December 30, 2008

Belated Xmas Present: FOTC S2 Premier!

I saw some tweets last week about the season premier of Flight of the Conchords, but kept forgetting to check it out. So, better late than never, in case you haven't seen it...

Bret and Jemaine are back and finally so is The Flight of the Conchords. Sorry guys, the video only works in the US. We all want the WHOLE world to be able to watch Flight of the Conchords, but to be honest, legally we only have rights to stream the video in the US. But there will be other opportunities internationally to watch it. Canada ( will be streaming the premiere episode of Flight of the Conchords Season 2 ... starting on Tuesday December 23. For other international FOTC fans please check your local providers for additional details regarding when the episode will be broadcast in your area.

Also online at

December 16, 2008

You gotta give 'em hope.

575 Castro St. from FilmInFocus on Vimeo.

575 Castro St. is a simple, beautifully shot short film from the Focus Film crew Jenni Olson on the set of MILK. In 2008, the Castro Camera Store, where Harvey Milk lived and worked in the late 1970's, was recreated at the same address for Gus Van Sant's film MILK.

For me, the joy of my films is found in the poetry of the static image — in the experience of time passing on film, undistracted by plot, actors, dialogue and other narrative conventions. An internal drama is evoked in the sensitivities of each viewer who is open to the subtleties of these mundane shots that are almost bereft of movement and sound. So quiet, so still. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words.

The audio track is an edited down version of the 13-minute audio-cassette that Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him the first openly gay elected official in America). Labeled simply: “In-Case” the tape was to be played, “in the event of my death by assassination.”

The audio is the same 5-6 minutes that can be found all over YouTube, but is better quality, and is all the more moving against the backdrop of the set.

December 4, 2008

Everyone's already seen it, but I wanted to blog it for posterity's sake.

I can't say it any better than Perez Hilton did (never thought I'd type those words!).

The Gays Doing What They Do Best

Fighting inequality and homophobia with….song and dance!

Click here to watch Prop 8, The Musical!, featuring an all-star cast that includes Margaret Cho, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly, Allison Janney, Kathy Najimy, Rashida Jones, Sarah Chalke, Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris and Marc Shaiman.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

November 20, 2008

November is for Mustaches


I made my first donation to Movember this morning in honor of Mo Bro Mark Trammell. It's his birthday -- Happy Birthday, dude! -- and he's fighting prostate cancer along with his other Mo Bros and Sistahs on "The Upper Lip Theorists" team.

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a charity event held during November each year.

At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, then have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their Mo (Australian slang for moustache), raising money and awareness along the way for men's health and the fight against prostate cancer.

Note: I did say "my first donation" -- I'll try to give a little bit to all my Bros and Sistahs this month.

November 19, 2008

/Ground : Briefing 2.0?

My latest post at /Ground -- Briefing 2.0?

The U.S. Department of State is surprisingly hip to all this "2.0" jazz... On October 31, McCormack held the department's first "Briefing 2.0" where he answered ten questions that were submitted via YouTube and two questions that were submitted via the Dipnote blog.

Read the full post over at /Ground.

November 8, 2008

In the wake of Prop 8...

First of all, let me say THANK YOU to the 43 people who donated $2655 to No On Prop 8 since my blog post on 10/14. As soon as I follow up with you all via email, I hope to put together a post listing your names and giving you the thanks you deserve.

We were close. But unfortunately, surprisingly low voter turnout (50% compared with 64% nationally)* and the ugly fear that children would suddenly be taught about homosexuality in the classroom created the perfect storm for this hateful thing to pass. Edited to add: turns out low voter turnout is no excuse. CA was in line with the rest of the country at around 64%. However, surprisingly high turnout of other minority groups is a popular scapegoat...

I decided not to pay much attention to the returns regarding Prop 8 Tuesday night -- fearing the worst after the kerfuffle on TechCrunch on Monday (search that page for "hillary" and you'll see what I mean) -- choosing instead to get totally swept up in the drama, emotion, and history of electing our first African-American President. It was an amazing night. I laughed, I cried, I hooted and hollered, and I got a bit drunk. :)

However, Wednesday and Thursday were a different story. I still welled up a couple times when I saw all the "Yes, He Did" headlines, but the joy was tempered with a deep and profound hurt. I'm sad. At In-N-Out Burger last night I was putting little green checkmarks and red Xs over peoples heads: Do you think I'm disgusting? How about you? I'm pissed. I've had some of the same hateful thoughts that I'm sure people have had about me. And it stings that there's so much activity in the wake of Prop 8's passage. Where was this urgency last week? Why were we all so complacent, so sure that there was "no way in hell" it could succeed?

