Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BrainJams in Review

This past Saturday marked the fourth BrainJams held in six months. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect us to get to this point, but at the same time, this feels so right, I am actually surprise there have only been four events to date.

The Berkeley event was an interesting experiment as it was ‘set up’ to pay homage to Lee Felsenstein and the Homebrew Computer Club. The Homebrew launched this type of unconference over 30 years ago and there is so much we can learn from the past to make sure we make the most of the future. Lee has an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom to share, and it was an honor to have him spend his day with us.

We played with the morning format a bit and for the sake of time, the decision was made to forego the one-on-one speed networking. I understand why we had to do it, but I was disappointed nonetheless as I believe this is a hallmark of the BrainJams events and a big part of what makes BrainJams so special. It also helps connect people immediately which can create a unique energy amongst the group and enable deeper conversations to happen faster. Note: I spoke with Chris about this during lunch and he agreed, so we will be bringing the one-on-one speed networking back to all future events.

While the new morning format did experience some hiccups, it was important to test the waters to verify what works best at these events, and the beauty of the way they are set up is it only took a slight modification to the agenda and the afternoon turned into an amazing jam session. Whalaa. Like magic.

Speaking of the afternoon jam - one of the breakthrough sessions I participated in was a discussion on the future of BrainJams. Basically, what do we need to do to seed the community and build a viable long-lasting organization that has passionate, vested, ‘members’/’attendees’ (I use the word ‘members’ loosely). There was incredible feedback given from the participants in this group, so I wish to extend a big ‘thanks’ to Shannon Clark, Dave Buerlind, Cathryn Hrudicka, Rachel Murray, Bill Allison, David Allen, and Dan Genova for their insights and willingness to devote their time to making BrainJams extraordinary. You have renewed my faith and solidified the fact that I need to do whatever it takes to help Chris build this organization. So again – thank you!

Overall I felt the event was a success, and with the feedback from the various participants, we have a solid plan to make BrainJams a sustainable and successful non-profit.

Technorati tags: brainjamsbrainjams25feb2006homebrewcomputerclub web20 unconference

Friday, February 24, 2006

Zombie March - San Francisco (Round II)

I love this city. Pillow fights. Zombie marches. Creativity at its finest.

My buddy
Scott just posted notice about the Zombie March San Francisco, taking place tonight (Friday, February 24th). Seems you can throw on your rattiest garb, don you best fake scar, grab a 40 (or two) of Old Milwaukee, and head to Union Square at around 9pm to join other zombies looking to dance their arses off to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'.

I really love this man Scott. Somehow he found a way to promote our
BrainJams event tomorrow within this posting for the zombie march:

P.S. Dear zombies, please keep away from
BrainJams, those are not the brains you are looking for.

Too funny.

Technorati tags: zombies zombiemarch zombiemarchsf brainjams brainjams25feb2006 laughingsquid

Thursday, February 23, 2006

West Coast represents - sort of.

This past December, Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell from SNL did a hilarious rap on the Chronicles of Narnia which jammed up the internet for weeks. I first saw it via my buddy Andy over at MyEastBayAgent and have since replayed it for everyone I know. Truly hilarious. NBC ordered YouTube to pull the video down, but you should be able to still see it here http://www.slate.com/id/2133316/

One of my favorite lines:

Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = crazy delicious

The West Coast reciprocates with a rap called LAZY MONDAY by Mark Feuerstein, Sam Friedlander, and Adam Stein featuring Color Me Mine – fashizzle. Not as funny as the SNL rap – but worth a listen to. http://www.narniarapbattle.com/.

One of their little ditties:

We rock the mike like the boys from Hanson
We got better bodies than Scarlett Johansson
You know my sweet ride is crazy insane
Clocking thirty five in the
carpool lane
On the way we be kicking it live
NPR on the 405
Google Maps may be sweet, but this I promise
Nothing compares to a
guide by Thomas.

And if you happen to live in the MidWest – no worries – Chris and Kirby ensured you were officially represented. Check the boys hanging at the Elk's lodge in Muncie, Indiana. Highlight of the day is when Jim Davis (of Garfield fame) gives us a gang sign. Pretty funny. http://www.lazymuncie.com/.

Some funnies:

I take up three spaces
No need to valet

If you don’t like it here
Move your ass to Ft. Wayne

Technorati tags: saturdaynightliveskit snl lazysunday lazymonday crazymuncie whiteboysrapping rapping funnylyrics

Is your calendar full?

