January, 2002: 72 posts.
Here are the phrases:
to be removed
to be permanently removed
to get removed
to get off the list
to get off this list
to be taken off
to remove yourself
remove in subject line
“remove” in subject line
remove in the subject
“remove” in the subject
‘remove’ in the subject
For nearly four months now, leaders of the Muslim community in the United States, and even President Bush, have routinely asserted that Islam is a religion of peace that was hijacked by fanatics on Sept. 11.
These two assertions are simply untrue.
First, Islam — like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or any other religion — is not about peace. Nor is it about war. Every religion is about absolute belief in its own superiority and the divine right to impose its version of truth upon others. In medieval times, both the Crusades and the Jihads were soaked in blood. Today, there are Christian fundamentalists who attack abortion clinics in the United States and kill doctors; Muslim fundamentalists who wage their sectarian wars against each other; Jewish settlers who, holding the Old Testament in one hand and Uzis in the other, burn olive orchards and drive Palestinians off their ancestral land; and Hindus in India who demolish ancient mosques and burn down churches.
Now, religion itself can be a worthy thing, and gives comfort and support to billions of people. The trouble comes in when religion demands to be seen as the one true way to look at the world. Tolerance is golden.
This is such a good idea. Nobody has any idea what to do what that damn old MacII or 386, and what’s more disposing of them improperly lets all kinds of nasty toxics into our landfills.
Question: How come neither San Diego Goodwill Industries nor The City of San Diego‘s Environmental Services / Recycling Programs have anything about this on their websites? Granted, it’s a once-a-year event, but it deserves more play than a story in the U-T.
One of my favorite comics from the 1980’s was Matt Wagner’s original Mage: The Hero Discovered. I have thought that it would make a great movie for years. At one point even Kevin Smith was talking about doing something with it. I think the motion picture industry has caught up with the comics. Lord of the Rings shows us that we can do anything in the movies when it comes to fantasy effects, goblins, dragons. Mage has some hard-to-pull off scenes, but I think it could be done. And more, I think it should be done. The pacing is such that I think the storyline could fit into a movie nicely – 2 to 2 1/2 hours should do it. And more, given the political climate, it would probably sell. It’s about a man who does not want to be a hero, but whose circumstances push him toward heroism. Hardly a unique story, but a good one. Time will tell if Mage will get out of development hell.
It’s going to take 3 years, but that’s good timing since I’m not in L.A. now. Heh.
I’m a sucker for Griffith Observatory. When I was a kid, maybe 6 or 7 years old I saw a planetarium show there that included a bit on constellations, and speculated on creatures from outer space. They included some pulp SF covers which scared the daylights out of me! I wish I knew which covers they were, it would be cathartic to see them again. That was also the era of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, aggravating my suggestibility. Oh, and I also have a soft spot for Paula Abdul’s Rush Rush, a song whose video features the observatory prominently — it copycats the plotline Rebel without a Cause. When I lived in L.A., I would often go up there to look, especially when I had visitors. One visitor from stands out: Jenny and Joe @ Griffith Park Observatory, 1996. And yes, that’s the Hollywood sign behind us – the camera is facing northwest.
In other genre news, I bought the new Buckaroo Banzai DVD today. I don’t usually frequent The Wherehouse, but the one I bought it at — near the San Diego Sports Arena — had a a spanish cover of Tainted Love playing, which was an appropriate strangeness to go with the purchase of the genre-bending Banzai.
I also picked up some yummy See’s Candy to bring to an impromptu party for my Aunt Sally, who was married 2 weeks ago. It was nice to see my Mom’s side of the family — the Silva’s. The company was wonderful, and there was lots of great food as well. I rarely see that part of my family, probably to my detriment.
Jenny and I had a wonderful time.
I’m not sure, but could it have been La Union I was listening to at the Wherehouse?
Update, 6:50pm Pacific
Doc on the new iMac. He was there — worth a read.
– Frank Zappa
Well, The most modern and current versions of Windows IE 5.5 and 6 apparently are taking us back a few years when these holes were more common.
So, Microsoft in so doing is making liars of all of us who have “why cookies are safe” pages on sites.
I’m sick of their idiocy.
– David Byrne
There are not many people on the planet who I can keep up with and can keep up with me while: eating antipasto and pizza; talking about Justice League, the W3C, section 508, CSS, web accessibility, the Web Standards Project, mailing lists, web.archive.org, DeCSS, Jakob Nielsen, Apple Industrial Design and Anime. Kynn took the train down (he lives north quite a few miles) and used the excuse that he could get some writing done on the train.
Entirely stimulating, and a very long lunch. Thankfully, I have a flexible employer.
I think the neatest thing about today’s lunch is that I realized something core about what’s going on today. That the September 11th events have brought in many web geeks a desire to do something more — to work towards projects and things which matter in ways that maybe can’t be expressed as part of a stock portfolio or balance sheet. I had not put it into words that way, but Kynn’s right. More of my friends and acquaintances who do web work are thinking of it in very different terms.