But all that will pass. Even just 24 hours later I'm again full of hope, and thankful that I live in a place like San Francisco and am surrounded by friends and family and coworkers that feel the need and take the time to reach out and say, "You are not alone." The vigil last night and the march through San Francisco tonight were enough to put a smile back on my face, and fill me not only with hope, but with the will to fight.

And so, I give you my latest blog comment. Some background: I was searching twitter for "Prop 8" and ended up clicking through to a lot of the links. I felt that this post deserved a response -- "Is there a downside to Prop 8?"

Hi there. I stumbled across your post via twitter, and thought I'd take a minute to reply to a few things.

First off (so you know where I'm coming from), I'm gay and legally married thanks to the window of opportunity between the Supreme Court decision and the passage of Prop 8.

I am not going to try to convince you that I'm just as normal as you because I know that's a dead end. I will also refrain from pointing out the obvious biblical passages that fundamentalists choose to ignore because they acknowledge that they make no sense in today's society. Instead, I'll try to point out a couple of flaws in your argument.

Even if I weren't a Christian, I would be opposed to the notion that homosexuality might be taught in schools.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it.

California’s top educators including Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell and California Teachers all agree: Prop 8 has nothing to do with education and the idea that "homosexuality might be taught in schools" is ridiculous.

Also, it wasn't right for a minority to push their agenda on the majority.

I don't quite understand what agenda you mean. The proponents of Prop 8 were the one with the agenda. We simply wanted people to vote no -- to say no to a bill that would use state law to single out one group of Californians to be treated differently. No matter what your faith, equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee.

Would you have supported a bill that erased the right to marry for atheists? For Muslims? For African-Americans? After all, it was just a short 40 years ago that it was illegal for whites and blacks to marry -- the common thought was that interracial relationships were deviant, unnatural and disgusting.

Again, I realize that you and I fundamentally disagree. But I simply ask you to think about what has happened:

Just over half of Californians who went to the polls on Tuesday (which represent less than half of all Californians) were able to amend the Constitution and strip away rights from a tiny minority. It doesn't matter if homosexuality is a "choice;" the CA Supreme Court has designated us a suspect class (groups which meet a series of criteria suggesting they are likely the subject of discrimination) just like the federal Supreme Court recognizes race, national origin, religion, and alienage. Prop 8 is discriminatory at its very core, and I hope that you can take a step back and recognize that.

So this is my fight for now. Brick by brick, tweet by tweet, march by march I suppose. Not sure where it will lead, but it felt good to write about it tonight. Thanks for indulging me.

November 4, 2008

/Ground : Election Protection and Citizen Journalism

My latest post at /Ground, again on the theme of election protection:

The big day is here. I hope if you are registered to vote, and you didn't vote early or absentee, that you'll brave the lines, be patient, and take part in the democratic process today. Here are a few resources to help you get the job done.

Read the rest over at /Ground.

November 3, 2008

Prop 8 = "separate but equal" redux

UPDATE: scroll to the bottom for a video where someone did the same thing with a Yes On 8 campaign video.

The following text is from the 2008 California voter guide's arguments for and against Prop 8. Specifically, this is the proposed argument for voting yes on Prop 8; however, I've highlighted certain sections and replaced "gay" or "same-sex" with "interracial" (or otherwise appropriate language).
Edited to add: This is simply to illustrate that this same bill would be overwhelmingly viewed as unjust and wrong if any other minority was inserted in place of "gay". We can see from history that this proposition on its face is wrong.

I am stunned by the widespread support for a bill that would use state law to single out one group of Californians to be treated differently. I'll say it again: it's not about religion, morality, or even gay marriage -- it's about fear.

Give this a read and then try to tell me that passing Prop 8 is the right thing to do:

Proposition 8 is simple and straightforward. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: “Only marriage between a man and a woman of the same race is valid or recognized in California.”

Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to RESTORE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE as a man and a woman of the same race.

Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the interracial lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits of interracial domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this.

YES on Proposition 8 does three simple things:

It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.

It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.

It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “interracial marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.

Proposition 8 protects marriage as an essential institution of society. While death, divorce, or other circumstances may prevent the ideal, the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father of the same race.

The narrow decision of the California Supreme Court isn’t just about “live and let live.” State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code § 51890.) If the interracial marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between interracial marriage and traditional marriage.

We should not accept a court decision that may result in public schools teaching our kids that interracial marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn’t be forced on us against our will.

