Monday, December 01, 2003

AppleScript and Airport

(originally posted at

The goal was simple, create an AppleScript to automate some of my daily functions - but only to do so when joined to a specific wireless network, and over a specific signal level.

As a newbie to AppleScript, I tooled around in Script Editor for a while and tried opening different dictionaries. I got online and searched through Apple's knowledge base, versiontracker, macosxhints, all the usual places and only came to find references to "Airport Scripting Application" - which appeared to be an AppleScript library to allow you to interface with Airport. The library was bundled with Airport software version 1.3. The current version is 3.2 and the library is no longer included (I braved the download and checked the manifest).

All was not lost, however, it only took a few minutes in #joiito to learn that the functionality was bundled into the new Internet Connect application, and that I should be checking out the associated dictionary - which I did. It's got everything I need, now it's only a matter of writing the script I want.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

BBEdit Discovery

(originally posted at

It started when I wanted to create a User Friendly plugin for iComic.

iComic has an "open architecture, supporting plugins written in perl." Neat. So I found one of my plugins in ~/Library/iComic/Plugins and dragged it to TextEdit. No dice, didn't open. Odd, I thought, the plugin should just be perl. So I dragged it to BBEdit, which launched a type of window I hadn't yet seen - the Disk Browser. Come to find out, the plugins are more like application packages.

Disk Browser mode is a two-pane window with file navigation on the top and text editing on the bottom. Looks great for switching back and forth between resources and property lists. Neat.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Debugging Feeds Apps

(originally posted at

Turns out there were three sites that were the problem. One site has a bump php script that yields an XML parser error instead of the expected RSS and two sites had invalid RSS by not specifying the DOCTYPE, thus creating undefined entities.

I've culled them from the database, and hopefully cron will rest easy this evening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Evolution and RSS Feeds

(originally posted at

While reading an article yesterday about what UserLinux might look like, I learned that Ximian's Evolution now does RSS aggregation on its Summary page. Neat.

As Evolution 1.4 comes standard in the Fedora Core 1 Personal Desktop Installation, I decided to give the feature a whirl. To find it, you have to be at the Summary page and click Tools, then Settings, then select the News Feeds tab. Simple enough.

The most immediate feature lacking was the ability to import OPML files, which is important when you've got a lot of subscriptions... which brings me to the next downfall: the feature doesn't scale well. As evidenced by Ximian's screenshot of the summary page, the formatting and display of the feeds takes up quite a lot of screen real estate. Most RSS aggregation software uses a 2 or 3-pane view for a reason. If I wanted one long list of news feeds, I'd find a way for php to parse opml and collect the news items for display on a webpage.

Which brings me to the third and most important point regarding Evolution and RSS aggregation. RSS is a technology more closely tied to browsing than to e-mail. So why isn't RSS aggregation built into the browser?

Web Services

(originally posted at
  • Google AdSense
  • Amazon Web Services
I've signed up for both of these services and will be exploring what they have to offer over the course of the next several weeks. I'm looking for Amazon to supersede the functionality of AllConsuming.

So far, Google AdSense has been wonderfully straight-forward and simple to use. After signing up you're re-directed to a page that helps you pick a color and layout scheme and generates the code for you to paste into your website. Once that's done, you simply wait until Google crawls your site and associates links suitable to your content.

On the MT front, I'll be looking at the blogroll plugin which would do away with the blogrolling account... as well as considering writing a custom plugin to link MT with PhpWiki either automatically or via a custom tag such as <$MTWikiLink$>.

Monday, November 17, 2003


(originally posted at
I skimmed Gillmor's column and it reminded me of an idea I had for a next-gen automobile cockpit UI. The car would receive speed limit data as it travels and the speedometer would glow green if you were obeying the speed limit or red if you were over the speed limit. A lot of the data presented by roadside signs could be broadcast directly to the car and displayed according to the driver's preference.

The future won't come fast enough.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Removing Smilies from iChat AV

(originally posted at

This one comes courtesy of dkp, but since he's being stubborn about posting to his blog, it has to appear here.

Find the file SmileyTable.plist nested way down in your /System/Library folder and rename it to SmileyTable.plist.bak

This will prevent iChat AV from rendering the smilies with images and will instead render them using text.

Because your change affects the entire system, you'll need to go into the Terminal and use sudo to mv the file. To undo the change, simply apply the instructions in reverse.


Thursday, November 13, 2003


(originally posted at

Based on ~stevenf's post RSS to Web, I've finally gotten around to building a page of the feeds I read daily.

In the comments section of his post, to which I've posted, I found a link to Feed on Feeds, a fully-featured php/mysql aggregator application. In fact, it was so fully-featured, I wasn't comfortable using it for a public feeds page!

However, I was also able to find in his comments a link to Magpie RSS, a php-rss parser. With it and Feed on Feeds, I was able to hack together a rudimentary page to be updated hourly by cron.

Not too shabby for half a day's work, though I'm just told by Brent that the CSS isn't rendering properly in IE. Now there's a surprise. Gah.

Update: IE now renders it decently, at the expense of the other browsers - but the compromise was minimal. Also; I'd be remiss to not mention the other inspiration for the site, and that's Brendyn Alexander's RSS roll for the #joiito IRC channel.


(originally posted at

This is a quick article on what happens when you sit users down with operating systems they aren't familiar with. Naturally, the Windows user doesn't fully understand the power of the underpinnings of OS X.

This is in the same vein as the Ars article on Panther, but it touches on more of the little things that makes Panther awesome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

New Front-End, New Back-End

(originally posted at

Well, not entirely.

The front-end is new, the back-end isn't quite ready yet, but you can check it out here. I've gotten PhpWiki up and running, now I just need to hack it into submission.

I've mixed feelings about the new design. I disliked having everything hidden, but it looks a bit busy with everything showing. We'll see how it weathers the test of time.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Ars does Panther

(originally posted at

This is a fantastic, in-depth look at Apple's OS X 10.3 (Panther).

The most interesting bits to me were...
  • packaging/marketing of 10.1 v. 10.2 v. 10.3
  • the mini-widget set
  • the brushed-metal usage guidelines
  • nested tab-area views
  • OS upgrades make the system faster*
  • the history of window management
  • hitting tab while in expose-mode
* - really fascinating, this bit was. Especially in light of my recent hardware inadequacies. In the world of Windows and Linux, we've come to expect a performance hit with each new version if the hardware stayed the same. That OS X has turned that around completely is something that I quite simply took for granted.

