Married, moved, and getting it together.

January, 2007: 60 posts.

Happy New Year!

It’s a Whole New World

Of calf pain. And other things.


Bike is on order. Stay tuned for more lower extremity pain this year. It’s not a resolution, the funniest of which is here. But a promise. There are physical changes afoot.

The above photo was taken in Kanab after I did almost all of a hike the rest of the family did. I previously referred to it here a few days ago. This was taken with Leah’s killer camera by me. I look somewhat goofy.

For real, happy new year again.

All things are possible. And change is continuous, difficult and painful. And quite necessary.

Peace and love be with you all.

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Is it because I bought less than 10 CDs last year?


The Long Tail: 2006: The worst year for hit albums since 1983:
What does it say about the music industry that the soundtrack to what was originally a Disney afterschool TV special was the bestselling album in the country last year?

Related with a vengeance: Tower Records declared bankruptcy last year.

Retail Receipt and Bag Checks

It’s fascinating what you find reading threads on where to buy electronics parts in the Bay Area — here’s a sub-thread about the door checks conducted in places like Fry’s or Best Buy — you know the ones, where you show your bag and they run a pink highlighter over your receipt. I had never stopped to consider it before, but you and I are under no obligation to comply.

One comment outlines the issue rather clearly:

Once you have paid for your merchandise and passed through the checkout, they have no grounds to search you unless they have a reason to suspect you of theft.

Your bag at that point is your property.

The checking of receipts at the door done by many stores is actually in truth voluntary, though they hate it when people seem to realize this.

If you refuse, they can’t stop you.

I have a friend who makes a habit of doing this at Costco….

I personally prefer not to make a fuss – it just isn’t worth it to piss off some minimum wage drone.

It’s amazing the things I take for granted about how the world works.

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I love that commercial!

David Byrne Journal: 12.26.06: Trees and tree shapes:

Do we purchase a car because the ad agency made a cute video? Is that how we make decisions? Maybe we do. Maybe the cleverness and technical virtuosity exhibited here imply to us that those same values carry over to the SUV. This would be a natural assumption to have about a person — if a person were clever, entertaining and executed something perfectly one would probably assume they had other good qualities. And the odds might be pretty high that you’d be right. In the case of ads the cleverness and the object being promoted are separate entities — rationally we should therefore love the ad agency and the director, not the car company that simply chose them to make the ad.

Would that we were rational beings. Whoops! We’re not.

Twenty Years: University of San Diego High School

It occurs to me that I graduated High School twenty years ago this year. 1987.

I wonder if there’s a reunion? I think I’ve dropped out of touch with them.

There’s a Wikipedia article about my school: University of San Diego High School. Wacky.

My High School no longer exists. It’s closed on the old site, and has been superseded by Cathedral Catholic High School.

If they had one, would I want to go?

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How would I lay me down to sleep?

I don’t think I mentioned it, but several weeks ago I went to the Cathedral for Mass. I think it was around Thanksgiving.

Anyway, I took some time after Mass to explore a little and I visited the Mausoleum downstairs. I found myself really compelled by the place. It’s solitary and quiet, nestled under a Cathedral meant to stand for hundreds of years. It occurred to me that it was exactly where I’d want my remains interred.

I’m 36 years old, and not prone to such mortal thoughts. Nonetheless, there was the thought, and I liked it. I’ve no idea what it costs, but given that Gregory Peck is laid to rest there, it just might be pricey.

Still, that desire is there. Something in me – perhaps narcissistic, perhaps egotistical, that makes me want my remains left there. Perhaps some other urban pseudo-apostate, pseudo-devout Catholics to see my name — in 2107, or 2207, or even 2507 — and wonder — “just who was that Joe Crawford?”

Perhaps I’d have my domain name engraved, so they could look me up!

Joseph Arthur Crawford
1970 — 2XXX*

So, what would I leave behind for them to find? Maybe just these documents.

Something to ponder as I move forward. It doesn’t feel morbid to talk about, but it’s a dark thought, to be sure. I feel hopeful though. I have much to contribute.

