Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Homeland heads-up

Monday, June 30th, 2003

This entry will serve as notice that when the Department of Homeland Security raises the terror alert from “yellow” to “orange” this holiday weekend, the background for this site will not change as that feature is now officially retired. I do think it’s a matter of when, not if, because it will take every ounce of restraint Tom Ridge has in his body not to raise it. He’s already the boy who cried wolf, though, so it doesn’t really matter what he does.

Can blogs influence an election?

Monday, June 16th, 2003

Joe Trippi, Howard Dean’s campaign manager, thinks blogs can influence an election. So far the Dean organization has embraced the web through Meetup and the campaign’s official blog, and a good chunk of the web has embraced Dean right back. Another opportunity for the web to affect the election has presented itself:’s online primary takes place next week and will determine which Democratic candidate will get that organization’s endorsement.

I don’t think the significance of this opportunity is being overstated by the Dean campaign. Personally, I’d like to see bloggers recognized for something other than cheerleading for George W. and his wars. What a great opportunity to make a difference in the way blogging is perceived and illustrate the power of grassroots organizing on the web. If Howard Dean happens to get some publicity and funding out of the deal, so much the better.

No trucks

Thursday, June 12th, 2003

two trucks

There haven’t been any trucks so far this week at truck808, but the non-truck shots are just as interesting. While we wait for the return of diesel-powered photos over there, here are a couple trucks outside my house today. Neighbors gathered outside and children waved flags—we all thought it was some sort of parade. Maybe they’ll put in a traffic light next.

Cusack won’t run

Thursday, May 29th, 2003

Arianna Huffington said this about Cusack for President: “[It] is a joke with a potent punch-line. It’s a fun, cool way for young people to connect to community service and make a difference.” The organizers started the campaign in August 2001 and backed it up with a website that rivals anything put forward by a major-party candidate. The site used the slogan “Why Not?”

The plug got pulled this week when they found out why not: John Cusack doesn’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career—and he doesn’t want to run for president. Now I can devote my full attention to a candidate who does want to run. Still, I can’t help but feel the country has lost something. Joan Cusack in 2008, anyone?

UMass to keep Minuteman

Wednesday, May 14th, 2003

When I was at the University of Massachusetts about 10 years ago, some rabble rousers decided to challenge the use of the Minuteman mascot. In an atmosphere of extreme political correctness, their claims that the Minuteman was a “racist, sexist, violent symbol” (a white man with a gun) got far too much attention from school administrators before being pushed back.

For the past several weeks, though, a new administration has been toying with the idea of replacing the Minuteman with a Gray Wolf. This time the athletic director and chancellor were blaming the mascot for poor sales of school merchandise, and actually trotted out the political correctness card as a way to try to support their position. It didn’t work.

I could have ranted and raved about this for pages, but my indignation has thankfully been short-circuited by and outpouring of derision for the change from students, alumni, and even a state senator who sought to mandate the use of the Minuteman.

The Minuteman is a proud ultram symbol of the state of Massachusetts, and it should be celebrated—with statues in Lexington and Concord, on the state quarter, and as the mascot of the state university. For now, our symbol is safe.

Update: an article in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian summarizes the failed 1993 efforts by the political correctness crowd to remove the Minuteman. It even mentions our counter effort, “University of Massachusetts Alumni and Students to Save the Minutemen”—UMASS for short—of which I was one of a grand total of two student members (there were no alumni involved, but we needed the “A”). If we’d had the web back then, we really could have wreaked havoc. I hope this issue doesn’t come up again in another 10 years, but if it does I bet the outcome will be the same.

The famous onion dude

Thursday, May 8th, 2003

Conan O'BrienMy friends know John Freyer as “the onion dude” because, among other items, I purchased his Vidalia onion via eBay when he sold everything he owned during his All My Life For Sale project. John will be appearing tonight on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” to discuss the project, the book and the people he met when he travelled across the country to visit his stuff. Other guests include Paul Rudd and Marisa Tomei, but John obviously gets top-billing. Tune in or set your TiVos.

Manipulating P/E ratios

Wednesday, May 7th, 2003

BlogShares has gone live now (it had been in beta), and my experiment with the previous post doesn’t seem to have worked. My idea was that a site’s value should drop precipitously when a “cheese sandwich” entry is posted—or worse: song lyrics. I’d stumbled across the song in the iTunes Music Store and posted the lyrics as a joke. Evidently, though, that has no bearing on valuation in BlogShares, and the post generated quite a view comments.

So, to be clear, nobody’s going anywhere as far as I know. Lyrics, however, will be going away and will not return any time soon.

If You Leave

Friday, April 25th, 2003

Remember the 80s?
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (hey, remember the 80s?)
If you leave, don’t leave now
Please don’t take my heart away
Promise me just one more night
Then we’ll go our separate ways

We’ve always had time on our sides
Now it’s fading fast
Every second every moment
We’ve got to—we’ve gotta make it last

I touch you once I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I needed you then
You always said we’d still be friends… someday


Sunday, April 13th, 2003

Amish Pizza Hut
“Amos, how is it that the cheese is baked inside the crust?”
While taking a Sunday drive through Amish country today, I tried to resist the urge to shout “Buggy!” everytime we passed one on the road. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated by them, co-existing with the gawkers, shoppers and tourists drawn by the sprawling outlet malls and attractions like the Amish Experience multimedia theater. If some of the Amish kids weren’t riding around on Razor scooters and Rollerblades, it would be as if time had stopped for them—and from what I could see they were doing a lot of laughing and having fun. No internet, no voicemail, no flat-screen televisions. I’m jealous.

Shame on you, Mr. Davezilla

Tuesday, April 1st, 2003

And shame on Leia, too. The Anti-Bloggies 2003 winners are up, and I’m more than a little shocked to see that the organizers have presented themselves with the trophy for Best Blogging Awards. I don’t know how they can sleep at night while Christine works so hard sucking up to the cool accutane kids, Brad keeps crushing beer cans on his forehead and scratching himself, and poor Rannie just can’t seem to get himself to work on time. You can be sure neither the Pope nor Natalie Maines would approve.
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