09 Dec

Meet me in Seattle

Adapted from part of an old post by Ian:

You have to meet a particular person in Seattle. You don’t know who this person is, where they are from, why they want to meet you, or anything else. All you know is that they are looking for you too, and they know nothing about you either.

Where in Seattle do you go to meet this person?

What time would you go there?

Think of your answers before you read the comments to this post. Then post what you thought of.

I’m just curious how similar our answers will be.

06 Dec

Warning to non-Chinese/Japanese speakers

It is a very bad idea to get a tattoo in a language you don’t understand. The Hanzi Smatter weblog collects embarrassing examples of the misuse of hanzi/kanji in tattoos, t-shirts, and the like. Careful, or like one ill-fated young man, your tattoo might read “At the end of the day, this is an ugly boy” instead of your intended “Love, Honor, and Obey”.

06 Dec

The telegram isn’t dead

I am young enough that I have never received a telegram. In fact, I’m not sure if my mother has ever received one either. But I always thought they were kind of neat.

You can still get telegrams through Western Union, but they are kind of boring and bland. Much cooler are Retro-Grams — vintage style telegrams, which can be sent via e-mail for free, or also by first-class mail, or even by retro courier! You can choose from different styles of telegrams depending on which era you want to recreate. This is just darned cool. I would love to send these out as Christmas cards, but they are $3.95 each… maybe just a few, then.

(Don’t miss the History of Telegrams page.)

01 Dec

Radio serving the public? Not exactly.

So, you’re living in a town on the periphery of the Seattle area — say, Covington. Your town doesn’t have its own radio station. An Oregon station decides they want to move their station to your town to serve your sadly-underserved community — but to do this, they’ll have to force a high school radio station, KMIH, off the air.

Well, it makes you sad to know the high school kids are going to get hosed, but you think “Hey, this is for a station that will serve our local community, so maybe it’s worth it.” Um, think again. The company involved, First Broadcasting, has a history of acquiring frequencies specifically for rapid resale, “moving licenses around like chess pieces to get desired licenses into desired markets.” In this case, they are touting the Covington station (when they aren’t trying to butter up the locals and the FCC) as their “entry into the Seattle market.” Not the Covington market. The nicely-profitable Seattle market. There won’t be a single bit of Covington-local content except for the station ID at the top of the hour.

The FCC, supposedly in existence to protect the public’s interest in the public airwaves, is bending over backwards to make this move possible for First Broadcasting, though they must be aware of the reality of this situation. Apparently, they don’t care.

The radio kids are getting screwed. This is just wrong.

01 Dec

Why is Slumberland gray today?

If you use the default style sheet for this weblog, you might notice that the site is gray today. (You might have the old one cached; if you don’t see the gray, hold down the shift key and reload this page.) The site is gray every December 1 for World AIDS Day. Take action and make a difference.

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