ArtLung. March 2004.

March, 2004: 51 posts.

San Diego Bloggers for February 2004

I added antry for Atom in the database for and did some semi-automated autodiscovery of Atom and RSS feeds. That was pretty fun. Additionally, there are some interesting new sites in this list. Commentary, a family site, some moblogs, including one for the San Diego Chargers. Good stuff. So here they are

San Diego Bloggers added in February, 2004

9 Days Away: March Mingle

March Mingle will be on the 10th. It should be great. More at

We’d like to make this a technology agnostic event that brings together developers of all kinds, a sort of annual “Technology Woodstock” or “Ultimate Geek Happy Hour” for San Diego. To this end, we have gathered together a few sponsors and rented out a private gameroom at Dave and Busters. To kick things off this year, some folks from Macromedia San Diego (formerly eHelp) will be joining us at the event. No sales or technical presentations, just talking shop and munching on finger food while relaxing and enjoying the games and atmosphere. Oh, and did we mention we will have door prizes including books and software?

Be there.

What Level Unix Geek Are You?

I’m a dog: knowledgeable user.

Check for yourself: Hackles Cartoon Archive

You can watch Frontline..

online … or at least some of them.

Panther and wget

The version on — wget 1.8.1 – works fine on Panther.

wget and curl are my favorite unix utilities.

IBM launches ¡TradúceloAhora! Automatic Translation Project across the United States

I maybe could use some of this in my Spanish class…

Hispanics with access to English content on the World Wide Web will soon have access to richer, higher quality information through a new initiative announced today by IBM. Working in close partnership with Hispanic non-profit organizations in major urban centers across the country, IBM researchers will refine and perfect state-of- the-art software that will effectively translate English content into Spanish on the Web.

Through the new grant program, called ¡TradúceloAhora! (Translate Now) Automatic Translation Project, IBM will provide access to English-to-Spanish translation software for 30 non-profit groups that serve the Hispanic community in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City. The clients and staff of these organizations will collaborate to provide ongoing feedback about the usefulness and the clarity of the translation software to an IBM research team. With regular input from users, the translation technology will improve, become clearer and more refined — and ready to benefit the communities it is designed to serve.

Well, maybe not. But it’s kind of interesting.


Something from the editorial floor of, a would-be Christmas letter from 2003 that never was. I was fixin’ to delete it, then I thought, why not blog it!

So here it is…

Who won’t go up on the housetop click, click, click or down thru’ the chimney?

It’s good Saint Nick if he has to fly commercial. His boots would be taken and his suit of red searched. And those Five golden rings better be declared to customs before crossing the international border. Bobby won’t get a pair of ice skates. They could be used as a weapon along with what should go in the stocking of little Will: a hammer and lots of tacks. Forget about that ball and a whip that cracks too. Or Suzy’s sled. It won’t fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of him.

It might appear thus on FoxNews: An elderly gentleman calling himself only “Mr. Claus” was detained by agents of the Transportation Security Agency December 24th attempting to board Reindeer Airlines at Juneau International Airport. Sources inside the Department of Homeland Security indicate that the man, heavyset and with a twinkle in his eye, had likely entered the country illegally via the North Pole. In the interests of the administration’s War on Terror, a jolly old elf such as this, bearded, and carrying no identification is being treated as a “high probability suspect.”

And perhaps later….

The “Claus Case” has taken a turn… DHS and FBI agents report that the “Elf-Man” has escaped custody despite being under heavy guard. Apparently during a break in interrogation he for milk and cookies he disappeared from the holding area. The only possible exit in the security area is reportedly a chimney. Agents are at a loss to explain this circumstance, but say that the fat man left a note saying “Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Night.”

Not funny enough, not satirical enough, not well-formed enough. Good enough for the blog, not good enough for the Writing section.

And to all a good night!

Passion of the Christ Merchandising; Thoughts without yet having seen the film

At you can get products tied into the film. Including a Crucifixion Nail Pendant.

I have not seen the film yet. By all accounts it is bloody and violent and lacking almost entirely of the “good bits” of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

A movie about Jesus, it strikes me, ought to showcase more of his teachings of love.

I’m not sure there’s much to redeem a movie that’s all torture.

If you’re looking to find out more about the life and particularly the teachings of Christ perhaps you could look at the Jefferson Bible, a favorite of mine.

The idea of Christianity is this (see: John 13:34-35) at somewhere like biblegateway or another online bible source:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

That Jesus was comdemned to die and crucified are fact. To think that it must be done as a modern action movie — with slow motion blood and gore — I find it sad that it would take all that shallowness — to communicate the story of Christ.

