Friday, August 29, 2008

Want a job?

I have just discovered online freelancing websites!

Apparently, if you are ambitious and can manage your own time, you could earn a lot of money by taking jobs from online freelancing websites like Elance, Guru, and GetAFreelancer. I think you basically pay a monthly membership fee, then submit bids for work requests you find on the website. If your bid is chosen, then you go to work! Awesome!

This whole post totally sounds like a "want to be your own boss?" ad, but this is obviously the real deal.

Want to write for a living? How about programming? Graphics design? Accounting? Transcription? Whatever! What the hell, do it all! Just go and look. What a great thing to know about.

If I'm stuck in a rut and can't find a job, I could hopefully find work there. It could also be a great way of making secondary income, although I personally am already busy enough and would like more free time, but maybe someday I will need money more than freetime.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Worst Website Ever

If you know of any good sources of local news for St. Louis other than, please let me know.

I was a loyal reader of for my local news ever since they started. In recent months the website has become a Class VI Unnavigable Catastrophe with invasive Flash adds, pop-up ads, and ridiculous Javascript menus.

I sent them an email this morning expressing my concerns for their website, suggesting that they consider an ad-free subscription program or at least less time consuming experience, since it takes like 5 seconds to click through the stupid ads to get to the content. Guess what they sent me in return... "Thank you for taking the time to write..." blah, blah, blah. Standard boilerplate response. They didn't even take the time to read my email.

Nothing grinds my gears like when I get brushed off by a company after I took the time to submit some well thought-out feedback.

After looking around Google, I quickly discovered that I am not the only person to think their website is a disaster. I found many in agreement in the 206 comments for the Redesign FAQ, and here in the 68 comments for this Redesign Update article. Unfortunately, comments for both articles are closed now, or I would chip in my ire. The design disaster is also discussed in the Urban St. Louis forums.

Things that suck about

1) Doesn't work on a mobile phone. I mean are you serious? It's 2008. You redesigned you website in 2008, and it doesn't work on a mobile phone, and like everyone has broadband access on their mobile phone now.

2) The gigantic Flash ad that takes up about 70% of the screen and tries to appear as a page being folded over from the upper right hand corner of my screen that I have to click "close," once it's done loading, to close before I can see the rest of the page.

3) The colors. Teal + red + white = craptastic.

4) The Big Fat Navigation Menu at the top of the screen. Seems like every time I move my mouse this monstrosity drops down over where I'm trying to navigate to, so I have to move the pointer all the way to the side of the window to get it to go back up... bleagh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sheriff Justus

This is Sheriff Mearl J. Justus. Just soak that in for a minute.

OK, I'm serious, this is the St. Clair County Sheriff. Not only does this man look like his swagger alone would knock over chairs as he walks through a room, but he is in fact quite an innovative law man.

There's an article in today about his idea of hanging wanted posters over the urinals in the Sheriff's department. It's apparently been a pretty successful project.

In 1990, according to the article, he set up a fake shoe store and sent out letters to the last known addresses of people on his list of wanted, saying they won a free pair of shoes. He bagged 33 bad guys that day! Holy cow!

Wait a minute... criminals read their mail on a daily basis? I'm unlikely to read mine once a week. And they showed up on the right day? That's almost as amazing as the idea itself!

Other fun facts about Mearl is that his department's homepage is at And he has a blog at This guy's awesome!

Monday, August 18, 2008

You Can Awesome! episode 3

This one is also about a year old, but still one of my favorites...

Especially 1:30 - 2:30.

Their 80s style sensibilities were ahead of their time last year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Watley goes to Vegas

This scene literally never gets old...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to thought

When I find myself in one of life's valleys, I can always find peace and inspiration in the pursuit, or rediscovery, of new avenues of thought. Specifically I am talking about philosophy. I mean really, just the thought of opening up my copy of The Portable Nietzsche gets me excited. That book has never failed to provide inspiration for me in the 16 years I've owned it. Whether or not you agree with Nietzsche's philosophy is practically irrelevant, because he is one of the most exciting writers you will ever find.

But, rather than go to old faithful, I've (re)started reading Jacques Derrida (WAH wah). I tried to read one of his books a few years ago (Archive Fever), but couldn't stay awake long enough to finish it. Seriously, it was like Sleepinol. His writing is so dense and pedantic, it's a chore to follow. The introduction for that book actually notes that he even writes in a style that makes it difficult to translate into English. What a dick! However, he is noted as the founder of the philosophy of deconstruction, which is heavily referenced by most of the important modern architects, specifically in deconstructivist work, so I figure it is worthwhile to try to understand him.

My brother made me a t-shirt with a montage of work from Lebbeus Woods's Radical Reconstruction. I fell in love with Woods's work as soon as Sean introduced me to it a couple years ago, but I had forgotten about it until that shirt arrived in the mail. Thanks, Sean!

Sean pointed out to me today that Lebbeus Woods has never been known as a deconstructivist, but, in his words (Sean's), certainly a futurist, and maybe, if you had to label him, we'd call him a post-functionalist.

Lebbeus Woods has a blog! Yes!

If I can derive anything useful in my study of Derrida, I'll be sure to post something about it.

Here's a picture of me with a disembodied light bulb hanging from a string. This whole post is really just a bunch of words surrounding this picture. It's a deconstructivist picture in a room that's been partially de-constructed... and I'm wearing a shirt that's disintegrating. Oh yeah, that t-shirt is like as old as my copy of The Portable Nietzsche. I treat it like a priceless artifact. It's sooo comfortable, it's almost as light as air, and as soft as a newly shorn lamb.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I didn't post anything while I was in Shanghai, because I didn't have much downtime, but I feel compelled to describe at least this one outstanding thing that happened to me there, which happened during dinner on Thursday night with two of my Chinese friends. We were eating at an Indian restaurant, all you can eat and drink, it was totally awesome, but that's not the point. We were talking about difficult life experiences, and after telling a story of mine, one of my friends asked me, "Do you know the show Growing Pains?"

Smiling broadly, and doing my best to contain intense gleeful laughter for what was about to transpire, I of course conceded that I do. He then related to my story by describing an episode of Growing Pains where a young Mike Seaver dealt with an experience similar to mine. I could barely contain the wondrous, disbelieving guffaw I felt for his choosing to empathize with me through Growing Pains. All I could think was how Jason Bredle would've shit a solid gold capybara if he could've been there to hear it. And are they still airing this show in China? And I can't believe the world has shrunk so much that this scenario is even taking place!

I mean, when was the last time you even thought about that show? For me it was when I discovered the afore-linked Bredle poem, which was only a couple months ago, but before that I mean really, maybe what, 14 or 15 years? But then my friend made the most astute observations about the show's impact on Chinese society, and I was forced to step back and consider the changes it affected on American society. He noted how shows like it and Family Ties made it OK for the family's patriarch to show emotion, and openly love his family. Shows like that made it clear that family is the most important thing of all, and it's OK to hug your son. Their popularity pushed important social issues into every family's living room, especially issues of social equality and forgiveness.

Of course, they pushed them out in perfectly formed chunks of happy shiny entertainment, easily digestible, devoid of the ugly spurs and splinters that make coping with real life quite a bit more challenging and time consuming, but nonetheless, I had never actually given that show any importance until he forced me to consider it.

I can't upload pictures to this post for some reason. I'll try to put together a stream sometime.