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Lunch with Sheilagh

David Nunez
David Nunez
6 min read

I’m looking at my notes from my Lunch with Sheilagh last Friday, and it’s just a long and rambling list… So I’ll transcribe most of that list here and try to elaborate where I can.

Among many other things, we talked about geoURLs, Resolutions, and edamame..We met at Curra’s Cafe on Burnet. At one point we were trying to decide how we would describe the cuisine and ambiance… we had trouble. I’d say fusion interior Mexican with Tex-Mex with New Mexican food. She ordered an avacado margarita, and that made me raise my eyebrows…. I had to try one. I think it tasted like regular lime margaritas, but maybe a bit sweeter and creamier. Pretty good for a mid-work-day snack. Foodwise, we got chips and salsa, Sheilagh had a fish appetizer, and i ordered Curra’s Fries, and in one dish, not only broke half of my New Year’s Resolutions, but probably cut down my lifespan by a few years. It was worth it: French fries oozing with cheese, chorizo (Mexican pork sausage), chilie pepper in a pool of bright orange greeeeeze… oh yum; highly recommended!

We talked a bit about that neighborhood. It’s very “Austin,” although I haven’t really explored it very much. There’s a farmer’s market right next door to the restaurant (open daily, I think! Really good news since I work about 5 minutes from there). Quite a few antique and thrift shops up and down Burnet, as well… including one that Sheilagh recommended because of all the “fabulous textiles” in the clothes (because, apparently, this shop is frequented by gay men since its proceeds go towards an AIDS charity). What’s good for the goose…

One of these weekends, I’ll have to go up and down visiting shops to see if I can’t find any old mechanical devices to repurpose for my artwork.

  • [url=][/url] – This one, I actually discovered that I had in my bookmarks pile… filled with all sorts of design tips and articles. And by filled, I mean FILLED. Definitely enough to keep you busy for a while… particularly CSS tips and tricks.
  • [url=][/url] – Just go… it’s fun, geeky, and artsy all in one (requires flash)
  • (Please remind me of the book you mentioned, Sheliegh)
    Talked a little about Privately Owned Public Space… In New York, for example, through political maneuvers, corporations or private groups have hijacked spaces that are supposed to be public by doing things like closing off access points for “rennovation” that goes forever. I wondered aloud if such space existed in Austin? With our elaborate greenbelt systems, it’d be hard to believe that there are places where we can’t go but should be able to.
  • Sheilagh thought I’d get a kick out of her cool concept: “instead of to-do lists.. what about to-do maps?” She was right, I DID get a kick of that. She hosted a party recently at her house and used a floorplan to organize what needed to be done for the party. My mind is spinning right now around this idea. With all the talk about geoURLs and such, this is right up Tock’s (the PIM system on cinder blocks I’m building) alley: information organized by context. So this is the typical example of driving around, having the GPS signal to your PIM that you are near a grocery store, and then having your car announce that you need toilet paper and are .1 miles from a grocery store! Fabulous. Or as you get to work, your context changes and your priority items on your todo list switch around because you are near a copy machine… sweet.
  • Extension from the last point: as we talked a bit about GeoURLs, I mentioned Adina’s coffee house idea and Sheilagh pointed out that [url=]Mojos[/url] already has a kick-ass blog and news event site… someone just needs to add the proper metatags and ping the geoURL site.

    Another application for geoURL: “Stalk David”

    Instead of tying my SITE to a physical location (which, let’s face it, doesn’t really make logical sense… my site is hosted in California, I blog from at least 3 different places, regularly, etc.) It’s as if we’re clawing for a way to attach a permanent and “real” location to this virtual blog identity that I don’t think ANYONE understands, yet (so nyah to all you pontificators).

    I’d be more interested in this idea (whereas I think many folks would raise red, privacy flags): This would be a surefire way to destroy their server, but let’s say I tied a GPS and wireless laptop unit to my back. On, I’ll have a “where is david” page that simply lists the latitude and longitude. Every minute, the laptop checks the GPS unit and republishes my “whereis” page with the current lat & lon values (in both the page content and the meta tags). It then pings the geoURL server to let it know to update my whereabouts.

    More realistically, I could relax the detail in the data and use Tock to let the “whereis” page know where I usually can be found at a given time… for example, from 6:30-5:00 I’m usually in my office… Tock is smart enough to know when I have meetings, so it would need to republish every time there was a MAJOR location change (work, home, meetings, play… average 10 state changes a day). (i.e. only 10 hits on the geoURL server per 24 hours vs. 60 hits an hour).

    One must always ask: why? To which I reply: I dunno.. sounds neat, I guess?

  • We talked about our new year’s resoutions… Sheilagh pulled out a rolled up piece of paper with the word “Directive” written in the middle. She told me there is a “Chinese curse” (who knows if there really is such a curse from the Orient or if this just flows from “no tickee no lawndee” American “harmless” stereotyping, but I like it nonetheless), “May you have an interesting year.” As in getting cancer, having your house burn down, and getting mayonaise on your burger when you specifically asked for “plain and dry” would make your year “interesting.” So instead of having an “interesting” year, she wanted to have a “fun” year last year. She had another one the year before that (but, I must confess, I don’t remember). And this year she wants a year filled with direction. Around this word, she had brainstormed some additional words to flesh out what that meant. Work in progress, apparently, as she adds words frequently. Cool idea.
  • Then we got to my 32 resolutions and she said i needed to have a “Tournament of Ideas.” Concept is simple: Admit to yourself that you can’t do everything at once. Then, reassure yourself you won’t throw any idea away, you’re just prioritizing. Then, create “The Tournament of Ideas.” The idea is you pit idea #1 vs #2 and find which one is more important/realistic/desirable… better. That idea wins. You continue with all ideas in the list. Then you pit the winners against each other… until you have one idea that is most important. That’s where you pour your energy first. If you have energy left over, you pour some on the 2nd, 3rd, etc. places.
  • If you want to concentrate, eat protein (ex. munch on nuts). If you want to relax, eat carbs (ex. munch on chips)
  • Eat Edamame at sushi joints
  • She showed off some gizmos she got for dirt cheap: Hot Clips. Okay, let me try to describe them… it’s basically a teeny-tiny digital music player (size of a half dollar maybe? or a matchbox?). However, the media are hardwired on these individual cartridges that carry a couple of minutes of music. So you have to buy a new cartridge if you want a new song. All the songs are really bad hip hop music and britanny-pop. (The target demographic for these devices are obvious). They also make a recorder so you can loop 2 minutes worth of noise for as long as the battery holds up. She mentioned using it for mantras and yoga stuff… I could see maybe some white noise for napping. Also, she had an “earring” version that clipped around the ear. The coolest accessory was a tiny cartridge with an antenna that turned the player into a working, honest-to-God FM player. Here’s a TechTV [url=,23008,2464987,00.html]story[/url].
  • After lunch, she led me to a neat metal/glass sculpture:


    Anyone know who owns this (or the very cool house)?

Next time I pick the place and it must be somewhere she hasn’t been before. Apparently that’s going to be a trick.

Thanks for the lunch, Sheilagh!


David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖


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