Thanks to Rebecca for highlighting a sf story in the form of a weblog, from NZ Bear, and for mentioning Obtainium, "an online community of constructively creative folks who exchange ideas, stuff, and services, "an online community of constructively creative folks who exchange ideas, stuff, and services. Now if I can only find the time to peruse some of these sites.
I find when I need a break from whatever I'm doing in the office, or just in front of the computer, I play this for a short break from reality. Or I check out movie trivia. Good night.
One of the frustrating aspects of living in Canada, if you like quality tv, is that HBO is one of dozens of channels that the CRTC does not allow on cable. Those who get it in Canada do so with dishes that have access to C-band. Use of C-band systems in Canada is not illegal, so those who can afford it, can buy 1.5 metre dishes together with the necessary electronics, and voila - access to HBO, etc. I've been thinking about this lately, as I plow through videos of both seasons of Six Feet Under in less than one month (which, if I may so, is a treat, like chocolate every day). Also, my favorite all-round entertainer, Dennis Miller, is ending his show after 9 seasons on HBO, so I will not get to see him at all. Check out his latest rant, on the evils of Corporate Culture.
To paraphrase Mark Knopfler: "I want my, I want my, I want my HBO"
A group of four French comedians and one French comedienne are performing Monty Python sketches en Français at the Palais des Glaces. Monty Python was a hit in Canada about five years before they had success in the USA in the mid-70s. I attended their cross-Canada tour in 1974 or '75, and still have the program (50˘), which is a major collector's item. I wish I had bought 20 of them... *sniff*
Mike sent info on ibiblio: "Home to one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, ibiblio.org is a conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. ibiblio.org is a collaboration of the Center for the Public Domain and The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill." There is amazing stuff to be found here, including the wacky. What's of note is that you have the option to expand on the collection, or create and manage a collection in your own area of interest.
This afternoon Anne and Kari came by to lend a help hand with my blog archiving problem. Anne, wizard(ess) that she is, solved a couple of problems for me for which I am eternally grateful. (Kari watched and took notes!) Anne convinced me (easily) to scrap the Blogger code for archiving and to manually input the code myself using HTML. As you can see on the left, it worked fine! Thank you Anne! We had much fun this afternoon, please come again! :-)
Items: People who live in big cities in Canada tend to live longer than those in rural areas. Should we be surprised? I don't know.
Continuing to prove that if you live in the USA, you can sue anyone for anything, comes this headline: Fat Americans sue fast food firms. And who are these persons of size suing? You guess it: McD, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC. Here's a quote from one of the plaintiffs: "I always thought it was good for you. I never thought there was anything wrong with it." Yes, of course, nothing wrong with a burger smothered in special sauce with cheese, and that extra-super-sized pile of French fries cooked in hot oil. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
My question: why can't people of any height, size, shape or whatever, take responsibility for themselves rather than blame others? It's not a question of singling out overweight people - this applies to all of us. If I bitch about not getting enough sleep, who do I blame? Sealy Posturepedic because my mattress isn't working? Second Cup or Starbuck's because I had that extra-large latte? No, it's my fault I was up until midnight again last night, and feel like the dog's breakfast in the morning. So, what will happen if they win the lawsuit and get oodles of coin? Probably throw a pizza party to celebrate.
Speaking of fast food restaurants, it's amazing what you can get at A&W this summer:
2) What was your first post about? Starting the blog, and thanking two website creators for their influence.
3) How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one? No changes yet.
4) What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? Blogger, and minor changes using NoteTab Lite.
5) Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? Beats me. Haven't given it a lot of thought, and frankly, am not sure I can tell the difference at this point in time. I read a few weblogs only, listed on my blog homepage.
I finished reading Chapter 7 (Human Rights) in Fukuyama's book, and my brain shut down completely. I read the last few pages with the same clarity you feel when you stare into the eyes of a chicken. I salvaged some dignity by learning two new words from those pages: oppobrium and noumena, which is the plural of noumenon. It means: a posited object or event as it appears in itself independent of perception by the senses. Whaa-ahh-ahh.....*sniff*. OK, I'm going to stare into the eyes of a chicken now by looking in a mirror.
