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

March, 2003: 39 posts.

New Words: The Flash Mind Reader

So people send me links to this thing, and I just can’t stand people thinking these little tricks are somehow reading their minds. So I made: “The Flash Mind Reader” – How It Works

Not Blogged Lately

Things are fine. The job is going well. Cashflow is good. Girlfriend is nice. Email is backed up. Phone calls are backed up. Soul patch is removed. Car still dead. Bus pass still working. The little red car is being junked for some cash. A new car is being shopped for, slowly. I’m still waiting to hear back from KPBS about getting a copy of the recent radio show. Time marches on, and I feel pretty good.

Le Brain Dump!

Macintosh: Like a Rock

From Army’s Apple Shines in the Desert

“it has remained trouble-free, stable and solid as a rock”

It must be some kind of science fiction world come true that that Macs are now described as “like a rock.” They’ve always had a temperamental reputation. But they really do kick ass these days. Thanks unix!


Macessibility is Kynn’s new blog about Mac Accessibility.

Quote of the Day

“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.”

– Ronald Reagan

Another Brain Dump! Various News Relevant to Me, and Maybe You? Small Personal Note

The weather is perfect today in San Diego. I’m so chilled out. I feel good. Leah is at Church. I am working on email and laundry and my various projects. It’s a lovely day all around. I’ve decided to hold off on a decision about a new car. There’s no rush, I have my bus pass. I’m still getting my financial house in order before any purchase. My folks have helped me out, and I’m holding that in escrow before I make a decision. I’m trying to be the best I can be. There’s no rush, and things are good.


Sometimes, I’m List Founder

Hello my fellow WebSanDiegans:

This is a little long, and a bit out of character. I usually respond to posts on-list and let them fly. But I feel like I have a bit more to say, so as your host, I’d like to say some things about community and about behavior. has always distinguished itself as a place of civil, professional conduct. It disappoints me to see name calling and vitriol on a list of what [should be/can be/sometimes is] colleagues, friends, neighbors.

There was some valuable information in the cash thread, and valid points and complaints.

But the rudeness was not cool. I was dismayed.

There are no punishments to be doled out. Noone will be removed. It’s not a moderated list, after all. We all have the power to post as we see fit, when we see fit. Sometimes we’re mad and angry and frustrated. We are only human.

I think of the book “House of God” – about a Doctor-In-Training, here are the rules of the HoG: III. AT A CARDIAC ARREST, THE FIRST PROCEDURE IS TO TAKE YOUR OWN PULSE

What’s it mean? It means that to be any good to a bad situation, you have to be clear about where *your* head is at. If you’re not calm, you’re no good to a patient. To some extent, if you’re angry and frothing at the mouth, you’re no use to a discussion group either.

So I’d like to remind people to take an extra minute and consider their posts. Passion is valuable. Strong feelings can make for great posts. But remember in your anger to include content, and remember that you’re among fellow professionals.

Thanks for listening to me on this. I know your time is valuable.

As always: Comments, questions, complaints, feedback welcome via email at administrators(at)

Joe Crawford
List Founder



This here is a picture from 90 pounds ago.

My roommate passed this to me.

I still have lots of work to do though.

At the moment I don’t have a good “after” picture. I should take a new photo with me in the same outfit. Those shorts had been tight, but now when I wear them I need a belt or else they fall off. Clothes size is a much better metric than “90 pounds.” And tolerance for exercise is even better. Tonight I went to the store, walked it, maybe 1/4 mile. Went and picked up a bunch of groceries. Walked back. Thought nothing of it.

A year ago I’d have been seriously out of breath doing something like that.

Instead, I was only worried that the bag with the soda in it might break!

Links for a Late Night Monday / Early Morning Tuesday


McWiFi — an unannounced California town — let’s hope that means San Diego!

Sorry MAS!

Yikes. Thet OneCore thing I posted was resolved in June 2001. My bad. I sorta like his idea of web revenge though. I think I fell through a timewarp and thought 2003 was 2001. Scary!

Movie Quotes

Philip Greenspun 2003, Go Read Him.

