Jan 30, 2001

Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean
Thanks for the many kind words from perfect strangers stopping by this site. I am still knee deep in e-mail responses to people, I do know. I have got to work on my pen pal skills. This reminds me of a funny note I received once but first a little background. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

When I was in 9th grade, some jerk (we'll call him Jimmy Dean) tried to get me to fight him during lunch at school. Fisticuffs and everything. Now having just taken a summers worth of karate lessons, I could have turned him into a pretzel and handed him his spleen. However, my pacifist upbringing at work, I decided that fighting was not the answer. As I turned away from Jimmy, he punched me in the eye as I turned away. He hit me hard enough that I saw a flash of light and heard a crack.

As it turns out Jimmy had fractured my eye, BEHIND THE EYEBALL. This trapped a small piece of my eye muscle causing me to have double vision for a few weeks. I saw more optometrists, ophthalmologist, and any other form of eye doctor than imaginable. They all said that after the swelling went down that the muscle would loosen and I would be no worse for wear. However, fighter pilot was off my list as potential jobs. In the meanwhile, while the eye was healing I had to wear a patch. Not to mention some gargantuan protective glasses for PE.

Since the school had a strict no fighting policy, Jimmy was expelled and sent to a different school. I, however had to go to school with a PATCH on my eye of the Robert Louis Stevenson variety. Somehow during this whole ordeal I had become incredibly attractive to one of my classmates (one of the daytime soap stars wore a patch in 1988, maybe this had something to do with it). Glenda (her real name was Christine, oh crap) wrote me notes all the time during French class. I guess my lack of interest in her had shown in the fact that I was not writing back quite fast enough for her. Glenda was growing impatient with me (and later played a very mean spirited prank on me that I might describe tomorrow).

One of her final notes to me said, "Did Jimmy Dean break your hand as well as your eye?"

Sorry for all the build-up with such a meager payoff. I think Jimmy Dean did break my hand.

Jan 26, 2001

site updates

New look, new loot

Shellen relatives on a shirt, o boy!Yeah, not really. I did update my bio page with a thinger that looks like a filmstrip and I thought it looked cool. Whatever. Clicking on the pictures gives you webcam shots from oldest to newest. Play away. I am trying to keep the cam on more these days so that you may catch me looking more stoned looking (not really Mom) than ever before.

The about page now has a story involving drinking, childbirth and war tales. It was emailed to me by a relative of the actor Stephen Shellen or should I say Schellenberg as you will find out if you read this AMAZING TRUE STORY! Not a good day to be reading this site as a non-Shellen. Check back tomorrow, I might say something of substance then.

Jan 25, 2001

I should have packed the chains
Word on the street is that there is snow on top of the Sunol Grade my normal route home from the office. Yikes!

Jan 24, 2001

xml question

One for the geeks
Anyone know how to (or if there is) an easy (ha,ha) way to parse XML on Apache/1.2.4 PHP/FI-2.0 running on Linux? To make matters worse this is a shared machine, therefore I don't have root level access. Seriously, if you know please email me. Thanks.

re design

Most of the archives are back... now what the hell happened to the colors
I have been toying with a redesign and this is not it. It is a redesign but not a complete one. Oh forget it I am going to bed, I'll explain later.

Jan 23, 2001

site errors

There is nothing wrong with your set...
First the kind gent that runs the free comments database for this site , BlogVoices, announced that he was terminating the service due to server troubles and now my archives are a bit out of wack. I will try and get this fixed as soon as possible. Ev and PB have sent me a possible fix, but until I get a few moments to do this you will have to make do with recent history. Take a pill or lie down or something in the meanwhile.

Jan 22, 2001

Update, update, update.

Poor form
From Whim and Vinegar Opinions article on Joining the Weblog Nation:

Update, update, update. Try to add something every day, even if it's only one paragraph. Be disciplined. Some days will be better than others, but if you get into the habit of updating, you'll find that doing it daily is easier.

So my question is, does this post count?

Jan 19, 2001

More points are better right?

Book 'em Dano I just signed up for traffic school to clear my run-in with the law off my driving record.

I could have signed up for the normal variety of traffic school but alas good judgement went by the wayside and I signed up for the Pizza For You With Comedians Too school. Now with a name like this you would assume that:

  1. Humor will be present (although it may be hard to stomach at 7:45am on a Saturday morning in February)
  2. Pizza will be consumed
However, my past experiences with such traffic schools (I have been twice before), is that this is not usually the case. Usually you get some poor guy trying out his (rarely funny) material before a very unwelcome audience and then they phone for pizza or have someone from the class make a pizza run. The pizza is mostly the cardboard crust with a good dose of grease variety pizza. I am far from the smartest business man on the planet but I think this is a deeply flawed business idea.

