Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Enough wierd things have happened lately for me to start thinking about doing the close encounters of a third kind thing, building a mountain out of dirt and discarded refrigerator debris.
Everytime I hear the word "Dora" I think of "Adorable Dora" a ship in a Heinlein novel... (note: there's a great heinlein exhibit at ucsc this month)
A lady named "Ping" called me to tell me that I'd been accidentally overpaid on something, and would I please send it back in a couple weeks.
I started thinking about God this afternoon while shaving off my beard... and a pair of nice Jehova's witnesses showed up. They've read uncle bill's helicopter and quoteJohn at me.
I meet people named magestic, slippery and elf. I've had two people now ask me if I was ever a member of a (movement to be linked to later, after I remember how to spell it) (answer: Yes, I do know someone that was heavily involved. Me, no... unless I was given a secret mission that fateful night I moved to florida in 94
, and brainwashed into forgetting why I was sent...
I seem to remember this wild Cypherpunk party in California and this runty red faced guy with big ears promising me I could run my own ISP if only I would donate a little blood for his pen, as he was out of ink. I think I explained to him the authenticity of pgp signatures while he sat there, tapping his pen, nodding his head. Shortly after that I woke up in Florida, with a terrible hangover...
Sometimes I think I was given a chance to "sign up", for something, only to let my natural proclivities for sharing information get in the way.
I like that theory sometimes, being a secret agent on the outs without a way to break the code the new orders are being sent in is a far more pleasant fantasy than just being a ordinary guy trying to scratch out a living and make room in the memesphere for asteroid colonisation.
I keep thinking some hand is being offered me to play... if only I could decode the signs and portents.
So, let's see, maybe I should go to columbia, rent a helicopter, find the top of a magestic mountain, slide down part of it, hang up a hammock, read John, look for elves, and wait for further instructions.
No... that's not it. Somebody enlighten me please as to what the heck I'm supposed to do next, in plain english in a secure location?
Or, at least, give me a chance to try out chair hanging sex.
Chair Hanging Sex
The internet is weird. Googlebusting is even weirder, and sometimes the email I get blows my mind.
Hi there! Sorry for an e-mail out of the blue, but I just did a search for the term chair hanging sex on Google and found the-edge.blogspot.com ranked 43. Since I publish a related website about Home and Garden (it's strictly informational, so I'm definitely NOT a competitor of yours), I'd like to link to your site.
My site is one of the best resources for info in our category (I think you'll see that my site is pretty clean and high quality, and I only request to link to other quality sites for exchange). Because of this great info, I get a pretty decent amount of visitors...so if I link to you, your site should get some nice traffic as well.
So you know, I've already linked to you and will keep it there for a few days until I hear from you. If you're interested in swapping links for good, please reply back so I can get you all of the pertinent information.
RAC IM: 1072100
hi, I'm responding to your email below again. You emailed me a few days ago saying you were interested in linking with my site. I responded notifying you that I included the-edge.blogspot.com as a Featured Listing in the High Index directory in the following category:
Columbia Travel and tourism (????? what the heck does PostCards from the Bleeding edge do with Colombia???
In exchange for the listing I've given you above, I'm asking that you link to my site, comfortablehammockscorner.com, by placing the following code onto your site:
I like your site and I'd like to keep it in the directory, but I do require that you link to comfortablehammockscorner.com as a fair exchange. Please let me know either way soon so i know whether to keep your listing in High Index or not.
Sent: 26 Apr 2004 15:23:31 GMT
Subject: Re: the-edge.blogspot.com ranked # 43 in Google for chair hanging
That is one of the wierder backlinks I've ever heard of.
Freeing your mind, neo
And then a friend wrote:
As of 15 minutes ago, I'm out looking again. Considering how this job has gone since I got here, I should be glad it lasted 2.25 years.
What I wrote him cheered me up so here it is....
I haven't had a "job" in coming up on a year now. I thought I'd never make the mortgage past the sixth month, and somehow, I'm still here...
I started doing some volunteer work these past couple months, and started paying attention to re-engineering quality of life - and trying to apply my skills to that....
