Saturday June 30, 2001

Calcutta. Paan stains on the wall.

Ok, These are photos of India. I haven't been there in a while but I'm just getting around to "printing" these. Which means, scanning and photo-correcting and jpeging them into web files. In that sense, they're no different from the Cuba and England and SF photos I've been posting here. It's just that they're over a year old. This is the only place they exist however, since they're not included with my writings about India.

Like you care.

Friday June 29, 2001

I barely pulled this one. It's all grainy because the slide was dark. Too dark to be saved, really, but I was stubborn. The scan had tons of noise so I converted it to greyscale and thus, we get grain, which is really noise. See? Couldn't let this one get away though. Scared the shit outta me when I took it.

Thursday June 28, 2001

Ok, I usually try not to over do it on the photos. As I was discussing with Jim, the other day, I think that editorial restraint is the hallmark of great photography. But this one's getting some good feedback on so I'm gonna throw it up. Same woman, can't remember her name. She was crazy. working the whole street, playing with me, drinkin coffee, hittin stickball, touslin schoolkid's hair. I took 3 photos of her as she stood there and the one I'm not posting is her doing a shimmy-shimmy shakey dance with her hips which of course couldn't be captured by my single shot twin lens reflex Rolleiflex.

Wednesday June 27, 2001

A saucy old woman gives me some attitude. Manrique Street, Havana.

Tuesday June 26, 2001

Playing stickball on Manrique Street, Havana.

I can't take it any more. Please click on the slideshow to the left. It's the best I can do. For 2 days I've worked on a version of it that never came to be. You see, I just wanted to do something simple like put a counter and maybe the title up there but the way the damn thing's implemented it's fucking impossible. It uses a function to flip the images and I can't get other details on the page to update as the image loads. I've tried document.write from within the function but that erases the page and all the objects it had initialized. FUCK.

All day I work on stupid ass shit like this. It's not like I have to. There are plenty of other things a guy could do. Nobody even uses the slideshow that I have now and it works ok for everything except Nutscrape 4.x.

Part of this fix was to get it to work in netscape by writing the img tag every time with h and w variables. Problem is I need to use PHP or something to do that. I keep thinking as I write this that I just write a function that runs in the onload event of the image that goes and gets another set of image attributes from an array I initialize at the page load. Yeah. Fuck. I know that won't work. I'm so sick of this.

Shit I gotta try something else. I'm blowing off scanning images and returning that Mr. Rogers t-shirt I ordered.

Monday June 25, 2001

Treat Street. Cristina's fire escape.

Whoops! I stayed up all night reading about Garry Winogrand. Once again getting sucked into Masters of Photography and making it impossible for me to have a normal day tomorrow. Shit.

I also started learning about SmartTags on and I'm gonna block that shit on as soon as possible. Get out of my code. Tha shit sux.

<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="trUE">

I've got to get some sleep.

The taxi stand in front of the Capitolio Nacional, Havana. I shot this photo and had a nice conversation with a guy during the half an hour I spent waiting for Squash to get out of the museum. They get a lot of tourists there and I meet a lot of people who talk to tourists all day. (It's common to meet an 8 year old who speaks 6 languages) This guy was different. This guy was pretty fearless, or else he had paid off the cops because when they came near he continued talking to me. I asked him why he didn't fear them and he said, "They know me, I am here every day. They've checked my papers and things many times but never put me in jail. Sometimes interrogation takes a long time but it's worth it." Talking to a tourist is against the law and aside from it being a horrible law, I actually appreciated how a tout would suddenly stop bugging me peel off and start walking the other direction. Policia. Mira. Vale, policia muy fuerte. I had conversation with about 20 people in the street that day. I can't express how weird that is. 20 people. Not just "Hello, where from?" but actual meaningful conversations where I learned something. It's really cool to walk about with a camera in a place like that.

Sunday June 24, 2001

Gosh dern it. I witnessed the 'goats last night and David gave me a call and told me to come down to 17th and Capp. I stayed underground until about 4:30. Damn. Vatapartay! I hurt my hand but I'm not sure how. I hadn't even recovered from the cuts on my feet from the beach bonfire and now I got a broken hand.

I've started to post my photographs on other websites and see if I can't drum up some interest in what I've been doing. I've been doing a lot of work lately so I figured I should show it off. That's partly why I do it. I've started posting on and Very different worlds. I'm not sure how I fit in at photographica -- a lot of garbage collecting going on there. But on the other hand, is very geeky and overly technical. If you want to see good pictures definitely go to however.

