February, 2007: 41 posts.

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Mr. Terse Speaks

Man, has it been several days since I posted? I have not much to say since the dental procedures. They’re feeling good, but there’s more in store – I still have permanent crowns/bridges to be installed.

Bummer factor: I have a cold – serious sniffles, which was a partial rationale for getting rid of Mr. Beard. When one has a runny nose, one does not want tiny extensions coming out of one’s face to capture said runny-ness. And so, I am once again clean-shaven. Leah liked the beard, but she likes the naked face as well.

I have a post about Children of Men that remains incomplete. Not sure when that’ll be finished.

Worked with Google SketchUp yesterdat with my stepson Ty. He and a partner are working on a “Rube Goldberg” device project for school. He picked up the basics of SketchUp very fast. Not bad that there are free 3-D modelers you can basically get working on in about an hour. Shades of The Diamond Age.

Speaking of Google Products, I’ve been every more impressed with Google Analytics, which I have set up for two clients now. It’s got some nice features for a free stats checker.

Yeah, having a cold is the pits. But the show must go on! Onward, that is.

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Guru Meditation

Best failure mode, ever. Amiga.

Guru Meditation


Guidelines for Recruiters

  1. If, on my resume, I indicate where I live, and that I am not interested in relocating; please do not suggest that I work in New York, Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, or any other state where I don’t live.
  2. If your accent is so thick that I cannot understand you, I have no way to return your call.
  3. California is a pretty big place, you might want  to check to see how close the job is to me. Google Maps is free to use. (see )
  4. Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sacramento would not be reasonable commuting distances for me, as I do not have a jet aircraft.
  5. It’s “Mac” not “MAC.”
  6. It’s not  “Pearl”, it’s “Perl.”
  7.  Java is not JavaScript, though this is a confusing point even for some people who work in my business. I forgive you this one.
  8. If you ask me what my salary requirements are, please don’t be surprised if I’m not excited about the great opportunity that’s thirty-thousand dollars less than what I’ve indicated. Sure, there’s wiggle room about such things — negotiation is an artform — but a 30K difference might be a problem.
  9. If you call me and say you’re going to email me something, please email me the thing you said you’d email me. I have been very slack in the past about this, but I now understand the problem, and am doing my best to rectify it.
  10. In your phone messages, if you say your phone number very fast could you at least repeat it once?

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When Suggestion Systems Fail: Wrong William Gibson

When Suggestion Systems Fail: Wrong William Gibson

This is the right William Gibson.

Google Analytics Map of Visits

I find this pretty interesting to look at. Google Analytics is a powerful free tool. Google Analytics Geo Map Overlay

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Happy Valentine’s Day MMVII

to leahpeah - our love stands the test of time - happy valentine’s day, 2007

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Turn off Magic Quotes in PHP via .htaccess

php_flag magic_quotes_gpc off

UPDATE: See Magic Quotes, and note:

This feature has been DEPRECATED as of PHP 5.3.0 and REMOVED as of PHP 6.0.0. Relying on this feature is highly discouraged.

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San Diego Uni High Class of ’87 Reunion

University of San Diego High School CrestI emailed Cathedral High wondering if there were plans for a University of San Diego High School Class of 1987 Reunion. This year it will have been twenty (TWENTY!) years since I graduated from Uni. I got back this reply:

There are plans. Martin Correia is chairing the event and is in the midst of putting the committee together. The reunion will be held the weekend of October 5-7. The 10 year reunion will be held at the same time (not in the same venue of course). Friday night will be a casual cocktail party here at CCHS with tours led by our students for those interested, light food, music, and beer and wine. Saturday night would be up to the individual classes to plan. We would bring the classes back on Sunday for a mass here in our chapel. I will get the details up on the web as soon as possible with a contact for Martin so that you can get the latest from him. I hope this helps.

Not sure I’ll be able to make it, but it’s good to know.

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Daily Links theme validates!

It’s been a sore spot for me that Leah’s excellent blog has not really, uh, worked, for a long time. In MSIE 5 to 7, the thing basically went all wonky with the sidebars and ads and content. The thing was consistently off, and occasionally very broken. There’s an aphorism that “the cobbler’s children have no shoes;” to which a corollary might be — “the web designer’s wife has no working blog theme.” The look was based on an older version of the theme, which was in turn based on Kubrick, a classic (read: OLD) WordPress theme.

