Happy New Year 2004 from ARTLUNG.COM

January, 2004: 96 posts.


Happy New Year.

Hey San Diego!

Your Civic Duty

Go read this November 2003 article from The New Yorker: War After The War: What Washington doesn’t see in Iraq by George Packer. It’s thought provoking and troubling. Yeah, I’m late to it, but it’s great. It was my father who pointed me to it. Go.

More Civic Duty: Your Bank Account, Your Liberties

Read this: Your bank account, your liberties

We realize that the Fourth Amendment — and the rest of the Bill of Rights — exist for a reason, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. With H.R. 2417, with the USA PATRIOT Act, with its ability to detain American citizens indefinitely without charge or access to attorneys or judges the Bush Administration now has absolute power. And with the Valerie Plame affair and so many others the Bush Administration has proved that absolute power does indeed corrupt absolutely.

The only hope we have now is for the entire electorate to appeal en masse for the restoration of restraint and accountability to the White House. You and your friends, you and your coworkers, you and your family must appeal to the press and to your elected officials for the return of the rule of the Constitution and reason. You must reassert your civil liberties and insist that White House aides, overzealous FBI agents and corrupt DEA agents not have access to your banking records without probable cause. You must insist that your private details remain private without probable cause. You must insist that you and your neighbors not be jailed without charge, not be disappeared without lawyers, not be held without judicial review.

You must insist that the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they wrote the Fourth Amendment — and the rest of the Constitution — and that their wisdom is no less relevant today than it was in 1776.

Get active. Demand accountability and adherence to American principles of Freedom from YOUR Government.

Sad to see it leave the San Diego landscape

There is no group called softweargirlz. SWGz participated in Happy Hour 9 prominently. WebGrrls San Diego has been closed for a while. Techniquelle is still around though. Times change, I suppose.

I Am Seriously Thinking About This


Lots of stuff going on. I owe it to myself to do a big long post with all the changes, but not yet. Mom, my goal is to get a full update out there by the end of the week!

Love and happiness to all!


For a laugh:

Subtly Simpsons made me laugh.

I Love Audio

Audio Reversal In Popular Culture is a neat web page all about instances where people reverse, somehow the sound in a song to dramatic effect, or just to be weird. Of course Zappa is included.

Race to the bottom

I was in Wal-Mart yesterday. The whole joint is a race to the bottom. How cheap can it be done. We don’t care where. We don’t care who. We don’t consider long term economic benefit or harm. We want the lowest price. So Sassy’s predictions, inasmuch as they focus on cheapness – eliminating staff, outsourcing if it’s cheaper – I aggree with wholeheartedly.

Arar: Traveled via USA, deported to Syria and Tortured

Read this: Some more facts: Torture by proxy/How immigration threw a traveler to the wolves.

a) Arar was not trying to enter the USA. He was just doing a plane change in NYC coming in from Europe and going on to Montreal. Since then the USA has cancelled the program that let you stay in a controlled area to change planes in the USA without entering it. He was then, bizarrely, deported not back to Europe (normal procedure for those who fail immigration) or to Canada (his place of citizenship to which he was flying) but to Syria.

b) The organization that he was accused of association with, the Muslim Brotherhood, is an anti-Syrian-government organization, trying to bring down the repressive Syrian regime, very much in line with US goals. So when they sent him to Syria, they tortured him not to help the USA, but to see if he was one of their own enemies.

c) Arar had been investigated on these associations, and cleared, in Canada. That got his name in the files though, and thus got him pulled from the airport. The RCMP’s complicity in this is an issue of contention in Canada right now.

d) Canada issued a travel advisory after this, warning Canadians who were born in certain Arab nations “to avoid traveling to the USA.” Yup, the USA is the sort of dangerous country travel advisories get issued on.

There are more instances of these things as time passes and Government has too-large powers over its citizens and visitors. I’m tired of it. The war on terror is vitally important, but if it makes us a repressive people, and a repressive government, is it worth it? I’m alarmed and angered.

Cat, Warshed

So Bas got a little stinky, Leah let me know. So, I washed him! He was amenable to the process, and now smells of that wacky Dr Bronner’s Eucalyptus Castile Soap. He did not make a sound the whole time, but he was trying to leave the whole time. Luckily I know all about cat wrasslin’.

