ARTLUNG: <Joe Crawford> <San Diego> <California> <USA> <FEBRUARY> <2003>

48 ArtLung posts from February, 2003

February 1st, 2003

Better
So I feel much better about things.

Thursday night I let my temper get the best of me. As it turns out, I’m not a placid, perfect, serene and sublime person all the time. Thing is though, I immediately recognized my jerkiness as such. The folks affected steered clear, and I went through pain figuring out what to do about it.

So.

I took some time. I collected myself. I apologized. I got a good night’s sleep.

And I felt better.

Anyway, it was a valuable lesson.

On the job front, I start work on Wednesday instead of Monday. The new gig is getting me a spanking new PC to work on, so that’s quite nice. I’m looking forward to it. The job is in downtown San Diego, in a high-rise. Parking would be prohibitively expensive, so I’m going to opt for taking the bus. I’ll get a bus pass next week and voila!

In yet other professional news, I had a bit of unhappiness on a freelance project, but it’s all sorted out. I think I need to start being smarter about how I bill for things. Fixed bid or Hourly sums up the problem well: “Would someone ask a construction firm to bid on a building with no floor plans?” — and I think I’m too generous when the floor plans are not exactly fully drafted.

I suppose that’s really it for now. I woke early for some reason, but will head back to bed now.

In a few hours, racquetball. Speaking of which, there will be some Racquetball on ESPN – the Choice US Open – on Friday, February 14, 2003, and actually it’s on ESPN2. Racquetball is a niche sport, and rarely on TV. I’ll be taping that puppy.

It’s kind of sad that Racquetball is so marginal. Check this article: Where’s My Racquetball Channel

This post sure is meandering.

In other news, Ross Mayfield sends a new version of the Blogmaps using January data

Oh, and two great uses of Macromedia Flash – a faux sim called Gulf War 2 and the Linux/Supervillain Switch Ad. The first actually sort of teaches you things, and the second is funny.

Alright, back to bed.

February 1st, 2003

Aigh
Another Shuttle Loss. Terrible day.

February 1st, 2003

More on Columbia
Space Shuttle Lost:

The space shuttle Columbia has broken up in the skies over Texas. Its crew of seven astronauts had no chance of survival. Mission control lost contact with the shuttle around 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT), about 16 minutes before its planned touchdown in Florida. Emergency proceedures are in effect and search and rescue teams have been alerted in the north and east areas of Texas, where any debris might have fallen.

February 1st, 2003

Matthew Lee says about my post about the City of San Diego and Google:

I think Don Norman said something like: “Even the term ‘navigation’ is pretentious–it assumes that people aren’t going to be able to find what they want without looking for it” Google rules, as far as I’m concerned google is the bar, and eventually the whole net will need to rise to it – Google is decentralized, networked information sharing. Once people become accustomed to finding exactly what they want, the dynamic of the web shifts from browsing ‘home pages’ and ‘Web Sites’ to just ‘getting information’- and that’s the kind of transparency that will allow the web to really become pervasive in day-to-day life.

February 1st, 2003

Anything Legal. Danger OK.
So my roommate is a packrat. Today she took out some copies of the LA Free Press and we were perusing the stories, ads, and classifieds. One of the papers, dated June 16-22, 1967, included the following ad:

Tall rugged young man needs money. Anything Legal. Danger OK. Occupant. Box 371 Pasadena, Calif, 91102

“Anything Legal. Danger OK.” is my new motto.

February 2nd, 2003

Zappa
A Completist’s Guide to Regular Frank Zappa Records is astonishingly detailed. I’m a fan, but that level of detail is scary. Still, I enjoyed it.

February 2nd, 2003

Design, Urinals, Affordances
Madhu Menon’s Fly UI is an interesting article on urinals and user interface design. It’s a great example of an “affordance” — described in Affordances and Design by Don Norman. Both are worth a read if you do design, any kind of design, for a living.

February 2nd, 2003

February 2nd, 2003

Goldmine, Zappa, SQL Server
Zappa GoldMine CoverFrank Zappa: Not just another artist from L.A. is a great article from Goldmine: The Collectors Record and Compact Disc marketplace. I’m doing housecleaning and wanted to find an online url for it. I was thinking of ditching the paper aticle and linking to it here. Unfortunately, their url www.goldminemag.com currently bounces you to this:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server error ‘80040e14′

The log file for database ‘Collect_commerce’ is full. Back up the transaction log for the database to free up some log space.

