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April 2009

New glasses... kind of

Me wearing said glasses

I mentioned that I was in the market from some sunglasses and the kind folks at Shuron mailed me four pairs of frames so I could try them on my fat face and see if I liked them. Above you can see me modeling a pair (the lenses are just clear plastic). I'm going to put in an order for a pair with tinted lenses so I can use these as sunglasses. It'll be nifty, don't you think?


Twitshirt: no thanks

Twitshirt.jpgJust because the t-shirt is well designed doesn't mean it is ok to put my words (or tweets) on it without asking me.

Twitshirt is poop (no matter how well crafted it is), but you can opt out if you don't want someone making money off of your work (though they will give you two bits for each $20 shirt they sell... though they won't send you any money until you reach $20 in royalties, and you won't have ANY idea that this money is waiting for you unless you sign up for Twitshirt... but Twitshirt CAN sell shirts with your words on them without you signing up. Seems fair, right?) you can opt out*. I did, and you should too.

* A note about the 'Blacklist' functionality on the Twitshirt site. It doesn't offer you any feedback after you enter your Twitter username and password and click Submit. It just dumps you have to the Twitshirt homepage. Did I successfully opt out? I have no idea.

Update: I looks like the Twitshirt folks have heard the rumblings and are hard at work 'reversing the polarity,' which I can only assume they are going to make the site opt-in instead of opt-out, which really clears up all my complaints.


Phantom glasses

I have my glasses back, finally, which is a good thing (oh, the colors I can see! Well, I can't see all the colors since I am color blind... but I can see most of them). I did notice an odd thing over the course of the week I was glassless. Despite the fact that I was not, in fact, wearing glasses I would frequently motion to adjust them. The motion, I can only assume, was interpreted as some sort of odd salute to passersby.


I have no glasses and yet I must see

No glasses ScottThe lens in my frames were pretty scratched up, and since I just started a new job I thought I would take my benefits for a spin and get some new lens (not new frames though, since I totally heart my frames).

Off I went to Eye Candy which has a god awful Web site, but a lovely staff. Since I only have one pair of frames I called ahead and asked how long they would need to keep them to install the new lens. They said it would take a day, which didn't seem too shabby to me. Off I went to get my eyes examined (which always freaks me out because they put things far too close to your eyes for my liking), and take a look at their sunglasses (my future is pretty bright after all).

I was pursuing the sunglasses with fully dilated pupils when the guy behind the counter came over to help me. He looked at my old glasses and said, "So you like the retro look, huh?" Since I do, in fact, like the retro look (though in a non-ironic fashion) I nodded and commented that all their frames were pretty modern looking. I did, however, try on a couple of pairs but it seems I'm an ocular Goldilocks: the frames were either too big or too small.

I wasn't worried, though, since I have frames that I are totally my bffs. Once my eye exam was done (OK, sidebar here: Whenever I am looking through one of those machines with the different lens in it and the eye doc flips one and says, 'Better or worse?' I always feel like they know the RIGHT answer... and they are just testing me to make sure I'm not pretending to need glasses. Am I the only one who thinks this?) I returned to the clerk and said, "So, I guess I'll be back to tomorrow to get my glasses!" To which he replied, "Your insurance requires that we send all frames to their lab so they can make the lens. They'll be ready in a week."

rendering.jpgWhat was I to do? I needed new lens, and I had gotten this far... so I left the store without my glasses and immediately walked onto a girder that was swinging from a nearby crane. How I survived that hilarious walk through that construction site I'll never know.

I should have my glasses back tomorrow though, which is a good thing since I've been hunching over all week so I can actually read stuff on my computer screen. My back is killing me!

Also, I'm thinking about buying these sunglasses. What say you, gentle reader? To the right you can see a very badly done rendering of what I might look like wearing said glasses. Pretty sexy, huh?


Americans love to shift the blame

hummer.jpgWe all know that American car companies (other than Ford) aren't doing so well nowadays. They seem to be baring the brunt of the American public's anger with this financial crisis for a simple reason: people understand what car makers do. They produce cars, it is pretty simple. If people buy those cars, the company makes a profit. Compare that to leveraged buyouts of bundled mortgages (if that's even a thing) and I can understand why people are blaming the car companies.

That being said, it is one thing to blame a faceless corporation and quite another to attack a model hired to look pretty next to said faceless corporation's product at a trade show and say this:

At Auto Show, Presenters Meet a Tough Crowd - NYTimes.com: "One G.M. presenter said a woman told her the company was responsible for the death of American soldiers in Iraq. The logic went like this: if G.M. made more fuel-efficient cars, the country would not need so much oil, and if the country did not need oil, United States troops would never have invaded."

