Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming; DC Blogger Meetup Tonight, and a Lot of Concerts

Tonight, Wednesday, December 17, 7pm: The final (for 2008, that is) Washington Blogger Meetup at RFD Washington. All bloggers, quasi-bloggers, proto-bloggers, would-be bloggers, blog groupies, and fans are welcome. Just look for some laptops.

Breaking News: I'm told that Christmas occurs on December 25th this year. Please note the new date.

Skipping all other holiday foolishness, there are a bunch of concerts coming up that, shockingly, I'm interested in and know about ahead of time (I just started playing around with Tourfilter -- I need to refine my band list, though I still like checking out the individual venue sites)

* Sat, Jan. 17: The Raveonettes play the Black Cat again (they were there in March 2008 -- also see my March 2007 photos from Rock and Roll hotel)

* Inauguration possibilities: Sunday, Jan. 18: A couple of DC bloggers are renting out the top floor of Bourbon (in Adams Morgan) for a Bloggerational Ball (I assume that's pronounced, "blog-irrational"). It would be an excuse to wear my tuxedo, assuming it fits (I've been slack about the gym lately.) Call it a maybe.

Then, Monday, Jan. 19 is the Netroots Nation YES WE CAN Party at Claredon Ballroom. Corey tipped me to this, not sure about this one.

* Thursday, Jan. 22 is Twin Tech III at Lux Lounge in DC. Pretty good tech networking opportunity.

* Thursday, Jan. 29 is DC Design Babes 3 (Location TBD). Includes a contest aspect. More tech networking, with a design-focus.

Now, here's the burst of February concerts at the Birchmere. Since they're maddeningly clustered in a two-week period, I doubt I'll make all of them. But a couple, hopefull:

* Sunday, Feb. 8: Over the Rhine

* Monday, Feb. 9: The Puppini Sisters -- they also played there back in June, but I wasn't able to go then, either.

* Sunday, Feb. 15: Cowboy Junkies, who I haven't seen in a few years (well, I did catch them in 2007, when they opened for Chris Issac at Wolf Trap, but that doesn't really count)

* Thursday, Feb. 19: Fountains of Wayne, doing an acoustic gig.

I guess I have a few decisions to make. But that's still, like, a year away.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Check Me Out Over at the Network Solutions Blog (with some bonus features for my Twitter post)

For the past few weeks, I've been doing some blogging over at the Network Solutions blog, Solutions Are Power. (I'd met blog honcho Shashi Bellamkonda at a Twitter meetup last year, and stayed in touch through various DC tech events since then.)

I'm blogging about social media and online community topics (naturally), with a particular focus on how it can affect small business. (And I mean real small business, not just social media consultants.) So naturally, there's some potential overlap with stuff I've been known to write about here. (Not the dumb things. Well, not my dumb things.)

For example, a few of the posts I've done over there, started out as drafts in my head that were going to be used here, but I never got around to doing.

Take my "Twitter: I Was Doing It Wrong" entry. I'd been sitting on it for a few months and not getting anywhere with it, when I found a new hook and used it for the NetSol blog. Book it. Done. Well, with a few tweaks:

* Twitter Priority: I left out the idea of Twitter posters prefacing their posts with a number on a set scale (say 1-4), so that recipients could filter to the level of posts they wanted to see from any particular person. (Remember, even if I know and like you, I don't necessarily care about the trivial emphemera of what you're doing right now... or even if I do, I don't need to know it in real-time).

An example scale would be:

1 - Your standard bullshit update of no consequence (that is to say, a normal Twitter post)
2 - Your standard bullshit update, except with your location
3 - An update where you're specifically trying to share information you think might be interesting or useful to others (say, a traffic disruption, celebrity sighting, or miscreants setting off fireworks inside the Metro)
4 - An update where you're explicitly requesting a reply from people (like a question)

Throw in a 5, for truly extraordinary, emergency circumstances (e.g. "help, i'm in egypt getting arrested.")

Since it would depend on people's ability to honestly self-categorize their own Twitter posts -- well, let's just say I'm not holding my breath on this idea.

* On my Facebook/Twitter persona: A while back, one of my Facebook friends asked me why I was out partying all the time. When I asked why she thought that, she said that it was the impression she got from looking at my Facebook status.

My Facebook status comes from Twitter (via TwitterSync) -- I don't update it any other way. And at that time, I only updated Twitter when I was out and about. Which is why my friend thought I was just partying non-stop.

