Category: Archived

Scientists Reveal True Face of Jesus…and He Had a Mullet

At last scientists have discovered the real face of Jesus. Broad features, dark skin and an expression that says “really? This is what you guys have spent the last five years studying?

The clincher is the hair. Leviticus says that ye shall not round the corners of your head. And the Apostle Paul says men shouldn’t have long hair. So scientists split the difference and gave Jesus a mullet.

Remember, these are the same scientists who told us that saturated fat is bad for us and that happiness makes you live longer.

[Via Complex | photo: BBC Photo Archive]

Spooky Pageviews at a Distance

I’ve been working pretty hard to promote our eCommerce site, Open Door. And we’re slowly and surely getting traffic. But something weird is happening. I’m seeing quantum effects of all this promotion.

I’m posting and promoting Open Door but I’m seeing most of the growth here on Wild Rye. What the heck? Is this evidence of Einstein’s bogie showing up in my page metrics?

Or maybe I’ve got some Wild Rye ad code in my ads for Open Door.

*sigh*

Photo by Luke Pamer via Unsplash

52 Boxes – Cleaning the Garage as a Way of Life

My howling nightmare of a garage didn’t just get this way by itself. It’s been a thousand bad decisions over the course of years. So this year I’m committed to tackling one box a week and emerging with perfect order and clarity of mind.

Box of packing peanuts

Box 1 Styrofoam Nuggets

Because I’m getting a late start I’m going for the low-hangning fruit here. The only decision to make with a box of packing peanuts is how to recycle them. Our local curbside recycler won’t take styrofoam of any kind. There are other ways to recycle packing peanuts but I’m opting to reuse them. Dump the peanuts in a garbage bag, collapse the box. Boom. I’m done.

Topa Topa Is My Everest

Lesson to be learned – one shouldn’t go from zero adventure to 8 on the strenuous meter in a single day. I’ve always wanted to hike to the top of the TopaTopa bluffs because, you know, they are there. So when Jeff put out the invite and said the trail was 10 miles (which I interpreted as roundtrip, not each way) I jumped at the chance.

Really I knew better, having read the write-up on Homer’s Travels.

The hike in was 6.8 miles with a 1735 ft. gain in elevation. There was rain and I couldn’t remember if my pack had a rainfly so I used my anorak to guard the pack and got soaked to the skin. We camped by some boulders at Chief Peak. We had more rain, freezing wind and our tents were iced.

There were snow flurries in the morning but the rest of the day was clear. 16.7 miles, 2014 ft. ascent, 3573 ft. descent. Got to the point where the smallest incline had me gasping for breath – like Hillary near the peak of Everest. And near the peak is as close as I got, lagging behind Jeff and Kevin who summited.

The hike back was a death march. Not sure how I made it. Feet were ground skinless by my overly stiff Vasque boots.

I wouldn’t do it again for the world – not without being in better shape. But it was worth doing this once.

Did I Just Get a Message from God?

roadmap to my future?

I walked into my office this morning to find my Master Plan to Rule the World peeling off my thinkboard.

Oddly enough my “roadmap” for managing the family trust fund (which btw was taped on top of the Master Plan) was still on the thinkboard. Is this God’s way of telling me to stay focused on the roadmap?

Like Jesus on Toast

How much attention should we pay to random, yet seemingly meaningful happenings? Maybe such events are just Jesus on toast.

Or maybe something deeper is afoot. If a random pattern is indistinguishable from a picture of a face, then how are we to say that it is not, in fact, a picture of a face. Likewise if a fortune cookie or a supermarket horoscope is accidentally meaningful, then how can we say it has no meaning?

I guess the only way to know for sure is to butter the toast and bite.

The Day After Christmas and the Psychology of Storage

Credit: Florian Klauer

So here we are. Most of us just shelled out over $700 for Christmas presents – sure, that’s down slightly from previous years but it still means something on the order of five to 75 new objects joining the parade of crap that comes into our lives.

The neat freaks among us manage to prioritize and purge, clearing out their closets and donating stuff to charities where it either goes back on the market locally or gets baled and shipped abroad where our cast-offs compete against local industries in third world countries. The rest of us simply collect more junk until there’s no place else to stash the junk and it goes into storage.

Self-Storage Is Storage for Your “Self”

One of the things that makes it tough to let go of our crap is that we confuse what we own with who we are. As if that’s not bad enough, the brain interprets parting with belongings the same way it interprets physical pain.

For me personally it looks like 2014 is going to be a tough year. I’ve maxed out our closet space and garage storage and now I have my mother’s belongings to deal with. And the cost of storage is quickly going to add up to more than the stuff is worth.

The Trouble with a Cluttered Mind

The problem with clutter is that every time you see a pile of unordered junk your mind wants to start processing it and it saps energy from the task at hand. For me personally it has gotten to the point where it is difficult to navigate my space and find stuff I want. But I think there is another problem – all this clutteration becomes an identity issue – I don’t know who I am or where my focus should be because there are simply too many options.

