:Archive Of September 2000:

Saturday, September 30, 2000

- 1:43 PM -

CDs are the backup media of choice for an individual, but digging through the collection for something sometime a year ago can be a chore. There must be a little program that takes a snap of all the directories and file names, with thumbnails, and then lets me scroll through that like I do in Explorer. When I click a file, it would say "Insert CD #_____" and then take me directly to that file. Is there such a program?

Friday, September 29, 2000

- 1:09 PM -

Two more. Jason and Ben Brown. That's six.

What? Not Lance? Hm. Maybe it's all part of the Glasdog World Domination...

Thursday, September 28, 2000

- 7:13 PM -

Now wait just a minute. That's four. Four well know bloggers enter the write-an-essay-to-win TiVo contest and win. Almost instantly. I smell conspiracy. Is the Great Plot to get them to gush about TiVo's as free advertising? To turn these Creative Dreadnoughts back into media-watching couch pilots? Something more sinister? Or just someone in the awards department is a blog junkie?

Oh: it's Rory, Neale, Taylor, and Derek. So far. Who will be the next to fall? [cue Survivor theme]

Wednesday, September 27, 2000

- 7:49 PM -

Rory has a major project underway and his deadline involves an airline ticket. So, he's blogging about scarves.... As a friend I should encourage him to return his fevered brain to the straight and narrow. Ditch the scarf for fear of strangulation while his nose is so close to the spinning grindstone. I should send him helpful "git at it" messages, and I should redouble my efforts on my own hot project.

Yes, I should be doing that. But my brain is a nice brain that treats me well and I've been pushing it hard lately. Right now it wants to talk about the scarves. Go figure.

So. Knitted wool things. Canada has always been a popular destination for young Germans. The call of the wild and the allure of the mythical Indian cultures. Some of these kids even return when they've hit their thirties and have turned their youthful idealism to becoming the bourgeoisie they had despised. Then they do things like make a hunting lodge for other Germans to come shoot our rare raincoast white bears.

In the seventies/eighties my German vagabond buddies and their friends had the most disgusting ratty sweaters that they wore constantly as badge of office. I had some understanding of why a middle/upper class youth needs clothing that screams character, for I did that myself. I had a brutally worn out leather flight jacket [stolen from my father who I suspect was not allowed to wear it after he got married] and a beaten fedora from my days as a canoeing bush brat. I wore them everywhere. Then the damn Indiana Jones movie came out. After a year I realized that craze was not going away and I retired my beloved hat. Sad day. But I finally took the bait and asked a German what's with these really terrible sweaters. Seems the sweater had to be knitted by the wearer, and having more gaps and mistakes was a measure of manly ineptitude.

Got a scarf story? Send it to Rory. Me, I'm going to tempt my brain back in its cage with more coffee.

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

- 5:58 PM -

more will-code-for-latte dept:

Jeremy points to Website Unseen. They've got a list of titles. Pick a title, pay them $100, and they'll make the art web site for you. Very sharp.

[Small design detail. Titles in red are taken. Titles in red and underlined you can click to view. If, like me, you got tired of seeing links both in colour and underlined, so turned underlining off, you will just see red. Oopsy, guys. But it only fails for persnickety web types who dislike that redundancy.]

Saturday, September 23, 2000

- 11:45 AM -

Hey, now that's a really bad idea!

Few years ago a chap got fed up and quit his suffocating writing job. He put on his suit, took a chair out to the sidewalk, put his typewriter on his knees, and taped a sign to it "60 second novels. $1." He did great. Had a blast, learned a lot, met plenty of people he never would have otherwise. Wrote a few magazine articles about it, and I think there was a book.

So. Is the web ready for prime time? Who's going to do the same with a laptop, little sign saying "Web Pages. $1" Code 'em a quickie, maybe sneak in a webcam snap of them, and hand them the floppy. Who's up for that?

Friday, September 22, 2000

- 11:39 AM -

One of the many nice moments viewing the park past my monitor: It's a sunny, warm, blustery autumn day, with the leaves collecting in swirled piles. Two toddlers are making little running kicks in the piles, and throwing leaves up with their tiny arms. For the first time in their lives.

Have a great Fray Day, Derek.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

- 8:27 PM -

Sweet! Very nicely done, Stewart. I had been thinking of knocking off their front end, calling it Gogh ["we've got an ear on the ground"] and perhaps light, light grey starry night swirls in the white field, but I can't compete with this. Great giggle.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

- 1:23 PM -

Tedious. In the last two days Hotmail sometimes remembers my logon and password. I've previously told MSIE to not remember my passwords, and I do not use this option on Hotmail's site. I also have userdata persistence [cookies for companies that don't want you to know about it] turned off. Basically there is no way in hell that information should be helpfully popping up on the screen. Since it doesn't happen every time, I'm having trouble testing for the source. Now, it could simply be that Hotmail is having trouble again. Maybe some of their servers are misconfigured momentarily. It might not mean at all that Microsoft has some really evil bastards who should be criminally charged for invasion of privacy, illegal wiretapping, and fraud on the same scale the US government went after that idiot hacker in the Philippines who wrote the I Love You trojan. No, I probably just ate too much cheese before going to bed. Everything is safe and warm and the corporations love me and take care of me. Baaaaa. Baaaaa.

Monday, September 18, 2000

- 5:16 PM -

Lately I've been studying a lot of design. I like design. Always have. From traditional Japanese aesthetic to candy-chrome hotrods to grumpy modernism. Spumco through Rembrant, gum wrappers through cathedrals. The vocabulary and the ideas are remarkable. It's the ocean I breath.

