December, 2004: 32 posts.
Amazing few months. No blogging.
House-hunting in Moorpark — some good leads!
Thanksgiving: wonderful, great turkey
Movies: The Incredibles, I Heart Huckabees – loved; Bridget Jones – hated it
Classes: quite good, but busy. In C++ I’m one of the last 6 people left. Spanish – doing fine. Technical Writing, really enjoying it.
Weather: cold! too cold!
Activity on San Diego Blog — nearly none. Sad, yes. But it takes a second banana role to everything else.
Leah is taking care of business — her job in LA is set for January 3. We will move soon.
Did I mention it’s cold?
Give a Holler if you see any terrible errors with the new design.
At one time I was quite the night owl. Used to love working nights. Now I’m up at 12:45am and all I want to do is sleep.
Or maybe do some programming. Heh.
Good night y’all!
I should have gone to bed. In composing an invite list for a party this month (the 18th) I accidentually sent the list in composition to half the list, with nary an explanation.
Now that is a breach of netiquette.
So for those of you I confused, I apologize.
And if you want to come to a happening pre-marital, pre-moving, pre-post-san-diego shindig on the 18th, drop me a line.
I’m obviously incompetent to draft a guest list at 1:45 in the morning.
Good grief Charlie Brown!
People often ask me how I learned all these magic tricks. The answer is books, of course. The books that follow are the crucial books in my education in the ways of the World Wide Web. There are more books – but these are the desert island books.
- Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 14 Days : Second Professional Reference Edition by Laura Lemay. I cut my teeth on the HTML 3.2 Professional Reference Edition. It weighs more than a Yugo – but it’s really good.
- Creating Killer Websites by David Siegel. David Siegel is a controversial figure in the history of the web – but his book is a look at the web by a person who cares about look, about branding, and about narrative experience. As such his work is absolutely crucial to understanding web design from the pov of a designer.
- HTML Reference Card by James C. Armstrong. Published by SSC, this little reference was so damn handy to me as a beginning HTML codemonkey I can honestly say that I would not know what I do now without it. It only covers to HTML 3.2 – and no 4.0 card seems to be forthcoming (rats!) – but it’s still a great value.
- Database Backed Web Sites : The Thinking Person’s Guide to Web Publishing by Philip Greenspun is everything a technical book should be. It made me think as it made me laugh. Of course, it’s out of print (spotting a trend here?). However, Mr. Greenspun has written a followup – Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing. Recommended
- Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville is a more recent entry into the canon – but it’s a book which forces you to think about websites in a more structured manner.
- The important text for learning to design for the WWW isn’t a book at all. Jakob Nielsen’s UseIt.com is a great resource for thinking of the web as an information space. He does have some books in the pipeline (Designing Websites With Authority : Secrets of an Information Architect) – which I bet will be good. He’s a great thinker — if I can be said to have a philosophy of the web — it’s a melding of the ideas of Jakob Nielsen and David Siegel.
Graphics & Visual Communications:
- MacWorld PhotoShop 3 Bible by Deke McClelland is a winner – it is, of course, out of print. However, there are versions for PhotoShop 4 and PhotoShop 5. McClelland has an easygoing style that’s very friendly to the novice – I suggest browing in a BookStar, Barnes & Noble, or your local technical bookstore before buying though. I haven’t kept up with the PhotoShop books.
- Illustrator 5.5/6.0 Bible by Ted Aspach – also a book which has grown with the times. The first bit of the book teaches the concept of vector graphics better than any other book I’ve seen so far. See also Illustrator 7 Bible and Illustrator 8 Bible.
- Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by by Scott McCloud is a subtle work of genius. If you consider yourself a visual person, you owe it to yourself to read this book. In the bookstores sometimes you’ll find it in art, sometimes with the comics – and both are correct. Highest ArtLung Recommendation.
- Learning Perl (2nd Edition) by Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Christiansen, with a foreward by Larry Wall is a great place to start with Perl. After that, you can move to the online resources I like: http://www.perl.org, http://www.cgi-resources.com, and http://www.scriptsearch.com.