/include/std_profile_lib.asp , line 79

It’s too bad, because the article is good – biographical information, notes on collecible Zappa records, and such. Looks like Goldmine needs a SQL Server administrator.

Looks like I’m going to hang onto the magazine.

February 2nd, 2003

Bloggers du San Diego
Hm. I keep not blogging personal stuff. But I will I promise – things are positive and good. In the meantime… here are San Diego Bloggers page, in order of addition more or less.

Links with + have badges
Links with – have sidelinks or link pages

San Diego Bloggers is now a year old.

Approximately
2002/02/01
2002/04/01
airshare.org -
ArtLung +
Barbarella’s Pillow Talk
Kneeding +
confessions of a 19-year-old spinster
ChickenPie +
SearchGuru
dandressel.net
USS Clueless
depression is a muse
Catch My Curiousity’s LJ
lura.net/weblog -
Captured.
Perspectivist Connections
Vince Outlaw’s Radio Weblog +
sashimi girl +
Shan’s LiveJournal
How Do You Feel? +
who is JeR?
captain kaya
celery club -
CriticalMAS -
Culture Builders
egomaniac.nu -
electric bugaloo +
freedexter.com -
iAmCami
Jon Sullivan
Chelsea and the Fat Cop
lipstick stains/peppermint sticks
livejournal for dylan
Jeff’s Lounge Spot -
love, erica
Matt Pitcher -
a photogeek’s weblog
Chronicle Corvidae
ReachAround +
Bryan’s Update
Yeah, Totally -
zeowads
2002/04/02 EdGames
SunFlowerGurl.org
2002/04/07 anachronic
2002/04/11 egbdf.info +
2002/04/20 pleonasm
2002/05/31 Kyrwyn’s Rants
2002/06/07 ThenWhen
2002/06/12 Debbie Does Drivel
2002/07/03 the world according to bill
penguinspeak
2002/07/10 blue monster
HybridEmotion
2002/07/15 aucella.net
The Hsu Box -
2002/07/25 Odd Man Out
Under My Skin +
2002/07/29 Horologium
2002/08/05 A Still Verdictless Life
2002/08/07 in my mind’s zen garden
Ron’s Ramblings
2002/08/19 One-Trick CyberPony
2002/08/20 katerhealy
2002/08/22 romandiaz.com -
2002/08/27 jason.evans.online +
2002/09/10 Howling Point +
Joanie +
2002/09/27 brianstorms
nettle
2002/09/30 rich acello
2002/10/15 split.personality
2002/10/18 gleek words
2002/10/20 come ride my column +
passepar2 blog -
2002/10/24 CrazySaddam.com +
2002/12/26 toPointB.org -
Icbleu +
1975:
reddoor.advertising
reddoor.editorials
reddoor.internet.news
reddoor.san.diego.happenings
reddoor.technology.news
reddoor.wireless.news
2002/12/29 Monkeys In My Pants +
2002/12/31 B RICH +
2003/01/03 lifestudent.com
2003/01/06 Sector 7-G
2003/01/09 The Fishing Caper
2003/01/14 jason and jane
2003/01/16 House of MirAGe +
2003/01/17 Global Error Log +
2003/01/24 Jianda.net -
Adam Bishop
Beware the Edge +
Sugar Mama PR Journal -
2003/01/26 ArchaeologyOnline Blog
MuseumGuru Blog
2003/01/27 Casual Reflection
2003/02/02 sd homies +

February 4th, 2003

San Diego Bloggers in the San Diego Union-Tribune
Check this out — A penny for your blogs — which mentions prominently my hand-maintained site San Diego Bloggers, as well as several local sites:

Matt Pitcher is quoted, though his url is not, and there are mentions of: Photogeek.org, Horologium.net, The Fishing Caper, CrazySaddam.com, USS Clueless, and Scott Koenig.

Sure wish I’d gotten mentioned. But I must say, it’s nice to have my site used so prominently as a resource for a U-T story.

February 5th, 2003

New Gig
I start the new gig today. Wish me luck.

February 5th, 2003

Zappa and Family
Jenny (yes that Jennifer) sent me a great link: THE ROCK FAMILY AFFAIR: Frank Zappa.

Thanks Jenny!

