2.28.2001

For all you smokers out there, read my lungs are pink, but sad. Maybe it will encourage you to stop the smoky madness.

The song for the post-Internet boom (okay just one line) sung to the tune of "We Built this City on Rock 'N Roll": We built this business on rocky code.

I am cracking myself up.


People brace themselves during the earthquake. Note: I was not one of those people.

After a fine meal at In-N-Out with Amy, I noticed that the Ford dealer was not only nearby, but in an adjacent parking lot. So I spoke with Dante about the Escape. I still don't know what to do so for now, I'll do nothing.

In case you were wondering, Seattle is 837.3 miles from my home in San Jose. Yes, I told my mom this and now she says she can stop worrying, even though I've now told her twice that I'm OK.

More on how people in other parts of the country/world have no clue about geography from my friend Anne:

When I was a student in London, I drew a map for my English friends who thought they knew all about the US. It had all of north America, Canada was a tiny little dot somewhere around Greenland. DALLAS was written in big letters across the whole southwest (this was 1983), then Hollywood was all of California and Disney World was the whole south. New York got a little dot too. The rest of the country was labeled FLYOVER.

My mom is convinced that the Seattle earthquake affected me here, a mere 700 miles away. She even called back to tell me that they felt it in Salt Lake City, "isn't that right across from you?" Sure, Mom, if you don't count Nevada.

Here's a truly shocking headline: Mardi Gras festivity turns violent. Well, no shit.

Our fine foster beagle, Patty, has found herself a new home! She's headed up to Sonoma county where she'll share 8 acres with a 9 year old beagle mix named Joey and a mom named Hummingbird. Hooray for Patty!

Okay, so I'm thinking about selling my Passat and getting a Mazda Tribute, which is exactly the same car as the Ford Escape. It's killing me that the Ford version has many more options. All my friends would give me unending shit if I bought a Ford. After all, it does stand for Found on Road, Dead or Fixed or Repaired Daily. Sigh.

2.27.2001

Now here's a website we can all relate to: Great Mobile Homes of Missouri. via Obscure Store

I'm just not up for concentrating on work right now. La la, just counting the minutes until it would be politically acceptable to leave. La la la...

After working with too many people who see PowerPoint as their only means of communication, The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation is funnier than it ought to be. Thanks Carol for this gem.

It's been decided. Amy and I are headed to LA for a taping of The Price is Right. We've been talking about it for 10 years and before Bob Barker keels over, we must go. Our trip will include all the cheesy tourist things as well as a road trip there (so we can look at THINGS). I can't wait!!!

Today, I have no comment.

2.26.2001

From that fabulous article: "The library -- you forget how awesome the library is! They have CDs now! You can check out CDs, go home and burn them and bring them back the next day!"

For all you unemployed folks out there, here's some hope: The new slackers have found gigs including making money for playing video games while stoned. Sign me up!!

The Food Table is currently surrounded by an entire department, having a birthday celebration for one of their own. Never mind that I'm sitting a mere 4 feet away with my cube facing them.

At the Food Table, not only are people having food, they're having a small party for this guy's 21st birthday. Which would be fine except that it's RIGHT BEHIND ME and I wasn't invited. Fuckers.

I think I joke around too much. Samba was down and when my co-worker (who is rather new to the exciting world of UNIX) asked me what it was called, I told her. She said no, really, what's it called? I should have said tango or flamenco.

Dan!!! eBay item 1115947941 is an Upper Arlington Police patch. You know you need it.

Dumb overheard comment of the day

A woman walks up to the printer, which is going a mile a minute, doing what? Printing, one would imagine. She says 'Oh! Is this thing printing?'

2.23.2001

I'm *so* enjoying my new headphones. They stay on my head and everything!

Scenes from our life as homeowners

I see next-door Nanette in the driveway (it's sort of shared), she tells me how their uncontrollable rottweiler is in heat and probably pregnant. Great, I think, what the world most needs right now is a little of puppies from a badly-bred agressive dog who attacks small children and small dogs alike. She also tells me how her granddaughter was wondering why the other incorrigible (also not fixed)Rottie who lives at her auto parts store 2 blocks away kept breaking out to be near the female and what was that red thing between his legs. No, I gasped! What did you tell her, I asked in horror. "I told her the truth, that's his tallywacker, I said."

