Archive for August 2000

Jason posted some rafting pictures

Jason posted some rafting pictures from our big trip a few weeks ago. And a two weeks ago, pb posted some as well. I, being lazy, like it when others post the pictures and I just link to them. megnut: we don't create the art, we just point to it.

I find it rather funny

I find it rather funny that Bush keeps telling this story about proposing to his wife, promising her she'll never have to make a campaign speech, because he thinks it assures voters that a "Bush presidency will not be a policy partnership." Yet, last night she gave the keynote speech at the Republican Convention. And you know what that assures me? That Bush is a liar.

After all the usual last-minute

After all the usual last-minute struggles and errors and freak-outs (well, me at least, I was having minor freak-outs), NewsBlogger is live! Now the site is cool and all, I love the design...and what you can do with it (publish news from Moreover to your Blogger-powered sites) is totally rad. But the thing that really gets my heart a-poundin' is how it's all done. Yup, XML baby, XML. All the headlines are pulled from Moreover's XML feeds, the search results are returned in XML as well, and all of NewsBlogger's interactions with Blogger are via Blogger's XML interface. We're going to release the details of the interface soon, in the meantime, enjoy NewsBlogger. And I recommend you do some XML development, it's so damn fun (well except for some pesky issues with the XMLDOM but that's another story).

It's been fascinating to read

It's been fascinating to read everyone's responses to NewsBlogger, I'm really amazed at how many people are concerned that this is going to lead to wide-spread homogenization of the web. Well sure, if somebody just links to a news article, it will be as lame as when somebody links to any other URL without adding their voice. That's what makes any post interesting: the commentary about the thing the person's chosen to link to. Why is Davenetics great? I get a lot of the same headlines in my Inbox via email from Wired and the Standard, but it's Dave's commentary that adds value. It's why I read his newsletter every day. Same thing with Memo. Lonely links offer little value to me, but when someone wraps that link in personal commentary, and shares thoughts and experiences, it becomes a unique snippet of information that I can't get anyplace else.

Another response that gave me a chuckle was the belief that NewsBlogger is catering to the lazy, and encouraging laziness, within the web community. I'm always surprised by the assumption people make regarding energy expended. Time expended != value or quality. Are the links you dig up from disparate news sources inherently more valuable because you spent two hours locating them? Not if they're from CNN, BBC, or any other widely-available news source, and not if you don't add your commentary to them. Is your trip to the grocery store some how better if you walk there, rather than drive? I don't think so, it's what you create when you return home with the ingredients that matters. There are two parts to this process: getting the information and then doing something with it. There seems to be an assumption that gathering the information is valuable and a good use of time. Why not pour the energy into the other side of the equation? The side on which you add your unique voice to the link you've located?

And of course, one more thing to think about: NewsBlogger isn't for everyone. It's for people that like to write about news. You're not going to see a huge increase in news articles and commentary on megnut now that I'm using NewsBlogger because I don't usually publish that sort of stuff here. But I do use NewsBlogger to publish technology and business-related links to our intranet, and having a tool to do so saves me a lot of time. Am I lazier because of it? Hardly, now I have more time to develop and enhance the web apps I love to build.

Dammit, I thought Blogger was

Dammit, I thought Blogger was the world's premier online popularity contest! [via numb.]

My system resources are maxed

My system resources are maxed out.

Heavy development gets under my

Heavy development gets under my skin in the worst, and best, way. When I used to do a lot of database-driven coding, I'd find that my nights were filled with "web-based nightmares" (mathowie's term). I'd dream of these terribly long and complicated SQL statements, filled with JOINS and sub-queries, I'd wrangle huge record sets and endlessly loop through all the data, For, Next, Ubound, ad finitum. Lately though, it's all about parsing XML. Last night I dreamt of giant strings of XML, and I just kept concatenating and concatenating and everything I looked at got wrapped in tags and added to my giant string. I'd spot a chair, <chair>, a table, <table>, on and on and on. It was exhausting. Sign #327 that it's time for a vacation.

My "" key is broke

My "" key is broke o my keyboard ad I ca't type without it. Crap.

Well I'm off to Hawaii

Well I'm off to Hawaii for the week, and I leave you all in the competent hands of my mom, Judy. Welcome to Momnut, enjoy your stay!

Excuse the technical difficulties. Here's

Excuse the technical difficulties. Here's what I meant to say...

Just like Meg, I started the day with a trip to an island, on the ferry to Nantucket . Seeing all the families with young children on the boat left me reminiscing about our first trips there. It's so different these days being able to read quietly on the boat or even nap, without the constant question answering and entertaining necessary for travel with kids on a 2-hour boat ride. Going to such an old favorite family place, I miss having those kids along.

Well if I'd seen this

Well if I'd seen this photo before Meg posted it, I might have asked her to keep looking for a photo of me. But it certainly does have a 'momnut' quality to it, doesn't it?

What I really like about

What I really like about a family weekend on Nantucket is spending time cooking. We work in the narrow kitchen, talking over the low counter to others sitting at the dining room table, where there's always another hand ready to help chop. It's not work for me, but an essential part of getting the family together.