February 5th, 2003

Home
New gig rocked. Cold Fusion. Stored Procedures. Application.cfm. Dreamweaver MX. SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Windows 2000 Professional. Nice people. Downtown San Diego. Walking distance of the Bay. Bought a Bus Pass. Got a hot dog at Horton Plaza. CFAdministrator. Development > Staging > Production. Windows Permissions Errors (always fun!). It’s a good gig. I’m honestly not sure I really want to say the name of the company here at this point. Google reads this blog too much, and a search for their domain wil probably turn me up in a search for the company if I mention it here. So for now I’ll not say. You can email me if you really want to hear where it is, but in the meantime I’m keeping it in stealth mode for now. So. Cool.

Upshot, I can now pay some bills which are hideously in arrears and probably killing my credit report as we speak. I’m still in debt, but this is going to be cashflow I really need to survive.

Onward.

February 6th, 2003

Harry Potter? No, Panther Moderns!
Scientist invents Harry Potter invisibility cloak got posted to a mailing list I’m on. My response was:

Harry Potter my ass. That’s a Panther Moderns Chameleon Suit!
<tidbit src=”Neuromancer” author=”William Gibson” pubdate=”1984″>
“Go,” he said. The Hosaka had accessed its array of libraries, journals, and news services. The precis began with a long hold on a color still that Case at first assumed was a collage of some kind, a boy’s face snipped from another image and glued to a photograph of a paint-scrawled wall. Dark eyes, epicanthic folds obviously the result of surgery, an angry dusting of acne across pale narrow cheeks. The Hosaka released the freeze; the boy moved, flowing with the sinister grace of a mime pretending to be a jungle predator. His body was nearly invisible, an abstract pattern approximating the scribbled brickwork sliding smoothly across his tight one piece. Mimetic polycarbon.

</tidbit>

And here and now it is slowly coming to pass.

Welcome to the future.

February 6th, 2003

Early to Work, Meeting Tonight
And yes, it’s time to go to work now! Or at least time for a shower and time to get my act together. Tonight I’m going to the SDMMUG meeting — Click here for more information. If you’re there, say hi!

February 7th, 2003

San Diego Links!
I’ve had a delightful time watching WebSanDiego.org San Diego User-Provided Web Links evolve over the last few days. Great technical links from lots of technical people.

February 7th, 2003

Tired
But feelin’ good. G’morning!

February 7th, 2003

Simpsons! Bravo!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM VOICEACTING.COM:

The cast of “The Simpsons” on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”

Sunday, February 9, 2003 – Bravo TV (cable) – 8/7pm

In anticipation of the 200th episode of “The Simpsons”, James Lipton of Bravo’s “Inside The Actor’s Studio” sits down with the ensemble of actors behind the voices: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer.

This program will be a “must-see” for anyone interested in voice-acting.

For more information, visit the Bravo TV website at http://www.bravotv.com/.

(from my pal and roommate, Ewon, Thanks E!)

February 7th, 2003

Some Cyberpunk Stuff

February 7th, 2003

I wish I had a source for this quote, but I like it…

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

– Benjamin Franklin

February 7th, 2003

February 11th, 2003

Schnikes! No Blogging In Several Days!
Here’s a brief update:

  • My new job is going well.
  • My car is more on the fritz, this is bad.
  • But luckily, in my new job I’ve been taking the bus to work!
  • Over the weekend L. and I snuck Rubio’s into a movie.
  • That movie was Shanghai Knights.
  • Shanghai Knights could not possibly be more historically inaccurate.
  • Shanghai Knights is a whole lot of fun.
  • I’m getting immersion in new features in ColdFusion MX.
  • Friday when I faxed my timesheet to the contracting company, it didn’t go through.
  • Monday when it got faxed, it worked. And the company has a nice automated service line I can check my hours and paycheck information with. Nice!
  • I enjoy walking around downtown on my lunch hour!
  • I rode The Coaster the other day, but I did it wrong and got hassled by the man. Luckily, I know the rules now. They’re silly and complicated and their vending machine is no help.
  • I’ve been enjoying Cherry Coke lately.
  • I like playing UNO with Leah.
  • The WebSanDiego.org Links page is doing great with some help from Anita.
  • I’m about to get my last unemployment check for a long while (hopefully forever?)
  • I am sporting a soul patch these days.
  • Current project I’m helping with: SoLongLandLord.us
  • My hair is getting long, and Leah’s roommate assures me I can use his Flow-Bee. I am not sure whether to be gratified or fearful. Perhaps “both” is the best answer.

Thank You! And Good Night!