Then of course, you search these terms online and come up with numerous hits, web sites named Opprobrium (also the name of a death metal band) and Noumena (yes, it's a blog, and features this definition: "the intellectual conception of a thing as it is in itself, not as it is known through perception." I am now silently weeping. I wonder if that makes sex, moving to NYC and half-decent salary increases noumena for me, as opposed to my mortgage, which would be reality. (Good grief, there is a metal band from Finland called Noumena. OK, what the hell is going on? Is this coincidence?)
I have two university degrees, know how to read, and can speak in complete sentences, often using multisyllabic words. Let us see if I can use these three words (or variants thereof) in a sentence: While I am able to satisfy my basic quotidian needs, certain wants continue to be noumena, lest I act in such a way as to lead to conduct that might be considered opprobrius. Whew!
Speaking of words, is there a word that describes this: the frustration you feel when, in the midst of speaking in a conversation, you can't remember the word that describes what it is you need to express, yet you know the word exists, but can't remember it.
There are many interesting library sites out there. I wasn't aware of this comic strip set in a public library, Overdue. The creators both "work" in libraries. But they don't reveal much else about themselves - well, one of them, anyway. Now that said, one of the creators, Bill Barnes, has a blog. It doesn't appear to be syndicated anywhere, which begs the question: how are they making money producing this gem? Oh, and they tell you what a library is.
Edge is another interesting site for those interested in mind expansion. Not, it's not about U2 or major hallucinogenics. The site sez: "The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society"
The week off continues. Friends from Winnipeg are on their way at the moment, and will be here this evening to visit. I've been e-mailing myself with ideas about which I will write in this space, like gratitude, and ethics. The gratitude issue is raised in Dennis Prager's book, and is having a dramatic impact on me. Prager asserts that the key to happiness is gratitude, and this resonates with me. All too often we take things for granted; hell, how about everything? In any event, I've decided to begin this in a simple fashion, by saying grace before a meal. So far, I have done so one time only, always remembering afterwards to do so. However, this makes sense to me - changing a mindset isn't easy, and requires work. It's a challenge I'm taking, and enjoying it along the way.
I've made a number of notes from my readings, and may post some of them here shortly.
I'm trying new eating habits: more lean meat, chicken and salmon, fresh and/or steamed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots, asparagus), and fresh vegetables (apples, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, bananas, peaches, mandarin oranges). Trying hard to keep away from carbs for now. Been reading about this in NYTimes Magazine, that perhaps a diet that includes more fat with less carbohydrates is the best way to lose weight.
I'm not "overweight", but I'm 200 pounds at the moment. (According to insurance charts, yes, but insurance charts are based on average body size, bone structure, etc.) To see me in person is to doubt that figure - but I've been working out with weights now for quite some time, and increasing muscle strength increases your weight without making you heavier (i.e., carrying more fat on your body). Still, I have a ways to go.
At the blog meeting last week, we talked about Triumph the Insult Dog. Taz mentioned that some of the sketches are available at Albino Blacksheep. The Bon Jovi and Star Wars bits are priceless, and worth watching over and over. In the meantime, I can't determine the purpose of the Albino Blacksheep site.
Wait! Oh no, he's got his OWN SITE now! But many of the video links don't work. :-(
I'm reading the NYTimes just now, and read an article about SpongeBob SquarePants. Never heard of it. Millions of kids watch it every day in the USA. Well, I'm in Canada, don't get Nick or Nickelodeon, and don't have kids.
SpongeBob SquarePants? There's a lot going about which I've no clue.
Took the day off, and slept on and off until 1:00 pm. Had a workout, went to Avenue Guitars to borrow a Godin A6 guitar, only to learn it was sold six weeks ago. :-( Instead, I played an octave mandolin for a while. Need really big fingers for certain chords.
Hmm. A minor reprieve. I solved the debugging problem by doing a Google search on "syntax error code 0", and found a discussion of syntax errors on all pages at Tek-Tips Forum. I understand what was missing, but still don't understand the code.
