Outta Here – Loring Pasta Bar

Yes, I feel like I’ve mentioned I’m leaving MN here a dozen times. It’s probably getting tiresome me always talking about this. But this post is necessary because I’ve got to supply a post regarding my going home (un)celebration that we had at the Loring Pasta Bar last Friday. I noticed my depature was mentioned here. I wish I had had a chance to meet or get to know this Garrick guy. I remember seeing him once and thinking: "he looks cool, where did he get that name?" I mean come on, he sounds like a medieval baron or something: Garrick Van Buren. I know he’s into podcasting. That’s cool. Anyway, like I talk about in response to PeteE’s comments I feel like I’m leaving the cities with things not quite finished. I’m not going to mull over that again though. Instead I’ll just share photos of the event and a review of the restaurant.

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3.5 out of 5 stars

Loring Pasta Bar: Great Ambience

Reviewer: Aaron
January 19, 2007

Loring Pasta Bar is a fun and funky place with live music near UMN in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN.
The ambience of the place is great. Very funky. The service was really good. Our server was Jim and he wore a cool vintage shirt I liked. The menu is eclectic with an emphasis on, guess what, pasta. There were nine of us and we had an appetizer that was suited for a big group and some sushi. Surprisingly the sushi was good and the appetizers great. It was some type of combo platter with several items, which ordinarily I never order. However, the Linguine with Clams was very dissappointing. The place had live Jazz that was pretty good. I’m giving it a higher grade for the sake of the beautiful decor and wonderful ambience.

Visit date: January 2007

Food eaten: Linguine with Clams

Learn about microformats, which is what I used to write the above review.

Media Reform

Did you follow events of the National Conference for Media Reform Conference that was recently held in Memphis, TN? If not, your media is crap. It has been well covered by a couple media streams I consume. Namely the wonderful Democracy Now! and On the Media had coverage. It seems the conference is organized by Free Press, which oddly just recently came to my attention as well. I had no idea this conference was taking place. Had I known, I would have really liked to have been there. This was an important event. A very important event. Do you remember that PBS dude? Bill…uhhh…Moyers or something? 😉 Well, holy crap did he give a speech! I’ve been planning on posting about the keynote address he gave at the event. He makes so many points that I feel very strongly about that I had intended on doing a point by point write up. However, his speech was so damn good I would only be doing it an injustice. This was one of the most powerful and important speeches I’ve heard…in my life to date really; at least, due to it’s relevance today. If you have not heard this, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You can hear the condensed version at Democracy Now! and read the transcript or listen to the MP3, which in some ways is more impactful than the video provided below via YouTube (in case you’re a ‘tard, and I know there are a few of you here, you can just click the play arrow below to view the video) Part One:

Part Two:

Finally, watch Amy Goodman’s address. It’s powerful and equally important. It also includes a peculiar fact regarding Rumsfeld.

Dandelife

Kelly Abbott, creator of Dandelife, just brought my attention, in a comment here, that he has some new features at Dandelife and he’s open sourced some of his work. I’ve spoken previously about Dandelife here. Strangley enough, I previously stumbled across this SIMILE project, which is what he’s open sourced, but I didn’t know it was Kelly’s. That’s awesome Kelly! Free knowledge! As previously mentioned, Dandelife is cool. I have to recommend Tabulas (it is Roy’s), then Dandelife if you’re interested in a hosted blogging platform with social features. I would advise using either platform over blogger or other hosted blogging applications. Both are perfectly mainstream and feature rich. Ok, I’m sorry Roy, but I think Dandelife is a tad cooler with the timeline and subtle styling, but only because Roy spends all his time on his full time job. 🙂 However, Tabulas does have a much much larger membership than Dandelife does, so if you’re in it for the community…The only mark against Dandelife is the company Kelly keeps. I defer to my previous comments about self-proclaimed experts on software who aren’t engineers. I guess I generally don’t like trendy hipster doofuses. Now, don’t think this is why I dropped my Dandelife because this didn’t come to my attention until afterward. Anyway, kudos Kelly for open sourcing some of your wonderful application. I’m sure you will continue to grow and be successful. I hope in a couple weeks when I move to your town we’ll go out for coffee or beer. Everyone else who’s reading this, drop your blogger and typepad accounts and migrate to Dandelife. You won’t regret it. Unless you’re a family member of mine because I’m going to launch WordPress MU for us.

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I guess I’ve misinformed everyone. Kelly has actually implemented a view of SIMILE and not actually contributed any development to the project. I guess I misunderstood his assertion.