February 12th, 2003

I’ve made a bunch of changes to San Diego Bloggers — I’m putting together a php/mysql database to help me manage those links easier. It’s really cool, and really geeky. Also, the story from the other day got mentioned, along with SD Bloggers over at the very cool Blogroots.

February 14th, 2003

Ouch!
I have so much to say. And say it I must. Wow. It’s late too. Will our hero say all he can? Who knows. Stay tuned.

February 15th, 2003

There is a new header on the blog. I’m very proud of it. It contains aspects of the previous header, mentioned here. I’m holding a copy of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. That’s down in the Gaslamp at the trolley. I took some pictures of myself and then I got to play. It’s too late. I have racquetball in the morning, but I feel really good. Saturday is going to be great.

February 15th, 2003

The Past Week In Review. In Bullet Points

  • I really like my new job. I am learning and teaching and DOING.
  • I am enjoying revisiting something from my teens: riding mass transit. I like being able to read and chill on the way to work.
  • I’m appreciating working standard office hours again, I start early in the morning. It keeps me occupied and happy. It reminds me of when I worked at ARCO in downtown L.A., but in a good way.
  • My car died this week. It’s a 14 year-old Toyota Corolla. It didn’t so much die as much as it is has gone lame. It rumbles in a bad way. Tonight I took it to the shop. I hope all it needs is some TLC and a tune-up.
  • Cashflow is a wonderful thing. I’m still in arrears but it’s all improving. Slowly. Surely. Slow. Steady. Wins. The. Clichés.
  • San Diego has become Los Angeles. It’s got a vibrant array of immigrants. It’s got better mass-transit. It’s got bohemian snotty kids. It’s got storied characters. It’s got hellacious traffic. It’s got wonderful stores featuring exotic materials from all over the world.
  • We are living in the future. There are tv screens on the gas pumps. There are tv screens inside cars. There are wireless networks all over the place. I use an encrypted connection to view my personal electronic message box from work. I am able to find directions to anywhere in the city by using a hypertext system. I am able to pay bills without ever writing a check or licking a stamp. I am able to ignore events around the world and focus on the intense media celebrityhood of my nation. I can get news from anywhere I want. I converse regularly with people I have never met and only know from their online electronical personas. This is the future.
  • I see Leah regularly. She remains a wonderful person to see and have adventures with.
  • I missed the racquetball on ESPN today. I forgot to tape it. This disappoints me. Of course I could buy it on DVD.
  • I am a terrible correspondent with many people. My Mom for one. Several other people for another. Time is so short though. But I need to get consistent about it. I want those who read this, but with whom I don’t speak regularly… to know I feel bad about it. I’m working on it. I feel people are more important than these diversions. But these diversions also sustain me. People are core. But passions are core too. How to reconcile these two? I have no idea.
  • I was taken to lunch by my staffing agency this week. I had a halibut steak. It was very tasty. I also had part of a rainbow roll (a sushi roll).
  • I am still badly in need of a haircut, but I will be fine I think.
  • It is an amazing life.
  • I am content though, even in this half-chaos.
  • Tomorrow I’m going to Los Angeles, to this thing called Live From The Blogosphere!. I think I’ll be able to sponge a place to stay with some electronic pals. Did you know that The Amtrak San Diegans are no longer called that? They’re now called Pacific Surfliners. That’s important.
  • I’m also going to play some racquetball. That should be good.
  • I’m also going to hang out with Leah and her kids and Leah’s pal Mickele. Adventures!
  • It’s a whirlwind life.
  • It’s a good life.
  • It’s a unique and it’s an American life. I sort of wish I was going to one of the protests this weekend.
  • I was moved this week by Senator Byrds’s comments in the Senate. Read his words here.

Onward to sleep!

February 15th, 2003

Replaced here: http://artlung.com/blog/blogosphere-part-1/

Bound For the Blogosphere… So I’m on the San Diego train with my humble, falling apart laptop – about to leave for Los Angeles. Turn on my airport and WHAM! there’s a WiFi access point called TRAINDEPOT. No encryption.

I’m so pleased.

Bound for L.A. …

Go to the Permanent Link for this sub-entry. –7:29p Here we go. Live at the blogosphere event.

We’re gonna see whatsup with this.

Hanging with Dennis W and some other 405ers.

–7:30p
Still waiting for something to happen.

–7:42pm
Big crowd. Nice turnout. Maybe 110 people?

–7:48pm
It’s starting. A Rhizome person talking. xeni is being introduced.

