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A couple weeks ago I participated in the 24-hour film festival put on by the Meisner Technique Studio in SF.

I had never been in a 48-hour festival, much less a 24-hour festival...

link  |   |  7/9/09 07:36am
updated 1/9/14 10:36pm

For fun I just pointed GenderAnalyzer (a web page analyzer that guesses whether a man or woman wrote the page) and it is 98% sure that a man wrote my blog....

link  |   |  12/16/08 07:59pm

1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


link  |   |  12/6/08 08:47am

On the heels of the last update, I have added a new type of notation for resolving variables and tags:

You can now require that a variable be resolved by Noel by using this notation:...

link  |   |  12/3/08 11:29am
updated 12/3/08 11:30am

In my Noel project I have been making several improvements to the ways that custom tags can be modified. Three recent additions in Noel version 0.9.6...

link  |   |  12/2/08 01:01pm

I am currently trying, and failing, to follow the news about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai a couple days ago. I only heard about the attacks today when I took a glance at Google...

link  |   |  11/30/08 06:56pm

Seth Godin on being ‘microblogging’ (e.g. Twitter, Facebook events, etc.) and being misunderstood:

You will be misunderstood....

link  |   |  11/24/08 08:01pm
updated 11/24/08 08:03pm

I shot my first commercial yesterday! Some SFSDF students put together a clever commercial for Doritos' Crash the Super Bowl contest. I played...

link  |   |  11/13/08 09:36am
updated 11/13/08 09:37am

Last night was my final shoot for Spencer Berry’s movie ‘The Snout’. It’s a weird, creepy short film, with a lot of depth and a lot of things going on that the audience will only...

link  |   |  11/9/08 12:51pm

On Tuesday I shot a short film directed by Mel Bell-Grey : “All for One and One for All”. It was a refreshingly intense role -- I played...

link  |   |  10/23/08 03:49pm

One of the many things I love about Astanga Yoga is its emphasis on vinyasa, the quick yet artful sequence of moving from one pose to another. In Astanga, you keep the bandhas engaged...

link  |   |  9/26/08 03:12pm

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but most people still don’t do it. The same principle applies for relationships, and your career. This applies to coding: writing code...

link  |   |  8/5/08 06:04am
updated 8/5/08 06:08am

Despite the iPhone SDK saying that it will only work on i386-based machines, it is possible to develop for the iPhone on a PowerMac!

Kudos to Tom Bradford for this solution:...

link  |   |  8/2/08 02:33pm
updated 8/2/08 03:05pm

Hopefully this will help someone else wrestling with wi-fi on the iPhone:

This wasn’t really a wi-fi problem, but could be mistaken for one. I had no problem connecting and authenticating...

link  |   |  8/1/08 06:44pm

I finally picked up an iPhone 3G this morning (I’ve got some plans to develop iPhone applications for Animist ). I got to the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco...

link  |   |  8/1/08 06:34pm
updated 8/1/08 07:04pm

Some of us from the Meisner Technique School of Acting have formed our own local theater troupe, Untitled5 .

Our first production, Wine Country (written and...

link  |   |  7/25/08 10:31pm
updated 8/1/08 03:18pm

Yesterday was the screening for SFSDF's 5-week filmmaking program, and I starred in two of the resulting short films:

link  |   |  2/25/08 01:50pm

Always. So why, you ask, do people lie to each other? Or at least fail to express the full, raw, fundamental truth?

link  |   |  11/30/07 12:50am

Some Ruby evangelists claim that strong typing is unnecessary in the presence of unit testing. I disagree with this, and here's an analogy:

link  |   |  11/23/07 03:05pm

I currently use kGTD (which is basically OmniOutliner Pro + an AppleScript) as my 'trusted and complete' GTD system. But even though it is complete (I easily have over half a million actions listed in kGTD) it is far from trusted.

link  |   |  11/22/07 10:00am

I'm not your typical rapid developer: Java, not php/python/ruby, is my language of choice. I probably don't qualify as a great hacker by Paul Graham's standards. I abhor PHP and though I love Ruby as a scripting language I just don't trust it to be as maintainable as Java after several years of optimization and evolution.

link  |   |  11/20/07 11:00am

I had to jump through a few hoops to get Cypal Studio for GWT (the de-facto and perhaps only Eclipse plugin for GWT development) installed in Eclipse 3.3.0 (Europa).

