June 29, 2000

Now on the contact page: live video! (probably requires a fast connection, and yeah, I should get something better than the $25 webcam I'm currently using). I can't be held accountable for anyone spontaneously going to sleep after watching me work at a computer all day.
[11:08 AM]

June 28, 2000

My Dad strikes again. He unearthed and scanned in an old image lying around the house, this one from a trip I took to yosemite with an old girlfriend during college.

I remember it was a winter in California where we got loads of rain and snow, all the way into May and June. This was during the first week or two of June, and you can see snow on Half Dome and El Capitan. A couple days later, we drove down to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park, and it snowed so bad we got stuck.

Looking at the picture also reminds me I should probably grow my hair out again.
[6:34 PM]

The other night, I went and got a veggie burger with Dinah, and since she couldn't break a twenty, I split the meal by giving her $10 via paypal. Boring you say? Well, I used my phone to complete the entire transaction. It took about four screens and maybe two minutes to complete, all in my little WAP browser.

I was pretty amazed that it worked so well and that I could actually do this in the year 2000. They really should offer screenshots of their WAP site, it was beautiful in its simplicity.
[4:25 PM]

June 27, 2000

Congratulations Greg! I'm surprised Greg isn't running a poll for everyone to name the new guy though. :)
[10:22 AM]

Note to self: get a copy of The Meme Machine, a book on how memes spread with a possible genetic link, and think about its application to internet/web/weblog phenomena
[10:04 AM]

June 26, 2000

Since some others mentioned going back through their history at amazon, I decided to take a peek at mine. It took some digging, as I had to recall what email address I was using when I started out. My first purchase:

December 26, 1996 - 1:47 PM PST
Creating Killer Web Sites - D. Siegel

Looking back, it wasn't that bad of a book at the time. No one was really pushing design boundries until Siegel came along with his giant images, lack of alt text, and single pixel gifs. We're still paying the price of his suggestions, but they were in hindsight, not entirely a bad thing.
[11:54 PM]

June 25, 2000

You know, I hate to be a preachy vegetarian type, but I swung by a Burger King today and they were selling Chicken Tenders Kids Meals with a Free Chicken Run Movie toy.

I haven't seen Chicken Run yet, but I assume it has something to do with chickens saving themselves from getting killed and/or eaten.

I have to commend Burger King for such a great merchandising opportunity. I know McDonalds is kicking themselves for not offering free Babe trinkets with the purchase of an Egg McMuffin® sandwich. I could picture the commercial now:

McDonalds employee: "Can I get you anything else with that McMuffin® sir?"
Man [finishing McMuffin® while patting his belly]: "That'll do pig. That'll do."
[9:03 PM]

If I hadn't said it enough already, Deepleap rocks, it really does. I posted my bookmarks, complete with short descriptions of my current daily surf and utilities lists. When I come home at night, I try to sweep through everything in my weblogs category, but the list keeps getting longer, and everyone keeps writing more. So, please, everyone stop writing. I can barely keep up.

I also brewed up a MetaFilter plugin for deepleap. It still needs a little tweaking, but it's almost there. When it's done and ready to go, it'll be on the public lists, available to any other deepleap user.
[2:50 PM]

June 24, 2000

Starting in about an hour: a six hour Simpsons marathon. Have I seen every episode that will be shown? Of course. Will it still be funny? Of course? Is it a pathetic way to spend a Saturday night? Of cour...heh!
[4:55 PM]

Last night, I went to another party at peterme's (Peter's quite the party animal, eh? No, he's just a great person for opening up his home to web folks), and I can finally say that I successfully used his bathroom without getting stuck.

It was a small victory, but worth mentioning. baby steps...
[3:10 PM]

Apparently what's on my mind, is also on someone else's. Whoah, I just got a sense of deja vu.

