Is it wrong to do a conference call while swinging in a hammock?

Man, I need to see a therapist about my work-ethic-guilt issues. I have an accident, work at home for three weeks, and feel most comfortable talking on the phone while swinging in the hammock looking at my bearded irises. But it still feels wrong. Very wrong. Like why am I not in a suit and a bowtie acting over-caffinated and official? I have to say personal productivity is soaring, I finally have an office with a view, and it’s awfully nice to be able to recharge the batteries after a pretty hectic five months of weekly Raleigh commuting, overseas expeditions, and hanging out in the coolest company on the planet.

(I grew this)
I had just had the most pleasant call with Mitch Ratcliffe, watched an osprey fly by with a fat fish in its talons, had a half-dozen hummingbirds come visit, and solved all sorts of intellectually stimulating problems in the June twilight on Cape Cod.  That and fielded alumni calls about Om’s move. Look, I don’t know how much money he raised, I don’t know how he plans on spending it, but I do know he is hatching a very cool scheme. For the rest of the story, bug Om, who has been off of IM all day and with good reason.

GigaOM : » Its Time To Transition

GigaOM : » Its Time To Transition

Good buddy and former colleague Om Malik takes a deep breath and steps into the world of his own startup, accepting VC dough to make a business out of GigaOM while remaining on the Business 2.0 masthead as a contributing editor. It’s a shame he couldn’t release the news on his own terms, but he got Valleywagged in a big way, which sort of adds to the fun, so what the hell.

Om and I have been discussing his career possibilities for a long time, and I am proud of him for finally making a stab at realizing his vision — one which will surprise a lot of people when it emerges. This is more than stepping up AdSense on a blog, far more, and is the kind of transformative media play he helped put in place in 1995 at This is the one guy who you want on your team when it comes to doing the right thing with online media.
I see no surprise that Om’s news is breaking so close to Scoble’s. The top bloggers are realizing the promise of decentralized media — that the byline can be the business — and each of them, in their own way, is doing something few can stomach or imagine. Call it “bloggerpreneurship” but it’s happening and going to happen more and more.

Soccer vs. Cycling

So the New York Times this morning is splashing a front page photo of American face-painters looking despondent over Team USA getting knocked out of the losing its first World Cup game. [thx to Totalbike for the correction] I chalk this one up as a non-event. Indeed, soccer, aka Football, may be the most global of games, but other than soccer moms and hordes of shin kicking American children, the game is not, despite repeated predictions of optimism, taken off to the manic extent it has everywhere else in the world.

Me, I am totally fixated on professional cycling — bicycling — and my favorite game these days is to instant message with my biking buddies to talk trash about our favorites going into the first non-Lance Tour de France in many years. Who will emerge as the “patrone” of the peleton?

I’ll be rooting for three riders. They are:

1. Chris Horner — great American rider for Saunier-Duval. Shows great heart and had a great Tour last year.

2. Ivan Basso. Italian climber. Only man to hold his own on the climbs against Lance. Winner of the Giro d’Italia and poised to be the main man in my opinion.

3. George Hincapie. I’ll go out on a limb, but this is Hincapie’s year to emerge from beneath Lance’s shadow and go all the way.

Why do I love the Tour de France? Imagine running 20 consecutive marathons. That’s why. There’s nothing so grueling nor so noble.

Talk Talk China

Talk Talk China

This is another favorite english-language China blog. Basically a series of rants for expats living in China that gets pretty hysterical at times.


“Beijing cab drivers always seem to have a million excuses for why they don’t wanna take you somewhere.

I have some variant of the following conversation just about every second day in Beijing:

Me: Good day sir, please take me to [Insert place name here].

Driver: No.

Me: Why not?

Driver: [Insert one of the following excuses here:]

????(I’m going home.)
????(I need to get gas.)
?????(I’m going to eat.)
????????(I’m going the other direction.)
????(I don’t know the way.)
???(Its too close.)
???(Its too far.)
???????(You should catch the subway.)

Seems like no cab driver in Beijing is happy unless you want a ride to either (a) his house, or (b) Tianjin.

Further messing with blog design

I finally — after the debacle in January — went back to Michael Heilemann’s Binary Bonsai, downloaded the 167 build of K2, unzipped it — backed up the MySQL databases and transformed into a better looking place than the old 1.5 Kubrick which has held me together since 2003.

Then I decided to be done with the perpetual act of trashing my sidebar and converted to Widgets — which I still haven’t mastered but which at the very least give me some control in an Ajaxy way over what elements get displayed and which don’t. The header image I talked about late last week when I went scanner crazy on some old Cotuit photographs. I wish I had the time to get serious about CSS, but I know from keeping my HTML chops sharp in the 90s that such knowledge is wasted unless its practiced daily. Even so, the nerd manque within demands that I start getting dirty with code, be it page description, BASH shell commands, MySQL db structures …..

I think I need to set up a sandbox server and get really serious. This recent convalescence has given me a little time to steel wool the rust off of my techie talents, but nothing to the extent of the early 90s when I was beta-testing HotMetal Pro and Vermeer and turning down offers to write books about SGML …. sigh, now I worry about banner ROI and search engine optimization and other generic online marketing challenges.

I am further convinced that within 5 years we’ll see another revolution in site construction, management and display when the next Vermeer arrives to build a full WYSIWIG LAMP implementation out of the box. Do I think the average joe will become his own sysadmin? Never, but we’re still a very long way from having a content management system for the masses.

Bugs I’m detecting in K2– I can’t blog photos from within Flickr that will appear in Firefox. They are fine in IE but I am not fine in IE and I can’t figure out how to tailor the and Bloglines widgets to display my tags and blog roll. Time to move on to work related stuff. Migraines are gone. I don’t feel like I have morning sickness all day long, and I want to get back on the bike. More on that saga of how to convince an insurance company adjuster accustomed to pricing dented fenders on a Camry that yes, indeed, a person can be foolish enough to invest over $5,000 in a bicycle. The company thought they were dealing with a Huffy rider. Bah.

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