Sunday, December 19, 2010

Exploring sunlight, movement,

Daytime beckons, demands play,

Life outside, life well lived.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Wil Wheaton stated a fantastic idea in the last Radio Free Burrito: do something creative everyday for 31 days. Feeling withered creatively, this seems an excellent course of action. Earlier (this morning), I broke out my Moleskine, grabbed one of my old poetry texts and determined to write from the first form that appeared before me. First on the page was the tanka, cousin to the haiku.

  Collective mind
  Growing within our hands, bright
  Blast of knowledge, linked
  Massive data together
  Knowledge not equal wisdom.

Shifting to haiku:

  Data, data, ow!
  Burns my brain, searing knowledge
  Not understanding

Lastly, and most challenging, was limerick. Not being in the most humor-centric of moods, I thought that, perhaps, limerick doesn’t need to be funny.

  Silliness, sunlight’s love, joyfully
  Exploring starlit air, blue above sky
  Into the park the go,
  Child’s play, just fun, sun’s glow.
  Building, today, a beautiful life of joy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thoughts on the Twitter

Twitter takes the idea of "executive summary" and refines it to the most diminutive. Twitter's beauty comes from the speed of data transfer, as well as connecting trust agents to incentivize readership. Its downside: sacrificing depth for speed. With the mass of data blasting down the Twitter pipes, headlines replace depth. Finding the valuable, the needle within the haystack stares at us. Thus the value of our followees. The people we choose to follow capture our priorities, our interests and passions. Filtering the grand thoroughfare in this way greatly expands what trade pubs were attempting to do, in the magazine era's heyday. And the internet's grabs array of knowledge becomes more manageable. Or more so.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Random Early Morning Musings

Often, I wake ridiculously early, my mind racing with ideas. This moment the most creative of my day. I find this exciting and invigorating, yet exhausting. By early afternoon, my brain is ready to for a nap. Thank goodness for coffee!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Simpler Living

I’m current re-reading “Simpler Living Compassionate Life”. Having lurked on my shelf for way too many years, some of my current questions called me back to this. Looking over some of the essays, it’s clear how much an influence this has had on my life. I wrote an essay, years ago, on “Enough”, and I see the early stirring of those notions here. The most recent essay I read, “Entering the Emptiness” (Gerald May), though, deeply challenged me.

Most of the piece connects solidly with my years of zen practice. The notion of space, external and internal, as sacred, something to value speak clearly to me. Embracing the noise of the mind and letting the random echos simply be. These are all things I’ve heard as guidance. One piece, though, haunts me. Abandoning the quest for fulfillment.

May labels, as myth, that “[i]if you are well adjusted, and if you are living your life properly, you will feel fulfilled, satisfied, content and serene”. This myth, I now see, lies deep within me. Also, I still find the lingering “if we are not completely is because we are somehow not right with God”. I see I must embrace that I’m not a machine. Any sense of dissatisfaction, of frustration, of confusion is not “unhealthy”. I think I see what makes this a myth.

Often, I’ve felt that I’m only on the “right” path when everything is aligned, things run smooth. When there are obstacles, tension, frustration then I’m out of alignment with God/the Universe/Force. May’s piece reminds me that, no, this is myth, too. That difficultly is not, well, this. That the madness and confusion is normal. And I can co-exist within this tension.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Notebook, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

My friend, my mind, my soul.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Wanderings, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Exploring a neighborhood park. Autumn, around here, nurtures mushrooms.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PR, Social Media, and Relationship Building

A few years back, when I worked for a large global company, a major NGO launched a campaign against us. I found it fascinating how so many people felt it was a major campaign by that org (no, it wasn't). Actually, from their side, it was simple. One of their directors wrote an article for the Guardian, then their network of Blogs and MySpace accounts posted links to it with a "call to action" (call/fax/email "us"). This had a significant impact on us, and received a fair amount of media coverage.

This campaign utilized very few resources on the NGO's side. The largest effort was the writing of the article. Well, that's in regards to the campaign. The real work for this was years in the making. They built and maintained a large, global network of advocates. The NGO interacted regularly with them. Information was shared, input solicited, and the audience was listened to. Relationships created and maintained with two-way discussion. Then a blend of MySpace (it was a couple of years ago) accounts (pretty much every college branch had it's own page), email newsletters and alerts, and a trust relationship made executing this easy and fast.

This relationship was key. Social Media simply provided the tools for speed. Relationships are THE currency of NGOs and activists.

Businesses (well, any org) can't wait until the crisis to engage and expect to be accepted as anything other than defensive. Business' long history of spin and abuse produced a legacy of distrust. Sure, this is generalized out, perhaps unfairly. It can be whined about, or embraced and dealt with.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Storm

Wind moves, trees bending.
Silence bursts through violent air.
Storms; things of beauty.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Skykomish, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

A photo from my road trip yesterday. My whole gallery here


I'm trying out Tumblr, starting with this post today. I'm not sure what I think, but a bunch of chums are diving in. So, in I go.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gorgeous Sunrise

Gorgeous Sunrise, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

I love the color of this morning's sunrise.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Records, Our Digital History

From Evernote:

Our Records, Our Digital History

Interesting piece by TechDirt:

Can crowd-sourcing work as an historical tool? Properly, I guess, the term should be historiography. Anyway, thinking of these films, disbursing them across society would greatly increase the likelihood of any one of them making the transitions to new media. Once digitized, transferring from one format to another is simply waiting for the right enterprising computer scientist to turn their mind that direction.

