Work is not making me as stressful these days.

I’ve taken to using the Web to dispel tension. When I find my head in a non-productive loop, I take a couple minutes and visit favorite weblogs (PyrAlert, Evhead, Megnut, Onfocus, Peterme, Justin!) or check email. There is something really satisfying about clearing out the piles of stuff in your emailbox to give you a sensation of lightening your load. Illusory perhaps, but it is as if each of those undeleted messages is a string going to your head and it feels so delightful to cut some of them. I find my blog is a good way to deal with things that I don’t yet want to delete; by sharing the link, mentioning the thing I want to read but haven’t yet, or voicing an idea, I can transfer that pending item into a place where I can find it again if I need to and then delete the mail. Ahhhh. So relaxing.

Dead Germans?

“A number of years ago at an ALISE meeting, Sydney Pierce asserted that one of the factors leading to the incoherence and fragmentation of the information sciences was the lack of ‘dead Germans’ – that is, a set of significant theoreticians that provided the intellectual foundations of the field.” Thus was born The Dead Germans Project.

So, what do you call people who are still alive, but undeniably influential? Is Donald Norman an “Undead German”?

Deepening Geekdom

7:42pm
“It’s a simple fact: The Internet sees truth as damage and routes around it.”
How can you not love Carl?

I’m hungry. I’ll write more after I eat.

Oh, ok, Ms. Geek had to fix those Inkspot pages before eating. Typing too fast, I managed to set table width equal to 484%. “No, no, that’s really not the effect I was after, but thanks for trying.”

8:58pm
I’m wiped out. And I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for too long. Time to read a book in the bathtub. 🙂

10:19pm
Reading Broca’s Brain by Carl Sagan. Great stuff. He gets wonderfully snide in the chapter on Velikovsky. “(Indeed, no manna at all has been detected so far in comets).”

I still haven’t found a good way to manage bookmarks. There are a lot of URLs I’d like to share and which I would like to be able to index in multiple categories. I also want annotations for them. And the only solution I see is a database from which I can dynamically draw pages. So, that means Active Server Pages, Cold Fusion, Domino or PHP. The first three all require expensive proprietary software which runs on the server. PHP is free. All hail Open Source!

10:35pm
Hmm, my excellent host, Hurricane Electric (whom I recommend highly), provides me with a MySQL database and is PHP-ready.

Now I just need to learn all about it (and stop pronouncing it “my sequel”. My ess que ell. It looks so Spanish!).

10:53pm
I’m working with some Microsoft folk. They are exceedingly good sports about it, but I can tell they get tired of the whole evil empire stigma. Fortunately, they’ve given me some indications that Microsoft as a company has a clue. Apparently, they are considering a version of Office for Linux. And future development of Windows products are explicitly directed not to mess with the operating system. There’s hope.

I begin to think that the whole kneejerk anti-Microsoft thing is getting outdated. Yes, they bear watching. Yes, they have problems. But the biggest problem is the way that their products are dependant on each other. As Open Source gains ground, this is going to be seen as a major disadvantage. Inflexibility is not a survival trait and, as they’ve proven in the past, Microsoft is prepared to realign their thinking to maximize their success.

This is not to say that I’m not ticked off over their lack of full compliance with CSS-1 and HTML 4.0 in Internet Explorer 5. Grrr. More work for me as I should now test everything in at least 4 browsers (Netscape 3 and 4, IE 4 and 5, maybe IE 3 too) and that’s before you even try testing pages at different screen resolutions, on the Mac vs. PC, etc. etc. etc. Ugh. I don’t want 4 computers. (Caveat: if you want to give me a computer, I’ll probably take it. I just mean I don’t have anywhere to plug them in at present).

I had an idea for a cool thing I’d like to see. Picture a wall of monitors, say 5 by 5. Somehow (through some sort of code/hardware magic) these monitors can change which of 25 computers they are displaying and will randomly swap two displays every few seconds. The computers are running different browsers and different screen resolutions. The monitors are of a variety of brands and quality. The same webpage is displayed on all of them. This page is the 240 color “web safe palette” in a grid whose arrangement is done through use of style sheets and, as a fallback for the older browsers, layout in a table.
Believe me, this is not going to be a static display. It’d be good to throw a little text in there too, so you could see the changing size of the rendered type. Anyone know how to do the wiring/flipping between monitors part? I’d love to do this for one of the big web design shows and I betcha The Web Standards Project would be thrilled get involved.

11:35pm
Mmm, a warm digerati glow:
I just noticed Strafe’s Guide in Jamie Zawinski‘s most recently added bookmarks. Thanks for the link, Jamie.

We’re in good company. Jamie finds great stuff. For instance, IN THE GRIM FUTURE OF HELLO KITTY THERE IS ONLY WAR.

Geek Grrrl Fun

6:15pm
PacBell managed to disconnect my DSL line again yesterday morning. This really puts the Grrr in MetaGrrrl. Whatever was wrong at their end is now fixed apparently. (Geeknote: the Sync light, which had been flashing red, was green when I got home, so I powered down both modem and pc. Restarted modem. Waited for a green Sync light. Turned on the computer. Voila). Hope it lasts this time…

Got my first email from a prospective student of my web design class this summer. This is going to be fun!

I hope that The School doesn’t decide I’m unsuitable as a teacher because I talk about sex and use strong language. Oh, and drink whiskey.
I won’t do it during class, scout’s honor.

7pm
Just dusted and vacuumed my apartment. Give me a medal. Whaadya mean I gotta wash the dishes and put away those clothes too?! Jeez.

So, I’ve got tons of things I want to do with this site. Where to begin? I think I’ll clean out my inbox and tell you about some cool webby things.

Oh my yes, I am a geek. I’m all tempted by The Visual Trace Route Utility.

7:51pm
Did some dishes. And a load of laundry. Excellent child.
Ate some grilled portabella mushroom. Robert was right; marinating in wine for 72 hours is perfectly fine.

8:07pm
Drue has a cool little toy on her pretty site.

8:31pm
Just to spite the naysayers (and perhaps in hope of getting back into the habit), I’m gonna go to my juggling club.

(Huh. I hope no one who’s thinking about robbing my house reads my journal. Of course, they’d be mighty disappointed in the pickings they’d find…”Damn, this chick doesn’t even have a tv! Hey, where the hell can I fence a pair of rubber rats? Shiiit, man.”)

10:53pm
Juggled. Went through the usual performance anxiety which was nicely diffused by Robert . Thanks! Very nice to see Qarin and Eric. It’s been too long. I guess I better start showing up every week.

Making my DSL look pretty darn pitiful…

*yawn* Bedtime now.