Peder with a D

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Archive for May, 2008

Scott McClellan’s Book

Posted by Peder on 29 May 2008

In as much as I’ve been a critic of the Bush administration, this new book by former Press Secretary Scott McClellan feels mildly vindicating. I just listened to him on Countdown with Keith Olbermann giving a candid set of revelations about what he knew and when he knew it during his tenure with in the White House:

  • The President admitted that he authorized Scooter Libbey’s leaking of Valerie Plame’s name
  • Reported that the administration propagandized the rationale used to support military intervention in Iraq
  • Said the press did not perform its duty in scrutinizing said rationale
  • Admitted many people were “right” in their criticisms of Bush’s involvement in Iraq
McClellan\'s BookAmidst the many unfortunate realities this nation has lived in over the past 7+ years, I carry a small sense of hope that has been strengthened. In this age of media and transparency, enough information was shared that many people were accurately critical of the Iraq war. I see transparency increasing, powered by this online set of media, that it will be increasingly difficult for future leaders to hide vital information from the nation. We knew it all along, that Bush and his administration was lying to us. Here’s hoping we have the courage to speak up next time we see it.

I’m headed off to buy this book now in the hour I have before the Lost season finale!
Update: I never actually got that book.  As I was headed out the door a blast from the past was knocking on it and I didn’t get a chance to head out that evening.  Nonetheless I’d still like to read this account.  In the meantime I did get Angler, the descriptive narrative of the Cheney vice presidency.  Equally informative, if not a hell of a lot spookier, the Cheney book is.  Which is probably a good way to compare Cheney to Bush, Jr. in general …

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Chinese Political Irony

Posted by Peder on 28 May 2008

Communist President & Kuomintang Party Chairman in an Historical Meeting

Ironically, the Kuomintang, the party that fought the 23-year war against the communists (with an 8-year hiatus to fight the Japanese) is now seen as the “new leadership” with whom Beijing has the opportunity for “improved relations.” [via BBC, as is the photo to the right]

This is said in contrast to the former leadership of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which overtly advocated Taiwanese independence from China. (Flash-based site, once you have it in English, hit “The Party” link on the left and choose “Platform” from the menu.)

And for you American viewers out there, you’ll find a bit of familiarity in the Red-Blue divide between these two parties. The mainland Communist Party is represented by red, of course. And the Kuomintang is represented by blue, as accentuated by their Pan-Blue delegation of 2005.  The savvy viewer would have also noticed the aforementioned DPP is represented by the eccentric third party color, green.

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Wedding Day Jitters

Posted by Peder on 21 May 2008

A Rattled Bride

Imagine having your wedding photo shoot disrupted by a massive earthquake. That’s what happened to one couple in Pengzhou, only miles away from the epicenter of the recent quake in Wenchuan county, Sichuan.  Visit this blog for more of their photos.  Also, thanks to the Shanghaiist for links.

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Blogs I Want to Start Reading

Posted by Peder on 20 May 2008

Today at work has been about checking out the competition which means a lot of Internet surfing. This is dangerous for me, because like many of you I have Internet-ADHD, Searchbaritis, Relatedlinkmania and am horribly addicted to and Twitter. Ergo, I surf a lot …

So I found a couple neat blogs out there that I want to keep track of, but can’t read very much because I’m writing on a computer that belongs to my employer.

Demonbaby – Hollywood-based graphic artist talks about music and makes fun of celebrities. Good start.

Waxy – I do read it from time to time, and like the Links Blog, but want to spend more time on the main site.

Coding Horror – I want to believe I’m cool enough to get this stuff, and I do for the most part. Main idea here is, “surround yourself w/ people smarter than you.”

Alltop – an RSS aggregator instead of a blog, but provides list of good* blogs on a variety of topics

* as determined by Guy Kawasaki, presumably

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30th Birthday Piñata

Posted by Peder on 17 May 2008

Happy Birthday early this week to Miriam.  Nothing can stop her, especially not no stinkin’ piñata!

