December 15, 2006

Excuse Our Dust

by peterb
Over the next week or so, updates may be sparse and you may notice problems reaching the site as we prepare to move to a new content management system. Things should be back to normal relatively quickly.
Posted by peterb at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2006

The Internet Is Full. Go Away.

by peterb
My dad used to tell a groaner of a bad joke about a guy he knew opening a cheese shop in Israel. The name? Cheeses of Nazareth. I thought of that joke today, and on a lark typed "" into my browser...and then name is owned by a domain name squatter, offering to sell it. The Internet is full.
Posted by peterb at 01:42 PM | Comments (4)

November 29, 2006


by peterb
Some weeks are made for long and thoughtful articles. And some are just made for top 10 lists. In the queue: Nintendo Wii, ¡Viva Piñata!, and an assortment of other games. But for tonight, we have monkeys.
Continue reading "Monkey!"
Posted by peterb at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2006

Distinguished Peters

by psu and peterb
Recently we have become aware that some readers of the blog have difficulty telling the two Petes, peterb and psu, apart. Here's a handy reference guide for when you have trouble....
Continue reading "Distinguished Peters"
Posted by psu and peterb at 06:45 PM | Comments (11)

May 22, 2006

Best Of The Worst

by peterb

When I first invited psu to be a co-blogger, the thing he was most leery of was the fact that Tea Leaves had support for comments. His previous blog didn't. Pete claimed that he didn't like comments because he didn't want to read what people had to say, because most people on the internet were crazy anyway.

But really, the true reason that psu's old blog didn't have comments is that he is a gay lamer who doesn't know how to program and is stupid and gay and lame and probably uses a Mac.

Continue reading "Best Of The Worst"
Posted by peterb at 09:42 PM | Comments (11)

May 02, 2006

The Left Hand of Creampuff Caspar Milquetoast

by peterb
Updates have been slow lately because I played racquetball on Friday, forgetting that men in my family have about as much athletic ability as the average brine shrimp. While playing, immediately after thinking "Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this," I took a dive while manuevering and landed on my wrist and elbow. Hard.
Continue reading "The Left Hand of Creampuff Caspar Milquetoast"
Posted by peterb at 06:30 PM | Comments (4)

March 31, 2006

No Sense of Humor '06

by peterb
Once again, Tea Leaves is proud to be one of the few sites on the web that doesn't have a stupid and irritating April Fools' joke. I say "Bah, humbug!" and I'm proud to do so.
Posted by peterb at 09:31 PM | Comments (6)

March 21, 2006

When I Think About You, I Quote Myself

by peterb
"With an iSight, some chlorine bleach, and two pairs of latex surgical gloves, nothing is impossible." More context would just ruin it, I think.
Posted by peterb at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, Scoble

by peterb
Just a quick note to say happy birthday to Robert Scoble who is 41 today, and whom I met tonight at the Pittsburgh Blogfest. A splendid time was had by all. Drinks were drunk, cake was eaten, and Cindy from My Brilliant Mistakes and I have an evil plan for holding a panel tasting of bourbon. Stay tuned.
Posted by peterb at 09:16 PM | Comments (12)

January 11, 2006

Slow Updates

by peterb
I am in San Francisco this week, so Tea Leaves may be updated less frequently than usual. We will return to our regularly scheduled kvetching on Monday.
Posted by peterb at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2005

Metapost: Opinions about Ads in RSS Feeds

by peterb
A quick poll for those of you who read Tea Leaves via a newsreader or bloglines. Please comment on advertisements in RSS feeds. Do you hate them? Are some types of ads OK and others not OK? Or do you not care at all? My personal feeling is that I can easily accept (and ignore) a text ad that is a couple of lines, but if you make me follow a link to read the full text of your article, I hate you. What do you think?
Posted by peterb at 06:52 PM | Comments (14)

September 23, 2005


by peterb
For Friday, it's a miscellaneous grab bag of opinions that will get you in trouble if you say them out loud in the wrong crowds.
Continue reading "Apostate"
Posted by peterb at 09:45 PM | Comments (13)