Dragones Street. Havana. This is some of that "stand on the corner and shoot" stuff. I was trying to take a picture of the sign and this woman crossed the street into my depth of field.

Saturday June 23, 2001

The Mountain Goats are coming! THE MOUNTAIN GOATS ARE COMING!!! Thank God Almighty.

I just found out last night because someone happened to mention it offhand on the sf_indie list and within seconds I had purchased willcall tickets from ticketweb. They're gonna find intelligent life on the moon and the Canterbury Tales *are* going to shoot up to the top of the best seller's list. And STAY THERE for 27 weeks. It's all going to come true.

Don't go and find out about them because they will ruin your life.

My god, I can't control the the excitement and if I'd known it was going to turn out like this I would've brought a blanket.

18th Street. Across from Bi-Rite. 3:30am

Friday June 22, 2001

Squash and I hung out with this guy (an architecture student working as the night museum security guard) taking pictures around the fort museum for about 45 minutes. He was so calm and quiet and we were running around snapping crazy shit. What I loved about him most was his brown U-Haul sweater. There is an amazing bar upstairs in this 450 year old fort. Nobody really goes there but I did my first night in town with a bunch of musicians. Squash probably remembers his name. I don't.

Thursday June 21, 2001

Neptuno at Manrique. Centro Havana.

Wednesday June 20, 2001

Taxis parked in front of the capitol building. Havana. Again.

Tuesday June 19, 2001

Phew, I did it. I got another scan of some guy in Havana in today. Had to fight through a La Rondalla margarita and another hot day in SF.

For god's sake kids, if you're gonna have nicotine stains on your mustache, at least try to wear a shirt that matches.

got an appointment for a haircut at 4:30 today.

A few times this weekend I heard people mentioning that it was fathers day. I didn't have my fathers' day moment in until this morning. I guess it's a little late. Here's what happened:

I had gotten kind of cold last time I went swimming in the ocean so I decided to wear a sweatshirt this time. I stayed in the shallow part and played on the sandbars where the waves formed. I was sort of laying / floating in the water and thinking how warm I was and then it occurred to me that I shouldn't be so warm. I should be freezing but I was actually a little on the warm side. With my head just inches out of the water I looked down the waves and examined the shapes of the tubes. They were little waves and I decided to stand up. I was ankle deep in water 100 yards off shore. Sandbars.

I soon found out that I was so warm because I had slept in all my clothes. In fact, I was burning up and had to pee. I got up and took my pants off and walked over to the door. And right as I grabbed the handle I heard someone close the door of the bathroom and start to pee male-sounding pee. Grrr. What timing. I listened to dad for a while and it started to sound more like faucet than pee. I looked down and noticed I was wearing tighty-whities. I hadn't worn those in years.

I decided to try and find another sink in the house to go pee in. I had to go pretty bad but I couldn't remember if the toilet downstairs worked. I rarely did and I headed to the kitchen. On the counter behind the microwave a found a pair of glasses that had huge, thick glass and big black frames, like that old fashion designer woman who does adds for Old Navy and the Gap but bigger, like ski goggles. They were very cool and I decided right there that it should be my new look. So I put them on and suddenly the fuzzy shapes of my mother and my aunt Em walked in. I was kind of embarrassed about the underwear situation and headed back to my room still dying to pee.

My mother followed me of course and she was at the door before I reached the middle of my room. "We're going into town today to visit some people from Eastern Star." I didn't have my own plans but I wanted to, so I told her that I was going to go look for a museum or something as I rifled through the clothes in my closet. I was just visiting so I figured I should do some touristy stuff. My old clothes brought back a glow of nostalgia and then I was rewarded with a pang of disgust at a pair of pleated slacks I used to wear in high school.

"Well, how do I get a hold of you later then?"
"Just call my cell phone. I'm sure Sheila or Dani has the number."
She started back down the hallway but then, "Is it 386-2424?"
"No," disgustedly "I haven't had that number for years. And that's a house number before we even had cell phones. Jeez mom."
10 seconds later: "Well, what about 553-3093?"
I could see where this was going because we did it every time we talked. I'd given her my address -- the same one I've had for 8 years -- about 300 times.
"How do you have all those old phone numbers?"
She came back in the room. "Well, I don't know, you change them so often. Why do you always have to change your number?"
"Mother, I had to. I was moving. They make you get new numbers when you move. You know that. Anyways, I've had the same damn number for years."

