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January 31, 2006

most evil spam i've received lately

Subject:

Smoking is the expression of independence and freedom.

Body:

Discover new parad1se with the best cigarettes.

How many wonderful things you have to give up?
At least donít give up the best of them Ė smoking.

How many wonderful things you have to give up?
At least donít give up the best of them Ė smoking.

ORDER HERE A cigarette is like a pers0nality: 1t has 1ts 0wn n@me,
own brand, own ingredient$, scent and taste.

for all you ben photo lovers out there

Ahhh, with the new camera I managed to even get some photos of the elusive Ben beast. Here are portraits of Ben at the end of the day where he tried to upgrade perl on the server and it crashed mail service. Then, a client with an outstanding $5000 proposal and a tight deadline has decided to lollygag around for some ungodly reason. On days like this we quit at 4:30 and walk to the Fiddler's Inn for some strong beer.

(p.s. Marged, I'm talking to you.)

January 30, 2006

the new camera is here, the new camera is here!

Thanks so much Carol. I am very happy to have access to a brand new Canon PowerShot A610. Now, more self portraits!

January 17, 2006

blog advice

A friend just asked me:

> I saw that your blog had several years of entries...so how do you do
> it...how do you get into a good routine?? Do you start just free
> form...stream of consciousness?? Or do you start a given entry with
> something to say or a little of both??
>
> Maybe there's no secret...or tips or tricks...but I just thought I'd ask.

In writing him back, I was surprised at my own little "tips and tricks" as it were. Reprinted for your dubious edification:

Well, check out what my rhythms of posting are really like. This is the archives listed by year and month, and it's almost like a bar chart if you just blur your eyes a little and scroll up from the bottom:
http://www.tinyplace.org/tinyblog/masterarch.php

I have gone months without posting before, and it's hard to hang on to readership that way. Readership is a pretty good motivation for writing I think.

So where's the URL? I might be able to give more specific tips if I could see what your blog is like. You know, some kind of sense of intention or purpose of the whole thing really helps.

A nice design, or at least a cool, striking graphic at the top is nice too. It inspires you to fill that space with something cool.

It helps to have some kind of blogging community.

Syndication has made things easier cause now I can just subscribe to a blog (most blogging tools offer this) and I never have to check it, I just see when the person has posted. So I read even some blogs that are updated very infrequently.

I'd rather an infrequent entertaining blog than someone who posts constantly about absolutely nothing.

Think when you post, "If someone I didn't know came upon this, would they be able to find ANYTHING of value in this?" Don't just write about your day unless you can construct some kind of narrative. If you do this you'll start to see little blog stories in your life more often.

If your family knows about it, then put up some damn pictures of your kid every once in a while, the fam will apreciate it.

Let readers who know you know what's going on in your life. It's like your public statement about your life.

If you learn something new in your life, then find a way to tell a story about it in your blog.

Series' of things are cool. Think of a cool topic and do a week on it. Readers seem to really like that and come back for more. At least, until the series is over.

Get people to read and link to you, gradually (but slowly) widening the circle of people who think to click on you every once in a while. Comment on some blog you like and put the url back to your site in the comments. If people enjoy the comment, sometimes they go see who it is. Similarly, blogs can see where their hits are coming from (some can), so put a link list of blogs you like, and visit them via the links on your own page. They will see visitors from your site and possibly check you out.

Don't get too wrapped around the axle if you can't think of anything to write. Just wait and be patient. Strike when the iron is hot.

Also, assume there are in fact interesting things about your life and perspective. Sometimes it can be a little like stand up comedy. You see something in the grocery store that freaks you out and you can make jokes about it, and then actually link to the company's website.

Never just link to something cool, always provide a little bit of perspective or commentary.

Don't succumb to every meme. Especially because of peer pressure. Just ignore all the fucking quizzes and shit. Come up with your own content, unless your blog is really about memes and such. Sometimes there will be a cool one, like describing your five favorite ice cream flavors and relating them to sexual positions or something like that, that you can really rock and come up with something creative for....but make sure it's really good before you use it.

