September 2008

More PR spam, I was right! Thanks NowPublic!

Remember this little back and forth with NowPublic a few weeks back? In that post I noted that the original announcement e-mail had been sent to me by a PR firm at that I suspected that wouldn’t be the last time I heard from them. I wrote:

“To make this even worse, I’m going to assume all those folks just got added to a another list at the marketing firm and will be spammed with whatever the next thing they want to hype is. I’d love to be wrong about that of course, but I’ve got very little faith in the scruples of PR flacks.”

Well guess what was sitting in my inbox this morning? An e-mail from C at Morris King with a tidbit he thought I’d “get a kick out of.” Oh, and coincidentally that tidbit came with a press release attached. C is the same guy who sent me the NowPublic announcement and I’m just delighted that he’s kept me in mind with whatever the next thing he’s getting paid to push on people. Oh wait, no I’m not.

So I sent back this:

“Hi C-
Thanks for keeping me in mind with this announcement. You are right, I did get a kick out of it. A kick right in the nuts. When you first contacted me with an announcement from NowPublic a few weeks ago I publicly speculated that you and or your firm would now start spamming me with other announcements and unfortunately it seems I was right. Apparently you think that’s OK, I don’t, in fact I think it’s repulsive. I’d love to think I could just ask nicely to be removed from your mailing list but my experience with PR dudes like yourself leads me to believe that wouldn’t make a shred of difference. I just wanted to let you know that I’m adding to my auto-delete black list as a bit of insurance on my end. And since you are so keen on me telling people about stuff, guess I’ll pass this tidbit along as well.
A good day to you sir,

Whats even better is chances are this guy never even saw the NowPublic thing where I predicted he’d spam me, even though it was his e-mail that set the whole thing into motion. Thanks NowPublic, I hope you are happy that a company you paid to promote your “most influential” list is now spamming those very people for their other clients and getting paid to do it. Disgusting.

how to stop iPhone backups

If you are like me, sometimes you want to sync your iPhone to get a new album on it or just some quick thing which happens really quickly and then you are stuck for an hour while your iPhone backs up every damn thing. Whats worse, is there’s a chance if your iPhone software goes bad you don’t want to restore from a backup because that could be messed up too. Better to reinstall from scratch. So the whole backing up thing is kind of pointless. Its bad, and I can’t take it anymore. So I opened the Terminal, and put in this:

defaults write DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES

Now, when I plug in my iPhone is syncs but doesn’t back up. Which is what I want, and I just saved myself several hours a week. Try it, it’s fun!

I wanna rock

The other day I posted to twitter asking for something new to listen to. Recently I’ve been seeking out new stuff and I’m all hopped up on new tunes again. Dealing with keeping iTunes libraries sync’d between two laptops and a bunch of hard drives is something else, but one way or anther I’ve been listening to the new Melvins, the new Torche, the new Diplo/Santo Gold mix, the fancy new Pogues boxset, and a ton of ambient background stuff like Explosions in the Sky and If These Trees Could Talk. So anyway I asked for recommendations from folks and was told to check out the following:

  • New Wilco
  • JUD – Sufferboy
  • A band called “red” or “the music”
  • The Night Marchers
  • Uriah Heep, Demons and Wizards
  • Flyleaf
  • Etta James
  • The Walkmen
  • MGMT

So far I’ve listened to none of them (except MGMT which I listened to briefly and then grabbed more to listen to futher), but I have the list and that is important. I’m going to check them all out, and will report back when I do. I’m also pretty excited because I found out Rival Schools are playing right down the street from my house next month so I rushed out and bought tickets already.

I’m happy that I’m back into music again. When I left Victory for years and years I was so burnt on the Music Industry that I could barely listen to anything without it leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I think I’ve been away from it all long enough that I can just be a fan again and get excited when I hear something new that speaks to me and moves me somehow. There’s nothing quite like it and I can see the thirst for that stuff growing. So tell me, what have you been listening too recently that’s been stuck in your head and really rocking you?