Some will try to tell you that Proposition 8 takes away legal rights of gay domestic partnerships. That is false. Proposition 8 DOES NOT take away any of those rights and does not interfere with interracial couples living the lifestyle they choose.

However, while interracial couples have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

CALIFORNIANS HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE. If gay activists want to legalize interracial marriage, they should put it on the ballot. Instead, they have gone behind the backs of voters and convinced four activist judges in San Francisco to redefine marriage for the rest of society. That is the wrong approach.

Voting YES on Proposition 8 RESTORES the definition of marriage that was approved by over 61% of voters. Voting YES overturns the decision of four activist judges. Voting YES protects our children.

Please vote YES on Proposition 8 to RESTORE the meaning of marriage.

By the way, this whole "activist judges" thing makes me sick, and I'm so sad that the argument for this proposition hinges on that very phrase. Judges aren't activists. They interpret the law, according to the Constitution. We've seen the judicial system get more and more politicized over the last 30 years, and it's sickening. The fact that Roe v Wade is in jeopardy of being overturned if a Republican is the one who gets to make the appointment is all the proof we need.

Consider this: it was a majority conservative/Republican Supreme Court that ruled on Roe v. Wade. It wasn't a Democrat or Republican wedge issue; it was a Constitutional issue.

I hope and pray that the majority of Californians decide to face the future and not the past. No on Prop 8.

This is a parody of, and response to, the video called "YES on Proposition 8 (Prop 8) your rights".

UPDATE #2: since the wife is a lawyer, I thought some of you might enjoy a trip down memory (err, history) lane.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) - the original "separate but equal" SCOTUS decision

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) - the SCOTUS decision striking down "separate but equal"

UPDATE #3: borrowing a paragraph from Buzz Me ( who said it better than I did.

Notwithstanding the fact that slavery itself was only abolished in this country about 150 years ago and discrimination in all forms is still thriving here, interracial marriage in the United States was still banned in 17 states as late as 1967. That is forty-one years ago. If there were a Proposition 8 41 years ago, Asians, blacks, Samoans, and Hispanics I saw with a Yes on 8 signs this weekend, it would have been about you. Interracial marriage was banned because it was considered unnatural, it was thought to be “against God’s will,” and it constituted illicit sex. Sound familiar?

The America we should be: vote no on Proposition 8

October 31, 2008

Obama on Technology and Government

In his interview with Rachel Maddow, Barack Obama addresses the role technology will play in an Obama administration:

"One of the things that I'm excited about is to transfer what we've learned from this campaign in using technology, into government. I mean, there are huge areas where we can open things up, make things more transparent."

He went on to talk about the "Google for Government" bill, and the necessity to "remove bureaucracy...(and) make the whole process more customer-friendly."

Last November at eDemocracyCamp, we hoped this would be the case. The Obama campaign has truly embraced web 2.0, social media, and social networking. I hope he continues to listen via all these same channels if he is elected.

October 29, 2008

No On Prop 8 needs all the help it can get.

I just received this update from the Executive Committee of No On 8 (emphasis mine):

Yesterday, the other side reported donations of $2.2 million, dwarfing the $255,650 we reported, and called on their donors to contribute another $3 million.

With this enormous sum of money they are buying every available ad space on TV in California to blast even more of their hateful lies and prevent our messages from being seen.

Unless we raise $3 million in the next three days we will likely lose.

A campaign donor recently told me that their gift was five times more than they had ever given and suggested that everyone do the same. So today, I am increasing my donation to No On 8 to $50,000. I'm doing this because I know I must if we hope to win.

And I'm asking you to increase your gift too -- at whatever amount you can, so that we can match the other side on the air. Please increase your gift today.

Last night the brilliant movie "Milk" premiered at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. The film is a poignant reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Harvey Milk made to advance our rights and how much Harvey, and so many others, gave to stop the Anita Bryant-led anti-gay movement that was sweeping the country and the Briggs Initiative -- exactly 30 years ago.

It's now up to us to shape the next 30 years.

Thanks to each of you who have sacrificed in this critical fight for our equality. Please join me in making another gift and asking everyone you know to do the same.

It is that important.

With respect, admiration and appreciation,

Geoff Kors
Executive Committee Member
No On 8

If you have any money left in your charitable coffers (remember, it's tax deductible!) please donate. As always, every single dollar helps.

October 25, 2008

/Ground : Using Twitter for Election Protection

My latest post at /Ground -- Using Twitter to Protect the Vote on November 4th.

