and rendered into a site building framework I feverishly developed over a number of years as a rapid prototyping tool, but which has ended up being very useful in actually running productions sites (and thus making me, and at least one other person, some decent money). The above-mentioned aggregators are generated by a handful of hand coded PHP functions and 3 Smarty templates.

The coolest bits are the way the courses are managed by a "hacked" weblog instance (each course is an entry, semesters are categories, etc...) and the cross-posting "slugs" system (heavily modified since) which uses the keywords field and some UI code lifted from

The site is replete with all kinds of MT hacks and tweaks, some of which I was pointed to from the excellent Hacking Movable Type book. Brad Choate's KeyValues plugin is a life-saver and having Jay Allen on my buddy list and be the awesome dude that he is helped tremendously as well. ;)

The site is also riddled with unfinished bits, not-as-good-as-it-could-be UI elements and even a few serious flaws that are potentially real problems... but only to me and I'm committed to fixing them.

I had alot of fun working with the IMD team on this. The uncornerable Justin Hall whose hurricane gales of enthusiasm, energy and humor made my summer fly by without my noticing it. Scott Fisher's intensely focused insights posited quietly and gently, almost innocently, causing me to smack myself and yell "of course! why didn't I think of that!". Marientina Gotsis, my embattled comrade-in-arms who would roll up her sleeves and clean out the httpd.conf or dump the database when such was the need. And of course last but not least Tracy Fullerton who made every effort to reign us all in (Justin and I mostly, really), provided the guiding line and much of the decision making (other than Justin's "FUCK YEAH! FLICK THE SWITCH MAN!" hahahaaa.. good times!)

Ok. :)

You know when

when the passing of time is only defined by noticing that you need to trim your nails and hair.

And do the dishes and laundry. Ew.
The tub could use a scrub too.

Tabula rasa

Having had 30 seconds to think about it, I've decided on a course of action for this here "weblog". Tabula rasa it is.

This site no longer suits my needs. I've built up a mini Tower of Babel and it's confusing my tongue, so to speak. The audience is confused, I am confused; full stop. What are we doing here?

So. It is being shelved. Archived. Nothing more added to "it", but nothing taken away either. No URIs will be broken, and what comes next will live right next to it. The archives will sit there, comments and trackbacks, layout, structure et al intact. I'll even keep the database and the instance of MT in place. Just for the heck of it.

A spanking new copy of MT, a fresh database, super minimal design and features, all new directories and archive URI scheme moving forward.

When I have a moment, of course. I have to go rescue Mike first. Amongst many other things.

(Oh and just cause I like the phrase: De te fabula narratur: t'is your story being told.)

Crazy mum...

Email from my mother:

Yepeeeeeeeeeeeey , MAUI is great, getting my rental gear now.
Was flying business class , now I am spoiled for life :)

The next day, an IM while I was away:

crazy windsurfing conditions here, need 3.4 to 4.4 m sail. for comparison, back home in Florida, my smallest sail is a 4.5, and I use it very seldom. am bruised all over

Here's a picture of mom, last year:
Mom Windsurfing

Mom was born near the end of Word War 2. You do the math.
Now, choice of helmet and wetsuit colors aside, that's pretty cool, eh? ;)

Have fun, crazy. :)

A nice surprise

Bopuc Google Pagerank


"I'd liek to thank teh Academy..." [sic]


if (!isset(“guru”)) {
    $bopuc = “lethargic”;
    echo “oh-oh!”;
(Yeah, it's bad.)

Some Soundsystem

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah... yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah... yeah, hey, hey, hey, hey

Everybody keeps on talking about it... nobody's getting it done
I'm gettin' tired, tired, tired of listening, listening... knowing that the shit's gotta run

Everybody keeps on pushing and shoving... nobody's got the goods
Everybody keeps on pushing and shoving... nobody's got the guts
You owe me ti-ti-time, now they're writing me in... I never act like I should

Everybody keeps on listening in... Nobody's listening up
We've been try-try-trying now to let you in... And, you just got let in by luck

Everybody keeps on talking about it... nobody's getting it done
I'm getting tired, tired, tired of listening, listening... knowing that the shit's gotta run, shit's gotta run

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah... yeah, hey, hey, hey, hey

... And nobody's falling in love
Everybody here needs a shove
And Nobody's getting any touch
Everybody thinks that it means too much
And nobody's coming undone
Everybody here's afraid of fun
And nobody's getting any play
It's the saddest night out in the U.S.A.

Beat... a connection
Beat... communication (x6)
... ... ...
Confuse... confusion
Refuse... confusion
Refuse... illusion
Confuse... illusion

Flagged as "To Reply ASAP"

to replyI'm

Sorry! :(

Also a bicycling weekend...

Basically the last 4 days have been wake up, code code code, eat, code code design code, bicycle bicycle eat, design design code, sleep.

Most excellent Michael Lenczner has lent me a most craptasic 15 year old stolen-and-repainted-numerous-times mountain bike with shot front air shocks. I am having a totally wikkid awesome time riding around The Plateau and Mile End, going for coffees, drinks, breakfast, getting sun, breathing night air... all between mad frenzies of hours and hours of work, and totally wearing myself out.
It's sunday night, I have a deadline to launch a major site tomorrow, I have to practice my Hiragana... and all I want to do is collapse in bed.

Hehehehehe. Feels damn good.
Thank you Michael!

Wordpress weekend

OMG! I can write plugins!!!

OMG! I HAVE TO write plugins...


Yes, I will be releasing two things:

  1. a WP plugin that extracts media file URLs from posts, allowing you to link them with a nifty icon or text somewhere outside the entry.
  2. an extension (piggyback) framework to the Subscribe2 plugin which allows for Cron-scheduled post digest emailings.

This of course does wonders for my trying to get people to understand that I am NOT a developer... Aw well.

Mappin my route

Too cool.
My jogging route. 4km each way. 4km uphill, 4km down. Be sure to check out the satellite view too (eventhough there are dang clouds in the way).

(PDF for posterity)

Sophisticated krishnas

The Hare Krishnas from down the street just went by. They seem to have hired a new arranger cause instead of just chanting, they had an accordion and some real bongos and were doing the traditional "hare hare krishna krishna" thing in a very ... moderne arab/parisian/world style. Sort of a mashup of the original chant, Yann Tiersen ("Amerlie" soundtrack), Manu Chao/Mano Negra and Les Negresses Vertes.

Pretty catchy... ramaaa ramaaa... *snaps fingers*...

Andrew emailed shortly after my posting this to say:

The head Krishna also appeared to be wearing a headset of some kind. To coordinate what, I don't know."

Hiiiihihihihihiii. Their ascension to the big love-in the sky of course! (Yes yes I know, Krishna have nothing to do with love-ins etc... it's funny to me tho :p

Slow motion cold

I've had a raw sore throat for well over two weeks now, and horking up small wads of mucous from the back of my throat. At first it was just annoying and, in typical fashion, I just bore it and grinned.
It got more pronounced and more annoying over the last 4-5 days.
This morning I woke up with a full-blown chest cold.

Some things that are mystifying me:
1- Why am I seemingly getting sick so often lately? My diet and health are otherwise really good. I exercise, and eat well etc...
2- I quit smoking 3 months ago. I haven't felt any kind of physical change since, other than I don't stink and I have somewhat more energy. If anything, I have felt more sickly since quitting. Oh and I gained 5-10lbs unceremoniously. :p

The worst part is, I don't have the time to be sick. I don't have the time to spend nursing myself, nor do I have the time to wait for 4 hours at the local CLSC for a doctor to sit me down for 5 minutes and write me a prescription for antibiotics without looking me in the eyes. I don't think I even want to then be told "take this poison for 2 weeks and then you'll be fine." I want to be fine NOW, and I want to STAY fine, dammit. hehehehe

I just spoke to my mechanic (hah! no no, my car's been sick too and IT'S gotten the attention it needs) and mentioned how I was feeling and he said he's had a sore throat for a week too... is this going 'round? A slow motion cold virus?

This has been an entry titled "Whining out loud."

It won't end

It won't end until I have run away and hidden myself so far and so deeply, that never will I know that you have left us.
For without us, I could not continue.

Ça ne finira pas
Ça ne finira pas tant que je ne me suis pas caché si loin et si profondément que jamais je n'aurai à savoir que tu nous as quittée.
Car sans nous, je ne puis continuer.

(Tellement plus beau en français, n'est-ce pas? ;)

Been busy much?

I rarely talk about work here - and I will soon have a place to do only that - but I figure I should mention some of what's been keeping me busy lately.

Summer started with a bang really. On short notice I was flown down to Los Angeles to consult for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. That initial meeting was good and I have a funny story I may share at some later point. In any case, things with them are progressing slowly. While in Los Angeles, I also met with friends Scott Fisher and Justin Hall regarding the rebuilding of the University of Southern California's Interactive Media Department's website/weblog. That project officially started last week and I should be working on that instead of procrastination by blogging right now.

Shortly upon my return I got a call for help from Joi. Angelina Jolie and Gillian Caldwell from Witness were in Sierra Leone with some human rights recommendations they were to present to the president there. They had set up a TypePad weblog and needed it to look a bit better than just a plain default template. Voila.

Seeing they were infested with comment and trackback spam, I contacted and got authorization to install, setup and maintain spam fighting tools for both Lawrence Lessig and David Sifry's weblogs. Redesigns are pending and possibly forthcoming... ;)

Ejovi Nuwere, who's personal weblog's templates I cleaned up a little while ago as well, asked me to completely rebuild and redesign his InfoSecDaily website. In the process, it sorta became "our InfoSecDaily site"... more to come on that. (For the curious, take a glance at the original, before I got my paws on it.)

Later this week, hopefully, I am also launching my total rework of the Global Voices Online website. I am *really* happy to be working with the fantastic Rebecca MacKinnon, for who's North Korea Blog I also did some work, and awesome Ethan Zuckerman. They are doing some really important stuff at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and I am happy, honored and humbled to be allowed the opportunity to help. I have a lot of ideas of things we can do together going forward...

(I've been meaning to reduce my use of such words as fantastic, awesome and "totally mindbending man", but in the above case they are warranted.)

Michael will tell you that I may pursue something with Witness as well, but I say we'll see how I do this...

Ok! Back to work! Slackers!

Fly, fly away

I retreated from the extreme heat here today to the little air conditioned café down the street. Sitting on the table I installed myself at was today's Globe & Mail. At the bottom of the front page (hah! I almost said "homepage!" Cripes.) is an ad for some Air Canada seat sales to Europe.

Amsterdam/Zurich, September 12th / October 16th : $449.00cnd!!!

Oh I could so do with a trip over right around then. Berlin, Vienna... mmmmmmm.
Too bad the Ars Electronica festival is exactly one week before the sale starts. :\

I'm watching you

Gen Kanai
Johnny Shoepainter
miyuki jane
Pete Barr-Watson
Jean Snow
Yuka Oishi
Ryou in the box

Pour être bien précis

Je ne vous propose pas de partir en affaires avec moi, mais bien que nous allions nos forces de sorte de nous procurer les moyens de vivre confortablement à notre gré, en faisant non seulement ce que nous connaissons et aimons faire, mais aussi de manière de faire quelque bien dans le monde.

Le reste, c'est des détails. ;)

It's damn hot

So Karl and I moved from the sweatlodge-like Laika to the air conditioned Java-U on St-Denis where Oblivia was.

Logging into the free wifi network I spot something familiar in the URL. "Helloooo... what's this..."


I made this! A long long time ago.

Related: sometime last week, Barlow appeared in my buddy list with the status line "wifi on a Lufthansa 747!". There too he would have seen my handiwork, as the APs I worked on are OEMed to the company that provides Boeing with in-cabin WiFi. So, if you find yourself on a Boeing with WiFi, spark up your web browser, surf over to and think of me... ;)
(And flickr it!! yeah!)

Where does the night go?

You know how some afternoons just zip by? One minute you just finished lunch and the next it's 4:30...

Some nights are like that too. Just a few moments ago I was walking up St-Laurent amid the Thursday night partiers and Grand Prix riff raff, and zip! It's a pale, bright and drizzly friday morning. I'm gonna go for another walk, before it becomes unbearably hot and humid again. I'll sleep then. ;)


Nous avons eu raison. Quand nous avons dit en début de mars que "les weblogs, c'est fini".

Avec un surplus d'attention et de nourissement, l'accroissement rapide et massif eu totallement et complètement transformé l'organisme qu'était le weblog, ainsi que l'environment dans lequel il existat.

(Pour les entrepreneurs, la réalité de la chose vit dans l'argent. Illusion to-ta-le, mais bon; que la bulle s'éclate comme d'habitude. C'est toujours bien d'avoir certains cycles dont on peut faire confiance. La stupidité humaine nous en procure assez...)

Le changement et les transitions n'étant jamais faciles, tous les deux nous avons dernièrement ressentis les après-choques. C'est normal. Quand un groupe s'aggrandit, les philosophies et les politiques s'entre-choquent. ;)

En termes "McLuhanistes", le renversement a eu lieu: la blogosphère qui se crut ouverte à tous et à tout, se trouve maintenant balkanisée, avec chaque jour de plus en plus de portes fermées. L'obsolescence est à deux pas avec les nouveaux systèmes de partage que nous connaissons et utilisons déjà quotidiennement.

C'est excitant!

Ce site sera reconfiguré, temps le permettant. J'ai de nouveau mandats avec un certain groupe de Harvardiens et je crois que j'en ai fini de parler et penser de technologies juste pour parler et penser de technologies. À quoi bon ça sert si on s'en sert que pour du blah blah.

Et cet automne j'espère enfin me retrouver à Tokyo. Au moins en visite! Hah. Tu viens? ;)

Torrential ninjas

Two days ago, I had this ninja movie, Red Shadow, coming in on BitTorrent at, like, 450k/s ... it was sooooo sweet... I was really pumped. Then at 64% the only seeder disconnected. I thought I was totally gonna flip out and kill people... but he just came back on... That is so totally awesome. I can feel it in my ...

Real ninjas love bittorrent... it's the best place to get films of other ninjas totally flipping out and killing people all the time...

it is so totally awesome. and that's a fact. I am really pumped. Now I just need to get hooked up with fries.

[for this to make any sense, if indeed there is any sense to it, you must see this.]

[yes, I know it's old. it still makes me giggle uncontrollably... as does this. Ooooooooo.]

Summer finally pulled up


After two truly miserable weeks that finished off May, and a generally unpleasant spring, summer finally showed up today. Warm, sunny, pleasantly perfumed breeze... green grass and leaves...

So I went for my run, only my second this season, stretched out my way-way-too-white self in the grass of the summit park and reread the Dhammapada.

It's incredible how much a few months of freezing cold makes me forget. :(

Despite the sunlight and warmth, getting out of bed this "morning" was excruciatingly painful. More so than it has been in a long long time. For no apparent reason, I just did not want to get up and every inch of my body and every node of my mind fought a war to keep me lying there. It hurt.

So I hereby institute my modular dynamic summer schedule system.

First of all, no more than 6 hours sleep a night - as opposed to my current overly gluttonous 9 hours - unless absolutely necessary and/or warranted. This will allow for late night working, day-time enjoying, interspersed with early morning café-going and all night party binges. Since I DO actually have clients in EST, regular business hours for that time-zone will be more than accommodated by the afternoon hours... by appointment. Hah. Kidding. No, but really, it being all so dynamic and modular and what not, I can quite comfortably juggle all this. I did it last summer... no really...

