Kid Casting. When a movie has a flashback of a character as a child. So good.




No two snowflakes are alike? Not so fast. Now I can't UNSEE that snowflake, I'm going to see it everywhere. Just like the clouds/bushes in Super Mario Brothers.

Found via Coudal, who by the way, runs such a fantastic link blog I tend to never repost stuff from their feed because I figure everyone reads them. But if you don't, you should start.



Joshua's post about unbundling the tools for deploying publishing components reminded me of a service I wish someone would make.

I want someone to build a user preferences service that would free up developers from having to re-implement settings and preferences in their applications. Something like Cocoa's NSUserDefaults that provides an interface for retrieving and storing user preferences in a user's local library.

update: Someone pointed out I wasn't completely clear with this. The idea is the service runs in the cloud and provides an interface for any application to query and store key/value pairs per user.

I previously wrote about this idea (five years ago!) and I still want it.


Every year I make a new year's resolution that sound nearly impossible. I enjoy the challenge of putting a goal in front of me that at the beginning of the year seems entirely ridiculous, but at the end of the year seems completely doable.

The best resolutions I've made are rarely about doing something, they're usually the challenge of restricting or cutting out something in my life—usually involving the act of media consumption. Self-portait-a-day projects sound fun, but I am far too forgetful to remember to take a picture of my dumb face. I see it enough already.

A couple of years ago I decided not to buy a book the entire year. When I started it seemed completely insane. I love books. I was commuting 45 minutes both ways by bus or boat at the time, and books were a favorite diversion. I finally broke down and made a rule that let me buy comic books, but it did create this reason for me to dive back into books I'd already read, and finish some I had given up on.

The following year I tried it with video games. I couldn't buy a new video game until I had played through every unfinished game I had sitting on my shelf. I wasn't able to keep that one. Some of those games were really terrible.

Last year I vowed to finish five projects or let the domains I had purchased for them expire, which was heartbreaking because I had some good domain names. I was unsuccessful launching those projects and the domains expired.

While I was walking to work this morning I came up with my next resolution for 2010. I was listening to Le Tigre's self-titled album (now 10 years old), and flipped to Operation Ivy's (now 20 years old). Then on the walk from the Embarcadero I switched to the xx (1 year old) and it struck me how I've probably missed a lot of good music because I was spending it listening to old Modern Lovers records.

So then it hit me: what if I only listened to music released in 2010? Okay. That's just crazy enough.

The rules are:

  • This includes re-issues/re-masters.
  • For the month of January I am allowed to listen to anything from 2009.
  • I will probably come up with more rules as I think of them because not listening to Bad Brains for a year is starting to make me sad.

And you can play along at home if you'd like: here is my stream. It has over 50,000 songs I've listened to over the past few years. The top 18 has 11 bands that aren't even bands anymore (counting Weezer).



Who steals a wreath? If you live in S.F. and happen to know who is in this video someone wants their wreath back.

Who the fuck steals a wreath?


So there's another Andre Torrez on the web. And not just on the web but in my city. And not just in my city but writing for a local paper called the San Francisco Bay Guardian. AND not just for the local paper, but the local MUSIC section of the paper which is something I was briefly connected to while in Sweetie.

See for yourself.

I sort of want to meet someone who has the same name as me, but then what? Do we just shake hands? I am pretty sure we're not related since my last name was altered by my grandfather.

Once when I was a kid my mom excitedly ran over to me with the newspaper opened to the obituaries column because someone named Andres Torrez had died. I remember she was so excited that it didn't really register in her mind that she was showing her son an obituary of someone who happened to have the same name as me.

When I made a bit of a sour face at this, it suddenly hit her what she was doing and she took it away from me, folded it up, and acted like it didn't happen. Later that day I asked her if I could clip it out she said she had thrown it away and I shouldn't be so morbid.


Amber has put together 20 prints in a holiday gift guide for 2009. She pored through hundreds of prints (I know, I watched) and agonized (I know, I watched) to whittle that list down to 20.

They are fantastic prints ranging from the very affordable "$50 & Under", "For Kids", and the "Extravagant".

If you can, please share with friends and link her guide or use that StumbleUpon thing that confuses me.



I hadn't heard about this competition called NYC BigApps. It's a project to get people to create applications using NY specific data. Submissions actually closed yesterday and voting begins in a few days. It looks great and the site where you download data sets is incredibly usable.

I want to play!


I made a new rule in I'm not a productivity expert, so you can just ignore this and go back to procrastinating at work by reading weblogs, but I think I discovered something that works for me.

The rule I made takes every incoming piece of mail and marks it as read. Now I am not summoned to my inbox by a red alert badge in my Dock, I go there when I need to check in with email.