For all you who knew me when, my old flame Larry is a member of this band: Slow Motion Riot.

The stress of the last few days/weeks has caught up with me and now I'm the bearer of a cold. I'm not very good at being sick, generally spending my time moaning and sneezing, wanting it to go away. A day of ugh awaits me.

I love this country. Everyone wants money. Motel sued for denying Aryan Nations a room. I mean shit, if you weren't white supremacists, you might get better service.

Who knew that mullets were so cool they're making a movie about a guy who has one? Joe Dirt is coming soon to a drive-in near you.

2.22.2001

Oh, and our Evil Landlord saw fit to give us back half of our deposit even though 'as you can see, my out of pocket expenses were greater than your deposit.' Gee thanks, bitch!

My high school band bought new uniforms and turned the old ones into hideous pillows. I can't stop making that face.

How cool is this? How These Links Benefit At-Risk Kids.

Just when my job absolutely sucks, I realize hey, at least I'm not covered in shit.

Finally got a ticket for Dan, aka Mr Hot Shit™. He'll be here for our fabulous housewarming party and a little longer after that. In addition to helping with our food plans for the evening, he's graciously offered to dogsit while we sneak Melinda off to Reno for a night. Thanks!

A REPORT FROM A PUPPYMILL AUCTION

"I do not believe I will ever look at the world in the same way again. This weekend was worse than I had imagined, worse than I had even been told to expect. I attended my first puppy mill auction in Missouri Sunday, determined to bring home every last Cavalier on the auction block. Lucky Star was successful. We got all six Cavaliers being sold. Hoorah!

But that was only 6 dogs out of 200+. I wanted them all. I wanted to run, ranting like a mad woman through the dirt isles of stacked cages, a screaming pied piper, opening and releasing every last one of those imprisoned souls. What I saw behind those latched doors broke my heart, and made it almost impossible to maintain my equilibrium or my sanity, much less the undercover role I was expected to play. Every 15-20 minutes my husband was at my side, asking if I was okay, telling me I could do this, HAD to do this, for the dogs. For the dogs....

Periodically, I had to escape the nasty atmosphere of the barn for a gulp of the cold Missouri air, hoping the frigid gusts would calm and fortify me.

Some cages held one-eyed dogs, others held dogs with recent cuts, and old, ugly scars, dogs with toenails an inch long, dogs whose hair was one large mat, pregnant bitches close to delivery, dogs missing ears, legs, teeth.

There were no wagging tails, no yelps of delight; no bright, trusting eyes or barks of playful banter. Most cowered in the farthest corners of their cages, two or more huddled close together, as if their closeness would bring them some measure of comfort in dealing with their shared misery.

Dog after dog was auctioned to the highest bidder, often with such sales pitches as: "Missing an eye, but sees well enough to hit his mark": "This girl is only a year old, but she has earned her keep by already producing one litter - now she's got another on the way - a bonus for you"; "This bitch has had 19 pups in a year and a half - just the kind you want"; "If you just sell one of this pregnant bitch's puppies, you will make more than you've paid for her"; "Bitch only has three legs - big deal, she won't be passing that on." And on one male dog, who refused to stand on the table because of an injured foot, the auctioneer remarked, "Don't let that bother you, he can still get it on."

Dogs were often held high in the air for all to see, tails lifted to gauge whether they were in heat, mouths probed roughly to check their bites, and abdomens poked and prodded to check for pregnancy because "this one's been running with Jax - could give you a surprise."

The Cavaliers were one of the last breed on the block. My heart stopped, and my eyes welled when I saw the first, and only two females brought to the table. Their eyes remained downcast, their tails tucked, their bodies postured with fear. "Look at the coats on these beauties," the creepy auctioneer said. "These ladies have produced some gorgeous pups." That sealed it -- I wasn't leaving that place until I had every single cavalier in my possession.

Our babies brought the highest and liveliest bidding, with bidding often reaching feverish levels, the bids coming so fast and furious, I was afraid I could not keep up. I hated bidding; I hated NOT bidding.

