Thursday, August 10, 2006

Moving Blog

Moving to please reset your links, etc. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

iMurder: Marina Boy Does Good

iMurder, the eighth in a series about murder, dot com style

iMurder: Chapter 8: Marina Boy Does Good

The knife plunged into her body and with it he heard a slight suction sound. No one would find her body, well, not while the party was going on downstairs. He wanted to wipe his bloody hands on his striped shirt, but it was 80 fucking dollars at Banana Republic and he wanted it to last a bit longer.

Poobar looked child-like and harmless there, lying on the hotel bed. Funny, 'cause was such a bitch in real life, dicking him over again and again with other guys. She just didn't learn. Showing up at this place with a new boytoy, that tall kid. And with all his friends around. He just didn't need this stress.

He rummaged through his pockets to find some way to link her to the iMurder victims. He found a business card from someone downtstairs and crammed it in her back pocket. That should lead the police in some wild goose chase. He had roofied her, then got her upstairs and sunk the knife in. He threw the knife out the back window out onto Romolo Alley. He washed his hands slowly. He left the hotel key on the bed and joined the party. He needed a whiskey.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What I Learned at WordCamp

I went to WordCamp, which isn't necessarily about words, but blogs. There are many who have already blogged about it, and even blogged about being blogged about. Because, what do you get if you put 100 narcissist, rabid self-documenters in one space for 12 hours? Lots of posts about it, real-time. She says, posting about two days later.

I learned a lot about blog posting, and I'm going to show you the tricks now:

Link a lot. Thanks Matt from WordPress for the event!

Create controversy. Chartreuse posted a ton of photos of the (very few) women at the conference, and they're pissed! Mainly, me! Does that I'm more of a whore for an audience? Perhaps! Lauren's flickr stream was supposed to be just dopey fun, and now it's on this weird chicks list. Oh well. I'm like 50% happy with the photos so I guess the glass is half full.

Have a lot of fun features on your blog. See this blog? I have none because I'm part of the evil corporate culture of Yahoo or MSN or whoever owns Blogger.

Tag well. I uploaded these photos and you can see I'm still learning the "art of the tag."

Well tips over, now just for random funny bits from the conference:

Lisa Hightower raises her hand, and nobody picks her. I remembered my life in grammar school and never being picked. After she yelled about three times "ultimate tag warrior!" (the question was: what's a plugin that you use) we finally started chanting it for her. See note about no women there- and definitely no special treatment (except for Chartreuse's round-up).

Meeting a guy from Flock (see the link? I'm learning!). His name tag says: "Zbigniew" - I dare you to say it. I wouldn't let him take it off because I could't remember it. So he finally goes "people just call me Gandalf." Finally found his blawg.

A question in the Information Architecture session: "OK, I have a post that is kind of, well, timeless."

Being told by Om Malik to write a Inspector Monk mystery in the Web 2.0 world. I just... can't ... do... that. He did like my portapotty chapter of the iMurder series, that's nice.

Talking to this guy from Word Press, and I don't think we were at the same party. I mean, check Lauren's post about how few women there were. Oh wait, I'm not thinking of the boy on boy action. Where are THOSE flickr shots?

OK then there's a ton of these photos of my friend who I invited who started a blog about, hmm, a few months ago. Her blog: Good News For Optimists (well written and hilarious in its own right). She's already a Blogebrity. more and more I think these conferences just go crazy and trigger-happy when a few women show up.

MyKin startup pitching an idea to an Important Journalist. Well, the funniest thing is that they're sponsored by Quaker and so they got tons of cereal for this road trip to the West Coast. Needless to say the Cap'n Crunch went like wildfire, and Life is almost burned through. It's going to be instant oatmeal all the way back to St. Louis (or Kansas, or wherever they're from).

Friday, August 04, 2006


toss rag: I think this is a nasty reference to a cleanup after the action. You use it like: damn, she's a toss rag. I could be wrong since the native speaker didn't define it for me.

skinful: as in, "I've had a skinful" or I've drunk as much as can fill my body, unless this is in reference to filling a sheep's bladder bag or canteen. I just have to bring up sheep.

bob's your uncle TBD Long history- check comments for more info.

put a lining (put a lining on your stomach before drinking)

tied one on (got smashed)

balls-up (f-ed up, he had to tell me that no, it did not refer to sports balls.)

tosser (a-hole)

sheep-shagger (kind of evil, as they get called that)

Thanks to Gavin, my New Zealand co-worker, for these little gems during the day. Feel free to add or correct.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

iMurder Suspects: poobar

The seventh in a series about murder, dot-com style.