While this all seems gleefully cheerful, lest yea be warned I have been in somber spirits of late. All is not so well; thanks for your concern, I'll be fine, eventually, as always. Just watch what you say to me... ;)

Bang on

MJ on the "Lifecycle of Bloggers".

While I don't for one second believe there is any such thing as "one type of blog/blogger", this sums up very nicely what many many go through.

I'm at step 12 myself. Again. Not the purging part, mind you.


I did not share the words that came to me at that moment, watching a car turn a corner, a leaf fall from a tree, a cloud overhead.

one of those moments where the smallest event can take on unprecedented enormity... where every detail and every second is blown up, under a microscope, and then fantastically zoomed out and placed, just so, where it should be. the peripheries of one's view are then drawn together, folded over, collapsed and sucked inwards into that minuscule point of the world we might call familiarity.

That point that hovers, just so, between my eyes, just above my nose.

There is a creature, pacing in its confine: a square box I have set myself into, which no longer fits and whose edges are bombing outwards as my wants and needs balloon and rise.

There is an expression raging at the thought of being second-placed, yet again, grounded and forbidden to float by the vagaries of a perceived obligation to maintain some sort of mondain status quo.

Memories in dust

This morning I dreamt of a fire.

Monk's Point

About 12 or 13 years ago, we moved out of my childhood home. The day of the move, I was the first one with all my stuff out, and the first one all moved into the new house. I even had my own moving crew; a group of friends and a pickup truck.

We moved from a huge house, on a wonderful property - 4 1/2 acres, on the western tip of Île Bizard, with forest and waterfront - to a smallish house just on the edge of suburbia. I knew every creaking inch of that old house and every stone and blade of grass on that property. I was a part of it and it of me. I left as quickly as I could that day to not ever let it sink in that it was gone.

Since that day, most of my dreams have taken place in that house. No matter where I was or what was going on in my life, everything was brought back to that house in my dreams.

This morning, it burnt down, in my dreams. It burnt down and I risked my dream life scouring over its entirety trying to save every memory. Until I stopped and thought how futile.

I awoke somehow lighter.

Benji The First - Back, towards the river

My day rapidly turned somber for unrelated reasons, but I just emailed my mother and sister asking them to come visit me this week sometime and to take whatever memories they may still want before I throw them out or sell them off. They are merely gathering dust here and I do not want them anymore.

Yes, Minister

It always seemed rather strange to even myself that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this British political satire situation comedy. The writing was simply superb, the characters equally profoundly witty, when not nit-witted, and the clever pace helped via laughter, one's supper along it's digestion route.

B's in hoity-toity complicated english mode...

I think the only other person I've ever met who let alone knew the show, but also enjoyed it's ludic linguistics, was Anders.

This evening, however, I stumbled upon a weblog simply titled " - a weblog in logic, philosophy of logic, and the philosophy of language". (I think, Anders, you will like this too.) Amongst the very, um, yes, how shall I say, profund (not a typo) insights, et cetera, were these choice quotes from the aforementioned television programme:

Sir Humphrey:
If local authorities don't send us the statistics that we ask for, then government figures will be a nonsense.
Sir Humphrey:
They'll be incomplete.
But government figures are a nonsense anyway.
I think Sir Humphrey wants to ensure they're a complete nonsense.
Sir Humphrey:
It is so difficult for me you see, as I am wearing two hats.
Yes, isn't that rather awkward for you.
Sir Humphrey:
Not if one is in two minds.
Or has two faces.
Sir Humphrey:
A clarification is not to make oneself clear, it is to put oneself in the clear.
Sir Humphrey:
East Yemen, isn't that a democracy?
Sir Richard:
Its' full name is the Peoples' Democratic Republic of East Yemen.
Sir Humphrey:
Ah I see, so it's a communist dictatorship.
Personally I find it hard enough to believe that one of us was one of them, but if two of us were one of them ... two of them, all of us could be ... um could be ... um ...
All of them.

More great quotes from the show here, linguist breakdown of The Simpsons here...

Yeah check this out:

Episode: Mountain of Madness, Episode # 812 4F10
Deixis in personal pronouns:
Homer has brought his family along on a business team-building exercise in the woods, and Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are stuck in the National Park Service building while all the employees are off team-building. Bart is standing in front of a Smokey the Bear statue, who has an electronic voice and a little 'quiz' to administer. Bart and Smokey have the following exchange:

Smokey: (electronic intonation)
"Who is the only one who can stop forest fires?
(examines response panel, which has two buttons, marked "you" and "me". He presses "you").
Smokey: (electronic intonation)
"You pressed YOU, meaning me. This is incorrect. You should have pressed ME, meaning you.
For those not familiar with "Smokey the Bear", his admonishment, or catch phrase, is "Only YOU can stop forest fires!".

Brilliant. Good commentary on UI design as well right there. :)

email overload

I mean that in both the sense that I am getting way too much way to fast on way too many different topics / related to way too many projects & tasks, and that my current email "solution" - hah! a misnomer if there ever was one - is about to buckle under the weight and cause me my 19th nervous breakdown in the process.

Apple's new presents some new opportunities, none of them "ideal" but eh, which I shall get into at a later date (I'm looking to talk to YOU, Karl and Francis!).

Oh and if you, like me, noticed Mail's Junk filter acting weird after upgrading to Tiger, trying turning it off and then back on again. Seems to kick it back into shape. (I was seeing weird stuff like all my outgoing mails being marked as Junk, etc...)

That said... um... I'll get back to you.

Oh fer pete's sake... Why oh why does Mail's "Smart Mailbox" filtering rules NOT include a status selector?!?!!?!? As in "Status != replied". I mean of all the useless filtering options ("In mailbox..." ??)... ARGH.

VW Mashup

This is sick, sick as in incredibly-insanely-cool-oh-man-I-want-it-so-bad.

Volkswagen Jetta // R32 - Daily progress reports

This project as you can see from these first pics is going to be a complete ground up build, I'm starting with a 100% straight and untouched 2004.5 Jetta GLI body with doors in PG.

Every part of this car is going to done from front to back top to bottom. The outside of the car will have the look of either a bone stock GLI or we have tossed the idea of making it look like a jetta R32 complete Jetta style R32 bumpers and sides.

Inside the car is either going to be complete R32 to include the R32 dash or stock 2004.5 GLI.

The R32 is a version of the VW Golf with basically an insanely awesome engine, 4 wheel drive and full-on tricked-out sports package (suspension, exhaust, interior/exterior styling, etc). The canadian market was deemed too small to warrant making it pass our safety specs so I couldn't get one up here. Then again, at that price point, I might as well get a BMW :p

Anyways, putting the R32 "package" into a Jetta means rebuilding the whole thing from the chassis up. Wow. Awesome car hacking project.

(thx Francis!)


Who woulda thought that one afternoon back in February would produce TWO photographic coincidences?

First, Karl and I.
Then, Jim and I.

Tokyo: Wed 07:53 AM

Picture 2

A quick email of the above screenshot - with message "One of you has a lifestyle/sleeping problem of some sort... ;)" - later:

Picture 3

After reading Jim's entry about what time he actually did wake up at and why:

Picture 4

Love you guys. I was in tears from laughing.

No more ashes

I've washed out and put away the ashtrays in my apartment. They were needlessly taking up space.


I stopped by "the bar" quick tonight to drop off something for the owner, a friend of mine. While I sipped the free drink, Albert came over and told me how happy he was and impressed at how I had managed to stop smoking.

I thought about it for a moment, as I have a few times over the last three weeks, and was really struck at how easy it's been for me to do. I'm not boasting, just saying. I'm confused about it myself...

Anyways, so I sez to Albert:

"You know, the funny thing is I do get the cravings... well sorta... not really... it's more like... I get the emails from the Addiction Center, but I just delete them right away. The "Hey! You want a smoke right now!" subject header gives them away."

Albert squinted dubiously at me, bit down on his cigarillo and pulled out his notepad where he proceeded to write down what I had just said to him.

Evidently he found it as odd as I found it clever.

Nobody Knows - Dare Mo Shiranai

Nobody Knows - Dare Mo Shiranai - Hirokazu Koreeda

Precariously perched,
Hope dies.
The world is so cold,
and chance rarely appears.

Stunning and devastating. I cannot say more.

Birthdays in Tokyo

Unless my info is wrong, I have to wish Happy Birthday today to good friend Jim and awesome dude Gen.

Considering the time-zone difference, and certain servers holding certain informations being in various places on the planet, I may be off by a day or two either way... ;)

It was also my sister's birthday yesterday but she never comes here so nyah, and apparently Adriaan's brother's birthday is today as well...

So... Happy birthday!

(otanjoubi omedetou)

*Cough* Shameless plug *Cough*

Speaking of Ado and birthdays... a great gift to any weblogger is a shiny new copy of ecto, packed with loads of new features, and a whole new interface, complete with icons!



That is the number of unread RSS'd "articles" in my aggregator right now.

"Mark all as read"

Ahhh, much better.

I took a walk

I took a walk this afternoon, through the Mile End. I had to go to the bank, and I wanted to get some mackerel filets. So I walked. Usually I'd drive, but today I walked.

I must thank Steven for lending me "Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera" (Bryan Peterson)... I can see now.

I have not had a cigarette in 11 days, and I don't miss it one bit. Shhhhh shh shh shhhh! Don't jinx me!

I'm flying!

Whenever I imagine I can fly, I immediately think "Ok, so, where do i go? How do I get there?" I imagine myself bopping up and down, "zooming in" and "zooming out" until I find where I wanna be.

A lot like using Google Maps in satellite view. Only, Google Maps allows me to search for stuff too, aiding me in finding specific things... like... tourist style site seeing spots.

Explanation: the above link is to a listing of'ed Google Map satellite views of a couple of "neat sites". Try Niagara Falls or Statue of Liberty. Or the BigO...


Situating a Google Map picture

I was just flying around over Montreal with Google Map's fun new satellite pictures. My actual neighborhood as well as the one I grew up in are sadly in more blurry sections. However I found this dreary patch of my life's story:


That my friends is the "technoparc" I spent 3 years in. I spent a year and a half in the first building (top, with the oval "walk") and then another year and half in the second one when the company moved offices.

The neat thing is I can date this photo. And I can place myself in it...

Techoparc Zoom

We moved into this second building almost immediately after it was finished construction, in January 2002. By the time I left the company in September 2003, building had been completed. In this photo, the ground hasn't even been broken for building number three, so this puts us in summer 2002. Why summer? Cause the trees are thick with foliage. Trust me, I stared at that forest every day for three years. (Oooo, lemme find the pics I took...)

Furthermore, I know that this is early afternoon. Why? The shadow of the forest; it would creep up to the side of the building by 3 in mid-summer. I know because I used to go out there, take off my shirt and read in the sun around 2. (Shhhh)

Oh, and yeah, that is 90% for sure my car. Judging from the amount of cars in the parking lot (and now knowing the period this pic was taken), this was when there were only 2-3 tenant companies in the building, and I ALWAYS parked in that spot. I could even point, through the roof, the exact location of my "ultra sweet desk complexe" (ohh I had a good thing going there with my desk... at least that...), but eh.

Steven, who toiled alongside me in these buildings, has a feature request for Google Maps: "the ability to cast down lightning". Hehee

I'm not gullible

It's just that when you don't believe anything, everything becomes plausible/possible.

Water on Mars
I hate Japan

Sound familiar?

"Attention Deficit Trait" caused by the technologies of constant interruption:

Clive Thompson via Techdirt has a fascinating post on Attention Deficit Trait, a related sydrome to Attention Deficit Disorder, according to Dr. Edward Hallowell.
"It has basically the symptoms as ADD -- such as an inability to concentrate on one task at at time -- except it's context dependent.

ADT is caused by the technologies of constant interruption in the modern workplace and the modern home, such as email, instant messaging, SMSes, mobile phones, and endless meetings (or endless preplanned children's sports).

The thing that makes the two conditions different, he says, is that ADD seems to be hardwired, while ADT goes away when you're on vacation or in a relaxing, non-hyper-stimulated place."

I guess "trait" is better than "disorder", but I am weary of it being so labeled. This behavior is definitely environmental - as our tools are part of our environment - and contextual. Also, referring to them as "technologies of constant interruption" smacks of luddite old-folk speak; it just sounds negative, when it not necessarily is.

Or maybe it is. Maybe we can't get used to - and function efficiently with - constant formatted data input. I don't see why not though. I mean, we process constant raw data input (5 senses, +?). Language processing, be it aural or visual, is a hack* of our mind and thus requires more resources, but we should be able to adapt no?

I guess that's what we are doing. Well... some of us anyways... ;)

*Looking at a page of text and reading are very different. Hearing a person speak and listening are very different. I have always considered communication to be an intrusion of sorts; an insertion. Words carrying ideas inserted into my mind like hot needles... as opposed to individual experience and deduction of environment seeping in and steeping. ;)


Jim: Do you know what the best RSS reader for Windows is?
Me : ...
Me : i haven't even SEEN Windows in... gees... YEARS...
Jim: me either
Me : hehehehe
Jim: never used XP
Me : what's that?
Jim: hehe


Artist: The Tragically Hip
Album: Road Apples

We wake up different, rifle through our dreams
Another placid day, ripples at the seams
Do you think I bow out cause I think you're right?
Or cause I don't wanna fight?

So tangle-minded then so becalmed
It's all so subway-grim and then it's gone
Do you think I bow out cause I think you're right?
Or cause I don't wanna fight?

We get so weary, taking fish off hooks
It's not as effortless as it may look
Do you think I bow out cause I think you're right?
Or cause I don't wanna fight?

We lay down seething, smell our pillows burn
And drift off to the place where you'd think we'd learn
Do you think I bow out cause I think you're right?
Or cause I don't wanna fight?
I said, I give

On comments

I wasn't going to say anything but just to make it clear: I have switched the default setting on this weblog for "Allow comments" to "None".

When I post something that I'd like feedback on, I'll turn comments on for that entry.

Emails are of course welcome and encouraged, and every page of this site has a handy "Contact me" link at the bottom. I'll eventually put something more "user friendly" in place, when I have time.

Why? Just because. Not all weblogs are conversations, and not everyone is interested in debating every little thing. Especially me.

Cheers and thank you for visiting.

Interesting concept...

Oh I really like this idea, alot, in terms of "something to do and a way of doing it".

There must be a market for outsourced skunkworks developers. You have an idea, you want a working prototype, who do you turn to?

Hrm hrm hrm.


I need information about setting up a non-profit organization in Canada. What do I need to do, who do I need to talk to?

Any and all info is much appreciated! :)
(Too busy to STFW myself just now, asking for your help!)

No show


Some of you have asked, and just so everyone else knows: no, unfortunately I am not going to make it to Austin for SxSW this year. Just can't pull it off. No stimulating conversations, no good parties, no beef ribs and tortilla soups...

Seeing the Flickr streams is gonna hurt. :\

The Choice

The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

- W.B. Yeats

(thnx to Mike & Josh for reminding me)

Non-Disclosure Agreement

After not even hearing the words for well over 3 years, today I was faced with no less than two prospective NDA's to sign. I haven't yet.

