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Michael Gracie

Something Thoreau wrote on April 16, 1852

“How many there are who advise you to print! How few who advise you to lead a more interior life! In the one case there is all the world to advise you, in the other there is none to advise you but yourself. Nobody ever advised me not to print but myself. The public persuade the author to print, as the meadow invites the brook to fall into it. Only he can be trusted with gifts who can present a face of bronze to expectations.1

Does the advent of self-publishing – electronic books, blogging, social media – make striking the balance more elusive, or easier to segregate?

MG signing off (to push another publish button, subject matter notwithstanding)

1 [At the time, Walden was ready for printing but Thoreau did not yet have a publisher]

Thumbing it to Andros South

It’s about quality over quantity. Unless you’re standing on a flat with an empty fly box.

With all the chatter about what a pain in the rear it is to fly nowadays, I decided to stack the deck in my favor by doing FIBFest with the minimal amount of stuff possible. I’m carrying just one bag, a 2,600 cu.in. duffle, and going as cheaply as possible on everything besides rod, reel and line. The goal is to do the entire week without borrowing a single item from either the other FIBFesters or our gracious host (other than maybe a little CPU time). Here is the packing list:

bonefishing gearThe Essentials

  • Scott S4S rods(1) in #6, #8, and #10, in a heavy duty postal mail tube
  • Lamson Litespeed reels in 3X, 3.5X, and 4, plus some spare parts for each(2) (’cause I often leave reels directly behind the tires of trucks that are about to back up)
  • RIO Bonefish 6(3), Rio Tropical Clouser 8, Rio Redfish 8 (for when I trash the Tropical Clouser in the mangroves), and Rio Saltwater Tropical F/I 10(3)
  • Roughly 1,100 yards of 30# gelspun backing (don’t be a sissy, you fingers are going to get cut anyway)
  • A leader wallet with roughly a dozen tapered flouro and Toothy Critter jobbies in it, and spools of CFX flouro in 6#, 8#, 10#, 12#, 15# and 20#
  • A hundred flies in a five buck Plano box that doubles as bass bug storage, and another small ($3) Plano box for when we’re on foot

I’ll note that I’m carrying way more flies than I’ll probably need, but it’s a pretty wide assortment, including some weightier stuff for deeper water. Last time around Norman gave me a nice ribbing for not being prepared when we shot over to the West Side, and goodness knows I cave under pressure as it is.

(more…)

(Re)introducing Brian Krebs

I’ve been following the Washington Post’s Security Fix blog since the Spamroll days. Its author, Brian Krebs, was one of the most insightful internet security journalists around. He still is, only he isn’t working for WaPo anymore. Brian’s now doing his own thing, at Krebs on Security.

December 29th was the (re)start date, meaning you can still get caught up. And with internet privacy and security perpetually at the forefront of issues net-denizens face (even if they don’t know it until their identity is stolen), I suggest you do. Get caught up that is.

Krebs on Security…stuff the RSS feed in your reader before it’s too late.

MG signing off (to stay secure)

Post Number 2,500

I started blogging roundabout January 2005. Between my old personal blog Thoughtmarket (which opined on all things finance and technology), my internet security blog Spamroll, and the latest incarnation/combination now heavily swayed towards something I know even less about, fly fishing, this would be post number two-thousand five-hundred.

I’ve earned no fame, and no fortune. I’ve surely pissed a few people off, but thank goodness I’m not yet burned out.

Let the woefully misinformed goodness continue.

Fly Fishing Bloggers: The New Tech Elite

It’s like Web 10.0 out there

It may be that they blog more than they fish, but in all likelihood they just need a venue for lying about their fishing that’s slicker than their fly line. It’s a scoop even the National Enquirer will envy – the fly fishing blogosphere is getting it on in the technology department! And I’ve got the pictures off-the-cuff anecdotes to prove it.

I’ll bet you didn’t know…

  • The Buster Wants To Fish crew runs the Random Tagline Plugin (forcing me to go back there hour after hour to see if corporate fly fishing STILL sucks) – CORRECTION: BWTF doesn’t use the RTP – instead they’re Photoshop junkies that should strike fear into the hearts of underemployed graphic designers, and (slightly off topic) chemical engineers culinary masters that could undoubtedly put Jacques Torres to shame;
  • The Trout Underground‘s Tom Chandler uses Linux at the office (I’ve since injected a keystroke logger onto his machine and messed with his hosts file – his posts are now my posts);
  • The Moldy Chum folks hack CNAME records for shits and giggles (I changed my registrar password, but only after I was extradited to Chum Nation);
  • Scott Carles opts for fast action at Cutthroat Stalker, and uses OpenID when running around the web (Mark Zuckerberg tried getting Scott to use Facebook Connect, but Scott found the valuation on the deal very sketchy);
  • Matt Dunn’s fishbeer is an all custom shop built by his brother Adam, and includes light boxes for photo display which seem especially cool after you’ve drank lots of beer (I’m not drinking yet today, but it’s still early).
  • And most impressive…

  • Way Upstream‘s El Pescador has Feedburner feeds mashed together with Yahoo! Pipes (my Feedburner/Pipes hack pales in comparison, and I’m now back to the drawing board since I don’t own a fly tying vise).
  • Conclusions drawn from this wholly unbiased survey

    We’re talking veritable cornucopia of cutting edge information technology. I’ll bet Sergey and Larry didn’t know this was going on either, and are sweating it right this very moment.

