Categories
Photography Places

Glass in the garden

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My roommate was home from work early yesterday so I took the opportunity of having the car during the day to make a quick trip to the Botanical Gardens.

There was a great deal of activity–more than I would expect on an overcast Friday afternoon. However, the unveiling of the Chihuly Glass in the Gardens happened yesterday, and the Children’s Garden officially opens Monday, so that’s two major events rolled into one.

Me? I was there for the iris–they’re just now in bloom.

What I was surprised to find is that the Chihuly glass pieces aren’t limited to just the Climatron–our famous domed conservatory. There were bits of glass sculpture all over the park. Needless to say, I spent a merry time taking photos.

 

 

The Botanical Gardens staff was originally reluctant about the glass display. The park features art, true. But it’s always been secondary to the plants. The Chihuly glass demands, and gets attention.

Still, the glass doesn’t stop the flowers. In fact, they complement each other–blown glass has a very floral feel to it. I imagine that during the Thursday night Chihuly in the Park nights, when all of the glass is lit and the music is playing that the effect will be magical. Can’t wait to go.

 

Categories
Weblogging

Introducing YellowGatr

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I wanted to introduce something I’m pretty excited about:

YellowGatr: a piddle of news

If you’re like me and want to look at everything through a yellow glow, now you don’t have to cover your computer monitor with yellow acetate or wear yellow-tinted sunglasses. Instead you can use the YellowGatr, and get the news the way you want!

To demonstrate YellowGatr, I’ve created a feed called YellowGatr: Big Dogs. Now you can read the likes of Dave Winer, Steve Rubel, and Mike Arrington in bright, living yellow!

I was inspired to create YellowGatr when I read Doc Searls recent post where he wrote:

My point is that Dave isn’t just coming at this as a technologist. He’s coming at this as a publisher. Specifically, he’s proposing River of News as a new format for publishing. Or a new approach to it.

His message with River of News isn’t just for geeks like us. It’s for the NYTimes and BBCs of the world, as well as for bloggers whose output is frequent and texty and newsy enough to work, as Paul Kedrosky says, like a newswire. But unlike the old newswires that went from AP and UPI to newsrooms at newspapers and broadcasters (or to professionals at workstations at brokerage houses), River of News goes directly from writer to reader. In other words, its a new, phone-friendly approach to publishing.

And Ed Cone:

There’s plenty of pushback on Dave Winer’s new project, including several comments at my post from yesterday.

Some of it comes across as routine playa-hatin’, some of it the more specialized genre of Winer-bashing, and a lot of it as geeks people who know something about technology but can’t see the forest for the trees.

Doc Searls address the big picture here. “You coulda said the same thing to Steve Jobs when he came out with the iPod.” Lots more at Doc’s blog.

I thought about it and these guys are right: it is a whole new way of looking at published data. Not only that, but think of the innovation this can inspire: Pinkator, Blueator, PurplePeopleEater– a rainbow of news and views just flowing across your computer monitor!

(Well, all but yellow. I invented yellow, I trademarked yellow, so you can’t use yellow. Or, well, variations such as gold, umber, cadmium, sulpher, and ivory.)

They say the reason we women aren’t heard as much in the tech circles is that we’re not innovative enough. I’m so proud to be able to put that myth to rest, with my unique publishing tool and concept.

Enjoy!

PS Feel free to copy the YellowGatr logo and pass it around. Oh, and I’m currently accepting submissions from those folks who want to be included in my next YellowGatr: Small Puppies. Or if you prefer, you can wait for the Itty Bitty Minnows edition.

Categories
Just Shelley Photography

In celebration of Earth Day 2006

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Hold on. Hold on. Stop the break. I almost forgot to post my traditional Earth Day offering of photos. This Earth Day I’m featuring photos from the Show Me Mobile Aquarium; the large semi-truck size fishtank filled with native Missouri fishies currently on display as part of the Earth Day offerings at Powder Valley Conservation Center.

There’s a new self-portrait at the end of the post.

This year the tank had something different: an inner tank with goldfish. I figured that the goldfish might be food for the other fishies. The longnose gar were particularly interested in them.

I was interested in the longnose gar; fascinating creatures, who would follow me as I moved around. It could be they hoped for food, but I think it might have been the camera lens. It did look something like their own eyes. Perhaps they thought I was the Great Gar–god supreme of long nosed fishes.

After all, did I not make little fishies fall out of frustrating see through cave?