Reading over the one I did get sent to me, I am struck by how... inhuman... it is. Essentially, the NDA says "We, Corporation X, are interested in shoving some data into your CPU and RAM, but by no means may you add this data to your memory, at least not for five years."

In other words, in exchange for the chance to make some money, I relinquish my "self" and serve as a dummy processor.

This makes me uneasy in the extreme. The cost of doing business is relinquishment of self.
I left the corporate world over this. I think I may turn down two very lucrative contracts over it as well.

The Old Man and the Sea

On monday night I went and watched "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou". I went alone.
It took until last night for me to fully absorb it and realize that I really liked it.

A straight-faced dead-pan comedy adaption of Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", shot with imagination and color. I found it mildly depressing for a day or two, despite the giggling fits brought on by listening to the soundtrack almost constantly for the last three days.

Google movie reviews (hmmm based on the ratings aggregated there, I'd say most people are equally perplexed emotionally by this film...)

Back in high school, being part of one of the worst rabble-rousing classes in the whole private french school I attended, over a five year period we went through four different english teachers. Mrs Nolan, from my 7th grade year, got promoted to vice-principal and the following 3 replacements all quit at various points out of disgust. with our treatment of them. That first year I had handed in a book report on "The Old Man and the Sea" and had gotten a fairly good grade. Taking advantage of the teacher rotation that followed, I managed to pass that same paper off 3 years in a row. Well sorta... On the third try, Mrs Nolan called me into her office and, smiling said to me: "You must really like that Hemingway story..." Seems the current english prof had told her "Boris handed in a really good book report..."

We laughed about that. And then Hemingway punched me in the mouth.


Bopuc Bw Tokyo

A very rare picture of me that I can live with. Thanks Yuki.
(Sorry about the desaturation and levels tweak though... my complexion was really bad that week.)


The screen is really messing with my head. I don't mean just the screens of my computer.. I mean "the screen", as the interface to the network and my expanded mind...

(Here he goes again...)

Two examples.

Last night, moblogging this picture of my drink; spending a few moments absorbed into the screen of my P910, when the task was done and I looked back up, the switch in realities was staggering and eminently palpable. I viscerally FELT the shift in... modality, in mindframe, in realities.

Just now, I was going though my photolog, stopped for a moment on this photo of Emma, just when she, from the couch, which is located behind my desk, just a bit beyond my screen, meowed. The disjunction and recombination of the inputs from the two worlds was jarring. Again, viscerally affecting me.

Ten years ago, DdeK's "The Skin of Culture: Investigating the New Electronic Reality" pulled the lid back on my mind. Now his "The Architecture of Intelligence (The Information Technology Revolution in Architecture)" (Excerpts) is pulling it right out of my head... To counter this effect, a simultaneous reading of "Mind Hacks" and "Turning the Mind into an Ally" (Sakyong Mipham, Pema Chodron), to push it back in, trying to keep it within itself.

Half the time I don't know if I'm dreaming.

Did I say that out loud?

I write an inordinate amount of “weblog entries” in my head. Ninety-nine percent of them never make it to the keyboard, let alone get published. A funny side-effect of this is every so often someone will bring up an entry I did publish and I'll be like “oh... did I write that?”

Did I say that out loud?

Put another way, I think in weblog mode alot. I also think Instant Message conversations with people alot. The side effect of that is I often think I've already told someone something I wanted/needed to tell them. Not so good.

The interesting part of this is why this happens, why I have conversations with people, in my head... do you want to know why?

No I am not insane. :p

It's because with IM, at this point the people I communicate the most with are pretty much always right there. My mind expects to just communicate with them. The interface, at this point consisting of a screen, keyboard, mouse, a chat application, a network connection, is merely a conduit, a medium, an extension of me. It is an extension that my mind has accepted and uses alot and just expects to “be there”.

Sadly, this current conduit is a poor and inefficient one. The perceived reduction in my cognitive capabilities - short term memory mostly - is merely an artifact of the malaise created by this fact.



I've been on a lot of flights, to many places, at all hours of day and night. I've seen mountains, I've seen oceans, Aurora Borealis and the thin line where the sky turns dark.

Above the Bering Straight, looking south down the international date line from thirty-five thousand feet, at midnight, I see... nothing. I see nothing but a few, no, many, oh so many points of light. The curvature of the Earth faintly made out by total darkness, wherelse there are stars.

One imagines nothingness as a backdrop, a black curtain around us. At this moment, even at this altitude, the infinite is a mere canopy floating over my head but with a simple trick of the eye, a trick of the mind, some imagination and perhaps some faith, nothingness becomes a blanket that for a second wraps me up... and I am nothing as well.

Constellations become stars, stars become light sintered through where the blanket's weave is loosened.

Happy birthday

“It's like you're in mourning” he said. “Like you're holding on to her ghost, and somehow feel you are totally satisfied with that.”

Quick rant

If I read one more weblog entry talking about tags and/or folksonomies, I'll wretch (cow tongue sashimi, too much red wine and a bumpy cab ride through Tokyo not required).

If your RSS/Atom feed doesn't contain full entry text, I am ditching you from my subscription list. Sorry. If you want to know how to fix this, contact me, I'll be more than happy to advise. Toll free.

I literally feel like both my hands have been chopped off. This is not a euphemism. I LITERALLY feel phantom limb pain. It is NOT amusing. At the same time my mouth is atrophying. Help me, Kevin.

Fido better upgrade my P900, which seems to have gotten fried in the X-ray machine at Dorval Airport. They better upgrade it to a P910 as soon as I get to Vancouver.

That didn't help. I'm gonna go plant my ass in a café in ... gees I dunno... I'm sick of Omotesando... :p


Tokyo > Montreal in under a second

I'm sitting in the Good Day Café, just off Aoyma Itchome/Omotesando (search me how the street names work in this place...) in Harajuku, Tokyo.

I spark my NewsReader, go to my folder of Montreal RSS subscriptions... and I am 100% back in Montreal. I read about an impromptu YULBlog (Montreal bloggers) night out on the town, I am transported back 2 weeks as slowly other locals blog about the Open Da Nite fire.

I break my reading, look up, and am shocked by my environment: a café packed with japanese ladies chit chatting. “Ahhh so so so so so... Hontoni? Sugoi da neeeehhh!”

Now if only I could do the same and “inject myself” into a quiet and comfortable work space... :p

I dropped it off

I dropped off my car at the VW dealership.
(The passenger side window dropped into the door again and my mechanic said I might as well go to the dealer. This apparently is a VERY common problem for Mark V VW Golf and Jettas. If you own either of these, never open your windows when it is very cold. The mechanism just snaps.)

I dropped it off and I bundled up; minus 20°C out there.
I dropped it off and began the long walk home; about 15 blocks to go.
I dropped it off and immediately relaxed and thought clearly of what I needed to do today.
I dropped it off and took an hour and a half for a thirty minute walk.
I dropped it off and enjoyed St-Hubert, Mont-Royal and St-Denis streets; for the first time in a long time.

I dropped it off... and I wish I didn't ever have to pick it up again.

Viennese New Year

Radetzky-Marsch, Op.228
Johann Strauss, Sr.
(mp3 ~4.6meg)

This is the kind of stuff I imagine was being blared in the house I grew up in during my parents' yearly New Year's Eve parties, though I can't remember. The first few years I was too young to remember, the next few I was busy helping dad set off the fireworks, and at some point, we stopped having the parties.

Two days late, but hey! Clap along! Rada-dat, rada-dat, rada-dat-dat-dat! :)

From this album:

"Neujahrskonzert 1990"


Overnight, I moved this site to a new, way faster server. This will allow me to start building on it again. In the move I decided to ditch my photo galleries because, well, I didn't like them and they took up over 500 megs of space. Sorry, The Web, for the URL rot. I will rebuild a newer one soon. Also it seems I bungled my SQL export and many many UTF-8 encoded characters got messed up. I'll fix the easy ones shortly, but I fear the two or three instances of japanese characters are lost... sigh. Well, we see.

I switched to Adium for all IM. I was using Proteus and iChat, but it seems iChat was the source of some strange behavior, not to mention a resource hog. It'll take some getting used to...

My flight to Tokyo was paid for this morning. Here I come. A month in Tokyo and 3 weeks in Vancouver. Excited is an understatement. Anxiety has moved into the pit of my stomach as well, as I don't have a clue how I am going to pay for all this. Hehehehe.

Chatting with Soli - yes, THAT Soli - with whom I will be staying for part of my Vancouver leg, he sent me this photo of the view from his window:
Solis View

Yes, well... aren't I the lucky one? ;)

On a side note, instead of working on client projects the last few days, I've started developing a PHP-based tool to make comment management in Movable Type easier. So far I have used it here, on Joi's and on Smartmobs and, though rough around the edges at this stage, it is a godsend. I will release a package once I've cleaned it up.

All the best to you all in the new year!

This picture


made me cry. For a long while.
Thank you.

Confessions of a sensitive cybernaut

I get anxious when people don't answer an email.
I worry I've said something wrong, or misplaced a comma or worse, a smiley.
I'm always afraid I'm intruding with an IM message.
I want to apologize whenever someone logs off AIM without answering my "hey! :D"...

People tell me I worry too much.
I wish communication protocols were more reliable.
But then, I am glad they aren't. Rigidity is not natural.


Can't... sleep...

It is 4:30am, again. I am exhausted. Barely slept last night; late night partying and early start this morning playing tech support. The most relaxing part of my day today was playing ambulance for Karl when the call, er.. Instant Message, came in that he'd cut himself badly and needed to visit the Emergency room...

Anyways, so i already know not to drink coffee after the sun goes down, which is like 4pm nowadays (aaaaaaaargh), but I pulled an even bigger bonehead move when trying to hit the sack earlier tonight: I read.

BIG mistake. Reading doesn't put me to sleep, reading puts me in hyper overdrive. (I should try reading some innocuous fiction instead of rabble rousing theories of interconnected intelligence... fneh.)

So I leapt out of bed at 3:30am, head abuzz with all sorts of zany ideas in need of being put down, but by the time I had my tea ready and the notebook out on the couch... it was all gone. Cause I am just too damn tired... not to mention my memory and concentration are shot generally anyways.

I'm too tired to be disappointed with myself. :p
Good night.

You know things are bad when


I just tried pushing the screen of my PowerBook back... using the cursor...

My first Sony Walkman

Following a post by Nika, I thought it'd be cool to start a "thing", a "meme" perhaps... whatever. Use the TrackBacks, Luke!
To find your first Sony Walkman, check out Pocket Calculator's Vintage Walkman Museum: Sony

So, "I'll never forget my first Sony Walkman".

It was 1981 (read on for how I "remembered" that), and my parents had won a door prize at some charity ball, and since my father couldn't go, my mother dragged me off on a Caribbean cruise for two weeks. The cruise ship was anchored in New Orleans and just before embarking, my mother jumped into an electronics shop and bought [cue dramatic music] "our first Sony Walkman".

It was the WM-3 (again, interesting story on how I "remembered" that below). She also bought 3 cassettes:
- a greatest hits of Cat Stevens ("Ooooh baby baby, it's a wiiild world, a-do-do-do-do-dooo, and I'll always remember you, as a child, girl"),
- a sort of "addon/plugin" for the Walkman which gave it AM/FM capabilities,
- and, crucially for my remembering, Leo Sayer's "Living in a Fantasy" ("Oooohhohhhhohhhhh Jessee... I love you more than I can saaaay-e... I'll love you twice as much tomorrooow, oooh-ohhhh, I love you more than I can saaaay").

It was a memorable trip in and of itself: flying fish seen from the porthole window of our cabin, playing with the retractable lightsaber in the arm of my Luke Skywalker action figure, getting seasick and throwing up the water I had drank earlier...

My mom, being the indomitable soul she is and having enough of being couped up on a cruise ship with her semi-autistic son and a bunch of old people, decided we should jump ship in Porta Vaillarta, Mexico. We stayed in a nice hotel where I saw my first asian girl (it started young) and from which we still have the table set my mother stole from someone else's room service (a beautiful set of plates and bowls, simply yet beautifully decorated in lush deep blue) which had been abandoned, she said, in the stairwell. Kleptomania was a "thing" with us. She eventually got over that, as did I, after her second misdemeanor conviction: filet mignons from the grocery store. Sheesh. I digress.

After a few days there, we hopped a Cessna to Cancun where she had some friends working as G.O.s at the Club Med there. They let us stay at the club for a few days before hoping a flight back home.

Now, the story of how I "remembered" that.

It has to do with the web acting as "external memory". ;D

Two "keys":
The Sony Walkman itself and the two cassettes mom bought for us in New Orleans.

Searchinbg Google, I found a museum of "antique" Sony Walkmans, which allowed me to visually narrow it down between two models, one issued in 1979 (the TPS-L2) and the other 1981 (the WM-3).

One of the cassettes she bought was by Leo Sayer, which contained the song "More than I can say".
Searching Amazon I discover that the first Leo Sayer album to contain that song was "Living in a fantasy". Further Googling reveals a page talking about Leo Sayer's career, where it is stated "Leo had a new hit in 1981 with "More than I can say"".

Et voila.
I use the web the same way I use my own memory.
This is what I have become. ;)

NOW, how about YOU? Remember YOUR first Sony Walkman?
(This is interesting on several levels! Thank you Nika!)

On Levendis

Few people have ever asked me what "levendis" means. Fewer still ever asked why I chose it for, amongst other things, my main Internet domain name.

I came across the word Levendis in a short story by one Harlan Ellison, published in Omni magazine back in 1992. It is a short story in 3 parts, written in a journal entry format. Ellison is an apparently well known science fiction writer of sorts. I was never really into sci-fi, but this story somehow spoke to me at the time.

It continues to revisit me regularly, on many levels and in many ways. The word and it's etymology and possible meanings. The story, it's format, what it says.

This evening, over ten years after first reading it, on a lark, I googled for it... and low an behold... the integral text.

It is cryptic, it is strange. There are parts that are not so good... but it will give you an insight into my world. I have much to say about Levendis.

My favorite "interpretation" of the ancient greek word "levendis" is "one who loves life".

"The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore"
Harlan Ellison

As I was saying...

I finally got down to doing some work I've been putting off for weeks.
I haven't received an e-mail or IM request in about two hours. Perfect.

I decided to quit Mail, then iChat, then Proteus.
Ok, I can DO this.

Then I quit NetNewsWire.

All of a sudden, I felt very, VERY alone. Anxious even.
"But... but... what if..."

I'll just start iChat back up... just in case, you know...


New environments inflict considerable pain on the perceiver

The biologist Otto Lowenstein, is his book on The Senses (Penguin Books,Ltd.), has some most helpful observations on the problems that arise upon any change in sensory mode, such as a result from a technological creation of a new environment:

... patients, blind from childhood, on whom normal vision has been bestowed by an operation. Previous to this "opening of the eyes," they had been living in a world of tactile experience, of sound and scent, full of objects familiar to them in terms of their restricted range of sensory experience. How they shrink at first from the welter of additional stimulation, longing at times to return to the relative seclusion of their former world!

- Marshall McLuhan - War and Peace in the Global Village

In a postpostmodern state of mind.