The same holds true for photos. Many pieces have been written exposing the superiority of print. I remain unconvinced. If your entire collection is digitized, it's quite likely that someone, when a new format is developed, will craft a conversion tool.

Print's solid advantage: never going obsolete.  However, one can make a very limited number of hard copies of any image. Copying them is a relatively expensive process. One that automating becomes extremely cost prohibitive. Besides, I expect that more hard copy photos have vanished from our collective record than have come through.

Backing up both digitized photos and film is a, relatively, simple process. And one that is automatable (now that's a word). By disseminating this record broadly, the likely hood of preservation increases. Due to digitization, our collective film and photo repository became massive. Now we must retain them. Our progeny will thank us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Few Haiku

From Evernote:

A Few Haiku

Dark skies beckoning
Upon waves of glorious
Doom, into earth, life.

My life beginning,
Sorrow emancipated,
Light falls again, new.

Silly but fun photo

Silly but fun photo, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Saw this wine bottle while shopping. Very clever piece of art. My attention was grabbed, but I didn't buy it. Though I might research it and see if this something I would like. I guess the marketing is somewhat effective. Perhaps I'm a rarity. Someone who thinks through his purchases. I hope My mindset is not rare. Well, not within my circle of friends. The best one can do, I suppose?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This looks like A Metallic Green Bee.

Bee, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Eleventh Day Of September

Today, acknowledging summer’s demise, I finally turned on the heat. Air chill, perhaps related to the gray, darkening sky. Or, perhaps, the turning of the seasons announced boldly; the date on the calendar be damned! I wonder, how cold was it, nine years ago, when the world went a bit chill?

Well, perhaps not cold, but rather hot. So often, since Nine-Eleven, Americans delved head-first into fear based reaction. Easily wrenched into “evil=muslim” paradigm. Fear. Our world shown uncontrolled, our dominance shown illusory, and the grand mirage of a world looking longingly at us (US?) for love and guidance blown apart. Fear shoved into our face, our people unused to this sensation. Irrational rage birthed.

I hoped that we, as a people, would remain above petty vindictiveness and bigoted rage. That we would be stronger, less alarmist. Our reaction to such tragedy based on effectiveness and reason. My hope remains longing for fulfillment. At moments glimmers of hope exist. Yet, I see this rage everywhere.

For me, Nine-Eleven speaks to the ease at which rage takes hold. Those flying the planes delighted in the suffering they caused. People chose immense harm, overriding all scripture’s demand for compassion. Ultimately, failure of humanity to rise to it’s potential. A potential spoken of by myriad prophets. Compassion, love; God’s commands overridden by a mad desire to slay for God. Madness!

In this morning’s chill I drove to breakfast with friends. On my drive I passed our local fire station, noticing the flag at half-staff. A sober reminder of the dreadful history of this day. Yet, up in the sky, against a horizon of blue sky and fluffy clouds sat a hot-air-balloon. They drift skyward upon a wave a hope. Autumn, a time of winding down, approaching the death of winters, glimmers with the residual hope of summer, acknowledging its eventual return. Life returns, hope remains; for that. A day will come when warmth returns, life blooms, and the heat turns off for a few months.


Just goofing around this evening and found this doozy. I do love XKCD.

As a lit geek, the Cervantes reference gains them double points.


Fishing, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

A local dive club collected these haul from under a nearby pier. These get sold to fishermen heading to the same pier. An odd cycle of life, I guess.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lovely Geek Tools

These appeal to my manifest geekiness, thus are awesome. I wonder, though, if one is of greater geek cred than the other.

This one?

Or this one?

Anyway, I’d delight in either one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I love these photographs - Dewey Nicks of the NYTimes

I was quite impressed form the cover shot of this piece from oday’s NYTimes, a section called “Women Who Hit Very Hard”. Dewey Nicks does some fine work. I love the composition, in particular the color choices. But, of course, what really makes these are the motion captures. Anyway, give them a look before they get locked behind the paywall.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reflections on a Blog

I came across this blog from an internal Microsoft news source. Before his death Joshua Isaac was an internal communications specialist here at Microsoft. His blog captures the journey he took as a cancer patient, through hospice care, to his untimely death. The first thought I have is one of sadness. Dying at 37, with young children, is a tragedy on multiple levels. With my own mother’s death, at cancer’s hands, his story resonates strongly with me. This resonance speaks loudly, reminding me to be present; present with my family, with my friends, with all that I love. One never knows when it returns to dust.

I admire his courage, facing death with openness and honesty. In his blog he shared a great deal, opening my mind to so much. Amazing character! Not too many people would respond to cancer by crafting an independent film. My Left Hand documents this part of his of his life; cancer and it’s ravages.

