Dec 3, 2002

You're not going to regret this.. You'll regret the bigger picture of "listening to Robert" but this one thing? Nah. Once it's in the box in the basement you'll never think of it again, just the lingering feeling of dissatsifaction and remorse.

Nov 18, 2002

A quote from the net:

The president of the University sent an email to all of the learners about something. Unfortunately his spelling checker didn't catch "univeristy" in the URL he embedded. And apparently he didn't click the only link in his document to see if it worked. Oh yeah, they emailed a word doc to everyone instead of text in an email for some reason. It makes me proud to be part of an organization of such.. caliber.

Nov 7, 2002

From PopBitch:

>> The Black Chin! <<
George, has it come to this?

Boy George appeared as David Bowie on a
recent celebrity Stars in Their Eyes.

In order to get a look somewhere near Bowie's
chiselled features, hard-pressed makeup staff
resorted to drawing a black shaded area on
George's pudgy round face.

Viewed from the right angle, the black chin
gave George the appearance of a sculptured
jawline.

George was so taken by this look that he's
been experimenting with the same scary
black-chinned look when he goes out.

Image:
http://www.popbitch.com/images/boy_george.jpg

Nov 6, 2002

I was thinking it'd be cool to write an app (console, etc.) that goes through your hard drive and sets the archive bit on every other file, and clears it on the rest.

People should commission me to make these things like they commission artists to make paintings.

Oct 22, 2002

I found a 1952-D Washington Quarter, 90% silver. Worth $1.44 -- got me thinking: What's the oldest thing you own?

Oct 18, 2002

I love dotnet.

Every dream of floating around in zero-g? Or maybe "frolicking" in a pool of slightly-less-dense-than-water water? Just being able to float around anywhere and everywhere, happy as can be?

That's what it feels like to code in dotnet sometimes.

Oct 17, 2002

Make a page that allows you to edit ANY document on your site using a web interface (content editable div, etc.)
Make a page/app that gives you the approximate time. "It's about three o'clock, It's a titch past four, It's somewhere between four thirty and quarter to"
Enter some text or numbers, get a barcode back
Given an image, type text in a bot and click on a section of the image and have the text appear on the image in that section. (A graffitti board)
Page for the National Sledgehammer and Broken Toe Society
Build a typical Internet conspiracy page, but the conspiracy is that the government is not out to get us, but to help us
Build a content management system to include text, graphics, and scripts
Build a headlines/breaking news system
Use the session object to track where people have gone -- lists of urls for sessions. give the session anonymous names like "mr. pink" or "humphrey humphreys" etc.
Email _from_ a friend link on web pages
Subscribe to any page on site (i.e. I give you a URL and a frequency and you email me that page at that frequency)
Enter a url and get a screenshot back.

Oct 11, 2002

Wonkavision:

System A has a page on which an image is displayed. The Querystring of the image contains a ?chunk= and the image is server off system B.

System B, upon receipt of a request to the "image" image, records the chunk and redirects to an innocuous image.

Once all of the sections of the image are located on System B...

System B displays an image from system A, passing the chunk back to system A

System A collects the chunks and reassembles the picture.

Just like the real Wonkavision, which chopped things and sent them to another machine, this will do just that. System A is the sending machine, system B is the "air" and system A (or system C if you had enough friends) is the receiving machine.

Come to think of it, this is like the "crazy machine" idea I had at Plural, where everyone built a page or tool which did a specific task, and they all chained together to make this endless loop of action.
I was thinking about cookies and image chunks and email..

Outlook doesn't really do cookies (tested it) but.. I could send out 1000 emails.... It all comes down to spamming a bunch of people with html emails and then reconstituting an image when they read their emails. The image in the mail would be a link like http://fnirt.com/imagename.aspx?chunk=chunkcodehere and voila, picture "in" in the internet until a certain percentage of the people reply.

Another idea was a Slashdot club. A group of nerds who do stuff to get traffic. That's it. Stunts, tricks, ideas, news, whatever. Ideally a "win" would be to get slashdotted, but the blogdex or memepool would probably be worth some points too..

Oct 2, 2002

I wrote a proxy server that makes your browsing experience grayscale. (sans images because I'm lazy and don't want to proxy all your images)
(but I could do images..)

Our toontown message board is ORANGE. BRIGHT ORANGE. I wanted to tone it down so I could read it at work.

Sep 24, 2002

So if someone directly links one of my images and I deem them "lame" they'll get a picture of a large half naked drunk brit instead of whatever they thought they were going to get.

Sep 18, 2002

I want to write an image display program that's really slow. But while you watch it draw the pixels from line to line you can be comforted by the knowledge that the computer is working really hard. On other stuff. Like, just before pixel 422 it read (parsed) the complete works of shakespeare. after Pixel 97677 was drawn it pinged the last twelve IP addresses that came to that server. And just before drawing pixel 77321 it Created a text file just a LITTLE smaller than the available size on the disk, filled it with the word "poop" and then deleted it.

Sep 11, 2002

If you sit in an office take a moment to listen to all of the typing around you. If you listen hard enough you can hear half a dozen folks hammering away. It's a little creepy. Bunch of people sitting around tapping on plastic for a living.

Sep 9, 2002

Second time this week someone has called me "Craig" in an email. Was there a memo put out saying that bugged me and everyone should do it?
Pick the correct statement:
  • The Mitchell's bought a house in Eagan
  • Robert is learning a strange musical instrument
  • Joe Corbett bought a dog
  • All of the above.
  • Sep 3, 2002

    Back in '93 or so a friend clued me into the fact that "Mr. Cranberry" was playing at 1st Ave and that is was really the Suburbs. We got there just in time, as word leaked.

    I have never before or since seen First Avenue so crowded, or have such a great vibe. Fun music - everyone was into it, etc. great show(s).

    And they had a big searchlight pointing at the Schubert theatre with the Suburbs logo about 40 feet high. Really cool!
    The Suburbs are coming! The Suburbs are coming! Yay!!!
    Good weekend. Painted the trailer frame and stained the wood sides -- it really looks nice now. Great weather - had hot cold, dry, rain, windy, calm. Sometimes it's nice to get some variety. Tent leaked a bit, but no damage.
    Remember the distributed web based storage system I was working on? i.e. chop a picture up into 100 pieces and save each piece in someone's cookie. Once all the pieces are out, start watching for pieces to come back and reassemble the picture.

    I've been watching my "test" for (months?) a while now and it's not doing well. I get about half of my "payload" back. But there is where my new idea comes in...

    Run that test actively, watching unique users to see how likely they are to come back. When I get 100 users who are dependable enough to 'save' a portion of the data to, start the delivery then...

    Aug 29, 2002

    Our CEO is going to be on CNNfn tomorrow night. I mentioned this to our local website guru. He didn't know about it. It was like that IBM commercial "you didn't tell the web guys?" And now they're trying to figure out how to jimmy the site so it doesn't crash and burn. Heh.
    The New Baby is a girl!

    Aug 28, 2002

    Woop! Woop! Woop! We have an image theft. I repeat, we have an image theft! Woop! Woop! Woop!

    Like this one.

    Look for the UPS truck.

    I've gotten better at identifying image theft from my sites (linking to an image from another site) and I think it's time I write something to deal with it.

    Aug 22, 2002

    weather.com - Local Weather Page

    (I'll often go from weather site to weather site looking at forecasts until I find one that suits my needs.)
    osmehting -- Best. Misspelling. Ever.
    I predict that within the next 5 years Target is going to get the crap sued out of it for their hiring practices. I'm generalizing, of course, but watching the flow of people into Target's HQ is like watching an episode of "Friends" except all the women are blonde. Seriously, it's scary.

