February 28, 2003
Quick update before the next meeting at work

First, here's a picture taken at last night's SoCal WUG at IHOP.

It is my laptop & my pigs in a blanket. I had eaten all the bacon. Bacon tastes good.

Several friends & family, have asked about my toe. It's fine. Really. No hurty. I don't need to see a doctor or get an x-ray. To prove to myself how rabid you all are for every last tidbit of content, I have posted a picture of my broken toe. I dare you not to link. You can't not link can you?

You sick bastards...

Posted by michael at 09:31 AM
February 27, 2003
SoCal WUG baby...

I'm sitting in a booth at IHOP for the wireless user group meeting.

6:59 Getting situated with hardware. I played with Airsnare and cold see all the traffic flying by.

7:03 A crew from GenMay is here at the table next to us.

7:07 I just ordered dinner. Pigs in a blanket, side of bacon.

7:14 Still waiting to get started. The place is packed.

7:22 Diet Coke has arrived. No food. In the words of Sinistar, "I hunger!"

7:24 Meeting started. Food arrived. Talking about stickers.

7:30 They are discussing a mini-access point. I'm not sure about the details, but people are all ohing and ahing.

7:36 Color Broadband is describing the hotspot area that they put in Long Beach, CA for the city govt. Free wireless!

7:45 Long Beach is going to deploy 5 more free wireless hot zones soon.

7:50 Apple crisp & ice cream arrived. Mmmm, dessert....

8:07 Color Broadband done. Break time. Much talking.

8:22 We are in the middle of the hacom.net presentation about the openbrick box. I am experiencing food coma effect from the pigs in a blanket.

8:23 I need a cup of coffee.

8:35 There are 30 concurrent connections in the room.

8:37 Meeting officially over.

8:39 Turing off the laptop now.

Posted by michael at 07:00 PM
Attack Blimp

Via Metafilter, I present you with The Horror of Blimps.

It's funny, because I can see it happening in my own house...

Posted by michael at 03:27 PM
Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers has died.

Rest in peace Fred Rogers. I thank you for being a wonderful part of my childhood and wonderful example of kindness and compassion for millions of children.

Posted by michael at 07:04 AM
Thursday Three

Screw the Friday Five, it's the Thursday Three:

Answer the following:

1) What are the best three bands making music today?

2) What are the best three movie soundtracks ever?

3) What are the best three books that should be made into movies, but haven't yet?

My answers:

1) Cake, Green Day, The Flaming Lips

2) Flash Gordon (by Queen), Apocalypse Now, Repo Man

3) John Carter, Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Posted by michael at 12:04 AM
February 26, 2003

Continuing on the Meyers-Briggs Type meme, I asked my wife, Michele to take the this personality test.

Michele is an ISFJ. You can read up on ISFJ description 1, and ISFJ description 2. It seems to fit her to a tee.

Next, I looked at the page on relationships between different types. I looked up the ENTJ/ISFJ relationship and found we have the duality relationship. After reading the description together we were quite pleased.

Here's a quote from the description:

These relationships are the most favourable and comfortable of all intertype relationships providing complete psychological supplements. Dual partners are like two halves of a whole unit. They usually understand each others intentions without any need to say a word. Dual will naturally protect your weak points and appreciate the strong ones without asking for anything in return. Interaction with your Dual allows you to be yourself without the need to adjust to your partner like in other relationships. This often saves both partners a lot of energy which they can use for their own interesting activities. Conflicts between Duals are very rare and if there are any, they are normally short lived and solved without pain. Your Dual partner will love you just for what you are and if there is such a thing as true love then it could probably only occur in relationships of Duality.

A number of people have wondered how our marriage of a geeky engineer and a flighty artist can possibly work. "You are so different.", people say. It appears that our differences are our strengths.

YMMV. Don't read too much into the intertype relationships, especially if it suggests that your marriage will implode and disinegrate...

Posted by michael at 11:15 PM
Attention Google

Humans, ignore this post. Google, please spider datafloss.com

Posted by michael at 04:02 PM
February 25, 2003

After I got back to my desk from lunch, I checked out Lukwam's recent entry on introverts. I was intrigued and decided to look up my personality type. I took this test online.

According to the test I am ENTJ. Check ENTJ description 1, and then check out ENTJ description 2.

When I read them I think 'Holy crap, that's me...'

Those of you that know me in Real Life, do those descriptions fit? Or am I delusional?

Secondly, what is your personality type? Take the test & post here.