Though we both worked at Microsoft, the vastness of this company (even here in Redmond) prevented our lives from intersecting. I’m lesser for that. However, with the blog and the film, I still stand to learn from Mr. Isaac. A miracle of sorts.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I noticed this inversely proportional relationship years ago, while studying nuclear physics, of all things. Though it's been over 15 years since my last calculus class, I can still remember the basics of differentiation. Computing a 15% tip still mucks my brain. Go figure.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Photography Du Jour

A friend of mine, and I, are playing with double-exposing film. She shot a roll of film some time ago, and I’m going to take it and shoot over it. Geek that I am, it provided a great opportunity to overthink things. Should I use aperture or shutter priority? Perhaps I should pull the film? (Main limitation with that was not being able to figure out how to change the ISO setting on my Maxxum, and isn’t pulling more focused on the developer, anyway?) My salvation comes with a series of overcast days. So, camera in hand I head out.

I’m reminded, with all the geekiness above, how much I love photography. And how much a role it played in my youth. Taking classes in junior high and high school, submitting photos to the year-book (though not fully credited, sadly), and my playing around with old (ancient?) cameras at second-hand stores.

I have every intention of recapturing this part of my life, delving much more deeply. My main complaint is how expensive a hobby this is. I guess it’s time to buy lottery ticket, eh?

update: finally got this project done, and uploaded to my Flickr stream. Check this out here.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saturday Morning

I love the light of overcast mornings. A greyish-blue quality to things that just calms me. I find these mornings very tranquil. The colors subdued. Today the wind is calm. As I write this, a small breeze picks up. The trees move abruptly. This movement’s drama simply due to the abruptness of the change. And, of course, my expectations. Slowly, light brightens, colors emerge; but not to garish excess, just present. Green grows more visible; lighter green within the maple leaves, darker for the fir trees. And the grass somewhat in-between.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The End of the Print World as We Know It

Ah, Negroponte is at it again! Stirring up the masses with a prediction. This time, the doomed in focus is our old friend, the printed paper book. Negroponte points to the fact that ebook sales have overtaken hardcovers, and are expected to outpace paperbacks within the year. Of course, this statistic is solely for Amazon. When Barnes and Noble makes such a prediction, this might be more valid…at least from a larger, macro-social perspective. I expect there will long be a market for paper based books. I expect a good many things need to happen before e- truly replaces print as the way books are consumed.

Before print ‘dies’, first more and more materials will be printed solely electronically (I expect many top tier/NYTimes bestsellers, for instance). Also, the cost of readers will need to come DOWN. Until there are <$50 versions available, i.e.: until the e-reader has become commoditized, will this distribution method truly become mainstream. With that, I expect that the cost of e-publications will need to come down further in price before attaining true mass-market appeal.

Anyway, I see many challenges before Negroponte’s prognostication about print books being dead in 5 years (with whatever qualifiers you mix in there). Really, this is very aggressive and likely vapor. I do expect e- to replace paper, but slowly and iteratively. Printed, paper-based materials will be with us for quite some time.


Edit: I felt the need to adjust this sentence: "Anyway, I see many challenges before Negroponte’s prognostication about print books being dead in 5 years (with whatever qualifiers you mix in there) is very aggressive and likely vapor." Mid-sentence as I type, yet my mind is well on to the next topic. When I lose focus, sentences merge.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Billy Crystal - You Look Marvelous (1985)

A bit of history, this one. I remember it making the rounds on the airwaves. A Meme from the good ol' FM radio days. Back when online required a modem (where baud meant something) and often meant dialing into a BBS (I was uber-geeky back then by having access to Prodigy).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A strange career journey

The early part of my career was spent in the non-profit sector. First I was involved with state and local advocacy with AARP (this parlayed into regional advocacy on federal issues towards the end of my time there). Then I was the office manager for a small church. An Episcopal congregation with a solidly progressive bent, I was quite at home. Generally, I considered business to be destructive and “the problem”. With that, I delighted in the notion of trying to save the world. Then, through a series of accidents, I moved to the corporate world, working at Starbucks in Corporate Social Responsibility. During this time, I focused mostly on environmental affairs, but worked in a number of side projects. Thus, even in a Fortune 500 company, I was saving the world.

Now, though, I find myself in the belly of the beast, at Microsoft. I am in Operations, and supporting finance within that. MSFT does have a Corporate Citizenship team, and does good philanthropical work. But I am far removed from all that. I miss that work, yet I find my work fulfilling, which (frankly) surprises me. For ages, I thought that social mission and service were the only ways I would feel value. I see that I can add value across a wide variety of endeavors. Also, I’ve learned so very much about the challenges business faces, and how that impacts their citizenship. And that so very many business leaders are trying their very best to be good neighbors. Now, what will I do with that knowledge? Hmm...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Impressive Graphic featuring a Sad Topic

An impressive graphic from Fixr. I like the design: clear, clean, quick and focuses on one point like a laser.

Click the image to enlarge
The shocking disparities of labor cost
Source: Fixr

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Office 2010

Office 2010, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

A little swag for the launch of Office 2010. Perks of wandering around
on campus.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parental Discovery

My parents might need to be brought up on child-neglect charges: I had not heard of Leo Lionni until my son insisted we buy some of his books. Laughably, I assumed that Leo Lionni was a character, much like Junie B. Jones (consider the alliterative). I’ve learned otherwise. The recent purchase, “Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse” has been a delight to read. Exploring the art, I expect Eric Carle’s art was inspired by Lionni’s. As I delight in literature, I wonder why I’ve never encountered his name. Then I wonder if I haven’t. My journey as a father is laden with discovery. Discovering so much that I would expect to have known.