Anyway, check out my entries (and, heck, the other entries, too) on the NetSol blog if you like, and drop a comment and say hi over there.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming: Blogs and Boobs

A few things coming up that are upcoming:

* Wednesday, 11/19, 7pm -- a two-fer at RFD near the Verizon Center: The November Washington Blogger Meetup (in the front room, look for me with my iBook), for socialization and knowledge transfer. Then, in the back room, there's the November Web Content Mavens meeting, on "Why Every Organization Should NOT Focus on Creating Communities."

* Friday, 11/21, 8pm -- After a long hiatus, it's the return of the DC Blogger Happy Hour, at Bourbon in Adams Morgan. Bring all your pent-up DC blog scene drama.

* Tuesday, 11/25, 8pm -- The second Washington Psychotronic Film Society showing in its new home, The Meeting Place, featuring Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! A must-see for fans of really bad karate, Russ Meyer, camp, and huge boobs.

* Thursday, 11/27, all-day -- Thanksgiving. But you knew that. (Also, if you're going to be around, Friday, They Might Be Giants will be at the 9:30 Club, playing Flood in its entirety.)

Looking out a little further (January), the Raveonettes are playing the Black Cat again. Other than that, all the bands I currently follow are either dead, skipping DC, or broken up, so... yeah.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming: DC Fark Party, Music, Matchbox, Meetups & More

Here are a few things I'm interested in. I say this even though I didn't catch a single Fringe show this time around (which I had mentioned), nor did I go see Spiritualized at the 9:30 Club (which I hadn't):

Southern Culture on the Skids at the 9:30 Club, Thursday, 7/28. Doors 7:30pm. $15. I'd never really paid much attention to them, but I'd signed up for a Yep Roc Records freebie and ended up listening to some of their stuff (curse you, Internet marketing!). Alas, I have a potential kickball game on Thursday (weather and playoff victory permitting), so I'm a very tenuous maybe for this.

DC Fark Party (with a scheduled appearance by Drew Curtis), upstairs bar at The Big Hunt, Saturday, 8/2. 8-10:30pm. Free (If you don't eat or drink. Which would be a silly thing to do.) DC Farkers and lurkers of all sorts are expected to attend. (NPR coverage is undetermined at this time.) I'll definitely be there.

Virgin Mobile Festival 2008. Pimlico Race Course. 8/9-8/10. $100/day or $175 for a two-day pass. Premium parking +$25. Chances I will attend: Vanishingly slim, but I had an embarassing empty spot between weeks. Here's a tip: Pay for a parking pass and tailgate -- you can should be able to hear the main stage act from the parking lot.

Social Matchbox DC, at TeqCorner in McLean, Thursday, 8/14, 5-8:30pm. Free. More networking. Try not to swarm the venture capitalists. Also a definite for me, as it's right around the corner from where I'm working.

Suzanne Vega, at Birchmere, Monday, 8/18, 7:30pm. $35. Outlook hazy at this point. Try again later.

August Washington Blogger Meetup, RFD, Wednesday, 8/20, 7pm. Kick in a buck or two towards Meetup costs (and get the wifi for free). I'm planning on attending.

Liz Phair, 9:30 Club, Thursday, 8/28. 7pm doors. $25. I'd like to attend. Not sure at this point. [7/29 update: Sold out now. As Voltaire said, there's a certain inevitable futility in indecision.]

That's it for August so far. September gives us the Dulles Plane Pull (9/6), PodCamp Philly (9/6-9/7), Twin Tech II (9/18), and Crafty Bastards DC (9/28). More updates as events warrant.

Of course, there'll be the usual interspersion of DC Tech Events and so forth.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

What's Going on at MetBlogs DC? (And Other Local Bits)

* Catching up on my local links, I see that there's something of a blogger exodus happening today over at MetBlogs DC. It had seemed to me that postings had slowed down recently, only to be followed by an abrupt slew of farewell entries by the likes of bhrome, the Bridges (Tiffany and Tom), and Don Whiteside, who have pulled up stakes for their own DC local blog endeavor, We Love DC (not to be confused with "We Loved C").

Blog Rumors Daily picked up on it earlier ("DC Metroblogging Exodus" - also featuring a comment by MetBlogs's Sean Bonner). Other than to say that I've met Don, Tiffany, and Tom a few times, I have nothing to add to the matter.