- Web and New Media Pricing Guide by Jp Frenza and Michelle Szabo is out of print. Pity, because it’s a really good guide to Multimedia and Web Production – from small to large projects. If you click the link you might try clicking on the authors names to see if they have anything else coming out. It would be worth a close look.
- Despite the cheesy subtitle, the Pricing Guide for Web Services : How to Make Money on the Information Data Highway by Robert C. Brenner is another great book for the freelancer. It’ll help you answer that eternal question: "What do I charge?"
There’s been so much stuff I’ve put up here on the site for so long, and it’s time to put this house in order.
Some of the more recent posts are older content that had no home, so boom!, they get sucked into the blog.
It’s raining now, just a little. Appointments and class today. I’m keeping busy.
Thanks for the well-wishes, all. Leah and I are pretty excited!
I am also a Buddhist, an Agnostic, and a Freethinker.
But I am definitely a Catholic.
What does that mean?
Well, that’s part of the ongoing struggle, right? To embrace spirituality without abandoning reason. To embrace religion without succumbing to the tendency to judge others. To be part of a community without walling oneself off from those who think differently than you.
It’s a strange feeling to have lucked into living a mile away from where I was baptized at a time when I was in spiritual turmoil. There’s some meaning there that I can’t quite escape, despite my highly skeptical tendencies. I’m very happy about the happenstance. Kismet, you might say. Karma, perhaps. The Hand of G-d, maybe.
Big wheel keep on turning.
My folks are flying into town Friday night for the 60th (with a SIXTY) Anniversary of my Dad’s parents. It will be great to see them, and to celebrate this great achievement.
Okay, the day needs to start now.
Be well, all.
That girl, she makes me laugh.
I really liked the movie Ray. What an American story!
Thomas P M Barnett is a great thinker about geopolitics.
Bruce Schneier is a great thinker about security.
Mark Cuban is a raucous thinker about business.
Pre-marital aka couples counseling was a great experience for Leah and I.
Want to listen to some Stew for free? KCRW has the hookup.
Speaking of cool stuff to listen to — if you’re into technology, you could do worse than IT Conversations, despite the fact that some of the regulars (I’m looking at you, Gillmor Gang!) are too obsessed with blogging and podcasting and RSS and Dave Winer. But the tech gossip is good. It’s where I first heard Thomas Barnett.
Leah has paintings for sale. We can keep them with us, but maybe they’d like to go to good homes?
Those who chortled at the death of Yassir Arafat make me cringe. The man was a human being.
Kynn has totally changed his life around. Made the transition from homeowner to RV-owner.
Matt Haughey, the fellow who first told me I should be blogging, will be a father. That is so cool.
School is both easier than I remember and harder than I remember. Time management remains the bane of my existence.
Everytime I hear Richard Ben Cramer speak about his book How Israel Lost, it makes me want to read the book more. I think this interview on npr with Cramer highlights what’s funny and sad about the whole conflict. I think that conflict, particularly the history of Lebanon, holds lessons for us about Iraq.
I love the card game Mao — which I’ve rediscovered after years of un-use. I intend to put the rules up on this site at some point.
I’m delighted that if you google for bruce sterling art center I’m the first site. I look forward to some public speeches and maybe seminars I can wiggle my way into.
I think that’s good for now. Have a great day y’all!
So we’re sitting and vegetating a little bit, watching some TV.
Leah goofily says “we’re getting married” — with a big ol’ grin.
“Everybody says so.”
And I reply: “that’s right.”
We’re a bit giddy right now, it’s true.
I’ve talked about my old Amiga 1000 before, and I’m talking about it again now. It was a great computer for its time. One of the great parts of it was the software.
There was an awesome music-making software called Instant Music for the Amiga which allowed one to compose music as easily as one can draw with a mouse, in color. Different colors represented different instruments, and the timeline ticked along. Not unlike how GarageBand works. The screen looked a bit like this, though this is a screenshot from the Apple IIgs:
So here’s the actual downloads to the songs, for your quizzical listening “pleasure.”