When I got the highest bid, the auctioneer said, "Which one do you want?" "I want them both," I replied. "Great," he said, "You're saving me time, little lady." When we got the final bid on the puppies, the last to be auctioned, I breathed a sigh of relief, and said a quiet thank-you to the man upstairs.

While waiting in line to get the dogs, one man approached us, and asked how many of "those Charlies" we had. I said I only had three. "Well," was his response, "you are certainly in business now." Yes, I told him, you better believe it.

Rescuing just a few is worth the effort, worth the heartache, and worth the dirt, stench and barren, desolate miles my husband and I endured. Six are safe, but so many more are not. Rescuing from these sleazy breeders is a necessary evil. It is only a drop in the bucket, I know, but it is SOMETHING. It certainly is not enough, and we must work diligently to try and save them all.

A number of people I talked to before leaving on this trip knew nothing about puppy mills. They know about them NOW. Educate. Please educate. Tell everyone you know, and people you don't know, what puppy mills are all about. Relate my horror story, and the stories of other rescuers. We CANNOT shut down the puppy millers without the education of the public.

Before I sign off, let me tell you about MY bonus. I came home with seven puppy mill dogs, my seventh being a male, 2 year old Lhasa Apso. He was placed on the table and the auctioneer opened the bids at $150. No bids came. Down to $50, still no bids. At $25, the auctioneer said, "Come on, folks, he's worked his tail off in his short life - been one busy little guy. Worth a heck of a lot more than $25. If you don't want him, I'll put him back to work for me." At $15, my husband saw the sadness in my eyes. "Toni," he said...too late.

The auctioneer said, "Well, do I hear $10?" My hand shot up before I could stop it. "Sold, to the little lady for $10." "Got yourself quite a bargain," was the auctioneer's parting shot.

The Cavs hadn't even come up yet, and I knew we had a long way to go. "Sorry," I told Chris. "I couldn't help it." "It's okay," he said. "By my calculations, using the luggage rack on top, we could probably haul back another 20 or so." He was joking, of course, he simply understood that this business was deplorable, and resigning these dogs to a pitiful existence was heart wrenching.

Find it in your heart to get involved with rescue, in whatever way you can. Attend an auction, donate your money, foster a rescue, or just encourage and advise those of us who are just getting our feet wet. You won't be sorry. Your heart may break, your eyes may be red-rimmed for days, but I promise you, you will be forever changed." -- Toni Webb, The3Cavaliers@aol.com

2.21.2001

I am absolutely beaten down by my job. I'm tired of being blamed for everything and don't know what else to do. Sometimes, with some people, your best isn't, and can't ever be, good enough. Sigh.

Today has been yet another hard day in a growing series of hard days. It's time for something to change and I'm not going the unabomber route to make it happen.

2.20.2001

Somewhere along the way, the web stopped being fun and just became work. I want it back, I miss my friend, the web.

I just overheard someone saying that Stigmata was funny. Did I see the wrong movie?

My headphones died today, just fell off of my ear in a lifeless heap. I've got them taped up but the outside world is a lot louder than I'd like it to be. Shussh, everyone!

Damn. For $623.98, the SONY - Digital Reference Series Audiophile Stereo Headphones with Floating Earcup System and Large Size Self-Adjusting Headband better include some illegal products.

Sunday's hockey game was a big night. I scored not one, but 2 goals! I also combatted the lamebrain who insisted on holding my stick down with his by going backwards so fast that he didn't notice I was gone, instead stood there holding my now-absent stick down.

This silly little tool analyzes your pet's name and gives a profile. Here's what they said about Zeus:

Your pet is basically quiet, shy, and likes his/her privacy. This animal is genuinely concerned with people around him/her. Your pet is certainly never dull. You may find this animal has a dualistic nature being very communicative one minute and sullen the next. This animal has a gregarious nature, enjoys people, and seems to be more concerned with his/her freedom needs than your wishes or desires. Your pet is sexually oriented, clever, and definitely knows how to go after what he/she wants.

I think they're talking about the wrong dog.