*Note the small optimism there, to live to 21XX I’d have to make it to 130 years old. To do that, I’d better lose some more weight! I wonder if they’ll still have “http” in 200 years?

for lp

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LinkedIn Answers

I agree with Jason Calacanis about the new LinkedIn Answers: oh, this is kinda rad.

I have been impressed by LinkedIn lately, I seem to get more serious inquiries through there than anywhere else through my profile page.

This is on the heels of Guy Kawasaki’s post about how to use LinkedIn better as well.

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Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

First JeSais tagged me, and I resisted. Then Geoff tagged me, and I now give in:

  1. I dislike Pink Floyd, Winnie-the-Pooh, Moody Blues, and Jethro Tull. For various reasons that are unimportant, though I have listened to these bands and or watched their cartoons, and I have my reasons.
  2. I have never watched “That 70s Show,’ and it’s now a rule in the house.
  3. My middle name is “Arthur.” In a High School How-To-Write-A-Check / Balance-A-Checkbook class where most of the people were not from my own grade (I think I was a junior and most of the students were Sophomores or Freshmen) I went by “Art” in the class. I was playing with my identity and I enjoyed it. The “Art” in ArtLung is really about self-identifying as an artist and not really about my name. When people call me Art in email they often apologize when I reply and it says “Joe” in my “From” address. this makes me chuckle.
  4. I have never been to Chicago or Philadelphia, and I would like to.
  5. I cannot drive a stick shift, and I find that embarrassing. I have had 2 lessons and did not enjoy it, but I think in a pinch I could fake it. But I fear for the clutch of the vehicle I would be doing it in.

I’m not tagging anyone else. But here’s a picture of my eye, and a killer hat Leah made me. I chose the colors. Leah did the actual work.

joe hat

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San Diego Blog Facelift

I believe I mentioned that several months ago I sold San Diego Blog. I’ve not talked about it much, but it’s bearing fruit for the new owners — for starters San Diego Blog got a Facelift, and so did San Diego Bloggers.

Really wonderful to see these things that languished (owing to my move to Simi Valley) over the past two years get going with some energy and style!

Rock on San Diego Blog Stuff!

Leah, Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday Babe!

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Send Me A Private Comment?

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Good Day Y’all

I have a few things bubbling on my mind.

I was quite moved by this article about bloggers in the Middle East. If there were a risk that I might go to jail for my blogging, would I still do it? This is a hard question, but I’d like to think I would. The stories of these bloggers are inspirational.

Mathowie pointed out a book called Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire, which sounds like a really great book. I would like to polish my presentation skills.

I am enjoying listening to the banter of the Daring Fireball Macworld podcast. I’ve enjoyed reading Daring Fireball for some time. The podcast reminds me that John Gruber is just a guy like you and me. Though also brilliant thinking about Mac software.

I love Scott McCloud, and I’m so happy that he’s become enough of a cultural figure that kids do reports about him. Scott wrote Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics. Those are wonderful books, particularly Understanding and Making — they’re essential if you like / read / or are interested in comics.

Also, I added some code to this page to make those links to those books on Amazon a little bit glitzier.

Do you use YouTube? Me too. Here’s a story about someone whose video got more than a million hits: My Wild Million-Hit Ride on YouTube.

FTrain is writing again, with a vengeance. I love his work. Read The Problem of Nomads, for example.

Weather-wise, it’s been COLD here lately. Into the thirties at night. As far as I can tell it’s typically been warmer in Virginia where my folks live than here. That’s backwards, dude.

I have a few other things to post today. Stay tuned, and have a great day!

Lyrics: The Killer Inside Me, by MC 900 Foot Jesus

I really like this song, available on One Step Ahead of the Spider. At some point I transcribed the lyrics, and here they are. If he put out more records, I would buy them. It’s interesting to me that though he’s still alive, or seems to be, Mark Griffen, aka MC 900 Foot Jesus, is a figure of some mystery.