We are being videotaped live, so says Xeni. There’s a wireless network here courtesy socalwug

Now Reverse Cowgirl’s blog girl is on. How we came to be here.Rationale for being here: “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Exciting new technology — a means to get people interacting.

I fear that my battery is going to go dead before I can finish this. Ev says he’s never been to L.A. before. Other intros of the panel members.

Just got a battery alert. This is not good. My old clamshell iBook is tired. I may have to do this analog. Ah well. Mark of BoingBoing is talking.

I’m going offline. Just asked about some AC power. No go. :-(

So long, I’m going into the real world.

–7:58pm
Bye for now.

February 16th, 2003

Back Home
Blogging from the train station again. Gotta get home. I’ve a ton of stuff I’m going to post later. Some pictures too. Stay tuned or drop me a note if you want to know when I post it.

February 16th, 2003

A Small L.A. Trip: Part 1: From San Diego to Los Angeles
Go read the whole giant thing now: Part 1

MacOS X Machine Generated Summary: Theoretically, because I have a unix box here (this goofy, lima bean shaped computer holds 30 years of unix history in its heart of hearts) I could set a cron job to run every second or half second to try and complete a mission.

…I can’t tell if they have an AP. But many months back I went to a presentation there given by the folks who took over Ricochet, local company NetHere .

…But we (my mother and I) would take train to come visit my Grandparents (at the time, all were still alive) in San Diego.

…There is a restaurant scene and a bomb goes off, and the people who are not actually bombed, that is, dismembered and injured by the bomb, keep dining.

…Maybe the whole of the world has been living with the reality of terror for a long time.

…I start to feel very emasculated when I think about not having a car. But really I can do without for a while. I’ve gone without before, and I suppose it works out perfectly that I have a job I can get to only using mass-transit.

…The cute (well, I assume they’re cute, I’ve not seen them from the front) Japanese girls drop out of Japanese and into English to commiserate with her.

…But I think I mean something different about this “cute couple” than I meant before about “cute Japanese girls.”

…Maybe they’re not mercantilists in Florence a few hundred years ago, but there are always patrons.

Go read the whole giant thing now: Part 1

February 16th, 2003

About A Small L.A. Trip: Part 2: Musings/Blogosphere

I tried out the “Summarize” feature of MacOS, here it is: MacOS X Machine Generated Summary:

The thing I come away with is that anyone can do this blogging stuff, which is what I believed before too.

The impression I got was that several of the people on the panel were interested in how to monetize their blogging in some way… That others read it is terrific, but I can’t help but think that when you do something for yourself , you’re not going to be able to consistently productize and monetize it. Several people: rabbit blog ,reverse cowgirl , and the guy with the “Anna Kournikova Nude” blog said that they don’t think about their audience very much.

…There’s a Blade Runner page that I remember looking at when I sat down at World Cafe in Santa Monica those many years ago. But that’s memorable only because it was the first site I ever visited.

…Part of me immediately thought that I hope Matt Haughey gets some dough from that — I know he and several others put their hearts and souls into that company.

…I have rolled my own widget to allow my archived months of blogger to be navigated month-to-month, I added a widget which replaces the traditional blogger archive page with one that is generated based on my actual archive files. I also have a mod_rewrite which accounts for the initial urls I was using (shtml) and rewrites them to how they are today.

…And she was going to pick me up in L.A., or maybe pick me up in Oceanside or somewhere on her way back late tonight — but I just decided to come on home now.

…He talks about the fact that he writes best when he is in a public place, not at home, with a steady supply of Cherry Coke, with people around, but not people who are going to want something or want to talk or have you take out the trash or do chores or anything.

…These are things he could only know from reading my blog at least once or twice, or perhaps looking at the front page of my site. In any case, this is the kind of generosity that if you had told me about, I would not have believed five years ago. And yet, it happened. Anyway, it was perfect for me to stay with him because he had been planning to come to 8am mass at the new Cathedral downtown anyway, and he could drop me off at the station downtown.

Go read the whole giant thing now: Part 2

February 16th, 2003

So those are summaries of some longer pieces. TrainBlogging, and they include pictures of Blogger buying Pyra (sort of), me looking goofy, and various fuzzy pictures. I just kept writing, and writing, and writing. And now they’re on the web. Check them out:

February 17th, 2003

Lots of Links on Blogosphere and Google Buying Pyra and Blogger

February 19th, 2003

On The Road Again
When last we saw our hero on a train, he was returning from his trip to Los Angeles. This was a most excellent trip. It included high adventure and much bemusement.

