Swimming with the Razorfishes

Friday, February 27, 2004

Taj is clearly not understanding the teepee as a concept.

It really isn't working as a hat.

Oh yea. Great photos.

[via sparklegrrl]

Oh, and I seem to be number one on Google's list when searching for "naked on ichat." My life is really amounting to quite a bit lately.

Google sends lots of linky-goodness my way. Mostly linking to photographs. Dogs. Flowers. New York blackout pictures.

But not one link to The Macho Room. Lets hope that changes soon.

I've just received an e-mail from Eric Hancock. I haven't sent myself a not, mind you. Probability be damned, I've found another person who shares my name. Go figure.

This Eric Hancock is an illustrator of note in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. Very interesting. Check out his work, particularly the illustration of a guy in a hazmat suit doing something that looks suspiciously like pleasuring an enormous roach.

It is nice to meet you, Mr. Eric.



That guy you see in the post office, the one who, one by one, very carefully slips each letter into the mail slot, then jams his eye up to the hole to confirm that the outgoing mail basket hasn't been replaced with some kind of paper shredder, you know that guy.

Yea. He frightens me.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Where I go from taking pictures of tourists to being a tourist.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


After all that vitriol, I feel as if I should spread a little love.

Why do I like taking pictures of tourists so much?

And while I'm ranting, I can't believe how many people are taking this whole "sanctity of marriage" constitutional amendment Bush is proposing seriously.

This is another cynical, Karl Rove ploy. We're in an election year. The press have been giving the Democrats a lot of coverage. The Bush administration needs to get attention back to Bush, so they get a debate going. But not just any debate. A debate about nothing, one that won't can't possibly come to anything.

A debate on a topic that will at once appeal to Bush's conservative base, at the same time pushing the Democrats a little farther left. One that, win or lose, Bush can use to gain points.

National defense doesn't have the traction anymore; the terrorist boogeyman doesn't pack quite the punch it once did. Bush doesn't have a leg to stand on regarding Social Security or healthcare. He certainly doesn't want anyone to start talking about the economy.

But gay marriage: a perfect play to the conservative / religious demographic. The Democrats will have to spend time and effort fighting while trying not to seem "too liberal," sapping election year strength.

While the Bush administration is waving an asinine constitutional amendment around with its right hand, we should all be paying very close attention to what it is doing with its left. This smells like a classic game of redirection.

It is a totally absurd idea, of course. There is no chance in hell that the amendment would ever be ratified. Absolutely none. He may as well stand up and say that people with green eyes suck eggs. But not enough people will call this ploy what it is. By responding to Bush's proposal as if it is a serious idea, people elevate Bush, they engage him in conversation. Suddenly, we transform Bush from a stammering Texas yokel to a passionate defender of "christian principles." Just like magic.

It takes two dicks to make a pissing match. Unfortunately, I'm afraid the Democrats aren't smart enough to keep their pants zipped up for this one.

OK. I've had enough. I really like Simon Phipps, and this has nothing to do with him specifically, but reading his reiteration of the "Nader split the liberal vote" or "Nader gave us Bush" argument just pushed me over the line.

Bush became president. Whatever happened, he is in office now. Lets all just deal with that. Focusing on the mess that was the election will just let another unfit person slip in.

But what about the campaign?

The election was Gore's to lose. Only by running a remarkably inept campaign did he squander: 1) an unbelievably popular president's support; 2) a strong economy; 3) a relatively peaceful world; 4) the weakest Republican presidential candidate running in years. Gore didn't even win his home state. How fucking hard could that have been? All he had to do was pay Tennessee a little attention, and he would be president.

That is right: had Gore's own constituents voted for him, he would be in the White House right now. If Gore had the backbone to say, "I don't care if he got a blow job, and neither should you," he would be in the white house. Had someone in the Gore campaign looked at the mess Bush made of Texas and made an issue of it, Gore probably would have been elected.

And here is the kicker: if 60 percent of registered democrats had bothered to get out and vote, Gore would be president right now. So if you want to know why Bush was elected look at the two Democrats nearest you, and point your finger (that is, of course, assuming you actually voted).

