'They Might Be' In My Gym
Saturday, Apr 12, 2003
Back in Pittsburgh, after three weeks away in various corners in and outside of our nation.

In a meeting with my project team yesterday, Liya told us she had a hard out at 6:30 because she needed to get a good spot for the They Might Be Giants concert.

"Oh, where are they playing?" I asked, miffed that I wasn't aware back when tickets must have gone on sale.

"They're playing on the Cut [one of the two lawns that form the backbone of the CMU campus]. It's free. Why, do you know them?"

Hah. Know them... Am I living in a bubble? In Kevinland, everybody knows TMBG.

So off I went. Rachel had a play to go to at 8, but was going to try and come for the beginning of the 7pm concert. As it turned out, they moved the stage indoors, into the gym, for fear of rain, so there were lines and such, with enrolled students getting priority, though I think everyone got in. As it turned out, Rachel didn't go because by the time all was said and done it was almost time for her to leave for the play anyhow, and as it turned out there was a warm-up band that played for an hour first, so TMBG didn't hit the stage until 8:30 anyhow.

Oh, and when I say gym, I don't mean Pauley Pavilion or Haas Stadium, with seating for 12,000. I mean three basketball courts side by side. No bleachers, no terraces, just a big honkin' stage that took up one corner of a building where acoustics, if they were considered at all during the design process, were made extra-echoey, as if to pump up the spirits of a practicing basketball team by making them sound like five teams.

TMBG was the perfect band to play this gig. And we were the perfect crowd to see it. People in front of me and in back of me, waiting in line to get in, were practicing their bouncing. If you love TMBG, then you know what I mean.

Okay, so I was bad and bootlegged a little. First off, so you know I'm not kidding about the acoustics (though admittedly I was using my camera's audio record, so high fidelity isn't its primary feature either).

The show was a lot of fun, though I had to leave about 2/3rds of the way through. I was about 40 feet from the band, which I had to remind myself would be absolutely amazing if they were playing, for example, at Shoreline, or any mainstream venue. At 40 feet they're just some talented guys from New York, which is exactly the kind of image they want to express, so that all works.

Nostalgia pang, wishing I was in San Francisco, when they burst in to their first song: Istanbul (not Constantinople). Oh how I wished I had seven of my Irish friends in the room. There was plenty of room in the back for a polka (oh, a whole 200 feet from the stage) and it was all I could do to not ghost seven partners right then and there. Considering the aforementioned bouncing audience, I don't think anyone would have noticed. Ammy, you were missed.

Oh, set list... I don't remember the order, except for the first song, but they played:

  • Istanbul
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul
  • Older
  • Doctor Worm
  • Particle Man (yay!!)
  • Cyclops Rock
  • Why Does The Sun Shine?
  • Bangs
  • James K. Polk
  • Fingertips (yay!)
  • She's Actual Size (thought of Benjy)
  • SuperTaster (hadn't heard that one before)
  • Obligatory Drum Solo Requests
  • ...and more

Which reminds me... while waiting in line for the show, I was IMing Benjy (from the sidekick), telling him (the biggest TMBG fan I know) about the surprise free concert. He told me about how TBMG was coming to the Bay Area and he bought three tickets for $90 and change. Then he told me about how TMBG promised that each of their bay area concerts would be different. It didn't dawn in me for a few minutes that he bought three tickets for himself for the three different shows. Truly a big fan. I'm sure he won't be disappointed.

Anyhow, I've got work to keep my up all night for the next four days, so I should get back to it. So much for a 'micro-review.'

Karen's Little Red Book
Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003
So throughout the cruise, Karen was journalling in her Little Red Book. I intended on writing up entries each evening and posting them when able, but with my lack of a power supply, I was forced to journal on paper, and I'm just not as good at that as I used to be. I'm used to thinking just slow enough to type. Thinking slowly enough to write longhand is just too hard. Maybe I should parctice.

Anyhow, the point is that Karen's Little Red Book (with beautiful Chinese designs in gold all over it, making me feel a touch guilty each time I'd look at it that it wasn't being used for its intended purpose) existed as her blog for the week of the cruise. Now she's making good on that designation by transcribing it, day by day, giving a more thorough accounting of our cruise than I ever could. I'm enjoying reading it, reliving each day as I go.