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Nancy has been a wonderful ‘go to’ for me with her extensive knowledge of the networking channels available for event postings. Sure I can go directly to Upcoming.org or CraigsList.org – but there are 100’s of calendaring sites out there I don’t know about that could provide wider audience potential, so Full Calendar is a great place to start. Check them out.

Technorati tags: fullcalendar calendarservice events eventpostings timesaver lifesaver

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Define: 'Feminist'

Note: I started this blog post on Sunday, but needed a couple of days to think it through before I put it up here. Would really appreciate feedback from everyone. Cross posted to http://www.woolfcamp2006.blogspot.com.

Photo: from CoyotesCorner.com

On Sunday, I was sitting in the workshop discussing gender and identity of blogs and realized I was feeling a little out of place. Most of the women in the room call themselves feminists and this is not a label I have ever applied to myself, nor is it a word I think others have used to describe me, and that word seems to be a driving force for the conversation we are in the middle of.

I do believe in equal rights, but I believe in equal rights for everyone – not just women. Have I ever stood on a soap box and demanded fair treatment for others – absolutely. Most of the time it has been in the work place and funny enough – I find myself fighting for the men who did not feel comfortable using their own voice as most of the women in my life would have no problem standing up and vocalizing what they want (and usually end up getting it). As I think about this more, I realize I have never heard any of my girlfriends or family members ever call themselves a feminist. We are simply human beings fighting for what is important to us. Maybe it was the environment I grew up in, or the ‘era’, but this terminology is all new to me (at least it feels new within the context of blogging).

Am I a feminist? Am I something else? Do I really need a label attached to who I am to make me more of who I am? If so, the list of labels is long and would never fit on a business card.

My mind is racing – do I stay in this room and remain involved in the conversation or do I run to my laptop and start researching what it really means to be a ‘feminist’. I realize my laptop will still be there in an hour, but this conversation would not, so I plant my feet and commit to learning more – straight from these smart, passionate women sitting around me.

Amber awakes the conversation going on within, and asks me to describe my blog persona and whether or not I think my readers know I am a woman. Blog persona? I don’t think I have one. Do I? As far as I knew, it is just little old me talking about what is going on in my life and what matters most (to me). I have no agenda, no plans for the future of my blog, no real desire to build an audience (it does intrigue me though). I seem to be a square peg being forced into a round hole with this conversation. I do not wish to be stereotyped with my blog – I wish to be free to discuss whatever is on my mind at that very moment. I am a human being who blogs, not a mommie blogger, not a feminist blogger, not a woman blogger, not Chris’ fiancé (or consort) who also blogs, and not a professional blogger.

As for what my audience thinks – I have no idea – but I am pretty darn sure they all know I am female as I have a photo in my profile and most of my readers are my friends and family. However, I am fairly certain they don’t think of Kiki’s Korner as a female blog. It is simply Kristie sharing her insights and thoughts – it is not important to me that I am a female blogger – only that the points I make are being discussed. Maybe I am naïve, but I am of the thought that people will read my blog because they like what I have to say – it doesn’t matter if I have a vagina or a penis.

The question for me comes down to why is there a need to associate with a label or stick me into a category? Isn’t this action in of itself contradicting the ideals of equality and attempts to rid the world of stereotypes? Isn’t this counter to the idea we promote in 'One love. One heart'? In the infamous words of Bob Marley…'let’s stick together and we will be alright'. It is not women – vs- men. Gay –vs- straight. Moms –vs- singles. Or gosh, I hope it isn’t. If it is, it isn’t the community I would call home – despite the loving kindness I felt from everyone I met – those extreme ideals may have their place and be needed in the world, but not my world. I choose to lead by example and to this end, I lead as an equal to all – man/woman, black/white, gay/straight, rich/poor – all human beings as one race, one people, one world together.

Ok, enough of my innermost thoughts on this delicate subject matter…the identity conversation now moves into a discussion on how women need to stand out in their blogs. Some of the actual phrases stated in this room are: ‘Men’s blogs are simple’ and ‘not important’ basically discounting anyone out there who happens to have a penis. ‘Women’s blogs should have insights’. ‘Powerful messages’. ‘We (women) should expect more from women bloggers’. Whoa I say. Why do women’s blogs have to be better than men’s? I surely don’t want that expectation on me (and if you have read my blog – you will see I am not out to win any medals here). This ‘expectation’ statement really strikes a chord as how can we fight for equality when we chose not to reciprocate? How can we set this standard for women and not expect the same from men? Why does one gender have to be better than another? Please, please, please. I don’t want to be disregarded as a woman, but I want to be seen as a human being first. The fact I have boobs, to me, is secondary. I will gladly sing along side with you in a rousing rendition of Helen Reddy’s ‘I am woman, hear me roar’. But I stand just as happily next to my fellow boys singing ‘Macho Man’. I am so confused.

