Archive for July, 2004

Conference summary

This is the final post about the Digital Design conference in Seattle. It sums up the final two days and the conference as a whole. Feel free to skip it if it the idea of reading this crap bores you to tears.

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Conference Report: Defensive Design for the Web

This is the final report about an individual session from the Digital Design Conference. Feel free to breeze right past it if the mere phrase “contingency design” makes your eyes glaze over.

Defensive Design for the Web

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Hi! My name is Ryan. I’m new here.

One of the toughest things about coming back after a long trip is not only catching up on writing and other “regular life” things, but catching up on blog reading. I’m so freaking far behind and have so many new items in my RSS reader to catch up on… life is so difficult, I know, I know.

Saturday was the only day I had entirely to myself in Seattle. As mentioned, I started the day off at Coffee Messiah (complete with crucified Urkel). After chilling a bit back in the hotel, I checked out Bluebottle Art and picked up some cool artwork direct from the arts. From there, I hit the Capitol Hill block party and jumped a bus to the University District to get some vegan pizza. Ah, screw it… check the pictures.

I’ve been working on a new mix CD that I’ll be selling over at Urban Ambiance. If I may be egotistical (like that’s a stretch), it’s mighty dope. The kids might say “Hot ta def,” but I prefer to think of it as wicked cool like the democratic convention to Boston liberals. I’ll be selling it for a measly $5 (which includes shipping), so if underground hip-hop and breakbeats are your thing, consider picking it up. It should hit the streets on August 12th.

Did I mention I got called an “asshole” at work a couple weeks ago? That was nice.

Lunch is over, back to work.

12″ and all snake. Or not.

from the Loudoun Animal Watch:

A Case of ‘Misnaken’ Identity

LEESBURG, Feldgrove Drive, Monday. A woman reported that a red, black and yellow snake was in her home. An animal control officer was dispatched, but the call was canceled when the woman reported that the “snake” was actually a ruler that belonged to her son.


This is the exact opposite of when I was a kid and told my dad there was a snake around the side of the house. He thought I was mistaking the garden hose for a snake, but he was wrong. I still like to remind him of this periodically.

Last batcho’ Seattle pictures

Lunchtime posting: Seattle photos: day 4 (and a couple from 5).

Day three photos posted

The Seattle Day 3 photo album is available. It’s the shortest of the bunch. I’ve got some good ones of today, though, that I’ll post late tomorrow night.

(I’m in a tearoom using their free Wi-Fi to post this. I feel so freaking techie and trendy!)

Stuffed with food

A bit behind on the trip blogging, but it’s been pretty much go-go-go from the start.

Thursday I was stuck in the conference for most of the day and didn’t really get outside for more than five minutes until dinner time. I met up with Tammy, a friend from Medford that I’ve known since sixth grade (also, her dad has been our vet for many years). It had been nine or ten years since we last saw each other and our e-mail exchanges have often had two or three years between batches, so there was a lot of catching up to do. We took a walk around Gas Works Park, saw the Fremont Troll, and then stopped by the marina to meet her fiancee and see the boat that they live on. We had a really good dinner at Cafe Flora (see if you can guess what I ordered) where we tried to remember what we could about the past, realizing exactly how much we’ve forgotten about those years. Personally, I know I blocked them out since I didn’t really enjoy middle school or high school very much, and my own memories are very fragmented. For instance, I remember the people that were in my bunk for a three-day school trip to Camp Ockanickon, but had trouble remembering whether or not Tammy was on my team (grades were split into two teams) for any of the three years we were in middle school.

Conclusion: time passes quickly, yet only ten years ago feels like another lifetime. The grand paradox.

It was really nice to see Tammy again, as she’s one of the people from my past that was always a good person… I find myself trying to reconnect with those few folks I’ve lost touch with that didn’t piss me off during my angsty teenage years. There weren’t many of them, that’s for sure.

Friday the conference was definitely winding down. Attendance dropped, as did the quality of the presentations (I’ll be summing up the rest of the conference later). I skipped one session because there wasn’t a single interesting presentation to choose and I skipped another because I seriously needed a nap (and the one presentation during that session I wanted to see was changed to something totally irrelvant). Before getting some eats, I stopped by the Wall of Sound/Confounded Books and spent entirely too much on obscure international folk records, underground hip-hop and avant garde jazz, and magazines (McSweeney’s #13 was too nice to pass up). For dinner I hit Ballet, an unassuming Asian restaurant in Capitol Hill (where all the good ish is). I pigged the hell out on pho bo chay (vegetarian beef soup) and yellow curry on tofu and veggies. I basically packed away two meals in one sitting.

Then it was off to Tula’s for some good jazz with Hadley Caliman, aka “Lil Dex” since he was mentored by Dexter Gordon. It was a awesome ride from bop to hard bop to more mellow tones and tunes. I had a chance to chat with Hadley for five minutes or so between sets and was really amazed at how humble and gentle he was, something you might not expect from a 72-year-old jazz cat who lost many years to his drug addiction and jail. He told me that the only thing that made playing now more difficult than when he was 20 was that now he was more aware of the mistakes he was making. When you’re 20, he said, you breeze right past the mistakes and don’t even notice them. “And that’s true in life, too,” he added.

Today I spent entirely too long hunting down Coffee Messiah for a tasty vegan brunch. It took me quite a while to realize that East Olive Street and East Olive Way are two very different roads despite the fact they’re only a few blocks apart. In any event, a crazy ass rockabilly cat that reminded me of Scott‘s distant cousin served up a pretty nice vanilla soy latte with my chicken-fried tofu. When I first came in, he told me, “Satanic rock and roll’s on the house,” yelling over the loud ass music. And when hearing I was from Virginia, he said, “Virginia hates the fags… but that’s OK, because I do, too,” with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

I’ve gotta wrap this up now because my hi-speed net access is about to run out here at the hotel. Hopefully I’ll be adding more pictures to the photo gallery soon… in the meantime, check out day two.

Conference Report: The How and Why of Blogging

While I’m attending Digital Design World, I’m going to jot down some thoughts each evening about the sessions. Feel free to read through each one or skip right past them if they don’t tickle your fancy.

The How and Why of Blogging

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Conference Report: Look Ma, No More Tables

While I’m attending Digital Design World, I’m going to jot down some thoughts each evening about the sessions. Feel free to read through each one or skip right past them if they don’t tickle your fancy.

Look Ma, No More Tables – CSS Layout Techniques

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Conference Report: How Users Surf

While I’m attending Digital Design World, I’m going to jot down some thoughts each evening about the sessions. Feel free to read through each one or skip right past them if they don’t tickle your fancy.

How Users Surf – What Usability Tests Reveal

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