May 2003

May 30, 2003

True Color

We’ve made some major improvements to our system for generating the thumbnail images in the Photos section tonight. Due to a server software update, the thumbnails have been rendering really poorly for about a week. This evening’s upgrades make the thumbnails look sharper than ever.

May 29, 2003

Fish Story

Finding Nemo

Tomorrow night Tabitha and I will be Finding Nemo.

[Also: Word has it that there’s a trailer before Nemo for Pixar’s next film, The Incredibles. That makes me think that Pixar is finally getting close to that “new feature film every year” goal of theirs. Very cool.]

[Later: Kottke has more on The Incredibles.]

[Comments: There may be quasi-spoilers in the comments.]

May 27, 2003

Countdown To Vacation

First I realized that our hotel reservations in Paris were for 9 nights when they really only needed to be for 8 nights. (Not really a big deal.) Then Tabitha pointed out that the confirmation email indicated that the reservations were for May rather than June. (Hyperventilating.) Finally, the hotel was unable to find any record of our reservation at all. (Ka-thump.)

Needless to say, yesterday was a bit stressful. However, everything was put right by the most helpful desk clerk in the universe who spoke excellent English, confirmed our new reservation, and even spelled my name right. (Thank you Angie Dickinson for establishing an international standard of reference.)

So we’re still on track.

May 22, 2003

Old Apartment

The old apartment.

This is where we used to live.

May 20, 2003

RSS for Employment Websites, Part Two

Two months ago today I floated an idea which received almost no attention. Even from the various employee recruitment geeks who frequent this site. The idea was RSS for Employment Websites, an RSS specification designed for job postings. Since then, the concept of RSS for Weblogs has been circulated. Similarly, it calls for “a profile of RSS specific to weblogs.” This makes me think that RSS profiling isn’t too crazy an idea and reinforces my belief that RSS for Employment Websites would be a valuable and possibly profitable killer app in the recruitment marketing space.

Last time I talked about the benefits of aggregators as opposed to other web apps like browsers and email clients. Now, consider the sellable aspects of the idea. First, every career website on the internet will need a feed. The format would be open but incorporating the feeds into existing applicant tracking systems would be an up-sell. Companies that build the most compliant, efficient, and robust feeds into their existing job search services would benefit. Then there’s the aggregator. Again, since the format is open anyone could build an aggregator but end users would pay for a high quality aggregator which included customizable settings beyond the list of feeds the user subscribes to. To get users hooked, aggregator builders could produce a free “lite” version.

More on this again soon.

May 19, 2003

World Domination Through Graphic Design

“You might not know it, but over 50% of web designers are sleepy and cranky. The Chopping Block, through farm-living and an active internship recruiting policy, have over 10 million employees ready to serve your corporate whatever-they-call-it.”

— “One of the guys from They Might Be Giants.”

May 19, 2003

The Sneezening

It came in the night, without warning. As invisible as it is sinister, it crept into our home, into our yard, into our neighborhood… everywhere. One day there were no sniffles, no sneezing, no pollen. Everything was good. Defenses were in place. We had no fear. But then, suddenly…

All hell broke loose in my nose.

Reinforcements were called in. I laughed at my runny nose’s imminent demise as I popped a Claritin tablet into my mouth and chuckled as I washed it down. This year I was ready for the bastards. Then, shockingly, the worst thing imaginable happened. Within an hour I knew I was doomed.

The Claritin had no effect.

I sneezed, I blew my nose, I sneezed, I closed the door, I sneezed, I washed my face, I sneezed, I dared not set foot outdoors, I sneezed, I sneezed, I sneezed. Finally, there were a few respites from the onslaught which, while brief, provided me with enough mental clarity to realize that I’ll be needing an air cleaner and better, more powerful, drugs.

Suggestions on either would be appreciated.

May 18, 2003


The premiere version of Firebird for Mac OS X is a surprisingly nice addition to the field of web browsers for this platform that I love so well. I don’t care for the theme very much but Mozilla themes have always looked notoriously out of place on the Mac OS. The niceness comes mainly from it’s snappy page loading speeds.

Between the impending release of Safari, the continued evolution of Camino, the rebirth of OmniWeb using WebCore, and now Firebird, the field of great browsers is becoming astonishingly diverse, to the benefit of all us Mac nuts.

May 16, 2003

I Can See!

I just picked up my first new pair of glasses in three years or so. They will replace the pair I had to get when the prior frames went plunging into Spring Lake along with me and Art during an incident of staggering stupidity on my part. But this isn’t about me almost sending my younger brother and I to a watery grave on Father’s Day. No dear readers, it’s about my new and improved vision vis-à-vis my fancy new insurance-funded glasses.

The lenses are more squarish and therefore less round than the old ones. They’re also a bit smaller but still big enough that the frames aren’t noticeable in my field of vision. The lenses are also very light and the arms of the frames (are they called arms?) are longer and seem sturdier. Of course, they’re also very nice because I can once again see a lot farther. All-in-all, very happy with them so far.

