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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in mike's LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 8th, 2010
7:19 pm
Peppermints and Pall Malls
For the rest of my life, Victorian Box trees blooming on the cold, moist air is what will always smell the most like San Francisco.
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
9:58 am
If I'm going to bitch about how Facebook sucks in other people's journals, I should probably post in mine to support the cause.

I'm still alive, even though many of you have seen neither hide nor hair of me in many a moon. Here's a brief recap of what I've been up to.

I helped a good friend get his startup launched and funded, ran the kitchen at an Irish pub near my house on the weekends last summer, spent a lot of time traveling to be with my family (genetic and not) during important moments in their lives, officiated blanu and umpteenthtime's wedding, went backpacking by walking out my front door, over the Golden Gate Bridge and up the Marin Headlands, and did a lot of work on various projects that are coalescing into a shape suitable for public release in the extremely near future.

In the past week, I've seen two old friends from Texas who were visiting out here, spent two days snowboarding up in Tahoe, and spent two days in Deep Hack, forgetting to eat until I noticed there was no light in my room other than my laptop. My boots have saltwater and snow dried into them, and things I'm proud of -- line by line, bugfix by bugfix -- are being born. This is as it should be.

What about y'all? How are y'all doing?
Monday, November 10th, 2008
1:29 pm
unemployment
Got laid off Friday. Can't say I didn't see it coming, but was unsure when the hammer would fall. That said, I'm not really upset. I've been needing a long break to work on Mike-specific things, and now I have the opportunity and the means to do so. At the very least, I'm expecting not to work for anyone else for 3 months, and I have up to a year's worth of runway if I manage my expenses well. Throw in some consulting and contract gigs, and I plan to just see where the tide takes me.

One of the things on my list to do with this time is do a better job of jotting down some of the ideas I have. To that end, I've put a blog up at http://mentalexoskeletons.blogspot.com, which you can view in your LJ Friends List by going here: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/mentalexoskelet/
Friday, September 19th, 2008
3:23 pm
David Foster Wallace
There are a lot of things I'd like to say on this subject, but the only one that I suspect is ultimately worth anything is simply this, "I'm glad I don't hurt like that".

Godspeed, man. I hope there's something after this, and I hope the trade you made was worth it.
Monday, July 21st, 2008
8:36 pm
You can take the boy out of Texas...


As y'all may or may not know, I've moved from the East Bay into San Francisco proper. One of the biggest enticements I had moving out of my idyllic zen sinecure in El Cerrito (where other people did the shopping and cleaning and all I had to do was keep my door closed and pay the rent on time, and I could see the entire bay from my deck and my bedroom window) was the opportunity to cook whatever I wanted. And as should completely unsurprising, what I want to cook is barbeque. But there's no place to put a barbeque pit in my new apartment in the Inner Richmond - what to do? The answer? Fireplace. This weekend, I built a smoker into my fireplace, and smoked some pork ribs. It was excellent.

What you're looking at is a frame built of 1/2 inch galvanized pipe which supports a grill and a smoke hood made from the lid of an enameled roasting pan, combined with the body of the roasting pan which is where the coals and the smoking medium (in this case, waterlogged mesquite chips and chopped onions) go. I've wanted a barbeque pit like this for a long time. In this configuration, you have direct access to the coals, can add more charcoal, or smoking medium, at will, can measure the temperature of both the coals and the meat directly, and can look up at the bottom of the meat on the grill without having to take the lid off and stop the smoking process. I've only cooked one thing on it, but I already see huge opportunities for experimentation and progress.

So, anytime anyone is down for an afternoon of beer-drinking and conversation, show up at my house with some meat and we'll fire this thing up.
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
3:28 pm
The fact that we can search for and find anything we've ever written or received is going destroy everything we think we know about communication.

