Monthly Archives: May 2010

Punk Rock Bowling 2010, I Didn’t Go

In 2001, the Barflies.net fielded, or laned, our first bowling team(s) at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas. PRB was only a year or two old at that point, was held at the Gold Coast Hotel which was just off strip. In the years since we have moved all over the place from the Gold Coast to downtown, to the Boulder Hwy, to Sam’s Town, back to the Gold Coast, back to Sam’s Town, etc.
In the years since, Punk Rock Bowling was really the highlight of the whole year not just for me but for many of my friends, next to SXSW. The only year in the last 10 years that I missed bowling at PRB was in 2006 when I was at grad school in Dublin, Ireland. I had a good excuse as I was on an island a whole ocean and continent away.
This year, PRB was moved from January to May and by the time the email came from BYO Records to register, it was only a few weeks before SXSW. And I just was not interested. I had a deep down feeling that May would have other things in store for me, as well as the weekend picked was Mother’s Day weekend (?!?!?!??!?), and I couldn’t afford to shell out a couple of hundred bucks just before SXSW.
In late February/early March, I decided that I wouldn’t go this year. I told my team. Julie Wanda also wasn’t feeling it, Tink was, and so there it went.
As things have unfolded in the 2.5 months since, I am very glad that I didn’t go this weekend to Las Vegas. I am glad that I stayed home this weekend for Mother’s Day, as I had a lovely time with my Mom.
And my hunch was right, there have been other things in store for May. Tomorrow I get on a plane to go to a very cool event that I would not have had energy for if I had gone to bowling.
I hope everyone who did go had a wonderful time. As for me, my big adventure starts tomorrow. Wish me well.

Talking to Vaughan about the Upcoming Nokia N8 & HD Video Recording

Fri. 05.07.10 – Today at Tuttle Club LA, Vaughan Risher (@vardenrhode) started asking the mobile folk in the group some questions about the upcoming Nokia N8’s HD video recording capabilities.
He had three questions, of which he wrote down for me to ask around about, but then I decided I should video him fleshing out what he was really thinking.
Here are his questions about the Nokia N8:
1) Is there a button to upload full HD, not low res compressed, recorded video directly to YouTube, Vimeo, etc?
2) How does the interface stack up with iPhone or the Nexus One.
3) Can you see a complete video novice being able to use advanced video features.
Vaughan is an iPhone 3G owner who is ready to upgrade and if the Nokia N8 has the ability to upload full resolution HD recorded video directly to YouTube or Vimeo he may be tempted.
Video recorded by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97 at Toorak Cafe, Long Beach, Calif.
Ms. Jen, @msjen, blackphoebe.com
Vaughan Risher, @vardenrhode, vaughanrisher.com

I Redesigned the Front Page of BlackPhoebe.com, Favoring Photos

BlackPhoebe.com Front Page Redesign

Today, after much thought, I decided to experiment with redesigning the front page of blackphoebe.com. Previous to today, it was a shorter variation of the Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen blog theme, as of today, it is now one large background photo with a semi-transparent left sidebar with various navigation bits to get around.
I have been wanting for at least the last four years to find a way to feature my mobile phone photography without giving up the usual blog front page of chronological ordering of at least eight blog posts, as I like readers to see the choices available and not to pigeon hole Black Phoebe as only a photo blog. About four years ago, I solved the problem by making the blackphoebe.com entry page be the most recent post from this blog plus a set of the most important links to this blog, recent entries links, the about page, and my master’s thesis on Mobile.
Many photo blogs have one big photo with a few links to recent posts or possibly a short set of excerpts in the footer. I love this layout style, but I don’t want to prioritize image over text. This point of this blog since its inception in April of 2003 was to feature image and text equally. How to manage this goal structurally and visually?
I want to feature my passion for mobile phone & (D)SLR photography with at least one showcase for my favorite photo of the week or day or whatever. And I want to feature the text-based articles, reviews, and humorous pieces that I write. One of the things that I like about the Movable Type software is that the templating system is very robust and allows me to set up a template where just one post from a certain author with a certain tag is shown.
Today I changed around the templates for the blackphoebe.com entry page to have the most recent moblogged (mobile blogged) photo to this blog be the feature photo as the whole 100% of the page background photo. I also took out the blog post area, footer, and reduced the left hand sidebar down to the bare essentials.
I am going to try this out for awhile. I may also try adding a footer with a few recent entries summaries as well to balance out the big image, but for now I will try out image only.
Please let me know how it looks on your mobile or iPhone and if you are using an older version of IE, such as IE6, as my IE testing machine is currently out on loan.
Let me know what you think.
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p.s. For the 100% background image, I tried a CSS only solution with no javascript for better cross-browser/cross-device rendering. Please do report how it works on your mobile and any older browser versions.

Tidbits :: Thursday May 6, 2010

John Hawks on NEANDERTALS LIVE! : “I, for one, welcome my Neandertal ancestry.
It may not sound like a lot — between 1 and 4 percent. But that’s the equivalent of one great-great-great grandparent’s DNA contribution. In the case of the Neandertal contribution, more than 1500 generations ago, it’s an enduring legacy of an ancient group of people, spread across many lines of the genealogies of living people. Beyond their genealogical interest, Neandertal genes might have made a big difference to our evolutionary potential.”