2014 The Year of Living Dangerously

De-crapification has got to be my next big project if I want to keep my sanity and move ahead with my life. I don’t really have a plan. I accept that it’s going to be painful. And we’ll see how this adventure goes.

[Image: Florian Klauer via Unsplash]

In Time for Mother’s Day: Long Stemmed Bacon

Nothing says “I love you” like a bouquet of bacon. kaptaink_cg gives us this mouth-watering Instructable showing the finer points of making artificial roses out of bacon.

Flowers make a nice gift to the friend that needs a smile or for that special someone in your life. Roses are even better. But sometimes even roses don’t cut it. Sometimes you need something a little more non-cliché, something…extraordinary… Sometimes, you need BACON.

Five easy steps with helpful tips in the comments (ie use a nail to punch the bottom of the muffin tin. No shavings plus it will help the grease drain better.)

Bacon Roses Via Neatorama

How to Blog Like Jason Kottke

Jason Kottke calls his blog a wunderkammer, a cabinet of curiosities. Spare and minimalist in design, with only one banner ad, Kottke’s blog is populated with just a few short posts every day. Topics range from typography to children’s books, design, cooking, soccer and interesting technology. For somebody who clearly has a very strong sense of visual aesthetics, Kottke’s blog is remarkably uncluttered by images.

Kottke’s sources include some of the usual suspects, Waxy and Etsy, but also a lot of Twitter referrals and a growing number of links back to Stellar, the new social bookmarking service that he is launching.

This Week: Shadow Blogging Jason Kottke

This week I’m going to pay close attention to, and maybe even blog in the style of, Jason Kottke.

Kottke once held the #80 spot in the Technoratti Top 100 blogs. He’s dropped in standings but remains a remarkable blogger owing to his highly interesting posts and sparse, minimalist presentation.

Kottke is currently working on Stellar, which looks like a mash-up of tumblr and Stumble Upon.

How to Blog Like Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow at work

photo by Jonathan Worth, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

For the past week I’ve been following sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow as he posts on BoingBoing. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Be prolific. Doctorow posts anywhere from eight to sixteen posts a day.
2. Use pictures. Doctorow almost always includes a picture and he’s meticulous about the attribution.
3. Quote the material. A fair use snippet of text lets you provide an overview of the material in the original author’s words.
4. Be diverse. Doctorow’s subjects include intellectual property rights, copyright, privacy, science fiction, comics, toys and anything Cthulhu-related.
5. Use many sources. Neatorama and Super Punch appear to be a couple of Doctorow’s favorite sources, but he gets a lot of referrals and appears to have a robust set of feeds for gathering primary source material.
6. Take the weekends off. I don’t know if Doctorow ever posts on weekends but from my one-week sample it looks like his peak hours are Monday to Friday in the morning.

Netflix Gets Interesting: John Cassavettes’ Shadows

A couple of months ago we cut the cable and bought a Roku box, relying on Netflix Watch Instantly. To our huge disappointment we found that most of the movies we wanted to watch were not available for streaming. Moreover, Netflix’ recommendations were terrible. Mostly trashy adolescent comedies and B action movies.

Then by some magic combination of my viewing combined with my wife’s viewing and diligent use of the ratings feature, suddenly the recommendations got really interesting.

Last night I watched John Cassavettes’ Shadows, a movie that virtually invented the independent film category. Most striking is the completely natural and unforced way the movie presents its characters. It’s like you’re experiencing a slice of bebop culture from the 50s. There’s no storyline to speak of, the script was completely improvised. But the characters are so compelling that you almost feel like you know them. The film is essentially a film about race, but it does this by inviting you inside the main characters and making you feel that race isn’t even an issue. Until suddenly it does become an issue, like a cold slap in the face.

On Netflix

Blog Experiment #53: Shadow-Blogging

I am amazed, baffled and tremendously envious of people who can make even a fraction of their living by blogging. So I decided to do something about it.

Starting this week I am going to try my hand at shadowing another blogger and learning what exactly it is that they do. What are their topics? How often do they post? What are their sources? What can I learn from all this?

We’ll see how it goes. Then I’ll post about that.

Who should I shadow first? First up: science fiction writer Cory Doctorow.

[Photo by Cornava]

Adventure on My Doorstep, Small Adventures

In the quest for small adventure I asked myself what’s the smallest adventure a person could have? I think it starts with discovering what’s going on right outside your front door.

I decided to take a peek at what’s taking place on my doorstep and was a little surprised to see that the concrete steps are riddled with stress fractures. I’ve never thought much about this – it’s the Evil Home Owner Association’s problem, not mine. But this fractured concrete signals a very profound level of activity taking place outside my general level of awareness.

The earth is settling. Our condominiums are apparently built on an old arroyo that was filled with dirt, boulders, and (legend has it) old wrecked cars.

I tend to think of Home as being a place somehow separate from Nature. A neutral place, a kind of default location. But the cracked cement steps outside my front door suggest otherwise. Everything is part of a great swirling drama of entropy and change. Some adventures are taking place on a different time scale is all.