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March 2003 Archives

March 1, 2003

"Anyone over six feet tall is a weed"

If you anticipate a trip to the Cleveland area, you should consider staying at the Louis Penfield House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home.

Penfield House is one of Wright's Usonian homes, and unique among them because of the owner Penfield's height:

"Louis Penfield was six feet eight inches tall. When meeting Mr. Wright for the first time, he asked, 'Can you design a house for someone as tall as me?' Wright was silent for a moment, then replied, 'Yes, but well have to design a machine to tip you sideways first'."

The rates look reasonable (you're getting the whole house, remember) and it seems like a pretty unique opportunity to stay in a piece of living history.

March 2, 2003

Robinella & The CC String Band

My wife and I caught Robinella & the CC String Band on Conan last week and they have a great sound. Bluegrass/country roots music. Tuneful, heartfelt. It looks like they've got an album coming out on Columbia, but you can also pick up their prior recordings on their web site. (Which I just did -- "No Saint, No Prize" should be arriving soon.) I'll post a review once I've lived with it for a bit.

Take that, Rob Duffy.

March 3, 2003

2 Quick Items

  • Today's date is 03/03/03
  • When reaching for a bandaid, early in the morning, make sure your sleepy hands don't instead find a box of Crest White Strips.

March 4, 2003


The threedegrees beta looks promising. Community groupware that lives on your desktop, as a shared icon. It's Windows-only, but there's a nice Flash-walkthrough that explains the concept.

March 5, 2003


rahr-THUMB.jpg First things first: my pet name for my wife is 'bunny.' Okay, go ahead. Smirk. Get it out of your system.

Now. Understand that this is a sketch I drew of my wife (The Bunny.) I drew it when we lived in San Francisco. 'What is she doing?' you may be asking yourself. She's ripping down the curtains, of course. Because of MUNI-stink, and Inner Sunset ear-canal mold, and road-weary commute husband, and social-climber clueless boss, and post 9/11 jitters, and... the list could go on and on.

So, yes, we do miss San Francisco (it was a year and a week ago today that we left.) But we also are thankful for a new year, in a new place. Near family. New stresses, but we've spent more time the past year thinking about hanging curtains than wanting to tear them down. That feels like progress...

When the day is new

Jamison just reminded me that a great man has passed. (Here's another small tribute, oddly affecting.)

I asked a friend last week how he felt about Mr. Rogers' death. He remarked that he doesn't tend to get too nostalgiac about his youth, which seemed to me to miss the point entirely.

Fred Rogers, for me, isn't about some abstract, distant longing for a space and time I inhabited too many years past. Instead, I think about the things he taught many of us that we carry to this day.

My very friend, the one I posed the question to, is a fine, upstanding and thoughtful young man. A walking tribute to the virtues that Mr. Rogers espoused and exemplified. How much worse might the world have been had Mr. Rogers not been a part of it?

March 6, 2003

Michael Chabon's Site

No comment here, other than to just point it out. (Okay, I will say there's an essay on writing a golem.)

(Link via Jason Kottke.)

Why won't puny humans Shut Up??

Earlier I noted that Warren Ellis's blog now features comments. Well, that didn't last long. Quoth Ellis:

“For those of you watching, I took the
commenting system off Die Puny
Humans last night. It started out
fun, but within a week I was getting
unpleasant echoes of WEF, and the
arsehole magnetism was growing
mighty. The commenting system --
from www.enetation.co.uk -- is
very good, and has all kinds of ways
of blocking people, but in the end,
I don't have the time or the interest
in retard farming.”

March 7, 2003

Jakob Nielsen Invented Spam

Ah, this is an oldie but a goodie. It nearly brings a tear to my eye every time I read it: Hacking Jakob Nielsen.

“That's right, Jakob. It was the Internet's fault. ”

March 8, 2003

A nice reminder

I think this posting will officially end my week-long run of SF longing. But it's a good way to end it -- here is a nice photo gallery of shots from around the city.

Conan O'Brien's String Dance

In an interactive Java applet. (Requires Java, obviously.)

March 9, 2003

Dead Children Ha Ha: The Edward Gorey Alphabet


More here.

Ohio Winter

DSCN2363.JPG This picture is a couple of weeks old, but it makes me so happy that I thought I'd share it with the world.