Never heard of Dr. Bronner Soap? It’s awesome stuff – all natural — and the bottle packaging is covered in aphorisms such as:

Who else but God gave man this sensuous passion, Love that can spark mere dust to life! Beauty in our Eternal Father’s fashion! Ecstasy far above Earthly greediness & strife! Poetry, uniting All One, brave, all life! Who else but God can make Love last 1 trillion years of sweet eternities! For when conquered after years of toil, sweat, blood, Love can strike like greased lightning sent by God! To spark mere dust to intense blazing fire & create the unity of God’s spaceship Earth, as all mankind desire! Bronner’s Almond Soap quart poem teaches ‘How to Love’ uniting All-One above!

Now that is something to love about troubled California — the crazy desperate joyous goofy positivity of Dr Bronner’s of Escondido, California.

And the cat smells great!

USA Today Likes Stew

USA Today reviews Something Deeper Than These Changes:

Stew, Something Deeper Than These Changes (***) On his solo outings, of which this is the third, the lead singer of L.A. pop eccentrics the Negro Problem is frequently compared to Burt Bacharach. I find his sinuous melodic twists and articulate but sometimes-oblique lyrics (“lunch box mind”) more reminiscent of Jimmy Webb. Whatever. Such lofty comparisons attest to Stew’s undeniable gifts, evident throughout this consistent set but most distinctive on the circular shaggy-dream tale of L.A., Arteest Café, and two of the most gorgeously melancholy songs of 2003, Way of Life and Love Like That. —Ken Barnes

I like the phrase…

Tree Salesman

Read Leah’s Christmas Tree Salesman post. Totally true story.


Naladahc and Chuck linked to me for the Simpsons thing. Glad ya liked it guys!

Also, Janece and Kynn have linked to me in the last while.

And look at this, Macedonian.tv has appropriated my Flash Mind Reader thing at http://www.macedonian.tv/artlung.htm. They’ve kept my copyright notice and everything.

Hey, don’t steal my stuff! Time to write them a note.

Quote of the Day, and More Bruce Sterling

From Bruce Sterling:

When you get to the future there’s just more future ahead of it.

From the audio interview at Massive Change.

More: On the WELL and always on his blog.

Most Succinct Post on the iPod Mini

rc3.org : The iPod Mini: “$249 seems like too much money to pay for the iPod Mini.”

I have 2 subscribers!

My Racquetball Grade

Remind me to check my grade at Student Web Services Online. What’s up with the system not being online in the middle of the night?

Word of the Day

kakistocracy: “Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens”

Good Citizens!

Macedonan.tv took down their copy of my page, and link back to me! That’s so cool!

Interesting Speech, About Global Warming And Aliens

And it will make you think.

Caltech Michelin Lecture:

“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

Movie: First Time Caller

The First Time Caller website is up! I vaguely know a guy involved with this.

My First Python Program

Here’s my hello world moment for the programming language Python:

print "Content-type: text/html\n"
print "hello"
if 1 == 0:
  print "1 is 0"
  print "1 is not 0"
print "

" print "word "*10

Which results in

hello 1 is not 0

word word word word word word word word word word

Expect more new stuff coming soon. Onward with a vengeance!

Lots of Individuated Blog Entries!

I’ve been on a tear of posting lots of individual entries with neat stuff I found or stuff that upsets or entrances me. Well, there will be more of that. Soon I’ll take a breath and talk more seriously and at more length about: changes in my personal life, changes in my professional life, and upgrades to my educational life.

In the meantime, feast on miscellany!

Quorn = SCOP

This stuff called quorn seems a lot like the “scop” (a commodity single cell protein food source found in novels of Bruce Sterling, particularly my favorite, Islands in the Net. And hey, here’s a site called Technovelgy.com: scop. Nifty. Including some other terms from Sterling works.

The Power Of Slideshows

Awesome Diversion!

The hilariously funny (and, please, also not for kids or sensitive adults) The Story About The Baby has been updated with a new series of columns: The Story About the Toddler. The true adventures of a father who looks at things cynically, wittily, and foulmouthedly.


I Love L.A.