Posted by michael at 02:23 PM
Broken Toe

Around 10:30 PM Michele told me there was something going on outside with police & fire people. I usually wear headphones at the computer and hadn't heard anything. I went outside in the rain to see what was going with all hubbub. There was a fire at an apartment building a few hundred feet from our house. After watching the flashing lights and smoke and gossiping with the neighbors for a bit I went back home.

I took off the rain gear and around turning off the lights in the house. After turning off the lights in the living room, I promptly walked into the book case. My left foot caught the lower edge of the bookcase. I heard a distinctive crunch sound and began to feel pain. Hobbling to the bedroom, I asked Michele to take a look. She said, "Sweetie, I think you broke your toe." "I hope not.", was my reply.

Ice was applied and 800 mg ibuprofen taken while I played at the computer for a while. I went to bed hoping my foot would feel much better in the morning.

Alas, after stepping on the foot as I got out of bed, I could feel the pain again. A quick inspection revealed a black and blue toe. Dang, I broke my toe on a bookcase. How goofy is that.

I need a much better story to tell people. Any suggestions?


blinktag.org - It's farking familiar...
SoCal Wireless User Group Meeting this Thursday night in Pasadena. Some cool stuff being presented. Be there or be non-geeky.

Posted by michael at 07:24 AM
February 24, 2003
Tounge Twisted

As you can hear here, there are a few drawbacks to on-the-fly audio weblogging...

Powered by audblog audblog audio post

What's your take on the music? Tolerable?

Posted by michael at 04:53 PM
Martin is cool

I get back from lunch today and see an instant message from Martin. It says 'you seen reverse cowgirl today?'. I link on over and see this post and say 'Holy shit'.

To those not up on the blogosphere scene, Reverse Cowgirl is a well known weblogger in LA. She could be considered a weblog celebrity by many in the weblog world. Somehow she ended up on Martin's site. She like the site and Martin. A lot. Enough to devote an entire post to how cool Martin is.

I guess I don't always seen Martin as that cool. He's one of my best friends and I take it for granted that he's an actor and has plenty of cool stories. Our families hang out pretty much every weekend and we try to drink beers at least once a week sans wives. I even know what kind of pr0n he likes to download. But obviously, I underestimate his coolness. I mean he can't even fix his own doorbell...

I guess I better re-edu-macate myself on what 'cool' is all about. I think I have long way to go. I'm the guy that brought a laptop and a cantenna to Hooters so we could surf the web from the bar...

Martin hosts his site on my web server. I looked at the bandwidth usage and his site's sucking down the bandwidth. Gigabyte after gigabyte. I can only hope that some big Hollywood producer sees Martin and and decides to offer him a six-figure development deal ASAP. Previously, Martin had promised me a shoutout when he wins the oscar. Now I'm one step closer to being part of a real posse.

In an attempt to absorb some of Martin's coolness & fame I will post this picture of us together drinking scotch.

Posted by michael at 02:42 PM
February 23, 2003
My wife rocks

My wife regularly shops at Asian markets. I'm usually not suprised when I get home from work and find some strange assortment of Japanese candies, Chinese beef jerky, and Korean pickles.

On Friday I was greeted with this sight:

Years ago, when I was working in Hong Kong & Singapore, I picked up drinking Japanese style iced coffee. Japanese iced coffee is nothing like the weak ass shit you get at Starbucks when they dump hot coffee over ice. WTF is that?

Brew coffee, mix in sugar and cream to taste, then chill. No watery coffee in a plastic cup. Typically the iced coffee is found in a small can (see above)

Starbucks has copied the style and they call it Starbucks Doubleshot. It's available everywhere. It's good, but the Japanese brands are better.

It is amazingly refreshing in the heat. Cool and sweet with good flavor, you really can't ask for more get you going in the afternoon. For a while I was drinking 3-4 cans a day and riding the caffine wave until my eventual wipeout. I don't drink it regularly anymore, mainly because I crave it so much.

Besides three cans of iced coffee, she also picked up a bottle of Pocari Sweat. In spite of it's name, it's a great tasting version of Gatorade that I started drinking about the time I started with iced coffee.

My wife knows my love for these drinks and hooked me up. Who can ask for more?

In other news, I dug up potatos in the backyard today.

Several months ago I found a bag of potatos that were sprouting in the house. rather than toss them I took the girls outside and we planted them. Fast forward to today and it was time to dig them up. Here I am with Zoe plucking the spuds from the ground with my bare hands. Zoe provided the management as I dug.

After washing the dirt away, here's is nature's bounty. I am a rocking farmer.

Wife wierdness:

My half-Chinese wife was born in New York and raised in Cincinnati. She's as American as they come, but she was raised by her crazy Chinese mother. The effects are slight, but noticable. She eats something called 'lo sung' on her toast. It looks like bacon bits. She also eats something called 'stinky tofu' which should really be called 'smells like vomit tofu' with her mother & grandmother. Most of the time I let it slide uncommented.

