Mar 31, 2003

Listed on BlogShares


I'm leaving in a moment to get a root canal. I'm hoping for heavy sedation.
Pre-registration for Do Not Call - California Dept. of Justice The block won't be in effect until October but it might be worth the wait.

Mar 28, 2003

From the mailbag (a new feature for Fridays?)

Question: Sometimes, when browsing, I see people talk about their RSS feed, which seems to have something to do with XML. Do you know where I could find info about it?

Answer: RSS (RDF Site Summary) is a (primarily) text format for reading blogs, news sites and perhaps other content in the future. You need an RSS reader to make much sense out of an RSS feed. Check out: Newzcrawler or NewsMonster for two options. Some folks see a benefit in being able to read weblogs in a fast scanning format that is reminicent of an email inbox. You can subscribe to feeds that will update and refresh in your reader as new content becomes available.

If you want to see what an RSS feed looks like, view the RSS feed for this site in IE. This will show the raw format. My feed is output by Blogger Pro (though I'm using a beta version of the next Blogger for mine). If you use Blogger Pro it's a matter of turning the settings on to publish simultaneously when your blog publishes.

Check out these articles for more info:

Mar 26, 2003

Hey that was private!

A while back I wrote to Salam Pax, the blogger in Baghdad, suggesting some ways around the Iraqi block of Blog*Spot. Since then I've thought of him every once in a while. When Ev added journalist Kevin Sites to the list of 'Blogs of Note', I was reminded that I should add 'Where is Raed?', as a Blog of Note as well. Since that time multiple sources (Reuters, CBS Marketwatch, BBC and more) have written stories about his blog. Salam's image host provider quickly became overloaded. We offered the image host provider that we could transition the images to Blog*Spot rather than have the images unavailable. The host provider copied a Wired journalist on my email response and now we have a Wired article, Iraq Blog: Hubbub Over a Headlock |, with quotes from my email. With all this activity being done to preserve his web site, I hope Salam is as well preserved in the flesh.

Mar 25, 2003

The Human Flag Trick

Performed by Jason Shellen at John D. Morgan Park in Campbell, CA after nephew Jack's 2nd birthday party. Photo by Grant Shellen.

I received a lot of comments and email when I mentioned that I tried the 'human flag trick' in this picture but failed. I wanted to document the trick for you curiosity seekers in the crowd. I should have had more height off the ground but my shoulders were going to snap off after several attempts. Perhaps another day.

Mar 24, 2003

It's long but this is a reminder that we who don't remember the past could be doomed to repeat it.

Mar 21, 2003

Blogger peep show

I brought my webcam in to set up in our new offices and promptly broke it. It was old and worked strangely anyway. Does anyone have suggestions for new webcams, do you have one that you like?
Taylor makes a desperate plea to me wanting the picture on his blog changed. Bro, if I change it now no one will know what that post was about? Rock - me - hard place. Can I use this one?

How to have a successful call-in show on your AM station : A wartime guide

Flipping around the dial the last few days, I think I have uncovered some keys to having a really successful call-in show on AM radio:
  • If you want to get ratings, folks that agree with your host are bad for business. Conservative hosts mixed with random left wing callers equals radio gold. Be prepared that some callers may not have hung up on your host on purpose but have potentially driven into a ditch after experiencing a 'cardio-pulmonary episode' while driving.
  • Have your host trot out the 'Why don't you go back to [fill in name of Axis of Evil country]..' gambit when methods of normal debate don't work in your hosts favor. It doesn't matter if the person had ancestors on the Mayflower or is on a visiting work visa. You don't love or belong in America if you disagree with an AM radio host.
  • Another popular gambit: Talking over your callers. Nothing says 'I am unequivocally right!' like cutting off and harassing your call-in guests.
  • People with PhDs probably spend little time calling 800 numbers to get on local radio. This is good, you don't want to have your host bested in front of a drive-time audience. Your host will sound like a genius compared to folks who make time to call in at 4:30PM on a Thursday, trust us.
  • I know it's tough but you may have to go a bit heavy-handed on the patriotism to make up for the lack of intelligent conversation. Have a Lee Greenwood CD in the deck for any down time or interludes between calls.
  • A good way to make folks feel like they are being entertained: Catchy war time slogan. 'Stay with KNEW for the 'Showdown in Iraq''. Use a sing-song voice and make it sound like a Tyson - Holyfield match. Kids love boxing.
  • Hire a host that sounds almost exactly like Rush Limbaugh. Rush gets ratings. Sound-alikes will get ratings too. It can't be a Howard Stern type, for some reason you would need to invest in an FM transmitter for that to work out.
  • Have your host broadly refer to 'my audience' in a genuine tone, indicative of the fact that there are by some chance repeat listeners to this drivel.
  • Democrats and Republicans alike need sofa beds, cars and refinancing for their houses. These are your advertisers, unleash the sales team upon them.
Stick to these tips and you will have the most successful show in your local market. Let me know how it goes...jerks.