It’s a shame the movie does not show more of the context of the life of Christ.

But every age reconstructs Christ around their own time — and perhaps in this time of war and strife, what people might seek would be to retell the story as hyperviolent tale of persecution and torture, with plenty of gore and blood.

This does not sound like the life of Christ, it sounds like Kill Bill.

More Atom

San Diego Bloggers. now has its own Atom Feed. (Don’t click that unless you have an Atom Enabled newsreader. It will only confuse you).

I win

In a search on Google for train from san diego to los angeles, I am #3, and is not, on the page except for a sponsored link.

Ha ha.

Does this sound like our President?

GLOCOM Platform – Opinions:

At Harvard Business School, thirty years ago, George Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that ‘people are poor because they are lazy.’ He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to ‘free market competition.’ To him, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was ‘socialism.’ Recently, President Bush’s Federal Appeals Court Nominee, California’s Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, repeated the same broadside at her Senate hearing. She knew that her pronouncement would please President Bush and Karl Rove and their Senators. President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary, and economic institutions that both Democrats and moderate Republicans had built together since Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Yes, this sounds like our President.

Voting Machines Direct Experience

My day as an election judge in Baltimore County is a terrific essay from the point of view of an election machine critic who actually experiences how they are used. The take home message: he finds them still too opaque to be trusted, but learns a great deal about how elections are run at the citizen level.

Blog -> Online Radio (x24 hours/day)

Fixed Bebe

It looks like screwed up my free webspace, so the large versions of the Bebe Ads * Advertisements * Advertising Photographs page are now hosted on my dot mac account.

Perils of Public Photos

One peril of having photos of me all over the site is that I occasionally get people thinking they have seen me. Here’s an email I got tonight:

I’m sitting in Starbucks, and I think I’m looking at you. Or not? Let me know.

Sadly, it ain’t so. I’m doing homework and work and freelance work tonight.

Geo Data for San Diego Bloggers

I’ve added some geodata to the San Diego Bloggers listing, these are from the ICBM and geo.position meta tags as recommended by

Sassy Weighs In

The Insidious Culture of Non-Mandatory Overtime.

Read it.

And may I suggest: ITOvertime.

Food for thought, kids.

More San Diego Bloggers Stuff

Are you tired of me talking about San Diego Bloggers? Yes? Well, sorry. But, we’re 5 days into March and we already have 5 new blogs! And check out the Feeds and GeoData and such.

Also, folks who link to san diego bloggers or who sport badges now have better placement, the top row of blogs (below the ads) is all people who link.

The lower area is for the rest.

I think the SDB site is part of my fan/collector tendencies. But the neat thing is that I don’t need any “real estate” to collect San Diego Blogs.

Quote Half-Remembered

There’s some quote about photography — something real snarky and i don’t recall it exactly — something like:

“Sure, a photograph is reality — as long as you don’t mind the perspective of a cyclops with an attention span less than a second”

Anyone out there know more about this quote? Who said it and how it’s phrased?

More on Appleseed

Back in July of 2003, I wrote: “I watched some footage (abut 5 whole minutes) of a CG Appleseed movie that looked really cool. All action, mind you, but it looked great.” — this was from Comic-Con — now there’s a bit more, and it looks great — Appleseed Trailer, from \n\n (quicktime japan site via the Ferreteer)

Codename: “risk”

On this page: 5Cats.Org: Dr. T’s Mathematics Pages — my Statistics class, are scores for the test I took Friday. I got a 98 out of 100. Not bad, but clearly I missed out on some. And others in the class got some 100s.

I’ll do better next time.

Oh, the codename is so the instructor can communicate the scores anonymously.

But let’s dispense with the anonymity for this class.

Office Revamp

Today Leah and I are working on a major revamp of the office, which was 100% chaos. Working in there has gotten harder, but on Friday we bought some used furniture at a cheap joint in South Park – and so far it’s a major revamp.

I’m taking an extended break right now, but will get back to it real soon now.

It’s a beautiful day. Not a day of rest, but a day that’s refreshing.


Rini’s Back!

Glad to be back, Bill sez…

“Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been the last several weeks. Well, I spent the better part of the last couple of months preparing to sit for the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. That combined with my regular workload left me precious little time to blog (or do much else). But the exam is over, I passed, and I’m back now.”

Kudos Bill! And your voice (cranky, incisive, funny, sometimes offensive) has been missed!

Spalding Gray, et cetera

Spalding Gray has been found dead.

Terribly sad. A suicide. I devoured his work when I was a teenager. I first became aware of him with Swimming to Cambodia in 1987. This was also around the time I saw Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, Eraserhead, and Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave — all at the indie theater The Ken.