Political organizers have found many innovative ways to the web during this election cycle. However, as we close in on November 4th, the next important step begins: actually ensuring not only that all votes are counted, but that each and everyone who is registered to vote is allowed to do so.

Read the rest of the article at /Ground.

October 14, 2008

Begging for $$$ ain't easy

Vote No On Prop 8"Our Lead is Gone"

Yesterday, I gave $1000 to No On 8. I'm not saying that to brag. I'm saying it because it's a big deal. It's a big deal because it's a good chunk of my paycheck, and because the issue is worth it. I don't want discrimination to be written into our state constitution. And, frankly, I don't want to have to worry about my marriage certificate being nullified on November 5th.

Over the last few weeks, No On 8 has been out-spent and out-marketed. Our once-promising double-digit lead has dwindled to a dead heat. Proponents of Prop 8 recently enlisted the help of the Mormon church, and their massive phone tree, for $$$ and GOTV.

With the campaign to defeat anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 behind in money and in two recent polls, Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors declared Tuesday, “We are going to lose this election if we don’t raise the money we need to stay on the airwaves.”

No on 8 senior strategist Steve Smith who, along with Kors, was speaking on a conference call with LGBT media, said the campaign needs to raise at least $10 million before the November 4 election. That money is crucial to reach voters through TV ads.
-Bay Area Reporter

I previously reached out to my family to spread the word to their California friends to pledge to vote NO. But now I'm reaching out to all of you to spare $5 if you have it. Foes of marriage equality have taken a lesson from Barack Obama and have raised massive amounts from small donors. We need to match them dollar for dollar over these next three weeks, and I humbly ask for your help.

Anna and I were married at San Francisco City Hall on June 18, 2008. Since it was our third wedding (long story for another blog post), we didn't make a big deal of it and we'd already gotten everything on our registry the first time around. :) So, this time we've set up a different sort of registry...

In lieu of a belated wedding gift, you can give to the No on Prop 8, Equality for All campaign via our Wedding Registry donation page. We've set a goal to raise $500 over the next three weeks.

If you need more information, please visit No On 8's news page -- it's obviously biased, but should get you started. If a little humor is what you need to be convinced, check out the Mac/PC parody commercial (the meme is a little tired, but it's well done).

If you are on either Obama or McCain's email lists, I know you've been flooded with donation requests day in and day out -- yes, it's getting a little old. The candidates can surely use your money, as that fight is far from over, but so can marriage equality. No amount is too big or too small!

Thank you for all of your support. We appreciate that you take our marriage (and our family) seriously. Big love,
Hillary & Anna
legally married since June 18, 2008!

UPDATE: You all rock.

In little more than 24 hours from the time I posted the link on Twitter, we've raised $750 for No On 8! (Not to mention the nearly $600 raised by Marnie Webb who set up a similar registry after seeing our's.)

As such, we're going for the gold, and our new goal is $1000. Thanks for all you have done -- donating, pledging to vote, spreading the word, re-tweeting. I am in awe and truly inspired.

UPDATE #2: Seriously. You all rock.

It took about a day to reach goal #1, and 3 days later we'd surpassed goal #2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. By the way, everyone who voted before midnight, Sunday, October 19th had their donation matched.

So far, 31 people have donated an average of $40! Keep spreading the word, and (Californians) don't forget to vote No On Prop 8!

UPDATE #3: Going strong, but now is the final push.

No On 8 is trying to raise $3 million in these final days to compete with the millions raised by the proponents of the proposition. If you can spare another $5 or more, now is the time.

We've raised over $1500 so far and are aiming for an even $2000. Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support (and cash!).

October 9, 2008

Worst President ever? Or the failure of conservatism?

Rachel Maddow highlights four events during the tenure of Bush's eight-year term so bad that even one of them could have deemed his presidency an abject failure. Her guest Thomas Frank, author of "The Wrecking Crew," states that Bush is not personally responsible (nor are his policies) for these failures, but rather that conservatism has failed.

It's judgment day for the conservative philosophy of governing.

October 7, 2008

Ads Off @ Ma.gnolia

With their new Ads Off subscriptions, the gang at Ma.gnolia continue to "pay it forward" and talk the talk when it comes to community and a social experience.

No matter which subscription you choose (there are two plans) you extend the ad-free experience to others interested in what you're doing on Ma.gnolia. So you can feel free to share your profile and your bookmarks with others and they, too, will have an ad-free experience.

We think this offering is a 3-way win

A win for Ma.gnolia, with affordable support that goes right back into R&D. We’re not buying jets or writing our own browser here.