2.16.2001

Who knew that the most excellent Korea BBQ Buffet we went to last night with the fabulous Amy F had a website? I'm drooling looking at the pictures of all that meat.

Last night on ER, the phine Dr. Weaver was just starting to enjoy her first relationship with a woman. By no means did she consider herself gay or ready to march in a pride parade, but this woman's obnoxious dyke friends scared the crap out of her, talking about the advantages that heterosexuals allegedly enjoy and announcing that everyone at the table had slept with Kim.

Yes, it's true that the lesbian community is very inbred, so to speak. When you only have 5% of the population to choose from and don't have the things that hold many straight people back from giving up on a relationship easily (kids, house, etc), it's inevitable that you'll find yourself dating your friend's exes. But to say something like that is, to me, inexcusable, not to mention something I've never heard anyone announce to a group. Certianly, I've thought it but would never make such a proclamation. To do so is inconsiderate (especially to a 'new lesbian' just figuring her story out) and rude. Why bother?

These days, I don't really consider myself part of the gay community. I've always rejected the notion that being gay means I have to be political, I wasn't into publicly protesting before I realized that I'm gay, dating chicks doesn't change that. Straight people have different advantages, but I really don't think they have more of them and even if they did, so what? Being attracted to women is something I sure as hell can't change, why waste my time bitching about something that I can't change? I was still able to buy a house, have a loving relationship and the respect of my peers. My self-confidence and job skills did that for me, not any government-mandated rights.

Quit bitching and stand up for yourself.

Alice is at the vet today, getting her annual teeth cleaning. This time, she's also having a small (but steadily growing) lump removed from her foot and a neck x-ray done just in case something can explain why she's been yelping so damn much. We couldn't give her breakfast today so she was mighty pissed on the way over and less than pleased when they whisked her to the back of the office. Sorry, Al. It's for your own good. I think.

2.15.2001

Now that we're homeowners, I've become more of a cheap bastard than I was before. We're also woefully behind the times, so my new favorite place is Movie Bargain Cinemas, where the movies are only $3.50. Thumbs up, when the rest of the area charges $9-10 and has no goddamn parking.

Words of Wisdom from my Mom
Don't buy an Egg Wave. They explode in the microwave!

It's probably time to start mentioning our upcoming housewarming party. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 17, we'll be having a phine bash in honor of our new home, my birth and my friend Melinda's visit to lovely CA. Since our house is small, we may have the shindig start early, say 6 pm, and go on for a while, hoping to space out the traffic. Of course, my fears may be true, we may have no friends after all but just in case.

I think this will work better than an evite since most of my friends read this. Rather than include my address here, if you know where we live, just show up, or email me for details that I'll invent just for you (sure, sure, we'll have a fondue pot and a hang glider for you) and directions.

See you there!

Today, our system is so slow I have time to go to the bathroom after hitting save. If I'm lucky, it's finished by the time I return. Let's face it, it's pretty hard to run an Internet company without decent bandwidth.

Some guys took samples of dialog from Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies and played them back in some hiliarious prank phone calls. Enjoy.

I say, sir, good for you! Utah man, 91, accused of stealing power for decades.

In case you were wondering, Amazon.com tells you about Gardening Feng Shui.

2.14.2001

I'm making that face: Woman killed in car crash sent to junkyard. Gee, Bob, there's a body in the backseat.

After 2 weeks of hell at work, things appear to be calming down, at least for now. Good thing, I was running out of energy.

The Official Hannibal website is chock full of nifty stuff but has some of the worst navigation I've ever seen. Sheesh.

On the way to work today, I saw not one but two young men fiddling intently with pay phones. Is there some bizarre ring of pay phone fiddlers?

Has everyone forgotten about the separation of church and state? Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business.

I'm sorry to report that my honorary basset hound niece Marabelle died on Monday. She'd put up a good fight against cancer but in the end it robbed her of her legs and her dignity. My little Flying Nun with the lethal weapon ass is in good company with Ellie, I can only hope that they're sharing a burger.

I'm starting to feel old, not just because, I'll be 28 soon, but because I finally own a house that's packed with grownup responsibilities and I'm tired all the time.

