Archive for October, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-31

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
  • ugh. just found out my dad’s memorial will be dedicated on my BIRTHDAY. ugh. i mean, seriously. just… ugh. #

No really, gravelly crap

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Just sang on a scratch demo we need to send off to an artist we’re writing for. Gawd, I hate doing that. My voice sounds like gravelly crap. Gravelly crap with a clothespin clipped onto my nose.

I was going to do it yesterday, but after a weekend full of drinking and hanging out in smoky places, there was no way I was getting more than a two-note range out of my voice.

Anyway, it’s done, and it gets the idea of the song across, so who cares about anything else, right?

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-28

Sunday, October 28th, 2007
  • yay! samdavidson is a-twitterin’. welcome to the noise machine, sam! #
  • @brittneyg memory’s the first thing to go. or is it hearing? i can’t remember. did you say something? i can’t hear you. (happy birthday!) #

Odds and ends: the weekend recovery edition

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

I’m so lame. I never got around to posting on Blog Action Day. But my excuse is that I’ve had a real roller coaster of a week. I went from, well, managing myself on Monday to having two direct reports on Wednesday, and that’s only part of it. So yeah, I really do think activism is important, I just didn’t take the arbitrarily designated day to talk about it. I wish I could link to my activism category, but I’ve been slow with this whole content import and re-tagging thing, so I’ve only gotten around to tagging one of my old posts with it. Oh well. There’s always next year.


On Thursday evening, Karsten and I went to hear Peter Plagens give an art lecture at the Frist with our friends Brad and Jed, and I’m pretty sure we were all creatively inspired. It was awesome. He basically talked about the struggle to embrace the new once you’ve become comfortable and familiar with the not-so-new, but unlike that rather trite-sounding summary, he was articulate and witty and insightful.


Speaking of embracing the new, I spent this morning working on updating the top-level site. I needed to replace a lot of the clunky tables, image-based text styling, and Dreamweaver-generated Javascript from oh-so-long-ago with a more adaptable CSS-based design. I’m not in love with how it looks yet, but it’s definitely a step in the direction I’m trying to go. The idea is to incorporate the blog and the rest of the site a bit more seamlessly, but I’m obviously not there yet.


Karsten is spending the day working (and I’m occasionally collaborating with him) on a project we’ve been trying to get around to finishing for several months now. Between all the chaos of the house renovation, my day job, our flea and rat troubles, sick cats, and vacation, it’s been delayed a bit. So with any luck we’ll have a scratch demo recorded by tomorrow night, even if it’s only a chorus. The artist we’re communicating with about this song has been waiting long enough and we need to get this one wrapped. I’m also trying to round up some other song ideas she might be interested in, so I guess we have next weekend already planned, too.


This vodka and tonic is simply perfect. I am a bartending genius, I tell you.

Karsten at Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Check out the pic of Karsten and our neighbor Jeff at Oktoberfest. Taken by the lovely and talented Sheila at A Blessed Mess.

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-14

Sunday, October 14th, 2007
  • trying to back up my hard drive, but the process seems to be taking forever. not sure if it’s actually working. hmm. #
  • sweet! looks like my backup worked. i’ve been sweating the itunes backup process ’cause I’ve screwed it up 3x before - but now it’s done. #

I’ve sorted out my stupid mistakes! (Well, at least one of them.)

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

A backed-up iTunes library is a good, good thing.

Except when you screw up and back up your iTunes library to several different copies over several backup attempts, and then find yourself having to comb through each backup copy and figure out what might be missing or different between them.

But I think I’ve finally corrected my previous mistakes, and iBackup seems to be capable of backing up my entire 90GB laptop hard drive at once — it just appears as if it’s hanging for a really long time (right around when it gets to the iTunes library), so it’s probably better to run it overnight when it won’t unnerve me with its apparent lack of progress.

What a relief! I’m so glad this is resolved. Now I can go delete some songs off my laptop hard drive and make some space for, well, more songs probably.

What’s next? Will they trade orange for pink?

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

I’m kind of annoyed about the news that Home Depot is opening new stores aimed at women, but not nearly as annoyed as I am that they’re calling them “Her Depot.” I mean, seriously, wtf?

I worked at Home Depot some 12 years ago. I was a head cashier and worked at the special services desk, which was where large accounts and projects were tracked and managed. It was a pretty cool gig, mostly, despite the fact that I was only working there because I was making so little money as the head of the Language Laboratory at UIC. (Seriously, I was making, like $19K in a role that could be described as “head of a department at a fairly large state university”. It was ridiculous.) Even as draining as it was working a nearly full-time job on top of another full-time job, I enjoyed most of my time in the orange apron.