    Aug 21, 2002

    The Nieman Marcus "Holiday" store recently opened in Gavidae Common. It's got Christmas stuff up. That's my first "Christmas Crap" sighting for the year, and I believe a personal best: August 21.
    So that 20 minute "pop in the new crown, no novacaine needed" turned into over an hour, the old temporary was cracked so it took a lot of wheedling (aka pain) to get it out, MORE temporary fillings because the crown didn't fit, TWO rounds of novacaine because it was so sensitive to cold and pressure, and all that time I got to stare at an inspirational poster that said "Friendship is like a rainbow between hearts."

    Aug 20, 2002

    Web Server Statistics for [my organisation]

    On all of my sites put together, the googlebot is a more popular browser than Netscape.
    Time to rip into the Pretzel Flipz. If I can't be productive, I might as well be fat.
    "Go ahead, scream. You know you want to."

    A phrase that probably shouldn't be a common thought.

    Aug 19, 2002

    Ahhh, good weekend. Got well on my way to completing the renovation of the trailer, and had lots of fun at the Cabin at the same time.

    Riding a scooter in the woods is indeed like being on a speeder-bike.

    Aug 12, 2002

    Skooter Du was a kick in the pants! Lots of fun!

    Aug 7, 2002

    I was listening to old Erasure, getting really wistful and thinking about "what if"s and where my life is and where it might have been and such. I do that a lot, but it's not about how my life could have been better - just different.

    Anyway, I was thinking back to 87 when I really got in to Erasure, and got all "I wish it was back then" about it.

    And then I threw in the latest Bis CD and it really made me appreciate today, too. Some day I'm going to wish it was now. I should remember to appreciate then, then, too. If that makes sense.

    It's all about perspective, isn't it?
    It's a sad, sad, sad day. The VW Cabrio is being discontinued.
    A thousand dollars just disappeared into my mouth.

    That's a computer. Darnit.

    Aug 6, 2002

    I would, of course, have to find a good sidekick. A dim witted but well meaning friend, or possibly a monkey. Or maybe a weasel. Something to set me apart.

    And a good catchphrase.
    I'd like a nomadic lifestyle. An RV or something (not white trashy though) and be completely wireless and mobile. And then I'd go from community to community encountering strange characters and having wacky adventures.

    Occasionally I'd stay in a town twice as long as normal (the story could be summarized in two hours instead of one) and I'd solve a mystery.

    Aug 5, 2002

    When I said "Not that your mother isn't hot.." to Erik it made me giggle out loud at work. (I wasn't being serious.) (Not that she's ugly, but..) (There's no explaining this one, is there?)

    Aug 1, 2002

    Does the serving size and nutritional information on a pack/box of gum assume you're just going to chew it, or actually swallow it?
    Ate at Peter's. The place is a time machine. Service with a grunt. Best. Reuben. Ever. Got chiclets.
    Is there a word for the communication method in which you type comments via IM but hear one anothers laughter out loud?

    Jul 30, 2002

    Don't know if I'll be posting to this anymore. Had a bad experience. So watch for the generic and boring "this is my web page" in this space in the near future.

    I'll continue to contribute to this for my own benefit, like a journal, but it won't be available to the whole world. Yeah, that sucks. Oh well.

    Jul 25, 2002

    EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

    I've found a few of these Earwig things in our house. I'm creeped out.

    Jul 23, 2002

    I lost my Propellerheads CD. So today I bought a new one. I'm listening to it and being reminded of Ira's first few days at BigCharts, when I discovered that he had this CD in your collection too, and that he might be cool.

    Jul 22, 2002

    Minority Report: Tom and Max Von Sydow are sitting and the camera is over Tom's shoulder. Given that angle, Tom's head should appear bigger (because it's closer) than Max's. Nope. Tom's little tiny head looked tiny even with an advantage.
    Latest Obsession: Flight Simulator 2002. Just learned how to use the Air Traffic Control part. Fun!

    Jul 16, 2002

    Dow fell a lot again today. We're just going into a big ole depression, aren't we? And then we'll have a big war to get out of it. And then the 50's will happen again. All that is crappy, but the worst part is that when the 60's backlash thing happens after the next "50's" thing, I'm going to be TOO OLD FOR THE FREE LOVE.
    You can get to a Tom Thumb via the Minneapolis skyway system. Didn't have anyone to go to lunch with, so I went on a Skyway Safari. I know where Congressman Sabo's office is, too. The lettering on the door is a little crooked.
    None of my co-workers had any idea what suck.com was. I was passing this link around and everyone was like "Oh no! Bad link!"
    Eli woke up at 4:30 again last night, and I managed to go into Super Deep Sleep after going back to bed. As a result, I'm a walking zombie. Went to get coffee and on my way back I would swear I saw . Kinda funny.

    Jul 15, 2002

    Oh yeah, only two of my invitees showed up at Jill's party. One of whom I hadn't seen in almost three years, the other six months at least.

    What's up with that?
    Lovely weekend.

    1. JoeCorbett's wedding was nice, beautiful, fun, great, etc.
    2. Jill's Birthday BBQ was nice, beautiful, fun, great, etc.
    3. Jill and Eli got the flu Sunday. I got to get up at 7:30 Sunday and follow Eli around cleaning up little (big) puddles of puke.

    Got a donut today downstairs and it didn't taste fresh. Bummer.

    Jul 12, 2002

    We're expecting! (In case you hadn't heard. We're now entering the "tell people" phase) Due in January, and we're hoping for a Craig. Doesn't matter if it's a boy or girl. (I think Jill wants a girl, tho.)

    Went to the doctor with Jill today to hear the heartbeat. Pretty cool. We brought Eli but he didn't quite understand, and he's sick with the flu so he wasn't very happy, either. :(

    Jul 10, 2002

    Basement almost complete. Jill's PC is now wireless, so she can put it wherever she wants and no cable. Very handy. The network card is a usb wireless thing the size of a deck of cards. Subtle, no power cord, either.
    I've been doing digital photography for some time, and I've got my big expensive mega cameras, but I love my pencam!

    I've got a Bell and Howell (aka Jazz) mini cam with 352x288 resolution. Got it at Target for $39.95. Image quality is.. pretty bad. But with DCEnhance and some tweaking they're okay. Fun.

    I've thrown my collection online, and will probably be adding to it until the little thing dies.

    You can find them at:
    http://www.lightistic.com/pencam

    (The interface is .net on an IIS server in vb.net -- in case anyone is wondering if they can get a copy of the software: only if you know how to code. :) It's powerful, but complicated)

    Also, I'm anxiously awaiting the Logitech Pocket Digital -- but I'm not finding it in stores or online yet. What gives? They said June 30... I've never heard of a product launch being late. (Riiiiight.)

    Jul 9, 2002

    Wild weekend. Eight adults and three toddlers. Chaos and craziness, but somehow it was quite relaxing. It was a lot of fun. Paddled around in the water on some new water toys, did fireworks after the kids went to bed, and did a great flag puzzle. Lots of good family time, most excellent.

    I love Office Space:
    "Excuse me, Senor? May I speak to you please? I asked for a Mai Tai and they brought me a Pina Colada, and I said no salt, nooo salt for the margarita, but it had salt on it. I won't be leaving a tip, cuz I could I could shut this whole resort down. Sir? I could Take my travellers check to a competing hotel.. I could write a letter to your board of tourism and I could have this place condemned. I could put, I could put strichnine in the Guacamole. There was salt on the glass. Big grains of salt."

    The carpet is in the basement, still have the stairs to do yet, and the vinyl is going in the bathroom thursday. Much like the upstairs bathroom, this project is going to be 99% completed within hours of Jill's birthday bash. We hope. :)

    Set up the PC and everything -- it's nice to have a home again, stayed up too late doing pretty much nothing. Flew a bit, checked out filepile, made the network all happy, etc. Need to start a new project to obsess over.

    Need to spend too much at BestBuy or something to finish off the electronic portion of my new office. And move the futon down. And move the TV in. And get the satellite working again. Lots to do!

    Started a new puzzle yesterday -- 3000 pieces, and it's just a titch smaller than the puzzle mat I use to store puzzles. I have no idea how I'm going to finish it. And the New York 3d puzzle is about to rear it's wonderful head once the basement is done and the party is over.