2.13.2001

There's snow on the mountains nearby, a very unusual thing. Looking out my window, I can see the snow-capped peaks and it makes me feel like I'm living in a happy mountain town.

Tell me why this pricelist is so damn funny. I want my picture on the website where I work. The caption could be "Liz. Bad Mother Fucker and web team member."

Thanks to my dad for reprising some really great advice:

THE SENILITY PRAYER

God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones that I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

People seem to forget that even though that dang old Internet enables instant communication, we're still not all sitting next to each other. Every time I see a company's website that looks interesting, I look at their jobs for the hell of it. But half the time (or more) they list all these fabulous jobs and never mention where their office is.

2.12.2001

Women are funny. Gay women are even funnier. Not exactly like funny ha-ha but funny interesting or things that make you say 'huh?' Any gathering of gay women is invitably a mishmash of issues, moreso than a gathering of other types of people. There are more rules, it must be smoke-free, alcohol-free, meat-free and occassionally, fragrance-free.

I certainly respect non-smokers (I'm one myself), recovering addicts, vegetarians and non-purfume wearers like myself. However, I can't understand how these people function in society with all these issues. Can you honestly expect a fragrance-free workplace or a booze-free world just because it affects you in a bad way? We share the world with billions of people, is it really necessary or realistic to think that a gathering of any sort should cater to any individual's specific needs?

And just so you don't think this pisses me off about gay women only, what's all this shit about peanut allergies? Does the world need to be peanut-free because a few are allergic? Just don't eat the goddamn peanuts, smoke the cigarette, drink the booze or stand next to the person bearing any sort of fragrance!!!

When you really have to go: Beer Drinker Fined for Urinating on Woman's Leg. Thanks Amy

Weekend Adventures

We took Friday off to wait for the furnace man and work on the house. Amazingly, where last week's furnace man (who was not covered by our warranty) was all set to replace it rather than fix it, this week's man (who is covered by warranty) was able to fix it in no time flat. So we have heat, I was actually too warm one night. Ahh.

Saturday, I picked up a new foster dog, who we're calling Patty for the moment. We're hoping to find out what her name really is. Her people thought she was food agressive and could (after 9 years in their home) decide to bite their grandkids, since there's all this news about dogs attacking people. The dog is fat, so very fat, but not food agressive in the least, even around Alice, the queen of food agression.

We had dinner at this crazy crappy resturant attached to a seedy motel near our house because it was the only thing open. Our waitress was on speed, she talked a mile a minute asking over and over did we want some soup? It's split pea and very good do you mind if I sit down my back really hurts the soup is really good did I tell you that already? At one point she just walked outside and didn't come back for about 10 minutes, then the cook (Angel, this I know because our waitress kept shouting "Angel! I need a cheese kes-a-diya!") went out to his car. When we left she told us we could go out the back door, that she didn't care if the alarm went off.

Last night we went to Hot Pot City, where first a small baby with a very large (in stature) family fell from his carrier on top of a chair and hit the ground with a loud smack. Ouch! The parents decided to hold him for the rest of the meal so I got to watch as a large welt appeared on his forehead. As if that wasn't enough excitement, one of the hot plates caught on fire, and not just a little fire, but a decent-sized one. Most people were stunned, and just watched, myself included. Andrea jumped into action with a big spoon, meaning to turn the heat off but the adjuster wasn't working so at long last fine Hot Pot City employees appeared to make the flames go away.

2.08.2001

Spin Me a Recession
Before Monkey Boy George W. Bush took office, the economy was fine. Fabulous, even. True, the dot-com IPO gold rush was over, but by and large things were fine.

In the weeks between his ill-won victory and the inauguration he began referring to the economy as slowing down. The media was stunned, saying that a president had never spoken of an economic slide that hadn't happened yet.

This week, saying "the warning signs are clear," his Monkeyness announced a massive tax cut that, like all tax cuts, would favor the wealthiest among us. (Though, to be fair, the poorest folks pay little or no taxes so, no a tax cut won't help them.) He emerges looking like a hero, saving us from a recession that he's invented.

His PR people are pretty damn good. And we're chumps for going along with it.

