Monthly Archives: March 2005

Freedom to Connect 2005, Washington DC

David Isenberg is running his Freedom to Connect conference in the Washington DC area at AFI Silver this week. You can catch audio of it at their website, or get a near to real time (how does he do that?) transcript from Heath Row on the Fast Company Now blog.

A note, to anyone going to conferences, put your location in your IM status message, so we can figure out where you are and what cool stuff you’re in the middle of. Thanks to Heath and to Mary Hodder who did just that!


I’ll try to get a venue report for AFI Silver for my friends who run seminars hither and yon.


Yahoo 360

I signed up for Yahoo 360 today, here’s some quick feedback.

It’s nice to have a new social network service and not have to come up with a new password, since I already have a (paid for!) Yahoo account through my DSL provider.

The IM integration is nice but a bit weak, sometimes it shows me as offline when I’m really online.

The blogging part will never replace full-blown blogging tools that give you every ounce of control over the screen but on the other hand what you do get is perfectly reasonable. I could see this being appealing to a crowd of people who already have a bunch of stuff and friends on Yahoo.

What’s missing:

Calendar integration – the Yahoo calendar isn’t too bad, and if it could be glued in here as a visible group or public calendar it would work neatly.

Groups integration – I have a group (the Vacuum group) that I’d happily invite everyone in it to join here, but I don’t see an easy way to do that.

Little bugs:

The font in the edit box appears to be too small in Mac OS X Firefox.

Interview continued

Jeff Lopez-Stuit agreed to be interviewed, so here are some questions for him. I look forward to seeing the answers on his blog, The Oldest Language.

1. If you could go to any music store and pick out one instrument to take home, where would the store be and what would you take with you?

2. When you are playing that favorite instrument, what kinds of food smells or memories or associations come to mind?

3. Where is your favorite place to spend an hour or a day walking?

4. What book would you bring with you on that walk?

5. When you write, is it always in front of a keyboard, or do you have an inner or outer life that’s also ink on paper?

thanks Jeff!

Donald Scavarda, Music from the Once Festivals

The Once festivals were celebrations of electronic music by avant garde composers in the early 1960s in Ann Arbor, MI. The original recordings from WUOM have been released on CD as Music from the Once Festivals on New World Records.

One of the featured composers and musicians is my grandfather’s cousin, Donald Scavarda. He says in the liner notes:

Scavarda describes the adventure as an explosion of pent-up energy: “Suddenly we could write anything we wanted and have it heard.”

Interview by Kate Remen-Wait

Kate from Four Obsessions sends along these interview questions. I’ve recorded my responses for a podcast here:

If you would like to participate in this blogging phenomenon, follow these simple steps:

1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”

2. I will respond by asking you five questions here in my blog. They will be different questions than the ones below–if you are more of a reader or thinker than a foodie, don’t worry, I won’t ask you about food (or whatever).

3. You will update YOUR blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

and so here we go:

What fiction author would you like to have over for dinner and what would you serve them?

I’d have John Voelker (Robert Traver) over for dinner. He’d bring along trout that he had just caught from a small pond in the U.P., we’d cook it on the grill out back wrapped in foil with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh dill, and I’d make boiled new potatoes with butter and parsley and a green salad with fresh tomatoes and basil and a garlicky vinaigrette.

Is there one food that you associate with your childhood and what memory does it trigger?

Wild blueberries from the jackpine plains in Marquette County, Michigan, though the exact location changes from year to year. The berries grow low to the ground and there are lichens and pine cones making a wonderful smell on the hot sandy soil. It reminds me of going through a bucketful of berries with my grandmother Inez Kay and cleaning out all of the little bits of wood and green berries and dandle that had accumulated in my earnest but imprecise picking efforts. It’s a miracle any berries made it into the bucket. (I must have been about eight or nine).

What is your favorite thing you have written? Is it published somewhere or does it live modestly on your hard drive?

I wrote the essay What is Usenet? A second opinon about 14 years ago, back in the days before the World Wide Web and when the Internet was much smaller than it is now. Usenet was then what blogs are now, a way to connect with people all over the world about all sorts of topics. In those intervening 14 years, it’s been reposted faithfully every month to the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. It’s a time capsule of sorts, since I don’t keep it up to date. I remember the day I wrote it very clearly – I had been reading the “first opinion” on the topic, it got me mad enough to rebut it point by point. Actual writing time was under 30 minutes.

Are you a sweet-tooth or a salt-tooth?

Salt-tooth. My favorite bagel is a salt bagel with cream cheese – I’m sure that’s not healthy, so I don’t do it all the time, but whenever I see a salt bagel in the coffee shop display case I’m tempted.

What is the most ambitious meal you ever made?

For Deb’s birthday one year Marcia Butler and I made a seven course vegetarian Chinese meal. It was a day worth of shopping the day before to get all the ingredients, and a day worth of chopping to get everything ready to cook. I was the sous chef, having learned my vegetable chopping skills from doing Sunday evening dinner cooking at Joint House co-op at the University of Michigan.

Ernest Dimnet, “The Art of Thinking”

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 17:04:27 -0800, engr wrote to 43 Folders:


> What I love about this group is the old fashion thinking process going

> on (in the best sence of the phrase). These are similar issues as

> Ernest Dimnet in ” The Art of Thinking” delt with in early 1900’s. His

> book is out of print but available at Amazon – used. During the late

> 19th centry and early 20th century there were a number of writers and

> thinkers that delved into organizing their thinking and actions in an

> age that only had paper and pencile.

Here’s a Dimnet quote lifted from the “Just Thinking” weblog,

Ernst Dimnet, author of The Art of Thinking (1930) wrote, “A diary, a

few old letters, a few sheets containing thoughts or meditations, may

keep up the connection between us today and our better selves of the

past. I was deeply impressed as a youth by the advice of a spiritual

writer to read one’s own spiritual notes preferably to even famous

works. All saints seem to have done so. The moment we realize that any

thought, ours or borrowed, is pregnant enough not to be wasted, or

original enough not to be likely to come back again, we must fix it on

paper. Our manuscripts should mirror our reading, our meditations, our

ideals, and our approach to it in our lives. Anybody who has early

taken the habit to record himself in that way knows that the loss of

his papers would also mean a loss to his thinking possibilities.”

Thanks to inter-library loan in SE Michigan ( I

got a 1928 volume from a local university library. The little googling I did was that the book was a best-seller in the 1930s.

Unintended but happy consequences of using Feedburner to build podcasts

I discovered to my surprise and satisfaction that by using Feedburner to incorporate my linklog, and then relaying that linklog into the stream that gets turned into the podcast for this site, that I am unintentionally also syndicating out in the feed any links that I make to movies or audio in

As a for instance, right now if you google for “vielmetti lifehacks” and go to the site that has a pointer to my podcast feed, and click on the 3/22/2005 entry, you get the splendid folksonomy movie. A movie which I didn’t take, but am happy to have by reference in my feed, just because I bookmarked it in delicious.

If this all sounds too impossibly geeky for you right now, don’t worry, it also seems that way to me too. It does point to a limitation of Feedburner as a general purpose blog and podcast tool, though it’s not a show stopper by any means.