    While I crawl under a rock and tinker with my theme colors, you warn me if any fly fishing bloggers make a hostile bid for Microsoft (or employ any other technology tricks folks might like hearing about).

    Stuff worth reading before 2009 (UPDATED)

    Take your time – you’ve got about 36 hours

    • Cheap cement is pouring into the US, and it’s creating headaches for Cemex, the largest US producer. Don’t feel sorry for them though – they’ve been pushing through price increases in the midst of plummeting construction. I wonder how this will effect the ‘replacement cost’ line on all those home refinancing appraisals being jammed through right now.
    • If you’re a skier, there’s hardly a better time to come to Colorado than now – snowpack is at 120% of normal. If you’re the fly fishing type, you might want to check clarity conditions before heading out this spring, and you may want to pick up another hobby for the first half of the summer – if this keeps up, we are going to be wading in chocolate.
    • If you just got laid off, there is no reason to lie about it. It’s hardly ever personal when the economy is in the tank, so talk it up – you might land that next job as a result. However, you could also discuss a made-up controversy designed to distract you from making next month’s mortgage payment, or log into the social network de jour so everyone knows you’re doing nothing but sitting in a coffee shop.
    • And…

    • If you are a hedge fund manager, just write 2008 off. If you were thinking about blogging for a living next year, forget about it. UPDATE: Ditto (i.e. I don’t think Denton is panicking – I think he knows his shit).

    Adieu.

    Best weekend reading I didn’t do

    Let’s be honest – if you read beyond the catchy headlines you’d never get the grass mowed

    So much for mobile

    The “Mobile” category is now gone…I’ve moved the paltry five posts to “Office.” I’d like to say I did this for the same reason Russell Beattie tossed mobile, but it’s not. I still believe in the general concept of internet mobility, but its contortions (like blogging) just don’t suit me. When I’m away from the desk I’m usually either:

    • Walking the dog – He gets pissed if I use the phone during his time and starts “drag-assing”, which results in a half-hour walk taking two hours.
    • Driving – I can weave through traffic and tap out text messages, but I have trouble logging into WordPress while doing the same.
    • Meeting – Downright rude to blog while in a meeting, although I’ve seen a few folks try it only to wonder afterwards why they were alone in a previously crowded room.
    • Drinking, eating, or otherwise making merry – If you must have web access while drinking, I suggest you find new friends to drink with; if you’re doing it while eating, remember to clean the keyboard afterwards.
    • Fishing – The water is my church, and my fly box is my Bible. You might blog while you’re in Sunday services, but if I do it during mine I run the chance of dropping my Blackberry in a river and voiding the warranty.

    I think that is more than enough excuses.

    Why I didn’t die from blogging this last Sunday

    I was shooting for a leg amputation instead

    The New York Times called for the death of blogging, or maybe that’s death from it. No need to link to it – the echo chamber takes care of all your referencing needs.

    While folks throughout the world were keeling over on their keyboards, I was out on a river Sunday. We had sun for about ten seconds, and snow flurries for the other seven hours. The water’s edge was icy, and the water itself was roughly one degree warmer. I made the mistake of standing in said flow.

    I’d picked up a North Face Denali jacket for a cool hundred bucks during the one and only stop on the way up, and with capilene from head to toe you would have thought a die hard could take it. Could have.

    Roughly fifteen minutes after arrival, my right foot started feeling damp. A half hour later the whole leg was soaked up to the knee. What gives?

    This…

    the-cut

    …as in giving me a quart of water shloshing around inside my waders.

    I put up with it for the rest of the day, but by the time we prepared for the hike out I felt like I was walking on a stub. The moment I complained the jokes started flying:

    • “Let’s get rid of the toes right here on the trail. It’ll make the hike easier.”
    • “Do you have a liquor flask? Not for the pain – we need to sterilize first.”
    • “Are you sure you didn’t just pee in your waders again?”

    Ha ha ha. I wound up getting comped a meal and a microbrew (out of pitty, I guess). But my sides still hurt from the comedy.

    I do not wish to demean anyone’s death. It is certainly tragic, and I am sure those whose hearts failed from the stress are dearly missed. I send both my condolences, and a message…

    There are a lot more important things in life than grabbing internet headlines – one of mine just happens to be catching fish (and getting heavily ribbed by my friends).

    Nearly Ten Percent of Companies Have Fired Bloggers, Survey Claims

    Someone is working on a solution for this.