(If anyone has a reader for the Instant Music let me know, I have files I want to decode.)
1 – 1
2 – 2004 Election
3 – 3m
4 – 411
5 – 50cent (hollah!)
6 – 60 minutes
7 – 7th Heaven
8 – 89.com (which seems to be some kind of porn portal — likely an oversight)
9 – 911
0 – 02
And even the period gets into the act:
. – .com
Other characters like comma, percent sign, and dollar sign and pound mark (sometimes known as “hash”) didn’t do anything. Google Suggest just laid there like a dead fish.
And slashdot got dissed: “/” brings no suggestions. Poor /.
The worst candy I ever ate in my life was called “Giga” and came from Sweden from my co-worker Ingrid. This is what the packaging looks like so you can avoid it:
It was salty, very salty. I don’t remember any “sweet” to speak of.
That was back in 2001.
My very own name record! From sometime in the 1970s on “My Name Records.”
The story goes that my father had faith in me that I could run a little turntable even though I was like 3 or 4 years old. I’ve been trusted with technology ever since. My former roommate Erin recorded it to mp3 and I encoded it for the web in February 2003.
You can listen to the audio here: “Joseph, Joseph”
Good, if busy day today. Multiple projects on multiple fronts.
My folks left this morning (early!) for Virginia.
It was great to see them, even if briefly.
The party for the 60th Anniversary for my Grandparents was awesome. Poker til late. I lost money but had fun.
Poker game names are bewildering. So much to learn for a novice (which I am not, but this does not prevent me losing). Texas Hold ‘Em (of course, what with the fad for it on TV); Baseball, Change-The-Daiper; Low Hold Card Wild; Stud Poker: 7 card stud, 5 card stuf; Spit in the Ocean; Lowball; and many others.
School, the last week of it, is this week. I’ll be ready for it soon enough.
I’m actually doing some Flash work these days, er, yesterday. I’m coming back to it pretty well.
Also I’m exercising my ASP skillz lately. Yes, for skrillz.
My favorite Frank Zappa song is “The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution” — manic instrumental.
It was foggy last night, but not too cold. We got home late.
Electric blankets are awesome.
It’s cold again tonight.
Had some fun working and visiting and stuff with a good friend today. Excellent to combine work and play, sometimes.
Don’t be afraid of bologna.
Hot carrots are tasty and hot. And carrots.
I’ve been slowly migrating content from the smorgasborg to either the blog or to /dev/null. I’ll let web.archive.org handle maintaining all these little crappy bits. Really though, the smorgasborg was a bit of a blog. I just kept adding, and it was random. It was a little like a memepool, but I didn’t keep it up or format it as a blog.
Anyway, here’s the latest item to be killed from the blog, and moved here.
Why a website?
1. Customer support
2. Extension of companies current advertising
3. Name recognition
4. Customer feedback
5. News (Keeps clients up to date)
This was originally posted April 13, 1999. Still applies now.
I get the neatest email. Here’s one about Christmas around the world:
May God bless you keeping an interesting page of Merry Christmas in all languages on your website. This efforts praise worthy and I appreciate it.
Please permit me to suggest one very small improvement on
your page: http://artlung.com/smorgasborg/international_xmas.shtml
It says in Hindi, Christmas Greetings would be: “Bada Din Mubarak Ho”. It should be corrected to “Shubh Bada Din”.
It says in Urdu, Christmas Greetings would be: “Naya Saal Mubarak Ho”. It should be corrected to “Bada Din Mubarak Ho”
Diwali is like Christmas for Hindu’s. We say “Shubh Diwali” or other greetings are “Shubh Labh”. Hindu’s being Shubh should always comes first and then comes the rest. Shubh means benefit and betterment of everyone used for in a very auscipicous and religious way. It is important for Hindus and in a Hindu way of life is to always put “Shubh” as word and in thoughts before everything else.
