category: Meta

Hey there.

While I’ve been pretty slack posting here over the last few years, but I feel like I’ve been even more neglectful of my long-time home on the web than usual. Partially, that’s because I find myself sharing less personal stuff publicly… but that’s not really an excuse. There’s plenty more to talk about.

I’ve got a handful of posts that have been sitting in partially-finished draft mode for months and I’ve continued to make a lot of quiet work on side projects. There are some new projects in the works and lots of ideas kicking around. Same as always, really.

Anyway, just wanted to say hi and say things are good. If you happen to spot this in your RSS reader (what now?) or by accident when googling me, take a sec to say hi in the comments. In the meantime, a picture from our recent 15th anniversary trip to St. Thomas.

My Conversation with Apple

Me: Hey, Apple, I’d love to submit my new podcast for inclusion in your iTunes Store podcast directory! Do you have a web form I can use?

Apple: We’d love to have you submit your podcast! All you have to do is download our desktop iTunes application and submit it through there.


Apple: Don’t worry! It’s only 145 megs.


(minutes pass)

Me: OK, fine. I’ll download your terrible, terrible piece of software just to submit what could be done with a simple web form.

(more minutes pass, downloading happens, submission happens)

Apple: We’ve got your submission! We’ll get back to you.

(a day passes)

Apple: Sorry. We’re not including your podcast. It could be for “a variety of reasons.”

Me: (throws head back and screams)

Ghosts, Unions, and Civil Rights Leaders

Yesterday, a story I originally told on The Daily Ping almost 13 years ago was featured in a Weekend Edition segment on NPR about “true life ghost stories.” Have a listen:

This marked my third time on NPR (sorta). On August 6, 2005, I was featured in a piece about unions’ role in the tech industry, a topic I was woefully unprepared to discuss. But NPR corresnpondent Frank Langfitt (now a Shanghai correspondent) caught me to chat in the parking lot outside of work.

Just two months later, NPR’s remembrance of civil rights (and anti-rap) activist C. Delores Tucker aired on my 30th birthday. It featured an uncredited segment of an interview I did with her from 8 or 9 years earlier.

I’m hoping that my fourth NPR appearance will also have nothing to do with the previous ones.

Dear Maury, Love Wikipedia

Things over on the Maury post have quieted down, as tends to happen when you close comments on a post. But, for fun, I recently made a visit to Maury’s Wikipedia entry, which has my blog entry linked up. Then I clicked over to the Talk page for Maury and found this gem:

I had to laugh.

(Random Maury-blog-post-related story: A few years back at WebVisions in Portland, Paul and I were standing around with a few people, one of whom was Matt Haughey. Since Matt was the one who helped make the Maury post a sensation, I thought I’d be funny and introduce myself to him as Maury. He looked at me like I was an idiot and moved on.)

Welcome to 2011

While working on the relaunch of this site, I was thinking in the back of my head that it had been maybe five-ish years since I last redesigned the site. Turns out it’s been nearly eight years. That’s, um, a long time.

And a lot has happened in those eight years. When I launched that redesign, I was in the middle of my third Blogathon (the first two I participated in; the third I helped monitor). I was in my just-barely-late-20s. I was blogging something almost every day. I was running a myriad sites.

What happened since then? Facebook. Twitter. Fatherhood.

In the last couple of years, my blog disintegrated into a dusty pile of auto-posted delicious links. I wrote one or two posts of substance per year. I moved the mundane thoughts to Twitter. I made a conscious decision to move more personal postings to Facebook. But I never quite figured out what to do with

So, here I am, in 2011. Mid-30s. Dad. Several sites lighter. And feeling ready to revive this thing and give it another go.

From a design standpoint, even though I’m calling this a redesign, it’s not really. I’m just tweaking an existing template a little bit. I decided it was time to move to a simpler layout and clear out some cruft on the site (yeah, I know URLs should never die, but some of this content is begging to be killed). I like the one-column look this theme has and am perfectly happy not trying to cram every bit of content I’m producing into a sidebar.

From a content perspective, I’ve killed the auto-posted delicious links and while I’ve kept all the old blog content (I couldn’t let Maury go away, could I?), I’ve moved it all under a category called “Zee Classic Collection1.” While I’m not going to be posting anywhere near everyday, I’m shooting for a few moderate-length posts per month. Think Kottke minus the posts about David Foster Wallace, Errol Morris, and foodie topics. I’ll write about the stuff that interests me at the moment: tea, movies, music, retrofuturism, and Japanese fiction with the occasional bits of parenting, politics, and technology. I’m going to do my best to not jump on a topic just because everyone else is. I’m done with that game. I just want to write some good stuff about things I care about.

This is definitely a work in progress. Stuff’s going to break. I may bring some old content back. I’m experimenting with different content aggregation methods.

Dig in, enjoy, and pass along any feedback. Not sure how many of my old visitors are checking in, but if you are, say hi!

1 Why “Zee”? Because “Zee” sounds like “the” when said by a stereotypical movie Frenchman. Oh yeah, and because it’ll cause it to sort last on my archive page.