* Speaking of abrupt departures, I noticed back in March (and never got around to posting it) that DC Bloggers went on permanent vacation, with this surrender notice:
"Let's face it: DC Blogs does it better."

I never knew who was involved with DC Bloggers, which was primarily a blogroll/directory, as opposed to DC Blogs, which had a more robust content offering with its feed, editorial picks, and happy hour announcements (though I note that there hasn't been a DC Blogger Happy Hour in a while -- at least, that I've heard about -- as opposed to previous years. I don't know if it's because of the leadership [sic] or the landscape.)

* I was looking at the Capital Fringe Festival lineup -- I have to say, there's a lot of really interesting stuff listed. I will have to do more research (and probably wait for some preview reviews) in order to whittle the list down.

Tomorrow, I'll be headed over to the Mall for the Folklife Festival (I think the best we can hope for is rain but no thunderstorms), but for right now, off to the gym for a quick workout, any progress made therein to be completely negated by a cookout.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Macbook Photos from the May Washington Blogger Meetup

We had about 10 people at Wednesday's May Washington Blogger Meetup at RFD in DC.

Three of them were first-timers; they were able to pick us out because I had my Macbook open, playing around on the wifi (which RFD doesn't seem to advertise, though it works fine... or you can try sponging off the open Fado network from next door):


Not only does this mean we can liveblog events and other silliness, but it also gives us the opportunity to help first-timers set up blogs, do demos, and find other nominally helpful things to do.

Since I had my laptop out, I used its built in iSight instead of my camera:

Newcomer Susanna, of the Chesapeake Climate Action Blog

Prospective blogger Subbarao

First-timer Amy of Free in DC

Mr. Nikolas at the Blogger Meetup at RFD
Mr. Nikolas of Thought Torrent

That is all.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming: Social Media Events, Concerts & More

A few things that are coming up, that, if you're really lucky, you might see me at:

* Tonight, 7pm at RFD (across from the Verizon Center): The May Washington Blogger Meetup Group. I'll be leaving for that shortly. Local bloggers, blog commenters, blog readers, would-be bloggers, and blog groupies are welcome to attend. (Especially blog groupies.)

(Incidentally, as per Paul, the previously automatically-scheduled DC New Media Technology - Web 2.0 - Video 2.0 - Social Web Meetup is not happening tonight. Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it, DC Tech Events.)

* This Memorial Day Weekend, Rolling Thunder happens on Sunday (with other events on the surrounding days).

* Wednesday, June 4, there's a Solutions Are Power social media event at Busboys and Poets in DC.

* The Breeders show, June 11 at the 9:30 Club, is apparently still not sold out. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised -- Cannonball came out in 1993, and several of my (younger, natch) friends who I hit up as possible concert companions responded, "The Breeders? Who are they?"

* Friday, June 13 is the Blog Potomac conference.

* Sunday, June 15, The Puppini Sisters play Birchmere. If you're not familiar, they have a retro-throwback Andrews Sisters-style -- it's a fun sound (including some covers of modern pop songs) with good harmonies.

* Friday, June 20 is Hirshhorn After Hours -- advance tickets are still available as of this writing. (I'll probably blog my photos from the last time up before them. Probably. Possibly. Maybe.)

After that is Independence Day, followed by the sweet embrace of death (well, in 50 years or so.)

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

April Washington Blogger Meetup Report

I'm falling deeper and deeper behind on blog stuff -- here's a futile attempt to stem the bleeding, with a brief followup from the April Washington Blogger Meetup at RFD in DC.

Apparently, RFD has wifi, which was news to me (I'd just never bothered bringing my laptop). This changes everything. (Well, perhaps not everything.)

People in attendance included: Organizer Nikolas (Thought Torrent), Leon of Listen to Leon (in suit), Peter the Home Improvement Ninja, Jamy of Grateful Dating, Matthew of Suburban Destiny, Lola of Whatever Lola Wants, Mr. Throwing Hammers, Andrew of BlogPharm, Dave from There Goes Dave, Rachel (Newscat), John Croston, and blogger-to-be Summer. I didn't see the signup sheet, so I think that was it.

A few pictures (full photoset here):

Background: Leon (in suit), Peter, Jamy. Foreground: Matthew and Lola.

Organizer Nick and blogger-to-be Summer.