    Jul 1, 2002

    All should be well from now on. Deleted the other (non-used) blog and now I'm smarter. About how this works.

    Figured out where all of my "lost" posts were going: the wrong blog. Mine, but not the right one.



    To catch you up, here are the "missing" entries, all confused and in the wrong order:



    [7/1/2002 7:59:46 AM | robert craig]
    Fun weekend, HOT HOT HOT. Spent some serious time in the inflatable (which uninflates rapidly) pool -- more importantly got the air conditioners installed. Nice.

    The Kishel-Corbetts and my brother Jim came over for BBQ Saturday night, was quite fun. Jim was trying to escape the heat so he hung out and watch the Peacemaker (Clooney, Kidman) -- okay movie, even if we did have to watch GASP commercials.

    Almost did a whole puzzle yesterday, will finish it tonight. Odd puzzle. Will explain once I'm done and take pictures.

    Did I mention it was hot out? Oh yeah, sunburnt Saturday afternooon taking the scooter out -- didn't think I was going to be out that long, but I was. Went to the MOA, which is a long drive since there is no direct route. Fun tho.

    [6/24/2002 8:08:37 AM | robert craig]
    Long weekend of painting and sweating. Very hot. Got out on the scooter yesterday for a while, went down to the Lock and Dam at the Ford bridge and looked around. Need to carry camera around with me all the time, missing too many shots.

    My latest "scheme" interesting: I'm trying to figure out how to get to Stillwater via roads of 35mph or less.

    [6/18/2002 2:48:02 PM | robert craig]
    Loooong weekend. Details? Quickly:

    Wednesday:
    Satellite doesn't work with new wiring, can't fix quick, Tivo useless for the weekend
    Dashed off to cabin, Eli did quite well in the car, all slept quickly and well.

    Thursday
    Drove from 6:30am to about 6pm, with some kind of time change in there. Emma and Matthew and the rest of the Cheboygan Michigan crowd were very happy to see us, and we were very happy to see them, as well as get out of the car finally! Eli rode quite well, with much help from Grandma.

    Friday
    Fort Michillimackinac in the drizzly rain, but lots of fun anyway
    Ate at zooey Burger King with LOTS of little kids running around.
    Eli threw up everything in the van ("I threw up..")

    Saturday
    Rain. Stayed in all day. Went a little batty. Eli ended up in a dress playing the guitar while Emma spun around the room. Surreal to say the least

    Sunday
    Rain stopped, went to the Island. Saw horses, fort, arch rock, and parade. Eli loved riding on the boat

    Monday
    Up too early due to Emma's crying, hit the road early, drove lots.
    Drove more.
    Continued to drive.
    Kept driving.
    And then drove some more.
    Got home with VERY little crying out of Eli, which was amazingly wonderful. He did throw up just after Hudson though. Wouldn't be a trip without that familiar smell..

    Great weekend, but I need a vacation!

    (Got the Satellite working, thank goodness! Basement coming along really nicely!)

    [6/12/2002 9:23:35 AM | robert craig]
    What kind of cough drops do you consider LEAST offensive? i.e. If you were locked in a 5 foot by 5 foot space with someone for 10 hours and they had cough drops, which of the following would you most prefer:

    1. Fisherman's Friend, the most effective and least sweet of the cough drops
    2. Blue menthol type "cool" cough drops
    3. Honey, the boring cough drop
    4. Cherry, the cough drop that makes you want to outlaw cough drops
    5. Other (you fill in the blank)
    [edit]

    [6/11/2002 9:23:27 AM | robert craig]
    Way too long since any entries...

    Preparing for the trip this week to Mackinac Island (Cheboygan, actually), lots of packing and stuff. Eli's pretty excited about the trip, and we're doing a lot of plotting and planning to distract him throughout the journey.
    [edit]

    [6/5/2002 8:20:55 AM | robert craig]
    Stress lately. We had to go to Home Depot last night for some "basement stuff" and had to wait for help. Eli got bored and frustrated, I got stressy. It wasn't until the end of our trip that I realized I had the ultimate "get service fast" tool. As Eli cried and cried while sitting on my shoulders (thus propogating the noises further) the clerks started doing anything to just get us out of the store.

    Basement done soon enough, and all will be well.

    Jun 28, 2002

    32,707 pictures in my complete collection. Only 12,681 are available online.

    Jun 24, 2002

    Suck. This isn't working anymore. Most of my posts get lost. Dammit..

    Jun 12, 2002

    Argh!

    All I needed was 30 postcard stamps, so Jill can mail the invitations to her birthday BBQ. Follow this pain:

    1. Try and remember how much a postcard stamp is worth
    2. Go to machine located conventiently in lobby of work building
    3. "See "$.23, bag of 5 for $1.15" (might be right..)
    3. Realize you never knew how much a postcard stamp was worth in the first place.
    4. Trudge two blocks to post office.
    5. Look at long line and decide to try your luck on the slot, er, vending machines
    6. See familiar "Postcard $.21 for $1.15" and toss $5 bill in machine
    7. Assume that $5 is going to get you multiple packs of stamps in one go
    8. Be wrong.
    9. Make selection
    10. Head satisfying "plink" of packet inside machine
    11. Hear loud rattle as machine starts dispensing obsolete $1 Susan B nthony coins. (Not the pretty new gold ones)
    12. Put more change in machine
    13. Make same selection
    14. Hear noises
    15. Put more change in machine
    16. See "no more left" message
    17. Hit "coin return" button
    18. See "must make purchase to receieve change"
    19. Buy next cheapest thing (pack of 50 $.03 stamps.)
    20. Reach into machine to pick up booty
    21. Find out familiar "Postcard $.21 for $1.15" really meant postcards with stamp built in.
    22. Tear hair out
    23. Trudge back to work -- wait
    24. Decide on way back not to waste all of this time, try machine in lobby
    25. Purchase 7 packets of $.23 cent postcard stamps correctly and easily from machine in lobby
    26. Realize you just bought one pack too many, or it gave you an extra one because it felt bad for you
    27. Realize those postcards you got don't even have correct postage on them
    28. Realize you now have a way to waste some of your $.03 stamps.
    29. Remember that the Post Office is a government entity

    Jun 11, 2002

    What trip? Wednesday night we're going to Mom's cabin, then driving all day thursday to Michigan to my sister Lisa's place. Coming back the following Monday.

    [nice. looks like a bunch of wasted words got thrown out the window at some point. Oh well..]

    Jun 3, 2002

    Friday: Scooted over to Joe's after dark for a beer. Fun. Told lots of Eli throwing up stories.
    Saturday: Home Depot, picked out carpet. Scooted for two hours down to the old abandoned Toll Bridge (it sounds so Hardy Boys) in South Saint Paul. Got wicked sunburn.

    We all walked to Lake Harriet after Eli's nap and took a ride on the streetcar/trolley. Great fun for $1.50 -- we'll be doing it again for sure! Followed that up with some hot dogs and such at the concession, and then a walk home. Lovely evening! Lovely!

    Sunday: Grand Old Days parade in the morning, 'The Regulars' in the afternoon -- good ride, went over to Grand Old Days. I raced the rain home and made it with just a drop or two on me.

    May 30, 2002

    Ok, to summarize what I haven't typed in the last few days"

    Weekend up north at Lake George was fun, weather was perfect.

    A one point Eli was running and tripped (he did this a lot this weekend) and started crying and sobbed "I did it again!" -- we all had to stifle giggles. He's pretty darn cute these days..

    Drive back from the weekend took forever (not really) and was just as bad as every year. Nice to be home tho.

    The triplets and company was a fun time -- everyone's kids are so much fun now! Personalities abound!

    We actually have to fill out two timesheets every week now at work.

    Basement has walls! Yay! Getting closer and closer to having a computer room again. We're going shopping for carpet and paint this weekend.