The other thing that I realized is that The Web Standards Project has not by any stretch fulfilled it’s mission. Kynn made me understand even clearer that the W3C’s role is really as a technical standards body. The W3C’s role is not and never has been one of advocacy. They merely write up “Recommendations.” Well dammit, there’s a need for Advocacy out there, and that’s the reason the The Web Standards Project was born in the first place – to interact with developers, user agent creators, authoring tool vendors – everyone who uses web standards.
Along the same lines, this is interesting: There is no grassroots organization taking up the issue of Web Accessibility as something to fight for, and something to evangelize on. There are folks doing lobbying, and writing law, but there’s no independent group serving an advocacy role for web accessibility.
I love passionate groups of people banding together. I’d like to see something more in this area.
Much food for thought for me.
And the pizza was good too.
You can also search for more.
Once it became possible to float a profitless company on the NASDAQ and, with the proceeds, buy your way to respectability (as AOL did most spectacularly in its purchase of Time Warner), you might feel like a loser for not trying yourself. This dread of being left out, the rise of online trading — especially day trading — and “The Greater Fool theory of investment,” Cassidy contends, became the essential drivers of dot-com mania. (The “greater fool” theory of investments holds that what matters is not the earnings, or performance, of the company you hold stock in, but simply that you can resell its stock to a sucker for a more ridiculous markup than you paid).
Looks worth looking at.
The National Guard has formed up at the base of the mountain
And is attempting to lure the enormous poodle towards the cave
Where they hope to destroy it with napalm
A thousand of the troopers are now lined up
and are calling to the monster…
More reorgs and changes making the site more modular under the hood. The bio page was updated to include some new links and formatting as well as a link to me in a cheesy mustache. I also made some small changes to to jenny’s pages on artlung.com.
– Are you a chick?
– in the San Diego area?
– into fiber arts?
If this sounds like you, check out Stitch & Bitch
Lazy or busy or both.
Modern browsers do their own thing when it comes to DOCTYPE declarations, so for public websites, using a custom doctype would probably be inviting trouble. But for QA, it could be useful. Here’s another article on this issue which may be worth your time.
I also hope to add work that is more current for the pro section of the portfolio, again, detailing what I did or did not do on the sites in question. It’s important to me that I not overstate (or understate!) my role in the sites in question.
Time to go to work!
Mark Holmes of Nutshell Digital went to the San Diego Internet Marketers Association meeting last night. The featured speakers were folks from the esteemed Google, and I’m sorry I missed it. Mark posted a wrap up which is worth a read. ( via the WebSanDiego.org mailing list )
I know I find it useful in conversation to know more about the background of people – so I can communicate more effectively. If you know where a person comes from you’re more likely to know what kind of metaphors are going to resonate with them. I’m a strong believer in metaphor as a mechanism to teach and communicate. To my detriment at times. My wife and friend ewon still make fun of my “salty pie” metaphor, which I guess got out of hand and became ridiculous.
I compared an experience to mistaking salt for sugar when baking — but realizing the mistake halfway through — overcompensating by adding more sugar to cover it up. Thus, salty pie.
It makes sense to me.
In a related note: Kynn solved my MSIE6 bug with the current splash page – the trick was to put a false line-height of 3pixels. I had a <div> that was appearing 18 pixels high despite being given a height of 3 pixels. It was apparently making an affordance for text that was not there. Good to know.
Joe Calls Apple Tech Support
He Shoots He Scores!
So my trustyworthy AirPort Base Station which I have had and loved for a few years now is not responding. I’m currently on hold …. er …no I’m on the phone now…. just a sec…
Well, I went through the same troubleshooting with the amiable tech guy that I did on my own, and it looks like my base station is indeed hosed. They’re gonna send me a new one! Huzzah!
Kudos to Apple Tech Support!
It’s funny, when I called they asked if I had ever called Apple Support before, and I never ever had! This, despite the fact that I’ve owned two Macs for about six years. I think that says something about my experience as a customer.
Want to know what I miss? Lou’s Records. when I worked up in Solana Beach at EduPoint, I really enjoyed taking a ride up to Lou’s Records in Encinitas and browsing / buying their excellent stock. It’s a store in two buildings – one side is all used, and the other new. They also sell videos and other sundries. Good record stores are so hard to come by. I remember when I lived in Roanoke that I really treasured trips out of town. A trip to San Diego, L.A., or D.C. meant I could visit a Tower Records. When I lived in Charlottesville I would go to Plan 9, which was prettty good. Certainly better than anything in Roanoke.
Speaking of Charlottesville, I was living there when Dave Matthews was doing regular weekly shows. I always heard good things but never saw them play. Jenny is a huge fan of DMB and I still kick myself that I didn’t at least see them once. ( Note to self: pay attention to groups with strong grassroots followings ).
Dang, that was 10 years ago now that I missed out on Dave Matthews Band. I must be getting old.