I suppose it's my own fault, my copyright message in the source was meant to be cheeky and poke fun at overactive copyrights, but it pretty much lets anyone do what they want with what they see here. I've been working on a redesign, so I guess I'll just continue on that and put it up sooner than later.
[10:26 AM]

June 23, 2000

I just had a small geek rush on meeting the woman that chooses and puts the animals on O'Reilly books.
[2:57 PM]

Dang! Tim Finn is playing bimbos tonight and I'm already busy with stuff to do this evening. I have a soft spot in my heart for Crowded House, I can't explain why.

Actually I can. When I started college, I had this friend that was a superfan. He had all their stuff, their autographs, and set lists from their previous shows. A friend of his worked at Capitol Records, so when they came to LA, we got some tickets and backstage passes. It was fun to attend a concert with someone that had so much enthusiasm for the band. The show was great, Crowded House sounded good and they did a lot of funny, playful things with the audience. I also loved that show because the opening act was Richard Thompson, someone I'd never heard of at the time, but thoroughly enjoyed then and now. After the show, we got to go backstage and meet them, but Neil Finn was swarmed with people and I can't remember what I said to him, but he enjoyed it and signed a poster my superfan friend forced me to bring.
[12:43 PM]

June 21, 2000

Them: "Thank you for calling PacBell DSL customer service, how may I help you?"
Me: "I can't send any mail out on the mail.pacbell.net SMTP server. The only messages I can get out are on my pacbell account, and they have to be sent to a @pacbell.net address. Everything else is spitting out errors."
Them: "Hmm...I haven't heard of that before. You can receive mail?"
Me: "Yeah, but the relay seems to be locked down, even though I'm on the PacBell network."
Them: "When did this start?"
Me: "Saturday. I suddenly couldn't send out mail, then on Sunday I could, but since Monday night I haven't been able to."
Them: [sudden change in voice] "Ok, sir...we are currently experiencing problems with our mail server and are working on it diligently."
Me: "What? Do you have an approximate timeframe for when the problems may be solved?"
Them: "We don't have a date sir, but we are working on it."
Me: "Hmm. That's odd, it doesn't say anything on the network status page"
Them: "No sir, it does not. But we are working on it."
Me: "Ok, so you've had this problem for days without telling anyone and you have no idea when it will be fixed."
Them: "Correct sir, I'm very sorry about this."
Me: "Ok, thanks for your help."

PacBell is so helpful.
[10:14 PM]

Wow, the goofiness made the ifilm.com index page, under their "must see" section. I'm utterly amazed.
[6:02 PM]

And it just keeps getting worse...
Well apartment hunting isn't going that well and it doesn't look like I'll have a new place by July 1st. I have to get my cats out of LA by June 30th, but I can't have them where I'm at currently, so if anyone in the bay area knows of or can suggest a temporary place for them, could you let me know?
[5:27 PM]

I've been looking for an apartment in San Francisco since April, by casually checking out the Craigslist. On most days, there's only 1 or 2 places that sound affordable and liveable, and I always thought if I did find something I'd like, it wouldn't be that hard to get. But then I see messages like this, where the person posting a decent place is getting over a 100 information requests via email, I know my chances of getting something from that source are nil.

I'm not quite at this point, but I'm getting there...
[10:41 AM]

June 20, 2000

To get up to speed on XSL, I bought this book, and subscribed to this list. After a couple weeks, I noticed a particularly sharp member was correctly answering almost every question, and until I looked down at my book last night, I had no idea it was the author.

Now, I wouldn't suggest other authors do this, as I would never expect a computer book author to have enough time to devote to the development community, but when they do, it's amazing. Michael Kay is my new hero.
[10:53 AM]

June 19, 2000

Its been a while since I examined the effect of poor grammar. This site set me straight. Irregardless of weather you write alot, you should check the it out (6 errors purposely added).
[4:19 PM]

June 15, 2000

The greatest band in the world is finally releasing a CD. I pressed a couple CDs worth of their stuff before, but look forward to their debut label release and their movie. Nothing beats seeing them live though...
[10:34 PM]

After dropping jack off at his Haight apartment, I continued down the street, headed to a neighborhood in the Outer Sunset to look at a new place. On the way, I crossed the intersection of Haight and Ashbury. Now, I'm in a car, and not walking down the street, but I immediately sense the impact of the place. I could tell I was somewhere special, a place where big things happened, a nexus of social change.