2.07.2001

I never thought I cared about lawn mowers. Okay, I didn't since I didn't have a yard to tend to. But now that we have our yardlet, we discovered that while we both grew up with gas-powered mowers that were a bitch to start and of course required repair that we couldn't do, we actually had an opinion. So when we finally invest in a mower (maybe today) it will be a Reel Mowers, you know, the old-school kind that requires a little more effort to push but almost no effort to maintain.

Who knew that I cared enough to have an opinion?

2.06.2001

The Silicon Valley climate here has changed. We're not zealots anymore, convinced that what we're working on is the Next Best Thing. We're just a bunch of kids who go to work every day.

For all you Survivor fans, who knew that the goofy host, Jeff Probst, had a rescue beagle (ish)?

For those of you joining us late in the program, Zeus is our crazy new beagle addition. He was found after his owner died, trapped in the house until the cops came to board the place up. When they opened the door, he darted out and was hit by a car so he wound up in a vet's office, who called beagle rescue. I was only supposed to give him a ride from Tracy to Sacramento but he ended up staying overnight and within those 8 hours, we were hooked.

In honor of Wolfie, my friend Sheri's fabulous dog who passed away yesterday. He'd been fighting cancer for a while but in the end the disease got him. I know that Ellie greeted him when he arrived, but his family is heartbroken without him.

2.05.2001

Over the weekend, next-door Nanette's 8 year old granddaughter (who apparently lives with her) decided that I'm her new best friend. She was making Valentines on the front stoop of her house and as I was taking our 2 hour foster dog to his new family, told me so. When I returned, she ran up to my car and pounded on the window, announcing that she was making one for me too. I was a little creeped out, but okay, great. I headed into the house, she came running over 5 minutes later with her little friend from up the street. They wanted to play with our dogs (who are old and have less than no interest in the affections of children) so Andrea let them into the backyard, where I was rooting through our crap in the garage and the dogs were roaming thanks to their newly-installed doggie door.

The girl's little friend grew bored and left soon after but next-door Nanette's granddaughter lingered for over 2 hours, following me around as I unpacked, asking what everything was, including her brilliant observation about the chopsticks in our silverware tray being "Chinese stuff."

Kids are cute, I definitely want one of my own, but someone else's bored 8 year old is not a welcome guest in my home. After 10 minutes, I was long over the girl's curiousity and her assertion that she was 'helping' us unpack by keeping the dogs (who were eating grass) busy and her constant questions about our stuff. I think I'm too nice sometimes, and I assume that kids are adults, meaning that when I say "oh we'd better get ready for dinner with my brother and his lovely wife, " that the girl would know enough to leave. She didn't.

At one point, she followed me into my bedroom, noticed that there's only one bed and started asking questions. This bothered me in a very profound way, a way I can't quite explain. Something about not being accountable to 8 year olds, not wanting the neighbors to make judgements about us because we're gay (if I'm an asshole on my own, that's fine, but don't judge me because I sleep with a chick.), and a long-standing belief that it's not polite to trepase through someone's house uninvited and it's sure as shit not polite to ask questions about their private life or their bedroom (although I'm sure my invited friends are bound to ask 'what's up with that blue?!').

I finally kicked the kid out. Afterwards, she peered into our windows, saying 'Ha, ha! I can see you guys.' Now that's way past charming, that's fucking creepy.

True adventures:
Last Friday, I took Alice and Zeus to the vet and stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch before heading back to work. It was only 11 a.m. so there wasn't a big crowd, just me and some shift workers. Until this large man in a motorized scooter (the sit-down kind, not a razor-esque thing) rolls in , bitching loudly that nobody opened the door for him. He rolled up to the counter, still bitching about the door issue and asked if they had tacos. No, I'm not making this up. The Taco Bell employee told him about the various kinds of tacos available at Taco Bell and he thought he'd 'start off with one.' The employees brought his lunch out to him, while he's pulled up to a table, waving frantically and shouting "I'm over here!" across the empty dining room. When his gourmet meal arrives, he discovers that there are no napkins on the tray and shouts to the entire room that he needs some napkins. Thanks for sharing, sir.