Here are those lyrics:

you probably see me hanging around
i’m a very familliar face
in this town
a day doesnt go by
i don’t meet
a lot of my friends
walking down the street
i’m never too busy to stop by the way
and i’ve always have something pleasant to say
maybe some perceptive thoughts about the weather
or other latest news from wall street
i can stand around all day
making small talk
busting platitudes
blocking the sidewalk
tying people up
for hours with ease
one big talent is shooting the breeze
when they start to squirm
i really get going
but only my happy face smile is showing
why cant they see what i’m trying to hide
i’m busting a gut
laughing on the inside
it’s in their smile when they say hello
i can see they think im a little bit slow
but after awhile with me
they looked dazed
their eyes are covered
with a doughnut glaze
i really start to cook when i see that look
i hit ’em with every cliche in the book
their knees wobble and they start to weave
it’s like they’re begging for permission to leave
they think they’re having a brush with stupidity
i dont laugh
even though it’s killing me
watching ’em wilt like day-old flowers
ticking off the minutes as they turn to hours
they’re wondering how much more they can take
i give ’em a friendly smile and a handshake
we say goodbye
so very politely
now say hello to the killer inside me

everybody has their doubts about my sanity
but nothing happens cause they all feel sorry for me
i got the whole town under my thumb
and all i gotta to do is keep acting dumb
“oh that boy there, they say, whatta guy
alittle on the slow side but wouldnt hurt a fly
and such a gentleman – oh yes i know
he sure cant talk your ear off though”
i take my hat and pretend i dont hear
grinning like a half-wit from ear to ear
i can think of a thousand ways to say hello
so i start through ’em all
goin’ real slow
they listen hard and act like they care
how can they be so completely unaware
of the truth
the answer is always denied me
so i introduce ’em to the killer inside me

(feel the blast)
(feel the blast)
(feel the blast)
(feel the blast)
(feel the blast)

Peter Nicholls’ Definition Of Science Fiction As Quoted By Bruce Sterling

It occurs 45 minutes into the Long Now mp3 of the event “The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole;” it makes me laugh.

Why would Science Fiction stoop to this? Why are they deploying this grand mathematical notion as like, a source of “plot coupons”

Well I’ll explain this to you, and if you learn nothing else about science fiction you need to know this. This is the classic Peter Nicholls definition of science fiction from 1976. It’s very difficult to define science fiction. Many people have tried. Okay…

“Sci-fi can be succinctly defined (I’m quoting him) can be succinctly defined as speculation, whether based on established scientific facts, or, on logical pseudofacts, consistent with the framework of the fiction in question, involving smelly, green, pimply aliens furiously raping or eating or both beautiful naked bare-breasted chicks, covering them in slime! red oozing living slime! dribbling from every horrific orifice, squeezing out between bulbous pulpy lips onto the sensuous velvety skin of the writhing sweating slave girls their bodies cut and bruised by knotted whips brandished by giant blonde and vast bicepped androids; and written in the gothic mode.”

That just rocks so hard.

Time, Attention, and Alan Watts

Thomas Barnett got an assistant and prioritizes based on the level of effort from the asker. Neal Stephenson simply asks you to go away. Eric Raymond wrote a whole article on asking good questions.

One of my favorite articles is from Mark Pilgrim called Why We Won’t Help You (from 2003) which is actually inspirational to me, although I think to some people it will seem callous:

The short, smart-alec, Zen-like answer is that we are helping you, you just don’t realize it yet.

I note quietly that Mark’s favicon is the tajitu.

Zen is on my mind. Leah and I listened to some Alan Watts via the Alan Watts podcast in the car. It was pretty great. About the ego and spirituality and being. I really like it that a guy who has been dead for more than 30 years has a podcast.

Zen — the aspect of accepting and being — being in flow, is what I’m concentrating on today. All is well. Onward.

The Diamond Age: Mini-Series for TV

via BoingBoing, and confirmed on Clooney’s studio site.

Here’s the story from SCI FI Wire:

Diamond Age, based on Neal Stephenson’s best-selling novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, is a six-hour miniseries from Clooney and fellow executive producer Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions.