In order to avoid ambiguity, over- or false- interpretation, it is crucial that one properly contextualize every element, in relation to every other element in it's environment.
Meaning can only be found in the relationship of each object with each other object in it's environment.
Each relationship, symbiotically influences the being of each object, connecting each into the whole.
This applies to everything: concepts, objects, individuals... humans.

Without you, I am less me. Or, conversely, with you, I am more me.

By easing communication, we enhance, strengthen the relationships, binding all elements tighter to the one.
By externalizing, reaching out, we draw in, collectively. Osmosis.

It is fascinating to me how many instances of evidence of these concepts are to be found in our cultures.


IM from mom this morning:

Boris, this morning while [ your sister ] was washing dishes, [ your nephew ] got hold of a lighter and playingly put the matrasse on fire, everything went up very fast, she only could grab him and a coat for both and went out!

Everyone's safe.
Call me evil, but I'm chuckling cause I can see the little brat's face as he's doing it: "Ooooo, this is how this works!"


Dehors, il fait noir et il commence à pleuvoir.

"Où sont mes amis?" je me dis.
Je me rattrape aussit√¥t: "Non, plut√¥t, où en suis-je?"

Je n'ai pas d'amis.
Je n'ai rien.
Il y a, sûr que bien,
      des gens autour moi,
      qui me sont des amis.

Mais je ne les ai pas.
Et ils ne m'ont pas.

Parfois je ne les trouve pas et
parfois ils ne me trouvent pas.

Dehors, dans l'obscurité,
le ciel se dévase.


La liberté est un fardeau énorme. Une énorme responabilité, envers non juste soi-m√™me, mais autrui, requierant une discipline puisée au fond de son √™tre.

Je ne commence qu'à vraiment voir cela.

La liberté est une chose terrible à prendre pour aquis, et une arme dangereuse qui trop facilement, et trop souvent, est mal maniée.

J'ai beaucoup à apprendre. J'en suis content.


I don't wanna have to shout it out
I don't want my hair to fall out
I don't wanna be filled with doubt
I don't wanna be a good boy scout
I don't wanna have to learn to count
I don't wanna have the biggest amount
I don't wanna grow up

Well when I see my parents fight
I don't wanna grow up
They all go out and drinking all night
And I don't wanna grow up
I'd rather stay here in my room
Nothin' out there but sad and gloom
I don't wanna live in a big old tomb
On Grand Street

When I see the 5 o'clock news
I don't wanna grow up
Comb their hair and shine their shoes
I don't wanna grow up
Stay around in my old hometown
I don't wanna put no money down
I don't wanna get me a big old loan
Work them fingers to the bone
I don't wanna float a broom
Fall in love and get married then boom
How the hell did I get here so soon
I don't wanna grow up

- Tom Waits

Process through adaption

Continuing on my current theme of "data management", let me share with you an example from my own experience.

I mentioned a few weeks back how overwhelmed I was by the size of my MP3 collection.

McLuhanists, and others surely, will often cite how disruptive any new medium can be in our lives, viscerally even, until we learn to "deal with it". (What constitutes a "medium" is ascertainable by applying the McLuhan Tetrads, something I very much want to explain in english sometime.) Also, it seems we are in a situation where we are creating mediums faster and faster and with greater and greater disruptive effects, at a pace we are essentially unable to cope with. But I digress. But it is relevant! Anyways...

So, my MP3 collection.

I can identify three distinct phases in my archival methods for MP3s, each corresponding roughly with changes in available technology. I say roughly because while yes new technologies had evident impact, later on there was not only more MP3s around but also more technologies (apps, protocols, methods) and each had different absorption rates in my digestion of them. Heeee!

Phase 1 - Discovery (or Willy Nilly)
Oh my god. This is SO cool.
Going back to my old archive CDs I see that starting late 1998, I start having a folder called "mp3" into which I literally would just dump mp3 files. The files would be named with the track and artist name. ID2-3 tags were barely present and if so, hardly used really. Each of my archival CDs from that period was named after a character from whatever book I was reading and I figured that was plenty of a mnemonic device to remember that "Archive CD Jacopo Belbo" had a copy of "The Dukes of Hazard" theme song. We're talking maybe a dozen or two mp3s per archive CD. That worked for about a year.

Phase 2 - Hunter Gatherer (I start building a home)
Whoah, I need to put this stuff somewhere I can find it.
Napster hits like a hurricane. We all spend hours and days hunting for individual tracks, making little piles, renaming files and scrubbing ID3 tags. Every now and then a friend drops by with a full album ripped directly from a CD. Blessed be thy name. Alphabetized folders containing /artist_name/album_name/tracks*.mp3. I haven't added to that archive in over a year and it sits at about 17Gig. (The previously mentioned blog entry was about my malaise of trying to figure out how to incorporate all my new stuff into my old scheme.)

Phase 3 - We're all in this together (The Village)
Hey, do you have X? I can send you Y... it's sorta like Z.
This is where I am right now. All the mp3s I've amassed over the last year (36Gig - notice the increase in volume) sit in an a hierachy which begins with a folder named for *where I got it from*.
Notice I still keep trying to keep everything neat in artist/album folders. Thing is, my work is greatly reduced now, because I either get them already like that, or the ID3 tag information, which was entered in a distributed fashion by all the other mp3 sharers in my social network, is correct and I can easily rename stuff programmatically if I need to.

So again, my malaise from a few weeks back was because I was trying to shoehorn my new reality into my old system. Realizing the ground has shifted allows me to just accept that I need to stick with this new system. For now.

So what's next?
Well, it hasn't started yet, but I imagine something like figures. Information like "who" recommended a track and "why" and "how" will supplement the "where from".

More freeform and shared taginess is something I'm also very interested in seeing applied here... if 200 listeners "categorise" track X or artist Y as "indie electro laptop rap rock", who am I to argue? And why would I? I'll have a way of finding it easily.

Sidenote: I am one of those iTunes users who has selected to disable that software's "Keep Music Folder organized" feature, because I like doing organization on the filesystem level. Again, the malaise comes from being in a situation where that is becoming less and less feasible. I will have to give up eventually I suspect, but not until the management applications catch up to the shifted ground themselves. In this case, iTunes would need to be tied into my (future, networked) AddressBook... ;)

Identites and celebrity

"Madame Hollywood"
Felix Da Housecat

Everybody wants to be hollywood
The fame, the vanity, the glitz, the stories
One day I'll become a great big star
You know like the big dipper
And maybe one day you can visit my condo
On the big hill you know like 9-0-2-1-0

Just imagine my face in the magazine
People analyzing my look, my body or
Any plastic surgery.

You know like the big dipper
And maybe one day you can shake
My hand on the planet Hollywood

You say I'm not underground
I'm rich, I'm famous, I vanish, I'm glitz
I am the story, I am the star
You know like the big dipper

Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll
It's Over
I decide it's over

Everybody wants to be hollywood
And maybe one day you can visit my condo
On the big hill you know like 9-0-2-1-0
Oh Yeah

À la table voisinante

Ce que j'aurais dû dire.

"Pardon, mais vous pourriez vous taire s'il vous plaît?


"Oui, s.v.p. fermez la. Non seulement polluez-vous l'air public de ce restaurant Dim-Sum avec votre voix fade et nasale, et vos aires de mélodrame, mais vos propos sont également na√Øfs, à peine considérés et bien franchement stupides. À la fin, vous nous emmerdez, mon ami et moi, ainsi que votre pauvre invité qui s'éfforce de sourrir au travers de vos conneries... chose que vous ne réalisez pas parce que vous √™tes tellement sûr et confortable dans ce petit monde qu'on vous a donné ce matin dans le Journal De Montréal."

Autrement, c'etait une sortie Dim-Sum fort agréable.

How am I not myself?

- Do I bring my own chains?

- We always do...

I ‚ô• Huckabees

Note to self

Eat more yogurt.


The months go by as days.
The days, are as long as weeks.
The nights...
the nights they are neverending.

Some of my favorite geeks

... have been mightily busy!

Aaron finally fixed his "I-roll-my-own-thank-you-very-much" weblog and immediately posted about some of the wikkedly neat stuff he's been toying with over the summer. widgets, SVG maps, RDF, let's-see-what-happens-when-I-hook-this-up-to-this data combinatorial wackiness.

Dav hacked up a J2ME bluetooth gps mo-pho-weblogging doodad so he can track Mie... hehehehehe ;)
(Speaking of J2ME... Aaron mentioned something about a J2ME-Atom implementation... hmmmm.)

Francis and I just "got the keys" to our new very own super duper 1U rackserver running Whitebox Linux. w007! I have some plans for that baby that I have yet to nag him with, which I am sure is fine cause he's got some of his own. Aside from becoming an email ninja, setting up and installing the email system for some University in Ohio over the summer, and doing various contract programming jobs, the chicgeek also created Spamity, an online webtool for checking stats on your server-installed anti-email-spam systems (such as SpamAssasin, AMaViS, RBL, RHSBL).

Ado is working so hard that I can't spark up ecto to post a blog entry here without having to download an update. Annoying? Sure. Appreciated? definitely! (As Ado himself... hehehehee) He's also been working on APIs for some folks, but I'm not sure I can mention that here...

Michael and his group at Ile Sans Fil cranked out "Wifi Dog", a "complete and embeddable captive portal solution for wireless community groups or individuals who wish to open a free HotSpot" which, combined with location-specific and community-wide media servers is finally making sense to me as a truly awesome idea. Making locally created (CC-licensed?) content easily available on WiFi hotspots makes alot of sense. Mike's also turned me on to TikiWiki (try the demo) (hate to nutshell it as such, but think Drupal + wiki + steroids), and is gearing up to provide implementation services to academia. (Hats off to you my friend.)

Guys, big "thumbs up" to all of you! :)

In my box

Here I am in my box.
My box contains many smaller boxes.
These smaller boxes contain memories, waiting to be forgotten.
Here I am in my box, a memory waiting to be remembered.

Rant mode

I am in rant mode.

I have 3 weblog entries sitting here in draft status and they are all meaningless, pointless rants, of no interest even to me.

I am treading water in a wading pool. Ridiculous.


I just essentially inhaled ten sheets of finely sliced imported italian prosciutto. I had intended to *do* something with them...

Well, I sure did *do* something... hah.
Now I want more... Snort.

What am I listening to?

Update: Until I find a more stable way of including the list, it's gone. Damn.

So following the boss's... er... endorsement(?), I've had to figure out a quick way to include / audioscrobbler data on a webpage...

Joi does a good job of explaining what that's all about.

Ok, so if you look in the left sidebar on my weblog, under the "most recent photoblog entries" block, you'll see what I am listening to in iTunes. Rather neat, methinks.

How this works quickly:
The audioscrobbler "app" runs in the background on my computer and tells my profile what iTunes is playing. provides an RSS 1.0 feed of the last 10 entries. With a bit of PHP, I grab and parse that RSS and display the list here.

Now this is only the tip of the iceberg! allows me to have a little "player" which would allow you all to actually "listen" to what I am listening to. (This is the feature I think you want me to implement for you, right Joi?) Also, once I have provided it with enough of an "idea" of what I am listening to, it will start suggesting stuff I may like to check out. Also, seeing stats on what I am listening to is way cool for me, but also for you. Gives you one more look at "me".

Of course, i didn't really need to know that Joi's favorite artist seems to be The Smiths... ;)

Anyways, furthermore, if you start digging in the stats, as more people join up and "populate the database with data", you get a VERY interesting picture of what is popular...

I agree with Joi. This is not only way cool, it is damn smart. These guys are sitting on something HUGE.

Memories of perceptions

Guildenstern: What's the first thing you remember?
 Rosencrantz: Oh, let's see... The first thing that comes into 
              my head, you mean?
Guildenstern: No--the first thing you remember.
 Rosencrantz: Ah... No, it's no good. It's gone. It was 
              a long time ago.
Guildenstern: No, you don't take my meaning. 
              What's the first thing you remember after
              all the things you've forgotten?
 Rosencrantz: Oh, I see... I've forgotten the question.

"Rosencrantz & Gildenstern are Dead" - Tom Stoppard

My early childhood memories are very scarce and generally fall into the category of "environmental realizations", and more specifically "all is not what it seems/do not rely on mental images" and "justness is a rarity".

All is not as it you may think it.

Growing up in a somewhat isolated area, filled with forests, I would often take a shortcut through one to visit my friends. Sometimes I'd emerge at the Roach's, sometimes at the Reyburn's. This perplexed me no end for a while, until one day I actually watched the path I was on only to realize there was a fork halfway down it.
"Always be aware of your environment. Dummy."

We are not all born under the same star.

Riding on a bus from Port-Au-Prince Airport to the Club Med Haïti through villages built of corrugated sheet steel, watching children bathe in the rain and roadside ditch puddles.
"How can this be? Why do I not live like them, and they not like I?"

Wading about, water up to my nostrils, in the Galt Ocean Resort swimming pool in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I watch an older white boy repeatedly dunk a younger black girl under the water, despite her cries and pleas. I feel a swell of indignant rage as I pluck a tennis ball floating by and bean the sonofabitch square in the forehead. He rushes over and without ceremony punches me in the mouf.
"Hmmm... not quite the resolution I was looking for."

As for this one:

Rosencrantz: Whatever became of the moment when one first 
             knew about death? There must have been one. 
             A moment. In childhood. When it first occured to you
             that you don't go on forever. It must have been 
             shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet, 
             I can't remember it.

Amazingly I DO remember the moment. However, it was in a dream, or rather a nightmare. "That thing is looking right at me and it is gonna end me." Though it was not shattering and not all that marking, thus did begin a lifelong walk along the fine line between my conscious and subconscious.

Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.

This all culminates in a far more recent memory from ten years ago. I often tell this one to try to relate the confusion that happens when you separate meaning from symbol...

I was working as a dish pig/delivery boy for a Szechwan restaurant that summer. After miraculously navigating my way out on a delivery, I stood at the door of the client, bag of steaming chinese food dangling from my left hand, holding up the delivery slip in my right. The symbol on the paper (the street address, 25) looked very much like the one on the door (also 25), but I just didn't get it.
"These scribbles... they mean nothing to me at this moment..."

*Ding dong*

Just one word: plastics.

I find myself cringing, internally and externally, as did Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate", when confronted with that bit of advice.

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you - just one word.
        Ben: Yes sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
        Ben: Yes I am.
Mr. McGuire: 'Plastics.'
        Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics.
             Think about it.
             Will you think about it?
        Ben: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That's a deal.

Except today it's "marketing", not "plastics", and the advice giver is Ben, and not Mr.McGuire.

I cringe at the inherent evil in any such enterprise: pursuing so unnatural an affair, just because you know you can capture and corner a market by making a widget no one else has thought of.

Unnatural how? Marketing is the plastic of culture. And just as now we have things that could not be made of anything other than plastic, we now have cultures entirely made up of marketing. It's an oily, greasy, dirty, fake, duplicitous affaire... and I don't like it one bit... but sacrebieu can it make me some moolah...

Easily distracted

Despite my best efforts, I had quite a productive weekend avoiding doing the work I needed to do!

Macs were big on the agenda the last few days as I prepared and delivered my old G4 PowerMac to my friend Kim, fixed Ms. S's, and reinstalled Panther from scratch on my Powerbook. I wrastled with hard drives, "Apple to VGA" cable converters, USB chain issues, corrupted MBOX files and other such monsters.