I don't want to overstress this, but sometimes I think some web designers lose perspective. Start to see themselves as the Crucial Pinions of Design, instead of a branch, like postcards. (Which I also enjoy and respect. The effect of a Sowa stuck to the refrigerator should not be underestimated.) I'm glad people take their work to heart, it's just that sometimes I want to yell that design did not begin in 1994. Or when you turned sixteen. It's a human language that's been around a long, long time. Get out and mingle in it. The web is no island.

But it is bandwidth. If you want it to be, it's your rocket roller coaster. Just don't confuse it with the sky.

- 4:34 PM -

One of the other reasons I'm single is that when I do get around to sweeping, a dust ball the size of a buick will quickly form and I'll start singing "here kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty!" while herding it across the room.

Would somebody please call me a mothership?

Sunday, September 17, 2000

- 4:21 PM -

If you haven't heard, hear now: A List Apart has moved to alistapart.zeldman.com. Update your bookmarks, update your links, tell your friends, post notice on your blog. Jeffrey has been fighting domain dinosaurs for over a week. This part we can help out with. Let's make the transition smooth for him.

- 2:27 PM -

Tis Sunday. The cathedral beside me has been ringing it's peculiar celebration to God. As an addition this morning a sea cadet band has formed below my window and is tuning up. This includes bagpipes. You know bagpipes? That's the instrument the Irish gave the Scots centuries ago. Seems they haven't got the joke yet.

Saturday, September 16, 2000

- 11:44 PM -

"That's it!"

"Uh-oh. What's it?"

"You know the part where you cross the Styx and meet Cerebus?"

"Um, heard of it, yeah.."

"So the gates will be golden arches."

"Oh. my. god."

"Yeah! and of course your obligatory audience with satan will involve climbing an immense aztec pyramid under the lightless steel sky to find..."


"On his throne, baby."

"That's it. I'm not going to die."

- 9:28 AM -


Although there is a stationwagon.com, there doesn't seem to be a website celebrating that other suburban requisite, the big cabinet TV. I once had a student job at a Used Everything store. By then, you couldn't give one away. Several times we'd get a call to go appraise furniture for an elderly lady and they'd always have a massive, mint, high-end, old cabinet TV that they were sure would get them some real money. And why not? It'd cost a fortune 20 years before, worked perfectly, and had a gorgeous solid wood cabinet. So we'd stand there being very polite, gently explaining that we weren't trying to get the price down, that we truthfully didn't want it at all, even for free. Did every one of them get thrown out? Was the attrition that great? With the breadth of kitsch celebrated on the web, why can't I find an artistic homage to the cabinet TV? No pictures of them lined up forever in somebody's yard in Arizona? Dusty, once proud symbols of wealth and taste ...gone, all gone, like the buffalo. We should have made a park for them.


Thursday, September 14, 2000

- 9:59 PM -

From Slashdot:

"It seems like HD manufacturers may be feeling the heat about MP3s and MPEGs. Fujitsu has just put out a press release about putting what they are calling 'Media ID' for their hard drives, which will identify each individual hard drive. Applications utilizing this feature can 'prevent reading of copied information.' Ugh!"

Great, paper that can snitch on you. Has it come to that?

- 3:56 PM -

All right, this flash will bite you. Turn it up and annoy your work mates. Blame Nick for sending it to me.

- 3:12 PM -

Andrew Mundi, Principles Of Graphic Design. I had forgotten this. Use it as introduction, review, or to understand your art department. So much information so quickly communicated. And it's in flash, because this is what flash does well. Go try it. This flash won't bite. As different as Bach is from the Spice Girls.

Go to his home page for a nice Web Color Theory tool he's added or I missed before.

Wednesday, September 13, 2000

- 9:07 PM -

I haven't written much lately. I've been absorbing. I haven't been finding as many pithy bits to link to, or seed crystals to kick my essays, just lots of really sound articles. Almost all of these have been on non-commercial personal sites. Very smart people have taken the time to compose what they know and publish it for anyone to read. Thank you all. I can't tell you how much it helps. I'm reading as fast as I can.

Tuesday, September 12, 2000

- 9:02 PM -

The church beside me is practicing its bells. [I suppose a church that big is technically a cathedral.] So I turned on my stereo in defence and the radio station began a concerto being played on a five thousand pipe organ. The mix is remarkable.

- 6:58 PM -


Because I can't link directly to the post I'll quote it here:

Nothing new, but the Extreme Programming site has lots of good ideas. Makes me wonder how many other disciplines could be improved using this approach. What if we did user-interface design the same way: extreme user-interface design ("extreme design")? Doesn't look like anyone has made this connection yet.

From Victor Lombardi's blog, Noise Between Stations. Read the blog, read the homepage.

Good call, Victor!

Friday, September 08, 2000

- 7:12 PM -

Wood trim. Grandeur. Dragging mufflers and overloaded suspensions. It's all here. Stationwagon.com.

Sunday, September 03, 2000

- 11:36 AM -

One of the things about living beside a huge stone church, is bells. The bell tower has a number of bells, hand-pulled. The bells go on for quite a bit each Sunday to punish the sins of Saturday night. They also go on many other days for ceremonies and I suppose wedding and funerals. And the pullers practice every Thursday. Being of the Bob's-yer-Flower temperament, I first said, "Wow! Bells!" Trouble is, the pullers aren't very good at it. Some of the pieces are a little interesting, but their favorite piece is an ongoing collision of dissonance. All my brain can do with this is produce a slow-motion video of Jersey cows tumbling down the Alps. Lots of cool camera angles and carnage.

Today there is an added feature. I don't know if it's something to do with the long weekend, or if it's what it sounds like. In the distance a Tibetan horn has been blowing. All morning.

Happy Sunday.

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