Web-log entries from 2008


What Bugs Me About All the Damn Bailouts

What if Americans aren’t buying American cars because they aren’t buying any cars? What if no one else on Earth is buying cars either? What... more


The Event Horizon of Memory, In Honor of the Ten Surviving Veterans of the Great War

...who are: Claude Stanly Choules, Australia John Campbell Ross, Australia Fernand Goux, France Pierre Picault, France Henry William Allingham, United Kingdom Netherwood Hughes, United Kingdom... more


Thoughts About Material Possessions Occasioned by the Purchase of Our New Refrigerator

Of the two big life changes we’ve made in the last year — buying a house and having a baby — the really stressful one... more


奥巴马 2008!

Courtesy of James Fallows, I learned that the Mandarin transcription of “Obama” is 奥巴马. I’ve written previously about the danger of “translating” foreign words from... more


Excitement Potential of Bicycle-Related Purchases

Helmet Shorts Cables, pedal cleats or chain (tie) Pedals, shoes, or saddle (tie) Weird specialized tools, e.g. crank puller Jacket or messenger bag (tie) Bar... more


God’s Reputation

I’ve been watching this video of the convocation at a mccain/palin rally with a certain degree of ... fascination. like so many things happening in... more


Nebraska’s New State Motto

Just now a coworker and I were discussing Nebraska’s surprising status as a potential swing state in the presidential election. I was trying to describe... more


Bands That Have Free Lifetime Passes, and the Albums that Bought it for Them

Björk: Post Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity Mono: Under the Pipal Tree Neko Case: Blacklisted R.E.M.: Document Sonic Youth:... more


Shorter Vice Presidential Debate

Sen. Joe Biden: I’m not gonna be the only person in this race without a compelling personal history.Gov. Sarah Palin: I’m a human firehose of... more


Seasons: Pacific Northwest vs. Midwest

The rains have started.I like this. This is why I moved to Oregon. I moved here for the cool and gray and damp and peaceful.... more


My Proudest Piece of Writing Ever

On Stumptown Coffee’s Facebook Page:I traveled back in time from the 28th century and constructed an elaborate cover life solely for the purpose of reviewing... more


And Now: Politics!

I watched some of Katie Couric’s recent interview with Sarah Palin just now, and I had a sudden aha moment. I had previously seen some... more


Why Our New Garbage Can Has Instructions on the Goddamned Lid



How to Improve Open Source User Interfaces

Programmer Michael Thomas revisits an old theme: Why Free Software has poor usability, and how to improve it. This was a theme I heard a... more


Nine Women

...can’t have a baby in one month.The software and management world has known this since 1975 and yet, what happens every time I’m on a... more


The Hill

Every day I ride my bike over the Hill. Well, almost every day. About one day in ten I don’t ride the bike at all... more


Some Random Thoughts About Star Wars

This video (thanks, Scott) set me to thinking a little bit about Star Wars:I first saw Star Wars 31 years ago. A friend of the... more


An Open Letter to Producers of Epic Fantasy Movies

This past Saturday, Jenny and I saw Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian at the Kennedy School’s “Family Matinee.”1 It was a good-enough movie I suppose,... more


Technique and Technology

You can use a Swiss Army knife to cut your fingernails in two different ways. Everyone knows the first way and has probably done it... more


I Have Had Some Momentary Interactions With Certain Famous People, Mostly Musicians

I almost ran into Sarah Jessica Parker in West Hollywood. She was coming out of a boutique. As she walked past me I said to... more


I Used to Think About This All the Time

The fetus grows toward soulhood. It began in the land of the unliving, of elements, of formless matter and energy. It was not one thing,... more


The Cost of Things

Jenny and I recently (re-)read Beverly Clearly’s Henry Huggins (because we’re having a son? because Cleary is from Portland? dunno why, really), which prompted a... more


Paul Souders vs. a 2008 Subaru Forester

(A Quick Back-of-the-Envelope Calculation) Pm = price of a gallon of Alpenrose 2% milk at New Seasons = $3.89 Pr = price of a gallon... more


Something I Just Learned...

The traffic dangers of cycling fatalities are offset at least 10 to 1 by the cardiovascular health benefits.From John Pucher, via this video (around minute... more


China Earthquake and Digging Ditches

Sometimes I say things like “web design isn’t like digging ditches.” Meaning: more time ≠ better design The past week at Mercy Corps has proven... more


Mercy Corps’ Response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar

Some of my friends are asking about Mercy Corps’ response to the Cyclone that’s affecting Myanmar. The short version is: Mercy Corps is mobilizing. The... more


I Used to Be an Archaeologist

I spent a portion of my weekend sorting and cleaning some of my old bike tools. Mixed in with which were the bare core of... more


The Automobile Pollutant Exposure Theory of Bicycling Avoidance

I have a few pet issues. Some people would call these pet peeves, but pretty much the only pet peeve I have is “beliefs that... more


Free Range Kids

With a kid on the way I’ve been thinking a lot about my own childhood and the way I was raised. In particular, I’m kind... more


Giving Away UI Design

Jeff Atwood blogged recently about UI-first software development. I’m a UI designer primarily so this is the only kind of development I ever do, really,... more


“Bicycles won’t solve any of the world’s problems...”

“...but they’ll make some of them better and none of them worse.”(I thought of this on my ride into work this morning.)  more


The Way They Drink Their Coffee...

in Malaysia and Singapore: not very hot from a very fine ground in a pot that brews all day, deadly bitter, poured carefully over a... more


“People who love this country can change it.”

Last night, the guy said, in almost perfect words, the thing I’ve felt my entire life. I’m the kind of cheesy patriot who can get... more