When a prominent member of society concludes that the futuristic civilization in which he lives is stifling creativity, he commissions an interactive book for his daughter that serves as a guide through a surreal alternate world. Stephenson will adapt his novel for the miniseries, the first time the Hugo and Nebula award winner has written for TV.

As I said in 2001, and again in 2005 The Diamond Age is my favorite Stephenson book.

The thing to capture is the variety of cultures in the world of the book. I’m quite stunned to see Stephenson himself doing the writing for the screen. And pleased.

[CakePHP:PHP] : [CakeInfo():phpinfo()]

This is pretty nifty! cakeinfo!

I’ll be using this on some of my projects to do internal diagnostics.

“Joe, don’t read this one”


Too late.

I was there, and those photos truly reflect Tyler’s incredible enthusiasm and cackling howls of laughter at tasty food that looks like excrement. I believe he even asked for the recipe.

Geni: Online Tool For Geneology

Very very cool. The Geni Blog: Geni in the Press. My extended family is way into genealogy. I’m sort of interested too. This is a cool way to play with it. Check out

Killer flash-based user interface. Sublimely easy to use. Recommended.

A Little Bit Of Rain

Some random lyrics:

He was a Cosby fan at heart it’s clear;
He searched and found a Cosby hair!
He spent ten long years and built a cloning machine;
And now he’s accomplished his wonderful dream:
To make a House of Cosbys…
It’s a House of Cosbys.

The theme song is nice even without the show, which honestly could be a bit hard to take, and not safe for work.

It looked like it rained a little overnight. Not much though. Maybe our stupid, stupid ants will leave us alone if there’s water outside. They’re in our bathroom upstairs now. Why? No obvious attractants other than we’ve made the kitchen less hospitable. Those ants are jerks. It reminds me a bit of when we were fighting mice at our house in San Diego.

That was no fun, jack.

Incredible: Girl Down The Well

This is the most awesome image I’ve seen today, courtesy genius potter Joe Bennion, of Horseshoe Mountain Pottery:

The Girl Down The Well


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Thought of the Day: Awe

From the other day on, I like it very much, it articulates something about fear that I think is important.

One of the great Rabbis once said, “Jewish tradition teaches man how small he is and how great he can become.” Do not be frightened of G-d. Stand in awe of Him. Fear weakens the spirit. Awe strengthens it. Fear is demoralizing. Awe is uplifting.

Coupled with love, awe is the basis of Judaism with which one can begin to communicate with and pray to G-d, concretizing a relationship with the soul.

It makes me think of Arianna Huffington’s book: On Becoming Fearless, which came out around the time Leah interviewed her.

Afoot and Afield

Lots of stuff happening.

Bike: gotten.
Sister: engaged.
Face: goateed (probably not for long).
Job: new and Brentwood.
Car: rented.
Children of Men: seen and amazed by.
Lawn: slightly brown.
Weather: cold.
Work: off to it!

Goatee Update

By “popular” demand:


Not a permanent change. Just for fun, for a little while.

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WordPress 2.1 Ate My Blog

I can see the posts in the database, but something went wonky on the upgrade and everything before the upgrade is invisible.

Woe is me till I find the time to fix it.

Please stand by.

I’m asking about it on the wp support forum.

Update: And we’re back. The way I fixed it: running this SQL:

-- update DBPREFIX with your own. It may be "wp_"
update DBPREFIX_posts set post_type='post' where post_parent=0;

My theme is not really 2.1 compatible, so I had to do some other hacking as well. When I had everything displaying on the home page, ALL BLOG POSTS were displaying. That’s too many posts. I’m just glad nothing was lost.

Kids, don’t rush your software upgrades right before bedtime. It’s the wrong thing to do.

Wilford Brimley

Display a Brace in Smarty Code

The “literal” tag should do it:


Smarty info.

(By the way, yes, the blog is still screwed up. I’m busy. Gimme a break. I was up till one last night working on it and no joy. Yuck. This is what I get for a rushed upgrade.)

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Post Number Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty-Two

That’s a lot of posts.

This is mostly a test.

I’m glad to be back up.

WordPress 2.1 is actually pretty cool! I like the interface changes. Bummed it’s still kicking it old skool with regards to Atom.