The archives have appeared on the left, but most don't work. It is impossible to delete the broken ones.
I've taken a few deep breaths, trying not to let the many small problems and quirks about Blogger get to me - too much, anyway. I've given up on archiving until someone can show me why it won't work, and how to make it work. The script error on the page seems to be originating from a page that doesn't seem to exist. Poltergeists?
On Friday, at the Sidetrack watching The Northern Pikes, it was another interesting social setting for me. By far one of the oldest people there, I still find myself watching the many, many gorgeous women who frequent such places. It is a sad realization, knowing you are past the age that might interest 99% of them. Still, with the right attitude, you never know what might happen.
I write the above in reaction to a challenge from a friend to be more soul-bearing in this blog. I don't know if I have the guts to do that yet, if at all. But it's a fair challenge.
I descend further into blog hell. Now I have a syntax error appearing when I load my blog page. I apologize for this. It appeared from nowhere. I don't know what the error is. The Microsoft Script Editor "debugger" opens up and wants to help. I can't invoke its help - it is supposed to go into "break" mode - but it won't. Well, bugger that.
I've had to go to Advanced Internet Options, and disable script debugging and disable the notification about every script error function.
The supposed cookie, that allows you to automatically log you into Blogger from your home computer doesn't work.
At this point in time, I do want to break something. This is indeed so much fun.
Despite my best efforts, I cannot make the archive function of Blogger work. It is a mystery to me that I can't solve. (I think the instructions on the archive page are written poorly, are not straightforward or user-friendly.) I set up a directory within my blog directory, tried "republishing", and nothing happens. There is a Blogger discussion forum, yet the site sez it really doesn't exist anymore. Or does it? Yet when you go to the troubleshooting section, you find posts from users right up to today. Yet I can't find an area or dialog box or whatEVER to allow me to submit a question. The message "you must sign in to respond" or something like that appears, despite the fact that I'm signed in.
When I try a "remove from index" command, I get this: Error 210:Not allowed to perform administrative functions (server:page)
If anyone has any brilliant ideas, I'd be thrilled to hear from you.
I'm thinking I need to buy one of those hand-held voice recording devices, whateverinhell they're called. Why? I keep thinking of things to write about when driving, and then forget them by the time I arrive home.
I've learned that 34 of the original Outer Limits episodes from the 1960s will be released on DVD in September . This is great news, and will be the first DVDs of a television show that I purchase. Nothing beats the "awe and mystery" of those early episodes. I remember distinctly how excited I was a kid when the first episode, "Galaxy Being", with a pre-Charly Cliff Robertson appeared on our tv in Sept 1963. The being himself was frightening yet sympathetic. It has remained with me for years. The show was scary and brilliant, featuring many unknown actors who went on to bigger careers in later years. I loved the titles of some of the episodes, like "Production and Decay of Strange Particles" and "The Forms of Things Unknown". The titles alone would get my imagination stirring. One of the cinematographers for the show was Conrad L Hall, who has worked in Hollywood for years, been nominated for nine Oscars and has won two. In fact, he's the cinematographer of Road to Perdition.
One of the magazines I read weekly is the NYTimes Magazine. To read the articles online, you need to pay. But I must mention the 7 July 2002 issue, which featured a number of fascinating articles on: Sam Mendes, Edie Falco, Richard Wallace (creator of A.L.I.C.E.), and why eating fat and reducing carbs may be the way to lose weight and stay healthy.
Saw Road to Perdition this afternoon. An engaging movie, slow-paced - not what you'd necessarily expect from a gangster movie. The film is directed by Sam Mendes. At times the movie is very quiet, almost silent, as you watch the characters on the screen. My feelings about it are best articulated by James Berardinelli.
1) Where were you born? - Winnipeg MB, in what was known at the time as the Women's Pavilion of the General Hospital.
2) If you still live there, where would you rather move to? If you don't live there, do you want to move back? Why or why not? I don't live there. Probably I wouldn't move back. I've outgrown the city somewhat, and would prefer, in the perfect world, to live in Manhattan.