The plan as I awoke today was to work on a certain site... oops, I need to rebuild my local dev environment! Download and install PHP and MySQL, yutz with my httpd.conf... Ohhh look! BBEdit 8.0! I need me some of that! Wow, I am hungry.. I should get some food. Café first. Bah, I don't feel like eating out. I'll just get some groceries.

And what do I do then? I make chicken stock, so that tomorrow I can make a leek and potato soup. Oh yes.

With the dishes done, the laundry not done, and the apartment half vacuumed, for some god-unknown reason I attack my MP3 archive. It just sorta "took me". It's again 4a.m. and I realize that I have more MP3s than anything else in the world. In terms of hard drive space, my archive takes up twice as much as my entire system, applications and files of all stripes. As I type, my unsorted/uncleaned "pile" of music weighs a whopping 32Gig. The cleaned up ones weigh in at just under 20Gig. To put that in perspective, those cleaned ones were cleaned slowly but surely over the course of YEARS. I think I shall give up on organizing my music... ;)

Sigh... and I am navel gazing here again. :p

This should be good

Still wobbly from three days of flu (again...), I am about to leave for my best buddy's wedding.

Due to the fact that I could barely see straight the last few days, I am stuck making due with what is left in my closet.

Damn. Forgot I threw out all my white shirts...
Damn. Forgot I kept these terrible suits I bought 30lbs. ago...

Oh Anders & Natalie.. forgive me for showing up however I will show up.
(T Minus 30 minutes to departure and I have NO idea what I am going to wear. I feel so... so... argh!)

I shall bear the shame of a patchwork wardrobe. Lots of nice pieces, few working together... at least not as formal wear.
Oh and I have NO ties. Sweet.

Update: And angels sing...
With 5 minutes to go, I glance over at the pile of clothes sitting on one of my kitchen chairs. It is a pile of stuff I inherited from my dad 5 years ago and that I had put there 6 months ago for delivery to the Salvation Army.


With M85 playing "In Church" on iTunes, the skies clear and I see a vision. Oh yes.
Now, black and blue and VERY hard to mix but, I think I may just pull this off with sheer "gooood cut"...
Black slacks, fit like a glove.
White Paul Smith shirt, textured light/dark blue ring stripes (hard to explain, bought in Shinjuku). I look like a runway model in it. ;)
Daaaaaark blue Nino Cerutti jacket my dad bought at TipTop probably sometime in early 80's, with dark red and grey pinstripes.

I will either look retarded. Or fit in with all the other hipsters... ;)

Off I gooooo! Watch the photolog!

Pre Announcement

So I am running late on this little "thing I wanna do" so I am going to make a quick pre-announcement here right now.

Basically I am starting a small "Weblog Services" business. (who saw that coming?!) I will be offering a full spectrum (oooo marketing!) of weblogging-related services, such as setups, upgrades, customizations, design, migrations, hosting, maintenance, etc.

Now, as you may know, Six Apart just released MovableType 3.1, as well as the PluginsPack which contains the equally much awaited MT-Blacklist 2.0. These upgrades are really great, with loads of new features. With new features comes new technical challenges though. Now, no it isn't rocket science, but it can be a bit daunting for the non-tech inclined amongst us. Luckily, folks like myself have the know-how to help out!

Wheeee! ;)

Here's the deal:
I will upgrade your installation of MovableType, install MT-Blacklist, configure both with options that make sense for you, and throw in a special template or two here, a configuration tweak there... (sorry, hafta be vague here for now, but I can say, some stuff which makes dealing with Comment Spam a little easier).

Get in touch if you are interested! Seeing as this is a pre-announcement, I'll be offering this at a "special rate" (until i can get my act together and offer a full services and price list!).

On demand living

Over the last few weeks, a realization has been slowly rising to the surface from the depths of my subconscious. (This is actually an apt portrayal of how generally my mind works, but I am going to share with you this specific one. Yes, I said slowly. My brain is one of those massive room-filling supercomputers with reams of storage and processing power but who take weeks and months to spit out an answer. I regularly get my ass handed to me by these whippersnapper desktop PCs who think they are so clever with their quick and dirty solutions... Hrmmm, I am also thinking of doing a quick re-read of Hemingway's "The Old Man and The Sea"... A-ny-ways...)

For the past few weeks I have very much immersed myself in work and almost completely shunned my local social network and it's related scene. More on that second part later.

Similar to what Joi describes, work-wise I have become very "On Demand". First of all, if I am not asleep and not out doing something, I am online. Work related Instant Messages and emails are responded to and acted upon, for the most part, almost immediately, and if not, queued up in my short-term memory (This is a process shortcoming I have to fix, mind you. Stuff starts falling through the cracks real fast. Ticket tracker, work log is in the planning stages.).

(Major design/set-up work notwithstanding, the nature of web work is such that many of my task requests from clients/friends are quick to-dos that can be done in real-time and on-the-spot. It literally takes more effort to log some of these than to do them.)

As for socializing and friends, a switch was thrown at much the same time. Today, when I think "who are my close friends?" I think of a short list of people, almost exclusively all of whom appear in my IM buddy list. No joke. Essentially, if I don't have quick and easy access to you (and you to me), you are lower on my list of people I keep in active memory as people I interact with (I do not wish to get into "what defines a friend?" at this time. I am speaking of people I want and can interact with, when I want.). This has had two immediate impacts in who I spend time with. None of my "going out/party/fun" social network is online, at least not to the extent required to be present in my mind. So, they have not seen me in ages. ;) On the other hand, the 3-4 local people who are accessible to me (Karl, Aaron, Anders, Francis, Steven... some friendster people... ;) have seen me on quite a regular basis, and I enjoy the time spent with them immensely, despite the fact that we can chit chat as much as we want online... and we do.

There is one exception and he demonstrates how decisively this works. Stevey lives one block from me, and he is online all day every work day, during business hours. Outside of that, he rarely appears on my Buddy List. Having a girlfriend, this is all fine and dandy, but we'll often say things like "hey we should hook up..." By his being just one step out of my loop, and my being SO "On Demand", there is almost never a situation where one of us will say "hey wanna go do this now?". However he contradicts my position by consistently being one of my best friends AND someone I will often think "hey if Stevey'd be into...".

Karl, I must say, is also a special case as he disappears downtown, ex-communicato, every afternoon. He does interesting stuff all the time that sometimes I'd love to around for, or I'll sometimes go do something I think he'd be into, but, hey, no way to reach the bum. ;) However, Karl is the one person I've seen the most in the last month. Perhaps because he is just as IM hooked as me, when he's around. Aaron, you're just always busy and you do a damn fine job of pinging me for coffees and lunch anyways. :)

(Non locals, like Ado, Joi, Jim, Dav, John, Jon, make me genuinely feel "really looking forward to seeing you again!")

This is all about availability and accessibility, On Demand. So far.

Now, the ramifications of this on my perception and use of time. Which has always been limbo-esque to begin with.

I always get asked "so whatcha been up to?" to which I always answer "work, mostly" because I feel at a loss to explain this very situation. It is a half truth, if not an all-out lie. I do not work any more than most people, in fact I work far less than most people. I also get asked "so, any plans for the weekend?" to which I also answer "work, mostly", but really, weeks mean nothing to me. Weekend, weekday; same diff. My time is measured in moments and events.

The reality is, I am On Demand. I am liquid. I do what I want/need, when I want/need. At any given moment, on any given day, be it a weekday or a weekend, I can be working on something or I can be out having a coffee, watching a movie, doing groceries, helping a friend.

Sounds great but it has drawbacks of course. Discipline is needed; discipline of the order I sorely lack still. That's why much of the time when I am not working, I am fretting about how I should be working... ;)

A sharp knife

Tonight, i am recoding the UI on an e-comm storefront I did originally did over 3 years ago. Tables upon tables, font tags, et al; no sign of semantic markup anywhere. I even had tables for 1 pixel high dotted divider lines.

Recoding it properly is a joy. Like peeling away layers of fat, bloated markup. We're talking on the order of 80% less html in some files.

But there is a tinge in this fun. I remember the month I spent working on this site. The girlfriend of the time, though patiently sharing suggestions, was getting seriously annoyed at how much time I was spending on it.

Earlier this evening I walked down the street to the liquor commission to stock up on some sake and red wine. Friends for my long nights of coding. Meandering home, a white car drove by the corner of my eye as I double took it: "Is it...? No, it's not."

"She must avoid this area at any cost, surely" I thought as the Nissan Sentra, and not the Saab 900, continued on it's way, and I on mine.

Arriving at the street before mine, I engage the intersection, crossing kitty corner, when something else catches my eye... and I freeze.
Gently sailing on down the street away from me, a lithe figure on inline skates, arms up adjusting her ponytail. I recognize her immediately.

I am transfixed. My first impulse is to call out her name and run after her but I know she'd just give a quick kick and fly away. Just the thought of the piercing in my heart this would engender stops me.

So I just watch, until she turns the corner and disappears. There I stood, in the middle of two streets, rastafari t-shirt, pinstripe jacket, jeans and sneaker clad, with a giant branded bag full of alcohol. I turn to go on home only to see a smiling James DiSalvio looking at me. "What the heck is this guy doing?" he must've thought as I gave him a nod and a smile... and limped home.


Non-stop now for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Sleep, work, eat, jog, work, sleep.

Thought I'd share quickly a few of the sites I've touched recently (the one's I can and want to show ya, that is...)

Extreme Democracy
Jon and I were IM'ing about... well... democracy and politics and culture, and before I knew it I was in on some email back and forth between he, Mitch Ratcliffe and Adam Greenfield about a new logo Adam was knocking out for them. Looking at the site, which Jon put up really quickly last night, I asked if they'd mind a clean up. I'm up to my eyeballs in other work, but this would actually be fun. So I spent this evening on that. I'm quite happy with it, and thank the guys for the opportunity.

Worthwhile Magazine
Halley Suitt hooked me up with the fine folks at Worthwhile and they've been clients of mine since about May. Today we finally hooked up the subscription stuff and the mailing list. Still some kinks to work out but it's all good.

Let's see.. what else...

Good friend Karl redesigned his "carnet web" and I made a suggestion or two. It's always the most fun when it's for friends. :)

Long time friends and clients, the boys wanted a redesign, so they got one of the partner's brothers to do the graphic design. He did a great job, not only with the look but in chopping up the templates so I just had to go and pop in some images and change some CSS. More or less. Not done. Big site. Probably looks wonky in some browser... yay... ;)

Erskine Bowles for U.S. Senate
Matt Gross, of Howard Dean's weblog fame, asked if I'd give him a hand with some Movable Type setup and template work. Happy to oblige!

Of course, also good friend Joi keeps me busy with his requests... as well as side projects. I'd tell you more but I'd have to kill you. ;)

Oh and... the pressure is on... This will be fun too!

At the moment there are... 3 other projects in various states of completion, or at least readiness. A ways to go!

12:45am and an email from a client just appeared in my Inbox. Back to work!

iTunes is trying to kill me!

On shuffle, first this (Daft Punk - Face to Face), and then this (Ben Harper - Walk Away).

I am on the floor.

Ah, phew! Flaming Lips - Do You Realize

Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize - we're floating in space -
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don'-go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Much better already. :)

Gees.. rough Saturday...
(Harmonium - Pour un instant)

Pour un instant, j'ai oublié mon nom...
ça m'as permis enfin d'écrire cette chanson...
Pour un instant j'ai retourné mon miroir...
ça m'as permis enfin de mieux me voir...
Sans m'arrèter j'ai foncé j'ai foncé dans le noir...
Pris comme un loup qui n'a plus d'espoir...
J'ai perdu mon temps à gagner du temps...
J'ai besoin de me trouver, une histoire à raconter...

Pour un instant, j'ai respiré très fort...
ça m'as permis de visiter mon corps...
Des inconnus vivent en roi chez moi...
Moi qui avait accepté leurs lois....
J'ai perdu mon temps à gagner du temps...
J'ai besoin de me trouver, une histoire à raconter...

They really got me...

Wirefarm : ∀ chat with Boris

Jim and Ado got me, but good. I am SO gullible sometimes.

Pour voir lever le soleil

Le soleil, un rève, est là, a l'Est, juste après l'horizon.
Le tempérament accabré du désir, ma monture,
s'éforce contre l'unique corde, robuste et solide, qui me retient.

Longtemps ai-j'essayé de défaire ce noeud damné.
À défaut de volonté suffisamant violente,
sinon d'intellecte sur-aiguisé,
d'un coup sec le restraint doit ètre coupé.

Le matin venu, je partirai à la conquète de l'Asie.

Feeling quite smug

like a bug in a rug...

Two white nights working on this here weblog design. IE bugs yet to squash (of course), but whatever. Sorry.
I love it. You?

Downloaded and watched Miyazaki's "Kaze no tani no Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds)" in preparation for going to see his classic "Porco Rosso" which is running at the Fantasia Festival. Beeeeautiful.

Right now I am sitting in a trendy bistro/bar on St-Laurent. Just read Joi's research topic description (pdf). For a multitude of other reasons, Tokyo is on my mind. I am thinking, nay dreaming, of this: in September hang out in Linz & Vienna for a few days and a few weeks in Berlin. Then jump over to Tokyo for October and November. Come home for December and then maybe three months in Austin Texas. That'd be nice.

I've also been thinking alot about "sharing" lately. Not in the "Sharing economy" sense, but in the communication between me and the people around me sense. The redesign here reflects those thoughts and is in heavy further development. Stay tuned for video snaps and audio posts. Maybe more. I'll expand on these thoughts later.

Coffee is finished. I go home now.

The straight line

Hundertwasser -  The 30 Day Fax Picture

Mould Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture

In 1952 I spoke of the civilization of make believe, the one we must shake off, myself, the first of all! I spoke of columns of gray men on the march toward sterility and self destruction.

In 1953 I realized that the straight line leads to the downfall of mankind.

- Friedensreich Hundertwasser

The straight line is an aberration, abhorred by nature. It is the tool by which man imposes his designs on his environment.
Thought too logical is equally a distortion of truth. The nimble mind can easily twist and bend any thing to suit its need and desire. The ego drives this unnatural machination.

I have little regard for the minutiae of philosophers' quibbles with their own neuroses. The neat little dream boxes in which we place our lives, properly labeled and dutifully forgotten. The prison bars, the lines of text, the thoughts of other men... bind me in no nutshell.

IM conversations

Following my previous post, I thought again about all the hilarious IM conversations I have on a daily basis. (Most of the really funny ones being, oddly enough, with two people who have almost the same name... )

I am ITCHING to post them, but I know I can't. Damn. ;)


"The True IQ Test"
(URL removed - it's a marketing stint and after some thought I figured I don't want to encourage 'em.)

Congratulations, bopuc!
Your IQ score is 127

This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the True IQ Test relative to others.

Your Intellectual Type is Insightful Linguist. This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind.

And that's just some of what we know about you from your test results.

I fear what else they may "know" about me... hahahaha. Silliness...

Burning bridges

I am in a severely nasty mood today. Just a warning. ;)

Another step

I just took the first step in terminating a business relationship with a client who's been paying my rent for over 3 years. It isn't a question of money (I'll have to replace the income somehow) and it certainly isn't personal; the client is a group of very old friends. I just don't want to do it anymore. So many ideas never implemented, so many avenues never explored... at one point you just realize "this isn't going to happen, and it isn't fun anymore either."

