The Door is Open

This is also published on the new Shindoverse blog:

Over the past few years, much has been made about the harmful effects blogging or tweeting. A quick search through Google can show a myriad of “how to” articles of how to be a good blogger who doesn’t get burned because they do all these things. Then there are the cautionary tales such as the Queen of the Sky and the Phantom Professor, both who got fired from their respective jobs after their blogs and identities were discovered. Also, many prospective employer seek to vet applicants by trolling the Internet, looking to see how these people portray themselves on Facebook. Some have even gone so far as to request log-in information of job interviewees. Unfortunately, there is a lot of paranoia on this issue and it is justified. Continue reading “The Door is Open”

Why Don’t You Get A Blog?

Comments, whenever they come, are nice. I enjoy getting comments on my blog entries and this has especially helped me develop┬á relationships with other bloggers over the years. Every once in a while, there’s that person who comes by, especially when your post is about something controversial, and they just have to comment ad infinitum about it. My response is, “Dude, why don’t you get a blog?”

While I don’t have an official comments policy, ThePete has a policy that covers a lot of the issues that came up with this comment I got in my Perez post last week. ThePete didn’t agree with me and we were cool. However, there was this person, Daniel on Twitter, who felt compelled to leave this long-ass rant. Just to clarify, I don’t follow this Daniel on Twitter, but he piggy-backed on a conversation between me and a mutual friend about Perez’s use of the F word. At one point, he insulted me and I told him to frack off. From there, it felt like one of those night club arguments that seems to be over until the belligerent person confronts you at the door when you leave. With this comment, it was more like being followed to my virtual home. And, being a good host, I posted his comment, even though I thought about just deleting it without it ever seeing the light of day. Ah, but poor Daniel took so much time to type it, and I respect free speech rights.

Given that, I probably should adopt a policy similar to ThePete’s, as it’s pretty reasonable. I also find it irritating when someone tries to piggyback off my posts, which is on my blog. Exercising the right to moderate isn’t a bad thing. I’m not that desperate for comments.

I was tempted to comment on last week’s immense comment, to have fun ripping it apart, but it’s not really worth my time. As for you, Daniel, YOU REALLY NEED TO GET A BLOG. You and all the others like you. It isn’t really that hard as anyone can set one up on Blogger, WordPress, and even MySpace. You can even use Facebook‘s Notes application, which is pretty much for people who pretend to have a blog. Try it and rant to your wounded heart’s content.

San Diego TWineUp, 23 January 2009

img_0428Taking a picture of someone taking a picture in my direction.

My Friday night was marked by the San Diego TwineUp, a small scale local Twitter meetup with big party energy. Rob, AKA Downtown Rob, of WebWizards was generous with hosting at his downtown home (which has a fabulous south view), providing a lot of the wine, and having Rock Band set up for group fun and alternating with the iPod video playlists for ambient background noise. I’ve been to most of the TWineUps, save one, since it started, and this night’s event had the highest turnout so far. The first one had only four people, including Rob and yours truly, and this one had about 10-15 people in all. I took lots of pictures pictures and sent much of them to my Twitpic account via my iPhone. Here are some of them, along some from another camera I brought to the party and a few taken by Rich of Rich and Creamy.

Continue reading “San Diego TWineUp, 23 January 2009”

Quoted in the Diva’s Diary


Barbarella‘s vlog on YouTube plugging her latest column of Diary of a Diva in the San Diego Reader.

This week in the San Diego Reader, I am quoted by Barbarella, the stylish blogger and columnist, in her latest entry of Diary of a Diva. She uses a snarky little tweet of mine to grab the reader’s attention in her discussion about online social networking where she compares it to the water cooler conversations at work, but with a little more control. You know, those conversations we all love to have on Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace. Often, when people ask those of us who use social networking what they are about, we’re often hard pressed to explain, especially when it comes to Twitter, and Barbarella does take some time to explore that issue.

Barbarella, I enjoy your stories and your witty contributions to the online conversation. Thanks for the quote.

Personal Beef

Facebook-land is an interesting place. Most of the time, it is fairly inane, especially with the apps that are designed to distract people from their work. There’s tons of statuses and other kinds of feeds that go on all day. Most of the time, my timeline of statuses, links, and other news seems to go largely unnoticed. However, some of my items related to Rick Warren have provoked responses from some people on my network.

I joined a Facebook discussion group No Rick Warren at Obama Inauguration and I got a response was from a good friend of mine, an evangelical Christian, who wondered what my personal beef was with Rick Warren. To his credit, he and his wife took some flack from people they knew for voting for Obama and voting against Props 4 & 8. I sent him a response saying we can agree to disagree and these were my reasons:

I’m not at ease with Warren’s gentler rhetoric about GLBT issues. He certainly showed his loved towards “sinners, not the sin” with support for Prop 8.

If Obama was insistent on getting an evangelical pastor for this invocation, couldn’t he have gotten Brian McLaren?

Thankfully, a unifying opinion on Warren is not the basis for our friendship (which would be in trouble if it were). There is room to talk about him and the issues he represents.

Given that, I don’t have a soft opinion on Warren right now. I think it’s great that Melissa Etheridge is having a dialogue with Rick Warren. She is someone who has a lot at stake with this whole Prop 8 issue, so she’s a better person than I can be right now. I’m just not there.

I haven’t been a good gay blogger by editorializing on how Rick Warren is so innapropriate for Obama’s inauguration (which is my opinion). All I’ve been doing was doing things here and there on the Facebook feed such as joining that group and posting links to a Rachel Maddow commentary and an SF Gate editorial appropriately entitled The Purpose-driven Bigot. That, and I posted a tweet on Twitter. Given that people seem to pay more attention to my Facebook feed than my blog, I was asking for it.