I started off by trying to build a bike that I could plug my laptop into and be able to work, all day, at the top of a mountain somewhere, and now I'm having a blast helping out the free wireless folk (thirdbreak.org
) so that people can work in a quality environment - like along Pacific Avenue, or the beach. One of the engineers ("Elf") at Thirdbreak puts it best - "We're builders. We have to build things. The money may not be there, the business model may not be there - but we have to build things anyway."
I was really pleased to see how a good ole boy from Estonia, my homeland, made the papers today bringing wireless as a public service
to 2/3s of the country.
(and amused that noted nowhere in the article is that the entire country of Estonia has, like, half the population of San Francisco)
... and that the war-e-bike
idea made techtv
in Yuri's "Magicbike"
- a MUCH better name than warbike
Everytime I read stuff like this I think :whew: I'm not alone in feeling encased in a cubie. I'm, if anything, even more pleased that I'm not the first to be thinking these up (I love the half-bakery)
Through this puttering around with new technology in odd locales, I've met a lot of interesting people, and I figure someday, if I keep moving laterally like this, some idea will gel, some group will form, some contact will turn out to be a closet VC, or maybe I'll meet the perfect girl.
Another freeing thing I've been doing lately is borrowed from an Improv routine. You get stuck on a problem, and you walk through your environment, looking at something, say a clock, pointing, and yelling aloud what it isn't, whatever comes to mind - like "Bird!". You see a tree, and yell something like "Prick!", You see some deer crap on the road, and you yell: ("Ex-bosses name") It's astonishingly hard to keep up coming with different names for what you see for a whole minute. It frees your mind, neo....
Now I don't recomend that you do this in public unless A) You are alone, or with people that understand (and are willing to try it themselves) or B) there are homeless people about, also yelling in wild directions - or C) have a cell phone handy, so you look like you are having a conversation. Put it on record, you'll laugh later.
A bad morning dealing with rejection
I got up, briefly, to check my email this morning, a bit blurry from Cam Engine's second band practice, read it, and went back to bed til noon. Some days it's just not worth getting up until the sun peeks out over the west side of the mountain.
I've been searching to do something unambigously good in my life with my computing skills, and although I'm struggling to make PicketWyre Labs and Rockhopper Recordings do that, occasionally I apply for a job that seems truly worthwhile... my first email this morning:
Thanks for your interest in EFF's Technical Director position. We have hired someone who has been working on our issues for a long time, and we think it will be a great fit. I wish you the best with your job search.
It's really nice to get rejection letters from people I respect, I thought to myself, after reading this one....
I emailed back, "Thanks, Shari, I'll keep doing what I can for the EFF, from the outside. Hope your new guy kicks ass."
After that there was the rejection email from Kevin Werbach
. I wanted to get into the Voice as a Data application track at the upcoming Supernova 2004 conference
and get a chance to speak...
Thanks for your interest, but I'm afraid the conference program is pretty well set at this point, and that panel in particular is full.
I hope you'll be able to join us as an attendee!
I gotta find a venue for this talk... It's based on some wild extrapolations of Google and the internet mind
It's funny and profound, and features my best Bucky Fuller/Henry Rollins impersonation; I talk about some latent issues in copyright law, and I (given an hour to fill) may even do a song... (note to promoters: be encouraged to keep the talk below 40 minutes)
I think, I've gotta find a venue for this talk
... maybe I'll slip into supernova as press, put a couple bogus signs, take over a conference room - or better yet, pull the war-e-bike out front and start haranging the smoking laptop carrying set about working on the beach - with a VOIP mic in front of my face so people think I'm just talking on a cell phone
At these prices maybe I should just meekly request a press pass and do press-like things.
...and so I started opening my normal (e.g. physical) mail.
Bills, bills, bills.
And, oh, after that? the rejection letter from the childrens book company for my short title on asteroids - about a child that wants to live off-planet (sample rhyme: "Kid... your mommy and daddy are both unemployed, and you want to live on an asteroid?")
And so back to email:
Whup... turned down for the emerging technologies conference as press, once again. I take it blogging has already emerged, and I gotta do something different now.
In the last year I've attended more conferences than the previous 10, combined. It has been a tremendous learning experience. I've grown to resent the years I spent locked in my cubie, keeping someone's network running 24x7, while everybody else got to go to meet interesting people, future wives, etc.
