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Month: October 2004

Be a Geek

Mozilla is getting ready for its Firefox 1.0 release, and as they have done in the past for 1.0 releases, they’ve put out a call to organize a worldwide party. I’ve thrown my name in to organize the Ottawa party, tentatively scheduled for November 20th at Patty Bolands. The Firefox team is expecting a release that weekend, but if it gets delayed, the party will too. Come on out and indulge your geekiness and help spread the good word!

The Register: Music sales rise despite RIAA’s best efforts

While most companies would brag about a rise in profits, the music labels seem to agonize over the recent upturn. One thing is for sure, suing more teenagers and grandmothers won’t help their cause.

“The upshot of this is that consumers are meant to ignore higher sales of cheap CDs, a sour overall economy for the last three years, lawsuits against consumers, a price-fixing scandal, a Harvard study that shows no line between file-trading and lower sales and believe that piracy is driving a slowdown in overall music sales. Makes perfect sense. No wonder the RIAA is agonizing over increased recent revenue.”

Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004

Hunter S. Thompson is the greatest: Four more years of George Bush will be like four more years of syphilis. Only a fool or a sucker would vote for a dangerous loser like bush. He hates everything we stand for, and he knows we will vote against him in November.

and, “Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful. . . . I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him “Mister President,” and then I felt ashamed.”

Hunter has lots to say in this long but fun, funny, poignant article.

Suite 204

So I’m all moved into my new Loft. I’m not totally settled in yet- still some boxes lying around, and my living room isn’t set up yet – no big deal, since I added television to the list of things I gave up for Sober October.

My office is mostly setup with the wicked desk my dad and I built. I went out looking for filing cabinets today – jeebus h, I didn’t think they were that expensive… I’ll keep my files in boxes for now.

My buddy Steve, who was the designer behind the Hair Salon space I helped build earlier this year, is building a bar for me – which is going to totally rock. Much of it is enclosed in frosted plexiglass which will be lit from behind. I’m so excited to have a space big enough that I can have a bar.

The place turned out great. I’m so happy that I bought here. There are still a few little annoyances that the developer has to finish up – a bit of painting, the phone jack in my office doesn’t work, they still need to replace two of my counter tops (they got scratched during the build)… but whatever, they’ll get to it soon I’m sure.

My dog loves it here. I thought she’d go crazy at every little noise in the hallway, or bumps from the neighbours upstairs… but so far she’s been totally calm – there’ve been guys working right outside our door (much of the building is still under construction) and she doesn’t seem concerned in the least (not a very good guard dog)…

I’m having my house warming next weekend, so I have just over a week to get everything in order. It’ll be tough, but do-able. I’m really looking forward to entertaining here. There’s so much space, and it’s just got a really cool vibe about it… lots of character with the 12′ ceilings, 70-year-old hardwood, exposed pipes and beams, and the sliding doors. I’ll stop gushing.

If you’re in the city and I’ve neglected to send you an invitation, get in touch – the party is Saturday October 30th and it’s going to be an assload of fun.

Oh, and I suppose this is as good a time as any to introduce the new name of my web company – I’m dropping Posativ for several reasons, not the least of which was the difficulty everyone had in spelling it, being spelled wrong and all.

The name I’ve chosen in it’s place is something that identifies me with my new surroundings, that represents a new beginning and a major transition in my life. It’s trendy and it kinda rolls off the tongue. And there will be no way to confuse the spelling. It’s also the title of this post, Suite204. New website coming soon!

Seeing the Mona Lisa

Reading this article about the people who visit the Mona Lisa got me to thinking about the value of true experience.

I first began to think about this after my first year of Burning Man – it was a totally overwhelming experience, as it is for all newbies. There was so much to see and do, I just couldn’t stop moving for fear of missing something – and I wanted to remember it all, so I moved from art piece to performance to weird happening to theme camp, pausing only briefly at each, being sure to grab a picture so I could remember it later.

I realized afterward that much of my first year was experienced observed through the filter of a camera lens. Looking back, I’m glad that I have all these great photos, but too often I think the camera got in the way of me being truly in the moment, preoccupied instead with attempting to preserve the experience for later, and not necessarily enjoying the experience in the now.

When I went back the following year, I purposely brought only a small crappy camera, and very little film. Forcing myself to leave the camera behind on outings, I wanted to be more a part of my surroundings than just a casual observer. As a result, memories of my second trip are much more powerful and personal than my first. I also have an overall greater appreciation of the experience the second time around, and a true feeling of participation.

To bring this back to the context of the article, when I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City earlier this year, I saw many people doing the same thing described in the article – stand in front of a piece for 15 seconds or so, snap a picture and walk away. I realize there’s a lot of art to be seen in the Met, but what’s the point if you’re not going to really see the piece? Why even bother?

I say all this, but I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I have lots of pictures. So it’s really hard for me to make the decision to leave the camera behind. But I think there’s just some experiences that a photograph will never do justice to, and in those cases it’s best to just be there.

Call for the Resignation of Michael Bryant

Ontario: Call for the Resignation of Michael Bryant: “In his handling of the investigation into the possibility of banning ‘pit bulls’ in Ontario, Attorney General Michael Bryant has broken the public trust. On this basis we demand his immediate resignation.

In looking into the pit bull ban Mr. Bryant sought the answers that suited his agenda. He did not allow open public hearings or consult with subject matter experts. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) asked be consulted, and were refused. American canine experts asked to provide input and were refused. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada asked to be consulted, and we received no reply. Mr. Bryant only listened to the people who would support his biased viewpoint. This is not democracy.

In fact, Michael Bryant fueled a media circus that did not allow for intelligent or accurate discussions. He suppressed information and experts who could demonstrate that breed bans do not work. He also did not consult with Calgary, which has had the most success in preventing dog bites of any major city in Canada because they target all dogs, not specific breeds.

In doing this Michael Bryant has deceived the people of Ontario. This is NOT acceptable actions from an elected political official. Michael Bryant has broken the public trust. What is at stake here is our freedom. Our democracy. Our rights.

For these reasons, we demand Michael Bryant’s immediate resignation.”