Also, if I may remind you, I own a house with my handyman husband, and said house has needed detailed attention from what amounts to nearly every aisle of the hardware store.

I mention those two things to let you know that I’ve spent more than my fair share of time within Home Depot stores.

And in all those hours upon hours of walking over hard concrete warehouse floors, I really haven’t noticed Home Depot having a problem pulling in female customers. They’re all over the store, though clearly there is a heavier concentration of women in the lighting, appliance, and garden areas. But even so, they’re there. And they’re buying.

So I’m just not seeing where there was this great need to spin off a store just for her. Which again reminds me of my other point: “Her Depot”? For serious? What kind of condescending shit is that?

I mean, not only is it condescending but it’s also short-sighted. It sounds like they’re looking to compete with the retail powerhouse that is Target, but they’re idiots if they 1) think men don’t shop at Target a lot; and/or 2) think men are going to be very eager to shop at “Her Depot.” Except maybe in gay irony or when coerced by the wife.

It’s just such bad decision-making all the way around. Kind of makes me want to go buy screws and power tools at Target, just out of spite.

HT: Consumerist

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-13

Saturday, October 13th, 2007
  • recovering from last night’s pre-Oktoberfest warm-up partying and getting ready to watch the Paulaner 5K Bier Run #
  • ok, nashville people: oktoberfest is today! nash scene rated it best fest. do not miss out! in historic germantown, just north of downtown. #
  • headed shortly to my volunteer shift in the "upper" beer tent at 7th and monroe. stop by and say hi if you’re around! #

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-12

Friday, October 12th, 2007
  • feeling super productive today. rockin’. #
  • @megang most marathons require that you finish in 5 hours #
  • a twitter haiku from the heart (or probably the stomach): what to do for lunch? i’m hungry, but can’t decide. maybe i’ll eat in. #
  • best place to park for oktoberfest will depend on when you get there: early, park north of taylor; late, park south of jefferson. be there! #

Half-wrong? Mostly right? Natural or unnatural? Who cares if it’s funny!

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Over at Music City Bloggers, we’re debating choice and levels of wrongness, among other things.

Meanwhile over at the Onion, they get it half-right — well, mostly wrong, but still funny.

(That last one reminds me of a postcard I found one time that was captioned “San Francisco Parenting,” in which a parent was calling out to a child “Don’t forget to go both ways before crossing the street!”)

HT: Jon

Mac users: Entourage? Yea or nay?

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Yesterday I was offered the option of installing Entourage on my Mac to better sync with my work stuff, but I’ve heard such negative things about it from Mac purists that I immediately turned it down. But I’m wondering if I was too hasty. Do any of you use Entourage? Do you like it? Hate it? Pros and cons would be lovely. :)

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-11

Thursday, October 11th, 2007
  • happy coming out day! if you didn’t already know, i’m bi. i’m here, i’m queer, i drink beer; get used to it. #
  • @megang short commutes do rule. mine - north nash to cool springs - sucks, but i’m working from home today - the shortest commute of all. :) #
  • @megang it’s probably about the same either way. if you do go interstate, i would cut across to the west side of the inner loop though. #
  • getting a bit more content sorted out on the "new" blog… which isn’t all that new anymore #
  • i loved working from home today. i loved not having to put shoes on all day long. does that make me a hick? #

Good question!

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Someone hit my site from Google looking for “nicknames for Karsten.” Man, I wish I could tell you. Aside from “The Hammer,” which is really specific to my Karsten, I don’t really have anything for you. Karsty? He’d sneer at me for that one. Sten? I think he’d just look at me like I was crazy if I tried it.

Yeah, sorry, I got nothing.

When a $300 order is a potentially bad thing

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

I just had to renew Honey Bowtie’s subscription to Billboard and I did it, of course, on But that’s a $299 order (side note: yes, Billboard is a ridiculously expensive magazine, but it’s such a great way to follow a broad cross-section of the industry), and because I’m running several tests on the site that I don’t want to skew with such a huge order, I had to very carefully step around all the spots on the site that would have tracked me and added my purchase to test results.

I am such a geek.

National Coming Out Day, again

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Is it already October 11th? Sheesh, the year flies by. Well, anyway, that means it’s time again for National Coming Out Day!

I’m pretty swamped with work projects, though, so I’m going to cop out and link back to last year’s post, with a few quoted excerpts below:

Step 1: Coming Out to Myself
I started my coming out process (and it is a process, rather than one big step — and that process continues as long as you continue to meet new people) in 1991. [...]