Hammer and Leon.

John and Lola.

Of course, there was beer.

Beer. Lots of beer.

I got a couple of moderately interesting photos from the Metro trip back, but I'll get to that another time. Or not.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things That Are Upcoming

I'm at the Beach Shack in Falls Church again, to grab a quick pulled pork sandwich and hush puppies before the April edition of the Washington Blogger Meetup Group at RFD in DC (across from the Verizon Center).

Despite earlier rumors to the contrary, Pope Benedict will most likely not be attending.

[Sidebar: Lary from Galaxy Hut just showed up with his daughter.]

Other pending things going on in the DC social media and tech universe:

* This weekend is PodCampDC; it's primarily in Rosslyn, though the Friday night kickoff party is at the Capitol City Brewery downtown.

* Tomorrow is a DC New Media, Movie, and Creative Industry Happy Hour, at Lotus Lounge in DC. Call me a maybe on that (Unless you're an aspiring model, actress, or model/actress looking to meet a producer. Then I'll definitely be there. Trust me.)

Lotus Lounge is also the location of the DC New Media Tech - Web 2.0 & Video 2.0 Meetup, Wednesday, April 30th. Also mark me a maybe on that one.

* Next Wednesday is the April Web Content Mavens Meetup -- the topic is about Web analytics (remember when "analytics" were simply "metrics"?), so I anticipate a sellout crowd (that is, a crowd of sellouts...)

* Next Thursday is Tech Cocktail DC 2, at 1223 in DC. Since I am a big mooch and it's the only time I get to go to 1223, I'll be there.

I also see that on the Tech Cocktail DC events listing, that May 10 is SocialDevCampEast up at the University of Baltimore. I don't know if I'm going to that one yet.

Getting a little chilly out on the patio. Come out to RFD (but maybe bring a jacket.)

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Cuffs, Hummus and Batteries at Wednesday's DC Blogger Meetup

The first Washington Blogger Meetup of 2008 went off well. (Even though several of us got bitched at by the hostess for not having reservations. Point taken.)

About 20 folks attended, including some first-timers and some DC Twitterers.

I only took two pictures, though I think Nahum will have us more than covered on that front, if and when he posts his.

Grateful Jamy
had very long cuffs. I couldn't look away:


There was a tasty appetizer of pita, hummus, and batteries:


I was drinking mostly Magic Hat No. 9s throughout. And again, a twenty-percent tip was thoughtfully applied to each check.

On the Metro back, I saw a former cow-orker through the closing doors. I also stopped in at Galaxy Hut for a bit, to finish working on the Express crossword puzzle -- I was stumped, which troubled me, since I can usually finish it in during the ride, but the guy sitting next to me helped me get out of the slump.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just in Time for the January DC Blogger Meetup: My New Cards

Reminder: the January Washington Blogger Meetup is tomorrow, Wednesday, January 16, 7pm at RFD, across the street from the Verizon Center (come earlier if you want to load up on happy hour drink specials).

Early attendance estimates look strong -- must be New Year's resolutions. Please join us -- all are welcome.

Just in time, too, I'll have a fresh batch of business personal calling cards:

You wouldn't believe how hard it was to get that phone number.

I'd been working on the design for a while (such as it is -- as you can see, even when it comes to graphics, I work in text), but I only got around to ordering them after I got a VistaPrint coupon in a recent Amazon order.

I ordered 500 cards, plus a self-inking address stamper, and some Joelogon post-its that I don't need (except as filler to get to $25 and free shipping).

It was mostly in the nature of an experiment and I was expecting the worst (which is why I didn't spring for the premium card stock), but I have to tell you: I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The very first card was miscut (there was a white border showing on one edge), but the rest look fine.

I'd ordered them on January 10th, they shipped on the 12th, and got here today (the 15th). I was pleased, which shows that it's all about managing expectations, since the note on free ("Slow") shipping said up to 21 days.

As to the design (such as it is):

* The ASCII face is not, strictly speaking, a logo -- it's just something I've been using in my mail .sig since the 90s. Nor is it really supposed to be me, I guess. Though it has glasses and looked slightly more like me when my hair was short and spiky.

* The blue is just... blue. It's a web-safe blue, though. (It's also not as spotty as the photo suggests.)