Flying the Caribbean is exactly the kind of long form writing I love on the web, as I said last month.

Philip Greenspun is great. I got to see him give his Web Tech Talk at CalTech in 1999. That was also the first time I got blogged about, by Matt Haughey. I met him then. Philip was a great speaker, and I’m glad to see he’s writing a new book.

There’s a lot of good stuff in Flying the Caribbean. Rants. Musings. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

On Puerto Rico’s place vis-a-vis the USA

Puerto Rico is interesting politically. The island is home to 4 million American citizens who don’t pay federal income tax, aren’t represented in Congress, and don’t vote for president. Most of the Puerto Ricans whom I encountered were against statehood on pragmatic grounds. They get nearly all of the benefits that any American might get from the federal government, including welfare for mothers and children, defense, flight service, air traffic control, etc., but they don’t have to pay for these benefits.

On racial tensions in the Virgin Islands

There is a fair amount of racial tension in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Basically this is a Third World country where if you’re part of the ruling oligarchy you can make huge bucks through connections and kickbacks. If you’re not born into the right family, however, you must choose between low-paying service jobs and emigration. The ruling oligarchs, like most of the natives, are black. The tourists and the rich expats are mostly white. This leads to occasional conflict. For example, it is actually illegal to walk around “downtown” streets wearing a bathing suit top and the police ticket the cruise ship passengers who aren’t aware of this rule. As one local put it “there is nothing that black policemen like more than giving tickets to white people.”

Tapwater in the Carribean

It is generally unsafe to drink tapwater in the Caribbean. An island may appear to be a pristine desert. How could the well water be unsafe? It isn’t well water. The only water available is probably rainwater that is collected in a cistern and left to stew in its own bacterial soup for a few weeks. Of the places covered in this guide Puerto Rico probably has the safest tapwater and the Dominican Republic the most lethal.

American influence leads to crime

Property and violent crime against tourists does exist, however, and as usual the United States is the leader. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix are renowned for crime. Barred windows and private security guards are common throughout Puerto Rico but you probably won’t feel unsafe because there are always a lot of (very helpful) police around the tourist areas. “Crime got a lot worse in the 1950s when the U.S. government started handing out food stamps,” a local explained. “People on farms in the countryside weren’t stupid and they figured out that they could make more by not working. So they stopped working, we began to import all of our food from Florida, and the kids grew up without ever seeing a working adult. Now a lot of them are criminals.”

Alcohol and Expatriates

You’ll meet a lot of Americans and Europeans who spend 6-12 months per year in the Caribbean and want you to agree with them that a slow-paced rum-soaked life in the islands is superior to life in the city. If you’re drinking Diet Coke they take this as an implicit criticism of their lifestyle and get offended enough to fairly demand that you consume.

Island Life vs. City Life

In theory the cities of North America offer the opportunity to socialize a lot of fascinating people, to learn new ideas and skills, to appreciate art and entertainment, and to have challenging and rewarding work. In practice it seems that crowding and high real estate prices force most citizens into working 60-hour weeks so that they can meet their mortgage and SUV payments. In theory it should be possible for Joe Wornout to back down to a shabby apartment and a used Honda Civic and change to a lower pressure job. In practice it does not seem to be socially sanctioned among the high-achievers of New York or Toronto or wherever. So Joe Wornout opens a restaurant on a small island and works moderately hard during tourist season but not at all the rest of the year. Joe is relaxed and constantly exposed to natural beauty and the sea but he is now missing out on everything good that the city had to offer.

I’ve quoted quite a lot of this stuff. It’s definitely at the upper bounds of “fair use” – but I feel like I really want to encourage you, dear reader, to go read some Phil Greenspun. Go read it all. Then go to explore Greenspun’s whole site. If anyone can be considered a model for my own experimentation and thoughts on how to put together a personal site, it’s Greenspun. Greenspun has been accused of being an egoiste and of being insensitive in his use of metaphors, and more. Bottom line: he thinks deeply, and I admire him.