Anyhow, the short of it is that those of you who feel shortchanged by the recent dearth of Fresh Fury Fun should head over to Karen's and read the daily accounting of our Mexican cruise. That, along with the photos I posted yesterday, should paint a pretty good picture of the trip.

As for me, tomorrow me and five of my classmates will be representing Carnegie Mellon in this year's CHI Interactionary competition. I've said ridiculously little about it so far, and had better blog by morning, so you'll feel some of the anxiety that I feel at the prospect of competing in the industry's only timed Computer-Human Interaction team competition in front of most of the leaders of the industry, judged by Jared Spool, Terry Winograd, and other notables.


Karen and Kevin's LA and Mexico Photo Gallery
Monday, Apr 07, 2003
Los Angeles, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and the Carnival Cruise ship Elation.

Captions and stories for some pictures to follow later. Right now, just the images. Sorry for the huge index page!

If it's Monday this must be Florida
Monday, Apr 07, 2003
I'm in Ft. Lauderdale now for the CHI2003 conference. I'm in all kinds of tizzies, mostly school and work related. Karen and I took 438 pictures during our time in LA and on the cruise, and I have about 48 really good ones that I'll be posting soon.

I took the redeye last night from LAX to land in Charlotte, NC this morning, where I met some of my fellow CMU folk and we flew the rest of the way to Florida.

right now I'm realizing that Ihve' had a chai and some dried mango and that's it for the last 20 hours, so I'm going to go find some yummy food and destress a little before tacking the mountain of homework I have to get through.

Oh, and great news on the job seeking fronts as well. Interviews abound, and possibilities coalesce...

I won by doing very little!!!
Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003
Hey! I won the Antibloggie for Most Unfinished Projects!!!

I'll write more about that later! ;-)

60 miles south of Baja
Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003
Heya, net access on the ship is thin and pricy, so I couldn't pre-compose an entry. For now, just checking in to say that Karen and I are having a great time. Tomorrow we reach Puerto Vallarta where we're going hiking and, among other shopping activities, we have to shop for a new AC adapter for my powerbook. Seems that's the one thing I left at my mom's place. I have homework due on Thursday that I was planning on doing here, but with about 90 minutes of battery left to do several hours of Flash animations, it doesn't seem likely, so it'll be shopping tomorrow, then lots of coding tomorrow night once we put out to sea at 10pm.

I hope everyone's doiong well! I'm sorry I can't send emails out to folks individually, but hopefully it'll suffice to say I miss those I should miss, and then some. I sunburned my ankle yesterday, as a warning of what would happen if I hadn't been so assiduous with the SPF 30 everywhere else.

Okay, time to go for now. I'll check in again soon, and with any luck I'l be posting pictures as well!

Be well,

Gone to Mexico!
Sunday, Mar 30, 2003
As those of you reading my cohort's blog know, the wandering compass needle that is Karen and my vacation has fix'd itself on the seas. This afternoon we set sail on a week-long cruise to Mexico!

We're shipping out on Carnival's Elation, a 'fun boat' that should be pretty different than the more sedate family cruises I've been on with Celebrity, but then this is two people hopping to Mexico, and not 22 people cruising through Alaska or the Mediterranean, so differences already abound.

This is the Trip of Little Planning, and we're looking forward to choosing activities on the spur of the moment. We got a good deal on cruise fare because of the last-minute booking, and we've done a little research on our three destination ports: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, but have stopped short of making full plans.

Despite Karen's being the daughter of a Coast Guard captain, and loving boats and the ocean all her life, this is her first cruise, and will be the first time she's ever been on the water out of sight of land.

For my part, this will be the first time in a long time that I will be on the water out of sight of email, as I believe the Elation doesn't have a cybercafe. Nevertheless, we'll both be writing and taking pictures, and it's not inconceivable that blog posts may be made from ports of call.

I've added the ship's itinerary to the calendar in the left hand nav, and you'll notice that upon arriving back in Los Angeles, I'll be jetting off to the CHI2003 conference in Fort Lauderdale. Truly, it is a hard knock life.

In other news, Google got in touch with me this week. On the basis of an interview I had with them last week when two of their product managers came to Pittsburg,h they want to fly me out to San Francisco next month for a full day of interviews. Things are good.

[edited to place a modifier in it's proper position - Fox]

The Past Week in Kev
Saturday, Mar 29, 2003
I have way too much latency in posts. Things happen to me, and I ruminate, think of ways to relate them to the greater experience of life, decide what to blog, but then something else happens and the post is relegated to a pocket of neurons in my brain, never to escape.