March 10, 2003

9/11 Relived via Google

Here are a page full of statistics for Google Searches Related to 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.

March 11, 2003

Imagination at Work

Ryan's jornal-de-guerra breaks down GE's new advertising slogan, as well as their latest line of R&D advancements:

“Their research department over the past 20 years has been developing small flying machines, modeled after the structure and movement of birds. The first successful prototypes took to the air in 1992, and made their first public appearance in 1996, at the Atlanta-hosted Olympics. At this time, their usage was purely experimental, a dry run of sorts. ”


Scriptygoddess looks like a promising blog to follow -- full of PHP, Movable Type and general scripting goodness. File for future reference.

March 12, 2003

Ellis is gunning for me

Warren Ellis sounds off in his latest Bad Signal:

“Someone needs to devise a way to remotely delete blogs that contain nothing but the results of online tests. This remote deletion device should also incinerate the generative organs of the perpetrators. Testicles and wombs making little fireworks to brighten the long dark night of the world wide web.”

To be honest, I don't know what the hell this means. But do you suppose he's onto me?

March 17, 2003

Man Assaulted with Burrito

Littleton Man Assaulted With Burrito (and not in the way you'd think - get your mind out of the gutter.)

Believe it or not, this link is vaguely work-related. That is, I found it while pursuing something for work.

Wave-riding Rodents

If my dog couldn't already swim naturally, then this would be all the incentive he'd need to learn - Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel.

“In 1978 a little squirrel was rescued from a hurricane and raised by Chuck and Lou Ann Best. The late Chuck thought of the idea and he and Lou Ann taught her to water-ski. Never in their wildest dreams did they anticipate that she would become the world's most sought after water skier.”

(Link via Peace Dividend.)

From Hell

Matt Jones points to a lengthy treat(ise) on Moore and Campbell's From Hell. My flagging health prevents me from reading this tonight, but you can bet I'll be printing it out later this week.

Buy it for millions, or read it for free

Action Comics No. 1, scanned in its entirety.

(Link via XBlog.)

March 20, 2003

Tokyo Underground

Is there a secret city beneath Tokyo?

March 23, 2003

Can AOL Survive?

I don't think his perspective is particularly compelling, but I haven't posted anything for a couple of days... So John Dvorak asks: Can AOL Survive? (He also wonders whether Apple will soon switch to an Intel architecture. And he's got evidence.)

Lobster Johnson Pin-up

Eric Wight has penned a story for the upcoming Dark Horse Series, Hellboy Weird Tales (I mentioned it back in October.) Check out Eric's cool Lobster Johnson pinup (and check out some of his other stuff. Very cool.)

KG Speaks

Put your own words in Kyle Gass's mouth, and possibly win Tenacious D stuff.

March 24, 2003

Build a bot

Here's a nice article with pointers to building your own AIM and MSN Messenger bots.

March 26, 2003

Protest Perspectives

I haven't been posting much to Soldier Ant lately, because current events make my usual brand of Stikfas-and-Hellboy silliness seem... well..


But here are two perspectives I've enjoyed looking at tonight. Compare and contrast the anti-war demonstrations that have taken place in NYC (photos by Jason Kottke) with these SF Antiwar Protest Pics (by Joe Pistritto).

My Fellow Citizens

And here's another perspective on the war. Ben Fry uses information design to bring home the potential number of civilian casualties in Iraq:

“President George W. Bush's announcement of the impending invasion of Iraq is a death sentence for thousands of Iraqi civilians. While nobody can say for sure, 25,000 people is one conservative estimate of the number to die. This works out to three people per letter of his speech, and I created this piece as a way to begin to quantify just how many people that is.”

March 27, 2003

Now this's gotta be bogus

Blog.This points to this inane memo from 'Timely Studios', regarding the unique opportunity that the war in Iraq affords one of their projects.

This is so bogus. Like the fake Puma ads.

March 28, 2003

To Dye For

On Yahoo! News -- Dye Pack Explodes in Robber's Pants. And it happened less than a mile from our house.

(Found on Die Puny Humans.)

March 29, 2003

Taking the Cross

“Thus the paradox at the core of Francisco's decision to take the Cross -- the paradox that makes me shudder as I realize the cunning, nefarious methods of Satan -- Francisco joined God's army and journeyed to the Holy Land at the behest of the devil.”