link  |   |  9/24/07 01:40am

This summer I:
link  |   |  9/21/07 10:00pm

Keep your unit tests separate from your regular code. This includes any frameworks, stubs, skeletons and other supports that you use for testing.

link  |   |  9/21/07 01:00pm

I have written my first Facebook application, Empty Space. It's simple: random, inspirational quotes nestled in some whitespace. Not much to brag about in terms of features, but I am proud of how Zen it is.

link  |   |  9/20/07 11:40am

This was my process for making it to Burning Man this year:

  1. Buy a ticket. (The earlier the better.)
  2. Follow through.
link  |   |  9/4/07 01:02pm

To hell with perfection, with self-improvement. I want to be authentic. Being authentic means being ME, being my best self, without fear, without withholding, without inhibitions. Becoming authentic is a process of elimination. Eliminate the fear, the bullshit, the nervous ticks, the autopilot responses. I will make mistakes. I will step on toes and piss people off. But by allowing my true self to come out, at least I will be ME.

link  |   |  8/8/07 12:50pm

Seth Godin literally wrote the book on Permission Marketing, but I would like to summarize it with one example:

Knowing someone's phone number does not give you permission to call them.

link  |   |  7/25/07 12:30pm

It's always easier to write something negative, because there is so much more to say. To be positive, to be generous, requires few words but a lot more courage.

link  |   |  5/8/07 10:00am

I have two cats and a preference for black chinos. These two things do not mix well, so I also have a number of lint rollers hidden away. As I was using the roller in my dresser, which is larger and feels stickier, it occurred to me that it was working much better than the roller at the entrance to my apartment. The quality of the roller is not something people think about when buying one, so what's to stop companies from continually skimping and creating crappier and crappier lint rollers?

link  |   |  4/27/07 08:00pm

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Which of those things can you still change? Think long and hard about this. There is a good chance that almost every regret, every wrong turn, every unresolved issue in your life can be corrected or at least forgiven. Take responsibility for living your life.

link  |   |  4/12/07 09:30am

As a stage actor I have learned the value of stillness. If someone else is speaking, I (usually) shouldn't be moving. If the focus should be somewhere else I need to be still so that I don't 'pull focus', distracting the audience from the plot and the action. My reactions and motions are ripples naturally compelled by the action in the scene, rather than preconceived motions or some intent of 'acting'.

link  |   |  12/27/06 11:45am

High-quality work is the work that most people do not notice.

link  |   |  12/27/06 12:23am

I generally hate most advertising because it is unoriginal and unwanted. But here are some examples of fun advertising:

Creative Advertisements Around The World

Fun advertising is shameless, not tasteless. Manipulating, not manipulative.

link  |   |  10/18/06 11:21am

One of the basic artifices of film acting is the 'mark': often a small 'T' taped on the ground marking where you are supposed to stand and the direction you should be facing at some point during the shot. This ensures that the actor is in the basic position that the camera expects, with the right framing, profile, direction of focus, etc. that the director wants to see on the screen at that moment. This all made perfect sense to me, or so I thought.

link  |   |  10/17/06 03:48pm
updated 10/18/06 06:06pm

Have you ever felt that the automated e-mail response to your customer support query felt a little... Forced? Detached? Superficial?

link  |   |  10/15/06 02:12pm

With a mix of passion and beginners mind, Scott Adams succeeds by doing what we wants, foolishly accepting opportunities and failing at the things that didn't really matter:

In Over My Head

link  |   |  10/14/06 12:34pm

While I'm on the subject of ants, here is an interesting illustration of how multiple feedback loops cause surprising, paradoxical behavior:

Of Fire Ants & Feedback Loops

link  |   |  10/13/06 11:43am
updated 2/25/10 10:08am

  • For every one you see, there are a hundred you don't.
  • There are a LOT of them.
  • Ants exchange food by regurgitation (eww), and unhappy customers tend to spread their unhappiness. Call it viral anti-marketing, if you wish.

The solution?

link  |   |  10/13/06 10:42am

Last night I attended a BayCHI panel entitled 'Designing systems with emergent behavior'. It was an enlightening night, with lots of good discussions among some really smart people, but I was a little disappointed that most of the talk was poking at specifics of design and deconstructing current events rather than discussing 'emergent behavior'.
link  |   |  10/11/06 05:54pm

People constantly fail to realize why a successful company is successful.
link  |   |  9/28/06 11:25am

Especially after my nasty experience yesterday, I am delighted to hear that OmniGroup is developing a full-blooded GTD application, tentatively named OmniFocus, replacing the slow, painful, AppleScriptery of Kinkless GTD with a real application.
link  |   |  9/27/06 05:33pm

Usability is not something that can be 'tacked onto' a website. Like sales, usability is not an option - it is something that you can choose to ignore at your own peril or you can address it to unlock hidden potential.