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“Retweeting” a post about Twitter

Posted by Peder on 13 May 2008

The lovefest with current Internet darling, Twitter, continues.

I’ve noticed a lot of friends and colleagues have written wonderful posts on the web app and this has me thinking it’s probably my turn to weigh in.  But instead of writing some new ideas from scratch I’ll take a twitter-esque approach and “retweet” (replay/repost) some of my favorites.  I’ll give credit where credit is due, so feel free to check out these other blogs!

1.  First let’s get an introduction to what Twitter is.  Embedded below is a video from a blog that explains technical concepts to the rest of us.  I bring you the Common Craft’s “Twitter in Plain English.” (Click here if that doesn’t work.)

2.  Next we have Ian’s post on how he got over any hesitations and came to embrace the service.  It’s also peppered with more great links on the topic.

3. Third entry today goes to another member of my blog roll (right hand column, list of other blogs I read).  Meet Carrie.  This first post talks about her experience with Twitter.  This second provides an account of how Twitter helped break the Chinese earthquake story.

4. The CEO of Zappos is a fan, and he provides this post explaining how to get started.

5. “Following” people is the terminology for building your community, and it’s hard at first to know how to build this network.  This post from Pronet Advertising gives a list of influencers that you can add to your list.

6. Robert Scoble is an “early and often” proponent of Twitter.  Here he explains the value of following the right people.

7. Because of it’s popularity and ease of use, many many third party applications have been developed to enhance the Twitter experience.  Well-documented social media expert Jeremiah Owyang discusses some of them in this post.

8. Additional value from Twitter comes from the fact that it can be accessed while you’re away from your computer.  This post by Wired Pig explains how to access the service from your mobile phone’s Internet browser.  I learned of this blogger through my own community.

9. Lastly, something fun. Another guy that I’ve gotten to know entirely through Twitter runs a blog called Edit Weapon.  He ran a 6 Word Contest and got entries from his network.  Results posted here.

There you have it, my retweet.  I recommend you get an account, and be sure to follow me!

Posted in General Tech-ishness | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

falling behind, music outside the beltway

Posted by Peder on 12 May 2008

This past week saw me busy working, hosting a string of out of town guests and attending graduation ceremonies for some friends.  And what little time I did choose to spend online at home was dedicated to getting my new website running, which still doesn’t look very good.  Ergo, I have not been blogging and I am not OK with this.

Eh, it’s gonna happen, no doubt.  But in the meantime I missed the window to talk about a local story involving Snoop Dogg.  Seems the Monterey Music Summit was considering revoking (or not actually granting after having promised to) the permit to allow concert organizers to use county lands at Laguna Seca.  Here’s the link to the original story.  And here’s the follow up from last week that says the show is a go.

That story was particularly relevant to me because I attended the OzzFest Tour in 1997 (scroll to the bottom) when Marilyn Manson was on the docket on his Antichrist Superstar tour.  (Interesting that Manson was protested, not Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath nor Pantera)  Though times would eventually get much tougher for Brian Warner (aka Marilyn) when it was thought the Columbine shooters were fans of his, his band was already very controversial by this point.

The show was originally set to run outside Somerset, Wisconsin, at a beautiful natural amphitheater.  But after the community found out Marilyn Manson was going to play, they backed out forcing the event into the confines of the (relatively-speaking) crappy Metrodome.  Better yet, the Dome is in downtown Minneapolis, meaning it was much easier for the press, protesters, religious zealots, and subsequent anti-protesters to gather outside of the venue turning the whole thing into a circus.  (If you can help me find any links about this, please send me a comment.)

In one of my more proud moments I was filmed by the local ABC affiliate wearing a white t-shirt upon which I wrote, “Fuck Somerset.”  Fuck them indeed.