-- The Crusader, Michael Alexander Eisner

March 30, 2003

Ant Tracks

I've been working on this for quite a while in my spare time, so it's been taking forever, but visit this alternate homepage for Soldier Ant. You'll notice a 'Now Spinning on iTunes' feature in the right nav. That's automated track information, pulled from iTunes, passed through Amazon, and posted via Movable Type. It'll get more robust, the site'll finally get designed (bye-bye, MT default template!) and then I'll be posting some more about the technology and sharing some code and stuff. Whee!

Has Fox News Gone Completely Fool Loopy?

So remember when there was that big protest in NYC? Check out what Fox News did:

Fox News had its own response to the demonstrators. The news ticker rimming Fox's headquarters on Sixth Avenue wasn't carrying war updates as the protest began. Instead, it poked fun at the demonstrators, chiding them.

"War protester auditions here today ... thanks for coming!" read one message. "Who won your right to show up here today?" another questioned. "Protesters or soldiers?"

Said a third: "How do you keep a war protester in suspense? Ignore them."

Still another read: "Attention protesters: the Michael Moore Fan Club meets Thursday at a phone booth at Sixth Avenue and 50th Street" - a reference to the film maker who denounced the war while accepting an Oscar on Sunday night for his documentary "Bowling for Columbine."

The protesters said Fox's sentiments only proved their point: that media coverage, in particular among the television networks, is so biased as to be unbelievable. (full story)

Crazy times.

New Store on Haight St.

Okay, well, "new" to me at least.

It's been over a year since I've been back to San Francisco since moving, but I'm heading out next month. My friend alerted me to a new store on Haight, Kid Robot. I am very excited.

Here is one reason:

Friends with You Albino Squid

So much more. So much more.

And by 'Boy Mouse', Ryan means 'Ryan'

The latest jornal-de-guerra:

So if you are out there Boy Mouse, bring on the justice. We, your public, are awaiting your re-arrival to our world.

God love him, I think it's time for Ryan to come in from the cold as well. ;-)

March 31, 2003

Brothers of Purity

My father-in-law gifted me with an old (1929) edition of Mackey's Encyclopedia Freemasonry. This entry caught my eye.

Purity, Brothers Of. An association of Arabic philosophers, founded at Bosra, in Syria, in the tenth century. Many of their writings, which were much studied by the Jews of Spain in the twelfth century, were very mystical. Steinschneider (Jewish Literature, 174, 295) calls them the Freemasons of Bosra and says that they were “a celebrated Society of a kind of Freemasons.”

Note that Bosra, Syria is not the Basra in Iraq that is much in the news these past weeks. Dig on Google for more on the Brothers of Purity.

To the researchers working in the Vatican Secret Archives

[I]t is absolutely forbidden to use mobile telephones inside the Archives.” Thank G-d somebody has finally taken a stand!

And here are the rules for visiting the Archives. I'm amused by No. 6 - “Undergraduate students usually are not admitted into the Archives.”

It puts me in mind of an anecdote from my days at BGSU, perhaps apocryphal, wherein a hapless student checks out a copy of the script from the final episode of M*A*S*H.

(Bowling Green's Popular Culture Library is world-renowned, and a real mind-trip -- more vintage porn than your granddad's basement, copies of every TV Guide ever published (eat your heart out, Frank Costanza), vinyl LPs by the stackful. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.)

But I digress.

So our student, still lacking hap, checks out an original copy of the final MASH script. In fact, it is Alan Alda's own personal copy of the final script, complete with his penciled scrawlings in the margin. (“emote here”, “laugh raucously”, that kind of stuff, I'm guessing. Will somebody keep that damn chicken quiet?!) So this pinhead starts scrawling his own assignment notes in the margins.

This is bad. And, according to legend, it is the singular event that led to the tightening of access to the Pop Culture collection at ol' Jerome liberry.

“All materials are retrieved for users by staff members and must be used in the Library's reading room.”

Which takes a hell of a lot of the thrill out of looking at vintage porn. Er.. Um.. Yeah. No thanks.

(I also heard it was because someone ripped off a first-printing of Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Damn undergrads -- maybe the Vatican is onto something.)

About March 2003

This page contains all entries posted to Soldier Ant in March 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2003 is the previous archive.

April 2003 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


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