The corner of the goldfish tank had an aerator, which the goldfish would swim into and through. As I was looking about, I noticed that one goldfish was on the other side of the goldfish enclosure, frantically trying to get back into the enclosure. There was a bit of water weed next to the inner tank, and in it I noticed two other goldfish hiding. The poor fish were getting caught up in the aerator and then pushed over and out of the inner tank into the outer.

The Great Gar provides.

The gas prices are rising and rumor has it they’ll top out over 3.00 a gallon and not go back down. I wouldn’t mind–perhaps now people will give up their monster trucks and tank-size gas guzzling SUVs. But the money forms an almost obscene amount of profit for oil companies, and I do tire of this.

If the money went into cleaning up the air and water, I would be more positive.

Last week I pulled up next to this huge, shiny and chromed black truck at the light. Two guys were in it, looking cool. I was so tempted to lean out and ask them if they’ve had to haul any pigs to market lately, but didn’t. Someday I won’t have to say it, and the guys won’t look cool in a truck too big for most people’s needs.

When I finish my project and book, I’ll have to think about how I’ll handle my end of work travel treat. I had originally planned on driving, from east coast to west. Now I’m thinking it would be better, and cheaper, to take a train or some such thing. Especially since even with a sleeper, it might be less expensive.

But I like driving, and traveling by car. I think we’ll need to look at different ways of road trippin’ in the future. Perhaps a ride share trip planner with others of like mind.

However, I also like my solitude when I travel. Me in the car with my music, discovering something new around each corner; following my own whim of which road to take. I have seen the most amazing things in my travels. Some folks crowd into a church, close their eyes, and pray for miracles. They don’t understand.

It’s a beautiful day today, but no drives as I have work I need to do this weekend. And the car is in the mechanics again. A different mechanic. They spent four hours looking for the squeak and couldn’t find it. They only charged us 20.00. Good new mechanic (Dobbs on LaClede and Watson in St. Louis).

We moved the deadline of the book up in preparation of an earlier publication date. Since we’re far enough along, I’m comfortable releasing the title for the book without fear of The Jinx. The book is Learning JavaScript. It’s a good all around introduction to all aspects of JavaScript: the basics of the language, the browser and document object models, Ajax/AJAX and DHTML, and all the nifty tools and libraries–how to use and how to create one’s own.

It’s not a reference book; I leave that to O’Reilly’s excellent Definitive books. It’s how you (yes, you) can quickly and comfortably get up to speed with JavaScript/ECMAScript.

I’ve returned to the same writing style and format that I used with Developing ASP Components, and that book did very well, so I’m confident this one should do nicely.

Lots of people unhappy about this opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, but the writing is good and some of the points are valid. The Shiny Happy People will like it. I loved the following:

I don’t think the blogosphere is breeding cannibals. But it looks to me as if the world of blogs may be filling up with people who for the previous 200 millennia of human existence kept their weird thoughts more or less to themselves. Now, they don’t have to. They’ve got the Web. Now they can share.

Best post and comment section on this weblog:

Dear Jerry and matt: what you guys need is a blog. You are two people, right?

Let me share more of my thoughts with you. Stop me when I get to the part with, …I liked to be tied up when….

Speaking of intimacy, I have a question for you straight guys: are you as comfortable chatting with the women online as you are the guys? Or do you sometimes think to yourself that a woman might be getting interested in you, and does this make you more reticent?

Are you more comfortable with a woman friend when one or the both of you is attached to another? There’s a significant difference in age? In geography? What makes a woman ’safe’ for you?

How about you ladies: what makes a man safe for you?

(Adjust questions accordingly if you’re gay.)

Just as an FYI, though many of you are sexy as hell, I’m *not interested romantically in anyone I’ve met through weblogging. I hope no one’s heart is broken by this. I also hope no one is feeling too relieved.

Now that this is out of the way, we can all be friends. Just being friends isn’t rated highly enough. I suppose it doesn’t sell books or movies. Or Hallmark cards.

This probably makes me sound like a sad person, but I get more excited at seeing a marvelous new bird, a wondrous new mountain range, walking by the ocean or on a new trail in the woods, traveling, having a giggle or ramble with friends, working for a cause, reading a really great piece of writing, seeing or even trying to create, a special photograph, tasting something new, a good movie, and even creating an amazing work of technology then I do at the thought of going on a ‘date’.

Of course, any of the above with someone who complements the moment is okay (no, dammit spell check leave it alone); even nice. But my joy in the experience is not diminished by lack of companion.