    May 28, 2002

    So there are a bunch of police cars blocking off a four block area downtown. Corbett (slacking off in the skyways) says something about a "suspicious package" but nothing on web site. And I forgot my freakin scanner at home. :(
    Fun weekend! Up on the land, great weather, Eli had a LOT of fun. Triplets descend on the homefront tonight for a night over, more detail later...

    May 22, 2002

    I bought a scanner last night. Way too fun. The tough part is going to bed. The later you stay up, the more interesting it gets. Some Radio Shack employee in Highland accidently locked himself in the strip mall and had to call the police for help. Funny.

    May 21, 2002

    I don't really link here, but I was reading this evil Barbie story and just really had to save the link. It's milk-through-the-nose funny.
    Parenthood is a zoo. It's smelly and loud and little kids throw up there. But it's a LOT of fun, and you get to see some really cool stuff. And you get popcorn.

    May 20, 2002

    The gas company dug up our front yard today to move the gas meter outside. Sheetrock happening this week -- I think it's going to be a basement again within a couple months.
    I sometimes find that in a relationship in which there is a lot of teasing and jibes, not enough realworld interaction often causes problems. Like when Erik makes fun of me now, it feels like when my co-workers make fun of me, and I can't sense the friendly element of it. It just ends up making me all defensive and pissy. Maybe I'm just crazy.
    Jill and Joe and Jin and I (the one without the J) snuck out of work a little early last friday and checked out Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. Wonderful fun movie! Lots of noise and action and Star Wars action. Great fun and a better movie than the last, to be sure. No crowds though, which was a little sad. The theater filled up eventually, but it wasn't like the Star Wars hype that was around 25 years ago when I saw Episode IV. (In that very same theater.)

    Jill's rents were here this weekend which resulted in a busy but fun weekend. We completed the painting we needed to finish up and had some good grillin'!

    Saturday I got out on the Scooter for a couple hours, 46 miles all total. Went up Cedar Lake pkwy, Wirth, Memorial, etc. to circle around and end up in St. Anthony. It was really cold tho, and I ended up at Urban Bean for coffee. Finally found an appropriate time for Coffee!

    Riding with 'The Regulars' this week was a blast! Last time there were about a dozen of us -- this week it was 25! Lots of interesting scoots and people, and the highlight had to be buzzing up Park avenue into downtown, the pack of scooters taking up four lanes and cruising down the street like a gang of dorky Hell's Angels. Awesome!

    The ride was a bit short (7 miles) but the destination was Scooterville, the new shop in town. Bob sells some of the new/old Bajaj, Kymco, etc. as well as service on those and vintage scoots. Nice digs, hoping he does well.

    Getting home was somehow more diffucult, as it apparently was 21 miles from Scootervill back to home. Stopped down by the river near St. Anthony falls. They've really done some nice remodeling/refurbing down there. The river road now goes all the way up to somewhere near Broadway now, I think. Might have to pursue that. In any case, I took my time getting home.

    At the river I was checking out the Lock and Dam and saw that the Padelford was going through, but that it didn't look like it was movie. And all the passengers were looking up-river. Turns out there was a guy on the Hennipen avenue bridge threatening to jump. He was standing up there talking to two cops, but by the way he was walking around (must be a large ledge) he didn't look like he was going anywhere.

    There were news cameras and lots of emergency vehicles, but after a little while he climbed back over. They were trying to help him over and he kinda went over onto the bridge forward (I can only assume they were cuffing him.) and there was a wondeful moment when his legs were sticking straight up. And me without my camera. By the way, besides being locked in a small, cushioned room for a few days, what's going to happen to him? They had at least one ambulance, a couple fire trucks, the Lock and Dam was closed while they talked him down, a sherriffs boat was stopping traffic upstream, and I think the bridge might have been closed. How much did THAT cost? Does he get the bill?

    May 17, 2002

    Fun facts from the online legal resources for Minnesota:

    Hitch-hiking is legal if you're not standing in the street.

    U-Turns are illegal on curves or where the road is not visible for 1000 feet in each direction.

    No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and
    until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without
    interfering with the movement of other traffic. No person shall
    allow any door on the side of a vehicle adjacent to moving
    traffic to remain open for a period of time longer than
    necessary to load or unload passengers.

    Speed limit: ten miles per hour in alleys

    I'm not citing references as I'm lazy and you can go find them yourself. :)

    May 16, 2002

    Had a "perfect moment" last night.

    The weather had finally been warm, and Eli and I met Joe at McD's in Uptown for dinner. Got some new CD's, Eli got a sucker, all was well.

    When we got home it was "the golden hour" -- the sun was setting, a golden glow just oozing into the house, and while Eli played with his little people (using the "adorable voice" to make them talk) I sat on the couch and read trivia while listening to Tom Waits grumble through the soundtrack from 'Night on Earth.' And I wasn't cold. Golden happiness.

    May 14, 2002

    Ahhh...
    When a cool product is no longer sold, the searches become crystal clear pools of water in which to frolic...
    Snow predicted Friday.

    We got Eli a sandbox on April 14th, and he's gotten to use it the day we set it up. That's it.

    Sad.
    We have a 'brain teaser' on our Intranet. It's really dumb, and I once submitted an answer that was correct, but not the answer they were expecting, so I didn't get credit. I've been bitter ever since.
    I discovered that they get the questions off the Internet (duh) and don't bother to change names or words. So now when the new brain teaser shows up on the Intranet, I email the link to the answer to everyone I know.
    There's a think on out intranet about a blood drive scheduled May 24th. Except it's not here. You have to go to a blood donor center to give. How's that a drive?
    Idea: Get a bunch of bloggers to set up secondary blogs. Then send them an email daily summarizing the "news" of the day.

    Sounds boring, huh?

    Except this is a 'fake' world in which some sort of national disaster has happened -- a nuclear war, a plague, etc.

    So all the bloggers are keeping journals of their experiences, what their local area is going through, etc.

    May 13, 2002

    Someone told me I need to figger something out so I can quit my job and go to work for myself.
    I've been thinking about that a lot lately for that very reason.
    I'm thinking my way out is for my insane brain to come up with something really unique, and have the luck to patent it and make money off it without being exploited and missing the boat.

    Another possibility is creative. I like to write, and I am searching the cobwebs of my brain for something to write a book about. I don't want to be stephen king, but enough money to not work would be cool.

    Although I think the odds are best in a niche subject or genre. Somewhere with little competition.
    Or in a genre like Romance, where there is a ton of crap. To really write that stuff well could be lucrative.

    I don't want my next career to be completely dependant on technology. I want to be out and about, and I think I want it to be creative.

    So I spend a lot of time on "What simple thing hasn't anyone done yet?" and "What can I write about?"
    There is no money in computers. No money in the Internet. And the problem is that I have to come up with something that will generate as much as I make in salary. Anyone can drop out of the workforce and do their mid-life crisis career switch (or go back to school) but I don't want be a freelance nature photographer if it means I have to give up the Satellite TV or my electronic gadgets.

    So yeah, lazy dream.
    So there we were, touring the DMZ in Korea. We were touring the building in which they hold the peace talks. You know, this one. It actually sits on the border between North and South Korea, so that one side of the table is North, the other is South. When they're not arguing about who shot who first, they take turns using the building to parade important and (in this case) not so important people through to ooh and aah. During each such tour, you can walk anywhere in the room and be 'legal' -- so I've actually been north of the border between the two Koreas. I think technically it was South Korean land at the time tho, so yeah.

    Anyhoo, we're touring this room and (if you looked at the picture, right behind where the guard is standing) right outside the window on the North Korean side is a bonafide North Korean Commie Soldier. And they were right there. Literally two feet from us. We were gawking at him, as I'm sure everyone does, and I happened to notice his pin.

    Side explanation: Every North Korean wears a pin with an image of their 'Dear Leader' or whomever happens to have inherited the throne last. But it's Every North Korean. Kinda wild, to think that everyone wears this pin. And if you don't have it on, it's probably bad news.