One less needless source of anxiety, guilt and frustration off my shoulders. Well, almost anyways.

I want to work with people who "get it". I mean, who actually have a clue and really "get it"...


I love it.

After posting the previous post (about culture democracy blah blah blah) I, of course, went out to have a drink. Ended up staying until closing, but not without having some great conversations with Boris (the only other Boris I have ever met) and then Albert.

I return home and, not ready to sleep, poke around the web a bit. I check my flickr gallery, see if anyone has left comments (I'd LOVE an RSS feed for that, Stewart... ;) A nifty feature (one of many) of flickr is to see what pictures your friends have recently posted. Weeeell, it seems danah posted a picture of some Hundertwasser book covers! Cool! I love Hundertwasser. Grew up with prints of his all over my family home's walls. My mom knew the guy actually...

On a lark, I search my own blog, to see if I'd mentioned him here at all, seeing as he had such an influence on my visual development...

Sure enough.

One of my rambling, semi-interesting entries detailing a thread or two woven through my life and mind... and heart...
(To be fair, I loved her dearly, and still do.)

The connection of note, for me, in this is that even before my in-depth involvement with this blogosphere and everything that has become related to it in my life, I had a faint sense of what was to come... and yet to come...

Corruption, culture and democracy

"I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if it is well administered; and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupt as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other..."

"Benjamin Franklin to the delegates of the Constitutional Convention, prior to the final vote

v. cor·rupt·ed, cor·rupt·ing, cor·rupts
v. tr.
  1. To destroy or subvert the honesty or integrity of.
  2. To ruin morally; pervert.
  3. To taint; contaminate.
  4. To cause to become rotten; spoil.
  5. To change the original form of (a text, for example).

I like to think that what Franklin meant by "when the people shall become so corrupt" is not, by our modern usage of the word "corrupt", that everyone is "on the take", but rather that the very fabric of society, culture, is undermined, weakened.


  1. Possessing, displaying, or based on reliable information: informed sources; an informed opinion.
  2. Knowledgeable; educated: the informed consumer.

    1. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
    2. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
    3. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
    4. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
  1. Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.
    1. Development of the intellect through training or education.
    2. Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
  2. A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
  3. Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
  4. The cultivation of soil; tillage.
  5. The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
  6. Biology.
    1. The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
    2. Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.

An "informed culture" is a strong culture; aware of it's history, building on it's ancestors' knowledge and experience, with no room or time to entertain the frivolities of superficiality and repetition. A weakened, un- or under-informed culture is prone to disease; corruption. The uninformed, bewildered, follow any trend or seeming novelty the wind blows their way. And what happens when one has such a situation, where there are a few informed and many uninformed? You guessed it: the informed have control of the uninformed.

How does one weaken a culture? As with so many things in history, we cannot point the finger to any one player. Rather, a long chain of developments - technological, economic, political - have brought us here. A good starting point is the arrival of mass-production... and plastics. Without wanting to recount the wonderful explanations of the threads of events that James Burke gave us in his books, articles and BBC Television series, "Connections", suffice it to say that with mass production, we get mass consumerism: in the extreme, the annihilation of the individual.

So begins the corruption of the people. With a view to fiscal growth, and with the power to mass produce any desire at the snap of a finger, one creates a marketing machine which, combined with policy changes which, amongst many other things, slash education funding and restrict rights on knowledge (ahem, intellectual property), the stage is set. The culture is weakened, and progress slowed.

Is this not what we are witnessing today? Mass marketing culture, the frightening stance of the domestic and foreign policies of "America", the aberration that is copyright? These are intricately related, woven together so finely, with a myriad other threads and patterns, as to be almost imperceptible.

In this weakened culture, one cannot help but to find ourselves in a bewildering vortex of confusion, unsure of anything, questioning and counter-questioning any number of trivialities simply because the majority can see only the superficialities fed to them.

Myself included, then, with my limited and superficial knowledge and views, find precious few moments where I can even begin to believe I see something in the haze. My eyes are straining... and what they do see makes me uneasy.

Party party party party

I am a huge Bran Van 3000 fan. Their music IS Montreal, to me at least. Especially in the summer. For the past week I've had them on heavy rotation in my song lists.

However, this song (temporary - 4.5meg MP3) pretty much sums up my summer thus far. It is by far NOT my favorite of their songs, but again, this is a feel of my life right now.

I'd post the lyrics as well but out of the context of the song itself, they seem idiotic... Somewhat like my summer...


I finally went out and got a cameraphone. Well, it's actually way more than that but anyways.

So I have begun "moblogging" like a fiend. You may have noticed. I am sending pics to both my own MT-based MobiLog AND to my super cool neato Flickr account (which appears in the navbar here).

Now, I want ALL OF YOU to start moblogging too. If you have a cameraphone, go sign up for a free Flickr account and get into it. OR, better yet, email me and I'll send ya an invite and get you going... One of the many cool things about Flickr is we can all share and see what the other is posting and be kept up-to-date...

So embarrassing...

Here I am, the de facto über geek of my local social network, and I am left ex-communicado ...

Just received an SMS from a buddy asking me what the plan is for tonight. Said buddy has never called or SMS'ed me before. We just sorta end up showing up at the same events.

So, why am I red-faced now? Because I do not have his cellphone number, nor do I have a cellphone that supports sending SMS messages...

Can you believe that? I can't. Blows my mind.

The Passion of the Keeerist

Warning: The following may be profuse in profanities, obtuse in obscenities and generally not fit for reading by good christians. I do not mean to offend, only to perhaps displace, for a second, faith. A temporary suspension of belief, as it were.

Spoiler: After being viciously beaten and crucified, Jesus dies. Only to be resurrected. Or so I'm meant to believe.

Last night I watched the film "The Passion of The Christ". Assuming one has the stomach to watch a man be first unjustly condemned, slowly and viciously beaten for over an hour and finally atrociously executed, the film could be described as lush and stunning. The aramaic and latin gave it an extra flavor. I kept expecting someone to break out in the King's english, but it didn't happen. The wailing soundtrack complemented the incessant shouting, screaming, crying and grunting throughout. It was a "good" movie, but not a "great" movie, as Woody Allen might say in a nightclub stand up routine.

That's all I have to say about the film. The subject matter, on the other hand, has kept me scratching my head all my life.

Although baptized as a Roman Catholic, my relationship with Jeeeysus ended after my godfather renounced Satan for me. No matter how hard anyone tried, they couldn't pull me back in. Ahem.

The teachings of Jesus aside - good stuff, really - the whole christian tradition, mythology, ceremony, etc, always struck me as oddly, and utterly, absurd. Over the years I've poked my head into many of the theologies man has come up with in our history, and well, they are all more or less the same. Some enlightened individual shows up and reminds everyone that we are all together in this and we should respect the oneness of being in nature. (We have a couple of cases of anthropomorphic depictions of nature, but these are just manifestations of such a respect and have generally not evolved into instruments of governance.)

If we geographically and historically map the appearance of said enlightened people and attach the essence of their messages, we get a rather fascinating perspective on the state of the world, I might add.

We may notice another thing: Jesus is the ONLY one we killed. And boy oh boy do we LOVE him for it! He died for our sins! Someone please tell me what that is supposed to mean. It is totally beyond me. The poor guy shows up, tells us to love one another and we kill him. From what I gather, essentially, it was a case of "wrong place at the wrong time". The socio-political climate he found himself in just couldn't handle him, and he got burnt. Oops, no he didn't, but for 1500 years after, anyone pretentious enough to think they really "dug Jesus", did. Ahem.

I've come to consider such appearances as a naturally recurring pattern. Statistically it makes sense that a small percentage of humans, here and there, every now and again, might "wake up", "see the light", etc... There is evidence of this littered all over our disparate human cultures. Once in a while, one of these people finds him/herself with enough charisma, courage and perhaps in an environment where they feel the need to REALLY share this awakening. Gautama, Jesus, Mohammed... We remember their names. We worship their words. We totally, for the most part, miss their point.

But that's not my point.

My point is, why, in the face of such a plethora of wonderful knowledge, do so many people not only have a crippling fascination with the symbols used to express it, but focus so steadfastly on the grisliest episode in the life of ONE of truth's proponents?

The whole crucifixion and "died for our sins" stuff smacks of "Oops! Oooo-kay... how do we explain this little blunder?" Two thousand years of severely messed up people all over the place because of a mistake and an overly cerebral desire to explain it away. Brilliant. That's not passion, it's stupidity. Stupidity, after all, is a faculty made possible only by intellect.

Jesus had a lot to teach us, no doubt. His murder, I suspect, was not part of those lessons. At least not in terms of spiritual growth. Perhaps a bit in human affairs and a reminder that we really still are just animals... or can be.



I am wearing this t-shirt by one Geoff McFetridge, at this moment, as a pot of pho bo (vietnamese beef broth) simmers in the kitchen.

Roast onions, garlic and ginger under broiler until burnt. Cover beef bones with water and bring to boil a first time. Pour out and discard water. Put roasted stuff, green onions, carrots and salt on bones and fill pot with fresh water. Simmer.

The bones will go clackity-clack as the broth starts to simmer.

Skim the scum. When done, I pour the stock through a sieve into glass bottles. One bottle affords me three bowls of soup which I usually serve myself with tomoshiraga somen noodles, chopped green onions and a sprinkle of toasted & roasted sesame seeds.

Comfy tee. Yummy soup.

It's over, it's over, it's ooooooveeeer

"Notre Père, qui est aux Cieux, que ton nom soit sanctifié..."
(Our Father, in french)


Seven days of sore joints, of tingling skin, of cold sweats, of confusion and dementia... over! Finally.

The hardware issues engendered by the flu are mostly bearable; essentially a bad cold, right? Sore throat, cough, congestion, etc. Not the best state of affairs but livable. No man, for me, it's the software issues that kill me...

I/O buffer interference.
All my senses go wonky and basic motor skills fall to sub-performance levels. We're talking vision, hearing, balance, speech... let's not speak of taste buds.
Signal scrambling.
Limbo is too light a word, and for someone who long ago lost faith in codification, this situation is doubly maddening. NOTHING makes sense and messages on every level of the system get SNAFU'd. "What did he just say, and why the HELL is that little muscle in my ankle twitching!? Argh!"
Factory reset of all settings.
Most marked this time as this illness hit just as I faced turning back my internal clock 13 hours (read: JST -> EST jetlag), but basically in the space of 24 hours not only was my body slammed back into this time zone, it was also handed the internal clock I lived by when I was, oh, five? In bed by 10pm, up by 6am, with 2-3 pee breaks per night, oh and a nap at mid afternoon. Ouan. And where, pray tell is my mother? I mean, hell...

Anyways, that's all over. Just a bit of hardware issues left... actually, just one. Some sort of infection which creeped down into my lungs. Hopefully these damn antibios I stooped to accept will take care of that. Ugh.

Giant killer bugs, that's what I see. We will all succumb to giant killer bugs.
Helloooo Sunday morning sunshine!

A week wasted

I've been back one week now. I had exactly 36 hours between arriving and falling ill. I've had the flu for 5 days. Yesterday I gave in and went to the "clinic". Normally a flu lasts 2, 3 days max with me. One delirious day, one sweaty night, the rest is just minor discomfort. Not this time though. I have been in major discomfort since Sunday.

My natural inclination in times like these is to raise my fist to the sky, shake it violently while yelling "why me, you bastards?!", but eh.. what's the use. ;)

Since the weather has been terrible anyways, I don't feel SO bad about being lamed. However there is a LOT of work, chores and administratavia that did not get done this week, and it is gnawing at my mind.

Ah yes, and my mind... my mind... that thing up here that turns into an utterly useless mass of pudding whenever I get sick.

Useless mass of pudding.

Mmmm... puuuddiiing...

Sorry, where was I?


I'm going back to bed.


Spring cleaning "au max".
Any article of clothing I have had for more than 3 years, and which I have not worn in at least a year, in a bag and off to the Salvation Army.
Pantry and fridge will be rid of any fancy pants junk, like sauces, noodles or spices I bought but never used.

And just for good measure, I'm going to pull everything off my shelves and restock em. What a mess.

I have too much junk. I live in a shoebox, literally. Everything around me, aside some basic furniture, is some sort of external memory storage. Souvenirs, scraps of paper, books, VHS tapes, CDs... The rest; doodads, flotsam... junk drawer overstock.

Yo! The future is THATAWAY dammit! No room for all this crap.

Purging. Force delete.

Don't believe everything you read

Over breakfast Jim was going through a magazine...
- "Oh that's right, you don't like cafés... you wrote about that..."

My reply:
- "Oh, right, well, err... You know, that thing (this blog) is such an amalgamation of different aspects of me that nothing on there is really... real. Yeah."


Spending lavishly

Everyone's asking for a blog entry about Tokyo. The title sums it up nicely.
A lunch of yakitori in an alleyway counter in Shinjuku the size of my washroom cost about $35.
I've been here a week now. Three to go.

Being a visitor somewhere means you spend ALOT of time moving around. My feet are in permanent aching mode.
A week in and jet lag still comes and kicks me in the head every late afternoon.

The "OMG, I'm in freakin' Tokyo!" impulse to spend every moment exploring has faded. Phew! Now I can relax and enjoy it. Exactly why I've dumped myself here for a month.

I need new clothes. New me, new clothes. Makes sense no? :)
Shoes: check. Killer pair of black leather New Balance. Cost me less than my meals that day.
Pin striped tailored jacket and a stack of nice shirts. And one more pair of boot cut jeans. Yeah.

SO505is DoCoMo camera phone. Sweet, yet disappointing.

I am going to take a recommendation and start randomly popping into the millions of little bars packed into tiny multistory buildings all over town. I hate cafés. Not my scene. I'm a barfly, might as well admit it. Coffee just makes me jumpy. A drink, a smoke and a smile make me happy.

Pin striped tailored jacket and a stack of nice shirts. And one more pair of boot cut jeans. Yeah.

Avez-vous déja? ça vous arrive?

Ai-je vraiement déja connu l'amour? Ou fut-ce purement le désir fulgurant d'y croire?
Je l'ignore, et ce fait me décortique à l'écoeurement.

ça vous arrive de vouloir tomber en amour?
L'envie de tout oublier, de tout laisser et de vous lancer dans une aventure, sans peur ni hésitation?
L'envie de ressentir l'accélèration du pouls, le ralentissement du temps; la suspension de l'esprit et l'épanouissement du coeur?

Oui. ça m'arrive aussi, parfois.

Schizo Love


This is funny to me on so many levels...

Skewed logic

Nika: I only blog from work. I don't even have a computer at home!
Aaron: Hm.
Me: If I didn't have a computer at home, I'd kill myself.


Maciej: I'd just go out and buy one...

Does that qualify me for a Darwin Award, or what?!

Time flies

Seems I just got back, but already I am scampering to finalize travel arrangements which have me taking off within a week.

Mid-march will be spent in Austin, Texas for SxSW and a few days in Tampa, Florida, visiting the maternal unit. When I get back I'll have barely two weeks to get ready for what may very well turn into a two month stay in Japan. I may trim that down to just one month so I can come home and enjoy at least some of spring here in Montreal. Also that would give me a chance to properly plan my jaunt to Helsinki, which I would very much like to pepper with a stop-over in Reykjavik, Iceland, a quick jump to St. Petersburg and maybe a stop in London/Brighton/Oxford before coming back home.