I count him as an influence. His honesty, style, and audacity were inspirational to me.

In 1991 (it may have been 1990) I saw him live at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke performing Monster in a Box — this was before the movie was made of it. I found if profoundly moving. It was about his inability to complete a novel which talks about his own mother’s suicide. It was, as all his work was, incisive, witty, and dark. It was somehow hopeful for me at a time when I was unsure what I would do with my life.

It’s difficult to not consider his art when considering his suicide. He spoke often about suicide, analysis, his own failings and faults. Though there was much he did not talk about. In some ways I consider his personal monologues in the same way I consider certain blogs. People reveal much, but they hide just as much, if not more. For how does one cram the complexities of years of life into bite sized snippets of a line or two, a paragraph, or even a novel?

When I think of suicide, I think of my cousin Eddie. He was troubled, in trouble. He left behind a wife, children. So does Spalding. Suicide is something that has darted across my mind a few times in my life, when times have been terribly bad. The period of my separation and divorce stand out. Luckily, with analysis and counseling I was able to deal with the pain attendant to existing in a complex world. I am sad that some people are not so lucky.

Hmm. I’m forgetting when it was, but I saw Spalding Gray a few years ago as well. He did a two night stand at The Escondido Arts Center and Jennifer and I went to that. Well, Jennifer and I went to the first night, but I could only get tickets for one for the next night. My memory on this is hazy though.

I suppose the take-home message is that life is hard. And for some people, it’s not possible to retain hope.

But hope is the key. Hope for the future, hope for life, hope that things can get better.

I am lucky to have hope.


New Interesting San Diego Blogger Added

2004-03-09 Legal News Watch (RSS) … “Stories that impact your rights” … based in Chula Vista. I like it a lot already!

Spanish and Java

My oral presentation from last Thursday for Spanish went well. And the program due today in Java went well as well. It was some Swing/Graphics programming. Relatively painless stuff, and I’m enjoying it so far.

Things feel pretty good. I like these languages.

Tomorrow: March Mingle & LAMP Host

The March Mingle put on my Macromedia and the San Diego Cold Fusion Users Group is so tomorrow. If you’re a web nerd, you need to be there.

I’ll be in the house representin’ LAMP Host.

LAMP Host customers and others, feel free to come say hey!

Some Java Links for future reference

Are you a California College Student?

If yes, then you should know about an amazing concept where you can take classes at local universities called: Cross Enrollment.

Because I have some units from UCLA Extension, I need to do this cautiously, but I could theoretically do this. It’s pretty cool.


New Header here.

Leah did this amazing thing today and painted the kitchen. Amazing to watch her work. I also am catching up on scads of stuff. It’s going to be a good but busy week.

OS X Software I want to check out

via MacWorld magazine, which I’m catching up with today

Web Hosting Resource; Redesign

I’m coming to appreciate Web Host Industry Review as part of my role as Evangelist for LAMP Host. And speaking of which, the redesign of is coming along nicely. Major overhaul and rewrite. drop me a line if you want to be notified when the redesign goes live.

Don’t Worry About The Government

Notes from the (Legal) Underground: Federal Judge Sways to Rhythm of Talking Heads… a judge uses Talking Heads lyrics extensively in a decision.

San Diego Ryze?

Ryze business networking: San Diego. I heard great things about the last Ryze San Diego networking event. Anyone care to get one of these going again? Site Changes; March Mingle Photos

I’ve been tweaking the website — still not happy with it, but it is much cleaner html — in fact all the main pages are XHTML.

I welcome comment on the content, particularly if people have ideas for making the site more explicable to strangers.

Other fun widgets added: a favicon.ico file, geourl, more prominent xml/rss icon, a link to the wiki, and some other geegaws.

Several reformats were done as well.

And there are some photos now up from the March Mingle. To avoid the googlebots and any public embarassment from photos, they’re staying captionless. So, enjoy…

Pardon some of the red-eye. Photos courtesy Leah.

The Few, The Proud, The Regional, The Geeky

Ryze San Diego

The previous San Diego Ryze site I pointed out is not the *good* one. Anita C-W pointed out this:

I joined.

Three PHP Blog Softwares

(via web405) … and all of which could be installed on LAMP Host


Today, the community/mailing list I founded in 1999, WebSanDiego, turns 5.

Tomorrow, I turn 34.

On IMDB, you can find movie celebrity births and deaths and marriages by day: 19 March, 20 March.

Kinda cool.

