Posts from October 1999

reports. It's all about reporting. "Did you get a copy of that report?" "Oh, I'll print out the report for you." "Just look at that report!" "I've got the final report right here." "Is it in the report?" "Excel ate my report." "Maybe we need more reporting." "Email the reports back to the reporters." "You better shred that report." "Plug it into the report." The word report looses meaning quickly if you say it too many times. "We're in control of our data, just look at the report!"


hmm...on second thought, how about Blowin' the Blues Away by Horace Silver. Now I can crank out some code! * snap * snap * snap *

Today's weather demands appropriate music: Coltrane Plays the Blues.

Now, if you want to link to a specifc day from this weblog, you just need to put it in the querystring. For example, 10/1/99. (This is only good for posts since I've been using blogger, after 9/2/99.) I'll improve the archive access soon.

glassdog: "Grabbing a clump of hair, inserting the blades around it and chopping it off at odd, angry angles was fun! Grab! Chop! Grab! Chop!" [thanks, meg]

I dig my haircutters. The minute I walk in the door, I can hear the electric clippers humming. I'm taken instantly to a chair. Each cutter has the subtlety of a steel worker mixed with the personal charm of a dominatrix.
her: what guard?
me: I think it's the longest one.
her: 8 or 4?
me: well, I'm not sure. what do you think?
her: it's your hair.
me: 4, I guess.
And before my butt has time to warm the chair, I'm outta there. No chit-chat. No exchange of pleasentries. Nada. Just a damn regular haircut.

ahh, the frustrations of bad customer support: "Try reloading the driver again. However, this time make sure you don't have a lot of other screens running or open at the same time!"

And don't forget the regular onfocus design.

I started thinking about a redesign for this site. A lot of my friends have weblogs, and they're all very good. So I figured, why not just steal their designs. ;) Now you can view this site in any one of five new flavors: evhead, megnut, projectme, periodically, or mthology. yours could be next! Note: this has some problems in Netscape.

Now I'm using blogger to build an XML version of this page. This will allow me to break out of this interface or customize this page easily. For example, it's fairly easy to set up a text-only interface.

Election is a great movie. (and not just because it's set in Omaha, Nebraska.) It's kind of an American Beauty light.


Go Big Red! I can't get the game on TV because the local ABC station is showing Stanford vs. USC instead. <yawn>

Day Without Weblogs: "I held open the door so Jon could pass inside. As he did, he paused and looked at me. 'All of my friends are dead,' he said simply." excellent idea.

"We've had enough of this rich, east-coast snootery!" - ev.

An XML Format for Publishing Reading Lists. it looks so formal!

I really dig the schema documentation. Great tool.

Despite what meg says, Roy Orbison is cool.

I was hoping the site was something cool. It's not.

NQPAOFU: "Quick, Blog, Follow that Content!" hmm, true. [via bovine]

wow, metagrrrl has some nice compliments on her blog. A while back I told her we should write a compliment generator. she is like unto compliment genius. :) Thanks again!

matt and I are discussing ways to extend that XML reading list format I whipped up the other night. Take a look if you're curious.

Jason, Evan, and Dan are discussing a web-of-trust relationship to filter sites. I agree, but I feel that if the content was on each author's personal site -- perhaps as well as a specialized topic site -- to see opinions of those you trust, you'd just have to go to their site! no messing around. no banner ads. no company involved.

scenario: I trust ev. I go to his site to read his opinions. From his site, he links to people he trusts. I meet new people I might trust, at their site.

I guess the problem with this is when you're specificly looking for advice about a '99 canyonero. That's where the reviews would need to be published in some sort of extensible markup-type language that some sort of program could index. [wav found here]

Tonight I'm drinking -- from the Shone Farm in the Russian River Valley -- Davis Bynum Fume Blanc. It's no pinot noir. But it's very good.

The Sonoma Traveler: "Everyone, it seems, wants pinot noir from this valley, and well they should."

Pulp Fiction, as drawn by the Simpsons Animators. [via kottke, purple monkey dishwasher.]

It would be great if someone provided a behind-the-scenes database of book information, kind of like CDDB.

This is hilarious. Doom as a tool for system administration. I'm not sure sysadmins need more adrenalin running through their veins. [via matt]

Not on that list is a book I'm reading called Man and Crisis by Jose Ortega y Gasset. It's good. Or is it just in agreement with the context of our current constructed sense of history? <g>

Last night I stayed up past my bedtime to put together an xml version of my reading list. I looked for a standard book definition format, but couldn't find one, so I made up my own.

Next time I'm motivated to work on this site, I'm going to write an ASP script to transform the XML to HTML on the server-side. Then I'm going to write a few different XSL stylesheets to transform it as well. Fun stuff. Good practice.

I have an idea. all capital letters, PB = evil drug. :( all lowercase letters, pb = happy blogger. :)

oh no: "Defense Department officials presented the 385-page review of scientific literature on the drug pyriostigmine bromide, or PB, at a news conference today."

My poor, little, innocent nickname is about to be associated with something very evil.

epinions is now syndicating review headlines (along with a short excerpt) in rss. cool.

Today I'm listening to Ocean Colour Scene's moseley shoals. It rocks and then some.

