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Crime, outside my window: Yesterday morning when I walked downstairs I found that urban puddle on the sidewalk - a spray of little nuggets of busted auto safety glass, right below my street-side window. Peering in through the hole punched into the spider-web of the pick-up's passenger window, I could see the wires spilling out of the dashboard aperture where its radio once lived. Straightening up, I assessed the vehicle - kinda beat-up, actually; and one I didn't recognize (although I'm hardly familiar with all the cars that park on my block). Was it a really good stereo? The scene of the crime is marked in the photo, which I got yesterday off this great site Geoff cued me to - it's an easily navigable database of satellite imagery. This morning I swept all the glassy bits into the gutter - I thought my street was pretty tame; just goes to show.

People ask me why I do this, the on-line journal thing. Early last year I came across a posting to dc.general:

Hi folks-
First, in the interests of full disclosure, yes, I do keep an online journal. Of course I like traffic, and the url is in my .sig. With that out of the way...

Just last month, I found Open Pages, a webring of online journals and diaries. At first, I couldn't quite understand why or who would keep a journal for the world to see. It seemed vaguely online Jerry Springerish.

I'd have been better off if I'd left it at that. I ended up finding a few I really enjoyed (identifying with or being entertained by the author). Now I check them daily, frustrated when they stagnate - "update dammit!" :)

I posted this to let folks know that these are out there. I've been on the net ~4 years, and can't recall coming across these before last month. Search keywords "open pages" or click on the webring "list" link on the bottom of any member journal (of which I am oh so conveniently a member).

BTW- don't be shy about feedback/guestbooks. Many folks keep online journals expressly for feedback. I don't, but certainly enjoy other folks perspectives on what I have to say.

Visit to watch me figure out exactly why I'm living in DC and going to lawschool.

The idea was new to me, too. After reading just a few of his entries I decided I disliked him (mostly because of his anal reaction to the Olympic snowboarder's drug test - see one of Scott's entries from then for the Canadian athlete's name), but from his links page for other journals I hit Xiled, and thought it was great -- he wrote about places I knew (DC, the Peninsula of Hampton Roads) and I found not only entertainment but enlightenment in his entries. I decided to try it myself; since it was an impulse I had the means to satisfy. I'd been wanting to transcribe something autobiographical, and was also inspired by a hard-copy journal I'd read the year before: Brian Eno's A Year With Swollen Appendices, so I started up my first on-line journal. (Curiously and coincidentally, Xiled stopped without announcement - and his last entry is dated the day before my first.) Like Eno, I did it for exactly one year, in the free GeoCities space I had. (If you're really curious, ask & I may supply the URL -- but halfway through, I started giving GeoCities $5/month for an ad-free display with a better URL -- that's over now, so if you do get in, be prepared for watermarks and annoying banner windows.) The first journal was an exercize in anonymity, which actually became a handicap. Although this project may have more glasnost, the objective now is not so much the recording of "a year in the life" but to do up an interesting page as often as possible, with a more visual focus, since that's what this wwweb's all about.

But here's some journal-type stuff:

  • Listing of CDs in current rotation:
    • "Bladerunner" - soundtrack - Roumanian pressing
    • "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" - Spiritualized®
    • "the Best of Strange Cargos" - Willian Orbit
    • "Dead Cities" - Future Sounds of London
    • "Are You Experienced?" - the Jimi Hendrix Experience
    If I had a CD carousel these are what would be loaded now. Inside the computer's CD-ROM drive is "The Best of the Doors" and on the turntable, the Dionne Warwick "Anthology" - side 4.
  • Big day at work tomorrow, the big boss from New Jersey will be here, and this time he's bringing along my actual manager, who up until now I've only spoken with over the phone.
  • Finally located my other metal clipboard! I was getting frantic; couldn't find it at home, anywhere. It was at work; I'd put it away when unpacking from our move from the trailers. Then while walking around today at lunchtime I suddenly remembered where it was.

Great new Jon Katz column, about the Internet breaking down walls -- some of the same themes I read about in The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg, about how extra-national transactions in cyberspace will hasten the end of the nation-state, in our time. He says "Without walls, there's no secretary, security guard, voice mail or letters column to hide behind."

  pic du jour

The street where I live
(as it appeared on 10-30-91)

Mar 2
© 1999
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