Fedora Core 1

(originally posted at

Downloading this was a pain. I eventually gave up on all the US mirrors and found a server in the UK that was blazingly fast.

Installation went largely without a hitch. The first time I tried to install, I skipped the disc verification. This crashed the installer program and I needed to reboot. The second time I tried to install, I went through the disc verification process and everything proceeded smoothly.

I noticed that beside looking prettier, the installer still couldn't find my ThinkPad (A21p) monitor. That didn't stop it from loading suitable drivers enabling 1600x1200 full-color display. Also curious was in the Personal Desktop installation, samba isn't selected by default.

During the final stages of installation, I chose eth1 (my orinocco card) as my default connection. This was a mistake, though not a drastic one. During the first boot of the new installation the network wasn't located because the pcmcia drivers hadn't been loaded yet!

Once I booted into Fedora, everything was going, well, not smoothly. Rather choppily in fact. Turns out 128 isn't the magic RAM number. Not surprising, I suppose. I checked and RAM looked dirt cheap. Of course, the kind of RAM I need for the ThinkPad (144-pin, 64-bit SDRAM in SODIMM form running at 100mhz) tops out at 256mb per SODIMM - which means I can only have 512 total. What's more, IBM wants $150 per SODIMM. Three hundred bucks is a good chunk of what a decent new laptop would cost. So I'm faced with the question of when to upgrade versus when to buy-new. CDW has similar SODIMMs for just under a hundred, so I may just get one to see if it speeds things up.

Apart from that unpleasantness, I was pleased to find Evolution 1.4 to provide suitable enhancement over whatever version came with RedHat 9. With my previous experience, setting up Firebird and NewsMonster was a snap.

We'll see how an infusion of RAM helps the situation. As I've just told Scotty, Fedora is almost enough to get me to switch from OSX - but not quite.

Spam and MT Plugins

(originally posted at

In my last post, I received my first blog comment-spam!

I've been hearing about the current spam epidemic in the blogosphere, but as I don't ping any of the major sites and don't really advertise myself (yet), I haven't had many hits and consequently, not much spam. In fact, I wasn't quite sure at first - based on the content - whether it was really spam or someone just being an idiot. It was solicitous in nature, pointing to an angelfire webpage, posted with a fake email address from what looks to be a modem pool IP. So it's spam.

This gave me the perfect excuse to mess around with MT plugins. I quite easily found and installed Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist plugin. Installation was as easy as extracting the files from the archive, moving them to the right places, giving them the proper permissions and downloading the latest spammer list. I did find a quick bug in the CGI that I emailed Jay about - he inadvertently left a localized link in the documentation.

Recent plugin success aside, I've not found many other MT plugins that would easily replicate the functionality I'd gain using phpwiki, so I'm going to continue exploring that option as a back-end for this technical log.

As for the spam itself, I've decided to keep it for posterity. However, if keeping it means more spam, I'll nuke it in a nanosecond.

Saturday, November 08, 2003


(originally posted at

It took a short while, but I've finally gotten PhpWiki up and running on my laptop under Panther.

The pre-requisites were PHP and MySQL, which were easy enough via installable packages.

Once I got phpwiki installed - which was as simple as dragging the folder into my ~/Sites directory - things got a little trickier. Launching index.php in my browser yielded nothing at all.

This gave me a good opportunity to check out Apple's latest version of Console - a log viewer. They seem to have added a tree-view pane to quickly jump between logs. My httpd/error_log showed quite a few errors, luckily all but one were from the same bug.

As I found out searching through phpwiki's known bugs, newer versionf of PHP have deprecated call-time pass-by-references - so the code in a few of phpwiki's .php files needed to be slightly altered. Annoying, but no big deal.

The next error was a bad function call to dba_open, which I later found referenced in TFM. Turns out some installations get this by default if they don't pre-configure database support. I had wanted to test out phpwiki with flat-files first, but it wasn't really important so I created my database, installed the schema, and updated my index.php. Voila, it worked.

All that and a cat sleeping in my lap. Sometimes life is good. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get some time to mess raound and see what phpwiki can do.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Webalizer Fix

(originally posted at

I've recently noticed that my Webalizer results have been drastically skewed due to the MT back-end and how much I've been using it. I've altered the Webalizer config to ignore blog* for both this site and ninjafish.

Update: I've added a link to my webalizer results in the Site Info side panel. I'm also playing with MT's entry Excerpt for Scotty to see how it displays in my feed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Finishing the Site

(originally posted at

Tonight I fleshed out the rest of the MT templates. I fixed the CSS on the individual entries, the comment popups, comment preview, comment error, master archive index (which is now linked in the side panel), category indexes, and date-based indexes. Phew.

So that should do it, you won't have to be afraid to leave comments now. Tomorrow I'll do the same for ninjafish.

NewsMonster on Linux

(originally posted at

Well, it works. I needed to install java and manually register the plugin with Mozilla, but it works. The good news is that it works, and it's pretty damn cool. The bad news is that the java plugin slows the launching of Mozilla way down.

What's worse is that registering the java plugin causes Firebird not to launch at all. This tek-tips thread explains the problem and gives a quick solution - don't register the java plugin with Firebird. I think the issue may be that I registered the plugin with Firebird in the same way I did with Mozilla. I'll look into the proper way of registering it.

NewsMonster itself is great. It's got the familiar 3-pane interface and has the neat "website filters" feature - which grabs headlines and thumbnailed screenshots of non-RSS-enabled sites like CNN. The news items themselves are rendered with a standard stylesheet, but the right-click context menu is that of Mozilla, which allows me to open links in a new tab right from the aggregator. Very cool, exactly what I was looking for. It also allowed me to import my .opml from NetNewsWire, however it didn't leave my folders in tact. But again, it's slow but I think the biggest issue is that I'm running RedHat 9 on an 800mhz laptop with 128mb of ram - so things are bound to be slow.

Update: Turns out I was registering the wrong Java plugin with Firebird. The Java plugin and the Firebird browser need to be compiled with the same version of gcc - in my case, 3.2. Using Firebird makes NewsMonster a bit quicker, but overall it's still crawling along (which again, is probably just the system). I can't wait until Apple and Mozilla get their problems sorted out so I can start using this software day-to-day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

NewsMonster, Mozilla Woes

(originally posted at

Wow, this one's a doozy.

It all started when I wanted a quick and easy news aggregator for Linux. Mozilla comes standard, so NewsMonster seemed a logical fit. I've always thought that rss/rdf news aggregation was a natural extension of browsing. After using NetNewsWire for quite a while, I've decided that switching back and forth between aggregator and browser was a bit tedious. I even went so far as to submit a feature request to Apple for aggregator functionality in Safari (yeah, right).