* This came to me late in the game, but I tried to put the viewable stuff next to the eyeglasses, and the ways you could "speak" to me next to the mouth. Though I didn't want to load up the card with too many Web 2.0 companies (especially since I try to sign up as joelogon whenever I can -- hence the "etc." I probably should have listed Twitter, though. Facebook, too.)

I probably should have tried harder to line up each facial element with its associated info, but I wanted to keep the spacing even to make it more readable. Which was more important than a metaphor of dubious utility.

* I stayed with a matte finish, and kept the back side's background plain white. Mostly because it was cheaper that way, but I like being able to write notes on people's business cards ("knows so-and-so," "hound mercilessly," "avoid at all costs," etc.), so I wanted to make it easy to do this.

I've already given one to a former cow-orker I ran into this afternoon at the coffee shop; we'll see how long it takes to get rid of the other 499. Come to tomorrow's meetup and I'll give you one.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

DC Blogger Meetup Runs Smack Into the DC Holiday Cop Surge

Wednesday was the December edition of the DC Blogger Meetup Group at RFD. I personally witnessed two unusual things that distinguished this meetup from previous meetups:

1. Current lead Meetup organizer Nikolas was found lurking outside:

Not typical Meetup organizer behavior.

2. We had Night Vision capability:

Photo taken through the night vision monocular, without benefit of an adapter.

The night vision came courtesy of Jadxia and friend Max (who isn't currently blogging, though he has Tumblr'd).

You can see more event photos by first-timer Andy Roth.

Also notably, we started to see more and more of a police presence outside:

What's that going on behind John Croston? (More on that in a minute.)

For my own part, I seem to recall going on a lot about various blogging and social media things, so apologies to Ross, Shashi, Matthew Martin, not-yet-blogger Tommy, and anyone else I may have cornered if I talked their ear off (though we covered a lot of topics).

Oh, and I also had a grilled cheese sandwich, largely because of this Charlotte Harris entry.

What About the DC Holiday Cop Surge?
As the night went on, we kept seeing cops going by the bar. Lots of them:

"Is there a problem, officers?"

At first, I thought they were just walking around a lot to keep warm, but once we got outside, we saw that were lot and lots of cops out -- walking around in groups of ten or more, circulating around the Verizon Center:


Evidently, the Starbucks was a popular focal point, which is kind of silly, since everybody knows that the triple murders in Starbucks happen in Georgetown:

Forget about a cop on every corner: Try 10. Maybe 20.

As far as I could see, they were just tromping around in their groups of 10 or more, trying not to run into each other or the crowds of people leaving the Wizards game.

It was kind of pointless, though I was reminded of a video I saw at the Hirshhorn last year, which featured the British Coldstream Guards marching around central London (in full regalia and following certain rules so they'd gradually all meet up and march together).

Note the reaction of the passing pedestrian in red.

Their khaki cargo pants and caps were very crisp and I didn't see any guns (though they did have reflective vests -- watch out!), so I asked one if they were auxiliaries or cadets -- he said they'd graduated but weren't full officers, so I guess they were probationary officers.

He also said there were about 250 of them that night, and it would last through the holidays. So I would assume that, once they're full officers and the holiday cop surge unpleasantness is over with, they can make their way over to the 2/3rds of the force that sits behind desks (barring any "all-hands-on-deck" weekends, of course).

Back to the Hut
Anyway, once I managed to wade through the cops (and boy, did I feel safe -- you know how rough Gallery Place right around the Verizon Center can get -- plus, since they were mostly unarmed, no chance of negligent discharges), I made it to Arlington, where I'd ditched my car.

I stopped in to Galaxy Hut for a little bit -- bartender Bill was back from his European tour. I ended up eavesdropping on some Brit guy looking for a cougar bar (which Galaxy Hut very much is not), then talking a lot of crap with two random guys -- one, a security guy for Fannie Mae, and his friend, a government contractor/spook-type.

And then when even I got tired of hearing myself, I went home.

(You can see the rest of the night's photos in the full Flickr set.)

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

16 Years Later and They're Still Doing the Unicorn Song

The last time I was in Ireland's Four Fields, I was throwing up in the bathroom.

Malibu rum was involved.

It was the summer of 1991, and the bar was still known as the Four Ps. I was interning at the Pentagon and staying in American University. I was also underage and without a fake ID, so the people I was with snuck me in by distracting the bouncers with two of the prettier members of our group.

It was a pretty good night. I don't remember much of it.

