Archive for July 2000

Lots of good suggestions and

Lots of good suggestions and thoughts about implicit trust, keep them coming, I'm going to try and write something up about it this evening.

The web continues to make

The web continues to make me laugh, this now available: Yes, for all those troublesome bottled water delivery bills that are pilling up hither and yon, the web makes payment easier. Wait a second, I only have one bottled water delivery bill a month...and if I were to pay it online, I'd probably pay via my bank's website while I pay the rest of my bills. Or I'd pay at the water delivery company's website, while placing or changing my order. Why would I want to remember another url? Oh, but this one isn't hard, because when I'm sitting at my desk thinking, I've got to pay my water, I'll naturally think! Yes, that's exactly how my brain works. Thank you world wide web! Thank you thank you thank you.

I've had it with almond

I've had it with almond croissants, had it! I swear at one point they had this sweet gooey almondy filling, the way chocolate croissants have chocolate filling. But lately every time I get one, it's just a plain croissant with some powdered sugar (good) and almonds (ick very bad) on the top. Where's the inside part? Huh? Is there some anti-almond croissant filling conspiracy afoot? I suspect there may be...

I have a Sprint PCS

I have a Sprint PCS phone and because I'm afraid of my car and its mechanical shortcomings, I have Roadside Rescue. Which means if my car ever breaks down, all I have to do is remember the special phone number and call them and they'll tow me to a garage. The other day when my car acted up, I realized that I had no idea what the special phone number was, so once I got home again, I looked it up and thought: I'll add this to my phone's phone book and never worry again!. Brilliant. The number is #ROAD. So I created a new entry, entered the number, and hit OK. "You must enter a seven digit number" said the phone, and it wouldn't let me save. So I added some extra 5s until it was satisfied that the number was "valid," smarty-pants phone, grrr....

Which leads to several thoughts: I hate it when devices assume they're smarter than the user. Of course devices don't think they are smarter, they're just programmed that way. They are programmed by people who think they're smarter than the user, programmers who make assumptions about the way the user will interact with their system ("Windows won't ever hang during shut down, forcing the user to manually cut the power, therefore if the machine isn't properly shut down from the Start menu, it's the user's fault, and I'll tell them that when they reboot"). And often they assume the user is stupid. (Hey wait, maybe this has to do with trust, maybe they just don't trust the user to be doing the right thing? Hmmm....)

What's interesting in the case of the cell phone is that my phone knows it's me every time I use it. So why doesn't it just add the Roadside Rescue number to my phone book? Or as an option on my menu? Even though applications have access to more information than before, they continue to be programmed in a manner which fails to take full advantage of that data. I've been thinking about this in terms of Blogger as well, which is a hard thing to do, as I'm often the programmer making assumptions about the user (though I have the benefit of being a user as well, like a hair club president and client). So I'm beginning a quest for smarter software: to build smarter software and to use smarter software, and I invite you to join me. If you can think of what this might mean for Blogger, or even web apps in general, feel free to send your thoughts to me at:

The following books are precariously

The following books are precariously piled high next to me on my desk: JavaScript, The Definitive Guide; VBScript In a Nutshell; Java and XML; The Mythical Man Month; The Project 50; Learning Java; and The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. What do those books say about me, I wonder?

Big J Dog 22: hey

Big J Dog 22: hey
megnut72: hey
Big J Dog 22: wow
Big J Dog 22: you answered
Big J Dog 22: who are you
Big J Dog 22: like what is your website about?
Big J Dog 22: sorry if i am being weird
megnut72: i answered because i figured you knew who i was and that you'd found me via my site
Big J Dog 22: thats it
Big J Dog 22: but i dont know who you are
Big J Dog 22: who are you?
megnut72: is this some sort of existential question?

Anil points out that Eminenya

Anil points out that Eminenya has made it's way to as well (towards the bottom of the page). When will the madness stop?

megnut's weekend list of things

megnut's weekend list of things seen: a man catching a fish (a fairly big fish), a momma raccoon and six babies crossing a street (kind of cute even though I usually don't like raccoons), a baby bunny eating grass on the lawn a few feet from where I sat drinking my soy latte (reminded me of the traps I used to set when I was little involving the placement of a carrot beneath a cardboard box propped up on a stick, never successful), run lola run (excellent, recommended), the iron giant (again, so good, again), a pesky bee (wanted the food being cooked out on the grill, yummy burgers and such), and real pretty sky filled with pink and purple and clouds so big and puffy and sky so long and high and trees and grass so green and lush you can't remember what dry looks like.

Some days I just wake

Some days I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Have you ever been sitting

Have you ever been sitting in your chair at work, moved slightly to the left, and had a sudden rush of fear because you hadn't buckled your seat belt, only to realize that you're in a chair *at work* and that your office chair doesn't have a seat belt? No? Oh well, I guess it's just me then.

Ken from Boston writes: "The

Ken from Boston writes: "The Eminenya tune is being played on WBCN here in the Boston area. I heard it on my way home tonight." Wowzers! I hope this leads to an Eminenya later this year...I think I'd consider paying to hear it live, wouldn't you? (Ok, maybe I wouldn't.)

