Jun 29, 2001

Weren't ads supposed to get smarter?
The downturn in the ad industry has officially hit bottom. Why on earth would I (let alone anyone) receive the below ad embedded in a story about the possible sale of Exodus Communications?

[screenshot from biz.yahoo.com]
Hit the mall with Britney? I would rather see Bob Dole explain his recent Pepsi gaffe than see Britney hit the mall. If this is what the future of web advertising holds then let me off the ride now, I'm gonna be sick. Hey advertisers, have you heard of context. It's all about the context.

TGIF is not just a bad chain restaurant

Here are some links I have been keeping in a shoebox on my desk. I blew the dust off and am now sharing them with you. Kiss your morning (or afternoon goodbye) if you choose to follow these:

Top 10 Toys from The Seventies (Boy Edition)
I owned 4 out of 10. I thought the other 6 were pretty bitchin' but Santa never delivered them for some reason.

Photo from the Jay Moriarity memorial paddle out :: 6.26.01
I hear it was a pretty emotional event. The 500 surfers present were in 3 circles until Jay's widow, Kim, called for everyone to crowd in so everyone could hear Jay's friends eulogize him. This pic was taken after everyone crowded in. Here is a close-up pic I took of the memorial on 36th Avenue.

Degrassi lives!
This is the next generation. If you, like me, saw this Canadian TV show when it was Degrassi Jr. High and then morph into Degrassi High then ... I don't know what... will be ashamed that you watched it as well? Kevin Smith is rumored to be appearing in the first episode [rumor via buddyhead] .Skankin' Pickle used to play a song called 'I'm In Love With a Girl Named Spike'. Spike was on Degrassi. There is an interview with SP frontman, Mike Park on Degrassi.org (who knew) about his fascination with the Degrassi series. BTW, have we ever mentioned that our good buddy Ian Miller over at Blawg.com was the bassist for Skankin' Pickle for about 3 years? He even played on the The Green Album. Even more interesting than that, Ian was also in Hoodlum Empire. You still can't go to a show in Berkeley without some ska/punk kid wearing an old HE t-shirt.

Black Adder - The Collectors Edition
If you like your comedy British and a bit hard to follow then this just released DVD is for you. Rowan Atkinson (Four Weddings and a Funeral,Bean) is a dimwit in the Middle Ages then slowly becomes a dimwit in World War I over 5 seasons on this BBC comedy. I will bet your wife or girlfriend will not want to watch this one with you. Just a bet. Unless she can tolerate The Young Ones then you might have a shot at watching this together.

BMW Films
Download. Watch. Pine for your own 540i. Excellent marketing. Some of the best driving since Ronin.

I like it when you see a niche site that doesn't try and get too fancy. They sell guitar strings online. That's it. Great prices. They don't try and sell you the latest Mariah Carey CD at the end of the shopping experience, which is a nice change. Site design is kinda poor but you gotta love this recent disclaimer on the site:

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: due to the recent increase in postal rates and sky rocketing energy costs, we've been forced to raise our prices by $ .10. Thank you for your understanding.

Guitar Geek
Since were on the subject of guitars, this guy shows layouts of famous and not so famous guitar set-ups. Pedals, Guitars, Amps, Cabinets the works. A couple of my favorites are: Bill McShane of Ultimate Fakebook super stripped down set-up and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead crazy set-up from the OK Computer tour in '97.

More links to come later today...

Jun 28, 2001

Server server on the rack

Meet Gyro the web server. Gyro now serves musicrag.com and a couple of personal sites but we all know it's main purpose in life... to serve baby pictures.

I finally found a great 2u rackmount case in Los Altos for $100. The saleswoman told me ' We built these for Yahoo but they cancelled their order.' They had them stacked to the ceiling so this could be true. This was a godsend after a very unsuccessful bidding session on eBay. At the final seconds of trying to bid for a 1u rack case, snipers aproached raising my original bid of $100 to $130. I freaked out. I raised my bid a good $50 over what I had planned. I never win anything on eBay. This was no exception. Oh well it all worked out in the end and little Gyro now has a twin-fan cooled home. Thanks to Ev for install help and taking in this straggler.

Jun 27, 2001

Musicrag will be down for a bit (it's currently in the trunk of my car awaiting delivery to it's new home) but should be back up in the next 72 hours. I'll keep you posted. Thanks.

Jun 21, 2001

I spelled it wrong, that's unpossible!
Yep, Blogger now has a free spellcheck function! I don't know who will be more happy, Blog readers or Blog writers.

