Last night was the 100th Hacker Drinkup. We’ve been meeting almost every Wednesday in Santa Monica for the last two years. For the centennial, Chris and Pinguino decided to build a fun demo: augmented reality mustaches. We had all seen Mike Clare’s AR Cookies last week so we started by making fiducial cookies. Chris wrote a processing app that would identify the image of the marker and then place an image of a mustache over it in the live video feed. Right before you took a bite of the cookie, one of the mustaches Pinguino had drawn would appear. I’m actually holding an onigiri (rice ball) in the photo above. Pinguino carved the fiduciary marker into a piece of nori (seaweed) on its face. It was a neat toy and it captured photos in the background which you can find here.
I, and I’m sure many people under 30, received a letter from the AARP today encouraging membership. I’ve received many of these letters telling me to “get the most out of life over 50”. The AARP is apparently so opposed to ageism that they encourage young people to join their 50+ organization. In 2007, at the age of 26, I joined. Continue reading
Last night we celebrated my birthday at Hacker Drinkup. It was a massive turnout with a lot of fun surprises. I quipped on Twitter, “Things that should be denim: jeans. Things that shouldn’t: everything else. #denimbustiersrsly?!” Pictured above is the denim hat Pinguino made me in response (my mannequin is wearing it now). You may remember that this isn’t the first time a tweet has generated an unexpected gift. Erin and Pinguino decorated cupcakes with fondant so they looked like our crew (they’ve made hacker cookies before). The final treat was a pair of functional frosted laser boobs inspired by my flyer. In addition, I got a new tshirt, some ALF trading cards, and some sweet socks.
I’m not running out of topics but more couldn’t hurt. UPDATE: Here’s the Reddit link.
I only recently found out how common my friend Chris Nelson’s name was, so I wrote him an allÂ encompassingÂ eulogy.
Dear Mr. Nelson,
It is with profound regret that I inform you of your recent death. On Saturday, January 9, 2010, you passed away unexpectedly at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, North Carolina at the age of 41. You, Johnny “Chris” Nelson, were born in 1968 to your parents Elmer and Louise. Your father was in the furniture business and a member of the Baptist church. You’ve been survived by your wife Kristain and sons Joshua and Noah. You will be interred this coming Friday at the United Methodist Church in Boone.
I wish to offer you my condolences. You died, yet again, that same Saturday, January 9, 2010 at the Van Dyke Hospice in Toms River, New Jersey. You, Christopher J. Nelson were 43 at the time and are survived by your wife of 21 years Sharlene and your children Julia and Eric. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, you settled in Jackson Township a mere 12 years ago where you were the co-owner of Executive Relocation Services in Piscataway, New Jersey.
These recent deaths came as a shock to us for we were still reeling from your untimely demise in December. You, Christopher Alan Nelson, died December 14, 2009 at the age of 24. Born in 1985, you were employed most recently as the assistant manager of a Casey’s General Store in Byron, Michigan and lived in Mount Morris for the past 12 years. You will be mourned by your parents and your brothers James and Brandon. As instructed, we directed our donation to a favorite charity in lieu of flowers.
It is with great sadness that we learned of your previous death in Leland, IA on November 23, 2009. You, Chris A. Nelson, died in your home at the ripe old age 77. You were born June 16, 1932 on a farm near Forest City and have been a farmer all your life raising both cows and crops. You will be missed by your wife of 56 years, Donna, along with your many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Sir, this rash of recent deaths over the last two months can only lead us to believe that you will die multiple times before your next birthday. We look forward to these events and can only assume that one day you will either be decapitated by Christopher Lambert or murdered by Jet Li to absorb your dimensional power becoming the one true Chris Nelson.
Eliot Phillips, Esq.
Executor to your Estate
Sometimes people ask me about my twitter handle @sweetums. It’s not from the muppet, but I did make this connection today: Sweetums was performed by Richard Hunt, who performed Statler, who was named after the Statler Hotel, which was renamed Hotel Pennsylvania, which was where HOPE was held, which was covered by Sweetums for Hack a Day. Woo 5 degrees!
The name actually comes from a one-liner I used once: “I was thinking of calling my motorcycle ‘Sweetums’… or is that too butch?”
It’s just a silly contrast joke, but I throughly enjoy people calling me sweetums. When you introduce yourself as ‘sweetums’, it’s disarming and when people address you as ‘sweetums’, it’s endearing.
UPDATE: Added image based on Frosty’s comment.
Merlin Mann has an excellent/painful post on real advice; it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.
It made me think of some of my favorite distilled advice: Just do it. Many people ask Ze Frank how he is so creative. It’s because he tries to execute on an idea as soon as possible. He puts it into working form instead of mulling about and shaping it into the perfect idea in his head. This is same reason he never really talked about what camera he used or his editing process; he didn’t want people to get hung up equipment when all they should be concerned about is the content of their videos.
I’m still working on pushing out ideas. That’s actually why I use Skitch so much. It’s me shoving a joke out the door instead of just pondering “well that could be funny”. I could get hung up on trying to learn Photoshop and making a perfectly rendered image. Deviating from the original goal: yak shaving (only now realizing I learned that from another Mann column). Instead, I put in the appropriate amount of energy and move on. I get the satisfaction of creating something and hopefully someone gets a chuckle out of it. I may have purchased a domain or two with similar motivation. The majority of these images are hosted in private on Skitch because I never intended them to have the general audience of Flickr.
I hope this gives a little insight into what makes me tick. Apologies if it doesn’t quite make sense; I kinda wanted to get it out there.
[Thanks to Chris Miller for the original link.]