Don't natter on about every popular movie or book. Really try to hold yourself to a high standard and come up with something different for people to see. Differentiate yourself in some way from the sea of chattering monkeys and people will value it.

If possible...come up with SOME visual aspect to your posts along with the writing.

People like bite-sized posts...if you really write a long post, break it up with subheadings so it doesn't just look like one meaningless ramble.

Think about who might be reading, and tailor your content accordingly. Remember, a google cache is forever. You can take chances, but do it on purpose, not out of carelessness.

Try reading the blogs of your commentors and readers, I mean, not if they turn out to be painfully dull (or dully painful), but give everyone a chance. That builds online community.

Look inside yourself a little at what your valuable perspective is. Be honest. Don't waste 1's and 0's. They are almost infinate, but people's time on this planet certainly isn't.

Hope that helps...that was just stream of consciousness, I think I'm actually just going to post this to my blog as well. Hope you don't mind.

January 16, 2006

my shockingly talented friends attempt to use the english language and other tools

Two of my best friends shocked me recently by doing two things I thought they would never do: they got engaged, and they just started precious "his and hers" blogs right here on the internet. "His" is called Sans Pants Revolution and looks both psychotic and promising. "Hers" is called KonPai, Esse, in an effort to push her hyper-literate cultural mish-mash on on the planet. They're the most welcome (to me) personal friend additions to the blogosphere since I, Asshole. Although...that gives them pretty big shoes to fill.

Then, a friend that I've known peripherally for months, suddenly busts out her portfolio the other night and it turns out she's a trained and talented computer illustrator, interface and icon designer. It's always nice when I find out that someone I know does something I'd find impressive professionally, even if I didn't know them.

When I was in Rockford, I ran into my best friend from second grade. We did some emailing and pretty soon he's asking me if he can send some of his home brewed beer. (Twist my arm, Josh). Now Seattle is quite a town for beer, and it's not hard to find the best beers in the world here. So I have to say I was a bit surprised when the homebrew turned out to be the richest, most delicious double chocolate stout imaginable, and the six bottles were hoarded briefly, drunk, and well appreciated. Well played, Mr. Frank, well played!

I have other seriously talented friends as well, but these people surprised me, so happiness and linklove to them.

bad food luck

All in all it was a wonderful day, but not such a good day for food. I woke up and went straight to a brunch, but the hordes had already descended and all the food was gone.

A couple of friends and I went outside to get some breakfast. We thought about going to a sort-of chichi breakfast place in Capitol Hill called Coastal Kitchen. Coastal Kitchen has a great breakfast menu, and a rotating regional menu (like for instance, this month...Portugal). My companions thought it would be too yuppie and expensive so we decided to try another place.

It was basically just a bar, but looked to have breakfast, so we walked in and asked if they were serving any more. She said only the regular breakfast menu and not the Brunch menu anymore. Of course everything I wanted was on the brunch menu, but there was one thing on the breakfast menu that looked decent so we sat down.

Only with coffee in hand did I discover that they didn't have the right sausage for that. I sighed a pained sigh that I'm sure people who have been out to eat with me when I'm feeling difficult well know. "Is it possible I can just have what I want off the brunch menu?" I pointed. He went to check. No dice. They had just shut down the brunch setup for real. So I got an omelette and it was bland and the salmon was tough and the whole breakfast thing just didn't work out for me, except for the bloody mary.

Then, tonight, I got hungry for sushi. I mean really hungry. Like, cascading low blood sugar hungry. I wanted to go to my favorite cheap sushi place but didn't check the internets right. Got all the way out there and it was closed. But sushi was calling for me, so I went to another place, even farther from home, that was more expensive and not as good.

45 minutes wait. No way. So walking down the street I end up again at a bar. Ready to eat stray body parts. The special: crispy chicken sandwich: 9.99. Sounds good, right? A crispy chicken sandwich for ten dollars has to be pretty delicious right? Hopefully, I quizzed the waitress, "Well, it has pepper jack cheese." she offered.