I [heart] XML. I really

I [heart] XML. I really do.

Yesterday someone asked me if

Yesterday someone asked me if the dot-com slowdown/fall-out had affected me. I said, no, not really. Little did I know how soon that statement would come back to haunt me. As I checked out last night at Kozmo, I was told, "Kozmo has a five dollar minimum order." This was news to me, there'd been no message on the front page to tell me their policy had changed. Last time I ordered, several weeks ago, there'd been no minimum. I guess keeping a staff on hand to deliver movies to my door at $3.99 a pop isn't as viable as they thought. (I know they really didn't think it was viable, right, they were just hooking me in, but what they didn't realize is that it's all about the videos for me, not about the instant delivery of any random item. At least, not yet.) They suggested I buy a Coke for $1.25. I rented a second movie instead. Perhaps it's time to bite the bullet, buy a DVD player, and switch to Netflix.

Um, The Beach stunk, and

Um, The Beach stunk, and even Leo couldn't save it, cute as he is. It didn't really address the difficult questions that are inevitable when a group forms it's own distinct and isolated society: how do we govern ourselves? How do we choose a leader and delegate responsibility? And it seriously suffered from Gilligan's Island-itis: men and women, stranded for six years on a tropical island, and no babies. And no mention of birth control. And please don't tell me they weren't having sex, because that is absurd.

July has almost passed, it

July has almost passed, it seems, before I got through my list of things to get done in July, and I'm sure before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving and then the inevitable questioning of how one's to celebrate New Year's Eve will begin, and the year will slip away, as it has so many times before. But before that happens, I'd really like to get some more stuff accomplished, because heck, the end of the year means my birthday, and then I'll be 29, and I'm not ready to be 29 yet. I don't have any kids, I'm not even married, and I always thought I'd be married and have kids by the time I was 29. And my books, the books I'd always thought I'd write, not even one is done yet! Crap, worse than that, not one is even begun. And the house that I'd own, well things are moving slowly on that front, since my house-down-payment account is in the red at the moment. At least I have a car. My PhD is behind schedule though, way behind schedule...but it's ok. It's all ok, because there are things happening that were never on my schedule, that I never planned on, never expected to happen this year, or ever, in my life. And when these things swirl together to create my life, I realize that there's no other way it could ever be.

One of these new-fangled cars

One of these new-fangled cars is parked in front of my house, and damn, it's cool! It's dark green, so I'm especially partial to it, and it's parked in the smallest spot on the block, a spot so small that the curb is painted red because no car can really fit there without hanging over into people's driveways. It looks sort of like those cars you see in Europe, but somehow, it's cuter. It's the anti-SUV, and I want one!

Happy Monday! megnut's all about

Happy Monday! megnut's all about the smiles today, because today is the start of the week in which I'm going on vacation. Vacation? What? You didn't know? Yes, on Friday I'm going to Kauai for a week. Woo hoo! I've never been to Hawaii, so I'm very excited, and I can't wait to wander around the island, snorkel, go for long strolls along the beach, read and laze around, and be unplugged and away from work for seven days. Which means, no megnut updates from me. But, I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I've arranged for a guest host. Yeah, I know it's not an original idea or anything, and others have already done it. But I thought it would be neat, and more interesting than no updates at all. I toyed with the idea of writing a whole bunch of stuff in advance and asking someone to post it for me, but that seemed odd. And I toyed with the idea of writing fake updates pretending to be from Hawaii but really written in advance in SF. But that seemed silly. I also thought of inviting other people named Meg to participate, or having a "why I want to update megnut for a week" essay contest, with the winner receiving updating honors. But I was afraid no one would enter. So I've arranged for a secret guest host whose identity will be revealed right before I leave. The secret guest host doesn't have a site right now. And the secret guest host isn't someone you'd know from the web either. Isn't the suspense killing you already?

Thanks to everyone who's written

Thanks to everyone who's written to tell me how to revise my Amazon recommendations, it turns out that if you click "Rate These Items" along the left, you can rate the items they've suggested and they'll generate more recommendations. I guess I didn't do much research before I shot off my mouth, surprise surprise.

Ah Monday, and it's still

Ah Monday, and it's still vacation and the weekend continues and instead of parties and tete-a-tetes-a-tetes and tours and tastings, it's a sunny warm cinnamon roll morning with an unread Sunday Times and Super Mario Bros. on a borrowed Super Nintendo. Only one to-do scheduled on the whole day stretching before me: bake a blueberry pie and that's it and rest of the day a vast happy empty expanse with which to do nothing but smile.

Well I saw the Perfect

Well I saw the Perfect Storm, and it was just about what I figured it would be: lots of wave-crashing action sans the meterological data that made the book interesting and avec the cheese that Hollywood injects into every film to please god-knows-who. I guess I was hoping for something a little more documentarian: solid facts, nitty-gritty details, plus big-budget Hollywook special effects. It wasn't quite that, but it was still good. It's a typical Hollywood summer blockbuster film.

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