Fast-forward 16 years to last night's year-ending DC Blogger Happy Hour. I'd originally planned on starting at MashMeet DC at Meze DC, but I got a late start, and it was also too damned cold to be trekking up and down the Red Line, so I just went to Four Fields.

Here are some our fabulous hosts:


It was the only picture I took that came out.

As expected, the Unicorn Song was played, as well as other classic Irish pub staples, like Sweet Caroline.

It was kind of loud, though not crowded. I talked to a bunch of people. It was a good time, as usual.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cool Toys and No Bloodshed at the Washington Blogger and OLPC News Meetup

Despite images of violence, Wednesday's mashup of the Washington Blogger Meetup and DC OLPC News contingent went off well. The OLPC guys had the advantage, since they obviously had cooler toys:

Ross Karchner plays with the OLPC X0-1
Ross Karchner plays with the OLPC XO1. Leon is behind him.

Ross also posted an entry using an ASUS Eee PC, which is a basically a palmtop -- it's slightly bigger than, say, a graphing calculator.

Two OLPC X01s laptops, no child.

DC Metblogs' Wayan and DCist's much-reviled (so he says) Aaron Morrissey.

Wayan also gave me tips on how to be unemployed.

I think the meetup benefited from the cross-pollination. Since the purely social/drunken aspects of the DC blogging events are pretty well-covered by the various happy hours, I'm trying to think of ways to differentiate the midweek meetups, make them more attractive to bloggers and potential bloggers by focusing more on mechanics and making them a bit more utilitarian.

I'm talking about things like making them a more hands-on, how-to, workshoppy, best-practices, bring your laptop, potentially-boring-except-there's-beer kind of thing. Not sure yet.

Maybe I'm taking that "Marketing Department" label too seriously.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Will There Be Violence at the Washington Blogger November Meetup?

Reminder to all DC blog types that the November edition of the Washington Blogger Meetup group convenes tomorrow night (Wednesday, 11/14) at 7pm at RFD, right across the street from the Verizon Center (Gallery Place Metro).

The DC Blogger Meetups have traditionally been somewhat staid, bookish, and erudite gatherings (as opposed to the drunken bacchanalia of the various Blog Happy Hours). However, in the interest of generating more... interest, we're looking at ways to create controversy, inflame passions, cause trouble, end friendships, ruin lives, etc etc.

After all, though RFD ostensibly stands for Regional Food and Drink, "RFD" is also an acronym for "Really Fucking Drunk."

An artificial drama/reality TV-style treatment is not out of the question.

Outbreaks of pointless, inane blogfighting cannot be ruled out, and in fact may be started out of sheer boredom and/or spite.

Turnout is expected to be good -- the attendee list is currently pushing 20 (unlike most of the attendees).

I also note that the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) News folks are having their own RFD meetup, starting at 6pm. They are a rough bunch, and Wayan is banging his drum pretty good, so who knows what might happen?

Come for the Happy Hour specials, play with an OLPC machine, stay for the blog talk (if only to make sure that you are in front of people as they're talking about you behind your back.)


Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Thus Far

* Returning to Standard Time, Effects of: Yeah, an extra hour of sleep. That'll help.

I seem to have been running on Pacific Time for the past few months, anyway.

* Robo-quotable: A source tells me that my robocall entry was quoted in the print version of the DC Express today. I was expecting this, partly because of the subject, but mostly because my referrers showed a hit from the DC Blogs live feed, originating from wpni.com (Washington Post Newsweek Interactive), which is one of the work domains for the Post.

I took a look at the PDF -- above the fold, very nice.

* Quitting unemployment is called "getting a job."

* Not Going to Vegas (Baby): The inaugural BlogWorld & New Media Expo happens this week in Vegas. Back when I was employed, I had been planning on going to this, since it was always nice when the company paid the freight for the blogging boondoggle/junket/networking opportunities.

After you go to a couple, though, you realize what a racket they are -- the same speakers; the same marketing blogging consultants pitching themselves, their blogs, and their books; the same blog backscratching and circle-jerking.

I'm not the only one to notice this

Not saying they aren't fun, or that they can't be useful or interesting. It's still a huge racket, though, and I'm not going to go on my own dime right now.

