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 if this has nothing to do with gas prices? What ...cont’d


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 Chinese based on their characters, which are chosen primarily for ...cont’d


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 politics right now, it’s a train wreck of logic and ...cont’d


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 the cultural dynamic of a state that is “Western” on ...cont’d


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 Stumptown coffee on Facebook. ITS THAT GOOD. ID GIVE IT ...cont’d


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 clips of Palin interviewed by Charlie Gibson and Sean Hannity, ...cont’d


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 project with a compressed timeline?Someone has the bright idea that ...cont’d


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 — I ride the bus. About one day a week ...cont’d


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 family named Jim took my family to see Star Wars ...cont’d


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, although a lack of alternatives (most theaters a) aren’t explicitly ...cont’d


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 at some point in their lives (usually while camping) you ...cont’d


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 discussion about the prices Henry paid for things in (presumably) ...cont’d


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 23)Update: Also: “For every hour you spend cycling, you add ...cont’d


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 that sometimes, web design is like digging ditches. Fresh on ...cont’d


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 my archaeological field kit. Said discovery occasioned me to reflect ...cont’d


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 of floored at how few freedoms modern children have. I ...cont’d


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, but it definitely struck a chord. Atwood makes a pretty ...cont’d


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 thick layer of cream and sugar that you stir into ...cont’d