Chapter 7: poobar and Brian

Beth craned her neck over Mac's shoulder to see who else was here at 15 Romolo. The bar was dark inside, with tiny lights on tables. She could barely make out anyone distinctly, and she needed to find a diminutive Chinese girl named poobar. Her name was Diane, not that that little piece of informaiton was helpful here.

Mac was talking to a journalist about his company and boring Beth to tears. She glided away and they didn't even bat an eye. She stood at the bar and listened to a conversation between a few other types.

"Dude, it was awesome. Totally." Said a twentysomething man in a pink striped shirt, and short hair gelled straight up.

"So what did you say?" The other guy said. He wore a t-shirt that said: "foo bar." Beth thought it was kind of a pointless reference. At least poobar was trying to merge "foo bar" and "pooh bear". "Foo bar" meant "x and y" two examples in most programming books.

"Well, she thinks she knows everything, but she just started a month ago."

"Yeah, and we've been there at least 6 months."

"Totally lame. I hope she quits. I sent her this anonymous chat, like, get the fuck out of here, you don't know anything, shit like that."

"Um," Beth asked, "Have you guys gotten drinks? I can't get this guy's attention." The bartender had to serve a string of ten people before he'd ever reach Beth.

"He'll come down eventually." Pink striped guy said.

Beth was dying to know where these guys worked. Mac would know. But before that, she wanted to narrow down some of the information she had gotten from Sosa. The first tip that she had recieved from Sosa mentioned a love triangle between poobar, Jelly, and some guy named Jeremy. Jelly had never mentioned Jeremy, but they had moved apart, and no longer shared daily confessionals about all the guys Jelly met. Jelly was cute, and had no problem meeting guys in her day to day routines. The tip was from an anonymous caller, saying something about how Jelly had stolen a guy from poobar, and poobar had posted some pissed off stuff online, that she had taken down days later.

She finally got to order a glass of wine and circled around the room looking for this poobar. Magically turning around a column she saw what must be poobar, talking to a tall skinny guy.

"It was like, so adorable! A little puppy, with big eyes, and hanging from a bar, saying 'hang in there!'" She hung from imaginary pole in an impersonation.

"Do you want another gimlet?" The guy said.

poobar nodded and watched him walk towards the bar. Beth slipped into the vacancy. "Are you poobar?"

The petit woman looked up at Beth, who towered two feet above her. "Yeah."

"I'm Beth, I used to work at Avatar, but I think I left before you started."

"Oh yeah..." Thus led to a name game of ten different engineers that Beth used to work with at her dot com that made her comfortably rich. Beth had learned that not only had working at Avatar made her rich, but connected her with other people that had started ten companies apiece, and now she had a network that was worth its weight in gold.

"Do you remember Jeremy?" Beth asked her. "I think I saw him the other day, at the Farmer's Market." Total lie, but safe, because who didn't like to hit the fancy Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building?

poobar looked down at her drink. It was going on empty. "I wonder where he's gone with my drink."

"The line is really long." Beth had to steer it back to Jeremy. "Mac and I have been really freaking out about this Jelly thing. Did you know her? The first victim of the iMurder?"

poobar looked at her with big eyes. "Oh you knew her? I'm so sad for you!"

"Did you know her?"

"Oh there he is! Lover!" The young man delivered her drink and she ruffled his hair. He had to lean over to let her do this. "This is Mark, he's adorable, isn't he? We like to walk around and just look at stuff. That's how we met, at Burning Man. He was knitting, I was knitting, and then we talked about how we like to look at stuff."

Beth smiled, and exclaimed that she better get another drink soon too. She realized she would never make a good detective. That interview had gone nowhere. Well, at least she knew that poobar did not want to talk about Jelly at all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

iMurder: Squeeze Toy

The sixth in a series about murder, dot-com style.

iMurder: Chapter Six: Squeeze Toy

Beth swivelled around idly on Jelly's chair. She had dropped by Mac's office before going to a happy hour downtown. She had spent the last few hours in Dolores Park reading. Jelly had no books at her desk. She had a stress squeeze toy that looked like a dildo, with "SF Aids Clinic" printed on the side. Jelly had really worn this puppy out. For a total contrast, Jelly had pinned on the wall next to her monitor a photo of her and her nephew sitting on a park bench. He was playing with her bag, taking things out of it and playing with them, Beth supposed, since he was twirling a little book around in his hand by an elastic strap, and the bag was open on his lap.

"I'll be just a minute, we need to crack open some new tequila." Mac said, poking his head into the office he shared with Jelly and another developer. Their office was a converted Victorian, and this room used to be the dining room. It had started as a joke in the office, taking shots here and there, and now most visitors brought a bottle to celebrate something or other.

"What do you think of all those flowers, amazing, huh?" Mac said, and then left, not waiting for an answer.