That's pretty harsh, and downright stupid. The car companies kept pumping out gas guzzlers because that's what people wanted to buy (can you say Hummer?).

My point is this: get mad at the company all you want, just leave their models alone.


Tweenbots

tweenbots.jpg

I've been Twittering lots of the last few months and that is where I've been sharing links and the like. However, I've missed blogging here at good old Blankbaby, and so I am going to try to step it up here (though I am starting another major writing project, so we'll see how long I can last writing all the time).

Tweenbots are getting lots of attention from the blogs today, and I can see why. Who wouldn't want to write about cute little robots that can only go in one direction and must depend on the kindness of strangers to get to their final destination?

Sometimes I feel like a Tweenbot myself, though I don't have an easy to read flag with directions printed on it.


Life is good, everyone just overreacts

yellow.jpg.jpg

I'm sure everyone knows about PostSecret (if you don't here is the quick rundown: you send an anonymous postcard to this address and every Sunday the best secretes are posted on PostSecret). This week's entry starts with the postcard above which I think pretty much sums up life.

If you enjoy PostSecret you should check out FMyLife, which is kind of like Twitter for embarrassing stories.


Comcast Voices: my new gig

ComcastVoices.jpg When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to be a scientist. I blame that on a healthy dose of Star Trek and Quantum Leap (plus a liberal dusting of popular science books). I went off to Lehigh with the intention of majoring in physics and then going to getting a PhD and then doing some hard science.

My dream was crushed in calculus class. Math always came easily to me, but I found calculus to be completely alien. I couldn't wrap my mind around it (though looking back at it, I'm pretty sure I was just too darned lazy to do the required work) and so I did what any red blooded college student would do: I gave up.

It was clear that the hard sciences weren't for me, and that meant I needed a new major. There were two lead contenders: Classical Studies (i.e. Ancient History) or English. Since I always enjoyed reading and writing (and I was fluent in English at the time; Latin was all Greek to me) I figured I would opt for English (though I ended up taking enough Ancient History classes to minor in Classics, but I didn't fill out the paperwork for the minor, so that isn't on my academic record). That turned out to be a great decision, even though for the last ten years or so it looked like writing would always be a sideline to my 'real' job (i.e. being an IT geek).

Over the last few years I've been lucky enough write about lots of stuff and get paid for it (first at TUAW, then at Macworld and MacUser, and then I wrote a book, which I still think is super cool), and as I was doing all that writing there was a voice in the back of my mind that kept saying, "gee, wouldn't it be fun if I did this full-time?"

I'm no John Gruber or Jason Kottke, so I knew that making a living off of Blankbaby would be difficult at best (the market of people who are intensely interested in what I am doing at any given point just isn't large enough to monetize... plus whenever I hear anyone use the word 'monetize' I want to punch them in the throat). Freelancing seemed like something that might work, but all my friends who are indies (mostly working over at Indy Hall) seem to be working all the time (on what I have no idea). Plus a large amount of your time as an indie is spent making sure your clients pay you. I hate paper work, and talking to people isn't really my forte so being a freelancer just doesn't appeal to me (though I would like to work from home and not wear pants).

My business cardAs you all know (if you're been paying attention) I am now a happy Comcast employee. When I wrote that post (has it already been 4 months? I've been telling people I've been at Comcast for a little over 2 months! I'm bad with dates) I wasn't at liberty to give out the URL for the blog I was working on. Now that it is public knowledge I can present to you Comcast Voices.

Yep, Comcast Voices is Comcast's corporate blog and I spend my days managing it, thinking about what we should post on it, and generally making a nuisance of myself. Check it out and let me know what you think (I hope you don't think it sucks... well, it sucks as little as any corporate blog can realistically not suck)!

It is pretty funny that while I was in college I wanted nothing to do with computers. I hand wrote all my term papers until my professors, one by one, refused to grade them unless I started typing them up (no one, including me, could read my handwriting). I didn't own a computer until a year after I graduated college, and now I spend most of my time (and make all of my money) on computers, thinking about them, and writing about them.

What a world.


Cherry Blossoms

More Cherry Blossoms

I was in DC last week for the Cable Show (I had no idea there was a trade conference just for the cable industry. Shocking, but true!) and since I am a good son I spent the weekend visiting with my mom.

It just so happened that this weekend was also the high of Cherry Blossom season, and so we decided to motor on down to downtown DC and check out the blossoms for ourselves.

Saturday was a beautiful day, and so about 14 million other people had the same idea as us. Despite the crowds (which were fairly well behaved) my mom and I had a good time walking around, snapping pictures, and chatting.

Sadly, I forgot to charge the battery on my camera before we left, so I wasn't able to take many pictures. You can check out the few that I did snap over at this Flickr set.