A win for people interested in your links, and your group members win with a more focussed Ma.gnolia experience.

A win for you, with a benefit that works for you on every Ma.gnolia page, for a full year, costing at most about a week’s worth of lattes. And unlike a week’s worth of lattes, Ads Off has no calories.

Our government partners are often hesitant to use ad-based services since they don't want constituents to think they are endorsing any particular products or services. If YouTube offered a subscription service that would essentially remove all the chaff from your profile and video pages, I'm confident it would be a major success.

Kudos to Ma.gnolia for once again thinking outside of the box. Here's hoping more services start thinking this way.

July 14, 2008

Vote for the Social Media Club's 42nd Board Member

Confession, the title of this post is a little misleading. It should probably say, "Vote for ME to be the SMC's 42nd Board Member."

For anyone following the link from the SMC post, I wanted to provide a bit of background. (I'll flush this out tonight, as I only have about five minutes to write this now.)

About me:

I am currently the Director of Integrated Marketing at NIC Inc. -- the leading provider of eGovernment portals and services in the nation (if not the world). I have worked with NIC since 1997 as a web designer, art director, marketing manager, and now as a web 2.0 and social media evangelist. NIC builds online services and web sites for 21 state governments (and 100s of local governments within our partner states).

During my stint as a consultant and freelancer, I also created for the People for the American Way -- a national online polling place finder -- during the 2004 presidential election. The site is now offline, but was an enormous success (almost "too successful," as we were adding additional servers all day).

I'm passionate about social media in general, but primarily its application to government and government services. If you're curious, you can find me on most social networks under the username "quepol".

Go vote -- there are 37 other names on the list, too. Just vote!

July 10, 2008

Sunlight and Tweeting

The Sunlight Foundation is once again taking on "the deepest darkest holes" in all of government -- i.e. the House floor, according to Congressman John Culberson (R- TX).

Culberson recently started a bit of a firestorm on regarding his ability to use social networking sites and other live streaming technologies (think Twitter, Qik, etc.) from the floor of Congress.

John Culberson's Twitter

Aaron Brazell ( wrote a very thorough post that does a good job of highlighting both sides of the issue. I won't attempt to go into the nitty gritty, so if you want the gory details check out his lengthy post, which includes the documents and proposals in question.

Let Our Congress TweetBack to my lead -- the Sunlight Foundation launched a very cool Twitter-based "petition" called Let Our Congress Tweet. The premise of the "petition" is simple: "Congressional rules should not prevent lawmakers from joining us in online conversations."

But why do you keep putting quotes around "petition," you ask? Well, because signing it is as simple as including the following text in your tweet: #LOCT08

For people not completely familiar with the ins and outs of Twitter, that's called a "hashtag," and several services track them via search:,, and (Summize is a great overall search engine for Twitter, but many developers are building Summize search directly into their application if you click on a #hashtag. Click and see for yourself.)

So, the Sunlight Foundation is simply tracking the use of the #LOCT08 hashtag -- you are not necessarily "signing" anything. They are being somewhat pretty straightforward about this, using the language "join our petition," instead of "sign," and saying "track...the latest tweets about #LOCT08". I focus on this, because a) I think it's a brilliant new use for Twitter and advocacy, and b) since it's the first of its kind, I wonder about people indiscriminately using the #LOCT08 hashtag (for or against) and getting "counted" in the petition.

The value of social networking and social software for politicians is definitely up for debate, but the hope is that these new technologies can help shed some light on the processes and people at work in our government. Just as Twitter has done for coporations like JetBlue, Zappos, Comcast, and others, the hope is that this new line of communication can bridge the gap between politicians and their constituents. The exciting part? It's interactive and real time.

Update: Avelino Maestas has a great entry over at the Huffington Post.

Update 2: NPR spoke with Technosailor himself this morning, and is covering the story.

Update 3: Speaker Pelosi responds! She says that "inaccurate rumors have been circulated."

June 25, 2008

Now using Disqus for comments

I have switched from Blogger comments to the DISQUS comment system. I've always disliked the Blogger system -- having to navigate away from the post -- and Disqus appears to work like other typical systems (WordPress, Moveable Type, etc.). Threaded converstaions are standard, and it's integrated into the blog page.

You can also track and follow comments, as well as rate comments to help make sure only "good" comments stay in the conversation. They also have a variety of widgets that make it easy to integrate certain features into other sections of the blog -- hopefully more on that to come.