* Lastly: I just got my copy of Leopard and I need to get food and coffee. Except Blogger keeps hanging when I try to publish. Argh.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After-Action Report: Weekend Social Calendar (in Photos)

So let's see if the weekend turned out as predicted:

Went to blogger happy hour. There was a brass band at Dupont Circle. Didn't mingle as much as I should have. Carried an empanada around for the better part of an hour. Took photos of random hugging people on the Metro:

Saturday: Went to the Dulles Day Plane Pull. Saw planes. Saw people pulling planes:

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There was also a B-25J Mitchell:

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I also did manage to go to Ragtime afterwards.

Sunday: Made it out to the Adams Morgan Day Festival. There was steak in a sac and a cop on a Segway:

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There was street food (I had the pulled pork, myself) and street scenes:

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I saw baskets, and I shook the hand of DC Mayor Adrian Fenty:

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It was a pretty good weekend, even if I didn't save room for a falafel:


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Friday, September 07, 2007

Weekend Social Calendar

Tonight: Blogger Happy Hour at the Mad Hatter. I haven't been to one of these in a long time.

Saturday: The Annual Plane Pull at Dulles -- I've been here for 11 years and I still haven't made it to one of these; I'd like to watch at least for a little bit (I'm pretty sure I saw one of the planes that's going to be on display flying in yesterday -- a DC-3, I think.)

Also, the US faces off against Great Britain in the Rugby World Cup. Slaughter is anticipated. If I watch, it would be with the Irish somewhere -- though schadenfreude is a German concept, they've embraced it pretty heartily.

At night, there's the Blisspop thing at the 9:30 Club. This is an outside possibility, as I fear I am too old and too square.

I also just heard that my friend Scott's band, One Ton Wonton, will be playing Ragtime, too.

Then again, there's always the chance I might just stay in and watch UFC 75 (free!)

Sunday: The Adams Morgan Day Festival

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Followup on Wonkette and Burning Blog Bridges

So, following up on my entry this week about how Wonkette was sponging off the DC Blogs Noted feature (without attribution), I see that the most recent Wonkette Metro Section entries are no longer cribbing exclusively from DC Blogs; I see they're also hoovering from DCist and Washington DC Craigslist.

I also note that Big Head DC took pains to mention my AOL affiliation (and that if anyone mistakes me for an "Internet guru", it's an indicator that they're paying attention to what Wayan has to say).

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wonkette Editors Are Shameless and Lazy. But We Knew That

I guess I'm the last person to notice, but there's a been high correlation lately between the blog picks that show up in DC Blogs Noted and Wonkette's Metro Section.

In fact, they've been just about identical. (Ah, but pity the poor souls who are featured on DC Blogs, but don't make the Wonk-cut. I just made that up. I'm so clever.)

I'd first noticed this on the 15th -- Wonkette and DC Blogs are just a few tabs apart in my Local folder, and 4 of the 5 featured blogs were the same. I had a moment of deja vu before I figured it out.

On the off chance that it was some sort of baroque, creditless content swapping deal, I'd asked the DC Blogs folks about this -- Pat wrote back that they'd noticed Wonkette was using the same picks, but that they didn't care and that it just drove more eyeballs to the featured blogs. Win-win-win.

It's pretty obvious that Wonkette and others watch the live feed (which is what it's there for), but cribbing from the editorially-chosen selections of DC Blogs Noted, without giving credit, is a cheeseball move.

I know I shouldn't look gift pageviews in the mouth (DC Blogs listed my 9/11 Raisin Bran entry, which was then mentioned in Wonkette, tripling my usual pageviews and validating my heretofore worthless existence), but I hate to see Pat and the rest of the DC Blogs crew not get the credit they deserve for the work that they've done.

Of course, I would hate it more if the Wonkette folks bagged the live feed and picks out of spite.

So, I'll just take my Junior G-Man badge:

Vincent Hanna says: "Well, I am over-fuckin'-whelmed. What do you want for that, a Junior G-Man badge?"

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Undoing the Damage Done: Blogger's Labels vs. Technorati Tags

I've been untangling 6 months worth of stupidness with my blog categories (Blogger insists on calling categories "labels," which in my mind is only outstupided by Salon's insistence on calling comments "letters").

Ever since I switched over to the Blogger beta, I've been trying to figure out the best way to combine the functions of externally-oriented tagging (tagging content so others can find it, primarily through Technorati searches), with internally-oriented tagging (tagging or "labeling" to have discrete categories to organize my posts).

