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February 2007 Archives

February 1, 2007

On Alert

Okay, this is now officially a trend. Lately, I notice that I get a lot of LinkedIn requests from people that I work with, only to find out soon afterward that they're leaving the company!

So... a word to the wise... if you're contemplating a career change and don't want to telegraph it too much, save the LinkedIn until after you've moved on.

Because now every time I get one of those things, my 'flight risk-o-meter' will go to Level Blue. Trust me — I'll still accept your connection 2 weeks after you're settled into your new gig. You know I love you.

February 3, 2007


While I was visiting the newly-redesigned Yahoo Sports, an ad for this new Mark Wahlberg movie, Shooter, caught my eye. Turns out that it's an adaptation of the Bob Lee Swagger stories by Stephen Hunter.

My brother Brian loaned me the second book in the trilogy, Black Light and it made for a great, gripping airplane read a couple of months ago. This is exactly the kinda stuff I like to read on trips—fast, fun and lightweight.

I'll probably seek out the other two books someday, but this piece of Marky-Mark fluff might suffice nicely in the interim. If it's good (and it's directed by Antoine 'Training Day' Fuqua, so it's certainly got possibilities) then Marky might've stumbled onto a decent franchise with legs. (His 'Bourne' contender?)

February 4, 2007

Dodged a bullet

There must've been a serious tee-vee lull last Fall that somehow turned Rock Star Supernova into our household's guilty pleasure of choice for a couple of weeks. It was all good campy fun, right up until the end when they picked this sputtering chimanzee Lukas Rossi to win. (I mean, I like my pleasures guilty, but liking this guy would border on masochistic.)

When we though that Dilana was going to carry the contest, LeeAnn and I even toyed with the idea of buying tickets for the followup tour's stop here in Columbus. Thankfully, we thought better of it. So, apparently, did ¾ of Value City Arena. To add insult to injury, Jason Newsted wasn't even there tonight (on account of 'injury'—or maybe he finally found sobriety.) Whew. I'm so glad we didn't go to this show—camp value or no, swimmin' in a crapfest still stinks.

February 6, 2007

'Roid Rage

Kirby's back on the meds for his ear, specifically Prednisone which is a steroid. It's an immunosuppressive, which means it's suppressing his immune system (which will hopefully lead to less swelling in his middle ear canal, so that the other medicines we're putting in there can reach the infection down lower in the canal.)

But—while the treatment is working wonderfully so far—there are a number of less-than-desirable side effects. Most of these problems did not occur the first time Kirby was on Prednisone (last summer.) So they're particularly disheartening. But, in no particular order, Kirby is: antsy a lot; abnormally hungry; eating frozen dog turds from the yard; manic-ally frantic when he has to pee; thirsty all the time; peeing like crazy (once inside. Damn.) And he seems to be a bit more stubborn than he usually is.

But other than that, he's doing great.

February 7, 2007

We can work it out

While I wrestle with a Flash player that has somehow inexplicably stopped functioning (and won't let me reinstall over it, and is standing between me and some Yahoo! Maps screens that I need to capture) I offer up this for any of you Social Media geeks who might be reading.

My friend John has yet another cool project in the works. Says John:

What’s really interesting about Meadan — apart from its small part in removing barriers to rationale discourse between the West and the Muslim world — is how it uses social networking technologies both to create communities (the “traditional” use of social networking) but also to enlist users to rate, edit, and correct the English-Arabic machine translation. Social networking as language feedback loop.
It'll be really interesting to watch this experiment unfold. Get an invite to the alpha, John?

February 13, 2007

Redefining the 'Tease'

Whew, boy. Those hot little minxes at 'Netscape' are back in business. They've posted a 'teaser' screenshot for the upcoming Netscape 9.0 browser release.

Wha? wtf? Netscape is still releasing crapass browsers?

Now, I ask you.. in whose reality does this news tease, titillate or tintinabulate the senses of anyone?

I used to joke that, if you gave a finite number of monkeys a finite amount of time that, eventually, they'd reproduce Netscape.com.

Turns out that those monkeys have succeeded on about 4 separate occasions. Hope they got their sabbatical.

Disclaimer: I worked for a different flavor (actually several different flavors) of 'Netscape' for almost 8 years. So, yeah, I was one of those louse-eating monkeys.

February 14, 2007

Speaking at the 2007 IA Summit — 'Design Plectics'

This isn't exactly news in the sense that it's new, but I haven't mentioned it here yet (nor, really, talked about it much with any of my colleagues.) But I've had a talk accepted for the 2007 IA Summit in Vegas, and the subject is something near and dear to my heart: simplicity & complexity.

I've been off my feet all day with an ugly head-cold and I feel like writing something tonight.. so here it is. Until my Nyquil tablets kick in. (Expect an abrupt end to this entry.)

Continue reading "Speaking at the 2007 IA Summit — 'Design Plectics'" »

February 18, 2007

It was February

It was May. And how can homely afternoons in Colorado with its farms and irrigation ditches and shady dells—the places where little boys go swimming—produce a bug like the bug that bit Stan Shephard? He had his arm draped over the broken door and was riding along and talking happily when suddenly a bug flew into his arm and embedded a stinger in it and that made him howl. It had come out of an American afternoon. He yanked and slapped at his arm and dug out the stinger, and in a few minutes his arm had begun to swell and hurt. Dean and I couldn't figure out what it was. The thing was to wait and see if the swelling went down. Here we were, heading for unknown southern lands, and barely three miles out of hometown, poor old hometown of childhood, a strange feverish exotic bug rose from secret corruptions and sent fear into our hearts. — On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Funny what sticks with you. This has always been one of my favorite passages from On the Road, a book rife with memorable passages.