September 06, 2005

Up and Coming

by peterb
Here are some of the articles currently in the works: • Why Gladius is a superb game, and why it flopped. • A Crazy Little Thing Called Beer • "Biomass per penny" • Measurebators • End of the Summer: Indie Game Rundown * Game demos that convinced me to not buy a game I was completely intent on purchasing. Look for them in the coming weeks, and thanks for reading.
Posted by peterb at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

Attention, Tea Leaves...

by peterb
If you find a URL that you think would be of interest to Tea Leaves, one way to bring it to our attention is to use, which I have written about in the past. Simply tag a link with for:peterb or for:psu, and we'll look at it when we get a chance. I particularly encourage and ask for people to tag exciting indie games that they think we should be reviewing.
Posted by peterb at 01:36 PM | Comments (1)

June 09, 2005


by peterb
Our Internet provider suffered a significant outage today, just in time for our Carnival of Gamers entry . Sorry for any inconvenience.
Posted by peterb at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005

Friday's Questions

by peterb
More musings on unanswerable questions. - Am I the only person who thinks that aspirin, chewed, tastes kinda good? - Who are all these people that are still buying $2500 gaming PC rigs, and what is wrong with them? - What happened to my copy of the Tank Girl soundtrack, along with maybe 5% of all the CDs I've ever owned? Is there some sort of collective of shame I can join where I can reacquire mp3s of songs I paid for, but lost?
Continue reading "Friday's Questions"
Posted by peterb at 06:51 PM | Comments (8)

April 11, 2005

Amari Delayed

by peterb
No, I haven't forgotten -- the amari roundup is just taking a little longer to write up than I expected. Look for it in the next week or so.
Posted by peterb at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

Thank You

by peterb
Thanks to the alert readers who pointed out that the Captcha/security code text box was misnumbered, which made tabbing between the comment fields painful. It's fixed now.
Posted by peterb at 07:17 AM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2005

Call for Volunteers: Gli Amari

by peterb
I really like a class of alcohol that many people don't: Italian bitter aperitivs and digestifs, known in Italian as amari. Campari, Strega, Averna -- I find they settle my stomach and soothe my soul. Often, I find that it's almost impossible to describe the taste of these drinks to those that haven't tried them. And, even with my travels, there are still many that I haven't tried yet. So: I would like to call for volunteers to participate in a tasting panel whose purpose will be to taste, rate, and describe in detail a large number of these amari.
Continue reading "Call for Volunteers: Gli Amari"
Posted by peterb at 07:10 PM | Comments (1)

January 06, 2005

Metapost: Minor cleanup

by peterb
Many of my articles have small captioned images that show up, when you visit the site, offset next to a paragraph, nicely formatted. I just realized, however, that since the RSS feeds don't really support stylesheets, these look completely wrong to anyone who is reading the site via a newsreader. So I'm fixing them, which may make a number of old posts appear to be marked as new. Sorry. Also, although I've got I format that seems to work well in most RSS aggregators, the images still look wrong on bloglines. If you've got a bright idea about the right way to fix this, please send email to blog -at-
Posted by peterb at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2004


by peterb
I started this weblog last January. Originally, it was just meant to be a place for me to keep my notes on my Final Cut Pro projects. My "real writing" was meant to go on the (now defunct) Tea Leaves project of the Danampersanderic art collective. But that project somehow didn't take off, and I found myself putting more and more content here. Before I knew it there were actually readers. It was a month later that I published a document meant to summarize my philosophy of writing for this space. It's still on the sidebar today. The quick summary is: longer, in-depth articles. No "hey, look at this neat link!" items. Keep confessional, overly intimate, or personal details about myself to a minimum, or better yet eliminate them completely. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, no "blogging about blogging." If you want to find a weblog where the authors incessantly talk about Movable Type vs. WordPress, or how great or stupid RSS is, or how blogging is going to change the world, you can go practically anywhere else. I find these topics intensely boring. I want to write about stuff. I don't want to write about writing stuff. All rules are made to be broken, on occasion. Since it is the end of 2004, this is a good point to suspend the "no blogging about blogging" rule, for one day. I'd like to take a moment to look back at how this space has grown in the past year, and how it will develop in 2005.
Continue reading "Navelgazing"
Posted by peterb at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