Perhaps my mother read to me from Lionni and Carle every night. I do not remember. I do remember such seminal works as “Harry: The Dirty Dog”, though. Strange thing, memory. I delighted in Dr. Suess, too. I wonder, at times, whether too much has been lost from my childhood memory. The loss of my mother took with it so much memory. Those moments that wouldn’t be possible for a young child to remember, no one else does, either. My father was off serving in the Navy; other relatives thousands of miles absent. So much of my sister and my early childhood had only one witness, who is silent. I’m left rattling cerebral cobwebs, and creating new memories with my son.

Random side note: I came across this video of Harry The Dirty Dog and just had to share. It’s only a trailer, but still

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Muppets: Classical Chicken

This is, by far, the best rendition of Blue Danube I've ever heard. Of course, I don't like waltzes. I'm afraid, though, Strauss would've cried fowl.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Justin Beibers

Perhaps I shouldn't be proud...however, I love The Oatmeal.

How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?

Created by Oatmeal

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Awesome "Baseball" Video

This was forwarded to me some time ago. Slowly, ever so slowly, I'm digging through the depths of my inbox. Anyway, this proves to me that women should be allowed into pro-baseball.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reading's Future

Behind, somewhat, on working my way through my reading pile, I came across an iPad article from the April 5th Newsweek, “What’s So Great About The iPad?” (Anna Quindlen). I’ve been fond of her writing for awhile, so this was a must read, especially considering the synergy between writer and the subject. She isn’t as focused on the iPad, rather the state of reading and the impact (iMpact?) of e-readers on the book and reading. I’ve been wondering for awhile how the iPad, or any of these devices, will change the market...much less reading. Perhaps, just maybe, this could be a more productive way to manage my reading?

Is the book dead? No. Transforming? Yes. She points out a few key statistics. First, it’s not youth that are driving the new market. Rather, it is middle-aged men (her statement was that specific). I don’t know if her assertion that this might be due to adjustable font sizes is the driver, or that simply they’re the ones who can afford the devices? Another thing that middle-aged men (especially those with significant discretionary income) tend to travel a great deal. They would be a major beneficiary of the ebook’s prime benefit: one device with hundreds of books. Besides, the changes in other sectors (CDs and MP3 for music; tv, vhs and dvd’s for video), well, the ones that result in major demographic transitions, get driven by youth first and then flow up to the other age groups (think Facebook). Additionally, she points out a significant up-tick in the number of people currently reading a book “currently” (18% in 1952, 47% in 2005). So, I don’t expect that the electronic reader will displace the paper book anytime soon. Not until the cost comes down dramatically, at least. And the gee-whizz app comes onboard.

As I consider the subject, I’m reminded of vinyl records. CDs were going to kill them. And, actually, they least to the naked eye. Turns out there’s still demand (and companies selling), and a debate about the superiority of the CD. I love Ms. Quindlen’s statement, “Americans, however, tend to bring an either-or mentality to most things...”. We do love hyperbolic drama...look at politics and political speech. Anyway, I’m reminded of all the discussion, back in the 90s mostly, about the demise of Apple, Inc. as they didn’t have the largest market share. Microsoft had the largest market share, so everyone else is dying. No consideration of the profitability of the company. Now look at things. The prognosticators and now, of course, predicting the demise of MSFT. Much like the immortals in Highlander, they feel there can be only one. I find the notion laughable. There is room for more than one technology. One can exist without being dominant in the market. And, shocking from me I’m sure, new isn’t always better.

I’ve wondered if having all my materials in one place, i.e.: a Kindle or iPad, would enable me to work through the pile quicker. If nothing else, having it with me “all the time” would provide more chances to read through the pile at odd moments. Perhaps, though, I benefit from not fitting every moment with productivity. I feel pressure to fill every moment with productivity...what I have I completed today? How many items on my task list have I checked off? Quiet and calm have value. Just like paper books. They may not be the most efficient, or most dazzling, but they work. We need to remember that the can be more than one medium, more than one platform, more than one way of doing things. We’re better for the diversity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Early Morning Recollections

Suddenly, at this insane hour, I remember being in Asia as a boy. I'm
not exactly sure where we where; probably Singapore. I remember a
series of figurines depicting some battle. What stuck me most
powerfully was the graphicness. Blood everywhere, heads missing;
grotesque. I was disturbed and frightened. Enough so that I remember
it clearly more than thirty years later.

Why now? Such an odd moment for such a memory to burst from the murk
of personal history. Randomness from the human brain, especially THIS
collection of personal synapses, is hardly unusual. I've learned that
these memories have triggers. Answers will come with time, with

My "now" has been filled with self-analysis, diving deeper into who I
am and what I do. Career had been at the forefront. The rest of me has
been, somewhat, neglected in this. Perhaps a piece of this is a hint
to expand past one narrow piece of my life, regardless of how much of
my time is taken up by career. Perhaps...

Yet, there's more. A few weeks back, the house across from my parents
burned. 30 years ago, this month, my best friend's family lived there.
Well, 30 years ago was when that came to an abrupt end. Coming home
from school, a coroner's car in the driveway, the picture on the front
page of the local paper: "Murder/Suicide" screamed. Memories of a
husband and wife who maybe bickered at times, broken against horror. A
friend's psyche fragmented.