    Well, we'd heard about these pins enough, and there not two feet away from me was one of the pins. I'm gawking at it when the guard moves his hand up and points at it with his index finger, as if to say "Hey, check out my pin!" -- when the M.P. (American Border Guard) says "Hey! He just flipped you off! Cool!"

    While I thought he was pointing at his pin, he was merely using it as a nice opportunity to flip off a running dog American whatever whatever.

    So I've been flipped off by a real live Communist, while (possibly, but probably not) in a real live Communist country. So there.
    Sometimes it seems like they've revived or made a movie out of everything. Well, there's one thing that haven't raped yet:

    Archie, Jughead, and the Gang!
    Someone is on hold. And has been for literally hours now. And has their phone on speaker. With Muzak. BAD Muzak.

    It's not the constant Musak that sucks, it's the little reminders. A lilting piano excerpt, a swooping violin. Just enough to remind you that someone is invading your personal soundspace.
    Lovely weekend. Lots of puzzles, relaxing, and fun with the family. Had a ton of details and funny things to say here but just can't remember any of them. Need to start writing thoughts down as I have them, but never remember to. :)

    May 9, 2002

    I just split all my email accounts up, so they're not all forwarding to one account.

    SO now I see that certain accounts are riddled with spam, while some are reasonable. One of the 'clean' accounts had a piece of spam in it, so I decided to click the unsubscribe link.

    It was a form in which my email was populated. It had two options: "No thanks" and "Yes" -- but the question was "Do you want to recieve promotional emails from us." So the instinct would be to hit "Yes" to unsubscribe, and then you're screwed.

    Wait for it...

    I make it past their riddle, and when I hit submit, I get a dialogue box saying.. "Are you sure you want to do this? If you're not sure, click ok. If you are, click cancel."

    So if you click OK you're still subscribed. Cancel unsubscribes you.

    I feel dirty now.

    May 7, 2002

    Joy Division listening party complete. I'm now going back to listening to every mp3 I have. I'm on the C's.


    We have a phone announcement system. The admin drone in the lobby can announce "Joe smith call extension 514 please. Joe smith, extension 514."

    Occasionally she announces meetings. This is all done through the speakerphone speaker that is part of everyones phones.

    Sometimes it's too loud and everyone winces in unison. Other times whomever is announcing screws up, and you can hear giggling all the way across the building. Other times someone will accidentally hit the button and you hear the sound of a person sitting on a phone.

    And I just figured out what it reminds me of. The woman who makes the announcements most of the time has a particular voice, and it makes me feel like I'm board the Starship Enterprise. Neat.
    It's another Joy Division marathon: 80 tracks of pure love and hate on Heart & Soul, the Box Set. Its pretty much everything they're ever done. And wonderful!

    Don't worry, I've done this before, it's going to be ok. :)

    May 6, 2002

    Installed XP on laptop. Kinda sucked. Ran recovery CD process on laptop. Thought it would preserve drive D: (with backup data on it). Didn't. Three days later I think I've found something to recover the data.
    Data was picture backups. AIGH! I think I'm ok now.
    Catching up:

    Took Eli to Uptown Thursday night to go to his favorite restaurant ("McDals") and then do some window shopping. He loves running around Calhoun Square. He also thought Urban Outfitters was super cool.

    Weekend update:

    Scottish Festival

    We went to the Scottish Festival at Mac on Saturday morning with Mom. Lots of greasy sausage based foods, fun bagpipe music ("Blowing!" says Eli) and excellent People-Watching. I was amused to see the occasional Mac student/hippy at what amounted to an exercise in White Middle Class Vanity. Not saying anything bad about the festival -- it was a lot of fun, and I love going. It's just not very diverse (see May Day info below) Eli was a riot, and just keeps getting to be more and more fun, no matter how impossible that sounds. He also ate all the junk foods, which was funny. At one point we were sitting on the grass and he was in the middle just going from treat to treat.

    Basement Destruction

    I had gone out Friday night and fully expected to be hung over, not motivated, and generally grumpy about doing more destruction (or what looked to be hauling and cleaning) with no fun in sight.

    Anyhoo, the event involved Ann and Jill and I. We took out a wall and all of the remaining wood, and even got down to the carpet. The dust was incredible, our arms all gave out for being sore, and my black books looked gray by the time we were done. But it's really empty down there, taking the wall out was a LOT of fun (whacking plaster and lathe from the other side of the wall propells plaster schrapnel a good 15 feet) and pulling the carpet tiles was particularly satisfying.

    Jim's Birthday Drinking

    After a shower and a nap Ann came back over and we all went out to Luce for Pizza. We took the Outback because my car wouldn't start. When are we going to have two working cars? Will it ever happen again? Pizza was good (Hawaiian Pizza with Olives SOUNDS gross, but tastes great!)

    Met Jim and John and Kelly and Jane et al at the Red Dragon for lots of drinks - Jill and I had never been there, although we had both lived in that area for such a long time. Was a lot cooler/trendier than I thought it would be -- in a dirty, cost effective way, noa stylish and clean way. Got home really late and slept in. Nice! (Eli was overnight at Grandma's)

    Minnescoota

    The sun came out just in time for the scooter ride with 'The Regulars' -- a group of folks who meet the first and third Sunday of the month at Pizza Luce on Lyndale (close to home), hang out and then go riding.

    I found them all to be very nice and welcoming, even to a guy with a non-vintage, non-Vespa scooter. There were a dozen or so scoots, and we took up half the patio at Luce for lunch.

    The ride took us down Lyndale, across on Minnehaha Park, then across the Ford Bridge into Highland Park, up the river to the Franklin Bridge, and then back into Minneapolis to end up at the May Day celebration in Powderhorn park. By the time we got to the top of the River Road people were peeling off to go their separate ways, and it was 6 of us that finally got to the Festival.

    Lots of fun scootering, and I really look forward to going again!

    Some notes:
    1. I was surprised that mine was one of the quieter scooters.
    2. While I had the smallest engine, I managed to keep up quite well.
    3. Fun! Fun! Fun!
    4. We got a lot of smiles and waves -- Scooters make people happy.
    5. While motorcycles ignore my waves when I see them alone, most of them waved at the group of us. Strength in numbers.

    May Day Celebration

    When the scoots got to the May Day festival I located Jill via Cel phone (she was somewhere in the crowds) and hooked up with her and Eli. Unfortunately the clouds rolled in and we all scampered home.

    So I'd never been to the May Day Celebration, and I guess I had given up hope that a cool, unique, fun festival could exist anymore. WOW was I wrong. Freaks, weirdos, hippies, scary people, and oddballs abounded. It was awesome! I really wish we had more time before the rainclouds rolled in, because there were lots of interesting booths and stands and things to look at. Next year for sure. (And I think next year we're going to bring a big box of bras to hand out to all of the women, as many of them either can't afford them, or simply don't know what they are.)

    May 1, 2002

    Reading the comments on an article about linux on clone PC's -- all of the linux zealots sound like fundamentalist bible thumpers. How sad.

    Was driving Eli to daycare today and came upon a stop light that was green ("Green Go!") and as it turned yellow ("Yallow!") I snuck my right turn through the light as the intersection was clear and Eli yelled ("Red! Spozeta Stop!")

    Really.

    Apr 26, 2002

    I've discovered that if you just say "Yeah, I'm the guy for that" and "Sure, we can do that" people go away faster.
    Someone needs to buy my family a Keenmac Pub.

    Apr 25, 2002

    Joe and I had another code shootout. Fun!
    Happiness is buying the unmarked PopTarts package in the vending machine, preparing yourself for a strawberry or blueberry tart (which would be just "ok") and getting a Cinnamon PopTart! (which rocks!)

    Apr 24, 2002

    I have a puzzle. I was using a standard country code list for a project, but I noticed some errors. A bunch of them. I wondered if this list was a popular list, so I went searching for one of the misspellings on the net. The country name was "Namibia" but it was typo'd "Anmibia."