Crank up the Beach Boys, baby
Don’t let the music stop
We’re gonna ride it till we just can’t ride it no more

(…but I’m staying in San Diego)

Vossa: Rentable Space

Vossa is a new space available to rent for presentations and stuff. Very tricked out, and I may be interested in using this for one of my ventures.


Happy Birthday Leah!

Ocean Beach Woman Loses Skin, Lives

TheSanDiegoChannel.com – Health – Woman’s Skin Falls Off, Miraculously Lives — here’s more on Transcyte:

Human Fibroblast Derived Temporary Skin Substitute – Temporary wound covering for surgically excised full-thickness and partial-thickness burns.

TransCyte consists of a polymer membrane and newborn human fibroblast cells cultured under aseptic conditions in vitro on a nylon mesh. Prior to cell growth, this nylon mesh is coated with porcine dermal collagen and bonded to a polymer membrane (silicone). This membrane provides a transparent synthetic epidermis when the product is applied to the burn.

As fibroblasts proliferate within the nylon mesh during the manufacturing process, they secrete human dermal collagen, matrix proteins and growth factors. Following freezing, no cellular metabolic activity remains; however, the tissue matrix and bound growth factors are left intact. The human fibroblast-derived temporary skin substitute provides a temporary protective barrier. TransCyte is transparent and allows direct visual monitoring of the wound bed.

At one time I would work in the Burn Unit and UVa, so I learned a little about skin and its’ importance. And this story amazes me.

And this is the site of the University of California at San Diego Burn Center.


Changes for LeahPeah Blog

Leah is making a change in focus for her LeahPeah Blog. Now entitled “ask leahpeah,” and based on the fact that “readers ask the darndest things!”

Homeland Insecurity

Read this one on Salon: Homeland Insecurity: The fact that U.S. intelligence agencies can’t tell terrorists from children on passenger jets does little to inspire confidence.

Relying on computers to sift through enormous amounts of data, and investigators to act on every alarm the computers sound, is a bad security tradeoff. It’s going to cause an endless stream of false alarms, cost millions of dollars, unduly scare people, trample on individual rights and inure people to the real threats. Good intelligence involves finding meaning among enormous reams of irrelevant data, then organizing all those disparate pieces of information into coherent predictions about what will happen next. It requires smart people who can see connections, and access to information from many different branches of government. It can’t be seen by the various individual pieces of bureaucracy; the whole picture is larger than any of them.

These airline disruptions highlight a serious problem with U.S. intelligence. There’s too much bureaucracy and not enough coordination. There’s too much reliance on computers and automation. There’s plenty of raw material, but not enough thoughtfulness. These problems are not new; they’re historically what’s been wrong with U.S. intelligence. These airline disruptions make us look like a bunch of incompetents who cry wolf at the slightest provocation.

GeoURL + RSS = LocalFeeds

LocalFeeds has an exclusively San Diego Page — how do they do it? — they use GeoURL data combined with RSS data.

It’s also smart enough to list “Nearby Cities” such as El Cajon, Chula Vista, Tijuana, Escondido, Oceanside.

So cool!


Last night we had a little party at Corvette Diner in Hillcrest in honor of Leah’s 33rd Birthday. That’s a change.

This year I myself will turn 34. That’s a change.

Tom‘s wife is pregnant. That’s a change.

Janece is pregnant, that’s a change too.

I have resigned my position with financialaid.com. I enjoyed my time there, but I have new opportunities on the horizon. To call me “elated” does not do the change justice. It’s a change in emphasis that I look forward to with delight, fear, wonderment. I will have more information about the new venture as I get closer to it. Expect to hear lots about it here.

I’m chomping at the bit.

Corvette Diner is named after the car, which is in turn named after various species of warship. The small and nimble corvette is an appropriate image for the new ventures of the year. I am going to war!

The plan is for a Master’s in Five Years. I am claiming that spot out on the horizon five years hence for my Master’s degree, and it will be mine. I currently hold a modest Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Care. Next week I’ll be talking to a counselor about my options. They are legion.

It’s time to claim my place in academia, and sink or swim on my own merits. It is time to abandon the road of the pure autodidact and embrace the rigors (and pitfalls) of the academy.