The tales of these exploits and the attendant pictures, as well as the links he culled from them have generated a nice amount of interest, and links. You can see some of the folks currently linking to me in the Referrers section. My thanks to those who have been interested in linking to my thoughts. I’m writing more, and enjoying it very much.

I’m on a train again, though this time without MacStumbler on and without a source of AC power. I’m on The Coaster, having stayed with my good friend last night in San Marcos. I got on at the Carlsbad Station. Leah got me there with a few minutes to spare. She’s a wonderful person.

My Car, a faithful companion for 14 years, is giving up the ghost. It will cost $1743 to fix it. Valve job, whatnot. I can’t afford it, and I don’t think it’s a smart investment. Further, the counsel of elders, an Aunt, my Grandfather, my girlfriend, my roommate also don’t feel it’s a hot idea. They think I should get a new car.

Mind you, I can’t afford a new car.

I can’t afford much.

Like many Americans, I’m heavily and irretrievably in debt. I need either much better cash flow, or to declare bankruptcy, or I’ll never get out from under it. As my father said last night “it’s like you’re buying a house,” which a followed up with “but I don’t get a house at the end of it.”

So I need money. And I lack a car. Luckily, my current contract, with an indefinite duration but with a verbal assurance that it will last “2 to 3 months” provides the money end. It also is in synchrony with the fact that I have no car. I am able to take mass-transit to work and can navigate the city of San Diego and outlying areas using this and this alone.

In this way I’m blessed.

Lessons.

On another topic, there is a relationship whose terms are changing. I have no idea how it will change. It is another adventure though. It hurts when things change, and yet change is really most inevitable.

But as I think of it all. It could be light-years different. It could be profoundly worse. I consider myself lucky to have friends and family who love me and support me. I have a vibrant community of online relationships who observe my life from a distance and wish me well. Does this group of loose relationships constitute a kind of church for me? A community? I have no idea, but it’s possible, because I don’t presently have a need for a formal religious community. As in all things, that may change.

The train moves past Encinitas now. The bungalows and beach condos are charming. There are surfers on Dawn Patrol. There. We just passed the North County office of Jenny’s and my Marriage and Family Counselor. There, we just passed where I house-sat late last year. And now we move into Solana Beach. It is foggy over the lagoon before the stop.

Why on earth do I blog? Why do I do this in public?

I am at a loss, but it’s not for public condemnation or praise. I would like this blog to be a conduit for finding work and for sharing my thoughts on the technical things which jazz up my life. I also want it, now I realize, as a means to share my experience. I think of the diaries of Civil War soldiers: literate men, enduring hardship, and prevailing.

Maybe that’s what this journal is, and it’s a word with explicit religious overtones: TESTIMONY. Herein I provide my testimony about my life and my work, and my experiences as a person going through this turn of the century period.

It is but one person’s testimony.

It is one on a planet of many BILLIONS.

That’s worth pondering.

As much as perhaps my story immerses and moves or bores you, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, BILLIONS more. Ponder that and try and think your problems “amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

Billions.

My seatmates are chatting. On The Coaster every set of seats is a set of four. They are pointed inward at each other. One of my seatmates points West and exclaims “Dolphins!” Sure enough, there are dorsal fins of at least three dolphins making their arcs through the water. Perhaps 300 yards offshore.

Billions of people, all with stories.

Some people think that dolphins are intelligent and in some of the same ways human beings are. And add to those billions of people dolphins. Add other mammals and how many amazing tales does this planet foster just right now. And throughout its history? So many stories on this small blue planet.

We’re in Sorrento Valley now. A third of the people exit the train (is “detrain” a word?). They are off to their jobs in San Diego’s “Tech Center.” I’ve not worked any jobs in this area. Perhaps I should. Perhaps I should find a part-time job to supplement my income. It would be more work. Well, duh. Of course it would be more work. But it would be more stress, and less diversions. I think I need to work like a dog. I want to erase what I just wrote. But perhaps there’s something. I wonder if the San Diego Union-Tribune needs a blogging correspondent. I got some stray hits to SD Bloggers from what looked like an alpha U-T blog. It was a blogspot blog. It could only help them. Despite their recent coverage of the blog world, none of their writers blog. Maybe I could consult with them. Blogger emeritus?

I want to be valued. I want to help people. I am worth being paid well for this. I have smarts and experiences and an ability to solve problems that others lack. I know this well, and hope I will truly get a “salary commensurate with experience” in my next job.