The other day I came upon this scene:

Yes, Mira is laughing. Both girls love this. In China they don't use q-tips to clean their ears. They use this special bamboo stick that is curved at one end and has a puff on the other. Michele uses the hook end to scratch the inside of the girls ears. Then the puff end to draw out the wax, dirt clods, and small stones that get in there.

The girls CRAVE this. They ask for 'ear scratching' all the time. It's fargin weird I tell you. Not as weird as shoving a lit paper cone in your ear, but weird none the less. When I question such things, my wife has a pat answer, "A billion Chinese can't be wrong."

The fight:

Martin wrote up a brief description of our viewing of the Tyson fight. Less than a minute. I'm sure glad it wasn't Pay Per View. I have say that Tyson was amazingly candid in the post-fight interview saying that he wasn't ready for Lennox Lewis.


I've been getting more and more interested in the use of XML feeds. After reading Lukwam's and Argv0's posts about using feeds, I had to give it a try.

I got Newz Crawler working, but NewsMonster eludes me. Newz Crawler works pretty damn good. Tight integration with XP to boot.

What I really want to build is my own page to aggregate RSS feeds, but I have much learning to do.

I think this entry is long enough, don't you?

Posted by michael at 06:22 PM
February 22, 2003
Ali G in the hizzou

Ali G has arrived in America

He's the funniest thing to hit television in the last 10 years.

Set your Tivo, your VCR, or your alarm clock and make sure you watch Ali G.

Trust me on this, you'll thank me later.

Posted by michael at 10:28 AM
Things I love

I love Japan (thanks AccordianGuy)

I love Earthquakes (thanks Mother Nature)

I love BacardiDJ (thanks Metafilter)

Posted by michael at 09:03 AM
February 21, 2003
Time for work, but first, pictures...

A couple days ago I looked out my office window and saw guys painting the building next door. Mind you, my office is on the 18th floor of a 21 story building. Next door, the building is like 30 stories tall.

These guys were painting the building with the same brushes and rollers you use to paint your house. Only they were 300 feet off the ground.

While I had the camera, I thought you all might like a picture of my office wall.

Is it what you expected?

Finally, here's a picture of an apartment building on fire, across the freeway from our offices.

Ah, the benefits of working in a skyscraper. All the men gathered to watch the firetrucks. There was much disappointment when the fire went out and we couldn't see anymore flames. Men are irresitably drawn to fires by some sort of primal instinct.

If single women ever got smart, all they'd have to do is light a fire somewhere and all the men in the area would show up to watch.

I'm off now to the office. At 9:30 begins a short 5 hour meeting on Media Asset Mangement. I'm fucking loving it.

Lastly, I was out drinking with Martin last night, and he wanted me to track back to him so he could see how it works... Consider yourself tracked...

Posted by michael at 08:33 AM
February 20, 2003
Just left the studio...

Powered by audblog audblog audio post

Posted by michael at 03:10 PM

Some find it hard to follow what I write about here due to the terms I use.

To help, I made up a page explaining my terminology.

What terms/expressions/acronyms did I miss?

Posted by michael at 01:01 AM
February 19, 2003
30 Minutes

So I'm taking a 30 minute break before I do the dishes or whatever other shit I have to do tonight and I'll catch up in my hugely important tidbits of information that I need to blog.

First, props to Lukwam who implemented a Trackback feature on his blog from scratch. Someone hire this guy he can actually code.

If you do a Yahoo search on "brush or floss?", I'm the number one hit. Success at last!

My brother Matt sent me this link via overstated.net via My First Mine. It's music mixed with the sounds of a man playing Counterstrike. Warning: It's 4+ MB and involves much cursing. Shoo the kids out of the room before you play it.

Over at Thinkgeek, I've been obsessing over this. Of course, I have no use for it, but it looks cool.

Last night I made the plane & hotel reservations for SXSW. I think it's gunna be a good time. After reading on a number of weblogs that people aren't going due to cost. I guess the blogosphere is poor. I haven't decided if I'll keep it a secret that I work for Disney. Maybe I'll bring Lessig a Mickey plush.

Mike Tyson got a tattoo. Martin & I are eager to see this fight. It jsut doesn't get better than this.

Two minutes to go... I will share with you this email I got from my internet millionaire college roommate after he read my weblog for the first time:

"You have redefined Geekdom. I am planning an intervention."

Time for my husbandly duties now. I'll be listening to the Tavis Smiley show...