More two wheels

Assuming all goes well, tomorrow I’ll be filling out the paperwork and making this mine. It’s a Husqvarna sm610 and I’m completely in love with it. I was first introduced to this particular bike about a year ago and have been lusting after it ever since. Michael, who showed me that, ran out and bought one but since the dude has like 19 Ducati’s he realized it was dumb for him to have yet another one and knew I was in love and one thing lead to another. I’m pretty excited about this because I haven’t ridden a motorcycle regularly in a while, but there was a time when I thought that was all I’d ever ride. I had a Kawasaki Ninja when I lived in Florida and then a Vespa P200 when I lived in Chicago. Both of those were my daily rides for a while and I was looking forward to getting something when I moved to California but the jerks at the DMV wouldn’t accept my Motorcycle license from Illinois. I finally signed up for a CA one and am finally on my way.

Of course this doesn’t mean I won’t be biking, that’s still my love and main transport, but I wanted something that would allow me to get to the westside quickly if needed, or would allow me to not show up sweaty in bike stuff from time to time. So that will be this. Can not wait.


I started today with huge plans of all the writing I needed to accomplish. I decided I was going to put off unpacking today to get a lot of this written work done. Instead I spent most of the day staring at my laptop not knowing where to start. It’s 1am and of all the stuff I wanted to write today I finished one full paragraph. I also didn’t have any progress on unpacking so today was pretty much a failure from start to finish. I realize now I shouldn’t have forced things and just walked away earlier and done something else like unpack a box or sort CDs or do dishes but instead I just sat here and made it worse. I won’t make the same mistake tomorrow, promise.

Another thing working against me is that there is cable in this new apartment which I haven’t had in, well, many many many years. I kinda like not having it because I found myself putting something on today just for background noise (rather than the music I usually plan) and would inevitably end up watching something I didn’t give a crap about. Did I really need to watch 3 episodes of that show were the bald guy eats a bunch of weird food from around the world? No, I didn’t. I knew I didn’t at the time, I kept looking away, but it was on and I’d always find myself getting sucked in. Need to knock that off tomorrow as well. Music, not TV.

Tomorrow I’m picking up my new motorcycle and then going to the CC Salon in the evening. Those are two exciting things that should be good distractions and allow me to think and write at other points in the day. For now, I’m throwing in the towel and calling it a day. Talk to you later, in the meantime, enjoy this.

talk talk talk

(Thanks for the feedback from yesterday’s post, the feedback I got, online and off was so much more than I was expecting but reassures me that I’m heading in the right direction with this idea of spilling more here. Anyway…)

I’ve always been terribly afraid of talking in public. Not to the point that I won’t do it, but it’s always something I’ve been self conscious about and something I know I want to be better at doing. Anyone who knows me can see this in something as simple as how different I am in a room full of people I know and a room full of people I don’t. It’s a change I don’t even notice so much myself, but enough people have pointed it out to me that I know I clam up when it’s an unfamiliar situation. A few years ago I decided that a good way to help work through this was to push past my comfort zone by speaking in public at events. I started accepting invitations (previously I’d been declining them) to sit on panels at conferences and forcing myself to get comfortable talking to rooms full of people I don’t know.

In the last few years I’ve spoken at more than a handful of conferences all around the world but mostly I’ve been talking about blogs and communities. In fact I’m speaking later this month in Orlando, Florida at IZEAfest. The similar thread here is someone else has always come up with an idea and asked me to join them talking about it, and that’s about all I could imagine doing anyway. Earlier this year I realized that being on panels was now easy and I needed to push myself into the next level of this and actually pitch something myself. At the very last minute I pitched two sessions for the 2009 SXSWi conference which takes place in Austin, Texas. I pitched the same two sessions, plus another for 25C3 which happens later this year in Berlin. As you’ll notice these are a wide range of topics so I have no idea what will actually be accepted, and I also have no idea how I’ll pull them off if any of them do in fact get accepted. I mean, I’m sure I will, but that doesn’t mean I’m not nervous as hell.

First and foremost is the session about Metblogs. With this one Jason and I (and perhaps a few others) will lay out some of the things we’ve done, would have done differently given the benefit of hindsight, and where all this might end up going. I’ve got a longer post to make here about some of that as well but that’s for a little later. The next two topics are a bit more of a stretch – changing the world and zombies. Both topics near and dear to me, and I’m comfortable talking about, but will still be scared to try and talk to a group of people about. That said, if they work out I hope all three of these will lead to very fun sessions with positive results for anyone in attendance. Most of all I hope it chips away one more layer of being overly guarded and helps me become more comfortable with myself and what I have to say. I guess I should be worrying if anyone wants to hear any of it, but I can only tackle one aspect of this at at time. 😉