I've got into most of those conferences as a member of the press. I like that. I don't call what I do "Press" by any means, my mission in life is to match seed crystals with supersaturated solutions - but someday I'll write something commercial I hope.
I thought: I'm 0 for 2 on spring conferences for the day and I guess I should go work in the garden, or mixdown this set or, yea, maybe call a friend on the east coast...
My long distance service was off. Oh yea, a 15 dollar bill. Well, I could pay that, or fix the cisco load on my router so that vonage phone works at home
I just gotta find a venue for this !@#! talk.
And then I went back to bed and pulled the pillows over my head.
This friday, May 7th, Cliff Skolnick and Tim Pozar are speaking at the San Lorenzo Valley Amateur Radio Club at 7pm, see http://www.slvarc.org
Cliff says: "This should be an interesting and fun meeting, and people will get to
meet a bunch of radio folks who have been doing this for many years. "
See you there.
Rethinking yesterdays blog
Not long after I posted yesterdays blog, I realized that I'd alienated the environmentalists - by suggesting we dump SUVs and miscreant bike-hating DJs over a cliff in the Blue Ridge mountains.
Filling up one of those beautiful valleys with smashed up SUVs didn't go down well - "although it would be OK", one wag suggested, "if I was down below to help cushion the impact of the SUV on the environment after being accellerated at 9 meters per second. The resulting increase in carrion would help feed the mountain lions and scavengers, and the smashed SUV provide a home for other wildlife."
Yea, he's right.
I also realized that killing off SUV drivers was just a bad idea. Most SUV drivers have already reproduced - not only rendering darwin irrelevant - but rendering jihad, once the survivors grow up - likely.
Um... what to do?
Biking Blogger advocates bodily harm to some SUV drivers
I woke up this morning and wrote something nice about Clear Channel - of all people - by being pleased by their be nice to bicyclists policy
I hadn't thought it through. I hadn't had a full cup of coffee yet, or opened the bills, or stepped in the cat vomit, or tripped in the shower, or any of the other things that turn me back into being grumpy bastard by 9 AM. That message slipped in on me... so... without further ado:
You see, this bicyclist hates SUV drivers. Not all SUV drivers, just the SUV drivers that drive in the cursed by blond family vehicle...
You know that SUV: the one with the sole driver doing her makeup and talking on the phone - while no doubt listening to Clear Channel being nice to bicyclists... her mind turned to mush by the endless pap on that station...
Then she starts swerving the wheel in tune to some lame Briteny Spear-sucker song. The SUV sways in turn, all over the road...
and I have a choice between hitting the dirt or hitting an embankment....
I've often wished that I could suddenly acquire about 5000 lbs of mass and bump my bike into that SUV. Slam it and her into a tree, and then stand over her, shaking my ebike over her bruised, bleeding body to make the last words she heard being "Wake up - smell the universe!".
So *I'm glad* there's free speech in this country. I'm glad that clear channel and google (soon to be renamed skynet) don't have a say in what I say here. I approve of those radio stations airing their kill bikers message, even though I disagree
My constructive answer would be to take one of those DJs out for a long bike ride - say along blue mountain highway - and do a broadcast by a campfire from our perspective...
and if not swayed by this constructive approach...
...tie 'em to an SUV and drop 'em over a cliff.
Boy am I glad there's free speech in this country!
goes on a nostalgathon
...happily I strolled along, and then I noticed an oddity. There at the end of the cul de sac, off to one side, were two houses that had not one but two parallel fences dividing their yards from one another. What was between those two fences? I looked closer: it was some kind of alleyway. I walked into it, and a dozen yards on, I emerged into... a park.
A city park. A big rectangle of lush green grass, surrounded on all sides by tall fences and taller trees, a well-appointed playground in the middle--slides, jungle gym, half-moon swing, sand--benches and a water fountain and birds singing and nobody was there but me. There were no cars: There was no parking lot. The whole park was completely enclosed, and only accessible through a half dozen little alleyways just like the one behind me, each of them connecting to the end of a suburban cul de sac. In something like a daze, I stepped forward into it, and reverently walked around examining every detail of the place.