Web Designer Meetup Thursday

I’m going to the WebDesign Meetup tomorrow. Be there or be square!

Lots to talk about. No time to say it.


And personally…

  • My mailing list has been wonky lately. Bad vibes. I hope it will improve. I’m working to speak my mind about what is civil and what is uncivil discourse. Challenging.
  • Work is going well. I learned about the RequestTimeout variable in ColdFusion. Essentially, if an action is going to take a long time, ColdFusion may time out and show an ugly error before it finishes. To obviate that happening, you can append to your url (in the case of a GET request, ?RequestTimeout=500 — which will give CF 500 seconds to finish. I need to learn more about these kind of situations – performance tuning of web applications in CF is a new part of my job. I like it.
  • I think I have this: a tooth abscess — I’m seeing a dentist tomorrow — a short notice appointment
  • There’s a party this weekend — Leah and her roommates are throwing a thing. I hope I’m up to it after the dentist.
  • Still in a holding pattern on the car.
  • Bill collectors have STOPPED CALLING. They love me again. How much you wanna bet they start sending me new cards again. VULTURES. *sigh* Of course, I got myself into this. So fun.
  • I’ve finished 3 books in the past week. I’m not telling which ones, ’cause I have a few more to finish, and then I hope to write some book reviews.
  • Birthday next week. 33 years old to be.
  • Anti-climactic?



(…my tooth aches)

Go Heidi! Cover Problem! Stew! Woo!

Got this via the Negro Problem / Stew mailing list :

Work has begun on Heidi Rodewald’s solo record. 90% of the basics have been recorded I think. Also we are at work on the new Stew record which will be out this year, as will Heidi’s. A collaboration between the award winning Los Angeles instrumental group Double Naught Spy Car & Stew will be coming out sometime this year. Also, a Stew produced record by Mr. Smolin will be available soon. And if that weren’t enough, The Cover Problem will be going into the studio soon to record.

Sounds like some fun music coming down the wire!

Dental Update

Dental Update
Briefly: I’m scheduled for oral surgery on Wednesday. Kids, please remember to floss, so you’re not like your Uncle ArtLung. Really. I have much much much much more to write about all of this, but probably not today. Leave it at the fact that I have mega-mouthwash, antibiotics for my abscess, and Vicodin PRN (PNR is something every medical person knows, but not many of my regular readers will know – a google search reveals it as Latin, and is stands for Pro Re Nata, meaning Whenever Necessary, or “as needed”). So far I’ve only needed it twice. I accidentally took some Saturday, to comic effect, and have labeled my meds better now.



Not Thinking About Much Else

So I had my appointment with the oral surgeon. It’s going to be a short week. Wednesday morning at 8am pacific time I’m going under the knife. It’ll be the first time I’ll ever wear a pulse-oximeter so it matters for my healthcare. I like the Doc. Have a good thought, or a prayer, whilst I’m getting teeth forcibly extracted from my head.

The new job is very understanding about the whole thing, and I’ll be taking it way easy starting Wednesday and through the end of the weekend.


Foods of the Day

Chocolate Muffin. Questionable Soy Milk.

More Miscellaneous Links…

Immagini Ricerca

An image search for ‘California’ on the Italian version of AltaVista yielded me (on the 4th page of results)! Nifty!

Interesting on The War

And so are a lot of the protesters. “Violence never solved anything.” Really? Violence solved the Holocaust. “Bombs just make more terrorists.” Really? We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we dropped on Europe during World War II. Where are all the Vietnamese terrorists? “Innocent people will die.” True enough–but innocent people are dying right now in Iraq. The left’s selective empathy is shocking. My lefty pals feel the pain of Iraqi civilians–but only the pain that the U.S. inflicts or might inflict. You don’t hear much from the left about the pain that Saddam Hussein inflicts. “War kills the innocent.” No, the status quo in the Middle East kills the innocent–and as we’ve seen in Manhattan and Bali, not just the innocent in the Middle East. War at times is the only hope for an oppressed people–as each Iraqi refugee quickly informs the first Western reporter he can find.