To make grumpy traffic offenders laugh on a Saturday morning, you can't use hack comedians. You need a Robin Williams quality, Chris Rock, Denis Leary, Mitch Hedberg, pee your pants funny, comedians. Upgrade the pizza to a Round Table or better quality pizza and we might have something. I would actually look forward to traffic school...

Friend: Hey, I am catching Dave Matthews in concert this weekend. Do you want to come along?
Me: Naw, I am going to traffic school. Janeane Garafalo is the teacher and I hear David Spade is opening.
Friend: Oh sweet! Maybe I can get pulled over before then! I'll dump these Dave Matthews tickets off on my little sister.
Me: Better act quick, I hear traffic school last Saturday sold out in ten minutes. You don't want to get stuck with lawn seats either.
This might defeat the purpose but I figure if convicted felons get "resort-style" minimum security prisons then Joe Average should get the comedy concert traffic school option. I will report back on the impending punishment and maybe, just maybe I'll get a diamond in the rough.

Jan 16, 2001

Don't believe the hype: Forwarded email strikes again

Don't believe the hype
This post is for my godmother (God bless her) and everyone else who sends me forwarded email that are just recycled urban legends. Take a gander at how this stuff gets out of control over at Wired. By the way, if you are ever in doubt about a piece of email you have received, clear it with the Hoaxbusters site or at Symantec's Anti-Virus Hoax Center.

Jan 12, 2001

Caffeine + fiend = Caffiend

I haven't had coffee in about a month. My drink of choice is a non-fat double latte with sugar in the raw. It normally costs about as much as lunch at a fast food joint. I should really quit for good and buy myself a houseboat with the savings.

When I got sick before Christmas I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking teas that have cute, puffy names to soothe my throat. Names like "Lemon Lift", "Orange Herbal Essence", and "Sleepytime Tea". I am slowly making the switch over to more manly sounding tea names before I make the switch back to coffee. I am drinking "Earl Grey", "Darjeeling" and "English Teatime". That last one doesn't quite have that manly quality to it. I am going to rename it "British Conquest of the Americas" or "Redcoat Revelry". In any case, I feel like a smoker that knows they need to quit but can't because they are fully addicted.

Attention large drug companies, how about a patch for coffee drinkers? You may call it CaffeidermTM. Sign me up for the clinical trial. Quick.

Rave 'til Dawn
I've had to take a break from the non-stop rave in my headphones. After about 3 consecutive spins of the Gutter disc, I could hear the music playing in my head for almost HALF A DAY! The worst part is that on this disc Macy Gray and Jim Morrison are sampled on a few tracks. I don't like Macy Gray's solo work, nor am I a big Doors fan, so hearing both of these people churning in my subconscious for nearly 12 hours was a bit harrowing. I understand that Caterina has been having a similar problem.

"Techno" or electronic music has been getting me in hot water for a long time. When I was 19, I had a mix tape made by a friend with a bunch of the latest techno songs. On one side was this compilation CD called Rave 'til Dawn. It had that horrible 2Unlimited song, Lords of Acid and some Praga Kahn stuff. The other side was "Kaos Theory" (which is no longer in print). Anyway, it was all high bpm stuff. Perfect driving music right? Well I thought so anyway. As I cruised to a job interview in Pleasanton along 680 in my Dad's Pontiac, I had the "Rave 'til Dawn" side on and TURNED UP LOUD!

Man, that Pontiac could haul. The highway patrol officer that pulled me over said "I had to go about 85 to catch you. Where's the fire?" Whoops. That music will suck you in. I decided against telling him that "Can You Feel The Passion (Palladium mix) by Blue Pearl" was the culprit. He did take pity on me and wrote the ticket for 70 once I explained I was late for a job interview. He must have felt the passion. Thanks Officer Benevolent, wherever you are!

Jan 11, 2001

Ok my head in all fairness is a bit smaller in real life.Pixelated you.
Always wanted to see what you would look like as a pixel person? That is supposed to be me on the left there. I couldn't decide between the jeans and sweater or the shear dress but good taste won that battle.

