Mixtape #1 – You win, LA.

I’ve been building up this mixtape over the past several weeks. Inspired by Drew Hoolhorst’s and Heather Peterson’s (and a bajillion other people’s) mixtapes, today I decided to release it.

Download the full mixtape as a .zip file.

Mixtape #1 cover

Enjoy.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b4En1

Vedera LIVE TONIGHT at The Farmhouse

Backyard Show in Hollywood, CA

The 100 year old avocado tree all lit up in the backyard at The Farmhouse in Hollywood, CA

My friend Heather is working with a band called Vedera. Last weekend she directed a video for them in the desert at an abandoned water park. They wanted to play a show while they were in LA writing new material. So, we’re doing it tonight in the backyard of The Farmhouse in Hollywood, CA.

The house is an old farmhouse from way back before Hollywood was Hollywood. It once sat on 300 acres of avocado grove. There’s still one avo tree left in my backyard. Under that avo tree is where Vedera is playing tonight. We strung up a bunch of lights last night and it’s amazing back there when it’s all lit up.

Wear a hoodie (it gets chilly at night). Find street parking. Be nice to the neighbors. Come by at 7pm. And have fun!

Find more information at farmhouse.la. Limited to the first 100 people. The address is 1558 Gordon St / Los Angeles, CA / 90028.

Civ in the shed in the backyard at The Farmhouse in Hollywood, CA

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b4ER1

My New Moo Mini Cards

I’ve been using this avatar for years and years now, but I never made any cards with it on them. The best time to start was five years ago. The next best time to start is now. Right? I’m about out of my old Less Than Three cards which I don’t really like giving out anymore, because I don’t do 3 as a consultancy anymore. I’m going to New Orleans for RubyConf right soon, so I figured I should pull the trigger on new cards. Here’s what they look like.

Back 1
Back 2
Front

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b4Dy1

10 Years Ago Today, I Didn’t Play a Show with Propagandhi

Rise Over Run show flier

On September 13, 2001 the band that I was in was supposed to play a show opening up for Randy and Propagandhi at the Emerson Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our band, Rise Over Run, was a vegan straightedge anarchist pop punk band from 2000-2003 from Bloomington, Indiana.

Two days before the show day, planes crashed into buildings. The day after the plane crashes, we got the phone call: Propagandhi went back to Canada and the show was cancelled. They never rescheduled that show. At least never before we broke up and I moved away.

To this day Propagandhi is still one of my favorite bands and I’ve still never seen them live.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b4Dr1

See You in Hell, Suckers!

I’m now unemployed! Yesterday was my last day. And in typical fashion I sent out a “goodbye / this is how to contact me in the future” email. This is what it said.

See you in hell, suckers!

I’m out of here.

It was nice knowing you all. There are lots of really bright folks here that I had the great pleasure of working with and learning from. You know who you are.

This is my last email from this account, so don’t bother replying or replying-all. 😀

If you ever want to get ahold of me, I’m pretty easy to find on the internets.

veganstraightedge@gmail.com
(801) 898-9481
http://iamshane.com
http://twitter.com/veganstraightedge

Your heart is as free as the air you breathe.
The ground you stand on is liberated territory.
Never surrender.

I wish you all the best of luck in your life and adventures.

Best
Shane Becker

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b49_1

No Present

It’s that time of year again where we reflect on the past 12 months and make predictions about the next 12. All future, all past. It’s as if The Now doesn’t exist. Like there’s no present at. (That’s a whole post or probably book for someone else to write or to have written already.) So, here it is, me getting all reflecty and predicty.

Reflection

This was my list of resolutions, before I heard about Amy Hoy’s Year of Hustle jam.

2010 (The Year of Personal Jet-packs) Resolutions

Let’s call them Goals, because you’re on your way once you set your goals.

  • Build a dam wiki… or enlist someone else to
  • Get an activity stream aggregator / publisher working
  • Publish 6 issues of a new online magazine
  • Publish at least one of the five books
  • Publish that one dude’s book
  • Read at least one book / month
  • Blog more
  • Build a wild edibles map app… or enlist someone else to
  • Don’t work for free
  • Get a house
  • Get a job
  • Get out of debt
  • Get rid of my stagnant projects
  • Get to TODO ZERO at least once
  • Make blogging less cumbersome
  • Never burn another CD or DVD
  • Redesign blog
  • Scale down shirts inventory
  • Stay put, don’t travel so much

And this was my Year of Hustle goals.

2010: My Year of Hustle

Inspired by @amyhoy’s 2009 year of hustle, I’m doing my own.