And then I saw it. A Gap store. A fucking Gap store. On the corner of Haight and Ashbury, there's a fucking Gap.

I wonder when a McDonalds is going to open at Lenin's Tomb?
[9:47 PM]

That Neale is a genius. He came up with most of this, I just moved the figures around on my desk and shot them with my webcam. Now that I remember, it was a little weird to get stage directions via icq from someone in Australia. If you learned nothing else today, know that the wonder of the internet enables stuff like this to happen.
[5:50 PM]

I found a huge gaping hole in the utility of Thesaurus.com (and all the other online thesaurus providers).

There's no profane words in their databases. One of the primary uses for a thesaurus (at least in my head) is saying to yourself "I want to say "blow smoke up your ass, but in a nice way" or "I want to say 'hey I'm not bullshitting you' but I need a nicer word than 'bullshitting' for this crowd."

So for all you startup developers, or wannabe startups, please build me this profanity-to-nicer-word application, you'll get lots of traffic by people that want to sound better, more educated, and more sophisticated than they actually are.

Oh, and it'd be really fucking cool if you did.
[4:55 PM]

The great thing about life is that it is unexpected. The bad thing about life is how unexpected it is. Funny how that works.

The place I've been staying at for the last couple months, and planned to stay in for some time is most likely going to be up for sale soon. This means I have to bow down and pray to the Craigslist and RentTech gods for (*gasp*) an apartment in San Francisco.

[11:01 AM]

June 14, 2000

In case you didn't already know this, let me reiterate a golden rule of computing (call it Haughey's Law, if you will):

There's nothing more dangerous than a parent knowing how to use a scanner

I give you exhibits A and B, shots of me at age 15 ripping it up on my bike.

I used to ride 2-4 hours everyday from the age of about ten up until some point in college, when I was around twenty one or so. When I moved out to LA three years ago, I left my bmx bike behind, and whenever I turn on ESPN to see people riding ramps, street, or ground (some of them I knew and rode with many years ago) I start missing it all over again. I'm eyeballing a new Hoffman Bikes model that I might buy. If I do get it, I hope I can find time to ride again.
[4:40 PM]

Wow: Scott McCloud is doing a monthly online column/comic
[2:46 PM]

As the astute commander of the obvious, I have to say: It's really damn hot outside!
[1:00 PM]

June 13, 2000

TNT is running a Shaft marathon right now to help promote the new Shaft movie, but damn, seeing it on TV isn't even close to the real thing. Among the many cuts made, they took out the best line in the movie:

Tom: "Hey where the hell you going Shaft?"
Shaft: "To get laid, where the hell are you going?"

It's sad to see a cool cat like Shaft watered down for television.
[10:58 PM]

My favorite program on public radio is Morning Becomes Eclectic. They put out some good CDs, and they have all their past archives online (link leads to a local copy of a search so it doesn't cripple their servers). The Jurassic 5 show is damn good.
[4:29 PM]

I forgot about the benefits of having to pack and move everything you own: finding long lost CDs you love.
[3:40 PM]

June 11, 2000

My contribution to the new {fray} story: Now let us never speak of this again...
[11:10 PM]

June 10, 2000

I played with TerraServer when it came out a while ago, and remember finding my neighborhood in LA pretty easily. After seeing Ev locate his childhood home, I tried to do the same. About three minutes later, I found the street I grew up on. Crazy.

I can't believe I found it that quickly, I'd never seen the city from above, but navigating by landmarks is a lot easier than I thought. First I found Cal State Fullerton on the 16 mile out photo, and from there I could see the nearby park I grew up next to, with its lake in the middle. Next to the park was my junior high school, complete with the track I used to finish dead last on in the mile event (I was a distance runner, not a sprinter). On the other side of the park is the golf course my dad used to occasionally work at on the weekends. Across the street was the quirky condo complex that had far too much green space, and in it was the street I grew up on, right near where the community tennis courts were. 2320 Teton Circle, oh how I miss thee.