It was breaded chicken on a hamburger bun. I shoulda got the meatloaf. However, it came hot (but slowly), and that was it's saving grace. It was better than the omelette.

Plus, I spent every last dollar on those two meals!

This tale of urban horror is brought to you by the Naked Lady Brunch Party, and Knob Creek bourbon.

January 13, 2006

for the very first time

The complete list of danieltalsky.com slogans:

Remember, before each of them you have to mentally say, "Daniel Talsky Dot Com (comma)":

Like hairless cats that mind.
better'n' a barrel of monkeys
More ice cream than you can remember.
Eat orzo for breakfast.
Orange flavored napalm for the soul.
When danger calls, take a message.
Striding purposely in every direction.
Tell the invisible man I can't see him today.
Let sleeping bags lie.
A little pain never hurt anyone.
The learning curve is steep today.
MINE.
Making trouble, one step at a time.
My advice to you: eat more hash browns.
Expectations are pre-meditated disappointment.
You toucha my website, I breaka you face.
No parking.
So simple, a child could do it.
Daniel Talsky, now a commercial entity.
May it benefit beings.
I like to cook.
Amazing Grace saved a wretch like me.
I am watching The Hour of Power.
Love is not the answer, it is the assignment.
A friend to all.
Man of my dreams.
...for president in 2008.
A good place to while away the meaningless hours.
An illusory place.
So sophisticated, it could be from Paris.
Good as gravy.
Completely serious.
Take a walk on the wild side.
Enchanted.
More than you ever imagined possible.
Like a velvet glove cast in iron.
You can dance if you want to.
Very strange.
24 Hour Brain-A-Thon.
Operators are standing by.
Get your feet off the Davenport!
International!
When I awaken, I must be mistaken.
Brandishing more force than I can skillfully wield.
The same as every other place.
Lama la chhap su chhio.
Do you feel anything yet?
A streetlamp of poetry.
Vanity incarnate.
Getting stronger every day.
Egg Nog.
More accurate than a Sphygmomanometer.
The #2 most requested lips in America.

I wrote about 2/3's of them, the rest are reader submissions. I'm thinking about making a brutal cut, but I need new blood. Any suggestions? Come up with as many as you can. Plus, I think I'll pick a winner. I am the sole judge and arbiter. Any good ones get added but the best one gets something special in the mail.

i love to put out

putting out

I've got to get some new skillz. I love to help people. I love to provide value to the world, especially value that hardly anyone else can provide. I love to be able to provide value for value, and help people in kind when they help me, without being asked. I love to put out. When I put out, the world works. When I don't, the world breaks.

unskilled willing hands

I have two hands and am willing, and that is good. When I go to people's houses I like to wash their dishes and clean their kitchens. Even bathrooms are not too bad, especially if they start out really dirty, because then they look so transformed when I'm done. I like to weed. It makes me feel good, to do these little things for people that I know they are dreading anyway, but sometimes it makes them feel wierd.

massage

I can do massage. I do! I love it. But it's just so damn hard to get people to ask for it and show up for it. I can ask people if they want massage, but let me tell you how sick a person can get of hearing, "It's okay. I'm fine." I'm sure you are, you wall of man, you tide of woman. Plus. I know I'm the human bulldozer, not everyone wants to let me push and pull at them. And massage...it's so personal. People have to really let you in. It's even more personal than dishes. Well, to some people. But it's true I love to work for people that way, grabbing tissue and making it warm and liquidy. Another downfall is that it's more useful if you can work with a person regularly, and that's very hard to do in this busy world.

(Sometimes though, even one time can really help. I had a wonderful time the other day. I went over to a friend's house and he had an ice pack on his arm. He said he was getting tennis elbow and he didn't even play tennis! "Lemme at it!" I said, "it's tendonitis and you should have told me before." I pulled and dug at his arms for a half an hour and then he moved and twisted his hands in surprise. "It. It doesn't hurt. Hey, isn't that crazy? It doesn't hurt!" he said to the other people on the couch. "It feels like cool water running through my veins." he said to me quietly.)