That’s it–I’m officially one of those. I’ll have to start carrying bags made out of straw and make the pilgrimage to Mexico.

Earth Day, 2006. Yes, I liked the Wall Street Journal article earlier. This one however, is based on missing statistic, overinflated biased recordings, self serving data in order to promote you all buying more more more, so that companies in the world can make profits off your eventual misery. Supposedly the reason for all the scientific concern being expressed now about global warming is because those who speak ‘truth’ (i.e. against the concern) are intimidated into silence. I have only one thing to say to the author: may your children and your grandchildren grow to adulthood and live long in just the kind of life you want to give them.

Do you all realize that if we make one change in our lives, we can make a significant impact on the environment? Yes, if we drive a car with better gas mileage, walk more, take a bike more, recycle, and use environmentally friendly products, we can make a difference.

Did you know one of the most romantic dates you can go on is go for a walk? Take along a basket with a little bread, cheese, wine, and fresh apples. Cloth napkins, and real plates say ‘class’.

Sure you have time. Don’t tell me you don’t have time. It only takes 10 minutes to make an egg sandwich for breakfast–you don’t have to throw another piece of plastic (and the container it comes in) into the microwave.

Sexy isn’t clothes, you don’t need 100 pairs of shoes, and the woman or man that can get by wearing last year’s clothes this year and next and and next and next and maybe even the next is the woman or man who has learned how to spit downwind instead of up.

The economy won’t go belly up if you don’t overspend this year.

Apple will recycle your old Apple products safely. Many schools and non-profits will take your old computer equipment (as long as it works). Linux will run on PCs that are years and years old.

If you download music, there’s less plastic used for CDs. If you buy a new computer every 4 years, instead of the average of 3, you save money and there’s less motherboards and old casings in landfills.

Buying produce in larger containers and re-packaging into your own reusable containers at home is cheaper and more earth-friendly than buying in small containers.

If you buy that, you’ll have to dust it. If you buy that, it will break. If you buy that, you’ll have payments. If you buy that, no one will fall in love with you.

Except if you buy my book when it comes out. If you buy it, I’ll love you. And you’ll be able to get it digitally. Digital books are pro-environment.

Digital photography is pro-environment.

And no tree was harmed–or acts of cannibalism committed–in the making of this weblog.

*And my heart belongs to Johnny Depp.

Categories
Weblogging

Eat the red couch

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

You know the nice thing about being a woman in weblogging, especially if you frequent the ‘weblogging as topic’ or technology lists, is that no one listens to you anyway, so you can damn well say what you want. The guys, on the other hand, take it all way too seriously because they’re listened to–well, if they’ve learned how to ‘pump the tire’, so to speak, they are–and they want to go down as someone wise, with it, and prescient.

I read in Dave Rogers weblog his quote from Shel Israel’s take on what Nick Carr had to say on innocent fraud:

The other thought is that maybe you should reflect on just quitting your blog. You don’t like the blogosphere. You certainly don’t seem to like those of us who are dedicating lives and energy to its promotion, and–don’t be offended by this Nick–we really won’t miss you a whole lot if you just sit down and shut up.

Now, I could respond in depth, like I’ve responded elsewhere this week, hopefully with something learned sounding and impressive but then I thought: why waste my time? Why not just have some fun, and say whatever the hell I want and we’ll all have a giggle, which is probably a lot better use of our time anyway.

So, here’s a brain teaser: what sentences can you derive from the following words: Shel Israel, blog evangelist, naked conversationist, tells Nick Carr to sit down shut up.

Here’s my first:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

Pretty good, eh? I have more. For instance, here’s one that’s a nod for Mr. Seth FinkLEStein, in honor of him being subscribed (”OHMIGOD I’m subscribed!”) by Mr. Israel, blog evangelist:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

I know, am I hot or what?

Nick Douglas, in comments, threatens to wag these boys’ valley because this whole thing is SO ONE DAY OLD. Since he’s been so damn good this week, with this and this, and oh god, I loved this, I have one just for him:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

I know, my Mom said I had a cunning way with words.

