Wednesday, March 29, 2006

toppling a tshirt tyranny and taking a trip to california

(sorry for the alliteration, it's a shame we're not flying to Texas or Tulsa)

It's been a while, I know, but even I couldn't find anything to blog about. That's not to say that I've found something worth writing about (or more importantly, written something worth reading), but it's about time I updated this thing.

First, it's worth mentioning that we've broken the oppressive chains of CafePress by printing our own reddit Tshirts. After spending way too much time folding them all (I still can't do this) it seemed appropriate to capture the image for posterity, so that my progeny could see how their father spent his "startup days."

If you'd like to take one (or twenty) of these off our hands, look no further. We also couldn't afford real models... so we had to improvise.

Second, (if my the shirts were "worth mentioning," than I suppose this would be, too) it looks like we're heading out to Startup School 2006 at Stanford (although Aaron was only there for a year, he's assured us that he can still get around campus). If you missed the first one, you can find most of the presentations online, but the mp3 of Steve Wozniak doesn't really do him justice. Apparently, there's a petition to get him to speak this time around, but there are plenty of great speakers already on the official list.

So if you're in the area (or are making the trip -- yes, it's that worth it, especially considering it's free), just fill out this form.

Friday, March 03, 2006

startups are hard, let's buy something

I'd been meaning to write this entry for quite some time, but a submission on reddit today encouraged me to finally get this online.

Like many people, I'd heard about the less-than-inspiring Teen Talk Barbie doll that encouraged a generation of young girls to avoid the rigors of math class in favor of shopping. "Math class is tough" and "Let's go shopping" were two individual phrases that when paired together in quick succession, produced hilarious results (in hindsight, at the time a number of parents complained to Mattel). Nevertheless, it's not as though Barbie hadn't already done a remarkable job reinforcing stifling gender roles (and stifling body types -- seriously, judging from Barbie's inhuman proportions, she didn't even need to open her mouth).

This quote came up during a conversation I was having with Aaron a little while back and he pointed me to the accomplishments of the BLO (Barbie Liberation Organization).

I needed one for myself.

With that, I scoured eBay for a version of the doll and a week and $20 later, I had my very own Teen Talk Barbie.

She needed new batteries. The free ones included with the doll were leaking a white powder and Aaron suggested that I buy new ones, as well as wash my hands before making myself lunch.

The day finally came. With trembling fingers I fiddled with the back of her shirt (how cliche) until I found what I was looking for...

"Meet me at the mall."

That's right, c'mon Barbie...

"I love to dance."

OK. A bit random, but that's fine, you'd rather be dancing than learning in math class, right?

"Wanna have a pizza party?"

No, Barbie, I don't, I want you to tell me how tough math class is.

"School friends are the best."

She's been hacked!

It turns out that with a little research, I would have learned that the offending Barbie phrase(s) were replaced with others (presumably with obviously fake phrases like "School friends are the best").

Oh well. Now that I had bought a doll (not my first), I needed to do something with it, so I played with my Predator action figure (does not talk).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

aluminum bundles of joy

Want to see what freedom looks like? Look no further. It's the feeling you get after cutting the umbilical cord connecting you to your abomination of a hosting company and installing some fresh servers of your own in a nearby datacenter.