Now, you have to understand that when you're eight, and you're exploring, and you find something like this, you don't think Oh! A park! How nice of the city to build such a fine facility for the public's enjoyment! No, you think: I am the first person to discover this park. No one else has ever walked here before. God had put this place on Earth for me.
Ethanol also needed a gmail address, so I invited him in using mine... and while I was at it, I put my gmail address (email@example.com) as the main one on my blog. Let's see how well them google guys cope with the ensuing onslaught of spam....
Clear Channel bans DJs from advocating bodily harm to bikers
I stopped listening to the radio years ago. I think it had something to do with the endless amounts of pap. My target of mental blacklisting has always been Clear Channel.
But I'm practicing saying something nice about somebody, and you know, running over bicyclists is not particularly funny, when you are the bicyclist. Clear Channel has banned their DJ's from advocating bodily harm to bicyclists:
TALK RADIO HOSTS TARGETING BICYCLISTS--AGAIN
Radio talk show hosts are targeting bicyclists again. Stations in three cities in the last two weeks have made disparaging, incorrect, and at times dangerous remarks about bicyclists and encouraged listeners to call in and share their views about bicyclists. On April 16, Howie Carr on Boston's WRKO-AM said, "They [bicyclists] are the biggest pain...if there is a sidewalk, I don't care what the law is, ride on the damn sidewalk, OK? You don't belong on the road. You don't. That's all there is to it. You belong on the sidewalk." Later on, he said, "I don't want to share the road."
On April 23, DJs on the Don Miller show on Atlanta's WNNX-FM (99X) repeatedly ridiculed bicyclists. One host said, "I can't stand them," and referred to cyclists as "bastards." Of the law giving cyclists the right to use the roads, they said it's a "horrible law" and that bicyclists should "get on the sidewalk where they belong." When a caller wanted to let the hosts know about Atlanta area cyclists who'd been killed in traffic crashes, the response was, "...and I wanna let you know how many people care about those cyclists." Most alarmingly, one DJ said he would "nudge them [bicyclists] right off the road into a tree." When challenged by a colleague that he hadn't done that, he said, "You've never done that? It's so much fun. Smoke a little weed, get behind the wheel...wheee!"
To hear the heinous 99X broadcast segments, for more details and to take action to stop this onslaught of broadcast harassment, visit http://www.bikeleague.org. None of the stations involved are owned by Clear Channel Communications. Last year, following a string of similar incidents, Clear Channel made it clear it would not tolerate such behavior on its stations. Visit http://www.bikemonth.org to hear radio PSA recorded by Clear Channel to promote bicycling and sharing the road.
To hear these broadcasts again: http://www.bikeleague.org/mediacenter/quickresponse.htm
M A R T I N K R I E G : "Awake Again" Author
Bent Since '83, Car Free Since '89, '79 & '86 TransAms
Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor
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Music, and a quest for a live drummer
I've made 120 Union my "come down place" from my bike ride on wednesdays, I get to write a bit, listen to music a bit, play piano a bit - do my blogger as journalist routine - I've been doing interviews and taking some cool photographs there that I'm planning to use in a bigger story...
And I looked at their wall for the music schedule wednesday, and noticed that the "Jazzlab" played wednesday nights - me, being tired out from biking, have never managed to stay late wednesdays...
"Jazzlab, jazzlab..." I thought: "wasn't that the band that I saw last year here?"
It was. January 27th, 2003 was my first encounter
with the new 120 Union...
Note to self: I have gotta find enough energy to stay and listen again to jazzlab on a wednesday night
I was most struck that night by Beth Goodfellow's drumming (She wasn't part of jazzlab, but was sitting in that day - maybe she joined up later
). Later on... I got her to help out on one track of a song I was working on - she had a million appointments, was torn up between being a drummer and a composer - and blurred off into a sea of other events - two recordings made at the kennedy jazz center stand out
. She toured europe that summer
, and this spring she's teaching at Jazzcamp
I wonder what she's doing before and after that gig... I wonder if her path interesects the National Mayors ride
There was no jazz where I grew up, so I got stuck singing in choir and playing Billy Joel tunes, badly. I missed out. Lately I've been trying to master enough of "Round Midnight" to play it in public.
I just wish I could hear songs like that in public - and see it, like on CSPAN - without all the MTV cuts -