3) Where in the world do you feel the safest? - For now, at home in Edmonton.
4) Do you feel you are well-traveled? - not really. In NA, I've been to 20 states and 6 provinces, many major cities including Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, NYC, LA, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago (drove through!), Indianapolis, Boston, Cincinatti, San Antonio, Pittsburgh... But I've never been off the North American continent.
5) Where is the most interesting place you've been? - I'd have to say Manhattan/NYC. I've been there 10 times since 1990, and I am in love with the place.
I was "discovered" today by another Edmonton blogger. Seems they meet once a month, the next time is tomorrow. I didn't realize the breadth and depth of the blogging community. Anyway, I'm going because it sounds like fun.
Then on Friday night, the Gang is going to the 'track to see Northern Pikes, whose song, "Wait for Me" is one of my all-time faves.
My NYC addiction is fed by subscriptions to the Sunday NYTimes, Time Out New York (despite being a weekly magazine, it always arrives 2-5 weeks late), and Vanity Fair. As if I needed more. I haven't been to NYC since Oct 2001, and I miss it terribly.
"The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form." Check out the Wayback Machine. It's very cool, especially if you have your own web site. Load your URL and see if any earlier versions have been archived.
What's even more fascinating is the Internet Moving Images Archive: Movie Collection. "This collection contains movies that the Prelinger Archives has digitized and donated to the Internet Archive. The films focus mainly on everyday life, culture, industry, and institutions in North America in the 20th century. This is the first time that most of the films have been available to the public. They are "open source movies" -- available for viewing at no cost and with few restrictions. About 1254 films are now online."
There are certain codecs and decoders you need to view the movies, but it's worth the effort. You must see Beginning to Date, from 1953.
A quiet day. Worked, worked out, paid someone a compliment she deserved. Made some headway on the Fukuyama and Prager books last night.
Recently a friend returned to Edmonton from Bejing, his third extended trip to the other side of the Pacific Ocean. He seems to be making a habit of it. However, he can never resist the urge for bbq burgers and driving old Toyotas, so he makes his way home every so often to experience such things.
Do you like duck? No, I don't know if I'm related.
Library Booksales. A site that locates rare books being sold by libraries to interested buyers.
Chickenhead. You might be offended, but you won't stop laughing.
In the theatres lately, you may have seen the short preview to The Hulk, due in Summer 2003. Do we really need previews a year in advance? With Spider Man, Daredevil and The Hulk, Marvel Comics is doing well in the movies these days. Now I get word of the Batman vs Superman movie, directed by Wolfgang (Das Boot) Petersen. It's not due until 2004! But why stop there, let's go to 2005.
I continue to look for interesting pop culture/media/commentary sites. My brother Chris found one called Kuro5shin. I don't know how to pronounce it exactly, but it's a cool site to examine.
I returned from seeing Star Wars Episode II: Attach of the Clones just now. I left the theatre and stepped into stifling heat under cloudy skies. It's like you need to grasp for breath. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie a lot more second time around. For some reason, having seen it once reduced greatly my expectations for a second viewing, and I was more relaxed as a result, getting caught up in the story.
I paid closer attention to detail, special effects, sound effects, etc. Marvelous all around. I ignored the wooden acting of Christensen and Portman, chalking that up to Lucas's direction - it's not their fault, they did what he wanted them to do. Both of them have proven they are better actors in other work they have done.
The heat affected my brain, and I still can't determine the connection between Jango Fett and the clone army. The clone army is modeled from Fett's DNA, yet the army becomes the property of the Republic - ok, fine, Obi-Wan had arrived, convincing the clone army creators that he presented the original buyer. Yet Fett is in cahoots with Count Dooku of the Federation.
I be confused so easily...so I read the information on Fett, and ... I'm still confused. Must be the heat. Dooku (as Tyranus, a decade earlier), had approached Jango with the offer of using him as the template for a clone army. So why was Dooku so surprised to learn that the Republic had a large army. Why didn't Fett tell him about Kenobi when he arrived on Geonosis? And why was Dooku building his own army of robots on Geonosis? When will the Red Sox win the World Series?