Anyway, works for me. I like it.

update: my friend Ben points out that I can turn badge notification off, which is half of what I'm trying to do. The other part requires I keep track of when and what email is in my inbox and which has been dealt with. So I check mail in the morning, then again after lunch (as I just did).

Not having bolded messages calling to me to open and deal with them is nice.


I'm in the middle of a book called Coders at Work. Buzz just quoted something from it that is worth reading. The whole book is great. There is a lot of intensely geeky stuff in it that makes me want to hop on my computer and start programming. Totally the way watching Powell + Peralta videos used to make me want to run out and skate.

Last month there was a post by Henry Blodget on things you need to know to become a media mogul. I can't speak for much of it except item #5 "Treat engineers as kings" which bothered me a lot. That's just the wrong way to think about your relationship with engineers and I don't know (or want to work) with many engineers who would accept that kind of treatment.

HOWEVER, going back to the list just now I noticed that item #6 is "Treat customers like kings." Which I think means the bit about engineers is just a fancy way to say get them everything they need to do their job which I can completely agree with. Dual monitors, fast computers, nice chairs, all that stuff. Great.

But I think the whole "king" moniker is a terrible way to position this sort of thing. They're not gods, they're not rock stars, they're just smart (perhaps introverted) people trying to solve complex technical problems in ways that are unlike sales or marketing or accounting. That doesn't make them special, it just means they have different needs.

In the end though, both "as" and "like" are squishy words that ultimately mean "but not really <wink>".


One of the things I have enjoyed about living in Northern California is what feels like access to much better, fresher beers than I was used to down south. There were plenty of places to buy beer, even craft beers in Los Angeles, but I think because I walk so much in my neighborhood and frequent liquor stores instead of Super Markets I come across many of the local stuff I would have missed.

This article on CHOW about Sierra Nevada Brewing makes me happy for two reasons. The first is that I also, frequently (like right now) have a six pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in my refrigerator.

The second is that after about two years of going a little crazy with super hoppy beers and sour beers and beers that make you want to take a nap afterwards, I think I've started to come around to the idea of subtle beers that are good because they are well balanced, and not trying to differentiate themselves with a bit of a gimmick.

That said, I usually have a fresh Pliny The Elder in my fridge as well. Shoving your nose into a big glass of Pliny is a bit of heaven I think.

via mat


I'm a little bummed about Favrd shutting down. From the first day to the last day of using it, it never changed for me—so it's surprising to hear it had become such a unwieldy burden.

I don't doubt it had, of course. I trust Dean to know when it's no longer manageable. I just didn't know it had become that bad. I wish I would have known this was coming.

Twitter lacks the ability to discover who has favored your tweets. When Favrd launched it filled that gap, but also made a point of filtering the webcocks* who had just began realizing there was a new way to strut around like they owned the place. Webcocks will always have a few thousand people happily slurping down whatever tripe they (or their team of writers) happen to write that day. The same thing happened to blogs almost a decade ago, but we had referrals and trackbacks and services that helped us discover who else was out there nodding their heads or laughing along with us.

What Twitter does not lack is the function (now standardized) to retweet. I dislike retweets for many reasons, but chief among them is it feels like an imposition on one's followers. That's just me though, others seem pretty happy to do it. All day. A lot. RT. RT. LOL. RT.

It's just not for me. I have retweeted all of 0 tweets. I have favored 3,057 tweets. I was telling a friend a few weeks ago that the new RT functionality seemed to be (in part) doing for the Twitter community what starring a tweet should be doing: "I like what you said, here is me telling you that."

I have started following many people who silently showed their approval of something I said. I could not even begin to count the number of people I have found through Favrd, so I'm grateful for that, but I think that's what's got me down the most: I wasn't done finding people.

  • Not sure if "webcock" was coined by Dean but it's why there was a rooster up in the corner of the site. It's such a great word I love saying it.


"For every 100 copies of a physical book we sell, where we have the Kindle edition, we will sell 48 copies of the Kindle edition." — NYTimes interview with Jeff Bezos.

I held off buying a Kindle for myself for longer than is normal. The price was the main reason, but I never thought I'd enjoy reading a book on the device.

When my wife finally bought me one for my birthday I started with tech books. The sort of books you burn through and shelve and never read again. Then it was a quick slide into fiction and now I can't imagine lugging a book around that doesn't have a version on the Kindle.


I mentioned it before, but my wife has resurrected her site We ♥ Prints. It's a great resource for finding affordable art for yourself or someone else.



When I was a young kid goofing around on an Amiga 500, I distinctly remember wanting to do what this guy does for a living. He makes faux computer interfaces for films. The demos I used to make are long gone, probably sold at a garage sale or thrown away.

via andy


This synth/controller from Teenage Engineering is awfully, awfully lovely. I don't even have a need for it, but god, I love the design of the thing. Just lovely.

via it's nice that