As of Late

Posted: December 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: DFW, personal | No Comments »

I wrote a short essay about David Foster Wallace’s undergraduate honors thesis in philosophy, out this month from Columbia University Press, titled Fate, Time, and Language.

Also, I interviewed one of the coeditors of that volume, the philosopher Steven Cahn, about Wallace’s work in philosophy.

The Texas Book Festival panel on Wallace I moderated back in October was mentioned in this article in the local NBC affiliate.

Sam Potts created an awesome poster of all the characters in Infinite Jest:

I’ve started a new site called Simple Ranger. Right now it just has “Best of” posts collected from my Apres Garde site, but I have big plans for it.

Consider the Archive

Posted: November 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: DFW, personal | No Comments »

The video of this event is now available here:

I was quoted in a story about the DFW event here:

My latest posts at Google Sightseeing are about Isla Mujeres: and the Tribal Art of Taiwu Township, Taiwan (did you even know Taiwan had aborignes??).


Posted: October 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | No Comments »

Arlo Beckett Bucher

Born: 9/26/10, 4:08 a.m.

7 pounds, 12 ounces


Posted: October 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

My Apres Garde blog was mentioned in an Italian news article about Arcade Fire’s video project involving Google Street View. It was also mentioned on a Swiss site called 20 Minutes Online.

My latest post at Google Sightseeing is on the distilleries of Islay.

Also, on October 16 I’ll be moderating a panel on David Foster Wallace at the Texas Book Festival.

Recent activity

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Here are some of my recent articles posted at

Antarctica: The World’s Largest Desert

Masonic Temples Around the World

Capulin Volcano National Monument

In other news:

I was quoted in this story for the Knoxville News Sentinel about group reads online and Daryl’s efforts leading Infinite Zombies.

I’m on the planning committee for this David Foster Wallace event to commemorate the opening of the archive at the Ransom Center.

My Apres Garde blog of Google Street View images was recommended on the Tumblr Staff blog (at the same time as The New Yorker‘s tumblr!) and received a nice write-up on

More at Google Sightseeing

Posted: June 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’m now a regular contributor at and my first post is up:

Exploring Hong Kong With Google Street View (Part 1)

Part 2 of that post will be up soon. Do follow along! My Street View blog is at Apres Garde. Supposedly the Street View imagery for South Africa will be released on Tuesday. I’m excited about that!


Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I’d like to direct your attention over to Infinite Zombies where we are just now starting a six-week-long group read of that oceanic titan Moby-Dick. I’ll be posting there somewhat regularly. The organizer, Daryl Houston, was one of the most reliable guides in our recent 2666 group read, and he’s also created an awesome new tool for looking up words in Moby-Dick: Mobydiction.

Guest post at Google Sightseeing

Posted: May 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I wrote a guest post about my Street View tumblr for the excellent Google Sightseeing blog:

Favorite Bookstores of All Time

Posted: March 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: personal | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Here are my top five favorite bookstores of all time (any era, any place, with the caveat that I haven’t traveled much):

1. Tattered Cover, Denver

I’ve been to a lot of bookstores in my life and this is still my favorite. I miss the days when it was just the Cherry Creek store and the LoDo store and if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with the Cherry Creek store since it had more of a homey feel and less of a downtown feel—and I loved the restaurant on top.

2. Four Corners, Colorado Springs

For me, this was the perfect used bookstore (around 1994). Sadly, it is no more. It changed hands a couple of times and then closed for good. No idea what happened to their stock. It was huge. Tons of my Nabokov paperbacks and Nicholson Baker UK editions and Updike rarities were picked up there on the cheap.

3. The Strand, NYC

Again, I like the Broadway & 12th location a lot, but I loved the now-defunct Fulton St. Annex location—mainly because it was less crowded and felt less picked over. I never went into the Strand looking to buy anything in particular, always just to browse.

4. BookPeople, Austin TX

Maybe it’s because I’ve been to this one the most in the past few years, but I’ve always loved it. Their bargain section is not huge, the coffee shop is not great, but it has such a great atmosphere that I could spend hours there easily.

5. Powell’s, Portland OR

In fairness, I only spent two days here. I loved it—huge selection, tons of used books, nice cafe. A lot of people rank this as their #1 shop, but it’s just not my #1.

Honorable mentions: Chinook Bookshop, Poor Richards, Boulder Bookstore, McKenzie-White, Davis-Kidd, Three Lives & Co., Biography Bookshop, Politics & Prose

Store I would most like to visit: Booked Up, Archer City, TX

Town I would most like to visit (for book shopping): Hay on Wye

Modern Reader

Posted: January 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: DFW, personal | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Rich’s conclusion (which I agree with) is that the public/private elements of reading need not be mutually exclusive, at least until the dawn of a DeLilloan nightmare, when mass-reading groups assemble in a single room like a bunch of Moonies tying the knot. Rich introduces Matthew Bucher, who runs an online discussion group for David Foster Wallace Fans called “Wallace-L.” While Bucher is a clear example of the modern reader—interested in making connections and building communities—he also values the solitude that reading provides: “I still read the book at home at night by myself with one lamp.”