Yet I digress, NewsMonster didn't work. This, I later found to be my own fault in not checking dependencies before installing - so NewsMonster may still be an option under Linux. Before finding that out, however, I decided to try installing Mozilla + NewsMonster under OSX. Hey, cross-platform is cross-platform, right?

Well, it didn't work either, for an entirely different and much more diabolical reason. What I missed was that NewsMonster requires Java 1.4, which comes standard in Panther. I checked Mozilla's about:plugins, and it told me I was only using 1.3.1. What gives?

Heading on over to mozdev, I thought I might find a way to upgrade to a new Java plugin. A quick search yielded the plugin support matrix, where I discovered an open bug on the plugin issue. The bug has been open for over 6 months - not reassuring in the least.

Turns out, Apple had ported Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.1, but hasn't documented what the Mozilla developers need to implement support for 1.4.1. So Mozilla stands on OS X, at version 1.5, with Java lingering at 1.3.1. Harsh.

What's a geek to do? Well, as luck would have it, the NewsMonster developer (Kevin Burton/burtonator) hangs out in #joiito - but with my luck, he wasn't online at the time. I was, however, able to find his screenname on a newsmonster-list post and we had a quick chat where he acknowledged Apple's complicity in the Mozilla issue. He's a nice guy and surprisingly accessible.

So until this all gets fixed, the OSX browser/aggregator remains unattainable.

Widescreen NetNewsWire Hack

(originally posted at

I've just implemented this hack which will move the preview pane of NetNewsWire to the right, giving it a widescreen effect. This just makes sense for widescreen LCD's.

I found this via The Tao of Mac, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite technical web spaces. The author uses a wiki to blog, which is something for me to look into.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Canceling EMusic

(originally posted at

I just cancelled my EMusic account. Basically, the company was bought out and they decided all-you-can-download accounts weren't helping their bottom line. I received an email notifying me that for the low, low price of $10/mo I could have up to 40 downloads per month, with a bump to 300 downloads for $50/mo.

Ah, thank you, I haven't laughed that hard since I was a little girl.

So over the past few weeks I've bled EMusic dry, downloading as much of the good stuff as I could. I fleshed out my collection from the Emperor Norton label, also beefing up my selection of jazz.

MBOX, MSF, Mozilla and Evolution

(originally posted at

It seems that all I needed was to sleep on it and then research the .msf issue. This link proved invaluable, as it bridged the knowledge gap I was suffering.

Turns out, .msf are mail summary files and that Mozilla does indeed still use the .mbox format. It simply doesn't append the .mbox extension to the end of the files it uses. For some reason, this was tripping me up in the Evolution-import process yesterday. Today it's not. Lovely.

Evolution only allows one import at a time, which, quite disappointingly mimics Outlook's limitations. The next challenge will be to figure out NewsMonster's issues, as my linux-on-the-desktop experiment continues.

Fink 0.6.1

(originally posted at

Fink 0.6.1 is now available with Panther support. I've got it installed and am now installing gimp to test out the integration with Apple's X11.

Mail Blues

(originally posted at

Well, I'm giving up for the night. Wrapping things up...

I started with .pst files on cd (well under the 2gb limit) and the goal was to import the .pst files into Evolution. The first obstacle was that Evolution simply wouldn't import the files. My prior post listed the options given to me by Ximian's support center and a quick google search - and they basically told me to get Mozilla or Netscape. That route had problems as well and I had to scrounge to find a Windows box with Outlook still on it.

Then began the arduous process of re-importing my .pst files one-by-one, because importing multiple files would've been too intelligent for some Redmond engineers to handle. Sigh. Once they were all imported into Outlook, I got to import the folders and messages into Mozilla - which intelligently enough, imported them all at once. Unfortunately, that's where Mozilla's intelligence ended. Instead of the .mbox format of previous versions, the latest version (1.5) stored the mail in .msf format - which Evolution can't import. Yuck.

So tomorrow I'll be reverting to an earlier version of Mozilla and starting the process all over again - simply because Microsoft hasn't learned its lesson regarding proprietary data formats, and the world hasn't learned its lesson regarding Microsoft. I need to research this new .msf format and find out why in the world Mozilla made the switch.

Interestingly enough, Apple's uses the .mbox format. If i were switching from that, it'd be easy.

Website Syndication

(originally posted at

A little late on this particular bandwagon, but I've finally signed up over at A new side panel has been added for my "techroll" - that is, the technical sites that I frequent and subscribe to via NetNewsWire.

Blogrolling has some nice include options - I'm using javascript, but that may change if this site ever goes php. I was also able to populate my first blogroll with an exported .opml file from NetNewsWire.

I've also installed NewsMonster on my linux-on-the-desktop box, err, laptop... though it doesn't appear to be working quite yet. I'll dig a little deeper later. Right now my mail filter process is just about done and I'm itching to see if I can get this stuff into Evolution.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Mail Fun(k)

(originally posted at

The goal was simple, import my old Outlook .pst files into Ximian Evolution. It's a sort of Outlook clone, y'see. This should be simple, nay?

Evolution itself wouldn't import the .pst files, so I hit google in search of an answer. Word on the net says Netscape or Mozilla can handle these imports. No sweat, I say, Mozilla comes standard with RH and I'm all up-to-date with my patches. Let 'er rip. Nope. Won't work either. So I download Netscape - which believe it or not is up to version 7.1 now. Besides needing to use a login to launch the app, it won't import the .pst either. Egads.

It seems there's no way to import a .pst into Evolution without quite a hassle. There's LibPST, but that seems like quite a hack and was last updated about a year ago. My other options restrict me to using a Windows machine - and they are Outport or Mozilla for windows. Why on earth Mozilla for Windows would allow you to import .pst's and Mozilla for linux would not, is beyond me.

Luckily, I brought two projects to entertain myself with tonight. The mail can wait, the really fun stuff is .opml, RSS feeds and php. Woo.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Panther Installation

(originally posted at

Panther came yesterday, so I backed up the data in my home dir on my laptop and installed it. The whole process took just over an hour and went without a hitch.