There has been much debate over the issue of downloading music from the Internet via services like WinMX, KaZaA and Napster. I have mixed feelings about it as a member of the AFM and a librarian who supports copyright collectives virtually by default. However, I am on the side of free downloading, as I am able to listen to artists whose work I would otherwise ignore. I am able to find and burn onto CDs music that is long out-of-print, so to speak. I have also discovered music that I've downloaded, and subsquently purchased the CD to get more of that artist's work rather than spend time finding more to download. Unknown artists, who outnumber bands like Metallica a zillion to one, are able to get there music "out there", dramatically increasing the chances someone outside their geographic area might discover them. I found artists like Kate Schrock, Emmet Swimming, and Kristen Cifelli during times I was surfing the net. My best pal Jessica Owen uses the net for all its worth to spread her music to the masses.
There are no easy answers to copying music onto CDs or cassettes. I do think that if the industry moves in the direction of selling only encrypted CDs, including ones that won't play in DVD players, then sound the death knell now. In any event, one of the strongest, albeit biased, arguments I've read in favour of free downloading is by Janis Ian, who as an artist who has been working for 35 years in the business, knows about what she speaks.
With the temperature in the mid-30s (that's low 90s for my American friends), I am without energy to pursue the problems I am having with the archiving template and settings for Blogger. So I'm going to take a powder and pass for now.
Edmonton is experiencing its fifth heat wave in 105 years. The temperature will hit 32C today, 34C tomorrow (93.2F), and 32 again on Sunday.
There was a fascinating article in NYTimes Magazine (June 16 2002, Page 49, Column 1) about a company in Quebec that takes a spinning gene from a spider and implants it into the egg of a female goat. When the goat begins lactating, the milk can be used to spin silk, which the company calls BioSteel (it is five times as strong as steel). As thin as nylon, the fabric created from the silk could stop a bullet. The article is called "Got Silk" by Lawrence Osborne. I can't link to the story because it is from the "Premium Archive", which means you need $ to look at it. Try to find it in a local library.
So...what you are seeing below are all my posts dating back to Day 1, 3 July 02. I gave up trying to repair the first blog, and copied and pasted everything into a new one with the same name (the old one is blown away).
It is still 33C, and I'm roasting in my computer room. Time for a Corona and an episode of Six Feet Under.
I am frustrated with parts of the blogging management feature. I seem to be unable to archive anything, and I've lost the posts from the first day, 3 July 2002. I have since learned that I had my settings set to keep one week's posts on the main page. However, since I can't determine how to make the archives function, I've reset it to 10 pages, and thus the 3 july 2002 posts have reappeared.
Since purchasing a 10'x10' blue canopy for my small backyard deck, I am spending more time under it reading and making notes, and less time looking at television. It feels like another room in my house has appeared. It is 33C here at the moment (91.4F) and sunny.
On one of the website notification services to which I subscribe, I found this little gem: Nutrient Data Laboratory: The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides detailed information about the nutritional values of more than a thousand foods here. Users may search by individual food, including many brand-name products, or by nutrient, e.g. calcium, fiber, and fat.
The Globe and Mail published an article two days ago about junk food that had frightening statistics on calories and fat content in things like Big Macs (590 cal, 34 gr fat), Tim Hortons chocolate dip donut (233 cal, 10 gr fat - can you ever eat just one!), Taco Bell Mucho Grande Nachos (1,320 cal, 82 gr fat). The only good news: Subway's Veggie Delite, 6 inch sandwich: 200 cal, 2 gr fat.
Sitting and staring at the screen for inspiration isn't helping. I quickly scanned some of my favorite blogs to see what other brilliant commentary and observations are being written. But that's kind of like cheating while taking notes or something. This was an ok day. Once again, bbq'd burgers and had cherry pie for dessert. Continued reading Prager's book, and worked out for the third day in a row. As Bill Maher might say, "Who gives a rat's ass?"