Posted by michael at 08:08 PM
February 17, 2003
Pound Cake

First, here's my latest audblog. I made it while driving in the car with the girls.

Powered by audblogaudblog Post

I now resume my text based weblogging.

Here's a bit of info you didn't know...

The name for Pound Cake comes from the fact that original recipe for pound cake was a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, and a pound of eggs.

You learn some thing new every day.

A few have mentioned that I have not updated news of my daughter's fever. I am happy to report that she is fine. Evidently, she responds much better to Motrin (ibuprofen) than to Tylenol (acetaminophen). Once Michele started giving her Motrin, the fever dropped dramatically.

Since I am an engineer, I tend to do things like record my children's temperature regularly and mark when I gave them medicine. Partially in case the doctor wants to know later and partially because I'm a freak. In any case, recording the temperature allows me to makes graphs like this:

The graph starts on Friday night and ends on Saturday night.

Martin did a good job of writing up what I did on Friday & Saturday. To be clearm, on Saturday night we had pork babyback ribs, matzo boll soup made from scratch, and quiche. I don't want to think about how many kosher rules we broke in one meal.

Casey had a very bad day.

Blogosphere stuff:

Friday's event appears to be hot news to webloggers everywhere. I posted up my take and I see from referrer logs that quite a number of people are taking a look. The fact that my submission to Slashdot about the Pyra got posted is addding to the traffic. My ego has swollen dramatically.

The truth of the matter is that I didn't read any of the panelist weblogs before the event. The Rabbit Blog looks familiar, but I don't read it regularly. I've heard the names of the others before, but never really read them.

I've got to give props to Tony Pierce, who not only linked back to me, but gave me credit for one of the photos I took. As Rebecca Blood mentions in The Weblog Handbook, the real currency of weblog are readers. Links are the way people payback others in weblogs.

Jonah at lablogs.com has a good set of links about the event. I need to do more to get the lablogs.com group rolling.

I checked out the Reverse Cowgirl's comments and I found her to be one saucy, harsh chick. Now, being that I'm married to a saucy, harsh chick, I found the site hi-larious. I bet a lot of navel-gazing academic 'what does it all mean' types get bent out of shape reading her site.

While I could go on sucking up to the other panelists, I won't. To be honest, they aren't blogs I'd probably read again. I hope I haven't committed weblog hari-kiri by not fawning over Doc & Ev...

All you LA peeps should be aware that the next SoCal Wireless Users Group meeting is September 17th at 7PM. It's a good place to talk about wireless stuff and I think more webloggers will show up. I can promise that there will NOT be a bevy of hot art babes floating around like at the blogosphere event.

I guess I should post it on LAblogs.com. I think that the assembled geeks would faint if Kitty Bukkake showed up at the meeting...

Ok, I'ts time for me to go play more Battlefield 1942. There's plenty of Nazi's that need killin'.

Posted by michael at 10:49 PM
February 16, 2003
Holy Crap!!!

Audblog works... This is fucking righteous!

Click below where it says audblog Post.

Powered by audblogaudblog Post

Posted by michael at 12:43 PM
Someone paid attentions

I just read the most excellent post on filchyboy chronotope of notes from the Live from the Blogosphere event. Mr. Filchy was paying serious attention. I bow my head in respect.

Thanks to LA Blogs for making a place where I could find it.

Posted by michael at 12:06 PM
February 15, 2003
Thoughts on the Blogosphere/Meatspace collision

I'm back from the Live from the Blogosphere. I'm home, I'm warm, and I chatted with the wife for a bit. I checked in on the kids in bed and finally sat down at the computer.

I checked the regular places and news from the Blogosphere event is leaking out. I'll attempt to collect my thoughts.

I arrived after the event had started, around 8PM. I assumed there wouldn't be many people there and was completely suprised to find the place was packed with no room on the inside. There were chairs outside, but you couldn't hear anything that was going on inside.

Here's looking in on the action...

Thanks to the SoCal WUG guys, the event was being video and audio streamed to the net. It took a bit of messing about to get the streams up, but I did.

The video stream was almost unintelligle. The audio stream was clear, but my laptop wasn't loud enough to hear well over the crowd outside. The studio location is in Chinatown and there must have been seven or eight open gallery showings. People from these showings were walking up and loudly trying to figure out what was going on. Since I was the guy with the laptop making some sort of sound, people kept asking me what was going on inside. I did my best to explain and most people understood right away.

There were a few others connecting to the wifi network and trying to hear what was going on. None of use were having much success. Brendan wrote a series of posts while sitting about 10 feet away from me.