When reading the following, please keep in mind that the installation is being performed on an 800mhz Powerbook with a 1mb L3 cache and 512mb of RAM. Here's the breakdown:

  • 1-15: 12+ gigs of home dir being backed up to firewire drive
  • 16-33: Reboot, begin installation - skipping disc verification, I choose to erase and install from scratch.
  • 33: Disc 1 prompts a reboot, finishes installing and asks for disc 2
  • 33-48: Disc 2 goes through its installation process and finishes successfully
  • 48-53: User interaction begins. I'm prompted to create a user, fill out product registration information, set up a network connection, and enter Mail configuration.
  • 53: Finder launches for the first time and software update immediately launches itself.
  • 53-58: Software update installs new iPod software, iSync 1.3, iTunes 4.1, and Security Update 2003-10-28 (which requires a restart). While this process is running, I begin to clean up my dock.
  • 60-66: Disc 3 installation begins. I have chosen to install X11 and the additional fonts (as I can barely read some Arabic) - but not the additional drivers for ancient printers. While this process is running, I begin to explore the System Preferences and start personalizing my OS X experience.
  • 66-79: I begin the XCode disc installation with the default settings. I continue to tinker with my System Prefs. Oddly enough, when I try to turn on FileVault it prompts me to log out and log back in - but the Installer cancels the logout request automatically and prompts me to tell me I'm an idiot. I shrug and let it finish.
  • 80: Fully up-to-date, usable, Panther installation on my laptop. Hooray!
So there you have it. It takes an hour and twenty minutes to get Panther installed from scratch. Figure another half-hour or so of meticulously going through my backed up ~/Library to selectively restore preferences for applications like Safari, iCal, iChat, NetNewsWire and my Keychain... but while I'm doing that I can be installing Panther on my iMac.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


(originally posted at

Today I got a localized copy of webalizer up and running on the web server.

I ran into a snag when the webalizer binary couldn't find even though I had compiled it with the --with-gdlib and --with-gd flags to point to the proper directory. With some minor messing about, it was quickly resolved by re-configuring with a new --prefix set. It's important to note that this snag was simply a result of my trying to install webalizer and gd into my $HOME dir instead of their rightful places in the system. Such are the constraints of not running your own server. :)

A few config files later and all three of my websites have usage statistics for the month of October. All that's left to do is set up and hourly cron to run the script for each of the sites using their respective config files. To be honest, I had no idea I had so many readers - and the search strings that found me are rather funny. Perhaps I'll compile a list of them.

Quick Change

(originally posted at

I changed the CSS for the side menus because bolded links were beginning to wear on me. I've also changed the archive link format and added a list of categories.

I'm considering adding Google search results for the topics I blog about. It's a neat way to use the API, on the other hand, you're all perfectly capable of googling things yourself. Anyone have any thoughts?

RedHat 9.0 for the Desktop User

(originally posted at

Tonight in a fit of misguided geekdom, I resurrected my old ThinkPad, which had been kicking around my room. I didn't expect it to fully boot, but when it did, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. With Panther on its way and my Yellow Dog installation a fun success, I felt it necessary to try out RedHat's desktop experience.

While I suffered none of the installation issues I had the other night with YDL, the ThinkPad doesn't seem as responsive as the iMac, which is odd since they're similarly spec'd. A pleasant surprise came when my Lucent Orinocco card was found and easily configured for wireless access.

With YDL using KDE, I chose Gnome for my RedHat installation, and I have to say I still like Gnome better. Maybe it's the fish.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Mozilla Firebird 0.7.1

(originally posted at

I haven't used a Mozilla product in a while, but was prompted to do so today with the news of 0.7.1's release for Panther compatibility. It doesn't launch quite as fast as Safari, but once it's going navigation seems to be just as fast. Page rendering, however, is a tad slower.

Even though Firebird is a lightweight version of Mozilla, it still sports more features than Safari. If not for the speed issue, it'd be a toss-up as to which would become my primary browser.

Yellow Dog Linux

(originally posted at

I'm typing this from Konqueror in YDL 3.0. There were some initial problems with Monitor detection and Screen configuration in the XF86Config file. Trolling around the ydl-lists I found the correct configuration and got myself up and running.

I was pleased when my XHTML standards-driven sites rendered properly. I was also pleased to find MT working smoothly.

After a celebratory bottle of root beer, I'll begin to tool around with my first Linux-on-the-desktop environment for the PPC.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Yellow Dog Linux & a Rebuilt Server

(originally posted at

Now that my legit copy of Panther has shipped I'm feeling the urge to explore new horizons. To that end I've begun a download of Yellow Dog Linux to run on my iMac. It looks neat, I just hope it doesn't destroy anything.

Meanwhile, I've built another server since the HD in my PowerEdge died. It's got RedHat 9 and I've begun configuring Apache, Jabber, PostgreSQL and MySQL. I'm also copying my backups from HQ over in order to build a repository of code. I've been given a verbal all-clear to display generic versions of the code I wrote for HQ on my site, so hopefully that'll give me something productive to do and maybe help in the search for finding the right job.

In My Dock

(originally posted at

Almost a month ago a craze swept the blog world, but I was too busy to take part. Rabid Mac users posted screenshots of their docks and explained what they have in them. I won't waste time with a screenshot, but my dock contains:

Finder, System Preferences, OtherTime, iPulse, iSync, Activity Monitor, iTerm, X11, VNCThing, iCal, AddressBook, Mail, Safari, NewNewsWire Lite, iChat, Psi, Fire, X-Chat Aqua, Sherlock, BBEdit, Stickies, TextEdit, Preview, Quicktime, iTunes

I order mine roughly by function. Since the new version of iPulse (of which I use the Tron.2 jacket), I've been keeping the iPulse window on my desktop and keeping the icon from rendering the changes in the dock.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Kilogram Scale

(originally posted at

As happens so often this late at night, I've just had a relatively mundane eureka moment.

As I stared down at the nutrition information on a package of fake hot dogs, I realized the fat, protein, and all the rest of the good stuff was measured using the metric system.  Whereas I, like any good American, measure myself in pounds.

So rather than bother with unit conversions, I've decided to start keeping track of my weight using the metric system.  It should help me get a better grasp of the actual amounts I'm ingesting.

I just wanted to remind myself to find an appropriate scale.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wong Kar-Wai

(originally posted at

Julie and I have just finished watching Wong Kar-Wai's film Fallen Angels for the first time as a couple.  I first caught this flick late one night on IMC back when I was living in Murray Hill.

What initially drew me to the film was the blend of "kaleidoscopic" color, cinematography and the amazing soundtrack.  The fact that it was filmed in an urban asian locale (Hong Kong, which I had initially mistaken for Tokyo) was also a plus.

Jules loved the execution of the film and is looking forward to experiencing both the works that came before and after Fallen Angels.  As I've never seen anything else from this director, I'm quite intrigued as well.