  • 6 issues of Razzle Dazzle
  • Build dam wiki
  • Sell 30 TRA shirts / month
  • Write publish books
  • Build public harvest (became foodsquatting.com)
  • Get a house
  • Get a job
  • Pay off student loans

To recap, I didn’t: build a dam wiki, write/publish any books or read many books for that matter. I didn’t publish 6 issues of Razzle Dazzle, only one. I didn’t build anything more that a prototype of an Activity Stream aggregator. We didn’t sell many shirts, but we did hand over the company to some friends for them to run.

All of that is to say, I didn’t do the really big projects. But I did manage to cross some shit off the lists.

The biggest one, I got the fuck out of debt. I can’t begin to express how amazing this felt / feels. Unless you’ve ever had massive debt, you’ll probably never really know. This also means for the first time in my life, I’m actually able to save money which is interesting and a little bit weird. I was able to GTFO of debt was a result of 3 things: I met a girl, I stayed in town, I got The Job. In that order.

Stacey and I both wrote our versions of how we met. We found a totally rad pool house to live in. Eventually, I the job where I met a bunch of really bright talented people and I got better at what I do. I stayed focused on getting out of debt and was able to to do it in mid-October.

I did publish one issue of Razzle Dazzle called Origin Story. I was happy with it, but wrangling content from other people (especially for free) is like herding long-tail cats in a room full of rocking chairs. I’ve since handed off the editor/curator reigns to my friend Sarah Godlove to handle issue 2 (Finding Our Voice) which is coming along swimmingly. Future issues will have a rotating cast of editors/curators as well.

January was going to be book writing month with some homies, but alas that fell through because of scheduling conflicts. I mentally closed the doors on a handful of projects that were still on my backlog, but aren’t important to me anymore or aren’t ever gonna happen. That felt good to jettison some weight.

I also managed to not only redesign my blog, but totally rebuild it behind the scenes too! It’s no longer running on WordPress.com (who I still think is totally awesome and I’m glad they exist), because I wanted to do some things they don’t offer and to have more control over it. Right now, my site contains both my long form articles/notes and my statuses. It also has a few products. The plan is to have all of my content in one place (more on that below).

So, while I didn’t hit all of my goals, I did do a bunch of awesome stuff and laid the foundation for twenty oh eleven really well.

Prediction

It’s almost 2011. We still don’t have jetpacks, time machines or hover-boards/cars. Although, we do have an always connected (to the entirety of the world’s knowledge) computer in our pocket. That’s not nothing. I won’t be hovering, jetpacking or tearing through the space-time continuum, but I will be doing a thing or two.

Big Things

  • Write/publish civilization primer book
  • Publish 3 issues of Razzle Dazzle
  • Get Homesteading App to the point where it can power my site (2 days / week)
  • Launch ███████████.tv
  • Work toward a car free life
  • Save enough money to buy land (in 2012)

Body things

  • Figure out my allergies
  • Fix my dry throat problem
  • Fix broke ass finger
  • Investigate weird random chest pains
  • Get flexible again
  • Work on breathing capacity (breadth and depth)
  • Lose my office working weight (~10 pounds)
  • Help Civ lose weight (~8 pounds)

Little Things

  • Try out a standing desk
  • Get a better computer chair
  • Master Cleanse once
  • Try 100 Things Challenge

Nerd things

I’m probably biting off more than I can chew. I tend to do that. But as of right now, those are my goals for 2011, The Year of the Time Machine.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b49W1

A Long Way to Go for a T-Shirt

Me, Carol and Coni at my going away dinner party in Santiago, Chile.

I’ve been listening to Planet Money since the beginning. Actually since before the beginning, since the This American Life episode. I love it. The most recent episode about the life span of a t-shirt moved me to leave my first comment. It went like this…

Whilst visiting Chile for a month in 2009, I experienced a similar sort of moment in the Long Story of a T-Shirt.

I was staying with some kids who were kind enough to put me up for month even though we had just met. They took me around to see all the stuff in their life. One of the stuffs was a weekly illegal market in one of Santiago’s big parks. It was like a flea market without tables. Everyone used blankets on the ground because you could quickly hide it when the cops came by. But it was HUGE… probably 5 blocks long and 2 wide. Sincerely.

So we walked around for a good while and I saw lots of stuff that would’ve been fine gifts for friends who enjoy knick knacks and trinkets. I was living out of my backpack and didn’t want to add weight to my very spartan inventory (~10 pounds).

But then I saw it: a D.A.R.E. t-shirt.