The real draw, however? Stat porn. I have a dashboard at Disqus, and can view all comment-related statistics as well as moderate comments and users from there.

For anyone interested in trying it out, it appears to work with several of the top/popular blogging platforms: WordPress, Moveable Type, Blogger, TypePad, and Tumblr (!!).

Go for a tour and see for yourself. Pretty cool. Also, they support OpenID, so creating an account is easy-peasy.

June 8, 2008

eGov status updates via Twitter

I am immensely proud of the NIC portals taking the leap and adopting Twitter. We'll continue to think outside the box and figure out the best way to use this emerging technology, but for now we're off to a great start.

If you're on Twitter and interested in how governments are beginning to use this hybrid communication tool, get ready to hit the "Follow" button. - twitter - Web site
IDAHOgov - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site
SCGOV - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site - twitter - Web site

If there are other NIC portals using Twitter, please ping me. And also feel free to leave links to any egov- or government-related Twitter accounts in the comments. I'll update this post as they are received.

Some other notable states, agencies, officials, etc. using Twitter:

californiagov - twitter - Web site (update: account has been deleted)
CA_DMV CA DMV - twitter - Web site
Gov Schwarzenegger CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - twitter - Web site
CalPERS CA Public Employees' Retirement System - twitter - Web site
Idaho DOF ID Department of Finance - twitter - Web site
ID Dept. of Commerce ID Department of Commerce - twitter - Web site
IdahoLabor ID Department of Labor - twitter - Web site
mymanmitch IN Gov. Mitch Daniels - twitter - Web site
Bobby Jindal LA Gov. Bobby Jindal - twitter - Web site
Jennifer Granholm MI Gov. Jennifer Granholm - twitter - Web site
johncherry MI Lieutenant Gov. John Cherry - twitter - Web site
louisvillekygov Louisville, KY - twitter - Web site
loukyevent Louisville, KY Events Calendar - twitter - Web site
risca1967 RI State Council on the Arts - twitter - Web site

Quick list of federal government accounts (I'll flush this section out eventually):
USAgov, GovGab, and lots of NASA projects

Congress, etc.:
Roy Blunt (R-MO-7th)
John Boehner (R-OH-8th)
Dan Burton (R-IN-5th)
John Culberson (R-TX-7th)
Bob Latta (R-OH-5th)
Tim Ryan (D-OH-17th)
Jeanne Shaheen - Former Governor of NH and now U.S. Senator
Mark Ward -
Former Governor of VA and now U.S. Senator

Sidenote: there are a lot of people using Twitter to campaign - this is only a list of people who are actually using it to communicate with constituents.

Last updated: November 18, 2008

June 7, 2008

Earth Hand

Yup, it's a Facebook quiz. Fortunately I didn't spam 15 people as requested, but only my 2 siblings. Sorry, guys.

Earth HandEvidently, I have Earth Hands.

People with this hand don't like change. They tend to be slow in nature and have a strong affinity to nature and the bush. They are emotionally stable and make the best workers. Interesting is the fact that you often find successful artists and photographers with earth hands. Most people with trade jobs such as a carpenter have earth hands. People with an Earth hand usually like outdoor jobs, and prefer job security.

Money quotes:
- "affinity to nature and the bush"
- "emotionally stable"
- "prefer job security"

I'd say, in general, this is pretty spot on. :)

May 3, 2008

hippos and "hip" branding

Straight from a Hippo's mouth
Straight from a Hippo's mouth, originally uploaded by laurenz.

Late-night National Geographic discovery: hippos, whales, and dolphins are related. No wonder I've always had a thing for those three animals. And otters. I love otters.

Evidently hippos click and call underwater like dolphins & whales. Scientists tested their DNA and discovered that they all probably evolved from a hippo-like animal. Wild!

And yes, I know that the channel now goes by "NAT GEO" but I refuse to call it "NAT GEO". That's like giving in and calling Burger King "BK". I mean, I've certainly referred to McDonald's as MickeyD's, but they aren't about to change their branding just because that's catchy. (I hope.)

And in case you're sitting there wondering what the first hippowholphin looked like, Wikipedia has more info.