(actually this entry was posted by jules and i together)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Minor Crisis

(originally posted at

Nothing dreadfully serious, but Julie and I may be offline for the next few days.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Dell and the iPod Generations

(originally posted at

stevenf has a great rant about Dell's iPod-clone (DellPod?) and online music store. I was quite taken aback to see the similarities between the iPod and the Dell Digital Jukebox. Shameless.

While Scotty awaits the delivery of his new 3rd-gen iPod, we briefly discussed the pros and cons of the connector design. The 2nd-gen iPod that I've used for almost a year now has a standard firewire port. This allows me to lose firewire cables at my leisure and replace them with a cheapy from the local Radio Shack. It also avails me the option of toting multiple firewire devices and only stowing a single cable.

The 3rd-gen iPod uses an icky Apple-proprietary connector between the iPod and the dock. This ickyness can almost be overlooked by the practical application is provides. The dock can then connect via USB or firewire. So, no more Windows- or Apple-only devices. This undoubtedly makes business-sense for Apple, but... icky.

Still, with my 20gb iPod maxed out, the 3rd-gen devices are mighty attractive for their disk space.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Panther Build 7B74

(originally posted at

This one came in on 3 discs. The first disc was, again, the system disc. I decided to upgrade my 7B68 installation instead of installing fresh. The installation prompted me for the second disc, but errored out nicely when I didn't provide it.

After the first reboot, I was presented with the newly-styled Apply logo at the login prompt. I then installed the third disc (skipping the second for now, as it would only have applications on it) which, alas, did not include XCode. However, it did include an X11 with true GUI-system integration. Very slick.

On to disc two, which actually included the new versions of iCal (1.5) and iSync (1.2) which are rumored to be days away for release on 10.2 systems. I got to play with the new iCal for a bit and think the improvements make it much more usable. I'll blog a bit later about the specific improvements, when I actually have it in front of me. I did not get to play with iSync, since my iMac is not my production machine and has no AddressBook entries, iCal calendars, or Safari bookmarks. Come to think of it, I don't have any mail accounts set up on it either, which means I haven't had a chance to play with the new version of the Mail client. I'll have to look into that.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Panther Build 7B68

(originally posted at

Much much much better than the alpha that was released at Apple's 2003 WWDC. Here's a list of what I've found in the first two hours of playing:
  • The system itself is both more stable and more responsive.
  • The new DVD player seems to lack the memory leak of the old one.
  • The new Finder has a less-buggy implementation of the column view.
  • The Accounts prefpane now has user limitations implemented.
  • The Simple Finder limitation for Guest users is pretty slick.
  • Fast-user switching is, well, faster.
  • Default bash shell.
  • echo $SHELL /bin/bash
  • Expose's desktop feature doesn't completely hide open windows.
  • The new Activity Monitor has a process filter and is more usable in general.
Phew. Fantastic. I can't wait until they release this to the general public.


(originally posted at

BitTorrent has some flaws, but what p2p app doesn't?

I was exposed to trackers and seeds and .torrent files and all sorts of oddities while trying to figure out how to get what I wanted.

A tracker is a service (web, app) provided by a server to categorize and keep track of the seeds that people are offering, the number of current downloads, and meta-data of that variety.

A seed is a file-for-offering. The first time a specific file is made available via the server, a hash is made. When people complete a download of the file, a checksum is run against the original seed's hash to validate the download.

To download a file, you'll need its .torrent - which is a pointer back to the BitTorrent server which brokers a connection with users who have what you need. As you download the file, you're also uploading the same file to others as brokered by the server. This is the first problem I encountered.

I don't mind sharing, but the issue is that the download turns into a pyramid scheme. There's a broad base of users who have some of the file, but only a few users who have all of it. Therefore, the beginning of your download is pretty snappy - but the more you download, the fewer the sources you can download from and the slower your download goes.

For a whole day and a half I was stuck at 94.8% of my file download waiting for someone to come online who had the last 5.2% of the file. Such aggravation!

The next drawback is that you just can't be sure of the validity of the file you're downloading. Just because the checksum against the original seed passes, doesn't mean you'll have downloaded any meaningful data. This isn't a BitTorrent-specific problem, but it's one I encountered when the installation disc I burned from the .dmg I downloaded didn't pass its internal validation process - which, luckily for me, was a skippable step of the installation.

What have I learned? Depending on what you want, it may be difficult to find trackers. Once you've found the right tracker, you still can't be sure you're getting what you want.

P2P user: "I also like to live dangerously."

Yesterday's Adventures

(originally posted at

Yesterday was an interesting day.

Julie had a "girl's night out" with some of her friends at a festival in the city.  I stayed at her place for a bit and hung out with her mom and sisters.  Her mom beat me at Scrabble, again, and I watched the first two Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy episodes with her sisters.

Later on, Cory and I ended up watching Dead Man, a strange black and white film starring Johnny Depp as an accountant accused of a double-murder out on the western frontier.  I won't stoop to call Depp's performance "quirky," but he plays an odd character in an intriguing way.  The movie had plenty of hilarious moments, but the most striking thing was the feeling that it portrayed life in the American West much more realistically than your average Hollywood western.

After a few games of billiards, and a few rounds of Soul Calibur 2, Cory took off and I headed upstairs to check my various downloads.  I was pleased and confused to find my download of Cornelius' new PM album showing up in my "uploads" pane - when it didn't even show as being finished in the "downloads" pane.  Lo and behold, I had a complete copy of it that never registered as being downloaded.  Twilight zone.  It's an interesting album, but definitely not easy-listening Cornelius-style.  The best bit was when I went to and found the flash link.  My favorite little game is the lightning-bug one - I spent a good 15 minutes making music with Cornelius.  What a great time.

I went to sleep and woke up to a completed Panther 7B68 build download, well, CD1 of it at least.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Radiohead Rorschach

(originally posted at

Someone subjected fifth-graders to Radiohead music and had them draw out what the music invoked in them.  Some of them are quite interesting, but what interested me most was the lack of color.  Eleven out of eleven pictures were done in black-and-white, which seems to indicate the children weren't given color media to use in the task.  Wonder why...

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Safari's Auto-Tab

(originally posted at

Here's a Safari feature that I just ran across today that has a very slick implementation. It's called Auto-Tab, and you can turn it on inside the Bookmarks pane.