For a while, I tried to do both (the categorization via labels and the tagging through the Greasemonkey Technorati Tagging Script), but having two sets of tags/labels was ugly and inelegant. So I decided to stick strictly to the labels.

Boy, was that a disaster.

What I failed to fully realize is that Blogger creates an aggregator page for each one of your categories/labels. So when I started using labels for single-use, one-off tags ("stupid html jokes" or "hot and ugly"), I was also creating useless aggregator pages with lone entries.

This created a whole bunch of unnecessary pages, which greatly increased the number of pages that need to be updated whenever I posted or edited an entry.

In addition, it basically made the categories useless as categories.

So after an initial cleanup this weekend, I was left with 261 categories... and 218 of them had only one entry. (And of course, editing old entries pushes them back up into the DC Blogs feed, in case any feed watchers wonder why 6-month old entries keep popping up.)

Now, I'm down to about 80 categories -- the number will drop a little more as I do some final cuts, then rise again as I start categorizing old posts and making new ones, but keeping it under 100 should be manageable -- as long as I can apply a little self-discipline.

Yeah, that's another trainwreck in the making.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ShamrockFest, David Mamet and the Pretty Young Abercrombie Blonde

So ShamrockFest, Northern Virginia's premiere pre-St. Patrick's Day warmup drunkenness, was Saturday. You can skip the narrative and jump straight to the picture set, though you'll miss the story about David Mamet and the Pretty Young Abercrombie Blonde.

This was the first year it hasn't been in Arlington. I'd been on the fence about going, since paying for the privilege of standing in line to pay for beer just doesn't sound as appealing as it used to.

Of course, I usually overcome this sentiment. Plus, after I made up my mind to go, I got a VIP ticket hookup, which was pretty sweet.

I rode in with Lon, who drove us to Clarendon. I convinced him that it would be a good idea to park and Metro the rest of the way in (all 14 stops), so I successfully projected onto him my dislike of driving into DC.

We got in without very much hassle, though I have to admit that I was looking kind of sideways at people who go to these kinds of things and bring their own beads (and other tacky, beer-logoed holiday accessories).

Yes, I realize that it's the only time of year to break these things out.

Anyway, we got there a little after 1pm. It was pretty much a perfect day to be out.

Also, I ran into my friend Ellen, who was managing things in the VIP area:


I started taking pictures of people in funny hats:

DSCF0589 DSCF0591

We would end up seeing a lot more of the Big Killian's Hat, including here:


Also, we had a few opportunities to hear the District of Columbia Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, and their rousing dance remix of "Amazing Grace":

Note the traditional flaskware at their belts.

Now, we get to the story of the Pretty Young Abercrombie Blonde. Study the following picture closely:


Note the sticker that says "Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck." Now, I'd thought that it was a David Mamet quote, but as far as I can tell, it's me misremembering and mutating a Mamet joke. You know, the one where a snooty businessman tells a panhandler "'Neither a borrower nor a lender be' -- Polonius", and the panhandler replies, "'Fuck you!' -- David Mamet" (another variation being "Fuck you, cocksucker!")

Anyway, that's probably why she had no idea why I asked her if she was a Mamet fan.

Meet the Bloggers

In addition to kickballers and other unsavory types, I ran into some of the usual DC bloggers suspects:

Me, Red, I-66, Heather Barmore, ArJewTino, and KassyK.

Red reminded me that I haven't been posting very often.

Also, this being my first time meeting ArJewTino that I can recall, I told him that he was shorter than I expected (when I obviously meant to say, "I thought you would be larger than life.")

Since he was taking notes, I can only assume his recollection of my verbiage is the more accurate account:


The Aftermath

Anyway, I managed to miss each one of the bands I was potentially interested in seeing (funny how that works when there's essentially free beer), so we headed back in for more fun (it was still early).

After getting separated at the Metro (where you can see the Girl Scout Cookie Guy)...


...we decided to rally at Lucky Bar (there was also a lot of empanada talk). So we got back in the car and drove there (negating that whole "not having to drive there" thing, though we did get Really Good Parking).

We partied there for a while with an engagement party (the family of which originally hailed from 2 exits up the Garden State Parkway from me. I asked. Yes, I asked, "What exit?" though I got a funny look until I told them "135.")

Finally, we raided Julia's Empanadas and eventually made it back.

So it was a pretty good day.

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