« June 2003 | Main | August 2003 »

July 2003 Archives

July 2, 2003

Not quite right

inbox.jpg Something is messed up here. I just received over 15,000 emails in the past hour. And it's the second time this week that's happened.

July 3, 2003

Compilations and Complications

If you've looked at Ant Tracks lately, you should be noticing a higher success rate with matching up the album info to something in the Amazon database.

You can tell when no succesful match is found -- the album artwork is a generic Ant, and the links are Google-searches instead of links to the Amazon sell-page. Hopefully these will become fewer and fewer over time, although you'll always have situations where the album is just not available on Amazon (like Miranda Sound's Engaged in Labor) or is out-of-print altogether (like the Bottle Rocket's The Brooklyn Side, which is a shame by the way.)

Anyway, I've been making some very minor adjustments the past few days: the goal is to reconcile some of the CDDB data-formatting quirks with the way that Amazon marks up albums. Basically this involves regular expressions, string comparisons, ignoring a lot of ( )s and [ ]s... But it's coming along.

I even have a volunteer to start beta-testing Ant Tracks on their site, so my next moves will be to get these scripts ready for multi-user use. (Right now they're semi-hardwired to my blog and site.) Another thing that's been bugging me is the poor handling of Soundtracks and Various Artist compilations. I have a feeling that using the Amazon APIs Keyword Search, instead of the Artist Search, is probably the solution to that problem.

And soon I'll be starting a new Change-Blog that'll track the details of my ongoing tweaks. Because I know you're fascinated. (Next up: Trading Cards)

July 8, 2003

Wang Dang Doodle

There've been a series of Bigfoot sightings in China:

The passengers found several 30 centimeter-long (12 inches) footprints and newly broken branches in the jungle near the road, the report said.

They also claimed to have discovered a three-meter-long (9.9 feet) patch of "foul smelling urine-like liquid" on the road where the creature was seen.

My own theory is that recent environmental changes may have driven the beast from its typical habitat.

July 9, 2003

Wilco & Sonic Youth

Duffy's posted some pictures from a show a bunch of us attended a couple of weeks back: Sonic Youth and Wilco in Cleveland. Good times.

July 10, 2003

Bruised Burgers

I went to college in Bowling Green, OH and then (as now) the wind is legendary in its ferocity. I heard on the news the other night that winds reached 101mph during the summer storms that have been pummeling Ohio. As Big Boy Bob will attest, wind like that ain't no joke.

July 11, 2003

The Odds

One winter night during one of the many German air raids on Moscow in World War II, a distinguished Soviet professor of statistics showed up in his local air-raid shelter. He had never appeared there before. “There are seven million people in Moscow,” he used to say. “Why should I expect them to hit me?” His friends were astonished to see him and asked what had happened to change his mind. “Look,” he explained, “there are seven million people in Moscow and one elephant. Last night they got the elephant.”
-- Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein

Illustrated Blog

John j. Simpleton is a really engaging site, and the Journal section makes me green with envy: it's a semi-regularly updated weblog, with accompanying illustrations by the site's author, John Stickley. (Who appears to be looking for work. If you're in a position to do so, you should hire him.)

(Thanks, Matt, for the link.)



A chance juxtapositioning on Ant Tracks has me considering this as a submission for the The Knockoff Project. Tom even got the frizzy fro right!

July 14, 2003

The Return of 'Fun with Google'

I thought this was fun. it's like bad corporate folk-art. Google Image Search: org chart

July 17, 2003

Wistful Dogs


July 18, 2003

The Salt Mines

God bless the poor guys and gals working in Call Centers. This has got to be one of the most thankless jobs ever. And here's a l-o-n-g breakdown of one of the worst managers ever.

Kurt told me in no uncertain terms and with a gleam in his eyes and a smile on his face, that he was going to help me "find ways to fire people sooner." He told me "I am good at it" and "I like it!" Others that have worked with Kurt before have confirmed that this is his style. He likes being a "hatchet man". There is a difference between taking the responsibility as a manager to do things that are undesirable yet necessary. I believe as a manager you must be able to fire people when needed... but you should not enjoy itor relish it as he does. My true impression is that of a sociopath with no conscience.
(FWIW, I checked. All the actors mentioned in this little drama do still seem to be gainfully employed by AOL.)

July 19, 2003

Belt One Out

This brief history of the chastity belt (probably not work-safe) includes some fun tidbits:

“Many of today's cartoons and jokes of chastity relate back to Medieval times, when Knights who themselves swore vows of obedience, loyalty, poverty and chastity, 'protected' their women by locking them in chastity belts until they returned from the Crusades. Generally these chastity belts were made of iron or bronze, very occasionally they were made with precious metals and gem stones to adorn the belt.”
Pictured at left is a male chastity belt. Intended not to protect the wearer from harm by others, but apparently from abuse by himself.

July 21, 2003

A Visit from Mark

Mark and Bryce at Darby Dan Mark Stern paid a much-welcome visit on Saturday! He was in Ohio (Dayton to be exact) for part of the week for the Deaf Pilot's Association's annual fly-in. Realizing that his return trip to Vermont would take him right over Columbus on Saturday morning, Mark contacted me and we agreed to meet a little airstrip just West of Columbus. I've also got some Quicktime shorts (taxi and takeoff), but until those are ready to post, view these photos from Saturday.

July 24, 2003

AOL Journals

My IMBlog is up on the new AOL Journals beta site, and - so far - it's a lot of fun. As the name implies, I'll be posting to the blog almost exclusively using the new and way-cool 'Blog-via-IM' (Instant Message) feature. Get with the future man -- it's the only way to Blog.

I'm interested in keeping IMBlog as a very lightweight companion to this site. (Yes, I realize that Soldier Ant is itself already very lightweight.) Basically a place to stick links quickly and with very little commentary.

Oh, and in the short term, I'll probably be posting a lost there about my experiences interacting with AOL Journals. Cause that seems appropriate, too.

July 28, 2003

Kuno. What a Killer.

Kuno the catfish was a 77 lb. terror and he recently washed up dead, although some don't believe it's him.

Kuno became a local celebrity in 2001 when he sprang from the waters of the Volksgarten park lake to swallow a Dachshund puppy whole. He evaded repeated attempts to capture him.

(Link found on Die! Puny! Humans!.)

Comics are not life.

Or are they?

Recently Woz has perfected the Spider-Tracer technology. (I've heard tell that Bill Joy has a functioning prototype of a pair of webshooters , but has not been succesful in finding an athlete skilled enough to use the damn things...)

And then, a group of Osaka teenagers teach themselves how to organize a prostitution ring by watching manga.

A Halo Thanksgiving?

MacSlash says that Halo is coming to the Mac (and Windows) "before the fall." I'll believe it when I'm kicking braddles' butt, and no sooner.

About July 2003

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

June 2003 is the previous archive.

August 2003 is the next archive.

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


Subscribe to feed Subscribe to my feed
Powered by FeedBurner
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.33