Basically what it does is take a sub-folder of your Bookmarks Bar and turns it into a button instead of a context-menu in the bar itself. Normally the sub-folders of the Bookmarks Bar are displayed with a down-arrow to the right of them, indicating that if you click-and-hold, you'll get a menu of the items in the sub-folder. Auto-tabbing turns the down-arrow into a square, and changes the functionality from a menu to a button. Pressing the button loads all of the items inside the sub-folder in tabs of the current window.

So what? Mozilla does bookmark groups, too. Indeed, but the implementation is simply less polished.

I'm now using a mix of sub-folders and auto-tabbed folders in my Bookmarks Bar.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Quick and Easy

(originally posted at

With the experience gained from setting up ninjafish, it was quick and easy to rebuild the MT installation for this site.

I've created category archives, and re-done the archival structure of individual and monthly entries. I'm sure there'll be some CSS kinks to work out, but I'll deal with them as I find them.

Testing New Blog Layout

(originally posted at

This is a test of the emergency blog-redesign system. If this were an actual redesign, sirens would be going off.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Stereolab's New EP, Site Update

(originally posted at

It comes out the day before Naqoyqatsi, and there are RealAudio files on their website for a nice preview of what's to come.  I listened to them all today, which was quite a welcome break from the hectic household.

Yes, today we found the betta fish on google and photoshopped it together and added it to the site.  It took me quite a while to find the picture of the waves at the bottom of the side bar, but once I did, it was pretty easy to implement.  And yes, Microsoft's IE gave me issues when implementing standards-based CSS.  The bastards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Site Update

(originally posted at

Where to begin?

First, I exported all the entries from bigbadgeek and imported them to ninjafish.  Then I culled the ones related to technology or my tech-studies.  Later, I'll need to cull the non-tech entries from bigbadgeek.  Then I went through the remaining entries and categorized them, creating new categories as I went.

Then I went through the MT config, got Google searching working and chose a Creative Commons license for the site.  I chose the ShareAlike license, which means I'm withholding rights from anyone who won't share their derivative works in a similar fashion.  BTW, very cool of Six Apart to include built-in CC licenses with MT.

Still need to show Julie how this all works so she can start posting.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Testing Kung-Log

(originally posted at

Just testing Kung-Log with the Ninjafish installation.  I'm hoping that the archival system works with KL, I can't see why it wouldn't.  I still have XHTML/CSS validating to do.


(originally posted at

You were off by just a bit, dear.  I had leftovers around 4:30, just finishing now.

This evening I've been playing Soul Calibur 2 on the GameCube.  Fun, fun, fun.  I've unlocked all but one character, but I've got quite a ways to go.  I've left three high-level dungeons for tomorrow, and then I simply must catch up on my chores/studies.

I've also got to move the MT entries over and put up a "reconstructing" sign on bigbadgeek.

But now that I'm dozing off, I'm not really in the mood for either of the Qatsi movies - but I did find out that Naqoyqatsi is being released on October 14th.  Let's mark our calendar!

I'm putting AYBS? in and drifting off to sleep.  G'night.

New Archival System

(originally posted at

Thanks in no small part to Joi Ito, I've set ninjafish up with a better way of archiving our entries.  Granted, he basically told me to RTFM, but he did it in a genuinely nice way, and that's what really matters, isn't it?

For the record the string I'm using for the individual entries is:

<$MTArchiveDate format="%Y/%m/%d"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1"$>

Pretty neat, I think.  Now that I've tinkered a bit more with MT 2.64, I'm thinking of adding a Creative Commons license and replacing my standard MT search with a Google search via the Google API.  It's about time I put that dev key to some use, I figure.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Third Test Entry

(originally posted at

Alright, just about everything seems to be up and running for the main page.  I've created a new user because MT has silly ways of dealing with user information and I didn't feel like going through the db and updating what needed updating.

I'm still going to be screwing around with the CSS to get it just right.  Perhaps later tonight or tomorrow I'll try the MT export/import process to move my entries over from

Second Test Entry

(originally posted at

hmm, first entry didn't show up after the blog was re-built.  investigating by adding another entry.  please bear with me.

Test Entry

(originally posted at

the first test entry for

meanwhile in the background, wil wheaton as wesley crusher is putting the moves on some princess in the holodeck while her shape-shifting bodyguard is strangling lieutenant worf.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

MS Bites Back

(originally posted at

Got a kick out of an article over at Infoworld called Microsoft releases Windows Rights Management client.

Here's the kicker:
When detailed in February, Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) was described as technology for Windows Server 2003 designed to give enterprises the means to secure internal business information such as financial documents.
Richard M. Stallman couldn't be reached for comment, but I wonder how pissed he is about this. When I think RMS, I think of a man who fights for open standards and open software - definitely not a rights management package designed to restrict what users can or can't do with their software and documents.

I really can envision a team of MS jerks sitting around late one night trying to come up with a suitably "closed" product to attach RMS to. Evil, I say, just evil.

Change is Afoot!

(originally posted at

In a previous entry I spoke of a new project space.  I've registered for use as a personal space for myself and Julie.  That means new email addresses and all that jazz.  It also means this blog is moving, and that Big, Bad, Geek will be born anew, as my technical/professional outlet - complete with resume, sample code, and blog-as-I-learn journal.  Consequently, both sites will tend to be in a state of disarray until everything is sorted out.  Meanwhile, I need to thank David of Lucifer Media Corp. for helping me find the right place for everything and getting everything set up and working properly.  Also, I'm rather excited to have gotten Kung-Log working, as it'll make managing the blogs on each individual site just that much easier.  Hooray!  Anyway, please by patient during the move - which could happen at a moment's notice.  Keep you on your toes, I will.

Test from Kung-Log

(originally posted at

Very strange problems getting Kung-Log working - we'll see if this gets posted or not...

Update: wow, it works... but it has revealed a potential issue with my CSS... testing.

Updated Update:  nope, it's just hoe kung-log interprets line breaks.  it'll just take some getting used to.  this is a keep app that i should have gotten up and running earlier.  xml-rpc sounds like a difficult thing to implement, but just RTFM'ing gets it over and done with rather painlessly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


(originally posted at

I found this tasty Google-culture morsel from the #joiito chump bot. It sits in the chan, listens for URLs and blogs them for later perusal via XML feed.

Apparently the bot also allows IRC users in the channel to post comments on the link which are reflected on the blog. Neat.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

RSS Feeds A'Comin'

(originally posted at

Tonight I headed over to DailyRotation and picked up the rest of the news feeds I'd been missing since I switched to using NetNewsWire Lite as my aggregator.