I guess I just love the way it so succinctly captures an aspect of life—that little unintended intruder, that bug that catches you on your way to some great adventure, and lays you low. Bugs are the great democratizers, are they not? Well, the one that's hit me this week may not have been born out of a shady Colorado dell, but it certainly came out of an American afternoon. Wednesday afternoon, to be exact.

And here, late Sunday night, I'm praying that it's done with me. I've been through a hacking cough, a snot-filled face, 3 boxen of tissue. I'm just Beat-tired. The only thing that's not yet worn thin is my wife's incredible patience. And... it pains me to say it... her sore throat started yesterday, and cough today. Which puts her right on schedule for real fireworks starting tomorrow. I'm sorry, honey. I'll make it up to you somehow, I swear.

February 19, 2007

A Seasonal Sampling of Pollytude

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, Polly's like a broken record. Always guarding some (completely arbitrary) object. She puffs herself up to look all vicious, tail wagging the whole time. I'm feeling somewhat better this morning, and her little attitude never fails to brighten my outlook.

Fixing Flash (or “Don't know what you got til it's gone”)

For reasons that are still unclear to me, my install of Flash stopped working sometime last week. (On all the browsers that I run—mostly Firefox 2.0, sometimes Safari, and, lately, every once in a while the optimized-for-Intel Firefox build Bon Echo.) So I ran for a day or two with no Flash and marveled at the number of sites that use it... dang, did I somehow drift off to sleep since 2001? Or is it just that I've had so little trouble with the plugin up until now. It's usually preinstalled and configured on every browser I've ever used, with a nice little in-application upgrade path. So, for most of the past 5 years or so, I've never really thought much about Flash: it's just there and it works.

But when it doesn't work, the Web is a crappy thing. No YouTube is the biggest hit, followed by the annoying and constant Firefox alerts for all the sites that use Flash advertising. But it should be no problem, right? Just reinstall Flash and the problem should correct itself. Ah, were it that easy.

Running the Flash 9 installer got me aaaallll the way through the install, right up to (seemingly) the last step—Installing Flashplayer.xpt—before crapping out with a succession of error messages. 1008:5,-5000 Access denied error; and You do not have enough access privileges for this installation. I Googled around a bit for a diagnosis, and got a couple different tactics to try (none of which worked, so I won't link them up here.) As you'd expect, most of them involved chmod-ing, chroot-ing and chown-ing the ch-ell out of some dark, dank directories deep inside the 'Resources' folder of this-or-that browser.

So, here's my hint to the Internet. What finally worked for me was this: I downloaded the 'run any binary as root' application Pseudo and dropped the Flash installer on that. Bingo. That did the trick.

February 25, 2007

Bowing Out of IA Summit

It pains me to say it, but—a mere 10 days after announcing my IA Summit talk—I now have to announce that I won't be able to deliver it. (I informed Summit organizer Donna Maurer earlier this week, who has been wonderfully understanding about the whole thing.)

Chalk it up to an astonishing lack of foresight on my part. I—who knew full well that my wife was pregnant when I submitted my proposal to the Summit in November—shoulda known better. But, in my defense, I've never been an expectant father before and some things you just don't understand until you've experienced them.

In November, LeeAnn was only 3 months pregnant and—aside from her morning sickness—was doing quite well: mobile, energetic and overall just pretty darn happy about the whole thing. I looked at her condition then and kinda... extrapolated out another 5 months, mentally.

And incorrectly, as it turns out. By the time of the Summit, she'll be 8 months pregnant and—already at month 7—she's not nearly as mobile, no longer energetic and—while still happy!—has come to rely on me a lot for her daily needs.

I can only assume that these needs will grow in the weeks leading up to delivery, so a 4-day trip to Vegas (in addition to some other Yahoo-related travel I need to do) at the end of March was starting to feel like a liberty that I shouldn't be taking. In the back of my mind too is the possibility of an early arrival: our doctor has told us to expect a delivery—possibly induced—around the 37th week. About 2 weeks after the Summit. Too close for my mental comfort.

So, this is very disappointing. It was to be my first IA Summit and a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends I hadn't seen in awhile, as well as to (finally) meet some folks face-to-face that I've only met via correspondence. All I can say is: see you folks next year! And my profound apologies.

And I do still intend to publish some thoughts about Design Plectics here on Soldier Ant in the coming weeks. In fact, I've already got Part 1 of 5 pretty well-drafted out, so hopefully this will (somewhat) atone for my poor planning.

February 28, 2007

When others own your metadata

Ick! Micah (who's movin' on up, to the East Side) has (blech) tagged me
with 'cincinatti'! (It's Cincinnati, btw.)

But... but... Cincinnati is a RED city. I live in Columbus—a Blue city that periodically votes red, depending on who's doing the counting.

Now, Micah's a good Midwestern boy, so I'm sure he'll remedy the problem once he sees this. But it's an interesting episode in my ongoing adventure of life amongst social media. I think it's the first time that I've seen a peer-contributed tag applied to me that didn't make me smile.

Usually I'm just so dang glad that someone cares, I don't care if they misspell my name, or call my dog a cat. Hey.. whatever, folk it up, folks!

But... but... Cincinnati? C'mon Micah—give me some credit.

About February 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Soldier Ant in February 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2007 is the previous archive.

March 2007 is the next archive.

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