Amazing to think that just over a year ago I was sitting in a cubicle making lists of places I'd like to go... and here I am making lists, anxiously mind you, of places I am going.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Whistling in the dark

For years I have been regularly singing a little song to myself, and sometimes a bit louder for others. To me it speaks of the madness of symbols. To those who hear me sing it, it speaks of the madness of me.

It is by "They Might Be Giants" and it goes like this:

A woman came up to me and said
"I'd like to poison your mind
With wrong ideas that appeal to you
Though I am not unkind"
She looked at me, I looked at something
Written across her scalp
And these are the words that it faintly said
As I tried to call for help:

There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark

A man came up to me and said
"I'd like to change your mind
By hitting it with a rock," he said,
"Though I am not unkind."
We laughed at his little joke
And then I happily walked away
And hit my head on the wall of the jail
Where the two of us live today.

There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark

Whistling whistling, Whistling whistling Dark dark, Dark dark!


One night about a week before leaving for the ETech Conference/Digital Democracy Teach-In, and just after having spent some time hanging out with the very cool Dean For America gang, I caught "Field of Dreams" playing on late-night television.

I always liked that movie. Really. Somewhere deep in my subconscious it always struck a chord. "If you build it, they will come, Ray."

Seeing it again, I was reminded of another fantastic quote, delivered by James Earl Jones at the very end of the movie.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray.

People will most definitely come

- Terrence Mann - "Field of Dreams"

This story is not about baseball, Ray. It is about the soul of America, and democracy.

Build it, Ray.

I think we may have a problem here

It is becoming more and more clear that I may have a bit of a "substance dependance" situation.
Over my two weeks in California, I barely drank alcohol and rarely smoked any cigarettes. While at ETech, and again in San Francisco, I was privy to many highly interesting conversations, meetings, dinners and the like. However, almost every time, I did not feel to be anywhere near my peak intellectual capacity. I felt... diminished somehow, as if my hands were tied behind my back and I couldn't figure out why or how.

An afternoon with Mimi, dinner with Joi, a hike through the hills with Howard... while I managed to keep up the conversation with these new friends for whom I have the highest esteem, I myself felt as if I'd poked a pencil through my brain... positively self lobotomized.

I anxiously questioned myself: "why is it I can have incredible brainstorms in conversations with friends back home and be completely hogtied in most other situations?"

The answer is all too clear. Conversations with friends back home usually take place over a bottle of something or other and a full ashtray.

Today, pacing my winter-sealed apartment, refusing to have coffee and cigarettes, I accomplished little other than basic chores. Until around 9PM when prompted by some deeper thought that needed thinking, i poured myself some wine and lit a cigarette. And so the levy broke. Hyperactive wheels within wheels churning, spewing out prolifically on whatever topic needed its 15 seconds of attention. One glass of wine. No excess.

Is that a kind of addiction? I do not crave alcohol or cigarettes, at all. In fact I intensely dislike both: they make me feel physically ill. But my mind ... oh, my mind reels when they are in my blood...

So many things I wanted to discuss, alas the opportunity now passed. Well, not really, but I could have contributed so much more.

Maybe I'm just to hard on myself? Bah! Ok, end self-pitying rant. Carry on!

Skipping stone

I grew up on a four and half acre piece of forest where the Lake of Two Mountains flows into the Rivière Des Prairies. Our immense Tudor style home was on the western tip of Ile Bizard, at the end of Monk's Point road. If it sounds surreal, then you'll already know me a bit better.

One of my absolute favorite pastimes was going down to the waterfront and skipping stones. My father had taught me how at a young age and I soon fancied myself a real pro, often imagining myself winning stone-skipping world championships.

One... two... three... four, five, six 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14... Fourteen skips! Perfect straight line, clear across the river! Yeah!

Though I never managed it, the river being about half a kilometer wide, I tried so hard to land that stone on the other side, in Pierrefonds.

After a while, I stopped counting.

Tac... tac... tac, tac, tac, tac, tctctctctctctc shloob.

Hm. Shloob.

After such a glorious flight... shloob... the stones disappeared. Caught by the surface and pulled under, into the depths.

Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood when it first occurred to you that you don't go on for ever. It must have been shattering - stamped into one's memory. And yet I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. What does one make of that? We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the words for it, before we know that there are words, out we come, bloodied and squalling with the knowledge that for all the compasses in the world, there's only one direction, and time is its only measure. (He reflects, getting more desperate and rapid.) A Hindu, a Buddhist and a lion-tamer chanced to meet, in a circus on the Indo-Chinese border.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Revisiting ironies

I just got an impulse to drive out to the suburbs where I grew up and visit the private french school I attended for eleven years. It was the kind of business where we wore uniforms, stood when the beloved leader (principal/owner) entered the classroom and were repeatedly told we were being shaped to be "Les leaders de demain!" ("the leaders of tomorrow"... many ironies here...).

Over the years I've learnt that most if not all my fellow inmates profoundly despised, and continue to despise, this school. I know more than one whose lives have been inextricably affected for the worse by having gone through it's doors. My oldest friend, whom I met in first grade, once declared: "I love my parents, absolutely, but I will NEVER forgive them for having sent me there." Harsh words. I've heard desires for class-action suits around reunion dinner tables.

Oddly, myself, I never minded it. I was so... hmmm... oblivious/unreachable. My eyes and ears were open and i just took it all in, stored it in the databases and made loose connections. Never asked questions and never studied for exams. Nothing affected me. And I was always in the top five, grade wise. Remarkably unremarkable.

Aside from the math, history, grammar and latin, I learnt one thing very well which our fuhrer probably didn't intend. I learnt, intrinsically, how fascism works, and how absurdly perverse it is. How it parades about in a luster of pretense and false justness. How, on an educational level, it seeks to "instill knowledge", rather than "foster understanding". How, through rigid application of discipline, it seeks to destroy individuality in an effort to maintain order.

I think this is why I was not affected as others were by my detention in this school... to me it was a big joke, utterly comical. For someone who went home everyday to the woods and the river and the trees and and the animals, it all seemed so unnatural and otherworldly. "This can't be serious! Nothing can truly grow and prosper this way." I didn't rebel though since I also knew that it was a safe and clean environment to get at least some of the basics of a "good" education. Well, in all honesty, that was lack luster as well, but anyways.

The Merry Blues

Manu Chao
listen (temporary)

So many nights
With your shadow in my bed.
So many nites
Baby you whisper in my head.
So many nites
Sing along the Merry Blues.
So many nites...
I told you once.
I told you twice.
The Merry blues
The Merry blues

I can not sleep
Haunted by your pretty body
I can not sleep
I want the world set on fire
So many nites
Can't keep from goin down loose...

I told you once.
I told you twice.
The Merry blues
The Merry blues

Hello nadina do you do do do do do
I feel so happy when I see see see see you
You make me sing a like a douba doubad
I know you like it like a zoumbou zoumbou

Hello nadina do you do do do do do
I feel the moody like to picky picky you
I know you like it like a rub a dub stylee
I know you like it like a zoumbou zoumbou

So many nites
Sing along the Merry Blues.
So many nites
Can't keep from goin' down loose.
The Merry Blues...

I lied and the Ville de Montreal are jerkoffs

I ended last night's entry about the whole snowclearing/parking fiasco by stating that by 3am my street had been cleared. This was a lie; a bit of poetic license I exercised to give the story a nice ending. Not to mention I figured since the monsters where working on the next street over, surely they'd have mine done within the hour.

It is one in the afternoon the next day, and, lo and behold... My street is NOT cleared. They have even removed the little orange signs saying that they would clear the street.

Nevermind that I am parked now in a spot one street over where I am quite safe for a few days at least, but... eatshitanddie, Ville de Montreal.

Oh and while I'm at it I send out a hardy "fuck you" to whoever completely destroyed my passenger side side-view mirror last week. Much appreciated.

Sigh. Ok I feel better now. My apologies for the expletives.

Oh I so didn't need this though

Car in Snow, before and after

After the trek up Mount Royal, I came back to see that the signs were up indicating the snowplows would be clearing the side of the street I was parked on, sometime between 7pm and 7am.

So I shoveled it out. Fun fun. But the real work lay ahead. You can imagine with this much snow (snowbanks were at about 2-3 feet), the amount of available parking space is drastically reduced. Add to that the fact that everybody of course wants to park overnight somewhere were they can leave the car till morning. It was past five. The working class was home and had claimed all available spots.

This would be a game of checkers...

So the wait began. The wait for the tow trucks that make three passes blowing sirens alerting the owners of cars still parked on the to-be-cleared side that the plows are coming. Miss the third warning and you get towed and fined. $45 for the parking fine, $40 for the tow.

Nine o'clock, the first siren blows. I get dressed and trudge out. I have a plan. I'll drive down to China Town and have dinner at my favorite Vietnamese Pho joint.

Ten o'clock, return to see that the street has not yet been cleared. Damn. At this point, forget parking: the natives are restless and every spare inch is parked. Plan B: up to Kilo in the Mile End for a slice of cheesecake and (horrifyingly bad) coffee. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all.

Eleven o'clock, return to see the street has still not been cleared. Damn. What the hell. Ok, run upstairs, grab book, iBook, notebook, pencil and pen. Gonna hope for a space a few streets over and have a glass of wine at Laïka and read. (This is where my logic got screwed... if I find a spot a few streets over, what the heck, leave it there and come home... duh.)

So I actually find a spot a few streets over. I am exactly half way between my place and bar. What do you think I do? Bar. Monday night at Laïka... should be dead, nice and quiet, right? Wrong. Staff party. Dammit all.

The idea that I could just go home still hasn't come to me. It's not because I somehow need to go to the bar. It's the singleminded determination to wait for the street to be cleared and park right in front of my place. I can be severely daft sometimes.

So I trudge to my second home. Two Guinness, one chapter, one good conversation and a smattering of bar-talk later, I figure "Ok it's one o'clock. The have had to have passed by now.

Argh. They are clearing the next street over. Oh well. Park it there.

It is now quarter past three in the morning. There are about 20 clean and clear parking spots outside my door. I will be DAMNED if I go out there and move the car now.


Lawnmower Man meets the Puppet Master

Part of an e-mail exchange with Aaron:

> I WANT what Kevin Warwick is working on! Hrm... Garr... :\

Ah come on, Boris. I know Kevin's all about thinking inside the body but try thinking outside the blog. You want to implant a chip with a copy of MT, the moz-gesture stuff and an 802.11b connection on it. Then you can stand around waving your arms like one of those airport dudes posting stuff to your weblog.

... you could surely get Canada Council money if you recast the idea as a modern dance project.

What happens when you start getting hammered by trackback pings and comment spam is a whole other story.

You *are* fuct in the head but who loves ya' anyway? ;-)

I almost fell off the sofa reading this. :D

And on that note

Cleaned up in here. No more violet. Decided not to drive myself batty with color choices, so grayscale it is, with a touch of red.

Four thirty in the morning. Sheesh.

Odd, possibly tangential observation. Three hours ago I was not too terribly interested in listening to anything in my 30+ Gig music archive. I pressed play anyways, on shuffle as always, and for the first time in ages I actually didn't feel the compulsion to skip 80% of the tracks. Either way, time to raid some friend's CD and MP3 collections.

Ohhhh design

I few years back I worked in an honest-to-goodness (emphasis on the goodness) design firm. Small, cool, fun, good friends, great space... sigh...

Back then, I was surrounded by design. Everyday I'd check out the various design websites and the magazines we had laying about. I'd actually look at everything around me. Then I left for the "souldeath corporate job".

The last two months I have been hacking MovableType templates sans cesse (two just today!) and this evening I hit burnout. Dry as a bone. Been feeling hollow on that front for a little while now but it hit me full frontal this evening.

After a hot shower and a glass of wine, I decided to step away from the machine. But what to do? Can't sleep. It's one am and I can't sleep. Don't feel like reading, don't feel like going out. Back to the machine.

Somehow, I stumble on this.
(Somehow = Foolong => Book of Styles => Wannabegirl => CSS Vault.)

Hellooo design! Hellooo inspiration! Been a while! I've been "going though the motions" but hardly really applying myself.

Hrmph. Now I really can't sleep. And I really have no more wine either. Conundrum. ;)

Relief from e-mail

For as long as I can remember, I've had my MUA (Mail User Agent... or email client) check my mail every two minutes. Yes, every two minutes. In hindsight, I realise that was insane.

So every two minutes I'd go look. Every two minutes, I'd delete Spam. Every two minutes I'd drop everything and read and often reply letters.

So about a week ago I set it to check every 30 minutes. What-a-difference. Holy moly. Life changing.

Similarily, I had decided a few months ago to not answer my home land-line telephone anymore. Cellphone calls only get answered if I recognise the caller, and I wish to speak to them.

I have half a mind to kill IM (Instant Messaging)... or at least cripple the alerts from the three IM clients I use constantly... But I won't. IM has become my prefered mode of communication, after F2F (face to face).

Oh sweet peace. ;)

Somewhere in Mid-Pacific Timezone

That is where I seem to be right now. I wake up no earlier than noon. I do odd jobs, chores, tasks throughout the day. I cook; soups, roasts.. stuff.

Not until around 9pm EST do I feel the clarity of mind to sit down and get real work done. So I do that. Until 4-5 am. Everyday. Some evenings I'll go out for a drink or two. Alone reading or with a friend chatting. Get home and work. Till 4-5 am.

It is just... strange. Despite all the work I actually do get done, the fact that the daylight hours disappear without much productivity, like I am sleeping while awake, just feels... strange.

It's ok. For now.

Identity crisis

This weblog is experiencing a mild idenity crisis. Please stay tuned. We are on top of the situation (and I am well)... Just, bare with us.


(Hint: the decision is made: A second blog will be spawned to contain my "deeper thoughts" and RowBoat will go on to be my more personal "querky"... "stuff"... yeah... That's it... Redesign and refactoring coming soon.)

"Resitance is futile. You WILL be aggregated."
- The Blorg.

Oh... damn... no...

I trashed two backups of my User folder without checking if the Panther Upgrade actually kept all my files and settings. There were indicators that it hadn't; I should have thought of checking. I was hurrying and had had two glasses of wine; I didn't think of checking.

Not the end of the world. Approximately two weeks worth of email and new contacts, gone. Years of ICQ chat logs, gone. My extensively configured web development environment, gone. My extensively configured system and applications settings, gone. A couple of files sitting on my Desktop, gone.

Guess what I'm doing tonight?


Change is good, sure. Timing is bad. ;)


In Joi's posting today, he quips:

I remember thinking in the dream, "oh, I should blog this... "

Judging from the comments, some folks find this strange and funny. I don't find it either. I think it's perfectly natural. Whenever you become fluent in any language/medium or exposed to them a lot, it is perfectly normal for the mind to start using the frameworks of said language/medium in its thought process, dreams included.

Cases in point: I find myself very often, many times a day in fact, composing blog entries in my head. Usually in a moment of recline, when relaxing or napping, drifting off into a semi-conscious state. I'll think about something and immediately switch into "blog voice". Sadly 99% of them never get written. (Hence once of the many reasons for my strong desire for a direct brain interface to my Mac, but I digress...)