Oh I had such grand

Oh I had such grand plans this morning after getting back to the 'real' world, but as happens so often, the real world got in the way. Now it's late and I'm frustrated by computer eccentricities so maybe what I need is to act on my recent roadsign epiphany.

Flipping through a magazine, I came upon a slightly altered roadsign reading 'DO NOT PASS JOY' in an Audi ad. Later that day, the illustration for a Metropolitan Home article on the
Tate Modern showed a closeup of a street sign related to the construction work, 'CHANGED PRIORITIES AHEAD'. And the culmination on the following day was seeing a sign/graffiti combination of 'STOP WORKING'. Should I buy the Audi? Should I plan for my sabbatical in London rather than Paris? And should I stay there when it ends? Just imagining the possibilities will probably be enough to get me back to my computer with renewed spirit tomorrow morning.

Today I spent the day

Today I spent the day working on the GUI for an EP B2B POC. Why can't I figure out how to say that in normal language? I hate acronyms.

Where will I hang out

Where will I hang out when I retire? (A closer decision point for me than for some others.) On my early morning walk to get something like my favorite California coffee, I noticed both benches in front of the post office were full of older men, while the bank bench had only a single elderly gentleman. Yet later in the day when I walk to the grocery store, the post office benches are always full of women and the bank bench is empty. It seems that the bank bench location, at the opposite end of the plaza, does not have the same cachet as the post office benches. Is it like high school all over again? Are there certain times and specific places where the cool old folks go? I wonder if it will be as hard to join the right group as it was in high school.

What a perfect summer evening!

What a perfect summer evening! Walking home through Boston's North End , we stop for fried calamari so good you wonder why you ever bother to order it anywhere else. Up the street, the road is blocked off in preparation for the weekend feast of the Madonna Della Cava Society, and the Cannoli Girls booth (we fill it fresh for you) is already up. We take a left and walk past Old North Church into the park at the bottom of the hill. The night-lit bocce courts are full for this men's only, and apparently Italian men's only, sport. We stop to watch some very skilled ball handling, where calm and quiet finesse contrast with the more volatile scenes we sometimes encounter in the North End. After watching a bit, we continue along the path at the water's edge, and then turn right across the bridge towards the Bunker Hill Monument and home. Sometime when Meg and Mike come to visit I hope we can share an evening like this with them.

Thinking about Meg's return from

Thinking about Meg's return from Hawaii tonight, a camp song from Aloha popped into my head as the perfect greeting for Megnut and parting for Momnut. With its Hawaiian theme, the song goes like this...aloha means hello to you, aloha means goodbye, it means until we meet again beneath the tropic sky. It carries me right back to glorious summers as a camp counselor in Vermont, summers so great that as soon as Meg was old enough, she followed as a camper and then counselor too. So aloha Meg and welcome back. Many thanks for letting me share your blog, and now it's aloha from Momnut.

Finding blackberries in one's backyard

Finding blackberries in one's backyard makes coming home seem not so bad.

Aloha from San Francisco, or

waimeaAloha from San Francisco, or I guess I should just revert to the old, "Hello!" I'm back. I'm not as rested as I thought I'd be and I'm not as tan as I thought I'd be, but I had an amazing time nonetheless. One of the (numerous) cool things about Kaua'i is that almost all of the sugar packets had funny Hawaiian-themed pictures on them. I collected several, but I thought you'd enjoy this guy shredding a monster wave the most. Other touristy places should have locale-themed pictures on sugar packets, Boston could have the Constitution and Old North Church, SF could do one with the Golden Gate bridge, etc. etc. Then as I traveled the world, I could collect sugar packets in every city.

Once we get all the pictures (there aren't a lot, I'm a lazy photographer) scanned in, I'll post them. In the meantime, let me tell you that the highlight of the trip (as Jason already mentioned, bastard! Stealing my thunder!) was swimming with Hawaiian sea turtles. This turtle was HUGE, as big as me, though it's hard to tell from the photo (hmmm...wait a sec, this might be one of the smaller turtles...well, it's still totally cool). At one point, there were five turtles hanging out at the reef with us. It was amazing. I want to go again and again! The low light of the trip was getting a flat tire, but it worked out ok, because our new car had a CD player. Woo hoo, so we spent the rest of the week cruising in style with tunes. There's more to tell about the vacation, but I'll save that narrative to garnish the pictures.

Thanks to mom for an excellent job with Momnut. For those of you who are interested in reading more, she's in the process of getting her own site up, and I'll share the link when it's ready to go.

More Hawaiian sugar packets,

tiki More Hawaiian sugar packets, this is "Hawaiian Sugar Packet Week" at megnut. I like having themes, perhaps I'll do more of them. Dan says that sugar packets, back in the day when sugar was produced by local companies, used to have locally-related designs upon them. Sometimes even specific to a restaurant. That sounds familiar to me so maybe when I was younger that's the way it was? Do you have cool sugar packets where you live? If so, send me some. I'd like to start a sugar packet gallery, so include a description of where yours is from. I'll kick it off with the ones I've collected from Hawaii. Coming soon!

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