I don’t have any sage thoughts on getting older or wiser or any of that. Perhaps tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Flickr Posting

Originally uploaded by Chubbzilla.

Posted by artlung from flickr

This made me laugh. I blame Mathowie for getting me to try flickr.All roads lead from Mathowie.

Today is: National Corndog Day, also my Birthday

I’m not kidding about National Corndog Day.

Today I’m 34. That’s more than a third of 100. Does this make me “Third-Age” — as in kinda like 50 is “Middle-Age?”

The agenda for today is: laundry and a birthday party. Oh, and I want to do my next Java assignment today.

I share my birthday with such luminaries as: B.F. Skinner, Fred “Mr. Rogers” Rogers, Henrik Ibsen, Jerry Reed, Hal Linden, Holly Hunter, Spike Lee, and Kathy Ireland.

More trivia at this New York Times Page.

What I’d like more than anything is for the whole world to have a good day. I wonder how much that makes me sound like a Miss America contestant?

Ladies and gentlemen… Onward!

Props-Thanks; A New Week Begins

Thanks for the linkage of late, for my birthday and for otherwise:

The week begins. I have a backlog of stuff to do. Wish me luck catching up.

The birthday was a smashing success. Kudos to Leah for putting it together.

Ted Kennedy’s Office Loves Macintosh

Apple gets juiced up:

“The Senate has also been attacked by computer worms and viruses recently, but those attacks have all targeted Microsoft Corp. Windows users, so Kennedy’s Apple-based office has been unaffected. Panther has proved more stable than the previous version of the OS, called Jaguar, suffering none of the dreaded kernel panics that occasionally afflicted Jaguar, Pole said.

‘We’ve had tremendous interest from federal, state and local governments because of the security of a Unix foundation,’ said Ken Bereskin, director of Mac OS X product marketing. ‘Every aspect of the OS has been enhanced, from the drivers to the kernel.’

One feature of OS X 10.3 that could be particularly useful to federal customers is the FileVault 128-bit real-time encryption. Kennedy’s office has not yet begun encrypting its files, but a recent incident in which Republican staffers accessed Democrats’ files have prompted Pole to plan to do it soon. ‘I’m not saying it is going to happen again, but it is what people do,’ he said.”

(via San Diego Blogger Primary Main Objective)

David Byrne Divorced, Focused More on Art Than People

Not particularly a newsflash, admittedly

CNN says:

“The gray-haired Byrne, 51 and NEWLY SINGLE, is caught in a frustrating career trap.”

And the Sunday Herald says:

The feelings of alienation were exacerbated by his personal situation. He has been separated from his wife Adelle Lutz, with whom he has a teenage daughter, Malu, for about a year or so , although they are not yet divorced. His girlfriend, Louise Neri, is a well-known art curator. There were so many changes in where I was living, where my office was and all that sort of thing. It made me question, Who am I? What s my identity? Where do I fit in? Is this where I should live? This is not my beautiful house, you might imagine him thinking. This is not my beautiful wife.

And this part includes a devastating quotes about David from Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth:

I spoke to Chris Frantz, the former drummer with Talking Heads, about the end of Byrne’s marriage. “David is a person who immerses himself in his work no matter what,” he told me. “I think his work is more important to him than anything else. He really cares about his artistic legacy, and unfortunately for everybody involved, his notion that this is the most important thing in his life gets in the way of his human relationships.” Frantz said this without harshness, as if he were stating a plain fact.

It is a sentiment echoed to varying degrees by other people I interviewed for this piece. Everyone agrees that Byrne is massively focused on his work, both his music and visual art. The word that keeps coming up is “control”. When he is working, he feels in control, therefore it would make sense that he orient his life in the direction of his work, prolonging the feeling of being in control for as long as possible.

Brian Eno, who produced three Talking Heads albums, co-wrote the seminal album My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts with Byrne, and is now writing with him again, agrees that work is more important to him than personal relationships. “I get the feeling that he’s much more at home in the world of art than he is anywhere else,” he says. “He’s not only very at home, he’s very sure of himself, very engaged, happy and thrilled by it. He’s more comfortable there, perhaps, than he is elsewhere.”

The downside of this retreat into art, of course, is that it can be rough on the people in your life. Tina Weymouth, bass player in Talking Heads, claims that Byrne is “incapable of returning friendship” and emailed me to say that, “Cutting off attachments when a thing/person is perceived to have served its purpose or there is a perceived threat to ego is the lifelong pattern of his relations.” Is he as cold as all that? He does seem to be slightly distant from his own emotions. According to Eno, “One of the aspects of David’s character is that he likes taking pleasure in things that other people either haven’t noticed or are slightly suspicious about.”