Jun 20, 2001

Commence the tax refund jig
I have been denying myself the joys of a major consumer splurge for some time now. I keep hearing in the back of my mind, 'Your TV is too small and a digital camcorder would be nice too.' Turns out it was my brother Taylor whispering this in my ear every time he comes over. Jerk. Call it machismo or call it good marketing but the boys in Tokyo will have a good chunk of my money soon. This is already on it's way.

Jun 19, 2001

The snarky posts continue...
...with a great quote from A List Apart's lastest issue #114 - The Client Did It. This is part of a rant almost every web designer can empathize with and secretly wishes to deliver some day.
' You've just told me how to design your site to a tee, and I can tell you now, it will look like something your 10-year-old son has thrown together with a freeware WYSIWYG editor while sniffing glue.'
Clients. Can't live with 'em, can't make payments on the cigarette boat without 'em.
My cousin Giorgio from Italy thinks 'Dude, Where's my car?' should have gotten an Oscar.
Check out this great take on those lame Olive Garden ads. If you wouldn't be caught dead watching The Sopranos then skip it.

Jun 18, 2001

Jay Moriarity :: 1978 - 2001
I woke up Sunday morning to some really bad news. Jay Moriarity had died. My heart sunk. I was about to spend the day in Santa Cruz, his hometown and I couldn't stop thinking of him all day. Before I left Santa Cruz tonight I stopped by one of the many quickly put together memorials to Jay along the ocean and wondered how he could already be gone. Jay is one of my heroes. It sounds strange to say it. After all Jay is five years younger than I am but if you had ever seen the man surf you would understand.

I first heard about Jay in January of 1995. Hawaiian surfer Mark Foo had just died a few weeks earlier at a local surf spot, Maverick's near Half Moon Bay. Maverick's had a reputation for being a hellacious and awesome spot to surf. Rumors were swirling that a young kid had wiped out just a few days before Mark had died but he had survived. It wasn't until I laid eyes on Jay in the May 1995 Surfer Magazine that I began to understand what had taken place. A 16 year old Jay had charged a 40 foot monster wave on his first time at the surf spot. He took a noble stance on the lip and then fell down the face of the wave and lived to tell the story. Photographer Bob Barbour caught the session and helped make Jay a local hero. Team Oneill signed him shortly and plastered his famous wipeout everywhere.

The local taco stand put a surfboard of his on the wall with the picture. The Oneill shop on 41st Avenue still has the tail section of the very surfboard he was using that day back in 1994 on the wall. He became a local legend, part of Santa Cruz. He used to work at Pleasure Pizza. I ate at Pleasure Pizza! How can the immortal walk among normal men. He should have died that day everyone said. He can't he must have a purpose here. Jay went on to be a great longboarder and an even better big wave rider. He also was a nice guy, which can be a rarity in surfing. A goodwill ambassador for surfing. He married not too long ago to his high school sweetheart. I just watched him in an instructional longboard video. What moves. I wish one day to have even a tenth of the moves this guy has in the water.

I never met him in person and now he's gone. I won't ever bump into him at Pleasure Point and exchange a quick conversation about how the surf is flat today. I won't hear him complement me on my choice of a Pearson Arrow surfboard (the brand Jay rode). When I am a better surfer (one day), I won't hear him hoot for me as I get sucked under the curl and then jet out into the face again.

I might meet his wife Kim. I might see his father or his friends on 36th Avenue. I will surely eat at Pleasure Pizza and buy another Pearson Arrow. I will miss Jay's amazing accomplishments and his impressive, short career. I will miss having one less friendly and good surfer on the earth and I will surely try to be as friendly as possible when I am in the water (and out). Jay, when I am out there I will think of you. I only ask that you please watch my paddling and help me remember not to be afraid of seeming insurmountable challenges. Rest in peace brother.

More about Jay...
Quicksilver Contest bio
Jay at Maverick's December 2000
Maverick's History
City mourns famed surfer :: Mercury News
Grief, shock follow famed young surfer’s death :: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Internationally known Santa Cruz surfer dies at 22 :: SFGate

Jun 15, 2001

'Regarding Jason Shellen'
Attention hardware collectors
If you have a 1u rack mount case lying around that you would like to sell to me for around $100 (or less), speak now or forever hold your peace.

Jun 14, 2001

And in the must have web apps category...
Go To My PC allows you to remotely control your PC via a browser interface. I'll say it again slowly... 'control your PC via a browser'. Wow. They were recently named a finalist in the PC Magazine Innovation awards.
[link via Dad]
Some are lounge, others are porch...