"As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love." - Thich Nhat Hanh

For epinions to really be successful, I think they'll need to let people publish their reviews on their own sites with their own design. Perhaps each review would also need to be published in an XML format they designate; so all reviews can include common elements.

With this system, users would have the ability to choose between the epinions business-like, formal interface...or the hundreds of interesting interfaces from hundreds of interesting people.

Saturday, as I drove to San Francisco, I noticed that the sky was filled with smoke. I walked out of my house yesterday and found my car coated with gray ash.

I predict that syndication and content XMLization will reduce the power of centralized content sources like epinions. And it won't be long.

I agree. I think epinions is a vacuum sucking content that would otherwise be on people's personal sites to make money. The reviews have a very corporate personality beyond the words. Design is important.

Taken to the extreme, everyone's content could look exactly the same with micropayments taking precedence over creativity/personality.

brigitte eaton: "it seems like everyone is really getting into the epinions thing. am i odd because i'm not that interested in it? although, i decided that i should at least sign up for an account. i just don't feel inspired to spread my opinions in that way."

I buy a lot of used books. One feature/problem with this is seeing the passages the previous owner(s) felt motivated to underline, scratch out, or otherwise highlight. Trying to determine their motivation for choosing that particular passage can be maddening. This is especially true of my copy of Kafka's The Trial. (e.g. this phrase marked with a faint line: "Everything lay in perfect order, but in his agitation he could not find at first the identification papers for which he was looking.")

I'd like to go through every used book I own, writing down each amplified passage. I think the combined phrases would make a great novel.

Couldn't make it to Fray Day 3? You missed singers and poets. People with stories. And sticky nametags with your favorite word instead of your name. Here are the photos. When it was all said and done it was tough to get a cab.

hope for the best. prepare for the worst. "Disaster recovery planners anticipate widespread, long-lasting interruption of water, electric and gas service, and disruption of major transportation links." hmm...sounds like y2k.

At least when California eventually drops off into the ocean, we can enjoy nice weather during the ride down. Can you imagine an earthquake during a blizzard? brrr! and agghhh!

The "BIG ONE" in the Midwest

No Escape to the East: "Six million people living in midwestern states could be at risk if an earthquake occured along the New Madrid fault line which runs diagonally from Marked Tree, Arkansas to southeastern Missouri."

Quake forecast: There's 'no escape': "A new Bay Area earthquake forecast gives a seven out of 10 chance that one or more damaging quakes, at least as big as the $20 billion Northridge quake of 1994, will strike the region within 30 years."

Tonight I stayed up late implementing a cool new Blogger feature. I'm using it to make this post right now. From anywhere on the web, I can right-click and instantly bring up a Blogger form, populated with a link to the page I'm on, plus any text I have selected. A little edit, and a click, and it's posted here. I love it!
me too!

Go--not knowing where.
Bring--not knowing what.
The path is long, the way unknown.

- Russian Fairy Tale

I listened to an excellent documentary on NPR last night called The Forgotten Fourteen Million. With our economy the strongest it has ever been, it was shocking to me to hear this: "The rate of child poverty in the United States is more than double that in most developed countries." Listen to this.

To what shall
I liken the world?
Moonlight, reflected
In dewdrops,
Shaken from a crane's bill.

- Dogen

The area I live in is described as a "nuclear free zone" on the sign that you see on the way into town. I wish the world was a nuclear free zone. Looks like that's not going to happen any time soon.

I'm back in California. I left my house at 6:45, arrived at work at 9:30. The traffic flow rarely topped out at around 30 mph. I scoured 2 lots and made stunt turns before finding a place to park. and this was a good day.

As ev and meg may have told you, there's a new version of up and running. It's definately more us.

I had a dream this afternoon that I had founded a new school of zen based on XML.

Greetings from Nebraska!

The silver screen wizardry of Hal Needham reached its dizzying zenith with Cannonball Run. But we can't forget his earlier cb lingo ridden Smokey and the Bandit. (and who would want to?) Search through this deconstruction of Burt Reynolds to find references to Needham's genious. over.

cb guy: 10-4, 99. Lincoln Town bound.

media consumer: say, what's all this "y-2-k" hullabaloo about?

The following quotes are from articles I read today:

"The so-called Y2K problem exists because many older computers and software programs recognize only the last two digits of the year and could mistakenly interpret "00'' as 1900."

"The Y2K bug could cause older computers, which may read only the last two digits of a year, to mistake 2000 for 1900, leading to errors or malfunctions over the turn of the year."

"The year 2000, or Y2K, problem occurs because some computer programs, especially older ones written to recognize only the last two digits of a year, might fail when the date changes from 1999 to 2000."


Gomez was at the Fillmore last night. solid. Too bad I missed them.

Ozomatli has a new all flash site that's not nearly as cool as their old colorful, fun HTML site. It also makes it hard to link directly to anything on their site; like tour information.

Complaining aside, these guys rock the house and they're going to be at the Fillmore in SF on October 29th.


I might need one of these. probably.

Metagrrrl sent a fun box of plastic wonderment from Archie McPhee! Examining all of the magic goodies within is the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon. Meg has already lined the office with plastic frogs, skulls, eyeballs, and more! Wind-up sharks are rolling across the floor! Thanks, Dinah!