Not just any D.A.R.E. t-shirt, mind you. It was the original design from when the tagline was still “To Keep Kids Off Drugs” before they changed it to “To Resist Drugs and Violence”.

I went to Catholic schools as a kid and we never had the D.A.R.E. program. That meant I never had an old D.A.R.E. t-shirt lying around in box in the basement when I got older and involved in the straightedge scene. That D.A.R.E. t-shirt was super popular in that scene and I always wanted one. And now after all that time, there it was.

I still have that shirt now. I wear it often. It’s soft and worn in a way that new clothes can’t match (even the pre-distressed ones).

Here’s the hilarious thing, it cost me fifty cents (whatever the conversion was at the time). 50 cents and 15 years and 6,000 miles.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b48t1

We Need a Twitter API Clone Ruby Gem

About a year ago, WordPress.com did something really cool. They rolled out a clone of the Twitter API for their service. This allowed existing Twitter client apps, like Tweetie 2 (now Twitter for iPhone) and Twitterific, to be used as WordPress.com client apps too. A few days later, Tumblr did the same thing. Super fucking cool.

Now I could use Tweetie to post to Tumblr blog, my WordPress.com blog or any number of my Twitter accounts all from the same app. How fucking awesome is that?

Nearly everyone uses Twitter. (If they don’t use Twitter, they use Facebook.) One of the knock-on effects of Twitter’s pervasiveness is that there are heaps of Twitter client apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), BlackBerry, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. Hell, Amiga probably has a Twitter client app. Seriously, what platform doesn’t a have Twitter client app? What that means is WordPress.com and Tumblr have native client apps are nearly every platform.

Imagine if you built a web service of some sort and did the same thing. If you built a clone of the Twitter API then instantly you have a slew of native client apps already installed on everyone’s phones and computers. Fucking insane!

So. I think Ruby community needs to get on this. Imagine if we had a gem that was a clone of the Twitter API that anyone could drop into their app. Bang pow, anyone can easily and quickly harness all those Twitter client apps out in the wild.

Anyone with me?

PS. I’ve been told about Twetter. That might be a good starting point, but it seems like Twetter is more of a stand alone app and is about offline tooting. I want a drop-in library.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b48h1

No More Sharecropping!

There was a time when "having a website" meant you owned a website that you could do anything you wanted with. Any kind of content. Any kind of structure. Any kind of software. You were truly the Master of Your Domain. But in all fairness, it was sometimes hard to be that (web)master.

If you just wanted to put pictures of your cat on the internet, but didn't know anything about HTML and FTP, let alone chmod and unix, you were in for a world of hurt.

And then came Blogger (amongst other things).

It was like Twitter without the 140 character ceiling. Just type stuff into the box and press the button. That was it! You just published stuff on the Internet. There weren't even post titles in the beginning. After that we would see a flood of hosted web services that enabled people to publish stuff on the Internet very easily.

Before we knew it, all of our content was being hosted by these web services. Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket had our photos. Typepad, WordPress, Blogspot (and a slew of others) had our long form writing… called "blog posts". Delicious and Magnolia had our bookmarks and read later lists. YouTube, Vimeo and heaps of video sites had our movies. Slideshare had our presentations.

It all seemed like a good idea. Let someone else worry about uptime, backups, redundancy, bandwidth bills, etc. And for a time, things were good.

Then as we published all of our content on other services, we became dependent on them. We became digital sharecroppers. Which maybe wasn't so bad. But then… Magnolia lost all of its data. Six Apart bought Pownce and closed down the site providing no export option — or even much warning. URL shorteners cropped up, got popular and went away in the shortest of time, taking all of their short to long URL mappings with them.

And of course, there's Geocities. With all of its neon colors, tiled backgrounds, sparkly text and animated gifs, Geocities was a ghetto. But it was a huge ghetto. And now that Yahoo turned it off, it's gone. Imagine if every ghetto, barrio, favela and shanty town was literally taken away in one moment. That's a lot of very homeless people (even more homeless than before).

Enough already!

It's time for something better. It's time for a web where any person can easily create a website and publish all kinds of content there. It's time for us to own all of our data, beholden to no one. It's time that our personal diy rolled websites play nice and integrate closely into external services. It's time for a real sense of privacy, where not only is our data "protected" from others seeing it, it's also encrypted at the source so that even if seized by criminals or government alike it'd do them no good. It's time for easy granular sharing controls allowing to grant access to some content to some people, not all content to all people or to no one.

There will come a time in the not too distant future where having a website will be considered a birthright. It's time that we start building the tools that will make that a possibility.

Instead of sharecroppers, we must become homesteaders.

