Saturday, October 13, 2007

Closing the Doors

To all 8 of you out there who're subscribed to my feedburner feed, thank you. It's been great. Okay, that's probably a lie....but seriously, thank you for keeping your RSS software pointed at my feed in the unlikely event that I'll post something.

You may have noticed that the frequency at which I've been posting to this place has dropped to less than a trickle. In fact, I've done almost nothing in any of the online spaces I supposedly inhabit for quite awhile now. It took some time, but I've slowly realized that some thinking needs to be done about this. After some stewing, simmering, and slow pressure-cooking on this subject, I've decided that the time has come to withdraw from this particular scene.

Some things of (possible) note:

  • I first launched into "this blogging thing" at the end of 2003. This was not long after I'd adjusted to college life, and had access to high-speed Internet access 24/7. I was a very different person back then. I cranked out 13 whole posts before the New Year rolled around.
  • I posted 265 times in 2004. It was never a consistent flow, and I was pretty much all over the map. That's what happens when you grow up and evolve, I guess. Man, I was a serious monster in February.
  • 2005 was a bit more reasonable, and better spread out. Still no real coherent vision though. But hey, it can be somewhat liberating to just write one's thoughts.
  • Early 2006 showed some evolution and focus in this place. Somehow I drew the notice of GeeksAreSexy, and was brought on board as a contributor, and as a kind of co-editor after awhile. A lot of the techie musings and whatnot that had been emerging over here pretty much migrated over there. It was a good thing for [GAS], but probably not so hot for my flying kitchen appliance.
  • Right around the time I had two forums to post my thoughts, the frequency of thought and the energy to digest and render them in writing waned. It's a little ironic that this "height" corresponded with the beginnings of the end, though I didn't know this yet.
  • 2006 also saw me purchase my own domain and web-hosting. I fully intended to move this blog to a new home over there, including all prior posts, but I never managed to make the time to do so.
  • This post is only the 6th one that's made it out for 2007. The last post prior to this one was in April. Since then, a number of noteworthy things have happened (passed orals, graduated from Whitman, got a full-time job in IT) that for whatever reason didn't make a blog post happen. Do you see the trend?
I've come to the realization that this just isn't my thing anymore. I'm a different person now, with different priorities, energies, and time constraints. As those of you who know me personally will attest, I love to share (and sometimes knowledge-vomit), but I can't make it happen here anymore. It takes too much time and energy to distill my swirling brain-waves into a semi-coherent, semi-polished blog post. There are too many other things that demand my attention, both on- and off-line.

I'm now refactoring how to push information out to the people I know care about listening. More signal, less noise. More two-way conversation, less shouting into a dark and echoing void. It's time to migrate and evolve.


Bah. I don't like dead-ends either, so I'll leave you with a link to my ClaimID profile: How very meta of me. See you around the web.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cake for Breakfast

22 years ago today, I ceased being a parasitic organism, and began my existence as an independent human animal. As such, I find it entirely appropriate that my breakfast today consisted of cake.

While on most occasions this would be great cause for happiness and celebration, the best word to describe my feelings over the last 24 hours or so would be "complicated." This is mostly associated with Thesis.

Our show went up in the Sheehan Gallery over this past week. The gallery opening was last night. It was good....and very much a relief. All that's left now is to survive/pass orals (mine is on this coming Monday). This was unfortunately overshadowed by the blazing critiques that all of us were subjected to by the "visiting artist" that was brought in to judge our stuff (it's part of some traditional award-thing that we have to be a part of through no real choice of ours or our faculty's). Nothing like a bit of harsh criticism that, despite its relevance and validity was poorly and impersonally delivered with almost no tact whatsoever, to blast away any self-confidence we had left....right before we presented our work to the world. Needless to say, the evening was not the wash of relief it should have been.

Thankfully, the above uncoolness was heartily balanced by awesomeness and warm-&-fuzzies. Dinner was had with The Parents and The Girlfriend after the gallery opening, with some healthy venting to be had that didn't involve me punching my chair. Later last night, there was a "Yay, the Gallery Opening is Done" shindig at a fellow art-major's place, with some fellow artists and other close friends. Then, this morning (err, afternoonish), I made my way down to the local coffee shop to hang out and get some work done (which so far has amounted to writing this post). Another one of my fellow art-majors works at said coffee shop, and we had a delightful couple minutes of hangout time. The Girlfriend was also randomly lurking in the shop, getting some work done. Our chance encounter turned into hangout time when my coffeeShop-working colleague brought over two ginormous slices of cake.