All these years later, I still struggle with this. This clearly holds
a defining place in my personality. Yet my memories are weak, vague.
Perhaps, pulling this other horror from my past, more innocuous,
safer, I'm trying to frame this other moment. Perhaps....

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Flower, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

I can not remember the plant this flower is part of. Off the beach at
Brackett's landing in Edmonds.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Design Career

As cool as another web design class sounds, I’m thinking of getting a copy of CS5 and exploring “manually”. In particular, I haven’t had a chance to mess with InDesign for several iterations. I believe that the last version I explored was prior to the CS Suite bundling. I’ve never used InDesign in a professional setting. The last product I used with Quark, and I’m not sure the version. So I’m really interested in bringing my desktop publishing skills current. Well, at least production environment software-wise. I am up-to-date with MS Publisher. Anyway, I could try and get CS4, as with CS5’s release, I should be able to get CS4 at a huge discount. And, from what I’ve been reading, getting my skills up-to-date with CS4 might work well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NYTimes: Seven Children Killed in School Attack in China

Yet again, another frightening attack on children. The NYTimes does a
good job here exploring some if the possible causes of this string of
attacks. Questions are raised, though some of the hypothesis are
simplistic. It will be telling if the Chinese government finally
decides to deal with the issue versus simply hiding it.

From The New York Times:

Seven Children Killed in School Attack in China

The children and a teacher were stabbed to death at a kindergarten in
China in the latest in a bizarre series of attacks on children.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Alliterative Du Jour

Modern monkeys mastcating meatloaf mull meaningful melodies. Madly,
masterfully modifying moronic mysteries.

Career? Pain in the Rear?

Still wondering about my career next steps. I've been an admin so long, it's hard to envision some other role. I like to picture myself in some creative function, whether writer, web designer, or such. Yet I wonder whether I'm gifted creatively. Am I pursuing something I have no talent in?

When I consider what people tell me I'm gifted at, it isn't art. I'm a talented organizer, manager, even a good analyst. There is so very much more to learn to be excellent in those roles.

Perhaps these views are due to limited exposure of my creative efforts? I don't show my work much. I'm a bit self-concious, still. Perhaps a residual of my suburban upbringing? Maybe that should be a focus of mine in the near-term?

As my contract at Microsoft creeps upon it's end date, these discussions take on an added urgency. Yet answers aren't easily forthcoming.


Drill-Baby-Drill, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Needed to fix a stupid typo. "Drill Baby Brill" indeed! I are a colledge graduit?

Sunday, May 02, 2010


I've been exploring's offerings. Particularly their iPhone app. Though not surprised by the number of calories I consume, I am stunned by the amount of fat and just blown away by the amount of sodium. Eating fewer calories won't be the real challenge. Getting my sodium intake to a healthy level, though, will require wholesale lifestyle rework.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 26, 2010

News and Humanity

Reading headlines like this chills me, compelling me to stop and read: “Girl, 7, airlifted to hospital after accidental hanging”. I connect solidly: my child is 7. With all the random injuries I sustained as a child, seems rather amazing at times that I avoided becoming such a statistic. While my thoughts and prayers are with this family as they navigate this horror, my attention wanders.


As often happens with stories such as this, there is a burst of information, of “story”, which then vanishes from the public eye forever. It is likely there will be no resolution. In this age of data, and the near limitless ability to present information, would there be value in news orgs following up, finding the end of this story? With our ability to tag and link coalescing this thread into one story would be easy. That, to me, is a key power in this new medium.


Of course, I tend to play both sides and, thus, wonder if there is value of just having the burst and then letting this alone; allowing people to exist in the mystery? Would the follow up I propose invade? Do I, as an observer, really have any rights towards resolution? Certainly the family’s needs are paramount. Is there, in the end, a clear answer? I, being me, find my answer “no”. Yet I will respect your different finding. Humanity is quite complex, is it not?



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prayer of St. Francis

A prayer attributed to one of my favorite spiritual guides. 

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi 

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

iPad and other glories

Perhaps I’m the only Macfan that’s not gaga over the iPad. It’s an interesting idea, but I’m just not sold on the concept. For what it offers, I think it would be valuable (to me) at a much lower price-point. Say, < $100. Then I could conceive. Heck, if it were $200 I would be sorely, SORELY tempted. But not $500. It doesn’t offer me much more than my iPhone. And I almost never use my Sony eReader (if the Mac version of the desktop software actually worked with it, then I might use it more). Anyway, if the iPad had handwriting recognition, or could do more with photo editing...I don’t know.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Winter Observations

Over the winter I noticed the congregation of crows off around 405
near the Beardslee exit on Bothell. Masses of them, swarming, much
like starlings, without the elegance. As the weather has warmed up,
this feathered city has dissipated.

Trees have been in bloom for quite some time. This, too, is a delight.
Most all trees are at least in bud, the majority laden with blossoms.
A few stragglers remain. I noticed bees a few weeks back. True honey
bees. And I'm will not mistake a hornet for a bee.