But, whatever, I’m against the war on Iraq now. Why? Because George W. Bush blew it. George W. Bush failed to make the case. George W. Bush wasn’t able to convince NATO–NATO!–or the United Nations of the necessity of this necessary war. Now the Bush administration seems set on a course that may destroy NATO and the UN. I don’t know about the Bushies, but I think a world without NATO and the UN will be more dangerous in the long run than a world without Saddam Hussein will be in the short run. So I’m against the war. Hey, when’s the next peace march?

More at: AGAINST THE WAR–FOR NOW by Dan Savage

The Ferreteer Makes Me Laugh

Joe T says:

I saw that link to Italian Altavista, and I thought about a conversation we had before about that image. Look at the attached JPG and tell me that picture doesn’t look like the CD cover for a New Age album. It’s totally Joe Crawford bringing us the sounds of nature!

Check this:

Acropolis / Joe Crawford

– a photo creation of Joe T

The AltaVista post he mentions.

The post from before that had him comparing me to Yanni.

That JoeT makes me laugh so hard!

Ten Hours to Tooth Extraction

In 10 hours or so I’ll have 4 teeth — wisdom teeth — removed. I can hardly wait. I intend to take it VERY easy. Thanks for all the well-wishes.

In 26 hours I’ll be 33 years old.

The idea here is that I’ll be back to functional in maybe 3 days.

Kynn says I had that done years ago. It’s not pleasant. Hope you like the taste of your own blood. — he actually means this in a good way. You have to know him.

Many others have offered words of support and commiseration. And I appreciate all the good thoughts. So wish me luck.

Not really certain when I’ll be blogging again. But I intend to have a computer at my bedside. “Adventures in Tooth Drama” or something. Writing. Reading. The Doc says to take it very easy, and I intend to do that.

In the meantime, go visit some of the sites in my sidebar over on the left. Some real good stuff there.

I’m Alive…

I’m Alive. Math Problem: Joe-4 Teeth+Rest = Yet Another New Version of Joe
The surgery went well.

I’m gonna write all about it – but it went great. My lower jaw still has no feeling; and I sound, “funny”; my mouth is full o’ blood, but I feel pretty good considering a nice man in a mask ripped a bunch of original equipment out of my jaw.

I have a comfy bed, 7up, juices, tv and some fresh comics at my bedside.

Chilling out now. Or trying to. Lots of sleep and vicodin.

Thanks for the commiseration, y’all.

And don’t expect lots of interaction with me this week.

In other news, turns 4 years old today.


Small Update

Good so far. Pain bad after lengths of sleep of 4 hours. Vicodin is my body’s best friend, outside the natural healing process. Clotting ROCKS.

So we’re at war now. Feh.

Lots of good thoughts on’s birthday on the list. What a dynamic and wonderful group that is. Proud to have lit the fuse on that.

In a few hours, a birthday for me.

For now, I’m worn out from about 40 minutes of email and pudding.

Moms Rock (or rather, MY MOM ROCKS)

So today’s email from Mom says:

Goodmorning Sunshine and Happy Birthday! ! ! When you were born Dad had just left for war and now we are in another one.

Anyway, happy to hear that you are doing as well as expected. I offered up mass yesterday morning for a good operation and a very good recovery. Leah is taking excellent care of you, I can tell. I am most grateful to her.

Thanks Mom! ! ! Yeah. Things are good for me and my mouth. And I’m happy to have a new birthday gift of a whole new mouth. And I’ve gotten many messages of love and support from friends online and off. It feels good. And yes, I wish war were not happening. But this is life.


