Archive for May, 2002

May 30, 2002

I recently finished Empire Falls by Richard Russo. I hadn’t read a novel in a while and admittedly purchased this one because it won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year.

It was a great book, well deserved of the prize and I have but one gripe of which has nothing to do with the story itself, but everything to do with the (large) picture of the author on the back cover. Russo’s portrait strikes me as a guy who just turned 45, bought a 15 year old Porche convertible and started wearing his coller turned up to be cool. Now I’m sure that’s probably not the case, however there were a few corny jokes in the book that were magnified by the photo. I just could not get his image out of my mind when reading it — you shouldn’t be thinking of the author when reading a novel.

Anyhow, aside from this, I really enjoyed it — a story about how interesting drama can come from a small, fictional (?) town in Maine.

guimp: world’s smallest web site. The Flash version has fun (and incredibly small) games.

From a recent McDonald’s commercial: “Our chicken is 100% chicken and USDA inspected.” Umm… Shouldn’t that be a given?

May 29, 2002

A Whole Lotta Nothing: “It turns out that the official release date is rapidly approaching, as Netscape 4.0 will turn 5 years old on June 11, 2002 … I know the Mozilla party is the next day, I should probably talk to the organizers about perhaps burning an effigy of the 4.0 browser to celebrate the 1.0 release of Mozilla.” Amen to that. It’s a wake up call — next time I will think twice about spending hours to support Netscape 4.x.

I just heard R.E.M. on classic rock radio. I’m thinking this doesn’t make sense. Does it? Ok, maybe their earlier stuff — but it was “Losing My Religion” for crying out loud.

May 28, 2002

My friend Jeff was kind enough to burn me a copy of Jay Bennett & Edward Burch’s, The Palace at 4am (Part I). It’s pretty great – Beach Boys style production pop stuff (that doesn’t really sound like the Beach Boys). Bennet used to play various instruments in Wilco, and manages to use them all on this disc. Some of it has a (good) ELO quality to it. So far I like it.

For “fun” I cleaned up the template code for the site so that it now validates as HTML 4.01 Transitional. I am a loser. Check the link (and the CSS one) in the right column. Why? Well, I don’t have a good answer for you, but won’t Zeldman be proud.

May 25, 2002

Kerry and I took a walk in the Danvers town forest today. Nice day for it. This is a picture of a leaf on a tree. The tree was also in the forest. Want to know more? This is the most amazingly informative web page about the Danvers town forest I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

I just watched the Boston Celtics overcome the largest deficit in NBA playoff history to beat the NJ Nets at the Fleet Center. Only I was on my couch. At home. Celts are up 2-1 in the series. Boston sports is on fire this year.

This is the last place I’d look for a mouse. [props camworld]

May 24, 2002

Cool. (I think) I have RSS generation working now. Check out the XML button on the right nav. In version 0.92 you’re allowed to have entity-encoded HTML in the description field, so that’s the route I decided to take. Eventually, I’ll update the Publish Jr. code for those interested.

This wasn’t merely as difficult as I had originally thought, and it feels good to help strive toward a standard — even if no one uses it from my site.

May 23, 2002

I’ve been doing some more reading up on RSS — turns out it’s not controlled by UserLand, but rather a standard in the works for content syndication using XML. Originally developed by UserLand and Netscape in the late 90s (more on the history and other interesting facts are found on the 0.91 spec). The more I read, the more I like. Having a standard for syndicating web pages makes sense to me — although taking full advantage of it might not happen for a while.

Anyhow, I was playing around with generating an RSS feed with Pubish Jr. and it should be pretty darn simple.

May 22, 2002

Sure, the dialogue was terrible and the acting flat, but Star Wars: Episode II delivered a really great film. I enjoyed this one ten times more than the first episode and there were far less cringes of “oh god that is corny”. It helped that Jar Jar was only in it for a few scenes, but above all this movie was visually incredible. The amount of digitally created effects, scenes and characters was astonishing, and for the most part seamless. Still, often times it was like watching a video game clearly targeted to 15 year old boys — which is a step up from Episode I’s 8 year old target.

May 20, 2002

The worst thing about being sick is a general loss of interest in anything other than sleep, and feeling better. Take my pitiful attempt at telling the world about 2 great CDs, below. Just horrible. I’ll do better next time, when I’ve kicked this cold in the rump.

2 good records: Weezer’s new one, Maladroit, doesn’t disappoint. It seems like they just put out a new one, doesn’t it? Pure rock. Also, Kerry picked up the Hives — they’re from Sweden, so right away I like it. Falls right in with the White Stripes (and to some extent) the Strokes thing that’s gaining in popularity, although the Hives have tons more energy, with some really catchy songs. I was surprised to see this album was recorded 2 years ago.