Luckily, I am not alone in my battles. I see more than ever the strength to be gotten with proper shipmates. Foremost among my crew is Miss Leah Peterson, woman, artist, photographer, writer, mother, friend, housemate. We are currently engaged to be engaged to be married. We discuss it, but both realize that we would like to be better arranged financially and emotionally before doing something as powerful as marriage. Marriage is something both of us have done with mixed results. There was good out of both of our marriages, but also unhappiness. And we will seek to prepare ourselves thoroughly before entering into that sacred bond again. We are not babes in these woods. There be tygers.

But I am happy, enthusiastic, scared, emboldened. I am happy. My life is not perfect… what life is? … but I am ready to go…




Bedtime now. More tomorrow. Er… today, later. Much later.

But the laundry is done! (More or less).

Many thanks to those of you who have sent well-wishes since my last big post. The positive thoughts are much appreciated.


Sometimes one must Dance. With a trombone.

Alma Mater, Nombre Cambió

Jefferson College of Health Sciences is the new name of the former Community Hospital of Roanoke Valley: College of Health Sciences. Here’s a bit more about the history of the College — many former names and colleges that have merged over time to become this new thing — many tributaries, all forming this new river. I wonder if any of my old instructors are there?

Misc Bookmarks (Found Clearing Out Stuff At The Soon To Be Former Gig)

Search, Down

WebSanDiego.org – Search this site is currently down with this error:

ht://Dig error
htsearch detected an error. Please report this to the webmaster of this site. The error message is:

Unable to read configuration
file ‘/usr/home/artlung/public_html/_websandiego/cgi- bin/htdig/conf/htdig.conf’

This is another thing I want to add to my list of “things to do.”

Security Thoughts; Schneier

The Crypto-Gram for January 15, 2004 is excellent as always. Particularly, read his strong criticisms of current airline security and the color-coded alert system.

Also, I will miss it, but the author of the Crypto-Gram newsletter, Bruce Schneier, will be in town Friday night at San Diego Technical Books promoting his latest book.

1am Quizlet

What do Rover, The Dot, F1, Office Logo, Mother Nature, Links, Rocky, Merlin, Courtney, and Earl have in common?

Catch Up (Link) Ball


Today will be my last day at FinancialAid.com. I’ve enjoyed my tenure there. I’ll have a major announcement next week about what I’m up to next. I’ve talked about it a bit. But for now, I’ll leave you wanting more. Drop me a note if you’re curious.

I’ll be in and out this busy weekend, and will likely not check email much.

So… have a great weekend!

Let’s be careful out there!


I’m on the road. Back in the box late tomorrow. Southern Utah is beautiful, though dry. More this week. Onward via dial-up!

Things About Utah

Man, that ground is red.
Fry sauce.
Dial-up is slow.
It is bad to put cellular phones into washing machines.
I gave my copy of The Jefferson Bible to Leah’s parents.
I like dried papaya.
Many movies and TV shows have been shot in Kanab.
Driving through the area where the polygamists live is eerie.
Leah with her brothers and sisters: wonderful.
When going to LDS country, bring a white long-sleeve shirt with a collar.
And maybe a tie.
And perhaps a coat.
Sconecutters in St. George was pretty good.
It’s fun to joke about getting married in Vegas.
There ain’t nuthin’ in Baker, California. Though the bathrooms were clean and the gas was the cheapest in town.
The truck held up great — Thanks mom and dad!
The new regime begins today!

There is no such thing…

as an INS agent anymore:

The former INS and former U.S. Customs Department were merged into the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the Department of Homeland Security.

I had not realized that. See: US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Customs & Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

Media Grok -> Media Unspun -> Blog?

I used to love Media Grok, and now maybe this will be cool. Though it says “Guest Blog” — which maybe indicates it is only temporary. The Industry Standard: Guest Blog: Jimmy Guterman – Internet Business News

Civics Department: One Party USA?

Civics Department: One Party USA? Read this: America as a One-Party State by Robert Kuttner


My cell phone is currently down, making it rather hard to make or take calls. This is one of the hazards of going all cellular: DOWNTIME!

Still, AIM works.

Moon Goal: Underachievement?