Tonight I finally did something about it and voila! It looks like it even works. It’s a relatively generic three-column theme. Not really “new” — the thing that’s new is that it’s not broken. The code is pretty and it works and it is consistent. Besides one non-semanticly correct html table, the rest of it is pretty darn clean. The xhtml even validates!


Anna Nicole The Musical seeking Young Writers / Composers / Lyricists

“It is a story of a small town girl, single mother, model, party animal and how she changed a little part of the world and touched so many people. “

read more | digg story

Count Zero

Everything needs to be remade. Things will look wonky until I get the thing looking right. It may be a while. Comments and suggestions are welcome in the interim.

It Was Six Years Ago Today I Started Blogging

Here’s the first post — rather short.

Since that time I’ve built other blogs, sold other blogs, been divorced, fallen in and out of love, lived with some different people, remarried, been interviewed on the radio, worked at a few different placed, gained weight, lost weight, travelled, regained faith, been cranky, been happy, had long hair, cut it short. Hopefully I’ve learned something along the way — it feels like I have, I know that I know more than I once did. It’s hard to ask for more than that.

I think it’s an accomplishment to have been blogging for six years. I have seen many many blogs start and stop. It’s been a good tool for my own mental health, to connect with people, to make my complaints, to announce my projects, to make my greetings. I’ve been doing it since before blogging was a word that appeared in the news or on tv commercials. I’ve been blogging since before it was making presidential news. I joined the blogging “craze” at an interesting part of the adoption curve — 2001 — before it was ever a “craze.” Ever self-critical, I consider myself late to the party — I was late to identify the importance of the technologies we now call blogging. I had been knocking about mailing lists — discussion lists where people discuss everything from web development, to the music of talking heads, to politics, and everything else. Here’s some postings from 1999 for example. It’s pretty cool that it was Matt Haughey who encouraged me, by email, that what I had to say would make a good blog. Considering how large he looms in the world of blogging now, it’s quite a compliment. I think of it as though one of the Wright brothers had encouraged me to get into aviation. Eventually I listened. But I resisted it for a long time. I had many questions: what’s wrong with usenet? What’s wrong with individual web pages? What’s wrong with mailing lists? I relented because the ease of publishing via blog was too tempting. Today, to post to my website — to start writing this post — the one you’re reading right now — I don’t have to start a new html file , write it up, and upload it by FTP. All I have to do is  click my browser’s “blog this” bookmarklet, start writing, and click “publish.” That ease of use was critical. It was a huge step towards what we now call the “Read/Write Web” — which is closer to Tim Berners-Lee’s original conception of browsers – that they would be a mechanism not just to read the web, but also to write to the web.

Privacy and anonymity were concerns for me, then, as now. When I started blogging, I was also acutely aware that I wanted to write as myself. I might have been “ArtLung” — but I’m also “Joe Crawford.” No anonymity meant that this was writing that would eventually be read by friends, family, enemies, government, employers past and present. I made myself  ready for that. The blog was not discovered by those folks for several years — and still has not been paid much attention by any of employers. Buy my operating philosophy was to think of it as public. It was a diary, but a diary that I would write and then walk down and post to the laundromat bulletin board. It was not necessarily a safe and quiet space.  I had strong, strong opinions about blogging. For example, I knew that I in no way wanted comments. And it stayed like that for several years, while the site was run through The idea I had about comments was that I didn’t want it to be a venue for anyone else. And I didn’t necessarily want to know what people had to say about the stuff I had to say. This was my own space, and not anyone else’s. If people want to write on the web, they should get their own site.

Now, I welcome comments. Yes, I have deleted a few over the years, for various reasons; but in the main I am more open to other points of view than I once was. I’m more apt to give your crazy idea a listen. I’ve found it’s been a great help to me to get those other perspectives. By ceding to the point that “other people might know something” I’ve learned so much more.

In 2007 the most popular site on the web, at least for the time being, is MySpace. It allows people to do exactly what I was doing in 2001 – share myself with the web. And it makes it as easy as possible. It’s no surprise to me, though I still wish the tools worked better than they do. This future, where it’s as easy as pie for people to publish to the web, is a pretty good one. It could be better, but that’s a normal kind of aspiration. Onward to the future y’all. Have a great day and I’ll see you soon, right here. Onward.

new design more-or-less complete

And now, there’s other stuff to do today. Rawk awn!

screenshot latest version.