I think what I did was do the upgrade before all files had finished uploading to the server, so a step got missed on the upgrade and blammo.

On February 19th, I’ll have been doing this for six years. Not too shabby, and sort of fun.
I’m getting tired, another busy day tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Trailing commas in an array OK in PHP

I was editing some code today and saw what looked like an error to me, but nothing was broken on the code I was looking at it, so I was prompted to look it up. And indeed, in PHP:

“Having a trailing comma after the last defined array entry, while unusual, is a valid syntax.”

So sayeth the documentation for PHP: array
If it says it in there, it must be true.
So this is legal php:

… which, as I said, looks so bizarre to me.

Daily Links

Goatee taken over

The goatee is being strangled by what’s now clearly a beard.

I need a shave, and a haircut.

Two bits!

It’s been a good week professionally so far.

I dislike commuting, but it’s not bad when one has great audio to listen to. I’ve been listening to a course from Stanford on The Historical Jesus which is absolutely fascinating. (iTunes). The professor is Thomas Sheehan and he provides a historical context to biblical writing which has my neurons firing big time. Beautiful mythology, beautiful history.

Speaking of time — it’s time to get going y’all.

And hey, lp, you’re doing great. Xo.

Loading TinyMCE on the fly

Let’s say you have a textarea that is called into a page dynamically, say with an AJAX loaded chunk of HTML with a textarea in it. If you want that textarea to have TinyMCE applied to it, you need to call a script. This was a fun one to think through and debug, and it speaks well of TinyMCE’s design that this method is available.

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Paint.NET 3.0 Final is out

via  Greg’s Cool [insert clever name] of the Day:

Rick Brewster’s blog : Paint.NET 3.0 — Final Release now available!

I like It’s slim and stable and free. It’s for Windows only, but the “.NET” in the name probably gave that away, yeah?

Get it at


Bizarre term I came across at the latest Viridian Note:

Procrustes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Greek mythology, Procrustes (the stretcher), also known as Damastes (subduer) and Polypemon (harming much), was a bandit from Attica. He had his stronghold in the hills outside Eleusis. There, he had an iron bed into which he invited every passerby to lie down. If the guest proved too tall, he would amputate the excess length; if the victim was found too short, he was then stretched out on the rack until he fit. Nobody would ever fit in the bed because it was secretly adjustable: Procrustes would stretch or shrink it upon sizing his victims from afar. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, who “fitted” Procrustes to his own bed and cut off his head and feet (since Theseus was a stout fellow, the bed had been set on the short position). Killing Procrustes was the last adventure of Theseus on his journey from Troezen to Athens.

New Feed: FeedBurner

I have no idea how many people read me. I don’t follow stats closely. I do have a sitemeter account and I read the numbers, but I’ve no idea what that really means in the scheme of things. In the end I’m not driven to blog differently based on traffic.

One of the things Leah did did recently was implement FeedBurner. I’m following her lead because the stats available via FeedBurner are appealing to me.

Update: I have 34 subscribers to my feed, it looks like. Leah has two hundred and something. Fascinating!

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Dental Work

Deep cleaning, root canal x 2, antibiotics.

It’s a fun week so far.

Human Blunders

Wealth Without Work
Pleasure Without Conscience
Knowledge Without Character
Commerce Without Morality
Science Without Humanity
Worship Without Sacrifice
Politics Without Principles
Rights Without Responsibilities

…from the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

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Another Day, Another Root Canal

The big one was done today. Taking antibiotics and Tylenol #3 (hah! I love that there’s a wikipedia article about that).

It occurs to me that Tylenol #3 is to Tylenol as ActionScript is to ECMAScript.

Yes, even drugged, I am a bit odd.

I’ll probably lie down for a while.

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

Molly was the kind of cantankerous thinker I really like. She will be missed. As a memorial, go read one of her articles. Take part in your democracy. I never met her.

Anyone who can make me laugh AND make me think while I’m thinking about politics is okay in my book. P.J. O’Rourke and Harry Shearer and John Stewart and precious few others do this for me.

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