Christmas Update

by peterb
For those of you taking off for the holiday, have a great time doing whatever it is you'll be doing. I plan on continuing to try to update regularly through to the New Year. If you're travelling, drive safely, and please remember to drink only homemade egg nog, never the store-bought stuff. You have my permission to use pasteurized eggs, if you worry about that sort of thing.
Posted by peterb at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2004

Indie Game Week

by peterb
Next week will be Independent Game Week here at Tea Leaves. Ron at Grumpy Gamer is having his own micro-protest wherein he is not playing the blockbusters. In solidarity, all next week I will be highlighting and showcasing Windows and Macintosh games produced by small teams for not a lot of money. Games will be featured because I think they're fun; I'll be focusing on games that are comparatively new (however much I might want to evangelize System's Twilight to you, the goal here is to showcase games that were developed recently, not "old classics".) If you have a game you think is worthy of consideration, feel free to drop a line to blog @
Posted by peterb at 04:58 PM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2004

Ikon Angst

by peterb
Time at which I deployed the new, custom designed category icons for Tea Leaves yesterday: 7:38 pm. Time at which the first reader complained that I took away their favorite icon: 7:49 pm. I love the little fruit-lover as much as the rest of you, but he's not mine. I always felt a little guilty about my icons; they're grabbed from all sorts of random places. I wanted something that would give the site a little more consistent feel. I commissioned Elise to design some replacements, and I'm really happy with the results. However, for nostalgia's sake, I have left the FF2000 as the miniature icon that should show up in bookmark lists, browser tabs, and the like.
Posted by peterb at 03:50 PM | Comments (3)

October 28, 2004

Brief Outage

by peterb
Due to a power outage at our ISP, followed by a hard drive crash, Tea Leaves was unavailable for most of the day. But, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the folks at Telerama Internet, we're back online without even having lost any data (other than perhaps a few comments. Here's a big plusplus going out to the team at Telerama. Thanks, guys!
Posted by peterb at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Coming Attractions

by peterb
Back from Toronto, with new tales to tell. This week, expect to see some or all of the following items:
  • The best baguette on Queen Street
  • Why is coffee in Toronto so uniformly bad?
  • A proposal for Canadian banking reform.
  • Retsina: the other white wine
...and, when they're done, book reviews of Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, In the Shadow of No Towers, and the most recent of Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" books, Something Rotten.
Posted by peterb at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

Folding Shirts

by peterb
Cloth folding

Om mani padme hum

Here's a short movie -- not by me -- on how to fold a shirt to such a perfect, crisp shape that its very existence provides nearly irrefutable evidence of the presence of a pantheon of benevolent and all-knowing Clothing Gods. I find it compelling. I find it hypnotic. I can't stop watching it, over and over again, hoping to absorb how to perform such household magic. I have taken my shirt off in the kitchen. I have sat, and emulated the master. And I am here to tell you it is not a trick of the light; it is not a special effect; it is not clever editing. It really works.
Continue reading "Folding Shirts"
Posted by peterb at 07:37 PM | Comments (4)

June 25, 2004

Name Change

by peterb
All the URLs are the same, but starting today we are "Tea Leaves," since the related project with that name is going dark. If any of the participants in the tleaves project want to have a place to hang their hat here, just let me know.
Posted by peterb at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Depressing Software Thought

by peterb
It's the year 2004, and I am helping my parents configure their brand new Thinkpad to talk a completely standard wireless access point, and it is so painful that it is beyond the power of language to express.
Posted by peterb at 05:23 PM | Comments (6)

June 10, 2004

by peterb
The "recent bookmarks" on the sidebar come from one of Joshua Schachter's projects, Amusingly, I think I might have set this off when complaining on zephyr a few years ago about bookmark management -- I use too many computers for local bookmark lists to be of any use at all. I kept whining and whining about how I wanted a way to not just access the same bookmarks from different computers, but easily, trivially add them from anywhere, too. Editing an HTML page was too much work; it violated my delicate sensibilities and disturbed the flow of internet chi. Joshua whipped up a solution involving bookmarklets, but I was too lazy at the time to really investigate it, so I settled on a hacked up solution using unison (an rsync-like utility). Eventually, I just stopped using that and let my bookmarks fall into disrepair. I looked at a few times and didn't really 'get it' because I think the front page design isn't really sensible -- it doesn't adequately explain what it is. There's documentation, but it's fairly dry. The best way to understand it is to register an account and start adding your own bookmarks. Then it will become apparent.
Continue reading ""
Posted by peterb at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)