I wonder if I should beg for money here. Apparently online begging is hot. But that’s not my style. I am happy to receive books and tidbits from my various readers. Thank you, Janece and Lemur for the recent gifts you sent. But I feel there will be a way for me to make ends meet, or get afloat without resorting to the equivalent of panhandling.

Billions of people.

All these stories, all of these lives, where are they now?

My roommate’s father died early yesterday morning. He had been ill for a long while. I did not know him, and never met him. He was a San Diego Policeman for many years. By all accounts a good man. I feel bad that this happened. It was not unexpected though. He took ill a few years ago and has had a rough time. It was natural in the fullness of the time, for him to die.

Another of billions.

I pause to consider my own life. I start work very soon. We are nearly to our destination. Today I will do more ColdFusion programming. Using tools to make tools for people. Doing the work of commerce, and perhaps for the greater good.

Onward, billions.

February 20th, 2003

Got this in the email bag:

I’m happy to announce the launch of my San Diego Real Estate site. Please check it out at:

http://www.margotwinters.com/ Surf around. Find some homes. Let me know what you think. My thanks goes to Jeff Nagy (http://deepbluepacific.com/) for the site.

Margot does San Diego real estate. Jeff does kickin’ web design. Hire them. Now!

February 20th, 2003

From XML at Five from xml.com:

Rick Jelliffe … criticized XHTML: “HTML thrived on being more forgiving of missing tags than even SGML allowed. Throwing that away makes HTML a lot less attractive. Which is true of markup in general, actually.”

With which I wholeheartedly agree. HTML is supposedly the most common electronic document type on the planet. Why? Because it was butt-simple to learn and use. XHTML is rigid. I think for the most part this rigidity doesn’t buy a whole lot. HTML 4.01 works great for most uses. Mind you, I like to play in xhtml, as in SDBloggers or my DHTML thing or several old splash pages. But I also think it should be painfully easy for people to build web pages.

Would the web be as popular now if Browsers were unforgiving of bad markup? If only rocket-scientists could author web pages? I say no. The explicit and rigid nature of XHTML would have scared people off. So as much as us old timer’s (mind you, I started in 1996, just as the waves were beginning, but not at the very beginning) object to the tag soup that developed over the years. There was a beautiful method to the madness. The WWW flourished because anyone with Notepad could build a website, whether you know the difference between semantic markup, schemas, document type definitions, or any of it.

De facto beats de jure every time.

February 25th, 2003

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual. It should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that could cope with the modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.

— Albert Einstein | (via Mickele)

February 25th, 2003

So I’m behind on a few things, but ahead on others. And boy oh boy — it sure is raining like a big dog. It’s pouring off of the roof in sheets. A real racket! Anyway, I’m blogging less and I’m all backed up with links.

Perhaps you’ll be sated by these links:

February 25th, 2003

They Killed BBEdit Lite!
See: http://www.barebones.com/products/bblite/index.shtml:

Thank you for your interest in BBEdit Lite. As of February 25, 2003, BBEdit Lite has been discontinued and is no longer available.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

February 25th, 2003

I like this…

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.

February 25th, 2003

When it rains, more people seem to be on the bus. The buses I took to and from work today were packed. People who have to transfer rely on the timing of the buses, and as transit is different in the rain, people miss their connections, and get surly, and are on buses they did not expect to be on. Tonight it was standing room only. But what can you do? You make do of course!

It was funny though, one guy carped out loud “This is a safety hazard! How many people are you gonna fit on this bus!” — to which the bus driver (a woman in her early 30s maybe) piped back — “Why don’t you count?!” — she got chuckles from everyone else but carping man. He replied “There are too many people on this bus for more people!” — and the suggestion to this from our heroine bus driver was “Well you could get off” — the whole bus roared with laughter, and we let more people on. It was standing room only, but the buses are set up now with straps and poles that hang down so people can stand and hold on fine.

I really like the reaction of the bus driver. On reflection, her responses are probably the result of lots of complaining passengers, but I’m struck by the way laughter can defuse what could be a contentious situation. I’m pleased by my fellow San Diegan Commuters. It’s raining. It’s wet. Cold. Miserable. But people find a way to make the best of it. I think people were more polite than they usually are.