The workshop ends and we all break for lunch. I catch up with Sarah in the kitchen and run my feelings past her. Sarah is one of those amazing old souls who is so in tune with herself – it scares me. Well, actually – it scares me someone so young can be that ‘with it,’ and at the same time, her spirit inspires me to want to ask more of myself. Anyway, I digress. After chatting with her a bit about the definition of ‘feminist’, I realize I should get some air and let it all sink in as I feel I have a lot to learn.

(fast forward 45 minutes later….)

I am back in the house and my thoughts have settled enough to start working through them, so I jump on my laptop to get Webster’s definition (I know, I am sooo old school) of ’feminist’. Webster tells me:

Feminist: noun. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

Ok, so I AM a feminist. Easy enough. If a label needs to be placed on me, I am comfortable with this Websters description though I still don’t see the need to claim a label in the first place. I also wonder how this action of labeling will affect me in the future. Today, I am a human being who blogs, who happens to be female. Three years from now, I might be a mommy and still have a blog. Does that automatically make me a mommy blogger? If I hold a picket sign one day promoting same sex marriage - am I now a gay rights activist - or just someone who cares for equal rights?

Too many questions that have no answers…I am still not in agreement with some of the things talked about in the earlier workshop, but that is the beauty of these gatherings – find topics that stimulate you and engage others in a discussion. I don’t expect us all to agree, but I do not wish to be kicked out of the ‘club’ just because I have a different point of view. What I want is to be embraced for the diversity of my opinion as much as I embrace those with whom I disagree with. I want to be accepted for being who I am, regardless of whether or not I fit someone elses label of me. It is really about respect for all human beings, regardless of race, gender, orientation or financial status. Everyone is valuable and everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.

I now find myself looking at the signup sheet for the afternoon topics, and opted for something a little lighter in nature. Podcasting and Vlogging being hosted by Chris and Lisa seemed to fit the bill... In the middle of this workshop, we had a small break as we waited for the equipment to catch up with the conversation, and the questions from earlier in the day caught up to me again. I decided now is as good as any to ask the big question so I look around the room at Grace, Amber, Elkit, Chris, Lisa, and Peter - and ask ‘What is a feminist and what does it mean to you’. Surprisingly, Peter is the first to respond. ‘I believe in equal rights for women. So, I guess that makes me a feminist’, he says. We all smile and I look up at Amber. ‘Is it that easy?’ I ask. ‘Or is there more’. As she is nodding her head ‘yes’, and before I get to ask her to explain the ‘more’ part - Chris and Lisa bring us back to the content of the workshop. Bugger. Note to self to delve into this with Amber later.

Unfortunately, the campers choose to end the day early, so I do not find myself with another opportunity to dig into the question that is burning in my mind. I find myself unloading all my thoughts on Chris on the way home, but quickly realize I need to circle this discussion back to the ladies who consider themselves 'feminists'. Maybe this continues in a blog format for now –or maybe we can get the WoolfCampers together for lunch – either way, I would love to hear your views on ‘What is a feminist?’ and ‘What does it mean to you?’ Perhaps more importantly, how can we all strive for equality without putting down people who are not exactly like us.

Technorati tags: feminist feminism woolfcamp girlsclub boysclub equalrights

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Wish I could start every morning this way...

  • Rolled out of bed at 8am
  • Had a cup of coffee (ok, I had two)
  • Chomped on some yummy coffee cake
  • Put my kicks on
  • Took a stroll around the harbour with Chris, Grace, E, Sarah, Tara, Amber and Debra to get the blood pumping for day #2
  • Started blogging when I should have been stretching, but such is life

I am blown away by the amazing people surrounding me. Strong- inspirational women, empassioned - open minded men. I am thrilled to have met everyone here and intend to keep in touch and learn more as they are the type of people that will help me to keep growing as a human being and ultimately make life much more interesting.

Thank you miss Grace for this opportunity to bond with some cool spirits.