Goodbye, Dedicated Homepage

Hey kids, I’ve made no longer be a homepage. If I do something like that again it’ll be over on the one-page At this point I have a great deal of faith in WordPress and I’ll be migrating all I can from the old pages into it. It’s been quite a few years, and it feels like the right thing. You can see old pages and designs over in the archive area.

As usual, lots happening. We’re on the verge of many things – taxes, new cars, and much more. It’s an exciting time, it’s a difficult time. Rock.

Old Homepage, 2005-2007 Homepage: 2005-2007

Commute from Simi Valley to Brentwood

Not too long ago I asked on h about commuting strategies from Simi Valley to Brentwood. It’s been a few weeks, and here are the results:

What I’ve tried in these past several weeks:
1. 118->405->Wilshire
2. 23->101->Kanan Road->PCH->Wilshire
3. 23->101->Topanga->PCH->Wilshire
4. 118->Sepulveda->Wilshire
5. 23->101->Las Virgines->Malibu Canyon->PCH->Wilshire
6. public transport

The results:
1. feels fast generally while on the 118, but the 405 just feels no fun, so I avoid it. It feels slower that the other options. and i feel trapped. if i want to get gas or whatever
2. is fun, but I think it wastes a lot of time on Kanan.
3. too curvy – i don’t get motion sickness, but this route makes me think of that
4. kind of nice, but too many other people are taking this road and it ends up being a bit nerve-racking
5. my favorite route, it’s not really much faster than the other options, but it feels faster, and i get a nice amount of having the ocean off to my right. there’s something to be said for looking at the ocean for mental health.
6. unexplored completely. very sad, since i love the train and don’t mind the bus.

audio books and podcasts have been wonderful for this trip. a stanford class on the historical jesus, and a bunch of future of warfare talks from johns hopkins, plus lots of coverville and misc IT conversations podcasts have been great. it makes me think about working in santa monica, frankly. i always swore that i’d never have a commute, but this one has worked out well.

Destructured Assignment in Ruby, PHP, and JavaScript

Stupid Code Tricks:


foo, bar = [1, 2]


list($foo, $bar) = array(1, 2);


[foo, bar] = [1, 2];  // I believe this is only valid in the latest versions of Firefox.

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Lent is here. What’s Lent?

And there are several possibilities floating around on tables.Stay tuned, I might even write about some of them.


On other notes, I bought Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design recently, and I need to take the time and get into it some more.

And it’s raining.

Commute time, y’all.

Getting Lost at Mardis Gras

Tuesday was Mardis Gras, and my Mom reminded me of the time I got lost in the crowds there. I had not remembered how old I was. Here’s the exchange:

Joe, Remember when you got lost att Mardi Gras?  What a scare that was.  We almost lost you twice in crowds.

I replied:

I do remember! That was a fun day. I was 12, right? Or 11?

I can’t seem to remember now.

The word is this:

You were 11 Joe and when I finally found you, you were having so much fun catching doubloons and beads.  You had a big smile on your face when I finally found you.  You made the best of the situation.

As I recall, I pretty much terrified them with that stunt:  here’s some musings on New Orleans which includes someof those rememberances: Robot Fighter, 1982:

I remember Mardi Gras. I remember getting lost at Mardis Gras. We had come over from Gretna to watch Parades. Maybe Bacchus or one of the other Crewes. We came over the bridge, and we were not really nearby home. I got lost. Apparently my parents were frantic, and trying to get the National Guardsmen to find me. Or were they Marines? Anyway, they were huge men in uniform.

Me? I watched the parade. I didn’t worry too much about finding my parents. I wonder if I felt I didn’t need to? Probably I knew that things would be fine, even if the streets were packed with thousands of people. Eventually the parade would end and I’d find my parents.

It’s funny, I think I’m at a stage in the blog where I’m in danger of repeating remembrances. The brilliant thing about the tools available is I can instantly look for whatever I want to on my site by doing a query like “mardis gras

That’s really all I wanted to say about that.

I sing a song of shoes

I have discovered an alarming trend of my online life: I document when I wear out my shoes.

Here’s: The Sandals Which I Killt Wif My Walking from last August. And Old Shoe from 2004. I made a header out of that one.

And in that spirit, here’s the latest in the line of dead soldiers:

This shoe is done.

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LA Blogger Shindig Tuesday after Next

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