A few years ago, after a particularly frenzied all day HTML <table>-layout coding session, I found myself having an extremely emotional dream.. all in HTML.

Have you never had characters and scenarios from a movie just watched that evening appear in your dreams that night?

This is somewhat off-point from what Joi said, but it is related. The fact that he can consciously in his dream *think* "I should blog this" is very telling as well. I've heard many times that keeping a journal of ones dreams is a great way to gain control of them, by extension control of one's mind and further of one's life.

Trick number one: in your next dream, make a conscious effort to look at your hands.

Meanwhile in Tokyo ...

... it's been my birthday for about six hours. :)

And I'm sitting here working...

Mother of mercy!

Ka-Pow! The cup of Lavazzo Qualita Oro espresso I just brewed, stove-top stylee, is SO strong... "How strong is it Bopuc?!" Well let me tell you...

It's so strong it picked me up by my ankles and, dangling me upside down, smacked my ass till I coughed my first breaths of the cold harsh reality that is this dreary Tuesday afternoon.

It's 4:23pm. I want a cannoli. Mommy!

Aight, get a grip man. Back to work...

Random thoughts

Fall is for opera and classical music on CBC, stone-oven baked pizza and red wine on Laurier, the turning of leaves on Mont Royal, cashmere sweaters and closet-scented scarves. The warmth and glow to stave off the still unaccustomed cold.

There is a big difference between boot-cut jeans and bell-bottoms. C'mon people, the 70's were THAT-a-way! Fashion victims, I tell ya.

My good old friend Roland left for two weeks in Japan today. Amy and boyfriend booked their tickets yesterday. I burn with envy; and restraint.

My lot this autumn, is to tie up loose ends here. Finish work I have left trailing for months, deliver on promises and clean up some messes. Then, and only then, can I and will I decide on what is next.

So far so good

Adjusting to newfound freedom is going well. Slowly disciplining myself to stay on track. Slowly changing my work environment to stay on track. Tacking care of loose ends to assure financial stability for the next few months. Dentist appointment. Garage appointment. Get it over with.

Time has pretty much ceased though. I'm even less aware now what day it is than I was before. The last few nights, I've gone out for a glass of wine with a book at 2:00 am, closed my eyes around 3:30 am, and seemingly a second later, opened them to find it is mid-morning again.

What now?

"Jusqu'ici, tout va bien... Jusqu'ici, tout va bien... Jusqu'ici, tout va bien..."

How do I hate banks? Let me count the ways.

- "So, once I have this US money in my US account, I can simply transfer it to my regular checking account and it will be converted into CND funds?"
- "Yes"
- "And of course I can do this online?"
- "No."
- "What? Why not?"
- "Uuummm... well the computers aren't programmed that way..."

Prolonged stare, effort not to laugh out loud.

- "So how do i do this?"
- "Well you have to visit a branch... or call our service line.. or you can make a request via the website but that takes longest..."
- "I see and when I do this, a person will manually make a transfer/conversion?"
- "Well, yes... on the computer..."

Blink blink.

- "Ok, whatever. US cheques are held for how long?"
- "Personal cheques, 21 days."
- "That is totally unacceptable..."
- "Sorry, but you know these banks are far away, it takes time..."
- "Excuse me? Far away? Time?"
- "Oh wait... you have an RRSP with us... and a line of credit... I can reduce the hold to ten days..."

Blink blink.

Time, my foot.

Hello PayPal.

What is my life?

Is my life jet-setting between Tokyo, New York and Montreal? Is my life hacking GUI code? Is my life sipping lattés with hipsters? Having dinners with visionaries?

Is my life driving too fast? Is my life drinking too much? Is it reading too little? Is my life a good dancer, but a terrible lover? Is my life running up the mountain, or is it too lazy to get up in the morning? Is my life looking at the clothes people are wearing or the people wearing them? Is my life too arbitrary, or too calculated?

I think... my life is all of that and more. I think it is none of that and less. My life is unintelligibly more complex and infinitely simpler.

My life is here and now. My life is mine... as long as I let it go. My life is me, which fundamentally isn't much - but it's all I have so woe be they who try to wrest it from me. My life is me, which encompasses much - I'll happily give you a bit of it if you give me a bit of yours.

How about you? What is your life?


Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology : Scorpio Horoscope

Scorpio Horoscope for week of October 9, 2003

You are potentially a genius. Maybe not in the same way that Einstein and Beethoven were, but still: You possess some capacity or set of skills that is exquisitely unique. You are a work of art unlike any other that has ever lived. Furthermore, the precise instructions you need to ripen into that glorious state have always been with you, even from before you were born. In the words of psychologist James Hillman, you have a soul's code. You might also call it the master plan of your heart's deepest desire; the special mission that the Divine Wow sent you here to carry out; the blueprint that contains the secret of how to be perfectly, gracefully, unpredictably yourself. Now here's the really good news, Scorpio: You're at a turning point when you have extraordinary power to tune in to and activate untapped areas of your soul's code.

Your destiny is a gorgeous mystery, Scorpio. Your soul is awakening more every day. The secrets of life are ripening right in front of your eyes.

Cough cough... no comment... ;)

"To hell with culture"

To Hell with Culture
Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968).
Leading poet, publisher, educational theorist and social reformer, who was one of the most influential art critics of the twentieth century.

Having only read the introduction thus far, I wish to share with you some excerpts of it which I find highly relevant today, in the context of the cultural phenomena we are observing with the advent of weblogging et al, and the political ideas which have begun to float because them, "Emergent Democracy" chief among them. I also am personally fascinated by the roles of the artist, personal freedom and social expression.

You know it's time to go when

So finally had a sit down with my "boss-boss", the guy who founded the company and came for me and pulled me into this job over 3 years ago.

My two main responsibilities here were 1- for the R&D department, doing the web-based GUI for our line Wi-Fi APs (usability, design, implementation, etc...) and 2- for the Sales & Marketing department, company webmaster. I had also become a general swiss-army knife for all things graphics and CDs and and and, but whatever. I joined the company for the R&D position; the webmaster stuff was a "complimentary service".

So I am sitting there and he says to me: "... for your R&D responsibilities, we'll replace you with some very junior programmer, but well, we don't have a webmaster... would you be available for adding press releases etc?"

Obviously, these people have no clue. Aw well. 5 more days. And they will be very light days indeed.

What a rush

Some folks are getting fired for or because of blogging (and some folks are talking about them).

I, always one to go against the crowd... just handed in my letter of resignation... for blogging.

What was I thinking?

I had a coffee after dinner... at 9pm... I'mnot going to sleep anytime soon...

But I have to be up early tomorrow to move into my cubicle!


This how it should be

Sitting in my living room, WiFi to iBook, shared iTunes music library, coffee, smoke, writing.

Tomorrow I go back to the office where I will be forced to move from my cubby to a cubicle with 3 other people. How long do you gather that will last?

Auspicious portends?

Standing on Park Avenue after dinner tonight, watching people walk by, I thought to myself: "Is it really possible... Will I meet the Dalai Lama someday?"

A buddhist monk, garbed in orange and ochre, walked by at just that moment, and smiled at me.

More dreams

I've dreamt about this day. I've dreamt about this IRC conversation and the phone-call it sparked. I've dreamt about every minute before it and every minute after it.

I've dreamt about the euphoria and anxious anticipation caused by the words exchanged. Just ideas discussed, and opening of doors.

I've dreamt of the floating footsteps as I head outside to clear my head before pull it out of the clouds and plant my soles firmly on the ground.

Opportunity is the usher of our dreams into this theater. Goals are the tickets to the show.

"My mind is going, Steve..."


"Jetzt wird's haglich" my mother would say. "Now it's getting down to the wire" would be an approximation of the sentiment expressed.

I absolutely must get a notebook computer a.s.a.p. Bouncing between the G4 at work and the one at home is driving me nuts. Not having my online brain synchronized and unified is driving me nuts. Not having something to pour my thoughts into when and as I have them (without having to transcribe or transfer later), is driving me nuts.

Things get forgotten. Tasks never get done. Ideas never get expanded and worse, never get shared. It's driving me nuts.

"So go get one man!"

Heh. Well. 12" Powerbook is too small. Such a small screen would, you guessed it, drive me nuts. 15" TiBook is a lemon and sure to be obsolete (hopefully) in a few weeks time. 17" inch... overkill. Financially and size wise. iBooks would make a good offboard separate entity but why do that when I can just have one Powerbook. Plus the G3 just don't cut it for my needs.

Steve, dammit, get those new 15" out already! I am going NUTS waiting!



I went through a stack of old CD backups of mine. This picture is me circa the age of, ohhh, five maybe? Four?

I had totally white hair. Really.

I also found the "family christmas web card" I did my first year of doing websites. Christmas 1995.

Dry season


Between work work, favor work, pro bono work and fun work, squeezed in with jogging, partying, relaxing and IRC'ing, here is a quick entry to say that life is good.

Busy as heck, but good.

And it's about to get even busier, if all goes well.



(merci pour la foto, Karl)

In the stars? What?

My horoscope in Metropolis/Japan Today states:


Your mind may revel in the many twists and turns it needs to make this week. Friday and Saturday, the influence of the Moon wakes up your spirit. The sleeping gypsy inside you asks you to express your creativity. This can happen in many formsófrom sports to dance, to baking bread. Youíll know youíve hit on the right formula when you no longer feel hungry or empty inside. Mars conjunct Uranus is fantastic for romance. Donít miss it!

Zing! Excuse me?!


Ok. You got me. Here's why I'm REALLY going to Japan.

1st International Moblogging Love Hotel Conference



I've been online since only 1996 or so, but I have never gotten into IRC (Internet Relay Chat)... until this past week. It is total virtual world immersion/time limbo induction. The week gone by seems like a speck of dust floating in a smokey room.

And I have never made so many new friends in so short a time. The experience, however, also extends into the "real world" (a term I dislike more and more as all is "real" to me now: online, offline, dream and awake... ) where in this past week I have also done more, moved more air, met more people and proactively participated more in my own life than I have in months.

Discussing identity and space in a virtual environment, preparing for a tattoo which will serve as a reminder of my physical form, planning a trip to a place I hope will push the last puzzle piece into place in my understanding of... well... I'll let you know when (if) it does. ;)

As long as you all, both online and off, in my space and in my dreams, are around, I'll know I am not insane, for reality is a discussion & consensus of perceptions, nothing more.

No really, I am fine. ;)

Single black band

I was just informed that a tattoo of a single black band on one's arm possibly has negative symbolic connotation in Japan, indicating a convict (person who is jailed for a crime).

Can anyone verify this for me? How about in other cultures?

This is rather annoying to me as I've been searching for 10 years for a tattoo that would have no symbolic meaning and this was my ace in the hole... sigh...

Thanks in advance!

Concentrate dammit!

I know EXACTLY where i want to be. Always have. I just, for the life of me, cannot seem to focus on just how to get there dammit.

It's all just *one* step away from me... ever so ever so ever so slightly out of my reach.

Dammit. Damm, damn, dammy damn damn.

Ah, that feels better. ;)

I need to go

I can barely stand it anymore.. or is it just today?
I need to find a way that will allow me to be on my way.
What will I do?
I don't know.
Where will i go?
Well, let's start here:
- New York - London - Paris - Munich - Berlin - Wien - Milano - Roma - Istambul - Smyrna - Jerusalem - Baghdad (too late...) - Bombay - Ha Noi - Hong Kong - Tokyo - Sydney - Wellington - La Paz - Sao Paolo - Brazilia - Rio De Janeiro - Caracas - San Francisco - Vancouver



Where do you want to go?



Well sort of. I can't believe I forgot until now... almost midnight and passed the date.

My father passed away today four years ago after a heart attack put him in a coma for 3 days.

He was a wonderful man. He taught me the basic things about life that I would need to know, without saying a word. By being honest, kind and generous he instilled in me a deep need to be those things as well.

He certainly is sorely missed.

A startling realisation

I've always known this inherently of course, which is always the case I suppose. It has however just popped full center in my awareness: I am too physically lazy to write. Be it code or other stuff, I, without fail, trip up when it comes time to record textually.

Pen and paper are frustrating for I can never write as fast as I think. By trying to keep up, the output is invariably nearly illegible. Also pen and paper don't afford the easy and clean editing that one becomes accustomed to from using a keyboard.

Oh and the keyboard. Let's just say my typing skills are classifiable as "accelerated hunt and peck", at best. Sheesh.

It's the "thinking faster than I can output" part that is frustrating. (I must say that I know full well that I am not alone in this... I'm sure we ALL think faster than we can output.)

Sitting here working (coding PHP) I find myself stopping all the time... sitting and staring, wishing I could just "brain dump" onto the screen. This is why I also spend waaaay too much time thinking about such things as voice dictation systems et al. I've written about all that here before.

I mean really there is NO reason why my cellphone shouldn't be able to function as a voice capture device which streams it through a dictation software and then pops it into my personal CMS/FileSystem...


Till then, a huntin' and a peckin' I will go...


Shall I drive?

I must thank the plankers for this outstanding opportunity by sharing with me their good fortune.

I'm going to SxSW! Yay!


I decided to actually get to work on time today. So I stumbled out of the house, half asleep. I picked my clothes, half asleep. Half asleep, I thought I could wear this t-shirt one... more... day.


Thankfully, I don't deal with people too closely. Or at all really. :)

Ok, here's the deal:

I am going to write... something... a book or an attempt of some such thing, entirely online. I've set up a Wiki system and anybody will be allowed to comment, annotate, spell-check (hehehe) the texts.

I'm aiming mid-january to begin, seeing as I am quite busy right now with another project. Also, I have a stack of books I need to read as research.
The books include:

  • "Small pieces loosely joined" by David Weinberger
  • "The Cluetrain Manifesto"
  • "Internet Dreams" by Mark Stefik
  • "Smart Mobs" by Howard Rheingold
  • "The triumph of the narrative" by Robert Fulford
  • "Cyborg" by Steve Mann
  • "Skin of Culture" by Derrick DeKerckhove (if I manage to get my copy back...)
  • "Art, the arts and the great ideas" by Mortimer J. Adler

    Oh and if anyone can direct me to a good book wherein Glenn Gould's ideas and process for his radio production pieces (like "The Idea of North") are discussed (preferably by himself!), please let me know.

  • Now I've done it...

    I caved in, plunked down the plastic and now own a 10Gig iPod.

    It's cute... The interface is... acceptable considering the constraints. I'll have to completely re-jig how I deal with my huge MP3 collection, as well as my contacts and calendars (or at least fully explore all the options available to me).

    Taxman will be told it is a portable storage device for work so hey I get the taxes back (shhhh =)

    Fun! Now I can switch between Pergolesi and 2ManyDJs anytime I want !

    A dream is a dream is a dream...

    and some dreams just can't come true, no matter how badly we want them to.


    I.. um... break my spaghetti in half before cooking it. Linguine, spaghetini, fettucini... If it's long, it's getting cracked.

    I've had guests go into convulsions over this. So now I ask if/when cooking pasta for a visitor.

    Is it so wrong? Really?

    Deepest ,darkest secrets...

    I farking LOVE The Gypsy Kings.

    There. The secret is out.