Karen, on the other hand, is a good, responsible blogger. I'm glad I've spent the last week with her for a lot of reasons, but the relevant one right now is that she has been giving a good day-by-day account of our Los Angeles adventures, from Magic Mountain to the Oscars to Citywalk to movies, and all the rest. So without further ado, I invite you all to her blog to check out what we've been up to. ("Check out to what we've been up"? I figure I should watch my dangling participles when linking to the site of a writer.)

All about me, from A to Z.
Saturday, Mar 29, 2003

It's meme time, and today's meme is 'the alphabet of you.'

I got this one from Karen, who probably got it from Rachel. Anyhow, here's me, from A to Z:

A - Act your age? How old would I be if I didn't know how old I was? I act older at work, and younger at play.
B - Born on what day of the week? Wednesday. Wednesday's child is full of woe.
C - Chore you hate? I actually like laundry when I get to it, and cleaning makes me feel accoomplished. It must be paying bills, because when I'm done I feel poorer than when I started.
D - Dad's name? David
E - Essential makeup item? Umm. Contacts?
E - Essential item of luggage when travelling? My Yahoo backpack. Plenty of room for a weekend's clothes, and a snug padded slip pocket for my powerbook.
F - Favorite actor? Val Kilmer tends to stay high on my list. I completely forgot until reminded last week that I'd met him in person. Go figure.
G - Gold or silver? Silver
H - Hometown? Hometown: Encino. Home base: East Bay
I - Instruments you play? A little piano, a little recorder, and my bowed psaltery.
J - Job title? Grad student. Probably an interaction designer again in a few months.
K - Kids? Just me.
L - Living arrangements? By myself in a one bedroom renovated attic across the street from a beautiful cemetery. Will soon be moving to a one or two bedroom in the SF Bay area, either Alameda or maybe Mountain View or Palo Alto.
M - Mum's name? Carolyn
N - Number of people you've slept with? 9
O - Overnight hospital stays? None!
P - Phobia? Failure
P - Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin? Excedrin: Acetaminophen, Asprin and Caffeine. I often get dehydration headaches because I don't have much of a sense of thirst. Excedrin works like a charm at getting rid of the headache while several glasses of water fix the problem by the time it wears off.
Q - Quote you like? I'm not going to teach you how to vandalize a car. You're not even old enough to drive one!
R - Religious affiliation? Religion? No thanks, I'm full already.
S - Siblings? One older sistah
T - Time you wake up? Various. I usually sleep at 2am and get up between 6 and 10am.
U - Unique habit? I think of ideas all the time. I actually start work on at least 3 cool ideas a week, but almost never finish. Last night I took a dozen pictures of wristwatches, convinced that all our advances in miniaturization and technology let us build more elegant digital watches, but instead we just make more complex ones. I don't know if I'll ever write up my ideas on that or not. Oh wait, I just did! NEXT!
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat? Eggplant. It's not an egg. It's purple and squishy in the bad way.
W - Worst habit? Thinking I know everything about a topic. I need to respect other's opinions more, as well as their criticisms.
X - X-rays you've had? Plenty of dental x-rays. Not as many others. I can't even think of any. I've only broken two bones, my little toe (twice) and a rib (probably). Since the treatment is the same if it's broken or badly bruised (tape it and wait), there wasn't really any point.
Y - Yummy food you make? I make really good tollhouse cookies. Add 50% more salt and double vanilla and they're really, really good. I also learned how to make surprisingly good lemon chicken quesadillias from my dad.
Z - Zodiac Sign? Cancer

Got your own alphabet of you? Leave a comment and link us up!

PSA: Davezilla Down But Not Out
Friday, Mar 28, 2003
Irony abounds today as Dave Linabury, owner and operator of Davezilla and Fucked Weblog, discovered that his ISP had not only not performed a backup of his server in six weeks, but proceeded to take that server down and reformat the hard drive.

Dave has asked that his blogging friends make mention of this, as he finds a new ISP and begins to recreate his sites to be faster, stronger, and better backed up than before. Davezilla is down for the next few weeks, but will return. When it does I'll doubtless make mention of it here.

The funny part is that Fucked Weblog is the perfect site to make pronouncements like this, if only it wasn't one of the victims of formatting.


Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

©2012 Kevin Fox