I kept making an effort to actually listen to the audio and hear what they were talking about inside. The one line I remember is "what would happen if Brad Pitt started a weblog". Several of us outside discussed this a bit.

It was quite frustrating to be so close to the event and yet so far away from it. If I was only a mere 15 feet closer, I could have heard everything.

Overall I was having fun, but I was really missing out on the panel's discussion due to all the conversation outside. I guess that it wasn't so important to hear every snippet. Weblogging is about the conversation.

Here's someone outside the door taking donations. Note the elaborate and costly donations box.

A couple of guys walked up to me near the end of the event and asked if they could see something on the net. The asked for evhead.com and pointed to the link on the page. That's when I saw the news. The guys were from audblog.com and had come from San Fran just for the event. They said they saw him blogging when they were inside and wanted to see what it said.

Evan's post linked to the Dan Gilmor article about Google buying Pyra Labs. In the weblog world, this is huge news. HUGE.

I talked to the audblog.com guys a bit more and they explained that their site/service was about using a phone to make weblog entries. The basic idea is that you call a number, say your entry, the computer turns the voice to text, and then posts the text on your weblog. I've been wishign for somethign like this for a while. What I really want is the ability to send text emails with my voice. They assured me they'd have it all working soon. Here is an example of what they can do today. That was recorded live at the event as well.

Interesting stuff if you ask me. As soon as they have it working with Movable Type, I'm signing up.

After the whole thing was over, I gave a little donation to Xeni & Beverly, the gals that ran the event, about what was next. They didn't have any specifics, but said they were happy with the turnout.

When I got home, I saw the news was already up on Metafilter. I submitted the story to Slashdot, and amazingly, the accepted my submission.

To sum things up, I think the blogosphere needs more of these type of events. Interacting in meatspace is important. It's much more gratifying to talk to a person and hear them thank you for your knowledge than endlessly refreshing your weblog hoping for comments and checking for new referrer links.

I think my earlier statement applies to both the event and the blogosphere in general. "The blogosphere is loud, packed with people, and you can't hear the people you want to hear."

It's now 1 AM and I'm going to bed. The girls will be awake in less than six hours...

Next Day Edit: I'm told that's not Xeni in the picture. Maybe I didn't meet her after all. Can someone clear it up?

Posted by michael at 11:48 PM
Things I notice

Here are a few things I am noticing at the Live from the BLogosphere event:

Bloggers like to wear black clothes.

If you have a laptop running outside the event, people will ask you a lot of questions. Lots of hot chicks will ask you questions as well.

No one minds if you plug into a power outlet to keep your laptop running.

People that go to art galleries like to smoke.

Always bring a jacket. You never know when you will be stuck outside with only your 'oh so hip' Kozmo.com t-shirt on.

More later.

Posted by michael at 09:19 PM
Pyrhic success

Well, I can get the audio and video streams, btu it's way to loud to hear anything.

People like my wifi setup and ask questions about it, but I can't follow much of what's going on inside the room 15 feet from me.

My kingdom for a set of pc speakers...

Posted by michael at 08:45 PM

The blogosphere is loud, packed with people and you can't hear the peopel you want to hear.

I'm at the Blogopshere event and there are way too many people here.

The inside of the space is packed and people are milling about outside. A few of us are trying to get the computer to play the audio via wifi, btu laptop speakers are painfuly weakl compared to a crowd outside.

MOre later.

Posted by michael at 08:14 PM
The Cooties

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. We had some fun in the morning and both girls had mini parties at school. Instead of a party at work, I had another five hour long meeting about Media Asset Management. Let the good times roll!

Michele called me during the day to explain that Zoe had kissed 'Ethan' on the cheek today. Zoe had been describing how 'cute' Ethan was the night before and how she was going to give him a valentine. During the day Ethan had given Zoe a valentine of a large tube of M&Ms with a heart on top.

I wondered what Ethan's intentions were. What was his major and plans for a career?

After work, the family headed over to the Diggs house for dinner and playtime. Martin made some excellent pizzas and Michele managed to piss Casey off via instant messaging. Of course, pissing off Casey is not hard to do.

After dinner, Zoe started to complain about feeling hot. After all the adults touched her forehead, the women agreed that she had a fever and the men said maybe, but probably not. When we got home I took her temperature with the super whiz bang electronic ear infrared thermometer. 102. Zoinks, she was sick.

We gave her the Tylenol and put her to bed. I kept checking during the night and after an initial drop, it went up to 104 at 3AM. More Tylenol. Temperature drops. Whew. The idea of giving the child a cold shower at 4AM was not appealing.

This morning it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Zoe kissed a boy.
Zoe gets sicks.

OMG! Zoe got the cooties! She's sick with the cooties from kissing a boy!