Visit www.stor.co.uk and create your own "avatar". Apparently, it's all the rage in the UK. Crazy Brits.
[Link via MeFi]

Jan 10, 2001

Charlie Hunter: MP3's volume 2Get 'em while their hot
Local boy and jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter has just released another volume of mp3's at his website. They are available here. Hunter is one of the few artist who "gets" this whole mp3 thing. Not only does he create excitement by releasing rare live recordings as "volumes" but he also provides album artwork for those who chose to burn this onto a CD. Props to Mr.Hunter.

Be prepared for long download times as this edition just became available. I will have to say it is well worth the wait. I was present for the recording of track 2 at the Kuumbwa Jazz center in Santa Cruz on January 20, 1997. It's Hunter playing with the now defunct TJ Kirk. It was great then and a rare treat to hear now. Get it now!

[Edited 1/11/01: Please note: Although tracks 2 and 3 will make you want to dance in your cubicle, I cannot be held responsible for your dismissal for this behavior.]

No stinking badges
I am missing two of the biggest computer shows around right now, Macworld in SF and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For the first time in about 6 years I didn't hear Steve Jobs give the opening address at MacWorld SF. I did get to listen to it on the radio on the drive in to work.

What a speaker/salesman that Jobs is. As the commentator on CNET Radio put it, "He can still sell icecubes to Eskimos". It's true. As a marketing/web/biz dev guy I have long appreciated the Jobs/Apple philosophy of taking care of customers, creating a mystique beyond the box and truly delivering on promises. Strangely I have never owned a Mac. I have marketed and designed products for Macs. I have used Macs at design agencies I have worked for but have never parted with actual paychecks to own one. I am sure this means something but I am not quite sure what at this point.

Jan 9, 2001

The pinnacle of computing
Let's say we all ditch desks and buy La-Z-Boy WebTV e-cliners.

[Link via usr/bin/girl]

Jan 8, 2001

Hi mind if we come around and yank your phone out of the wall?
Computing is odd isn't it. I am sure if you have had an email address for longer than a year you have received the If Microsoft made cars... joke. It mainly ilustrates the fact that reliability is not something you can count on with computers.

Yesterday, the good folks at ATT@Home rang me up and asked if they could do a simple swap out of my existing cable modem for a newer model free of charge. I said ok and they sent a service guy over pronto. On a Sunday! I was impressed. I was not impressed when the gent they sent over took 2 hours, tried another modem and still couldn't get my service back up.

I said "Hey, how about you leave the old one here until you guys figure out what went wrong?" and the service guy said "Sorry. We can't do that. We already killed your account."

Cripes.

It is still not up and I fully expect it to be down when I arrive at home later. This got me wondering what other services would leave you in such a bind. I can't imagine if the gas, electric, water or other services pulled this kind of crap on a regular basis. I am sure that they would be out of business by now.

ATT@Home has now joined an equal ranking among some of the stupidest companies I know of. It won't surprise me if another telco joins the list soon.

Jan 4, 2001

Bling, bling baby!
Whenever I am in a designerly mood I throw on the headphones and listen to a lot of electronica and hip hop. Lately I have listened to so much that I fear my heartrate will permanently get stuck up in the 130 bpm range. I gotta cool off. (Incidentally, look for a fresh look on shellen.com in the next few weeks. All the cool kids are redesigning for 2001 and I don't want to be behind the curve.)

On a good note, I have been listening to Fatboy Slim's Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars which is a good party album, but this one, On The Floor At The Boutique, is even better. You can almost feel the walls of The Boutique in Brighton pulse when he spins Michael Jackson. "Michael Jackson, now look what you've done." I have also been listening to a great 2-disc set that is part of the Global Underground series. This one is by Sasha, Vol. 9 : Live in SF and will cause much rump shakin'.

While still on the musical tip, get your bootie over to outloud.yahoo.com and pick up tickets to the Weezer show coming to a town near you. I bought mine before I realized that The Get Up Kids were opening for Weezer and now I am doubly stoked. Hope to see you there and thanks for not laughing at the dearth of Native California speak.

Jan 2, 2001

Ah, vertical again!
Yes, I have rejoined the land of the living. Upper respiratory infection, sinus infection, fever, and chills were the order of the day there for a good 4 days that I spent horizontally. I thought I might have to have a chest X-ray but was given a clean bill of health finally this weekend. Yay for antibiotics.

Illness limited the new years activities to sparkling cider at midnight and watching cable. It felt fitting to have the year that roared in like a lion go out like a mouse. I can honestly say I hope to never see 2000 again. Good riddance. I hope everyone has a more prosperous and stable year in aught one.