Our weather has embraced a Spring mania. Rain, followed by sleet,
fading to hail, with some snow for good measure. Intermixed with
random bursts of sunshine. Life in the Northwest under the shadow of
the covergence zone.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Modern Conundrum

Yesterday I received a message from Schmap, an online travel guide service asking to use one of my Flickr shots for their Seattle guide. Reading through the terms, I noticed this wasn’t compensated, but as I am not a professional, my first thought was “who cares?” Turns out there are many (see here, and here to start). They aren’t going to get filthy rich off of my one shot. However, after a bit of research, in their business model, they only use free photos. And with that comes the real question: am I contributing to the demise of the professional photographer by taking part? This sort of effort does bring up many issues with the technological age we find ourselves in. Does this put photographers out of work? Or does it just kill off the mediocre? Which is “bad”?

I’m not sure the ethics here, and have not made a choice one way or another. I’d love to hear what others thing off all this. Have any of your used Schmap before? Anything similar out there?

Posted via email from Infernally Curious

Monday, April 05, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine 80’s Contest Champ: The Situation «

There is a reason that this hairstyle that has gone extinct.

Posted via web from Infernally Curious

Spamming Punks

Just had to delete a bunch of comment spam from my Blogger blog. It seems they’ve found a way to override the word verification. Perhaps someone is manually posting. Anyway, I don’t read Japanese and the links looked, uh, suspicious. Wretched, infernal spammers!

Posted via email from Infernally Curious

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Remembrance and Resurrection

It seems fitting that we remember the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King on this day where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, as his message is timeless and immortal.

Posted via email from Infernally Curious

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Visuals Du Jour – Military Spending | The Global Sociology Blog

The Global Sociology Blog has pulled some graphics from The Guardian. Tells an interesting story about global military spending.

Posted via web from Infernally Curious

Friday, April 02, 2010


I'm something of a news junkie. Ok, to put it better, I spend way too much time on any given day following news items. Following links like some follow shiny objects. And I get way too worked up...WAY...over certain items. These are things I have no control over. In Franklin-Covey parlance, they are outside my sphere of influence. Things that I should NOT invest ANY emotional energy into. Finding a way to spend less time, more focused time is paramount. My time is becoming more constrained with each passing day, or so it seems. Certainly, I need to stop reading the comments, as, for the most part, they're inane.

Of course, the fact that no one else seems to take an interest in my, uh, interests tells me something as well. Ce va!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A gift to me

A gift to me, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

A thank you gift for a project I helped out with last week. I'm actually quite interested in trying this.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Guard, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Guarding the entrance to thus week's meeting space. Same building as
the Halo team.

Easter Haul - 1st Edition

Easter Haul - 1st Edition, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Another hunt next week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Social Media & Outlook Note

Just an FYI to everyone out there, I’ve noticed that Outlook 2010 captures pictures from social media sites, most commonly Facebook. This includes people who are not in my address book. If you send me an email, it looks like Outlook will compare the email to the social media sites and locate any pictures associated with it. So, if you send me (or someone around here with 2010) a resume (for instance) and have your profile picture set to a drunken, naked, or otherwise inappropriate pose, we’ll all see it, in all its glory.





Quote Of The Day

"Email is such a funny thing. People hand you these single little messages that are no heavier than a river pebble. But it doesn't take long until you have acquired a pile of pebbles that's taller than you and heavier than you could ever hope to move, even if you wanted to do it over a few dozen trips. But for the person who took the time to hand you their pebble, it seems outrageous that you can't handle that one tiny thing. 'What pile? It's just a pebble!'" ~Merlin Mann


Merlin captures one of my key aggravations in life: those folks who cannot comprehend that there is more going on in someone’s life than their request. At this point, if someone can’t comprehend that I have hundreds of emails in my inbox, and that sometimes it takes time to weed through them, then I just smile and go on with my life. There’s nothing more I can do. That person lives on a completely different planet than me, for all practical purposes.



Saturday, February 20, 2010


February, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Is it really still February?

Bus Crash Video

I came across this video at The World According To Chuck. It's a bit disturbing when you consider the damage done in this accident. I'm not sure why this bus doesn't even slow down, whether inattention, a medical issue with the driver, or an equipment malfunction. It is a reminder, though, of the incredible power our vehicles harbor. I've long felt that people who drive while applying make-up, texting, reading, ad naseum, fail to respect the power of their cars. Distracted by their inflated id, I presume.

I've long loved the comic Piled Higher and Deeper (Aaron, I believe you introduced this to me). Mixing it with Lewis Carroll...priceless!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Now there's a cell phone!

iPhone? Blackberry? Meh! Now THIS is a phone!

(I originally posted this back in 2005...)

iLCP February 2010 Newsletter |

iLCP February 2010 Newsletter |

I'm a long-time fan of Art Wolfe's work. It has been a critical component of my evolution as an environmentalist. His work taught me to appreciate the wild places, the wild things. With that appreciation came a desire to preserve. It delights me, then, to learn that he is part of a group, The International League of Conservation Photographers. Interesting, really, that this org, which encompasses two of my core passions, had completely escaped my awareness. My world is now richer.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Weekend's Read

I just finished up “Greasy Rider”, by Greg Melville. The premise captured me: two guys (dudes per the cover) driving across the country (from Burlington, Vermont to Berkeley, California) in a veggie-oil powered car. That, to me, sounds awesome. A nice book, more than just a travelog. Melville takes a pretty good (if not in-geeky-depth) look at the alternative fuels industry, it’s players and their motivations. He also side-trips, so to speak, into other areas of the green-movement (such as green building).