Technorati tags:
woolfcamp sundaymorning inspirationalpeople

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Poetry reading con't

So everyone has busted out some lovely work (Sarah rocking a couple of slamming original works). Feeling the desire to contribute, what do I do? Why, I bust out a little something from the lyrical genius, Whitney Houston.

Ahem (clearing my throat):

I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I think need to hone my creative skills.

Technorati Tags:
poetry songlyrics whitneyhouston singerwannabe

Chaucer, Frost, Woolf, Heuer...

So after finishing off a phat dinner and dusting off several bottles of wine, we have decided to read a little poetry. Some from those already published - others have works of their own. Peter just finished a poem from Richard Wilbur (Advice to a prophet) which has set the tone nicely.

Chris is up next - stuff I have never heard of. Should be interesting. Opening up a side I have yet to be exposed to.

Grace has also promised us a haiku showdown - throwing back another glass of wine - gloves are off.

Technorati Tags:
poetryreading woolfcamp

And so it begins...

I am chilling in Santa Cruz at Woolf Camp with 30 bottles of wine at my fingertips. :) Spent a lot of my younger years here, so good to be back and should be a good weekend for all.

Grace has just asked that we spend seven minutes writing a little dity about ourselves that we will use as our introduction to the group. Funny me, I choose to use part of my seven minutes blogging about the excercise. Does that mean (1) I don't have much to say about myself, or (2) I have so much to say that I knew I couldn't fit it into seven minutes anyway?

P.S. 'WoolfCamp Winter 2006' photo courtesy of
Miss Grace.

Tags: woolfcamp santacruzgetaway writershaven

Friday, February 17, 2006

BrainJams Berkeley

It is amazing to think we are only one week away from our third BrainJams event. What I thought would be a one hit wonder has turned into something truly special, and I am blown away by the continued support we receive from the community. With their love, we are now ensured of a years worth of BrainJams with some truly emotional and inspirational ones coming down the pike.

The upcoming Berkeley event will be slightly old school as we pay homage to one of the founding fathers of the
Homebrew Computer Club, Lee Felsenstein. Lee will be co-facilitating with Chris, and they have concocted a few experiments for the attendees that should be fun for everyone involved.

We are also making great strides in building out the BrainJams community. Chris developed a Drupal site where everything can be stored and accessed easily. It is still be fleshed out and there is still so much more to add to it (anyone out there have mad skills in Drupal?), but it is a step in the right direction to ensure the knowledge shared at the BrainJams event(s) is accessible to everyone, and that anyone who wishes to host their own BrainJams has the tools to run a smooth show.

So I hope you will join us in the Lipman room on the U.C. Berkeley campus this coming Saturday (25th). Registration starts at 9am and we kick off the BrainJams unconference at 10am. We will have drinks, snacks, and a catered lunch – all compliments of our wonderful patrons – UCB Office of the CIO, Lockergnome, Gada.be, RateItAll, and Laughing Squid.

Technorati Tags: brainjams brainjams25feb2006 knowledgenetworking ucberkely homebrewcomputerclub lockergnome gada.be rateitall laughingsquid

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day muffin

I love you for being you – the other half of me.

How do I know you are the other half of me? Here are some examples:

  • We both have ‘Chris’ at the root of our names – Christopher and Christy (legal spelling until I changed it in 7th grade – yes, I was ahead of my time)
  • You have a cat named Ele, I had a cat named Ellie.
  • We owned the same exact set of silverware, so blending our houses was seamless as you know how much I like matching stuff. :)
  • We both own maroon vehicles.
  • We both loooooooooooove Dave Matthews.
  • You like buying me jewelry – I like wearing it. (hint hint)
  • Neither one of us are Nascar fans.
  • We both wear glasses - though mine is more optional these days.
  • We both have the same sense of home design. Well, we do now that you have seen things my way. :)
  • You like to cook, I like to eat.
  • You like to make messes, I like to clean. Or rather, I like things clean.
  • Neither one of us has been to Italy and it is in the #1 position on both of our travel lists.

So these are just a small sampling of my silly little ditties, but a simple way to show you are the yin to my yang. Oh wait, am I supposed to be the yin? Crap. I forgot. Anyway. I love you. With all my heart. Happy Valentines Day muffin.

Technorati tags: love happyvalentinesday heartholder yinandyang

Monday, February 13, 2006

Another cool event in D.C.