And that's going to be terrifying and awesome.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
1:30 pm
We're so happy we can hardly count.
Last Saturday I attended Y Combinator's Startup School. There was a ton of useful information, but the best part was when Jeff Bezos told his VP of Product Management to give me an exception to SimpleDBs 100 domain limit. Here's a video. My question is right at the very end.

So now I'm trying to get in touch with Adam Selipsky, the aforementioned VP. Calling Amazon's Corporate switchboard doesn't work, as Selipsky's office doesn't take calls that come in through reception. This is pretty standard internet company strategy to keep the weirdos at bay. I've done a little email address speculation, but I thought I'd see if anyone out there knows anyone who can look up his email in an internal address book.

If you do, feel free to email me at mike at omgwerock.com
Monday, November 19th, 2007
8:49 pm
Unrequitable crushes are actually the best kind
So there's this lady who works down the block from our office. I think she works for some variety of financial institution. She looks like a cross between 10,000-Maniacs-Unplugged Natalie Merchant and Racheline Maltese; apart from her fondness for black knee-boots she dresses rather conservatively, but over the course of a year I've become certain that her body would leave me speechless if I were to see it all at once. I run into her at Beale Street Bar and Grill, the neighborhood watering hole at the base of my building. We nod occasionally.

I post about this because she's related to no lengthier thread in my life. When I leave California, I'll remember the awesome people I've met here and the good friends I've made, but I doubt that 20, and 30 and 40 years on I'll remember the oh-so-cute-accountant(?) who causes Stockton Gala Days to echo in my head every time I see her, because she'll have no context to the larger flow of my life. And I don't want to forget any of this, so I'm writing it down here.
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
12:46 am
May you live in interesting times
Just got home from a party with Rupert Murdoch and MC Hammer.
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
11:28 pm
The Longest Day of the Year
Today is June 21st, which most every almanac lists as the summer solstice for 2007. However, I saw/heard a lot of people who pay attention to such things proclaim June 19th as the solstice this year.

Did anyone else notice this? Can anyone enlighten me on what might have been going on?
Monday, March 5th, 2007
12:07 pm
love is like falling, and falling is like this
I went snowboarding for the first time this weekend. I'm sore, every physical action causes me pain, and I can't wait to go back again.

blanu, G, J, and I left straight from work Friday and drove to South Lake Tahoe, where we had rented an inexpensive but completely servicable condo for the weekend. Saturday morning we drove down to Kirkwood, rented gear and headed out onto the green slopes. Getting going on the first run was a little tricky, and I fell a lot the whole weekend, but my years of surfing translated pretty directly to snowboarding (especially the fact that I can surf equally well regular or goofyfoot), and by the end of the weekend I could carve decently on gentle slopes, and managed to run a long, easy blue without falling down.

I also took three or four major back-popping falls that had me worried about my chiropractic bill, but I seem to be alright in the spinal-alignment arena today.

So, if anyone ever needs an extra person to split the room cost, let me know. I travel light and sleep well on the floor.
Sunday, January 7th, 2007
10:44 pm
New Year's Resolution
This year, I'm going to take my dad down to a fireworks stand, buy one of every firework on the top shelf, and set them off together. He told a story over Christmas about how much he always wanted to get a certain huge firework, but could never bring himself to spent his whole fireworks budget on it, when he could get a ton of firecrackers and bottlerockets instead.

I love my dad, and I really respect him, but I don't have ton of ways to really communicate with him. Popping firecrackers together was one when I was a kid. This year I resolve to take it up a notch.
Sunday, November 5th, 2006
2:07 am
Looks like Vercingetorix is to be ritually strangled...

Current Mood: seen it all before...
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
8:04 pm
Never let it be said that I refute all memes...
Thusly:

The first five people to respond to this post, will get some form of art, by me, about them. I make no guarantees about quality or type, but I will assure that I will give it good effort and that the art will be individual to you, so if you get a mixed CD or some sort of painting doodle, yours is the only one like it.

The only catch, of course; as with most memes, if you sign up, you have to put this in your own journal as well.