Nothing bad, just that to Hindu/Hindi speaking, it would look like a Superman, you know like a man wearing underwear
over his pant! 🙂
Mubarak is a word for noble blessings more associated with Eid, which is like a Christmas for them. They say “Eid Mubarak”.
Thank you, kindly.
Thank you, Nitin. You are a fascinating character and I have made the changes you suggested!
The central thesis of this blog entry is there is so much good stuff in the world and it’s depressing not to get to it, and maddening to not get to it.
I agree with this thesis, but the problem is the entry makes it seem as though this is a new and unique problem.
The idea seems to be that with digital acquisition the problem gets magnified and makes the problem unique. Wrong. Libraries present the exact same challenge.
I remember as a kid going into the library and being wowed by the number of books there. I further remember, as a teen, working in San Diego’s big Central Branch library and being even more wowed by my options. Big art books, biographies, more science fiction than I could ever imagine reading, rolls and rolls of old newspapers, magazines bound together forming (literally) tons of potential reading and viewing material. That’s one library. And I’m not even mentioning all the record albums, CDs, cassette tapes, books on tape.
Many libraries now lend out DVDs and VHS movies as well. More and more content, and also still free in the service of the public good.
So many books, so little time, right? Well, sure. But instead of looking at this as a problem, think of it as an opportunity to make choices. In making our choices we define our lives, we define the time we spend. We are making our own culture, for ourselves. If all we’re doing is rushing through what we read and look at, what kind of enjoyment do we get out of those things? How do we let that culture inform our lives?
I would argue that taking your time with the media you consume serves your self-interest more than trying to make sure you acquire each and every digital product out there and never getting to them.
Take the time to stop and the smell the roses, eh? A hoary cliché, to be sure, but good advice.
If you have previously been to our home for a party, been invited but were unable to show, or think you should have been and did not receive an invitation for our holiday/wedding party Saturday night … like, tomorrow dude… please call or email Leah and/or I for more information.
Due to our extreme suckitude, we may have screwed up the very simple process of emailing out invitations to our friends and family.
Please accept our apologies, call us, and come.
Turnout was great. People were great. Tired this morning.
Marriage ETA: 54 hours.
Today I get married.
There’s a possibility that technical difficulties will get in the way, but I set up an audio blog over on the right there for developments.
Leah and I, and the kids, are all going to Las Vegas, and then on to Utah for the Holiday.
Things are good.
I can’t possibly mean it more today: Onward.
Right now I’m sitting in the Kanab City Library. Checking in on email and whatnot for the first time in a few days.
They don’t have free WiFi, but they do have a laptop hookup I can use for an hour. I want to swear about [expletive deleted] cool this is.
It’s been a wonderful few days of inaccessibility. Tomorrow Leah and I and the kids will head back for the thicker connectivity of California. Christmas was great, and I’ve been able to get to meet two of Leah’s sisters with much greater detail. And hey, I have new things like brother-in-laws! I have step-nephews and nieces! And not the least of which, I now have official stepsons and a stepdaughter.
All in all, it’s been a great week of marriage and holiday time.
Perhaps more in a bit, but that’s the quickie post I can muster before my hour expires. 🙂
I got a nice note from our friend Susan about our wedding, and I thought I’d share it…
I almost forgot that today is The Big Day – congratulations!!! How nice that you’re getting married on the solstice. A good omen, as
this marks a new phase in your lives with the promise of warm sunny days ahead. And — bonus — you’ll be able to remember your anniversary!
The Test Post
12/21/2004 09:21:06 AM
Counting The Bugs with Tony
12/21/2004 04:36:42 PM
12/21/2004 08:25:02 PM
We Have The License
12/21/2004 10:17:50 PM
Giddy & Married
12/21/2004 10:53:45 PM
Why Aren’t We Back (Vegas Edition)
12/29/2004 02:24:10 PM
The incredible tsunami last week is something I’ve not mentioned at all so far. It’s an astonishing event by any measure.
My heart goes out to those affected by the disaster. If you can, here’s a list of places you can help.