Nov 25, 2007

The End

It's been real, everyone. Bye.

No, but seriously. "It's All in the Timing", awesome name notwithstanding, has run its course.

I originally started the blog as a commentary on life, but my intention was to not make it personal.

Through my junior year of high school, the blog in fact got very personal, and I used it as a spout for my relationship troubles, social dilemmas, and activity updates. It helped me develop my "one-to-many" blogging writing style, and became a way for me to let off steam, or at least shoot my thoughts out into the world, even though posts would frequently consist of song lyrics or cryptic plays or poems.

In the last year and a half, my freshman and sophomore years of college, I've tried to make it lighter and more relevant to people other than me. Funny? I tried to do that too - maybe it worked, maybe it didn't. When Facebook started importing blog posts into Notes, I did that too, and for a couple of months kept up a weekly posting routine with whimsical, sometimes Seinfeld-esque entries.

So why should it end? I don't really know myself, but when I think about this blog, my feelings for it run very strongly in the past tense. It mostly represents my high school years, I suppose - the feeling of being a kid living with your family at home, being taken care of and fed, doing your homework and chores because your parents tell you to, and the general flavor of teenagerness that embodies high school and, to a lesser extent, my freshman year of college.

I turn twenty in a couple months (January 15, *cough cough*), and that flavor that permeated this blog is all but gone, with this last post sweeping up the lingering scraps of my need to project personal emotion online.

So, as a certain post was titled, what now?

Well, as I immerse myself deeper and deeper into the internet, and learn more and more about website and interaction design, and human-computer interaction, I've discovered a niche for a blog that talks about the principles of these disciplines in a way that a beginner, or close to beginner can understand. And, having teaching running so strongly in my family, I know that the best way to learn is by teaching to someone else.

And so "subject/oriented" was born. I hope to post fairly regularly on this new blog, and my articles will almost always be accessible to a novice audience, and hopefully should be interesting to all. I intend to write about what I'm currently learning in the field of interaction design, explore case studies of good (and bad) web design, and link to and offer commentary on other articles in the (and I hate to use this word) "blogosphere". There, it's done. Never using that word again.

I'm also making the switch from my good friend Blogger to a WordPress installation on my own server space. Blogger is amazing, and so, so simple to use, but fiddling around with WordPress is a really good learning experience for me, and I hope to use it in my web design much more in the future, so having subject/oriented on that platform will be a good step.

Well, that's about it. I'm going to try and have Facebook import my posts on the new blog as well, but the content probably won't be as colorful as these posts have been. Oh well - hopefully it'll be more useful to someone out there.



Sep 27, 2007

Halo 3 Opens Big

Halo 3 officially is the biggest thing ever, breaking launch records to become the single biggest U.S. entertainment launch ever with estimates of sales up to $170 million. That means it beat out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the book) and Spider-man 3 (the movie).

Aug 21, 2007

Recipe: Some Kind of Mutated Bruschetta

Here's something I came up with last night while watching Arrested Development: some sort of mutated bruschetta thing.

1. Dice a half tomato and about a fourth of a bell pepper.
2. Mix both together with a little bit of salsa, red pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano.
3. Serve with sliced, slightly toasted, bread. Garnish with lettuce.

Aug 20, 2007

An Ear to the Ground

As if we needed further proof that Google is awesome (mostly), the response today on their blog to the backlash against their discontinuation of their download-to-own/rent program shows us all that the company whose informal slogan is "Don't Be Evil" is, indeed, not evil. The basic impression on the online community was that Google shortchanged the people who had bought videos from them, giving them only Google Checkout credit, which, to some people, was much worse than actual money - and not much of it at that.
Google's response? Listen to the complaints, assume the customer is right, and give them more. Might I add that it seems that Google expended quite a bit of its own effort in this technically unnecessary but, I assume, very welcome move. The blog post is here.

And in other news, the design (made by Dan Cederholm) for the social community site centered around wine, Cork'd, got completely ripped off by some other site presuming to sell templates. Now that's just annoying.

Aug 10, 2007

The Paramecia Flies Again!

Just a quick plug for Brynn Shepherd's redesign of her website, Flying Paramecia, which was featured on no less than five CSS and design galleries:
  1. CssLeak
  2. CSS Mania
  3. Most Inspired
  4. CSS Clip
  5. CSS Impress
It's cool and, dare I say it, nifty. Go check it out.

Recipe: Quick Salad

A quick salad that I came up with the other day. Note: I don't use measurements like teaspoons and tablespoons, etc., because I don't know how.

1. Chop two leaves of romaine lettuce into chunks about an inch wide, put in a bowl.
2. Dice a half tomato and a half pear, arrange over lettuce.
3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Top with red wine vinaigrette dressing.

This works really well if you can find those fresh, crispy pears, but normal pears work fine as well. The salad should end up kind of sweet.

Aug 9, 2007

Teaching: The Real Story

Really excellent article here on how different teaching is in real life than in the movies by Tom Moore on the New York Times website.

And here's the digg entry, if that's your flavor. This article (and issue) deserves visibility.

Aug 8, 2007

I'm Quite Serious

I absolutely refuse to get into a theological discussion with anyone (outside of my family, best friends, and significant other) unless that person gives me $20 to keep until I've decided that they've said something new and/or enlightening, at which point I will return it to them.

Jul 23, 2007

A Healthy Sense of Self-Crappiness

When I wake up every morning, and regard my scrawny, gangly body and my rather unremarkable (some would say repulsive) features, I typically content myself with the knowledge I've devoted myself, more or less, to developing and sharpening my mind.

And then people like Natalie Portman come along.

Natalie Portman's psychology major from Harvard completely obliviates what small sense of self-worth I have. There are, of course, many Harvard psychology graduates, but none with such gorgeous looks and poise - indeed, few other actresses look as good with a shaven head, proving it's not all makeup.