May 31, 2004


by peterb
I've invited psu to join me in this little writing adventure, which means the name -- Tea and Peterb -- will no longer be appropriate. Besides, secretly I hated that name anyway. Suggestions are welcome....
Posted by peterb at 10:14 AM | Comments (2)

April 19, 2004


by peterb
Last night I read The Da Vinci Code (detailed review forthcoming). Tonight while idly wanting to see some of the paintings the author describes, I stumbled on this kook's site:
(Click to enlarge)
The best part is that that diagram is the sanest thing on the page. The text is a hundred times worse. I always assumed that Robert Anton Wilson was joking or exaggerating about conspiracy theorists' ability to see echoes of their delusions in anything and everything. Bad assumption.
Posted by peterb at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2004

Why Orlowski Hates Google

by peterb
Even in an article ostensibly about Sun and Microsoft, Andrew Orlowski can't help throwing in some foaming-at-the-mouth about how Google is evil. Someone asked "Geez, what did Google ever do to Orlowski that he's such a nutbar where Google is concerned?" and this of course led to:

Top (Fictional) Reasons Orlowski Hates Google

Continue reading "Why Orlowski Hates Google"
Posted by peterb at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2004

I Have no Sense of Humour

by peterb
As my special gift to all of you, I am providing this small, modest space where there will be no April Fools' jokes. Enjoy.
Posted by peterb at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2004

Blame Canada!

by peterb
I'll be in Toronto this weekend, eating good food and visiting good bookstores; probably no updates until Monday.
Posted by peterb at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2004

Middle East^H^Hrth

by peterb
Protestor Lebanese mourn death of Saruman, Wizard of Isengard

Posted by peterb at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2004

Contest Results

by peterb
The answer to the dramatic "What does TGR stand for" contest.
Posted by peterb at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2004

Change of Address

by peterb
As a special contest, I will ship a copy of (your choice) a CD of Charlie Mingus' The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady or a paperback of David Wingrove's book The Broken Wheel (tip: pick the Mingus CD) to the first person who can guess, in the comments, what "tgr" stands for.
Posted by peterb at 03:50 PM | Comments (9)

February 21, 2004

Ceci n'est pas un manifesto

by peterb
It's time to make what, I hope, will be the only self-referential post on this site. It's time to specify the rules of what I'm going to be writing about here I probably shouldn't do this at all, since it intrinsically violates a few of the very rules I'm going to lay down, but I feel like I have a few things to get out of my system, and if I do them here, once and for all, I will have a document that I can refer to later when I have the urge to publish something stupid. I will read that document -- this document -- and say "No. Don't do that. That violates the rules."
Continue reading "Ceci n'est pas un manifesto"
Posted by peterb at 05:49 PM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2004

Tigons and Ligers and Bears, oh my!

by peterb
I knew about hinnies and mules, of course, but in the "everyone else probably already knew this but I just found out" department, today I learned that it is possible to crossbreed lions and tigers, creating ligers and tigons.
Continue reading "Tigons and Ligers and Bears, oh my! "
Posted by peterb at 06:16 PM | Comments (8)

February 13, 2004

A Fistful of Hobbits

by peterb
This article at the Wall Street Journal suggests that if MGM and New Line can't work out the details of distributing The Hobbit, perhaps Jackson could invent a new story that takes place in the Lord of the Rings universe.

We have a few suggestions.

Posted by peterb at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

O Cousin! My Cousin!

by peterb
While hanging out on CMU Zephyr tonight discussing election results, someone painfully pointed a link to the very strange Cousin Couples web site, which is where you go if, apparently, you're screwing your cousin and want to find a group...
Continue reading "O Cousin! My Cousin!"
Posted by peterb at 10:17 PM | Comments (26)

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