Speaking of Maher, it's a shame ABC cancelled his show. Then I see on CNN today that Dennis Miller is ending his show. :-( Miller is my favorite entertainer, even if I can't get HBO because it's not permitted on Canadian cable.
I've just spent a fruitless 15 minutes looking for any report on the web about Miller ending his show. Can't find a thing, and checked all the right places (hey, it's what I do for a living...) (But now as I repost on 11 July, I did find something.)
I am frustrated because of my limited HTML skills. I would like to manipulate this page to change its appearance, and merge it somehow into my main site, which if you've been paying attention, has been changing a bit every week (including its name). All I've done so far is change the background colour to a solid teal for now. I've also changed the hover, active and visited colours of the links to a shade of red. Is it any easier to read? Please let me know if it works. Also, for some reason, clicking on the time I post something leads to a non-existent page. *sigh* Here's an example of the kind of layout I'd like to pursue for my own page.
A few items of interest... I recently purchased an item called a Creative PC-300 CAM, a webcam and digital camera. The price was a bargain - $115 Cdn. It takes 128 high resolution pictures (640 x 480), 255 low resolution pictures (320 x 240), 75 seconds of video, and about 34 minutes of audio only. It can take 5 high speed high res pix in a row, and has a timer. It also functions as a web camera.
Another book I want to read is Francis Fukuyama's Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Biotechnology is a hot research topic on our campus right now, in areas as diverse as chemical engineering and biological sciences. Fukuyama created a stir when he published an article called The End of History in The National Interest, Summer 1989. Three years later he expanded the discussion into a book called The End of History and the Last Man.Read the introduction. I haven't read the book, but a review can be found here.
What's up with this? Is this real? I didn't believe it at first, but damn it if you can't buy the gobbler at CD NOW. And Lesley Gore's website mentions it too. Lesley Gore singing Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap? Don Ho singing Shock the Monkey? It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's late. It was a good day (7 July 02). I have heard from a few friends in reaction to this exercise of a blog. Thank you for responding, and hello New Jersey!
My friend Jessica Schoenberg is now known as Jessica Owen. Please check her site, and listen to clips from her recent work, and her upcoming new album. I'm so proud of her, and grateful for having worked on her first recording in 1994 when she still lived in Edmonton. I love her tons.
1) What are you doing right now? Sitting in front of my computer at 12:28 am MDT. Just finished eating grapes and watching an episode of Six Feet Under on tape.
2) What have you lost recently? Hmm. I've misplaced a photo of my parents, but also lost my favorite, worn out cotton sweatshirt.
3) What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now? I can't remember, but the first CD I acquired was Hejira by Joni Mitchell. Not a bit.
4) What is your favorite kind of writing pen? Probably a Uniball Micro blue.
5) What is your favorite ice cream flavour? Butterscotch. I've finished 13 chapters of the Prager book. In Ch 12 he notes that "...many people avoid some of the things that would bring them the deepest happiness, such as marriage, children, intellectually challenging pursuits, religious commitment and volunteer work. They fear the pain that inevitably accompanies such things and therefore devote more time to "fun" things that bring little happiness, such as watching television". This describes me to some degree. (Ouch!).
Saturday morning (6 July 02), great weather. Determined to read more of Prager's book today, and to work on an assignment given to me by a fitness/nutrition counsellor.
Cut to 1:00 pm...finished the assignment, made notes on first 10 chapters of the book. A good start!
I subscribe to this to help with my NYC obsession. The only problem is that I receive the weekly issue about 3-5 weeks after publication. :-( Thankfully, the Sunday NYTimes is in my mailbox on Sunday morning by 7:00 am!
My first attempt at a blog. I don't even know at this moment if the information I entered a few minutes ago is correct. Anyway, credit to Laura (in Austin TX) and Geoff Harder in Edmonton for quietly inspiring me to try this (simply by my reading their blogs). Thanks. (Geoff, why isn't your page working?)
Frustrated with trying to understand and make the archive work, and getting deeper and deeper into blog-quagmire, I've deleted the damn thing and am starting over, by reposting all the old stuff. Bear with me...