I was starting to get pissed and she was starting to get more stupid. Suddenly I found myself explarguing to her that you can't keep your number when you move. "No, no, no, they don't let you!" She was no longer interested in my cell phone number. Too mad to pick out clothes I was now standing with my feet shoulder length apart, directing a healthy amount of rage at her.

Why so mad? I didn't think of that then.

My anger continued working it's magic on my other parent. Later that day she got a hold of me and I headed over to the church where my sister was going to get married. My dad showed up, which was a surprise and after it was over I walked out with him.

Walking through the parking lot I got incredibly mad at him. This guy seemed to save his magic for parking lots. I can't remember what he said. I really should remember but I can't remember what. (Seems like it should matter, given what happened. But then again, does it really matter? I mean, must we pick one thing? I mean, he's dead and all.)

We walked and yelled for about 10 seconds and then I warned him that I was getting really mad at him. I felt I should warn him because I was getting really mad. Kind of funny -- father's usually warn their kids - not the other way around. He kept on and my anger reached gargantuan proportions. It seemed to accelerate so quickly that I thought I should do something to let off some pressure, lest I murder him right here in the church parking lot. So I hauled-off and smacked him in the face. It was the strangest blow, kind of awkward in its un-manliness --and thus, even more humiliating I'm sure. He was to my right and I swung across my body with my left hand but I didn't want to punch him so I put my right hand on the back of his head, opened my palm and sorta slapped him on his big, fat alcoholic nose.

I think I succeeded in communicating my disgust with him because his head dropped forward a little bit and he looked like he couldn't think for about a second. Then it looked like he had a thought and then he started walking toward his car. He turned back and shook his finger at me and told me he was going to kill me. Un huh. He got in his car and the way he revved his engine got my attention. Wow, I didn't know he drove a muscle car. Looked like a Cougar. He used to be so practical. That's what I was thinking as the big silver grill came shooting at me. As the time to jump approached I was still admiring the chrome work. It turned out to be my last opportunity to do that because as I jumped over the hood of the car, he smashed into the parked car behind me.

I rolled across the parking lot and looked around for spectators. There were two people at the side door of a minivan. I didn't recognize them but they looked like Microsoft employees. One of them, a man, was standing in front of the other, a woman, with his arms spread across the doorway. A natural reaction I guess. The woman looked confused. The man was scared. My father slammed reverse and it was all screeching and copshows and well-tuned small-block engines and me playing matador.

He figured out that he couldn't hit me after he'd hit about 20 cars in the lot and after most of the owners of those cars had run out into the parking lot my dad decided to jam. My sister came running up to me and said, "What the fuck was that?" and I told her that I had hit him and then he tried to run me over. Then she wanted to know why I hit him, the poor, helpless old man.

Monday June 18, 2001

Havana. 84°

Sunday June 17, 2001

I know I
Can't take your love
As her memory drifts in
Like a samba

The Tower of London. Gemma and I paused our audio commentary of the beheading of Anne Boleyn so I could take this picture. She went out like a champ.

God. It's 1:37. Could I still be drunk?

that paary was soo uch fun.. i taaalkkkkkkked o that girrl lana. i mean whin i ccould talllllk. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii cant tak now.

Saturday June 16, 2001

Today turned out to be pretty fun. I just hung out with David but I got a lot of things done and I had enough face time with him to reassure me about the theater. He came over to help me carry my old couch out onto the sidewalk. I talked to him about the modifications I would like made to the Primco couch and he seemed agreeable. I showed him my projector and we're gonna watch a movie tomorrow night at the store. We checked out the huge screen that the guys down the street at the shoe store found in the basement. It was covered with mildew but we're gonna clean it and then we'll have a 30x40 screen. A whopper. I have to go to a party at Mica's house in Berkeley now. I'm excited because I haven't been to a party since London.

If you were actually reading this realtime, you'd probably be wondering where the pictures are. I'm gonna work on that tomorrow and add about 3 day's worth. I just didn't have the gumption to turn on my scanner. If you're reading this sometime in the future, you're seeing the photos before me.

Blackfriars Tube

Friday June 15, 2001

Damn. What a busy evening. I missed a show at Southern Exposure "Anything goes as long as it fits in a container about the size of a shoebox" that I really wanted to go to. After a couple of hours at the hardware store I was just too loaded up with neat stuff to work on around my house. I built a contraption to hang my projector from an old piece of Victorian-era molding and then I set my new screen up and then I watched the Brazil DVD that I bought. Got wasted on a mongo vodka gimlet and passed out on my new couch half way through the director's commentary on the uncut original version. I love Discount Builders Supply. I even bought a cordless drill.