Step 2: Coming Out to My Parents
I came out to my parents in 1993, just before leaving the country. [...]

Step 3: Coming Out to My Sister
I came out to my sister in a letter in 1996, just after I’d moved to California. [...]

Step 4: Coming Out to My Extended Family
I came out to my extended relatives a little bit by accident, in 1998. [...]

Step 5: Not Becoming Invisible
In 1997, I met the love of my life. He happens to be male, and he happens to be straight, and initially that was hard for me. [...]

Step 6, 7, 8, …
And so it goes. Every time I meet new people, every time someone makes a gay joke, every time I hear someone ignore the possibility of bisexuality, there’s an opportunity to out myself. [...]

Happy Coming Out Day!

Joe plays while Rhonda & her dad dance

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Joe plays while Rhonda & her dad dance

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

A Nashville songwriter twist on the father-daughter dance when the groom plays and sings the music. Truly a beautiful experience.

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-04

Thursday, October 4th, 2007
  • sitting with baby clyde in my lap and catching up on feeds #
  • snide remark of the moment: just because a technology seems complex, that does not make it a "platform" #

Process improvement, Post-It Note style

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Communications Audit

Originally uploaded by brittney

Brittney (a.k.a. She Who Is Soon To Be Leaving Us For The City By The Bay) took this picture of the awesome handiwork of one of our colleagues who didn’t happen to have Visio handy, so she made do with Post-It notes. I’m pretty sure she has Visio now, but this is way more fun.

All of this effort is in the name of streamlining processes to improve the customer experience. As, ya know, the person who’s supposed to be managing said customer experience, I heartily approve. :)

Notice anything different? Twitter offers up a redesign

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

I’ve noticed several tweets from my followees (I know that’s not really what they’re called — but then again what is Twitter vernacular for “the people you’re following?”) in the last 24 hours about Twitter’s “redesign” so I’ve poked around to draw some conclusion about it myself. From what I can see, there’s not a whole lot to talk about, but what they’ve done makes me wonder what’s coming next.

I can’t help but wonder if Twitter as a company and its users have significantly different visions of what Twitter as a tool is.

When I first noticed the redesign yesterday, I could have sworn they’d removed the Older link at the bottom of the “Recent” tab. Maybe they put it back because of the public outcry. I do think the tweet archive is important on the web — reviewing tweet history is probably the main reason I ever visit — so I’m glad they conceded the point.

twitter-notifications-sidebar.pngI think putting the overall notifications preferences in the sidebar was a good call, but I think it points to a remaining ease-of-use possibility around preferences for individual Twitterers. Flickr has it right with their hover options that let you click to change your contact preferences, and LiveJournal recently got it even more right: you can hover over a LiveJournal member and change your preferences right from the hover menu.

Twitter’s come a long way, but there’s still a sense that they’re lagging behind demand and underperforming based on user expectations. Still, I enjoy the tool and admit to being eager to see what they’re building up to with this redesign. Because they need to be up to something. Maybe they’re feeling safe now because they’ve pulled so far ahead of the other tools in being identified with the concept of micro updates, but there’s no safety for long in web technologies, and they’ll have to keep innovating or they’ll be but a tweet in history.

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-02

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
  • trying out twittermail. seems like an easy way to update. #

Are zee French rude? Mais non!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Jae got me thinking (in a way totally unrelated to what she was talking about) about how I found myself thinking fondly of the U.S. a few times while we were in Paris and Amsterdam. Not of the government, mind you, and certainly not of this current administration’s policies or whathaveyou.

But just thinking fondly of some of the little cultural niceties that I take for granted and which were notably absent from many of my dealings with folks over there. Maybe some of it is my having grown accustomed to the U.S. South and the culture of extreme gentility that underlies everything else around here, but I can easily understand why Americans who visit Paris, especially, would walk away thinking the French rude. I don’t think it’s really a matter of being rude, but I think there are a few characteristics that are typical of parts of U.S. culture that are either missing or very transformed in some of Europe’s cultures.

I’m thinking, for example, of the kind of you-first-no-you-first awkward politeness, or the face-saving that goes with conversations with strangers, or the extreme emphasis on customer service and the “customer is king” mentality and expectation within retail and food service. Certainly each of these has their analogous counterpart in other cultures, but I imagine it can be jarring for Americans visiting, say, Paris for the first time to be condescended to by a waiter, to be reprimanded by a stranger, to be bluntly addressed, and so on.

Know what I mean? And yeah, I’m sure this has been studied and documented and all, but when has that ever stopped a blogger from making dull observations about anything? So feel free to add your insightful thoughts in the comments and help me class this joint up, would ya?