Some Additional Thoughts

As a person I want

  • to have a website
  • to own all of my data
  • to participate in online communities

As a user I want

  • to publish everything to my website
  • my website to syndicate my content to other sites
  • my syndicated content to link back to my site
  • to choose which sites to syndicate to

As a developer I want

  • to add outbound sites easily with a plugin
  • to add inbound formats to publish with

Extra

  • Installation should be easy, at least as easy as WordPress
  • Setup should short and simple
  • Existing tools should publish to my website

New Blog Post Workflow

  • I open MarsEdit
  • I write a post
  • I publish it (via MetaWeblog API / AtomPub)
  • My website receives my post
  • My post is available on my website ( http://iamshane.com/articles/2010/9/12/1/the-setup )
  • My website algorithmically generates a short url for the post ( http://sbb.me/b47j1 )
  • My website updates its Atom feed
  • My website alerts its subscribers that a new update is available (via PubSubHubbub)
  • My website syndicates a copy of my post with the short url at the end to WordPress, Tumblr, gist.github.com, etc
  • My website posts the short url and title to Twitter, Facebook, status.net, etc

New Note Update Workflow

  • I open Tweetie
  • I write my tweet
  • I publish it (via JSON to Twitter api clone)
  • My website receives my update
  • My note is available on my website ( http://iamshane.com/notes/2010/10/5/2 )
  • My website generates a short url for the note ( http://sbb.me/n4872 )
  • My website updates its Atom feed
  • My website alerts its subscribers that a new update is available (via PubSubHubbub)
  • My website posts the short url and content to Twitter, Facebook, status.net, etc

There's surely stuff that I've thought about but am not thinking of right now. I'll write more as it comes to me. It's also worth noting that while I had a lot of these thoughts independent of talking with others, it turns out that more people are thinking roughly the same stuff. Discussions with Tantek really helped my thoughts coalesce, especially the personal url shortener work that he's done. He's using ttk.me with a one letter namespace, 3 character base60 number of days since epoch and one digit nth item of that type on that day. I am too. I jacked that all from him and ported his JavaScript / PHP version to Ruby. Thanks, Tantek. I've also talked a fair bit with Brian Ford and Rich Kilmer about all this stuff. Both had the idea of bundling the software package up into a VM instance that one could just throw at some server and hit the ground running. I hadn't thought of that before. Thanks for that, you two.

Let's get together and make this thing. Get into it.

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b48f1

Extra! Extra!

Time to move the dolly

Today I was a background extra for a short video about a website. I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep quiet about who its for, so I won’t say. The theme of it was kind of like when Morpheus is explaining The Matrix to Neo using The Construct. Well, if Morpheus was 5’5″, Jewish and wearing nerdy black rim glasses. Otherwise, the same thing. Sort of.

This was my first time acting (sure, you could call it that). I had fun. I didn’t fuck anything up too bad. I got a little screen time. I even got paid a few U.S. dollars for it. I guess that makes me a professional actor. Or something. But really, the work itself was the reward.1

It was a lot fun. I’m really happy that I could be a part of it. There was lots of standing around, lots of waiting, lots of fake talking, lots of standing under the hot, hot heat of one million light bulbs. The movie making world has a different name for everything. It’s like a secret language to keep the muggles out. I learned that apple boxes have different names for their orientations depending on which coast you’re on. East coast calls them 1, 2, 3 while west coast calls them New York, Chicago (or maybe Texas) and LA. I like that. We wore booties over our shoes for a good part of the day.

The making of a @lonelysandwich jam

I met some new people that seemed nice after one day’s worth of hangout. I met Adam Lisagor (@lonelysandwich) IRL finally. He’s a real good dude. Loads of fun to work with/for. I hope that I can do more with him.

Adam Lisagor (lonelysandwich), Amy Kernan-Bennett and Trevor Jones at the video shoot for a website in Sun Valley, CA

Finally, a Pro Tip: read the call sheet closely with regards to wardrobe. If it says “Wardrobe: Business Casual. Please bring an extra change of non-business casual clothes. No logos, small patterned, stripes, solid white or solid black clothing”, don’t show up wearing black pants, white shirt, black sweater, black tie and a baseball hat with a local sports team logo on it. Or do, and be happy that the director is such an awesome dude that he’s not only ok with your outfit, but tells you to keep your hat on for the day.

What I wore (wrongly) to the video shoot for a website in Sun Valley, CA after I got home

1 – Extra bonus reward was getting to see one of these things made. Srsly. I love seeing how things are made. ^

At the video shoot for a website in Sun Valley, CA

Originally published at: http://sbb.me/b48e1