Continue reading “Personal Beef”

Confoundingly Fun Fondue

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There is never a dull moment whenever I hang out with Melodie. For her birthday, something completely unexpected happened – her chocolate fondue caught on fire!

Melodie was after an interactive kind of dining experience – one where the everyone was active participants in cooking the dinner, so something like the Turf Club or the Strip Club sounded good or even Benihana. Fondue fit the concept nicely, so Fondue Fusion & Bistro, formerly known as Forever Fondue, seemed like a perfect choice.

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Saturday night was her birthday, and a lot of Melodie’s friends showed up, including some mutual friends of ours Gema and Rob, also known as Downtown Rob. We know each other through Twitterville, but several of Melodie’s other friends know her through other contexts, such as work and yoga classes. I got to talk to some of them as I was seated at the other table.

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The owner obviously loves Picasso, as there were reproductions of his work on every wall. However, Gema found the display of a Guernica print very disquieting. Perhaps the owner didn’t think through the effects the painting may have had on the diners. However, the lack of thoughtfulness didn’t seem to end there.

The menu itself was bewildering, especially the fondue combinations. It took the waiter several times to explain to all of us how the combos (or All Inclusives, as they were called) worked, and even then we were all confused.

I found the booths to be very cramped, but I’m a very big guy. Thankfully, there were a few chairs at my table.

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To a minor digression from my mini-rant: Drink Porn. These martinis were very lovely.

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Rob wanted to get a signature shot of him holding a martini, so here it is. In the short time I’ve known him, I can tell lots of stories. He’s that colorful a person. He’s also very fun to party with, which is a source of all those stories.

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In spite of my earlier complaints, the food was actually very good. My newfound friend and I got to enjoy Queso Fiesta, which consisted of beer, Wisconsin Cheddar, and some jalepe├▒os. There was plenty of sourdough bread, apples, and vegetables for dipping. Then there were the salads, which were satisfying, but were too much. Then, the main course, which consisted of meats and vegetables to be cooked in broth were delicious and easy to cook.

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Some more cheese fondue. Yum!

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Here is the birthday girl enjoying some of her fondue.

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While waiting for the broths to boil, it was was fun to watch the vegetable broth. With the vegetables swirling about, it looked as if there were tiny fish swimming around.

The dessert fondues were also wonderful. My neighbor and I ordered the same items for our inclusives, so we got a chocolate and Irish creme sauce. Melodie’s was simply a chocolate fondue. How it caught on fire I don’t know, but our friend Rich poured something on it to get it to burn brighter. It took a few clicks to get it right, but I finally wound up with the intense photo at the top of the entry.

Overall, a very good time was had by all despite whatever confusion occured. I even got a pleasant surprise in the end. In the tab shared by me and my neighbor, we expected to pay $37 each for our All Inclusive. We were only charged for one, so it was cheaper for both of us. After that, a few of us went out for drinks and karaoke.

No Flight Plan, No Problem

Here’s to continuing on. It’s too easy to get caught up in Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or any other social networking, but there is a major disadvantage to those things. The same thing goes for Blogger, WordPress (dot Com) and all the other things available to us for free on the Net. Those things can get yanked out from under you at anytime. Posting on those sites means that there is very little control over your content and they can take it right away from you. If someone complains or if the social networking service doesn’t like you for any reason, they can revoke your account. I’ve learned this the hard way in the middle of the year when Helium.Com revoked my account, yet kept the articles I posted. Thankfully, I didn’t post many, but I learned a crucial lesson: PAY ATTENTION TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE.

While Facebook, Flickr, and even Twitter don’t even come close to the same level of evil and sliminess of Helium, one isn’t necessarily safe.

I suppose I’m not completely safe regarding the web service I’m hosted with, but if they ever decided they wanted to eject me, I’d still have my files. I can always move on to another service and keep posting. Also, I don’t have to worry about if I forfeited ownership to my own material. Nonetheless, back up.

I’ve already had a variety of topics I’ve been doing before I tried to move in the direction of the fiction blog. I figure it’s best to return to that, but how do I come up with a soundbyte answer to describe ShindoTV? I’ve never been good with the short, condensed answer that says it all, especially if a reporter had a microphone shoved in my face. The best answer I can think of right now is that is is my online magazine. It’s in the name too, so this is my broadcast.

Thank you for tuning in to ShindoTV.

SDTwineup

If you wonder what an SDTwineup is, it is essentially a smaller Tweetup (a meeting for Twitterers) with a healthy dose of wine and cheese. Organized and hosted by @DowntownRob, the soft opening of the Twineup was held in Rob’s West Downtown apartment, which has a very beautiful view of the Marina District and even the new Electra Tower. Among the Twitterers represented were your truly, @NREK, and @Nomatophobia.

The benefit of the Twineup is that there is more of opportunity to meet and get to know fellow Twitterers, which is present at the Tweetup, but there are fewer people with a less hectic party pace. And, there is nothing like some wine and cheese to help the conversations get going, very good ones indeed.

The Twineup eventually migrated to Altitude, which had an excellent view of Petco Park’s baseball diamond. We eventually met up with @MyMelodie, who was with her friend @jenniferaron. At one point, several of us couldn’t resist doing a runway walk, which was only a small part of the crazy fun post-wine.

A special thanks to Rob for his hospitality and for creating the event. As I’ve mentioned before, Rob is a big part of the San Diego online community, helping to organize the Blogger Meetups and recently co-sponsoring last week’s SDTweetup. His internet server business, Webwizards.Net, has a special 60 day trial plan available to Twitterers. Check it out and make your grand presence known beyond Twitterville.

The next SDTwineup is on October 24, 7pm.