Looks like Washington D.C. is intent on making its mark on this world in other arenas than the political one. Three Web luminaries; Stowe Boyd, Dion Hinchcliffe and Ken Yarmosh have put together 'State of Web 2.0' being held on March 15th to discuss the next generation of the Web. We met Dion and Ken this past January when hosting a BrainJams and Geek Dinner event in D.C. Great guys and I am truly happy to see them building a community on the East Coast. If you are in town, please make an effort to join them and supoprt the 'cause'.

Technorati tags: dc20 web20 dcevents stateofweb20

It's alive!

A couple of weeks ago I stupidly dropped my Treo 650 into a glass of water. It didn't seem to take too well to being submerged in liquid, so I decided to change things up and bought the Blackberry 8700. After only a couple of days, I realize I hate the Blackberry. Ok, maybe 'hate' is a harsh word - but where it excels (email communication) is not where I really needed it to excel right now (phone).

I thought I did my research, but alas, it seems I was so focused on finding a replacement to house my calendar, email, tasks and contact list that I forgot the device needed to have a good call quality too as that is my primary form of communication (yes, I know...I am so Web 1.0).

So, I call Cingular and they happily offer to sell me another Treo for $175 more than what I originally paid for it, or I could switch to a Razr for a fraction of the cost. Trying to save money, I opted for the Razr for $150 and two days later it is now in my hands. Slim, lightweight - it seems to be all that I need in a phone. So I start adding in my contacts. What a pain in the butt to do this manually. Would be easier if there was some kind of software that I could type it in versus through the handset. But such is life and it seems to be a great phone.

Fast forward to three days later. I decided to take a moment and give my Treo a proper burial as it had been such a big part of my life. Why I felt the need to put it all back together before the burial, who knows. What happens next simply blows me away. I screw the back on, turn it over - hit the power for old times sake and whalaa - my Treo is back online. CHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! He comes running down the hallway to find me bowled over laughing like a silly little girl in the middle of the kitchen grasping my Treo tightly to my chest.

A day later the Treo is working perfectly. Stumped, but estactic to have my buddy back, I call Cingular and tell them I wish to return the Razr. No need for two gadgets and I just saved myself from spending $150 when I didn't need to. Surprisingly enough - they tell me to just return it and they will credit my account for not only the Blackberry, but the Razr as well.

For all the problems I had with Cingular over the last 10 months - they have really shone brightly this month. So thank you Cingular - it seems you have dusted off your Customer Service manual and are making an effort to do right by your customers again.

Technorati tags: treo650 blackberry8700 razr cingular cingularwireless customerservice goodcustomerservice backfromthedead

Who needs Vidal when you can have Damian...

I have been trying to grow my hair out over the last year and every time I get to that I just can't stand this length as it won't hold any style time, I always cut it off. Vicious friggin circle.

Enter Damian. Hair extension guru. And as luck would have it...he lives and works in my hood. For the same price of a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes (on sale), you can walk out of Damian's salon with a full head of lucious, down to your butt if you want, hair. Of course - if you have this type of hair naturally - bite me. But for those of us not blessed in that manner - it can be a fabulous experience that can literally change the way you walk. Or dress. Or feel. Crazy that hair can do that, but it does.

I was faced with the hard decision of sharing the love and letting everyone know about my second most favorite boy in the world and face the possiblity he will always be booked up -or- keep him as my own dirty little secret so I know I can always get in to see him when I need to. When it came down to it, I realized it was not fair to be that selfish - so here I am, praising and loving him in public. It also helped my decision when I saw someone from Splendora had written a piece on him, so I figured word was getting out whether I wanted it to or not. :)

I feel I must forewarn you though. Hair extensions are addicting. I pulled mine out last week as I wanted to start swimming everyday to get back into shape and rehab my knee (I have mentioned before how chlorine and sea water are bad for extensions). I can tell you it has been a painful week for Chris as I have bitched and moaned about how unlovely my natural hair looks and I am aching to put them back in. No worries Damian - I have you on speed dial in case the withdrawl gets to be too much.

For those interested in getting the glam look, he can be found at Hair Play on Church/Market or you can call the salon direct at 415.863.0703.

Technorati tags: hairextensions fashionista hairgod

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My boy never ceases to amaze me...