    My search yielded two pages.

    Both had expired or changed, but the google cache contained my misspelling. But if you look at the text..

    Some words have the first two letters transposed. Not a few, but a LOT. In a few cases, if the first letter (which was transposed to the second position) was capitalized, the whole sheebang (until the next case change) has a case reversal.

    I'm clueless. This is going to bug me for some time, and I think I'll have to write some code to try and analyze the puzzle. My first guess is that it's code much like the cSientologists (de-transpose that one!) use to send messages and documents over the net.

    Odd.
    It's another Pet Shop Boys(watch those popups!) day as I work my way through their CDs.

    I finished putting the pieces together on my New York Puzzle last night.
    I have to wait until the basement is done, as it's going to take that much space to lay out all the pieces and put them together as buildings, and then into place on the puzzle. Crazy stuff.

    Met Erik's dog last night at the dog park. Cool. Pretty. Face like an Ewok. Not that I find Ewoks attractive in an unhealthy way..

    Apr 23, 2002

    I don't know what I'm doing here, and I keep accepting additional things for "ownership." I hope they don't want me to DO anything with the stuff I own.

    I used to be smart. I really am amazed at how they've made me feel like I:
    1. Don't know anything
    2. Can't learn anything well
    3. Will never really "get" dotnet.

    It's Pet Shop Boys All Day Long In My HeadPhones.

    I feel like I should write 5000 words on why the Pet Shop Boy's "Discography" really does sum up the best of their work, even though (or especially because) it excludes all of their work after 1991. Like in American Psycho, only it's not Whitney, Phil, or Huey.

    Apr 22, 2002

    Complaining about our jobs:

    n: Our kitchen doesn't have real sugar
    e: That kinda sums it up, doesn't it?

    Apr 19, 2002

    Joe and I got coffee this morning. "Caribou Coffee -- a little bit of satan in every cup" -- we both felt like crap up to and through lunch. I feel better now, but WOW that was some evil coffee.
    Mupples.com is my latest project. Simple, effective. Now for some traffic...

    Apr 18, 2002

    How to have fun at someone else's expense: Set their proxy server in their browser to http://www.yahoo.com port 80. They'll (and hopefully their help desk) spend hours trying to figure that one out. Everything they do takes them to Yahoo. (For an added element of evil, set the proxy server to a porn server.)
    Random thought on marriage and babies (from Andre Torrez):
    "I'm not even in the neighborhood of marriage and babies. At work people were talking about the cost of daycare (range: $900-$2000 per month) and all I could think was, "Damn, that's a new computer every month. EVERY MONTH!"

    At first I thought "Damn, that's a new computer every month. EVERY MONTH!" but then I remembered that I have too many computers already. And watching Eli sleep makes my heart explode out of my chest. Every time. It's messy, but I've been able to get it back in every time. So far.

    Apr 17, 2002

    You can find a link to eblots on the CNN.com - Weblinks page. Proof that it was mentioned on CNN. Whee!

    I'm working on an experiment with eBlots right now, involving cookies, a picture of "Mike TeeVee" from the Willy Wonka movie, and a compression algorythm. You do the math.

    Apr 16, 2002

    So I wrote this chat-bot, Frank. And then I built him a website with a bunch of random content. You can send him a comment and he'll email you back.. Well, his email is on that site somewhere.

    And it got harvested:

    From: JasmineJones@msn.com
    Reply-To: <JasmineJones@msn.com>
    Subject: Hi, Frank, Here is my personal information
    Content-Type: text/html


    The body of the email is, of course, p0rn.

    Frank got spammed. He's not even real.

    Apr 15, 2002

    My computer tells me it's 86 degrees outside. That's 4 degrees below 90, in case you were wondering. So we're skipping spring and going right into summer?

    Apr 14, 2002

    Passed 100 miles today, might have to refill the tank again this week. Ran down to BestBuy down south with no problems, and rode around the lakes a silly amount of times.

    We got Eli a sandbox today (finally!) and he was groovin' on the castles I built for him. He got into it eventually, but was a little creeped out by having dirt/sand on his hands. I'm assuming we will be laughing about that later this summer.

    He's such a little boy now. He's running around, having fun, playing, doing little missions like carrying his lawn chair from place to place, etc. It's fun to have him 'help' on tasks in the yard; today he moved the cooler I was sitting on from place to place as I progressed around the picnic table, putting it together. (No, not lazy, just an odd angle under the table and sitting at that height it easier than trying to bend over.

    Apr 13, 2002

    The Vino is just too much fun. In two days of riding I've put 75 miles on it -- and boy is my butt sore! Actually, it's not that bad, but it definately isn't the world's most comfortable seat. But that is the ONLY thing I can think of that's negative. I spent a couple hours riding today and went through half a tank of gas. You know, 40 miles. A dollar's worth of gas. Not bad!

    Eli got a haircut today and he looks more like a little boy than ever.

    "Hey Eli, we're going shopping."
    "Tarrrget?"

    ...

    "Eli, want to go to Burger King?"
    "No.."
    "Want to go to McDonald's?"
    "YEAH! UPTOWN! UPTOWN!"

    He knows what he likes.

    Apr 11, 2002

    From intellicast:
    Friday: Partly cloudy skies. High near 67F. Winds WSW 5 to 10 mph.

    Looks like spring may finally be upon us! Sounds good to me!

    Apr 9, 2002

    Welcome to my new fun:



    It's a 2002 Yamaha Vino, Twilight Blue with tan accents. Had it derestricted before I even picked it up, so it does a zippy 35mph on flat ground, and 40 or more going down hills. We picked up a silver (not chrome) half-helmet yesterday, so I'm safe as well as styling. As for the derestriction: Scooters are considered mopeds, and by law have to exceed no more than 25 or 30 mph -- but if you (or your mechanic) removes the two simple restricting bits, it'll go as fast as mine does now. The speed and pickup is important for getting out of tight spots, i.e. that nasty little Civic that "didn't see me" and tried taking a right turn from the left lane. Evaded that one nicely and even got to give her a dirty look.

    Scooter karma rules -- someone on a Zuma beeped at me, unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to beep back -- I will next time though! I stopped on the way home (from St. Anthony) to fill the gas tank and went from empty to full for a $1.79, so I'm doing my bit for gas conservation, right?

    Reminds me of a motorcycle, only it seems a lot more.. fun! Less complicated, too, to be sure. Will have pictures soon enough; it just started to pitter patter rain on me as I was getting home, and the garage is no place for pictures, so I'll take some tomorrow or the next day.

    Apr 8, 2002

    First walk of the season! It was a bit cold, but it sure was fun! Eli is a lot more interesting at the playground now, and he's fun to chat with on the way to and from the park. This summer is going to ROCK!
    Catching up.. Had a good weekend, Eli went to Grandma's from Saturday afternap to Sunday evening. Jill and I went to Lisa's birthday party.

    We went to 3 Muses, a new restaurant in town. I'd looked it up online to see what the general atmosphere was like, and all of the reviews either gave it one star, or five stars. We understood after we were done. It was a lot of fun, but it seemed like they were trying too hard to be a really artsy, snooty restaurant. They should probably learn to pronounce "Petit" then. (After I said it properly.) The food was really good, but the portions were too small. I had a bunch of food before we went, and I was hungry when we were done with our meal.

    But it was a great birthday party for Lisa, and it's always good to see our friends in a social environment.

    Sunday we took advantage of our Eli-less house by destroying the basement bathroom. It's a toilet and 2/3 of a shower now, no walls. Found a cool yin/yang symbol behind the wall. Foundation walls painted black. Creepy.

    Found the cable for my Bell+Howell pencam. Time for more pointless shots of nothing.

    Eli was plenty tired by the time we got him home last night, and just barely stayed awake for the ride home. It was good to have noise in the house again.

    Saw "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "StepMom" this weekend. The former was awesome, the latter predictable.