I can't remember the specific cure for cooties, but I need to find out quick.

Michele suggested that this could serve as a long term boy-deterrent if we explained it to Zoe.

Posted by michael at 11:33 AM
February 14, 2003
Much Love

Happy Valentine's day to all Cruft readers. I wish you a happy day with plenty of smiles and fun.

Capping yesterdays news, here is a picture of the invasion. Note the small 1/2" by 1/2" chip that the ants found under the toy chest.

The ants fought a running retreat during the day as MIchele kept up the defense. She tried to utilize the effective vacuum & cedar spray method, but int he end her blood lust got the best of her.

When Michele goes into ant berserker mode, she grabs the scotch tape. Hard to believe, but it's the weapon of choice. She takes the tape and crawls around picking up the ants with the scotch tape. Why? I have no clue. My best guess is that she views the strip of captured ants much like a necklace of ears from dead enemies. When she pulls out the tape, I go to another room. I can't watch the carnage.

The aforementioned cedar spray oil is our chemical weapon of choice. Michele does not allow true pesticides in the house, so I found an ant killer based on cedar oil that works well. Supposedly the girls could eat this stuff on toast and not get sick, so it's acceptable.

This morning we are busy, mainly because Michele is making not one, not two, not three, but FOUR quiches for a party at preschool.

That's a lotta quiche.

Later, I gotta go. Enjoy this wonderful post at Being Daddy. Also, Brad is addicted! Muah-ha-ha-ha! Soon he'll be asking about what other games are out there and if broadband really makes a difference...

Posted by michael at 07:52 AM
February 13, 2003
Gotta scoot

There's a big meting at work this morning I have the pleasure of chairing. Mor stuff about Media Asset Management, Digital Rights Managment, etc. I know you are all jealous.

Rather than fresh tasty ...


While writing this entry, I heard screams from the front. The ants had attacked. I just spent the last 20 minutes battling them with my daughters acting as spotters while I counterattacked with the vacuum and cedar oil spray.

The rain drives them in, and I drive them out. Victory will be mine.

You will have to wait until later for stuff. OKay, at least go check out Casey's latest ramblings.....

Posted by michael at 07:33 AM
February 10, 2003
Good Work

Still unable to get to my work email I browsed over to Anita's page. Here husband Jack took the public information at the Nasa site and made it into a understandable animation about what happened on Columbia.

You must check it out.

Posted by michael at 03:34 PM

I'm having trouble getting my work email at home, so I thought I'd goof off.


Like most webloggers, I peruse my stats and look at what pages are linking to my site. These are commonly know as 'referrers'. I look at these regularly. OK, I check them daily.

Many of the referrers are search engines. As an example, here are the top keyword searches from this month so far including the number of times someone has gotten to my site from a search engine.

Atari 10-in-1 57
how to make a cup of tea 20
important quotes 19
buildabear 15
crawfish boil 13
history of hdtv 12
baseball cap washer 12
cantenna 12
washing baseball caps 9
Clan MacGregor scotch 7
"Pictures of dead people" 7
burger king tacos 6
Dr. Pepper and the imposters 6

Beyond the keyword, it's always interesting to see the site that point to me.

Here are a few examples...

An eBay auction is pointing at my cantenna page. If he sells it, I wonder if I get a cut.

Adventures into the Well Known has a link to me somewhere. When I read the About page I saw that he must be part of Matt's circle of DC bloggers. I then read that he grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. Small world. Guess who else grew up in Lawrence, Kansas? Yeppers, Martin and Jennifer!

There's a link from g2gk.com. I'm not sure what g2gk.com is about, but they like the site.

That's just an example of what I see in the referrer links. Now I need to see if I can check my work email.

Posted by michael at 02:33 PM
February 09, 2003
The Question

The question is:

Brush then floss or floss then brush?

Personally, I'm a floss then brush person. All you brush then floss people are crazy.

Posted by michael at 12:21 PM
February 08, 2003

Saturday morning and Michele is out of town. The kids and playing up front and have no idea we are going to Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm today.

Linkage: The Fark Photoshop trhead on warning signs. Good stuff. Don't click on it if you don't have broadband or are easily offended. I warned ya...

Thanks to Thompsonian I was shown the Milky Way® Comparison Page. Excellent work gentlemen! You are to be commended for your scientific work.

Outnumbered and outgunned

This morning Zoe requested to use the 'small' computer. She meant the laptop.

It's clear to me now that they are smarter, faster, and more persistent than I am. My only edge is knowledge and guile. I'm doomed. By the time they are teenagers, they'll be telling me how to run the computers.

