Saturday, November 23, 2002

Living, on a Jet Plane

Max Power Aerospace, a company in nearby Smyrna, TN is apparently selling "Airplane Homes." They are made of out decommissioned Boeing 727 aircraft mounted on pedestals, and can even be mounted to swivel in the wind!

The best part? You can bid on one on E-Bay.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Profiles in Frustration

Today has been a very strange day. First I got roped into a last-minute project that would have waited until tomorrow if I worked in a democracy. Unfortunately, it seems I actually work in a dictatorship, and the work had to be done tonight.

When I finally escaped, I headed over to a party a work friend was throwing for some of the college kids I spoke to last week. (They followed me back and are visiting our office this week.) Hung out there for a while, then headed home. I managed to scatter the contents of my CD case all over the interior of my truck while I was driving, so I was a bit preoccupied when I pulled up in front of my house. Which is my excuse for why I locked the truck up with my keys sitting on the front seat.

I had another key to the truck in the house, but it was utterly useless since the house key was in the truck. So I started evaluating my options. I thought about knocking on my neighbors' door. But since it was around midnight and they have small kids, I felt really bad doing this, especially since I'm not 100% positive they have a current key.

So then it occurred to me that I keep a spare house key in my desk drawer at work just for situations like this. SoI grabbed a cab and headed across town to my office. When I got there, I ran in, figuring that I could just grab the key and be out in two minutes. But I had forgotten one thing: the door to my office was also locked, and the key was... in my truck. So then I had to tear around the building to find a cleaning person with the right key to get into my office, grab the key. That probably ate up ten minutes or so on the taxi meter.

Then I headed back across town, opened up the house, found my spare truck key, and retrieved my key ring. Total cost: 45 minutes and $15. Better than the hour and $60 I would have spent calling a locksmith, but still not exactly what you'd call a good use of time or money.

And now I'm compounding the damage by blogging about this instead of working on my class project that's due tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Hometown in the news

My hometown got a big story in the Washington Post because of its decision set up a corn silo to support residential corn stoves. You heard that right: corn stoves! Apparently corn makes a great environmentally-friendly heating fuel.

Takoma Park, a town of about 17,000 people on the outskirts of Washington, DC, has also been a nuclear free zone since the mid-1980s. And unlike Nashville, they've had a well-run mandatory recycling program for years. (Don't get me started on Nashville's expensive new program that only picks up once a month, requires the use of minivan-sized 100 gallon drums, and doesn't even take glass or plastic!)

Monday, November 18, 2002

I have heat now, although I'm not convinced it's not going to cut out again the next time it rains. But at least it's toasty inside.

Margaret over at MightyGirl linked to, a highly (but subtly) satirical website making fund of various racist attitudes. Reading the letters received by the site, it seems that about half of the people get the joke, and the other half are utterly outraged by the whole thing. I was curious as to who the prankster was, so I did a whois on the domain and found out that it was owned by one "Jonah Peretti." I then did a google search on this name and hit paydirt. It seems that Peretti is the guy who tried to order customized sneakers from Nike with the word "sweatshop" stitched on them, and set up a "rejection hotline" in New York City as an experiment in spreading news by word of mouth.

He's was talking about the rejection line phenomenon when he made the following statement in this article:

People think of media as this monolithic thing that chooses to cover one thing or another. But really, it's people who make media, and they hear stories from friends of theirs. Social networks tie into the way mass media works.

The subplot is I'm trying to demonstrate that the Internet hasn't become totally corporate. Individuals with very little money can still reach millions of people.

This is along the lines of the point I was trying to get at with my little "media" diatribe a few months back (here and here).

(Argh! In looking for those last two links, I discovered that Blogger had shredded all but two weeks worth of my archive! One of these days I gotta move this sucker off to a better publishing system. All the cool kids seems to be using Movable Type these days, so maybe that's the way to go.)