They're organized into the following categories: Apple, Development, Devices, Group Blogs, Personal Blogs, Technology News. I've got 70 feeds total for my own futuristic Personal Newspaper.

I figure eventually I'll head over to BlogRolling and sign up for an account. I'll split my Personal Blog list up into people I actually know and the online personalities I merely keep tabs on.

In other news, I heard from Nora today and she's back in NYC and getting ready for school - which is a relief. Also; Friendster mysteriously started working with Safari today. I haven't gotten an email back from the team, but I suppose whatever was broken is now fixed. Hooray!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Bug Report to Friendster

(originally posted at

Yesterday I finally got around to submitting a bug report to Friendster for their incompatibility with Apple's Safari browser.

It's not a difficult problem, either. The Safari browser has a security mechanism that disallows a page to automatically redirect to a page that redirects back to the first page - which, apparently, is a method that Friendster utilizes for their login script. There are certainly ways around this.

I was pleased with the quick response from the Friendster team - not quick enough to be an automatic kickback, but definitely a scripted response of some sort. Anyway, it's the thought that counts. We'll see if they get it fixed. I'm sure they'll be glad to be getting a bug report that's unrelated to their database issues for a change.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

FCC Feels Bad for AOL

(originally posted at

Awww, merger didn't turn out to be as good as you all hoped? Here, we'll lift some of the merger restrictions for you... no hard feelings?

I see this as a mixed blessing. AOL was supposed to work towards interoperability with the other major IM networks (Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ.. err wait, they own that one) before they were allowed to implement video chat capabilities to their AIM client. That was a stipulation of the AOL/TW merger. Fact.

Now, AOL sneakily got around the video chat ban by allowing Apple to license and use their network with Apple's iChat AV client. But let's face it, Apple's hardly a market, hardly a demographic. Since it was Apple's client and not AOL's that was implementing the video conferencing feature, the FCC didn't really notice or care.

Fast-forward a few months and Apple's iChat AV is a hit, people love it, it gets rave reviews from the Wird's and C|Net's of the world, and AOL sees an opportunity to poke and prod the FCC and see if they can get the restriction dropped. "Woe is me," cries AOL, "we're losing customers because we can't get our act together." A few days later the FCC votes to drop the restriction.

Back to the mixed blessings bit - this shows what everyone knew to already be true: the FCC are a bunch of wimps. On the plus side, I'm betting that Apple will actually help AOL to implement standards-based voice and video chat to make it interoperable with Apple's iChat AV client. It would be disasterous for Apple to have its user base cut off from the rest of the AIM network for voice and video. At the same time it's an opportunity for Apple to show off how much more advanced their iChat AV client and iSight webcam really are. Win-win for Apple.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

PeopleSoft to Use AOL IM

(originally posted at

At first I was shocked that they hadn't chosen Jabber - especially after taking a look at the big-name companies that did. However, I think this makes more sense if looked at from a marketing/legal standpoint than a technological one.

AOL's IM brand is far-and-away more used and recognized than any other service. On the other hand, being extensible in nature, Jabber allows for AIM-transport components at the server level. Of course, that could become a legal hassle for enterprise clients, as transports are usually written by reverse-engineering a proprietary protocol. Sigh.

It would be nice to get my hands on some AOL Enterprise IM software, just to figure out the leeway given to AOL's enterprise clients.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Bots, Bots, Everywhere

(originally posted at

It started back in the day of the old #blade channel (efnet) for the online art group Blade Nation. The bot was called, I think, y0da-1. You could talk to the bot and it'd make fun of you.

Lately, bots seem to be getting a whole lot more functionality thanks to API's and XML-RPC and the like. Over in #virus on there's the LogLady - Twin Peaks inspired - who, when voiced, records everything anyone says into a database that's searchable on the web. The channel also has googlebot, which was written in Python and uses the Google API to send queries and format responses.

But lately, spurred on by my quest to master Jabber and become a part of the social software community, I've been hanging out in #joiito on There, lives the open source Python bot: Jibot. That's right, check the link and bask in the glory of what this bot can do. Then head on over and read Kevin Marks' entry on Social Botware, which does a damn good job of describing the channel's dynamic and how the bot has fit into it and ultimately helped shape it.

And if you're asking yourself why I'm awake and blogging so early, it's to vicariously attend the Supernova conference on decentralization.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

AOL Will Blog

(originally posted at

Oh yes, AOL Will Blog.

Forget for a moment about their lack of IM interoperability. Forget the way they've mismanaged the WinAmp and Netscape products. Apparently, they're gonna do blogging right. Nevermind that people have been posting to blog-like pages via IRC and Jabber for ages...

AOL users can use their homestead pages, Apple iChat users can post to .Mac, win-win-win. Would be nice if they use the Blogger API with XML-RPC for users to choose their own site to post to... on the other hand, it's another chance for a large company to lock-in users.

It'll be interesting. I'm eagerly awaiting screenshots.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

june studies & the panther shots

(originally posted at

if you pay attention to my sidebar you'll have seen that i'm reading up on java in an attempt to teach myself. i've been using Sun's tutorials to get a good handle on the underlying concepts. the osx for java geeks book is simply steering me on my platform of choice.

i've also begun reading the programming jabber book to get a good handle on the jabber protocols and server architecture. osx's address book application has a place-setting for jabber addresses, but i'm not holding my breath for jabber integration with iChat. best that can be done is make an iChat-clone until Apple gets on board. of course, i'm not sure it's in Apple's best interest to play around with Jabber. AOL might have an exclusive agreement for the iChat client. Or maybe Jabber just doesn't have the critical mass at this point to warrant the development effort. it's a shame i didn't get into jabber when i was still with HQ, i could've whipped up a dilly of a support-bot.

and this morning at 6am, before i went to bed for the evening, i came across the leaked screenshots of Apple's next OS release codenamed Panther (templink). i'm very intrigued by the Expose feature, which uses some Quartz magic to show you scaled-down and geographically-placed versions of all your windows so you can see what you've got open. the new metallic Finder also looks pretty interesting, although not many people seem to like it.

Folder actions are back, though as they were an OS 9 feature, I've never used them before. The basic idea is that you can associate a script with a folder. Say, "every item in this folder, ftp to my web server," and you've got an instant drag-and-drop scripted addition to the OS. Seems pretty slick. Labels are also back, but I don't think I'll make much use of the feature.