She speaks or has studied five languages - five! She's co-authored two research papers that were published in scientific journals. She's a vegetarian (okay, that one probably only interests me). And she portrayed herself as an angry gansta rapper on SNL. Wikipedia's term, not mine.

That's when I get a sudden surge of "wait, what have I done with my life again?".

Jul 22, 2007

Re: Vista Sparks Stronger XP Sales

As seen on Computer World here.

But really, that makes a lot of sense. Many, many companies tend to stay one OS release behind current, meaning that up until now, they were all using Windows 2000 or (God forbid) Windows ME. These companies are simply upgrading to XP now - it's not like people are purchasing Vista and then repurchasing XP.

Jul 21, 2007


Just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

It took me seven hours from when it was released.

And it was good.

I feel a little like a part of my childhood just ended with that last page, but you know what? I think I'm okay with that.

Jun 28, 2007

Facebook Down?

I'm getting a strange error alert message whenever I try to visit the login page on Facebook or login from the home page:

"Error establishing an encrypted connection to Error Code: -12188."

Anyone know what this is?

Jun 27, 2007

My Moleskine

So recently I've taken to... starting blocks of text or speech with the word "so" - probably a bad habit; anyways...

So recently I've taken to using a Moleskine notebook again - first casually, just because I needed some way to keep track of bugs, fixes, and to do lists for the mySQL database manager I'm building (TableSettings) and also for the work I'm doing for BASIK, but then I started to read more about it, and there's a lot of stuff online about how to use Moleskines (or really any notebook, but the Moleskine seems to inspire, oddly enough, both organization and creativity) productively, to help organize your life. So here are a couple of my own Moleskine hacks, as they're called.
The first is using an ink or gel pen that you're comfortable with (my pen of choice: the Pilot G-2, a carryover from my debater days. In fact, I once knew a debater who could write on a moving bus with a Pilot G-2 and have it come out like type.). Not much of hack, but it makes writing in the book so much more pleasurable (as if it wasn't already).
The second is to draw a line across the top of the page, about half an inch down, and use that area to "tag" the content on the page - "TableSettings", "New Site Ideas", "Doodles", etc.
Third, I use small boxes that I fill in to mark off to do lists, instead of just drawing a check next to the item - the solid blocks of ink are much easier visually for me than the lines of a checkmark.
Finally, I'm using a system I found somewhere (I lost it, that's why the word "somewhere" isn't a link to it), wherein you have two durable tabs - one marking the next blank page and one marking the last page that you have stuff you need to do on. This way, everything between the tabs needs your attention (kind of like the inbox in the Getting Things Done system) and everything before the tabs is "archived" (a la Gmail). Finally, I have flimsier Post-It tabs of a different color which I use to "star" (also Gmail-esque) items that I might need to refer to later or are interesting - ideas, interesting drawings, and so on.
Oh, and one more thing - when I'm at a computer, I keep my Moleskine open next to me, to my left (because I'm left-handed). This way I can use the mouse and arrow keys with my right hand, and access my notebook with my left hand.
The entire system works pretty well together, but we'll see if I can keep this up. I think the key to organization is possibly to make it fun to be organized and/or to organize, and this may be it for me.

Jun 20, 2007

The Dilemma

So it turns out the one of the songs on my "No Words" playlist has words. I guess I never actually listened to the song all the way through before creating the playlist of which (the intro of) this song was an instrumental (pun intended) part.
So now do I take the song off the playlist? Or do I change the playlist's name to "Almost No Words" or something similar?
Leave a comment and let me know (also suggest a name for the playlist if it's the latter). A cookie to the smartest answer (and I'm talking a small file residing impishly on your computer recording your browser session).

Mar 12, 2007

On Routine

Routine can be, well, monotonous, but it can also be very comforting. Today was the first day back at school after spring break, and I quickly settled into my normal Monday-morning progression.
Wake up, leave the quad, go to the cafe and order my usual mocha with an extra shot of espresso. Today I tried an Odwalla bar (which I've never had before), but that, too, is part of the routine - I typically switch around what I eat.
While routine can be nice, it also brings forward, sometimes painfully, the repetitiveness of everyday life. This routine happens nearly every Monday, but also Wednesdays and Fridays, for weeks and weeks, only broken by events like spring break or a cancelled class (or oversleeping, for that matter). Is that bad? Not necessarily, but in the end, you really have to find something that changes to keep you going. Doing the same things for days and days on end tends not to have a purpose unless you're reaching some finish line, or achieving some goal. End of the semester? Perhaps. Graduating from college? Maybe.
But I like to find smaller things, more specific and detailed aspects of my life that I can progress in. Today I'm going to take notes on my laptop in Sociology (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, right after Computer Science), and I'm going to make them detailed and easy to study from. Today I'm going to finish my computer model in 3D Modeling (Mondays and Wednesdays).
Sometimes it feels like life is made up of the same patterns, over and over and over and over again. But when you look closer, or perhaps when you take a step back and take in the big picture, things change over time, and that's what routine is for - it helps us digest and accommodate the change in a way that improves our lives.

Feb 12, 2007

On Footnotes

While reading the book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman recently, I remembered something that has bothered me for quite some time. This is, I wish they would make the little numbers that refer to footnotes just a bit bigger. I always read the page, and then arrive at the end of it, ready to move and then - wait...there's more! But where was it supposed to go? What was this supposed to annotate, add to, or support? Then inevitably comes the long hunt back through every word of the page, looking for the microscopic number to the right of, and a little above, what is often some arbitrary word. By the time I've found it, it's ruined, because I have, of course, already perused the footnote in order to glean some information about what word the corresponding number is attending to, or at least in what section of the page it is hiding.