Run in with Homeland Security

Michele loves Roger Moore as James Bond. Don't ask me why, but she says he's the best James Bond. She wanted to have the Live & Let Die DVD but is hard to find since it was only released in the US as part of a Bond collection. I resorted to eBay to find her a copy.

I found a reasonable price and bought out an auction. THe DVD looked real and not a bootleg. I soon realized that the seller was in Bangkok, Thailand. I paid the money and within a week, the package had arrived.

Yes, US Customs, a division of Homeland Security, had opened my package to make sure I wasn't receiving information from Al-Queda. Assured that I was only being shipped a movie, they resealed my package and sent it onwards to me.

I can only imagine what they are looking for by opening the mail. Terrorist literature? Porn? Drugs? Cash? Who knows? All I know is that they touched my 'rare & OOP' Bond DVD.

The DVD is not a bootleg and plays fine. Much happiness for Michele.

Of course I now wonder what the entry in the Homeland Security database says about me now... "Suspect like Roger Moore as James Bond. Movie involves interracial sex. Watch more closely for other ungoodthink."

Time to get ready to take the kids out. Have a good Saturday.

Posted by michael at 08:56 AM
February 06, 2003

I finished Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom this morning. My self restraint is low and I blew through the book.

I enjoyed the story and can't seem to get whuffie ideas out of my head.

Michele is leaving for a four day trip tomorrow and I need to get some rest.

The expansion for Battlefield 1942, Road to Rome, arrived today and I played for a little bit. The seems to be some problem with the sound. I'll check for a patch tomorrow.

At the office we recieved one of the new 12" Mac laptop computers. While many Macaddicts drool over this computer, I saw it as nothing more than a prop for a gag photo.

The web page is courtesy of Mister P.

I pondered quite a bit about how to show my disrespect. I couldn't think of a funny thing to show me doing to the computer. The best I could do was put it in the microwave and threaten to cook it.

What should I have done to the laptop?

Posted by michael at 11:05 PM
February 05, 2003

Michele and the girls just rolled out on the morning school run. I've got a few minutes to tidy up and even blog before heading to work.

I've started reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctrow. It's not long, and I've blown through about half the books in two days. I kinda feel like I'm eating candy in the movie theater and the taste is so good, I'll have an empty box before the movie starts. I should probably slow down a bit and savor it.

I like Doctrow's take on the idea of 'whuffie'. Whuffie is roughly a measure of the esteem others hold you in. Imagine having an eBay feedback measurement for not just your buy/sell behavior, but for how you deal with people and how hard others perceive you work. At work, we often refer to it as 'juice'. It's intangible power given to you by others because they believe you are doing good things. Kinda hard to explain, but believe me, 'juice' plays a big role in how Disney works. Yes, title rank is important, but those with the most 'juice' are the ones that drive the company.

In Bruce Sterling's book, Distraction, he also talks about 'trust networks' and their role in future society. I have to agree with these guys that this type of whuffie/trust rating is going to play a larger role in our society going forward. The net has brought people closer together, but in a way that eliminates society's previous methods of introduction. People needs a method to evaluate those they met online as only a screen name or web site.

You can see the beginnings at places like heatware.com, a feedback/trust site outside of a specific trading site. If you go to resellerratings.com, you can see what other people think of online merchants. It's quite nice to review other people experiences with a company before handing them your credit card. Will it ever be orgainized into a single database like 'whuffie', not for while. But will it happen? Yes.

OK, time for work. More later.

Posted by michael at 08:17 AM
February 03, 2003
So close

So close to bed, just a few things to update before crawling into bed.

Tonight I finished all 547 pages of The Singing Sword. It the second book in the Camulod Series by Jack Whyte about the era before the time of Arthur at the end of the Roman Empire in Britain. I am really enjoying the books, they are a great mix of history and legend with interesting characters. As I read through the denouement tonight, my heart raced as I read through the action. There are five more books in the series and I need to take a break. My nightstand has several other books waiting for my attention.

Eye news:

My mother called me today with news of a 'medical miracle'. She had seen a story on Oprah about a woman with keratoconus that could see with scleral lenses. Bless my mom, she thought she had found the magic cure for my eye problems. I explained that I knew about scleral lenses, and that they really weren't for me. She's always on the alert...

Weblog news:

My brother Matt is back in action after brief technical trouble.

Posted by michael at 11:26 PM
The Links Bar

I was in a meeting at the office and we were discussing a bunch of changes to the computers we are going to make. I had a list of issues we were discussing and most of them seemed fairly reasonable.

When we got to discuss 'The Links Bar' the room got quiet. First, they looked at me like I was from Mars. I said, "You know, the Links Bar!" Then everyone looked at me with a sad face.