Chuck makes the point going to the moon by 2015 is sort of aiming low. I mean, we did this already. In 1969.

I see his point, actually.

IDEO Method Cards ~= Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies

IDEO Method Cards look like they’re congruent to The Oblique Strategies.

The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation – particularly in studios – tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you’re in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that’s going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn’t the case – it’s just the most obvious and – apparently – reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt *this* attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt *that* attitude.”

The Method Cards are intended as inspiration for practicing and aspiring designers, as well as those seeking creative spark in their work. It’s a design tool meant to help you explore new approaches and develop your own.

I don’t have either. But I like the idea of both.

Web Programmers Guide To Comparative Language Functions

I’ve been wanting to build a comprehensive guide comparing PHP, ColdFusion, ASP, etc for some time. Something like: Server-Side Scripting Comparative Anatomy, combined with links out to the documentation on php.net, Macromedia.com, and Microsoft.com. Something one can use to know that rawurlencode(), URLEncodedFormat(), and Server.URLEncode() are the three respective ways to do the same thing in the “big three.”


College; Racquetball Grade

So it is looking like I need about 30 units of Community College work (more or less) to get into UCSD. I talked with a super-nice Transfer Counselor and essentially it looks like 30 units or so will get me in there. My current academic state is sort of ambiguous. I have 90 or so units which contributed to my Associate of Science – but as these were from Virginia, they don’t necessarily transfer, or not, to the UC system. I also have some units from UCLA Extension, from whom I’ve now requested a transcript. Though there’s no guarantee that any of those will transfer. I also have a few additional, much older units from San Diego here, which may transfer (though those were from when I was a paltry 17 and 18 years old, and some are not so hot). Still, they may count for something. So now I’m collating all these things and will talk to a counselor at City or Mesa College about what I can make with all these ingredients. Best case scenario would be TAG or IGETC into UCSD in Spring 2005, but I’d have to have all 30 units in time – unlikely. Likely scenario is to matriculate in Fall of 2005 as a Junior. Likely majors for me include, in no particular order:

  • Cognitive Science/Computation B.S.
  • Cognitive Science/Human Computer Interaction B.S.
  • Biology with a Specialization in Bioinformatics B.S.
  • Computing and the Arts B.A.

The goal continues to be Masters degree in 5 years. It looks like I can be enrolled in 2005, plus 2 years is 2007 for my Bachelor’s, which gives me 2 more years for a Master’s if I’m to get it by 2009.

So, we’ll see.

Oh, and I got an “A” in Racquetball, 0.5 Credits, from last semester at City College. So I’m already a student there, really.

Holding Pattern

I’m sitting in the East Village Coffee House, which is across the street from San Diego City College. On further inspection, I have 26 units of credit from 1987-1989 from the San Diego Community College District. Where these random credits which range from A to F put me, I have no idea. The F obviously don’t count, but the A in Broadcast Studio Operations and the B’s in Cinema as Art/Communication I, Introduction to Philosophy, Beginning Architectural Drafting, General Psychology, Introduction to Radio and Television may. So too may my C’s in Design, Cinema as Art/Comm II, and Principles of Marketing. Yuck.

I was a much different person in 1987-1989. Much less patience for things which I did not enjoy. Less tolerance for teachers who I might not agree with. And mostly, I was lazy and unwilling to work very hard for anything.

It’s funny, in High School and when I was first taking classes in Community College I used to hide my grades from my parents, forge signatures — nasty stuff. That kind of deception makes me cringe now. I have shame for that time, but I learned a lot from that. And I’m a much more open and honest person, particularly since my divorce.

Things are much different now.


So I’m waiting for the transfer office to open up at 10am (usually they open at 8am) — and we can take a looksee.

This is sort of fun.

Next week I begin a new gig in earnest. I’ve gotten… er… three notes asking me what it is. And I’ve complied. And some other friends and family know what’s up. So next week – even more newness!

Stay tuned… and… onward!

Had my meeting with a counselor

Summary: things good: likely candidates for Spring classes: Spanish, Statistics, Java Programming. So we’ll see. Oh, and more than half of my SDCCD credits transfer. My Virginia units will need to be assessed by SDCCD. I’ve been advised by Sassy to fight for those units hard.

