Journal    Photos    Links

December 30, 2003

Neurology lab at home

Now you can explore biofeedback within the comfort of your own home. And it's all wrapped up in an easy to swallow, Myst-like, video game.

Thanks to Discover magazine for introducing me to The Journey to Wild Divine.

Posted by tbailen at 08:34 PM

Cheeseburger in Middleton

I heard on the radio today, that Jimmy Buffett's Chesseburger in Paradise will be opening near Madison in January. Apparently, the restaurant is a collaboration between Outback Steakhouse and Jimmy Buffett, and the Middleton location will be the third one. Jimmy has performed short benefit concerts at previous openings, and he will for this one too. The pirate will brave the Wisconsin cold to perform a show for about 200 people benefitting Habitat For Humanity.

Most of you are probably looking for hours and location information. Go here.

Posted by tbailen at 08:48 AM

December 19, 2003

Peer based marketing

"Social circle" data is now data that is being collected and stored in databases (like Friendster.) Boy, I bet marketing types would love to get their hands on this. If you agree that a consumer is more likely to trust and purchase something that they have already heard of, then what I will dub "peer-based marketing" should be highly effective.

Pretend that a marketing company knows who is in your peer group- that is, your friends, family, and people you interact with on a regular basis. Now imagine that the marketing company can target your peer group such that you are all seeing the same banner ads. Now, you may not be likely to buy something based on a banner ad, but suppose one of your peers is. If he says "wow, I really like this x product, you should try it" you would be more inclined to try it if you had already heard of it. If you saw that same banner ad there might be a glint of recognition in your primitive brain that says "yes, that sounds familiar. I should try that."

Posted by tbailen at 02:44 PM

December 13, 2003

You Outta Be In Pictures!

Wow, this is a really cool service. MyDaVinci will take a photo you send them and have their professional artists turn it into an oil on canvas. Neat gift idea if you have a lot of $$$.

Posted by tbailen at 08:20 PM


It's hard to believe that you can have something that you have never had.

Posted by tbailen at 07:16 PM

December 09, 2003


Why is vision important?

When we have a clear vision, we can ask detailed questions about the particulars of how we will achieve that vision, and the vision itself will tell us if we are on the right track. It is like a tuning fork that resonates sympathetically when a concordant note is sounded. If the vision does not give us an answer, or we do not like its answer, we may need to revise the vision. We'll need some tools to be able to do that effectively.

Perhaps the best example of a clear vision is the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is used daily by our courts to help answer tough questions of legality.

Software For Your Head aims to equip teams with the tools to create and maintain a shared vision.

Posted by tbailen at 09:56 PM

Documentation wisdom

When it comes to documenting decisions "why" is as important as "what". Without "why", the decision will soon seem arbitrary and you will be tempted to change your mind. Without "why", the entire discussion behind the decision will replay itself, perhaps to different effect, but nonetheless wasting everyone's time with something that should have been concluded the first time around.

Posted by tbailen at 09:35 PM

Documentation Wisdom

"In many software engineers' view, much of their lives consist of writing documents. We would prefer to say that their lives consist of performing work to gain understanding, which will be delivered to their colleagues according to the protocol [documentation] specified in their process." -The Programmers Stone

Posted by tbailen at 09:31 PM

December 07, 2003

Sex in the small city

Some members in The Isthmus forums share their take on the Madison bar scene:

Minty Fresh:

It depends on what you're looking for and what you're most comfortable lying about:

Hippiechchicks whom you have to con into thinking that you dig "empowered womyn" and the stench of patchouli in order to get laid - Weary Traveler, the co-op

Gym-toned, hardbodied bores whom you have to mislead into thinking you have more money than you do - Madison's, Opus (conveniently co-located)

Bookish academics whom you have to mislead into thinking you're smarter than you are - Borders, any Thai joint on the west side

Pretentious, insecure wannabes for whom you have to pretend you're dumber than you really are - Wisconsin Book Festival, any coffee shop

Sex-starved single moms who'll pick up the bar tab but have to be convinced that you can't wait to meet their retard kid - Kimia, Genna's

If you don't feel like doing the hard work of duplicity and just wanna tag some sure-fire ho's - Club Majestic, city hall

Good luck.


How to meet men in Madison:

Impossible, there are very few real ones.

But if you must:

Angelic: You can dance if you want to...just leave a beer behind. The men here tend to be very drunk and not worth doing much with.

Orpheum: Gigolo's get lonely too...

Luthers: Go to the PanAfrica Dances downstairs. Classy meatmarket and the African-Men treat you like a princess - Very likely someone will actually buy you a drink.

Luthers otherwise: Everytime I've been it's like Noah's Ark. Everyone is mated up. Must be the cost. Although I did meet one guy there who had a woman upstairs and one downstairs.

Club Majestic: Are you a guy looking for a guy? If not, then beware. No problem with gay men, but this is their spot...if they are not gay, then they may be a gigolo from the Orpheum on an off night. My advice to most women is to find a good gay friend and call it a night. Better conversation and their hugs are sincere.

King Club: Now this is where the action is if you like men who look like 50-Cent, Snoop or Andre 3000 or if you like drunk white boys. Younger, fresher and broke. You can't have it all.

Madison's: Men with J.O.B.'s and Futures!!!!

Liquid Lyrics Lounge: Fried, Frayed and Funky!!!

The Annex: Dope Men. (take that anyway ya wanna!)

The Kimia: If you're looking for a good Metrosexual, this is probably where you'll find them (or Madison's)

The Mercury Cafe (Wednesday nights): Cool Spot. Musicians and Men who write poetry. More often broke then not, but you could buy them a $2.00 rail and one might go home with you.

Hope that helps the ladies!

So, choose your joint appropriately and then make sure you drop choice phrases like these:

"...Ani DiFranco bootleg..."
"...Native American folklore..."
"...that's when Trey Anastasio told me..."
"...fighting the objectification of women..."
" work at the Peace Coalition..."
" ounce of some really good shit..."

but under no circumstances use these:
"...just love my SUV..."
"...stupid fucking deadheads..."
"...another check to the Bush Campaign..."
"...dumped me for some loser musician..."
"...housing here is so cheap..."
"...fist all the way up her ass..."

Nonetheless, Larien's outtake on the Madison single's scene is not optimistic:

You don't realize the dearth of available mates here until you go out in other cities. We just don't have anything outside of the University that draws single, young professionals to the city. Spend a weekend in Chicago or Atlanta and it seems that attractive singles are seeping out of every pore.

In Madison, it's virtually impossible to find a single, hot, non-married, non-gay, non-bald, in-shape, guy over 22 and under 45 with a job (Not a rich guy, mind you, just a JOB outside of being a student). I settled for a student - he fit every other category and eventually will have a job. In theory. On many occasions, my taken friends and I have discussed how awful it would be to be single and looking in a city like Madison. (We don't say it in front of the single friends who are already tormented enough and well aware of this sad fact).

Posted by tbailen at 03:36 PM