A new version of iChat is also on the horizon, but I don't think Jobs will announce ICQ compatibility this Monday. Since the Panther release isn't slated until September, there's plenty of time to implement the protocol, especially if AOL cooperates. Hope springs eternal.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

HTML fun

(originally posted at

as i said, i've been reading o'reilly's definitive guide to html & xhtml in an attempt to bring my mad skills back up to speed.

two new bits that i thought were interesting were...

this tag, which prints things right-to-left instead of left-to-right

and this tag...

which you may see once, or you may see twice, depending on your browser

which you may see once, or you may see twice, depending on your browser :)

keen, eh?

Thursday, January 23, 2003

technology in the wild

(originally posted at

over the past week or so, i've seen two relatively new bits of technology in the wild that i've not seen before.

the first is the danger hiptop, a portable device for all your geekish needs. i passed a ghetto thug on 3rd ave who was walking with one in his teeth. the world's a strange place.

the second was a strange IBM product called a TransNote. a strangely-dressed man on the subway brought his out and it immediately caught my attention. the screen was so flat! simply amazing. he tooled around with it for a while and i went back to my book.

the last strange piece was an Apple Newton - which, as old as they are, i'd never actually seen anyone use one in public. scandalous! i couldn't imagine anyone lugging around a PDA that size.

in other news; i've got a website re-design in mind, if i ever find the time. the denizens of the #virus chatroom on helped me come up with a few new definitions for my initials - crw. my favorite was "creativity running wild," and perhaps i'll incorporate that into the site design. those wacky virians. they're not unlike michael palin's description of monty python fans: "intellectuals, insomniacs... y'know... burglars."

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

technology update

(originally posted at

i'm typing this from apple's new safari browser.

it lacks tabs, but is still only in beta and is faster and more stable than any other OSX browser. it has the best bookmark organization utility i've ever seen.

i managed to catch the second half of the macworld keynote by steve jobs today. 802.11g, new powerbooks, and firewire 800 were all announced. i'm interested in talking my company into buying me one of the new 12" powerbooks as a portable desktop replacement so i don't have to continue to bring my 15" powerbook to and from work. i don't think i'd be able to make it through the work day without OSX by my side. whether they'll go for it or not, remains to be seen. :)

apple also released a beta version of an X11 binary. i've already worked through replacing XDarwin with their new binary, and i've got ported versions of native linux apps running alongside OSX apps pretty seamlessly. no small feat for someone of my command-line ineptitude! i also installed FinkCommander tonight to keep better track of the ported apps at my disposal.

apple keeps moving in the right direction. one of my favorite quotes from the keynote speech was "some other guys don't like open source, but we love it." mhmm. other guys indeed.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003


(originally posted at

year in review. noteworthy things.

2002 was the year i achieved a greater amount of balance in my life.  thanks in no small part to the sudden cognitive shift of being without an aram.  he was fired on 6/21 and those of us who worked for him refer to that day as six-twenty-one, as the impact of his sudden removal was similar to nine-eleven.

that evening i went home and had a new energy in me.  i took up fuzz's bike and rode for miles and miles and it felt so good.  every day for weeks after that i did the same.  biking before and after work.

my outlook on the company changed that day as well.  management took action to make a positive change for the team and the department as a whole.  i didn't think they ever would.  since then, however, things have continued to slide downhill and my faith in the company as a whole has continued to decline.  as i've recently come to ask myself - if i'm a technologist, what am i doing working for a real estate company?

outside of work, this year has seen an increase in my own personal studies.  i realized that studying was exactly what i've been doing.  once that realization hit, i was able to focus my energy more acutely.  when i took a look at what i'd been studying and why, i realized that i couldn't be doing these studies in a vacuum and began to get further involved in the extropian/transhumanist community.

luckily, i got in on the ground floor of the New York Transhumanist Association and met a wonderful gentleman named Mike Treder.  i look up to mike as a sort of role model.  he's very active in the aforementioned communities and will be able to independently guide my studies to keep me on track and prevent me from going off the deep end.  being involved in NYTA, i've been fortunate enough to meet some really Interesting People and participate in stimulating conversations.

on a personal front, dave and i lost fuzz as a roommate but alex has moved in.  in a way, i feel bad that they're stuck with me.  however, space in nyc isn't cheap and they're living together for the first time - so i think it suits us all.

my relationships with the three women who are closest to me (not counting mom, of course) all strengthened this year.  jenelle and i had our ups and downs as she struggled through to the end of her relationship with joe.  at the end of that relationship she had a very traumatic experience which, strangely enough, could keep her from returning to joe in the future.  i haven't quiet explored the depths of that, but it's definitely interesting.  jenelle's my best friend and i love her dearly.

laurie and i continued to get to know each other.  we've had a few opportunities to meet which we've let slip by us.  she allows me to be myself and we've reached a certain level of trust where we can talk about damn-near anything.  she's tech-savvy and continues to have good aesthetic taste, and it all leads to some interesting conversation.  hell, i'm talking to her right now. :)

tina and i also continued to get to know each other.  being online has opened up channels of communication that i didn't know were possible.  as i've watched her struggle through various situations in her life, i've come to admire and respect her strength as much as i already admired and respected her creativity.

towards the end of the year i've made an attempt to be more social - culminating in some new friendships.  i finally met kathy of  somehow, nora managed to find me online and we met and have seen each other a few times.  she's such a gifted artist - i really and truly believe her and tina could become close friends.  imagining them working together on a piece of art... it would be magical.  and through some strange coincidence i managed to meet angela - who i'm also talking to online at the moment.  hi angela! :)

as late as last night, i also met julie, who's quite an interesting person... but i'll get to that story in the next post.

so 2002 saw some positive changes in my life that i'm grateful for.  although the biggest negative part of the year continued to be the work situation, i have a feeling that in the long run that negativity will turn out to be the catalyst that propels me into my next venture.  green pastures, and all that.  always in my mind i'm thankful that i'm still employed.

Time Travel

(originally posted at

i left home this evening in 2002 and returned in 2003.  reminds me of the calvin and hobbes strip where calvin tries to go through time in his wagon by racing down a steep hill.  when he came to the bottom he was in the future.  i like that.

i'm not too coherent, but i'm home; safe and sound and even sober.

i had a most wonderful evening and will share it in detail after i get some rest.  in the meantime, laurie's had a good idea for some year-end journal entries, so go take a look.  i'll be following her lead tomorrow.

ooh, i almost forgot.  some of you who read this may know my former classmate and co-worker (and all-around nice guy) scotty allen - well, he's set himself up a journal - and you can take a look at that too.  he's traveling around the world (in laos right now, he says) so his adventures may be of interest to a particular few people who should know who they are. :)