NSA Inside

I just saw that the Washington Post ran a story about the NSA “assisting” in securing Windows Vista. Cool, the agency tasked with domestic spying is securing the operating system with 90% market dominance. Good idea. Everyone should install Vista immediately! We should give it away free in China, Korea, and the Middle East. Perhaps Microsoft could get a no-bid contract to do so.

Adiós Otra Vez Duluth

I’m overdue for a family update. First, turns out Tara is 50% Wonder Woman and 55% Hulk (see comments), BrwaaAAAaaa! Last weekend we headed north for our last visit to Duluth before our move. Tara had a chance to spend some time with her mother and I stopped by Scenic Cafe for coffee and a couple Guinness (in that order). Tara was happy to see the in-laws and their undead rat dog. On the topic of Scenic Cafe, if you are looking for dining on the North Shore of Lake Superior this is the place to go. Disclosure: my buddy Scott owns it. Scott is an amazing chef. The place is funky and fun. The menu is eclectic. It has great beer, wine, and coffee, and the food is even better. Plus it is on Lake Superior (between Duluth and Two Harbors).

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Ashby is really diggin’ her forts. We set up a blanket and pillow fort in the family room and she goes crazy with excitement! Evidence below. The only other event of significance to report is that we’ve sold the Accord. It’s great to be down to one car. I really looking forward to the office being two blocks from home as it will be in San Diego. I won’t have to drive, less waste! Work has been a tad painful as my office in MN winds down and the office in CA winds up. With all the odds and ends Tara and I have been managing I’m especially out of touch of with work. Living downtown San Diego is going to be different. I know Tara and Ashby are going to love it. Take today for example. It is butt ass cold and snowing outside. Tara and Ashby are trapped in the house all day. Something as simple as going to the store is a huge undertaking and, at best, a two hour ordeal. In San Diego it’s 50-something F. There is a play ground a few blocks away. They can go a couple blocks away for coffee. Walk along the harbor. Go to the zoo. Head out to the beach. Catch a donkey show in TJ, you know whatever. 🙂

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I was planning a going-away party for myself last week. Pathetic, I know. As I sifted through my address book it occurred to me that I’ve pissed off a lot of people in this state. Sure some were people I had to fire, or instilled with a desire to quit. Then there was a raft of contractors that I had the misfortune of working with. From the incompetent to the criminal. My favorite contractor in Minnesota was definitely the graphic design firm that incorporated another company’s trademarked logo into the design they sold us. At first they claimed it wasn’t a trademarked logo, but instead a generic graphic. Then they asserted that it was our fault because it was just a place holder image in the design and they never intended for it to be part of the design. That was awesome. And then of course there were droves of people in technology organizations that I suppose I offended by being very vocal and maybe occasionally rude. So, I’m opinionated and I don’t suffer fools lightly. Is that bad? At least you know what I think. Most of my offenses come from me being very candid. I do not like to waste time on prancing about issues and I tend to be pretty direct with my opinions. Don’t get me wrong. I always respect others’ opinions. I appreciate hearing them in fact. Indeed, I find it difficult to deal with people who obfuscate their emotions or are unwilling to candidly share their opinions. It’s painfully frustrating for me. I think this is why I’ve always loved Italy. Southern Italy especially. They scream, they yell. You know what they think even if you don’t speak their language. I like that. As for work, I’ll admit I’m pretty demanding. I know Pete’s woman said something to him when he decided to come work with me along the lines of: are you sure, you know Aaron is impossibly demanding…or something like that. I know I can be difficult to work with, or be married to (for different reasons though I believe). I think it’s because I’m passionate about what I do and I tend to demand a lot of commitment. If you’re not fully committed to something, why do it? Just to collect a paycheck? I don’t want to share my life with people like that. Just going through the motions.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Most people do just work for the paycheck and have no real interest in their jobs beyond that. Maybe those people are really passionate about side hobbies. Cool, go get paid doing that. You’ll probably be happier. I’m not saying these people are less worthy, I just don’t want to work with them. If you’re not all in, don’t bother, and don’t waste my time.

Brwaaaa! Hulk

Ok, my curiosity got the better of me. I’m somewhat embarrassed for participating in this because it’s so dumb and especially trendy. If you know me, you know I hate trendy shit. I can’t help myself, but when a band gets popular, I usually stop listening to them. In fact, I recently started to listen to Nirvana again after more than a decade of black listing them. Damn they kicked ass. Anyway, I took that ridiculous Superhero quiz that’s been floating about the blogosphere for a few weeks now. Turns out, I’m the Hulk.