He has one observation that I agree with wholeheartedly: America, as a society, has lost (to a large degree) it’s ability to sacrifice. People do seem to want their solutions handed to them, in pretty packaging. Those of us who try to see things at a larger level, who try to live with some kind of higher calling tend to be regarded with ridicule and contempt. The greatest irony is the worst of the contempt-mongers delight in cloaking themselves in a shroud of morality. Sad, disturbing and exhausting.

All in all, a nice book. Worth the read. Much lighter reading than “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A view of heaven

A view of heaven, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

I love books.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Me, da Lib

I can't help being liberal, and wouldn't if I could. That's the heart I've been given. Compassion is my core directive. It's where I try to focus. I often fail, but the call remains. I'm weary, though, of those "conservatives" somehow deciding compassion is a moral weakness. That demanding equality for all is "ungodly". Expecting all people to be treated with dignity is evil. What is wrong with them?

Monday, January 25, 2010

At work, part II - The Big Picture -

At work, part II - The Big Picture -

A collection of well done photographs featuring workers working. I'm sure it's fine to be impressed and glorify workers, as long as we keep it distinct from Labor. (Thanks, Jenny, for the link)

Anyway, this is one of my favorites...but I love books.

An employee shelves books in the old books collection area at the Municipal Library of Lyon, France on January 15, 2010. The government of France is currently undertaking a 750 million euro ($1 billion) project to digitize its libraries and museums. (REUTERS/Robert Pratta)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tulip - Freehand Pen & Ink

Tulip - Freehand Pen & Ink, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

A quick sketch for my son. He wanted a tulip, and this what I crunched
out without any reference.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Poor Public Affairs Management

Story: Vancouver police chief says innocent man beaten by officers did not resist

Brief synopsis: a man is beaten by police after a domestic disturbance call. Problem: police were at the wrong place and the man was completely innocent. Initial press statement says the chap was beaten because he resisted arrest. This story retracts that assertion.

I’ll leave it to others to ascertain the “wrong-ness” of the police officers’ actions (read the comments in the story if you want to see that discussion). However, I feel a need to look at the way the department managed the press. The initial statement was destructive. Their credibility was significantly damaged. Leadership looks out of control, dumb, inept or unscrupulous. There are folks claiming that the powers-that-be knew full well the falseness and the only reason they’re coming “clean” is that they were caught. I have no insights into the department, so I can’t comment to the veracity of such a claim. However, this sort of error/poor judgement only feeds that sentiment, and the surrounding distrust. With the Olympics coming, the accompanying attention provides additional embarrassment.

I firmly believe that it’s better to say nothing (for a while) then to risk a gaff of this magnitude. I know that the press hungers, implores for statements NOW. That’s ok...YOU don’t need to address that. That’s not your problem. Quality information is more critical. I saw the same with the coverage of Haiti. We had estimated death-tolls minutes after the quake. That’s simply ridiculous. This is why I stop following a disaster story after I get the original details. I wait for a few days until the fog of disinformation clears. But I care more for quality data than quantity and speed. Yeah, I’m weird.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Rain flows gently down
Pools slowly, circles reach out
Damp chill feels like home

Odd that this came to me today as we were quite free of rain. Actually, sunny and spring time warmth. However, I’ve lived in the Seattle area a good portion of my life. I guess this just comes naturally.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Evening's End

So very much done today. A blur, flurry of randomized tasks, along with all the high-priority items. With this, I managed to meet with several local bloggers. Now, though, evening’s finality creeps in. Even with my pleasing productivity, I still agonize about all that’s not done. Silly, perhaps, but that’ me. Hung up on what’s lacking, what I haven’t accomplished. Too easy to forget what’s done, where success lay.

At the Big Blog Meetup

At the Big Blog Meetup, originally uploaded by Hugger Industries.
Thanks to Bike Hugger for capturing this shot of the Big Blog meet up in Pioneer Square (Seattle). I do enjoy Zeitgeist coffee! It was a delight to meet Seattle area bloggers, and commiserate about things only newsgeeks/junkies would care about.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


100_1895, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

I am quite pleased with this shot. The macro setting of my little Kodak does some nice work. I could have done a better job with framing it, though. And it's a bit grainy for my liking.

Monday, January 18, 2010


A little while back, I posted a piece about FriendFeed, and one of my friends asked me about how it compared to Posterous. I stumbled upon this poll at Mashable that compares Posterous with Tumblr (note: the poll is from September). I had messed with Tumblr, but didn’t go anywhere with it. I might need to give it another look.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Gourmet scented pencils

Gourmet scented pencils, originally uploaded by carl.setzer.

Really...I just had to capture this one.

Rebecca MacKinnon: Google Gets On the Right Side of History


One night in the mid-1990s when I was working as a journalist in Beijing, I went out to dinner with some Chinese friends. I had just finished reading a book called "The File" by the British historian Timothy Garton Ash. It's about what happened in East Berlin after the Berlin Wall came down and everybody could see the files the Stasi had been keeping all those years. People discovered who had been ratting on whom—in some cases neighbors and co-workers, but also lovers, spouses and even children. After I described the book to my Chinese dinner companions—a hip and artsy intellectual crowd—one friend declared: "Some day the same thing will happen in China, then I'll know who my real friends are."