Anyway…the take home message is this: New and Improved, Joe’s qualifications rendered in validating dynamic html ! And not a single <table> in sight. Kind of neat to see a design of mine not change when I run the Table-ize bookmarklet.
ESPN has announced that the 2001 Hilton U.S. OPEN broadcast will move to the network’s flagship channel — ESPN — and will air FRIDAY, February 8, 2002 at 1:00 pm EST
( How did it come to pass that I am interested in watching an organized sporting event? Bizarre. )
But a big part of the reluctance is the switching cost. People don’t want to have to fight with Windows to transfer all their old stuff over.
Now imagine if Apple provided, with their new iMacs, an iSwitch software suite.
After putting the new Mac on the home network, you put the iSwitch CD into your old windows box. Magically, all your old documents, bookmarks, and email begin to appear on the mac. The internet dialup configuration also transfers over. The pain of conversion disappears.
When it’s done, you turn off the windows PC — for the last time.
There must be migration packages out there. Heck, it would be useful to make a Windows box to Windows box migration kit as well. Something for the typical consumer who just wants to move their email and documents and jpegs. I think though, that people end up needing to know some geek, or kid, to help them with migrations of this sort.
Total time for installation and customization was about 5 hours total. This is valuable information in case I ever need to install an htdig search engine for a client. Lots of small details in doing this installation. I downloaded the installation as a tar.gz file, then decompressed that to a suitable location (cgi-bin). Then I had to do configure, make, make install. Installing unix software is always an adventure. This site runs FreeBSD (see: colophon, and I was delighted that it went pretty smoothly.
Then I was ready to start running it. This got tricky, but it was straightforward as I was able to tweak the conf/htdig.conf file to do what I like. rundig is the key to indexing a site. At first I had broken images, but it was working properly. The site initially indexes the htdig site itself. Just like any web robot, it goes out and looks at that site just as a browser would. This put my mind at ease, as I was not sure how it would deal with databased content, or the fact that the pages on my site are very include() driven. I was also concerned that because it is a local search engine, it would index files I don’t want indexed. The perl search engine I had originally installed had this problem. It would find older versions of files and garbage files that had become garbage for a reason.
As I got it working, and pointed it at artlung.com, I found a problem. The indexing process was taking far too long. Seems I had an infinite loop happening! In my accessibility slideshow from 1999 I had a problem. The [next] and [previous] links did not give any thought to whether they should actually show or not. The php for that I had written when I really knew very little php, and I ended up with the search engine indexing not just /words/accessibility/?i=0 to /words/accessibility/?i=10, but it was iteratively visiting the “next” and “previous” links like crazy. ?i=-1, ?i=-2, ?=-3, and on until I stopped it at ?i=-115. That would have been 115 versions of the “previous” page that was no different than the “first” poge. The PHP I had written in 1999 was smart enough to handle bad values for $i, but not smart enough to realize that there was no “previous” pages for those pages. The “next” links had the same problem. The htdig indexer was not smart enough to know that it was indexing hundreds of nearly identical pages. The solution was to fix the slideshow code so that it would not produce spurious links like that. After that fix, it was indexed properly and quickly. This is probably another reason that many search engines simply won’t touch pages with querystrings.
The next problem I had was that it was showing bad search results for certain pages. Example: I searched for the word “Zappa” – and I got far more results than I would have expected. Granted, I am a Frank Zappa Fan, but why would the bio page come up in a result for that? Turns out the indexer found the entry inside the bottom <select> box for my Frank Zappa piece. So the search engine was indeed finding an instance of the word “Zappa,” but not a useful one. The solution is to not include the bottom navigation in the pages served to the search engine. I also did the same thing with the blog such that the archived pages don’t show the outbound links to the indexer. In this way you don’t get each and every instance in navigation when you use the search engine. I suspect there will be more tweaks like this.
Next I began playing with the look and feel to match the rest of artlung.com. I used my preexisting styles and made graphical widgets for search results. They are pretty cute, actually. Buttons should look like they want to be clicked, and these even have a bevel! You can’t go wrong with a subtle bevel. I added the ht://Dig logo in a way to my liking (a banner along the bottom). I ended up changing several pages in htdig’s common directory: footer.html , header.html, long.html , and nomatch.html. I also edited the template_map variable to point to my own long.html file.
Once I got it working to my satisfaction I reran rundig manually for the last time, and swapped out the old google include for the new htdig include on the search page. With a highly include-driven site it’s very easy to make these kinds of changes.
The last thing I did was add a daily unix system cron job to reindex the site daily. The indexing process takes about 2 minutes and the best part about it is that I shouldn’t have to think about it. And it should always be up to date (plus or minus 24 hours I suppose).
With luck, this search engine will work well. If you have comments or questions, feel free to ask!
It may also be time to learn more about the EFF.
They make these kinds of tamales: Chicken; Beef; Pork; Cheese with Jalapeno; Pineapple; Nuts with Raisins.
2 Locations on this card:
2015 Garnet Avenue Ave, Suite 103
Pacific Beach, California
707 South Escondido Blvd