By the way, here’re a couple tips if you ever find yourself falling out of a canoe with one of your siblings. 1: Make sure the other one is okay. (Did that.) 2: Hold on to the boat to save your energy. (Did that.) 3: Don’t try to flip the boat back over if you don’t know how. (Spent too much energy trying to do that.) 4: Don’t try to swim with the boat to the shore even if you’re fairly close. (Spent too much energy trying to do that too.) 5: When the rescue boat comes make sure they get the sibling first. (Did that.) 6: When they come to get you don’t overfocus on keeping your wallet dry. (Just help them get you out of the water before you sink.) 7: Don’t ogle the attractive lifeguard who saves you. (Art did that.)

May 14, 2003


On my way to see The Matrix for the first time I was dreading a Keanu-fueled disaster a la Johnny Mnemonic. I was skeptical all throughout the beginning of the movie but by the time I left the theater it had started to dawn on me that The Matrix might be the best action movie I’d even seen. It was and still is.

Tonight were off to see the sequel. Hoping for good things. Trying to keep expectations low amidst rampant hype and fandom. I promise not to post any rants or raves for a week or so.

May 12, 2003

Deja Vu

The obligatory movie review: On Friday night Tabitha and I went to see the X-Men sequel. It was probably marginally superior to the first one but the franchise doesn’t really capture my interest and I made the mistake of watching too many X2 trailers and commercials and so forth. By the time I saw the movie I was just waiting for it to end.

The obligatory weekend wrap-up: We took some stuff to the dump, we did some shopping, I drove to Santa Rosa for Mother’s Day, there was a Mother’s Day feast, flowers and cards, followed by a Mother’s Day outing to the gourmet gardening supply store, I stayed later than I probably should have and got back to Berkeley after midnight, and promptly passed out.

The obligatory geek rant: Here’s what I want from the powers that be in the near-future. First, a high-quality Matrix screen saver for Mac OS X. Preferably open source so I can muck with the code for fun. Second, Invader Zim on DVD. I’ve probably asked for one or both of those before but they seem like such popular and doable things. Why not?

The obligatory “damn I’m tired” whinefest: What is wrong with me? I get a decent amount of sleep. I’ve been in permazombie mode today. I don’t remember either ride on the BART although I’m sure I went to work because I remember churning through at least two large sets of documents and writing about a dozen emails. Even the tea I just polished off isn’t making a dent.

The obligatory snooze: Zzz…

May 7, 2003

Stretching Out

Tabitha and I are getting used to all our wonderful new square footage. She, naturally, has all her stuff neatly tucked away and organized while I still have a number of boxes half full of junk to contend with. I’ve been steadily chipping away at the boxes for a little while every evening and things are starting to coalesce into a more or less respectable-looking arrangement.

Other portions of my evenings have been devoted to the old apartment upstairs: patching small holes in the walls, spraying the sketchy-looking areas of the floor with Carpet 409, and jumping up and down repeatedly to rid the ceiling of bits of cobwebs and disgruntled spiders. One more once-over with the vacuum cleaner and we should be free of the old place once and for all.

Still another segment of the evening is being devoted to getting jump started on the day ahead’s workload. Seldom do I mention the ins and outs of office life on this humble weblog but suffice to say that I have been quite busy as of late and the number of meetings I’ve been included in has begun to eclipse the amount of time I need in order to get my deliverables polished off. So I copy the files to the laptop at the end of each day and spend an hour or so intensely focusing on a particular interface or architecture.

Lastly a small amount of time at the end of each day has been devoted to my new guilty pleasure: a platinum Nintendo GameCube which came bundled with the latest incarnation of the Legend of Zelda. I’ve never delved into a single game in the Zelda franchise but I am smitten with The Wind Waker. I can feel my subconscious plotting to work the smooth cartoonish graphics and engaging storylines into my dreams at night.

May 4, 2003

Jacked Back In

New phone line activation: $33.00. DSL service transfer to another phone line in the same residence: $50.00. Redirection of an existing phone line to an existing phone jack in the same residence: $120.00. Pulling out your monkey wrench and figuring out how to wire your own damn phones: Priceless.

Thanks to for the inspirado and to Bryce and Rob for taking a look at it with me.

May 3, 2003

Moving Day 2003

If you’d like to contribute to the musical wonderfulness of our move, remotely, flip on iTunes Music Sharing and email me the link to your streams. Yay!

[Update: A big thanks from Tabitha and I to everyone who was able to help out. Hope you all had fun and we really appreciate everyone doing so much work. We’re practically done!]

May 2, 2003

All Growns Up

Art turned 18 yesterday. If he keeps up this rate of aging he’ll be as old as I am in no time. Crazy. Happy birthday Art. (Again.)

[Also: Small tinkerings around the site tonight. Both the weblog and weblog comments RSS feeds have been fixed up a bit. The former now includes the blog’s photo icon widget thing (if there is one) and the latter supports comments from non-registered guests. There’s also a syndication link now below every blog post which will track changes to the posts and comments for that particular post. Very helpful if you want to track a conversation.]

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