Got lots of worksheets and requirements lists on my potential UCSD majors and on IGETC and TAG and am diving in. You know, Bioinformatics is looking much more interesting to me. It’s hard science, it’s programming. It could be really cool. The Cognitive Science/HCI degree also is entrancing and looks doable.

So, as Sassy has succinctly put it, I have a few goals to hit my 5 year goal of a Master’s degree. That’s a Master’s by 2009.

  1. Successful Application to UCSD
  2. Bachelor’s Degree at UCSD
  3. Successful Application for Master’s Degree
  4. Master’s Degree

To get step 1, I need to jump through hoops and get my units in a row for TAG and IGETC, and that includes getting my units to City from CHRV College of Health Sciences/Jefferson College of Health Sciences, getting those assessed… and, enroll for some classes for the Spring.

This is fun.

In honor of the Death of Captain Kangaroo

UCLA Extension Transcript

Wow that was fast. My transcripts came from UCLA Extension — really fast. I have 15 units — B in Entry Level Positions in Film Production, and 3 A’s: Digital Backlot: an Introduction to Digital Image Creation for Film & TV; Mac Illustration; and Post-Production for Film and Television.

I don’t think any of it necessarily applies, but it’s nice to see on paper.


So I’m taking some classes at City that will apply for TAG and IGETC for later transferrence to UCSD: Statistics, Java Programming, and I’m the waitlist for Spanish. I enrolled and paid online. It’s a modern age I suppose.

Like I said (or maybe I didn’t), the counselor at City was very helpful.

Okay. Onward.


Resume, Resume

With today I resume regular employment. More in a little while.

If you’re out there, and looking for work, I recommend you read this article, by Joel Spolsky: Getting Your Resume Read. It’s really excellent advice.

A buddy of mine was doing some hiring recently, and he was astonished by the number of people who violate basic etiquette, pay zero attention to details, and seem to ignore the rules set down in the initial job posting. Perhaps that’s just desperation. But — if you’re jobless, it’s on you to do everything as right as possible, yes?

Pope, Breakdancers

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it”

Source: CNN

I have one, so I’m up to date with 2 million US kids

I remember this videogame

Usenet Posts From Old Email Accounts

Google groups, formerly Deja News Groups: artlung at earthlink.net; jcrawford at avencom.com; jcrawford at edupoint.com.

Search For Posts From My Old Co-Workers

gtm; jamisongold; edupoint; avencom; financialaid; bidland — some of these may be spam from “joe jobs”, so beware for content.


Some great quotes

from The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck: “Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a profound tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.”

San Diego Blog!

There are some new and cool San Diego pieces over at San Diego Blog.

Well, I think they’re cool. Maybe they’re not. Hah.

Stupid RSS Tricks: PHP, Magpie, and RSS

I’ve just put up a listing of the most recent posts to websandiego using the RSS library for PHP called Magpie.

http://websandiego.org/recentposts/ is where I’ve put it.

http://websandiego.org/recentposts/source.php is the sourcecode in question. I think it was Steve Eisenberg who noted that YahooGroups provides an RSS Feed for the group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/websandiego/messages/?rss=1

The whole *point* of the syndication thing is to allow this kind of thing, and this is pretty nifty. It uses caching, and supposedly uses conditional GET to make sure the page does not hit yahoo too hard.

I’d love to hear feedback from people about what they think of it or if they have other ideas for how websandiego.org can use RSS. We still have an RSS event calendar on the front page — but that really is dependent on people using the Sharpe calendars. Sadly, it’s hard to get people to use a unified calendar, or even to publish a unified calendar.

Anyone have programming or other feedback?

Or even a better construct for doing alternating colors in a table. 🙂

My clunky code is: if ($counter==0) { $color=$colorOne; $counter++; } else {$color=$colorTwo; counter=0;}

More on Magpie: http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/

(reposted from websandiego)

Alternating Color PHP Thinger

Sassy sent me some help for: : “$color = ( $counter % 2 == 0 ) ? $colorOne : $colorTwo; ” — it uses the modulo operator, described .

Thanks Sass!