Most website usability is the equivalent of a door-to-door salesman chasing you down the street, getsiculating wildly, insulting you, then leaving without saying what he was trying to sell. Usability professionals are angry people because no one seems to think that this is a problem.

link  |   |  9/27/06 11:13am

I just had a very nasty experience with OmniOutliner Pro / Kinkless GTD. It crashed, and despite backups every day and every five minutes I just lost at least a day's worth of notes. As the GTD'ers out there know, GTD requires a trusted system, and I just lost my trust. Here's a breakdown of my breakdown:
link  |   |  9/26/06 12:40pm

Sometimes, like quicksand, the struggle to stay afloat is not enough and just exarcebates the problem. The problem isn't that you need to 'tread water'. The problem is that you need to get out of the quicksand.
link  |   |  9/21/06 12:22pm

in response to: Getting into Flow

I've been on the GTD bandwagon since the beginning of 2006, and am still constantly tweaking. Here's my current list of energy boosters/stabilizers:

link  |   |  9/19/06 02:32pm

I switched from Windows to OS X about a year and a half ago. I am generally happier now, but there are some annoyances in OS X that have given me a new respect for Windows; in particular, Windows is much better than OS X when it comes to consistent, powerful keyboard shortcuts. MacOS has always been very mouse-centric, and keyboard shortcuts feel like they are tacked-on as an afterthought. (E.g it is possible, but physically painful, to navigate application menus using the keyboard.)

My biggest pet peeve here is OS X's assignment of the Home and End keys to scroll to the beginning or end of a window, instead of moving the cursor to the beginning or end of the line.

link  |   |  9/16/06 11:13am

Yesterday at SuperHappyDevHouse 12 I re-implemented my personal blog with a system of Noel templates. I am quite proud of myself.

link  |   |  9/10/06 12:20pm

If you are a programmer, read this article: Programmers Need To Learn Statistics Or I Will Kill Them All. Maybe I have a soft spot for curmudgeonry from working for Prof. Soloway years ago, but Zed has a very good point and I was guilty of many of the things he's complaining about, happily calculating naked means and saying 1% sounds like a good ratio. Bad Mike.

link  |   |  4/4/06 12:14pm

link  |   |  3/20/06 10:09am

This video is hilarious and frighteningly accurate:

What if microsoft redesigned the ipod packaging?

In age of rampant greed and bad design, this is more of a testament to Apple design than a critique of Microsoft's approach to 'design'/branding.

link  |   |  3/1/06 01:42pm

Here's an interesting parallel: personal productivity and website usability.

In the 'Getting Things Done' system, a Project is a broad term, encompassing anything (working towards some sort of result) that involves more than one action. Starting a business is a project, as is taking a vacation. Even baking a cake is a Project: you need to find a recipe, shop for ingredients, then actually prepare and bake the cake. One of the major reasons that Projects become 'stuck' is because they are defined too broadly, or they are so complex and intimidating that we are uncertain how the Project can ever be finished.

link  |   |  2/22/06 07:04pm

Since I have had some free time on my hands recently, I have been hitting the books to sharpen my skills and learn some new ones. My latest focus has been on reading Getting Things Done and implementing it. I had my reservations, as I have doubts about most self-help and planning books: they are usually incomplete (creating more problems than they solve), too rigid (everything adds up nicely but the system is unusable by human beings), or too soft (lofty reminders of why you are here and what you want, but by the end you still don't know what to do next).

link  |   |  2/16/06 12:55pm

How often does an invoice make you smile? I received beautiful, hand-written thank you note from La Bella Cuisine, making a shot-in-the-dark, Froogle-driven purchase into something much more.

link  |   |  1/30/06 01:56pm

Coffee takes a series of steps, all of which strongly effect the resulting product:
  • The growth and harvesting of coffee beans.
  • Roasting.
  • Packaging, shipping and storing. (I'm probably missing a few important steps here.)
link  |   |  1/29/06 02:19pm
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