Mar 20, 2003

For coverage of the war and political commentary without hackneyed graphic treatments a la 'The Iraq Conflict: Beyond the Terrordome' cluttering your screen, check out Dack's The Rational Enquirer.
Optimus Prime is fighting for our side. More than meets the eye indeed.

To my friends around the world

What happens if God blesses Iraq?
I know you probably know that President Bush doesn't speak for all Americans but he certainly doesn't stand for anything this American can get behind. I don't believe in the necessity of this war. I don't even believe anything remotely close to an achievable goal has been given for this action. Anyway this isn't a formal argument or even fully formed thought (yet). It's just that I am in a bit of shock and disbelief, just as I felt back in 1991, only this time it's worse because we know the amount of damage we are capable of inflicting on Iraq and we should know better.

For those of you that want to construe my distaste for war as not being supportive of our troops, I have a question for you. When I wish for gang battles to cease between the Crips and Bloods in LA why haven't I once heard someone say 'Oh come on now! That's disrespectful to police officers!'? I hope that peace is achieved and am a friend of justice. I am upset with the leaders that have put the machine in motion. I hope for the safe return of our fellow Americans and for their duties overseas to be swift. I also hope that the peace loving folks in Iraq will remain safe too. I hope God blesses us all.

Mar 19, 2003

Some might say...

That I rushed this new template into production. I would tend to agree but I figured 'new company, new template'. Also, last week I pointed a friend to my blog and he said 'it looks jacked up', he is using Netscape at a large pharmaceutical company. I would rather have more friends able to access my page than push the limits of XHTML. Still lots of stuff needs tweaking....soon.

Mar 14, 2003

Blogger + Google = Good times!

Yes, It's true we had a blast at the shindig the other night. Thanks to everyone who made it out, we'll have to do that again soon. Of course, it wouldn't be a blogger event without a few digital photos: Please leave a note in the comments if I have left out your pictures from the night.
Five things Saddam must do immediately to show compliance with U.N. resolutions

Mar 11, 2003

In San Francisco tomorrow? You're invited!

-----Original Message-----
To: All Friends of Blogger
Subject: Blogger + Google party this Wednesday!
Hello friends --
You are invited to an informal get-together to mark a new entry in our company's history.
Join us in celebrating our new home at Google this Wednesday, March 12th.
Food. Drinks. Free shirts. (See, the deal is already paying dividends).

Visit: for all the info and to RSVP.

Cheers -- your friends at Blogger!

Hope to see you there, spread the word!

You may have noticed

Comment counting has returned. Rejoice! Big-ups to Steve for help in trouble shooting this problem.

Mar 9, 2003

Mr. Blogger if your nasty

Hey there! Are you new to You look familiar... but something about the kind of email I've been getting lately tells me you are here for the first time. This is the personal site of Jason Shellen (just in case you missed that massive header graphic up top). I am a 29 year old father of one, happily married and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I also happen to have been working with Evan Williams and team over at Pyra Labs for a couple of years on Blogger. We were recently purchased by Google and now we work on Blogger down in Google's Mountain View headquarters. If you have a question or are having a problem with Blogger you should try the Blogger Help page or try using We are sinking massive amounts of time and energy into making customer support at Blogger top notch. Not that I don't like a friendly email now and again but for support contacting me is not nearly as efficient as Control. Thanks!

Mar 3, 2003

Kisses : The sexy urinal

Who, What, When, Where, and How... almost

We came up with the Blogger + Google FAQ to help answer some of your more burning questions. Plus we never pass up an opportunity to take kooky photos, though I hurt my arm a little during the photo shoot trying my old 'human flag' trick. Apparently it only works on cylindrical poles. I'll post a few pictures from the shoot later.

Ev - Goldman - Me - Jenson - Sutter - Winnacker