That’s quite revealing, I think. Byrne doesn’t just take pleasure, he enjoys taking pleasure; he is always one step away from the sensation itself. When I ask if he now feels more rooted than he did at the height of 9/11 fever and during his breakup with Lutz, he replies “Hmmm, maybe. Maybe. I suspect I do.” He speculates about his own feelings as though they belonged to someone else.

I certainly hope I am not ever afflicted with this kind of distance from my own emotions.

Site Launch: FireMapper

This past week and today the finishing touches were put on: Space Instruments’ website– The site design was done by Benecke Creative, and I did the underlying html, CSS and JavaScript. It’s got some nifty stuff on it. I particularly am proud of some of the mouseovers in areas like the Oil Spill Mapper and the FireMapper. It’s not terribly accessible code, but it does demonstrate nicely the features of their powerful sensing equipment. I did essentially no design work, other than advising Benecke Creative on what was feasible for mouseovers and navigational text.

Another cool thing, I’ve built the site using PHP, though you cannot really tell that based on the urls. With the powerful mod_rewrite capabilities in Apache (all on wonderful LAMP Host, of course), the site pivots through a few pages of PHP code, which gives me maximum flexibility to control the whole site in once place. Content files are placed in a subdirectory which the client can change using the most basic HTML possible. It’s not a full-blown content management system, but it’s simple, robust, and powerful.

There may be a few more changes to FireMapper in the near future, but they’ll largely be evolutionary. This site is a radical redesign of what came before, and it’s something to be proud of.

Tonight I was given a tour of some of the products showcased on the site, the GIS capabilities and sensing capabilities are remarkable. With the San Diego Fires still fresh in the memories of folks here, these products are relevant. The client indicated to me that their previous site had been inundated with traffic when the last fires hit, as people were searching for “San Diego Fires,” so much so that they got a huge bandwidth bill. We at LAMP Host are working on solutions to let people know when their sites will be approaching such limits, and give people options in that kind of an instance.

Amazing Van –Steve and Natty’s “THE HULK” For Sale

So my friend Steve Kapali got married this month, and is now moving to Hawaii. (I went to his bachelor party which is kind of a fun story — but not for here). Anyway, he and his now-wife Natty tricked out a van to take a cross-country several-months-long trek all around the country. It’s actually linked from my sidebar, and I’ve mentioned it before — Anyway. The amazing van is now for sale. Give a little link love to The Hulk, currently for sale for any interested parties. And even if you’re not interested in buying it, check it out. The pictures and the modifications to the van are amazing!

The Theme Today:Games

The Theme Today:Games
Started the day with a rousing game of racquetball with my Aunt and Uncle. This is a followup from Thursday, when I played doubles at my other Aunt’s workplace. Very cool.

After racquetball I went to the bank and gassed up the truck.

The main thing we all did today was go to the Family Fun Center Boomers in Clairemont. The six of us played miniature golf, which was actually pretty fun. Competitive. The question of the day is this: at what point do you learn to enjoy the game, and not focus so much on the competitive aspects of “sports”! Competition is good, but hyper-self-criticism is not so hot. I’m glad I’ve gotten to a point where I can enjoy games like that.

Anyway, we had fun, then the kids rode the go-carts. Then we moved on to the arcade for videogames galore. The older boys played DDR, while Leah’s daughter and her youngest focused on the ticket-garnering games.

Back when I was a kid, I used to love coming to this Family Fun Center. I guess ages 13 to 15 it was a big deal to go there and try to flirt with girls and play Battlezone and Centipede. Centipede is still there, well, actually it was there, as a combined Centipede/Millipede/Missle Command.

The game I really liked today was Mr. Digger – a sort of Tetris / Dig-Dug-ish game. Very frantic, very puzzley, very fast, very fun. I’ll be looking for that one again.

Now we’re back home and I’m watching A League of Their Own, another game-themed affair.

And I just downloaded MacIago, a free Othello-ish game for OS X.

I am worn out from all the activity. But it’s a good kind of tired.

And hey, onward.

Historical Spain/USA/Roosevelt/Franco/Bush Observations

in… Bush is a fear president.

I’m considering starting a links blog a la waxy, diveintomark, anil. Anyone else think this is a good idea?

Cox High Speed Internet: Out This Morning

For no reason, Cox was just out for 30 minutes. That chaps my hide.

Greens for Kerry?

A buddy of mine is tight with these folks… and it’s an interesting concept: Greens for Kerry.

Leah and I

Leah and I May hit this this weekend: S/he’s Crafty Craft Fair

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