We have George Bush as a our leader because we are lazy, ill-educated, and easily distracted by insipid discussion of oral sex in the White House. We have exactly the president we deserve. And the whole world is suffering for it.

Making Nader a scapegoat won't do any good. You really can't complain one week that the election represents an "evil of the two lessers" situation, while at the same time imploring Nader to drop out because, even though you really like what he says, Gore isn't "quite as bad as" Bush, and we really don't want Bush to win. Yea. That seems like the best way to elect someone to run the whole country. This twisted kind of appeasement rarely works.

If the system is broken, fix it. Don't blame a person for doing what is his right: running for president.

So, my Democrat friends, focus on winning, not on whether or not Nader runs. Because if you focus on Nader, rather than Bush, you will lose again.

Ever get that feeling that something bad is about to happen?

[via Scripting News]

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Earlier this week I discovered that Yahoo's messenger software for MacOS X works with Apple's iSight camera. Cool.

Now I can have hot webcam chats with AOL and Yahoo users!

Ha! Windows XP with firewall.

[by Wolfgang Somergut, via vowe.net]

Monday, February 23, 2004

I really like the stuff r. gardiner does over at nyclondon. Great photos.


I have hardly shot any digital photos all month. I've been busy taking photos on black and white film for a class. I'll get back into the groove sometime next month, as the final critique is done and the weather starts warming up.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Wow. This is cool. I think I want one.

A very bland, InfoWorld kind of question for the geeks.

Actually, a question for the corporate IT geeks. Many corporate software development shops have self-organized the development functions into a familiar hierarchy: developers, technical leads, project managers, and architects.

The architect's role is one of overall technical vision for a suite of applications or an entire department. The term "technical" vision is necessarily vague or broad, encompassing design, standards, technical leadership, cross-system consistency, etc... Additionally, architects tend to understand how the software systems support the business, requiring knowledge of both business and IT. As departments develop larger, more complex, more critical software systems, the role of architect take a top-down view of the company's software assets. The architect reduces the risk of change-induced failure, and directs the development of new systems integrated with old systems.

But what about the data?

Most corporate software systems are all about moving data around. One department creates some data, another ingests and transforms it, a third aggregates and reports on it, and the finance people use all of it to figure out who owes what to whom.

Just as complex software systems evolve, interconnected in a myriad of ways, complex data relationships evolve, too. Systems are born in isolation, but inevitably start feeding data to, or taking data from, other systems. Often one database holds a system's transactional, day-to-day data, while another, independent database holds the same information in a denormalized, query friendly format, or in a full-blown datamart or data warehouse, taking data from a number of systems, and transforming it for analysis.

Just as an architect needs to understand the relationships between software systems, someone needs to understand the flow of data, storage formats, and business ownership of the information stored in the database.

And this position, one you might call a data architect, is one I don't hear much about.

And that is the question: how does your company deal with these top-down issues of data integrity, ownership, transformation, and analysis? Who is responsible, what are they called, to whom do they report, and what do they do?

Here are some topics that may spur discussion:

  • IT departments seem to organize in one of two ways: a centralized, horizontally-sliced, service-based organization, where teams are allocated on a project basis; a decentralized, vertically-sliced organization where teams are dedicated to departments or business areas. How is the position of software or data architect different for these two kinds of IT organization?
  • Software development groups are often separated into designers and developers; designers do more of the specification, while developers do more of the implementation. It is a natural progression to move from a design group into an architecture group. Database administration groups are less often organized this way. If your company has a position like a data architect, to what group (development, DBA, analysis, ...) does the position belong?
  • The position of software architect is naturally one of setting policy, specifying certain aspects of development. Data architects would have a similar role, specifying standards for schema and database implementation. How can these positions exist without causing tension and antagonism within the developers and DBAs?
  • The migration from developer to team leader to designer, or from DBA to system DBA is pretty clear. The progression of skills is clear. Architect and data architect, however, require as much skill in communication, management, and business as they do hard technical skill. The path to an architect position is not as clear; people who make good developers don't necessarily make good architects. How does a department develop these skills in their people?

Which Unwanted Sexual Gesture am I?

[via Geekers]