Also, I make no promises about response time. I'll try to do them in a timely fashion, but I can't guarantee inspiration will strike immediately ;)
Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
12:50 am
There are men who hustle pool, there are men who hustle cars...
This picture is about as poignant a rendering of the Total Perspective Vortex as I've ever seen. Enjoy (Click between the the two black specks on the left-hand side of the picture.)
Monday, August 28th, 2006
12:06 am
A note from the trenches of pop culture history
Dana Sculley's father's nickname for her was Starbuck.

Carry on.
Saturday, July 29th, 2006
6:21 pm
Got it
So here's what we do. We start a non-profit which buys CSA shares, and uses them to provide low-income kids at after-school programs one nutritious, probably organic meal a day. Free to the after-school programs, great for the kids -- both developmentally and in learning to enjoy the taste of healthy food -- and creates a demand for more CSAs, which is an a priori good thing. (CSA == Community Supported Agriculture, for those of you who aren't foodies/non-profit junkies.)

That's Phase One; Phase Two is getting growing space of our own, both to provide produce, but also to allow the kids to have interaction with the farming process. If they grow green beans, they'll be more likely to eat green beans.

Phase Three is expanding the concept to other cities.

I was reading this article about Bill Strickland and Manchester/Bidwell and thinking about my garden, and suddenly everything went 'click'.

Current Mood: inspired
3:21 pm
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beal...
Actually just from El Cerrito into Berkeley. I left the house in search of wireless so I could get some coffee, maybe some brunch, and then get some work done, knowing that if I stayed at home I'd succumb to the temptation to lay around in my underwear and drink beer. I strode down the hill, and decided to try out Kensington Bistro, which is maybe a mile from my house. The menu was very solid, and now I have another local place to add to my collection. Most things are closed by the time I get home from the city on weeknights, but it's good to have places to go on the weekends. No wireless, though.

I decided to just keep walking, wander around and explore Berkeley. I split off and meandered down Peralta until it dead ended by the community gardens (which I need to remember to go back and check out during visiting hours) and then walked along the Ohlone Greenway into Berkeley. Now I'm at Berkeley Espresso, and will be getting down to work.
Friday, July 21st, 2006
11:42 pm
Just in case any of y'all were wondering what it was like to be proud of your leader
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain. Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...

-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Rice Stadium, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA, Earth: September 12, 1962)
Thursday, July 6th, 2006
12:55 pm
Rollercoaster
A lot of things in the last week. On Saturday - Monday, went camping with a lot of new people and had an absolute blast. /me waves. Got in a good mixture of hiking, sitting alone in the woods and sitting with people around the fire.

Tuesday we had our Fourth of July fireworks viewing party - which was roundly considered a success. We read the Declaration of Independence - a very topical little document - aloud with each person taking a stanza. We ran out of people before we ran out of stanzas, so I finished it and then launched into what can only be described as a sermon that I don't remember very much of. This is something that's happened before. I have a tendency to hold forth in public anyway, and sometimes I realize I have no idea what I'm about to say next. When that happens, I reach back and get ahold of something and it just starts flowing. I don't know how to describe it any better than that. But I generally have no idea what I've said when I get done. This time it really well. The people my age generally just shrugged it off with a well-meant 'Nice speech' if they remarked on it at all. It apparently resonated with the Baby Boomers, however, since almost all of them came over to shake my hand, and several of the women were lightly petting my chest and looking at me with what could only be called adulation. I liked that entirely too much. I often joke that the reason I don't become a cult leader is that I'd have to hang out with cult members, but that suddenly doesn't seem like that bad a deal.

Had a long talk with allea on Wednesday. It's getting easier. I'm slowly making the mental shift from thinking of her as my ex-wife to thinking of her as a really wonderful friend. I can admit now that our getting married was a really dumb idea, so I guess that's progress.

Okay, back to trying to make BitTorrent into something someone will pay us several billion dollars for.

Current Mood: diligent
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