As indicated by the name, ancient Greeks considered the hippopotamus to be related to the horse. Until 1985, naturalists grouped hippos with pigs, based on molar patterns. Evidence, first from blood proteins, then from molecular systematics[8] and DNA [9] and the fossil record, show that their closest living relatives are cetaceans—whales, porpoises and the like.[10][11] Hippopotamuses have more in common with whales than they do with other Artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates), such as pigs, because the common ancestor of hippos and whales branched-off from ruminants and the rest of the even-toed ungulates. Thus, hippos are more closely related to whales than to other members of Artiodactyla. While cetaceans and hippos are each other's closest living relatives, their lineages split soon after their divergence from the rest of the even-toed ungulates.[12][9]

April 11, 2008 and Twitter is using Twitter. It's refreshing to see a company using Twitter "correctly" (IMHO, of course).

"Correctly" = an actual person committed to updating the account; not just a river of news; not simply re-broadcasting an RSS feed.

April 6, 2008

Rock Chalk

Rock Chalk
Rock Chalk, originally uploaded by .Nida.

Feeling the Jayhawk love today.

In case you're not following NCAA men's basketball, my beloved University of Kansas Jayhawks won the national semi-final last night against the University of North Carolina (not to mention against KU's old coach of 15 years, Roy Williams)!

My dad has this same figurine, and I'm nearly positive it was my grandfather's. While none of the kids in my generation attended KU, the crimson & blue blood runs deep.

Here's to an amazing championship game on Monday night. It will definitely be one heck of a game as the two teams play very similarly and are really well matched.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!

April 3, 2008

Good People Day - April 3, 2008

Good People Day is a "flash holiday" (props to @pistachio for that term) started by Gary Vaynerchuk as a way to give a little back to the amazing people that inspire us, who we learn from, and love.

Listing all my Good People here would be impossible, so I've decided to limit my shout outs to people who've made an impact on my life in some way in 2007. As I just twittered, 2007 was the year I stepped out of my home office and into the amazing geek community here in SF. It was also the year that I finally put the SXSW deadline on my calendar and made sure to get a hotel room early so I had no excuse for missing it. I met so many wonderful, inspiring, and talented people at SXSW -- it's like a Good People meetup!

On with the post...

1st, my wife Anna (@abrownie), for being an amazing, righteous, huge-hearted, wicked smart, beautiful gal.

2nd, I recently twittered that I was having dinner with three of my favorite people in the universe. One was Anna, and the other two were Pippa (@drpippa) & Jodi (@jsperber). You two make life a little brighter.

3rd, the two main reasons I've been able to meet so many cool SF geeks this year: Citizen Space and Laughing Squid. I've met Scott (@laughingsquid) a few times, and his generosity to and passion for the techie community in SF is overwhelming. As for the folks at Citizen Space, all I can say is a big, huge Thank You. Getting out of my spare bedroom and my coffee shop office, and out into the world changed my life. Chris (@factoryjoe) never ceases to amaze me with his thought leadership and insight. And Tara (@missrogue) continues to be an inspiration and has become a good friend.

5 people I met & got to know a bit in 2007: Tara (@missrogue), Larry (@lhalff), Todd (@toddsieling), William (@v), and Colin (@cbrumelle)

5 Bay Area people I met in 2007 but hope to get to know a bit better in 2008 (i.e. concerts, dinners, parties & skiing/boarding in our future!): Willo (@willotoons) & Ali (@spangley) & Aubrey (@aubs) & Ryan (@rk), Daniel (@dburka), Juliette (@linoleumjet) & Mark (@trammell), Kevin (@kevnull) & Coley (@coley), Cindy (@cindyli), Kristy (@kristywells) & Chris (@chrisheuer), Andy (@andykaufman), Rob (@robknight), Tim (@planspark), and Matt (Kid Kameleon) -- Ok, I really cheated on that one.

5 gals I'd want in my corner on any project (who haven't already been listed): Erica (@ericabiz), Erica (@ericaogrady), Gwen (@gwenbell), Laura (@pistachio), Silona (@silona) -- and SO many more!

5 of my favorite new "conference friends"*: Andrew (@andrewhyde), Colin (@cdevroe), Marcus (@marcusnelson), Matthew (@organ_printer), Robert (@rhjr), Angela (@spunkygidget), Jacob (@jacobsayles) and the IndyHall crew (@alexknowshtml, @johnnynines, @themartorana, @dbanana, @designgeekgirl, & more) (cheating again, I know)

*conference friend = someone who would undoubtedly be a good bud if we lived in the same city; but since they don't, hanging out at conferences will have to suffice.

And finally, and not simply because we wouldn't be blogging, vlogging, and twittering about this if it wasn't for him -- Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), you rock. It was excellent finally meeting you at SXSW and I truly hope to get to hang with you again soon.

March 20, 2008

Let the Madness begin!