At lunch today, I stopped by Walgreen's for my prescription. In front of me at the counter was a skinny woman, decked out in Harley Davidson gear, dragging a young boy (Garret) with her. There was some drama about her Vicodan, something about Kaiser and a snafu but could she please have her Vicodan right now please? She went on and on, telling the entire pharmacy staff and by default, me, about her Vico-drama. Finally she stopped telling her convoluded story to yell at her child that he was driving her crazy. Funny, I hadn't even noticed him.

Good news: a new furnace is covered by our most excellent home warranty, or at least most of it is. We also added the on-it's-last-legs refrigerator to the warranty, so if that dies in the next year, a new one will cost us only $35.

2.02.2001

On the death of Pyra

There was a time not so long ago when venture capitalists were handing out money to anyone with a business plan. Revenue didn't seem to matter, the important thing was doing something, anything on the Internet that might possibly bring some users to the site for something useful, and then, hopefully, those users would use a free service, any free service as long as it was on the Internet, and maybe someday parlay that use into a revenue stream.

Today, we know for sure that doesn't work. When I was looking for work last February because the company I was working for was part of this make money someday, somehow revolution, I talked to a bunch of places who were also in that market, most of whom were in the same sort of grey-area of revenue models. We were all full of ourselves then, talking into a frenzy about viral marketing, vertical markets and leveraging affiliate programs, feeling so smug as we looked down the yellow road to IPO. After a while, it became clear that our dreams weren't the answer, that while the Web was unlike anything else, it was like everything else. In order to survive, you need money coming in on a regular basis.

And the smug companies who turned me down went out of business, companies who wanted me, who I believed in, offered me a small severance for my troubles, carted my desk out to a Uhaul and put a for lease sign in front of the building. The times are changing, what seemed so great just a year ago now seems so obvious today that it would never work.

I have to ask, why did we get so caught up in venture capital money? Was it the lowered risk and perceived safety net that having several million dollars in the bank provides? What's so bad about starting a company with a small loan, doing everything you can yourself, then creating goods or services and selling them, growing the business and adding employees as needed? Maybe I'm naive, but I think we just forgot, lured by the big checks from VC's that were flowing like water. Now that those checks have stopped coming, it's a different world, hopefully a smarter one.

Note to self: When putting feet on computer do not rest your feet on the power cable. It can only lead to no good.

What are people on these days? Man wielding bat, machete goes on school rampage.

My new hockey skates arrived today. I'm so excited, I just hope they fit!

I can't even comment on this

I haven't turned the LizCam on today because the last pic from yesterday sums up my mood the last week or so all too well.

It's true. My job has sucked ass lately. I mistakenly volunteered for what has to be the most difficult project I've done in a while, reworking some undocumented code (hint: if you hire an outside firm to design and build your entire site, including development and staging environments make them document everything. Or at least a few things.). Unfortunately, it's a high-profile project and the whole world has been nipping at each other's heels to make it happen. It finally made it out of my hands today. I won't be signing up for any side projects for a while.

Furnace man #2 came today. Naturally, he can't fix it, he can only replace the whole thing. He also found a dead mouse in it, which Andrea forgot about and Zeus ate. The vet was concerned about any poison that might have been in the mouse so both Zeus and Alice are hanging out at the vet's today. For once, Alice was not the troublemaker.

2.01.2001

Today's House Drama
When our plumber Titus came out to install the gas line for the dryer, he turned off the furnace. I don't know why but he did so we called PG&E to come out and light the pilot light so we could have heat again. The guy arrived early, so early we were still asleep but our mighty watchdog Alice woke us up.

Of course it's a larger issue than just lighting the pilot light. We need some random part with the accompanying service technician to install said part. I'm always wary of the people who can get out right away so I found someone who can come a little later. Hopefully this will be the one time they don't say 'oh, this is a bigger job than I'd thought.'

Today I hate my job. People are being largely shitty and more importantly, my soul's not in it. I've been working on the web in one way or another since 1997, has it come full circle, can I get no more satisfaction from it? I'm at a crossroads. It's no longer satisfying work and I'm more than tired of the politics and people who find it acceptable to be nasty. But the money's good so here I am.