My father had a weather-related car mishap today. The email my Mom sent describes it as prety scary. Back in Virginia, things are icy and cold and I don’t care for that one bit. With some luck, it looks like the car was not lost, and my Dad got out and to work safely with a colleague.

The weather in San Diego may not be perfect right now — it’s overcast and a bit chilly and sometimes wet — but it’s head and shoulders better than ice, sleet, snow, and cold.

New Business Cards

Tease, tease, tease. I just ordered some new business cards from iPrint and they should arrive soon. I’m excited about my new venture. I’m thinking about doing a press release and everything. Something I can send to the likes of freshnews and the t sector — or would that be worthwhile?

I’m still formulating my plans of attack for now, but I have oodles of ideas for how I’m going to be attacking my new, part-time job.

Was that obscure enough?

Ask me to be more obscure!


Sander pointed out to me that the index page of websandiego.org was showing a directory listing. It has now been fixed.

The title of this post is the only proper response to the fact that the front of websandiego.org was a directory listing for about 20 hours.

Thanks for the QA, Sander!


Testing of publishing of an Atom Feed. You won’t see anything yet. Sorry.

Okay, Atom is ON

Blogger added support for Atom feeds — read more at AtomEnabled.org — it’s not got the same content as the RSS feed, but hey, it’s simple enough.

I’m using PHP code to add Etag and Last-Modified code:

header(“Last-Modified: $myDate”);
header(“Etag: “$myDate””);
header(“Content-Type: text/xml”);

I also added this code in the html of my page:

<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/atom+xml” title=”Atom” href=”https://artlung.com/blog/atom/”>

I need to add an icon as well. So, yeah.

I’ve been reading dive into mark.org, which has been interesting and internecine and internutty.

That was supposed to be funny.

Okay, I’m trying.

Duh, the URL for my Atom Feed…

Shirky on online community and the gap between the enthusiasm and action

Check this, on Many-to-Many — Is Social Software Bad for the Dean Campaign? A quote:

The Dean campaign has brilliantly conveyed a message to its supporters, particularly its young ones, that their energy and enthusiasm can change the world. Some of this was by design, but much of it was a function of people looking for something, finding it in Dean, and then using tools like MeetUp and weblogs to organize themselves. The story of the bottom-up and edge-in style adopted by Dean’s staff has been told a thousand times, and it’s a good one.

But what if this style has also created a sense of entitlement or even inevitability about the change? What if communing with fellow believers has created the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from participation in a shared effort, but hasn’t created a sense of urgency or threat? What if Dean supporters believe that believing is enough, and what if the Dean campaign’s brilliant use of tools to gather the like-minded both online and off has fed that feeling?

I can attest to the fact that online groups can give a sense of self-satisfaction that can make you think more is being accomplished than is a reality. In my websandiego group, for example, often people have a sense that it’s so active and vibrant — the only place they would ever need to market is there on websandiego. The truth is that the vibrancy does not indicate that there’s a huge pool of enthusiastic consumers of XYZ web dev product. And it’s only a tiny slice of all the possible consumers of web dev products in San Diego.

The Presidential race is still early, and I’m looking forward to more competition as it shakes out. So far I’m glad to see Lieberman and Kucinich doing poorly — when I hear them speak, I get irritated.

I have been cautiously supportive of Dean so far, and despite these two early losses — there’s still more to come for thiss year’s election.

Here’s an outrage…

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: Press Release: “Writing Instructor Loses Job for Discussing Iraq War in Class”

Silly Social Networks

Brian Dear sent me this latest silliness of his: Denounce Newswire: Amazon Launches New Social Network Called “Pricekut”: “Customers Can Now See and Comment on the Contents of Other Customers’ Shopping Carts”

I guess you have to be pretty geeky to get it though.


Hey, I just ordered TurboTax for Mac. With luck I should have my taxes done in a few weeks, though I’m still waiting on my W-2 from one of my employers.

The TurboTax (formerly MacinTax) product is really good. Painless, and easy.

Nifty UG

The South Eastern Michigan PHP Users Group seems particularly active.

And no, I’m not going to Michigan. 🙂

What Dori Said…

Backup Brain:

Orkut (what’s Orkut?) was down, but now it’s back up again. Not a member but want to be? Ask.