La Shawn Barber manages to convert ANY topic into an anti-liberal rant, usually sprinkled equally with comments of faith and the virtues of a Darwinian philosophy of survival of the pricks. This, is especially for her:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

You’re applauding, aren’t you? I can hear you. You love it, don’t you? You want more. Well…

Ethan, long time masochistic follower of the Bb Gun, also wrote on the whole innocent fraud thing. Being as he’s not attending Mike Arrington’s party tonight (”What? Why not? Everyone who is anyone will be there. Well, maybe not people in North Dakota. And Nick Douglas. And probably not Nick Carr.”) because he just attended FugIT, deserves one of his own:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

Stop it! Stop it! You’re making me blush! A girl can handle only so many compliments. OK, OK, one or two more.

Lance, you’re A-List. And Shel?

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

Kent Newsome author of the shot heard round, well, the block tracks much of this including a comment by Hugh MacLeod, who has been mean again. Bad, bad, Hugh. If you don’t stop, we’re going to make you drink that wine you keep hawking.

Newsome points to (and writes some damn fine comments in) the original post that seems to have started this latest, where the author tells Seth to stop wallowing in his disillusionment. Survival of the pricks, indeed.

Kent, this one is just for you:

Shel Israel is a doo-doo bird

I better stop now, or you’re going to hurt yourself, laughing at my brilliant and witty sentence reconstructions. Time for you to have fun. Feel free to drop your gems in the comments; or in the pond, wrapped around a rock, if you prefer. Whatever you do, don’t sit down, and don’t shut up.

Have a happy weekend. Do something real.

Categories
Diversity History

What a wonderful treat

Monthly I get a fresh batch of downloads at eMusic. I don’t have the largest plan–the most I can download is 20 at a time. Usually this is enough for an album with maybe a few experimental downloads from unfamiliar groups. I think it will be years before I manage all the jazz downloads I want.

Last weekend when I went looking, I found an incredible collection: the complete works for Ella Fitzgerald when she was recording with the Decca label. The British label JSP is re-releasing a mix, and it includes probably some of her finest singing.

I’m not sure which is my favorite; probably “Baby, it’s Cold Outside”, with Louie Jordan. No, perhaps it’s “Black Coffee”. I can’t tell — it’s one good song after another. And quality, too. No scratches, good faithful reproductions.

I listened to it last weekend while I walked, and lost myself in another era–my favorite era. I softshoed past the cardinal, the titmouse, and the robins, while they looked on in seeming interest. No one else was about, of course. I’m only insane when I’m alone.

I would give anything to have been born in the 1920’s. Yes, there was the Depression, but whether it was because of the Depression or despite it, this was a time rich with exploration and strength–even for women. Especially for women.

Back in the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, a strong woman was someone to be looked up to and admired. Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Taylor, Eleanor Roosevelt. You could be a feminist without having to carefully explain to the guys around you that it really didn’t mean you wanted to emasculate them. These women were honorary man feminists according to Lenore Levine. I don’t particularly agree with this designation, but I do like her description of today’s Nicey-Poo feminism:

Nicey-Poo Feminists have taken the sensible idea that women should be supportive of other women, and distorted it almost out of recognition. That is, Nicey-Poo Feminists believe that feminism means never saying anything controversial (at least in their own circles), and never saying anything about another woman that isn’t nice.

Nicey-Poo Feminism has been promoted by the new new Ms. (post-1990). This magazine is afraid to print anything which any segment of their audience might find offensive. After all, if they actually said anything mischievous or funny, their circulation might increase. (A fate they seem determined to avoid at all costs.)

The clothing of that long ago time reflected the personalities of the women. Many of the suits were tailored, severe, with padded shoulders and angular lines. The women who wore them seemed unbending in their resolve–determined and capable. Yet the gowns were fragile and light, and flowed behind the woman as she glided with exquisite grace and femininity across the dance floor. And the hats–I can only wish for a hat with a net dropping down to teasingly cover half my face; me peeping out through the netting in a move both coy and bold–we just can’t do this today. Butt cracks peeking out from pants too low is not the same.

During this time, women fought for and won the vote, admission to college, and demanded entry in fields normally restricted to the men. These were not quiet women, willing to demurely wait for someone else to pave the way. But they weren’t all of a kind–they couldn’t be classified as ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, because many were both. And more. What extraordinary set of events happened to make women into what we were during this time? And what can we do now, to re-capture it?

If I was born in the 1920’s, I would have been in my late teens and early 20’s during World War II. I would like to think I would have volunteered to serve–as a pilot, surveyor, or radio person. Who knows? Maybe I would have been Rosie the Riveter.

Anyway, these were my thoughts while listening to Ella. It’s a rare collection of songs that can completely repaint your world.