10010100

Computer Skillz I have. That's for damn sure. I can program in a few languages. I understand the languages of display and the languages of the web very well. I know how to take people's gestating ideas and craft them into something and help them publish it. Publish. I can publish on the web and I can publish in print.

I know about filesystems and file types. I know how to make a computer usable...to put important icons where people will easily find them. I know how to research and find the best free piece of software for any job. I know how to help people organize information and display it. I know how to architect an idea and turn it into a computer program. I know how to get music in all it's formats and convert them, rip them and burn them and all the other violence you can do to music. I can write. Some would say.

But...I can't be in front of a computer endlessly. I have to find some things I can do to be useful that are not in front of a computer. I like the computer, I love the computer. I live the computer, anyone who knows me knows it's true. But as I get older I'm going to have to grow away from it. Perhaps as I make my fortune I can begin to step away from the stiff ways humans have to interact with computers.

pregnant!

I feel so pregnant right now. A few days ago I had some mad council (counsel?) of men, and it left me feeling full and generous and grown up and mature. Like I want to test my own mettle, cradle people, lift them up.

In February and March I get to teach another web class. Teaching is wonderful, but in order to teach computer stuff you have to sit and research and prepare course materials...in front of a computer.

I'm not talking about crafts... I'm talking about real useful skillz that if I spend my time doing them they actually make other people's lives easier. Like...carpentry seems cool. Trying my hand at little bits of jewelrymaking with Andrew Dunloy has been nice. I even tried a bit of bookbinding. It's just hard to make a new committment to something and be bad at something at first. I think that's a big part of the reason grown-ups get so set in their ways. They hate to have to do something and be really shitty at it for a long time. I do anyways.

Well, in the meantime...computers and massage and dishes are okay. I'm just thinking aloud. I love to put out.

this blog is stupid

To be honest, I'm kind of sick of it. It was fun when I could use it for pictures, but now I just don't know what to say. When I first started writing it, it was really awesome for spilling my guts. Now, when I have revelatory experiences I just don't think it's appropriate for some segment of my readership, and that makes for a boring, boring blog. Maybe someday I'll take all these stories and format them so people can find the good bits. Or use it to write a silly autobiographical book.

I'm not even the only tinyblog!

There's been tinyblog, a simple weblog tool. That's been around for awhile. I can't find the page anymore, but it used to link back to my page in tribute. I can't tell if it's the same thing as PHPTinyBlog which has a snarky FAQ and doesn't link to me. Plus, there's what looks to be a Japanese weblog tool written in Python called tinyblog. (Google translation is no help.)

And then now, there's actually another tinyblog BLOG. Well, technically it looks like it's called tinymeat tinyblog. It looks nice, but I'm still grouchy about it. Mainly because me and the weblog tool used to have the whole first page of google! Mainly because when I wanted to find an old post all I had to do was type tinyblog and a few words of the title into google. Now google's starting to index him and my precious namespace is under competition.

For christ's sake he even has a Tinystore. I mean, tinyplace is kind of different...I never capitalize the 't'. Hehehehe, but clearly it's a similar theme. However, Tinymeat is clearly a primarily dot com kinda thing, and tinyplace is strictly a dot org kinda thing. I just loved having this namespace to myself, but I guess all good things must come to an end. I'm just sore cause he never said "hi", but I never really said hi to him either.

But hey, a referrer log means more than an email anyway. So I guess this is my "hi". Hi, Tinymeat, you slick design bastard. We even have kind of a similar design sensibility. Only the tinyblog design is like from 2000. Who knows what it would look like if I designed it today.

I think the tinyblog has a limited lifespan. I think when I leave Seattle and go to Berkeley I'm going to retire it.

At least I have danieltalsky.com.

How did the internet get so damn crowded all of a sudden.

January 3, 2006

the camera? noooooooooooooooooooooo!

Ben made his camera go away the other day. Gone, gone, gone. It was a good little camera and it gave the tinyblog much photo love.

Thank you little Kodak Easyshare.

Now it's just me and the cameraphone.

footface.jpg

Maybe I'll even break out the film camera

Flatbed scanning.... noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!.