    Finally caught a bunch of episodes of "The Osbournes" -- OMG that's funny. They're just so... Wow.
    With any luck, I'll have one of these soon. Erik made fun of it. Ira thought it was cool. Ann thought it was cool. Joe thought it was cool. Joel thought it was cool. I think it's cool. Jill wants a ride.
    You know you're a dotnet developer when you have a shortcut to iisreset on your IE links bar.

    Apr 4, 2002

    Fun Fact: A "console application" is like a kick ass combination of Windows Scripting Host, dotnet WebForms, and VB. It's got a main(), it uses a lot of the dotnet controls, and when you build it, you get an executable. I LIKE it.

    Apr 3, 2002

    I just read the Guidelines for Keyboard User Interface Design and I'm hoping it'll make me a better typist, as it has a list of keyboard shortcuts at the bottom of the article.

    Eli has pinkeye and two infected ears. Hasn't slowed him down a bit, and we didn't even know about the ears. I had to/got to stay home with him yesterday and we had a lot of fun.

    Also, I spent too much time working on my puzzle last night, and now have one of the four Big Bags Of Pieces assembled into building parts. The next step would be to put the buildings together and place them on the 'ground' section, but I'm going to put them nicely in a box and move on to the next bag. Makes it a bit more mobile, and pushes off the "I need a really big space on which to build a mini-New York" deadline.

    No basement news, but the contractor is coming over tonight to tell us what we should and should not rip out when we have our 'destruction party.'

    Still working on the New York Travelogue, should get it done "one of these days." It's at odds with the new puzzle, Flight Simulator 2002, burning CD-ROMs, working on web content for my site, cleaning the basement (and destroying it) and catching up with our Tivo stuff. I need more time to do pointless stuff, that's for sure.

    I'm trying to get as much done as possible because soon summer will be upon us (not that you can tell by the 8" of snow out there) and we'll be going out of doors again. I miss taking walks around the neighborhood, can't wait to start that again. Plus, it's a wonderful way to fill that time between dinner and Eli's bedtime. In the winter it's tough to think of things to do Every Night.

    Apr 1, 2002

    Eli's Daily Pic(click to subscribe) works again. Yay! Gotta figure out how to make the image be an attachment but also display in the body without linking it. If that makes sense.
    Eli's Daily Pic(click to subscribe) works again. Yay! Gotta figure out how to make the image be an attachment but also display in the body without linking it. If that makes sense.

    Mar 31, 2002

    I'm reading 'Left Behind' right now and I don't think I'm going to make it all the way through it. Just too annoying. Not believable. The people who were 'left behind' seem to be based more on Gallant than Goofus, which doesn't make sense.

    Got the coolest puzzle ever for a super good price while we were in Fergus. Like, really super good price. I may have to chronicle the project with images and text. :)

    Mar 29, 2002

    I got all my stuff done 'just in time,' got a sandwich from D'Amico and we were off. Traffic was okay, but we saw an accident being pried apart right at the spot where 94 splits for the DOT testing area. If it weren't for the two highways, we would have been sitting there forever. The further north we got, the less snow we saw. By the time we got up to Fergus mid afternoon there was no snow at all. It'd rained a few times on the way up, but looked clear otherwise. Eli went nonstop until bedtime. In the meantime he had Blue Yo-J, frosted Animal Crackers, and lots of fun playing.

    When we put him to bed we offered our nightly 'goodnight' songs of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Jill's "Star" song. But no, this time he wanted us to sing the theme to Bob the Builder (which Jill belted out quite well -- I didn't know all the words). And then I offered the spider song but he said no. So I offered the other song I know -- Jingle Bells. He didn't want that, either. So we sang Bob the Builder AGAIN. And I left Jill and Eli to the last quiet song. Jill reported that he wanted her not to sing the star song, but Jingle Bells. Yay, Dad!

    And as I write this on Grandma Judy's computer (forgot the darn AC adapter for the laptop. Argh!) I notice that it's snowing. Lots. In about a half an hour it's gone from no snow to completely white. That's the hardest part about spring snow -- the spirit crushing part.

    Read Fragments of a Hologram Rose and "Disneyland with the death penalty" both by William Gibson today.

    Mar 28, 2002

    Harry Potter 1, 2, and 3. Agrippa by William Gibson. Both Parties Concerned by J.D. Salinger. These are all books I've read in the last three weeks. Want to note when and what I'm reading now. Bus riding and palm document files are really cool. :)

    Mar 27, 2002

    My two week project has just been delayed again. Currently at 7 weeks, if they actually launch on the current deadline. Ridiculous.

    Mar 26, 2002

    I just got Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. I flew from Minneapolis to St. Louis to New Orleans last night. I was in a World War I era Sopwith Camel biplane, using only my wits to navigate down the Mississippi. Ok, so I used a map once or twice to see what state I was in, but otherwise it was all dead reckoning.

    Couple things I like:
    1. Scenery is Really Pretty. I have a list of destinations around the world I want to visit.
    2. It's HUGE. Madagascar is on my list of destinations. I think that's so cool. The whole world on three CD-ROMs. I cannot imagine how they do that.
    3. The planes are fun. I was sporting around in my Biplane for a while, but when I went back to revisit New Orleans, I took one of those huge 747's. Can't wait to try the seaplane -- I want to land it on Bear Lake, where our cabin is.
    4. No CD involved. If you install the whole honkin 1+ gig, you don't need the CD when you play. This is super for my laptop, which has an external CD.
    5. It works. With the graphics cranked up it can get a bit jerky, but for the most part it's smooth and pretty, even on my old machine.

    I think tonight I might try and fly across an ocean. See how long that takes.. :)

    Mar 25, 2002

    Took Eli to Bandana Square to look at the model train exhibit Saturday. He thought it was really cool. But he was pretty tired, too. When we left I expected some resistance, and as I walked out of the exhibit I wondered just how many Grand Mal Tantrums had been thrown just outside that door. Funny.

    Sunday we had a great breakfast with the Mitchells. Field is great -- he's so much better at making funny faces than Eli is, and he has a lot of Matchbox cars. Two very important things for kids. I think I might start buying Eli Matchbox cars every now and then, he needs a collection.

    Started demolition on the basement last night. We were trying to expose pipes for the plumber to be able to give us an estimate. In the process we ended up taking down a lot more ceiling tiles and pulling half the corner closet apart. Jill had to restrain me, it was so much fun. I did a lot of it by hand -- literally. The stuff that isn't nailed down with 10 nails per board just comes off with a little pulling. I think we may end up being selfish and not having a 'destruction party' and just doing it ourselves.

    And why can't I find a decent flight simulator?

    Mar 20, 2002

    Still not laughing about the "3/14/2002 1:40:54 PM" comment. And though the deadline moved a week back, it's going to end up being stress.. Oh well. It's fun. And Joe started Monday so that's cool.
    One Million Keystrokes - Between February 1 and March 20 (today) I typed one million letters.

    Thanks. I'd like to thank all the little letters, and my shift key, without whom I would always be shouting. And I want everyone to consider the plight of the dvorak keyboards, and urge the world to stop the keyboardism and abuse they recieve. United We Type!
    I was doing a scary "Find in Files" in Textpad and it complained about not enough memory. So I started the search again. But my mouse was acting funny so I tool the mouseball out to clean it, and while I was doing that it looked like my new search had stopped. So I moved the mouse to see if the machine was locked up. But the mouse didn't have a ball in it, so the pointer didn't move. I panicked. Good thing I didn't hit the reset button. :)
    Took Eli to McDonald's for dinner last night, as Jill had a massive headache and we thought she might want some time to rest. We both had a lot of fun, and he thought the big cup and the little cup for our pops was neat. "Eli cup, Daddy cup" is a great example of how he's noticing size differences and attaching roles to things.

    When we got to Calhoun square he immediately said "That's circle, that's oval, that's square!" and pointed at three benches that were just that. He's a smart kid.

    We also went to Urban Outfitters, but didn't find anything fun. He liked the stairs a lot, though. And the whole trip he kept saying "Uptown!"