Later note: uhhh… I meant ask if you and I actually do know each other, virtually or otherwise.

Hee. Yeah, if you know me, ask to be invited, and I’ll let you in on all the fuss.


Remind me to install a Kwiki.

Like Starbucks?

Check with the The Oracle of Starbucks. Silliness.

John Perry Barlow on Dean

Read this: BarlowFriendz: The Counter-Revolution Has Been Televised:

“This is especially true in a primary campaign where the leading criterion driving candidate preference is the ability to beat the incumbent. Given the relentless hammering he took from the media, Dean was lucky to get 26% of the New Hampshire vote. Even so, Dean may be done for. Or, more to the point, done in. Some will say that he strung his own rope, but it looked more like a media lynching to me. Assuming I’m right about this, why did television want to hang Howard Dean?

I may have an answer. It may be that, once again, we have met the enemy and he is us. By pre-announcing the possibility that this might be The Internet Election, we issued fair warning both to the traditional media and the big money politicos that a threat was at hand.

If Dean could actually raise enough money online to match in aggregate the much larger and fewer donations Bush has bought from the plutocrats with his tax cuts, it would shake the system to its rotten core. Worse, if information from the Web and the Blogosphere were to start defining enough personal realities to contest the great mass of tube-zombies at the polls, the gazillions presently spent on television campaign ads would start to wither. An enormous amount of power and money might be at stake.”

Read it all.

Microsoft advises against clicking in MSIE

833786 – Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks

“The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar yourself. By manually typing the URL in the address bar, you can verify the information that Internet Explorer uses to access the destination Web site. To do so, type the URL in the Address bar, and then press ENTER. ”

You know your web browser is buggy and old when you’re telling people not to click on links.

( via http://boingboing.net/ )

November Election

Doc Searls says: “Then remember that we’ve only had two primaries so far, and that November is a long way off.”

WE the people

Citizen of the US? Go read Senator John McCain:

In the State of the Union Address just last night, the President called on us to act “as good stewards of taxpayers dollars.” He asked that, when he sends us the new budget plan, we “focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending, and be wise with the people’s money.” Why wait for that budget? Let’s start right here. Let’s strip all of the pork, all of the earmarks, and all of the good deals for special-interests out of this bill and “be wise with the people’s money” right now. “

I encourage you to read it all.

Warnock’s Dilemma

“Warnock’s Dilemma The act of choosing whether the lack of response to a discussion-list post is because of its brilliance (there’s nothing to add) or because of its stupidity (it doesn’t deserve comment). Named after Brian Warnock, who first described the condition on a Perl list.”

( from Wired 9.10 )

Brother Bruce Speaks

In his latest op-ed, Slouching toward Big Brother, Bruce Schneier asks the questions our politicians and media OUGHT to be asking.

Security is a trade-off. It makes no sense to ask whether a particular security system is effective or not–otherwise you’d all be wearing bulletproof vests and staying immured in your home. The proper question to ask is whether the trade-off is worth it. Is the level of security gained worth the costs, whether in money, in liberties, in privacy or in convenience?

This can be a personal decision, and one greatly influenced by the situation. For most of us, bulletproof vests are not worth the cost and inconvenience. For some of us, home burglar alarm systems are. And most of us lock our doors at night.

Terrorism is no different. We need to weigh each security countermeasure. Is the additional security against the risks worth the costs? Are there smarter things we can be spending our money on? How does the risk of terrorism compare with the risks in other aspects of our lives: automobile accidents, domestic violence, industrial pollution, and so on? Are there costs that are just too expensive for us to bear?

Unfortunately, it’s rare to hear this level of informed debate. Few people remind us how minor the terrorist threat really is. Rarely do we discuss how little identification has to do with security, and how broad surveillance of everyone doesn’t really prevent terrorism. And where’s the debate about what’s more important: the freedoms and liberties that have made America great or some temporary security?

Kids today! MikeRoweSoft and the G5 Hacker

File under “oh those kids today!”

Item 1: Mike Rowe is supposedly making a bundle on eBay by selling legal docs
(though ostensibly only got an MSDN membership and an xbox)

Item 2: The G5 Kid was a big hoax

   Ha Ha.

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