Chris was supposed to be flying out to Vancouver tonight to attend Northern Voice 2006 and give a presentation tomorrow on the new BrainJams community site he just launched. Unfortunately, he caught a flu bug a couple days ago and after much deliberation, decided this afternoon to cancel the trip and stay home to save 100's from contamination - ensuring now only I will catch the cold. :)

I have to admit - I was really pushing him to go as I felt it was a great opportunity to spend more quality time with those
we love and respect, while meeting new amazing people and spreading the BrainJams community love. Not to mention he had already forked out the moolah for the airfare and hotel expenditures and most of that cannot be recovered.

However, after hearing his
reasons, I realized he was dead on (again). Too many times people go into work or attend a function while feeling under the weather and cause a chain reaction of nose blowing and hacking coughs everywhere. I am as guilty as anyone and have only just recently realized it is ok to work from home or even go totally crazy and take the time off if needed to get healthy and reduce the possibilities of spreading my germs.

I love him for standing by his beliefs even if it means he has to make sacrifices in life. Granted, canceling a trip may not be seen as a huge sacrifice to some, but for us it is on so many levels. I am proud that Chris is willing to walk the walk and continues to lead by example in everything he does. Is he perfect - absolutely not - but I will leave the hamper story for another day. :) What he is, is a man willing to give endlessly of himself to help others succeed and prosper both personally and professionally. And I am thankful every day he is in my life.

Technorati Tags: leadbyexample boywonder flu beingsick loveofmylife

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Where's Craig?

Recently I decided to try and attend more techie events so could I stay up to date on what was happening in Silicon Valley while expanding my social circle a bit more.

So, tonight I started my new resolution and went to SDForum's 'Search SIG' event being held at the Google campus in Mountain View. The evening consisted of a 1-1/2 hour panel that included Bindu Reddy - the Product Manager of Google Base, Craig Donato - the founder/CEO of Oodle and Keith Teare - the founder/CEO of Edgeio (and partner of Michael Arrington). All three companies are pushing to change the way classified ads are handled.

As I was sitting there listening to them speak, I kept wondering why someone from Craigslist.org and eBay wasn't there to make this a really well rounded discussion. Both companies were pioneers in this space and while they may choose to do things differently than the three above - I would have thought they should have been there if the discussion is on the market of classified ads.

I don't know, maybe I misunderstood the intent of the discussion. Maybe I am just wired to think the best way to do a panel is to get a diverse group of people together to talk about the needs of the marketplace and work together to solve them - whether as open source applications or as for profit software. Maybe I just need to get out more and take my rose colored glasses off. Who knows.

I at least got to see the Edgeio demo before I made the long drive home and it will be interesting to see how quickly the overall market loves on it. It seems like experienced bloggers will adapt it quickly as they will be used to the format - but it relies on RSS feeds and even though I blog, I am a rookie at best and have yet to set up an RSS feed (but shhhhh - don't tell Chris as he will kick my butt as I SHOULD have done this by now). As for my mom or grandma adopting it, I don't know - they are really comfortable with the likes of Craigslist.org and eBay and I am not sure they have that many wild hairs left to try something that new. Though they could surprise me.

Technorati tags: classifiedsearch craigslist ebay edgeio oodle

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Good Lord - it's a wonder I can still breathe....

I have been dealing with what I believe to be a sinus infection for a really long time (since May 2005). I have blogged about this before, so I won't go into the gorey details now, but I think I am finally on the road to recovery - well, discovery at least.

Today I went in for a complete cycle of allergy testing that was suggested by my sinus surgeon at UCSF. Guess what? I seem to be allergic to everything. Well, everything except cockroaches it seems. Oh yeah - it seems I have a tendency to pass out when someone tries to take a little blood from me (but more on that later).

Really bizarre as I never had any idea I had allergies - let alone to so many things. I mean, what is Alternaria tenuis anyway? Of course, I can try to stay away from sycamore and black walnut trees, but cats? We own two, and they love to sleep in our bed which I am sure has added to my allergy problem. I guess our girls are going to be spending a lot more time in the extra bedroom from now on…

Looks like I need to kill a few dust mites as well, so off to Target I go and $100 later, I am the proud owner of pillow, mattress and box spring encasings. Seems these little buggers like to chomp on me as I sleep, so I need to minimize their access to my body. Lovely. Just what I want to think about – millions of little black bugs creeping around my pillow at night. Yeck.

Well, I at least I have scientific proof there IS something going on with my system which is causing me to be snotty all the time and messing with my ears. For a while, I thought I was becoming a hypochondriac as antibiotics were not helping and the doctors were at a loss as to what was causing it. So there. I was right - again.