At lunch I went out — and it was sunny. I went and had a taco and tamale for lunch. Cheapo Mexican food. I enjoyed it. But when it was time to go back to work the rain had started back up. Bucketfulls. (or is it Buckets full?) It was pouring for my several-block walk. I of course neglected to bring my umbrella. I didn’t bring it out of some sense of hope that the weather had improved. Or perhaps forgetfulness. Anyway, several people nodded at me in commiseration as I did that hunched over trot that people do when they have no covering and have to walk in precipitation.

That’s the end of my rain and transit stories. Good night.

Oh, I will have a new entry on Words, a new radio thing, by the end of the day tomorrow. Don’t want to say where though. Don’t want to jinx it.

February 26th, 2003

So yeah, I was on the radio again – for a full hour on Tom Fudge’s show These Days on local NPR affiliate KPBS. Also on the hot seat talking about web design and web sites was Pam Dixon. It all went quite well. But I must now do some real work. More later.

February 27th, 2003

Strictly speaking I don’t have any time to write, have to get ready for work. But i want to write some things quick-like.

The radio was really great. As opposed to the show on blogging, (see words)- there were only 2 guests instead of 3. This made more time my time. Also, there were many more call-in callers. They all had good questions, and made for good discussion.

The host, Tom Fudge, was quite a nice guy. Always nice to put faces with the voices on the radio, yes? Interestingly, he actually did look like his voice.

It went well, and I got some kind email afterwards from some folks who heard me. It makes me wonder if, say, anyone I haven’t seen in a long time heard it. Is that that Joe Crawford? Naaaah! Couldn’t be!

Leah drove me, as I have no functional car. She hung out in the green room while I did my thing. After, we went to the estimable D.Z. Akins and Leah had what she described as “the best grilled-cheese sandwich I’ve ever had in my life” — which she says is high praise. It was a nice victory meal.

I didn’t pre-publicize it. No. I didn’t want to skew it with call-ins from friends. I wanted to be Mr. Un-Hype for a change. It worked out, and people noticed anyway.

I like being on the radio. I would do it again, and I think I was good at it. Maybe this is a new career avenue? Geek-on-the-radio?

After all that, I worked half-day. I still got the skillz to pay tha billz.

Bused it home and chilled out. I finished reading Pattern Recognition. The latest Gibson. It was good. Dreamy, fun, current, plausible. Everything you want in a techno-thriller.

My back hurts a bit. Gonna take some Motrin.

Okay, gotta go to work!

ONWARD!

February 27th, 2003

That title is meaningless. Today was good. Work was interesting. I get a sense that the job security where I am will be good for the near term. It had been indicated to me that the gig would be 2-3 months, but I’m reading tea leaves that indicate job security through October. This is a lovely thing altogether.

Had lunch with some excellent friends slash colleagues slash men (and one woman) about town in the web sphere. Great ideas and rants exchanged.

I’m thinking of starting a tech news blog for San Diego. It’ll be an alternative take. I may need contributors. Maybe make it slashdot style? No. I don’t want a giant forum. But it would be nice to have some interaction. Perhaps it would be good as a MovableType blog with comments? It can cover news and gossip in web dev (my favorite), biotech, wireless, and the like. Could be a fun diversion. If it sucks, we kill it. Simple enough!

No progress on the car. But soon.

I opened a bank account today. A local one for when I have to get into a bank. This is a good move. Practical.

Also, I think I’m gonna kill my land-line and get a mobile phone. It too would be a helpful thing. It’s time to join the 21st Century maybe.

Incidentally, I’m writing this from the Claire de Lune Coffeehouse. It’s a public net terminal. Gotta catch the bus soon. Or maybe get a ride.

Enough for now.

February 27th, 2003

Here’s a neat trick, for those of you using Safari. If you want to see the debug menu (which includes goodies like a DOM tree viewer and a “snippet viewer”, which lets you take a snippet of HTML and view it as Safari will render it, sort of like a split-screen WYSIWYG editor) just shut down Safari, open up Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 1

And start Safari again. To turn it off again, run the same command with a 0 instead of a 1.

via Steve Champeon on webdesign-l

February 27th, 2003

Interesting site: Beliefnet.com

February 28th, 2003

Go Janece!
Workings of the Mind redesigned/changed out their flaky backend.

February 28th, 2003

Ari Fleisher Laughed out of the White House Press Room
See: this post to IP. Here is a (requires RealPlayer) Direct Link. Fast forward to about 28 minutes. I sensed a little smirk on Ari’s face, but how on earth can he say there’s no quid pro quo in diplomacy? The whole game is “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” And that applies whether the topic is trade or war!

January 2003 ←Before

After→ March 2003