Your results:
You are Hulk

Hulk
80%
Iron Man
65%
Spider-Man
60%
Superman
55%
Green Lantern
50%
Batman
50%
Robin
42%
Wonder Woman
40%
Catwoman
40%
Supergirl
40%
The Flash
35%
You are a wanderer with
amazing strength.


Click here to take the “Which Superhero are you?” quiz…

(Un)Meet Guy Kawasaki

Graeme is heralding a meet-up at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center at 11:30 am this Friday, January 19th. Later this day we’ll be having the MN is Aaron-Free Celebration (otherwise known as the ding-dong-that-prick-is-gone), more on this in a moment. Anyhow, let’s get the Guy Kawasaki talk early and, as Graeme puts it: schmooooze!!! He’s blogged earlier about this event (It starts at 1:00 pm), but the event is sold-out. Just for shits and giggles I’m going to crash it. Read more about this at Graeme’s blog. Anyone up for crashing the place in a mob of MindTouch tshirts? Spread the word to your lists and communities!

So, right. I’m gone. Tara, Ashby, and I are moving to San Diego, CA in less than two weeks. MindTouch is centralizing our offices. I’m sure you all know this by now. We’re having a small gathering for drinks and maybe appetizers after the Guy Kawasaki thing (4-ish). The location TBD. Somewhere near campus or dowtown though. Spread the word.

Hate Media Pundit Police

I was listening to On the Media on the way back from Duluth this morning. It mentioned the incident last year where Bill O’Reilly threatened a caller to his radio program with FOX Security and asserted that he was a “gone guy”. Here is an excerpt:

Mike is a gone guy. We have your phone numbers, by the way, so if you’re listening, Mike, we have your phone number, and we’re going to turn it over to FOX Security, and you’ll be getting a little visit. . . . When you call us, ladies and gentlemen, just so you know, we do have your phone number, and if you say anything untoward, obscene, or anything like that, FOX Security then will contact the local authorities, and you will be held accountable. . . . Believe it. — Bill O’Reilly

I had forgotten about this. Then this evening I saw on memeorandum that Tucker Carlson has behaved similarly recently when he allegedly threatened some lowly video rental clerk who was then promptly terminated from his employer as a result of legal threats from Carlson’s lawyer. Read the whole story here. You know Tucker Carlson, he is that bow-tie wearing chump that gets paid to be witty and quick on his feet, but managed to get verbally lashed by John Stewart on that silly show of his that was canceled (Crossfire). If you haven’t seen this, you really must, it’s hysterical:

And then Stewart’s recap later:

CNN and Democracy Now! Podcasts

Have you watched the CNN podcast In Case You Missed It? You need to check this out if you haven’t. It’s obscenely B-A-D. I guess this is CNN’s attempt to be cool and hip. They’ve got video with a crappy techno-beat layered over it and minimal commentary. Then each transition has one of those brilliant swish noises. Maybe this works with the under 25 demographic. I watched one episode, was awed by how bad it was, and watched parts of a couple other episodes just to see if maybe it was some sick joke. Turns out they actually produce that crap.

On the opposite end of the spectrum you have Democracy Now!, which offers audio and video podcasts. This is without a doubt the best news source I’ve found. I recommend it highly. Another personal favorite is On the Media, which is a weekly program.

GrandCentral

I bumped into GrandCentral back at DEMOFall, but I didn’t check them out until recently. I registered a phone number a couple weeks ago and just now got back to it. It’s a really cool product. You register a phone number, people call this number, all the phones you setup ring. Cool and useful. There is also several features such as voicemails can be emailed to you, call forwarding, etc. Oh, and you can change the ring people hear when the call you. You can even add an MP3 for your ring.

Why would you want this? One number is easier to remember than three (or more). All your voicemails can be in one place. You can forward, reply, download, etc. You can configure it so each caller is treated differently. Add greetings, music, phones, etc…And lastly, you can keep your real numbers to yourself.

Here are a couple things that are a tad lame. First: I wanted to setup an account for Tara too. This way I would never again have to dial home, then her mobile. However, for some strange reason you can only have a phone number set up in one account. So, I couldn’t use my home phone in my account and her account. Why? Secondly, everyone knows I’m usually up until 1 or 2 AM, but Tara is in bed early and if they want to ring me they can call me on my mobile because this won’t wake Tara or Ashby. With GrandCentral I can configure my new number so my home is rung during work hours, but I can’t configure it so my home phone isn’t rung late. This would be really useful. They should give me an interface I can tweak when specific phone numbers are rung.

Anyhow, give me a call at my new number: (619) 931-2314, dig the ringer.