Coming up next is a CAT scan, hearing test and another date with the sinus surgeon to review all the results. Happy happy joy joy.

Technorati Tags: allergies allergytesting catallergy dustmites

Monday, February 06, 2006

SuperBowl Monday - a new National holiday?

Today I stumbled across a website asking people to sign a petition to have the Monday after the Superbowl become a National holiday. Now, I don't know how serious the guy is, but as I was discussing this idea with a couple of friends I started thinking this IS brilliant.

Everyone I know either (1) throws a Superbowl party or (2) attends one. While the game doesn't start until 3pm, most people begin gathering around the keg at 1pm to catch the pre-game highlights and get as many squares on the betting sheet as possible. I also don't know many that end before 10pm.

Superbowl Sunday is always a fun, but really long day for me. Chris and I usually host a party and neither one of us are the type to simply boil hot dogs and throw a bag of chips on the table. We enjoy making the party a little more special and spend the time to make things like homemade pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and dips that come with no less than 15 ingredients. (P.S. Big shot out to FoodTV) So, the party planning takes a little more time and a little more out of us, but I am always happy with the end result and our guests seem to come back time and time again.

As the party starts to wind down, you will find us doing a light cleaning to offset the chaos we would wake up to, but it would be fabulous to have the day after the Superbowl off to give us the time to do things leisurely. Of course, I could always take a vacation or personal day for the time off – but how cool it would be to have that as a National holiday as 'the Superbowl is the only event that two people can be at completely at war about, and still laugh eat & drink together.’ (Quote courtesy of anonymous commenter on the website)

Now, shouldn’t we as a Nation recognize this phenomena and celebrate it with a holiday? Get your vote in now.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

'Unconferences' are the way to go...

Fresh from our trip to Washington D.C. in which Chris worked, I played, and another successful BrainJams event managed to take place - I open my browser to find a large community chomping on the topic of overly priced conferences and asking the hard questions of what we can do to squash them or at least make them more reasonable so those that should or need to attend...can.

I loved Jeff Jarvis’ post from Sunday titled Exploding the conference business in which he states 'Too many conferences suck. They’re too expensive. They are filled with boring panels. They are all about speeches and not about conversation and argument and learning and meeting.' Of course, it was also interesting to read Robert Scoble’s response in which he suggests simply placing a cap of 400 attendees on several conferences to ensure they can be run at minimal expense most anywhere in the world. Of course it helps if you know what you are doing and, I will also add the requirement of ‘you should have good contacts’.

This topic hits home as our vision for BrainJams the 'unconference' is to help provide a space in which a diverse group of attendees can come together to share, collaborate, learn and make new friends – all for free. Do we wish to own BrainJams and all that goes with it? Nope. We are merely here to assist in facilitating these events until others can pick them up and run with them on their own - if they wish to do so. Chris and I are always happy to provide advice as to things you should think of when hosting your own event (i.e. bottled water = happy attendees; WiFi is great, but not a necessity; power bars and apples can be your friends), and are working on templates to make these run ‘out of the box’ which will be posted to the wiki for everyone to use shortly. That is what Brainjams is about. It is about building a community. It is about sharing knowledge. It is about connecting on a personal – then technological level.

Am I saying BrainJams and/or the camps gathering these days are the end all of ‘unconferences’? Absolutely not. Whether we all stay in our current format, or under the existing names is not important. Getting people together in a regular, stable environment so they can collaborate is the driving factor behind why most of us are doing what we are doing today.

As for sustainability, BrainJams events will continue to take hold as long as people have the inner desire to connect and create. Of course, donations are welcomed (and encouraged) and we have thankfully been blessed with some really amazing attendees and patrons to ensure we can cover the costs of snacks, lunch, drinks, venues, after parties and so much more. Thank you - thank you - thank you. Your support means so much and I will continue to give you link love as long as my fingers are able to type.

I think Todd Tweedy sums it up nicely when he says 'Here’s what made BrainJams so compelling: everyone got involved and shared knowledge.’

Yep. Simple statement. Powerful message.

Well, that’s it in a 8 million word blog. Go out and share. See – your mom really did know best.

P.S. I am ecstatic to hear Messina and friends are working on event software to help folks like you and me manage our little gatherings. I just love when bright people get together to do what needs to be done to effect positive change. Making me wish I knew how to code too…