  • my mouth was numb all day, i sounded ridiculous
  • i’m trying to write down as much of this as possible for some kinda written piece
  • i did drink some water early on, difficult
  • i tried some mango juice – too tart
  • 7up is just right as a beverage – always has been a comfort beverage when i’ve been ill
  • vicodin, and taking it regularly is a good deal
  • i had no trouble sleeping at all last night, which is great
  • i can now use my mouth fine, and there’s no numbness involved — the doc told me there was risk of prolonged numbness in my jaw because apparently my lower jaw nerves are huge (prominent even on x-ray!) – but i have none of that
  • i can talk fine now – probably about 6pm (surgery +9 hours) I could talk fine
  • i had chocolate pudding and mashed bananas (with some kind of whey/protein thing from leah’s roommate mixed in, so i got *some* protein yesterday)
  • over the course of the day the bleeding on the sockets cleared up – initially it was pretty heavy – not a pleasant thing to put gauze in, and have bright red blood on there – but by the end of the day, that was clear


  • more taking it easy
  • some comic books and books
  • maybe some books on tape
  • leah will be working, and i will be bedresting
  • today’s big challenge will be dinner with mashed potatoes
  • and did i mention taking it easy?

i feel like i’m making excellent progress. also, the oral surgeon did a followup phone call last night – i thought that was pretty cool. if anyone in the san diego area needs a recommendation for an oral surgeon, i got one.

And speaking of caregivers, yes, Leah has been wonderful. Mashed me up bananas. What more could a boy ask for?

and the diagnosis is: ONWARD

Brief, and Not for the Faint of Heart.

Took it pretty easy for yesterday.

But now I have other discomforts.

Turns out when they list “constipation” as a side-effect of vicodin, you should believe them.

Metamucil is a new friend.

I probably will switch to just ibuprofen for pain relief pretty soon. This shouldn’t have this side effect.

All I can think of is that hit Avril Lavigne song — but with the word “constipated” replacing the word “complicated”

Now, I will continue to do as little as possible.

Rest. Relaxation. Good day. And take pity on we, the uncomfortable.


Radio Show, Online

So now I’ve been on the radio twice, once on KPBS’s The Lounge, and last month, talking about current issues in web design, on These Days. Here’s the RealAudio of that show, also added as a link on the ever growing Writing & Citations page.

Link-O-Rama – some war, some tech, some misc

blog aggregators worth looking at

Just More Misc, Nothing Personal Today

Quote of the Day

Hope is not a plan!

…via Sustainable Fort Bragg, via Talking Points Memo

Some Lefty Bloggers (Some I’ve heard of, Some Not)- No idea if worthwhile…

Kynn, Muckracker / War Stuff

Blogs / War / Intersection

Soldier ‘bloggers’ report from war: There’s a new breed of combat personnel at the war front: soldier “bloggers.”

Internet contact a blessing, but potential risk, for troops

It’s a strange time. Everywhere I go I overhear people talking about the war and not a lot else. The SSQ talk last night on QA risk management also couldn’t help it – speaking about GPS equipment software failures and jamming and how it relates to risk.

Whatever your stance on the Invasion and Operations in Iraq, I know that those of us who are US Citizens hope that our military people come home in one piece, and that the people of Iraq don’t suffer overmuch.

The intersection of the current conflict and internet (journalism, blogging, news alerts, news aggregators, email, etc) is an interesting one – and *this* topic (as opposed to more general talk positive/negative on the war) seems ripe for discussion.

One thing in particular caught my eye:

“The Army even gives soldiers accounts to set up password-protected sites.”

(from the pilotonline link above).

The level of communication is really stunning when you think about it.

25 minute song of the day

Billy the Mountain If I listen to it 17 times, at the end of it my workday will be done. I’ll also be slightly insane from the surreal madness of the darn thing.

War now According-to-Hoyle Jihad

Oh, great.

Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, a reformist who, as the grand sheik of Al Azhar University, was one of the first clerics to condemn the September 11 attacks and to dismiss Osama bin Laden’s jihadi credentials as fraudulent, ruled that attempts to resist an American attack are a “binding Islamic duty”, and he asked Arab leaders to block any aggression against Iraq.

Maligned previously as a pro-Western reformer, despite his support for Palestinian suicide bombers, Tantawi’s new stance shows the extent of the realignment. Moderates and radicals now appear to be united and determined to oppose the American war.

The big questions now are: how will the new calls to arms be translated in operational terms, and will the battlefield be limited to the Iraqi theatre?

…from Osama must be laughing, in Melbourne’s newspaper, The Age

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