    Mar 14, 2002

    Right now I have to build business objects for this project, while also coming up with the Integration Requirements and the Detailed Design. I also have to learn and understand strongly typed datasets being used in leiu of data objects, and when I write code, I have to use c# - which I'm not at all familiar with. I'm out tomorrow and monday, and it's all got to be done by next Friday. And the front end developer needs my stuff before then so he can build the pages. It's not stress, it's supreme frustration and annoyance. I don't even completely understand what a Business Object is. Oh yeah, and everyone else knows what they're doing.

    I'm hoping I can look back on this paragraph in a short amount of time and laugh.
    So I was going to Grand to meet the 8:22 bus when I thought I heard a bus going up Grand, past my stop. I get to the corner and sure enough, there it is, gone by a block. So I look at my pocket schedule and it seems I was looking at the wrong column, and was one minute late for the bus. The next one came in 20 minutes, which would get me downtown at about ten after nine. Blargh.

    But I see a guy standing on the corner for the "express" bus I'd never taken because it comes too infrequently and it's an express so it's $2.25 and I have a $1.75 pass. With no change I grabbed a dollar and headed over, ready to eat the 50 cents and see what it was like.

    Turns out it's not an express, it's only a limited stop. And it was full of hip yuppies from Uptown. And it wasn't crowded. And quite literally ten minutes later I was dropped half a block from the front door of our building. I was actually at my desk with juice and donut at the same time the "next" bus on Grand would have been picking me up.

    So I'm going to have to check it out on the way home, but I'm really a happy camper at this point. Yay!

    Mar 13, 2002

    Culture shift. Someone noticed my certificate stating that I am an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church (http://www.ulc.org) and after some conversation I kidded that people were probably using ULC ministers in Everquest. Ha ha funny, right?

    Well, funny if you've heard of Everquest. "Everquest? Huh?"

    I then got the "I haven't played games since 1996, too much to do -- play softball, waterski, whatever. Gaming is a waste of time, go outside" speech -- from EVERYONE.

    I can handle being the alpha geek, and having people think I'm more nerdy than everyone else, but other developers should certainly KNOW about geek culture.

    And I'm one of the only people I know of in the organization that has a personal web page/site. And I've looked. Pretty strange for an ONLINE UNIVERSITY.
    I'm so pathetic. I just used the freakin' paperclip office assistant to find out how to do something in Word. The really sad part is that it worked and I found out how to make my change quickly and easily. Dammit.
    My hand hurts. A lot. I think I bruised it chipping ice last weekend, but it's got me thinking about "What if I got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" and that's a horrid horrid scary thought.

    It's probably ok, as yesterday it hurt in one place and today it's in another, so it's moving. And I only have today and tomorrow to be typing for 10 hours (7-8 at work and 2-3 at home) a day.

    And I have to pack for New York tonight, so I think I'll be okay. Might have to go out and get a brace or something at lunch. It hurts even when I'm not moving it.

    Mar 12, 2002

    Ever feel like you got hired to do something and they completely misunderstood your qualifications? "Do you know how to make Business Objects and understand Terribly Complicated Stuff?" "Uh, nope." "Great, you're hired!"
    My web site is done. Yes, done. All future content can be integrated using administrative interfaces or ACDSee for labeling descriptions of items. All sites have error reporting and rerouting options, all have statistics reporting systems, and there are common controls among them all to manage 'new' items, navigation, style sheets, etc.

    I feel so.. completed.

    There is still a bunch of stuff to be moved in/built, but it's all additional content, nothing that's crippling any portion of the site. I'm quite pleased.

    Mar 11, 2002

    Yup, Jill and Eli home today, maybe again tomorrow too. I'm fine thus far, crossing fingers, sacrificing chickens, etc.

    Getting into some cool stuff at work, but of course it all starts with Documentation, doesn't it? :)

    New York this friday! Woo!

    Mar 10, 2002

    What a weekend! Eli sick with a feverish cold, Jill sick with a feverish cold and cough. Jill's Mom just back from African Safari, lots of interesting stuff, and she watched Eli while Jill and I went to C&J's housewarming. Was fun. Today Ann and Erik and Gatsby (Erik's dog) came over and we played Nascar (it's Ann's birthday) -- lots of fun, but at 7:30 Jill and Eli were in bed, and by now I'm sure they're both fast asleep. Time to play my new game -- Harry Potter.

    Mar 9, 2002

    I'm working on the Kaboomery, a Toontown Online fansite -- and I can develop the site well enough, but every time I hit the site my computer turns itself off. Yup. Works just fine on everything except hitting that one site. Yeah, it bothers me too. My CDROM no longer works, either. I'm getting a little worried I have to buy a new PC. I don't want to buy a new PC. I want to buy a new Scooter.

    Mar 8, 2002

    Unsettling: You are just sitting there when your glasses pop a lens and you sense a Very Very Very small screw fall into the darkness beneath your desk. And you can't see well any longer.

    It's the human equivalent of throwing a horseshoe. You'll live, but not well.

    I somehow managed to find the screw and screw it in using my wits and a fingernail.

    I also got a SPAM that advertised a special deal on carpet that was actually tax deductable.

    Mar 7, 2002

    I made a "lost page" -- and I'm suddenly remembering my past. I just have to edit the page to reflect anyone I've thought of, so I don't offend anyone. But then, they are all lost, anyway..

    Mar 5, 2002

    I'd love to be at a startup again. I keep telling myself the market will turn around some day and I'll be able to do the smaller, faster, more reckless company thing again. But I have another little voice in my head that tells me a lot of people trudge through their lives with that carrot-on-a-stick, and that I should either try and make the current situation into a Great One! or look for my next BigCharts experience. I guess the thing I'm trying to say is that if I read this in a year or ten and I'm still here, thinking things will get better "soon" that I should kick myself in the butt and change things. And if someone else out there reads this in more than a year and I'm in a rut or something -- kick me in the butt.

    My Cel Phone rings about once a week. I have one meeting per week. How did they happen at the same time? Odd.

    When I got home last night (After the "Honey I'm home!") I did the typical "Hey Eli, can I get a hug?" at the door and he did the typical "No" and went back to eating, er playing with his markers. So I got down to his level and started bouncing up and down and saying (loudly) "Hey Eli can I get a hug? Pleeease?" -- it didn't take long for him to launch into my arms and give me a big hug. Thanks, Eli. It's good to be loud and fun.

    Mar 4, 2002

    Oh yeah, Joe Corbett interviewed at Capella today. I guess it went well -- it'd be nice to know more people at work!
    Ok, so it's almost a year and a half later, and I'm looking for a place to call my 'home' (page.) So I think I'll start using this again. For those of you not familiar with it, this is a blog. Like Weblog. Like Web Diary. Some people use these things for posting links to interesting sites, others post waay too much personal information.

    I, myself, think I'll use this as a "this weekend we went to the fair" kinda of journal. Works for me. That, and it allows me to point http://robert.craig.net at something and not feel like I'm wasting my web address..

    What's new in a year and a half? Oh, so much. The Plural office in Minneapolis got shut down, I went without work for a month and a half, spent that time super-bonding with Eli (loved it!), got a job at http://www.capella.edu, learned a lot about dotNet, got new glasses, found balance in life, got new gadgets of this kind and that, etc. It's been a wild ride, and it's probably going to get even wilder as life goes on. Fun stuff.

    Eli is awesome! He's a little boy now. He runs around, talks (sometimes coherently) yells, throws temper tantrums, says "Eli loves Daddy" once in a while, loves his Fisher Price Little People, can't get enough of the "Two Cool Cows" book his Aunt Mary sent him for his birthday or the "Butter on Pancakes" that came from Aunt Lisa -- and Jill and I are so happy not to have to read "Sammy the Seal" Every Single Night.

    Not much else new, except for the fact that I sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" ever night to Eli and then he hugs me and it makes my heart explode with happiness. S'Cool.