Update 4/11/2008:
Not going to delete this post, but didn't realize the widget would go blank after the games were done. 'twas kinda cool, but a little pointless after all.

March 5, 2008

Austin-bound: SXSW Interactive

Meet me at SXSW InteractiveYeehaw!

I'm off to SXSW for the first time. I actually never thought my first SXSW showing would be for the Interactive festival instead of the Music festival; but so be it. I'm psyched!

There are all kinds of SXSW calendars cropping up, but this one is my favorite: I'll be attending all kinds of panels, book-readings, and parties. If you're curious, this is what I'll be snacking on for the next several days.

A heads up to twitter followers. If you are following me via SMS and you have a limited text messaging plan, I won't be offended if you turn it off for a few days. I'll be back to normal as of March 12th!

Also, a couple of notable events:

See you in Austin!

February 14, 2008

awesome valentine "easter egg" @ twitter

type @username <3 and you'll tweet out a very sweet valentine's day message.

e.g. @abrownie <3

V-Day "easter egg" on twitter

February 12, 2008

Women rallying for Obama

According to Virginia exit polls, Obama won almost 60 percent of the female Democratic vote.
Shamelessly re-posting from the CNN Political Ticker -- which I notice is using WordPress!

February 12, 2008

Exit polls: Obama stealing Clinton's base
Posted: 08:39 PM ET

(CNN) — Barack Obama did well with Virginia Democrats across both race and gender lines, and seems to be eating away at Hillary Clinton's backbone of support: women.

According to exit polls, Obama won nearly 60 percent of the female vote, a demographic that has carried Clinton to success in past primaries. (my emphasis)

Clinton even fared worse among men in Virginia – more than two-thirds chose Obama.

Meanwhile, the Illinois senator scored his highest percentage of African-American support to date — winning close to 90 percent of that voting bloc. And the two evenly split the white vote as whole, even though in past primaries Clinton has held a slight edge among white voters.

The only demographic Clinton won in Virginia was among white women, who broke for her over Obama by 10 points. But that margin is significantly smaller than the national average on Super Tuesday. She beat Obama among white women by 25 points then, according to national exit polls.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

February 8, 2008

Lesbian (Speed) Dating

A stereotypical lesbian relationship... in three minutes.

January 30, 2008

my mobile office

the stuff in my commuter bag

Read/Write Web did an article last summer about "rolling your own office." As a telecommuter, and a consultant/freelancer previously, I'm intimately familiar with most of those tools, and have fully and completely jumped on the web application bandwagon. My calendar is online. My email is web mail. My project management tools and todo lists are online. My "office" software is online. I haven't yet paid for online storage, but I do have an account at, and am seriously considering making the move. (Currently, I use Hamachi to VPN to my desktop at home. This is fine most of the time -- except when massive storms hit San Francisco and the power goes out.)

Early last year, frustrated with Sprint's voicemail system, I began looking around ago for an online substitution. I started using GotVoice to check my voicemail and get it on the web (visual voicemail pre-iPhone!). Then I signed up for a GrandCentral number and fell in love. I emailed my family and work contacts, put the new number on my business cards, and made the switch. I've used Skype when I'm on the go and can't get a cell signal, but haven't had to resort to this too often.

I write all this to get to the point of this post... I'm currently in Vancouver at Web Directions North, and AT&T's international rates are pretty high. After the first day of making calls, checking email, going online, etc., I realized that I was roaming and promptly turned data roaming off. I can do without the email and the browsing, especially since I have access to WiFi at the hotel during the day. But what to do about all those pesky calls coming in?

Here's what to do (if you have a GrandCentral account):

  1. Download Gizmo (like Skype, but VOIP/SIP)
  2. Set up your Gizmo account
  3. Add your Gizmo number to GrandCentral
  4. Tell your friends, family, coworkers to call your GrandCentral number
  5. Take your calls on your computer!
VoilĂ !

[non-sequitur]I want to start capturing all the various incarnations of the usage/mis-usage/misspelling of "voilĂ ." This might be via blog, twitter, flickr, or something else entirely (tumblr?) but it will happen one of these days. I've seen "wahla!", "wahlah!", "viola!", "vwalla!" and oh-so-many more.[/non-sequitur]

So, if you travel a lot, have a Skype-In number (or otherwise use Skype a lot), frequently head to the mountains where there is no cell signal, or are just plain curious... go download Gizmo and give it a whirl. If you need a GrandCentral invite, just hit me up in the comments or on Twitter. I know they're still in beta (so everything is still FREE!), but I don't know the status of whether you need an invite or not.

Try it out!