The Shellen family Porch lizard

Jun 12, 2001

Mmmm sexy...
The End of Free is back up and looking good. Feel free to email me if you have info on companies that are switching from a free model to a paid model and we haven't already chronicled it on TEOF. Thanks.

Jun 11, 2001

...on the wall.
Here is a pic of me in the new and improved Mirror Project. If you have a picture of yourself taken in a reflective surface, head on over and submit yours. If not, you can just look at all the bitchin' pics from around the world. ( I am trying to bring back the word ' bitchin' ', won't you help?)
Chew on this...
I was asked today to help design some Indian Wedding invitations. Life is weird.

Jun 7, 2001

While checking out my referrer logs, a list of sites that link to shellen.com, I found a curious entry on the Spanish weblog done by Eduardo Arcos. Here are the (poorly translated) results via Google:
Friday, April 13, 2001
The things by pyra (now only Blogger) it seems that they are improving... I imagine that the way has not been very pretty since the things were not well but reading this post of Ev in which it tells us that despues of about two months that the company handled single, has entered a new member.
Then good, I out of danger feel like or of which the things by alla are seen or, the great community of webloggers this :-)
Indeed 'the way has not been very pretty' but it's coming around.

Why did I chose to take French in high school? You really don't see a lot of imigrant French in California. Did I think that I would often be in France or Belgium? Could it have been it's connotation with the kissing of the same name? Silly I tell you. I wish I had taken Spanish. I will one of these days.

Jun 6, 2001

That's what I'm talking about... not to mention more talented.
Salma Sexier Than J-Lo, U.S. Hispanics Say

Jun 5, 2001

Speaking of death...
As one of five contributors to TheEndofFree.com I should be happy that CNET mentions us in their scary sounding article Death of the free web: A segregation of information feared. Instead, I am disheartened that the reporter did not simply say, 'This web site is currently having technical difficulties' instead she chose to say 'The site recently was shut down.' and speaks about the site in the past tense. TheEndofFree.com is not dead, just a victim of the recent T-1 outage at Pyra. Be back soon. We promise.
If I wait almost a week to post it will seem like I have more to say...(or the Anti-Tricky Dick speech)
Hi friends. Bet you thought your buddy Jason had left you out in the hot summer sun without any updates on the site. Truth is I have been busier than a fry cook in a truck stop (with less fried food smell in my clothes, thankfully). The upside to the long dry spell on good ole shellen.com is that I will never announce that I am 'taking a break' or 'putting things on hold' or 'coming up for air'. Apparently that is the proper etiquette. Miss Manners be damned. If I want to take a break, well I will just do so without telling you. How you like me now?

Truth be told most of the people that visit this site (both of them) know why I have long empty stretches. I never receive email saying, 'What the hell?'. The fans usually just ask me casually as we sit poolside drinking beer, 'What's with the updates dude?' and 'What's Mom making for dinner?'. Makes things easy. In fact, I would like to take a second to lambaste those of you who have made a big deal about the recent weblog closures and are now considering closing your 'blog' as a result. Prepare for your lambasting. Ready?

Unfortunately a lot of time has been spent on doing something that doesn't produce revenue or sometimes lasting enjoyment and for some that is what is the final kicker. Paying for bandwidth or keeping things current is a real concern for those who seek perfection in what they do. I genuinely understand that. Recently over beers in San Francisco, Dack explained his reason for throwing in the towel at dack.com. He said ' I think that when something becomes popular it starts to suck. dack.com was getting popular and I didn't want it to suck.' Hard logic to argue with especially when you aren't being paid to create. I also wonder if people would be as hung up on Kurt Cobain if he were still around? Sorta the James Dean only-the-good-die-young cool factor if you will.

The only problem now is that if you shut down your site it will look bandwagonesque. Shutting down your site has now become 'the thing to do'. I predict resurrection will be 'the thing to do' in another 2 months. Save yourself the trouble and don't stop, just produce the same drivel we have come to know and love. People don't have to visit if they don't like you or the things you have to say. This is why I don't regularly read RNC.org. Isn't the web great? Besides death ain't cool, except to those girls that paint their nails black and have boyfriends that make them listen to SlipKnot.

That's what I recently told Ian anyway and he concurred. So as the anti-thesis to this morbid trend. Ian and I have vowed to 'not' stop our sites. That's right. Suck as they might shellen.com and blawg.com must forge on and remember our fallen brethren by producing copious amounts of drivel (as time allows). Cobain and Dean cool we might lack, but we will be sucking well into our graying, senior care facility years. That's right I said it. Like it or don't, you'll always have us to kick around!

who's with me?