The table went silent.

China today is very different from Soviet-era Eastern Europe. It's unlikely that its current political system—or its system for blocking foreign Web sites known widely as the "great firewall"—will crumble like the Berlin Wall any time soon. Both are supported and enabled by the current geopolitical, commercial and investment climate in ways that Soviet-era Eastern Europe and the Iron Curtain never were.

I do believe, however, that in my lifetime the Chinese people may learn more about some of the conversations that have taken place over the past decade between Internet company executives and Chinese authorities. When that happens, they will know who sold them out and who was most eager to help the Chinese Communist Party in building a blinkered cocoon of disinformation around their lives—and in some cases deaths.

This censored environment makes it easier for the Chinese government to lie to its people, steal from them, turn a blind eye when they are poisoned with tainted foodstuffs, and cover up their children's deaths due to substandard building codes. It is a constant struggle, and sometimes literally a crime, for people to share information about such matters or to use the Internet to mobilize against corruption and malfeasance.

That is the information environment that China's business elites, many of whom have gotten rich running Internet and telecommunications companies, are responsible for helping to build and maintain. For now they are national heroes, having made great (and lucrative) efforts on behalf of China's economic growth and global competitiveness, making China a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. But if history takes some unexpected turns—and that's the one thing you can count on Chinese history doing—it won't always be on their side.

By announcing it will no longer censor its Chinese search engine and will reconsider its presence in China, Google has taken a bold step onto the right side of history.

Four years ago when Google entered the Chinese market and launched, Chinese bloggers called it the "neutered Google." At the time, Google executives said the decision to bow to the Chinese government's censorship demands had been made after heated internal debates. They said they had weighed the positives and negatives and concluded Chinese Internet users were better off with the neutered Google than with no Google. They drew a red line under search and said they would not bring any other Google products containing users' personal information—including email and blogging—into China. They held to that line.

Over the past four years I tested from time to time and compared its search results with the Chinese market leader, Baidu. I found that tended to censor search results somewhat less than Baidu. This supported Google's argument that it at least gave Chinese Internet users more information than the domestic alternatives.

Google executives also pointed out that a notice appeared at the bottom of every page of censored results on, informing users that some information was being hidden from them at the behest of Chinese authorities. In this way, the logic went, they were at least being honest with the Chinese public about the fact that Google was helping their government put blinkers on them.

The company's effort to walk a fine line between Chinese regulators and free speech critics ended up being unsustainable. Anticensorship activists still viewed its compromise as contributing to the spread of censorship around the world. On the other hand, the compromise was also unacceptable to Chinese authorities, who were unhappy that Google wasn't censoring as heavily as Baidu. Last year Google came under a series of attacks in the state-run media for failing to censor porn adequately when users—horror of horrors—typed smutty phrases into the search box.

As Google considers exactly what it will do next now that it has refused to censor, some Chinese users are expressing support and sending flowers, others are upset, and others are thumbing their noses, good riddance. Competitors are gloating. Google is in for a rough few months ahead. In the longer run, history will reveal to the Chinese people who their real friends have been.

Ms. MacKinnon is a fellow with the Open Society Institute. She is writing a book about China and the Internet.

Interesting piece from the WSJ. I wonder, though, just how effective a Google withdrawl from China would be without anyone else following along.

Posted via web from carlsetzer's posterous

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Graph Du Jour

It's not often I see a graphic that does a good job communicating something, anything. I spend a lot of time looking at graphics in presentations that either try to communicate too much, or not enough, or nothing at all. This one really is exceptional. Great use of color, white space, image size, etc to tell many components of a story laddering into a larger point. Edward Tufte would be proud.

(Graphic from The Global Sociology Blog. For full size, Click Here

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Momentary Disturbance

Earlier this week I read a rather disturbing story, Michael Finkel’s “How I Convinced a Death-Row Murderer Not to Die”. Now, I dimly remember the story from early in the decade (it happened in Oregon). Interesting, from a sociological point of view. However, for me, the story went into some depth on the murder (the subject, Christian Longo, murdered his whole family). Those sorts of details tend to disturb and haunt me. Gladly, I read the thing in early afternoon, giving myself some time to disconnect. Otherwise, my night’s sleep would’ve been disrupted (as has happened after reading/hearing other such stories). This is why I generally don’t watch the news in the evening, and defiantly late at night. If I’m up in the dark of night for insomnia, I avoid both the news, but also “true crime” shows which are so popular. And I avoid all the “mystery” shows, as well as any of the crime-based dramas.

Now, some would say this is due to my liberal, bleeding-heart tendencies, or some such rot. No, the core is the that this has come to close to me. Back in 1980, my best friend, Adam’s, father murdered Adam’s mother. We came home from school to see the coroner sitting in his driveway (he lived right across the street from me). Adam disintegrated before me, and never recovered. And, really, neither did I. To add to the ghastliness, I was with Adam when he was allowed to go back into the house (on a furlough of sorts from the mental hospital he was assigned to). It was supposed to have been cleaned up, but they hadn’t disposed of the bed where his mom had died. That still haunts my dreams.