October 14, 2003

Hey, Good Lookin’

On a side note, I just realized that it would be really cool to go out and register www.briansideout.com. That is, if my name was Brian. Or Side. Or Ansid.

I love it when people link to my blog, and it’s only partially because it yanks more fresh folk in my direction. Welcome, new patrons! Come for the nihilism! Stay for the hubris! As creatures of habit we are prone to finding ourselves in ruts. This isn’t always a bad thing. Just down the road I can visit a field where you can still see the ruts left by wagons on the Oregon Trail. ‘course, everyone who was all cool-like jumped for the video game mayhem of navigating your raft down the Columbia River, from The Dalles to Cascade Locks. Only the wussiest fourth grader took the pass through the Cascade Range and opted out of dodging spinning logs, wagon-sized rocks, Charybdis and Scylla. But still, some ruts are good. Sometimes you want to be a wuss. Sometimes you want to keep your family from being eaten alive by a horrible sea creature.

Other ruts ain’t so good because they make you sleep too late, read too much, eat too fast and show up late to work. My favorite part of gettin’ linked is that it introduces me to many blogs I would never have discovered on my own. It also makes me wonder how these people became habitual readers in the first place, such that they would be inspired to link. What they specifically link to has meaning as well. Did they like the philosophy? The humor? The gratuitous pictures of me running around without my shirt on?

Honestly, I can only devote a few minutes a day to weblogs, as there is too much other stuff to be done out in the world. I could be kiteboarding, snowboarding, making cookies, mailing rotten corn to people, engaging in freak art, etc. I have my regular and irregular blogs, and I rarely stray too far from them because while I love blogs, there are just too many lovely things in this universe that aren’t blogs. Lovely things like friends, sunsets, getting lost in dark mysterious ghost neighborhoods that have roads and sidewalks but no street lights or houses, and Space Cadet Pinball.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Blogs I visit daily are Lileks (humor, Minnesota, politics), Instapundit (politics, nanotechnology, prolific), USS Clueless (politics, logic, science), Zeldman.com (web design, web news, advocacy) and Brainstorms and Raves (web design, CSS).

Blogs I visit semi-daily (or forget to visit unless something actively reminds me) are Tim Blair (Australia, politics, one-liners), Grotto11 (technology, politics) and Red Screen (midwest, amazing photography).

Blogs I feel super-duper guilty about not visiting more often and not devoting nearly enough time to digesting are Eject, Eject, Eject (heart, logic, politics), SomethingAwful (humor), Dave Barry (Dave Barry, duh) and Samizdata (politics on a deep blue background).

Blogs I only occasionally drop into are Ken Layne (journalistic gruffness, rockstar), 101-280 (politics, technology) and Slashdot (computers, super-geeks).

Blogs that everyone raves about but I just can’t get into are Little Green Footballs (politics, pro-Israel), Andrew Sullivan (politics, stuff) and Virginia Postrel (stuff, stuff).

Friends’ sites that I frequent are Zosia Blue (Minnesota, nerds, heart) and Casual Otaku (Japan, anime).

Following a link back from whomever linked to you reveals a whole nest of bloggers whose existence was unknown to you, but to whom your existence is known in part. It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion, which is really fun if you’ve never done it, but gets really confusing when you reach the center because onions don’t layer forever and get confused themselves when figuring out what to do with their absolute insides. Try it.

A few gems from the latest delayering:

Nerdy Girl:

It is interesting to note that simply vigorously shaking a can for 10 seconds produces almost no foam. Therefore, I highly recommend shaking your friends’ soda cans just to piss them off. It won’t foam on them and it’s funny to see the looks on their faces as they shout, “What are you doing?!?” (Disclaimer: results might vary depending on altitude, warmth of soda, and temperament of friends.)

Beef Pile:

Every other day, I drive out to school at Rock Creek in Hillsboro. .. Cow country! Usually Hwy 26 is a slow crap drive, but I was thinking smart. I scheduled my classes to avoid all the traffic. So when I head to school, I have no worries and smooth sailin’ all the way. … Well not today.

I was just out of the Hwy 217 exit and was cruising along at 65mph, when everyone slowed down. .. Wha?! There’s no heavy traffic – so that could mean one thing… CARNAGE! Sweet! Twisted metal! Yah! Let’s all have a good look at people’s lives being suddenly changed and bad days beginning. Awesome!! Cool – this will be worth the wait.

So I creep along – and to my excitement I see what everyone was slowing down for. PINECONES! Frickin’ pinecones on the highway.. I waited 10 minutes in traffic so I wouldn’t hit 10 pinecones at 65mph. Fhew!!! Good thing, cuz those lil’ bastards will tear your sheeit up!


When I think about the larch, I think about its needles. I imagine them filling with resin, viscous gold syrup drawn up like honey into a syringe, where it crystallizes, as delicate and hard as Christmas brittle. And when each needle-leaf snaps loose from its branch, I remember how you pushed your needles in, testing to make sure you hit a vein by drawing a little blood into the syringe.


The normblog greatest jazz albums:

1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue – 1959 (20)

2. Louis Armstrong, The Complete Hot 5 and Hot 7 Recordings – 1925-9 (12)

3. John Coltrane, Giant Steps – 1959 (10)

4. Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um – 1959 (7)

4. Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus – 1956 (7)

6. Duke Ellington, Ellington at Newport – 1956 (6)

6. Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder – 1963 (6)

8. Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else – 1958 (5)

8. John Coltrane, A Love Supreme – 1964 (5)

8. Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch – 1964 (5)

8. Duke Ellington, The Blanton-Webster Band – 1940-2 (5)

8. Thelonious Monk, Brilliant Corners – 1956 (5)

8. Oliver Nelson, Blues and the Abstract Truth – 1961 (5)

8. The Quintet*, Jazz at Massey Hall – 1953 (5)

But really, what I’m most curious about is where the rest of you frequent. What do you find is most worth your time, online?

but without blogs what would we ever, ever do. hundreds of hours whiled away reading the output of so many other human minds… just one of many addictions.
trying to get my own little online writing space together before i leave for antarctica. currently i’m swearing at the install process for movabletype and my server. any suggestions as to if mt is worth the time? it’s either that or i let me server sit useless and go with blogger. free is the key.

Careful commenting at NerdyGirl. Before long you will be expected to haiku in front of the class.
With your pants down.
And the Scooby Doo undies with that unfortunate hole were the only thing clean that day.
Or maybe that was just me…

Lets begin, Blogs: The sum of all brainfarts…
Slashdot (/.) has become my home in the digital world giving me what I need to thrive here, other then my bundy….. I practically live thier and spout my mind like I was talking to Peter. (Who says hello but I think is scared by the blog.)
xturtle.blogspot.com Home to my liberal feminist counter-point. Regular posters are a fiendish collection of pagans, liberal democrats, letter to the editor writers, and 2 conservative asshole’s just their to muck with the others heads. (me and my brother)
Also here, Arstechnica, and Dave Barry’s weblog…
Websites to check.
televisionwithoutpity.com/ Their slogan “Spare the Snark, Spoil the Networks.” should be translated to latin and tatooed to Danes backside. Greatsite to listen to people make fun of your favorite shows.
imdb.com of course
wired.com, cnn.com, news.bbc.co.uk, economist.com, en.wikipedia.org, ask.com (great cooking and history sections) and my new favorite “toys” website dosbox.cjb.net, all my old games live again and can be simulated on my SuSe box.