I'll always remember this as "one last shot at exploitation". We were racing around Havana about 1 hour from getting back on the boat and I was shooting in the Plaza de la Catedral and guess who Squash ran into! And guess what? They were thirsty! Squash was like, "You comin?" and I hesitated and futzed with my camera and before I knew it they were gone.

I didn't want to be a party to the party again but I chased after them anyhow. They were going to milk us for mojitos one more time but it occurred to me that I may never hear them play again.

That's Pedro -- Professor de Bongo, Paolo -- Mi Corazon, Squash -- Margarita, and Pedro's wife who's name I could never remember but who's kindness I'll never forget.

Thursday June 14, 2001

I wanted to see what some other weblogs looked like so I went to - home of fine hypertext products which is supposedly one of the oldest and most popular weblogs. It was very good and filled with all kinds of web trickery and links to other tricky people. It made me go to and I think I'll put some of my pics up there.

He let me know about Noah Grey's weblogging software that I may use. Blogger is rather frustrating. And even though Noah doesn't support his software, at least I'll be on my own. When Blogger slowed down the 2nd week I was working on my blog it cost me a hell of a lot of time.

So I continued reading and found Textism and I laughed out loud 3 times in the first 30 seconds of that site so I bookmarked it and followed where it led me. Which was Tomato Nation for a little girl talk and finally to for a look at what may be the future of if I stay unemployed and perpetually noodling. The guys behind Textism and Ftrain are incredible writers.

London Blackfriars Tube

I was just watching the feed of World News Now and they had Declan Curry on from London to give the outlook on European financial markets and Jim, the guy that's filling in for Alison, tried to make some jokes with him about Indian food in the UK and Declan squashed them. After the segment was over and they went to commercial Jim said, "Jeez, who pissed on his Wheat-a-Bix?" Which was totally hilarious and then Declan came on and said, "I can still hear everthing you say." and the whole newsroom broke up. I couldn't tell you what the news was today. Don't really care.

Wednesday June 13, 2001

I've listened to Desolation Row by Bob Dylan about 40 times today. I got my projector. It's a Sanyo XP21N. Now it's sunny and a little windy. Don't know if I'm gonna play softball or watch the NBA tonight.


Tuesday June 12, 2001

Leavenworth street, SF.

Monday June 11, 2001

All part of the magnificient senery you can look at when you ride the train from the airport into Barcelona.

Sunday June 10, 2001

Noe Street and 14th, San Francisco, where they park 'em diagonal.

Saturday June 9, 2001

This is in Highbury. I really liked London. I gotta give thanks to Laura and Gemma who, in addition to putting me up while I was there, convinced me to go. It was all their idea. I actually liked it better than Barcelona. Even though everybody raves about Barcelona, I think I was in a better frame of mind for London. Oh, and they speak English there.

Friday June 8, 2001

Parque Central in Havana. There was a huge shouting match going on next to these old guys -- one guy taking on a crowd of about 20. I think they were discussing politics. The last time I'd seen men shouting at each other so fervently it was watching monks debate in India.

Thursday June 7, 2001

My Snickers ice cream bar was two thirds finished when Garrick and Sam came out of 21 Lapidge. What were they up to? A coastal field trip of exploration and semi-pro geology by pot smoking boy scouts.

We were all very excited and Sam was doing his impressions of inbred Sonoma dudes. We started out with a hidden beach community just inside of Point Pedro in Pacifica. A private protected cove with houses on stilts on the beach and perfect longboard waves brought our curses down upon those lucky bastards. Then our first bout with Garrick's gourmet pot and down to Moss Bay marine reserve and the petrified whalebone, concretions, and the first real contribution to my face burn.

The boys were easy to persuade to get fish tacos at the Half Moon Bay Flying Fish Stand at highway 92. I'd rank the 3 varieties thusly: cod, salmon, mahi. The boys are fish taco types. That place has been a 10 year love affair with me, but I'm sad to report that the little paint-by-numbers paintings, including the one of the fishercat in the little boat with a yellow sailor hat, are gone. The owners have installed some more "classy" furnishings, like photos of killer whales jumping.

