Off to Austin Again

Well, I’m off again to South by Southwest Interactive. This is my fifth year going, which seems hard to believe. It’s also the fifth year that I’ve put together a music compilation. This year’s is called “Let The Distance Keep Us Together” and is named for the leadoff track, by Spoon‘s Britt Daniel. If you are coming, and want a copy of the CD, I’ve got a limited supply so make sure you track me down and ask me for one. I’m staying at the Hampton Inn again this year, and sharing with SXSW noob Neil Lee. My AIM handle is “JamesSeamus” if you want to chat while at the conference.

If you’re looking for my always-clever liner notes, here they are.

By the way, David Nunez has just posted a fantastic thing called “the unofficial geek guide to getting over yourself at sxsw 2005 interactive.” Bravo, David. I’ll be looking for you. Though I’m an old hand now, I remember feeling very awkward my first time. There have been a few “first day of high school” moments each year, but thankfully, I know now how to get out of my own way. David’s got a great idea for doing just that.

And just for fun, my impressions of past SXSWs:

Running: Year 2

It’s been fun for Brooke and I to realize that we’ve been running now for over a year. The best part is running the same races that we ran last year, and (hopefully) demolishing our times. We’re hoping to do just that this Sunday in our second Nissan Challenge 5K.

We’re also signed up for the Pride and Remembrance Run for the second year. This was probably our most enjoyable race experience of the past year. Even though I had a pretty horrible run, the post-race food and family atmosphere made it a highlight. The race is held in support of different charities each year, and this year funds are being raised for the 519 Church Street Community Centre and the Fife House, which provides supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. You may sponsor me by clicking on the nifty graphic over there on the right.


Ah, January. Two things always happen in early January:

  • Macworld — In a word, underwhelming. No consumer hardware news except the silly iPod mini, which is insanely overpriced. When Steve Jobs said, comparing it to a US$199 Flash-based player, that the US$249 iPod mini was “the best $50 you’ll ever spend,” I think what he meant was, spend another US$50 and get more than three times the capacity. For US$299, get the 15GB iPod. If these had been US$149, they would have sold a ton. In a year, they will be, and it will probably be too late.
  • The Beginning of SXSW Frenzy — I’ve already started my planning. From March 11-17, I will be in Austin, drinking and talking geek talk. Thanks to the stronger Canadian dollar, the $14 margarita I “enjoyed” last year can now be had for closer to $12. Let the good times roll!

In other news, just before the new year officially began, I quietly threw the switch and the web site for Lifford Wine Agency roared (groaned?) into life. Of course, after looking at it for close to six months, I’m sick of it. And already working on version 2.0. Or at least 1.1. Time to learn PHP/mySQL, I think. And some design skills…