My travel'n shoes are off and resting at the front door again.
I managed to get out of Austin, just in time.
A powerful front was blowing in on top of me and things were looking to get crazy.
No, I'm not talking about the recent rounds of weather fronts (though at times I felt I was in the Windy City rather than central Texas).
No, blowing in with fury was the SXSW festival.
A number of blogs I follow were reporting that they would have a presence, but I had to boogie on home to "the girls".
The training went very well. We had some some test labs with real physical hardware to put our hands into, so (as I am not a natural-born telecom geek) it was very helpful getting my hands on the components and getting a better sense how they all interacted.
Turns out the trainer had spent a considerable number of years living in the Houston area so we got to trade stories and catch up on things. That is always fun.
Houston has a lot of nicknames, but do you know the history behind them?
Surprisingly (or maybe not) there is a Wikipedia page on this very subject.
Now See This
Here are some curious or entertaining links I've crossed this week.
flickrvision - Now this one is really cool. Very similar to Blogger Play, this website allows you to see a collection of recently posted Flickr images, one at at time, superimposed over a spinning globe. This neat feature lets you see just where the country of origin of the new image posts are. Not quite as addicting as Blogger Play, it is entertaining.
+KN | Kitsune Noir » The Desktop Wallpaper Project - Bobby S. is going to attempt to post one new wallpaper a week (each Wed.) till he runs out of wallpapers. Screen resolutions are posted for everything from cell-phones to mega-monitors. Participating in the project are 60 graphic artists. Should be fun.
Gillianic Tendencies » Friday Cat Blogging: Look, a cute picture - Yeah, a picture of a cat. Yawn. But terrific Gillian does share a new line-art YouTube video from the artist of Simon’s Cat: Cat Man Do. The new one? Simon's Cat 'Let Me In!' Lavie rolled on the floor in a hysterical fit.
swissmiss - Blog of inspired elements of design adopted by Tina Roth Eisenberg. I've always enjoyed the beauty of good design, be it in form or function. There is something refreshing about this site.
Boing Boing Boing-ing
I don't have Boing Boing added to my RSS feed. I'm afraid I would loose too much time pursuing the piles of enjoyable madness littering the web. However I do periodically drop in to see what's up when I've cleared though my own feed lists and I need a guide to getting off the well-worn paths on the Web.
Lego arms-dealer - Boing Boing - Growing up all things Lego, our Lego People did have their share of swords and spears. With a few parts, you could even make some ray-gun blasters for them. However, I had no idea there were actually black-market purveyors of hard-core weaponry and figures. Scary but well done: BrickArms.
Map of choose your own adventure book - Boing Boing - These "choose your own adventures" books actually came up as a discussion in the training. We were discussing call "vectoring" and said that if phone system call routing design isn't done very well, it can turn out to be similar to these books of youth. Dude actually took the time to map one out: Link
Remixing the London police's anti-photographer terror posters - Boing Boing - While I never could even call myself an amateur photographer, I've always had an eye for great shots. Since I don't carry a camera around my neck 24/7 I've always been a bit uncomfortable taking casual or candid shots of miscellany around town and travels. Apparently there are more and more stories of law-enforcement forbidding public-space photography on the grounds of anti-terrorism, and posts by true photographers on trying to stand up for your rights. Now there is a British information campaign asking folks to report other folks taking pictures...just to be safe. How to deal with it? Humor and satire, of course. Thomas Hawk's take here. Know your rights (at least for now), here (PDF). The post comments have many, many more links to additional satire takes. Spend some time in there.
Muppet popculture photoshopping contest - Boing Boing - Some of these are strangely beautiful. Creepy but beautiful. Six Degrees of Puppets 3.
Hamster's Lunch now available online - Boing Boing - Never heard about Hamster's Lunch before, until now. Got to keep it out of Alvis's brain. Hamster Lunch is not, in fact, a lunch for hamsters, rather it is a Japanese snack that comes with a small hamster figure in the box. Think American kids's cereal boxes of yore, except the box is 1/8th the size and about the same price. They are cute, though. Coco's Variety Store: Hamster's Lunch Back in Stock, Wide Spread Panic Averted.
Riding the Wired
The Underwire - Wired Blogs - currently covering all thing crazy at SXSW. Live the rush without swimming in the rush. Get really clever, do your Web homework, and you can cover a breaking news and events scene without even needing to be there! SXSW: Twitter Joker Skewers Austin Party Scene From Afar
Carl Zimmer's Dissection: How to Date the Grand Canyon -- Go With the Flow - I really enjoyed my geology classes in college. I think it would be neat to be a geologist. Anyway, I for one, found this post very fascinating to read.
Daily LEGO: Discovery and Leonov from 2001 and 2010 | Geekdad from Wired.com - Geekdad is one of my favorite blogs on Wired. Geekdad points out two outstanding custom Lego creations, this time the spacecrafts Discovery and Leonov from 2001 and 2010 movies. Not only are these large-scale, but feature interior spaces and articulating parts. Cool stuff!
Expect a few more (light) posts today as I am still unpacking and wrapping up "homework" this weekend.