We drove down to Bean Hollow, which Garrick raved about. I didn't pay much attention until we got there. Holy Moses! Just over the point to the south of the beach is the most amazing erosion I've ever seen. What happened, according to Garrick, is there was all this sand and silt and some water carrying cement filtered through it. The patterns that the groundwater took hardened and became an amazing honeycombed structure when the sandy parts eroded away. It looked like rock doilies at one point. When I first saw it I said, "Aw, look, someone has spoiled it by carving designs in the rock" and Garrick said, "Sorry bud, that's natural."

We watched the sets roll in with crippled Sam back on the beach and then it was Sam's turn to direct us home. Brilliant choices indeed: up 84 to La Honda and the giant redwoods and then onto 35 and the ridge that lets you see all of Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean at once. The air smelled impossibly sweet and we were lucky as hell.

I had the best No Name sushi dinner the night I took this photo. 17th Street and Dolores.

I'm on the sun schedule now. I stayed up until 9pm yesterday and now I'm up and chipper at 7am. Part of my scheme for staying awake was not to spend 10 hours straight in front of the computer and then to go down to the financial district and skate (At one point when I was bombing Bush, a pack of rather hardcore skaters caught up from behind and it was quite exciting to be part of that rolling thunder. I felt like a guy on a moped suddenly finding himself in the middle of a pack of Hells Angels.) and then go see Amores Perros. I also spent $6k yesterday. That took a little while.

The first thing Alexis asked me when I got home was if I cried. Yes, my eyes were red and sore afterwards. I think when you're sleep deprived movies affect you more. I actually cry a lot at movies. Come to think of it, I'd hate it if my main hobby failed to make me cry - I'd probably be wasting my time watching all these movies if they didn't affect me.

Amores Perros has won a lot of awards at film festivals. I wonder if those film festival voters watch telenovelas (Mexican soap operas). I wonder if that would change their vote. In some parts, like the middle model story, it gets really soap opera-ish. Actually, the wino/deadbeat dad story was right outta the soaps also. "Por un Beso! Por un Beso!" The movie probably would have fallen on it's face except for the emotional force of Emilio Echevarría -- The Goat. His story of attempted redemption at the end bails it out for me. I thought the middle story really dragged after the bruisingly intense first story and only the "failed left-wing rebel gets to torture two asshole businessmen" scene raised the level of gratification to the point where I'd recommend this film. But, the director was very brave to try all three.

I did love the part where one character says, "If you want to make God laugh, make plans." I kind of fit's with my rant from a couple of days back. And the music is amazing. I guess the director is a DJ.

Know what? I saw two Mexican movies yesterday. Nazarín by Luis Buñuel kills Amores Perros. You could say I like my movies delightful and subtle. Who wouldn've thunk it?

Wednesday June 6, 2001

"They're selling postcards of the hanging...."

This is Ellis street and Leavenworth -- as if it matters.

Tuesday June 5, 2001

OK, here's my favorite picture from my week in Cuba. This is on Calle Manrique in Centro Havana where I stayed.

There are so many abandon store fronts and businesses. It was really sad. This area of town, which was a glorious center of culture and commerce for 300 years, is a shell. I think of all the industrious people that would love to get something going but you know what, there isn't anything to sell. No products and nobody with money to buy them.

This is the most shocking thing that you notice walking around. Your average store has a couple of employees leaning over a glass case filled with soda, beer and cigarettes and behind them, beautiful carved antique hardwood shelves gathering dust. No signs for Coke and no Pepsi cooler and no football playing Budweiser bottles either. Everybody knows that their country can put food on the selves and they believe they can do it without the ads. The economy is in ruins and everybody blames Castro.

Monday June 4, 2001

A photograph of a London alley. I can't remember where I was when I took this. I think I was walking down Upper Street in Islington on my way to the tube.

I'm gonna whip around and come out into the light. I've had it with going to sleep when the sun comes up. I stayed up last night until noon and slept until 6pm so today I'm going for mid-afternoon. Soon I'll be on a schedule that should give me a decent number of daylight hours. I just haven't been able to get my errands done because everything's closed.

I want to write about a conversation I had with Amy on Saturday night. It was about plans. (As I write, the music I'm listening to accidentally warbles, "Gina, this isn't how I planned it") Plans and me haven't mixed much. I used to hate them because when I was younger, "you gotta have a plan" was a way for adults to make me feel like I was unmotivated and unfocused. I now know that plans have nothing to do with motivation and focus. What is a plan?

This question I posed to Amy because we were talking about what she wanted to do with her life. I will go as far as to say that plans don't have anything to do with what you want to do with your life either. Or, a good plan shouldn't.

