March 15, 2006

The X is for Xtreme!

The people of Austin seem to have a problem with pants management. Anywhere you go you see pairs of pants that have been abandoned, all up and down the sidewalks. I don’t know how these people live and what they do for fun, but I am sadly aware that my life does not include such spontaneous bouts of pants-loss.

One could go as far as proposing a Pants Management System for Austin, some sort of Web 2.0 AJAXian Rails API mash-up. In the interest of keeping Austin weird, however, a source of pride that has spawned entire t-shirt enterprises (and we know about t-shirt enterprises), I would have to discourage the Pants Management System. In current form it would also lack an appealing abbreviation, which would make branding rather difficult.

Anywho, we have been safely delivered back to Minneapolis after a rolicking time at SXSW, an event that for five days will grab your brain from both sides and shake vigorously. This it does until the matter inside liquifies, and all you can do is move through the scenes with a dumb grin upon your face, the kind of dumb grin that only comes from the most intense social and intellectual stimulation you have ever known. My relationships with the interweb, and with those who hold the bottles of glue and glitter and nail polish remover and take it upon themselves to build the interweb, have never been stronger.

We fought to the death in a bowling tournament and made every effort to be the loudest team possible. We were wildly successful, and though there was no award for volume, we made sure to set a precedent that next year, oh next year, there would be such a thing.

The panels. Did I mention the panels? Lord, they were informative and frequently sexy. I have a hundred pages of notes, all taken down on graph paper in true Web 0.1 style. My notes are indecipherable to any eyes but my own. While chatting with a guy at the final SXSW party, he recalled sitting next to me in a panel and identifying me as the chicken-scratch guy. The lesson here is that encoding and obfuscation have histories from long before the digital age, and it would do us well to remember this.

Last night, or rather this morning, we engaged in an epic battle. It took place at approximately 3am, and of this we have videographic evidence. The rest of the morning was frought with chaos. I managed to sleep from 6am to 9am, until it was time to board a jet and fly an hour across a state only to land in the same state. Texas is huge my friend. It is fitting that this is the only state left alive that can host the likes of SXSW.

You can see our lovely photos over at Flickr. Watch, as this may become the reality of all things.