I doubt the creators of TerraServer ever thought a bunch of old photographs on a server could trigger waves of memories from users, but it certainly does. I'll also agree with Ev that it's kind of wacky to know my pre-web, childhood memories are on a webserver somewhere.
[7:46 PM]

June 9, 2000

Last night, as I was walking past the San Francisco Microsoft Store, I had the strong urge to walk in, take a t-shirt from the racks, and tear it into two pieces. I wonder what the staff would think...
[4:15 PM]

The Jesus action figures are in the building. Expect humorous/lewd/sacrilegious things from those two...
[11:32 AM]

As I was listening to the last Save Ferris CD on the way to work today, I realized the best song on the disc is the "hidden" track at the very end. It's not like most hidden tracks, which are often bad dubs of the artists goofing around in the studio, no, this hidden track is a full-fledged, well-produced song.

But it sits on track 11, starting at eight minutes and fifteen seconds into that track, instead of occupying a spot on the disc as track 1 or track 7. When I want to hear it, I have to skip to 11, then hold down the fast forward button until I hear it pop out of the two minutes of silence that follows the first song at track 11. Doing this while driving adds to the difficulty and frustration.

All I want to know is, what were they thinking? Why'd they stick a perfectly rockin' song into a hidden track?
[10:46 AM]

June 7, 2000

Around the dinner table tonight, the topic of weblog popularity came up, so we took turns one-upping each other about how little we care about being popular.

"I check beebo only once a week or so"

"Well, I check it once every couple of weeks, but I noticed my site is number 3 now!"

"It's not your site, it's a community site!"

"I check maybe once a month. Maybe."

"I deleted my bookmark to it weeks ago"

"You had it bookmarked? I've never done that before."

"Ok, I admit it, I read beebo...but only for the articles."
[11:25 PM]

A small part of me wishes micropayments actually worked on the web. Because then, I'd gladly pay Greg Knauss a pocketfull of change for every wonderful, funny, insightful, hilarious, amazing, and/or touching thing I read at eod.com

Maybe in the meantime, more site owners should post their wishlists, and I'd buy them stuff for the all the great thoughts and ideas they've been nice enough to share with me.
[3:45 PM]

June 6, 2000

Damn, I'm so exhausted when I get home from work I can hardly touch my computer. Today while I worked, I sat in pretty much the same position for 12 hours, and now my back and shoulders hurt a little, but what really feels worked out is my head. Concentrating on coding actually makes my brain feel tired, especially if it's database scripting, because you have to keep both the data model, and the presentation output in your noggin at the same time. I'm so wiped from concentrating all day, that when I came home, I had a beer and watched tv to unwind, like I'm some sort of coal miner or something

When I was a kid, my parents would incessantly tell me to pursue a field that would rely on my mind, instead of my hands. They've been working 12 hour days, 6 days a week since I was born 27 years ago, and they would remind me at every opportunity that I should use my head instead.

But after the past few weeks of concentrating-until-I'm-exhausted, I think when I have a kid, I'm going to convince him/her to be either a pro bowler, or a carnie. No sense in wasting all your energy on back-breaking physical or mental labor.
[9:49 PM]

It's nice to see a country club has a sense of humor (scroll down to the latest news)
[5:59 PM]

My old coworker Carlos has to give away his cats, which are friggin' adorable (and hilarious) in that photo. Anyone in the LA area that can take them in should contact Carlos at the phone/email address shown on his page.
[5:18 PM]

June 5, 2000

I started recounting a funny anecdotal thing that happened several hours ago, but it grew too big for this space, so I moved it over here.
[1:01 AM]

June 4, 2000

So I'm sitting in Paul's house and he wants to put on music that agrees with us both. A quick perusal of his collection reveals 75% of it is country and the rest is dinosaur rock. I remember he has one or two good discs, but I forgot that I borrowed the Johnny Cash and left it in my car. He says "Beach Boys?" And not having too much of a bad reaction results in the Beach Boys playing while we continue the house construction.

