There are days when I hate work, and there are days when I love work. Today, I love work, because I work on the Internet. I don’t have any idea what I did before the Internet- it has definitely added to the effects of my ADD. I love HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Perl. I love that I can write this paragraph at work and post it immediately, satisfying the weird jones I have to document things and make lists, and share them with the world.

I love my PowerBook. Any computer as sexy as this, as powerful and complete, and weighing 5+ lbs. without hefting a 15″ monitor around- gimme that. I love MP3s, and I love the fact that I’ve found so much new music through Napster without buying $16 CDs with one or two good tracks on them. (Side note: I spent last fall cataloging all such CD’s I owned, burned or downloaded copies of the good songs, and sold the CD’s off. Screw off, RIAA; Do you know that over 15 years I bought ‘Moving Pictures’ by Rush on vinyl, cassette AND CD? That’s roughly $45 for one album. Kiss my skinny Irish ass.)

Jen’s got a cold today, so I’m going to do my best to play doctor this weekend. Hopefully I won’t catch it too!

Date posted: March 30, 2001 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

I found possibly the best packaging for potato chips today, harking back to the days of Chumpys and X brand chips. These are called Rap Chips and there’s a dude in a hoodie and ‘phones on the front spinning a turntable. His name is M.C. Potato, and he asks, “Can you rap and snack at the same time?” His turntables say ‘Stay in School’. Oh, and the flavor is “Bar-B-Quing With My Honey Flavored chips.”

Date posted: March 29, 2001 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

I picked up a copy of Wired magazine from work, dated July 20, 2000, and read it on the train ride home yesterday. What an incredible pile of shit the industry was selling us last year. On one hand, the amount of hubris, excitement, and technology was contagious and overwhelming. But on the other, you had to be an idiot not to see it was all going to implode.

I worked for a dot-com startup, chasing the dreams of big bucks myself, and it didn’t work out. I let my stock options lapse last Wednesday- 1,667 of them, at the ridiculous strike price of $1.25/share. I too figured I’d be able to get in, cash out, and get out before it all fell apart.

On one hand, my trying this on the East coast was bad, because it meant that everything blew up earlier than it did on the West coast. But on the other hand, I’m not living in a city awash in out-of-work web designers, millionaire developers, facing a rent based on the 1999 real-estate market. I am commuting to DC every day, which takes a 3-hour bite out of my day, but I was able to get a gig with a healthy, world-class design firm right before the layoffs started.

So this article made me wonder how we all could have believed it would last for so long- when our company was funded by venture capital for two years, when they were buying us laptops like they were parting gifts on the Newlywed Game, throwing parties at the beginning of each month, buying real estate, butstill trying to figure out exactly what it was we offered.

When they hired on the new VP of marketing, and he told me I needed to put up a brand-new website in 1 month with no content and no idea of how to market the company, I knew we were in trouble. This was in May. By September I knew my days were numbered, and I smelled blood in the water. This VP had just forced out our immediate boss, and was consolidating his power inside our building. I had to hire an outside firm to design the website, and they did a great job with nothing, but I was pissed off, bored, and amazed that a company with as much VC money as we did still couldn’t seem to figure out how to market our ‘service’. The Marketing gurus (and they hired a bunch of these) kept talking about switching our ‘play’ from ‘B-to-C to B-to-B’ and ‘Going after the Enterprise markets’.

I suppose there’s about 10,000 other folks in San Francisco who could write the end to this story, but I’m glad I was able to work there, live it for myself, make good money, and get out before they canned everyone.

Date posted: March 27, 2001 | Filed under art/design, history | Leave a Comment »

Spent the weekend driving to and from Tom’s River, NJ to attend the wedding of my cousin. I did not realize how quickly one can drive across that state, or how narrow it actually is. The middle of New Jersey reminds me a lot of driving through areas of Texas and Arkansas- there’s a whole lot of nothing- it’s hard to grow tall forests on beach sand. Lots of scrub pine, sand, and dust. Must be a very inhospitable place to be in the summer.

I’m also feeling a little old today, and a little behind the loop. I’m the one of the last of the cousins in my age group to remain single and unmarried. And my Mom is beginning to talk about wanting grandchildren….

Date posted: March 26, 2001 | Filed under travel | Leave a Comment »

I can’t say enough about how much better the world looks with a mug of percolated coffee made from freshly-ground beans, after at least 7 hours of sleep, on a warm spring day. Yesterday I was running on five hours’ sleep, working on a project I was not interested in, and bored out of my mind. I wanted to gouge my eyeballs out with a pencil. Today I’m still working on the same boring project, but at least I’m well-rested.

I ran into the ex-girlfriend of a college roommate the other day here in DC, and it turns out she works about 2 blocks from here. I was the fortunate soul who got to inform her that he was cheating on her. I’ve wondered every once in awhile what happened to her, and I’m glad to see she’s doing well, married, and working for a good company. It’s funny how we find each other after years in random encounters. I haven’t run into anybody in Baltimore in 11 years of living there, and I’ve randomly bumped into two different people in DC in four months. Shows you that it’s time to think about moving…

I’m looking at buying some artwork for the house today. Either some hot Jazz album prints, or some Shepard Fairey posters for the office. ¡viva la posse!

Date posted: March 23, 2001 | Filed under friends | Leave a Comment »

I’ve noticed a few things about Washington DC since I’ve been down here. Today’s observation: The three different coats most people wear here in the city.

  1. The North Face/Columbia Alpine Trekker Deluxe Outdoors Model
  2. The Fashionable Leather Jacket.
  3. The J.Crew Itchy Wool Peacoat.

Full Disclosure: I have a J.Crew leather car coat. I bought it at clearance last fall from the website.

Date posted: March 22, 2001 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »