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In SF on June 21?
Originally uploaded by torrez.

Another reminder, tonight we’re playing at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco.

While I’m not as nervous as I was the first time I ever played live, I’m really feeling the butterflies. Anyway, come out if you can, we go on at 10pm and it’s $8.

I know..I know…

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Picture_5 I've somehow managed to get on a blogger mailing list (if you manage one, please remove me) for marketers and have started to accumulate requests to test products (no thanks, just send cash), requests to post about issues I care so much about that they've even prepared a block of text for me to write and link to (so thoughtful), and my favorite: help me raise money just because I can send an email.

Today I received a lengthy, long, (wow) so very long email from someone in the latter group. With the name "Accountability And Reform" (read: "I am important, give me money") as the name of their GMail account, she or he started with:

We love your blog and realize this is not about design but would welcome the opportunity to discuss this very important issue within your community.

With respect.

It will take five minutes to read this and another five minutes to take action, proposed below.  Your action could literally change the world.  This is a non-partisan issue!  Please post this on liberal AND conservative blogs.

[[twenty (!) some odd paragraphs about injustices and the United Nations-bark-bark-bark-bark-bark snipped to save you the embarrassment of shitting yourself with boredom]]

My response, was snarky. If they're going to waste a few minutes of my time I might as well say "thanks!" and point out they got ripped off when he bought that list of emails to spam:

Hi. Brevity.

Also: my blog isn't about design. It makes "With Respect." fall flat.

Their reply was, thankfully, brief:

Have fun as you ignore the world's problems.

Wha? I wasn't ignoring the world's problems, just this stupid email. But really, the world's problems are at stake and I am antogonizing its last hope?!

Yeah. Plus I hate confused and crappy marketing messages. I hate fake sincerity. Or, at least, if it's fake, let's all make fun of it. They could have responded with, "okay, yeah, we're just trying to get the word out...blah blah" and talk to me like a human. I'm pointing out how silly the "With respect" line is when it's obvious they've never seen my site. Design? Hellooooooo white-space.

I responded...

Self-righteousness. What a surprise.

How dare you tell me you "love my blog." You're lying and you're spamming me. I never signed up to be on your mailing list. Why should anyone read your letter if you're being insincere?

You can't even be a good internet citizen and respect people's inboxes...but good luck on finger wagging at organizations you don't agree with.

Their response:

Listen a-hole.  I thought your site was about website design.  I had read something awhile back and either you or someone who posted was talking about design.  We have much bigger problems than your ego to deal with right now.  Don't bother responding.  We won't respond. (emphasis mine)

Is it really being polite when you call someone an a-hole? Call me an asshole for chrissakes if you think I'm being an asshole. A-hole is kind of an insult on some strange level I don't understand. Do you flip your ring finger at people when you're mad at them? I bet you do, you dim-ass.

My response:

Did you just say "la la la I can't hear you la la la"?

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Picture_11 Day four and no word from Ambrosia Software even though they asked me to mail them about the error. I totally understand their silence, I mean, I am not giving them money why should they expend the energy to help me? I'm only uninstalling Snapz Pro X because it nagged me every morning and spontaneously throughout the day even though I wasn't using the product. It also kept track of some imaginary number of times I used it even though I only used it once to actually record something and three other times to see what other features it had.

I found how to uninstall in their online FAQ and since that didn't come up in Google when I searched I will provide it here for those Googling.

Also, I will provide you with a link to an awfully named product that seems to work okay so far. iShowU. Heh.

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Picture_11 Hi, I am annoying software that, when you attempt to uninstall will error out and tell you to mail someone.

Oh, and every day, even when you're not using it, I will bother you with a message saying you've used the app (even though you haven't).

Does anyone know any good software that will record screencasts and is not bothersome?

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Picture_7 For the past week or so I've been playing with Vox, the new platform from SixApart. Here's where I'd mention how long I've been writing online, but it's irrelevant, and also I don't want you tracking down the story about when I accidentally drank my own sperm accidentally I said accidentally, okay? Geez.

But back to the point: a long time ago I used to write online to a ton (like 30) of faceless, nameless people who used to laugh and possibly email me about how funny they thought it was. I was just goofing off, I wasn't too concerned about offending anyone if I could make something funny.

But then some of these people became friends and it was WAY more fun to interact and relate with them in Real Life® and in email, AIM, and working on projects together—plus who wants to shake the hand of a known masturbator? Not I. So I toned it down a bit. Things were good.

Then in a repeat of something like the great AOL influx, a lot more people started discovering weblogs. For a small percentage who didn't understand it, a weblog post was a challenge to say something mean or a veiled request for marital advice. Lots of controls were developed to stifle the negative comments, a lot of people just turned the feedback loop off because so much of it was spam or hurtful. That early feeling of freedom and openness died for almost everyone but the thickest skinned.

A lot of my friends from those days disappeared back into the woodwork.

[Incidentally this reminds me that I even have one comment I wrote once, years ago, that I completely regret. It was totally pointless and stupid and I seriously think about it a lot. There are a few others that make me cringe, but that one really makes me feel bad. Especially when I see the person I annoyed at events, around San Francisco, or for 3 uncomfortable floors in an elevator (gulp). I usually console myself with the fact that he's now a millionaire. Jerk.]

My friends pointed me to LiveJournal's friend/family controls and I tried out, but I must have some sort of LiveJournal blind spot because every time I looked at the interface I thought, "Why do you hate me?" It's a fine service, and obviously tons of (goth/emo) people like to (cut/take photos of themselves) use it. But it wasn't for me and MySpace is just not an option because of all the child molesters and Rupert Murdoch. Flickr has been allowing me to share a bit of my life with friends in a more spontaneous way, and I appreciate the control I have over who can see what, but it's not exactly the same thing as writing.

Vox is a return to that early time I don't think most people had a chance to experience. The commercialization of blogs has, I think, skewed people's perception of what they can be. To many, if you're not doing 50,000 unique visitors a day you should just throw in the towel, you're a failure. If your funny story about shopping at the Apple store can't be Digg'd or Boingboing'd then what good is it?

Someone once gave me some good advice on how to write a blog post, they said, "Write it like you're writing an email to your friend." That became hard to do when it turned out lots of non-friends were intercepting our correspondence. Vox gives me the chance to write to my friends (and family!) again and I can't wait for you all to join me.

Ugh Update: I did get invites, but it turns out they aren't the sort of invites that let you publish. So me inviting you in with one is pretty much like saying, "Look but don't touch." I did get two real ones, and they're gone already.

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