Before going forward here's what the Links Bar looks like:

The Links Bar is kind of like a displayed set of Favorites/Bookmarks that resides in your toolbars so that you don't have to pull down a menu to get to your frequently hit pages. It's called the Links Bar in Internet Explorer, but the feature exists in most modern browsers.

Back to the story...

I began asking why the Links Bar was locked and hidden away. They all gave me a look that said, "You poor out of date man. What are you going to ask for next, a fax machine?" I said, "Am I the only one that uses the Links Bar?" They all nodded. I simply couldn't believe this. I find the Links Bar invaluable. "Really, none of you use it?" I looked around the room and the eight other people all looked at me, shaking their heads.

Unable to wrap my head around this I asked how they got to their bookmarks. "Umm, we use the pull down..." Much head nodding.

They tried to be nice and humor me. They offered to unlock the Links Bar and put whatever bookmarks I wanted there. But the damage was done. I was the weird one, using the quirky feature noone else values.

The next time I am about to jab my Mom or Dad about the strange things they do on their computer that seem silly to me (electronic post-it notes and an upside-down touchpad instead of a mouse), I will remember this and cut them some slack.

Does anyone else use the Links Bar?

Posted by michael at 05:08 PM
February 02, 2003
Fame is fleeting

I posted to this weblog when I was at the last SoCal Wireless User Group meeting. My play by play updates generated little interest or comments. While I was there, I talked to a reporter there about my cantenna and he wrote up a brief story for the LA Times.

No wires to get syrup on

Here's the scanned story:

The reporter added 10 years to my age, I'm only 35!

Michele was quite impressed with my fame. For about five minutes... They she demanded I fix the 'drip drip sound' in the toilet. Five minutes from wireless technology god to plumber.

Posted by michael at 10:51 AM
February 01, 2003
And some people wonder

And some people wonder why we travel into space with all the risk involved.

y6y6y6 a poster in a Metafilter thread explained it clearly. I quote:

"Why do we even bother?"

Think about where we were as a species 300 years ago. As humans we explore. 300 years from now we will look back from space and think that asking such a question was quite simpleminded.

I'm sure 300 years ago people said the same thing about explorers and heros setting off in ships.

I'm sure 3000 years ago people asked the same question about families heading off across the tundra.

I'm hopeful that there will always be people who are willing to explore. And I'm thankful that there will always be governments to fund them.

How could we not bother? How could we sit in our couches and say, "That's it. That's enough. We will explore no more."

You nailed it y6y6y6. Thank you.

Posted by michael at 11:08 PM
The Shuttle is Lost

You all know the news that the Shuttle Columbia has been lost. An amazing record of the landing is here.

I was sitting down at the table to drink my coffee and read the paper. The laptop was sitting there and I decided to turn it on. I sipped on my coffee and read the paper. I looked up at the computer and saw these word on the Yahoo front page - Space Shuttle Apparently Disintegrates. I simply couldn't believe my eyes. I ran to the TV and turned it on. The now famous image of the shuttle falling through the sky with debris falling off was there. I felt the sick feeling in my stomach that I remember from college when the Challenger exploded.

They were all gone. The shuttle was gone.

Michele and I watched the news for a few minutes. Soon enough Zoe walked in the room. She looked at the TV and said,"What's that?"

I realized that I was going to actually say it. Like many times in life, thoughts, ideas, and realizations run through your mind without you saying them. In my mind, I knew the truth, but in watching the news with Michele, we had not said much other than 'Oh my god'. Zoe was looking at me expecting an answer. I grasped at how to explain this tradgedy to a 7 year old.

It took a tremoundous amount of will to summon these words, "The space shuttle crashed." She looked at me, still not comprehending why Mommy & Daddy were sitting in front of the TV with tears their eyes. She ran off to play.

Michele and I watched until we had heard all the news we will hear for the next several days until they sort things out and have some answers. We turned off the TV. I walked up front to check on the girls.

Zoe wanted me to play videogames with her. I told her I was feeling sad and didn't want to play. She asked why. Why? Again, I had to actually say it. I had to say the truth. "I'm sad because the spaceship crashed" She again asked why, still unable to wrap her mind around what could make her father sad. I swallowed deeply and finally said, "There were people on spaceship. They're all gone now."

At this, the tears fell from my eyes. The sadness overwhelmed me. Zoe hugged me and told me that everything would be all right. I pulled it together and got her and Mira playing some games.

I went to go read more news, and then it hit me.

If talking about seven deaths is difficult, how will I explain War to my daughter.

Posted by michael at 08:19 AM