Jelly's desk was festooned with flowers from friends, coworkers, family. She was very well-loved. Which made Beth think again about who could possibly have a motive to kill her?

She had visited the Central district police department that morning to help Sosa slog through the references to dot-com players, companies, tips, and tech jargon.

"It's not that I don't get this stuff, it's that I will miss something, I know I will." He said, pulling a hand through his hair. "You feel like dim sum? There's an awesome place nearby, and my partner Mike can join us."

Mike, Sosa, and her walked two blocks to Lychee Garden, a sit down Chinese restaurant on Powell. She wondered if they'd get "the discount"- free ride for uniforms- but was pleasantly surprised when the waitress dropped a bill, though only a whopping total of 10 dollars for three people, after the meal.

"So Julio tells me you're some internet genius." Mike said, struggling to get an oily potsticker between his chopsticks.

"Oh, I was just in the right place, at the right time." Beth sipped the jasmine tea. "I have always done computers, and then I got in with a good company, early. I've known Jelly for ages, though. Before all that stuff. I actually convinced her to move here."

"What kind of name is Jelly? Where did she get it?" Mike asked.

Beth proceeded to tell them almost all she knew about Jelly. By the end of the meal she felt defeated. They were never going to find the killer. These guys had such slim leads and no connections into the world Jelly lived in. Before she left the precinct, Sosa made a copy of all the tips he'd gotten and gave the stack to her to follow up on her own.

Finally, Mac stood in the doorway. "Are you ready? Let's go."

They were headed to a happy hour hosted by a gossip rag for Silicon Valley. Earlier this morning she had dreaded the prospect of yet another industry event where nerds took a million photos of each other and slimy PR people pushed their business cards in your face. Now, she was looking forward to going. After reading through that file, she realized that almost everybody mentioned in it was going to be there.

Mac came over and started giving her a shoulder massage. "You should be giving me a massage. I'm the one that worked all day while you lounged."

"I met with Detective Sosa today. So I kind of earned this, really." She laughed. "But it's a different stress, I mean, all this, it makes me choke up. The flowers and all."

"Everybody liked Jelly."

"So why would someone do this?"

"We're all asking ourselves that." He rubbed her back in little circles. "We hire a counselor to come in today. They said that some people deal with grief and trauma by being overanalytical. I'm like that, you probably are too."

"Yeah, I have more undistracted time, too. I don't mind helping the police, it makes me feel like I'm doing something too.

Mac, did you have any idea who she was meeting that night? Sosa has absolutely no leads on that. As her friends, we should have an idea of her schedule. Sosa mentioned that she had dropped out of a Capoera class a few weeks before, and it was on Monday nights."

"She didn't have a palm pilot. I was always bugging her about it."

"What did she have? Do you remember?"

"Just that bike messenger bag. I don't remember. Her cell phone? I don't think so. I don't think she used the calendar feature."

Beth pulled on a velvet jacket and grabbed her purse. "Well maybe some wine will help jog my memory. Shall we?"

They walked down two flights to the street and headed down the sidewalk to BART. At the station, she opened her bag and got her wallet, ready to pay the $1.25 ticket to downtown. "I've got it," She told Mac. She didn't notice the line of five people behind her. "The photo of her and her nephew. He's playing with her purse, and he's swinging this little black book around. I bet she had one of those moleskines. Question is, why wasn't it with her when she died?"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

iMurder: Hopping on Your Wireless

iMurder: the fifth in a series about murder, dot-com style.

Chapter 5: Hopping On Your Wireless

Elfin walked into the Starbucks on Potrero. It was actually on Mariposa but he always thought of it as "that Starbucks." It was big and anonymous, and better yet it was full of marks. People he could use to get online without leaving a trace.

He swung his backpack down on a nearby table and took out his ultraslim Toshiba. He had ordered a quadruple shot espresso and a brownie. Finally some underage delivered his order and he stretched his long legs out on the desk and leaned back against a pillar, making sure his screen was invisible to the other patrons. He got his domestically illegal cell phone out and started a trace on all packets in the area.

He found one in a few minutes. A girl in the corner, probably, the one with the earbuds and dyed red hair. Maybe he'd treat her with a "hey" on his way out. She had logged into sfgate's employee VPN without encryption and he could jump on that. He logged into his text-only email client and read his latest request. A few chumps, get into their email, find out some dirt, forward the good stuff. He liked that about his job, finding out secrets and stuff and then seeing it printed a few days later in the Silicon Valley gossip column. He wouldn't read it otherwise, for reals. He usually just read Slashdot and Boing Boing.

The espresso was making him freaky so he finished up his work in an hour, hit the can, then grabbed the bus for Hunter's Point. He had band practice and he was jonesing to beat the shit out of some drums.