Having cake with one's Special Someone, courtesy of a wonderful colleague, is a hard breakfast to beat.

There's another shindig later tonight with most of my Close Friends and colleagues, probably involving more cake, a bit of booze (we're all actually of legal age now...scary), and a bad movie. Should provide enough happy-vibes to get me through Orals, after which there'll probably be yet another art-major shindig.

No matter how crappy things feel (or really are, or whatever), life is still good when one is surrounded by the Good Peoples I've somehow managed to find.

I love you all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why I "Need" a Giant Display(s)

I posted a couple days ago about how I am becoming over-saturated with information. Realization just struck as to WHY this is the case, and a person much smarter than I has a number of good blurbs that explain this incredibly well. It also explains my need to surround myself with lots of screens, and to lust after deliciously large displays that make my bank account cry.

Basically, the explanation is as follows:

  • I have a strong case of N.A.D.D.
  • One of the symptoms of this is that I think a lot, and thinking is messy. Seriously, my brain's continual somersaulting sometimes gets in the way of sleeping. Rands' two "truths" (consequentially revealed by his N.A.D.D.), fit perfectly in my manifestation of the phenomenon.
  • My methodology for organizing the chaos has evolved to take advantage of increased screen sizes and resolutions. Giant swaths of screen real estate don't slow you down when you're a keyboard jockey.
If you've ever been curious about the peculiar habits of a nerd you know, the articles linked here should provide some useful insight. Fellow N.A.D.D.-ers will likely smile and nod. There's now a term to point to that might offer an explanation to those who don't manifest N.A.D.D.

Friday, April 06, 2007


The two weeks of vacation mentioned in the previous entry, and the subsequent weeks since then have been somewhat illuminating. When comparing the two blocks of time side-by-side, they couldn't be more different.

California time was spent relaxing, on the road, or wandering around. The majority of these two weeks was spent without Internet access. I zoned out. I was unplugged.

Since I've been back, my digital world has wrapped itself around me again, in all it's interesting and overwhelming glory. And of course there's school work and thesis junk that has required significant portions of my gray-matter resources.

In light of these two diverse bits of time butting up directly with one another, I've come to notice something that afflicts not only me, but all manner of other people (whether they realize it or not). I am over-saturated with information. It's everywhere, and in such densities that I'm having trouble absorbing it.

As a full-time student (for not much longer!), it's my job to absorb, parse, and replay as much of the information that's thrown at me as possible. As an information technologist (y'know, that whole web-design/tech-support/techie-manager thing I do), I spend most of my professional and "hobby" time either planning and building systems to manage information, or absorbing/parsing/moving information pertaining to this subject. As a self-professed technology geek, I am a hardcore information consumer. My feed list is rather massive (even after trimming it down), and the volume of audio and video netcasts I suck down and intake sometimes feels absurd. Oh, and I sometimes generate a bit of content as well. Unless an active effort is made to stem the tide, it's not hard to be inundated with this stuff during every waking moment...or risk "getting behind".

Usually it's fun, for the most part. The data I surround myself with is largely stuff I want to consume. I find it interesting, engaging, and potentially useful for me. But recently it's been too much. Unplugging for two weeks not only felt good, it was sorely needed. Further trimming is needed, and then some more quality unplugged-time.

Think about it. Maybe you need some unplugged-time too.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Still Alive Still

Firstly, let me apologize to all seven of you who're subscribed to this thing. It's been a number of months since I've updated anything here, which is somewhat shameful. I feel like this is the longest lapse-in-posting I've had since I started this whatever-this-is a couple of years ago. But it's okay, because I feel like I've had little worthwhile to say.

Secondly, as is obvious by the fact that I'm writing this, I have not fallen off the edge of the earth. Yes, there is an edge, and it's rather sharp. Because the world is flat. Didn't you hear?