I started off saying something that most people over 30 have figured out, that things never turn out the way you planned them -- and thank God for that. Most people will concede, when they look back, that their desires do not age gracefully and if the past is any example, what you want for yourself now is not what you're gonna want for yourself in 5 or 10 years. Amy agreed but said, "That is not what plans are for. They're for right now, so you know what you're doing and you're relatively sure what you're working toward." Ah ha! Yes. So plans are not blueprints for the future, they're a safety blanket. Plans are only a way to give meaning to what we are doing. It fits in the plan.

Well, this may be a severe distinction but is one that is important to me because it makes it alright for me not to have a plan. I don't have to succumb to societal pressure to say, "Yes, well, I'm going to buy a house and have 3 kids by the time I'm 40." 3 years ago I wanted to get married. Why? Fuck if I know now! How could I have made plans that included a permanent arrangement? When you make a plan you're saying, "I'm going to act according to my present beliefs and desires for the foreseeable future." Isn't this ruling out the potential to learn? Isn't it learning that makes getting older more fun?

So you've got all kinds of points for me to consider. Whoops, this is a one way conversation. I will concede that there is a genuine satisfaction that comes with having a plan and executing on it -- even if you never manage to achieve your goals. Any cassette-tape-slinging self-helper will tell you that. Should you make a plan and try to do it because of that? No way. You might say, "Yeah, well, getting married is one thing but what about planning to learn HTML or something? Small plans are quite functional." To this I say, "How long does it take you to change your mind? Do you want to do the same thing every day?" Short term goals are even more susceptible to getting re-thunk than big life changers.

You say, "I never get anything done! Yes, I change my mind a lot. That's my problem." So are plans the antidote to your fickleness? Think again. Or, just think harder next time. Analyze your desire. True living. No recipes. Sticking to plans, (like sticking it out for the stock options) can kill you.

Sunday June 3, 2001

Recycle Bins on Valencia. Bins will be bins.

Saturday June 2, 2001

Currently, the oldest known evidence of me on the net, googlewise, is a post I made to bug-gnu-smalltalk back in 1994. I think I was trying to learn C++ at the time and decided to try Smalltalk because people said it was easier. Just the other day I downloaded Python and finding this old post made me wonder if Python is today's Smalltalk.

BTW, I believe I _was_ on a 386 with a 387

As of last May, the list was like a ghost town, or should I say, landfill? Kind of sad to see a place which once had so much intellectual might now reduced to a spambucket.

What are you waiting for? Do your own vanity search today! It's completely FREE!

Party people say hoooh. It's the 5.

David and Adam and I couldn't think of a thing to do Friday night but we shoulda gone here. We went to Magic Donuts instead, which used to be Hunts Donuts -- and used to battle for best sign in the Mission with the 5. Now it just battles the city to keep from getting shut down. The city actually threatened to confiscate their business because they were considered such a nuisance and safe harbor for vagrants and criminals. Straightup confiscate their whole business. Like they were terrorists or bootleggers. Can you believe it?

Friday June 1, 2001

Just down the street from the Arsenal Grounds in London.

If you go to ABC's World News Now website and click on the webcast (on from 11pm-1am pacific time) you can watch the RAW FEED. Which is pretty interesting given that this is already a pretty loose broadcast and you get only one camera and always get to watch the 'casters even when they go to commercial. It's awesome. All in a beautiful 300kbps Real stream. You can chat with the hosts also.

Tonight Liz Cho was all business (studying her notes instead of goofing off with the cue-card guy) because she was new and filling in for Alison Stewart who was on assignment. I'm sure she's very professional but she always does the obligatory "pick the papers up off the desk and tap them down" as if her broadcast vocabulary is limited to the moves they teach in journalism school. Just before a sports broadcast she started talking about a blooper on the business report: "And it's gonna be playing all day." And Derek, the veteran's advice: "You gotta let it go. You gotta let it go. Just say, Ok, that stunk, I'll do better tomorrow." I've always loved this show ever since Aaron Brown was plucked from my local station in Seattle to start WNN. I missed him dearly. I did. But the new show was stamped with his personality from the start. A direct, open, and witty newsman. They reported that he's leaving the show he started and going to CNN.

Be sure to hang in for the World News Polka at the end. I kept the stream running and so did they -- the camera, unmanned, staring off into the news room. It was 15 minutes before they threw up the color bars. It seems to be a newscast designed for voyeurs.