Suppose the thing that binds these two stories together is the misunderstanding that surrounds artists on the fringe of mainstream culture.  They can’t all be Jason Mraz, can they?  Cordozar Broadus (aka Snoop Dogg) has a show with his kids on the E! Channel entitled Father Hood.  Brian Warner can clearly articulate (slow load) what he is and what he is not.  (I’ll comment more here in a later post).

[Below: Video from Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine]
(I admit it’s kitschy, but that makes Manson’s words no less poignant.)

Answers?  Recommendations?  C’mon Peder, you’re not just going to complain here, are you?  A little, yes.  First goal was simply to outline a common thread here (and to get another blog post in!).  The second step will be to start putting together some notes for an upcoming post entitled, “Scared of Something? Learn More About It. ‘Ignorant’ Fear is the Worst Kind.”

Posted in Monterey Days | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

what’s been going on

Posted by Peder on 8 May 2008

Hello world, here’s a little update as to what’s happening in my life.
I am fully enamored with this online world of ours. I spend a fair bit of time perusing the blogosphere, Twitter, Digg and my fav podcasts. I am also building up my website-building chops. I’ve opened and transferred this very blog over there. But this morning I read this article talking about online branding (admittedly a goal of mine). Seems like the value of a non-personalized brand is better than that of a personalized one, so I recently purchased I’m gonna apply one of my fav little taglines “The future is now; I wish it would come faster,” and I’ll play up the PH part of the name. (Hey, can’t completely remove ourselves from the process!)

On the job front there has been some activity, but it’s still a generally-discouraging process. Fortunately I will not be discouraged and my move northward is inevitable. Just need that job … I was contacted a couple weeks ago by a Silicon Valley industry leader and had an interview. Having not heard much on that recently I’m taking the clue that I might not be their ideal candidate. But in the process I got a copy of the job description they were trying to fill. It really would be a great spot for me, so at least I can take the language they used and apply it to my job search criteria. Silver linings, baby. In the meantime, my current employers have asked me to further develop their online business plan. They and I both agree I’d be a great person to project manage the development of that portal, but I remain dubious. I want to move out of Monterey, and they’ve made these sorts of promises before. Pull the trigger boys! Alas, same old same old: Hurry up and wait.

Been playing some new music lately as well. Made some mixed CDs for some friends and have been playing a lot on Muxtape. I’m listening to Hellogoodbye as I write now, and have rediscovered my love for Boards of Canada over the last couple weeks.

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Happy “Law Day”

Posted by Peder on 1 May 2008

As stated by Presidential Decree, today is Law Day here in the United States.

What is Law Day you ask?  According to Mr. Bush, today, “we pay tribute to the men and women in America’s legal community. Through hard work and dedication to the rule of law, members of the judiciary and the legal profession help secure the rights of individuals, bring justice to our communities, and reinforce the proud traditions that make America a beacon of light for the world.”

Awesome, a whole day to honor lawyers.  Gotta tell you, didn’t see this one coming from a town like Washington.

By itself this wouldn’t be so bad, except that this holiday (established by President Eisenhower) supplanted May Day, or the International Workers’ Day, which was seen as communist.  (A nonstarter in 1958.)  Clearly our government has learned many of it’s tactics on the kindergarten playground.

I guess during the Cold this made some sense, as clear lines of demarcation between capitalist/communist, good/bad had to be drawn.  Right?  But as opined in this 2007 editorial, celebrating the rule of law has its own sense of irony here during the first decade of the 21st century.  The piece cites the “enemy combatant” and “unitary executive” doctrines as efforts to undermine the rule of law in this country.  Oof, today’s decree is looking more and more ironic!

So what do we do on Law Day?  Besides feeling discouraged by the state of our government’s paradoxical stances, you could:

Happy Law Day everyone!

(For more information on the efforts of the current executive branch to consolidate power within the Presidency, check out this Frontline piece entitled “Cheney’s Law.”  Click here for the full video.)

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