My current state of affairs is as follows:

  • Last semester of Whitman is close to being over. I have a thesis to do, orals to prepare for, and classes to finish. I am very much looking forward to taking a break from academia.
  • I'm still involved with IT stuff here at school (teaching a semester-long web design seminar with a buddy of mine, in addition to the usual stuff), and am occasionally putting up things over at [GAS].
  • I went on an absolutely wonderful trip through California with my house mates (two of whom are native Californians).Considering some of the places we saw, I would not at all be unhappy to end up living somewhere down there some day, though I wish it wasn't so prohibitively expensive in some of the spots that jived well with me. There are more pictures around somewhere, if you know the secret special handshake (or I gave you the address).
  • I got my paws on a Gorillapod and took some long-exposure night-time photos of down-town Walla Walla. It was an extremely therapeutic experience, and made me realize how much I like this "photography" thing.
  • The small cat has gotten significantly less-small. She's kind of round now. Cute.
  • I still have no real "website". I did, however, update the picture that graces the single useless page I do have. I seem to just be using my web space as a "server" for a bunch of stuff that doesn't really need public illumination.
  • I'm doing the first rewrite of my resume since I applied for my current job...which was 3 years ago. It's being done in HTML/CSS (I like writing rich documents) and is stored in Subversion (for easy branching and stuff). How nerdtastic is that?!
I'm not sure when I'll be writing here next, considering everything else that is completely consuming my time...but I swear this thing isn't dead yet. Even if it's only in my head for right now, this blog (or whatever) is still evolving. Just keep me in your feed list, and you can safely ignore me until something new and shiny happens.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I've been very much in "cave" mode for awhile now. For those who know how my brain works, you'll know that a lot of stuff happens upstairs when I'm in this mode, most of it not great. But, I'm still very much alive, and there are some things that simply don't change.

I adore beautifully-designed pieces of technology that somehow embody a paradigm shift in the way we interact with machines, manage our data, and (most importantly) interact with each other.

Something happened today that has brought me out of my cave enough to write a little. It's called the iPhone.

I've waited a long time for a device like this, and the Big Picture that this represents is largely a...well....awesome one. The nitpicks and technical nuances of this beast will be discussed later, when more is known about it, and more people have gotten their paws on it. For now, I'm just going to sit here in my puddle of drool and relish the beauty, even if it's a superficial thing.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Out of the Bubble, Into the Apple and Turkey

I've finally once again managed to poke my head out of the Whitman Bubble. However brief it may be, it sure feels good to breathe the sweet sweet air of the Larger World.

It's been a few days since I got back to Washington after mucking around in New York. My fellow senior art majors and I had the opportunity to go on a partially-funded trip to The Big Apple, and see some fantastic artwork. My reactions to the whole experience can be described most simply as "complicated". This isn't to say that I didn't have a good time, I'm just able to recognize that it is nowhere near the simplicity of "fun". It was an excellent, eye-opening trip, and I wish that I had more time to wander around and experience the city.

I may write about these "complicated" thoughts here at some point, I may LJinate them, or I may just tuck them away in my scruffy head. Or, if you run into me, you may be able to coax them out with a little work/bribery.

Also, it's one of those odd American holidays again. So, since I've got my head sticking out of the Bubble at the moment, I might as well wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope the feasting and the merriment went well, and that some serious thankfulness rattles around in your heads for at least a brief moment today. Peace!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The things I find...

...when looking for graphics to use in a perfectly innocent blog post...

Interesting, to say the least.

Red and Blue

I'm not dead, I'm just sick, tired, stressed, over-worked, unhappy-with-school, and generally haven't had time or energy to write anything. Neither here nor elsewhere.

However, a couple of recent software releases have brought a brief speck of happy light to Matt-land. I just so happened to have written about this elsewhere rather than here. I guess I could post a redundant picture or two, just in case you people don't feel the need to follow my links. I'll be back later, when my universe is has settled down a bit. Until then, "Rediscover the Web AGAIN!"

And say hello to a new and shinier penguin while you're at it...


Saturday, September 23, 2006


Flogging Molly went on tour pretty recently. Last night, they stopped at Whitman.

It was excellent.

There's something to be said about good concerts. The good bands have stage presence and energy that adds an almost undefinable quality to their music. If a band doesn't have "it", the concert is beyond lame. Flogging Molly has serious loads of "it".

It was also amusing to watch the crowd-surfers. Dudes, how did you not see all the signs? Getting to see your drunk/stoned butts tossed out of the concert brought amusement to me, but it must suck to be you. You idiots missed out on some serious awesomeness.