I used to think of the Beach Boys as a Disney-ified version of 50's/60's rock - safe, free of edgy-ness, lyrics not really thought-provoking, but the disc starts playing and I think "you know, maybe I was wrong, they do kind of rock in a small way."

Then "Be True to Your School" comes on.

Man, were they ever lame.
[4:06 PM]

I see that Fugazi is going to play a free concert today, and I have to go up to the city for a party anyway, so I thought I'd try and catch the show. I message an LA friend who I know has seen them and ask if fugazi is good live and he says yeah, he loves them and he'll get a second opinion from his girlfriend. She says "is this for the free show in San Francisco?"

And a red flag goes up.

If someone in Los Angeles knows about the free show up here and urges me to go, you just know it's so well-known that it's going to be overcrowded.
[11:17 AM]

Last week I bought some action figures online. Once I get my black jesus and my white jesus action figures together, I'm going to let them fight it out. Watch the webcam for the no-holds-barred battle. It'll be the "Mayhem in Bethlehem," the "Messiahs in the Playa," the "Battle for the Chattel," the "Libel for the Bible."

Let's get ready to grummmmmmmbbbbblle!
[10:30 AM]

I'm wiped out. Last night, I installed windows 2000 advanced server, sql server, and exchange server on my new metafilter box, but I don't think I got the directory services set up quite right; it currently takes about 20-30 minutes to reboot while it "prepares network connections."

I hate setting up new computers because you're a prisoner of the almighty status bar. For six hours, I watched colored bars turn from 11% complete to 12% complete to 13% complete, etc., until exchange finished and I went home after 1am. Windows needs more unattended install options.
[10:12 AM]

June 3, 2000

I needed to call my uncle today, and I couldn't remember his out-of-state number. So I called my parents - no answer. I call my brother, and he can't track it down, but my parents happened to be visiting, so I got to ask my dad. He couldn't remember his own brother's phone number. I ask for my other uncle's number, but he's on vacation or something. I think "oy", the family can't remember their own numbers anymore.

Then on a whim, I try out four11.com (which I forgot Yahoo bought some time ago), put in his last name and city, and boom: one result found, and it's my uncle.

I mention this here because it illustrates how the web is greatly eclipsing the amount of knowledge that a group of humans could ever keep track of. Very soon, you won't have to remember lots of things, just where to find the information quickly. The web is making this externalized knowledge possible, and I don't know if it'd happen without it.

I wonder when trivia shows like Jeporady!™ will give up on needing human encyclopedias as contestants and just start allowing the use of search engines by players?
[1:52 PM]

June 1, 2000

Well it looks like my DSL woes are over. This router/hub/firewall from Linksys installed in about fifteen minutes (including a firmware upgrade I had to do to get it to play nice with PacBell's system). Everything on the home network is talking to it with ease. I bought it after running into loads of software proxy server problems, so after reading a bunch of messages at deja like this one, and talking to Dinah, it sounded like the perfect solution. An added bonus is that it's blue and full of LED lights, which is of course instantly adds coolness to the room.
[10:43 PM]

Note to self: read this when you get home.

In college, I once stumbled upon a traffic engineering book and read it cover to cover looking for the whys and hows of freeway design (growing up in Southern California had something to do with my fascination with traffic). I was surprised, and dismayed to find that most engineers treated drivers as fluids and liked to induce bottlenecks every so often, so they could "control" traffic flows in sections, like one would control sections of plumbing.

But I knew that humans in cars were not at all like fluids that could be modelled as cleanly as the authors thought. I was happy to see this site about traffic behavior, because it touched on the psychology of drivers. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that in order to alleviate the traffic woes on the local freeways, psychologists should be employed in the design process of freeways, and that the psychology of driver behavior seems to be a poorly understood aspect of highway engineering. Hopefully the above article I just found goes deeper.
[11:56 AM]

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