Archives: August 2007
Thu Aug 30, 2007
I Feel Like a Muggle
Now everyone knows how men find each other for sex and Larry Craig has ruined it for everyone. Here's what I'm told: Men who have sex with each other in bathrooms all knew what it meant to "tap your foot." And men who don't have sex with men in bathrooms did not. Now, Larry Craig's arrest and subsequent news stories means that everyone knows what it means when the man in the stall next to you taps is foot. Now how are they going to find each other? This revelation of the code makes it very dangerous to use the code. We are reminded again that while it may be convenient, security through obscurity never, ever, works. More...
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Wed Aug 29, 2007
Getting Used to Death
My co-worker Bruce posted a note from his mother's notebook that contains a comforting understanding of grief. "Each death gets harder to bear, not easier, and the pain and grief begins to extend to partings as well. But it now seems to me that that's precisely what being good at handling death is." Go read the entire thing. More...
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What I Read
Somewhere among the interwebs, I found a list of the top science-fiction novels of all time, as ranked by their readers. I'm not sure how I found time to do this, but I wanted to learn which ones I had read, so I made a spreadsheet out of the list. More...
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Fri Aug 24, 2007
UCSC's Newest Architectural Obscenity
Construction began this week on the new Digital Arts building. Its location was once a meadow, but has been a construction staging area since the building of the student center. Here is the artist's conception. What does it look like to you? A San Jose apartment building? Yes, I thought so too. More...
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Final Shopper's Mural Photo
The Shoppers' Corner mural has been finished for a few months now, but it was so anticlimactic I didn't bother to post anything about it. Really. A ship in a bottle? with whales? that's it? The artist's other work promised so much more. More...
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The last hole in the ground from the 1989 earthquake is gone. The old Bookshop Santa Cruz and Coffee Roasting Company site has been bulldozed in preparation for condominiums. More...
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Thu Aug 23, 2007
The Weeks House
Someday I'll write up one of my favorite local history stories, the "High School Siting Controversy of 1914." After the high school burned, several options opened for where to build the new school. The final choice was probably the worst, but who remembers that now?
What I can post about now is something about the house fire in the Weeks house a few weeks ago. More...
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An university textbook publisher specializing in ebooks promises to deliver musty ebooks in September.
In an attempt to win over skeptical college students, CaféScribe.com today announced plans to launch the world's first smelly e-book. CaféScribe.com CEO Bryce Johnson says that beginning in the back-to-school month of September the company will send every e-textbook purchaser a scratch & sniff sticker with a certifiably musty “old book” smell.I'm not sure I'd buy one for myself, but if the stickers were available separately, I'd give them away as gifts.
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Wed Aug 15, 2007
Why So Few ?
I haven't been posting much because I've had a writing project at work that I wasn't working on, and whenever I started to write blog postings I'd remember the other project, and then do neither of them. But the project is done now, all at the last minute, and I hope to post some items that have been piling up.
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Shekhinah Mountainwater died last weekend, and the Sentinel's news obit surprised me. I guess I didn't expect to read such an emotional story in the news section, its content surprisingly similar to the obituaries written by her circle. I didn't know her, but of course I've sung her songs and read her books. Now that I'm getting older, I suppose I'll live through all my teachers dying. If I'm lucky.
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Sat Aug 04, 2007
Since my "new" job two years ago, I've been reading management books, since I don't learn well from a demo. I recommend a series by Patrick Lencioni: Five Disfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting, Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, and Five Temptations of a CEO, and Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars. But the best reference on how to be a leader that I've ever read is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I had no idea what a genius Lincoln was. A friend told me that Goodwin wrote the book as a response to the current "president." Not a word invites this reflection, but the entire book is a rebuke, and the story is nearly impossible to put down. Only at the end did I regret picking it up, because I knew how it would end.
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Smoking and Drinking
Poor Santa Cruz. Always caught between the prohibitionists and the libertarians. Maybe one of my history projects when I retire will be to tell the this story. To count the saloons on Pacific Avenue in 1900, for instance. Or in 1980 for that matter. (Remember "The Camel" next to the bus station? Whew. Scary. The door is still closed.) Or the story about why Boulder Creek, one of the earliest incorporated towns in the county, voted to dis-incorporate itself to prevent a coalition of prohibitionists from being voted to the city council. But today's story is about smoking. More...
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